We are privately owned and not affiliated or endorsed by any government agency.

Take the Benefits Quiz

Amphibious Raid

Definition An amphibious raid is a military operation where forces swiftly attack a target, often coastal or near a water body, using a combination of Naval, Air, and Ground units. The objective is to rapidly achieve a specific goal, like gathering intelligence or destroying enemy assets, and then quickly withdraw. It is characterized by its […]


An amphibious raid is a military operation where forces swiftly attack a target, often coastal or near a water body, using a combination of Naval, Air, and Ground units. The objective is to rapidly achieve a specific goal, like gathering intelligence or destroying enemy assets, and then quickly withdraw. It is characterized by its surprise element, swift execution, and limited scope, thus minimizing the risk to attackers and maximizing operational efficiency.

Key Takeaways

  1. An amphibious raid is a specialized military operation which involves the deployment of troops from waterborne platforms onto hostile or potentially hostile shores, primarily for swift and targeted attack or reconnaissance missions.
  2. These raids require a high level of coordination and planning to ensure the seamless execution of the naval, air, and land components, thus allowing for maximum surprise and minimizing the risk of failure or opposition from the enemy forces.
  3. Amphibious raids are often conducted by highly trained forces such as Marines or Special Operations teams due to the complex nature of the operations and the need for precision and adaptability in challenging environments.


The term “Amphibious Raid” holds significant importance in military operations as it refers to a swift and well-coordinated attack launched from the sea, targeting specific objectives on or near the shore.

This type of maneuver requires extensive planning, effective communication, and seamless coordination among various military units, including naval, air, and ground forces.

The primary aim of these raids is to achieve tactical surprise, cause disruption to the enemy’s assets or infrastructure, gather intelligence, or prepare the ground for larger amphibious operations.

The success of an amphibious raid hinges on the element of surprise, speed, and precision, making it a vital and effective strategy in modern warfare.


An amphibious raid is a critical military operation designed to create a strategic advantage for the attacking forces while causing confusion and disruption among the enemy ranks. The primary purpose of this operation is to carry out swift, surprise attacks on specific military or strategic targets located in the enemy’s coastal or littoral regions. The main objectives of these raids include intelligence gathering, destruction of enemy installations, capturing high-value targets, and creating a diversion for a larger-scale operation.

The success of these raids often lies in their ability to achieve their objectives swiftly before the enemy can launch a counterattack, enabling the attacking forces to withdraw to their naval vessels, leaving minimal footprints for the defenders to trace. Conducting an amphibious raid requires detailed planning, coordination, and specialized training among the different branches of the military, including naval, air, and ground forces. Ideally, these forces must conduct joint reconnaissance and obtain real-time intelligence on enemy positions, movement, and capabilities.

To increase the chances of success, raids are typically carried out under the cover of darkness or in challenging weather conditions, which impair the enemy’s ability to detect or predict the impending attack. These carefully orchestrated operations are conducted utilizing specialized landing crafts, amphibious assault vehicles, and well-trained units capable of operating effectively in both marine and land environments. In conclusion, amphibious raids are a valuable tactical instrument in modern warfare that enable militaries to project force, create chaos among the enemies, and ultimately dominate strategic areas of interest, giving them the upper hand in the conflict.

Examples of Amphibious Raid

Operation Claymore (1941): During World War II, British Commandos conducted Operation Claymore, an amphibious raid aimed at German military installations in the Lofoten Islands, off the northern coast of Norway. The raid resulted in the destruction of several factories, the seizure of strategic intelligence documents, and the capture of numerous prisoners of war. It also had a significant impact on the morale of both the German and British military forces.

Makin Island Raid (1942): In August of 1942, US Marine Corps Raiders carried out an amphibious raid on the Japanese-held Makin Island in the Pacific. The mission’s main objectives were to destroy enemy installations, gather intelligence, and divert Japanese forces away from the main Allied offensive at Guadalcanal. Though the raid had limited strategic success, it proved valuable for testing the effectiveness of amphibious raids and honing tactics for future operations.

Operation Chariot (1942): Also known as the St. Nazaire Raid, Operation Chariot was an amphibious attack by British Commandos on the heavily defended Normandie dry dock in the German-occupied French port of St. Nazaire. The objective was to destroy the dock, rendering it unusable for large German battleships and disrupting the Atlantic coastal defenses. Despite suffering heavy casualties, the raid was successful in destroying the dock and British forces managed to extract vital intelligence information from the damaged facility.


FAQ: Amphibious Raid

What is an amphibious raid?

An amphibious raid is a specialized military operation conducted by naval infantry, using naval ships to attack a target from the sea. It typically involves the rapid insertion of a small force, usually to seize or destroy a specific objective, followed by a swift withdrawal. The main purpose of an amphibious raid is to surprise the enemy and achieve the desired objective with minimal force and little to no collateral damage.

What are the key elements of an amphibious raid?

Key elements of an amphibious raid include: planning, intelligence gathering, rehearsals, insertion (landing of troops), execution (accomplishing the objective), extraction (withdrawal of troops), and debriefing. A successful amphibious raid relies on speed, surprise, and a well-coordinated plan.

How do amphibious raids differ from other types of military operations?

Amphibious raids are unique in that they involve both naval and ground forces working together to achieve a specific objective. Unlike larger-scale amphibious assaults, raids are characterized by a smaller force, a limited objective, and a rapid withdrawal. This reduces the risk of sustained combat and potential casualties, making it an attractive option for certain military operations.

What are some historical examples of amphibious raids?

Some famous historical examples of amphibious raids include the British Royal Marine’s raid on the French port of St. Nazaire during World War II (also known as the “Greatest Raid of All”), the U.S. Navy SEALs raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan, and the Israeli naval commando raid in Lebanon during the 1982 Lebanon War.

What types of equipment and vehicles are used during amphibious raids?

Equipment and vehicles used during amphibious raids can vary depending on the specific operation and the forces involved. Commonly used equipment includes small boats, landing craft, amphibious assault vehicles, helicopters, and sometimes even submarines for stealth insertion. Additionally, troops may use specialized gear such as inflatable boats, scuba diving equipment, or underwater propulsion devices.


Related Military Operation Terms

  • Marine Corps Operations
  • Joint Military Forces
  • Naval Beachhead
  • Coastal Assault
  • Expeditionary Warfare

Sources for More Information

Benefits.com Advisors

With expertise spanning local, state, and federal benefit programs, our team is dedicated to guiding individuals towards the perfect program tailored to their unique circumstances.

Rise to the top with Peak Benefits!

Join our Peak Benefits Newsletter for the latest news, resources, and offers on all things government benefits.

Related Articles