32
$\begingroup$

My island is in the Indian Ocean, surrounded by a ring of very sharp rocks. The water is, at most, a few meters deep.

Since a large ferry could not reach the island, what real-world methods of transporting vehicles could get a few (Let's say 7; 3 Hummers, 1 RV Mobile Lab and 3 Caviga Canyon 500s ) of the machines onto the island?

There are many smooth, flat beaches on the island's coast, so getting them ashore should not be a problem.

$\endgroup$
  • 10
    $\begingroup$ @RonJohn This could be the germ of an answer. For some reason I am attracted to an idea that involves large amounts of explosives. :-) $\endgroup$ – StephenG Apr 11 '18 at 14:55
  • 21
    $\begingroup$ Anything can be airdropped ... once. $\endgroup$ – Justsalt Apr 11 '18 at 17:34
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ How much "shooting at you" do you expect the residents to be doing while you are trying to land? Also is the shallow water sandy? $\endgroup$ – Harper Apr 12 '18 at 4:01
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Harper The island is uninhabited so that shouldn't be a problem. There are sandy seabed areas, but mainly inside the ring of sharp rocks. $\endgroup$ – SealBoi Apr 12 '18 at 7:07
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Are the sharp rocks above the water (if so, by how much)? Or just at the same level or below the surface? I mean do they look like that or like this?. $\endgroup$ – Legisey Apr 12 '18 at 13:44

14 Answers 14

66
$\begingroup$

Some helicopters are able to transport ground vehicles. Check out the weird Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe:

Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe

And this is how it is used:

I can see my house flying from here!

You may also be interested in the Boeing CH-47D Chinook:

It probably has this name because the jeeps go "boeing boeing" under it.

Or maybe try the Mil Mi 10:

They see me choppin', they hating...

If flying isn't your thing (it happens), you may use a Zubr-class LCAC, which is an obscenely huge hovercraft:

That is one big hovercraft

$\endgroup$
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ Yes, I like the hovercraft idea. Do you think one of those guys could hold 3 jeeps, 3 motorbikes and a truck? $\endgroup$ – SealBoi Apr 11 '18 at 15:17
  • 35
    $\begingroup$ @SealBoi look at the picture, and what's coming out of the hovercraft. $\endgroup$ – RonJohn Apr 11 '18 at 15:21
  • 24
    $\begingroup$ @SealBoi: His linked hovercraft example can hold 3 full-sized tanks, or 8 APCs, or 500 troops. I think it can handle what you need. $\endgroup$ – Giter Apr 11 '18 at 15:23
  • 9
    $\begingroup$ +1 to the hovercraft. It can carry stuff longer distances than a helicopter. $\endgroup$ – RonJohn Apr 11 '18 at 15:23
  • 8
    $\begingroup$ Hovercraft wikipedia quote: "with a standard full load displacement of 555 tons" - seriously, 3 tanks OR 8 APS OR 550 troops? Yeah. easily. $\endgroup$ – TomTom Apr 11 '18 at 19:02
28
$\begingroup$

Your regular boats. But first: plenty of dynamite.

reef demolition at Peleliu

Reef demolition before invasion of Peleliu, WW2.

https://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explorations/18peleliu/background/assault/assault.html

As careful as the plan was, unless the amphibious craft could get over the reef; avoid the mines; navigate the concrete anti-boat obstacles, the coral heads, and boulders; and land on shore, it was doomed to failure. The Navy underwater demolition teams (UDTs) were formed in 1942 in response to this fundamental problem...

In the run up to the Peleliu operation, UDT 10 scouted the invasion beaches in USS Burrfish. The information gathered in August 1944 revealed an array of concrete tetrahedrons, a double row of wooden posts 75 yards from shore, barbed wire, horned mines and, importantly, in some areas the reef was awash with barely two feet of water at low tide. Three days before D-Day, UDTs 6 and 7 deployed along the invasion beaches to destroy obstacles, but more critically, to blast wide ramps into the coral for the amphibious craft.

So too your rocks. It is the modern day in your world. Stuff is available to blow stuff up. Use that first stuff liberally on the second stuff. Then proceed.


and here I see @RonJohn proposed exactly this in the comments 5 hours ago!

$\endgroup$
  • 13
    $\begingroup$ "There are very few problems that cannot be solved with a suitable application of high explosives". $\endgroup$ – Petro Apr 11 '18 at 19:57
  • 12
    $\begingroup$ @Petro - not sure about "solved" but definitely "addressed". $\endgroup$ – Willk Apr 11 '18 at 20:06
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I know that I didn't mention this on the question, but the people trying to get to the island would rather not damage the natural ecosystem, so this may not work. Nevertheless, I do love me some explosives! $\endgroup$ – SealBoi Apr 12 '18 at 7:12
23
$\begingroup$

Ferry with long pier[1]

Build a pier to the place you can safely dock a ferry or other ship. A pier can be as long as needed.

As an example, in 1926, the Golden Gate Ferry Company began construction of the Berkeley Pier in Berkeley, California. It extends about 3.5 miles (5.6 km) into the San Francisco Bay. It was used to transport vehicles in 1926.

Simply build a pier over the sharp rocks out through the shallow waters until you get to a spot that is deep enough for ships to use.

Navarro Beach Pier

$\endgroup$
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ That seems like a little bit of overkill for 7 vehicles though... However, definitely a reasonable idea for 7 hundreds or 7 thousands. $\endgroup$ – Frax Apr 11 '18 at 21:32
  • 9
    $\begingroup$ If you can get a ferry capable of carrying seven vehicles to a remote island, you can also rent a pontoon bridge to do in essence the same thing, minus pilings. It's going to be more difficult to set up an amusement park at the end which is another thing humans love to do with piers. $\endgroup$ – gwally Apr 11 '18 at 22:49
21
$\begingroup$

You could use a ground effect vehicle, sometimes known as an ekranoplan. These are plane-like vehicles that use the ground effect, an air cushion that forms under the wing at low altitudes, to achieve incredible lift relative to their wing size and power. Then can only fly a few metres above ground or water, but can carry an immense amount.

a huge plane-like vehicle flying low over the water

This is the Lun-class ekranoplan, built by the Soviets as a combination anti-ship craft and assault transport. It could carry a thousand tons of military equipment right up to the shoreline at 550 km/h, and fight with six heavy anti-ship missile launchers that you can see rising from the centreline. On its nose you can see four turbojet engines that provide the primary thrust. It flies up to four metres above the water, so it can avoid all but the largest rock formations.

This fellow is a little heavier duty than what you're looking for. You could probably pack all that gear into this sprightly little fellow, the A-90 Orlyonok:

a smaller vehicle with a single prop rising above like a scorpion's tail

This chap could carry 28 tons of cargo at the not insignificant speed of 400 km/h and is rather more maneuverable than the previous beast. The front hinges sideways to let vehicles roll right onto the beach. I think this would make for a fun and interesting way to get to Isla de Spikeyrocks; at least, as long as you can build your own or pull one out of the Russian plane graveyards.

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Won't these come a cropper the moment you want to actually park them in the rocky water to let the vehicles off? $\endgroup$ – Grimm The Opiner Apr 12 '18 at 7:13
  • 9
    $\begingroup$ @GrimmTheOpiner, reuse of the transport was not requested ;) $\endgroup$ – Separatrix Apr 12 '18 at 8:30
  • $\begingroup$ An old Popular Mechanics article about a ground-effects vehicle was titled "The Boat that Flies". Last year they used a similar title, "The Boats that Fly" for the racing yachts that ride mostly above the water. That's another solution! $\endgroup$ – Shawn V. Wilson Apr 12 '18 at 18:56
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ You don't stop in the water; you fly onto shore. They're perfectly capable of going over any reasonably level surface, doesn't have to be wet. $\endgroup$ – James Moore Apr 12 '18 at 23:51
21
$\begingroup$

In addition to @Renan's answer, the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey has an internal payload of 20 000 lbs. Might take 2-3 trips, or 2-3 planes.

enter image description here

If there's no room to land a plane, and the island is too small for a reliable airdrop, you can also perform a low altitude parachute extraction.

The low-altitude parachute-extraction system (LAPES) is a tactical military airlift delivery method where a fixed wing cargo aircraft can deposit supplies in situations in which landing is not an option, in an area that is too small to accurately parachute supplies from a high altitude.

Note that the plane here doesn't actually land.

enter image description here

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This LAPES system is just AWESOME! $\endgroup$ – Renan Apr 11 '18 at 18:19
18
$\begingroup$

Maxim 11: Everything is air-droppable at least once.

Hummers are designed to be air droppable.

If you switch from the RV to M934 Expansible Van Truck, I believe it's air droppable. Certainly at least once.

You could drop the Cagivas (palatalized) as well, or you could use something like this https://olive-drab.com/idphoto/id_photos_m1030_m1d.php and it uses the same fuel as the HMMVs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxLi4gKprOo

If that doesn't work for you, the Marines have a bad ass hovercraft that is slightly smaller than the one listed above.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbXF2B3fHMk

Remember also Maxim 32: Anything is amphibious if you can get it back out of the water.

$\endgroup$
  • 9
    $\begingroup$ A +1 for the Maxims. $\endgroup$ – Elia Apr 11 '18 at 20:57
  • $\begingroup$ What about helium balloons? $\endgroup$ – leftaroundabout Apr 11 '18 at 22:45
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @leftaroundabout Absolutely. The cryogenic equipment needed to cool helium down from a gas, so it can be shaped into a balloon is very heavy and bulky. I doubt it would survive to be airdropped again, but the maxim is that everything is air-droppable at least once. $\endgroup$ – HopelessN00b Apr 12 '18 at 0:30
12
$\begingroup$

The USMC has been hitting the beaches with mechanized transport since before WWII, so in addition to simply flying in on helicopters, the Marines can hit the beach in several ways.

The most obvious one is to dispense with carrying vehicles, and simply ride into battle in your own amphibious fighting machine. The USMC uses the AAV-7, which can swim ashore, and then continue inland to battle with a turret mounted .50 HMG and a 40mm grenade launcher, plus 25 armed to the teeth Marines ready to debuss on the objective.

enter image description here

AAV-7

enter image description here

AAV-7 ashore

The Royal Marine Commandos use the "Viking" Marginal Terrain Vehicle (MTV), which is also amphibious, although having lower levels of performance than an AAV-7. It is much more versatile ashore, capable of crossing terrain that no other vehicles can even approach:

enter image description here

Royal Marine Commando Viking MTV

If you really must transport the various vehicles, the USMC uses the LCAC, a hovercraft which can approach the beach very rapidly, and even fly over the beach and move inland so long as the ground it relatively flat. Getting past the sharp rocks might be an issue depending on the size and sharpness, getting the "skirt" damaged makes the hovercraft much less capable of maintaining an air cushion.

enter image description here

Formation of LCAC's

Finally, the US Navy and Marines are experimenting with a new vehicle which has many of the features of a Viking and an LCAC. The prototypes are small, but a full sized version is supposed to take cargo as large as tanks from ships, swim ashore and deliver the payload inland. Meet the UHAC (Ultra Heavy-lift Amphibious Connector)

enter image description here

The enormous "paddles" serve as a track ashore

So if you are looking for alternatives to air delivery, here are how the USMC and Royal Marine Commandos do it.

$\endgroup$
9
$\begingroup$

Depending on the shape of the reef, something like the PTS tracked ferry. Formerly Soviet, so you can easily explain a surplus ferry showing up anywhere after the Cold War.

Being tracked, the PTS might be able to climb over reefs that would endanger the bottom of normal boats. But a sufficiently pointy reef could pose problems.

The advantage is that it is smaller/cheaper than a hovercraft, and it uses less fuel than a helicopter. So the expedition might be able to keep it around, for coastal or river transportation.

$\endgroup$
8
$\begingroup$

A dredge

Park the dredge over some sandy bottom and pump. Sand slurry can be carried some distance. Deposit the wet sand on the rocks.

Water runs off, combat engineers grade it to suit.

Wind and wave action will eventually restore the shore.

$\endgroup$
3
$\begingroup$

What about a ramp that unfolds from the boat? How wide is the ring of rocks? Think of something like a drawbridge or a loading dock leveler.

What about a crane on the ship? crane

$\endgroup$
2
$\begingroup$

Use a pontoon bridge (if only needs to be used once, and the rocks are just below the surface), or a Bailey bridge (for extended operations, or rocks above the surface).

These are both kit bridges that that can be built very quickly, and were used for temporary bridges during WWII.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pontoon_bridge

There's also the medium girder bridge (folding bridge), and the Armoured vehicle-launched bridge. This is a medium girder bridge which is attached to a tank. It is unfolded and laid at an chasm, and then detached. The rest of the division then cross the bridge, the tank crosses last, and collects the bridge. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armoured_vehicle-launched_bridge

$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

Swim or kayak in and then set up a cable bridge, Bring the vehicles in piece by piece and assemble them on the shore.

$\endgroup$
0
$\begingroup$

Set up your loaded landing craft at the outside edge of the ring of rocks. Generate a small tsunami with a controlled (nuclear) explosive out at sea and surf over the rocky area and run aground on the beach.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ds0XV3ORmI

$\endgroup$
-2
$\begingroup$

How about an icebreaker? Maybe the icebreaker bit would break up the rocks. Or maybe an armored icebreaker so it wouldn't get punctured.

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You think an icebreaker can break land? $\endgroup$ – pipe Apr 14 '18 at 14:03
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thats why you add armor. Yes I do they are pretty hardcore. $\endgroup$ – Mrmola Apr 14 '18 at 17:46
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Ice breakers won't be able to break rocks, they break ice by lifting the ice up and then the ice snaps under it's own weight which is not going to work on rocks at all. Given the additional problem of the water around jagged rocks is usually shallow, I doubt a ship that size would not run ashore even without the heavy armour dragging it downwards. $\endgroup$ – PStag Apr 15 '18 at 6:41
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, the water is shallow enough in places to stand up in without getting your shoulders wet, so I highly doubt this would work, unless the icebreaker would be powerful enough to literally shovel up several meters of seabed from the drop-off. $\endgroup$ – SealBoi Apr 18 '18 at 15:48

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.