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I had never heard of the British Fairmile H until I ran across it in Allied Coastal Forces of WWII. Naturally I had to give them a go…
The Fairmile H series of landing craft were apparently envisioned as “giant raiding craft”. The original requirements called for the ability to land 200 fully equipped troops, but this required American help.
The Americans produced the LCI (L), but the British scaled back their requirements and got the Fairmile H LCI (S), which could carry 6 officers and 96 men below decks. They also carried 18 bicycles on the deck for the use of the soldiers, but I’m afraid I haven’t modeled those.
They also sported armour plates on the side of the boat, but not at the front or the back.
10 of the boats were modified during construction to become LCS (L)s, providing supporting fire to the troops but not expected to land any troops themselves. Early versions sported a two pounder gun in a tank turret, but I have modeled the later version (officially version 2) with a 6 pounder gun in a Valentine turret because that’s what I could find photos of.
The Fairmile Hs seem to have seen service from 1943 on, though I haven’t been able to find many specifics about exactly where.They do seem to have been used in the amphibious landings during in the Battle of the Scheldt in the Netherlands, as some of the LCS (L)s were lost there.
Apparently, in addition to landing and supporting troops, Fairmile Hs were used for supply carrying, casualty evacuation, and to lay smoke screens.
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