Wednesday, September 20, 2017


This is coolbert:

ONE bite at a time?

The Islamic State capital of Raqqa now invested in a suitable manner. American led forces [SDG/YPG] their intentions and direction of attack subject to dynamic change?

"Invest: 13. to surround (a place) with military forces or works so as to prevent approach or escape; besiege."

NO overland relief possible and NO escape possible?

Begins here extracts from the latest edition of the DEBKAfile newsletter:

"Raqqa offensive slows as coalition forces split off for next anti-ISIS operation"

11 September.

"With around 60 percent of Raqqa retaken from ISIS, including its old city, part of the Syrian Democratic Forces and the Kurdish YPG fighting there has been detached for the next coalition offensive building up to capture one of the jihadists' last strongholds at Abu Kamal . . . US air strikes are clearing the way for their passage."

"The operation to liberate Raqqa, the former capital of the Islamist Caliphate, billed as a key US target of the war on ISIS, is reported by our military sources to have slowed down. The US command has decided to leave a small detachment at Raqqa to finish the battle against the 2,000 jihadists still fighting inside and outside the town."

Kurdish lady soldier in operations room of SDF/YPG unit. I assume the C3I apparatus of the SDF/YPG to be crude but effective. Rube Goldberg like but adequate. You go with what you got and what you are familiar with! Personally I have the greatest admiration for those Kurdish female combatants. They put almost all men to shame!!



This is coolbert:

Came across this item quite by accident. ONLY the English?

Nancy Boy - - "Offensive slang. Used as a disparaging term for an effeminate man, especially one who is gay."

Concerning the carrying of umbrellas by officers of-the-line in the British army during the time of Wellington:

"The Duke,[Wellington] usually indifferent to the way his officers chose to dress, drew the line at umbrellas. ‘At Bayonne, in December 1814,’ wrote Captain Gronow of the 1st Foot Guards, ‘His Grace, on looking round, saw, to his surprise, a great many umbrellas, with which the officers protected themselves from the rain that was then falling. Arthur Hill came galloping up to us saying, Lord Wellington does not approve of the use of umbrellas during the enemy’s firing, and will not allow the ‘gentlemen’s sons’ to make themselves ridiculous in the eyes of the army.’ Colonel Tynling, a few days afterwards, received a wigging [to scold or censure.] from Lord Wellington for suffering his officers to carry umbrellas in the face of the enemy; His Lordship observing, ‘The Guards may in uniform, when on duty at St. James’, carry umbrellas if they please, but in the field it is not only ridiculous but un-military'"

The Duke merely wanted his officers not to appear as Nancy Boys! British officers of that period I think at least the preponderance of them not Nancy Boys, but in the military appearances are important.

And as for the samurai with sword carrying an umbrella [parasol?], don't even try to pick a fight with him!


Tuesday, September 19, 2017


This is coolbert:


Soviet female combat aviators from the era of the Second World War referred to by the Germans as "night witches".

And as described in an article from the Russian Times [RT] young modern Russian women also wanting to have a career as a military pilot.

"Russia to resume training of female military pilots after numerous applications"

"The Russian Air Force will begin training female military pilots for the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991" - - Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu.

“There are so many young women who want to become military pilots. We receive hundreds of letters [from them],” - - Shoigu.

“Therefore, we decided that this year we’ll recruit the first group of women to the Krasnodar Higher Military Aviation School,” - - Shoigu.

Personally I would consider myself to be remiss without mention of the most outstanding [?] Soviet female combat aviator of the Second World War. Anna Yegorova. A person whom we can have the greatest admiration for, without question. Even head and shoulders beyond most men her record a superlative of the highest order. I would proudly fly backseat shotgun in an Il-2 for Anna any day!!

"Sr.Lt. Anna Alexandrovna Timofeyeva-Yegorova . . . 23 September 1916 – 29 October 2009) was a pilot in the Red Army Air Force (VVS) during the Second World War. She flew in total 277 liaison, reconnaissance and ground-attack missions. She was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union."

"Only younger [sisters] will understand me. We're following in the footsteps of older [sisters]. You are looking up to your [sister]. You want to do the same things. You want to do as good as [she] and do it even better". - - Klitschko.


Monday, September 18, 2017

# 926.

This is coolbert:

Canberra B-57 bomber once again a topic for discussion. Flying high and doing yeoman service.

Thanks for the tip from Al.

"An airbase without a runway: What does Hanscom do?"

"Hanscom air force base, Massachusetts, USA."

"What goes on behind the barbed wire fence surrounding Hanscom Air Force Base?"

Fences, barbed wire and closed doors.

"No fighter jets take off and land there. The runways that used to be owned by the Air Force are now owned by Massport."

An airbase without runways not entirely correct. Hanscom at one time having a considerable contingent of resident combat warplanes. The current runways as stated now commercially operated and quite active.

United States Air Force [USAF] research and development [R and D]. Civilian agencies working hand and glove with the USAF to produce advanced systems.

"Perhaps the most significant tool developed by units at Hanscom in recent years is the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node, or BACN. Dennis described it as a 'universal translator,' helping troops on the ground talk--and give precise targeting coordinates--to pilots supporting them from the sky. Without it, Dennis said, troops had the difficult job of describing the target to pilots, and hoping they picked the right one."

BACN as tested by an ancient but venerable and still flying WB-57! Sixty years and still going strong for the Canberra!

"The system was tested using a converted 1950s bomber called the WB-57 Canberra, Dennis said, which was flown into Hanscom for the Sept. 13 expo. Now, the system is flying in combat on aircraft and drones."

NASA 926 was the first aircraft to have BACN technology installed, and it has been utilized in the program on and off since the beginning. The BACN system is designed to be used at high altitudes, which makes the high flying WB-57 a good choice for a flight test bed

Please recall B-57 able to reach and altitude of in excess of 50,000 feet [16,000 meters]!!

See previous blog entries the topic of which was the B-57:



This is coolbert:

SEF = Siamese Expeditionary Force. World War One.

Siam a participant in the Great War? Siam of course now called Thailand.

YES and we have the full story from the outstanding Internet web site The Mad Monarchist.

Read the whole article at Mad Monarchist. Herewith only the first paragraph as copied in entirety:

"The Siamese in the Great War"

"Most people, outside of the country [Siam] itself, probably have no idea that the Kingdom of Siam (Thailand) was a participant in the First World War. This is not too surprising given that the Siamese contribution was necessarily limited but the southeast Asian kingdom was a member of the Allied nations and, unlike some who declared war simply as a symbolic gesture, Siam actually participated militarily. World War One brings to mind the trenches and cratered landscape of Belgium and France but it was a global affair and Southeast Asia was actually fairly well represented in the conflict. Forces from French Indochina (Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos) participated on the Salonika and Western Fronts for example, the British had a potentially dangerous mutiny by Muslim forces on their hands in Singapore (dealt with by the Japanese) and so on. The Kingdom of Siam, like many others frankly, had no real reason to get involved given that Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria or Turkey had done them no harm but it was considered that participation would bring real benefits to Siam both domestically and on the world stage."


Thank you as usual Mad Monarchist!


Sunday, September 17, 2017


This is coolbert:

CAS = Close Air Support.

Here with CAS biplanes of the Second World War. 

1. German Hs-123.

"The Henschel Hs 123 was a single-seat biplane dive bomber and close-support attack aircraft flown by the German Luftwaffe during the Spanish Civil War and the early to midpoint of World War II. It proved to be robust, durable and effective especially in severe conditions. It continued to see front-line service until 1944, only to be withdrawn due to a lack of serviceable air-frames and spare parts (production ended in 1940)".

2. Soviet Po-2.

"The Polikarpov Po-2 . . .  served as a general-purpose Soviet biplane . . . The reliable, uncomplicated concept of the Po-2's design made it an ideal training aircraft, as well as doubling as a low-cost ground attack, aerial reconnaissance, psychological warfare and liaison aircraft during war, proving to be one of the most versatile light combat types to be built in the Soviet Union."

Surprisingly so [?] the Po-2 even used by North Korean air combat units during the Korean war. Read the last several paragraphs of the operational history of the Po-2 Even a jet downed [indirectly] by a Po-2!!



This is coolbert:

CAS = Close Air Support. Tactical aviation bombing and strafing targets, direct fire support to the gound forces.

Those three essential elements of the blitzkrieg offensive as that term understood during the Great War [WW1] to include:

* The use of infiltration tactics [Hutier tactics].

* Poison gas delivered on target by artillery shell.

* The use of ground attack aircraft.

With regard to the latter, pursue the enemy in a relentless manner to the greatest extent possible, no surcease or refuge allowed.


"losses of the unarmoured fighters proved to be extremely high, reaching up to 30% per day when aircraft were deployed in such attacks. Most losses were due to ground fire, although low-flying aircraft also proved vulnerable to attacks from above by enemy fighters"

Ad hoc measures taken to ameliorate these excessive and even catastrophic losses camouflage detail as applied, distinct and different patterns for the underneath and top portions of the aircraft.

"Field-Expedient Camouflage for Trench Strafing"

"Such attacks [aircraft in the ground attack mode] could be devastating, particularly against troops caught retreating or deploying. Strafing by Bristol fighters and Camels single-handedly routed and destroyed a Turkish army surprised in a defile in Palestine."

"The Sopwith TF.2 Salamander was a British ground-attack aircraft of the First World War designed by the Sopwith Aviation Company which first flew in April 1918. It was a single-engined, single-seat biplane based on the Sopwith Snipe fighter but with an armoured forward fuselage to protect the pilot and fuel system from ground fire during low level operations."

The Salamander. Did not see action during the Great War. But was in the works.

Within a period of only four years the warplane went from being a novelty and a contraption for which there was thought to be little if any purpose into a great feared [and with good reason] weapon of war.