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

Sunday, July 31, 2005


This is coolbert:

I see that General William C. Westmoreland has passed away recently. Was ninety one years old. Led a full life, with achievements that only few can even dream about.

Was commander of U.S. forces in Vietnam during the period 1964-1968. Commanded during that period of the war when American combat units were MOST involved. Became a controversial figure during this period. Is considered to be the one military man who left the strongest and most lasting imprint on U.S. involvement in that war.

A war that did not develop with a favorable conclusion for the U.S. OR the South Vietnamese.

How WILL history judge the legacy of General William Westmoreland?

As a leader, Westmoreland undeniably rates very high.

Had a LOT of presence and bearing. LOOKED like a General. ACTED as a General. It was as if Westmoreland was BORN for his role in life. Westmoreland evidently fulfilled leadership roles even from the earliest age. And this was, as Westmoreland himself commented, came as even a surprise to him. He just SEEMED to exude leadership. Without even TRYING!! DID show concern for the combat troops. Was NOT a commander who lived in a rarefied atmosphere. MADE an effort to exercise command leadership without micro-managing. DID see combat and comported himself well as a combat commander [commanded an artillery battalion in the ETO] during World War Two [WW2]. In the leadership role, left little to be desired.

As a manager also must rate high.

In 1965 alone, American forces were able to move 100,000 troops 10,000 miles, and do so in 100 days. At the time, this was unprecedented. Moving that much combat power was an indication of the resolve the U.S. had AT THE TIME NOT TO LOSE IN VIETNAM. This move was a consequence of the appreciation of the situation that Westmoreland made at the time. An appreciation that the South Vietnamese were on the VERGE OF LOSING. The South Vietnamese were seen as not only being NOT ABLE to defeat the communist forces, but could not, in the short time, even stop them. The South Vietnamese army was on the edge of disintegration and defeat. American troops were the only reply that Westmoreland saw as being a viable alternative to communist victory.

It should be kept in mind that the role of a modern commander of the stature and rank of Westmoreland is NOT to involve himself deeply in the planning, operational art, and tactics necessary for victory. Westmoreland did NOT command in the fashion of say a Wellington or Napoleon. Having an instantaneous and with a single sweeping glance see the whole battlefield.

The modern commander such as Westmoreland has a staff or staffs that make plans and offer the commander options to accomplish the mission, based upon the commanders perception of the battlefield.

The modern commander such as Westmoreland is offered plans from his staff as to how to accomplish the mission. The modern commander such as Westmoreland must make correct decisions, implementing plans and operations that will guarantee success, based upon the mission.

The modern combat commander such as Westmoreland must act as a manager more than anything else, in the same context as the modern business manager would conduct business. Details are left to the subordinates, with delegation of authority. Keeping in mind that the manager DOES bear overall responsibility for what transpires.

As a military strategist
, practitioner of the operational art, and as a innovative tactician, Westmoreland, in the eyes of some, seemed to be lacking.

It was felt that the appointment of Westmoreland at the time [1964] to command U.S. forces in Vietnam, was somewhat of a surprise to his peers. Westmoreland was felt to be NOT the brightest lightbulb around. I feel this is just not so. NO ONE reaches the level of rank and command such as Westmoreland did without having something in the upstairs department. Westmoreland was an artillery branch officer. A combat branch of the Army that DOES require a measure of technical ability and an appreciation of "science" [science here defined in the very general sense].

Westmoreland did command and fight a war against the communist enemy in Vietnam in a manner he felt was commensurate to the situation!

That is to say, mass resources, locate the enemy, bring overwhelming firepower to bear upon the enemy, and defeat that enemy in what would be basically a protracted war of attrition. This was how U.S. commanders all throughout the Twentieth Century fought wars. And, in WW1, WW2, and to an extent in Korea, this manner of fighting DID prove to be successful. This was the model that Westmoreland emulated. A model that probably ANY American General of the time would have followed as well.

And, to an extent, this model of warfare WAS successful. The American military in Vietnam DID kill extraordinary numbers of the enemy [2 million to 3 million enemy killed??].

Under Westmoreland, this American strategy DID NOT prove to be successful in the long run. It was seen by many as a policy of using a sledgehammer to crack the proverbial eggshell. Many have contended that rather than using overwhelming firepower, a more flexible and reserved offensive capability should have been employed. Again, Westmoreland decided to fight the war, against primarily North Vietnamese Army light infantry units in this fashion [overwhelming firepower]. AS American combat commanders had been taught to fight. This was their experience, an experience in the past that had proved itself to be effective.

[Some critics have suggested that Westmoreland did NOT make an effort to understand his enemy in Vietnam. This may be true, BUT, it was not germane to understand the enemy given the American way of war at the time of Vietnam. NO ONE would have ever suggested that in WW2, it was necessary for American commanders to read "Mein Kampf", understand German National Socialism, or even understand German history and culture. Again, ruthless use of overwhelming firepower in a war of attrition was seen as the key to success.]

Westmoreland DID seem to fight a REACTIVE war. U.S. forces seemed to be merely reacting to the enemy most of the time. This was a perception that many had. And this may well be true. The North Vietnamese/Viet Cong enemy DID seem to hold the initiative. And strived to do so and were successful in this effort to exercise initiative. General Giap himself has commented on this. That the communist forces on all occasions DID seek the initiative. This was very foremost in their thinking. American firepower did quite often negate the initiative held by the communists. But, not possessing the initiative IS felt to be a serious drawback in successfully prosecuting a war effort. If you DO NOT have the initiative, you have a serious disadvantage.

Westmoreland did feel that his efforts were hampered from several quarters. This was to include:

* Excessive micro-managing of the war from politicians in Washington.

* An American public not in full support of the war.

* A very active and at times effective anti-war movement acting in the communist interests.

* An unfair press. A press that concentrated on and even enjoyed [almost maliciously so!!] pointing out American failures. A press that constantly was negative.

In retrospect, the career of General Westmoreland will be forever associated with Vietnam and the lack of American success.

In my opinion, for the most part, Westmoreland DID call the right shots regarding the war, as they were presented to him at the time, and with conviction on his part. That Westmoreland was NOT allowed to prosecute the war as he saw fit, as say in the manner of an Eisenhower in World War Two, was due to factors beyond his control.

The American loss in Vietnam was NOT primarily due to American military ineptitude. Westmoreland, as did the bulk of American forces in Vietnam, DID acquit themselves well. In 1964, NO ONE could have foreseen that U.S. forces eleven years later would have to leave Vietnam with their tails between their legs. Vietnam developed in a fashion NO ONE could have anticipated!!

I fear that the legacy of General Westmoreland will ALWAYS be controversial. But I do not think defeat in Vietnam was the result of his actions. Defeat in modern warfare cannot be described in simple aphorisms or attributed to simple reasons.



Friday, July 29, 2005


This is coolbert:

From a post of Craig: "Conquest of the Inca - The Inca were conquered by a few Europeans. But it should be remembered that any ancient empire had conquered and enslaved numerous other tribes. These tribes could easily be recruited to rebel against their current masters. A handful of Europeans backed by numerous subject tribes of the Inca joined together to defeat the Inca."

Craig is correct in what he says. It is easier to conquer when you have allies or collaborators. [If they are on your side they are allies, otherwise, collaborators!!]

Where ever the "European" conquerors went in the western hemisphere, they WERE ABLE to find either [willing and able] American Indian allies or collaborators that made the process of conquest that much easier.

Cortez did find allies among the many tribes of what is now Mexico during his conquest of the Aztec Empire.

The Aztecs were militaristic overlords that ruled with a heavy hand. Various Central-American Indian tribes, vassals to their Aztec rulers, were more than happy to assist Cortez, and DID SO! Cortez's conquest was NOT entirely a case of about one hundred fifty conquistadores alone defeating the massed army of the Aztec. Cortez did have considerable backing from the various tribes opposed to the Aztec.

In Peru, it may have well been that the task of Pizarro was much simplified by dissension within the ranks of the Inca nation itself. Dissension that Pizarro may not even been aware of!!

Atahualpa, the Inca, had become ruler of the Inca Empire only shortly before the arrival of the Spanish, and this after a civil war.

Atahualpa probably had not even consolidated power before he had to deal with the "Silver Men".

In all likelihood, Atahualpa DID NOT have the full backing and support of his subjects.

Atahualpa's power was on shaky ground to begin with.

 His own people did not feel a loyalty to him as he needed. Were not willing to sacrifice for him.

Pizarro, after the death [execution] of Atahualpa, was able to find a collaborator who ruled as Inca [the ruler of the Inca was also called the Inca]. A young Inca of royal blood volunteered his services to Pizarro. This collaborator became a proxy ruler for the Conquistadores. Did the Spanish biding and willingly too!! Made the further conquest of Inca territory and the firm establishment of Spanish rule that much easier!

A similar situation existed in North America also!

Among those killed fighting along Custer at the Battle of the Little Bighorn was Chief Bloody Knife.

Head of the Ree [Arikara] American Indian scouts.

Scouts that were an integral part of the U.S. cavalry in it's campaigns against "hostile" American Indian tribes opposed to white settlement. Bloody Knife DID NOT see his scouting for the U.S. cavalry as being a betrayal of his heritage. He was merely fighting with new allies [the U.S. cavalry] against his ancestral enemies, the Sioux [Dakota]. As I have mentioned in a previous blog, the word Sioux means enemy in the language of those opposed to the expansionist and militaristic American Indian tribe known as the Dakota.

We find a similar situation existing one hundred years prior to the Little Bighorn battle.

At the pivotal American Revolutionary War Battle of Oriskany the American militia under the command of General Herkimer had fighting alongside them American Indians from the Oneida nation [part of the Iroquois Confederation].

Allied with the American forces against a mixed contingent of British regular troops, Tory loyalists, and Iroquois Indians loyal to the British Crown.

For what ever reasons, the Oneida were quite willing and able to fight with the American militia against their own "Iroquois brothers", stripping off their "white man's clothes" and going into battle Indian style, wearing only a breechcloth!! Why the Oneida were loyal to the Americans and did not join their Iroquois "brothers" is not clear, other than they DID NOT!! [Maybe this is one reason the Oneida have so many casinos today?]


Thursday, July 28, 2005


This is coolbert:

Interesting program yesterday on national Public Radio about the current role of the chaplain in the U.S. military. It is germane to the previous post about the U.S. Air Force Academy and the accusation of excessive religiosity.

It seems that about 60 % of the chaplains in the U.S. military can be categorized as evangelicals. Mostly Southern Baptists. This makes sense to a degree. A very large percentage of military enlisted are from southern states. It only follows that to serve this flock of southerners, who will mostly be Baptist, you would have a large percentage of Baptist ministers.

This does create a problem?? So it might be perceived by some. Southern Baptists are not shy about advertising their faith and proselytizing. And these chaplains have been accused in some instances in making unwanted and unveiled attempts at conversion.

The military DOES have strict regulations [regs] regarding proselytizing within the ranks. A chaplain CAN proselytize. But ONLY among the UN-CHURCHED. Those troops that have not declared a religion. This is the reg that governs the chaplains.

Generally speaking, proselytizing in this manner should not create a problem. Having a religion is NOT a bad thing. It is a good thing. For one in the military perhaps even more so than those in civilian life.

Excessive and unwanted proselytizing directed against an UN-CHURCHED troop I can see creating resentment and a problem. But, generally speaking, this is not happening. Concerns at this point are probably excessive, but concerns that at least should be heard and heeded with due vigilance. You do NOT want to create dissension within the ranks.

But, again, this seems NOT to be happening!


Friday, July 22, 2005


This is coolbert:

Good program several nights ago on PBS TV. Was part two of a three part series called "Guns, Germs, and Steel".

Adapted from a book of the same name by Jared Diamond.

Deals with the reasons as to why "European" peoples in the last five hundred years have become such masters of the world.

Diamond's hypothesis is that indeed, guns, germs, and steel are part and parcel of the winning formula for western European man. Enabled "Europeans" to gain dominion over much of the world, and maintain same.

Episode two of the three part series deals in depth with the conquest of the Inca Empire by the Conquistadores under Pizarro.

Many experts have theorized as to how the Inca fell to the Spanish. And fell with such apparent ease. This is a subject that has fascinated many. HOW were about one hundred fifty [150] Spaniards able to defeat the Inca Empire, an empire that was able to field armies of literally tens of thousands.

[At the time of the first clash between the Spaniards and the Inca, the Inca had an army readily at hand that numbered eighty thousand [80,000] warriors!!]

Diamond of course attributes the victory of the Spanish as being due to the combination of guns, germs and steel. AND horses. The Spaniards were also very guileful and did have a plan that did succeed. The combination of mounted men, armored, wielding steel swords [rapiers], and backed up by cannon [Pizarro did have ONE cannon with him, a backpack variety], and arquebus [a very early form of long rifle] fire. All this exacerbated by the effects of a weakened Inca population that had just endured their first taste of epidemic [small pox] ["white man's germs"].

During this initial clash with the Spaniard, the Inca fate was sealed. Venturing forth to meet the newcomers, the Inca, Atahualpa [the ruler of the Inca was also called the Inca] had with him four thousand [4000] UNARMED warriors. Why this was so is not clear. Perhaps the Inca wanted to demonstrate his power over the newcomers by defeating them unarmed??!! IT IS NOT clear if this was so. That was only speculation.

Attacking, in again, a guileful manner, the Spaniard horsemen WERE able to slaughter this ENTIRE force of warriors. The armored rider, on horseback, wielding a rapier, was unstoppable and unbeatable. Of course, those 4000 Inca warriors were UNARMED, ill-led, unprepared, without a plan. Still, that such a defeat would occur makes one wonder??

The Inca army, if organized, led, equipped, trained, motivated, and resolute, COULD have stopped and defeated the Spaniards. But these were warriors, the Inca. When the Inca, Atahualpa, was captured, that army of 80,000 men melted into the mountains and did not come to his aid. These were warriors, not soldiers [soldiers fight according to a plan, accepting discipline, and as a team].

This would have been an instance of men-a-foot [infantry], defeating cavalry. Need the training, planning, equipment, and resolve to defeat horsemen. I have blogged about this before.

The Inca could have employed a variety of weapons and tactics to do so.

The Inca did have sling throwers [peltists] .

The Inca evidently DID not have archers, the American Indian for the most part preferring close-quarters-combat mano-a-mano.

Combat between the Spaniard horsemen and the Inca men-a-foot could have transpired in this manner:

Inca await the charge of the Spaniards. Teams of Inca warriors, specially trained, equipped, and organized, stand their ground.

Each team of Inca are assigned a horseman as their target in the battle.

Inca peltists, in large numbers, initiate a bombardment of the Spaniards that is continuous. A bombardment NOT necessarily designed to kill, but rather to distract, cause wounds, confusion, etc., in the ranks of the Spaniards.

Inca warriors, fighting as part of a team, throw bundles of burning twigs, burning brush, and hoops afire at the horses.

Several Inca from each time move in with long, flint-tipped lances, attempting to stab the horses their team has been assigned to defeat.

Some Inca with lassoes attempt to rope a leg of a horse. To hobble and constrain the horses movement.

Other Inca with forked sticks attempt to move in on the horse and rider, the object to de-horse the rider if possible. Several men attack at the same time with forked sticks from different directions.

A horseman, when unhorsed, is attacked by a man wielding a war club, or several men wielding war clubs. These clubmen will attempt to attack the horses legs too, if possible.

A horseman, on the ground, off his feet, would be made short work of. Stunned by mallet or club impacts, stabbed by flint knives.

A large number of Inca warriors, fighting in this manner, COULD have defeated the Spanish horsemen. Resoluteness, equipment, training, planning, etc. All this could have succeeded. Team work was necessary. NONE of the tactics or weapons by themselves would have succeeded. A synergistic effect was necessary. Peltists, rope and fire throwers, spear, forked stick and club wielders would have had to COMBINE actions for victory. Combined arms at a primitive level. But very illustrative of the concept.

This DID NOT happen.

And the result was a relatively easy, almost too easy conquest of the New World by rapacious Conquistadores.

[It was not mentioned in the program that after the death of Atahualpa, the Spanish did find a collaborator who ruled as a proxy for them. This was true of Spanish conquest throughout the New World. Where ever they went, the Spanish sought out and were able to find collaborators or allies that great assisted them.]


Monday, July 18, 2005


This is coolbert:

At the end of World War One [WW1], the British Admiral Reginald "Blinker" Hall was quoted as saying, [and I am paraphrasing here] "we are faced with a hydra-headed enemy. Who will appear to us in many guises. For each guise and appearance we knock-down, another will rise to take the place of what has previously fallen!!"

Hall was speaking in this context of the communist world-wide threat. The intelligence services of the world's great powers, through a variety of means, were able to ascertain that the communist threat was to be an enemy for decades to come. Morphing and reemerging in a new form whenever a previous version had been defeated.

And such a threat did transpire. With the assistance of the Soviet Union, communist parties, front organizations, revolutionary groups did pose a threat to the existing capitalist democracies. And did so for decades. The communist threat did use subversion, espionage, infiltration, and other nefarious means in an attempt to recreate what occurred in Russian in the aftermath of WW1.

For the most part, subversive methods on the parts of the communists went for naught.

Communism seems to have possessed a built-in self-destruct mechanism. The communist world-wide subversive movement, and communism governments collapsed eventually from their own weaknesses. NOT without a successful resistance from the western democracies. The western democratic governments DID recognize the threat posed by communism and did resist, in a variety of ways. This too DID contribute to eventual communist demise.

With the current Islamic jihadi movement, in it's various manifestations, we see the modern hydra-headed enemy at work. The modern jihadi has replaced the communist threat. And WILL BE hydra-headed in it's form also. For each Al Qaeda defeated by the western democracies, another will rise up to replace it. In a new form. This MAY VERY WELL OCCUR FOR DECADES, PERHAPS FOR THE REMAINDER OF THIS CENTURY!!

Similarities, perhaps, exist between the now deceased world-wide communist movement and the modern jihadi movement.

It may very well be that the current Islamic jihadi movement also has it's own built-in self-destructive mechanism.

The jihadi, for all the machinations and intricate planning they engage in, ARE GENERALLY NOT ABLE TO THINK CLEARLY!! The jihadi is so consumed with HATRED for the west, they have allowed emotion to cloud reason [emotion clouds reason - - Michael Corleone, "The Godfather"]. This IS a handicap.

[this all-consuming hatred of all things western has resulted in the jihadi possessing what is called in criminal law circles as a depraved mentality. Evil thought!!]

The jihadi, as much as they like to say they profess their faith and are true to same, when they employ the methods of terrorism that they use, are in fact EGREGIOUSLY IN VIOLATION OF THEIR OWN RELIGIOUS LAWS!! And, we can except to see even more and more desperate measures taken by the jihadi, as they realize their methods and tactics just are not succeeding. This can only backfire on them.

"[2.190] And fight in the way of Allah with those who fight with you, and do not exceed the limits, surely Allah does not love those who exceed the limits."

The terrorist methods employed by the jihadi just will not work in the long run.

You, the terrorist, will only stiffen the resolve of those you intend to terrorize.

YOU, the intended victim of the terrorist, come to the conclusion that an amicable resolution with the terrorist in the conventional manner is just not possible.

YOU, the intended victim of the terrorist, come to the realization that the terrorism of the jihadi ilk cannot be compromised with!! ONLY resistance is possible. The jihadi terrorist, by using the methods he uses and by issuing the threats he makes, only makes his job more difficult. STIFFENING THE RESOLVE OF YOUR OPPOSITION IS NOT THE WAY TO VICTORY!!

The jihadi seems to be woefully informed with regard to their perception of the west.

The jihadi perceives the west to be weak and with little resolve.

The jihadi sees themselves as strong and possessing the truth.

 Rather, we should see terrorism for what it is. A response to inherent weakness within the jihadi societies themselves.

The jihadi society is weak vis-A-vis the western world and cannot influence matters in the conventional manner. We constantly hear that in the western world analysts do not understand the nature and thought processes of the enemy.

I feel that as much as that may be true, the jihadi and the jihadi leadership UNDERSTANDS EVEN LESS, PERHAPS EVEN FAR LESS, THE WESTERN WORLD!! The jihadi understand us even less than we understand them!! As a consequence, the jihadi will find it far more difficult to formulate and execute a winning long term strategic policy!!

I should emphasize that the threat from the jihadi is real and serious. This threat should not be minimized. Especially if the jihadi obtains weapons of mass destruction [WMD]. The jihadi would find little if any inhibitions from using such weapons. Rather, the jihadi, as mentioned numerous times before, relishes the thought of using such weapons, regardless of the consequences.

The jihadi enemy can and MUST be defeated. Allow the self-destruct mechanism to kick in. This may take decades, even the better part of a century to do so!!

Resistance coupled with resolve is the key. We are this for the long run. The very long run.

Continuity of effort on the part of the western world is a MUST. The first step on the part of the western powers, especially in the U.S., is to realize this and be prepared for a long struggle. DO NOT expect victory to be measured in years or decades. The U.S. was resolute with regard to the Soviets, it must be even more so with regard to the jihadis.



This is coolbert:

Within the military, as I have said before, leadership is always seen as being the key to success. Units led by capable officers, LEADING, are successful. Units led by incompetents are usually NOT successful.

Accordingly, the U.S. military DOES promote good leadership, trains leaders, spots and grooms from an early stage young talented officers, and DOES desire the best leadership at all levels of command.

And generally, is successful with this approach. The U.S., military DOES have an excellent officer corps.

Persons of integrity who LEAD.

Occasionally, however, you will sometimes scratch your head and wonder what in the world is going on with U.S. military leadership.

Two recent examples bear this out.

Brigadier General [BG] Karpinski is a case in point.

Commander of the U.S. Army military police brigade in Iraq. It was from this brigade that the troops guarding the now infamous Abu Ghraib prison came from.

When misbehavior of the prison guards at Abu Ghraib became known to the whole world, the reaction of BG Karpinski was lacking. Sadly so. She made excuses for her lack of leadership. Said SHE could not be held responsible for the actions of her very lowly subordinates. It sounded as if she whined and refused to accept almost any responsibility at all. It WAS a poor performance on her part. This is how it appeared to me.

But that is not ALL!

It seems that even before the latest war and deployment to Iraq of Army military police reservists, BG Karpinski was caught shoplifting a bottle of perfume from the post exchange [PX] at McDill AFB. Now, lets get this straight. THE COMMANDER OF THE TROOPS [MP'S] THAT WOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR CATCHING THIEVES IS HERSELF ACCUSED OF BEING A THIEF!!! IT WOULD SEEM THAT THE PERSON WHO IS SUPPOSED TO BE OF THE HIGHEST INTEGRITY IS VERY MUCH LACKING IN THAT AREA. AND A GENERAL OFFICER TOO!!!

And it cannot be said that the normal excuses apply here. Money could NOT have been a factor. General officers are generally paid pretty well. And that bottle of perfume COULD NOT have cost THAT MUCH!!

[personal comment. General officers in the U.S. Army are in a league of their own. They are said to possess skills and abilities AND leadership of such a nature that they are retained on the rolls of the Army for their entire life, until they die. NO matter what age they are.]

[In my opinion BG Karpinski stole that bottle of perfume for the sheer thrill of doing so. She did not need it and may have not even used it. It was just to be able to steal and get away with it that was a "rush" for her. My opinion!!]

In the aftermath of Abu Ghraib, BG Karpinski was demoted to the rank of Colonel. Fitting punishment. Perhaps NOT harsh enough!!

A second incident indicative of leadership deficiency occurred recently at the Air Force Academy.

It seems the Academy has had more than it's share of scandal over the years. Some cheating scandals, some sexual harassment scandals, and now controversy over what is suggested to be "excessive religiosity" on the part of "evangelical Christian" cadets. Creating a somewhat unwelcome atmosphere for some cadets [non-evangelical Christians].

The current tense controversy-laden atmosphere at the Academy was only further exacerbated by the actions recently of the NUMBER ONE CADET from the most recent graduating class. A cadet, now presumably an officer, who graduated JUST this JUNE!! It seems that this cadet, just a few days before graduation, sent a blanket e-mail to thousands of other cadets, in violation of Academy rules. An e-mail that carried a message that was clearly evangelical in nature!!

There are several troubling aspects to this incident!!

This cadet, the NUMBER ONE graduating cadet in his class, HAD to know that what he was doing was GOING to raise hackles. An investigation into the allegations of excessive religiosity creating an unwelcome atmosphere at the Academy was taking place at the exact time this cadet did what he did!!

And this cadet HAD to have known at the time he did what he did, that sending out a blanket e-mail to THOUSANDS of cadets as he did WAS a violation of Academy policy. [you could send out posts of a personal nature to at the most a few dozen cadets, if it was germane to Academy affairs, but NOT to thousands at a time]

What this cadet did was EGREGIOUS in the extreme, and HE HAD to have known it at the time. And this from again, the NUMBER ONE graduating cadet in his class. It is almost as if - - NO, it IS as if this cadet is thumbing his nose at, AND rubbing his thumb in the eye of Academy policy and the investigation, and doing so as a sign of his contempt.

This cadet falls into the same category as DID Wesley Clark at West Point forty years ago. A cadet who will be groomed for high position in the Air Force, and groomed thusly so from the earliest point in his career.

And yet, we see in this cadet, now an officer and a gentleman, the type of behavior that is indicative of a LACK of leadership. Indeed, a behavior that is indicative of a person who sorely LACKS in leadership, and has DEMONSTRATED A LACK OF INTEGRITY THAT IS NOW AND FOR THE FUTURE WORRISOME!!

Personal comment:

My own perception is that this is a cadet who thinks and believes that he is walking on water. IS ABOVE the rest and is not subject to policies and regulations and LAW that pertains to the rest of us!! This is NOT SO! I also think that this situation is somewhat analogous to when you were a small child and your parents specifically told you NOT to do something, whatever that something was. If you then were disobedient and did the thing you were told not to do, at that point, it is not so much as what you did that was wrong, but that you were disobedient to specific admonitions that is the problem!! Demonstrates a MUCH MORE SERIOUS INDISCRETION!!]


Saturday, July 16, 2005


This is coolbert:

Interesting program on PBS TV the other day. Dealt with the campaigns of George Washington.

The 1776 Christmas Eve attack on Hessian-occupied Trenton by the forces of the Continental Army under Washington was a very big anomaly for the times.

Winter-warfare was just not done in the period of 1776.

And there was a good reason for it. Armies of the time, and subsequently until the modern era of the internal combustion engine, were dependent upon the horse for transport. Artillery, cavalry, trains and stores all depended upon horses for transport. Without sufficient fodder the horses could not be fed and sustained. This fodder was not available in the winter. Campaigns of the period were just not possible for this reason.

Troops would go into what was called "winter quarters".

There seems to be exceptions to this rule of "no warfare during time of winter" rule.

Those Mongols again.

That incredible "force of nature" from the 13th century. The greatest battle [and his last]Genghis Khan ever fought was on the ice of the frozen Yellow River during wintertime [December 1226]. 150,000 Mongols versus 300,000 Chinese. And the Mongol invasion and successful campaign against the Russian principalities in the period after the death of Genghis was conducted during the winter. Enabled the Mongol army to cross without impediment the Volga river. So winter campaigning DID NOT stop the Mongols as it did other armies.

Why was this??

I cannot say why!!

Like in most other areas, it seems that NOTHING stopped the Mongols. NOT armies of the time, and not even the weather.

The Prussian army of Frederick the Great also did not seem to be inhibited by winter weather either!!

Frederick the Great of Prussia enjoyed his greatest military victories, at Rossbach and Leuthen back to back during a time and conditions of cold. The former victory [Rossbach] occurring in November, the latter victory [Leuthen] occurring in December. Cold weather and lack of fodder for horses was no bar to the Prussians!!??

[It may be that at Rossbach and Leuthen Frederick did NOT rely upon horse drawn artillery or cavalry, he relied upon his superlative infantry alone for victory.]

[In the movie of the same name, Patton says that the German will attack in the Ardennes in 1944. And part of his calculation is that the German Army has not had a winter offensive since the time of Frederick. Because it is so out of nature to do so, it WILL BE SO!! [to obtain surprise, which it did!!]]

But, then in the cases of the Mongols and the Prussians, greatness is not confined to the conventional. What is not normal for ordinary generals is normal for great generals [Genghis, Frederick]!!

They do what others do not!!


Wednesday, July 13, 2005


This is coolbert.

In a previous blog entry I quoted from an e-mail sent in to a web site in the aftermath of the London bombings.

Obviously sent in by a Muslim. Let me comment on passages of that e-mail. This post is indicative of the current jihadist Muslim thought regarding the western world.

The MUCH hated western world.

And it demonstrates such a mis-understanding of current events and in actuality describes events in a manner that is the OPPOSITE of what is happening in the real world. It is important to remember that the author BELIEVES with his heart that he DOES possess the truth and DOES have a true rendering of what is happening.

That so much of what this Muslim says is absurd is not relevant. That he DOES believe it to be the TRUTH is relevant.

My comments, as usual in bold:

Also, please forgive my sarcasm here. I just cannot refrain.


Problem is not the kaffirs of America understanding
true Islam. It is the Muslims not
understanding true Islam."

This is the common refrain of the jihadist. Abdul is saying here that the problem with Muslims is that we are not true to our faith and our ways. To be strong and powerful and defeat the west we MUST be true to our faith and it's ways.

"War is deception. Some of the best techniques used by the west
thought history is say we have come in peace, Same happened during
the evil British and French empires. They said they came as
peaceful traders and the people believed them both Muslims and
kaffirs. After which the countries were they went in peace were
devoured. Their wealth taken away, 100 of thousands of their
religious people massacred. Fault lies not just with the kaffirs
of the west but with the Muslims. Muslims ignored
the Quran and the Hadith. Which told them that the Christians
and Jews would never be happy until the Muslims left Islam.
Today the same thing is happening America and Britain and
other European nations say we have come in peace.
And at the same time they are chopping the
heads of Muslim babies, raping Muslim women and Torturing Muslim
men and women and even children. Shaving the beards of male prisoners,
removing the cloths of female prisoners even those who are as
young as 13 and raping them."

Abdul, chopping the heads of Muslim babies!! Well, Abdul, we KNOW who is chopping heads, don't we Abdul?? Just tune into Al-whatever it's name is, that Arabic TV station, and you can see on TV some head chopping Abdul. And rape Abdul. Well, go to the Darfur region of the Sudan Abdul. You will see Islamic black African women who have been raped on the orders of the central Islamic government in the Sudan, Abdul!! And Abdul, please note that after being raped, those Muslim women are being branded. Branded, Abdul!!!

"Spreading Music and pornography in Afghanistan and Iraq which they
know isharam. Bombing Masjids.

And still millions of Muslims think that west has come in peace
and are not Anti-Islam. So fault lies with Muslims because
they do not want to believe in some parts
of the Quran and hadith. As I mentioned many times before
that we learn from hadith that the west will remain fighting Islam
until the day of judgement."

Abdul, perhaps you do NOT remember that it was Islam that invaded the west, occupied parts of Europe, and did so for four hundred years prior to the Crusades. Abdul, it is you that will be fighting the west until the day of judgement.

"If we say we are Muslim then we cant pick and choose
what we want to believe. What the Allah or His Prophet
(peace be upon him ) have said will happen and no one
can change the future."

Abdul, of course, you have the truth from the Koran, the hadith and the sura, don't you. NO ONE else does, but you do, right?

"If the world was to last for another million years then the west
will be against Islam and fighting Islam for another million years. "

Again, Abdul, remember what went on for four hundred years prior to the Crusades. If the European colonial powers of the nineteenth century had NO RIGHT in Arabic and Islamic countries, why do Muslims want to invade, occupy and convert the indigenous populations of say Europe, or India, or other spots in the world??? Abdul???

"And it will be trying to convert your children and grandchild to
Christianity or secularism or other types of kufr [unbelief] with
brain washing via media and educational intuitions, charities and
at gun point...."

Islamic schools, mosques, madrassas are all over the Islamic world and in the west too. Trying very hard to convert "westerners" to Islam. Trying in a manner that westerners would NOT EVEN BE ALLOWED TO DO IN "ISLAMIC" COUNTRIES. ABDUL, WHO IS TRYING TO CONVERT WHO???

And Abdul, I have even heard your own Hezbollah say that they will not attack America in America NOW as they are allowed to practice their religion unmolested. You hate the west and America so much, and yet, the one place where you are most allowed to practice your religion as it was intended to be practiced is the place that you hate most. Go figure that one out Abdul??

"In Africa Christian Aid agencies have converted many starving African
Muslims. In other parts of Muslim world though food Aid and Loans
they haven't got Muslims to become Christians but they have had
some Muslims to start to leave Shariah law."

In the southern Sudan, about 3 million Christians and animists were forced to convert to Islam so they could eat. The Islamic central government of Sudan withheld food from all but "believers". To live, Christians and animists DID convert. Abdul, as usual, you have it ASS-BACKWARDS!!!

Also, Abdul, right now, as we speak, that same central government of the Sudan is starving your brother and sister Muslims into submission by a planned famine and genocide of black Africans. Darfur is a case of genocide committed against your OWN people by other Muslims Abdul!!!

"When this happens then the punishment of Allah comes on the
Muslims. We saw the devastation that happened in seconds.
It is said that just this one earthquake was equivalent to
a million Atom bombs.

And Imagine if Allah was to punish the Muslims for fearing
American 100, 000 Atom bombs instead of fearing Allah.

Imagine if Allah was to say you fear America and the west more
than me and sent 100 000 of these Earthquakes on the Muslims.

And Imagine if the Muslims pleased Allah , feared him and loved
him. And asked His help against the west and Allah answered their
Duas. What could America do to save themselves?

They would be easily defeated."

And then, man's moral perfection will be realized. Yeah, right, sure!!!!!



Martial Arts.

This is coolbert:

During the last one hundred years, Oriental martial arts, as epitomized by judo and karate, have become popular throughout the western world.

Jigaro Kano, the proponent of judo as it has become recognized in the modern form, was perhaps the first to formalize this "art", formerly a fighting form of unarmed combat taught to the samurai, into a "sport".

Kano DID want judo to be studied as an art, albeit a dangerous and violent "art", not so much as a combatative, but rather as a discipline involving physical fitness, mental awareness, and of course, the various methods, holds, throws, etc., of the "form" itself. A combatative becoming a "sport".

[wrestling, boxing, archery, fencing, pistol and rifle shooting are also practiced as "sports" in the Olympics. Judo too!!]

It WAS NOT the intention of Kano to have students learn judo with the intention of becoming aggressive, violent people who would use their "skill" to their advantage. Abusing and beating up persons they have "issues" with. Rather, self-confidence obtained from the "discipline" would allow the practitioner to control potential violent situations without resorting to combat.

[My own personal comment. Regardless of what anyone says, martial arts, of whatever form, DO have the intention of teaching a person how to BETTER injure, maim, or even kill your opponent. That is why these "forms" were created in the first place. NOT to teach self-discipline, physical fitness, confidence, or any of that. It may be that as a secondary effect of studying martial arts, you will become for fit, more self-disciplined, more confident. But that is NOT what the primary intention of these "art forms" is. Keep that in mind always.]

Oriental martial arts DID become popular in the west, even though the west itself has very long tradition of many martial arts forms of it's own. Boxing and wrestling being the closest analogies to such Oriental "arts" as karate and judo. For whatever reasons, the latter, the Oriental forms of unarmed combat, were felt to be more complete and deadly. Many westerners DID and have become students of the Oriental martial arts.

Some of these students, after a period of martial arts study, and a period of reflection, went on to devise forms of fighting that were unique unto themselves. Forms of fighting that WERE devised with combatatives being foremost. These were fighting forms that DID NOT have sport in mind. Were devised and taught with the intention of learning how to inflict pain, injury and death upon the opponent in unarmed combat. Martial arts forms as to taught to SOLDIERS primarily of special, elite units.

One such martial arts form is SAMBO wrestling.

According to Suvorov:

"Sambo is a kind of fighting without rules which was originated in the Soviet Union in the 1930's and has since been substantially developed and improved.

The originator of sambo was B. S. Oshchepkov, an outstanding Russian sportsman. Before the Revolution he visited Japan where he learned judo. Oshchepkov became a black belt and was a personal friend of the greatest master of this form of fighting, Jigaro Kano, and others. During the Revolution Oshchepkov returned to Russia and worked as a trainer in special Red Army units.

After the Civil War Oshchepkov was made senior instructor in the Red Army in various forms of unarmed combat. He worked out a series of ways in which a man could attack or defend himself against one or several opponents armed with a variety of weapons. The new system was based on karate and judo, but Oshchepkov moved further and further away from the traditions of the Japanese Chinese masters and created new tricks and combinations of his own . . . . As a result of its rapid development the new style of combat won the right to independent existence and its own name - - sambo - - which is an abbreviation of the Russian for 'self-defense without weapons' [samooborona bez oruzhiya]."

If, encountering and engaging a Russian [used to be Soviet] special purpose Army unit in hand to hand combat, the Russians would be employing SAMBO.

Another such martial arts form is Krav Maga.

Sometimes called "Jewish karate". But not the same as karate.

From a web site that describes the historical development of Krav Maga:

"Krav Maga History & Philosophy.

The literal meaning of Krav Maga is 'contact combat or battle'

Krav Maga's development began in Israel in the mid forties when the underground liberation organizations were fighting for the independence of the State of Israel.

It was Imi Lichtenfeld, the inventor and developer of Krav Maga (who became a career IDF officer and chief instructor at the army's physical training facility at the Wingate Institute) that integrated Krav Maga into the military's training. Paramount in his teaching was that it could be learned quickly, and would be effective for both men and women regardless of a person's size.

Lichtenfeld was a tremendous athlete and had been a champion in both boxing and judo. He was also an expert in jiu-jitsu, a trapeze acrobat and dancer. This background, experience and the knowledge he thus obtained, became the foundation for the development of what came to be known in Israel as Krav Maga, the Israeli military's hand to hand combat training system.

Krav Maga by definition is for self-defense in up close situations.

Emphasis is placed on using and accentuating a person's natural instincts and reactions to be prepared to adapt and improvise in new and changing situations and to defend with the attitude to survive.

Krav Maga is not an eclectic martial art system, nor a traditional martial art that has katas (forms) or specific sequences that must be followed. Neither is it a sport or competitive event. It is a modern and highly effective method of self-defense, which has developed and continues to develop new and unique techniques for defense against not only unarmed attacks, but also those involving weapons of all types."

About the originator of krav maga, Imi Lichtenfeld:

"Imi grew up in Bratislava, but was actually born in Hungary. A natural athlete, he earned national and international awards in gymnastics, boxing, and wresting . . . during the 1930's, Imi honed his fighting skills in the streets of Bratislava, protecting himself and the Jewish neighbors from local fascist thugs. He took part in numerous fights to prevent anti-Semitic groups from terrorizing the Jewish community in the city. These fights sharpened the awareness of the basic difference between sport and street fighting . . . Imi developed and refined his unique system of self defense and hand-to-hand combat, training the instructors and soldiers of the Israeli Defense forces elite units. Since Israel was in a constant state of war with its neighbors, the techniques and tactics he developed were constantly being tested - - not in theory, but on the battle fields of the Middle East."

Again, a combat form of hand-to-hand combat developed from wrestling, boxing, judo, karate assuming a new form totally different from what went before. And used by elite military units. NOT a sport. Perhaps touted as one, but not meant to be. Meant to be used to maim, injure, hurt, and kill if necessary

[Krav Maga is reputed to be the one martial arts form where almost anyone can learn more and gain greater proficiency and skill in the shortest period of time. Unique in this aspect. Designed with that in mind!!]



This is coolbert.


If you are a member of PETA, hit ESCAPE now.

If you are self-described "animal person" or "animal lover", hit ESCAPE now.

If you are a pacifist who would be too troubled to even kill a fly, hit ESCAPE now.

If you a sensitive person easily offended by descriptions of blood and gore, hit ESCAPE now.

Please note: The following is for ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES only.

Here is a method by which "two birds can be killed with one stone".


One "bird" is the wild white tail deer population of the Chicagoland area.

Proliferation of this species in such abundance has created a disaster in several aspects.

One aspect is ecological disaster for forest preserve areas inhabited by the deer. Oak forests comprising the preserves are unable to regenerate themselves as the deer, grazing, are of such prodigious numbers that they eat almost all newly sprouted oak trees to the ground. In addition, some preserves, once located in what were essentially rural areas, are now often totally surrounded by sub-divisions. Where this is so, the deer tend to act as pests, eating ornamental plants of gardening homeowners to the ground.


Secondly, the deer, during the mating season, around November, are involved in numerous traffic incidents. The deer, especially the bucks, during this period of heightened sexual activity, go berserk and become magnets for autos and vans of humans. A whole bunch of really horrific accidents with fatal consequences for the deer occur during this period. Image the trauma caused when such collisions between deer and car/vans occur. The deer is splattered all over the road. A lot of damage is done to the car/van. Children inside the car/van are exposed to seeing Bambi killed. "You killed Bambi!!", cry the small children.

[During the period of heightened sexual activity, deer collide with cars/vans at a rate of five hundred [500] times greater than normal!! As I said, the bucks go absolutely bonkers [crazed] in the pursuit of females, becoming totally oblivious to vehicular traffic!!]

Worst of all, even the most innocuous measures proposed or taken to solve the deer overpopulation problem seems to be too much for some folks to handle. People, oblivious seemingly to all the damage caused by the deer, are just too enamored of wildlife to see almost anything done to control the deer population

[Please keep in mind here that what this situation represents a totally unnatural environment that would NOT be found in the pristine, unspoiled state. NO natural controls on the deer population exists here that would be normally found if the balance of nature was present. Predators such as wolves, mountain lions [pumas], etc., would kill and eat a goodly number of the deer, keeping the size of the herd in check so that a balance is maintained. These predators are not present, the deer proliferate unchecked, and ecological damage runs amuck. [not to mention deer and vehicle collisions.]]

And a lot of solutions have been proposed.

Trap the deer and ship them to remote rural areas where they will be more at home. A more natural environment.

Use bow hunters to hunt the deer. [culling]

Use marksmen shooting downward at the deer from tree stands. [culling]

[the marksmen shoot downward so as to minimize damage to property and also potential danger to the local populace.]

Feed the deer grain that renders them sterile. They cannot conceive offspring. [culling, but non-violent]

For the most part, NONE of this stuff is ever implemented. Even to propose is to risk being called a killer and murderer by folks that know better.

Culling of the deer populations is THE solution, but almost never done!!

Deer populations are totally out of control!!


The second "bird" is the lack of serious, realistic training available for U.S. Army reservists and National Guardsmen.

During peacetime, Army reservists and Guardsmen are usually at a want for serious and realistic training. This becomes a major issue for retention of trained troops. "I am bored. I am so bored!!", is a common refrain for reserve and Guard troops who train one weekend out of the month year round. There never seems to be enough time, facilities, or planning to get real training done. And especially with regard to realism [real-world is what it is called]. Canned exercises [MAPEX, FTX, CPX, etc.] of themselves can become boring too if over utilized!! You have all these thousands of troops chomping at the bit, ready to go, and then, NOTHING happens.

Perhaps this dilemma of deer over population and troop training readiness can be remedied.

A remedy that allows for culling of the excess deer population while at the same time providing very realistic real world training for reservists and Guardsmen.

[I do not mention training U.S. Marines as part of this blog entry. Marines can be considered always trained and ready to go!!]

This remedy would involve culling the deer population to a great extent. Culling that would be done by military reservists and Guardsmen.

What I have in mind here is something that you used to see in movies done in say the 1930's. A movie that takes place in India of the British Raj. Maharajahs and British aristocrats finding "sport" in hunting expeditions. Expeditions that were organized on a great scale.

As would be shown in the movie, a large number of peasants, barefoot and turbaned, would form a line and walk all in the same direction, hitting pots and pans, blowing horns, shaking rattles, yelling and screaming as they go. These peasants would be called the "beaters". Some of them WOULD carry large sticks and beat the thick brush as they walked along. To roust out small animals that would be driven before them. ANY animal, of any size, in the path of the "beaters", would be spooked and run in the opposite direction from which the beaters are approaching. Run in a direction TOWARD the maharajah and the British aristocrats, which are sitting, waiting, usually atop elephants, just awaiting fleeing "game" size animals to run into a clearing [read here, kill zone]. Upon spotting say a tiger, a deer, or other such "game" animal, the maharajah and his guests would then engage the beasts with rifle fire, killing as many as they can. "Sport"!!

In my scenario, helicopter gunships, with door gunners firing downward at the fleeing deer, would act in the same role as the maharajah and the British aristocrats atop elephants. As the fleeing deer enter a "kill zone", they would become targets for the gunners. In this way, swift and sure culling can be accomplished.

A variety of military units, from all branches of the Army, can participate in this culling operation. This will closely resemble a combined arms operation. Holistic training. [I hate to use that new age word, "holistic", but I will for this blog entry. Seems to be very descriptive!!]

To include:

Intelligence units. Provide for an intelligence preparation of the battlefield [IPB]. Determine in what areas the most deer can be culled, with the greatest benefit to the environment, with the least amount of hardship, danger, and displacement to the local populace.

Civil Affairs units. Provide liaison with local governments. Anticipate in advance and plan for dispersal and removal of local populace during time of culling operation. Provide for alternative housing, reimbursement for inevitable damage to private property, etc.

Psychological Warfare units. Can prepare the local populace for the culling of the deer herd. Explain through a variety of media what is going to happen and why it is going to happen. WARN people of what to expect, and what to beware. Try to convince folks that this will be benficial for them. Anticipate in advance the protestations of "animal rights" and devise counter-arguments.

Artillery units. Fire off blank artillery rounds as part of the "beating" operation. Fire illumination rounds during night operations.

Transport units. Evacuate civilians from areas where danger may exist from "friendly fire". Bring troops into the "battle area". Sustain resupply as necessary.

Military Police units. Cordon off areas where culling process is in progress. Escort civilians to place of safety. Patrol evacuated areas to prevent looting. Prevent demonstrators and persons bent on disruption of culling operation from entering area.

Special Forces [SF] units. Set up special reconnaissance [SR] "hide spots" in forest preserve areas, using surreptitious entry methods. Occupy "hide spots" and sustain SR mission to provide "intelligence" on deer populations, areas of congregation, etc. Use trained tracking teams to provide data on deer populations. During time of actual culling operations, trained SF snipers, firing downward from tree stands, can participate in culling of deer, using SF sniper techniques.

Infantry units. Act as "beaters" during time of actual culling. Form line of troops, ten meters between each troop, and advance making a racket as they go. Yelling, screaming, firing off blank rounds. Drive the deer in one direction, toward the "kill zone". Conduct operations during both day and night, utilizing night vision gear for latter.

Army Aviation units. Fly over "kill zone" area during actual culling operations. Door gunners, using three barrel fifty [.50] caliber machineguns, shooting downwards, cull deer herded into "kill zone". Can also provide command chopper for "combat" commander during culling operation. Command chopper hovers over "battlefield", exercising control over troops as needed.

Medical units. Set up field hospital. Culled deer will be brought in for analysis. Culled deer will be weighed, measured, checked for disease. Sveterinariansbutcher and quarter and prepare for veternarians to examine. Suitability of meat for distribution to soup kitchens and food pantries will be determined.

Signal units. Set up an elaborate, one-of-a-kind communications network to support the culling operation.

Some of you will be asking, undoubtedly, IS COOLBERT MAD, OR HAS HE LOST CONTROL OF HIS SENSES!!! And this response is understandable. NONE of this will occur, or could EVER occur. It will just NOT be so.

As I have said, this blog entry IS FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY!!

[At the same time, I would also hope for a much more enlightened and enviromentally correct policy to wild deer populations. DO NOT allow the deer to proliferate in numbers that overwhelm the landscape in a way it was not meant to be overwhelmed. Make sure the natural order is maintained, even it means using methods you ordinarily would not use. Maintain the balance of nature, do not allow it go get out of kilter.]

But it does illustrate how real world, intensive, realistic trademonstrates be done. Especially in wartime. And demonstates HOW combined arms training CAN be implemented. This it DOES DO!!


Monday, July 11, 2005

Winnie & Pooh.

This is coolbert:

Interesting program on Public Broadcast Television the other day.

Part of the continuing series from England called, "In the Trenches".

Young, in their twenties British archaeologists tour England and visits sites and locations of military action, historical and recent, throughout the centuries. Attempt to unearth relics and evidence of military action.

This most recent episode of the continuing series dealt with an anachronism of modern warfare, coastal artillery. It used to be that every self respecting nation had batteries of large artillery protecting vulnerable sea ports and stretches of coastline considered to be vital.

The large firing pieces employed in coastal artillery batteries were indeed of immense size. The type as only normally found on battleships of the largest size. Big bore artillery. 14", 15", and 16" guns being common. As was noted earlier, coast artillery has been made an anachronism, supplanted by missiles and combat aircraft.

[it may very well be that these big bore coastal artillery pieces are identical to the guns used on battleships. Made by the same folks but NOT in these cases mounted on ships. This was the case in World War Two [WW2] for the United States too. There are several islands in Boston harbor that mounted 16" coastal artillery pieces during WW2. And the guns on the sunken battleship Arizona were raised and mounted in turrets on one of the Hawaiian islands, perhaps Oahu, to serve as coastal artillery. Quite an ado was made at the time that these guns had been salvaged and had actually fired test rounds. Were never actually used in combat however.]

This particular PBS episode of the "In the Trenches" was entitled "The Battle of the Big Guns". The battery/counter-battery big gun coastal artillery duel that went on for four years between German and British firing positions opposite on another and the narrowest point of the English channel. From the white cliffs of Dover to the French side of the channel, at the Pas de Calais.

Immediately after the end of the Battle of France in 1940, one of the first things the Germans did was to install four large coastal artillery pieces aimed in the direction of Dover. Guns that would be able to impede and sink and make it prohibitive for British shipping to transit the channel at that point. A passage way for British shipping that still was of importance.

To answer this German threat, the British constructed the "Winnie" firing position.

A 14" naval gun to be used as coastal artillery. This gun, later joined by a second gun called "Pooh", would respond to the fire of the four German guns directed at British ships in the channel. Attempt what is called counter-battery fire to knock out the German guns.

To service this original "Winnie" gun required two sets of railroad tracks to be laid, along with an entire panoply of supporting combat arms for protection. Anti-aircraft-artillery [AAA], minefields, machinegun nests, barbed wire emplacements all were needed to protect this one "Winnie" gun. Along with the crew actually involved in the firing of the gun itself, there was a large manpower force required just to support the gun, not counting service support as represented by the railroad lines, bringing supplies, munitions, etc.

Just to keep this one gun in service and firing counter-battery fire was a major undertaking in itself.

The original "Winnie" and "Pooh" were later joined by two larger, more robust coastal artillery pieces of the British. These were 15" guns with 180 degree traverse, more versatile and longer-ranging that "Winnie" and "Pooh". Called "Jane" and "Clem". "Jane" was named after a risque adult comic book character of the era, and "Clem" was undoubtedly named after the daughter of Churchill, Clementine.

"Jane" and "Clem" had the mission of firing at GERMAN shipping trying to transit the channel. These two guns were NOT used in counter-battery fire.

Just to build "Jane" from scratch took nine months alone! And this in a time of war too, when things were normally rushed at high speed toward completion. Again, just getting these coastal artillery guns up and firing and maintaining them in operational status was a major undertaking!

As for the archaeologists attempting to uncover evidence of these large guns?

It was surprising that so little is left of what was not so long ago, sixty years now, a major undertaking.

Unless you knew exactly where to look, and these young archaeologists did know where to look, you would be hard pressed to EVEN KNOW that these gun firing positions had even existed.

 In the years since the battery of "Winnie" and "Pooh" has been dismantled, it seems that almost nothing remains.

The land has returned to nature or farmland.

Digging with a backhoe IF YOU KNOW WHERE TO DIG will uncover say a AAA emplacement or a protective trench line. But that is about it.

With "Jane" and "Clem", all that remains is a pile of cracking and broken apart concrete overgrown with grass and weeds. YOU KNOW something was there, but again, if you did not know exactly what it was, you probably would not even have a clue as to WHAT it was.

And as to the effectiveness of such guns, both English AND German, I have my doubts. I would have to see some statistics:

As to the number of ships transiting the channel that were sunk or damaged.


The degree as to the effectiveness of "Winnie" and "Pooh" in counter-battery fire, etc.

I have an intuitive feeling that much of that anti-ship artillery fire and counter-battery was for naught. Just was not effective. MORE for a show than anything else. I am just not sure, but that is my intuition.

This would seem to be the case when one realizes that it was not until the summer of 1944 that those four German coastal artillery pieces were put out of action. And that by a ground assault from Canadian troops that had landed several months earlier at Normandy. It would seem that the counter-battery fire of "Winnie"and "Pooh" DID NOT stop the German guns AT ALL during a four year period!!

This seems to be a case similar to that of the German WW2 big gun "DORA". The biggest artillery piece ever made. Required a four thousand [4000] man troop just to service the gun. DID see limited action on the eastern front with very good results. But if you were to take those 4000 troops and form them into conventional artillery batteries [companies], you would have about twenty [20] batteries of six guns each. That is one hundred twenty [120] guns that could be employed in a more effective manner.

"Winnie" and "Pooh" seem to be a case of, "the enemy has them, so we must have them too", regardless of whether they are effective or not!!



This is coolbert:

In the aftermath of the Arab-Israeli war of 1973 [Yom Kippur-Ramadan War] Trevor Dupuy said that he was somewhat surprised at the performance of self-propelled artillery on the battlefield.

Dupuy had been for a long time an advocate of towed artillery [arty] over the self-propelled [SP] variety.

[Almost all self-propelled artillery pieces consist of a gun mounted on a tracked chassis, with a metal box placed over the gun. This box contains ammo and offers protection for the crew from counter-battery shell splinter fire.]

Dupuy's advocacy of towed artillery over self-propelled had several considerations.

* For one thing, you can just make more of the former type in a shorter period of time. Just have a greater number of artillery available for use. A greater number of towed arty of somewhat smaller caliber [but not excessively smaller] that can fire at a much greater rate, creating in the opinion of Dupuy greater havoc.

* And in the estimation of Dupuy, there was an even more important consideration to prefer the towed variety over the self-propelled.


According to Dupuy:

"until this war there had been a debate among artillerymen abut the value of self-propelled artillery weapons. Some artillerymen - - including this author - - had been disturbed by the almost complete conversion of artillery to self-propelled weapons. They knew that when a self-propelled gun has motor trouble, or has it's engine hit, it is out of action. When the prime mover of a towed weapon is deadlined, or hit by hostile fire, it is very easy to find another truck which can tow the gun into action.

However, the doubters were converted by the performance of Israeli self-propelled artillery in this war. Losses were higher . . . But the self-propelled artillery was never neutralized. If taken under fire . . . The other weapons could move a short distance and fire again . . . Arab towed artillery was often neutralized by the Israelis. And once the firing position was under fire, those weapons could neither move nor shoot until the fire lifted."

There seems to be a further consideration that Dupuy seems to have missed.

A consideration perhaps even more important that the breakdown consideration.

* This is the threat to modern artillery units from up-to-date counter-battery/ counter-mortar fire.

Counter-battery/counter-mortar fire as directed by the most advanced radars dedicated to counter-battery/counter-mortar fire.

This comes as somewhat of a surprise to me. Dupuy WAS an arty officer of the highest caliber. His branch of service WAS arty. And HE WAS a West Point grad, class of 1939. AND did command arty units in the Chinese-Burma-India [CBI] theatre of World War Two [WW2] at a variety of echelons and commands. This even included British arty units that he was in command of. This is UNHEARD of, that an American should command a British unit in combat. Dupuy's skills MUST have been in demand. Dupuy WAS a combat veteran of ability!!

Dupuy, a scholar of modern developments in warmaking technology and the application thereof, surely must have been aware of the vast [??] improvements counter-battery/ counter-mortar radars pose over the tried and true but old-fashioned method of sound and flash ranging to locate and target enemy artillery batteries for destruction.

It is possible for modern counter-battery/counter-mortar radars to determine in very short time, and with great precision, the exact location [with a great degree of exactness] of an enemy arty firing position. This is done by observing an incoming enemy arty shell or mortar round at different points along it's trajectory. Working backwards from this data, the firing position of the arty piece or mortar can be determined, again, with exact precision.

And with speed too.

How much speed you ask??

Consider this!

A modern counter-battery/counter-mortar radar can observe the trajectory of an incoming enemy arty round, determine the exact location that round was fired from, and relay that location to a friendly artillery unit in such a short time that the friendly arty will be able to aim their guns and be ready to reply with counter-battery fire BEFORE that enemy round impacts!!!

That is fast!!

Troops servicing in the open towed artillery pieces subject to counter-battery fire directed by such a radar will stand little chance from high explosive splinters or improved conventional munitions [ICM]. That enemy battery will in QUICK order be put out of action.

A similarly firing arty battery, self-propelled, with the arty troops protected to a degree inside the metal box of the SP arty piece, stand a much, much better chance of surviving and being able to carry out their mission than that towed arty unit subject to radar directed counter-battery fire. Able to scoot and run, and do so with protection [that metal box].


Sunday, July 10, 2005


This is coolbert: I am reprising one of my prior blog entries in reaction to the recent attacks carried out by the fevered minded ones in London.

Of course Tony Blair said that we must get to the root causes of terror. Those root causes being poverty, oppression in the Muslim world, the Middle-Eastern conflict [Arabs and Israelis], etc.

It would do good at this point to remind ourselves what another London resident said way before the current wave of terror that has spread to all parts of the world.

From the prior blog entry, quoting Mohammad Iqbal here:

"Believe me, Europe today is the greatest hindrance in the way of
man's ethical achievement. The Muslim, on the other hand, is in
possession of these ultimate ideas on the basis of a revelation .
. . With him the spiritual basis of life is a matter of conviction
for which even the least enlightened man among us can easily lay
down his life [9/11!!!!!!!] . . . The basic idea of Islam that
there can be no further revelation binding on man . . . "

And please note that Iqbal was not some wild-eyed fanatic.
He was educated in elite English schools and came from the most elite
segment of Indian and later Pakistani society, and was the
confidant of the most elite powers in what has become Pakistan.
Iqbal died in 1938, so the above quote had to be from before that.
When we read Europe in the above quote, also think of the United
States in the current context.

See now the quote from the ex-head of the Israeli Mossad:

Efraim Halevy, who recently stepped down as the head of the Israel
National Security Council and national security adviser to the
Israeli prime minister, said we were in for the long haul and must
brace ourselves for more that will follow.

"We are in the throes of a world war, raging over the entire
globe, and characterized by the absence of lines of conflict and
an easily identifiable enemy. There are sometimes long pauses
between one attack and the next, consequently creating the wrong
impression that the battle is all over."...

He said the 'great wars' of the 20th century lasted less than this
war, and the end was nowhere in sight. "The aim of the enemy is
not to defeat western civilization but to destroy its sources of
power and existence, and to render it a relic of the past.

"It does not seek a territorial victory or a regime change; it
wants to turn western civilization into history and will stop at
nothing less than that."

And even more. This time from an e-mail post from a "believer" of the type that would have warmed the heart of Mohammad Iqbal:

[please note, the spelling is copied is as it was written and copied, not my spelling!!]


Problem is not the kaffirs of America understanding
true Islam. It is the Muslims not
understanding true Islam.

War is deception. Some of the best techniques used by the west
thought history is say we have come in peace, Same happened during
the evil British and French empires. They said they came as
peaceful traders and the people believed them both Muslims and
kaffirs. After which the countries were they went in peace were
devoured. Their wealth taken away, 100 of thousands of their
religious people massacred. Fault lies not just with the kaffirs
of the west but with the Muslims. Muslims ignored
the Quran and the Hadith. Which told them that the Christians
and Jews would never be happy until the Muslims left Islam.
Today the same thing is happening America and Britain and
other European nations say we have come in peace.
And at the same time they are chopping the
heads of Muslim babies, raping Muslim women and Torturing Muslim
men and women and even children. Shaving the beards of male prisoners,
removing the cloths of female prisoners even those who are as
young as 13 and raping them.

Spreading Music and pornography in Afghanistan and Iraq which they
know isharam. Bombing Masjids.

And still millions of Muslims think that west has come in peace
and are not Anti-Islam. So fault lies with Muslims because
they do not want to believe in some parts
of the Quran and hadith.As I mentioned many times before
that we learn from hadith that the west will remain fighting Islam
until the day of judgement.

If we say we are Muslim then we cant pick and choose
what we want to believe. What the Allah or His Prophet
(peace be upon him ) havesaid will happen and no one
can change the future.

If the world was to last for another million years then the west
will be against Islam and fighting Islam for another million years.

And it will be trying to convert your children and grandchild to
Christianity or secularism or other types of kufr [unbelief] with
brain washing via media and educational intuitions, charities and
at gun point....

In Africa Christian Aid agencies have converted many starving African
Muslims. In other parts of Muslim world though food Aid and Loans
they haven't got Muslims to become Christians but they have had
some Muslims to start to leave Shariah law.

When this happens then the punishment of Allah comes on the
Muslims. We saw the devastation that happened in seconds.
It is said that just this one earthquake was equivalent to
a million Atom bombs.

And Imagine if Allah was to punish the Muslims for fearing
American 100, 000 Atom bombs instead of fearing Allah.

Imagine if Allah was to say you fear America and the west more
than me and sent 100 000 of these Earthquakes on the Muslims.

And Imagine if the Muslims pleased Allah , feared him and loved
him. And asked His help against the west and Allah answered their
Duas. What could America do to save themselves?

They would be easily defeated."

The message from the above quoted e-mail is quite clear.
Be true to our religion and we will be triumphant.

From my prior blog entry, I repeat here:

The jihadist believes that they, and the whole world can achieve
moral perfection through Islam, but that there is one roadblock,
the cultural influence of the cesspool west and especially the
U.S., impeding this grand scheme even from occurring.

Now, is this to say that the motivators for this hate of the west
is not also rooted in the such things as was mentioned in the
previous post? NO! Poverty, oppression, undue influence, the
Palestinian issue, all these are factors too. But, at least in my
opinion, these are a side show to the major issue, that of an
enormous culture clash and world view rooted in religion.


Friday, July 08, 2005


This is coolbert:

This is all very serendipitous.

I am listening to Michael Medved's radio talk show on the way home this afternoon. Michael used to be, and still is to some extent, a movie reviewer. Has graduated to bigger and better things, namely, talk radio. Is considered to be one of the more provocative and controversial hosts of a radio talk show that is put into the "right wing radio" league. I must say that Michael is very well spoken, makes his points clearly and is able to "debate" listeners. You may disagree with him, but always will respect him. At least I would.

And what is mentioned today in the repartee between Michael and one of his callers-in? The film series "Why We Fight". Exactly the same thing I had blogged about earlier in the day. Michael is of the opinion, as I am, that we need a modern version of the "Why We Fight" film series, but concentrating on the current anti-terrorist, anti-jihadi war. And Michael reports that he did discuss this with Karl Rove, the Chief of Staff to President Bush, in the days after 9/11. And also that a very famous movie director, unnamed, had even offered to direct the new film free of charge. I am assuming that this unnamed movie director is Steven Spielberg!!?? That would be my guess. Michael then goes on to say that nothing ever came of this idea. Well, perhaps it should be reconsidered?? I certainly think so. It SHOULD be done!!

It IS interesting that others have come up with the same idea. I wonder if they have considered the same approach that I have suggested, that is to say, mimic the method used by Frank Capra, and use the jihadi's own material [videos, audios, tracts, publications, web sites] against them?

I plan now to send this blog and the other prior germane blog entries to Michael and elicit his comments. With his contacts, perhaps something CAN come of all this. I think it is worth the try.

Will keep you all informed as to what transpires. Perhaps nothing will. But who knows??



This is coolbert:

Is it necessary for the current U.S. government to carry out an informational campaign against the current enemy?

The current enemy in this case being the Islamic jihadi [jihadi - - a Muslim bent on jihad [Holy War] in the lesser sense of the word].

An informational campaign similar to what was done in World War Two [WW2].

An informational campaign along the lines of the "Why We Fight" film series.

An informational campaign for both domestic [U.S.] and foreign consumption.

An informational campaign that describes who this enemy is, what their intentions are, and how they intend to go about achieving their "goals".

The answer is YES!

Such an informational campaign should be carried out using identical methods as was used by Frank Capra.

Present the enemy to the world and the U.S. public using their audio, their video, their tracts, their pronouncements, their web sites, etc. An abundance of this material exists. Edit, cut, splice, copy, etc. Show the enemy to the world as the enemy sees themselves.

You will not have to do much to convince folks of the villainous nature of the enemy using this method.

Consider this pronouncement of Ayman Zawahiri [the number 2 man to Osama bin Laden], "we will probably have to kill 4 million Americans to make them bend to our will!!"

[personal comment. That one pronouncement ALONE of Zawahiri should certainly make you sit up and take notice. This guy is not joking or fantasizing when he says this!!]

There is an abundance of stuff like the above out there. Use it. And use it widely. You, as Capra did, DO NOT HAVE TO EXAGGERATE, LIE, DISTORT, OR INVENT ANYTHING!! MERELY TELL THE TRUTH!!



This is coolbert:

During the Second World War [WW2], it was decided early in the game by the U.S. government to make a series of films that would be entitled, "Why We Fight". Films that would present to the U.S. populace the case for war and what the war was all about. Why the U.S. and it's allies needed to win, the nature of the enemy, and what defeat could bring .

Now, some people at the start of the war, in the days just immediately after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, obviously had a visceral reaction to the war. "We have been attacked, and we are going to fight back until we knock the other guy out [Japan]" This was their reaction. And it is a VALID reaction.

That is with regard to the war against Japan. Understandable why people would feel that way. Again, a visceral reaction. Such folks did NOT need to be motivated.

With regard to the war effort against fascist Italy and most importantly, German, the U.S. government wanted to reinforce the perception that THESE WERE opponents that HAD to be defeated. NOT only for our [American] interests, but for world-wide interests also.

[Germany was deemed very early on as the most dangerous opponent the U.S. faced in WW2. 90 % of the U.S. war effort was to be aimed against Germany. Defeating Germany first before Japan was felt to be very important!!]

It was felt that motivation for the long run was a necessity for victory. Motivation that could be had in part by an informational campaign that would influence the American public in the way that the government wanted. An informational campaign that would include the film series, "Why We Fight".

[Please keep in mind that when I say informational, some would say "PROPAGANDA". The word propaganda having negative connotations. One could argue forever whether "Why We Fight" is propaganda or informational. That is not the issue of this blog entry!!]

It was decided to have the distinguished movie director Frank Capra to direct the films. After mulling over the entire project for a while, Capra came up with a unique and what proved to be a very effective idea for the making of the film series.

Capra made the decision that it WAS NOT necessary to film even one foot of new footage for the series. The necessary material was already available. This material would be taken from existing German, Italian, and Japanese film footage. The fascist and militaristic Axis powers had proven themselves masters of film propaganda, and had an extensive body of cinematic work that had been and was being used to inculcate their own populations. A body of cinematic work that was at the disposal of Capra.

Capra proceeded to cut, splice, edit, and copy whatever he needed from the Axis film collection. Capra's intention was to present to the American public the enemy as THE ENEMY SAW THEMSELVES. And in this regard he WAS effective. NO ADDITIONAL FILM FOOTAGE WAS NECESSARY. The "Why We Fight" film series of Frank Capra was SUCCESSFUL. Is considered to be a masterpiece.

[This would include film footage of goose-stepping Nazi troops being reviewed by fascist-saluting bemedaled Nazi potentates, Jewish shops being vandalized and the owners of same humiliated in public, Japanese soldiers and ordinary citizens deeply bowing to their Emperor, small German and Japanese children engaging in bayonet practice, Polish cities on fire from saturation bombing, etc.]

In this regard, the "Why We Fight" series of films CANNOT BE considered to be propaganda as the word is commonly understood. Propaganda DOES make use of exaggeration, lies, fabrications, inventions, half-truths, out-of-context distortions.

What was so effective is that it was NOT necessary to exaggerate, make up, invent, or distort anything with regard to the WW2 enemy. It WAS ONLY NECESSARY to show the truth. THE TRUTH AS IT WAS PRESENTED TO YOU BY THE ENEMY THEMSELVES!!