Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bodyguard I.

This is coolbert:


Romans and Reds!

Both from the times of the ancient Romans and also during the modern era we find the phenomenon of the seniror military commander, a general officer, having at his disposal a personal bodyguard of handpicked troops. Protecting the personage of the general, his most important military assets, and also available to be used during battle at the most critical of moments.

1. Ancient Rome.

Cohors praetoria"The term Praetorian derived from the tent of the commanding general or praetor of a Roman army in the field—the praetorium. They were an elite recruitment of Roman citizens. It was a habit of many Roman generals to choose from the ranks a private force of soldiers to act as guards of the tent or the person. They consisted of both infantry and cavalry. In time, this cohort came to be known as the cohors praetoria, and various notable figures possessed one, including Julius Caesar, Mark Antony and Augustus (Octavian)."

[the cohors praetori guarding a military commander in the field and NOT to be confused with the Praetorian Guard!]

"The first credible example of bodyguard-type cohorts dates to 133 BCE, when Scipio Aemilianus organized 500 of his clients into a so-called 'troop of friends.'"

"The most prestigious of such troops raised by high ranking officers were the oath-bound bodyguards, the buccellarii, who were not part of the army at all. Far more they were seen as a general's personal bodyguard."

2. Soviet Red Army.

 According to Suvorov "Inside the Soviet Army""

Those Soviet and now Russian too [?] general officers having at their disposal a personal bodyguard consisting of the most carefully selected and manned tank units - - at divisional, army, front, and strategic direction:

Divisional: "An independent tank battalion - - the divisional commander's bodyguard, which protects divisional headquarters and the rocket battalion, and which can be used in battle when the divisional commander needs all his resources."

Army: "An independent tank battalion - - the Army Commander's personal guard. This defends the Army's control [command] post and the rocket brigade and is brought into action only in the most critical situations, when everything is at stake."

Front: "An independent tank brigade - - The Front Commander's personal guard, which defends his command post and the Front's rocket brigades. This brigade is only brought into action in the most critical situations."

Strategic Direction: "The commander of a Strategic Direction, too, has his personal tank guard . . . This guard consists of a single special independent tank division or, in some cases of a tank corps made up of two divisions."

Specially hand-picked troops in all cases, loyal to a fault almost, and again, deployed in a guard-like role for the most part - - but able to be used in combat at that most critical juncture of a battle, when an all-or-nothing effort is mandated and guading as well those rocket and missile units which present a battlefield nuclear capability

As with the Romans, so with the Reds!!


Monday, May 30, 2011


This is coolbert:

Some comments on the killing of Osama bin Laden.

From what is understood and what has been released to the public, Osama living in that compound as he did was attempting to live in "plain sight" BUT certain of the measures he took rather than helping to conceal the man made it more apparent to intelligence analysts that SOMEONE of value, a high level operative[s] was living in that multi-family home. Measures taken to conceal to include:

* Burning of all trash within the compound.

* High walls with secure and sturdy gated entrances, those walls topped with barbed wire.

* A screened area within the compound for someone to walk outside but not be visible.

* Satellite reception but NO Internet or telephone connection.

* A bomb-proof room or structure. [adjacent to the structure or separate is not clear]

* Built [2005] only recently. [obviously built to specification?]

ALSO, that Osama was purportedly "addicted" to pornography, some have speculated that this is disinformation put out by the CIA to defame the man. From a Q & A with an authoritative source we have the comment suggesting otherwise:

Bert: Some have suggested that the stash of porn found with Osama is CIA disinformation. That such a stash exists is not unreasonable? The rich Arab, when exposed to the vices of the west, becomes hooked and indulges in an extreme manner?

Answer: Self-imprisoned in his house for years, living in squalor, Osama needed to be entertained by any means. If CIA wanted to plant disinformation as a means of discrediting the murderous bastard in the eyes of his misguided disciples, they could have done a much better job than porn.

IN ADDITION, I think a lot of folks find it somewhat strange that Osama did not go down fighting with a group of his followers? That is what was to be expected? That coterie of bodyguards and acolytes in a suicidal fashion battling it to the death with the SEALS. There were only two persons in the compound that did exchange gunfire with the U.S. forces, those two being almost immediately killed!

From all account Osama seems to have been in a daze, a "fog", astounded as to what was happening to him? This too was not within normal expectations?


Cokes & Jarks.

This is coolbert:

For those of you who thought the Easter Accords had settled the troubling situation in Northern Ireland once and for all, NOT SO FAST!

The Real Irish Republican Army [RIRA] still active and only recently during the trip to Ireland of Queen Elizabeth attempting to create some major mayhem. Those RIRA hardcore elements and even Ulster dissident loyalists under the renewed scrutiny of the British Special Reconnaissance Regiment [SRR].

Those persons members of the RIRA referred to as "cokes"! The real thing, Coke the beverage liking to call itself the "real" thing!

Thanks in to a variety of sources in this instance:

"Queen in Ireland: Real IRA may have planted bomb"  [the Telegraph]

"Catholic dissidents are thought to have planted the device found on a bus heading to Dublin, amid warnings from a security expert that it could mark the start of a series of devices designed to disrupt the Queen’s visit."

RIRA sending a message more than anything else, that pipe bomb was not intended to go off and do damage? This attempt was more for internal consumption of hard-core Republican elements and nothing more? So will be the thinking?

Member of the SRR acting in a counter-terrorist capacity, undercover soldiers with authority to conduct surveillance and use deadly force and weaponry within England if in furtherance of actions against terrorists.

"The Det [SRR active in Northern Ireland] is made up of the army’s best urban surveillance operators using skills honed in Belfast against republican and loyalist terrorists. Its speciality has always been close target reconnaissance: undercover work among civilians, observing terrorists at close quarters, and carrying out covert searches of offices and houses for information and weapons."

A self-described regiment but consisting only of what seems to be about one hundred to three hundred troops, men and women both. NOT a full scale regiment as that term is generally understood but nonetheless having a high number of very capable and dedicated troops.

"The unit was very egalitarian when it operated in Northern Ireland. An operator’s rank was always regarded as less important than his or her capabilities; it was also the only UK special forces unit to use women."

"The Det [SSR] broke into homes to gather intelligence and plant listening devices or hidden cameras. Weapons were left where they were found but 'jarked' with tiny transmitters placed inside them that would provide warning should they be moved."

"N. Ireland Attacks Part of Broader Pattern" [Intel News from 2008]

"The recent dissident republican attacks in the North are reprehensible and severely reckless. But they are by themselves unlikely to destabilize the ongoing reconciliation process in Northern Ireland . . . groups such as the RIRA are not only 'tiny'; they also lack 'the capacity to maintain a serious and sustained campaign' . . . 'lack public support, they lack finance, they lack personnel and they lack munitions and equipment.'"

RIRA most worrisome to even Gerry Adams. Condemned as being a group that is not working toward peace in Northern Ireland. Splinter groups hard to control and not in step with reality but HAVING AN INFLUENCE FAR OUT OF PROPORTION TO THEIR NUMBERS!


Sunday, May 29, 2011


This is coolbert:

Here with a very good five-part Internet article from Der Spiegel - - the expulsion in the aftermath of the Second World War [WW2] of those ethnic Germans living is eastern Europe!

A movement of persons on a massive scale - - as many as fourteen million or fifteen million being told TO LEAVE!

A movement in part, persons fleeing the advance of the Red Army, ethnic Germans fearing with good reason the retribution of the Soviet! Post-war, the victorious powers seeking to create nation-states in eastern Europe devoid of ethnic Germans, creating to the greatest extent possible ethnically homogeneous societies.

"A Time of Retribution"

"It has been proven that at least 473,000 people died as they fled or were expelled"

[I  have seen figures that state anywhere from 1 million to 2 million persons perished during these vast movements of people. That near half-million is asserted as "proven"]

"the organized resettlement of Germans and ethnic Germans from Germany's former eastern areas and the Sudetenland began in January 1946. In all, some 14 million Germans lost their homes."

A movement and depopulation on a scale as not seen in Europe in over three hundred years!!

"reminiscent of accounts of the Thirty Years' War, the last in Europe that had seen depopulation on this scale"

When thinking of "war", always consider 1. What led up to the war. 2. The actual fighting of the war, the physical combat. AND 3. What occurred in the aftermath of the war.

It goes without saying [?] that if you win a war you expect the spoils, and if you lose you expect the worst. In this case, the German not only should have expected the worst, they got it!



This is coolbert:

Soviet SIGINT. [signals intelligence]


Once again, from a Military Analysis blog entry from a long time ago:

"The question has been asked by some authorities, “to what extent during World War Two [WW2] were the Russians [Soviets] also able to “read” German Enigma encrypted radio traffic?"

Calvocoressi writes:

"They [Russians] must have captured Enigma machines and cypher books and must have supposed that we did so. They [Russians] were not lacking in mathematicians and chess-players capable of appreciating what was involved in the breaking of cyphers."

AND once more the question is answered by the book: "The sword and the shield: the Mitrokhin archive and the secret history of ... By Christopher Andrew, Vasili Mitrokhin" [thanks to Google books]

"Soviet cryptanalysts, however, were unable to match the success of the British wartime SIGINT agency at Bletchley Park in breaking the main high-grade ciphers used by the German armed forces. They failed to so part for technological reasons to include:

* "unable to construct the powerful electronic 'bombes',"

* "[unable] to replicate COLOSSUS, the world's first electronic computer"

AND an additional reason as to why the lack of Soviet success with ENIGMA:

* "[Also] a human as well as a technological explanation for the inferiority of Soviet to British SIGINT.  The Soviet system would never have tolerated the remarkable infusion of unconventional youthful talent on which much of Bletchley's success was built . . . those cryptanalysts who would  surely have been incapable of conforming to the political correctness demanded by the Stalinst system."

Undoubtedly the Red Army was able [?] to capture in enormous numbers working ENIGMA cipher machines, intact or in pieces, the key lists, and operators that knew the intimate working details of the machine. Messages were available for comparison with actual encrypted transmissions for comparison, etc.

Many messages were read [?], this we can assume, I guess you might ask in what quantity and in what time!

ALSO, there was not a focused degree of energy on the part of the Soviets as regarding the ENIGMA machine? Recall that the Soviets would have had two intelligence agencies working simultaneously on the same problem, the NKVD [secret police] and the GRU [military intelligence]. A lack of focused energy and resources hindering progress toward a real-time reading of ENIGMA on a massive basis.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Soviet SIGINT I.

This is coolbert:

Soviet SIGINT [signals intelligence].

From a Military Thoughts blog entry from way back when now:

 "Ciphering machines started to be used about this time: 'Enigma' (Germany) . . . 'Purple Code' (Japan) . . . now is a well-known fact: 'Enigma' had been broken by American and British specialists, the 'Purple Code'; – by American and Russian code-breakers in 1939 – 1940."

"That the Russian was able to “read” the Japanese Purple crypto machine was news to me. I have not seen this referenced anywhere else. My understanding was that the Americans and the British each independently arrived at a cryptanalytic solution to Purple, but NOT the Russian."

NOW thanks to Google books and: "The sword and the shield: the Mitrokhin archive and the secret history of ... By Christopher Andrew, Vasili Mitrokhin" we have the answer:

"In February 1941 the NKVD cryptanalysts had been integrated into a new and enlarged Fifth (Cipher) Directorate, with at its heart a research section responsible for the attack on foreign codes and ciphers . . . In the summer of 1941 a group . . . replicated the success of American codebreakers a year earlier in breaking the main Japanese diplomatic cipher, codenamed by the Americans and since known to Western historians as PURPLE."

[this Fifth Directorate is a combined effort of the NKVD [secret police] and the GRU [military intelligence]? This is not entirely clear but seems to be the case!]

There is rather considerable significance to this. Prior to - - during - - and at the very end of the Second World War [WW2], the Soviets WERE able to "read" the most secret messages of the Japanese diplomatic corps, quite often that traffic dealing with military matters, AND especially in the aftermath of German surrender, the secret machinations of the Japanese to use the Soviets to arrange for a NEGOTIATED SURRENDER TO THE ALLIED FORCES [British and American]!

Stalin feigning cooperation with the Japanese, all the while preparing for Soviet entry into the war on the side of the allies, against Japan, typical duplicity of the dictator, aided and abetted to a large degree by PURPLE intelligence of the highest order and importance.

The record now crystal clear, the question answered, the full significance understood! 


Friday, May 27, 2011

Achtung Minen!

This is coolbert:

Here are two examples of military forces using minefields while on the OFFENSIVE - - minefields acting as barriers intended to:

* Prevent enemy forces INSIDE of the barrier from escaping.
* Prevent enemy forces OUTSIDE of the barrier from launching a counter-attack.

Minefields of course not designed as an absolute barrier, an impediment to movement but not in totality . Designed to make your enemy:

Slow down.
Cause casualties.

1. Operation Sea Lion - - the German invasion of England [1940].

German naval forces protecting the invasion force by with a barrier on either side of the English channel, those barges carrying German troops protected from OUTSIDE attack in large measure by naval sea mines.

"For flank protection of the crossing routes there were planned laying tactical minefields. The average distance between mines within the various fields would be 30-55 meters. It was planned to integrate the French-British minefields in the area Dover-Calais and Dunkirk into the total German mine planning.

"Hitler's directive set four pre-conditions for the invasion to occur:  On 16 July 1940, Hitler issued Directive No. 16"

"The English Channel was to be swept of British mines at the crossing points, and the Straits of Dover must be blocked at both ends by German mines."

The German operational plan incorporating into this sea mine "field" allied naval sea mines laid some time previous by the British and French. Force the allies to attack through their own barrier to a degree.

The German NOT having the numbers and type of suitable mines to do the job properly, if and when the "go" signal had been given. NOR the numbers and types of ships or aircraft to "lay" the minefield! A pipe-dream existing ONLY on paper and not feasible.

2. The Second Battle of Grozny [1999-2000].

Several thousand Chechen irregular fighters, attempting an escape from INSIDE the embattled city of Grozny, stumbling into a Russian minefield, casualties enormous and horrific.

 "[a] column of some 2,000 fighters, several hundred non-combatants and 50 Russian prisoners of war, hit a minefield between the city and the village of Alkhan-Kala . . . The Chechens pushed on through the minefield, being not aware of it . . . Scores of rebel fighters were killed by the combination of artillery fire and the crossing of the minefield . . . The rebels said they lost about 400 fighters in the minefield at Alkhan-Kala, including 170 killed. About 200 of the wounded were maimed"

Those surviving the passage HAVING TO TRAMPLE ON THE BODIES OF THE DEAD!
The Soviet/Russian has always been noted for their usage of mines while on the offensive. Even in the latter days of World War Two, even when attacking, the Soviet constructing layers of anti-tank defenses to consolidate territory gained, those defenses multitudes of anti-tank ditches and obstacles, anti-tank mines and pre-sited anti-tank gun firing positions!

The use of minefields as an offensive weapon was a NO in 1940, but a YES in 2000! A mirage for the German but definitely a "real" for the Chechen!


Thursday, May 26, 2011


This is coolbert:

The accused Serb war criminal General Ratko Mladic after sixteen years finally run-to-ground, arrested by the Serb government in Belgrade - - that arrest in a much belated manner according to some!

"Serbia arrests Mladic on war crimes charges"

"BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — After 16 years on the run, a frail and haggard Ratko Mladic was hauled before a judge Thursday — the first step in facing charges for international war crimes, including the slaughter of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica in 1995."

"He was accused by the U.N. International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes for the massacre of Muslims by Bosnian Serb forces in eastern Bosnia and the relentless four-year siege of Sarajevo."

The before and after images of Mladic very strking, the man apparently in very bad health, the sixteen years hiatus showing a man not even resembling the strutting general in command - - 1995.

"Judge suspends interrogation due to Mladić's ill health"

Justice delayed is justice denied? That is the adage. And that interenational tribunal works with glacial slowness. Ratko will of course not face the death penalty, that penalty is not permissible under the rules of the international court, Mladic perhaps expiring before a judgment is rendered?



This is coolbert:

"fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me!"

The dog-o'-war!

Here with the type of headline that catches your attention right away, but is in actuality a much-to-do about nothing!

Speaking dogs - - war dogs - - trained by the Germans to "speak" and wage war as soldiers, NOT as an adjunct to the common human soldier, but as a "soldier" in their own right!!


"Hitler tried to create an army of 'speaking' dogs!"

The German, holding a firm belief that dogs were almost if not as intelligent as humans desiring to create an army of dogs, to wage war on their enemies.

"the Germans viewed canines as being almost as intelligent as humans and they attempted to build an army of fearsome 'speaking' dogs."


"Nazi officials recruited so-called educated dogs from all over Germany and trained them to speak and tap out signals using their paws."

"One mutt was said to have uttered the words 'Mein Fuhrer' when asked who Adolf Hitler was. Another 'spoke' by tapping letters of the alphabet with his paws and was said to have speculated about religion and learnt poetry."

This belief on the part of the German that animals, in this case dogs, are intelligent and CAN communicate with humans has a precedent? I am thinking of the "talking horse" - - Clever Hans.

"Clever Hans was an Orlov Trotter horse that was claimed to have been able to perform arithmetic and other intellectual tasks."
A horse, reputed to be able to do mathematical calculations and provide answers to simple equations. But not true! Merely a horse responding to cues and subtle "communications" inadvertent, from a trainer! NOT SPEAKING!

"After a formal investigation in 1907, psychologist Oskar Pfungst demonstrated that the horse was not actually performing these mental tasks, but was watching the reaction of his human observers."

We must understand that the German not only believed that Clever Hans and these various dogs were speaking and had the intelligence of a human, BUT WANTED TO BELIEVE THAT IT WAS SO!

As with most ideas of this sort, it all comes to naught, and for good reason too! Humans believe what they want to believe, facts be damned! And fool you twice, shame on you! YES!


Wednesday, May 25, 2011


This is coolbert:

Here undoubtedly is one of the most strange and bizarre episodes from the era of the Cold War. A rebellious and mutinous group of  sailors, seizing control of a Soviet warship , attempting to defect to the Swedes. An unsuccessful escape attempt on a scale unprecedented up unto that time, without warning and ending badly for the Soviet defectors, caught and meeting a bad [?] end!

Thanks to "Soviet defectors: the KGB wanted list" By Vladislav Krasnov courtesy Google books:

 "a mutiny on board the destroyer Storozhevoy (Sentinel) of the Baltic fleet on November 8, 1975 . . . although most of the circumstance remain unknown . . . [it is] reported that at least part of the crew had mutinied and that their number was large enough to take control of the ship and attempt to run it across the Baltic into Swedish territorial waters. The mutineers had apparently no other objective than expressing their dissatisfaction with the regime by seeking asylum abroad . . . [the ship] first strafed from the air . . . and then was surrounded by a superior naval task force . . . the mutinous ship surrendered without resistance and was towed away . . . The most remarkable aspect of the mutiny was that is was organized by no other than the zampolit (political commissar) on board . . . "

That crew, attempting an unsuccessful escape attempt, later several dozens executed including the purported ringleader, of all people, a zampolit, the political officer under the Soviet system, the ONE MAN MOST RESPONSIBLE FOR PREVENTING SUCH AN OCCURRENCE!!

 "the mutinous ship surrendered without resistance"! That ship unable to fight back, the sailors UNABLE TO WORK THE WEAPONRY, NOT BEING TRUSTED WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OF HOW TO FIRE THE CANNON AND MISSILES ORGANIC TO THE SHIP, THAT ABILITY ONLY ENTRUSTED TO THOSE OF OFFICER RANK! [locked up below deck and hors de combat!!]

During the Czarist era, the Russian navy was noted for the harsh treatment of conscripted sailors! A practice that continued for the entire Soviet era as well? Those of you who have seen the movie Potemkin well understand the time-honored tradition of rebellion at work here!


Monday, May 23, 2011


This is coolbert:

“it’s the fastest-growing program in the world.”

Thanks to the recent article in Newsweek, the Pakistani is now reported and believed to be a MAJOR NUCLEAR POWER - - surpassing [?] France and already having exceeded Great Britain in the number of nuclear warheads either fielded, stockpiled or being manufactured. A trend that is only increasing, that large quantity of atomic weaponry far beyond a deterrent capacity? Very much an item of concern indeed!

"Pakistan’s Nuclear Surge"

"Photos obtained by NEWSWEEK reveal a more aggressive buildup than previously known."

In this particular case, civilian satellite imagery obtained by Newsweek. A capability at one time reserved only to the intelligence services of a few select nations around the world.

"Even in the best of times, Pakistan’s nuclear-weapons program warrants alarm . . . new evidence suggests that Pakistan’s nuclear program is barreling ahead at a furious clip."

"According to new commercial-satellite imagery obtained exclusively by NEWSWEEK, Pakistan is aggressively accelerating construction at the Khushab nuclear site . . . Pakistan will soon have a fourth operational reactor, greatly expanding plutonium production for its nuclear-weapons program."

That marked increase in the number of atomic warheads even beyond what might be considered to be a reasonable deterrent capability is a big concern NOT ONLY for the Indian government, but for the rest of the world as well!! Pakistan is fraught with great danger from military coup d'etat, an ineffectual civilian political structure, terrorism, and just plain instability - - all that from what is fast becoming a major world nuclear power!!

That lethal combination does not mix well, atomic bombs and instability! Obvious! Suggestions anyone?


Sunday, May 22, 2011


This is coolbert:


Here is the "weapon" that allowed the U.S. Navy submarine during World War Two [WW2] to decimate Japanese naval and merchant shipping.

The Torpedo Data Computer [TDC].

"The Torpedo Data Computer (TDC) was an early electromechanical analog computer used for torpedo fire-control on American submarines during World War II. Britain, Germany, and Japan also developed automated torpedo fire control equipment, but none were as advanced as US Navy's TDC"

An electro-mechanical analog computer of the most sophisticated design, out-pacing [?] foreign counterparts by a mile! A monstrous "brute" of an apparatus, one man to maintain, one man to operate.

Calculations allowing "solution" to a "shoot" of torpedoes at a prospective target with unerring accuracy, the calculation much more accurate and complete than what had previously been available by hand calculation.

"The TDC performed the trigonometric calculations required to compute a target intercept course for the torpedo. It also had an electromechanical interface to the torpedoes that allowed it to automatically set the torpedo courses while they were in their tubes, ready to be launched."

Inputs to the TDC constantly obtained and updated from a number of sources, all simultaneously. To include:

*  "submarine's gyrocompass".
*  "pitometer log".
*  "periscope readings".
*  "target bearing transmitter radar".
*  "sonar observations".

That "target bearing transmitter radar" keyed by a binoculars used when surfaced for night-time attacks. A line-of-bearing [LOB] and range to a target sent auto to the TDC by a press of a button.

Also, the TDC able to "talk" to the torpedoes, data for correct firing "solution" a must!


And this in the age of very sophisticated digital computers too!!

"Two upgraded US Navy World War II-era fleet submarines (USS Tusk and Cutlass) with their TDCs continue in service with Taiwan's navy and US Nautical Museum staff are assisting them with maintaining their equipment."

Submarines sold to Taiwan, the Republic of China, and still on active service, complete to include the TDC!! These boats being the "ROCS Hai Pao (SS-792) ROCS Hai Shih (SS-791)"

And with more info regarding the two subs as currently in the inventory of the Taiwanese navy:

Hai Pao: "The terms of the purchase specified that she [Hai Pao] be used strictly for ASW training, so her torpedo tubes were welded shut before the transfer. The Taiwanese restored the torpedo tubes in 1976 and reportedly received modern torpedoes through Italy from a number of sources. As of November 2008, Hai Pao was still afloat at Kaohsiung Naval Base, although probably limited to shallow dives."

 Hai Shih: "As of April 2011, Hai Shih was still in service."

The active duty status and versatility of these two subs called into question by the group GlobalSecurity:

"The 2 GUPPY-class submarines in Taiwanese service are reportedly in very poor condition. When refurbished in the early 1960s, the boats could dive to 415 feet, though by the late 1990s they were lucky to reach 200 feet. The boats are noisy and Taiwan is experiencing difficulty in obtaining spare parts. Neither is equipped with torpedoes, since Taiwan's Navy uses them exclusively for training. During naval exercises, the submarines are used to simulate PRC subs, allowing surface ships to practice anti-submarine warfare techniques."

Please understand that the TDC does not represent a computer as that word is understood today. The TDC not have an embedded memory [?]! Nonetheless, the TDC at the time represented an impressive feat of engineering that WORKED!



This is coolbert:

Here with info and remarks regarding the German "landing craft" as would have been needed for Operation Sea Lion, the German invasion of England [1940].

The German not possessing in any quantities landing craft at all adequate for military oceanic amphibious  operations. Having to rely upon European river barges as the means of transport - - if and when the decision had been made - - for a "go" against England! A "means" dubious at best:

"the ability to transport an invasion force across the English Channel requires landing craft, and lots of them. Germany had very few, and they were of very poor quality. Plans for Sealion involved using Rhine river barges for transport across the Channel . . . there simply were not very many of them. The Germans estimated that they had sufficient craft to ship across an invasion force of at most ten divisions.

"The obvious solution for the Navy to assemble a large sea-going invasion fleet in the short time allotted was to convert inland river barges to the task. Towards that end, the Kriegsmarine collected approximately 2,400 barges from throughout Europe (860 from Germany, 1,200 from the Netherlands and Belgium and 350 from France). Of these, only about 800 were powered (some insufficiently). The rest required towing by tugs."

That is ten infantry division, manpower alone, minus the heavy impedimenta, NO artillery and NO tanks!

Manning of these barges too would have been highly dependent upon impressed labor [?], barge crews, "skilled mariners" the demand of which could not be fulfilled.

"The Germans worked out that 22,000 was the bare minimum required number of skilled mariners, outside of the Kriegsmarine, to man the barges and tug boats to get the German invasion force onto the British coast. They could only muster 16,000."

Barges also for the most part unseaworthy, designed and used with intent ONLY for coastal waters of inland waterways, NOT suitable for ocean voyages no matter how slight the distance traveled. Even without enemy counter-action [the English Royal Navy], a pretty good percentage of these river barges would have foundered, loss of life terrible!

EVEN MORE IMPORTANT PERHAPS - - so many inland barges taken out of service and possibly destroyed during Sea Lion, at least damaged to the point of no longer being work-able, that the economy of much of industrial Europe, even during a time of war, would have COME TO A STOP!! European river barge traffic pre-war [1939] absolutely vital for the movement of bulk cargoes, oil, coal, food, other necessities of life having been removed from the scene, chaos and extreme austerity and even worse ensuing.

War is BAD for the economy! Sun Tzu made this observation 2,500 years ago and it is as pertinent now as it was then.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Onslow & Ovens

This is coolbert:

Here with some interesting Cold War submarine stuff as presented on various Internet web sites.

Australian submarines of the Oberon class [diesel/electric], specifically the Onslow and the Ovens, performing yeoman duty during the period of the Cold War, tracking the movements of Soviet subs, those "adversaries" en route to station in the Arabian Gulf, taking the long way, a "secret" sea route designed to prevent observation!

"Onslow and Ovens . . . were deployed to track Soviet submarines moving into the Arabian Gulf from Vladivostok via the Coral Sea, south of Tasmania, across the Great Australian Bight and past Cape Leeuwin in WA [Western Australia]. The Soviet subs took this route in an effort to avoid detection, but Onslow and Ovens kept an eye on them."

From Vladivostok through the Pacific Ocean - - through the Coral Sea,  south of the Australian land-mass, into the Indian Ocean. The LONG-WAY.

The more direct and obvious route through the South China or Java Sea - - passage into the Indian Ocean via the various straits of the Indonesian archipelago - - Malacca, Lombok, Sunda, Makassar, the waters all too shallow to allow for hidden and unobserved transit - - choke points - - the most expeditious way from Vladivostok to Indian Ocean station fraught with danger!

I would have to assume the Soviets were NOT aware they were being tracked, observed, followed, the "secret" route NOT so secret! Such a diversion for the purposes of secrecy meant that thousands of miles of sailing and weeks of travel were added to each voyage, all for naught it seems.

And Onslow and Ovens - - retired now, good hunting and good job!! High marks for everybody!



This is coolbert:

Thanks to the Sharkhunters web site http://www.sharkhunters.com and the tabulation by Chester L. Sommers we have a listing - - "a running total of submarines LOST in PEACETIME [my emphasis] since the beginning of submariner history" PRIOR to American entry into World War Two [WW2]:

England  ............. 21.

France ................ 14.

USA .................... 14.

Germany ............... 8.

Russia ................... 8.

Japan ..................... 7.

Italy ....................... 3.

Netherlands ........... 3.

Chile ....................... 1.

Denmark ................ 1.

Quite a large number of submarines lost, having foundered and in most cases sunk with a total loss of crew, the entire ships' complement being lost!

 SINCE the end of WW2, submarine safety, the number and type of disaster has declined dramatically? And this is surprising? Modern submarines primarily of the very large American and Soviet [Russian] fleets were/are nuclear, operating for longer periods at greater depths and at higher speeds, under a more or less wartime footing during the entire period of the "Cold War"!

[during the period 1945-1990 three American subs went to the bottom as compared to six Soviet vessels.]

The reasons for the markedly improved safety record is? Better design and manufacturing methods, a greater consciousness regarding quality control, AND the knowledge of HOW to operate subs under more stringent conditions, WHAT to do and perhaps even more important, WHAT NOT to do!

This is correct? Nonetheless, that improved safety record is quite remarkable. Even astounding!


Wednesday, May 18, 2011


This is coolbert:

With regard to the deployment of women into combat, and the integration of men and women in the SAME combat unit, there seems to be, according to various Internet web sites, three overriding concerns, these being:

1. Women do not have the requisite strength do the job.

This will not be a problem with an all-female submarine crew? Subs are already and for some time equipped with mechanical apparatus, hoists, hydraulics so that strength even for the men is not a question.

2. A mixed by sex combat unit will require separate quarters, toilets, showers, etc.

This will not be problem with an all-female submarine crew.

3. There is a marked concern regarding the possibility of women in combat units being captured by the enemy. Treatment can only be expected to be very bad, rape, etc.

This will not be a problem with an all-female submarine crew. A nuclear attack submarine suffering critical damage while submerged will more than likely sink with all-hands lost, 100 % KIA. There is not a possibility or only a very low probability of anyone from a damaged sub EVER being captured?

So the three major issue regarding women in combat, the integration of combat units, men and women mixed, none of these are concerns with an all-female submarine crew? This is intuitively and obviously so?

[I would suggest that perhaps strength might be an issue during damage control operations. NOT having an experience as a submariner I am unsure of this!]

This however, may be a major and unanticipated concern? A woman commander will lack the necessary innate aggressive to do the job properly? American submarine commanders, especially those at the helm of nuclear attack sub, are expected and even encouraged [?] to exercise their judgment and use "measured audacity" at their discretion. Take risks but in a measured and evaluated manner.

"he who dares wins"!! HE!!

Granted our human species has a basic innate aggressiveness, but this is generally accepted as the purview of the male and not the female? This trait, aggressiveness, not foolhardy but measured, can be taught and learned or persons can be screened to determine if they "have what it takes"?


Tuesday, May 17, 2011


This is coolbert:

From my previous blog entry:

"It might even be feasible to have an all-female submarine crew, the workings of a modern submarine NOT placing a premium on strength, officers and enlisted both again relying more upon brain than brawn"

And I had originally intended to pose this question to my devoted readers - - is it feasible to man an American attack nuclear sub with an all-female crew? What are the pluses and minuses and is this do-able?

It seems the question has already been asked at the highest levels of the U.S. Navy and been answered, at least according to this 2008 article from the New York Times:

"US Navy Mans Two Nuclear Subs with Women"

"Now, however, with the backing of outgoing President George Bush, the Navy plans to get women into submarines and avoid mixing with seamen by making two US Virginia class subs consist of all-female crew and officers."

"One of the first female Prospective Commanding Officers for submarines, Commander Sarah Bentworth, is eager to get started. She spent two tours aboard the USS Virginia in order to prepare for her first sub command."

The question has not only been asked and answered, but the reply is YES! And is perhaps being implemented right now, as we speak?

As I had thought to myself, this allows those women, graduates for instance of the Naval Academy, making a career of the military, an opportunity to command at the highest level a COMBAT WARSHIP OF THE MOST SOPHISTICATED DESIGN AND MOST DESTRUCTIVE LETHALITY! ONLY, normally, those having commanded a COMBAT WARSHIP can hope to aspire to the highest ranks of their service [navy]!

This all from three years ago now [2008], a court case already having been decided [?], the determination to go with an all-women crew in part having been made to prevent excessive legal action?

"Bishop vs. the State of Connecticut. Captain Bridget Bishop, an accomplished career naval officer argues that prohibiting women from serving aboard submarines limits their career potential"

Strength is not an issue with an all-female crew? Missiles are pre-loaded and torpedoes for some time are re-loaded by apparatus, hoists, mechanical device!

PMS on the part of the sub commander during a long voyage will not be a problem? B-52 bombers on SIOP missions for some time have been flown and commanded by women pilots without difficulty.

There is no need to re-design crew quarters, separate bunks, toilets, showers, etc., with an all-woman crew! This is a plus.

Women also are noted for their ability to concentrate better and longer on tedious tasks that require skill! This also will be a plus.

Before the first deployment, it will be necessary for each woman submariner to sit position with the male counterpart, to get experience, perhaps even more than just practice run or two! You cannot take a lot of risk with any under-the-sea vessel, much less a nuclear-armed attack sub.

So it is a go then!! Remarkable and good luck female submariners. Prince Namor be with you!

Just remember ladies - - this is not a sorority house!



This is coolbert:

From the archives [from almost forty years ago] of the magazine Sports Illustrated a description, sentimental like, of the Pratt "Naval War Game"

"The World's Most Complicated Game"

"Fletcher Pratt, a historian and naval expert, invented a complex pastime that used ballroom floors and up to 120 players"

A "pastime" modeling naval warfare, a simulation, a wargame that was spot-on with regard to validity and accuracy.

"the rules for a mammoth contest that required up to 60 people on a side, a large ballroom to play in and vast fleets of accurately scaled ships, and the Naval War College started sending down experts to take lessons."

The U.S. Naval War College and also evidently the British Admiralty too. Recall that the task force sent to the south Atlantic in hunt of the German pocket battleship Graf Spee was found to be more than adequate for the task based upon a Pratt simulation.

"Most Complicated" in large measure to equations and tables, just one equation of which calculated the "fighting power" of each combatant vessel:

"There was a vast formula for calculating the fighting power of each ship: (Gc� x GN + Gc'� x Gn' + 10TT + 10A� + 10A'� + 10A" + 25Ap + M) Sf; + T"

Those miniatures scale models of various sizes NOT again merely a cosmetic or be thought of as toys. An integral prart of the competition,m ranging and accuracy of gunnery based upon the ability of the competito4rs to measure by "eyeball" the distance in inches to a target:

"Shooting [gunnery and the associated ranging] was the key to the operation, and it gave Pratt and his assistant inventors the most trouble. They tried all sorts of methods: aiming flashlights, firing toy cannon at each other, even retiring to another room and whanging away with air pistols at battleship pictures pasted on the wall. Finally they contrived a paper arrow with a metal-headed pushpin at each end. When you were a ship captain and it was time to shoot, you sprawled on the floor, lined up the pins on an enemy ship, tried to guess how many inches away the enemy ship was and wrote that estimated range on a handy piece of paper."

The "most complicated game" now a thing of the past, passe', except for those rare and solitary aficionados that read the War Times Journal - - downloading charts, tables, rules, dice throw programs, battling it out on the high seas, warships mano-a-mano, if now only on the kitchen table!

"There are still a few groups playing today, chiefly in England, but nothing survives on the scale of those big, post-midnight clashes of mighty fleets in a big ballroom"

Forty years into the future, the folks at War Times Journal might dispute that?


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Simulations III.

This is coolbert:

Simulations - - conclusion.

Thanks to the War Times Journal, a description of a naval warfare simulation, a war game that I find to be very good. A naval warfare simulation analogous in many respects to the Fletcher Pratt "Naval War Game" original, but with a measure of "stochastic" [randomness] introduced to make the "game" more realistic!

Should NOT necessarily be thought of as a mere game. Recall that the British Admiralty used the Pratt "game" to test various scenarios when formatting a response to the presence in the south Atlantic of the Graf Spee during World War Two!

Normally I am not a games player of any sort. "BATTLEFLEET 1900" in the QuickFire version I do find to be particularly good and highly recommend. This is paper and pencil stuff, can be "played" in a manner to test various scenarios and outcomes. Even by a single individual!

"These rules are suitable for use with all standard wargaming miniatures, including our line of 1/3000 scale naval pre-dreadnoughts . . . All text and combat charts needed for game play are included below, the rules are completely free and no purchases are required."


The "game" can be played in two forms: 1. BATTLEFLEET 1900 PRE-DREADNOUGHT NAVAL WARFARE: 1890-1905. This is the "long" form, more involved rules [the rules can be complex and undoubtedly take some time to master] and the use of "miniatures". 2. QUICKFIRE PRE-DREADNOUGHT ERA FAST-PLAY RULES. The "fast" or "short" form of the game, concentrating on gunnery, more  easily played, the rules less intense and learned a lot quicker.

Also, DO NOT THINK these miniatures [1/3000] should not be thought of as mere toys and an adjunct to the "play", not as cosmetics but in the long form of play an integral part of the competition. Participants for gunnery ranging must "eyeball" the distance between combatant vessels - - the more accurate the "ranging" the more accurate the gunnery and the greater number of telling hits!

This particular era - - the pre-Dreadnought - -  has a particular appeal? All self-respecting nations, world powers of the time desired and put to sea fleets of battleships, cruisers, etc., pelagic-going vessels with considerable firepower, power projection being the goal.  Ships having all-steel hulls, steam-powered, firing big-bore long-range rifled guns mounted in turrets. Naval warfare as fought up to the time of the Second World War.

The accuracy and validity of naval warfare simulations is unquestionably "better" - - the results of such wargames can be more trusted and verified?

Try it - - I think you'll like it. A whole range of scenarios can be played out, it is up to your imagination. And you have a pretty good degree of confidence what you observe on the playing table is what probably would have occurred in real life!

For those of you desiring a randomness beyond normal, go this web site, enter and print out a listing of integers simulating a required dice throw:

Part 1: The Integers Generate [999] - - Each integer should have a value between [1] and [6] - - Format in [3] column(s). - - Part 2: Go!


Friday, May 13, 2011

Simulations II.

This is coolbert:

Simulations - - naval warfare!

Back to the topic of war games, simulations, modeling of combat.

From the wiki entry on military simulations:

"Military simulations, also known informally as war games, are simulations in which theories of warfare can be tested and refined without the need for actual hostilities. Many professional contemporary analysts object to the term war games as this is generally taken to be referring to the civilian hobby, thus the preference for the term simulation"

YOU call it a game, WE call it a simulation, and in the case of the Battle of the River Platte from the Second World War [WW2], it became REALITY!! Yet another instance of where war gaming, simulations and modeling of warfare was verified as accurate by empirical results!

The pre-war simulation, war game, model of naval warfare "Naval War Game" as used by the British Admiralty in planning the "hunt" for the German surface raider Graf Spee! The Graf Spee described as a pocket battleship, lightly armored but possessing formidable firepower, confronted successfully by three British cruisers in the south Atlantic, "Naval War Game" the simulation correctly modeling [counter to the prevailing wisdom of the "experts"] the confrontation and the eventual outcome, the scuttling and destruction of the German warship.

"Developing realistic models has proven to be somewhat easier in naval simulations than on land . . . Fletcher Pratt, designed his 'Naval War Game' in the late 1930s, and was able to validate his model almost immediately by applying it to the encounter between the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee and three British cruisers in the Battle of the River Plate off Montevideo in 1939. Rated on thickness of armour and gun power, Graf Spee should have been more than a match for the lighter cruisers, but Pratt's formula correctly predicted the ensuing British victory."

"Murray Fletcher Pratt (1897–1956) was an American writer of science fiction, fantasy and history, particularly noted for his works on naval history and on the American Civil War."

L. Sprague de Camp the noted alternative history/science fiction writer also a confidant of Pratt and a "player" of the "Naval War Game"! Recall that during the Second World War De Camp served as a naval reserve officer, working on experimental projects for the U.S. Navy!

It is intuitive [??] that naval warfare is EASIER to model with accuracy than land warfare? The size, range, bore, accuracy of naval gunfire versus warship armor and speed, plus other factors are much more subject to correctness during the modeling process, the end result being a war game, a simulation, of model of combat that the accuracy of which is less subject to question? YOU DON'T NEED TO BE AN EXPERT TO UNDERSTAND THIS?

The naval Battle of the River Platte did indeed validate "Naval War Game"? British planners formulating their strategy, organizing their cruiser task force according to the results of numerous scenarios and simulation results - - the outcome not inconsistent with the "game", the simulation, the mathematical modeling of naval warfare found to be ACCURATE!


Simulations I.

This is coolbert:

Simulations & war games. Modeling of warfare.

Simulations, war games, map exercises, modeling as originally based upon the Kriegspiel concept. And since inception continually developed to much more higher and accurate levels of sophistication!

It is not unreasonable for both the lay person and the military professional both to ask: "are these war games, the map exercises, the simulations, the modeling of military combat valid, and what to degree are they valid." Simulations such as that of the German invasion of England - - 1940.

It is fair to assume that the intuitive and obvious response would be: "unless the professionals felt there was some degree of validity to these map exercises, simulations and war games, the modeling of warfare, they would not be used!" And this is a fair and accurate understanding?

The more accurate the intelligence and information available to the planners, the more accurate the assumptions made, war games, simulations of war and battle can be QUITE ACCURATE! This is intuitive, even to the uninitiated?

From the era of the Second World War, we have the example of two war games, simulations that became real-world combat, with modeled results that conformed pretty closely to reality:

1. The Meuse River offensive and river crossing, the Battle of France - - 1940.

According to Dupuy:

"Gen. Heinz Guderian, in his memoirs, tells the story of how,in the approach of his corps to the Meuse River in May 1940, the plans and preparations had been so good that his corps headquarters issued orders for the assault across the river simply by changing the date on an order they had prepared in an earlier war game and issuing it without further change."

It seems prior to the German Ardennes offensive of 1940, two war games had been held in the months prior, modeling the crossing of the Meuse River by the armored formations of Guderian. The war game, the simulation seeming to show that not only could armor cross the Meuse River without support, but could continue the offensive without waiting for further infantry reinforcement. THIS OCCURRING IN REAL-LIFE, THE GERMAN TANK UNITS UNDER THE COMMAND OF GUDERIAN CONTINUING THEIR OFFENSIVE UNABATED AND MOST SUCCESSFULLY!

A simulation or simulations of which seemed to justify that German planning and assumptions were correct, the outcome of the war games NOT FULLY BELIEVED OR SUPPORTED BY THOSE COMMANDERS SENIOR TO GUDERIAN!!

2. The Battle of the Huertgen Forest - - 1944.

Again from Dupuy:

"On the German side, even as the 28th Division's attack began, the commander of Army Group B, Field Marshal Walter Model, was convening his subordinate commanders for a map exercise based on a theoretical American attack in the vicinity of Huertgen. The exercise was barely under way when a telephone call told of the actual American attack . . . Model continued the map exercise with the actual situation as subject."

The simulation became reality and reality became the simulation!!

The Huertgen Forest is agreed upon [?] to have been the roughest and toughest battle as engaged in by the U.S. Army during the Second World War. A DEFEAT for U.S. ground forces, a victory for the German! Defeat in measure due to a war game, a simulation?

Again, unless the professionals, those at the higher levels of command, FELT that these simulations were a pretty good indicator of reality, they would NOT be used? And used even in times of combat, while actual battle was occurring, and not merely in the planning stages thereof! These simulation are NEVER going to be 100 % accurate, but can be seen as accurate - - to a pretty good and acceptable degree!


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Tower!

This is coolbert:

The Tower! NOT the Tower of London, but still something that causes a lot of apprehension in some folks.

Until recently, an integral part of submarine training. Obligatory and mandatory training for all those wishing to become submarine qualified. AND also training that those eight American female naval officers will have to participate in and PASS!

A "Submarine escape training facility"

A tower, filled with water, variously described as 100 foot [32 meters] or 200 foot high [64 meters], again, an integral part of submarine qualification, a tower used to practice the various maneuvers as would be used to escaped from a stricken submarine:

 "The [tower]  includes a fresh, chlorinated water column with [an] escape chamber . . . mounted at the base, through which students can conduct a fully representative escape cycle from 100 feet (30 m), closely replicating actions which would be required if forced to abandon a distressed submarine from depth."

A tower that for the potential submarine acts as a "filter mechanism"? ONLY those sailors with some degree of guts and the desire to complete the program can "pass through" the tower portion of the qualification course? This is intentional?

The Tower!

"A Submarine Escape Training Tower is part of a facility used for training submariners in methods of emergency escape from a disabled submarine. It is a tall cylinder filled with water with several entrances at varying depths each simulating an airlock in a submarine"

The Tower!

You enter a chamber at the base of the water-filled tower, the chamber is flooded, you hold your breath and ascend the water-filled column to the surface, exactly as you would as if you were escaping from a submerged sub on the bottom of the ocean:

"We entered this tower -- filled with water -- through a pressurized compartment at the base. We then were required to 'escape' -- swim upward, blowing bubbles the entire time to prevent lungs from exploding. It was designed to make us believe that one could actually escape from a wounded submarine."

At least until recently - - and this is not mentioned - - you enter the compartment at the base - - NAKED!! NAKED, COMPLETELY SO, IN YOUR "BIRTHDAY SUIT" AS YOU WERE WHEN YOU CAME OUT OF THE WOMB!!

Those female officers, U.S. Navy, will have to complete that portion of submarine school that is THE TOWER? I would assume so! Perhaps not naked however. This remains to be "seen"? Nakedness has been done away with for men also?

Read about the current chamber as used at Groton CT. for instruction, training, and  practice for escaping from a "downed" sub:

"Navy’s New Escape Trainer Helps Submariners Avoid a Watery Grave"

The TOWER! You can get a rise out of it!!



This is coolbert:

Thanks to the Israeli web site YNET we have this interesting item:

"US Navy welcomes 1st women for sub training"

"A US Navy base is welcoming the first class of female officers selected for assignment to its submarines. Eight women were reporting Monday for an initial training course at Naval Submarine Base New London [CT]."

"The graduates will be the first women to serve on submarines since the Navy repealed a ban. The Navy announced last year that it was lifting the ban. Women had been barred on the theory that the close quarters and long deployments were unsuitable for a coed crew."

First women to be allowed for submarine training. Combat naval vessels previously the presence of women was totally verboten! And this was so for good reason. The accommodations on a submarine are very cramped, this being obviously and intuitively so even to the most casual of observers.

[unless I am wrong about this, the current under-the-sea deployment for an American nuclear powered and nuclear armed submarine is SIX MONTHS! Crew members properly and intensively screened in advance and chosen in large measure for psychological adaptability and an ability to work under harsh conditions for a prolonged period!]

BUT just not ANY U.S. naval women. ONLY those of the officer class! I would have to think nuclear-propulsion specialists, etc.

AND - - I would have to think - - women trained to control a submarine at the helm, in a combat situation as well! That naval officer at the helm of a nuclear submarine relies almost exclusively upon brain and NOT brawn, so this is do-able, and very well so! I would have to think this is not just a noble experiment! Actually has a degree of merit to it.

Let me suggest this also.

Current American submarines have what is called the "Blue" and "Gold" crew. Six months of sea duty for each crew followed by six months of shore duty the two crews rotating assignments.

It might even be feasible to have an all-female submarine crew, the workings of a modern submarine NOT placing a premium on strength, officers and enlisted both again relying more upon brain than brawn, the typical submariner for instance can best be thought of as a machine operator, an artificer, a technician, mechanical device and apparatus being relied upon for even the heavy work, such as reloading of torpedo tubes?

One "Blue" crew - - men, one "Gold" crew women? This might actually work?

Some modern submariners out there would like to comment? Prince Namor - - if you are listening, I await to hear from you?


Monday, May 9, 2011

Red Dog.

This is coolbert:

Here with a modern example of the filibuster. The gringo behaving badly south of the border, this time an attempted coup d'etat, a "military action" directed against the Caribbean island of Dominica.

A group of Americans and some [?] Canadians described variously as white supremacists, white separatists, white nationalists, neo-nazi elements, seeking to establish an English-speaking North American enclave favorable to their interests, a "mercenary army" hoping to install a compliant ruling figurehead - - run roughshod over the locals - - take advantage of a situation.

This was Red Dog! [1981]

"Operation Red Dog was the code name of plan by Canadian and American mercenaries, largely affiliated with white supremacist and Ku Klux Klan groups, to overthrow the government of Dominica, where they planned to restore former Prime Minister Patrick John to power"

An enclave where a variety of questionable businesses could be run for profit: "tourism [prostitution?], gambling, offshore banking, and timber logging".

I would have to think too, crooked gambling, crooked offshore banking and money laundering, drugs and drug smuggling, illegal timber logging. The gamut from soup to nuts.

"[the] mercenaries . . . were arrested in New Orleans as they prepared to board a boat stocked with weapons and ammunition to invade the island nation Dominica in what they would call Operation Red Dog."

"The invasion was intended to restore former prime minister Patrick John to the mostly black Caribbean island."

Patrick John felt to be an amiable dunce and stooge that would be enthrall to "North American interests", the figure-head despot while the real money and power operated behind the scenes.

The filibuster modern version.

Red Dog did not even get off the ground and was amateurish and almost clownish in nature, the participants [there seems to have been about a dozen total?] of lightly armed "mercenaries" arrested, tried and convicted in violation of the Neutrality Act, given three year prison sentences.

These guys just "stepped in it" with bad results. Probably the government was onto them from the start, and their military expertise was basically NIL! Perhaps a group of professionals would have done better, but these guys were just outta their league.


Friday, May 6, 2011


This is coolbert:

As we are all by now aware, Osama bin Laden has finally been run-to-ground and killed - - justice done!

NOW with a small part of the REST of the story! A small part but the truthful part, and you the devoted reader to the blog will be informed in a manner that others are not.

Controversy over the use of the "code-name" for Osama has arisen? The use of the name Geronimo is a point of contention, almost a punador [point-of-honor], something worth fighting over?

The tribal chairman of the Ft. Sill Apache nation, Jeff Houser, is on record as saying that the use of the name Geronimo is disrespectful in the extreme.

Read too the comments of the conservative American Indian blogger David Yeagley regarding this matter.

NOW for the rest of the story. Thanks in this case to William:

"WHY IS NO ONE LISTENING! bin Laden's code name was "JACKPOT" and the operation was NOT called "Geronimo".. Geronimo was the codeword for SUCCESS!! Geronimo EKIA= Success!, Enemy Killed In Action. If we keep making issues out of things we haven't RESEARCHED, they end up being frivolous and sooner or later, we lose ANY possibility of having a voice PERIOD! AGAIN, GERONIMO MEANT the mission was completed SUCCESSFULLY, Not the codename for bin Laden..NOR was it the code name for the operation."

Let me reiterate and make this perfectly clear - - "Geronimo was the codeword for SUCCESS!! Geronimo EKIA= Success!, Enemy Killed In Action".

Thank you William.

And William too is 100 % correct. "WHY IS NO ONE LISTENING!" "If we keep making issues out of things we haven't RESEARCHED, they end up being frivolous and sooner or later, we lose ANY possibility of having a voice PERIOD!"

PERIOD! Again - - well spoken William. Your powers of eloquence dwarf my feeble efforts at this exact moment and are much appreciated!


Thursday, May 5, 2011


This is coolbert:

Those filibuster mercenary armies of the gringo, specifically those as organized, trained, commanded and led into battle by the famous/infamous William Walker, were inextricably linked to the American pro-slavery movement of the "deep South".

Those leading personages of those American states that became the Confederacy advocated filibustering as a means of establishing sovereign enclaves in Latin [Spanish speaking ] America dominated by a small minority of English speakers - - the purpose of which was to create conditions favorable to the expansion of slavery, or a replication of the Spanish already-existing hacienda system! So it would seem.

The link between the filibuster and those desirous to see the spread of North American slavery is very strong?

A land-owning "aristocracy" whose wealth would be measured in the amount of acreage given over to plantations producing a cash crop, ranches raising cattle, mining or other industrial operations of some sort, that "aristocracy" dependent upon a large work force of slaves or highly compliant and very inexpensive peon menial labor!

Historians have made the same observation as I have done - - the filibuster was intrinsically and inextricably linked to the pro-slavery movement, the further expansion of American slavery limited to an extent by the Missouri Compromise?

Southern "aristocrats", Southern "partisans" and the like, even BEFORE the American Civil War did see military action as a means and a method to maintain the status quo, even beyond the borders of the United States?

The study of filibustering and the pro-slavery moment is an item worthy of a PhD thesis? Perhaps this has already been done?


Monday, May 2, 2011

Filibuster (military).

This is coolbert:

It should be noted that the American soldier of fortune Frederick Townes Ward prior to his China adventure had gained valuable military experience as a filibuster, serving as a lieutenant to the famous/infamous William Walker.


"A filibuster, or freebooter, is someone who engages in an unauthorized military expedition into a foreign country to foment or support a revolution. The term is usually used to describe United States citizens who attempted to foment insurrections in Latin America in the mid-19th century."

"Filibusters were irregular soldiers who acted without authority from their own government, and were usually motivated by financial gain, political ideology, or the thrill of adventure."

ACTING WITHOUT AUTHORITY - - QUITE OFTEN ILLEGALLY, EVEN AGAINST THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES!! The gringo behaving in a bad way down south of the border!!

Organize, train, plan, and lead into battle a motley crew of mercenaries and locals - - hoping to overthrow the established government to the extent that it exists, establish your own sovereignty over the conquered territory!

A chance for your average citizen who is so inclined to earn some "glory", depending upon your ability, skill and bravery perhaps attain the rank and title of Captain, Major, Colonel. Everybody wants to be a Colonel!

I was and still am only vaguely familiar with the actions of the various filibusters. Seems to have been quite a going concern during that period prior to the American Civil War. Persons - - quite often adventure seekers, hoping to strike it rich quick or even perhaps enlisting as a filibuster merely for the thrill, a vocation so to speak, and NOT LIMITED TO AMERICANS EITHER!!

William Walker perhaps of course the most famous/infamous of the filibusters, the man meeting a bad end while filibustering in Central America - - "live by the sword, die by same"!



Sunday, May 1, 2011


This is coolbert:

The White Messiah - - Frederick Townsend Ward.

Before there was Gordon there was Ward!!

"Frederick Townsend Ward . . . an American sailor, mercenary, and soldier of fortune famous for his military victories for Imperial China during the Taiping Rebellion."

Frederick Townsend Ward - - American soldier of fortune, the man who organized and created the "Ever Victorious" army that "Chinese" Gordon led to victory during the Taiping Rebellion.

The story of Ward as recounted in the wiki entry one of the most amazing military adventures of all time. Without a doubt!

Ward, a man with only very limited military education and experience, able to organize, train, plan, and lead into battle with great bravery on numerous occasions a polyglot "army" of his own creation, a mix of "Europeans", Americans and Chinese nationals. A military force allied with the Chinese Emperor and in opposition to the Taiping rebels.

A "natural soldier", an outstanding leader in a way few ever are, just having an intuition, an initiative, a sound mind and thought process, able to analyze a situation and formulate a solution in a manner almost without peer. And a very courageous man, highly admired by this troops, prior to his battlefield death the man wounded no less than fourteen [14] times in battle - - unheard of!

Possessing that intuition of greatness - - realizing that the military science as taught at the time was inappropriate when faced with modern weaponry [the rifled musket], adjusting his tactics and operational art appropriately, and too a man with a whole lot of moxie!

"mox·ie- –noun 1. vigor; verve; pep. 2. courage and aggressiveness; nerve. 3. skill; know-how."

Ward meeting a "glorious" end on the battlefield, succeeded in command by Gordon. That army as organized by Ward an able force PERHAPS THE FIRST INSTANCE OF WHERE CHINESE TROOPS WERE ORGANIZED AND TRAINED IN MEANS, METHODS, TACTICS OF MODERN WARFARE! Thanks to Ward, Gordon had at his instantaneous disposal a fighting force of some value!

Ward prior to his death really going "native", becoming a Chinese national [citizen], marrying a Chinese woman and awarded with high rank by the Emperor: [again, a thing almost totally unheard of!]

"Ward himself would be made first a 4th-rank, and then a 3rd-rank mandarin, high honors from the Manchu court for a Barbarian."

In the aftermath of his death, Ward was indeed held in high esteem by the Chinese. So much so that he became deified, as if a god!!


“'A wonderful hero from beyond the seas, the fame of whose deserving loyalty reaches round the world, has sprinkled China with his azure blood.' . . . [his] mausoleum soon became a shrine supposed to be invested with miraculous power, and some years after his death he was declared to be a Joss, or God"

Ward not only a messiah figure, but actually became a god!!

Believe it or not!