Friday, May 31, 2013

Atomics ROK!

This is coolbert:

From the Chicago Tribune once again from earlier this month  we have this interesting item.

That South Korean [Republic of Korea] in Seoul taking seriously the development of atomic weaponry in response to North Korean bellicosity and provocation.

That question asked with some justification - - if the North can have the "bomb, why can't we?

"More South Koreans support developing nuclear weapons"

"Chicago Tribune 2013-05-19: SEOUL — Perhaps it is merely basic human desire to keep up with the neighbors, but an increasing number of South Koreans are saying that they want nuclear weapons too. Even in Japan, a country still traumatized by the legacy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there is a debate about the once-taboo topic of nuclear weapons. The mere fact that the bomb is being discussed as a policy option shows how North Korea's nuclear program could trigger a new arms race in East Asia"

I might very well and very accurately assume that the South Korean [ROK] on very short notice could build and deploy to the field atomic weaponry. They already possess nuclear facilities in the form of atomic power plants, that fuel for the reactors quite readily capable of being further processed into weapons grade fissionable material.

South Korea [ROK] too for some time a very advanced and sophisticated technological nation, their scientific and industrial capacity at a high level and should be recognized as being so.

South Korea [ROK] also having in their arsenal WEAPONS DELIVERY SYSTEMS, advanced fighter-bomber aircraft.

Once the "go" signal South Korean [ROK] could design, engineer, fabricate and "field" an atomic bomb in less than a year? Such a capability does exists?

AND atomic munitions designed, engineered, and fabricated the South Korean [ROK] KNOWING FULL WELL THE BOMB WILL WORK AS INTENDED WITHOUT EVEN HAVING TO TEST?

More than any reason for development of an atomic bomb is a fear in Seoul that American assurance of a guaranteed retaliatory policy against a North Korean threat may all come to naught if the proverbial "push comes to shove"?


Free Trade?

This is coolbert:

Thanks to the Chicago Tribune, MIKE THOMPSON & CREATORS SYNDICATE and US NEWS we have this "political cartoon" that reminds me to some degree of a much previous blog entry.


That famous economist Adam Smith of the opinion that generally speaking FREE TRADE as that concept understood good for EVERYONE.

Adam Smith also of the opinion that FREE TRADE as that concept understood having ONLY two exceptions.

ONE exception being that a nation must be self-sufficient in those ARMAMENTS necessary for defense. You cannot rely upon others.

AND that second exception unknown to me.

Devoted and knowledgable readers to the blog and familiar with the theories of Adam Smith are aware of that second excception?

Let me hear from you.


HMS Mary Rose.

This is coolbert:

Thanks to the tip from the Chicago Tribune we have this item.

Thirty years in the making!!

HMS Mary Rose the warship from five hundred years ago that museum dedicated to the sunken and then raised-from-the-bottom naval vessel now open!

"Archers of the Purbrook Bowmen, dressed in Tudor looking clothes, fire a volley of flaming arrows from Southsea Castle into The Solent, towards where the Mary Rose sank in 1545"

"Museum housing Henry VIII's sunken flagship opens"

"PORTSMOUTH, England - - The Mary Rose was the flagship of the Tudor navy of King Henry VIII. The vessel sank in 1545 during an invasion by a french fleet. The wreck of the Mary Rose was found in 1971 and raised in 1982. The Mary Rose Museum is the new home to the warship and some of the 19,000 artifacts that sank with her."

After many decades of yeoman service HMS Mary Rose having undergone refurbishment, the ship sinking during a naval battle with the French, THAT REFURBISHMENT HAVING MADE THE VESSEL UN-SEAWORTHY!!

"The Mary Rose was a carrack-type warship of the English Tudor navy of King Henry VIII. After serving for 33 years in several wars against France, Scotland, and Brittany and after being substantially rebuilt in 1536, she saw her last action on 19 July 1545. While leading the attack on the galleys of a French invasion fleet, she sank in the Solent, the straits north of the Isle of Wight. The wreck of the Mary Rose was rediscovered in 1971 and salvaged in 1982 by the Mary Rose Trust in one of the most complex and expensive projects in the history of maritime archaeology. The surviving section of the ship and thousands of recovered artifacts are of immeasurable value as a Tudor-era time capsule."

The Mary Rose Museum something of a "wonderment" just in itself! That museum built AROUND THE HULK OF THE WARSHIP while the wooden hull in the process of a long and arduous preservation! That "long and arduous" controlled processing of the raised-from-the-bottom wood requiring THIRTY YEARS!!

"The Mary Rose Museum is an historical museum designed by architects Wilkinson Eyre and Pringle Brandon Perkins+Will. The museum is located at Historical Dockyards in Portsmouth in the United Kingdom run by the Mary Rose Trust. The museum is dedicated to the 16th century Tudor navy warship Mary Rose as well as the historical context in which she was active. The museum opened in 1984 and displays artifacts from the ship as well as the ship itself in a dedicated ship hall while it has been undergoing conservation."

HMS Mary Rose and the demise of same not so unlike the fate of the Swedish Vasa? Both ships overloaded and top-heavy, not seaworthy and capable of naval combat action but taken to the bottom by a combat commander pushing the envelope way beyond the ordinary. So it seems.



This is coolbert:

Look before you leap!

Here from the book "TOP SECRET ULTRA"  by Calvocoressi we have that exact amount of German encrypted radio traffic as secured by the Enigma machine as read in that time prior to and during the Battle of France [1940]:

"work on Enigma went on separately at BP [Bletchley Park] and Vignolles [PC Bruno]. There was some collaboration. Each outfit agreed to given the other any Enigma daily settings which might be unravelled. Vignolles was forced to shut up shop on 23 June, 1940. By then the Franco-Polish team had broken 110 Enigma settings often with considerable delays: a key for 26 October, for example, was broken on 17 January. In all Vignolles read 8,440 German messages. Rather more than 1,000 of these related to the Norwegian campaign., some 5,000 to the campaigns in France. During these months 83 per cent of all Enigma breaks were made at BP. The first was made in Vignolles in January 1940 on the basis of work done at BP."

That amount of messages "read" by the allies during the Battle of France [1940] considerably more than what I had expected.

BUT what messages de-crypted and presented to the senior commander either not [?] in real time or that commander not having action-able intelligence presented to him in a fashion allowing him to make informed and correct decisions.

It would seem that Enigma de-crypts were available during that Battle of France [1940], the use however seems to have been scant to negligible


Sunday, May 26, 2013

BP & PC Bruno.

This is coolbert:

From that prior blog entry:

"2. The allies [French and English] during that whole time of the Battle of France [1940] at least had SOME Enigma crypto machine decrypts available to them. French and British both reading at least SOME of the most secret German radio traffic during the campaign and sharing same between the two allies."

To what extent did Ultra and the "reading" of the most secure German ciphers [Enigma] during the Battle of France [1940] influence that decision making process of the French [most specifically the generalissimo Gamelin] and the allied forces during that campaign? That is a fair question.

Ultra [the British designation called Boniface "initially" was being "read" during the campaign. At least SOME secure German radio traffic was being decrypted. This is so. Bletchley Park [British], PC Bruno [French] and BP and PC Bruno in combination were able to decrypt SOME Enigma in real time. The material as gleaned from the decryptions, translations, and processed intelligence product, however, DOES NOT SEEM TO HAVE BEEN EITHER PASSED TO THE SENIOR FRENCH AND ALLIED COMMANDERS OR PUT TO GOOD USE EVEN IF IT HAD BEEN!!

From a variety of sources on the Internet we have these extracts:

 "Army- and Air Force-related intelligence derived from signals intelligence (SIGINT) sources -mainly Enigma decrypts in Hut 6 – was compiled in summaries at GC&CS (Bletchley Park) Hut 3 and distributed initially under the codeword 'BONIFACE."

"on 17 January 1940, the Poles [working for the French at PC Bruno] made the first break into wartime Enigma traffic—that from 28 October 1939. From that time, until the Fall of France in June 1940, 17 percent of the Enigma keys that were found by the allies, were solved at PC Bruno."

"In April 1940, Ultra information provided a detailed picture of the disposition of the German forces, and then their movement orders for the attack on the Low Countries prior to the Battle of France in May [1940]."

"In April 1940 Ultra discovers information about the logistics of the German forces and of their subsequent orders to attack the Low Countries, before the Battle of France in May [1940]."

"On May 1, 1940, just before the invasion of Norway, the Germans changed their encryption procedure."

"The Germans, just before opening their 10 May 1940 offensive against the Low countries in their thrust towards France, had made the feared change in the indicator procedure, discontinuing the duplication of the enciphered message key."

"the initial series of decryption appeared too late to affect the Battle of France, 10 May-22 Jun 1940, ULTRA did give general forewarnings BP had the most success reading the Luftwaffe messages, codenamed “Red” by the British cryptographers. It was broken on May 22, 1940, and was read uninterrupted throughout the rest of the war."

"By April [1940] the BP codebreakers were able to read messages within 24 hours. However, the British military did not yet have any process in place to pass such vital information on to their generals. It took time for a process to be created and for the military to trust the intelligence."

Bletchely Park [sic] was [had] developed detailed information on the German Western offensive (May 1940), [but] systems were not in place to get useful information to field units nor were field commands ready to accept the accuracy of the information provided, in part because the source was obscured by passing it off as MI6 espionage. Some commanders were afraid that it might be enemy disinformation.

"The Germans launched their long-awaited Western offensive (May 1940) . . . By this time, the British were in the process up setting Special Liaison Units to deliver Bletchley Park Ultra intelligence to field commanders in the field. The system was still just being established when the Germans struck. This and the fact that the primary fighting force was the French Army meant that Ultra had no real impact on the campaign."

This graph tells us a lot? That number of messages evaluations of Ultra decrypts as transmitted from BP to units and commands in the field and actually in contact and combat with German forces. That number of ten [?] per month [?] ALMOST ONE FULL YEAR AFTER THE BATTLE OF FRANCE [1940] INDICATES THAT THE TRAFFIC AVAILABLE TO THE COMMANDERS IN 1940 WAS PROBABLY FAR LESS? Commanders at that exact instant [1940] also not even either understanding what the appreciations meant or how to use them!!

In conclusion:

1. Action-able intelligence based on Ultra during the Battle of France [1940] very scant indeed.

2. NO effective means to transmit action-able intelligence to the combat commander in the field.

3. Combat commanders even if provided with action-able intelligence either not understanding the product, or unwilling to use!

In the nutshell as they say.


Saturday, May 25, 2013


This is coolbert:

NOT for some time now have we had any updates regarding the Maoist insurgency of India. Very active but no new blog entries regarding same in the recent past. Until NOW.

Thanks to the BBC:

"'Maoist rebels' kill 17 in India"

"At least 17 people, including a local leader of India's governing Congress party, have been killed in an attack by suspected Maoist rebels in the central state of Chhattisgarh."

"The attackers reportedly blocked the road by felling trees. They then detonated the mine and started spraying the convoy with bullets."

The victim and his colleagues having organized paramilitary fighters to combat the Maoist rebels, himself and those in the convoy with him now a victim of the insurgents.

That war the government of India does NOT WANT you to know about.

The roadside bomb or remotely detonated mine the weapon of choice in this case, and INDEED the weapon of choice now so it seems for terrorists/guerrillas/insurgents the world over.

And carefully note the use of the abatis. An archaic method of warfare from the time of Julius Caesar and the Romans. Roads blocked by carefully downed and felled trees, a convoy or marching column stopped, vulnerable to attack, the ambush initiated.

"abatis - - Barricade of fallen trees, rampart of felled trees and branches"

 "There is evidence it was used as early as the Roman Imperial period . . . Abatis is rarely seen nowadays, having been largely replaced by wire obstacles."

"Abatis is rarely seen nowadays". At least until now that is.

The old ways are the best ways?



This is coolbert:

Joseph Kony and the hunt for same as it continues thanks to the Voice of America.

That hunt for over a year now [?] NOW greatly complicated by dynamic change, the "hunt" going badly, Joseph always able to outwit his pursuers, taking advantage of that "dynamics".

Joseph has found sanctuary?

Joseph and his band or bands of terrorists/guerrillas/insurgents elusive able to cross borders at will, and able to stymie those elements to including troops from the American Special Forces [SF].

That dynamic change the Seleka rebels in the Central African Republic mounting successful coup d'etat, the consequences of which favorable to Joseph, governmental instability and a lack of continuity a factor working to the disadvantage of the "hunter".

"Joseph Kony and LRA in Sudan"

"Joseph Kony and his outlaw Lord’s Resistance Army now have a chance to regroup, thanks to the collapse of government in the Central African Republic and new sanctuary in Sudan."

 "Kony is on the run from the International Criminal Court, which wants to arrest him on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including murder, rape, sexual slavery, and recruiting children fighters under the age of 15."

 "Ugandan troops with U.S. military advisers were hunting Kony and the LRA in the Central African Republic (CAR). But those operations were suspended after Seleka rebels took over the capital, Bangui."

That Central African Republic [CAR] due to the inherent instability as the result of coup d'etat also now severely infested with poachers, the target the African elephant, the CAR the last remaining stronghold in all of Africa for large herds [hundreds of animals all in one place] of pachyderms.

Darfur, the eastern Congo, CAR, etc. Endemic low-level warfare that entire portion of the continent stripped bare of resources, the various militias and war lords able to lay waste with relative impunity, the best efforts of outsiders to mitigate the situation generally futile!


Friday, May 24, 2013


This is coolbert:

From StrategyPage several headlines that indicate the fifty caliber sniper rifle [12.7 mm] while NOT being done away with, rather multiplying in numbers for the anti-material mission but also being replaced for the anti-personnel mission.

"Bigger Is No Longer Better"

That fifty caliber [12.7 mm] sniper rifle firing an explosive round the mission of which originally envisioned as anti-material. Special operations troops able to destroy at long ranges enemy warplanes and missiles WHILE ON THE GROUND. One explosive round a Barrett rifle for example capable of destroying the cockpit or jet engine of an advanced combat warplane parked on the tarmac. IF a clean and clear shot could be obtained.

That Barrett rifle and others of the same caliber finding wide use in Afghan in particular, American and allied snipers able to "take out" Taliban fighters at long range with impunity.

Those fifty caliber [12.7 mm] sniper rifles in the anti-personnel role now being supplanted by the .338 caliber round [8.6 mm]. A round quite common and effective as used by African big game hunters for some time. Long range but not explosive round that is effective.

"from Five years ago the British Army began replacing most of its 3,000 7.62mm L96A1 sniper rifles with one modified to use the .338 (8.6mm) Lapua Magnum caliber round. This Accuracy International 'Super Magnum' rifle is basically an L96A1 'Arctic Warfare' rifle modified to handle the larger, 8.6mm Lapua Magnum round."

"Snipers in Iraq, and especially Afghanistan, have been calling for a longer range round but found the 12.7mm (.50 caliber) weapons too heavy. The .338 (8.6mm) Lapua Magnum round has an effective range (about 1,500 meters) about 50 percent greater than the 7.62mm standard NATO round."

This again is not to say that the .50 caliber weapon being done away with. Rather a whole host of nations manufacturing rifles analogous to the Barrett model weapon for the anti-material mission and having buyers!

Big-bore sniper rifle real world experience NOT confined to American and allied snipers in Afghan:

1. "Chinese 12.7mm Sniper Rifles Get Combat Experience"

Burmese hill tribesmen of the Wa ethnic army the Chinese .50 caliber sniper rifle [M99]and employing same as part of the never-ending and on-going Wa insurgency the adversary the central government of Burma.

"Recently reporters came back from northern Burma with pictures of tribal rebels using Chinese M99 12.7mm sniper rifles. China denied supporting the Burmese tribal militia (the UWSA or United Wa State Army) operating on its border but apparently the Wa have some kind of arrangement with the Chinese government, who allows armed Wa fighters to enter Chinese border towns to do business."

2. "Rumor Control: .50 caliber Sniper Rifle in Syria IS NOT an AS50 , it's Chinese M99"

Those rebel elements in Syria able to obtain hi-power sniper rifles the Chinese M99 having entered the fray.

The widespread use of the big-bore sniper rifle [.50 caliber] yet one more indication of a trend and phenomenon that has been observed for some time now. Military technology and weaponry ONCE only wielded by the solders of a few nations around the world now on the market and can be purchased by anyone possessing the right amount of money.

Fifty caliber [.50] sniper rifles also firing the Raufoss round [explosive] perhaps also in violation of the St. Petersburg Convention of 1868? Rounds as fired by military weaponry less than a certain weight NOT allowed to be explosive, that volatile round causing unnecessary suffering and damage to flesh beyond the humane! Raufoss if used against MATERIAL [a warplane or missile on the ground] LEGAL but not so if used against personnel!!


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Struma & Lancastria.

This is coolbert:

More "Hell Ships".

Thanks to the tips from a variety of sources in this case.

Again from that era of the Second World War [WW2] more instances of "Hell Ships". Those vessels, predominantly merchant shipping being impressed and used for military transport, the loss of life from sinking as a result of combat action extraordinary and prodigious.

Ships not adequate for the task over-loaded, over-burdened generally inadequate for the transport task, sometimes grossly so, "going to the bottom" as a result of combat action with almost a total loss of life, passengers and crew both perishing in numbers beyond belief.

1. The Struma.

Merchant vessel of antiquated design carrying Jewish refugees while en route to British Mandated Palestine attacked by Soviet submarines and sunk, the loss of life, crew and passengers almost COMPLETELY TOTAL, ONLY ONE SURVIVOR PULLED FROM THE WATER THE COMPLEMENT [passengers and crew combined] OF THE SHIP ABOUT EIGHT HUNDRED!!

"Holocaust at Sea: The Lone Survivor of the 'Struma'"

In 1942, a Soviet submarine in the Black Sea torpedoed and sank the Struma, a ship filled with almost 800 Jewish refugees headed from Romania to the Holy Land.

"near Istanbul, in the wee hours of February 24, 1942. That's when a Soviet submarine sank a Jewish refugee ship en route to what was then the British Mandate of Palestine. All told, 786 people, among them 101 children, either died instantly or slowly froze and drowned in the wintry water.
Only one of them made it."


"The Struma was no more than a pile of junk. Built in 1867, this former luxury yacht had been sadly degraded to a cattle transport ship. The ship, originally meant for only 150 passengers, had been retrofitted to carry almost 800, in tiny wooden bunks on three low levels."

2. RMS Lancastria.

The Lancastria ferrying troops during Ariel, under attack by German combat aircraft, the Lancastria sinking with the loss of life immense, troops in the water furthermore bombed and strafed!!

"RMS Lancastria (later HMT Lancastria was a British Cunard liner commandeered by the UK Government for war, sunk on 17 June 1940 during World War II with the loss of over 4,000 lives, possibly many more. It is the greatest ever loss of life in the sinking of a single British ship, claiming more lives than the combined losses of the RMS Titanic and RMS Lusitania. It had also the highest death toll for UK forces in a single engagement in the whole of World War II."

"She was sunk off the French port of St. Nazaire while taking part in Operation Ariel, the evacuation of British nationals and troops from France, two weeks after the Dunkirk evacuation.

Ariel that evacuation from Normandy [1940] in the aftermath of Dunkirk, a British REVERSE amphibious operation deemed a success, with the exception of the sinking of the Lancastria!!

Even more surprising is that the full story of the Lancastria seems to remain a secret to this very day, the site NOT registered as a war grave, incredible in the extreme so many decades after the fact. AND WHY IS THAT?

"The British Government has refused to make the site a war grave under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986 although documents obtained under Freedom of information legislation (FOIA) show that it could be done. Early in the 21st century the French Government placed an exclusion zone around the wreck site. In July 2007 another request for documents held by the Ministry of Defence related to the sinking was rejected by the British Government. The Lancastria Association of Scotland made a further request in 2009. They were told that release under the FOIA would not be given "

A PhD dissertation could be written with the subject of WW2 "Hell Ships" the topic. Seems this phenomenon was very widespread. British troops, German and Jewish refugees, Italian, American and British PoW, Asian impressed laborers.  They ALL seem to  have gone through the same terrifying ordeal, the loss of life stupendous and almost absolute in most cases.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Fall Gelb.

This is coolbert:

From that wiki entry for the Battle of France [1940], more evidence, that intelligence and analysis indicating a German armor attack through the Ardennes [Case Yellow], totally ignored by Gamelin, indicative of an attitude and pigheadedness to face reality, even when made manifest.

NOT ONLY British Royal Air Force [RAF] spotting the massive German armor formations in the Ardennes.

Other intelligence agencies having made clear to the French and allied forces their appreciation of the situation, the German plan of attack unorthodox PREPARATIONS OF WHICH EVEN WHEN OBSERVED AS UNHEEDED BY GAMELIN THE FRENCH GENERALISSIMO!!

1. The Belgians.

"In the winter of 1939–1940, the Belgian consul-general in Cologne had anticipated the angle of advance that Von Manstein was planning. Through intelligence reports, they deduced that German forces were concentrating along the Belgian and Luxembourg frontiers. The Belgians were convinced that the Germans would thrust through the Ardennes and to the English Channel with the aim of cutting off the Allied field armies in Belgium and north-eastern France."

2. The Swiss.

"In March 1940, Swiss intelligence detected six or seven Panzer Divisions on the German-Luxembourg-Belgian border. More motorised divisions had also been detected in the area. French intelligence were informed that the Germans were constructing pontoon bridges partially—about halfway—over the Our River on the Luxembourg-German border through aerial reconnaissance. The French military attaché in the Swiss capital—Bern—warned that the centre of the German assault would come on the Meuse at Sedan, sometime between 8 and 10 May. The report was dated 30 April. These reports had little effect on Gamelin."

Gamelin indecisive and lacking as to inspired dynamic action, unable to confront a changing situation with alacrity!

Dupuy again of the opinion that if three of those four French armies behind the Maginot Line had been deployed in time to meet the German offensive of 1940, the German would have without question stopped cold!! This of course not occurring and we all know the rest of the story.

The French too for a variety of reasons thinking DEFENSIVELY and content to leave to the German the initiative. That lack of dynamic response on the part of Gamelin most troubling.



This is coolbert:

From the PBS television series "Bullets, Boots and Bandages"and thanks to the BBC we have this most interesting item.

"Napoleon's failure: For the want of a winter horseshoe"

That army of Napoleon retreating from Moscow [1812] having their horse transport reduced to near zero, the animals as shod with the wrong horseshoes, organized transport in the traditional and normal manner of that period made negligible.

"Of all the challenges faced by generals through history, moving armies has been one of the greatest - and Napoleon Bonaparte's invasion of Russia 200 years ago illustrates just how badly things can go wrong when it is underestimated".

"Having entered Russia in June, and anticipating a short campaign, his [Napoleon] horses were still shod with summer shoes."

"But with the brutal Russian winter fast approaching, this tiny logistical oversight was to cost him dear. Winter horseshoes are equipped with little spikes that give a horse traction on snow and ice, and prevent it from slipping."

"Without them, a horse can neither tow a wagon uphill, nor use them as brakes on the way down."

There not being enough farriers [those craftsmen that shoe horses] and proper numbers of spiked horseshoes to fit the horses to begin with. An unanticipated calamity without mitigation the result.

During that period of the American Civil War an army of 100,000 men  requiring about 2,500 wagon loads of supply per day for sustainment, not even during conditions of battle!! WAGONS OF COURSE PULLED BY HORSES!

Fodder for the horses during the extreme cold of the Russian winter being nil, campaigns typically during the Napoleonic era [and that time of the American Civil War for that matter] traditionally ceasing during that time of cold!!


Monday, May 20, 2013


This is coolbert:

"not deploy new weapons"

"Obama accused of nuclear U-turn as guided weapons plan emerges"

Thanks to the Guardian for this alarming [at least to Europeans] headline.

"Plan to spend $10bn on updating nuclear bombs goes against 2010 pledge not to deploy new weapons, say critics"

"Under the plan, nearly 200 B61 gravity bombs stockpiled in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Turkey would be given new tail fins that would turn them into guided weapons that could be delivered by stealth F35 fighter-bombers."

Obama has broken his pledge? Is this so?


Taking an already existing weapon and improving it so that weapon becomes more effective is not introducing a NEW WEAPON! My emphasis on the word NEW!

This sounds like those B61 atomic bombs being fitted, or at least with an ability to be fitted, on very short notice, with a JDAMs strap on kit. Allow the "dumb" bomb to become a "smart" guided munitions using GPS for guidance.

Atomic munitions just made better, that already EXISTING NUCLEAR WEAPON IMPROVED!

NOT a new weapon as that term generally, ordinarily and commonly understood.

For those favoring a reduction of nuclear stockpiles, this should be considered as a PLUS and not a negative. Because that B61 will now be MORE ACCURATE fewer will be needed as a deterrent. Existing stockpiles can be reduced in number.

NOR would I have to think that adding a strap on JDAMs kit to an already in-the-inventory atomic bomb is a violation of existing treaties and internationally agreed upon covenants. This is correct?

Keep in mind that since the late 1960's American nuclear warheads have been drastically reduced in number, that inventory of fitted and stockpiled atomic ordnance now only about 15 % of what it was forty years ago.


Seaplanes V.

This is coolbert:


Sea Base!


It is not like the United States Navy is not aware of the potentiality as posed by the military seaplane!

Here from an unclassified document as dated 2004 the seaplane envisioned as a valuable adjunct to naval operations taken into consideration.

That military seaplane more than anything else seen not as a combat warplane but as a long-range heavy-lift aircraft incorporated into the concept of the SEA BASE!

The sea base a combination of transport vessels, floating piers and facilities including the incorporation of the seaplane as a transport military aircraft!

"Use of Seaplanes and Integration within a Sea Base"


"A study to investigate the utility of seaplanes to support an offshore military Sea Base has been undertaken by the Center For Innovation In Ship Design. The potential use and importance of seaplanes for future sea-based military missions are discussed. The research outlines the history of seaplane development, their different modes of operation and associated enabling technologies."


"It is evident from the study that seaplanes have a potential role in supporting seabasing through rapid and strategic deployment of troops, equipment, and logistic support. Seaplanes would certainly enhance Sea Base capability, providing a useful resource to achieve force closure, heavy lift logistic sustainment from the Sea Base to shore, and in-flight refueling."


That long-range heavy-lift seaplane as a military transport the archetype from a much previous era the Convair Tradewind.

"The Convair R3Y Tradewind was an American 1950s turboprop-powered flying boat designed and built by Convair . . . a large flying boat using new technology developed during the war . . . the design should be developed into a passenger and cargo aircraft."

Tradewind able to "beach" and evidently having an amphibious capability with organic wheels?

Tradewind also in the transport mode that front end swinging open when the plane "beached", troops allowed egress forward this feature considered important.

Consider also the concept of the ultra heavy lift transport, originally conceived as not a seaplane but nonetheless perhaps could be made versatile enough to function as a flying boat [water tight hull] and operate in conjunction with a sea base.

That transport the Boeing Pelican. Heavy lift long range transport using wing-in-ground effect for additional lift. Massive airplane with extraordinary capacity, only a concept under study.

"The Boeing Pelican ULTRA (Ultra Large Transport Aircraft) was a proposed ground effect fixed-wing aircraft under study by Boeing Phantom Works."

Pelican flying over water at max height, very low, deriving additional lift from wing-in-ground.

"Intended as a large-capacity transport craft for military or civilian use, it would have a wingspan of 500 feet (150 m), a cargo capacity of 1,400 tons (1,300 metric tonnes), and a range of about 10,000 nautical miles (18,000 km). Powered by four turboprop engines, its main mode would be to fly 20–50 ft (6–15 m) over water . . . It would operate from conventional runways, with its weight distributed over 38 fuselage-mounted landing gears with 76 wheels."

"the Pelican Ultra would carry a maximum of 2.8 million pounds of cargo--that's 17 M1 battle tanks--for a distance of up to 3,000 miles. For longer-range missions of up to 10,000 miles, the aircraft could carry payloads of up to 1.5 million pounds [41 Stryker vehicles]."

The authors of the naval study did not anticipate the use of COMBAT seaplanes primarily functioning as stand-off delivery systems. A sea base could indeed function quite well as an "airfield" for an entire wing of combat sea planes again the cost only a fraction of a brand new "super" carrier. This all seems rather do-able to me.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Seaplane IV.

This is coolbert:
"no one ever said this was going to be easy"

The military combat seaplane continued.


Military combat seaplanes UNDERSTOOD as not being an air superiority warplane. That much UNDERSTOOD from the start. Warplanes providing an adequate measure of performance, a partial alternative to the "super" aircraft carrier.

A system consisting of the planes themselves, a seaplane tender vessel and floating piers on demand.

The U.S. Navy for the fraction of the cost of a brand new "super" carrier able to proliferate the oceans of the world with seaplane tenders and an associated air wing. Power projection, brown, green, and blue water.

Military combat seaplanes primarily function in the stand-off mode, a delivery system able to fire on enemy targets with a variety of ordnance.

From a variety of forums the difficulties with the combat sea plane recognized and categorized as obstacles, problems and factors:

"Seaplanes And Flying Boats (What Are The Obstacles)"

A. Four obstacles that need to be overcome.

1) Calm water.

2) Take-off speed.

3) Safety. Landing and taking off on water is dangerous.screwing up a landing on floats, it'll ruin your day.

4) Availability . . . Neither Boeing nor Airbus would be likely to develop a new transport [combat] category aircraft for such a narrow market.

B. Additional problems.

1) salt water spray ingestion does not enhance engine life.

2) Any submerged log at or just below the surface might ruin the day

C. Performance factors.

1) the boat-hull would add weight and actually shorten the endurance.

2) Their main disadvantage [sea planes] came from the way in which the bulk of their floatation gear penalised their performance compared to other fighters.

Off-the-shelf commercially available sea planes converted to military use obviously not in the same performance category as a F-4 Phantom, a F-14 Tomcat, a F-18 Hornet or a F-35 Lightning. Modification and conversion not that difficult [?] for existing commercial single and dual engine sea planes, ordnance lifting capability adequate for a variety of weaponry already in the inventory?

Numbers [greater], adequacy, cost and availability as considerations are the key factors here? Pentagon planners and naval brass will not perceive the military seaplane as a "sexy" item. But again, understood not to be so from the start.


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Seaplanes III.

This is coolbert:

Air superiority?

Here with the two instances since the end of the Second World War [WW2], seaplanes as conceived as AIR SUPERIORITY WARPLANES!

In both cases the designs and aircraft existing only as concepts and prototypes, never reaching the assembly line level of development.

Seaplanes able to take off and land from the water and able as well to engage in the air-to-air combat in the old fashioned manner, mano-a-mano dogfighting!

1. The Convair F2Y Sea Dart.

"The Convair F2Y Sea Dart was a unique American seaplane fighter aircraft that rode on twin hydro-skis for takeoff. It flew only as a prototype, and never entered production, but it is still the only seaplane to exceed the speed of sound."

"The Sea Dart began as Convair's entry to a 1948 U.S. Navy contest for a supersonic interceptor aircraft."

Sea Dart either landing or taking off. I am not sure which one.
Sea Dart a supersonic aircraft [only in a shallow dive] the entire project however coming to a sudden and tragic end the disintegration of the warplane during a demonstration test flight resulting in a CANCELLED program and quick!

"speeds in excess of Mach 1 were attained in a shallow dive with this aircraft, making it the only supersonic seaplane to date. . . . [the prototype however] disintegrated in mid-air over San Diego Bay, California, during a demonstration for Navy officials and the press, killing Convair test pilot Charles E. Richbourg when he inadvertently exceeded the airframe limitations."

Sea Dart in flight. Those "ski-like" devices can be retracted after the warplane becomes airborne?

2. The Saunder-Roe SR./A.1.

Jet powered English flying boat designed in those years immediate after the end of WW2. A flying boat possessing that water-proof hull, again, a project the intent was an air superiority fighter plane.

"The Saunders-Roe SR./A.1 was a prototype flying boat fighter aircraft designed and built by Saunders-Roe. It was tested by the Royal Air Force shortly after World War II."

The SR./A.1 a flying boat with water-proof hull.

The English with their long and successful naval history better than most understanding the advantages of the sea plane?

"In theory, seaplanes were ideally suited to conditions in the Pacific theatre, and could turn any relatively calm area of coast into an airbase. Their main disadvantage came from the way in which the bulk of their floatation gear penalised their performance compared to other fighters."

Other than these two examples the seaplane as an air superiority warplane no other instances exist?

"The bulk of their floatation gear penalised their performance compared to other fighters". This more or less seems to say it all?


Seaplanes II.

This is coolbert:
"a blast from the past"

From that era prior to and during the Second World War [WW2]  examples of American seaplanes as employed BUT NOT NECESSARILY AS COMBAT WARPLANES!

Seaplanes having  a very slight and very limited organic combat capability.

The missions of which were primarily and almost exclusively limited to:

1. Observation.

2. Scouting.

3. Search and rescue.

4. A VIP water taxi.

With the exception of the PBY Catalina NONE of these seaplanes able to take-off other than from a ship mounted catapult. All [?] major American surface warships [cruisers and battleships] of the period having a complement of these seaplanes.

1. SOC-1 Seagull.

U.S. naval float plane SOC-1 in those years prior to Pearl Harbor and American entry into WW2. A biplane as launched via catapult each and every [?] major U.S. naval warship [cruiser and battleship] having an organic capacity to utilize float planes for the scouting and observation mission. 
2. Kingfisher.

An  American Kingfisher that float plane the successor to the SOC-1. Note the single bomb or depth charge as hanging from the bottom of the warplane. All these float planes having a very limited organic combat capacity. That bomb or depth charge to be used primarily if stumbling across an enemy submarine on the surface, attack to be instantaneous! 

3. Seamew SOC-3.

A Seamew from that era of WW2. This float plane not a success, the performance lacking. 
4. SC-1 Seahawk float plane.

American naval float plane SC-1 the mission of which was an air superiority mission. A fighter warplane designed to engage enemy aircraft in aerial combat mano-a-mano and emerge victorious. Was not air worthy and in production until the very latter end of the war [1945], the combat efficiency of the aircraft questionable?

Again, these float planes not able to become airborne on their own power in the aftermath of a water-landing, catapult launch from the deck of a warship a must.

5. PBY Catlina. Flying boat possessing that water-tight hull.

Catalina PBY flying boat from the WW2 era seaplane with waterproof hull. Had a limited combat capacity. Again, primarily used for surveillance, scouting, etc. Also an autonomous seaplane, able to take-off and land on water without assistance.

"The Consolidated PBY Catalina was an American flying boat, and later an amphibious aircraft of the 1930s and 1940s produced by Consolidated Aircraft. It was one of the most widely used multi-role aircraft of World War II."

In ALL cases those floatation devices [pontoons] and water-tight hull [flying boat] compromising to a marked degree the aerodynamic performance of the seaplane? That combat capability acknowledged as limited and full recognized as being so.


Seaplanes I.

This is coolbert:

"a good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow!"

Here begins a series of blog entries the subject of which is the military combat seaplane.

That Danger Room article thanks to Wireless Magazine the topic of which was possible alternatives to the American "super" aircraft carriers and also having been the source for a previous blog entry having stimulated some thought.

Those American "super" aircraft carriers of what I call the "Presidential" class, the Truman, Ford, Reagan, Lincoln recognized as being:

* Very expensive to build and operate.

* Very susceptible to combat damage.

NOT only the cost to build one "super" carrier expensive, that total expenditure including the vessel itself AND an air wing! ONLY limited a few numbers of "super" carriers available at any given moment, albeit merely one warship at sea having considerable "power projection" capability to all part of the world this undeniable.

Alternatives as suggested by Danger Room to the "super" carrier being:

* Light carriers.

* All ships an aircraft carrier. [VTOL?]

* Tomahawk firing ballistic missile submarines.

May I suggest one additional alternative to the "super" carrier not even considered by Danger Room?

Military combat seaplanes.

Military seaplanes as they exist abundant prior to the Second World War [WW2], now and since that time of 1945 an anachronism current and recent attempts at resuscitating the breed feeble at best!

Military seaplanes as part of a system that combination of warship [seaplane tender], floating piers, and warplanes able to use almost any body of water, brown, green, blue as an "air base", OR during a time of crisis or conflict, islands having an airstrip improved or otherwise, occupied by seaplane units.


Seaplanes primarily employed as STAND-OFF delivery systems able to fire a variety of ordnance at targets, ocean-going and inland both! Able to project power to all points of the planet.

Ordnance much of which specific for naval warfare to include:

* Hellfire.
* Mini-guns.
* Paveway munitions.
* JDAMS munitions.
* Harpoon.
* Sea mines.

Commercial seaplanes in the modern sense consisting of:

* Float planes. Pontoons for floatation.
* Flying boats. Waterproof hulls.
* Amphibians. Can use on demand a conventional airfield using organic wheels.

Military seaplanes an integral part of a system consisting of the planes themselves, a surface vessel [seaplane tender] or floating piers.

And this can all be done quick and cheap, relatively easy and NOW, the U.S. Navy able to proliferate the oceans of the world with with air wings of seaplanes and their associated warships.

Modern commercial merchant ships convented for military purposes.

Modern commercially available seaplanes, single and dual engine converted for military purposes..

That sea plane tender acting as a base for operations, arming, fueling, and maintaining the warplanes, Affording berthing for the air wing, combat support and combat service support.

Commercially available seaplanes needing not a whole lot of conversion, some hard points and advanced electronics alone sufficing.

That combination of warplanes, surface vessel and floating pier a number can be obtained and put to sea for military operations for a mere fraction of the cost of ONE "super" carrier!

This is all DO-ABLE and can be done NOW?

Devoted readers to the blog that know military aviation might care to comment!

To be continued!


Thursday, May 16, 2013


This is coolbert:

Thanks to TIME and the tip from the Jungle Trader here is an item - - sounds like something right out of a Hollywood move.

Resembles in various degrees: "The Mission" or from more recent times: "Avatar"?

"In Latin America’s Second Largest Rainforest, an Indigenous Tribe Fights for Its Land"

"Deep inside the verdant expanse of Nicaragua’s Bosawás Biosphere Reserve—the western hemisphere’s second largest rainforest—a group of Mayangna indigenous warriors wielding spears, bows, snakes and reputed magical powers are being ordered to stand down after two weeks of preparing for battle against encroaching land invaders."

"Leaders of the Mayangna Nation, the traditional guardians of the Bosawás, say they’re giving Nicaragua’s Sandinista government one last chance to oust the 'colonists'—a group of timber traffickers, gold miners, farmers, cattle ranchers and land swindlers who the Mayangnas say are devouring the forest like a swarm of locusts."

This is a case where the "white messiah" is needed? That inspired, charismatic and talented outsider, preferably a military man or someone with military experience.

Able to organize, train, plan, and lead into battle the indigenous American Indian Mayangna tribe against those that encroach and destroy that biosphere, the SECOND LARGEST RAINFOREST in the western hemisphere.

Persons, the "white messiah" from historical times such as T.E. Lawrence, Orde Wingate, Brookes Rajah of Sarawak, Homer Lea, and most recently Subcommandante' Marcos from Chiapas.

Most correctly so perhaps even a retired American Special Forces troop willing to put his various guerrilla warfare skills to practice.

Robert De Niro we need you now but in the guise of a Rodrigo Mendoza. And this is not to be so!


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Case Yellow.

This is coolbert:

"inferiority of numbers, inferiority of equipment, inferiority of methods". - - Gamelin.
"And even when the German offensive [1940] in the Ardennes became apparent, Gamelin hesitant, indecisive and lacking almost totally in any degree of vigor and initiative as is needed by the successful senior commander."

Gamelin the generalissimo of the allied [?] armies during the Battle of France [1940] his lacking in vigor much a surprise and contributing to French defeat.

Gamelin NOT however a traitor or a fascist sympathiser or a man at odds with the Third Republic. Merely that most senior military commander whose ability to respond to dynamics sorely lacking, extremely deficient? This does seem to be the case.

Devoted readers to the blog perhaps know if Gamelin wrote his memoirs or an autobiography or biographies of the man have been written? Questions regarding the comportment of the man during that time of 1940 and his decision making process have been addressed and answered?

The allies did have the resources to counter the German attack as occurred in 1940. Case Yellow [the German operational plan] not without potential deficiencies the allies COULD have taken advantage of.

Events as transpiring during the spring of 1940 indeed surprising the German success totally shocking and not anticipated. Also consider that during the Case Yellow campaign:

1. The allies courtesy of the Belgian had the exact plans of Case Yellow in their possession two months prior to the massive attack through the Ardennes. The operational plan captured intact a slightly modified version of the original followed by the German that spring of 1940 almost without deviation!

2. The allies [French and English] during that whole time of the Battle of France [1940] at least had SOME Enigma crypto machine decrypts available to them. French and British both reading at least SOME of the most secret German radio traffic during the campaign and sharing same between the two allies.

3. As Winterbotham has stated, RAF [Royal Air Force] reconnaissance did in fact detect German armor movement through the Ardennes as outlined in the captured German operational plan. This fact made manifest to Gamelin, the reaction being NO reaction! Surely this would cause concern and some definite suspicions.

4. Trevor Dupuy in his book "Understanding War" devotes an entire chapter to a quick and dirty QJM analysis of the Battle of France. Dupuy argues and makes it quite clear that IF Gamelin had redeployed his troops from behind the Maginot Line in time to that threatened Ardennes sector and had DONE SO IN TIME, disaster could have been averted. The German stopped cold!

That German not stopped cold, rather the opposite, the events most disheartening to the body and soul of France.

But not defeat from treachery or treason, this much should be clear.


Castle Itter.

This is coolbert:

"And even when the German offensive [1940] in the Ardennes became apparent, Gamelin hesitant, indecisive and lacking almost totally in any degree of vigor and initiative as is needed by the successful senior commander."

Once more from that Daily Beast web site item:

"World War II’s Strangest Battle: When Americans and Germans Fought Together"

Castle Itter: "a special prison that housed various French VIPs, including the ex-prime ministers Paul Reynaud and Eduard Daladier and former commanders-in-chief Generals Maxime Weygand and Paul Gamelin, amongst several others."

Among those VIP [very important persons] held captive at Itter Castle Paul Gamelin.

Gamelin of course the French generalissimo 1940. Gamelin the subject of previous blog entries:

See here and here regarding Gamelin!

Paul Gamelin. That French most senior military commander during the Battle of France [1940]. His performance worse than lackluster AND IT HAS BEEN SUGGESTED AS EVEN TRAITOROUS.

Observers having commented that the actions of rather lack of action on the part of Gamelin a display of incompetence that raises real questions as "to what exactly was occurring".

That Gamelin was held prisoner at Castle Itter, incarcerated and slated for execution seems to belay all suspicions that the general was not totally loyal to the French cause, rather perhaps a man who had been promoted to a position beyond his degree of ability.

Rather strange too when considering that Gamelin during the Great War [WW1] had comported himself with a marked degree of command presence able and competent.

Gamnelin rather should be seen in the same context as a John Bell Hood [CSA] from the American Civil War [an excellent divisional commander but an incompetent army commander], or the Israeli general officer Gonen [an outstanding brigade commander but an incompetent army commander]?

Gamelin perhaps not a commander able to handle dynamic change with the rapidity required but NOT a traitor. A loyal and proud Frenchman who merely in 1940 found the situation beyond his control!


Monday, May 13, 2013

Castle Keep.

This is coolbert:

Thanks to the Daily Beast and the tip from the Creative Minority Report we have this very strange item. AND also THE REST OF THE STORY.

"World War II’s Strangest Battle: When Americans and Germans Fought Together"

That "Strangest Battle" occurring at the very end of the Second World War in the European theatre, American, French and German personnel defending a castle against a division of the Waffen SS.

A story as they say, strange but true.

"Days after Hitler’s suicide a group of American soldiers, French prisoners, and, yes, German soldiers defended an Austrian castle against an SS division—the only time Germans and Allies fought together in World War II. Andrew Roberts on a story so wild that it has to be made into a movie. "

"The most extraordinary things about this truly incredible tale of World War II are that it hasn’t been told before in English, and that it hasn’t already been made into a blockbuster Hollywood movie . . . Steven Spielberg, how did you miss this story?"

A modified version of the story that movie having already been made, and some time ago, over four decades now?

I am thinking of Castle Keep from 1969.

Perhaps the strangest war movie of all time, with perhaps the strangest dialog of all time.

Devoted readers to the blog if able to obtain this cinematic marvel on VHS or DVD please do so and watch.

Burt Lancaster starring in command of a small American unit defending a castle from German attack.

"During the Battle of the Bulge, an anachronistic count shelters a ragtag squad of Americans in his isolated castle hoping they will defend it against the advancing Germans."

"Castle Keep is a "firmly pro- and anti-war" 1969 American war film directed by Sydney Pollack, starring Burt Lancaster, Patrick O'Neal, Jean-Pierre Aumont, Bruce Dern, and Peter Falk."

AND from the wiki entry for Castle Keep:

"During the Battle of the Bulge, a ragtag squad of American soldiers, led by one-eyed Major Falconer (Burt Lancaster) and including Sgt. Rossi (Peter Falk), art expert Captain Beckman (Patrick O'Neal) and the narrator, Pvt. Allistair Benjamin (Al Freeman, Jr.), take shelter in an ancient castle, containing many priceless and irreplaceable art treasures, which the impotent Count (Jean-Pierre Aumont) hopes they will defend against the advancing Germans as well as, he also hopes, impregnate the Countess (Astrid Heeren) so that his line may continue."

"The film is based on a novel by William Eastlake published in 1969".

Castle Keep called fiction, based on a novel. So they tell us. Or is it otherwise?


Team Mor.

This is coolbert:

"They have endurance and concentration,"
"women often tend to be more systematic, thorough and have a greater attention to detail"

Thanks to YNet and the tip from Steve we have the story of Team Mor. Israeli army all-woman surveillance unit.

Patrolling and sitting watch on the border between Israeli and Egypt, spotting infiltrators and illegal border crosser a speciality for which the women seem to be ideally suited and much more so than an all-male unit performing the same mission!!
"Israeli women soldiers have 'right stuff' for border watch"

'We make a real contribution to protecting the country,' says commander of all-female spotter unit on Israel's fenced-off border with Egypt. Retired general claims women better suited for patient vigilance required of surveillance"

"Team Mor is a spotter unit on Israel's fenced-off border with Egypt, deployed at night to intercept would-be infiltrators from the lawless Sinai desert. Like dozens of others along the tense divide, it is all-female." 

Team Mor able to use remote-controlled machine guns to engage infiltrators if needed!

The Israeli also having that mixed gender border patrol unit Caracal with a much more robust combat capability. Caracal a desert cat having androgynous features, the casual observer not able to determine if a solitary animal a male or female.

"On the Egyptian border, the Israelis also have mixed-sex paramilitary border police units and a mixed-sex infantry regiment, dubbed "Wildcat", which conduct patrols and ambushes."

Women in the military dimension also having an inherent advantage as communicators? Able to copy and send Morse code at a higher speed than men and more accurately and for a longer time also.

Devoted readers to the blog can think of other instances where women out-pace the men certain military tasks and missions ideally suited  for the female?


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Lusius Quietus.

This is coolbert:

Came across this quite by accident.

As it was during the Second World War [WW2], Berber soldiers from North Africa active in combat far from home during the Roman era, many thousands of years earlier.

Berbers from the High Atlas region of Africa French colonial troops known as the goum a popular subject of prior blog entries from the Military Thoughts web site.

Goum operating as very light infantry barely encumbered by impedimenta, enlisted Berber troops commanded by French officers, goum noted for their ability at camouflage and concealment AND able to move soundlessly during hours of darkness through mountainous terrain.

Goum also having a reputation for closing and fighting with the knife and most successfully so. Even preferring to do so.

Goum [during the Roman period would not have been referred to as such] also active as soldiers for the various Roman Emperors, very light cavalry moving into battle again lightly encumbered, no impedimenta, eschewing with the exception of the shield any sort of armor as might have been typical of the time.

Goum at the time of the Roman Emperors commanded most famously by one of their own - - Lusius Quietus.

"Originally a Berber prince, Lusius Quietus was the son of a tribal lord from Mauretania Caesariensis (modern-day Algeria). Lusius' father and his warriors had supported the Roman legions in their attempt to subdue Mauretania Tingitana [40 A.D.]"

"His father's service to Rome, on a notoriously difficult frontier, was honoured with the gift of Roman citizenship for him and his family. His son Lusius later joined the Roman army and served as an auxiliary officer in the Roman cavalry."

Goum cavalry in mortal combat during the Roman Dacian Wars. NO saddles, stirrups, body armor, just a shield. Maybe only a short sword or long knife as weapon. Goum preferring at all times the close quarters weaponry! Perhaps even Lusius himself in the lead!

"Quietus was brought back into the army when [ new emperor, Trajan, came to power and served as one of the emperor's auxiliary cavalry commanders during the Dacian wars"

Dacia that are of the world now known as Romania. The furthest extent of the Roman Empire and to this day retaining that name the etymology of which suggest ROME!



This is coolbert:

Here thanks to the cable television program Future Firepower we have a description of future firepower that is NOW.

The NLAW. Next-generation light anti-tank weapon. Swedish designed and manufactured weapon already as in the inventory of a variety of nations.

Next generation anti-tank as in fire-and-forget. NO need for the operator to track the missile all the way to the target [an enemy armored vehicle,  more than likely a tank].

NOT so light however. And I would have to think also not so cheap given the sophisticated technology.

Light as being of weight 12.5 kg [about 28 pounds]. From my perspective not so light!

A fire and forget weapon and a single shot throw-away apparatus.

"The Main Battle Tank and Light Anti-tank Weapon (MBT LAW), also known as the NLAW, is a Swedish short-range fire-and-forget anti-tank missile launcher. Designed for use by infantry, the MBT LAW is shoulder fired and disposable, firing just once before being needed to be disposed of."

The operator identifies the enemy tank, aims and acquires the target, fires the missile, and that is that.

That anti-tank guided missile [ATGM] with warhead not actually striking the target. That missile passing over the top of the enemy armored vehicle, the warhead [HEAT] exploding in a downward direction. This is TOP ATTACK!

Fire and forget I was familiar with. Top attack I was familiar with. Light anti-tank I was familiar with, but not this particular unique combination.

"A top attack device is designed to attack armoured vehicles from above, as the armour is usually thinnest at the top. Ideally, it will penetrate perpendicular to the attacked surface. The device may be delivered (often as a submunition) by a missile, artillery shell, or even an emplaced munition. Top attack munitions use either a high explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead for direct impact or near impact, or an explosively formed penetrator (EFP) warhead for over-flight of the target."

NLAW is not re-usable! Cannot be reloaded and fired at subsequent targets. That American LAW from the Vietnam War era had that single-shot capability also but was a pea-shooter very cheap, light to carry, and it was expected that the infantryman might have a half dozen or so pre-armed and ready to fire when encountering enemy armor. NOT with NLAW. Times change obviously.

P.S. Any devoted reader to the blog familiar with the fire and forget ATGM? That NLAW as shown in the demonstration on the Discovery Channel was fired at a stationary target. A moving target poses a challenge for the fire and forget? Those fire and forget missiles use an inertial guidance system for direction. NOT susceptible to countermeasures then?


Sunday, May 5, 2013


This is coolbert:


Once again, twice in three days the Israeli Air Force [IAF] attacking and destroying targets in Syria.

Reputedly the Iranian Fateh-110 rocket artillery missile en route to Hezbollah forces!

IAF warplanes not violating the airspace of Syria, able to hit their targets using stand-off weaponry the Popeye!

"Popeye is the name of a family of air-to-surface missiles developed and in use by Israel, of which several types have been developed for Israeli and export users . . . The United States operates the Popeye under a different designation according to US naming conventions as the AGM-142 Have Nap."

As reported in IsraelHayom:

"The alley-oop"

"The missile delivery that foreign reports said was destroyed on Thursday by Israel contained the Fateh-110 missile. At first it was reported that the destroyed missiles were Scud-D's. According to The New York Times, a unique bombing technique was used to take out the missiles: Israel Air Force jets did not cross into Syrian airspace, but carried out the strike from over Lebanese skies. The same technique, according to The Wall Street Journal, was used in Israel's attack on an air-defense missile delivery in Syria in January."

"This type of strike, known as a 'stand-off' or 'over-the-horizon' strike, allows the pilot to avoid flying directly over the target and exposing the plane to anti-aircraft fire or the shock waves from its own ordnance, and to drop its payload of bombs or Popeye missiles from afar"

A cruise missile also existing called Popeye with nuclear capability [?] and the type of weapon as would be fired by Israeli submarines in case of war with foreign powers whose boundaries are not contiguous to Israel?


Saturday, May 4, 2013


This is coolbert:

This news item covered only obliquely on CNN last night, a purported Israeli air strike on targets inside of Syria.

NOW confirmed by Israeli media?

"Israel Officials Confirm Attack on Hezbollah Bound Weapons"

"Israeli officials confirmed today that they targeted and destroyed a shipment of advanced weapons from the Syrian regime to Hezbollah in Lebanon. The strike targeted missiles from Iran."

Apparently Iranian missiles being trans-shipped through Syria en route to Hezbollah?

 "that target of early Friday attack was ‘game changing’ shipment of advanced missiles."

"The officials said the shipment was not of chemical arms, but of 'game changing' weapons bound for the terror group Hezbollah . . . was a shipment of advanced, long-range ground-to-ground missiles."

Ground-to-ground missiles perhaps that HAVE A CHEMICAL WARHEAD POTENTIAL?

The DEBKAfile reporting that these were Fateh-110 rocket artillery missiles!

NO LONGER a threat merely from Grad type rocket artillery but something more major perhaps. LONG-RANGE rocket artillery that will be able to range the entire length and breadth of Israel?


That term "game changer" seems to be quite popular. Everywhere now and all at once we have "game changers" and "red lines", etc.

Assad too seems to have remarkable staying power and endurance. And has some significant backers whose machinations only complicated the internal Syrian situation. I think a lot of pundits might have assumed Assad would be gone by now. BUT NO!


Grand Canal.

This is coolbert:

Here an instance of an attack on what is termed a high-value-target [HVT] the capture or destruction of which precipitates a sudden and most dramatic end to a war.

High-value-targets during wartime the recognition of which, the control, destruction, occupation, or interdiction of same [HVT] bringing a quick and speedy conclusion to hostilities.

"High-Value Target (HVT) — A target the enemy commander requires for the successful completion of the mission. The loss of HVTs would be expected to seriously degrade important enemy functions."

"a High-Value Target (HVT) is a target (a person or resource) that an enemy commander requires for completion of a mission"

That HVT not necessarily strictly a person, may well be a resource too!

Examples from the era of the Second World War [WW2] of HVT to include: [resources in each and every case]

* The oil fields and refineries of Ploesti.

* The hydro-electric power plants and dams of the Italian High Tyrol.

* The ball bearing factories at Schweinfurt. [Germany]

* The two main power plants in the western part of the Soviet Union.

[Those two power plants supplying 75 % of the electric power as needed by the munitions factories of the Soviet Union!]

During WW2 attacks on these various HVT carried out with less than effectiveness, results not as expected, the HVT in each and every case not disrupted or destroyed to the degree as desired.

Within historic times the Grand Canal of China an important HVT absolutely vital to commerce, trade, AND providing sustenance in the form of grain shipments to the armies of the Emperor.

From that latest edition of the National Geographic:

"He [Emperor Yang] needed a way to move rice from the fertile region around the Yangtze northwest to feed his court and crucially, his armies"

That Grand Canal begun in 605 A.D. the entire length completed only after many decades of frenzied effort.

That Grand Canal a priority target of the British during the First Opium War. The capture and interdiction of the Great Canal that result the swift and complete Chinese capitulation:

 "The canal [The Grand Canal] did more than move grain - - as the country's unifying feature, it was a potent political symbol and strategic target for invaders. In the early 1840's when the British wanted to put a stranglehold on China during the First Opium War, they occupied Zhenjiang, at the intersection of the canal and the Yangtze, throttling the flow of grain and tax revenues to Beijing. Within weeks China surrendered."

NO more grain, NO army being fed, NO taxes, NO more war making potential, further resistance futile, surrender or negotiations seen as the only alternative.

It all seems too simple. Identify that one HVT vital to your adversary, deny same, and voila', the war is over. Seems to be easier said than done. But a possible, and the First Opium War demonstrates this is so!


Thursday, May 2, 2013


This is coolbert:

From a comment to the blog from Ruth:

"and to think that the country is operating 34 ammonium nitrate plant with about 6,000 retailers widespread in the US mainland. And considering that Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh used 4,000 pounds (1,800 kilograms) of ammonium nitrate to blow up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in 1995 proving the deadly properties of ammonium nitrate. This can be seen as a dent on the implementation of “Ammonium Nitrate Security Program” and US Chemical Safety Laws."

And Ruth is 110 % correct!!

This West, TX ammonium nitrate plant not even "on the map" so far as Homeland Security concerned. Was not [?] subject to ordinary safeguards, security, background checks of employees, etc.

So I have seen as reported.

Even more than a decade after 9/11 this being so inexplicable!

All the more peculiar given the history of ANFO [ammonium nitrate fuel oil] bombs of prodigious proportions as used by disaffected, angry, and hate filled persons with terrorist motivations.

Those explosions as can be had from an ANFO bomb enormous. Only a nuclear detonation exceeds in scale!

The "recipe" for such an explosive well known to the terrorist and degenerate individuals whose goal is mayhem on a catastrophic basis.

These plants exploded in situ also might be a favorite tactic of the terrorist, level the plant with a gigantic explosive having the detonation appear as an accident.

That French AZT ammonium nitrate plant "accidentally" blown sky [slightly more than a week after 9/11] high the cause never verified or determined with certainty, the suspect attired in a strange manner indicative to some of a suicide mission, that never established however as fact.