Brown Water, Black Berets: Coastal and Riverine Warfare in Vietnam

Thomas J. Cutler, Author
Thomas J. Cutler, Author US Naval Institute Press $27.95 (426p) ISBN 978-0-87021-011-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 393 pages - 978-0-671-67280-5
Open Ebook - 445 pages - 978-1-61251-184-9
Paperback - 448 pages - 978-1-55750-196-7
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Cutler reminds us that 1.8 million Navy and Coast Guard troops served in Vietnam (2670 killed in action), with most of the casualties sustained in coastal or riverine operations. Himself a veteran of brownwater action, the author presents a stirring collection of unit histories that starts with the arrival of the first U.S. naval adviser in Saigon in 1964 and ends in 1972 when the last American naval bases were turned over to the South Vietnamese. He chronicles the genesis and operations of Task Forces 115, 116, 117i.e., the Coastal Surveillance Force, the River Patrol Force and the Mobile Riverine Force. Most of the action consisted of small-craft interdiction patrols. Readers will find that, with one or two exceptions, the action reported here is low-keyed in comparison to most infantry-oriented books about the Vietnam war, but Cutler, who teaches at the Naval Academy, is primarily interested in publicizing the overall contribution of these special task forces, which was considerable. (May)
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