Swift Boats at War in Vietnam

Length: 11 hrs and 20 mins
Categories: History, Military
4.5 out of 5 stars (145 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Developed specifically for the Vietnam War (and made famous by the 2004 presidential campaign), Swift Boats were versatile craft "big enough to outrun anything they couldn't outfight" but too small to handle even a moderate ocean chop, too loud to sneak up on anyone, and too flimsy to withstand the mildest of rocket attacks. This made more difficult an already tough mission: navigating coastal waters for ships and sampans smuggling contraband to the Viet Cong, disrupting enemy supply lines on the rivers and canals of the Mekong Delta, and inserting SEALs behind enemy lines.

The stories in this book cover the Swift Boats' early years, which saw search-and-inspect operations in Vietnam's coastal waters, and their later years, when the Swift Boats' mission shifted to the Mekong Delta's labyrinth of 3,000 miles of rivers, streams, and canals. This is an intimate, exciting oral history of Swift Boats at war in Vietnam.

©2017 Guy Gugliotta, John Yeoman, and Neva Sullaway (P)2018 Tantor

What members say

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Ride with the Swift Boats

Personal accounts of life on a Swift Boat in Vietnam that immerse the reader with the entire range of human emotion. The reader feels as if he is onboard living the experience in each of these stories. An excellent book.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Interesting.

Overall a decent book. The narrator is bland with no inflection in his voice. However, most of the stories in this book are excellent and make you feel like you’re riding along through the waters of Vietnam.

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Another nice job by narrator David Colacci.

Great read, a deeply researched and well-documented look at a small but important slice of the American experince in Viet Nam.

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Crazy brave young dudes

How about you mount a machine gun on the bow of your ski boat and scoot up rivers, creeks and blind canals for fun. Oh, and the bad guys are hidden on the banks with machine guns, RPGs, mines, etc waiting to blow you out of the water.

It’s not a Disney attraction, it was what the Swift Boat crews did in Vietnam. Every day. Can’t say enough good things about these brave souls. Good read.

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Profile Image for Bradley P
  • Bradley P
  • 10-11-19

Great stories about swift boats from Vietnam

Great to hear different stories from the service men who did their duties and the time when another country needed them, sad when their own country turned their backs on them when they returned home.
I wish the narrator could have used different voices to help tell their story.
The perspective one gets from their service is they did their best and handled over the necessary equipment to make the South work to win the war, sadly we all know how the war turned out.
I hope to see a movie out of Swift water navy.

retired sailor.

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Profile Image for Copperfish
  • Copperfish
  • 02-16-19

Easy listening and great stories.

Very well researched with great personal stories from the point of view of each story teller.
Admittedly, in my minds eye I kept visualising PBR's in the stories rather than swifts.
I recommend having a quick research of swift boats and maps before listening just to help sent the scene.
Because it's an audio book it does lack the visual cues of the photos and maps/diagrams required for a story like this. However it was still outstanding.
At no point did I feel any gun ho moments which publishers like to force into some books.
This is pure reminiscences. Humorous, tragic, happiness, sadness, emotional numbness, excitement and boredom.
Truly a great testament to the men's memories.