Friday, June 30, 2017


This is coolbert:

Continuing with the topic of PTSD.

Our evolving understanding of the condition now called post traumatic stress disorder [PTSD] is reflected in the changing labels given to it over the years.

Labels during different periods to include:


* Cardiorespiratory neurosis.

" 1800's"

* Traumatic neurosis.
* Combat hysteria.
* Combat neurasthenia.


* Nostalgia.
* Irritable heart.
* Soldier's heart.


* Shell shock
* Battle hypnosis.
* War Neurosis.


* Battle fatigue
* Combat exhaustion.
* Blast concussion
* Psychoneurosis.


* Gross stress reaction.
* Post traumatic stress disorder.

During that period of the American Civil War measures as taken to alleviate "nostalgia" counter-productive. Writing letters home the suggested remedy found with hindsight to create only a worse "nostalgia". Keep in mind that most persons of that era HAD NEVER EVEN TRAVELED TWENTY MILES BEYOND HOME DURING THEIR LIFE TIME.

A remedy as suggested by the Internet web site G2mil "The Infantry Square". Troops never in sustained combat and battlefield danger for longer than two days at a time. Excessive stress both physical and mental from prolonged battle resulting in PTSD. Never PTSD as a battlefield illness totally eliminated but ameliorated to a degree and maintaining troop effectiveness at the same time.



 This is coolbert:

 Grog, sodomy, the lash!!

The malady of PTSD in all manifestations hardly NOT a modern phenomenon.

"  (PTSD)  Post traumatic stress disorder is a mental disorder that can develop after a person is exposed to a traumatic event, such as sexual assault, warfare, traffic collisions, or other threats on a person's life"

From a book review as seen at Jungle Trader.

"Off the Deep End: A History of Madness at Sea" by Nic Compton

"In the eighteenth century, the Royal Navy's own physician found that sailors were seven times more likely to suffer from severe mental illness than the general population."

 "On the high seas, beyond the rule of law, away from any sight of land for weeks at a time — often living in overcrowded and confined spaces, where anything that goes wrong could be fatal — the incredible pressures on sailors were immense. The ever-present fear drove some men to faith in God and superstition — and drove others mad."

Poor food, the lack of same and long periods at sea without proper nutrition as contributing factors resulting in stress on the body and mind EVEN DURING PERIODS WITHOUT COMBAT for which amelioration was often not possible. Such a regimen over a long period of time often resulting in MADNESS!

Indeed, so loathsome to most was duty in the Royal Navy that the press gang was adopted as an institutional measure.

Additional danger the brutal, overbearing and even sadistic nature of the command structure making unsupportable and unrealistic demands on sailors that often [??] resulted in mutiny!! Come along there little fellow, you suit our purposes perfectly!


Thursday, June 29, 2017


This is coolbert:

The brand-new British Royal Navy [RN] aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth now under-going sea trials. NO planes yet it should be mentioned.


"Big Lizzie squeezes under the Forth Bridge but sails straight into a cyber attack storm: Britain's biggest warship relies on vulnerable Windows XP despite Navy boasting of NASA standard security"

Thanks to the Daily Mail on line and the article by Amie Gordon and Alex Matthews For Mailonline and Larisa Brown Defence Correspondent For The Daily Mail. English spelling prevails.

As to the computer operating system MS XP the ship and vital systems are vulnerable to HACKING?

In this regard the Royal Navy [RN] is very susceptible?

"The operating system [MS XP] was released in 2001, and Microsoft cut support for it in 2014. Microsoft no longer distributes security updates for XP, leaving it vulnerable to viruses and cyber-criminals. Experts warned those still running the software after 2014 – and not receiving extended security support – are at risk of getting hacked."

"However, Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon insisted the security around the computer software on the aircraft carrier is 'properly protected'.He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: 'It's not the system itself, of course, that's vulnerable, it's the security that surrounds it. 'I want to reassure you about Queen Elizabeth, the security around its computer system is properly protected and we don't have any vulnerability on that particular score.'"

See previous blog entries as germane to the RN cyber-security issue:


Wednesday, June 28, 2017


This is coolbert:

From the Internet web site G2mil an anecdotal account the smooth-bore mortar as to be preferred over the rifled version.

"Heavy American Mortars In WWII"

 "'After spending several weeks on and near the infantry line [Philippines, 1945, WW2], I concluded and reported that rifled bore mortars are ineffective because the rounds have to be fired at about 60 degrees max so the rounds won't 'boat tail' in as duds.  In addition, the smooth bore mortars appeared to be more accurate to me, even though the 4.2 inch chemical mortar did some good work, but the lack of drift from spinning in the smooth bore mortars and the inability of rifled mortars to drop shells in almost vertically left me totally convinced that smooth bore is the only way to fly"

That Soviet army during the Second World War [WW2] for a variety of reasons finding the smooth-bore cast-iron mortar firing a cast-iron mortar bomb [everyone in the world with the exception of the U.S. Army calls the projectile as fired from a mortar a bomb] as the indirect fire weapon of choice!

From the Soviet perspective the smooth-bore cast-iron mortar cheaper, easier and quicker to manufacture.


The splintering of the cast-iron mortar bomb also more desirable. More and worse damage and injury to enemy personnel!

A Soviet spetsnaz troop having seen action in Afghan however of the opinion that American rifled mortars better than the Soviet brand. Lighter alloy material, rifled, less need to lubricate and protect the weapon.

So what are we to think?



This is coolbert:

From the time of the American Revolutionary War an instance of biological warfare as waged by the British against the rebellious colonists and the Continental army?

Never heard of this before!!

"The New World of the western hemisphere was devastated by the 1775–1782 North American smallpox epidemic."

"The epidemic occurred during the years of the American Revolutionary War (1775–1782). At the time limited medicinal options existed to help stop the transmission, and therefore the fatalities from the smallpox epidemic were as common as those from the battles of the Revolutionary War.

"It is not known where the outbreak began, but the epidemic was not limited to the colonies on the Eastern seaboard, nor to the areas ravaged by hostilities. The outbreak spread throughout the North American continent. In 1775 it was already raging through British-occupied Boston and among the Continental Army's invasion of Canada. During Washington's siege of Boston the disease broke out among both Continental and British camps."


* Was this pestilence deliberate or accidental?

* Washington was of the opinion it was deliberate?

* The British too suffered from the malady?

* The Continental army did invade Canada!

* Never a good idea to release bio-warfare agents unless you possess an antidote!


Tuesday, June 27, 2017


This is coolbert:

That American industrial output during the Great War [WW1] from one-hundred years ago an essential and integral aspect the construction of merchant shipping.

"'Help your Uncle Sam win the war': Extraordinary collection of First World War propaganda posters intended to boost US morale comes up for sale"

* Patriotic war posters collected by Wall Street analyst David Schwartz are going up for sale this week

Among those particular posters:

As accompanying this caption it is stated that: "The Emergency Fleet Corporation was formed in April 1917 to acquire and build more merchant ships, to help bring food and military supplies across the Atlantic to Britain, France and to a lesser extent Russia"


The German deprived of imported food during the Great War but the allied nations of England, France and Russia not doing a whole lot better. Large quantities of food [primarily grain?] as shipped to the allies ameliorating the situation.

Also to what extent I am not clear these vessels participating in relief efforts in the aftermath of the war, especially with regard to the Soviet Union. BULK CARGO OF FOODSTUFFS WHAT THEY ARE CALLED SAVING THE LIVES OF UNTOLD MILLIONS AFTER THE SHOOTING HAD STOPPED!!


Monday, June 26, 2017


This is coolbert:

Here with several infographics each having a military dimension.

"Information graphics or infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present information quickly and clearly. They can improve cognition by utilizing graphics to enhance the human visual system’s ability to see patterns and trends"

Thanks to the Numberphile Internet web site. Lovers of numbers!

"The Greatest Ever Infographic - Numberphile"

1. "Minard's map of Napoleon's Russian campaign."

"1861 saw the release of an influential information graphic on the subject of Napoleon's disastrous march on Moscow. The graphic’s creator, Charles Joseph Minard, captured four different changing variables that contributed to Napoleon’s downfall in a single two-dimensional image: the army's direction as they traveled, the location the troops passed through, the size of the army as troops died from hunger and wounds, and the freezing temperatures they experienced." Click on image to see an enlarged view.

Further another representation, an infographic, that same march on Moscow by the Grand Army of Napoleon but in presented in a modern manner, a rotating 3-D cube.:

2.  "Napoleon's March on Moscow 3D Space-Time Cube"

Those casualties of the French army invading Russian very well documented. About 500,000 total in the invasion force, 430,000 of which marched on Moscow, only 30,000 making it make alive to friendly territory!! Russian sources report 100,000 men of the invading force taken prisoner and the remainder [300,000] their bodies cremated!!

2. "DIAGRAM of the Causes of Mortality in the ARMY in the EAST."

"In 1857, English nurse Florence Nightingale used information graphics to persuade Queen Victoria to improve conditions in military hospitals. The principal one she used was the Coxcomb chart, a combination of stacked bar and pie charts, depicting the number and causes of deaths during each month of the Crimean War." Also click on the image to see an enlarged view.

Queen Victoria was able to understand this infographic? My impression was that the Queen was not the brightest light bulb around. Maybe those closest to her said this was good to go and she just nodded her head.


Sunday, June 25, 2017


This is coolbert:

As enunciated by an acknowledged aviation authority and for your edification some air power terms and definitions.

 "There are sometimes other terms used, but they all come down to . . . four"

1.  "Air supremacy:  in effect, total control of the air, such that enemy air and counter-air forces cannot affect operations for the side with AS.  An example would be the NATO air ops over Bosnia in the 1990s and the Coalition Forces' dominance in both the Gulf War and in Operation Iraqi Freedom."

2. "Air superiority.  One side dominant, but subject to sudden surges or unexpected massing of enemy forces to oppose it.  More often associated with battlefield superiority, wherein one side or the other focuses its air forces over a particular region in order to attain dominance for a battle or campaign.  Examples would be the Air superiority of Allied air forces over the Normandy region during the D-Day invasion.  German forces still had thousands of fighters and bombers available and could have massed them in the area to fight that campaign, if it dared to give up tenuous parity over various Russian fronts or open all of Germany to unfettered bomber offensives in the absence of fighter opposition.  Air superiority examples could also include much of the Pacific Theater in WWII, where Allied or US air forces had local superiority whenever carriers were in the area, but which advantage was lost when the carriers left."

3.  "Air parity.  Neither side has a definitive advantage.  Each side's ground forces are subject to aerial strikes against them, making maneuvers and supply difficult.  Examples would be Germany vs Russia in the late 1943 to mid 1944 period, US versus Japanese forces during the Guadalcanal campaign (at times, the Japanese were dominant in that conflict).  Perhaps even the line up of opposing forces in the Korean War could be considered 'parity'"

4.  "Less than parity.  Self explanatory.  The period when your ground forces ask angrily where their cowardly Air Force might be hiding"

With regard to # 4 the French during the Battle of France [1940]!!.

Thank you aviation authority!!


Survival II.

This is coolbert:

From the collected works of the Soviet era defector Suvorov some descriptions of special purpose [Spetsnaz] unit battle training wilderness survival and important aspect. As is germane to the previous blog entry:

"when a Spetsnaz soldier sets out, whether for a week or a month, the duration of the operation makes no difference. He always takes with him exactly the same quantity of food - - 2,765 grams [three pounds]. It frequently happens that in the course of an operation, food, water and ammunition are dropped from aircraft. But it may not happen, and then he has to make out as best he can. Nearly three kilo-grams of food is a great deal, bearing in mind the usually high caloric content of the specialty developed and prepared food. But if it's not enough then he will have to obtain food independently. He might kill a deer or a wild boar; he may catch fish, eat berries, mushrooms, hedgehogs, frogs, snakes, snails and earthworms; he can cook up birch bark and acorns . . . there's plenty a hungry man can eat, especially if he is equipped with the concentrated experience of many centuries."

"One of the most important aspects of full battle training is the technique of survival. In the Soviet Union there are plenty of places where there are no people for thousands of square kilometers [1,000 square kilometers = 386 square miles]. Thus the method is to drop a small group of three or four men by parachute in a completely unfamiliar place where there are no people, no roads and nothing except blinding snow from one horizon to the other or burning sand as far as the eye can see. The group has neither a map nor a compass. Each man has a Kalashnikov automatic, but only one round of ammunition. In addition he has a knife and a spade. The food supply is a minimum, sometimes none at all. The group does not know how long it will have to walk - - a day, five days, a fortnight [two weeks]? The men can use their ammunition as they please. They can kill a deer, an elk or a bear. That would be plenty for the whole group for a long journey. But what if wolves were to attack and the ammunition were finished?"



Saturday, June 24, 2017

Survival I.

This is coolbert:

Devoted readers to the blog will understand that these headlines caught my attention right away.

Survival Russian style. As taught to the military.

NOT so much that wilderness survival skills are taught as to WHO is doing the teaching.

Old Believers of the Russian Orthodox Church!!

Old Believers adherents to a strict and ancient form of Russian Orthodoxy. Persons persecuted for many centuries and seeking refuge as far from the rest of humanity as possible. Refuge to include such a place being the Siberian northern arboreal forest. The taiga.

Old Believers not only able to exist in the taiga but thrive. Knowledgeable in all aspects of wilderness survival, live off the land if need be, and again not merely existing but thriving!!

1. "Siberian Old Believers teach Chinese officers to survive in taiga"

"Novosibirsk, June 13, Interfax - A military delegation of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China has undergone a source of training for the special task force and alpines of the Russian army with instructors from a local Old Believer community on the foothill of Western Sayan on the border of Tuva and the Krasnoyarsk Territory"

. . . .

"The Old Believers taught the Chinese guests basic skills of surviving in the wild nature of Siberia: how to navigate the terrain, climb rocks and cross gorges and water obstacles, get fire, food and drinking water, organize a stay for the night, and give first medical aid.

"South Siberian Old Believers are skillful pathfinders, hunters and good economic people. They have lived by themselves, passing their traditions from generation to generation, for over three centuries."

2. "Old Believer bootcamp: Russian army learns survival skills from reclusive sect"

"Members of an isolated Orthodox community are teaching special forces how to navigate the Siberian wilderness,"

"A group of Russian special forces has emerged from a month-long training camp in the Siberian wilderness, led by members of a staunchly traditionalist religious sect."

See from this excellent You Tube video the type of life as led by the Old Believer in the taiga:

"Agafia. Hermit Surviving in Russian Wilderness for 70 years"


Friday, June 23, 2017


This is coolbert:

"by pen and gun" "by word and bullet"  "by tongue and teeth "

Almost fifty years ago all aspiring Latin American revolutionaries, insurrectionists, communist urban guerrillas had as required reading the "Minimanual of the Urban Guerrilla" by Carlos Marighella.

A how-to book instructive at the basic level.

"How to" instruction regarding the bread-and-butter aspect of the urban guerrilla/terrorist/revolutionary/insurrectionist to include but hardly limited to: executions, kidnapping, sabotage, terrorism, propaganda, security, assaults, bank robbery.

That modern form of the "minimanual" directed at the ISLAMIIC JIHADIST! Theoretical and practical texts justifying the use or terrorism as a means of waging war and the "how to" nuts-and-bolts aspects of guerrilla/insurrectionist/terrorist warfare.

Thanks to Vlad for the tip in this case.

1. "The Manchester Manual. The Al Qaeda Manual"

"The Al Qaeda Handbook is a computer file found by Manchester (England) Metropolitan Police during a search of the Manchester home of Anas al-Liby in 2000. A translation has been provided by the American Federal Bureau of Investigation. Officials state that the document is a manual for how to wage war, and according to the American military, was written by Osama bin Laden's extremist group, Al Qaeda."

See a complete PDF document the Handbook as written.

"The attached manual was located by the Manchester (England) Metropolitan Police during a search of an al Qaeda member's home. The manual was found in a computer file described as the 'the military series' related to the 'Declaration of Jihad' The manual was translated into English and was introduced earlier this year at the embassy bombing trail in New York."

2. "Revolutionary Islam"

"Revolutionary Islam (French L'islam révolutionnaire) . . .  is a book written by international revolutionary Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, also known as Carlos the Jackal, under the direction of Jean-Michel Vernochet. It was published in 2003"

3. "Peripheral Warfare and Revolutionary Islam: Origins, Rules and Ethics of Asymmetrical Warfare"

By Jorge Verstrynge


"Origenes, reglas y etica de la guerra asimetrica."

Finally, regarding the word "terrorism" and as enunciated by Carlos Marighella himself:

"The accusation of 'violence' or 'terrorism' no longer has the negative meaning it used to have. It has acquired new clothing; a new color. It does not divide, it does not discredit; on the contrary, it represents a center of attraction. Today, to be 'violent' or a 'terrorist' is a quality that ennobles any honorable person, because it is an act worthy of a revolutionary engaged in armed struggle" - - Carlos Marighella - - 1969.


Thursday, June 22, 2017


This is coolbert:

 "E Fluctibus irruit in hostem"

"Out of the waves and he fell upon the enemy"

More regarding the modern Italian naval command units and their equipment: Thanks to the Internet web site.

"Comando Raggruppamento Subacquei e Incursori Teseo Tesei"

"COMSUBIN is the elite commando frogman force and one of the Italian special forces. Italy was the first nation to use frogmen and human torpedoes."

Further with regard to Italian submersible boat technology we have "Cos.Mo.S 'Nessie' Fast SDV"

"During World War Two Italy led the world in many aspects of naval Special Forces capabilities, most notably in wet submersibles and combat swimmers. Although frogmen from the famous Decima-MAS [X] unit served on both sides after the Italian Armistice, Italy’s naval Special Forces capabilities were officially extinguished at the end of the war. They were however kept alive in secret (an open secret among Western Special Forces perhaps). In the 1950s Italy rekindled it strategically important waterborne Special Forces capabilities including its SDVs. The Italian Navy craft were kept a VERY closely guarded secret and have only become known quite recently . . . Part of keeping them secret was that the company that built them did not openly advertise the fact. They were only exported to Israel and South Africa."


"before the Second World War Italy's technology was at an incredibly high level . . . achievements, especially in the sphere of aviation, submarines and high-speed launches, were really amazing . . . the Italians were the unrecognized geniuses of military and naval technology." - - Suvorov. [GRU = Soviet/Russian military intelligence.]

Again, that tradition of excellence apparently continues!



This is coolbert:

 "E Fluctibus irruit in hostem"

"Out of the waves and he fell upon the enemy"

From the Internet web site "COVERT SHORES" and article the topic of which is submersible boats as used during naval commando missions. Thanks to the Internet web site.

"Exclusive - Secret Submarine-Boat revealed"

"Italy is renowned for sleek and stylish speed boats. And acknowledged as a pioneer and world leader in underwater Special Forces technology. So it should come as no surprise that the elite Special Forces, COMSUBIN, operate some of the most powerful and impressive submersible boats in the world. But it will, because it is also one of the Special Forces community’s best kept secrets."

The Italian navy prior to and during the Second World War [WW2] innovators in the area of naval commando operations as that term understood today.

First free-divers, then snorkel, then SCUBA, then Swimmer-Delivery-Vehicles [SDV] and midget submarines. Unconventional naval warfare, asymmetric, a combat multiplier of great value.


"There may be some people who underestimate Italy as a country of great thinker, but not the GRU. The GRU know that the Italians have very good brains, the brains of great inventors. Few people realize that before the Second World War Italy's technology was at an incredibly high level . . . achievements, especially in the sphere of aviation, submarines and high-speed launches, were really amazing . . . the Italians were the unrecognized geniuses of military and naval technology." - - Suvorov. [GRU = Soviet/Russian military intelligence.]

That tradition of naval commando warfare technology as pioneered by the Italian evidently continues.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Lauzun’s Legion.

This is coolbert:

Before there was a French Foreign Legion there was Lauzun's Legions!

Armand-Louis de Gontaut Biron, duc de Lauzun [Duke].

Never heard of this before. Thanks to the Mad Monarchist Internet web site and as extracted from same.

"The Duc de Lauzun, a Life Lesson"

"In the aftermath of the disastrous French and Indian War (Seven Years’ War for Europeans), the French military was reformed in a major way."

To include units comprised of foreign nationals not Frenchmen. Military forces their mission what would be termed overseas duty!!

"A group of eight new units were created, known as legions, of Volontaires étranger de la Marine for overseas service. These units were made up of Poles, Germans, Hungarians and exiles from Ireland and were combined arms formations with each having two fusilier, one grenadier and one chasseur companies as well as artillery and cavalry (hussars) in their own independent companies. The idea was to have units that could move quickly, pack a punch and be able to respond to any given situation with their own infantry, cavalry and artillery components"

Units and troops described their battlefield function depending on the historical context but generally defined as:

* fusilier =  line infantry,  * grenadier =  elite assault troops, * chasseur =  light infantry, *  hussars =  light cavalry.

The Duc his fate most terrible. A valiant military commander and a supporter of the French Revolution himself sent eventually to the guillotine.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Italy WW2.

This is coolbert:

Back to a topic that makes for interesting blog entries. The Italian military and their combat expertise [usually seen as a lack of] during the Second World War [WW2].

As seen at the outstanding Internet web site the Mad Monarchist a rather more full, complete and truthful analysis. To begin and as extracted from the Mad Monarchist:

"The Truth About the Italian War Record [WW2]"

"None of the major participants of World War II have suffered as much unjust and unfounded criticism as the military forces of the Kingdom of Italy. It really is just amazing how this false narrative has taken hold and grown ever stronger and more prevalent over time. According to most mainstream and popular histories, the royal Italian military and the overall part played by the Kingdom of Italy in World War II was totally inconsequential. In a way not seen with any other people, the Italian military is widely dismissed as a comic opera operation with cowardly troops, ignorant commanders and useless weapons totally dependent on their German allies for their very survival."

Read it all! I recommend highly the Mad Monarchist Internet web site without qualification or reservation.

Italian royalty it cannot be said shirked or abandoned their military duty. Rather the opposite. Prince Amedo displaying a degree of command presence admirable. Prince Borghese too in a league almost by himself, the commander of the famed Decima Mas [X].

“I offer neither pay, nor quarters, nor food; I offer only hunger, thirst, forced marches, battles, and death. Let him who loves his country with his heart, and not merely with his lips, follow me.” – Giuseppe Garibaldi


Monday, June 19, 2017

Baltic Strip.

This is coolbert:

NATO having acknowledged a potential threat to Poland and mandating a response?

Shipping of whatever sort moving to and fro the Vistula/Baltic only able to do so passing THROUGH Russian territory.

A perceived problem and possible solution as ridiculed by the Russian.

  1. "NATO Compels Poland to Plow Ahead With Pointless Canal"

From the article in Sputnik by Konstantin Chalabov.

"Polish MPs have voted in favor of a controversial proposal to build a canal across the Baltic (Vistula) Strip to allow the country’s ships to enter the port of Elblag without crossing Russian territorial waters. However, the project is mainly believed to serve NATO’s interests."

2. "Poland Eyes Canal Construction to Evade Russian Waters"

"Polish authorities have revived plans to build a canal in order to connect the Baltic Sea with the Vistula Lagoon and, thus, bypass Russia’s stretch of coastline

During a time of war or crisis NATO and Polish naval and merchant vessels being potentially denied passage through the existing canal. This is a matter of importance to NATO military planners?

All this is about Admiralty Law and what is called Innocent Passage? Denial of Innocent Passage might be construed as an Act of War for which a NATO reaction will be obligatory?


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Henry Reeve.

This is coolbert:

Yet one more instance of the White Messiah.

The entire topic of the White Messiah a popular item for previous blog entries.

That White Messiah an American or European, a man often with military experience, a charismatic figure of marked ability engaging in a foreign insurrection on the side of the rebels.

The White Messiah a man who can organize, train, plan, lead into battle and ultimate victory the forces of the insurgency. The local despot put to rout and flight.

Historical examples of the White Messiah to include T.E. Lawrence, Orde Wingate, Brooke Raja of Sarawak, Frederick Townsend Ward, Homer Lea.

Add to that list the person of Henry Reeve. Hero of the First Cuban War of Independence from Spanish colonial rule.

Never heard of this man before. His exploits evidently still remembered in Cuba to this very day and with fondness!! EVEN FIDEL CASTRO APPROVED OF THIS YANQUI!

"Henry Reeve . . . was a Brigadier General in Cuba's 'Ejército Libertador' (Army of Liberation) - more commonly known as the 'Ejército Mambí' - during the First Cuban War of Independence (Ten Years' War) (1868-1878). In his early years, he was a drummer in the Union Army, during the American Civil War."

"He was born in Brooklyn, New York, United States on April 4, 1850 . . . and died in Matanzas, Cuba on August 4, 1876. Reeve was 26 years old at the time of his death, and had served in the Cuban Army for 7 years, having participated in over 400 engagements against the Spanish Army."

Reeve a commander of cavalry. That favorite tactic of the Cuban rebel the "machete charge" what it was called. A combined arms ambush, men-a-horse attacking first, forcing the Spanish army foot soldier to deploy in response, vulnerable formations then subjected to concerted ground attack

"the machete charge. [Cuban] Forces were taught to combine use of firearms with machetes, for a double attack against the Spanish. When the Spaniards . . . formed a square [in response to a cavalry attack], they were vulnerable to rifle fire from infantry under cover, and pistol and carbine fire from charging cavalry."

Constance Wu, consider this to be another history lesson!! And you are all the better for it too!


Saturday, June 17, 2017

48 Hours™

This is coolbert:

Down but not out!

Also from the latest edition of the DEBKAfile newsletter the Islamic State combatants continue their assault on the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor with some success.

A siege that has lasted more or less for two full years!

"EXCLUSIVE: ISIS launches surprise attack on Syrian army at Deir ez-Zor"

15 June

"the Islamic State took advantage of the Syrian-Hizballah-Shiite militias' preoccupation with seizing the Syrian-Iraqi border to launch a large-scale surprise attack Thursday on the big Syrian air base at Deir ez-Zor. This is the second ISIS attack on the eastern Syrian town in the last 48 hours. This time, the jihadists formed a wedge between the air base and the town and forced the Syrian defenders, the 137th Brigade, to retreat."

See previous blog entries the topic of which was Deir ez-Zor:


SDF Raqqa.

This is coolbert:

From the latest edition of the DEBKAfile newsletter it is reported that the forces of the allied coalition arrayed against the Islamic State now have commenced military operations vicinity Raqqa with caution and less than vengeance.

"US-backed Syrian Kurdish forces advance into Raqqa"

10 June.

"The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (|SDF), led by a Kurdish militia, captured the western Raqqa neighborhood of Al-Sabahiya and are advancing north to the Al Romaniya district, an SDF communique reported Saturday night. Another contingent has been moving into the eastern sector. . . .  the Kurdish-led force has not penetrated very deep into Raqqa, which some months ago ceased to function as the Islamic State's Syrian capital. Its role as a preferred coalition target declined with the exodus of most of the jihadist group's high officials to relocate in southeastern Syria and Iraqi border towns. They left behind a small outpost of a few hundred fighters."



Friday, June 16, 2017


This is coolbert:

Until having viewed the documentary "The Real Spartacus (2001)" my knowledge of the gladiator Spartacus and his rebellion rather sketchy mostly based on the Kirk Douglas cinematic extravaganza from over fifty years ago.

I highly recommend the You Tube documentary without reservation or qualification.

"Spartacus was a Thracian gladiator who, along with the Gauls Crixus, Gannicus, Castus, and Oenomaus, was one of the escaped slave leaders in the Third Servile War, a major slave uprising against the Roman Republic."

As gleaned from the documentary the abilities of Spartacus as a leader and combat commander profound almost in the extreme. To include but not limited to:

* Able to organize, sustain, train, plan and personally lead into battle a polyglot army of slaves. An army of combatants accompanied by a large number of non-combat camp-followers, also escaped or liberated slaves.

* Spartacus not only not only in command of a polyglot army but also a coalition. Gauls and Germans in particular not always accepting those command decisions of Spartacus, to the detriment of everyone.

* Waging a war against the Roman Empire using a combination of guerrilla tactics and pitched conventional battles, conventional as understood at the time

* An inspirational combat commander using theatrics as a leadership tool.

Spartacus a practitioner of:

* Grand strategy * Strategy * Tactics * Operational art.

* Defeated a Roman punitive expedition numbering less than a legion in size.

[a legion about 5,000 troops.]

* Defeated two second-rate and inexperienced Roman legions.

* Defeated two first-rate and experienced Roman legions.

* Marched the length of Italy first south-to-north and then north-to-south.

* Able to overcome formidable siege fortifications as constructed by Roman legionary engineers.

Spartacus at least in the same category and league as a Caesar, Hannibal, Genghis, Alexander, Napoleon? Spartacus compares favorably, that talented and intuitive to defeat the professionals and do so with apparent aplomb, at his leisure almost.

And within the modern military context: 1. The mountainous terrain of Italy that caused such difficulty for allied commanders during the Italian Campaign of World War Two [WW2] not an impediment to Spartacus and his army. 2. A crossing of the Strait of Messina found to be impossible for the army of Spartacus but not so for the German army in WW2. 3. Elements of the coalition army rebellious and when acting independently defeated by the Roman. A lack of concentrated and focused force detrimental to the cause. Coalition warfare always difficult.


Thursday, June 15, 2017


This is coolbert:

The allied Syria–Lebanon Campaign of 1941 a model for the present-day allied coalition as arrayed in opposition to the Islamic State?

"The Syria–Lebanon campaign, also known as Operation Exporter, was the British invasion of Vichy French Syria and Lebanon from June–July 1941, during World War II".

1. Battle of Palmyra (1941).

"The Battle of Palmyra (1 July 1941) was part of the Allied invasion of Syria during the Syria-Lebanon campaign in World War II. British mechanized cavalry and an Arab Legion desert patrol broke up a Vichy French mobile column northeast of the city of Palmyra."

Map of the area circa 1941 showing roads [solid red line], tracks [dashed red line], pipelines [dashed blue line], railroads [solid black line] and allied military advance [dashed green line]. Click on image for enlarged view.

The track as shown on the map from Al Tanf westward to Damascus now paved? Access for the Iranian to move in an expeditious manner men and war munitions. A route to the Mediterranean.

2. Deir ez-Zor (1941).

"The Battle of Deir ez-Zor was part of the Allied invasion of Syria [Syria–Lebanon Campaign] during the Syria-Lebanon campaign in World War II."


That route from the border crossing of Abu Kemal [a/k/a al-Bukamal] in a northwesterly direction through Mayadin, Deir-ez-Zor and Raqqa essential to the defeat of the Islamic State? American military historians and planners have studied the Syria–Lebanon Campaign as was waged in 1941 and have drawn the proper conclusions?

The British general officer Bill Slim as commanding  that element of  Exporter moving from Iraq into Syria with the mission of capturing Aleppo. British battlefield success in a sideshow of a sideshow, a backwater of a backwater but essential to morale boosting at a critical time.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017


This is coolbert:

 From an advertisement as seen in a magazine:


"History is made and defined by landmark moments that irrevocably changed human civilization."

"The World Was Never the Same: Events that Changed History"

Taught by Professor J. Rufus Fears.

From the list of thirty-six significant events and "landmark moments" that changed history those with a military dimension or quasi-military dimension:

* Marathon - - Democracy Triumphant (490 B.C.)

* Caesar Crosses the Rubicon (49 B.C.)

* Constantine I Wins a Battle (A.D. 313)

* Mohammad Moves to Medina  _ The Hegira (A.D. 622)

* The Defeat of the Spanish Armada (1588)

* The Battle Vienna (1683)

* The Battle of Lexington (1775)

* General Pickett Leads a Charge (1863)

* The Archduke Makes a State Visit (1914)

* One Night in Petrograd (1917)

* Hitler Becomes Chancellor of Germany (1933)

* The Atomic Bomb is Dropped (1945)

* Mao Zedong Begins his Long March (1934)

* September 11, 2001

Ten historians would have compiled ten different lists? This is assured? Some commonality of agreement but not much? As to the significance and importance of these events and "landmarks" of history I leave it for the devoted reader to the blog to investigate further.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017


This is coolbert:

Heckler and Koch G28 good! Dragunov SVD better?

Such should be within the context of the previous blog entry a question that can be legitimately asked?

NATO already possessing in their secondary munitions arsenal a semi-automatic sniper rifle at least as good as the Heckler and Koch G28. That weapon of course being the Soviet era Dragunov SVD sniper rifle.

The entire doctrine of the designated marksman as conceptualized by Soviet military planners over fifty years ago.

That designated marksman in the Soviet model able to deliver a high-rate of sustained, long-range and accurate semi-automatic high-power rifle fire on an adversary.

Read several Internet articles the topic of which is the Dragunov SVD sniper rifle:

1. "Devastating in trained hands: The Dragunov sniper rifle"

By Alexander Korolkov.

"Snipers are not usually the first association one makes with the Red Army, which was better geared toward vast offensives and tank battles. But there were still plenty of sharpshooters in the Soviet ranks, armed primarily with an unusual rifle that defied the conventions of sniper operation."

2. "Dragunov Sniper Rifle"

"The Dragunov Sniper Rifle (SVD) served as a sniper rifle for the Russian military for almost 50 years!"

By  Leroy Thompson.

"The SVD served as sniper rifle for the Russian military for almost 50 years and during the Cold War was used by most countries in the Soviet’s influence."


That PSO-1 scope of the SVD rifle also infra-red sensitive. I have thought that feature to be used by Soviet designated marksman during night-time operations, shooting out the xenon searchlights of American M-60 tanks as were equipped at the time!



This is coolbert:

We have here an instance of back to the future?

"The Army just picked this new semi-automatic sniper rifle"

From that article by

"The Army has chosen a new semi-automatic sniper rifle, replacing the M110 which entered service in 2008."

"According to reports by the Army Times, the winning rifle was the Heckler and Koch G28. According to the the company's website, the G28 is a version of the HK 417 battle rifle - itself a variation of the AR-10 rifle."


Concerning the AR-10:

"The AR-10 is a 7.62×51mm NATO battle rifle developed by Eugene Stoner in the late 1950s at ArmaLite,"

And to all this Eugene Stoner would say?


Monday, June 12, 2017


This is coolbert:

From one year ago the allied coalition in opposition to the Islamic State having made an attempt to capture the border-crossing at Al-Bukamal resoundingly defeated!! Thanks to the article by Rao Komar.

Al-Bukamal also called on some maps al-Kamal.

"The Battle of al-Bukamal: Here’s What Really Happened"

"On June 28th the New Syrian Army (NSyA) along with the Forces of the Martyr Ahmad al-Abdo  launched an attack on the ISIS held city of al-Bukamal on the Iraq-Syria border. Despite the support of the US led . . . coalition, anti-ISIS sleeper cells and Iraqi tribal forces, the operation failed and by the second day ISIS had pushed the NSyA back into the desert"

The allied coalition even with overwhelming combat aviation assets at their disposal more or less impotent?


Yet from another Internet web site that battle for al-Bukamal as described the results much worse than reported. American and British special operations troops captured and in significant numbers so is the allegation.



Al Tanf.

This is coolbert:

As is pertinent to some prior blog entries and also as is reported from several days ago by the Russian media.

MoD = Ministry of Defense.

"BREAKING: Syrian Army Has Reached the Iraqi Border, Cutting off the Americans at al-Tanf -- Russian MoD"

"A major move to cut off the US in southern Syria from taking more territory"

"The Syrian Army has reached the Iraqi border, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense."

"While we don't have a lot of details yet, here's what we can say: this is a brilliant move if true. Not exactly a checkmate yet, but definitely a check on US ambitions in southern Syria."

. . . .

"Russians are saying it will be them and the Syrians -- rather than the Americans -- who will be advancing along the Iraqi border towards al-Bukamal (the major border crossing in the Euphrates valley coveted by the Pentagon)"

The Iranian if this report correct now having secured a land bridge through Iraq to Syria?

Al-Bukamal also a border crossing Iraq/Syria. NO road west to Palmyra but evidently an oil pipeline as of 1941?

See previous blog entries regarding these border crossings vicinity Syria/Iraq/Jordan:


Sunday, June 11, 2017


This is coolbert:

As is pertinent to that prior blog entry:

1. "Syria says US air strike killed several soldiers near Jordan"

Thanks to the AP and the article by Bassem Mroue.

"BEIRUT (AP) — A Syrian military official said Friday that an aerial "aggression" by the U.S.-led coalition on a government military position near the border with Jordan the day before killed several soldiers and caused material damage."



2. "Al Waleed border crossing"

"Al Waleed currently under the control of that combined force, American, Jordanian, British, Norwegian and Free Syrian Army."

Al-Waleed at that perfect juncture the border between Jordan, Iraq and Syria. A land route which would connect Iran to Syria through Iraq as is obvious. War munitions as airlifted to the Syrian from Iran too subject to Israeli attack. This is an alternative. But capture and consolidation of the crossing first a must.

"Al Waleed border crossing . . . (also spelled al-Walid), known in Syria as al-Tanf is one of 3 official border crossings between Syria and Iraq."

That objective again of the combined Syrian, Iranian, Hezbollah force to secure the border crossing. Allowing for munitions to be shipped overland from Iran to Syria.


P.S. This blog entry previously posted several days ago and inadvertently again.



This is coolbert:

Question Mark and the Mysterians!

Finally from the latest edition of the DEBKAfile newsletter further extracts the progression and dynamics of the Syrian Civil War fluid in the extreme.

"One missile takes out ISIS command on Golan edge"

8 June.

1. "A single mystery missile, which could have been fired from the ground or the air early Wednesday morning, June 7, wiped out the entire top Islamic State command on the Syrian Golan . . . All 16 officers of the 2,000-strong Khaled Ibn al Waleed army, the ISIS operations arm on the Syrian Golan, were present in the targeted building in the town of al-Shagara, located in the triangle where the Israeli, Syrian and Jordanian borders meet opposite the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel."

"The unidentified missile blew up in the middle of a hall where the top command echelon were gathered to break their daily fast during the month of Ramadan and draw up plans. None of them survived."


2. "On Tuesday, June 6, the day before the mysterious missile decapitated the Islamic State's Golan force, US warplanes acted on another front to bomb a convoy of Iranian, Syrian and Hizballah forces that were traveling eastward from the southern town of Derra in the direction of the Al-Tanf border crossing. Al Tanf, where US and Jordanian special forces units have established a garrison, is located in the triangle where the Syrian, Jordanian and Iraqi borders converge. The US planes destroyed several tanks, troop carriers, artillery pieces and antiaircraft systems, causing also fatalities and injuries, and so halted the convoy's advance on the strategic crossing."

3. "DEBKAfile's military sources report concerns in the US military command lest Iranian general Qassem Soleimani decides to drop a division of Iranian special forces by helicopter, in order to catch the garrison off guard and capture the border crossing [Al Tanf] . . . Both Damascus and Tehran appear to be spoiling for a major showdown between their armies, using Hizballah and other Shiite proxies, and the US-led contingent."

With regard to # 3 item those combined forces of the Syrian army, Hezbollah, Iranian special forces, Iraqi and Iranian Shia proxies indeed making ready for a major fight. A situation indeed fluid in the extreme.



This is coolbert:

Continuing with extracts from the latest edition of the DEBKAfile newsletter items as copied entirely to a large extent.

The Syrian desert the juncture of Syria, Iraq and Jordan where WW3 might start?

"New US base in S. Syria for tussle over control"

6 June.

1. "In readiness for a prospective showdown for control of southeast Syria, US Special Forces have set up a forward base at Al-Zukf in the Syrian Desert, DEBKAfile's military and intelligence sources report. The location is 70km northwest of the Syrian-Iraqi-Jordanian border triangle and the Al Tanf crossing, which is controlled by US, Western allied and Jordanian special forces, together with a US-trained Syrian rebel unit, which calls itself the Revolutionary Commando. The overriding goal of the US advance base is to thwart the Syrian, Hizballah and other pro-Iranian forces from gaining control of 300km of the Syrian-Iraqi border and so being able to open up Tehran's coveted direct land bridge to the Mediterranean through Iraq."

2. "The US force is not alone in its bid for control of this strategic area. It is getting pretty crowded. The Syria Army's 4th armored division rolled this week into the southern Syrian town of Daraa close to the Jordanian border and around 330km west of the new Al-Zukf base. The division moved in with high-grade Russian-made T-90 tanks complete with its high command, headed by Bashar Assad's younger brother, Gen. Maher al-Assad."

3.  "Our intelligence sources also reported that, this week, further north, al-Qods chief, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran's Syrian and Iraqi fronts, crossed into Syria from Iraq along with his operations staff. They joined the Palmyra-based command and control of the Syrian force, which is heading out of the town in two columns for two towns - Deir ez-Zor, which is surrounded by Islamic State forces, and Abu Kamal, which is under ISIS control. Elements of Russian elite forces and Hizballah are fighting along with the Syrian troops. The in-gathering of major military forces in this part of Syria is ominous: The deployment of a US forward base in the Syrian Desert, and the arrival of the most senior Iranian and Syrian commanders at the head of elite units augur the approach of a major showdown for control of southeastern Syria and its strategic multiple border assets."

That border crossing point called Al Tanf by the Syrian but Al Waleed by others.


Qatar GCC.

This is coolbert:

Here begins a series of blog entries, extracts with commentary with instances unashamedly so more or less copied intact from the latest edition of the DEBKAfile newsletter. That situation in the Middle East and in particular the Syrian Civil War building to a fever pitch, a crescendo the consequences of which cannot be anticipated with any sort of accuracy.

First with regard to the nation of Qatar. 

1. "Qatar is deporting several Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood activists"

3 June.

"Qatar Saturday obeyed a Saudi-UAE ultimatum to deport Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood activists who had set up residence in Doha . . . The ultimatum was presented to the Qatari ruler shortly before US President Donald Trump arrived in Riyadh after Saudi intelligence discovered the oil emirate's foreign minister had secretly visited Tehran to discuss a conspiracy against the US with Al Qods chief Gen. Qassem Soleimani".

2. "Saudi National Guard brigade posted on Qatar border"

5 June.

"Saudi Arabia Monday sent army units to its border with Qatar . . . military sources report that a National Guard brigade was transferred to the border and all crossings closed and sealed with large anti-tank concrete blocks".

3. "Arab banks halt transactions in Qatari reals in deepening Gulf crisis"

5 June.

"After Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, the UAE and Yemen broke off ties with Qatar early Monday, Saudi and Egyptian banks announced they are discontinuing trading in the Qatari real. This a major blow for the Qatari economy . . . Around 2 million foreigners from Muslim countries work in Qatar and most are paid in local currency which they use for sending money home."

4. "Qatar under Arab boycott for scheming with Iran"

5 June.

"Qatar has come under a far-reaching boycott at the hands of the most powerful Arab governments for taking Iran's side against its Sunni Arab fellows. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain announced early Monday, June 5, that they were breaking off diplomatic ties and all land, sea and airports contacts with Qatar. Their nationals were told to sever business ties and quit the emirate, while Qataris were given 48 hours to leave those countries. This is the most serious diplomatic crisis to hit the Arab world - and split the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) - in many years."

"Qatar's rulers had no qualms about scheming against Washington, even though America's biggest air base in the Gulf region is located at Al Udeid southwest of Doha, their capital."


5. "Jordan, Mauritania take steps against Qatar; Moroccan airline halts flights"

7 June.

"As the diplomatic crisis over Qatar continued to escalate, Morocco's flag carrier Royal Air Maroc said Tuesday that it was halting service from Qatar's capital to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the UAE, which have all broken off ties with the Gulf state. Meanwhile, Mauritania became the latest Arab country to sever relations with Qatar, while Jordan announced it was downgrading ties and also shutting down the local office of the Doha-based Al Jazeera network."

A whole host of countries now in opposition to Qatar to include Saudi, Jordan, Egypt, UAE, Morocco, Mauritania and Yemen. Qatar their relationship to the Iranian most peculiar? Qatar predominantly Sunni and not Shia. So what is this all about?


Friday, June 9, 2017


This is coolbert:

"Live for Now."™

From the archives of Sharkhunters an item of interest:

"Those of us old enough to remember the goings on with the Soviet Union remember that back then, Pepsi Cola™ (PepsiCo) and the Soviet Union reached agreement that Pepsi would have the franchise for the entire Soviet Union for distribution of their products . . . All the news sources were busily reporting on all these news bit that nobody thought to ask how they were going to pay for the billions of dollars of product, support, advertising, etc. since the Soviet Union had no hard currency and could not get the USD dollars [$] then needed to buy Pepsi™ or anything else from the West."

"Decommissioned submarines became the coin of the realm! That is correct - - in a story uncovered by Sharkhunters, it was leaned that the Soviet Union was paying for Pepsi™ products with submariners. A Whiskey class submarine, delivered to a Swedish breaker yard was worth $200,000 [USD] in Exchange. The many Whiskey class boats went to the breaker yards in Sweden to be converted into cash then into Pepsi™. PepsiCo™ denied this until we told them we received the news directly from a PepsiCo™ executive so there is no question  this was [not] taking place."

The comrades became ardent capitalists and used submarines to do so.

Consider all use of trademark, logo and slogan to be one-time use non-commercial item for personal purposes not for gain and marked as believed to be appropriate. And thank you PepsiCo™.



This is coolbert:

Qatar in trouble? A supporter of terrorism. And finding favor with the Turk? It all sounds very strange. Maybe you too?

As seen at Freeper and thanks to same;

"Turkey to fast-track draft bill approving troop deployment in Qatar: Officials"

"Turkey's parliament is expected to fast-track on Wednesday a draft bill allowing its troops to be deployed to a Turkish military base in Qatar, officials from the ruling AK Party and the nationalist opposition said. The move appears to support the Gulf Arab country as it faces diplomatic and trade isolation from some of the biggest Middle Eastern powers."

Those Middle Eastern powers to include Egypt, Bahrain,  Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates. Those latter two big money!!

As to all this animosity directed at Qatar here is the reason?

"Qatar Sent 1,800 Muslims To Fight With ISIS"

"That's right... the country that Obama made a deal with on five Taliban detainees sent 1,800 Muslims to fight with ISIS. A secret document leaked from Qatari intelligence shows how earlier this year Qatar trained and equipped around 1,800 Muslims to fight with ISIS, the Islamic jihadi terrorist group taking over much of Iraq and Syria."

And as to the WHY of Turkish intrigue and the stationing of their troops on foreign soil I cannot say.

See previous blog entry the topic of which was the Turkish military base as proposed:



This is coolbert:

The American military man behaving badly.

As reported by the Russian Internet web site Sputnik and as evidently carried by the American military newspaper "Stars and Stripes".

"Busted! US Soldiers Caught with $12M Worth of Crystal Meth in South Korea"

"South Korean prosecutors allege that two American troops stationed in the country smuggled nine pounds worth of methamphetamine from California using the Army’s postal service."

"Two South Korean nationals have also been detained, the law enforcement office said. The operation may also implicate four South Koreans with family members living in the US, Stars and Stripes reported."

This was a new one on me. Drugs as used by American military personnel located "over seas" usually provided by the local nationals [as they are referred to].

In this particular instance American military personnel supplying drugs to the local nationals.

Speed or amphetamines ADDICTIVE. Crystal meth even more so!


Thursday, June 8, 2017


This is coolbert:

Even with the heat is applied from all sides more or less simultaneously, the Islamic State combatants continue to exist and even thrive!

As was the case from only several months ago from an Internet article by Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans.

"Another One Bites the Dust: Major arms depot falls to Islamic State"

"Just over a year after capturing Deir ez-Zor's Ayyash weapon depot in the largest arms haul of the Syrian Civil War, the Islamic State has once again got its hands on massive quantities of ammunition captured from a storage depot in Deir ez-Zor . . . Each of these depots provided its capturers with a wide array of weaponry, vehicles and ammunition that could immediately be used against their former owners, a major blow to other factions fighting for control over Syria."

Just go see the images, that amount of war munitions as captured intact extraordinary. Perhaps not since the time of Spartacus over two-thousand years ago has a military force armed itself in such a manner and extent!!

Also see previous blog entries the topic of which is the siege of Deir ez-Zor:


Gabon WW2.

This is coolbert:

FFE = Free French Exterior.

French forces during the Second World War as under command of Charles de Gaulle.

French military units but NOT always consisting of Frenchmen.

During the Second World War [WW2] those forces of what was called the FFE under the command of Charles de Gaulle of dubious validity. FFE as a movement in totality an alternative to Vichy and as a government-in-exile in that period after the Battle of France, 1940, questionable at best.

At least until the Battle of Gabon, November, 1940.

That first instance [with British support] of FFE combat success. The liberation of Libreville and the French African colony of Gabon. Consider the Battle of Gabon. FFE units with augmentation from the British capturing the Vichy controlled French colony of Gabon in Africa..

Demonstrably after Gabon the FFE their validity much less questionable. FFE was a fighting force and alternative French government in exile in opposition to the Axis powers.

"The Battle of Gabon . . . also called the Gabon Campaign . . . or the Battle of Libreville, occurred in November 1940 during World War II. The battle resulted in the Free French Forces [FFE] taking the colony of Gabon and its capital, Libreville, from Vichy French forces."

FFE combat units but not consisting of Frenchmen as that term generally, ordinarily and commonly understood but rather troops of the French Foreign Legion [FFL].

"The 13th Demi-Brigade of Foreign Legion . . . and, with the Senegalese Tirailleur Regiment of Tchad [STRT] . . . one of the two regiments which rallied as a constituted unit of the Free French Forces (FFL)."

Senegalese black African troops of the type as most favored by the French general officer Charles Mangin also their role in the initial states of FFE combat operations and consolidation of a territorial base for further warfare as waged by the French military during WW2  critical.

But again STRT or FFL hardly Frenchmen.