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

Tuesday, January 31, 2006


This is coolbert:

Here are some examples of how the "hydra-headed" enemy, the jihadi, can launch fourth generation warfare [4GW] attacks against western targets of their choosing. Designed to thwart goodwill efforts, intimidate and terrorize "foes". Alienate the Islamic world from the "enemy", the western world.

With regard to the now world-wide controversy surrounding the publishing of the "hate" cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad as printed in the Danish newspaper, we find:

"Demonstrators burned Danish flags, chanted "War on Denmark, Death to Denmark" and called for an Arab boycott of products from the small north European country until it showed contrition for the satirical caricatures deemed blasphemous by Islam."

"The offices of the Danish newspaper were evacuated on Tuesday after a bomb threat. 'I can confirm we evacuated Jyllands-Posten. There has been a bomb threat and we have evacuated the building,' a police spokesman said."

"Denmark-based Arla Foods, which has been the target of a widespread boycott in the Middle East, reported that two of its employees in Saudi Arabia were beaten by angry customers. Aid groups, meanwhile, pulled workers out of Gaza, citing the threat of hostilities...."

"Masked gunmen in Gaza have briefly stormed the local office of the EU.

They demanded an apology from Denmark and Norway over the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that have offended Muslims.

One of the gunmen said citizens of both countries should not enter Gaza until the apology is made."

"New hacker attack paralyzes Jyllands-Posten

The web version of Jyllands-Posten is off-line. Hackers pulled off another large attack on the website of the paper.

The web version of the paper Jyllands-Posten,, has again been knocked to the ground. The web paper is under attack by hackers.

A new so-called distributed "denial of the service"-attack has hit the home page of Jyllands-Posten. The technical term means, that attackers in different parts of the world take control of computers all over the world.

Several attacks.

These computers bombard the home page with so many simultaneous requests, that it finally crashes."

* A demonstration [with flag burning!!].

* A bomb threat.

* Beatings of employees.

* Masked gunmen.

* Hacker attack. [DoS]

And all this over a series of CARTOONS. Cartoons that depict the Prophet Muhammad. Such depictions are totally off limits for Muslims. They are considered to be blasphemous in the extreme. Such persons that draw such cartoons to devout Muslims are worthy of DEATH!!

The newspaper Jylands-Posten and it's employees now face mortal physical danger FOREVER merely for the printing of such cartoons. The whole purpose was to stir up a hornets nest in the first place. Just to see what would happen. Well, now they have seen.

This is all part of 4GW. Designed to intimidate, terrorize, and forestall future deviations from Islam norms by non-Muslims. YOU MUST kow-tow to the jihadi or you will be "attacked" in a similar manner. You may EVEN END UP DEAD as did Van Gogh in Holland!!

[please keep in mind that this is all over cartoons printed in a Danish newspaper. A DANISH newspaper. Denmark must loom small in the strategic considerations of the jihadi planners and perpetrators. At least till now!!]

[the photo accompanying this blog shows a poster with a picture of Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the PM of Denmark, being burned. We are not used to see the flag of Denmark or pictures of the PM of Denmark being burned!!]

Another example illustrates how jihadi 4GW practitioners use rumor, disinformation and downright outrageous lies to create mistrust, alienation, and just plain blatant evil hate between peaceful Islamic populations and western aid workers [workers that come with good intent and have altruistic motivations.].

"it comes as less than a total shock to learn from an important article in today's Baltimore Sun by John Murphy that the Muslims of northern Nigeria suspect that the polio vaccines being offered them gratis are in fact 'contaminated with an anti-fertility agent that would sterilize their children or perhaps infect them with the AIDS virus, all part of an American plot to depopulate the developing world.'"

[when they speak of developing world, they are of course speaking of the Islamic developing world.]



"The source of the problem lies with the doctors, imams, political leaders and professors who endorse the conspiracy theory. They are led by Ibrahim Datti Ahmed, a physician and president of Nigeria's Supreme Council for Sharia Law. Ahmed, 68, says of Americans, 'They are the worst criminals on Earth to sterilize children for life. Even Hitler was not as evil as that.'"

"it is a lesser of two evils to sacrifice two, three, four, five, even ten children [to polio] than allow hundreds of thousands or possibly millions of girl-children likely to be rendered infertile."

This is the mentality western aid workers must deal with. Intimidation and terror tactics that WORK all too well!!



Read a lot more about such rumor-mongering by clicking here.

[this is the Daniel Pipes web site. Very good web site!!]


Monday, January 30, 2006


This is coolbert:

It seems I am wrong.

It seems using the bayonet in combat is not so passe' after all.

Some of you may remember my blog about this very subject. How the last bayonet charge by the U.S. Army was in 1951, during the Korean conflict. An incident which won the Medal of Honor for the man who led the charge, Captain Millet.

It seems that such a thing has happened in Iraq.


It seems an English Corporal is a bloody hero for leading a bayonet charge.

It seems this bloke is Corporal Mark Byles, 34. Applied the "cold steel". In a fashion reminiscent of something that might have been expected of a soldier one hundred years ago.


"I slashed people, rifle-butted them. I was punching and kicking. It was either me or them. I got back to camp covered in blood from head to toe. The first thing I did was pull out a photo of my family."

"He ordered them [the troops under his command] to fix bayonets and led four men charging the drainage ditch the rebels were hiding in."

"In the trench Mark saw around a dozen armed Iraqis." [five Englishmen against a dozen Arabs. Sounds like a fair fight to me!!]

"The look on their faces was utter shock when five heavily armed men jumped in on them," he said. Mark killed three and took eight prisoners, holding them while under fire from another trench 75 yards away."

"The Army estimates around 30 rebels died in both trenches but Mark's men were virtually unscathed."

The bloody Iraqi wog blighters were caught with their pants down and paid the price. They COULD NOT BELIEVE THIS WAS HAPPENING. THEY WERE SHOCKED INTO INACTION!!!

Bravo to this chap. Extreme bravo or whatever they would call it in England!!

But this is not the end.

Consider this:

"Man jailed for plot to kill Iraq war hero"

"A market stall holder who plotted to "hunt down" and kill a decorated British soldier was jailed for six years today."

"British-born Abu Mansha, 21, obtained an address for Corporal Mark Byles after reading coverage in the Sun newspaper of how he led a bayonet charge in which he killed up to 20 Iraqi insurgents."

Some bloody twerp living in England under the PROTECTION OF THE QUEEN wants to hunt the English soldier hero down and murder him.

BRITISH-BORN!? As if that means something to the blighter.

Any person living under the protection of the Queen owes allegiance to the Queen!! [old English law!!].

Too bad Abu Mansha wasn't in that trench and gotten the bayonet in HIS gut!!


Sunday, January 29, 2006


This is coolbert:

World War Three III.

Of course, we must not think that WW3 was merely a confrontational war. WW3 did involve a whole host of shooting wars.

Let me digress for a moment and mention that U.S. policy during WW3 was CONTAINMENT. Acceptance of the Soviet existing position in the world coupled with a determination to resist further Soviet expansion where ever it would be attempted. Soviet aims during WW3 was expansion by means of subversion, guerilla warfare, and confrontation where possible, avoiding overt conflict with the U.S. all the while attempting to place the U.S. in a DISADVANTAGEOUS position worldwide. A position that would lead to U.S. downfall.

There WERE VERY FEW instances where Soviet and American militaries actually shot at one another. This DID happen in the air over North Korea. Soviet pilots flying MIG-15 engaging Americans flying F-86 Sabrejets.

But this type of thing was very rare. Too much danger for escalation.

By the use of proxies, the Soviets and the Americans to a much lesser extent, could wage a shooting war against one another. This DID happen on many occasions.

The Soviets used proxies in Korea and in Vietnam to fight American forces in large scale wars. The former was a draw for the Soviets, the latter was a win.

[please note: in a previous blog, I have said that it would be MORE PROPER to think of the wars called Korea and Vietnam as BATTLES. ONE OF MANY BATTLES BEING FOUGHT ALL OVER THE WORLD TO RESTRAIN THE FORCES OF WORLD COMMUNISM. Communism was seen as an all-encompassing MOLOCH [a god of Biblical times that consumed human flesh!!] that would devour all of humanity if it had the chance.]

Both sides used insurrectionists to wage guerilla warfare.

Surprisingly, contrary to publicly held opinion, the western world, led by the U.S., was successful a number of times in defeating Soviet inspired insurrection.

This was true in the counter-insurgency efforts in Malaya, the Philippines, and in Greece [see the move Eleni with John Malkovich dealing with the Greek insurgency.] "Free-world forces" defeated the Soviet inspired guerillas.

Soviet inspired and supported forces DID enjoy some guerilla warfare successes in Cuba, Rhodesia, Angola, and Nicaragua.

U.S. guerilla warfare efforts more or less went for naught. Attempts to foment rebellion in Albania and the Ukraine were totally unsuccessful. More successful were the guerilla warfare insurrections in Nicaragua, and Afghanistan. A very limited effort to train and infiltrate guerilla fighters into Tibet in the early 1960's must also be considered a loss.

The role of Soviet proxies fighting American proxies can also not be neglected.

Israel and it's many wars with Arab neighbors falls into this category.

Israel through default became an American proxy. The various Arab nations in conflict with Israel saw the Soviets as their savior. The Soviet supplying arms and military advice that was sorely needed by the Arabs. The Soviet saw their aid to the Arabs as a means for depriving the WESTERN WORLD with the source of Middle East oil it so badly needed and needs to this day. Aiding the Arabs against the Israeli was seen as part of Soviet machinations in that part of the world.

Cubans military men around the world were also a part of the proxy fighting proxy concept.

Cuban fighters WERE found all over the world. Southern Africa, Ethiopia, Syria, Afghanistan. What is called a "lap dog" or a "cat's paw". Doing dirty work the Soviet was not willing to do. Fight wars for the Soviets, again, as part of Soviet machinations. The Cuban army can be considered to have been merely an adjunct to the Soviet Army. NOTHING more than that!!

Cubans did fight it out with troops of South Africa [SADF] on a number of occasions. This too was part of the Soviet plan that called for the great mineral wealth of South Africa to come under the control of the Soviets. Place the WESTERN WORLD at a great disadvantage.

[Proxies were to fight for the Soviets in the Middle East and in southern Africa as part of an overall plan. This was supposed to be, according to the Soviet defector Sakharov, all part of the "smash the locomotive theory". By that is meant that to destroy the locomotive [the economy] of the WESTERN WORLD, you needed to either deprive the west of either the fuel [oil], or the minerals needed to build the locomotive in the first place. Either would suffice to destroy or greatly cripple the west and put the U.S. in a very disadvantageous position.]

[it is interesting that during the various Israeli-Arab wars and the occurrences when the Cubans and South Africans did fight it out, the communist side or communist backed side did NOT fare too well. Demonstrated an ineptness that was striking on a number of times!!]

With regard to the shooting part of WW3, my opinion is that both sides had successes and failures. None of this became conclusive.

The shooting war[s] were NOT the decisive factor in WW3.

More on this later.



This is coolbert:

World War II.

In the movie, "Dr. Zhivago", the good doctor asks the Red Commissar, "where is the front??" By front we of course mean the actual location of the fighting.

Well, one could also ask, "in WW3, where was the front??"

The front was literally all over the world and underneath and above.

The front was in outer space.

The various "spy" satellites used by each nation to keep tabs on one another's militaries. To detect missile launches and enable the actual counting of manned bomber aircraft, ICBM launchers, etc.

This is where the front was!

In 1976 is was reported that the Soviet Union, to test President Carter, "blinded" with intense laser beams, the U.S. satellites used to detect missile launches from the Soviet Union aimed at the U.S. Carter advised the Soviets NOT to repeat such shenanigans as this would be considered a "act of war"!!

The front was under the water [inner space].

For forty five years, there was a constant stalking, tracking, shadowing, and jostling under the worlds' oceans by the submarines of the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Ramius in the movie, "Hunt For Red October" mentions this very fact.

This is where the front was!

The front was over the Arctic.

With U.S. bomber aircraft and their Soviet counter-parts constantly testing the air defenses of the other side for weakness. Flying toward the border of the opposition to see what sort of response would be encountered. Such as was done with the submarines testing one another. Parrying and searching for weakness that could be exploited come a SHOOTING WAR!! Such flights of U.S. aircraft in the 1950's did result in loss of American life. On the Soviet side, I am not sure of any losses??!!

This is where the front was!

The front was in the nefarious dealings of various intelligence agencies that attempted to uncover and ferret out the "secrets" of the other side. Methods employed included those "spy" satellites, traditional secret agents, and intercept operators sitting position ["pos"] at bases all over the world listening for and copying secret military traffic of the opposition.

This was where the front was!

The front was where there were intercontinental ballistic missiles [ICBM's] pointed at one each others nation, tipped with atomic weaponry. And with men on constant alert in underground silos ready to activate those missiles and fire them.

That was where the front was!

The front was on the border between West and East Germany. The ground forces of NATO and the Warsaw Pact confronting one another. A move [invasion] by Soviet forces from east to west ["Big Red moves west"] would have been responded to by the armies of the U.S., Britain, West Germany, and France [yes, them too]. NATO WOULD have used nuclear weapons to stop a Soviet invasion of western Europe.

[several points on the latter: I don't ever think ANYONE ever in the higher planning echelons of NATO even contemplated for a second a move by NATO in the other direction. That is to say, a NATO force initiating a military campaign against the Soviets. It COULD NOT AND WOULD NOT HAPPEN!! One one occasion, I saw a picture of Soviet military cadets being taught in a classroom. Someone must have goofed [perhaps not goofed??] and left a map on the wall that SHOWED THE INVASION ROUTES THAT A SOVIET FORCE WOULD HAVE TAKEN INTO WESTERN EUROPE!! THIS WAS THE NORTHERN ROUTE OF ADVANCE, THROUGHT THE NORTH GERMAN PLAIN, THROUGH THE BENELUX COUNTRIES INTO NORTHERN FRANCE. FOR SOME REASON THIS MAP WAS LEFT ON THE WALL AND INCLUDED IN THE PICTURE. WHAT IS ONE TO MAKE OF THAT!!]


WW3 I.

This is coolbert:

World War Three I.

Colonel Craig [USMCR] has stated that we are now engaged in World War Four [WW4].

With this I have concurred.

For one to accept that we are in WW4, one therefore has to accept that World War Three [WW3] has already been fought.

With this I would too concur.

World War Three [WW3].

A war fought between the old Soviet Union and the United States.

A war that lasted for about forty five years [1945-1990], and ended only with the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the smashing down of the Berlin Wall, and the freedom of various peoples, such as the Baltics, from communist domination.

A war from which the United States emerged the victor. A victor that dominates the world right now as does no other world power perhaps since the time of ancient Rome [??!!].

A war which atomic weaponry precluded an ACTUAL armed conflict between the two super-powers. A war which nonetheless existed, sometimes COLD, sometimes HOT [when proxies fought the United States in lieu of the Soviet Union]!!

When we think of war here, perhaps better to think of the word CONFLICT!! Think too of the polar opposite war peace sliding scale continuum I have spoken about in many other blog entries. The sliding scale in this "conflict" was always slid toward the WAR side of the scale, sometimes markedly so. WAR in the case of the two super-powers would have meant global thermonuclear war. This was not to be. BUT, nonetheless, I think that the "conflict" that lasted for forty five years cannot and should not be thought of as being less than WAR!!

[persons in the U.S. like to think of WAR as only being declared conflict of the conventional shooting type as were World War One and Two. This could not be the case in WW3. Nuclear weapons precluded such a type of war as what preceded. But there was very extreme hostility and a perception that one or the other would eventually emerge victorious. So is my perception!!]

[some personal thoughts on WW3 here]:

1. I like to think of this forty five year war as somewhat analogous to the twenty five year war in ancient times between Sparta and Athens. A war that resulted in the defeat of Athens. A war that occurred twenty three hundred [2300] years ago or so!!

Sparta [Soviet Union]. Militaristic, authoritarian, brutal, closed.


Athens [United States]. Democratic, open, prosperous.


In the case of WW3, light triumphed over dark. And for the good of the whole world too!!

[Indeed!! I would suggest that both sides DID look at one another and DID see the reverse image of the other. They did not see what they liked and DID see themselves as being in mortal conflict with one another!!]

2. I also find it interesting that during this forty five year war the persons of this world who call themselves intellectuals seemed to be so taken in by the communists.

Seemed to accept hook, line, and sinker communist propaganda in a very big way. Persons who are obviously of very high mental caliber [??], describing themselves as being open communists, a lot of them closet communists, and other persons of pink persuasion, all advocating the communist system or something close to it as being a solution to the worlds' problems.

Even when the worst excesses of the Stalinist regime in the Soviet Union were made apparent, these folks continued to PARROT a communist line, or at least one that while not being too favorable for the Soviet Union, was at least anti-American.

Why these intellectuals [??] could have been so wrong is just beyond me!!??

3. The cult of personality. Something that seems to crop up all over the communist world. The cult of Lenin and Stalin [Soviet Union]. The cult of Mao [Red China]. The cult of Kim [North Korea]. The cult of Ho [Vietnam]. The cult of Ceacuescu [Romania]. The cult of Hoxha [Albania] even. The cult of personality was hero worship that DID reach the aspects of divinity worship. I am sure Marx would not even have understood such a phenomenon!! Carried to the most outrageous extremes in the embalming and entombment of various communist figures in edifices of sometimes gargantuan proportions??!!

And this for men that were dictators, brutal and sadistic in many cases, killers of extraordinary proportions, even for the communist world!!

[please think here of the burial of U.S. Presidents. With perhaps the exceptions of monuments and burial sites such as for Lincoln and Grant, most American Presidents, to include such figures as Washington, are buried in rather inauspicious circumstances, WITHOUT grandiose monuments or edifices erected in their honor!!]


Wednesday, January 25, 2006


This is coolbert:

Colonel Craig [USMCR] has suggested that the current conflict the Western World is involved in can best be termed as World War Four [WW4].

I would concur with this.

NOT ONLY is the current conflict WW4, but this war is being fought with what is termed "fourth generation warfare" [4GW] [from the standpoint of the enemy we in the west are facing].

By fourth generation warfare [4GW] is meant war by a non-governmental entity. War by unconventional means.

[for those that are interested, first generation warfare [1GW] refers to the Napoleonic black powder type of warfare, second generation [2GW] is the shoot and move type of warfare as pioneered by the French in World War One [WW1], and third generation warfare [3GW] is defined as "blitzkrieg" warfare as practiced by the Germans in World War Two [WW2].]

The enemy in this current war, primarily the Islamic jihadi enemy, is resorting to 4GW as they have realized the impossibility of defeating the west by CONVENTIONAL MEANS. NOT ONLY that, the jihadi is in contempt of Islamic governments, so-called, throughout the Muslim world. Those governments are seen as being corrupt bootlickers of "western imperialism" and traitors to the cause of Islam. They are seen AS NOT being able or EVEN BEING WILLING to confront the "west".

The jihadi sees 4GW as a remedy to their predicament. 4GW will not just be an adjunct to conventional military operations, it will be THE MEANS by which future wars will be fought by the "flea".

[when I speak of the "flea", I am of course thinking of a famous book on guerilla warfare entitled, "War of the Flea".]

A means to confront the west successfully and triumph. ON a grand scale eventually [a very long term eventuality], on a more minor scale in the short term.

According to the Treaty of Westphalia [1648], warfare was to be strictly the purview of the governments of the nation-state system. Thanks to the jihadi and 4GW, this is no longer the case.

War can NOW be waged by entities other than the governments of the nation-state systems. And waged most successfully too!!

A series of factors, other than Islamic impotence in the conventional manner, have made fourth generational warfare possible.

These factors would include, but are not limited to:

* Large numbers of willing disaffected individuals who are willing to be recruited, trained, fight and die for the cause [numbers].

* Rogue nations willing to countenance and to give refuge to jihadis [hosts].

* Petro-dollars [drug money too!!] in abundance, allowing for financing of jihadi activities on a massive scale [financing].

* Availability of sophisticated weaponry once only the reserve of the most technologically advanced nations [weapons].

* The internet and other sophisticated and almost instantaneous forms of communications [coordination].

A whole host of groups currently engage in 4GW. Include, but are not limited to:

* Terrorists.

* Drug Cartels.

* Street Gangs.

[there was an instance a few years ago where an American outlaw motorcycle gang purchased plague bacillus from an independent lab. What reason? To intimidate law enforcement and prevent governmental interference in the gangs' criminal enterprise. JUST HAVING the bacillus in their possession, and having the government KNOW that the gang possesses such a weapon of mass destruction is enough to allow the gang to achieve it's goal!!]

* Revanchists.

"We appear to be returning to the situation that characterizes most of human experience, where both states and non-states wage war. In 4GW, at least one side is something other than a military force organized and operating under the control of a national government, and one that often exploits the weakness of the state system in many parts of the world."

These groups, as part of 4GW, employ methods, tactics, techniques that while not new, are THE PREFERRED MEANS for 4GW practitioners. These methods, tactics, and techniques include, but are not limited to:

* Bombings of civilian targets with malice and aforethought.

* Counterfeiting.

* Drug smuggling.

* Illegal immigration.

"The distinction between war and peace will be blurred to the vanishing point. It will be nonlinear, possibly to the point of having no definable battlefields or fronts. The distinction between 'civilian' and 'military' may disappear."

[well, this fits in well with the idea of the polar opposite war-peace sliding scale continuum, does it not?? Such a concept already exists as a means of thinking of war. This is not new.]

4GW, as with all forms of warfare, DOES have a political side to it.

"War is politics by other means - - Clausewitz."

"War is two groups of people, using arms, each trying to impose their will on the other."

4GW practitioners are trying to impose their will by force. Primarily through the use of terror, in actuality, or threatened.

"the purpose of terror is to terrorize - - Lenin."

With regard to technology, 4GW combatants are users of both unsophisticated technology and high technology both.

Both are readily available to WHOEVER has the money to pay. Conventional bombs of such size that they are only second in magnitude to atomic weaponry is available to the 4GW fighter, and are used!! I am thinking here of Oklahoma City, the Marine barracks in Beirut, etc.

Think also that the 4GW practitioner uses a mix of technologies to attack the "big dog". An internet attack one day, a bomb another day, threats another day, a riot the next day, the spreading of rumours yet another day, etc. Multiple forms of very cheap, low level but efficient attack is available to the 4GW force. This has a big appeal to many in the what was once termed "3rd World".

4GW forces defeat their adversaries by sapping the strength, wearing down, and breaking the will of their opponents over a LONG period of time. "Resistance is futile" is perhaps the best way to describe the mental state the 4GW force hopes to impose upon their enemy.

And conventional military forces, the arm of the central government of the nation-state system, for the most part, are USELESS or next to useless in combating 4GW warfare. Aircraft carriers, ICBM's, tanks are what is NOT needed to defeat the 4GW enemy. You must have lots of intelligence, special operations troops, and a military that must operate to a large extent as a police force.

A whole bunch of disaffected persons throughout the world now see 4GW as the solution to their problems. 4GW warfare allows the "fleas" of this world to torment and defeat the "big dog". The "flea" imposes his will upon the "big dog" and gets his way, whatever way that is.

And with a proliferation of weapons of mass destruction [WMD], the means available to 4GW forces become even more deadlier. Just the threat of having such weapons used against a nation-state gives the leaders of the "central government" a lot of food for thought. Sleepless nights among responsible governmental authorities are surely the result.

A very small group of "warriors" dedicated to 4GW can have an influence ALL OUT OF PROPORTION TO THEIR NUMBERS.

4GW will be around for a long time to come. The 21st Century will be DOMINATED by 4GW.


Tuesday, January 24, 2006


From Colonel Craig USMC:

Some dialogue with my liberal friends

We are now just past the:

60th anniversary of the end of WW II

30th annivesary of the end of War in Southeast Asia

15th from the fall of Euro Communism

Interesting set of dates. Time moves on quickly. Our grandparents and
parents fought WWII, our parents and our generation fought against


Sue wrote

"It doesn't offend me that you consider the Cold War WWIII, if that's your
understanding. Your understanding is not historically accepted.

Pat O'B wrote

"In several of your posts now, you're mentioned that we are entering WWIV. Um
Craig,...there never was a WWIII."


Craig replies. Some historians have begun to call the Cold War World War III.
Calling it a Cold War is a bit of a misnomer, since many, many millions of
people died, were tortured, and imprisoned. And it was a hot war a number of
times (Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, China, Taiwan, Afghanistan, Korea,
Greece, Malaysia, etc etc). Much of the world was engaged in some form.The
millions of people who died did not think it was a peaceful Cold War.

Our friends who lost siblings and other relatives think it was a big deal.
First time a round or rocket comes close to you, you think it is hot.

A google search for Cold War World War III will give you a large number of

But let us not quibble over a name. Since you don't like the term perhaps we can
agree to call it:

The Big Fracas

fracas: NOUN: A noisy, disorderly fight or quarrel; a brawl.


Sue wrote "It's rather factitious Craig, in your stating... "We stopped the
expansion of Communism."

"World War constitutes just that....the World. It seems to me that the World
did not engage in that fight against Communism, only Eisenhower, JFK, Johnson,
Nixon, Ford, (zilch Carter) and Reagan....and oh yes, McCarthy."


Craig replies. The West stopped the expansion of Communism. The West includes
Nato, most of free Europe, Australia, Canada, and the US. Also helping were the
SEATO alliance and numerous small countries around the world.

And we did it without blowing up the world, - quite an accomplishment. Should be
quite a pat on the back of the West. But you will never get that from old
lefties. They will keep talking about the evil deeds of western democracies,
especially the US.

Many countries were engaged in the struggle with communism. Comrades of mine who
fought and died in Vietman came from several countries, including the US, Mexico, Vietnam,
& Korea. Korea was a UN affair, with numerous countries helping.

Numerous other countries lost troops in our various shooting wars with
communists. And quite a few more who were badly wounded.

They all get credit for stopping a very evil system that was arguably worse than
the Nazis.


Pat O wrote from Ireland

"> the scariest part seems to be that it's a guerilla (oh
> my, don't we itch to call them all 'terrorists?') war.

Craig replies: Pat, what do you call the guys in your Island who blow up
innocent people?

Freedom fighters? Fracas fighters?

Pat, Sue, JW, you are all bright folks. But I hear mostly critiques of US
actions. Nothing wrong with that, but it would be much more worthwhile to
propose a concrete course of action. Perhaps we will jointly come up with a good
solution that could become policy.

What, in your opinion, was the correct thing to do after 911?

And, what should we do now?


No reply


From: "susan
> Subject: Craig..dazed and confused
> Hi there Craig,
> In several of your posts now, you're mentioned that we are entering WWIV. Um
Craig,...there never was a WWIII. You suggested, (affirmatively I might add)
that the war on Communism was WWIII. I took graduate World History in 1996 and
I can tell you first hand, there was no WWIII mentioned in the text I was
assigned (Harvard published in 1989). World War constitutes just that....the
World. It seems to me that the World did not engage in that fight against
Communism, only Eisenhower, JFK, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, (zilch Carter) and
Reagan....and oh yes, McCarthy.
> So, WWIII hasn't occurred Craig and hopefully never will.
> Sue


Craig replies

Well, don't call it WW 3 if that offends you. The conflict among the communist
countries and the west lasted from about 1945 to about 1989, and still goes on a
bit, and convulsed a large part of the world, and resulted in many millions of
deaths. And a lot of us thought it was a pretty big deal.

We stopped the expansion of Communism. It was a very bad system. I have been to
a number of communist countries, and they were not pleasant. Especially for the
citizens of those countries.

We did not have to fight wars. We could have surrendered to the Japanese and
Nazis, or the Communists. We could have become Nazi supermen, or a
Japanese colony, or Communist. Or we could
continue to turn the other cheek, and hope that the tyrants will tire of killing
our people and leave us alone. There are always choices other than war.

Communism was pretty bad. The following are taken from several sources. Perhaps
they overstate the numbers - who knows? Hard thing to count very accurately.
But I think even you and your author of your Harvard Published History Book
(1989) would agree that the Communists were just a bit over the top. Or perhaps


The US has been engaged in three major conflicts during the lives of our
parents. There are of course many varying estimates of unjust, unnecessary or
unnatural deaths committed by tyrants, but these estimates appear reasonable.

There is considerable overlap in the generations. For the purposes of this
discussion, written from the view point of a baby boomer, the generations are
our Grandparents born around 1880-1900, our Parents born around 1910-1925, we
early Baby Boomers born around 1946-1953, and our children, born around

World War II 1941 - 1945 Directed by our grand parents, fought by our parents

Hitler 34,000,000 killings

Hirohito (Japan: 1926-89) 1,000,000 over a million unjust, unnecessary or
unnatural deaths

Hirota Koki (Japan: 1936-37) 1,000,000 " "

Struggle with Communism 1945 -1989, and to present Directed by our parents,
fought by us, mostly cold war, hot war in Greece, Vietnam, Korea, Central
America, Africa, Asia

Stalin 20,000,000 to 50,000,000 killings

Mao 10,000,000 to 40,000,000 killings

Ho Chi Minh (North Vietnam:1945-69) 1,000,000 over a million unjust, unnecessary
or unnatural deaths

Kim Il Sung (North Korea:1948-94) 1,000,000 " "

Lenin (USSR: 1917-24) 1,000,000 " "

Pol Pot (Cambodia: 1975-79) 1,700,000 " "

China ((75 to present) ? ? Little outside

Vietnam (75 to present) ? ? " "

Laos ? ? " "

Tibet ? ? ' "

Cuba ? ? " "

http://users.erols. com/mwhite28/warstat8.htm

Colonel Craig USMC.


This is coolbert:

The guy on the evening news today makes a big mistake. The type of mistake that really does make one wonder if he said what he said on purpose or not? To deceive folks listening?? I just cannot be sure.

The announcer is commenting on the pronouncements of President Musharraf of Pakistan on the hunt going on for Al Qaeda members in Pakistani mountainous regions.

Musharraf says that hundreds, up to seven hundred Al Qaeda terrorists have been captured by the Pakistani. And that the bases for adherents to bin Laden are being raided to the point where, "previously there were groupings of hundreds, now there groupings of dozens".

Well, to me, this is clear. Whereas before the villains could congregate in groups of hundreds of terrorists at a time, they have now had to disperse into groupings of dozens.

But what does the announcer say?

Something to the effect that Musharraf is wrong, that the total of terrorists is not in the dozens!!

Well, Musharraf DID NOT SAY THAT! He said the terrorists now existed in groupings of dozens, NOT DOZENS OF TERRORISTS!! Groupings of dozens, NOT SEVERAL DOZENS OF TERRORISTS.

I am sure some gadfly unknowledgable person will at some later point make a stink and say that Musharraf lied, that he said "only a few dozens of terrorists were left", when in actuality the total number is much more.

This is how words get twisted in a fashion all out of whack from what was intended.



This is coolbert:

There WAS an American Navy SEAL captured by Al Qaeda elements during Operation Anaconda. This was Navy SEAL Neil C. Roberts. A brave American who gave his life for all of us.

Roberts was aboard a CH-47 helicopter as part of a special operations unit deploying during Operation Anaconda. An operation to flush out and eliminate Al Qaeda hold-outs operating in the mountains of Afghanistan. This special ops unit of which Roberts was a member consisted of snipers who were to gain and hold high ground prior to the landing of the main assault force from the 101st Airmobile.

In the midst of combat operations, Roberts tumbled, through no fault of his own, out of the back of the Chinook, fell a considerable distance, landed, and was disabled. Probably suffered a broken back or similar. He WAS captured by Al Qaeda die-hards who were seen dragging his body off [he WAS alive at the time]. After seeing the condition of Roberts, the Al Qaeda villains then executed the SEAL with a shot to the head.

This is the sort of treatment American troops, if captured, can expect from Al Qaeda.

Troops fighting currently in Iraq know this and act accordingly. Surrender is not an option, no matter what!! Being placed at the not-so-tender-mercies of Al Qaeda is NOT what the American soldier WANTS to have happen to him. Everyone knows this!!



This is coolbert:

The subject again is torture, purported or otherwise.

I am sitting in the doctor's office this morning.

Waiting for an appointment.

And am perusing a recent copy of Newsweek. And the cover story is torture. With the picture of Senator Mc Cain on the cover.

Senator Mc Cain.

A man who was brutally and pitilessly tortured by the North Vietnamese. If anyone has views on the subject that should be listened to, it is this man.

I instantly hit upon some interesting points contained within the article.

First, the topic of the Geneva Convention and how it applies to torture is hit upon again and again. NO cruel and degrading treatment of prisoners is allowed, according to the Convention. This of course applies to PRISONERS OF WAR [POW].

And there is the rub, right off the bat, is it not?? Are the Al Qaeda terrorists, suspected or otherwise, when captured, entitled to POW treatment??

The consensus opinion PRIOR to this moment is NO! They are not POW's as the term has been and is now ordinarily and commonly understood. I have discussed this at length many times before.

Secondly, some additional details are given as to how one unlawful enemy combatant being held at Gitmo was "tortured".

Given "degrading" treatment in an effort to break his will. This too has been previously gone over in another blog entry. IN that entry, I mentioned that the female interrogator RUBBED HER BREASTS AGAINST THE unlawful enemy combatant. This was deemed to be "torture" in a very broad definition of the word. A ridiculously broad definition of the word.

Besides the breast rubbing, this combatant was also subjected to having a woman [probably that same interrogator??] straddle him as he lay on the ground, being required to wear a bra and dance with men. This too is deemed as "torture"!!??


Thirdly, it was mentioned in the article that new regulations and methods are being approved for inclusion into the Army manual for interrogators.

What techniques are permissible for interrogators to USE!!??

An interrogator MAY speak in A LOUD VOICE to the captured unlawful enemy combatant.

The interrogator MAY throw AN OBJECT around the room to scare the captured unlawful enemy combatant. [please note, the interrogator CAN throw the object, but NOT AT the prisoner!!??]



Now, I am quite certain that members of Al Qaeda, when reading this article, WILL NOT believe what they are reading. When THEY think of torture, they are thinking of nail pulling, tooth pulling, crushing of the private parts, etc. That someone is concerned about talking in a loud voice to them and "scaring" them would be considered to be ludicrous and ridiculous in the extreme.

No, the members of Al Qaeda, reading this article, would think that something else is going on here. This is some sort of trick. What is mentioned cannot be for real. IT is a joke to think this is for real. Something is afoot here that just cannot be fathomed. What is that something??

That will be the reaction of Al Qaeda.

And the comment was made in Newsweek that many are concerned about HOW AMERICANS CAPTURED BY AL QAEDA WILL BE TREATED!!

Well, we already know the answer to that.

They will be tortured severely and executed, that is what. It has ALREADY HAPPENED!!

Again, the Al Qaeda combatants have made the cold-blooded decision well in advance on how to treat our troops. And it will not be nice [this decision has nothing to do with Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, etc. It does have to do with the jihadi perception of us Americans as being no better than maggots, to be destroyed. Nothing more than that!!].

As for Senator Mc Cain.

Senator Mc Cain is a man that really knows what torture is. When his plane was shot down over North Vietnam, Mc Cain suffered multiple breakages of bones from ejection. Wounds that were NOT treated by his captors. The NORTH VIETNAMESE, IN A WILLFUL AND SPITEFUL MANNER, REFUSED TO TREAT HIS WOUNDS!! 

Further, when the communists determined the identity of Mc Cain and found out that his father was CINCPAC, Mc Cain was even more brutally tortured, pain being inflicted upon the same breakages that occurred from ejection. Mc Cain emerged from Hanoi a cripple. What MC CAIN WENT THROUGH INVOLVED AND TO THIS DAY INVOLVES A LOT OF PAIN!!!

[Mc Cain does concedes that in the case of a "ticking bomb" scenario involving a nuclear weapon, physical force may be permissible!!!]

When folks talk about torture, they are talking about what Senator Mc Cain went through!!


Sunday, January 22, 2006


This is coolbert: In the previous blog entry I have mentioned the tremendous naval bombardment prior to the amphibious assault on Tarawa, 1943.

How the naval officers on the scene felt that naval gunfire alone would decide the battle.

And the bombardment from naval gunfire at Tarawa was impressive. I am sure that all observers off shore would have concluded that the operation for the Marines assaulting the island would be a "cake walk". This was proven not to be.

The vast majority of Japanese defending Tarawa escaped the naval bombardment unscathed. Survived to inflict significant casualties on the attacking Marines.

That the Japanese survived the bombardment unscathed was due to the construction of log and earth bunkers. A structure that appears to be unique to the Japanese war effort in WW2 [??]. Bunkers, made of simple and readily available materials that allowed the Japanese defender to survive even the most intense naval gunfire and aerial bombardment.

Log and earth bunkers that U.S. forces encountered all over the Pacific theatre. Whether on Tarawa as encountered by the U.S. Marines, or in New Guinea by the U.S. Army, the log and earth bunker gave a decided advantage to the Japanese defender.

Let me digress and review the pertinent timeless verities of combat as enumerated by De Puy and germane to this blog entry:

# 2 Defensive strength is greater than offensive strength.

Defense is the stronger form of combat. You can do more with less when you are on the defensive.

# 3 Defensive posture is necessary when successful offense is impossible.

By 1943 the Japanese WERE on the defensive in the Pacific, and knew it. Successful defensive was the ONLY option open to them. They had to think and fight defensively.

# 6 Defenders' chances of success are directly proportional to fortification strength.

Defensive success is related to strong fortifications. Earth and log bunkers were very strong defensive fortifications. Gave the Japanese a big plus when on the defensive.

The log and earth bunkers of the Japanese in World War Two [WW2] were formidable defensive structures. A bunker would consist of an outer and inner layer of thick logs, the space in between filled with packed earth, sand, or even coral. A roof would be made in a similar manner, the inner layer of logs for the roof first covered with a thick tarp before a layer of earth was laid over. After the bunker was built, an outer layer of earth was further applied, and then the whole structure camouflaged [camo] in some manner. A firing slit was covered with camo when not in use.

[the above photo shows a portion of how the log and earth bunker was constructed.]

"2. Figure 138 illustrates typical bunker construction. The finished interior of bunkers varies from 4 to 6 feet in height, 6 to 10 feet in width, and 12 to 30 feet in length. The larger bunkers are found sometimes with 2 bays, or compartments, separated by a large solid block of earth. Each bunker has 1 or more narrow firing slits, difficult to hit even at close ranges. Thee slits are covered by some form of camouflage when not in use.

3. In the Buna-Gona area, the bunkers and pillboxes (the latter have also been referred to as small bunkers) were built along the same general lines. With a shallow trench as a foundation, log columns and beams were erected, log revetment walls were constructed, and a ceiling then was made of several layers of logs, laid laterally to the trench. With the completion of this basic superstructure, the revetment walls were reinforced by such materials as sheets of iron, oil drums and ammunition boxes filled with sand, and additional piles of logs. Lastly, the outside was covered with dirt, rocks, coconuts and short pieces of logs. For camouflage, the surface was planted with fast growing vegetation.

Coral rock, better than ordinary rock because it is more resilient, formed part of the protective covering on many of the New Georgia pillboxes (see fig. 144). It was used in conjunction with coconut logs, earth, and miscellaneous materials at hand. A large number of the pillbox tops had as many as four layers of coconut logs which were topped with dirt and coral rock. Ferns and growing shrubs were planted in the chins to round out a well-camouflaged appearance."

Weapons employed from the bunker would include heavy and medium machine guns, supported by riflemen.

These structures were very impervious to American weaponry. A bomb dropped from an aircraft or an artillery or naval gunfire round landing NEAR the bunker would have almost NO effect on the bunker or it's occupants. Japanese inside would be shaken and perhaps dazed, but left more or less combat ready. Even a DIRECT HIT from large caliber weapons might NOT even destroy the bunker, so well build and resilient were these structures!!!

[this second above photo also shows detail of log and earth bunker construction!!]


Trying to reduce the earth and log bunkers all throughout the Pacific campaign called for the most extreme combat measures.

NOT ONLY were the bunkers secure and impervious to NORMAL combat weaponry, but the troops manning them fought with typical Japanese ferocity and fanaticism.

[On Tarawa, of the approximate 4,000 Japanese combat troops defending, ONLY 14 were captured, and of those, almost all were captured in a dazed, befuddled state, probably from what is commonly termed "shell shock".]

American troops attacking the log and earth bunkers found out very quickly it was necessary to KILL EVERY LAST ONE OF THE OCCUPANTS. To hope for the Japanese troops surrender was wishful thinking, no matter how dire the circumstances for the defender.

[the above photo shows the inside of one such log and earth bunker. It appears that the Japs lined the inside walls and floor with some sort of matting, to cushion troops, perhaps, if they were thrown around inside by nearby detonation!!]

A variety of techniques were found to be very useful to combat the log and earth fortifications. Techniques that required the utmost bravery and courage and determination on the part of the attacker [U.S. Marine or Army soldier].

A man-a-foot would approach the firing slit of the bunker and toss a satchel charge [demolition device] into the firing slit, killing all the occupants.

[the above photo shows one such firing slit!!]

A Sherman tank would drive up to the bunker and at point-blank-range fire a 75 mm high explosive round into the firing slit.

A troop equipped with a flame thrower would approach the bunker, place the nozzle of the flame thrower against the firing slit and incinerate the occupants with a gush of napalm.

And armored bulldozer would drive up to the bunker, and pile a mound of earth up against the firing slit, slowly suffocating the occupants.

[please note: placing a satchel charge against the sides of the bunker, firing a tank round AT the bunker, or hosing the bunker on the outside with napalm would not kill the occupants. To kill the occupants required the attacker to get so close they could probably have shook hands with the Japanese inside!!!!]

Fifty years later, the use of armored bulldozers to seal Iraqi troops in THEIR sand castle style bunkers was used by the U.S. First Infantry Division. The Iraqi inside slowly suffocated to death, just as Japanese troops did in WW2!! Some folks raised a hue and cry over this combat technique as being inhumane. I always find it interesting that the same folks that raised the hue and cry would NEVER find themselves on the battlefield having to deal with determined troops in fortifications.



This is coolbert:

Put this one in the "I wish they hadn't done that" category.

Prior to the U.S. Marine invasion of Tarawa, 1943, the U.S. Navy put on an impressive show of shore bombardment. A whole host of combat vessels, destroyers, cruisers, battleships, bombarded the Japanese held island with naval gunfire.

Destruction and suppression of the defenders was the goal.

An immense amount of shellfire from large caliber weapons was directed at the island and the sight was again, impressive. A huge cloud of dust and debris was suspended above the island prior to the amphibious assault of the Marines.

[additional attack by naval aircraft on Tarawa was actually called off as the incoming attack aircraft could not see with accuracy targets to bomb and strafe such was the cloud hanging over Tarawa!!]

From all appearances, all opposition on the island by rights should have been dead, stunned or just plain non-effective.

Click here to see a web site that describes the naval gunfire bombardment of Tarawa.

[this turned out NOT to be the case. That it was not so is the subject for another blog entry.]

Much to the chagrin of the Marines and the Navy, this bombardment actually created circumstances that were to the detriment of the Marines.

Large caliber shells from battleships, landing short and hitting in the shallows surrounding the landing beaches, created large craters that were a danger to men and machines both. Whereas men wading ashore would normally be in water up to their waist or knees, these craters were deep and presented a significant, dangerous and fatal obstacle. A lot of Marines fell into the craters, and weighed down by their equipment, drowned.

Tanks too, supporting the landings, and disembarking from suitable landing craft, would drive into a crater, flood the engine, and become marooned. A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT of armor supporting the initial landings just DID NOT MAKE IT ASHORE due to crater obstacles!!

It was only in the end that the bravery and determination of the Marines prevailed and that the Battle of Tarawa was finally won, albeit at very high cost to the Marines.


Saturday, January 21, 2006

Mark W. Clark.

This is coolbert:

Mark W. Clark.

A very important personage in American military history from World War Two [WW2] and the Korean War.

A direct descendant of George Rogers Clark [Long Knife] of American Revolutionary War fame. George Rogers Clark of course was the subject of another blog entry.

There even being a striking and startling physical resemblance between the two men, George Rogers Clark and Mark Clark.

Mark Clark operated at the highest levels of command, in the military, diplomatic, and political spheres. As did his famous ancestor. Possessed skills in all these arenas.

Mark Clark, however, is not without his detractors.

Winterbotham, the Englishman who briefed Clark on the Ultra secret, remembers this about Clark:

"Clark was restless from the start. I explained not only what the source was, but in an endeavorur to catch Mark Clark's interest gave some pertinent examples of what it could do . . . But Mark Clark didn't appear to believe the first part, and after a quarter of an hour he excused himself and his offficrs on the grounds that he something else to do. It was a bad start . . ."

Indeed, Winterbotham seems to have a VERY LOW opinion of Mark Clark. Winterbotham surmises that Clark MISSED a lot of golden opportunities offered by Ultra intelligence that was made available to him [Clark]!!

Clark was commander of the 5th U.S. Army. The army that fought alongside the British 8th Army in the Italian campaign. A campaign that in the eyes of many did NOT go well. A campaign for which Clark DID receive a lot of criticism.

Many have felt that Clark lacked the imagination to fight the Italian campaign as it needed to be fought. Whether it was at Cassino, the Rapido, or at Anzio, American forces under the command of Clark repeatedly became bogged down or suffered casualties that many felt were unnecessary.

According Eisenhower:

"First, he is getting command of the Fifth Army, for which he has begged and pleaded for a long time. Second, the job, for the moment, is one largely of organization and training, and in these fields I think Clark has no superior."


I am not comfortable with those comments of Ike!!

From this I can surmise that Eisenhower did not see the role of Clark in Italy as being a strategist or tactician or master of the operational art. A commander of those aspects of warfare WAS WHAT WAS NEEDED IN ITALY!!

Repeated assaults upon Cassino, even with enormous firepower being brought to bear upon the German positions, went for naught. It has even been suggested that the initial attacks upon Cassino were totally unwarranted!?

The attempted crossing of the Rapido river by the 36th Division, Texas Army National Guard, was repelled with heavy loss of life. It is said that until the day he died, Clark was reportedly NOT welcome as a visitor to Texas!

[Rapido of course means "RAPID". A normally small river was swollen with snow melt and had become a raging torrent. Attempting to make an assault crossing of this river was NOT a wise decision!! Anyone that has seen film footage of the boats carrying soldiers from the Texas Guard trying to cross the Rapido will just shake their head!!]

The successful amphibious assault at Anzio was not followed through with sufficient aggressiveness and vigor. American and British forces were subjected to counter-attacks by German forces that nearly wiped out the landing forces.

In the eyes of an informed American observer:

"Because of problems Americans had in Italy, some people had a low opinion of General Clark. Doctor Charles Schueller - a former Army Captain who served from October 1942 - February 1946 felt Clark was wrong to attempt going up the Apennines. In the book 'Hometown heroes: Dubuque Remembers WWII', Schueller had this to say:"

"Bonehead General Mark Clark; he was the first man in history to think that he could go up the Apennines, but there was only one road, and that one hugged the coast. And the rest of it was mountains, and you had to fight your way up."

"Monte Cassino - I was there. Mark Clark, in his wisdom, thought that was the highest promontory mountain, and that the Germans were using that as a lookout and could see where we were. Well, what the hell, they didn't need it, they had the rest of the mountains, and they didn't need that damn place. And the Germans had respected the monks and their culture, because the Germans did not go in there."

"But Clark got the idea that the Germans in the monastery were the reason they couldn't make any headway up the mountains...So they decided to bomb the hell out of it."

One must also take into account that Clark and his multi-national force was presented with very good and stiff opposition.

The German troops fighting against allied forces in Italy WERE first rate troops. To include the BEST unit in the German Army, the Hermann Goering Division [defending the actual Abbey atop Cassino].

Albert Kesselring, commanding German forces, WAS a SHREWD, ABLE, and DETERMINED commander. NOT a man who could be easily defeated.

German forces also possessed many inherent advantages to their defense of the Italian "boot".

The Germans made maximum use of the mountainous Italian terrain. There WAS NOT a lot of room for maneuver in the Italian campaign. It was quite often the task of attacking allied units to right at the strength of the German positions. NOT an easy task.

German forces made extensive use of PREPARED positions that further favored their defense. Would successfully withdraw from one position to another, inflicting maximum casualties upon the allied forces as they did so.

The weather for most of the Italian campaign was very bad. DID not favor the attacker. Favored the defender.

It may very well be that NO MATTER WHO was in command of the 5th U.S. Army in Italy, the results would NOT have been a whole lot different.

As was realized by Eisenhower, German forces in WW2 WERE JUST NOT going to be defeated in an easy manner, with one or two surprise attacks and stratagems resulting in victory ove the German army. It was not going to happen like that. A long slog was what was required.

A long slog is what the Italian campaign became, German forces holding their own, all of Italy NOT being liberated by allied forces even until the last days of the war!!

Even in Korea, Mark Clark faced a similar situation. For two years, Clark served as military commander, diplomat, negotiator for U.N. forces fighting the communists. Presided over armistice talks that often seemed to go nowhere. As with Italy, a complete, total, and quick victory in Korea became impossible!!

During the fighting in Korea, one of Mark Clark's sons, an infantry leader and West Point grad [as was Mark Clark], was wounded twice, the second time so severely that he was declared unfit for further military service and mustered out.

[I cannot find corroborating evidence of this wounding of Mark Clark's son. But believe it to be so!!]

During the Vietnam War, another son of Mark Clark [Mark W. Clark Jr.] was involved in the BAT-21 incident. This son, an Air Force pilot, was flying combat support for the units involved in the search and rescue operation to recover the downed American airman, Iceal Hambleton. Clark, the pilot, was also shot down and HAD TO BE RESCUED HIMSELF!!

"The Hollywood movie Bat 21 detailed the story of the rescue of down airman Iceal B. Hambleton. Lesser known was the story of this young co-pilot who was shot down in efforts to provide air support to the rescue effort. After evading the enemy for eight days, he was rescued by the same Navy Seal (Tom Norris) who subsequently earned the Medal of Honor for also rescuing Iceal B. Hambleton."

Mark Clark ended his long and storied career by a long stint as Superintendent of The Citadel.

The Clark family from the time of George Rogers Clark has rendered this country long and faithful service in the military.

Controversial? YES! An incompetent without merit? NO!


Thursday, January 19, 2006

Mc Cain.

This is coolbert:

I see where the famous Senator John Mc Cain Jr. has a son, Jack, who is now in the Naval Academy, class of 2009.

This is the fourth generation Mc Cain to attend the Naval Academy. A dynasty of Mc Cain's has now served in the Navy. The great-grandfather and the grandfather of Jack rising to Admiral rank.

Of course, the father, John Jr. had his own career cut short by POW status during the Vietnam War, with injuries from torture exacerbating his imprisonment.

Mc Cain Jr. still retains Presidential aspirations. What comes of that still remains to be seen.

Jack too has a long way to go in his career. It will be many years before he comes to fruition as a senior officer in the manner of his forebears. I wish him well and success!!

This is the sort of thing you rarely see in the American experience. Generations of youth following in the footsteps of their ancestors with military careers.


Tuesday, January 17, 2006


This is coolbert:

Here is an extract from a web site that illustrates HOW the Romans employed their missile firing troops as part of the combined arms concept.

[missile firing troops in this instance consists of archers, sling and javelin throwers!!]

Keep in mind that those sling throwers [peltists] are heaving at you a solid lead projectile the size of a human kidney. This is a glandes.

The missile firing troops supporting the men-a-foot [infantry] in combat.

It has been noted in a previous blog entry that the Assyrians of old also arrayed THEIR missile firing troops in a similar manner as part of THEIR combined arms concept.

Perhaps the Romans brought the combined arms concept to a much more higher degree of development than did the Assyrians!!??

At any rate, we DO HAVE more info on the subject from Roman times.

From the web site:

The following description is just one typical battle tactic that could be employed against the enemy.

The Signifer sounds the call for Battle Formation as the order is shouted, "Form Battle Lines! Battle!" Ad aciem - Pugna! The Centurio gives the order to follow the standard and march towards the enemy, Signo sequate - Moveo! A halt is ordered when the front line reaches a distance of about 100 yards from the enemy's front. Consiste! The Archers and Slingers are ordered forward about 25 yards. The Archers fire a high arcing shower of arrows. The Slingers fire a lower trajectory aimed at the enemy's waist and head.

After a period of time, the Slingers are ordered to the rear. The Archers will continue to fire their arrows while the Legion's front advances past them to a distance that is about 100 feet from the enemy. The front two ranks will now receive the order to plant their pila [javelin]. Pila infige! The Optio marks the front line. The Centurio now gives the order to throw the pilum. Pila iace! This is quickly followed by the order to throw their second pilum. Swords are now drawn and the advance is made to engage the enemy. Gladium stringe! Parati - Oppugnare! - Impetus!

The next two rows advance to the Optio's mark. Now they, in turn, repeat the action of throwing their two pila. Swords are drawn and held at the ready as they slowly move forward to back up the front ranks, now engaging the enemy. The archers have ceased firing. The fifth row is stationed nearby as a reserve line."

Several things to note here:

The archers are firing in a manner for their arrows to descend from a high arc [plunging], while the slingers are throwing in a manner so that their glandes have a "lower trajectory"!! The targets must contend with missiles coming from two directions at once!!

The commands for the Roman missile firing troops are standardized and SIMPLE!! Roman soldiers from all corners of the realm would NOT need be THAT conversant in Latin to be useful and efficient soldiers. Knowing only a few simple commands would be ADEQUATE!! Recall my previous blog entry where Suvorov states that the Soviet soldier, regardless of nationality, regardless of proficiency in Russian, KNEW ten simple commands that would suffice in combat!!

Roman cavalry would of course be waiting in the wings, ready to exploit gaps in the enemy defenses created by the infantry advance.

Such combined arms tactics show a very marked and high degree of military knowledge honed and developed over centuries!! Tactics that served the Romans and the Assyrians before them very well!!



Admiral Sims.

This is coolbert:

When America entered the First World War [WW1] in the early part of 1917, the first prominent American military man on the European scene was U.S. Navy Admiral Sims.

Sims' trip was to establish and coordinate a convoy system. A convoy system that would allow for safe transit of the Atlantic from America to Europe of all shipping carrying troops and war munitions.

Such a system was established. And did prove to be successful. Eminently so. German U-boat attack was mitigated substantially by the convoy system. And this with a rate of transport such that in the early months of 1918, 250,000 American troops per month were arriving in Breast, France, enroute to the Western Front!! Consider this: [courtesy of Al Nofi and CIC].

"Although the nearly three million American military personnel took
ship across the Atlantic during World War I, only 500 died in u-
boat attacks on warships and merchantmen, and another 71 died of
disease or accidents en route."

An outstanding achievement!!

[this IS a remarkable feat. Was duplicated in World War Two [WW2] also. A transport was lost to Japanese submarine attack during WW2, but without the loss of one soldier among the four thousand troops being transported!! [all the troops aboard were gotten off the ship before it sank!!] This too is a remarkable achievement and speaks very highly of the U.S. Navy!!]

Sims was quickly to find, however, that something even more pressing than the convoy system was on the mind of the English.


At the time of Sims' visit, the British Isles had only a three week supply of grain on hand at any given moment. Even in the years PRIOR to the outbreak of the war, the English were heavily dependent upon imported food. With the U-boat menace sinking a quarter of all ships bound for English ports, the import of food to meet the minimum needs of the English became acute.

When asked if there was a counter to the U-boat threat, Admiral Jellicoe, the senior British Admiral answered that he could see no solution in sight!! England was in danger of being knocked out of the war not from defeat on the battlefield, but rather from starvation at home!!

A certain part of this dilemma was due to the fact that a goodly portion of English cropland previously used for growing crops for human consumption was being utilized rather for the growing of fodder for cavalry horses.

All during the four years of WW1, the allied forces maintained in all theatres of the war large divisional size formations of cavalry.

[a perfect example of this occured during the British Somme offensive of July, 1916. Haig, the British commander, had three divisions of cavalry in the wings, awaiting the breakthrough that never came. This is just ONE example among many of what was a pattern of stupidity and a clinging to old, outmoded ideas!!]

Cavalry formations that were intended to exploit a breakthrough of German defenses, if such a breakthrough was to occur. Such a breakthrough did not occur, with the exception of the campaign of the British in Palestine. [as has been mentioned in another blog entry.]

Such was the attachment of the allied high command to the concept of the horse soldier that the cavalry formations on the Western Front were kept in the rear, at a state of readiness all during the four years of trench warfare, but WERE NEVER USED!!


Consider this:

"in 1897 another British force in India, of 44,000 men, still required 60,000 draft animals. And what was an army's single greatest supply item, by volume? Fodder for all the animals—a logistical fact through World War I."

What is most amazing is that almost half [40 %] of the horses used by the military in WW1 were used merely to facilitate the delivery of fodder to the other half [60 %]. A 60 % that stood idle during the war, waiting for a combat role THAT NEVER MATERIALIZED!!

[it is true that a number of horses would have been employed as prime movers for artillery, ambulances and such. What exact percentage this is I just cannot say.]


What were all the senior allied commanders thinking!!?? I just cannot say. You would have thought at some point they would have universally agreed that cavalry DID NOT HAVE A ROLE IN THE MODERN TYPE OF COMBAT AS SEEN IN WW1. This DID NOT happen!!