Friday, January 31, 2014


This is coolbert:

Yet once more to the topic of the military TRAINER aircraft also capable of combat missions on demand.

From Strategy Page:

"Warplanes: Poland Favors Italian Trainers"

 "January 30, 2014: Poland is buying eight Italian M-346 advanced jet trainers with the option to buy four more. The M-346 is considered one of the best jet trainers . . . The M-346 is a 9 ton, twin engine, two-seat aircraft. Top speed is 1,000 kilometers an hour. Max range with two drop tanks is 2,500 kilometers. The aircraft can also carry three tons of weapons, including bombs, missiles and a cannon pod. Thus the M-346 is an excellent dual use aircraft, as a trainer and fighter-bomber."

That M-346 an competitor with the Yak-130. Small nations such as Poland, or not wealthy and even impecunious favoring the combined trainer/combat warplane! This makes sense!

". . . Russia is selling the aircraft to foreign customers for about $15 million. The M-346 costs fifty percent more."

M-346, Yak-130, the South Korean Golden Eagle adequate for the task as specified. Performance not equal to say a Raptor, a Eurofighter, a French Rafale but not expected to be! ADEQUATE!

Do NOT confuse the M-346 with the Italian AMX light bomber. The appearance between the two warplanes is quite similar but not the same aircraft.

And as usual we defer to the opinions of the Soviet era GRU intelligence office Suvorov and his pronouncement regarding Italian military combat systems engineering:

"The GRU know that the Italians have very good brains, the brains of great inventors. Few people realize that before the Second World War Italy's technology was at an incredibly high level. The Italians were not especially brilliant in battle, and that obscured the extent of  Italian achievement in military technology."


Thursday, January 30, 2014


This is coolbert:

Indeed we have bad news and thanks to Freeper:

"Syrian Battle Edges Closer to Historic Crusader Castle"

That ideal castle from the Crusader period, Krak of the Chevaliers imperiled by the civil war as raging in Syria.

"President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have surrounded rebels near the already war-damaged Crusader castle of Crac des Chevaliers, a UNESCO World Heritage site in central Syria, residents said on Wednesday. Crac des Chevaliers, built by the Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem in the 12th-13th centuries and among the best-preserved examples of the Crusader castles, suffered mortar hits last year when rebels from the town of al-Hosn below the hill-top castle hid behind its thick stone walls, built for battles hundreds of years ago."


Given time and money Krak would be very high on the list of places "a must see"!

See my previous blog entry regarding Krak.

Also, for a period of three years nothing more heard of Aleppo and the Citadel. That Citadel sitting atop dominant terrain and a symbol of ruling power. NOW occupied by whom exactly? This is unclear.



This is coolbert:

From a comment to the blog:

"Amazing. Never heard it before."
Speaking specifically of the Natter. German warplane described as a manned surface to air missile!

Natter only one of many unique German aircraft designs during World War Two [WW2]. Natter was not alone!

Vertical take off and landing [VTOL] aircraft the research into and the development thereof by the German during WW2 remarkable. BUT NOT helicopters as that term understood!

Thanks in all instances here to the web site Luft46!

Vertical take off combat warplanes, fighter or interceptor type aircraft able to combat the bomber streams of the allied strategic bombing offensive seen by the Luftwaffe as a highly desirable concept.

In large measure because of the American P-51 Mustang fighter plane using drop tanks on long-range combat missions. Those P-51 able to loiter over a German military air field for a prolonged period, shooting down German air craft as they took off or landed! Many German planes destroyed while on the ground as well!

About half of the 8,000 enemy combat aircraft "killed" by Mustangs during WW2 destroyed WHILE ON THE GROUND!

Combat warplanes with a vertical take off capability and operating autonomously and independently of conventional military airfields seen as a possible solution to the Mustang "problem".

Understand these VTOL in many cases artists conceptions, drawing board planes, research and development novelties, curiosities and oddities, etc. German engineers "pushing the envelope" way beyond normal in most cases.

1. "Focke-Wulf VTOL Project".

2. "The Heinkel 'Wespe' (Wasp)".

3. "The Heinkel 'Lerche' (Skylark) ".


One such flight plane for the German VTOL warplanes. Takes off vertically, performs the mission in a conventional flight manner, then lands also vertically.

4. "The Focke-Wulf VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) fighter/interceptor".

This plane a vertical take off and landing, those wings rotating around the fuselage, pulse jets at the end of each wing providing propulsion causing the wings to rotate.

5. "The von Braun VTO Interceptor".

The von Braun interceptor rocket powered. Take off vertical, landing in a conventional manner, sans landing gear, a belly landing.

6. "The Heinkel 'Julia' was a rocket propelled fighter".

"Julia" a rocket plane. Vertical take off with a conventional belly landing?

These warplanes in all instances too hard to fly. Both take off and landing difficult if next to impossible, experts only, more casualties from operating the air plane than from enemy action?


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Young School!

This is coolbert:

Thanks to the Strategy Page book review by Professor Al Nofi we have:

"The Jeune Ecole: The Strategy of the Weak", by Arne Røksund

"Jeune École is the name given to group of French naval officers and politicians during the late nineteenth century who proposed radical changes in the country's naval strategy.  They believed that the French Navy should shift from a 'command of the seas' model based on a battle fleet to a 'guerre de course' (commerce raiding) and coast defense model.  The ultimate result was a notable decline in the importance of the French Navy by the eve of the Great War."

War of the flea, guerrilla warfare at sea. The SMALL victorious and to be preferred over the BIG! NOT necessarily to be thought of as WEAK!

"some among the more radical claiming that the battle fleet was obsolete in the age of submarines, automotive torpedoes, torpedo boats, fast cruisers, and long-range coast artillery.?

"the radicals grossly overestimated the effectiveness of the new technologies."

Those constituent element of Jeune Ecole more correctly understood as:

* Ocean-going torpedo boats and not merely coastal huggers..

* "Fast cruisers" a heavily armed but lightly armored warship the target primarily enemy merchant vessels.

* "Long-range coastal artillery those large-bore naval guns but emplaced in fixed positions near vital harbors, sea ports, naval bases, etc.

* Jeune Ecole the advocacy of which begun before the advent of the submarine. That submarine thought of when first developed as strictly a DEFENSIVE naval weapons system.


To what extent Jeune Ecole resembles the American "Military Reformers" of the modern era I leave to the devoted follower to the blog to ponder!


Yak-130 & US-2.

This is coolbert:

Thanks to the tips from  Freeper we have these headlines:

1. "Bangladesh Buys Russian Combat Training Jets Worth $800M"

"MOSCOW --- Bangladesh ordered 24 Russian Yak-130 light fighter jets worth $800 million in the final quarter of last year, a Russian newspaper reported Tuesday."

. . . .

The Yak-130 is a lightweight subsonic trainer aircraft designed to mimic the cockpit and handling capabilities of Russia’s more advanced fighters.

Cost per airplane a cool $15 million!

"The Yakovlev Yak-130 (Mitten) is a subsonic two-seat advanced jet trainer/light attack aircraft or lead-in fighter trainer . . . advanced training aircraft, the Yak-130 is able to replicate the characteristics of several 4+ generation fighters as well as the fifth-generation Sukhoi PAK FA. It can also perform light-attack and reconnaissance duties, carrying a combat load of 3,000 kg."

Nations small in size and perhaps too cash stricken, impecunious, nonetheless desiring or needing an air force with some capability, this Mitten is the way to go? A combined trainer aircraft that can "replicate" to an extent the performance of Fifth Generation warplanes AND has a limited combat capability means a big plus FOR THE COST!!

I might add that the "limited combat capability" in all likelihood more than adequate for a nation such as Bangladesh!

NOT a supersonic warplane but for a nation such as Bangladesh that should not be a concern. That cost a mere fraction of a Raptor, the Eurofighter or a French Rafaele! [$100 million per plane for any of those three!]

The Yak-130 also comparable to the South Korean [ROK] Golden Eagle with regard to all features? The response is favorable and cannot fail to impress!

2. "India close to buying Japan-made military aircraft in $1.65 billion deal"

This military aircraft in the initial stages of procurement the CIVILIAN version, an enhanced combat type to follow. A sea plane too. See beginning here my series of blog entries regarding military sea planes.

"New Delhi: India is set to become the first country since World War Two to buy a military aircraft from Japan, helping Prime Minister Shinzo Abe end a ban on weapons exports that has kept his country's defence contractors out of foreign markets. The two countries are in broad agreement on a deal for the ShinMaywa Industries amphibious aircraft"

"The ShinMaywa (formerly Shin Meiwa) US-2 is a Japanese large STOL amphibious aircraft designed for air-sea rescue (SAR) work. The US-2 is scheduled to replace the older ShinMaywa US-1"

The US-1 not having any [?] armaments and used for search and rescue. That US-2 to carry armaments, a much more robust air plane with combat capability?

From the Chinese perspective this particular arms deal between India and Japan cannot help but stimulate concern. Nations of the Asian sphere responding to what they perceive as the Chinese threat? Pacts, treaties and arms deals that create and enhance unwritten but tacit alliances?


Sunday, January 26, 2014


This is coolbert:

Here with the German Natter. Rocket powered interceptor aircraft almost DISPOSABLE IN NATURE.

Best described as a manned "surface-to-air missile"?

A counter to those allied bomber streams as were devastating German during the Second World War [WW2]. Almost an expedient device, a desperate measure in response to desperate circumstances.

Natter takes off vertically. Those two red booster rockets strapped to the side of the plane used on take-off for additional thrust. Tiny itty-bitty rocket plane this image gives you a sense of scale!

"The Bachem Ba 349 Natter . . . was a World War II German point-defense rocket powered interceptor, which was to be used in a very similar way to a manned surface-to-air missile. After a vertical take-off, which eliminated the need for airfields, the majority of the flight to the Allied bombers was to be controlled by an autopilot. The primary mission of the relatively untrained pilot, was to aim the aircraft at its target bomber and fire its armament of rockets. The pilot and the fuselage containing the rocket motor would then land under separate parachutes, while the nose section was disposable."

The addition of the pilot almost incidental? Guidance to the target after A VERTICAL TAKE-OFF by auto-pilot. Rockets rather than gunfire the weapon of choice!

A multitude of rockets carried in the nose. The pilot fires the entire complement and then parachutes to safety. This WAS NOT A SUICIDE MISSION AND THIS IS NOT A SUICIDE WARPLANE! Swastika as found on the wings not allowed if this static display in Germany!

"The Natter was intended to fly up and over the bombers, by which time its Walter motor would probably be out of propellant. Following its one-time attack with its rockets, the pilot would dive his Natter, now effectively a glider, to an altitude of around 3,000 m, flatten out, release the nose of the Natter and a small braking parachute from the rear fuselage. The fuselage would decelerate and the pilot would be ejected forwards by his own inertia and land by means of a personal parachute."

"Desperate circumstances require desperate solutions?" Natter unless deployed in enormous numbers massed the effectiveness of which understood to be highly questionable.


Saturday, January 25, 2014

400 Grammes.

This is coolbert:

Here from the wiki entry the full dope regarding the ban and prohibition of military small arms ammunition that is EXPLOSIVE.

"Saint Petersburg Declaration of 1868 or in full Declaration Renouncing the Use, in Time of War, of Explosive Projectiles Under 400 Grammes Weight is an international treaty agreed in Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire, November 29 / December 11, 1868."

"In 1863, the Russian Army had perfected a fulminating musketball that could explode when it hit a hard target and was designed to blow up powder magazines or ammunition wagons. In 1867, they perfected an improved explosive musketball that would detonate on any impact after being fired, even soft targets like people or animals. Predicting the disastrous effect of such a discovery on diplomatic relations with their neighbors, Russia decided to negotiate a ban on the development, creation, and use of such weapons before a grisly arms race commenced."

. . . .

Projectiles as fired from the weapon as normally carried by the common soldier.

"The Great Powers agreed to renounce, in case of war among themselves, the use of any explosive projectile of less weight than 400 grams (14 ounces avoirdupois) or one charged with fulminating or inflammable substances."

"While the declaration bans the use of fragmenting, explosive, or incendiary small arms ammunition, it does not prohibit such ammunition for use in autocannon or artillery."

The Convention is still valid and all the "Great Powers" of the present time need to be in full compliance or ELSE!

NOTE that a fifty [.50] caliber exploding round [12.7 mm] as fired from a modern long range sniper rifle would not be illegal under the Convention. That round as fired normally weighing in excess of 400 grams!!

P.S: I am incorrect and only realize so after the fact. That fifty [.50] caliber  [12.7 mm] explosive round as fired from a modern sniper rifle would weigh about 550 GRAINS. That is about 35 GRAMS and therefore illegal! A JAG officer that is a devoted reader to the blog can clarify. OR if that explosive round is only in an anti-material role it becomes LEGAL?



This is coolbert:

Devoted readers to the blog will want to go and view this public broadcast NOVA television special. I recommend highly without qualification.

"Zeppelin Terror Attack"

[Click on "Watch the Program"]

"Discover how the first civilian bombing unfolded as Germany’s Zeppelins rained fiery terror on London in World War I." 

"In the early days of World War I, Germany, determined to bring its British enemies to their knees, launched a new kind of terror campaign: bombing civilians from the sky. But the aircraft delivering the lethal payloads weren’t planes. They were Zeppelins, enormous airships, some the length of two football fields"


* These Zeppelin raids by the admission of the German themselves TERROR for the sake of TERROR. Directed strictly against the civilian population maliciously so with intent! A violation clear cut of the Hague Conventions as they existed at the time. DAMN GERMANS!

*  The time, energy, expenditure of resources devoted to the Zeppelin offensive was more of less an enormous waste? Results scant compared to the effort! The intestines of 250,000 cows required to build the gas bags as found IN ONE ZEPPELIN AIRSHIP ALONE!!

* The English too using an illegal exploding small arms round to combat the Zeppelin. Exploding small arms rounds outlawed under the St. Petersburg Conventions of 1868! DAMN ENGLISH!


Friday, January 24, 2014

Princess Patricia.

This is coolbert:

Is he for real?

And the answer is NO!

The prevaricator/impostor/fake military war hero. The wannabee Baron Munchausen teller of tall tales.

Unmasked and now properly contrite. Even in Canada does this sort of thing occur.

Princess Patricia I am sure is not pleased.

"Is he for real? Soldiers accuse local man of being a fake"

"Peterborough’s David Jeffrey Dodd said he is a retired member of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, haunted by the scenes of his overseas experiences when his platoon was bombed and a female soldier died in his arms."

Mr. Dodd now unmasked and appropriately contrite. Hide your face sir!

"Soldier sorry for false claims, hands back service medals"

"Peterborough’s David Dodd has apologized for making false claims about his military service online and he has handed over service medals he’s not entitled to wear, The Examiner has learned. Dodd became the centre of a national controversy after he made false claims on the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) Association Facebook group Sunday about being a former Patricia, witnessing a fellow female soldier die in his arms during overseas combat and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)."

Mr. Dodd evidently had performed very limited and less than illustrious military service, his enlistments and service however not as his claims warrant. FAR LESS actually!

Within the realm of the Canadian military the Princess Patricia's is an illustrious elite unit, as I recall having held the line in the trenches during the Great War when poison gas was used for the first time.

Mr. Dodd needs some suitable help? Pharmaceuticals will do the trick if the proper dose is found.



This is coolbert:

From the March 2014 edition of "Armchair General" an article describing yet one more instance of a German general officer able to speak to Adolf Hitler in a frank manner, not intimidated or at a loss for words when presented with insult.

From "Manteuffel Germany's Panzer Baron" by Richard N. Armstrong:

"On March 2, 1945, General Hasso-Eccard Baron von Manteuffel was ordered to report to Adolf Hitler as he left command of 5th Panzer Army following the Battle of the Bulge on the Western Front to assume his new position commanding 3rd Panzer Army on the Eastern Front. At the moment Manteuffel entered the audience room, Hitler was in the midst of one of his increasingly frequent tirades directed at Germany's military commanders. 'All generals are liars!' he screamed. Manteuffel, whose wiry but diminutive stature concealed an iron will and exceptional moral courage, refused to be bullied by the Nazi dictator. 'I beg you to tell when General Manteuffel or any of his subordinate generals has ever lied to you.', he countered. Hitler typically surrounded by sycophantic toadies who meekly endured his outbursts, was taken aback that a general had stood up to him. Visibly chagrined, he could only reply that he did not include Manteffel among the generals who had been untruthful to him."

"sycophant   — n   a person who uses flattery to win favor from individuals wielding influence; toady"

"toady  — n  , pl  toadies a person who flatters and ingratiates himself or herself in a servile way"

Other German general officers of the most senior rank not so compliant with and obsequious to the repeated insult and diatribes of Hitler to include:

* Zeitzler.

* Von Saucken.

* Model.

Such occurrences very few I might well imagine. And too late indeed.


Thursday, January 23, 2014


This is coolbert:

Thanks to Nav Log and the tip from Freeper we quote in entirety:

Pentagon Quietly Pulling the Plug on the Littoral Combat Ship
"The decade-long fight to produce an LCS fleet unofficially ended early in January. According to The Navy Times (27 January 2014), the Office of the Secretary of Defense announced that the once-planned fleet of 56 ships would officially be cut to 32, although just four have been built and another 20 ordered. This number is likely to be cut again. So far, each ship is costing 40% more than what was budgeted. Envisioned to be 'a networked, agile, stealthy surface combatant capable of defeating anti-access and asymmetric threats in the littorals,' the LCS has been a near total failure since it entered the fleet. It is about 75% of the size and weight of the Perry-class frigates which are being retired from service, and lightly armored. The GAO has faulted the class for extremely long crew training time, unrealistic maintenance plans, and the lack of comprehensive risk assessment. The three now in service have repeatedly failed to meet even the minimum requirements. The hulls crack. They have had to be towed after multiple engine failures. They cannot stand up to open sea environments. They are basically defenseless and their offensive modules do not work, nor can the modules be loaded in less than several weeks. The fanciful design crew compliment of 40 is woefully inadequate, and despite the Navy’s boosting crew size by 25%, the crews become so tired after several weeks of 18-hour shifts, that battle capability is degraded significantly. At least one flag officer reportedly referred to the LCS as 'little crappy ship.'”

This is major! The U.S. Navy greatest and latest as touted now apparently GONE! To be built in far fewer numbers than originally intended and even that in doubt. A warship designed specifically for naval combat in littoral [green, close to shore] waters, an innovative design with great potentiality and NOW after many decades presumably of effort felt to be so inadequate the vessel is no longer worth the effort.

And the alternative is what? Devoted readers to the blog have a clue?



This is coolbert:

"the Shinto religion does not honor the life, deeds, or character of the dead. It honors the departed spirits, the kami (gods) which depart without moral definition. This is ancient animism. Koizumi is not honoring war criminals. That is a superimposition of Western abstract political ideology" 

Thanks to the web site The National Interest and the article by Mindy Kotler we have yet more instance of the continuing outrage over the Yasukuni Shrine.

See also my most recent blog entry regarding Yasukuni.

"Sorry, Japan: Yasukuni Is Not Arlington"

Prime Minister Abe and Koizumi before him those visits to Yasukuni as might be expected raising some hackles in certain quarters.

Two items most pertinent in the discussion of the shrine within the perspective of the Second World War [WW2].

1. NOT SO MUCH the main shrine itself but ancillary and adjacent shrines and memorials within the grounds of Yasukuni are what rankle some persons? These are private memorials and shrines that SEEM to glorify and EXCUSE the Japanese war effort?

2. The Japanese immediately in the aftermath of the war perceived by many as VICTIMS of the war rather than aggressors and perpetrators of atrocity and war crimes? Those ATOMIC BOMBINGS IN PARTICULAR CREATING A SYMPATHY THAT IS DISTORTED AND INAPPROPRIATE?

Spirits as having departed "without moral definition", that behavior in the temporal realm not a consideration within Shinto, honoring the spirits not the same as glorifying or rendering approval?


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Corbett & Mahan.

This is coolbert:

Devoted readers to the blog may want to avail themselves of the Gutenberg Project and download for FREE these e-Books.

Corbett and Mahan both the great naval historians and theorists both.

Since Mahan preceded Corbett by two decades it is safe to say that before Corbett there was Mahan?

1. "Some Principles of Maritime Strategy" by Sir Julian Stafford Corbett.


The Theoretical Study of War--Its Use and Limitations

"At first sight nothing can appear more unpractical, less promising of useful result, than to approach the study of war with a theory. There seems indeed to be something essentially antagonistic between the habit of mind that seeks theoretical guidance and that which makes for the successful conduct of war. The conduct of war is so much a question of personality, of character, of common-sense, of rapid decision upon complex and ever-shifting factors, and those factors themselves are so varied, so intangible, so dependent upon unstable moral and physical conditions, that it seems incapable of being reduced to anything like true scientific analysis."

Sir Julian Corbett.

2. "The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783" by A. T. Mahan


"The definite object proposed in this work is an examination of the
general history of Europe and America with particular reference to the
effect of sea power upon the course of that history. Historians
generally have been unfamiliar with the conditions of the sea, having
as to it neither special interest nor special knowledge; and the
profound determining influence of maritime strength upon great issues
has consequently been overlooked."

A.T. Mahan.

Go for it. Gutenberg is FREE!


Sir Julian.

This is coolbert:

Before there was Mahan there was Corbett?

Only mentioned in passing from one of the recent The National Interest articles was this man.

Sir Julian Corbett.

English naval military historian, theorist and "geostrategist" of renown.

Of such renown however until only yesterday I was not even aware of the man. Devoted readers to the blog the same?

It is often thought that the distinguished American naval officer, historian  and naval theoretician Alfred Thayer Mahan the first man to present naval history and the ramifications thereof in a cogent and understandable manner.

From Dupuy regarding Mahan:

"Alfred Thayer Mahan was an American military theorist . . . His focus was on naval warfare and theory. A profound and gifted think on military and naval affairs he well understood the relevance of military history to the contemporary military problems of this time."

Sir Julian independently arriving at the same conclusions as Mahan, the influence of both men significant for world history sea power as that term understood appreciated by the various world powers in a manner hitherto not possible?

 "Sir Julian Stafford Corbett (12 November 1854  – 21 September 1922 . . . was a prominent British naval historian and geostrategist of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, whose works helped shape the Royal Navy's reforms of that era. One of his most famous works is 'Some Principles of Maritime Strategy', which remains a classic among students of naval warfare."

"Corbett offered no general theory of warfare at sea. Instead, Corbett focused his thoughts on the nature of maritime strategy and what the meaning of naval warfare meant to the power of a nation. While many theorists of naval warfare tried to mechanically adopt land warfare concepts to the maritime environment, Corbett countered that the interest and requirement of naval warfare differed in fundamental ways from those of land warfare."

Dupuy also in his listing of military theorists since Napoleon NOT making even the slightest mention of Corbett!

A reader to the blog has more on Corbett? First came Mahan or was it Corbett?


Tuesday, January 21, 2014


This is coolbert:

Yet one more listing, "Top", "Best", as usual thanks to The National Interest and the article by Mr. Robert Farley.

"The Five Best Submarines of All Time"

"As with previous '5 Greatest' lists, the answers depend on the parameters; different sets of metrics will generate different lists."

Ranking and listings dependent on "metrics and parameters", each expert generating his own set of "metrics and parameters". Ten different experts and expect different listings and rankings.


* That German XXI electric-boat of the Second World War [WW2] according to a prominent German submariner would not have been a war winning measure. That ability of the XXI to operate for long periods under-water without surfacing negated the possibility of "wolf-pack" type attack which constituted the most successful German submarine tactic of the war. An inability to communicate in the normal manner meant no massing of forces on a single convoy target.

* Submarines from that era of the Great War [WW1] thought to strictly a defensive weapon and not intended for long-range offensive action. MOST sinking attributed to submarines as the result of deck gun fire and NOT torpedo attack.

* The German unrestricted submarine warfare of the WW1 period never having enough long-range boats to accomplish the task, German calculations regarding British resilience also grossly unfounded.


Naval Battles

This is coolbert:

Continuing with another listing from The National Interest web site, thanks to Mr. James Holmes in this instance.

"Top Five Naval Battles of All Time"

Top naval battles of all time more correctly defined as DECISIVE NAVAL BATTLES.

That definition of DECISIVE most important to an understanding of the listing and ranking.

"Even the masters of strategy, however, appear ambivalent about what constitutes decisive victory. Carl von Clausewitz supplies a working definition, describing a decisive engagement as one that leads directly to peace. This implies an action carrying not just tactical but strategic and political import. Such an encounter impels the vanquished to accept the victor's terms at the bargaining table, whether because he's no longer capable of fighting on, believes he stands little chance of turning the tables and winning, or estimates that victory will prove unaffordable. A decisive battle, in this expansive interpretation, is the chief determinant of a war's outcome." [my emphasis in all cases]


* Lepanto not necessarily decisive? More correctly understood as and END TO TURKISH DOMINANCE!

* Actium ever more significant than supposed? And surely bringing and end to conflict. MOST decisive. That Roman Civil War [my term] being concluded, the forces of Octavian [Augustus Caesar] victorious over the fleet of Marc Antony and Cleopatra. Forty years of subsequent Imperial peace the consequence.

* Tsushima, Trafalgar, Leyte Gulf not even making a credible mention?


Monday, January 20, 2014


This is coolbert:

Yet once more thanks to Mr. Robert Farley and the web site The National Interest we have a listing with a military dimension to it:

"The Five Worst Fighter Aircraft of All Time"

Such listings of "best" and "worst" agreed as subjective and highly dependent on a host of criteria.

As noted by Mr. Farley: "As with the previous list, the critical work is in determining the criteria. Fighters are national strategic assets, and must be evaluated as such"

And again my comment without wanting to give too much away:

* The Brewster Buffalo when flown by Finnish aviators during the Continuation War gave an adequate performance. Planes modified by the Finns and used in a manner maximizing strength and minimizing weakness, fighting basically an aerial DEFENSIVE war, the Buffalo both able and willing!

* The MiG-23 more of a fighter-bomber to be used in the tactical air support mode of operation and NOT an air superiority or air supremacy fighter as that term understood.

* That Lavochkin LaGG-3 "inferior" but subsequent Lavochkin fighter planes of the same era rated as very good by the renowned German ace Johannes Steinhoff.

* Those "Century Series" of American warplanes again not necessarily fighter planes with the intended role of air superiority or air supremacy. Interceptors or more correctly fighter-bombers the mission of which would be to drop an atomic weapon on a tactical target.

Devoted readers to the blog once more peruse the Farley article at your leisure.


Top Five!

This is coolbert:

Thanks to Mr. Robert Farley and The National Interest web site we have this article:

"Top Five Fighter Aircraft of All Time"

The listing of course subjective and open to interpretation and criticism. Ten experts giving their opinion would result in ten different listings, each to a certain extent valid?

From Mr. Farley himself:  "this exercise depends entirely on decisions about the parameters. A different set of criteria of effectiveness would generate an entirely different list"

Devoted readers to the blog can peruse the article at their leisure, these subjective listings of what constitutes BEST always understood to be controversial, but never so totally so.


* The MiG-21 when 2/3 of fuel expended the aircraft becoming unconditionally unstable and hard to fly.

* Brown the famous RAF [Royal Air Force] test pilot from the era of the Second World War [WW2] rating the Me-262 as an elegant aircraft and a real pleasure to fly.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014


This is coolbert:

From a comment to the blog:

Steiner said... 
"Do you think Ike and Roosevelt wanted the war shortened by action from the Western front? After Operation Cobra the outcome was not in doubt, but the Soviets had yet to occupy all of Germany east of the Oder/Neisse. This would have caused problems with Yalta, and I find it difficult to believe that senior leadership of the Western allies did not realize this, so there was no real hurry."

It has been suggested by certain persons that the military striking power of the western allies, ground and air forces both, was deliberately held back and retarded.

Done so in an almost malicious fashion, for reasoning the logic of which is not entirely understood.

Officials in the American State Department  most specifically so Alger Hiss not only engaging in espionage on behalf of the Soviets but also PERSONS FORMULATING POLICY THAT WAS TO THE DETRIMENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND ALLIES POST-WAR!

Roosevelt along with many of his closest advisers at least prior to Yalta favorably disposed toward the Soviet Union and Stalin the dictator.

Harry Hopkins personally briefing Molotov on negotiating tactics with Roosevelt, Henry Wallace and other high ranking American officials having not one bad thing EVER to say about the Soviet Union, etc. Men hardly even alone in their appreciations.

The jury is out, the historians disagree, the historical record never to be agreed upon with 100 % accuracy.



This is coolbert:

Thanks to the Canadian press and the tip from Freeper we have this shameful item.

"US Air Force: 34 missile launch officers implicated in cheating scandal, others in drug probe"

All persons deemed innocent until proven otherwise in a court of law, military justice under relevant articles of UCMJ!
"WASHINGTON - U.S. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James says 34 missile launch officers have been implicated in a cheating scandal and three others have been implicated in a drug probe, the latest missteps by those who maintain and operate the nation's 450 nuclear missiles."

Within the context of security clearance, access to and responsibility for nuclear weaponry, consider that for a FIFTY YEAR period starting in 1945 about 50,000 American military personnel being stripped of their clearances and no longer able and ready to serve in a NUCLEAR EQUIPPED UNIT.

So this sort of shameful incident is not that rare, but not that common either?

Most of those American military personnel disqualified by virtue [?] of excessive consumption of alcoholic beverage [drunkenness] or drug use.

These MISSILE LAUNCH OFFICERS [emphasis for good reason] having either failed a drug test or been part of a scheme to evade detection, those administering the test [urinate in a cup] also culpable. Understand those missile launch officers the persons that would turn the keys and press the button, sending an ICBM on target, with all that means.

Yet beyond failing the drug test this also suggests a degree, however much of CONSPIRACY which is worse.

"No person can command a nuclear equipped unit, if even the appearance of wrong-doing exists, EVEN IF TOTALLY UNFOUNDED!!" Again, my emphasis.


Ike & Devers.

This is coolbert:

Yet more comment to the blog:

"Devers always thought that Americans provided the most to the war effort in terms of resources, including men, equipment and know how . . . Devers continually won arguments with and got his way over Eisenhower with the explicit backing of Marshall, Roosevelt and the War Department."

Indeed, prior to Eisenhower there was Devers. Jacob Devers. Commander of ETOUSA [European Theater of Operations U.S. Army]. That most senior American military officer in all of Europe. 

"Devers arrived at ETOUSA Headquarters, 2 Grosvenor Square, London, May 10, 1943. As Commanding General and the ranking American officer in the European Theater, his wide range of duties would include everything from overseeing preparation of detailed planning and estimates of men and materials needed for OVERLORD (formerly ROUNDUP), to making public appearances at ceremonial and morale-building events."

At least by late 1944 about 2/3 of the allied war effort in the European theater American. Men and material both.

So it was reasonable that an American would be in the most senior command of allied coalition forces on the western front during WW2.

6th Army Group as commanded by Devers up unto the end of the war the conventional history books seem to give scant coverage to.

Devers commanding at an echelon [army group] at least equal to that of a Montgomery or a Bradley. But doing so only with the rank of a Lieutenant General. Normally command of an army group rates a minimum of four stars and in the case of the English a Field Marshal rank.

That Devers Plan if implemented having the potentiality to shorten the war in Europe by at least four months? Forestalled the German Ardennes Offensive [Battle of the Bulge], crossing the Rhine before Christmas as planned not an actuality until the subsequent March!

Devers also an able practitioner of coalition warfare, his army group consisting of mixed American and French troops. The role of the 6th Army Group generally under-rated, under-valued, and under-reported? To the detriment of history?


Tuesday, January 14, 2014


This is coolbert:

From a comment to the blog:

"It was the politician in Ike that got him the job over Devers. Ike would use this political instinct to wage positive 'coalition warfare' and to badly politicize the entire American high command."

As stated in a caption to a photograph from the book: "The Guns at Last Light" by Atkinson:

"President Roosevelt chose Eisenhower to command Operation OVERLORD as the 'best politician among the military men. He is a natural leader who can convince other men to follow him.'"

It having been originally been thought that by virtue of rank and seniority George C. Marshall more likely to command OVERLORD than Ike

Marshall it have been determined and decided as too valuable a formulator of Grand Strategy with regard to the war effort. NO LESS person than John Jacob Pershing agreeing with this assessment.

Those war-time promotions of Dwight David Eisenhower best termed as "meteoric".

That reputation of Ike as a staff officer but not a commander of combat arms stature.

Fighting a coalition war not such an easy task either? Politics an absolutely essential aspect of command when dealing with multi-national military forces?

Eisenhower having for OVERLORD as his immediate subordinates commanding the various services an all-English contingent: Montgomery [ground forces], Ramsay [naval forces], Leigh-Mallory [air forces].

NO ONE can ever suggest that Ike had an easy job. This agreed!


Monday, January 13, 2014


This is coolbert:

From Eurasian Review thanks to the tip from Freeper Japanese airborne forces participate in an island defensive military exercise in response to "aggression".

"Japan Holds Military Drill As South China Sea Islands Dispute Widens"

"Japanese paratroopers recaptured an island from an enemy in a war game as its Defense Minister vowed to defend a disputed East China Sea territory. China’s ships sailed near the contested islets as Beijing reportedly expanded its air defense zone."

"Tokyo’s military on Sunday held a military drill dubbed 'Island Defense,' in which the country’s elite airborne troops simulated the retaking of a remote island from an enemy nation."

"The plot for the annual drill, which took place at an exercise field east of Tokyo, stayed the same for the second year in a row as the dispute over the group of tiny islets in the East China Sea, claimed by China, Taiwan and Japan, showed no signs of resolution."

Those paratroopers dropped onto and assaulting NOT an actual island. A exercise field notionally described as an "island". NOT a drop on an island proper.

Also this now an ANNUAL EXERCISE and not in response to any particular crisis, the Senkaku/Daioyu islands for instance.

These Japanese elite troops reminiscent of the Special Naval Landing Forces from that era of the Second World War.

Capture islands, secure beachheads, the coup de main type of military operation.

Massed parachute assaults of this type historically NOT very successful. Mission often accomplished but with excessive and prohibitive casualties often the result. That number of non-effective during a massed drop often mostly from non-hostile action.


Sunday, January 12, 2014


This is coolbert:

Ariel Sharon has passed away.

"The Bulldozer". Sharon first and foremost military man not allowing obstacles to stand in the path of accomplishing the mission.

And in that sense a man often deemed and described as "controversial".

Also the FIGHTING JEW! A combat commander without [?] peer, a master and practitioner of maneuver warfare.

Also a military man considered on a number of occasions to be insubordinate and disobedient, almost to a fault, and yet TOLERATED!

From the book "The Red Wheel" by Alexander Solzhenitsyn as ascribed to that German general officer Von Francois:

"No natural gift brings nothing but joy. There is always some grief to go with it. But no one suffers more for his talent than a gifted [military] officer. The army serves a brilliant man enthusiastically - - once he has grasped his field marshal's baton. Before that, while he is only reaching for the baton, the army raps his fingers repeatedly. Discipline, on which the army is founded, is always hostile to a man of talent, and all that is pulsating in him and straining to break through must be contained, forced to conform and to submit. All those who are for the time being his superiors find such a self-will subordinate intolerable. As a result, he is promoted more slowly than the mediocrities."

The same can be said of Ariel Sharon? "Brilliant" "almost to a fault", "straining"?

From the much earlier Military Thoughts blog entries regarding General Sharon, his conflicts and disagreements with peers and those senior to him during the Yom Kippur/Ramadan War of 1973 see:



This is coolbert:

Until just the other day, this historical event with a definite military dimension being totally unknown to me. Perhaps you too?

The English Armada.

Most students of history, especially those living in the English speaking sphere of influence, are keenly aware of the Spanish Armada.

That Spanish fleet [1588] deemed as "Invincible". The Spanish invasion, conquest and subjugation of Elizabethan England almost in advance considered as a done-deal.

That defeat of the Spanish Armada, resoundingly so, often considered as a critical and crucial event of history.

Again, as recorded by histories written in the English language, a victory not only for England but for the entire cultural domain of the Protestant and northern European nations during that period of the Renaissance/Reformation.

Protestant and northern Europe ascendant, autocratic Catholic and southern Europe as on the decline, and good for it too. So as reported, so as perceived.

That English Armada, however, not even ordinarily a footnote to history? Not even mentioned in the conventional histories?

"The English Armada, also known as the Counter Armada or the Drake-Norris Expedition, was a fleet of warships sent to the Iberian Coast by Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1589, during the Anglo-Spanish War (1585–1604) and the Eighty Years' War. It was led by Sir Francis Drake as admiral and Sir John Norreys as general, and failed to drive home the advantage England had won upon the dispersal of the Spanish Armada in the previous year. The campaign resulted in the defeat of the English fleet and eventually to a withdrawal with heavy losses both in lives and ships."

Those English in 1589 as markedly unsuccessful as the Spanish had been the previous year!

Loss of life heavy, many deaths due to sickness, disease, non-battlefield casualties, the Spanish relatively unscathed:

"11,000–15,000 killed, wounded or died of disease [English]. 900 dead or wounded [Spanish]."

These losses not entirely attributable to BATTLE LOSSES, warship versus warship, mano-a-mano style warfare on the high seas.

Perhaps even more significant, these losses at sea Spanish and English both in addition disastrous from the economic standpoint, treasuries depleted in an unseemly manner:

"With the opportunity to strike a decisive blow against the weakened Spanish navy lost, the failure of the expedition further depleted the crown treasury [English] that had been so carefully restored during the long reign of Elizabeth I. The Anglo-Spanish war was very costly to both sides, and Spain . . . had to default on its debt repayments in 1596"

War contrary to popular opinion is now,  has been, and always will be, bad for the economy.


Saturday, January 11, 2014


This is coolbert:

COLA = Cost Of Living Adjustment.

An update and clarification regarding that contentious subject, veterans benefits and proposed "cuts".

"Disabled Veterans to Be Exempted From Pension Cuts"

Those veterans DISABLED FROM MILITARY SERVICE the COLA to remain intact as is.


"A massive spending bill taking shape on Capitol Hill is likely to repeal a recently enacted pension cut for disabled veterans."

"Capitol Hill aides said Wednesday that the $1 trillion-plus omnibus spending bill measure will reverse a 1 percentage point cut to annual cost-of-living increases that was inadvertently applied to more than 63,000 veterans who have left the military due to injury or disability."

"But the controversial pension cut included in last month's budget agreement would continue to apply to other military retirees. It would save about $6 billion over the coming decade, money that's being used to ease cuts to the Pentagon budget this year."



That COLA too as with Social Security based on an equation ORIGINALLY WRITTEN IN 1950? That equation no longer valid, a more correct equation having been proposed to determine the yearly COLA but that equation ALWAYS resulting in a smaller amount of INCREASE as given to the recipient.

Also understand that a DISABLED veteran cannot be expected to fairly support himself with civilian employment. A retired but NOT DISABLED veteran can be expected to enter the civilian sector and be employed gainfully for at least twenty years subsequent.

The compromise verdict and decision is a GO!

At least for now.


Thursday, January 9, 2014


This is coolbert:

From the public television historical broadcast "Ottomans Versus Christians" this amazing assertion is made.

More killed-in-action [KIA] during the Battle of Lepanto than in any other naval engagement, BEFORE OR AFTER.

Massed fleet of the Holy League versus the massed fleet of the Ottoman Empire. At least at sea a "highwater" mark for the Ottomans. After Lepanto the Ottoman naval forces no longer so predominantly superior within the Mediterranean.

Combined KIA about 30,000. Those losses incurred during a very intense and hard fought four hours of naval combat.

From the wiki entry regarding Lepanto, these casualty figures given:

7,500 dead [Christian] + 20,000 dead, wounded or captured [Ottoman].

About 30,000!

Within the context of strictly combat deaths during a naval action we have from the historical record: [thanks to the wiki in all instances]

1. Actium.

About 2,500 killed [Octavian]. Over 5,000 killed [Marc Antony & Cleopatra].

2. Spanish Armada.

50–100 dead [English]. Over 600 dead [Spanish].

Tens of thousands dead from that combination of disease and storm BUT THAT NOT BATTLE DEATHS.

3. Trafalgar.

 458 dead [English]. 2,218 dead [French]. 1,025 dead [Spanish].

Thousands drowning the aftermath of the battle during a storm but that NOT battle deaths!

4. Jutland.

6,094 killed [English]. 2,551 killed [German].

5. Midway.

307 killed [American]. 3,057 killed [Japanese]

6. Salamis.

Losses stated merely in number of ships lost.

40 ships [Greek]  200–300 ships [Persians]

One Greek trireme the normal contingent of about 160 sailors [crew and rowers] plus 40 marines.

You do the calculations however with regard to Salamis unable to determine battle deaths, ships sunk not always indicative of a total loss of personnel!

7. Red Cliffs.

Chinese records totally lacking with regard to ships engaged or casualties. Major naval battle given the prolific use of manpower by the Chinese the number of KIA perhaps significant but again no record existing.

"More killed-in-action [KIA] during the Battle of Lepanto than in any other naval engagement, BEFORE OR AFTER."

And ALWAYS WILL BE! Massed fleets in battle with other massed fleets a thing of the past, an anachronism never to be seen again, no one can afford those massive contingents of warships.



This is coolbert:

Those deadly Syrian chemical munitions as we speak being loaded onto merchant vessels. En route to a rendezvous at sea with the American Cape Ray.

Destruction [neutralization more appropriate?] of the deadly chemicals that industrial process rendering the poisons inactive and non-lethal.

That combined flotilla of American/Chinese/Russian/Scandinavian vessels doing yeoman work of the most difficult and hazardous variety.

And now too Germany enters the fray.

Chemicals in the aftermath of the process to a degree still toxic to an extent, the residue to be subjected to further processing, inert "by-products" what they are called the result,.

"Also Thursday, Germany said it would help destroy Syria’s stockpile of chemicals used as the raw materials for poison gas and nerve agents. The government said German experts at a site in Munster will get rid of the byproducts created when the chemicals are destroyed — which is currently slated to be done aboard a U.S. ship at sea."

"The OPCW said in a statement that Germany will incinerate 370 metric tons of waste generated when Syria’s mustard gas is destroyed on the U.S. vessel the Cape Ray."

"The first batch of Syria’s toxic chemicals was loaded onto a Danish cargo ship in the Syrian port of Latakia and shipped Tuesday toward international waters."

This is a worthwhile and unprecedented effort of the international community of an extraordinary nature. HOW OFTEN DOES SOMETHING LIKE THAT EVER HAPPEN?

Mustard agent at this point being destroyed. Nerve agents a much more difficult and laborious task. Nonetheless, high marks for all concerned.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Shock & Awe?

This is coolbert:

Within the context of cyber-warfare this article is worth reading but not so totally inclusive.

 "Cyberwar: What People Keep Missing About The Threat" 

“'Cyber' is the buzzword of the decade in the defense world, so overhyped and overused it has lost almost all meaning. Intelligent discussion of cyber threats is a rare gem indeed. But even experts who shed real light on the dark corners of cyberspace consistently miss a crucial dimension of both the threats and the opportunities it holds for the US military."

This image shows an actual Chinese "hacker" army unit at work? NOTE there are no keyboards. This maybe merely Chinese military students learning how to USE a computer? Or this is a carefully posed photograph the intent of which is to shock and awe?

This particular article does contain an "intelligent discussion" of cyber-warfare and cyber-security?

Deals with the threat and the potential from strictly the military stand-point.

Does not discuss the civilian aspect of cyber-attack for instance.

A power plant disabled by cyber-warfare and not able to transmit power to consumers, or rendering the power grid ineffective is the SAME as a conventional military attack with conventional weaponry, explosives, bombs, etc.

Attack and defense two-sides of the same coin with regard to cyber-warfare. When an attack is found to be effective, you look at your own systems to find if they are vulnerable to the same methodology and develop techniques to prevent similar disruption.


Monday, January 6, 2014

Jacob Devers.

This is coolbert:

The Devers Plan!

Until recently this entirely unknown to me.

Eisenhower that most senior allied military commander in the European theater in the aftermath of allied [English and American] victory in Normandy [Cobra, Avranches, Falaise], pursuing the German with what has been perceived as a less than vigorous approach.

Further allied offensive action toward Germany proper often termed as the "broad front" but rather more correctly understood as a dual axis advance. [that late summer of 1944]

For this Ike described as "timid" [by MacArthur]. That meaning not cowardly but non-assertive and non-aggressive.

Those allied army groups seen as advancing with less than adequate rapidity. Senior allied commanders subordinate to Ike however advocating an alternative to the "dual axis" plan. These commanders: 1. Montgomery. 2. Bradley. 3. Patton as according to Dupuy:

"Ike was urged to concentrate allocations of scarce fuel and ammunition to a relatively small section of the front - - probably one field army - - to enable that army to strike as rapidly and as deeply as possible through France into German. The Germans were close to collapse, these generals told Eisenhower, don't given them a chance to recover. Exploit if possible, they said, to the heart of German and the incipient collapse would become an actual collapse, and the war could be won before the end of 1944.

" Montgomery, of course that the supplies should go to one of his British armies, Bradley thought they should go to one of his American armies, Patton thought they should go his Third Army."

That preponderance of MANPOWER, supplies, logistical and fire support devoted to one army, that force delivering the knock-out blow, the "one swift kick and the whole rotten mess will come tumbling down!"

History records Eisenhower having given consideration to the advice but continuing with the dual axis approach and advance, more or less unaltered!

Without question Eisenhower conservative BUT THE REASONING FOR HIS DECISIONS SOUND!

Also surmounting the Siegfried Line [to the German the West Wall], all German units located in the Saar and Ruhr regions defeated in detail FIRST before any attempts to cross the Rhine river additionally the commanders [Ike] intent.

As late as the middle of November yet one more alternative to the dual-axis advance of the allied armies proposed and advocated.

A crossing of the Rhine by 6th Army Group [as commanded by Jacob Devers], with accompanying wheeling maneuver forcing German units west of the Rhine to retire in conformity with American advance, those areas of the Saar and Ruhr having to be abandoned without further fight!

This almost sounds too good to be true!

Eisenhower when briefed by Devers the operational plan dismissed seemingly out of hand. Without any consideration NO ACTION TAKEN!

Yet one more opportunity for an early end to the war in the European theater MISSED?

That Third Army of Patton allocated to 6th Army Group, the crossing of the Rhine by 7th Army and the wheeling maneuver northward those German units defending the Saar and Ruhr finding their position untenable. This was the Devers Plan.

The Battle of the Bulge as termed by the Americans presumably not even occurring? Such would be the precarious position necessitating a retirement of all German military units including those of course massed WEST of the Rhine river in preparation for the Ardennes Offensive [1944].

Furthermore, from Atkinson and "The Guns at Last Light":

"Even the Army official history, published half a century after the event and disinclined to second-guess the high command, found Eisenhower's decision 'difficult to understand.' The supreme commander 'had opted for an operation 'strategy' of firepower and attrition - - the direct approach - - as opposed to a war of opportunistic maneuver.'"

Bludgeon your enemy [the German] to death rather than use a more nuanced and "opportunistic" approach. Ike indeed conservative. NOT however, with good reason it may be suggested.


Saturday, January 4, 2014

Cape Ray.

This is coolbert:

That combined Scandinavian/Chinese/Russian/American mission the intent of which is to destroy Syrian chemical weaponry is about to begin.

Vessels from a host of nations at the ready, preparations having been made, all poised, made ready.

Scandinavian transports, Russian and Chinese warships for protection, and an American naval vessel [Cape Ray] the purpose of which is specifically the destruction of chemical munitions all part of the international flotilla, unprecedented almost!

"U.S. Military Ship Readied for Mission to Destroy Syria’s Chemical Weapons"

The Cape Ray!

"PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Months after diplomats declared that they had come up with a plan and a timetable to dispose of Syria’s lethal chemical weapons — and with the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the weapons inspectors — the centerpiece of the mission, a workhorse American military ship that will ferry the weapons to sea for destruction, remains here in port, waiting like a sad bride for her groom."

NOT a "sad bride" anymore. That yeoman task of chemical munitions destruction now at hand, the task of neutralizing the deadly chemicals at sea A VERY GOOD IDEA INDEED!

Originally I had thought this would be a CHASE type operation as was done forty years ago, but that is not the case. Deadly poisons to be processed in an industrial manner and rendered more or less harmless.

Normally even under the best of circumstances merely MOVING chemical munitions is a difficult and dangerous task. Destroying a process even more so. The simplest accident can be disastrous and cause untold complications the clean-up of which is a difficult endeavor just of itself.

This American naval vessel the Cape Ray I was not even the slightest familiar with. If anyone deserves the Nobel Prize it would be the Captain and crew of the ship, if and when mission accomplished. This is yet to be a "done deal", the entire process fraught with great danger.

Good hunting Cape Ray and crew!!



This is coolbert:

The never ending saga of the Yasukuni shrine in Japan.

Shinto shrine honoring the souls of the dead from the Second World War [WW2] and always a point of controversy.

The current serving Japanese Prime Minister [Abe] having made a visit to the shrine recently and offered prayers.

The names of those war dead enshrined at Yasukuni including those persons categorized as Class A war criminals such as Hideki Tojo.

The shrine itself:

* "Built in 1869 under the Emperor Meiji."

* "Venerates the souls of 2.5m war dead"

"Yasukuni Shrine Whines Justified?"

"Just recently, Japan’s neocon Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, visited Yasukuni shrine, the first visit by a sitting Japanese Prime Minister in 7 years [Koizumi before Abe].  This provocative and very public visit, rightly seen by the Korean and Chinese governments as an intentional slap in the face, will set back already strained relationships and may be used as an excuse for a revival of militarism. "

[my emphasis]

Please keep in mind that Prime Minister Abe is the grandson of the man referred to as the "Albert Speer" of Germany. With all that means.

Shinto, however, and the Yasukuni shrine are devoted to the departed spirits who under the religion are devoid of moral judgments based on prior temporal existence.

From David Yeagley at Bad Eagle commenting on the appearance of the former Prime Minister Koizumi at Yasukuni:

"BadEagle has pointed out before, the Shinto religion does not honor the life, deeds, or character of the dead. It honors the departed spirits, the kami (gods) which depart without moral definition. This is ancient animism. Koizumi is not honoring war criminals. That is a superimposition of Western abstract political ideology . . . It is actually wholly irrelevant to Shintoism, the ancient national religion of Japan."

Adjacent to the shrine is a private museum the displays however having a definite nationalistic and non-apologetic aspect to them, favorable to the Japanese effort during WW2? This I was not familiar with.

Much is being made of nothing here? Judgments not taking into account the perspective of Shinto with regard to "moral definition"?


Friday, January 3, 2014

Il Gaz.

This is coolbert:

Thanks to Silver Fox we have this comment to the blog:

"THE ONLY OTHER SOURCE OF A SOURCE OF WHITE PINE- TODAY IS THE SEA OF PINES' in the IL GAZ MOUNTAINS OF WESTERN TURKEY...WHAT A Sight to be hold ..THE STATE PARK AND PROTECTED AREA IS 7.3 SQUARE KILOMETERS. Yes in old day the Ottoman navy felled trees for their tall ships as ship masts on White Pine."

Thank you Silver Fox.

That white pine considered the best [??] as for shipbuilding providing masts of the tallest and sturdiest type, without knots or blemish for the greatest length in most instance.

The colonies of British North America prior to the American Revolutionary War providing the finest examples of white pine, marked and deemed as CROWN PROPERTY! That marking of trees designated as Crown Property [the best of most perfect specimens] a strong point of contention between the colonists and the English King.

That Ottoman Empire also a sea-going and naval power for many centuries. And ADEPT AT THE AMPHIBIOUS OPERATION.

This is contrary to the normal perception of the Ottoman as normally a LAND POWER!

Sea power consisting of both naval forces and merchant marine. The Ottoman a trading nation constantly enlarging their domain and encroaching on the dominion of the Venetians. And vassals such as the Barbary Pirates renowned for their slave-raiding expeditions along the southern European coastline of the Mediterranean.

That Ottoman again adept and proficient at the amphibious invasion. NOT merely raiders but to stay and conquer, sustaining an invasion force, mission accomplished. As occurred at:

* Malta. [albeit a defeat]

* Rhodes.

* Cyprus.

* Crete.

Indeed, that entire landscape of the Mediterranean even from the time of the ancient Greeks to a large extent laid waste, the felling of trees wanton, but deemed as necessary for the building of large sea-going fleets, naval and commercial both.

Remnant white pine reserves still surviving and preserved with care rare in the extreme. The mountainous forests of Il Gaz in Turkey merely one example. Extraordinary to behold in all cases.



This is coolbert:

COLA. Cost of Living Adjustment [COLA].

This particular headline has caused consternation and raised hackles in some quarters. NOT however properly understood.

"Ryan O'Connell and Neil Berman: Military pension politics"

"The passage of a bipartisan budget surprised many after the Washington D.C. fiasco of 2013. But having both parties working together does not mean the interests of all are served. No one knows that better than the men and women in, and retired from, our military. They are the most recent victim of budget cuts."

That allegation, that the pensions for retired military veterans are going to be "cut". That word suggesting a lessening of benefits as originally agreed upon. That inference being BETRAYAL!

NOT so fast. We must be aware of and fully in agreement as to what is occurring here.

"What the authors of the budget call pension 'reform,' is simply a cut in military pension benefits for those retired and those currently serving in our armed forces."

"Cut " as meaning a lessening in the rate of INCREASE of pension benefits. The cost-of-living-adjustment as "pegged" to the consumer price index properly accounted for and taken into account. NOT less in the way of benefits, but rather a reduction in the rate of INCREASE!

"The authors are quick to argue that the cut is small — a 1 percent reduction in the annual cost-of-living increase. But the men and women in the armed forces are outraged and we should be too. Their employer has performed a bait-and-switch."

"Cut" that word more correct as a lessening in the rate of increase and not a reduction in the overall amount. "Cut" in this case not in the ordinary, normal, and commonly understood meaning of the word.

Veterans retired living with a pension, rest assured. Or should you?


Thursday, January 2, 2014


This is coolbert:

From that era of the Great War and thanks to the HeroesofSerbia web site we have the katabasis of the Serb army. A movement from inland to the sea, a reverse amphibious operation while under pressure, AND IN THE WINTER TIME AND THROUGH THE MOUNTAINS.


That Serb army having been routed by the combined forces of the Central Powers and Bulgaria, necessitating a rearward movement including almost a half million combined military and civilian personnel. AGAIN IN THE WINTER AND THROUGH MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN.

"navigating difficult mountainous terrain through winter conditions that were often unmerciful,"

Less than 50 % able to complete the journey, evacuation by allied warships and merchant vessels the only recourse, obliteration at the hands of the enemy and unacceptable option.

"roughly 150,000 of these travelers, primarily soldiers and commanders, actually made it to the Adriatic Coast where they would be evacuated to the Greek islands such as Corfu to recover. Roughly 250,000 military and civilians that sought to reach that coast did not make it"

An amphibious operation deemed that most difficult of all military maneuvers. A REVERSE amphibious operation and WHILE UNDER CONTINUOUS PRESSURE OBVIOUSLY THAT MUCH MORE HAZARDOUS.

ONLY ONE historical parallel exists to the GREAT RETREAT? That experience of the American Tenth [X] Corps during the Korean War.

X Corps attacked by overwhelming numbers of Chinese communist troops, necessitating an amphibious evacuation while under pressure, troops, equipment, and accompanying Korea civilians all saved. That movement of troops also through the mountains and during the winter!

The Serb not having as did the American in Korea:

* Unlimited amounts of close-air support.

* Unlimited amounts of naval gunfire firing in support of the ground forces.

One surely also recalls from the "Ten Thousand" by Xenophon the march of the Greek warriors from inland to the sea and salvation. Also not during the winter through the mountains and not under pressure? A devoted reader to the blog knows better?


Wednesday, January 1, 2014


This is coolbert:

From Russian Times [RT]:

"Russian navy boosted with new nuclear attack submarine"

"Russia’s has received a New Year present with the hand-over of a cutting-edge nuclear attack submarine, the Severodvinsk"

. . . .

"The Severodvinsk is one of eight Yasen-class (Graney-class, according to NATO classification) attack subs ordered by the Russian navy."

"The second and third boats of the series, the Kazan and the Novosibirsk, are currently under construction and will feature an updated design."

Yasen is the correct designation for submarine according to Russian nomenclature? Graney is the NATO "classification".

Twenty years from the start of construction until the vessel actually launched and now operational. NOT necessarily combat ready however? Floating but that does equate to combat able?

During that twenty year period modifications and improvements were made to the basic design. and even more capable warship now exists than as originally envisioned?

I guess the consensus opinion would be [??], according to the experts, this class of Russian submarine superior to the best of the Los Angeles class American nuclear submarines, but to a degree inferior when compared to the most modern and advanced  American submersibles, Seawolf and Virginia class.

To what extent "inferior" is the sixty-four thousand dollar question, as they say?

That Russian navy hoping to retain the redoubt system, Borei class intercontinental-range missile launching submarines while cruising in protected waters guarded most assiduously so by that new family and class of attack submarine?

All other classes of Russian submarines, hold-overs from the days of the now defunct Soviet Union taken out of commission and relegated to the scrap heap as a cost-saving measure?