Sunday, March 30, 2014

Soldaten VI.

This is coolbert:

Commissar?
Continuing with extracts and comments from the book: "Life of a Nazi Soldier".

That Nazi [German] military man during the Second World War [WW2] for the most part speaking quite freely and open among themselves? Fealty, loyalty and allegiance to the fascist cause and Adolph Hitler not totally unconditional and without reservation or qualification?

"In the hospital we hear about the attempt to assassinate the Fuhrer. Although there are SS-officers here as well, we all discuss things quite openly. They are front line soldiers  the same as us, not the Black SS . . . Even the SS men reckon that if we manage to win the war the party will to be dealt with afterwards. Most of them don't agree with the assassination attempt, but the prevailing opinions is that the Generals are at fault for relinquishing their famed leadership to qualities to the so-called 'Greatest Military Leader of all Time.'"

There did not exist during WW2 within the Nazi [German] military machine an individual or apparatus analogous to the Red Commissar or the political officer hierarchy as found in the Soviet Red Army?

Of such I am unfamiliar with. Devoted readers to the blog know better?

The Red Commissar a 100 % sincere and convinced communist "embedded" with [that term "embedded" would not have been used at the time] the troops and whose mission was an advocate of the communist cause, deviation from the party [communist] line impermissible.

That Red Commissar issuing forth a continuous stream of exhortations and admonitions ALSO maintaining on behalf of the party [communist] the loyalty and political reliability of the Red Army soldiers, an ever vigilant contingent of spies, informers and "stool pigeons" within the ranks ever on alert for even the slightest and most innocuous deviation from the norms as were stated party doctrine!

For some reason the Nazi [German] military did not require a fascist commissar?

Again, someone knows better?

coolbert.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Soldaten V.

This is coolbert:

Rommel!!

Continuing with extracts and comments from the book: "Life of a Nazi Soldier".

"The Rommel Phenomenon"

1. The mystique of Irwin Rommel and the man himself almost a living legend during that particular  period of the Second World War [WW2].

"There exists a real danger that . . . Rommel is becoming a kind of magician or bogeyman to our troops, who are talking far too much about him. He is by no means a superman, although he is undoubtedly very energetic and able. Even if he were a superman, it would be highly undesirable that our men should credit him with supernatural powers. . . . The important thing now is to see that we do not always talk of Rommel when we mean the enemy in Libya."- -  Auchinleck.

Auchinleck, commander of British Empire troops in north Africa and in opposition to the Axis forces led by Rommel.

That success of  Rommel in measure due to American cryptographic insecurity, those TOP SECRET messages of the U.S. military attache' in Cairo [Bonner Fellers] intercepted and read in real time by the Axis. NOTHING SUPERNATURAL ABOUT IT!

"Fellers' radiograms provided detailed information about troop movements and equipment to the Axis. The information was extensive and timely to the Axis powers . . . Beginning in January 1942 information about the numbers and condition of British forces was provided to General Rommel the famed German commander in Africa. He could thus plan his operations with reliable knowledge of what the opposing forces were."

2. From that prior blog entry the question as asked:

"I suppose that those Italians bolstered by the presence of the Afrika Korps? Of this I am unsure."

And here we have the answer:

"the Africa Korps suffered 2,500 casualties in the Battle of Tobruk. They captured 2,000 vehicles - - including 30 British tanks - - 400 guns, 2,000 tons of fuel, 5,000 tons of provisions, and many tons of ammunition. According to historian Kenneth MacKsey, it was 'the greatest victory Rommel would ever win.'"

The garrison of Tobruk surrendering [1942] to Italians BUT evidently a very significant German presence and all Axis forces apparently under the command of Rommel.

Rommel also seen as a CLEAN FIGHTER, CHIVALROUS ALMOST, A WORTHY OPPONENT DESERVING OF RESPECT!

coolbert.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Soldaten IV.

This is coolbert:

Continuing with extracts and comment from the book: "Life of a Nazi Soldier":

France, 1940.

Dolce vita! The sweet life!

"Army of Occupation: Training and Waiting"

The German during that initial conquest and occupation of France ordered to behave proper and doing so!

"Board and Room"

"The French people in Caude' were living quite well, considerably better than the German population in big cities. We lived better in Caude' than I had at home on convalescent leave. In Germany, everything was rationed - - food, clothing, gasoline, etc. But in Caude', we could go to restaurants and get anything we wanted without ration cards. We could buy any food we wanted from local farmers."

"Contact with Civilians"

"The German soldiers were under orders to be polite, and so they were . . . The Germans kept themselves on a short leash in Brittany. Two months earlier in Poland they had behaved quite differently. In Port-Blanc [France] they did everything they could to curry favor. They avoided going into homes, so when they had to, did it deferentially. They have candy to the children. In shops or farms they paid a bit more than the going rate for whatever they bought. This was easy for them because the authorities had decreed the mark to be worth twenty franc, so that 'Fritz' was rich and could send his family in Germany things now inaccessible to the French. The message the Germans wanted to get across was on poster they'd put up all over town showing a Nazi soldier carrying a toddler. The caption read: 'Put your trust in German soldiers.'" - - Claire Chevrillon

During those four years of occupation about four hundred French women subjected to rape by German soldiers. In those initial months following the Allied invasion of Normandy [1944] about FOUR THOUSAND FRENCH WOMEN RAPED BY AMERICAN AND BRITISH SOLDIERS!

That contrast in behavior undeniable and most shameful!


coolbert.

Soldaten III.

This is coolbert:

Continuing with extracts and comment from the book: "Life of a Nazi Soldier":

Tanks!

1. From Len Deighton in his book "Blitzkrieg":

"While the [Panzer] I and II were too flimsy and primitive, the Panzer III and IV designs overcompensated for these failing. They were complex machines that gave too many problems to the engineering department and often had to go back to the factory for repairs . . . The scarcity of the [Panzer} III and IV's make it now seem very doubtful whether any attack against France in 1940 would have been contemplated without the resources the Germans gained [when they invaded] Czechoslovakia . . . Discounting lightweight German training tanks,  no less than one-third of the German armor used against France originated in Czech factories."

 
Czech tanks of the period. As manufactured at the famous Skoda works perhaps. Czech weapons designs always highly regarded and well-built, robust.

This was an unknown to me and most surprising.

We have to be absolutely sure we understand this clearly. A minimum of one-third [1/3] of those tanks used by the German during the Battle of France [1940] NOT GERMAN VEHICLES. Of Czech manufacture and captured intact during the German seizure and occupation of Czechoslovakia [1938].

ONLY THE PRESENCE OF THOSE CZECH TANKS IN LARGE NUMBERS MANNED BY GERMAN TROOPS ALLOWING THE BLITZKRIEG ON FRANCE TO PROCEED AS PLANNED!!


2. Surprise and Speed.

"And important element of  blitzkrieg was surprise. Often even German soldiers themselves were unsure of their mission until the last moment."

"Officially we were to take part in 'grand maneuvers under combat conditions.' Although live ammunition was being carried we were issued only blanks . . ." - - Hans Luck, tank commander.

During the most tense period of the Cold War Soviet divisions of Group Soviet Forces Germany in the habit of rolling out of camp and making a pell-mell dash for the border dividing West and East Germany. Those Soviet armor units fully equipped and armed with a thirty day supply of gas and ammo. LOADED and COCKED as they say.

Neither NATO or Warsaw Pact forces knowing until the last possible second if such a deployment was for real for merely for show!

coolbert.




Soldaten II.

This is coolbert:

Continuing with extracts and comments from the book: "Life of a Nazi Soldier":

Yellow! Gilt! GOLD!

1. "The Treaty of Versailles"

"In the Road to War by Richard Overy and Andrew Wheatcroft"

"The reality faced by the German delegation in France exceeded even the most pessimistic expectations. The envoys were placed in an isolated hotel surrounded by barbed wire
 . . . .

"the German government should undertake to pay in reparation . . . 132 billion gold marks, the schedule of payments drawn up in 1921 would have burdened the German economy until 1988."

That peace treat not really a negotiated settlement as the word negotiated normally, ordinarily and commonly understood.

German diplomats treated shabbily, in violation of common, ordinary, and normal diplomatic protocols!

War reparations, the indemnity as the German was required to pay enormous. In contrast, the French made to pay and indemnity of three billion gold Francs in the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. Understandably, that war of 1870 not global and not lasting for over four years!

Those victorious allied powers of course insisting that the German pay with GOLD marks and not Weimar Republic funny printed money!

2. The Nazi movement.

In the 1930's, few outside of Germany understood the source of Nazi power and the danger it posed, and so the rest of Europe and the United States were unprepared for war. But as Robert Boothby, and adviser to British prime minister Winston Churchill wrote in March 1940, the Nazis were not merely a political party but a 'movement - - young, virile, dynamic, and violent - - which is advancing irresistibly to overthrow a decaying old world . . . . [I]t is a the source of the Nazi strength and power.'"

YES, the fascists not seen as necessary reactionary but as a movement almost revolutionary. And properly understood as such. Reactionaries want to return to the old ways which the Nazi regime certainly did not!

Fascism seen as an alternative in the aftermath of the Great War to the decaying, decadent capitalist, democratic and Christian old Europe.

3. The fanatic!

"Simply maintaining a decent level of morale and knowing how to handle a weapon will no longer be enough. You will also require a very great deal of courage, of perseverance and endurance and of resistance in any situation . . . We need men, and not pitiful specimens like you. I must warn you that everything here is hard, nothing is forgiven, and that everyone in consequence must have quick reflexes . . . " - - Captain Fink lecturing recruits of the Grossdeutschland Division.

 
Here one of those pitiful specimens as described by Captain Fink. Looks about as I did in 1966!

The Panzer-Grenadier-Division Grossdeutschland  . . . was an elite combat unit of the Heer that fought on the Eastern Front in World War II. The GroƟdeutschland was considered to be the premier unit of the German Army and as such it was one of the best-equipped units of the Heer, receiving equipment before almost all other units.

Heer not only demanding a soldier that was adequate in all task, marching, wearing the uniform correctly, firing the rifle with a degree of accuracy, but a troop that was superior to the allied counter-part. NOT necessarily a FANATIC but a troop able to perform his mission faster, better, and more ably than any adversary.

Of Grossdeutschland I know little. Was Heer [army] but an elite so the expectations as demanded of the recruit were not indicative of other army units as a whole?

GOOD was no longer GOOD enough!!

coolbert.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Soldaten I.

This is coolbert:

Here begins a series of blog entries, extracts and comments from the book: "Life of a Nazi Soldier". Described as a book for young adults but I think much more. Some interesting facts, anecdotal accounts and quotations from German participants of the Second World War [WW2].

That title and use of the term NAZI soldier, soldier as that term understood NOT confined to hard-core adherents of the German fascist regime.

Any and all participants armed and belonging to military style organizations deemed as a "Nazi" soldier for the purpose of "Life as a Nazi Soldier".

Nazi soldiers belonging to:

* The Wehrmacht.

> Army. Heer.
> Navy. Kriegsmarine.
> Airforce. Luftwaffe.

* The SS Schutzstaffeln.

> General SS.
> Waffen SS.
> Death's Head.

* Ordnungpolizei. Order Police.

Also those German institutions also  having a paramilitary or quasi-military nature during the fascist period:

* Universal Service.

> Hitler Youth.
> Labor Service.
> League of German Girls.

1. Death's Head those SS units devoted to the concentration and death camps.

2. Wehrmacht the traditional military fighting services.

3. Labor Service analogous to the American Civilian Conservation Corps during that same period. Young men providing useful labor of national interest. Normal hard pick and shovel out-of-doors and under-the-sun labor, erosion control, unskilled type of manual work, the body of personnel organized along military lines, communal living, OFTEN ESTABLISHED, SUPERVISED AND RUN BY ACTIVE DUTY SERVING OFFICERS.

4. Ordnungpolizei I am only very vaguely familiar with. German civilian police organized along paramilitary and quasi-military lines and responsible for enforcing edicts and promulgations of the German authorities in occupied territories. Head-knockers!

"I have a reactionary army, a National Socialist Air Force, and a Christian Navy" - - A. Hitler.

And so much more too!

coolbert.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Baltics.

This is coolbert:

The American Chairman of the Joint Chiefs has reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to NATO obligations and done most decidedly so [?] with regard to the Baltic states!

This speech of the Chairman before the Atlantic Council in response to the Ukraine crisis from two weeks ago now I was not aware of.

"Dempsey: US Military Will Fulfill Treaty Obligations to NATO Allies"

Those treaty obligations Article Five of the NATO charter. An attack on any constituent member of NATO is an attack on all members of NATO.

    "The U.S. military is prepared to back up NATO if the unrest in Ukraine escalates, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey said Friday."
. . . .

"'But remember,' he added, 'we do have treaty obligations with our NATO allies. And I have assured them that if that treaty obligation is triggered, we would respond. . . .'"

"Dempsey cautioned, 'If Russia is allowed to do this, which is to say move into a sovereign country under the guise of protecting ethnic Russians in Ukraine, it exposes Eastern Europe to some significant risk, because there are ethnic enclaves all over Eastern Europe and the Balkans.'"

That most extreme case the Russian speaking minority of Latvia. Of the two and one-half million residents of Latvia, about one-third Russian speakers and a very restive and disgruntled minority at that. Latvia a member of NATO!

 As has been noted by Colonel Austin Bay:

"The U.S. withdrew its last tanks from Germany in 2013."

As Mao would have said some time ago: "You paper tiger!"

coolbert.

Lavi.

This is coolbert:

"the Italians have very good brains, the brains of great inventors"

That dual combat/trainer Italian aircraft with very high performance now being accepted into the Israeli arsenal.

The M-346. Referred to by the Israeli as the Lavi.

"Defense Ministry receives Lavi military training jet from Italy"

"Israel receives first M-346 air force training jet from Italy • After serving the Israeli Air Force for 45 years, the American Skyhawk military jets will be replaced with the Italian aircraft • Plane rolled out in ceremony is part of billion dollar deal with ltaly."



Here a Lavi with Israeli markings. The plane LOOKS SHARP! And has that dual and very credible capability. Cost efficient and effective both!

And replacing the American A-4 Skyhawk. That A-4 a workhorse of the IAF [Israeli Air Force] for many decades.

I might assume the A-4 in the hands of Israeli aviation ordnance having under gone many modifications. The plane as used for that length of time [45 years] not EVEN resembling the original warplane as flown by American combat aviators.

And don't think all those existing Israeli Skyhawk will merely be scrapped and relegated to the trash heap. Some will be export to who knows where?

coolbert.



Thursday, March 20, 2014

Confrontation!

 This is coolbert:

Thanks once more to Strategy Page and Colonel Austin Bay we have commentary and suggestions as to not necessarily resolve the Crimean situation but rather as further measures to counter what is now perhaps correctly perceived as Russian expansionism in eastern Europe and hegemony of same.

"On Point"

"Options for Confronting Putin's Three Cold Facts" by [Colonel] Austin Bay March 18, 2014

"The legacy of aggression, annexation and expansion by a major European power is mass slaughter across the Continent and, in the 20th century, global war."

"Russian hard-power aggression, annexation and expansion require a hard-power response. Here are some I recommend: (1) We can't flip-flop NATO Article 5, NATO's commitment to mutual defense. The U.S. must demonstrate it takes its NATO obligations seriously. So, deploy U.S. troops to Poland. The U.S. withdrew its last tanks from Germany in 2013. The Poland garrison needs a U.S. armor brigade. (2) Cancel all defense budget cuts. Faculty club snark aside, peace through strength means something. (3) Open federal lands to natural gas 'fracking' and start shipping gas to Europe. Undermining Russian gas sales is a real economic sanction. (4) Arm the Baltic nations. They are also NATO allies. And (5) deploy the GBI's to Poland, and build a more robust missile defense system. As for permanently deploying U.S. Patriot PAC-3 short-range anti-missile missiles in Poland -- that's an idea whose time has come."

Those Baltic nations in particular very wary of the Russian and only several days ago Vice President Biden having made a special trip to the area, assurances given of NATO and American support.  Latvia most of all having a large and restive Russian-speaking population! Letts beware!

In 1939 it was the Danzig Corridor, Lebensraum. In 2014 it can be described as what exactly?

Such actions as advocated by Colonel Bay bound to create hostility in some quarters. ONLY it will be thought dumping gasoline on the fire and creating agitation where cooler heads need to prevail?

coolbert.





Type 035G.

This is coolbert:

First there was Type XXI, then there was Whiskey and then there was Romeo.

Romeo beget Type 033 which became Type 035G.

Seventy years now and counting and still going strong. Thanks to Strategy Page for the tip.

"Submarines: Nazi U-Boats Prowl The Coasts Of Asia"

   "March 12, 2014: After over a decade of effort China has finally found export customers for its diesel-electric submarines. In December 2013 China agreed to sell Bangladesh two Type 035G subs for $103 million each . . . The Type 035Gs are to be delivered within five years, indicating that these will be newly built."

"The Type 035Gs are so cheap because they are an old design that actually goes all the way back to World War II. The Chinese, with their typical persistence have kept tweaking and improving that design. For China it all began in the 1960s with their Type 33 boats. These were copies of the Russian Romeo class which was the successor to the Whiskey class boats, which were, in turn, based on the German Type XXI. The German design first showed up in 1943, and was the first modern submarine in that it was designed to spend most of its time underwater"

Chinese export $100 million per copy and cheap. Has to be for a poverty stricken nation such as Bangladesh.

Understand that these are going to be NEWLY BUILT SUBMARINES AND THAT BASIC DESIGN FROM SEVENTY YEARS AGO. NOT merely a refurbished boat.

I might think that Bangladesh has a very limited role for a navy much less submarines. Patrolling, surveillance, strictly defensive type of warfare.

The Chinese Type 035G equipped with improved electronics, engines, batteries, able to fire torpedoes and MISSILES both of an advanced variety. But that basic submersible design from the original German XXI boat of WW2!

Adequate for the task and very cost efficient for the mission as envisioned? I think so.

Even your average every-day dot.com billionaire could afford half a dozen or so of these naval vessels. Any takers?

coolbert.



Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Cowards?

This is coolbert:

From a Daily Mail article by Mr. Max Hastings in 2009:

"After a series of military defeats even Churchill started to fear that our Army was simply too yellow to fight"

The English perceived by some during that period of the Second World War [WW2] as a bunch of yellow-bellied cowards not willing to fight the Axis forces, and even when in mortal combat, not showing that necessary resolve, quite inept and un-professional, pathetic?

Especially so in the aftermath of Singapore, Tobruk, Dieppe, the Channel Dash!

This too from Mr. Hastings. Those troops in contact with the Axis forces in north Africa particularly defeatist, terrible when contrasted with the highly motivated and ably led German contingents of the Afrika Korps.

"As for the rear echelons in North Africa, these were a disgrace. Among staff officers at headquarters in Cairo, a sybaritic lifestyle flourished, reminiscent of the 'cha‚teau generalship' of World War I."

Sybaritic: "1. pertaining to or characteristic of a sybarite; characterized by or loving luxury or sensuous pleasure: to wallow in sybaritic splendor."

"Among the men, sloth and corruption flourished. Tens of thousands of British soldiers in base camps were allowed to pursue their own lazy routines, selling stores, fuel and even trucks for private profit."

Pilferage and theft of war munitions and military stores by supply, service and logistical personnel seems to be a common during WW2? The black market provided a means for poorly paid troops to become if not rich at least wealthy? Even IF AT THE EXPENSE OF THEIR OWN COMPATRIOTS AND OFTEN IN LEAGUE WITH LOCAL CRIMINAL ELEMENTS!

The English did it, the Americans did it, I suppose just about everyone did it. Any devoted reader to the blog know of an exception to the rule?

Mr. Hastings not only on this single occasion disparaging those troops of England and the British Empire. Also did the same for the Australians as was the topic of a previous blog entry.

As to the question of the English being a bunch of yellow-bellied cowards unwilling to fight for their own survival. NO! Emphatically NO! For a period of time during WW2 the British stood more or less alone arrayed against the Axis and held the line and did so quite bravely.

coolbert.

Monday, March 17, 2014

SEALs.

This is coolbert:

From Jungle Trader and as was seen on the evening news tonight:

Mediterranean Sea
American Forces Press Service:
"American forces yesterday boarded and took control of a commercial tanker ship that was seized earlier this month by three armed Libyans, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a Defense Department news release issued today." 
"'No one was hurt tonight when U.S. forces, at the request of both the Libyan and Cypriot governments, boarded and took control of the commercial tanker Morning Glory, a stateless vessel seized earlier this month by three armed Libyans,' Kirby said in the release."
"The boarding operation, approved by President Barack Obama and conducted just after 10 p.m. EDT on March 16 in international waters southeast of Cyprus, was executed by a team of U.S. Navy SEALs attached to Special Operations Command Europe, Kirby added. "

American SEAL contingents outstanding in all cases.

More piracy thwarted. This time in the Mediterranean. Within recent memory to my knowledge the scourge of international piracy for the FIRST TIME occurring  AND NOT SEEN SINCE THE DAYS OF THE BARBARY PIRATES!!

As had been predicted by the British Admiral Parry and now having come to pass.

SEALs outstanding and outstanding SEALs!!

coolbert.



 

Montgomery!

This is coolbert:

"This is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." - - Churchill.

That victory of the British Eighth Army under Montgomery at El Alamein the significance within the context of Singapore, Tobruk, Dieppe and the Channel Dash cannot be over estimated.

Montgomery too in the aftermath of the battle [correctly called the Second Battle of El Alamein] a HERO deserved of adulation. The man as a commander DID succeed where others did not.

Bernard Law Montgomery most controversial from that period of World War Two [WW2] and best understood as a very capable and very able combat commander but in light of Goodwood, Market Garden and the failure to clear the Scheldt Estuary in an expeditious manner not so absolutely spectacular?

 
Need I say here who Montgomery is? The man did have a sense of image and was able to cultivate same and do so with panache'! Sir John Keegan of the opinion that those most successful military commanders able to use theatrics to their advantage. As was Bernard Law Montgomery.

Montgomery was made of stern stuff this assuredly so! A commander in a manner as would have been approved of by Sun Tzu from twenty-five hundred years earlier?

From the David Irving book "The War Between The Generals" Chapter 14 "Lord Mighty in Battle" this exchange between Churchill and Montgomery:

"'I understand , sir,' he said, 'that you want to discuss with my staff the proportion of soldiers to vehicles landing on the beaches . . . I cannot allow you to do so. My staff advises me and I given the final decision. They then do what I tell them. That final decision has been given. In any case I could never allow you to harass my staff at this time and possibly shake their confidence in me . . .'" - - B. L. Montgomery.

"Having once received His Majesty's commission to be general of his forces, there are certain commands of His Majesty which, acting in that capacity, I am unable to accept." - - Sun Tzu.

Montgomery understanding full well the role of the commander in war time, the chain of command and the proper authority to make military decisions NOT within the purview of the political authority.

Also from Churchill:

"It may almost be said, Before Alamein we never had a victory. After Alamein we never had a defeat.'"

ALMOST!  IN the aftermath of El Alamein the Dodecanese Campaign an English failure.

coolbert.

Caesar.

This is coolbert:

Once more from the "Visions of Empire" blog we have extracts and commentary:

The amphibious invasion of Britain by the Romans. As lead by the divine Julius [Caesar] himself.

Those Roman troops going ashore as in their particular fashion heavily encumbered with armor, shield, sword, other impedimenta, not able to make progress as they waded through the shallows, the situation uncertain, in doubt.

"The first amphibious assault in history? "

"Caesar’s own narrative of this campaign describes one of the earliest amphibious assaults in history, in that the landing had to overcome opposition on the beach itself:"

As it was for the American troops landing on Omaha Beach so was it too for the Romans two thousand years earlier.

And the solution would have the same in either case?

Lightly laden and armed shock troops, ranger/commando/special operations type units to go ashore first, during hours of darkness preferably, seize and hold the beach head!

That path ashore for the heavy infantry greatly facilitated.

AS HAD BEEN THE RECOMMENDATION OF NORMAN COTA PRIOR TO D-DAY, 1944.

The Romans had units of the ranger/commando/special operations type? Anyone know of this?

Again, thank you Visions of Empire.

coolbert.

J.C. Wylie.

This is coolbert:

From the "Visions of Empire" blog we have extracts and commentary.

An American military theoretician whom I was not even the slightest familiar with. A man in the same category as a Fuller, a Boyd, a Shaposhnikov?

"J.C. Wylie: American Clausewitz?"

"Much as a single diamond is sifted from tons of worthless gravel and rock, out of the voluminous writings of America’s strategic 'golden age' stands a concise, little-known, and remarkable work: Rear Admiral J.C. Wylie’s 'Military Strategy: A General Theory of Power Control'. The British writer Colin Gray regards Wylie as one of the best strategic thinkers since Clausewitz, though like all of humanity, he still falls short of the Prussian Master."

The four assumptions of Wylie are:

1. "There may be a war, despite all efforts to prevent it."
2. "The aim of war is some measure of control over the enemy."
3. "We cannot predict with certainty the pattern of the war for which we prepare ourselves."
4. "The ultimate determinant in war is the man on the scene with the gun."

"Also notable is Wylie’s observation that strategy comes in two forms: sequential and cumulative.
hypothetical future wars and see if we can apply Power Control effectively."

Those three most probably "flash points" for conflict involving American forces as it exists now to include:

* "U.S. vs China - The most likely flash point for a U.S.-China war is a Chinese invasion and/or blockade of Taiwan in an effort to establish Beijing’s sovereignty over the island."

* "U.S. vs North Korea – Totalitarian regimes are prone to very rash decisions."

* "U.S. vs Iran – Any conflict between the U.S. and Iran would probably concern a U.S. attempt to destroy Iran’s nuclear weapons program."

NOT so much conflict between the United States and China over Taiwan as conflict involving some "damned fool thing" in the South China Sea? 

As a theoretician Wylie places great emphasis on establishing the initiative and maintaining the initiative? Make the enemy respond to you and not the other way around. CONTROL!

I recommend the Visions of Empire blog without qualification.

coolbert.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Channel Dash.

This is coolbert:

British defeat during that war year of 1942 of course not strictly confined to those events as transpiring at Singapore, Tobruk, Dieppe.

Think also the Channel Dash.

German major warships, two battle cruisers and one heavy cruiser with accompanying vessels  in transit of the English Channel able to run a  British gauntlet and do so quite successfully, against all efforts of the English to stop the German warships.

 "The Channel Dash, codenamed Operation Cerberus by the Germans, was a major naval engagement during World War II in which a German Kriegsmarine squadron consisting of both Scharnhorst-class battleships, and heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen along with escorts, ran a British blockade and successfully sailed from Brest in Brittany to their home bases in Germany via the English Channel."

. . . .

"The Channel Dash remains the only occasion since the Anglo-Dutch Wars that enemy warships have successfully traversed the English Channel."

THEY DON'T CALL IT THE ENGLISH CHANNEL FOR NOTHING!

The Royal Navy [RN] with big time egg on their face, and especially in the aftermath of the sinking of the Repulse and Prince of Wales by the Japanese at Singapore, even that most hallowed of British  military institutions seen as inept and ineffectual. Bertram Ramsay of course the English commander of the hour subsequently in charge of all  naval forces during the Normandy landings [D-Day].

So much at once. NO wonder Churchill despaired.

coolbert.

Memorandum.

This is coolbert:

As was discussed on the News Hour last night.

As is found at the wiki.

Info concerning the Budapest Memorandum.

I had forgotten all about this one. NOT legally binding [?] on the participants but nonetheless from twenty years ago most important given the current crisis in Ukraine.

That Budapest Memorandum giving "assurances" as to the integrity of Ukraine in return for the dismantling and relinquishment of a nuclear weapons capacity.

"The Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances is a political agreement signed in Budapest, Hungary on 5 December 1994, providing security assurances by its signatories relating to Ukraine's accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The Memorandum was originally signed by three nuclear-powers, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom. China and France later gave individual statements of assurance as well."

"The memorandum included security assurances against threats or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine as well as those of Belarus and Kazakhstan. As a result Ukraine gave up the world's third largest nuclear weapons stockpile between 1994 and 1996."

"Following the 2014 Crimean crisis, the U.S. stated that Russian involvement is in breach of its obligations to Ukraine under the Budapest Memorandum, and in clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity."

And as to the assurances, where do we go from here? Sanctions are a type of reprisal in response to clear breaches of the agreement? Expect nothing more?

So there is a legal basis or quasi-legal basis to the disagreement over Ukraine territoriality and sovereignty. NOT however a memorandum having the same status as a treaty? And expert out there understands this better?

coolbert.



Friday, March 14, 2014

Missing?

This is coolbert:

With regard to the missing Malaysian airliner, some comment on the topic from an acknowledged aviation authority, more or less copied in entirety.

It now accepted that the missing airliner FLEW FOR FOUR HOURS AFTER HAVING DISAPPEARED FROM RADAR CONTACT. PINGS FROM THE AIRCRAFT ENGINES, AUTOMATED DATA TRANSMISSIONS REGARDING PERFORMANCE RECEIVED AS IF NOTHING WAS AMISS!!

"I've been postulating my own theory, based on prior history of disappearing airplanes."

"There are a few instances where planes at altitude just seemed to fly on without the pilots responding to air controller calls. It became apparent the planes were on auto-pilot and their crews--and passengers--were unconscious or dead. In most cases, the air cooling system malfunctioned, feeding contaminants into the oxygen system (like carbon monoxide from the engines--the cooling systems in my day were always fed off the 17th stage of the compressors in the engines, making it probable that a leak could add some really dangerous fumes, perhaps without anyone noticing). In other cases, the plane gradually depressurized such that the automatic warning systems did not react as the passengers and crew gradually 'fell asleep' from lack of oxygen."

"The planes continued flying, crew less, for hours, until their fuel ran out and they were observed to dive to the sea or ground when the engines flamed out. In those cases, fighter planes were flown alongside the errant airplanes, where the military pilots could see into the cockpits and see everyone apparently 'asleep'--or dead. Nothing could prevent the inevitable end - the fighter crews could only accompany the planes until they crashed. One had a famous golf pro [Payne Stewart] and his entourage, another was a Boeing KC-135 (like the Boeing 707) Air Force refueling tanker."

"The missing Malaysia plane seems to have one of three possibilities":

"1) hijack"
"2) cockpit contamination or depressurization, as I mentioned"
"3) sudden, catastrophic explosion."

"With the first, it is likely that hijackers would be announcing their goals or, as in 9/11, trying to fly into some significant target to make their political statement. Additionally, virtually every passenger would likely have had cell phones. If the hijackers confiscated them, it is probable that not all would be found immediately, giving a passenger time to get a call or text off--even if out of a reception zone, a text message would 'hold' until a tower was in range, and sent, or so it would seem."

"With the last, there should have been wreckage scattered for a distance, leaving some kind of pattern or trail to be found."

"But with reports now of continued 'pinging' and possible continued flight, the first two options are most likely. And the problems mentioned with item (1) hijack would seem to mitigate against that possibility. So that leaves item 2 as most probable, in my opinion."

Personally, my [Bert] instantaneous reaction was that this was a hijack. Within the context of the recent Uighur knife attack in Kunming and that the preponderance of the airliner passengers were Chinese nationals en route to Beijing this seemed reasonable to me.

The one-two punch.

But now, one can infer further and have second thoughts.

And it is all so strange!! And thank you acknowledged aviation authority.

coolbert.

Tobruk 1942.

This is coolbert:

From the era of the Second World War [WW2] also this instance of British defeat.

Tobruk, 1942.

"the Tobruk garrison. In addition to the division's two South African brigades . . . also had 201st Guards (Motorised), 11th Indian Infantry Brigade, 32nd Army Tank and 4th Anti-Aircraft Brigades under command.[51] Tobruk had previously withstood a siege of nine months before being relieved . . . in December 1941"

That entire British garrison having "withstood a siege of nine months" subsequently a surrender en masse of thirty thousand troops occurring.

". . . on 21 June 1942, in circumstances that even with the benefit of a subsequent formal court of enquiry remain obscure and contradictory, 35,000 Allied troops (including the entire South African 2nd Division) surrendered to General Enea Navarrini's 30,000 [Italian] troops."

Churchill himself having taken particular note of this disaster, "thirty thousand SEASONED troops surrendering to an enemy contingent only HALF their number".

That enemy contingent of "only HALF their number" questionable.

Surrender to the Italians too most humiliating!

Think too not necessarily that garrison strictly of Englishmen. Units from all areas of the British Empire. NOT strictly Englishmen. Tobruk the surrender of which considered to be the worst defeat in the history of the South African military!

Nine months of siege and then inexplicably the whole defense falls apart? And for this no reasonable explanation can be given or was understood?

I suppose that those Italians bolstered by the presence of the Afrika Korps? Of this I am unsure.

coolbert.

Frenchmen?

This is coolbert:

Yet once more from the List Verse web site with extracts and commentary:

"10 Blunderful Moments In French Military History"

The invasion of England during the Napoleonic Era. An amphibious assault the results almost comical in nature.

Mercenary "soldiers" better referred to as guttersnipes, men of low repute, an invasion force doing the biding of the French, but not successful, rather the opposite.

This was:
 
# 7 Fishguard, 1797.

"William Tate, who had fought against the British during the American Revolution. Tate’s army was a motley assortment of slaves, convicts, and prisoners of war. Still, there were 1,800 of them and they were well-armed. But, as this was Fishguard, there was no one to fight. Tate took a position outside the town and set his men to foraging, but Tate’s brigade instead took the opportunity to gulp down plundered wine. Drunk and disorderly Frenchmen [?] traipsed through Fishguard, and at least a dozen were captured by a single Welsh woman with a pitchfork."

This an instance reminiscent of the Ottoman Empire and the use in combat of the bashi bazooks?

Criminal elements released from prison strictly for the purpose of waging war, wages of the participants understood in that amount of PLUNDER that could be obtained.

Slaves, convicts, prisoners of war even when organized into military or quasi-military units NEVER able to perform in a RELIABLE manner, undisciplined and quite often a greater danger to their own officers than to the enemy. Persons the character and mental attitude deplorable in the extreme, the effort of such "units" counter-productive in most instances.

coolbert.

Blunders!

This is coolbert:

Once more as extracted from the List Verse web site with comment we have:

"10 Blunderful Moments In French Military History"

# 10 Courtrai, 1302. 

# 9 Crecy, 1346.

# 8 Nicopolis, 1396.

Shameful and disastrous French military defeats in each and every case. At least Crecy I was aware of, the others not.

In each instance too, massed heavy cavalry, men-at-arms, the armored knight on horseback attacking men-a-foot [infantry].

Those men-at-arms in most cases persons with noble rank, well equipped for mortal combat but eschewing proper tactics, rather engaging in foolish and ill considered frontal assaults against a defender armed in a proper manner and fighting from improved and prepared positions advantageous to the infantryman of the day.

Think not however, that the use of such tactics [frontal assault] during the medieval period by heavy cavalry with catastrophic loss  confined strictly to the French.

Among other battles of such a nature think:

* Agincourt.

* Laupen.

* Bannockburn.

Those men-a-foot fighting as soldiers, resolute, trained, fighting according to a plan, their defense well thought out and preparations of an appropriate nature having been made, steadfast in the manner of the Swiss, the commoner defeating the noble knight, most galling and embarrassing.

coolbert.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

USAFA

This is coolbert:

The United States Air Force Academy [USAFA] back in the news again.

Dispute as had been the case once previously, the accusation of excessive religiosity and NOW "revolt" so called.

"Some Air Force Cadets So Angry Over What Happened With Bible Verses on Campus They Have Staged a ‘Revolt’"

....

"The leader of a church-state separatist group says that there’s a 'revolt' underway at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., after officials there removed a Bible verse from a white board outside a cadet’s bedroom door following complaints that its presence was offensive."

 
This is an Islamic scriptural verse as posted on a whiteboard at the USAFA.

Exhortations and admonitions.

From a variety of faiths. NOT MERELY BIBLE VERSES. Was Bible verses originally but has morphed into much more than that in "protest".

Freedom of religion does not mean FREEDOM FROM RELIGION.

"Revolt" as meaning a mutiny? A collective disobedience to orders? NOT so the case here.

These whiteboards are legal and postings can be made at the discretion of the owner?

So I might think.

The U.S. military OUGHT TO BE GLAD THAT SERVICEMEN HAVE A RELIGIOUS FOUNDATION AND TAKE THEIR FAITH SERIOUSLY. Moral virtue should be a military virtue. Or am I being too much of a Boy Scout about this?

This was also an episode from a few years ago when the graduating head of the cadets posted a blanket e-mail to the student boy at USAFA, a serious of motivating quotations that DID INCLUDE SOME religious admonitions and exhortations. From what I read NOT so sinister or so predominantly so Biblical based.

You the devoted reader to the blog need to go to the Blaze and see all the whiteboard postings for yourself.

Let me also predict what the response of the USAFA will be. Removal of all  whiteboards mandated as a measure to prevent postings of ANY KIND. You wait and see.

coolbert.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Skyking!

This is coolbert:

"Skyking, Skyking, do not answer, do not answer"

Thanks to MARCONI and Harry via Sharkhunters we have this item:

"on the USAF HFGCS (High Frequency Global Communication System) which is run by the US Air Force (as you will recall) there has been a significant increase in traffic. Most of this traffic is highly encrypted, being of FDM or EAM nature. FDM is Force Direction Message, and fairly routine in nature,  and EAM is the far more serious Emergency Action Message, and relates to nuclear matters (Buckets of Instant sunshine as our RAF brethren call them!). Also heard are Skyking message, very short in nature, which are also highly encrypted and whose function is not clear but due to their scarcity, cannot be of routine nature!"

Presumably FDM and EAM the increase of which is related to the crisis in Ukraine?

I  have not read of such a thing ever since that period in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 and the attacks associated with that date.

Nuclear matters? Well, the devoted reader to the blog will have to take it from there.

coolbert.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Natural Gas.

This is coolbert:

Within the context of the Ukraine crisis American energy independence NOW becoming an integral part of the American diplomacy and leverage beyond that of military force or the threat of military force.

Thanks to Freeper:

"Central Europeans want U.S. gas to cut dependence on Russia"

"Four central European countries have asked the U.S. Congress to make it easier for them to import natural gas from the United States and reduce their dependence on supplies from Russia, the Czech Foreign Ministry said on Saturday. The Visegrad 4 group including Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia is looking to diversify supplies to eliminate the danger Russia could use its control of gas and oil flows to exert political pressure on the former Soviet satellite states. Supplies were briefly disrupted in 2009 during a dispute between Russia and Ukraine"

Eastern European nations highly dependent on imports of Russian energy asking the United States to lift export restrictions on natural gas.

Thanks to fracking America not only becoming energy self-sufficient but also and exporter of some prominence. This all occurring in an unforeseen manner as not ever predicted by any of the experts.

As it was prior to World War Two [WW2], the United States on the fast track to energy export status, the reliability of which grateful to all, even beyond the borders of the forty-eight contiguous states and far beyond.

The global ramifications of American energy self-sufficiency to be indeed of very major geo-political significance.

coolbert.

Horse Trading?

This is coolbert:

Here from DEBKAfile some of the alleged negotiating points as insisted on by Putin. That Ukraine crisis and a solution to same as part of a much larger "package deal"

"You want our help with Iran, well, we want something too."

"You want our help with Syria, well, we want something too."

"You want a solution to the crisis in the Ukraine, well, we want something too."

Horse trading on the global scale, diplomatic negotiating points and terms!

"Putin wants US guarantees for halting military action"

"DEBKAfile Special Report"

"03 March. As Washington and the Europeans continued to decry Russian military aggression, the US and Russians began quiet though intense negotiations - through Berlin - on a deal for settling the Ukraine dispute, DEBKAfile reports. Moscow will keep its military forces in Crimea, but will discuss terms for restraining the Russian army from advancing into the Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine: Kiev must stay out of NATO, the US must guarantee not to deploy advanced radar, missile shields of ballistic missiles in the country, and local armed bodies will protect Russian-speaking areas."

All emphasis mine. Where negotiating points, terms, conditions did not previously exist, well, they do now.

Take it or leave it Mr. Obama. And you in the European Union too.

coolbert.

Mars!

This is coolbert:

Continuing with extracts and comment from those List Verse web site articles that have a military dimension.

"10 Epic Russian Military Disasters"

# 2 Operation Mars 1942.

"One of two major Soviet counteroffensives which followed Stalingrad, Operation Mars was such an incredible disaster that the Soviet Union simply omitted it from subsequent histories."

. . . .

"Despite heavy tank losses, Georgy Zhukov, the operation’s planner, continued the fruitless frontal assaults for three weeks in a desperate bid to match the success of the simultaneous Soviet offensive at Stalingrad. As a result, the outnumbered German defenders killed, wounded, or captured 500,000 Soviet soldiers in less than a month, while losing only 40,000 of their own number."

Those Soviet/Russian historians of the Great Patriotic War [WW2] with good reason omit the Mars operation as even having occurred.

Zhukov in the Soviet/Russian manner of waging war pig-headed, unable to accept defeat, reinforcing failure with disastrous consequences.

German hedgehog strong points NOT only manned in a defensive manner but also the troops engaging in counter-offensive action when possible,  logistical support to advance Soviet formations greatly impeded.

TWICE THE NUMBER OF SOVIET CASUALTIES DURING MARS AS THOSE GERMAN LOSSES OF THE SIXTH ARMY AT STALINGRAD!

See my previous blog entry regarding Zhukov as a commander during World War Two!

coolbert.







Dieppe!

This is coolbert:

Dieppe!! Jubilee.

Continuing with extracts and comments from the List Verse web site, articles that have a military dimension.

"10 Of The Most Embarrassing British Military Blunders"

"# 1 Dieppe Raid 1942"

"The disaster at Dieppe was a British attempt to gain a foothold in Nazi-occupied France and open a second European front."

NO ONE has ever been able to determine with certainty WHO exactly gave the order for Jubilee to commence.

Those at the highest echelon of the British command either not aware of such a major operation or having not given their approval.

Mountbatten on his own authority which was questionable and perhaps illegal [??] military operation both very costly and abortive.

And surely NOT "to gain a foothold either".

Reasons for the Dieppe "raid" not totally clear to this very day.

Those rationalities for Jubilee to include:

* Take the pressure off the Soviets.

* Test landing techniques for an invasion of Europe.

* Allow Canadian troops to get some combat experience.

* Capture secret German equipment.

* Part of the continuum of Combined Operations but on a grand scale.

Second-rate German troops equipped with second-rate military hardware able to defeat most handily the BEST soldiers of the British Empire available at that exact moment. Most galling!

coolbert.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Singapore!

This is coolbert:

Singapore, 1942!!

Here with a series of blog entries, extracts and comments from the List Verse web site, articles that have a military dimension.

"10 Of The Most Embarrassing British Military Blunders"

"# 2 Singapore, 1942"

"They called the naval base at Singapore 'impregnable.' That seemed to be the extent of the British defensive strategy—hoping nicknames like 'the Gibraltar of the East' obscured the glaring vulnerabilities of a naval base two decades in the making."

The NAVAL base deemed as impregnable. And perhaps it was. But that over land route down the Malay Peninsula much less so!

* 80,000 troops of the British Empire surrendering to a Japanese force of about 40,000. That latter contingent[Japanese] almost out of ammunition and low on rations, nearly starving.

* Percival said to be less than inspiring from the military bearing standpoint but regardless considered as a worthy and competent officer. His command performance however to be either lacking or exceedingly lacking. It was even perceived somewhat correctly that Percival was UNIQUELY QUALIFIED for that Malay command position from his prior years as Chief of Staff [CoS] of the Singapore garrison.

* Battle of Britain experienced and very competent English combat aviators flying Spitfire warplanes having a very rough time when encountering the Japanese piloted Zero for the first time.

* At that exact moment [December 1941] the Malay Peninsula the greatest CASH COW for the British Empire, the English war effort supported in the main by the sale of exported rubber.

NOTHING DURING THE MALAY CAMPAIGN SEEMED TO GO RIGHT FOR THE BRITISH!

Land, sea, air, it did not matter. ALL BAD!

Let me also suggest that it was not so much that the English were BAD AS THE JAPANESE WERE GOOD!!

coolbert.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Amphibious.

This is coolbert:

From that prior blog entry:

"Is this [Kerch] an amphibious operation as that term generally, commonly, and ordinarily understood?"

"When exactly [if so] does a river crossing end and an amphibious operation start?"

And thanks to Colonel Craig USMC and the U.S. Army FM as dated 1961 we have the answer as best can be discerned.

As extracted:

"FM NO. 31-12 ARMY FORCES IN AMPHIBIOUS OPERATIONS 28 MARCH 1961"

"CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION" 

"PART ONE THE AMPHIBIOUS OPERATION"

"Section II. NATURE AND SCOPE OF THE AMPHIBIOUS OPERATION"

"6. Definition. An amphibious operation is":

"a. An attack launched from the sea by naval and landing forces involving a landing on a hostile shore."

"b. A tactical withdrawal of land forces from a hostile shore, effected by naval forces."

"7. Distinguishing characteristics."

"a. By definition, the amphibious operation, as an attack, has two distinguishing characteristics "

"1. Major elements of the landing force are embarked in naval ships or craft for movement to the objective area."

. . . .

"3. It does not encompass other operations which possess some like characteristics and involve some of the same techniques of an amphibious operation. combat operations involving shore-to-shore movement across sea areas and inland waters in means other than naval ships are not amphibious operations."

There in somewhat greater than the proverbial nutshell that amphibious operation defined [1961] as being an assault FROM THE SEA and involving NAVAL VESSELS AND WARSHIPS.

Anything other than that is NOT an amphibious operation.

By that definition the crossing of the Rhine [1945] or the Irrawaddy [1945], the evacuation of German troops across the Strait of Messina or the Scheldt Estuary WOULD NOT be amphibious operations.

NOT amphibious regardless of scale, the widespread use of landing craft and boats immaterial, NOT amphibious operations.

coolbert.





Thursday, March 6, 2014

Kerch–Eltigen.

This is coolbert:

Yet one more instance of Soviet amphibious operation vicinity Crimea and Kerch during that period of the Great Patriotic War [WW2].

Kerch-Eltigen.

"The Kerch–Eltigen Operation was a World War II amphibious offensive made in November 1943 by the Red Army as a precursor to the Crimean Offensive (8 April-12 May 1944) with the object of defeating and forcing the withdrawal of the German forces from the Crimea"

 
Sea of Azov to the north, Black Sea to the south. For some sense of scale that approximate distance in miles from Taman Russian Federation to Kerch Ukraine in a straight line is 15 miles or 24.14 Kilometers

"In the face of strong German reinforcements, the Soviets contented themselves with reinforcing the Yenikale Beachhead . . . Although the Germans succeeded in initially defending the Crimea against the Soviet landings, the successful landing near Kerch placed the Soviets in a solid position from which to liberate the entire Crimea from Nazi occupation, an operation they successfully concluded in May 1944."

Soviet forces on this occasion more successful than had been the case in 1941. Albeit with difficulty one of the two beachheads ultimately expanded, German forces forced to withdraw. If anything, give the Soviet Red Army a lot of credit for persistence and tenacity.

And for those devoted readers to the blog that are graduates of the Command & General Staff school or the War College this question I raise.

Is this [Kerch] an amphibious operation as that term generally, commonly, and ordinarily understood?

When exactly [if so] does a river crossing end and an amphibious operation start?

Normandy, Sicily, Iwo Jima, Okinawa all from WW2 obviously amphibious operations.

The crossing of the Rhine, the Irrawaddy, Strait of Messina, the Scheldt Estuary or the Kerch Strait each also from that period of WW2 an amphibious operations as defined?

Someone knows the answer to this question?

coolbert.



Kerch!

This is coolbert:

"And with one stupid slither of his greasy, stubby finger, the Great Strategist [Stalin] sent 120,000 of our young men, almost as many as all the Russian forces at Borodino, across the Strait of Kerch in December, 1941—senselessly, and exclusively for the sake of a sensational New Years communiquĆ©—and he turned them all over to the Germans without a fight" - - From the GULAG Archipelago by Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

This one I only finding passing mention of from way back when. NOT an item the Soviet and Russian military historian when speaking of the Great Patriotic war [WW2] is keen to talk about.

The obliteration of the Soviet 51st and 44th armies, vicinity Crimea, Kerch.

"the Soviets made large landings at Kerch and Feodosia on the 26th and 29th [1941] respectably."

"The Soviet landings at Kerch and Feodosia were part of the much wider ‘Stalin offensive’ which was launched all across the eastern front."

An amphibious operation the mission of which was the overland relief of the besieged Soviet fortress of Sevastopol.

Soviet armies not pressing home the offensive, lackadaisical and sluggish, WITHIN A PERIOD OF TWO WEEKS THE ENTIRE SOVIET FORCE ELIMINATED BY GERMAN COUNTER-ATTACK!

"the Soviet 51st army was able to dig in and bring in more troops . . . But the Soviet commanders were indecisive and instead chose to dig in around the landing areas . . . [yet the German] attack on the Feodosia bridgehead went unexpectedly well over the 15th-18th of January and the Soviet grouping was crushed."

Catastrophic defeat taken by the Soviet and Russian commander with relative calm? Always more troops and equipment available. At least during WW2 for Stalin and Stavka this was the case. Kerch was no exception.

coolbert.

Ukraine III.


This is coolbert:

CIVILIZATIONAL CLASH!

Thanks to Steve we have this graphic, showing the breakdown by ethnicity of nationalities in Ukraine.

A civilization clash both from the stand point of LANGUAGE and RELIGION!

 
Click on graphic to see a more distinct image.
Eastern part of Ukraine Russian speaking, the remaining preponderance of the nation much less so.
 
 
Again, also a religious difference between the two groups. Those Russian speakers aligning with the Russian Orthodox church, the remainder of the Ukraine more or less best be thought of as an Eastern Rite of the Roman Catholic church with fealty to Rome.

In addition, historically speaking, that western-most part of what now constitutes Ukraine prior to 1939 a part of Poland. ONLY incorporated into the old Soviet Union with the German invasion and the onset of World War Two, the dividing of Poland into German and Soviet spheres.

Ukraine as much of the old Soviet Union that proverbial "tangled web" of language, religion, historical injustice, etc.

And who can unweave the tangled web in a just, humane, and orderly manner?

Perhaps NO ONE!

coolbert.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Jabidah.

This is coolbert:

"In 1963, the resource-rich [OIL] territory of Sabah, which had been under British control since the late nineteenth-century, formally became part of the Federation of Malaysia. The Philippines, however, protested this, claiming that Sabah had never been sold to foreign interests, and that it had only been leased (padjak) by the Sulu Sultanate and therefore remained the property of the Sultan and by extension the property of Republic of the Philippines."

Yet more instance from modern history that I was vaguely familiar with, BUT WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF THE ROYAL SULU ARMY AND THE RECENT INVASION OF SABAH, MOST INTERESTING.

The Jabidah massacre. That "catalyst" leading to the current Islamic insurrection in the southern Philippines. A guerrilla campaign that has been waged for over FORTY YEARS NOW and only recently has resolution of a sort been reached.

"The Jabidah massacre, also known as the Corregidor massacre, refers to an incident in which members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are said to have massacred a number of Moro Muslim recruits who were escaping their covert training to reclaim Sabah. Sources differ regarding the details, with the number of victims ranging from 14 to 68, and some sources asserting that the massacre is a myth. The massacre happened on March 18, 1968. The Jabidah Massacre is widely regarded as having been the catalyst behind the modern Moro insurgencies in the Southern Philippines."

Filipino soldiers, Moro [Filipino Muslim] each and everyone of them, shot dead by their own army. A response to mutiny. The Moro contingent as organized, trained and instructed to wage guerrilla warfare in Sabah. Discontentment among the Moro troops leading to rebellion and eventual mass execution.

The consequences and response four decades of conflict those Islamic factions of BIFF, MILF, MNLF, and Abu Sayyaf having an amazing resiliency and endurance.

That government in Malaysia, ever watchful as I might well assume, they too have not forgotten the Jabidah massacre? The Royal Sulu Army is yet just one further manifestation of events that originally transpired decades ago? Could be.

coolbert.



Monday, March 3, 2014

Philippines!

This is coolbert:

Thanks to Strategy Page we have the Philippine update:

"Philippines: America Says It Will Help Against China"

 "U.S. Navy officials have said that if China occupied disputed islands in South China Sea the United States would help, as it is obliged to do because of a mutual defense treaty with the Philippines. The U.S. refused to say exactly how it would help. The U.S. did point out that it is shifting naval forces from other parts of the world to the Pacific"

Understand that it is not a matter of "if" or "maybe" but MUST!

Must come to the aid of the Philippines if attacked.

Such is the nature of the long standing bi-lateral treaty between the Filipino and American government.

Treaties entered into by the United States become the LAW OF THE LAND AND MUST BE OBEYED.

You have given your word and now must honor and no second thoughts or quibbling. OBLIGATION!

That Filipino government also in the same league with India. Both having a long standing experience at fighting insurgencies from a variety of home grown Islamic and communist groups.

To include:

* BIFF.

* MILF.

* Abu Sayyaf.

* NPA.

Those three former the eternal Moro of the Sulu Sea five hundred years of opposition to those as perceived as the invader. That NPA the communist oriented and for forty years fighting a guerrilla war against the central government in Manila.

"Exactly how". See my previous blog entry on the Air-Sea battle as envisioned by American war planners!

"There will always be wars or rumors of war"! Matthew.

coolbert.

DASH.

This is coolbert:

Here is one I had more or less forgotten about.

ONLY vaguely remember from a long time ago.

A very early version of the combat drone.

DASH! [Drone Anti-Submarine Helicopter]

EXPENDABLE! And seems to be for a period of time a more or less unqualified success.

Anti-submarine warfare [ASW] drone in an era when the U.S. Navy wanted all ships to have an ASW capability AND also an organic aviation presence of some sort. EVERY warship an aircraft carrier to some extent!

 
Hard to tell if that is a torpedo or a nuclear depth charge slung underneath the DASH.

QH-50 DASH.

"The Gyrodyne QH-50 DASH (Drone Anti-Submarine Helicopter) was a small, drone helicopter built by Gyrodyne Company of America for use as a long-range anti-submarine weapon on ships that would otherwise be too small to operate a full-sized helicopter."

 
DASH is a simple itty-bitty but effective machine, here with an image so that some sort of scale can be seen. Two torpedoes slung underneath. The other counter-rotating rotor however cannot be seen.

DASH carrying anti-submarine torpedoes out to extreme range AND also able to deliver an ATOMIC depth charge!!

DASH flown in all sorts of bad weather and rough seas way beyond the levels as mandated for safe manned helicopter operations. Again,  too, was EXPENDABLE!

One operator dedicated for take-off and landing and a second operator for in-flight maneuver and delivery of weaponry.

"DASH's control scheme had two controllers, one on the flight deck, and another in the combat information center. The flight-deck controller would handle take-off and landing. The controller in the Combat Information Center (CIC) would fly DASH to the target's location and release weapons using semi automated controls and radar."

Micro-miniaturized and computer controlled devices not available at the time yet DASH a more or less unqualified success? Impressive.

Relatively cheap and an expedient means of providing wide-spread long-range ASW for the ENTIRE fleet.

coolbert.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Banderovsky.

This is coolbert:

I somehow had a feeling this was going to happen. Those Russians at the top of the ruling elite using the word "bandits" to describe those persons in Kiev that from the Russian perspective have orchestrated a COUP DE E'TAT!

"Kiev events is coup organized by open Nazis who follow Bandera tradition - expert"

"what happened in Kiev was a coup by people who are predominantly openly Nazis. They are obviously back to the tradition of Stepan Bandera, who was a Nazi collaborator in the 1940 helping the invasion of the Nazis. And these are people who openly use the slogans, logos which are very clearly Nazi."

"But then you also have this eruption of Nazi organizations . . . [and] in the post-war period Nazi collaborators were not prosecuted despite the fact that they had killed tens of thousands of Jews and Polish people and Ukrainian communists."

Persons in Kiev mounting "coup de e'tat" thought by many Russians to be followers of Stephan Bandera.

Banderovsky. Paramilitary organization that allied itself during World War Two [WW2] with the German. Ukrainian nationalist members of the OUN and devoted fighters to the anti-communist cause.

And during that initial period of the Cold War receiving aid and comfort from a variety of western intelligence organizations, again, from that perspective and long-term memory of the Russian illegal organizations that have a fascist nature to them.

"Stepan Andriyovych Bandera . . . a Ukrainian revolutionary politician and one of the leaders of Ukrainian national movement in Western Ukraine (Galicia), who headed the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) . . . the leader of the Ukrainian nationalist movement which fought for Ukrainian independence from Soviet and against all perceived enemies of a free Ukrainian state."

Bandera a man whose legacy is most mixed and controversial. More properly though of as an anti-communist and anti-Soviet fighter, a Ukrainian nationalist?

"Assessments of his [Bandera] work have ranged from totally apologetic to sharply negative. On 22 January 2010, the outgoing President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko awarded to Bandera the title of Hero of Ukraine (posthumously)."

Bandits?

coolbert.