Combat at Close Quarters: Warfare on the Rivers and Canals of Vietnam

Combat at Close Quarters: Warfare on the Rivers and Canals of Vietnam
Combat at Close Quarters (ePub)
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Combat at Close Quarters describes riverine combat during the Vietnam War, emphasizing the operations of the U.S. Navy’s River Patrol Force, the U.S. Army-Navy Mobile Riverine Force, and the Vietnam Navy. One section details the SEALORDS combined campaign, a determined effort by U.S. Navy, South Vietnamese Navy, and allied ground forces to cut enemy supply lines from Cambodia and disrupt operations at base areas deep in the delta. The authors provide details on the combat vessels, helicopters, weapons, and equipment employed in the Mekong Delta as well as the Vietnamese combatants (on both sides) and American troops who fought to secure Vietnam’s waterways. The American experience on Vietnam’s rivers and canals is indispensable to understanding the impact of riverine warfare on modern U.S. naval and military operations in the 21st century. (Contains some copyrighted information)

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Edward J. Marolda has served as Acting Director of Naval History and Senior Historian of the Naval Historical Center (redesignated the Naval History and Heritage Command). He has written a number of books on the U.S. Navy’s modern experience in Southeast Asia, including From Military Assistance to Combat, 1959–1965, vol. 2 (with Oscar P. Fitzgerald) in the official series The United States Navy and the Vietnam Conflict, and By Sea, Air, and Land: An Illustrated History of the U.S. Navy and the War in Southeast Asia. Dr. Marolda holds degrees in history from Pennsylvania Military College (BA), Georgetown University (MA), and George Washington University (PhD).

R. Blake Dunnavent is an associate professor of history at Louisiana State University in Shreveport. He is the author of Brown Water Warfare: The U.S. Navy in Riverine Warfare and the Emergence of a Tactical Doctrine, 1775–1970. He also authored chapters in two books: “Maverick—Elmo Russell Zumwalt, Jr. (1920–2000),” in Nineteen Gun Salute: Case Studies of Strategic and Operational Naval Leadership during the 20th Century, John B. Hattendorf and Bruce A. Elleman, eds. (Naval War College Press, 2010); and “Battle for the Mekong: The River War in Vietnam,” in Rolling Thunder in a Gentle Land. He earned a BA from Abilene Christian University (1990), and holds MA (1992) and PhD (1998) degrees in history from Texas Tech University.


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Nineteen Gun Salutes: Case Studies of Operational, Strategic, and Diplomatic Naval Leadership During the 20th and Early 21st Centuries can be found here:

Table of Contents

The First Indochina War
The Vietnam Navy River Force and American Advisors
The U.S. Navy and the Rivers of Vietnam
The End of the Line for U.S. and Vietnamese River Forces

Riverine Warfare Training
Battle Fleet of the Mekong Delta
High Drama in the Delta
Vice Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt Jr.
Black Ponies
The Swift Boat
Warriors with Green Faces

Suggested Reading


This publication may be of interest to history scholars, veterans, students in advanced placement history classes, and military enthusiasts given the continuing impact of riverine warfare on U.S. naval and military operations in the 21st century.


H-Net Reviews - Article: Combat at Close Quarters: Warfare on the Rivers and Canals of Vietnam,by Thomas Cossentino, dated April 2016
"succeeds in providing a succinct and engaging introduction to US riverine warfare in Vietnam."

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