Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Monday, May 31, 2004


This is coolbert:

Rape as a weapon of war.

This is something few people like to think about. But it has been around ever since people have waged war. And more significantly, it is around and going strong right now. Does not say much about the human condition! But a proper appreciation is necessary to understand the phenomenon.

We are not talking here about soldiers filled with lust and running amok raping the women of the enemy just to satisfy sexual needs.

We are talking about a conscious effort to defile the women of your enemy. A conscious effort that has long term ramifications.

Classic defeat of an enemy in war consists of destroying the enemies military, occupying their land, and breaking their will to resist.

Rape serves the purpose in war of demonstrating to the conquered that your adversary is strong and you are weak. They are the master and you are the servant. That the victor can do as they want and do so as you please in a manner calculated to most humiliate and debase the enemy.

In addition, the rapists are precluding the possibility of future generations of your enemy from once again facing you on the battlefield [this will be explained in more detail further].

The fact is that rape has long been recognized as a power trip for the rapist. The one doing the raping is exercising and demonstrating his power over the one being raped. Prison rape for instance, is not about sex-starved men getting release for their lust, it is about domination. The one being raped is being shown that they are the weaker and at the mercy of the rapist. And that they had better do as they are told. In war, it is no less.

Many examples from ancient antiquity to the present bear witness that rape in war is about power, domination, and debasement of the vanquished.

From the "Trojan Women", the play by Euripides, we see quotes that indicate the lowly and debasing status given to the captured women of Troy, after the conquest by the Achaens. [my comments in bold].

"Cassandra, whom the king Apollo left to be a virgin, frenzied maid, hath Agamemnon, in contempt of the god's ordinance and of piety, forced to a dishonoured wedlock."

Cassandra was the daughter of Priam, king of Troy. Forced to become a bride of Agamemnon, the victor at Troy.

"Whose slave shall I become in my old age? in what far clime? a poor old drone, the wretched copy of a corpse, set to keep the gate or tend their children, I who once held royal rank in Troy."

Here, Hecuba, Queen of Troy, laments how she was a royal, and now will be a servant.

"What! Phoebus' virgin-priestess, to whom the god with golden locks granted the boon of maidenhood?"

Here, the talk is once of again of Cassandra, who was to be chaste forever, is violated and becomes the bride of the conqueror.

"To minister at Achilles' tomb hath been appointed her."

Another daughter of Priam has been assigned the task of administering to the tomb of the greatest of Greek warriors. And the killer of her brother!

"And what of mail-clad Hector's wife, sad Andromache? declare her fate.

She too was a chosen prize; Achilles' son did take her."

A woman was taken as wife by the son of the man who killed her husband!!

And this can go on and on with the play the "Trojan Women". The whole point is the that women of Troy are not only slaves, but debased in their slavery in specifically chosen ways to make the humiliation that much worse!!

To read Euripides "Trojan Women", click here.

Another war from antiquity that illustrates the phenomenon of rape in war is the abduction of the Sabine women by the Romans.

When Romulus found the nation of Rome, the Romans found they had too few women. So they tricked and abducted the women of the nearest tribe, the Sabines, who they were in conflict with. Because of this future generations of Sabines did not exist, as the Sabines became absorbed into the Roman populace. Rome still existed, the Sabines did not. To read further about this click here.

I have said in previous posts that the one man that has the most living descendants is Genghis Khan. Having six wives and many concubines, Genghis was able to procreate himself at a prodigious rate. These concubines were mostly women from among his conquered and destroyed enemies. Genghis has alive today and estimated 16 million descendants!! And the quote of Genghis on what is happiness is most indicative of his attitude toward the women of the vanquished:

"Man's greatest good fortune is to chase and defeat his enemy, seize his total possessions, leave his married women weeping and wailing, ride his gelding, and use the bodies of his women." - Genghis Khan

Genghis would not have stood up well under investigation for war crimes by current standards!!

And rape as a weapon of war is not of course confined to antiquity. Hardly so!

In the years just prior to World War Two, the Japanese committed one of the most barbaric atrocities of the war, perhaps the most barbaric.

Rape of the women of the enemy was a large part of the barbarity.

After a six week long siege, the Japanese captured the capital of China, Nanking!

Among the Japanese soldiers, this was felt to be a climactic event of the war against China.

It was felt by the Japanese that this capture would mean the end to the war.

To celebrate, the Japanese soldiery was allowed to do more or less as they pleased by their superiors [General Cho, later to commit suicide on Okinawa when cornered by U.S. troops].

And do as they please they did.

All men, civilians and military, captured in the city were put to death, and in mostly horrific ways. Beheading being the most popular.

All females from age seven to seventy were raped. Some over and over. All females not falling into the category of potential rape victims [7-70 years old] were killed, again mostly by beheading. A

nd this sort of thing went on for four weeks. Finally sated, the Japanese ceased [they probably ran out of victims].

Not even the Nazi SS would have stooped to such behavior [not systematic and orderly]. To read further about this click here.

The aftermath of the Second World War in the part of Germany occupied by the Russians was also another example of rape in war.

The Red Army for a long period of time after cessation of hostilities [months and perhaps years], behaved like conquerors.

Millions of German women were systematically raped by their Red Army conquerors, some over and over. This again had probably almost nothing to do with lust on the part of the soldiers. Was a decision to allow the rape by Soviet authorities as a way of dominating and demonstrating to the Germans that the Soviets were now the rulers and that the old way is gone. Submit or else. To read further about this click here, and here.

As with all things about World War Two, rape in the two above instances was done on such a colossal and bestial and barbaric manner, that it is almost beyond belief. This was rape with a purpose, and was pursued by the perpetrators with such relish, that it demonstrates what is called in criminal law circles a depraved mentality.

And in recent years, we see the evidence of rape as an instrument of war in both the Balkans and most recently in the Sudan. Rape that is very pre-meditated and takes advantage in both cases of religious convictions and cultural practices to maximize the effect of the rape.

In the fighting between the Serbs and the Bosnian Muslims in the most recent Balkan war, rape was indeed a weapon of war.

Several of the leaders of the Bosnian Serbs were clinical psychologists and understood very well the Muslim mentality and culture.

A woman in Muslim culture who is raped will not be ever again acceptable to her husband or to a future husband if she is unmarried. These rapes of Muslim women, done on the scale with which they were done, again, preclude a future generation from being begated.

A future generation that would perhaps fight the Bosnian Serbs in another war.

The Serb men are breeding their enemy out of existence by raping the women of the enemy. By impregnating Muslim women or by raping them over and over the Serb men create a group of outcasts that cannot have Muslim children in the future.

Very sinister, well thought out, and demonstrating again a depraved mentality. And this by men that call themselves clinical psychologists!!?? Click here to read more about the Bosnia rapes.

This brings us to the present, right now, as we speak. In the western part of the Sudan, an area called Dar Fur, rape is being used as a weapon of war.

Pastoral tribesmen are being driven into the Sahara desert by militias called janjaweed. These janjaweed, spurred on by the central government of the Sudan in Khartoum, are using scorched earth tactics to achieve their aims in Dar Fur.

Bombing, shooting, burning, looting, etc. All the usuals of such tactics are being employed by the janjaweed, with central government support.

The pastoralists have been driven across the border into Chad in numbers around 1 million persons. And as part of the "ethnic cleansing" campaign, the janjaweed are using rape.

Again, Muslim women seem to be particularly susceptible to this sort of process, for cultural and religious reasons. The janjaweed, being Muslims know this perfectly well and are taking full advantage of the rape phenomenon to destroy the Dar Fur populace now, and for the future as well.

Young women, when raped, are also reportedly being branded!!!

This brand will serve as notice to any other Muslim man of what has happened to this woman and preclude her being a candidate for marriage. These branded woman will become outcasts. By not having husbands, they cannot begat and produce another generation. The janjaweed are breeding their enemies out of existence by rape!! Read about what is going on in the Sudan by clicking here.

Please forgive me when I say that the above entry makes you want to go outside, take a deep breath, and walk around for a while. This form of behavior really makes you wonder about the human race and the mentality of the same.

And another personal note.

When reading and hearing about the incidents and goings on in the Sudan, that sort of thing makes we wonder this.

Where is Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Louis Farrakhan, Kweisi Mfume [Frizell Grey, his African name means Prince, Son of Kings, now head of the NAACP] and all these black ministers and pundits that describe themselves as leaders of the black American community?

Normally, these people talk about slavery, and the wrongs done to African people and the black American on an endless basis. Over and over they call for action to be done to ease the plight of the black American and the African people. Self-described persons as having a special affinity for the African continent. Were always talking about apartheid and the evils of white rule in South Africa. Where are they on the situation in Dar Fur? NOWHERE!!! Not one peep out of any of them! Hard to believe, but then, maybe not hard to believe.


This is coolbert: When doing research for this blog, it is interesting to see how the various sites and authorities are at variance for statistics. Let me explain. A few examples will suffice:

At Dien Bien Phu, the French defenders had 14,000 troops, and then some say it was 10,000 troops.

At Khe Sanh, the North Vietnamese had 40,000 troops, and then some say it was 20,000 troops.

At Waterloo, Napoleon had 78,000 troops, and then some say it was 72,000 troops.

During the partition of British India, 1 million refugees died, and then some say it was 2 million.

During the mfecane [meff-ah-kahn-a], the dispersion of persons in southern Africa by the predacious Zulu, it is said that 2 million had to disperse, and then some say it was only 1 million.

The Viet Cong/North Vietnamese had 300,000+ troops under arms, and then some say 800,000 under arms, depending upon the source.

The Australian cavalry advanced 35 miles a day after the Battle of Megiddo in 1918, and another source says 25 miles a day [De Puy].

This is a smattering of examples to be chosen from!

Well, which of these are correct? Well, they are probably all correct to some degree. It seems that it all depends on how you count these things. What is your definition, the time frame, and the sources are all pertinent. There is no good one way to do these statistical things. Just like the previous post about counting bodies on the battlefield during the Vietnam war. One whole body is one whole body, no disputing that. But is one hand, one foot, one leg, and one head to be counted as only one kill or four kills? Hard to make judgments on this sort of thing.


Sunday, May 30, 2004

Mus Mus.

This is coolbert:

I have repeated a number of times in previous posts that somethings in warfare just never change.

Here is another example.

During the reign of the greatest martial Egyptian pharaoh, Thutmose III, an insurrection of recalcitrant vassals occurred in what was at the time Canaan. Later to become Palestine and the modern Israel. Marching north to subdue the vassals, Thutmose had to fight a battle against his opposition at Megiddo [Armageddon] [1479 B.C.]. When faced with three routes [two roads but three approaches] through the mountains, Thutmose choose the one that led through Mus Mus pass. Taking this route, Thutmose surprised his more numerous enemies and was able to defeat them. As the chronicles from ancient Egypt say:

"There were two routes to Megiddo a long, easy and level road around the hills, which the enemy expected Thutmose to take, and a route which was narrow, difficult and cut through the hills. His generals advised him to take the easy road through the hills, saying 'horse must follow behind horse and man behind man also, and our vanguard will be engaged while our rearguard is at Aaruna without fighting' But Thutmose's reply to this was: 'As I live, as I am the beloved of Ra and praised by my father Amon, I will go on the narrow road. Let those who will, go on the roads you have mentioned; and let anyone who will, follow my Majesty' Now, when the soldiers heard this bold speech they shouted with one accord 'We follow thy Majesty whithersoever thy Majesty goes'."

"Thutmose led his men on foot through the hills "horse behind horse and man behind man, his Majesty showing the way by his own footsteps". It took about twelve hours for the vanguard to reach the valley on the other side and another seven hours before the last troops emerged. Thutmose himself waited at the head of the pass till the last man was safely through."

And from the protestations of the generals of Thutmose:

"'Now two (other) roads are here. One of the roads ( behold, it is [to the east of] us, so that it comes out at Taanakh. The other ( behold, it is to the north side of Djefti, and we will come out to the north of Megiddo. Let our victorious lord proceed on the one of [them] which is [satisfactory to] his heart, (but) do not make us go on that difficult road!' - - Inscription from the Amen Temple at Karnak. - - J. B. Pritchard Ancient Near Eastern Texts, 1969:"

Thutmose did take the difficult route and was victorious. To see an interesting site on the Battle of Megiddo, click here. Has interesting links as well.

Move ahead to the year 1918. British forces under General Allenby are moving north into Turkish controlled Palestine to destroy the Turkish army. The British send their Australian cavalry in force and this cavalry fights a decisive battle at Megiddo. Yes, the same Megiddo that Thutmose fought at over 3400 years earlier. And to gain access through the mountains, the Australian cavalry makes passage through Mus Mus pass. This decisive battle finally routed the Turks in Palestine and allowed British dominion to be established, the Australians at the battle of Megiddo being led by the Australian General Chauval.

"In the final campaign he was able to effect a secret redeployment of three of his mounted divisions, launch a surprise attack on the enemy, win the Battle of Megiddo and follow up this victory with one of the fastest pursuits in military history -- an astonishing 167 km in just three days. It was not just a great victory, but one of the greatest of all time. This time he succeeded in destroying the Turkish army at last. At a cost of 533 battle casualties, the Desert Mounted Corps had taken over 70,000 prisoners. "

This rate of advance by the Australian cavalry was and is the fastest advance of any military force in history, unsurpassed by military of antiquity or even modern times.


Saturday, May 29, 2004

This is coolbert: This recent incident with the Iraqi Achmed Chalabi shows one of the two difficulties in trying to develop intelligence about an adversary. One difficulty of course is that your potential foe or target is taking active measures to prevent you from finding out what you want to know. And, secondly, at the same time, the adversary is feeding you disinformation intended to fool and confuse you. Trying to separate valid from non-valid and what is true and what is not is very hard.

The contention with Chalabi is that his "chief of intelligence" seems to have been working for the Iranians or had close contact with their "master of the dark side" for some time. When we say dark side we mean the secret services. It seems this chief of Chalabi's may have been in cahoots with the Iranians and was passing on disinformation and doing so as if it was the real thing this chief had obtained from an Iraqi source. This disinformation evidently was accepted by U.S. intelligence services and policy makers as being true and was used as evidence by the policy makers to demonstrate to the whole world, and even more importantly, to convince themselves that Iraq presented an imminent danger to the U.S.

And the Iranians would have good reason for passing on such disinformation and deluding our policy makers as to the true situation with Saddam and Iraq. To eliminate the Iraqi threat, a threat the Iranians could not do on their own, they needed the U.S. to act. By passing on this disinformation through a source that the U.S. believed and wanted to believe, the dark side of the Iranians may have convinced U.S. policy makers that they needed to act. They did act, but on faulty information. By doing what they presumably did, the Iranians got the U.S. to do what they could not do. Eliminate Iraq and Saddam as threats to them and create chaos that they could then exploit.

If this is true, it would cast more serious doubt about the abilities of the U.S. intelligence agencies. They will be further seen as not only bumbling and incompetent, but as a serious liability, and at a time when a liability is not needed. This is the eyes and ears of the planners and decision makers. If the eyes and ears are bad, the brain cannot decide correctly, the body will just flail around, hoping to hit the target but probably failing to do so.


Friday, May 28, 2004


This is coolbert:

In my previous post I mentioned the mental state of the jihadists waging the current war against the U.S.

How they seem to be so implacably set against the U.S. that no negotiation is possible. And that these people have no finite goals or any goals whatsoever, other than just causing mayhem out of what seems to Americans to be blind irrational hatred.

Now we know that military action has been taken and is being taken against the jihadists. And that this has been both successful and unsuccessful.

We must also consider what other means can be used besides military action to combat the jihadists. Such as cutting off funding of terrorist groups, close monitoring of possible sources of recruits, etc. And this also has been done to some extent. But probably has not even been as successful as had been hoped.

Perhaps a better avenue to pursue would be increased psychological warfare [psy ops] against the jihadists.

And this is also being done to some extent already, but also without a lot of success. A perfect example is the radio and TV station that beams broadcasts to Islamic countries to counter bad news as seen on Al Jazeera for instance.

Our goal would be to greatly influence the Arab "street" and Muslims throughout the world and convince them as to the evil that the jihadists pose. A threat not only to the U.S., but to the whole world and even to the Muslim world. Even to those that are perhaps sympathetic to the "cause" of the jihadists. I do not expect that a psy op campaign would change the mind of the jihadists, although I would not preclude the possibility of that happening to some of them.

One area that might work well very with regard to psy ops would be to show how the jihadists break the tenets of their own faith. Especially when waging war against innocents. And the Koran is most explicit in this matter:

"The Koran specifically warns against unleashing violence on innocent civilians.

"And fight in the way of Allah with those who fight with you, and do not exceed the limits, surely Allah does not love those who exceed the limits," reads Chapter 2 (The Cow), verse 193."

Even a jihadist must adhere to limits in warfare. A 9/11 is not within limits.

In pursuing psy ops warfare, American Muslims should, would, and can play a great part in this aspect of the anti-jihad campaign.

It seems to be that the reaction of the American Muslim community has been very muted to this point. Almost complicit [muteness could be interpreted as complicity] I would say.

They do not seem to take a position one way or another.

And this is to their detriment.

We need to make it clear to them that they need to make their voices known to the WHOLE WORLD. Most American Muslims I have had experience with are either pretty well educated, or even highly so. And they seem to prosper financially also. Unlike Muslim immigrants to other countries throughout the world, many of whom live in poverty and near ghetto status. Many of these Muslims here in the U.S. are from the upper class of their respective countries. These are not dumb, uneducated, unsophisticated immigrants working at menial jobs. Their voices would carry weight.

I know that the Muslim community here says that they do not have a hierarchy that speaks for them. Well, let them then speak as individuals. Tell the people in the countries from whence they emigrated that the U.S. is a good place full of good people and they are not treated as dogs but rather the opposite. Tell the world that what the jihadists are trying to do is evil. Tell the world this and do it over and over. And with conviction. And they can do it with conviction.

As strange as it may seem to some, the U.S. is perhaps the only place in the world where Muslims can practice their religion as it is intended to be practiced, without government interference. And on several occasions I have heard Muslims say this, and mean it, although at the time they might not have realized what they said.

This includes a representative of Hezbollah, the Shia terrorist group operating out of Lebanon. This bad guy said that their organization in the U.S. [and they do have one too], does not perpetrate terrorist acts as they are allowed to freely practice their religion. In contrast to other "Islamic" countries around the world where they are not allowed to. This villain, when he said this, did not even seem to realize what he had said [probably did not].

Isn't that such an irony? That the one place they hate so much and want to destroy so badly is the one place where they can practice their religion as it is intended to be practiced!!

Will these psy ops work? Well, they should at least be tried to the maximum extent possible. Otherwise, we in the U.S. face a century of this type of terrorist warfare. And before that century is up, expect more mass deaths of an even more horrific nature that 9/11, perhaps even many more such attacks. All approaches must be tried!!



Thursday, May 27, 2004


This is coolbert:

An interview on National Public Radio [NPR] about a year ago demonstrated how difficult the war on the current group of Islamic jihadists will be.

The man being interviewed was an Englishman who had done a lot of negotiating with the IRA regarding the situation in Northern Ireland.

Extensive negotiations between the IRA and the British authorities had gone on in for many years, unbeknownst to the public. And if not negotiations, dialog at any rate.

This negotiator made some interesting points.

With most of these guerilla movements, terrorist groups, etc., throughout the world, a finite goal is the target of the insurrectionists. What is that goal differs from locale to locale. In the case of Northern Ireland the goal for the IRA was reunification with the Irish Republic.

And the men doing the negotiating were for the most part not wild-eyed fanatics that were out of control and totally unreasonable. These were and are reasonable men who have resorted to violent means to gain their ends, but still retain a large degree of sanity and an appreciation that negotiations and compromise may be a solution for them. Even if they do not espouse this approach and do not make such ideas public.

Behind the scenes the negotiations and dialog for Northern Ireland between the IRA and the British government went on for decades. And accommodation and compromise in the end were agreed upon.

This negotiator being interviewed was very pessimistic with regard to any of this being true for the jihadists.

To begin with, the jihadists do not seem to have finite goals in mind.

They may from time to time talk about U.S. troops out of the "holy soil" of Saudi Arabia [almost U.S. troops have already departed Saudi Arabia, none were not even close to the "holy" cities of Medina or Mecca, and while in Saudi, the U.S. troops did behave in the most obsequious manner possible].

Providing justice for the Palestinians is also a goal stated by the jihadists from time to time, but only in a vague manner. This is not a realistic goal anyhow. Israel will not dismantle itself.

And secondly, the jihadists do not have anyone that is willing, able, or even interested in negotiating. Their mentality seems to have totally precluded the possibility of any negotiating or even dialog.

It seems to be not even clear in the mind of the jihadists exactly what it is they seek anyhow.

An all-encompassing Islamic state unifying the nation of Islam [umma].

Or the U.S. converting en masse to Islam [fat chance of that].

So we see no reasonable or rational goals in mind for the jihadists, and in addition, no one willing or able or even interested in negotiating.

Not a pretty situation.


Wednesday, May 26, 2004

This is coolbert: It has been suggested that the Israeli internal security force Shin Bet [called Shaback by Victor Ostrovsky], has either been advising the U.S. or actively participating in the interrogation of captured Muslim prisoners in Guantanamo or in the infamous Abu Ghraib prison. This assertion has been denied by the Israelis. It would not be surprising if this is so [Israeli participation in the interrogations]. Shin Bet has a very long history, decades long, of interrogating captured or suspected Palestinian terrorists and fighters and getting "results". The Israeli General Sholomo Gazit was quoted that "in the war against terrorists, the hostile interrogation is the most valuable source of intelligence". Hostile is the operative word here. Not torture in the classical form of the word. But hostile in the uncomfortable sense of the word. Like what was done at Abu Ghraib. Create conditions favorable for the interrogator so that the prisoner will "break" and talk. What does hostile consist of? Well, here is what has been documented. A prisoner is stripped or his private parts are protruding through the fly in his pants as he is tied to a chair. Tied with tie wraps that have little sharp teeth on the inside. Tie wraps that continue to tighten even further and further if the prisoner struggles, the little sharp teeth of the tie wrap cutting deeper and deeper into the flesh around the wrists. A burlap sack saturated with water is placed over the prisoners head and tied at the neck [this makes it hard to breath]. The prisoner might be confined for very long periods of time in this position before the interrogation actually begins. A pair of interrogators will begin asking rapid fire questions at the prisoner, shouting from close up to disorient and deafen the unfortunate. During this time, slaps, kicks, hair pulling may accompany the questioning. Teams of interrogators will continue this process for maybe even a full day at a time. If the desired results are not obtained, this process can repeat itself over and over until the desired results are obtained. And between interrogations, a variety of techniques are also employed that are calculated to make the interrogators job easier. Sensory deprivation is most important in this regard. The prisoner is denied sleep, is kept in a befuddled state, not knowing what time of the day it is or what day of the week it is. Food, water, toilet access are also controlled to make the prisoners fate miserable. All this is calculated to produce a feeling of helplessness and the inevitability of a sorry fate for the prisoner.

In a book a number of years ago now, an ex-CIA case officer in Latin America named Chapman described in an anecdotal manner his experience with hostile interrogation. Hostile interrogation that probably went beyond what was described above. Chapman describes how a captured Latin American communist revolutionary was put at his disposal by the local police. It was the intention of Chapman to elicit information from this revolutionary using the psychological interrogation techniques that Chapman had been taught. Chapman wanted to turn this man and have him work for the CIA against his former communist masters. Chapman relates how he used all the psychological methods to no avail. Even to the point of withholding cigarettes [well, for smokers, that would be a form of torture, would it not be?]. Anyhow, failing after four continuous days of effort, and after not getting a word out of the captured revolutionary, Chapman turned the communist back over to the local police. Chapman then recounts that within thirty minutes, the locals had the guy singing "like a canary"!!! Whatever the local police did was not mentioned, but it must have involved a lot of pain.


Tuesday, May 25, 2004


This is coolbert;

It has been said that the last war fought with primitive weapons was the partitioning of British India into Pakistan and India.

When the decision to partition the British raj was decided upon, it was realized that many millions of persons would have to move from one area to another.

Muslims from what was to become predominant Hindu India to Pakistan and Hindus from what was to become predominant Pakistan to India.

And this was done.

Many of millions of persons made this move, and did so on foot, or by primitive means, bullock carts, horse, etc.

But most walked.

And these millions, when moving, were organized into columns of tens of thousand of persons.

And something transpired that was not anticipated.

These columns of Hindus and Muslims would pass one another on the road, Hindus moving east and the Muslims moving west.

Well, there had been violence of a horrific nature occurring in British India for decades preceding the partition, so tempers and grudges already existed, and to kill was not something new to either group.

As these columns would pass one another, one going in one direction, and the other going the other way, fighting would start. A word would be yelled, a threat or gesture made, and first two people, a Hindu and Muslim would go at one another. This would be followed by several persons following suit, then small groups fighting, and then persons from the entire column would join in and a general melee would ensue.

"Everyday jokes and innocent games between friends of different ethnic and religious backgrounds are replaced by bickering and harsh remarks over religion and family bloodlines. The serious killing begins."

Using whatever weaponry was on hand, the casualties would be horrific.

Knives, swords, axes, hatchets, home made spears, shovels, hoes, mattocks, etc., were the weapons of choice [these are poor people are do not possess other weaponry]

All and every edged and club-like weapon  at hand was employed by the fighters.

All this while, the columns would continue to move and finally the columns would have advanced far enough to that they were separate.

And at that point the fighting would stop until the next two columns would pass one another, and then the whole thing would start all over again.

This was shown very briefly in the movie "Gandhi".

Shown very briefly, as it was felt that to show too much might still inflame persons in the sub-continent, the result being further violence from events that occurred almost sixty years ago!! It is hard to comprehend the violence and amount of death in this "last war of primitive weaponry":

"4.5 million Muslims to migrate west from India into Pakistan, while 4 million Hindus and Sikhs fled east from Pakistan into India. Sectarian militias (Muslim Khaksars, Hindu R.S.S, and Sikh Jathas) became the principal instruments of communal violence that led to the deaths of more than one million people during the population migration."

This was death on a colossal scale, and they did not need firearms or atomic bombs!!

"Hunger, thirst and exhaustion killed others. An estimated 75,000 women were raped." [normally the people of India have an image as sexually restrained persons not capable of such acts].

And the battles fought by the opposing groups were not confined to refugee columns. Trains carrying refugees in both directions were the targets of fighters would carried out whole sale slaughter:

"The massacres were at their worst in the Punjab where trains were sent across the border into India filled with dead bodies. The carriages were marked " A present from Pakistan" and a train carrying dead Muslims in the other direction to Pakistan, was marked " Presents to Pakistan "."

"Estimates vary but it is thought that about 2 million people lost their lives in the immediate aftermath of independence, especially during the migrations from India and Pakistan."

"Placing rocks on the line had halted a trainload of people, about 2,000 in all. Then a horde of Sikhs, hiding in the nearby fields, had swarmed on to the train and slaughtered everyone on board."

And all this happened in India, where in prior years Mahatma Gandhi had espoused peaceful co-existence among the various groups in India, and non-violence to British rule??!!

I would also qualify this as being a "war". This was rioting and killing, but not war in the strictest sense. War is usually two groups fighting with arms and trying to impose their will on one another.

No will was trying to be imposed in this case.

This was violence for the sake of violence.



Monday, May 24, 2004

Don Alonzo!

This is coolbert:

Just as Hans Ulrich Rudel fought bravely for his country in the 20th century, Don Alonso Diaz Ramirez de Guzman, a Spaniard, fought for the Spanish King and country in the early part of the 17th century.

This saga of a soldier for Spain in the new world is most amazing.

Wounded many times in battles with the Indians of New Spain [those Spanish colonies in the new world were all referred to as New Spain].

Finally, a disabling wound caused Don Alonso to return to Spain, to be awarded special honors. A petition to the King of Spain is most revealing in telling the story of the many battles of Don Alonso:

"of the last 19 years . . . spent 15 in the service of Your Majesty in the wars of the kingdom of Chile and the Indians of Peru, having traveled to those parts . . . owing to . . . particular inclination to take up arms in defense of the Catholic faith and in the service of Your Majesty . . . under the command of the Field Master Don Diego Bravo de Sarabia, . . . withstood the discomforts of military service . . . in every battle . . . deeds earned. . . the right to carry Your Majesty's flag, serving as . . . Ensign of the infantry company of Captain Gonzalo Rodríguez . . . In that period, . . . distinguished . . . with great courage and valor, suffering wounds, particularly in the battle of Peru. The troops having been reorganized, . . . moved to the company of Captain Guillén de Casanova, governor of the castle of Arauco, and was chosen as a valiant and fine soldier to go out and do battle with the enemy."

Indeed, Don Alonso was a valiant soldier, and fought many engagements against hostile Indians in the new world. Some of these exploits show great fighting skill on the part of Don Alonso:

" . . . accompanied the expedition to Valdivia, where, in a severe engagement,. . . with two soldiers rushed in among the Indians, mill both soldiers perished in the fight; but [Don Alonso] wounded many, and killed a cacique [chief], after receiving three wounds from arrows and one from a lance. For this exploit [Don Alonso] was appointed ensign, and served as such in the company of Alonso Moreno, in the battle of Puren, and when {his] captain fell [he]took his place and led the company bravely. Afterward [Don Alonso] took part in other engagements, and was wounded many times by arrows. [He] fought with the famous cacique Quispehuancha, unhorsed him, and then had him hanged on a tree."

Not only was Don Alonso a great soldier, but a great duelist also. In the eyes of some, Don Alonso was the greatest swordsman in all of New Spain. In a duel, Don Alonso could be counted on for a great display of swordsmanship.

A display that was all too often seen. As recounted such:

"On one occasion, while at the theatre, [Don Alonso] was annoyed by a man named Reyes, who threatened to disfigure [his] face, and on the following day went to the shop with the purpose of provoking [him]. When he left [he] got a knife, made it into a sort of saw, and, girding on [his] sword, went in search of Reyes . . . rushed upon him, and crying, "This is the face that is to be disfigured," tore his face with the rude weapon. A friend of Reyes then attacked . . . but . . . wounded him dangerously . . . "

"Reyes, with two others, followed and attacked . . . defended [himself] against all three, and killed one of them."

"was insulted in a gambling saloon by an officer, whom [he]wounded in the breast . . ."

"the ensign Don Juan Silva, who had asked [him] to be his second in a duel with Don Francisco Rojas. Silva being wounded and Rojas killed, [Don Alonso] fought with the second of the latter . . . " [killing the second of Don Rojas].

"accompanied by a soldier. On the way a gang of robbers, two of whom they killed, attacked them."

"had a dispute at the gaming table, and fought a duel with the cousin of the bishop, killing [his] adversary."

"had another duel, in which [he] killed [his] adversary . . ."

"the servant of the corregidor enraged [him] by throwing his hat in [his] face. [Don Alonso] stabbed him with [his] dagger, and he fell, mortally wounded."

"On one occasion, in a gambling saloon, . . . a Spaniard commonly known as the "Cid." He was repulsive and quarrelsome, but courageous. The "Cid" took his seat beside [him]. Twice he took from the table the money [he]had won; but on his making the third attempt [he] pinned his hand to the table with [his] poniard. The " Cid," with two of his friends, attacked . . . [he], battling with all three, . . . [he] fell, bleeding profusely. Faint from loss of blood, . . . staggered toward the " Cid," and thrust [his]sword through his body, killing him on the instant."

Like I said, perhaps the greatest swordsman in all of New Spain!

But wait, this is not the end.

Maybe some of you have already guessed where this is going.

Don Alonso Diaz Ramirez de Guzman was NOT A MAN.

Don Alonso was really A WOMAN posing as a man, and doing it successfully for at least twenty years and doing so under the harshest conditions possible.

This was Catalina de Eranso.

It was only after the battle with the "Cid" that true nature of Don Alonso's gender became known.

Rather than be scorned or burned at the stake, Catalina, not hiding now, became a great celebrity.

Pleading her case to the Pope himself, Catalina was given special dispensation by the Pope to dress the rest of her life as a man, for all the battles she had fought for "Christianity".

And that duel where Catalina fought as a second and killed her opponent [the second of Don Rojas]. Only after the fact did Catalina find out that she had killed her BROTHER, who did not recognize her. Such can be life!!!

To read full accounts of the life of Catalina de Eranso [Don Alonso], click here. And to read the full petition of Catalina to the Spanish King, click here.


Sunday, May 23, 2004

This is coolbert: Big-mouth Generals. There seem to have been a number of these guys running around in the U.S. military. There are two articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice [UCMJ] that deal with "mouthiness". Article 88 states that members of the military cannot criticize the President or members of Congress. And Article 134 states that disloyal speech is any speech or action that causes a lack of discipline in the ranks. Any member of the military is subject to the UCMJ. Of all people, high ranking officers should know this. But this does not stop some of them.

General Brown was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs when he made intemperate statements directed at the Jews. Said that the Israeli lobby controlled Congress and that the Jews owned the banks in this country.

General Singlaub, while commander of U.S. forces in Korea, said that we should expect to see a war between China and the Soviet Union at some point in the future. He made these statements in an address to some school kids.

General Dugan, commander of the Air Force in Kuwait prior to the outbreak of the first Gulf War, said that we would bomb Saddam in his bunker, and even bomb his mistress.

General Campbell, an Air Force commander in Germany, told a bunch of school kids that when President Clinton was elected, we now had a draft dodging, dope smoking President.

And General Mundy, Commandant of the Marines. When asked about the lack of black Marine Generals, and the dearth of black officers in the Marines period, said that "they don't swim as well, they don't shoot as well, they don't follow a course on the map as well [land navigation]". "They".

Now, in the case of General Mundy, this man did seem during the interview in which he made these statements to be totally surprised and was flabbergasted that anyone would even suggest that something was wrong with what he said or that his opinions were wrong. He was dumbfounded. It seemed that he was in total denial that anything he said was wrong or he had no perception of what was going on. And remember, this was the highest ranking officer in the Marines. He did just not seem to mentally catch on.

As for the other officers, they were all relieved of duty and retired. And this is probably a loss for the country, as these are probably all good men with outstanding records. It does surprise me that such persons of high rank would be so stupid to expose themselves to circumstances that portray them negatively, but it does happen.


Saturday, May 22, 2004

This is coolbert: A lot of nay sayers about the war in Iraq have been saying this: "The U.S. populace does not have the patience for such a war and occupation." "The U.S. is not good at that sort of stuff." "We do not understand the culture of this proud people." Etc. Well, it may seem a lot of this is true when you initially think about it, but with retrospect, it is not true that the U.S. IS NOT good at this "sort of stuff".

Think about the occupations that concluded the end of World War Two. Japan and Germany. Japan was an occupied nation for five years, until 1950, and Germany was occupied until 1955 and did not receive full sovereign powers until that time. And in both these cases the U.S. fought an even more determined enemy that was very resourceful and organized. And yet, when the war was over, the occupying power, the U.S. [with allied powers also], did a very good job of transforming those two societies into what we see today. You did not have any exports from Japan of Germany of automobiles prior to the Second World War. Now, what is it, 40 % of all cars the U.S. public drives are foreign imports? And mostly from Japan. And good stable government with rights and freedoms previously not had by the Japanese and German populaces was the result of U.S. occupation. These two societies did not have any real freedoms prior to the war, and yet, after the war, with U.S. tutelage, stable and free democracies that we see today emerged. And powers on the world scene that are also friendly to the U.S. Perhaps in peaceful competition, but not as military threats.

And do not forget that the U.S. was an "occupying" power in the Philippines for forty five years. Had a quasi-colonial status and did fight a war against the Filipino "insurrectionists". This war is variously called the Filipino Insurrection, the Fil-Am war, etc. After a cessation of hostilities, relations between the Filipinos and the Americans became normal and cordial. Of course you could always point to incidents that say this is not so, but by and large, the relationship between the Filipino and the American was amicable. The proof of this is the fact that of all the Asian peoples, the Filipinos were the only ones to fight with their "colonial masters" against the Japanese. For this they suffered very badly at the hands of the Japanese. Today's Philippines is a relatively prosperous place, although it has large pockets of poverty, but it does have democracy and a well adjusted populace of relatively happy people. And a recent survey seems to indicate that the Filipino of all peoples in the world have the highest opinion of the U.S. 95 % of Filipinos have a favorable impression of the U.S. By far the highest percentage in the world. During the "occupation" of the Philippines, something happened to make this so.

And a somewhat analogous situation exists for Korea too. We were not the occupying power in Korea. But the South Korea we see today is based to some extent on the model presented to it by the U.S. and the U.S. system as represented by U.S. forces. Troops in this land also have been good ambassadors and representatives of an alternative and "better" way of live. Does anyone disagree that South Korea is magnitudes better off with U.S. troops in that land?? I for one do not think so.

So why are critics so down on the U.S. war in Iraq and our attempt at nation building?? Well, they just do not like us starting a war, no matter what the reasons why. And occupation for them is not right under any circumstances. We are not held to be a model for countries such as Iraq. My own perception is that these critics would not be for anything the U.S. does in Iraq, no matter how well it went. As to why these persons feel this way, I am not sure, only that this IS the way they feel. Their attitudes contrast with what our government did successfully after World War Two, much to the betterment of the whole world in the long run.


Friday, May 21, 2004

This is coolbert: The old adage, "the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray", is as true in warfare as it is in any other field of endeavor. A perfect example of this is the radar system code named "Monica". This was a radar system developed by the British during World War to provide it's bomber force with warning of the approach of German night fighters. Early on in the war, the British abandoned the practice of daylight bombing in favor of night time bombing. Seems the English had found out that losses for the bomber force were prohibitive during daylight. To counter the night time bomber force of the British, the Germans developed and employed successfully night fighters, which were able to intercept and shoot down bomber aircraft of the British strategic night time bomber force.

Now, for both sides, just locating the enemy during the time of darkness was the hardest and most difficult task. The night fighters had to be directed to the target from the ground and then search the night sky for the British attackers. And the British bombers had to pick the night fighters out the black sky to present targets for the defending gunners of the bombers. Aircrews of both the fighters and bombers were posed with a very difficult task. At some point during the war, the British began to equip their night bomber force with the "Monica" radar. Would look rearwards at approaching aircraft and give warning at the approach of German night fighters. Give the gunners on the British bombers a heads-up and allow them to prepare. So the belief was.

Rather than aiding the British and making the job of locating incoming attacking German aircraft, "Monica" simplified the task of locating the British bombers for the Germans!!! The Germans very quickly discovered what "Monica" was all about and equipped their night fighters with a radio receiver [Flensburg] tuned to the transmitting frequency of "Monica". This radio had a directional antenna that allowed the German pilot to "home" on the bomber force and know almost instantaneously where the British bombers were. It was as if the British had put searchlights on their darkened aircraft, turned the searchlights on in a darkened room, so as to see around better! Any observer in the room could instantly see where the searchlight was coming from and know where the target [British bomber] was. NO MORE tedious and time consuming searching of the darkened night sky!!! Rather than helping the British, their own system was leading the German night fighters to them!!!

"Similarly, when the RAF deployed a tail warning radar named "Monica" on their bombers in June 1943 as a means of warning the pilot that an attacker was on his tail, the Germans quickly invented a device named "Flensburg" to home in on Monica emissions. This was particularly ironic, as Monica had been so prone to false alarms due to other bombers in the stream that it was of little use in the first place."

As a consequence, the German night fighters developed weapons and tactics that proved to be very effective an allowed them to destroy a devastating percentage of the attacking British bombers. Night fighters, upon locating the bomber force, would attack by flying underneath a bomber and shooting upward with a specially designed and mounted cannon! The British did not have an answer for this tactic and weapon.

"In the autumn of 1943 an ingenious Luftwaffe Fitter devised a prototype of the deadly Schrage Musik or "Jazz Music" which consisted of a pair of fixed upward-firing cannon mounted in the fuselage behind the fighters cockpit. The pilot only had to slid beneath the bomber and fire a short burst which was almost always lethal. Very few Bomber Command crews knew what had hit them after being attacked with Schrage Musik, the few survivors that managed to get escape home after being attacked, simply were not believed. It was not until after the end of the war that British aircrews learned of the existence of Schrage Musik."

Click here and here to see interesting site about German night fighters.

"Monica", rather than helping the British, had the opposite effect from what was intended. And this was found out only through much error and loss of life and aircraft!!


Thursday, May 20, 2004


This is coolbert:

Not so long ago there was a web site called "Dog O' War".

Advertised "for sale" a "war dog". This was a web site [now taken off the web] for a business run by two convicts doing life. These miscreants had come into $100,000 from a prison law suit and decided to invest the money by breeding and selling to drug dealers a "war dog".

This would be a cross between a Presa Canario and a Pit Bull. Breed a very big and mean dog that could very well kill a person with ease. And they were successful in the breeding. They bred these dogs but they became uncontrollable. Killed sheep and then a person in a famous case in San Francisco. End of story. Click here to see a site showing the Presa Canario and describing it.

Dogs have been used in warfare probably as long as people have been waging war.

Today dogs are used by militaries all over the world as sentry dogs, guard attack dogs, sniffer and scout dogs, etc.

But not normally as attack war dogs in battle. We are talking here about something totally different. A dog that actually participates in battle, along with the troops. Is supposed to charge pell mell into the enemy and cause casualties. These are the dogs that are pictured as having the spiked collars around their necks so they cannot be choked. The idea was to have a whole bunch of these war dogs attack the enemy and have them break formation to deal with the dogs. Create a gap or diversion that would allow the human troops an opening to exploit. And this was done by cultures and militaries over the centuries. For instance:

"Some scholars believe it was the Hyksos (the mysterious invaders of Egypt who ruled from Avaris in the Delta) who popularised the use of spike-collared dogs in war."

"Mastiffs were used as war-dogs by the armies of the Caesars, and they were also found within the battle groups of Alexander the Great and his generals."

"Atilla the Hun, used giant Molossian dogs, precursors of the mastiff, and Talbots, ancestors of the bloodhound, in his campaigns."

"In 1988, the Israeli Special Forces sent bomb carrying Rottweilers on a suicide mission, code named "Blue and Brown," against enemy bunkers in Lebanon.

"But it was initially during the days of the Roman Empire, that entire formations of attack dogs, frequently equipped with armour or spiked collars were sent into battle against the enemy as a recognized and effective instruments of offensive warfare."

"the Romans used the heavy Mastiffs with armored collars to attack their enemies in the legs, thus forcing them to lower their shields;"

And as for the Israel use of combat dogs:

"Operation "Blue and Brown"

"The operation's multi-goal was first, to kill Ahmed Jibril, the head terrorist leader of the PFLP-GC (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command), and secondly take out his various headquarters, deep inside Lebanon.

Most of the PFLP-GC headquarters, were located in caves, situated on high buffs, off the Lebanonese coast. IDF staff decided that it would be impossible to take them out by air assault...ground assault was the only way!

Several units were involved in the raids: Shayetet 13 (Navy Commandos), Sayeret Golany (Special Forces) and Palga Terror's dogs, from Unit 7142.

A high casuality rate was expected!

Palga Terror

The plan called for Flotilla 13 to clear the beach, and for the Sayerets to get the Palga Terror Unit close enough to the targets, so that they could release their dogs, who were carrying packs, containing C4 remote control explosives.

The dogs were to enter the caves and explode, killing all the terrorist inside, but like everything else, in the blue and brown operation, the dogs didn't do what they were suppose to.

Some didn't go were they were told; some of the explosives went off prematurely; and some didn't explode at all. Four of the dogs, Rottweilers, were killed immediately by the terrorists."

This was the Israeli operation to use dogs laden with explosives to enter terrorist caves, whereupon the explosives would be detonated.

Now, the above has a precedent. During World War Two the Soviets trained dogs to attack tanks. Dogs with explosives strapped to them would be trained to run underneath a tank when they saw one. The dogs had wires sticking up from their explosive packs that would set off a grazing fuse when the wire touched the bottom of the tank. The tank would be destroyed in the process and of course the dog would be killed too! The problem with this method was that the dogs could not differentiate between a German tank and Soviet tank, and so they endangered the Soviets as well as the Germans. For this reason, the project was scrapped.

And finally, during the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs, the forces of Cortez [Cortez translates as courtesy by the way] made good use of war dogs. The descriptions by the Aztecs of these war dogs is most indicative of the fear they created. According to the Aztecs:

"Their dogs are great monsters with flat ears and long tongues which hang out."

"Their dogs are enormous, with flat ears and long, dangling tongues. The color of their eyes is a burning yellow; their eyes flash fire and shoot off sparks. Their bellies are hollow, their flanks long and narrow. They are tireless and very powerful. They bound here and there panting, with their tongues hanging out. And they are spotted like an ocelot."

Now, after the conquest of Mexico by the Spaniards, a most terrible practice was engaged in the conquistadores on their Indian subjects. This was the practice of "dogging". A dog on a chain is put into an arena with an unarmed Indian and the two fight. The dog almost always winning and killing the Indian. This was done for "sport". Wood cuts were done of this "sport" and show a grinning Spaniard watching his hound chase down an Indian.

"One favorite sport of the conquistadors was "dogging." Traveling as they did with packs of armored wolfhounds and mastiffs that were raised on a diet of human flesh and were trained to disembowel Indians, the Spanish used the dogs to terrorize slaves and to entertain the troops. An entire book, Dogs of the Conquest, has been published recently, detailing the exploits of these animals as they accompanied their masters throughout the course of the Spanish depredations. "A properly fleshed dog," these authors say, "could pursue a 'savage' as zealously and effectively as a deer or a boar.... To many of the conquerors, the Indian was merely another savage animal, and the dogs were trained to pursue and rip apart their human quarry with the same zest as they felt when hunting wild beasts."

Whoa boy!!

Such was the birth of the present Mexico. Mr. "Courtesy" was not so courteous!!


Wednesday, May 19, 2004


This is coolbert:

I have made in a previous post an entry about the superlative performance of some German fighter pilots in World War Two. How these men seemed to be just head and shoulders above their allied counter-parts in the war. There was another German who was perhaps even head and shoulders above all those German aces. This was a man named Hans Ulrich Rudel. "The Eagle of the East". A German dive-bomber pilot whose record was so impressive that it is hard to comprehend. To read about Hans Ulrich click here, here, and here.

Some comments on the above web sites: [my comments in bold].

"His story is especially inspiring when one considers that the man who began the war as a near-washout in pilot training, who was barred from combat flying by his first squadron commander, ended the war as history's most highly decorated aviator."

It is also reputed the famous Red Baron, Richtofen, also crashed six airplanes while mastering the art of flying.

"A note for my Israeli friends: Rudel's story is presented here because of his military exploits, and for no other reason. I do not seek to glorify or apologize for the atrocious crimes committed by the German political leadership against Europe's Jews and other religious and ethnic minorities from 1933-45. Hans Ulrich Rudel was not a member of the Nazi party, participated in no war crimes, did not go into hiding after the war, and was never even accused of any such activities by any organization or Nazi-hunter, including the Shin Bet."

Well, this above statement by the author of the web site would hold true for almost any analysis of the German military in World War Two. Including my own.

"Rudel's personal victories as a ground-attack pilot were achieved exclusively against the Soviets, and despite the most primitive conditions imaginable, including operations solely from dirt, mud, and snow covered airfields, his confirmed victories (those witnessed by two or more fellow pilots) include:

518+ Tanks
700 Trucks
150+ Flak and Artillery positions
9 Fighter/Ground Attack Aircraft
Hundreds of bridges, railway lines, bunkers, etc.
Battleship October Revolution, Cruiser Marat, and 70 landing craft"

This is an unheard of record, and all by one man!!! [note the battleship and cruiser].

"Shot down 32 times. Innumerable aircraft brought back to base that were later written off, due to heavy combat damage. Wounded on many occasions, including the partial amputation of his right leg in the Spring of 45, after which he continued to fly with a prosthetic limb."

"Rudel was pursued by hundreds of Soviet troops who were intent on collecting the 100,000 ruble bounty which Stalin had placed on his head, and he was shot in the shoulder while they chased him with dogs and on horseback. Through incredible ingenuity, audacity, and raw determination, Rudel escaped and made his way, alone and unarmed, back home, despite being more than 30 miles behind Soviet lines when he began his 24 hour trek. He was barefoot and almost naked in the sub-freezing winter weather, without food, compass, or medical attention. His escape stands as the single most legendary example of personal bravery and luck during the Second World War, but he never fully recovered emotionally from Hentschel's death, for which he blamed himself throughout the remainder of his life."

"Unlike the situation with the Soviets, German decorations were awarded without regard to rank. And in contrast to the Western Allies, they were never awarded for single acts of conspicuous bravery, but rather for a consistent record of personal gallantry and success in combat."

"Knight's Cross. Equivalent of the Congressional Medal of Honor or Britain's Victoria Cross."

Rudel's decorations went four levels beyond this!!!!!

"newly developed tank-busting version of Ju-87 D-3.Modified Stuka armed with two Rheinmetall-Borsig 37mm (BK) Flak 18 guns (each mounted in special canopy under each wing with 6 rounds of ammunition)"

This was a weapon system designed specifically to counter Soviet tanks. More on this later.

"He managed to contact American forces and arranged for himself and other planes to fly over to Kitzingen airfield (near Wurzburg) in the American zone, escaping the capture by the Soviets."

Upon landing and surrendering to American forces, a GI tried to steal the watch off of Rudel's wrist, and Rudel knocked the guy flat. Some surrender!!!

The story of Hans Ulrich does not end with World War Two however.

Now, here is some thing to consider when evaluating the performance of Rudel. All throughout the war, Rudel flew the JU-87 Stuka, the famous dive bomber. However, at least by the 1940, the Stuka was considered to be out of date and an inferior aircraft. It had proven to be a success during the Polish campaign and the Battle of France in 1940, but was ineffective during the Battle of Britain where the aircraft was found to be very susceptible to shoot-down by fighter aircraft. Rudel achieved his success in an aircraft that was not even an average ground attack aircraft by the end of the war!!??

Those 37 mm cannon mounted on the wings of the Stuka's, designed for tank busting, and the tactics developed by Rudel for same, were instrumental in the development of the USAF A-10 aircraft. Also designed specifically as a tank buster, and in the two Gulf Wars, was found to be a very effective aircraft. The tactics of Rudel gave U.S. officers the idea that such an aircraft as the A-10 could be a potent weapon against massed Soviet armor.

During the Falklands Island War between Britain and Argentina in the early 1980's, the British were surprised by the impressive performance of the Argentinean Air Force. This of all the Argentinean military gave a good account of themselves. Pressing the attack against odds, and very good at low level attack, the Argentinean Air Force made themselves known. It seems that their advisor and mentor after the end of World War Two was one Hans Ulrich Rudel!!



This is coolbert: In the early 1960's there was a movie entitled, "Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines". A comedy. Was about an airplane race in the early 1900's from London to Paris. Early aviators flying wood, canvas, and baling wire aircraft. Flimsy aircraft flown by brave men.

And each country had it's own entry with a pilot who was a stereotypical example of that respective countries population at the controls of the aircraft. The U.S. entry had a cowboy flying the aircraft. The French entry had a Frenchman who was a romeo romancing the beautiful women. The Italian entry had a Italian who had a family with ten kids and a wife who was always affectionate with her husband. Etc.

And finally the German entry. A group of military men headed by a senior German military officer who did everything in a strict, regimented way. The German ground crew, pilot, and this senior officer did everything in a military manner, marching, one-two-three-four, and everything about flying the airplane by the book, page 1, now, I am starting the engine, page 2, now, I am checking the controls. Etc. This is the way the German pilot, senior officer, and ground crew were portrayed in the movie. As strict, regimented, by the book, only by the book, martinet like [strict disciplinarian]. And of course this portrayal was done in a comedic manner, as this was a comedy. As the movie develops, the trained German pilot falls ill and is replaced by the untrained senior German officer [played by the German actor Gert Froebe], who attempts to fly the aircraft by using the "by the book method". He fails in his attempt, while enduring some comedic episodes along the way, such as referring to the the pages of the book to try to learn how to recover the aircraft when it goes out of control and this senior officer finds himself flying upside down!

This image of the German populace and especially the German military as being regimented, with slavish adherence to rules and regulations and a by-the-book method of doing everything is also an image popular with the media and the general public around the world too. Humorless German officers without any imagination, spontaneity, improvisational ability or initiative.

How did this image correspond to reality during both World Wars. Were the Germans a bunch of mindless, by-the-book martinets lacking qualities necessary to successful modern warfare? NO. Emphatically so! As a matter of fact, it was the opposite. The reader my recall the various quotes from previous blog quotes about waging war by rules. That doing so is to doom one to failure. These quotes by A. Suvorov and U.S. Grant are indicative of this:

"One need only be on one's guard against the bottomless pit of systematic rules." --- Suvorov.

"If men make war in slavish obedience to rules, they will fail."
- General Ulysses S. Grant

And this comment of Suvorov regarding the need for initiative:

"Break through without stopping. The head must not wait for the tail. Commanders of units are not to wait to report, but are to act on their own initiative with speed and judgment."

Now, the German commanders at all echelons, from the highest to the lowest, all realized this. That the plan is the base from which all change is made. Commanders need to be spontaneous, use their imaginations, and learn to improvise and solve problems with flair and intelligence, using their initiative. This initiative must also extend down to the lower ranks too, not just confined to the officers. NO amount of training can prepare the commander and the troops for all the things that may arise on the battlefield. The plan, no matter how well thought out, will not work out exactly as envisioned. For whatever reasons, the situation will develop in an unforeseen manner. When this happens, spontaneity, imagination, exercise of initiative, and improvisation will be paramount characteristics needed for success. NOT adherence to rules and regs and a by-the-book method.


Tuesday, May 18, 2004

This is coolbert: Now, the conventional history books will tell you that the Pope Urban II preached a Crusade. And this led to the first invasion of the Holy Land by the Crusaders from western Europe. This teaching of the "preaching" is usually portrayed as being something cynical, and hypocritical for a churchman to be engaging in, especially one so esteemed as the Pope. Well, what is the truth about this? Let the reader click here to see the five versions of what Urban actually said to the "faithful".

In my opinion the word "preach" is just way overblown and inappropriate. Several reasons for this. The conference that the Pope was at in Clermont, France had been going on for two days. This was a special meeting of ranking prelates and nobles from all over western Europe to discuss matters of a religious nature. And this was done. It was only at the end of the two day conclave that the Pope began to speak about matters in the Holy Land. And this was done seemingly as an after thought. NOT as a matter of the most pressing nature. From what I read, it went something like this. Urban is speaking here: "We have received this letter from Alexis, the Emperor of the Byzantines. He reports that his army has been destroyed by the Turks [Battle of Manzikert]. His best lands have been taken from him [Anatolia], and his people are desperate. Further threat to all of Christendom exists and will exist. Now, if some of you nobles and men-at-arms feel worthy and are willing to go and fight on his behalf and for all Christianity, we give you are leave." And that was it. Not really a preaching by my standards. I don't think that Urban or any other church leaders actually expected to happen what actually did happen. They were surprised at the reaction itself. That it became the enterprise that it did.

And it is also interesting that for about two centuries prior to the actual invasion of the First Crusade, large bands of Christian pilgrims escorted by numbers of heavily armed knights had been traveling to the Holy Land for pilgrimage. Armed escorts were needed because of the constant danger of brigandage. The phenomenon of armed western Europeans traveling all the way to Jerusalem was not a new one. What was new was the scale and the intent. This new group [Crusaders] came as invaders to conquer and claim back what they felt was theirs. And do so because of provocation.


Monday, May 17, 2004

This is coolbert: There is a rather strange and disreputable person roaming around this country. That is the military imposter. This seems to be a phenomenon that is growing, although I sense it has already been around for some time. Every now and then you hear this same sort of story. A man claims he is an ex-POW. Or he is a winner of the Medal of Honor [mistakenly called the Congressional Medal of Honor [it has not been called that for some time now]]. Or the man says he is a Navy SEAL. Or is a Ranger or a Green Beret [Special Forces]. Almost always exotic and having a glamorous aura about it. This man says that he was on many dangerous missions "back in his day". He can't tell you anything about it, or he will have to kill you. And his personnel file is so highly classified that he cannot get his military records to get the benefits he is entitled to!!?? Quite often these people are seen panhandling in large cities wearing a tattered uniform adorned with medals. They want a handout and usually get it. Trouble is that many of these people are impostors. They not only have not done what they claim they have done in the military, many of them have not even been in the military period. Never did ANY military service at all. Click here to read more about such impostors.

And there have been some interesting exposes of such impostors. In all cases these are very sad sacks with a very big problem with the ego.

Once such recent case was of the minor official of the Clinton administration who died recently. This man had as his final wish to be buried "among the heroes at Arlington Cemetery". And he was buried in Arlington. He had to have a waiver as he had not actually served in the military but felt he was entitled as he said he had served in the Merchant Marine in World War Two. Well, the man got the waiver and then after the fact it was found out he had not served in anything at all. It was all a lie. His wife with much embarrassment had his body exhumed and reburied, and not in a military cemetery.

"The only big donor on the list was Larry Lawrence.

Lawrence died in 1996 while serving as U.S. ambassador to Switzerland. He received a waiver for burial based on his ambassadorial service and his claim to have served in the Merchant Marine in 1945 and to have been wounded during that duty.

Following the determination that Lawrence had never served in the Merchant Marine, his widow had his body exhumed and reburied in San Diego."

Perhaps the archetype of such military impostors is the man who was "outed" not so long ago in Phoenix, AZ. This man was the editor of the main Arizona newspaper and quite a factor in state politics. And was a real social flier who attended many gala social events. It was to these many events that this editor would come dressed as a Lt. Col. in the USAF Reserve. Claimed that he was an officer in the Air force, was a jet pilot, had flew F-86 Sabrejets over Korea and was an ace, shooting down more than five MIG's!! Quite a record. Well, someone, somehow, found out this man was an imposter. Not only was he not a Lt. Col. in the Air Force, he had never served in the military in any capacity. When confronted, this imposter did not deny that what he did was all that wrong. He said that what he was doing was to honor his brother that had been killed in World War Two. A strange way of honoring his brother??!! I bet some of you have already guess what is coming. This charlatan did not have a brother killed in World War Two. He lied to cover up his lie!! What a supreme ass. Anyhow, this man, after becoming "outed", went into seclusion, and became a recluse. Good!

"Darrow Tully, former publisher of The Arizona Republic

and a friend of Senator John McCain's, the former prisoner of war,

admitted that he lied about flying jet fighters in the Korean and

Vietnam Wars."

"Darrow (Duke) Tully, publisher of the Arizona Republic and Phoenix Gazette, often bragged to friends and reporters that he was a decorated Air Force pilot who had flown 105 missions over Korea and Vietnam. He often wore full dress uniform to formal events. Tully was forced to resign as publisher in 1985 after the Maricopa County Attorney revealed that he had never served in the Air Force or any branch of the military." [please note, Darrow liked to refer to himself as Duke].

To read further about this impostor and others of his ilk, click here.


Sunday, May 16, 2004

This is coolbert: In a number of previous posts I have spoken about Napoleon. His ability, and his dominance of the battle fields of Europe from his ascendancy in 1796. How Napoleon seemed to be invincible as a general, how he shook up in a very marked way the established order in "Europe. And how Napoleon was benefited by having to fight coalition forces and having arrayed against him incompetent general after incompetent general. It seemed for a time that Napoleon was unbeatable.

Well, during the time of Napoleon, in the early years, 1796-1800, there was a general that had the ability to at least match Napoleon, and probably could have beaten him. That was General Alexander Suvorov of Russia. This man is hardly ever mentioned by military histories, and when he is, only but in passing. And this is strange. Suvorov did die in 1800, but prior to that he was one of the most successful generals in history, fighting 63 battles and losing none of them. Alexander the Great and Lord Nelson of Trafalgar are the only other such commanders in history, to have fought and not lost. Why Suvorov is given such short shrift by historians is a mystery. The Soviet defector Vladimir Rezun, when picking a pen name, choose the name of Suvorov [he called himself Victor Suvorov] out of admiration for the man. Perhaps an appreciation of Suvorov is limited only to Russia. But that is not completely so. Click here and here to see good web sites about Suvorov. These are business web sites that promote the philosophies of Suvorov in an attempt to show how the leadership style of men such as Suvorov are applicable to the business world and can make for the "captains of industry" to be better leaders and head better businesses. Even if they are business web sites and not military, the thoughts and ideas are still applicable.

Many interesting quotes can be attributed to Suvorov. Among them are: [my comments in bold]

"It is very difficult to do one's duty. I was considered a barbarian because at the storming of the Praga 7000 people were killed. Europe says I am a monster. I myself have read this in the papers, but I would have liked to talk to people about this and ask them: is it not better to finish a war with the death of 7000 people rather than to drag it on and kill 100,000.
- After the assault on the fortified Warsaw suburb of Praga in 1794."

This is you either pay the price now or you pay even more later.

"Strike at the enemy with humane treatment as effectively as with weapons."

Our guys at the prison in Iraq should have known and thought about this.

"The officers know that I myself am not ashamed to work at this. Suvorov was major and adjutant and everything down to corporal. I myself looked into everything and could teach everybody."

Suvorov was a man not above learning all there was to know about the soldier's lot and his job. Not above as an officer from learning and trying the most mundane tasks that face the common private.

"Otherwise we should have wasted all our time in discussion, diplomatical, tactical, enigmatical; they would have smothered me and the enemy would have settled our arguments by smashing up our tactics.
- On councils of war."

This is like the good plan today is better than the perfect plan tomorrow.

"Fight the enemy with the weapons he lacks."

If the enemy lacks air defense, use air power against him. If he lacks anti-tank weapons, use tanks against him.

"Break through without stopping. The head must not wait for the tail. Commanders of units are not to wait to report, but are to act on their own initiative with speed and judgment."

Initiative is important. If you as a leader see an opportunity, take the opportunity. That good plan now better than a perfect plan tomorrow may never exist in this case. You have to do what is the opportunity now.

"Permit me, your highness, to report that heroes are to be found also in the lower ranks.
- After the battle of Kinburn vs the Turks."

Suvorov paying tribute to the lowly soldiers who did their job and not taking the sole glory.

"One need only be on one's guard against the bottomless pit of systematic rules."

Remember the quote from Grant about not relying on hard and fast rules for war? That will lead to defeat.

"Large staffs - small victories."

Too much planning leads to indecision. Good plan now over the perfect plan tomorrow.

"Training is light and lack of training is darkness."

Like the quote from Roman times [training is bloody battles and war is bloodless battles] [paraphrasing].

"A trained man is worth three untrained. That's too little, say six, six is too little - say 10 to one."

Many quotes previously along these line. It is not the numbers alone. It is having numbers of trained men. And a few number of the latter will suffice than a much greater number of the former.

So here we have Suvorov in a nutshell. And why is he not touted and claimed as one of the greats by the historians?? Hard to tell. Let the reader me the judge.