Sunday, July 31, 2011

PPsh.

 This is coolbert:

"That person who said the pen was mightier than the sword obviously has not encountered automatic weapons!" - - D. Mac Arthur.

It should be well understood that modern technology/design and the industrialized form of warfare as practiced during both World Wars has allowed the major powers of the world to equip their combat units with infantry automatic weaponry in profusion.

The squad level automatic weapon in whatever form becoming the primary "tool" as available to the infantry squad, the rifle as carried by other combat troops a secondary and supporting weapon.

Mechanization and industrialization and the capacity of the military complex to produce an abundance of automatic weaponry resulting in a greater and greater number of troops being issued rapid fire weapons of some form.

So much so that entire units of Soviet troops at the end of World War Two [WW2] were found to be equipped, each and every man, with a sub-machine gun, the PPsh. That PPsh firing a pistol round, 7.62 X 25 mm, entire units on the assault possessing what must have seemed to the defender to be overwhelming firepower.

"The Soviets would often equip whole regiments and even entire divisions with the weapon [PPsh], giving them unmatched short-range firepower."

[the average fire fight between infantry during the Second World War was said to occur at a range of 200 meters or less. Under such circumstances, the PPsh was the ideal weapon in many regards!]

The experience of the Soviet was, however, that arming each and every combat troops with a sub-machine gun did have drawbacks, to include:

* NOT effective at longer ranges.
* NOT having the desired "stopping power".
* EXCESSIVE expenditure of ammunition.

[with regard to the expenditure of ammunition, recall the admonition that lieutenants think tactics, generals think logistics.]

That PPsh ["burp gun"] as used by communist troops during the Korean War, also confounding American forces, the latter often in an infantry engagement finding themselves sorely outclassed by the massed firepower of an entire enemy unit each and every man equipped with a sub-machine gun! The PPsh giving a lot of grief to American infantry commanders!

"Though relatively inaccurate, with a high rate of fire, the PPSh-41 was well-suited to the close-range firefights that typically occurred in that conflict, especially at night. U.N. forces in defensive outposts or on patrol often had trouble returning a sufficient volume of fire when attacked by companies of communist infantry armed with the PPSh-41. Some U.S. infantry officers ranked the PPSh-41 the best combat weapon of the war; while lacking the accuracy of the U.S. M1 Garand or carbine, it provided more firepower at short distances. As one infantry captain stated: 'on full automatic it sprayed a lot of bullets and most of the killing in Korea was done at very close ranges and it was done quickly - a matter of who responded faster. In situations like that it outclassed and outgunned what we had.'"

Modern assault rifles as issued to the combat troop do have a selective fire capability, that most recent version of the American M-16 having a three-round burst capability. Most infantry units only allowing their troops to use semi-automatic fire, that three-round burst used during urban warfare or under the most dire and desperate of circumstances.

Depending upon the circumstances and type of combat, the PPsh was an ideal weapon, but not universally so? Such must have been the conclusion of the Soviet when the AK was adopted as the standard weapon? And from that point on, the assault rifle and weapon as issued to the ordinary combat soldier has continued to follow the AK and M-16 model. And for the foreseeable future, will continue to do so!

coolbert.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Dragon Lady.

This is coolbert:

Here thanks to a web site devoted to the U-2 and SR-71 reconnaissance aircraft, some interesting images of the U-2 with comments:

That U-2 aircraft, first conceived in the early 1950's taking to the air in the mid-1950's, still going strong almost sixty years later, existing in a variety of configurations - - NOT just limited to taking photographs as in the "old" days.

As originally developed [?], the U-2 carrying only cameras taking conventional photographs of ground targets, in the old fashioned manner as was first done during the Great War. The U-2 progressing far beyond that in the years to follow, "pods" and "sensors" proliferating in abundancee, the ability for "reconnaissance" as that word is understood much enhanced. The U-2 still able to take photographs, BUT MUCH MORE THAN THAT! "Reconnaissance" also from what is referred to as "stand-off" distance, not having to violate the airspace of a target.



It also being understood that the ground element of the U-2 missions were an integral part of and very important too! That U-2 from even the earliest days needing a "ground" apparatus able to process the reams of film as if AN INDUSTRIALIZED OPERATION!

That U-2 also flown as a NASA civilian research aircraft, the experimentation pods of which also are indicative of the number and types of payloads that can be carried!




Who says Americans don't make good objects of high quality and marked development any more? Surely the U-2 is an indication of an outstanding engineering expertise unrivalled!

coolbert.

Black Cat Squadron.



This is coolbert:

Thanks to the web site Intelligence News we have some latest info on the famous U-2 reconnaissance ["spy"] aircraft and an incident that obviously must have raised some eyebrows and gotten the attention of some important persons in certain quarters.

Chinese combat aircraft in hot pursuit of an U-2, entering into Taiwanese airspace, the U-2 escaping unscathed. Nonetheless a worrisome issue.

"►►China warns US to halt spy plane flights. China has demanded that the United States stops spy plane flights near the Chinese coast, saying they have 'severely harmed' trust between the two countries, state-run media reported Wednesday. The warning comes a month after two Chinese fighter jets chased an American U-2 reconnaissance plane into Taiwanese airspace."

"►►Chinese fighters chased US spy plane into Taiwan. It has been revealed that, late last June, The Taiwanese Ministry of National Defense sent two F-16 fighters to intercept a two Chinese Sukhoi-27 jets that crossed into its airspace, while pursuing an American U-2 reconnaissance plane. It was the first time that Chinese jets breached Taiwan’s airspace since 1999. The Pentagon declined to confirm the report"

It is NOT mentioned if this was an American U-2 flown by an American pilot. So we can infer this was a totally American operation?

And too - - did this flight consist of an OVERFLIGHT BY THE U-2? An actual violation of Chinese airspace or was it an off-shore, hugging the coastline, skirting the recognized border, within a buffer zone? This is not clear.

During that era of the Cold War, the ONLY OTHER operator of the U-2 was the Nationalist Chinese. Also known as the Republic of China [ROC], Taiwan.  Pilots of the Nationalist Black Cat Squadron in action over China, many times, with casualties. The pilot Gary Francis Powers was not the only U-2 pilot killed or taken prisoner!

Presumably this was what would be called a joint venture? The U.S. supplies the aircraft and trains the Chinese pilots, the missions beneficial to both sides, data and intelligence shared to a large degree? NO danger also of a shoot-down with an American pilot put on display, trial, execution, etc.

Such missions that OVERFLEW Chinese airspace ended in 1974? This according to the wiki.

"The last U-2 aircraft mission over mainland China took place on 16 March 1968. After that, all missions had the U-2 aircraft fly outside a buffer zone at least 20 nautical miles (37 km) around China."

Missions continuing however, using side-scanning and panoramic photography, a variety of other sensors, etc.

"During his visit to China in 1972, US President Richard Nixon promised the Chinese authorities to cease all reconnaissance missions near and over China . . . The last 35th Squadron mission was flown by Sungchou "Mike" Chiu on 24 May 1974 . . . The squadron flew a total of about 220 missions, with about half over mainland China, resulting in five aircraft shot down, with three fatalities and two pilots captured, and another six U-2s lost in training with six pilots killed."

That U-2 was and is now a difficult aircraft to fly. Loves to "fly" but only with the most experienced and skilled and adept aviator at the controls. And even then there can be problems. Only the best need apply and are chosen!

coolbert.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Exclusives!

This is coolbert:

From the DEBKAfile, some "exclusives":

[I always mention this but the noted blogger going by the nom de plume of Spengler says that DEBKA is totally unreliable under all circumstances. You have to judge for yourself!]

1. "Syrian cities surrounded by tanks, Homs stormed"

Assad of Syria and his minions using heavy armor [tanks] in response to the uprisings that continue to not only continue but more and more grown out of control. Assad seeing a grim situation unfold, the die has been cast and Assad is looking at the odds not being in his favor.

According to DEBKA, SO MUCH armor being used to suppress a populace armed with the proverbial "pea-shooters" that the disparity in force between the combatants is downright obscene.

"Since Thursday, July 21, Syria's entire operational fleet of 1,500 tanks surrounds the country's most active anti-Assad protest cities such as Homs, Hama, Deir al-Zour, Abu Kamal and the big Damascus suburb of Harasta . . . The army refrains from going in except in large contingents backed by heavy armor and live fire."

"DEBKAfile's military sources report that Syrian army bases have been emptied of all usable tanks"

"In Hama, the rebels control the entire city and have set up local governing committees."

"The Syrian army has lost control of the towns of the entire Euphrates Valley of eastern Syria."

Please recall and read again the blog entry from some time ago, the city of Hama, decades ago now, blasted to bits by the father of Assad. Like father - - like son! Hama down but not out evidently, the rebels even now having the upper hand.

 2. "Slain Iranian scientist was working on a nuclear bomb detonator"

Another Iranian nuclear scientist bites the dust literally so. The hallmark of the Latin American drug cartel killer, the motorcycle assassins, finding their target and succeeding. ONCE more too. This is not the first time this method has been used. And the culprit is? You decide!

"Daryush Rezaee-Nejad, 35, who died Saturday, July 23, when two motorcyclists shot him in the head and throat in front of his home in Tehran . . . DEBKAfile's Iranian sources disclose he was attached to one of the most secret teams of Iran's nuclear program, employed by the defense ministry to construct detonators for the nuclear bombs and warhead"

3. "US, Saudi Arabia smuggle satellite phones to Syrian rebels"

Counter-measures and counter-counter-measures at work here? The Syrian rebels in opposition to Assad finding the "telephone and Internet links with the outside world" being jammed, disrupted and perhaps even having deceptive and misleading info introduced by a hidden an malevolent hand. NOW the rebels being given satellite phones! These are American military satellite phones that use the Iridium system? Iridium kept aloft for some time, the commercial value of the system non-existent, but the military use still appreciated and welcomed. THESE ARE IRIDIUM PHONES?

"26 July.  Iranian intelligence experts in Damascus have been disrupting the opposition movement's telephone and Internet links with the outside world and among fellow-protesters in the country. In the last two week, the US and Saudi Arabia have smuggled thousands of satellite phones to opposition leaders, DEBKAfile reports."

DEBKAfile is totally unreliable as has been noted by Spengler? Someone out there has better info on DEBKA one way or the other. Let me know if you do.

coolbert.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Paper & Pencil II.

This is coolbert:

Paper & pencil German. 

Conclusion.

Doppelkastenschliissel & RS-44.

It should not be also thought that ONLY the Japanese military continued to use what are called "pencil and paper" cryptographics during WW2!

The German Doppelkastenschliissel and Rasterschlussel 44 also pencil and paper cryptographs of some rather surprisingly high level of security, and NOT a machine.

The Doppelkastenschliissel cryptograph the knowledge of which was obtained only by CAPTURE on the battlefield!

"During the North African campaign, the British overran a German signal center and discovered the nature of the system."

"A World War II German Army Field Cipher and How We Broke it"

"The system was used by all levels of the German army, from army groups on down, seemingly where the highest-level means (Enigma) were not necessary or available. The encryption method was a clever variation of the Playfair that rendered breaking very difficult . . . To the enemy it was Doppelkastenschliissel (Two-Box Cipher)."

And from the German BuHa security web site we have a description of the German WW2 era field cipher Rasterschlussel 44. Paper and pencil again and not a machine but very effective. Used by army units in the field to secure their communications and doing so famously.

"RASTERSCHLÜSSEL 44 - THE EPITOME OF HAND FIELD CIPHERS"

"rs44 also served as a replacement procedure provided for the enigma. No other hand methods of the second world war ultimately proved as safe as the rs44. Allied designated the proceed as unbreakable when it was used correctly. Only 29% percent of intercepted rs44 news could be decrypted with an unbearably long time warp of about two weeks. Contrast, a quota is 72% decrypted Enigma messages, which could be deciphered also almost in real time."

Finally, thanks to the Geoff Sullivan web site Hut Six we have a download available of the RS 44 for your use - - free! Secure your own comms and good luck.

Granted that all these secure cryptographic methods are NOT unconditionally safe. But provide for what was at the time an adequate degree of secrecy.

Paper and pencil? Bowed but not broken? You judge.

coolbert.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Paper & Pencil I.

This is coolbert:

Paper and pencil Japan!

Much has been written about the Ultra secret and the ability of the western allies to "read" the most secret and encrypted radio traffic of German military during World War Two [WW2]. German secret radio messages encrypted by the Enigma cipher machine "read' with more or less impunity by the Polish, French, British and finally the Americans [courtesy of the British!]. Secret radio messages as sent by the higher military command echelons "read" in real-time by the allies, producing  action-able intelligence, a war-winning measure.

Much has also been written about the Japanese Purple cryptographic machine during WW2 and the ability of the allies [British, Americans, Soviets] to "read" again with more or less impunity "secret" and supposedly secure radio traffic of the Japanese foreign ministry - - ambassadorial and diplomatic messages of the highest order, producing in real-time action-able intelligence, a war-winning measure.

Too - -  much has been written about the Japanese enciphered naval codes [i.e. JN-25] as used before and during WW2, read with impunity for the duration of the war by both the Americans and British, high-level operational command radio traffic the "reading" of which produced an abundance of real-time action-able intelligence, a war-winning measure. Enciphered naval codes, code with an additive sequence, NOT a machine cipher!

Far less, a paucity of information, almost absolutely nil even, has been written about the field army ciphers and codes of the Japanese  during WW2. WHAT EXACTLY were the allied radio interceptors and analysts of all nationalities doing during that period of prior to and during the war with regard to Japanese army codes and ciphers remains a mystery? NOT an exact mystery, but nonetheless, the effort made against the cryptographics of the Japanese army in the field seems to be lacking when compared to similar efforts made against the ciphers and codes of the German and even the Japanese diplomatic corps.

The cryptologic effort during WW2 against the Japanese army field ciphers and codes was primarily the responsibility of the Central Bureau? Basically an Australian endeavor with a very strong American adjunct? an effort that did not come into fruition and produce action-able results until 1943?

"Central Bureau did not break any high level Japanese Army codes until mid-1943 with the Water Transport code."

"On 15 January 1944, an Australian patrol . . . discovered . . . the complete cipher library of the Imperial Japanese Army's 20th Division . . . Central Bureau used the captured code books to solve the Japanese Army's main cipher system. This intelligence windfall arrived exactly when MacArthur was most prepared to take advantage of it."

Central Bureau finally make progress into Japanese field army ciphers and codes rather late in the game, the Japanese army preferring and using an enciphered code system in contrast to a MACHINE CIPHER!

"BREAKING OF THE JAPANESE ARMY'S CODES, THE"

Allied cryptologic personnel in the Pacific theatre lacked more than anything else that necessary measure of raw "secure" radio traffic available for examination, evaluation, analysis, "reading"!

From the Chinese Black Chamber by H.O. Yardley we have this entry:

"Long ago I sent wireless operators and Japanese translators with equipment to the fronts, east, north, south. All to no avail. They are too cowardly to remain close enough to the front to intercept long wave messages for study and decipherment . . . We can, of course, receive shortwave messages here in Chungking, but what is needed are front-line dispatches, which, for technical reasons, are sent long wave. Such messages can be heard only near the scene of battle."

Long wave transmissions. Those radio transmissions using the frequencies below the standard medium wave broadcast band frequencies, that is to say, below 550 KHZ NOT short wave [3-30 MHZ]. Radio transmitters as used by the Japanese army in the field using long wave frequencies, very reliable under all conditions but only usually hear-able at shorter distances, several hundred miles at most, and that under the most ideal of conditions. First the Chinese and then the various allied nations active in the Pacific war against the Japanese because of "technical reasons" NOT able to intercept that abundance of radio traffic allowing for swift and sure analysis and decryption of secret messages.

That is all there to it? A mere matter of technology. The radio intercept stations of the allies had to be close to copy the secret radio messages of the Japanese army, encrypted using a two-part code with an additive sequence. The quantity of traffic was for a long time inadequate for careful and discerning analysis to be made? NO more than that?

coolbert.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Verulus.



This is coolbert:

"we will stand - - and hold!!" 

Here from a movie review [?], the author confusing the various cinematic masterpieces, Fall of the Roman Empire, Spartacus, and Gladiator.

"VERULUS, GLADIATOR AND FATHER"

"Of all the characters in Fall of the Roman Empire, it is the story of Verulus (Anthony Quayle), which plays out quietly in the background, that fascinates me most."

The "commander" of the gladiator combat contingent, Verulus, as played by Anthony Quayle. Anthony a man MOST SUITED to play a warrior and combatant, Anthony having served most nobly in the Second World War, as a partisan fighter in Albania, and an officer who would have served in the same capacity if and when England had been invaded by the German!

"Some gladiators were volunteers (mostly freedmen or very low classes of freeborn men) who chose to take on the status of a slave for the monetary rewards or the fame and excitement [the "rush"]. Anyone who became a gladiator was automatically infamis, beneath the law and by definition not a respectable citizen."

This is not necessarily so. Some Romans, seeking adventure more than anything else, became gladiators, enjoying the "occupation", the fight and the kill, the blood, and evidently did so with relish. To include - - the brother of the famous Mark Antony!

According to John Keegan:

"there were volunteers as well as slaves in the ranks of the gladiators. And not all of them social refugees: Mark Antony's brother Lucius fought as a gladiator in Asia Minor."

"the gladiators are tough and good killers, they have not had the type of military training that enables to regular military to work together as team."

". . . military training is about building group cohesion and loyalty while gladiator training is about creating an entertaining killer who has no loyalty to anything but staying alive."

The SOLDIER as compared to the WARRIOR. The SOLDIER fighting as part of a team, not as an individual, the SOLDIER fighting according to a plan and not in a helter-skelter manner, the SOLDIER accepting willingly discipline and comporting himself to same.

The gladiator regiment as commanded by Verulus taking off in mass panic when the Germanii attack, the inability of the gladiators to fight as a TEAM being most self-evident!

"Verulus also probably did not feel comfortable talking back to people who outranked him so much. As a slave or other lowly person, he would have been in the habit of keeping his mouth shut."

NO, NOT SO! Verulus did have a haughty manner about him and this was also highly merited. Verulus had fought and survived many battles in the area and in contrast to the majority of his comrades who DID cut and run when in combat with the Germanii, Verulus stood his ground and did fight well! Verulus did speak to those of higher station than himself with authority and a marked degree of confidence!

The author confuses [?] Verulus with the EVIL Marcellus of Spartacus. Marcellus also a very adept gladiator, proficient at killing and also a veteran of the arena, having won his freedom by killing a whole host of opponents. Marcellus is a villain you love to hate, par excellence, his death at the hands of Spartacus well deserved, without question justice! [Marcellus as shown in the movie drowned in a vat of soup!]

The author also has the periods confused? The events as shown in the movie Spartacus occurred around 71 B.C. or so, the events as shown in the movies Fall of the Roman Empire and Gladiator during the time of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius [d. 180 A.D.]!

"uri, uinciri, uerberari, ferroque necari"

coolbert.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Wool!

This is coolbert:

Extracts and comments from this very interesting NewsMax article:

Those participants for the major re-enactment of the first major battle of the American Civil War - - attired in what was for-the-time standard uniform, all-wool outer garments, having to endure oppressive heat and humidity way in excess of what was encountered one hundred fifty years ago.

 "Wool-clad Civil War Re-enactors Brace for Heat"

"MANASSAS, Va. (AP) — For all the attention to authenticity, organizers for a major re-enactment marking the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Bull Run can't replicate one important detail: the weather."

"Forecasts this weekend in Manassas call for temperatures to reach triple digits, with the heat index perhaps exceeding 115 degrees. Back in 1861, when the North and South clashed in the Civil War's first major land battle, recorded temperatures were in the 80s."

"But authentic wool uniforms are a point of pride and are not to be sacrificed in the name of staying cool. So what's a re-enactor to do?"

This is surprising? On the battlefield [1861], over two hundred types of uniform were worn by the various combatants. During that era, the uniform you wore and the flag as carried by the unit standard bearer was an important factor for recognition, preventing battlefield "friendly fire" being a possibility. Also a source of pride for each unit as well, the various state militias and regular army units in competition as to whose uniform was more "smarter"!

"At Manassas, uniforms are especially important. More than 200 uniforms were worn in the battle, which relied heavily on militia units from the various states, each of which had its own distinctive uniform. The patchwork of colors contributed to confusion on the battlefield, as soldiers struggled to determine who was friend and who was foe."

And most of those men, re-enactors, are indeed middle-aged men, the heat being a severe and actually dangerous problem for them! Can cause death!

"the heat can pose a problem, especially for a re-enactor population that is largely middle aged even though soldiers themselves were typically young men."

It should be well understood that people of that era from one hundred fifty years ago too were just more "tougher" than a modern contemporary. Accustomed to out-of-door work and strenuous, hard, back-breaking labor. Pound-for-pound the man of that time [150 years ago] was twice as strong as his counter-part from today. Wearing an all-wool uniform was a not a problem for those troops on the First Manassas battlefield? Indeed, for those troops having to sleep out in the open and on the ground an all-wool uniform at night was a godsend?

coolbert.

Sixteen Buck

This is coolbert:

"one of the better ideas to come out of the Vietnam war"

Indeed - - I'd forgotten about this. Another good idea to come out of the Vietnam War. One of the few good ideas - - and be well advised that there were few!

The American military in Vietnam, organized, trained, and equipped to fight a global thermonuclear war against the Soviet Union, finding that a number of concepts, weapon systems, etc., NOT well suited for the type of combat as experienced in Vietnam. ONLY one instance being those fast mover tactical combat aircraft whose mission was to carry an atomic payload - - never intended to operate in a COIN [counter-insurgency] environment!

Solutions to this problem being sought, a variety of remedies were instituted, ONLY A FEW of them being considered as successes. To include:

* The riverine task force.
* The armored cavalry regiment [ACAV].

The former that combination of US Navy assets and American army infantry deployed as the "brown water" navy. Flotillas using the Mekong river as a "staging ground", ship-borne combat troops able to penetrate denied territory, defeating the North Vietnamese/Viet Cong enemy on their own turf.

[the Mekong river from the mouth of the river inland to Phnom Penh and INTERNATIONAL WATERWAY, especially during the rainy season. The river at times becoming more or less an inland sea!]

The latter [ACAV] that proper regimental sized combination of tanks, APC, infantry, self-propelled artillery, helicopter gunships and engineers able to conduct armor and mechanized operations in jungle terrain. Where the deployment of armor was supposedly not feasible, the ACAV made it so!

This TOO was a success in Vietnam? Unexpected but greatly welcomed!

The AC-47 gunship. Spooky and "Puff the Magic Dragon"! C-47 cargo airplane retro-fitted as a combat aircraft - - three 7.62 mm [NATO round] rapid fire mini-guns aboard, providing close-air-support [CAS] on-call, on-demand! Piloted and manned by the Air Commado!

An extract from the book  "Air commando: fifty years of the USAF Air Commando and Special Operations ... By Philip D. Chinnery" [thanks to Google books]

page 110. "Spooky Arrives."

"By the time the first Douglas AC-47 gunship entered service in 1965, the aging cargo aircraft had already been around for 20 years. The mating of the old, dependable aircraft with the latest technology in machine-guns and the far-from-new concept of sideways-firing weapons was one of the better ideas to come out of the Vietnam war. It had long been known that an aircraft flying a pylon turn around a fixed point on the ground could keep that point in sight all the time. However, not until 1964 was it proved that an aircraft with sideways-firing guns could continuously engage a target on the ground and keep in under fire as it circled the target in a left bank."

"Tests with the new 6,000 rounds per minute 7.62mm General Electric SUU-11A/A Gatling gunpod, fitted to a C-131 [?], produced 25 hits on a 10ft. rubber raft with just a one-second burst. Later rests showed that a burst could cover an area the size of a football pitch and put a round into every square foot. Such a weapon could prove a life-saver to the defenders of the hamlets and forts  in the countryside of Vietnam, and field testing began in Vietnam at the end of 1964."

"The gunship could carry 24,000 rounds of ammunition [3 guns per aircraft] and 45 parachute flares with a burning time of three minutes each. The crew consisted of a pilot/aircraft commander, copilot, navigator, three gunners . . . and a Vietnamese interpreter."

That AC aircraft, able to loiter for an extended period over a target, carry illumination and a prodigious quantity of ammunition, lay waste to an enemy unit almost in an instant. The enemy for the most part HAVING NO COUNTER TO THE GUNSHIP!

An old and out of date and thought to be obsolete aircraft from an original design even before WW2 refurbished and adopted as a counter-insurgency combat warplane with enormous firepower and capability. Able to inflict damage upon the enemy ALMOST AS IF A TACTICAL [special emphasis on tactical] NUCLEAR WEAPON WAS BEING USED!

Numerous were the instances during the Vietnam War of AC gunships providing CAS in the most desperate circumstances to American and South Vietnamese troops, in particular those isolated and very vulnerable Special Forces camps when under attack needing fire support and receiving it from AC aircraft, a wall-of-steel and continual illumination providing the difference between life and death!

"Death from above"!!

And please don't think the AC-47 is now out of action, gone with the end of the Vietnam War. Those warplanes were eventually sold to Columbia and still might be in action, CAS the South American way! Amazing!

coolbert.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Mullen & Stuxnet.

This is coolbert:

From the latest DEBKAfile Review dated today:

1. "US Adm. Mike Mullen honored by Israel's high command" 

"Mullen appreciates the IDF as the second strongest Western army after the US armed forces and America's most reliable military mainstay."

Mike Mullen, American Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff being honored by the Israeli. Mike retiring as of this coming September after a very successful tenure as Chairman of JCS.

 "the IDF [Israeli Defense Forces] as the second strongest Western army after the US armed forces"

The distinguished Israeli military historian and commentator Martin Van Creveld might disagree with this. NOT merely "the second strongest Western army" but perhaps THE SECOND OR THIRD STRONGEST MILITARY IN THE WORLD PERIOD IS THE ISRAELI! That is taking into account the totality of the weaponry and services, army, navy, air force, nuclear weaponry, outer space capability, etc.

2. "Stuxnet returns to bedevil Iran's nuclear systems"

"DEBKAfile's intelligence sources report that the Stuxnet malworm which played havoc with Iran's nuclear program for eleven months was not purged after all. Tehran never did overcome the disruptions caused by Stuxnet or restore its centrifuges to smooth and normal operation as was claimed . . . Iran finally resorted to the only sure-fire cure, scrapping all the tainted machines and replacing them with new ones –"

That malware Stuxnet, malicious, pervasive, insidious, all-encompassing and disastrous to the Iranian nuclear program, peaceful or otherwise, still not down for the count, still doing damage, not purged. The Iranian left with no alternative but to replace thousands of centrifuges, those devices used to separate and purify the weapons grade [?] U-235 uranium in quantities needed for a bomb or other! Replacement having to be costly, time-consuming, laborious and a lot of aggravation!!


DEBKAfile on top of things? You decide!

coolbert.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Surprise?

This is coolbert:

Here thanks to the ANZAC.org web site we have some interesting figures - - Australian dead from the Vietnam War, a tabulation of causes - - the "means of death", NOT always as folks think when they read about deaths and losses in wartime.

"Here are approximate figures for the means of death of 499 of the 519 deaths recorded in the Vietnam Memorial":

* "Direct enemy contact - 258. This includes being shot by snipers or in ambushes or other contacts, being hit by rockets or grenades, being in helicopters that were shot down."

* "Mines - 109. This includes setting off enemy mines."

* "Murder (by other Australian troops or in fights with Vietnamese) - 6."

* "'Friendly fire' (by artillery falling short, or soldiers mistaking their comrades for enemy) - 33."

* "Accident (including drowning, struck by lighting, traffic accidents, falling from helicopters, fainting and hitting a concrete floor) - 29."

* "Illness/disease (including heart attacks, strokes, suspected alcohol poisoning, typhus) - 28."

* "Shooting or explosives accidents (including weapons, mines or grenades going off accidentally) - 36."

* "So about one in four of all deaths were not caused by the enemy."

And NONE of this is unusual. NONE of this should be surprising. The military is a place where duty, even when not in combat, can be hazardous to your health. All those military drills, disciplinary routines, rote exercises, set ritual, medical prophylactics, immediate actions, etc., all have a function to keep the individual troop alive by minimizing danger to the greatest extent possible. NOT always successfully, regrettably so, but nonetheless, the effort is made, even if on occasion the will, self-discipline and leadership is lacking.

[As a side note, the Soviet Union in Afghan suffered about 5,000 dead in combat, 15,000 wounded in combat, and about 300,000 NON-BATTLEFIELD CASUALTIES! That latter group I would suspect mostly hepatitis infection from drinking bad water. Medical care was lacking, perhaps even non-existent or even totally ignored!]

coolbert.

Mahan III.


This is coolbert:

Mahan - - conclusion.

Scipio [Africanus] and Wellington [Arthur Wellesley].

Quoting to a degree with entirety from the preface to: "The Influence of Sea Power Upon History: 1660-1783 [1890]"

"'Twice,' says Arnold in his History of Rome, 'Has there been
witnessed the struggle of the highest individual genius against the
resources and institutions of a great nation, and in both cases the
nation was victorious. For seventeen years Hannibal strove against
Rome, for sixteen years Napoleon strove against England; the efforts
of the first ended in Zama, those of the second in Waterloo.'"

"Sir Edward Creasy, quoting this, adds: 'One point, however, of the
similitude between the two wars has scarcely been adequately dwelt on;
that is, the remarkable parallel between the Roman general who finally
defeated the great Carthaginian, and the English general who gave the
last deadly overthrow to the French emperor. Scipio and Wellington
both held for many years commands of high importance, but distant
fromthe main theatres of warfare. The same country was the scene of
 theprincipal military career of each. It was in Spain that Scipio, like
Wellington, successively encountered and overthrew nearly all the
subordinate generals of the enemy before being opposed to the chief
champion and conqueror himself. Both Scipio and Wellington restored
their countrymen's confidence in arms when shaken by a series of
reverses, and each of them closed a long and perilous war by a
complete and overwhelming defeat of the chosen leader and the chosen
veterans of the foe.'"

"Neither of these Englishmen mentions the yet more striking
coincidence, that in both cases the mastery of the sea rested with the
victor. The Roman control of the water forced Hannibal to that long,
perilous march through Gaul in which more than half his veteran troops
wasted away; it enabled the elder Scipio, while sending his army from
the Rhone on to Spain, to intercept Hannibal's communications, to
return in person and face the invader at the Trebia. Throughout the
war the legions passed by water, unmolested and unwearied, between
Spain, which was Hannibal's base, and Italy, while the issue of the
decisive battle of the Metaurus, hinging as it did upon the interior
position of the Roman armies with reference to the forces of Hasdrubal
and Hannibal, was ultimately due to the fact that the younger brother
could not bring his succoring reinforcements by sea, but only by the
land route through Gaul. Hence at the critical moment the two
Carthaginian armies were separated by the length of Italy, and one was
destroyed by the combined action of the Roman generals."

Those main points to reiterate are: [Scipio and Wellington both]

* "held for many years commands of high importance"
* "distant from the main theatres of warfare"
* "The same country was the scene of the principal military career"
* "[both] encountered and overthrew nearly all the subordinate generals of the enemy"
* "in both cases the mastery of the sea rested with the victor"
* "[both] closed a long and perilous war by a complete and overwhelming defeat [of the enemy]"

Control the sea and utilize SEA POWER and you have a marked advantage over your enemy. As it was for Scipio, so it was for Wellington over two thousand years later!!

With Arnold and Creasy you have mere "recitation of facts"? With Mahan the facts and the insight from the master of the facts and the insight!

coolbert.



Mahan II.


This is coolbert:

Mahan - - the book!

That "single most influential book in naval strategy", "The Influence of Sea Power upon History" as authored by Mahan, in a very indirect manner, not anticipated, helping to establish a climate, an arms race of major importance, World War One [WW1] the result?

"The Influence of Sea Power Upon History: 1660-1783 is a history of naval warfare written in 1890 by Alfred Thayer Mahan. It details the role of sea power throughout history and discusses the various factors needed to support and achieve sea power, with emphasis on having the largest and most powerful fleet. Scholars consider it the single most influential book in naval strategy"

NOT HOWEVER, MERELY A HISTORY BOOK. MUCH MORE THAN A HISTORY BOOK!

"Mahan began the book with an examination of what factors lead to a supremacy of the seas, especially how Britain was able to rise to its near dominance. He identifies such features as geography, population, and government, and expands the definition of sea power as comprising a strong navy and commercial fleet."

"The book then goes on to describe a series of European and American wars and how naval power was used in each."

[download and keep for free your own copy of "The Influence of Sea Power upon History"]

The Kaiser wanting Imperial Germany to be imperial, in the sense of not merely a player of continental [Europe] dimensions, but "acting out" a role on the world stage of major proportions.

German power projection to all points of the world being accomplished by a robust and strong fleet, backed up by an equally robust and strong merchant marine. Germany in 1914 possessing the second largest navy and merchant marine BOTH!

Imperial Germany prior to 1914 having a smattering of overseas colonies and concessions, the Kaiser greatly desirous to increase his "holdings", those lands already under German dominion to include:

* German Togoland.
* German Cameroon.
* German Southwest Africa.
* German East Africa.
* German Samoa.
* Various other Pacific islands.
* German New Guinea.
* Chinese concessions [Tsingtao, etc.]

That naval arms race of the pre-Dreadnought and Dreadnought era great alarming the English Worrisome to a degree that Germany, previously always a major European LAND power had become a major naval power as well. A continental power [Germany] seeking expansion and domination perhaps of first Europe and then the world! Der Tag!

The English in response to this naval arms build-up seeking and entering into treaties and alliances with France and Russia - - counters to German might! Those treaties and alliances almost GUARANTEEING that regional conflict would become a general European war and subsequently a global conflagration!

ALL THIS FROM ONE BOOK?

"Germany's insistence on building a fleet that could challenge Britain's naval domination underscored German bellicosity and pushed Britain toward alignment with France and Russia."

"the Imperial German Navy was built up at an impressive rate once the state's coffers were opened wide in 1898. This reflected the personal interest of Kaiser Wilhelm II, who became besotted with battleships after reading Alfred Thayer Mahan's best-selling treatise, The Influence of Sea Power On History in the early 1890s."

The German navy by 1914 both quantitatively and qualitatively [?] inferior to the British, but NOT SO MARKEDLY SO! Asymmetric weapons such as the submarine combined with aggressive and well-thought-out offensive action allowing for a "possible". One immense and climactic sea battle the result of which would be English defeat, a negotiated peace and settlement favorable to the German, Der Tag ensuing from naval victory and control of the seas, in the manner as understood and advocated by Mahan.

coolbert.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Mahan I.



This is coolbert:

Mahan - - the early years.

Here is the man that started World War One [WW1]! The Great War [1914-1918].

Alfred Thayer Mahan! American career naval officer and scholar of the first order. Often referred to as the man who did for naval warfare what Clausewitz did for land combat!

Of course did not start the war directly! Mahan NOT pressing a button giving off the "go" signal. ONLY had an influence of the most peripheral and indirect kind, perhaps not even anticipated or would have ever been conceived in the mind of the man himself if he had been alive at the time [1914]!

Those various military powers of Europe, poised and ready in 1914, those powers having previously entered into a series of inter-locking alliances and treaties compelling mutual support in case of war. A mere regional conflict very quickly and in an inexorable manner becoming a continental war and ultimately a WORLD WAR!

In particular, the British, alarmed by the sudden, intense and very worrisome rise of Imperial German naval and sea power, hoping to forestall an eventual war with German, entering into treaties and alliances with France and Russia! Germany and the Kaiser hoping to use sea power to "project power" to all points of the globe, the scholarly works of Mahan having great sway among the ruling elites of Germany!

Mahan from his earliest boyhood years recognized as a bright student almost without peer, outstandingly so!

Alfred Thayer Mahan academic record at the Naval Academy, Annapolis:

"second in a class of twenty, with a record apparently very close to the leader's; and Sampson stood first. In his last year the future historian was first in seamanship, physics, political science, and moral science, third in naval tactics and gunnery, fourth in 'steam engine' and fifth in astronomy and navi-gation."

Mahan entering the Academy as ALREADY an out-standing scholar and recognized as such. Actually, a scholar as a teenager, a phenom what they are called - - a prodigy.

"Alfred Thayer Mahan entered the Naval Academy at  Annapolis, Maryland, September 30, 1856. . . . he was at the time of his entrance but three days above sixteen . . . . Having attended Columbia College for two years preceding [Mahan] was permitted by a concession of which this is believed to be the only instance in the annals of the Academy to omit the first year's work and enter with the 'Youngster' class"

"Alfred Thayer Mahan . . . 'the most important American strategist of the nineteenth century.' His concept of "sea power" was based on the idea that the most powerful navy will control the globe . . . The concept had an enormous influence in shaping the strategic thought of navies across the world"

Sea power as that term understood by Mahan to include A MILITARY NAVAL FORCE AND A LARGE AND ROBUST MERCHANT MARINE!

That most prominent work of Mahan being: "The Influence of Sea Power upon History"

A history but MUCH MORE than a history! A scholarly treatise that described not only the events but looks at those events from the viewpoint of the naval theoretician and serving flag officer [admiral]! History of naval warfare as seen by the naval combat commander!

Mahan, without argument, a man of intellect and profound learning even  from an early age, it being reasonable to suggest the man was a man of destiny!

coolbert.




Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mumbai!

This is coolbert:

Thanks to the SATP we have some updates on the latest Mumbai terrorist attack:

"18 people killed and 131 others injured in serial blasts in Mumbai"

"the IEDs [improvised explosive devices] were wrapped in cloth bags and tiffin carriers—the signature of the IM. Sources say that it could be the handiwork of Indian Mujahideen (IM), which recently formed a group called the 313 Squad and has been recruiting youngsters to it."

"Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said on July 14 (today) . . . the perpetrators of the attacks had worked in a very clandestine manner since Indian intelligence agencies received no warning of a possible attack on Mumbai before the blasts. He further informed that the bombs used in the attacks were made of ammonium nitrate and were not remotely triggered."

This latest incident is the work of NOT terrorists doing the biding of a foreign group? Is the work of local Indian jihadists? The Indian Mujahideen are suspected as being the culprits in this attack?

"Indian Mujahideen (Hindi: इंडियन मुजाहिदीन ) is a indigenous terrorist group in India, that has claimed responsibility for several attacks against innocent targets in India."

These were ANFO devices. Ammonium nitrate fuel oil bombs. Crudely made but deadly and effective and unfortunately can be manufactured for a very low cost!!

Mumbai again struck by deadly a terrorist attack for which THERE SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN NO WARNING! The terrorist directing his venom and villainous behavior toward India has a special hate and animus for Mumbai? Mumbai represents everything that angers the jihadi? Bollywood, the diamond and jewelry district, the growing and burgeoning degree of prosperity, an overall sense of "moving ahead", etc. Maharashtra state too is associated with the Hindu principality that was ruled by Shivaji!

New York City in America and Mumbai in India. In both cases, the # 1 targets!

coolbert.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Intrepid.

This is coolbert:

From a variety of sources today - - an item of interest. American sailors, casualties of the American war with the Barbary Pirates, over two hundred years ago now,  the repatriation of their remains a "hot-button" item, the death and burial of these brave men long thought forgotten - - BUT NOT SO!

1. From the Chicago Tribune today:

"Battle to bring home 13 buried sailors"

"N.J. city, lawmaker seek remains from 1804 blast in Libya"

"1804: In the fight against Tripoli, the USS Intrepid is sent on a mission to destroy the enemy fleet using a large explosive charge. During the attack, it is intercepted and destroyed in an explosion. The 13 men aboard are later buried by enemy forces in areas in and around Tripoli."



"Eight of the sailors' remains lie in an unmarked mass grave under Tripoli's Green Square, where supporters of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi frequently hold anti-American protests."

American sailors on a special operations type of mission, circa 1804, their ship and themselves blown up, all hands lost!

"The Intrepid blew up prematurely, however, and the sailors' bodies were dragged through the the streets of Tripoli and fed to a pack of dogs as U.S. prisoners begged the pirates to stop and were allowed to bury the sailors."

[how similar to Somalia and Fallujah - - is it not? ]

2. From the Time magazine on line blog "Battleland":

"Battleland - - Where military intelligence is not a contradiction in terms"

"Bringing the U.S. Sailors Home from Libya"

"13 U.S. Navy commandos remain interred on Libyan soil . . . the 13, led by Navy Master Commandant Richard Somers, were aboard the 'floating volcano' USS Intrepid, which was to move into Tripoli harbor to be blown up amid the pirate fleet there. But the vessel detonated prematurely on Sept. 4, 1804, killing them all."

3. From the William Kelly web site blog devoted to the USS Intrepid incident and the desire to repatriate the bodies of the American sailors:

"REMEMBER THE INTREPID"

"At the Grave of Richard Somers in Tripoli"

"200 years and thousands of miles away, Richard Somers is now closer to home than ever before."

"the remains of Lt. Richard Somers and the 12 man crew of the USS Intrepid are buried in a small park near Tripoli harbor where they died on September 4, 1804."

Gone but hardly forgotten, these brave American naval men, officers and enlisted alike, the casualties of a forgotten war from a forgotten time, but not forgotten by all!

The current situation in Libya, the Colonel in Tripoli feeling the heat, the remains Somers and his shipmates soon will be disinterred and returned to the U.S.? An opportunity that has not existed for over forty years now has been made manifest in an unanticipated manner!

coolbert.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Westboro.

This is coolbert:

Again from the Military Times we have the Westboro Church as a topic of discussion:

"Battle Rattle - A Marine Corps Times Blog – Westboro Baptist Church"

"Westboro protester gets a faceful of Marine Corps pride outside the Supreme Court"

"Inside one raw morning at the Supreme Court with the Westboro Baptist Church"

"Spray and pray: Westboro group targeted with mace"

"Comic book nerds clown on Westboro Baptist Church"

The Reverend Phelps and his congregation, a group of gadflies, unwanted persons provoking bereaved parents in an obscene manner, "demonstrating" at the funerals of American servicemen killed in Iraq or Afghan. Obscene and egregious displays of disrespect deliberately done with relish to antagonize and create ill-will where that is last thing needed. "Demonstrations" that are an ABOMINATION!

Let me further clarify as I have done before about the "reverend". This Fred Phelps from my perspective is not who he says he is! Some sort of false flag operation?

1. Fred is NOT an ordained minister. Did study at theology school but was never ordained. Is what is called a lay preacher. Has no real standing as a minister as that term is generally, ordinarily and commonly understood.

2. His "church" is his home, his domicile and nothing more than that! NOT a church as that term is generally, ordinarily and commonly understood.

3. His "congregation" is himself and his family and that is that! NOT a congregation as that term is generally, ordinarily and commonly understood.

Something is not right with Fred, his ministry, his congregation and his church! A false flag? That remains to be seen and by whom! I have a hunch but will say no more!

Devoted readers to the blog pass this along to one and all! The truth is out there!

coolbert.

M27.

This is coolbert:

Thanks to the Military Times and as posted by Dan Lamothe some photos of the M27 in action!

"Exclusive photos: The M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle in combat"

"The M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle was approved for full fielding recently by Commandant Gen. Jim Amos. Marine Corps Times profiled the decision in its print edition last week, outlining what it means for each fire team, rifle qualifications and the gear Marines bring to war."



This M27 to me again has the appearance of and seems to be no more than a modified M4 carbine with a bipod, some fancy add-ons and that is that! NOT much more than a M16 capable of full auto fire. NOT an automatic rifle as that term is generally, commonly, and ordinarily understood.

Please read carefully all the comments. Very enlightening from a lot of military vets and persons who have seen recent combat!

Note also in the photo the positioning of the radio on the right soldier and the response that particular item elicited:

"That Marine needs to move his PRC-153 to his non-dominant shoulder. Not going to be able to get shots off w/ any accuracy with the buttstock on your comm gear."

Believe it or not, Marines are fallible too!

M27 is good to go? A primary weapon of the infantry squad that will be able to provide that sustained auto fire that is the needed for fire and maneuver? For some reason I am skeptical of this whole thing! Other devoted readers to the blog are too?

coolbert.

Automatic Rifle/M27.

This is coolbert:

This was totally new to me! Perhaps you too?

Thanks to the SF man Rich for the tip! "HK417/ M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle will replace the SAW. The SAW's used in Iraq and Afghanistan were worn out and as heavy as the BAR"

At least for the United States Marines [USMC], the SAW, the M249 is now an obsolete weapon and going to be replaced, right now, this year, as we speak. The new weapon labeled, given the nomenclature of and designated as an automatic rifle.


That M249 SAW [squad automatic rifle] at least in Iraq found to be lacking, susceptible to jamming, heavy for a weapon of that class [SAW], and just not adequate with regard to the caliber of round, not having the penetration power desired. This comment regarding the SAW from the Military Thoughts blog way back when now:

"2) The M249 SAW (squad assault weapon): .223 cal. Drum fed light machine gun. Big thumbs down. Universally considered a piece of< shit. Chronic jamming problems, most of which require partial disassembly. (that's fun in the middle of a firefight)."

 My perception of the SAW originally was that IT was the ABSOLUTE ANSWER to the squad automatic weapon "problem". Automatic weapon designed as such and firing a compatible round with the M16 rifle.

The SAW was NOT the answer? The M27 when fielded to represent the "base of fire" for an infantry squad using "fire and maneuver" when confronted by and in combat with the enemy!!

[ever since the latter days of WW1 the automatic weapon as carried by the troops of an infantry squad has been the primary weapon available, rifles as carried by everyone else secondary and only used in support of the automatic weapon!]

The M27 having a thirty round magazine but continuing to fire the same 5.56 mm round as the M16 and to be used in combat exclusively [?] in the auto mode, not selective fire!

This M27 to me does NOT represent an automatic rifle [AR] as that term has ordinarily understood. When I think of automatic rifle the American BAR of WW1, WW2, and Korean War fame immediately comes to mind. A weapon capable of sustained auto fire with a long and heavy barrel, the round having a lot of knock-down power. The stubby barrel of the M27 seems NOT to be very robust or able to provide sustained long- range auto fire if needed?

The M27 will be an improvement over the SAW M249? I hope so! Other than weight [and that is an important feature], this M27 to me does not represent on paper a significant improvement over the SAW! I might like to think otherwise, but my intuition, as flawed as it might be, tells me otherwise.

This waits to be seen!

coolbert.

Firefly.

This is coolbert:

During the Second World War [WW2], allied [American and British] tank design and development was in a state of ferment the entire period, fielding a range of armor, those vehicles of allied design and manufacture quite often finding themselves in an inferior status - - under gunned in comparison to the German counterpart.

Desperate circumstances require desperate measures. Such a measure was the design and development of the British Firefly tank. An existing American Sherman tank the turret of which was gutted and re-designed  to accommodate the installation of a gun capable of even defeating at range the most potent armor available to the German. And JUST IN TIME FOR THE NORMANDY INVASION!

"The Sherman Firefly was a World War II British variant of the American Sherman tank, fitted with the powerful British 17 pounder anti-tank gun as its main weapon. Originally conceived as a stopgap until future British tank designs came into service"

"It soon became highly valued as the only British tank capable of defeating the Panther and Tiger tanks it faced in Normandy at standard combat ranges"

The Firefly the only tank available to the allies in Normandy [1944] able to kill at longer ranges the very formidable German Panther and Tiger tanks. German Panther and Tiger tanks relatively impervious to existing allied tank and anti-tank guns except at the closest of rangers.

The Firefly an expedient weapons system, existing Sherman tanks having their turrets radically re-engineered to allow for a "fit" of the 17 pounder gun. The Firefly AVAILABLE ONLY TO BRITISH AND DOMINION TROOPS AND NOT AMERICAN!

In the role of tank versus tank, mano-a-mano, the Firefly performing in an excellent manner, for the mission intended more than adequate, a stop-gap measure, wartime modifications done as an expedient to fill a dire need. Given high priority from the command of Churchill himself!

The German tank ace and SS Mann Michael Wittmann and his crew, famous/infamous depending upon your viewpoint, meeting their end on a Normandy battlefield, casualties of an encounter with a Firefly or a massed unit of Firefly, the situation not entirely clear.

coolbert.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Area 51/Project 57.

This is coolbert:

"Area 51 was the single most important Cold 
War facility as it was set up to push science 
faster and further than the Soviet Union," 

Here thanks to the English Independent and the Daily Beast we have some good stuff regarding the much ballyhooed Area 51.

American TOP SECRET facility out in the middle of the Nevada high desert, renowned for security, secrecy, and undoubted successes and failures.

A facility the employees of which were flown in EVERY DAY FROM LOS ANGELES, THREE HUNDRED MILES AWAY, AND FLOWN HOME IN THE EVENING!

Accomplishments, acknowledged and agreed upon by the experts to include the engineering and testing of such aviation marvels as the:

* U-2 spy plane.
* SR-71 reconnaissance aircraft.
* F-117 stealth fighter-bomber.

And undoubtedly other aerial vehicles we are only vaguely aware of and only hinted at, the "Beast of Kandahar" among them?

1. "The (very) secret history of Area 51"

"Just how covert is the infamous US air base? New files show that even Presidents don't always 'need to know' its activities"

Area 51 NOT MERELY an airbase. Much more than that. A manufacturing and test facility combined, the limits of engineering R&D pushed way beyond the limits, the "envelope" stretched to the non-linear breaking point and further if possible.

2. "America's Secret Nuclear Test Revealed in Area 51"

 "Code-named the 57 Project, and later Project 57, the Atomic Energy Commission, the U.S. Air Force, and defense contractor EG&G would work together to simulate an Air Force airplane crash involving an XW‑25 nuclear warhead—a crash in which radioactive particles would 'accidentally' be dispersed on the ground."

And this too! Area 51 the perfect spot [?] to test the "dirty bomb". An atomic weapon detonated, the dispersal of the integral plutonium measured and observed. A detonation not nuclear in nature, but rather conventional. NOT A NUCLEAR FISSILE DETONATION AND THIS MUST BE UNDERSTOOD! An atomic weapon  blown to bits by conventional explosives, that plutonium core of the bomb part of the plume, the cloud of debris thrown into the atmosphere and the surrounding environment.

The how and why of that plutonium dispersal of great interest! A test, an experiment, no matter how well meaning, that would not be allowed today!!

That contaminated ground NOW cleaned up, the debris and soil with "embedded" plutonium removed some time ago now. More than anything else the limited access to Area 51 is for safety reasons. To go near the place can have dire consequences. NOW and for a long time into the future, Area 51 will be hazardous to your health!

coolbert.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Discharge!

This is coolbert:

From the previous blog entry:

"Trafalgar also each of those ships-of-the-line having a firepower equal to a 30,000 man army!!"

And upon what exactly is such an assertion made? Please follow my calculations closely and see if you agree!

Given that: a pile of twenty-nine rounds as fired from a Brown Bess musket weighs two pounds [4.4 kg.].

One hundred and four [104] cannon as carried by HMS Victory to include: [number of cannon and weight of shot - - one round fired]

* 30  X 32 pounds.
* 28 X 24 pounds.
* 30 X 12 pounds.
* 14 X 12 pounds.
*  2 X  68 pounds.

The combined weight of shot, as fired by the cannon of the HMS Victory, each cannon firing once, equals 2,296 pounds. [5061 kg.]

2,296 divided by 2 times 29 equals 33,292. That last figure representing the number of troops on the ground each firing their Brown Bess musket a single time.

"The weight of shot as fired by a single salvo from the vessel, each and every of the one hundred and four [104] guns carried by the warship firing ONCE, was equal to an army of 30,000 men-a-foot, each and every foot soldier discharging his Brown Bess musket a single time!!!"

An impressive number. And recall that at Trafalgar, the total number of ships involved at the battle was over fifty vessels combined, English and French/Spanish!

Prodigious firepower massive and overwhelming. Just don't stand in the way!

coolbert.

Friday, July 8, 2011

100 Years!

This is coolbert:

From the wiki site entitled:


"Naval tactics in the Age of Steam"


"The development of tactics in the 19th Century"

This item of particular interest!

"The interval of ninety years between the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 and the beginning of the Russo-Japanese War in 1904 was marked by no major naval war. There was fighting at sea, and there were prolonged blockades, but there were no campaigns between large and well appointed navies."

Massed ships forming a fleet in combat with another fleet of massed ships. Multiple divisions of ships all acting in unison under the command of one admiral on either side. [A division consists of two to four ships of the capital ship class.]

"The capital ships of a navy are its most important warships; they generally possess the heaviest firepower and armor and are traditionally much larger than other naval vessels"

From the end of the Napoleonic Era [1815] until Tsushima was a ninety year period, but from Trafalgar to Tsushima was one hundred years! Trafalgar also each of those ships-of-the-line having a firepower equal to a 30,000 man army!!

Massed divisions of ships forming fleets fighting it out the old-fashioned way, NAVAL CANNON VERSUS OTHER NAVAL CANNON!! NO submarines firing torpedoes nor aircraft launched off the deck of an aircraft carrier.

As it was at Trafalgar, as it was at Tsushima. Guns rather than cannon predominantly so, torpedo attack by torpedo boats occurring at Tsushima only in the aftermath of the battle, a night-time engagement, Japanese chasing Russians, the results inconclusive.

"for the last time in the history of naval warfare ships of the line of a beaten fleet surrendered on the high seas." [Tsushima]

After Tsushima, we have Jutland as the LAST MAJOR BATTLE OF MASSED DIVISIONS OF SHIPS FORMING FLEETS IN CONTACT WITH AND IN BATTLE WITH THE ADVERSARY ALSO DEPLOYING MASSED NUMBERS OF SHIPS!! Again, naval gun fire the predominant weapon in use by both sides!

During World War Two [WW2], capital ships battling it out using naval gunfire a great rarity, much less having a division of capital ships in combat simultaneously on both sides.

The various battles of Savo Island [Guadalcanal - - 1942] and subsequently Surigao Strait [1944] the LAST TIME such naval combat between massed surface vessels employing gun fire has occurred, and PERHAPS THE LAST TIME SUCH NAVAL WARFARE WILL EVER OCCUR!

The cost to build JUST ONE CAPITAL SHIP AS WAS DEPLOYED BY THE VARIOUS COMBATANTS AT JUTLAND OR SAVO ISLAND PROHIBITIVE BY MODERN STANDARDS!

Naval gunfire is also a method passe' for some time now as a means of waging naval warfare.

Cost and technology have FOREVER made null and void a form of naval combat that existed for a period of over four hundred years? It seems so! The likes of a Trafalgar, a Tsushima, a Jutland, a Savo Island will NEVER be seen again!

coolbert.




Thursday, July 7, 2011

Lieutenant Noy!

This is coolbert:

Thanks to the Israeli web site YNet we have an interesting topic. The female combat soldier. Lieutenant Noy. Israeli female combat troop - - and now commander of a sniper platoon!

"1st woman commands sniper platoon"

"'Guys were a bit surprised to see me reaching the peak and firing, but were mostly supportive,' Second Lieutenant Noy says after making history in IDF"



The sniper platoon as commanded by Lieutenant Noy organic to the Caracal Battalion. Caracal a military combat unit unique to the Israeli army, totally mixed men and women, positions with the Caracal not gender specific.

"The Caracal Battalion is an infantry combat battalion of the Israel Defense Forces that is composed of male and female soldiers of Jewish and Arab descent."

"The battalion is named after the Caracal, a small cat whose sexes appear the same."

"Caracal is currently assigned to protect Israel's southern frontier with the Sinai Desert where they face Bedouin smugglers, Palestinian infiltrators and even Darfur refugees seeking sanctuary in the Holy Land."

That sniper platoon using the M24 sniper rifle! Firing the 7.62 mm NATO round and a very effective and deadly weapon, proven in combat over many decades now.

Women indeed can make better snipers than men? More observant and able to concentrate longer and perform better at repetitive tasks that require attention to detail? Some Serb snipers in Sarajevo were known to be women, and approached their job with a characteristic impressive ruthlessness that was noted!

Good luck Lieutenant Noy!

coolbert.

Bamboo?

This is coolbert:

Yet one more instance of Japanese troops, their troop transport sunk, men shipwrecked but continuing to come under attack even while floating in the water. This NOT being a war crime? Troops in the water still continuing to be fair game, as opposed to sailors? Sailors whose ship has been sunk obviously hors de combat, troops not?

Again - - an instance of allied atrocity? The killing of shipwrecked men in the water strictly forbidden, the torpedoing of rescue vehicles also deemed unnecessary and perhaps illegal as well.

"The Take Ichi (???) ('Bamboo No. 1') convoy was a Japanese convoy of World War II. The convoy left Shanghai on 17 April 1944, carrying two infantry divisions to reinforce Japan's defensive positions in the Philippines and western New Guinea. United States Navy (USN) submarines attacked the convoy on 26 April and 6 May, sinking four transports and killing more than 4,000 soldiers"

Reinforcements en route to New Guinea, coming under repeated submarine attack, merciless and unremitting, no let to American chastisement!!

1. First attack by the American submarine USS Jack [26 April].

"These attacks sank the 5,425-ton freighter Yoshida Maru, which was carrying an entire regiment of the 32nd Division. All 3,000 soldiers onboard drowned when the ship sank quickly."

AN ENTIRE REGIMENT OF ABOUT 3,000 TROOPS SENT TO THE BOTTOM, OBLITERATED IN A FEW MINUTES.

[this figure of 3,000 dead is approximately equal to the number of Americans killed at Pearl Harbor, 7 December!!]

2. A second further attack [6 May] by another American submarine, the USS Gurnard - - rescue vessels and men in the water blown to bits while survivors being plucked from the water. Shipwrecked troops stricken but still fair game!

"Gurnard rose to periscope depth two hours later and found that a major effort to rescue troops and equipment from the torpedoed transports was under way. That night the submarine torpedoed one of the crippled transports which was still afloat. Gurnard's attack sank transports Aden Maru (5,825 tons) and Taijima Maru (6,995 tons) as well as the cargo ship Tenshinzan Maru (6,886 tons). While the rescue effort was relatively successful, 1,290 troops were killed and much of their equipment was lost."

"Rear Admiral Sadamichi Kajioka, who was a veteran of several previous operations including the Battle of Wake Island, was appointed to command the convoy"

Admiral Kajioka did not have a very good war record! Both at Wake Island [1941] and during Take Ichi troops under his command suffering badly, taking a lot of casualties, losses severe and catastrophic!

During that second attack [6 May], NO MERCY was shown to the Japanese, and none need have been shown? "War is hell" and sometimes is very much so!!

coolbert.

Ke!

This is coolbert:

Some descriptions of Japanese soldiers starving, underfed and malnourished - - incapacitated by a combination of disease, exhaustion, wounds, and just a plain lack of food!

Submarine re-supply quite often  the ONLY way to bring quantities food, medicine and reinforcement to Japanese occupied Pacific islands - - the amount delivered NOT adequate - - ONLY prolonging the torment and agony of the surrounded and isolated garrisons, EXACERBATING an already dire situation, the stubborn and proud Japanese NOT evacuating their personnel in spite of all evidence that RETREAT was the more viable recourse!!

"Japanese ground forces on the island [Guadalcanal] were beginning to die in large numbers from starvation and lack of adequate medical care. Japanese naval forces in the area were also suffering heavy losses attempting to reinforce and resupply the Japanese forces on the island."

"the few supplies delivered to the island were not enough to sustain Japanese troops . . . The Japanese had delivered almost 30,000 army troops to Guadalcanal since the campaign began, but by December only about 20,000 of that number were still alive, and only about 12,000 remained more or less fit for combat duty, with the rest incapacitated by battle wounds, disease, or malnutrition."

NOT ONLY NOT having enough to eat but not enough of the right food to eat. Starvation and weakness from lack of food and malnutrition from a lack of the proper nutrition!

Evacuees during the withdrawal from Guadalcanal, Operation Ke, the 17th Army, in deplorable condition, troops not able to fight, barely able to even move or sustain themselves in the most basic form of existence, bushido spirit gone and totally lacking.

"'They wore only the remains of clothes that were so soiled their physical deterioration was extreme. Probably they were happy but they showed no expression. Their digestive organs were so completely destroyed, we couldn't give them good food, only porridge.' Another officer added that, 'Their buttocks were so emaciated that their anuses were completely exposed, and on the destroyers that picked them up they suffered from constant and uncontrolled diarrhea'"

Lacking that free and uncontested re-supply was not possible for the 17th Army, the Japanese high command should have been able to weigh their options, make the proper calculations, determine the correct course of action, cut their losses and order a more systematic withdrawal and retirement rather than allow a continued wasting away of an entire army. "Emotion clouds reason" as is normal. Again, the proud and stubborn Japanese chose the wrong course with disastrous results.

coolbert.