Thursday, January 31, 2013


This is coolbert:

From the Chicago Tribune today:


On this date 31 January: "In 1945 Pvt. Eddie Slovik became the only U.S. Soldier since the Civil War to be executed for desertion as he was shot by an American firing squad in France."

The last time the Tribune having printed this item in the daily ALMANAC being 2009 now.

That "item" needing clarification which I am as is usual happy to provide. A much needed and warranted clarification.

Slovik of course executed not merely for desertion but FOR DESERTION IN THE FACE OF THE ENEMY!

Desertion in the face of the enemy considered of course a much more egregious offense that mere desertion.

An offense under military law as meriting the death penalty which was carried out.

Statistics regard the number of American service men convicted of mere desertion during Second World War [WW2] unclear according to the various web sites. That number being sent to prison for mere desertion either 2,000 or 20,000. That number of American servicemen in all components from that era of WW2 about 16 million!

That number charged with and convicted of desertion in the face of the enemy much less but that absolute number as understood also not clear. From various web sites the number either forty-one or forty-nine men guilty and sentenced to death for desertion in the face of the enemy.

Of that several dozens facing  the death penalty only Slovik executed. ONLY Slovik amongst those several dozens of the condemned refusing the offer to return to combat and having his penalty lifted and record expunged.

Numbers [that exact number not clear] of American servicemen during WW2 executed by the military for CRIMINAL offenses, rape, rape and murder, etc. Louis Till or Eddie Leonski for instance.

See these previous blog entries regarding the Slovik case. Hard to understand what the man was thinking. Eddie was deemed as an incorrigible by Eisenhower but nonetheless an "out" was given to the man that he did not take advantage of.

Eddie is now and has been for some a cause celebre. At least in the minds of those persons that write the ALMANAC he seems to be.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013


This is coolbert:

Thanks to YNet we have this item.

The Israeli watching very closely the situation in Syria as you can well imagine. That Israeli Air Force acting if and when events transpire in a manner not favorable to the state of Israel.

In this case, advanced and very sophisticated surface-air missiles [SA-17] the transfer from the hands of the Syrian to Hezbollah intercepted en route and destroyed?

Hezbollah no longer merely satisfied with pea shooter MANPAD [man portable air defense] shoulder fired SAM but desirous to have the latest and greatest and most dangerous.

"Officials to AP: Israel hit SA-17 missiles shipment"

"News agency quotes US and regional security officials as saying Israel conducted air strike inside Syria hitting convoy of trucks; officials estimate target was SA-17 missiles which would be 'game-changing' in hands of Hezbollah"

These missiles in the hands of Hezbollah described as "a game changer"!!

"Russian-made SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles, which would be strategically 'game-changing' in the hands of Hezbollah."

Even more surprising as gleaned from the wiki that the SA-17 as used in combat has been a proven winner, the Russian designers and weapons manufacturers apparently not even having a counter-measure for their own weapon!!

"Analysts stipulated that Georgian Buk missile systems were responsible for downing four Russian aircraft—three Sukhoi Su-25s close air support aircraft and a Tupolev Tu-22M strategic bomber—in the 2008 South Ossetia . . . Russian electronic counter-measures systems were apparently unable to jam and suppress enemy SAMs  [SA-17]in the conflict and that Russia was, surprisingly, unable to come up with effective countermeasures against missile systems it had designed."

Assad too is making those preparations for his flight? Some mountain stronghold is being prepared or has been prepared for his entourage and those Alawite still loayal  to the man? These SA-17 are for his protection and not the use necessarily of Hezbollah? Hezbollah is Shia and Assad is an Alawite, an off-shoot [not much known about the Alawites] of the Alawites so protection among the state within the state [Hezbollah] is possible. That connection between the Iranian, Syrian [Alawite] and Hezbollah is very strong? This movement of sophisticated SAM was part of an effort to make that connection even stronger?



Tuesday, January 29, 2013


This is coolbert:

As it was with Washington at Brandywine.

As it was with Tsuji at Malaya.

So was it too with MacArthur at the Yalu?

That senior military commander making a PERSONAL reconnaissance [recce] of the battlefield as envisioned surely a prelude to major hostilities.

Washington on horseback nearly losing his life during the recce, Colonel Tsuji during his over-flight serving in the combined capacity of G2 [intelligence] and G3 [operations] prior to the Japanese invasion of Malaya, 1941.

From "Old Soldiers Never Die":

"Before returning to Tokyo on November 25, he  [MacArthur] had his pilot fly the SCAP [Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers] along the Yalu River at a height of five thousand feet. MacArthur gazed down at the harsh landscape stretching bleakly along both sides of the river: treeless mountains and steep ridges, their blackness made starker by dazzling patches on snow in the valleys and necklaces of ice glittering in the crevices. It was a desolate, merciless looking place, without any evident trace that huge number of Chinese troops had crossed in recent weeks"

And from the Manchester biography "American Caesar":

"Before flying back to Tokyo that afternoon, MacArthur decided on the spur of the moment to fly the length of the Yalu. His staff objected. The plane was unarmed, they would be within range of the Chinese and Russian anti-aircraft batteries on the river's north bank, and he specifically said he wanted to see Sinuiju, where as many as seventy MiG's had been sighted. The General obdurate, waved them [staff] aboard. The very audacity of the flight, he assured them, would be its best protection . . .  They encountered neither flak nor enemy aircraft. In fact, they saw nothing except a dismal, glazed, empty landscape. MacArthur wrote: 'when we reached the mouth of the Yalu, I told Story [the pilot] to turn east and follow the river at an altitude of 5,000 feet. At this height we could observe in detail the entire area of international No-Man's Land all the way to the Siberian border. All that spread before our eyes was an endless expanse of utterly barren countryside, jagged hills, yawning crevices, and the black waters of the Yalu, . .. . If a large force or massive supply train had passed over the border, the imprints had already been well-covered by the intermittent snowstorms of the Yalu Valley.'"

That date 25 November 1950 MOST important. The over-flight of the Yalu accomplished of course during hours of daylight after MacArthur having just completed a visit to the Eighth Army headquarters!

ONLY within the span of mere hours, during that period of darkness on that same day [25 November], the Chinese Communist Forces [CCF] intervening in Korean Conflict in a massive and overwhelming manner, prodigious number of troops used in a profligate manner the assumptions made by MacArthur and his staff all wrong!!

Please recall that twice within a six-month period during the Korean Conflict was MacArthur and staff snookered and flummoxed by the communists, Far Eastern Command [FEC] intelligence caught off-guard and unready, their appraisal of the situation invalid and totally wrong!!

NO ONE denies that intelligence is a difficult subject and a hard job, uncertainty always present, but Korea undoubtedly represents failure, personal reconnaissance and even cavalier courage notwithstanding.



This is coolbert:
"I have a reactionary army, a National Socialist air force and a Christian navy" - - A. Hitler.

The German military man as during both World Wars and portrayed in Hollywood movies as the villain, this generally the case.

From that era of the Great War [WW1] the archetype of the German soldier from that period the Prussian Junker aristocrat officer haughty and arrogant, cold and unfeeling.

From that era of the Second World War [WW2] the archetype of the German soldier from that period the fascist perpetrator of atrocity and genocide, a fanatic without remorse, even deriving a perverse and sickening pleasure from "atrocity and genocide".

The German beast!!

In conversation with some esteemed friends suggestions have been made that the Hollywood treatment of the German military man from both World Wars HAS NOT ALWAYS BEEN SO TOTALLY NEGATIVE, QUITE THE CONTRARY!!

Here with a list of those movies showing the German in a more favorable light:

* "Das Boot".
* "The Blue Max"
* "Iron Cross"
* "All Quiet on the Western Front"
* "Night of the Generals" (Omar Shariff not a cold blooded killer)
* "Wings"
* "The Dawn Patrol" WW I (both 1930 & 1939) shows them as warriors and knights.
* "Charlie Chan at the Olympics" (1937) shows Germans as helpful.

Devoted readers to the blog can suggest additional entries? Let me hear from you.

P.S. My original entry forgot the "Blue Max". And George Peppard gets the beautiful lady in the bed too! That German nation and people of today over seventy years and even as was one hundred years ago now NOW a great credit to the human race. That American occupation after WW2 of Germany and Japan both not as understood so totally altruistic but undoubtedly a success remarkably and markedly so!!


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Deck Gun!

This is coolbert:

Thanks to StrategyPage we have the book review from Professor Al Nofi.

American submarines operating on the surface quite often eschewing the use of torpedoes and employing the deck gun to sink an enemy vessel.

"Surface and Destroy: The Submarine Gun War in the Pacific", by Michael Sturma

 "Although not really what one thinks of when discussing submarine operations [as during the Second World War], surface gunnery actions are occasionally mentioned in naval histories [of the Second World War], and in this work Prof. Sturma (Murdoch, Australia), demonstrates that they were in fact not at all uncommon."

"Calculating that there were literally hundreds of surface actions by Allied submarines during the Pacific War, Sturma, author of several earlier works on undersea warfare, examines a substantial number of them.  While some of these clashes occurred because a submarine found itself unable to submerge upon the sudden appearance of enemy warships, most involved attacks on small vessels such as trawlers, barges, and sampans, during blockade operations.  Other clashes took place because Allied submariners were engaged in rescuing downed airmen, or were trying to capture or inflict vengeance on Japanese seamen"

NOT using torpedoes but on the most dangerous or important of enemy vessels, the submariner if possible not cracking the egg with the sledgehammer, using appropriate means on the appropriate target.

That American Gato class submarine armed in such a manner to allow for formidable naval deck gun fire if and when the situation either demanded or for whatever reason was the preferred means of attack.

Deck gun weaponry of the Gato to include:

* 1 × 3-inch (76 mm) / 50 caliber deck gun.
* Bofors 40 mm [1].
* Oerlikon 20 mm cannon [1].

During the Great War [WW1] it being much more common for the German U-boat commander to sink enemy merchant vessels using his deck gun that expending a torpedo.

That number one ace of all ace submariners [and will always will be] Kptlt. Lothar von Arnauld de la Perière [Highest scoring U-boat commander of all time with 193 ships sunk for over 450,000 tons sunk] a predominant amount of the time the deck gun the weapon of choice!

Consider that:

 "in April/May 1916 he sank 23 ships, totaling 68,000 tons on a five week patrol and in July/August 1916 in four weeks he sank 54 ships, totaling 91,150 tons using only 4 torpedoes (one miss). [using almost exclusively his 88 mm deck gun]"

P.S. Caliber of the deck gun that ratio of the length of the barrel to the diameter of the bore. The greater the ratio the more accurate the gun is considered to be!


Saturday, January 26, 2013


This is coolbert:

Put this one in the strange but true category.

The little shark that could.

The cookiecutter shark! [yes, cookiecutter all as one word]

Able to disable a nuclear submarine with a single bite!! And WHEN A FULLY GROWN ADULT ABOUT THE SIZE OF A DOMESTIC CAT!!

Thanks to Jeff and Zen-Haven  the story of the cookiecutteer most amazing.

"This Tiny Shark Can Take Out Nuclear Submarines"

"The cat-sized shark . . . doesn’t look that intimidating, but it has the power to take down an entire nuclear submarine. The fish’s strange bite can get at the softer areas of the submarines"

"The fearless cookie-cutters have even disabled the most dangerous ocean creature of all—the nuclear submarine. They attacked exposed soft areas including electrical cables and rubber sonar domes. In several cases, the attacks effectively blinded the subs"

"The attacks happened in the 1970s and the problem seems to have been taken care of, though in several cases the sharks did enough damage to the vessel’s sonar equipment that the oils inside that transmit sound would leak out of the ship and break the equipment — the subs could no longer see what was around them"

This problem has been fixed a long time ago. Those sonar housings receiving a: "fibreglass covering"

"The cookiecutter shark (Isistius brasiliensis), also called the cigar shark, is a species of small dogfish shark in the family Dalatiidae. This shark occurs in warm, oceanic waters worldwide, particularly near islands, and has been recorded from as deep as 3.7 km (2.3 mi). It migrates vertically up to 3 km (1.9 mi) every day, approaching the surface at dusk and descending with the dawn."

That cookiecutter dwelling in the abysmal depths [10,000 feet/3,500 meters] during the daytime, ascending to near the surface to feed during hours of darkness. A voracious feeder and not above attacking and taking chunks out of animals much larger than itself. The cookiecutter must think the sub is a whale?

American nuclear submarines when submerged "observing" their surroundings PRIMARILY BY LISTENING WITH PASSIVE SONAR RATHER THAN PINGING THE OCEAN REPEATEDLY IN AN ACTIVE MANNER TO "SEE". Loss of sonar means a total loss of ability to accomplish a mission? Must be so!



This is coolbert:

From the DEBKAfile events in Mali/Algeria as they have transpired and ARE transpiring. Including American involvement.

1. "Al Qaeda offers to swap US hostages for terrorists" January 18, 2013.

"The Al Qaeda group which seized hostages from 10 nations at the remote Algerian gas field in In Aminas Wednesday, Jan. 16, has addressed its first demand to the United States: The release of two American hostages for two high-profile Islamist terrorists jailed in the US: Egyptian Omar Abdel-Rahman, the Blind Sheikh convicted of masterminding the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and plotting the murder of Rabbi Kahane, and Pakistani-American neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui convicted for trying to kill US troops and FBI agents in Afghanistan in 2009"

Those terrorists taking hostages at the Algerian sprawling natural gas facility making demands in return for the safe release of Americans held prisoner. Demands NEVER to be fulfilled. Release those terrorists as serving life sentences in American prisons.

2. "The US will run French airlift to Mali two more weeks
" January 23, 2013.

"The Pentagon is keeping eight to 10 people at the Mali capital’s airport after the US Air Force flew five C-17 flights into Bamako and delivered more than 80 French troops and 124 tons of equipment. The US airlift will continue two more weeks."

Long-range transport already being used, the French even more so greatly desirous to have American mid-air refueling aircraft on the scene for the long-term. That will be so? That remains to be seen.

That dynamic situation in Mali yes indeed just that, dynamic.


Naval Quotations.

This is coolbert:

Here with a series of quotations as attributed to American naval officers from the earliest days of the Republic, the United States having a navy with outstanding elan and fighting spirit.

That U.S. Navy also from inception pelagic [deep water] extending global reach and power to all parts of globe, a tradition that follows to this day!

1. "I have not yet begun to fight!". John Paul Jones.

The American naval vessel commanded by Jones in mortal combat action with HMS Serapis off the coast of England, a naval battle witnessed by thousands on shore.

"On September 23, 1779, Jones fought one of the bloodiest engagements in naval history. Jones struggled with the 44-gun Royal Navy frigate Serapis, and although his own vessel was burning and sinking, Jones would not accept the British demand for surrender, replying, 'I have not yet begun to fight.' More than three hours later, Serapis surrendered and Jones took command."

2. "Don't give up the ship!" James Lawrence.

That American naval commander Lawrence again in combat action with a British warship [during the War of 1812, mortally wounded, his final command and exhortations to continue the fight inspiring. A battle ultimately fatal for the captain and crew of the Chesapeake the elan and courage of Lawrence and his crew nonetheless undeniable.

"James Lawrence (October 1, 1781 – June 4, 1813) was an American naval officer. During the War of 1812, he commanded the USS Chesapeake in a single-ship action against HMS Shannon (commanded by Philip Broke). He is probably best known today for his last words or 'dying command' 'Don't give up the ship!', Lawrence, mortally wounded by small arms fire, ordered his officers, 'Don't give up the ship. Fight her till she sinks.' Or 'Tell them to fire faster; don't give up the ship.'"

3. "We have met the enemy and they are ours!". Oliver Hazard Perry.

Oliver Hazard Perry at Lake Erie [also the War of 1812] fighting an inland naval battle the capture intact of an entire British naval squadron unprecedented and shocking both at the same time for friend and foe alike!

"On 10 September 1813, after defeating the British fleet in the Battle of Lake Erie, Oliver Hazard Perry, commander of the American fleet, dispatched one of the most famous messages in military history to Maj. Gen. William Henry Harrison. It read: 'Dear Gen'l: We have met the enemy, and they are ours, two ships, two brigs, one schooner and one sloop. Yours with great respect and esteem. H. Perry'."

  4. "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!". David Farragut.

Admiral Farragut during the Battle of Mobile Bay [American Civil War] using measured audacity in the face of Confederate torpedoes [naval mines], concerted spirited energetic action in the face of danger. NOT so much foolhardy as an understanding that in warfare there is risk at all times! "He who dares wins!"

"Most popular accounts of the battle relate that when Brooklyn slowed when Tecumseh crossed her path, Farragut asked why she was not moving ahead. When the reply came back that torpedoes [naval mines] were in her path, he is said to have said, 'Damn the torpedoes.'"

Various versions of the quotation exist to include:

"Damn the torpedoes! Go ahead!" . . .  "Damn the torpedoes. Four bells, Captain Drayton." . . . 'Go ahead, Jouett, full speed.'"

5. "You may fire when ready Gridley!" George Dewey.

That exact moment almost precisely understood when the United States became a world power, the Battle of Manila Bay [1898]. Commodore Dewey commanding the American naval squadron issuing his fateful words to the captain of the flagship Olympia.

"As Sunday morning dawned hours later, the Olympia's commander, Captain Charles Gridley, waited for the order to fire his ship's guns. The order would come from the squadron's commander, Commodore George Dewey, who watched from atop the Olympia's flying bridge as shore batteries fired harmlessly at the advancing column of American ships. At 5:40 A.M. Dewey finally hailed Gridley with the now-famous words, 'You may fire when you are ready, Gridley.'"

6. "Sighted sub sank same!". Donald Francis Mason.

There is a literary quality intentionally or otherwise to the message as composed and sent by the naval aviator Mason? Short, terse, and unmistakeably describing events as occurred!

"a Hudson [as piloted by Mason] of 82 Naval Patrol squadron [naval aviation anti-submarine-warfare], operating from Argentia in Newfoundland, sighted and attacked a surfaced U-boat on 28 January 1942. The U-boat disappeared and the pilot, Donald Francis Mason, sent the triumphant signal 'Sighted sub sank same'”.

It is suggested that the German U-boat merely submerged and was NOT sunk, Mason however truthful in his belief the attack had gone well and the German U-boat had gone to the bottom. .

And since the time of the Second World War NO MORE memorable quotations or exhortations?

That current American navy for the last almost seventy years now dominant on the high seas in a manner that even exceeds that of the British Royal Navy [RN] during the Victorian Era!


Friday, January 25, 2013


This is coolbert:

Here is the head of Al Qaeda in Mali now causing so much aggravation for the French, an Algerian for at least thirty years now an active "soldier" in the jihad!

Mokhtar Beimokhtar. One-eye having been injured in the many decades long conflict that continues to rage in Afghan. NOW having taken the fight to Mali.

"Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the new face of al-Qa'ida (and why he's nothing like Osama bin Laden)"

"Robert Fisk on what he really means in the 'war on terror'"

"And now we have Mokhtar Belmokhtar with another eye lost to God’s enemies." [speaking of another in the sense of Mullah Omar that most senior member of the Taliban who also is minus one eye.]

 "This Cyclops wears no patch to hide his wound. Was it shot out by the pro-Western 'mujahedin' in Afghanistan after the Soviet withdrawal? Or blown from his face when he was 'mishandling' explosives during the war, when Belmokhtar and his cronies were still heroes, our equivalent – once, in Ronald Reagan’s eyes – of the Founding Fathers?"

"Now he hides in – or bestrides, if you believe what you are told – Mali"

Mokhtar not a Tuareg, not a native Malian, not from the area but an outsider that inspired commander of the insurgents their cause his cause, etc.


Bobby Baer.

This is coolbert:
"One day militant Islam will burn itself out, like any other millennial cult. But in the meantime, we should be changing our game, adapting as fast as al-Qaeda does. If we learn to fight intelligently, and pull everyone else on board with us, we stand a lot better chance of killing this virus." - - B. Baer.
From the online edition [no other edition now exists] of Time as on the web only from yesterday we have the comments of Bobby Baer. American ex-CIA case officer with a lot of experience in the Middle East. When Bobby speaks we should listen? I can safely assume too that the thoughts and "viewpoint" of Bobby at least to some extent in agreement with what others in the intelligence community are thinking?

"Viewpoint: Algerian Terror Debacle Shows that Fighting Al-Qaeda is Like Fighting Narcos"

"If there’s one thing last week’s attack on the Algerian gas facility should tell us, it’s that the “war on terror” isn’t all that different from the “war on drugs”. Throwing money at a problem and relying on brute force doesn’t win these “wars”. Drugs are less expensive and more pure than ever; the jihadists are better armed and better prepared than ever to keep on fighting."

That Global War On Terrorism [GWOT] not "win-able" in the conventional sense? A lot of damage has been done to Al Qaeda for instance rank and file personnel and higher ranking commanders to include Bin Laden killed, operations disrupted or pre-empted. This is granted.

GWOT also recognized as a long-term affair a phenomenon long lasting many decades or even more!

But a festering sore, a nuisance and NOT necessarily an existential threat, at least as long as the jihadist does not obtain WMD [weapons of mass destruction]!

Bobby DOES to his credit suggest some solutions more work-able than sheer military might. These include:

* "we need to deprive the militants of their oxygen – money"

* "we need to speed up our withdrawal from Afghanistan"

* "we have to seriously prepare for other failing states falling to the militants"

Devoted readers to the blog can suggest otherwise?

"Those dynamic circumstances requiring constant appraisal and change as needed by the authorities in Paris.". NOT only in Paris Everywhere else for that matter. Obvious.

Those various jihadist groups too not so totally in control of the situation as they might like to think it is. That "festering sore" rather than the "existential threat" we understand as a YES!



This is coolbert:

From that prior blog entry:

"Those dynamic circumstances requiring constant appraisal and change as needed by the authorities in Paris."

Dynamics to include retribution and reprisal for French intervention in Mali. More French military to the rescue!

Such as the recent execution of the French intelligence officer as had been held hostage in Somalia. Or the recent hostage taking in Algeria with the catastrophic loss of civilian life by the ham-handed actions of the Algerian military.

NOW, the French in response apparently having made the decision to further "escalate"?

"French special forces ‘to protect’ Niger uranium mines"

"France will send special forces to protect nuclear giant Areva’s uranium mines in Niger, according to a media report, amid a heightened security threat following a French-led offensive to drive Islamist rebels out of neighbouring Mali."

"France is to deploy special forces to protect uranium mines belonging to French nuclear energy giant Areva in Niger, according to a report in a news magazine this week."

Those uranium mines of Niger as operated by the French civilian concern Arvev considered to be a "strategic French asset".

The French having made that decision decades ago now to go nuclear for electric power, highly reliant almost to a fault upon an abundance of cheap yellowcake to be processed into a fissionable product as used in the man nuclear reactors of France.

NOW must be assiduously guarded and perhaps more or less forever in a manner way beyond what existed previously. This is for the long haul.



This is coolbert:

Is everyone following the events as they transpire in Mali?

From France 24 we have the latest dope on the Mali situation.

That combined force of French and Mali central government troops now on the offensive, moving toward Gao, the stronghold of the rebels.

France has not only dipped the toe in the water but has now plunged in deep.

 "Malian and French troops push towards Gao"

"The Malian army backed up by French troops on Friday moved into the town of Hombori, in their farthest push east towards the Islamist stronghold of Gao. Meanwhile, Islamist fighters blew up a bridge near the border with Niger."

"Mali’s military and French forces have pushed toward the Islamic extremist stronghold in the city of Gao, in their farthest push east since launching an operation two weeks ago to retake land controlled by the rebels, residents and a security official said Friday."

First air power, then helicopter gunships, now armored units and what is next. The French have made their decision to destroy the rebels and are on the road literally to doing so.

These ground units are the French Foreign Legion in action [FFL]? That has not been made evident.

The rebels well armed and trained and prepared, much to the surprise of everyone. Seems a lot of stuff captured and put into use after the fall of Ghaddafi and his Libya regime. NOT merely the technical type of adversary you have seen in Somalia for instance. That technical a pick up truck normally with a heavy machine gun mounted to the cargo bed of the truck. These various Islamic fighters even  having BM-21 multiple-rocket-launchers at their disposal.

"An unnamed Elysee Palace official quoted by AFP said on Sunday that French armed forces had been surprised by the fighting quality and the equipment of the militants they were up against."
"At the start, we thought they would be just a load of guys with guns driving about in their pick-ups, but the reality is that they are well-trained, well-equipped, and well-armed,"

"From Libya they have got hold of a lot of up-to-date, sophisticated equipment which is much more robust and effective than we could have imagined."

The adversary, the rebels, in the main consisting of:

* "The National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) and Islamist Ansar Dine" Tuareg tribesmen often referred to as the Blue Men of the desert. One of those last groups on the planet that still carry a sword as a part of their everyday dress!!

* "the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (Mujao)."Islamic fundamentalists [African Taliban].

* A smattering of combat experienced foreign fighters reputedly associated with Al Qaeda.

* Ansar Dine. [best translated as helpers of the Islamic way]

* "the Signed-in-Blood Battalion".

French strategy will have to include a plan to prevent the various rebel factions from concerted and focused action. Divide and conquer!!

Persons, those pundits that follow such things, are also asking what is the French exit strategy! Well, ask them, these things are neither easy or make for a situation that allows for a quick and easy conclusion. Those dynamic circumstances requiring constant appraisal and change as needed by the authorities in Paris.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Field Marshals!

This is coolbert:

Soldier of Monarchy.

From the web site Mad Monarchist we have some descriptions of those most highest ranking officers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire during the Great War [WW1], their command performance and abilities during that conflict often questioned but to a degree unjustifiably so!

1. Baron Svetozar Boroevic.

"The military of Austria-Hungary often does not receive the respect it deserves despite having some excellent and hard fighting units as well as some very accomplished leaders. One of those was Svetozar Boroevic Baron von Bojna [my good Baron, a title bestowed for faithful and meritorious service], the only officer of a Slavic background to attain the rank of field marshal in the imperial and royal army."

Baron Boroevic rising through the ranks from child military cadet to Field Marshal without the advantage of inherited title, wealth, pull, etc. A military man achieving what he did the hard way.Those Imperial Central Powers the rulers of which hesitant to confer too much rank on the commoner, wishing to keep power within the "family", those of noble birth, independent means and wealth.

"From very early in life he was set on the path for a career in the military, attending his first cadet school at age 10 and afterwards studying at several military academies before but still worked his way up through the ranks. In 1872 he was a simple corporal but rose rapidly in rank to become a lieutenant in 1875, the same year he attended the officer-training school"

"Baron von Bojna performed extremely well on the Italian front, receiving further honors and finally promotion to the rank of General Field Marshal for his service."

2. Count Conrad von Hotzendorf. Field Marshal Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf .

That perceived lackluster performance of the Austro-Hungarian army during the Great War to an extent attributed to Count Conrad, his plans and operations normally deemed as too aggressive and not always comporting to reality.

"After the war, the former field marshal did little to redeem himself. His explanations of the war mostly focused on how disasters were the fault of others rather than himself "

"The truth, of course, is not so simplistic. In the basic sense, Conrad von Hötzendorf was a genius when it came to broad military strategy but it is also true that he was anything but that when it came to putting his plans into effect. He often ignored vital factors such as available resources, the weather and the terrain and his grand offensives were almost always out of all proportion to what his forces were capable of achieving"

MORE than anything else, Count Conrad a victim of vile treachery of the most evil sort. Colonel Redl a counter-intelligence officer betraying all secrets and operations plans as devised by Conrad to the Imperial Russian intelligence service. That one man [Redl] most entrusted to catch enemy spies himself a spy of the worst possible sort. Whatever wartime planning of Conrad passing through the hands of Redl without delay transmitted to the Russian.

Plan Three, the masterpiece of war planning as orchestrated by Count Conrad totally betrayed, variants of the original also not successful, so well "attuned to enemy conceptions of tactics and strategy" were the Russian and Serb adversary.

I recommend the web site Mad Monarchist without qualification. Mark as a favorite and visit from time to time.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013


This is coolbert:

"safeguard - 'Safeguard. A safeguard is a detachment, guard, or detail posted by a commander for the protection of persons, places, or property of the enemy person or property.'"

We have yet one more account from ancient times of what is known in modern parlance as the SAFEGUARD!

Saladin the Islamic commander during the time of the Crusades noted for his chivalric behavior, sparing the Holy City of Jerusalem and the inhabitants thereof from random and unwanted murder, rape, arson, pillage.

Thanks to JihadWatch, Ibn Warraq and the manuscript the Lyon Ercles:

"Again at the siege of Jerusalem, the Lyon Eracles gives further evidence for Saladin’s honorable comportment: 'I shall now tell you how Saladin had the city of Jerusalem protected so that the Saracens would do harm to the Christians there. He [Saladin] placed two knights and ten sergeants in each street to guard the city, and they guarded it so well that I never heard of any wrong being done to a Christian. When the Christians came out of Jerusalem they camped less than a bow-shot away from the Saracen host. Saladin had his troops guard the Christians day and night so that no one could do them any harm and no robbers could fall on them'”.

The safeguard specifically mentioned in the U.S. military UCMJ [Uniform Code of Military Justice] the VIOLATION OF A SAFEGUARD MERITING THE DEATH PENALTY!!

As it was too during the time of Alexander the Great and Shivaji also, the chivalric act of the safeguard not knowing bounds of time or geography, eternal sort of!!

"The SACRED HONOR of a nation on display when a safeguard is established!!" The establishment and maintenance of the safeguard an indication of the civilized man, NOT the barbarian.

Even during the time of the Crusades the knight [officer] and the sergeant given authority general and command whose orders must be obeyed, the consequences of which can be quite severe. DEATH by execution according to law!


Monday, January 21, 2013

Super Soldier.

This is coolbert:

The super-soldier. A cross between a human and another species. NOW possible? NOT a dream but could become a reality. A cross very strong, robust, having a degree of intelligence, train-able but docile enough to obey commands and not turn on you!

This is so apropos too. ONLY the other day saw a program on TV about this very thing.

"'I can create Neanderthal baby, I just need a willing woman'"

"A scientist has said it would be possible to clone a Neanderthal baby from ancient DNA if he could find a woman willing to act as a surrogate."

The Neanderthal having only thrusting weapons. Needed to move in close to a big animal and kill with repeated thrusts to the vitals. Great strength and courage required.

Clone a Neanderthal one thing, breeding that super-soldier a cross between a modern human and a Neanderthal also possible?

Modern humans ALREADY having a degree of Neanderthal genetics so it seems. Of those persons of European ancestry that DNA from Neanderthals about 5 %. So modern humans and Neanderthal did mate and inter-breed.

Technology for better or worse has progressed to the point where such cloning again for better or worse is now possible in a manner it was not in the past.

Neanderthal from what scientists surmise indeed very strong [your average Neanderthal man able to bench press without difficulty about 300 to 400 pounds [480 to 640 kilograms], having intelligence [to what degree as comparable to a modern human not determined] and able to exist and thrive in an area of the world for many hundreds of thousands of years that harshness of which was unmitigated.

That idea to create the super-soldier also an idea FINDING FAVOR AT ONE TIME WITH JOSEPH STALIN! Joseph instructing his Soviet scientists to mate a human and gorilla again with the intention of creating a breed of creature to be utilized in the military capacity. NOTHING came of the project such was the limited technology of the time.


Watch out and fear that the "thing" might turn on you with disastrous consequences.


Brigadier Binani.

This is coolbert:

At last! Another success, minor as it is, the hunt for the outlaw and perpetrator of crimes against humanity Joseph Kony continuing unabated. Thanks to Voice of America and the tip from Jungle Trader.

For many months now the "hunt" for HIM continuing with seemingly no resolution. NOW the "brigadier" has been run to ground and killed.

One hundred or so American Special Operations [SO] and Special Forces [SF] troops as detailed with the mission of supporting the offensive against those last remnants of the Lord's Resistance Army [LRA]" having so far meagre success, Joseph as I have feared able to outwit and flummox his pursuers.

"Ugandan Troops Kill Kony Bodyguard"

 "Ugandan troops have killed a top bodyguard of Lord's Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony."

"A Ugandan army official said Monday that the rebel, known as Brigadier Binani, was killed Friday during a firefight in the eastern part of the Central African Republic, near South Sudan."

"Army spokesman Felix Kulayigye said Ugandan troops were deployed to the area after receiving intelligence that a group of LRA rebels was there."

Joseph continues to elude capture and remains elusive, the wary and wily prey very cagey a master at deceit and deception.

Some devoted readers to the blog will remember from a number of months that YouTube video that went viral, inspiring the current effort to kill or capture Joseph, the LRA now on the run and hopefully never to be heard from again, pursued to Kingdom Come if necessary and not allowed to regroup.

Believe it or not, that video preceded from five years earlier by a series of comic books [graphic novels] a production of Moonstone publications featuring the comic book character of the Phantom [man in purple tights] in mortal combat with HIM. These were Phantom # 17, # 18, # 19, "The Invisible Children".

"In Uganda a man known only as HIM is stealing children from their tribes and forcing them into his army. What HIM's plans are are not know, but it is known that he tortures and beats the children he takes, these Invisible Children. The Phantom plans to bring HIM down HARD!"

HIM being a character based upon Joseph Kony. HIM = His Infernal Majesty! Joseph of course combining aspects of a corrupted form of Christianity, brainwashing and psychological manipulation and African juju in a most frightening manner.

IN the graphic novel, the Phantom succeeds where the SO and SF cannot? Sadly it seems to be mostly so.

Prior to the American Civil War the novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin" inspired, in 2007 a series of graphic novels inspires? How far have we come?



This is coolbert:

Thanks to the tip from Chuck and the article in the web site Testosteronepit we have details of the "leaked" classified  document from the German BND [Bundesnachrichtendienst] - - American growing oil and energy independence the subject of which has been the topic of a previous blog entry. The geo-political ramifications of such independence understood as enormous!

BND from 1945 known as the Gehlen Organization, the German equivalent of the American CIA and British SIS.

That USA becoming more and more independent with regard to energy recognized for what it is, the GAME CHANGER OF ALL GAME CHANGERS!!

"German Spy Agency: Geopolitical Consequences Of US Oil Boom"

"Much digital ink has been spilled about the oil and gas boom in the US, the result of ever improving fracking technologies, and whether or not it will lead to energy independence, or even turn the US into an oil exporter. Now a 'confidential' report by the German version of the CIA, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), seeped to the surface. It sketched out the boom’s geopolitical consequences. Biggest loser? China."

"One of the reasons—or perhaps the only reason, despite pretexts galore—the US has been so deeply involved in the Middle East, including long and expensive wars, and why the highly unpalatable regime of Saudi Arabia has been an anointed ally for decades, is oil.

NOT ONLY oil! Two Saudi Arabia of energy in natural gas under American soil hitherto not possible to extract now can be gotten. American suddenly and without warning now possesses energy assets in ABUNDANCE! And we are not even talking coal either.

American involvement in the Middle East ever since the days of Franklin Roosevelt and that fateful meeting between FDR and King Saud a given for almost seventy years now. And NOT only American interests at stake, that abundant and free-flowing unimpeded supply of oil to the world a major concern for American statesmen and military planners both.

"US independence from Arabian oil would impact the relationship and balance of power between the US and China, according to the BND report. Struggling to meets its skyrocketing demand for oil, China will buy about half of the oil produced on the Arabian peninsula, and it will, like the US before it, become dependent on it—but unlike the US, it won’t have the military power, at least not initially, to protect its energy sources and transportation routes."

"unlike the US, it [China] won’t have the military power . . . to protect its energy sources and transportation routes."

This is not necessarily so. China for some time has had the "String of Pearls" strategy. Military bases, airfields and strategic alliances with those nations of the Indian Ocean region that see merit in such a relationship, such as Pakistan, Burma, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Somalia etc. That same route and waters as sailed by the famous Chinese Admiral Zheng He from six hundred years ago now!

Those areas of the South China Sea too disputed territory the sovereignty of which is questioned involving many parties no peaceful resolution in sight, the military implications of which are downright scary, American naval involvement and sworn allegiance to allies in the area a given!


Sunday, January 20, 2013


This is coolbert:

Here with more on that electro-optic system as found on the current generation of Fateh-110 Iranian missile and before that the Russian Iskander.

These various short-range [hundreds of kilometers is short?] ballistic missiles incorporating inertial, GPS and electro-optical guidance systems of very good accuracy.

The Iskander-M for instance, not for export having as organic:

"Guidance system"

"Inertial, optical homing, and possibly GLONASS for Iskander-M"

"Targets can be located not only by satellite and aircraft . . . or from aerial photos scanned into a computer. The missiles can be re-targeted during flight in the case of engaging mobile targets. Another unique feature of Iskander-M (not Iskander-E) is the optically guided warhead, which can also be controlled by encrypted radio transmission, including such as those from AWACS or UAV. The electro-optical guidance system provides a self-homing capability. The missile's on-board computer receives images of the target, then locks onto the target with its sight and descends towards it at supersonic speed"

Accuracy for the Iskander-M at a range of "400 km (250 mi)" reputed to be:

"5–7 m [meters] with terminal phase optoelectronic homing system"

Intelligence acqui4res a target and the location of same from troops on the ground or from aerial photography and relays the coordinates and image to the missile EVEN WHEN IN FLIGHT. That electro-optical system allowing pinpoint accuracy on the downward trajectory with the mighty bang on target!!

As I recall the American Pershing-2 also an on board radar that compared pre-selected targets with the image as seen by the organic warhead, also on the downward trajectory, mid-course correction possible with accuracy assured!



This is coolbert:

It is as I thought. [of course it as I thought. A pat on the back to myself.]

The Chinese DO now have their own operational GPS [Ground Positioning System]. At present only covers the domestic Chinese market but shortly will be a world-wide phenomenon.

Thanks to StrategyPage.

"Chinese GPS Open For Business"

"January 14, 2013: China recently opened Beidou (its version of GPS or ('Global Positioning System') to civilian use and expects to grab a major share of the satellite navigation market from the original U.S GPS system by the end of the decade. Currently China has 14 of 35 Beidou ('Compass') navigation satellites in service. This is sufficient to provide GPS type service for all of China. By the end of the decade all 35 satellites will be up and the entire planet will have access to Beidou."

"The Chinese Compass network incorporates the best features of the Russian GLONASS and European Galileo systems, as well as items planned for the next generation GPS satellites."

American GPS, European Galileo, Russian GLONASS and now Beidou. all in competition.

The Chinese able to incorporate into Beidou the "best features" of all pre-existing systems and I am sure a secure and secret capability beyond the normal..

Accuracy of these GPS for CIVILIAN USE normally state as around 100 meters. In time of war, encryption also capable to deny GPS to the adversary. And if an on-board GPS is receiving signals from the satellites and a ground radio transmitter sending signals from a survey position, the accuracy is measure in centimeters!! So is my understanding.


M-600 Tashreen.

This is coolbert:

Thanks to the tip from Al Jazeera we have this info. The Sytrian now using a surface-to-surface missiles of devastating explosive power and range. NO warning as was also the case for the German V-2 of the World War Two era.

An Iranian supplied Fateh-110 variant called in Syria the "M-600 or Tashreen".

This is a case of using the sledgehammer to smash the eggshell? Entire rebellious villages in denied territory laid waste in an instant. The Tashreem very accurate.

"Fateh-110 . . . is a single-stage solid-propellant, surface-to-surface missile with at least a 200 km range . . .  The initial range of the missile was 200 km but in September 2004 it was announced that it had been extended to 250 km and if needed it could be increased further. Fateh-110 has a range of 300km in its fourth generation which was unveiled in 2012."

Range, warhead size and speed given as: 250 km, 450 kg [1000 pounds], Mach 3.7.

That Fateh-110 having a sophisticated guidance system consisting of "Inertial & electro-optical terminal" and perhaps GPS!

From a forum we have these comments regarding that "Electro-optical &/or GPS":

"It's interesting that the Iranian pamphlet indicates "Electro-optical &/or GPS":as the guidance system for Fateh-110."

"An optical seeker warhead basically compares imagery from the on-board target seeker with stored photographs of the target image in its guidance computer to achieve greater accuracy during the terminal stages of a warhead's flight.The GPS functions as a backup or as a double check (it could be that the Iranian GPS used does not have US military accuracy)."

The Chinese now do have their own GPS in orbit and operational?

"Interestingly enough Russians developed a very precise electro-optical seeker for old Scud-B's.A newly upgraded version of it is now deployed on Iskander E short-range ballistic missiles. Indian army was very motivated to procure that technology back in 2001."

As supplied by the Iranian to the dictator more than anything else the usage of the Fateh-110 allows for "field testing" of an entire weapons system in a manner not normally possible until actual hostilities commence. Hezbollah also  has this weapon system and is playing close attention? I fear it is so.


Saturday, January 19, 2013


This is coolbert:

Here with more about the American drone aircraft found floating in Filipino waters.

Identified and the source of origin determined with pinpoint accuracy..

Thanks the FilipinoReporter:

"U.S.: Target drone came from Guam drill"

"MANILA — An unarmed target drone found in the waters off Masbate was launched from a U.S. Navy ship during a combat exercise off Guam last year and may have been washed by ocean currents to the country, the U.S. Embassy said."

This particular image gives ua a good idea of the scale and size of the drone. NOT so big!

"U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Bettina Malone said the BQM-74E drone was launched from the USS Chafee, a guided-missile destroyer, as a mock missile target during naval combat exercises off Guam’s coast in September."

This is the Chukar. The BQM-74 naval target drone.

This black and white image dated 1972 shows a Chukar being fired from some sort of floating platform. Over a period of decades Chukar has performed yeoman service.

This missing drone launched during a naval exercise from back in last September. Lost, not recovered and having floated from Guam to Filipino waters during that time. That is about 2,000 miles [3,2000 kilometers]!

Chukar has been around for some time and has existed in various Marks ever improving capability.

"The BQM-74 Chukar is a series of aerial target drones produced by Northrop. The Chukar has gone through three major revisions, including the initial MQM-74A Chukar I, the MQM-74C Chukar II, and the BQM-74C Chukar III. They are recoverable, remote controlled, subsonic aerial target, capable of speeds up to Mach 0.86 and altitudes from 30 to 40,000 ft (10 to 12,000 m)."

Capable of floating and being picked up after and exercise, re-use-able!

Chukar a cruise missile like drone and YES I did at first think it was part of some unspecified and secret naval exercise in the South China Sea, American and allied military forces conducting war games, the drone out of control and lost. But this evidently is not the case.



This is coolbert:

"You may fire when ready Gridley" -- Commodore Dewey.

Thanks to the Philippine news media GMA some stories - - American naval activities in Philippine waters. Some good and some bad.

A clear and most distinct message is being sent to all parts whose nations are contiguous to the waters of the South China Sea? American will honor all commitments regarding the use of military force in the area if and when needed?

1. American minesweeper, a naval mine counter-measures vessel hung up high and dry, having run around in the Sulu Sea. This is the USS Guardian.

"USS Guardian still stuck on Tubbataha Reef"

"An aerial photo taken on Thursday by the Western Command (Wescom) shows the USS Guardian, a US Navy minesweeper, after it ran aground on Tubbataha Reef in the Sulu Sea off Palawan. Tubbataha Reef is a World Heritage Site and popular a diving destination in the PHL. The vessel was in Subic Bay on Jan. 13 for a routine fuel stop before sailing to Puerto Princesa City for a brief visit."

Dangerous waters normally a warship running aground in such a fashion meaning the end of the career for the ranking officer and captain of the ship, possibly others too. .

2. "Unarmed US Navy drone found off Masbate"

"An unarmed US Navy drone which was found off the coast of Masbate province on Sunday was recovered by the San Jacinto town police force and turned over to the Philippine Navy. The US Embassy said that this type of vehicle is not armed and not used for surveillance."

A target only used for practice fire and not a drone having any capability other than that?

From a comment to the news article:

"It's a Target Drone during joint Philippine/U.S. Balikatan 2012 (Operation Pacific Shield) launched from a u.s. navy sub. it's wing tip is jet assisted subsonic."

3. "USS Olympia sub docks in Subic for PHIBLEX 2013"

 "The crew of the USS Olympia, a Los Angeles class attack submarine, prepares to disembark on Monday for the 2013 RP-US Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) to be held in Subic and Tarlac."

"USS Olympia (SSN-717) . . . was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for Olympia, Washington."

The USS Olympia also may I remind you the flagship of Commodore Dewey during the Battle of Manila Bay, the Spanish-American War, 1898!!

Olympia a Los Angeles class sub perhaps of the latest Mark, all the bells and whistles? Olympia making a port call, a friendly gesture combined with re-supply, "routine maintenance", a little R&R for the sailors, etc.

4. "USS Gridley arrives in Manila"

"The US Navy's USS Gridley (DDG 101) Arleigh Burke-class destroyer arrives on Monday at Pier 15 in Manila to replenish supplies and to conduct routine maintenance of shipboard system, aircraft and aviation maintenance."

Gridley too the Captain of the flagship Olympia [1898] during The Battle of Manila Bay!

"Gridley is named after Captain Charles Gridley, Commander of Admiral George Dewey's flagship Olympia, (Flag Captain)"

These specific ships visiting Philippine ports, the courtesy call - - Olympia and Gridley chosen for name recognition? Very evocative and recalling that time in world history when American became for the first time A WORLD POWER OF SUBSTANCE, ABLE TO PROJECT MILITARY POWER WITH GLOBAL REACH!

America and the Philippines do have a mutual defense treaty. The Philippines also that one nation in the world where the populace have the most favorable opinion and impression of the United States.

Such naval activities also sending again that clear and consistent message to all parties involved in the current South China Sea disputes. Watch out!


Thursday, January 17, 2013


This is coolbert:

Again from the Professor Al Nofi StrategyPage CIC:

"While serving as chief-of-staff of the 42nd “Rainbow” Division in 1918, Douglas MacArthur's disdain for the prescribed uniform once resulted in his being arrested as a suspected German spy."

This being a topic from a previous blog entry. Douglas Mac Arthur assuming unusual non-military military dress during his tenure as Chief of Staff for the 42nd Division during the Great War, an unquestionable attempt deliberate and intentional to establish a personae unique.

Mac Arthur displaying such "disdain" for military uniform convention also apparent during the Vera Cruz expedition, 1914!

This one has to be seen to be believed. Had to search the Internet for some time before I was able to find this image. Douglas Mac Arthur  "in uniform" during the Vera Cruz Expedition, 1914. NOT one thing about that manner of dress regulation. And get those hands out of the pockets too! I might suppose someone would suggest that while serving as an intelligence officer attached to the expeditionary staff Mac Arthur for purpose of mission might be within his rights to assume a form of mufti according to his appreciation of the situation. But I kinda doubt it.

ALSO, that Mac Arthur denied the Congressional Medal of Honor for his exploits at Vera Cruz all the more remarkable when one considers that:

"After the fighting ended, Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels ordered that fifty-six Medals of Honor be awarded to participants in this action, the most for any single action before or since."

Medals of Honor being passed out as would be aspirin tablets but Mac Arthur denied!!

More on this later.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013


This is coolbert:
"the Dutch considered Java and Sumatra, their 'second homeland where [they] had been trading and living for over three centuries', to be the most important place to defend."

Chivalry World War Two style!

From that era of the Second World War [WW2] we have two instance of chivalric behavior. In both cases Axis personnel [German and Japanese] giving quarter to an enemy [American and Dutch] in a manner most unusual. The no-holds-barred style of combat as was normally the case during WW2 having a pause in the action, honor and respect shown to the vanquished!!

1. "Honour in the skies: The day a chivalrous German flying ace saluted a crippled US bomber and let them fly to safety instead of shooting them down"

•"Charlie Brown's B-17F bomber had come under fire from 15 enemy planes during successful mission"
•"Franz Stigler pursued it, but when he saw the damage he let it fly home to safety, guided by the moral code laid down by his commanding officer"

American B-17 bomber aircraft badly damaged with wounded aboard but still fly-able, that German ace closing in for an easy kill but hesitant to open fire, a personal code of honor and respect for a brave adversary prevailing!

2. The Battle of Manado. Japanese military commander accepting surrender of an over-age reserve combat unit [RK] of Dutch pensioners, sparing their lives, execution forestalled by the knowledge that these men well beyond the age of military service but volunteering and devoted to their cause had fought well and hard. That Japanese commander allowing quarter to the enemy also true to his personal code of bushido as he understood it.

[it is noteworthy that other captured Dutch WERE exectued in the aftermath of the battle, but not the RK survivors!]

"The Battle of Manado was a battle of the Pacific Theatre of World War II. It occurred at Manado (also spelled Menado) on the Minahasa peninsula on the northern part of the island of Celebes (now known as Sulawesi), from 11–13 January 1942"

"Reserve Korps Oud Militairen (RK); this unit was made up from five companies of retired KNIL personnel with an average age of over 50 and was commanded by Captain W.C. van den Berg."

"Captain van den Berg's and his group were taken prisoner on 20 February. His group, made up of pensioners, attacked the Japanese units on several occasions and inflicted heavy casualties. Out of respect for the high average age and fighting spirit, the Japanese commander spared their lives."

Those Dutch men of the RK unit probably having lived all their adult lives in the East Indies and enjoying a retirement in a fashion not possible in Holland even at old age willing to fight and doing so in an admirable manner, even gaining the respect of the Japanese.

These occurrences from WW2 were rare? Axis military personnel their reputation tarnished but as individuals many did comport to a personal code of honor even when in disagreement with their government or the policies of same? This well might be so.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013


This is coolbert:

Thanks to the CIC page of Professor Al Nofi at StrategyPage we have this amazing item. Place this in the strange but true category?

"Between the world wars, entry to France's École Supérieure de Guerre required first a 27-hour series of written tests in history, geography, military practice, and more, including proficiency tests in either English or German, and then (for the 120 applicants who passed that round) a week of oral exams in various subjects, plus an equitation trial, after which about 80 men were accepted for the two-year course."

The French war college and staff course. A MUST for all French career officers those aspiring to flag rank. AND a MUST if possible for foreign officers also, those having a proficiency and fluency in the French language.

That French army in those years between the wars [the Great War and the Second World War] considered to be the finest in the world.

That selection process for the course most arduous and demanding and INCLUDING AN EQUITATION TRIAL!!

Equitation! Horse riding. Demonstrating an ability as a horseman. The cavalry and the mystique of the cavalry, the chevalier mounted on horseback, the armored man-at-arms still in vogue

"eq·ui·ta·tion - - noun - - the act or art of riding on horseback.

You would have thought a test for vehicle and motor maintenance might be more appropriate but NO!

The French in the years between the two world wars not neglectful of armor, the tank, concepts and doctrine for employing same in battle!

Indeed the French in 1939 having MORE tanks than the German and the French tanks BETTER as well!

NONETHELESS, equitation and the horse first and armor and tanks later. Such was the mentality at the time, the old ways giving way slowly in the military.

OR am I missing something here?


Teishin & Rikusentai.

This is coolbert:

The Japanese military during the Second World War [WW2] having two distinct paratrooper formations.

One subordinate to the Japanese Army Air Force [JAAF] and the second subordinate to the Japanese Navy [IJN]

1. Teishin Shundan. RAIDERS.

"Teishin Shudan (Raiding Group?) was a Japanese special forces/airborne unit during World War II. The unit was a division-level force, and was part of the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force (IJAAF)."

Subordinate to the army air force in a manner as German paratroopers from the same era were suborndinate to the Luftwaffe.

2. Rikusentai. Naval paratroopers and RAIDERS.

"The Imperial Japanese Navy fielded naval paratroopers during World War II. The troops were officially part of the Special Naval Landing Forces (SNLF or Rikusentai)."

"Rikusentai units were grouped in battalion-level formations . . . The lightly armed parachute units were intended to assault coastal areas, supporting amphibious landings or disembarkations, or enemy airfields and other strategic objectives. They were not meant to become entangled in heavy, pitched land battles"

Japanese paratroopers quite active during the early stages [1942] of the war in the Pacific. Used primarily and specifically during the campaign to capture INTACT to the greatest degree possible targets of interest in the Dutch East Indies. Those oil fields and refineries of Borneo and Sumatra. The coup de main effort. But not always so successful. The Dutch defender either able to inflict heavy casualties on the Japanese airborne attacker or destroy the oil facilities, those POL resources wired in advance for demolition.

That  Japanese paratrooper experience during WW2 almost identical [?] to that of the Allied and German powers. Paratroopers even when mission accomplished elite units of airborne troops the casualties of which were unsustainable.

"However, as with similar airborne units created by the Allies and other Axis powers, the Japanese paratroops suffered from a disproportionately high casualty rate, and the loss of men who required such extensive and expensive training limited their operations to only the most critical ones."

Casualties quite often FROM THE JUMP ITSELF AND NOT FROM ENEMY ACTION! Troops put out of action from broken bones, leg, knee and ankle injuries that rendered them not physically able to continue. Such is the tradition of paratrooper operations.


Monday, January 14, 2013


This is coolbert:

Thanks to the tip from Japan NHK we have the story of the Japanese paratrooper unit conducting a demonstration of capability and prowess designed to impress.

"GSDF shows parachute drill to public"

"Japan's Ground Self-Defense Force's 1st Airborne Brigade has opened its drills to the public. The brigade is the only paratroop team in the Self-Defense Forces."

"The drills . . . are shown to the public once a year in January. This year, they included for the first time the scenario of defending a remote island."

"P3C patrol aircraft also took part. These planes are used to patrol the airspace around the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture."

"Defending a remote island". And that island is? Of course the Senkaku group of ISLANDS the sovereignty of which is contested. China and Japan jockeying for position and making ready for what ever contingency must be addressed.

Read about the Senkaku Islands, uninhabited and uninhabitable but thought to  have vast reserves of natural gas underneath the sea floor in those contiguous waters.

The age old conflict of the Asians and others for resources scarce but badly needed.


Ghost Monster!

This is coolbert:

I see that Mr. Shinzo Abe has been re-elected Prime Minister of Japan.

Mr. Abe [pronounced Ah-Bay] the grandson of the World War Two accused war criminal Nobusuke Kishi.

Mr. Kishi often referred to as the ALBERT SPEER OF JAPAN.

Mr. Kishi in the post-war years a prominent Japanese politician part and parcel of the successful re-construction of Japanese society and industrialization. Rather than being condemned and considered a pariah for all eternity as was Albert Speer Mr. Kishi prospering and do so quite well.

"Nobusuke Kishi . . . 13 November 1896 – 7 August 1987) was a Japanese politician and the 56th and 57th Prime Minister of Japan from 25 February 1957 to 12 June 1958, and from then to 19 July 1960.

"with the end of the Allied occupation of Japan, Kishi was central in creating the "Japan Reconstruction Federation" . . . The party goals were anti-communism, promotion of small and medium-sized businesses, deepening of U.S.-Japan economic relations, and revision of the Constitution."


Accused of crimes involving the forced and impressed labor of Chinese civilians many of whom labored and died under deplorable conditions. As was the case in Germany, imported and impressed foreign labor needed for the war effort treated in an inhumane manner, many deaths occurring.

"In 1935, he became one of the top officials involved in the industrial development of Manchukuo, where he was later accused of exploiting Chinese forced labor. Prime Minister Hideki Tōjō, . . . appointed Kishi Minister of Commerce and Industry in 1941, and he held this position until Japan's surrender in 1945."

"As with other members of the former Japanese government, Kishi was held at Sugamo Prison as a "Class A" war crimes suspect by the order of the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers . . . Kishi was released in 1948 and was never indicted or tried by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East."
"He was called Shōwa no yōkai . . . ('the Shōwa era ghost/monster')".

Showa of course refers to that period of the reign of Hirohito! Ghost/monster I think needs no elaboration. The grandson seemingly NOT emulating the grandfather and we are thankful for that.


Sunday, January 13, 2013


This is coolbert:

Thanks to the tip from Professor Al we have yet one more piece of the  puzzle the Italian military enigma.

The Battle of Keren. Part of the East African campaign from the Second World War.

English and their colonial allied troops in mortal combat with the Italian army and THEIR colonial troops [Ascari].

A definite British victory but only after prolonged and very difficult fighting.

The Italian when well led very capable of inspired combat [in this case fighting primarily a defensive battle].

"The Battle of Keren (Cheren) was fought as part of the East African Campaign during World War II. The Battle of Keren was fought from 5 February to 1 April 1941 between the colonial Italian army defending its colonial possession of Eritrea and the invading British and Commonwealth forces."

From the victors high praise for the vanquished. Superlative descriptions that go way beyond the ordinary:

"except for the German parachute division in Italy and the Japanese in Burma no enemy with whom the British and Indian troops were matched put up a finer fight that those Savoia battalions at Keren . Moreover, the Colonial troops [Ascari], until they cracked at the very end, fought with valour and resolution and their staunchness was a testimony to the excellence of the Italian administration and military training in Eritrea." - - Compton Mackenzie

That Italian military enigma most complex when considering the feats of arms by units such as Decima MAS, the two Italian Waffen SS brigades, and the Italian troops fighting at Keren.

When well led the Italian could and DID comport themselves with "valour, resolution and staunchness". YES indeed!!


Saturday, January 12, 2013


 This is coolbert:

An update on the U.S. Navy Navy Expeditionary Combat Command [NECC].

Naval personnel having primarily a combat role often associated normally with U.S. Marine or army units.

"NECC provides rapid deployable and agile expeditionary forces, made up of active duty and reserve mission specialists, to warfare commanders in support of maritime security operations around the globe."

Might be referred to as naval infantry but much more than that.

From the NECC web site those missions of the NECC to include but not necessarily limited to: *

* "Seabees"
* "Coastal Riverine Force"
* "Explosive Ordnance Disposal"
* "Expeditionary Intelligence"
* "Expeditionary Logistics"
* "Maritime Civil Affairs and Security Training Command"
* "Expeditionary Combat Readiness"

The U.S. Navy having an organic combat capacity for ground security action [port or airfield facility], OR combat duty either during brown [riverine] or green [littoral] water operations.

U.S. Navy units able to perform a mission once relegated to the U.S. Marines, that organic capacity felt to be more responsive!

Seabees [Construction Battalions] well know for ashore port and airfield construction and in a class all  by themselves.

[Second World War Seabee units consisting primarily of men already trained and experienced in the construction trade civilian sector, masons, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, heavy machine operators, the officer men with civil engineering degrees.]

They symbol of the NECC crossed cutlass and M-16 rifle. A goodly portion of those personnel qualifying for NECC duty drop-outs from the SEAL program, already having a good degree of training and proficiency as a combat troop.

[my understanding of SEAL training is that those prospects must FIRST complete Underwater Demolition and diver course before proceeding into the SEAL program.]

"Members of most NECC Commands are generally expected to seek qualification for the Enlisted Expeditionary Warfare Specialist Insignia unless they belong to specialized communities which require them to qualify for the Seabee Combat Warfare Badge, Navy Diving Badge or Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Badge."

"Core qualification skills will include weapons qualification and maintenance, marksmanship, land navigation, field communications, and expeditionary camp deployment."

Again, a significant portion of the NECC personnel having completed at least the UDT course and perhaps some level of SEAL training more than adequately prepared for ground combat, small boat operations, or experienced and qualified as a diver. Dangerous and difficult duty at all times but that often is the very nature of the military.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013


This is coolbert:

Had never heard of this guy before.

American traitor of the Second World War [WW2] seems to have been a willing and devoted follower of the fascist cause, no coercion required for his collaboration.

Delivered intact a top of the line reconnaissance version of the P-38 fighter plane to the German and subsequently made propaganda broadcasts [?] and leaflets in furtherance of the Nazi war effort.
 "a United States airman who defected to the Axis powers and worked as a propaganda broadcaster and writer. After the end of World War II he was caught and sentenced to long terms, first for desertion, then for treason."

During the war Mr. Monti:

1.  "qualified in the P-39 Aircobra and the P-38 Lightning"

2. "deserted the Army Air Forces."

3. "stole  ["a reconnaissance version of the P-38 Lightning"]"

4. "defected to the Nazis"

5.  "began work as a propaganda broadcaster"

6. "participated in writing and composing a leaflet"

Monti post-war arrested for treason ["giving aid and comfort to the enemy during a time of war"] sentenced to a long term in prison upon conviction and paroled after serving about half the sentence.

What more can there be for this guy? Only instance I have heard of where the sincere Nazi sympathizer joins the U.S. military [of officer rank too!!] and defects. This guy Monti was a bad egg from the start whose loyalty was not questioned when it should have been?

His punishment tepid too when compared to John Amery or William Joyce! Amery and Joyce both hung post-war for having made German propaganda broadcasts. Monti even more egregiously so delivering intact to the enemy a most valuable piece of military hardware for their evaluation.

This Monti had severe emotional and mental problems? I cannot say. The jury decided and justice was done but in contrast with other such similar cases the man got off easy?


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Vasa & Guitarro.

This is coolbert:

Here two instances of warships not even able to make one voyage without sinking.

1. USS Guitarro. American nuclear powered attack submarine having been launched but sinking while at dock, construction crews to blame, the ship settling to the bottom without even having left port on a single occasion.

This particular web site with lots of images devoted to the sinking, raising and placing back into action the Guitarro that process a major construction project just unto itself.

That tug on the right preventing the Guitarro from capsizing. # 665 that number of the Guitarro. Those monstrous cranes to lift the vessel off the bottom as water is pumped out!!

The nuclear reactor and fuel having NOT been installed or the vessel carrying any weaponry, catastrophic disaster even beyond a sinking averted, but perhaps only slightly less so humiliating.

Guitarro successfully raised from the bottom, cleaned, restored to fighting trim and sailing in an admirable manner for thirty years subsequent, unfazed it seems by the experience.

[such a warship would normally deemed as "jinxed" and unlucky and sailors hesitant to board the ship.]

Immersion total in salt water for any period of time especially destructive to any and all electronic gear, I cannot even imagine what would have occurred to the nuclear reactor.


Again, the humiliation most great, recovery to the extent of removing from the bottom bronze cannon property of the Swedish King a paramount issue, the ship not until the latter half of the last century resurrected and brought back to the surface NOW that most important tourist attraction in all of Sweden.

"Vasa (or Wasa) is a Swedish warship built 1626-1628. The ship foundered and sank after sailing less than a nautical mile (ca 2 km) into its maiden voyage on 10 August 1628. It fell into obscurity after most of its valuable bronze cannon were salvaged in the 17th century . . . Vasa was built top-heavy and had insufficient ballast. Despite an obvious lack of stability in port, it was allowed to set sail and foundered only a few minutes after it first encountered a wind stronger than a breeze"

"A wind stronger than a breeze" and that was that.

You would have thought by now and even at the time of the Vasa these naval architects and construction crews would have all the protocols and procedures worked out and honed to fine technique devoid of any possible failure.

 That is evidently not so!!