The Z Lighter

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by idler, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Having seen occasional references to Z Lighters in the Med, it was nice to find some good footage of them ferrying infantry onto LSIs for HUSKY; no sound though.

    There is a possiblity that they were actually designed by the Royal Engineers. They created the Z Craft (source towards the bottom of the section). The reinforcement of the ramp with the distinctive gantry seen in the film may have come later; otherwise they look pretty similar:

    • Ports and Docks - Port construction companies redeveloped port facilities at Port Said, Suez, Aqaba and on the Sweet Water Canal. Operating companies carried out stevedoring work in these and other ports.
    • Railways - An extensive rail development programme was executed by the Royal Engineers who also took charge of some the operations of the trains.
    • Inland Water Transport - Organised the transportation of stores on the Nile and in the Delta. They built several small craft including the 'Z' craft. The 'Z' craft was later used in other theatres.

    Z craft at Port Said 1940's. The Z craft was designed and built by the Royal Engineers Inland Water Transport section.

    (Photo: Unknown)
  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Looking at the way they were cramed with troops you can see that H&S was not a consideration.
  3. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin


    I just noticed that Z22 and the film footage is shown mirror image:)

    Interesting stuff.

  4. idler

    idler GeneralList

    The one that eludes me is a photo in one of the Time Life WW2 books. I believe it is a shot of an X Lighter (built 1915, used at Gallipoli) passing alongside an LCT in Sousse harbour - two generations side by side.

    There were also some X Lighters on Malta (seen on some footage in a recent documentary) and amongst the Little Ships at Dunkirk.
  5. kohare

    kohare Member

    The image wasn't being displayed as the Royal Engineer website has been revised - I was able to find it on the Wayback Internet Archive.

    My interest in the Z craft comes from a photo taken by my Dad.

    He worked on the troopship GEORGIC from 1945 to 1951 and took this photo in Port Said in 1950 showing troops transferring from a Z craft.

    I also found a picture showing ranks of the 2nd Battalion, King's Own, disembarking from GEORGIC onto a lighter prior to going ashore in Egypt 5 NOV 1947. Accession Number: KO0714/13, © copyright of Trustees of the King's Own Royal Regiment Museum.


    This clearly shows how the lateral bulwarks could be lowered to facilitate loading/unloading from the side.

    4jonboy and Owen like this.
  6. BunnyBurrell

    BunnyBurrell Member

    I been rummaging around one of my parents spare rooms. This was in my late Father's books. IMG_0373.JPG IMG_0373.JPG IMG_0377.JPG
    PsyWar.Org likes this.

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