Thursday, June 30, 2011

Submarines V.

This is coolbert:

The submarine as an asymmetric weapon of war!

Thanks again for the excerpts taken from the magazine "SUBMARINES SINCE 1919".

"Asymmetric warfare is war between belligerents whose relative military power differs significantly, or whose strategy or tactics differ significantly . . . Such struggles often involve strategies and tactics of unconventional warfare, the 'weaker' combatants attempting to use strategy to offset deficiencies in quantity or quality."

The submarine in both world wars demonstrative of how a much weaker opponent can confront and defeat the much stronger adversary, often in a manner that is almost casual and leisurely, seemingly without effort to a degree!

1.  Three British cruisers torpedoed and sent to the bottom [1914] in rapid fire fashion by the German submarine U-9, Captain Weddigen at the helm, the unexpected and unanticipated occurring in a traumatic fashion, surface combat vessels of the most capable variety sunk, catastrophic loss of life and consternation at the British Admiralty. What WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN DID HAPPEN!

"22nd September 1914 . . . SM U-9 (Kptlt. Otto Weddigen) sank the three cruisers HMS Aboukir, Hogue and Cressy (12,000 tons each) off the Hook of Holland in 75 mins. 1,460 British sailors died in this world shattering demonstration of the U-boat's terrible capabilities."

In the aftermath of this catastrophe the British dispersing their Grand Fleet to temporary anchorages, the "closed fist" of focused energy now an "open hand", the combined striking power of the fleet  now weakened, all as a response to the combat actions of one submarine!!

2. The older but still very potent English battleship Royal Oak, while moored in a "safe" location, beyond the threat of attack [so it was thought], torpedoed and sunk [1939] by the German submarine U-47, Captain Prien at the helm. Again, catastrophic loss of life, unexpected and unanticipated, much consternation at the Admiralt! What WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN DID HAPPEN!

"On October 14, 1939, Prien risked shallow water, unknown shoals, tricky currents and detection by defenders to penetrate the Royal Navy's primary base, Scapa Flow. Although most of the Home Fleet was at sea, Prien sank the battleship Royal Oak and returned home to instant fame."

In the aftermath of this catastrophe the British dispersing their Home Fleet to temporary anchorages, the "closed fist" of focused energy now an "open hand", the combined striking power of the fleet  now weakened, all as a response to the combat actions of one submarine!!

"The Royal Oak was an elderly second-line unit . . . but U47's exploit had far more impact. The realization that Scapa Flow could be penetrated by a submarine forced the British to remove their entire Home Fleet to a series of temporary anchorages, just as the Grand Fleet had gone a-wandering in 1914 after a submarine scare. At a crucial moment the whole British strategy . . . had been drastically changed all by one submariner and his crew's determination and courage."

3. Allied submarines attacking German surface vessels during the Norwegian campaign [1940], German naval and merchant losses severe, any possibility of the Kriegsmarine effectively participating in an invasion of England [Sealion] greatly diminished!

"The increased German naval activity in the Norwegian campaign gave Allied submarines much greater opportunities for attacking. The Polish Orzel sank a large troopship, the Spearfish damaged the pocket battleship Lutzow severely, and the Sunfish sank four ships, among others. Later the Clyde inflicted heavy damage on the battle-cruiser Gneisenau. These casualties . . . were sufficient to reduce the Kriegsmarine's strength below the level needed to support the invasion of England . . . the submarine had intervened decisively in the conduct of war at sea, and had exerted an influence beyond all proportion to her size and cost."

"AN INFLUENCE BEYOND ALL PROPORTION"! Unquestionably so! And the submarine as an asymmetric attacker - - also without doubt!


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Submarines IV.

This is coolbert:

Here with yet one more submarine development in the aftermath of the Great War [WW1]. Thanks to the magazine - - "SUBMARINES SINCE 1919".

The submarine as an aircraft carrier:

"The other important development in the years after the Armistice [WW1] was the operation of aircraft from submarines. War experience had shown the importance of reconnaissance to the submarine, especially for locating targets when operating in distant waster."

Aircraft, with one exception all float planes, lowered by crane off the back of a sub into the water, the float plane stored on deck when not needed, flown almost exclusively as a scout or recon aircraft, great increasing the ability of the sub to locate targets.

[assume that the maximum line-of-sight distance for a lookout perched high atop the conning tower of a submarine at MOST would be six to seven miles! Scout aircraft able to obviously spot targets at ranges far beyond that!]

Submarines with an organic aircraft launch capability as developed again by a host of nations. Countries and navies to include:

* Britain.
* United States.
* Japan.
* Norway.
* Germany.
* France.

[the American Martin Kitten NOT a float plane, it being requisite for the pilot to crash-land his aircraft, that plane so cramped for space that: "the pilot would have extreme difficulty in bailing out"]

"Flown almost exclusively as a scout or recon aircraft". BUT NOT exclusively so. The submarine as an aircraft carrier brought to the highest level of development by the Japanese in that decade prior to World War Two [WW2], submarines of the IJN [Imperial Japanese Navy] carrying and able to launch ATTACK COMBAT WARPLANES - - the intended target the Panama Canal!!

"Note the large hangar and forward catapult"

The thought being of course that a single bomb in the right spot might well disable the Panama Canal,   American navy and merchant marine unable to move between the two oceans [Pacific and Atlantic] in an expeditious manner! These Japanese submarine aircraft carriers also the largest submersibles prior to the advent of the ballistic missile carrying sub!

A threat that during WW2 for whatever number of reasons NEVER DID MATERIALIZE!!

The concept is sound - - but the execution was poor? Ungainly vessels, the difficulties encountered in launching and recovering aircraft from a submarine found to be immense, the submarine as an aircraft carrier more of an oddity and curiosity than anything else?


Monday, June 27, 2011

Submarines III.

This is coolbert:

Robert Surcouf.

From the previous blog entry:

"This class of vessel brought to the greatest degree of development with the British "M"  and X1 class of submarine-cruiser and the French Surcouf class."

The French Surcouf class. A ponderous submarine cruiser of the era immediately after the Great War [WW1]. A submarine the main weaponry of which was a pair of eight inch [8"] big-bore naval guns. Torpedo attack possible but ONLY as a secondary measure. The Surcouf seen [?] by the French admirals as a means for waging irregular warfare at sea, an unconventional weapon the target of which was primarily the merchant shipping of the adversary.

The name Surcouf chosen NOT without reason! Robert Surcouf, a most famous French naval commander from the Napoleonic era.

Robert, best described as a privateer, a corsair, an unconventional warrior of the high seas, a hit and run guerrilla fighter waging war in the manner of the irregular.


"Robert Surcouf. . . was a famous French corsair. During his legendary career, he captured 47 ships and was renowned for his gallantry and chivalry, earning the nickname of Roi des Corsaires ('King of Corsairs')."

"pri·va·teer  - - noun armed ship that is privately  owned and manned, commissioned by a government to fight or harass enemy ships."

"corsair  - - Meaning evolved in M.L. from 'course' to 'journey' to 'expedition' to an expedition specifically for plunder."

"He became a living legend in France and, in England, a public enemy whose capture was valued at 5 million francs, although he was noted for the discipline of his crew and his humane treatment of prisoners"

"After the war, he returned to Saint-Malo, rich and with the title of baron, and became a merchant ship-owner, establishing business with Terre-Neuve, the Caribbean, Africa, and the Indian Ocean."

Robert - - adept at warfare on the high seas, a master at using measured audacity to confront and defeat the enemy, even willing to "take on" and defeat British warships of much greater size and possessing far superior firepower, Robert employing that correct mix of tactics, methods, means, measures as befits the unconventional naval fighter!

The very name Surcouf suggest and is evocative of irregular warfare, unconventional combat, guerrilla tactics?    As was Surcouf of the Napoleonic era, so was hoped for the submarine cruiser Surcouf of the modern era? This was the intent!

Robert by his privateering became a very rich man! Indeed, those captains of privateers and even the lowliest sailor could enjoy an "income" and achieve wealth that was otherwise unobtainable. Without great risk there can be no great gain!


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Submarines II.

This is coolbert:

The submarine-cruiser.

Both during the Great War [WW1] and for decade or more later, it was all the rage for self-respecting navies to develop what were called submarine-cruisers.

A submarine the main weapon which was a large and powerful big-bore naval gun. Attack by torpedoes by a submerged sub as an ADJUNCT! Torpedo attack only secondary and recognized as such, surface combat preferred?

And this idea of a surface raider able to destroy merchant vessels or an entire convoy of merchant vessels, EVEN IF that convoy escorted by warships of the destroyer class, was NOT entirely without merit?

The combat actions of the all-time submarine ace [and will always be the all-time submarine ace] Lothar von Arnauld de la Perière suggested that this was the way to go - - merchant vessels attacked by a submarine from the surface, naval gunfire from a deck gun being the weapon of choice.

That vast preponderance of merchant shipping as sunk by Arnauld de la Perière was accomplished by naval gunfire from a deck gun, an 88 mm caliber rapid fire weapon, "8.8cm Schiffskanone (Antiship Cannon)"  [not the same as the German 88 mm anti-aircraft artillery piece of WW2 fame].

"During his [Lothar] war time career, he [Lothar] sank 194 ships totalling 454,000 tons, always strictly according to prize rules often with his boat's 88 mm deck gun."

A whole host of nations developing at one time or another a class of submarine-cruisers. Nations to include:

* Great Britain.
* Germany.
* USA.
* Italy.
* Japan.
* France.

This class of vessel brought to the greatest degree of development with the British "M"  and X1 class of submarine-cruiser and the French Surcouf class.

Indeed, these ponderous warships, submarine-cruisers were the largest submarines built until the time of nuclear propulsion.

A hybrid type of weapon, a desire to fight the next war with the weapons of the old, NEVER really manifesting itself in real combat action - - such warships being too a reaction to the Washington Naval Treaty, limiting the number of capital ships available to the world powers of the day, the submarine-cruiser seen as a compromise capability, the results however not in the long run seen as worth the effort?


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Submarines I.

This is coolbert:

Here begins a serial of blog entries, extracts from the magazine: "Submarines Since 1919" and my pertinent comments.


"The British Empire, having started the war as the world's largest ship-owner and operator, lost over 9 million tons, as against 4 million tons lost by all other countries put together. This represented almost 90 per cent of the steamships under British registration in 1914, and the loss of national wealth went far beyond the actual cost of the cargoes."

* We need to differentiate between tonnage and absolute numbers of vessels? Tonnage refers to either the carrying capacity OR the weight of the vessel itself. A devoted reader to the blog who is a naval expert can explain?

* The British Empire at that exact moment needing a merchant marine of extraordinary size, the very existence of the Empire reliant on trans-oceanic trade, movement from continent to continent of raw materials and finished good, AND FOOD, all by ship! At any given moment, literally thousands of merchant vessels with English registry sailed to and fro, carrying goods among the various colonies, the Dominions, the home islands!

* The British in 1914, an Empire HIGHLY DEPENDENT on sea power, having losses in merchant shipping more than twice as great as all other nations put together, tonnage [the ability of a vessel to carry freight?] and in absolute numbers of ships losses both catastrophic.

* ALMOST ALL of those ships sunk - - the vast preponderance - - torpedoed or sank by naval gunfire from a submarine. The submarine prior to the war NOT seen as being a major player - - a minor adjunct to naval warfare at that - - NOT taken so seriously!

* 90 % of those merchant vessels available to the British at the start of the war - - sunk to the bottom during the four years of warfare? NO ONE ever expected the Great War [WW1] in 1914 to last but for a few months maximum. These losses were totally unanticipated and caused great consternation among those in command at the Admiralty. Again - - an unanticipated and most troubling development for which at first there was no good answer.

* Add to the cost of the war the building of merchant vessels to replace those lost to submarine warfare. Once more, an unanticipated cost - - ships, crews, cargoes, etc., a necessity for the English, Empire and the war effort all requiring sea power [that combination of naval combat might and a merchant marine] VITAL to survival just of itself!!

War is bad for the economy!

The submarine in 1914 NOT taken seriously but by 1918 taken very seriously, and with good reason!


Friday, June 24, 2011


This is coolbert:

Thanks to DEBKAfile the type of headline that catches your attention immediately and DOES raise eyebrows! At least it does for me.

Quoting in entirety for your edification:

"Three Russian designers of Iran's nuclear plant die in plane crash"

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report

"23 June. The three scientists who planned, designed, built and operated Iran's first nuclear reactor at Bushehr this year died Tuesday night, June 20, when a Rusaero flight from Moscow crashed at Petrozavodsk in northwest Russia. DEBKAfile reveals they were among the 44 passengers killed. Their loss is a blow to Russia's atomic reactor and energy industries because of their expertise in synchronizing different nuclear systems. Some intelligence sources say that Bushehr's amalgam of systems made it vulnerable to the Stuxnet virus two years ago."

"The authorities have ordered an investigation to find out why all three senior nuclear scientists were aboard the same airliner in violation of Russian security regulations which prohibit more than one high-ranking politician, military figure or executive of a sensitive industry taking the same flight." [my emphasis!]

All three - - a sensitive industry - - the same flight! I recall reading in the paper about this plane crash, but it was not reported as having any sort of special significance to it, nothing out of the ordinary. Thanks to DEBKA, you know the rest of the story? AND those of a conspiratorial mind will read into this what they want. EVEN that DEBKA was perhaps used a conduit willingly or otherwise?

First Stuxnet - - now this?


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bismarck Sea.

This is coolbert:

Bismarck Sea. An ALLIED ATROCITY??

Another controversial episode from the era of The Second World War [WW2].

The Battle of Bismarck Sea. Japanese troops being ferried by troops ships enroute to the battlefields of New Guinea, repeatedly attacked by allied aircraft, those troops ships sunk, the survivors in the water machine gunned and bombed, casualties catastrophic.

The killing of those shipwrecked a war crime reminiscent of the Wahoo Incident? Again, Japanese troops in the water "massacred" after their troop transport is sunk, those survivors of the sinking being killed with impunity - - gratuitous and unwarranted violence in violation of the Hague Convention alleged! AN ALLIED ATROCITY?

Battle of the Bismarck Sea.

"The Battle of the Bismarck Sea (2–4 March 1943) took place in the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) during World War II. During the course of the battle, aircraft of the U.S. 5th Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) attacked a Japanese convoy that was carrying troops to Lae, New Guinea. Most of the task force was destroyed, and Japanese troop losses were heavy."

"A plan was devised to move some 6,900 troops from Rabaul directly to Lae . . . Although the operation was given only a 50% chance of success . . . On 28 February 1943, the convoy—comprising eight destroyers and eight troop transports with an escort of approximately 100 fighters—set out from Simpson Harbour in Rabaul."

The allied air forces, American and Australian, tipped off in advance, NOT ONLY able to sink those troop transports, but continuing to attack rescue vessels and men in the water for THREE DAYS AFTERWARDS!!

"Allied patrol boats and planes attacked Japanese rescue vessels, as well as the survivors from the sunken vessels on life rafts and swimming or floating in the sea. This was later justified on the grounds that rescued servicemen would have been rapidly landed at their military destination and promptly returned to active service"

"Out of 6,900 troops who were badly needed in New Guinea, only about 1,200 made it to Lae . . .  About 2,890 Japanese soldiers and sailors were killed." [the remainder of the ground troops returned to Rabaul]

At the time, the machine gunning and bombing, repeatedly, of survivors in the water was justified as retaliation for previous similar actions ON THE PART OF THE JAPANESE!

The reasoning of course can be made that those SOLDIERS in the water CONTINUED TO BE FAIR GAME! Sailors whose ship had been sunk are obviously hors de combat, no longer functioning hostiles, and are not valid targets under the Hague Convention. NOT SO for those ground troops enroute to Lae? The argument can be made that soldiers plucked from the water can later be delivered to the combat zone, be reconstituted as a unit and engage in combat?

Sailors in the water you cannot shoot, but soldiers [ground troops] in the water you can?

Some devoted reader to the blog has an answer to this?


Monday, June 20, 2011


This is coolbert:

Here too is an assertion, seemingly preposterous, but true!

Thanks to the author Bryan Mark Rigg and the Kansas Press, the story as told in 2003, the winner of the Colby Prize for military history.

Jews - - serving in the Wehrmacht [German army] during the Second World War [WW2], obedient to and willing participants in the German and Nazi cause?

Such a thing could be? At face value the very thought is repugnant and beyond even the extreme of possibility that the absurdity of it seems just self-evident.


"Hitler's Jewish Soldiers"

"'The Untold Story of Nazi Racial Laws and Men of Jewish Descent in the German Military' by Bryan Mark Rigg

"Contrary to conventional views, Rigg reveals that a startlingly large number of German military men were classified by the Nazis as Jews or 'partial-Jews' (Mischlinge), in the wake of racial laws first enacted in the mid-1930s. Rigg demonstrates that the actual number was much higher than previously thought--perhaps as many as 150,000 men, including decorated veterans and high-ranking officers, even generals and admirals."

[those high-ranking officers, of flag rank even, to include Field Marshal Milch, Admiral Lutjens of the Bismarck and Captain Rogge of the Atlantis]

However, NOT SO FAST SHELBY! We have to be very careful here. Definitions and perceptions are most important! Clarification is needed and big time!

* These persons, military men and classified as Jews by the German Racial Laws, WOULD NOT have been acknowledged as Jews by rabbinical authority. Were Jewish under the German Racial Laws in that they had ONE GRANDPARENT THAT WAS A JEW! NO MORE than that to begin with!

* These persons also would have NOT THOUGHT of themselves as being Jewish. Had been raised either irreligious or as a Christian, not practicing Jewish ritual or following aspects of Jewish culture. Saw themselves and being German through and through, part of secular German society and loyal to Germany!

A thorough recognition and understanding of the facts, the definitions, the perceptions is essential in this case.

Too, it is speculated that among even the top "brass" of the Nazi regime, there was the aspect of the Mischlinge to include such prominent persons as:

* Reinhard Heydrich. "The Nazi Hangman".

* Emil Maurice. The "best friend" of Hitler and SS Mann # 2.

OH MY, what are we to make of all this? Again, the definitions and perceptions are most important! Just don't overdo it.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Cyberwar III.

This is coolbert:

Cyberwarfare III. Conclusion.

Is it war or is it not war - - that is the question?

Again thanks to the BBC, an expert - - who claims that the "hysteria" regarding the threat of cyberwarfare is overblown!

"The threat of cyber warfare is greatly exaggerated, according to a leading security expert." [Bruce Schneier]

"Cyber war threat exaggerated claims security expert"

"'a "battle of metaphors'."

Metaphors? A battle of words? The definition thereof? This is what is at question?

Surely we DO understand that a lone hacker stealing bank records or invading the computer of a commercial concern to "browse" is not committing cyberwarfare? This is intuitive?

War as generally, ordinarily and commonly understood is two groups of people, using armaments, each attempting to impose their will upon the other. Armaments highly advanced in the modern era, of course not merely relegated to the edged weaponry of ancient times. Armaments to now include cyber attack!

Cyberwarfare as waged by a nation-state or a terrorist entity against a target is SURELY understood to be warfare? Also intuitive? This entire word "cyberwarfare" has NOT been defined with the meticulous degree and measure of accuracy that is required? Required by whom I would ask!

And tanks and bombs alone are not needed to cause casualties in the age of modern warfare? Again, this is also intuitive? If you shut down the power grid or water supply of a nation, or disable the military computers of your adversary with a touch of the keystroke, surely that is understood without explanation to be WAR!

Bruce is in part right and in part wrong!


Cyberwar II.

This is coolbert:

"The US defence department estimates that more than 100 foreign intelligence
 organizations have attempted to break into American networks."

Cyberwarfare II.

"Acts of War"

Again from the BBC we have this report, a much upgraded status of the response to be taken in the aftermath of a "serious" cyber attack against the United States. "Serious' as to mean loss of life from what I read!

Such cyber attacks, cyberwarfare, intrusion into computer networks and systems to cause damage that results in loss of life - - will be treated as an act of war and the response will be appropriate. This as of this month, the decision has been made, the protocols to be taken promulgated, "so let it be written - - so let it be done"!

"US Pentagon to treat cyber-attacks as 'acts of war'"

"The US is set to publish plans that will categorise cyber-attacks as acts of war, the Pentagon says."

"'All necessary means'" [this following:  "an international strategy statement on cyber-security, issued by the White House on 16 May."]

"The US would 'respond to hostile acts in cyberspace as we would to any other threat to our country', stated the White House in plain terms."

"'We reserve the right to use all necessary means - diplomatic, informational, military, and economic - as appropriate and consistent with applicable international law, in order to defend our nation, our allies, our partners and our interests.'"

So this problem of cyberwarfare is being TAKEN VERY SERIOUSLY! The last time I can recall the words "act of war" being used was from the mid 1970's when Jimmy Carter was President. At that time it was reputed that Soviet ground based lasers were "blinding" those American surveillance satellites that watched for Soviet ICBM launches. The warning of Carter was taken seriously by the Soviet and such events ceased? So it seems.

There does seem to be a heightened awareness of the threat as posed by cyberwarfare! And this awareness is not all that bad, or is it an indication that the means, methods and techniques are now available to wreak havoc on an almost Biblical basis?


Cyberwar I.

This is coolbert:

Cyberwarfare I.

How is this for being apropos? This might very well have been the thing that Admiral Mike Mullen had on his mind when he mentioned that cyberwarfare directed against the U.S. by a hostile foreign power is an existential threat? Thanks to the BBC for the info on this matter!

"US builds net for cyber war games"

"The US system will be used as a test bed for Internet security projects"

"The United States government is building its own 'scale model' of the Internet to carry out cyber war games."

"When ready, it will function as a test-bed for defensive and possibly offensive technologies"

"[it] would allow researchers to carry-out experiments 'in days rather than the weeks it currently takes,'"

"Unlike the real Internet, the in-house version could be wiped or reset between tests"

DARPA, the Defense Department agency that develops this sort of hardware and software, building a virtual Internet. An analog of the real thing, but only virtually. A concept - - an "unreal" world of what is in large measure an "unreal"world. NOT to be understood as a substitute for the Internet, but as what is called a "test-bed", where "experiments" can be conducted.

And can be used for test and verifying the validity of both OFFENSIVE and DEFENSIVE techniques, methods and measures to protect American Internet and IT interests AND if necessary, CARRY the WAR to the enemy, whoever that enemy may be!!

One of the two existential threats to the U.S. IS being taken very seriously by those in the Defense Department!


Friday, June 17, 2011

Turkey vs. Syria?

This is coolbert:

Once more, thanks to the "Summary of DEBKA Exclusives in the Week Ending June 17, 2011", as reported by the DEBKAfile, we have some "exclusives" regarding the growing refugee crisis - - Syrians fleeing the fighting between those insurrectionists in opposition to the Assad regime in Damascus and those troops loyal to Bashir.


None of this reported in the American main stream media to my knowledge?

1. "Turkey to send troops into Syria"

"10 June. The Syrian crisis has taken a dramatic turn: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Friday night, June 10, decided to move his army into northern Syria Turkey."

2. "The Battle of Jisr a-Shughour and Erdogan's election hopes"

"11 June. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan needs the Sunni Muslims of the embattled Syrian town of Jisr a-Shughour whom he is championing to win the day against Bashar Assad's tanks, helicopters and soldiers, to support his bid for the role of leading Muslim power. The outcome of this showdown is also watched avidly by Sunni Muslims across the Middle East"

It is not mentioned that Turkey continues to be a constituent member of NATO! An attack against Turkey under treaty agreement means the same as an attack upon ALL OTHER NATO NATIONS, INCLUDING THE UNITED STATES!!

If "push comes to shove" and the Turk finds themselves in armed conflict with Syrian forces, Erdogan can invoke Article Five of the NATO charter? All other nations members of NATO will be OBLIGATED TO COME TO THE AID AND ASSISTANCE OF TURKEY!!

Again, NONE of this reported in the American main stream media [MSM]!!

DEBKAfile YES, American MSM NO!



This is coolbert:

Here with evidence that the web site DEBKAfile, described by the noted blogger Spengler as being UNRELIABLE UNDER ALL CIRCUMSTANCES - - is rather spot right on with at least some reports.

The death of the highly wanted terrorist Fazul just the other day counts as a "boon" for the Israeli.

From DEBKA quoting in entirety:

"Al Qaeda's dead East Africa terror chief targeted the US and Israel"

"His death [Fazul] was a boon for Israel against whose targets he orchestrated several deadly attacks. The most lethal and least reported was the 1996 hijack of Ethiopian Airways flight 961 en route from Addis Ababa to Nairobi. During its forced landing opposite the Comoros, Fazul and his men murdered five heads of Israel's Aviation Industries and a security guard, together with the CIA station head in the Ethiopian capital, Leslie Shed, and the deputy commander of the Ukrainian air force."

"They were heading for a meeting at the King David Hotel, in Jerusalem, with US, Ukrainian and Israeli teams to clinch a deal for Ukrainian jets for Ethiopia. To this day, all four governments have maintained a tight blackout on the episode. It saw the light of day in only one publication, DEBKAfile."


This WAS a total unknown to me until just a few minutes ago. Seems to suggest a pretty big security breach from some direction. That all these persons were all on the same flight at the same time [?] too is bad procedure! Whatever the circumstances, this was a gaffe of major proportions and a major victory at the time for Al Qaeda. Sounds like someone at a high level tipped Fazul off as well!

Thanks to DEBKA, an unknown aspect of the war of terror has now been made apparent. YOU KNOW, I KNOW, and all thanks again to DEBKA!


Thursday, June 16, 2011


This is coolbert:

Here with a most recent instance of cyberwarfare? One of the two existential threats to the United States as acknowledged by Admiral Mullen.

The target this time the computers of the International Monetary Fund. Admiral Mullen indeed did have this specific incident in mind during that Charlie Rose interview?

Thanks to  JOSEPH FITSANAKIS  and  the!

"Massive IMF cyberattack ‘was state-backed’, say sources"

"A massive and sophisticated cyberattack that targeted the computer systems of the International Monetary Fund last month was 'linked to a foreign government', according to sources familiar with the incident. The IMF, an international institution which oversees financial crises around the world, revealed the security breach in an internal email sent last week, but has yet to make a public announcement about the incident."

This may or may not be, according to what "expert" you speak to, an instance of cyberwarfare. This is more of a "fishing expedition", gathering data, etc. NOT denial of the computers [DoS] or deliberate intrusion with the intent to do damage?

IntelNews comes highly recommended from an authoritative source. You might want to bookmark or favorite this web site and access from time to time.

"IntelNews is a specialized blog, written by experts, that provides news and views on intelligence and espionage, in a timely, responsible and reflective manner"


Mike Mullen.

This is coolbert:

Admiral Mike Mullen - - Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff - - is being interviewed on the Charlie Rose program yesterday evening.

The Admiral does present himself very well. Poised, with a cheery and affable personality, conversant with the issues, glib even.

Mike acknowledges that there two existential threats confronting the United States.

"ex·is·ten·tial   - - 1. pertaining to existence."

1. The Russian nuclear threat. A legacy of the Cold War. All those nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles still [?] pointed at American cities. A nuclear exchange with the Russians would result in tens of millions of Americans dead, the nation-state of America destroyed, etc.

2. Cyberwarfare. The modern threat, either from a foreign power [nation-state] hostile to the United States OR a sophisticated and very hateful terrorist group with means.

"actions by a nation-state to penetrate another nation's computers or networks for the purposes of causing damage or disruption"


Cyberwarfare can and if done properly has the potential to throw American society, highly dependent upon computers and the Internet - - into chaos. Especially vulnerable IS THE AMERICAN FINANCIAL SYSTEM! A meltdown of the American financial system from cyberwarfare would have dire consequences. This is INTUITIVE?

Any foreign power hostile to the United States considering waging cyberwarfare should also be cognizant that this can be "a two-way street"! What you the hostile foreign power can do to the United States - - CAN BE DONE TO YOU TOO!!

Admiral Mullen also makes specific mention of the Paracel Islands and the current heightened state of crisis that exists in that part of the world between China and Vietnam. The Admiral is being kept informed and is aware of the danger a confrontation poses to all parties in the area.

Admiral Mike seems to have a good handle on things, as well as can be expected, and we all should be grateful for this!



This is coolbert:

"* High-frequency [HF] long-haul radio communications that the military has relied upon for decades - - and still in use [??] - - will no longer be possible."

"American military units on SIOP [nuclear-equipped] alert still rely heavily [?] on HF?"

Thanks to a variety of sources, some comments about those messages as sent to American units dedicated to a SIOP mission [nuclear war fighting]!

Messages in many cases sent via high-frequency radio communication, those transmissions to become null and void if and when a Maunder Minimum occurs.

EAM. Emergency action messages. Those messages to nuclear equipped American military units world-wide, the go and no-go codes. Messages encrypted and sent both as practice and for the purpose of defeating "traffic analysis".

"EAM: Though generally referring to a category of urgent messages from commanders to deployed forces, EAM is often used as a short-hand expression for a specially coded nuclear attack directive."

"'Emergency Action Messages' (EAMs), they are war fighting instructions to the United States nuclear forces."

"The messages . . . relayed to aircraft that are on alert . . . via single-sideband modulation radio transmitters of the High Frequency Global Communications System [HFGCS] (formerly known as the Global High Frequency Service)"

Dedicated radio monitoring hobbyists and indeed anyone possessing an adequate antenna and a radio receiver able to tune the high-frequency band [3-30 MHZ] and demodulate upper-sideband transmissions can monitor these EAMtransmissions. Frequencies posted and currently in use to include: [All frequencies in MHZ, upper-sideband [USB].]

8.992   (ideal for monitoring during North American nights)
11.175 (the most productive for day to day monitoring of the U.S. military on HF)

Thanks to the Nuclear Warriors on HF Radio web article listen to some samples of EAM from these various links:

EAM Audio Samples:WHITEFISH transmitting an EAM on 8.776 MHz 09/26/2008
ANDREWS transmitting an EAM on 8.992 MHz 09/26/2008
ANDREWS transmitting an EAM on 8.992 MHz 11/10/2008
ANDREWS transmitting an EAM on 8.992 MHz 11/25/2008
ANDREWS and KALABACK overlapping (sending same EAM) on 8.992 MHz 11/25/2008

Good luck and good hunting. I would assume to that the U.S. military and indeed anyone else reliant upon long-haul reliable HF is currently pondering the consequences of a potential Maunder Minimum and making preparations and contingencies!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011


This is coolbert:

Thanks to Yahoo a speculation that was the subject of a previous blog entry can now be confirmed?

The sun that humans rely upon for life itself is indeed entering a quiescent period? This is now established as fact?

A Maunder Minimum NOT seen for four hundred years!

Perhaps so:

"Scientists predict rare 'hibernation' of sunspots"

"WASHINGTON (AFP) – For years, scientists have been predicting the Sun would by around 2012 move into solar maximum, a period of intense flares and sunspot activity, but lately a curious calm has suggested quite the opposite."

"According to three studies released in the United States on Tuesday, experts believe the familiar sunspot cycle may be shutting down and heading toward a pattern of inactivity unseen since the 17th century."

NO or very few sunspots for decades!!

The immediately and obviously understood consequences of a Maunder Minimum will be:

* High-frequency [HF] long-haul radio communications that the military has relied upon for decades - - and still in use [??] - - will no longer be possible.

* Several centuries [?] of global cooling will occur. About a two hundred year period from the 1600's until the early 1800's was noted for brutal winters and general low temperatures world-wide! With all that means for agriculture and the production of food for an ever burgeoning and hungry human population! Political turmoil leading to war a definite possible!

This Maunder Minimum, unprecedented during modern times and not anticipated, is the sort of thing, unexpected, that quite often results that are "unexpected"!

I would have to think too that the modern means of communication available to the military such as SATCOM, etc., have eliminated the need for HF instantaneous world-wide? American military units on SIOP [nuclear-equipped] alert still rely heavily [?] on HF?

We shall see on this one!!


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Lord Haw Haw.

This is coolbert:

"Jarmany calling - - Jarmany calling!!"

From the on-line edition of the  English Daily and Sunday Express we have an update on the strange case of William Joyce - - better known to the world as "Lord Haw Haw"!

A case being re-opened [?] after over sixty years, William, deemed a traitor, found guilty in the aftermath of World War Two [WW2] - - and executed by the British.

William, undeniably with relish making a whole series of propaganda broadcasts for the Nazi - - William residing in Germany for the duration of the war.

These propaganda diatribes often bombastic and ridiculous in the extreme, but very grating and offensive to many of the English under bombardment by the Luftwaffe - - William a man who had much derisive scorn directed at him, hence the name "Lord Haw-Haw".

"a 'sneering, horrible voice… full of vindictive pleasure'”

The arrest, trial, conviction, execution of William Joyce AT THE TIME [1946] CONTROVERSIAL! The daughter [now age 82] desiring a vindication of her father, revelations from recently released documents suggestive that William was NOT [?] a traitor!


William was deemed an American, an Englishman, a German? NONE of this is clear? How can that be? At the time, the thought was that according to old English law: "any person living under the protection of the King owes allegiance to the King!"

Listen at this web site to the "sign-on" of William as would have been heard in England at the time.

Obviously in the aftermath of the war, a lot of folks had William on their mind, the English public, the authorities, etc. A lot of people wanted the head of William on a stick. They got the head in a noose, that much is certain.

More than anything else, the case of William Joyce is plain and simple: "you make a hard bed and you sleep on it!"

NO mercy for William then, and I doubt any now!



This is coolbert:

"What gets professional historians concerned is when certain people start
 calling these people soldiers. It all goes back to how you define soldier."

"Blacks' role in Confederacy remains touchy subject"

Thanks to Yahoo, a touchy subject indeed! Very much so and not understood in the manner with which it should be. Used by certain parties in a way that is inappropriate? You must decide this for yourself!

American blacks, either slaves or freemen, called "colored" at the time [1865], fighting as soldiers for the Confederacy? To some, the very idea is preposterous, even exceedingly so. But of course, as is often the case in history, NOT so preposterous.

American blacks, contributing to the war effort in a variety of capacities, BUT NOT NECESSARILY AS COMBAT ARMS TROOPS AS THAT TERM IS UNDERSTOOD TODAY! NOT carrying a rifle and marching into combat.

For the most part [?], what would be referred to in modern terms as logistical troops or support personnel!

Performing again - - a variety of task - - but not but with rare exceptions participating in combat as "fighters".

Black Confederates enlisted and primarily employed as:

* Construction troops.
* Valets and orderlies.
* Hospital workers.


"Most Civil War historians agree black slaves and even some free blacks contributed crucial manpower to the Southern war effort — but it was mostly menial work done under duress or for survival, not out of support for the secession movement."

"In the 1920s, 2,807 Southern blacks were approved for pensions authorized for black Confederates."
Black Americans Confederates, fighting on the side of the south, without question, in a very general sense contributing to the overall "cause", and NOT necessarily under duress or being forced, a loyalty to the "master" and their region of the country, the culture, their way of life - - this can be understood, as much as some would like to think and believe otherwise!
A touchy subject yes INDEED! But - - when understood within the right context, comprehensible!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Youth Corps.

 This is coolbert:

Very good program on public broadcast television this afternoon.

Elderly Japanese - - either participants - - or the children of participants in what was called "The Manchurian Youth Corps", making pilgrimage in honor of those that went before them.

Japanese teenagers and from all appearances even pre-teens, during World War Two [WW2] under contract and sent "overseas" to Japanese occupied Manchuria [Manchukuo], organized into a quasi-military organization called again "The Manchurian Youth Corps". Laborers, farm workers, colonists, military "men" all rolled into one.

Teens and children from impecunious Japanese farm and peasant families, that youth employed at farm and construction labor - - persons desiring to become gentlemen landowners "in time". Hard and rigorous toiling under military conditions, and all this for youth of less than eighteen year!

"The Role of The Manchurian Youth Corps, 1934-1945"

"The training centres were very much like army camps, with rows of barracks, barbed wire, and sentry boxes. The life of the boys in the camps also resembled military service: They were issued rifles, practiced early-morning calisthenics, and were subject to a twice-daily roll call. Days were normally spent in the fields doing farm work, though some time was also devoted to academic study of high-school-level subjects”.

NOT merely like a military camp, for all practical purposes A military cap, the youth wearing standard military uniforms, comporting themselves according to military discipline, issued standard weaponry, etc. A military camp!

With the declaration of war by the Soviet Union in 1945, the precipitous and rapid advance of Soviet forces , those "units" of the Manchurian Youth Corps attempting to march to safety, but finding their line of retreat cut-off, escape not possible, MOST succumbing to conditions of hunger, cold, deprivation, exhaustion, etc.

ONLY a very pitiful and small remnant of the Corps eventually repatriated to Japan.

That Japanese government ONLY ONE DAY PRIOR TO SURRENDER [1945], TELLING THOSE JAPANESE MANCHURIAN COLONISTS TO REMAIN IN PLACE!! That Japanese government even up to the last moment seeking a negotiated settlement, the colonists being able to "stay", flight or repatriation to Japan not a consideration!

Even in the aftermath of the dropping of the two atomic bombs, and the advance of the Soviet forces in Manchuria, the Japanese government was not even then not in total awareness of the true situation, NOT "playing with a full deck"?


Saturday, June 11, 2011


This is coolbert:

From 1974 - - the Battle of the Paracel Islands.

Those specks of rock in the South China Sea contested by the Chinese and Vietnamese both. Occupied since 1974 by the Chinese - - sovereignty issues at that time settled by the use of force!

Naval forces of the South Vietnamese military [Saigon] and Chinese in a short and violent conflict over the disputed and highly prized [?] islets, rocks, outcrops, reefs of the Spratly Islands. This particular group of islands referred to as the Paracels. This particular military "clash" a  LOSS for the Vietnamese, a VICTORY for the Chinese.

"Battle of the Paracel Islands".

"The Battle of the Paracel Islands was an engagement fought between the naval forces of the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) in the Paracel Islands on January 19, 1974"

"The tiny, uninhabited Paracel Islands, called Quan Dao Hoang Sa . . . in Vietnamese (Hoang Sa Islands) and Xisha Qundao . . . in Chinese . . . lie in the South China Sea roughly 200 miles from the nearest Asian mainland shore. With no native population, the archipelago's ownership has been in dispute frequently since the early 20th century."

These are guano islands. Called the Crescent Group by international navigators and also known by names such as: Pattle Island, Robert Island, Duncan Island!

Under the Guano Islands Act of 1856 of American interests could at one time have laid claim to the Paracels but that only applies to those islands NOT claimed by others! EVERYBODY WANTS THE SPRATLY ISLANDS, THE PARACELS INCLUDED!!

When it comes to land claims, ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, even for "itty-bitty" specks of rock visible above the water line only during periods of low time - - "emotion clouds reason" and all logical thought is in vain!


Friday, June 10, 2011


This is coolbert:

Thanks to the tip from the blog Jungle Trader, more troubling headlines involving disputed "islands" and territory that are thought to be rich in natural resources. Those itty-bitty specks of rock in the South China Sea - - the Spratly Islands! Disputed territory, the sovereignty of which is currently contested by no less than five different nations. In this particular case, the Chinese seen as bullies, Vietnam responding with veiled threats - - a warning being issued indirectly so!

"Tensions Rise in South China Sea"

"Vietnam gears up for live-fire naval drills."

"Tensions went up a notch in a maritime border dispute between China and Vietnam in the South China Sea on Friday, with Hanoi announcing it would carry out live-fire naval drills near disputed island chains."

When Bert speaks of "'itty-bitty' specks of rock" this description is literal and not figurative. Quite often "islands" appearing only at the lowest of tides and then only momentary, a hut occupied by a single lone soldier establishing claim to occupied "land" and the contiguous waters thereof!

From over thirty years ago now the last armed clashes between the Chinese and Vietnamese. And from over  forty years now hints that the waters of the South China Sea and the believed petroleum resources were a major contributing factor for U.S. involvement in the Second Indo-Chinese War.

Access and sovereignty issues involving resources - - existing or merely believed to exist, quite often being a reason for nations going to war.

Hold your breath!


Wednesday, June 8, 2011


This is coolbert:

One hundred fifty years ago the American Civil War had begun in earnest.

And ONLY now, using modern methods and techniques a much more accurate tally of deaths battlefield and other can be established. The bloodiest war in American history was even more bloody than has been previously estimated. NOT far more but MORE!

Read it all:

"Historian revises estimate of Civil War dead"

"The Civil War — already considered the deadliest conflict in American history — in fact took a toll far more severe than previously estimated."

20 % more to be exact.  And not merely "considered" to be! IS the deadliest and acknowledged to be so!

"the war’s dead numbered about 750,000, an estimate that’s 20 percent higher than the commonly cited figure of 620,000."

And the causes of death primarily were illness and disease and NOT battle death. 2/3 of those perishing during the conflict from either illness or disease, filthiness, etc. Prisoner of war camps of the period extremely bad, entire lots of the captured falling ill and succumbing to sickness!

"'Roughly two out of three men who died in the war died from disease,' . . . 'The war took men from all over the country and brought them all together into camps that became very filthy very quickly.' Deaths resulted from diarrhea, dysentery, measles, typhoid and malaria, among other illnesses." Solider cough, soldier heart, melancholy, poor diet and just plain cramped conditions making things only worse.

Medical treatment for illness, disease, war wounds not only inadequate but quite often exacerbating the condition, CAUSING DEATH IN MANY CASES RATHER THAN HEALING!

The population of the U.S. in 1861 being 31 million persons, that number of war time deaths is just staggering. Previous estimates of war dead were based upon incomplete or missing war records, the southern states in rebellion being particularly poor record keepers.

And entire region of the U.S. also impoverished for many generations, at least one hundred years!

And too, an elite of young men, north and south, dying for their respective cause, promising lives cut short, the ENTIRE NATION INJURED FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS IN A MANNER THAN CANNOT BE CALCULATED!


Tuesday, June 7, 2011


This is coolbert:

From the Chicago Tribune:

"Gates: Keep 'shooters' until end of withdrawal"

NOW, here is a man in the government that is making some sense.

Either understanding the true nature of the situation OR listening to and heeding good advice.

Those American units currently on the ground scheduled now to leave Afghan, combat arms the first ones in, combat arms the last one out - - as it should be.

"FORWARD OPERATING BASE DWYER, Afghanistan - - Defense Secretary Robert Gates argued Sunday for keeping combat units in place and removing as many support troops as possible when thew U.S. begins its promised draw down of forces next month.

"'If it were up to me, I'd leave the shooters until last,' Gates said

"it made sense to keep as much 'combat power' in place as [long] as possible to preserve and extend fragile security gains"

Gates is keenly aware [???] of the Christmas Day retreat of the British from Kabul, 1842. 18,000 English troops and camp followers attempting to march ninety [90] miles to the Khyber Pass, ONLY ONE MAN SUCCESSFULLY MAKING THE JOURNEY AND EMERGING ALIVE!!

Afghan can go from bad to worse and even beyond that in the proverbial heartbeat - - and you need persons that can fight, have an organic capacity to do so, and ARE TRAINED AS A UNIT TO DO SO!

Especially during a time of withdrawal [retreat?], everyone will be in great peril, the march of the Ten Thousand as described by the Greek historian Xenephon being a trifle as compared to what the American soldier might encounter in the mountains of Afghan!

Gates too is familiar with an analogous situation that existed forty years earlier? The ass-backwards approach of the Nixon administration - - removing first the combat arms assets from Vietnam, placing those remaining support forces on the ground in great danger from the communist Easter Offensive of 1972. As remarked upon at the time by the esteemed journalist and TV evening news anchor Howard K. Smith!!

Combat support and combat service support first - - then the "shooters"! YES!


Monday, June 6, 2011

Cpl Pun!

This is coolbert:

Shake the hand of Corporal Dipprasad Pun.

As well as one should. Shake the hand of a brave man who comported himself on the Afghan battlefield with great skill and courage. NOW Corporal Pun receiving high decoration from the very hands of the Queen herself.

Thanks to the DailyMail and the tip from Ken for this story.

A Gurkha standing tall in Afghan, a very proud tradition of military service to the British Crown continues. And continues in a part of the world - the mountainous terrain of Afghanistan - - and against a Pathan enemy of which the Gurkha is quite familiar.

'I thought I was going to die... so I tried to kill as many as I could':

"Hero Gurkha receives bravery medal from the Queen"

"Corporal Dipprasad Pun defeated more than 30 Taliban fighters single-handedly Used the tripod of his machine gun to beat away a militant after running out of ammunition"

1. It should be recalled that on the list of the famous/infamous Japanese Colonel Tsuji the Gurkha ranked number 4 [ #4] in terms of "fighting ability". Behind the Russian [ #3] but ahead of the American [ #5]. The Gurkha as an ethnicity not being physically intimidating but having a prowess in combat that is legendary. Men in combat not to be trifled with and respected by their enemies at all times.

2. Those impecunious British officers of the highest and most marked ability assigned to command the Gurkhas. Good officers in charge of good troops makes for an even better combination!!

3. An American Foreign Legion consisting of a brigade or regimental size unit one each of Gurkhas, Fijians, and Afrikaans speaking South Africans? Boots on the ground, providing combat troops of the highest quality, deployable anywhere in the world at the command of the President. This is do-able and even a commendable idea?

As it was in the days of yore, as it is now. Afghan during the Raj and Afghan over one hundred years later things remain the same!! Gurkhas! Don't leave home without them!


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Fire NM.

This is coolbert:

More on my vacation/high school reunion here in Santa Fe NM.

For this part of the country, the air quality poor!

As it almost NEVER is.

This all the result of forest fires, on in particular burning for days now in Arizona, zero contained, the fire fighting forces NOT able to get the upper hand. Smoke from the fire contaminating the atmosphere many hundreds of miles away, visibility which is normally very good in this instance now POOR!

"New evacuations ordered in Ariz. wildfire"

"Crews have zero containment of blaze, which has been burning for a week"

The fighting of these forest fires in my opinion being AS CLOSE AS YOU CAN GET TO BEING AT WAR WITHOUT HAVING AN ENEMY SHOOTING BACK AT YOU!

That commander of the fire fighter brigades [that is what they are called too - - brigades] have duties and responsibilities analogous to the military combat commander, and having units on the ground and in the air waging "battle" with the "fire"!

ALSO, as with war, these fires can be thought of in three aspects. 1. What led up to the fire. 2. The fighting of the fire itself. 3. The aftermath of the fire.

1. These fires to an extent caused by the policies of the U.S. Forest Service. NOT allowing for proscribed periodic burns, a sentimentality about woodlands, fire being an integral part of the natural order, trees and debris found in such profusion that a "burn" when it occurs is much more destructive than would normally be the case.

2. The fire fighting brigades deploying as a military unit, working in rugged terrain, organized to include "troops" wearing a standard uniform with battle kit, operating according to a plan, comporting themselves with discipline as quasi-military units. Sustained for sometimes weeks in the field with all that means!

That combat commander of the fire fighting brigades having his own combat engineers, air force, battle staff, making plans for 24, 48, 72, 96 hours in advance, that commander often having to make decisions on what to save and what NOT to save!

Fire a chaotic enemy, not always following the "rules"!

Refugees being created, persons having to flee their homes to save or risk death!

3. Replanting of the forest and rebuilding of what property was destroyed, an environment often being created that is quite different from what existed before. Government assistance and planning required for a smooth transition to the "new way of life"

This situation currently in the American Southwest dire, not with remediation soon, the efforts of man often futile, mother nature in the form of rain a necessity in the "fight", "Mother" at this point not accommodating.


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Santa Fe & Los Alamos.

This is coolbert:

Spending a three full day vacation here in Santa Fe NM.

A combined high school reunion and vacation!

Some military aspects of the Santa Fe sojourn:

1. A large military cemetery in Santa Fe.

New Mexico suffered more per capita losses in battle than any other state in World War Two [WW2].

PRIOR to the attack on Pearl Harbor, an entire battalion of the New Mexico National Guard [NMNG], an anti-aircraft-artillery [AAA] battalion, was deployed to the Philippines. Fought in a brave and valiant  manner up unto the surrender of U.S./Philippine forces on Bataan and Corregidor. The entire battalion either killed, wounded, captured. Survivors suffering terribly as prisoners of the Japanese, AT LEAST 50 % OF THOSE INTERRED PERISHING BECAUSE OF MALTREATMENT!

It is no wonder that the military cemetery here in Santa Fe is so chock full, the residents of New Mexico having to pay a terrible price for their service - - devotion during WW2!! Brave and courageous men, one and all!!

2. Visiting the Bradbury Museum in Los Alamos.

Nuclear weapons, old and modern, interactive exhibits galore. History of the development of the first atomic bombs, uranium and plutonium both. A modern and outstanding modern museum that Bert highly recommends without qualification.

It is noted that current American nuclear attack submarines NO LONGER CARRY ATOMIC WEAPONRY. NO atomic torpedoes or nuclear-tipped cruise missile. This alleviates a question I had previously raised with respect to the all-woman crewed submarine? PMS for the submarine commander, an emotional state of mind affecting the reasoning process for the commander of a nuclear equipped unit will not be a question?

3. The Governor's Palace, Santa Fe.

The center of the city, in the time of the Spanish, the seat of government, a FORTRESS WITH THICK WALLS!

During the Pueblo Rebellion of 1680 the palace a safe haven - - the only place of refuge for those Spanish settlers in combat with the rebellious Pueblo dwelling American Indians. Contingents of soldiers, missionaries, Spanish settlers occupying the palace and resisting quite successfully further attack by those American Indian insurgents led by the charismatic leader Pope' [Poe-pay].

Those Spanish soldiers, missionaries and settlers eventually withdrawing south of what is El Paso TX., that area of northern New Mexico not reconquered until 1692!

That Spanish reconquest of northern New Mexico and Pueblo Rebellion actually receiving an honorable mention in an episode of Star Trek.

"The Pueblo Revolt is referred to in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode 'Journey's End,' in which Capt. Jean-Luc Picard learns that an ancestor of his, Javier Maribona Picard, helped suppress the uprising."

This Javier Picard is fictional? The man did not really exist Evidently this is so, but it does make for a great story - - and one that Bert would have liked to be true, so an to impress devoted readers to the blog!

Si' to Santa Fe!


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Bodyguard III.

This is coolbert:

Bodyguard - - conclusion.

Strelniki. Red Latvian Riflemen.

Here with a modern version of the Praetorian Guard or the Varangians - - the Red Latvian Riflemen.

Latvian soldiers, many veterans of the Great War [WW1],  renowned for their fightitng ability, devoted Bolsheviks, REDS, vital to the cause of Lenin and the ruling communist elite, shock troops on the offensive in furtherance of revolution, trusted and relied upon without qualification.

"Latvian troops had a fearsome reputation at the front—even something of a mystique"

A military unit of unquestioned loyalty, guards of the Kremlin, the seat of power for an imperiled and often threatened provisional communist government - - guarding both inwardly [the mob in Moscow] and outwardly from groups of armed insurgents and disaffected and disgruntled former allies.

Red Latvian Riflemen devoted and loyal to a fault almost!!

"As the leaders of the Soviet Union had moved from Petrograd to the Moscow Kremlin in the early 1918, their protection was entrusted to the Red Latvian Riflemen, under the command of the Commandant's of the Kremlin"

"In 1917, a large number of Latvian riflemen sided with the Bolsheviks. They became known as Red Latvian Riflemen . . . and actively participated in the Russian Civil War. The Riflemen took an active part in the suppression of anti-Bolshevik uprisings in Moscow and Yaroslavl in 1918 . . .

 "Other former Riflemen remained in Soviet Russia and rose to leadership positions in the Red Army, Bolshevik party, and Cheka [secret police]"

So highly thought of and reliable to the communist cause were the Latvians that their one-time commander"

"Jukums Vācietis, formerly a colonel in the Latvian Rifles became the first commander-in-chief of the Red Army."
"the Latvian Strelniki, now re-named the Red Latvian Rifles, continued to remain the only truly reliable troops available to the Bolsheviks, and eventually became the original nucleus of Trotsky's RKKA, the Workers and Peasants Red Army.  They were deployed wherever Soviet power was challenged"

"unbeatable at the crucial early moments of the birth of the Soviet Union. The force was small, but even a small force can prevail in a power vacuum."

Looked upon to an  extent as FOREIGN MERCENARIES whose reliability to the ruling elite was total - - and very useful for suppressing elements with Russian society who found the Bolsheviks rule to be intolerable. Woe to those that get on the bad side of the Latvians!


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Bodyguard II.

This is coolbert:

Bodyguard - - continued.

Varangians. The Northmen!

Far from home - - devoted again nearly to a fault, the Varangian Guard. Those Nordics, Vikings and those persons, mercenaries from what we now call the Scandinavian nations, augmented after 1066 by a contingent of "Englishmen" the personal bodyguard and military force with sworn allegiance to the Byzantine Emperor.

Functioning much as did the Praetorian Guard of ancient Rome. Guarding the capital city and the personage of the sovereign ruler from both outward and inward attack! Attack from: 1. The mob run amok within the city of Constantinople [Miklagarðr (Swedish = Miklagård) (Constantinople)], a riotous, unruly and violent group of street thugs with intent of overthrowing the ruling establishment, 2. Mutinous and insurrectionist military units advancing on the capital city, attempting what we now call a coup d'etat!

"The duties and purpose of the Varangian Guard were . . . as the personal bodyguard of the emperor, swearing an oath of loyalty to him . . . They were headed by a separate officer, the akolouthos, who was usually a native Byzantine."

"The Varangian Guard was only used in battle during critical moments, or where the battle was most fierce."

"The Varangian Guard, also known as the Waring Guard or the Barbarian Guard, emerged in the 11th century in Constantinople as the bodyguard to the emperor. The first mention of this guard appears in 1034, and they were re-organized in the mid eleventh century by Romanus IV."

"Mostly this bodyguard consisted of Danes and Englishmen, many of the latter joined after the defeat at Hastings in 1066, preferring the service to the emperor to life under Norman rule back home in England.
The Varangians were ferocious fighters, with full beards and using two handed battle-axe as their preferred weapon . . . They lived under their own laws, prayed at their own church and elected their own officers."

"the Varangians became famed for their loyalty to the emperor, even their willingness to fight to the death to protect him"

The Varangians, foreigners in a foreign land, an elite military used only during the most crucial and difficult moments of a battle, accompanying the Emperor when in the field on campaign, totally reliant and trusted.

The Varangian having a role most reminiscent of the housecarl from olden times:

"In medieval Scandinavia, housecarls . . . were either non-servile menservants, or household troops in personal service of someone, equivalent to a bodyguard to Scandinavian lords and kings."

And loyal - - displaying a "willingness to fight to the death". As it was with the housecarls accompanying Harold Godwinson at Hastings it was also so with the Varangians serving the Byzantine Emperor.