Tuesday, February 28, 2012


This is coolbert:

NOT germane to the blog but interesting nonetheless taken within the context of John Tyler, the disaster of the USS Princeton, the explosion of the "Peacemaker" naval gun, Tyler unscathed and escaping injury. This further thanks to Aish:

"Here's an iinteresting tidbit:  two grandchildren of John Tyler ― America's 10th president who was born in 1790 ― are still alive."

"How is this possible? Here's the math:

At age 63, John Tyler fathered Lyon Gardiner Tyler. Then, in his 70s, Lyon Gardiner Tyler fathered the two sons who are still alive today - now both in their 80s, living in Virginia and Tennessee."
. . . .

"John Tyler was William Henry Harrison's vice president ("Tippecanoe and Tyler too"), and took office a month into the term when Harrison caught pneumonia and died. Tyler's main presidential achievement is pushing through the annexation of Texas. But his political career ended ignobly; he later joined the South's secession efforts and was even elected to the Confederate House of Representatives. Because of his Confederate ties, Tyler's is the only presidential death not officially mourned."

NOW you have the rest of the story. There is a synchronicity at work here believe me!

"synchronicity -  n. an  apparently meaningful coincidence in time of two or more similar or identical events that are casually unrelated."



This is coolbert:

Thanks to the wiki and the original tip from the Chicago Tribune almanac of today we have this entry.

On this date in the year 1844 the Princeton Disaster occurred!!

The latest and newest American warship equipped with the latest and newest and most deadly naval cannon then in existence, an unstoppable and unbeatable combination - - an explosion occurring almost taking the life of the American President, among those killed and wounded the Secretary of State and Secretary of the Navy!!

"The USS Princeton Disaster of 1844 occurred on February 28 aboard the newly built USS Princeton when one of the ship's long guns, the 'Peacemaker', then the world's longest naval gun, exploded during a display of the ship. Among the dead were Secretary of State Abel Upshur, Secretary of the Navy Thomas Gilmer and seven other people including David Gardiner, father of Julia Gardiner, the fiancée of President John Tyler. Twenty people were injured as well. President Tyler survived the disaster because he was below decks."

"Secretary of State Abel P. Upshur was succeeded by John C. Calhoun of South Carolina"

Henry Clay of Kentucky, Daniel Webster of Massachusetts and John Calhoun of South Carolina those three persons most dominating American politics during the first half of the nineteenth century! Calhoun in anticipation of southern secession most interested in and devoted to the study of military arts!!

Too, military duty, even during peacetime, can be very hazardous for your health! A mere demonstration for dignitaries of the most advanced [at the time] technology going terribly awry, the American President only surviving what might have been perceived as a miracle, escaping unscathed while others around him perishing.

Almost makes you think of the visit of President Bush the Younger to the USS Abraham Lincoln, the commander-in-chief making a carrier landing [not at the controls] in a combat aircraft, really hot-shot like. One wrong move and we would have been missing a President. As they say: "the best laid plans of mice and men"!


Monday, February 27, 2012


This is coolbert:

For some time now the Russian Sunburn anti-ship missile has loomed large as a serious and very dangerous threat to the U.S. Navy, and most certainly so with regard to those American aircraft carriers now plying the waters of the Persian Gulf. Confined waters not allowing for normal maneuver and evasive action so is the thought. A DEATH TRAP ESPECIALLY AT THE NARROWS OF THE STRAIT OF HORMUZ!

It is reputed that THREE Sunburn missile direct hits on an American carrier would be sufficient to either destroy the warship totally or render it impotent and an ineffective.

Sunburn called the Mosquito by the Russian, by reputation an anti-ship missile for which there is NO KNOWN DEFENSE! Sunburn supersonic with last-second maneuver making it almost an impossible for a shoot-down.


If the current confrontation with Iran turns ugly in a big way and very fast, the Iranian does have Sunburn at their disposal and in numbers to fire a devastating barrage the results of which might be catastrophic for the American navy!!

"The P-270 Moskit . . . a Russian supersonic ramjet powered cruise missile . . . its NATO reporting name is SS-N-22 Sunburn"


Mosquito for which their is a repellent? Mosquito is NOT so invulnerable. SeaRAM is the answer? NOW deployed and effective against the latest and greatest? A MISSILE ABLE TO SHOOT-DOWN A MISSILE! Anti-dote has been found?

"The SeaRAM is a drop in replacement for the Phalanx system. The RAM missile itself is a mach 2, second generation derivative of the Sidewinder and Stinger missiles. It features BOTH infrared and radar based target tracking, allowing for use against future low radar cross section (stealthy) anti-ship missiles."

"a 5 inch missile that utilizes SIDEWINDER technology for the warhead and rocket motor, and the STINGER missile's seeker."


"In 10 scenarios, real Anti-Ship Missiles and supersonic Vandal target missiles (Mach 2.5) were intercepted and destroyed under realistic conditions."

"With these test firings RAM demonstrated its unparalleled success against today's most challenging threats. Cumulatively to date more than 180 missiles have been fired against anti-ship missiles and other targets, achieving a success rate over 95%"

A proper dose of evasive maneuver, decoy, electronic-countermeasures, and SeaRAM can stop the Sunburn? The U.S. Navy sure hopes so! Until you know for sure, throw in a lot of damage control training for those crews of the aircraft carriers too!!


Saturday, February 25, 2012


This is coolbert:

From a prior blog entry:

"* Considerations regarding Ploesti meriting an entire blog entry unto itself!"

The German being so highly dependent on Ploesti oil for almost the entire duration of the war, it is not without reason that considerable war planning, strategy, plots and schemes took into account the protection of [German] or the denial thereof [allied] German access to those large-scale Romanian petroleum reserves and refining capacity.

[in 1941, 75 % of German oil was obtained from Ploesti!!]

Ploesti was without question a panacea [Bomber Harris] target [high-value] if there ever was one!!

Plans, strategies, plots and schemes to include:

1. Operation Mercury.

Capture of the island of Crete by the parachute and air lifted units of the German army, 1941. As a consequence British long-range bomber aircraft denied air fields from which the oil fields of Ploesti were in range!

2. Barbarossa.

That grand and apocalyptic attack on the Soviet Union by the German, 1941. A main goal of the German Army Group South attacking eastward the capture and denial to the Soviet Air Force of those air fields within striking distance of the Ploesti oil fields.

3. Case Blue.

Further movement eastward [1942] of German Army Group South. A major objective of which was the capture of the Soviet oil fields of the Caucasus and Baku [Caspian Sea]. An alternative source to the Ploesti oil fields made available to the German!

4. First Special Service Force [FSSF].

As originally conceived and envisioned by military planners, the FSSF guerrilla/special operations/ranger/commando unit parachuting into the mountains of Romania, waging guerrilla warfare the primary mission of which would be the interdiction of oil supplies en route to Germany.

5. Tidal Wave.

American long-range strategic bomber aircraft attacking and obliterating with one mission the Ploesti oil fields and refining capacity, German military capability in the aftermath of a successful raid greatly diminished if not irrevocably damaged.

6. Dodacanese Campaign.

Abortive and unsuccessful attack by British forces to capture  German-held islands in the Aegean Sea the capture of which would have hastened Turkish entry into the war on the side of the allied powers. Turkish air bases facilitating attack on Ploesti by strategic long-range bomber aircraft.

7. Crimea. Festung Crimea.

German and Romanian troops in 1944 occupying the Crimea peninsula personally forbidden by Hitler to join in the general retreat of Axis forces, Crimea designated a festung [fortress] from which withdrawal was impermissible.  Denying to the Soviet air force those bases from which Ploesti could potentially be bombed.

8. Balaton [Spring Awakening].

The Ploesti oil fields having been captured by the Soviet [1944], the German again so highly reliant on imported oil during the entire war - - Sprint Awakening the plan of which in measure the capture and safeguarding of the Hungarian alternative oil supply the mission of this final large scale German offensive of the war.

So many of these plans, plots, schemes, machinations of the allied powers too came to more or less naught, Ploesti supplying oil to the Axis powers throughout much of the war, capture by advancing Red Army units only stopping the oil flow!


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Hot Button!

This is coolbert:

Quite literally so this is a hot button item, incomprehensible and inexcusably so even ten years beyond the 9/11 attacks.

"'Qur'an burning' at Bagram base sparks protest – in pictures"

"Protesters besiege one of the largest US-run military bases in Afghanistan, furious over reports that soldiers set fire to copies of the Qur'an"

Copies of the Koran as being used to transmit secret messages and jihadist exhortations placed on a garbage heap fire and burned.

Unthinking and just plain stupid American military personnel behaving in a manner offending the local Afghan and Muslims world-wide and big time.

How this all happened is beyond me! Knowing full well the extreme even ultra sensitivity of the Muslim in such matters, the deed has been done, with the consequences to follow being unpredictable in a bad way too!! NO ONE EVEN ONCE HAD THE THOUGHT MAYBE WE OUGHT NOT TO BE DOING THIS?


Especially in a place like Afghan where the situation can go from bad to much worse in the proverbial heartbeat.

Those US/NATO forces eight hundred miles [1,300 kilometers] from the nearest ocean, an unstable and untenable supply line, no meaningful line of retreat, how to extricate themselves if so needed!! Where exactly to go?

Over and over ever since 2001 I recall in my own mind the British debacle and disaster of 1842. Christmas Day amidst a snowstorm 18,000 English soldiers and camp followers attempt a ninety mile [144 kilometers] march to the Khyber Pass and safety. ONLY ONE MAN SAFELY SURVIVING THE JOURNEY, ESCAPING ONLY BY TYING HIMSELF TO THE STIRRUP OF A HORSE AND ALLOWING HIMSELF TO BE DRAGGED A GOODLY PORTION OF THE DISTANCE!!

Afghan was never going to be easy and is now even that much more difficult. Beware US/NATO forces I hope adequate plans are being made in case the order is given: "get the hell outta there and as fast as you can!!" Hope for the best but plan for the worst?


Wednesday, February 22, 2012


This is coolbert:

From the prior blog entry:

"the press is a vital channel of communication within Clausewitz's trinity of government, the army, and the people."

The trinity of Clausewitz and NOT the Father, Son and Holy Spirit of Christianity.

The trinity of people, government and the army as essential elements of war fighting as recognized by American military scholars, theoreticians and analysts.

"Clausewitz’s brief (five-paragraph, 300-word) discussion of the 'trinity'—an interactive set of three forces that drive the events of war in the real world—represents the capstone of Clausewitzian theory"

According to Clausewitz:

It is 'composed of primordial violence, hatred, and enmity, which are to be regarded as a blind natural force; of the play of chance and probability within which the creative spirit is free to roam; and of its element of subordination, as an instrument of policy, which makes it subject to reason.'"

For further reading on the trinity refer to these web sites:





* That actual term trinity was not used by Clausewitz. Can be reasonably inferred but that term as such is not found in the text.

* Clausewitz never did finish his magnum opus. It remains an unfinished work, the man expiring during a cholera epidemic before completion.

* Varying degrees of translation from the original German to English exist? There is no one agreement? That form of German as written and understood two hundred years ago is not the same as the modern language, translation and understanding of the particular text within the context of the time is difficult?

* Clausewitz has warfare in the classical sense in mind. The mustered and massed armies of the nation-state in mortal combat against other mustered and massed armies of the adversary nation-state!

* Clausewitz must be recognized more than anything else as a philosopher on a par with and as a peer with the great philosophers of history? According to Dupuy: "Clausewitz was an intellectual giant worthy of comparison [to] . . .  Kant and Hegel." An intellect [Clausewitz] mixing with and engaging in discourse with other civilian intellectual company of the period in a manner not found among modern military men.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012


This is coolbert:

"'The commander in the field must never forget that it is his duty to cooperate with the heads of his government in the task of maintaining a civilian morale that will be equal to every purpose.' The principal agency to accomplish that task, the general said, was the press." - - D.D. Eisenhower.

From that prior blog entry:

"Journalists in the European Theatre of Operations [ETO] had the official status of an officer with appropriate respect being given by all parties."

Let me elaborate!

"the press is a vital channel of communication within Clausewitz's trinity of government, the army, and the people. The scribblers squirt grease into that machinery to help make it go. On the negative side, the scribblers can also throw sand into the machinery"

That "trinity" of "government, the army, and the people" having to be maintained with a favorable equilibrium, the press in all forms making a vital contribution ESPECIALLY IN NATIONS THAT ARE DEMOCRATIC AND HAVE A FREE PRESS!!

Eisenhower describing the reporter, journalist and war photographer as a "quasi" staff officer. ALMOST!

From the book: "The military and the press: an uneasy truce by Michael S. Sweeney." this chapter:


"The status of press members as 'quasi" officers, at leas tin Eisenhower's estimation, mirrored their indefinite place in the bureaucracy of war. They were not exactly soldiers, not exactly civilians . . . Accreditation meant that the armed forces would feed, transport, and billet journalists with units in the war zones and relay their stories and photographs overseas . . . combat journalists wore uniforms to prevent them from being shot as spies if captured, but they had no insignia of rank. Instead they wore green armbands or patches identifying them as reporters or photographers. Journalists had the arbitrary rank of captain assigned to them to fit them into military regulations regarding transportation, shelter, and possible capture by the enemy.

This ALMOST status occurring during World War Two [WW2]. The reporter, journalist, war photographer is treated in the same manner today? I am not sure. Devoted readers to the blog have a better handle on this? Let me hear from you.


Sunday, February 19, 2012


This is coolbert:

Thanks to the English Daily Mail Online we have very rare color photographs from the time just before and after the landings at Normandy, World War Two [WW2]!

"Life on the front lines: Extremely rare colour photos of U.S. troops before and after D-Day show World War II in brand new light"

"Extremely rare and striking photos of the days leading up to and after the historic D-Day invasion have been put on display, nearly 70 years after World War II's dramatic turning point."

My selections with comments:

This is St. Lo France. The scene of much combat action between the attacking American and the defending German. Frenzied fighting the results of which speak for the themselves. Damage as reminiscent of the recent tsunami in Japan or the F5 tornado that struck and destroyed Joplin, Missouri, USA!!

Perhaps my eyes deceive me but that is a captured German Kubelwagen? Journalists in the European Theatre of Operations [ETO] had the official status of an officer with appropriate respect being given by all parties.

An American P-47 Thunderbolt being prepared for further action. Recall that one reason Normandy was chosen for the allied landing and not the Pas de Calais is that the soil of Normandy is more conducive to the construction of field expedient air strips to be used by tactical aviation flying in the close air support [CAS] role.


Saturday, February 18, 2012


This is coolbert:

From the Daily Mail Online we have this latest story from an event occurring almost two months ago now. Russian nuclear submarine on-fire, the blaze hard to extinguish, nuclear disaster however averted. I can only vaguely remember reading about this incident in the newspaper, it was not widely followed, but here is the follow-up and details.

"Did they lie? Russia 'narrowly avoided nuclear disaster' after blaze engulfed submarine - despite officials saying no warheads were on board"

NO warheads on board the missiles but nonetheless a near catastrophe. Missiles on the sub with torpedoes and mines, all "alive" and lethal and threatened. BUT NO atomics other than the reactors. [well, that is enough, two reactors, isn't it!!]

* "Respected publication claims there were nuclear warheads on board"
* "Russian officials said at the time it wasn't armed"
* "For a day Russia was on the brink of catastrophe"

"The fire started when welding sparks ignited wooden scaffolding around the 18,200-tonne submarine at the Roslyakovo docks, 900 miles north of Moscow and one of the main shipyards used by Russia's northern fleet."

Welding torch sets afire the rubber anechoic coating of the hull. Fire spreads, hard to put out. Rubber when ignited is difficult to extinguish. There are enormous piles of used rubber tires in the U.S. that when ignited, burn for years, all efforts to douse the fire ineffectual!!

[welding torch starts a fire during refit or repairs. Sounds just like the Normandie, doesn't it??]
"The rubber covering of the submarine then caught fire, sending flames and black smoke 30ft above the stricken vessel."

"'K-84 was in dock with rockets and torpedoes on board,' the magazine [Vlast] said, adding that apart from the nuclear weapons the submarine was carrying torpedoes and mines as well as its two nuclear reactors."

[when the Russians refer to rockets, they mean MISSILES!]

This K-84 [Russian designation] is a Delta class nuclear powered submarine firing intercontinental ballistic missiles. Now called the Ekaterinburg.

From a comment to the Daily Mail article thanks to Dave of the UK:

"I am more worried about the safety of the vessel during its next voyage, the hull suffered temperatures in excess of 400 C and at the same time 0 to - 5 in air and - 5 in water. The properties of the steel would have altered by tempering, I doubt very much it would be able to dive to its rated depth of 800 feet with a pressure of 2552 kPa without its outer hull imploding."

This sub is irreparably damaged and non-operational from this point forward? Fires of this sort on a submarine are very difficult to fight because of the very nature of the hull design. Compartmenting, the density and layers of the materials used to make the submarine stealthy denies access for the fire fighters. ONLY BY PARTIALLY SUBMERGING THE VESSEL WAS THE FIRE FINALLY EXTINGUISHED!! So it is said.


Friday, February 17, 2012


This is coolbert:

That British 617 Squadron ["Dam Busters"] from World War Two [WW2] fame being the archetype upon which all subsequent aviation special operations units are based?

In the aftermath of the missions on the various German dams of the Ruhr, the 617 Squadron designated as that unit to drop specifically so the Tall Boy and Grand Slam series of bombs. One plane, one bomb, one target, mission accomplished, target destroyed, that bomb dropped from great altitude with extreme precision, the results causing the German "big hurt" in a manner that often a massed attack or even repeated massed attacks by hundreds or even thousands of attacking war planes could not!!

617 after V-E day to have seen action dropping Tall Boy and Grand Slam against Japanese panacea [high-value] targets, presumably in furtherance of Operation Starvation!

Another British contribution of war time [WW2] aviation special operations was the famous "Moon" plane. The Westland Lysander, noted for an ability at short-take-off-and-landing [STOL] on unimproved airfields, EVEN take-offs and landings from cow pastures and the like. Called the "Moon" plane: "moonlight was essential for navigation".

Insertion and extraction of personnel into denied territory with supplies and equipment [crates of homing passenger pigeons for instance],  ferrying secret agents to and from missions, delivering on target THOSE PERSONNEL NOT ABLE TO MASTER OR LEARN PARACHUTING OR CONSIDERED TO BE SO VALUABLE NO CHANCE TAKEN ENDANGERING THEIR VERY PERSON!!

"The Westland Lysander was a British army co-operation and liaison aircraft produced by Westland Aircraft used immediately before and during the Second World War . . . the aircraft's exceptional short-field performance enabled clandestine missions using small, unprepared airstrips behind enemy lines to place or recover agents, particularly in occupied France."

"In August 1941 a new squadron, No. 138 (Special Duties), was formed to undertake missions for the Special Operations Executive [SOE] to maintain clandestine contact with the French Resistance . . . the Lysander could insert and remove agents from the continent or retrieve Allied aircrew who had been shot down over occupied territory and had evaded capture . . . In order to slip in unobtrusively the Lysanders were painted matte black; operations almost always took place within a week of a full moon, as moonlight was essential for navigation."

Flying one of those "Moon" planes on a mission is the type of duty that many during war time desire to, but very few ever get to do? A pilot with considerable nerve and ability is needed, such individuals being in short supply, the conventional air force hesitant to release a skilled pilot for special duties of an unspecified nature.  The Lysander has been long gone and has been replaced by the stealth helicopter for special missions, those latter war planes [helicopters] piloted by individuals no less courageous and daring!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012


This is coolbert:

Thanks to the wiki we have a listing of the doctrine, tactics, means and methodology as determined and enunciated by various combat aviators the rules of which are essential to victory in aerial warfare. NOT the theories of Douhet, Trenchard or Mitchell but most germane and pertinent to what is commonly known as "dogfighting". A duel, a fighter/interceptor in mortal combat with another fighter/interceptor, victor take all!

1. The Dicta of Boelcke.

"The Dicta Boelcke is a list of fundamental aerial maneuvers of aerial combat formulated by the first great German flying ace of the First World War, Oswald Boelcke."

2. Mannock's rules. Edward Mannock VC! English great combat pilot of the Great War.

"He [Mannock] was one of the world's first theorists of aviation tactics"

3. Malan's Rules of Air Fighting. Adolph Malan, South African fighter pilot and Royal Air Force [RAF] commander of WW2.

4. Johnny Boyd OODA Loop. Boyd American military strategist and fighter pilot NOT however EVER seeing mortal combat period! The theories of Boyd are nonetheless valid and worthy of study?

Those combat aviators of the Great War era had nothing to go on in 1914? The warplane at the time thought to be a curiosity and oddity, a contraption not worthy of attention. The war would be over in several months anyhow, so who ever gave any consideration at all to the means and methods, tactics, doctrine as compiled by such luminaries as Boelcke and Mannock.

Someone tell me if I am wrong but these various doctrines, tactics, means and methodologies seem to boil down to: attack from high and behind hopefully with the sun in the eyes of the adversary, accomplish a shoot-down quick, keep moving and get out of there!! What more do you need to know?



This is coolbert:

From a comment to the blog by Steiner:

"I think you're too hard on the F-4 and the F-111"

The F-4 Phantom. American fighter bomber of the Vietnam era that became a "workhorse", a multi-role combat aircraft [MRCA] of repute.

And yes, of good repute for the most part. Could do it all and was used in a variety of capacities. HOW WELL it did it all was even at the time a subject of controversy.

The F-4 possessing a glaring flaw a source of disadvantage most acutely so when considering Mannock's Rules? Edward Mannock VC a British combat aviator of the Great War, a "dog fighter" of marked ability.

"6. Pilots must practise spotting machines in the air and recognising them at long range, and every aeroplane is to be treated as an enemy until it is certain it is not." - - Mannock!

The F-4 as it zoomed through the skies leaving behind a trail of clearly visible black smoke!


"Another problem that frequently arose with the aircraft was the production of black smoke when the engines were run at military power. This smoke trail made the aircraft easy to spot."

That trail of smoke as given off by the F-4 easy to spot from a long way off and giving a distinct advantage to a MiG pilot of the North Vietnamese Air Force!!

Take my word for it, this smoke trail was highly visible, long-lasting and gave away instantly the presence of the F-4 and all this from a long-way off too!!

Most interestingly so, when the Israeli Air Force [IAF] began receiving their first shipments of Phantoms from the U.S. [around 1970], the IAF made no less than five hundred modifications to the basic combat aircraft!! What exactly was done to make the warplanes that more effective I cannot say other than perhaps combat effectiveness was markedly increased. Anyone have a handle on this?


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Repair & Restoration.

This is coolbert:

From the previous blog entry:

"the German able to restore to working order in quick fashion, almost in a manner of casual indifference with self-assured aplomb!"

"a·plomb - - noun 1. imperturbable self-possession, poise, or assurance."

During the Second World War [WW2], those attacks by the air forces of the western allies on German panacea targets [high value], even when successful to a degree, NEVER achieving the desired results, the German possessing an amazing ability to organize themselves, gather their resources and make up for lost productivity, supply of product or resource.

Instances of German panacea targets attacked during WW2 for which the Nazi was able to "recover" in short order, measures and steps taken, ameliorate a bad situation and in some cases even "make better" than prior to include:

1. Operation Tidal Wave. The American Army Air Corps attack on the Ploesti oil fields. A panacea target [high value] if there ever was one. That sustaining force sustaining  heavy even unacceptable losses without causing the degree of lasting damage as desired. DAMAGE yes but not long-term and DAMAGE not to the degree as had been hoped. Recovery by the German very quick, "within weeks"!! Output in the aftermath of attack deemed to be "greater than before the raid".

"The mission resulted in 'no curtailment of overall product output', and so was unsuccessful."

"Allied assessment of the attack estimated a loss of 40% of the refining capacity at the Ploiești refineries, although some refineries were largely untouched. Most of the damage was repaired within weeks, after which the net output of fuel was greater than before the raid."

2. The Schweinfurt raid. Massed formation of American  B-17 bombers attacking ball bearing production facilities the effectiveness to be seriously questioned. Production of precision ball bearings reduced but not so excessively so "extensive surpluses" able to make up for shortfall. German planners taking proper heed dispersing ball bearing factories accordingly, steps and measures without question allowing for further unimpeded production and distribution of necessary war munitions.

"an immediate 34 per cent loss of production, but both the production shortfall and the actual loss of bearings were made up for by extensive surpluses found throughout Germany in the aftermath of the raid."

3. Operation Chastise, the British 617 Squadron attack on those dams supplying a preponderant amount of the electricity as used by the German munitions factories of the Ruhr. Attacks for the most part successful, German work-around and remedial actions quickly restoring water flow and electricity, damage for the most part a "minor inconvenience" to productivity!!

 "By 27 June [the attacks occurring on 16–17 May 1943] , full water output was restored, thanks to an emergency pumping scheme inaugurated only the previous year, and the electricity grid was again producing power at full capacity . . in fact no more than a minor inconvenience to the Ruhr's industrial output."

Within four months the German having gathered and concentrated their resources and had the dams more or less repaired and back up and running!!

4. Those marshaling rail yards of Dresden, ostensibly the main target of the aerial bombardment as detailed in the David Irving book: "Apocalypse 1945. The Destruction of Dresden" damaged but not so significantly that within three days the facility up and running, traffic flow more or less unimpeded!!

"The large Dresden-Friedrichsstadt marshaling yards had been scarcely damaged."

"Working day and night . . . special troops were able to open up a double line of railway track for normal working within only three days of the raids"

"three days after the attacks. ‘The supplies were rolling virtually unhindered to the eastern front. The railways were running, in spite of the general destruction all around.’"

"‘The railroad lines were not particularly seriously damaged; an emergency service was able to repair them so swiftly that no significant dislocation of traffic resulted.’"

Let me reiterate about Dresden. A large portion of a major city reduced to a cinder with catastrophic loss of life, the rail yards the announced and designated target of the air raid more or less while not unscathed not damaged to the extent where repair and remediation was not possible. Within three days the rail facility back up and running!!

Devoted readers to the blog can think of more instances or occurrences where the German again during WW2 made good a "recovery" from an attack with damage on a panacea target, productivity and output restored in an admirable manner? Let me hear from you!


Monday, February 13, 2012

Dam Busters.

This is coolbert:

ONLY yesterday watching the two hour episode from public broadcast television PBS "Nova" entitled:

"Bombing Hitler's Dams"

"Experts recreate the bold feat of 'dambuster' pilots who used bouncing bombs to destroy two key German dams in WWII."

I recommend this program highly, without qualification. This is a MUST SEE for all devoted readers to the blog no question about it!!

From the program description:

"In 1943 a squadron of Lancaster bombers staged one of the most audacious raids in military history: destroying two gigantic dams in Germany's industrial heartland and cutting the water supply to arms factories. Their secret weapon? A revolutionary bouncing bomb invented by British engineer Barnes Wallis . . . A crack team of experts, including dam engineers, explosives specialists, mechanics, and aircrew, steps into the shoes of the 'dambusters' and attempts to overcome each of the obstacles the original team faced."

Living history [?] in the finest form possible.

During the two hour program many topics are covered which have been previously the subject of blog entries. To include:

* The eccentric but talented Englishman.

* Naval skip shot.

* Military aviation special operations.

* The panacea target. [high value]

* Fighting forest fires. [obliquely so]

* Antiquated military hardware still in operation.

That attack on the Mohne dam now the thing of legends. 617 Squadron, Guy Gibson VC and all that. The skipping bomb of Barnes-Wallis successful, the dams supplying a major portion of the electricity to the German military industrial complex of the Ruhr put out of action, war munitions productions severely cut for a period of months.

Modern scientists and engineers re-creating the actual experiments of Barnes-Wallis, constructing a scale bomb and dam to simulate the actual attack, a Canadian aircrew flying an antiquated but very air worthy WW2 era DC-4 for the low-level bomb run, etc.


* Barnes-Wallis indeed was the personification of the dotty but very talented and eccentric Englishman.

* The Canadian air crew flying an antiquated WW2 era but still very potent DC-4 transport plane both were ideally suited for the mission, having gained a lot of experience dropping fire retardant slurry on forest fires from low altitude, and doing so all the time. Fighting a major forest fire is in many respects analogous to warfare!

* Those panacea targets even when mostly destroyed or at least severely damaged, the German able to restore to working order in quick fashion, almost in a manner of casual indifference with self-assured aplomb!

* Naval skip shot from olden times adapted and used by Barnes-Wallis the old ways are the best ways.

Again, if you are able to watch this particular program please do so outstanding in every regard!



This is coolbert:

From the web site: "Fred on Everything" we have extracts acerbic but nonetheless pertinent and germane as contained in a recent article by Fred entitled: "Advice to a Generic Candidate - - Fred to Change Course of History"

Questions addressed to the current President and Secretary of Defense [SECDEF] and also to those Republican aspirants desiring to be President, those currently involved in the primary campaigns being so closely followed by the main-stream-media [MSM]:

"To save the republic, if any, from another routine military disaster, I offer the following thoughts."

"To begin, I will ask the following questions of the candidates, and for that matter of Mr. Obama, and of the Secretary of Defense, a generic bureaucrat."

"Can you explain: Convergence zones, base bleed, Kursk, range-gate pull-off, artillery at Dien Bien Phu, IR cross-over, Tet and queen sacrifice, Brahmos 2, CIWIS, supercruise, side-lobe penetration, seven-eighty-twice gear, super-cavitating torpedoes, phased arrays, pulse Doppler, the width of Hormuz versus the range of Iranian cruise missiles, DU, discarding sabot, frequency agility, Chobham armor, and pseudo-random PRF?"

"These, gentlemen, are the small talk of serious students of the military . . . If you are unfamiliar with them, and with the things listed above, you are unfamiliar with the military. Yet you campaign for possession of the trigger."

"Unfamiliar with the military. Yet you campaign for possession of the trigger."

Fred is suggesting that those persons either already President or in the running to be elected President of the USA must be at least conversant in such matters? Some items as listed by Fred indeed having been at one time or another actual subject matter of blog entries to include:

* Kursk. [the WW2 battle or the sunken submarine Fred is not clear on this matter.]
* Artillery at Dien Bien Phu.
* BrahMos2. [correctly referred to as BrahMos and not Brahmos.]
* Super-cavitating torpedoes.
* Width of Hormuz. [the strait thereof]
* DU. [depleted uranium.]
* Sabot. [say-bow]

Fred is somewhat overboard here? That persons occupying the office the President, USA does NOT necessarily have be either so totally conversant or knowledgeable in military affairs as Fred would desire? The President must not necessarily be an expert in a particular subject matter but rather AN EXPERT AT CHOOSING EXPERTS! That President an expert at choosing experts and able to make sound, reasonable and thoughtful decisions based upon the advice of those experts! That man chosen by the electorate as constitutionally mandated Commander-in-Chief his military expertise or lack thereof only one consideration among many as taken into account by the voters!!


Sunday, February 12, 2012


This is coolbert:

Here yet one more instance of a capsized ocean liner. This during a time of war, that liner, engineered and built to the highest and most advanced technological standards, sunk, capsized, NOT ever being restored to working condition.

"SS Normandie was an ocean liner built in Saint-Nazaire, France for the French Line Compagnie Générale Transatlantique. She entered service in 1935 as the largest and fastest passenger ship afloat; she is still the most powerful steam turbo-electric-propelled passenger ship ever built."


Those ocean liners such as the Normandie when transformed into a troop transport able to transport during a single voyage a divisional size element of troops [10,000 men strong] across the Atlantic with relative ease, sailing alone and not in convoy, the high speed of these liners allowing these ocean liners/troop transports to avoid the U-boat threat!

While undergoing refitting, the Normandie having accidentally caught fire, all measures to extinguish the fire only exacerbating a bad situation, the tremendous weight of water as used to fight the fire causing the ship to flood, list and eventually capsize. The Normandie deemed as NOT salvageable after extensive and ultimately futile efforts to right, raise and put the ship back into operation.

"In 1942, the liner caught fire while being converted to a troopship, capsized onto her port side and came to rest on the mud of the Hudson River at the New York Passenger Ship Terminal. Although salvaged at great expense, restoration was deemed too costly and she was scrapped in October 1946"

At the time I assume all parties involved would have intuitively and instantly suspected German sabotage as the culprit. Reminiscent of the Black Tom explosions from World War One [WW1]. Investigation later determining that the fire was an accident as commonly occurs during construction or refitting of this nature!

More importantly, and this would not have been known to the investigators is that Hitler had given specific orders that prior to American entry into WW2 there was no be no sabotage missions on American territory. Hitler greatly desired to keep the U.S. out of the war and DID NOT want to make an already tense situation worse. NOR, as far as I have read, did the German prior to Pearl Harbor EVEN HAVE AN AMERICAN APPARATUS IN PLACE CAPABLE OF CARRYING SABOTAGE MISSIONS IF AND WHEN THE WORD HAD BEEN GIVEN!

"Enemy sabotage was widely suspected, but a federal investigation in the wake of the sinking concluded that the fire was completely accidental . . ."

That the docks of  New York City became obviously during WW2 a vital military concern - - security of the port facility was turned over to the mafia for the duration of the war, a gentleman's agreement having been made between the U.S. government and those various leaders of organized crime. That there WERE NO further sabotage incidents on the scale of Black Tom for the duration of the war is often cited as evidence of the ruthless nature and efficiency of the mafia!


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Conscription II.

This is coolbert:

Conscription - - conclusion!

John Curtin!

During that period of the Second World War [WW2] the borders, the boundaries of what was defined as "Australia" being constantly expanded. OVERSEAS as was that term was defined now including territory and areas well beyond what was normally and ordinarily accepted as the traditional borders and boundaries of Australia. That conscript, the draftee now compelled and ordered to military service in a manner as was deemed necessary and proper, controversial and "hot button"!!

"hot button - - n. informal a. a controversial subject or issue that is likely to arouse strong emotions"

The Australian war time Prime Minister John Curtin requiring compulsory "overseas" military duty for others in a way he was personally opposed to during the First World War [WW1]!!

"during World War I he was a militant anti-conscriptionist . . . He was briefly imprisoned [one month?] for refusing to attend a compulsory medical examination, even though he knew he would fail the exam due to his very poor eyesight."

Curtin while a much younger man not only opposing "overseas" duty for Australian soldiers but conscription period!!

That definition of where Australia ends and the rest of the world begins constantly being revised during the war, again, the exigencies of the war and the peril as existed at the time mandating that this be so!!

"Curtin also expanded the terms of the Defence Act, so that conscripted Militia soldiers could be deployed outside Australia to 'such other territories in the South-west Pacific Area . . . as being territories associated with the defence of Australia'."

John Curtin generally speaking receives high marks for superior performance as PM during that period of WW2 AND MOST DESERVEDLY SO? Did what he felt was necessary at the time, high youthful exuberance and idealism from a former era tempered as they say by age and a willingness to accept the new circumstances for what they were?

Please note too that both President Roosevelt in the U.S. and John Curtin in Australia did not survive to see the end of the war. Both succumbing to the excess stress that accompanies leaderships in trying times and circumstances. NOT easy for anyone!


Friday, February 10, 2012

Conscription I.

This is coolbert:

From a previous blog entry this caption:

"The Australian soldier instantly recognizable from even an distance by the appearance of the slouch hat those troops deployed beyond Australia proper all volunteers no conscripts!!"

There is some clarification required here?

The Australian soldier serving in both World Wars, as found "overseas", in all cases a volunteer, not a conscript?

Military conscription, the military draft, compulsory military service as mandated by the government always a hot button item in Australia. Such service and "overseas" duty requiring a degree of definition to be properly understood.

"hot button - -  n. informal a. a controversial subject or issue that is likely to arouse strong emotions"

"Conscription in Australia, or mandatory military service also known as National Service, has a controversial history dating back to the first years of nationhood"

During the era of World War One [WW1] and World War Two [WW2] BOTH there existing in Australia compulsory military service, the draft as it is known in America, that soldier being compelled to duty however NOT required to perform his service beyond the borders of Australia.

The borders of Australia with good reason and quite logically so normally recognized as being where the land ended and the water began.

ONLY those Australian soldiers volunteering, willing able to perform combat duty beyond the borders of Australia proper found "overseas" in the various theatres of WW1!


Conscripts one and all along with volunteers now being compelled to serve their duty "overseas" beyond the waters edge!!

Decisions of the Australian government at the time necessitated by circumstances, the exigencies of war requiring action and not words, debate no longer an option, the peril of the moment being recognized for what it was?



This is coolbert:

This is useful?

A listing, almost an index, from different historical periods, the BEST warhorse as was recognized at the time!

A listing of course not totally inclusive but merely illustrative of what has been:

1. The Nisean war horse! From the time of the Romans and the Caesars! As was ridden into battle by the Persian heavy armored cavalry, man and beast both covered by scale armor. An ancient breed of horse considered to be so valuable that wars were fought to obtain breeding stock!

"The Nisean horse, or Nisaean horse, is an extinct horse breed, . . . They were highly sought after in the ancient world . . . He was the most valuable horse in the ancient world, and he was regarded as the most beautiful horse alive"

2. The Marwari horse. An indigenous horse from the Indian sub-continent, making an appearance as a breed around the time of Genghis Khan! A war horse whose bloodlines are currently being resurrected!

"The Rathores, traditional rulers of the Marwar region of western India, were the first to breed the Marwari. Beginning in the 12th century, they espoused strict breeding that promoted purity and hardiness. Used throughout history as a cavalry horse by the people of the Marwar region, the Marwari was noted for its loyalty and bravery in battle."

"The Marwari or Malani is a rare breed of horse from the Marwar (or Jodhpur) region of India . . . The Marwari are descended from native Indian ponies crossed with Arabian horses, possibly with some Mongolian influence."

3. The Waler. From that period of the First World War [WW1], an Australian war horse, referred to as a "type" rather than a breed, hardy and useful as cavalry mounts. Australian soldiers a-horse during the Battle of Megiddo and the aftermath thereof able to advance at a rate greater than that of any other military unit in modern times AND RIDING WALERS!

4. From that time of the Second World War [WW2] the Russian panje horse. Has the appearance of a pony but in actuality is a horse, small in stature but powerful and having an amazing endurance. Able to survive and thrive in the harsh winter conditions of Russia primarily used as a beast of burden, pulling extraordinary loads where other breeds and "types" of horses would fail!

NOT included in my list but worthy of mention is the Mongolian horse as would have been ridden by Genghis Khan? Again has the appearance of a pony but is a true horse [the difference between a pony and a horse is what exactly?]! The Mongol able to strike long distances and ride enormous distances in a single-day en route to battle [100 miles/160 kilometers]! That Mongol horse enabling the horde to invade and conquer Russian during the winter time, when fodder and fresh grass normally not available. Mongols having an ability during winter to move across terrain normally considered impassable [swamps, the Volga river, etc.]?

Other breeds and "types" of war horses obviously could be included in this list of BEST? NOT a listing totally inclusive but merely illustrative of what has been!


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Think Pink!

This is coolbert:

From the prior blog entry:

"That debate over women in combat was ended long time ago? Unbeknownst to the American public and unappreciated, for some time now U.S. military women have been an integral part of the American nuclear deterrent? This qualifies as COMBAT DUTY EVEN IF WAY UNDERGROUND?"

Those American Air Force female officers, "manning" the underground bunkers and command firing positions of the Minuteman III intercontinental missile deterrent,  initiating the launch sequence and sending and ICBM "on the way" ten nuclear warheads on-board, ARE DOING COMBAT DUTY EVEN DURING A TIME OF PEACE?

Surely we all realize that in case of the worst scenario materializing, the threat of global thermonuclear war made manifest, those women in the underground silo and command post are in grave mortal danger, overt hostilities making those American ICBM sites the number one target for destruction by incoming hostile missiles from whomever the aggressor may be.

And even during a time prior to OVERT HOSTILITIES, Malmstron AFB and the environs, those various Minuteman III in the silo and command posts "manned" by the women "missile men" are also subject to and will be the targets of what is referred to as "pink terror"!!

"Pink terror" as engaged in by the ranger/commando/special operations units of the Soviet spetsnaz! Soviet special purpose troops the primary mission of which in those very few hours prior to the commencement of OVERT HOSTILITIES attempting to destroy in situ as much of the U.S. military atomic arsenal as possible. As described by the Soviet defector Victor Suvorov, the spetsnaz using a variety of means to render the American nuclear threat and deterrent null and void. INCLUDING THE KILLING OF ALL AND ANY PERSONNEL ASSOCIATED WITH ATOMIC WEAPONRY, THOSE PILOTS IN COMMAND OF STRATEGIC BOMBER AIRCRAFT AND I WOULD HAVE TO ASSUME THOSE WOMEN "MANNING" UNDERGROUND BUNKERS AND CHARGED WITH INITIATING THE MISSILE FIRING SEQUENCE!!

During that period of "pink terror" combat as we understand that term is not merely theoretical, it is real and very much so, to the death not only for the various participants but also with the potentiality for death of an entire society and nation as well!! Such a threat exists, even to this day?

American military women doing yeoman duty and in the forefront of where the action will be, that day we hope never comes!


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Combat Duty?

This is coolbert:

Women in combat.

The women of Malmstrom!!

Thanks to the tip from Larry and the Malmstron AFB web site we have the photo and brief description of ten young American military women, officers each and every one of them, those lieutenants at the very leading edge of the U.S. military atomic arsenal and deterrent.

These young women prior to a 24 hour alert, manning deep underground a command post [two officers per post] of a missile silo, able to launch the Minuteman III intercontinental  ballistic missile each and everyone of those Minuteman carrying ten atomic warheads.

That debate over women in combat was ended long time ago? Unbeknownst to the American public and unappreciated, for some time now U.S. military women have been an integral part of the American nuclear deterrent? This qualifies as COMBAT DUTY EVEN IF WAY UNDERGROUND?

"Mission planning before ICBM alert"

"2/2/2012 - Crew members from the 10th Missile Squadron deployed to the five missile alert facilities for a 24-hour alert Jan. 30"

 "Malmstrom Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base . . . is the home of the 341st Missile Wing (341 MW) of the Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC)."

Those young women chosen for intellect, highly trained and screened for security and reliability their mission while on duty having a global reach!

NO PERSON can command a nuclear equipped unit if there is even the appearance of wrong-doing, even if totally unfounded! A very high standard almost beyond measure for which these young American woman more than pass the test!!

My absolutely instantaneous and intuitive reaction when seeing this photo and also from the web site the listing of names was that this is some sort of gross breach of operational security [OPSEC]. The names and photographs of persons assigned to and in command of nuclear equipped units is usually classified to some extent? Evidently not the case here!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012


This is coolbert:

From that wiki entry: "Horses in World War I" we have another MILITARY BEST!

The Australian Waler horse. Finest horse of the cavalry that fought as such during the Great War [WW1]!

"The Australians primarily rode Waler horses . . . The majority of horses in the Corps were Walers and there is no doubt that these hardy Australian horses make the finest cavalry mounts in the world ..."

The Australian soldier instantly recognizable from even an distance by the appearance of the slouch hat those troops deployed beyond Australia proper all volunteers no conscripts!!

That indigenous Australian horse, called a "type" and not a breed the Waler a combination of many breeds and ideally suited for the arid and "rough" terrain as found in the Middle East. A "type" of horse accustomed to hard work under difficult conditions, tough and able! BEST!

"The Waler combined a variety of breeds; particularly the Thoroughbred, Arab, the Cape horse (from the Cape of Good Hope), Timor Pony and perhaps a little Clydesdale or Percheron. It was originally considered only a 'type' of horse and not a distinct breed. However, as a landrace bred under the extreme climate and challenging working conditions of Australia, the Waler developed into a hardy horse with great endurance even when under extreme stress from lack of food and water. It was used as a stockman's horse and prized as a military remount. Walers were also used by bushrangers, troopers and exploration expeditions that traversed inland Australia."

During the Battle of Megiddo the Australian light horse troop advancing at a rate exceeding any and all other military units of modern times for which there is a record! Movement by horse, the soldier fighting dismounted!


War Horse.

This is coolbert:

The current movie "War Horse" as directed by Steven Spielberg is getting very high marks, good ratings, reviewed as a must see!

I have not seen this film yet but plan to. YOU TOO!

"War Horse is a 2011 war epic motion picture directed by Steven Spielberg. It is based on . . .  War Horse, a children's novel set before and during World War I, by British author Michael Morpurgo"
. . .

"The film is currently in contention for six Academy Awards and five BAFTAs. It was also nominated for two Golden Globe Awards."

The horse at war during modern times. An epic [?] film taking place during the period of the Great War [WW1], at the time horses still an integral part of the military. Used as cavalry and as prime movers for artillery.

Horses it is reputed during WW1 the number of which dying from all causes at least in as great numbers as the number of human battlefield dead, about 10 million in either case!! Losses of a catastrophic nature human and equine both!! Exact figures not of course available, estimates that are "ballpark" as they say, probably pretty accurate, that wiki entry "Horses in World War I" INDEED making for very painful and sorrowful reading!!

"The use of horses in World War I marked a transitional period in the evolution of armed conflict. Cavalry units were initially considered essential offensive elements of a military force, but over the course of the war, the vulnerability of horses to modern machine gun and artillery fire reduced their utility on the battlefield"

That war of movement as originally envisioned and planned for by the general staff officers of the various combatants during WW1 only occurring during the earliest stages of the war ["The Guns of August"] and during the very latter days of the war in the Middle East. ACCORDING TO DUPUY THAT AUSTRALIAN HORSE TROOP IN 1918 ADVANCING AT THE HIGHEST RATE OF ANY MILITARY FORCE IN MODERN TIME FOR WHICH THERE IS RECORD!

Horse deaths on the battlefield occurring primarily from artillery fire and overwork!! Horse basically driven to exhaustion and collapsing in their tracks dead and abandoned. Disease also taking a heavy toll, in some cases accusations of biological warfare being leveled against the Central Powers.


* Even without a war of movement during WW1 as so desired by the senior commanders, cavalry units at divisional strength were maintained at the ready in case of a breakthrough in the traditional manner! Divisions in such numbers, the amount of acreage and cropland set aside in England for the growing of fodder for horses that the British population had to endure food rationing and malnutrition!

* That Australian horse troop in 1918 when finally on the offensive using Mus Mus pass as a means of bypassing Turkish positions as did the Egyptian Pharaoh Thutmose when waging his own war thirty-five-hundred [3,500] years earlier!!

* In the aftermath of the Great War, cavalry still used extensively and most successfully so by both sides during the Russian Civil War!

* The British Admiral Parry having predicted that if and when the world order as we know it begins to break down starting this year CERTAIN SPECIFIC PARTIES MAY RESUME THE USE OF CAVALRY AS A MEANS OF WAGING WAR! That remains to be seen!


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Aardvark II.

This is coolbert:


From a prior blog entry:

"JFK at that exact instant watching aircraft carrier take-offs and landings as is the prerogative of the commander-in-chief in the process gaining a better understanding of American military prowess and capabilities, the duties of the President almost mandating such knowledge!"

President Roosevelt in 1939 also witnessing US Navy aircraft carrier take-offs and landings would have seen as well a variety of types of warplanes as found in the navy inventory at the time. Each and every type having a specific role and function, task-tailored for maximum performance as was understood at the time. Types [1939] to include:

* Fighter/interceptor.
* Bomber.
* Torpedo plane.
* Scout.

1. That bomber able to deliver ordnance in either the horizontal or dive role.
2. That torpedo plane with torpedo slung underneath the fuselage and not contained internally.
3. That scout being a two-man warplane having very limited combat ability, the back-seater being trained as a spotter/radio operator.

President Kennedy in 1961 witnessing carrier take-offs and landings observing an EVEN GREATER ARRAY OF TYPES AND VARIETIES OF COMBAT AIRCRAFT! As launched and recovered to include:

* Fighter/inteceptor.
* Light bomber. [single engine]
* Heavy bomber. [dual engine]
* Early Warning. [radar]
* Tanker.
* Electronic warfare [EW].
* Attack.

1. Early warning a radar-carrying warplane performing picket duty, able to spot surface and aerial targets a long distance off.
2. Attack a warplane propeller-driven with a close air support [CAS] mission in mind.
3. No more scout plane that reconnaissance mission now normally performed by a fighter/interceptor with a camera pod mounted.
4. Torpedo planes as that term understood no longer in the inventory.
5. EW aircraft having the mission of jamming enemy radars while on mission over enemy targets.

[am not taking into consideration ANY rotary wing aircraft - - only fixed wing.]

Presumably the FTX [F-111] with modification from the basic model might very well be able to function in all roles except Early Warning? This is what Robert S. Mac Namara had in mind?

That variable-gemometry swept-wing design of the F-111 from an engineering stand-point precluded the folded wings as found on many carrier aircraft? That too constituted a problem for which there was no amelioration? I cannot say.

To what extent the US Navy will find the F-35 to be a success as a jack-of-a-trades, not in all categories meeting their criteria as perceived [the lack of two-engines from the start felt to be a drawback] we shall see!


Aardvark I.

This is coolbert:

From a comment to the blog by Steiner:

"I think you're too hard on the F-4 and the F-111 . . . The F-111 was the great lost cause of American aerospace in the Cold War. Upon its introduction, it defined what would come to be called the 'bleeding edge' of combat technology. It took a few years to sort out (especially the TERCOM), and then it became arguably the most advanced production airframe ever deployed in the pre-stealth era."

I think the consensus opinion would be that as originally intended, within the context of the F-111 aircraft as a replacement advanced for the F-105 that the FTX as it was deemed from the experimental stage was appropriate and well within any acceptable parameters. That F-111 as envisioned as a low-level attack penetration fighter/bomber, day-night, all-weather mission possible warplane, able to deliver in the tactical mode nuclear or conventional munitions on a target with precision.

Greatly aided and abetted by the terrain following radar allowing for that low-level nape of the earth mission pilots to an extent passengers as was advertised.

The FTX becoming a political football when Secretary of Defense [SECDEF] Robert Mac Namara began to push and promote and even to a degree mandate the FTX as a suitable multi-role-combat-aircraft [MRCA] for the US Navy, a one size-fits-all warplane able to accomplish any mission.

Such promotion and "push" by the SECDEF only after Mac Namara reputedly overhearing an offhand remark by the then President Kennedy: "why do we have so many different types of aircraft, why can't we have just one type of aircraft?"

JFK at that exact instant watching aircraft carrier take-offs and landings as is the prerogative of the commander-in-chief in the process gaining a better understanding of American military prowess and capabilities, the duties of the President almost mandating such knowledge!

FTX found belatedly after much development to be too large and heavy for US Navy purposes, without question the finished product the F-111 being remarkable nonetheless, variable geometry swept-wings and TERCOM radar as Steiner has remarked cutting edge what they call it.

I can recall very well the anticipation of the first six F-111 when deployed to SE Asian during the Second Indo-China War. Great expectations for big things was the order of the day but sadly came up naught, two of the six planes unexpectedly crashing while during combat missions.

The F-111 with lengthened fuselage and two new larger and improved engines later deployed by the USAF as a medium-range bomber, seeing active service and in the inventory for a span of at least thirty years!!

And because of the FTX boondoggle [especially with regard to the US Navy but not strictly limited to the FTX] all procurement procedures were overhauled and FLY BEFORE YOU BUY BECAME THE WATCHWORD!!


Friday, February 3, 2012


This is coolbert:

Here one more senior military commander wounded numerous times while leading his troops forward into battle, returning to the fray repeatedly heedless of injury, most exemplary conduct and unexpected heroism almost without peer or parallel.

Robert Frederick. Commander of the combined American/Canadian First Special Service Forces [FSSF]. The FSSF also known as the Devil's Brigade.

"Robert Tryon Frederick . . . was a highly decorated American combat commander during World War II"

Frederick a combat commander of ranger/commando/special operations/parachute troops during the Second World War [WW2] wounded no less than eight times, twice on one day. Commanding at ever increasing echelons promotions rapid, repeated and deserved.

It was said of Frederick: "'the greatest fighting general of all time' . . . 'if we had had a dozen more like him we would have smashed Hitler in 1942'".- - Winston S. Churchill.

Frederick belonging to a very select group of fighting senior officers whose battlefield exploits and courage are most admirable. Senior commanders to include:

* Hyazinth von Strachwitz.
* Bernard Freyberg.
* Oskar Dirlewanger.

Some may question my inclusion of Oskar Dirlewanger in such esteemed company. The very name Dirlewanger will always be associated with atrocity and uncivilized behavior. Nonetheless it cannot be denied that Dirlewanger was also a combat commander of repute, leading from the front, wounded eleven times, unquestionably brave, lunatic almost.

Devoted readers to the blog are aware of other men, senior military commanders, the repeated wounding of which did not prevent their returning to the "fray". I await comments.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Black Lady.

This is coolbert:

Thanks to the tip from intelNews.org, the United States military, after a twenty year hiatus, returns to the Philippines, at least on a temporary basis?

1. "UPDATE 2-Philippines studying U.S. offer to deploy spy planes"

"MANILA, Jan 27 (Reuters) - The Philippines is considering a U.S. proposal to deploy surveillance aircraft on a temporary, rotating basis to enhance its ability to guard disputed areas in the South China Sea"

. . .

"plans to deploy more littoral combat ships and spy aircraft"

. . .

"both countries grapple with the growing assertiveness of China"

Please note that this article is from the African edition of Reuters, the energy and oil section. It is obvious what is at concern here is the Spratly Islands and contiguous waters as claimed by five nations [China, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines]. Those islands, the contiguous waters and continental shelf under which is thought contain vast deposits of oil and natural gas. So we are told. Disputed waters the United States of which at the exact moment seems to be the one party able to guarantee at least for the time being a neutrality and safe-passage for international water-borne trade and commerce

2. "U.S. may rely on aging U-2 spy planes longer than expected"

Spy planes what they call em'. The Black Lady of espionage as what was referred to by the Soviets. The U-2 reconnaissance/intelligence gathering aircraft. First missions flown in 1955, thirty three remaining airplanes in the inventory, repeatedly rebuilt, refurbished and renovated and still going strong almost sixty years later!!

Drones having proven to be too expensive and perhaps not as reliable, we can predict the U-2 having temporary basing in the Philippines, flying recce missions to monitor the military activities of those nations in dispute over the South China Sea, the sovereignty issues complex and multiple, unresolved now and for the foreseeable future.

"The Pentagon has proposed delaying a plan to replace the U-2s with RQ-4 Global Hawk drones"

"Since 1994, the Air Force said, at least $1.7 billion has been invested to modernize the U-2 airframe. These upgrades also include new engines, new cockpits and, of course, new cameras and sensors."

"Today, the U-2 is flying more missions and is involved in more operations than ever . . . Since 2003, the Air Force has flown more than 95,000 hours in the U-2 providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance."

More missions and operations than EVER!! Yeoman work for the Black Lady! Remarkable.