The affects of helicopters in World War II

What if the development of helicopters was faster and helicopters were introduced in WWII? How would this have affected warfare? How would it affect the geopolitics of the day?
 
Not too much, given that they didn't didn't have a huge impact in the Korean war with the Bell, Sikorsky and Piaseki

But would have impact, like in the Navy would help with rescues. they would still be too new, and too small to be what they would be a decade later.
1955 Choppers are still not that impressive
 
The big problem with helicopter in ww2 is that none of the combatants lack the means to shoot them down. Heavy MG and rapid fire cannon would make like over contested territory very hazardous, and they'd be a great target for fighters.
 
I think that the biggest impact would be on the U-boats. Helicopters would make it more difficult to keep in touch with the convoys. Also it would make it more difficult to recharge the batteries. U-boats spend much of time at the surface. A Helicopter only would need a radio to make life very difficult for the U-boats.
 
Doubtful except for scouting for the ground forces. An enterprising commander might get the bright idea to mount some HVARs on his scout helos to make a way early OH-58D, but that probably wouldn't happen until very late in the European campaign. Although something like an H-19 could prove interesting at Bastogne for medevac if nothing else.

In the Pacific though, the Marines would LOVE that kind of mobility in some of the island battles like Iwo Jima or Saipan. Air strikes and naval gunfire could suppress anti-aircraft forces (and anybody else out in the open) while the helicopters just move forces straight to the back doors of the bunkers.
 
Well, the Luftwaffe and the USAAF both fielded helicopters before the end of the war. The problem was that they were basically working out how to use them. In the Luftwaffe's case you had Allied bombing to contend with as well. The factories producing them were destroyed before too many could be constructed.
 
The first helicopter combat SAR mission took place in April 1944, in Northern Burma. As far as I know none were ever used in the ETO, but it was theoretically possible.
 
Afaik, in Korea, the early helis did a lot of medevac, so that's one area. Limited ASW, carrier plane guard, artilery spoting...
 

Nick P

Donor
A fleet of helicopters like the Piasecki HRP or the Sikorsky H-19 would be good for small raids and coup de main missions. They would need to carry at least 6 soldiers per bird to be really effective. That probably means developing helicopters at least 5 years earlier.
I think their noise and slower speeds rule them out for Resistance pick-up missions as carried out by Lysanders. The ability to fly very low, very slow, land anywhere and hide in forests could counterbalance this.

Targets like Pegasus Bridge, Pointe du Hoc battery, Maisy gun battery, Bruneval radar (aided by radar jamming), Cabanatuan POW camp all spring to mind.
 

NoMommsen

Donor
The big problem with helicopter in ww2 is that none of the combatants lack the means to shoot them down. Heavy MG and rapid fire cannon would make like over contested territory very hazardous, and they'd be a great target for fighters.
Well, the LW tested the Flettner 265 for endurance against weapons damage. 2 experience fighter pilots gave up after during quarter an hour not having scored one hit.
Its follow on the more known Flettner 282 Kolibri fared quite the same fate against a Fw 190.

Though against fire from the ground ... some versions on the Kolibri got some armor for the pilots seat ... buit better to ask for records of the US in Korea and Vietnam about damage by fire from below.
 
As others have said ASW and SAR would be the most likely uses. In terms of combat they might be a useable substitute for some operations where gliders were deployed OTL, but then you have to factor in the racket they make.
 
Would it then speed up the new tactics of helicopter based insertions - a la Vietnam?

It is probably true that it would be required to transport the 10+ troops and that would require some developments. Another one is: could piston engines be sufficiently effective for that? Or are we going to look at jet propelled helicopters which will then rule out WWII

The French did experiment a lot with arming helicopters and using them for active roles in Vietnam.
 
Another one is: could piston engines be sufficiently effective for that? Or are we going to look at jet propelled helicopters which will then rule out WWII
The first 'Real' Helicopters was the Sikorsky S-55 of 1950 with a utility to carry 10 troopers, powered by an R-1340 radial.of 600hp for a 2500 pound payload, and the 1952 Piasecki H-21 'Flying Banana' with 20 troops and R-1820 radial of 1400hp for a 6000 pound payload

Both were used early in Vietnam, but underpowered, given the elevation and temperatures to about half of normal payload in more temperate climates
 
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Ian_W

Banned
The primary advantage of a helicopter is that it's considered a not-aircraft by the peace treaty between the US Army and the US Air Force.
 
The Valkyrie ride? good one -> Sea Lion by helicopter? Now that is a novel thought. LOL

On a serious note: Market Garden was also in mind when we look at helicopters in WWII.
It does not address the need for heavy weapons in the para-environment.
 
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