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

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Israeli Atomics III.

This is coolbert:


5. In the late seventies [1970's], it seems that development of atomic weaponry by various countries throughout the world began to escalate.

This was the result of a multiple number of factors. Factors that foremost involved southern Africa, and perhaps included the peripheral BUT VERY IMPORTANT ROLE OF ISRAEL.

One factor was the incursions into Angola of foreign communist forces.

Soviet/Cuban/East German military contingents arrived in number, in support of the communist government of Angola.

Especially arriving in number were large numbers of Cuban combat units, as mentioned in a previous blog entry.

It looked for a while that these communist forces, after consolidating their position in Angola, might actually become involved in further fighting in southern Africa, in opposition to the "white apartheid" regime in South Africa and the white dominated regime in Rhodesia.

South Africa in particular saw the possibility of confrontation with Soviet forces and was greatly alarmed with the prospects of having to deal with foes that possessed weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons [Soviet Union]. South Africa did see a need for deterrence against this threat with nuclear weapons of it's own.

Secondly there also existed an informal alliance of so-called "rogue" ["pariahs", "outcasts"] nations.

This informal alliance consisted of Chile, Argentina, South Africa, Israel, Taiwan, and possibly Paraguay.

These countries did cooperate with one another.

Each nation did possess something that the other nations wanted to some degree.

For instance, South Africa had mineral resources, including uranium, and wanted to build a bomb. Israel needed those mineral resources, and did have the theoretical and perhaps practical knowledge of building an a-bomb.

Taiwan had access to high technology, electronics, computers, that were perhaps unavailable to a country such as South Africa. It is also reputed that Taiwan did extensive research into developing it's own a-bomb, and did computer simulations of their design, simulations that were successful. But it is also reputed that Taiwan scrapped it's a-bomb project for unknown reasons [U.S. pressure???].

It seems that there was cooperation between the various nations of the "rogue" states alliance, the goal of which was to build and test atomic weaponry of very sophisticated design.

6. This weapons development seems to have come to a head in the late 1970's.

On two occasions, it seems that the U.S. Vela family [click here to see a site that describes Vela] of satellites DID detect two nuclear detonations from the vicinity of Prince Edward Island, in the south Indian Ocean.

Prince Edward Island is a territory controlled by South Africa and is sparsely inhabited, perhaps uninhabited.

Click here to see a site about Prince Edward Island.

The story goes that the South Africans towed a large barge out into the ocean, with the atomic-bomb on board, and detonated the weapon as a test.

A test of a special type of miniaturized atomic weapon, a nuclear artillery shell.

Now, it is one thing to design and build a Hiroshima style bomb and know it will work from computer simulations. I think it is intuitive to realize that building an nuclear capable artillery shell involves design and technological development of magnitudes beyond that of conventional nuclear weapons.

Supposedly the rumor was that this artillery shell was to be used in the South African G3 howitzer, a artillery piece designed by the famous Dr. Gerald Bull.

7. After the end of the apartheid regime in South Africa, F.W. De Klerk did admit that South Africa had a nuclear weapons program, that it had been successful in developing a NUCLEAR ARTILLERY SHELL, that five had been constructed, but that NO ACTUAL TEST OF THIS WEAPON HAD BEEN DONE. Furthermore, De Klerk said that the program had been dismantled and the weapons destroyed.

8. Well, if that is the case, that South Africa did have nuclear weapons, but did not test them, what did the Vela satellites see??

Perhaps it was the Israelis conducting tests of their own nuclear weapons??

Perhaps also nuclear artillery shells.

And doing so with the cooperation of the South Africans.

South Africa providing the raw materials and infrastructure for the development and test of the weapons, but not actually detonating the weapon themselves??

 Some skeptics have said that what Vela saw was actually what is called super-lightning. A nuclear test WAS NOT seen on two occasions.

To which I would ask, how many times before or since that has super-lightning been seen in the vicinity of Prince Edward Island??

Read about this whole Vela "incident by clicking here.

To be continued.


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Monday, August 30, 2004

Israel Atomics II.

This is coolbert:

"These things"

3. Seymour Hersh, again, in his book, "The Samson Option", describes how the Israelis did activate their nuclear weapons force during the Yom Kippur/Ramadan War of 1973 between Israel and the Arab powers they were at war with.

In the first few days of the war, the situation did not look good for Israel. It was possible that Israeli territory could have been invaded, with devastating consequences for the Israeli populace. And the answer might have been for the Israelis to escalate to the use of nuclear weapons.

This did not occur, to the relief of everyone.

Israeli conventional military power was able to prevail over the Arabs.

However, at the end of the war, the threat of Soviet intervention was made apparent.

How this would have played out is totally uncertain, but obviously, if confronted by a nuclear power such as the Soviets, the Israelis would have wanted to have an option available for deterrence.

Such an option would have been nuclear weapons. [This is called the Samson Option. Referring to the account of Samson, who destroyed his oppressors, the Philistines, by pulling down the pillars of the temple where he was displayed as a captive. He killed four thousand of the Philistines, while destroying himself also in the process. The Samson Option was the last option available for Israeli self-defense in the most exceptional of circumstances, when survival itself would be on the line.]

Israel does have some pretty good world-class science and technology.

Few countries in the world period surpass Israel in some areas of expertise.

Remarkable for a nation of only about four millions of persons!!

It could be that when Israeli politicians speak of not being the "first to introduce" nuclear weapons, what they are talking about here is the assembling of complete-ready-to-go bombs.

Perhaps a nation as technologically advanced as Israel has constructed modular atomic weapons.
Bits and pieces designed from the start to be put together and ready to go just prior to the moments that a missile is launched or a jet fighter-bomber takes off on a mission.

Makes sense from a security standpoint and an intelligence standpoint. Makes it hard for foreign adversarial intelligence services to pin-point the existence and location of a weapon or weapons. At a very quick notice, the bits and pieces of the modular weapon could be assembled and you have a bomb ready to go. In the meantime, you can honestly say you don't actually possess "these things".

In his book, "The KGB, the Hidden Hand", John Barron devotes an entire chapter to Hugh Hambleton, "The Man Who Loved to Spy".

Hugh was a Canadian economist who worked for NATO and spied for the Soviets all during the sixties [1960's] and seventies [1970's].

Along with illegally providing a continuous stream of classified material to the Soviets, from time to time Hugh would be given assignments that involved research and analysis.

One such assignment Hugh was given by the Soviets was to determine from, again, what is called "open source material", was to as to whether or not the Israelis could have actually built nuclear weapons.

As reported by John Barron, Hugh diligently went about his assignment, gathering for over a period of a year all the unclassified accounts he could find about Israeli nuclear expertise.

Hugh was particularly interested in whether a nation the size of Israeli did possess the material, financial, technological, and scientific resources to build nuclear weapons. After his analysis was complete, Hugh did conclude that Israel very well could build such weapons, and probably already had.

By doing this analysis for the Soviets, Hambleton was showing the Soviet intelligence services what sources were available out there at the unclassified level, how to obtain the information, and how his methodology of processing this information to obtain his conclusion was done.

This would greatly assist in the future the Soviet intelligence services own methods of gathering and processing information. It also seems to infer that the Soviets themselves were in the dark regarding Israeli nuclear capability.

The Israelis tend to be very security conscious to begin with, and in the area of nuclear capability, very, very, very security conscious.

This is deliberate. Sort of like having an ace up the sleeve in the high stakes poker game.


To be continued.



Israel Atomics I.

This is coolbert:

Does Israel possess nuclear weapons?

This is a question that has never been categorically answered, at least in the generally accepted term of the word answered.

A lot of speculation has been made in this area over the decades, but no definitive answer seems to be forthcoming.

I guess the consensus opinion of the "experts" is that Israel does possess a pretty good arsenal of nuclear weapons, numbering in the hundreds of deliverable bombs, even perhaps thermonuclear [H-bomb] variety.

And weapons systems to deliver them at potential antagonists. But to this date, Israel has repeatedly said that it will not be the "first" to "introduce" nuclear weapons into the Mideast. Whatever that means?

There are a lot of accounts that one can read over the years about this alleged capability. And these I would call mostly apocrypha style accounts. Cannot be confirmed or denied, but usually are not beyond belief, and for the most part probably contain a pretty good degree of truth about them.

Chronologically, over the decades, here is what one can glean from what is often called "open source" material: [obviously there is a lot of this stuff out there. I have mentioned just some of what has known over the years].

1. In the early fifties [1950's], the renowned scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer lost his security clearance.

This was very controversial at the time, as Oppenheimer had been the director of the Manhattan Project, the U.S. project to build the first atomic bomb, and was a highly respected member of the scientific establishment.

In most circles, this pulling of Oppenheimer's security clearance was seen as a result of paranoid, anti-communist, Mc Carthyite hysteria.

But there may have been more to it than that.

It was reputed by the journalist Seymour Hersh in his book, "The Samson Option", that during that same time, Oppenheimer had paid a visit to Israel, where he supposedly was offered a position where he would be given carte blanche authority to head a program to develop Israel's own atomic bomb.

 If this is true, and this information came to the attention of U.S. authorities, those same authorities would have been perfectly within their rights to pull Oppenheimer's security clearance, in the fear that he would emigrate from the U.S. to Israel, taking a lot of nuclear secrets with him.

This would also indicated that from the almost the inception of the State of Israel, the Israelis wanted to build an a-bomb in the worst possible way.

2. Israel was able to acquire a nuclear reactor from France, also during the late fifties [1950's] or early sixties [1960's].

Israel was also a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty, as a result of signing, would in return for promising not developing nuclear weapons, would be provided a nuclear reactor from the U.S. [Israel did get their reactor from France], for scientific research and energy purposes only.

From the onset, this treaty was criticized as it was realized by some that this treaty might have the opposite effect from what was intended.

Any country possessing a nuclear reactor, no matter how small the reactor is, then possesses the capability to produce plutonium, and has therefore at it's disposal one of the fissionable materials available necessary to build a bomb, if that country is clever enough to know how process and machine the plutonium.

Having the nuclear reactor, even the small one that Israel now had, did allow it to get it's hands on plutonium, plutonium that if obtained in sufficient quantity, could be manufactured into bomb material.

In addition, the theoretical knowledge of bomb making is so wide spread in the world that a bomb can be build, and assembled, and the builders can know with certainty it will work without even testing the weapon!!!

To be continued.


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Sunday, August 29, 2004


This is coolbert:

The Battle of Najaf seems to be over. Al-Sistani has given the word, belatedly so, to stop fighting and Moqtadr [Mookie] Sadr's boys have seemingly laid down their arms and slipped away. A lot of wounded in the Shrine of Ali [probably will end up being treated by American military doctors too]. And dead all over Najaf, the "holy city". It is described as being a place where dogs are being shooed away after feasting on the dead.

What a guy that Mookie is!! Defiles his own holy place with his combatants and dares the U.S. forces to attack. Well, perhaps, at least in Najaf, the fighting is over. Perhaps not so in Sadr City, the over-flowing-with-sewage slum of Baghdad that is a place named after Mookie's father.

Mookie's boys did put up a determined but futile resistance. Large numbers [mostly dead now] of untrained and ill-equipped men fighting against a well-trained, well-equipped professional military.

I remembered reading in one of Joseph Campbell's mythology books about the Shia and their belief system regarding "martyrs". And so looked up the stuff from Campbell's book "Occidental Mythology" to satisfy my curiosity. As related by Campbell, the behavior of the "fighters" of Mookie is accounted for in their belief system in this manner:

"according to the Shia, martyrs in the cause of Ali suffer only in appearance. Their true bodies are lifted to heaven, while in the hands of their executioners mere substitutes remain. The popular Passion Play of Husain, representing his betrayal and murder at the battle of Kerbala in the year 680, is enacted every year on the tenth day of the month of Moharram. The muezzin cries that morning from the summit of the minaret: 'Oh, Shia, this day is a day of sorrow: the body of Husain lies in the desert, naked.' But those of extreme Gnostic persuasion give praise that day with joy, since the martyred one could not possibly have suffered, but in his true body returned that day, to heaven, while an unknown suffered death for him on the field."

This is really heavy stuff!!! Martyrdom for the Shia believer [and martyrdom would include being killed by American soldiers], is not a real death. YOU DO NOT REALLY DIE!! Your real body is taken to heaven while an image is left behind for your enemies to behold. AND MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT, THESE MEN FIGHTING FOR MOOKIE ARE TRUE BELIEVERS. To them, their religion is just not a belief system, IT IS THE REAL THING!!!!


Saturday, August 28, 2004

Traitors IV.

This is coolbert:

In my last blog I mentioned the Waffen SS units representing countries other than Russia that fought on the side of the Nazis during the Second World War [WW2]. This list did exclude Russia.

And there is a good reason for my exclusion. Emphasis must be placed upon the numbers of Russians [Soviet citizens] that fought on the side of the Germans in WW2. While the numbers of volunteers from countries other than the Soviet Union was in perhaps the tens of thousands [?], the numbers of Russians fighting on the side of the Germans was upwards of 1 million!!??

This number of 1 million soldiers that were willing to take up arms against their own country is astounding. This is the figure generally agreed upon by most reputable historians, and is quoted by A. Solzhenitsyn in his book, "GULAG Archipelago".

The reasons behind such a defection of troops to the other side is very complicated in the case of the Russians. Again, at the start of the war, Hitler wanted to use troops against his enemies that were only of "Germanic" or "Nordic" stock. He did not want to rely upon "others" and did not trust "others" at all. Again, however, as the war progressed, the German Army was in dire need of man power and resorted to various measures to fill gaps as they arose.

And the use of troops that could be categorized as "Soviet" citizens developed in an incoherent manner at first, "waves" of Soviet levies being employed by the Germans.

There were "national" units of Cossacks, Georgians, Ukranians, and Baltic peoples that eagerly fought with the Germans against the Soviets, and did so in cohesive, "national" units. This was the first "wave".

A second "wave" of Soviet citizens fighting for the Germans was of Russian recruits from POW camps. In the early part of the fighting in the Soviet Union, the Germans captured just enormous numbers of Soviet soldiers. Many of course were Russian and these men were treated by the Germans in a very shabby and brutal manner. It can be noted that prior to the war, the Soviets had not signed any conventions dealing with the humane treatment of POW's. Accordingly, the Germans did not apply any humane treatment to the many Russian POW's that they held. To escape almost certain death, many POW's, some probably willingly, joined battalions comprised of Russians that would fight for the Germans. This was the RNNA. Read about the RNNA by clicking here. These troops were given what can best be called special operations missions [such as the Brandenburgers], to infiltrate Soviet Army lines and create behind-the-lines havoc and chaos. And they were good at this. But Hitler, in his stupidity, did not trust having units larger than battalions formed, and did not want to rely upon Russians out of racial and ideological reasons [Nazi race theory]. These POW's turned collaborators were only used on a limited basis and had a marginal effect.

The third wave of Russians fighting for the Germans in WW2 was the Vlasov Army, the ROA. At it's height, this army is said to have numbered about 750,000 troops!! This army did comprise the vast majority of Russians that were willing to fight for the Germans. This army was comprised of again, primarily Russian POW's that agreed to fight for the Germans. And headed by a dissident Soviet General, Vlasov. Read about Vlasov by clicking here. In 1942, Vlasov commanded the Soviet 2nd Shock Army, a unit annihilated while trying to relieve the siege of Leningrad. Vlasov was captured by the Germans and did agree, with other captured Soviet Generals, to form a Russian army to fight for the Germans. And this they did. But, again, Hitler did not trust these Russians and used them primarily in the fighting in the Balkans, or in anti-partisan activity in France, and only on a limited basis against the Soviets. This was not what Vlasov and his compatriots had in mind. They wanted to fight Russians with Russians!! But this happened again, only on a limited basis, not as Vlasov had intended.

At the end of WW2, the fate of these Russians was very grim indeed. Vlasov and his leadership cadre were summarily executed upon capture [It is reputed that Vlasov and his immediate staff were executed by being hung from meat hooks inserted under the back of their skulls, and hung in this manner until dead. Some of the persons hung this way were alleged to have lasted three hours before expiring!!], and the surviving Russian soldiers of the Vlasov Army were sentenced to twenty five years in the GULAG. This was the same as a death sentence, as the camps of the GULAG had a 100 % death rate of inmates every eight years!!

Nobody said life for a Russian soldier was ever easy!!!



Friday, August 27, 2004

Traitors III.

This is coolbert.

All throughout the second World War [WW2], the Germans were able to find in countries they occupied, willing collaborators. And many of these collaborators were organized into volunteer military units under the auspices of the Waffen SS. The military branch of the SS.

This concept runs counter to the basic tenets of fascism to begin with. Hitler wanted to man his army with men that were strictly of Germanic or "Nordic" stock. And this was done until it was realized that Germany faced a protracted war. At that time, the Germans realized that all and any manpower they could muster for their cause was a must. And so the decision was made to accept persons in volunteer SS units that were not of Germanic or "Nordic" stock.

And large numbers of willing volunteers were found in almost all countries that were occupied by the German Army. Within these foreign volunteer units, national integrity was highly desired, though as a rule not 100 % complied with.

Excluding Russia, the Germans were able to muster volunteer units from among these occupied countries:

Holland, France, Italy, Belgium, Hungary, Croatia, Bosnia, Estonia, Latvia.

These units were usually called "divisions". But this is somewhat misleading. These were not normal TO&E units with a fixed complement of troops, say a divisional strength of 10,000 men. Usually somewhat smaller units, sometimes much smaller, but also possessing a capability at times much more potent than larger units, due to the motivation of the volunteers. And make no mistake about it. THESE WERE VOLUNTEERS. Men that willingly joined the German military with the intention of taking up arms and fighting on the side of the country that had conquered and occupied, sometimes brutally, their own lands.

I think it can be safely said that most of these volunteers were persons that had been in the years leading to WW2, had been members of, or were in agreement with, various fascist movements in Europe. Fascism WAS seen as an alternative to what was felt to be a senile, corrupt and antiquated system of democracy and capitalism. Many disaffected persons in Europe did flock to either communist or fascist movements as they did not see any hope for a solution to the many problems that faced Europe and indeed the world in the 1930's.

The British military historian James Lucas comments about this in his book, "War on the Eastern Front": [this book is one of the best, perhaps the best military history book I have ever read, I recommend it highly].

"One of the most interesting features of the war against the Soviet Union was the enthusiasm with which this was taken up by certain European peoples as a crusade against Communism. It might have been expected that the extremely Catholic countries would have sent contingents but the enlistment of men with such widely diverse cultures as Scandinavians and Muslims was an unusual feature. They and the other men who fought, whether they were Dutch, Norwegians, Christians, or Muslims as well as those who accepted some mystic Nordic belief, all fought together and for any one of a number of reasons, some for political beliefs, some for racial, some for sheer adventure, others for the sake of Western civilization, for that vaguely-felt struggle of west against East which has been alluded to in earlier pages. The reasons are not important; rather more interesting is the fact that they fought and, according to the SS, as a supra-national European army."

And devotion to duty even unto death was an unquestionable fact for these units. As was mentioned earlier, even the French contributed a division to the Waffen SS. This was called the "Charlemagne" division. And as was mentioned before, this unit did not consist of full size TO&E unit. At the Battle of Berlin in 1945, only about 300 Frenchmen were left in the unit. Given the opportunity to take their leave or fight, they fought. And died! Almost to the last man, this unit was destroyed. Click here to see an interesting site about one Frenchman who fought gamely for the occupiers of his country.

"During the battle for the German capital, the French volunteers put up a truly heroic resistance in Neukölln, on the La Belle-Alliance Platz, on the Wilhelmstrasse and the Friedrichstrasse. They fought on to the last round of ammunition on the last day of the battle, destroying (among other things) some 62 enemy tanks in the process.

On 2 May 1945, most of the surviving Frenchmen (about three dozen out of an original total of 300 or more), went into Soviet captivity near the Air Ministry building. Hstuf. Fenet had been badly wounded in the last days of the fighting, and he was first sent to a hospital before being imprisoned in Soviet and French POW slave labor camps and prisons."

Like I said, devotion unto death!!

To be continued.



Thursday, August 26, 2004

Traitors II.

This is coolbert:

The second Englishman executed for treason at the end of World War Two [WW2] was John Amery. And the case of Amery is much more complex than was the case with William Joyce. And much more confusing too. Click here to see a posed picture of Amery and ladyfriend.

Amery was a man, who in the years prior to WW2, professed fascist beliefs and tendencies. Was a friend and confidant of some of the leading figures in fascist movements all throughout Europe.

Amery was also a man suffering from mental illness. He was treated with electro-shock therapy, a treatment now looked upon with disdain my those in the medical profession.

Amery did come from a distinguished and influential family. His father was a major player in the British government of the day. Amery's father had been a government minister to India and Burma and WAS A MEMBER OF CHURCHILL'S CABINET DURING THE WAR. Furthermore, Amery's brother was a member of British domestic counter-intelligence [MI5] during the war.

It is unquestionable that during the WW2, while residing first in France and then as a guest of the Germans, Amery did commit treasonous acts against his own country. Click here to see a site about Amery.

Amery did make seven propaganda broadcasts for the Germans, directed at the British people. This is similar to what William Joyce did. Typical of what Amery said was:

"Betrayed by our Government, undermined by Communism, ours is an uphill fight against the power of vested Jewish interests, but we must win it, we must achieve British freedom of action and thought".

Amery went even further than Joyce did, however, in his treason. Amery set the goal to become the leader of a British brigade [1500 men, a large battalion], consisting of disaffected British POW's being held by the Germans. This brigade would take up arms and fight on the side of the Germans. Presumably on the eastern front, against the forces of the Soviet Union. NOT against his own British nationals. This was the purported goal of Amery. In keeping with fascist beliefs held at the time, the war Germany was fighting was a war against the enemies of "World Jewry" and "international Bolshevism". British fascists such as Amery felt England was just on the wrong side in the war, and were dupes of "World Jewry". This brigade was to be the British Free Corps, called BFK from the German name for the brigade [Britisher Freikorps].

The effort of Amery to raise such a brigade was a total failure. British POW's [tens of thousands??] being held by the Germans were just not in the slightest bit amenable to the blandishments of Amery and his German mentors. Of all the many British POW's under the control of the Germans, only about fifty volunteered to serve in the brigade of Amery. And these were men mostly of the lowest common denominator. Men that in British parlance would be referred to as "cads" and "bounders". Indeed, of the fifty "volunteers", about twenty were already under a punishment regimen for having had "romantic liaisons" with German women while POW's [this would allow one to reasonably infer that their POW status was not that extreme to begin with]. Amery's hope for a British brigade to fight on the eastern front for Germany were totally rooted in fantasy, a fantasy existing in the mind of Amery. Click here to see a site about this "brigade".

And the end of the war, Amery was captured by Italian partisans and turned over to the British. Tried for treason, Amery received what can be only be called swift justice. Brought before a judge, he was read the charges against him, was asked his plea, to which he replied, "guilty". At which time the judge ascertained the mental state of Amery and deemed in his own mind [the judge's], that Amery did understand the charges brought against him, after which the judge sentenced Amery to death. This all took EIGHT MINUTES!!! Within one month after sentencing, Amery was executed by hanging. The executioner, Albert Pierrepoint, reported that Amery was the bravest man he had ever executed [most composed??]. Click here and here to see an interesting site about the trial of John Amery.

In my own mind, I think Amery probably lived in a fantasy world exacerbated by mental illness. Not properly understood or diagnosed. But at the end of the war, justice was swift and relentless, as is seen in the case of John Amery. John Amery can only be seen as a pathetic figure!



Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Traitors I.

This is coolbert: [my comments in bold]

In the aftermath of World War Two [WW2], two Englishmen were executed for treason. These were men, for whatever reason or combination of reasons, had sided with the Germans during the war. Collaborated and actively took the side of the fascists and paid the most severe price possible for their actions. IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT THESE WERE THE ONLY TWO ENGLISHMEN EXECUTED FOR TREASON IN THE AFTERMATH OF WW2.

Of these two traitors, the name of William Joyce, aka "Lord Haw Haw" is the best known. Joyce was a British fascist who in the years prior to the war emigrated from England to Germany and did become a German citizen. And all throughout the war he made propaganda broadcasts for the Germans to England. Broadcasts that were received with the utmost derision by the British public. Joyce has always been portrayed as a buffonish character, whose strident grating voice on the radio is often remembered in the most vivid manner by those persons still alive who heard his absurd remarks on the radio on an almost daily basis. Click here to read an interesting site about Joyce.

"Dismissed by many historians as a comical, almost pathetic, figure in reality his life was far more complex."

If you examined the life of most persons, their life is probably more much complex than anyone realized.

"Joyce was born in New York of an Irish father and an English mother"

By birth he could claim American citizenship.

"when he was only three the family moved to Ireland, settling in County Mayo. Joyce was educated at a convent school in Galway -"

Grew up and was educated in Ireland.

He had strong Irish roots.

"Joyce had his nose broken . . . giving him the nasal broken drawl so familiar in his later broadcasts from Germany."

Joyce did have a unique, grating voice. He stood out for this.

"Joyce's early life was marked by violence, including an attack on his father's business and attacks on the family home by Sinn Feiners."

Joyce did seem to have a violent early life, a life marked by brawling and fisticuffs and even beyond that.

"Far from being the puny figure described by the press during World War II, William Joyce was of average height and strongly built. During his youth he excelled at boxing, swimming and fencing. This was to hold him in good stead later when he was involved in many street battles."

Joyce was not a milquetoast. A man who did not shun mixing it up with the fists when necessary. Many leaders in European fascist movements were persons who did have a degree of physical courage.

"A. K. Chesterton described Joyce as a "brilliant writer, speaker who addressed hundreds of meetings... always revealing the iron spirit of Fascism."

Almost sounds like an English Adolph Hitler!

"fights which Joyce never shrunk from. Joyce made no effort to hide his admiration for Adolf Hitler and praised him whenever possible. Joyce had made up his mind long before World War II that it was the result of provocation by Jewry and International Finance."

In fascist circles throughout Europe prior to the outbreak of war, many men held similar sentiments.

"His wartime broadcasts to England became infamous - he was nicknamed 'Lord Haw-Haw' by a Daily Express journalist because of his aristocratic nasal drawl. Unknown to the public at this time, his image was very different from the scar-faced fascist thug he was usually portrayed as."

"Germany calling Germany calling," which because of Joyce's broken nose sounded like: "Jarmany calling, Jarmany calling."

If you have actually heard this introduction, you can instantly recognize why the grating voice must have gotten on the nerves of a lot of people.

"Joyce's fate at the gallows was then merely a formality and the British press whipped up all the hysteria they could - reminding people that he was a snarling traitor. The British Government passed the Treason Act 1945 the day before Joyce was flown back to Britain."

Now, this is most interesting. Under the Treason Act, to charge Joyce under this law would be considered to be EX POST FACTO. I am surprised that this is the case. I wonder if this legal concept does not apply in England??

"Although Joyce was born in the USA, brought up in Ireland and took German nationality on 26 September 1939, he was charged with treason from 3 September 1939 to 2 July 1940, the date his British passport ran out, and sentenced to death."

Again, this seems to be a clear cut case of EX POST FACTO. I wonder how this was reconciled? And after the Easter Uprising in WW1 in Dublin, Eamon De Valera was spared death because he was an American citizen. But not William!?

And of course, the sentence of death was carried out.

To be continued.



Tuesday, August 24, 2004


This is coolbert:

Here are some excerpts from the book "Devil's Guard", quoting the purported commander of the French Foreign Legion battalion in Indo-China comprised of German nationals. The commander of course is a man called Hans Wagemueller.

To quote Hans: [talking about the American experience in Vietnam]

"But our own long and unbroken record of victories against the same enemy in the same land was still fresh in my memory, and the unnecessary death of every American soldier, hurt me deeply. I could not think of the Vietnam war in any way except that it was my own war. Those GI's scouted the same jungle trails where we had trekked for many years. Many of them had to die where we had survived. Somehow it was an inner compulsion to regard them as comrades-at-arms. And you know what? I am not surprised that young Americans are tearing up their draft cards and refusing to go to Vietnam. To take young college boys out of their supercivilized surroundings and cast them into the primitive jungles of Asia is nothing but murder. Sheer murder. Only experts highly skilled and experienced anti-guerilla fighters, can survive in the jungles of Asia. It takes a year of constant fighting before a recruit turns into an expert."

And also:

"Superior weapons mean little in the jungle and superiority in numbers could also be an unimportant factor. A thousand tough experts may cause even more damage to the enemy, spread more terror, destroy more of their ranks than a division of green recruits can. My headhunters had often destroyed Viet Minh detachments three times their number accomplishing more with the bayonet than other units of the Legion accomplished with artillery."

What is Hans saying here? Pick quality over quantity and lead according to a good plan, and you can't go wrong. A lot of truth in that!


Benito & Domino.

This is coolbert:

To all my devoted readers.

I blogged just a few days ago about the measures and counter-measures system called "Benito", and "Domino".

I must admit that what I placed in the blog was not correct.

This "Benito" system did not consist of ground based beacons operated by German agents on the ground in England.

These same agents were not able to also correct the navigation of German bombers from the ground as they flew toward the target.

"Benito" did exist, but not as described.

"Domino" the same way. I will elaborate further in a forthcoming blog. Sorry!



This is coolbert:

Interesting program this evening on PBS about the Joint Strike Fighter [JSF].

This program only highlighted the fact that a lot of the work that goes on with a program such as JSF is managerial in nature.

Project managers can serve a whole twenty year career in the military and be involved just in this one project.

A common criticism of the current military in all branches is that we do not have the preponderance of fighters [combat arms professionals] that we in the U.S. once had. Well, this may be a valid criticism, but also is the understandable result of factors beyond the control of the Pentagon. You need a lot of managers to work in a program like the JSF and have it a success. It is just a fact.

The "death spiral" of cost for new combat aircraft was mentioned of course. How the ever escalating costs of developing and producing new combat aircraft has risen dramatically over the decades. Given the defense budget, it was estimated that at some point, the Air Force would be able to buy one new fighter aircraft a year if costs for new aircraft continued to escalate as they have!?

And this PBS program mentions how from the very start, conflict between military services complicates the design process from the start.

The Navy is very keen on having fighter aircraft with two engines. Such as the F-18. For safety and reliability sake.

But the Marines wants a single engine aircraft for weight considerations and maneuverability.

So a fundamental decision has to be made from the start.

Is the program doomed from the start or can an engineering decision be made that satisfies everyone?

 The single engine concept was finally agreed upon by all parties, as it was felt that a design was possible that would be able to meet all requirements.

This is a gamble with calculations. If the gamble is not won, neither the Navy or the Marines will be happy, and the project will be years and billions of dollars behind and nothing will have been accomplished. Managerial skills are at a premium here.

Some statistics also highlight the managerial aspect of such a project. How the managers are gambling with time and money that cannot be wasted. For example:

The design of the prototype takes five years.

This airplane will be in production and flying combat missions until the year 2050.

Each competitor, Boeing and Lockheed, will each build two prototypes for flight testing. These prototypes must be built in two years and the cost will be one billion dollars for the two aircraft per manufacturer.

Lockheed did win the contract for the JSF in the end.

Has a more elegant design.

But the design for the engine is much more complex.

Has to be if the design is to be both elegant and be able to do the hovering and landing vertically that the Marines want.

It seems this engine design is a big gamble in itself. But there has to be confidence here or it would have been chose. I sure hope so!


Monday, August 23, 2004


This is coolbert:

Cubans around the world.

It was a strange [?]phenomenon of the 1970's and into the 1980's to find a Cuban army of conquest active in different parts of the world.

This was both a disturbing and unexpected trend?

To begin with, Cuba is a small country, numbering a population of around 9 million persons. And very poor. A very third world country in all respects. Cuba, which had NEVER been a player on the world stage, was now a player of some repute.

So how was Cuba able to do what it did?

To begin with, Fidel Castro saw himself as being a communist revolutionary on a par with Lenin, Stalin, Mao. A mover and shaker in the world. A man who did things in a big way to make his mark in history. To be quite honest, Castro was not really such a person. He does have an influence, but not as great he sees it. He does desire to be a "big man", and thinks he is one, but the record is woefully lacking in many areas. But sending Cuban troops around the world on a path of conquest fit into Fidel's vision of himself and the world.

What the Cuban Army did, they did as proxies of the Soviet Union. In the TV series, "Messengers From Moscow" [as I have said in a previous blog entry, this program is famous for the way these ex-Soviet persons joked and took such a cavalier attitude toward the subject matter, including the way the Cubans were dominated by the Soviets], this is made quite clear. The Cuban Army was not really the Cuban Army. It was so in name only. It was Cubans in Soviet uniform, using Soviet equipment, organized and trained along Soviet lines. Soviet in all ways, other than it had Cuban manpower. The top staff and ranking officers all trained in Moscow, and were using Soviet doctrine and tactics in all their operations around the world. The Cubans were seen by the Soviets as being "cat's paw". Dupes that could and would do the bidding of their masters. Do the dirty work for the Soviets in places the Soviets would not be necessarily welcomed or wanted. The aid, oil, and credits that kept the Cuban regime afloat for decades was given in exchange for troops that were sent all over the world.

And Cuban troops and army units were found in very incongruous places.

A brigade of Cuban tanks was for a while stationed on the Golan Heights opposite Israel!

Cuban armor was in the forefront of the battle between Ethiopia and Somalia for possession of the Ogaden Desert. A war lost by Somalia because of the strong presence of the Cubans.

A Cuban army fought in the civil war in Angola and ensured the victory of the communist forces favorable to Moscow.

For a while it seemed it was possible that the Cuban forces in Angola might even intervene in Rhodesia or even in South Africa.

It was even reported that a Cuban airborne brigade was at one time active in the fighting in Afghanistan. A battalion from this brigade was reported at one time to have perpetrated a large scale massacre of Afghan villagers.

All this foreign military adventures were of course at the behest of Moscow. Doing the bidding of the masters and doing it pretty well too.

The defector Suvorov comments about the Cuban presence in Soviet Spetsnaz training camps:

"When I was in Odessa most of the people under training intended for work in black Africa. Not all of them came from Africa; quite a lot of them were from Cuba, but that was were the majority were destined . . . they had practically no theoretical tutoring at all. But their practical training was very concentrated, even by Soviet standards. For them there was no shortage of ammunition. Shooting went in in their camp day and night."

These were probably black Cubans intended for wars and Spetsnaz operations in southern Africa. Against the "white" regimes of Rhodesia and south Africa. Perhaps commanded by Spanish speaking Soviet citizens. The offspring of Spanish Communists that fled to the Soviet Union after the victory by Franco.

And what was the reaction of Latin America to the Cuban military conquests al over the world? By repute, these actions on the part of Cuba was favorably received in many quarters among Latin Americans. Persons who would be outraged to the max if just one American gringo soldier even dared set foot in a Latin American country were proud and impressed by the Cuban deering-do. Or so it was presented in some quarters.

And what is the status of the Cuban military today? Well, with the end of the Soviet Union, the proxy service of the Cuban military is no longer needed. Cuban machinations around the world are not a fact as they once were. Cuba is the same old poor, destitute run-down land that it has been for centuries. And Castro still presents himself as a man of the masses and a champion of the downtrodden. But no longer does the Cuban army march all over the world!


Sunday, August 22, 2004

This is coolbert: Hunter/Killer III.

This book Devil's Guard, written by George Robert Elford, as told to him by Hans Wagemueller, is a very self-serving description of the German French Foreign Legion battalion in Indo-China.

It seems that Hans [Hans describes himself as a Waffen SS officer with extensive anti-partisan experience in the Soviet Union], as you might expect, has a very high opinion of himself and his German compatriots. Was this deserved or not? I just cannot say. But what you read in this book just has to have you sit up and take notice. Especially when you keep in mind all the failures of the French and subsequently the American militaries in Vietnam.

According to Hans:

His battalion [900 men, all German nationals], were always victorious.

Never caught off guard, never surprised, never ambushed.

Did missions the French [or anyone else for that matter] would not or could not do. And were always successful too.

Killed just extraordinary numbers of the enemy for miniscule losses on their own side [10,000 Viet Minh killed by this battalion alone compared to losses of 500 Germans].

Set an example for the French to emulate. Alas, the French were too proud and never did follow the lead of the German battalion.

Hans is also not hesitant about describing some of the less savory aspects of the way the German battalion waged war in Indo-China. Hans describes how the German battalion made use of:


Mass executions
of captured "terrorists". [Viet-Minh].

Human shields.


Of course, Hans is careful to clarify that his battalion only used these "methods" in retaliation for the Viet Minh using such methods first. To teach the Viet Minh a "lesson".

Some methods/techniques/procedures/organization, etc., mentioned in the book, however, would lead you to believe that the actions of the German battalion provided inspiration for the concept of the hunter/killer battalion as a means of combating and defeating guerilla forces all over the world.

Among these methods/techniques/procedures/organization were:

Use of only troops that were experienced. No man could be a member of the battalion unless he had already spent one year as a combat soldier in Vietnam. According to Hans, it was only after one year that a soldier was experienced and proven enough to engage in counter-guerilla warfare of the nature engaged in by the German battalion.

A reconnaissance platoon specially trained in the detection of ambushes, booby traps, land mines, man-tracking. This platoon used the services of defecting Viet Minh, who proved to be of inestimable value. [this sort of service was rendered to U.S. forces in Vietnam by Kit Carson Scouts, VC defectors willing to fight for the U.S.].

A unit of snipers.

A pathfinder unit. Troops skilled at cartography, and blazing a trail through the jungle.

Use of cross-country movement
, facilitated by the pathfinder unit. The German battalion was also able to sustain themselves in the field for long period of time without external support.

Extraordinarily armed for a battalion of it's size. Possessed an inordinate amount of firepower. Hans says that in one battle with the Viet Minh, a hilltop was defended by a platoon of twenty men using twelve machineguns??!!

Given great flexibility and authority in performing a mission. Was just told to do the mission and the rest was left to the battalion commander [Hans], and his staff.

With regard to all the above, you can very well see the genesis of the hunter/killer battalion as being the means for fighting guerilla adversaries. How much did this German battalion influence development of the concept? I just cannot say! It might be, quite a bit!

[There is a sequel to the original book, this sequel titled "Recall to Inferno, Devil's Guard TWO". But I have not seen a copy. Should make for good reading.]

[Again, according to Hans, this battalion was only disbanded when communists in France found out such a battalion of Germans had been formed, and were having great success against the Viet Minh].

End of Hunter/Killer series.


Saturday, August 21, 2004

This is coolbert: Hunter/Killer II.

As I have said before, conventional military units in a variety of places around the world were just found to be ineffective in dealing with guerilla insurgencies. Such as the communist model insurgencies that proliferated around the world in the years just subsequent to World War Two [WW2].

And one solution that was found to this problem was to create hunter/killer battalions. Specially organized, trained, equipped, hand-picked units designed to destroy the guerillas with much greater effectiveness. And this concept does work!

Now, it may be, and I emphasize may be, that this concept of the hunter/killer battalion had it's origins in the exploits of a German SS battalion fighting in the French Indo-China War [1945-54]. Yes, a German SS battalion fighting for the French in Vietnam.

It is somewhat misleading to describe this battalion as a German SS unit. It was a French Foreign Legion unit consisting of German ex-soldiers that had sought refuge in the Legion in the years just after WW2 ended. As you can well imagine, there were a lot of Germans that had did things during the war that would have brought them to the attention of the victorious Allied Powers. These men did not want to be arrested, stand trial, go to prison, be hung, or worse yet, be sent to the Soviet Union. Numbers, not large, but still significant, fled to France and joined the French Foreign Legion, the Legion more than happy to receive an influx of trained, experienced "headhunters". Some of these men were Waffen SS, some Brandenburgers [remember then from a previous blog entry], some conventional infantry men, some pilots, some submarine captains, etc. None saw a bright future in Germany and fled to the Legion, in the hope of an alternative better than prison, poverty, or even death.

And the exploits of this German SS battalion in Vietnam is contained in a book titled, "Devil's Guard". Was first published around 1970 or so. Has stirred up a lot of controversy and is quoted in a lot of web site forums. Purports to be the account of the battalion as told by the commander, named Hans Wagemueller. A former Waffen SS officer on the eastern front in WW2 who gained a lot of experience in anti-partisan fighting against Russian forces. It was supposedly this Wagenmuller who persuaded the French to form a Foreign Legion battalion consisting of only Germans, commanded by Hans himself. The French, supposedly desperate for success in their war against the Viet Minh, obliged Hans and the unit was formed. A unit, according to Hans, that was exceedingly successful.

To be continued.


Friday, August 20, 2004


This is coolbert:

I have mentioned that the night aerial warfare fought in the skies over Europe during World War Two [WW2] was a war of technology, counter-technology, and counter-counter-technology.

And that when sending manned bombers to bomb targets in the countries of the opposition, both sides, the British and the Germans, encountered the same problems.

One problem was that manned bombers, unescorted, in daylight raids, were shot down by fighter-interceptor defending aircraft at a prodigious rate. An unacceptable prodigious rate. Night time bombing became the course of choice for the manned bomber force of both Britain and Germany.

Night bombing missions however, also encountered unique problems as well. Unique problems to which both sides attempted to devise unique solutions.

One problem was just in finding the target. Navigating at night posed all sorts of difficulties, especially in wartime. Just getting to the target was a problem.

The problem of navigation to the target was first encountered by the German bombers during the Battle of Britain in 1940. Finding daylight bombing to be too dangerous for the manned bombers, the Germans, as has been said, resorted to night bombing missions. And as has been said, immediately the problem of navigation cropped up.

To solve the navigation problem, the Germans devised a number of unique solutions, involving radio beacon systems. Attacking bombers could use these beacons to navigate to the target.

Once such beacon systems devised was code named "Benito" by the Germans.

 Benito seems to have been a technological marvel for it's time.

It was a medium wave [500 KHZ-1600 KHZ] beacon transmitting with frequency modulation [FM].

To use FM at this point in time and on these medium wave frequencies was unheard of.

Perhaps the Germans thought this would elude intercept by the British.

Secret German agents on the ground in England would form a line of these beacons on British territory leading to the target and transmit the beacon signals.

German planes, equipped with receivers tuned to the beacon frequencies, could then follow the beacons to the target.

It is reputed that the German agents on the ground could communicate with the aircraft as well, giving them additional navigational instructions.

This system was effective for a time, until the British were able to intercept the communications and beacons themselves and devise an counter-measure to Benito.

This British counter-measure to Benito was code named "Domino".

The Domino counter-measure applied by the British consisted of having German speaking Englishmen intrude into the communications between the German agents on the ground and issue false instructions to the German pilots, leading them off course.

German bombers were induced into bombing false targets by imitative deception, and Benito was rendered while not useless, less than effective by a simple counter-measure. [it may also have been that the British employed false beacons to mimic Benito and further confuse the German pilots, but I cannot find any reference to this].

Now several problems with all this.

One is that Masterman, head [??] of the Double-Cross committee [XX] during WW2, reported that during the war, all German spies and agents residing with England itself had been caught and rounded up.

Were working for the British all along. So what is this, with Benito?

Were there German agents not known to XX during the war, at least up until 1941?? If Benito was used as it seems to have been, Germans were active and about in England even after Masterman says they were not!

In addition, here is some interesting speculation regarding Benito. And I stress speculation.

All throughout WW2, Ireland was a neutral, and did not take sides in the war. Much to the chagrin of the British, who wanted to use Irish territory for bases in the U-boat war. But Eamon De Valera, the PM of the Irish Republic, kept a strict neutral stance throughout the war. [the British did have bases in Ulster throughout the war, but not in the Irish Republic itself].

There was an incident where Irish territory was violated by the Germans.

In 1941, a formation of German bombers bombed Dublin.

The Irish promptly protested and this did not happen again.

And why did these Germans for no apparent reason bomb Dublin?

It seems that the bombers were steered off course by English counter-measures folks using Domino that gave deceptive instructions to the Germans.

Deceptive instructions that led them to think that Dublin was the target they intended to hit.

Domino counter-measures are what led to Dublin being attacked!!

My question would be, was this an accident or did the British want the Germans to bomb Dublin, in the hope that such an attack would bring the Irish Republic into the war on the side of the British??

Perhaps this will never be clarified? Maybe it already has been? But does make for interesting speculation!


Thursday, August 19, 2004


This is coolbert:

During both World Wars of the previous century one thing the British could rely upon was the resources of Empire. Resources, natural, and manpower that the British may have lacked in the home island could be made up by contingents from the Empire.

Among those contingents were troops from the "white dominions". The nations of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. The British historian John Keegan speaks about the magnificent contingents of the dominions. Troops who were of physical stature, bearing, robustness, elan, and initiative. The British found themselves hard pressed to match with forces from their own home island troops of such quality as were from "overseas".

And a case can be made that from the engagements that these "white dominion" troops fought in during the First World War [WW1], nation-states were born. Came of age from what were once colonies of England, to dominions, and then matured into independent, adult entities in time of war.

Each dominion during WW1 endured a special traumatic battle that stood out as being a turning point in it's relationship to the rest of the Empire and England in particular.

1. For Canadians, the place is Ypres [pronounced "eep", as in sh-eep], for the South Africans it was Delville Wood, for the Australians and New Zealanders [ANZAC] it was Gallipoli.

It was at Ypres that the Germans used poison gas for the first time. It was released by the Germans at a juncture in the trench line separating the French and the Canadians. At the first whiff of gas, the French and their colonial forces bolted and took off. But the Canadians stood their ground, and held the line, EVEN THOUGH THEY LACKED ANY PROTECTION AT ALL AGAINST THE POISON GAS!!! Some person in the Canadian trenches passed the word to urinate on a handkerchief and hold it over your nose. This evidently was supposed to neutralize the effect of the poison gas. And perhaps it did to some extent. But casualties were almost universal. Reports from the front read:

"Then on Thursday the Germans suddenly threw in that attack its asphyxiating bombs, which will doubtless become famous in this war. It succeeded in breaking the line of French near Bixschoote, although not to such an extent as the Germans claim in today's communique."

"Twice in the day that followed the Germans tried trench vapor on the Canadians, who made on the right of the French position a stand which will probably be remembered as one of the heroic episodes of this war. In both cases the wind was not favorable, and the Canadians managed to stick through it."

2. Kept as a reserve unit at the start of the British Somme campaign in 1916, the South African Brigade, newly arrived, and untested, was thrown into battle at a place called Delville Wood to replace British troops. First attacking and then defending, the South Africans made themselves known in a big way. But at great cost to themselves. The statistics speak for themselves:

Of 3,153 men from the Brigade who had entered the wood on 14 July 1916 only 755 came out again."

3. And as was well demonstrated in the Mel Gibson movie "Gallipoli", the landings and subsequent stalemate on the Turkish peninsula of Gallipoli had a great and lasting impact upon the people of Australia and New Zealand. ANZAC [Australian New Zealand Army Corps]. The performance of the ANZAC's at Gallipoli is the stuff that legend is made of:

"The Australians rose to the occasion. They did not wait for orders, or for the boats to reach the beach, but sprang into the sea, formed a sort of rough line, and rushed at the enemy’s trenches. Their magazines were not charged, so they just went in with the cold steel, and it was over in a minute for the Turks in the first trench had been either bayoneted or had run away, and the Maxim guns were captured." - - Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett.

"The distant conflict of the Great War as World War I was known at the time had an enormous impact on Australia, a small nation of fewer than 5 million people at the time. The war had a major impact on everyone in some way. It helped bring about economic change. Political events became bitter and controversial. Reputations were made and lost.

Through it all, Australians responded to the call to enlist and went to fight. Their story is an important part of understanding the history of Australia and its people in the 20th century."

And this great tradition of military service by the "white dominions" continued during the Second World War [WW2] also.

All throughout WW2 each of the "white dominions" contributed in a significant and disproportionate way to the defeat of the Axis powers.

* The Canadians had an army land at Normandy on D-Day.

* The South Africans fought with distinction during the desert campaigns in North Africa. The South African Air Force were the only ones to successfully air drop supplies to the beleaguered Polish resistance fighters during the Battle of Warsaw in 1944.

* Australian troops distinguished themselves both in North Africa and in the Pacific Theatre. The Australian General Blamey was the signatory for the British Empire during the Japanese surrender on the battleship Missouri to end WW2.

It is interesting that the only combat soldier of the British Empire to twice win the Victoria Cross, the Empire's highest decoration for valor, is a New Zealander. Read about this man by clicking here.

For these "white dominions", war, and specifically WW1, had a profound effect upon their psyches. It was if they had been teenagers taking their first steps into the adult world, realizing who they were and what they could do. "We are somebody people, look at us and respect us!!"

And the military tradition continues to this day. There is an informal military alliance called ABCA. Australian-British-Canadian-American. Works in an informal way around the world. Probably much of it's work goes unheralded, when it does occur, but is still out there. Such as in East Timor. Australian troops backed up by American logistic support. This thing goes on!


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Wednesday, August 18, 2004

This is coolbert: Some of you are undoubtedly familiar with Project SETI. SETI - - [Search For Extra Terrestrial Intelligence]. A cooperative computing on-line World-Wide-Web project to search for intelligent life outside our own solar system. Click here to see the SETI site. You download and install software from the project web site. Then you register and download/process/upload data sent by the same project web site. This is data obtained from the radio telescope at Arecibo, Puerto Rico. Data from recorded signals which when processed may indicate the possibility of intelligent life at the point of origin. Intelligent life that exists outside our solar system, many light years away! With about 4 million current users involved in the SETI project and countless recordings processed, however, to date no processings have revealed any indication of intelligent life.

[In 1977 a radio telescope did seem to find on one occasion a signal that was demonstrative of intelligent life, but this was never replicated].

[The SETI recordings are made at about a frequency of 1.4 gigahertz [UHF range]. What the processing software is looking for is what they call a gaussian response involving frequency/power/time. I cannot describe exactly what this response is. What I believe is being looked for here is a man-made [intelligent life form] like signal, that displays repetitiveness].

Keep in mind that previously mentioned frequency of 1.4 gigahertz!

And it is generally assumed in the world of academia and astronomy that there are other intelligent life forms out there in our galaxy as well, searching in a similar fashion as we are with SETI. Radio telescopes of the aliens tuned to frequencies that are "naturally" conducive [1.4 gigahertz?] to the transmissions of other intelligent life forms.

"the AN/FPS-108 radar [Cobra Dane] operates in the 1215-1400 MHz [1400 MHZ=1.4 GHZ] band" [This is the frequency of operation for Cobra Dane. SETI monitors the "natural" frequency of 1.419 GHZ!!].

And there is an amazing IRONY here!!

The IRONY is that it would seem that aliens, if they have their own SETI project, would be most likely, perhaps only likely to receive transmissions from earth that would be from high power military radar transmitters. Specifically, those radars that are used as part of early warning systems for ballistic missile attack. The very radars that would detect the launch of missiles carrying the weapons of "armageddon" are the very same radars that intelligent life forms on other planets would be most likely to detect!

For a period of over forty years now, powerful military radars of the U.S. and the Soviet Union have been transmitting signals into outer space.

These include, but are not limited to, the U.S. BMEWS, Pave Paws, Cobra Dane.

And the Soviet Hen House series of radars.

Click here to see a site about BMEWS. Click here to see a site about Pave Paws. Click here to see a site about Cobra Dane. Click here to see a site about Hen House [this site has a good map of coverage of the sites].

Other sources of electromagnetic radiation emanating from the earth would either not be hearable at all, or stand just too poor a chance of being heard. Military radars of the types mentioned above are probably the only way at present humans could make their presence know to other intelligent beings in our galaxy!!

In the movie "Contact", based upon the novel by Carl Sagan, and starring Jodie Foster in the movie, aliens establish contact with the human race by transmitting to earth a radio telescope message. A television broadcast from the Berlin Olympics of 1936 is retransmitted to earth by the aliens. Evidently the aliens have picked up this signal and realized it was send by an intelligence. This is absurd. The television signals from earth being beamed into space would be attenuated so much that after traveling one light year, even the most sensitive of earth's radio telescopes could not pick out the attenuated signal from among the background noise. Considering that the closest star is about four light years away, picking up a TV signal emitted from earth is totally infeasible. [That such an eminent astronomer as Carl Sagan would have included this in his book is beyond me. Perhaps he was taking literary license?].

Other than military radars, radio telescopes are the only other means to transmit "intelligent" signals to other worlds, in the hope that they might be "heard". And here the odds against such a signal being heard are slim. If you point your radio telescope and transmit a message at say a star that is thirty light years away, not really knowing if there is a planet orbiting that star with intelligent life on it, you will have to wait sixty years for a reply! And that assumes that the other intelligent life on that far-away planet will have their own radio telescope trained on our star and planet at the exact time the signal you have sent arrives at their home world. The odds against this are very long!

So this leaves us with the high power military radars. I do find it ironic that the systems that would detect missile launchings that would lead to what people have believed may be the "armageddon" of global thermonuclear war could also be the systems that would allow aliens from other worlds to "discover" us.


Tuesday, August 17, 2004

This is coolbert: Hunter/Killer I.

In the years just subsequent to the end of World War Two [WW2], communist inspired guerilla warfare broke out all over the world.

Locales such as Malaya, Philippines, China, Indo-China, Greece, all saw outbreaks of communist style guerilla warfare.

And a variety of methods and techniques were employed by the western powers to combat these communist insurgencies. These included [in addition to conventional counter-guerilla military action] strategic hamlets, "Chieu Hoi [amnesty]", separating the guerillas from the sea they swim in, hearts and minds and civic action programs, etc.

All these methods and techniques had successes and failures, as well might be expected.

And in the cases of the five above mentioned insurgencies, the western powers were victorious in the cases of Malaya, Greece, and the Philippines, and vanquished in the cases of Indo-China and China. [When I say western powers, it should be understood the west was intimately involved in the combat actions in Malaya and Indo-China, involved by proxies in the Philippines and Greece, and only marginally involved in China]. But in all cases the western powers were involved to some extent.

It was also realized early in the game that these counter-insurgencies always had a political dimension to them. It was never enough to solely defeat the guerillas on the battlefield. The guerillas normally possessed an amazing capacity to regenerate themselves and field new units, no matter how many times they were defeated on the battlefield. Some sort of political compromise, reform, etc., usually had to accompany the battlefield victories.

Nonetheless, this was WAR! War as usually defined. Two parties, using violence, attempting to assert their will on the other. So there was always a very prominent military dimension to these conflicts, no matter what the scale or scope.

And it was also observed that conventional militaries were often woefully out of their league when fighting guerilla insurgents based upon the communist model.

Large units seemed to be too cumbersome and unwieldy to defeat small bands of guerillas. Just the movement of say a divisional size unit would alert a small guerilla band that something was afoot, alerting the guerillas so they could take measures to elude detection.

And the use of small counter-guerilla units was also not very effective. These units, comprised quite often of conscripts, were just not skilled enough or had enough firepower to find and destroy even small bands of guerillas. Quite often the opposite. These units themselves when searching for guerillas, became targets themselves.

A better solution had to be found to this dilemma.

One concept that seems to have worked is the hunter/killer battalion. A battalion sized unit [400-800 men], specially selected, trained, equipped for combating guerillas. Battalion troops are normally men with experience of combat or in fighting guerillas. Conscripts are not felt to be useful. Equipped with inordinate organic firepower. Have at their disposal whatever assets are necessary to do the job [transport, additional firepower, etc.]. Commander is chosen for exceptional ability. Commander is quite often given carte blanche authority to deal with a mission. These battalions can sustain themselves in the field for long periods of time if necessary, employing stealth and exceptional fieldcraft. Battalion is not used for security missions or "make work" type of duty. Reserved for strictly hunting/killing guerillas.

To be continued.



This is coolbert:

In the previous blog I have mentioned that a favorite tactic of Brandenburger pseudo-forces was to generate tank "fright" in Soviet troops.

Tank "fright" is the hysterical and mass panic created when ground troops are confronted by attack from overwhelming numbers of enemy tanks.

Tanks for which the ground forces have no counter.

This was most true in the period prior to the development of the shaped charge and the introduction of the panzerfaust [infantry-wielded light anti-tank weapon] into the hands of German troops in World War Two [WW2].

But as I have said in another previous blog, even with anti-tanks weapons, only the most resolute, trained, and practiced infantry can deal with attack with mass waves of enemy tanks. And as is intuitive, rear echelon support and service troops are even much less able to deal with such an attack by massed enemy tanks.

The phenomenon of tank "fright" can be described as creating an effect best summarized by the adage, "when the horse is out of the barn, there ain't no getting it back!"

What we are talking about here is disorganized retreat to the rear.

It is one thing for a unit to retreat to the rear in an organized fashion.

It is another for a unit to disintegrate and have individual soldiers retreat to the rear in a pell mell, disorganized fashion.

One can well imagine the effect this has upon rear echelon troops observing disorganized infantry fleeing to the rear from enemy tanks. "Well, if they can't do it, what do you expect me to do??!!", must be the common refrain of the rear echelon troops.

Tank "fright" creates an avalanche effect. The adage of the horse and the barn is correct!

And it seems that troops of all nations and armies are susceptible to tank "fright". German, American, Soviet, Arab troops [a very famous photo was published in 1967 that showed a desert battlefield in the Sinai in the aftermath of an Arab retreat from Israeli tanks. The Egyptian soldiers had not only thrown away their rifles, they had taken off their boots to run faster. The battlefield was littered with boots] all have exhibited tank "fright" at one time or another. And this is no shame, according to General Ridgway. Ridgway is reported to have commented about tank "fright" in this exchange:

After having just taken over command of the U.N. forces and the U.S. Eighth Army in Korea during the Korean War, Ridgway was viewing his troops as they fled south from Seoul in the latter part of 1950. Fleeing south to escape the advancing Chinese Communist armies. And one of Ridgway's fellow Generals is saying to him, "I am ashamed of some of our men. When confronted by Soviet T-34 tanks [probably manned by North Koreans], some of our men [U.S.] threw down their rifles and ran away." Ridgway retorted, "This is nothing to be ashamed of. During our exercises in Tennessee in 1940, some of our men, when confronted by FRIENDLY tanks, threw down their rifles and ran away."

It seems the phenomenon of tank "fright" is almost an instinctive, visceral response, not always controllable, and not something to be really ashamed of, but more to be understood.


Monday, August 16, 2004

This is coolbert: Pseudo-forces is the modern term for troops that dress in the uniform of the enemy. Utilize this ruse to gain an advantage that they exploit in battle. Allows troops to more easily get behind-the-lines, creating all sorts of mayhem and mischief in the process. This tactic, which has a somewhat disreputable aura about it, has been used throughout history, even in recent history. Perhaps disreputable, but nonetheless, can be effective.

As in so many things during World War Two [WW2], the Germans seemed to excel in this form of combat.

Prior to the outbreak of war, the Germans organized the Brandenburger Regiment. This was a body of troops specifically constituted for the purpose of pseudo-operations. A regiment of men trained in sabotage, infiltration, intelligence reporting, etc.

This regiment was comprised primarily of men who in the years prior to WW2 had repatriated to Germany, having lived previously in various eastern European countries. These were men who had retained their German ethnicity, but also were proficient in and understood the language, mores, habits, and customs of whatever country they were from originally. It is a fact that for centuries, all throughout central and eastern Europe, outside of Germany proper, there existed large, thriving communities of ethnic Germans. After the ascendancy to power of Hitler, many young men within these communities were encouraged to repatriate [This word is the best word used to describe this movement, even if not totally correct as the definition is understood. Most of these repatriates had never been to Germany in the first place, or had their ancestors for generations back]. These were the men that made up the backbone of the Brandenburgers. Read more about the Brandenburgers by clicking here.

Most Brandenburgers, for obvious reasons, were employed in a variety of behind-the-lines operations, and as might be expected, mostly were used for pseudo-operations in eastern European countries. And had a lot of success too. Would infiltrate behind enemy lines [Soviet lines primarily] to conduct sabotage, gather intelligence, cut cables, misdirect traffic, conduct raids against enemy headquarters, capture prisoners, capture bridges intact [coup de main], etc. Quite often would employ captured Soviet vehicles in this capacity of infiltration. One favorite tactic of the Brandenburgers was to instill tank "fright" in rear echelon troops. Feigning retreat to the rear, Brandenburgers would drive by Soviet units, yelling "tanki, tanki [tanks]". The idea to was to create panic and cause a rearward chaotic surge of Soviet troops. And this did work.

Brandenburger-like troops [I am not sure if this was a special levy or if the troops involved were already Brandenburgers?] were also active during the Battle of the Bulge in 1944. We have all read about the "griefers [grabbers]" of Otto Skorzeny, the famous SS Commando officer. Germans that lived in the U.S. prior to the outbreak of the war and were repatriates that parachuted behind American lines to cut phone lines, misdirect traffic, etc. Create chaos and mistrust. And they were successful. But suffered very heavy casualties in the process.

Now, the heavy casualties of impostors such as the "griefers" raises an interesting question. What is the legal status, under international law and the Laws of Land Warfare, regarding pseudo-forces? It is categorically forbidden to wear the uniform of the enemy. Period. It is not allowable. So how come it is done? Well, the advantages in some circumstances seem to outweigh the value of following the letter of the law! You can also make a case that the regimes that utilize this practice of pseudo-forces are not regimes that are beholden to the following of any law anyhow. Such as the Nazi regime in Germany! Anyhow, the penalty for captured prisoners wearing the uniform of the enemy is uniformly death, as was the case for "griefers" captured during the Battle of the Bulge [over one hundred "griefers" were put before a firing squad and executed after the battle].

In the post-WW2 era, other nations during a time of war have employed pseudo-forces.

During the campaign against the "terrorist" Mau-Mau in Kenya, it is reported that white British troops, wearing "blackface" and appropriate civilian dress, would impersonate Mau-Mau in the hope to lure the enemy out of hiding.

During the insurrection in what was Rhodesia, it is reported that white government troops would don the uniforms of East German advisors to the insurrectionist black nationalist movements, also in the hope of luring the "terrorists" out of hiding. Click here to visit an outstanding site about Rhodesian pseudo-operations. One of the best sites I have seen period.

In both of the above cases, "terrorists" lured out of hiding would be instantly shot dead. Such is war.

In Vietnam, the U.S. employed pseudo-forces during the campaign to eradicate the communist infrastructure in South Vietnam. Within each communist controlled village in South Vietnam would exist a cadre of communists that constituted the "sea that the fish swim in". This was the support mechanism for the Viet Cong [VC] fighters in the field. This support cadre would provide food, intelligence, propaganda, first aid, etc., to the VC military. To weed out this cadre, the CIA, as part of what was called the Phoenix Program, organized pseudo-forces consisting of loyal South Vietnamese they had recruited. These VC impostors would sent into a VC controlled village, posing as VC requiring support. The hope was to make contact with the cadre and identify them. The pseudo unit would leave the next day, and CIA "assassins" would follow, eliminating the cadre. And this must have been something that worked and hurt the VC very bad indeed. Many shrill voices were raised in the U.S. against this "assassination" program. I am not sure to what extent this program was understood by the general public during the war, but it was afterwards, and it was always controversial, at least in some circles.

The Soviet defector Suvorov maintains that he never saw national or racial units within Spetsnaz during his time as a Spetsnaz evaluator. He did find a large number of what are called "the other people" in Spetsnaz. These are persons who are Soviet citizens but are not Slavic in origin. Suvorov reports meeting many German speakers and many Spanish speakers within Spetsnaz. The former, according to Suvorov, are the offspring of German WW2 POW's that collaborated with the Soviets. The latter are in all likelihood the offspring of Spanish communists who fled to the Soviet Union after the victory of Franco in the Spanish Civil War. It is most likely that such national units could be organized in time of war, and would be used in pseudo-operations, and probably effectively so, not only wearing the uniforms of the opposition, but speaking the language as well. Spetsnaz would have been the obvious source for pseudo-forces within the old Red Army.

And those tunnels dug under the Korean DMZ by the North Koreans undoubtedly have an intended role in pseudo operations by the North Korean army at the outbreak of a war with the South. Introduce thousands of North Koreans ranger/commando type troops, dressed in South Korean uniforms into the south just prior to an outbreak of war. To create chaos and inflict grave harm either at the onset of hostilities, or even before actual warfare breaks out.

And what about the U.S. Does the U.S. military have the ability to use pseudo-operations. Well, this would have to be something that would be a closely guarded secret. I have it from an informant that decades ago, there were organized in the U.S. military what could be best described as "racial" units. Special Forces ad hoc units organized along racial lines. You had units [probably twelve man A teams] which consisted of only Latin Americans, other teams of only black Americans, and other teams of only Asians. These teams would be probably deployed only in the most specific of circumstances in an area of the world where a person of obvious European racial type would instantly stand out. Were these teams ever used? I don't know!

When one is waging a war, no-holds-barred is quite often the motto. And pseudo operations is one of those holds.