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"Troop transport" redirects here. For troops transported by helicopter, see transport helicopter.

A troopship (also troop ship or troop transport or trooper) is a ship used to carry soldiers, either in peacetime or wartime. Operationally, standard troopships–often drafted from commercial shipping fleets–cannot land troops directly on shore, typically loading and unloading at a seaport or onto smaller vessels, either tenders or barges.

Soldiers climb down netting on the sides of the attack transport USS McCawley on 14 June 1943, rehearsing for landings on New Georgia
USS DuPage, a Bayfield-class attack transport underway with its complement of landing craft

Attack transports, a variant of ocean-going troopship adapted to transporting invasion forces ashore, carry their own fleet of landing craft. Landing ships beach themselves and bring their troops directly ashore.

Contents

Ships to transport troops were used in Antiquity. Ancient Rome used the navis lusoria, a small vessel powered by rowers and sail, to move soldiers on the Rhine and Danube.

Nicknamed the "Grey Ghost", RMS Queen Mary holds the all-time record for most troops on one passage, 15,740 on a late July 1943 run from the U.S. to Europe

The modern troopship has as long a history as passenger ships do, as most maritime nations enlisted their support in military operations (either by leasing the vessels or by impressing them into service) when their normal naval forces were deemed insufficient for the task. In the 19th century, navies frequently chartered civilian ocean liners, and from the start of the 20th century painted them gray and added a degree of armament; their speed, originally intended to minimize passage time for civilian user, proved valuable for outrunning submarines and enemy cruisers in war. HMT Olympic even rammed and sank a U-boat during one of its wartime crossings. Individual liners capable of exceptionally high speed transited without escorts; smaller or older liners with poorer performance were protected by operating in convoys.

Most major naval powers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries provided their domestic shipping lines with subsidies to build fast ocean liners capable of conversions to auxiliary cruisers during wartime. The British government, for example, aided both Cunard and the White Star Line in constructing the liners RMS Mauretania, RMS Aquitania, RMS Olympic and RMS Britannic. However, when the vulnerability of these ships to return fire was realized during World War I most were used instead as troopships or hospital ships.

RMS Queen Mary and RMS Queen Elizabeth were two of the most famous converted liners of World War II. When they were fully converted, each could carry well over 10,000 troops per trip. Queen Mary holds the all-time record, with 15,740 troops on a single passage in late July 1943, transporting a staggering 765,429 military personnel during the war.

A U.S. General G. O. Squier-class troop transport
Aiken Victory, a Victory ship troop ship conversion, arriving in Boston with 1,958 troops from Europe, 26 July 1945

Large numbers of troopships were employed during World War II, including 220 "Limited Capacity" Liberty ship conversions, 30 Type C4 ship-based General G. O. Squier-class, a class of 84 Victory ship conversions, and a small number of Type-C3-S-A2 ship-based dedicated transports, and 15 classes of attack transports, of which some 400 alone were built.

  • The modified Liberties were capable of transporting up to 450, 550, or 650 (sources vary) troops or prisoners-of-war. Modifications included installation of bunks stacked five deep on the forward tweendeck, additional shower and head facilities, two additional diesel-powered generators, and installation of two more Oerlikon 20-mm automatic cannons.
  • 30 Type C4 ship-based General G. O. Squier-class, the largest carrying over 6,000 passengers.
  • A class of Victory ship-based dedicated troopship was developed late in World War II. A total of 84 such VC2-S-AP2 hull conversions was completed.
  • A class of Type C3 ship – comprising mainly C3-S-A2 and C3-S-A3 hulls – was also converted to dedicated troopships, capable of carrying 2,100 troops, was also developed.
  • At least 15 classes of attack transport, consisting of at least 400 ships specially equipped for landing invasion forces rather than general troop movement.

Designation

The designation HMT (Her/His Majesty's Transport) would normally replace RMS (Royal Mail Ship), MV (Motor Vessel) or SS (Steamship) for ships converted to troopship duty with the United Kingdom's Royal Navy. The United States used two designations: WSA for troopships operated by the War Shipping Administration using Merchant Marine crews, and USS (United States Ship) for vessels accepted into and operated by the United States Navy. Initially, troopships adapted as attack transports were designated AP; starting in 1942 keel-up attack transports received the designation APA.

"HMT" was also used, for a while, to designate "Hired Military Transport."

In the era of the Cold War, the United States designed the United States ship so that it could easily be converted from a liner to a troopship, in case of war. More recently, Queen Elizabeth 2 and Canberra were requisitioned by the Royal Navy to carry British soldiers to the Falklands War. By the end of the twentieth century, nearly all long-distance personnel transfer was done by airlift in military transport aircraft.

  1. "Amphibious Attack Transport (APA)".
  2. Pferdehirt B. "The Museum of Ancient Shipping". RetrievedAugust 3, 2010.
  3. "Queen Mary - Ship History and Specifications".
  4. APPENDIX B: VICTORY TROOPSHIP CONVERSIONS [1] p. 13
  5. Live, 2013 edition, p. 6.
  6. "S.S. John W. Brown Walk-around". geoghegan.us.
  7. Live, 2013 edition, p. 4.
  8. Cooper, p. 5.
  9. Project Liberty Ship: Armament Aboard SS JOHN W. BROWN Archived 2013-10-15 at the Wayback Machine
  10. "HAER for Private Frederick C. Murphy"(PDF). United States Maritime Administration. Retrieved6 August 2013. "In the summer of 1945, eighty-four VC2-S-AP2 Victory ships, including the Maritime Victory, were converted into troopships by MARITIME VICTORY the U.S. Maritime Commission in preparation for an assault on the Japanese home islands. The ship made several crossings of the Atlantic Ocean and was used to repatriate American troops from Europe after World War II. pp. 1–2
  11. ww2troopships.com crossings in 1945
  12. Troop Ship of World War II, April 1947, Page 356-357
  13. 69th infantry division, newsletter, 1986
  14. Binghamton NY Press Grayscale 1945 – Fulton History, Oct. 15, 1945
  15. Isthmian Lines ship S.S. Steel Scientist [2] Troop capacity: 2156
  16. "1941 Dunera Boys Hay Internment Camp Collection". NSW Migration Heritage Centre. Retrieved8 March 2020.
  17. "Troopship". The designation HMT (Hired Military Transport) ...
  18. Rebecca Fowler (26 June 1996). "Last voyage for Canberra, the Great White Whale of the Falklands".
  • James Dugan, The Great Iron Ship, 1953 (regularly reprinted) ISBN 0-7509-3447-6
  • Stephen Harding, Great Liners at War, Motorbooks Int'l, Osceola, WI, USA, 1997 ISBN 0-7603-0346-0
  • Goron Newell, Ocean Liners of the 20th Century, Bonanza Books, USA, 1963 ISBN 0-517-03168-X

Media related to Troop ships at Wikimedia Commons

Troopship Article Talk Language Watch Edit Troop transport redirects here For troops transported by helicopter see transport helicopter A troopship also troop ship or troop transport or trooper is a ship used to carry soldiers either in peacetime or wartime Operationally standard troopships often drafted from commercial shipping fleets cannot land troops directly on shore typically loading and unloading at a seaport or onto smaller vessels either tenders or barges Soldiers climb down netting on the sides of the attack transport USS McCawley on 14 June 1943 rehearsing for landings on New Georgia USS DuPage a Bayfield class attack transport underway with its complement of landing craft Attack transports 1 a variant of ocean going troopship adapted to transporting invasion forces ashore carry their own fleet of landing craft Landing ships beach themselves and bring their troops directly ashore Contents 1 History 2 World War II 2 1 Designation 3 Post World War II 4 Some notable troopships 5 Notes 6 Bibliography 7 External linksHistory EditShips to transport troops were used in Antiquity Ancient Rome used the navis lusoria a small vessel powered by rowers and sail to move soldiers on the Rhine and Danube 2 Nicknamed the Grey Ghost RMS Queen Mary holds the all time record for most troops on one passage 15 740 on a late July 1943 run from the U S to Europe 3 The modern troopship has as long a history as passenger ships do as most maritime nations enlisted their support in military operations either by leasing the vessels or by impressing them into service when their normal naval forces were deemed insufficient for the task In the 19th century navies frequently chartered civilian ocean liners and from the start of the 20th century painted them gray and added a degree of armament their speed originally intended to minimize passage time for civilian user proved valuable for outrunning submarines and enemy cruisers in war HMT Olympic even rammed and sank a U boat during one of its wartime crossings Individual liners capable of exceptionally high speed transited without escorts smaller or older liners with poorer performance were protected by operating in convoys Most major naval powers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries provided their domestic shipping lines with subsidies to build fast ocean liners capable of conversions to auxiliary cruisers during wartime The British government for example aided both Cunard and the White Star Line in constructing the liners RMS Mauretania RMS Aquitania RMS Olympic and RMS Britannic However when the vulnerability of these ships to return fire was realized during World War I most were used instead as troopships or hospital ships RMS Queen Mary and RMS Queen Elizabeth were two of the most famous converted liners of World War II When they were fully converted each could carry well over 10 000 troops per trip Queen Mary holds the all time record with 15 740 troops on a single passage in late July 1943 3 transporting a staggering 765 429 military personnel during the war 3 World War II Edit A U S General G O Squier class troop transport Aiken Victory a Victory ship troop ship conversion arriving in Boston with 1 958 troops from Europe 26 July 1945 4 Large numbers of troopships were employed during World War II including 220 Limited Capacity Liberty ship conversions 30 Type C4 ship based General G O Squier class a class of 84 Victory ship conversions and a small number of Type C3 S A2 ship based dedicated transports and 15 classes of attack transports of which some 400 alone were built The modified Liberties were capable of transporting up to 450 5 550 6 or 650 7 sources vary troops or prisoners of war Modifications included installation of bunks stacked five deep on the forward tweendeck additional shower and head facilities two additional diesel powered generators 6 and installation of two more Oerlikon 20 mm automatic cannons 5 6 8 9 30 Type C4 ship based General G O Squier class the largest carrying over 6 000 passengers A class of Victory ship based dedicated troopship was developed late in World War II A total of 84 such VC2 S AP2 hull conversions was completed 10 11 12 13 14 A class of Type C3 ship comprising mainly C3 S A2 and C3 S A3 hulls was also converted to dedicated troopships capable of carrying 2 100 troops 15 was also developed At least 15 classes of attack transport consisting of at least 400 ships specially equipped for landing invasion forces rather than general troop movement Designation Edit The designation HMT Her His Majesty s Transport would normally replace RMS Royal Mail Ship MV Motor Vessel or SS Steamship for ships converted to troopship duty with the United Kingdom s Royal Navy The United States used two designations WSA for troopships operated by the War Shipping Administration using Merchant Marine crews and USS United States Ship for vessels accepted into and operated by the United States Navy Initially troopships adapted as attack transports were designated AP starting in 1942 keel up attack transports received the designation APA HMT was also used for a while to designate Hired Military Transport 16 17 Post World War II EditIn the era of the Cold War the United States designed the United States ship so that it could easily be converted from a liner to a troopship in case of war More recently Queen Elizabeth 2 and Canberra were requisitioned by the Royal Navy to carry British soldiers to the Falklands War 18 By the end of the twentieth century nearly all long distance personnel transfer was done by airlift in military transport aircraft Some notable troopships EditUSS Agamemnon HMT Aquitania SS Belgenland HMS Birkenhead SS Cap Arcona 1927 RMS Carmania SS Dorchester HMT Dunera HMT Empire Windrush ex MV Monte Rosa SS Great Eastern USS Henry R Mallory SS Justicia RMS Laconia HMT Lancastria USS Leviathan ex Vaterland HMT Mauretania Sister ship to Lusitania SS Mendi HMT Olympic Sister ship to Titanic SS Orontes HMS Otranto SS Oxfordshire HMT Rohna HMS Tamar USS Von Steuben ex Kronprinz Wilhelm USS West Point HMAS Jervis Bay first large catamaran to enter naval service Notes Edit Amphibious Attack Transport APA Pferdehirt B The Museum of Ancient Shipping Retrieved August 3 2010 a b c Queen Mary Ship History and Specifications APPENDIX B VICTORY TROOPSHIP CONVERSIONS 1 p 13 a b Live 2013 edition p 6 a b c S S John W Brown Walk around geoghegan us Live 2013 edition p 4 Cooper p 5 Project Liberty Ship Armament Aboard SS JOHN W BROWN Archived 2013 10 15 at the Wayback Machine HAER for Private Frederick C Murphy PDF United States Maritime Administration Retrieved 6 August 2013 In the summer of 1945 eighty four VC2 S AP2 Victory ships including the Maritime Victory were converted into troopships by MARITIME VICTORY the U S Maritime Commission in preparation for an assault on the Japanese home islands The ship made several crossings of the Atlantic Ocean and was used to repatriate American troops from Europe after World War II pp 1 2 ww2troopships com crossings in 1945 Troop Ship of World War II April 1947 Page 356 357 69th infantry division newsletter 1986 Binghamton NY Press Grayscale 1945 Fulton History Oct 15 1945 Isthmian Lines ship S S Steel Scientist 2 Troop capacity 2156 1941 Dunera Boys Hay Internment Camp Collection NSW Migration Heritage Centre Retrieved 8 March 2020 Troopship The designation HMT Hired Military Transport Rebecca Fowler 26 June 1996 Last voyage for Canberra the Great White Whale of the Falklands Bibliography EditJames Dugan The Great Iron Ship 1953 regularly reprinted ISBN 0 7509 3447 6 Stephen Harding Great Liners at War Motorbooks Int l Osceola WI USA 1997 ISBN 0 7603 0346 0 Goron Newell Ocean Liners of the 20th Century Bonanza Books USA 1963 ISBN 0 517 03168 XExternal links Edit Media related to Troop ships at Wikimedia Commons British Armed Forces Website Troopships Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Troopship amp oldid 1083845935, wikipedia, 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