Sunday, October 30, 2011

War Hammer!

This is coolbert:

See at the Cold Steel web site the war hammer as can be purchased. NOT a toy but a replica of that weapon as would have been found among the arsenal of the Polish Winged Hussar cavalry in the Seventeenth Century [1600's].

That handle is 30 inches [76 cm.] long.

Those Polish cavalry troops at the time the BEST soldiers in the world? Poland during that era can be considered to have been a major power or even a super-power?

The Winged Hussars each and everyone carrying as part of their standard battle kit a melange' of weaponry to include:

* Lance.
* Six foot [two meter] rapier.
* Pistols.
* Muskets.
* Bow and arrows.
* Sabre.

[that six foot [2 meter] long rapier peculiar and unique to the Winged Hussar!]


* War hammer.

Polish Winged Hussars carrying out thousand [1,000] kilometer [600 mile] long cavalry sweeps, attempting to "cut sign" looking for the trail as would have been left by Tartar slave raiders. Pursuing when found and engaging in battle same. The Poles noted for their protection against the "eastern" threat and defenders of Christianity!

Quoting in entirety  from the Cold Steel web site:

"At the end of the 13th century, the sword ruled supreme as the primary weapon of Knights and Men-At-Arms. However, with the introduction of steel plate armor, the popularity of the sword as a battlefield weapon began to wane. You see, the problem was the sword couldn't cut or crush steel plate and had to be specially designed for use only as a thrusting weapon if it was to have even a chance at piercing plate armor. Enter the War Hammer- an ideal weapon for use against an opponent who is encased in plate steel. The heavy hammer head could crush the strongest helmet or suit of plate armor with just a few blows and the back spike could rip through helm and plate like a modern can opener! In battle, the hammer side was usually employed first to knock down and stun an enemy. Once he was on the ground, helpless, the hammer was reversed and the back spike was used to punch a hole through the helmet and deliver the coup de grace."

That blunt end of the war hammer used to stun your opponent, the spiked end used to penetrate armor plate.

Please view too the embedded YouTube video that accompanies the web site. That is Lynn Thompson  [the man with the tie on] the company President of Cold Steel personally demonstrating the effectiveness of the war hammer against a metal breast plate. Incidentally that breast plate is the type of armor as would be worn by a Winged Hussar!

Bang, bang, smash em' up your dead!! And remember, that hammer is NOT a toy!



This is coolbert:

From a comment to the blog:

"anonymous said... British Admiral Jellicoe achieved tactical surprise and advantage. He retained that advantage through the daylight hours. He managed to cross the German T twice."

"He managed to cross the German T twice"

And this is correct. The goal of every battleship admiral of the time leading a division of ships or massed divisions of ships into naval combat was to CROSS THE T of the adversary!

"Crossing the T or Capping the T is a classic naval warfare tactic attempted from the late 19th to mid 20th century, in which a line of warships crossed in front of a line of enemy ships, allowing the crossing line to bring all their guns to bear while receiving fire from only the forward guns of the enemy."

And in this regard Jellicoe at Jutland was twice successful. With results, however, that were less than what the British commander had hoped for.

The German commander Scheer realizing what dire peril the High Seas Fleet was in, ordering and having his fleet escape danger by the use of the well worked out and practiced Gefechtskehrtwendung! "180° turn in unison ('battle about turn to starboard')"

All ships in line executing simultaneously a 180 degree turn, in the aftermath of the maneuver the first ship becoming last and the last becoming first.

"all ships [simultaneously execute] a 180-degree turn, then reversed course again to form a keel line, beginning with the last ship of the line was now the first and vice versa.

Twice the German High Seas Fleet during Jutland in danger of annihilation, but able on both occasions able to escape by a successful reversal of course - - the Gefechtskehrtwendung executed flawlessly, much to what I expect was the consternation and surprise of Jellicoe!

"it is an effective counter-maneuvers for Crossing the T represented. With the help of the battle-face it most of the German navy in the managed Skagerrak [Jutland] battle twice, from the really devastating, "Crossing the T" of the Royal Navy to escape."

Gefechtskehrtwendung NOT an easy maneuver to execute. Indeed, had it ever been done in combat before and I suspect not!

"The German Navy, however, managed to solve the problem in a simple way: the signal to execute the maneuver was passed from ship to ship. Got the last ship in the keel line, the signal applied it. Each additional ship now turned once was to see that the ship had taken him following his turn"

A ship in the lead having signaled for the 180 degree turn in line turning only after seeing the following ship make the turn first! NO collisions!

The decision of Admiral Scheer to twice execute the Gefechtskehrtwendung maneuver!

Had to have been made without any hesitation and in an instant, so drastic is such a turning movement for large ships at sea!

The desire of Jellicoe to be written about in the history books as is Nelson did not come to pass. Jellicoe at one point in the battle had only thirty seconds to make the decision to either further pursue the German fleet or have the Grand Fleet retire from the battle as it did. The decision made to retire by Jellicoe being strongly criticized in the aftermath of Jutland was in hindsight found to be correct during later critique by the Admiralty.


Graf von Götzen.

This is coolbert:

Here also from the East African Campaign another sideshow of a sideshow. Yet one more German naval action from the era of World War One [WW1].

The Battle of Lake Tanganyika. Warships afloat on one of those Great Lakes of Africa, geographical features a result of the earth splitting apart - - The Great Rift Valley.

Lake Tanganyika becoming a battleground, movement of troops on the lake vital as part of the East African campaign. Smaller sized cargo ships and ferries, commercial vessels during peace time impressed into military service, in particular the Graf von Götzen equipped with a 105 mm rapid fire naval cannon as salvaged from the demolished SMS Konigsberg!

That Graf von Gotzen having been built in Germany, broken down into pieces, taken by railroad across the interior of African to Lake Tanganyika, reassembled [1913] and performing yeoman duty during the war!!

"The Graf von Götzen was built in 1913 . . . After a preliminary assembly she was taken apart and shipped in parts to East Africa to serve as a passenger and cargo ferry"

"the Götzen . . . had been additionally armed with a 105 mm (4.1 in) auto cannon from the SMS Königsberg, the Germans had complete supremacy of the lake in the early stages of the war. The ship was used both to ferry cargo and personnel across the lake, and as a base from which to launch surprise attacks on Allied troops."

German gun crew manning that rapid fire 105 mm gun. NO turret, just gun shields.

The Battle of Lake Tanganyika an English victory. The Graf von Götzen scuttled, the German not willing to allow their warship to fall into enemy hands. The Graf von Götzen later re-floated by the British subsequent to the end of the war, the ship again performing yeoman service as a commercial vessel, AND MOST SURPRISINGLY SO STILL SERVICING PASSENGERS AND CARGO ALMOST ONE HUNDRED YEARS LATER!! now called the MV Liemba.

"It [Graf von Götzen] was later re-floated and used by the British and is still in service today plying the lake under the Tanzanian flag."

The East African Campaign was indeed a sideshow of WW1 and the Battle of Lake Tanganyika even more so without question!



This is coolbert:

See here a complete listing of naval battles of the First World War [WW1] as engaged in by the GERMAN navy!

A much more extensive list than as shown in my previous blog entry - - BUT my listing inclusive of only those naval battles involving massed number of ships and not solitary duels [surface raiders] or raids with groundings of ships, naval infantry going ashore, etc.

And here too with an entry of  German naval action  from WW1 that I had forgotten. A sideshow of a side show. [this naval action also more or less a duel and not involving massed numbers of ships!]

The  Battle of Rufiji Delta.

Part of the East African Campaign. Colonial German East African combat naval assets at the time in being one light cruiser - - the Konigsberg - - and no more than that. That one cruiser, however, causing havoc and creating a situation that required remedial action on the part of the British!

That one light cruiser being a stick-in-the-eye that needed for a solution to be found. Sorely needed reinforcements sent when normal and ordinary measures to deal with the Konigsberg found to be wanting.

"The German naval command had just one major warship in the Indian Ocean when war was declared, the light cruiser SMS Königsberg. After limited opportunities for commerce raiding, Königsberg sank the cruiser HMS Pegasus in Zanzibar harbour"

In the aftermath of Zanzibar - - the Konigsberg seeking refuge in the shallow waters of the Rufiji delta, besieged, a floating fortress, finally rendered ineffective by protracted bombardment - - the Konigsberg  demolished and scuttled but not sunk" [the crew and guns of the Konigsberg subsequently living to fight another day on LAND!]

"After being cornered by warships of the British Cape squadron, including an old battleship, two shallow-draught monitors with 6 in (150 mm) guns were brought from England that demolished the cruiser on 11 July 1915."


Saturday, October 29, 2011


This is coolbert:

This is the type of thing that the British Admiral Parry took notice of [?] when he did his intelligence preparation of the battlefield [IPB] done on a macro scale, the entire world the "battlefield".

Parry predicting that the world order as we know it will begin to break apart beginning in the year 2012 or so. Break apart from a variety of factors - - to include what is described as "skewed gender ratios"!

Societies the number of young men [bachelors] greater by a degree than the number of young women eligible as brides, mates, spouses.

Societies where that number of young men UNABLE to find suitable mates creating a dangerous and volatile situation.

"Population to hit seven billion: experts warn of 'bachelor nations'"

"As the global population hits seven billion, experts are warning that skewed gender ratios could fuel the emergence of volatile 'bachelor nations' driven by an aggressive competition for brides."

The normal and biologically standard gender ratio being:

"an unbending biological standard for the sex ratio at birth of 104-106 males to every 100 females"

Skewed gender ratios, the number of young men as compared to young women mostly an Asian phenomenon, but NOW a trend spreading:

"In India and Vietnam the figure is around 112 boys for every 100 girls. In China it is almost 120 to 100 – and in some places higher than 130"

"the trend is spreading: to regions like the South Caucasus, where Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia all post birth ratios of more than 115 to 100, and further west to Serbia and Bosnia."

Those vast numbers of randy and violent young men without mates where ever found posing a security threat internally and externally?

"Asian countries with too many men posed [pose] a security threat to the West."

"High-sex-ratio societies are governable only by authoritarian regimes capable of suppressing violence at home and exporting it abroad through colonisation or war,"

Suppression of violence at home by use of the death penalty on a wide scale. WAR and aggression against neighboring nations and even further abroad creating an outlet for all those young men, bride-less and angry, filled with hate and violent tendencies.

Don't mess with mother nature!!


Friday, October 28, 2011


This is coolbert:

"'There is peace. We have a new airport. People are satisfied'"

Here with some images of Grozny as sections of the city appear in the aftermath of the First [1994] and Second Chechen [2000] Wars.

Grozny at one time a city of about a half-million persons laid waste to a large extent, so intense and horrific was the fighting in and around the city, that combination of modern explosive weaponry and ruthless tactics destructive in the extreme!

"In 1994, Grozny had 490,000 inhabitants, some 90 square miles including the suburbs . . . The city has [had] a mixture of concrete buildings ranging from 3- to 15-story structures and 123 roads led in and out of Grozny. Pictures of pre-war Grozny show a spacious, modern and green city. Numerous parks, the river, and mild weather made the city one of Soviet Russia’s nicer, warmer cities to visit. Today, Grozny is terrible. An alien wasteland of a destroyed concrete jungle."


I recall seeing this image some years ago now in the National Geographic magazine. This is a Russian dispensary? Consisting of the table, chairs, the two medical personnel and that is that?

Most of what you see here is the result of the Second Chechen War [2000]. The Russians employing massed heavy artillery, aerial bombardment, concentrated rocket and missile fire, big-bore direct gun fire from tanks and tube anti-tank artillery! The Russian also not hesitant to use all manner of fuel-air-explosive and thermobaric bombs! Kaboom! Cracking the egg with the proverbial sledgehammer. And the results show!!

See a more complete collection of images in this photo album thanks to Roy Conrad: "GROZNY IN THE WAR AND AFTER IT"

"The once war-torn country has been transformed, but change has come at a price"

OH - - surely that is so! Even discernible to the most casual of observers, if with just a single glance!

P.S. For some reason this particular blog entry has had tens of thousands of "hits", astronomically high! Devoted readers to the blog and others merely touching bases will also want to see further Chechen wars photo-journalistic style entries here, here, and here.



This is coolbert:

"If anybody tells you that we fought here 
intoxicated, - spit him in his face"

With a comment to a Military Thoughts blog entry from some time ago now:

"oleg abramov said... Hello, I tried to make a full version of the book of V. Mironov in English, the name is "I was at that war", close to the sense of the name in Russian . . . I appreciate the comments and advisings [sic] to better the text, some mistakes are corrected already, the renewed versions will be posted regularly. Welcome to see the text. Thanks, Oleg"

The novel by the Russian author Vyacheslav Mironov, "I was in that war. Chechnya, the year 1995". A historical account, the events as unfolded in the capital of Chechnya, Grozny, 1994. Russian army units on the offensive, hoping to suppress the secessionists of Chechnya, a battle, a combat action of the most desperate and bitter sort, apocalyptic even! Mironov writing a novel and NOT as I had originally thought an absolutely factual and first-hand anecdotal account, nonetheless a description of urban warfare as did transpire in Grozny.

"I was in that war" is a classic? The translation from Russian to English is somewhat crude and unprofessional but this is a virtue rather than a flaw, adding a degree of authenticity?

ArtOfWar. Творчество ветеранов последних войн. Сайт имени Владимира Григорьева.
English: English version of Artofwar

And as listed in the anthology under non-fiction we have this Q & A entry of a Russian Spetsnaz trooper who fought in Afghan:

"Professionals Of The War" - - Shumskikh Sergey

Q: "Did you use trophies yourselves?"

A:  "We had right to have only what we needed for the war. For example, very comfortable Italian boots, and Chinese breasts [ammo pouches] – it was easier to carry more ammunition in them. We got also 'dukhs' clothes, American mortars."

[dukh = spirit, ghost, apparition, an ephemeral being one moment there, the next moment NOT!]

"Actually I didn’t see anything better then Soviet weapon but those mortars. They were much lighter then ours, the mines [mortar rounds] for them were packed without any grease, we didn’t need to wipe them dry, as we had to do ours"

According to Sergey, NO small arms of foreign types superior to the Russian version OTHER THAN AMERICAN MORTARS.

The Russian assault on downtown Grozny was a debacle almost without precedent. Russian troops unprepared, without the necessary support or planning more than met their match when faced with a determined foe, both in 1994 and 2000 the Chechens more than proving that defense is the stronger form of combat [easier to do and accomplish more with less]!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011


This is coolbert:

Thanks again to the wiki we have extracts and comments regarding the British and German naval strategies of the Great War [WW1]! Those capital ships of the English Grand Fleet [RN] being somewhat numerically superior and also larger in size and having greater organic firepower. The German warships of the High Seas Fleet being somewhat qualitatively superior, better compartmented [harder to sink] with crews also having better gunnery [able to shoot faster and hit the target at longer range with greater accuracy]!

[at Jutland too the German using appropriate armor piercing ammo in contrast to the British using inappropriate high-explosive ammo!]

Merely with regard to numbers, each side at Jutland consisted of:

"Admiral Scheer's fleet [High Sea Fleet], composed of 16 dreadnoughts, six pre-dreadnoughts, six light cruisers, and 31 torpedo boats . . . The fleet sailed in concert with Hipper's five battlecruisers and supporting cruisers and torpedo boats . . . the Grand Fleet [Royal Navy], totaling some 28 dreadnoughts and 9 battlecruisers"

"The German fleet's intention was to lure out, trap, and destroy a portion of the Grand Fleet, as they believed that their smaller number of ships would be insufficient to engage the entire British fleet. This formed part of a larger strategy to break the British blockade of Germany and to allow German mercantile shipping to operate. Meanwhile, the Royal Navy was attempting to engage and destroy the High Seas Fleet, or keep the German force contained and away from Britain's own shipping lanes"

"The German fleet avoided any open engagement with the British fleet because it was smaller, but the difference between the two was less at this period [1914] in the war than at any other . . . The British fleet had the disadvantage of maintaining continuous patrols, whereas the German one remained mainly in home port. This meant the German navy could choose a time to attack [time and place] when all its ships were ready for sea, whereas some parts of the British fleet would always be in port receiving repairs or supplies, or in detached duty elsewhere."


* That British naval blockade of Germany WAS successful. German merchant shipping unable to operate openly and without interference on the high seas - - malnutrition on the German home front being a severe problem by wars end. [the German in keeping with the dicta of Mahan, possessed that proper combination of naval and merchant marine shipping as appropriate for a world power!]

* Generally speaking, the British Grand Fleet was relegated to the defensive role, English warships accordingly dispersed, High Seas Fleet vessels in contrast by command capable of being massed with cohesion for an offensive action to the advantage of the German at the time and place of their own choosing!

Both English and German prior to 1914 having made extensive preparations and "make ready" for naval warfare, found the results of naval combat during the Great War to be less than desirable and inconclusive? Such was the rule rather than exception both on land and sea during WW1? Undeniably!


Naval Actions.

This is coolbert:

From the era of the Great War [WW1] the naval battle of Jutland [1916] is well known? Massed divisions of capital ships versus massed divisions of capital ships [a division is usually defined as two to four large warships fighting as a unit], German and English both, battling it out for naval supremacy, large-bore naval gunfire the primary means of destruction, the long-anticipated and in some circles much welcomed show-down between the English Grand Fleet and the German High Seas Fleet.

It had been thought on both sides that the outcome of the war was in the balance, a clear and decisive naval victory possibly leading to a cessation of hostilities. This was NOT to be, Jutland generally by the historians considered to be a draw, neither side able to prevail over the other in the desired fashion.

And NEVER again during the following two years of conflict was either fleet able to muster the number of ships in the manner of Jutland - - THAT CLIMACTIC AND DECISIVE NAVAL BATTLE IN THE MANNER OF TRAFALGAR NOT OCCURRING!!

[Germany prior to WW1 having both the second largest navy and merchant marine in the world, Germany a parvenu [upstart] nation seen as a serious challenger to a century-long English domination of the seas.]

Do NOT think, however, that naval surface action and combat of the Great War was strictly confined to the well-known [?] events at Jutland.

Thanks to the wiki we have a listing of those additional naval combats between the Grand Fleet [RN] and the High Seas Fleet during WW1, a much more extensive listing that merely Jutland. German and British naval contingents battling it out on the high seas, strictly surface warships versus other surface warships in combat the old-fashioned way, predominantly using naval gunfire as the weapon of choice.

In over a dozen specific instance, ships massed to some degree for naval conflict, the results generally favorable to the British, but not exclusively so, the RN not able to dominate as thought would have been the case, under the correct set of circumstance the High Seas Fleet able to give a good account of itself, a certain significant number of times neither side able to prevail over the other.

Naval surface combat action NONE of which to include either:

* German commerce surface raiders of the type such as the SMS Wolf or the SMS Seeadler.
* Submersibles [submarines] versus surface vessels.
* British naval raiders attacking German U-boat docks and shore facilities. [Zeebrugge.]

* Battle of Heligoland Bight (1914)  28 August 1914. British

* Battle of Coronel   1 November 1914. German victory.

* Battle of the Falkland Islands  8 December 1914. British victory.

* Raid on Scarborough, Hartlepool and Whitby  16 December 1914. German victory..

* Battle of Dogger Bank (1915)   24 January 1915. British victory.

* Battle of Dogger Bank (1916)   10 February 1916. German victory.

* Action of 29 February 1916    29 February 1916. British victory.

* Bombardment of Yarmouth and Lowestoft  24 April 1916. Draw.

* Battle of Jutland    31 May 1916 – 1 June 1916. Draw

* Battle of Dover Strait (1916)   26–27 October 1916. German victory.

* Action of 16 March 1917  16 March 1917.  British victory.

* Battle of Dover Strait  20 April 1917. British victory.

* Action off Lerwick  17 October 1917. German victory.

* Second Battle of Heligoland Bight   17 November 1917. Draw.

Subsequent to the latter part of 1917 NEITHER side willing to risk capital ships in combat on the high seas! The threat either from naval mine or submarine felt to be too great to endanger those surface vessels having the greatest firepower and destructive force. The German unable also to break the British naval blockade and unrestricted submarine warfare inconclusive in starving England into submission.

The admirals had become too skittish and nervous, unwilling to lose or even commit their most valuable assets, naval warfare warship versus warship mano-a-mano during WW1 INDECISIVE!!


Monday, October 24, 2011


This is coolbert:

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

From the British Daily Mail we have this item - - the Great War [WW1] combat  record of Adolph Hitler not so remarkable, the history as generally accepted now disputed. Hitler not suffering from temporary blindness DUE TO MUSTARD GAS POISONING? The man temporary blind - - that much is true - - but rather from psychiatric reasons and not due to the mustard agent! So it is alleged and as found in archival documentation that has recently come to light.

"British mustard gas attack didn't blind Hitler: His invented trenches myth concealed bout of mental illness"

"He [Hitler] claimed to have been blinded by a British mustard gas attack as a heroic First World War soldier."

"Now research has exposed Hitler’s account of his own gallantry as a sham and revealed that his temporary loss of sight was actually caused by a mental disorder known as ‘hysterical blindness’."

See here an Internet entry regarding the Great War record of Adolph Hitler. Went to war as a soldier with the Bavarian Regiment, that unit repeatedly decimated by continuous and unrelieved combat action. Hitler serving as a RUNNER, conveying messages from command to subordinates back and forth, continuously, exposing himself to enemy fire in a courageous manner, Hitler as a soldier competent and able, but not outstanding. The man [Hitler] NOT felt to be suitable officer material - - his competency from a mental stability standpoint questioned.

It has always been thought that Hitler did suffer a shrapnel wound [severe?] to the leg in 1916, rehabilitating and returning to the front for the remainder of the war, NONE OF THAT MENTIONED IN THE ARCHIVAL LETTER!

This temporary blindness was indeed as described, the man could not see for a period, but was not as a result of mustard gassing? The long-term exposure to combat, physical and mental stress as found at the front during the Great War caused many a good man to break down. Shell-shock being the worst manifestation of injury to the mind causing severe and overwhelming physical infirmity!


Sunday, October 23, 2011


This is coolbert:

The Brandenburgers!

Elite German special operations unit of the Second World War [WW2].

Able to operate in the manner of the pseudo-force. Wear the uniform of the enemy, speak the language of the enemy, use enemy equipment, impersonate an enemy soldier in the furtherance of behind-the-lines action of the most dangerous sort!

And were quite successful at doing so too! An elite and dedicated military special operations unit of the highest quality and trained to a measure of preparedness beyond normal measure!

Under the command of the German military intelligence, the Abwehr, and given the missions and tasks of seizing by coup de main bridges, river crossings, railroad and road junctions of importance, attacking the enemy command and control complex, committing acts of sabotage and infiltrating behind-the-lines EVEN PRIOR TO AN OUTBREAK OF HOSTILITIES!

"The Brandenburgers were members of the Brandenburg German Special Forces unit during World War II."

"Units of Brandenburgers operated in almost all fronts . . . The unit had stunning successes early in the war acting as advance units that captured strategic bridges, tunnels and rail yards"

"small, élite units, highly trained in sabotage and fluent in foreign languages, could operate behind enemy lines and wreak havoc with the enemy's command, communication and logistical tails."

Recruits to the Brandenburger unit predominantly what were called Volksdeutsch! Persons of German ethnicity who were born and raised in the various nations of eastern Europe. German ethnics for a period of 1,000 years living in all of the Slavic nations, forming and constituting their own communities, prospering, able to speak in the local language as a native, understanding the host culture in the absolute. Brandenburgers able to pass with ease as a local - - EVEN PERHAPS MORE SO THAN A LOCAL!

This map of eastern Europe presumably prior to 1939 shows the red areas and dots as having a predominantly ethnic German population. Quite substantial in some cases! It is from that 15 million strong ethnic German populace living in eastern Europe prior to WW2 that Brandenburgers would have been recruited from. Those insets show Latvia, Estonia and the Russian territory around Saratov, inhabited by the Volga German. That 15 million is now near ZERO! Subsequent to the end of the war forcibly repatriated to Germany proper, about 1 million to 2 million perishing during the movement of peoples!

"Every recruit had to be fluent in at least one foreign language. However, many recruits were fluent in several. The recruits were also schooled in the customs and traditions of their specific region. Knowing every habit and mannerism in their area of operations would enable the men to blend in and operate as effective saboteurs."

The ability of the Brandenburger to accomplish a mission NOT in favor with the German High Command? Tactics, means and methods felt to be underhanded and NOT in keeping with German military tradition? NOT even felt to be chivalrous, and even if effective doubt still existing in the ranks of the most senior German commanders.

And those Brandenburgers in the aftermath of WW2 significant numbers of them enlisting in the French Foreign Legion [FFL], the Brandenburg fighting a peculiar form of warfare OFTEN not in keeping with the various conventions of the time, the rank and file having no other option than to fight a proxy war far from home [French Indo-China]?



This is coolbert:

Hasta la vista Birdie!

From a variety of Internet web sites the commercial means and methods already employed at American air fields [civilian and military both] to ward off infestations of birds the danger as posed by BASH [bird accident strike hazard]! Masses of birds, flocks either residents or migrants, small and large avians creating a danger to aircraft either on take-off or landing!

Means and methods best categorized and to include repellents, noise, and animals!

1. Repellents:

[Chemical and electrification not lethal but VERY uncomfortable!]

* "AVIPEL and AIREPEL S-2 Booster . . . bird repellent applied to surfaces such as ledges, roofs and structures where birds roost."

* "Bird Repel [electrified system] is the ideal anti-roosting device that provides an effective solution to the mess and dangers of birds in and around airports."

* "ReJeX–iT or similar MA/soy oil blend and employ simple timers and compression systems to create environments unfavorable to all birds."

2. Repellents:

[visual - - distorts the vision of the birds, causing confusion!]

* "FlightControlR PLUS goose repellent in February 2004. Turf treated with FlightControl PLUS looks different to geese in the ultraviolet light spectrum."

* "The Firefly Flight Diverter, a new visual deterrent designed to affect avian vision day or night will deter raptors and other species in flight."

3. Noise:

[the big boom scaring the birds away!]

* "BirdBlaster, a bird activated radar deterrent system uses compressed air in a timed sequence to produce an audio/visual alert."

* "The Long-distance Blast Banger Bird-Dispersing System smoke, signal, flare and chemical ammunition"

* "Scare Away LP gas cannons, pyrotechnic cartridges, and electronic distress cry generators"

* "Sonic Bird Sweep is capable of delivering directional, intelligible sounds up to 1 mile."

* “'Shock & Awe' multi-shot scare cartridge launchers . . . radio controlled on-demand propane cannons""

4. Critters:

[dogs  falcons, and owl decoys - - animals that are natural predators. Geese for instance recognizing any animal that goes on all fours and has long fur as an enemy to stay away from!]

* "BCR's Birdstrike Control Program . . . featuring highly trained border collies"

* "Geese Police, Inc. uses highly trained working border collies to herd Canada geese off properties"

5. Water denial.

[used against waterfowl prevents their landing, nesting, etc.]

* "Euro-Matic Bird balls are 100mm hollow or water-filled plastic balls that form a floating cover for ponds and lagoons."

* "Aqua-Lator Environmental Ball, or E-BallTM, can be used to cover ponds and prevent birds from using these sites"

And for the detection and monitoring and archiving of "bird and bat activity" we have:

* "GMI's Mobile Avian Radar System (MARS) provides all-weather, unattended, 24/7 real-time monitoring and archiving of bird and bat activity."

A radar specifically designed to detect the presence of bats and birds and archive the data for research!

I think the consensus among the experts would be that BASH can be ameliorated to an extent but NEVER eliminated, the threat and danger will always exist. An understanding and taking into account of bird migration patterns, the routes and seasonal variation is a big help in this regard! BASH never will be gone, always will be there, but again, the threat can be lessened, quite significantly with some thought and action! NO one panacea but a holistic approach is required for the problem!


Saturday, October 22, 2011


This is coolbert:

Here with another military BEST.

Best being a popular topic of the blog - - a number of prior entries discussing a variety of military BEST! Best to include but not being limited to:

* BEST light infantry in the world [Hezbollah].
* BEST fighter plane of the Second World War. [P-51].
* BEST army commander in the world [General Fonseka.]

This too a BEST, but from the Sixteenth Century. A BEST with a most surprising twist to say the least!

The BEST swordsman of all New Spain [those Spanish colonies of the New World, North and South America.].

Don Alonso Diaz Ramirez de Guzman. Spanish soldier and noted duelist. Don Alonzo famous to such an extent that unto the man a personal audience and dispensation was granted by the Holy Father in Rome himself, the Pope!

For the rest of the story [thanks to the original tip from Paul Harvey], read the original Military Thoughts blog entry from way back when now. The true and real tale of the man who went by the nom de guerre of Don Alonzo only proving without doubt that fact is indeed stranger than fiction!!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Gadhafi & Kony.

This is coolbert:

The Colonel in Libya is no more! After forty-two years, GONE but hardly forgotten.

Thanks to

"Pulled from drain pipe, Gadhafi was shown no mercy"

"SIRTE, Libya (AP) — Dragged from hiding in a drainage pipe, a wounded Moammar Gadhafi raised his hands and begged revolutionary fighters: 'Don't kill me, my sons.' Within an hour, he was dead, but not before jubilant Libyans had vented decades of hatred"

"The death Thursday of Gadhafi, two months after he was driven from power and into hiding, decisively buries the nearly 42-year regime that had turned the oil-rich country into an international pariah and his own personal fiefdom."

The Colonel at the end not showing much class, looking quite pathetic for a man that walked in a big way on the world stage possessing pretensions of glory as the man once did, albeit much of it smoke and mirrors, an act. But a murderous act for his own people most of the time.

"Decades of hatred." "His own personal fiefdom." "No mercy."

The Colonel having staying power by his being able to control: * Money. * Education.

AND using FEAR as a weapon, in the manner of the typical despot, the dictator who rules by force, not so much beloved of his people but feared by his people.

Gadhafi also described as a man with a pretty good IQ, NOT a man of average or mundane intellect but rather having some smarts!

This Joseph Kony the commander of the Lord's Resistance Army too is thought of as a "madman" but such a characterization is incorrect? NOT a crazy person but as with the Colonel having a good head on his shoulders, smart in a way that surprises, an above average IQ, very manipulative, cagey and cunning, a calculating and malevolent mentality that should not be underestimated? I fear it is so!



This is coolbert:

Continuing from a previous blog entry with more images of the Hezbollah militia. Described by the one-time # 3 man at the FBI as the BEST LIGHT INFANTRY IN THE WORLD!

The one particular black and white image thanks to the photographic expose of Hezbollah by Bryan Denton.

Hezbollah militia very well turned out, uniformed, organized, a state-with-a-state, proxy fighters for Iran - - BEST in the sense of being able to perform the mission of light infantry but much more than that, even capable of autonomous operation in a variety of capacities beyond the duties as normally associated with the soldier?

Hezbollah flag bearers giving that stiff-arm fascist like salute favored for some reason!

Hezbollah is Shia in orientation. This image taken at the Ashura commemoration so important to Shia? Martyrdom, mortification of the body and self-sacrifice are important concepts within Shia. Note these guys are barefoot!

Graduation class for Mahdi Scouts. Thanks to Bryan Denton. Training program for Cubs, Scouts, Rangers. That clasping the belt with both hands and the high-stepping type of march is common to Arab armies of the area. Mahdi refers to the savior, the anointed one within Shia belief.

Hezbollah with the backing of Iran HAS been able to create a very effective fighting force that presents a smart turn-out with organizational flair, confronting Israel with a menace that did not exist prior to the Israel incursion into Lebanon - - 1982! Hezbollah succeeds in a manner in marked contrast to other Arab irregulars such as the PLO!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011


This is coolbert:

Thanks to several sources and as reported the last few days in the American media we have the latest on the efforts of the U.S. African Command to find and destroy if possible the Lord's Resistance Army [LRA] or at the very least capture or kill the insurgent leader - - Joseph Kony.

LRA insurgents/forest guerrillas/terrorists/disaffected numbering only several thousands, free-ranging and frustrating the many efforts to defeat the proverbial but very dangerous motley crew.

"The group used to operate mainly in northern Uganda and also in parts of South Sudan, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo"

One hundred American troops, presumably Special Forces [SF], sent to Uganda as "advisors" to spearhead the hunt, organize and coordinate the effort to suppress for ever this long-standing and very hard-to-destroy guerrilla band [LRA].

"Africom to Work Lord's Resistance Army Problem With Uganda"

"WAPO [Washington Post] and NYT [New York Times] reporting over the weekend [17 October 2011] that the US will send around 100 armed advisers to help the Ugandan military work the stubborn problem of the Lord's Resistance Army . . . These guys really are the worst of the worst . . . They check every box on war crimes."

For OVER twenty years the LRA have been beating the bush of at least four African countries, creating a lot of atrocity and mayhem where ever they go. AND CONSISTS MOSTLY OF TEENAGERS, IMPRESSED SOLDIERS, GUERRILLA FIGHTERS WITH AN AMAZING TENACITY, A CAPACITY AND STAYING POWER TO ENGAGE IN BATTLE WHO EVER COMES AFTER THEM AND SURVIVE!

LRA a combination of African tribalism [Acholi], Christianity [a warped form], African mysticism. And in the ancient African manner, use juju [black magic] effectively!

"Nobody likes the LRA. They're essentially an insurgency that outlived the civil war and they've been doing their crimes for so long that they don't know how to stop, so the key here will be crafting some exit strategy for the rank and file while separating the leadership for prosecution. The longtime leader, Joseph Kony, is a true nutcase."

NO! If this Joseph Kony was "a true nutcase" he WOULD NOT HAVE SURVIVED AS LONG AS HE HAS! The man has smarts of an evil nature and is a manipulative genius with a malevolent mentality but is not a madman!

Joseph and his guerrilla fighters have been in the cross-hairs of the United Nations and American trained counter-insurgents before? This I had never heard of! Joseph and the LRA emerging relatively unscathed from previous efforts at eradication, according to the wiki entry for the LRA those in pursuit of Joseph ending up in a bad way, Joseph and the LRA victorious in a way not anticipated or desired!

"In 2006, the United Nations mounted a covert operation to capture or kill Joseph Kony. A squad of U.S.-trained Guatemalan Special Ops soldiers set out into Congo's Garamba National Park, a longtime LRA refuge . . . Trained in jungle warfare and accustomed to surviving in the bush for long stretches, the Guatemalans were equipped with M-16s and the latest special-operations technology. Five LRA soldiers were killed and none of the Special Ops soldiers survived. According to one account, the commander of the Special Ops soldiers was beheaded. The battle, which lasted for several hours, included hand to hand combat. Reports put the U.N. dead at eight to forty. The LRA left the corpses in the jungle but took the weapons—including heavy machine guns and grenade launchers."

Those Americans headed for Uganda beware! This is not going to be a cake-walk and should be understood to be so from the start! The temptation will be very great to participate in the "hunt" for Joseph but please be assured that this is not going to be easy! AND WHY exactly is the deployment made public for the whole world to know about? Joseph and his band of merry men will disperse, take cover, go into deeper hiding and BECOME THAT MUCH MORE ELUSIVE TO FIND, MUCH LESS TO DESTROY!


Supreme Court.

This is coolbert:

"I'm a retired Marine of 25 years . . . Back in 1987, I was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. I got wounded many times by the same guy." - - Xavier Alvarez.

Thanks to the Chicago Tribune from yesterday.

It has made the route and the distance all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Stolen Valor Act. "A law that makes it a crime to falsely claim to have earned medals for service in the armed forces." A legal case that is deemed A FREE SPEECH MATTER!

The strange case of Xavier Alvarez. Charged and convicted under the Stolen Valor Act - - his conviction overturned by the very liberal 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The military war hero impostor/prevaricator/fabulist/wannabee.

Alvarez claiming at one time or another that he:

* Was twenty five years a U.S. Marine. [he never did ANY military service whatsover.]
* Won the Congressional Medal of Honor. [the medal has not been called the CoH for many decades now, I wish these wannabees would get at least that right!]
* "played hockey for the Detroit Red Wings"
* "worked as a police officer"
* "rescued the U.S. ambassador during the Iran hostage crisis"
* "married a Mexican starlet"

Xavier has really done it all, hasn't he?

Is this a free speech issue? Stolen Valor is unconstitutional? Merely lying: "lies that cause no direct harm" is  legal under the First Amendment?

And this sort of case now is being taken up by the highest court in the land! We shall see. Hold your breath but for not too long. I fear Xavier will get his way!

I would tell you about my last TOP SECRET mission in the Philippines, crossing a thousand foot deep chasm using an expedient rope bridge, the stinging wasps the size of helicopters, the natives firing blow gun darts at us, etc. But I cannot do so. It is again, TOP SECRET. I am sure you understand!


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

ASTP & V-12.

This is coolbert:

During the Second World War [WW2], the various military services implementing programs at the college and university level for those persons demonstrably of higher intellect, the purpose of which was to provide that cadre of highly educated officers, specialized and otherwise.

For the Army it was the ASTP [Army Specialized Training Program]. For the Navy it was the V-12 program.

1. ASTP. Accelerated college and university level classwork for a select group of young men, those enlisted men still under military command, wearing uniforms, eating in a mess hall, receiving military instruction and physical traiing IN ADDITION TO THEIR NORMAL CLASSROOM WORK.

A normal four year college or university education completed in eighteen months? NOT all graduates destined to become officers however, technical and special skills also in demand [languages for instance!].

"The Army Specialized Training Program was a military training program instituted by the United States Army during World War II at a number of American universities to meet wartime demands for junior officers and soldiers with technical skills."

"ASTP differed from the V-12 Navy College Training Program in that producing technically-trained personnel and not officers was its primary goal"

"intensive courses, approximately 25 class-time hours per quarter, in engineering, science, medicine, dentistry, personnel psychology, and 34 different foreign language . . . These programs were accelerated; students were expected to complete the program in 18 months with a four-year degree and a commission.}

"While in academic training the soldiers were on active duty, in uniform, under military discipline, and received regular army pay. Recruits marched to class in groups, ate in mess halls located in the barracks, and trained in the fields around a campus."

The Army ASTP considered to be "more demanding than either West Point or the Naval Academy."

That notable alumni of the ASTP quite illustrious in the post-war years. Significantly so.

2. U.S. Navy V-12 program. The primary goal being to train OFFICERS and not specialists. Again, I would assume the selection process meticulous, those of above average caliber chosen, the grind of classroom work and military training both at an accelerate pace, INTENSE!

"The V-12 Navy College Training Program was designed to supplement the force of commissioned officers in the United States Navy during World War II."

"The purpose of the V-12 program was to grant bachelor's degrees to future officers from both the U.S. Navy and the Marine Corps."

As with the Army program, V-12 having some very illustrious graduates. Exceedingly so. Persons who in the post-war period were movers and shakers of repute.

These various higher education programs were A BOON to post-war American society? Participants often were from families NO persons of which had ever attended a college or university. At a time when only 10 % of American adults had a university or college degree [almost all exclusively men too!],  the inclusiveness of these programs across the social spectrum thanks to the military was admirable!


Monday, October 17, 2011


This is coolbert:

From the previous blog entry:

"a most senior combat fighter plane unit commander of the most MARKED ABILITY, ALMOST WITHOUT PEER!!"

"Johannes SHOT-DOWN A DOZEN TIMES!! Johannes when shot down only taking to his parachute on one occasion!"

Johannes Steinhoff! German  Luftwaffe combat commander of World War Two [WW2]. An illustrious record without question. A man as were all of the top German Luftwaffe aces of WW2 of marked ability, but again, NOT totally omnipotent in the skies.

Shot down a dozen times, surviving what I surmise as a crash-landing, his warplane so badly damaged as to be unworthy of further flight or combat action.

And the experience of Johannes far from unique among the top two dozen German aces of WW2! It being quite common for those aces, with hundreds of kills to their record - - to themselves being shot down on numerous occasions, survivors that lived to fight again!!

From the web site "Experten - German and other Luftwaffe Aces of WW2" and thanks to various wiki entries as from the German we have the records of the top two dozen Luftwaffe aces, the record of surviving aerial combat, shoot-down, crash landing, taking to the parachute, etc.

[of those top two dozen Luftwaffe aces, seven perishing and one missing in action, presumed dead prior to the end of the war!]

"was forced to crash-land his damaged fighter 14 times . . . was never shot down or forced to land due to fire from enemy aircraft." Hartmann.

"was shot down 9 times, bailed out once and was wounded 3 times." Barkhorn.

"was shot down 8 times and was wounded 3 times"  Rall.

"He was wounded three times and was shot down four times."  Batz.

"shot down by flak and enemy fighters 16 times and had to take to his parachute 9 times."  Rudorffer.

"crash-landed or bailed out 18 times and was wounded three times in combat." Bar.

"He was shot down fifteen times, without being injured." Lipfert.

"Krupinski had bailed out four times and had been wounded five times."  Krupinski.

 "He was shot down eight times and wounded four times" Hackl.

Erich Hartmann, the ace of aces and always will be, his aircraft so badly damaged from combat action, being struck repeatedly by bits and pieces of enemy warplanes he had engaged and shot down - - Hartmann NEVER himself NOT a casualty from enemy fire!!

It has been commented upon by various authorities that it is a rule of thumb as observed in both World Wars that 90 % of shoot-downs were accomplished by only 10 % of the combat aviators. It seems there is no or very little in between with those that can and those that can't!! A Darwinian Selection process is at work here? Those German fighter pilots of WW2 also had a lot of moxie? Nerve and courage in the extreme - - AND LOTS AND LOTS OF TARGETS TO SHOOT AT!!


Saturday, October 15, 2011


This is coolbert:

Inextricably linked to the German Luftwaffe use of the Starfighter F-104 is the name of Johannes Steinhoff.

And much can be said of Johannes. A top German ace of the Second World War [WW2], a most senior combat fighter plane unit commander of the most MARKED ABILITY, ALMOST WITHOUT PEER!!

 "Johannes Steinhoff . . . was a German Luftwaffe fighter ace of World War II, and later a senior West German air force officer and military commander of NATO."

Steinhoff flying operationally for the entire duration of the war, surviving and continuing his military career post-war, achieving the most senior rank possible in the newly formed and rejuvenated Luftwaffe - - part of NATO.

As with many of these top German fighter plane aces of WW2, was not totally 100 % omnipotent in the skies over Europe, Johannes SHOT-DOWN A DOZEN TIMES!! Johannes when shot down only taking to his parachute on one occasion!

[Johannes suffering severe injuries when his jet plane exploded on take off, horribly but not irretrievably disfigured!!]

"His wartime record was 176 aircraft claimed destroyed, of which 152 were on the Eastern front, 12 on the Western front and 12 in the Mediterranean. He also flew 993 operational sorties. During his career as a fighter pilot, Steinhoff was shot down 12 times, but had to bail out only once"

It can be said that Johannes was one of those German military men that the western allies engaged in dialog with post-war? Conversations regarding politics and the fate of Germany that resulted in a modern and democratic and free Germany that we have today. Johannes was highly respected and even admired by his fellow Germans, a leader of repute whose example was followed? I believe this is so!

This too is most interesting. Excerpts from an interview with Johannes:


Johannes in agreement with Gunther Rall, the British RAF fighter pilot was the BEST [?] during WW2. Most able, best trained, most aggressive, BEST!

Steinhoff: "Well, the British were born fighters - very tough, well trained and very sportive. They were brave, and I never fought against better pilots at any time during the war, including the Americans."

Steinhoff: . . . "when we fought the RAF, it was almost evenly matched in fighters against fighters, so true dogfights, even in the Schwarm [German fighter formation], were possible. That was the truest test of men and their machines, and only the best survived. You learned quickly, or you did not come back"

WWII: "From your wide experience, which aircraft was the most difficult to attack?"

Steinhoff: "The B-17 Flying Fortress without a doubt. They flew in defensive boxes, a heavy defensive formation, and with all of their heavy .50-caliber machine guns they were dangerous to approach"

When those German WW2 aces speak, everyone should listen. Johannes has it right - - "only the best survived. You learned quickly, or you did not come back"! And Johannes was one of the best, undeniably so!!


Starfighter II.

This is coolbert:

From a comment to the blog by Steiner:

"I've never understood how the USA got away with foisting off on its allies an aircraft [F-104] that the USAF itself didn't like."

Starfighter. Conclusion. Lockheed!

The answer in a nutshell as they say - - is the Lockheed Scandal. Or scandals as is more appropriate.

The Starfighter, the F-104 interceptor warplane that did not enjoy a very good image with the German Luftwaffe or the German public for that matter. Lots of crashes with disastrous consequences for all involved, catastrophic events even taking the lives of civilians on the ground as I recall, the more densely populated nation of Germany NOT having the wide-open airspace as does the USAF for training at the low-level high speed attack mission.

The Starfighter as originally envisaged an INTERCEPTOR ONLY not a multi-role-combat-aircraft.

Some contradictions are apparent with the high rate of accidents, fatal crashes, involving the F-104?

* The Luftwaffe and the Canadians did have a high rate of failure and casualties from crashes!

* The Norwegians, the Spanish, and the Italians DID NOT have such a high rate of failure!

So what gives? Why some not succeeding as desired, but others just going along famously, no problem?

With regard to the Luftwaffe, a whole host of reasons were offered for debacle in the air. As found in a Time magazine article from 1966:

"West Germany: Problems with the Flying Lab"

So many of those Starfighter crashes can be attributed to poor piloting exacerbated by the inclement weather of the northern European environment? Predominantly this was the cause? NOT more than that?

* "German Starfighter pilots were only flying 13-15 hours a month, compared with the NATO average of about 20 hours."

* "initial training of Luftwaffe aircrews took place in the USA rather than in Germany"

* "The new Luftwaffe pilots were either overage World War II veterans with almost no jet experience or untried youngsters."

* "the hazards of flying low-altitude missions at high speeds in the bad weather of Northern Europe"

* "Human error was probably the major cause of the majority of the accidents."

* "many of the Luftwaffe ground crew personnel were conscripts who were probably too hastily trained"

[an inadequate maintenance force means more down time for the warplane and LESS flying time for the pilots. Pilot proficiency compromised by so many planes grounded for as long as they are!]

NO mention that the F-104 WAS NOT designed as a low-level, high-speed tactical fighter-bomber, even having a capacity to deliver a nuclear weapon on target! NO mention of the strapping on of missiles, fuel tanks, etc., compromising the clean flowing aerodynamic design, increasing the difficulty to control in that nape of the earth flight profile!

And as to WHY the Starfighter was selected as the warplane of choice by those various NATO nations and Japan too for that matter, again, the answer is in the nutshell the Lockheed Scandal.

The American aircraft manufacturer using material and financial reward and incentive to influential persons to see that the agreement was made, the deal made, the contracts signed.

What are normally called BRIBES in the United States and recognized by law as such. Ethical behavior of a nature as normally frowned upon, but habitual on the part of Lockheed! Aircraft both used for civilian and military purposes sold under circumstances deemed as less that savory.

"Lockheed bribery scandals"

"The Lockheed bribery scandals encompassed a series of bribes and contributions made by officials of U.S. aerospace company Lockheed from the late 1950s to the  the 1970s in the process of negotiating the sale of aircraft."

"The scandal caused considerable political controversy in West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Japan. In the U.S. the scandal nearly led to the corporation's downfall"

Indeed not only "caused considerable political controversy in West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Japan" but in the United States as well. In the aftermath of the revelations, legislation was passed mandating ethical business practices and placing a taboo which in place to this day against U.S. firm offering incentives, financial, material and otherwise, when seeking contracts. NO MATTER what the product or service, American companies NOW must toe the line and act within the restrictions of U.S. law even when  conducting business outside of the national boundaries of the U.S.

I would also suggest that the F-104 WAS NOT an inferior warplane. Was within the parameters of the mission as originally designated - - AN INTERCEPTOR - - hardly inferior. As a MRCA was not a success as would have been desired, but not such a total failure as might be surmised by some. In the proper hands and under the right conditions, the Starfighter was capable!


Friday, October 14, 2011

Starfighter I.

This is coolbert:

"the 'missile with a man in it'"

From a comment to the blog by Steve:

"My father spent years trying to keep F104s flying for NATO air forces that had bought them not as they were designed . . . but as more general purpose planes."

The Starfighter, F-104.

"The Lockheed F-104 Starfighter is a single-engine, high-performance, supersonic interceptor aircraft originally developed for the United States Air Force (USAF) by Lockheed."

American warplane originally designed to function as an interceptor. Get very high very fast - - intercept and shoot down an intruder aircraft! An INTERCEPTOR!!

And in this regard the aircraft functioning in an admirable fashion, almost without peer.

In the hands of American pilots the plane flown relatively without incident, NOT causing alarm?

In  foreign hands, as sold to a number of nations that were members of NATO in particular, the toll of crashed aircraft seen as acute, concerns raised at a very high level as to the airworthiness and combat capability of the Starfighter.

Especially among the German Luftwaffe, the toll of crashed downed planes and dead pilots somewhat beyond the normal, even way beyond the normal? And for Canada too?

"During the 1960s, the 'Starfighter crisis' developed into a political issue, as many Lockheed F-104 Starfighters crashed after being modified to serve for Luftwaffe purposes – specifically for terrain, weather, and ground mechanic support issues. In Luftwaffe service, 292 of 916 Starfighters crashed, claiming the lives of 115 pilots and leading to cries that the Starfighter was fundamentally unsafe . . ."

"The Americans blamed the high loss rate of the Luftwaffe F-104s on the extreme low-level and aggressive flying of German pilots rather than any faults in the aircraft . . . some specifics in the training (a lack of mountain and foggy-weather training), combined with handling capabilities (sharp start high G turns) of the aircraft that could cause accidents."

"the F-104 never lived down its reputation as a widow-maker and was replaced much earlier by the Luftwaffe than other national air forces."

However, among other NATO operators of the F-104, the plane seeming to function almost without problem. Norway, Italy, Spain, all flying the Starfighter and NOT finding anything out of the ordinary! This all a riddle?

"the Luftwaffe lost about 30% of aircraft in accidents over its operating career, and Canada lost over 50% of its F-104s. The Spanish Air Force, however, lost none."

That Luftwaffe Starfighter not confined to the INTERCEPTOR mission. Was seen as a multi-role-combat-aircraft [MRCA], deployed in a manner for WHICH IT WAS NOT DESIGNED!

Strapping on fuel tanks, missiles, bombs, and adding electronic black boxes to the plane - - and flying low-level high-speed combat missions nape of the earth resulted in a warplane NOT suited for MRCA missions as desired by Luftwaffe commanders.

"Erich Hartmann, who had commanded one of Germany's first jet fighter-equipped squadrons and was a former World War II fighter ace [actually the ace of all aces and will always will be, unless the nature of modern warfare takes a drastic and unanticipated turn], had deemed the F-104 to be an unsafe aircraft with poor handling characteristics for aerial combat and had judged the fighter unfit for Luftwaffe use, even before its introduction"

And when Erich Hartmann speaks, everyone should listen?

As envisaged by the Lockheed design crew the Starfighter was a formidable opponent - - capable of top performance and able to successfully engage and defeat enemy intruder aircraft. Performing the role of interceptor the F-104 was "without peer" but as a MRCA the Starfighter was lacking? And this too is understood?


Wednesday, October 12, 2011


This is coolbert:

BASH update. Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard. Israel style.

From YNet from only two days ago we have the actual video of an Israeli Air Force [IAF] colliding with a flock of pelicans, the F-15 nearly "shot down", the pilot deft and able bringing the incident to a safe conclusion, a landing without loss of life or aircraft. [one F-15 costs $50 million and the training of a combat aircrew takes three years minimum!]

"Watch: IAF jet hits flock of pelicans"

"Video documenting dramatic moments when F-15 suffered bird-strike shows how crew kept cool despite unexpected incident"

"video documenting the emergency landing of an F-15 jet following a bird-strike shows the crew's resourcefulness in handling the crisis and captures the drama which could have ended in disaster."

The IAF facing a BASH situation second to none? Birds migrating south to north [spring] or north to south [fall] using the Syrian-African flyway, billions of birds, LARGE BIRDS APLENTY POSING A SERIOUS THREAT TO IAF WARPLANES!

"Over the last 25 years, Israel’s Air Force has suffered more than 3,000 air collisions with birds, averaging 258 a year, and lost eight aircraft and three pilots. The financial cost to the military has exceeded tens of millions of dollars. 'The Air Force has lost more planes to bird strikes than to enemy action,' says Leshem."

Yossi Leshem - - the Birdman of Israel. Yossi an ornithologist of the highest repute, responsible for developing plans and strategies that minimize BASH threat an ameliorate the situation markedly!


NOT only the number of birds, but the size and type of bird as found migrating, using the thermals of those lands bordering the eastern Mediterranean for lift. Large birds such as storks, cranes, pelicans eagles, vultures, etc.  Birds of such a size as to pose a very serious threat to an aircraft, the collision potentially "downing" even an advanced warplane such as with the IAF F-15.

Israel perhaps the number one [#1] nation in the world most acutely aware of BASH and taking remedial measures THAT WORK!!

Israel as in many cases a leader in research and development across the scientific spectrum. A nation of six million that looms large in many regards!

[in the book: "The Source" by James Michener, Crusaders living in the Holy Land and witnessing the northward migration  of storks to their native Germany saw the cross-shaped form of the stork as an omen boding NOT GOOD!]