How the Helicopter Changed Modern Warfare

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In the Falklands War, a top secret SAS mission to South Georgia involves flying up the sheer face of a glacier and dropping men on an icy plateau, riddled with crevasses. In the Vietnam War, flying into jungle produces a different kind of hazard. In a daring rescue mission a desperate pilot cuts his own landing zone in forty foot tall bamboo.


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In Afghanistan, the combination of high altitude and dusty conditions make combat flying particularly challenging. When the iconic Huey helicopters were introduced in the Vietnam War, they changed the face of modern warfare forever. Now it is hard to imagine war without helicopters.

Helicopter Warfare. Heavily armed helicopters offered a fearsome component to ground operations as close air support. Mobility and firepower would be the keys for American operations in Vietnam, and the helicopter provided an abundance of both.

Military helicopter

But the role of the helicopter in support activities in the Vietnam War must not be overlooked, as thousands of missions were flown to resupply and reinforce troops on the ground, to evacuate American and South Vietnamese wounded, and to offer countless other services in pursuance of the war effort.

Indeed, the Vietnam War was the Helicopter War. There is an ongoing issue with the Virtual Archive.