Loose Cannon LCT Mk 5 & Mk6
Reviewed by Timothy Dike
Having the ability to move large forces across the seas was crucial to the success of the Allied forces during World War two. In heavily defended coastal areas it simply was not possible to get the large amount of equipment, troops and supplies ashore using the existing port facilities, especially when these were held by enemy forces. The military needed the flexibility to put tanks ashore anywhere there was a beach. The LCT or Landing Craft Tank, was developed to carry 150 tons of supplies right up to the beach. During the war these landing craft were mass produced at steel plants on both coasts and all up and down the Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio river system. They were then floated down river to be sent overseas to both theaters of operation. They were often loaded on top of the larger more sea worthy LST's and delivered to combat areas. They were unloaded in dramatic fashion by inclining the LST and sliding the LCT off the side. Located on the WW2 LCT website is an amazing video clip of one such launch. 

The LCT's were built in two primary types; the first was the Mk 5 model which had a bow ramp and the wheelhouse at the stern. The Mk 6 was an improved version that also had a stern ramp that allowed the craft to act as a floating causeway one it's cargo was unloaded. This allowed the larger LST's with their deeper draft to unload without beaching. The Mk 6 was also better equipped to defend itself with 2 single 20 mm mounts instead of a the 50 cal mounts of the Mk 5. 

The LCT's served in virtually every amphibious operation and were a common site after the troops were landed operating as a supply barge to support operations. Some were modified to carry rockets to bombard shore positions, others were converted to minesweepers. The more versatile Mk 6 continued to serve in various roles as LSU's and later LCU's. They were used in Korea and Viet Nam years after they were built, proving just how rugged these little ships were.

LCT Mk 5
Displacement 286 short tons
Length 114' 2" (o.a.)
Beam 32' 8"; Draft 3'
Design Speed 10kts
Range 700 nautical miles at 7kts
Complement 13
Cargo Capacity 150 short tons
Armament 1 single 20 mm AA gun mount, 2 .50 cal. machine guns
Armor 2 1/2", wheelhouse, 2" gun shield
Propulsion 3 Grey Marine Diesels, 3 propellers, Shaft horsepower 675 per shaft.

LCT Mk 6
Displacement 143 to 160 t.(lt), 309 to 320 t.(fl)
Length 119' 1" (o.a.)
Beam 32' 8"; Draft 5'; (max)
Speed 10kts
Range 700 nautical miles at 7kts
Complement 14
Cargo Capacity 150 short tons
Armament 2 single 20mm AA gun mounts, 4 .50 cal. machine guns
Armor 20lbs wheelhouse, 10lbs gun shield
Propulsion 3 Grey Marine Diesels, 3 propellers, Shaft horsepower 225 per shaft. 

Years ago Skywave produced a number of waterline landing craft in 1/700 scale. for some reason they left this one out. Loose Cannon has filled in the gaps in your amphibious forces. They have been producing a wide variety of ship in 1/700 including Attack transport ships such as the Haskell Class APA's. Now they have released two new kits of the Mk 5 and Mk 6 LCT's. These are simple kits cast in gray resin and come with two craft to a set. I don't have a detailed set of plans to compare to but they certainly look like the amphibious landing craft I have seen. 

They are well cast and have very little flash to clean up. The flash was limited to the bottom of the hull making clean up a simple process. The Mk 5 includes a number of vents and rafts, while the Mk 6 has only a bow door  ramp and a few misc. parts such as 20 mm guns. Both craft are nicely detailed for such small kits. The gussets bracing the walls are well done and even the hatches and doors are cast on. All you need now is a load of M3 Grant or M4 Sherman tanks.

click images
to enlarge
LCT Mk 5 LCT Mk6
The instructions consist of a sketch showing the parts placement, these are barely adequate and could benefit from a scale drawing showing plan and elevations.
The photo etch was not ready when I received my kits so I will include a scan at a later date. These kits are simple enough to assemble in an evening and will make an important addition to your amphibious fleet. Load them up with tanks or supplies and your ready to go.
Both list for $15.00 US and are available where ever Loose Cannon products are sold. Check the Loose Cannon page for details on these and other kits.

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