The Chopper Boys

Helicopter Warfare in Africa

Al J. Venter

 
Date Published :
September 2016
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Language:
English
Illustration :
color photographs throughout
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Paperback
ISBN : 9781909982680
Pages : 296
Dimensions : 11.5 X 8.25 inches
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+
In stock
$59.95

Overview
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Few military strategists have been prepared to concede the extraordinary role helicopter gunships have played in many African conflicts during the course of the past half-century.

Mali’s government was on the verge of collapse following a largely al-Qaeda-backed invasion of the country when the French went in, early 2013. Three weeks later they had battled all the way up to the gates of Timbuktu and driven the rebels into the desert. It was ground forces that were at the vanguard of that onslaught, but they would have taken months without the backing of France’s legendary helicopter-orientated Armée de l’Air, details of which are to be found in the first chapter.

It was exactly the same with Rhodesia’s war. Without gunships that guerrilla struggle would have been over in a couple of years, ground forces overwhelmed by preponderate insurgent numbers. Again, in South Africa’s Border War and the civil war that followed in Sierra Leone, it was gunships did most of the damage, as happened more recently with various mercenary groups fighting in Angola, Somalia and elsewhere.

In Nigeria, a group of about 70 South African mercenaries went in against Boko Haram Jihadis in 2014. With chopper gunship-support they caused the rebels more damage in three months than the Nigerian Army achieved – or rather, did not achieve - in six years

The Chopper Boys was first published a quarter century ago on three continents: Britain, the United States and South Africa. It went well, the original edition having become a collector’s item, which is why this edition is now appearing, reinforced by six new chapters that cover some of the events that have since taken place.

About The Author
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Al J. Venter is a specialist military writer and has had 50 books published. He started his career with Geneva’s Interavia Group, then owners of International Defence Review, to cover military developments in the Middle East and Africa. Venter has been writing on these and related issues such as guerrilla warfare, insurgency, the Middle East and conflict in general for half a century. He was involved with Jane’s Information Group for more than 30 years and was a stringer for the BBC, NBC News (New York) as well as London’s _Daily Express_ and _Sunday Express_. He branched into television work in the early 1980s and produced more than 100 documentaries, many of which were internationally flighted. His one-hour film, _Africa’s Killing Fields_ (on the Ugandan civil war), was shown nationwide in the United States on the PBS network. Other films include an hour-long programme on the fifth anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, as well as _AIDS: The African Connection_, nominated for China’s Pink Magnolia Award. His last major book was _Portugal’s Guerrilla Wars in Africa_, nominated in 2013 for New York’s Arthur Goodzeit military history book award. It has gone into three editions, including translation into Portuguese.

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