Saturday, June 16, 2018

Tinian WW2.

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Best amphibious operation of the entire Second World War!

Tinian, 1944. First it was Saipan. then it was Guam. Then Tinian. The Marianas Campaign, World War Two.

As extracted from: "1001 Things Everyone Should Know About WWII".

"This ten-mile-long [sixteen kilometers] islet shuddered under a forty-three-day air/sea bombardment before the 2nd and 4th Marine Division . . . went ashore on July 24, 1944. Opposed by more than 8,000 Japanese soldiers, the Marines overwhelmed organized resistance by August 1, with a little mopping up left to be done. U.S. losses came to 295 killed and 1,554 wounded while the Japanese lost 7,000 killed along with 316 prisoners."

"Marine lieutenant general Holland M. Smith, heading the Marianas Expeditionary Troops, thought Tinian the best amphibious operation of the Pacific campaign."


See this Marine Corps news reel type documentary movie the subject of which is the Tinian operation. They make it all sound so easy. And in comparison to other amphibious landings of  WW2 it probably was so. Tinian only three miles [five kilometers] from the southern most point of Saipan. Tinian is that very rare example of a military operation proceeding more or less according to plan, deviation in response to dynamics very limited?

Best a very subjective judgment in most cases but in the instance of Tinian we can all agree [??] the amphibious invasion of the island, reduction of the Japanese garrison and capture by U.S. forces was indeed the BEST of WW2.

coolbert.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Death.

This is coolbert:

Fact or fiction?

From the wiki entry for Directed-Energy weaponry we have this item:

"The fictional 'engine-stopping ray'"

"Stories in the 1930s and World War Two gave rise to the idea of an 'engine-stopping ray' [internal combustion engine]. They seemed to have arisen from the testing of the television transmitter in Feldberg, Germany. Because electrical noise from car engines [ignition coil minus radio wire] would interfere with field strength measurements, sentries would stop all traffic in the vicinity for the twenty minutes or so needed for a test. Reversing the order of events in retelling the story created a 'tale' where tourists car engine stopped first and then were approached by a German soldier who told them that they had to wait. The soldier returned a short time later to say that the engine would now work and the tourists drove off. Such stories were circulating in Britain around 1938 and during the war British Intelligence relaunched the myth as a 'British engine-stopping ray', trying to spoof the Germans into researching what the British had invented in an attempt to tie up German scientific resources."

A WEAPON IN THAT ERA BEFORE AND DURING WW2 THE CAPACITY AND PURPOSE OF WHICH WAS TO SHUT OFF THE INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE OF A WARPLANE WHILE IN FLIGHT!!

NO SUCH DIRECTED-ENERGY WEAPON "DEATH-RAY" DEVICE EXISTED BUT WAS THOUGHT FOR A TIME TO BE A POSSIBLE!

Now you know the rest of the story and are so much the better for it too.

"Here's looking at you kid!!"

coolbert.





Thursday, June 14, 2018

6th Gen.

This is coolbert:

From Sputnik and the original article as seen at Militarywatchmagazine.com.

"Chinese ‘Dark Sword’ is the First Sixth-Generation Warplane - Military Experts"

"The recently-revealed Chinese ‘Dark Sword unmanned aircraft, already dubbed a 'nightmare for the US,' might be the first military flyer to achieve the 'sixth generation' milestone."

"It should be noted that the definition of a ‘sixth-generation jet' is not yet defined. According to some, the jet must include direct-energy (laser) weapons and missile defenses and/or cyber-attack capabilities — apparently this means the plane should be able to hack the adversary's systems remotely — and travel at much longer range.

"The definition of a sixth-generation aircraft would then simply entail [include]: 'cheap, expendable and swarm-capable unmanned drone.'" .

TO REITERATE WHAT EXACTLY CONSTITUTES A SIXTH GENERATION WARPLANE?

Features to include: [but I think hardly limited to]

* Unmanned.
* Cheap.
* Expendable.
* Swarm-capable.
* Direct-energy weaponry?

VARIOUS OF THE WORLD MILITARY POWERS HARDLY NOW ABLE TO PLACE INTO THE AIR FIFTH-GENERATION FIGHTER PLANES, WARPLANES EXPENSIVE AND TOUCHY, DIFFICULT TO MAINTAIN AND SUSTAIN DURING A PERIOD OF PROLONGED COMBAT CONDITIONS.

coolbert.


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Slim.

This is coolbert:

Bill Slim. Viscount Slim of the Arakan.

More on the famous British general officer from the era of the Second World War [WW2].

Extracts with commentary from the "The Reader's Companion to Military History" and thanks in measure to the article by Williamson Murray.

See previous here and here blog entries the topic of which was Bill Slim.

Operational plans [OPLAN] of the British Fourteenth Army in Burma as mandated by Slim to incorporate in all instances:

1. "The ultimate intention must be for an offensive one."

2. "The main idea on which the plan is based must be simple."

3. "That idea must be held in view throughout and everything must give way to it."

4. "The plan must have an element of surprise."

Imphal and Kohima excellent examples of the strategic defensive of which Slim as was Wellington before him a master.  Strategy offense - - tactics defense.

"The attack of a position is becoming notably more difficult than its defense. The defensive during the first phase of battle offers a decisive superiority. The task of a skillful offensive will consist of forcing our foe to attack a position chosen by us, and only when casualties, demoralization, and exhaustion have drained his strength will we ourselves take up the tactical offensive.... Our strategy must be offensive, our tactics defensive."  - - Von Moltke [the Elder]

This also regarding Bill Slim:

"His memoirs rank with those of Ulysses S. Grant as one of the few honest testaments to the profession of arms by a great general."

coolbert.



Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Geography II.

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Continuing and concluding.

Your military geography lesson further all thanks once more to the "The Reader's Companion to Military History" and the article by Robert Cowley

1. Oceans.

"the greatest part of the earth's surface has been hardly, if at all, touched by war. Most of History's major naval battles, for instance,  have been fought inshore, often as an adjunct to land campaigns. Opposing naval forces have trouble finding one another in the open ocean . . . even as late as World War II."

ON THE WATER AND BELOW THE WATER BOTH IN THE MODERN CONTEXT.

Just in number of participants the largest naval battle of all-time fought entirely inland, brown-water naval combat.

2. Seventy percent [70 %].

"'Almost seventy per cent of the world's 60 million square miles [about 160 million square kilometers] of dry land' . . . 'is either too high, too cold, or too waterless for the conduct of military activities.'" - - Sir John Keegan.

With exception consider [and then only on a limited basis] areas such as desert, jungle, woodland historically not places where large-scale combat fought.

Woodland where the predominant growth of trees is eighteen inches or greater [about forty-six centimeters] in diameter normally not passable by an armored force.

URBAN TERRAIN AND URBAN WARFARE IN ADDITION GENERALLY PRESENTING A SERIES OF DIFFICULTIES UNIQUE AND HAZARDOUS IN THE EXTREME FOR THE ATTACKING FORCE. URBAN WARFARE TO BE AVOIDED IN ALL POSSIBLE CIRCUMSTANCES.

coolbert.


Geography I.

This is coolbert:

Some aspects of military geography I was not so conversant with. From an entry by Robert Cowley as seen in the "The Reader's Companion to Military History".

1. "Armies have always chosen the paths of least resistance, staked out by geological features."

Paths to include [but hardly limited to]:

Bosporus.
* Northern Italy.
* Israel [Levant].
* Khyber Pass
Flanders.
* Eurasian steppe land.

For clarification:

* Levant that area directly adjacent to the eastern most coast of the Mediterranean.
* Khyber Pass only one of several passes through the mountains acting as a barrier between Afghanistan and the Indian sub-continent.

2. "Certain areas are combat-intensive, it follows that military actions have converged repeatedly on a handful of places."

Areas to include [but hardly limited to]:

* Vimy Ridge.
* Panipat.
* Jerusalem.
* Adrianople.

WITH REGARD TO THE LATTER: "Adrianopole [now called Edirne] west of the Bosporus" that "most fought-over place" . . . "Adrianople has witnessed no fewer than fifteen major battles and sieges between 323 A.D. and 1913 A.D."

MOST fought over. Hardly a good thing I would think.

Give us this day your daily geography lesson and all devoted readers to the blog are more the better for it too. Yours truly included!

More to follow!

coolbert.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Chi-kuang.

This is coolbert:

Thanks in part here to the "The Reader's Companion to Military History"as edited by Cowley and Parker an extract from the entry by William McNeill with my commentary.

Consider the Chinese combat commander Ch'i Chi-kuang a leader at least an equal to Napoleon and even beyond that!

Ch'i Chi-kuang. Chinese general. 1527-1587.

"Ch'i Chi-Kuang initiated reforms of tactics and training that allowed Chinese troops to move safely across the steppe lands of East Asian and use their superior numbers to defeat nomad horsemen decisively and permanently in ensuing decades."

Training and tactics to include:

* Incessant drill.
* Cart divisions.

Read of the Chinese "cart divisions" their organization and how employed in combat.

"The Chinese state as we know it today thus came into existence, largely on the strength of the improvement in tactics and training that General Ch'i instituted."

As to Ch'i at least an equal to Napoleon and perhaps even more proficient and successful as a combat commander add defeat of the wokou pirates as an additional big plus to the impressive resume of General Ch'i.

Ch'i a combat commander and practitioner of the operational art again at least an equal to a Napoleon?  You the devoted reader to the blog decide for yourself.

coolbert.