Tuesday, August 30, 2011


This is coolbert:

ME-SHE-KIN-NO-QUAH - - Conclusion.

Little Turtle.  American Indian war chief, leader of his people, esteemed in death much as he was in life. Very much so and in a surprising way? This is a story worth telling!

Here with a web site dedicated to the grave site and final resting place of the great American Indian war chief Little Turtle.

That grave of Little Turtle accidentally discovered intact about one hundred years after the death of the man, Little Turtle buried with the sword as presented to him by President George Washington.

That grave rather than disturbed or trampled upon - - the remains of Little Turtle NOT dishonored and desecrated, NOT made into an object of ridicule - - instead contained in a manner that is nothing less than reverential. Those descendants of the white American settlers showing great respect for the one-time adversary, a military commander who fought for his cause in a honorable and courageous fashion!



I couldn't have said it better myself.

That sword presented to Little Turtle from the very hands of George Washington himself - - now on display at the Wayne County Museum, an artifact of inestimable value and a reminder of a man of valor from almost two hundred years ago - - BUT SCARCELY FORGOTTEN!!

And RIGHTLY SO too!!


Monday, August 29, 2011


This is coolbert:

ME-SHE-KIN-NO-QUAH. Little Turtle.

We are back on the subject of the American Indian warrior and military commander Little Turtle.

Little Turtle the translation of his American Indian name Mishikinakwa! Among those commanders of the American Indian warrior nations that resisted the westward expansion of the white American settlers, this man ranks as the BEST?

Thanks in this instance to Professor Al Nofi, Strategy Page and the CIC entry of Professor Al regarding Little Turtle.

From CIC # 356 we have the short history of Little Turtle. Noted American Indian warrior and military commander! American army units twice defeated by the forces under the command of Little Turtle. Shameful and humiliating routs in both cases, those captured subjected to the execution fires!

A topic of mine from a previous blog entry. "St. Clair's Defeat" known to me, "Harmer's Defeat" not. In either case, U.S. Army contingents put to shameful and humiliating rout, those captured being put to the execution fire.

And this too about Little Turtle. His command presence and ability MOST profound and unappreciated. By contrast from CIC:

"Little Turtle inflicted more casualties on the United States Army than any other Indian war chief. In just two battles, traditionally known as 'Harmer’s Defeat' and 'St. Clair’s Defeat,' he slew some 820 American soldiers. In contrast, the best that all the great warrior peoples – the Apache, the Sioux, the Cheyenne, the Nez Perce, and all the rest – west of the Mississippi could do in some 940 fights with the army between 1866 and 1892 was to kill about 920 boys in blue, only about 12-percent more than Little Turtle had accounted for."

"Yet today Little Turtle is hardly remembered, and certainly never numbered among the great Native American warriors."

Yet one more name to add to the military list of "best"? Among those American Indian warriors and commanders that opposed the west-ward expansion of the white American settlers, I think Little Turtle can most assuredly counted as being so. The BEST!

"Hardly remembered", BUT NOT FORGOTTEN! NOW thanks to Al Nofi and Military Analysis you know the rest of the story. And are better for it too!


M3 Lee/Grant.

This is coolbert:

"a good tank now is better than a perfect tank tomorrow?" - - Bert.

"an adequate tank now is better than a good tank tomorrow?" - - Bert.

"even an inadequate tank now is better than an adequate tank tomorrow?" - - Bert.

From the era of the Second World War [WW2], an American tank, the M3 Lee/Grant, the design of which has always been somewhat of a puzzle to me.

Seems that even at the time the Lee/Grant was a throw back to an olden time. More like a tank you might have encountered on the battlefield of the Great War [WW1].

That M3 Lee/Grant tank a medium tank of ungainly design, sporting a melange' of weaponry and needing in the original design a crew of seven.

In violation of contemporary standard tank design rules and observed to be so at the time. NONETHELESS manufactured in significant numbers and seeing combat in a variety of theatres during the war, and according to all accounts giving an at least adequate performance.

The design, development and manufacturing of the M3 Lee/Grant sped through at record pace, the inadequacies of the tank as originally coming off the drawing board recognized but more or less ignored, the exigencies of the situation during the early stages of WW2 requiring a medium tank to be placed into the field for combat AND NOW!

"It was understood that the M3 design was flawed, but Britain urgently needed tanks."

Such was the history of the M3 Lee/Grant.

"The Medium Tank M3 was an American tank used during World War II. In Britain the tank was called 'General Lee', named after Confederate General Robert E. Lee, and the modified version built with a new turret was called the 'General Grant'"

"The M3 was well armed and armored for the period, but due to design flaws (high silhouette, archaic sponson mounting of the main gun, below average off-road performance) it was not satisfactory and was withdrawn from front line duty as soon as the M4 Sherman became available in large numbers."

That M3 Lee/Grant tank armed with a seventy-five mm gun [for anti-tank fire], a 37 mm gun [for anti-personnel fire, and as many as four thirty caliber machine guns [additional anti-personnel fire]! It cannot be said that the Lee/Grant was underarmed!

That M3 Lee/Grand having "design flaws" and it being understood to be so from the start. But in war time you need to go with you have at the time and no for what MAY be available in the future. Better good now than perfect later!

See this 3D view of the Lee/Grant as it rotates. Very cool.

As with all [?] weapons systems, the Lee/Grant had positive and negative points and these were understood from the "get-go"? That combatant on the battlefield needing to at all time to maximize the strong points of the tank while at the same time minimizing the weak points. Easier said than done I know, but necessary and possible!



This is coolbert:

Here from an exchange of e-mail posts with Colonel Craig, USMC, regarding the Red Gate Woods forest preserve and the nuclear piles [reactors] CP-2 and CP-3:

"When I was a Scout we went to this area in around 1960. On one of our hikes we came to a very large Metal building filled with an odd black material. We climbed all over it. It was not exactly dirt."

"Hope they did not leave any bad stuff out there. We were not glowing when we were done."

Probably that "odd black material" was high quality graphite as used in CP-2. 

Used as the moderator for the fissionable reaction. [CP-3 was water moderated nuclear reactor.] CP-2 was actually the disassembled and then reassembled CP-1 as had been put together originally at the University of Chicago. The area of the Red Gate Woods AT THE TIME was remote from Chicago, and surrounded by farmland. By the mid-1990's that entire forest preserve area and immediate environs was surrounded by suburbia.

It would be interesting to know if indeed that graphite had an origin in the deposits as found on the island of Madagascar. High-grade graphite with the essential purity and in the quantities as needed for CP-2 again, at that time, FOUND ONLY ON THE ISLAND OF MADAGASCAR.

That invasion and conquest of the Vichy held island making available, inadvertently or not, those deposits of graphite absolutely essential to the development of the atomic bomb. Graphite as obtained and available to the German NOT of the necessary purity or found in the right quantities, the German A-bomb project stymied and thwarted- - no further progress possible unless an alternative reactor moderator found. [that is where heavy water and  Telemark comes into play!]

Perhaps a devoted reader to the blog has the answer to these questions? 1. That graphite as used in CP-2 indeed have an origin in Madagascar? 2. The decision to invade Madagascar was in part based upon the utmost necessity to obtain those graphite deposits as found on the island? Answers anyone?


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Red Gate & Ford.

This is coolbert:

Made several field trips this weekend. To see residuals, if they still exist, from the World War Two era.

Residuals, what I call them, remnants of mighty industrial and scientific ventures intrinsically related the war effort - - both occurring in the Chicagoland area. Efforts absolutely essential to war making potential of the highest order!

What is left?

1. Ford City.

Ford City shopping mall, originally the Dodge Chicago plant. That plant at one time the largest building in the world and from which the great majority of engines used to power the B-29 bomber aircraft came from. Perhaps in priority only second to the Manhattan Project the development and manufacture of the Stratofortress [B-29], a weapons system the two of which [B-29 and atomic bomb] almost go hand-in-glove.

NOT much left to see now of the original Dodge Chicago plant. That entire area now a large and well-developed shopping mall and has been for decades now.

Two items of interest however are still to be seen. Perhaps and ONLY perhaps, FLAK towers. This I observed many years ago, actually when I was a kid, and the impression has been very long lasting.

Closer examination seems to suggest and I am able to reasonably infer that THESE TOWERS MAY HAVE BEEN ACTUAL FLAK EMPLACEMENTS! Large, tall, maybe four or five stories high, with a platform on top, made very solidly with concrete and apparently thick wells of the most robust type.

I am sure those towers giving from the top a total unobstructed 360 degree view of the surroundings, unimpeded!

These towers are rather or were for water and nothing else. Maybe a combination of water tower AND flak tower combined? I am not sure but have my suspicions that at one time BOFORS 40 mm AAA guns sat atop these structures!

2. CP-2 & CP-3.

Atomic piles, nuclear reactors, Red Gate Woods, Cook County forest preserve.

Two atomic piles, nuclear reactors really, used  for research and development during the Manhattan Project. The original CP-1 as used for the first controlled fissionable chain reaction as was accomplished by Enrico Fermi at the University of Chicago. CP-2 merely CP-1 broken down and reassembled at Red Gate Woods.

A hike back into the woods about one mile [1.6 km.] is needed, a rough path provided for daring and hardy hikers, the area abandoned to the wilderness over fifty years ago now.


All that remains now is a large granite rock inscribed to say that CP-2 and CP-3 were at one time buried at this location.

What actual residual radiation exists in the ground now, plutonium and such, I cannot say. To what depth you need to go before you find radioactivity that is of dangerous sort is undetermined, if indeed any exist.

In this regard, over the many decades, earthworms may have been in an unforeseen manner primary culprits for the spreading of dangerous radioactivity? Decades and decades of earthworms ingesting and secreting the surrounding radioactive earth, moving around, the plutonium and such moving as does the earthworm?

Two comments about CP-2 and CP-3 and Red Gate Woods:

* Back in the early 1970's I can very well  recall driving by Red Gate Woods forest preserve and remember seeing ethnic persons filling their one gallon jugs with well water as pumped from the nearby picnic ground. Well water with high mineral content and thought to have medicinal properties.

* I must admit too when they clean these sites up they do a good job, as it should be done, but you do have to ask yourself - - WHAT TAKES SO LONG?


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tiger Force.

This is coolbert:

Here with what would have been another contribution to the British war effort in the Pacific against the Japanese - - if an when unconditional surrender had not occurred as it did.

Tiger Force.

Massed British bomber force based in Okinawa to contribute to the further saturation bombing of Japanese cities and in support I would assume of allied ground forces if indeed an invasion of the Japanese home islands did transpire as planned [Downfall]!

"Tiger Force, also known as the Very Long Range Bomber Force, was the name given to a World War II British Commonwealth long-range heavy bomber force, formed in 1945 . . . for proposed use against targets in Japan."

"Tiger Force was to have been based on Okinawa and would have used Avro Lancasters, Avro Lincolns (the latest development of the Lancaster) and Consolidated Liberators."

Other than in the CBI theatre [Chine-Burma-India] during World War Two [WW2], the British effort in the Pacific theatre directly and against the Japanese home islands up unto the end of the war was scant, resources being allocated to the Fourteenth Army [CBI] as priority.

Subsequent to victory in Europe [V-E], the English effort in the Pacific did become more pronounced, to include:

* British Pacific fleet units heavily engaged during the Battle of Okinawa [1945].

[in actuality that fleet the largest and MOST powerful the English had EVER put to sea!]

Furthermore, British units in addition would have contributed directly as well during the planned invasion of Japan. Units to include:

* SAS. English behind-the-lines guerrilla fighters.
* RAF "Dam Busters Squadron".
* Naval special operations. Frogmen trained by the Italian Decima MAS!

And too Tiger Force. [Tiger flying those long-range heavy bombers, the successors to the Lancaster!]

Churchill undeniably felt an obligation to the United States and wanted to make good the debt he felt the English owed. Tiger and the others would have flew the flag of St. George proudly. Undeniably!


Friday, August 26, 2011


This is coolbert:

Yet one more example of the amateur at war proving to be the equal of the professionals, perhaps even better.

Christopher "Kit" Carson.

Described variously as a trapper/guide/soldier!! A man able to speak fluently no less than nine languages, either an illiterate or nearly so, but a man of the most marked ability, talent and achievement!

[The great Genghis Khan also an illiterate, but considered a military planner and organizer without equal!!]

A man of some repute even during his lifetime, a living legend so to speak, a hero of the "dime novel"!

As a military man able to command the proverbial "motley crew" [New Mexican volunteers and American Indian allies] in a superlative manner, accomplishing his missions using means at times cruel and downright harsh, but nonetheless, a commander of some proven ability and called upon when the professional of the era was at wits end - - unable to make further progress.

"Motley crew - - a gathered group of people of various backgrounds, appearance, character, etc."

Most noted for his campaign or campaigns against the Navajo American Indian tribe, suppressing the slave raiding forays of the Native Americans in the western territories of the United States at a time when the American Civil war was raging. "Kit" proving his mettle given only limited resources - - his methods again undeniably harsh to cruel but successful.

And commanding at the Battle of Adobe Walls, the American troops grotesquely out-numbered, but holding their own and able to retire from the battlefield in good order, "Kit" breaking contact with an enemy in an orderly way more than worthy of a professional.

Add "Kit" to that list of those amateurs that either beat or exceed the professional on the battlefield!



This is coolbert:


1. "The Qaddafi regime falls in Tripoli" [21 Aug.]

* "Muammar Qaddafi's regime fell in Tripoli just before midnight Sunday, Aug. 22. The rebels advanced in three columns into the heart of the capital after being dropped by NATO ships and helicopters on the Tripoli coast".

* "The big mystery is where are the six loyal government divisions and why did none of their 15,000 trained soldiers defend the Libyan capital?"

* "And how did the ragtag, squabbling Libyan rebels who were unable to build a coherent army in six months suddenly turn up in Tripoli Sunday looking like an organized military force and using weapons for which they were not known to have received proper training?"

2. "British, French, Jordanian, Qatari special forces storm Qaddafi's compound" [23 Aug.]

 "DEBKAfile's sources report that British, French, Jordanian and Qatari Special Operations forces Tuesday, Aug. 23, spearheaded the rebel "killer strike" on Muammar Qaddafi's regime and Tripoli fortress at Bab al-Aziziaya, Tripoli."

The Colonel - - so far, has eluded those in pursuit. The thought being that perhaps the Colonel desires to continue the fight, make the situation even more grim than it has been. Guerrilla war will now begin, the Colonel NOT willing to throw in the towel, even when the cards are so stacked against him!

That the rebels were aided and abetted in a big time way by foreign forces, contingents of special operations troops perhaps "embedded with the rebels has NOT BEEN covered or even mentioned by the main stream media. Once again, DEBKA is far ahead of the curve?


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dodge Chicago!

This is coolbert:

From several sources, the Dodge Chicago plant during the Second World War [WW2], manufacturing engines for the B-29 bomber [not the sole facility but the major and most important plant for such manufacture], the plant a wonderment in itself, a state-of-the-art facility the like of which had never been seen, dedicated to the war effort with the highest possible priority, a testament to American capabilities and industrial prowess NOT [?] to ever be repeated!

1. "Dodge Chicago Plant"

"The main building of the Dodge Chicago plant covered eighty-two acres and occupied over 30 city blocks and at the time it was the largest building in the world."

The Dodge Chicago plant, dedicated to the manufacture of the internal combustion radial engines as fitted to the B-29 bomber. A weapon system [B-29] absolutely vital to the war effort, the strategic bombardment of the Japanese home islands. As much money spent on the B-29 during the war years as was spent on the Manhattan Project [atomic bomb]!!

2. "The B-29 Superfortress: Dodge plays a major role"

"The B-29 Superfortress Bomber was used in the strategic bombing campaign of Japan . . . Each B-29 Superfortress utilized four of the massive Wright R-3350 - Cyclone 18 Cylinder 2,200 horsepower (1,600 kW) engines built at the Dodge Chicago Plant. There were nearly 4000 of these aircraft produced . . . Many first in industry took place here . . . The Dodge Chicago plant marked an all-time high water mark of cooperation and success between the efforts of the American government, industry, and labor."

That Dodge Chicago plant eminently successful, "an all-time high water mark" in many regards, unequaled, NOT surpassed, the collective effort admirable in the extreme, all obstacles and goals overcome with panache', the engineering effort monumental in nature, by modern standards impressive almost beyond belief.

And again, the sort of process, facility, and determined effort due to a varieties of factors NEVER TO BE SEEN AGAIN?

Dodge Chicago in the aftermath of the war going through several further incarnations and reincarnations, NOW a shopping mall - - Ford City!! Traces of the war effort still visible!!



Engines On!

This is coolbert:

"ground control to Major Tom - - commencing countdown engines on!!"

From a comment to the blog by Steiner:

"My reading of the literature suggests that the core shortcoming was in jet engine technology, particularly the efficiency thereof."

Soviet antediluvian technology at the time of 1945, NOT up to standards regarding aerospace power plant design, necessitating slavish imitation and copying. This is suggested and is perhaps true?

"antediluvian  - - adjective 2. very old, old-fashioned, or out of date; antiquated; primiteve: antediluvian ideas.

From this prior blog entry we have this entry - - the AS-1 using a COPY of foreign turbojet technology in lieu of Soviet designs:

"powered by an RD-20 turbojet, a copy of the German BMW-003, but it wasn't powerful enough, and so a RD-500K, a copy of the British Rolls Royce Derwent V turbojet designed for expendable operation, was used instead."

And also from this additional prior blog entry the entire process of "copying" foreign designs, air frame and engine both in slavish imitation, the drawbacks obvious even to the imitator:

"Comment by A.S.: 'Step Forward' in such a case is nothing but a step ... backwards. Copying of 4-5 years old technology (yes, very advanced at its time) instead of developing of a domestic one (specially in this case) was'":

* "removing intellectual and industrial resources from new projects;"
* "spending them on design soon to became obsolete;"
* "planting seeds of a very bad habit - copying - into domestic science and engineering;"

That period of aerospace history [1945] and shortly subsequent to we have an intense ferment in power plant design and development. The jet engine and all other air craft propulsion coming on line the defects and bugs of which having to be worked out and pronto. The Soviet lagging badly in this regard. The jet engine too invented just in time, the internal-combustion radial engines for the time reaching a peak of development beyond which further improvements could be made only in small increments with little improvement.

That jet engine providing three times the amount of power in the same size package. An awesome and much needed improvement.

The copying and imitation of foreign designs, jet engines or otherwise as done by the Soviets NOT necessarily always such a bad thing from THEIR perspective.

Soviet military intelligence [GRU] at all times either purchasing, purloining or even gathering in bits and pieces as needed weapons technology of all types for study and evaluation AND DOING SO AS STANDARD PROCEDURE. Soviet industry copying as needed or incorporating into their own designs the positive features of foreign technology while at the same time avoiding the negative features!

Obtaining one each of as many models of torpedoes, radars, tank engines, jet engines, cipher machines as possible, foreign models useful to Soviet weapons designers, again, the result of such study and evaluation allowing for Soviet analogs to comport to the highest standards of performance possible.

And it should be recognized that by at least the Korean War, the MiG-15 did possess an engine that was at least equal to or on a par with the latest western designs, and this thanks in measure to the GRU, the study and evaluation of jet technology having progressed to the point where Soviet analogs were NOT found to be lacking!!


Wednesday, August 24, 2011


This is coolbert:

From a previous blog entry this question was asked: "Devoted readers to the blog and those others - - YOUR comments and response?"

Ike joking or serious or a combination of both? Amiable banter with a good friend, the amateur exceeding the strategic vision of the professional is the question? At least in some respects perhaps?

And some good comments and response were received and are posted for your edification!

"I think it was a funny joke, gently poking fun at his civilian friend for his grand statements about military strategy, and gently poking fun of the military comparing it to prostitution"

"Ike was right in his joke. The joke is also true for him. The reason is this: Military professionals are [do] not exist, because the army is an anti – intellectual Institution. In Army there is no real investigations and conclusions. That's why defects back in the wars again and again"

"As to the merits of the statement itself, military strategy is the great lost art in today's Western discourse, especially after Vietnam. Just ask Prof. V. D. Hanson. Therefore, I call false on the statement. History is full of the wreckage left behind by amateur strategists, most notably by one former Austrian corporal who remains very much a part of said discourse."

From my perspective, given the context, IKE WAS NOT JOKING!

A serious response done in a jocular manner.

Those most senior military commanders in the pre-war years [WW2] having formulated a variety of well-thought plans, MOST not brought into fruition OR not working if implemented. The weaponry and tactics of the era having so radically changed since the last war [WW1], the operational art and strategic thinking as having been taught at the general staff and command schools and war colleges of the various combatants no longer VALID, the senior professional military officer as encountered by Ike lacking, "out to sea", NOT incompetent but rather INADEQUATE!!

That is my perspective. Ike at the time was a Major General "on the way up", knowing that the prior schools of thought were no longer applicable!

And much thanks to all contributors. Your insight and thoughts appreciated.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Letters of Marque.

This is coolbert:

“The Constitution gives Congress the power to issue Letters of Marque and Reprisal when a precise declaration of war is impossible due to the vagueness of the enemy. . . Pirates were the terrorists in the days of our founders and held no allegiance to any nation – the same as the terrorists of today" - - R. Paul.

From "The DC World Affairs Blog" we have the comments of Professor Hilton in response to the pronouncement of the American Presidential candidate Ron Paul.

"Another Bad Idea From Ron Paul: Letters of Marque and Reprisall" by Gregory Hilton

Letters of Marque, as issued to privateers and authorized by the U.S. Constitution, a mode of warfare now outmoded and perhaps downright illegal, as described by the Professor. Ron Paul advocating a return to a customary form of war as fought in olden times, a form venerable and even proven effective, NOW, however, privateering  outlawed [?] and passe'. A concept not even worth considering? Ron Paul is just plain goofy for thinking such a thing?

As extracted from the blog of Mr. Hilton and according to the professor:

"Letters of Marque and Reprisal have not been used in the U.S. since 1815, and they were outlawed by the 1856 Treaty of Paris which ended the Crimean War. No government uses these Letters today"

"There are bounty hunters in the United States but they are looking for a specific individual. In the war on terror we do not know the identity of enemy combatants. Ron Paul wants private citizens to operate as privateers in areas such as Somalia and Kandahar, Afghanistan. It would be similar to vigilantism"

My own comments:

* It may be that the U.S. is a signatory to the "1856 Treaty of Paris" but as is my understanding as with all treaties the U.S. as a sovereign nation reserves the right to withdraw from such a treaty at any time as is seen fit. Under American law, the issuance of Letters of Marque and privateering would then again become legal?

* Bin Laden was and his surviving cohorts are in the same category as a pirate, slaver, war criminal, a perpetrator of war crimes or crimes against humanity. He had by his own admission committed crimes [against all of humanity] so egregious and would liked to commit even worse crimes if he had the chance, that he had placed himself in a position where the normal legal protections no longer apply. The same holding true for his devoted followers, where ever they can be found!!

* The practice of "bounty hunting" as that term is understood is currently legal IN ONLY TWO COUNTRIES, THE U.S. AND THE PHILIPPINES! Bounty hunting is not necessarily vigilantism but is rather a means of apprehending fugitives that is within the law!

* Persons empowered by Letters of Marque would be no different in pursuit of a terrorist than would be a bounty hunter in pursuit of a wanted fugitive? The bail jumper has been said to have committed so egregious a crime against society [American] as a whole that any and all means can be made to apprehend. Even those means and measures not given to the police during a pursuit are said to be fair and legal for the bounty hunter to use. And if resistance is met during the chase, death for the culprit may occur. And good for it too!!

Bounty hunters actually in my opinion do a great service to the society at large. Removing a wanted person who has skipped bail probably prevents a lot of felonies from being committed. GOOD TOO!!

* As I recall best, during a period of the late 1970's it SERIOUS CONSIDERATION WAS GIVEN TO AND IT WAS SUGGESTED that the American government resume issuing Letters of Marque. At that time, the target was the smugglers of the Latin American drug cartels. Bad hombres their "mother ships" and cigar boats unloading their cargo almost unimpeded so thinly stretched AND INADEQUATE were U.S. Coast Guard resources. Privateers if indeed at that time being authorized would have engaged in a money making venture, the value of captured boats at auction sold for profit an incentive for ACTION!

I guess the prevailing attitude as held by Ron Paul and his acolytes is that the world be damned, the U.S. under OUR law can pursue the terrorist and no excessive international law stand in the way. And I am sure that many agree with Ron. Maybe me too?


Monday, August 22, 2011


This is coolbert:

Here is something that during that era of the Cold War the Soviets were VERY GOOD at doing?

Taking a basic and proven weapon system, making to same alterations, reverse engineering and modifications sometimes severe in nature, creating in the process a "product" NEW and UNIQUE, another weapon system of formidable capability.

I have particularly in mind the Soviet cruise missile that goes by a variety of names, AS-1, Komet, Salish, Kennel!

"The Raduga KS-1 Komet ( NATO reporting name: Kennel) . . . a short range air-to-surface missile (primarily used for anti-shipping missions) developed by the Soviet Union . . . using aerodynamics derived from the MiG-15 'Fagot' fighter aircraft"

The airframe and aerodynamics AND appearance of a MiG-15, not possessing a pilot compartment or under-carriage [landing gear], the AS-1 stubby but potent, using a foreign designed and reverse engineered turbo-jet engine for power.

"As the Kometa emerged, it looked very much like a half-scale unpiloted MiG-15 fighter. Initially . . . to be powered by an RD-20 turbojet, a copy of the German BMW-003, but it wasn't powerful enough, and so a RD-500K, a copy of the British Rolls Royce Derwent V turbojet designed for expendable operation, was used instead."

Available in two versions, air-launched [ALCM/Kennel] and ground-launched [GLCM/Salish]. The AS-1 having a large warhead, conventional or nuclear, an on-board radar for terminal guidance, able to receive radio command signals while en route to target, designed as an anti-ship missile able to counter the surface fleet of the U.S. Navy.

[That Salish to be used in lieu of coastal artillery.]

Interesting enough, there were three piloted versions of the AS-1. Used for test purposes and referred to as "Analogs". Seems to have lacked the landing gear, but this was not the case. I had originally thought that the "Analogs" would have the test pilot bail out and parachute to safety at the end of mission - - but this is not so!!

[in the style of Hannah Reitsch and her test piloting of a V-1 "buzz bomb"!]

"Three piloted versions known as 'Analogs' were built for testing, with first flight in January 1951. The Analog looked something like a 'toy' jet fighter, with a cockpit and canopy crammed into limited space, and bicycle retractable landing gear with wingtip outriggers."

Furthermore it has been reputed but denied for a long time that the MiG-15 was itself a "knock-off" so to speak, of the German Ta-183 [Focke-Wulf]. This is highly disputed but not to be thought of as a totally unreasonable conclusion. There is a resemblance between the Ta-183 [wind tunnel version] and MiG-15 that is unmistakable?

You judge!


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Subcommandante Marcos.

This is coolbert:

"the only war worth fighting is a revolutionary war!" - - Homer Lea.

Several topics to be covered with this blog entry:

* The White Messiah complex.
* The amateur versus the professional at warfare.
* The Fourth World War.

All encapsulated in the personage of Subcommandante Marcos.

From a number of years ago now, the Chiapas rebellion.

Ethnic Mayan Indians of Chiapas state, Mexico, rising in armed rebellion against what they perceived was the heavy-handed, corrupt and at times despotic and cruel Mexican central government!

A rebellion the foremost commander was Subcommandante Marcos. The nom de guerre of a man, an outsider, hoping to organize, train, plan, and lead into combat the disaffected and angry Mayan Indian populace of the area. An area of Mexico and a populace that in the mind of Marcos was "ripe for rebellion".

Marcos presenting the photogenic image of the charismatic outsider, the Spanish-speaker whose ancestors and familial background apparently is PURE Spanish lacking even the slightest trace of American Indian admixture. Marcos indeed a WHITE MESSIAH in the image of a T.E. Lawrence, an Orde Wingate, a Brookes Rajah of Sarawak, a Homer Lea, etc. A modern version in REAL-LIFE of the cinematic characters as found in the movie "Last Samurai" or "Avatar".

Marcos too a man by his own admission having NO military background whatsoever, his knowledge of war making gleaned from the U.S. Marine Corps manuals. Marcos a total 100 % amateur!

That Chiapas rebellion initially successful, the guerrillas under Marcos taking to the hills in the aftermath, posing a threat that could not be ignored by the Mexican government. A rebellion eventually leading to peace talks, negotiation, and a settlement that allowed for certain grievances of the Mayan to be satisfied. To that extent, MARCOS AND HIS TROOPS IMPOSED THEIR WILL!!

Marcos also emulating in a sense those military commanders of the Mexican Cristero War from a much earlier era. A pharmacist, a priest and two ranch hands, leaders of a rebellion by the Mexican peasantry in response to again the heavy-handed and oppressive measures of the central government in Mexico City. A rebellion [Cristero] commemorated to this day by the vaqueros and cowboys of the Mexican rural countryside!

It should be noted that Marcos is a self-proclaimed communist, a Marxist, a hater of all things capitalist.

BUT, as an observer of the world scene, from his perspective, and as a strategist, sees world conflict as that term is understood "coming to a head" OVER WORLD FINANCES. Marcos IS able to "see" the forest and not merely the trees. As an amateur and a military leader, able to perceive and conceptualize war and conflict in a manner and with an expertise that is remarkable?

Marcos definitely sees a "Fourth World War" as already being in progress, a global "conflict" of which armed force is merely one aspect!

Marcos undeniably an amateur at the MAKING of war, waging of violence in furtherance of a cause, Marcos also a "philosopher" and a strategist all rolled into one, the gifted and inspired and intuitive commander of some repute that cannot be denied?


Friday, August 19, 2011

Pro vs. Am.

This is coolbert:

"there are only two professions in the world in which the amateur excels the professional. One, military strategy, and two, prostitution." - - Maj. General Dwight David Eisenhower.

Ike, in amiable conversation with an old acquaintance and friend, responding in this particular case jocular or otherwise?  A quotation without question attributed to Ike and verified as 100 % correct.

"jocular - - adj 1. characterized by joking and good humour 2. meant lightly or humorously; facetious"

This question I pose to all devoted readers to the blog, one and all, and those also visiting casually or for the first time.

This pronouncement of Ike is merely idle banter - -  for amusement, or is Ike serious?

I can understand - - the military professional a career officer of many years of service, stodgy and set in his ways, having trained his whole adult life to fight the LAST WAR! The professional soldier finding that those methods, techniques, tactics or the operational art as having been taught and learned at general staff and command school no longer applicable, inhibiting a more dynamic and thoughtful approach to a changed situation. Stodginess indicative of a lack of imagination even being an inherent risk for old-time long-time career individual soldiers!

"stodg·y - - adjective, 1. heavy, dull, or uninteresting; tediously commonplace; boring"

As for the prostitute - - the physical aspect of the "act" for the professional is is more or less the same as it would be for the amateur, the "amateur" however not having to feign an emotional and psychological response lacking in the "professional"?

Devoted readers to the blog and those others - - YOUR comments and response?


Wednesday, August 17, 2011


This is coolbert:

If and when during the era of the Cold War the Soviets had ever developed a manned high-flying SUPERSONIC bomber warplane with intercontinental range, here is the American interceptor that would have been the counter-measure. [Bison was strictly sub-sonic in speed!]

The XF-108 Rapier.

An interceptor, as with all interceptor airplanes of the same type, designed to get very high very fast, intercept at high altitude an intruding enemy warplane, engage that intruder with missile. [as originally conceived, the XF-108 would have been equipped with guns, 4 X 20 mm in addition to missiles.] The Rapier not intended as a versatile and multi-role combat aircraft [MRCA], but strictly an air defense interceptor.

"The North American XF-108 Rapier was a proposed long-range, high-speed interceptor aircraft designed by North American Aviation. Initiated to defend the United States from supersonic Soviet bombers . . . Had it flown, it would have been the heaviest fighter of its era, surpassing the Soviet Tupolev Tu-128."

The Rapier a "fighter", so described, of prodigious size, almost monstrously so, many of the integral components taken from the B-70 American supersonic bomber prototypes.

"Commonality between the B-70 bomber and the F-108 included the escape capsule and General Electric YJ93 engines" [an escape capsule where the two-man crew would have been ejected DOWNWARD!]

The Rapier never progressing with development beyond the full-scale MOCK UP stage - - project cancelled! A warplane thought to be too expensive  - - the usefulness also questioned!

The Soviets in the decades to follow indeed developing and eventually fielding several varieties of supersonic manned bombers. Versions to include:

* Tu-22 ["Blinder"].

"The Tupolev Tu-22 (NATO reporting name: Blinder) was the first supersonic bomber to enter production in the Soviet Union . . . entered service with the Soviet military in the 1960s, and the last examples were retired during the 1990s. Produced in comparatively small numbers, the aircraft was a disappointment, lacking the intercontinental range that had been expected"

* Tu-22M ["Backfire"].

"The Tupolev Tu-22M (NATO reporting name: "Backfire") is a supersonic, swing-wing, long-range strategic and maritime strike bomber developed by the Soviet Union"

* Tu-160 ["Blackjack"].

"The Tupolev Tu-160 ( NATO reporting name: Blackjack) is a supersonic, variable-sweep wing heavy strategic bomber . . . the Tu-160 is currently the world's largest combat aircraft, largest supersonic aircraft, and largest variable-sweep aircraft built."

For the most part, especially in the case of the Blinder, intercontinental bomber warplanes lacking in large measure that "intercontinental" reach. Better thought of as stand-off delivery systems, firing a profusion of cruise missiles at American cities and targets in case of global thermonuclear war. "Blinder", "Backfire" and "Blackjack" too taking to the skies and deployed ONLY in limited and actually very small numbers even decades subsequent to the demise of the XF-108 project! Again - - the threat of the SUPERSONIC "bomber gap" never materializing as envisioned, supersonic Soviet bombers attacking American cities to an extent ONLY marginally existing! [these supersonic bombers across the board are expensive, difficult to maintain, and seldom have the desired performance as planned!]

"Fly me now or fly me later" not an adage applicable to the Rapier!

[during his term as Secretary of Defense [SECDEF] Robert S. McNamara basically disarmed the air defense of the United States. Phased out in rapid fashion and took out of the U.S. inventory all SAM firing batteries and on-call interceptor aircraft as inefficient and too costly!]


Marco Antonio Bragadin.

This is coolbert:

On this date in the 1571 A.D. the Venetian commander of the fortress city of Famgusta, Cyprus, surrendering with terms to the Turk, treacherously and wantonly put to death in a gruesome manner - -grotesque in the extreme, NO restraint shown by the victor over the vanquished.

The body of the enemy commander, desecrated, mocked, abused , a display of  cruelty and barbarism NOT worthy of any persons that refer to themselves as civilized - - and done so in violation of protocols governing surrender with terms!!

Marco Antonio Bragadin!

"Marco Antonio Bragadin, also Marcantonio Bragadin (21 April 1523 – 17 August 1571) was an Italian lawyer and military officer of the Republic of Venice. Bragadin joined the Fanti da Mar (marine infantry) Corps of the Republic of Venice. In 1569, he was appointed Captain-General of Famagusta in Cyprus and led the Venetian resistance to the Ottoman conquest that began in 1570. He was gruesomely killed in August 1571 after the Ottomans took the city"

Marco, at the command of the contingent defending Famagusta, after a prolonged siege, captured, tortured and executed, his remains made a macabre display of, again, grotesque.

"'dragged round the walls with sacks of earth and stone on his back; next, tied to a chair, he was hoisted to the yardarm of the Turkish flagship and exposed to the taunts of the sailors. Finally he was taken to the place of execution in the main square, tied naked to a column, and literally flayed alive.' Bragadin's quartered body was then distributed as a war trophy among the army, and his skin was stuffed with straw and sewn, reinvested with his military insignia, and exhibited riding an ox in a mocking procession along the streets of Famagusta."

It is not with any wonder that the the Christian of the Renaissance era referred to the Ottoman as the "Terrible Turk"!!


Tuesday, August 16, 2011


This is coolbert:

From the wiki entry for the MiG-15 we find these startling revelations. Aerial warfare as I supposed did NOT exist during the  era of the Korean War. Air-to-air combat as was seen in the skies over Germany during World War Two [WW2]!

Massed formations of American long-range bomber aircraft [B-29] with escorting fighters attacked by massed formations of defending MiG-15. MiG-15 piloted by the elite aviators of the Soviet Union. Pilots neither North Korean or Chinese communists. War in the skies as would have occurred if and when the United States and the Soviet Union had gone to war, the Cold War become HOT!!

Korean War bombardment missions and aerial combat, "dogfighting" if you will, NOT going well for the American pilots and aircrews, grievous and almost disastrous losses the result. Unanticipated damage and embarrassing failure not boding well for the USAF, the mettle of Soviet combat aviation being tested and found to be not lacking, rather, something that must have been most worrisome to American military planners.

"The main mission of the MiG-15 was not only to dogfight against the F-86 however, but to counter the USAF Boeing B-29 Superfortress bombers. This mission was assigned to the elite of the Soviet Air Force (VVS),"

1. "12 April 1951 - - A total of 44 MiG-15s . . . intercepted a large formation of 48 Superfortresses, 18 Sabres, 54 F-84 Thunderjets and 24 F-80 Shooting Stars heading towards the bridge linking North Korea and Red China over the Yalu river in Uiju. When the ensuing battle was finished, the experienced Soviet fliers had shot down or damaged beyond repair ten B-29As, one F-86A and three F-80Cs with the loss of only one MiG."

2. "22–27 October - - US strategic bombers [attempting to] neutralize the North Korean aerodromes of Namsi, Taechon and Saamchan, taking further losses to the MiG-15. On 23 October 1951, 56 MiG-15bis intercepted nine Superfortresses escorted by 34 F-86s and 55 F-84Es. In spite of their numerical inferiority, the Soviet airmen
shot down or damaged beyond repair eight B-29As and two F-84Es, losing only one MiG in return and leading Americans to call that day 'Black Tuesday' . . ."

Here are images of some of those Soviet pilots that the American 
USAF encountered in the skies over North Korea. 
Worthy opponents it must be acknowledged!

According to the defecting combat pilot Victor Balenko, Soviet aviators were and are AT LEAST ROUGHLY ON A PAR WITH AND EQUAL IN ABILITY TO THE BEST AMERICAN COMBAT FLIERS! The difference in ability between the two groups minuscule if any!

these figures are strictly from Soviet sources and are not 100 % accurate or to be trusted? I cannot say for sure! My intuition tells me that those shoot-down statistics do not lie and are pretty much on the money!]


Monday, August 15, 2011

South China Sea.

This is coolbert:

Thanks to the NHK international English public broadcast television news we have this HOT INTEL FLASH:

Visiting Vietnamese dignitaries pay a courtesy call the to the American aircraft carrier USS George Washington. Vietnamese government officials observing warplane take-offs and landings.

"USS George Washington Visits Vietnam"

"The U.S. aircraft carrier George Washington arrived in international waters off the coast of southern Vietnam Saturday."

"The U.S. Embassy in Vietnam invited representatives from a number of Vietnamese agencies to visit the vessel."

"The delegation flew out to the vessel and were given a tour of the 333-meter-long Nimitz-class carrier."

A good-will visit by the Vietnamese, a courtesy call BUT MUCH MORE THAN THAT?

ONLY three days ago that jump-jet aircraft carrier of the Chinese putting to sea for the first time. The visit of the Washington to Vietnam NOT a coincidence. This we can reasonably infer?

"China’s aircraft carrier sets sail for sea trial"

"Beijing (People's Daily Online)--China's first aircraft carrier, rebuilt from the imported steel platform 'Varyag' from Ukraine, is scheduled to make its maiden voyage for a series of sea trial today."

"The official Xinhua news agency sent a flash early today that the huge carrier sets sail for a testing voyage on Wednesday."

A clear and unmistakable message is being sent by the U.S. to the Chinese? Hands off the South China Sea! The sovereignty of the various nations in the area, the varying claims to the "750 reefs, islets, atolls, cays and islands" such as the Spratly group and contiguous waters are not to be compromised by brute force or intimidation! America has an interest to see that peace is maintained in the area and will back that interest up with force if needed!

Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia can rest assured or at least rest more easily?

Bullies need not apply! American and Vietnam more or less almost forty years after the end of the Vietnam War - - now allies? Who would have thought it!



This is coolbert:

"For a ten year period beginning in 1945, it would have been better if the United States did NOT HAVE an intelligence agency" - - R. Helms, Director CIA.

American intelligence, during that early period of the Cold War, having very inaccurate or even non-existent intelligence regarding the Soviet Union, that entity most perceived to be a existential threat to the United States.

A threat both military and political, the former being most accentuated by the threat of nuclear annihilation during a global thermonuclear war. Nuclear bombs dropped on American cities by long-range intercontinental Soviet Air Force warplanes, flying mission over the Arctic and North Pole southward toward North American and American cities.

The Soviets thought to have already at their disposal [mid-1950's] a profusion of manned bomber aircraft, high-flying and long-range, capable of intercontinental missions - - a bomber force existing in numbers perhaps even far beyond was available at the time to the American Strategic Air Command!

America was at peril and DID NOT HAVE AN ADEQUATE RESPONSE!! So was the thinking.

This was referred to as the "Bomber gap". The Soviet already deploying significant numbers of long-range bomber aircraft in excess of what was available to American military planners.

"The 'bomber gap' was the unfounded belief in the Cold War-era United States that the Soviet Union had gained an advantage in deploying jet-powered strategic bombers."

IN PARTICULAR and MOST worrisome to those in the Pentagon was the Soviet M-4 BISON. Long-range four jet engine bomber of the most sophisticated design, comparable to the U.S. B-52 AND ALREADY EXISTING IN QUANTITY!

"On February 15, 1954, Aviation Week published an article describing new Soviet jet bombers capable of carrying a nuclear bomb to the United States from their bases in Russia. The aircraft they referred to was the Myasishchev M-4 Bison."

The threat from the BISON - - however - - being mostly a mirage! The plane WAS in the Soviet inventory and WAS capable, BUT ONLY about twenty [20] of these aircraft existed TOTAL and their performance left much to be desired! THE INTERCONTINENTAL BOMBER THREAT AND THE "GAP" WAS  UNFOUNDED!! American intelligence regarding the "gap" was not only poor, it was downright misleading and destructive!

Misleading and destructive that in response to an erroneous perception, the U.S. Air Force arming itself to the teeth with manned bomber aircraft with intercontinental range [B-52] in prodigious numbers, those planes rolling off the assembly line almost if they were aspirin tablets. An expense almost without parallel?

"The result was a production series consisting of thousands of aircraft. Over 2,000 B-47s and almost 750 B-52s were built to match the imagined fleet of Soviet aircraft."

And here with an extract from a George Washington University interview with Martin Knutson, a U-2 pilot who actually was able to photograph during a "spy mission" the entire BISON air fleet and confirm that THERE WAS NO BOMBER GAP!

MK: The U-2 provided information that was probably the most important intelligence coups that had ever been done by aerial reconnaissance, in my estimation. It proved the fact that there was no bomber gap in the early flights; and in the later years, late Fifties, it proved that there was no missile gap as well, and this information was totally unobtainable by other means.

INT: Excellent answer. Can you talk me through 1957 specifically? I mean, one of the photographs that you were involved in taking was the one over the Engels airfield base. Can you just talk me through that particular mission - what you saw and what you thought it meant, and your general feelings as you were doing it?

MK: In the earliest part of the programme, '57, again all the targets were trying to determine the existence of a bomber gap. The belief in the United States military was that the Russians had scads and scads of bombers, and in fact we were building up our air defence forces in the United States to be able to counteract that threat. One of the flights I was on, I came across the so-called Engels airfield, and much to my surprise and joy it was loaded with Bison bombers. I can't remember the exact count, but many, many; the entire field was full of Bison bombers. I knew right then that I had found that there was a bomber gap, that this had to be the most important picture ever taken by a reconnaissance pilot. I kind of expected Congressional medals of honour when I landed. However, it turned out that what I'd taken a picture of was not just a portion of the entire Russian bomber fleet, but in fact I'd taken a picture of the entire Russian fleet, and there really was no bomber gap; they were all on that airfield at the same time.

There was no bomber gap, American intelligence was very faulty and downright misleading, the cost of such an error immense. Helms was right, no intelligence to be preferred over bad intelligence!


Sunday, August 14, 2011


This is coolbert:

The recent events in London and various other English cities, the mobs setting buildings to the torch, looting, wanton and seemingly inane destruction - - reminiscent of the barbarians of olden times, at least NOW with a slight difference! Thanks to the AtlanticWire and the British magazine Economist.

"Remember when books were worthy of burning?"

Prospero the Economist critic - - "an expert in books and the power of the arts", commenting on the recent rioting and lawless destruction, arson, looting plaguing London and spreading to other English cities in the last few days.

The villains leaving bookstores left intact, not touched by the rioters! Readily apparent, all other businesses in the locale burned and looted - - except for bookstores!

Prospero invokes the name of Girolamo Savonarola and the torch-lit parades of right-wing German students" [Nazi]! Book burnings an indication of the mindless thug, the barbarian whose hate of civilized man is undiminished by any sort of rational thought! Wanton mayhem ensuing for the sake merely of wanton mayhem.

Rioters and looters, arsonists, referred to by the English term "chavs". Lawless youth for the most part, a total breakdown and disregard for law and order that displays a curious phenomenon.

"chavs" are said to be aggressive teenagers and young adults, of working class background, who repeatedly engage in anti-social behavior such as street drinking, drug abuse and rowdiness, or other forms of juvenile delinquency."

The rioters, the looters, the arsonists most interested in the taking of "bling". Gaudy objects to include jewelry of course and other items of some value, high-value jeans and assorted clothing, top-of-the-line cell phones, wide-screen plasma television sets, etc.

"bling - - Jamaican slang . . . The term 'Bling Bling' refers to the imaginary "sound" that is produced from light reflected by a diamond."

The barbarians are not only outside the city walls, they are inside the city, behaving in the age-old manner of the barbarian, loot, arson, at least not so much murder or rapine!

"It's a Pattern: London Rioters Are Leaving Bookstores Untouched"

"While the rioters in England this week have looted shops selling shoes, clothes, computers, and plasma televisions, they've curiously bypassed one particular piece of merchandise: books. The Economist observes that while rioters have a centuries-old history of book burning, 'books are losing out to high-end jeans and Apple-made gadgets'"

NOT so curious. These "chavs" are either illiterate or nearly so, and EVEN IF literate, books have no attraction for them. Books, the desire for learning,, is totally absent from the lives of the "chavs" and ALWAYS WILL BE!! With the "chav", bling counts now and forever and nothing more than bling is worth looting and burning for!

Contrast what has just recently transpired in London with the behavior of the Mongols - - 1258! Mongol barbarians destroying high culture and doing so with abandon and relish - - books, libraries, scholars, scientists in a purposeful manner being a MAIN TARGET! The sacking of Baghdad.

"the libraries of Baghdad, including the House of Wisdom, were not safe from the attacks of the Ilkhanate forces who totally destroyed the libraries, and used the invaluable books to make a passage across Tigris River"

"The Grand Library of Baghdad, containing countless precious historical documents and books on subjects ranging from medicine to astronomy, was destroyed. Survivors said that the waters of the Tigris ran black with ink from the enormous quantities of books flung into the river and red from the blood of the scientists and philosophers killed."

"Baghdad was one of the most brilliant intellectual centers in the world. The Mongol destruction of Baghdad was a psychological blow from which Islam never recovered."

"the intellectual flowering of Islam was snuffed out. Imagining the Athens of Pericles and Aristotle obliterated by a nuclear weapon begins to suggest the enormity of the blow."

The barbarian from over seven hundred years ago - - NOT ONLY "sacking" the city of Baghdad, but destroying the libraries, killing the scholars, doing so with an eagerness and relish!! "One of the most brilliant intellectual centers in the world" more or less obliterated! Indeed, the population of the area not recovering until the past century! That man who survived and witnessed the "sacking" waiting fifty years to chronicle the devastation, so wide-spread was the destruction, and painful to remember what was and what had been compared to what was left!!

The "chavs" of course don't burn the books and the bookstores now or continue their evil deeds on such as level as the Mongol of 1258, NOT having the physical wherewithal to do so - - BUT WAIT TILL NEXT TIME!!



This coolbert:

This too makes for a very sad and depressing read. A weapons system, that which was to be relied upon during time of war, found that when actually used the performance less than adequate, perhaps MUCH more than less than adequate.

The AIM-4 Falcon. An air to air missile that would have been used as the weapon of choice, American and Canadian interceptor air defense aircraft engaging in combat Soviet long-ranger bomber attacking southward toward North American during a Cold War that became 'hot"! A nuclear conflict the defense of North American airspace the responsibility of NORAD and the various warplanes as carried in the inventory at the time, F-102, F-106, Avro Arrow if it had flown, etc.

The AIM-4 Falcon air to air missile, coming in two versions, radar homing and infra-red homing:

* "The GAR-1 had semi-active radar homing (SARH), giving a range of about 5 miles (8 km)."

* "The GAR-2 (later AIM-4B) was a heat-seeker, generally limited to rear-aspect engagements"

The Falcon, when actually deployed and used in combat during the Vietnam War, missions of air superiority and air supremacy, FOUND TO BE SORELY LACKING, NEXT TO USELESS, IF NOT INDEED TOTALLY USELESS, NOT EVEN WORTH THE EFFORT TO FIRE AT AN OPPONENT AS DESCRIBED BY AMERICAN PILOTS AT THE TIME!!

"The USAF deployed AIM-4 in May 1967 during the Vietnam War . . . The missile's combat performance was very poor."

"By the beginning of June, all hated the new AIM-4 Falcon missiles. I loathed the damned useless things. I wanted my Sidewinders back. In two missions I had fired seven or eight of the bloody things and not one guided. They were worse than I had anticipated. Sometimes they refused to launch; sometimes they just cruised off into the blue without guiding. In the thick of an engagement with my head twisting and turning, trying to keep track of friend and foe, I'd forget which of the four I had (already) selected and couldn't tell which of the remaining was perking and which head was already expiring on its launch rail. Twice upon returning to base I had the tech rep go over the switchology and firing sequences. We never discovered I was doing anything wrong." - - Col. Robin Olds.

That F-4 Phantom designed to operate in a nuclear environment, aircraft in combat not engaging in "dogfights"  as was the case during the Great War and World War Two. Aerial combat thought by the experts to be limited to warplanes firing missiles at one another from a distance, even beyond the line-of-sight, and nothing more. GUNS of the 20 mm Vulcan variety being fitted to the F-4 after the fact, most belatedly so!

This deployment and use in the skies over Vietnam WAS NOT a type of mission as originally envisioned for the Falcon! American and Canadian interceptor aircraft closing on an intruding Soviet bomber and firing Falcons would not have been engaged in a "dogfight", and also have a rear weapons officer to control and initiate the firing sequence [the F-4 had a rear weapons officer too!]. Perhaps, and ONLY perhaps, when used as intended the Falcon would have performed at least adequately? But from the description of Colonel Olds, the Falcon was not up to the task under any circumstances, NOT EVEN close in performance to anticipated, with all that would have meant for NORAD and North American cities under nuclear attack if and when a Soviet attack had actually occurred!!

The damned things just did not work! And that without your adversary even taking any counter-measures!



This is coolbert:

The Soviet Air Defense Forces of the Homeland! PVO Strany. An artifact no longer in existence. At the time of the Cold War, an important and very significant element of Soviet military organization and planning, a massive combat edifice without parallel in the United States alone, much less the rest of the world.

From Suvorov:

"The fact that 3,000 combat aircraft . . . have no operation, financial, administrative or any other connection with the Air Forces has not been grasped by ordinary individuals in the West, nor even by Western military specialists."

"NOT been grasped [at least at the time] . . . EVEN BY Western military specialists!"

Protection of the Motherland from enemy intruding aircraft, presumably during the era of the Cold War [if and when the Cold war became HOT!] those high-flying, manner bomber aircraft of the American Strategic Air Command, B-47 and B-52 bombers carrying nuclear and thermonuclear weaponry with the intent of obliterating the Soviet Union.

"Soviet Air Defence Forces"

"The Soviet Air Defence Forces . . . PVO Strany [Air Defense Forces of the Homeland] was the air defense branch of the Soviet Armed Forces . . .  V-PVO was a branch of the military unto itself, separate from the Soviet Air Force (VVS) and Air Defense Troops of Ground Forces. During the Soviet period it was generally ranked third in importance of the Soviet services, behind the Strategic Rocket Forces and the Ground Forces."

That hierarchy of Soviet military services in importance being from top to bottom:

* Strategic Rocket Forces.
* Ground Forces.
* PVO Strany.
* Air Force.
* Navy.

The PVO Strany an autonomous military service having as constituent elements:

* Interceptor aircraft.
* SAM [surface-to-air-missiles].
* Radars.

And with the addition in time of war only:

* AAA [anti-aircraft-artillery].

AAA of various calibers and types mothballed during time of peace, brought to a level of activation during a time of war only.

The Soviets VERY protective of their airspace, intruders not welcome. VERY trigger happy and skittish at all times. So much so that during the Cold War, it is reputed that as man as forty Soviet aircraft ALONE became victims of the PVO. Soviet airplanes shot down by their own folks, identified for some reason or the other as intruders worthy of destruction. NOT only considered worthy, but made so!!

During the Soviet era the PVO was a separate military service but NOT so now! Those various air defense elements now melded into the Russian air force.


Fiddler & Arrow.

This is coolbert:

From a comment to the blog by Steiner:

"steiner said... Interesting how the Fiddler mirrors the spec of the Canadian Avro Arrow, which would have been in service at the same time had the Soviets managed to build a heavy bomber with 'over-the-pole' capability."

The Soviet era Tu-28 and the Canadian CF-105 Avro Arrow are indeed instances of parallel development?

Combat aircraft, Soviet and Canadian both having very similar, very analogous missions!

Warplanes best thought of as INTERCEPTORS! NOT multi-role-combat-aircraft [MRCA] or fighter planes able to "dogfight". Tu-28 and the Arrow STRICTLY interceptors with a limited mission the characteristics and operational requirements of resulted in parallel development!

Interceptor aircraft able to:

* Get very high very fast!
* Engage an approaching enemy intruder aircraft with MISSILES only!

1. "The Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow was a delta-winged interceptor aircraft, designed and built by Avro Aircraft Limited (Canada) . . . Considered to be both an advanced technical and aerodynamic achievement for the Canadian aviation industry . . . was intended to serve as the Royal Canadian Air Force's (RCAF) primary interceptor in the 1960s and beyond."

2. "The Tupolev Tu-28 (NATO reporting name Fiddler) was a long-range interceptor aircraft introduced by the Soviet Union in the 1960s. The official designation was Tu-128, but this designation was less commonly used in the West. It was the largest and heaviest fighter ever in service."

"The PVO requirement called for a supersonic aircraft with enormous fuel tanks for both a good patrol time and a long range, a capable radar, and the most powerful air-to-air missiles possible."

According to Suvorov from "Inside the Soviet Army" the Fiddler:

"is designed to attack enemy aircraft attempting to penetrate Soviet air space across the endless wastes of the Arctic or the deserts of Central Asia."

From the various operational and performance characteristics as listed for the Arrow and Fiddler we find:

Arrow: "Combat radius: 360 NM (410 mi, 660 km)"

Fiddler: "Range: 2,565 km when armed (1,595 mi)"

Range not the same as combat radius. "Combat radius refers to the distance from an airbase that a warplane can reach, patrol there for a set amount of time and return to base with minimal fuel left". Fiddler was able to take off at one airbase, complete the mission - - and land at another airbase? Range of Fiddler was ABOUT twice that of Arrow?

In particular - - Fiddler - - an interceptor aircraft, a warplane as carried in the inventory of the Soviet Air Defense and NOT Soviet Air Force. And that distinction must be made clear. The former, Soviet Air Defense, referred to as the PVO Strany!

And both warplanes if an when deployed and operational for combat, operating in what would have undoubtedly have been a nuclear environment, the Cold War turned hot and big time. Manned high-flying long-range bomber aircraft of the Soviet Union and the United States, intruder aircraft confronted and shot down by interceptors of the types Fiddler and Arrow.

Fiddler and Arrow a specific response to specific requirements the role of which is now filled by MRCA almost across the board!


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Nay Pyi Taw.

This is coolbert:

Here from the latest edition of the National Geographic a description of the Burmese capital city, Nay Pyi Taw. A city built out of the wilderness [?], the ruling junta in Burma deathly afraid of an amphibious attack up the Irrawaddy River, an emulation of Operation Dracula in World War Two [WW2]. The junta members having consulted the astrologers as to the timing of such an attack [an attack existing only in their only minds] and the recourse [the construction of a new capital city away from the ocean, far inland!].

"junta - - noun - - 1. a small group ruling a country, especially immediatey after a coup d'etat and before a legally constituted government has been instituted." [a junta quite often is a group of military men!]

According to the Geographic, among other things you find at Nay Pyi Taw are:

* "an unsettling void: smooth ten-lane roads with manicured roundabouts but scarcely any vehicles."

* "clusters of color-coded government housing complexes with no children in sight"

* "a copy of Yangon's [Rangoon] Shwedagon Pagoda with not a single Buddhist monk chanting prayers"


"The new capital may feel soulless, but for rulers distrustful of their own people, it could a masterpiece of defensive urban planning. Worried about an imminent attack in Yangon [that amphibious attack up the Irrawaddy river], Than Shwe [the junta boss of bosses] poured several billion dollars into building the city on scrub land in central Myanmar [Burma], safe from killer storms [cyclone Nargis], foreign invasion [that emulation of Dracula], and domestic protests."

"The military zone is a bubble within a bubble, forbidden to all but top officers - - and reportedly honeycombed with underground bunkers."

That despotic and authoritarian ruling Burmese junta has been in charge now for over fifty years!! With no end in sight! A nation almost reclusive in nature, in the model of North Korea, NOT having the cult of personality but rather a number of senior military officers exploiting the natural resources of their own nation for crass reasons and NOW in cahoots with foreign powers [China most specifically]!

Please let us be clear about this! There was to be no foreign invasion, an amphibious attack up the Irrawaddy river in the manner of Dracula from WW2! It was all in the minds of the junta and the astrologers!

My own perceptions and intuition tell me too, that if such an foreign invasion did occur, that army of Than Shwe would disintegrate and be routed in the proverbial heartbeat. If and when such an invasion did occur, and the likelihood of that happening is next to zero!

Pity the plight of the Burmese people! Fifty years now of suffering without amelioration!