Hua-class landing ship medium
The Hua class [hua = "China"] Landing Ship, Medium was originally a US Navy LSM developed for amphibious operations during the Second World War. After being decomissioned some were transferred to the Republic of China and seized by the communist People's Republic of China in 1949.
The People's Navy collected a total of 12 ships from the China Merchants Bureau, and another one is the "Mei Sheng" of the former Kuomintang Naval Sea Defense Second Fleet Uprising. The People's Navy named these LSMs as "X River", collectively referred to as the "River" class. The "River" landing ships had a total length of 62 meters, a width of 10.5 meters, a draft of 2.2 meters, a standard displacement of 743 tons, a full load of 1095 tons, a host of 2 diesel engines, a power of 2,880 horsepower, a maximum speed of 14 knots, and a staffing capacity of 68-84. People; can carry 5 medium-sized tanks; self-defense weapons are three 37-mm double-barrel guns, two 25-mm double-barrel guns, and equipped with mine rails (all installed by the People’s Navy).
The seemingly abrupt and unintelligible combination of the three English letters of LSM is definitely a dazzling name on the world war stage more than 60 years ago. After the outbreak of the Pacific War, the United States officially joined the anti-fascist war. Because of its unique geographical location, whether it is to transport troops to Europe or to capture the Pacific islands, America required a large number of transport ships. To this end, the US Navy created a series of amphibious warships for landing, in addition to LST (tank landing ship) and other large landing ships, as well as LCP, LCVP (personnel landing craft) and other small landing craft. Playing the role of the mainstay of the transport ship type was LSM, the abbreviation of Landing Ship Medium, which means medium-sized landing ship. There was such a well-known saying in the Chinese Liberation War: The victory of the Huaihai Campaign was launched by the people with a small cart. In a sense, in the Second World War, the victory of the Allied forces in the liberation of Western Europe and the Pacific War was carried out by warships such as LSM.
The LSM, which played an important role in the Allied Forces during World War II, belongs to the first type of LSM designed and built by the US Navy. After the outbreak of the war, in order to be able to quickly and heavily equip such a main landing ship, in the case that major domestic shipyards are busy building the main ships such as aircraft carriers and battleships, the US Navy chose the Brown Shipyard and Charleston in Houston. Six small and medium-sized shipyards, including the Charleston Naval Shipyard and San Pedro's Temino Island Naval Shipyard, built LSM and built 558 ships during the entire war. The ability to build such a large number of ships in just a few years can be called a miracle in the history of shipbuilding. It also proves that before the attack on Pearl Harbor, the commander of the Japanese joint fleet, Yamamoto, 56 worried about the great industrial strength of the United States.
The shape of the LSM landing ship seems to be sharp and angular, and the actual performance is very strong. The warship is 62 meters long, 10.5 meters wide, with a normal displacement of 520 tons and a full displacement of 1,095 tons. It can carry people, vehicles and tanks. In order to ensure that the beach can be directly berthed on the coast without dock facilities, the draft of the warships is strictly limited to within 3 meters. Each LSM is equipped with two diesel engines. At full load, the speed can reach 13 knots (13 nautical miles per hour). It is fully loaded at 12 knots and the maximum range is 4900 nautical miles. This means that LSM can be directly operated from the United States. In continental Europe or Hawaii, it is even more important to cross the English Channel or attack the island in the Pacific Ocean.
From the overall design point of view, LSM can be considered as a rectangular box with two layers inside. At the bottom of the box, there are steering gears, two diesel engines, and engine and cargo tanks such as fuel and fresh water from the stern to the bow. The upper level of the box is a smooth space, where passengers such as tanks or personnel can be carried as needed, and the front of the box is raised sharply. There are two gates on the bow. There is a long springboard that can be lowered from top to bottom. The end of the springboard is connected to the upper deck in the box. The personnel vehicles in the LSM belly continue to rush to the beach. Because the belly is filled with the loading and mechanical compartments, LSM's driving machinery is located on the main deck of the cabin, which is like a tall "chimney". The top and bottom of the building are the cab and chart room.
Unlike ordinary transport ships, yhe LSM has a certain force configuration. On the front round turret of the warship's open deck, equipped with a 40-mm Bofors anti-aircraft gun, the center of the open deck is evenly distributed with four 20-mm caliber anti-aircraft guns, as well as some 12.7-mm Browning high-altitude machine guns. These guns, which make LSM a bit more powerful, can be used not only for air defense operations, but also for suppressing enemy beachhead firepower when rushing to the beach, and even for low-intensity naval battles. In the famous World War II movie "Saving Private Ryan", the assault boat that Tom Hanks took was the first echelon to land, and behind him was the second landing echelon consisting of LSM. In the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa in the Pacific War, a large number of LSMs can also be seen.
In 1945, the German and Japanese fascist regimes collapsed and the Second World War ended. The US military no longer needed to continue to maintain a large ocean-going landing fleet. Many of the LSMs that made great contributions to the anti-fascist war instantly turned into war surplus materials for resale and delivery. By chance, China on the other side of the Pacific has become the country with the largest number of LSMs except for the United States.
When the War of Resistance broke out, the tonnage of all the warships was not up to the Chinese navy of a warship. In the eight years of arduous battles, the naval officers who took the battle without any discouragement and sacrificed warships. The naval guns landed as artillery, or modified plain clothes, and went deep into the enemy's back to carry out mine-laying operations. By the time of the victory of the anti-Japanese war, the Chinese navy had almost no decent warships. According to the alliance agreement, the US Far East Naval Command was responsible for helping China rebuild the Navy. In addition to lending to China and donating a number of destroyers, minesweepers and gunboats, a number of former US military landing ships, including LSM, were in 1946 and 1947 handed over to the Chinese Navy in Qingdao.
In addition to the military, a larger number of LSMs came to China mainly through the sale of surplus materials. The Water Transport Brigade of the General Administration of Relief of the National Government of the People's Republic of China purchased 15 LSMs, named after the word "10,000". The Executive Yuan Materials Bureau purchased one LSM and named it "for loyalty." The Chinese shipping companies that suffered serious damage during the war also took a fancy to the LSM, which had low prices and transported both people and goods. The State-owned Steamship Merchants Bureau bought 15 ships at a time, named after the word "Hua". The Minsheng Company of Chuanjiang Shipping Giant Lu Zuofu purchased 4 LSMs and re-purchased 5 ships from China Merchants. It was named after the word “Jiang” and became part of the “Jiujiu Jiangshan”, which was famous by Minsheng Company (the 9 ships of Minsheng Company at that time). "Jiang" ship, the collective name of 9 "mountain" ships). Together with the LSM that the United States transferred to Taiwan in the 1950s, the total number of LSMs entering China totaled 61.
On the afternoon of April 23, 1949, some of the Haiphong Second Fleet, which included the LSM "Mei Sheng" and the Kuomintang navy in the Yangtze River, announced an uprising and became the earliest ship of the new PLA Navy. The LSM "Meiheng", who was also in the second fleet, was reluctant to participate in the uprising. As other ships rushed out of the Yangtze River, the Chinese LSM began to be divided into two groups separated by the strait. In addition to a small number of uprising warships, the LSMs staying in the mainland are mainly based on the water transport brigade, China Merchants and the Minsheng company's merchant ships, 15 of which are incorporated into the People's Navy, named after the word “river”. The remaining LSMs were still mainly in shipping companies.
The ship, whose name is "People-27", is a civilian ship that is responsible for shipping missions in the Sichuan River. From this thread, the "People" brand name is the new name that Changjiang Shipping Company drafted for its own vessels after receiving the assets of the original China Merchants Group and Minsheng Company. This LSM was originally owned by Minsheng Company. It was one of the five investment banking LSMs that the People's Livelihood Company purchased under the coordination of the Ministry of Communications in 1947. The China Merchants Group changed its name from China after purchasing it to "Hua 110”, on July 26, 1947, the Minsheng Company was renamed “Xiangjiang”, and its sisters “Yujiang”, “Yujiang”, “Yujiang” and “Yujiang” have all disappeared. Since the China Merchants Group purchased "Hua 110", it was quickly resold to Minsheng Company, so that the original archive record of this LSM was missing, and its initial US military number was difficult to check, from the analysis of its construction and time of China's repurchase. It may have participated in the Battle of Iwo Jima or the Battle of Okinawa.
On 27 March 2010, the witness of the Pacific War, LSM "Xiangjiang" arrived at the day to be destroyed. A large number of followers had repeatedly called for it, but the old ship that is not yet 100 years old and not belonging to the statutory cultural relics is not valued by the local museum. Eventually, at the moment when it was about to be sent to the guillotine, it was rescued by a businessman from Wenzhou. However, it is still unclear what the fate of the last complete LSM in China will usher in.
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