The LVT or Landing Vehicle Tracked was an amphibious, tracked military vehicle which was used by the United States.


The first production model of the LVT was the LVT-1 and it descended from the earlier Roebling Aligator.[1] It had no armor and it could have two 7.62mm MGs mounted, plus two 12.7mm  MGs mounted as well. It also had a crew of three men and it was powered by a 143 hp, water cooled, WXLC-3 gasoline engine. The LVT-1s weight was about 14,500 kg and it could carry an additional 24 marines. The length is about 6.5 meters and the height is about 2.4 meters. It also had a top speed of 19.3 km/h on land and 9.6 km/h in water. The transmission had 3 forward speeds and 1 reverse and had a fuel capacity of about 302 liters.[2] Many LVT-1s had difficulty traversing on land and oftentimes broke down.


The LVT-2 was the successor of the earlier LVT-1 and had several modifications including a new transmission and the new Continental W-670-9A engine. The LVT-2 also had a top speed of 32 km/h. It had a weight of about 13,600 kilograms and like the older model it was unarmored. This would change with the coming of the LVT-A2; this new system would incorporate 63mm of armor in the sides of the hull and about 12mm of armor for the cabin. 

The LVT-A2 was also slightly heavier than the LVT-2 and it had a 5 speed forward, 1 speed reverse transmission. This was also just the same as the LVT-2. The LVT-A1 was nothing at all like the previous 3 models.[3] It had a 37mm main gun and it was an amphibious tank. It could also have four MGs mounted and it was designed to provide fire support for marines landing on enemy beaches.

The LVT-A1's design was based on that of the LVT-2 and it had the cannon design of the M3 Stuart. The LVT-3 was designed to be able to carry jeeps and other supplies. It could also carry around 30 marines and it was first used at the Battle of Okinawa. The LVT-3 had a weight of about 17,200 kg and a top speed on land of about 27.3 km/h. It was produced by the Borg Warner Corporation just like the LVT-4.

Landing on Saipan, June 15, 1944

A LVT being used on Saipan.

The LVT-4 had many concepts from the LVT-3 such as the engine moved forward allowing for more capacity and it also had a rear ramp. The LVT-4 had a crew three and it could carry around 30 passengers. It also had the same engine as most of the previous models which is the Continental W-670-9A engine. It had a top speed on land of about 32.1 km/h and it had a top speed in water of about 12 km/h. The final version of the LVT which was used during WWII is the LVT-A4. The LVT-A4 was again an amphibious tank and it had the 75mm M3 main gun. It also had around 25.4 mm of armor in most of the tank. The LVT-A4 had a top speed of about 40.2 km/h on land and about 11.2 km/h in water.[4]


LVTs were used in many different battles and on several fronts. Theses included the Pacific Theater and European Theater. LVTs proved their importance in the Pacific Theater on Tarawa. LVTs were able to pass the large coral reef surrounding Tarawa while LCVPs got stuck. The LVT-A4 was first used on Saipan and some LVTs were even used by Great Britain via Lend Lease. An example of this is the LVt-4 which is designated the LVT(f) and it was modified to have two flamethrowers.[5] Although LVTs were used in Europe, they were mainly used in the Pacific Theater in island hopping campaigns.


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