Friday, February 28, 2014


This is coolbert:

Within the context of that most recent blog entry the Tom Clancy novel "SSN" most applicable in a way not so almost twenty years ago now.

And also a good time for a long-promised book review.

And as you might expect the Tom Clancy novel "SSN" is being reviewed.

A novel some might find dated but the scenario as outlined in the book even more pertinent that ever.


An almost exclusively undersea war fought using submarine forces.

First there was the PERSONNEL COMPUTER [PC] GAME [also called "SSN"] and then there was the novel.

Written by Tom Clancy of course IN COLLABORATION WITH THE RETIRED CAREER BRITISH SUBMARINE COMMANDER Captain Doug Littlejohns. With regard to accuracy and realism I might well assume that the PC game and book are more or less as authoritative as you are going to get.

From the back cover of the book:

"AMERICA IS AT WAR" [according to the book circa 1997]
"China has invaded the oil-rich Spratly Islands."
"The American response has been swift - - and deadly."
"And the Third World War has begun."

Again, a war fought almost exclusively under-water. That American Los Angeles class submarine USS Cheyenne versus almost the entire Chinese navy, submarines and surface vessels both.

That USS Cheyenne at that moment the top-of-the-line and most advanced variant of the class, equipped with all the "bells and whistles" and latest armaments.

In a nutshell "SSN" is highly recommended without qualification.


* One reservation I have is that Tom Clancy makes it sound all too easy.
> Cheyenne is ALWAYS able to detect and locate enemy submarines first.
> American torpedoes ALWAYS fire properly, run true, locate and destroy the enemy target.
> American missiles ALWAYS fire properly, run true, locate and destroy the enemy target.

* During an undersea war between America and China, if indeed such an event should actually transpire, the former is assured to have a lot of good allies, the latter is not. Allies to include:

> Philippines.
> Taiwan.
> Brunei.
> Malaysia.
> Vietnam.

* Submarine tenders [U.S.] absolutely vital to successful submarine warfare. In the book Cheyenne on a number of occasions able to re-arm and continue the mission without returning to home base.

Finally from an interview at the end of the book, Tom Clancy in conversation discussing Chinese claims to the Spratly Islands:

James Adams: "Tom, you talked briefly about the Spratlys. Tell me a bit more about them . . . What exactly is the status of those islands?"

Tom Clancy: "The Spratly Islands are kind of like a dead grandfather with a heck of a big estate. And everyone wants to claim to be the number-one heir. In fact, I think that China's territorial claim to the Spratlys is fictitious."

James Adams: "Tenuous at best."

Tom Clancy: "Especially given their location. But they're such inhospitable pieces of real estate that whoever can get there, plant a flag, and defend it is going to own them."

PLANT THE FLAG AND DEFEND AGAINST ALL COMERS! As it always has been, as it always will be!!



This is coolbert:

From Strategy Page yet one more indicator, those nations whose territorial waters are adjacent to the South China Sea in an arms race with one another.

"Submarines: Vietnam Gets Game Against China"
 "February 20, 2014: On the last day of 2013 Vietnam received its first submarine, a Russian made Kilo class boat. This is the first of six Kilos, which were ordered in 2009 and cost $2.1 billion. The Kilos are based at Cam Ranh Bay, a deep water port developed by the United States during the 1960s and has since then been a major shipping and ship maintenance facility."

"The Kilos weigh 2,300 tons (surface displacement), have six torpedo tubes, and a crew of 57. They are quiet and can travel about 700 kilometers under water at a quiet speed of about five kilometers an hour. Kilos carry 18 torpedoes or SS-N-27 anti-ship missiles (with a range of 300 kilometers and launched underwater from the torpedo tubes). The combination of quietness and cruise missiles makes Kilo very dangerous to surface ships."

. . . .

"The Kilos are the first subs the Vietnamese Navy has ever had are were obtained to provide some defense against growing Chinese naval power."

Growing Chinese naval power the environ of the Paracel Islands and the South China Sea.

Those Paracels and the contiguous sea bed adjacent to contested territory the two communist nations in contention.

That navy of Vietnam NOT having any experience with submarines I might well assume the learning curve to be long and arduous.

As described in the Tom Clancy novel "SSN" Vietnam and China in league with and opposed to American presence in the South China Sea.

Might have been true then [1997] BUT NOT NOW!


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Myth II.

This is coolbert:

Yet more from the Armchair General article by Colonel Ralph Peters. "Ten Myths Of The Battle of Gettysburg".

"Myth #5: Meade failed because he didn't pursue and destroy Lee."

That criticism of Meade that in the aftermath of the battle did not pursue the Army of Northern Virginia, the man [Meade] rather content to consolidate his position and not advance further with the desired vigor.


"Those having the loudest voices are usually the furthest from the scene of the action!!" Amen!!

"Myth #6" The battle of Gettysburg wasn't really decisive."

Decisive in the sense of bringing a cessation to hostilities and an end to the war and conflict on the battlefield.

That definition of "decisive" most important. "Decisive" as meaning the "highwater" mark of the Confederacy, thus and no further, offensive action by the seccessionist armies into the Northern states from the point of Gettysburg onward deemed as not possible!

Understand the history of the American Civil War for about a period of five decades AFTER the end of the war as predominantly written by historians whose sympathies obviously were with the Confederate cause. Also more correctly perceived as partisanship and not lies or outright distortions.



This is coolbert:

Thanks to the "Armchair General" July 2013 article by Colonel Ralph Peters we have considerably more on those German-speaking regiments part and parcel of the Union army during the American Civil War.

And as very germane to that previous blog entry, "Forty-Eighters".

As copied with good reason almost in entirety:

"Myth #7 Immigrant soldiers, especially Germans, couldn't and wouldn't fight."

"This lie has deep and ugly roots. The flood of immigrants that swept onto our shores in the wake of the failed European revolutions of 1848/49 and the simultaneous Irish potato famine excited far uglier prejudices than those we encounter today. many of the native-born felt besieged by new arrivals whose languages, customs and public behavior differed markedly from the tone set by the elite of New England or the aristocrats of the South. Since the largest number of immigrants served in the Union armies, the bigotry was especially salient in the blue ranks, and the newcomers who had volunteered to fight for their new country became the 'usual suspects' when anything went wrong. Union officers, such  as Major General Oliver O. Howard, showed far more compassion for black slaves they did not know than for the Germans or Irishmen under their command."

"While a wide range of nationalities served in both armies - - there was even one Chinese at Gettysburg - - The German and Irish formed the largest non-native contingents, and each faced a different set of prejudices. The Irish were regarded as good brawlers on the battlefield, but as racially debased and inferior. The Germans, many of whom spoke English comically to the American ear, were dismissed as incapable of soldiering at the level of the native-born (an interesting assumption, given the perform of Prussian and German armies between 1866 and 1945). [and hardly can we forget the performance of the Prussians under the command of Frederick the Great] When things went wrong the Germans in particular got the blame."

"While the prejudice was there from the beginning, it exploded after Chancellorsville, with the spread of the nickname 'the Flying Dutchmen' [Germans referred to as Dutchmen a corruption of Deutsch mann] for the XI Corps' German speaking units that broke and ran when surprised in their bivouacs. What few people understood then or realize today is that there was a cover-up after the battle. The bigoted abolitionist Howard, had been warned by his German subordinates - - several  of whom had served as officers in their homeland - - that he needed to reposition units to cover the army's flanks. Howard dismissed their concerns and refused to take action. Only the decision of a small group of German-speakers to move two of (Polish-born) Colonel Wlodzimierz Kryzanowski's regiments into a blocking position on their own initiative save the XI Corps and its artillery from an even grimmer fate. Those two regiments of Germans and Poles stood fast for an hour, suffered 50 percent casualties, and only withdrew grudgingly when so ordered. They had delayed two of Stonewall Jackson's brigades. yet those self-sacrificing regiments too, were lumped in with the 'Flying Dutchmen,' and criticism of Howard was swiftly hushed up outside of the army. The XI Corps' English-speaking units who fled the field were exempted from criticisms."

"Again at Gettysburg, it was a native-born officer - - Brigadier General Francis Channing Barlow - - who disobeyed orders, exposed the army's flank and opened fatal gaps in the XI Corps defense on July 1st. Barlow's division (not all of whom were German-speakers) broke, but Kryzanowski's brigade and other immigrant units resisted ferociously, despite being outflanked again and again ( thanks to Barlow's blunder). Remembering that afternoon, Confederate veterans noted that the Germans fought harder than other Yankees had in past encounters: yet, when it came time apportion blame for the losses on the first day of the battle, the well-connected Barlow escaped censure, while eh Germans were mocked again. And yet those same 'cowardly' Germans would fight on through the Chattanooga campaign, march across Georgia and battle their way north through the Carolinas."

Those "Forty-Eighters" serving in the Union army officers and enlisted both have been given a raw deal by history. So it seems and this needs to be corrected. History is a constantly exfoliating and growing tree!


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tobruk Fortification.

This is coolbert:

From the "Living With The Enemy" web site evidently published under the auspices of the famous novelist Jack Higgins we have an article:

"'The German Fortification of the Channel Islands' By Michael Ginns M.B.E."

"As soon as Hitler's forces occupied the Channel Islands he ordered a series of fortifications to defend the only British territory he ever conquered."

Fighting positions described as Tobruk emplacements.

"For the infantry there were more than 80 field guns and anti-tank guns in concrete bunkers, plus 51 tank turrets mounted on the so-called Tobruk emplacements."


Here is one of those tank turrets. Taken from a French Renault R35 tank as captured by the German during World War Two [WW2]. Turret as ripped out of the tank and placed atop a Tobruk fortification. Vicinity the English Channel Islands.

Those emplacements reinforced concert strong points, miniature forts the bulk of which was underground and as manned by fire teams [five men] and squads [ten men], formidable defensive fighting positions!

This particular schematic shows that 7/8 of the fortification below ground, good protection for the troops, reinforced concrete the construction material of choice.

Turrets removed from French Renault R35, Hotchkiss H35 and Souma S35 tanks all put to good use by the German.

The German having learned from experience in the North African campaign the versatility and value of such fortifications, NOT NECESSARILY however considered to be strictly defensive in nature!

Also thanks to the DAK Deutsches-Afrikakorps web site:

"The Germans did not want to use fortifications as defences, and referred to them as offensive weapons. The soldiers in the fortifications were low grade soldiers that were supposed to continue to fight long after they have been surrounded, to weaken the penetrating enemy forces."

Those "low grade soldiers" according to Trevor Dupuy having their fighting capability and COMBAT VALUE increased by about two-thirds [2/3] when manning a Tobruk fortification.

Defense is the STRONGER FORM OF COMBAT! Easier to do and more is accomplished with less!

And the Toburk fortification makes thing that much easier!


Monday, February 24, 2014


This is coolbert:

From DEBKAfile the typical alarmist type of headline that rarely does any good. And from ONLY today.

"Russian units transferred from securing the Sochi games to the Ukraine border"

These Russian units presumably what used to be called from the Soviet era Ministry of the Interior troops. Paramilitary units used to maintain and restore peace, order, and stability if and when uprising or chaos ensues.

"debkafile’s military sources report that units of the Russian forces which formed a steel ring around the Olympic Winter Games that ended in Sochi Sunday were flown and shipped Monday, Feb. 24 to Russian bases at the Ukrainian Crimean port of Sevastopol, as Moscow refused to recognize the legitimacy of the new authorities in Kiev."

"Giant Russian Air Force transports and rapid deployment forces were placed on alert at the Rostov on-Don base east of the predominantly Russian-speaking southeastern Ukrainian town of Donetsk.
Russian military movements were also sighted near Belgorod, a Russian town 40 kilometers from the Ukraine border and north of its second largest town of Kharkov. There, too, most of the inhabitants are Russian speaking with a strong affinity to Moscow – in contrast to their European-oriented compatriots in the capital, Kiev."

The noted blogger that went by the nom de plume of  "Spengler" rates DEBKA as unreliable under all circumstances. This I have often noted myself.

Sevastopol as previously noted the home of the Russian Black Sea fleet.

The devoted reader to the blog will have to decide for themselves.



This is coolbert:

From a comment to the blog by Steiner:

"Breaking news: SecDef [Hagel] will drastically lower the size of the Army, while leaving the USAF relatively unscathed."

100 % correct and also covered in some detail on the public broadcast television program News Hour this evening.

Constituting a marked change in direction for the U.S. military.


Can fight one regional war and then also provide proper defense of the HOMELAND.

Decades long policy and doctrine done away with! Given budget restraints, perhaps for good too!

USAF emerging "relatively unscathed" as has been remarked by Steiner, but the A-10 and U-2 aircraft now to be done away with, taken out of the inventory and this appears to be a done deal.

Too bad!

And that COLA [cost of living adjustment] reduction for veterans pensions after much lobbying Congress taking into consideration political realities not willing to go along with.

Standby for more and make ready! This is an on-going and continuous process.


Ukraine II.

This is coolbert:

See my previous blog entry regarding the situation in Ukraine.

And here from a follow up with key points and much greater elaboration.

Go to intelNews and read it all.

"News you may have missed #869 (Ukraine edition)"

►►US and UK warn Russia not to deploy troops in Ukraine.

►►Analysts touting Ukraine’s East-West division are just plain wrong.

►►The global implications of the Ukraine conflict.

There is NOT a predominant Russian speaking region of Ukraine potentially a break-away secessionist state as has been suggested? Unless that area of Ukraine in the vicinity of the Sea of Azov and Crimea is taken into consideration? I am not sure.

[P.S. ONLY as covered on the News Hour this evening the Crimea has a large and restive Russian speaking population a large portion of which are retired Russian military personnel. Also Sevastopol is home to the Russian Black Sea Fleet.]


Sunday, February 23, 2014


This is coolbert:

The Flying Wing!

From a tip as provided by Sharkhunters here we have details and images of the flying wing transport as developed post World War Two [WW2].

An aviation development as engineered by the famous Horten brothers.

Horten the brothers most interested in "cutting-edge" technology and design.

"Walter Horten . . . and Reimar Horten . . . sometimes credited as the Horten Brothers, were German aircraft pilots and enthusiasts. Although they had little, if any, formal training in aeronautics or related fields, the Hortens designed some of the most advanced aircraft of the 1940s, including the world's first jet-powered flying wing, the Horten Ho 229."

That Horten Ho 229 only a prototype and never advancing beyond that level of development. BUT did have potentiality.

That technology of the time and ONLY until relatively recently not sufficient to allow the "flying wing" to be taken seriously.

The "flying wing" UNCONDITIONALLY UNSTABLE in all environments. Almost impossible to fly and again not a feasible concept during that era of WW2.

Massive use of computer controlled technology making autonomous and constant corrections independent of pilot control allowing for modern "flying wing" aircraft to fly and do so in a manner that is efficient and SAFE!

Those Horten brothers also another example of a German diaspora that existed in the aftermath of WW2. German engineers and scientists possessing an expertise in demand by a host of nations. Emigration seen as an alternative to poverty and unemployment in post-war Germany.

Those Horten brothers continuing with their development of the flying wing concept, that Argentinian built flying wing transport the DINFIA IA 38 a result.

A IA 38 under construction. In this instance better referred to as a "tailless" aircraft?

As with the Ho 229 the DINFIA IA 38 only a concept and prototype, and nothing more beyond that.

The IA 38 did take to the air and was "fly-able". In comparison to other cargo aircraft of the time, the tailless aircraft was not competitive?

"The DINFIA IA 38 was a 1960s Argentine four-engine experimental tailless transport, designed under the direction of Reimar Horten and based on the German Horten Ho VIII project and built by the DINFIA."

Four engines that appear to be jets? The Horten brothers were autodidacts [self-taught] intrigued by controversial and revolutionary aeronautical concepts but their efforts rarely if ever came to fruition!


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Ukraine I.

This is coolbert:

Geo-strategic machinations?

From Legal Insurrection that conflict in Ukraine previously thought "settled" now in less than twenty-four hours the "applecart" big -time, and the ramifications potentially very frightening.

"LIVE – Revolution in #Ukraine"

 "Kiev is in the hands of the opposition, and government security forces have vowed to stay neutral, reports Reuters"

"Ukraine security chiefs signal allegiance to protesters"

"The heads of four Ukrainian security bodies, including the police’s Berkut anti-riot units, appeared in parliament on Saturday and declared they would not take part in any conflict with the people."

"They represented the paratroop unit of the military, the Berkut anti-riot police, Alfa special operations unit and military intelligence. The Interior Ministry had already signalled its allegiance to anti-government protests under a new minister from the ranks of the opposition."

Hard core head-knocker units defecting to the opposition or declaring their neutrality is not a good sign for the ruling elite.

And as you well might imagine, this particular item catches my attention right away.

"Fears that Russian-speaking parts of Ukraine may secede"

A portion of the Ukraine having an area the population of which is predominantly Russian speakers?

That area if secession is announced, obviously will call on the Kremlin for assistance and protection.

Military intervention by the Russian military and special units a possible?

Force will be met with force?

This does not bode well for anyone. Stay tuned.


Friday, February 21, 2014


This is coolbert:

As originally posted at Sharkhunters members Hotmail. Copied and as a blog entry more or less in entirety.

From a learned member of Sharkhunters a request for information most vital to research.


"My Masters Thesis was a cross national study of WW II intelligence operations. One of the surprising pieces of information that emerged from the interviews of WW II era intelligence professionals was the existence of a classified Naval Intelligence study of archaeological evidence of prior civilizations on the North American Continent. The classified study was produced in the late 1940s after WW II. I learned of it in 1978 and have been searching for it since then."

"According to law, the study should have been declassified after 30 years. The National Archives does not have the declassified study or any information about it. I am concerned that, like a number of other important events from that time period, it will fall through the cracks and become lost to history. I have found intelligence community members who remember reading it during the Korean and Vietnam Wars, but no one I have found could remember the exact title after all these years."

Does anyone a devoted reader and follower of the blog either possess or have knowledge of:

* "any information, such as the exact title, authors, or any other information sufficient to request declassification of a specific document or documents relating to this or other classified Naval Intelligence archaeology reports."

* "The existence of this classified study raises the issue of classified archaeological reports being produced by other nations. If anyone can provide information about this possibility, I would very much appreciate it."

Can anyone also venture a guess or render an opinion as to WHY American naval intelligence during the Second World War [WW2] would plausibly be interested in ancient civilizations of North America?

We can file this particular item in the strange but true, paranormal category? Prior civilizations as I understand that term can be reasonably be inferred to mean civilizations existing on the North American continent PRIOR to the arrival of Columbus?

Well, that is what we are trying to determine. Contact Bert or Sharkhunters if you know something.


Wednesday, February 19, 2014


This is coolbert:

Yet one more instance of the German during the Second World War [WW2] executing with panache' the REVERSE AMPHIBIOUS OPERATION?

That operation in the vicinity of Antwerp and the Scheldt, commencing that first week of September 1944.

From the book "The Guns at Last Light" by Atkinson:

"and evacuation of German troops by ferry promptly began across the Scheldt from Breskens, west of Antwerp. In little more than a fortnight [two weeks], 86,000 men, 600 artillery pieces, 5,000 vehicles, and 4,000 horses, mostly from the Fifteenth Army [German], escaped to fight another day."

The Scheldt estuary [brackish water, mixed salt and fresh with tidal action] linking Antwerp to the open ocean [North Sea] and occupied by German troops, the port facility [Antwerp] captured intact but that land adjacent to the estuary occupied by German troops.

Antwerp about thirty miles [50 kilometers] from the North Sea. German occupiers either side of the Scheldt estuary able to block access.


Amphibious operations it is agreed [?] as the most difficult of all military maneuver, a REVERSE amphibious operation and UNDER PRESSURE assuredly that much more difficult.

German proficiency at this type of military operation during WW2 unrecognized?

Additional German reverse amphibious operations during that period of WW2 to include:

* Operation Hannibal.

* Messina.

* Crimea.

* Scheldt.

It can be argued that:

* Hannibal those being evacuated in the main civilians and not military units intact.

* Messina and Scheldt more resembling a river crossing.

* Crimea a true amphibious operation albeit with heavy loss.

Those 4,000 horses also it can be noted more than likely PRIME MOVERS for German artillery. German mechanized warfare lacking in some cases unknown to most.


Monday, February 17, 2014


This is coolbert:

From a comment to the blog by Dan:

 "A pilot friend of mine ( deceased at age 59, flew for the Führer in WWII, never wrote his story, alas ) off-handed said once to a group of us that the Focke Wulf 190D Long Nose could defeat ANY Allied fighter One on One or even Two on One. It came out too late and in too few numbers to make a difference but the plane could climb like a bat out of hell and was maneuverable as well."

Allied combat fighter pilots when first encountering the German Focke Wulf 190 finding themselves in an inferior status, dismayed and perhaps even incredulous.

Consternation even I might well assume!

1. "MILITARY INTELLIGENCE BLUNDERS"  Chapter 6 "Uncombined Operation - - Dieppe, 1942 by Colonel John Hughes-Wilson.

 "To add insult to injury, overhead the RAF had suffered a major defeat too. The new Focke Wulf 190 had come as a nasty shock to the RAF's fighter pilots. Over 105 British aircraft were shot down, no less than 88 of them fighters, and another hundred were damaged; the Luftwaffe lost only 46 aircraft."

That landing of allied forces at Dieppe, 1942 most disastrous, in the air as well as on land.

Experienced British combat airmen flying the Mark V improved version of the Spitfire having met their match most decidedly so.

2. From "Focke-Wulf 190s Over Dieppe" that forum and the comment by Chris.

"Nor was the legendary Spitfire Mk V vs Fw 190 battle over Dieppe the ONLY place where the two met en masse and the RAF came off worst!"

"The Fw 190 pilots' more aggressive mood manifested itself on 1st June 1942, when the RAF mounted operation Circus No. 178. Eight bomb-carrying Hurricanes attacked a target near Bruges in Belgium. Seven squadrons of Spitfire Mk Vs from the Hornchurch and Biggin Hill Wings provided close escort while four squadrons from the Debden Wing provided target support. Positioned by radar some 40 Fw 190s of I. and III./JG 26 attacked the raiding force from out of the sun during its withdrawal. The Debden Wing took the force of the attack and lost eight Spitfires in rapid succession, including that flown by its commander. Five Spitfires limped home with battle damage. No Focke-Wulf suffered serious damage during the encounter."

As noted most specifically so by Chris:

"...two and a half months BEFORE Dieppe!"

That adage forewarned is forearmed not properly heeded!



This is coolbert:

From a comment to the blog by Maximex:

"Similarly, the P-51B Mustang became a good fighter only after assembly of the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine and Spitfire bubble canopy  . . . that plane was the P-51D model, 'the normal' mustang" [this comment of Maximex slightly edited!]

And Maximex is correct. Those early versions of the P-51 NOT having the bubble canopy. That modification [bubble canopy] as seen in the "D" variants of the Mustang onward allowing for much greater and improved visibility for the allied combat aviator.

An early version of the P-51 sans bubble canopy.

"The tenth production P-51B 43-12102, prototype for the P-51D, showing the modified rear fuselage and new canopy and windscreen."

"Following combat experience the P-51D series introduced a 'teardrop', or 'bubble', canopy to rectify problems with poor visibility to the rear of the aircraft"
That classical version of the P-51 Bubble canopy and drop tanks.

See the enemy and surprise him before you are seen and surprised!!

As from the dicta of Boelcke.

"Surprise: getting the first shot before one's opponent is prepared to return fire was the 'safest' and preferred method for attack. Most air victories were achieved in the first pass. Without all-seeing devices like radar, a pilot could approach his foe stealthily, using clouds, haze or even using the enemy aircraft's own wings or tail to conceal his approach. The glare of the sun, especially, provided an effective hiding spot."

As it was in the Great War so it was it too in the Second World War and so will it be ALWAYS!



This is coolbert:

Here is the latest and greatest and most modern weapon having the SEAD mission [suppression enemy air defense].

The Israeli Harop.


That letter "C" signifying COMBAT. Death by suicide drone.

"The IAI Harop . . . is an unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) . . . the drone itself is the main munition. This SEAD-optimised UCAV is designed to loiter the battlefield and attack targets by self-destructing into them."

A combat drone. A drone NOT merely for surveillance, observation, reconnaissance.

"The IAI Harop . . . is launched from ground- or sea-based canisters, but can be adapted for air-launch . . . the Harop is controlled in flight by a remote operator. The Harop features two guidance modes: it can either home in on radio [radar] emissions by itself with its anti-radar homing system, or the operator can select static or moving targets detected by the aircraft's electro-optical sensor."

That mission to specifically KILL enemy air defenses.

Harop. UCAV that  scale not so clear. Length: 2.5 m (8 ft 2 in)
Wingspan: 3.00 m (9 ft 10 in)
Harop having an autonomous combat capability guided to target "homing" on the radar emissions of the enemy emitter OR controlled by an operator from a considerable distance using and electro-optical line.

Missiles of the "homing" type in existence for many decades and referred to as anti-radiation-missiles [ARM], in the American inventory the earliest version the SHRIKE! Also an improved version of SHRIKE called the HARM [high-speed-anti-radiation-missile]. Anti-radiation more correctly signifying ANTI-RADAR.

Harop carries a pretty significant punch and can destroy either and enemy air defense radar OR the missiles associated with same. Those target acquisition [TA] and fire control [FC] radars of an adversary subject to destruction, firing units in the process rendered ineffective.

The UCAV ideally suited for the SEAD mission, expendable, danger to the operator negligible!

NOTE too that Israel is at the FOREFRONT of such weapons design and development. Remarkable for a country of only about seven million persons.


Sunday, February 16, 2014


This is coolbert:

War by insect!

From one of the latest posts of the Jungle Trader we have this item:

"Nazi Germany"

"University of Tübingen (Germany)":

"Why did the armed wing of the Nazi party need to study insects?"

"Tübingen University’s Dr. Klaus Reinhardt asked that question while studying documents from the Waffen-SS Entomological Institute, an annex of Dachau concentration camp."

"It made no sense — during WWII [WW2], Germany already had several respected entomological research centers; nor did the SS institute study insects which presented a potential threat to Germany’s all-important food supplies."

"After combing the archives, and building upon postwar studies, Dr Reinhardt came to the conclusion that, although the institute was intended to combat insect-borne diseases such as typhoid, it also carried out research into whether mosquitoes — which host malaria — could be used in biological warfare."

During the Sicilian campaign, the allied forces did suffer from numbers of troops laid low by malaria. That disease endemic to the island of Sicily and Italy both. MOSTLY ERADICATED BY THE EFFORTS OF THE FASCIST ITALIAN GOVERNMENT PRIOR TO WW2. Intentional or otherwise, malaria was a problem in certain sectors of the ETO [European Theater of Operations], allied efforts at insect control only normally possible after combat operations had ceased.

Anzio too, that area in the vicinity of the allied landings considered to be "bad land" since the time of the ancient Romans, malarial, legions either bypassing or crossing with all due speed! German combat engineers flooding large areas in an attempt to create conditions favorable for biting mosquitoes possibly carrying malaria, vectors infecting the allied troops in the process. Such was the hope of the German commanders.

It being reputed that about half of the human beings that have ever lived [about 100 billion] either having died directly from malaria or indirectly from the complications thereof!



Saturday, February 15, 2014

P-51 Mustang.

This is coolbert:

As seen at the PLANES OF FAME AIR MUSEUM, Chino, CA, USA, some displays of P-51 Mustang.

Privately owned war-birds that are all FLY-ABLE! NOT static and gutted military aviation but aircraft that can be flown.

Good looking P-51 Mustang. As rated by Johannes Steinhoff the BEST fighter plane of the Second World War [WW2]. I must admit the Mustang looks sharp. There is an intuitive sense that this airplane will perform well and indeed this is so. The German during WW2 had accumulated enough parts from downed Mustang to assemble a P-51 that was flown by Luftwaffe Experten such as Steinhoff.
Another superbly refurbished and fly-able Mustang. Goering when witnessing the first flight of P-51 to appear over Berlin is reputed to have said: "at that moment I knew the jig was up". P-51 carrying drop tanks able to conduct the long-range mission, escorting allied bomber aircraft all the way to the target and back.

I recommend without qualification a visit to the PLANES OF FAME museum if you are in the Chino area [Los Angeles]. Well worth seeing.


Friday, February 14, 2014


This is coolbert:

During that period of the Second World War [WW2] on several occasions the omnipotence of the Royal Navy [British] in that area of the Indian Ocean challenged by the forces of the Imperial Japanese Navy.

The Japanese Indian Ocean raid of 1942 I had heard of.

The Japanese Indian Ocean raid of 1944 I had not heard of.

Regarding the latter:

"In March 1944, a force of three Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) heavy cruisers raided Allied shipping in the Indian Ocean. The cruisers departed Japanese-held territory on 1 March with the support of other IJN vessels and aircraft. On 9 March, they encountered and sank the British steamer Behar, with the heavy cruiser Tone picking up over 100 survivors. Fearing detection, the Japanese force subsequently returned to the Netherlands East Indies (NEI), arriving on 16 March. Two days later, most of Behar's crew and passengers were murdered on board Tone."

Prisoners from the sunken Behar executed by beheading much after the fact. Cold and deliberate murder of civilian personnel most cruel and unnecessary.

The English Royal Navy [RN] even up unto 1944 skittish and wary, not willing or able to engage the Japanese fleet in a manner with the necessary aggressiveness and offensive action as required for victory?

That expanse of the Indian Ocean a "backwater" during WW2 but not entirely so!

The capture of Vichy controlled Madagascar in part done to deny the delivery to high-quality graphite as essential to the Nazi atomic bomb project?

Merchant vessels conveying Lend-Lease war-making material to the Soviet also sailing the Indian Ocean, the unimpeded flow of munitions vital to the war effort!

Other than that? Devoted readers to the blog know of more?


Australia II.

This is coolbert:


From the Australian ABC news:

Unprecedented! Deliberate! Provocative!

"RAAF monitored Chinese military exercise in waters between Christmas Island and Indonesia"

"The RAAF [Royal Australian Air Force] monitored an unprecedented and unannounced exercise involving three Chinese warships in international waters to the north of Australia, it has emerged."

"The unusual naval exercise late last week is considered to have been a deliberate and provocative move by the Chinese that will send a clear message to the region."

"For the first time, the Chinese navy sent warships sailing through the Sunda Strait between the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra."

"The ships travelled along the southern edge of Java, close to Christmas Island, and then through the Lombok Strait between Lombok and Bali."

One route used for entrance to the Indian Ocean environs, another used for egress. Christmas Island now and for some time a territory under the dominion of Australia.

See from this regarding the Chinese "String of Pearls" strategy.

The Chinese never having the reputation as pelagic [deep water] sailors? Mostly coastal huggers never venturing far from shore.

At least until now.


Australia I.

This is coolbert:

From the Australian ABC news we have an item indicative of paranormal activity that has a reasonable explanation with a military dimension to it.

"'Rottnest Monster' mystery solved: Defence says training exercise caused weird S-shaped radar trace"

"Related Story: 'S' shape appears on radar off WA coast"

"A strange S-shaped phenomenon which appeared on the weather bureau radar off the West Australian coast was caused by a military exercise, the Department of Defence has confirmed."

Radar reflections of a strange and awesome appearance, weather radar showing echoes of a hitherto never-seen nature. Spooky stuff indeed.

That explanation a military training exercise by Australian [??] forces in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Perth.

Sure! That is what they want to believe, isn't it?

Paranormal activity such as but not limited to the Flying Dutchman, Noah's ArkFoo-fighters and ball lightning having been topics for prior blog entries.

And all real! The military man can be counted on to make objective and dispassionate observations that can be relied on? Most think so.


Thursday, February 13, 2014


This is coolbert:

From that previous blog entry:

"SEAD [suppression enemy air defense] at that time only a gleam in the eye?"

SEAD WW2 style!

SEAD [suppression enemy air defense] not UNKNOWN during that period of the Second World War [WW2].

Practiced against Japanese shipping [merchant and naval both]in the Pacific theatre.

In particular, British Beaufighters [ heavy fighters] and the American light-bomber Mitchell B-25 eminently suited for the SEAD role.

Shipping attacked by low-level bombing, rockets, and heavy machine gun [HMG] fire of the .50 caliber [12.7 mm] variety. Repeated strafing passes with multiple firing HMG suppressing enemy air defense of the AAA type. [anti-aircraft-artillery]

That Mitchell B-25 in some variants also equipped with a nose mounted 75 mm gun!

This is the nose of a B-25H with the four forward-firing HMG and the 75 mm cannon.

Most suited for the SEAD mission during VARSITY [the paratrooper drop during the crossing of the Rhine] the Mitchell B-25J. And aircraft with twelve FORWARD-FIRING .50 caliber [12.7 mm] HMG. Eight HMG mounted in the nose and two also forward-firing each on either side of the fuselage.

As seen at the PLANES OF FAME AIR MUSEUM, Chino, CA., USA, the nose as removed from a WW2 B-25J. Those eight forward-firing HMG augmented by the four HMG two each mounted in pods one on either side of the fuselage.

Firepower for SEAD indeed awesome!

During VARSITY no such B-25 available for the mission and none even contemplated?

"B-25J. The last production model of the B-25, often called a cross between the B-25C and the B-25H. It had a transparent nose, but many of the delivered aircraft were modified to have a solid nose. Most of its 14–18 machine guns were forward-facing for strafing missions."

That mission of SEAD as understood today to be implemented by UAV combat drones? Too dangerous to spare the experienced and able pilot when a machine can do the job.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

C-46 Commando.

This is coolbert:

Here is a warplane [transport] from that era of the Second World War [WW2] that gets poor marks. So much so that the various users had to be asking themselves: "why was this plane even built"?

The C-46 Commando.

A transport more robust and having more carrying capacity than the C-47. But also the reputation of the C-46 lacking.

The plane seemed to explode more or less spontaneously in a manner that caused a lot of alarm and grief.

"The Curtiss C-46 Commando is a transport aircraft originally derived from a commercial high-altitude airliner design . . . Known to the men who flew them as 'The Whale,' the 'Curtiss Calamity,'  the 'plumber's nightmare', and among ATC [Air Transport Command] crews, the 'flying coffin,'"

Again, on paper, the C-46 having some positive features, able to carry more cargo and TWICE THE NUMBER OF PARATROOPERS WITH GEAR AS THE C-47.

But when used in combat for the massive paratrooper east of the Rhine river during the waning days of WW2, the performance less than spectacular and raising a lot of concern.

Entire planeloads of paratroopers incinerated even before jumping. This of course during VARSITY!

"It [C-46] augmented USAAF Troop Carrier Command in time to drop paratroopers in an offensive to cross the Rhine River in Germany (Operation Varsity)."

"So many C-46s were lost in the paratroop drop during Operation Varsity that Army General Matthew Ridgway famously issued an edict forbidding the aircraft's use in future airborne operations."

That C-46 infamous for not being equipped with self-sealing fuel tanks! "Tokyo tanks" they were called?

From that wiki entry it is suggested that the C-46 was: "unfairly demonized"!

Perhaps more importantly, it can also be suggested that it was not that the C-46 was so poor as the tactics used during VARSITY unsuitable AND that the GERMAN AAA [anti-aircraft-artillery] crews were so GOOD!

Low-level approach at slow speed into a mass concentration of AAA is bound to result in NO-GOOD!

SEAD [suppression enemy air defense] at that time only a gleam in the eye?


Tuesday, February 11, 2014


This is coolbert:

Here is the future and the future is NOW!

The high-speed helicopter. Triple rotor configuration, a PUSHER!

1. The Sikorsky X-2.

"The Sikorsky X2 is an experimental high-speed compound helicopter with coaxial rotors developed by the American aircraft manufacturer Sikorsky Aircraft."

"On 4 May 2009, Sikorsky unveiled a mock-up of a Light Tactical Helicopter derivative of the X2."

The Light Tactical Helicopter to be the replacement for the ancient but venerable OH-58. That two-seater observation helicopter ["loach"] even active during the Vietnam era.

2. "Three-Rotor Copters Set to Change Civilian, Military Helicopter Designs Forever"


Such "choppers" are possible with the smaller designs but scaling up is difficult? A devoted reader to the blog who knows helicopters and aviation is conversant in this matter?

See my previous blog entry regarding the X-2 European"high-speed" helicopter.


Monday, February 10, 2014

Invisible II.

This is coolbert:


Invisible Skyscraper!

Also as seen in the most latest edition of Popular Mechanics:

"Pasadena based firm GDS Architects' new building in Incheon, South Korea ROK is guaranteed not be an eyesore . . . [the] Tower Infinity , at 1476 foot [450 meters] tall INVISIBLE [my emphasis] skyscraper . . . will be built near the Incheon International Airport . . . 'our [GDS] solution aims to provide the world's first invisible tower to showcase South Korean innovation.'"

And works by:

1. "A series of 18 HD cameras are placed at three levels along the tower's height."
2. "The six cameras at each level take five feeds of the surrounding views, and then the images are digitally processed, scaled, rotated, and merged to form one panoramic view."
3. "Rows of LED screen opposite each camera then project the view onto the glass facade blending the tower completely into the skyline."

A skyscraper, more of  tower with observation platform, that can "showcase South Korean innovation".

Also we can reasonably surmise there is a hidden agenda here for rendering this tower "invisible"?

That skyscraper to be made "invisible" [read again more correctly to mean MUCH HARDER TO SEE] as a means of defeating North Korean [NKPA] artillery forward observation positions and spotters?

That tower will have a line-of-site of approximately 50 miles [80 kilometers]. The tower visible from a long way off and near critical areas of Seoul. A known location from which NKPA artillery multiple-rocket launcher rounds and can be spotted, aimed and corrections made?

Am I being excessively paranoid here?


Invisible I.

This is coolbert:

Super-squid, super-soldier!

Reflectin. Mimicry.

Stealth technology for the common soldier that will defeat infra-red [IR] surveillance devices.

As seen in the most recent edition of Popular Mechanics and copied in entirety.

"Navy SEALs may soon be able to hide from enemy night-vision goggles by emulating squid. The skin of the common pencil squid is imbued with a protein, reflectin, that changes color and reflects wavelengths of light, enabling it to 'disappear'. University of California, Irvine engineers are testing a reflectin-based coating that appears black at wavelengths between 700 and 1200 nanometers. The properties can be adjusted by applying a chemical trigger, so the coating vanishes when viewed in infrared. The goal is to incorporate reflectin in fabrics to make camo that adjust to various background and lighting"

And further:

"New Infrared Camouflage Coating Created from Squid-Derived Compound"

 "A team of researchers led by Dr Alon Gorodetsky of the University of California, Irvine, has developed a tunable biomimetic infrared camouflage coating inspired by pencil squids"

"With the appropriate chemical stimuli, the films’ coloration and reflectance can shift back and forth, giving them a dynamic configurability that allows the films to disappear and reappear when visualized with an infrared camera."

"Infrared detection equipment is employed extensively by military forces for night vision, navigation, surveillance and targeting."

Not necessarily "invisible" as that word commonly, generally, and ordinarily understood. More correctly understood as MUCH MORE DIFFICULT TO SEE!

This chemical useful only to defeat IR technology, passive [FLIR] and active [illuminator and IR goggles]? NOT effective against NOD [night-observation-device] relying on massive amplification of existing ambient light no matter how faint. Devices of the original "Starlight Scope" variety.


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Barrel Bomb.

This is coolbert:

The barrel bomb!

As heard on National Public Radio that Syrian air force of the dictator Assad now using and evidently using for some time a field expedient explosive. Referred to as a barrel bomb!

 "Kerry: Fresh barrel bomb attack shows Syrian regime's 'true colors'"
"(CNN) -- At least 15 boys were killed when Syrian forces dropped a barrel bomb on a mosque operating as a makeshift school in Aleppo, the opposition Syrian Coalition said Wednesday.
Barrel bombs are drums packed with explosives and shrapnel, which are then dropped from the sky."

"A barrel bomb is a type of improvised explosive device used by the Syrian Air Force during the Syrian civil war. They are typically made from a barrel that has been filled with High Explosives, with possibly shrapnel and/or oil, and then dropped from a helicopter."

"Barrel bombs have advantages and disadvantages as a weapon. They are cheaper and easier to produce than conventional weapons. The explosive material can be as simple as fertilizer (ammonium nitrate/fuel oil). The barrel can be any metal container of any size, such as an old water heater."

These seem to be an ANFO type of bomb. Ammonia nitrate fuel oil. A barrel crammed full of metal fragments and ANFO explosive fused and merely dumped out of a transport helicopter over a target.

The Mi-8 [HIP] is the Soviet era transport chopper preferred as the delivery system for this diabolical weapon?

That Mi-24 [HIND] does have a capability to carry and drop CONVENTIONAL BOMBS in a conventional manner, but using a HIND to drop ordnance such as a barrel bomb is a waste of resources?

And from the Brown Moses Blog read the full and complete story of the barrel bomb. Thank you Brown Moses.

"Syria's Barrel Bomb Technology Relative To Aleppo Syria Attacks - The Good, The Bad And The Ugly"

Understand that when originally developed ANFO explosive was considered to be a significant technological breakthrough. Allowed the novice and untrained person to use explosives with a minimum of danger but with continued effectiveness.

ANFO here the used "Bad And Ugly"!


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Air Force?

This is coolbert:

From the tip as provided by Steiner and the article in The National Interest we have:

1. "Ground the Air Force" by Robert Farley.


2. "The US Air Force For Dummies" by Adam Lowther.


Please understand that this is nothing new.

* From that era immediately in the aftermath of the Great War [WW1] it was thought that the U.S. Navy and the battleship could be dispensed with.

Billy Mitchell that advocate suggesting air power ALONE would suffice to defend the coastline of the continental United States.

* From that era immediately in the aftermath of the Second World War [WW2] those most senior admirals of the navy suggesting that an independent air force [created from the Army Air Corps] was not needed.

Long-range aviation as deployed from naval super-carriers able to project power in the form of nuclear munitions to any point on the planet.

* During that era of the Great Depression it being suggested by Douglas MacArthur that the U.S. Marine Corps be incorporated in the U.S. Army.

As a cost saving measure alone.

* During that era also in the aftermath of WW2 it being suggested that the U.S. Marine Corps [USMC] be dispensed with.

Marines according to President Truman nothing more than the military police of the U.S. Navy.

None of these suggestions ever coming to pass. And perhaps thankfully so.

Those U.S. Marines indeed are the military police of the navy.

Granted that is so, but the USMC much more than that.

The U.S. is fortunate to have two military services that have different approaches to modern ground warfare.

NOT necessarily antagonistic but having doctrines and theories that complement and enhance the war-making effort of the American military.

Those exercises and tests as conducted in 1921 at the behest of Billy Mitchell rigged? Mitchell and his airmen attacking targets [the German warships] that were sitting ducks, Mitchell in a deliberate manner also exceeding the prior agreed upon parameters by which the vessels could be engaged?


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Bonus March.

This is coolbert:

Here with a less than illustrious episode from American history. And one with a definite military dimension.

From the article in the Chicago Tribune as seen several days ago now. By Ron Grossman.

As reported by the Chicago Daily Tribune [as it was called then].





"Chicagoan Killed by Police; Nearly 50 hurt in Battles."


"On July 28, police began clearing the Washington encampment. Scuffles broke out . . . that night, 3,000 infantry, cavalry and a platoon of tanks, were sent into the encampment, under the command of a trio of officers destined to become household names in World War II. On horseback and sporting his medals, Gen. Douglas MacArthur directed the operation, assisted by then Maj. Dwight Eisenhower; George S. Patton led the tanks."

"After giving the veterans a couple of hours to evacuate the camp's terrified women and children, soldiers with fixed bayonets and wearing gas masks hurled tear gas."

Bonus Marchers, veterans of the First World War [WW1], demanding during that era of the Great Depression and early payment of a promised bonus [agreed to be paid in 1945] for prior military service, a piddling amount the administration in power refused!

The encampment, consisting of  tents and ramshackle squatter-like wooden huts, finally demolished but only after military force was used.

This was an early version of the "Occupy Movement"!!

Two persons dead, one adult male killed previously by the police, one baby evidently succumbing to the tear gas.

And of course the photographs and publicity big time egg-on-the-face for the senior military commander, Douglas MacArthur.

Understand too the use of federal troop in a law enforcement role not a violation of posse comitatus. Within the District of Columbia troops can be used in such a manner.

Just obeying orders!


Monday, February 3, 2014


This is coolbert:

Devoted readers to the blog please be aware here is yet one more instance of where I am wrong.

That Desert Training Center as used by the U.S. Army during World War Two [WW2] NOT in the same exact area where the American military practices desert warfare today.

American ground forces during WW2 training for desert warfare and also developing techniques of armored [tank] maneuver combat stationed and based in the high desert of California, military camps again not exactly located where the present day Ft. Irwin [army] or Twenty Nine Palms [Marines] are situated. Close but not quite.

"The Desert Training Center (DTC), also known as California-Arizona Maneuver Area (CAMA), was a World War II training facility established in the Mojave Desert, largely in Southern California and Western Arizona in 1942."

"Its mission was to train United States Army and Army Air Corps units and personnel to live and fight in the desert, to test and develop suitable equipment, and to develop tactical doctrines, techniques and training methods."

That entire area seventy years ago hardly even as densely populated as it is now. And no interstate highways either, the road network sparse and unimproved in most instances. Click on the map to see a larger image.

"It was a key training facility for units engaged in combat during the 1942–1943 North African campaign. It stretched from the outskirts of Pomona, California eastward to within 50 miles of Phoenix, Arizona, southward to the suburbs of Yuma, Arizona and northward into the southern tip of Nevada."

The current U.S. Marine base called the Air Ground Combat Center located in that area NORTH [see map] of Twenty Nine Palms.

"The Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC), also known as 29 Palms, is a United States Marine Corps base. It was a census-designated place (CDP) officially known as Twentynine Palms Base located adjacent to the city of Twentynine Palms in southern San Bernardino County, California."

Good training possible here!!

That location of Fort Irwin [army] even further NORTH, see the map where it says: " To Death Valley".

"Fort Irwin & the National Training Center (NTC) is a major training area for the United States Military and is a census-designated place located in the Mojave Desert in northern San Bernardino County, California."

"The base is part of the Installation Management Command (IMCOM). The opposing force at the NTC is the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, the Blackhorse Cavalry, who are stationed at the base to provide an enemy force to units on a training rotation at Fort Irwin."

The 11th ACR the OPFOR. Opposing force. Simulates the role of the adversary during "war games".

That 11th ACR [armored cavalry regiment] generally conceded to be the # 1 unit in the U.S. Army most prepared for conventional combat as that term understood in the modern context.

Also duty very rigorous with severe hardship. A minimum of two hundred days in the field per year, under the extremes of desert conditions. Day/night simulations without respite, "war games" realistic as to the greatest extent possible.

Good training possible and is!!



This is coolbert:

From an acknowledged aviation authority some comments, the dual use military aircraft NOT such a great idea as I might have thought it was. Those trainers/combat warplanes such as the Yak-130, South Korean Golden Eagle or the Italian M-346 the capability of which is more limited that what I had might imagined:

"Trainers are usually lighter aircraft, designed basically to carry pilot and instructor, and sometimes a tiny bomb load (practice bombs, weighing 25lbs each, having the ballistic characteristics of the 500-3,000lb bombs they are supposed to emulate). As you can see, not much carrying capability.  Nor any room to expand to carry more and better avionics to help navigate, guide weapons to their targets, find and track enemy planes, warning devices, heavier systems to resist gunfire, redundant systems to compensate for when the gunfire is not resisted, heavier landing gear to handle the bigger loads, and on and on....."

That dual use warplane [trainer/combat] can be effective during a counter-insurgency operation [COIN] but also ONLY in a limited way and given the nature of modern warfare also susceptible in a manner that a full-size combat aircraft is not!

"The best use of small trainers as combat aircraft comes when you are fighting guerrilla wars with no sophisticated anti-air capability.  Even a shoulder-fired missile (MANPAD) is deadly to those smaller aircraft, which almost always fly at much slower speeds--a T-37 is dog meat for the MANPADs, while a F-4 at a normal speed at low altitude can rarely be touched by one."

MANPAD such as the elderly but still effective Soviet era SA-7! that American T-37 in Vietnam called the A-37 when equipped with 7.62 mini-guns.

IN addition:

"If you add the protective electronic equipment, nav systems, guidance capabilities, etc. to the trainers, they too will develop more down time for maintenance."

So I am incorrect but I might judge not entirely so! I stand corrected and am more the better for it.