Landing Craft Tank built 1944 by Hawthorn, Leslie & Co, Hebburn
National Historic Fleet
Landing Craft Tank
To be confirmed
38.80 feet (11.83 metres)
187.30 feet (57.13 metres)
4.00 feet (1.22 metres)
To be confirmed
In the late 1930s, consideration was given to the provision of shore-to-shore tank carriers and landing craft and the first tank landing craft, designated LCT Mark I, was built at R&W Hawthorn, Leslie and Co Limited on the Tyne and launched in November 1940. Incorporated in her design were several novel features including the front loading ramp, hinged just above the water-line, the double floating dock form of hull, enabling the vehicles in the hold to be concealed from view and protected from the weather by the side tanks, from which a canvas cover was suspended. Motive power was provided by a Paxman diesel engine. Progressive modifications were introduced and, over time, a total of 235 LCT Mark 3’s were completed, including 71 which were built to slightly modified plans during the winter of 1943-44. Among these was LANDFALL, built like the others by Hawthorn, Leslie and powered by American Sterling Admiral petrol engines. She was launched without ceremony on 4 April, 1944, then completed and commissioned shortly afterwards. With a crew of 2 officers and 10 ratings, she sailed for the River Orwell under the command of Sub Lt John Baggot RNVR. She joined the 17th LCT Flotilla at Great Yarmouth then steamed onwards to Felixstowe to prepare for the build up to D-Day. The backbone of the invasion fleet LCT’s, which could carry up to eleven Sherman tanks, were manned mainly by British crews and transported almost all the tanks, heavy artillery and armoured vehicles landed in Normandy. The 17th LCT Flotilla was part of Assault Group L2, LCT Squadron “H” of the Eastern Task Force, which supported the British landings (made up of two British divisions, one Canadian division plus two Army and one Royal Marine Commando unit), and LANDFALL carried troops and ten Shermans to Normandy, successfully landing nine of the tanks on Gold beach. For several months after the invasion, the vessel was consistently engaged in ferrying troops, supplies, vehicles and ammunition to ports across the Channel in support of the Allied Forces advancing across northern Europe, continuing in this role throughout the summer and well into the autumn of 1944. At the end of the war the ship was evidently re-named NSC L (19) and although work was started to convert her into an emergency repairs ship for service in the Far East, with the end of hostilities in the Pacific this was abandoned. Later de-commissioned, in 1948 she was presented to the Master Mariners’ Club of Liverpool and adapted to become their club ship. With her name changed again, this time to LANDFALL, she occupied a prominent position on the Liverpool waterfront before being purchased by commercial interests to be turned into a riverfront nightclub. Towards the end of the 1990s, the vessel was acquired by the Warship Preservation Trust and, after minor restoration works, was moored alongside the other historic vessels in this fleet at East Float Dock, Dock Road, Birkenhead, Wirral, until January 2006, when the Trust went into liquidation. Source; Campbell McMurray, Advisory Committee, March 2009
LANDFALL is the only surviving LCT which actually participated in Operation Neptune, the naval dimension of Overlord. She is one of the 6,883 vessels commanded by Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay that took part in the D-Day landings, and of this vast fleet - including 1200 warships, some 4000 landing craft of various types and nearly 900 merchant vessels - assembled to land five divisions and their armour along a fifty-mile front in Normandy, is now one of the only two survivors, the other being HMS BELFAST. This critically significant, close and direct association with the D-Day landings, the largest amphibious operation in all history, gives her an almost unique interpretative value.
She has an added significance in the modern economic history of the shipping trade, having been adopted by this in the post-war years and modified for a wide range of commercial carrying purposes. This led in a comparatively short time to a revolution in sea transport with the Roll-on/Roll-off ferries. Although the passage of time and the multiplicity of diverse uses to which the vessel has been put to since 1945 have led to profound changes in the character of her original appearance, outward configuration and internal arrangements, LANDFALL is still demonstrably an LCT with a distinguished record of combat operations.
- 1945 – 1948NSC L (19)
- 1944 – 1945LCT 7074
March 2009 LANDFALL is presently laid up on the River Mersey. Her immediate prospects are indifferent and her longer term future unclear. Source; Campbell McMurray, Advisory Committee, March 2009. April 2010 LANDFALL is partially submerged and has been moved to a jetty at a safe distance from the main channel. Her owners are working with other parties interested in effecting a recovery and undertaking subsequent conservation. Source: current owner.
- Acquired by Warship Preservation Trust, Birkenhead
- Purchased by Compass Catering Ltd, Liverpool for use as a riverfront nightclub
- April 1944 Vessel launched, completed and commissioned
- April 1945 End of combat career. Vessel re-named NSC(L) 19, but later de-commissioned
- January 2006 Warship Preservation Trust goes into liquidation
- June 1944 Took part in the D-Day Landings as part of the 17th LCT Flotilla
- September 1948 Re-named Landfall and became the headquarters of the Master Mariners' Club, Liverpool
- 1995 Landfall has been saved!
- 1998 British and Empire Warships of the Second World War - Lenton, H T
a single pin or one of a pair rising vertically from the sheer and acting in a variety of ways to provide a fulcrum for the oar