Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pennsylvania & Arizona.

This is coolbert:

Let it not be thought that the German alone during the Second World War [WW2] was the ONLY combatant to salvage guns from sunken warships for use as coastal artillery.

In the aftermath of Pearl Harbor and the sinking of the USS Arizona, the two aft [rearward] turrets and guns [3 large-bore guns per turret] were salvaged from the stricken warship and converted into coastal artillery.

One firing unit per turret, these positions referred to as: Battery Pennsylvania and Battery Arizona.

Turrets and guns both salvaged, em placed into firing positions, the commanding positions per turret a small fort unto itself. Large-bore naval guns turned over to the U.S. Army coastal artillery branch and put to good use.

Replete with powder room, projectile room, power room, tracking and control room, etc.

A massive enterprise the bulk of which was underground the guns and turret the only element of which was above ground and visible.

"The aft main gun turrets [two of them] were removed and reinstalled as United States Army Coast Artillery Corps Battery Arizona at Kahe Point on the west coast of Oahu and Battery Pennsylvania on the Mokapu Peninsula, covering Kaneohe Bay . . .  Battery Pennsylvania, fired its guns for the first and last time on V-J Day in August 1945 while training, while the nearby Battery Arizona was never completed.

"Constructed between 1943 and 1945, this underground coastal battery is located in the sea cliffs at Ulupa’u. During World War II, the battery housed a 14-inch gun turret salvaged from the rear of the USS Arizona"

One hundred years ago big-bore naval guns were an excellent means by which to judge the engineering expertise and technological capability of a nation. Those countries able to manufacture and mount on their warships big-bore guns of significant caliber considered world-class, all other nations NOT!!

"General - - Naval Guns are usually classified by 'caliber' (diameter of the bore), 'calibers' (length of the barrel described in multiples of the diameter of the bore)"

Those turrets and guns at that stage of the war more of a symbolic gesture than having real military value?

Coastal artillery once an important branch of the military now an anachronism gone forever?


Monday, January 30, 2012

Big Willie!

This is coolbert:

"defense is the stronger form of combat" - - Clausewitz.

This observation was made with regard originally to ground warfare, armies pitted against armies in the Napoleonic style.

Defense generally as a rule easier to do, you can accomplish more with less!

From the Second World War [WW2] we have another instance of where this particular observation of Clausewitz is demonstrably seen to be so!

From that web site dealing with the scuttling of the French fleet at Toulon:

"Two of the turrets from the scuttled battleship Provence were later removed and used in a fortification at Saint-Mandrier-sur-Mer, guarding the approaches to Toulon. Mounting four 340mm [13 inch] guns, in 1944 this fortification duelled with numerous Allied battleships for over a week before being silenced."

This sounds like "Guns of Navarone" type stuff!

Large bore naval guns taken off a scuttled and sunk battleship and used as coastal artillery. Formidable and difficult targets to eliminate!

 "In World War II, Saint-Mandrier was fortified with two turrets, each mounting a pair of 340mm naval guns taken the French battleship Provence. This fortress controlled the approaches to Toulon, and the range and power of these guns was such that a considerable Allied naval force was required to destroy them . . .The Allies termed the battery 'Big Willie', and dedicated a battleship or heavy cruiser to shelling it every day."

Clausewitz was correct "defense is the stronger form of combat" and "Willie" proves that this is so?

"It was long held as a general rule of thumb, that one shore-based gun equalled three naval guns of the same caliber, due to the steadiness of the coastal gun which allowed for significantly higher accuracy than their sea-mounted counterparts. Land-based guns also benefited in most cases from the additional protection of walls or earth mounds."

It would be interesting to know if those recovered and salvaged guns were removed guns and turret both or merely the guns. That turret [if present] mounted to a concrete emplacement the bulk of which was underground. Perhaps even sections of unused railroad track cut to size and welded to the turret as additional reinforcement!


Sunday, January 29, 2012


This is coolbert:

From the core.com headlines of today we have this item regarding the capsized [only partially so] cruise ship:

"Up to 10 months to remove capsized cruise ship"

"GIGLIO, Italy (AP) — The cruise ship that capsized off Italy's coast will take up to 10 months to remove"

"Removed" meaning either righted and re floated or broken into bits for scrap. There is a well-worked out methodology for all this? First plug the holes in the hull of the ship, pump out the water, inject air into those compartments still flooded and the ship can be "righted' and made sea-worthy, towed away to a more secure and convenient location!

[this is all predicated on that cruise ship not slipping into deeper waters. The cruise ship as we speak slowly but surely sliding into deeper waters! Someone has to act fast here!]

A methodology as worked out in detail from two previous incidents, scuttled warships in both cases raised from the bottom in a similar manner, sold for scrap.

1. The raising from the bottom and selling for scrap the German High Seas fleet as scuttled at Scapa Flow, in the aftermath of World War One.

"Cox's [Ernest Cox entrepreneur] company eventually raised 26 destroyers, two battlecruisers and five battleships."

2. The French fleet as scuttled  at Toulon [World War Two] to some extent a number of ships raised from the bottom and made seaworthy again in some cases or sold for scrap!

"Most of the cruisers were salvaged by the Italians, either to restore them as fighting ships or for scrap."

The Marseillaise after scuttling.

The intuitive reaction is that such a ponderously large steel vessels such as they cruise liners and warships when sunk are irreparably gone but this is not the case. NOT ONLY NOT the case but there existing for some time now the means and methods to "right", make sea-worthy and bring back into business a sunken ship of such size. YES!


Saturday, January 28, 2012


This is coolbert:

"Washington, July 15, 1863."

"To W. G. Fuller Memphis, Tenn.:

Clara McClellan applause query spare safe occupied for present sufficiently your forces prentiss if the world valley the render have caught bear line you to he hard chorus to all in zebras run if the can operate wafers lean towards on send wiley blubber up.

T. T. Eckert."

Code books have been found! After one hundred and fifty years!

This is noteworthy. Has a historical significance that cannot be denied.

From a recent edition of the Chicago Tribune:

"Union code books surface, bit too late for Johnny Reb"

"California institution acquires secret messages from Lincoln"

NOT ONLY the secret messages as sent by President Lincoln SECURE to his subordinates but the basic code book[s] used to encrypt/decrypt the messages!

From the family collection of Thomas Eckert: "a pioneering telegraph operator who ran the U.S. military's telegraph office at the War Department in Washington D.C. from 1863 to 1867."

"LOS ANGELES - - A long-unknown, 150-year-old trove of handwritten ledgers and calfskin-covered code books, which give a potentially revelatory glimpse in . . . the day-to-day exchanges between Abraham Lincoln and his generals . . . now belongs to a California research institution."

That American Civil War being considered to be the FIRST modern war, replete with the use of technology, including Morse telegraphy, allowing for the simultaneous and coordinated maneuver of troops at distance from one another. Messages secured on the Union side with an ad hoc system a route transposition cipher with embedded code, entire words transposed as opposed to the common practice of transposing ONLY individual letters. [thanks in all instances for the message traffic to the W.G. Barker and his editing of the book: "The History of Codes and Ciphers in the United States Prior to World War One"

See my prior blog entry regarding other long-lost secret messages from the American Civil War and their recent decryption.

And as for the secret message as sent by Eckert to Fuller the decryption reads:

"Washington, 10:30 A.M., July 15, 1863."

"For General S.A. Hurlbut, Memphis, Tenn.:

If General W. T. Sherman's movements have sufficiently occupied the enemy to render your line safe, send all the forces you can spare to Brig. General Prentiss to operate on Price's rear if he advances toward Missouri.

H. W. Halleck Major General"

Sophistication and security adequate for the purpose AS IT WAS AT THE TIME. Those Union cryptographers of the period able to frustrate and flummox adversaries totally impervious to the efforts of Confederate eavesdroppers!


Friday, January 27, 2012


This is coolbert:

Thanks to Mike through Colonel Craig I have some extracts from a recent briefing as given by retired American general officer Barry McCaffrey to "NBC Executives and Producers".


That confrontation a result of embargoes and restrictive practices placed on the Iranian hoping to coerce the government in Tehran to abandon nuclear weapon ambitions. Confrontation resulting in tenseness with the threat of escalating violence and WAR a prospect!

With KEY points:

* "15% probability of major military action in the coming 90 days."

That Strait of Hormuz and key choke point, a very big percentage of world-wide exported oil passing though that exit/entrance to the Persian Gulf narrow BUT even more so the two main shipping channels as used by those super-tankers more congested and constricted in a way that is extremely hazardous.

* "21 miles wide through [the] narrowest part of Strait of Hormuz."

* "Two parallel shipping lanes each 2 miles wide in the Strait."

General McCaffrey of the opinion that the Iranian threat more potent and capable that generally thought.

* "Bottom Line: This Naval Force [Iranian] can close the Gulf. They could sink a US carrier in the Gulf narrow waterway."

* "Bottom Line: [American forces] Capable of destroying Iranian air and naval power and nuclear facilities in a six month campaign."

"The Gulf Confrontation: Conclusions"

* "Iran will not for any reason forsake its nuclear ambitions."

* "There is a significant chance of Iranian miscalculation resulting in major military confrontation in the Gulf in the coming 12 months."

And also:

"2012 National Security Challenges to America"


* 150,000 US/NATO forces 870 miles from the open sea.

* Pakistan transit essential to logistics survival of the force.

[at one time 70 % of all U.S./NATO logistics passing through the Karachi/Khyber Pass route. Dependence on that route by now has been ameliorated?]


* Once you have told the Iranian they cannot have nuclear weapons you must be ready to act forcefully and with resolve if needed. And the more you tell the Iranian they CANNOT HAVE NUCLEAR WEAPONS YOU MAKE THEM EVEN MORE DESIROUS TO POSSESS SAME?

*  A good general always plans for a line of retreat? And where exactly is that line of retreat in Afghan? American/NATO forces would have to fight their way out if the situation goes from bad to worse and doing so in the proverbial heartbeat. Recall the infamous retreat of the British army Christmas 1842. 18,000 English troops and camp followers attempting to make the ninety mile trek from Kabul to the Khyber Pass and safety - - ONLY ONE TROOP TOTAL ABLE TO SUCCESSFULLY EXTRICATE FROM PERIL!!

And thank you General McCaffrey!



This is coolbert:

The American military administering medical prophylactics to the troops. As is lawful, medical treatment that a soldier cannot legally refused.

From the Chicago Tribune today:

"Against war's backdrop, Army aims to strengthen minds"

Medical treatment, preventative care prior to combat and post-combat, given to prevent post traumatic stress syndrome. PTSD and prevent same.

This is the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program [CSF].

"The $125 million comprehensive Soldier Fitness program requires soldiers to undergo the kind of mental predeployment tests and training that they have always have had to undergo physically.

Medical fitness now not limited merely to physical aches and pain but mental as well!!

A program most interestingly so being administered by a troop who we have last heard of from over twenty years ago now during the First Gulf War.

Brigadier General office Rhonda Cornum! A medical doctor, a physician by trade badly wounded and captured by the Iraqi, RAPED! Two broken arms, an injured eye, and then RAPE!

Continuing with her military career most successfully so, a soldier, a medical officer or repute and now accomplishment of which she can be most proud.

"Cornum has been deployed to lead the military's new mental fitness program. it is a designed to prepare soldiers for the psychic trauma of war and its aftermath"

Perhaps no person in the military is better qualified and suited to administer and head the CSF program? General Connum has my utmost respect and admiration. Good going Rhonda!


Thursday, January 26, 2012


This is coolbert:

That strategic allied bombing offensive of the Second World War [WW2], controversial as it has become in hindsight, thought to have been NOT as effective as desired.

Area bombardment of the Royal Air Force [RAF], the obliteration by firestorm of significant portions of German cities, the intent with almost a malicious intent to deprive the German worker housing. De-housing  disruptive to the industrial output and war munitions production vital to the Nazi war effort.

"Lord Cherwell's [Professor Frederick Lindemann] . . advocated attacking major industrial centres in order to destroy as many homes and houses as possible (dehousing). Working-class housing areas were to be targeted because they had a higher density and firestorms were more likely. This would displace the German workforce and disrupt and reduce their ability to work."

Indeed, such was the effort to destroy housing and the quarters of the German worker, special protocols and a malevolently wicked methodology was worked out to exacerbate the bombing, create conditions most conductive to the firestorm, escalating destruction to an unprecedented scale!!

"The bombers tried out what became the standard pattern for attacking a city: flares were dropped to mark the target, then 4,000 pound high-explosive 'cookies' were used to blast open doors and windows, accompanied by incendiaries to create huge fires."

De-housing without killing the workers evidently an effective technique, German workers, presumably highly skilled and important to industry, fleeing the cities for the countryside and relative safety in numbers!!

From the book: "The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War By Andrew Roberts"

"De-housing certainly had an effect on Germany's industrial production because, as one study has concluded in many cases after a raid workers did not turn up for work as they were either looking after their families, or physically could not reach their workplaces. many left the devastated city for the countryside whee food was more available and stayed with relatives."

"In the BMW factory in Munich, for example, some 20 % of the workforce were absent in the summer of 1944, and in the same years absenteeism rose to 25 % in the Ford plant in Cologne and the Ruhr."

One person instrumental in developing the various techniques for night-time area bombing the much decorated and very brave RAF pilot and commander Leonard Cheshire VC. Leonard post-war noted for his philanthropic and charitable endeavors, Cheshire VOTED ONE OF THE FIFTY MOST ADMIRED ENGLISH OF ALL TIME!!

"Leonard Cheshire VC is one of the most outstanding of all RAF Bomber Pilots. He devised the master bomber technique - flying low over the target marking with flares, allowing the main force to pinpoint the target in the darkness."

That work force reduction of skilled labor being reduced by such percentages [20 % % 25 %] undoubtedly very damaging to war production! Factories even if unscathed not able to function as normal your laborers having taken "to their heels" and with good reason.

The Second World War [WW2] was the first instance of where civilian casualties outnumbered the number of battlefield dead and this being so in a conscious and overt effort carefully and coolly calculated !

The "Storm of War" is better entitled "The Fire-storm of War"?


Tuesday, January 24, 2012


This is coolbert:

"pan·a·ce·a - - noun 1. a remedy for all disease or ills; cure-all.  
2. an answer or solution for all problems or difficulties"

Here with  my own listing of panacea targets. That name "panacea" as attributed to Sir Arthur "Bomber" Harris of the Royal Air Force [RAF]. A panacea target being an objective the destruction of which would either curtail or severely inhibit the war-making ability of a nation! Curtail or severely inhibit "war-making" to such an extent that the adversary would cry "uncle" and ask for negotiations or terms!

"un·cle Idiom 7. Informal . to concede defeat"

This listing not of course considered to be totally inclusive by any means. Merely scratching the surface.

From the Great War [WW1]:

* Scandinavian pit prop timbers.

Interdiction of Scandinavian pit prop timbers being a major mission for the German submarine force, if and when unrestricted submarine warfare had been declared and authorized. NO pit prop timbers for shoring the coal mines, NO steam coal for the British navy, the Grand Fleet rendered inactive and idle, English acquiescence to German authority and demands guaranteed.

From the Second World War [WW2]:

* The ball bearing factories of Schweinfurt.

* The Ploesti oil fields.

* The hydro-electric dams of the Italian Tyrol.

* The two main electric-generating power plants of the western Soviet Union.


* These panacea targets even when struck the "bother" perhaps not even worth the effort? Within a short time, production for the most part restored, the enemy alerted, able to disperse production facilities in a manner ameliorating further attack.

* The German during the Second World War [WW2] was VERY GOOD at restoring capability even when targets extensively damaged? Those railroad marshaling yards at Dresden within a period of two days back up and in working order nearly 100 % restored.

* Those "hydro-electric dams of the Italian Tyrol" proposed as a target for the First Special Service Force ["Devil's Brigade"].

* A modified Fw-190 "Mistrel" glide-bomb carrying the LARGEST SHAPED CHARGE EVER DEVISED proposed for an attack on the two Soviet power plants supplying 75 % of the electricity to the war munitions plants of the western Soviet Union!

* Considerations regarding Ploesti meriting an entire blog entry unto itself!

Devoted and knowledgeable readers to the blog can suggest more panacea targets? From any conflict and any point in time. Please let me hear from you!



This is coolbert:

Thanks to the mamalisa web site we have the lyrics to the famous Japanese song "sakura sakura":

"noyama mo sato mo
mi-watasu kagiri
kasumi ka kumo ka
asahi ni niou
sakura sakura
sakura sakura
yayoi no sorawa
mi-watasu kagiri
kasumi ka kumo ka
nioi zo izuru
izaya izaya
mini yukan"

"Cherry blossoms, cherry blossoms,
On Meadow-hills and mountains
As far as you can see.
Is it a mist, or clouds?
Fragrant in the morning sun.
Cherry blossoms, cherry blossoms,
Flowers in full bloom.
Cherry blossoms, cherry blossoms,
Across the Spring sky,
As far as you can see.
Is it a mist, or clouds?
Fragrant in the air.
Come now, come now,
Let’s look, at last!"

Cherry Blossoms. The Cherry Blossom Squadron. The Japanese kamikaze! Young men of valor falling to their death at the very height of their beauty and splendor!! As with the cherry blossom so with the Japanese youth during the Second World War [WW2]!

During the early 1970's too that Japanese song, "Sakura Sakura" also the theme song for the "Sakura Hour" Japanese language Chicago area FM ethnic radio broadcast Sunday evenings. And as hosted by Iva D'Aquino. Better known to the world as Iva Toguri. Also known infamously as Tokyo Rose. Iva claiming she was coerced to make the propaganda broadcasts for the Japanese militarists, calling herself "Annie" at the time, her female taunting voice only one of several as heard by American servicemen in the Pacific theatre during WW2.

Iva repatriated to the United States in the aftermath of the war, serving a prison sentence [later pardoned by President Ford], "Annie" the voice of which once again heard on the radio, that Japanese import trinket shop as run by Iva doing quite well for decades, Iva leading your average-everyday middle class American life as if nothing out of the ordinary had ever happened.

That choice of theme song for the "Sakura" hour and as chosen by Iva [?] the significance of which was not mere coincidence? I leave the devoted reader to the blog to make their own judgement. I am seeing something that is not there?


Saturday, January 21, 2012


This is coolbert:

Indeed, most surprisingly so, the accounts and histories of the ancients are to be more preferred with regard to truthfulness and veracity when compared to the learned and scholarly "works" of the modern military historian?

Can this be so?

I am particularly thinking of Plutarch and his "Life of Pelopidas"! Describing the battlefield in the aftermath of Chaeronea [338 B.C.] that number of the Sacred Band of Thebes found slain vanquished in battle carefully enumerated with an exactness only many thousands of years later confirmed by an archaeological dig.

That Sacred Band of Thebes the most elite soldiers of the Theban city-state, devoted to one another, a shock troop battalion that could always be counted on in combat, having a code of honor that did not allow for retreat on the battlefield, defeated by the Macedonian army of Philip, every last man a casualty, killed or captured.

"Sacred Band of Thebes - - The Sacred Band of Thebes . . . was a troop of picked soldiers, consisting of 150 male couples which formed the elite force of the Theban army in the 4th century BC. . . . It was annihilated by Philip II of Macedon in the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC."

[in the ancient world there were two major cities named Thebes and not to be confused. One in Egypt and one in Greece. NOT one and the same!]

The Sacred Band three hundred men strong, standing their ground to the last, receiving proper burial with due honor, not stripped of armor and weaponry as was the normal case.

That mass grave containing the bodies of the Sacred Band, when exhumed, found to contain the remains and armor of those killed at Chaeronea, the total number of those buried very closely in accord with the account of Plutarch!

"Although Plutarch claims that all three hundred of the Band's warriors died that day, excavation of the burial site at the Lion Monument in 1890 turned up 254 skeletons, arranged in seven rows."

"it was only in 1881 that the archaeologist’s spade revealed it to modern eyes, a physical proof of the ancients’ accounts . . . there lay still the neatly arranged graves . . . [with] the shields of the Sacred Band, each inscribed with the name of the bearer . . . Not only do these shields identify their owners as Theban soldiers, but from this derives conclusive archaeological corroboration of the account of Plutarch."

Plutarch not 100 % correct but in large measure so, his history having been confirmed by modern archaeology! The example of the Sacred Band is just one many from ancient times many more existing "archaeological corroboration" only needed!


Friday, January 20, 2012

Cherry Blossoms.

This is coolbert:

 From the web site: "World War II: Eighth Air Force Raid on Schweinfurt"

"The punishment being meted out was not always one-sided, however. Fortress [B-17] gunners claimed 186 aircraft [German] shot down, although German documents reviewed after the war placed their losses at approximately 40. Some over claiming by gunners was inevitable, since several gunners within a combat 'box'of bombers would fire on the same plane."

Exaggerated claims of the American B-17 Flying Fortress gunners that should not however be thought of as lies, propaganda or outrageous falsehood. Everything happening so fast with multiple gunners engaging simultaneously the same aircraft from different angles and this occurring over and over the human mind not able to keep track of events in a manner conducive to tabulating a final accurate "tally"! American B-17 gunners at Schweinfurt NOT fabulists [tellers of tall tales!]

From an authority whose judgement I trust we have this response:

"If a German fighter sped through a B-17 or B-24 bomber 'box' formation from the top, at least a couple dozen bomber gunners would be firing at it. And maybe an American escort fighter was following it down when it passed through the formation. When and if it was hit and seen to be going down, there would be dozens of claims for the same "

Perceived and outrageous claims of enemy tanks destroyed, ships sunk, planes shot down during World War Two [WW2] were more the rule than the exception.

Indeed, the only instance [?] in modern warfare of where actual combat results exceeded claims was the Japanese kamikaze attacks on the American fleet as experienced in the latter months of WW2. Ships DAMAGED the total of which in reality was GREATER than that tally as claimed by the Japanese!! Important here to differentiate between ships DAMAGED as opposed to those ships SUNK!

From the web site: "Operation Iceberg - Okinawa Invasion"

"All kamikaze operations beginning with Leyte Gulf and ending at Okinawa had actually sunk 34 American ships, although official claims were made for 81; 288 had been damaged, claims were made for 195."

[that figure of 34 American ships sunk disputed even by American authorities, depending upon your definition of kamikaze attack and a careful understanding of that term and word "sunk"!]

Cherry blossoms of course those young Japanese men dedicated to the kamikaze mission, seen as persons in the prime of youth and beauty, falling from the sky and dying at the height of their perfection, as indeed for the cherry blossom as well!!

Understand it to be so and appreciate it!


Wednesday, January 18, 2012


This is coolbert:

From a comment to the blog by Steiner:

"the Soviet willingness to accept astonishing combat losses, that would have halted a British or American campaign, such as after the Schweinfurt raids."

Steiner is speaking of the American long-raid B-17 bombing missions against the ball-bearing factories of the Third Reich concentrated near the city of Schweinfurt. Massed formations of unescorted B-17 Flying Fortress bomber aircraft reliant upon their own organic weaponry shot down in enormous numbers, almost catastrophic in nature, AFTER THE TWO RAIDS ON SCHWEINFURT THE AMERICAN ARMY AIR CORPS HEAVY BOMBER FORCE UNABLE TO TAKE TO THE SKIES IN SUCH NUMBERS FOR A PERIOD OF FIVE MONTHS!!

Those ball-bearing factories at Schweinfurt felt to be a industrial key target the destruction of which would severely cripple German war munitions industry to such an extent that the Nazi adversary would be forced in short order to cry: "uncle" and surrender.

NO ball bearings, NO more war munitions, tanks, aircraft, any vehicle containing an internal combustion engine come to a stand-still. Such was the thought.

"1940s-era German machinery was believed to be more dependent on ball bearings than most. It was estimated, for example, that the German aviation industry consumed an average of 2.4 million bearings per month . . . Schweinfurt accounting for more than 40 percent of production, made . . . Schweinfurt in particular an obvious target."

Targets such as the ball-bearing factories dismissively described by the English commander Arthur Harris as "panacea targets"!

From the book by Andrew Roberts:

"The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War" - - By Andrew Roberts

"Harris tended to decry precision attacks on individual industries such as ball-bearing or synthetic-oil factories as favored by the Americans dismissing them as 'panacea targets'"

That two day-light missions to Schweinfurt as flown by the massed heavy bomber formations sustaining heavy losses, unacceptable casualties the losses not producing a result commensurate with the damage done!!

German defenses, in particular the air interceptors/fighters and other assorted aircraft frenetic and almost overwhelming in nature, THE GERMAN USING TECHNIQUES AND METHODS PREVIOUSLY NEVER ENCOUNTERED SUCH WAS THE INTENSITY OF THE AIR BATTLE!!

That intensity of the German to protect that vital target [the ball-bearing factories] without precedent. Almost fevered by comparison with any other air-to-air battle up unto that point!!

"the Luftwaffe began to ferociously attack the bombers. Single-engine Focke-Wulf 190s and Messerschmitt 109s came directly at the formations, firing their 20-millimeter cannons and machine guns and twin-engine Messerschmitt 110s and 210s would stay beyond the range of the bomber’s guns and shoot crude rockets into the formations. Also in the fight were Junkers 88s, primarily used as night fighters by the Germans, and Junkers 87s, which were fixed-landing gear dive bombers that would climb above the Allied formations and drop time-fused bombs down among the B-17s."

“We were briefed to be met by about five hundred enemy fighters of various sorts. It turned out to be about seven hundred . . . Fighters, usually twin-engine, lined up at beyond our gun range and began launching rockets that appeared to be like a telephone pole as they passed by us and exploded. Some enemy aircraft flew above us towing bombs on long cables hoping to entangle the cable on a Flying Fortress."

More than anything else, those "time-fused bombs" and towed bombs were intended to cause the aircraft of the B-17 combat box to break formation? Bombs at the end of cables resembling a flying barrage balloon?

From an authority whose expertise in such matters we can trust we have this comment:

"I've heard of the plane with a bomb on cable, but don't know how you'd get that off the ground. No cable would be long enough to protect the plane from getting hit with its own bomb blast though. As for the Stuka story, I can't say whether it is true or not, but I think its altitude restrictions, coupled with its very slow speed, would severely limit its usefulness in such a role."

Again, the purpose of these means and methods was more or less to cause panic among those pilots of a B-17 combat box and have them break formation, susceptibility to subsequent shoot-down by German interceptors that much greater then?

Those Flying Fortresses too were attacked en route to the target and during the return too. Losses versus gains was found to be unsustainable, American commanders having to re-think their tactics and doctrine, AND MOST OF ALL WAIT FOR THE ARRIVAL OF THE LONG-RANGE ESCORT FIGHTER, THE P-51!


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Timber & Shoring.

This is coolbert:

First from a recent prior blog entry:

"Refueling the British fleet during WWI was a huge logistical headache. It demanded thousands of trainloads of coal be sent weekly to northernmost Scotland. From there it was transshipped to the Orkneys by barge and collier, where it once again it had to be laboriously bagged, shoveled, and lifted by cargo booms and cranes into the vessels of the Grand Fleet in its anchorage at Scapa Flow . . . Coal mining was a major sector of the economy in Britain and other industrial countries of the time. In just one mining area, South Wales -- home of Welsh steam coal, or anthracite --, there were 250,000 miners who produced 57 million tons of coal in 1913 . . ."

["steam coal" that fuel must suitable for coal-fired boilers of railroad locomotives and warships! NOT necessarily hard rock anthracite but a form of bituminous coal valued for the quality!]

That British Grand Fleet during the Great War even while at anchorage and idle requiring an enormous quantity of coal the production and transportation of which carried out by an industrial mass production assembly line operation of prodigious size, the beehive activity of an army of men [civilians] essential. Mining, railroad, ferrying, all labor intensive and time consuming but an ABSOLUTE MUST! NO COAL NO FLEET SAILING!!

[those coal-fired boilers of the warships again, even while at anchorage consuming coal on a continuous basis, the fires never extinguished, the boilers kept stoked at all times!!]

Also from a much prior Military Thoughts blog entry, German unrestricted submarine warfare as begun in 1917 based upon basic assumptions to include:

* "Second. 'A modern economy was a masterpiece of precision machinery; if it is once thrown into disorder, malfunctions, friction, and breakage will set in motion without end.'"

* "Sixth. 'the Germans were mesmerized with British coal production in general and reliance on Scandinavian pit-prop timber (Grubenholz) in particular.'"

[these are the timbers, cut to size, used to hold up the sides a coal mine. The tunnels and the pit caves themselves are held up by what is called "shoring". Timbers placed at intervals that prevent the mine from collapsing on itself. It seems England was dependent on Scandinavian timber for this purpose!!]

Impede by unrestricted submarine warfare that constant flow of Scandanavian pit-prop timbers and English industry slowly but surely would come to a halt? NO timbers - - NO coal - - NO fleet sailing!! Such was the thought among those most senior German naval commanders.

That absolute dependence upon imported pit-prop timber an assumption that WAS NOT valid:

"Sixth. 'Holtzendorff's and Ludendorff's curious calculations about Scandinavian pit-prop timber for British mines failed to hold.'"

[Timber was made more available for mining by restricting the use in other industries. Imported timber was not so crucial!!]

German assumptions not totally invalid, however there being indeed a "work-around" when imported timber denied! Measures and steps taken by the British to continue the mining process unabated, coal for the fleet and other essential industry still abundant, unrestricted submarine warfare notwithstanding!!


Saturday, January 14, 2012


This is coolbert:

Thanks to the BBC the predictions of a futurist from the year 1900 examined for correctness. How many predictions right, how many not!

"Ten 100-year predictions that came true"

"In 1900, an American civil engineer called John Elfreth Watkins made a number of predictions about what the world would be like in 2000. How did he do?"

"10 predictions that Watkins got right..."


8. Tanks.

"Huge forts on wheels will dash across open spaces at the speed of express trains of today."

"Leonardo da Vinci had talked about this, says Nilsson, but Watkins was taking it further. There weren't many people that far-sighted."

The automobile as powered by the internal combustion engine was not even invented until 1898. And the tank of course as understood was not invented until the time of the Great War [1914]. Those tanks of that era  ponderous and cumbersome and subject to repeated and almost inevitable breakdown and that is not counting vehicles out-of-action due to enemy fire!

[each and every tank as deployed by the British had embedded among the crew a mechanic whose sole purpose was to maintain the engine and keep the vehicle in working order!]

It was not until the invention of the Christie suspension [1928?] that the tank as we know it today became a military combat vehicle of versatility, much greater reliability and deadliness.

Such is the wear and tear on a modern tank, moving cross-country in rugged terrain and having to operate under conditions much less than favorable, that even with modern technology, the tank is normally CARRIED to the battlefield on the back of a "low boy" type transporter.

As with almost all of these futurists, Watkins was right some of the time, wrong quite often too. This listing by the BBC is merely of those predictions correct and what is called the "top ten".


Friday, January 13, 2012

Four Square.

This is coolbert:

That U.S. military use in Iraq of police forensic science techniques is not without precedent! Originally I had thought this to be an American invention and innovation - - applicable to the low-intensity conflict.

But I am wrong.

The use of a variety of police forensic techniques useful in ferreting out those insurgents and terrorists hiding among the civilian population. Techniques to include:

* Swab hands of suspects for gunshot residue [GSR].
* Examine clothes in a similar manner for explosive residue.
* Autopsies.
* Fingerprints and DNA samples.

Means, methods, techniques, forensics to combat the terrorist/insurgent threat as done over thirty years ago by the British military intelligence in Northern Ireland. Police forensics having a military application NOT an American invention!

This was called Four Square Laundry.

A conventional laundry van operating undercover at the behest of British army intelligence, collecting clothing for cleaning and wash at a discount rate - - that clothing examined for gunshot and explosive residue, blood, etc.

"One spying method was the Four Square Laundry, a van which toured west Belfast housing estates offering a discount washing service. Clothes were tested for traces of explosives and gun powder, while two soldiers in the van's false roof space took photographs of suspects."

"The laundry initially gathered clientele by offering 'discount vouchers' (colour-coded by street), which offered a significant discount on laundry services . . . "

"Clothes collected for washing were first analyzed by intelligence operatives. They were forensically checked for traces of explosives, as well as blood or firearms residue; they were also compared to previous laundry loads from the same residence—the sudden presence of different-sized clothes could indicate that the house was harboring an IRA member."

Four Square was a legitimate business with the "embedded" military intelligence laundry van operating undercover, perhaps even without the knowledge of those civilian employees of Four Square.

That use of discount vouchers offers the prey a bait that cannot be refused. WHO does not want and appreciate cut-rate service?

The English prefer and use with proficiency the subtle and clever approach to warfare, especially that type of low-intensity conflict, the insurgency/guerrilla type of combat as was seen in Northern Ireland. The British are master practitioners of this type of combat!


Coal III.

This is coolbert:

Coal - - conclusion.

Black Gang!!

Here with extracts from the Internet web site: "The Engine Room". That "Black Gang", those men serving in the very interior of the warships of the time, shoveling coal to fed the fires of the boilers as powering the pre-Dreadnought and Dreadnought ships of the line in that period prior to and during the Great War.

Copied more or less with entirety, the eloquence as expressed far exceeding my inadequate and feeble capacity:

"For the coal-burning navies of the world, the management of the fuel below decks and the generating of steam would now revert to the 'Black Gang,' the coal-dust streaked stokers and trimmers who would manage the coal's storage, deliver it from bunker to stokehold and, with well-aimed shovel strokes, spread the fuel over the glowing aggregate in the ship's furnaces. In the lofty firerooms the great boilers loomed over infernally lit rows of furnace doors, an effect completely lost in early flash photos but nicely captured in this magazine illustration. Nor should we neglect mention of the water tenders, who kept an eagle eye on the water gauges of each boiler, feeding in just enough specially processed feedwater to optimize the production of steam while keeping the boiler temperature from reaching dangerous heights . . . The marine steam plant was a cooperative effort, an industrial operation of some complexity; but one that in the end rested on the brawn and brains of the firemen themselves."

A vision of Hades and Hell on earth with good reason referred to as "infernally lit" but absolutely essential to warships of the time!!

"Depending on the need for steam, the stokers were cued by annunciator bells set in the engine room; they were slaves to the signals of Kilroy's Patent Stoking Indicator as surely as the galley slaves had been to the timekeeper's drum. It was hellish, back-breaking work and the stokers, shunned by 'society' on shipboard and ashore, formed their own hard-bitten in-group. With the impressive physiques built up by their profession, they were renowned pugilists. A number became boxing champions in the Royal Navy and the Russian and Austrian fleets, known for their earthy approach . . ."

As with the galley slaves of yore so it was with the stoker. Men of "impressive physiques" more than twice as strong as a modern man pound for pound, persons of that era accustomed to hard physical labor, shoveling coal or chopping and sawing wood a daily backbreaking but necessary chore!!

"Yet without the strong backs and burly muscles of the stokers, none of the fleets of the day could have sailed. And in the hour of need, their efforts were apparent even above decks. At the Battle of Santiago, the flagship USS Brooklyn was described bounding through the billows at unprecedented speed, throwing up a triple bow wave and shooting jets of flame from her stacks. Nor is this the only example of the Black Gang making a signal contribution to military victory."

Black-gang not only feeding the fire but also tending the fire in a carefully measured manner for greatest efficiency, hot burning, maximum steam pressure, etc. Maintain that ships speed was as much an "art form" as a science and engineering task!!

"Refueling the British fleet during WWI was a huge logistical headache. It demanded thousands of trainloads of coal be sent weekly to northernmost Scotland. From there it was transshipped to the Orkneys by barge and collier, where it once again it had to be laboriously bagged, shoveled, and lifted by cargo booms and cranes into the vessels of the Grand Fleet in its anchorage at Scapa Flow. During the lengthy spells of enforced inactivity at the base, coaling fleet perversely became one of the breaks in the monotony. Coal mining was a major sector of the economy in Britain and other industrial countries of the time. In just one mining area, South Wales -- home of Welsh steam coal, or anthracite --, there were 250,000 miners who produced 57 million tons of coal in 1913 . . ."

That hard rock anthracite coal, the most precious and least abundant type of the mineral, highly sought after and in dire supply. Those rated speeds of the pre-Dreadnought and Dreadnought class of warships only possible when fueled on a continual basis by the highest quality of coal, hard rock anthracite [Welsh "anthracite" (actually a hard bituminous coal, rather than a true anthracite.]!!  

No "Black Gang", no miners, no mass assembly line by-the-numbers industrialized operation both military and civilian working at all time with top efficiency and the Grand Fleet or any other fleet of the time just would not sail!!


Coal II.

This is coolbert:

Coal - - USA!

Think NOT it was only the British that maintained a whole series of world-wide coaling stations during the era of the pre-Dreadnought and Dreadnought.

That parvenu [upstart] nation the United States, globally at least by the 1890's the leading economic power in the world, extending influence and beginning to participate militarily on the world stage in a big way, power projection through sea power, an essential element of which of course is a large and very strong pelagic [deep water] navy!!

In the Pacific Ocean alone, the wide expanses requiring the American fleet access to coaling stations, naval bases, concessions or friendly harbors and ports from which pre-positioned stockpiles of high-quality coal could be obtained.

Pacific Ocean coaling stations locations to include:

* Alaska.
* Hawaiian Islands.
* Guam.
* Pago Pago.

American naval vessels patrolling and operating in the Pacific Ocean NOT at the sufferance of foreign powers, friendly, neutral or hostile, independent and autonomous action possible, coaling stations an intrinsic and vital component of oceanic missions.

"sufferance - - consent or sanction implied by a lack of interference or failure."

The need for coal by the American two-ocean fleet exemplified most drastically during the Spanish-American War [1898] by the epic and legendary voyage of the battleship USS Oregon [BB-3]. The Panama Canal at the time not existing, the Oregon having to nearly circumnavigate the South American continent [14,000 mi (23,000 km)], repeatedly having to make stops for the replenishment of coal. 

"Oregon departed San Francisco on 19 March"

Stops at friendly and neutral coaling stations to include:

* Callao, Peru, the first coaling stop on her trip.
* [bypassing] the coaling station at Valparaíso, Chile.
* Punta Arenas, where she was joined by [the USS] Marietta,  Both ships coaled and departed on 21 April.
* Rio de Janiero 30 April. [coaled]
* Barbados for coal on 18 May.

Again from the archives of the New York Times [1891] the value and importance of coaling stations [secure] as discussed and made clear for the reader of the time in a manner that a modern might find somewhat amusing:


"The importance of securing coaling stations for vessels for the United States was never so urgent as at the present moment. The majority of the new war ships have little or no sail power. They depend almost entirely for motive power on their machinery. Let one of these new cruisers run short of coal and have no means of obtaining a fresh supply and her condition is at once little short of helpless."

"But this is not all. The coal required by such cruisers as the Charleston, Baltimore, San Francisco and Philadelphia to say nothing of the Yorktown, must be of the very best quality. Anything short of the best Pocahontas, Lehigh egg, or first-rate Cardiff means a diminution in speed power."

Right! Modern warships as that term is understood. All-steel hull vessels dependent "for motive power on their machinery". AND that type of coal must be of the highest quality available. Pocahontas, Lehigh egg and first-rate Cardiff [Wales] high quality bituminous coal and not hard rock anthracite [nor brown lignite coal suitable as a fuel source].

Have ships - - got coal - - will travel!!


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Coal I.

This is coolbert:

Coaling stations!

From the period of over one hundred years ago now, the primary importance of the COALING STATION relative to sea power and naval warfare undeniable.

The coal-fired boilers of those triple-expansion steam engines as found on warships and commercial vessels of the pre-Dreadnought and Dreadnought era requiring an unending supply of fuel [coal] both in abundance and of the highest quality.

Coaling stations those naval bases, port and harbor facilities with prodigious amounts of pre-positioned coal on hand at all times, replenished and maintained as exhausted, naval and commercial vessels availing themselves of re-supply as needed.

Those imperial and colonial powers maintaining these coaling stations, foremost of which in number were those of the English. Voyages by vessels "steaming" to and fro to all parts of the empire, coal an absolute necessity, the British not relying on the sufferance of foreign powers, friendly, neutral or hostile!

"a voyage out to the Far East would or could involve the possible coaling at Gibraltar, Malta, Port Said, Aden and Ceylon."

"There were 14 main coaling stations in British possessions, at which vessels could refuel . . . the 14 were King George Sound and Thursday Island in Australia; Hong Kong and Singapore in the Far-East; Trincomalee and Colombo in Ceylon; Mauritius in the Indian Ocean and Aden at the mouth of the Red Sea; Simon’s Bay and Table Bay in South Africa; Sierra Leone in West Africa and St Helena in the South Atlantic; and, finally, Jamaica and Castries Bay, St Lucia in the Caribbean. There were of course smaller coaling stations, such as Esquimalt in British Columbia and Perim in the Red Sea."


"Great Britain obtained as a legacy from sailing days a large number of harbours admirably adapted for use as coaling stations . Since the dawn of the era of steam, she has acquired Aden, Perim, Hong-Kong, North Borneo, Fiji, part of New Guinea, Fanning Island, and many other islands in the Pacific, while the striking development of Australia and New Zealand has added to the long roll of British ports"

Coaling stations and the desire to acquire same indeed quite often a point of friction and conflict between nations. Thanks to the archives of the New York Times [1892]:



"The place selected is very suitable for a coaling station. As the water is very deep, with a wharf running out thirty feet, the men-of-war could haul alongside it and coal. it is land-locked and has every facility for a good coaling station."

Coaling stations a necessity during peace time, absolutely vital during war time, "the sufferance of foreign powers, friendly, neutral or hostile" NOT desirable!


Sunday, January 8, 2012


This is coolbert:

A recent successful cyber attack directed by anonymous hackers against Israeli web sites and servers has elicited a very strong and threatening remark from the Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon.

"Deputy FM threatens 'forceful response' to cyber attacks"

"Ayalon hints at aggressive Israeli reaction to online leak of credit card numbers belonging to thousands of Israelis. 'US announced that any attack on its cybernetic space would be considered a declaration of war,'"

" . . . Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said Israel will view such cyber attacks as 'acts of terror' and will 'retaliate forcefully against hackers who undermine Israel's cybernetic sovereignty.'"

" . . . Ayalon said Israel must 'send a message to all those who have hurt or plan to hurt Israel – in cyberspace as well – that they would be hurting themselves. They will not be immune to Israeli retaliation.'"

Terrorist act! Retaliation! Israel!

And my instantaneous response was kidon or depth command or a combination of both! Kidon that section of the Mossad that is referred to as: "the long arm of Israeli justice"! Kidon best translated as BAYONET! The active strong-arm head-knocker group of Israelis that operates overseas against those that threaten Israel in some manner.

Force of course may be interpreted as retaliation in kind. Threaten our computers and we threaten yours.

If I was a hacker working as part of a group or even a "lone wolf" attempting to be anonymous and find such hacking to be a lark that is a power trip, a "rush", be very careful when attempting to "hack" an Israeli computer or server, router, or otherwise. That "long arm" can be very long and is very patient and has a memory that does not forget. I merely state facts.

When Danny speaks that is NOT mere rhetoric!


Top Ten!

This is coolbert:

Here thanks to NewsMax and as reported by Arnaud De Borchgrave originally gleaned from the "The Preventive Action's annual report":

"The Preventive Action's annual report for 2012 . . . a wide selection of more than 300 government officials, policy analysts, academics and journalists for their confidential feedback."

Threats to the United States and the world order as send by a collection of persons-in-the-know. NOT a finished document as published by an intelligence agency but rather opinions, analysis, observations, and evaluations UNCLASSIFIED and presented for perusal to the general public!

"Top 10 Threats of 2012" By Arnaud De Borchgrave

"These are the top 10 that directly threaten the U.S. homeland and are likely to trigger U.S. military involvement":

* "A mass casualty attack on the U.S. homeland or on a treaty ally."

* "A severe North Korean crisis"

" A major military incident with China involving U.S. or allied forces."

* "An Iranian nuclear crisis"

* "A highly disruptive cyber-attack on U.S. critical infrastructure"

* "A significant increase in drug trafficking violence in Mexico that spills over into the United States."

* "Severe internal instability in Pakistan triggered by a civil-military crisis or terror attacks."

* "Political instability in Saudi Arabia that endangers global oil supplies."

* "A U.S.-Pakistan military confrontation, triggered by a terror attack or U.S. counter-terror."

* "Intensification of the European sovereign debt crisis that leads to the collapse of the euro, triggering a double-edged transatlantic crisis."

"Happy New Year!" And thank you Arnaud!

Mr. De Borchgrave originally a Belgian citizen of minor nobility, having to relinquish his title when assuming American citizenship!

Saudi Arabia and Pakistan number 1 and number 2 respectively on the list of nations that most concern the U.S.? Saudi instability triggering a global economic melt-down from a disruption to the world oil supply, atomic weapons falling into the hands of disreputables the result of Pakistani crisis, governmental neglect and disintegration, etc.

"You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come." - - Matthew 24:6


Cold & Bears.

This is coolbert:

"The world's only military dogsled team."

The most recent edition of the National Geographic containing an article with a definite military dimension to it.

"The Cold Patrol".

The Danish military dogsled patrolling unit Sirius!

Danish military two-man buddy team conducting sovereignty patrol [SOVPAT] in the very northeastern corner of Greenland.

A mission of patrolling thousands of kilometers of coastline, establishing sovereignty by actually touching land and contiguous ice-covered waters once every five years as agreed upon by internationally agreed upon covenants.

SOVPAT as also currently done by the military units of:

* Canada.
* Australia.

Buddy teams performing hard and dangerous and very physically taxing duty under the most difficult of climatic conditions. Danger even in peacetime and a non-combat situation from factors such as the weather, terrain, and attack by the great white bear of the north, the polar bear. That buddy team armed at all times and constantly on alert - - aware of the danger as presented by an attacking polar bear!

Missions also commencing during that period of mid-winter WHEN THE CLIMATE IS AT THE WORST! Ease of transport across the frozen pack ice of the sea making for movement across normally impassable terrain possible!!

The selection process to become a member of the Sirius unit most meticulous and exacting, a training process of eight months required prior to deployment. Training to include the mastering of a whole range of esoteric skills:

* "Outdoor survival".
* "Meteorology".
* "Hunting skills".
* "Veterinary medicine".
* Memorize map features of importance.

Those outdoor survival skills I would assume not only being able to withstand the cold and function with vigor but able to forage off the land and sea if necessary. That land and sea provides for men and dogs both if one possesses the right amount of knowledge and skill. What appears to be a GOD-forsaken wasteland is actually alive with all manner of creature that can be eaten. Animals as a food source to include:

* Fish.
* Seal.
* Sea birds. [taste like fish]
* Sea bird eggs. [taste like fish too?]
* Musk ox.
* Polar bear. [the hunter becomes the hunted.]

[polar bears can be shot and eaten but not the liver. That liver contains excess amounts of vitamin A and is dangerous to the point of death if consumed!]

To the greatest extent possible, the Sirius unit relies upon the old ways? Natural materials, clothing, wooden sled, dogs for transport, etc. A Sirius buddy team is more or less totally autonomous and reliant upon themselves in a manner few other persons on the planet ever experience.


Friday, January 6, 2012


This is coolbert:

Again from the DEBKAfile:

"Israeli drones over Turkish-Syrian border"

"04 Jan. Military tensions in Syria have spread to its borders. Wednesday, Jan. 4, Turkish military sources reported an Israeli Eitan drone hovering for four hours over the Turkish Hawk Brigade 14 stationed on the Syrian border at Kirikhan in the Hatay district – the expected jumping-off point for any foreign military intervention in Syria."

Israeli drone intelligence gathering UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle] active - - rebellion and uprising as occurring for almost a year now in Syria of intense interest to the Israeli.

That drone acting as a relay station in the sky [?], German manufactured radiosondes normally used for atmospheric research having been "modified to intercept radio communications"?

As originally reported recently by intelNews.org.

"Who is behind mystery spy devices dropped over Syria?"

"the devices [GRAW DFM-06] are aimed at eavesdropping on the communications of Syrian government troops and of Syrian Air Force planes, which are engaged in an increasingly bloody conflict against the opposition Syrian National Council"

Cheap, dirty, but effective, these modified GRAW devices dropped in profusion over a target allow for coverage of a wide area and carry an Israeli signature when considered in the context of this UAV flight? ONLY Tel Aviv knows for sure!



This is coolbert:

"this too will come to pass"

As it was in Haiti two hundred years ago, as it is in Syria today.

The dictator digs in his heels, refuses to step down or relinquish power, prepares a mountain fortress, a bastion impregnable, the final show-down on hold!!

From the DEBKAfile:

"Assad will fight from mountain fortress if civil war engulfs Syria"

"02 Jan. . . . President Bashar Assad is digging in for a full-scale civil war:  DEBKAfile reports exclusively that a fortress is under construction for the Syrian ruler, family, his loyal generals and ruling elite in the northwestern Alawite (Al-Ansariyyah) Mountains. From there the Assad clan will fight for survival should Damascus become too hot for them"

A mountain-top stronghold, impregnable, invulnerable to attack from which a prolonged defense can be conducted. At this very moment such a fortress being prepared, feverish effort, Assad seeing the hand-writing on the wall and taking appropriate measures the autocrat now deems absolutely necessary.

Also from DEBKAfile: 3 million gas masks having been recently emergency air-lifted into Syria from Russia, Assad intending to protect the entire Alawite population of Syria in case the use of poison gas resorted to?

 "Last week, Russia airlifted to Syria 3 million face masks against chemical and biological weapons" - - DEBKAfile 16 Dec.

"3.5 million members . . . of this ruling Shiite Muslim faith, which numbers just over one-tenth of Syria’s total population" [Alawites their faith of which little is known about rule as a small minority].


Wednesday, January 4, 2012


This is coolbert:

From that previous B.R. Myers blog entry:

"North Korea under Kim Jong Il was guided by 'a paranoid, race-based nationalism with roots in Japanese fascism.'"

That race-based nationalism comes from where exactly? Japanese fascism?

Korea was ruled for forty year period [1905-1945] by the Japanese. At least in the case of South Korea [ROK] that original Korean War era cadre of career military officers had received a degree of military training and experience under Japanese tutelage.

In particular I am thinking of President Park Chung Hee. Strong-man ruler for a period of over a decade who is recognized as the "father" of ROK industrialization and development. Park was a graduate of a Japanese military academy and during Japanese occupation was known by his Japanese name of Takagi Masao.

Park too familiar with, influenced by and a confidant [?] of the Japanese famous/infamous Colonel Tsuji? Tsuji an advocate of and the most extreme example of the type of over-zealous and fevered nationalism characterizing Japanese policy toward "others" in that time prior to Pearl Harbor.

As for North Korea [DPRK] the situation is more complicated? In the case of the DPRK it is hard to discern where exactly such a strong racial nationalistic animus toward the "other" might have come from?

Kim Il Sung for instance was a Soviet citizen, a Red Army officer who actually fought at Stalingrad commanding Korean national contingents of the Red Army. So it is thought.

[Korean troops as part of the Red Army fought at Stalingrad, as well as during the Chinese Civil War on the communist side. Those American combat units of Task Force Smith ran into the most experienced and battle tested soldiers in the world in 1950!!]

Kim Jung Il too is thought to have been a Soviet-born citizen, too young to have lived in Korea during that time of Japanese occupation.

A nation motivated by a "paranoid, race-based nationalism" hardly makes for a reliable and stable negotiating partner. Efforts to ameliorate the situation on the Korean peninsula by the normal diplomatic method of "carrot and stick" are doomed to failure given the mentality and tenor of a leadership deemed "rabid"!

How to proceed?



This is coolbert:

Thanks here to several sources NOT necessarily alarmist headlines but food for thought.

1. "China wants to set up bases in Pakistan, reveals intelligence report".

"China's desire for a military presence in Pakistan has been discussed by the political and military leadership of that country in the recent months. China's deepening strategic penetration of Pakistan and joint plans to set up... oil pipelines/rail/roads as well as naval and military bases are a matter of concern."

"According to the assessment report, Chinese presence in this area might enable People's Liberation Army (PLA) to counter the Muslims separatists operating from this part of Pakistan for terrorist activities in its Xinjiang province."

NOT necessarily a counter to Muslim separatists [Uighurs] but presumably more so as part of the so-called "String of Pearls" doctrine. South China Sea/Malacca/Kra/Burma/Pakistan and points further west. An Indian Ocean Chinese military presence guaranteeing future trans-shipment of vital resources [predominantly oil] and trading routes in a manner as NOT seen since the 1400's and the various voyages of the Treasure Fleet under the commander of the eunuch Admiral Zheng He.

A presence that catches the attention of and must be worrisome to the Indians? A hegemony over their sphere of influence now threatened?

2. "China’s Noisy Subs Get Busier — And Easier to Track"

Chinese submarines operating more frequently in pelagic [deep-blue] waters found to be very noisy, easy to track, vulnerable to counter-measures, American submarines NOW and for the foreseeable future having the upper hand.

"the Navy’s [American] just discovered that China’s homemade subs are even louder than 20-year-old Russian boats."

"Assuming the Chinese stay with their current sub designs, American submarines should be capable of swiftly defeating Chinese boats in any potential future shooting war"

During the 21st Century the Indian Ocean will be a flash-point [maybe it already is] for conflicts local/regional/global? If an when the world order as it current exists and is constituted breaks down naval power will play a vital if not absolutely essential role in deciding who wins and who loses!


Monday, January 2, 2012

PKK Women.

This is coolbert:

Yet one more insurgent/guerrilla/terrorist organization the incorporation of women into fighting units being commonplace and pervasive.

The Kurdish PKK!

Kurdish fighters, insurgents/guerrillas/terrorists waging a decades long hit-and-run type form of warfare against the Turkish nation and government. An insurgency being strongly communist oriented, the PKK designated as a terrorist organization by the Turk, NATO and the United States.

"The Kurdistan Workers' Party . . . is a Kurdish organization which has since 1984 been fighting an armed struggle against the Turkish state . . . The PKK's ideology was originally a fusion of revolutionary socialism and Kurdish nationalism"

Read this multi-page Internet article from CNN - - the women fighters of the PKK most resolute and determined, SOME OF THOSE WOMEN LITERALLY SPENDING DECADES IN THE MOUNTAINS THE GUERRILLA DEDICATED TO THE CAUSE PERHAPS IN A WAY A MAN WOULD NOT EVEN BE!

"Female fighters: We won't stand for male dominance"

"The PKK has an idealistic philosophy, one that combines Kurdish nationalism with certain communist goals, such as equality and communal ownership of property. The fighters here say that their cause has evolved beyond a desire for a Kurdish state -- that they are now fighting to generate dramatic social change"

About one-third of the estimated 3,000 Kurdish PKK mountain fighters women! Political indoctrination an important factor for all guerrilla units, AN ABSOLUTE FORM OF CELIBACY ALSO PRACTICED! This is serious stuff, no hanky-panky.

PKK fighters also wearing a standard uniform, carry weapons openly, have some sort of command structure.

To the extent they still exist and are active, the modern communist inspired insurgency places great emphasis on the incorporation of women into fighting units? Those insurgencies world wide to include:

* Kurdish PKK.
* Colombian FARC.
* Nepalese Maoists.
* Indian Maoist forest guerrillas.

See at this YouTube web site portraits of some PKK women fighters. As is mentioned in some comments to the video, the Kurds are an Indo-European people speaking an Indo-European language in either case NOT related to the Turk or Arab! A distinct people whose national aspirations have gone unfulfilled ever since the time of T.E. Lawrence!

Regardless of political orientation I must admit I have a large degree of admiration for these women!


Radio Zeta.

This is coolbert:

Thanks to DangerRoom here with not necessarily an indication of the escalating drug-narcotic violence in Mexico but surely an indication of the degree of sophistication and resources the drug gangsters now fighting it out with the Mexican military have at their disposal! For some time the violence out of control and only becoming more so. Quasi-military warfare escalating with even more advanced technology and weaponry now in play [since 2006!].

The Zeta drug cartel having for some time a functioning and well-working military style communications system that defies the authorities in a marked manner. Used for early warning and reconnaissance but still an achievement by a drug gang that is demonstrative of a remarkable degree of organizational ability and command control.

"Radio Zeta: How Mexico’s Drug Cartels Stay Networked"

"Since 2006, the cartels have maintained an encrypted DIY [do-it-yourself] radio network that stretches across nearly all 31 Mexican states, even down south into Guatemala. The communications infrastructure . . . consists of 'professional-grade' radio antennas, signal relays and simple handheld radios that cost 'millions of dollars'”

"the bosses only communicate through the Internet. The radio network is for lookouts and lower-level players."

The Zeta will almost unlimited resources [drug money] at their disposal able to purchase top-of-the-line gear and organized into a network of awesome proportions, rivaling and perhaps in some instance exceeding that as can be managed by the Mexican military. THIS IS NOT SPANKY AND OUR GANG!


* These "bosses" and commanders of the Zeta use secure Internet Messenger or steganography to surreptitiously send messages to one another? In the same manner as is reputedly was employed by the 9/11 jihadi hijackers?

* If indeed the Zeta "commanders" use the Internet for communication, it is highly likely that their traffic at some point passes through an American router, meaning that for surveillance purposes, those "bosses" for legal become at that exact instant a U.S. person?

* This DIY network encompasses more or less all of Mexico and into Guatemala and I would surmise too even into the United States? Perhaps so!