Saturday, November 30, 2013


This is coolbert:

"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” ― Napoleon.

From the Article in Armchair General "Hitler Takes Command!" by Nick Shepley:

"Shortly after the end of World War II, Lieutenant Gerneral Hasso von Manteuffel, one of Germany's most skilled field commander, was asked for his assessment of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler's military competence. According to Donald Grey Brownlow's biography 'Panzer Baron', Manteuffel revealed 'Hitler had read a lot of military literature, and was also fond of listening to military lectures. In this way, coupled with his personal experience of [World War I] as an ordinary soldier, he had gained a very good knowledge of the lower level of warfare - - the properties of the different weapons, the effect of ground and weather; the mentality and morale of troops. He was particularly good in gauging how the troops felt. I found that I was hardly ever in disagreement with his view when discussing such matters. On the other hand, he had no idea of the higher strategical and tactical combinations. [Hitler] had a good grasp of how a single division moved and fought, but he did not understand how armies operated.'" [my emphasis in all cases]

There it is in the proverbial nutshell.

Hitler NOT knowledgeable in those elements of war that comprise strategy, grand strategy or the operational art. That latter the movement of units on a massive scale and basis to achieve strategic and grand strategic goals.

[Also Hitler during the Great War being evaluated and rated NOT BEING SUITABLE AS OFFICER MATERIAL. Mentally the man not so stable!]

Hitler having assumed command of the German military and in the position not only as political leader but then also acting the function of a generalissimo, commanding and directing with direct order the German armed forces, an incompetent man in control, MUCH TO THE ADVANTAGE OF THE ANTI-FASCIST COALITION FORCES.  [the western allies and the Soviets]

[generalissimo as I understand the meaning of the word slightly in deviation with the dictionary definition. Generalissimo as one wielding both military and political control, actually in direction of the armed forces, moving units around on the battlefield at whatever echelon.]

Von Manteuffel that name literally translated means "Man-Devil". Hasso however seems to have a very distinguished war record without participation in "those things". OH, you know what I am talking about, "those things".


Friday, November 29, 2013


This is coolbert:

Here with a tentative listing of German nationals during the American Civil War being appointed to flag rank [general officer].

Having include only those men either possessing a formal German military academy education or military experience as a German officer prior to emigration. [German in the sense of Prussian or the armies of the various principalities.]

These men almost exclusively so if not exclusively so adherents to the Federal cause, and also men having left their homeland in the aftermath of the various European 1848 failed revolutions

Germans referred to as the Forty-Eighters.

"The Forty-Eighters were Europeans who participated in or supported the revolutions of 1848 that swept Europe. In Germany, the Forty-Eighters favored unification of the German people, a more democratic government, and guarantees of human rights"

Germans anti-slavery, socialists, republicans. Even some favorably disposed to the theories of Karl Marx.

That not totally inclusive list to include:

1. Adolph von Steinwehr.

2. Alexander Schimmelfennig.

3. August Willich.

4. Franz Sigel.

5. Frederick Salomon.

6. Louis Blenker.

7. Max Weber.

8. Peter Osterhaus.

General officers in the Union army each and every one, and often preferring to recruit regiments of ethnic Germans, fellow immigrants to the United States. German speakers leading units consisting of German speakers.

To what extent these general officers and their enlisted charges were American citizens or resident legal aliens I cannot say.

And my thought originally was that these German-American experienced and formally trained commanders leading units of their compatriots, enlisted German-Americans, would have given a good account of themselves on the battlefield. Perhaps better or even much better than average.

But this does not seem to be the case. NO worse than average, but not much better than average. Just about the equal of those regiments during the American Civil War consisting of native born Americans.

These German-Americans felt a natural affinity to the Union cause during the American Civil War, the fight as they perceived it commensurate with their personal political beliefs. AND willing to put their bodies where their mind and mouth was.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013


This is coolbert:

That capture of Missionary Ridge and Lookout Mountain during the American Civil War a major event in the conflict and recognized so at the time, in two months the course of the war having changed dramatically to the advantage of the Union.

"A Rebel Waterloo".

"the Union soldiers continued the attack against the remaining lines, seeking refuge near the crest of the ridge (the top line of rifle pits were sited on the actual crest rather than the military crest of the ridge, leaving blind spots). This second advance was taken up by the commanders on the spot, but also by some of the soldiers who, on their own, sought shelter from the fire further up the slope. The Union advance was disorganized but effective; finally overwhelming and scattering what ought to have been, as General Grant himself believed, an impregnable Confederate line."

That charge uphill and the capture of Missionary Ridge spontaneous, impromptu, unauthorized, and perhaps even in disobedience to orders!!

And that man in the lead a junior officer, inspiring and motivating his charges forward, Arthur McArthur Jr. That name McArthur in the aftermath of the war changed to MacArthur. Arthur the father of course of the famous Douglas.

Brevet Colonel McArthur at age nineteen. That family trait of bold combat action even to the point of recklessness and disobedience a family trait?

 "At the Battle of Missionary Ridge on November 25, 1863 during the Chattanooga Campaign, the 18-year-old MacArthur inspired his regiment by seizing and planting the regimental flag on the crest of Missionary Ridge at a particularly critical moment, shouting 'On Wisconsin.'"

"For these actions, he was awarded the Medal of Honor. He was brevetted colonel in the Union Army the following year. Only 19 years old at the time, he became nationally recognized as 'The Boy Colonel'"

Those defending Confederate troops having occupied the topographic crest of the ridge and NOT the military crest, allowing for "blind spots" and voids where Yankee soldier surmounting the ridge could use for cover. A grave error of troop placement!

McArthur Jr. having received the Congressional Medal Honor for his bravery at Missionary Ridge, that decoration only awarded some twenty years later, and then ONLY after intense and prolonged lobbying by the Congressman uncle of Arthur! All that for comportment it can be suggested was fool-hardy and again, perhaps even disobedient. Behavior nonetheless carrying the day in a manner heralded across the nation in the media as it existed at the time.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Challenge & Reply.

This is coolbert:

The gauntlet having been thrown, the reply having been made.

Thanks to the tip from Jungle Trader.

A testing of resolve reminiscent of confrontations from the era of the Cold War. I am thinking of the Berlin Air Corridor and Quemoy and Matsu.

This is the type of thing that has not occurred in fifty to sixty years now!

The disputed islands of Senkaku/Daioyu the sovereignty of which now contested, China and Japan at loggerheads, with American intervention on the side of Japan now a done deal.

The airspace over the islands declared part of the Chinese air defense zone, that American response a show of resolve.

1. "Pentagon Prepared to Defend US Planes in China Defense Zone"

"PENTAGON — A Pentagon spokesman says the United States will not comply with China's new air defense zone in the East China Sea and is prepared to defend its aircraft that enter the region."

2. "US: 2 aircraft over China’s new airspace were on long-planned training"

Those American "intruders" reported to be B-52 bombers. The most dangerous beast of them all!
"WASHINGTON — Two U.S. military aircraft flew unannounced near a chain of islands claimed by both Japan and China, and through a newly established air defense zone China claims it controls."

Little itty-bitty uninhabited and uninhabitable [no ground water] chunks of rock out in the middle of the ocean! It is over such matters that wars are fought!

See previous blog entries regarding the Senkaku/Daioyu dispute:



 This is coolbert:

Here from the January 2014 "Armchair General" article by Jerry D. Morlock, PhD:

"Eisenhower UNDER FIRE, 1944-45"

Extracts and commentary:

"Ike's war fighting strategy and his military competence were the targets of savage attacks by America's British Allies."

MacArthur in his memoirs having described the various campaigns in the European Theater [ETO] during the Second World War [WW2] as "timid".

Timid that term most pejorative in the military sense, suggestive of uninspired and unimaginative effort, military operations not accomplished with the necessary assertiveness and aggressiveness.

Ike with second-guessing in the aftermath of the war seen by some as a commander "uninspired and unimaginative", too "timid", EVEN THAT THE WAR PROLONGED IN THE ETO BY MONTHS!!

1. Eisenhower in those year prior to American entry into the Second World War [WW2] by reputation considered to be the BEST officer in the U.S. Army.

"Working with MacArthur not only taught Ike how to deal with difficult, strong-willed personalities, it also lead an officer efficiency report in which MacArthur - - the U.S. Army's ranking officer, - - called then - - Major Eisenhower 'the best officer in the Army'"

[Understand BEST as meaning more correctly understood as STAFF officer. BEST of course that subjective judgment but again understand that Ike during his career not the commander of a combat arms unit OR indeed never even the commander of ANY unit of any type at all. That reputation of Eisenhower as a pedagogue, an instructor, a man skilled at training troops but most significant, a long and distinguished record of staff work that was without equal!]

2. That broad front advance of the western allies as described and characterized in the aftermath of the Normandy Campaign more correct understood as a DUAL AXIS advance.

"Eisenhower's strategy developed by his SHAEF staff and agreed upon in May 1944 before the D-Day invasion, called for advancing along dual axes, with Montgomery's 21 Army Group in the north and General Omar N. Bradley's 12th Army Group further south . . . [and] The southern flank of that dual axis advance was to be guarded and supported by General Jacob J. Devers' U.S/French 6th Army Group after it landed in Southern France in mid-August."

3. That ability of the German combat commander to form ad hoc combat units that were able to perform in a proficient manner on the battlefield especially on the defensive also recognized.

"The German army soon demonstrated an almost miraculous capacity to regenerate and quick reorganize its seemingly 'defeated' forces."

[those ad hoc units consisting quite often of a regiment of trained and experienced infantry, a company of armor [tanks], a battery each of artillery and air defense, several battalions of Kriegsmarine sailors, Luftwaffe ground crews and Hitler Youth inducted into the army, called a "division" on-paper STILL with superior generalship a credible fighting force to be taken into account.]

"The German army's incredible resilience, and its ability to create new fighting forces seemingly out of thin air and launch devastating counter-strokes, had already - - and often - - been demonstrated on the Eastern Front in the wake of Red Army offensives"

[Those German generals very good at sealing a rupture in the defense, a break through, and responding with alacrity and resourcefulness. Ike having a healthy respect for the combat command presence of the German enemy commander.]

4. AND perhaps most importantly. NOT even mentioned in the article by Mr. Morlock.

That observation having been made and Ike keenly aware of that military forces comprising of coalitions rarely fight well.

At all time Eisenhower seeking to establish and maintain a high degree and level of harmony between the western Allies [English and Americans. Avoid to the greatest extent possible all discord, no unfocused and diffused energy allowed.

Ike in that period between the World Wars the foremost authority on the campaigns of Napoleon. Napoleon quite often aware of and able to take advantage of discord and disharmony among his coalition rivals, French battlefield success often a result.

That Dodecanese campaign the type of unfocused and diffused energy and military power the type of misadventure to be avoided at all cost by Ike.


Sunday, November 24, 2013


This is coolbert:

Two months ago it was Chickamauga. That was then. Today it is Missionary Ridge and Lookout Mountain.

From the Chicago Tribune FLASHBACK as seen today.

Thanks as usual to Stephan Benzkofer.

The American Civil War in headlines as was printed in the Chicago Tribune of 150 years ago!

"A Rebel Waterloo"


"Bragg's Army Totally Defeated."




"Our loss 300 Killed., Wounded and Missing."

"Rebel Loss 15,000 - - Our Prisoners 7,000."

"We have Captured 60 Guns and 18,000 Muskets."




"Confederate defeat at Chattanooga fuelled Union surge"

"It has been two months since the Rebel army in Georgia delivered the morale - - killing blow at the Battle of Chickamauga that sent Union Gen. William Rosecrans packing"

Rosecrans subsequently replaced by U.S. Grant. AND:

"Then in November, bolstered with reinforcements, he [Grant] started fighting his [Grant] way out. On Nov. 24-25, the Union forces, behind 'brilliant fighting and dashing work,' routed the Confederates on Missionary Ridge and Lookout Mountain."

NOT however a Waterloo. Waterloo one decisive battle in the aftermath of which there was no other fighting. NOT SO with Missionary Ridge and Lookout Mountain. Much more combat of a much more horrific manner to occur during the last one and one-half year of the war.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013


This is coolbert:

From the tip as seen at Jungle Trader:


"From NBC News: 'While many Americans have been led to believe the war in Afghanistan will soon be over, a draft of a key U.S.-Afghan security deal obtained by NBC News shows the United States is prepared to maintain military outposts in Afghanistan for many years to come, and pay to support hundreds of thousands of Afghan security forces.'"

Military outposts as manned by American military personnel as predicated on the contingency that SOFA status approved of and is a done-deal!

SOFA or rather the lack of same the reason why a total withdrawal of American military personnel in Iraq occurred as it did. Military as opposed to civilian.

SOFA! Status of Forces Agreement!

That legal document as agreed upon and binding on American troops.

The protocol of which is that American military personnel committing a crime OFF BASE subject to local law.

That American serviceman committing a crime OFF BASE subject to Islamic Sharia law, judgment and punishment.

"Islamic Sharia law, judgment and punishment" not being seen as totally compatible with American legal traditions, theories, or ideals. A culture clash occurring for which no reasonable solution ever to be found or even desirable.

My intuition tells me that SOFA will not be agreed upon, that American military as currently stationed in Afghan also withdrawing completely as was the case in Iraq.

Civilian personnel, government contractors and such remaining, and maybe not so many of them either. They will take their chances, the military will not.


Monday, November 18, 2013


This is coolbert:

Back to the subject of the U.S. Marine IOC course. As was the topic of a previous blog entry.

"PT Standards in Question for Women in Combat"

"The Marine Corps may have to change its physical standards in order to put females in positions to one day lead infantry platoons in combat."

That physical demands of the IOC course precluding up-unto-this-point any woman from qualifying as a combat arms infantry platoon leader.

"IOC is a demanding 13-week school that historically averages a 25-percent attrition rate. The first day puts students through a grueling Combat Endurance Test that consists of physically and academically challenging tasks that last all day, said Marine Corps spokeswoman Capt. Maureen Krebs. Marines wear combat gear, perform various physical tasks and answer tactical questions while negotiating a land-navigation course"

Change in the sense of make more demanding and not lessen one iota.

Women Marines brought to a higher degree of physical fitness and proficiency.

That Infantry Officer Course [IOC] even for the men most grueling. That position of infantry platoon leader, a second lieutenant, described by Eisenhower AS THE MOST DIFFICULT JOB IN THE WORLD!

Those requirements of IOC so much that at least a quarter OF THE MEN fail the program. These men already commissioned officers, and not merely cadets or recruits. Requirements as understood across the board and not solely physical aptitude.

Good luck Marines.


Saturday, November 16, 2013


This is coolbert:

August Von Mackensen a supporter of the Adolph Hitler Nazi regime but more correctly thought of as a Monarchist in the same category as a Ludendorff or a Von Trapp.

Hoping for a restoration of the German Empire and monarchy.  Hitler seen also as a man the antidote also to the weakness and inept performance of the Weimar Republic.

German honor restored from the perspective of Von Mackensen.

But consider this extract from the wiki as copied in entirety with my commentary: [my emphasis in all cases]

"As a man becomes older, he has to watch carefully that age has not reduced his creativity. After reaching the age of 90, I have decided not to involve myself any longer with matters that are not concerned with my private life. However, I am still the most senior German officer. Many turn to me, sometimes with wishes, but more often with their concerns. During these weeks our concern is with the spirit of our unique and successful Army. The concern results from the crimes committed in Poland, looting and murder that take place before the eyes of our troops, who appear unable to put an end to them. An apparent indifference has serious consequences for the morale of our soldiers and it is damaging to the esteem of our Army and our whole nation. I am sure that you are aware of these events and that you certainly condemn them. These lines intend to convey my daily growing concern at the reports that constantly reach me, and I have to ask you to take up this matter with the highest authority. The messages I receive are so numerous, many come from high ranking persons and from witnesses. As the most senior officer I cannot keep them to myself. In transmitting them to you, I fulfill my duty to the Army. The honour of the Army and the esteem in which it is held must not be jeopardized by the actions of hired subhumans and criminals. sieg heil" - - Mackensen in communication with serving German Field Marshal Walther von Brauchitsch: 4 February 1940.

Concerns! Events! OH we know what is being discussed here, don't we? Hardly I think elaboration necessary.

That elevated sense of honor a "reactionary" moral virtue as despised by Adolph Hitler? That "concern" of Von Mackensen valid, events however transpiring without amelioration, the results plain to all.


Friday, November 15, 2013

Von Mackensen.

This is coolbert:
"Here rest Serbian heroes"

One of those German senior commanders during the Romanian campaign of 1916, an old-school Prussian able even during the extreme nature of combat during the Great War [WW1] still able to comport himself in a chivalrous manner, acknowledging the bravery and courage of the adversary when made manifest.

Anton Ludwig August von Mackensen.

"Anton Ludwig August von Mackensen . . . was a German soldier and field marshal. He commanded with success during the First World War and became one of the German Empire's most prominent military leaders."

Most specifically so from the Serbian campaign of 1915 and during the battle to capture Belgrade, Von Mackensen in the aftermath of battle: "erected a monument to the Serbian soldiers who died defending Belgrade"!

"In October 1915, Mackensen, in command of the newly formed Army Group Mackensen. . . which included the German 11th army, Austro-Hungarian 3rd army, and Bulgarian 1st army), led a renewed German-Austro-Hungarian-Bulgarian campaign against Serbia . . . the troops of the Central Powers encountered a very stiff resistance, so Mackensen erected a monument to the Serbian soldiers who died defending Belgrade,"

That monument still stands! Almost 100 years later Von Mackensen and those Serb defenders of Belgrade not forgotten!

Such honor as acknowledged by the victor and extended to the vanquished normally TOTALLY UNHEARD OF! Von Mackensen definitely of the old-school.

That Serb defender without question [?] the "2nd battalion of the 10th Cadre Regiment" reinforced and commanded by Dragutin Gavrilovic.

"Gavrilović at the time commanded the 2nd battalion of the 10th Cadre Regiment, which, along with a detachment of Belgrade gendarmerie and a group of about 340 volunteers from Syrmia"

Dragutin Gavrilovic. A Serb hero and the commander of a unit of Serb heroes.

Von Mackensen sometimes described in the aftermath of the Second World as a Nazi supporter, but rather should be seen as a MONARCHIST! Hoped for as did Ludendorff for the restoration of the old-time Prussian Kingdom and German Empire and the continued rule by an aristocracy and nobility of titled land owners. NO LONGER was ever to be.

Devoted readers to the blog know of other such examples from the history of warfare? The victor extending honors to the vanquished? This is a very rare occurrence?


Thursday, November 14, 2013

SA-3 Goa.

This is coolbert:

Thanks to Freeper, The Times of Israel and the wiki we have this item my initial response to which has been proven to be nearly 100 % wrong.

"Satellite pics from day of Syria strike show advanced Russian arms"

"Israel allegedly struck a military base in Syria [just the other day], reveal the presence of newly upgraded Russian anti-aircraft missiles . . . an upgraded and deployed battery of S-125 missiles and six very large trailers that could carry missiles."

Original Israeli satellite photo of the SA-3 firing battery? Described as a S-125 2M and deployed vicinity of Latakia, Syria.

This S-125 [Soviet/Russian] designation in actuality the Soviet/Russian SA-3 surface-to-air [SAM] missile NATO code name Goa.

A system initially the development of which began [?] in 1961, deployment only a few years later, the SA-3 now according to my estimation five decades old, antiquated, the electronic-counter-measure solution for this missile having been achieved a long time ago now. So was my reaction.

SA-3 ready to fire.


According to the wiki:

1. "Since Russia replaced all of its S-125 sites with SA-10 and SA-12 systems, they decided to upgrade the S-125 systems being removed from service to make them more attractive to export customers."

2. "Released in 2000, the Pechora-2 version features better range, multiple target engagement ability and a higher probability of kill (PK). The launcher is moved onto a truck allowing much shorter relocation times. It is also possible to fire the Pechora-2M system against cruise missiles. Deployment time 25 minutes, protected from the active interference, and anti-radiation missiles"

3. "In 1999, a Russian-Belarusian financial-industrial consortium . . . was awarded a contract to overhaul Egypt's S-125 SAM system. These refurbished weapons have been reintroduced as the S-125 Pechora 2M."

4. "In 2001, Poland began offering an upgrade to the S-125 known as the Newa SC. This replaced many analogue components with digital ones for improved reliability and accuracy. This upgrade also involves mounting the missile launcher on a WZT-1 tank chassis (a TEL), greatly improving mobility and also adds IFF capability and data links. Radar is mounted on an 8-wheeled heavy truck chassis (formerly used for Scud launchers). Serbian modifications include terminal/camera homing from radar base."

5. "Cuba also developed a similar upgrade to the Polish one, which was displayed in La Habana in 2006."

6. "Later the same year [2006], the Russian version was upgraded again to the Pechora-M which upgraded almost all aspects of the system - the rocket motor, radar, guidance, warhead, fuse and electronics. There is an added laser/infra-red tracking device to allow launching of missiles without the use of the radar."

7. "There is also a version of the S-125 available from Russia with the warhead replaced with telemetry instrumentation, for use as target drones."

8. "In October, 2010, Ukrainian Aerotechnica announced a modernized version of S-125 named S-125-2D"

Well, do you need more!

These missiles being attacked by the Israeli originally reported to be SA-8 Gecko. Mobile SAM that destination thought to have been Hezbollah? Or are these SA-3 targets of another Israeli operation? I am not sure.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013


This is coolbert:

Again from a comment to the blog by Dan:

"The defense always dominated the offense."

During the Great War the predominant force the defense without doubt. The war except for a brief period a "war of movement" degenerating into what is best termed "a senseless carve-up". Neither side able to prevail or even make progress those casualties subsequent on all sides catastrophic in comparison to gain.

There being but "one exception".

From the book: "WAR SECRETS IN THE ETHER"     by Wilhelm F. Flicke.

"The 'Judgment of God' and its explanation"

"During World War I three was a German soldier song which contained, among others, the following couplet":

" . . . For this campaign
Is no fast train . . .    ."

"Although in general there is little logic and sense to soldiers' songs, the accuracy of this verse could not be disputed. From a campaign at express speed, such as had been expected in August 1914, there developed on which at best had the speed of a slow freight, and this was true on all fronts. There was on one exception, and that was the campaign 1916-1917 again Romania. In four months this action was carried out from the beginning to a completely successful conclusion, and the enemy [Romania]was utterly beaten. In those days in Austria and Germany they spoke of the Judgment of God which had fallen on this country [Romania].  But they were careful never even to hint at what had really brought on this 'Judgment of God.'"

Romania entering the war on the side of the allied powers, the situation favorable from the Romanian standpoint, that counter-offensive of the combined German, Austro-Hungarian and Bulgarian forces however successful, within a period of "four months" the Romanian defeated in the classical manner, a war of movement contrary to the experience on the other fronts of the war being possible.

"At the conclusion of the Romanian campaign, three-fourths of the Romanian army had been annihilated and, save for a meager remnant, had ceased to exist."

That "judgment" the Romanian excessively reliant on radio communications and radio message traffic injudiciously transmitted either in-the-clear or using cryptographic systems of the most basic and primitive type and variety. Insecure radio communications, marching orders, plans and directives as transmitted to Romanian units in contact with the enemy made apparent to the adversary in real-time and allowing for action-able intelligence the German and their allies able to take advantage of almost in a leisurely and casual manner.


Monday, November 11, 2013


This is coolbert:

From a comment to the blog by Dan:

"1969, was in the service as an junior officer (O3) and had much free time. Bought Avalon Hill's game "1914" and played it about 6 times with my commanding officer (a career officer) in a room not being used so that the board game could be set up and left for long periods of time. Learned that there was no way to win for either side on the Western front. The defense always dominated the offense."

Same for Stalingrad too!

I recall very well that in the early 1960's the Avalon Hill board game "Stalingrad" was made available to the public.

A group of officers either attending Command & General Staff [C&GS] school or the War College at Carlisle Barracks purchased the game and played numerous simulations KNOWING FULL WELL WHAT MISTAKES THE GERMAN HAD MADE AND TRYING TO AVOID SAME!

Understand that these were senior career officers of either field grade rank or flag officers [generals].


The Russian possessing two overwhelming advantages impossible to overcome:

1. Prodigious numbers of troops, seemingly inexhaustible, and capable of being used in a profligate manner.

2. An ability to move those troops around from rear to front quickly by railroad, where needed and ready.

That one alternative possible when the Sixth Army besieged at Stalingrad an immediate break-out attempt link-up with a relief force and salvation possible, this of course not occurring.



This is coolbert:

The Auxiliaries.

From the BBC:

"Churchill's 'secret army' against Nazi invasion"

"This Sunday, people across Britain will remember those who sacrificed their lives for the country in World War Two."

"And it will be a particularly poignant day for Winston Churchill's 'secret army', who will be parading at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday for the first time."

Those men of the secret army, 3,500 strong during the Second World War, organized into guerrilla units of about a dozen men each, existing during daytime in underground shelters, sallying forth during hours of darkness to wreak havoc on the German invader, IF AND WHEN AN ACTUAL INVASION OF BRITAIN HAD OCCURRED.

That the Auxiliary Force did exist is common knowledge and has been so for many decades. An expedient measure as adopted by the English in case of German invasion and conquest. A military force incognito able to continue the resistance to the German.

Men armed with dagger, pistol, grenades, and trained in explosives.

And troops too having had to sign THE OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT. That legal document binding on them TO THIS VERY DAY.

Men whose mission during the war was secret, regrettably some of them perceived as being slackers or shirkers. This NOT BEING SO!

One such commander of an auxiliary unit being the famous English actor Anthony Quayle. Always reticent about this WW2 activities, and obviously for good reason. A man who portrayed the partisan fighter in the movie "Guns of Navarone" and ideally suited for the role.

German invasion of England, 1940, as feared by many, probably not succeeding AS LONG AS THE LUFTWAFFE UNABLE TO ATTAIN AIR SUPREMACY.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Tegart Forts.

This is coolbert:

Here with more on the Tegart Forts [often misspelled as Taggart].

More architecture of a military and quasi-military nature, built in a robust manner, forts, more correctly understood as a police station. Occupying usually dominant terrain and constructed to withstand siege.

"In Israel, the name is often misspelled as 'Taggart'. This is probably from the compound transliteration of an English name into Hebrew and then back into English."


A legacy once more of that British Mandated Palestine, built in the 1930's a response to the Arab Revolt.

"Tegart fort is a type of militarized police fort constructed throughout Palestine during the British Mandatory period."

"Sir Charles Tegart designed the forts in 1938 based on his experiences in the Indian insurgency. They were built of reinforced concrete with water systems that would allow them to withstand a month-long siege. Dozens of the structures were built according to the same basic plan"

This Tegart fort occupies dominant terrain? That watch tower is original?

"Many of them can still be seen in Israel today, and continue to be used as police stations and jails."

Such was the robustness of the construction they are to an extent functioning entities, very useful, capable of surviving a prolonged period of combat.

And EVEN a popular tourist attraction. The Taggart forts receiving a mention in the book by Leon Uris: "Exodus".

Thanks to Haaretz read about this one Tegart fort still a going concern and even being refurbished:

"Galilee police station reveals Mandate-era charms"

This purports to be the interrogation room in a Tegart fort. That is a mannequin and not a human behind the desk. Woe to you finding yourself in this place.

"Among other items . . . discovered [was] a plumbing diagram of the old fort's water system - actually four separate systems, including one that brought water from a nearby mountain and one that collected rainwater. Since Tegart forts were supposed to be able to survive a month-long siege, insuring a reliable water supply was critical. The rainwater cistern has been restored and is used to water the police station's garden."

As might well be intuitively understood, an undiminished access to water in an arid environment most crucial.


Unit 504.

This is coolbert:

Once more from the DEBKAfile:

From only this 6 November.

"Citation for excellence awarded IDF undercover 504 Unit."

"Director of Military Intelligence (AMAN) Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi Tuesday awarded a citation of excellence to IDF undercover Unit 504 for a 'a unique operation of an undisclosed nature, which once again broke the bounds of covert activity.'"

Secretive Israeli Unit 504 awarded a decoration for operations of a classified nature.

Unit 504 operates apparently under the auspices of Israeli military intelligence [AMAN] and should not be confused with Mossad or Shin Bet.

And Unit 504 most associated with what is referred to as Camp 1391?

"Camp 1391 is an Israel Defense Forces prison camp for 'high-risk' prisoners in northern Israel, run by Unit 504 and less than an hour's drive from Tel Aviv. The existence of the prison was unknown to the public before 2003, and most information about it remains classified"

MORE like high-value prisoners of a special nature. Unit 504 conducts detailed interrogations of prisoners that know something or know A LOT!

Unit 504 personnel fluent in the language, culture, mores of the captured "enemy", whomever they may be?

And Unit 504 authorized to use the rough stuff if needed? The methods, the techniques, the protocols of the "enhanced" interrogation!

Camp 1391 until very recently the existence of which was a closely guarded secret, the camp now dismantled?

Most interestingly so [?] this Camp 1391 apparently a legacy of the British Palestinian Mandate. That camp situated on what used to be an English Taggert fort [correctly spelled Tegart but the common usage of Taggart in use here!] built during the Arab Uprising of the 1930's.

"Camp 1391 is situated in a Tegart fort on route 574 between kibbutz Barkai and kibbutz Ma'anit in northern Israel. It is operated by the Israel Defense Forces Intelligence Corps"

Ostrovsky speaks of prisons in Israel where persons disappear never to be seen again. Camp 1391 is one of them?


Peter the Great.

This is coolbert:

Thanks to DEBKAfile this update and headline:

"Russia's 'aircraft carrier killer' vessel Varyag in Mediterranean."

Varyag accompanined by the Petr Velikiy. A missile firing battle cruiser of the Kirov class.

"Petr Velikiy [Peter the Great] is a heavy nuclear-powered missile cruiser (TARKR), the fourth Kirov class battlecruiser of the Russian Navy . . . the ship is not a battlecruiser by the traditional definition of the type, but a missile cruiser"

The Peter the Great a missile firing cruiser, those missile of the surface-to-surface variety, ship killers.

Missile firing warships such as the Petr Velikiy able to engage enemy ships far beyond line-of-sight, combat not in the manner of Jutland or Tsushima!

Peter the Great also having two organic 130 mm gun capable of shore fire or even engaging and enemy vessel.

Peter the Great nuclear powered.

The U.S. Navy other than for aircraft carriers having given up a long time ago on nuclear powered surface vessels.

That up and down and side to side motion a vessel encounter while sailing on the high seas not conducive to a fully functioning and fully capable water-cooled nuclear reactor? American aircraft carriers too big to be bothered by such oceanic movement?

But the Russians still persist with surface nuclear-powered warships of the conventional kind. The Russians know something the Americans do not know?

Russian icebreakers operating in the arctic for some time also nuclear powered but under circumstances the operation of a nuclear reactor not subject to adverse wave and storm movement.

Some expert and a devoted reader to the blog knows better?


Gray Eagle.

This is coolbert:

From this Strategy Page article we find mention of the Gray Eagle UAV.

First Predator, then Reaper, then Avenger, and NOW Gray Eagle.

U.S. Army combat drone [UAV] with a definite combat capability, not merely a surveillance vehicle.

"The MQ-1C Gray Eagle . . . is a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) unmanned aircraft system (UAS) . . . funded by United States Army. It is an upgrade of the MQ-1 Predator."

Gray Eagle able to engage the enemy with Hellfire or Viper missile. Gray Eagle a modified and "upgraded" Predator drone having a jet engine that engine able to operate on DIESEL FUEL.

Gray Eagle has the absolute appearance of the original Predator but is smaller in size?


1. Many decades a go the U.S. Army [USA] used to have an inventory with more warplanes than the U.S. Air Force [USAF] and more warships than the U.S. Navy [USN]. Planes and ships defined in very general terms. Most fixed wing aircraft but for a select few having been scrapped a long time ago. So the usage of MALE type drones is in a limited manner a return to the past.

2. This drone can fly very high and with tremendous endurance. My question is about the 3,000 foot [1,000 meters] rule? Normally army warplanes relegated to that air space below 3,000 foot and USAF above that altitude. The advantage to the drone is able to fly so high as to unseen and unheard. Gray Eagle when deployed flies far above the 3,000 foot barrier?

3. That ability to fly greater than a full day [24 hours] without refueling in the UNARMED MODE? That full complement of armament [Hellfire and Viper] meaning less fuel carried on take-off? However that extreme endurance allowing one Gray Eagle to perform the mission of a multiple number of rotary wing aircraft for instance.

4. The COST FOR ONE GRAY EAGLE IS NOT CHEAP. About $20 million per copy not including developmental R & D costs. I thought these drones cost a fraction of fixed wing manned combat aircraft. I guess not in all cases.

5. Gray Eagle an improved version of Predator and having an autonomous take-off and landing capability, I might assume the result of enhanced software, the warplane even able to land unassisted in a strong crosswind. So these drones all the time become more and more totally automated and self-sufficient.

Sky Net not far off if almost now!


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Schlieffen Plan.

This is coolbert:

That Schlieffen plan as implemented by the German General Staff in 1914 four reasons as generally thought being responsible for failure

1. The size of the German army when mobilized and deployed into the field was too small to accomplish the mission.

As envisioned by von Schlieffen the plan required a German army to be 50 % larger than it was in 1914. The Kaiser opposed such an increase too many additional officer billets not desirable from the standpoint of the old-school Prussian nobility.

2. The neutrality of Holland was not violated.

That German right wing on the Western Front not violating the neutrality of Holland, the sweep and march of the German troops toward the English channel and WEST of Paris not possible.

3. Russian mobilization far quicker than anticipated.

Russian troops entering the fray in considerable numbers far earlier [two weeks] than the German General Staff have deemed as possible.

Forces on the Western Front or those designated for deployment in France rapidly sent in the opposite direction [toward Prussia],. prudent response to the comparative fast Russian advance required.

4. Too much expected from the common German soldier.

Weeks of marching and fighting just beyond the capacity of mere mortals. Even for Germans! Those general officers having formulating a plan "on paper" do-able but not from a human standpoint!

Those assumptions valid in 1905 [that  year the Schlieffen Plan adopted] not so valid in 1914, dynamic change during the intervening years have created circumstances not taken into account or even thought inconsequential orignally.


The Great War!

This is coolbert:

Got some very good stuff here. Thanks to Lew Rockwell, Mr. Vance, a review of the review, that original book by Jack Beatty.

"'An Injury to Civilization' By Laurence M. Vance"

"Review of Jack Beatty, 'The Lost History of 1914: Reconsidering the Year the Great War Began'"

"Here [according to Mr. Vance], in the order in which they appear in the book, are the things I want to highlight about the book."

Those highlights as appear in the review and found to be most pertinent from my perspective with my commentary:

"Page 77-78, Beatty notes that 'starting with the mobilization of the army in August, Russia banned the sale of liquor in all but first-class restaurants.' This led to the deaths of hundreds from drinking various concoctions, 28 percent of the government’s income gone from taxes not collected, peasants diverting grain from the production of bread to vodka, and 'bread riots' in St. Petersburg that began the Russian Revolution in 1917."

[that amount of crop land in England during the same period having been dedicated to the growing of fodder for the English cavalry meant that a large segment of the British population subsisted on a less than adequate diet for almost the entire duration of the war, malnourished and highly dependent on imported food!]

"Page 91, Beatty postulates that if a revolt in Ireland had necessitated the sending in of the BEF, it could not at the same time had been sent to France. Quoting Niall Ferguson: 'If the BEF had never been sent, there is no question that the Germans would have won the war.' and again, if Germany had won in 1914, 'Hitler could have lived out his life as a failed artist and a fulfilled soldier in a German-dominated Central Europe about which he could have found little to complain.' Beatty then cites Richard Ned Lebow: 'If Germany had won, there almost certainly would have been no Hitler and no Holocaust.'”

[The German invasion of France in 1914 stopped by the French the contribution of the BEF [British Expeditionary Force] rather minuscule from the military standpoint. Even minus the BEF the German would NOT have been ultimately successful. Events on the ground more or less transpiring sans BEF?]

"Page 251, Beatty refers to the work of retired U.S. Army officer and German-trained historian Terence Zuber on the 'Schlieffen Plan.' On the basis of evidence discovered in the East German archives, Zuber contends that 'the Schlieffen Plan was not Germany’s strategy in 1914.' Schlieffen’s memorandum was 'an elaborate ploy to increase the size of the German army.' The German generals 'invented' the 'Schlieffen Plan' after the war 'to rescue the mystique of Prussian militarism from the disgrace of defeat.'”

[That Schlieffen Plan as ORIGINALLY ENVISIONED modified prior to 1914. That German army that marched at the start of the war needed to be 50 % larger for the plan to succeed as had been proposed in 1905. It was not so much larger considerably more troops having been deployed to protect the eastern borders of the German Empire.]

"Page 287, Beatty notes that Lloyd George was found 'searching for Gallipoli on a map of Spain.' Then as now, war is how many people learn geography."

"Page 324, Beatty finishes the book with the truest thing that Wilson ever said about World War I: 'An injury . . . to civilization . . . which can never be atoned for or repaired.'”

Indeed, that Great War resulting in the dissolution of the great empires that existed in 1914. Russian, German, Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman. Chaos post-war on a massive and almost overwhelming scale.

Those totalitarian and despotic regimes ideologies of fascism and communism a bane on all of humanity as a result of the war for decades to come.

AND that very psyche of "western man" "wounded" in the process needing a healing has never been fully accomplished.

"Western man", the European/American civilization [referred to as the "Proud Tower" by Barbara Tuchmann] that prior to the Great War was totally ascendant on a global scale having lost a confidence not ever recovered. Humanity thought to have finally been perfect-able in the aftermath of the war disillusioned almost beyond redemption.


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Golden Eagle.

This is coolbert:

Once again from StrategyPage we have this item, that arms race in the area of the South China Sea continuing, the government of the Philippines seeking weaponry to protect that national territory it deems sovereign but as the possession of which contested with the communist government of China.

"October 18, 2013: The government signed the agreement to buy 12 South Korean TA-50 armed trainers for the air force. These advanced jet trainers are built to also serve as fighters or ground attack aircraft. In 2005, the air force removed from service its last 8 operational F-5 fighters. These 1960s era aircraft [F-5] were not much of a match for more recent warplanes and were expensive to maintain"

That new fighter plane as chosen by the Philippines for the air superiority mission the South Korean [ROK] TA-50/FA-50.

The Golden Eagle.

"The KAI T-50 Golden Eagle is a family of South Korean supersonic advanced trainers and multirole light fighters, developed by Korea Aerospace Industries with Lockheed Martin. The T-50 is South Korea's first indigenous supersonic aircraft"

That trainer warplane that can quickly and with relative ease configured into a "fighter plane" that TA-50, a trainer capable of supersonic operation.

"Indigenous" to South Korea, of ROK manufacture but also reliant on foreign components to a great extent.


Golden Eagle available at about $20 million per copy a bargain, compared to about $100 million apiece for say a Eurofighter Typhoon, an American Raptor or a French Rafaele! Even the Swedish Grippen NG costing about $40 million per aircraft. That F-35 too if and when manufactured in large numbers even then costing about $40 million per warplane!

Who said the military and top-of-the-line war making hardware was EVER cheap?

That Philippine air force at least since 2005 NOT EVEN POSSESSING AN AIR SUPERIORTY FIGHTER PLANE? The last of the American F-5 as originally flown in the 1960's now retired!

That Golden Eagle based on the American F-16 airframe, an engine either of American or European manufacture, and avionics obtained from a variety of nations.

That Filipino military now responding from the perceived Chinese threat, purchasing ships from Italy, the United States and Japan, and NOW warplanes from ROK! The Filipino apparently has made that decision, millions [billions] for defense, but not a penny for tribute!


Friday, November 1, 2013


This is coolbert:

From the web site of "The Medieval Combat Society" we have the historical timeline, gunpowder and cannon. Gunpowder and cannon used at an earlier date with much greater regularity that I had suspected, at least by the time of the last Crusades quite widespread on an international scale.

And in all variations too. Flame lances, hand grenades, firearms [guns] and cannon. Arsenals and depots apparently detonating in China quite frequently, on an almost clockwork basis, the destruction I would have to assume very widespread and frightening.

This Chinese depiction shows troops ["foreign devils" almost literally so] using flame lances and hand grenades. The suggestion is that such weaponry is the work of mysterious and diabolical forces?

And yes, during the siege of Calais the English did have cannon at their disposal.

This is the type of cannon as the English would have used at Calais. Firing too a stone projectile.

"Early Medieval Cannon"
"It is thought that gunpowder was invented in China and found its way to Europe in the 13th Century. In the mid to late 13th Century gunpowder began to be used in cannons and handguns, and by the mid 14th Century they were in common use."

St. Barbara the patron of gunners.


Raja Kiram.

This is coolbert:

From StrategyPage we have an update on the Sabah situation.

Filipino Muslims under the command [?] of their Rajah having invaded Malaysia [Sabah] earlier this year having been put to rout, their ruler and commander [?] his force having been annihilated, the Rajah now having died a natural death:

"October 20, 2013: The southern clan leader (Raja Kiram) of the disastrous 'invasion' of Malaysia last February died of natural causes in the Philippines. That 'invasion' was put down back in June, when Malaysia officially ended its military operations against the Filipino invaders in Sabah. Malaysian police appear to have eliminated (killed, captured, driven out, or driven underground) all the Filipino Moslems associated with Raja Kiram."

Ancient claims made by the Rajah and his amphibious force of rebels now either dead or captured or further "eliminated" in some manner, the matter is now at rest?

Or is it? These sort of problems and sovereignty issues never 100 % totally disappear. That Rajah has children, some of who still aspire to a leadership role of what they see as their unfulfilled destiny?

That Filipino Muslim [Moro] for CENTURIES at odds with engaged in combat what they perceive as the invader, of whatever race, nationality or political persuasion. Spanish, American, Filipino Christian, NOW even Malaysian Muslim.

That Moro NEVER giving up, no matter what.

See previous blog entries regarding that insurrection and invasion of Sabah:

That Moro an eternal people wholly consumed with a martial fervor and intensified with an almost overwhelming religiosity! We have not heard the last from the followers of the Rajah?