Tuesday, July 31, 2012


This is coolbert:

"This is a Big One, a game changer, and it will likely be a major factor in propelling the U.S. to the next (and still unknown) stage of development" — Geopolitics scholar Walter Russell Mead, July 15, 2012

Also thanks to the Chicago Tribune op ed section from the other day this blog entry borderline germane but within the context of American geo-political strategy and military options totally consistent.

With a period of two decades more or less depending who is counting and on the assumptions made, the U.S. to become TOTALLY SELF-SUFFICIENT WITH REGARD TO ENERGY, OIL AND NATURAL GAS BOTH! Even a chance of America becoming AN ENERGY EXPORTING NATION ONCE MORE!!

[at least up unto the point of 1945 American an oil exporting nation!!]

"An American Bonanza"

"Humble North Dakota quietly eclipses cocky Alaska in our drive for energy independence"

"By 2035, oil shipments from the Middle East to North America 'could almost be nonexistent,' the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries now predicts."

All this thanks to the: "The Williston Basin and the Bakken Formation."

That Bakken formation a deposit of oil TWO SAUDI ARABIA OF OIL WORTH!! An immense geological formation encompassing those states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and two Canadian provinces.

Oil the extraction of which until recently hitherto not recoverable. Thanks to the process of fracking oil now recoverable and in almost unimaginable abundance.

500 billion barrels worth to be more or less exact is the estimate!! At current American consumption rates of oil, that is about thirty years supply in Bakken alone!!

Fracking too allowing [not possible prior] for supplies of natural gas most of those deposits under the Appalachian Mountains to be exploited, also about two Saudi Arabia worth of energy under American soil.

American military might assuring a constant and abundant flow of oil unimpeded from the Persian Gulf area for at least forty years, that constant threat of conflict in the area a worry to generations of American administrations much mitigated by the development of that Bakken Formation?

This does remain to be seen!


Monday, July 30, 2012


This is coolbert:

Thanks to Professor Robert Launay and the Chicago Tribune we have some background information on the conflict as currently raging in Mali. Insurrection and military coup de etat further complicating an already bad situation.

Mali until recently not even a player much less a serious player for the U.S. military now for the American African Command [AFRICOM] a most important matter.

Those Pilatus reconnaissance/surveillance aircraft as deployed throughout African in part being flown against targets in Mali

"World reaction to coup's aftermath is slowed by blind support of democracy" - - By Robert Launay

"All of a sudden, Mali is big news. Unfortunately, it has taken the militant Islamists' willful, systematic destruction of historic monuments of Timbuktu to get our attention. Such radical Islamic iconoclasm, on a scale that recalls the Taliban's demolition of the Bamiyan Buddhas, has profoundly shocked the rest of the world."

[During the Medieval period the university at Timbuktu was a place of great Islamic learning and culture, without rival on the continent and on a par with those universities of Europe.]

That combination of Taureg and Al Qaeda type insurrectionists destroying all and any vestiges of the ancient Islamic way as practiced in Mali. Taliban and Wahhabi style Islam being the vogue, at least among the jihadists.

"The rebellion began as an unholy (and ultimately unstable) alliance of hard-line Islamists, the Ansar Dine ("soldiers of the faith"), and Tuareg militants fighting for autonomy if not outright independence." Ansar = "helper". Dine = deen = faith.

[Taureg often referred to as "blue men of the desert"]

Those fighters that confronted Gordon at Khartoum over one hundred years ago also calling themselves ansar, helpers!

That "central government" of Mali inept, ineffectual and incompetent, not able to successfully combat this rebellion of the Taureg and ansar, the military having overthrown [coup de etat] the legally constituted government gone only exacerbating an already bad situation.


Saturday, July 28, 2012


This is coolbert:

Those type of munitions and armaments as carried by combat oriented American UAV at ever increasing degrees of lethality.

Predator A carrying only Hellfire missile. Predator B [Reaper] carrying Hellfire missile and Paveway precision guided bombs. Predator C [Avenger] carrying internally Hellfire missile, Paveway guided bombs and also able to carry JDAM ordnance.

1. JDAM a strap on kit allowing any "dumb" or "iron" bomb, conventional explosives as dropped from warplanes, to become SMART. That kit including fins for steering and guidance electronics using GPS and inertial guidance for accurate "pin-point" bombing.

Conventional munitions become SMART!!

"The Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) is a guidance kit that converts unguided bombs, or 'dumb bombs' into all-weather 'smart' munitions. JDAM-equipped bombs are guided by an integrated inertial guidance system coupled to a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver"

"a "bolt-on" guidance package that converts unguided gravity bombs into Precision-Guided Munitions, or PGMs. The key components of the system consist of a tail section with aerodynamic control surfaces, a (body) strake kit, and a combined inertial guidance system and GPS guidance control unit"

Bolt on or strap on it matters little, the weapon becoming much more sophisticated, accurate and DEADLY!!

[inertial guidance determines your location based upon starting point, your direction of travel for how long at what speed. "If we started here and have been traveling at this speed in this direction for this long we are now HERE!!" JDAM uses a combination of GPS and inertial guidance]

2. Developments with Ground Positioning System [GPS] allowing for an ever increasing accuracy of JDAM, indeed for all American weaponry relying on GPS!!

My understanding of GPS is that the civilian receiver version of the system allowed for a location to be determined to less than about one hundred [100] meters.

The original military receiver version of GPS allowing for location to be determined to with a few tens of meters.

AND the military receiver version of GPS accurate to within centimeters [?] if a second signal simultaneously received from a friendly transmitter sending a signal from a known and precisely surveyed location!!

That JDAM now can rely upon what is called WADGPS? A number of receivers at carefully surveyed locations part of a system of correlation, correction, compensation. Techniques to enhance and make more accurate the GPS coordinates as determined by a JDAM receiver.

"Wide Area Differential GPS (WADGPS) techniques . . . [relies upon] the deployment of a network of precisely calibrated GPS receiver ground stations . . . which continuously measure the error in the received GPS signal against the precisely surveyed location . . . The compensated GPS errors achieved using this technique are as low as several inches in all three axes."

"[error] is reduced by updating differential GPS offsets prior to weapon release. These offsets are calculated using an SDB Accuracy Support Infrastructure, consisting of three or more GPS receivers at fixed locations transmitting calculated location to a correlation station at the theatre Air Operations Center."

3. Predator A, Reaper and evidently also Avenger at this time NOT able to deliver on target DIME munitions. Dense Inert Metallic Explosive. Precision glide bomb GBU-39 not in the inventory as currently determined for any of the combat UAV.

"The GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) is a 250 pound (113 kg) precision-guided glide bomb that is intended to provide aircraft with the ability to carry a higher number of bombs"

DIME to be incorporated into the mix of weaponry for the combat UAV at some point?

"Boeing is developing a version of the SDB I which replaces the steel casing with a lightweight composite casing and the warhead with a focused blast explosive such as Dense Inert Metal Explosive (DIME). This should further reduce collateral damage when using the weapon for pin-point strikes in urban areas."

NO NEED to include gunfire of some sort in the combat UAV as envisioned. Missile and guided bombs alone are more than lethal and deadly? I would have to think so.


240 mm MRL.

This is coolbert:

The battle for Aleppo continues and the situation is in doubt.

As reported from only two days ago now and seen in the DEBKAfile,July 25, 2012, that Syrian army now using multiple-rocket-launcher [MRL] concentrated fire against their own people!!

"Syrian army fires extra-deadly artillery in Aleppo"

"The rebels are in retreat from Aleppo dogged by the Syrian army's 11th Division firing heavy artillery shells whose blast hits a 250-meter radius and maximizes death and destruction. The troops [Syrian army and not the insurgents] are also shooting Katyusha 240mm rockets into residential districts of Aleppo"

240 mm MRL the fire of which is most devastating, Assad willing to crush the egg shell with a sledge hammer, violence and fire power gratuitous and overwhelming!!

240 mm MRL a single focused and directed volley of such rocket artillery able to destroy in totality an entire grid square [a grid square 1,000 meters on a side]!!

240 mm MRL as obtainable ONLY [??] from the old Soviet Union or the North Koreans [DPRK].

That 240 mm MRL also chemical capable. Can carry and deliver for a distance chemical munitions.

1. The BM-24 Soviet model.

"The BM-24 is a multiple rocket launcher designed in the Soviet Union. It is capable of launching 240mm rockets from 12 launch tubes"

2. 240MM ROCKET LAUNCHER M-1985 and 240MM ROCKET LAUNCHER M-1991 - - North Korean.

"The North Koreans have produced two different 240mm rocket launchers, the 12 round M-1985 and 22 round M-1991. The M-1985 rocket pack is easily identified as it has 2 rows of 6 tubes and is mounted on a cab behind engine chassis. The M-1991 is mounted on a cab over engine chassis. Both launch packs could be adapted to any suitable heavy cross-country truck."

Cracking the proverbial egg shell with the sledge hammer surely an understatement here? Firepower overwhelming, again gratuitous and callous in the extreme. Assad is going for keeps and playing rough with one and all and the worst is yet to come?


Thursday, July 26, 2012


This is coolbert:

 Right now, as we speak, the Syrian city of Aleppo contested between the forces of the despot and the insurgents of the Free Syrian Army.

The situation as of yet without resolution but at least half [50 %] of the city currently reported to be in the hands of those elements in opposition to Assad.

 Aleppo described as a city about the size of Los Angeles and THE LARGEST CITY IN SYRIA.

 I am not sure if this area or population wise or a combination thereof I would have thought Damascus to have been the largest Syrian city.

Aleppo a city that has existed for at least eight thousand [8,000] years.

Damascus having been occupied continuously longer than Aleppo? Aleppo nonetheless ANCIENT!!

Of great significance to the insurgents is the capture of the Citadel? 

That most ancient defensive and military structure located in the very center of the city and dating also back to antiquity.

The Citadel in the very center of Aleppo. This image taken some decades ago? That tell is not natural but is for the most part a man-made mound. 

 A fortification having been on that exact site since 1600 B.C.

The Citadel in the most elaborate and well constructed form during the Crusades. 

Over the many centuries:

* Besieged by the Crusaders but not captured!

* Captured by the Mongols.

* Captured by Timur the Lame [Tamerlane].

Damascus for that matter too besieged by the Crusader but not captured!

The Citadel NOW in various stages of rehabilitation and most impressive.

Those areas having undergone reconstruction appearing almost as in the fashion as would have been recognized by a Crusader or Saladin himself? 

See here and here web sites devoted to images of the Citadel.

Seeing the flag of the Free Syrian Army flying over the Citadel will be a clear and unmistakable sign that the time of reckoning for Assad is at hand, without question?

The Citadel as with Krak of the Chevaliers to be thought of as NOT merely a military fortress but much more, a city within a city, a haven and refuge, a symbol of ruling power.

Crusaders, Mongols and Timur yesterday, Free Syrian Army today!!


Tuesday, July 24, 2012


This is coolbert:

 The quotation as normally stated, Hitler speaking to von Paulus prior to the commencement of Case Blau [Blue], 1942, that eastward movement of the German Sixth Army resulting in Stalingrad and all that would mean for the German war effort:

 "with your army you can do anything" 


 The more correct and exact translation of the quote Hitler speaking to von Paulus:

"with your army you could storm the gates of heaven itself." 


 As it was for Hitler so many thousands of years earlier so was it too for the man Nimrod from the Bible? 

Nimrod a great king who aspired to challenge GOD himself.

And also for the offenses of hubris and arrogance his [Nimrod] entire kingdom rent asunder, destroyed. Building the Tower of Babel, reaching toward the heavens, believing himself all-powerful and invincible but finding chastisement of the most extreme sort being his reward.

 Of Nimrod [thanks to the wiki] Josephus [from ancient times] wrote:

 "Now it was Nimrod who excited them to such an affront and contempt of God . . . a bold man, and of great strength of hand . . . it were through his means they were happy . . . to believe that it was their own courage which procured that happiness. He also gradually changed the government into tyranny, seeing no other way of turning men from the fear of God, but to bring them into a constant dependence on his power."

That German Sixth Army [1942] at that exact moment the most powerful and unique military force on the planet, seemingly invincible and all-conquering, proven so and well aware commander and men of their abilities.

 Ultimately to no avail!

 Hubris, arrogance and blasphemy all making for a very bad combination, again, those quarter million German soldiers doomed from the start?


Monday, July 23, 2012

Land Mass?

This is coolbert:

 Thanks to the lighthousememories web site and Skyscrapercity we have images so very typical of the Scarborough Shoals.

Called the Panatag Shoals in the Tagalog.

A "land mass" WITHIN the Chinese "nine dash line" a point of contention, a punador [point of honor] between the Philippines and China.

 A "land mass" as claimed by both nations as sovereign territory.

 A "land mass" you be the judge of IS IT worth fighting over.

 Of course it is not the "land mass" above the water line that is at stake here. It is the contiguous waters valuable fishing grounds and the believed and possible natural gas and oil deposits as to be found under the oceanic bottom as desired by all parties involved.

A shoal flying from that itty-bitty chunk of rock is the Filipino flag. According to the caption this is Scarborough at low tide!! 

 From the web site article "The Lighthouse as a Sovereignty Symbol" we find: [and thanks to John in all cases]

"But build a lighthouse and claim ownership and that light is visible to all peoples for years into the future. Build it high enough and it is visible for 360 degrees. Put some men on it and it becomes your property. Hmmm!"

 Here the Filipino military raising the colors, perhaps from several decades ago? 

 And also thanks to an authority in such matters:

"To me, sovereignty consisted of having a military strong enough to uphold one's claim to territory somewhere. All else fails."

NOT ONLY having claims, legitimate or otherwise, but an ability to gain actual physical control, occupation and then continue to exercise your dominion, using force if necessary or the threat of same to keep "all comers" away.

Sounds harsh, archaic and brutal but that is what is!

And believe me, we have not heard the last of the South China Sea, the Spratly Islands, Scarborough or the Paracels. Far from it.


Predator C.

This is coolbert:

 Here with the full dope [?] on the next combat UAV to be fielded by American forces.

Predator C already the plane having flown and joining the inventory by 2015, only several years away.

 That UAV first ONLY surveillance and reconnaissance [recce] weapons being added ad hoc as an afterthought [Predator A], that Reaper [Predator B] a more robust combat UAV, that recce drone now a combat warplane, ROBUST

The next stage being right now, the Predator C, called the "Avenger", a turbo-fan [jet] with stealth capability, weaponry more inclusive and lethal. A combat warplane with a capability to do damage way beyond the "A" version as originally envisioned. 

 "Avenger Predator C".

 "The General Atomics Avenger (formerly Predator C) is a developmental unmanned combat air vehicle . . . the Avenger is powered by a turbofan engine, and its design includes stealth features such as internal weapons storage, and an S-shaped exhaust for reduced heat and radar signature."


  Weaponry and armament as carried by the Avenger to include:

 "Internal weapons bay, 3,000 pounds (1,400 kg) capacity. Capable of carrying AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-surface missiles, GBU-24 Paveway III bombs, and GBU-31 and GBU-38 JDAMs."

 Hellfire missile, the various laser guided bombs of the Paveway family [GBU-31/32/38] and JDAMS munitions as guided to target by GPS.

 Stealth capability A MUST for the future of UAV?

The adversary as encountered on the battlefield of Afghan that is so often the target of Predator A and B NOT able to counter in even the slightest manner the high-flying drones.

That will not always be the case in the future and appropriate measures have been incorporated into the design criteria of Avenger to mitigate any possible counter-measures present or future.



This is coolbert:

 During that latter stage of the Great War [WW1] the blitzkrieg type of offensive the concept as brought to fruition by the German always incorporating into the attack three elements, those being:

* Assault by battalions of Storm Troop using infiltration tactics.
* Poison gas delivered on target by artillery shell.
* Ground strafing aircraft.

 With regard to ground attack warplanes, the German also first to devise, develop and field aircraft specifically designed for and designated as "ground attack" 

Those being the: J1 Albatros and the CL.IV.

 Aircraft operating in the ground attack a very dangerous and difficult duty, fraught with all sorts of danger, a formation attacking en masse however found to be very effective, beyond expectations.

 "Ground attack is a close relative to tactical bombing. It is aimed at disrupting enemy forces at or near the front and during the course of the battle itself . . . Ground attack is carried out from very low altitudes and is thus both extremely accurate and extremely hazardous.

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

"the German infantry had learned how to fight back against low flying aircraft . . . the loss rate of ground attack aircraft was as high as 30 percent of aircraft deployed. Entire squadrons were wiped out in less than a week.

"Fighting back" primarily the heavy machine gun in the anti-aircraft role [AAMG], a weapon mounted on a pole allowing for three hundred sixty degree rapid traverse and coverage. Throw a wall of steel up in front of the attacking warplane and make the adversary FLY through that "wall".

The German NOT ALONE in the development of ground attack aircraft during the Great War.

The British too using the Sopwith Camel in an ad hoc role - - machine gun and drop bombs on enemy troops, BUT NOT A WARPLANE SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED WITH THE GROUND ATTACK ROLE IN MIND.

 Sopwith having developed during those very last months of the war A DESIGNATED GROUND ATTACK AIRCRAFT - - THE SALAMANDER!!

 NOT seeing combat, arriving on the scene of the battle too late!

 The Sopwith TF.2 Salamander was a British ground attack aircraft of the First World War . . . a single-engined, single-seat biplane . . . [having] an armoured forward fuselage to protect the pilot and fuel system from ground fire during low level operations.

The Salamander and those German ground attack models having armor and an ability to engage an enemy with machine guns or drop bombs.

 "a conventional battery of two synchronised Vickers guns [.303] in front of the cockpit . . . The guns were staggered, with the starboard gun mounted a few inches forward of the port one to give more room for ammunition. Four light bombs could also be carried."

 Several of the these planes [en masse?] operating together on the same targets having a markedly increased lethality, repeated strafing and bombing runs often devastating as was the case at Megiddo!

 Aircraft able to carry for instance four eight kilogram bombs [about twenty pounds] the explosive content much beyond that of an artillery shell of the same weight!

 [bombs as dropped from a warplane needing only a thin skin exterior as compared to the thick metal skin of an artillery shell.]

 Those of you that have seen the movie "The Blue Max" will remember the scenes of the German aviators in the ground attack mode during the German Spring Offensives of 1918. Devastation is a mild and almost trifle description. Military units retiring in particular subject to unrelenting and unmitigated attack, pursued relentlessly and not being allowed to regroup or have a single second of respite. GROUND ATTACK!!

Devoted readers to the blog are aware of and know of instances of French specific designated ground attack aircraft from the WW1 era? Please let me know.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Air Force Green?

This is coolbert:

 From the Chicago Tribune the other day more military biofuel:

 "Cost sky-high for military to buy alternative fuel"

 "Air Force pays $59 a gallon in push for green options."

 "WASHINGTON - - The Navy angered Republicans by spending $26 a gallon for biofuels for this week's Great Green Fleet demonstration but the Air Force received little attention when it spent more than twice as much per gallon [11,000 gallons at $59 a gallon] to test synthetic jet fuel last month."


Alcohol is a biofuel as derived from plant matter. Alcohol when further processed producing jet fuel [AVGAS].

 "the alcohol-to-jet fuel was expensive because it came from a small demonstration plant"

 Exactly. Merely a pilot project what they are called and not a fully up to scale working plant producing the fuel in large commercial quantities, processes and techniques steps and measures needed to produce a quality product that works being tested.

 Furthermore, according to this Tribune article that Great Green Fleet not so "green: after all so the reader is able to infer:

 "[that] $12 million the Navy spent for biofuels to power a carrier strike group on alternative energy for a day."


 That amount of biofuel as supplied to the Great Green Fleet only enough to power the various warships and planes of the carrier strike group for A DAY ONLY?

 That six month deployment of the carrier strike group will be in part fueled by alternative fuel [biofuel] but only for a day?

 That blended [?] mix of traditional petroleum product and biofuel only enough to last for one day of conventional "steaming" and carrier take-off and landing? [the carrier the warship itself powered by atomic reactors, the remainder of the strike group petroleum fueled!]

 Well, these are pilot projects just to determine the do-ability and if the product can be done as envisioned further mass production worthwhile.

And again, all this has in mind the day if and when the American military will no longer have access  for whatever reason that easily obtainable source of fossil based fuel [petroleum] needed to power naval vessels.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Chemical Attack?

This is coolbert:

"A bang rather than a whimper?"

 Today from the DEBKAfile a full week of developments regarding the deployment of Syrian chemical weaponry from depot those nations in the region and those rebel forces in opposition to the despot Assad having a full understanding of what this might well mean. 

Everyone in the area it seems MAKING READY for the final show down!

 1.  "Syria takes chemical weapons out of storage"

July 13.

 "13 July. Syria Thursday, July 12, test-fired advanced Scud D ballistic missiles capable of carrying chemical weapons and nerve gas and hitting targets deep within enemy territory as part of its war exercise . . . Chemical weapons have been transferred to Syrian units."

 2.  "Western sources: Israel in line for Syrian missile strike"

July 14.

 "14 July. not only Israel, but Turkey and Jordan should prepare for Syrian chemical missile strikes, after Syria missiles were test-fired this week against [notional exercises live fire of missile but and not real use of chemicals] all three . . . British officials report chemical weapons deployed at Homs, Latakia and Aleppo"

 3.  "More top Syrian generals desert Assad"

July 15.

 "15 July. Several high-placed generals bolted Bashar Assad's inner circle Sunday, July 17 [to include] . . . the former head of Syria's chemical and biological administration . . . Assad also received a last warning not to move his chemical weapons again or else they would be destroyed from the air."

 4.  "Chemical missile attack simulated in Israeli town"

July 16.

 "The exercise in Petach Tikva east of Tel Aviv was staged Monday by the Home Command, IDF, Magen David and the fire brigade."

 5.  "Haifa stages big home exercise for Syrian-Hizballah chemical attack"

July 17.

 "Wednesday, July 18, he Home Command launches its first large-scale preparedness exercise for an emergency arising from a potential Syrian and/or Hizballah chemical attack on Haifa, Israel's third largest town. The scenario simulates a chemical missile revenge attack by Hizballah"

 6.  "Syrian rebels to be issued with chemical masks"

July 18.

 "Free Syrian Army commander Colonel Riad al-Asaad reports information that government forces are armed with chemical weapons for use in areas lost to regime control. Preparations are under way to obtain protective gear for FSA fighters and defectors to their ranks."

 "Jordan acts to ward off Syrian chemical attack"

 "Jordan has taken precautions to ward off a possible Syrian chemical attack . . . reflecting concern that Syria might use such weapons if the uprising there threatens the regime."

 7.  "Israeli Defense Minister: Syria may send Hizballah advanced missiles"

July 19.

 "Ehud Barak warned that Syria is apt to transfer highly sophisticated missiles to Hizballah in Lebanon - and even possibly chemical weapons - for use in a campaign of retribution directed against Israel."

 "US and Israel discussed IAF strikes to destroy Syrian chemical stores"

 "US and Israeli officials recently considered an Israel Air Force operation to destroy Syria's chemical weapons stores."

As I have said, Israel has an unspoken but understood Samson Option [use of nuclear weapons] in the most dire circumstances to be employed against tormentors. Assad has such an option too but chemicals are the weapon of choice for the despot?


Thursday, July 19, 2012


This is coolbert:

"Have Reaper will travel!"

 Here from a defense web site we have the full dope on the Reaper UAV.

Taking a toll of the terrorist and Taliban insurgent in Afghan and now deployed world-wide it would seem.

 Reaper also called Predator-B and MQ-9.

 "MQ-9 Reaper Hunter/Killer UAV

 The Reaper is an advanced and much more robust version of the Predator.

Reaper is actually the Predator B version that original Predator referred to now as the "A" model.

 "Reaper able to carry up to fourteen Hellfire missiles compared to the two maximum as carried by the Predator A." 

Reaper having inboard, middle and outboard stations from which weaponry can be mounted.


 [crawl first, then walk, and finally run!!

 That original Hellfire missile now in the more advanced II version, warheads to include:

* HEAT anti-tank.
* Blast/fragmentation.
* Thermobaric.

 "Hellfire II is provided with a choice of three warheads - a tandem warhead (to defeat advanced / reactive armor), blast-fragmentation warhead with delay fuse is used against soft, light armored targets, small boats, brick and concrete structures and bunkers." 

[That original Hellfire only having a HEAT warhead anti-tank?]

 Reaper also able to mount laser guided guided bombs of considerable potency, mounted on the inboard positions that lethality of the UAV much magnified.

Here a Reaper is armed with two laser guided bombs.

These laser guided bombs part of the Paveway [Laser Guided Bombs (LGB)] family to include:

 * Paveway II – IV.
 * GBU-10 / 12/ 24 / 28.

 Reaper! Can do! Don't leave home without one!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012


This is coolbert:

 From the Chicago Tribune an update on Africa Command at work.

Locations at one time almost totally devoid of American military presence now the situation far different. 


 "U.S. outsources its spying" 

 "The practice of hiring private companies for surveillance on huge expanses of African territory has been a cornerstone of the American military secret activities on the continent"

 "The African network" 

 American surveillance and UAV combat aircraft stationed in Africa and having live missions anti-terrorist, anti-insurgent.

 A much more widespread presence and activity under the auspices of civilian contractors to a large extent, low key and low profile.

 Known locations from the Tribune article to include:

 * Nouakchott, Mauritania - - PC-12. [ended in 2008]

 * Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso - - PC-12.

 * Entebbe, Uganda - - PC-12.

 * Nzara, South Sudan - - surveillance planes. [planned]

 * Arba Minch, Ethiopia - - Reaper.

 * Manda Bay, Kenya - - 100 commandos.

 * Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti - - targets in Yemen. [Reaper?]

 * Victoria, Seychelles, Indian Ocean - - Reaper.

 Those targets for surveillance or destruction being:

 * al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. [Mali and Niger both]

 * Boko Haram. [Nigeria]

 * Lord's Resistance Army. [various central African locations]

 * al-Shabab. [Somalia]

 * al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. [Yemen]

 [That ancestral home of the bin Laden clan of course being Yemen.]

 Who exactly needs an intelligence agency anyhow to glean this type of info when it is all made manifestly clear to you with a single glance in the Chicago Tribune?

 I am able to infer correctly [?] that these independent civilian contractors working for the American DoD are merely gathering data and not doing analysis of same?

The PC-12 the Pilatus turboprop utility aircraft outfitted with various devices allowing for long-range surveillance. Designated by the U.S. military as the U-28A.

Instrument packages pick up a lot of info that daily "catch" forwarded to another location for processing? 


 Djibouti at one time was French territory and there still exists and is present a strong French Foreign Legion [FFL] in the area? That may be so also!!


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Ox's Tongue!

This is coolbert:

 For your edification and thanks to the wiki some amplification on that area of the South China Sea  claimed by China as irrevocably SOVEREIGN TERRITORY AND NOT SUBJECT TO NEGOTIATION!!

 Called by various names:

 * Nine-dotted line, nine-dash line or nine-division line. [Chinese]
 * Ox's Tongue. [Vietnamese]

 "Nine-dash . . . nine-dotted line . . . or nine-dash map . . . Nine division lines of the South China Sea . . . Vietnamese: 'ox's tongue line' refers to the demarcation line used by the government of the People's Republic of China for its claim in the South China Sea"

That line [see the nine green lines] of demarcation and the area within very closely if not almost exactly comporting to the two hundred meter [600 feet] depth.

Waters beyond the continental shelf, blue water, pelagic, deep.

 Overlapping claims for this area of the South China Sea existing with China, Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia. The Chinese too have a plethora of historical evidence and anecdotal accounts to suggest that for several thousands of years there has been a Chinese deep water presence in the South China Sea making claims valid if not indisputable!

 South China Sea is hot now and will be hotter in the future? Too hot we hope not for.



This is coolbert:

"The U.S. crew repeatedly attempted to warn the vessel's 
operators to turn away from their deliberate approach."

From the Chicago Tribune today:


"Navy ship fires on boat in gulf"

Sailors aboard the American naval fuel ship Rappahannock opening fire on an approaching fishing vessel, killing some of those on board. That fuel ship just having entered the Persian Gulf, presenting a very vulnerable target, the damage to the Rappahannock potentially catastrophic if successfully attacked in the manner of the USS Cole.

"Indian national killed in brush that showcases tension in area"

"WASHINGTON - - Apparently fearful of a terrorist attack, a Navy fuel re-supply ship that had just passed through the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf opened fire Monday at a 50-foot [16 meter] fishing boat moving toward it, killing an Indian-man and wounding three others"

"the boat ignored warnings by radio, loudspeakers and flashing lights"

"A civilian crew sails the Rappahannock, but a Navy security team is aboard to protect the ship."

This security team is similar to and in the tradition of World War Two [WW2] NAGS? Navy Auxiliary Guard Service [NAGS]!! Naval personnel trained and prepared to fight using small arms and repel attack from boghammers and other small sailing ships, fend off boarders if need be.

Prepared for warfare on the high seas in the ancient manner in the aftermath of the attack on the USS Cole now A MUST!!

That a vessel of the U.S. Navy sails with a civilian crew is NEW to me. Since when is this? Perhaps a devoted reader to the blog that is knowing can further elaborate?


Sunday, July 15, 2012


This is coolbert:

 Foreign intervention in the Syrian conflict now seen as not only a possible but now nearly a done deal?

 The Syrian moving those chemical munitions from depot for a good reason?

From the Nation of the Arab Emirates we have this item:

 "Some fear war, foreign intervention in Syria"

 "Damascus // With no sign that a political solution will be found to end a six-month-old uprising, Syria is sliding towards a full-blown war involving foreign forces, analysts and political figures in Damascus fear." 

"Pro-and anti-regime figures and independent analysts once spoke of civil war and international military intervention as remote possibilities. In the past 10 days, however, the already somber mood in the Syrian capital has turned even darker and now there is a growing consensus that an escalation of armed conflict is likely, if not inevitable"

Those chemical munitions of the Syrian, under the control of Assad, being deployed from depot, right now, as we speak, a means, steps and measures being taken by the despot to forestall foreign intervention? 

 Those forces in opposition to the ruling Alawite minority begging and pleading for foreign intervention of some sort, NATO spear-headed by Turkish forces being the most obvious scenario.

 Merely the threat of deployed chemical munitions and use of same such a danger that anyone even when desiring to get involved in what is clearly and has been for some time a civil war must have a pause and give the whole matter serious thought.

 NO ONE wanting to expose even in the slightest manner their troops to weapons of mass destruction [WMD], even for the best of causes?

 And once intervention by whomever begins, it will not end? It can be suggested NATO on the side of the rebels, Iran and Russia on the side of Assad, Israel and Hezbollah also ultimately involved.

 Israel has the Samson Option [nuclear weapons] and so does Assad [chemical]?


Scarborough Fair?

This is coolbert:

 NO, NOT Scarborough Fair but Scarborough Shoals. 

 Spratly Islands, South China Sea, and now Scarborough. 

 That latest incident involving "land" and territorial claims in the South China Sea, on this particular occasion just recently, Filipino and Chinese warships [patrol craft] facing off - - the punador [point of honor] being the Scarborough Shoals.

 NOT even islands or a land mass but reefs and chunks and bits of rock only visible at low tide off the coast of Luzon, within the limits of what the Filipino claims as an Economic Exclusion Zone [EEZ] but is also claimed by China.

 "on April 11, 2012, the Philippine navy stopped and boarded eight Chinese fishing vessels in the shoals. In order to demonstrate that the Chinese fishermen had not been innocently deep-sea fishing in the area, the navy took pictures of one of the crews standing on a pile of giant clams presumably taken from the shoal." 

Chinese fishing vessels confronted by the Philippine Navy, further confrontation occurring with the intervention of Chinese naval forces!!

 "Scarborough Shoal or Scarborough Reef [more correctly described as a group of rocks or very small islands plus reefs in an atoll shape], rather than as a shoal, is located between the Macclesfield Bank and Luzon Island of the Philippines in the South China Sea"

  Scarborough [called different names in Chinese and Tagalog] directly west of Luzon within the Filipino EEZ, a traditional area for Filipino fishing vessels to visit.

 NOT islands, islets or a land mass of any type as normally understood, rocks and reefs barely jutting above the water line.

 "Several of the rocks or small islands including 'South Rock' are 1/2 m to 3 m high, and many of the reefs are just below water at high tide."

 From a number of sources we have info on this incident and the ramifications thereof:

 1. "The riddle of the Scarborough Shoals"

 "two Chinese Coast Guard vessels popped over the horizon and placed themselves between the Philippine navy cutter and the fishing boats, preventing a seizure of the vessels and crews."

 Those nations having competing territorial claims in the South China Sea to include:

* China.
* Philippines.
* Malaysia.
* Vietnam.
* Brunei.
* Indonesia.

 Conflicting claims as described by the participants to the disputes to include:

* "nine-dash line" [Chinese claims to the South China Sea.]
* "flying rectangle" [Vietnamese claims to the South China Sea.]
* "Philippine Archipelagic Baseline Law" [Filipino claims to the South China Sea.]

 2. "Clinton Signals U.S. Role In China Territorial Disputes After Asean Talks"

 The disputes and potential conflict over the South China Sea a hot button topic at the recent meeting of ASEAN nations. Secretary of State Clinton implored by those ASEAN nations FOR A WIDENING AND MORE PROACTIVE AMERICAN INVOLVEMENT IN THE AREA!!

Those various nations of the South China Sea area hoping  for American intervention of some sort, realizing that individually or even as a group NOT able to counter Chinese power.

 "Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said resolving territorial disputes off China’s southern coast is 'a leading diplomatic priority,' signaling her intention to intercede in a region claimed in full by the Chinese government."

3. SSN. That novel by Tom Clancy is now a MUST read. Conflict over the Spratly Islands and territorial dispute in the South China Sea leads to war between the U.S. and China!

A naval war, American nuclear attack submarine the leading edge technology, and underwater "spear" countering Chinese military might!

A novel! 

 "SSN (1996) is a novel created by Tom Clancy and Martin Greenberg following the missions of the U.S. Navy nuclear attack submarine USS Cheyenne (SSN-773) during a fictional war with China over the Spratly Islands"

 Is the territorial line here or is it there? Whose claims are more valid, yours or mine? Who has a right to the resources thereof? 

Such is the traditional reasons wars are fought. Always has been, always will be!!


Friday, July 13, 2012


This is coolbert:

 If indeed as all the lurid reports have indicated, the Syrian has imported 3 million what are called "gas masks" from Russian, protection against chemical weapons [but not limited strictly to chemicals], these are perhaps either of the older style Soviet mask OR the more recent and advanced Russian version.

Thanks to the armygasmask web site in all instances!

 1. Soviet/East German SchM41M Protective Gas Mask. The Soviet era SchM41M NO LONGER considered to be reliable.

Designed to be worn with that all covering head and face mask, the filter in canister worn on the belt, a hose connecting the mask to the canister. Replaceable filters available and when originally designed state-of-the-art and reliable, adequate as it would be said!!

 2. GP-7 & PKM Russian mask. "The PMK gas mask represents a family of gas masks used by the Soviet Military, and later by the armed forces of the Russian Federation."

This individual wearing the PMK with chemical suit ensemble the hood pulled over the head part of the suit, that mask covering only the face! During actual combat chemical usage the military man would wear both mask and suit.

Russian PMK [military]and GP-7 [civilian] both state of the art and effective."


 PRESUMABLY THE GP-7 represents the 3 million purported imported masks as purchased by the Syrian from the Russian?

 This gas mask was given the designation GP-7VM for civilian use, and the PMK-2 for military use.

This is the GP-7 kit as issued?

"The Russian GP-7VM provides highly efficient protection in real conditions when used properly."



 * That old style mask no longer considered to be effective and NOT to be employed as protection. Mask fits over the entire head and ONLY [?] can be worn properly by a person with short hair? Filters too by now dated the shelf live having expired a long time ago.

 * You need a degree of training to be able to wear and use these masks with effectiveness. The military man has such training but the civilian populace does not. Merely distributing a mask kit to a civilian does not mean that mask will be used in a manner to provide protection.

 * Wearing of the mask under any conditions very uncomfortable. The average person has the urge to remove the mask after wearing for only six minutes!

 This sorta stuff just ain't for everybody!



This is coolbert:

 As was reported on the evening news today and thanks further to this report from CNBC, most alarming developments IF TRUE.

AND if taken within the context of some previous blog entries, even that much more causing a "heads up" and "take notice of".

 The Syrian ruling elite those Alawites headed by the despotic regime of Assad now moving chemical munitions OUT OF DEPOT!!

 "WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. officials said that Syria has started to move part of its chemical weapons arsenal out of storage facilities"

 "The country's undeclared stockpiles of sarin nerve agent, mustard gas and [hydrogen] cyanide have long worried U.S. officials and their allies in the region"

 "the world's largest stockpile." [believed to be so!!] 

 Devoted readers to the blog will remember that as reported months ago by the DEBKAfile, the Syrian had imported 3 million of the latest [?] version gas mask from Russia.

Delivered and distributed?

 That ruling Alawite populace of Syria numbering about 3 million persons out of a total Syrian population of 30 million.

 That 3 million NOT going to relinquish power without further struggle and prepared to use all means necessary to do so?

 [I would be remiss to not mention that the noted blogger Spengler rates DEBKAfile as unreliable under all and any circumstances.]

 What are we talking about here? Scorched earth, Armageddon, Clash of the Titans and End Times all rolled into one with consequences we cannot anticipate?

 See my previous blog entries on the topic:





Thursday, July 12, 2012


This is coolbert:

 Once more from the Chicago Tribune today we have the story of the SeaFox.

Naval drone, able to locate and destroy sea mines.

 Currently deployed and being used in the Strait of Hormuz.


 "U.S. drone subs patrol Iran strait" 

 A drone for naval use.

A submersible the mission of which is to locate and destroy enemy sea mines.

 Unattended but still tethered to a "mother ship", a fiber-optic link providing a view, commands, etc.

SeaFox is referred to as an underwater unmanned vehicle [UUV] and is considered to be EXPENDABLE!!

"Only about 90 pounds a 4 feet long, the unmanned but remotely guided submersible carries a TV camera, homing sonar and an explosive charge for what amounts to a kamikaze mission."

  "When it detects a mine, the undersea craft obliterate itself as well as the mine."

 I hope these SeaFox are cheap!!

Presumably these are sea mines anchored to the bottom of the sea, more like a torpedo than a conventional mine, activated and placed into the seek mode when the presence of a vessel detected [as might have been done to the South Korean vessel recently sunk]. 

"The device [SeaFox] is controlled by a 3,000 foot fiber-optic cable and sends live video back to a camera operator. It operates at a depth of about 1,000 feet and moves up to 6.9mph."

 "can be deployed from minesweepers or other ships, as well as from helicopters and small boats, augmenting the Navy's anti-mine capabilities."

 I would have to think that the SeaFox on of those main capabilities of the Littoral Combat Ship [LCS]? 

Unmanned submersibles are the "wave" of the future?

Bandwidth is a problem? Hard to transmit so much pertinent data by sound waves underwater. That is why a tether to a fiber-optic cable is provided in the case of SeaFox.

Within the civilian sector the use of such unmanned submersibles is not new. These SeaFox can be deployed from a variety of "platforms" and are very versatile. That method of destroying a naval mine [or a land mine for that matter] rather than merely rendering the mine inactive is the current accepted and most widely used method?

 At one time, this mission of mine detection and destruction was designated as an "animal" thing? Porpoise, seal, pilot whale trained to detect and destroy with explosives enemy sea mines. That use of animals now forbidden perhaps. Intelligent creatures used in such a manner an affront to us all?

 SeaFox today, what tomorrow? Naval warfare being revolutionized as we speak.


Combat Edge?

This is coolbert: 

Thanks to the Chicago Tribune, KCCI and the evening news for this update on the ever-continuing story of the F-22 Raptor pilots who continue to experience hypoxia problems.

 That most versatile and capable fighter plane in existence American pilots of which suffer from time to time a lack of oxygen while in flight, hypoxia causing disorientation, blackouts, a feeble minded state that can lead to catastrophic consequences.

 From the Tribune:

 "More problems plague F-22 jets" 

 "Recent troubles with the Air Force's [USAF] fleet of F-22 Raptor fighter jets have prompted fresh questions by two members of Congress looking for answer on the oxygen problems that have plagued the aircraft for years."

 "F-22 pilots have reported dozens of incidents in which the jet's systems weren't feeding them a proper amount of oxygen in flight, causing hypoxia like symptoms."


 A compression vest, worn evidently IN ADDITION TO THE NORMAL G-SUIT the culprit, that vest working and operating under conditions other than extreme G-forces, not as intended, the flow of oxygen to the pilot cut off repeatedly and inadvertently.


 As reported by KCCI:

 "Investigators are looking at whether a compression vest worn as part of the flight suit contributes to the problem . . . Investigators are focusing on a part of the suit called the Combat Edge, which can hamper breathing and cause oxygen loss when combined with a physiological condition that collapses air sacs in the lungs"

 "Combat Edge is a vest-like garment that expands and contracts on a pilot's torso to fight the effects of severe G-forces experienced while flying the F-22. What is being looked at is whether the garment may restrict the pilots' breathing beyond what is intended"

 Combat Edge not giving that combat edge. Rather working too often and placing all the pilots in mortal danger?

This USAF Major General says so and therefore it must be so!

I pray that vest is discarded or whatever is the source of the problem remedied.

And quick too.

 This also from the Tribune article catches my attention:

 "in response to concern about the planes, it had imposed new safety restriction s to protects pilots. They include wearing a device that measures the amount of oxygen in the blood and taking blood samples."

 This is some sort of medical device you might encounter during a stay in the hospital?

Is geared as well to the aircraft in some manner? NOT only is the plane providing data to the pilot, but NOW the pilot provides data to the plane? Someone knows better about this?



This is coolbert:

 Again from the Tribune today:

 "'Green Fleet' ships sail amid cost debate" 

 "WASHINGTON - - A Navy oiler slipped away from a fuel depot on the Puget Sound in Washington state recently headed toward the central Pacific and into the storm over the Pentagon's controversial green fuels initiative."

 "the USNS Henry J. Kaiser carried nearly 900,000 gallons of biofuel blended with petroleum to power the cruisers, destroyers and fighter jets of what the Navy has taken to calling the 'Great Green Fleet,' the first carrier strike group to be powered largely by alternative fuels."

 An American aircraft carrier strike group while on one six month deployment will normally use about 1 million gallons of AVGAS [aviation gasoline] A PORTION OF WHICH WILL BE MERELY DUMPED AT SEA!!

 "The Pentagon hopes it can prove the Navy looks as impressive burning fuel squeezed from seeds, algae and chicken fat as it does using petroleum"


 That cost however for the biofuel [mix?] just staggering!

 "Some Republican law-makers have seized n the fuel's nearly $27-a-gallon price, compared to roughly $3.60 for conventional fuel."

 This project more than anything else an attempt to demonstrate the feasibility of allowing the American military to become totally self-sufficient with regard to fuel!! That dire circumstance of a general war and the U.S. military cut-off from an abundance of foreign supply by some sort of unforeseen conflagration now avoided!!

Cost also much reduced when such biofuel manufactured on an industrial and massive scale.

 And according to Senator John Mc Cain:

 "I don't believe it's the job of the Navy to be involved in building - - new technologies,"

 NO! Senator John is wrong!

That man who might have been President is obviously not aware of that program prior to the Second World War [WW2], the U.S. Navy funding research into diesel engines of prodigious size. Research as done by the railroads, an engine sought that could power locomotives [rather than coal-fired steam engines] OR submarines.

Research most fruitful, American subs during WW2 indeed propelled into battle by diesel engines having a dual purpose, civilian railroads and military warships!!



This is coolbert:

 Lots of good stuff in the Chicago Tribune today all of which has a military dimension.

 We begin.


 "Olympic-size security" 

 "Britain will deploy troops, fighter jets and even missiles for the London Games, but critics see tactics as overkill."

 London's security measures to include, military forces terribly arrayed and ready for battle:

* Personnel - - 13,500 military. [not including civilian security and police]

 Naval forces consisting of:

*  HMS Ocean. [amphibious assault ship]

*  Marine units. [Royal Marine Commando]

*  HMS Bulwark. [assault ship and landing dock]

 Air defense consisting of:

 * Typhoon fighter jets.

 * Puma helicopters.

 * Rapier missile system.

 * Starstreak missiles.

 * E-3D Sentry.

 I would have to think all and every measure having been taken to prevent a repetition of Munich 1972 or the 9/11 attacks.

 Quite a contrast with the ancient Olympics. Even during a time of war, TRUCE declared for the duration of the Olympics and contestants the safety and safe passage of which was deemed inviolable without exception.

British strong boys of the Royal Marine Commando and Special Air Services [SAS] I would have to think on call and ready for any contingency, practiced and at the ready.

 Pray and hope for the best, prepare for the worst. And it must be so!


Wednesday, July 11, 2012


This is coolbert:

 Jean Moulin. The Frenchman in the fedora with scarf.

 Jean that man little known outside of France but that one man whose remains enshrined in the Pantheon, the ideal most epitomizing and exemplifying the French Resistance during World War Two [WW2] those in opposition to Vichy and the German occupier.

 Moulin dying either by torture [at the hands of the infamous Klaus Barbie] or a self-inflicted death again after having been subjected to prolonged and frightful torture.

 Jean without question a hero of the first magnitude, even "perhaps" beyond that of Joan of Arc?

 "Jean Moulin, who unified [the] French Resistance, is one of the greatest heroes in France, perhaps supplanting even Joan of Arc."

 "Yet he is completely unknown outside France."

At least until now that is.

And the betrayal of the man to the German still a subject of controversy even after seventy years!!

 Those Free French of the Interior [FFI] under the command of General De Gaulle, Moulin specifically tasked with the mission of organizing the Resistance, creating a viable military force of the various guerrilla factions, BUT MUCH MORE THAN THAT!!

 Moulin NOT A MILITARY MAN but an organizer and planner able to bring order out of dysfunction and chaos and bringing focused and concentrated energy where previously only dissipation existed!!

 That FFI properly understood as MORE than a mere military force, NOT just guerrillas/partisan FIGHTING UNITS but also a civilian apparatus and PREPARING FOR THE LIBERATION OF FRENCH FROM THE GERMAN OCCUPIER and political transition in the aftermath of the war!!

 Moulin FIRST able to unify the three non-communist partisan factions, those fighters most aligned with De Gaulle but practicing factionalism.

 A unified military structure most desirable for concerted and focused military action under a single command, DE GAULLE ANTICIPATING AND PREPARING FOR THE D-DAY INVASION BUT NOT WANTING TO MAKE THE FRENCH POPULACE TO SUFFER GERMAN RETALIATION AND RETRIBUTION [Ouradour Sur Glane during the war just one instance]!!.

 This was the Secret Army [maquis]! "Secret Army"

 "three major non-communist resistance movements, whose leaders were Captain HENRI FRENAY (Combat), EMMANUEL D'ASTIER DE LA VIGERIE (Libération), and JEAN-PIERRE LÉVY (Franc-Tireurs)." 

Moulin and De Gaulle wanting at some point to also incorporate into the French Resistance those communist and socialist elements and fighting units, again, the desire for focused and concerted action, military action to be taken as part of the Allied invasion of France and the subsequent battle that was to follow.

 [guerrillas and partisans most effective when their operations in support of a conventional military campaign!!]

 In addition to the fighting units, the consolidation thereof, Moulin also able to organize and bring under control:

 * "Services des opérations aériennes et maritimes (SOAM) for parachute drops and landing" [Lysander aircraft operations and parachute drops of men and supplies from England.]

 * "Wireless Transmissions (WT)" [communication with England and De Gaulle.].

 * "Bureau d'Information et de Presse (BIP), a central press agency for the Resistance, to furnish clandestine writers and editors with all the information they needed for their journals." [black, white and gray propaganda.]

 * "Comité Général d'Etudes (CGE), a consultative commission of eminent jurists who would draft a plan for the political, economic, and administrative structures of France immediately after the liberation."

 De Gaulle and his representative within the FFI Moulin knowing full well that the insurrectionist/guerrilla/partisan fighting elements ONLY ONE part of the whole, that structure of French government as existed prior to WW2 inadequate those Free French preparing not only for the D-Day invasion and the Liberation of France but for the aftermath of the war and  inevitable political upheaval as well. The context properly understood steps and measures taken!!


Monday, July 9, 2012


This is coolbert:

 From a variety of Internet sources some images from the Great War [WW1] - - machine guns as used by ground forces in the anti-aircraft role.

 Especially from that period of 1917 onward:

 "As aircraft started to be used against ground targets on the battlefield, the AA guns could not be traversed quickly enough at close targets and, being relatively few, were not always in the right place (and were often unpopular with other troops), so changed positions frequently. Soon the forces were adding various machine-gun based weapons mounted on poles. These short-range weapons proved more deadly"

 German blitzkrieg tactics as first used at Riga, 1917, always incorporating the three elements of:

 * Movement forward by special units of Storm Troop [Sturmabteilung] using infiltration tactics.

 * Poison gas delivered on target by artillery shell.

 * Ground strafing aircraft.

 That means to combat the ground strafing aircraft [often flying nape-of-the-earth] the machine gun, mounted either with an ad hoc apparatus or atop a pole. That pole allowing for total three hundred sixty [360] degree coverage if and when the target presented itself, engagement from any direction possible.

 Heavy machine guns the weapon of choice during the WW1 era. That anti-aircraft-machine-gun [AAMG] best defined as:

 "Heavy machineguns"

 "A machine gun is rated heavy when it cannot be carried and operated by a single man. The class can be extended to all machineguns with a recoil too powerful (because of caliber or rate of fire) to be controllable without a mount."

 Heavy in my mind defined as a machine gun of fifty [12.7 mm] or greater even or having a water-cooled jacket for the barrel or the entire apparatus [gun, tripod, ammo] not being able to be carried by ONE man. 

To the images. Posed I would think in most instances and not real coverage of combat action:

British troops manning a Vickers AAMG ad hoc mounted.

British Lewis gun with bipod and air-cooled barrel.

French St. Etienne gun operated in an ad hoc manner and NOT aiming at a ground strafing aircraft.

American gun crew manning what I believe is a Hotchkiss AAMG.

This is obviously a posed picture? Gun is mounted on a pole in this case.

Maxim guns mounted on poles. Total traverse available if needed.

This Maxim gun able to engage low-flying ground strafing aircraft. An ideal. 

 A "clump" of massed AAMG even if not successfully engaging and shooting-down an approaching enemy aircraft, force that adversary to fly higher and take evasive action, negating an efficient strafing or bombing mission.


Saturday, July 7, 2012


This is coolbert:

From only today, thanks to Ynet we have these articles, the secular Israeli mad as hell and ain't gonna take it anymore.

Universal conscription, the military draft, a hot button item in Israel.

For many decades, contrary to popular opinion, NOT ALL Israeli youth reaching the age of eighteen required for perform military service. Those secular Israeli YES but not those of the ultra-Orthodox.

Haredim [ultra-Orthodox] young men and women exempt from conscription, those in religious rabbinical studies not required to perform their military service. This having been the case ever since the time of David Ben Gurion.

Haredim at one time a very small segment of the total Israeli population, that exception to the rule [universal military conscription] not being a matter of significance.

The haredim now a much larger percentage of the overall Israeli population, this now becoming A MATTER OF SIGNIFICANCE. Those haredim seen as draft dodgers and shirkers.

What was true in 1948 is not true now. Rabbinical students in name only getting a deferment to their advantage and creating a lot of anger and resentment among the secular Israeli.

"Disabled IDF veterans gear up for protest rally"

"Protesters to lead procession in Tel Aviv, urge PM Netanyahu to enact universal draft legislation"

"Protesters call for equal burden"

>"Some 12,000 people hold mass rally in Tel Aviv urging government to enact universal draft legislation. 'Equal draft – social justice,' call activists. Diskin: Something is rotten in our leadership"

"Halutz leaves Kadima, slams Mofaz"

"Former chief of staff says politicians should take action rather than demonstrate. 'We can't let this issue turn into political capital; we can't hide behind words'"

The famous Israeli author Amos Oz writing on the subject thirty years ago the secular Jew in conflict with the religious Jew, the latter taking advantage of the former and not appreciative as seen by the general Israeli public.

A few yes for deferment, a whole bunch NO! That is the perception.



This is coolbert:

 Here from the Red Star Kennel web site the full and complete [?] story of the Black Russian terrier.

 The war dog of choice for first the Soviet and now the Russian military.

 The product of Red Star Kennels very selective breeding program.

 [Red Star at one time providing prodigious numbers of guard dogs for the GULAG? This might be so. Dogs chosen and bred for viciousness and needed in enormous numbers during the time of Stalin!]

 The Black Russian terrier a mix of various breeds carefully chosen for specifice traits and characteristics that would make for a good war dog.

 NOT necessarily a KILLER but a war dog able to perform a variety of functions vital to a military effort.

But NOT a vicious killer, that is clear.

 That original Giant schnauzer stud dog Roy mixed with with a rottweiler.

 The final mix of Black Russian terrier resembling the schnauzer, rottweiler, airedale.

 A dog large in size, about 100-120 pounds, a minimum of fifty Kilograms,

NOT a dog easily carried as is the Malinois.

 That Black Russian terrier guard dog, a sentry dog, a mine detecting dog, and perhaps an attack dog able to KILL on command [?].

 Appear to be a shaggy hairy dog that is not suited for hot climates? That is what the appearance is to me.

 A dog definitely requiring:

 * A strong alpha master.

 * Lots of grooming.

 * Lots of exercise.

 [Dogs of all creatures so studied when at a pace, running, the only animal becoming stronger the further and further it runs. Man and horses not able to compete over such a long distance as the dog. Dogs not having sweat glands and panting to dissipate heat but able to pursue a prey as not other animal can!!]

 Puppies now available in the U.S. but I would have to think for persons ONLY that know to handle and care for a dog and are willing to devote a lot of time to the critter.You must dominate this dog and not the other way around.



This is coolbert:

 Here with some additional armor, tracked and wheeled and semi-wheeled vehicles that could be added to the inventory of the "Drive A Tank" "experience". Something different indeed. NOT but merely a British Chieftain available to drive but also:

American M113 armored personnel carrier. As with the ACAV in Vietnam.

French Panhard wheeled armored car. This particular version with 90 mm gun.

American World War Two era M3 half-track.

Soviet era tank T54

South African Buffel wheeled armored personnel carrier.  

Participants of the "Drive A Tank" experience able to choose from a greater variety.

That course as driven either cross country or road-bound or a combination thereof, through mud and fording small man-made watercourses, up and down hills, crossing trench lines and breaking through walled barriers, etc. Smashing fifty gallon drums flat, bash an automobile out of the way [or crushing that auto flat!]. Put human manikins [dressed in military uniform] in the your path and run them over.

You take your pick.

 For each and every armored vehicle, again, a CONEX full of spare parts needed.

And the rougher the ride more maintenance needed, the ride hard on the body, protection for the head a must. One severe jostle and you can split your noggin open instantly on the thick bulk head of one of those vehicles!!

 Drive day or night during hours of darkness using either active infra-red or passive night vision devices for visibility.

 All sorts of ways this can be done. 

And also no main guns allowed. Maybe mounted but disabled not fire-able.

 That T-54, Panhard, and M113 for example I would have to think a whole lot of nations the world over having surplus tanks and other armor for sale at a good price.

 Devoted readers to the blog can suggest other armor that can be added to my meagre selection? Let me hear from you!


Thursday, July 5, 2012

War Dog?

This is coolbert:

 Thanks to RIANovosti and the tip from DEC we have the story of the Russian war dog.

 A new breed of war dog unusual as are most things Russian.

The Soviet before them and now the Russian approach to military problems quite often unique and not in keeping with convention.

 This is the Russian black terrier. 

 "‘Stalin’s Dogs’ Join Russian Army"

 Red Star kennels mixing a bunch of different breeds to produce the Russian black terrier, now in training for duty with the Russian Army, again a UNIQUE ANIMAL NOT SEEN IN WESTERN DOG-LOVING CIRCLES! For a time even the very existence of this dog was a state secret unknown to the "west"?

 "the black Russian terrier, which was produced from a mix of about 20 breeds such as the Giant Schnauzer, the Rottweiler, the Newfoundland and the Caucasian Ovcharka. The breed has been available to Russian pet lovers since the 1950s, though it remains rare outside the country."

That giant Alsatian dog, the German shepherd always thought to be the ideal war dog able to perform military service in the most desirable manner no longer seen as so perfect?

 That malinois breed for instance used by French and now American military units that incorporate dogs into the TO and E.

A major consideration being a canine that if necessary can be picked up and carried by one man, the handler!

This too a consideration with the Russian black terrier? 

The Russian and prior to that the Soviet military NEVER slavishly copying or imitating the western model but rather devising their OWN solutions, according to their estimate of the situation and criteria they deem as important.