Monday, September 30, 2013


This is coolbert:

From RIANovosti and the tip from Jungle Trader we have this interesting story.

A man I can more than reasonably infer almost with 100 % metaphysical certitude a spetsnaz soldier, a Soviet/Russian Army special purpose cut-throat troop gone amuck in the wilds of Siberia.

Described as a "paratrooper" but presumably much more than that!

Spetsnaz the elite Soviet/Russian combat soldier trained to the highest possible level of physical and mental ability that raw material the conscript about one-in-a-thousand as evaluated in advance able to serve in a spetsnaz unit.

That spetsnaz soldier and his training and missions of the spetsnaz ranger/commando type unit described in detail by the Soviet defector Suvorov.

This man Avdeyev finally captured after a long hunt, and that ONLY after escaping from prison and eluding pursuers in an almost admirable fashion.

One very dangerous man!

"‘Rambo of the Taiga’ Busted in Siberia After 4 Months on the Run"

The taiga that northern boreal forest of Siberia. Remote and isolated in the extreme.

"MOSCOW, September 30 (RIA Novosti) – A former paratrooper jailed for butchering Central Asian migrant workers in a gruesome vendetta was detained Monday after spending four months on the run from a maximum security prison in eastern Siberia, officials said."

From that article among those attributes as ascribed to Avdyev and indicative of the spetsnaz soldier"

* "Avdeyev was said to possess enormous physical strength"

* “He can kill any number of people with his bare hands"

* "Two victims were decapitated with spades"

And as is taught to the spetsnaz troop Avdeyev a survivalist, able to subsist where others cannot, live off the land.

* "Avdeyev said he spent the entire time in the forest, had no contact with other people and subsided on whatever nourishment he could forage in the wilderness"

Suvorov mentions that as part of their training, spetsnaz soldiers are taught escape and evasion, often posing as convicts, even dressed as same, police and attack dogs in hot pursuit!

That "spade" used to decapitate victims a small sharpened shovel, an entrenching tool razor sharp on three sides and for which the spetsnaz soldier is reputed to receive extensive training with. Killing silently and effectively with that shovel an essential part of missions as performed.

Avdeyev is Rambo. NOT virtually in the cinema, but in real life! And most dangerous!


Fred & Okinawa.

This is coolbert:

From the Fred on Everything web site and extract with commentary:

"The View From Okinawa"

 "America Doesn't Lead The World In Everything"

"Okinawa--Perspective both geographic and temporal leave one wondering just where American society is going. I came here to research a magazine piece on tunnel warfare, but was, not unexpectedly, struck by the different tenor of life. We in the United States pride ourselves on having the best country in the world. In many ways we don't."

"Crime is rare Okinawa, except when committed by American GIs stationed here. (In a store I saw a sign: 'Because of recent incidents of theft, groups of American boys are not allowed inside.') Civility is usual, not a cause for surprise as it is when it breaks out in America. Parents do not become anxious when they lose sight of their small kids in a supermarket. Nobody is going to snatch them. Outbursts of almost psychotic violence are not part of what I suppose we would call the automotive experience."

That American military man when overseas behaving badly are popular topic for discussion. Crime when as committed by an American soldier against an Okinawan sensationalized and elaborated upon endlessly [?] by the Japanese media.

Rape of an Okinawan female by an American serviceman an especially egregious offense [as is well understood to be the case rape under any circumstances egregious] offensive to the Japanese people and society. NOT normally a crime as common, very rare indeed!

Japan as perceived a nation and society very civil and orderly, little crime as understood in the American context.


That perception that U.S. military personnel stationed in Okinawa are a band of miscreants running amuck perpetrators of all sorts of violence and mayhem is over exaggerated, regardless of how presented by the media. NOT to excuse misbehavior when it does occur [and it does occur], merely I suggest that unjustified sensationalism of events is hardly a good policy.


Sunday, September 29, 2013


This is coolbert:

Extracts from the wiki entry of Chickamauga with comment:

1. Fog of War.

From a previous blog entry:

"The fog of war is a term used to describe the uncertainty in situation awareness experienced by participants in military operations. The term seeks to capture the uncertainty regarding own capability, adversary capability, and adversary intent during an engagement, operation, or campaign."

"War is an area of uncertainty; three quarters of the things on which all action in War is based on are lying in a fog of uncertainty to a greater or lesser extent. The first thing (needed) here is a fine, piercing mind, to feel the truth with the measure of its judgment." - - Clausewitz.

"The great uncertainty of all data in war is a peculiar difficulty, because all action must, to a certain extent, be planned in a mere twilight, which in addition not infrequently — like the effect of a fog or moonlight — gives to things exaggerated dimensions and unnatural appearance." - - Clausewitz

That combat commander at whatever echelon not able to make decisive and totally certain 100 % accurate judgments during battle. Uncertainty based on a continuous and sometimes overwhelming amount of  inaccurate, erroneous, incomplete, and quite often misleading information! AND on occasion throw deliberate misinformation as presented by the adversary into the mix!


"The land between Chickamauga Creek and the LaFayette Road was gently rolling but almost completely wooded ... In the woods no officer above brigadier could see all his command at once, and even the brigadiers often could see nobody's troops but their own and perhaps the enemy's. Chickamauga would be a classic soldiers battle,' but it would test officers at every level of command in ways they had not previously been tested. An additional complication was that each army would be attempting to fight a shifting battle while shifting its own position. ... Each general would have to conduct a battle while shuffling his own units northward toward an enemy of whose position he could get only the vaguest idea. Strange and wonderful opportunities would loom out of the leaves, vines, and gunsmoke, be touched and vaguely sensed, and then fade away again into the figurative fog of confusion that bedeviled men on both sides. In retrospect, victory for either side would look simple when unit positions were reviewed on a neat map, but in Chickamauga's torn and smoky woodlands, nothing was simple."- - Steven E. Woodworth

That "fog of war" both figurative and almost literal. Those enormous and dense and long-lasting clouds of black powder smoke often hanging closely to the ground for an extended period after a mass discharge of rifles, creating a "smoke screen" further limiting an already limited visibility.

2. Elan' and dash.

It being generally conceded that during the American Civil War the soldiers of the Confederacy possessed the greater amount of elan' and dash. More spirited and energetic action.

Elan' and dash during that period NOT always such a good idea when used in a reckless way. Advancing units across open ground in closed and clumped formations as in the Napoleonic style of warfare NOT a good idea. Units too susceptible to decimation or even obliteration in almost an instant.

"It seems to me that the elan' of the Southern soldier was never seen after Chickamauga. ... He fought stoutly to the last, but, after Chickamauga, with the sullenness of despair and without the enthusiasm of hope. That 'barren victory' sealed the fate of the Confederacy." - - Confederate Lt. Gen. D.H. Hill

That the soldiers of the Confederacy at Chickamauga even when out-numbering the enemy and fighting on their own territory, gained only a Pyrrhic victory of sorts, that Union army beaten and in retreat but only just so and living to fight another day must have been disheartening.

AND not only Chickamauga but even more so the Battle of Franklin, the secessionist forces themselves routed and leaving the scene of combat in disorder and disarray, that ONLY TIME DURING THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR WHEN CONFEDERATE TROOPS DID SO!


Friday, September 27, 2013


This is coolbert:

Here thanks to the Aviationist we have more instances of American fighter pilots in DACT [Dissimilar Air Combat Training] exercises not faring so well. Foreign pilots in foreign warplanes more than able to hold their own against the TOP OF THE LINE AMERICAN WARPLANE FLOWN PRESUMABLY BY THE TOP OF THE LINE AMERICAN FIGHTER JOCKS.

That F-22 NOT SO TOTALLY OMNIPOTENT IN THE SKIES. DACT exercises seeming to show that the F-22 while not inferior to the Eurofighter Typhoon or the French Rafale, not so terribly superior either, indeed even if at all!

DACT [Dissimilar Air Combat Training] exercises a topic of previous blog entries here, here and here. Red Flag and Top Gun simulated aerial combat but involving the air forces and warplanes of various nations. Doctrine, aircraft, tactics, training, etc. DACT!

From the Aviationist:

1. "Farnborough 2012: 'Yesterday we had Raptor salad for lunch"' Typhoon pilot said after dogfighting with the F-22 at Red Flag Alaska"

"Indeed, Typhoon pilots . . . said that, when flying without their external fuel tanks, in the WVR (Within Visual Range) arena, the Eurofighter not only held its own, but proved to be better than the Raptor."

And prior to Red Flag Alaska there was ATLC 2009.

2. "Rare video shows F-22 Raptor shot down by the French Rafale in mock air-to-air combat"

"in November 2009, some 1st Fighter Wing’s Raptors from Langley AFB, flew to Al Dhafra, in the UAE, to train with the French Air Force Rafales and the RAF Typhoons during exercise ATLC 2009."

"the U.S. Air Force pilots told that their plane was undefeated during the exercise, the French were killed once in six 1 vs 1 WVR (Within Visual Range) engagements versus the F-22 (the other 5 ended with a “draw”) and one Raptor was claimed as killed by a UAE Mirage 2000 during a mock engagement."

My understanding is that DACT exercises are not a random free-for-all melee' in the skies but are rather carefully choreographed.

And that performance of the F-35 will be markedly and appreciably better than the F-22? That is an item I am sure is worrisome to the USAF command. If F-22 cannot, perhaps F-35 can? So it goes.

Where is Gripen NG when we need it?


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Admiral Lisovski.

This is coolbert:

As extracted from the archives of the Chicago Tribune, that article noting the arrival of the Russian naval squadrons in American waters and the warm reception. Thanks to Stephan Benzkofer for his kind assistance.

"Chicago Tribune."

"FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2, 1863."


"Speeches of the Russian Admiral."



[Admiral Lisovski]

"No less true to our hearts the feelings of sympathy and friendship which American citizens have manifested to us (cheers.) I assure you gentlemen, that from the beginning of these difficulties of yours, our people have followed with interest, and at the same time with sorrow, the trials through which you are passing: but we expect that the talents and energy of the heroes who have already made themselves immortal will save your country. (Applause.) I propose the health of the person to whom the American people have entrusted at this time their future. Let us gentlemen, drink to the health of the President of the United States."

Admiral Lisovski and his counter-part in San Francisco having SEALED orders only to be opened in case of further and expanding warfare, the parties of the United States, the Confederacy, France, England and Russian involved. Russia AS AN ALLY OF THE UNITED STATES!

Such an event did not transpire, but it COULD HAVE!


Wednesday, September 25, 2013


This is coolbert:

From Suite 101 and the article by Christopher Eger we have the details of a remarkable incident from the American Civil War the aspects and implications of which are little known or appreciated.

"The Cossacks Are Coming, Aren't They?"

"The misinterpreted Russian Navy mission in the US Civil War may have accidentally helped the North win the conflict."

The Russians are coming!

And on almost this exact date 150 years ago the Russians did arrive, and did so in force!

And much welcomed, President Lincoln and the entire Federal cause most grateful.

"Suddenly, on September 24, 1863, two separate Russian naval squadrons arrived in US waters unannounced on both the East and West coasts. The Russian Atlantic fleet on the US East Coast had sailed from the Baltic and arrived at New York under command of Rear Admiral Lesovskii with three large frigates and three smaller vessels. The fleet included the new and fearsome 5,100-ton US-built screw frigate Alexander Nevsky with 51 sixty-pounder naval guns. The Russian Pacific fleet that arrived on the West Coast in San Francisco was under command of Rear Admiral Popov and consisted of four small gunboats and a pair of armed merchants cruisers. The ships were saluted, and allowed entry as being on a friendly port call."

Those Russian Imperial Navy squadrons arriving in New York City and San Francisco and engaging in maneuvers and exercises for a period of nine months subsequent a strong show of solidarity with the Union cause and the abolitionist movement.

Czar Alexander II, Czar of all the Russians only less than two years earlier having emancipated 23 million serfs. Alexander finding common cause with the aspirations of President Lincoln.

That arrival of the Russian naval squadrons seen as a warning to other European powers [England and France] not to intervene in the American Civil War on the side of the Confederacy.

The Union cause thanks to the efforts of the American Ambassador Cassius Marcellus Clay indeed having a very powerful and strong foreign ally.

Devoted readers to the blog more than likely will correctly assume that this "show of solidarity" was not so totally 100 % altruistic. Czar Alexander did have an intention that was not so totally selfless, only fifty years after the fact that role of the Russian navy in American waters understood within a much wider context.

Read that entire Suite 101 article and then YOU WILL KNOW THE REST OF THE STORY!


Nazi Gold.

This is coolbert:

Here from Der Spiegel thanks to the tip from Freeper we have the story of the missing Nazi gold. A hoard of gold stashed since the end of the Second World War [WW2], the location of which has been preserved in an encrypted manner, a musical score which has now been decrypted?

The hunt is on!

"Secret Code: Music Score May Lead to Nazi Gold"

"Three attempts have been made in recent weeks to find buried Nazi treasure in the Bavarian town of Mittenwald, close to the Austrian border. Even though the holes in the ground have since been filled, the traces left by drills and blue markings are still visible below a thin layer of autumn leaves."

. . . .

"The whole idea of Nazi gold has long held a grip on the public imagination"

A grip on the "public imagination" and not without foundation!

"In April 1945, the Wehrmacht armed forces and officials of the Reichsbank approved a plan to store at least part of the reserves of the German Reichsbank at Einsiedl, a small town on the southwest shore of Lake Walchen. Much of these assets were handed over to the Allies, but around 100 gold bars, sacks of dollars and Swiss francs and possibly even more hoards went missing."

Presumably this is good stolen and looted from all over Europe, hastily buried in preparation for the rise of the Fourth Reich?

Gold in secret stashes a prize of war, ill-gotten gain  is a not so totally uncommon story, war booty or concealed by secret cipher. From WW2 we have the instances of:

1. Yamashita's Gold.

"Yamashita - Baes' gold, also referred to as the Yamashita - Baes treasure, is the name given to the alleged war loot stolen in Southeast Asia by Japanese forces during World War II and hidden in caves, tunnels and underground complexes in the Philippines . . . accounts that the treasure remains hidden in Philippines have lured treasure hunters from around the world for over fifty years, its existence is dismissed by most experts"

2. The Awa Maru sunken treasure ship.

"Having delivered her supplies, Awa Maru took on several hundred stranded merchant marine officers, military personnel, diplomats and civilians at Singapore. In addition, there were stories that the ship carried treasure worth approximately US$5 billion—40 metric tons of gold, 12 metric tons of platinum, and 150,000 carats (30 kg) of diamonds and other strategic materials."

3. The Beale Treasure that secret location of which concealed within a cipher of yet unresolved complexity.

"The Beale ciphers are a set of three ciphertexts, one of which allegedly states the location of a buried treasure of gold, silver and jewels estimated to be worth over USD$63 million as of September 2011. The other two ciphertexts allegedly describe the content of the treasure, and list the names of the treasure's owners' next of kin . . . treasure being buried by a man named Thomas Jefferson Beale in a secret location in Bedford County, Virginia, in 1820."

NONE of this ever seems to come to pass. Always the treasure sought but never found. That is the case here too?


Tuesday, September 24, 2013


This is coolbert:

Clarification is needed within the context of some recent blog entries. We should all be on the same page about this.

1. "Troops in such tropical areas the chances of death from disease just magnitudes greater than becoming a fatality from combat operations."

Traditionally and historically the biggest killers of soldiers has been feet and water AND NOT MORTAL COMBAT ON THE BATTLEFIELD.

Either not having enough water to drink or drinking water that is diseased or sickening in some manner.

Feet in the respect of a troop falling out on the march, unable to keep up the pace with his compatriots, subjected to attack and death by marauders, guerrillas or just plain angry civilians taking advantage of a situation.

2. "This man deserves without question the Victoria Cross [VC]  Highest military award that can be bestowed on an English soldier."

More than likely that English bloke who stood so tall in Nairobi will be awarded the George Cross [GC] and not the Victoria Cross [VC]. The latter only being awarded to those soldiers participating in conventional military combat. The GC awarded for heroism in a less than traditional combat environment. As was the case at Cowra with Hardy and Jones.


Monday, September 23, 2013


This is coolbert:

From the Daily Mail we have the story of an English hero. An British soldier standing very tall, without question a man who even when OFF DUTY demonstrating a heroism almost without measure or equal.

"SAS hero of the mall massacre: Off duty soldier with a handgun saved 100 lives as terrorists ran amok"

• "Was having coffee at Westgate mall when it was attacked on Saturday"
• "Returned to building a dozen times, despite intense gunfire"
• "Sources said the soldier was with the Special Air Service, or SAS"
• "Man, who can't be named for security reasons, was pictured with victims"

SAS roughly equivalent to American Special Forces and Rangers. Special operations/ranger/commando type unit.

"‘He went back in 12 times and saved 100 people. Imagine going back in when you knew what was going on inside.’"

This man deserves without question the Victoria Cross [VC]  Highest military award that can be bestowed on an English soldier.

Whether in secret or not, presented to the troop from the hands of the Queen herself.

SAS the personnel of which the only English military allowed to carry weapons under law within the confines of British territory. Such is the type of missions and duty they maybe assigned.



This is coolbert:

Again, from that prior blog entry I have asked this question:

"Those penal battalions a wartime measure perhaps UNIQUE TO THE RED ARMY?"

According to the wiki, penal battalions NOT strictly a measure "unique to the Red Army" or even so a temporary World War Two [WW2] phenomenon but existing in the historical context as well.

Soldiers recalcitrant in their duty, shirkers, malingerers, a troop committing a criminal offense [I  would imagine under either military or civil law] assigned to penal units, expunging their sentence and redeeming themselves.

These penal units not merely punishment by confinement of course but combat military units often given very difficult mission perhaps even assignments considered to be hazardous and dangerous in the extreme!

From those examples as listed in the wiki entry we have:

1. Great Britain. Royal African Corps (1800–1821).

"the Royal African Corps [RAC], composed of military offenders from various regiments pardoned on condition of life-service in Africa and the West Indies."

Military service for life OVERSEAS, banishment from England FOREVER.

Such an assignment to a regiment in then West Indies or Africa during that period of time also can be thought to be analogous to A SENTENCE OF DEATH!

Troops in such tropical areas the chances of death from disease just magnitudes greater than becoming a fatality from combat operations.

Soldiers of that period serving in tropical climates dying in droves primarily from yellow fever and malaria.

AND, of course, no possibility EVER of return to England even if you survived your military service.

The French too during both the Napoleonic and post-Napoleonic era possessing and employing combat penal units.

2. France.

"Régiment pénal de l'Ile de Ré, formed in 1811"
Penal regiments during the Napoleonic era consisting of "draft dodgers" assignment to a battalion for corrective measures "depending on the level of crime those in them were guilty of, had varying degrees of severity"

Persons guilty of merely avoiding conscription their punishment less harsh, redemption considered possible, those draft dodgers guilty of addition civilian criminality less worthy and not sent to units that ultimately given a combat mission? This is not so totally clear to me.

Bataillons d'Infanterie Légère d'Afrique.

"Battalion of Light Infantry of Africa formed in 1832 and made up of men with prison records who still had to do their military service or soldiers with serious disciplinary problems."


"The Battalions of Light Infantry of Africa (French: Bataillons d'Infanterie Légère d'Afrique or BILA), better known under the acronym Bat' d'Af', were French penal military units, serving in Northern Africa and made up of men with prison records who still had to do their military service or soldiers with serious disciplinary problems."

Whether it is RAC of BILA these penal units seem to have comported themselves well in combat. Well, they had to. The sea at their back, return to their homeland impossible, they had no option other than to stand and fight and fight well, death being the only other alternative.


Sunday, September 22, 2013


This is coolbert:

Most surprisingly so, the ancient and venerable B-57 Canberra continues to fly and even now performing yeoman service in the skies over Afghan.

This story from the Aviationist web site with some of the details.

'New' 41-year old WB-57 Canberra joins NASA fleet of high altitude special operations aircraft"

"In Afghanistan these unique aircraft have been used to test Northrop Grumman’s Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) a technological “gateway” system that allows aircraft with incompatible radio systems and datalinks to transfer information and communicate."

That WB of the WB-57 usually designates "weather". These Canberra now flying for NASA, a civilian agency of the U.S. government. That NASA is participating in military operations, even in a test mode, violates the peaceful and civilian application charter of the agency?


Canberra best thought of as a light two-engine tactical bomber, the jet version of the B-26?

"At the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, the USAF found itself in dire need of an all-weather interdiction aircraft."

Among the new aircraft considered by the USAF for adoption as a tactical bomber was:

"the new British English Electric Canberra . . . officially taken up by the USAF on 25 May 1951."

And this as of 1951, that initial version of the Canberra already flying and in service [?] with the RAF, so that means the plane designed and prototypes having flown BEFORE that date!

"The Martin B-57 Canberra is a United States-built, twin jet engine tactical bomber and reconnaissance aircraft that entered service with the United States Air Force (USAF) in 1953."

After sixty years only three of these warplanes still taking to the air, but mission ready and will be so for perhaps many decades to come!



This is coolbert:

From the Chicago Tribune only today and thanks as always to Stephan Benzkofer.


"The South fights back in Georgia"

"Confederate send Rosecrans running - - though his army stays, battles on"

That Battle of Chickamauga. Another bitter and unexpected defeat for Union forces. That commanding general officer disgraced, his army nearly destroyed, the situation tense.

"On Sept. 19-20, 1863, North and South clashed in the first major battle after Gettysburg more than 10 weeks earlier. But the blood was shed 600 miles south in Georgia near a small river called Chickamauga Creek.

. . . .

"The Confederate surge routed about a third of the Union force, which in a 'retrograde movement' led by Rosecrans himself, hurried back to the safety of Chattanooga."

And as reported from 150 years ago in the Chicago Tribune.


"The magnitude of the crisis in rebel affairs, the zeal with which they have been massing all their available forces in that quarter, give to the situation in Northern Georgia an importance surpassed by none in the history of the war thus far."

. . .

"It is not pleasant to contemplate what we have staked on the result."

. . .

"Our Louisville dispatch states that all is quiet in Knoxville."

. . .

"LATER - - At one o'clock, this (Monday) morning, a dispatch comes to hand, from Louisville, announcing that our army, under Rosecrans has been badly beaten in the battle of yesterday, and has retreated to Chattanooga."

Each and every reader of the Tribune on that day 150 years ago knowing without question the situation still in doubt, Union victory not so clear as might have been supposed, more hard fighting and vigorous campaigning to follow. The war continues, a resolution not at hand, further strife and bloodshed inevitable, a long hard slog and recognized as such.


Friday, September 20, 2013


This is coolbert:

In that previous blog entry I ask this question:

"Those penal battalions a wartime measure perhaps UNIQUE TO THE RED ARMY?"

And thanks to Dan we have the answer:

"Read the book The Forgotten Soldier by Guy Sajer."

"In it the author mentions WWII German soldiers being placed in penal batallions if they lost equipment. The example was of a junior officer who lost his binoculars during a retreat over a river, escaping by the skin of his teeth. It is a great book worth reading."

The German during the Second World War [WW2] also having penal battalions. Special correctional contingents of soldiers who had shirked duty or committed an offense either major or trivial, disobedient, etc.

This was the Strafbattalion. From the wiki:

"Strafbattalion . . . is the generic term for penal units created from prisoners during the Second World War in all branches of the Wehrmacht."

"Soldiers and civilian criminals sentenced to these units were generally poorly-armed and required to undertake dangerous high-casualty missions."

"Strafbattalion were operated and administered by the German military police."

Those German military police the feldgendarmes ["chain dogs"].

"By 1943, the course of World War II had turned against Nazi Germany. Due to military losses and the need to maintain discipline by example, the German High Command ordered that further punishment units should be formed from the thousands of Wehrmacht military prisoners held in its military prison."

"These Strafbattalione, which were under the control of the Feldgendarmerie, were then used to conduct dangerous operations (sometimes akin to suicide missions) for the Heer such as clearing minefields, assaulting difficult objectives and defending positions against overwhelming attacking forces."

"They were also made to do manual hard labor in front-line locations building and repairing military infrastructure and defenses."

Expiate your sentence, be punished and corrected so as to perform further honorable, loyal and effective military service! NOT necessarily however were you expected to DIE!

This too I was not aware of. The Feldjagerkorps. More hard core head knockers a specially conceived and apparently autonomous unit given extraordinary powers summary and final!

"In the final years of the war, order within all branches of the Wehrmacht was upheld by a specially-formed military police, the Feldjägerkorps. These military police units, which had seniority over all other Feldgendarmerie, were formed from combat-decorated officers and NCOs. Possessing the direct authority from the OKW, they had the power to maintain control and discipline throughout all the German armed forces including the SS. The Feldjägerkorps had the authority in the field to summarily execute officers or enlisted men for any breach of military discipline, order or duty."

Those persons in a German penal battalion stripped of all rank and assigned to wear a red triangle. That red triangle usually designating a political offender within the German concentration camp system. The preponderance of those offenders in the German penal battalions were political as that term understood?


Thursday, September 19, 2013


This is coolbert:

The Rim Fire what it was called now extinguished or at least the vast percentage "contained" as they call it, this headline in the aftermath most disturbing. Thanks to Freeper.

"Harsh Yosemite fire aftermath: 40 percent of land 'nuked'"

"Within the footprint of California's Rim Fire is an area of 60 square miles where everything is dead, the worst such burn damage in centuries."

That land the vicinity of the Yosemite valley now resembling a war zone as fought over by two armies, each side employing nuclear weaponry!

Such destruction and devastation as not seen in CENTURIES as estimated.

Colonel Craig USMC and I have discussed on several occasions that fighting these forest fires in the western states of the USA very analogous to waging war. Perhaps the closest you can come to actual combat without having an adversary shooting at you. That element of danger still very great.

Fighting a forest fire having a similarity to warfare in that you have troops, those firefighters that:

* Wear a uniform.
* Carry a standard battle kit.
* Work as part of a unit.
* Having a basic degree of training.

Also the fire manager, the combat commander, having at this disposal a battle staff, making plans and decisions for 24, 48, 72, and 96 hours in advance.

Firefighters operating in rough terrain quite often, and needing to be sustained in the field for sometimes weeks on end.

That combat commander the fire manager directing engineers using heavy equipment and also employing his own air force as needed.

Considerations that combat commander must take into account to include the weather and an enemy [fire] the considerations of which are dynamic. The plan to fight the fire is the base from which all change is made.

Fire of itself a dynamic entity, "fighting" by rules not always consistent with the appreciations of the fire manager, FIRE POSSESSING MANY ATTRIBUTES USUALLY ASSIGNED TO LIVING ORGANISMS.

And as I have observed with regard to the recent Yosemite area fires this too:

* The "dog and pony show", also sometimes called the "peep show". The press briefing done on a daily basis for the media. Lots of visuals to include maps, charts, graphs, etc. During the Vietnam War this was called the "Saigon Follies".

* The creation and defense of a "strong point". The firefighters having received orders to defend almost to the death certain items as deemed of utmost national importance. That Yosemite valley, the national park and those California Big Trees [Sequoia], NATIONAL TREASURES "strong points" worth saving at all costs. NOT ONE STEP BACKWARDS!

Rim Fire today, others tomorrow, and always BAD!


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Penal Battalion.

This is coolbert:

From that prior blog entry:

"And WOE to that Soviet soldier that would either lose or misplace his great coat. Probably the punishment a severe sentence of military penal servitude of a very harsh nature!"

NO! I am wrong here. Had totally forgotten about this.

Penal servitude rather consisting of assignment to a penal battalion during wartime.

That assignment more or less THE SAME AS A SENTENCE OF DEATH!!

Those penal battalions a wartime measure perhaps UNIQUE TO THE RED ARMY?

A battalion consisting of three rifle companies and one machine gun company.

Those serving sentences for a "crime" assigned to the rifle companies. That machine gun company NKVD secret policemen!

Each divisional commander having at his disposal a penal battalion those soldiers of the rifle companies [equipped with nothing more than rifles and so appropriately designated], troops of which were assigned assault missions and frontal attack of the most frenzied and dangerous type WITHOUT ANY SUPPORT OR BACKUP!



Penal battalion troops also serving as tank-borne infantry during the final and climactic attack on Berlin by the Red Army, 1945.

And as described by Suvorov, those rear-gunners for the Il-2 ground support attack aircraft also persons serving a penal battalion sentence, your conviction record expunged upon completion of TEN MISSIONS, that almost a total impossibility.


Such could be the lot of the Red Army soldier during WW2.



This is coolbert:

From that prior blog entry:

"NEVER was it the intention to bring the Oklahoma back to active service. Some weaponry salvaged, the potentiality of using those main guns in a coastal defense role contemplated?"

Indeed! Of those eight American battleships [BB] present at Pearl Harbor on that fateful day of 7 December, two [Arizona and Oklahoma] mortally hit, never to sail again!

Of the remaining six BB vessels all damaged to some degree, some more so than others, at that exact moment [7 December], all of them considered to be out-of-action, hors de combat!

Those BB warships to include:

*  Pennsylvania (BB-38) (in Dry Dock No.1)
 * Arizona (BB-39) 
 * Nevada (BB-36)  
 * Oklahoma (BB-37)  
  * Tennessee (BB-43)  
  * California (BB-44)  
  * Maryland (BB-46)  
 * West Virginia (BB-48)

These vessels either somewhat antiquated World War One variety naval ships or those constructed in that period prior to the Washington naval treaty.

BB warships as repaired, refurbished, and made seaworthy, actually performing yeoman  service during the duration of the war in the Pacific. Quite admirably too. Pearl Harbor was scarcely the end for that American battleship fleet as destroyed at Pearl!


Of those six American battleships present at Surigao, five were also present and damaged at Pearl Harbor.

* West Virginia
* Maryland
* California
* Tennessee
* Pennsylvania
* Mississippi

You can rest assured that Surigao was a mighty payback for Pearl Harbor for all hands concerned.

2. TF 54, that covering force and naval gunfire [shore bombardment] for Iceberg, the invasion of Okinawa.

"TG 54.5 - Battle Line". Six designated and dedicated battleships three of which were present at Pearl on 7 December.

Task Group 54.5 the "Battle Line" those battleships tasked with the mission of thwarting off Japanese surface vessel attack on naval component of the Iceberg operation.

Battleships to include:

"BB  * Idaho, * New Mexico, * Tennessee, * West Virginia, * Maryland, * Colorado "


3. Downfall. The invasion of Japan. Consisting of Coronet and Olympic.

Those BB possessing predominantly those fourteen inch [35 cm.] main guns to be employed in an almost apocalyptic manner. Ships run aground in a purposeful manner close to the invasion beaches. Each ship having only a skeletal crew, each and every warship becoming a pillbox of mighty proportions, those main guns fired in support of the landing forces, blasting a path through Japanese resistance. Supplies, beans and bullets to be brought to the ships for replenishment as needed. So was the plan!

That "apocalyptic" employment of the various BB not required thanks to the atomic bomb.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

USS Oklahoma.

This is coolbert:
"before there was Costa Concordia there was Oklahoma"

Thanks to the Telegraph we have the slide show of the USS Oklahoma being raised from the bottom of Pearl Harbor. That process of parbuckling a "proven method" to raise a capsized ship current being used during the salvage operation to refloat the stricken cruise ship Costa Concordia.

"USS Oklahoma parbuckled in 1943 after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor"

"Engineers on Monday succeeded in wresting the hull of the shipwrecked Costa Concordia from the Italian reef where it has been stuck since it capsized in January 2012, leaving them cautiously optimistic they can rotate the luxury liner upright and eventually tow it away. The operation, known in nautical parlance as parbuckling, is a proven method to raise capsized vessels."

Salvage operations on such a gigantic scale rarely attempted, that enormous mass of steel having to be moved from an awkward position an engineering problem and endeavor to be carried out on an almost biblical scale.

"The USS Oklahoma . . . was parbuckled by the U.S. military in 1943 after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour."

"The righting and refloating of the capsized battleship Oklahoma was the largest of the Pearl Harbor salvage jobs, and the most difficult . . . Its purpose was mainly to clear an important mooring berth for further use, and only secondarily to recover some of Oklahoma's weapons and equipment."

Here the sunken Oklahoma in the process of parbuckling. Twenty-one cables with an identical number of cranes and winches pulling the ship upright.

NEVER was it the intention to bring the Oklahoma back to active service. Some weaponry salvaged, the potentiality of using those main guns in a coastal defense role contemplated?

That ultimate fate of the USS Oklahoma even after refloating also very sad. Sunk and settling to the abysmal depths while undertow, headed for the salvage yard.

"After several months in Drydock Number Two, the ship was again refloated and moored elsewhere in Pearl Harbor. She was sold to a scrapping firm in 1946, but sank in a storm while under tow from Hawaii to the west coast in May 1947."

Thanks once more for the excellent slide show as presented by the Telegraph.



This is coolbert:

This warning and admonition as ascribed correctly to Sam Houston originally I had thought as was issued by William T. Sherman.

Sam Houston without question one of the most significant persons in American history.

And serving as Governor of Texas at the time of secession [1861].

Houston NOT in favor of secession. But deposed and removed from office upon his refusal to take an oath of allegiance to the secessionist movement.

And most adamant in his warning and admonition to his fellow Southerners:

"Let me tell you what is coming. After the sacrifice of countless millions of treasure and hundreds of thousands of lives, you may win Southern independence if God be not against you, but I doubt it. I tell you that, while I believe with you in the doctrine of states rights, the North is determined to preserve this Union. They are not a fiery, impulsive people as you are, for they live in colder climates. But when they begin to move in a given direction, they move with the steady momentum and perseverance of a mighty avalanche; and what I fear is, they will overwhelm the South."

And before there was Lincoln there was Houston and before Sam there was the Apostle Matthew:

"A nation divided against itself cannot stand" - - Matthew 12:25

Persons of that era in elective office eloquent and well-spoken in a manner that the modern politician is not? Lincoln and Houston not requiring a teleprompter. .



This is coolbert:

During that era of the Second World War [WW2] the Soviet soldier instantaneously recognizable at a distance, even to the most casual of observers, the Soviet troop characteristically either wearing his issued greatcoat or carrying same as a bedroll AT ALL TIMES.

And WOE to that Soviet soldier that would either lose or misplace his great coat. Probably the punishment a severe sentence of military penal servitude of a very harsh nature!

Soviet troops on the march, October 1945, Korea. That bedroll the folded greatcoat tied at the bottom and worn across the left shoulder cross-body style. The soldier in an unimpeded manner able to fire his rifle from the right shoulder as taught!

That military greatcoat folded as a bedroll referred to as a "skatka".

Thanks to the Soviet/Russian military re-enactor web site "13th Guards Rifle Division "Poltavaskaya" we have those exact instruction on how to fold and tie the greatcoat as to be worn as the cross-body bedroll! [scroll down to # 4]

4. Shinel "Skatka" bedroll:

That Red Army troop required to sleep on the open ground wearing his greatcoat, NO sleeping bag either issued or thought to be even necessary.

That same soldier while on the offensive and moving forward to the greatest degree possible told to forage for himself if possible, otherwise GO HUNGRY!

Make yourself self-sufficient or DO WITHOUT!

NO ONE ever said being a soldier in the Soviet/Russian or even the Czarist army before that was ever easy!


Monday, September 16, 2013


This is coolbert:

"the purpose of terror is to terrorize!"

Thanks to Strategy Page and Jim we have this somewhat dated story but still interesting.

From over a year ago now, the allegation having been made that a Russian Akula class submarine cruised the waters of the Caribbean for a month undetected by American anti-submarine forces.

This whole incident as originally reported by the alarmist journalist Bill Gertz might very well have been a hoax, and as concocted by an American source?

As from that original blog entry dealing with the matter:

"Silent Running"

"Russian attack submarine sailed in Gulf of Mexico undetected for weeks, U.S. officials say"

"Mystery Sub Terrorizes Americans"  by James Dunnigan

"Recently there was another media report of a Russian SSN (attack sub) that was alleged to have recently operated undetected in the Gulf of Mexico for several weeks. This attracted the attention of professional submariners (especially retired ones, who could post more freely on the Internet). It was quickly determined that this was likely a made up story as attempts to trace it back to the source ended at the politically funded, as in 501(C)4, web site."

That Akula having been able to operate as alleged in Caribbean waters for a full month, avoiding any and all detection the entire time has to be now viewed with reasonably inferred skepticism?

Entrance and egress from those waters [Caribbean] in a surreptitious manner difficult at best. A hoax [if that is what this is] not doing anyone any good at all.

And Mr. Gertz has what exactly to say about all this?



K-150 Tomsk.

This is coolbert:

Thanks to RIANovosti we have from today a report of more submarine disaster.

And in keeping with the trend, a nuclear powered submarine while at dock having caught fire, damaged, but NO LOSS OF LIFE, THE VESSEL APPARENTLY INTACT.

"Fire on Nuclear Submarine in Russia’s Far East Extinguished"

"VLADIVOSTOK, September 16 (RIA Novosti) – A fire that broke out Monday morning on the K-150 Tomsk nuclear-powered submarine, which was undergoing maintenance operations at a dock in Russia’s far eastern Primorye Territory, has been extinguished."
. . . .

"The fire erupted early Monday morning during welding operations on the submarine, when rubber insulation and old paint inside the sub’s main ballast tanks started burning and filled part of the inside compartments with smoke."

The welders torch apparently the culprit, rubber sound-proofing insulation within the Tomsk having been afire, firefighters responding to the blaze successful in their efforts, the warship the remainder of which apparently still seaworthy.

The K-150 Tomsk is an Oscar II class submarine. The same class as the ill-fated Kursk. Those Oscar II having the dedicated mission of attacking American aircraft carrier battle groups.

"Project 949 (Granit) and Project 949A (Antey) are Soviet Navy/Russian Navy cruise missile submarines (NATO reporting names: Oscar-I and Oscar-II respectively)."

"The Oscar class was designed to attack NATO carrier battle groups using long-range SS-N-19 'Shipwreck' anti-ship missiles and targeting data provided by the EORSAT satellite system"

So many subs recently have gone afoul WHILE AT DOCK carelessness or downright sabotage to blame, the damage severe in some cases and deadly in others. Less danger for a submarine and crew while at sea than while in port?


Sunday, September 15, 2013


This is coolbert:

Thanks to the Jim Lewis "M4 Lacrosse Guided Artillery Missile System" web site we have photographs and drawings of the Lacrosse missile system, that amount of impedimenta required to launch merely one missile quite extensive.

Merely to transport [T], erect [E] and launch [L] a missile three vehicles needed. Modern battlefield missile systems incorporation a vehicle performing all three functions [TEL]. such however was NOT the immediate post-WW2 technology available to American military planners.

Lacrosse missile on launcher ready to fire. It looks so easy. Missile ready to go, all you do is press the button and the weapon on the way.

"Transporters, erectors and launchers preparing the missiles."

"M54 Truck carried two Lacrosse missiles. Transporter."

"M108 Crane Truck. Erector."

"M398 Guided Missile Launcher Truck. Launcher."

Lacrosse mounted on the launcher.

"M37 3/4-ton 4x4 Truck that carried the MX-3029 Angular Tracker Set"

"Missile Guidance Center (MGC) which was carried by the M38 Willys MD Jeep"

 "M38 Jeep, the Target Ranging Set"

"M37 3/4-ton 4x4 Truck used to transport the AN/DSM-59 Guided Missile Test Set. This equipment was connected to the Lacrosse's internal guidance system for testing operations prior to launch"

"M242 Trailer below housed the M33C Anti-Aircraft Fire Control System for the Lacrosse Guided Missile System."

"M109 Shop Van" . . . allowing the "Range Safety Controller" to destroy and errant missile in flight during exercises and training. NOTE the organic generator in trailer.

I believe that M33 fire control [FC] radar follows the trajectory of the missile subsequent to launch, personnel on the ground sending corrective radio command with regards to course. Up/down, right/left, etc.

That "target ranging set", "angular tracker" and "missile guidance center (MGC)" NOT autonomous units, the units forming a composite system during firing of the missile. The absence of any one of the units and missile cannot be steered onto target?

All those various components per vehicle each required an organic generator towed in a trailer OR one large generator servicing all the sub-systems?

All this impedimenta needed for a single launch and steering the missile. Requirement of the troops for transport and sustainment in the field also mandating additional vehicles, that not including command and control between the firing echelon and headquarters. The devoted reader to the blog understands rather quickly that the commander of  Lacrosse unit more than anything else is a manager rather than a combat commander.

Lacrosse also capable of delivering a warhead of mass destruction, chemical or atomic round. That unit transporting and guarding the warheads [chemical and atomic] further complicating the deployment of the unit, almost certainly the appearance of a small army of missile men close to the line of contact readily apparent. [I am assuming those warheads of mass destruction not normally organic to and carried by a Lacrosse unit in the field]


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Soviet Aces.

This is coolbert:

From a comment to the blog by Maximex:

"According to a legend LaGG-abbreviated pilot was held in the mouth for 'guaranteed! Lacquered casket' in the coming, but this type of aircraft is calling during the war was not a universal phenomenon."

"Three times Hero of the Soviet Union Ivan Kožedub reached 62 victory over German aircraft flying predominantly La-fighters."

Maximex speaks of Ivan Kozhedub. Number # 1 allied [Soviet & allied} fighter pilot of the Second World War [WW2].

Ivan flying exclusively the Lavochkin series of warplanes, the La-5 and La-7.

"Marshal of Aviation Ivan Mykytovych Kozhedub . . . was a Soviet Ukrainian military aviator and a World War II fighter ace. . . . He is credited with 64 +2 (P-51) individual air victories, most of them flying the Lavochkin La-5."
. . . .

"Kozhedub holds the record for the highest number of confirmed air combat victories of any Soviet or Allied pilot (effectively the Allied "Ace of Aces") during World War II. He is regarded as the best Soviet flying ace of the war, and is associated with flying the Lavochkin La-7."

Those Lavochkin warplanes in the earliest form to include the LaGG not so superior in combat, having drawbacks, the later versions [La-5 & La-7] unqualified successes, Johannes Steinhoff having both admiration and respect for the design.

This prominent Soviet aviator also from the period of WW2 we cannot forget.

Pokryshkin. Also an impressive number of "shoot-downs", Alexander having fought most valiantly through thick of the fray on the Eastern Front.

"Alexander Ivanovich Pokryshkin . . . was a Marshal of the Soviet Air Force. He was made a Hero of the Soviet Union on three separate occasions"

That number of "kills" to attributed to Pokryshkin while flying a variety of aircraft, to include the: MiG-3, Yak-1, P-39, La-7 [?], P-63 [?].

That predominant number of "shoot-downs" awarded to Pokryshkin accomplished while flying the American P-39 Air Cobra.

The Air Cobra not a favorite of American combat pilots, the warplane not possessing a turbo-charger, the P-39 not so effective ABOVE an altitude of 8,000 feet [2,500 meters].

That Air Cobra as used by Soviet pilots when flown to maximize advantage and minimize disadvantage an effective warplane.

"Soviet pilots liked this aircraft, and found it quite competitive with the Messerschmitt Bf-109 and superior to the Focke-Wulf FW-190 at the low air combat altitudes common on the Eastern Front. Pokryshkin really enjoyed the 37mm cannon's destructive firepower, and the 2 upper nose-mounted .50 caliber machine guns, synchronized to fire through the propeller (airscrew), in addition to the pair of .30 caliber machine guns mounted in each wing, outside the propeller arc and therefore unsynchronized."

"Low air combat altitudes common on the Eastern Front". Correct, neither the Soviet or German on the Eastern Front having the high-altitude long-range bomber, aerial combat in the stratosphere a rarity!

Pilots such as Kozhedub and Pokryshkin were naturals? Combat aviators head and shoulders above the rest NOT MATTER WHAT TYPE OF FIGHTER PLANE THEY FLEW?


Friday, September 13, 2013


This is coolbert:

King of the Khyber Pass.

MSR deja vu!

As reprinted in Freeper that original from the Washington Post thanks to Craig Whitlock!

That Main Supply Route [MSR] Afghan once again in jeopardy, but now in the reverse direction!

"In Afghanistan drawdown, U.S. forced to take costly option in transporting military gear out"
"As it intensifies its withdrawal from Afghanistan, the U.S. military is being forced to fly massive amounts of gear and equipment out of the country instead of using cheaper overland and sea routes, according to Pentagon officials."

"Military logisticians would like to send home 60 percent of their equipment and vehicles by trucking them into Pakistan and then loading them onto ships — the least expensive method by far. But cargo is flowing out on that route at only one-third the planned rate, the officials said."

"The government of Afghanistan closed the border this summer after a dispute over whether the Pentagon and its contractors should have to pay $70 million in customs “fines” for taking the military gear out of the country. The Pentagon has refused to pay, calling the penalties a thinly veiled attempt at a shakedown."

"U.S. and Afghan officials said last month that they had resolved the conflict, after the government in Kabul reluctantly backed down and reopened the border crossings into Pakistan."

After all you do for those people [the Afghan], the ingratitude is overwhelming! This is baksheesh [bribe and payoff and genial but undeniable extortion] in the traditional manner of central Asia as it always has been and always will be!

AND THIS on the baksheesh as having to be paid to the Afghan alone, not even taking into account the Pakistani!

Very sadly too those MRAP vehicles as having been deployed to Afghan will not be repatriated to the U.S., the vast majority of the MRAP to be cut into pieces and sold to Afghan scrap merchants.

As it was with the British during the time of the Raj, far easier to enter into Afghan than it is to get out.


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Cuba vs. Syria.

This is coolbert:

The face saving gesture?

Thanks to Israeli Hayom we have this article from Dan Margalit.

The comparison being made between the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1963 and the current stand-off as it now exists regarding the alleged Syrian use of lethal chemical agents.
 "Cold War redux"  by Dan Margalit

"Here is a little reminder for U.S. President Barack Obama: 52 years ago, Presidents John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev met in Vienna. The Russian was under the impression that the American was a 'lightweight' and humiliated him. This erroneous assumption brought the world to the brink of nuclear war over the Soviets' intentions to deploy ballistic missiles in Cuba."
. . . .
"The events surrounding Syria's chemical weapons' stockpile are surprisingly similar to the U.S.-Russian face-off in the days of Kennedy and Khrushchev, when they locked horns over missiles stationed in Cuba and Turkey, as well as to the struggle between East and West over the Berlin Wall"

Dan Margalit is correct in that Khrushchev did PERCEIVE JFK as less than resolute and an American President who COULD BE subjected to manipulation, machinations and intrigue on the global scale as part of the Cold War as it existed at the time.

In this instance Dan Margalit  is not quite correct with regard to "missiles stationed in Cuba and Turkey".

Those Soviet ballistic missiles having been moved to Cuba and installed, that effort made totally in secret and constituting AT THAT EXACT MOMENT ABOUT EIGHTY PERCENT [80 %] of the Soviet nuclear striking capability NOT a fair comparison with antiquated American nuclear-tipped Jupiter-C ballistic missiles as station in Turkey, the presence of which was an open secret.

JFK having promised as a "face saving gesture" in 1963 to remove the Jupiter-C missiles from Turkey, but that decision had been arrived at some months prior, a scheduled dismantling having been already planned.

Having from some time ago "drawn the red line" in the sand President Obama NOW need his own "face saving gesture"? Making ultimatums and boxing yourself into a corner without having a way out is not a good way to conduct foreign policy EVER!

I guess if only you have such situations transpire once every fifty years or so, that is not so bad!


Wednesday, September 11, 2013


This is coolbert:

Thanks for this comment to the blog by GEM:

"In the late 1970's in Barbados, my friends who were cadets were expected to handle the 15 rpm 'rapid,' admittedly with a 303 firing .22 rounds. I have no doubt that, starting with 10 rounds loaded, then reloading, given the 303 mechanism, reports of making 20 - 30 RPM were more than possible for a trained shooter. Exceptionally skilled ones would exceed that and Sgt Snoxall was exactly that, an Instructor in musketry. I wonder what was his fate, given how rapidly the Old Contemptibles were used up in the opening battles of the Great War."

This is the British SMLE rifle as carried by cadets and firing the .22 caliber LR round. Cadets able to learn marksmanship, maintenance and carrying of the weapon, and use for Drill & Ceremonies undoubtedly as well.

That training version of the SMLE having the designation:

British  Enfield #2 MK IV Training Rifle  (22LR Caliber Single Shot Training Rifle),  .22 Cal Rim-Fire Short Rifle Mk IV, and  Rifle No 2 Mk IV*

From the Surplus Rifle web site an entire page devoted to the SMLE training rifle:

"A rimfire trainer for the military makes sense.   Many recruits have never even held a rifle, much less fired one.  Such men may well be intimidated by the recoil & report of the service cartridge.  Teaching the various points of marksmanship become easier when the recruit isn’t worried about getting kicked or the noise factor. "

"Another point in favor of the rimfire trainer is the training budget.  Rimfire ammunition costs but a fraction of the cost of the service cartridge.  This keeps the bean counters  very happy."

"There is a third, and extremely important factor in favor of service rifle conversions; the recruit is familiarized with the exact weapon he will use in the field.  Other then the recoil & noise factor, the soldier will be totally familiarized with his weapon."  

AND of course as previously mentioned the SMLE used by the cadets for Drill & Ceremonies. Marching, present to the colors, the manual of arms, etc.

The SMLE training rifle modified by a "straightforward" process not so complicated:

"The conversion process is quite straightforward.  The barrel has been replaced with a .22 caliber barrel.  The bolt head has an offset firing pin hole and the extractor is longer and correctly contoured for the rim of the .22 LR.  The magazine has had its follower & follower spring removed"

Cadets firing the 25 meter range for the .22 LR round required to load each round by hand singly, expended rounds ejected into the empty magazine. But that level of marksmanship and firing ability with the rifle not diminished, 15 RPM still the expectation for a cadet, careful aimed shots with speed the goal.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

J.D. Salinger.

This is coolbert:

To war with typewriter!

"The Military Service of JD Salinger". That famous and semi-reclusive American novelist J.D. Salinger, generally thought of as a man of mystery having a rather distinguished war record [WW2] unknown to most people.

For a period of about sixty years [!!], Salinger, most famous for his novel "Catcher in the Rye", leading the life of the semi-recluse, a very private person, not welcoming the media attention or the fame that was his due. Only several years after the death of Salinger are many aspects of his life becoming public.

"Before he wrote the Catcher in the Rye, author JD Salinger was a military man who served in some of the bloodiest battles of WWII"

Salinger a sergeant in the American Counter-Intelligence Corps [CIC] during  the conflict, his service most admirable.

"In April 1942 Salinger was drafted under Selective Service and assigned to the Army . . . In October 1943 he attended training for counter intelligence at Ft Holabird, Maryland. Assigned to the intelligence section of the 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th ID he waded under German machine guns ashore on Utah Beach on D-Day with a typewriter in his pack."

From the slide show as seen at the Suite 101 web site an apparent photograph of Salinger exists wading ashore on Utah beach, M1 carbine in one hand, typewriter in the other. That is him?

Salinger participating in the various campaigns following the Normandy landings unto the surrender of Germany. To include:

* Normandy and Utah beach.

* Battle of France [1944].

* Huertgen Forest.

* Battle of the Bulge.

* Liberation of a concentration camp.

And in the aftermath of German surrender also as a civilian  contract worker for the U.S. government. Undoubtedly in some counter-intelligence capacity.

"For the next eleven months he and his unit were involved in fierce fighting in the Hedgerows, the port of Cherbourg, Liberated Paris and pursued the Germans into the Hurtgen Forest. There he endured the frozen hell of frostbite, trench foot and the oncoming Nazi Panzers in the Battle of the Bulge. He entered Germany with his regiment and helped to liberate a concentration camp and participated in the interrogation of captured enemy prisoners of war."

That "INTERROGATION" perhaps engaging in political dialog in a genial but sincere manner with German military men, those officers primarily of company grade rank, persuading them to further eschew the Nazi ideology?

Salinger too suffering from combat fatigue, self-checking himself into a hospital.

"Shortly after the close of hostilities, Salinger suffered a post traumatic stress induced nervous breakdown and was hospitalized."

That war record of Salinger encapsulated in a single short story?

"It is thought that his profound short story 'For Esme, with Love and Squalor,' written around a character who was a broken soldier, came from firsthand experience."

That "semi-reclusive" lifestyle of Salinger a result of war experiences? This is a matter forever that will be in the realm of speculation, I assure you.


Monday, September 9, 2013


 This is coolbert:

From the opinion section yesterday of the Israel Hayom news web site:

"Pride in our Yom Kippur War victory" by Dr. Gabi Avital.

"This year, yet again, analysts and experts will put on grim faces and tell us how terrible 'that war' was. They will tell us how unnecessary that 'damned' war was, and how awful the failure was. However, an all-encompassing view of the picture shows us that the results of the Yom Kippur War, from a military perspective, do not jive with the same dismal narrative."

. . . .

"The turning of the tide on the battlefield, as it occurred less than one week after the war started, is not mentioned enough in unclassified military history"

Almost forty years now since the 1973 war between Israel and the Arab major powers Egypt and Syria.


Israel prior to 1973 traditionally possessing a small active duty military force bolstered by an ability to activate and rush into combat large numbers of effective reserve units. This DID OCCUR during that 1973 war.

That "not mentioned enough in unclassified military history" certainly a matter as discussed in the book:

"Elusive Victory" by Trevor N. Dupuy.

"The fifth issue focuses on the effectiveness of Israeli mobilization. A number of criticisms of the mobilization have been made by Israeli observers. Unquestionably a number of things went wrong. But the ability of the Israelis to have substantial elements of reserve divisions fighting actively on both fronts [Syrian and Egyptian] within 30 hours of the surprise Arab offensive is proof of the general efficiency of the system, and of this over whelming success in this instance."

Israel Hayom the personal newspaper and web site of Sheldon Adelson, the SIXTH richest man in the world.