Riverine Craft of the Vietnam War.

Riverine Craft of the Vietnam War.

Author
Roger Branfill-Cook
ARRSE Rating
3.5 Mushroom Heads
That Vietnam provides many unique challenges to any army attempting to fight over its varied terrain will be no surprise to most members of this site. The iconic images of America’s involvement in the Country is that of the Bell Iroquois helicopter the workhorse of countless engagements with the North Vietnamese main force and guerrillas.

There was however a second almost unique dimension to the conflict where improvisation and ingenuity combined alongside technology to take the war to the Vietcong. That of what became known as the Brown Water Navy.

Riverine Craft of the Vietnam Wars is a book in the ShipCraft series published by Seaforth publishing. The author Roger Branfill-Cook has written this book as a guide to model makers. He provides clear and succinct descriptions of the various craft Used not only by American forces but those of the French and South Vietnamese Navy.

The craft were a blend of converted civilian and purpose built boats, most were adapted and added to by the crews that manned them in order to increase firepower, protection, and performance. The author has provided extensive photographic and textual information to cover the many variations found in service. He paints a fascinating picture of a complex and challenging battlefield and the adaptations used to deal with its problems.

It is interesting to see how the end products bare quite close similarities to their Victorian equivalents ending up with low freeboards and well protected turret Mounted weaponry. There are of course the much lighter craft perhaps made more familiar in recent times by the film Apocalypse Now. The book is an excellent reference work for modellers with comprehensive kit lists and modification packs, it is also a great read for those (like me) with a great interest in the regional conflict. It’s extensive bibliography has also given me a fairly hefty wish list for my future reading on the subject.

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