Amphibious warfare is a type of offensive military operation which uses naval ships to project ground and air military power onto a hostile or potentially hostile shore. Through history the operations were conducted using ship’s boats as the primary method of delivering troops to shore. Since the Gallipoli Campaign specialised watercraft were increasingly designed for landing troops, materiel and vehicles, including by landing craft and for insertion of commandos, by fast patrol boats, zodiacs (rigid inflatable boats) and from mini-submersibles.
The term amphibious first emerged in the USA during the 1930s after design of the Landing Vehicle Tracked where the first prototypes were named Alligator and Crocodile, though neither species are amphibian. Amphibious warfare includes operations defined by their type, purpose, scale and means of execution. In the British Empire at the time these were called combined operations which were defines as “…operations where naval, military or air forces in any combination are co-operating with each other, working independently under their respective commanders, but with a common strategic object.” All armed forces that employ troops with special training and equipment for conducting landings from naval vessels to shore agree to this definition.
Since the 20th century an amphibious landing of troops on a beachhead is acknowledged as the most complex of all military manoeuvres. The undertaking requires an intricate coordination of numerous military specialities, including air power, naval gunfire, naval transport, logistical planning, specialised equipment, land warfare, tactics, and extensive training in the nuances of this manoeuvre for all personnel involved.