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

Tuesday, May 31, 2005


This is coolbert:

Here is some generally accepted military opinion received from a reliable source:

With regard to the Global War on Terror [GWOT]:

1. The Global War on Terrorism [GWOT] is here to stay.

We will be fighting this war for a long time to come. Decades perhaps. Perhaps for the remainder of this century??!!

2. To fight this GWOT we WILL need a larger ground force. It should be understood that the GWOT is a global phenomenon.

As a result, the U.S. suffers from strategic overreach!! The U.S. DOES need to develop a "grand strategy" to make the most efficient use of resources and assets. The war against the jihadists is GOING to be LONG, COSTLY, DRAWN OUT, DIFFICULT, AND UNAVOIDABLE!

3. Having legitimate and effective governments in the Islamic world will go a long way to handling the GWOT problem from a U.S. perspective. Keep in mind that establishing legitimate and effective governments is not an easy tasks. We can encourge, but not push or mandate.

4. The Islamicists are not deterred by the use of force as opponents were during the Cold War.
[My comments: The radical Islamicists are not afraid to use nuclear weapons as would have been say the Soviet Union. The Islamicists are NOT afraid of retaliation in kind. Rather, they would welcome retaliation in kind. The ideas of the think tank boys on the use of nukes goes down the tubes when you take the Islamicists into account!]

With regard to Iraq:

1. Some major prewar considerations [mostly in regard to chemical warfare and the aftermath of same] for the planners of Iraqi Freedom did NOT materialize. Thank GOD for it too!!

2. Wartime destruction of the communications grid presents a major problem. [This can be probably be quickly remedied with the installation of state of the art communications equipment, i.e., cell phones and such. DO NOT try to repair the existing pre-war system, just replace it!!]

3. Iraqi infrastructure is in a dismal state. Lots and lots of work has to be done. That gush and abundance of oil that was supposed to be will NOT be for some time to come. Can be done, but only by refurbishing or totally rebuilding the oil infrastructure from scratch. That will NOT be done overnight.

4. Psy ops and U.S. government communications to the Iraqi population is generally accepted as being a failure. We NEED to explain ourselves to the Iraqi better.

The long term success in Iraq depends upon:

A successful federation in Iraq is the ultimate goal. A political solution that will include everyone. Make sure everyone is included while allowing autonomy in certain areas. Sort of like the U.S. federal system. But ethnically based.

With regard to fiscal questions:

1. Defense expenditures cannot be sustained by the excessive use of borrowed money to pay for the total government budget.

2. The U.S. economy is relatively good, the stock market is resilient, interest rates are acceptable. This is all good.

3. 1/3 of government debt is held by foreign nations. Some not friendly. This cannot be good!! It has been suggested that ground forces be increased by 50,000 troops. To pay for this increased ground force, some projects and sacred cows will have to be looked at. This larger force will necessitate hard choices due to budgetary constraints. Some pet projects will have to be abandoned [??] or cut back dramatically.

These would include:

F-22 [air superiority fighter]. V-22 [Osprey. Damned thing looks ungainly and crashes.] Joint Strike Fighter [JSF. Not needing so many??]. Nuclear weapons [1000 at the most needed].

Future scenarios that MIGHT see U.S. involvement may include:

* Assistance to Musharraf in Pakistan.
* Preventing a nuclear war between India and Pakistan.
* Conflict with Iran over the Strait of Hormuz.
* China-Taiwan.
* Peacekeeping missions in a variety of locales.

[My own comments: You will note the amount of consideration that military folks place upon budget, spending, and such. Economic considerations not normally thought of as being within the purview of the military planner. Well, it is!!]

With regard to insurgency and terrorism:

1. Terrorism and insurgency are manifestations of weakness on the part of the perpetrators. They do NOT have the power to influence things in any other manner. A sign of weakness.

2. You do have choices when combatting insurgency.The U.S. can choose between winning or controlling when in conflict with insurgents or terrorists. Sometimes we win, sometimes we only control.

3. The U.S. can learn from past experiences of various counter-insurgencies. Do NOT confine the expertise from experiences of the U.S. in Vietnam. Look at Malaya, Northern Ireland, Red Brigades in Italy. AND Vietnam TOO!!

4. The current trend of insurgency and terrorism is nihilist and negative. The terrorists and insurgents do NOT offer a positive alternative.In some circumstances terrorism and insurgency maybe more of a law and order issue with violence held to acceptable levels, but never eliminated totally.

With regard to Al Qaeda:

Question?? Is Al Qaeda a snake or a mold??? Cut off the head [bin Laden] and the snake dies?? Or is it a pervasive and spreading mold.? Difficult to stamp out or totally eliminate. There have not been any attacks on U.S. homeland since 9/11?? Why?? Is the U.S. too hostile an environment to operate in?? Why??

With regard to Phase IV operations [reconstruction]:

Phase III operations [decisive military victory], and Phase IV [reconstruction] must have planning that is concurrent. General Marshall began planning for post-war reconstruction three years before the end of the war???!!! The peacekeepers in Afghanistan are grossly undermanned. Have one peacekeeper per thousand population. What is needed one peacekeeper per twenty population???!!!

U.N. DOES have a lot to offer for Phase IV operations??? 50 % of the U.N. officers involved in U.N. peacekeeping operations in the Congo are African. This is a big plus!! [My comments on the latter. It may be that 50 % of the officers are themselves African. That maybe too is a big negative as well. Officers from armies of African countries are notorious for being brutal, corrupt, and inept. They maybe NOT be a plus. My estimation!!]

With regard to democratization: [Is this in regard to the Arab world only??]

Arab-Israeli conflict is a central problem.

Arab ethnic rivalries are a serious impediment. [In the Bible, the Arab is described as being troublesome and quarrelsome, dwelling amongst their brother [they live in clans]. How true it is!!] A perfect example of this is Sadr's Army [Mookie], has cowed opponents with numerous acts of terrorism. Mookie is a 31 year old bastard if there ever was one!!

With regard to U.S. force structure:

1. The U.S. military is unique among nations of the western community. Perhaps unique throughout the world. The U.S. is the main target because we are so dominant throughout the world. Western European militaries cannot react and perform even close to what the U.S. military does. The U.S. military is a global dominant power, should realize it is, and act as it is.

2. We NEED more ground power. With close air support [CAS] that works. [My comments. Bring back a refurbished and souped up OV-10 Bronco with a plethora of weapons systems that can be used to support the troops on the ground.] [Additional comment. A limited draft may be needed. Use the reserve training divisions to bring the ground forces up to snuff in short order.]


Monday, May 30, 2005


This is coolbert:

Here is another good web site to go to:

Deals with experimental German aircraft in development during the years of the Second World War [WW2].

These aircraft were only experimental but did show a lot of interesting features and designs that DID influence future aircraft development throughout the world, even to this day!! For their day, the German was way ahead of the pack, even amazingly so!! Or at least you are lead to believe so, from what you see on this web site.

For instance:

At this page you will see aircraft designs put forth by the Horten group. These are flying wings. Look amazingly similar, NO, look almost like the current stealth bomber used by the USAF, the B-!!!

[some have suggested that the design specifications for the Horten flying wing would seem to indicate that this was the aircraft that would have dropped a "Virus House" atomic device on New York City!!??]

Indeed it seems that the entire German aircraft industry was in a continuous and agitated state of ferment all during the war years.

The various designs incorporated all sorts of features that were more or less unique and innovative, but not necessarily practical. Swept back wings, swept forward wings, bat wings, flying wings, [and it is amazing when perusing this web site, how many German aircraft designers had hit upon the flying wing concept and intended to use it in a big way.]

Many, if not most of these designs were just concepts and did not even get off the drawing board.

But I am sure that the MIG-15 DID incorporate German design concepts in a big way. Click here to see the German aircraft design that so influenced the development of the MIG-15. It is a known fact that many German scientists and engineers were captured by the Soviets and were sent to the Soviet Union after the war, and were made to work on military projects in forced labor type camps.

"After the war, the Ta 183 story continued. The Soviets found a complete set of plans for the Ta 183 in Berlin at the RLM offices, and began construction of six prototypes in March 1946 by the MIG design bureau. On July 2, 1947, the first Soviet-built Ta 183 took to the air powered by a British Rolls-Royce "Nene" turbojet. They discovered that the original Ta 183 design needed either automatic leading edge slots or wing boundary layer fences to alleviate low-speed stalling. Also, as a compromise between high-speed and low-speed flying, the horizontal stabilizer was moved approximately one-third down from the top of the vertical tail. The modified Ta 183 first flew on December 30, 1947 and in May 1948 was ordered into production as the MIG 15."

It is also amazing the number of aircraft manufacturers and design bureaus that were work all at the same time in Germany. They seem to have had too much in too many places to do a lot of good. Instead of concentrating on a few designs that would have substantially helped the German war effort, the German designers seem to have dissipated their efforts in producing MORE aircraft of a MORE superior nature. Not concentrating on what was practical and do-able NOW! My guess!


Saturday, May 28, 2005

Korean War.

This is coolbert:

Good program on public television last night about the Korean War. Was well done and touched on many topics that have been mentioned in this blog before. Some of the material covered included:

The imperviousness of the Soviet T-34 tank being used by the North Koreans to U.S. anti-tank weapons. Not artillery, aircraft, or the World War Two [WW2] bazooka could stop the T-34.

The lack of forward air controllers [FAC] on the ground in the early stage of the war severely hampered close air support [CAS] by U.S. and Australian pilots to friendly ground forces. Pilots with ordnance were on the scene of the fighting, but did not know exactly where the enemy was. These pilots on a number of occasions dropped their bomb loads on friendly forces. It was not until a trained FAC was on the scene, on the ground, with radio, directing CAS that bombing became effective against the North Korean forces.

The first U.S. division on the scene of the fighting, the 24th Division, was not even at brigade strength when it deployed to Korea. A normal division would have a complement of anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000 personnel. The 24th Division had only 4,000 men available for deployment. NOT even a brigade strong.

Task Force Smith, the first U.S. unit to encounter in combat the North Koreans, WAS also severely undermanned. Consisted of only 400 men. And they had been in constant transit [4 days] to the battle front prior to their first combat with the North Koreans. Those men had to be exhausted from just getting to the battle front in the first place. NOT to include being outgunned, outnumbered, untrained, etc. NOT a unit you would want to send into battle, period!! In the TV program, it is reputed that Task Force Smith faced 5,000 North Koreans and a regiment of tanks. That is a much larger enemy force than what I was aware of. Perhaps correct, perhaps not. Hard to tell with numbers.

The same set of circumstances repeated itself over and over during the retreat of the 24th Division to what became the Pusan perimeter. Units of the 24th would dig into to defend against advancing North Korean units. But would find themselves suddenly outflanked and bypassed over and over. These bypassed and outflanked defenders would have to abandon their defenses and retreat southward. This happened over and over. And tank fright was a common occurrence for U.S. troops facing the T-34. Well, when you are an infantryman and you do NOT have the weapons to fight a tank, you are in big trouble.

By the time the Pusan perimeter was established, and the 24th Division had made a successful retreat to the enclave, the U.S. had more troops inside the perimeter than the North Koreans had outside. This is not that significant. The U.S. troops were on the defensive, the North Koreans on the offensive. The former had to guard with equal strength along the entire perimeter of the enclave. The North Koreans by being on the offensive choose the place and time of the attack and could mass their forces at will.

Mac Arthur really gambled in a big way with the Inchon landing. Ships had to deploy all the way the Mediterranean for the landings!! And there was only ONE day in September when the tides would be appropriate for any assault to take place. If the landings were not accomplished on that one day in September, the next possible time for landings would be in October, one month later. Thankfully, for Mac Arthur the Navy and Marines did not let him down.

When the Chinese made their appearance into the Korean War for the first time, U.S. intelligence had estimated that 60,000 Chinese troops were deployed in Korea. The actual number was 380,000!!!??? Somebody really messed up here. And of course, the Chinese were masters at camouflage, concealment, cross country and night movement to mask their movement.

[This included the setting of deliberate forest fires in North Korea on a massive basis. To create smoke and haze that would obfuscate U.S. reconnaissance aircraft.]

When the MIG-15 entered aerial combat in the skies over the Korea, it WAS proven to be superior to American jets of the time, until the Sabrejet [F-86] came along. Stalin had his own pilots flying the MIG's, but did not allow them to make aerial attacks upon U.S. ground forces.

At the beginning of the Chinese offensives in Korea, it MUST have seemed to American troops that the Chinese were some sort of supermen, unstoppable and irresistible. But this was not the case. The Chinese did have weaknesses. This was found from interrogation of POW's. Supply problems and general suffering and hardship were endured by the Chinese, to their detriment. NO army is unstoppable and irresistible.

[The shock created by the Chinese advance must have had a big impact upon American senior officers. The experiences that American commanders and officers had with Chinese troops during World War Two [WW2] was mostly negative. The Chinese DID not make good soldiers and their army was NOT GOOD. The Chinese were good as defensive troops, but did not have an outstanding offensive ability. That in Korea they now DID know how to go on the offensive, and in a big way, MUST have been a big shock to senior U.S. commanders.]

Chinese troops and their mass wave attacking tactics could be countered, and were, by the use of massive firepower, primarily artillery, centrally controlled. This was called the "meat grinder". Every firing piece of indirect fire weaponry within range of an attack could be brought to bear in quick fashion against the attacking Chinese.

Seoul was captured and recaptured four times in less than a year. Was totally destroyed in the process. Seoul is and has had tremendous emotional significance for the Korean people. Everybody wants it!! It does have value as a military target!!

The Chinese spring offensive of 1951 WAS lavishly equipped with artillery and tanks supplied by the Soviet Union. But the Chinese offensive came to naught. Chinese troops were undertrained. The American and other forces were all too well prepared. General Van Fleet executed a "rolling defense" that did not allow for friendly forces to be enveloped, outflanked, and bypassed. He [Van Fleet] was successful with his defensive plan.



Friday, May 27, 2005

Dupuy & Suvorov.

This is coolbert:

Throughout my blog, I have quoted extensively from the masters Trevor N. Dupuy
and Victor Suvorov.

The former is an American military historian/soldier of great repute. A prolific author, soldier, scholar, and commentator with great insight, as would befit a military man of his stature.

The latter [real name is Vladimir Rezun]is a defector from the old regime of the Soviet Union.

A man who at one time or another served in the capacity of Soviet tank officer/Spetsnaz evaluator/GRU case officer. A defector who has become also a prolific writer. An iconoclast who raises hackles
in many quarters.

Here are web sites pertinent to these two military experts. Experts who cannot be denied or neglected.

Web sites for Trevor N. Dupuy:

Web sites for Victor Suvorov [Vladimir Rezun]:

The above is Victor's own homepage. [is in Russian].

The above is on line books by Victor. [is in Russian].

[above is an English interview with Rezun.]




This is coolbert:

In each and every war that the American military has fought in, the American soldier has found a short hand way of describing the enemy soldier.

Some descriptive name that soldiers use when referring to the enemy. A term that is understood by all American troops.

De-personalizes the foe.

Some authorities [psychologists mostly] also maintain that this practice also de-humanizes the enemy soldier as well.

Makes him less than human.

Makes it easier to kill him in battle.

I am not sure if that is exactly so. It may be that these names are more descriptive in nature and are not intended to be derogatory or venal. The names may become this, derogatory and venal, but were not always intended to be so in the first place. But, in many cases, do become so, derogatory and venal.

During the American Revolutionary War, the British redcoats were referred to as "lobsterbacks".

During the many wars between the U.S. Army and the various American Indian nations, the Indians were referred to as the "hostiles". [Well, they were hostile when in combat with the U.S. Army, were they not!!??]

During the American Civil War, Union troops were referred to as "bluebellies". Confederate troops were referred to as either "rebs", or "sesesh" [secessionist]. With regard to these terms, the prefix "damned" was usually affixed, i.e., "damned rebs".

During the Spanish-American War, the Spanish forces were referred to as the "dons". This is not necessarily a derogatory term. "Don" in Spanish is a honorific name meaning "sir".

During both World War One [WW1] and World War Two [WW2], Germans collectively were referred to as "krauts", or "heinies". Germans were said to have a special liking for sauerkraut, hence the name 'kraut". Heinie is an obvious reference to one of the most common and popular of German names for men, Heinrich.

[Americans were not alone when it came to the Germans. The French called the Germans "le boche" Not sure of what the term "boche" means.]

During WW2, the Japanese were referred to as either "Japs" [short for Japanese], or "Nips" [short for Nippon, the word the Japanese call their own land, Nippon.]

During the Korean War, Koreans, no matter whose side they were on, were referred to by Americans as "gooks". A derogatory term for sure. But does NOT have a venal origin to it. "Gook" comes from the Korean word meaning person. A Korean refers to themselves as a han-guk [Korean person] [guk pronounced as "gook"]. The Korean term for an American is a me-guk [American person]. Again, the origin of "gook" is a non-derogatory term, but BECAME an insulting and venal term American troops used to describe Koreans in general.

In Vietnam, Vietnamese on both sides were referred to by Americans as "dinks" or as "zips" ". Zip" is a derogatory term and stands for "zero-importance-person". Meaning someone, that if killed, is a non-entity that no one will be concerned with. Another name Americans applied to the Vietnamese was "nugent". This comes from the very common Vietnamese name of Ngyuen [pronounced new-yen]. [The son-in-law of President Johnson was Patrick Nugent. He DID serve in Vietnam at the insistence of his father-in-law. I have often thought the nickname "nugent" was somehow related to Patrick. But I cannot confirm this.] Yet another appellation given to the South Vietnamese was "Marvin". This name had it's origin in the American acronym for the Army of South Vietnam [ARVN]. South Vietnamese police were nick-named "White Mice" by American soldiers. This referred both to the white uniforms that the South Vietnamese police were fond of wearing, and also to the mouse like appearance [the South Vietnamese General Nguyen Cao Ky DID seem to resemble a mouse to many Americans!!] many Americans attributed to Vietnamese men in general [NOT very flattering].

[Vietnamese, especially those Vietnamese military personnel that had American advisors, used to refer to all Americans as the "big nosed guys". A term referring to the protruding noses of Americans, as compared to the smaller noses of Orientals such as the Vietnamese.]

This name calling can work both ways!!

And in the current wars both in Iraq and in Afghanistan, Islamic fighters and Muslims in general are referred to as "hajii".

This name should NOT necessarily be thought of as being a derogatory name. Hajii is a honorific title that all Muslims that have made the holy pilgrimage to Mecca can claim.

Many Muslims use this name. 

It IS a very common name, found all over the Islamic world. The recently deceased infamous dictator Idi Amin Dada of Uganda, among the many titles that he claimed [Generalissimo Field Marshal Doctor Professor President-For-Life King of Scotland], also used to call himself hajii. WAS very proud that he had made the pilgrimage to Mecca. May not have a derogatory origin, BUT probably WILL become venal in nature, if not already so!!

Well, at least one cannot say the American soldier is not imaginative in this area!!



This is coolbert:

In a previous blog entry, I have mentioned that of all the combatants in World War Two [WW2], it would be universally recognized that the military of Italy gave the poorest performance among all the combatants of that war. I would agree that this is without question.

Some may ask. "Well, what about other nations, such as Poland?? Did they not get beaten in thirty days?? Is this not also a poor performance??"

And the answer is YES!! Poland did get beaten by the German blitzkrieg in thirty days. Badly beaten!! The Poles did not have an modern airforce or a modern armor force [tanks]. Or if they did, they were of far inferior value compared to the Germans.

But then, a much superior French military was badly beaten by the Germans in ONLY six weeks too!! The French DID have a good airforce and tanks that in both cases were often superior both numerically and qualitatively to the Germans. And this DID not help the French any!!

The Poles DID lose to the Germans, but not with shame ["But Not In Shame" is the title of a book by John Toland, concerning the American defeat in the early days of American entry into WW2]. The Poles put up a gallant fight, under the most difficult of circumstances, displaying great courage, doomed as they were!!

And even after defeat, the Poles, dispersed as they were, literally all over the world, DID continue the fight. Fighting on many fronts of WW2, and did so with can only be described as a lunatic courage.

Here is just a smattering of Polish military deeds during the war, AFTER Polish surrender.

Polish pilots, on the most critical day of the Battle of Britain, scored more kills of German aircraft than did British pilots [in the movie, "The Battle of Britain', some of this is shown, but is shown in a comedic manner and as almost an afterthought]!!

The final assault leading to the capture of Monte Cassino was accomplished by a Polish infantry unit. This of course was done after massive bombardment of the abbey and a number of abortive assaults by troops of various nationalities.

Polish units did fight as part of the Red Army. These were men that had been taken POW by Stalin when Germany and the Soviet Union divided Poland in the aftermath of German conquest. POW's given their freedom by Stalin in return for the Poles agreeing to fight alongside the Red Army against Hitler's minions.

[This after the way that Stalin, at the behest of the Nazi occupiers of Poland, executed over five thousand Polish elites at Katyn forest. The Poles were so eager to fight the Germans and continue the war, they even did so under the auspices of a brutal dictator that had badly abused them.]

Polish paratroopers, a brigade strong, DID parachute into Arnhem as part of the "Bridge Too Far" battle. Once again, the Poles met disastrous defeat, the Germans for the most part shooting down the descending paratroopers at the drop zones [the Germans knew the Poles were coming and were waiting for them]. Defeat, but once again, not with shame.

And of course, the Battle of Warsaw, in 1944. A general uprising of the Polish Home Army met a catastrophic defeat at the hands of the Germans.

A defeat aided and abetted by Stalin!! A defeat of Polish men, women, and children who again, fought with lunatic courage against a German force ordered personally by Hitler to destroy Warsaw and obliterate the Polish insurgents.

And this WAS DONE, the Germans bringing their most destructive weapons to bear upon the Polish capitol.

The remnants of the Polish Home Army, upon surrendering, WERE given POW treatment. This at the insistence of the allied Generals, who warned their German counterparts that mistreatment of the Poles would result in the German Generals being executed in the aftermath of the war!! The German Generals DID comply with this allied ultimatum, against the wishes of Hitler!!!

[So great was the heroism of the Polish Home Army during the Battle of Warsaw in 1944, that when the Polish forces surrendered, and were paraded through the streets by their German captors, civilians knelt and bowed their heads as a sign of respect for the captives and what they had done!!!]

[It is also important to note that of all the countries invaded, conquered, and occupied by the Nazi forces, Poland was the ONLY country NOT to have a collaborationist government that did the occupiers biding!!!]

Yes, the Poles saw tremendous defeat during the war, the dismemberment of their country, and in the aftermath of WW2, almost fifty years of Soviet and communist occupation. But NOT with shame!!!


Monday, May 23, 2005


This is coolbert:

In a number of previous blog entries, I have cited the figures given by the American military historian,
Trevor N. Dupuy. Dupuy makes a point of asserting that during World War Two [WW2],
it would take 120 Englishmen or American soldiers to defeat 100 Germans soldiers.
Also, according to Dupuy, it would take about 200 Russians to defeat 100 Germans.

Upon what does Dupuy base these assertions??

Let me elucidate on this.

Dupuy arrives at these figures using mathematical equations and analysis of historical battles of
WW2. These equations allow the analyst to derive a figure called combat effectiveness value [CEV]
It should be noted that we are talking about a figure that applies at the unit echelon ONLY of brigade or higher. Using the CEV derived from analysis of WW2 battles allows
Dupuy to arrive at, and, state his assertions of troop effectiveness ratios.

Dupuy has also arrived at similar CEV figures based upon analysis of combat from the various wars fought between the Israelis and the forces of the Arab nations. And amazingly, Dupuy states that the CEV between the Israeli and the Egyptian is very similar,almost exactly so, to the CEV that existed in WW2 between the Russian and the German.

According to Dupuy:

"in the 1973 war . . . the Israeli combat effectiveness superiority was nearly two-to-one. In other words: 100 Israelis, in effectively organized military units, were approximately the combat equivalent of about 200 Egyptians similarly organized. It is evident that a single Israeli soldier was not on the average twice as strong, or twice as intelligent, or twice as good a soldier as his Egyptian counterpart. In fact, on a man-for-man basis, there appears to be little qualitative difference between the opponents. So the comparison is valid only in terms of organized units."

And why is this so?

Several reasons and factors are cited by Dupuy, to include:

"Israeli combat units were more aggressive, more effective in the integrated employment of their weapons, more responsive to leadership."

"What was the reason for this Israeli superiority both in unit combat effectiveness and in top level leadership? There appear to be three elements to the answer.

In the first place, from company to top command, the Israeli leaders were more flexible, aggressive, and dynamic.

Second their doctrine, and its execution,were more suitable to the conditions in which they fought.

Third,the more Western-oriented and more cosmopolitan Israelis seems to have adapted better to the weapons and technologically sophisticated equipment with which they had been provided . . .they were clearly more self-reliant, while at the same time they were better able to cooperate with each other in team tasks and were more receptive than the Arab soldiers to military discipline and training.

They were more flexible, more alert, more aggressive than their opponents, although individually
 they do not seem to have been braver, more intelligent, or more highly motivated. In combat as a group they were more effective."


This says a a lot, doesn't it??

Remember, this CEV is applicable only when speaking of organized military units at the brigade or higher echelon.

Personal comments:

I would disagree with Dupuy that the Israeli does not seem to bemore motivated that the Egyptian.
 I would think that the Israeliin all probability is MUCH more highly motivated that the
Egyptian. I would think that almost all Israelis have theperception that to lose even ONE
war against the Arab forces wouldmore or less mean the obliteration of their nation. They CANNOT
lose. And yes, the Israeli just seems to be BETTER at handling themachinery, the technology,
and the impedimenta or war that isnecessary to success upon the modern battlefield.
NOT that much better, but better, nonetheless.

[One area of Israeli expertise that IS MUCH better is theirexcellent ordnance department.
The Israeli has a special ability to repair and bring back into service damaged weaponry,
such as tanks, and do so in very quick time. According to Dupuy:"They [the Egyptians]
believed that they had destroyed 144 Israeli tanks,but in fact total Israeli tank losses had been
no more than 40.Unclassified Israeli sources are confusing. However, of a totalof about
40 Israeli tanks lost that day, all but about sixwere soon back in action! This is indicative
of Israeli ability to repair and restore to combat status damaged equipment.This MUST be a
significant advantage on their [Israeli] part!!]

Israelis are "white". They fight in the manner with which a European
or American army would fight. Their thought processes and
outlook are similar. They execute in war as would Europeans or Americans.
They are just better at organizing themselves for war. Period!!

And also, it is undeniable that the Israeli just tends to be MORE aggressive than the Arab. Israeli does not allow for something to happen, they MAKE something happen. Aggressiveness and carrying the war TO the enemy is a trademark of Israeli military operations. And with good reason!!


Sunday, May 15, 2005

Amery & Amery.

This is coolbert:

While researching for blog material, now and then, I come across something that is germane to a previous entry, perhaps even markedly so.

And just came across such a thing.

In a previous blog entry, I have mentioned John Amery. An Englishman, one of two Englishmen, that was hung for treason at the end of the Second World War [WW2]. John Amery DID commit treason during the war, making propaganda broadcasts [eight of them] for the Germans, and attempting to organize a military unit consisting of British POW's being held by the Germans. A unit that would presumably fight on the eastern front against the "Bolshevik Menace".

Amery DID come from a distinguished family [On his grandfathers side of the family he DID have a very old English background]. And DID suffer from mental illness in the years prior to the war. BUT DID in a willing and conscious manner commit treason. Treason for which he was executed.

All during the war, Amery had a brother who served in MI5, British domestic counter-intelligence. Even more so, John Amery's father, Leopold, was a senior cabinet minister in the government of Churchill. The actions of John must have been humiliating in the extreme to both of these men.

Recent information has come to light that makes the treason and behavior of John Amery even more ironic. It seems that Amery's father Leopold lived his life as a "secret Jew". A man, who by birth, from his mother [John's grandmother], was Jewish under Jewish law, but lived as a Protestant. This was done for whatever reasons [probably to safeguard his career], and was kept secret, and has only been found out by recent research. Read further about this by clicking here.

Furthermore, it IS known that Leopold Amery actually wrote the Balfour Declaration in 1917. This declaration, stating that the British government was favorably disposed to creating a Jewish Homeland in Palestine, has been cited by Zionists as a modern legal justification for the creation of Israel. Leopold Amery also played a large role in the creation of the Jewish Legion. Jews living in Palestine that fought with the British in the First World War [WW1]. See further on these topics by clicking here.

Leopold Amery WAS a man who played a crucial role in history. A far more crucial role than has been realized. Especially in the light of his "secret" background. In all probability, John Amery WAS NOT EVEN AWARE OF HIS OWN BACKGROUND, THROUGH HIS FATHER AND GRANDMOTHER!! All the while collaborating with the Nazi regime in a way that must have VERY hurtful to his father.

Such are the ironies of history!!!


Friday, May 13, 2005


This is coolbert:

  Apocrypha from the Vietnam War.

Apocrypha: Something of questionable authenticity.

All throughout the height of American involvement in the Vietnam War, it was reputed that circulating among Vietnamese prostitutes was an exceptionally virulent strain of syphilis.

[GI's were of the opinion that this strain of VD was artificially manufactured in Red China and sent to Vietnam with the goal of creating a monumental health problem among U.S. troops.]

The GI's labeled this form of VD as either "The Red Rose" or "The Black Lace".

So virulent was this VD said to be, that conventional treatments and anti-biotics were said to be useless in treating the affliction.

If a GI, after having "known" a Vietnamese prostitute infected with the disease, was found to have himself become infected, there was no remedy.

These strains of syphilis were more or less impervious to all known conventional treatments. The rumor was that American military doctors in Vietnam had such a great fear of these forms of VD that special procedures were supposedly adopted to handle GI"s found to be have either form of the disease.

GI's having finished their one year tour in Vietnam WERE subject to a physical exam prior to departing "The Nam". Presumably, during this routine physical, either form of VD would be detected. These GI's, infected, would NOT be allowed to return to the U.S. The thought was that these disease carrying soldiers, upon returning to the U.S., would introduce this anti-biotic untreatable disease into the general U.S. population, with disastrous consequences.

[At the time of the late 1960’s, the outrageously promiscuous sexual behavior of American youth probably made this thought of American military doctors in Vietnam very plausible.]

And what about those GI's that were found to be infected and NOT allowed to return to the states? What was their supposed fate?? These troops were supposedly banished to an island off the coast of Vietnam. Their fate was to wait until a treatment or anti-biotic could be found that would be effective against "Red Rose" and the "Black Lace".

Was any of this true??

There is an island off the coast of Vietnam that WAS used as a penal colony for captured Viet Cong operatives during the war. Viet Cong operatives that had been caught in civilian dress. Did not merit the normal treatment of a prisoner of war.

It could be very well possible that U.S. VD infected troops were quarantined there also!! But did it happen?? I am not sure. My guess is, NO!!

[This penal colony was the subject of a photo-expose in Life magazine during the war. A photo-expose that seemed to show that incarcerated VC prisoners were being subjected to cruel and barbaric treatment. This WAS NOT true!! The actual prison building did not have a roof. Photos taken for the expose were made by a Life photographer while he was standing ON TOP of the outer walls of the prison looking downward. It appeared that the incarcerated VC prisoners were being kept in holes in the ground. Again, not true!! Also reported is that the VC prisoners were kept chained to their beds at night. This was true. However, it was NOT noted at the time that the cells these prisoners were kept in did NOT have locks on them. Some way had to be found to restrain the prisoners during the night time. The alleged barbaric and cruel treatment of these VC prisoners was just over-rated.]



This is coolbert:

During the Vietnam War, there WERE a number of retired military men ["experts"] that were against U.S. involvement in the war.

[Active duty military men would have had by law to hold their tongues. To speak out would be a violation of Article 88 and 134 of UCMJ.]

And their main objection to U.S. involvement is that it [the war], "was not our kind of war". By this was meant that the U.S. military was designed and equipped to fight a Soviet enemy in western Europe. And was equipped in such a manner [tanks, heavy artillery, bomber aircraft] that precluded a successful campaign in southeast Asia. Factors that precluded a successful campaign by U.S. forces would include the terrain [jungle, mountains, Mekong delta], the weather [monsoon], and the nature of the enemy [guerilla, light-infantry].

A common refrain of these "experts" was, "you can't use tanks in the jungle".

Is this true??

Yes and no!!

Tanks and heavy artillery, mechanized infantry, all these DO have a hard time, or a very hard time, operating in jungle or mountainous terrain.

[Many areas of Vietnam were both jungle and mountainous. That only makes the situation that much more difficult.]

However, the U.S. military DID make use of tanks in Vietnam. Armor as used for convoy escort and those tanks organic to the armored cavalry regiments gave a good account of themselves during the Southeast Asian conflict!

[Tanks were also used for base camp perimeter defense. A mobile pill box. Tanks firing an anti-personnel round combined with organic machinegun fire of the tank made for a formidable defensive weapon. Mobile too!!]

[During the siege of the Admin Box in Burma during the Second World War [WW2], British forces, consisting of an ad hoc unit besieged in mountainous jungle covered terrain, DID make use of Lee tanks as mobile pill boxes with great effectiveness against a numerically superior Japanese force. Use of these tanks DID contribute greatly to eventual British survival and victory.]

It should be noted that the perceptions of the American "expert" regarding the use of tanks in Vietnam seems to have been seriously mistaken.

At the end of the Vietnam War, both in 1972 and in 1975, the communist forces, during their "grand offensives", DID make use of massed formations of tanks. This was something NOT even the lavishly equipped American forces had even CONTEMPLATED!! The communists WERE NOT inhibited from using tanks en masse. Mountains and jungle DID NOT stop the North Vietnamese from using tanks ala Soviet fashion. Massed formations of tanks supported by massed formations of heavy artillery sealed the fate of lightly equipped South Vietnamese military units, not prepared for such an onslaught!! What was supposedly NOT possible in Vietnam, according to American "experts", WAS possible. And in a big way!!

[The South Vietnamese military was designed, equipped, and trained to fight the enemy the U.S. Army had fought in Vietnam, the North Vietnamese light infantry army. The South Vietnamese, in both 1972 and during the final climactic assault of 1975, were totally unable, through no fault of their own, to handle and defend successfully against massed tank and heavy artillery assault.]

South Vietnamese defeat in 1975 was NOT due to corruption, indifference, cowardice, or anything of the sort. South Vietnamese defeat in 1975 WAS due to massed formations of North Vietnamese tanks and heavy artillery, operating where they supposedly COULD NOT operate!!!

That communist forces were able to employ, successfully, massed formations of tanks where they SHOULD not have been able to, should have NOT come as a surprise to the "experts".

There was a precedent for this. A precedent that the "experts" should have known about and taken into consideration!!

At the very end of World War Two [WW2], in August 1945, the Soviet army obliterated the Manchurian based Japanese Kwangtung Army. Spearheading the Soviet offensive was the Soviet 6th Guards Tank Army. During THIS "grand offensive" of the Soviets, the 6th Guards Tank Army WAS able to force a passage of the Great Khingan Mountain Range. The Great Khingan Mountain Range IS one of the most desolate and rugged mountain ranges in the world, and one thought to be impassable to tanks, WAS NOT impassable to tanks, much to the consternation of the Japanese!! Through a proper combination of planning, determination, motivation, and equipment, the Soviets were able to do what was thought be be impossible!!

Once the 6th Guards Tank Army forced a passage of the Great Khingan Mountain Range, Japanese defeat in Manchuria was a mere formality!!

Attacks by massed tank formations, supported by massed heavy artillery, created, both in 1945 and in 1975, a shock effect [physical and mental shock] that was exacerbated by the use of tanks and artillery WHERE THEY SUPPOSEDLY COULD NOT BE USED!!

To those "experts" that knew better, PHOOEY!!

[I would believe that the "experts", both American and Japanese, would have conceded, that, yes, tanks COULD be used in Vietnam and the Great Khingan Mountain Range in numbers. But NOT in the fashion with which they WERE used. That would have NOT been a plausibility to the "experts".]

[Suvorov states that in case of war between the Soviets and NATO, the 6th Guards Tank Army, at the time still in existence [we are talking here 1970’s], was tasked with advancing upon unguarded NATO territory through Austria, Bavaria, and the Alps. Mountainous terrain. It seems some old traditions of the Soviet Army died hard!!]


Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Luxury Tax?

This is coolbert:

You may recall my previous blog entry about how war is BAD for the economy. And one of the reasons why war is bad for the economy is excessive taxation. While perusing the web, I came across this article that just seems to say, "WOW, does this ever make my point!!!" Well, here it is:

"An influential congressional committee has dropped a political bombshell by suggesting that a tax originally created to pay for the Spanish American War could be extended to all Internet and data connections this year.

The committee, deeply involved in writing U.S. tax laws, unexpectedly said in a report Thursday that the 3 percent telecommunications tax could be revised to cover "all data communications services to end users," including broadband; dial-up; fiber; cable modems; cellular; and DSL, or digital subscriber line, links.

Congress enacted the so-called "luxury" excise tax at 1 cent a phone call to pay for the Spanish American War back in 1898, when only a few thousand phone lines existed in the country. It was repealed in 1902, but was reimposed at 1 cent a call in 1914 to pay for World War I and eventually became permanent at a rate of 3 percent in 1990."

Okay, now, let us get this straight. A tax used to pay for the Spanish-American war [that is 1898 for those of you that only finished college with a baccalaureate degree], is NOT ONLY STILL in effect, but is going to be increased. At the time there were only a "few thousand phone lines", now there is a staggering number. Then, in 1990 became permanent as a "luxury" tax. And is now going to apply to all sorts of data communications. That of course will include all the modern computer hookups and associated impedimenta of the digital age.

This is what was NEVER intended. But has become to pass. And all because of a war that was fought in 1898?!

This is the type of thing, this taxation, that is BAD for the economy. And all for a war folks have forgotten about long ago!!!???


Friday, May 06, 2005


This is coolbert:

There are many disagreements among the "experts" regarding the events of the Second World War [WW2]. For as many questions asked, there are as many answers as there are "experts".

There is one question regarding WW2 for which, I believe, the "experts" would give a unanimous answer. That question would be:

"The armed forces of which country gave the poorest performance in WW2???"

Without question, the answer the "experts" would give, loudly and unanimously, would be, ITALY!!

That this would be so came as somewhat of a surprise during the war years!!

In the years prior to the outbreak of WW2, the Italians DID impress militarily in a number of areas.

The Italians DID have a modern airforce [Regina Aeronautica].

The Italians DID have a modern navy [Supermarina] with considerable abilities.

The Italians did have combat experience from their "conquest" of Ethiopia and from a successful counter-insurgency in Libya.

The Italian military was able to carry out military operations away from their home base. Italian leadership DID display a casual brutality by using saturation bombing and poison gas against spear-carrying Ethiopians. This display of casual brutality is indicative of an aggressive nature, NOT passivity.

[One might argue that fighting camel-riding Senussi tribesmen in Libya or spear-carrying Ethiopians had the opposite effect from creating a combat ready force. When you fight weak opponents, you tend to become weak, when you fight strong opponents, you tend to become stronger.]

[Suvorov states that contrary to popular belief, the Italians DID have good equipment during the war. Italian weapons designers were respected by Red Army intelligence [GRU] as being innovative and imaginative weapons designers.]

However, during the war, the Italian effort, for whatever reason or combination of reasons was downright poor, even shameful to very shameful almost across the board!!

Time after time during the war, the Italians were administered defeats. Sometimes defeats inflicted by numerically inferior foes.

Among these defeats were:

Albania. Italian forces invading were administered a sound beating by the Greek army.

Taranto. The Italian navy had it's major vessels put out of action or damaged IN PORT by eleven British torpedo carrying bi-planes. [A Pearl Harbor type attack.]

Cape Mattapan. The Italian navy suffered a humiliating defeat.

[Defeat at Mattapan was administered by the British navy. The British in particular had extreme contempt for the Italians. British newsreel announcer voices dripped with sarcasm when describing Italian military efforts. Churchill described Mussolini as acting "jackal like".]

The North African desert. Repeated Italian defeats against British opponents that were often numerically inferior.

Malta. An inability of the Italian air force [Regina Aeronautica], bolstered by Luftwaffe units, to reduce the garrison.

Sicily. An unwillingness and inability to defend from allied invasion. Italian forces had to be supplanted by German units.

Final capitulation. Italian forces throw in the towel. German reaction was reinforcement and continuation of the war in Italy, Italian army or no Italian army.

Why the poor performance of the Italian military in WW2. Poor morale? Poor leadership? Poor quality of personnel??

I just cannot say.

But are the experts right? Absolutely.




This is coolbert:

In a number of prior blog entries, I have referred to ULTRA intelligence.

I feel some elucidation is required here for those uninitiated in ULTRA.

This is the intelligence that was derived from the intercept and decryption by the allied powers of high-level, secret, encrypted German radio message traffic during World War Two [WW2].

Intelligence that DID play a vital, contributing role toward eventual defeat of the German war machine.

Several new and unique concepts were at work here that made this all possible. The fact that modern warfare of the type fought in WW2 was based to a large extent upon entire military units employing fast-moving internal combustion engine powered machines [tanks]. Units that could be controlled from afar by commanders using long-radio communication to issue orders.

A means had to be available to secure the message traffic of the long-radio communications from unintended recipients [enemy radio interceptors].

The German military, in the early 1930's, decided to standardize their secure message communications via the Enigma cipher machine. An electro-mechanical cipher machine based upon a commercial version first developed in the 1920’s. A electro-mechanical cipher machine strengthened and made more secure by German cryptographic experts who added a number of modifications to the basic commercial version. An improved electro-mechanical cipher machine that was soon in mass production by the German military. A cipher machine of the most complex order referred to by the Germans as ENIGMA.

As to the strength of the Enigma machine from producing enciphered messages that would be UNREADABLE by unintended recipients, the German experts were counting NOT upon ABSOLUTE security, but that the Enigma would provide more than adequate security. More than adequate security that would defeat efforts at cryptanalysis for such a period of time that any intelligence gained from decrypting and reading the secure German radio traffic would not be actionable. An example of this would be:

If a message secured by Enigma is sent on a Sunday, that message saying, "Convoy sails from Sicily on Monday, arrives in Tunisia on Wednesday", and the allied radio interceptors do not decipher this message until the following Friday, intercept and decryption of the message by the allies does them NO GOOD!! YOU DO NOT HAVE ACTIONABLE INTELLIGENCE BY READING THE SECRET MESSAGE!!

German experts would have probably conceded that secret messages secured by the Enigma machine were in a theoretical sense "readable". They would not have conceded that those secret messages could be decrypted in enough time to create actionable intelligence. By using the Enigma machine, the Germans believed they had created an insurmountable problem for allied enemy radio interceptors and cryptanalysts.

This insurmountable problem, however, was found TO BE surmountable.

The Poles were the first to overcome the seemingly insurmountable problem created by Enigma. A team of highly motivated and skilled Polish mathematicians, using a combination of complex equations, a light table, and an electro-mechanical apparatus called a "bombe", were, after much laborious effort, able to "read" Enigma secured German military radio traffic. And read this traffic in such a manner that actionable intelligence could be obtained.

[The Poles were keenly aware of the value from developing intelligence based on the intercept and decryption of enemy secure message traffic. The "Miracle on the Vistula", the defeat of Soviet forces in 1920 by the newly formed Polish Army, was made largely possible by the intercept of insecure Soviet radio communications. Intercepts, that when analyzed, provided ACTIONABLE INTELLIGENCE for the Poles. Actionable intelligence that led to a Soviet defeat that was totally unexpected.]

[Amazingly, the head of the Polish mathematical team HAD in his possession, an Enigma machine and the keys for same. He DID NOT reveal this to this team of mathematicians as he wanted them to develop their skill WITHOUT resorting to "working aids". That the Polish math team was able to succeed as they did is a stupendous achievement!!!]

Following the outbreak of WW2 in 1939, French and British cryptanalysts, benefiting from the breakthrough of the Poles, also were able to "read" Enigma messages, and do so in a manner to create actionable intelligence.

The British in particular, and the Americans after them, institutionalized and industrialized the decryption process of Enigma secured messages to a marked degree.

To further advance the decryption process, British Post Office electrical engineers were able to develop what was called "Colussus". A electronic machine that has been called the first COMPUTER. Indeed, it has been said that the entire history of the electronic computer has to rewritten in light of the development of the "Colussus"!!!

[The existence of "Colussus" was a secret for thirty years following the end of WW2. As was the secret of the exploitation of decrypted Enigma messages.]

[Strangely enough, during the war years, German cryptanalysts DID conclude that the Enigma cipher machine WAS subject to attack. Employing a method of sliding strips, a method of "attack" different from what the Poles, French, British and Americans used, these German experts were themselves able to "read" messages secured by the Enigma machine. At this point, the Germans had such an investment and confidence in the Enigma machine that there was no going back. A new system could NOT be fielded and used in sufficient time to make a difference!]

Although it is generally accepted that the successful allied effort to create actionable intelligence by "reading" Enigma secured traffic shortened the war and reduced casualties considerably, keep in mind that it was still a hard fight and a long slog to defeat the German war machine!!

And the fact that the secret of reading Enigma was kept secret for a thirty year period after the end of the war is also remarkable!!

[The British, capturing thousands of Enigma machines at the end of the war, presented these machines to various colonies that were on the verge of independence. These colonial governments were told that , "Enigma was a secure system they could rely upon to safeguard their communications!!". Whoa!!]

And what of the Soviets?? Calcoveressi states that he believes the Soviets DID also have success in "reading" Enigma traffic during the war. He also states that in all probability the Soviets DID NOT have the same degree of success as did the British and Americans. Were able to "read" Enigma messages, but not in the same quantity or timeliness as did the allies!!



Thursday, May 05, 2005


This is coolbert:

As was mentioned in the previous blog entry, the U.S. DID provide large amounts of warmaking supplies to the Soviet Union all during World War Two [WW2].

These warmaking supplies WERE vital to the Soviet Union. Especially during the early part of Soviet involvement during WW2. For instance, the Red Army, lacking in artillery, mounted mortars on the backs of American supplied Studebaker trucks. These mortars, via the trucks, could be rapidly deployed where ever needed. Acted in lieu of artillery, and effectively so.

In an effort to properly assess Soviet needs, and to expedite the entire transfer process of warmaking supplies in an efficient manner, American officers attempted by a variety of means to determine Soviet material requirements.

These attempts, surprisingly so, were quite often met by hostility, ambiguous, misleading, or downright deceitful answers, or just plain silence on the part of Soviet officials.

This MUST have very exasperating to the well-meaning American officers. After all, the Americans HAD to have felt that the Soviet response, for what ever reason, was only a hindrance. [the thought on the part of the American officers must have been, “if you are drowning, and someone tosses you a rope, you don’t complain that the rope is dirty!!"].

A typical exchange between an American officer and his Soviet counter-part might very well go like this: [In this case discussing the Soviet anti-tank gun requirements. The U.S. WAS supplying anti-tank guns to the Soviets].

American: “How many anti-tank guns are found in a Soviet infantry division?”

Soviet: “It all depends!!”

American: “Well, then, how many anti-tank guns are found in a Soviet army?”

Soviet: “It all depends!!”

American: “Well, then, how many anti-tank guns are found in a Soviet front??”

Soviet: “It all depends!!”

American: “I have a hard time determining your requirements based upon your answers!!”

Soviet: “Just send us as many anti-tank guns as you can!!”

[Under the Soviet organization, an army consisted of usually four divisions, and a front, the highest wartime echelon employed by the Red Army, consisted usually of four armies.]

The Soviet officer, answering as he did, was NOT being entirely untruthful, NOR was he being entirely truthful either.

During PEACETIME, a Red Army division DID, according to TO&E, have a fixed number of anti-tank guns [probably during WW2 a division would possess a battalion of eighteen anti-tank guns].

However it was also true, that during WARTIME, while actual COMBAT operations were occurring, a division might very well have many more than the standard eighteen anti-tank guns found within that division during PEACETIME. Anti-tank guns were allocated from Front to Army to Division, depending upon the mission of that division and the combat commanders conception of how the battle would develop.

Were Stalin’s boys being deceitful?? NOT exactly. But they were not being entirely truthful either!!

And this is how the Soviets treated an ally??!!



This is coolbert:

All throughout World War Two [WW2] , the United States DID supply the Soviet Union on a large scale basis with warmaking material.

Warmaking material that was desperately needed by the Soviets.

This material ran the gamut from boots to trucks [mostly Studebakers], to chemicals, to advanced fighter aircraft [primarily the P-39 Aircobra].

There were three routes used in the shipping of supplies from the U.S. to the Soviets.

One route ran through the North Atlantic, to the Soviet port of Murmansk.

Even the most casual student of WW2 military history is aware of this route.

A very dangerous route, weather wise, and combat wise.

Ships in enormous convoys, embarking from U.S. east coast ports, would first have to transit the North Atlantic, running a gauntlet of German submarines.

Further peril was realized when the convoy approached Norway. Continual attack from yet more submarines, land-based German aircraft, and sometimes even surface raiders of the German Navy was routine.

Terrific numbers of supply ships were sunk during these convoys to Murmansk, the destruction of the PQ17 convoy being the most well known incident of this kind during the war [over 60 % of the 50 ship convoy were sunk.

A sailor, having his ship sunk, had little chance of surviving even a short time in the cold waters of the Norwegian Sea. And the route to Murmansk was only open and could be used for only a few months of the year.

A second route for the shipping of supplies to the Soviets from America was through Iran. Supply convoys would have to sail first through the Atlantic, around the Cape of Good Hope, and then transit the Indian Ocean to Iranian ports. This route, while safer, was much longer. And when unloaded, the supplies still had to be sent via trucks to the Soviets. This was a time consuming and laborious effort of the first magnitude.

Yet a third, and very little known route for supplying warmaking material to the Soviets existed during WW2.

This was the shipping route from the west coast ports of the U.S., through the north Pacific, to Soviet far east ports such as Vladivostok.

From those Soviet Far East ports, the supplies would be loaded unto trains of the Trans-Siberian railway, headed west to where the battle front with the Germans was.

Strangely enough, even thought they had the means to do so, these supply convoys WERE NEVER attacked or interfered with by the Japanese.

The Soviet Union at the time WAS NOT at war with Japan and were so until almost the very end of the Pacific conflict.

The Japanese at their own peril did not want to antagonize the Soviets and DID NOT attack or interfere with any of these supply convoys [the Japanese DID have a lot of capability to do so, but did NOT!!]. Keeping the Soviets neutral in the Pacific war was very important to the Japanese. To the very end of the war, this neutrality was maintained and respected. Japan DID have a big fear of the Soviets. A fear that kept them AWAY from those north Pacific resupply convoys!!

As for the P-39 Aircobras, well, that is a story unto itself.

All throughout the war, P-39 Aircobras, supplied to the Soviets, would embark from Great Falls, Montana, enroute to the Soviet Union, flown by Soviet pilots!! [American pilots were also involved in this ferrying operation.

[What percentage of the aircraft were flown by Soviets and what percentage was flown by Americans is not known to me].

These aircraft would first fly to Alaska via Montana and British Columbia.

From Alaska ONLY Soviet pilots were allowed to fly the aircraft over the Bering Sea to airbases in the Soviet Far East.

Upon arriving at these bases, the Aircobras would be dismantled, placed on railroad cars, and shipped via train to the battle front far to the west!! It is also known that those Soviet pilots, while ferrying the aircraft, were also involved in a widespread intelligence effort, doing a detailed photo reconnaissance along the way!!

[There is a picture of a Soviet officer dancing with an American partner at the officers club in Great Falls. You cannot imagine two more emotionally cool and distant dance partners. Even when helping the Soviets, a certain coolness and just plain arrogance and hostility often manifested itself on the part of the Soviet participants.]

[The P-39 Aircobra was NOT widely used by American forces during WW2. Was NOT a liked aircraft. Was felt to have TOO many problems. Soviet reactions seemed to be similar. Stalin is reputed to have said, "our pilots consider this P-39 the Americans are supplying us with to be a piece of shit!!"].

"Generosity is always the first mistake". [Eli Wallach, "The Magnificent Seven"].


Wednesday, May 04, 2005


This is coolbert:

War and the Economy.

I think the consensus opinion among most Americans is that war is GOOD for the economy.

This thought is more than likely a legacy of the period from just after the end of the Second World War [WW2].

To the average American citizen, the years just after the end of WW2 seemed to be prosperous beyond measure. Prices and inflation were low, and the citizenry that had been engaged in "war work" had a lot of disposable income on their hands. Prosperity for the general populace was achieved in a manner that had never been [or even seemed to be] possible prior to the war.
In 1939, only ¼ of the American adult male population owned an automobile. By 1947, almost ALL American adult males owned an automobile. This is just a staggering statistic!! Given such a statistic [among many such statistics] it is not difficult to see why the American populace arrived at the conclusion that war was GOOD for the economy.


Even in times of peace, for a state to possess a large standing military can have a deleterious effect upon the economy.

This deleterious effect has as it's sources:



A variety of authorities and observers have comment on the phenomenon OF WAR BEING BAD FOR THE ECONOMY over the millenniums:

According to Sun Tzu: [speaking here about the cost of war and the effect it can have on the overall economy.]

"In the operations of war . . . the expenditure at home and at the front, including entertainment of guests, will reach the total of a thousand ounces of silver per day. Such is the cost of raising an army of a hundred thousand men."

"Poverty of the state exchequer causes an army to be maintained by contributions from a distance. Contributing to maintain an army at a distance causes the people to be impoverished."

"On the other hand, the proximity of an army causes prices to go up; and high prices cause people's substance to be drained away. When their substance is drained away, they will be afflicted by heavy exactions. With this loss of substance and exhaustion of strength, the homes of the people will be stripped bare, and their incomes dissipated."

Joseph Campbell, quoting Breasted on the effect that taxation had on the peasantry and middle-class of ancient Rome to support the far-flung legions [legions for centuries both at peace and war] of the Empire, states that:

"Staggering under his crushing burden of taxes, in a State which was practically bankrupt, the citizen of every class had now become a mere cog in the vast machinery of the government . . . as it likewise crushed all progress in business and affairs"


The Soviet defector Bajanov [personal secretary to Stalin himself] in 1928 outlined to western authorities as to WHY the Soviet Union would NOT go to war with the western powers in Europe. Bajanov was able to tell his western interrogators that:

"highly secret discussions in the Kremlin had led to the conclusion that, for the time being, a war against England and France was out of the question for the paradoxically capitalist reason that Stalin's Russia simply could not finance it by the old-fashioned methods still under consideration . . . . The weakness was not manpower . . . but the lack of capital resources to feed the enormous industrial output which would be need to equip and supply such an army [1-1.2 million men] . . . . Before the Great War [World War One], there were 2 billion rubles' worth of small savings in the savings banks alone. By the summer of 1927, these had shrunk to deposits amounting to not more than 100 million rubles. As for other alternatives . . . the sale of gold and foreign currency reserves in the State Bank to purchase supplies would serve no purpose in the military emergency . . . Increased customs duties would have "a negative political effect"; manipulation of the budget would only lead to a collapse of exchange rates; and increased direct taxation would yield little . . . Paper issues of war loans, which would cause a further concealed reduction in general living standards, offered the best fundraising option; but even so, "the financial catastrophe would begin after the third month of war.""

[It was not that the Soviets did not desire war with the western powers, rather they did desire war. But they could not engage in war because they had no funds to sustain a conflict that would be successful!!]

[It should well be appreciated that the demise of the old Soviet Union is certainly due to the fact that the Soviets spent themselves into oblivion through excessive expenditures on arms and the military. The CIA was pretty much on the mark with it's estimates of Soviet military spending. The CIA, however, was far off the mark when estimating the total value of the Soviet economy. A value that could NOT withstand the enormous expenditures for armaments the Soviets were so fond of.]

Even in an extremely wealthy nation-state such as the United States, WAR CAN BE A SEVERE DRAIN UPON THE ECONOMY.

During the Vietnam War, President Johnson, wanting a GUNS & BUTTER society both at the same time, and not desiring to raise taxes to finance the war, took two steps that financially strapped and burdened the U.S. economy for decades later, yea, even to this day!! These steps were:




[In my estimation these facts are generally NOT even known to the U.S. public as a whole. Monies used to service such debts restrain a government's discretionary spending. Monies that previously could be used for projects and programs that would benefit the society as a whole are now being used just to service the debt incurred by financing a war in the fashion such as was employed by President Johnson.]

The current war being fought in Iraq by the U.S. military is of course a prime example of how war can stress a governments finances and place a huge burden on the society as a whole.

What was supposed to be a quickly won war of short duration and limited appropriated spending, has become an anti-insurgency campaign of indefinite length. A war that needs continuous legislative approval for more and more expenditures. Unanticipated and costly expenditures that drive the U.S. government further and further into debt. Debt that most be financed in some manner. Debt that must be paid off in some manner even far down the road!! Debt that severely hampers and restricts the discretionary spending of the government far into the future. Debt that CAN lead to future increased taxation and inflation.

[An increased need of government to finance the military and wars by borrowing removes capital from financial markets. Capital needed by "capitalist" businesses that survive, thrive, and grow by also borrowing from those same financial markets. A limited amount of capital as a result of excessive government borrowing means higher interest rates for business, with stagnation quite often being a result.]

It may very well be that the American experience in the aftermath of WW2 was an anomaly of the first order. NOT to be seen ever again!



This coolbert:

The U.S. Army is currently fielding and operating Stryker brigades in Iraq. These Stryker brigades are part of an entirely new concept that the Army hopes represents a successful future.

Futurists have made it abundantly clear that what the U.S. Army needs are units that can deploy to a "hot" war zone, anywhere in the world, and do so with rapidity. Rapidity to greatly influence the situation as it exists on the ground, units employing an abundance of organic firepower. U.S. Army units just be more flexible, responsive, mobile, and deployable.

The Stryker brigades are seen as a solution. The goal is to have a Stryker brigade fully air deployable and be able to reach any part of the world within 96 hours [four days].

[One of the arguments against the U.S. Army heavy divisions [tank and mechanized infantry], is that they take too long to reach the battle area, where ever that battle area may be. Loading a heavy division, with all its’ impedimenta, tanks, Bradley vehicles, self-propelled artillery, etc., on ships and sending that division to a foreign battlefield, such as Iraq, just takes too long. Stryker brigades are seen as overcoming this problem.].

These brigades, probably more correctly identified as a cross somewhere in between a heavy and light infantry brigade, will be reliant upon the Stryker vehicle. An infantry fighting vehicle [IFV] that provides armored protection with mobility for troops [the Stryker will defeat a 14.5 mm round [.57 caliber]]. [I hope someone has taken into consideration the possibility of reinforcing the armor of the Stryker at some point with reactive armor of the "Blazer" variety for additional protection. [This HAS been taken into consideration]]

A number of configurations of the basic Stryker vehicle [a troop carrying armored vehicle mounting a .50 machinegun [variants include the 40 mm grenade launcher. MG and grenade launcher can be remotely operated from within the vehicle]] are available.

These variants include:;

* A mortar firing variant.

* A direct fire gun variant using the 105 mm gun found on the early versions of the Abrams tank. This seems to be a valid concept. Strip the guns off the Abrams, which are being upgraded to a 120 mm gun, and use the 105 mm gun in the Stryker gun system. A cheap and dirty way to success.

* An anti-tank variant.

* A command variant.

* A recon variant.

* A NBC recon variant.

* A Medevac variant.

Comments on the Stryker vehicle and the entire concept of the Stryker brigade.

The concept of the Stryker brigade seems to be valid. The Stryker brigade will allow the U.S. Army to "project power" quickly to any part of the world. It will take 217 C-17 transport sorties to move the entire brigade. A brigade that will have the capability to go almost instantly into combat possessing firepower and mobility with protection!!

Of special interest should be that Stryker vehicle mounting the 105 mm gun.

This type of combat vehicle is a throwback to the days of the assault gun. A weapons system employed widely in World War Two [WW2]. A weapons system that has been obsolete in the American inventory for many decades now [since the end of WW2??].

This Stryker gun will provide support to the infantry in the assault, while offering protection against enemy tanks at the same time. This gun bears similarity to the Buford gun, a tracked direct fire gun that was also conceived as a weapons system that would provide direct fire support to light infantry units [the Buford gun project was scrapped before it was fielded].

Within the TO&E of a Stryker brigade:

A Stryker brigade does possess it's own organic indirect fire support artillery battalion.

The Stryker brigades do NOT have their own organic air support, i.e., helicopter gunships!

One constant refrain against wheeled armored vehicles such as the Stryker is that the wheels will be too greatly stressed by close-by impacting enemy artillery rounds. The wheels will be knocked OFF!! Will this be the case? Don't know! I do know that the U.S. Army used to have in it's arsenal the V-100 Cadillac Commando. A wheeled armored vehicle used by MP's in Vietnam for convoy escort duty. Of course, in Vietnam, these V-100 presumably were not subject to artillery bombardment. Perhaps a Stryker vehicle or two could be sacrificed for the purpose of testing this alleged "flaw".

One big advantage of the Stryker IFV would have to be that it is a brand new vehicle, employing the latest technological advancements in cross-country mobility and armor protection. NOT a refurbished or hybrid vehicle such as the Bradley. The Bradley, the current Army IFV [and a successful one too!!] is based upon the hull and chassis and drive train of the much earlier M113 APC [armored personnel carrier]. The basic M113 was chopped, channeled, redesigned, and rebuilt to create the Bradley. The Stryker is a totally brand-spanking new vehicle. This has to be an advantage in the area of maintenance alone.

With the Stryker, the vision of Basil Lidell-Hart of totally self-contained armor units operating independently, moving cross-county at will against adversaries, much as a flotilla or armada of ships at sea would operate may come closer to fruition.

Basil Lidell-Hart in the years between the First and Second World Wars, argued for units consisting exclusively of tracked vehicles. Units unconstrained by road networks. Units that could operate in a fashion of the horse cavalry of old, moving cross-country at will with great speed, unimpeded by ordinary obstacles, striking at the enemy from almost any direction with impunity.

To what extent the Stryker brigades are capable of operating in such a fashion is unclear. It appears from provisional TO&E's that I have seen that the Stryker brigades possess a mix of vehicles as seen in conventional Army units. NOT exclusively consisting of the Stryker vehicle. NOT possessing in the exact fashion the capability as conceived by Lidell-Hart!!

Please do not think of these Stryker brigades as a be-all and end-all. They are a part of the whole. And will have to be for some time to come too. Offer a part of the solution to a problem with forethought.


Sherman's March.

This is coolbert:

Perhaps one of the most, perhaps the most, maligned man in U.S. military history is General William Tecumseh Sherman. Commanded the “March to the Sea”. Prior to that is credited with “burning Atlanta to the ground”. Sherman is a man widely despised throughout the south for his “scorched earth” tactics. Sherman is a man generally felt to be cold, callous, cruel, sadistic, perhaps even mentally deranged.

What is the truth to these characterizations??

One thing is true for certain, and is undisputedly so! Sherman DID NOT burn Atlanta to the ground.

Yes, Atlanta was burned to the ground during the American Civil War. And yes, Sherman was at the command of his army was present during the conflagration.

But, did Sherman order that Atlanta be put to the torch? Burn in a deliberate manner a major metropolis without qualms!!

NO!! Emphatically NO!!

It is a well established fact that the fire that DID consume Atlanta originated from the efforts of retreating southern troops to destroy by burning ammunition stocks of the Confederacy that were present in Atlanta. Stocks that had to be destroyed rather than be left for Sherman to use at a later date. This fire, set by southern troops, and intended to destroy ONLY the ammunition stocks, got out of control, spread to nearby warehouses, and from there spread to the city of Atlanta as a whole.

It may very well be that Sherman did not mourn the loss of Atlanta to the south. It may be very well that Sherman, if left to his own resort, might have done the same [burn Atlanta]. It may be very well that Sherman did not take any effort to control or extinguish the fire once it started in Atlanta proper. All this maybe very well be true. But was the fire that actually burned Atlanta in 1864 set by Yankee troops at the order of Sherman?? NO!!

More on Sherman later.