The Higgins Boat was specifically designed to land troops and light vehicles in an amphibious assault and was first developed during World War II. The front of the boat was one large steel ramp that would drop when the boat hit the beach, allowing the troops to dash out in one wave. Unfortunately this also turned the boat into a shooting gallery for machine guns on the shore. Many times everyone in a boat would be killed before setting foot on the beach. The Higgins Boat was only made to get troops ashore, if it survived long enough to make another trip it was considered a bonus. The boat was built mostly of plywood, the only metal parts were the engine and such, and the front ramp. The boat was much like a PT Boat in this regard. During the campaign in the pacific the Higgins Boat did not meet the needs of the USMC. Much of the time the islands that were being assaulted were surrounded by shallow coral reefs. The boats would run aground off shore and the marines would have to wade to shore, often as far as half a mile. This was unacceptable, as it resulted in high casualties. The Higgins Boats were supplemented with a vehicle called the amtrac. The boat was first designed for the invasion of Normandy, where it performed supurbly. It continued to serve in the Pacific Theatre until the end of the war and is considered an exellent landing craft.

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