River Warfare in Vietnam

A Social, Political, and Military History, 1945–1975


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About the Book

America’s entrance into the wars in Vietnam came as a result of several factors. Among them was the necessity of bolstering French influence in the area in the face of mounting communist expansion. This expansion was intensified by the outbreak of the Korean War, making it necessary for the United States to revamp its Southeast Asian policy. During the French era, control of Vietnam’s rivers, streams and canals became necessary. This led various factions to develop specialized military units heavily dependent on new types of river craft that could traverse the myriad waterways in Vietnam.
The focal point of this study is a new assessment of the conduct of river warfare. Drawing on little-known French, Vietnamese and American sources and materials, it sheds light on an important aspect of the Vietnam War. Chapters also detail numerous aspects of river warfare not generally covered in other books on the subject.

About the Author(s)

Robin L. Rielly spent many years as an educator, specializing in international relations, Asian studies and American history. He also served as the Historian/Archivist for the USS LCS(L) 1-130 Association, a World War II veteran’s group. This is his sixth book dealing with American Naval history.

Bibliographic Details

Robin L. Rielly
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 536
Bibliographic Info: 122 photos, glossary, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2024
pISBN: 978-1-4766-9127-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4915-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments 1

Introduction 5

 1. A Short History of Indochina 13

 2. Toward the Abyss 24

 3. France’s Early Attempt to Reconquer Indochina 47

 4. The Middle Years: 1947–1950 91

 5. Annam and Cochinchina 138

 6. The French Loss of Indochina 173

 7. The Vietnamese Shoulder the Burden 241

 8. The American War Gets Underway 285

 9. The Mobile Riverine Force Develops 324

10. The River Operations 371

11. End Game 423

Glossary 465

Chapter Notes 475

Bibliography 493

Index 517