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

Thursday, April 28, 2005


This is coolbert:

I stand corrected on several points of mine from a previous post, the review of the movie, "Hero".

An informant of mine tells me that electric eels generate electricity in their own bodies by muscular contractions that they of course can control. NOT through chemical reactions. I would anticipate that those "adepts" that are also able to generate electricity in their own bodies probably are using muscle contractions as well!! However, I would not preclude the possibility of adepts being able to control body chemicals in some sort of fashion so as to also generate electricity!!

With regard to "mind clouding", qualification is also required.

One "adept" that was supposedly able to "mind cloud" was the psychic Wolf Messing [Messing seems to be a pre-cursor to Uri Geller].

A renowned psychic in Europe in the years prior to World War Two, Messing, a Jew, fled to the Soviet Union where he came to the attention of Stalin. Supposedly, under the tutelage of Messing, entire generations of Soviet psychics were trained, these "adepts" possessing what were believed to be formidable "powers".

U.S. experts interested in psychic phenomenon during the Cold War used to constantly stress their belief that the Soviets did have a considerable advantage over the U.S. in the area of psychic abilities, psychic abilities that could be used for military purposes [remote viewing and mind control]. Soviet psychics were said to be gifted and had been trained in the hundreds or thousands!!

With hindsight, these claims have to be taken with a grain of salt.

On a visit to Russia, the magician "The Amazing Randi" investigated the "powers" of psychics supposedly to be found in the remnants of the old Soviet Union.

This investigation proved to be very disappointing. Self-proclaimed Russian psychics are nothing more than imitations of similar charlatans and con-artists found all over the world. "Psychics" who have learned a few simple magic tricks and are able to fool the uninitiated with "claims" of "powers".

Evidently, the psychic gap is analogous to other "gaps" that existed in the minds of American experts all during the Cold War. Such gaps as the so-called bomber-gap, the missile-gap, the titanium welding gap [useful in the fabricating of hulls for submarines] and other areas of expertise where the Soviets were said to possess definite and alarming advantages over the U.S.

[once again, persons in the U.S. who should have known better regarding "capabilities" of the Soviets were dead wrong. During the Cold War, appreciations of the Soviet Union were made by U.S. intelligence agencies that in many cases fell far short of what actually was. This includes the various "gaps", as mentioned above. "Gaps" that either did not exist or were much overstated!!]

[James Randi is a professional magician who belongs to an organization that investigates [debunks] psychic phenomenon and the claims of persons who profess to have "powers". There is a standing offers of a large cash prize to anyone that can demonstrate their "powers" under controlled conditions. Literally dozens of persons have tried to demonstrate their "powers", none being able to meet the agreed upon criteria [this would include a teenage girl who was said to be able to see through solid objects, a woman who could predict in advance what a card drawn from a shuffled deck would be, and a man who tried to make a snow white dove materialize in a light proof box!!!]].

My apologies are in order!!



Dumb Pebbles.

This is coolbert:

It seems that the idea to use large-bore [16"] naval guns as a part of an anti-ballistic missile [ABM] system was originally conceived by Dr. Jerry Bull in the early 1960's. This was an offshoot of the HARP project [High Altitude Research Project].

HARP researched the possibilities of launching into space of satellites, via a rocket-assisted-projectile [RAP] sabot [sabot - - " 3. A lightweight carrier in which a projectile of a smaller caliber is centered so as to permit firing the projectile within a larger-caliber weapon. The carrier fills the bore of the weapon from which the projectile is fired; it is normally discarded a short distance from the muzzle.] round called the Martlet. The Martlet would be fired from a 16" naval gun at such velocity and trajectory that it would into orbit around the earth, all the while trailing satellites as it orbited. Read further about the Martlet by clicking here. A quick, cheap, and relatively fool proof method of launching satellites. [It should be noted that in the late 1950's and early 1960's, missiles used to launch satellites into orbit around the earth were just in their infancy. Many failures, expensive and embarrassing, occurred from errant missile launchings]. The 16" naval gun firing a Martlet, if effective, offered an alternative to missile launched satellites.

And some success WAS achieved with the HARP project. Conventional naval gun shells were fired to a vertical altitude of 100 miles and a down range distance of 600 miles!! Keep in mind that the Paris Gun [Wilhelmgeshutze] from World War One was able to fire an artillery shell to an altitude of 50 miles!! HARP did far better and was pushing the envelope in a marked way toward orbiting a Martlet!!

Bull's concept for the 16" naval gun to be used as an ABM system was to fire a conventional shell into the path of an incoming enemy ballistic missile warhead. Exploding into something like forty five hundred [4500] fragments, a shrapnel "cloud" would be created in outer space. A "cloud" placing a "wall" of steel fragments in the path of the incoming enemy warhead. A warhead would have pass through this "cloud", the impact between the warhead and any of the many shrapnel fragments creating stupendous kinetic energies, destroying the warhead instantly. Bull DID have a team of grad students do calculations with regard to this ABM system, Bull telling the human calculators that, "this was a system of protecting the earth from meteorites".

A number of objections were raised at the time with regard to the 16" naval gun ABM system. These included:

Radars and computers of the time were just not accurate and fast enough to provide proper weapons guidance for the 16" naval gun.

A 16" naval gun ABM system could NOT deal with hundreds of simultaneous incoming enemy missile warheads. [such an attack would have occurred if a nuclear exchange between the U.S. and the Soviet Union took place].

It took a TRAINED gun crew ninety minutes to load and fire one round from the 16" naval gun. This was way, way too slow.

The HARP project being subsequently discontinued without orbiting a Martlet, Dr. Bull's amazing and innovative ABM system using 16" naval guns never came to fruition. In all probability, missiles were just more "sexier". That was what politicians and the military wanted to see, expensive and "sexy" missiles used for an ABM system, NOT big-bore naval guns. It should be noted however, that further research into the concept of naval guns being used for missile defense was continued for some time after the HARP project was cancelled, using 5" naval guns at the Wallops Island missile test range as part of a scaled down ABM system. Evidently some in the military felt that Bull's idea had merit and DID deserve further research. Research that DID continue!! Read about HARP and further similar research projects by clicking here.

[During the Presidency of Ronald Reagan, the Strategic Defense Initiative [SDI] was proposed.

SDI was conceived as a space-based ABM system. A system that would render known existing offensive missiles of hostile nations impotent.

One segment of SDI was called "Brilliant Pebbles". Orbiting missiles of small size would look DOWNWARD at the earth with onboard sensors and watch for ballistic missiles launchings from hostile nations. These "Brilliant Pebbles" would fire their motors, and guide themselves to impact with the hostile missile, destroying same. These "Brilliant Pebbles" were often referred to as "kinetic energy weapons". Such was the advancement even at the time with sensors to detect missile launch that it was said that each square foot of the surface of the earth would have a minimum of ten "Brilliant Pebbles" sensors constantly looking at it!!! There was even a system for SDI proposed that involved what was called a "rail gun". A device that used magnetic attraction to accelerate an ABM interceptor to phenomenal velocity, that interceptor being steered to collide with the hostile missile or warhead, destroying same by "kinetic energy"].

It has been over forty years now since Dr. Bull conceived his big-bore naval gun ABM system. Perhaps this system needs to be looked at again, modern radars, computers, and artillery projectiles being what they are. A modern version of Bull's ABM system COULD work!! Such a system could be called, somewhat erroneously, "Dumb Pebbles".

Even to this day, the "sexiest" missile used as an ABM interceptor does not seem to work. Many tests have been done, without the desired results.

Perhaps, using modern technology, "Dumb Pebbles" offers a quick, dirty, and effective alternative to the various ABM missile systems that have been proposed [or are being built, as we speak].

Modern technology does seem to overcome the drawbacks to the gun based ABM system as proposed by Dr. Bull.

A number of advancements make this possible. These advancements would include:

Modern radars and computers are just light-years ahead of the technology that existed in the early 1960's!!

It may not be necessary to have an ABM system that can successfully engage and destroy hundreds of incoming hostile warheads. A more likely scenario is that the gun based ABM system would have to deal with a small, limited number of incoming warheads, from say, such rogue nations as North Korea or Iran!!

It should also be possible to overcome the ninety minutes for a trained crew to fire the 16" gun by having a RAP sabot round constantly loaded, modern propellants being loaded to fire the RAP just prior to initiating engagement!!

I see such a "Dumb Pebbles" ABM system consisting of the following:

Early warning [EW] radars of the Cobra Dane or Cobra Judy [shipbased] variety. DO NOT preclude spaced-based radars as well!!

Very fast trajectory calculating computers [centralized/decentralized] crunching data from the EW radars. These computers evaluate possible targets, and issue instructions to the firing batteries.

A centralized/decentralized communications system tying together the EW radars, computers, and firing batteries in an integrated system that also possesses autonomous capability.

Firing batteries consisting of two to three turrets, each turret mounting three 16" naval guns. The exact number of firing batteries to be determined. Each firing battery also possessing it's own independent radars and computer guidance system, with a capability for a master/slave relationship to exist between various turrets within a battery or firing batteries.

An improved RAP sabot round to be fired from the 16" naval gun. This RAP sabot [steerable??] would carry a large number [number to be determined] of bomblets. Each bomblet containing hundreds or thousands of steel ball bearings.

I see a firing sequence of this ABM system proceeding as follows: [this sequence for the most part would be automated].

1. A combination of ground based and space based sensors detect hostile missile launch. A trajectory and impact point for the hostile missile is quickly determined.

2. The appropriate battery or batteries are notified to initiate firing sequence. Propellants are loaded, guns are made ready and given initial aiming instructions.

3. Firing battery or batteries turn on their target acquisition radar [TA] and fire control radar [FC], attempting to locate incoming hostile missile/warhead.

4. TA radar gives the firing battery final aiming instructions.

5. Battery fires.

6. RAP sabot ascends.

7. RAP sabot receives steering instructions from FC radar.

8. RAP sabot detonates at appropriate altitude, releasing bomblets.

9. Bomblets continue to ascend in a ballistic arc.

10. Bomblets detonate, creating a spew of steel ball bearings. This forms a steel "cloud" in the direct path of the hostile missile/warhead.

11. Hostile missile/warhead passes through "cloud", impacts with ball bearing spew and is destroyed.

Seems so simple, doesn't it??

And there is unending variation as to how many guns are firing from how many turrets from how many batteries. One gun from one turret may fire. Or a turret can ripple fire RAP sabot, one round detonating at altitude, one round on the way, and one ready to fire. Or a turret or turrets or entire batteries could fire salvos or multiple salvos simultaneously. One battery in that case would be the master, issuing aiming and firing directions to another battery or batteries for multiple coverage of the same hostile missile/warhead.

Do I ever expect to see such an ABM system installed, in place and working. Ever?? NO!! But it does make for interesting speculation, does it not??!!

[how readily available would be those barrels for the 16" naval guns? Well, I am not sure. It seems that in the early 1960's, hundreds of these barrels existed in mothballs, a legacy of World War Two [WW2]. At the time, a nation's technological expertise could be measured to a degree by it's ability to manufacture these large naval guns. These barrels could not have been cheap?? NOT to be easily discarded. Do they still exist in mothballs?? I am not sure. That would make for an interesting question. Having the barrels available quickly would expedite the fielding of such a gun ABM system].



Wednesday, April 27, 2005


This is coolbert:

The tragic story of the U.S.S. Indianapolis is of course well documented and widely known.

After delivering the atomic bomb to the island of Tinian in the latter days of World War Two [WW2], the Indianapolis, enroute to the Philippines, was torpedoed and sank. Eight hundred men went into the water, only two hundred surviving.

Some of the men in the water died of exposure.

The large majority of the deaths, however, were due to shark attack.

Shark attack, that again, tragically, was aided and abetted, unknowingly so, by the men in the water themselves.

Navy seamen in WW2 were taught, that if in the water, and sharks are in the vicinity, beat and flail the water with your arms and legs, shout and scream, and do so in a group.

This is exactly the wrong and opposite behavior!!

 Rather than keeping the sharks away, the behavior of the men in the water attracted the sharks and led to many deaths!! When beating and flailing the water, those sailors, unbeknownst to themselves [and unbeknownst to the "experts" too], were mimicking the convulsive and erratic motions of a dying fish!! A fish in it's death throes.

[a shark is a remarkable predator. A shark possesses extraordinary sensory perception. Vision ten times better than that of man. An acute sense of smell, especially attuned to the smell of blood in the water. A lateral line that is sensitive to motion in the water. And special sensors in the nose that react to the electro-magnetic field of an animal. Sharks are often referred to as "wolves of the sea". Sea creatures that are attracted to and prey upon the sick, the young, the old, the feeble, the injured, the dying. Just as wolves do on land!! In the case of the Indianapolis, the sailors beating and flailing the water stimulated the lateral line of the sharks in a manner that said to the shark, "here is a wounded, dying, sickly, and feeble fish. A fish that is giving off convulsive and erratic movements signaling death. Go get it!!"]



This is coolbert.

Of course, the most famous British naval officer of all time is Horatio Nelson. Nelson of Copenhagen, Nelson of the Nile, Nelson of Trafalgar. It was because of the extraordinary abilities and leadership of Nelson that Britain ruled the waves. By defeating the fleets of Napoleon twice [Trafalgar was a victory over the combined Spanish and French fleet], Nelson made it possible for the nineteenth century to be a British century, a Pax Brittania if you like.

Nelson was a commander of extraordinary leadership ability. A man NOT of imposing stature but a man who exercised command while missing one arm and one eye. A man and commander that had earned the respect and admiration of the lower rankers.

Nelson was also a commander that was down right insubordinate and disobedient, as he saw fit. Went against orders and the rules of naval warfare as they existed. Was victorious in his three major sea battles, and merits the rank of "Great Captain". Is the only naval officer to merit this rank!! And is the only "Great Captain" other than Alexander the Great who was undefeated in his career!!

[for a definition of a "Great Captain", such superlatives as, "single purpose and ruthless, driving energy", "bulldog tenacity and his imperturbability", "loved and respected by his men", "commanded men through respect and admiration rather than fear", apply. The "Great Captains" number very few. In recent history, Wellington, Napoleon, Grant, and Lee from the nineteenth century are considered to be "Great Captains". If you are not in their league, you are not a "Great Captain".]

As previously mentioned, Nelson tended to be insubordinate, even disobedient when it came to battle.

"As a commander he was known for bold action, and the occasional disregard of orders from his seniors. This defiance brought him victories against the Spanish off Cape Vincent in 1797, and at the Battle of Copenhagen four years later, where he ignored orders to cease action by putting his telescope to his blind eye and claiming he couldn't see the signal."

Normally this sort of behavior, insubordination and disobedience, would bring courts martial, demotion or cashiering, even hanging. Nelson, however, by brilliant and well thought out tactics, tactics that were innovative and daring, was always victorious. The adage, "you can't argue with success" is quite true. Rather than being punished, Nelson was rewarded for his fighting abilities and daring.

[in the modern era, the behavior of Ariel Sharon as an Israeli General seems to mirror that of Nelson's insubordination and disobedience, and yet, not punishment, but rather vindication and success!!].



Master & Commander.

This is coolbert:

  Movie Review.

The movie being reviewed is "Master and Commander - - Far Side of the World".

A good movie, but not a great movie. Worth seeing? Yes!! But again, is not a great movie.

A somewhat familiar story from a somewhat familiar genre. HMS Surprise, British naval warship in 1805, is patrolling the coast of Brazil in search of a French privateer. The privateer is encountered, to the chagrin of Captain Jack Aubrey [Russell Crowe], who finds himself outgunned and outrun as well. Captain Jack, at his own discretion, decides to pursue the French villains to the "ends of the earth". And does. That is as much as I will tell.

The movie does an excellent job of touching upon some interesting aspects of naval warfare in the Napoleonic era.

The role of midshipmen on men-of-war during that era is shown. Boys, most in their teens, with even a few of pre-teen age, sign on a warship as midshipmen [aspiring officers]. They learn the ropes of seamanship, naval warfare, and leadership while running all aspects of the ship. At some point, if they are talented, they can hope for promotion to officer rank. But not an easy assignment. Some pass the test, some do not. The latter, with often disastrous consequences.

The physical effort just to sail a man-of-war is touched upon as well. It was an intense, dangerous, and never-ending-back-breaking job just to keep a sailing ship of 1805 going, much less fight in battle. It was no wonder that the British Navy had to often resort to the "press gang" to keep their ships manned. Read about the "press gang" by clicking here.

A crew on a naval vessel of the Napoleonic era had to be both able to man his battle station as a cannoneer [also back-breaking intensely physical labor], and be prepared at a moments notice to act as a boarder. Spring into battle at a command by boarding the ENEMY'S SHIP and engage in close quarters combat using pistol and cutlass.

[the boarders indeed used methods as would be found in say an Errol Flynn pirate movie. Using ropes, grapples, planks, ladders, etc., to board an enemy ship].

As is mentioned in my review, the Captain of the HMS Surprise [Russell Crowe] does exercise initiative and discretionary powers of an extraordinary nature. This was not unheard of in the British Navy of the time. A lone vessel far from home had to have a Captain who could estimate the situation and decide on a course of action that was sometimes in contradiction from what he was originally ordered. Naval officers of that era had to have such discretionary powers, the slowness of communications making it impossible for senior officers to command from a distance [from the Admiralty in London]. Quite often, an officer exercising discretion and succeeding in his mission, as he saw it, was hailed as a great hero and decorated accordingly. Woe however, to that Captain that exercised discretion and failed.


Thursday, April 14, 2005


This is coolbert:

  Movie Review.

The movie being reviewed is “Hero”, starring Jet Li.

This movie is a martial arts movie, but is much more than a martial arts movie.

I would rate this as being in the same category as “The Alamo”, a MUST SEE!!

“Hero” is a movie that seems to have each scene directed [directed by Yimou Zhang, an unknown to me] for artistic visual effect. “Hero” is a movie of unsurpassed beauty, head and shoulders above your run-of-the-mill martial arts movie, and certainly an artistic masterpiece when compared to almost any other movie of any other genre!! Perhaps only David Lean’s “Doctor Zhivago” is the equal of this movie with regard to visuals. And “Hero” in my opinion is better. The musical score is also very good, with Oriental style music that is not dissonant to the western ear.

“Hero” has an interesting and intricate plot. Again, far better than your average-run-of-the-mill martial arts “masterpieces”. [some of those Hong Kong martial arts movies in my opinion are just plain silly and at times goofy.]

The movie is described as being about:

“A nameless magistrate weaves a stunning tale of how he defeated three assassins employed to murder the ruler of Qin [Chin]”.

“Hero” does possess a surprise ending. Neither the plot nor the ending will I give away.

The martial arts sequences are filmed again, with artistic effect being a primary motivation of the director. It is important to remember that the martial artists, Jet Li and the three assassins, are not just martial artists, they are also at the same time, “adepts”. Persons who can not only fight in the conventional sword play manner of the time of Qin [Chin] and the warring states, [circa 220 B.C.] but also possess “powers” that in the west would be regarded as supernatural ability. Such skills of the adepts include the fight sequences where the combatants can fly through the air and the ability to deflect “clouds” of arrows with impunity.

[I especially like the scenes where the martial artists are able to fly through the air. If only I could master that one feat, I would be able to die a happy person].

When considering the “supernatural” and “impossible” abilities of the adepts, keep this in mind:

Some adepts have the ability to generate electricity within their own bodies! Most westerners would say this impossible. And yet, it HAS been demonstrated that this is not nonsense. Adepts CAN and DO generate internal electricity. This should not be regarded as being an impossibility. Within the animal kingdom, electric eels do the same, and this is not considered to be something that is supernatural. Eels generate electricity through some sort of chemical reaction. Humans perhaps can do the same by manipulating stomach acids and other internal fluids, and doing so at will. Stomach acids found in the human body are not dissimilar to the sulphuric acids found in car batteries. That human adepts have developed the ability to act as human dynamos is not unreasonable!!

Adepts also have the ability to run themselves through with swords and NOT do damage. [this particular ability is mentioned in “Hero”]. I have seen a film that shows an Iraqi tribe putting on a demonstration of this “supernatural” skill for one of the late sons of Saddam Hussein. Persons run themselves completely through with a sword [perhaps a meter long sword??!!], the sword entering the front of the body, exiting in the back, with seemingly no ill effect to the participant [apparently no bleeding either ]. This is totally plausible. Undoubtedly, these tribesmen, and others throughout the world, have studied the human internal anatomy well enough to know that if a sword enters the body in a particular spot, and is run through the body at a certain angle, internal organs will not be struck. Repeated punctures [entry and exiting] in the same spot make for a body piercing on a “macro” scale. The adept will be unscathed by the sword. This too is not unreasonable.

Martial arts skills aside, “Hero” IS a MUST SEE ! Very well done and entertaining.


Tuesday, April 12, 2005


From Colonel Craig USMC:

2/24, the Chicago Marine Reserve Infantry Battalion, came home April 7, 2005 after spending 7 months in Iraq. The unit performed very well. They suffered 13 dead and over 100 wounded.

Our thanks to them.

Semper Fi.

Colonel Craig USMC.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

American Civil War.

This is coolbert:

Accompanying the April 2005 issue of the National Geographic magazine is one of those excellent, nay, superlative maps that are issued as supplementary to an article.

Maps issued by the Geographic are almost without question done in the finest fashion imaginable, with running commentary amplifying the visual.

This map of the April 2005 issue is no exception. Entitled, "A Nation Transformed by Civil War" , this map highlights issues of the American Civil War that are seldom touched upon in conventional histories.

Excerpts from the commentaries in the map such as:

[My own comments in bold].

"Before the war began, the United States held more slaves than any nation on Earth."

This may not be entirely true. Brazil may have had more slaves. Slavery was practiced in Brazil until the 1880's.

"In 1860 human property was worth more in raw dollars than all the capital invested in U.S,. railroads, factories, and banks combined."

"With populations more than half slave, South Carolina and Mississippi seceded first. Nine other states followed, roughly in order of their slave density."

Current suggestions by modern revisionist historians was that the American Civil War WAS NOT about slavery. That it was a war over "states rights". To which I would ask, "well, what states rights were the southerners so concerned about??" The value of dollars the slave population represented and the order with the southern states seceded almost surely suggest that the "states rights" most dear to the southerners was the right to own property, in this case the property being slaves. NO other one reason seems to make sense.

"A campaigning army of 100,000 men could consume about 600 tons of supplies daily and would need 2,500 wagons and 35,000 draft animals to keep food, munitions and necessities moving."

The Geographic map shows a wagon park of 240 wagons and draft animals. And it does make for an impressive site to see this small portion [less than 1/10th] of the number needed to provide supplies on a DAILY basis for an army of 100,000 men.

"Wartime manufacturing demands, especially for firearms . . . sparked industrial growth in the north."

"Dozens of types of long guns, handguns, and artillery pieces were used. This array required almost as many different types of ammunition and created a tremendous logistical challenge."

"By the 1870's the U.S. had become one of the world's largest exporters of small arms - - a status it retains to this day."

Many fortunes were made in the north during the American Civil War. Including that of John D. Rockefeller. This capital, much of it from manufacturing war munitions, became the "seed money" that helped stimulate the "gilded age" , and the ascendancy of the U.S. to be the world's foremost industrial nation.

"In 1860 many doctors had never treated a gunshot wound or witnessed the
amputation of an arm or leg. They were ill-prepared for what they'd see on the battlefield . . . Civil War medicine has often been unfairly stereotyped as primitive, painful, and ineffective. But it was advanced for its time and led to significant improvements in trauma surgery. Nearly 75 percent of amputation patients survived."

The educational level for a doctor in 1860 was abysmally low. The medical "colleges" of the time produced doctors who level of education was probably not even equal to a graduate of a conventional college with a four year baccalaureate degree!! It was not until around 1900 that this situation was remedied. Doctors of the Civil War era learned their trade primarily by "practicing". That is part of why to this day doctors are called "practitioners". That 3/4 of amputations were successful IS an amazing statistic, given the treatments and care of wounds of the time. Quite often care of patients was the exact opposite of modern treatment [bleeding, keeping wounds moist]. That so many amputations were successful is probably due not so much to advanced medical care but is more of a tribute to the rugged constitutions found in so many persons of that era.

"The electric telegraph, which allowed almost instant communications over long distances, played its first major military role during the Civil War."

Of course this communication, on both sides, had to be safeguarded by cryptographic systems. Confederate crypto was woefully inadequate [polyalphabetic ciphers reusing the same small number of keys, mixing plain text with cipher text, etc.]. It is said that the Union interceptors of Confederate so-called secure message traffic were able to read every last message they could get their hands on. In contrast, Union secure traffic was indeed secure [enciphered code], Union cryptographers developing more and more secure systems as the war progressed. Southern interceptors were NOT able to read Union encrypted messages.

"The Union sought to seal off 3,500 miles of Confederate coastline from Chesapeake Bay to the Gulf of Mexico. With ten major ports and 200 navigable inlets to guard, it was a daunting job . . . Union naval forces captured some 1,500 blockade runners and succeeded in cutting southern trade to a third of prewar levels."

The Union naval blockade of the south is said to be the only naval blockade in history that succeeded. Cutting trade of the south to only 1/3rd of prewar levels HAD to be significant. And you would not need to guard on an uniform basis the entire 3,500 miles of coastline. You WOULD need to identify major ports and provide the necessary naval assets to blockade those ports with "cast iron coverage". That of itself would have a significant impact. Much of the movement of blockade runners WAS from Bermuda, British territory!! Britain did have a definite affinity for the southern plantation aristocrats. Cuba was also another territory friendly to blockade runners. Blockade runners sailing from Cuban waters were primarily destined for Galveston, Texas. Shipping war munitions in from Cuba through Galveston cannot have been that important. Just getting the munitions ashore was one thing. Getting those munitions to where they were needed by Confederate troops was another.



This is coolbert:

The most recent issue of the National Geographic magazine, the April 2005 issue, has an article on Civil War battlefields. How these battlefields have disappeared and are disappearing due to the modern onslaught of sub-division, paved roads, parking lots, shopping malls. Areas that until a few years ago were rural and have been for the one hundred and forty years since the end of the Civil War, are no longer rural. It is felt that action must be taken to either preserve or restore what in the eyes of many is "hallowed ground".

Several of the major battlefields of the American Civil War have been protected for some time. Antietam is in almost pristine condition. When you visit the Antietam Battlefield, it is almost exactly as it was in 1862. A lot of thought and care has been placed into the preservation of this Maryland site. And Gettysburg is pretty much preserved in entirety. Even some restoration is being done to this day by purchasing land at Gettysburg that was the scene of fighting. Gettysburg does have a lot of grandiose monuments that in my opinion detract from the overall setting. But those monuments were erected a long time ago and probably will be always a part of the battlefield at Gettysburg.

Some American Civil War battlefields have been obliterated by development and just plain neglect. Such a battlefield is Franklin. I have blogged on Franklin before. An unheralded battle that actually had great consequences. It was because of Franklin that modified lyrics were composed for the song, "The Yellow Rose of Texas".

"And now I'm going southward, for my heart is full of woe . . . you may talk about your Beauregard and sing of General Lee, but the gallant Hood of Texas played hell in Tennessee."

These lyrics of course refer to the disastrous defeat of the southern army of John Bell Hood at Franklin. Hood's army suffered 7000 casualties in that one day at Franklin. [the Yankee army of Schofield suffered about 2000 casualties]. Franklin was the only instance in the entire Civil War when the southern forces left the battlefield in disarray and rout!!

The site of the battlefield today is referred in the Geographic article as a "landscape of auto-muffler shops, fast-food restaurants, and low-rise shopping centers." "Were 1,700 rebels were killed is now the site of a pizzeria [Pizza Hut]!" Some effort is now being made to buy land and restore the battlefield. But in all likelihood, the damage to the important battlefield of Franklin is done. Recovery is just probably not possible, or is next to impossible!

Some interesting excerpts from the Geographic article on Franklin:

"Of all the Civil War's major engagements, the Battle of Franklin is the most unjustly forgotten. it was a struggle at once magnificent and hideous. Both armies went in as thought they knew it would be their last leap at glory. Some witnesses later recalled the battle flags waving along their lines, the bands playing jaunty airs in the heat of battle, the splendor of the Confederacy's full frontal attack. Others were haunted by grim visions of what followed: bodies stacked like cordwood, blood flowing ankle-deep. Nearly 9,000 men were killed, wounded, or captured in the space of just a few hours including no fewer than 15 Confederate generals. It was perhaps the most concentrated slaughter of the entire war."

As late as 1915, French regiments on the Western Front of World War One still went into battle with regimental colors flying and the regimental band playing!! Concentrated German machinegun fire put an end to those practices!!

"The battle was viewed by many as an embarrassment" . . .. "People thought of it as a huge Confederate debacle."

"Because of the south's loss at Franklin, all of use won." . . . "This is where the Old South died, and we were reborn as a nation."

"The savage Battle of Franklin raged into the night, leaving six Confederate generals dead, eight wounded, and one a prisoner."

After Franklin, the war in the deep south was more or less over. Confederate armies just lost all ability to oppose the Yankee armies in an effective manner in the southern theatre of war. And from the modified lyrics of the "yellow rose of Texas", one can surmise that the Confederate rank and file DID realize this at the time and and lost hope. Such was Franklin!!



Friday, April 08, 2005


This is coolbert:

Movie Review.

The movie being reviewed is the "The Alamo."

This is a MUST SEE movie. Outstanding, even brilliant.

And is outstanding in two regards.

One is that the movie is factually very accurate, as best as the circumstances and facts are understood by us moderns.

[the inhabitants of what is now Texas at the time were referred to as Texians, or Tejanos. I make free use of these terms].

Second, character development of the major players in the drama surrounding the episode of the siege and battle is superb.

I know that there was a lot of controversy prior, during, and after the filming of this movie. Before release to the general public, a lot of ink and hot air was dispensed with just in discussion of a movie that people had not even seen [this does happen from time to time with controversial subjects]. What to include, what not to include, how this should be shown, how this should be seen, how to interpret this, how to interpret that, was all up for discussion. And this is not bad, this is GOOD! Let all parties be heard from and have their viewpoints considered.

And of course politics plays a part in all this. Modern Texans want to have the defenders of the Alamo shown as noble people that sacrificed themselves bravely. Mexicans want the same defenders portrayed as slave owning pirates and rebels breaking the laws of Mexico.

Some facts were made apparent in the movie that are not known to the general public.

The local Mexicans [to be discerned from the "Anglo" immigrants to Texas, DID side and fight with the "Anglos" at the Alamo.

These locals that stood with the "Anglos" at the Alamo to be sure were citizens of Mexico, as were the "Anglos", but not a Mexican as the term is normally understood [a person of mixed white and American Indian ancestry, a mestizo]. The residents of San Antonio de Bexar were the descendants of Spanish immigrants from the Canary Islands specifically sent to colonize and inhabit the land [Tejas], that most Mexicans shunned totally.

The reasons for revolt on the part of the Texians [they referred to themselves as such] are only touched upon in passing. This is a flaw.

The Tejanos, "Mexican" and "Anglo" alike fought as a response to the abrogation of the Mexican Constitution and the assumption of dicatorial powers by General Santa Ana. Santa Ana ruled with a heavy hand and violated the GOD-given rights as recognized by both "Mexicans" and "Anglos".

Character development in this movie WAS outstanding.

The "Anglo" immigrants to Tejas are protrayed as hard-drinking, hard-living folk with short tempers and an exaggerated sense of honor.

A sense of honor that must be often satisfied by dueling. And to a large extent this was true. But that can almost be said of any group of people alive at the time.

Excessive [to us moderns] of hard liquor was not unusual, perhaps even warranted. Alcohol beverage is an excellent way of preserving perishable agricultural product, and also getting just plain ordinary calories into the individual. People of the time were noted for having bad teeth and not being able to eat a normal diet. The drinking of hard liquor was one way around this problem.

Living a hard but full live was also common. The average life expectancy at the time was less than fifty years!! You had normally only a short adult life to pack in a whole lot of living. Live intensely is what most folks did!

The major characters of the Alamo epic are portrayed in what is most likely a true manner.

Santa Ana is properly shown as the Mexican dictator with disreputable habits.

Called "Don Demonico [the demon] by his own people, Santa Ana WAS a drug addict, addicted to chicle, a leecher who demanded and got a woman to satisfy his sexual lust at the end of each day's march, and a man quite capable and willing to go back on his word and perpetrate massacre. [the massacre of Fanin and his force at Goliad is well known. Not so well known is that Santa Ana also ordered similar atrocities within Mexico itself in response to spontaneous rebellions that occurred during his "rule". Santa Ana WAS a cruel man without inhibitions in many areas.

Jim Bowie is a man depressed [the death of his wife [a Mexican woman born of high station] and child [in a cholera epidemic] given over to hard drinking. Also a man on death's door from consumption [TB].

[when Jim Bowie decided to join the Texian rebels in their war against the despotic rule of Santa Ana, he felt duty bound [that exaggerated sense of honor!!] to ride fifteen hundred miles round trip into the interior of Mexico and explain to his brother-in-law, a Governor of one of the Mexican states, the exact reasons why he, Bowie, was joining the rebellion. The Governor was encouraged by his aides to hang Bowie there on the spot, but the response was [on the part of the Governor] that "a man of such courage does not deserve such a fate!!!" Fancy that attitude being held by almost anyone today!!].

Travis is a man who desperately seeks fame and success, and sees the rebellion of the Texians as being a means to that end. Travis is a man given over to excessive oratory and ostentatious displays of melodrama. But a man of courage and leadership nonetheless.

Davy Crockett is another duty and honor bound fighter for the Texian cause who realizes the true nature of the peril to those defending the Alamo. Duty and honor and the role of a natural leader to a contingent of Tennessee fighters places Crockett in a position that he cannot back down from, and does not!! Crockett is a man whose loyalty and idealism is generated primarily from closeness to the "Anglos" whose roots are identical to his, the white, Scots-Irish Presbyterian. An idealist whose also realizes what is to be the fate of the Alamo garrison in case of attack by Santa Ana.

Finally, the role of Sam Houston in the rebellion of the Texians and their eventual victory over Santa Ana is not neglected.

It can be said of Sam Houston that he could very well lay claim to being the most accomplished American that ever lived. At age thirty nine, he had already been a lawyer/soldier/Senator/Governor/member of the Cherokee nation. Houston of course also led the victorious Texian army at San Jacinto [being wounded in the leg], and is recognized as one of the Founding Fathers of Texas. It has been suggested that such was the authority of Houston, that he may have been able to avert the American Civil War, if he had so directed his energy in that direction!!

Houston leads a rag-tag mob of angry men that desire vengeance against Santa Ana. These men responded as a warrior would do. Houston's approach is to fight Santa Ana on ground of his choosing [Houston's], and have the Texian army do so as soldiers, not warriors. [soldiers fight as a team, according to a plan, and do so accepting discipline]. This was contrary to the emotional attitudes of many honor-bound Texians. An attitude that Houston was hard pressed to prevail against. Houston DID prevail, almost single-handedly, with the strength of his will and the result was the Republic of Texas.

Houston does display an intuitive sense of how to fight Santa Ana. Houston cites Wellington as being the model he hopes to follow. Make your enemy react to you, select ground of your choosing for battle, and husband your forces for an eventual victorious advance. This Houston was able to do!!

The only exception I would take to the movie is the climactic scene at the end that shows Crockett as being the last living defender of the Alamo.

Executed upon his refusal to beg for his life.

This in all likelihood did not happen. It is widely believed that Crockett and his men from Tennessee, were caught in the open and shot down by Mexican troops during the final attack upon the Alamo.

Another less plausible scenario for the end of Crockett comes from an apparently authentic letter written by a Mexican officer who fought at the Alamo. This officer does state that six defenders of the Alamo were taken alive, including Davy Crockett, "he of North American adventures". According to the letter, the six were marched into the interior of Mexico, tortured, and then executed, all the while maintaining their dignity!! Who knows on that last one??

This movie is a MUST SEE! Of this I am sure.


Monday, April 04, 2005

Sniper III.

This is coolbert:

Achtung! Sniper.

Hans Wagemueller, the purported commander of the German SS battalion in the first Indo-China war, makes mention of the use of snipers in the counter-insurgency environment. How Han's German battalion incorporated snipers in all operations and did so successfully.

The German SS battalion in Indo-China is perhaps the model for the U.S. concept of the hunter/killer battalion that is so useful in combating insurgents. A specially organized, trained, and equipped battalion, of which snipers are an integral part.

That snipers, specially equipped and trained, were a part of the German battalion in Indo-China is for certain. This unit of snipers, called abwehrkommando, was evidently a sub-element of the reconnaissance platoon, called gruppe drei.

Hans makes particular mention of the effectiveness of abwehrkommando snipers, using silenced rifles. I have always thought that a drawback to the silenced weapon was that the weapons effectiveness in range and stopping power was negated significantly. Perhaps Hans and his snipers had a way around this?

Excerpts from the "Devil's Guard" are an indication of how snipers can play a crucial role in counter-insurgency operations:

"We had some routine precautionary measures that we always took, "the rules of survival." If we passed by some rice paddies, for instance, where a few dozen peasants were at work, Eisner would give the word: "Abwehrmannschaft abtreten!" and six of our sharpshooters would quietly drop into the roadside underbrush, carrying telescopic rifles with silencers attached - - a formidable weapon against guerrillas. The column would march on as thought nothing had happened. Sometimes, and as soon as the army was out of sight, some peasants would turn into armed terrorists, taking of after the column head over heels. Our sharpshooters dropped them before they reached the jungle.

It was also one of our tricks to pass a Viet Minh-controlled village without bothering a soul. The column would vanish into the hills, except for the sharpshooters, who would drop back to cover every exit. In ninety percent of all cases, Viet Minh messengers or even groups of guerrillas would emerge from the village and depart in a hurry. The silencer-equipped guns were excellent for dropping them quickly and quietly. . . . We had used the same ruse in occupied Russia and invariably it worked."


"The villagers watched us leave, then they slowly disappeared and began to work as if nothing had happened. Our trial number one ended. Now came number two . . . At a quiet command of Krebitz our sharpshooters dropped in the roadside shrubs; from the moisture-proof holsters emerged their precision rifles with their telescopic sights, silencers, and hair-trigger mechanism. . . ,. "A terre!", someone yelled. "Take cover!" From the paddies came the vicious clatter of a heavy machine gun. . . . Focusing my field glasses I spotted a half dozen shapes scurrying across the ponds. Three of them staggered and fell, then a fourth one spun about and dropped out of sight. Our marksmen were still at work . . . . We backtracked on the road to meet our Abwehrkommando and by the time we arrived the men had already cleaned their weapons; the sensitive scopes were capped and the muzzles plugged with small rubber corks."


"our sharpshooters went into action with their telescopic, silencer-equipped rifles. Within seconds the twelve Viet Minh were dead; their bodies fell into the abyss to be swept away by the swift current. . . . Our sharpshooters exterminated three groups before one mortally wounded guerilla entangled himself in the supporting ropes and remained hanging over the precipice in plain sight . . . Our sharpshooters were quite capable of hitting a man in the head from five hundred yards."

Well, if Hans the SS officer says it is useful in the extreme to have snipers as an integral part of a hunter/killer battalion, it is probably so!! Do I speak skeptically here?? Yes and no! Is there embellishment in the accounts of Hans as he speaks of his German SS battalion? Undoubtedly. But I would assume there is a large degree of truth in what he says. In this instance, the use of the sniper.


Sunday, April 03, 2005

Sniper II.

This is coolbert:

  Sniper, Amerikaner.

The modern U.S. military [U.S. Army and Marines], makes extensive use of snipers. Snipers that are well trained, equipped with the latest hi-tech gear, and are greatly feared by the enemy, whoever that enemy may be. Snipers are included in all operational plans, and are recognized as a positive asset on the modern battlefield.

Strangely enough, the role of snipers in the U.S. military was sorely neglected for a hundred year period beginning with the end of the American Civil War. Strange in that Americans like to think themselves as people that can handle firearms with skill. The Annie Oakley's, Buffalo Bill's, etc., of American history are the archetype of persons that are "sharpshooters".

Snipers and sharpshooters HAVE played an important part in American military history. Confederate snipers had an excellent record, shooting and killing several Union Generals on the battlefield [Reynolds [Gettysburg], Sedgwick [Wilderness]]. On the Union side, the regiment of Union sharpshooters known as Berdan's Rifles were feared by forces of the Confederacy.

That in that one hundred year period, snipers were neglected and not used [sparingly at best, non-existent at worst], is something that is not without reason. The modern military commander realizes that in modern warfare, automatic weapons and artillery account for 80 % of the casualties on the battlefield! Edged weapons such as bayonets, sidearms such as pistols, and snipers account for only a very small percentage of casualties on the battlefield. In each case, probably one half of 1 % of casualties at most are inflicted in modern warfare from such weapons. That a man gets a clean shot at a distant target and is able to successfully engage that target with a single rifle shot is very rare indeed. The American combat commander in the modern era might have agreed that having snipers would be a plus, but only a very small plus. Better to plan, organize, and place emphasis on weaponry where you get the most results.

"Prior to World War II the Army emphasized marksmanship for the infantry, and even provided sniper rifles for a limited number of troops. Nevertheless, the art of sniping had to be rebuilt during the Vietnam war. Initially there were no snipers among the troops sent to Vietnam. Moreover, even when troops were designated as snipers, commanders failed to make proper use of them."

It was not until the Vietnam War that snipers began to become an integral part of all ground operations.

This was due in part of the issuing to Special Forces [SF] units of the "Starlight" scope. The first generation night vision device that could be mounted on a M-14 rifle. A trained shooter could snipe at an enemy in almost TOTAL DARKNESS. Two man hunter/killer teams of SF would sally forth from SF camps during hours of darkness armed with Starlight equipped M-14's. These two man teams were combined reconnaissance/ambush/sniper units all rolled into one. And WERE effective.

Marine sharpshooters first, then Army sharpshooters, also became an integral part of all operational plans during the Vietnam war. Marine snipers in particular demonstrated marked ability. The Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Hathcock is the archetype in this regard. Hathcock is credited with 99 confirmed kill [including a VC General]. The actual toll taken by Hathcock maybe as great as 500 enemy!!

"Of all the armed conflicts U.S. combat forces have been involved with in this century, the war in South Vietnam marked the first time in American military history that trained snipers, special rifles, telescopic sights, ammunition, and noise suppression were brought together and employed successfully in a combat environment. This lesson has emphatically been learned. Today, snipers are deployed routinely with both the Army and the Marines. As one commander on the ground has put it, "In recent years, all the conflicts we've been in, the lesson learned is that snipers are worth their weight in gold."

The special rifles, telescopic sights, ammunition and noise suppression as practiced by the modern two man U.S. sniper team includes a sniper using a bolt action rifle equipped with high-power sights and the spotter with a M-14 rifle, also equipped with telescopic sights. Both these weapons undoubtedly fire the .308 NATO round. As warrants the usage, a .50 caliber sniper rifle can be used, this weapon having the ability to fire exploding rounds. Very effective in taking out say an aircraft on the ground [damage to the cockpit and the plane cannot fly!!].

Modern American snipers, as a group, are probably the model the rest of the world should follow. That proper combination of weaponry, experience, training, and employment makes the American sniper formidable.


Saturday, April 02, 2005

Sniper I.

This is coolbert:

Sniper, ala Russ.

[my comments in bold].

During the Second World War [WW2], the Russian soldier proved to be a master of the art of sniping. This prowess of the Russian sniper was properly shown in the recent movie "Enemy at the Gates".

And this ability of the Russian WAS feared by the average German soldier. According to Lucas, it was said by German soldiers, "the two worse things about Russia are the lice and snipers!".

The Russian sniper was the result of a well thought out doctrine, plan, and training that existed way before WW2 began.

"Soviet snipers were a part of the military planning and tactics long before the outbreak of the war. The Soviet experience from the first world war highlighted the importance of incorporating sharpshooters or snipers into their battle plans.

However, the shooting skills of the Finns during the Winter War drove home a bloody point that could not be ignored by the Soviet high command. Soviet field commanders feared the presence of Finn sharpshooters and snipers and recognized that these snipers were able to disrupt the communications and flow of battle and served to demoralize front line troops. It was the experience of these commanders that shaped sniper tactics in the Soviet Army.

The tactics of the Soviet Sniper, it is necessary to review the philosophy for using snipers in the first place. Under the Soviet system, snipers were fielded in teams of two with a sniper and an observer. Both team members were qualified snipers and changed roles after each kill. The sniper was to provide both scouting duties as well as point and indirect fire to disrupt enemy activities and communications.

The sniper was a scout, blocking force, psychological operations unit, and deadly marksman all rolled into one."

Soviet troops suffered very badly at the hands of Finnish snipers during the war of 1940 between Finland and the Soviet Union. During the extreme cold conditions, Soviet troops would gather around fires for warmth, and made easy targets for Finnish marksmen.

The feats of Soviet snipers during WW2 are truly amazing. Among the outstanding Soviet snipers of WW2 are:

[A sniper reaching forty kills would receive the "for bravery" and the title of "Nobel Sniper".]

"During the Great Patriotic War many Soviet snipers killed with their accurate fire several hundred Nazi soldiers each. For example, it is recorded in the service record book of the renowned sniper of the 169' rifle regiment of the 86 rifle division belonging to the 2nd Shock Army, staff sergeant N. F. Semyonov, who fought on the approaches to Leningrad from 29 August 1941 to 10 June 1943, that he killed 218 fascists. Furthermore, he taught and trained an additional 94 sniper fighters who, in turn, added a further 580 enemy soldiers and officers."

What this tells me is something similar to the situation that exists with fighter pilot "aces". 10 % of the pilots shoot down 90 % of the aircraft downed in aerial combat. A similar situation probably exists with snipers. 10 % of the snipers account for 90 % of the "kills" To me, this is intuitive.

* "Lieutenant Pavlichenko [Lyudmila, a woman] was cited by the Southern Red Army Council for killing 257 German soldiers. Her total confirmed kills during WWII was 309 enemy. Lyudmila killed 36 enemy snipers. She found the kill logbook of one of the Nazi snipers she killed. He had taken the lives of over 500 Soviet snipers."

Lieutenant Lyudmila toured the U.S. during the war and was personally presented to Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.

* "Sniper I. Antonov, a naval rating from the Baltic Fleet, in ambush. During the Great Patriotic War this expert marksman killed more than 300 fascists.

* Sniper V. Kozlov, just being decorated for his 30th kill.

* Vassili Zaitsev [the great Zaitsev, whose exploits are portrayed so well in the movie, "Enemy At The Gates"] - 400 kills (149 Kills at the battle of Stalingrad)."

Tragically, Zaitsev stepped on a landmine in the aftermath of Stalingrad and was blinded.

* "The highest scorer only identified as "Zikan" killed 224 Germans by 20 November 1942.

* Sergeant Passar of 21st Army was credited with 103 kills.

* Kucherenko, an Ukrainian, killed 19.

* An Uzbek from 169th Rifle Division killed five Germans in three days.

* Anatoly Chekov killed 17 Germans in two days!

* Corporal Studentov killed 170 Germans.

* "Noble Sniper" Ilin, a commissar from a Guards rifle regiment, was credited
with 185 kills."

Impressive figures!!

It is without doubt that the Russian sniper in WW2 was a master whose exploits far exceeded the the snipers of other combatants. The psychological impact if nothing else had to be profound.

The Russian experience was duly observed by the militaries of other nations, and proper attention paid to this neglected aspect of modern warfare. Such a nation was the U.S. More on this later


Friday, April 01, 2005

Artie Klein.

This is coolbert:

I think it is undeniable that there have been instances where the awarding of the Medal of Honor can be looked upon with a degree of skepticism. Such is the case, as has been mentioned in another blog entry, of the awarding of the Medal to Mac Arthur and Wainwright. Surely politics paid a major role here.

It is also undeniable that there have been instances where the Medal of Honor was NOT awarded where it should have been. A soldier that exhibited the greatest heroism on the battlefield, and was recognized by his peers at that exact moment as having done so.

Such a person would be "Omak, The One Man Army". Omak, [real name Artie Klein], distinguished himself during the landing and invasion of the Japanese held island of Eniwetok, in the South Pacific. Such was the bravery of Klein during the attack upon Eniwetok, that Klein's exploits were written about in length by the Yank magazine, a military journal of the time. In the article, Klein is referred to, for security reasons, as Omak.

What was it exactly that Klein did that surely merited the awarding of the Medal of Honor?? According to the author Harry A. Gailey, who personally confirmed the exploits of Klein on Eniwetok:

"The hardest fighting, however, was in front of Company B, which had the task of securing the left flank of the westward advance. Here an unlikely hero emerged. 1st Lt. Artie Klein, a professional enlisted man who had been forced to accept a commission [forced??!!], was weapons platoon commander of B Company. Landing in a trailing wave, he quickly took charge of the green, scattered troops along the beach. He reformed platoons and companies from one end of the beach to the other and led them in counterattacks against the major Japanese positions. Klein had become the de facto commander of the 1st Battalion. He was instrumental in stopping the first major counterattack launched by over 300 Japanese just after noon along the front of the 1st Battalion. Klein is singled out from the rest of the junior officers and men not only because of his heroic actions, which might well have saved the 1st Battalion from a very bad beating, but because of the way his actions were later recognized. Called Omak, The One Man Army by Yank magazine, he was recognized by the historian of the 27th Division as the bravest man he had ever met and the most important on Eniwetok that first day. Artie Klein received the Bronze Star for his exploits, despite the fact that Colonel Cornett later collected fifty-two affidavits from the men that served under Klein and subsequently recommended Klein for the Medal of Honor."

Klein was awarded the Bronze Star, and evidently did not make a squawk about being NOT awarded a higher decoration. Persons at Eniwetok, senior commanders, who DID NOT see combat as Klein did, WERE awarded medals beyond that of the Bronze Star.

That Omak did NOT make a fuss regarding the decoration he was awarded was in keeping with Klein having been a professional enlisted man prior to being commissioned. Klein knew full well how the military works and how decisions are made that on many occasions are arbitrary, capricious, and unfair. As it was in this case!

Without men such as Klein, who go about their jobs without fuss or any ado, battles cannot be won. To such persons as Artie Klein the desire to do the job well, takes precedence over the winning of medals.