Monday, January 31, 2011


This is coolbert:

“It has inadvertently become one of the most
important wildlife conservation sites in
the world.” - - Alan Weisman.

“If you want to know what the world would look
like if humans suddenly vanished, the DMZ
would be a good first place to look.” - - Alan Weisman.

Here with some pretty cool stuff.

A world without man. NOT totally so but mostly so. A landscape, flora and fauna proliferating in a natural manner, generating and re-generating itself, a restoration taking over fifty years, the predations and activities of mankind being "healed". The wild state as existed 10,000 years ago before man became "civilized".

A small glimpse into such a world as can be seen in Korea. The Demilitarized Zone [DMZ]. A landscape mostly devoid of the human presence, too dangerous for habitation or development. A landscape given back to the wild state, again, for over fifty years now. All thanks to military action and WAR!

Read it all. Most interesting.

"Korean demilitarized zone now a wildlife haven"

"Now there’s a move to keep it that way – and perhaps bring North and South Korea closer together."


"Seoul, South Korea - - Just 30 miles north of this pulsating metropolis is one of Northeast Asia’s last bastions of biodiversity. This stretch of wilderness is home to migrating flocks of rare cranes and some of the last wild bears and leopards in the region."

"the notorious Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that divides the two Koreas . . . it is the most dangerous and heavily militarized border in the world."

"The de facto wildlife preserve encompasses 390 square miles of diverse terrain virtually untouched by human development for 55 years."

A landscape that contains some very rare wildlife to include:

* Bears.
* Lynx.
* Siberian Leopard.
* Siberian Tiger?
* A variety of rare cranes.

Animals not found anywhere else in all of Korea?

Here from the wiki entry: "The World Without Us" by Alan Weisman:

"Written largely as a thought experiment, it outlines, for example, how cities and houses would deteriorate, how long man-made artifacts would last, and how remaining lifeforms would evolve."

NOT merely evolve, but re-generate to the state as existed prior to man becoming the dominant species as has been for the last 10,000 years or so. The landscape and wildlife recovering to a state what is referred to as "pristine"!

And as is now found in the DMZ!


Sunday, January 30, 2011


This is coolbert:

When I saw this photo in the Chicago Tribune today, I knew there was a story behind it, and there is.

The torches, the long procession, the flags, the wearing of masks. This catches your attention right away.

29 January. A "holy" day in the Ukraine.

A commemoration of the Battle of Kruty. This is an episode from history until just a few minutes ago was totally unknown to me. But to the Ukrainian nationalist, is an event of epic proportions.

Several hundred military cadets and students defending against a much larger contingent of Bolsheviks [1918]. The fate of the newly formed and what was to be short-lived Ukrainian Republic in the balance. A loss for the Ukrainians, but not forgotten.

"The Battle of Kruty . . . was a battle which took place on January 29, 1918, near railway station 'Kruty'"

"Throughout the years, the true story of the battle was hidden from view by the Soviet Government . . . the historic battle . . . is remembered each year on or around January 29"

"300 students, cadets and schoolboys were killed, during a combat against the regular Red Army on Jan. 29, 1918, to protect the new-born Ukraine's People Republic against Bolshevik aggression."

ONLY with the demise of the old Soviet Union have the Ukrainian people gained their independent nation - - the memories of Kruty not forgotten, even celebrated!



This is coolbert:

See my previous blog entry on this matter.

It is now official. The voting has been done, the ballots counted, and the results are in. The South Sudan has decided to secede from the northern part of the country [Sudan]. An amazing vote with amazing results.

99 % of those eligible to vote did so. Of those that voted, 99.57 % voting FOR independence! Those figures normally are the type of thing you might associate with North Korea.

NOW, the deed is done? Secession is a "done deal". A new nation and country is on the horizon. The northerners will graciously defer to the southerners? We shall see!

"It's official: South Sudan set to secede with a 99.57 percent vote"

"South Sudan's long-awaited independence referendum produced an overwhelming turnout of 99 percent among voters in the south, one of the poorest and least developed regions on earth."

"Juba, South Sudan - - Cheers and spontaneous dancing broke out as the first official announcement of results from South Sudan’s independence vote was made in the oil-rich region’s capital by members of commission that organized the referendum held earlier this month."

Very poor and undeveloped, to be sure, but also containing VAST amounts of oil that merely awaits exploration? This remains to be seen.

Also, the southern Sudan, the Christian and animist people of the region, subjected to a decades long war perpetrated by the central government in Khartoum against the separatist forces of John Garang! A war that can be categorized as GENOCIDAL in nature!

That central government in Khartoum is NOT going to let the south "go" so easily? The resumption of hostilities is a big "possible"? The north has a BAD track record on this issue of secession and is willing to use "any means necessary" to gain their way.

And here thanks to Ilya, some interesting comments on the entire topic of secession:

"In practice, the morality of any given secession movement
depends critically on the reasons why the secessionists
want to form their own state and the likelihood that it
will be less unjust than the regime they seek to leave.
Some secessions have clearly been defensible on these terms,
including the Baltic States’ secession from the USSR,
the breakup of Czechoslovakia in 1993,
Norway’s early 20th century secession from Sweden,
and America’s own secession from the British Empire."

Anyone disagree with that? And good luck southerners!


Spice II.

This is coolbert:



Those military cadets and midshipmen from the Air Force Academy and the Naval Academy consuming "Spice" were seeking an advantage over potential adversaries?

USAFA and Naval Academy graduates, many of whom will become "Top Guns" of the future, had the novel and movie "Dune" in mind when they imbibed the "Spice"?

I speak in total jest of course here, but nonetheless, some of those expelled had been watching too many science-fiction movies?

Spice - - the control in the movie and novel "Dune" of which was essential to domination of the universe. Spice - - a substance without which interstellar space travel was impassible, the Guild Navigator mutated beings able to transgress the bounds of normal existence, transgressions of a positive nature only accomplished through the ingestion of Spice.

"The Spice Melange, commonly referred to simply as 'the spice', was a naturally produced awareness spectrum narcotic that formed a fundamental block of commerce and technological development in the known universe for millennia. It also played an important role in travel and cultural development."

"it could awaken dormant parts of the human mind and encourage expanded sensory perceptions. In some humans . . . heavy doses led to powerful abilities that include prescience"

"Effects on those who consume melange are outlined below":

Mind altering
Health benefits
Physical effects

"A Guild Navigator was a senior rank of artificially super evolved humans within the Spacing Guild, and for many Guildsmen the pinnacle of their ambitions. Mutated through the consumption of and exposure to massive amounts of the spice Melange, Navigators are able to use a mentally conditioned and trained form of prescience to safely navigate interstellar and galactic space in long range starships called Heighliners."

Spice, as obtained legally and over-the-counter in such places as Colorado, is not the same "Spice" as is found in the novel and movie "Dune". Obviously so!

"Top Guns" from either the Air Force or Naval Academies must rather eschew and avoid intoxicating substance to the greatest degree possible. Even the consumption of alcohol can numb the brain and sense to the point where "Top Gun" performance is greatly inhibited.

A fact lost on those persons recently expelled. Again, too bad!


Spice I.

This is coolbert:


Here with troubling news from the military academies. The Naval Academy and the Air Force Academy both having to expel cadets and midshipmen.

Use of a "drug" - - SPICE - - LEGAL in many locales, can be bought over the counter, but a prohibited substance - - an intoxicant - - verboten to members of the military.

Spice mimics marijuana, being used by the students, against general orders, expulsions already having been done, and maybe more on the way. NO expulsions from the military academy at West Point - - at least not yet.

1. "Naval Academy Expels 7 in 'Spice' Probe"

"The U.S. Naval Academy has expelled seven midshipmen for the possession or use of 'spice,' a synthetic marijuana product that has been gaining popularity because it is hard to detect in drug testing and, until recently, was legal."

UNTIL recently? NO! Still legal in many locales, including Colorado [USAFA]. Forbidden for military personnel, but not civilians.


"U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. - The Air Force Academy is
currently investigating approximately 25 cadets for violating a General
Order prohibiting the use of an intoxicating substance, commonly known
as 'Spice.' The investigation remains ongoing and any additional
allegations will be fully investigated as well. Since the Academy
Superintendent issued the General Order in April, five cadets have been
separated from the United States Air Force Academy for using Spice."

This Spice is unknown to me. But then I am not one to take intoxicants but only for the meagre amount of wine I drink from time to time, and then sparingly and with a meal. Too, I am a stodgy old-timer and better off for it also.

Question I have is - - do the cadets and midshipmen have to undergo regular random or pervasive drug testing, or are they on a honor code? For that matter, are those of the American officer corps required to submit to drug testing too, as is mandatory for the enlisted men.

These young men, cadets and midshipmen [females too if any are involved] have done themselves a big wrong, and are going to regret it the rest of their lives. Too bad.


Friday, January 28, 2011


This is coolbert:

"Warning. Do not use
aboard ship. Unsafe radiation limits"

"it is built like a Tank and looks like
it belongs in the military supply depot."

From the previous blog entry regarding the Crosley Corporation and their manufacture of what were referred to as "morale receivers"!

The "morale receiver". NOT absolutely what I thought it was.

A radio receiver, manufactured during wartime with a specific intent, to provide "entertainment" for the military forces. Issued to and allowed the soldier, sailors, marines, airmen to "tune" the radio waves from the home front, listen to English language broadcasts, "Tokyo Rose", "Axis Sally", etc.

News from home, the usual general entertainment type of programming as was of the era. The television being a great rarity [scheduled programming did not even exist?] at the time, radio the main mass media "outlet" of the period.

Companies geared to the wartime effort, Crosley, E.H. Scott, etc., manufacturing these receivers for the military.

"The REP is a transformer-powered World War II era Navy morale receiver that can be switched to either 110 or 220 volts AC. It has 7 active tubes and sockets for 7 spares, including a socket for a spare 6E5 tuning eye. The receiver covers the AM broadcast band from 540 to 1610 KHz and two short wave bands from 5.8 to 15.8 MHz"

But a radio receiver with a glaring drawback as manufactured. Were dangerous to use aboard a naval or merchant marine vessel. ONLY to be used while anchored at port [?], the radio posing a danger to ships at sea from what are called spurious emissions!!

"the Navy was concerned that RF from a receiver's local oscillator could be picked up by enemy direction finders [DF]. This radio was obviously intended for shore-use only since it did not meet the rather strict low radiation standards."

"The E.H. Scott Morale Receiver is interesting in that it was the only receiver made during WW2 where radiation from the local oscillators were heavily suppressed. Up to that point, the Germans learned to DF a convoy by tuning into the signals given off by local oscillators. Some German subs could detect these signals from as far as 100 miles at night."

Right - - exactly! Those radio receivers of the time, tube sets, if NOT ADEQUATELY SHIELDED - - GAVE OFF WHAT ARE CALLED SPURIOUS EMISSIONS!! Signals that could be detected by skilled enemy radio operators at a distance, compromising possibly the location of an entire convoy, with the consequences often quite terrible!

A sailor - - careless - - using a "morale receiver" while at sea, could get his ship sunk and himself killed!

That figure of 100 miles would be a great rarity, a maximum range only under the most ideal of conditions? Nonetheless, these receivers if used in an improper manner, did constitute a danger that was recognized, proactive measures having been taken to ward off peril.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Old Ways?

This is coolbert:

"Sometimes the old ways are the best ways" - - Bert.

"Words fail me. First there was the black powder AR, then the Chainsaw AR …"

Some modern instances of old wine in a new bottle! Or are these cases of new wine in an old bottle?

1. The AR-15 crossbow.

A military style assault rifle, modified with an cross-bow attachment of just amazing lethality.

Take your average-everyday AR-15, assault rifle, remove the upper barrel assembly, attach the cross-bow assembly to the receiver group of the rifle, and voila', you have a brand new weapon with some potency to it! All this legal too [at least in the U.S.]!

"PSE TAC 15"

"This AR-15 accessory-called the "Tactical Assault Crossbow 15"-will morph your standard AR into a viable crossbow for hunting big game."

[the AR-15 of course is the civilian version of the military M-16. Other than the lack of a bayonet lug, night sights, and having only a magazine with a ten round capacity, the AR-15 and the M-16 are almost one and the same!]

"The machined aluminum TAC-15 upper attaches to any standard AR-15-style lower receiver exactly like you'd attach an upper barrel assembly; it snaps perfectly into position using the AR's two existing pins . . . All the fire controls (safety and trigger) function as a normal AR-15."

See prior blog entries on the modern military use of the cross-bow:

2. Catapult. The last supposed use of the catapult during a time of war was during World War One [WW1]. Used as a device during the early stages of the war to "chuck" hand grenades at the enemy. Quite a distance could be had from the mechanical contrivance? Far greater range than if a person had been throwing the grenade by hand!

"The last large scale military use of catapults was during the trench warfare of World War I. During the early stages of the war, catapults were used to throw hand grenades across no man's land into enemy trenches. (These were eventually replaced by small mortars)."


From only today we have a report of a catapult in action - - on the border between the U.S. and Mexico. A catapult being used by Mexican drug dealers to heave 2 kilogram [5 pound] bales of some "substance" over the border. You might suggest that this is NOT a catapult being used in a military situation. OR is it?

"Drug Smugglers Catapulting Marijuana Into U.S."

"U.S. authorities say some Mexican drug smugglers have resorted to using a catapult to get marijuana across the border into Arizona."

"The National Guard spotted the suspects on a remote surveillance camera launching 2 kilogram size bails over the border fence last Friday."

Crazy world, isn't it? But I ask you - - there is a degree of truth to the adage that sometimes the old ways are the best ways?


Tuesday, January 25, 2011


This is coolbert:

Here yet with another instance of the criminal element during wartime, not to be ever recruited or entrusted with any military duty or function whatsoever. The criminal NEVER making a good soldier!

The criminal element, sought after in manner that is foolish - - the thought that these "men of action", "tough guys" are worthy of military duties just plain wrongheaded. Rather, persons who take advantage of a situation and ONLY continue their criminal ways on a larger and even worse scale. As in the manner of those "troops" comprising the Dirlewanger, bashi bazooks of the Ottoman Empire, the janjaweed of modern times, etc.

The Vichy French Milice [militia] under the command of the collaborationist Joseph Darnand!

"Joseph Darnand was a French leader of the far right and commander of the Vichy French Milice"

That Milice a quasi-military organization involved in partisan-hunting, ferreting out "reds" and other dissident elements opposed to the Vichy French!

Darnand without a doubt a courageous man - - a patriot and devoted Frenchman whose loyalties took a wrong turn with disastrous consequences for all involved!

"Darnand was born at Coligny, Ain, Rhône-Alpes in France. He fought in World War I and received seven citations for bravery."

"[during] World War II, Darnand volunteered to join the French army and served in the Maginot Line and was decorated for bravery."

"He became a leading figure in the Vichy French organization Légion Francaise des combattants (French Legion of Veterans) and recruited troopers for the fight against Bolshevism"

"The next year [1941], he founded the collaborationist militia"

That militia comprised of many "villains": [from a French translation]

"Darnand never appear more 30,000 to 34,000 activists . . .
a large number of adventurers, fugitives from justice, of criminals.
The abuses of political militias are coupled so many . . .
robberies, burglaries, racketeering, extortion, assault on a public road
or against officials, who complete totally discredit the militia in the population."

A goodly percentage of the French collaborationist militia working with the German were of and from the French criminal element! Thugs for the most part, "hunting" French Resistance fighters, using torture and summary execution as a "tool". Disreputable persons who used their "authority" to continue their villainy but only much more so!!

During war time, the recruitment of the disreputable is not only a bad idea, worse than that, ONLY makes the situation worse for those employing such a "rabble"!


Monday, January 24, 2011

Les Frenchmen!

This is coolbert:

Here with more military art.

Similar to but not exactly the same as the military sketch art of Seppings-Wright or Xavier Pick.

What is called French Foreign Legion [FFL] "humor"!

"L'humour à la Légion Étrangère"

Thanks to the artist Monsieur Ignace Fiedos, not sure if the man is alive today but thanks all the same. From the era of the First Indo-China War, the FFL playing a key and ultimately futile and costly role in that conflict.

A collection of caricatures of FFL commanders and officers, very well done. NOT in a hostile or mocking way, but just what they are, a humorous and good-natured caricature.

For whatever reason, am I imagining this or what,
but many officers in the FFL are bespectacled?
NOT always presenting the military image as
combat arms soldiers but nonetheless those
French commanders usually the most adept,
best trained, highly-motivated!

And cartoons also of a humorous nature, again, good-natured and quite true to life in some instances.

Perhaps the most famous French aviator and
doctor of the conflict, Valerie Andre, would appreciate
this cartoon. Helicopters do often crash from
paper, tape, hats, etc., sucked up into the
engine or wrapping around the rotor!

Tres bien Monsieur Ignace, and thank you. Devoted readers to blog see it all and enjoy!


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Mission Accomplished!

This is coolbert:

Back to the subject of the now infamous "Mission Accomplished" speech by President Bush.

"2003 Mission Accomplished speech"

A much maligned speech, the President an object of derision, the entire episode now considered to be an "embarrassment"?

The theme, "Mission Accomplished" NOT understood at the time and NOT even understood NOW!

"Mission Accomplished" meaning from the military standpoint AND END TO COMBAT OPERATIONS AT CORPS LEVEL AND HIGHER!!

The army of Iraq destroyed, the regime of Saddam Hussein overthrown, the people of Iraq liberated from a tyrant!

Of this there is no question? Combat involving anti-insurgent/anti-guerrilla operations only in the incipient stage, but nonetheless, COMBAT OPERATIONS AT CORPS LEVEL AND HIGHER SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED - - MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!

EVEN further more, AND AN ITEM NOT EVEN MENTIONED IN THE WIKI ENTRY - - the President felt he owed a special obligation and THANKS to the crew and the combat aviators of the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln. MORE than anything else, the "Mission Accomplished" speech was directed at the entire ships' complement!

The Lincoln having just completed a deployment to the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf, the combat aircraft of the Lincoln flying numerous missions over Iraqi airspace, the aircraft carrier HOMEWARD BOUND AFTER SIX MONTHS ABSENCE! The Lincoln ordered to turn around and return to combat station - - duty first!

The original deployment and then extended mission of the Lincoln unprecedented in length:

"the Abraham Lincoln was deployed 290 days, longer than any other nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in history."

The additional and extended deployment to the Indian Ocean/Persian Gulf meaning combat - - war, even many more combat missions. Neither the crew of the Lincoln or the combat aviators shirking their duty one bit, everyone knowing full well what disappointment the "turn-around" must have meant for family members and loved ones at home.

President Bush knew full well he owed in particular a large measure of gratitude to the ships' complement of the Lincoln and strongly desired to repay that debt in full, in an appropriate way!

Say what you will, in this instance the Commander-in-Chief did well, very well!



This is coolbert:

"Spiderman, Spiderman,
Does whatever a spider can.
Spins a web, any size,
. . . Is he strong? Listen bud—
He's got radioactive blood.
Can he swing from a thread?
Take a look overhead."

NOT necessarily radioactive blood here, but gene splicing - - YES!

Research, successful, funded by the U.S. military, the goal to replicate the silk of the spider. A replication eventually on a commercial basis, military applications being many and varied. SPIDER SILK IS STRONG!

Spider silk being five to ten times stronger than steel!!

Scientists using gene splicing techniques, able to "cross" a spider with a goat. The milk of the goat then processed in a patented [secret?] manner - - the end product being spider silk in commercially available quantities. Hitherto - - an impossibility.

Science fiction become fact. That gene splicing and "crossing" of dissimilar species being very worrisome to some, regardless of the results, benign or otherwise.

1. "What's Stronger Than Steel? Spider Silk"

"David Pogue Looks at How Science Tries to Match What Spiders Produce"

"Technically, spider dragline silk is five times as strong as steel."

As described, the proposed military applications of spider silk are:

* "bulletproof vests"
* "parachute cables"
* "arresting cables"
* "artificial ligaments, tendons, and bones for wounded soldiers"

2. "Meet Spider Goat - the DNA-enhanced web-flinging nanny that may one day knit bones"

"After the milk is collected, it's taken back to a laboratory where the silk protein is filtered out. It solidifies when exposed to air and is wound onto a roller. Prof Lewis said the team collects about four metres of silk for every four drops of protein they gather."

Granted, this "procedure" is still experimental? You will need a large herd or herds of such "gene-spliced" goats to produce the abundance of milk needed for the quantities of silk needed. But the idea is worthy?

And too, someone will perceive a malignant mentality at work here? The military is involved? Alarm bells going off all over the place? NEXT, the gorilla and human cross?



This is coolbert:

From only today, MORE pirate stuff.

This time, the navy of Malaysia in action, most successfully, the Somali pirates once again thwarted. This scourge, an ancient evil, now countered by a whole host of warships from variety of nations.

NOT so long ago, to have found a warship from South Korea or Malaysia on active mission in the Indian Ocean would have been an "impossible"? NOT NOW!

"Malaysia navy foils ship hijack attempt, seizes pirates"

"Malaysia says its navy commandos have foiled an attempted hijacking of a ship in the Gulf of Aden, rescuing 23 crew and capturing seven Somali pirates."

The pirates NO LONGER and perhaps for some time now not the coastal huggers they once were. NOW range far afield [at sea], taking their operations to the open ocean in an unprecedented manner.

"Somali pirates were now operating farther offshore . . . the rescue operation about 555km (300 miles) east off the coast of Oman."

Recall that the incident just the other day involving the South Koreans was about eight hundred [800] miles at sea. Pretty far from the east African coast, pelagic waters now favored by the villains.


Friday, January 21, 2011

How & Why.

This is coolbert:

"By the 18th century, pirates knew exactly where they stood in relation to the law. A legal dictionary of the day spelled it out: 'A piracy attempted on the Ocean, if the Pirates are overcome, the Takers may immediately inflict a Punishment by hanging them up at the Main-yard End; though this is understood where no legal judgment may be obtained.'"

Here with some info from a variety of sources on the historical punishments as was administered to pirates of yore. And also the modern perspective on an age-old scourge which has enjoyed a revival that astonishes some.

1. " How pirates were punished"

"Ye and each of ye are adjudged and sentenced to be carried back to the place from whence you came, thence to the place of execution, and there within the flood marks to be hanged by the neck till you are dead, dead, dead, and the Lord, in His infinite wisdom have mercy upon your souls…After this ye, and each of ye shall be taken down and your bodies hung in chains…"

2. "Punishing the Pirates"

"The victim would be unable to breathe, and their skin would begin to turn a ghoulish shade of bluish-purple…. Within minutes the tongue would protrude from the mouth, the eyes would bulge from the many cases the prisoner lost complete control of their bladder and bowels…"

And finally - - from the online edition of the Wall Street Journal, a very learned article as to WHY we do not treat modern pirates as was done to those of "yore"!

3. "Why Don't We Hang Pirates Anymore?"

The civilized world is just that - - civilized? The modern conventions and international legalisms never contemplated a return to the old ways? A meeting-of-the-nations is needed, an effort to codify a new a modern approach to the punishment of modern pirates? Perhaps the old ways are the best ways? But for the squeamish stand aside!



This is coolbert:

Kim versus the pirates. Kim one, pirates zero. The tip here from the Jungle Trader blog.

A victory for the good guys.

As reported in the New York Times, South Korean commando unit overpowers and kills Somali pirates holding a vessel and crew hostage. Punishment for the miscreants as in the old-fashioned manner, no mercy shown.

"South Korea Rescues Crew and Ship From Pirates"

"SEOUL, South Korea — South Korean special forces staged a daring early morning rescue on a hijacked freighter hundreds of miles [800 miles to be exact] off the coast of Somalia on Friday, killing eight pirates and rescuing all 21 hostages, the South Korean military said."

"The rescue began about 5 a.m. Friday . . . The commandos then confronted the pirates . . . in a battle that lasted five hours."

During the year 2010, the instance of pirate attacks on commercial vessels in the Indian Ocean HAS INCREASED! Piracy is a big time business now. That fleet of international warships on patrol not able to eliminate the piracy, but merely contain it. This particular report very troubling:

"Pirates in 2010 increased their attacks for the fourth straight year, taking more hostages than in any year on record, according to an annual report on piracy. The Piracy Reporting Center of the International Maritime Bureau said pirates had taken 1,181 people hostage and killed eight in attacks on 445 ships last year. At least 53 ships were hijacked last year, the bureau said."

Indian Ocean today, the world tomorrow? Let us hope not!


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sarge & Kalvin.

This is coolbert:

ONLY today is reported the death of R. Sargent Shriver.

Prominent American from a prominent American family, related by marriage to another and even more prominent American family.

R. Sargent the brother-in-law of President Kennedy and a man [Shriver] whose career in politics and government was quite long and successful.

"Robert Sargent Shriver, Jr. . . . was an American politician and activist. Known as R. Sargent Shriver or Sarge, he is best known as part of the Kennedy family, as the driving force behind the creation of the Peace Corps, and as the Democratic Party's candidate for U.S. vice president — . . . Shriver died at the age of 95 on January 18, 2011."

Also a combat veteran of World War Two [WW2], seeing extensive naval action in the Pacific theatre, a gunnery office abroad the USS South Dakota.

And the officer whose "handled" the "case" of Kalvin Graham. Graham the youngest American to fight in WW2, also a naval veteran, a "man" decorated for valor in combat, also aboard the Dakota with Shriver, but a "man" of only twelve years old!!

"Kalvin Leon Graham . . . was the youngest person ever to enlist in the United States Navy, and the youngest U.S. serviceman during World War II . . . he enlisted in the Navy . . . at the age of 12." [and escaped detection until "unmasked" by R. Sargent]

"He [Graham] was wounded at the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, while serving aboard the USS South Dakota. During the battle, he helped in the fire control efforts aboard the South Dakota, but suffered fragmentation wounds in the process. For his actions he was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart . . . he was dishonorably discharged in May 1943 for lying about his age"

"The South Dakota's gunnery officer, who was involved in handling his case, was Sargent Shriver."

Even with good intentions it is not right to LIE! Even when your nation is at peril?

[in most locales you cannot enter into a legal contract until you reach the age of eighteen years. It is possible to enlist with your parents signature before reaching the age of eighteen, but mostly that is rare. Once you sign that enlistment contract and the medical history form, those become legal documents for all that means! Kalvin was only twelve years old and NO ONE ever thought he was underage?]

May both R. Sargent and Kalvin rest in peace, the two of them exchanging war stories from time to time, etc. A full-wind in the sails of both at all times.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Teltow Canal.

This is coolbert:

"'Personal to Comrades Rybalko and Lelyushenko.
Order you categorically to break into Berlin tonight.
Report execution. Konev.’"

"Konev decided to reinforce Rybalko’s tank army
with an artillery breakthrough corps -’a powerful hammer’"

Here with another instance of the Grande Batterie in action. This not from the Napoleonic Era or the time of the American Civil War. A much more recent instance - - this from the Battle of Berlin, 1945, the crossing of the Teltow Canal.

A massing of artillery assets, on a scale unimaginable by those of a much earlier period, the objective to obliterate with a massive bombardment all and any German resistance in the path of the advancing Soviets.

"Cracking the Teltow Canal line fell to General Pavel Rybalko and his 3rd Guards Tank Army. He spent all of the previous day bringing up 3000 artillery pieces, mortars, and Katyusha rocket launchers, concentrating them on a narrow front (a staggering 650 pieces of artillery per one kilometer of front. At 06:20 the barrage opened and then assault teams crossed the canal in collapsible boats . . . by early afternoon, a pontoon bridge had been constructed across the canal allowing Russian armour to cross"

Click on image to see greater resolution.
3rd Guards Tank Army crossing
the Teltow Canal at the circled # 2.

Soviet mortars of caliber 122 mm and above counted as artillery! The barrage accompanied by aviation assets of the Soviet air army attached to the front under the command of Konev. An irrestiable force pulverizing and blowing into smithereens any German opposition. The Teltow Canal crossing a success, artillery employed in a manner hitherto never seen or experienced!!

The attack by the 3rd Guards Tank Army PRIOR to and NOT to be confused with a similar canal crossing [also of the Teltow Canal] by the 1st Guards Tank Army of the Soviet front under the command of Zhukov!

"Colonel-General Mikhail Katukov's 1st Guards Tank Army attacked across the Teltow Canal."

NO mercy to the defending German, the Soviet determined in the extreme to capture the Nazi capital, the "steamroller" greatly aided and abetted by a Grande Batterie that would have done Napoleon proud!!


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Grande Batterie!

This is coolbert:

From the previous blog entry:

"NOT only having better artillery on hand but in addition
used in a manner to maximize the use thereof.
This usage called the Grande Batterie. A massing of
all available artillery assets with concentrated fire
upon the enemy at a location as deemed vulnerable by
Napoleon. Blast the enemy to smithereens at a critical point
and moment during a battle. Eviscerate the 'vitals so to speak!"

And here an instance from the American Civil War of the grande batterie in action.

The Battle of Shiloh. Confederate army not able to overcome by direct infantry assault a position - - The Hornet's Nest - - occupied by grossly outnumbered Union troops. The solution a grande batterie as would have been found fifty years earlier during the Napoleonic Era. A quick massing of artillery [Confederate] the intention of which was to blast to smithereens the defenders [Union], clearing a path for the attacker. A critical position the capture of which could be attained not other than with brute force!!

"Hornet's Nest - - On the main Union defensive line . . . [Union troops] established and held a position nicknamed the Hornet's Nest . . . The Confederates assaulted the position for several hours rather than simply bypassing it, and they suffered heavy casualties during these assaults—historians' estimates of the number of separate charges range from 8 to 14 . . . it was not until the Confederates assembled over 50 cannons to blast the line at close range that they were able to surround the position, and the Hornet's Nest fell after holding out for seven hours . . . A large portion of the Union survivors, numbering from 2,200 to 2,400 men, were captured, but their sacrifice bought time for Grant to establish a final defense line near Pittsburg Landing"

Eleven batteries [of five guns each?] of artillery simultaneously brought to bear on a single position, a grande batterie as would have been appreciated by Napoleon!

I am sure this is disputed but those Union troops occupying and defending what became known as the Hornet's Nest saved the career of Grant and the Union cause, for all that means! A defeat at Shiloh would have severely disheartened and discouraged Northerners to the point where they would have seriously considered a negotiated settlement to Southern secession? World history might have turned out significantly different if not for Shiloh and Union eventual victory?


Napoleon II.

This is coolbert:

"I have fought sixty battles and I have learned
nothing which I did not know at the beginning.
Look at Caesar; he fought the first like the last."

"Read over and over again the campaigns of
Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, Gustavus, Turenne,
Eugene and Frederic. ... This is the only way to become a
great general and master the secrets of the art of war. ..."

Napoleon - - conclusion.

"How do you think he does it? I don't know! What makes him so good?"

Here from the website MilitaryHistoryOnline the opinion of one man as to the WHY of Napoleon's success. The factors many, Napoleon NOT seen as an innovator as such, but a man who put innovations of the time to the best use in a way others were not able to! A combination of many factors all at once allowing Napoleon to flummox the more stodgy and set-in-their-ways commanders of the time!

"The Success of Napoleon" by Richard Podruchny.

"Napoleon efficiently utilized the weapons and technology on hand that would formulate his strategy and tactics"

NOT MERELY weapons and technology, BUT much more than that!

1. Weapons and technology innovations and developments related to the artillery arm.

"The artillery arm, however, went through some major renovations prior to Napoleon's rise to power."

Artillery became able to shoot faster and more accurately over longer range with greater lethality AND more maneuverable.

"Napoleon simply made more efficient use with what was on hand."

NOT only having better artillery on hand but in addition used in a manner to maximize the use thereof. This usage called the Grande Batterie. A massing of all available artillery assets with concentrated fire upon the enemy at a location as deemed vulnerable by Napoleon. Blast the enemy to smithereens at a critical point and moment during a battle. Eviscerate the "vitals" so to speak!

"the Grande Batterie. The Grande Batterie would be used in the later years during the Napoleonic era. This technique was essentially the physical massing of artillery fire in support of achieving his main objective on the battlefield"

2. Napoleon made great use of the divisional concept. A formation of standardized combat arms [infantry, cavalry, artillery], a division consisting of about 10,000 troops - - a divisional sized all-arms unit being the largest formation with a fixed structure.

"Napoleon improved upon the potential of division formations."

Divisions organized into task-tailored corps formations for campaigns. Each corps commander also having his own organic combined arms at this disposal.

3. French troops AS A UNIT were more adept and able than their peers of the period. Able to march both further and faster, maneuver more quickly and better in combat, had better intelligence, etc. BETTER!

"The quick maneuvering and marching ability of Napoleon's armies would form the foundation in the execution of Napoleon's strategic concepts"

"To aid in Napoleon's speed of maneuver, his troops traveled light. Coupled with the increase in mobility from living off the land, the French abandoned the orthodox 70 paces per minute line of march in favor of a quick step of 120 paces per minute."

Napoleon eschewed the organized supply as it existed during the period. His troops were required to live off the land, requisitioning, demanding, forcibly taking whatever they needed during a march! This method did NOT serve Napoleon well during the Russian campaign.

"the re-introduction of light-infantry was put into practice."

Light infantry functioning quite often as skirmishers. NOT fighting from a closed and compact formation as was the order of the day.

"a close order column"

The close order column allowed for maximum firepower with maximum speed and mobility of the troop formation. Formations were able to form, deploy, reform, march, much quicker and keep together as a unit. The closed order was a hybrid NOT used by other armies?

[to be honest with you, the close order is not totally understood by me! Can some reader to the blog further elucidate!]

"Napoleon would also make great use of his cavalry and not just in battle. The French cavalry would serve as the basis for Napoleon's intelligence collection."

4. Napoleon embraced fully the concept of the nation-at-arms! Armies became much larger in size, the entire resources of the nation-state devoted to the war effort, and especially with the French, the troops and citizenry inculcated with a revolutionary zeal and elan, almost a missionary fervor!!

"during this time period would drastically increase in size due to conscription. These conscription based armed forces in France would number over a half a million men"

"the 'nation-in-arms.' The French army was not only moved by discipline but through ideological and patriotic dedication. The French government and citizens would support this this new national army through the nationalized manufacturing of war material."

"the aristocratic monopoly on officer commissions was removed, which paved the way for a new kind of officer."

The officer corps no longer relied solely upon the nobility, the aristocracy, those of privilege and wealth for command. ANY MAN showing ability, merit, demonstrative battlefield prowess could rise rapidly in the ranks, often achieving high rank. In this regard Marshal Ney is the archetype.

5. Napoleon had a well thought out "strategy" for employing troops during a campaign. Today this would be referred to as the operational art. The maneuver of troops on a large scale to achieve strategic objectives. One "strategy" was allowed for when the French were outnumbered, and another "strategy" for fighting when the French had numerical superiority!

"Napoleon developed two major strategic systems."

"When he was facing an enemy superior in numbers, the strategy of the central position was used in order to split the enemy into separate parts. This was where each could be eliminated in detail through maneuvering in order to gain the French a local superiority of force"

"On the other hand, of the French held superiority in numbers, Napoleon would often use a maneuver of envelopment"

Maneuver of course dependent upon the very quick marching ability of the French soldier!

And there it is! Napoleon did consider himself to be a finished product from the very beginning of his generalship, his command presence on the battlefield being equal to 40,000 troops it is alleged!

Nothing to it really! Anyone can do it? You judge!


Napoleon I.

This is coolbert:

"I have fought sixty battles and I have learned nothing which I did not know at the beginning. Look at Caesar; he fought the first like the last."

"Read over and over again the campaigns of Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, Gustavus, Turenne, Eugene and Frederic. ... This is the only way to become a great general and master the secrets of the art of war. ..."

Napoleon - - the youth!

There is an enigmatic side to Napoleon? Others have commented on this? I am not sure.

"How do you think he does it? I don't know! What makes him so good?"

Well, this is a valid question, isn't it?

Napoleon by far is the most successful and again, arguably the greatest general in history?

Modern warfare as it is understood today owes a lot to Napoleon and can be said to have begun [modern warfare] with the man?

It is safe to say that there was warfare PRIOR to Napoleon and warfare AFTER Napoleon, and they are two different animals.

It has been suggested that the mere command presence of Napoleon on the battlefield was equal to having an additional forty thousand [40,000] troops present!!

And how exactly did this all come about? That is the question I pose.

Prior to his first campaign, his first command as a general officer in charge of troops in the field during a battle, the man was - - TWENTY-SIX YEARS OLD!

And had only very scanty combat experience prior to that. Routing with artillery fire the mob of Paris, an unarmed mob, and only that, a MOB! Also suppressing a rebellion by French sailors, sinking a number of French warships, those ship MOORED AT ANCHORAGE!

[in both case, Napoleon made liberal use of his favorite weapon, the cannon, Napoleon by profession being an artillery officer!]

True, Napoleon was a career military officer and a graduate of the prestigious École Militaire. Completing a two year course in just a year, matriculating at the tender age of sixteen!!

The estimated IQ of Napoleon relative to others of his era being:

1. John Stuart Mill (Philosopher, economist) 190
2. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (German poet) 185
3. Thomas Chatterton 170
4. Voltaire (Author, philosopher) 170
5. George Sand (the only woman on the list; author) 150
6. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Composer) 150
7. Lord Byron (English poet) 150
8. Thomas Jefferson (President, statesman, author) 145
9. Benjamin Franklin (Writer, statesman, inventor) 145
10. Charles Dickens (English writer) 145
11. Galileo (Astronomer) 145
12. Napoleon Bonaparte (Military strategist, conqueror) 140
13. Richard Wagner (Composer) 135
14. Charles Darwin (Scientist: theory of Evolution) 135
15. Ludwig von Beethoven (Composer) 135

[an IQ of 150 or greater in modern terms qualifies a person as a genius! Napoleon as an artillery officer must have had too a sound background in math, indicative of a pretty good intellect?]

By his own admission, Napoleon was a finished and polished product at the beginning? Did not need any "learning curve" to follow? He was at the height of his powers from the start, perceived himself to be so - - the master above and beyond those adversaries he met in the field, a confidence in his own abilities that is astonishing!

Consider the command record of Napoleon as a general compared to four of those other "Great Captains" Bonaparte himself felt worthy of emulation:

"Napoleon Bonaparte commanded in more battles than any other general in history. By one count he exercised command in fifty-five major or significant battles . . . Of those battles he won forty-eight, drew three, and lost four."

In contrast:

Gustavus - - Eight major battles, six victories, two losses.
Turenne - - Ten major battles, seven victories, three losses.
Eugene - - Eleven major battles, eight victories, three losses.
Frederick - - Thirteen major battles, nine victories, three losses, one stalemate.

The above four "Great Captains" COMBINED do not even equal ONE Napoleon. What does that say?

So what does make him [Napoleon] so good? More to follow.


Saturday, January 15, 2011


This is coolbert:

Russian weapons development still in a high state of ferment. NO abatement to the advancements at both the highest and lowest levels of technology.

The RPG for instance. The rocket-propelled-grenade [RPG].

The RPG, a favorite weapon of what used to be the Eastern Bloc forces. An anti-tank weapon allowing the man-a-foot, the infantryman, to successfully engage and destroy a tank at close-quarters.

The RPG, firing a shaped-charge "round", able to destroy a tank with the thickest armor, the shaped-charged weapon originally used as a tank killer by the Germans with their panzerfaust "pea-shooter" of World War Two fame.

That shaped-charge round giving off an extremely hot jet of gas that MELTS through the thickest of armor, killing crew and setting afire inside the tank anything combustible.

Back in my day [over forty years ago now], the Soviets fielding the RPG-2 and the RPG-7! The RPG now found in versions RPG-27 and RPG-30! Much more advanced, larger, more robust and deadly versions of the original. The RPG-2 called the B-40 by communist forces in Vietnam.

Surprisingly, the Russians "copying" to a degree the design of the American light-anti-tank weapon [LAW] from the era of the 1960's. The latest Russian RPG versions being a one-time-use and throw-away version, resembling in use, shape, and feel the LAW?

"The M72 LAW (Light Anti-Tank Weapon, also referred to as the Light Anti-Armor Weapon or LAW as well as LAWS Light Anti-Armor Weapons System) is a portable one-shot 66 mm unguided anti-tank weapon"

The latest RPG larger and robust and capable than the LAW! The LAW fired a "round" that was 66 mm, the current Russian RPG firing a "round" that is 105 mm!

1. The RPG-27. Firing a tandem round [back to back] designed to defeat the "Blazer" type reactive armor.

"The RPG-27 'Tavolga' ('meadow grass') . . . a modern anti-tank grenade launcher designed to defeat modern and future tanks with advanced reactive and composite armor as well as fortified infantry"

"is a man-portable, disposable anti-tank rocket launcher with a single shot capacity. The RPG-27 . . . [with] PG-27 fin stabilised round is a 105 mm tandem shaped charge with a range of 200 meters."

That leading warhead detonates the reactive armor, creating a clear path for the following warhead to penetrate in the normal manner [HEAT]!

One-shot, one-hit, one-kill, THROW AWAY! In combat, a buddy team would have a number of these weapons armed at a moment and ready to fire.

2. RPG-30. An even more advanced version of the RPG-27. Having that tandem round used to defeat reactive armor, but also having an additional "precursor" round added and used to further defeat the active protective systems [APS] as being added to Russian and "western" tanks and armor [Israeli, American]!

The RPG-30 was unveiled in 2008 . . . as a modern anti-tank grenade launcher designed to address the threat of reactive armor and active protection systems on tanks. Active protection systems (APS) such as ARENA-E, Drozd and Trophy . . . the RPG-30 is an intended response to the introduction of these systems.

"there is a smaller diameter precursor round in addition to the main round. This precursor acts as a false target spoofing the APS into engaging it and allowing the main round (following the precursor after a slight delay) a clear path to the target"

3. Anyone ever hear anything more about this? An incident from 2004. American Abrams tank in Iraq destroyed, evidently by a small plug of "yellow molten metal" [depleted uranium]? This was a penetrator of some sort? Perhaps part of an experimental RPG? A solid plug armor penetrator IN ADDITION TO THE CONVENTIONAL HEAT ROUND OF A RPG? I am just not sure! This was never satisfactorily explained!

"It seems clear that a penetrator of a yellow molten metal is what caused the damage, but what weapon fires such a round and precisely what sort of round is it?"

It is like Will Rogers said: "in every war they kill you in a new way".



This is coolbert:

"there is no suggestion so far that either
of the men did anything that harmed
national security or put lives at risk."

NO suggestion! That is the point of this whole blog entry. Came across this info by accident. Has anyone other than myself made this observation or seen a possible connection here? My suspicions are raised, but I admit this is all speculation on my part.

The Royal Marine Commando [English], fighting against the communists in Korea, maritime raiders, elite troops of the British, giving the communists a lot of grief, the commando also seeing combat as part of the U.S. Tenth Corps [X] during the battles around the Chosun reservoir. Elite English troops accompanied by an "embedded" British journalist - - a man who presented a security risk of the gravest nature.

[that term "embedded" would not have been in use at the time!]


"Thomas Edward Neil Driberg, Baron Bradwell . . . was a British journalist and politician who was an influential member on the left of the Labour Party from the 1940s to the 1970s"


"he was severely censured in 1950 for gross neglect of his parliamentary duties by taking three months off to report on the Korean War"

Driberg, actually reporting from the field, desiring to be "up-close" to the action.

"The journalist and MP, Tom Driberg, accompanied both these raids as a war correspondent and wrote a consolidated account in Reynolds News, a now defunct Sunday newspaper."

What exactly was occurring here? Driberg was on a mission of espionage for the communists, posing as a journalist? Gathering data and info of interest to the North Koreans, the Chinese, the Soviets. It should be obvious [??] where the sympathies of Driberg would have been! Driberg, if indeed on a mission of espionage, not only a security threat to the English but the American Marines as well!

At no point did anyone ever say - - "you are not wanted here, go away!"

Driberg also was not a man unfamiliar to the world of intelligence, spying, espionage. Was for a long time an agent of British internal security MI5 and also an agent of the KGB [code named Lepage] SIMULTANEOUSLY! AND WAS A FRIEND AND "PERSONAL CONFIDANT" OF THE ARCH-TRAITOR GUY BURGESS!

You take it from there!

"Either man" refers to both Driberg and Raymond Fletcher, a contemporary of Driberg, also a British member of parliament and an agent of the KGB! They are [were] everywhere!

Perhaps I am just too paranoid! Or am I?


Thursday, January 13, 2011


This is coolbert:

Thanks here to the Australian website Quadrant and the article:

"Christopher Andrew and the Strange Case of Roger Hollis" by Paul Monk.

Here placing into context, the proper perspective, the gravity of the WikiLeaks, the quantity and quality as contrasted with spies of a previous generation. Spies, Englishmen all of them, Philby, Cairncross, Maclean, Burgess, Blunt, traitors usually considered to be the blackest of the blackguards, arch-traitors!

The take, the number of documents [single page and multi-page "documents"] delivered by the Ring of Five [Englishmen spying for the Soviets] during a many decade period:

* "Guy Burgess supplied 4600 documents"
* "Anthony Blunt supplied 1771 documents"
* "Donald Maclean supplied 4593 documents"
* "John Cairncross supplied 5800 documents"
* "Kim Philby 914"

"'The total take from these five spies alone—17,526 classified documents'" [again, presumably single page and multi-page "documents"].

Consider then the case of Bradley Manning and the WikiLeaks.

One man - - a single CD - - a soldier labeled at various times as a sergeant, a specialist, a private - - able to make public [to the entire world through Julian Assange and his cohorts], over 400,000 documents. Again, documents, either single page or multi-page. NOT merely 400,000 pages.

And also in contrast to the celebrated "Pentagon Papers" from the Vietnam era, these reports, cables, "documents" as made public by Manning/Assange are not such a revelation after all. An astounding amount of "data", but sans analysis. The "Pentagon Papers" were an ANALYSIS by scholars at the highest level who were afforded access to "documents" at the highest level of classification and also an ACCESS to persons who actually were involved in decision making during the American involvement in Vietnam.

Thanks to the "revelations" of Manning/Assange, we learn [regarding Afghan alone] that:

* The Taliban are able to deploy and use MANPAD [man-portable-air-defense].
* Civilian casualties total are more than has been reported. Civilian casualties from ALL sources, American/NATO, Afghan central government forces and Taliban.
* Pakistan intelligence [ISI] is more deeply involved with the Taliban that publicly admitted.


And these State Department "cables" are mostly [?] typical diplomatic chit-chat and gossip. Some interesting stuff, but NOT that much either.

400,000 documents still? Makes you wonder, doesn't it? The Ring of Five is a nothing compared to Manning/Assange quantity wise. But quality wise we have to wonder?


Tuesday, January 11, 2011


This is coolbert:

Thanks here to the tip from Dirk and his blog.

The Woodpecker. And not Woody either!

The Russian Woodpecker. How well I remember this one. Any person either using or listening to the high frequency band [3 MHZ - 30 MHZ] from the mid-1970's until 1989 will recall the consternation caused by this "disturbance". An annoyance of major proportions, no amelioration! Click on the audio file .ogg and you can hear the Woodpecker for yourself.

An annoyance now gone for several decades, ending with a most surprising twist?

"The Russian Woodpecker was a notorious Soviet signal that could be heard on the shortwave radio bands worldwide between July 1976 and December 1989. It sounded like a sharp, repetitive tapping noise, at 10 Hz, giving rise to the "Woodpecker" name . . . The signal was long believed to be that of an over-the-horizon radar (OTH) system . . . NATO military intelligence . . . having photographed it and given it the NATO reporting name Steel Yard."

Again, a major annoyance for over a decade, and a much speculated about signal. It was surmised, correctly, that this was an over-the-horizon [OTH] radar system, able to detect at the moment of launch [?] American ICBM or cruise missiles.

Called Steel Yard by NATO - - and for good reason. The receiving antenna was of massive proportions, unbelievable almost, the scale of which is mind-boggling. NOTHING ever built by the U.S. even remotely resembled this monstrosity?

The Woodpecker laid low by an unexpected and unanticpated source - - nuclear radiation?

That receiving antenna of Steel Yard [the transmitter was not co-located] within the 18 mile [30 kilometer] exclusion zone of Chernobyl. Steel Yard rendered inoperable by the melt-down of the nuclear reactor, the area within the exclusion zone declared unfit for human habitation!

[more radioactive material was spewed into the atmosphere by the Chernobyl melt-down than by all the previous above-ground nuclear tests combined!!]

Steel Yard now a big hunk of useless metal, just sitting there, a monument for the ages [at least until it rusts away], an epic construction on the scale of the pyramids now without purpose!


Monday, January 10, 2011


This is coolbert:

From a comment to the blog:

"Steiner said... The bigger story, entirely ignored by the mainstream press, is the deployment of the Chengdu J-10, which was developed with Israeli assistance from technology developed for the Lavi fighter"

The Chinese Chengdu J-10. A multi-role combat aircraft [MRCA] of the foremost type, design, and performance.

"The Chengdu J-10 . . . is a multi role fighter aircraft designed and produced by the People's Republic of China's Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation . . . the J-10 is a multi-role combat aircraft capable of all-weather day/night operation, that various sources have compared to the F-16, Mirage 2000, Rafale and Su-27"

The J-10 a very sophisticated combat aircraft. "Loaded" as they say, with all the bells and whistles, beyond what the average aviation enthusiast would expect from a Chinese design?

I do remember quite well the controversy involving the Lavi. A jet combat aircraft of indigenous Israeli design. Comparable to but better than the American F-16. The development project of the Lavi cancelled with a lot of recriminations from the Israeli public sector - - aircraft manufacture and design. Two prototypes of the Lavi kept in use subsequent to cancellation of the program, primarily to test: "The avionics of the Lavi were considered to be innovative and groundbreaking, and included self-analysis equipment to make maintenance easier".

That the Chinese J-10 owes A LOT [?] to the Lavi, the Lavi supposedly studied [?]by the Chinese, the final design [?] of the Chengdu incorporating design elements borrowed directly from the Lavi. Since the Lavi was funded by both the Israeli and Americans and a considerable [?] amount of American aircraft technology was used in the Lavi, well, figure it out for yourself what this means.

"According to some sources China was in possession of a Lavi during development of the J-10. Furthermore, due to the high level of American involvement in terms of technology sharing as well as funding, if these allegations were proven true, the sale of a Lavi and technical assistance in the production of the J-10 would represent a direct and illicit transfer of American technology to the Chinese by the Israelis. In sum, to a degree, the most advanced Chinese aircraft in the world would contain the most advanced American technology. However, the designer of the J-10, Song Wencong . . . has denied any connection whatsoever with Lavi program"

My perception is that the J-10 is analogous in many respects to other foreign designed aircraft, BUT that the J-10 is NOT a "clone" of the Lavi. I would also suspect the Chinese had a good look at the Lavi and incorporated many avionic concepts and technologies as originated by the Israeli into the J-10. NOT so much the "outside" package but the "inside"!

Here now with some images of the J-10 and other MRCA in the same "league" as the Chengdu "indigenous" design. Place close attention to the various similarities:

1. Chengdu J-10.

2. Eurofighter.

3. X-31.

4. Lavi.

5. Ye-8.

The Soviet Ye-8, first built in 1960 "Two built. 1960..1962.", an experimental aircraft based upon the design of the MiG-21, incorporates some interesting features not to be found on "western" combat airplanes until MUCH later.

"E-8 234.0K - Experimental fighter . . . The E-8 was a single-seat, single-engined aircraft with a delta wing and tail surfaces . . . but also with canard foreplanes. The fuselage was similar to that of the X-31 or the EFA [EuroFighter]"

This comment most appropriate: "(how long it took for the West to copy abandoned Soviet project...)" Copy is not so much the right word? You have to judge this all for yourself.


Sunday, January 9, 2011


This is coolbert:

"You see, people have no respect for history,”

"The gallant Hood of Texas played hell in Tennessee"

History as it was then and is remembered now. "War and Remembrance" [thanks to Herman Wouk] from first the Sepoy Mutiny, and secondly from the American Civil War.

How exactly are such events remembered over a century and a half later?

1. The Sepoy Mutiny, Cawnpore and Lucknow.

The events as they unfolded in 1857:

The Mutiny. Cawnpore, Lucknow.

And one hundred fifty years later, thanks to the Financial Express of India, as it is NOW [original article written in 2007].

"Exactly 150 years ago, sepoy Mangal Pandey was executed in Barrackpore. Travelling to several key locations of the uprising that shook the Empire, Sunday FE gauges what the country’s first War of Independence means now"

"Echoes of a Distant war"

It would seem that the episode of 1857 is not forgotten, but that little remains that gives evidence that the events actually occurred. And in the minds of the locals, as it is everywhere else in the world, the concerns of the here and now are of course foremost in the mind.

“'All gone waste, sir. The Angrez [English] have left but has it made a difference to poor people like me? Not really.'”

“The last stone of that memorial is right outside my shop,"

"'Why do you want to click pictures here?' asks the church priest. '1857 is a closed chapter'"

2. Battle of Franklin.

Climactic battle of the American Civil War. The Confederate army of John Bell Hood in pursuit of the Union army of Schofield. That Union army turning on the pursuer and occupying previously constructed defensive positions. A battle, a single-day five-hour long combat action resulting in horrendous casualties, both armies going at one another with gusto, flags flying and bands playing! AND THE ONLY OCCASION WHEN A CONFEDERATE ARMY LEFT THE BATTLEFIELD IN ROUT AND DISARRAY!

The site of the battle until recently not even consideration given to preservation or memorial. The location given over to pizza restaurants, strip mall, housing development. Was rather regarded as a place of shame and humiliating Southern defeat?

"– the “Five Bloodiest Hours of the American Civil War” – but, in the end, a futile bloodbath at best."

Currently, a battlefield being restored, the "remembrance" now in stride. History being re-captured, those having died nearly one hundred fifty years ago not being forgotten!

"Franklin: Then & Now"

"There on Columbia Pike, near where the Pizza Hut once stood, where you now see a Domino’s [a pizza restaurant] and a strip mall and small postage stamp lots with houses will someday – someday soon, if we have our way – be a battlefield park where 11 medals of honor were earned and Cleburne and so many of his comrades fell."

Contrary to what the priest says, The Sepoy Mutiny is not forgotten, NOR is the Battle of Franklin. NOR should these historical "events" be EVER forgotten. The closed chapter is still part of open book in both instances.