The Boat that Won WWII

Here’s an interesting article about someone I’d never heard of — Andrew Jackson Higgins — and something I’d never thought about — the landing craft used at Normandy. It’s appropriate for the week which saw the 75th anniversary of D-Day, even though I saw it too late to include in last week’s email notification.

The Invention that Won WWII

Day to day, this is the sort of thing that brings me up short: tripping over the back story to something I took entirely for granted. Like that moment in the diner years ago when I looked at the metal rack for the single-serving jam packages (from multiple suppliers but all one size), and got a faint intimation of the industrial coordination and cooperation required to make that system work.

Not that landing craft are in the same category as jam holders, but you see what I mean. I’ve seen photos of that landing innumerable times, and never stopped to ask where they got boats so perfectly suited to the task. The answer, of course, is that someone saw the coming need and designed them to meet it.


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