Brown Water, Black Berets: Coastal and Riverine Warfare in Vietnam (Bluejacket Books)
The men of the U.S. Navy's brown-water force played a vital but often overlooked role in the Vietnam War. Known for their black berets and limitless courage, they maneuvered their aging, makeshift craft along shallow coastal waters and twisting inland waterways to search out the enemy. In this moving tribute to their contributions and sacrifices, Tom Cutler records their dramatic story as only a participant could. His own Vietnam experience enables him to add a striking human dimension to the account. The terror of firefights along the jungle-lined rivers, the rigors of camp life, and the sudden perils of guerrilla warfare are conveyed with authenticity. At the same time, the author's training as a historian allows him to objectively describe the scope of the navy's operations and evaluate their effectiveness.Winner of the Navy League's Alfred Thayer Mahan Award for Literary Achievement in 1988 when the book was first published, Cutler is credited with having written the definitive history of the brown-water sailors, an effort that has helped readers better understand the nature of U.S. involvement in the war.