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Meet the Little Boat that Won World War II and Crushed Hitler for Good

It just might be the most recognized boat of the Second World War. The Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel, called the LCVP, or the Higgins Boat as it is more commonly known, is familiar from photographs and film shot during the war, particularly the Normandy Beach landings.

Most famously, a brave Coast Guard photographer took the iconic photograph Into the Jaws of Death from the back of a Higgins Boat. The haunting image depicts U.S. Army soldiers jumping off the boat into the water and towards the Omaha Beach. The story of the Higgins boat begins earlier though, before the war.

Rumor has it that the early Higgins boat was designed for bootleggers and smugglers who small sturdy boats capable of beaching quickly from shallow water. With the end of Prohibition in the early 1930s, the boat’s designer and namesake Andrew Higgins needed a new market for his nimble boat.

Dissatisfied with the landing boats designed by the Navy, The United States Marine Corps tested several commercial designs in the late 1930s, eventually settling on the former bootlegger boat designed by the Higgins boatbuilding company.


The boat’s usefulness could not be overstated. Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander sang Higgins’ praises, stating that “Andrew Higgins is the man who won the war for us.” He went on to explain, “If Higgins had not designed and built those LCVPs, we never could have landed over an open beach. The whole strategy of the war would have been different.”

Read entire article at National Interest