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Using The Attack Helicopters In The Vietnam War History Essay

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Nevertheless, like every single thing that is done by a human being, a helicopter has not just only one negative side. It is true that these machines are using primarily for attacking and fighting; but at the same time helicopters helped to save thousands of humans' lives. Before we can understand how it is possible and why helicopters are so important in different safe and search mission we need to study some of peculiarities of this type of techniques. As helicopters are attack machines, firstly we need to start from looking through the different reasons they were so valuable for soldiers in a battle.

This new smart weapon was created and used widely. These weapons were changed during the war and by now, the way of fighting war is changed forever. Nevertheless, at the same time the way of saving people was improved. Now survives had much more chances to stay alive and receive a help they need so much.

The United States of America were the first country that used the new concept of warfare. This new conception is called "air mobility" at the present day. United States were using "air mobility" during the first years of the countries' involvement in the Vietnam Conflict.. The Vietnam War was exactly the first war during which helicopters was used widely. Some sources call it a real helicopter war. The military forces started using this way of fighting while the war was progressing. United States used H-21 American helicopter to ferry the troops of Army of the Republic of Vietnam into fighting against communists in the year 1962.. at first groups of communists escaped from the troop form the helicopter. Nevertheless, when the important fighting of Ap Bac came, communists recognized soon that if they are standing their ground they can easily handle a helicopter and bring it down. Some of communists' training manuals describe how to shoot at the H-21 and Huey helicopters in the best way. They are describing the way of shooting ahead of the target and how to increase the chance to hit the one and bring the best damage to it.

A lot of troop was moving by air. It was some small groups but also big ones. From time to time for some combat operations, more than even 100 helicopters at one time were involved. Moreover, fixed-wing air support was used for dropping fire rockets and bombs at the enemy's army. Using of helicopters led army to a radically different type of fighting battles. It means that the United State Army would be able to carry troops quickly into the enemy's territory instead of exploring wide fronts. A troop can be dropped inside hostile territory and deploy the enemy. After a battle is over a troop can be removed immediately.

Anyway, this "air mobility" which United States Army like so much and used widely came at heavy price at the end. Between the years 1962 and 1973 while the Vietnam War lasted, United States of America lost almost 4,869 helicopters (more than a thousand of helicopters were lost during the year 1968; during the next 1968 year another thousand went). More than half of all those loses was caused by the enemy fire ;(for example, enemy's attacks on airbuses). The second half of loses were due to different type of incidents that happened during operations. It is proved that helicopters are prone to the different kind of mechanical breakdown if a machine is not maintained regularly. This helicopters' peculiarity became one of the main reasons for all accidents that happened during some operations. Also some heavy jungle canopy of Vietnam made operations with helicopter difficult. Often it was just some certain place for a helicopter to land safely.

Summarizing all the information above we can say that United States Army was a pioneer in using of the helicopters in combat. Other countries followed USA very soon. Nevertheless, nobody is able to create great "airborne cavalry" unite like the United States Army did. Anyway we can see that a lot of countries tried the concept of using helicopters for ferrying troops inside and outside of combat region in short time when an army is fighting for example rebel group. Other countries are using the United States helicopters especially for that purpose. Even such countries like Great Britain and former Soviet Union usually preferred to choose moving primarily some elite groups by the helicopters. United States Army airborne cavalry units for example 101-st Airborne and also 82-st airborne conduced to be trained better that any other cavalry unit ever.

The Air Cavalry that is immortalized in the film "Apocalypse Now". During the Vietnam War it was created and widely used for the first time. The most prominent among the attack helicopters used during the war was The Huey AH - 1 B. the United States Army forced a set of "Search and Destroy" missions to carry the battle to enemy. The different kind of helicopters was used to hunt down the positions of the enemy and in light them. The best friend of the U. S. Army (especially the ground forces) now became the AH -1 B helicopter. This helicopter was used widely during different ground operations and missions because it is also useful if the situation becomes untenable and it requires to extract soldiers immediately. The United States Army used the whole squadrons of the attack helicopters when it wanted to preface a large -scaled ground operation. Helicopters can help to "soften" any strong resistance from the ground. Also The United States Marines used a variant of the Huey attack helicopter and the AH -1 G "Cobra" helicopter as a close air support to the Marines on the earth. The "Cobra" helicopter is still being used for now. This type of attack helicopters was an important part of the "Desert Storm" operation in 1991. Also different kind of helicopters were used widely for rescue and search missions during the Vietnam Compiegne.

During the Vietnam War numerous attack helicopters showed themselves as a strong and useful weapon. This proved fact set the new stage for the way of fighting during many of future conflicts. Also it had a kind of great influence on the way ground operations were conducted later. The air war raged greatly during the Vietnam War (throughout the year 1966 and into the year 1967). So, military building is still on its way of making progress.

Now, after looking through the peculiarities of a helicopter, let us discuss different situations in which this machine is vitally important. As we proved above, one of the most useful features of a helicopter is high flexibility, high portability of the machine. During the Vietnam War a lot of battles and attacks took place inside the impenetrable forest and jangly. It was very difficult to reach the needed place in any other way. Now let us imagine that how much wounded, injured and lost soldiers are left after every such battle. They are still alive and they need a help. The only way to give them that help and save their lives is to send a helicopter that is ably to land almost in any place. Helicopters are able to save soldiers even under the enemy's fire. Due to the ability of the machine to hover above the land with its engine on helicopters were used to pick soldiers, wounded people, and immediately fly away.

Also there are many civil people that are suffering during any war. During the Vietnam War many citizens were lost and injured. They were made to run away of their homes because of battles and fire. Helicopters turned to be very helpful when it was important to find people inside the sick forest. Also helicopters were the only way to save civil people from the place where the fight is going to start soon and there is no time again to evacuate citizens in any other way. It was even possible to evacuate people - children and women - form inside the territory where a battle have already started.

Moreover, helicopters are very useful for saving lives of injured people. First of all, they can come quickly and bring a person to a hospital in a very short time. this feature is very important when a live of a person depends on every spare minute. It is even possible to give a person some treatment right inside a helicopter while it is moving.

Assuming all the information from the project, we can say that Vietnam War became a turn point in the field of tactics and war fighting. New weapons were created and new tactics let United States become a pioneer in air attacks. Soldiers could feel themselves more secured during different operations and missions. The most valuable achievement is the opportunity of using various types of helicopters in search and safe missions. We don't know how the Vietnam War would be going without helicopters but what we know for sure that after those war all fighting and conflict get a new stage and it will never be the same.

1.Chant, Christopher. Fighting Helicopters of the 20th Century. England: Tiger Books, 1996.

2.Debay, Yves. Combat Helicopters. France: Histoire & Collections, 1996.

3.Dorr, Robert F., and Bishop, Chris. Vietnam Air War Debrief. London: Aerospace Publishing, 1996.

4.Francillon, Ren‚ J. Vietnam: The War in the Air. New York: Arch Cape Press, 1987.

5.Mesko, Jim. Airmobile: The Helicopter War in Vietnam. Carrollton, Texas: Squadron/Signal Publications, 1984.

6.Sheehan, Neil. A Bright Shining Lie, John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam. New York: Random House, 1988.

7.Young, Ralph B. Army Aviation in Vietnam, 1961-1963. Ramsey, N.J.: The Huey Company, 1999.

8.Young, Ralph B. Army Aviation in Vietnam, 1963-1966. Ramsey, N.J.: The Huey Company, 2000.

9.Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia (1999). [Computer Program]. Redmond WA: Microsoft Corporation.

 


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