Have you ever heard of the phase "Too many cooks in the kitchen?"
Also, I am pretty sure you cannot use civilian transport ship (or pretend to be civilian) in war for military purpose, that violate Hague Convention. If China did do that, then any neutral port can impound Chinese Civilian ship.
That (Mulberry Harbor) only work because the entire Normandy coast are invaded by around 100,000 troop, not 1 million. And then when the beach head is secure and Allied brought in millions of troops, the allied desperately needed Cherbourg and another port down south of France (don't remember the name on top of my head)
Also, they towed 2 Mulberry Harbour, one sunk on the way and you are talking about breakwater around 300km wide from Bournemouth to the further part of the beach. And you are talking about an open ocean 500km wide, almost twice the distant....
The only thing I can think of is to sink them and use them as Pontoon like the Russian do after Antonovskiy Bridge was blown. Otherwise I don't think there is a use for the small fishing trawler. The Brits can only use them because they held Dunkirk and they are pulling people out. You can't land on a hot beach with these small fishing boat, that's suicide because you can't take any hit from it.
Even for rear transport, you are talking about wasting space, because of the loading, you can probably jam maybe 15 fully armed troop, but that berth could have been used by a LST and land hundreds of troops instead. There is just limited space in the coast, and you would much rather it was used by the most effective vessel there are. On the other hand, if you mix with small boat, you are then congesting the sea lane, it would be fine if you know your enemy will not hit the landing beaches. But as the Brits will tell you. If not, then a hot beach with congested traffic will spell disaster for you. They lost RFA Sir Galahad because the Brits are trying to unload the troop and helicopter from it and it was blocked by serveral ship.
You are not talking about landing 20,000 troop for a forward party tho, you are talking about landing 500,000 to a million troop on day 1 to overwhelm the Taiwanese defence. Which mean these small freighter would not be useful because
1.) They still need a fully function port to load/unload, there are no ramp, no helipad on them, you can't use them to establish the beach head.
2.) You will need thousands of them going back and forth to support that 500,000 to 1 million troop you have fighting o the frontline
and finally, I don't even know if these craft are seaworthy on such a job, not to mention these aren't armoured and will be sitting duck for even coastal battery fire.
Hope can't float man, if you plan an op, you can't plan on "Hoping" it would be the best-case scenario......
Many fair points. Which is why, IMHO, anyone that says the Chinese are ready hasn’t figured out what the logistics are. I was spitballing from all the news stories based on the bits and pieces of references in various articles about using civilians ships, but your right. They will have to build purpose built ships to support the mission. This buildup have telltale signs but could be spread out over many yards, and mixed with civilian construction, as well as civilian use ahead of the invasion as well as to recoup some of the costs to produce them.
In a time of war these ships could be painted with a PLAN symbol to make them official warships, as not to contravene the Hague convention.
They may not be able to move the full million men in the first wave, but will to plan for attrition, so the need to have more capacity then could be practically used will be hard to manage but necessary if they are to maintain their momentum and from hit multiple axis.
If the mulberry harbors don’t work they will have to come up with something else, because the Taiwanese will sure as hell not allow their ports to stay intact if the see the PLAN coming. They will need something, possible a series of submersible ships to form a temporary port.
The fishing boat part was just to demonstrate the use of civilian vessels for military uses. I don’t think they will use it in the invasion. Besides, another key factor is that China has demonstrated, especially with Covid, that the general population doesn’t have the stomach to see large numbers of causalities, especially if drones can be used instead. With the use of drones, the number of men actually fighting maybe cut in half or a quarter of what I postulated; with only 200,000-250,000 over a few waves, and with drones making up the bulk of the first wave. Datalinks, AI, and networked communications/command and control will be crucial elements in this kind of warfare, on top of logistics. These kinds of drones can be considered attributable, with some functioning as minesweepers (possibly robotic sea planes so they can be moved around quickly and refueled and rearmed from the mainland), other as robotic tanks; taking the beaches and forming a beachhead, while other will be resupply of fuel for the first two drones in Taiwanese waters and on the beaches.
Tens of thousands of the following could be built in secret, and attached to the sides of civilian vessels or military vessels, to be released for the last 12-20 miles to the Taiwanese coast.
From the air, unmanned tilt rotors could land unmanned tanks. Thousands of these could also be built relatively quietly, and based all over Fujian and surround provinces ahead of an invasion. A scaled up model of the CH-10 could be built.
CH-10 from 4:00
The manned platforms will probably be something like a PLA “Defiant X”, overseeing the battle and relaying datalinks.
If the old regimes supporter don’t leave, they could be expelled like the Vietnamese did to the Chinese descendants (such as the parents of my classmates with the last name Tran, a derivation of the Chinese name Chan, had to experience) in the three waves of expulsions in the late 70’s, after the war.