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U.S. Navy photo from pub. ONI-54 A
Attack cargo ships were converted merchantmen that carried the supplies and equipment needed to support an amphibious assault force once it got ashore. A typical Allied AKA carried up to 8000 tons of cargo and was equipped with cranes and landing craft (LCVPs, LCMs, and/or LCPLs.) They had a few antiaircraft guns for point defense.
An attack cargo ship was required for each regimental combat team in an amphibous assault.
The Japanese had no real equivalent.
Dunnigan and Nofi (1998)
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