Tuesday, September 29, 2009


This is coolbert:

Discussion on National Public Radio [NPR] the other day, a very pessimistic and gloomy appraisal of the current situation in Afghan. The Taliban are surely resurgent, the Afghan National Army is ineffective at best, and the Obama administration is considering various options and alternatives to the current strategy. The most recent request by General Mc Chrystal for an additional 30,000-40,000 American troops to be sent to the theatre has been received with with less than favorable enthusiasm.

From the NPR broadcast:

1. An alternative as proposed by VP Biden. An alternative plan [the Biden Plan] that will:

"[concentrate] on Al Qaeda both there [Afghan] and in Pakistan . . . emphasis on rooting out Al Qaeda from strongholds along the Pakistan border using Predator drone strikes, special forces and other tactics . . . U.S. forces would accelerate training of Afghan troops to take on the Taliban."

The Taliban are no longer seen as a viable threat to the U.S. The Taliban of today is NOT the same Taliban of 2001? Al Qaeda is more the threat and must be countered, but the U.S. must NOT continue the fight in Afghan with the thought that a Taliban victory would mean a return to the situation that existed in 2001!

So goes the thinking of VP Biden and his advisers, his strategists? Such a paradigm is valid?

2. The impossibility of having a NATIONAL AFGHAN ARMY waging a successful counter-insurgency war against the Taliban. The status of the Afghan National Army is shaky. Afghan national troops, trained by the American/NATO contingents will NEVER comprise an effective fighting force! Ethnic rivalries among the Afghan nation are too strong, the Afghan national army leadership being a minority leadership.

NONE of the commanders at battalion level or higher echelon belongs to the dominant Afghan ethnic group - - the Pashtun.

All leadership positions at battalion or greater within the Afghan national army are held by Tajiks. Persons, commanders, who were senior officials of the Northern Alliance [predominantly Tajik]. That group, in 2001, the only opposition remaining to rule by the Taliban. That group, allied with American and NATO special forces, being able to rout the Taliban and Al Qaeda in the aftermath of 9/11.

Ethnic breakdown in Afghan, courtesy of the CIA fact book:

"Afghan Ethnic groups:
Pashtun 42%, Tajik 27%, Hazara 9%, Uzbek 9%, Aimak 4%, Turkmen 3%, Baloch 2%, other 4%"

NO ONE ethnic group pre-dominates in Afghan. Pashtun are a significant plurality, not a majority! NOT having one commander at battalion or higher echelon in the Afghan army is a severe demotivating factor for potential Pashtun recruits? So it would seem!

We all understand - - there is NOT NOW and probably never will be - - and easy or quick answer to the Afghan situation. Further troop increases [American] will only exacerbate the situation and make things worse? Mc Chrystal was originally touted as an expert on counter-insurgency with the proper credentials to bring the Taliban to heel? His performance so far is lackluster?

You don't want to reinforce failure is a popular adage! Here too?



This is coolbert:

Thanks to CBS and the evening news last night:

"Al Qaeda Bombers Learn from Drug Smugglers"

"Al Qaeda has developed a new tactic that allows suicide bombers to breach even the tightest security"

A suicide bombing mission this last August, with the intention of: "killing Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef, head of Saudi Arabia's counter terrorism operations."

This villain: "Abdullah Asieri . . . avoided detection by two sets of airport security including metal detectors and palace security. He spent 30 hours in the close company of the prince's own secret service agents - all without anyone suspecting a thing."

"How did he do it?"

"Asieri had a pound of high explosives, plus a detonator inserted in his rectum"

[this is not exactly how drug smugglers conceal contraband in their bodies. Normally the drugs would be place in a condom, the condom knotted and then swallowed, the package then excreted as part of the normal process of bodily evacuation!]

The bomb exploded while Asieri was sitting next to the Prince, the detonation occurring in response to a text message sent to a cell phone actually being held in the hand of the Prince at the time.

The Prince was wounded [to what extent is not made clear], but not killed.

Inserting an explosive with detonator in the rectum, the explosive set off remotely via cell phone, is a worrying and troubling event? TSA will have to take note and measures of a draconian nature adopted?

This bad guy evaded all detection for a full day plus, all the while having to pass through extensive and presumably elaborate security check points, all manner of device being used, with full body search [?] as well, to detect any and all threats to one of the most important men in the Saudi kingdom.

There is precedent for this sort of thing?

It is believed that the two Russian airliners brought down by bombs several years ago were also the result of plastic explosive smuggled aboard by lady suicide bombers [Chechens], the explosives concealed in that particular body cavity peculiar to the female anatomy. ONLY one-quarter [1/4] of C4 is reputed necessary to bring down a commercial jet airliner?

ONLY a body scan with a CT machine or a x-ray would have detected this bomb and detonator? And that was not thought of?

To be forewarned is to be forearmed? TSA please adopt appropriate measures! What will those be?


Sunday, September 27, 2009


This is coolbert:

"If the Russians ever produce this tank on an assembly line, we will have lost the war." - - Von Reichenau.

Here from the wiki entry on the German General Walther von Reichenau:

"During the offensive [Barbarossa], Reichenau inspected every single Russian tank he came across. He would enter each tank and, using a ruler, he would examine the thickness of the armor. Upon examining a T-34 Tank, he told his officers, 'If the Russians ever produce this tank on an assembly line, we will have lost the war.'"

This is the comment of Walther von Reichenau. Senior German commander during the invasion of the Soviet Union, 1941, a devoted Nazi and a favorite of Hitler. [and note the wearing of the monocle too!]

A man of some considerable presence, a strong personality and a military commander of ability.

Speaking of the T-34 tank, von Reichenau and the remainder of the German high command for that matter, German military intelligence as well, were totally UNAWARE of the existence of and the formidable nature of the Soviet T-34 tank, UNTIL ENCOUNTERING THE MACHINE IN BATTLE!!

NO General! NOT IF the Russian was ever able to produce this tank! The Russian was ALREADY mass producing the T-34! And was able to do so during the entire war, and manufacture in the most prodigious numbers, at the end of the war being able to field entire TANK ARMIES equipped with the T-34!

And it was not only the thickness of the armor that was impressive about the T-34. When designing the T-34, the Soviet design bureaus were able to come up with that exact combination of armor, mobility and main gun that allowed the T-34 to DOMINATE the battlefield.

* Firepower. [ability to kill the enemy.]
* Armor. [protection on the battlefield.]
* Mobility. [ability to move with alacrity and agility.]

All other tanks of the period PALED INTO INSIGNIFICANCE WHEN COMPARED TO THE T-34. Indeed, the T-34 was such a good design that the Cubans in Angola, circa 1976, were STILL using the machine successfully!!

And of this design the German had no forewarning, no foreknowledge? This is so!!

NO German appreciation of or even an awareness of the existence of the T-34 surprises. The T-34 was used, albeit sparingly during the Winter War of 1940. Finns versus the Soviets. The Finns had met [??] this the T-34 in battle and surely should have alerted the German that the Soviets possessed this formidable armored vehicle? [to what extent the T-34 was already in mass production would have been another question!]

The German, in contrast, was NEVER able to put together than proper combination of gun, protection and mobility in one tank during the war. The Tiger was undoubtedly superior with regard to gun and armor protection, but lacked the sufficient mobility a war of movement necessitated, was susceptible to breakdown, and only built in meagre numbers [1,000 total?] as compared to the T-34!!

Even during the Korean War, American troops were stunned to find that their various anti-tank weaponry, bazooka, the main gun of the Chafee M24 tank, and even 105 mm howitzer rounds fired in the direct mode were not able to STOP a T-34. And this ten years after the first appearance of the T-34 on the battlefield.

Such unpreparedness is somewhat understandable [??] when one considers that the U.S. military and government were of the assumption that with the advent of the nuclear age, conventional warfare of the variety as fought in both World Wars was passe'. Massed and mobile formations of tanks were thought to have gone the way of the dodo. IT WAS NOT SO!

"What enables the wise sovereign and the good general to strike and conquer, and achieve things beyond the reach of ordinary men, is foreknowledge." - - Sun Tzu.


Friday, September 25, 2009


This is coolbert:

That aircraft that collided with the Iranian AWACS Simorgh is described as being a F-5E of the Iranian air force!

The F-5! A light-weight fighter, touted as being: "a low-cost, low-maintenance fighter"!

The F-5 Tiger! I have often wondered why this combat airplane was not used more extensively by the USAF and other U.S. military services?

Was and is employed by a variety of nations around the world! Very popular and still going strong with many refurbishments almost FIFTY YEARS after initial design and development.

"The F-5 started life as a privately-funded light fighter program by Northrop in the 1950s. The first generation F-5A Freedom Fighter entered service in the 1960s"

Low-cost, low-maintenance! Cheap! But not necessarily so in the sense of poor quality. Inexpensive but still delivering as an air superiority fighter with some impressive performance.

Was originally seen as a direct competitor to the Soviet MiG-21. The F-5 being a much more agile, responsive and flexible combat aircraft than other U.S. warplanes of the period.

"In view of the performance, agility and size of the F-5, it might have appeared to be a good match against the similar MiG-21 in air combat"

"its small size and performance similarities to the Soviet MiG-21."

[experience from the Vietnam war showed that the lumbering American F-4 Phantom WAS NOT necessarily a match for the MiG-21 in aerial combat.]

A low-cost aircraft, the F-5 could have been built and fielded in prodigious numbers, the USAF as a consequence being able to "flood" the airspace above a war zone with an aircraft designed primarily as a FIGHTER - - engaging and destroying at will enemy intruders.

Was a popular item for EXPORT! But for some reason, not favored by the USAF! NOT sure why?



This is coolbert:

Here from the DEBKAfile:

"Iran loses its only AWACS as Ahmadinejad threatens the world"

From just a couple days ago now, a demonstration of Iranian military prowess that went awry. Upsetting to any and all machinations of the central ruling authority in Tehran?

NO WHERE ELSE has this been covered?

The SOLE Iranian AEW aircraft collides with another aircraft, crashes and burns. This is a Russian AWACS A-50 model based upon the Il-76 transport aircraft.

"The Beriev A-50 Shmel (Russian: Шмель 'bumble bee'), (NATO reporting name: 'Mainstay') is a Russian airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft based on the Ilyushin Il-76 transport."

"Up above a big military parade in Tehran on Tuesday, Sept. 22 . . . two air force jets collided in mid-air. One was Iran's only airborne warning and control system (AWACS) for coordinating long-distance aerial operations"

"The proud military parade . . . was planned to give Ahmadinejad a dazzling send-off for New York and add steel to his UN Assembly speech Wednesday."

"Dubbed "Simorgh" . . . the AWACS' appearance, escorted by fighter jets, was to have been the climax for the Iranian Air force's fly-past . . . Instead, it collided with one of escorting planes . . . and both crashed to the ground in flames. All seven crewmen were killed."

"The loss of this airborne control system has left Iran's air force and air and missile defenses without 'electronic eyes' for surveillance of the skies around its borders."

This Il-76 originally belonged to the air force of Saddam! Was transferred to Iranian control prior to the outbreak of the First Gulf War in 1991! Was refurbished and reconstituted as an AWACS aircraft! Has now "bitten the dust"!

The Iranians seem to have more than their fair share of aircraft disasters, missile failures and premature weapons detonations? Something or someone is at work here?


Sehr Interessant.

This is coolbert:

From a previous blog entry:

"the stereotypical German Oberst would plot the demise of enemy forces with monocle in place to examine attack charts"

"Artie Johnson of the 1960's television series "Laugh In" created an entire character based upon this stereotype. The German general staff officer bent over his table top map, plotting strategy!"

Here with excellent examples of same:

Hindenburg [L] and Ludendorff [R]

Hindenburg [L] the Kaiser [C] and Ludendorff [R]

And this from The Atlantic Monthly June 1917 - - as written by the great American writer - - H.L. Mencken.

Mencken, while serving as an American war correspondent in German, 1917, penned this article about Ludendorff. A must read!

"In brief, one hears of Ludendorff, Ludendorff, whenever German officers utter more than twenty words about the war; his portrait hangs in every mess room; he is the god of every young lieutenant; his favorable notice is worth more to a division or corps commander than the ordre pour le mérite; he is, as it were, the esoteric Ulysses of the war" - - H.L. Mencken


"Ludendorff has what you may call a capacious mind. He has imagination. He grasps inner significances. He can see around corners. Moreover, he enjoys planning, plotting, figuring things out."

"In the German Army . . . a Generalquartiermeister did not deal with supplies, but with operational command. He was the most senior officer below an Army's Chief of Staff"

[the quartermaster-general in the American experience WOULD BE a man dealing SOLELY with supplies, munitions material, procurement of same, etc. NOT a combat commander.]

"Ludendorff . . . chose the title First Quartermaster-General - in which role he directed the operations of the German Armies and wielded power over German politics and industry"

Ludendorff, in the final two years of the First World War [WW1], exercising power in the manner of the generalissimo. A military man wielding power also of a political nature. Mustering and directing the entire resources of a nation toward victory in war!

I was not aware of Mencken as the war correspondent. The man did have a way with the words in a manner that few do. Is highly quoted, and held in high repute? I can understand why!

"regarded as one of the most influential American writers and prose stylists of the first half of the 20th century."


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Monocle IV. [Conclusion]

This is coolbert:

Rest assured too that the wearing of the monocle by the military man was not solely within the domain of the German.

Recall the name of the famous French commander in Korea. Raoul Monclar [nom de guerre].

Described as:

"a battle-scarred veteran of the Legion who led them [French battalion] in battle wearing his monocle, a beret, a bright red scarf–and using a cane to compensate for his limp. Sixty-year-old Raoul Monclar . . . had given up his three-star general’s rank and his true name of Magrin-Venery and had reverted to the rank of lieutenant colonel, since general was too high a rank for a battalion commander"

Led from the front, completing his battledress with the wearing of the monocle, a bright red scarf and carrying a cane!

The monocle, the cane, the scarf, the properly attired gentleman ready for war, directing his charges in the killing of the enemy. The ever-so-sophisticated Frenchman, TAKING A REDUCTION IN RANK FROM MAJOR GENERAL TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL FOR THE GREAT HONOR OF LEADING TROOPS INTO COMBAT.

A helluva a man. They just don't make them like that anymore!


Monocle III.

This is coolbert:

More now on the stereotypical appearance of the German military officer. As portrayed in Hollywood and in other media.

The German army officer, always hard, sometimes brutal, on occasion [?] cruel!

1. Erich von Stroheim. The famous actor/director. Very good at playing the role of the German army officer. Excelled at the part and evidently relished the role. Was ideally suited, being Austrian born, having the natural foreign sounding accent, understood the Austrian/German culture, etc. It can be safely said that Erich von Stroheim was born to play the part of the German army officer?

Von Stroheim from the movie: "The North Star"

Note the dueling scar and the roll of fat on the back of the neck. The dueling scar was almost obligatory for the German army officer? Especially those officers of aristocratic or noble lineage? The significance of the schmiss cannot be over-emphasized?

"popularized by upper-class . . . Germans who saw it as a mark of their class and of their honor . . the dueling scar was a tattoo that signified your inclusion in an elite social rank"

"the dueling scar was evidence that the wearer had the foundation to fulfill his destiny as one of Germany's ruling class."

As to the roll of fat on the back of the neck - - according to Barbara Tuchman:

"the bulge at the back of the neck which Emerson [Ralph Waldo?] called the mark of the beast"

That roll on the back of the neck is the result of the high-buttoned collar? Signifies also a man of rotund girth, massive and bulky build but also considerable, perhaps even immense strength?

2. "This is the enemy"! Famous award winning poster from the World War Two [WW2] era. German army officer [NOT SS], scowling, sporting the monocle, the image of a man [a partisan?] hanging from a gallows in the reflection. An excellent example of the adage" "one picture worth ten thousand words!"

Dueling is still practiced, as an underground and illegal activity - - in Germany. A German informant of mine, an exchange student, described to me that the ritual continues, albeit in a much less open manner! Those university students studying for the legal and medical professions are the most common practitioners, the schmiss as it was in the old-days signalling to the young ladies that the scar-bearer is a very eligible candidate for marriage! THE MORE JAGGED AND GROTESQUE THE SCHMISS THE BETTER? Horsehair is even sewn into the wound while suturing occurs to make the scar more prominent! Suturing done without anesthetic and no murmur or cries of pain either!


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Monocle II.

This is coolbert:

“I have no intention whatsoever of doing so….”

Here is Von Saucken. Senior German military commander at the very end of World War Two [WW2]. A man, much like Zeitzler, NOT cowed, intimidated, brow-beaten by Hitler. A man who spoke his mind while others cringed and cowered in fear. And a WEARER OF THE MONOCLE!

Von Saucken, complete with monocle, in conversation with Hitler:

"a meeting between Hitler and von Sauken in the Chancellory in March 1945 . . . von Sauken saluted and gave a slight bow"

Von Saucken NOT following obsequious protocol, defying the fawning behavior of toadies:

* "He had not given the Nazi salute"
* "he had not surrendered his weapon"
* "he had kept his monocle in his eye"

"Hitler then told the General . . . he would have to accept the authority of Gauleiter Forster. Von Sauken stiffened and, still with eyeglass in place struck the marble table with the flat of his hand and said: 'I have no intention, Herr Hitler, of placing myself under the orders of a Gauleiter!' . . . It seems to me that Hitler shrank physically from the General’s words. His face looked even more waxen, his body more bowed than ever…."

"Hitler, who seemed at last to have met his match in the matter of gazes, finally said in a weak voice: 'All right, Sauken, keep the command to yourself.' After a few more minutes of discussion von Sauken left ‘with the merest hint of a bow’. Hitler did not shake his hand."

Von Saucken was the type of man that was feared and detested by Hitler - - but needed! Hitler was not an aristocrat, a man of poise, learning, ability, noble lineage, etc. Everything von Saucken was, Hitler was NOT! When in the presence of persons who were not the proverbial lick-spittle fawning toadies, Hitler was not the dominating personality as he is so often portrayed? When he met his match, the man [Hitler] would and did back down!


Monocle I.

This is coolbert:

I had forgotten about this. Another symbol of the hard, brutal, sometimes cruel German officer. The MONOCLE! Especially a favorite of and associated with the German officer of general rank, an item in addition to the obligatory duelling scar!!

"A monocle is a type of corrective lens used to correct the vision in only one eye (usually the right eye)."

"A monocle was generally associated with rich upper-class men. Combined with a morning coat and top-hat, it completed the costume of the stereotypical 1890s capitalist."

The morning coat [full-length with tails?], top hat, spats worn over the shoes, THE CANE AND THE MONOCLE! Full-dress for the upper-class man, the aristocrat, the landed gentry or the nobility, the wealthy man of independent means. AND TOO, THE GERMAN GENERAL OFFICER!

And during the period of the Second World War [WW2], the "outfit" was complete if it included for the German senior commander a duelling scar, the toothbrush moustache, AND A MONOCLE!

[a monocle has to be specially measured to fit correctly? Is difficult to wear unless the fitting is done properly by professionals and custom-made! ONLY those persons of wealth could afford such service! Wearing a monocle announced to the whole world that you WERE SOMEBODY!]

"Monocles were also stereotypical accessories of German military officers from this period, especially from the First World War, where the stereotypical German Oberst would plot the demise of enemy forces with monocle in place to examine attack charts"

Artie Johnson of the 1960's television series "Laugh In" created an entire character based upon this stereotype. The German general staff officer bent over his table top map, plotting strategy!

Here are some outstanding examples of high ranking German officers who sported a monocle:

Von Saucken.

Von Seeckt.

Von Fritsch.

Hugo Sperrle.

Von Reichenau.

Walter Model.

It was all the rage - - don't you see? NOT solely just for vision correction, rather, part and parcel of an AURA!

These guys just seem to exude command presence, the aristocratic mien, strong personalities with strong character!

The monocle today has gone the way of the dodo? Same as with the toothbrush moustache? Associated with a way of life and personalities that are not looked upon with favor? Get a contact lens or a Lasik eye correction would be the way to go now?



This is coolbert:

From the Jerusalem Post through Robert, an interesting application of military robotics. Being fielded right now, as we speak?

"IDF developing battlefield robot snake"

"A robot snake, capable of recording video and sound on the battlefield, is on the way to join the the IDF's hi-tech arsenal."

"[a] spying robot, which is about two meters long and covered in military camouflage, mimics the movements and appearance of real snakes, slithering around through caves, tunnels, cracks and buildings, while at the same time sending images and sound back to a soldier who controls the device through a laptop computer."

"The Defense Ministry, with experts from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, based their intelligence-gathering robot on a previous project of Ben-Gurion University, which created a slew of robotic animals with special abilities"

A SLEW of robotic animals. A SLEW. Cat, dog, etc. Mimicry of animals that are to have military applications. Robotics for military purposes is all the rage now. And the technologically advanced and innovative Israeli is as usual at the top of the heap or close to it. The Technion is thought to be at least the equal of MIT in producing first-rate engineering and scientific brain power, perhaps superior in some respects. Israel is a small nation with a lot of can-do!

Decades ago now there was a Sci-Fi television program ["The Outer Limits" Soldier (1964)] about the ultimate soldier. Starring Michael Ansara [Quarlo]. The military unit commander was A CAT that had been given a brain of a human or something like that! We are not that far behind now!


Monday, September 21, 2009


This is coolbert:

Here, thanks to the Guardian, is another instance of the military man gone BAD!

A retired military man, using military acquired skills, manufacturing and supplying firearms to English street gangs, making a handsome profit, all the while helping to establish a climate that aided and abetted criminal activity, to include MURDER!

"Former soldier set up secret gun factories to supply street gangs"

• "Paul Alexander converted replica guns and made ammunition"
• "Long jail sentence likely for thriller writer 'dealing in death' "

"A soldier turned thriller writer [a Le Quex type?] who set up a chain of secret gun factories from which he supplied weapons to street gangs in Liverpool, Manchester and the West Midlands is facing a lengthy prison sentence after admitting a string of firearms offences."

"Paul Alexander converted replica guns at factories [secret arms factories] and then sold them for as little as £1,500 a time, complete with ammunition, silencers and carrying cases, in what police have described as 'assassination kits'."

"Alexander, 53, who was born Paul Daintry, used 30 aliases . . . He acquired the skills that later allowed him to convert replica firearms and manufacture ammunition while serving in the Royal Artillery for 20 years."


* This English bloke served for twenty years in the Royal Artillery with an unblemished record. ONLY went bad after discharge? Was an armorer or such? Had a very good knowledge of firearms and how to manufacture replicas that work? And also providing ammo and SILENCERS as part of the total package.

* Gun crime in England and the rest of Europe at one time was a great rarity, a novelty! NOT any more. The European continent is now awash with firearms in the hands of evil-doers? Especially after the fall of the Iron Curtain and the demise of the various communist regimes! Gun trafficking is a big business in Europe now? The English "bobbie" on ordinary street patrol was noted for not carrying a sidearm. NOT NOW?

* European street gang activity is also a wannabee imitation of American street gangs, desiring control of an ever burgeoning Continental drug trade? All the bad behaviors and habits of American street gangs are copied and emulated by European thuggery? Street gangs do pose a serious and significant threat to peace, stability and internal order within any nation. Possess the numbers, the organization, the money, the aggressiveness and mental wherewithal to use violence and do so in an almost indiscriminant manner, in furtherance of their goals.


Thursday, September 17, 2009


This is coolbert:

Here with additional info on that German aircraft design from the World War Two [WW2] era, the Triebflugel.

A vertical take off and landing aircraft of the most unusual design.

A TAIL SITTER AIRCRAFT that just looks odd, ungainly, and to those that have even the most rudimentary and basic knowledge of aircraft flight, unconditionally unstable [?].

Would have never took off? Could never fly? Would have been uncontrollable under all circumstances?

This was my initial and intuitive reaction.

In particular, those three winds ROTATING AROUND THE FUSELAGE WOULD HAVE CREATED EXCESSIVE AND UNMANAGEABLE TORQUE? Torque that would cause the fuselage to rotate in the direction counter to the movement of the wings?

"Torque effect . . . the creation of torque as the engine turns the rotor creates a torque effect that causes the body of the [aircraft] to turn in the opposite direction"

Torque rendering the craft unconditionally unstable?


Here from a French web site [translated for you] dedicated to the Triebflugel!

"No torque was transmitted to the fuselage by the wings as those they were propelled by three ramjet mounted at the ends."

Torque would have been transmitted to the fuselage if the engines powering the wings were located inside the aircraft? Those ramjets on the wingtips meant that torque as generally understood was not present with the Triebflugel?

"The apparatus was a vertical takeoff fighter based on the tail back [tail sitter] and got his buoyancy [lift] of three wings rotating around the fuselage."

There is perceived advantage to the "tail sitter" design? Allows for a combat aircraft to be deployed without being "tied down" to an airbase. Allows any parcel of land big enough for a vertical landing to be used as a base of operations, fuel, ammo, ground crew servicing the aircraft in situ!

Artists conceptions ONLY exist of the Triebflugel. The aircraft never got beyond the stage of the drawing board and basic wind tunnel testing!

"The great advantage of this design was a plane can take off vertically with a high rate of climb . . . The aircraft could take off and from any free area, even in the city."

The American military did experiment with the tail sitter design. Called the Pogo. Actually did fly but was found to be difficult to handle, especially when LANDING! With the Pogo, a pair of "three-bladed contra-rotating propellers" was incorporated into the design, to compensate for TORQUE! But in the case of the Pogo, the engine was mounted inside the fuselage, necessitating anti-torque measures to be taken.

Tail sitter aircraft JUST DO NOT LOOK RIGHT! As I have said before, if it looks odd and your intuition tells you IT WILL NOT WORK, IT PROBABLY WILL NOT WORK?

Here, too, a web site with photos of American rocket enthusiasts also intrigued with the Triebflugel design! ACTUALLY HOOKED SOME AMATEUR ROCKET ENGINES UP TO A WINGED APPARATUS RESEMBLING THE TRIEBFLUGEL AND SIMULATED A VERTICAL TAKE-OFF!


Tuesday, September 15, 2009


This is coolbert:

Surprisingly [??], during the very last stages of World War Two [WW2], the German did employ suicide bombers. Personnel, aviators, dive bombing a target with the intent to destroy an enemy target of importance, knowing full well that such destruction would end their own life as well!

"I hereby voluntarily apply to be enrolled in the suicide group as part of a human glider-bomb. I fully understand that employment in this capacity will entail my own death."

This was the Leonidas Squadron.

"The Leonidas Squadron, formally known as 5th Staffel of Kampfgeschwader 200 . . . thirty-five pilots of the Leonidas Squadron flew suicide sorties against Soviet bridges over the river Oder with little noticeable effect." [during the Battle of Berlin - - 1945]

"It was named for Leonidas I, the king of Sparta who in 480 BC stopped the invading Persian army at the Battle of Thermopylae with 300 elite warriors who fought to the last man."

German authorities, those persons at the very top of the command echelon, were of mixed opinion regarding the use of suicide bombers. Some saying yea, some saying nay!

* "proposed by Otto Skorzeny and Hajo Herrmann."
* "supported by . . . Hanna Reitsch."
* "Himmler approved . . . and suggested using convicted criminals as pilots."
* "The Luftwaffe's High Command was unenthusiastic"
* "Erhard Milch turned the plan down as impractical"
* "Hermann Göring showed little interest."
* "Adolf Hitler was against the idea of self-sacrifice"

Hitler eventually reserved unto himself the final authority to release the suicide bomber for combat action, but with hesitation?


* Suicide bombing as a weapon of war is A SIGN OF ABJECT DESPERATION MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE? An indication by one of the antagonists that conventional tactics are not working and no longer suffice.

* The idea of Himmler to use convicted criminals as pilots for the suicide aircraft is absurd. Criminals as a class NEVER make good soldiers in any circumstance, many being latent cowards for the most part. To EVER expect criminal elements to volunteer for suicide missions is just totally unreasonable.

* The original intent was to use a MANNED version of the V-1 "doodlebug" as the suicide "aircraft" MANNED "doodlebugs" were more or less impossible to fly. Alternative "aircraft" such as glider/bombers also proved to be impractical?

* "On-paper" the idea of the suicide bomber has a lot of appeal? One man, one plane, one very large bomb, used against an absolutely critical enemy target, destroying same, can influence the entire course of a war? So goes the thinking?

* According to the experts [Anthony Beevor], the German use of suicide bombers during the Battle of Berlin produced results that were limited, temporary, and more or less meaningless? A gesture more than anything else. At that stage of the war, spring 1945, not a whole lot was going to work for the Germans anyhow?


Monday, September 14, 2009


This is coolbert:

The Coast Guard stepped on it three days ago? A training exercise - - on 9/11 - - gone bad?

"Potomac panic: Coast Guard training exercise causes fear on 9-11 anniversary"

"WASHINGTON — It was a routine U.S. Coast Guard training exercise but it came on a day - and in a location - that touched off a brief panic in the U.S. capital on Friday, the eighth anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks."

"the training exercise was run of the mill. . . but it was conducted with no advance word to the White House, the Secret Service, the media or other law enforcement agencies."

"The panic resulted from a civilian with a scanner intercepting communications on a Coast Guard channel during the exercise"

This particular news item was a topic for discussion on the local talk radio program this morning.

The U.S. Coast Guard, running a training exercise on the Potomac River, chasing a notional "bad guy", taking out the notional "bad guy" with notional "gun fire"! All this on 9/11, while commemorative ceremonies are being carried out nearby! Originally reported by CNN as a REAL incident with REAL gunfire [ten rounds reported fired!] occurring!

[the REAL gunfire was a Coast Guard Admiral saying over the radio: "Bang - Bang - Bang - Bang"]

An exercise being monitored on unsecured radio frequencies by a civilian using a commercial scanner, hearing what was thought to be a REAL-WORLD possible terrorist incident, NOT knowing it was an exercise.

There was a stir created over this "exercise" in that the public was not forewarned of the event! Panic, whatever was created, or more correctly concern, could have been averted if someone in authority had been alerted and the word passed down the line.

A caller to the local radio talk show, a self-described FIRST RESPONDER, suggests that forewarning is not always the way to go. YOU DO NOT ALWAYS WANT TO ALERT THE GENERAL PUBLIC IN ADVANCE OF SUCH TRAINING EXERCISES!

The villains, the jihadi, are keenly interested in such "exercises", anti-terrorist in nature, and have agents of espionage [spies] that monitor and personally observe the exercises, as best they can. Want to know the who, what, when, where, why and how regarding the FIRST RESPONDERS! Such info is vital to the furtherance of those planning terrorist attacks in the U.S.

The intention of the jihadi when planning a terrorist attack is not only to kill and maim as many innocents as possible, but in addition to injure, kill, maim as many of the FIRST RESPONDERS, obstructing any and all rescue efforts to as great a degree as well!

The counter-terrorism authorities in the U.S. are aware of these spies and in a deliberate manner are NOT warning the public in advance so as to preclude jihadi observance and intelligence gathering?

[jihadi operatives personally observing training exercises of an anti-terrorist nature are no better than spies. The punishment for spies in wartime is ordinarily death, with all due speed! Merely observing the exercises with the intent to systematically glean information of whatever nature is espionage in wartime! Punishable by death!!]


Sunday, September 13, 2009


This is coolbert:

From the Sunday edition of the Chicago Tribune - - today:



"Report: Libyans trained"

"LONDON - - Some of Britain's' most elite soldiers have been training Libyan forces in counterterrorism, a newspaper said Saturday."

"The daily Telegraph said a contingent of four to 14 men from the Special Air Service, or SAS, was working with Col. Muammar Gaddafi's soldiers in Libya."

"The paper cited an unidentified SAS source as saying it was seen as part of the deal to release Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi."

Well, what else is there? Al-Megrahi is released over the protests of the U.S. The Scottish say it was strictly humanitarian, the release, then there are rumors of oil deals in the works, and NOW this?

I do recall several decades ago now, a number of renegade CIA officers and American Special Forces troopers allegedly trained the Libyans in guerrilla warfare and what can only be called terrorist techniques. When I say alleged, persons that were caught, such as Edwin Wilson, got max sentences of over fifty years in Marion, hard-core imprisonment.

NOW, the SAS of England, training the Libyans in counter-terrorism? What is this?

This SAS mission is part of much larger "package deal" worked out under the table with the "Colonel"? More is to follow, the likes of which will never even be apparent? [Ghaddafi at the time of the 1969 take-over in Libya was only of the rank of Captain, and the rank of Colonel was only a temporary position?]

I can well imagine too that any negotiations with Ghaddafi is like dealing with the ultimate rug salesman.

"I give you my special friend price. Three he-camels and two-she camels, one she-camel with kid, and in exchange you give me . . . !!" You fill in the blanks.



This is coolbert:

Here more on the Greek trireme. Most specifically, the ability of the oarsmen to propel those Greek warships as they were able to do so. IN A MANNER SUPERIOR TO WHAT A MODERN CAN DO ONLY WITH THE GREATEST EFFORT!!

Thanks to ScienceDaily:

"Fitness Has Fallen Since The Days Of Ancient Greece"

"We may not be as fit as the people of ancient Athens, despite all that modern diet and training can provide"

"the rowers of ancient Athens – around 500BC – would had to have been highly elite athletes, even by modern day standards."

Persons of that period - - ancient Greece - - and even into relatively modern times - - WERE TWICE AS STRONG POUND FOR POUND AS A MODERN INDIVIDUAL LIVING IN THE YEAR 2009!!

That this is so [the greater strength] is intuitive? People of that bygone era had to everything more or less in a manual manner, a manner usually requiring physical strength. These people led what is called a hardscrabble existence requiring just plain ordinary physical labor of a strenuous kind.

And there was a Darwinian selection process at work here too? Very few babies grew to adulthood! Of every dozen babies born, only about two would grow to become adults. Those persons surviving until age twenty-one were just of more stronger physiology and had an innate physical robustness about them?

I make the assertion that a person of the period [ancient Greece] would be pound for pound TWICE as strong as a modern! I base this upon empirical data from a surprising source. Re-creations of old time American farm settlements usually include an ice house. A structure having a double outer wall the gap between the two walls filled with sawdust. Ice "mined" from a pond in winter and placed in the ice house remaining frozen and intact for an entire summer, regardless of temperature. IT IS KNOWN FOR A FACT THAT FARMERS FROM OVER A HUNDRED YEARS AGO COULD MANHANDLE WITHOUT PROBLEM ONE HUNDRED FIFTY [150] POUND BLOCKS OF ICE , contrasting markedly with modern folks who can at best handle only seventy to eighty [80] pound blocks of ice in the same manner.

I would think that only among the American Amish people would you find TODAY folks that have the strength to perform as would an oarsman aboard and ancient Greek trireme?

"The trireme used in Dr Rossiter’s research, Olympias, was built in the 1980's . . . It is now housed in a museum in Piraeus."

Research, physiological readings, taken on those rowers, English oarsmen, university "crew" who are trained and very fit athletes, experienced and accomplished oarsmen in their own right. Even such persons found it hard to duplicate the feats of the ancients?

Those ancient Greek oarsmen, manning a trireme, too, had "equipment" that could be used to advantage? "Gear" consisting of leather cushions?

"Trireme oarsmen used leather cushions to slide over the seats, which allowed them to use their leg strength as a modern oarsman does with a sliding seat."

The ancients in many instance were able to "accomplish" what today a modern human can "do" only with the greatest of difficulty?



This is coolbert:

From another blog entry: "This replica is an American enterprise? Normally the British are very good at this stuff. Recreating old designs and determining feasibility of ancient concepts. The Greek trireme or Mr. Babbage's computational machine, for instance."

Let me elaborate!

"Sir Charles Willink, Bt, classical scholar and teacher, was born on September 10, 1929. He died on March 10, 2009, aged 79"

Here from the English TimesOnline, the obituary of Sir Charles Willink. But much more than an obituary.

"Sir Charles Willink was a scholar, a classicist and a schoolmaster. He was one of the visionaries who in 1975 launched the project of reconstructing a Greek trireme, the warship from which ancient Athens ruled the seas".

"The trireme (in Greek trieres) was the ship that built the Athenian Empire . . . With it the small Athenian fleet drove the great Persian armada of Xerxes from the Mediterranean at the Battle of Salamis in 480BC. But how the trireme worked was a mystery"

"no one knew how the trireme worked, or believed that it could have been rowed as fast as its ancient spinners alleged"

NOT only saved the Greeks from invasion and defeat with the naval victory over the Persians at Salamis, but warships that allowed the ancient Greeks to "project power" over the entire eastern half of the Mediterranean.

And the question, the mystery of HOW the trireme "worked" was primarily as to the positioning of the rowers, the oarsmen, how they worked in synchronicity to propel the ship forward. The trireme relied ONLY [?] upon the muscle power of the rowers during combat? FREEMEN at the oars, not slaves!

The inspiring force behind the re-construction of the Greek trireme was Sir Charles! With money donated by the Greek government, the English did succeed in constructing an actual floating, working replica, English university "crew" [oarsmen] at the oars.

And the ship did work and famously so.

This too:

"On an Athenian trireme of the Classical period there were 170 oarsmen, ten marines, four archers and sixteen sailors, including the helmsman, making a total of 200"

The ancients understood very well the need for combined arms. Even on warships. Had a contingent of sailors [exclusive of the rowers], marines, and archers. When closing on an enemy vessel, would first RAM, the archers picking off enemy sailors, crew, commanders, and the marines boarding the enemy ship to create as much mayhem as possible - - guarding their own vessel against potential enemy boarders. Oarsmen were strictly for propulsion - - not involved in the fighting!!

Re-creations of this type are normally within the strict purview of the English? The Britishers do so love things with ancient lineage. And have the necessary eccentrics, experts, "boffins", "dotty-types" that are very talented and learned and can do this sort of stuff well?


Saturday, September 12, 2009


This is coolbert:

Here with more very interesting German aircraft designs from the era of the Second World War [WW2].

Thanks to the web site Luft46.

There was a ferment of aircraft design in Germany during WW2. As necessitated by the needs of the Luftwaffe, all sorts of odd and unusual experimental aircraft were on the drawing boards, existed in the minds of the aeronautical engineers, or were built as demonstrational concepts!

To include a variety of Vertical Takeoff and Landing [VTOL] aircraft. Such as:

1. Weserflug P.1003/1.

This VTOL (Vertical Takeoff and Landing) aircraft project's design, by Weserflug, dates from 1938. A TILT-ROTOR aircraft far ahead of it's time.

"Although this was a very novel idea for an aircraft at this time, the concept never left the drawing board. A very similar design was later built by the United States as the Boeing V-22 Osprey, and began testing in 1989. Even today, the tilt-rotor concept is proving troublesome"

Absolutely. This design, the original first devised in 1938, greatly resembles the Osprey. or does the Osprey resemble the Weserflug P.1003/1? Which is it? Note that the Osprey merely rotates the engine and propeller. The Weserflug design rotates the engine, propeller, and wing!

The Osprey has done a deployment to Iraq and came back with flying colors? There has been so much controversy regarding the entire concept and now battlefield usage of this tilt-rotor aircraft! it all went well in Iraq? If it had not, you would have heard about it a long time ago?

2. Focke-Wulf Fw Triebflugel.

"This Focke-Wulf VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) fighter/interceptor was designed in September 1944. The three untapered wings rotated around the fuselage and had a gradually decreasing pitch towards the wingtips, thus acting like a giant propeller. At the end of each wing was a Pabst ramjet"

This would have had to be seen to be believed. The THREE WINGS ROTATED AROUND THE FUSELAGE, EACH WING POWERED BY A RAMJET MOUNTED ON THE WING-TIP! An aircraft best described as a "tail sitter"! "It would take off and land sitting on its tail, flying horizontally like a conventional aircraft."

Again, we have the case of the Triebflugel resembling the post-WW2 American Pogo, or is it the other way around?

Both the tilt-rotor and "tail sitter" concepts were too far ahead of their time and just so unpractical that they never got off the drawing board?

A ferment of German aircraft design without results that were meaningful? Concepts, especially the Triebflugel, that were so ahead of their time or so impractical that the effort of man-hours and developmental resources was poorly spent? The reader must decide for themselves!



This is coolbert:

"It can fly master - - it can fly!!"

"‘1,000, 1,000, 1,000’ requirements – one that could carry 1,000kg over 1,000km flying at 1,000km/h." - - H. Goering.

"Hitler's stealth bomber: How the Nazis were first to design a plane to beat radar"

"With its smooth and elegant lines, this could be a prototype for some future successor to the stealth bomber. But this flying wing was actually designed by the Nazis 30 years before the Americans successfully developed radar-invisible technology. Now an engineering team has reconstructed the Horten Ho 2-29 from blueprints, with startling results."

Many decades after the end of the war [Second World War] - - "Northrop-Grumman (the defence firm behind the B-2) [has] built a full size replica of a Horten Ho 2-29."

A German secret weapon of World War Two [WW2]! A full size [but non-flying] replica has been built.

The flying-wing concept that ONLY has recently come into fruition with the advent of multiple computers that are ABSOLUTELY needed to control the inherently unstable flying-wing design.

The German designed this plane NOT ONLY with aerodynamic efficiency in mind, but also incorporating "radar-beating" technology into the mix as well. The term "stealth" as moderns understand it would not have been used at the time.

"The most important innovation was Reimar Horten’s idea to coat it in a mix of charcoal dust and wood glue."

The center-pod of the Horten was made of metals, as was of course the jet engines. The remainder of the plane WAS MADE OF WOOD, and coated with the non-radar-reflective substance consisting of the charcoal dust and wood glue?


* Modern flying-wings must have a host of computers on-board to monitor and adjust for the inherent instability of flying-wing design type aircraft. Such designs are inherently unstable and beyond the ability of a human pilot to control. The Horten was not actually piloted [this replica cannot fly either] and only was towed aloft behind a glider during trial flights!

* Modern stealth aircraft rely upon a combination of materials, non-radar-reflecting and computer designed airfoil and fuselage surfaces that are shaped in a manner to diffuse radar waves so that return echoes are minimized.

* NO stealth aircraft is totally invisible to radar. BUT are MUCH LESS VISIBLE, shortening the reaction time by which air defense ground and air units have to respond to threats.

This replica is an American enterprise? Normally the British are very good at this stuff. Recreating old designs and determining feasibility of ancient concepts. The Greek trireme or Mr. Babbage's computational machine, for instance.


Thursday, September 10, 2009


This is coolbert:

The Britisher Michael Wood is narrating another episode of his public television series entitled: "The Story of India"!

Speaking in this particular case of the partition of British India [the Raj] into the independent nation-states of India and Pakistan [East & West].

A partition [1947] requiring what was described by Michael Wood as perhaps: "the greatest migration of persons in the history of mankind!"

14 million persons having been on the move more or less simultaneously. Hindu and Sikh moving one way [to India], Muslim moving the other [to West & East Pakistan]!

With about 1 million persons having perished during the fighting that occurred during the various population disruptions accompanying partition!

Michael Wood - - however, is not exactly correct when he asserts that this was : "the greatest migration of people in the history of mankind!"?

* In those immediate months following the end of World War Two [WW2], by one estimate, at least 14 to 15 million ethnic Germans were forcibly relocated from all over eastern Europe and returned to Germany proper [those territories that eventually became west and east Germany and today the Federal Republic]! That enormous figure of German refugees at least equaling the number of persons on the move during the partition of the Raj, and not including those other [non-German] displaced persons [DP's], ex-prisoners of war [POW], forced laborers, etc., also simultaneously being returned to their homelands or settled to some degree in DP camps [many millions of tens of millions in addition]!

* That estimate of 1 million persons perishing during Indian Partition is "low-ball", as they say? 1 to 2 million deaths is generally accepted as a more accurate figure? THOSE DEATHS OCCURRING AS PART OF THE LAST "WAR" FOUGHT WITH PRIMITIVE WEAPONRY!! War not necessarily in the traditional sense, "two groups of persons using weapons, each seeking to impose their will upon the other!" In the case of Indian Partition, no real "imposing of will" was present here, the fighting consisting more or less of inter-communal rioting and violence - - perhaps better described as gratuitous vengeance mostly?

[primitive weaponry to include standard household and farm implements. Spears, swords, knifes, hatchets, axes, mattocks, etc.]

* It is reputed that the forcible evacuation and removal [ethnic cleansing, if you will have it] of ethnic Germans from all over eastern Europe, post-WW2, resulted in about 1 to 2 million deaths also. NOT a figure, generally agreed upon?

There is always three distinct stages to any "war" 1. What led up to the war. 2. The actual fighting of the war - - the armed combat. 3. The aftermath of the war.

NO ONE specific "stage" of a war can be undestood unless the other two stages are taken into account. NO one stage exists in a vacuum, the understanding of the totality being most important!


Tuesday, September 8, 2009


This is coolbert:

Here with some comments regarding the purported use of crossbows in combat by the montagnards [yards] during the Vietnam War. Hill tribesmen recruited, trained, led into battle against the VC/NVA by American Special Forces [SF]. And before the U.S. SF, by the French GCMA.

Here, comments from the Ranger - - a man who knows:

"I seriously doubt that any SF adviser would allow a yard [montagnard] to take a knife to a gun fight . . . I was not with the yards or in one of the A camps but my guess is that these [crossbows] were used for hunting and to sucker US types into buying the bows as souvenirs. They were quite popular as . . . they required no capture papers etc... to get them home. From what I heard sprinkling a little chicken blood on them elevated the sale price."

[American soldiers policing or capturing an enemy weapon on the battlefield, could fill out "capture papers" and legally bringing an AK back to the states as a price of war - - battlefield booty! Onerous paperwork required - - not so in the case of a crossbow!]

"I never heard of any actual use of these items [crossbows] in my time with 5th Grp, but I was there late in the war. Possibly they were used in the very early days when/before transition to modern WW2 weapons."

And as a response to a query by myself that American helicopters in Vietnam, reputedly, from time to time, would return to base with crossbow bolts found sticking in the bottom of the fuselage!

"The yard bows did not have bolts that would penetrate a helos skin [helicopter/Huey UH-1], they were simply made of wood. I doubt any helo ever took a bolt hit/penetration. Surely photos would be available to show the truth of these claims. War stories get better with age."

And this IS ABSOLUTELY CORRECT! The collection of montagnard crossbows I have seen have bolts solely made of wooden, no metal tip for penetration! Strictly wood, perhaps fire-hardened?

Thank you Ranger!

As much as I would like it to be so, "taking a knife [crossbow] to a gunfight" is just not the way to go. Even the montagnards would have realized that and listened to their SF advisers!



This is coolbert:

From the Chicago Tribune today:



"British to back IRA victims"

"DUBLIN - - Britain's sudden decision to support a lawsuit against Libya by Irish Republican Army victims raised home Monday that thousands maimed or bereaved by IRA bombs might one day receive compensation."

"Libya admits it shipped hundreds of tons of weaponry to the IRA in the mid 1980's. Lawyers say they expect the regime of Col. Moammar Gadhafi to pay $16 million to each person."


* "Hundreds of tons of weaponry"! Hundreds of tons is an exaggeration? I have seen reports in the newspapers that tons were probably shipped by the Libyans to the IRA. Including a lot of explosives. Nonetheless, that amount of equipment demonstrates a real commitment by the Libyans and the Colonel to create mayhem within Northern Ireland and England. That the Libyans were so willing to engage in contacts with and aid and abet the IRA to the extent that they did surprises many people?

* This is the novel approach that has been sparingly used by those seeking redress for those "maimed or bereaved" by the IRA [or any terrorist organization for that matter], and doing so by using civil lawsuits rather than criminal prosecutions. The Libyans will have to be shown to have helped to "establish a climate" that led to the terrorist bombings of the IRA! And surely, supplying high explosives [Semtex] is "aiding and abetting", and "helping to establish a climate"!!

* That amount of $16 million each for "thousands" is A LOT by any standard! Exact number of "thousands" is not specified. Two thousand persons "maimed or bereaved" would amount to $32 billion total!

But collecting is a totally separate matter! Winning a settlement in civil court is one thing, collecting is an entirely separate affair.

And all this will be foreign to the Libyan? A concept, suit in civil court, alien to their culture and legal system? The Muslim concept of "blood money" applies here?

The chickens are coming home to roost??!!


Sunday, September 6, 2009


This is coolbert:

“Every minute, there are about two to three people that will die from malaria in the world,”

If this works, this is a breakthrough of the most monumental proportions. All because of the research for a military medical prophylactic!

"Navy Researchers Work on Malaria Vaccine"

"WASHINGTON, Aug. 31, 2009 – Researchers at the Naval Medical Research Center are testing a malaria vaccine officials hope will protect both troops and civilians in tropical and subtropical regions afflicted by the disease."

"Malaria affects 300 million to 500 million people throughout the world and kills about 1.5 million people per year . . . Malaria caused more lost work days among U.S. military personnel during the 20th century than enemy fire in all conflicts in tropical regions combined"

A vaccine for malaria has been found? Is now in the trial stages? This hold great promise for the MILITARY AND CIVILIAN SECTOR BOTH!!

A recent edition of the National Geographic carried an article dealing with the malaria. Some fantastic figures were bandied about regarding this very old scourge of mankind. Something like half of the humans that have EVER LIVED have either outright died from malaria or where stricken to the extent that their life expectancies were markedly reduced!!

Further comments:

* The British fabled Fourteenth Army of the Arakan in Burma during World War Two [WW2] suffered twelve casualties from tropical diseases for every one combat casualty! A large portion of those casualties were from malaria. Such is the debilitating effect of warfare in the tropics.

Pray that this vaccine works. This is big?


Friday, September 4, 2009


This is coolbert:

"Men who want to wage war without good reason, who seize other
people without prior warning and without any good cause and rob
and steal from them, wound and kill them ... who use arms
(dishonorably) behave like cowards and traitors" - - Geoffroi de Charny

Here is an instance of the criminal become military man. The results catastrophic for all involved.

Željko Ražnatović. Better known by the nom de guerre of Arkan! The leader of a Serb nationalist irregular force [White Tigers] which saw much combat action during the latest series of Balkan wars [Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo]!

"Željko Ražnatović . . . was a Serbian career criminal and later a paramilitary leader who was notable for organizing and leading a paramilitary force in the Yugoslav Wars"

Željko Ražnatović. A man best described as a murderer, rapist, arsonist, pillager, assassin, bank robber, jailbird, purse snatcher!

Željko Ražnatović. A man leading a "military unit" of murderers, rapists, arsonists, pillagers! A "combat unit" comprised of men primarily of Slavic origins - - identifying themselves with the Christian Orthodox faith! Men, White Tigers, also having criminal backgrounds.

[Arkan had strong contacts among the European criminal underworld. The Tigers were primarily but not exclusively Slavic? Arkan could call upon the services of a whole host of villains?]

"Arkan's Tigers, a paramilitary force he created . . . saw action from mid 1991 to late 1995 . . . It is reported that his irregular military unit consisted of up to 10,000 well-trained fighters equipped with modern weapons, including a few tanks and helicopters."

The White Tigers resemble greatly the bashi bazooks of the Ottoman period or the janjaweed of the Darfur conflict? "Troops" engaging in combat with the prospect of becoming rich through pillage?

"Arkan personally led most of war actions, and rewarded his most efficient officers and soldiers with ranks, medals and eventually the products of the lootings."

And "troops" for which the perpetration of atrocity is commonplace and EVEN ENCOURAGED!!

[the White Tigers under the command of Arkan conducted themselves in a manner similar to the chevauchee of Edward the Black Prince!?]

Generally speaking, criminal elements period just DO NOT MAKE GOOD SOLDIERS!! NOT having the desired degree of discipline - - mainly motivated by the most base and evil of all reasons!

As you well might expect, Arkan make a whole lot of enemies based upon his "military service". It was not surprising therefore when Arkan met his fate, at the hands of an assassin. Missed in some quarters, not mourned in others.

Keep in mind that the tradition of the bandit/irregular/guerrilla within the domain of eastern Europe and the Balkans is very strong. Arkan was merely following an ancient tradition that always will be?



This is coolbert:

Here are two more instances of the military man gone bad. Persons best referred to as: "Villainous Company"

1. Master Sergeant Samuel Doe.

"Samuel Kanyon Doe . . . was the President of Liberia from 1980 to 1990. His regime was characterized by ethnically-based dictatorship and the suppression of political opposition"

A minor non-commissioned officer in the Liberian Army, led a coup d' etat [1980] that became known as the Sergeants' Rebellion.

Here are the non-commissioned officers that comprised the Sergeants' Rebellion plotters.

Overthrew the legal and long time established democracy of Liberia, perpetrating from the onset a series of atrocities and executions of the ruling elite, all done with a sadistic cruelty and viciousness almost beyond measure.

"On April 12, 1980, Doe led a military coup . . . Thirteen members of the Cabinet were publicly executed ten days later . . . The early days of the regime were marked by mass executions "

About two dozen of the civilian ruling Liberian elite, stripped to their underwear, tied to poles on the beach, executed by repeated wounding [shooting to bits]. Executions seemingly carried out with relish, a mockery of any civil behavior or judicial process. Barbaric!!

Doe, assuming the "Presidency" of the Liberian state, was noted for his mercurial behavior and manner of dress. Carrying either a sub-machine gun or "boom-box", wearing either an orange jump suit or combat fatigues, ruling in a draconian and despotic manner, feared by all around him.

In the decades following the Sergeants' Rebellion, the entire region of west Africa became politically unstable, beset with a whole series of civil wars - - tribal conflicts - - wars characterized by mass murder, rape, and atrocities of a horrific nature!!

All thanks to Doe.

Doe eventually went the way of most dictators, meeting an especially cruel and grisly death by slow dismemberment. Let us say that Doe was not a liked person!

2. Colonel Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan.

Colonel in the Filipino Army. An up-and-coming young officer with the absolute correct and impeccable combination of talent, education, breeding, and accomplishment.

A man too with aspirations of a much more marked nature. NOT merely content with a high status and position within the Filipino army!

Led a WHOLE SERIES OF FAILED COUP D' ETATS!! Had his sights set as being in charge of the "whole shooting match"!

A military man in the HABIT of hatching plots - - all with the intent of overthrowing the government in power [Marcos, Aquino, Macapagal-Arroyo, etc.]! Colonel Gregorio - - a man engaging in machinations of a unseemly type - - and doing so FOR A PERIOD OF TWO DECADES!!

* "Civil unrest (1970)"
* "People Power (1986)"
* "1986-87 plots"
* "Honasan's Second (1989)"
* "Fall of Estrada (2001)"
* "May 1 riots (2001)"
* "Oakwood mutiny (2003)"
* "State of emergency (2006)"
* "Manila Peninsula rebellion (2007)"

[repeated failure seemed to not deter Gregorio one bit. One plot followed another, Gregorio having benefactors at the highest level of Filipino society! Gregorio did lead and does lead a charmed life!]

Colonel Gregorio has a lot of charisma, "staying-power", and is photogenic? Survived a number of failed coup attempts most successfully - - becoming a Filipino Senator and thriving - - even in adversity!

But still, another example of the military man gone bad!


Tuesday, September 1, 2009


This is coolbert:

Here thanks to the astute and observant reader to the blog, Edward, an occurrence of the crossbow as used in modern warfare!

An archaic weapon finding surprising usage!

"British-made crossbows 'used by Serb soldiers'"

"Whitehall [the British foreign office] has launched an investigation into reports that British-manufactured crossbows have been used by Serb soldiers against the Kosovo Liberation Army" [this particular archived entry from the Guardian dated 1999]

"[crossbows] were not covered by export restrictions. 'They are not on the military list,' a spokesman said yesterday."

"the foreign office [British] has asked the department of trade and industry and HM customs to launch an inquiry . . . and whether they should be covered by a European Union or United Nations embargo."

Who would ever think to embargo them? Who would ever think the crossbow would be used in modern warfare?

"crossbows and 'other exotic weapons' were used by Arkan, the Serbian paramilitary leader"

Arkan led the MOST [?] savage of all the Serb paramilitaries in the various Balkan "episodes"! NOT conventional fighters but better termed IRREGULARS, a mercenary-type of para-military organization for which "spoils" were an important part of the fighting. [among the Ottomans, such persons were referred to as bashi-bazooks!]

"Crossbows are believed to be used for hunting deer by poachers in Britain"

Right - - exactly! Crossbows are used in the U.S. ILLEGALLY for hunting! Give the hunter too MUCH of an advantage and are not considered to be "sporting"! BANNED for hunting in most states?

And are DEADLY IN THE EXTREME! A father thinking that giving his son a crossbow as a present and a "quaint" way of amusing the son will rue such a decision, such is the damage the weapon can cause.

Too, I am attempting to find out more concerning those Degar crossbows and combat use of same during the Vietnam conflict!

Thanks again to Edward!!