Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hitler II - - Zeitzler. [Conclusion]

This is coolbert:

"intimidate - - To domineer or drive into compliance by the use of as threats or force, bludgeon, browbeat, bulldoze, bully, bullyrag, hector, menace, threaten"

During World War Two [WW2], as portrayed in various media, Hitler and his general staff did NOT enjoy a warm and cordial relationship? Rather, the opposite. Hitler, NOT a man versed in the operational art or the finer points of military strategy as taught in war colleges of the period, repeatedly was in the habit of overruling his military commanders, contrary to all reasonableness and logic, seemingly taking a perverse pleasure in doing so?

Army officers of very senior rank, field marshals commanding troops in the field and such, "during councils of war" WERE OFTEN INTIMIDATED TO THE EXTREME? Especially when the war began to go to the disfavor of Germany [in the aftermath of Stalingrad]! To voice an opinion contrary to the decisions or perceived will of Hitler might actually result in banishment or exile to uncomfortable postings or perhaps even worse!

German general staff officers and field commanders, ordinarily persons of strong will and personality, for whatever combination of reasons, found themselves dominated and compliant to the will of Adolph, obsequiously and shamefully so too!!

Here is one man, however, Zeitzler, who did dare on several occasions respond to Hitler and emerged unscathed. Zeitzler - - NOT bullied or intimidated by Hitler, taking exception to remarks of Adolph, responding in a rational and reasonable manner to insult, catching Hitler off-guard and making the man [Hitler] back down!!

A man chosen to be German Army Chief of Staff in part reason because Hitler felt the man [Zeitzler] would be pliant and more submissive that his predecessor, Halder!!

In all cases here, excerpts taken from "HITLER'S WAR and The War Path" by David Irving.

1. "On one occasion Zeitzler warned that unless a certain salient was withdrawn, the troops would lose confidence in their leadership. Hitler thundered at him"

"‘You’re just a staff officer. What do you know about the troops!’"

"Zeitzler sharply reminded the Führer that in August 1914 he had
gone to war as an infantry ensign – his knapsack on his back and his rifle on
his shoulder – to fight in Belgium."

[Ensign, in German Fähnrich, is a German and Austrian officer cadet rank. A German ensign serves in the ranks, first as a junior non-commissioned officer then in subsequent grades . . . Ultimately the ensign becomes an officer]

"‘For bravery in the face of the enemy I was promoted to lieutenant. I was wounded twice. I think my combat experience is as good as yours.’"

"Hitler instructed the general to proceed, and avoided attacking him personally after that."

2. "Hitler took to making ‘good-humoured’ fun of his absent commanders. ‘The horizon of my field marshals,’ he would mock, ‘is the size of a lavatory lid!’ . . . The next day however an adjutant informed Hitler that Zeitzler wanted a brief private word with him. . ."

"‘Mein Führer,’ said Zeitzler. ‘As an army general I take exception to the language you used about our field marshals. May I ask you not to use expressions like that in my presence again?’"

"Hitler gave him his hand. 'I thank you.'"


Here, again, according to David Irving, is an instance of where Zeitzler showed demonstrable leadership ability and admirable comportment:

"Zeitzler, in a gesture of solidarity with the starved troops in Stalingrad, reduced his own rations to their level. Having lost 26 pounds in two weeks, Hitler (after being told by Martin Bormann of the diet) ordered Zeitzler to stop the diet and return to normal rations."

Among the German commanders, Zeitzler was an exception? A few more men able to express themselves in the manner of Zeitzler and the entire course of WW2 might have been different?


Wednesday, April 29, 2009


This is coolbert:

A lot of stuff comes together in this blog entry.

1. From my previous and recent blog entry on Hitler.

"Hitler reads history and the philosopher Schopenhauer again and again."

"[Otto Dix carried his basic Nietzsche with him during this four years of combat duty.‭ ‬Again,‭ ‬Hitler was a Dix without the basic artistic talent‭?]"

"Even while on the front-line, continues [Hitler] with the artistic aspirations! ‬Drawing,‭ ‬painting,‭ ‬sketching.‭ ‬An Otto Dix without the talent‭?"

2. Here regarding Otto Dix:

"Carried [Dix] copy of Nietzsche, The Joyous Science and the Bible in his soldier's knapsack. From N [Nietzsche] Dix learned that growth and decay necessary part of nature, procreation and death part of the life cycle, struggle for survival, cruel cycle of birth and death."

Dix, of course, was the much more talented of the two men! Was one of the foremost artists of the 20th Century? His war art [anti-war!] is profound, sublime, etc!

"Mad Mike" Calvert would have appreciated the art work of Dix? Especially this particular work, portraying a trench raid. Close quarters combat of the most primitive type, almost cave-man like, brutal no-quarter battle of the type that Calvert perhaps reveled in and relished, even sought out??

A trench raid, as drawn by Otto Dix

As to the carrying of philosophical works by Hitler [Schopenhauer] and Dix [Nietzsche]? What to make of that? Auto-didacts [self-taught persons] trying to make some sense out of what surrounded them?


TO & E.

This is coolbert:

Here from the "History Detectives", an episode with a military dimension! [many of the History Detective episodes have a military dimension]

"Calhoun BOOKS - - THE DETECTIVE: Gwen Wright"

A set of books, is it six books or is it eight [??], purchased at a local library sale, and thought to have belonged to the famous U.S. Senator John C. Calhoun.

"how one man’s study of the Roman Empire may have helped spark the American Civil War."

"A man in South Carolina recently bought a six-volume set of books from a small-town library and made what may be an astonishing find.

"A South Carolina man has a beautiful eight-volume set of Edward Gibbon’s famous History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire"

"Dated 1789, these early volumes of the History are inscribed with the signature of John C. Calhoun."

"Along with Daniel Webster of Massachusetts and Henry Clay of Kentucky, Calhoun was part of The Great Triumvirate of statesmen who set the terms of debate on the most challenging issues of their time" [first half of the nineteenth century.]

Books, the complete set by Gibbon - - owned [?] and read and re-read by Calhoun! Books that have note[s] in the hand-writing of Calhoun - - regarding the organization [TO & E] of a Roman Legion!

[TO & E: Table of Organization and Equipment.]

Cohorts consisting of 500 to 600 men, ten cohorts constituting a legion.”

Calhoun and other southerners like him did see the Roman Empire as the archetype for emulation. Rule by a small group of highly educated, independently wealthy aristocratic persons! Persons devoid of petty concerns, sharing an interest in enlightened and beneficent government. Persons whose aristocratic mien and status was related to the ownership of land, the production of a cash crop from a plantation WORKED BY SLAVES!!

"The southern planters were attracted to all things Roman . . . They compared their civilization, which they considered to be the height of anything that was then existent in the world. They looked back to Greece and Rome and made those parallels"

Calhoun did envisage the day when the various southern states might have to fight for their independence. And did see the TO & E of the Roman Legion as a model for military organization and structure? It appears so!

That Calhoun - - a statesman, a Senator - - an intellectual - - a voracious reader - - paid particular interest to the TO & E of a Roman Legion - - surprises?



This is coolbert:

Here is a very recent historical discovery. Striking in importance? Discoveries of this kind are very rare?

Letters - - forty-seven of them - - the existence of which was hitherto unknown - - detailing the role as played by Ben Franklin in what became known as the “Braddock Affair”. [also called the “wagons affair”]

A sheaf of letters, carried on the person of Franklin during an English sojourn, evidence that he - - Ben - - WAS A MAN OF IMPORTANCE!! A correspondence by Ben Franklin that has a definite military dimension!

"'Copies of Letters Relating to the March of General Braddock,' referring to the ill-starred venture of a British general dispatched in 1755 to capture Fort Duquesne"

[“yes, I am somebody, and here is proof of it!!”]

The English General Edward Braddock, prior to his abortive and ultimately disastrous march upon the French Fort Duquesne, had been promised 2500 horses and 200 wagons for his supply column, ONLY A TENTH OF WHICH HAD BEEN PROVIDED!

Franklin, using his good offices, powers of persuasion, and reputation, was able to obtain the necessary horses and wagons as demanded by Braddock.

"As a leading citizen in the colony of Pennsylvania, Franklin was handed the thankless job of helping the British forces round up wagons and horses to transport Braddock's forces and supplies."

Little good those horses and wagons did Braddock. The events that transpired at Fort Duquesne being well known. Ambush, disastrous retreat, the death of Braddock, an almost total annihilation of the British army contingent, only a third escaping to safety. THIS TOO AT THE HANDS OF MUCH SMALLER AND LESS WELL EQUIPPED FRENCH/AMERICAN INDIAN ADVERSARY!! Abject humiliation.

So terrible was the battle of Fort Duquesne, so utterly were the British and their American colonialist allies routed and defeated, that persons “in the know” spoke of events only in HUSHED TONES!!



This is coolbert:

"I, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America, and in their name, do pronounce and declare the said Benjamin F. Butler to be a felon, deserving of capital punishment. I do order that he be no longer considered or treated simply as a public enemy of the Confederate States of America, but as an outlaw and common enemy of mankind, and that in the event of his capture the officer in command of the capturing force do cause him to be immediately executed by hanging"

Thanks here to the Chicago Tribune almanac for the tip.

On this date in 1862, Union troops during the American Civil War began the occupation of New Orleans.

An occupation that was to last for fifteen years. NOT ending until 1877!!

A military occupation that during the war years, the time of actual combat, was presided over by a “Yankee” military governor.

Such a man was Benjamin “Beast" Butler.

Detested throughout the rebellious south states and even in foreign nations for his draconian pronouncements and policies.

"During the American Civil War, his administration of occupied New Orleans, his policies regarding slaves as contraband, his ineffectual leadership in the Bermuda Hundred Campaign, and the fiasco of Fort Fisher rank him as one of the most controversial political generals of the war. He was widely reviled for years after the war by Southern whites, who gave him the nickname "Beast Butler."

WAS UNDER AN ORDER OF SUMMARY EXECUTION IF CAPTURED BY REBEL FORCES!! [“Beast” never was captured. Survived the war and in the aftermath of rebel surrender, lead a most successful and prosperous existence.]


Was, however, a skilled attorney, negotiator, politician, and a man who often acted in a high-handed manner, establishing precedent where he felt it was deemed necessary, regardless of controversy!



Tuesday, April 28, 2009


This is coolbert:

"These boots are made for walking [stompin'], and that's just what they'll do - - one of these days these boots are gonna walk [stomp] all over you" - - Nancy Sinatra.

Here is described an instance of close-quarters-combat where combat boots made the decisive difference. A man, knowing how to fight and mix it up with the entire body, fists, feet [with boots], elbows, etc. A fight to the death between two military men, only one of which will emerge alive!!

Very reminiscent of how a close-quarters-combat trench raid battle during World War One [WW1] must have transpired. Combatants using all the resources at their immediate disposal to vanquish an opponent.

"The Combat Boot".

"boots are for combat both to cover terrain and for military close combat. The late Mad Mike Calvert of British SAS [and Chindit for that matter] fame killed a Jiu Jitsu trained Japanese officer in an encounter in a river and he attributed wearing his boots while bathing in that river while his Japanese enemy was bare footed as giving him a considerable advantage."

Here is how the actual event when down:

"Mike Calvert . . . he reports in his biography how he kills a Japanese officer in a river. They both wanted to take a bath and did not recognise each other until they were both nude in the river. It came to a fight and Calvert knocked the Japanese down and drowned him..."

"James Michael Calvert . . . was a British soldier involved in special operations in World War II. The degree to which he led very risky attacks in person led to him becoming widely known as 'Mad Mike'."

Led "very risky attacks in person". Very risky attacks that involved close-quarters-combat, of the rifle butt, bayonet, fists and boots variety. This all from a man who was of general officer rank!!

"he led a bayonet charge which degenerated into a free-for-all, which Calvert later described as 'just like an officers' mess guest night'".

[just as long as I am not a guest!!]

A man, even as a general officer [thirty years of age only!!], ideally suited to lead "very risky attacks in person"!!

"for a time was the Army's [British] middleweight boxing champion." This guy could fight in a variety of ways, and was not afraid to mix in up at close quarters. Perhaps even relished doing so.

A personal confrontation and hand-to-hand combat on the field of battle between two officers, adversaries, at close-quarters, IS TOTALLY UNHEARD OF!!

"Are you ready boots? Start walkin' [stompin']!"


Monday, April 27, 2009


This is coolbert:

Here are instances of Spanish Republican fighters, fugitives from Spain in the aftermath of the victory by the Nationalist forces of Franco, contributing to the anti-fascist cause during the Second World War [WW2]!

This is a little known and unappreciated aspect of WW2?

1. Devoted readers to the blog will remember Cadix. The joint radio intercept/cryptanalytic effort, involving Spanish/French/Polish personnel!!

Spaniards, exiles, skilled practitioners of radio intercept and cryptanalysis, brave men, continuing the fight in their own particular way, in denied territory, behind enemy lines, in a manner UNHEARD OF, at great risk their own life.

2. Spanish irregulars too, continued the fight as guerrillas as part of the anti-fascist cause. Waging insurgency warfare against the forces of the German/Vichy!

These were the Spanish Maquis.

"The Spanish Maquis were Spanish guerrillas exiled in France after the Spanish Civil War who . . . [contributed] to the fight against Nazi Germany and the Vichy regime in France during World War II."

[from the wiki] Referring to the contribution of the Spanish Maquis to the French resistance movement:

"During the German occupation of France, the Spanish Maquis engineered more than four hundred railway sabotages, destroyed fifty-eight locomotives, dynamited thirty-five railway bridges, cut one hundred and fifty telephone lines, attacked twenty factories, destroying some factories totally, and sabotaged fifteen coal mines. They took several thousand German prisoners and - most miraculous considering their arms - they captured three tanks. In the south-west part of France where no Allied armies have ever fought, they liberated more than seventeen towns."

Spanish maquis consisted of a disparate number of groups, best characterized as "left", "red", "pink":

* "communists"

* "socialists"

* "anarchists"

3. And as for the FIRST FRENCH TROOPS TO ENTER PARIS [1944]:

"This party was commanded by Captain Raymond Dronne, and was given the honour to be the first Allied unit to enter Paris ahead of the 2e Division Blindée. The 9th company of the 3rd Battalion of the Régiment de Marche du Tchad was made up of Spanish volunteers."

Again, Spanish Republican fighters, fugitives and exiles from Nationalist ruled Spain, joining the Free French Exterior [FFE], seeing combat as conventional troops, under the FRENCH flag.

With regard to Cadix, the combined efforts of Spanish/French/Polish radio interceptors and analysts continued to do yeoman work against Vichy French, German, Italian, and perhaps fascist Spanish [Franco] radio traffic. Producing intelligence for the allies, and doing so from behind enemy lines!! Unheard of!

And those Spanish must have been [??] privy then to the the ability of the allies to "read" the German Enigma crypto machine? If so, this info might have been passed to the Soviet intelligence services by those Spaniards that were "left"? The historians are divided on this issue. How much did the Soviets know about Enigma, Ultra, etc.! The ability of the Soviets to read Enigma traffic also is a matter of debate.

The entire subject of Spanish Republican exiled and fugitive fighters aiding the allied cause during WW2 is glossed over by the historians? A side-show of a side-show?



This is coolbert:

"'If it is not the fashion now, it will be later because I wear it.'" - - A. Hitler in 1923.

Regarding the toothbrush moustache and the fashion at the time.

Here are two men, very senior German commanders from World War Two [WW2], who did adopt the wearing of the toothbrush moustache when it became all the rage to do so? ONLY two among many? In emulation of Hitler, making an obsequious and inane "fashion statement" NOT in keeping with the normal behavior of men of obviously strong character!

Kurt Zeitzler - - Chief of Staff - - 1942-1944.

Franz Halder - - Chief of Staff - - 1938-1942.

In particular, Halder has the appearance of the stereo-typical Prussian general officer as shown in the cinema, pulp-fiction and "invasion literature" genre of literature. A closely cropped "buzz-cut" GI-style haircut. Indeed, after the Prussian victory over France in 1870, short hair, and the lack of facial hair, all the trademarks of the Prussian military, became the standard for military men the world over.

Halder. Damned cocky looking German. NOT a Prussian however. NOT from the Junker [leader] class. A Wurzburger - - but - - the son of an esteemed millitary man.

Halder in contrast, WAS THE SON OF A PASTOR!!


Hitler I - - Meldeganger.

This is coolbert:‭

Hitler does not smoke, Hitler does not drink, Hitler does not wench - - what do you do Hitler!!?? - - Bert.

"Hitler,‭ ‬much as we would like him to have been a coward and a shirker,‭ ‬was in fact‭ ‬ ‬a very good‭ soldier.‭ ‬He remained calm under fire,‭ ‬showed respect to his superiors and never questioned his orders.‭ ‬Whilst casualties mounted and morale fell away,‭ ‬Hitler unstintingly carried on with his duty.‭"

"Hitler's First World War career as a soldier was not only unusual but,‭ ‬as unpalatable as it may be,‭ ‬commendable‭.‭ ‬Not once did he shirk or shy away from danger.‭ ‬His bravery won him numerous citations and awards,‭ ‬including the Iron Cross First Class‭"

"‬Hitler entered the dugout‭ ‬.‭ ‬.‭ ‬.‭ ‬I saw him for the first time in my life‭ ‬.‭ ‬.‭ ‬.‭ ‬In the deep eye sockets stuck two penetrating,‭ ‬dark eyes.‭ ‬I especially noticed them at the time.‭ His mustache was strong and not well groomed‭‬.‭ ‬Forehead and facial expression betrayed high intelligence.‭" ‬-‭ ‬-‭ ‬Balthaier Brandmayer,‭ ‬who served in the same courier squad from‭ ‬1915‭ ‬to‭ ‬1918‭"

‭Here from the web article:

"‬A Slow Fuse‭ ‬-‭ ‬Hitler's World War One Experience‭"

Adolph Hitler was ‬NOT‭ ‬an outstanding soldier,‭ ‬but rather able,‭ ‬competent,‭ ‬motivated,‭ ‬displaying a surprising amount of courage in a dangerous situation‭! ‬This is undeniable‭? ‬A‭ meldeganger‭‬,‭ ‬a dispatch runner,‭ ‬roving around the battlefield,‭ ‬constantly exposed to danger and the possibility of death‭!

It is worth noting that Hitler,‭ ‬as an enlisted man,‭ ‬regardless of his competency and motivation,‭ WAS NOT FELT TO BE SUITABLE OFFICER MATERIAL.‭ ‬HIS SUPERIORS FELT THE MAN WAS TOO MENTALLY UNSTABLE‭!!

Regarding the war record‭ [‬WW1‭] ‬of Adolph Hitler:

1.‭ ‬Hitler saw extensive combat during a period of four years. Combat involving some of the most hard fought battles of World War One [WW1]:

‭* ‬First Ypres.‭ [‬pronounced‭ "‬eep‭" ‬as in‭ "‬sheep‭"]
* Somme‭ [‬1916‭]‬.
‭* ‬The great German offensives of‭ ‬1918.‭ [‬Michael,‭ ‬Blucher,‭ ‬Georgette‭]

That Hitler was able to survive four years of front line duty is surprising‭? ‬The casualty rate among‭ "‬runners‭" [Meldeganger‭] ‬was quite high‭? ‬HITLER THE YOUNG SOLDIER WAS NOT A MAN TO SHIRK HIS DUTIES‭‬.

2.‭ ‬Hitler soldiered in a consistently brave and even heroic manner,‭ ‬respected by his peers.‭ ‬Was decorated for courage under fire‭! Decorations to include:

‭* ‬Iron Cross‭ ‬1st Class.

* Military Cross‭ ‬3rd Class with Swords.

"In the art of soldiering,‭ ‬Hitler was a consummate professional,‭ ‬and this gained him‭ ‬a great amount of respect‭ with his comrades‭ ‬.‭ ‬.‭ ‬.‭ ‬Hitler's survival against suicidal odds gave him a certain mystique in the eyes of his comrades.‭"

3.‭ ‬Hitler suffered wounding on two occasions. Upon recovering, returned to front-line duty even when ‭ NOT being required to do so. Wounding to include:

* "a severe wound to the leg resulting from a shell blast‭"

* "an injury [from] a gas attack.‭ ‬Temporary blindness"‭ [‬probably from a mustard gas attack‭]

4.‭ ‬Hitler did‭ ‬NOT‭ ‬behave as the normal soldier,‭ ‬whether in combat or time of lulls in the action.‭ ‬His comportment was‭ UNUSUAL‭‬,‭ ‬this coming to the attention of his‭ kamaraden‭!

‭* "‬He refuses to accept safer jobs‭"

* "He is too proud to share his buddies‭' ‬packages,‭ ‬and refuses a‭ ‬10-mark Christmas gift from mess hall funds.‭"

* "Hitler reads history and the philosopher Schopenhauer again and again."

[Otto Dix carried his basic Nietzsche with him during this four years of combat duty.‭ ‬Again,‭ ‬Hitler was a Dix without the basic artistic talent‭?]

* "He refused to behave like a normal soldier,‭ ‬in that he never requested leave and refrained from entering into bawdy talk concerning the local girls‭ ‬.‭ ‬.‭ ‬."

* "he'd pontificate upon the evils of smoking and drinking‭ ‬.‭ ‬.‭ ‬."

5.‭ Even while on the front-line, continues with the artistic aspirations! ‬Drawing,‭ ‬painting,‭ ‬sketching.‭ ‬An Otto Dix without the talent‭?

* "He draws paintings of ruined villages in watercolors and actually paints a building,‭ ‬doing the officers‭' ‬mess in a villa in bright blue.‭"

* "Hitler paints egg briquettes with calcium and place them in the regimental commander's garden,‭ ‬spelling out‭ '‬Happy Easter‭ ‬1917.‭'"

* "His‭ greatest pleasures‭ ‬were to either paint trench scenes or spend time eating bread piled high with jam.‭"

* "drawing cartoon sketches on postcards of the comical moments of war.‭"


‭* ‬It has often been thought that the family line of Heidler/Hitler/Schicklgruber had a long history of mental instability,‭ ‬enfeeblement,‭ ‬and derangement‭? ‬Even at an early stage of his life,‭ ‬Adolph Hitler displayed certain characteristics that caused his fellow troops and commanders to question his mental faculties‭?

* Hitler was found‭ [‬1914‭] ‬to be physically unfit for military service with the Austro-Hungarian army,‭ ‬but only a few months later‭ [‬1914‭] ‬was considered fit enough to be enlisted as a member of the Bavarian regiment‭? ‬Tubercular was the diagnosis for rejection by the Austrians‭? ‬Hitler either had tuberculosis or was highly susceptible to same‭?‬ Tubercular from the vagabond,‭ ‬aimless,‭ ‬hobo‭ [‬today he would be called a‭ “‬homeless‭”‬ person‭]‬,‭ ‬stumble-his-way-through-existence type of lifestyle that Adolph led during his Vienna sojourn‭?

[members of the Bavarian regiment had to swear personal fealty and‭ ‬allegiance to King Ludwig‭! ‬Hitler did have a long-lasting and strong attachment to Vienna,‭ ‬Bavaria,‭ ‬Munich,‭ ‬the entire southern part of Germany‭!]

* Hitler‭ - - ‬was a prim,‭ ‬self-opinionated,‭ ‬prig of a man‭? ‬A real stick-in-the-mud‭! ‬Might have been respected by his front line comrades,‭ ‬but‭ NOT‭ necessarily liked‭! ‬Tolerated,‭ ‬but‭ ‬NOT‭ someone you would have a warm friendship with.‭ NORMALLY,‭ ‬A SOLDIER WHO CONSTANTLY LECTURES AND ADMONISHES HIS FELLOW TROOPS IS NOT A LIKED PERSON‭!!

* Much has been made of Hitler‭’‬s artistic ambitions and the abject delusion he is reported to have felt after his rejection by the Vienna Academy of Arts‭? “‬If only‭ ‬-‭ ‬-‭ ‬if only‭”‬ -‭ ‬-‭ ‬it is suggested,‭ ‬that Hitler had found a place,‭ ‬been accepted,‭ ‬as an art student,‭ ‬his grandiose and warped political ambitions might never have developed or found fruition.‭ [‬to be honest,‭ ‬Hitler did have only a very limited and modest degree of artistic skill,‭ ‬nothing beyond that‭!] ‬Indeed, persons who did possess a more marked and polished artistic ability,‭ ‬such as Albert Speer,‭ WERE ADMIRED‭ ‬by Hitler.

Hitler, while still a young man, WANTED DESPERATELY TO SHOW THE WHOLE WORLD THAT HE WAS SOMEBODY!! AND SAW MILITARY SERVICE AND FRONT-LINE DUTY DURING WARTIME TO "SHOW" EVERYONE WHAT HE WAS MADE OF. A mediocre student, a man of relative "poor" physical condition, but always aspiring to "greatness", saw war as a means to an end?


Sunday, April 26, 2009

2e Division Blindée!

This is coolbert:

Here is the full and complete [??] dope from the wiki on the French 2nd Armoured Division from World War Two. NOT to be confused with the American 2nd Armored Division. [please note the spelling of "armor", not to confuse the English and American spellings!]

"The 2nd Armored Division (French: 2e Division Blindée, 2e DB), commanded by General Leclerc, fought during the final phases of World War II in the Western Front"

The French FFE 2nd Armoured Division personnel roster DID consist in large measure of troops that were NOT French!!

"The Division's 14,454 personnel included men from the 2nd Light Division , escapees from metropolitan France, about 3,600 Moroccans and Algerians, and some 3,200 Spanish Republican"



Here is a smattering of the 2nd Armoured unit listings from the wiki. Units listed below had personnel rosters that were predominantly non-French or quasi-French [colonial troops]:

* Infantry

Ier Régiment de Marche du Tchad
IIeme Régiment de Marche du Tchad
IIIeme Régiment de Marche du Tchad

* Reconnaissance

1er Regiment de Marche de Spahis Marocains

* Artillery

1er groupe du 3eme Regiment d'Artillerie Coloniale (1/3° R.A.C)
1er Groupe du 40eme Regiment d'Artillerie Nord Africain (1/40° R.A.N.A)

* Armour

* 12ème Regiment de Chasseurs d'Afrique


This party was commanded by Captain Raymond Dronne, and was given the honour to be the first Allied unit to enter Paris ahead of the 2e Division Blindée. The 9th company of the 3rd Battalion of the Régiment de Marche du Tchad was made up of Spanish volunteers.

And again, from the wiki, this footnote regarding the combat effectiveness of the 2nd Armoured during the Normandy campaign:

"During the Battle for Normandy, the 2nd Division lost 133 men killed, 648 wounded, and 85 missing . . . In the same period, the 2nd Division inflicted losses on the Germans of 4,500 killed and 8,800 taken prisoner,"

"The extraordinary ratio of casualties inflicted vs. casualties suffered that was reported by this unit is at odds with the overall relation between Allied and German casualties during the battle of Normandy that becomes apparent from the data [contrasted with the figures for other allied forces]"

Those last two paragraphs, you be the judge as to what is being insinuated here!!



This is coolbert:

This will surprise some folks? Thanks here to the BBC.

"Paris liberation made 'whites only'"

"Papers unearthed by the BBC reveal that British and American commanders ensured that the liberation of Paris on 25 August 1944 was seen as a 'whites only' victory"

Charles De Gaulle was adamant, even insistent, that when Paris was liberated from German occupation, that THE LIBERATION BE SEEN AS A VICTORY FOR "WHITE FRENCH TROOPS".

DEMANDS, made in the earliest part of 1944, well BEFORE the Normandy invasion.

The trouble, as realized by American and British commanders, was that the forces of the Free French Exterior [FFE] were for the most part, NOT COMPRISED of "white" troops.

"that black colonial soldiers - who made up around two-thirds of Free French forces - were deliberately removed from the unit that led the Allied advance into the French capital."

These were:

"mainly West African colonial [troops] - - the Tirailleurs Senegalais"

French colonial troops from Senegal. Commanded by "white" Frenchmen.

In addition to the Senegalese, Moroccans [goum], and also "Middle-easterners" [Syrians] predominated in many of the FFE units.

These soldiers, "non-whites", were prohibited from participating in the liberation of Paris and the victory march along the Champs-Élysées.


"Many of the 'French' division which led the liberation of Paris were Spanish"

"'the Second Armoured Division, which with only one fourth native personnel, is the only French division operationally available that could be made one hundred percent white.'"

Rising to a position of authority in post-war France was often predicated upon a Frenchman having served in the Second Armoured Division during WW2. Having been a troop in Second Armoured under General Le Clerc was a "meal ticket" for a lot of Frenchmen!!

This too from the BBC article:

"Given the fact that Britain did not segregate its forces and had a large and valued Indian army, one might have expected London to object to such a racist policy."

The British Army did during World War Two have highly segregated units. Indeed, this was done intentionally so. "National" units of Sikhs, Ghurkhas, Nigerians, British Indian Army troops, etc., all fought as distinct "national" or "ethnic" units and did not integrate.

Charles De Gaulle did see himself as a "messianic" like figure. French honor and pride must be restored - - and he was the man to do it? Those goum and Tirailleurs Senegalais were just given the short end of the stick, in a very unjustified manner?


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Al Qaeda.

This is coolbert:

"Al-Qaida does not have the sufficient quantitative or qualitative possibilities to completely shut down the functions of the society or the country."

"At the moment al-Qaida is a terrible annoyance that one has to live with"

"as long as al-Qaida does not manage to get its hands on weapons of mass destruction"

- - Magnus Ranstorp, Research Director for Asymmetric Threat Studies at the Swedish National Defense College.

Here with a somewhat trite but still interesting series of interviews with a variety of seven counter-terrorism experts. As carried by the German Der Spiegel news magazine. This seven years now and counting [2008] since 9/11.

"trite 1. lacking in freshness repetition; . . . rubbed or worn by use."

My comments in BOLD!

"How Dangerous Is Al-Qaida?"

1. "it seems that the original al-Qaida, or Qa’idat al-Jihad, has managed to fulfill a great part of its short-range goals."

"Nevertheless, there was no progress in achieving its main long-term goals"

- - Reuven Paz, Director of the Project for the Research of Islamist Movements in Herzliya, Israel.

2. "Current American strategy is oriented toward lethal and kinetic force. It is not suitable to fight the jihadism. The US-led Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) is focused on operational counterterrorism -- catch, kill, disruption"

- - Dr. Rohan Gunaratna, head of International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research in Singapore.

3. "1) The organization known as al-Qaida, under the leadership of Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri, remains important."

"2) Al-Qaida's biggest success was forging ties with local groups in Iraq in 2004 and Algeria in 2007."

"3) At the same time, in Europe, a trend toward "leaderless jihad" has started"

- - Guido Steinberg, terrorism expert at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin.

4. "I . . . believe that al-Qaida is stronger today than it was before Sept. 11, 2001."

"the most important change for al-Qaida since 9/11 is that it has achieved a permanent presence on the Internet"

- - Fuad Hussein, is a journalist and author based in Amman, Jordan.

5. "Al-Qaida is on the defensive, but the group has not yet been beaten."

"Everywhere in the world, al-Qaida has lost support. Even radical Islamists are now debating about the logic (or illogic) of attacks against civilians."

- - Peter Neumann, Director of the Center for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence in London.

6. "Al-Qaida . . . has re-grouped and re-organized in the lawless border area along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. It thus once again has a sanctuary in which it can train and operate"

- - Prof. Bruce Hoffman, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University


* Senator John Kerry has spoken of Al Qaeda as being a "nuisance". They might very well be - - but! AS LONG AS THEY DO NOT GET THEIR HANDS ON WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. THEN THE ABILITY OF THE VILLAINS HAS CHANGED JUST MAGNITUDES!!

* The U.S. had NO CHOICE but to pursue a military campaign against Al Qaeda. Is would not have been possible to do anything else. It is recognized that military force of itself it not going to end the threat from terrorism, but at least to a degree [force] will mitigate the threat, and is part of a holistic [I hate to use that word] solution to the entire problem of terrorism as it exists now.

* "Leaderless jihad" is perhaps more correctly called "autonomous operations"? NOT centrally controlled and directed. And of course there is always the possibility of "lone wolf" jihad and terrorism also! One person, trained, acting alone, guided by a "when the spirit moves me" type of mentality. One person, still, trained, having a lethal capability, sometimes markedly so!

* Having a sanctuary is very important? Mao stated that one of the three factors for an insurgency/rebellion/guerrilla campaign to be successful is TO HAVE A SANCTUARY FROM WHICH TO OPERATE FROM IN RELATIVE COMFORT! Denial of sanctuary, get the bad guys on the run, keep them on the run, never giving them let is A MUST!


Friday, April 24, 2009


This is coolbert:

Since the person of Adolf Hitler is so strongly an intrinsic part of World War Two, this blog entry is considered to be germane!!

Once again, Nazi memorabilia and all things Hitler is the topic. See here and here for previous blog entries about same.

From the Chicago Tribune today:


ENGLAND - - Hitler watercolors sold

“LUDLOW - - What a British auction house claims are a set of paintings and sketches by a young Adolf Hitler sold at auction Thursday for $143,358.”


“Among the 15 pictures is a portrait of solitary figure dressed in brown peering into a wine-colored waters. The date is 1910; the signature reads ‘A. Hitler’ and scribbled just over the mysterious figure are the letters: ‘A.H.’”

Regarding possible fraud and the possibility that these paintings are FAKES:

“’I don’t think they’re fakes,’ said Richard Westwood Brookes, historical documents expert . . . He [Brookes] said he did not believe anyone would have the nerve to fake the pictures.”

The artistic talent of Hitler was only mediocre? Hitler thought he was talented, and wanted to be seen as talented, but was - - ONLY MEDIOCRE?


Stalin, Churchill, Roosevelt - - who are they again?? Hitler, well, everyone knows about him!!



This is coolbert:

The latest and greatest! "Smallah be mo' bettah!!"

From the Chicago Tribune today:


Weapons experts work on smaller missile for drones

“CHINA LAKE, Calif. - - A 5-pound missile the size of a loaf of French bread is being quietly tested in the Mojave Desert north of Los Angeles as the military searches for more deadly and far more precise robotic weapons for modern warfare.

This is:

“a 2-foot-long Spike missile that is about a ‘quarter of the size of the next smallest on the planet,’”

“The new missiles being developed here are minuscule compared with the older, 100-pound Hellfire missiles in use today. A Predator, which can carry two or more Hellfires, would be able to hold as man as a dozen Spikes.”

And furthermore, this very positive feature of the Spike is that:

“The Spike is expected to cost about $5,000 apiece, compared with more than $100,000 for the current generation of guided missiles.” [that can be fired from a drone UAV.]

According to this Tribune article:

“Initially intended for use by ground troops against tanks”

Was designed originally to carry a HEAT warhead then? High-explosive-anti-tank? CAN ALSO INCORPORATE DIME TYPE WARHEADS!!??

And guidance is not mentioned! This Spike is so small it DOES resemble an amateur made rocket, almost a TOY. But carries quite a wallop!

This American Spike is NOT to be confused with an Israeli anti-tank missile of the same name.

"Note that this system has the same name, but is a different missile, than the Israeli anti-tank missile of the same name."

Get em’ Spike!!



This is kool'bert:

"No quarter"!!

On the subject of duelling:

"the formal duel circle remains popular with military officers . . . Two days preparation are traditionally allowed between the challenge and the duel itself . . . . duels always end in death. No quarter may be asked or given."

"Most Marines, even those of command rank, scorn such formalities [two day preparation] as effete . . . Marines, it is assumed, are always ready to fight . . . distinctions between a Marine duel and a corridor brawl [are non-existent]"

"ef·fete - - Depleted of vitality, force, or effectiveness; exhausted - - Marked by self-indulgence, triviality, or decadence - - Overrefined; effeminate."

Here is a Marine unit, the motto of which is "No quarter"!!:

"The Russian Naval Infantry, (Marines, Russian: Морская пехота) are the amphibious force of the Russian Armed Forces."

Soviet/Russian Marines. Men that can hardly be called effeminate!! Referred to as the "Black Death" by the German soldier. Soviet/Russian Marines, characterized by their wearing of an all-black uniform, COMPLETE WITH CAPE!! Soviet/Russian Marines, whose ferocity in combat was without equal??!!

"The Red Navy Marines' traditional battle-cry 'Polundra!' [pronounce: po-LOON-drah] – being shouted just before every attack . . . There can hardly be imagined anything more terrifying on earth than a real thunderbolt of an attack charged by Russian Marines – called The Black Death – 'Die schwarze Tod' – owing to their black naval uniform. Those men of unparalleled valour and grim courage had this motto: 'No quarter!'"

Please recall that the Japanese Colonel Tsuji rated the Russian fighting man as # 3 on his list of combatants from World War Two [WW2] - - in terms of "fighting ability"!

Here is Antonov, a Soviet naval infantryman - - a sniper - - from the Second World War - - a man with over three hundred kills to his credit!! Antonov can shoot that rifle!!

Regarding the fighting capacity of the Soviet/Russian naval infantry, according to Suvorov:

"Each fleet has Marine Infantry contingents . . . Generals from the Land Forces who have watched exercises carried out by the marine infantry often say, with some envy, that a regiment of marine infantry, with the same equipment as that issued to the Land Forces, is the equivalent in its operational potential of one of the latter's motor-rifle, divisions."

Whoa boy!!

And the Russian naval infantry continues to be relied upon, even to this day, for the most difficult tasks, the hardest fighting, the worst possible of all situations! Russian naval infantry has been employed extensively in Chechnya during both the First and Second Chechen War!! Naval infantry, elite units of the highest caliber and resolve, that can be counted upon where OTHERS CANNOT BE!!

"Col. Gen. Ivan Skuratov, the commander of Russian marines, said that more than 50 units from the Northern and Baltic fleets had taken part in the Chechen fighting . . . [but] there was still one marine unit from the Pacific fleet there [this in 1994, the First Chechen War]."

"Russia's five-year war in Chechnya has forced them to once again rely heavily on their many elite formations. The most called-upon of Russia's specialized formations during both wars in the breakaway republic have been the Russian marines, or Naval Infantry."

And for the devoted reader to the blog, when I began this entry discussing duelling, "no quarter", "Marines, it is assumed, are always ready to fight", this is taken from: "Lets Trek - - The Budget Guide To The Klingons 1995"! Fictional - - yes, but the sentiments are the same!

"NO quarter!!"


Pakistan & Mullen.

This is coolbert:

Has everyone been following the events that have transpired just recently in Pakistan?

175 million persons imperiled by a bunch of Taliban villains, wearing black turbans and carrying nothing much more than an AK! The Taliban have gained autonomy over the Swat valley, imposing Shariah law in a draconian manner, NOW moving into other areas of Pakistan, ONLY SIXTY OR SO MILES FROM ISLAMABAD!!

A disintegrating Pakistan, becoming a failed state, falling under the rule of the Taliban and Al Qaeda bad guys, is the ultimate nightmare for U.S. officials??

Nuclear weapons, delivery systems, and a capacity for further manufacture will be at the disposal of some madrassa educated semi-literates?

"Does Pakistan's Taliban Surge Raise a Nuclear Threat?"

"When asked last year about the security of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Admiral Mike Mullen" [answered]:

* "I'm very comfortable that the nuclear weapons in Pakistan are secure,"

"Asked the same question earlier this month, his answer had changed."

* "I'm reasonably comfortable,"

"Pakistan is thought to possess about 100 [nuclear weapons] - the U.S. isn't sure of the total, and may not know where all of them are. Still, if Pakistan collapses, the U.S. military is primed to enter the country and secure as many of those weapons as it can, according to U.S. officials."

This means an invasion of Pakistan folks!! Paratroops, rangers, Special Forces, SEALS, etc. Possessing and taking control those nukes will become an overriding issue of the utmost importance!!

Even using the most elite American military units for a "plucking" operation is no guarantee of success either:

"there is no way a complete nuclear weapon can be plucked from Islamabad's stockpile, which is protected by about 10,000 of the Pakistani military's most elite troops." .

According to the experts, we should all rest assured? Provisions have been taken in advance so that even if compromised, the nukes CANNOT BE USED!!

These weapons consist of modular designs?

"The guts of the nuclear warhead are kept separate from the rest of the device, and a nuclear detonation is impossible without both pieces."

Dedicated delivery systems are also imperative. ONLY certain specific missiles or aircraft can be used to carry these weapons to the target?

"Additionally, the delivery vehicle - plane or missile - is also segregated from the warhead components"

Electronic "locking" mechanisms have been built into the design of the atomic warheads - - FROM THE START!! Without the proper "unlocking" codes, no detonation can occur?

"Then, there's the touchy area of 'permissive action links' - the electronic 'locks' on nuclear weapons that must be 'opened' for a nuclear detonation to take place . . . 'our people have developed our own' - - former senior Pakistani nuclear official Naeem Salik"



Thursday, April 23, 2009


This is coolbert:

Here from the recent European trip of President Obama:

"Obama: Imperative To Eradicate Nuclear Weapons Tells Audience In Prague U.S. Will Lead Global Effort To Eliminate Nukes"

"'This goal will not be reached quickly — perhaps not in my lifetime,' he told a cheering crowd of more than 20,000 in the historic square outside the Prague Castle gates. We 'must ignore the voices who tell us that the world cannot change. We have to insist, 'Yes, we can.''"

President Obama has stated that it is the goal of his administration to work for the eventual elimination - - the total abolition - - of nuclear weapons. By ALL powers of the world!!

Something that the President would readily admit is a "goal" the accomplishment of which is a LONG way off and is a road fraught with difficulties. NO ONE would disagree with this! Eradication of nuclear weaponry, and for that matter, all other weapons of mass destruction would be a big plus for all of mankind!!

A noble goal, a lofty goal, but one still worthy of consideration!?

Consider this too:

"Few experts think it's possible to completely eradicate nuclear weapons, and many say it wouldn't be a good idea even if it could be done. But a program to drastically cut the world atomic arsenal carries support from scientists and lions of the foreign policy world."


* Everything about President Obama reminds me so much of President Kennedy. The cadence and manner of speech, the hand and body gestures, the lofty rhetoric, the entire personae and being of the man, etc. Carefully choreographed, scripted, rehearsed, the image and appearance above all else, etc.

* THE NUMBERS OF EXISTING NUCLEAR WEAPONS IN GLOBAL STOCKPILES HAVE ALREADY BEEN RADICALLY REDUCED. The Russians, Americans, and others to a much smaller degree, for a variety of reasons, in concert and unilaterally, have already eliminated a pretty good portion of their nuclear stockpiles and continue to do so! This is not properly appreciated??!!


Many authorities have suggested that if nuclear weapons had never been developed, the world would have a long time ago seen a general war between the communist [Soviet Union, China] and "free world" forces, led by the United States. A war fought solely with conventional weapons, World War Two style. Atomic weaponry restrained politicians to such a degree that the use of force in an overt manner between the dominant world powers became verboten, such was the fear of the consequences from an atomic attack, however limited in nature!!


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Waterboarding - - SERE!

This is coolbert:

Here, from only today:

"Defense Department Won’t Say Whether U.S. Troops Still Undergo ‘Water boarding’ in Training"

"( – Though water boarding is banned as an interrogation technique for members of al Qaeda and other terror suspects, the Defense Department will not say whether U.S. military soldiers undergo water boarding in their training, as discussed in a 2002 government memo made public last week."

“'The mission [of SERE] is to train military members to survive an isolation event,' said Kathleen Jabs, spokeswoman for the U.S. Joint Forces Command, the division of the Defense Department that oversees the SERE program."

"However, she would not specify whether water boarding is still used on troops during training."

Right - - exactly!! All this brouhaha about water boarding has raised some interesting questions. IS WATER BOARDING STILL BEING USED AS PART OF THE U.S. SERE TRAINING PROGRAM!!??

Select American military personnel, airmen, Special Forces, rangers, SEALS, etc., persons who run an elevated risk of capture by the enemy, ACTUALLY ARE WATER BOARDED AS PART OF THEIR TRAINING!! Water boarding for some time, decades even, has always been included as part of the SERE course?

The question has to be asked - - well, if it is illegal to water board captured enemy terrorists, then too, is it now, OR EVEN HAS IT BEEN - - ILLEGAL ALL ALONG - - to waterboard American military service personnel - - EVEN IF ONLY AS PART OF A TRAINING PROGRAM??!!

And I am also wondering also about the other elements of SERE as well. Exposure to extremes of heat or cold, forced nakedness [a male standing naked in front of a crowd of jeering, laughing females, the latter pointing and commenting in a ribald way!!] etc.

These too all constitute torture as well? Even well meaning training has been for decades, ILLEGAL ALL ALONG!!??

Can anyone answer this question? Or should I say, is the question even being asked?

And U.S. troops/sailors/airmen from this point forward are no longer subject to mistreatment during SERE, EVEN IF BY "FRIENDLIES" AND EVEN IF IT IS JUST "TRAINING"!!

It would seem to me that water boarding as part of training, and many other aspects of SERE as well - - are now ILLEGAL, AND HAVE BEEN RENDERED NULL AND VOID!! You can talk about it in class, and maybe see historic film footage of what will occur to you, but that is about all!!

As for my self, well, you can water board me all you want, but PLEASE, no nakedness in front of a bunch of women. I could not stand the laughter!!



This is coolbert:

Here is the latest photo of the good "doctor"! Zawahiri, the # 2 man in Al Qaeda, the right-hand man of Osama, expounding upon jihad and the weakness of the west, delivering a communique, granting an interview, etc.


The presence and the positioning of the AK alerts the jihadi active cells, operational groups, that a message is present and awaiting "pick-up" from a "dead-letter box"? Trade craft of the spy, the underground operative, the terrorist, the jihadi! A "dead-letter" box consisting of a graphic on a web site, a message contained within the graphic, hidden and encrypted by steganography!!??

Furthermore, we have a new aspect to the signalling apparatus? Notice in the background the display of books WITH ENGLISH TITLES! Books that deal with Islam, the status of Muslims in the western world, etc.

Prominently displayed! In a manner you would not expect. Further signalling at work here too? The titles, the order with which they are displayed, sends hidden signals of some sort?

[I am speculating about all this!!]

Perhaps I am being too paranoid. After all, the good "doctor" is a medical physician, highly educated, from the upper crust elite of Egyptian society. An educated man who had proudly claim the title of Doctor, such as Herr Doctor Goebbels!!

Zawahiri too is fluent in English, and wants to read anything and everything about the western perspective on jihad and Islam? Of course! What else could it be?

Please note that AK also. Has a gun light attached under the barrel? Co axially mounted with the barrel. Where ever the light is directed is where the AK shot pattern will hit. "Oh brothers - - now we too have the technology of the Amriki!!"


Monday, April 20, 2009


This is coolbert:

Here are two famous Scotsmen, nobles, military men, who stood tall during the 20th Century. Men, clan chieftains, of the Clan Fraser:

1. "Brigadier-General Simon Joseph Fraser, 14th Lord Lovat . . . (25 November 1871-18 February 1933), was a leading Roman Catholic aristocrat, landowner, soldier, politician and the 23rd Chief of Clan Fraser."

"Lovat was commissioned into the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders . . . In 1899 he raised the Lovat Scouts, and served as their second-in-command in the South African War . . . In World War I, he commanded the Highland Mounted Brigade, being promoted Brigadier-General in September 1914"

Lord Lovat the 14th is the man who RECRUITED HIGHLANDERS, OUTDOORS MEN, WEARING GHILLIE SUITS, TO FIGHT AS SNIPERS DURING THE BOER WAR [1900]. This was the first instance of the ghillie suit used in the manner which we moderns associate same? That same unit of Scotsmen seeing duty in the First World War, serving in the same capacity!

2. "Brigadier Simon Christopher Joseph Fraser, 15th Lord Lovat DSO, MC, TD (9 July 1911 - 16 March 1995) was the 25th Chief of the Clan Fraser and a prominent British Commando during the Second World War."


Lord Lovat the 15th, commanded English commando units during the Second World Two! Rough, hard, tough, dangerous duty in the extreme! Exercising great leadership, showing courage at all times, actually landing the first day at Normandy, his unit relieving the British paratroopers that had captured the Pegasus bridge.

Led with elan', in the Scottish manner, bagpipes and the whole lot as associated with highlanders. LOVAT WAS NOTED FOR WEARING NON-REGULATION UNIFORM INTO COMBAT AND CARRYING A CIVILIAN HUNTING RIFLE!!

But always displaying a whole lot of guts! Well, the man was a clan chieftain!!



This is coolbert:

Here with a photo, just from yesterday, of Iranian "snipers" parading in a ghillie suit of indigenous design.

"Iranian snipers wearing their full camouflage kit marched in the Army Day parade outside Tehran yesterday."

I don't think those Iranian "snipers" are going to do a lot of long-range sniper work if they are wielding only those AK. Maximum effective range of an AK is about two hundred meters [yards]?

Here is a U.S. Marine more properly attired in a ghillie suit, carrying a long-range weapon with sniper scope:

"A ghillie suit, or yowie suit, is a type of camouflage clothing designed to resemble heavy foliage. Typically, it is a net or cloth garment covered in loose strips of cloth or twine, sometimes even made to look like leaves and twigs. Snipers and hunters may wear a ghillie suit to blend into their surroundings"

"The name was derived from ghillie, the Gaelic for 'servant' . . . used to refer to those assisting in deer hunting or fly fishing expeditions"

"The ghillie suit was allegedly developed by Scottish gamekeepers as a portable hunting blind"

Surprisingly, the use of the ghillie suit dates to the time of the Boer War [1900]. Scouts organized by the First Lord Lovat functioned as snipers for the British side. Men recruited by the Scottish Lord from his subjects, gamekeepers, "ghillies" and those persons adept at the outdoor life, hunting, woodcraft, etc.

Also fought as a unit, highlanders, as snipers, observers, etc., during the First World War too:

"The Sharpshooters were formed from gamekeepers or gillie of the highland estates and were used in an observation and sniping role on the Western Front until the end of the War"

Ghillie suits, however, have a drawback in warm climates:

"They tend to be very heavy and hot. Even in moderate climates, the temperature inside of the ghillie suit can soar to over 50 °C (120 °F)."

Wearers, too, are subject to counter-measures of the FLAME VARIETY:

"The burlap is also flammable, unless treated with fire retardant, and the wearer may be exposed to ignition sources such as smoke grenades and white phosphorus."


X Decima Mas.

This is coolbert:

"Mare Nostrum - - Our sea!!"

It is generally accepted and agreed upon that the performance of the Italian military armed forces in both World Wars was poor!?

Here, however, is one group of Italians that have been admired and emulated for their courage, inventiveness, devotion to duty, military ability:

Decima Flottiglia MAS.

That Italian naval unit renowned for unconventional warfare missions during the Second World War [WW2]. A unit innovative for their use of what has become known as frog-man tactics. Using a combination of high-speed torpedo boats, midget and conventional submarines, combat "swimmers" using limpet mines, and HUMAN TORPEDOES to accomplish their naval "guerrilla warfare" missions!!

It comes a surprise that primarily the Italians [and also the French to a degree] pioneered many of the underwater combat techniques today associated with the U.S. Navy SEALS?! [for that matter also, the British Special Boat Squadron and Soviet/Russian naval spetsnaz!]

First sport spear-fishing, then skin-diving, then SCUBA [self-contained-underwater-breathing-apparatus] all were developed and perfected by the Italians [again, by the French to degree also!] in those years prior to WW2,

Civilian past-times that had obvious military applications. Applications that were adopted by the Italian Navy with vigor.

Missions performed during WW2 by frog-men of Decima primarily were directed at the British, with the intent of denying the two choke points of Gibraltar and Suez. Two choke points that many years earlier had been designated by Admiral Sir Jackie Fisher as vital areas of interest to British naval power and the safety of the Empire.

Unconventional, asymmetric warfare, carried out by small teams of frog-men that were highly effective! The combat performance of Decima is in marked contrast to the actions of THE CONVENTIONAL NAVAL FORCES OF ITALY during the same time period!! Decima was successful - - the rest of the Italian navy was NOT!!

The men of Decima can best be described as FANATICS!? Loyal to the fascist cause in a way that most others men of the Italian military were not!?

Even in the aftermath of Italian surrender [1943], some X elements, including the commanding group of Decima, continued the fight for the fascist cause, under German auspices. Acting as ground troops, anti-partisan fighters, using draconian methods, atrocity, torture, etc., and doing so AGAINST THEIR OWN PEOPLE!!

Like I said, FANATICS!

This too, as to the fighting abilities of Decima combatants:

"The feats of the Italian frogmen brought much envy and respect from the British. When the British decided to create its own naval assault units, the trainees placed pictures of 10th Light Flotilla on their walls for inspiration."

Nuff' said!



This is coolbert:

Here is a Soviet torpedo boat from the World War Two [WW2] era:

The G-5.

"In the early 1930s the USSR began mass production of a 'mosquito fleet' consisting of aluminum torpedo boats that had high speeds of around 50-55 knots."

"The creation of a new type of boat which was more responsive to the needs of the Soviet Navy was completed in 1933. It was accepted for service under the designator «G-5». This boat was armed with two 533mm torpedoes."

Carried two torpedoes in the rear of the craft [how these were fired in combat I am not sure]. Also equipped with several anti-aircraft machineguns.

Has the appearance of a midget submarine. But of course does not have the capability to submerge.

Very high speed craft for any time, much less the era of WW2. Aluminum hulled, a creation of the famous aircraft design "bureau" - - Tupelov.

The idea was - - for these vessels to engage in asymmetric warfare at sea? "Guerrilla fighters" of the ocean? Able to use swarming numbers, speed, hours of darkness, surprise to attack and torpedo and destroy much larger, formidable, but ponderous surface warships of the enemy!

This NEVER OCCURRED! The G-5 did see yeoman service during the war, but NOT to attack and sink large enemy surface warcraft.

Very innovative and interesting design however. By an aircraft design bureau?


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Torpedo Boats.

This is coolbert:

With regard to those Japanese torpedo boats attempting the night attack - - Tsushima:


Torpedo boats, a profusion of them, attacking during hours of darkness, attempting to saturate the defenses of the enemy, firing torpedoes in abundance, small putt-putt boats inflicting serious damage in what would normally be considered to be an unfair match, large capital warships against small, lightly armed, sans armor protection small war craft [torpedo boats]!!

It was thought - - at the time, during the pre-Dreadnought era of naval development and warfare, that the large iron-clad, big gun battleships of the period, ponderous vessels, were extremely susceptible to successful attack by a much smaller but much more agile, speedy warship, the torpedo boat.

Attack such as occurred during the night time action at Tsushims.

Surface vessels, small in size, armed almost exclusively with torpedoes, were an important adjunct to the pre-Dreadnought fleets of the time [1889-1906?]!

"the new weight of armour slowed them [battleships], and the huge guns needed to penetrate that armour fired at very slow rates. This allowed for the possibility of a small and fast ship [torpedo boat] that could attack the battleships, at a much lower cost. The introduction of the torpedo provided a weapon that could cripple, or sink, any battleship."

"They [torpedo boats] were relatively inexpensive and could be purchased in quantity, allowing mass attacks on fleets of larger ships. The loss of even a squadron of torpedo boats to enemy fire would be more than outweighed by the sinking of a capital ship."

Indeed, the French at one point conceived of an entire naval "philosophy" and doctrine "advocating" the use of small boat attack - - "as the way to go!"

"The Jeune École ("Young School") was a French naval school of thought developed during the 19th century. The concept . . . advocated for the use of small, powerfully equipped units to combat a larger battleship fleet"

Consider this Scientific American article from 1887:

An Italian torpedo boat, built by an English concern, reputed to the be latest and greatest of the day. Capable of unheard of speeds, the main armaments consisting almost solely of torpedoes.

"The armament consists of two bow tubes built in the boat. There are two turntables, as shown in the illustrations, each fitted with two torpedo tubes . . . There are two quick firing three pounder guns on deck, and there is a powerful search light"

The response to the threat posed by the torpedo boat was to add to the various capital ships searchlights and rapid firing secondary armaments, guns of smaller caliber.

However, the threat as manifested by the torpedo boat never actually occurred? Was a threat much overrated? Here from a web site devoted to the pre-Dreadnought era:

"Torpedo Effectiveness"

"Torpedoes were one of the great disappointments of this era. Their sale and support had been pushed to a fever pitch, and it was widely thought that their use alone would decide the outcome of entire wars. The difficulties encountered in real-life use on several occasions resulted in investigations . . . For the major part of the pre-dreadnought era, torpedoes continued to be a rather closely guarded, over-rated, very expensive and rather inaccurate, short ranged weapon."


Saturday, April 18, 2009


This is coolbert:

Here from the Times Online an interview with the Mumbai police detective assigned to handle the criminal case against Azam the sole surviving terrorist from the 2008 attack:

"The Pakistan link: Mumbai terror detective tells of world plot"

"As terrorists struck Mumbai, Rakesh Maria, an officer whose exploits have inspired Bollywood, faced his most valuable captive"

Azam WAS interrogated at length subsequent to his capture. Recall that Azam was beaten pretty good after being taken prisoner, laying on the ground, being pummeled by Indian police wielding long sticks. A beating captured by cell phone, Rodney Glenn King-LA riots like.

“In those first moments he was in our custody, I had just four questions,” Mr Maria told The Times. “How many terrorists? How well armed? What were their plans? How did they get here?”

"on the first night of the November attack, Mr Kasab showed signs of having been trained to withstand interrogation, but soon broke down."

“'Kasab was relatively forthcoming,' Mr Maria said, dismissing suggestions that his men resorted to torture – - 'Real interrogation never works like that. It’s not as you see it in the films,' he said."

"The case against Mr Kasab compiled by Mr Maria has resulted in a massive 11,000 page charge sheet. It names 37 other suspects [among the suspects are] Colonel Saadat Ullah [Pakistani Army], who is alleged to have helped to set up the Internet telephony system through which the gunmen received instruction from their Pakistan-based handlers."

That would be the Voice Over Internet Protocol [VOIP] as used by the Mumbai terrorists. VOIP as provided by Skype, complete with embedded encryption, defying [??] the efforts of the various Indian radio intercept services.