Failed amphibious invasions.

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,625
Las Vegas, NV USA
I'm not aware of any amphibious invasion that failed once forces were landed successfully. If forces were prevented from landing, it was due to naval action, not action on the ground. Did any defender ever drive the enemy "into the sea"?
 
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Jan 2013
1,082
Toronto, Canada
The Bay of Pigs landings were a pretty notable failure despite successfully making it ashore.

The Turks at Gallipoli didn't drive the enemy into the sea, but they kept the Allies permenantly pinned down along the coast.
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
I'm not aware of any amphibious invasion that failed once forces were landed successfully. If forces were prevented from landing, it was due to naval action, not action on the ground. Did any defender ever drive the enemy "into the sea"?
:eek:
The Mongol invasion.of Japan. Their forces landed successfully, but the invasion failed.

The Dieppe Raid was an amphibious assault by the Allies in WW2 that failed.

However, there are far more examples of successful amphibious assualts, so much so we should inquire why.

I can think of several reasons:

A. The attackers can chose where to land, picking a spot where the defenders arent. The defenders don't know where the attackers will land, and so must spread their defenses thinner, giving an edge to the attackers.

B. Because it is risky, the attackers take extra precautions when performing an amphibious attack, and so only conduct such operations when certain of success.
 
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Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,740
Dispargum
During the Battle of Bataan in 1942 the Japanese attempted several landings behind American and Filipino lines in an attempt to outflank the Allied positions. These were company and battalion-sized landings. Some were destroyed while still at sea. Others were defeated after landing. None of the landings succeeded. Only 43 Japanese returned to their own lines out of 2,000 men committed to these operations.
 

Scaeva

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
5,630
The first assault on Wake Island

The Japanese didn't get any troops ashore, but it wasn't for any lack of trying.

Early on the morning of 11 December, the garrison, with the support of the four remaining Wildcats, repelled the first Japanese landing attempt by the South Seas Force, which included the light cruisers Yubari, Tenryū, and Tatsuta; the destroyers Yayoi, Mutsuki, Kisaragi, Hayate, Oite, and Asanagi; two Momi-class destroyers converted to patrol boats (Patrol Boat No. 32 and Patrol Boat No. 33), and two troop transport ships containing 450 Special Naval Landing Force troops.

The US Marines fired at the invasion fleet with their six 5-inch (127 mm) coast-defense guns. Major Devereux, the Marine commander under Cunningham, ordered the gunners to hold their fire until the enemy moved within range of the coastal defenses. "Battery L", on Peale islet, sank Hayate at a distance of 4,000 yd (3,700 m) with at least two direct hits to her magazines, causing her to explode and sink within two minutes, in full view of the defenders on shore. Battery A claimed to have hit Yubari' several times, but her action report makes no mention of any damage[2]. The four Wildcats also succeeded in sinking the destroyer Kisaragi by dropping a bomb on her stern where the depth charges were stored. Both Japanese destroyers were lost with nearly all hands (there was only one survivor, from Hayate), with Hayate becoming the first Japanese surface warship to be sunk in the war. The Japanese recorded 407 casualties during the first attempt.[2] The Japanese force withdrew without landing, suffering their first setback of the war against the Americans.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Wake_Island#First_landing_attempt
 
Oct 2015
949
Virginia
Does "failure" only mean driven into the sea like Dieppe, Milne Bay, Wake and the Bataan landings? What if the amphibious force establishes a lodgement but can't break out and is isolated, like at Anzio or Gallipoli, or the soviet Kerch-Feodosiya operation?
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,740
Dispargum
I would say Anzio ultimately succeeded, even if it needed help from 5th and 8th Armies. Gallipoli failed because the men were evacuated by sea.
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,625
Las Vegas, NV USA
Does "failure" only mean driven into the sea like Dieppe, Milne Bay, Wake and the Bataan landings? What if the amphibious force establishes a lodgement but can't break out and is isolated, like at Anzio or Gallipoli, or the soviet Kerch-Feodosiya operation?
Milne Bay seems to be the kind of thing I was imagining. The Japanese landed a force and advanced. The Australian counterattack was successful and the Japanese force managed to evacuate by sea. It was relatively small scale though. Bataan was an ultimate defeat for the US as was the Japanese capture of Wake Island. I thought about Anzio. The allied force held their ground and eventually broke out and advanced after a long time. The British didn't establish a beachhead per se at Gallipoli. This was primary a naval operation for the Brits as I understand it. Did the Dieppe raid establish a beachhead? My understanding is it was designed as a raid, not an invasion.
 
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Duke Valentino

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
2,332
Australia
Although not technically an invasion that was countered on land immediately, I'm assuming the people here have knowledge of the logistics of transporting soldiers by sea. According to the sources, Mithridates of Pontus sent 70,000 soldiers on a "large fleet" to Euboea, near Greece. I find it hard to believe such a feat to be possible during antiquity, especially from the king of Pontus. Now, Plutarch tells us that these were Mithridates' best troops, though Appian tells us these were gathered from his client kingdoms. Appian is to be preferred here, as Plutarch has more reason to endulge in Sulla's story. We could then presume that, as militaries of the petty kingdoms of Asia Minor were not particularly any good, that the troops Mithridates gathered to send over to Greece cannot have had the best noncombatant ratio. Even if we are generous and give a 3:1 ratio, that's an additional 20,000 at minimum that have to accompany the soldiers. On top of that, we know that the cavalry ratio in this army was significant, probably 5,000-10,000 strong, which would mean having to transport these horses as well. They must have also needed to carry a significant amount of supplies, even carts and oxen and the like, since Archelaus had recently been fully routed by Sulla and his camp was presumably captured.

All in all, we're talking about a fleet carrying about 100,000 men and horses, not including the personnel for the ships themselves. On top of this would be food, oxen and carts to form the core of the supply train for the army.

Was this feat, according to our sources, even possible?