Well a lot of the small boats were used to ferry troops out to larger military craft in deeper…
James M. Ridgway, Jr.

Aha! That’s what I was missing. The boats ferried the soldiers to the larger ships! Makes total sense. I’m not sure how I never knew that and could sit through the movie thinking that each little boat took its compliment of soldiers back to England.

Yes, the CGI to duplicate the boats is everywhere. I watched a youtube video on how Game of Thrones does it:

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