Combat at Close Quarters

An Illustrated History of the U.S. Navy in the Vietnam War
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Published:April 15, 2018
By Edward J. Marolda (Author)

PRESS RELEASE: Combat at Close Quarters by Naval Institute Press

An in-depth look at the U.S. Navy’s role in the Vietnam War featuring highly-detailed photos, maps, and paintings

Combat at Close Quarters presents the work of five renowned historians who describe and interpret the U.S. Navy’s major combat operations in Southeast Asia, including the Rolling Thunder and Linebacker strikes against North Vietnam, the river war in South Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, and the intelligence campaign. Over 200 images drawn from Navy archives and private collections, detailed maps, and a select list of the most authoritative works on the subject complement the concise, readable text. The chapters describe not only the actions of the warships, aircraft, and river vessels involved in one of America’s longest wars but the professional skill, dedication, and courage of the Navy men and women who journeyed into harm’s way in Vietnam.

Covering both the air war and riverine combat in Vietnam, Combat at Close Quarters provides a lavishly-illustrated history of the U.S. Navy’s role in the entire conflict. Special focus is paid in this volume to the leadership of Vice Adm. Elmo R. Zumwalt Jr., the Navy’s role in Linebacker, the bombing and mining campaign that helped compel Hanoi to end the war and release American POWs, as well as the Navy’s intelligence efforts in Southeast Asia, from the controversial Tonkin Gulf Incident to the end of the conflict. The work fully explains both the operations of communications and electronics analysts at the theater level and the aerial reconnaissance, SEAL, and NILO intelligence-gathers at the tactical level, whether over North Vietnam and Laos or on the ground in South Vietnam. In short, Combat at Close Quarters describes in depth the Navy’s major and essential role in a conflict that marked a milestone in modern American history.     

List Price: $39.95
Member Price: $31.96
Product Details
  • Subject: Vietnam War
  • Hardback : 360 pages
  • ISBN-10: 1682471950
  • ISBN-13: 9781682471951
  • Product Dimensions: 7 X 10 in
  • Shipping Weight: 33.92 oz
  • Combat at Close Quarters is a fitting salute to the bravery of sailors and naval aviators who did their very best in a rotten war.” —Warships: International Fleet Review
  • “Most Vietnam veterans know about actions in which they had participated. They witnessed and appreciated the close air support and the artillery and Naval gun fire, yet many are unaware of all the behind-the-scenes activities needed to make those long-range bombs so timely and so accurate. To help learn how it all came together, Combat at Close Quarters is a must-read.” —The VVA Veteran
  • “For Naval strategists and thinkers this book represents an important contribution. In some respects, it echoes and perhaps aligns with Harlan K. Ullman’s book Anatomy of Failure – why America Loses every war it Starts (USNI, 2017), in examining from a geo-strategic perspective the tactical and operational level successes (at close quarters) of the U.S. Navy in Vietnam.” —The NAVY Magazine
  • “Ed Marolda has edited a outstanding work by several authors who are all experts in their field. It is full of factual detail and careful analysis that makes use of the most recently de-classified documents and the opinions of men who were there at the time. It provides the wider picture that complements the history of RAN warships that served alongside their USN allies in the Vietnam War and does so in a way that is both stimulating and of absorbing interest. I thoroughly recommend it.” —The Australian Naval Institute
  • “An excellent and very valuable compilation of four lengthy and well-illustrated monographs or essays describing the role of the US Navy in the Vietnam War. Covering coastal and riverine activities as well as airborne and intelligence contributions, they are are set against the very important prevailing political background…. [The book has] useful maps and excellent photographs and paintings.” —Ausmarine
  • “The editor and contributor [of Combat at Close Quarters] provide comprehensive coverage of the Navy’s multifaceted involvement in Southeast Asia during the Second indochina War. It is not a dry retelling, but instead a detailed examination of the efforts of pilots and sailors involved with many tales of individual heroism and local battles. It includes extensive illustrations and photographs, many of which accompany sidebars offering intriguing vignettes.” —Military Heritage
  • “The editor of this book, the Navy’s former acting director of naval history and senior historian of the Navy, assembled a lavish visual history of the service’s participation in the Vietnam War together with four other historians. The contributors cover the actions of the Navy’s aircraft, ships, riverine boats, SEALs and intelligence collection that operated to deny the enemy the use of sea-interdiction routes, hamper river movements, interdict movements over land and destroy industrial capacity. Various sidebars feature close-ups of some of the leaders, men and most of the machines that combined to fight in a multidomain war.” —SEAPOWER
  • “This new illustrated edition provides extensive coverage of U.S. Naval air and o shore fire support in Vietnam. Abundant illustrations, maps and explanatory sidebars help tell the story…. An index and reading suggestions round out this well-written book.” —The Ensign
  • “An excellent and very valuable compilation of four lengthy and well-illustrated monographs or essays describing the role of the US Navy in the Vietnam War. Covering coastal and riverine activities as well as airborne and intelligence contributions, they are all set against the very important prevailing political background.” —Baird Maritime
  • “The controversial nature of the Vietnam War, its place as the first real televised war, and the part played by protestors in undermining their own troops, has produced a vast amount of fog and confusion. This book provides a picture of how it was from a US Navy perspective which makes it a very important study that should appeal way beyond naval history enthusiasts, professionals and military buffs.” —FIRE Reviews
  • Combat at Close Quarters is a well-rounded, lavishly illustrated overview, with four contributions from five authors who will be familiar to those in the official history community in the nation’s capital…. The result of Marolda’s efforts is a professional tour de force, with high-quality writing and exceptional photographs, paintings, and maps, many of them in color.” —The Journal of America's Military Past
  • “This chronicle of combat operations of the US Navy in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War encompasses naval intelligence efforts, communications, and aerial reconnaissance, in addition to combat, focusing on warfare on the rivers and canals of Vietnam. One chapter is devoted to the Rolling Thunder campaign. The book contains about 200 color and b&w historical photos from archives and personal collections, plus maps. The accessible, detailed narrative is intended for general readers and scholars.” —ProtoView
  • “A critically important addition to the growing library of Vietnam War literature, Combat at Close Quarters is unreservedly recommended as a core addition to personal, community, and academic library 20th Century Military History collections in general, and Vietnam War supplemental studies reading lists in particular.” —Midwest Book Review
  • “This book highlights the U.S. Navy’s significant and varied contribution to the Vietnam War effort. Those of us who fought there necessarily focused on accomplishing our particular mission. The authoritatively written and wonderfully illustrated narratives by distinguished historians in this worthy book tell the rest of the story.” —Adm. Stanley R. Arthur, USN (Ret.)
  • "Vietnam naval campaigns conjure up a slew of vivid memories: Heat, sweat, mud, and—most especially—combat. Edited by an expert, this book puts the reader right back into the thick of it—battling in the skies, patrolling the coasts, and savage fighting on the rivers." —Capt. Peter Swartz, USN (Ret.)
  • “A thoroughly researched, well-written account of the U.S. Navy’s involvement in the Vietnam War, from the design of strategy at the highest levels to a detailed description of combat operations. This book will no doubt become the standard source on all aspects of the Navy’s nine-year fight in Southeast Asia.”—Mark Clodfelter, author of The Limits of Air Power: The American Bombing of North Vietnam
  • "Despite the Vietnam War’s final outcome, American Sailors effectively and often heroically took the fight to the enemy in the air and waters of Southeast Asia. Through words and a wealth of pictures, Ed Marolda captures the contributions and sacrifices of the U.S. Navy under arduous circumstances, preserving an important chapter in history for the edification and inspiration of current and future generations." —Thomas J. Cutler, author of Brown Water, Black Berets: Coastal and Riverine Warfare in Vietnam, and winner of the Commodore Dudley W. Knox Lifetime Achievement in Naval History Award, 2015
  • "Authoritative and visually compelling, Combat at Close Quarters is a masterful look at the US Navy’s role in the Vietnam War. From the skies over Hanoi, to life aboard a PBR in the Mekong Delta, Edward Marolda’s achievement is unsurpassed in both breadth and accessibility – a must read addition to any collection on the Vietnam War." —Andrew Wiest, author of The Boys of ’67: Charlie Company’s War in Vietnam and University Distinguished Professor of History, University of Southern Mississippi

Edward J. Marolda served as the Acting Director of Naval History and Senior Historian of the Navy. In 2017 the Naval Historical Foundation honored him with its Commodore Dudley W. Knox Naval History Lifetime Achievement Award. He has authored, coauthored, or edited nine works on the U.S. Navy’s experience in Vietnam. In support of the U.S. Naval Institute’s Oral History Program, he has interviewed Vietnam veterans and retired admirals Stanley R. Arthur and Joseph W. Prueher. At Georgetown University, Dr. Marolda has taught courses on the Cold War in the Far East and the Vietnam War. He holds degrees in history from Pennsylvania Military College (BA), Georgetown University (MA), and George Washington University (PhD).

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