The Soviet Experience and Lessons Learned From the Use of Battlefield Helicopters in Afghanistan: 1979-1989

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Ian Passingham 2Ian Passingham will discuss the use of Soviet battlefield helicopters and air assault tactics in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989. He will consider lessons learned as a result of the Soviet campaign that have an enduring relevance to battlefield helicopter operations today and to future conflict. 

Ian Passingham served for over seventeen years in the British Army in both the Royal Hampshire Regiment and staff appointments in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, the Falklands, Kenya, Germany (including Berlin) and the former East Germany. He was educated at the Duke of York's Royal Military School, Dover and the University of Keele, where he gained a degree (BA) in Modern History and Geography. Ian left the Army as a Major in 1995 to pursue a second career as a defence analyst and historian. As a defence analyst he has worked for the Ministry of Defence and DSTL on a number of issues, including counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency, the tactical use of battlefield helicopters since the early 1950s and urban conflict in Chechnya, Bosnia and Vietnam, as well as Stalingrad and Berlin during the Second World War. Since November 2006, he has worked in the Concepts and Doctrine Branch of Headquarters Army Air Corps and Joint Helicopter Command. As a historian, he has written three books: Pillars of Fire - The Battle of Messines Ridge, June 1917 (1998); All the Kaiser's Men: The Life and Death of the German Army on the Western Front (2004); revised and republished as All the Kaiser's Men: The Life and Death of the German Soldier on the Western Front (2011) and The German Offensives of 1918: The Last Desperate Gamble (2008). He has also written and directed a 26-part TV series for the History Channel, Clash of Warriors. Ian is an experienced historical tours guide and is a member of the Western Front Association, British Commission for Military History and the German Historical Institute. He is also a Research Fellow at the Centre for First World War Studies at the University of Birmingham.

An optional £10 sandwich lunch shall be available from 1215.

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