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Military operations directed against hostile shores and characterized by attacks launched from the sea by naval and landing forces. It has been conducted since ancient times. The Greeks attacking Troy (1200 BC) had to make a shore landing, as did the Persian invaders of Greece prior to the Battle of Marathon (490 BC). The British-led landings at Gallipoli (1915) were the main amphibious assault in World War I. The Allies of World War II found amphibious tactics essential in the island-hopping Pacific campaign and in the famous D-Day of the Normandy campaign, which still ranks as the greatest amphibious assault in history. Amphibious warfare's greatest advantage is its mobility and flexibility; its greatest limitation is that the attacker must start from nothing to build up strength ashore. Modern amphibious forces attempt to overcome this by fielding larger and more efficient landing vessels and also by using helicopters and short-takeoff and -landing airplanes to deploy troops beyond the hostile shore.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on amphibious warfare, visit Britannica.com.
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