Thursday, October 31, 2013


This is coolbert:

Need some help with this one. My thought was originally that I knew this material but that appears NOT to be the case.

If a devoted reader to the blog is knowledgeable in medieval archery or armor as worn by a mounted  knight of the period let me hear from you.

First as seen in the web site article from TheFiscalTimes:

"12 Weapons That Changed Everything"

One of those weapons "That Changed Everything" being that English longbow.

"English Longbow (600AD - 1600AD)"

"Though records of the longbow are found as early as the 7th century, its status as a game-changer is primarily based on its usage in several battles during the 100 Years War, most famously (as immortalized by Shakespeare) at the battle of Agincourt . . . Ranged weaponry may have long predated the longbow, but the bows size gave it the power to punch through armor.  Slowly but surely, the age of hand-to-hand combat was drawing to a close"

My understanding being that the "game changer" in this case was not so much the long bow of itself but rather the use of the bodkin point.

That bodkin point an arrowhead specially fabricated for the purpose of penetrating PLATE ARMOR AS WAS WORN BY THE NOBLE KNIGHTS OF THE HIGHEST ORDER AND RANK OF THAT MEDIEVAL PERIOD.

The bodkin point ABLE to penetrate plate armor rendering the armored knight on horseback much less effective on the medieval battlefield. As described that bodkin point:

"A bodkin point is a type of arrowhead. In its simplest form it is an uncomplicated squared metal spike, and was used extensively during the Middle Ages. The typical bodkin was a square-section arrowhead, generally up to 4½" (11.5cm) long and ⅜" (1 cm) thick at its widest point, tapered down behind this initial 'punch' shape."

From the wiki article that bodkin point NOT able to pierce plate armor. Bodkin ABLE to penetrate chain mail YES but ineffective against that best plate armor of the late medieval period.

Bodkin also not effective in penetrating that combination of chain mail worn with a gambeson?

A gambeson a quilted garment the padding of which either wool or cotton soaked in vinegar. And that gambeson once more contrary to what I had believed to be true, the gambeson worn UNDERNEATH THE CHAIN MAIL RATHER THAN OVER THE MAIL ARMOR!

Again, the devoted reader to the blog or even a casual visitor to "Analysis" knows better about this. Your input greatly appreciated.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Jammu & Kashmir.

This is coolbert:

As extracted from the South Asia Terrorism Portal [SATP] we have updates and background information on the situation in Kashmir, that insurgency and the response to same by the government of India.

SATP that perspective from the standpoint of the Indian analyst.

1. Assessment.

That assessment at the BEGINNING OF THIS YEAR rather upbeat. The number of incidents and casualties in Jammu and Kashmir on the decrease. That Indian army contingent practitioners of counter-insurgency operations perhaps the most experienced and BEST in the world. Lots and lots of experience and a well thought out methodology and doctrine for combating the guerrilla/terrorist/militant!

2. Timeline.

This the time for 2013 and the situation in contrast to the assessment [#1] not so good. Incidents and attacks both the number of intensity of same escalating. You can read it all mostly from this last August forward until present by scrolling to almost the bottom of the page.

3. Terrorist/Extremist/Insurgent groups.

That multiplicity of insurgents groups in Jammu and Kashmir most surprising. Factionalism and divided and diffused effort not conducive to a successful insurgency. That number of such groups over a period of many decades is nonetheless surprising?

Factionalism a problem always [?] a problem with the insurgent? Diffused and unfocused energy self-defeating and counter-productive.

According to the counter-insurgency expert the late David Galula that communist [not the case with Jammu and Kashmir] among those first two stages of an insurgency:

"1) the establishment of a party and a cause; 2) creating a united front"

NO SUCH thing as a "united front" existing in Jammu and Kashmir?

Normally that situation as currently existing in Jammu and Kashmir resolved by a negotiated settlement. This not being realistic now, or has been in the past, or even in the foreseeable future.

Hence goes Jammu and Kashmir?



This is coolbert:

Thanks to Der Spiegel that latest update on Kashmir.

A legacy of the partition of the Indian sub-continent, that British Raj divided into Pakistan and India, BUT FROM OVER SIXTY YEARS AGO NOW [1947], THE STATUS OF KASHMIR NEVER RESOLVED!

That low-level intensity warfare characteristic of an insurgency continuing and only recently there being a marked escalation of hostilities very worrisome.

Two nuclear powers at the proverbial loggerheads a situation seeming to be without remediation.

"Himalayan Hotbed: Tensions Spike in Divided Kashmir"

"Violence has been on the rise again in the troubled province since the summer. On Aug. 6, Muslim extremists shot and killed five Indian soldiers. According to Indian sources, the Pakistani military helped the attackers. Since then, there have been border skirmishes between the Pakistanis and the Indians almost every day."

I was not aware a portion of Kashmir under Chinese control, that border never having been clearly define. That also a legacy of the Raj and British rule. And contentious no one wanting to give an inch or appear WEAK!

That Vale of Kashmir prior to 1947 perhaps among the top half dozen most popular tourist attraction for the international traveler. NOT SO for a long time, perhaps that aspect of life in Kashmir [tourism] gone forever?

The Hindu Pandits wine-shop owners several decades ago now many tens of thousands having to flee for their lives, so precarious was their position in Kashmir, targets of insurgents and ethnic cleansing on a scale before that term [ethnic cleansing] as now understood even popular.

Anyone have a suggestion as to how the conflict in Kashmir can be resolved? The concerned parties after a period seven decades not being able to reach an accommodation, however can a settlement be reached? I fear never.


Monday, October 28, 2013

Unit 910.

This is coolbert:

From the web site we have this update an online web site, an "apparition" of mysterious origin, the target apparently Hezbollah.

"Mysterious website seeks intelligence on Hezbollah operatives"

"Intelligence circles in the Middle East are abuzz with news of a mysterious website that appears to offer substantial financial rewards in exchange for information about alleged members of militant group Hezbollah. The website, located at, describes its mission as helping end 'Hezbollah-perpetrated terrorism in Lebanon and abroad.' It specifically targets the Lebanese group’s Unit 910, believed to be tasked with international operations"

Hezbollah described as the BEST LIGHT INFANTRY IN THE WORLD!

BEST as able to perform a multiplicity of tasks and perform them all well, infantry combat operations merely an aspect of the global reach of Hezbollah.

Those Hezbollah "operatives" belong to this Unit 910? Unite 910 also in addition as previously stated able to "perform a multiplicity of tasks and perform them all well" INCLUDING CYBERWARFARE AND SUCH?

This image purportedly shows the Hezbollah cyberwarfare unit? Those yellow colors indicating to the whole world this is Hezbollah, those various operators at the monitors and keyboards also having the neatly trimmed beards. Hezbollah is well-disciplined and expects nothing less.. As you might well expect from the BEST!

Devoted readers to the blog have some knowledge of Unit 910 or the web site ""?

I need to research this topic more.


Sunday, October 27, 2013


This is coolbert:

As reported by the BBC, a European re-enactment of the Battle of the Nations from two hundred years ago.  Persons in "period military costume"

"Thousands re-enact Napoleonic Battle of the Nations"

"Some 6,000 history buffs in period military costume are re-enacting one of Germany's bloodiest battles, the Battle of the Nations. An estimated 600,000 soldiers took part in the series of battles from 16-19 October 1813 and almost 100,000 of them lost their lives."

These persons appear as a rabble. Need to get into formation, close ranks, dress on the man ahead of you, get in cadence and MARCH. And do it quick too. The Emperor is watching. For shame!

From that BBC article:

* "Battle of the Nations"

* "Took place 16-19 October 1813; also called the Battle of Leipzig"

* "185,000 mainly French troops under Napoleon"

* "320,000 Austrian, Prussian, Russian and Swedish forces"

* "The French lost 38,000 men killed and wounded"

* "allied losses totaled 55,000 men"

* "Marked the end of the French Empire east of the Rhine"

NOT exactly 100,000 losing their lives. Far fewer than that. That 100,000 total casualties to include killed-in action [KIA], wounded [WIA], missing [MIA]. That missing probably constituting a percentage of deserters or those that fell out on the march as well.

Almost one year after the disaster in Russia, Napoleon again  able to take to the field with a massive army, conscription as practiced in France allowing for the Emperor to reconstitute his forces.

From Leipzig forward the Continental system of the Emperor now gone, French rule east of the Rhine no more.

Coalition forces as fought by the French not always so successful. That ability of Napoleon to take advantage of rivalry and discontent among his many adversaries unquestioned.

From Trevor Dupuy commenting on the Battle of the Nations and the 1813 campaign of Napoleon:


"Early the following year first Prussia, then Austria, deserted Napoleon's cause and joined his enemies. Nevertheless, with a new raised army, he marched back into central Germany and won a number of victories over the much more numerous allied armies of Russia, Prussia, and Sweden. But none of his victories was decisive . . . Finally, outnumbered two to one and facing enemies to whom he had taught his system of war . . . Napoleon was defeated at Leipzig in the three-day  "Battle of the Nations.," . . . Despite heavy losses, Napoleon withdrew in good order from the battlefield and marched back to France to prepare for the inevitable allied invasion."

"Withdrew in good order" most pertinent. Even when outnumbered and beat and his force not seasoned, Napoleon able to conduct the retrograde maneuver in good fashion, the battle lost but not the war.



This is coolbert:

Thanks to Freeper we have these New York Times headlines as it was seventy years ago:



"Red Army Also Seizes Dnieprodzerzhinsk, A Sister City"


Disorderly retreat but NOT so totally so. Dniepropetrovsk that dam over the Dneiper river having been blown by the Soviets during their forced retreat in 1941 AND ALSO DESTROYED BY THE RETREATING FASCIST FORCES IN 1943. Destroyed at least in part but perhaps not in whole, nonetheless that dam not again in full use until 1950!

Yet more headlines concerning Dniepropetrovsk from the Montreal Gazette. This as of 1944:


"German Attempt to Destroy Completely Great Russian Structure is Revealed."

"Moscow, September 22. - - The chief engineer of the Dnieprostroi dam disclosed that that the German had made a desperate unsuccessful effort in the winter of 1943 to completely blow up the great dam across the Dnieper river at Zapoarozhe, which the Russians themselves had partly destroyed in August, 1941."

That Soviet land mass twice devastated during the Second World War [WW2]. Once as the battlefield moved from west to east in 1941 [the Red Army the perpetrator] and a second time during German retreat [1943 and 1944] as the battlefield moved from east to west [fascist forces the perpetrator] over the same ground. Scorched earth policy the loss of civilian life from all most cases greater than that of soldier combat deaths


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Galvanized Yankees.

This is coolbert:

This was a totally new one on me. Those of you who have seen the mid-1960's Charlton Heston movie "Major Dundee" will understand instantly that the adage: "truth is stranger than fiction" is factual in basis.

From that wiki entry Penal Military Unit under the heading of United States we have the topic of what was referred to as the "Galvanized Yankee".

"Galvanized Yankees; during the American Civil War, Confederate prisoners of war who swore allegiance to the Union were allowed to join the Union Army and serve on the western frontier."

Galvanized Yankees not necessarily as I might suggest in the category of a penal unit as that term generally, ordinarily and commonly understood.

Confederate prisoners of war [POW] being given a parole and release under conditions with terms.

Confederate POW recruited and swearing allegiance to the Union and Federal forces.

But with the proviso that they serve the Federal cause ONLY on the western frontier and NOT in combat with their former countrymen [Confederates].

Galvanized Yankees those Confederates serving in U.S. Army units and in mortal combat with those American Indian nations deemed as "hostile".

Many [perhaps the overwhelming number so] not necessarily responding to the cause of the Union but rather merely to escape the danger of a POW camp.

Those Union and Confederate POW camps of the era abominations, deadly to the inmates, the mortality rate from disease just terrible.

Enlistment in the detachments of Galvanized Yankees a way out of misery WITH HONOR, NOT A BETRAYAL OF THE CAUSE!

Consider that the largest mass grave in all of North America is in Chicago, Illinois, USA, four thousand bodies of Confederate troops as held at Camp Douglas perishing from typhoid fever.

Even more so that combat, languishing in a POW camp during the American Civil War was potentially more hazardous to your health.

Understand too that typhoid fever the illness as acquired from the drinking bad water. Historically speaking water either having too little to drink or drinking of BAD water a killer of soldiers beyond that of battlefield deaths.



This is coolbert:

This particular item from only several days ago creating a lot of hackles in some quarters.

That suggestion being made that the super-masculine American Marine Corps becoming sissified and feminine, a new hat to be worn by men and women both of all things a point of contention.

"Obama Continues Efforts to Emasculate our Military; This time with a new 'Girly' Hat for Marines."

 "Note: TMLC has verified this story. We obtained a copy of the survey which references putting both men and women in the "girly" hat and have verified that the Department of Defense (a part of Obama's administration) has in fact asked the Armed Services to move towards gender neutral uniforms."

Here is the hat. See for yourself. From my perspective it is not a bad looking hat NOR does it seem to be so "feminine". I guess it is in the eye of the beholder.

The various words as used in this article and associated with the introduction of the new hat "loaded" as they say. A strong emotional response guaranteed.

Words such as:
* "emasculate"
* “too French”
* "gender neutral"
* "unisex "
* "Girly" 

Marines, men and women both, when dressed in what the army used to call [and maybe still does call] a Class A uniform now having one standard and uniform head gear. Gender specific hats now a thing of the past?

Considerations rather than making a "girl" of a Marine are at work here? Uniformity is most important when mixed gender units march on parade. Also there is a cost savings here? One type hat rather than two results in some dollars saved? Perhaps not that much in the overall scheme of things.

In actuality that "new" hat to a degree resembles the type of head gear as worn by the Marines from one hundred years ago. As exemplified by this image of the famous American Marine non-commissioned officer Dan Daly. Indeed the "new" gender neutral hat referred to as the "Dan Daly".

This is Dan Daly. From the Great War twice winner of the Medal of Honor. Hardly a man effeminate or a "girl", neutered or less than manly. Anything but that.

Somehow I just don't think the adoption of the "Dan Daly" is going to reduce the combat readiness of the U.S. Marines by even the slightest iota. But that is just my opinion.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

VWR vs. BVR.

This is coolbert:

That American F-22 Raptor as has been noted not faring too well in DACT exercises.

NOT an inferior aircraft for the air superiority role but nonetheless NOT so overwhelming superior either.

When piloted by top-of-the-line pilots that top-of-the-line warplane [so touted] only about equal to the Eurofighter Typhoon or the French Rafaele.

That performance of the F-22 somewhat disappointing, the F-22 as originally heralded thought be omnipotent now and for anytime into the near future but this obviously not so?

I think [?] I have a better appreciation of how American military planners intend to employ F-22 Raptor in combat.

Those Visual-within-range [VWR] DACT exercises the type of mortal combat as NOT as envisioned for the F-22?

The F-22 in the air superiority role more than likely to fight it out in the stand-off mode, beyond-visual-range [BVR]?

As it was envisioned for the F-14 Tomcat so will it be too for the F-22 Raptor?

The F-14 Tomcat as originally designated and the role envisioned as a stand-off air superiority warplane, engaging and destroying simultaneously an multiple number of enemy aerial targets using the Phoenix long-range missile to do so.

F-22 air superiority combat also not in the VWR mode. Stand-off, BVR!

That F-22 also able to acquire, track, target, engage and destroy enemy warplanes in the BVR mode while at the same time due to stealth design NOT BEING acquired, tracked, targeted engaged and destroyed by the adversary?

That combination of F-22 organic and passive radars combined with the capability of the AMRAAM missile able to destroy enemy warplanes at a distance in excess of 50 miles [80 kilometers], BVR?

And since only a very limited number of F-22 exist now and will EVER exist, VWR operations not only undesirable but to be eschewed? Foolish engagements at close-range and the loss of a single F-22 aircraft not acceptable. That F-22 too precious to lose?

F-4 Phantom being flown remotely and NOT apparently not maneuvering or using any sort of electronic counter measures being used as targets for F-22 and AMRAAM fired at a distance, not VWR, shoot-down of the target YES but not a given and "done deal".

"The F-4 proceeded out over the gulf [Gulf of Mexico]. The first aircraft [F-22] fired its missile [AMRAAM]."

"The ground controller monitoring the telemetry radioed the air crews: 'No hit.'”
"The Phantom flew on."

"The four F-22 Raptors spread out. Each launched a missile [AMRAAM]."

"Over the radio we heard 'Fox-four'—all shooters had fired."
"Then: 'Splash.' A direct hit.
So that combination of F-22 and AMRAAM does work. But in combat we can expect the same? Hold your breath but not for too long!


Wednesday, October 23, 2013


This is coolbert:

I am watching only recently on public broadcast television this documentary the topic which is the Khamba people of the high Tibetan plateau.

That Khamba an ancient people living in a manner much as must have been the Mongol during the time of Genghis Khan.

The Khamba nuclear family nomadic pastoralists herding yak and horses and living a rugged and harsh existence at an altitude beyond which normal human life is not possible.

The Khamba subsisting almost entirely on a diet of yak milk, tsampa [a grain mixed with water and pressed into a cake, and during the winter dining almost exclusively on cheese made from yak milk.

It it almost an amazement that the Khamba do not suffer from some sort of terrible diet deficiency.

Those Khamba also having a warrior tradition, light cavalry of some ability carrying and using with skill Mannlicher rifles and swords.

That Khamba one of the last three tribal groups on earth still in a habitual manner carrying swords as part of the daily dress. [those other two groups the Tuareg of the Sahara and the Dayak of Borneo]

The Dalai Lama in 1959 during his forced exodus accompanied by screening forces of Khamba warriors.

That Khamba too needing on a daily basis fuel for warmth [it can snow or sleet any day of the year on the high Tibetan plateau] and cooking [processing the yak milk into cheese].

Fuel as obtained on the treeless and barren high Tibetan plateau from yak dung [plops]. Plops as having to be processed on a daily basis before ready-to-be-burned. A task arduous but absolutely necessary for survival.

Plops when still in the warm and steaming stage, plastic, collected at 3 A.M. each morning.
Processed further by spreading [with the bare hands!] the dung into a fine sheet [the finer the sheet the better].

 Finely spread yak plops then drying  within the period of less than a half day. The intense sunlight at the high altitude and the dryness of the land removing all moisture from the plops, the end product after being broken into small segments with a special rake then burned that same evening in the family hearth.

Again, the Khamba living in much the same manner as I imagine did the Mongol horde of Genghis.

The Mongol too when on the march across the treeless Asiatic steppe land needing a source of fuel.
Fuel not only for warmth and cooking but also I might well imagine to fire the forge of the blacksmith.

That given birth name of Genghis [Temuchin] of course meaning "blacksmith".

That horde when on the march an massive assemblage of persons [warriors, women, children, old people] and animals [horses, sheep, camels, oxen. More than anything else the horde resembling a moving menagerie or livestock exhibition of enormous size!

Much has been made of the movement-to-battle ability of a Mongol tuman. That divisional sized unit [10,000 warriors] able to cross about 100 miles [160 kilometers] per day when riding to battle.

That horde while on the march however a much more slowly moving and ponderous, able to cover only about four to five miles per day. [6 1/2 to 8 kilometers per day]

That rather slow movement of the horde in large measure due to the need to collect and process on a daily basis fuel, the dung plops of the animals?

Dung of the camel most highly prized.

Those beasts of burden carrying the disassemble siege machines of the horde, broken down into segments for easy transport.

Dung of the camel burning with the hottest flame, the least amount of smoke, and leaving the small trace of ash.

I would also have to imagine the forges blacksmiths of the horde kept quite busy. The forge of the smith constantly burning even while on the move, weaponry kept in a high state of repair and horses shod. [the Mongol horde had four to five mounts period warrior. That is nearly a half million or so ponies in a herd. The Mongol pony was shod?]

Much as it was for the horde of Genghis so as it was too for the Third Army of Patton over seven hundred years later!

 Forward movement of a military force on the offensive obviously limited by the need for continual fuel replenishment? As it was for Patton so was it much earlier also for Genghis. Patton thought petrol, Genghis thought dung?

Lieutenants think tactics and general think logistics.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Marsh Arabs.

This is coolbert:

Here a success story from the Second Gulf War and the American occupation of Iraq.

The salvation of the Marsh Arabs and the wetlands of the Tigris-Euphrates marshlands where the fresh water meets the Persian Gulf.

"The Marsh Arabs . . . are inhabitants of the Tigris-Euphrates marshlands in the south and east of Iraq and along the Iranian border."

Those Marsh Arabs a people of which little was known until relatively recently. Believed to be perhaps of the most ancient and venerable lineage, related to the Sumerians.

Persons the Marsh Arabs almost a people having an aquatic life-style, unique to the area.

That famous English explorer Sir Wilfred Thesiger the first outsider [?] to give us an accurate description of the Marsh Arabs. Sir Wilfred of course also during the Second World War an officer with the British Long Range Desert Group.

"The way of life of the Marsh Arabs was later described by the explorer Sir Wilfred Thesiger in his classic The Marsh Arabs (1964). Thesiger lived with the Marsh Arabs for months at a time over a seven-year period (1951–1958), building excellent relationships with virtually all he met, and recording the details of day-to-day life in various regions of the marshes."

These Marsh Arabs Shia and in opposition to the late dictator Saddam Hussein. Saddam in revenge for defeat during the First Gulf War [1991] with a malevolent spiteful hate draining the marshes, the ancient way of life of the Marsh Arabs obliterated for the most part. That destruction of a people in part or in whole considered to be a violation of the Genocide Convention.

"Many of the marshes' inhabitants were displaced when the wetlands were drained during and after the 1991 uprisings in Iraq."

Much more than mere displacement. Much more.

The marshes an immense area drained by a combination of dikes and canals, the engineering corps of Saddam's army most proficient, able to do what had not been possible in 5,000 previous years of civilization.

One of the most productive wetlands on the planet laid waste, reduced to a desert uninhabitable.

Allegedly the fish  of the marshes poisoned, herds of water buffalo massacred by Mi-24 helicopter gunships. Slaughter and destruction on an apocalyptic and epic scale. Almost biblical in nature.

 "the Mesopotamian marshlands in southern Iraq, which scholars believe is the cradle of one of the earliest civilizations. The lush habitat was also the cradle of diverse wildlife, from water buffalo to lions, otters, foxes, and a plethora of birds and fish. But in the mid 1990s, Saddam Hussein burned and drained much of the area to drive out Shiite Arabs that had staged uprisings and then fled into the reeds"

A half million persons living in the marsh area prior to the destruction by Saddam. NOW the population only about 20,000 and only slowly recovering

"The marshes turned to dust bowls, and the people who had lived there for thousands of years, descendants of the Sumerians, began to suffer."

In the aftermath of the Second Gulf War [2003], the dikes holding back the life-giving water breached, the area flooded as in times of antiquity, those marshes now restored to an extent from anywhere half [50 %] to three-quarters [75 %] as was originally. Restoration continues unabated. A great success story!

This all described in a documentary the promotional aspects courtesy of Robert Redford:

"Working with the local Marsh Arabs, Alwash and team helped reflood the area. The reeds returned, followed by much of the wildlife. About half of the original marshlands are now flourishing, and the area is slated to become Iraq’s first national park."

Those Marsh Arabs their ancestral "land" to some extent restored, the population will return to prior Saddam levels remains to be seen. This ancient people having their ancient way "restored" as well also a possible for future generations.


Sunday, October 20, 2013


This is coolbert:

As listed by John Sutherland from his book, "50 literature ideas you really need to know", Chapter # 8 Epic".

"The ten all-time greatest poetic epics."

* The Epic of Gilgamish.
* The Odyssey.
* Mahabharata
* The Aeneid.
* Beowulf.
* The Song of Roland.
* El Cantar de Mio Cid.
* Niebelungenlied.
* Divina Commedia.
* The Lusiads.

Additional listings by other authorities will result in other epics as being considered to be included into the "top ten".

To that list I might suggest adding:

* The Iliad.
* Manas.
* The Battle of Kosovo.

At least four of those top ten the subject matter the waging of war or the feats, daring, bravery, courage and valor of warriors. The Iliad, Manas and The Battle of Kosovo exclusively descriptions of war and "the feats, daring, bravery, courage and valor of warriors".

The epic poem considered to be that most difficult and arduous of all literary forms. The number of successful epics minuscule, even when considered within the span of four thousand years!

Indeed, in over three hundred years now NO epic poem "worthy of the name" having been written!

"There were attempts to keep the genre' alive with Milton's Christian epic,. 'Paradise Lost' [1667], and mock-epics such as Pope's 'The Dunciad' . . . in the early modern period, but since then, nothing worthy of the name."

And this is why?

"[an] impediment to the modern epic is that modern life lacks 'heroes' - - at least, in the epic definition of the term . . . 'the special place those men who live for action and from the honour which comes from it'"

Honor as that term understood in the epic in many instances usually involving the vanquishing of the adversary on the battlefield. Killing!

"Heroic heroes, and 'honour', make today's reading public uneasy"

"Typically epic belongs to a great age that has passed and at which later ages look back nostalgically - - with the sad sense that such greatness is gone for ever."

Quite often a nostalgia misplaced from the modern standpoint. That utter destruction of Troy as described in the Iliad barbarism by current standards of comportment.

Those epic poems too intended for an illiterate society, the recital of which confined to a small group of bards, their word-for-word-perfect memory astonishing and generating envy among the literate of any age.

Those heroes of the epic poem to include El Cid, Roland, Beowulf, King Lazar, Achilles obviously never had to endure the hunt, peck and snipe of the modern written, audio and visual media, the "hero" in the industrial, mechanical, mass-assembly by-the-numbers, small cog in a big wheel age of modern life making that "hero" an anachronism we will never see again?


Saturday, October 19, 2013


This is coolbert:

Make war by flood!

Here two recent instance of floods, man-made during wartime the purpose of which was to deny an advancing adversary avenues of approach, resources,  cause casualties to the enemy if possible.

Floods as caused by the breaching of dikes or the demolition of dams the result of which were awesome, on a scale apocalyptic and almost biblical in nature.

Casualties regrettably immense as well, FRIENDLY CIVILIANS MORE THAN LIKELY THE VICTIMS.

1. Yellow River Flood.

"The 1938 Yellow River flood . . . flood created by the Nationalist Government in central China during the early stage of the Second Sino-Japanese War in an attempt to halt the rapid advance of the Japanese forces. It has been called the 'largest act of environmental warfare in history.'"
. . . .

"To stop further Japanese advances into the western and southern part China, Chiang Kai-shek, at the suggestion of Chen Guofu, determined to open up the dikes on the Yellow River near Zhengzhou. . . . floods covered and destroyed thousands of square kilometers of farmland and shifted the mouth of the Yellow River hundreds of miles to the south. Thousands of villages were inundated or destroyed and several million villagers driven from their homes and made refugees. An official Nationalist post-war commission estimated that 800,000 were drowned, which may be an underestimate."

We need to be clear here. The flood man-made having the proper result from the military standpoint, but that loss of friendly civilian life just enormous, prodigious in the extreme.

Understood within the context that the Chinese Yellow River [Hwang Ho] referred to for thousands of years as "China's Sorrow". That river for a length of 500 miles [800 kilometers] the course of which kept in check by dikes, the river for that entire distance about thirty feet [10 meters] above the surrounding countryside, only those dikes at any given moment preventing flood on a massive and uncontrollable scale.

2.  "Ukrainian Activists Draw Attention To Little-Known WWII Tragedy"

That great dam on the Dneiper river demolished as part of the Soviet scorched earth policy, a showcase monument to Soviet engineering expertise and communist can-do spirit destroyed, that release of water enormous and killing many tens of thousands, again, friendly civilians.

"In case of a forced retreat... all rolling stock must be evacuated, the enemy must not be left a single engine, a single railway car, not a single pound of grain or gallon of fuel. The collective farmers must drive off all their cattle and turn over their grain to the safe keeping of the state authorities for transportation to the rear. All valuable property, including non-ferrous metals, grain and fuel that cannot be withdrawn must be destroyed without fail. In areas occupied by the enemy, guerrilla units....must set fire to forests, stores and transports." - - J. Stalin.

 "The tidal surge killed thousands of unsuspecting civilians, as well as Red Army officers who were crossing over the river."

"Since no official death toll was released at the time, the estimated number of victims varies widely. Most historians put it at between 20,000 and 100,000, based on the number of people then living in the flooded areas."

Dnieprostrov the destruction of which more than anything else an evidence of Soviet resolve.

"The Russians have proved now by their destruction of the great dam at Dniepropetrovsk that they mean truly to scorch the earth before Hitler even if it means the destruction of their most precious possessions ... Dnieprostroy was an object almost of worship to the Soviet people. Its destruction demonstrates a will to resist which surpasses anything we had imagined. I know what that dam meant to the Bolsheviks ... It was the largest, most spectacular, and most popular of all the immense projects of the First Five-Year Plan ... The Dnieper dam when it was built was the biggest on earth and so it occupied a place in the imagination and affection of the Soviet people difficult for us to realize ... Stalin's order to destroy it meant more to the Russians emotionally than it would mean to us for Roosevelt to order the destruction of the Panama Canal." - - Knickerbocker, American journalist.

This too an instance from ancient times, flood as a weapon of war:

3. Siege of Baghdad (1258).

That Mongol, while on the OFFENSIVE [Yellow River and Dnieprostrov defensive measures] using flood as a weapon of war, breaching dikes, causing a release of water that landscape to the rear of the Islamic cavalry the Caliph and his men faced with a barrier to their rear impassable, room for maneuver negated, defeat inevitable

"The cavalry were decisively defeated by the Mongols, whose engineers broke dikes along the Tigris River and flooded the ground behind the Abbasid forces, trapping them"

Indeed, that breaching and destruction of those dikes vicinity of Baghdad vital to agriculture as well, the population of the area not recovering for a subsequent seven hundred years hence!!

Well, at least the United States Army did resort to such measures.


White War.

This is coolbert:

Make war by avalanche.

From the Economist thanks to the tip from Freeper remains of soldiers from the Great War [WW1] only just recently uncovered, for a period of almost a full century ago buried in ice.

"Two unknown soldiers"

"THE BLACK stain on the ice was instantly recognisable. The technician checking a tarpaulin stretched over a section of the Presena Glacier in the Italian Alps—an experimental attempt to slow the melting— quickly called in a rescue party. The block of ice was airlifted to the nearby city of Vicenza. Inside were two soldiers who had fallen at the Battle of Presena in May 1918 and were buried in a crevasse."

It appears these men killed during combat operations and buried in the crevasse by their compatriots.

"Soldiers perish in avalanche as World War I rages"
"A powerful avalanche kills hundreds of Austrian soldiers in a barracks near Italy's Mount Marmolada on this day in 1916. Over a period of several days, avalanches in the Italian Alps killed an estimated 10,000 Austrian and Italian soldiers in mid-December. The avalanches occurred as the Austrians and Italians were fighting World War I and some witnesses claim that the avalanches were purposefully caused to use as a weapon. Though there is little evidence that this was the case with these avalanches, it is possible that avalanches were used as weapons at other times during the war."

The "white tidal wave". Avalanches occurring in the snow-covered Alps during WW1 a constant threat to those alpine troops of the various combatants, a "WALL" of snow tumbling downhill at a speed of about two hundred miles per hour [three hundred twenty kilometers per hour], pushing in front of it uprooted, trees, boulders, ice. A phenomenon awesome and almost biblical and apocalyptic in nature, terrible and extreme, no defense possible.

Troops either during combat operations or even while in barracks or encampment in grave danger, at the base of a mountain all eyes constantly looking upward with trepidation.

Men buried alive, suffocation the normal cause of death, many feet of ice and snow covering them, rescue in the combat environment either not possible or very difficult.

Avalanches perhaps even INDUCED AND MAN-MADE! Under the right conditions as determined by the locals, that combination of mountainous terrain, excessive snowfall and temperatures combined with carefully directed weapons fire the result of which is the "white tidal wave", an awesome and terrifying spectacle.

Ski resorts in the American West employing surplus 75 mm recoilless rifle in such a manner, dangerous snow packs at high elevation brought down from a distance, "grooming" of an area possible, just don't be in the way! That American method of using surplus recoilless rifle or artillery superior to the Swiss method of using mortar rounds.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Arcona & Thielbek.

This is coolbert:

Yet more "Hell Ships".

It seems this subject regrettably so is an never-ending study.

From a variety of sources and the original article in the Jerusalem Post we have the story of the Arcona and Thielbek.

German merchant vessels crammed full of concentration camp victims at that absolute end of the war [only one day before German surrender, WW2] sunk as the result of Allied action, attack by English Typhoon ground attack aircraft. Loss of life horrendous and almost total, without amelioration, the victims perishing in a horrible manner just as liberation was close at hand.

 "The friendly fires of hell" by Robert J. White-Harvey

 "7,000 Holocaust survivors were inadvertently killed by the UK a day before Germany surrendered."

"On May 3, 1945 - in the worst friendly-fire incident in history - Britain's Royal Air Force killed more than 7,000 survivors of Nazi concentration camps who were crowded onto ships in Lubeck harbor, Germany. The ragged masses that had survived the Holocaust stood no chance against the guns of their liberators. This tragic mistake occurred one day before the British accepted the surrender of all German forces in the region."

Among the victims we find a wide variety of nationalities and violators of Nazi fascist law, persons deemed as "enemies" of the Reich worthy of death.

"The prisoners were from at least 30 nationalities: American, Belarussian, Belgian, Canadian, Czechoslovakian, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Luxembourger, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swiss, Ukrainian, Yugoslavian and others."

"Most of the inmates were Jews and Russian POWs, but they also included communist sympathizers, pacifists, Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals, prostitutes, Gypsies and other perceived enemies of the Third Reich."

Of the Cap Arcona:

"The Cap Arcona was a large German luxury ocean liner, formerly of the Hamburg-South America line. It transported passengers between Germany and South America until 1940 when it was taken over by the German Navy."

"Late in the war, the ship was used for the evacuation of Germans from East Prussia. While heavily-laden with prisoners from Nazi concentration camps, she was sunk in 1945 by the Royal Air Force. About 5,000 people died. The sinking of the Cap Arcona was one of the biggest single-incident maritime losses of life during the war and, as such, one of the largest maritime losses of life in history."

The Arcona having participated in Hannibal and emerged unscathed, nonetheless with only a day to go in the European war the vessel sunk, that loss of life immense.

And of Thielbek:

"The Thielbek was a 2,815 GRT freighter that was sunk along with the SS Cap Arcona and the SS Deutschland during British air raids on May 3, 1945 while anchored in the Bay of Lübeck with the loss of 2,750 lives."

British resoluteness in pressing the attack rather strange at this point of the war? It has been suggested that the two ships carried large contingents of SS men and Gestapo planning to flee to either Sweden or Norway? Using the concentration camp victims as human shields it might be supposed.

The English had prior advance warning of these ships sailing from Ultra intelligence and the decision was made for aerial bombardment to prevent escape of potential war criminals, human shields as on board the Arcona and Thielbek either not a consideration or the presence of same not known?

Those Japanese "Hell Ships" of the Pacific theatre well known. Less well know is  Operation Hannibal. Beyond that the Mediterranean "Hell Ships" carrying Italian POW [and also sunk by allied action] even less well known while Arcona and Thielbek practically non-entities for the historians.

Those Typhoon pilots at that exact moment not knowing the Arcona and Thielbek carry concentration camp victims this not to be deemed as gratuitous slaughter or and allied war crime.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Commandante Morgan.

This is coolbert:

Yanqui' Commandante!

Never heard of this man until only yesterday.

American soldier of fortune fighting with the Cuban revolutionaries in opposition to the dictator Batista. Revolutionaries led by Fidel Castro.

William Alexander Morgan.

"William Alexander Morgan (April 19, 1928 – March 11, 1961) was a United States citizen who fought in the Cuban Revolution. He was one of about two dozen U.S. citizens to fight with Castro's forces and one of only three foreign nationals to hold the rank of Comandante in the revolutionary forces."

From a variety of sources:

1. "An 'Americano' Revolutionary in Castro's Cuba"

"William Morgan was not your typical Cuban Revolutionary. Not only was he an American, but he was also anti-communist."

Morgan a man having some attributes of the "white messiah". A man almost in a league with the likes of T.E. Lawrence, Orde Wingate, Brookes Rajah of Sarawak, Homer Lea, Frederick Townsend Ward.

That "white messiah" a charismatic foreigner, most often an American or Englishman, possessing a military background, able to lead the forces of an indigenous insurgency to victory over the despot.

The "white messiah" able to organize, train, plan, lead into battle the insurgents. Those insurgents ultimately victorious in large measure to the efforts of the charismatic outsider.

That "white messiah" often a subject of fable and film, "The Last Samurai", "Avatar", "Dances with Wolves", etc.

Morgan having military background but not so exceptional in any manner. Rather it seems the man was a ne'er-do-well so army service was what they refer to as checkered.

But Morgan successful as a guerrilla fighter during the uprising against the Batista regime. Displayed courage and bravery and became a commandante, such was his value to the revolution esteemed.

"Morgan went to Cuba in 1957. He opposed the Batista dictatorship and led a guerrilla force of the Second National Front of the Escambray (Segundo Frente Nacional de Escambray or SFNE) that operated against Batista's soldiers in the Escambray Mountains in central Cuba."

Morgan it seems a confidant of both Castro and Che Guevera!

Morgan on the far right. Apparently Fidel on the far left and Che third from the left. Some indication of the importance of Morgan his position in the front ranks of the victorious revolutionaries?

Morgan an anti-Batista but ALSO anti-communist. Only several years after victory Morgan having run afoul of Castro and shot by firing squad, his body never returned to the United States!

Here Morgan with his Cuban wife Olga, the latter also a guerrilla! Please note that in those Hollywood versions of the "white messiah" the guy always gets the girl too! "The Last Samurai", "Dances with Wolves", "Avatar". As it is in the cinema so it was with Morgan in real life.

"I am here because I believe that the most important thing for free men to do is to protect the freedom of others. I am here so that my son, when he is grown, will not have to fight or die in a land not his own, because one man or group of men try to take his liberty from him. I am here because I believe that free men should take up arms and stand together and fight and destroy the groups and forces that want to take the rights of people away." - - William A. Morgan.

Olga today and living in the United States. Many decades after events as originally transpired.

Morgan long gone many years now but NOT forgotten. Even consideration being given to make a movie about the man. Again, almost in the manner of a T.E. Lawrence.

2. "Cuban war story lures George Clooney from Hollywood"

"Clooney wants to film Toledoan's fight for spouse's remains"

Olga resolute to repatriate the body of Morgan to his homeland, the Cuban government steadfast unto this day, no repatriation possible.

Morgan si, Castro no? Such perhaps someday will be the legacy of the Cuban Revolution?


Tuesday, October 15, 2013


This is coolbert:

From the web site Fred on Everything we have extracts with commentary, those persons best described as "Military Reformers" proven wrong.

1. "The Fighter Mafia"

"Of Oodle-oops and Error"

"This will bore readers, except military buffs and politics- junkies, into a coma. Apologies. However as a study of the manipulation of the media it may be of some note. Readers interested in more about the Military Reformers and their techniques may read This, an op-ed piece I did before Gulf I [Gulf War One] for the Washington Post."

"I recently found in The American Conservative a piece called Forty Years of the Fighter Mafia, this mafia being a subset of the 'Military Reformers,' who have insisted for many years that weaponry used by the Pentagon 'doesn´t work' because it is too complex . . . "

"Their song was, and is, that America needed simple, robust, reliable weaponry such as the Soviet Union was said to have, instead of the over-technologized equipment that the US favored."

This is the KISS, keep-it-simple-stupid approach!! According to the reformers, the Soviet had it right and the Americans had it all wrong!!

2. "The Military Reformers"

"The tank for midgets, the aluminum fireball, and other strange tales from the camp of those critics who want only to Give Our Boys the Best."

"This will bore most readers to suicide. It is an op-ed I did for the Washington Post in the Eighties, later picked up by Air Force Magazine. Since I recently encountered in The American Conservative yet another piece puffing the Reformers, whom I had to suffer with greatly in the past, I repost this. Apologies to all but military buffs."

"The United States as a nation does not think carefully about the military, an unsatisfactory situation given the dangers of a heavily armed world and the baffling complexity of military questions. One reason for the lack of disciplined analysis is that an odd group in Wash­ington, calling themselves Military Reformers, manages to corrupt thoughtful debate—chiefly by reducing it to clowning."

"The Reformers are diverse, having little in common other than great self-esteem and matching confidence. They include free-lance intellectuals, veterans, employees of the Pentagon, technical men, journalists, men, women, and, if not children, some who are intellectually not much beyond childhood."

"By and large (exceptions can be found to any of this), they believe that we need weapons employing older and simpler technology (which they tend to equate) and that most of our equipment today is badly designed and unreliable, doesn't work, or is unrelated to the realities of combat"

Soviet military equipment so was the thought, able to stand up better in combat, much of that high-tech gear as favored by American military designers not working as hoped.

From "Inside the Soviet Army" the defector Suvorov commenting on the "simplicity" of Soviet military hardware:

"Technology is developing and each year equipment becomes more and more complex. But this does not conflict with the overall philosophy of Soviet designers.  ., . . the iron, unbreakable principle observed by Soviet designers retains its force. Whenever a new piece of equipment is being developed, making the use of highly complex tools and techniques unavoidable . . . The designers will always select the very simplest possible of all the choices open to them."


"The simplicity of Soviet weapons surprises everyone. But each type of equipment which is produced is turned out in two variants - - the normal one and the 'monkey-model'."

The 'monkey-model' is a weapon which has been simplified in every conceivable way and which is intended for production in wartime only. [or for export to allies]

To reiterate Soviet era military equipment manufactured in two varieties, one for use by Soviet troops, a second for export only that latter as sold to foreign nations of much greater simplicity.

"I  have seen two variants of the BMP-1 infantry combat vehicle - - one which is issued to the Soviet army and another which is intended for the Soviet Unions's Arab friends. I counted sixty-three simplification which made the second 'monkey-model' different from the original version."

"When one of these 'monkey-models' fell into the hands of Western specialists, they naturally gained a complete false impression of the true combat capabilities of the BMP-1 . . . For what they were looking at was no more than a casing, or a container"

That Soviet paradigm, doctrine and tactics during the Cold War also to present overwhelming and unstoppable NUMBERS to the allied forces of NATO, the "steamroller" in action as has been the case from during the time of Czarist Russian and perhaps even before that.

Reformers with hindsight wrong, high-technologists right? Devoted readers to the blog can comment.


Sunday, October 13, 2013


This is coolbert:

Thanks to the Avi Yaffe web site and the tip from Le Mont De Sisphye listen to the actual tactical combat communications from forty years ago the Israeli Bar Lev Line strong points as the attack by the Egyptian forces commences, that Yom Kippur/Ramadan war of 1973.

"Excerpts from original recordings from the 'Yom Kippur War, 1973 Recorded by Avi Yaffe at the 'Suez Canal' Bunkers."

During those radio transmissions when you hear in the background a weapon being cocked and fired, or detonations from artillery shells falling on target that is not make believe or "for the movies" type of stuff. Is for real!

That testimony of the Israeli soldier Danny describing the execution of surrendered Israeli troops must be understood within context. That Egyptian officer [a lieutenant] having something specific in mind when he asks the captured Israeli troops if anyone them had fought in '67 [that Six Day War of 1967].

Numbers of Egyptian troops [that exact number not clear, perhaps in the hundreds] having been shot dead during that Six Day War, the Egyptian with hands up, weapons thrown away. So are the allegations made. THE EGYPTIAN IN 1973 SEEKING REVENGE ON CAPTURED ISRAELI!

I can almost with 100 % certainty explain without justifying the shootings as occurred in 1967. Rapidly advancing Israeli armor columns [tanks] when encountering surrendering Egyptian troops just machine gunning them dead. Those tank crews not able to spare a crew member to guard the vanquished adversary, NOR can they just let them go. Only once course of action is possible!

Again, NOT to justify, but merely to explain the circumstances!


Friday, October 11, 2013


This is coolbert:

"NO person can command a nuclear equipped unit if there is even the appearance of wrongdoing, even if totally unfounded!"

"US sacks nuclear missiles General Michael Carey"

"The Air Force cited General Carey's behaviour on a temporary duty [TDY] assignment"

"The general in charge of the US Air Force's long-range nuclear missiles has been sacked due to 'loss of trust and confidence', officials have said."

Those allegations of mis-behavior during a TDY assignment not specified. Again, even the appearance counts. And even if totally unfounded. Allegations NOT of a sexual nature so it is stated.
, , , ,

"On Wednesday the US Navy announced an admiral overseeing nuclear weapons forces had been sacked from the role."

"That was due to illegal gambling activities, officials said."

Counterfeit chips as used at a gambling casino that is!

This General Carey at the end of his career, thirty-five years of service, unblemished to this point, and now disgrace of a sort.

The relief of cashiering of a flag officer [general or admiral] not taken lightly, nonetheless a sign that all is being done according to the book, no strings pulled, regulations applied in an even and fair manner.


Thursday, October 10, 2013


This is coolbert:

From that prior blog entry:

"Surprisingly so [?] it having been determined that about 20 % of foreign jihadist killed on the Iraq or Afghan battlefield having at one time LIVED IN THE UNITED STATES AND DURING THEIR RESIDENCE ARRESTED AND CHARGED WITH A CRIME!"

NO! That 20 % a figure WAY TOO HIGH. Is rather 1 %. That lower figure however not to be minimized.

Originally from the Washington Post article as authored by Ellen Nakashima as of 2008 and also as seen at another web site.

 "Post-9/11 Dragnet Turns Up Surprises"

"In the six-and-a-half years that the U.S. government has been fingerprinting insurgents, detainees and ordinary people in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa, hundreds have turned out to share an unexpected background, FBI and military officials said. They have criminal arrest records in the United States."

. . . .

"The records suggest that potential enemies abroad know a great deal about the United States because many of them have lived here, officials said. The matches also reflect the power of sharing data across agencies and even countries, data that links an identity to a distinguishing human characteristic such as a fingerprint."

. . . .

"The FBI team fingerprinted 3,800 fighters. More than 40, Shannon said, had previous criminal records in the agency's database."

"Many of those with U.S. arrest records had come to the United States to study ..."

OH, I'm sure they studied quite hard. And always had a smile on their face for everyone too.

AND in the aftermath of the most recent Westgate Mall Kenya terrorist incident:

"the United States wants autopsy and forensic data, including DNA samples, to help determine if Americans were part of it, the official said."

YES, fingerprints, dental records, DNA samples, etc.

That Somali-based al-Shabaab terror group reportedly having recruited American citizens or legal residents of the United States, persons of Somali ancestry missing from their homes and having traveled to Somalia within the context of waging jihad.

CSI GWOT and it works.


Rockeye & Skeet.

This is coolbert:

First there was Rockeye and now there is Skeet!

Rockeye a cluster bomb "dumb" in contrast to "skeet" which is "smart"!

From the Strategy Page article "Hockey Pucks From Hell" by James Dunnigan

"First used during the 2003 Iraq war, the CBU-105 Sensor Fuzed Weapon is a cluster type bomb that releases 10 29.6 kg (65 pound) BLU-108 submunitions that in turn ejects 4 smaller hockey puck shaped “skeet” robots that seek out and attack armored vehicles . . . The CBU-105 can be used to attack formations of tanks, giving most of the submunitions an opportunity to destroy a vehicle."

Sub-munitions SMART, possessing organic and sophisticated sensors "skeet" or "hockey puck" type weaponry having an anti-armor application. Each "hockey puck" destroying enemy armor by the use of an EXPLOSIVELY FORMED PROJECTILE [EFP]!

That sub-munition detonating above an enemy tank, that EFP firing in a DOWNWARD trajectory, mortal damage to an armored vehicle the result.

"Skeet" detonates ABOVE the target, the EFP projected downward, the EFP a molten blob of copper striking the top most part of the enemy armor vehicle at high velocity.

That concept and tactic for engaging and defeating enemy tanks of course "Skeet" proceeded by Rockeye.

"The CBU-100 Cluster Bomb (also called the Mk-20 Rockeye II) is an American cluster bomb which is employed primarily in an anti-tank mode. It weighs 490 pounds and carries 247 Mk 118 Mod 1 bomblets."

"The anti-tank cluster bomb is an air-launched, conventional free-fall weapon." AND not smart. NOT having organic high-sophisticated sensors. That earlier version of such weaponry the technology not available or felt to be necessary.

"Each bomblet weighs 1.32 pounds (600 g) and has a 0.4-pound (180 g) shaped-charge warhead of high explosives, which produces up to 250,000 psi (1.7 GPa) at the point of impact, allowing penetration of approximately 7.5 inches (190 mm) of armor. Rockeye is most efficiently used against area targets requiring penetration to kill"

Rockeye cluster munitions from that era of the Cold War the usage of which was envisioned as one way to counter those massed formations of Soviet tanks during a breakthrough offensive. The worst nightmare of the NATO alliance, "Big Red" moves west.

Soviet tank divisions, tank armies, groups of tank armies and groups [?] of groups of tank armies terribly arrayed and echeloned, exploiting a rupture of NATO defenses, those massed formations of tanks and inexorable force deemed as unstoppable.

Rockeye seen as one option non-nuclear that had a possibility of countering the Soviet breakthrough. A multitude of shaped charges as released from the cluster bomb striking downward at the top most area of a tank, where the armor is thinnest.

An enemy tank either destroyed by sympathetic secondary explosions OR damage to the engine of the tank such that the armored vehicle rendered immobile.


"Skeet", however, an exportable weapon, being sold in abundance to foreign nations.

"Skeet" as with Rockeye before it having the same value on the battlefield as a tactical nuclear weapon but not an atomic detonation as that term understood. But hardly less deadly!


Wednesday, October 9, 2013


This is coolbert:

From a much earlier edition of  "GUNS and AMMO/JUNE 1975" magazine a description of criminal forensics used during the Rhodesian Bush War.

A technique valuable in the counter-insurgency [COIN] environment:

"Following a contact or killing by terrorists, cartridge cases and bullets are recovered and taken to the B.S.A Police Firearms Examiner in Salisbury for forensic ballistics tests. At the scene of one contact 665 7.62 M43 cases were recovered. Examination disclosed they were fired from one RPD machine gun and six AK's. The Firearms Examiner determines what types of weapons were used, the number used and if any were used in previous attacks. All terrorist weapons captured are test-fired and the bullets viewed through the comparison microscope to determine if they had been used in woundings or killings. The evidence is used in court to try terrorists for murder and assault."

Forensics also as applied to captured or dead enemy and their weaponry in both Iraq and Afghan but more extensive in scope.

Vanquished dead enemy having autopsies done on them, fingerprints taken from bodies and weapons both.

Surprisingly so [?] it having been determined that about 20 % of foreign jihadists killed on the Iraqi or Afghan battlefield having at one time LIVED IN THE UNITED STATES AND DURING THEIR RESIDENCE ARRESTED AND CHARGED WITH A CRIME!

The guerrilla/insurgent/terrorist/fighter in the Rhodesian Bush War categorized as a criminal and not entitled to protections of the Geneva Conventions as they apply to the irregular. And evidence as obtained from ordinary criminal forensics used to convict the irregular.


Sunday, October 6, 2013


This is coolbert:

That war time record [WW2] of the American gangster Salvatore Luciano made public, some aspects of which were not known to me.

The incarcerated "Lucky", as he was called, in 1942, agreeing to contribute resources of the American Mafia in return for more lenient treatment.

Eventually deported to his native Sicily in 1946 the "deal' as struck between organized crime in New York City and the American government a marriage of convenience and expediency, a wartime measure only.

That agreement to include at a minimum:

* Mafia uses resources already in place to guard the docks of NYC from German sabotage.

* NO dockworker union strikes, work stoppages, or slowdowns for the duration of the war.

* Contacts with the Sicilian Mafia made available to American military forces prior to the Operation Husky [the invasion of Sicily].

Luciano moved to a less restrictive prison environment closer to home and allowing for more contact with his gangland associates.

In contrast to the various Black Tom German sabotage explosions of the Great War [WW1], NO German sabotage recorded [?] on American soil during WW2.

Those NYC docks absolutely important to the American war effort running smoothly the entire length of the war, no interruption.

Understand too that the Mafia as might be realized, taking advantage of a situation I might assume, a degree of pilferage and theft from shipments passing through the port of NYC tolerated to an extent.



The Sicilian Mafia cooperative with the allied invasion force, 1943? Facilitators and expediters working "behind the scenes". As was promised by "Lucky" as was delivered?

The magazine article "INVASION OF SICILY" as feature in the "AFTER THE BATTLE" issue number # 77 makes no such mention of such aiding and abetting. Mafia assistance is not something the allies would like to talk about? Perhaps not.


Potez 63.11.

This is coolbert:

Thanks to Freeper and the original article as published almost thirty years ago now in the Air University Review that author Colonel Kirkland.

"The French Air Force In 1940: Was It Defeated by the Luftwaffe or by Politics?"

The French Air Force [Armée de l'Air] during the Battle of France [1940] the performance of which was seen as lackadaisical, incompetent and ineffectual, defeat seen as inevitable NOT necessarily so due to the lack of warplanes or inferior aircraft, but rather doctrinal and tactical considerations.

Among those warplanes in the inventory of the Armée de l'Air that Potez 63.11. An odd but not so totally ungainly warplane the function of which it seems could never be resolved.

"The Potez 630 and its derivatives were a family of twin-engined aircraft developed for the Armée de l'Air in the late 1930s."

Potez described variously as a:

* Heavy fighter.
* Observation plane.
* Night fighter.
* Light bomber.
* Ground attack aircraft.

"the Potez 63.11, the fastest, heaviest, most complex observation plane in the world . . . With twelve machine guns, it was the most heavily armed machine in any air force. Too fast and heavy to land on improvised strips yet too slow to escape German fighters, it was an elegant and graceful coffin for its crews."

Potez however NOT without considerable firepower. That to include:


"(Final armament) 3× fixed forward firing machine guns under fuselage"
"4× fixed, forward firing machine guns under outer wings"
"3× semi fixed, rearward firing machine guns in ventral mount"
"2× flexibly mounted machine guns in aft cockpit"
"Bombs: 4x 50 kg (110 lb) bombs"

NOT having much of a bomb capacity but HAVING AN EXTRAORDINARY AMOUNT OF FIRE POWER for that ground attack role. Potez equipped with twelve light machine guns, seven firing forward, three firing rearward and downward, two for the tail gunner!!

Potez with all that ground attack capability IF employed in massed formations in a concentrated and focused manner against critical German targets during the Battle of France [1940] COULD have made a significant difference? That this did not occur is because why exactly?



This is coolbert:

From the Chicago Tribune as of today thank to the article by Ron Grossman and the original [?] idea of Catherine Tardy.

That Second World War [WW2] those Chicago civilians and the privation as was to become common during the war, commodities normally available in abundance made scarce and as reported in Tribune headlines of the time.


"Homefront life in WWII"














"Sugar Ration? It Won't Be So Bad, City Told"

"Coffee Ration Cut To 1 Pound Every 6 Weeks"

Privation and deprivation not in the European or Oriental sense during the war!

Less of items available. Food items such as sugar, coffee, meat still available and rationed but not a total absence. Less for the family table

For gasoline and tires for cars make do with much less of the former and maybe none of the latter for the duration of the war.

And no sentimentality about feeding your dog either! If you try to feed your dog in the normal manner that means LESS FOR YOU!

Theft of ration books often attributed to the Mafia. If you indeed want to find certain items as were available before the war, that too could be done if you knew the right folks, but beware the punishment if caught.


Friday, October 4, 2013

5th Generation.

This is coolbert:

Thanks to Strategy Page we have an article describing the difficulties with the development of that Russian 5th Generation warplane what it is called. 5th Generation as in JET aircraft.

"The 5th Generation Is Cursed"

That discussion of what constitutes a "generation" and the cost factors most interesting.

"The latest American warplanes, the F-22 and F-35, are often called '5th generation' fighters. This leaves many wondering what the other generations were. The reference is to jet fighters, and the first generation was developed during and right after World War II (German Me-262, British Meteor, U.S. F-80, and Russian MiG-15). These aircraft were, even by the standards of the time, difficult to fly and unreliable (especially the engines). The 2nd generation (1950s) included more reliable but still dangerous to operate aircraft like the F-104 and MiG-21. The 3rd generation (1960s) included F-4 and MiG-23. The 4th generation (1970s) included F-16 and MiG-29. Each generation has been about twice as expensive (on average, in constant dollars) as the previous one. But each generation is also about twice as safe to fly and cheaper to operate. Naturally, each generation is more than twice as effective as the previous one."

My reckoning of the "generations" not agreeing 100 % but not so totally different either.

In my estimation:

First generation those jet fighters prior to the Korean War era. [Me-262]

Second generation those jet fighters of the Korean War era. [F-86]

Third generation those jet fighters of the Vietnam War era. [F-4]

Fourth generation those jet fighters of the post Vietnam War era. [F-16]

And this Fifth generation the current NEW "stealthy" jet warplanes. [F-22]

In a nutshell:

* Each subsequent generation of jet fighter more expensive but the performance just much better as well.

* And not only a better plane but A MUCH MORE LONG LASTING AIRCRAFT AS WELL!

* That jet fighter also no longer merely an air superiority aircraft but having a multi-role mission! Able to do many things well!

Drawbacks to the current 4th and now 5th generation jet fighter planes being:

* Cost so much in some instance [$100 million per F-22] that only a small limited number can ever be procured.

* Time need to manufacture ONE aircraft measured in years. Eighteen months to be exact with a F-15.

[P.S. This blog entry heavily edited from the original.]


Thursday, October 3, 2013


This is coolbert:

In the aftermath of the terrorist massacre in Kenya this very troubling headline and story thanks to Fox News:

"Kenyan Troops Suspected of Shoplifting from Stores Damaged by Terror Attack"

"Jewelry cases smashed. Mobile phones ripped from displays. Cash registers emptied. Alcohol stocks plundered."

"For the second time in two months, poorly paid Kenyan security forces that moved in to control an emergency are being accused of robbing the very property they were supposed to protect. First the troops were accused of looting during a huge fire in August at Nairobi’s main airport."

"Now shop owners at Westgate Mall are returning to their stores after last week’s devastating terrorist attack to find displays ransacked and valuables stolen."

These mall shop owners were interviewed and their outrage very intense.

This was systematic and pervasive looting by Kenyan security forces. Cash registers and safes broken into, major theft occurring, NOT minor pilferage.

Kenyan security forces taking advantage of a situation AND THIS NOT BEING THE FIRST TIME!

And for the victims found dead in the mall, perhaps rings ripped off fingers,  watches removed from wrists, wallets emptied, etc. That too? I fear so.

These Kenyan military contingents supposedly and hopefully so fully trained and ready counter-terrorist and counter-hostage taking units, the personnel of which hand-picked, that selection process and training most meticulous? Troops of the highest possible quality, reliable and trustworthy even to an extreme. You might think so. This is the case? It does make you wonder.

From that era of two hundred years ago, during the Napoleonic Era, theft and looting of dead and wounded on the battlefield quite common.

Those officers especially of noble rank and independent wealth and means, often that wealth of substantial value, taking extreme measures to prevent "being stripped" in the aftermath of their demise.

Soldiers and civilians both guilty of pilferage from the vanquished.

As described by Sir John Keegan in his book "The Face of Battle: [at Waterloo]

"Waterloo prize money for privates amounted to two Pounds English currency [plus a slight more]. Very much larger sums than that - - which equaled forty days pay - - were to be found; however, on the bodies of the dead and wounded, for the only safe storage for valuable in an army without bankers was about the person. Officers knew very well what would happen to their coin and watches once they were hit; hence the fund of stories - - beloved, if misunderstood, by Victorian readers - - of stricken officers sending for their best friends to receive their trinkets . . . but that evening 'plunder was for sale in great quantities, chiefly gold and silver watches, rings, etc.'"

As it was at Waterloo, so it is now in Nairobi, and in time of war, always will be!


108 Chortens.

This is coolbert:

Thanks to the Joseph Rosendo travel log program as seen on public television we have the story of the 108 Chortens.

Dochula Pass, Bhutan, the Arlington cemetery of Bhutan. Bhutan that working kingdom bordering the Himalaya, bordering China, Nepal and India.

Bhutan a small landlocked kingdom of only 600,000 persons, now an exotic but popular tourist destination AND THAT ONE PLACE IN THE WORLD YOU MIGHT THINK IS EXEMPT FROM CONFLICT, STRIFE AND WAR.

It can even be suggested that Bhutan is the modern-day version of the fictional Shangri-La:

"Shangri-La is a fictional place described in the 1933 novel Lost Horizon by British author James Hilton . . . Shangri-La has become synonymous with any earthly paradise, and particularly a mythical Himalayan utopia — a permanently happy land, isolated from the outside world."

But not necessarily ALWAYS SO!

Those 108 chortans commemorating the death of Bhutanese soldiers only recently as of 2003 battlefield deaths, their loss memorialized.

"chor·ten - - noun  (in Tibet) a monument to a distinguished Buddhist, especially a lama."

That "volunteer army" of Bhutan self-described [Bhutan under normal circumstances does not have a standing military force] expelling an invading force of insurgents [Assamese] in conflict with the New Delhi central government of India.

Those Assamese seeking and creating a privileged sanctuary, this to be denied, the Bhutanese cherishing their liberty and freedom as an independent kingdom.

"the most intriguing landmark of this place is the newly constructed 108 chortens. The Chortens were built in 2005 as an atonement for the loss of life caused by the flushing out of Assamese militants in southern Bhutan"

Those chortens in true Buddhist style not exalting victory but rather accentuating sorrow "commemorate the deceased"!

"The 108 chortens were built by Queen Mother to honor the Bhutanese soldiers who were killed when fighting the Indian rebels in 2003. Bhutan was forced to repel the rebels as failing to do so, India threatened to enter the country to do so themselves. The 4th King led a volunteer army of about 7,000 men to force the rebels to exit the country. Though Bhutanese have wanted to build this chortens to mark the victory of Bhutanese army, the King has rejected this offer and instead uses the chortens to commemorate the deceased."

From the South Asia Terrorism Portal [SATP] we have the timeline and assessment of the situation in Bhutan:

"Timeline Bhutan Year 2011"

"Bhutan Prime Minister Lyonchhen Jigmi Thinley said that law-breakers from Assam, especially militant groups including the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), will not be allowed to take refuge in his country."

"The Shangri-La like cocooned existence of Bhutan is now under grave threat. The spreading influence of the electronic media and the convergence of democratic ideals among the middle class that transcends ethnic divisions threaten to come into conflict with entrenched vested interests within the royal establishment.".

"You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars . . . For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: - -   Matthew 24:6"

"War and rumor of war". Even in Bhutan it is so!