The U.S. Army Infantryman Vietnam Pocket Manual

A detailed insight into what it was like as an infantryman during the Vietnam War, drawing on field manuals from the time, declassified primary documents and first-hand accounts.
Date Published :
September 2021
Publisher :
Editor :
Chris McNab
Series :
The Pocket Manual Series
Illustration :
diagrams and illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781636240305
Pages : 160
Dimensions : 7.8 X 5 inches
Stock Status : In stock
Also available digitally:
Buy From Amazon Amazon
Buy From Apple Apple
Buy From Barnes and Noble Barnes & Noble
Buy From Google Google
Buy From Kobo Kobo

Casemate will earn a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking a link here


Pocket manuals bring together a wealth of information from a wide variety of training manuals and tactical documents.

Between 1964 and 1975, 2.6 million American personnel served within the borders of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War, of whom an estimated 1–1.6 million actually fought in combat. At the tip of the spear was the infantry, the "grunts" who entered an extraordinary tropical combat zone completely alien to the world they had left behind in the United States. In South Vietnam, and occasionally spilling over into neighboring Laos and Cambodia, they fought a relentless counterinsurgency and conventional war against the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and Viet Cong (VC). The terrain was as challenging as the enemy – soaring mountains or jungle-choked valleys; bleached, sandy coastal zones; major urban centers; riverine districts. Their opponents fought them with relentless and terrible ingenuity with ambushes, booby traps, and mines, then occasionally with full-force offensives on a scale to rival the campaigns of World War II.

This pocket manual draws its content not only from essential U.S. military field manuals of the Vietnam era, but also a vast collection of declassified primary documents, including rare after-action reports, intelligence analysis, firsthand accounts, and combat studies. Through these documents the pocket manual provides a deep insight into what it was like for infantry to live, survive, and fight in Vietnam, whether conducting a major airmobile search-and-destroy operation or conducting endless hot and humid small-unit patrols from jungle firebases. The book includes infantry intelligence documents about the NVA and VC threats, plus chapters explaining hard-won lessons about using weaponry, surviving and moving through the jungle, tactical maneuvers, and applications of the ubiquitous helicopter for combat and support.

About The Author

Dr Chris McNab is an author and historian, his principal subject areas being military history and military technology. He has written more than 100 non-fiction titles, including many Casemate pocket manuals relating to World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War. Chris has appeared in several TV documentaries as an expert commentator, and he also works as an educational consultant, specializing in the development of textbooks and teaching materials.



1. Training
2. Kit, equipment and weaponry
3. The enemy
4. Tactics – Search-and-destroy and irregular warfare
5. Airmobile combat and air/fire support
6. Survival, escape, and evasion


"It is a valuable research tool for general readers seeking an overview of infantry combat during the Vietnam War and is particularly useful for those who wish to gain a closer understanding of the conduct of ground operations. The book's detailed breakdowns of tactics and analyses produced by military minds is perhaps its greatest strength, making it particularly valuable to readers with an interest in studying counterinsurgency and the fine details of infantry combat techniques."

- Vietnam Magazine

More from this publisher