Faculty Seminar Advisor

John Rector

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Department

History

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Spring 2016

Abstract

From the Battle for the Ia-Drang Valley in 1965 to the final withdrawal from the American Embassy in Saigon in 1975, the helicopter was an integral part of American forces strategy in the Vietnam War. The focus of this study is to view the helicopter as a tool of military strategy, more than a piece of hardware. My thesis is that the helicopter enabled the search-and-destroy war waged by American forces against the North Vietnamese forces. This is part of the overarching theme which we see developing in American military history during the post-WWII era: an over reliance on technology to wage wars, often to the neglect of strategy. This article details the adoption of the helicopter by the US Army, explores how air-mobility played a role in the Vietnam War, and ultimately offers perspective on the relationship between technology and strategy in the modern era.

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