"A Lighters"?

Discussion in 'North Africa & the Med' started by Chris C, May 23, 2017.

  1. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    Hi all,

    I'm reading Frank Harrison's Tobruk book and he refers to so-called A Lighters which were shipped in parts to Egypt, assembled there, and then used in Tobruk.

    I'm a little unclear based on name, whether these were just to ferry cargo from ships to shore in Tobruk's harbour? Surely not to transport materiel all the way from Egypt.

    Also, does anyone know of pictures of them?
  2. Orwell1984

    Orwell1984 Senior Member

    Last edited: May 23, 2017
    Chris C and 4jonboy like this.
  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

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  4. DavidW

    DavidW Well-Known Member

    Hi Chris. It's a great book!
  5. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Hi all, and many thanks for the kind comments on Mike Bendon’s book (still available by the way – email me if you want a copy!). A-Lighters were indeed Mk1 TLCs (Tank Landing Craft), B-Lighters were MLCs and C-Lighters were ALCS. Z-Lighters were Indian Army operated pontoons with an after engine.

    Lund and Ludlam’s ‘The War of the Landing Craft’ (ISBN 450 03039 3) contains a useful and sometimes amusing chapter ‘The Spud Run to Tobruk’ which describes both the Tobruk supply runs and the early Landing Craft operations in the Med. The Tobruk runs were initially from Alexandria but were later concentrated from Mursa Matruh. The Landing Craft carried vehicles (including tanks), troops and supplies and were usually 'back-loaded' with vehicles in need of repair and troops in need of leave. The supply runs were operated more or less continuously from April 1941 to June 20th 1942 when Tobruk fell to Rommel. The majority of the 20 MK1 TLCs sent to the Mediterranean were lost to enemy action during the ‘Spud Runs’.
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