Battleships and destroyers are hulking monstrosities of war – they weigh tens of thousands of tons, carry hundreds of sailors and feature enough weapons to blow up entire towns. But these big ships are virtually useless in shallow water, where they get hung up on rocks and reefs. In the early 20th century, the United States Navy began using much smaller boats to patrol coastlines and pursue enemies in littoral zones. What do you know about the storied – and sometimes controversial – history of swift boats?
Aircraft carriers are undoubtedly cool, but they are also enormous, and they displace an incredible amount of water. Translated: They only work in deep water. Savvy enemies know they can survive the wrath of such behemoths if they can just stay alive long enough to reach the cover of shallows and rivers. Starting in World War I, the U.S. began producing smaller craft meant to address shallow water combat. What do you recall about the design and specifications of swift boats?
In World War II, combat happened everywhere from inland rivers to wide-open ocean, and the Navy created a class of boats meant to deal with the Axis near shorelines. Then, in Vietnam, similar challenges arose, as the North Vietnamese attacked and disappeared using guerilla warfare tactics in swampy areas and rivers. What do you know about the swift boat crews who served during these conflicts?
Quick, plunge into the waters of this swift boat history quiz now! We’ll see if you can survive the onslaught of river combat or if you’ll be “swift boated” into oblivion!