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Book Review
Landing Ship, Tank (LST) 1942-2002

by: Rui Matos [ SKIPPER ]

Originally published on:
Model Shipwrights


I must say that these kind of vessels, although very important in history, never appeal me much. But after reading this book and seing again Armorama Walkaround LST-395, I think I understand more this kind of ships and their value.

Appart from the already given nicknames of “large slow target”, “long slow target”, “large stationary target”, “green dragon” and “manmade whale”, I could add “hugly duckling” – which, as you all know, will turn into a beautifull swan.

The way Mr. Gordon describes it and the engeneering problems that needed to be solved and the diferent ways of solving them, makes this a very interesting and rewarding reading. I can say I felt like a newbie reading my first technical naval book.

whats inside?

Here is the table of contents:

LST Development
- British LST development
- American LST development
- LST(2) construction

LST(2) description
- Propulsion
- Thrid deck
- Bow doors and ramp
- Second deck
- Main deck
- Elevator / ramp
- Deckhouse and fantail
- Armament
- Landing craft

The LST in action
- Crew and passengers
- LST units
- At sea
- LCT and pontoons
- Beaching and retracting

Landing Operations
- The Pacific
- Sicily
- Normandy

LST Auxiliary variants

LST Remembered

- LST Web Sites

Color Plate Commentary


My feelings about it

The introduction of the first attempts on making a vessel capable of landing tanks, personal and more gear into a bechhead, gives us a good historical and technical challenging view of the genesis of thes kind of vessels. Once the main design is choosen, the author gives us an excellent and very well described description of the various areas and spaces, materials, gear that is used and the technical challenges needed to be solved to make evrything work properly. The funcionality of these areas, their purpose are also descibed. The need is the mother of all inventions so, customization was made also by the severall builders or in situ ordered by the CO.

Mr Mark Rottman serves, with his writing, as a good guide in describing us all ship. We can feel that we are there seing everything.

Now that we know how to move inside “this box turned into a ship”, we are teached how these vessels operated and all the issues that could happen when moving a heavy load of cargo through a rough sea into a shallow beach with a hard to handle ship. Crew trainning and crew profile is also described, making us aware of the difficulties and valour of these brave men.

The account of the operations where LST’s were used is described´, although not in an exausting way, but then, the book size wouldn’t allow it. We are given the general picture and it tells us, again, the multipurpose ship that this class has became. The versatility of it, when needed proved the excellency of it’s design.

A way that proove the genious that was put into the creation of these ships, is the six decades service time that some LST’s and further developments had in US Navy, Royal Navy and in foreign Navies.
Further developments of these class is lightly mentioned, but since the main focus is the Second World War period, this is perfectly understandable.

If you which to know more about these, good references are given, either in book form or dedicated websites – a good thouch. Also very interesting is the fact that we can still visit and even cruise one of these ship, if you are in the United States.
It’s good to see that the interest in these “ducklings” is alive and there are severall associations that live to gather crew members survivors and fans, helping keep the reamining vessels afloat and share their history. Their contacts is also mentioned, and if you can I suggest you take a little trip and allow yourself to be toured in one of these!


Of course the layout of this Osprey – New Vanguard book is the same as the others in the series, with black and white photos, center colour plates and the usual structure. Although
very well writen, catchy, and with good illustrations that Mr Tony Bryan has used to give us, it makes this a good book “for starters” and to make any Naval or Armour buff have the basic understanding of these class of ships that helped change the course of events during WWII. My only complaint would be the usual size of pictures, that turn out to be in some cases, small to see the details I wanted to see – but these are well compensated with the references given, if you have a web acess.
I can say that I have learned a lot reading this book, not being one of my main naval subjects interest. What I thought was a box shaped ship, turn out to be an engeneering marvel.

Many thanks to Mr. Gordon L. Rottman for writing this small guide, Mr Tony Bryan for making another fine example with his workmanship and art and for Osprey Publishing and particularly Mrs Ruth Gulpine for the sample provided.
This is my first official review of Osprey books, result of the cooperation between Armorama and Osprey Publishing. So let’s see what's in it!
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: 1841769231
  Suggested Retail: US$14.95
  Related Link: Osprey Publishing
  PUBLISHED: Feb 05, 2006
  NATIONALITY: United States

About Rui Matos (skipper)

Hi all Crew Members!
Rui Matos, 39 years old (in 2006), married, former Portuguese Navy Fire Control Radar Operator , and "owned" by two cats - James, Stripes (Riscas in portuguese, now deceased) and Moon (Lua)!
I've been modeling since I was 6, but only have turned to Submarines in 1991 o...

Copyright ©2020 text by Rui Matos [ SKIPPER ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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    Sample page
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    Colour Plate Example
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    Colour Plate Example
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    Colour Plate Example
  • OspreyNewVanguard-115-05
    Back Cover