Away All Boats: A Study of the evolution and development of amphibious warfare in the Pacific War
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
Amphibious operations are a topic central to the history of World War Two in the Pacific Theatre. The majority of research on this topic has been centred on the impact of American experiences and successes attributed to the development and evolution of amphibious warfare. The contributions of the United Kingdom and Japan to the development of amphibious warfare have been either overlooked or marginalized. This thesis will investigate the amphibious activities of all three powers both during and before the Pacific War, and seek to explain the importance of each nation's contribution to amphibious warfare. In addition, the thesis will demonstrate how in its highest forms amphibious operations became a fully fledged system of global force projection. The thesis will explain how each of these powers interpreted the legacy of the failure of the 1915 Gallipoli campaign both in the context of their own wartime experiences, and in their respective strategic worldviews. This interpretation is central to how each power prepared for amphibious operations in the next war. The importance of the geography of the Pacific Ocean to the evolution and development of amphibious warfare will be discussed, as will the advances in technology that allowed the creation of logistical systems to support these operations.