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Historiographical Review - Assignment Example

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The use of Helicopters in Vietnam Changed the way the United States Waged War. Introduction In the history of the United States, several wars have been fought with the engagement of personnel and powerful military equipment. Many of the wars were supported by American citizens while other wars were criticized…
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Historiographical Review

Download file to see previous pages... This paper will provide a historiography of the way US warfare has been impacted by the use of helicopters during the Vietnam War. When the United Sates engaged Vietnam in military combat in the 60s, the former was undoubtedly the most powerful in air combat in the entire world1. However, the general idea of bombing the enemy to stone-age could not work in this case as it had worked in other wars before. This was mainly because the nature of the war was much different from those of the past. One of the major differences in this case was the fact that there was no clear definition of the enemy as one side rolled and rumbled across the skies while the other tried to garner success from the ground. The events preceding the Vietnam War include the training of South Vietnamese by the US’ Military Assistance Advisory Group according to Bradley, Jayne, and Luu. This view is also held by Wiest and Barbier. Wiest and Barbier further state that this training was conducted in the 1960s so that the region would have the capacity to defend itself in the event of attack by its neighbors some of whom were communists. The US Air Force in a show of might presented a number of powerful planes with which their trained Vietnamese soldiers in aerial techniques and tactics. The boundary between the original objective of the US and reconnaissance however began to blur in time as the US military personnel got onboard the planes as against the Viet Cong2. Later, attacks on American planes by communist forces began prompting President Johnson to issue an order for the bombing of the communist forces. The campaign dabbed Rolling Thunder which whose operations and commands came from Washington faced serious problems as decision making and flow of command was slow. This made the Viet Cong to escape attack every so often. The use of ware planes and fighter jets became real as the war ranged in earnest. One thing however that is evoked by the mention of the Vietnam war is the sound of whirling powerful helicopter blades. Both the United States and South Vietnam used helicopters and powerful weapons in combating the enemy3. Helicopters were literally engaged in every aspect of the war according to Centennialofflight and Bradley, Jayne, and Luu. While only hoping to sell 500 units of helicopters, Bell Incorporated managed to make a big catch by selling over 15000 units of the same4. Bell’s Huey was so powerful as to be a solution to several problems including rescuing downed military personnel and cargo according to Bradley, Jayne, and Luu. Huynh. In agreement with Bradley, Jayne, and Luu, Allen further states that the Helicopters were also used for ferrying ground troops to and from the battle front. The use of helicopters proved very reliable as the mobility of ground troops increased thereby improving the efficiency of the military significantly. Apart from being used or transportation, they were also equipped with heavy armament so as to serve as gun ships flying over targets and destroying them with significant ease according to Heath and Everett. This kind of operation ended up being a great relief to the ground troops. In 1975, North Vietnam conquered in a couple of months South Vietnam. The US with the use of only about 70 military helicopters evacuated over 8000 individuals from Saigon in just about 18 hours5. This event has been recorded in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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