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Toku Daihatsu Class, Japanese Landing Craft


Photograph of Toku Daihatsu landing craft

Taki (2014). Fair use may apply.


Specifications:


Tonnage
20 tons light displacement
Dimensions
57'9" by 12'2" by 3'3"
17.6m by 3.7m by 1.0m
Maximum speed       9 knots
Complement
15
Armament
1 heavy machine gun or 2 light machine guns or 3 25mm/60 AA guns
Machinery
1-shaft diesel (150 hp)
Range
100 nautical miles (190 km) at 7.5 knots
50 nautical miles (90 km) at 8.5 knots
Cargo
1 Type 97 15.6 ton tank or 100 men or 16 tons cargo
Production
Perhaps 163 beginning in 1940

The Toku Daihatsu or 17m landing craft (Army Type N-L-BD) resembled the Allied LCVP, with a bow ramp that was lowered on hitting the beach. It was essentially a larger version of the Daihatsu, intended for landing small tanks or vehicles, and was built of welded steel. The Navy ordered 163 of these craft, but it is not known how many were actually completed (though at least 35 were built in 1943-44).

These craft were used extensively to run troops and supplies to isolated garrisons in the Solomons and elsewhere. The Japanese referred to these operations as "ant runs." As the war progressed, Allied air forces and PT boats became adept at intercepting and destroying these craft.


References

Jentschura, Jung, and Mickel (1977)

Merriam (2006)

Taki (2014)



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