Sunday, September 30, 2012

Helix I.

This is coolbert:

From a number of decades ago the Soviet Union was able to put to sea a hybrid vessel, an aviation cruiser what it was called, a surface warship with combined capability, carrying both long range anti-ship missiles with a contingent of fixed and rotary wing aircraft.

Those rotary wing aircraft the Kamov style helicopter, UNIQUELY suited for naval aviation operations, possessing that dual counter-rotating rotor configuration.

Kamov designing those choppers for the ASW mission [anti-submarine-warfare]. Using sonobouys and dipping sonar [sonar dangled from a cable and lowered from the helicopter into the water], and able to fire air-surface torpedoes [anti-submarine].

This Liaoning Chinese aircraft carrier even if equipped with a number of fixed wing aircraft [Su-33?] that main combat component might turn out to be an even greater number of Kamov helicopters as already found in the Chinese inventory.

[the Chinese do already have their own indigenous designed and manufactured ASW helicopter, but the Kamov is far more robust and has greater capability?]

The Kamov Ka-27 ideally suited for the carrier combat mission as envisioned by the Chinese, A profusion of such rotary wing aircraft at sea giving the Chinese an cheap, quick but not dirty way of achieving a degree of parity with American naval forces?

"The Kamov Ka-27 (NATO reporting name 'Helix') is a military helicopter developed for the Soviet Navy, and currently in service in various countries including . . . People's Republic of China . . . "

Variants of the Helix armed in an impressive manner to include the possible use of: [depending on the mission]

* Anti-submarine torpedoes.
* Depth charges.
* 7.62 mm mini-guns.
* 30 mm cannon.
* Anti-tank guided missiles [ATGM].


* Anti-ship missiles [ASM].

With regard to the ASM that is the Soviet/Russian Kh-35 with a range of 130 kilometers, over-the-horizon capable, roughly analogous to the American Harpoon or the French Exocet.

"The Ka-27M can be armed with Kh-35 ASMs, which have a range of 130km."

Fixed wing high performance aircraft such as a Su-33 for CAP [combat air patrol] high and far above the carrier at any given moment, a minimum number needed the bulk of the combat force however provided by Kamov helicopters prodigious numbers allowing for "swarming" the target given a specific mission, destructiveness nonetheless guaranteed!


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Ski Jump.

This is coolbert:

Here with a Q & A with an acknowledged aviation expert. The ski-jump take-off portion of the flight deck as found on the Chinese newest warship Liaoning a positive feature as NOT found on American aircraft carriers.

Q: "That new Chinese aircraft carrier is the Russian Varyag originally and has that ski jump take off front end. And as an aviation expert what is the advantage to such an arrangement?" That Su-33 is the Russian carrier aircraft but does not have the Harrier jet type VTOL or STOL capability? VTOL = vertical take off and landing. STOL = short take off and landing.

"vertical takeoff planes use a lot of fuel to go straight up; the combat load is dramatically reduced. Level take-offs save lots of fuel, but require mile long runways--or steam catapults on carriers. You will see that when launching from land, 'jump jets' rarely do anything other than a full runway takeoff, not using the vertical components of its capabilities at all, or using a minor downward direction during takeoff."

"However, being a 'jump jet' means one doesn't have to build as large a carrier to accommodate the steam catapults, nor the long rear decks needed for landing a heavy plane straight-on for cable/tailhook landings. The thrust of the engines can be partially directed downward for adding engine-created lift, while still providing forward direction to create lift from the wings. Win-win, as some people would say. Moving partially forward while the deck 'assists' the plane in starting upwards (instead of using all that energy from the engines to do the same) helps a lot. Doesn't work so well with engines facing horizontally/level, as is found on most jet planes. However, there is some advantage to downward-directed engines even for non-jump jets. I recall that the F4's engines had a slight downward direction in the design when attached inside the plane--12 degrees from level seems to be what I recall, though it could be less. Without that downward push, the F4 would need a longer runway or more power to develop enough lift to take off."

Even the Harrier type "jump jet" rarely ever used the VTOL capability? Too much fuel consumption. A slight but very helpful advantage gained from the ski-slope take-off with engines the thrust of which is downward directed, even if only to some extent!! Makes sense.



This is coolbert:

First there was Predator. Then there was Reaper. Then there will be Avenger.

And then there was AUTONOMOUS?

This does sound like Skynet without the self-replicating capability of the drones, at least not YET!

Thanks to PRESSTV we have the latest on American drone development:

"Pentagon to soon have new 'autonomous' drones"

This appears to be a Reaper drone carrying Hellfire missiles and several Paveway precision-guided-munition. A mix of such ordnance task tailored for the specific mission 

"The US Defense Department will soon be equipped with new unmanned aerial vehicles that will operate more 'autonomously' at a greater pace."

"The Pentagon is reportedly investing heavily in the new smarter robotic weapons that will get rid of their remote operators on the ground to work virtually without human intervention and with minimum supervision."

Skynet of course from the Terminator series of movies starring Arnold and directed by James Cameron. Robot war-fighting machines become sentient and decide to destroy mankind and do a pretty good job of doing so. After becoming self-replicating the machines go about their business AUTONOMOUSLY WITHOUT HUMAN INTERVENTION OR CONTROL, AS PROGRAMMED!!

"Skynet is a fictional, self-aware artificial intelligence system . . . Skynet's operations are almost exclusively performed by war-machines, cyborgs (usually a Terminator), and other computer systems, with its ultimate goal the extinction of the human race."

NOT yet, but headed in the right direction?


Mers & Copenhagen.

This is coolbert:

Thanks to the tips from Ralph Raico through Lew Rockwell and "Secrets of the Dead".

1. Mers el Kebir - - 1940.

The British Royal Navy [RN] with no real provocation attacking and destroying in port a goodly portion of the French navy, then under command and control the Vichy. An episode from the Second World War [WW2] CONTROVERSIAL a threat on paper as perceived necessitating action even at the time regretted by the English participants.

"The Attack on Mers-el-Kébir . . . was a British Navy bombardment of the French Navy at Mers-el-Kébir on the coast of what was then French Algeria on 3 July 1940. A British naval task force attacked the French fleet, which was at anchor and not expecting an assault from Britain, France's presumed ally. The attack resulted in the deaths of 1,297 French servicemen, the sinking of a battleship and the damaging of five other ships. France and the United Kingdom were not at war but France had signed an armistice with Germany, and Britain feared the French fleet would end up as a part of the German Navy"

France the "presumed ally" NOW neutral and NOT at war with Great Britain! An ultimatum having been issued, the French not responding with sufficient and urgent alacrity, warships moored at harbor attacked and sunk.


There of course BEING PRECEDENT FOR MERS! From a much earlier period, the concerns of the British most similar!

2. The Battle of Copenhagen [1807]. NOT to be confused with the Battle of Copenhagen [1801]. 1801 made famous by the destruction and capture of the Danish fleet by Nelson. Nelson of the Bath, Nelson of the Nile, Nelson of Trafalgar, Nelson of COPENHAGEN!

"The Second Battle of Copenhagen . . . (1807) was a British terror bombing of Copenhagen, targeting the civilian population in order to seize the Dano-Norwegian fleet"

"In 1807, units of the British navy entered Copenhagen harbor, bombarded the city, and seized the Danish fleet. At the time, Britain was at peace with Denmark, which was a neutral in the Napoleonic wars. The British claimed that Napoleon was about to invade Denmark and seize the fleet himself. As they explained in a manifesto to the people of Copenhagen, Britain was acting not only for its own survival but for the freedom of all peoples."

The English reacting to a perceived threat based upon "intelligence" and reports, the mere threat even if unfounded again necessitating drastic action, perhaps even ill-conceived.

Naval bombardment of Copenhagen resulting in substantial damage to civilian property, that Danish fleet destroyed in the process, the use of same denied to Napoleon, a neutral nation [Denmark] presented with an ultimatum and subsequent ill-treatment by an erstwhile ally!!

As it was for the French in 1940, so it was for the Dane in 1807!!

C'est le vie and c'est le guerre!!


Thursday, September 27, 2012


This is coolbert:

Thanks to National Public Radio [NPR] we have some info on the Chinese aircraft carrier, now seaworthy, able to steam and also too capable of launching and recovering warplanes.

"China Launches Its First Aircraft Carrier"

"China has just joined an exclusive global club with the launch of its first aircraft carrier. David Greene talks to naval historian and defense analyst Paul Beaver about the new Chinese aircraft carrier that has just entered service in China's navy."

That Liaoning originally the Varyag, a hulk that was TOWED from the Black Sea to a Chinese dockyard and shipbuilding facility, finally fitted with engines and further accoutrements as needed by a modern warship.

The purpose of the Liaoning at this specific moment to allow the Chinese to gain experience with big ship handling, air crews practicing take-off and landing from ground facilities, naval aviators in preparation for carrier operations in pelagic [deep] waters!!

That warplane most suited for the ski-slope jump-jet type of deck the Sukhoi Su-33!! These aircraft are currently in the Chinese inventory in what numbers? Helicopters of course also able to be accommodated by the Liaoning.

"The Varyag [Liaoning] is capable of operating a mixed air wing of 50 fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters. In 2006 it was reported that China ordered two Russian Su-33 carrier-based naval fighters for trials and evaluation. Delivery was expected in 2007-2008. There is also an agreed option for anther 12 - 48 of the Su-33s."

The Chinese do have a long way to go with the Liaoning . You must crawl before you can walk, walk before you can run, run before you can leap. Leap then fly!! But that day approaches with the sailing of the Liaoning this can be surely understood!


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

AAA Chosin.

This is coolbert:

Undoubtedly one of the worst events occurring to the American military during the Korean war was the destruction of the U.S. Army 31st Infantry regiment during the Battle of the Chosin reservoir [1950].

That 31st Regimental Combat Team [RCT31] advancing northward on the eastern side of the Chosin reservoir engaging in mortal combat with a much more numerically superior Chinese Communist Forces [CCF] adversary, depending on your perspective and usage of wording that American unit annihilated, decimated, obliterated. Made combat ineffective, retiring from the scene of the combat in a sorry state, a debacle.

RCT31 an infantry strong unit augmented with artillery, armor, and anti-aircraft [AA] units.

During that three to four days of unremitting combat that AA firing in the ground-support mode against the attacking massed CCF infantry proving to be most effective.

CCF commanders using their troops strength to their advantage, prodigious numbers of infantry used in a profligate manner relentless and frightening, beyond expectations of American commanders,

MASSED firepower of the AA in the ground-support role causing heavy casualties among the CCF attacker. Ultimately to no avail nonetheless at that moment AA a GODSEND the usage of which not anticipated!!

AA consisting of the fifty caliber machine gun [12.7 mm] Quadmount or the dual 40 mm M19 gun, both self-propelled.

M19 dual 40 mm self-propelled gun.

The M45 Quadmount . . . was a weapon mounting consisting of four .50 caliber M2 Browning machine guns . . . mounted in pairs on each side of an electrically powered turret. . . . Although designed as an anti-aircraft weapon, it was also used against ground targets."

This quadmount shows the four MG on a truck. Other variations exist.

Read from the Chosin Reservoir Korea web site the five part series dealing with the ordeal of the RCT31!

Of 3,500 men only about 400 left standing after four days of combat, unit cohesiveness and integrity destroyed, RCT31 ineffective.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.

And without that AA being used in the ground-support mode at Chosin reservoir the situation might have been worse, Chinese numerical advantage countered to a degree but only that?


Monday, September 24, 2012

Woody Island.

This is coolbert:

"Emotion clouds reason" - - Michael Corleone.

Once more with the South China Sea, the disputes, the context modern and historical. Precedents offer an omen??

Thanks to Mr. Stephens and the Commentary web site copied in part, that initial several paragraphs most germane:

"The Coming Global Disorder"

"'Woody Island' [the English name] is a speck of land in the middle of the South China Sea, not quite a square mile in size. Over the past 80 years it has been occupied by French Indochina, Imperial Japan, the Republic of China, the People’s Republic of China, South Vietnam, and, after a brief war in 1974, the People’s Republic again. Now known as Yongxing to the Chinese (or Phu Lam to the Vietnamese, who still lay claim to it), the island has an airstrip, a harbor, and a few hundred Chinese residents, none native-born, many of whom make their living as fishermen."

"An obscure tropical island may seem an odd starting point for an essay on the coming global disorder. Yet great conflicts have been known to flare over little things in faraway places. 'On the morning of July 1, [1911,] without more ado, it was announced that His Imperial Majesty the German Emperor had sent his gunboat the Panther to Agadir to maintain and protect German interests,'”

Woody, Phu Lam, Yongxing. Take your pick!

The SMS Panther, German warship, a gunboat on an exploratory mission, testing the waters both literally and figuratively, setting off alarm bells all over the place. NOTHING significant came of this particular event but it nonetheless helped by a degree of measure to establish a climate that led for the Great War.

This entire Commentary article by Mr. Stephens is worth reading in entirety. Five areas of the world, points of conflict as identified as possible flash points leading to catastrophic regional or global conflict. Somewhat similar to the predictions made not so long ago by the British Admiral Parry. Bangladesh and the threat posed in that part of the world for a total breakdown and disorder on the grand scale not mentioned.



This is coolbert:

 From the Chicago Tribune of only two days ago now the headlines as were one hundred fifty years ago:


"Proclamation by the President of the Unites States."

"All Slaves in the Rebel States to be Declared Free after January 1, 1862."


"A Death Blow to the Rebellion."

President Lincoln, in the aftermath of the Battle of Antietam announcing an executive order authorizing emancipation of the slaves [did not go into effect until 1 January 1863]

"Lincoln's edict ordered the military to help escaped slaves and to prohibit their return south, and more important, symbolically elevated the abolition of slavery as one of the goals in crushing the Confederacy."


[as noted in the Tribune article from two days ago: "Sharp -eyed readers will note and error The headline should say the proclamation will take effect in 1863."]

NOT until 1865 with the passage of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was slavery outlawed in the United States!!

 "Lincoln's edit energized the abolitionist movement. A MAJOR VOICE IN THAT CAUSE WAS THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE"

Thanks to the Chicago Tribune Flashback series: "THE CIVIL WAR 150 YEARS AGO" and Stephen Benzkofer.


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Dokdo & Takeshima.

This is coolbert:

"Across the fours seas, all are brothers. In such a world why do the waves rage, the winds roar?" - - Hirohito 1941.

Thanks to the France 24 public television broadcast from only a short time ago we have an update on yet one more island dispute in east Asia, the "rocks' as they are called Dokdo in Korean and Takeshima in Japanese.  Rocks, islets more or less uninhabitable currently occupied by a Korean husband and wife couple and NOT permanently by anyone else, sovereignty of the "rocks" a point of contention between the two nations. In English these "rocks" referred to as Liancourt.

"Japan, S.Korea play hot potato with protest note"

"Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda speaks to the media in Tokyo on August 8. South Korea on Thursday returned a protest letter from Japan's prime minister without answering it, further angering Tokyo amid a bitter row over disputed islands."

"It was the latest move in an increasingly bitter tit-for-tat dispute that has engulfed two of Asia's largest economies for nearly two weeks."

"The Liancourt Rocks, also known as Dokdo . . . in Korean, and Takeshima . . .  in Japanese are a group of small islets in the Sea of Japan (East Sea). Sovereignty over the islets is disputed between Japan and South Korea."

"In 1991, the South Korean government sent two South Korean citizens to the Liancourt Rocks, an octopus fisherman and his wife, to be permanent residents on the islets."

That fresh water supply on the islets contaminated by guano from the prodigious numbers of sea birds found in the area. The United States perhaps can raise the American flag over the island and invoke the Guano Treaty exercising sovereignty and resolve the matter once and for all. That I doubt very much. These islets inhabited in a specious manner controversial the Guano Treaty not applying under such circumstances but at least a thought.

Again, as in all these cases, it is NOT so much the value of the "land" coveted by the various involved parties but the sea bed contiguous that is at question. Under that sea bed so it is thought are "vast" deposits of natural gas and perhaps oil? Sort of like in the Gran Chaco where a bloody war was fought - - oil wells when dug coming up dry.

As usual, "emotion clouds reason" and these situations normally are not resolved to the satisfaction of everyone. Sorry, it is just not so.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Dickey Chappelle.

This is coolbert:

From that era of the Vietnam War and prior during both the Second World War [WW2] and Korea the American photo-journalist Dickey Chappelle "embedded" [that word not used at the time] with the troops during combat operations in a manner AS NO OTHER WOMAN REPORTER EVER WAS!!

Dickey noted for the wearing of military uniform, combat boots, the Australian bush hat, and her trademark large glasses.

Those various women reporters currently covering combat action in places such as Afghan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the trail-blazing efforts of Dickey Chappelle?  Dickey losing her life most tragically during the Vietnam Conflict, mortally wounded while embedded with American Marines while on patrol.

Some images of Dickey Chappelle done as in a photo-journalistic manner.

Dickey displays some souvenirs. That appears to be Vietnamese language writing on the paper she hold in her hand.

This image showing a detachment of Sea Swallow militia under the command of Father Augustine. Sea Swallows ethnic Chinese patrolling and eradicating Viet Cong units at the very southern tip of Vietnam during the Second Indo-China War. An image originally published by the National Geographic magazine in 1966, Dickey Chappelle the author. Dickey had a definite artistic flair!

This particular image surprises me. That is Dickey with a group of Algerian FLN guerrilla fighters, circa 1954. Dickey not only in the photo but she becomes part of the story as well, intentionally or otherwise. Dickey again noted for wearing the fatigues, combat boots, the apparel of the common soldier. At that point in time, the traditional Islamic society not so hostile to the foreign women mixing among the men?

Dickey Chappelle certain followed her bliss and did so with panache and a lot of gusto and is to be highly commended as she was at the time and should be now. We should all lead lives like Dickey but unfortunately  few of us ever do so.



This is coolbert:

Bill Gertz at work again! Alarmist headlines that catch your attention right away. Japan and China the push NOW comes to shove? Thanks to Free Beacon.

Devoted readers to the blog will recall that it was Mr. Gertz that wrote and had published that recent article concerning the Russian Akula class submarine purportedly sailing for weeks in the Caribbean undetected much to the alleged consternation of the U.S. Navy.

NOW, China and Japan at the proverbial loggerheads, the Senkaku/Daioyu dispute heating up big time, the threats having been made from the very top echelon of command and not to be ignored. So says Mr. Gertz.

"Chinese General: Prepare for Combat"

"Top Chinese general in unusual move tells troops to ready for combat with Japan"

 "China’s most powerful military leader, in an unusual public statement, last week ordered military forces to prepare for combat, as Chinese warships deployed to waters near disputed islands and anti-Japan protests throughout the country turned violent."

"Japan’s Coast Guard announced on Sept. 14 that six Chinese maritime patrol vessels sailed into Japanese-controlled waters near the Senkakus and the vessels ignored Japanese warnings for the ships to leave the area."

"Other reports from China on Monday showed a convoy of hundreds of Chinese fishing vessels sailing toward the disputed islands."

Half a dozen surveillance and patrol vessels as we speak at this exact instant in the vicinity of the uninhabited and uninhabitable islands [no source of fresh water present on the islands] with "hundreds" of Chinese fishing vessels approaching.

LANDINGS to be made and a permanent presence established? The gauntlet thrown and the dare issued.

This reminds me of Chou En Lai issuing a not so veiled threat prior to Chinese incursion and intervention during the Korean War. THAT WAS OVER SIXTY YEARS AGO NOW AND HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF?

This general seems to be more of a PLA Red commissar than a fighting combat arms officer. His authority does come from the highest levels of the Chinese Communist party and pronouncements of this man are to be TAKEN VERY SERIOUSLY!!



Friday, September 21, 2012

Sinai Salafi.

This is coolbert:

That recent attack on the American embassy in Libya has received extensive coverage in the U.S. main stream media [MSM].

The results widely and well known, the American ambassador and three close associates killed after a lengthy firefight and battle. Militants what they are called, and perhaps associated with or affiliated with Al Qaeda to blame.

THIS HOWEVER WAS NOT REPORTED IN AMERICAN MSM! That MFO in the Sinai desert also under pretty severe attack. Also "militants" associated or affiliated with Al Qaeda to blame.

Sinai desert Bedouin having a salafist orientation acting in concert with their cohorts in Benghazi apparently, that predominantly U.S. MFO now besieged and in peril. From one week ago only today!

As report no where else [?] but in the DEBKAfile:

"Al Qaeda attacks US-led Sinai peace mission"

"14 Sept. Four Colombian peacekeepers were injured holding off hundreds of Salafi Bedouin linked to al Qaeda who stormed the Multinational Force’s camp in northern Sinai with grenades, mortars and automatic guns Friday, Sept. 14. The 1,500 mostly US troops are posted in Sinai to monitor the Egyptian-Israeli 1979 peace accords. This was the second al-Qaeda-instigated assault on a primarily American target in the Middle East in four days after the murder of four US diplomats in Benghazi Tuesday."

DEBKA knows this and the rest of the world does not? And why is that?

Salafists of course those Muslims in  their own fashion seeking to emulate as closely as possible the first three generations of Muslims from the time of Muhammad forward. Since the revolution in Egypt that Bedouin in the Sinai now emboldened and well armed it would seem.

Get that MFO out of the Sinai and quick. Before they are toast and have to flee for their very lives.


Thursday, September 20, 2012


This is coolbert:

From that era of the First and Second Indo-China War we have a number of anti-communist militia or para-military organizations having an affiliation either criminal or religious based.

Effective to a startling degree beyond that of [South Vietnamese] national military forces, evidence that "the moral is as to the physical as three is to one" is correct?

1. Binh Xuyen. Vietnamese organized crime elements first aligning themselves with the Viet Minh and then anti-Viet Minh. Criminals for the most part, almost exclusively NOT making good soldiers, in the case of the Binh Xuyen having that organizational ability, leadership, numbers, the moxie and mental and physical wherewithal to use force on their own behalf. And effective to some extent.

"Bình Xuyên . . . was an independent military force within the Vietnamese National Army whose leaders once had lived outside the law and had [originally] sided with the Viet Minh. During its heyday, Bình Xuyên funded itself with organized crime activities in Saigon while effectively battling Communist forces"

2. Hoa Hao. Buddhist inspirational religious tradition of recent origin, those practitioners a distinct minority and recognized as such, organized into a battalion sized fighting force by the American Special Forces ["Green Berets"] during the Second Indo-China War. The Hoa Hao outstanding fighters that dissident American SF officer LTC Daniel Marvin having the highest possible degree of respect and admiration for the martial and combat ability of the Hoa Hao.

"Hòa Hao . . .  is a religious tradition, based on Buddhism, founded in 1939 by Huynh Phú So, a native of the Mekong River Delta region of southern Vietnam . . . [So is considered by practitioners to be a] living Buddha—destined to save mankind from suffering and to protect the Vietnamese nation."

"During the early years of the Vietnam War in the 1960s, An Giang province and its capital Long Xuyên were among the few places in the Mekong Delta where Viet Cong activity was minimal and American and South Vietnamese troops could move without fear of sniper attack"

3. Sea Swallows. Ethnic Chinese Catholics, refugees, an autonomous militia very effective anti-communist fighters an entity fearing communist persecution,  a priest Lac Hoa commanding and directing his fighters in the manner of a general officer, inspired and effective leadership. [recall those rebels of the Cristero War in Mexico, among those leaders of which was found a priest!!]

"Father Augustine Nguyen Lac Hóa . . . a refugee Chinese Catholic priest in South Vietnam, led a militia called the Sea Swallows that carved out an anticommunist enclave in the Viet Cong's Ca Mau Peninsula stronghold".

"the Sea Swallow Special District . . . among all the strategic villages, only that of the Sea Swallows has had re­peated, unvarying military success. These are fighting Sea Swallows led by Father Nguyen Lac Hoa, and for them, the Com­munist Viet Cong are not fearsome."

4. Cao Dai. Inspirational faith having a strong Buddhist origin but also containing elements of all world religions. Adherents as with the Hoa Hao a distinct minority, recognizable and acknowledged as such, NOT eschewing military self-defense on their own behalf.

"In 1947-48, with French material support, the Cao Dai militia was raised to 3,300 troops organised in 55 'flying brigades', 1,500 men in 'self-defence groups' plus another 2,500 'military partisans' in other areas of Cochinchina."

5. UMDB - Mobile Christian Defense Units. Vietnamese Catholics spontaneously and independently of "central government" control organizing themselves into self-defense forces, anti-communist. Their most senior and charismatic leader the half-caste Colonel Leroy.

One-sixth of that Vietnamese population Roman Catholic and having a very justified fear of communist militant anti-religious sentiment!

"Colonel Jean Leroy took it upon himself to form the first 'Catholic Brigade' in 1947 on An Hoa Island. These 60-man brigades were merged to form the UMDC or Mobile Christian Defense Units which operated throughout the province  [Ben Tre] in support of the local units called Bao An or 'Peace Guardians'. All of this was done in an act of independent self-defense by the Vietnamese Catholics in reaction to what were terrorist attacks by the communists."

"When regular French forces arrived [in the aftermath of WW2] they were surprised to find these Catholic areas already under the protection of these modest but very disciplined and determined independent, local militias. Still, they respected their abilities and when the regular French army was withdrawn from the area in 1949 Colonel Jean Leroy was given command of all UMDC units and responsibility for the whole province [Ben Tre]."

These various religious affiliations [Binh Xuyen for that matter too] having a very strong self-organizing and governing ability combined with that charismatic leadership and devoted followers idealistic in many cases able to resist the communist in a manner the central government forces in Saigon were not.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Air-Sea Battle.

This is coolbert:

From the Chicago Tribune editorial page not so long ago now:


. . . .

"By all means the U.S. should take China seriously . . . As far as potential challenges to global stability goes, the territorial disputes in Asia are arguably more dangerous than an Iranian nuclear weapon." - - Greg Scoblete, The Compass.

Those territorial disputes to include those islands, shoals and reefs of the South China Sea and other waters and contested areas of the far western Pacific. Territorial disputes China has with various Asian nations [other than Taiwan] to include:

* Philippines. * Malaysia. * Brunei. * Vietnam. * Japan.

Territory the sovereignty of which is contested to include:

* Spratly Islands. * Paracel Islands. * Scarborough Shoal. * Senkaku/Daioyu Islands. * Any land "mass" and those waters within what is defined as the "Nine Dash Line" [waters of the South China Sea the waters of which are beyond the 200 meter depth].

Here a Chinese radar installation reputedly only fifteen miles [twenty-five kilometers] beyond the EEZ [Economic Exclusion Zone] of the Philippines. The radome, heliport, living quarters, the "land mass" visible only above the water line perhaps during low tide, otherwise submerged totally!

 Territorial disputes having not even gotten to the stage of push-comes-to-shove but having the potentiality to escalate even further, the United States legally bound by bi-lateral defense treaty with Japan and the Philippines [Taiwan also], military action a possible under the worst case scenario.

A SSN type of warfare as envisioned and made popular by the book and computer name of the same name thanks to Tom Clancy.

Pentagon planners calling this the Air-Sea Battle. China and the United States in conflict, war if occurring primarily if not almost exclusively naval and air combat,  the role of ground forces minimal at best, THAT MOST IMPORTANT OUTPOST OF AMERICAN MILITARY MIGHT IN THE WESTERN PACIFIC BEING GUAM!!


Air-Sea Battle the concept of which has been studied and "war gamed" as a simulation for a period of TWENTY YEARS NOW ALREADY!!

"What is Air-Sea Battle?" [thanks to the article in the Washington Post by Jaffe, Thorp, and Webster!]

"China has invested heavily during the past decade in precision missile systems and sophisticated radar designed to keep U.S. ships and fighter jets beyond the inner island chain shown below. Air-Sea Battle is the U.S. military’s concept for disabling those systems using long-range bombers and submarines. The concept is designed not so much to fight a war as to convince the Chinese that any conflict with U.S. forces would be long and costly."

A war waged by anti-ship missiles, submarines, long-range aircraft, littoral warships, DDG-1000 destroyers, net-centric capacity. A "clean war" as best that term understood civilian casualties kept to a minimum naval warfare generally speaking sans atrocity?

Land masses, territory, sovereignty, natural resources, inter-locking and legally binding treaty obligations, big power politics, hegemony, expansionist ambitions, all in various combinations as existing now leading to eventual conflict as in the historical and traditional sense the scenario and concept of war-fighting by either side well worked out on paper the preparations on the ground in the air and under the water being made as we speak, that proverbial push-to-shove at some point not merely words but reality?

Read further from the Washington Post regarding the Air-Sea battle with graphic: "U.S. model for a future war fans tensions with China and inside Pentagon".

"On your mark, get so, go!!" Am I wrong or what?


Monday, September 17, 2012

White Oak.

This is coolbert:

Oliver Hazard Perry, that Commodore and naval victor from the era of the War of 1812, having to construct his OWN FLEET in situ, NO American warships of any type able to battle and defeat the British naval squadron as sailing the waters of Lake Erie.

Presque Isle, Ohio USA, surrounded by wilderness as that term understood at the time and providing timber, the stand of forests virgin, oak of such size most suitable for construction.


A rough rule of thumb for gauging the timber needed to build a late eighteenth-century warship was an acre of oak forest per cannon.  Tall, knot-free pine for masts and spars had become hard to find in Western Europe, and it was for these that royal shipwrights turned to North America. [A tree knot is where a limb grows. To make an  80-100’ knot-free mast, the tree must be so tall and straight that its first branches start 80-100’ above the ground]. They looked at the New World and saw a navy in the trees.  Up until a hundred and fifty years ago, a forest of straight, sturdy pine was as valuable as an oil field or uranium mine today; it was a critical source of energy (i.e., sail power) without which a nation could not fully realize its commercial or military ambitions”

That straight sturdy pine of course the white pine found in the forests of New England and further west Michigan, northern Wisconsin and Minnesota. That most valuable of trees providing the wood for a single piece mast of extraordinary size. The acquisition of those white pine of the most suitable type by the agents of the Crown being one cause among many that the American colonists listed as a grievance resulting in armed rebellion and ultimately independence from England.

Oak as used for the hull of the ship, that portion of the vessel actually coming in contact with the water and keeping the ship afloat.

Perry at age twenty-seven already a Commodore, an accomplished sailor with a number of years of experience at sea, able to muster the ships, the men, the cannon, the physical and mental wherewithal and the moxie to prevail where others could not do so. AN ENTIRE BRITISH NAVAL SQUADRON SURRENDERING AT LAKE ERIE, AN UNPRECEDENTED EVENT AMERICAN KNOW-HOW AND CAN-DO SPIRIT PREVAILING!!

That third largest American naval base located almost one thousand miles from the ocean having a 25,000 acre white oak forest reserved strictly for military use, the harvesting and use of the timber used in reconstructions and rehabilitation of old ships of the line!

"White oak is a highly desired wood for Constitution. While available commercially, the quality, sizes and dimensions of timber required for Constitution [that keel of the USS Constitution made from white oak] precludes availability from many sources. The Navy sources needed oak timber from 'Constitution Grove' a Naval timber reserve, at Naval Weapons Support Center, Crane Indiana."


Sunday, September 16, 2012


This is coolbert:

From the Chicago Tribune today that flashback of reporting as was done originally one hundred fifty years ago:

"Chicago Flashback"

"THE CIVIL WAR 150 years ago"

"Antietam: 'Miles of dead men to bury'"

Referred to as America's bloodiest day. At least on the battlefield it has been so.

"the Battle of Antietam remains the bloodiest day in American military history. Newsiest 23,000 Union and Confederate soldiers were killed of wounded."

Those original headlines from the Tribune of the time reporting the event:








"Gallantry of the Fourth Michigan."


"Dangerous Condition of Gen. Hooker."


Antietam generally conceded to be a draw, neither side able to prevail over the other. And those casualties as reported and accurate, 23,000 troops dead or wounded from merely one day of fighting. America's bloodiest day on the battlefield and remains so to this day?

Meagher that commander of the Irish Brigade [Federal]. Irish immigrants to the U.S. organized into fighting units and seeing service on BOTH sides during the American Civil War. "Fighting Joe" Hooker at that point in time commanding the Army of the Potomac [Federal]. The Fourth Michigan a regiment of which I am totally unfamiliar.

The Chicago Tribune should be given high marks for this type of "flashback" reporting. Places history and current events in the proper context. Bravo Tribune, credit earned is credit due. It is like it could been only yesterday.


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Clavell & Almond.

This is coolbert:

As extracted from a comment to the previous blog entry regarding General Almond [thanks to Dan]:

"Briefly how to improve the US military officer corps and military":

"4) Objective tests of officers to determine what they know every 4 years."

"7) All pre-service academy candidates serve in combat (enlisted) companies for two years."

* From the foreword of James Clavell as found in the commissioned version of  "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu:

"I would like to make "The Art of War" obligatory study for all our serving officers and men, as well as for all politicians and all people in government and all high schools and universities in the free world. If I were a commander in chief or President or prime minister I would go further; I would have written into law that all officers, particularly all general, take a yearly oral and written examination on these thirteen chapters, the passing mark being 95 % - - any general failing to achieve a pass to be automatically and summarily dismissed without appeal; and all other officers to have automatic demotion."

* Within the German army during both World Wars there existed the rank of fahnrich? An ensign - - an enlisted man first serving as a lower ranking troop with the intention of promotion to the officer class dependent on able performance. Zeitzler the chief of staff [in the aftermath of the dismissal of Halder] for instance marched off to war in 1914 with the rank of fahnrich!

General Almond prior to June 1950 serving as Chief of Staff to Far Eastern Command [FEC] obviously coming to the favorable attention of Douglas MacArthur. MacArthur noted [?] for his favoring acolytes and persons best described as toadying. Almond does state that when pressing all of his subordinates to move north with rapidity toward the Yalu he was only obeying orders as issued from FEC!

Tenth Corps [X] successfully completing a reverse amphibious operation [that most difficult of all military maneuvers] from Hamhung in an admirable fashion, this in the aftermath of the disaster at Chosin reservoir.

Several persons of repute it should be noted either expressed an open admiration [Al Haig] for General Almond or reserving their opinions to themselves [W.E.B Griffin] not judgmental.

Al Haig [ADC to Almond in Korea] and Griffin fighting as a MP with X Corps during the Korean War!

Like I said, the jury is out, the historians debate, the legacy of Ed Almond controversial and perhaps always will be!



This is coolbert:

From only yesterday after seeing this event as covered on the news my instantaneous and intuitive reaction was - - DOES THIS MAN REALLY MEAN WHAT HE SAYS?

The Holy Father, the Pope, the head of Roman Catholicism, on a trip to Lebanon, suggesting that Lebanon be a model for a society where various differing religions can live in peace and harmony, at ease with one another.

"Pope Benedict: Multi-Faith Lebanon Should Be Model for Middle East"

"Pope Benedict urged multi-faith Lebanon on Saturday to be a model of peace and religious coexistence for the Middle East . . . religious freedom was a basic right."

Surely Benedict has NOT forgotten the fifteen year war that raged in Lebanon [1975-1990]? A war the casualties of which were 100,000 dead and one million wounded!! [That population of Lebanon at the time numbering no more than ten million]

[That entire war lasting fifteen years began with the rape of two Christian girls by a group of Muslim men. There had already been tension between the various religious groups in Lebanon, that single proverbial spark setting off a general conflagration!!]

NOR is Benedict surely forgetting the war in the former Yugoslavia? Croat [Catholic] versus Serb [Orthodox] and then Croat [Catholic] and Serb [Orthodox] pitted against the Bosnia Muslim?

NOR is Benedict surely forgetting the war in Sri Lanka that raged for almost a thirty year period? [if not for at least thirty years on and off at times] Sinhalese [Buddhist] versus Tamil [Hindu].

Racial, linguistic and religious differences being those three factors causing controversy and strife, peoples mixing together in the same spot in conflict - - issues for which there is quite often no amelioration or negotiated settlement leading to peace.

In Lebanon the religious mix is most contentious, you have some many different groups trying to live in the same place. Christian and Islamic [Druze, Alawite, Sunni, Shia] THAT FIFTEEN YEARS OF WAR ENDING WHEN EACH GROUP FINALLY WAS ABLE TO STAKE A CLAIM TO A DEFENSIBLE CONTIGUOUS TERRITORY IT WAS ABLE TO OCCUPY AND HOLD  AGAINST ALL COMERS!!

Hezbollah the Shia faction NOW too the pre-dominant factor in the area, a state within a state and intimidating the other groups, a factor all have to take into consideration.

Peace and harmony relatively speaking finally becoming the norm, separate and parallel lives now led by the various factions, NOT necessarily mixing as that  term generally, commonly and ordinarily understood. AND A CONSTANT TENSION STILL EXISTING AND PROBABLY MORE OR LESS ALWAYS WILL!!

Personally, Lebanon at least from my perspective does not make a good model for the desired peace among men and good will to all. Was not in the past, is not now, NEVER will be. Just my opinion.


Thursday, September 13, 2012


This is coolbert:

That gunboat from the time of the pre-Dreadnought era until the advent of the anti-ship missile robustly fitted with an organic firepower [big bore naval guns] beyond which I had thought was normal. Gunboats ["Mighty Mites"] the mission of which was not naval warfare of the conventional kind, warship versus warship using naval gunfire during mano-a-mano mortal combat. The gunboat intended to support either amphibious landings or direct naval gunfire against INLAND TARGETS!!

Gunboats with a pelagic [deep water] sailing capability but the mission of which was primarily as littoral [green water] vessels, coastal hugging!! Known by a variety of terms - - gunboat, aviso, sloop, frigate, corvette [modern terminology]!!

* "An aviso . . .  a kind of dispatch boat or advice boat . . . 'small boats designed to carry orders or advices'."

* "They [gunboats] had limited capacity to combat other surface vessels, as they were intended, mainly, to support amphibious operations and troops on land."

* "A gunboat is a naval watercraft designed for the express purpose of carrying one or"

That modern American DDG-1000 destroyer the mission as envisioned for the warship very similar to the gunboat of a not so distant past..

Here with images of gunboats from the pre-Dreadnought era until the time of the anti-ship missile.

 French gunboat from the era just prior to the Second World War [WW2]:  Armament: 3 x 138mm guns model 1927 (single mountings)

Portuguese gunboat from the post WW2 era: armament: 4 x 120 mm guns.

Dutch gunboat performing ably in combat during WW2:  Armament: As built : • 3 × 5.9 in (150 mm) guns

American gunboat circa 1930's:  Armament: 4 × 6 in (150 mm)

German gunboat of the pre-Dreadnought era:  Armament: 2 × 105 mm (4 in) L/40 SK guns 

British WW2 gunboat of the "Insect" class:  Armament: As built: 2 × BL 6 inch [155 mm] Mk VII guns

That modern American DDG-1000 destroyer the mission of which seems to be very similar to the gunboat of yore [bombardment of inland targets] of course much more robustly armed and capable. Those dual 155 mm AGS complemented with tactical Tomahawk, SUBROC and surface-air-missiles that mix of which is task tailored!! Plus netcentric capability allowing for over-the-horizon surveillance and target acquisition, that AGS able to fire precision guided munitions on demand!!

What was once is again but even more so!!


Wednesday, September 12, 2012


This is coolbert:

From the Chicago Tribune only today in entirety as reported:

"World briefing"

"China sends surveillance ships to disputed islands"

"China said Tuesday it has sent surveillance ships to waters near three islands at the center of a dispute with Japan, a day after Tokyo announced plans to purchase the uninhabited territories."" [and uninhabitable too, no source of fresh water]

The Xinhua News Agency said two patrol boats were sent to 'assert the country's sovereignty' over the islands, known as Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan." [Pinnacle islands in English]

"The paramilitary ships are operated by the country's coast guard. There was no immediate response from Tokyo."

FOR EVERY ACTION THERE IS A REACTION AND THIS IS ALMOST AS DRAWING A LINE IN THE SAND? Those disputed islands Senkaku [Japanese], Diaoyu [China] or Pinnacle [English] once more a topic of discussion. ONLY yesterday the Japanese making their pronouncement and TODAY the Chinese response MOST bellicose.

Do not take this sort of stuff lightly.

Recall too that during the time of American occupation of Okinawa the Pinnacles [I use the English term] were under the administration of the the U.S. military authorities. This was so until occupation ended in 1970.

This too smacks of gunboat diplomacy? Patrol craft, coastal ordinarily but paramilitary in nature without question being sent to the scene, the known armed presence signifying sovereignty! Take it from there!


Steps & Measures!

This is coolbert:

I see that persons other than myself have taken notice of and also expressed their outrage and concern! That incident recently at Oak Ridge Laboratories - - persons self-described as peace activists and protesters able to penetrate security to what I would have thought was one of the most heavily guarded atomic facilities in the world!!


See previous blog entries regarding this matter:

"After 'Fort Knox' break-in, U.S. nuclear stockpile security in focus"

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A shocking security breach at what was supposed to be one of the most secure facilities in the United States has put new attention on a proposal to overhaul the way the government oversees its nuclear laboratories and weapons plants."

"Three aging anti-nuclear activists, including an 82-year-old nun, cut through fences surrounding a facility where highly enriched uranium, a key component of nuclear bombs, is stored. They vandalized its exterior, going unstopped until they walked up to a security guard's car and surrendered."


Make it clear too that the "activists" DID NOT actually gain entry to the building itself. Merely if that is a mild term to describe what occurred penetrated onto the secure grounds and touched with their hands the outside wall, painted slogans, lit candles, prayed, etc.

That this "event" was actually able to occur is shocking in itself. ELEVEN YEARS AFTER 9/11 YOU ARE LEFT INCREDULOUS. A release of that highly radioactive fissile material from an in situ detonation external or internal to the containment building creating a radiological catastrophe of obviously mind-boggling proportions. POOR SECURITY IS NOT MERELY A LIABILITY BUT A LIFE OR DEATH MATTER!!

Heads will now roll, security beefed up and tightened, experts called to the scene, wholesale firing of staff, etc.?

Be aware too that such "events" and "incident" while not common are not so rare as you thing. Read the Plowshares web site an account of the trespass at the American Strategic Weapons Facility - Pacific, storing allegedly missile warheads for the Trident submarine fleet, Bangor WA. Scary stuff alone when done by amateurs and pacifists. Think of what some really malevolent and dedicated terrorists might be able to do. Much scarier indeed!!


Monday, September 10, 2012


This is coolbert:

 From NewsMax today:

 More China and Japan - - the disputed islands uninhabited and uninhabitable Japanese intentions now unmistakable!

 These islands of course the sovereignty of which is a contentious issue - - Senkaku [Japan], Diaoyu [China], or Pinnacle [English]. Take your pick. China and Japan each claiming and the issue festering and NOW apparently not being solved by diplomacy and negotiation. This action by Japan somewhat unilateral.

 "Japan to Buy Disputed Islands, Angering China

 "serious consequences"

 "We hope there will be no misunderstandings,"

 "sit back and watch its territorial sovereignty violated."

 "it will bear all the serious consequences that follow,"

 Mere words now, a prelude to ACTION later! Such is historically the case.

 "TOKYO — Japan's government said Monday it has decided to purchase several disputed islands from their private owners. China reacted swiftly, warning Japan of 'serious consequences' if it proceeds with the plan." 

"Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said Japan will buy the three uninhabited islands in the East China Sea from a Japanese family it recognizes as the owner."

"Fujimura said the decision to nationalize the islands reflects Japan's desire to create a 'stable and secure' environment, not to anger China."

"'We hope there will be no misunderstandings,' he [Fujimura] said."

There will be no misunderstandings. The Japanese have made themselves perfectly clear!!

 "China strongly urges Japan to immediately stop all action to undermine China's territorial sovereignty and return to a negotiated settlement to the dispute. If Japan insists on going its own way, it will bear all the serious consequences that follow,"

 WOW! The American government was consulted in advance about this? The U.S. and Japan have a mutual defense treaty. American military force is legally obligated by treaty to aid and assist the Japanese if the situation turns nasty and help is requested by Tokyo!

See previous blog entries regarding the Senkaku/Daioyu/Pinnacle islands:



This is coolbert:

Thanks to the Chicago Tribune an indication that the military robot literally speaking is making great strides forward.


"Mechanics of speed"

"4-legged robot faster than a fleet-footed Bolt"

Usain Bolt of recent Olympic fame the world-record holder sprinter we are speaking about the military robot  NOW faster than the fastest human!!

"Chalk one up for robots. Humankind, you appear to be losing your supremacy."

All this thanks to the American DARPA [Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration].

"The Defense Advanced Research projects Agency's robotic cheetah has sprinted past another speed milestone. The four-legged robot can officially run faster than Jamaican Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world."

See the video of the "cheetah" in action at

And from the DARPA web site some qualifications:

"the Cheetah had a slight advantage over Bolt as it ran on a treadmill, the equivalent of a 28.3 mph tail wind, but most of the power Cheetah used was to swing and lift its legs fast enough, not to propel itself forward.

"To contribute to emergency response, humanitarian assistance and other defense missions, a robot needs to negotiate difficult terrain. Most rough-terrain robots use wheels or tracks to ride over bumps; however, the most difficult terrain demands the use of legs, as legs can step over both high obstacles and deep ditches."

The Cheetah as of this moment has the appearance of a contraption - - tethered, held upright by an arm and not autonomously moving.

Skynet we are not yet!! But wait a while!! And when those robots become sentient and begin to communicate with one another independently of human control, watch out!


Sunday, September 9, 2012


This is coolbert:

The general officer and combat commander from the Second World War [WW2] and Korean War also Edward Almond.

A combat commander most controversial the record of which tarnished his reputation not fully resolved even by historians many decades later.

1. Commanded the American 92nd Division during the Italian Campaign. All black unit [called "colored troops" at the time]. White officers in charge of negro enlisted. Such was the case of the American racially segregated military during that period.

That 92nd Division unfortunately under close scrutiny at all times, the "Buffalo" division as it was called not performing to standard so was the perception of some, Almond not able to motivate his charges with the proper zeal many have thought.

[certain persons strongly WANTED AND IN A PERVERSE MANNER that 92nd Division to fail and nitpicked any failure as a sign of general overall ineptitude! Such nitpicking and criticism could be made the case for ALMOST ALL AMERICAN COMBAT UNITS DURING WW2?]

2. General Almond in the aftermath of WW2 occupying staff positions at ever higher levels of echelon and finally given combat command of the American Tenth Corps [X] prior to the Inchon landings during the Korean War [1950].

That Inchon landing a success, the North Korean People's Army [NKPA] in full retreat, Almond and the X given the assignment of another amphibious operation, landing on the east coast of Korea and moving north to the Yalu in pursuit of retreating NKPA elements.

Here the Time magazine cover from October 1950. Almond at the command of X Corps a hero. ONLY ONE MONTH later with Chinese intervention the same man now the goat! Such is the fickleness and irony of events as they occur!!

The rest is history as they say. X Corps attacked by overwhelming numbers of Chinese Communist troops, that X Corps almost annihilated, evacuation by sea, the same route from whence they came being the only resort.

Almond in the aftermath of X Corps defeat his performance seeming to be lackluster, out-of-touch, poor. The animosity existing at the time between the Marine commander O.P. Smith and Almond most clear and apparent.

As I have said, even the historians many decades later have not sorted the whole issue out. Devoted readers to the blog have their own opinion? Comments welcome.


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Dempsey & MacArthur.

This is coolbert:

From the DEBKAfile as of this last 30 August, this headline:

"Top US soldier: 'I don’t want to be complicit' if Israel attacks Iran"

"30 Aug. In its bluntest message yet, the US administration under Barack Obama, declared that Israel is on its own if it decides to go for Iran’s nuclear program with a military operation. Thursday, Aug. 30, Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff . . . talking to journalists in London . . . Dempsey then astonished his audience by saying he did not know Iran's nuclear intentions, 'as intelligence did not reveal intentions.'

Determining the INTENTIONS of your adversary most difficult. You know the foe has an army but what does he intend to DO with that army? You know the foe has a nuclear program but is that enrichment of uranium done with the goal of 25 % purity [reactor grade] or 95 % purity [weapons grade atomic bomb]?


Such are the questions the resolution of which must be accomplished by an intelligence agency using what Sun Tzu would have known as the INWARD SPY!.

From the comments of NKVD General Orlov, senior spymaster and defector to the west during the time of the Spanish Civil War. Thanks to the American CIA for the web site article:

"The Theory and Practice of Soviet Intelligence"

General Orlov commenting on the testimony of Douglas MacArthur [1951]:

"When General Douglas MacArthur, who had been blamed for not having foreseen certain developments in the Korean War, was asked by the Senate investigating committee in 1951 to explain why the North Korean invasion caught the Americans by surprise, he gave a classic reply from which many an intelligence chief could take his cue. He said":

"I don't see how it would have been humanly possible for any man or group of men to predict such an attack as that ... There is nothing, no means or methods, except the accidental spy methods - if you can get somebody to betray the enemy's highest circles, that can get such information as that. It is guarded with a secrecy that you cannot overestimate."

[NOT ONLY the North Korean invasion of South Korea but also the Chinese Communist intervention was unanticipated and unexpected when it did occur to be so ferocious and massive! Twice within a sixth month period MacArthur and his staff flummoxed and indeed the entire American intelligence community caught napping and big time and ended up with a lot of egg on their face. And this from persons such as MacArthur and his staff who can hardly be deemed novices or amateur, the tyro without experience this these men were NOT!!]

Again from Orlov:

Thus, under the fire of the investigation, General MacArthur, who was not an expert in intelligence, arrived with excellent logic at an idea which touches the very heart of the intelligence problem. 'There is nothing, no means or methods, except ... spy methods ... that can get such information as that.'"

From "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu using the translation as commissioned by James Clavell:

"Having inward spies means making use of officials of the enemy. Worthy men who have been degraded from office, criminals who have undergone punishment,;also, favorite concubines who are greedy for gold; men who are aggrieved at being in subordinate positions, or who have been passed over in the distribution of posts, others who are anxious that their side should be defeated in order that they may have a chance of displaying their ability and talents, fickle turncoats who always want to have a foot in each boat. Officials of these several kinds should be secretly approached and bound to one's interests by the means of rich presents. In this way  you will be able to find out the state affairs in the enemy's country, ascertain the plans that being formed against, you and, moreover, disturb the harmony create a breach between the sovereign and his ministers."

THE INWARD SPY! All other means technological and otherwise the intelligence product of which is incomplete unless INTENTIONS CAN BE DETERMINED! And for this reason INWARD SPIES are needed and most desirable.

The appreciations of the inward spy totally understood and used by Sun  [2,500 B.C.] and Orlov [1930's] but that aspect of espionage NOT available to either Dempsey or MacArthur. So it seems!


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Italians IV.

This is coolbert:

Italians - - conclusion.

Hell Ships Italian style.

This does indeed make for very sad reading.

Those Hell Ships in the Pacific theatre of the war I think many have heard of? Merchant vessels en route to Japan vastly overloaded and carrying allied POW [prisoner of war] and impressed Asian laborers [coolie boy labor] attacked and sunk by allied [American and British warships or aircraft]. The allied attackers NOT knowing at the exact time the ships carrying friendlies - - casualties catastrophic and unforeseen, very regrettable.

Such "Hell Ships" too did exist in the Mediterranean and European theatre of operations - - many more than I thought possible under any circumstances.

In the aftermath of the Italian armistice with the allies, Italian troops made POW and detained by the German transferred from Mediterranean island garrisons to the European mainland, ships overloaded [as in the Pacific] with prodigious numbers of Italian POW attack and sunk by allied attack.

Losses catastrophic, staggering even, some of the casualty lists making the Titanic seems small potatoes indeed!!

From the wiki:

"Ships sunk carrying Italian POW's"

* "Donizetti, Sep. 23 1943, Rhodes, 1,796 killed."
* "Ardena, Sep. 27 1943, Kefalonia, 779 killed."
* "Maria Amalia, Oct. 13 1943, Kefalonia, 550 killed."
* "Mario Roselli, Oct. 11 1943, Corfu, 1,302 killed."
* "Sinfra, Oct. 20 1943, Crete, 2,098 killed."
* "Petrella, Feb. 8 1944, Crete, 2,670 killed."
* "Oria, Feb. 12 1944, Cape Sounion, 4,074 killed."

For those of you interested, read from a previous Military Analysis blog entry details of the Pacific "Hell Ship" phenomenon, a matter of which the Japanese proved to be masters of.

And too from a much earlier Military Thoughts blog entry not necessarily "Hell Ships" but German merchant vessels in  catastrophe mode, sunk in the Baltic during WW2, chock full of German military and civilians, losses and deaths at sea unsurpassed at any time in history.

"These ships were the Gustloff [9,000 dead], the Goya [7,000 dead], and the Steuben [5,000 dead]."

The greatest maritime disasters in history without question not "Hell Ships" in the defined sense of the world but HELL nonetheless!!


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Italians III.

This is coolbert:

 Yet one more aspect of World War Two [WW2] I was not aware of.

IMI!! Disarmed, detained, deported!!

One million Italians soldiers taken prisoner by the German in the aftermath of the armistice between Italy and the allied powers [1943] first designated as POW and later as IMI [Italian military internees]. That category of IMI eliminating the status of POW and any degree of protection thereof under conventions, the Italian being compelled by the German to work as forced labor, a significant number sent to Germany proper, treated in a shabby and often brutal manner unremitting and cruel!

 "Italian military internees ( Militär-Italienische Internierten - IMI) was the official name given by Germany to the Italian soldiers captured, rounded up and deported in the territories of the Third Reich . . . in the days immediately following the Armistice between Italy and Allied armed forces"

"After disarmament by the Germans, the Italian soldiers and officers were confronted with the choice to continue fighting in the ranks of the German army, or, otherwise, be sent to detention camps in Germany. Only 10 percent agreed to enroll."

"The Germans disarmed and captured 1,007,000 Italian soldiers . . . approximately 710,000 Italian soldiers deported into prison camps of the Third Reich with the status of IMI . . . between 600,000 and 650,000 soldiers refused to continue the war alongside the Germans."

"The Nazis considered the Italians as traitors and not as prisoners of war. The former Italian soldiers were sent into forced labor in war industries (35.6%), heavy industry (7.1%), mining (28.5%), construction (5.9%) and agriculture (14.3%)."

Conditions for the forced laborers uniformly bad across the board. Hard physical toil without mercy for ANY injury or weakness, food and housing minimal at best, THOSE ITALIAN SOLDIERS HAVING FOUGHT FOR MUSSOLINI AND THE FASCIST CAUSE TREATED WITH A PETULANCE, VINDICTIVENESS AND ANGER MOST PRONOUNCED!!


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Italians II.

This is coolbert:

Italian versus Italian!

In the aftermath of the armistice between Italy and the allies [1943], those reconstituted Italian army units deployed and continuing the fight "armed Italians were on both sides of the Gothic Line" [1944]. Further Italian military collaboration to the war effort more extensive than what I had thought and was aware of.

1. The fascist National Republican Army. Beholden to the German and Mussolini. This was the ENR. Four divisions worth of troops and participating in Winter Storm [1944]. PRO-GERMAN AND FASCIST!

"The National Republican Army (Esercito Nazionale Repubblicano, or ENR) was the army of the Italian Social Republic (Italian: Repubblica Sociale Italiana, or RSI) from 1943 to 1945 that fought on the side of Nazi Germany during World War II."

"The ENR was officially formed 28 October 1943, by merging former Royal Army (Regio Esercito) units still loyal to Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini and Italian pro-Nazi units raised by the Germans after the occupation of southern Italy."

Divisional sized units of the ENR on paper only I would think. More like regimental [3,000 man] or brigade [5,000 man] size possibly and nothing more than that.

2. The Italian Co-Belligerent Army. Italian army troops organized and equipped by the British as fighting units, volunteers all, hoping perhaps to redeem Italian military honor. PRO-ALLIED AND DEMOCRATIC!

"On the Allied side were four Italian groups of volunteers from the old Italian army. These Italian volunteers (of the Italian Co-Belligerent Army) were equipped and trained by the British."


Recall that those two Italian Waffen SS brigades engaged at Anzio according to German accounts performing "surprisingly well"! Decima MAS as commanded by Prince Borghese of course in a class all by itself, anti-partisan fascist enthusiast head-knockers whose combat zeal was unsurpassed!

Such also constitutes the Italian military enigma from both World Wars!


Monday, September 3, 2012

Italians I.

This is coolbert:

German ground offensive action during the end of the Second World War Two [WW2] being almost non-existent as you might expect, and but with one occasion when occurring unsuccessful.

That one exception being Winter Storm. An Axis ground offensive, Italian and German army units acting in concert, Winter Storm SUCCESSFUL in a manner that Ardennes [1944] and Balaton [1945] were ultimately NOT!

Axis forces, reconstituted Italian fascist troops still loyal to Mussolini bolstered by German contingents taking advantage of:

* Weather.
* Terrain.

* And a possible perception they were attacking a weak sector in the American portion of the combined allied force during the Italian campaign.

That weak sector the operational area of the American 92nd Division. That division at the time consisting of what were called "colored troops", the segregated American army, black enlisted men commanded by white officers.

Winter Storm granted limited in all manner as best and however defined, scope, scale, time, objectives, etc.

[Winter Storm [1944] not to be confused with Winter Storm [1942, the attempted overland relief of the German Sixth Army besieged at Stalingrad.]

NONETHELESS German and Italian units on the offensive, ground forces, achieving their goals the last time  the Axis were able to do so during WW2!

"Operation Winter Storm (German: Unternehmen Wintergewitter), the small-scale German-Italian 1944 Christmas offensive on the Apennine Mountains in Italy, was the last meaningful feat of arms of the dying World War II Rome-Berlin Axis, and one of the last examples of the German tactical and operational mastery."

[the German general officer Fretter-Pico in overall command, an accomplished and experienced officer having seen a lot of combat on the Eastern Front.]

Ned Almond the forever controversial commander of the 92nd Division a man subject to a degree of criticism both during WW2 and the Korean War for rather lackluster performance a mediocre leader at best, poor to incompetent at worst? More on Ned Almond later.

That reconstituted fascist army loyal to Mussolini and participating in combat action in the aftermath of the armistice between Italy and the allies this I had not heard of before. Other than Decima MAS and those two brigades of Italian Waffen SS further Italian contributions to the war effort on the side of the fascists was slim to none, so is the perception - - EXCEPT FOR WINTER STORM!!


Sunday, September 2, 2012

30 & 40.

This is coolbert:

Bond! James Bond!

I can reasonably say and have been able to infer with a good degree of certainty that the so-called fictional character of James Bond as popularized by the British author Ian Fleming was indeed a troop serving with the Royal Navy [RN] 30 Commando [later designated 30 AU] during the Second World War [WW2].

Bond not only serving as a troop [Royal Marine] but presumably as an commander of some skill and daring, those mission of 30 AU requiring leadership of the highest ability and courage, men whose initiative, resourcefulness and trustworthiness allowing for delegated discretion in accomplishing a mission.

That RN 40 Commando as present at Dieppe having secretly embedded [that word would not have been used at the time] personnel of the Special Intelligence Unit, later to be designated 30 Commando [RN]. 40 Commando a unit consisting almost exclusively [?] of Royal Marines [RM] and operating under the auspices of the Royal Navy, their mission rather the traditional commando type combat, the raider, troops of the "hunter class" as called by Churchill!!

[when first formed, 40 Commando referred to as RM A Commando and known as such during the Dieppe raid]

30 Commando [later designated 30 AU] again a Royal Navy creation, Ian Fleming the operational chief, 30 a joint services unit of which Royal Marines formed a troop [a company sized unit] specifically organized for special intelligence gathering. Raiders but with a special twist!

30 seeing action in France and during the "North-West Europe Campaign of 1944–1945" teams advancing forward rapidly ahead of the main column capturing intact to the greatest extent possible top secret German military hardware, scientists, engineers, documentation, etc.

A mission for which required officers in command of the various teams to be men of the highest ability and courage, wide discretion in accomplishing a mission delegated in advance, and this understood by all to be the case. A man such as JAMES BOND ideally suited for the command role at some level!!

When James Bond describes hearing the rounds of a German Spandau machine gun being fired over his head in the Ardennes [1945], he is recalling a mission of 30 AU where the man came under enemy fire!!

"The Special Intelligence Unit was later renamed 30 RN Commando (Special Engineering Unit), and was re-designated 30 Assault Unit in December 1943.They were tasked to move ahead of advancing Allied forces, or to undertake covert infiltrations into enemy territory by land, sea or air, to capture much needed intelligence, in the form of codes, documents, equipment or enemy personnel . . . Individual troops were present in all operational theatres and usually operated independently, gathering information from captured facilities."

Indeed, it seems the British producer and writer Nicholas Rankin has also in advance of myself and independently also surmised with a degree of certainty that the so called [again] fictional character of James Bond as popularized by Ian Fleming was a troop [Royal Marine] - - presumably an officer, a team leader or junior commander in 30 AU.

See here and here the comments of Nicholas Rankin regarding Ian Fleming, 30 AU and James Bond.

Also if and when the land invasion of Japan had occurred, 30 AU would have been present and active, yet one more additional British contribution to the war effort in the Pacific against the Japanese outside of the C-B-I theatre [ China-Burma-India].

"A 30 Assault Unit Royal Marines detachment was sent to the Far East in 1945, but the Japanese surrender precluded operations."

30 AU and the mission ideally suited for a person with the character of a James Bond!! You the devoted reader to the blog decide for yourself fact or fiction!!