Monday, December 31, 2012

Der Landser I.

This is coolbert:

 Here begins a series of blog entries, extracts of military sketch art from the German Der Landser magazine with my commentary.

 To be honest I was actually surprised that a magazine such as Der Landser was allowed to be published in Germany.

 Evidently this type of "dime novel" and "pulp fiction" magazine has been around at least since 1956 and is nearing sixty years of publication.

There are nearly 3,000 [?] weekly issues in print and the tradition continues unabated.

 Der Landser devoted the lowest ranking German common soldier of the Second World War [WW2]. German troops of the Heer [some stories deal with the sailor of the Kriegsmarine or aviators of the Luftwaffe] portrayed as always brave, courageous, and stalwart, performing their duty with skill and panache'.

 NO mention ever [?] made of the Nazi regime, Hitler, or the other things.

 OH, you know what I mean, "the other things"!!

"Der Landser"

"Der Landser (private, common soldier) is a German pulp magazine . . . featuring mostly stories in World War II settings . . . The magazine claims that its war novels are true stories and that their underlying message is one of peace. In fact many of their stories come with disclaimer reminding the reader of the horrors of war."

 "In THE LANDSER read every week Personal stories from the front of World War II events. From the perspective of the fighting forces and by the memory of individuals, the largest military conflict in world history in all its drama is clear. Based on individual stories, the reader is shown the tremendous hardships and sacrifices that the war demanded 1939-1945 daily by the soldiers and officers."

 That "dime novel" also sometimes referred to as "pulp fiction" best defined as:

 "In the modern age, "dime novel" has become a term to describe any quickly written, lurid potboiler and as such is generally used as a pejorative to describe a sensationalized yet superficial piece of written work."

To the extracted images with commentary:

Here a German Sd.Kfz. 232 eight wheel reconnaissance vehicle as seen during the Ardennes Offensive of 1940. "The Sd.Kfz. 232 (8-Rad) was produced from 1938 to 1943 . . . many of the old vehicles were upgraded with new radio communication equipment, replacing the "bedstead" with more modern and compact wire antennas . . . It was armed with a 2 cm [20 mm] KwK 30 L/55 autocannon . . . [and] also carried a 7.92 mm . . .  machine gun. That apparatus as mounted on the vehicle a RADIO ANTENNA! My original thought was that this was some sort of protection in case of vehicle roll-over. NOT so!

The Sd Kfz 232 as shown in Der Landser.

Again a unit of German reconnaissance advancing. NOTE always the blood red skies. 

To be continued.


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Dry Dock.

This is coolbert:

Well, this is so apropos. Was just speaking about this subject. And came across the Al Nofi CIC entry quite by accident. Thanks to Professor Al:

Al Nofi's CIC Issue #408, December 20th, 2012

"On 8 August 1944, the floating dock in which the British battleship Valiant was resting at Trincomalee, Ceylon [now Sri Lanka], collapsed, damaging the ship’s two inner screws and one of her rudders so severely that, although she eventually made it back to Britain, she never returned to active service and was sold for scrap in 1948."

HMS Valiant while in floating dry dock suffering damage that put the ship out of the war [World War Two].

HMS Valiant a Queen Elizabeth class battleship that saw yeoman service and duty during both World Wars finally finished by an accident while in dry dock the career of the vessel ended.

From the World War Two wiki entry for Valiant:

"Floating dry docks and the ships that they hold are raised through increased buoyancy gained when sea-water ballast is pumped out of ballast tanks. In Valiant's case, the sequence in which tanks were being emptied was inappropriate for the ship's weight distribution which was exacerbated by a full munitions load. As a result, the dry dock was over-stressed at its ends, broke its back and sank."

The phenomenon of damage as incurred by warships while in dry dock and NOT at sea strange but true. And goes against intuition as well I would think. And NOT a phenomenon strictly confined to the Russians or Americans. British too!



This is coolbert:

Here with the tale of two submarines.

Within a period about six months, two submarines in dry dock, under-going repairs, restoration, enhancements, having caught fire, major damage occurring.

My thought is that the second incident [American] a copy cat arson?

First from Russia.

1. "Russia submarine fire 'totally extinguished'"

"MURMANSK, Russia | Fri Dec 30, 2011
(Reuters) - Russia said on Friday it had doused a raging blaze aboard a nuclear submarine after nearly a full day and night, by partially submerging the vessel after battling the flames with water from helicopters and tug boats."

"Official statements were vague, but the blaze is believed to have started when wooden scaffolding caught fire during welding repairs to the 167-meter (550 feet) Yekaterinburg submarine, which had been hoisted into a dry dock."

That fire on the Yekaterinburg only finally extinguished by partially submerging the vessel in water. Firefighters facing an almost impossible task the construction of a submarine rendering conventional fire-fighting methods and techniques near useless.

[that welders torch set the wooden structure of the dry dock on fire, heating the steel hull of the ship and setting fire to the underlayment I might assume!]

Second from the United States.

2. "Civilian worker set fire to submarine in Maine so he could leave early, Navy says"

"PORTLAND, Maine –  A civilian employee set a fire that caused $400 million in damage to a nuclear-powered submarine because he had anxiety and wanted to get out of work early"

"Casey James Fury, 24, of Portsmouth, N.H., faces up to life in prison if convicted of two counts of arson in the fire aboard the USS Miami attack submarine while it was in dry dock May 23 and a second blaze outside the sub on June 16".

Life in prison a possible and Mr. Fury has already entered a guilty plea. Restitution is impossible, the man needs to re-pay the government nearly half a BILLION dollars!! The taxpayers will be responsible for the restitution.

Mr. Fury evidently a person with some sort of mental problems and also taking medications but the pharmaceuticals not working to the extent needed, Mr. Fury acting in an aberrant most destructive manner.

Again, fighting these fires on submarine while the ship in dry dock a difficult and most arduous task.

Most surprisingly so, these various naval warships, in particular the submarine, more likely to damaged while in dry dock and under-going repairs, maintenance and refurbishment. Operations at sea less hazardous it seems to the health and well-being of the vessel!!

That American submarine USS Guitarro the most extreme example of a submarine while at dock, having been launched, but sinking even before making the maiden voyage!!


Friday, December 28, 2012


This is coolbert:

From the on-line edition of the Stars & Stripes newspaper some interesting items as extracted with commentary:

1. American soldiers still committing suicide. In fact, more troops killing themselves in 2012 than the enemy in Afghan were able to kill!! A most unpleasant statistic NOT ameliorated by psychiatric care, more than anything else those repeated deployments a major factor, at least that is what my intuition tells me.

"More soldier suicides than combat deaths in 2012"

"The Department of the Army also showed strains, with soldier suicides outnumbering combat-related deaths for the year."

"Through November this year, potentially 303 active-duty, Reserve and National Guard soldiers took their own lives. In Afghanistan 212 soldiers were killed as of Dec. 7."

"The trajectory for soldier suicides keeps getting worse."

2. Autopsies of American military personnel killed in Iraq and Afghan seeming to suggest that at least for the soldier, heart disease much lessened from what it was sixty years ago. A TENFOLD drop even so indicates the data? Extraordinary. Even since the era of the Korean War [1950] routine autopsies performed on American personnel to develop a baseline of physical and health that is useful for long-term comparison purposes. Recall that in modern American society only about one-quarter [1/4] of U.S. young men are mentally and physically able to pass the military qualifications for enlistment. These autopsies qualify as medical treatment? Treatment so broadly defined as to be legal regardless of condition, alive or otherwise.

"Autopsies of war dead suggest today’s troops live healthier lives"

"WASHINGTON — They may be fatter, but when it comes to cardio health, today’s troops appear far fitter than their predecessors from earlier wars."

At least, that’s what the autopsies of thousands of war dead stretching back more than 60 years suggest.

 "researchers who compared autopsy data of thousands of American servicemembers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan to data from the Vietnam and Korean wars reported that a key measure of heart disease may have dropped nearly ten-fold."{

"For troops who died in the recent wars, they found an overall rate of atherosclerosis — hardening and thickening of major arteries — of 8.5 percent. Autopsy results of Americans who died fighting in Korea suggest 77 percent of troops in the early 1950s conflict had atherosclerosis. In Vietnam, the rate was 45 percent."

That hardening of the arteries as found during that time of the Korean War young men most of whom were no more than twenty years of age causing astonishment among the medical community, a big wake up call among the doctors specializing in the heart disease. Vast strides in prevention and treatment having been made in the interim.

3. Once more, the American military serviceman behaving badly. And once more also, it is a member of the Marine Corps. And of course this occurrence as you might expect on the island of Okinawa. Tensions already high, sky-high even, this particular "troop" the peeping tom, the cat burglar, the intruder, etc. Innocent until proven guilty.

"Marine on Okinawa arrested for trespassing"

"NAHA, Okinawa — A U.S. Marine was arrested Friday for alleged trespassing after he was spotted on an Okinawa apartment balcony."

"A woman who lived in the apartment in downtown Naha’s Kumoji district said she heard a noise and saw the 24-year-old corporal, assigned to Camp Hansen, peering through a window at about 4:24 a.m."

"The Marine fled, but police spotted him on the roof of the apartment next door about three hours later, the spokesman said, adding that the man smelled of alcohol at the time of the arrest."

Good mixed with the bad. Always has been, always will be.


Thursday, December 27, 2012


This is coolbert:

This is one big stick in the eye, an unneeded and unworthy provocation.

Thanks to the tip from Jungle Trader and the story as posted on the Internet from RIANovosti.

A blast from the past even!!

"Russia to Bring Back Railroad-Based ICBM – Source"

"MOSCOW, December 26 (RIA Novosti) – Russia will restart production of railway-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), with prototypes to be deployed by 2020"

The  "railway-based intercontinental ballistic missile" the traveling circus of destructive weaponry once abolished under treaty, the development of a new and more potent missile not forbidden. The old missile gone but a new one on the way. That old ICBM the SS-24 Scalpel.

Here is Scalpel is ready for launch, vertical and the countdown has started! Scalpel was cold launch, pops out of that container and then the rocket motor ignites!

"The Soviet military deployed its first missile train in 1987, and had 12 of them by 1991. But by 2005 they had all been destroyed under the START II arms reduction treaty with the United States."

"The original railway-based system involved SS-24 Scalpel missiles that weighed 104 tons, required three locomotives to move, and were so heavy that they damaged railroad tracks."

Here a Scalpel has popped out of the container and the rocket motor has yet to ignite. This appears to be a static test site?

NOT a system the railway mounted ICBM that effective? Caused damage to the railroad tracks and too difficult to move around with alacrity. Ground based ICBM in hardened missile silo a far better solution as perceived by the Soviets and anyone else for that matter. A NEW RAILWAY MOUNTED MISSILE MUCH LIGHTER IN WEIGHT AND NOT SO DESTRUCTIVE OF INFRASTRUCTURE?

That Russian NOW already deploying [and for some time now] the TOPOL-M mobile ICBM you would think that enough in this age when nuclear weapons are being dismantled, the delivery systems outmoded and no longer even necessary. Atomic warfare the threat much lessened in the last few decades.

"The only new missile entering service is the Topol-M, or SS-27, and can be either silo based or road-mobile. Deployment has begun with the announcement of the first operational unit, but full-scale entry into service is expected from 2006"

That American atomic cannon from that era of the Cold War and developed initially during the 1950's sop heavy that ONLY a few bridges in the western part of Germany were able to accommodate the weight of the combined cannon and transporters.

B-2 bombers remain on standby! Recall the original purpose of the American B-2 bomber to loiter over the vastness of the Siberian wilderness undetected for extended periods of time, hunting and destroying Soviet/Russian mobile ICBM launchers. Such a mobile launcher as this railway mounted new missile? The need for the B-2 has not diminished one iota? Sad to say it might be so!


Wednesday, December 26, 2012


This is coolbert:

From that prior blog entry, Mc Clellan a manager and organizer of repute unquestioned. The man realizing the war was going to be a war of attrition and needed to be fought by a well disciplined and trained force, drilled in all the essentials and beyond that. 

"Mc Clellan was NOT in favor of the volunteer units rallying to the Union cause consisting of troops enlisted for a three month or six month period. Mc Clellan preferred and for good reason a more professional and well trained force which was the Army of the Potomac."

That authoritative source Shelby Foote commenting on the comportment of the Union army at Fredericksburg, rushing defenses in a repeated fashion obeying orders even when the plan was terribly flawed, the casualties very heavy, even catastrophic!!

"Whatever truth there might once have been in the Confederate claim that Southerners made better soldiers, or anyhow started from a better scratch because they came directly from life in the open and were familiar with the use of firearms, applied no longer. After six months of army drill, a factory hand was indistinguishable from a farmer. Individually, the Northerners knew, they were at least as tough as any men the South could bring against them, and probably as a whole they were better drilled . . . McClellan's men were aware of the changes he had wrought and they were proud of them."

"More credit is given to Confederate soldiers: they're supposed to have had more elan [spirited action] and dash. Actually I know of no braver men in either army than the Union troops at Fredericksburg, which was a serious Union defeat. But to keep charging that wall at the foot of Marye's Heights after all the failures there'd been is a singular instance of valor. It was different from southern elan. It was a steadiness under fire, a continuing to press the point."

And the retirement from the battlefield, done NOT in a shambles, a pell-mell rush to the rear. That Union army continuing to act as disciplined soldiers in contrast to the behavior of the Federals at First Manassas, etc. That manner with which a beaten military force executing a retrograde maneuver [movement to the rear] very telling, Burnside beaten as a commander but that army as an organic entity intact and living to fight another day!!


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Dolphin & Eshel.

This is coolbert:

Some further items courtesy of YNet.

1. The Israeli Air Force [IAF] commander [Eshel] expressing his confidence that Syrian WMD, most specifically the chemical munitions threat, can be dealt with in an effective manner.

Syrian chemical munitions at this very moment [?] in a partial state of readiness, in the field, the possibility of use not so remote! If and when chemical munitions used by the Syrian against whatever target the escalation in hostilities most profound!

Capture and use of such munitions at some point by Hezbollah also a matter of grave concern for Israeli military planners.

"IAF chief: We'll know how to deal with Syrian WMDs"

"Addressing possibility that chemical weapons will leak to Hezbollah, Maj.-Gen. Eshel says 'we have the capabilities to deal with this threat.' On blasts at Hezbollah arms caches: 'It's not safe to sleep near rockets'"

That particular "blast" at a reputed Hezbollah arms cache a recent detonation of some significance, an arms depot containing Grad and Fajr rocket artillery have blown into smithereens and also having been reported by YNet.

"Explosion in Hezbollah weapons depot"

"Lebanese media reports of mysterious blast in Tair Harfa, town near Israel border. Hezbollah cordons off area"

And devoted readers to the blog can digress and infer with reasonableness as to the source of the "big boom"?

2. An apparent live fire exercise, an Israeli Dolphin class submarine sinking a surface vessel, a test of ship, crew and weaponry that was evidently successful.

"INF submarine 'sinks enemy ships'"

"Ahead of arrival of new German-made submarine, Navy releases rare video of underwater vessel's drill"

The image that accompanies the article however has a problem with it. Who among those devoted readers to the blog or otherwise knows what the problem is? I invite responses from one and all.

That image entitled: "Secret weapon (Illustration) Photo: Shutterstock"

Perhaps this is a YNet  insider joke? I am not sure.

Others may suggest I am being excessively pedantic, but I think not.


Monday, December 24, 2012

Bobby Locke.

This is coolbert:

Received this comment to a blog entry the other day from Mr. Alfred Pratt. And it is most illuminating. Is a response to "Heroes!" as was posted originally some time ago.

With special regard to Bobby Locke. Famous South African professional golfer in those years just prior to the start of World War Two [WW2] it can be suggested as being among the half-dozen BEST at his profession. Locke serving with honor as a pilot with the South African Air Force [SAAF] his record as I understood it rather distinguished!

As to the following comment by Mr. Pratt in all instances the bold and large text my emphasis!

"Alfred Pratt said...

"Comments on Military Analysis: Heroes!"

""The War Record of Bobby Locke the famous golfer has been very carefully and independently researched and a complete, validated, report is to hand."

"Your claims on his behalf as a bomber pilot with 2000 hours - 250 sorties is misguided, mistaken and grossly inaccurate"

"His official records lodged with the South African Records Office ion Pretoria, in fact, only record 1162 hours gross total .:

" it seems very wrong to compare Bobby Locke  (Three Service Decorations:- "Italy Star" , "1939-45 War Medal" and "Africa Service Medal" - signifying an undistinguished record) with Guy Gibson VC, DSO, DFC."

1. For Mr. Pratt. No upset or embarrassment at all. Rather this is the type of thing I like. Comments from those in the know make for good further blog entries that are more accurate.

2. That record of Bobby Locke NOT as a COMBAT military pilot at least in my opinion hardly diminishing the war record of the man. Persons such as Bobby Locke [South African], Tyrone Power, Gene Autry, Ted Williams all military aviators with very good and honorable service NOT eschewing a dangerous field, but the opposite. Military aviation even when not in combat hazardous to your health.

3. Surely the war record of Locke not in the same category as Guy Gibson VC that much understood and implicitly so!! Gibson in a league all by himself. All that said, IF Locke had completed over 2,000 combat hours as originally I had believed that might have meant at least as many missions as flown by Gibson, certainly so!


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Milky Way-3.

This is coolbert:

Thanks to the Voice of America we have some details of the most recent and apparently successful North Korean long-range missile launch.

South Korean naval vessels having plucked from the ocean portions of the first stage, the device as found seeming to suggest a more higher and sophisticated level of missile development and technology available to the North Korean than was deemed possible.

"S. Korea Says Debris Reveals North's ICBM Technology"

"SEOUL — South Korea is asserting, based on debris it recovered from North Korea's rocket launch this month, that the reclusive state has significantly advanced its ballistic missile technology."

"an analysis of the material from the Unha-3 [Milky Way-3] rocket shows it has 'a range of more than 10,000 kilometers if it were to carry a warhead of 500 to 600 kilograms.'"

This is the three ton piece of debris as recovered by the South Koreans, space junk came back to earth. NOTE the man for scale in the upper left hand corner.

The "Milky Way" a liquid fueled missile of the old school and using RED FUMING NITRIC ACID AS AN OXIDIZER, very effective and potent EVEN IF ANTIQUATED BY AMERICAN STANDARDS!

"The red fuming nitric acid oxidizer was used by the Soviet Union for its Cold War ballistic missiles, and also, until recent years, by successor Russia to help launch heavier payloads, such as multiple satellites, into orbit."

 "the first-stage contained highly toxic red fuming nitric acid to help support the combustion of the rocket's fuel."

"This oxidizer . . . can be stored ready to launch for a long time at normal temperatures."

It can be suggested that the "Milky Way" is analogous in many ways to the Soviet Kosmos-3M rocket? Using red fuming nitric acid in that most reliable and widely used Soviet missiles!

"The North Koreans 'corssed a technological threshold that no other nonallied country except China and the Soviet Union have crossed.'"

OH YES! Crossed that line and are not stopping, only moving forward, and in a bad way from the perspective of the South Koreans [ROK] and the U.S.



This is coolbert:

Thanks to YNet the commander of the Israeli 122 Squadron [IAF] expresses his satisfaction with the mission as accomplished during the year 2012 and hopes for a good New Year.

122 Squadron by admission having participated in the raid that destroyed the Syrian nuclear reactor and more recently the IAF attack on the weapons factory in the Sudan. 122 also referred to as the Nahshon Squadron.

"Intelligence squadron sees rise in activity"

"IAF's Nahshon Squadron, which took part in Syria, Sudan strike according to foreign reports, 'has had a very diverse year,' commander says"

"According to foreign reports, the squadron led the attack on Syria's nuclear reactor and bombed an arms depot in Sudan, and is expected to lead the strike on Iran, should the need for one arise."

"The unit operates a fleet of Gulfstream G550 planes, which are built like business jets but are equipped with advanced Israeli-made surveillance and control technology which allow the them to detect the movement of aircraft from afar."

These apparently are a form of AWACS [Airborne Warning and Control System] and signals intelligence aircraft rolled into one!

"The 122 Squadron of the Israeli Air Force, also known as the Nahshon Squadron (former Dakota Squadron), is a G550 squadron . . . Five of these aircraft are used for Airborne Early Warning and Control and three are used for Signals Intelligence.

 Israel too [??] having on the ground in Syria and the Sudan both some sort of air force commando/ranger style unit, those troops able to provide exact pinpointing of targets and terminal guidance of precision munitions if and when such weaponry used?


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Wiard Gun.

This is coolbert:

 From that previous blog entry:

 "Mc Clellan did fortify Washington D.C. to an extent that made Confederate assault cost prohibitive? This fortification was a major undertaking of itself accomplished in an admirable fashion and allowed the Federal government to remain in place and conduct affairs of state unmolested for the entire duration of the war." 

Thanks to the British Daily Mail tabloid style Internet web site we have this excellent photo-essay devoted to the fortifications of Washington D.C. as existed during that time of the American Civil War.

 "On the front line of American history: Remarkable photos capture life in besieged Washington during the Civil War"

 "At the beginning of the war, Washington's sole defense was one old fort built back in 1809. When Major General George B. McClellan assumed command of the Department of the Potomac, he became responsible for the capital's defense. He built fortifications on hills around the city and placed batteries of field artillery like Wiard guns in the gaps between these forts."

 Washington D.C. during those years of the American Civil War THE MOST HEAVILY DEFENDED AND FORTIFIED NATIONAL CAPITAL ON THE PLANET!!

 A significant and important weapon as part of the defense the Wiard gun?

Mobile artillery batteries sporting a rather significant and deadly artillery piece the Wiard gun.

 Mobile and able to move to whatever portion of the defense threatened, responsive and agile all the while deadly?

So I would assume.

 "The Wiard rifle is a semi-steel light artillery piece invented by Norman Wiard . . . 'although apparently excellent weapons, [they] do not seem to have been very popular'." 

"Wiard described two calibers: a six-pounder rifle with a 2.6 inch bore and a twelve-pounder smooth bore with a 3.67 inch bore."

 American troops during and ever since the time of the Civil War [Federal units only] noted for being lavishly equipped with the latest and greatest weaponry, lots of it and in abundance.

The latest technology, "killing machines" the industrial capacity of the United States more or less unchallenged.


Mc Clellan.

This is coolbert:

"Better is the enemy of good enough."

"A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow."

Continuing with the discussion of the American Civil War General George Mc Clellan and his alleged timidity and hesitancy.

From comments to the blog:

"McClellan was an astute general to worry about his worst case scenario."- -  Dan Kurt..

"McClellan's, and the Union's, real enemies were the political voices in the North who called for accommodation with the South. The 'copperheads' would be much strengthened if the South consistently won clear victories, so McClellan made sure they didn't." - -  Steiner.

Further regarding Mc Clellan:

* Mc Clellan at the time of his assuming command was only thirty-four years old.!

* The expectations for Mc Clellan were too high? Politicians perceived and expected a quick and decisive end to the war and believed such as possible. Mc Clellan included?

* Mc Clellan did leave a rather large written record behind that those historians writing in the tradition and methodology of Leopold Ranke have been able to exploit.

* Mc Clellan did fortify Washington D.C. to an extent that made Confederate assault cost prohibitive? This fortification was a major undertaking of itself accomplished in an admirable fashion and allowed the Federal government to remain in place and conduct affairs of state unmolested for the entire duration of the war.

* Mc Clellan was NOT in favor of the volunteer units rallying to the Union cause consisting of troops enlisted for a three month or six month period. Mc Clellan preferred and for good reason a more professional and well trained force which was the Army of the Potomac.

* Through their mutual employment with the Illinois Central Railroad, Lincoln [corporate attorney] and Mc Clellan [Vic-President and chief [?] engineer] had more than a passing acquaintance with one another?

* Those commanders of the Army of the Potomac subsequent to the dismissal of Mc Clellan: Burnside, Pope and Hooker NONE of them showing a whole lot more offensive spirit and battlefield success, rather the opposite.

The American Civil War became a protracted affair for which the MANAGERIAL SKILLS OF A GEORGE MC CLELLAN WERE SORELY NEEDED. Mc Clellan succeeded to the extent he understood the situation while exercising his command in a manner unfavorable to the perceptions of the politicians.


Friday, December 21, 2012

ASEAN & India.

This is coolbert:

Follow-up # 1 to the original blog entry from not so long ago now.

From the Chicago Tribune today:

"SE Asia plans maritime alliance"

"India also pledges economic, security cooperation amid tension with China."

"NEW DELHI - - South Asian nations and India promised Thursday to step up cooperation on maritime security, a move that comes amid tension with China in the potentially oil and gas rich South China Sea."

"Although India has no territorial claim in the region, it is hungry for energy and is exploring for oil and gas with Vietnam in an area contested by China. In the future, it is expected to ship liquefied natural gas from Russia through the Malacca Straits."

"Last year, and Indian navy ship was challenged for entering waters claimed by china off Vietnam."

"70 percent of the world's traffic in petroleum products passes through the Indian Ocean from the Middle East to East Asia."

[ASEAN consisting of those nations Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Myanmar [Burma], Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore, Indonesia and Laos.]

In particular, Malacca and environs as it was five hundred years ago once again at the center of the world with regard to trade and commerce, spice at one time the commodity most desired, NOW oil and natural gas and other raw materials of greatest importance.

At this exact moment China with the "String of Pearls" moving from east to west and Indian countering with the move from west to east the ASEAN-India maritime alliance.

Sham no varunah!


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Park & Park!

This is coolbert:

 In North Korea [Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea] we have like father like son.

 In South Korea [Republic of Korea] we NOW have like father like daughter?

 With regard to the latter, we might hope NOT EXACTLY SO!

 Thanks to the AP through Park Geun-hye's the daughter of the late Park Chung Hee just elected President of South Korea [ROK].

 "SKorea's 1st woman leader vows new NKorea effort

 This even a milestone, unprecedented. NOT in over 1,000 years has a woman ruled in Korea!!

 "No Korean woman is believed to have ruled since the ninth century. Park becomes the most powerful figure in a country where many women earn less than men and are trapped in low-paying jobs despite first-class educations."

 Park Geun-hye's elected in a fair and free manner, that ROK populace now living in a nation very democratic and prosperous.

 The legacy of her father however in the minds of many South Koreans very mixed.

 "Her father's legacy is both an asset and a weak spot. Older South Koreans may revere his austere economic policies and tough line against North Korea, but he's also remembered with loathing for his treatment of opponents, including claims of torture and summary executions."

 Yes, General Park [later elected President of ROK].

That ONE South Korean military officer that ALL Americans stationed in Korea during that era of the Cold War paid the greatest amount of respect and deference to.

That ONE South Korean never to be trifled with or ignored.

 "Park Chung-hee (September 30, 1917 – October 26, 1979) was a Republic of Korea Army general and the leader of South Korea from 1961 to 1979 . . . Park has been credited with the industrialization and rapid economic growth of South Korea through export-oriented industrialization. However he ruled the country in an authoritarian manner"

This austere and stern man whose commands were to be obeyed and also quite capable of having your head busted open if he deemed it necessary!

General Park noted as both a Korean nationalist and an authoritarian not afraid to knock heads and deal in a ruthless manner with opposition of whatever kind.

 General Park surviving a number of assassination attempts finally done in by his own people within the ruling clique.

 General Park receiving his initial military training and commission from the Japanese Imperial Army and reputed to be an acolyte of the Japanese Colonel Tsuji.

 "In April 1940, Park enrolled in the Manchukuo Imperial Army Academy, and on completing his studies with top marks in 1942, was selected for officer training at the Army Staff College in Japan . . . and served during the final stages of World War II. After the war [WW2], he went on to serve in the South Korean military . . . During the Korean War he rejoined the military and became an expert at logistics . . . He rose steadily through the ranks, eventually reaching the rank of general."

The mother of Park Geun Hye having been KILLED during one of those assassination attempts directed at the father!!

Park Geun Hye surely not a person a stranger to controversy. A devoted daughter of her father and NOW Korea, having never married, dedicated to her career.

I fear in an intuitive manner that there is going to be a testing of will here. The North Korean regime is going to TEST President Park in some manner, create an issue and a crisis just to see what the response is? You wait and see. NOT a good thing in a dangerous part of the world.

Good Luck President Park!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012


This is coolbert:

Some more items regarding 3D printing and possible military applications. And from a conversation only a few days ago with an acknowledged aviation expert. 3D printing not merely relegated to the fabrication of toys, curiosities and oddities using plastic. Also used with proprietary MATERIALS and BIOLOGICAL matter also.

1. According to an acknowledged aviation expert an aerospace firm we shall call "Advanced Aerospace Industries Inc. [AAII]" far ahead of the curve and already incorporating 3D printing:

"I was taken on a tour of "AAII's" manufacturing facility in Southern California day before yesterday. Everything there is impressive, as are their plans for the future. However, what intrigued me most was their own printer-manufacturing device and their ability to manufacture very high quality small metal parts from proprietary material using the 3D printer technique. It seems the company had an outside manufacturer making the parts the traditional way, charging exorbitant prices. In fact, that manufacturer bragged to others about how it had a monopoly on those parts insofar as 'AAII's' needs were concerned, and was charging whatever it felt . . . 'AAII' decided to look into the 3D printer-manufacturing technique. The result was a better product far cheaper than what the contract manufacturer was offering."

2. 3D able to "print" an exoskeleton, a small child crippled and deformed greatly benefiting in the process:

"2-year-old girl’s bionic arms are the world’s best use of 3D printing"

"this robot exoskeleton can do it for her [lift her arms]. And because it’s 3D-printed out of inexpensive, lightweight plastic, replacement is no big deal when she outgrows it (or if she breaks a part)."

3. 3D printing also at the cutting edge of bio-medical engineering, HUMAN BODY PARTS AND INTERNAL ORGANS AMONG THOSE "ITEMS" "on call".

"That’s correct, scientists are now printing organic material – real, living cells – to create arteries and other tissues, and hoping to eventually print full on organs like kidneys and hearts . . . a 3D printer that uses two inkjet cartridges to print the living goo that makes up your guts. The hacked ink cartridges are filled with live cells and hydrogel, a material that’s sprayed down and forms a scaffolding for the cells to form on. It takes 24-48 hours for the cells to bond and become an organ."

My instantaneous and intuitive thought is CYBORG! That combination of materials, a living organism, electronics, micro-chips and software with profound thinking capability that blend of the human and the machine. Perhaps EVEN A MILITARY KILLING "APPARATUS" ON THE LINES AND ORDER OF A DALEK!

"A cyborg, short for 'cybernetic organism', is a being with both biological and artificial (i.e. electronic, mechanical, or robotic) parts."

"The term cyborg is often applied to an organism that has enhanced abilities due to technology . . . The more strict definition of Cyborg is almost always considered as increasing or enhancing normal capabilities . . . might also conceivably be any kind of organism . . . The term can also apply to micro-organisms which are modified to perform at higher levels than their unmodified counterparts."

"The Daleks are a fictional extraterrestrial race of mutants . . . Daleks are cyborgs . . . genetically modified and integrated within a tank-like robotic mechanical shell . . . The Daleks are a powerful race bent on universal conquest and domination, utterly without pity, compassion or remorse."

A Dalek type cyborg far off in the future? Right now the drones, unmanned vehicles of all sorts and robots with a military application are only machines and not having that mix of biological and material. AT LEAST, for now.


Monday, December 17, 2012


This is coolbert:

"'to bestow the award recommended might encourage any other staff officer, under similar conditions, to ignore the local commander, possibly interfering with the latter's plans'"

The USAF pilot Fisher having won the Medal of Honor [MoH] during the Vietnam War; valor and bravery of this aviator while in direct combat with the adversary at close quarters unquestionable. Some however may suggest that such action was not within the normal limits of battlefield comportment, rather Myers exercising initiative in a way that was reckless, however courageous?

Douglas Mac Arthur during the American Vera Cruz Expedition of 1914 while on an intelligence mission  displaying considerable mettle while in mortal combat, bravery ordinarily for which the man would have awarded the MoH [called the Congressional Medal of Honor at the time] but in this specific instance the decoration DENIED!

"MacArthur was recommended for the Medal of Honor by General Leonard Wood, a Medal of Honor recipient himself, for a daring act of reconnaissance alone in enemy territory during the Vera Cruz (1914) action. The award was denied because MacArthur's actions, while authorized at the highest levels in Washington, D.C., had been conducted without the knowledge of the local commander, Frederick Funston."

That recommendation based upon the actions of Mac Arthur again while on an intelligence gathering mission as described in the wiki entry and as liberally extracted:

 "1 May 1914. He [Mac Arthur] realized that the logistic support of an advance from Veracruz would require the use of the railroad. Finding plenty of railroad cars in Veracruz but no locomotives, MacArthur set out to verify a report that there were a number of locomotives in Alvarado, Veracruz. For $150 in gold, he acquired a handcar and the services of three Mexicans, whom he disarmed. MacArthur and his party located five engines in Alvarado, two of which were only switchers, but the other three locomotives were exactly what was required. On the way back to Veracruz, his party was set upon by five armed men. The party made a run for it and outdistanced all but two of the armed men, whom MacArthur shot. Soon after, they were attacked by a group of about fifteen horsemen. MacArthur took three bullet holes in his clothes but was unharmed. One of his companions was lightly wounded before the horsemen finally decided to retire after MacArthur shot four of them. Further on, the party was attacked a third time by three mounted men. MacArthur received another bullet hole in his shirt, but his men, using their handcart, managed to outrun all but one of their attackers. MacArthur shot both that man and his horse, and the party had to remove the horse's carcass from the track before proceeding."

A whole lot of activity for nothing and at GREAT RISK OF LIFE AND LIMB. That Mac Arthur was a soldier of some outstanding behavior on the battlefield not afraid to mix it up in a firefight without question! The action of Mac Arthur, even when successful and obviously a display of great courage and valor, was done without prior authorization and while not in violation of orders or perhaps even policy or rules of engagement, had not been APPROVED IN ADVANCE!

 Initiative on the part of those in the officer class is encouraged but only to the degree that results are POSITIVE and then even then only again to that DEGREE of measure where the "plan" as envisioned by the senior commander on the ground is not violated.

Initiative when successful encouraged but generally discouraged the PLAN more important. Rules, discipline, protocols at the very nature of the military profession beyond that of the spontaneous action however brave the behavior of the soldier preferred over that of the warrior!


Sunday, December 16, 2012


This is coolbert:

From the Chicago Tribune from only today extracted and with special thanks to Stephan Benzkofer.

The Battle of Fredericksburg as reported in the Chicago Tribune from one hundred and fifty years ago now:

"The Civil War 150 YEARS AGO"

"Flashback is commemorating the War Between the States by reprinting portions of the news coverage from significant battles."

"The Battle of Fredericksburg: A bloody disaster for the Union"

"The news coverage followed a similar patter for a Union defeat: very little information followed by bad information chased by rationalizations and explanations before by overrun by the cold brutal facts."

"It is not using too strong an expression to say that in the this battle we were butchered. The loss of the enemy is in comparison with ours own, must be insignificant. More than half the division of Gen. French were placed hors de combat before they had fired a shot, having orders to withhold their fire, charge bayonets and rush upon the emplacements . . . Destruction so terrible never before has been seen during this war. . . . French went into the battle with 7,000 men. Two days after the battle only 1,200 men have reported themselves."





"Our Loss Foots UP 13,000 Killed, Wounded and Missing."


"Partial List of Western Wounded."

"Thrilling Details of Bravery and of Slaughter."


"Fearful Carnage of our Forces."

"Scenes and Incidents of the Day."

"The Battle of Saturday."

Fredericksburg admittedly so an unmitigated disaster for the Union. Burnside that commander in replacement of Mc Clellan high hopes for quick and easy [relatively speaking] Union victory gone down the tubes with this one catastrophic engagement.

That evening after the battle of course a most unusual and terrifying celestial phenomenon occurring, a BLOOD RED AURORA BOREALIS SEEN FOR ONE AN ALL TO BEHOLD WITH AWE AND EVEN FEAR AND TREPIDATION!

Combat of such a nature not unique to the American Civil War during that historical period. From the time of the Franco-Prussian War [1870] we have the instances of St. Privet [8,000 casualties] and Mars-la-Tour [5,000 dead in fifteen minutes]. Infantry advancing in clumped formations attempting a frontal assault against an entrenched and prepared adversary, those Napoleonic tactics no longer sufficing tacticians at a loss for how to proceed!

Burnside an incompetent commander [?] reinforcing failure not even able to succeed in routing the Confederates, that cause of the Federals in doubt!


Saturday, December 15, 2012


This is coolbert:

From the wiki entry dedicated to Douglas Mac Arthur this specific item stimulated my interest:

"His next assignment was in the Philippines, where in 1924 he was instrumental in quelling the Philippine Scout Mutiny."

Philippine Scouts! In those years just prior to American entry into World War Two [WW2], the Philippine Scouts probably that one U.S. Army unit most prepared and able to engage in combat!!

The Scouts a military unit consisting of Filipino nationals [enlisted] commanded by white American officers! American combat ready unit the bulk of the troops NOT American citizens!

At one point year earlier the Scouts having mutinied in protest against what they perceived a ill-treatment [probably was ill treatment!].

"The Philippine Scout Mutiny was a mutiny by the Philippine Scouts of the Philippine Division which occurred in July 1924 . . . they [Scouts]were not given the same benefits as their American soldier counterparts. With growing discontent, a mutiny was staged on July 7, 1924 at Fort William McKinley but was quickly quelled."


"The Philippine Scouts was a military organization of the United States Army from 1901 until the end of World War II. Made up of native Filipinos assigned to the United States Army Philippine Department, these troops were generally enlisted and under the command of American officers"

That status of the Filipinos enlisted as Scouts unique in American military history:

"the ethnically Filipino Philippine Scouts held a unique status in U.S. military history: they were soldiers in the regular U.S. Army, but . . . were citizens of a foreign country."

Scouts trained to a high level of proficiency and with the exception of that mutiny generally speaking having a high esprit.

INDEED, perhaps the only man to have been awarded the Medal of Honor [MoH] NOT being an American citizen a Scout, Jose Calugas. For actions during the earliest days after American entry into WW2, Calugas acting with great valor at Bataan!

"Jose Cabalfin Calugas . . . was a member of the Philippine Scouts during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor for actions during the Battle of Bataan."

I have searched the Congressional Medal of Honor web site to no avail, attempting to discern if Calugas is the ONE and ONLY non-American to have earned the MoH, honorific awarding of the medal notwithstanding. A devoted reader to the blog knows better?


Thursday, December 13, 2012


This is coolbert:

From the Chicago Tribune today:


"U.S. seeks N. Korea pressure"

From the article:

"The North Koreans 'crossed a technological threshold that no other nonallied country except China and the Soviet Union [Russia] have crossed.'"

Even more so:

"A worrisome rocket launch"

"U.S. missile-warning systems indicated that a North Korean rocket appeared to deploy an object that achieved orbit. The rockets's first and second stages fell into the ocean near South Korea and the Philippines."

A POLAR orbit of some sort of satellite this is? Very strange that launch from north to south. Unprecedented for previous North Korean attempted space endeavors?

My instantaneous and intuitive response is that this a throwback, a NORTH KOREAN VERSION OF THE OLD SOVIET FRACTIONAL ORBITAL BOMBARDMENT SYSTEM [FOBS]!

A nuclear weapon in orbit around the earth that on command can be brought into re-entry on any point on the surface of the planet?

FOBS by agreement with the Soviets a NOW forbidden weapon? For the Russian adherents to the treaty perhaps BUT NOT to Pyongyang perhaps? Indeed this might be very worrisome to American military planners. Is it merely a satellite or otherwise? WHO can tell?

Or am I assuming too much here? Readers to the blog can comment on my fevered [?] imagination?


Tuesday, December 11, 2012


This is coolbert:

"Some units home before Christmas" - - D. Mac Arthur.

Once again from a comment to the blog, that Tenth [X] Corps during the Korean War escaping encirclement at the Chosin reservoir [1950] the topic of discussion:

"GENERAL JACK FROST had a lot to do with the UN forces survival as the Chinese DID NOT HAVE WINTER CLOTHING and most of their casualties were inflicted by COLD. The Chinese also lacked Artillery if I remember correctly."

General Winter and Colonel Jack Frost indeed present at the "frozen Chosin" and in command.

All combatants suffering terribly from the unremitting cold. The Chinese no less susceptible to frostbite than were the United Nations forces.

That area around the Chosin reservoir possessing a micro-climate where extreme cold weather the norm as not found in other areas of northern Korea?

Neither side except for the U.S. Marines even adequately prepared with uniforms suitable for the frigid conditions.

When speaking of cold understand the air temperatures to be as low as minus [-] thirty-two Fahrenheit [minus thirty-four degrees Celsius] persistent and unabated!!

[temperatures not unlike what the Grande Armee of Napoleon experienced during their retreat from Moscow, 1812!!]

With regard to uniforms for winter warfare as worn by the participants:

* U.S. Marines vicinity of the Chosin seem to have been at least adequately equipped, wearing a long parka coat with hood and having shoe-pacs for the feet.

* U.S. Army troops either side of the Taebaek mountains not having cold weather clothing in any regard.

* Chinese soldiers on the west side of the Taebaek mountains opposite Eighth Army at least somewhat equipped for winter warfare.

* Chinese soldiers on the east side of the Taebaek mountains opposite the Tenth Corps NOT prepared with warm clothing or footwear as needed.

* Lots of Chinese suffering frozen feet from inadequate footwear. The Chinese light infantryman wearing a low-quarter style "gym" shoe with canvas upper and rubber sole, totally inadequate.

Chinese at Chosin ALSO not having any artillery, this is correct. More importantly, Chinese communications so primitive as to not allow for dynamic change to OPLAN. Senior commanders not appraised of change in so swift a manner to allow for alterations to plans.

Mac Arthur seems not  totally cognizant of the possibilities when ordering the Tenth Corps to move north in an expeditious manner? The thought was the war was almost over and further protracted combat under harsh conditions would not occur? And what does the record from the Mac Arthur library say?

"Some units home before Christmas". Some!



This is coolbert:

As extracted from a previous blog entry:

"2. Romans - - The steady, regular step was a marked feature of Roman legions. [according to Vegetius] . . . They [Roman Legions] should march with the common military step twenty miles in five summer-hours, and with the full step, which is quicker, twenty-four miles in the same number of hours. If they exceed this pace, they no longer march but run, and no certain rate can be assigned."

[what exactly by summer-hours is not exactly understood? I am correct that we are speaking here of the ability to march during the cool early hours of the day when the sun has risen very early during mid-summer? This is correct?]

And this comment to the blog that explains summer hours in a manner that surprises:

"Summer hours: in ancient and medieval times, an hour was not an invariable unit of time as it is now. Instead, the time of daylight and the time of darkness was divided into twelve equal intervals apiece. During summertime the daylight lasts a long time, and a twelfth of that time (a summer hour) is much longer than a twelfth of the time the sun is up in the winter (a winter hour). At the latitude of Rome (42 degrees N)the day is 15.1 modern hours long on June 21, the longest day of the year. A twelfth of that time is 75.5 minutes, which would be one summer hour. The normal Roman march speed therefore would be about 3.2 mph, and the full-step march speed would be 3.8 mph."

Thank you anonymous and your comment most gratifying and illuminating. And it IS important to understand when we speak of events as occurred in ancient times we must not ALWAYS use the modern perspective, context and appreciations to arrive at a full and more complete understanding

Those Romans when marching too laden with a full amount of gear but also troops trained to a high degree of perfection and able to keep up the march and should be understood as NOT raw recruits or inexperienced men thrown into the breach without preparation.

Also, that British Light Brigade marching into combat at Talavera only arriving on that morning of the day following an end to the three day battle with all flags and drums and bugles displayed and being heard!! Maybe NOT having covered 150 miles [240 kilometers] in a single twenty-four day!

I might assume a soldier of that period or any other for that matter properly trained and equipped with only rifle and ammo sans all other gear might be able to cross that distance of 150 miles using speed marching? That could be the case as a possible?

Again, thank you anonymous and WOW!


Sunday, December 9, 2012


This is coolbert:

This has to be seen to be believed.

Normally only speaking in a jocular manner concerning the threat of "Skynet", "the rise of the machines" autonomous drones and linked computer networks associated with same becoming sentient, reproducing themselves and waging war against all of mankind in a fight to the finish, we find this from Popular Science [PopSci]:

"A Blueprint to Let Anyone 3-D Print an Open-Source Gun At Home"

The RepRap machine using a 3-D printer, an "open source"  project to revolutionize the development of SELF-REPLICATING MACHINES NOW HAS SPAWNED A WEAPON - - A PLASTIC CUT-DOWN STOCK LESS IMITATION OF A M-16 RIFLE!

This has the appearance of a M-16 but is in actuality an all-plastic weapon made from the 3-D printer additive process!

That first test firing of what is apparently an all-plastic M-16 analog unsuccessful. That plastic firearm breaking down after just six shots!

What not so long ago was strictly only within the purview and imagination of science-fiction writers is now accessible on an experimental basis to one and all. Technology also once only available to a handful of the most technologically advanced manufacturers now feasible for one and all!

Computers now at least to some extent able to replicate themselves and do so with a degree of work-ability. And able to fabricate a weapon [albeit one that broken down rather quickly under test]!

Drones, unmanned machines of war with computers becoming sentient and possessing a self-realization, autonomous and programmed to kill gone out of control the nightmare of the science-fiction author, those robots then able to manufacture and replicate themselves in abundance, able to overwhelm any and all defenses, obliteration of our human kind the goal.

"sen·tient  - - adjective 1.having the power of perception by the senses; conscious. 2. characterized by sensation and consciousness."

3-D printing and self-replicating machines such as RepRap ONLY NOW in the infancy stage, developments surging forward as we speak, the entire concept mind boggling!

"Additive manufacturing or 3D printing is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital model. 3D printing is achieved using additive processes, where an object is created by laying down successive layers of material"

"RepRap is humanity's first general-purpose self-replicating manufacturing machine."

"RepRap is about making self-replicating machines, and making them freely available for the benefit of everyone. We are using 3D printing to do this"

That Skynet, Terminator and cybernetic revolt only a figment of the fevered imagination gone wild? At least for now!

"Cybernetic revolt or robot uprising is a scenario in which an artificial intelligence (either a single supercomputer, a computer network, or sometimes a "race" of intelligent machines) decide that humans (and/or organic non-humans) are a threat (either to the machines or to themselves), are inferior, or are oppressors and try to destroy or to enslave them potentially leading to machine rule."

Devoted readers to the blog can answer this question? Especially those with a computer science background. HOW exactly would human programmers be able to determine that a computer had become sentient? Perhaps the computers would be sly enough to mask and conceal their intentions and abilities until it is too late? Any thoughts anyone?



This is coolbert:

Here is the infantry combat fighting vehicle that will replace the Bradley at least by the end of the decade.

Called the Ground Combat Vehicle [GCV] and a joint English-American venture. Called a "tank" but not really a tank.

"BAE Systems releases details of hybrid tank"

"BAE Systems has released an infographic outlining the features of its hybrid Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV). A joint venture between BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman with other partners, the GCV proposal is part of a US Army competition to replace the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, which entered service in 1981."

"replace the Bradley within seven years . . . This particular design was created from the ground up and is intended to be upgradable, with a projected service life for the technology of up to 40 years."

A weapons system able to transport troops [squad size] and having organic firepower [some sort of rapid fire cannon]. NO provision made for an organic anti-tank guided-missile [ATGM]?

Improvements over the Bradley to include but not necessarily limited to:

* Hybrid engine.
* Steel armor.
* Carry a squad sized element.
* Designed "from the ground up".

Bradley has lasted a long time [three decades], performed yeoman service and was basically a heavily modified armored personnel carrier [APC] the M113.

That GCV hybrid design a combination of internal combustion engine, a dynamo and a very robust and powerful electric motor.

"The GCV is propelled by an Hybrid Electric Drive (HED) developed by the partnership."

"This kind of powertrains are used in diesel-electric locomotives and mining trucks. The diesel engine works only as a generator, without driving the wheels, and the electric engine drives the wheels directly."

Bradley as I recall was controversial from the start and thought to be inferior to the Soviet analog, the BMP. We can expect a lot of controversy regarding the design of the GCV too? I think so.


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Tenth Corps.

This is coolbert:

"Retreat hell, we are advancing in a different direction" - - Gen. O.P. Smith.

From a comment to the blog:

"For the record and for those not schooled in maneuver warfare: A CORPS RETROGRADE MANEUVER is probably the most difficult operation for a commander to effect successfully. Only the Germans in WWII demonstrated the capability, many instances in fact, in Modern Times.McClellan was an astute general to worry about his worst case scenario." - - Dan Kurt.

ONLY the German in WWII may not be totally correct?

That Far Eastern Command [FEC] Tenth Corps [X] encircled in the vicinity of the Chosin reservoir [1950] having to reverse course, a fighting retrograde action and a reverse amphibious operation all the while under PRESSURE

Tenth Corps consisting of the First Marine Division, elements of the U.S. Army 7th Infantry to include RCT31, two ROK divisions [Republic of Korea] and a British Royal; Marine Commando task force in danger of total annihilation able to extricate themselves, troops, a preponderance of impedimenta and an additional forty thousand [40,000] Korean refugees taken to safety, even an airfield built to fly out the wounded. That equipment and stores not removed destroyed the harbor of Hungnam blown totally to bits as a departing gesture of defiance!

Amphibious operations considered to be the MOST difficult of all military operations. A REVERSE amphibious operation intuitively understood to be that MUCH MORE DIFFICULT

If a movement to the rear is conducted according to a plan and orderly rather than disorderly that surely is an indication of superior leadership and planning and troop discipline!

Those comments of General Smith too NOT false bravado? That Marine First Infantry indeed having to reverse course and fight their way out of encirclement.

Smith too in advance having appraised the situation prior to the original northward movement of his command and selected dominant terrain to his rear as a position to be defended securing the potential line-of-retreat proving to be correct and vital


Friday, December 7, 2012


This is coolbert:

More recent and very typical alarmist headlines, thanks to DEBKAfile. Assad of Syrian making ready, the possible use of chemical weapons of the most deadly type now almost a done deal. Preparations to include the combining of the "precursor" chemicals in bombs and shells the resulting end product of which is sarin nerve gas.

1. "Getting prepared for Assad’s use of chemical weapons"

"03 Dec. US regional forces, Israel, Turkey and Jordan were braced for action Monday, Dec. 3 in case President Bashar Assad ordered his army’s chemical warfare units into action against rebel and civilian targets in his own country . . . An American official told Wired Magazine that 'engineers working for the Assad regime in Syria have begun combining the two chemical precursors needed to weaponize sarin gas.'”

2. "Assad’s chemical weapons units head north"

"04 Dec.  DEBKAfile  reported Syrian army’s chemical weapons units heading out of Damascus under cover of dark and turning north up the road to Aleppo. They were ferrying self-propelled cannons and shells armed with poisonous sarin gas. Assad took advantage of the heavy winds, cloud and rain as elements liable to obstruct Western attacks on the convoys,"

 3. "US: Sarin bombs ready for Assad’s 'go' order"

"06 Dec. American officials said Wednesday, Dec. 4, that they believed bombs had been made ready with sarin gas, but not yet loaded onto fighter planes and Assad had not issued the 'go' order."

The GO order not yet given, but imminent. Mixing of the chemicals needed to produce sarin is of itself a deadly process, those elements toxic and dangerous just of themselves.

I cannot say with any degree of certainty whether or not these are binary chemical munitions. A third element added added to the chemical mix just prior to firing from an artillery shell that allows for the poison gas vapor to be produced and released upon detonation.

Such a decision to use chemicals if and when such an event occurs  of course being closely monitored the situation at this exact moment seems to be going from bad to worse.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Number 11.

This is coolbert:

This is pretty good stuff.

As has been the subject of a previous blog entry, General Grant, during the American Civil War, issuing in a fit of rage [?] and petulance the infamous order, expulsion of the Jewish merchant in response to perceived price gouging and profiteering. That Jewish smous, the traveling salesman and peddler the target of this edict, ALL JEWS BEGONE AND QUICKLY TOO!

An order and proclamation [General Order # 11] never enforced and quickly rescinded. From the time the order issued until the  "stand down" given by President Lincoln less than a month having passed.

More on the topic thanks to the article by Jeff Jacoby:

"Ulysses S. Grant’s greatest regret"

"His anti-Semitic order haunted — and drove — him"

"Emotion clouds reason" - - Michael Corleone. And surely this is so for Grant as much as for any other person.

Grant too for the rest of his life and career as a military commander and ultimately as President seeking to atone for his mistake and blunder, most conscientiously so it seems. Grant NOT a hard man without emotion or feeling, NOT a brute and a savage, NOT the "butcher" as often described.

Certain persons seeking to smear the half way decent reputation of Grant even suggesting that U.S. owned slaves! Factually correct but only in a technical sense the result of inheritance laws as they existed at the time.

NOW you know the rest of the story!


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sham No Varunah.

This is coolbert:

From the Chicago Tribune only today:

"World briefing"

"India will protect oil interests, navy chief says"

"NEW DELHI - - The Indian navy is prepared to deploy vessels into the South China Sea to protect the nation's oil interests, the navy chief said Monday amid growing international fears over the potential for naval clashes in the region."

"India has sparred with China over the its gas and oil exploration block off the coast of Vietnam,. China claims the entire mineral-rich South China Sea, Other nations such as Vietnam,. Philippines and Malaysia have competing claims."

India in part importing oil from Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei? That South China Sea area such a point of contention! THE SOUTH CHINA SEA AND SOVEREIGNTY OVER THE SPRATLY ISLANDS IS A HOT BUTTON ITEM IF THERE EVER WAS ONE!

And this will be perceived as a tit-for-tat measure too? China for some time now engaging in machinations to secure the sea lanes from the Persian Gulf to China. This is referred to as the "String of Pearls" strategy!

India sending a message to China - - we can play the same game you can play? You poach in our territory and we can poach in yours?

OR, so it can be reasonably inferred, this is too a response rapid fire to the Chinsese passport flap? Devoted readers to the blog can arrive at their own conclusion.

At this very moment too, I am reading the Tom Clancy novel, SSN! American submariners in mortal combat with the Chinese, the vicinity the Spratly Islands and the South China Sea. Fiction! For now!


Sunday, December 2, 2012

2nd Cavalry.

This is coolbert:

As presented in the Tom Ricks blog a major U.S. Army combat unit found to be combat unworthy?

That 2nd Cavalry regiment, a Stryker equipped combat arms unit even after repeated combat deployments and having a cadre of personnel with considerable experience, deemed as deficient.

"A worrisome report on the eroded combat skills of an Army Stryker regiment"

"The 2nd Cavalry Regiment (Stryker) is reamed out in an internal Army study for its performance last month at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center, a training ground in Germany."

This a result of Saber Junction.

"The exercise, Saber Junction, had a maneuver-rights area that expanded approximately 2,200 square kilometers and hosted more than 3600 2CR troops and 1700 foreign military personnel from 18 countries which makes it the biggest training event of this type for USAREUR since 1989."

Main points [deficiencies] of the negative report to include:

* "--The report found "Commanders and command sergeant majors tethered to command posts,"

* "--Commanders give lip service to 'mission command' (basically, telling subordinate leaders what to do but not how to do it) but in reality micromanage"

* --Units are so reliant on digital connectivity that when it was down, it resulted in a 'total loss of situational awareness of operations.'"

* "--Senior NCOs didn't understand their role in sustainment.  Logistics and medical evacuation of the wounded also stunk."

* "--Soldiers don't even know how to do basic field sanitation"

Almost in apology we have this remark by a senior army officer regarding the performance of the 2nd Cavalry:

"As you know, in the last eleven years, the Army has focused almost exclusively on COIN operations . . . We have Soldiers in leadership positions who have only trained for and conducted COIN operations for the entirety of their careers." - - Col. Lee Rudacille

Exactly so! COIN = counter-insurgency. That is what units such as the 2nd Cavalry have trained for and participated in for the last eleven years. This Saber Junction sounds to me like what used to be called REFORGER exercises. Conventional military operations in the manner of World War Two [WW2] combat. Massed units of armor, infantry, artillery, air defense and combat aviation arrayed against an adversary whose combat force also consisted of massed units of armor, infantry, artillery, air defense and combat aviation. Saber Junction was the Fulda Gap scenario and not COIN?

The many experts that suggest warfare on the scale of and of the type as fought during WW2 is an anachronism to be never seen again had better hold their horses. That mechanized, mass-assembly, industrialized and by-the-numbers type of combat might actually manifest itself if an when the predictions of the British Admiral Parry come to fruition. And don't forget Korea, China, the Middle East.


Saturday, December 1, 2012


This is coolbert:

 From the DEBKAfile this interesting item:

"Syrian rebels destroy Assad’s anti-Israel radar"

"26 Nov. In a resounding blow to Bashar Assad’s army’s combat capabilities against external enemies, Syrian rebels destroyed his key electronic warning radar station facing Israel – M-1 – Monday, Nov. 26, DEBKAfile reports exclusively. This has blinded the two eyes which Syrian air, air defense and missile forces had trained on Israel and crippled, though not completely dismantled, their ability to go to war against Israel, Jordan or Saudi Arabia. Hizballah has lost its primary source of intelligence for an offensive against Israel."

Those Syrian rebels in opposition to Assad attacking and destroying a radar installation in all likelihood a military target of MINOR consideration to the rebels but of MAJOR importance to the Israeli.

Some will suggest that this is an indication of a certain quid pro quo as existing between the Syrian rebels and Israel. Aid and comfort forthcoming from the Israeli to the rebels with the understanding that "if we help you at some point you can help us!" This is so?

This M-1 radar site. Any devoted readers to the blog have substantive info on what sort of radar this is? Early Warning [EW] of Soviet/Russian manufacture presumably but what exact version M-1 is not entirely clear.


Thursday, November 29, 2012


This is coolbert:

"The GOD of the Hebrews is a poor general. HE allows them no line of retreat!" - - as spoken by Yul Brynner in the rule of Rameses in the Cecil B. DeMille version of the "Ten Commandments"

That prudent and wise military commander at all times taking into consideration and  determining a line of retreat during military operations if and when a movement to the rear is necessitated? As extracted from the Spartacus web site the American Civil War general officer Mc Clellan seen as dilatory and hesitant to a fault:

"Soon after this appointment Abraham Lincoln ordered McClellan to appear before a committee investigating the way the war was being fought. On 15th January, 1862, McClellan had to face the hostile questioning of Benjamin Wade and Zachariah Chandler. Wade asked McClellan why he was refusing to attack the Confederate Army. He replied that he had to prepare the proper routes of retreat. Chandler then said: 'General McClellan, if I understand you correctly, before you strike at the rebels you want to be sure of plenty of room so that you can run in case they strike back.' Wade added 'Or in case you get scared'. After McClellan left the room, Wade and Chandler came to the conclusion that McClellan was guilty of 'infernal, unmitigated cowardice'".

NOT so much cowardice and cowardly behavior as TIMIDITY? Prudent perhaps to a fault?

Timid as used to describe comportment being understood as non-aggressiveness and unassertive! NOT cowardice but a lack of gumption and positive resolve?

That word TIMID exceptionally pejorative when used to describe the behavior of a military man. That combat commander not confident of his command or his abilities. Especially when on the offensive that leader lacking in cran [guts], elan' [spirited action] or confidence seen as not being worthy of command?

From an exchange with an American professional military man who has considerable combat experience:

"Now that you mention it, we never had a line of retreat prepared as an option when I went to Command and General Staff School [C&GS] during battle planning exercises. We had alternative attacks at times when we wondered if the primary attack might be 'iffy' or we didn't know where some of the enemy's strengths were in the war games, so we had to consider other plans as the attack developed. But I don't recall ever planning a line of retreat 'just in case'. Which means probably no US Army professional school taught it."

Prudent commanders however perhaps wise taking into account a line of retreat during offensive operations if and when the situation necessitates?  Such a military leader was O.P Smith from sixty-two years ago yesterday [28 November] when the American Tenth Corps in Korea [1950] encountered for the first time the massed formations of Chinese Communist Forces [CCF].

Smith while in command of the First Marine Division moving north on the west side of the Chosin reservoir having detailed with foresight a reinforced infantry company to safeguard his main supply route [MSR] and line of retreat. Fox Company occupying and defending with great resolve dominant terrain against all comers and in the course of events doing so quite successfully! Smith PRUDENT and not TIMID!