This object is a real landing craft from the Second World War. It was used on D-Day to land troops on the Normandy beaches.
LCVP was an abbreviation for Landing Craft, Vehicle and Personnel. Because of the need to run up onto a suitable beach, World War II landing craft were flat-bottomed, and many designs had a flat front, often with a lowerable ramp, rather than a normal bow. This made them difficult to control and very uncomfortable in rough seas.
Many LCVPs were used on D-Day (6 June 1944) and were a vital way of trying to quickly gain ground on the beaches of Normandy. The LCVP could carry 36 troops, or a 3-ton truck.
This craft was used for many years as a mooring barge on the Hamble River. Its wartime history is unclear, but the D-Day Museum has given it the number 1247, which was one of around 200 LCVPs used in the Solent area in 1944.
The LCVP landing craft was also known as the "Higgins Boat" after its American designer, Andrew Higgins.
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