HELICOPTERS AS AN INSTRUMENT OF WAR DURING THE MALAYAN EMERGENCY 1948-1960

Nor Ibrahim Sulaiman

Abstract

Helicopter as an instrument of war in counter insurgency warfare in Malaysia had its origin during the Malayan emergency 1948-1960. Three helicopters, the Dragonfly, made an entry into Malaya in March 1950 at the request of the Commander-in-Chiefs Committee of the Far East Land Forces on 8 March 1949. The primary role of these helicopters then was for casualty evacuation of wounded troops sustained during operations against the communist terrorists (CTs). Their ability to operate from unprepared areas expanded their roles as an ideal platform for air mobility of troops, supplies, and search and rescue. The flexibility of transporting the troops made the CTs no longer invincible in their own safe havens. More importantly, the morale of the troops was kept high knowing that they would be evacuated fast for medical treatment in the event they were wounded. This article discusses the roles of helicopter during the Malayan emergency. Most of the references are records from the Royal Air Force (RAF), books, and online information. This paper highlights the contributions of helicopters towards the successful ending of the emergency.

Keywords: Counter insurgency, Commander-in-Chief of Far East Land Forces, communist terrorists, Malayan emergency, Royal Air Force helicopter squadrons

Cite as: Sulaiman, N.I. (2017). Helicopters as an instrument of war during the Malayan emergency 1948-1960. Journal of Nusantara Studies, 2(2), 188-197.


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