An LSI would take its cargo of infantry close to the target area. The troops would then transfer to landing craft, such as the Landing Craft, Assault, for the journey to the beach. A small LSI would be around 3,000 gross registered tons and could carry up to 800 troops. The largest LSI(L) could carry 1,800 troops and would need 20 or so landing craft for that number.
An LSI was generally a converted cross-channelferry, a similar ship of that size or a converted passenger ship.
Empire Cutlass was a 7,177 GRT Type C1-S-AY1infantry landing ship, which was built by Consolidated Steel Corporation, Wilmington, California. Laid down as Cape Compass and completed in November 1943 as Empire Cutlass for MoWT. Damaged by a mine on 21 November 1944 off the Digne Light, Le Havre, towed to port and repaired. To Royal Navy in January 1945 as HMS Sansovino. Returned in June to MoWT and reverted to Empire Cutlass. To USMC in 1947, proposed sale to China in 1948 postponed due to communist revolution. Laid up in the James River, Virginia. Sold in 1960 to China Merchants Steam Navigation Co Ltd, Taiwan and renamed Hai Ou. Scrapped in 1970 at Kaohsiung.