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Table Of Contents

THE BUNKER
CORONADO
THE UNFRIENDLY SKIES
THE LOSS OF INNOCENCE
ANNAPOLIS HOTEL
YRBM 21
THE CANAL
CAMBODIA
NIXON’S INVASION
INTO THE LAIR
BY DAWNS EARLY LIGHT
JUNE
HEARTS AND MINDS
ANOTHER DAY IN PARIDISE
BEN KEO
ANOTHER DAY ANOTHER DOLLAR
HOME SWEET HOME
EPILOGUE
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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River Rats

River Rats

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4.33

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Published by AuthorHouseBooks
The United States Navy’s fight for control of the waters of Southeast Asia.

By far the greatest contribution of the narrative is the insight it provides into the hows and whys of United States involvement in Vietnam, and the attempt of that involvement to bring freedom to those who were unable to achieve it by their own efforts. We see the United States more as a caretaker and less as a policeman in terms of motivation for its involvement half a world away. And…we see the tremendous price paid by those who served to ensure that freedom – ordinary men who, by fate, were thrown together in a strange land, and who fulfilled a part of their destiny, and their Nation’s, on the brown water.


Weldon Bleiler
The United States Navy’s fight for control of the waters of Southeast Asia.

By far the greatest contribution of the narrative is the insight it provides into the hows and whys of United States involvement in Vietnam, and the attempt of that involvement to bring freedom to those who were unable to achieve it by their own efforts. We see the United States more as a caretaker and less as a policeman in terms of motivation for its involvement half a world away. And…we see the tremendous price paid by those who served to ensure that freedom – ordinary men who, by fate, were thrown together in a strange land, and who fulfilled a part of their destiny, and their Nation’s, on the brown water.


Weldon Bleiler

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Publish date: Mar 25, 2005
Added to Scribd: Jul 13, 2013
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reservedISBN:9781463488536
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03/19/2014

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9781463488536

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jpodlaski_1 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Reading "River Rats" by Ralph Christopher was an educational experience for me. I am also a Combat Vietnam Army Veteran and author of a book relating my experiences as an Infantry Grunt with the 25th Division. My personal knowledge of the Brown Water Navy is limited, at best, and I am unfamiliar with their equipment, tactics, and mode of operations. Thankfully, Ralph's explanations, pictures and story helped me to better understand how the war was fought in the Delta.I was pleased upon recognizing many of the landmarks Ralph mentions in "River Rats" as they are the same areas my unit operated in. Although Ralph was already home by the time I had arrived in country, those shared areas were still very dangerous and very active with enemy soldiers and incoming supplies during my tour.I've heard about the bases built upon pontoons in the middle of the river, but had no idea of its size, on-board facilities, and capabilities to support these fighting men. "River Rats" is mostly told in a first-person, but portions of it come across as an "after action report". Not saying this is bad, but sometimes there appears to be too much detailed information (Navy speak) - more than a lay person can absorb while reading. I was especially intrigued with the smaller boats and four-men crews that went out on night ambushes - pulling up to the riverbank and beaching their craft - then watching for enemy movement. The reaction of boat crews during an enemy ambush from land is also something to behold...making strafing runs up and down the river and eventually beaching the craft immediately to the front of the enemy - I think there's a saying about hanging brass ornaments and these boat crews. There is just so much to learn from "River Rats" that I must recommend it to anyone wanting to learn about the Brown Water Navy and the heroes of the Vietnam Delta.There is only one negative that prevented me from rating this book five stars and that is misspelled words. Most all of them would pass a spelling scan, but they are used incorrectly. As examples: passed used instead of past and set instead of sat are just a couple of examples that come to mind. Otherwise, when looking past them, it was a great read! Thank you Ralph!
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