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

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


This is coolbert:

Chinese Aircraft Carrier Intelligence Dope Update.

"Do you remember about a year ago, one of our S.E.I.G. Agents reported that China had several aircraft carriers that were just 'on display' to the public...............and that they were retrofitting them to go into active service. Do you remember that? And do you remember that we also reported through a S.E.I.G. Agent that Russia was selling specially modified fighters, the Sukhoi Su-33, specially modified to operate from aircraft carriers?"

Thanks here to the web site: and Harry for the tip.

"We just received a report from a S.E.I.G. Agent that China has just bought four sets of arresting cable assemblies for us on their aircraft carriers. And they got them from the same place they got their Su-33 fighters from Russia."

The Chinese purported aircraft carrier is being fitted with arresting cables to go with newly purchased Russian naval aircraft, the Su-33.

[I say purported as this vessel is currently in a static display mode, not having sailed or been used as an operational aircraft carrier!!]

The Su-33 [Flanker-D] is a modified Su-27 specifically designed for naval operations.

"The Su-33 first flew in May 1985, and entered service in the Russian Navy in 1994. An air regiment comprising 24 fighters of the type was formed up on the Russian Navy's only operating aircraft carrier, Admiral Kuznetsov."

Other Russian [formerly Soviet] Navy aircraft carriers were built, but were never deployed or even made operational. Sold as static displays. Among them the Varyag.

Russian designed and built aircraft carriers are the jump jet ski-lift type take-off variety. DO NOT use a catapult for launch as do American aircraft carriers.

"the Su-33 is designed to use a ski-jump instead of catapult for carrier takeoff."

"The ski jump provides many advantages over a catapult launch."

Advantages such as:

"a ski jump does not put stress on the airframe and pilot"

"the aircraft can engage full afterburner earlier than a catapult launch"

The ski jump also has a disadvantage:

"On the down side, an aircraft launched off a ski jump cannot launch at maximum takeoff weight"

There is a lot of speculation concerning the ex-Russian aircraft carrier Varyag. Is even an excellent web site devoted the vessel. Worth looking over.

Consider the extent to which pilots practice simulated carrier landings before they do it for real:

"During testing, each pilot made 400 landings on a concrete runway matching the size, and shape of the carrier deck, in order to practice no-flare landing technique before making an actual landing on a carrier deck."

"a Kamov Ka-27PS search-and-rescue helicopter was flown close to the carrier in the event of an accident."

I believe this is SOP with American aircraft carriers too. A search and rescue [SAR] helicopter is aloft and standing by during all take off and landing operations. Able to pluck a pilot from the ocean instantly in case of something going awry.

The Chinese already fly the Kamov Ka-27.

The deployment of the [Chinese name is???] is a done-deal!? We will see this vessel soon taking to the oceans of the world flying the latest and baddest aircraft the Russians can put into the air? Flying the Chinese flag, showing the colors at ports all over the world. Flexing muscles in the South China Sea, Straits of Malacca and showing the "yang-cou-ce" a thing or two?!

[PLEASE keep in mind that the Chinese have bought aircraft carriers from Australia, Russia [Soviets], and Brazil in the past too!! Used for a variety of purposes. NOT as combat warships!! This is NOT new??!!]


Monday, July 30, 2007

Intel Gap?

This is coolbert:

“During time of war, all laws may be set aside, except for murder and apostasy” - - Rabbi Akiva [50 CA – 135 A.D.]

"An 'Intel Gap': What We're Missing"

Read this incredible stuff. Hamstringing the anti-jihadi effort! And for almost six years now since 9/11 and WTC.

This entire “War on Terror”, anti-jihadi campaign has become a “political football” of the worse possible sort??!! An ambivalence over application of the FISA law is evidence of this being so? “Mickey Mouse” stuff that cannot be tolerated?

As I recall, this FISA law was written and passed during the late 1970’s. During the administration of President Carter.

"The post-Watergate Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) required a warrant for eavesdropping on people in the U.S."

Since that time, thirty years have passed, and the technology for international communications has changed markedly, and changed in a manner TOTALLY UNFORSEEN BY THE PERSONS THAT WROTE THE ORIGINAL FISA LAW!!!

"Technological innovations, however, have shifted more and more traffic—both e-mail and telephone calls—to hard-wired or fiberoptic networks, many of which have critical switching or transit facilities inside the U.S. Therefore, intel-collection officials concluded that FISA court authorizations should be obtained to eavesdrop not just on messages where at least one party is inside the country, but also for eavesdropping on messages between two parties overseas that pass through U.S. communications gear."

C’mon Congress and whatever administration is in power. I cannot put it more simpler than this. GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER AND DECIDE HOW TO HANDLE THIS SITUATION!!



[keep in mind at all times the mentality of the villains. By their own words, desire to kill MILLIONS OF AMERICANS. Detonating “big ole’ firecrackers” [atomic weapons] if available. A villainous enemy that IS NOT DETERRED IN THE ORDINARY SENSE FROM USING ATOMIC WEAPONS AS WOULD BE THE OLD SOVIET UNION. THE BAD GUYS NOWADAYS NOT ONLY DO NOT FEAR RETALIATION, THEY WELCOME IT [so as to further alienate the umma and cause worldwide hate against the U.S.]]


Riverine V. [Conclusion.]

This is coolbert:

Here is my own Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield [IPB] that explores the possibility, feasibility, and potentiality of riverine warfare worldwide.

My IPB is both more inclusive and exclusive than the study done by CNA.

Considerations for inclusion, exclusion done solely at my own discretion.

[a main consideration for inclusion being that a river allows for access to the interior of a continent, often a thousand miles or so from the mouth of a river!!]

Includes rivers flowing into the Arctic and those of North America.

DOES NOT include smaller waterways or the rivers of Australia. I am limiting MY IPB to MAJOR rivers of the world, rivers able to handle even larger vessels capable of oceanic voyages as well as the conventional smaller watercraft usually employed during riverine maneuvers.

Riverine operations NOT only possible by U.S. forces, but by foreign militaries as well.

I am thinking of nations such as those of the European Union, Russia, China, India, etc. Riverine operations carried out by warships of varying sizes and functions, complementing one another. The U.S. joint operations during the Vietnam War being the archetype in this regard.

[currently, ONLY the U.S. and Columbia on a very limited basis carry out riverine operations??!!]

Here goes!

North Asian:

Ob. [Russia]

Lena. [Russia]

Yenisei. [Russia]

Rivers that drain the Siberian interior into the Arctic Ocean. NOT navigable for a goodly portion of the year. Ice choked for at least six months of the year. Totally within the confines of Russia.

Amur. [Russia] Drains into the Pacific. Also ice choked for a major portion of the year. Separates the border between Russia and China. WILL BE a hot spot and point of contention in the years to come?

South Asian:

Ganges. [Bangladesh/India]

Flows in the Bay of Bengal. Entry from the ocean into Bangladesh. Possible use of riverine forces here? Bangladesh is the one spot on the planet MOST susceptible to societal upheaval and breakdown of a catastrophic nature??!!

Indus. [Pakistan]

Don’t know much about the Indus. Pakistan is a hot spot for U.S. diplomacy. Military intervention by riverine forces using the Indus? I would think NOT so likely.

Irrawaddy. [Burma]

Drains into the ocean slightly downriver from Rangoon. Capital of the oppressive Burmese regime. THE MILITARY JUNTA OF BURMA RECENTLY MOVED THE CAPITAL TWO HUNDRED MILES UP RIVER. AFRAID OF A U.S. NAVAL ATTACK WITH MARINES LANDING TO OVERTHROW THE AUTHORITARIAN REGIME. This all done in consultation with astrologers. The bad guys in Rangoon themselves were afraid of American riverine assault.

"Come you back to Mandalay, where the old Flotilla lay:
Can't you 'ear their paddles chunkin' from Rangoon to Mandalay"

(Rudyard Kipling)

[Read this amazing stuff about the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company!!]

Mekong. [Vietnam/Cambodia/Laos]

Where riverine forces were used in the Vietnam War. Navigable at least as far as Phnom Penh, Cambodia. NO future use of military force in this part of the world.


Yangtze. [China]

Enormous river with access inland from the mouth about one thousand miles or more. Was used by the U.S. Navy Yangtze River patrol as a means to safeguard American extraterritorial rights in China. Considerable river traffic by large vessels currently plies the Yangtze.

Hwang Ho. [China]

The OTHER great river of China. Also has a lot of commercial river traffic? Navigable for some portion upstream from the mouth? NOT exactly sure. A river extremely prone to flooding and erosion.

"In the lower reaches, from Zhengzhou to the sea, a distance of 786 km, the river is confined to a levee-lined course as it flows to the northeast across the North China Plain before emptying into the Bohai Sea."

Southwest Asian:

Tigris/Euphrates. [Iraq]

Riverine forces being used right now, as we speak. Smaller size craft used for patrol and special operations type missions. NOT self-sustaining vessels of larger size.


Rhine. [Germany]

"the Rhine has been a vital navigable waterway, carrying trade and goods deep inland. It has also served as a defensive feature, and been the basis for regional and international borders. The many castles and prehistoric fortifications along the Rhine testify to its importance as a waterway."

"a long public inscription of Augustus in which he (or his ghost writer) boasts of his exploits, including sending an expeditionary fleet north of the Rheinmouth to Old Saxony and Jutland, which no Roman had ever done (he says)."

[A Roman riverine task force in the days of the "divine" Augustus. Sent north to the lower reaches of the Rhine!!]

Danube. [various European]

Rhone. [France]

The three former rivers all lie within the European community. DO sustain considerable commercial river traffic. Unless the U.S. is going to go to war with the various EU nations, NO possibility of riverine warfare here.

Don. [Russia]

Dnieper. [Ukraine]

Both of the above flow in the Black Sea. Ukraine is very friendly with the U.S. right now.

Volga. [Russia]

No access from the ocean. Drains into the Caspian Sea. Within the boundaries of Russia. Riverine craft WERE used during the Russian Civil War?

[it is a characteristic of rivers flowing through what was the old Soviet Union to have one bank higher and steeper than the other. Called a balka. Why that is I do not know.]


Zambezi. [various southern African nations]

Access into the interior of southern Africa. To fight whom? Robert Mugabe perhaps!!??

Nile. [Egypt/Sudan]

Navigable for a large portion of the river upstream from the Nile delta. [not sure about this since the Aswan Dam was built. British did employ riverine forces in the abortive effort to relieve "Chinese" Gordon and again during the campaign of Kitchener to defeat the Dervish ansar Islamic fanatics. Permission from Egypt has to be sought to use as a point of egress for riverine forces.

Congo. [Zaire]

The entire length of the river NOT totally navigable from the ocean. Entry from the Atlantic is stopped upstream by a cataract. The remainder of the Congo, for over one thousand miles, is navigable. Think here of Joseph Conrad, “Heart of Darkness”, and the famous move, “The African Queen”. DOES allow access into the interior of central Africa in a VERY UNSTABLE PART OF THE WORLD!! But, how to get your riverine force beyond the cataracts?

[there used to be a portage railway to haul cargo around the cataracts when the boats could not go any further].

[The war movie “Apocalypse Now” is based upon the Conrad novel, “Heart of Darkness”.]

[during primeval times [hundreds of millions of years ago], when Africa and South America were joined, and prior to the formation of the Andes mountains, the Congo flowed into the Amazon basin, and the Amazon itself emptied into what is now the Pacific. A river was formed at that time of stupendous proportions.]

Niger. [various African nations].

Entry here from the Atlantic into the interior of west Africa. Useful when hunting Al Qaeda Muslim fanatics who seek to hide in a desert fastness? There ARE various tribal anti-government factions at work within Nigeria right now. Use the threat of disrupting oil supplies as a basis for getting concessions from the government. Nigeria is a potentially very unstable nation in a very unstable part of the world!!

South American:

[appreciations of the Magdalena river and it's potential for riverine warfare covered in a previous blog entry.]

Amazon. [Brazil]

One of the greatest forces of nature on the planet. Allows for access into Amazonia at least one thousand miles inland from the Atlantic. Has tributaries that are MAJOR rivers unto themselves. During the rainy season, floods to an extent that would allow for even great egress by riverine military forces. BUT, is the U.S. going to deploy military units to Brazil? I THINK NOT!!

Orinoco. [Venezuela]

Also flows into the Atlantic from well into the interior of South America and Amazonia. Has many large tributaries and is navigable by OCEAN-GOING ships for about a thousand miles upstream. Passes through an area that contains vast deposits of tar sands. Deposits of oil that exceed the reserves of Saudi Arabia?

"The Orinoco river deposits also contains extensive tar sands in the Orinoco oil belt, which may be a source of future oil production."

Undisturbed transportation associated with the drug trade is currently taking place on the waters of the Orinoco. So says a recent edition of the National Geographic. Venezuela under the rule of Hugo Chavez is very anti-American. Hugo has just put his military on a high state of alert, fearing an imminent American attack.

Rio de la Plata/Parana. [Argentina/Brazil/Paraguay]

Rio de la Plata is more an estuary than a river. Flowing inland a considerable distance from the estuary is the Parana . Navigable for one thousand miles inland by ocean going vessels [as far as Rosario]. Tributaries lead inland to Paraguay and Brazil. The juncture of Paraguay/Brazil/Uruguay is a hot-bed of jihad activism?

North American:

Mackenzie. [Canada]

Yukon. [U.S.]

North American rivers that drain also into the Arctic [the Yukon flows into the Bering Sea to be exact]. Situation [ice blockage] the same as with Siberian rivers. Also located in ISOLATED and remote areas devoid of human habitation for the most part.

Mississippi/Missouri/Ohio. [U.S.]

Enormous watershed [3rd largest in world] possessing many large tributaries [Arkansas, Tennessee, etc.]. Was used for riverine warfare during the American Civil War.

St. Lawrence. [Canada]

More an arm of the ocean than anything else. Is a de-militarized zone as a result of the treaty ending the War of 1812? War between the U.S. and Canada? Absurd to even think that a riverine force would be employed here.

Rio Grande. [U.S./Mexico]

Drains into the Gulf of Mexico. Depth at the mouth of the river is ONLY four feet. But is navigable by smaller watercraft for much of its distance. U.S. Border Patrol small craft ALREADY sail this river. This could be an area militarized in the future by riverine units.

The question might be raised by the naysayers, “well, how do you get this riverine task force, the ships, the impedimenta, etc., to the place where needed, and do so in an expeditious manner??” A possible solution would be to utilize a Blue Marlin type of vessel to CARRY the riverine craft to the destination. Such as was done with the U.S.S Cole recently. Makes sense?



Mosquito III. [Conclusion]

This is coolbert:

The American capitalist/entrepreneur Kirk Kerkorian currently possesses one of the greatest fortunes known to mankind. Estimated to be worth $15 billion.

A master of the leveraged buyout [?]. Acquires a firm by buying controlling stock in a business enterprise, remodeling, restructuring, and finally selling his acquisition for a huge profit.

"Kerkor "Kirk" Kerkorian (born June 6, 1917) is an American billionaire, and president/CEO of Tracinda Corporation, his private holding company based in Beverly Hills, California. Kerkorian is known as one of the important figures in shaping the city of Las Vegas, Nevada and, with architect Martin Stern, Jr. the 'father of the megaresort.'"

[Kirk is also a philanthropist of the highest order. Contributes in a very significant manner to Armenian causes [Kerk is an Armenian-American]]

A man whose career has been often intrinsically related to the field of aviation.

Also an aviator of considerable talent in his own right!

[Kerkorian at one time acquired a controlling interest in TWA. Kirk KNOWS aviation!]

Acquired “seed money” for his various future capitalist endeavors very early in his flying career. Ferrying Mosquito aircraft, newly manufactured, from Canada to England during World War Two [WW2]. Mosquito aircraft needed in a dire manner by the RAF. NEEDED FOR COMBAT OPERATIONS NOW! Had to be delivered from the factory to the aerial battlefield in the most expeditious manner. Being flown across the north Atlantic, by a single pilot, on a non-stop [?] flight that was a downright dangerous enterprise just unto itself.

"After the war, having saved most of his wages, Kerkorian spent $5,000 on a Cessna. He worked as a general aviation pilot . . . in 1947 paid $60,000 for Trans International Airlines . . . He then bid on some war surplus bombers . . . Gasoline, and especially airplane fuel, was in short supply at the time, so he sold the fuel from the planes' tanks, paid off his loan - and still had the airplanes."

Kerkorian would receive $1,000 per flight!! Successfully make the ferrying run and receive what was at the time a princely sum!!

[such a monetary reward was well earned. To fly solo across the north Atlantic at that time was a very dangerous proposition! The slightest problem, inclement weather, navigational error, mechanical failure, and YOU WERE DEAD!!]

Consider this! Even very early in his life, Kerkorian was a person who displayed considerable talent, using measured audacity during these dangerous ferrying flights.

"Mosquito's fuel tank carried enough fuel for 1,400 miles, while the trip directly was 2,200 miles. Rather than take the safer route Montreal-Labrador-Greenland-Iceland-Scotland route . . . Kerkorian preferred the direct "Iceland Wave" route which blew the planes at jet-speed to Europe . . . The fee was $1,000 per flight, but the statistics were that only one in four completed the journey. In May 1944, Kerkorian and his Wing Commander J.D. Woolridge rode the wave and broke the old crossing record. Woolridge got to Scotland in six hours, 46 minutes; Kerkorian, in seven hours, nine minutes. In two and a half years, Kerkorian delivered 33 planes"

[I think it would be generally conceded that persons in the business of leveraged buyouts/venture capitalism HAVE TO BE gamblers able to take risk and accept a high degree of danger in doing so. Gutsy individuals!

Kirk kan do!



Saturday, July 28, 2007

Mosquito II.

This is coolbert:

Mission Impossible - - “bomb our position!!”

During the Second World War [WW2], the Mosquito aircraft as employed by the British RAF [Royal Air Force], was the ideal combat airplane for low-level, high-speed, precision bombing missions.

The Mosquito did possess the necessary requirements of speed, range, adequate bomb load, stealth, maneuverability, etc. Was able to perform missions that other aircraft were JUST NOT ABLE TO!

The low-level, high-speed attack by a bomber aircraft was something that pre-war strategic thinkers had NOT conceived of. Pre-war bombing doctrine called for high-altitude precision bombing against point targets. NOT for low-level flight BY A WOODEN AIRCRAFT!!

Pilots of the RAF flying the Mosquito were able to master the “art” of the low-level attack. Pilots that had experience, panache’, “moxie”, and just plain guts. I would have to think these this fliers RELISHED THE ROLE OF LOW-LEVEL ATTACKER!!

That proper combination of aircraft and skilled pilots DID allow for bombing missions OTHERWISE THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN DEEMED IMPOSSIBLE!!

“Impossible” bombing missions such as:

Operation Jericho.

* "Operation Jericho was a low-level bombing raid by Allied aircraft on Amiens Prison in German-occupied France . . . The object of the raid was the release of French resistance and political prisoners, 120 of whom were to be executed the following day."

* Attack on the Gestapo headquarters in The Hague.

"a pinpoint attack at rooftop height on the Gestapo records centre in The Hague, Netherlands."

* Operation Carthage.

"a very low-level bombing attack on the Gestapo headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark"

In each case the target was a Gestapo headquarters building. Buildings within which were imprisoned resistance fighters from France [Jericho], Holland, and Denmark [Carthage] respectively. Resistance fighters subjected by the Gestapo to interrogation, cruel torture, and liquidation [execution]!!


[I think the mentality was - - “we are going to die if NOTHING is done - - if we are killed in the bombing - - so will some of the villains - - and - - maybe - - in the process - - some of us will escape!!”]

"Who knows-some might not be killed and succeed in escaping, as happened at Aarhus, and anyhow their death will save many more Danish lives, so don't worry."

In all three cases, success was realized.

"The Mosquito bomber crews succeeded in breaching the walls and buildings of the prison, as well as destroying guards' barracks. Although 102 prisoners were killed, out of a total of 717, another 258 prisoners escaped. One of the inmates was also privy to sensitive information concerning Operation Overlord." - - Jericho.

"Their bombs, a mixture of high explosive and incendiary, went in through the doors and windows and the incriminating records were burned." - - The Hague.

"Eight Gestapo prisoners were killed while 18 prisoners escaped. The main attack on the Gestapo headquarters caused the death of 55 German soldiers and 47 Danes working for the Gestapo." - - Carthage.

Carthage in particular carries a resonance in Denmark to this day similar to what Pearl Harbor or 9/11 does in the U.S.? This is due to the high collateral damage, unintentional, that resulted from the bombing. The “French” school was struck, with considerable loss of innocent life.

ONLY a Mosquito, at the time, piloted by able hands, could have done what was done!!



Thursday, July 26, 2007

Mosquito I.

This is coolbert:

"Off we go, into the wild blue yonder"

[courtesy of your local piano factory!!]

One of the most impressive and versatile combat aircraft of World War Two [WW2] was the British De Havilland Mosquito.

A fighter-bomber that "could do"!!

Very light weight, powered by two large Rolls Royce engines, having outstanding speed.


"Unorthodox in design, it used a plywood structure of spruce and balsa in a time when wooden construction was considered outmoded."

"The de Havilland company conceived the idea of a wooden aircraft to take advantage of the underused resources and skills of the furniture industry [piano makers too!!] at a time of great pressure on the conventional aircraft industry combined with wartime shortages of steel and aluminium."

"The genius of the aircraft's construction lay in the innovative and somewhat unorthodox use of seemingly commonplace materials and techniques. The bulk of the Mosquito was made of plywood. Stronger and lighter than most grades of plywood, this special plywood was produced by a combination of 3/8" sheets of Ecuadorean balsawood sandwiched between sheets of Canadian birch plywood. Like a deck of cards, sheets of wood alternated with sheets of a special casein-based (later formaldehyde) wood glue."

"The wings were also made of wood. To increase strength, the wings were made as one single assembly, onto which the fuselage, once both halves had been mated, was lowered and attached."

[special plywood, special glue, special techniques!!]

"Metal was used sparingly in the construction of structural elements. It was mostly used in engine mounts and fairings, control surfaces, and of course, brass screws."

AT THE PRESENT TIME NOT ONE FLIGHT CAPABLE MOSQUITO EXISTS. The last flying Mosquito crashed in 1996. I doubt that an exact replica could be built today. The materials are not available in the quantities needed? Expertise in construction is lacking? It is reputed that a flying version is under construction? Maybe is active and in the air as we speak? Has been bought by a collector who is a zillionaire?




This is coolbert:

"Law enforcement struggles to combat Chinese spying"

Read this article about Chinese espionage in the U.S. This particular "incident" is just the tip of the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Or so I fear. Chi Mak, a SENIOR ENGINEER working on advanced propulsion systems for American submarines, has been convicted of espionage on behalf of the Chinese and is going to prison for up to ten years.

"Chi Mak, 66, who was born in Guangzhou, was educated in Shanghai and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1985. He obtained a "secret"-level security clearance in 1996."

"Mak, a senior engineer working on power systems for Navy submarines"

"Mak's work centered on the Quiet Electric Drive, a Navy program intended to outfit submarines with propulsion systems that would be quieter and thus harder to detect."

[this is the American version of Air Independent Propulsion!!??]

NOT ONLY was Mak involved, but his wife AND SON also were accomplices.

"His wife, Fuk Li, 49, is expected to receive probation for aiding and abetting the illegal exports."

"Their son, Yui Mak, 27, who helped encrypt the disks his parents were carrying in their luggage, pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting and is expected to be placed on probation."


And beyond the immediate family, there is another person involved in this "spy ring"? A Mr. Greg Chung? An engineer working at Boeing. A man now also under investigation.

"Greg Chung, an engineer for Boeing (BA)."

"documents found in Mak's home dealing with the F-16 fighter and NASA's space shuttle were from programs that Chung had worked on at Boeing."

Mak! Chung! It IS a trademark characteristic signature of Chinese intelligence TO WORK ONLY WITH OTHER ETHNIC CHINESE.

[Whether it is native-born Chinese, a naturalized U.S. citizen or ABC [American-Born-Chinese], it does not matter. For the various Chinese intelligence services [I am assuming that there ARE a number of them], CHINESE ONLY NEED APPLY!! All others stay away. ARE NOT trusted!!]




Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Rats & Cats.

This is coolbert:

From the Chicago Tribune today:

Columbian troops trained and ready for de-mining operations

NO! NOT actually. The correct headline reads:

Rats train with cats to sniff out mines

“For the past year, a special Columbian police unit has been locking rats in cages with cats as part of a project to train the rodents to sniff out the more than 100,000 land mines planted mostly by leftist rebels across this conflict-racked Andean country.

Bring the rats face to face with an enemy allows them to stay more focused once they are released, veterinarian Luisa Mendez said Tuesday.

The rodents are taught to freeze in front of mines, but had difficulty staying put for fear of being attacked by predators.”

“’The cats wear shields on their nails . . . and as a result the rats feel comfortable playing around them,’ Mendez said.”

This is another example of the extremes being taken in worldwide de-mining operations.

Giant Gambian rats have also been trained to detect land mines. Are successful and work for peanuts!! Literally so!

These trained critters the Columbians are using appear to be your average-everyday-Columbian-rat variety. NOT the Giant Gambian import. I guess the Columbians are afraid that if some Giant Gambians escape in Columbia, you will have an introduced invasive species to deal with along with the land mines?

“taught to freeze in front of mines”! And will also freeze in the presence of potential predators. Snakes, raptors, etc. Lots of animals that feed on rats run wild in Columbia. You will have a lot of false readings if the little rats are not accustomed and comfortable around those that might eat them!!

Makes sense!!


Tuesday, July 24, 2007


This is coolbert:

More evidence that a form of chivalry still exists among modern military men.

The highest military award possible for a display of courage on the battlefield being given to a fallen soldier upon the recommendation OF THE ENEMY!!!

In these cases, the British Victoria Cross.

* "New Zealand Flying Officer Lloyd Trigg, has the distinction of being the only serviceman ever awarded a VC on evidence solely provided by the enemy, for an action in which there were no surviving Allied witnesses. The recommendation was made by the captain of the German U-boat U-468 sunk by Trigg's aircraft."

"the only witnesses to his high courage were the U-boat crew members"

* Lieutenant-Commander Gerard Roope was also awarded a VC on recommendation of the enemy, the captain of the Admiral Hipper"

"Lieutenant-Commander Gerard Broadmead Roope was recommended by his enemy, the Commanding Officer of the Admiral Hipper, Kapitän zur See Heye, who was so impressed by the gallantry of Roope that he wrote via the Red Cross to the British authorities and gave a statement of the valiant courage LtCdr Roope had shown"

[in the case of the latter - - "but there were also numerous surviving Allied witnesses to corroborate his actions." Other witnesses - - yes - - but - - does not the testimony of THE ENEMY carry much greater weight!!??]

Please note that in both cases, "THE ENEMY" was the German Navy.

"I have a reactionary Army, a National Socialist Air Force, and a CHRISTIAN Navy" - - A. Hitler.


Gene Fluckey.

This is coolbert:

From the recent obituary of the late Gene Fluckey:

"He later ran an orphanage with his second wife, Margaret, in Portugal for a number of years."

At the time of his death, Gene Fluckey was the most highly decorated living American serviceman. The Medal of Honor and four Navy Crosses to his credit!

Gene Fluckey was NOT someone merely content to rest on his laurels. Set a high example in peace as well as in war!

Another notable military man who "showed the way" in peace as well as war was the Englishman Leonard Cheshire VC. A man who distinguished himself in humanitarian endeavors even MORE SO than Gene Fluckey!

[VC. Victoria Cross. The British military award equivalent to the U.S. Medal of Honor.]

"He was the only one of the 32 VC airmen to win the medal for an extended period of sustained courage and outstanding effort, rather than a single act of valour."

A man in a class all by himself!!

Like Gene Fluckey, Leonard Cheshire in the aftermath of World War Two [WW2] also became a man involved with humanitarian work:

"After the war he became a charity worker, setting up:

* The Cheshire Foundation Homes for the Sick for disabled people (later known as The Leonard Cheshire Foundation)

* Leonard Cheshire Centre for Conflict Recovery

* Ryder-Cheshire Foundation

* Ryder-Cheshire Volunteers

* The Memorial Fund for Disaster Relief"

Both Gene Fluckey and Leonard Cheshire, as you might imagine, did distinguish themselves during WW2. The former as a submarine commander, the latter as commander of the RAF 617 "Dambuster" Squadron.

Consider this from the post-war career of Leonard Cheshire:

"Cheshire, a lapsed Christian but one whose faith had been stirring for a while, sat by his bed and picked up the Bible. Soon afterwards he converted to the Roman Catholic Church."

"Cheshire dedicated the rest of his life to supporting disabled people, combining this with lecturing on conflict resolution."

"In 1991 he was given a life peerage as Baron Cheshire"

[such an award, in addition to the VC, is exceedingly rare??!!]

"He lived through his final illness (motor neurone disease) with exemplary spiritual fortitude"

"Queen Elizabeth II paid personal tribute to him in her Christmas message to the Commonwealth in December 1992."

"In the 2002 BBC poll to find the 100 Greatest Britons, Cheshire attained position #31"

Former Pink Floyd member Roger Waters once described Cheshire as 'the only true Christian I've ever met'."

[coming from a member of a rock group, that is a tribute of the highest possible order!!??]

Gene Fluckey and Leonard Cheshire, men we can admire for accomplishments both in war AND in peace!!


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Riverine IV.

This is coolbert:

Among the "Great Captains" of the nineteenth century we find the names of Napoleon, Wellington, Lee, Grant, and possibly von Moltke.

Field commanders who displayed great leadership and command ability on the battlefield. Commanders who became "living legends". Military geniuses who are written about in the history books.

[in the case of von Moltke we are perhaps on shaky ground. Presided [Chief of Staff??] over the Prussian Army during the unification of Germany, but WAS NOT a field commander?]

Concerning Lee and Grant, Dupuy says:

"There is no comparable historical example of two great, evenly matched generals fighting each other to a standstill in operations marked on each side by wary caution, brilliant boldness, and sound estimates of the opponenr's capabilities and intentions coupled with sincerre respect for the otherr's abilty."

I think that most military historians, when making a comparison between Lee and Grant would give the edge to Lee as being the abler of the two. At least with regard to GROUND COMBAT operations as fought in the style of black-powder, Napoleonic era, closed formation warfare!

[the argument could be made that Lee when he faced Grant was fighting defensively! Defense is the stronger form of combat! Easier to do and produces more with less! By 1864 Lee realized that he could no longer conduct OFFENSIVE operations. Lee had little choice when confronted by Grant but to fight defensively!]

With regard, however, to the successful RIVERINE military operations as conducted by Grant along the Ohio, Tennessee, Cumberland and Mississippi rivers, Grant MUST receive very high marks indeed. Grant possessed an almost overwhelmingly marked ability at what today would be called combined operations. THIS WAS AN AREA OF MILITARY EXPERTISE FOR WHICH GRANT HAD NO PEER!!

NOT ONLY did Grant was successful with his various riverine operations, but he did so in spite of the fact that neither he or any of the naval commanders commanding the riverine ironclads and monitors had ANY EXPERIENCE WITH THIS TYPE OF WARFARE!!

[Grant was a commander of great intuitive genius? Did not necessarily so distinguish himself during the Mexican-American War. Had been discharged from military service for some years prior to the outbreak of the American Civil War! WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN thought of as a commander having great potential?]

"Behind the powerful gunboats Union armies were poised to sweep southward in combined operations--irresistible wherever water reached."

"catastrophe after catastrophe had continued to befall the South, whose armies alone could not match the overwhelming advantages the Union armies gained by having power afloat for joint operations."

"Warships alone can accomplish wonders but riverine operations gain maximum effectiveness when the unique advantages of land forces combine with the matchless ones of the fleet. Their strengths do not simply add; they multiply to concentrate a nation's total power with awesome results."

Riverine craft employed by Grant provided for:

"* Mobility and speed of movement of large bodies of troops and supplies.

* Concentration of troops and heavy artillery of ships at the point of decision.

"Often throughout the vast riverine campaigns of the Civil War the concentrated mobile artillery of ships, brought speedily to bear at the point of crisis, would prove decisive, but seldom more strikingly than at Shiloh."

* Surprise.

* Flexibility in strategy and tactics that permitted swift adjustment to emergencies, omnipresent in war, to seize fleeting opportunity and to gain victory out of disaster [Shiloh]."

[Confederate forces under Lee could HAVE NEVER EVEN CONCEIVED OR EXECUTED RIVERINE OPERATIONS AS DID GRANT!! There was no capability to do so. And fighting primarily defensively, NO NEED on the part of the Confederates to do so!!]

As a tactician on the battlefield, Lee has the advantage? As a strategist and practitioner of the operational art, Grant surpasses Lee by a wide margin? A fact little appreciated by the "experts", the historians?



Friday, July 20, 2007


This is coolbert:

Buried treasure and the search for same has always held an unending fascination for some. Gold in particular has a special allure. The desire to find a buried and "long-lost" treasure trove of gold probably does drive some folks mad. I am thinking here of the Lost Dutchman Mine, Lasseter's Gold Reef, etc.

"according to one estimate, 8,000 people annually made some effort to locate the Lost Dutchman's mine."

Several instances of lost buried treasure of great value from World War Two [WW2] are still sought by "treasure hunters". A pile of gold awaits the successful searcher. It is out there somewhere - somewhere - just look hard enough - you too can find it!!

One such "treasure" from the era of WW2 is Yamashita's Gold.

An enormous treasure of "gold" [not necessarily just gold, but valuables of all sorts!!] hidden in various spots throughout the Philippines by the retreating forces of the Japanese General Yamashita [The Tiger of Malaya].

"Yamashita's gold, also referred to as the Yamashita treasure, is the name given to the loot worth tens of billions of dollars stolen in Southeast Asia by Japanese forces during World War II and hidden in caves, tunnels and underground complexes in the Philippines."

"The 'gold' reportedly included many different kinds of valuables looted from banks, depositories, temples, churches, other commercial premises, mosques, museums and private homes. It takes its name from General Tomoyuki Yamashita, who assumed command of Japanese forces in the Philippines in 1944."

[Yamashita was found guilty of atrocity perpetrated by Japanese forces in the Philippines at the very end of WW2 and hung. THIS EVEN THOUGH HE WAS OUT OF TOUCH WITH THE FORCES HE COMMANDED AND HAD NEITHER ORDERED OR WAS EVEN AWARE OF THE ATROCITIES AS THEY OCCURRED!!]

Yet another long-lost treasure trove of gold from the time of WW2 is "Rommel's Gold".

[let us make this perfectly clear. "it was not Field Marshal Erwin Rommel . . . who stripped Tunisian Jews of their wealth."]

Hidden gold that is not lost anymore?

"Rommel's sunken gold 'found' by British expert"

"six steel cases said to contain 440lb of gold bullion plus other precious objects pillaged from the Jewish community in Tunisia during the war."

"The famed treasure has long been reputed to have been dumped somewhere off the coast of Corsica by fleeing SS men, who planned to recover it after the war."

"Accounts suggest that it was not Field Marshal Erwin Rommel but the ruthless SS Colonel Walter Rauff who stripped Tunisian Jews of their wealth."

When you read that article about how "Rommel's Gold" has been "found", it becomes apparent that the gold itself has not been "found", but rather the possible location more accurately pinpointed!! Found?? NOT quite yet!!

"Even the just may sin with an open chest of gold before them”

YES, and the evil too!!


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Riverine III.

This is coolbert
See this web site for an excellent description of historical instances where the U.S. Navy [USN] employed riverine forces.

Much more extensive than just the American Civil War, Yangtze River Patrol and Vietnam.

Also if you have the time, read this pdf document [somewhat long] concerning the most current [2005] appreciations of the USN with regard to potential riverine warfare.

It should be apparent that persons of the stature of an Admiral Mullen, presently the Chief Naval Operations and the man slated to become Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, are acutely aware that riverine operations might very well be the "wave" of the future.

The Chinese too have a long history with riverine warfare.

Riverine operations seem to have been an integral part of Chinese military history even in ancient times. The Yangtze River and tributaries of same have witnessed significant naval battles at times involving thousands of naval vessels.

Once such naval battle on a tributary [Han river] of the Yangtze was the Battle of Red Cliffs. Eighteen hundred years ago during the time of General Cao Cao [became Wu Emperor.]

The Mongol Yuan [think Kublai Khan] dynasty also gained an understanding of and experience with naval power during the conquest of the Song [southern China] Empire. The Mongols were able to employ riverine naval craft with success, fighting in conjunction with traditional Mongol ground forces.

"General Bayan [Mongol commander] at first hoped to simply starve the defenders into submission, but he soon realized that to set an effective blockade he would need a small river fleet to control the Han River all the way to its juncture with the Yangtze."

"Korean and ex-Jin craftsmen from northern China built some 500 small patrol boats [this was the "small" river fleet] for use along the Han River."

The Song dynasty met a final and decisive end at the Battle of Yamen. One of the greatest [totally unknown in the west??!!] naval engagements of all time! A naval battle occurring in littoral waters.

[the Song had some pretty impressive naval technology of their own. Including paddle-wheeled vessels and a ship-mounted trebuchet [catapult] that could fling a primitive but effective gunpowder laden charge at opposing ships!!]

Notwithstanding their successes against the Song, Mongol naval power was defeated on three subsequent occasions. Twice during attempted invasions of Japan [kamikaze], and once during an expedition to Java

Thanks for the use of the photograph taken from:

"Chinese Siege Warfare: Mechanical Artillery & Siege Weapons of Antiquity" by Liang Jieming as the source.



Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Thelma & Louise?

This is coolbert:

Read all this incredible stuff.

"Thelma and Louise" - - Islamic style??

Thanks here to JihadWatch.

First read this article by the noted syndicated columnist Georgie Anne Geyer.

"The burqa in the West is more than a cover-up"

[Georgie Anne Geyer is a profound writer whose columns I have been reading for over thirty five years now. She even made a trip in the early 1970's to visit the tomb of Ali in Karbala, Iraq. Was told she could go inside the shrine, but only if she acted in a respectful manner. Otherwise, she was told, "it would be between her and GOD!!"]

And also read my previous blog entry on the same subject [burqa as a weapon of war], but with a slightly different twist to it.

And also read several articles about possible female jihadis in burqa, doing an apparent recce [reconnaissance] of Love Field, Dallas Texas.

"Women at Love Field 'acting suspiciously'"

"Dallas police and federal terrorism officials are investigating two women, both dressed in camouflage pants under their traditional Muslim robes and scarves, who were seen conducting what appeared to be surveillance and acting suspiciously at Dallas Love Field."

"One of the women, Kimberly 'Asma' Al-Homsi, 42, of Arlington, who is on probation for a 2005 Garland road rage incident involving a fake grenade, is said to have long-range assault rifle and explosives training, according to a Dallas police intelligence bulletin issued March 5."

"She said that she [Al-Homsi] practices her rifle skills at the Alpine Shooting Range in Fort Worth. An employee confirmed that she's been going there for years."

[Kimberly? An obvious and common Islamic name?! YEAH, right!! AND, where exactly did Kimberly get long-range assault rifle and explosives training??!!]

"[a] surveillance video shows one of the women walking back and forth, apparently pacing off distances."

And now arrests have been made. BUT NOT for suspicious behavior at Love Field.

"Women arrested after police standoff"

It seems that Kimberly and her friend had a disagreement, Kimberly was threatened with a knife, precipitating an ordeal that ended with SWAT team being called and arrests being made!

"Before the day ended, Arlington police had negotiated a six-hour standoff, their robot had been shot at with a paintball gun, and they had called in a bomb squad over four potentially explosive devices."

The police robot was blasted by a paintball gun. SPLAT!!

[the jihadi wannabees in Canada arrested last year DID train with paintball guns!!]

"Once outside, Ms. Hamad [this is not "Kimberley", this is the OTHER woman], 50, fought with them [the police] while they tried to handcuff her, police say, so they used a Taser on her."

"Police took Ms. Hamad to a hospital, where she was to undergo a mental evaluation."

[well, sure, she must be crazy, That is what it is? What else could it be?]

Is this what is called surreal or what? Women in burqa, BUT WITH CAMO UNIFORMS UNDERNEATH, DOING SURVEILLANCE OF LOVE FIELD.

They were doing this for fun? This is all a big joke? Some sort of adventure for middle-aged Muslim women? They all do it?

What to make of this? Just make believe or what?



Sunday, July 15, 2007

Post Office Security.

This is coolbert:

Noticed that the local branch post office is having some security implemented.

A very sturdy looking six or seven foot high wrought iron fence is being put in place.

Will surround the entire facility. With what appears to be a high-technology security gate to allow for access to the postal employee parking.

I would have to assume that this is a Homeland Security mandated type of measure. Part of the plan to safeguard to the greatest extent possible government facilities.

If that is the case, well, it has taken SIX YEARS to put in place??!! What has been the hold up?

I have noticed for some time now, that the area reserved for employee parking has been blatantly abused by post office customers. Rather than using the normal customer parking and having to walk a SHORT distance, many people just take advantage and park in areas CLEARLY DESIGNATED AS EMPLOYEES ONLY!!

[closer to the front entrance, but NOT that much closer!]


[I did make a specific count of the signs. Those signs WERE put up also in reaction to the 9/11 incident.]

Obviously the use of a car bomb is on the minds of the authorities. Someone parks a car in the employee ONLY area, leaves, and later detonates by remote control the bomb, killing scores, all the while attacking a governmental target. Post offices would be considered a "soft target".


"U.S. may be numb to terror threats as real evil lurks"



Saturday, July 14, 2007

Riverine II.

This is coolbert:
"Back in the Saddle Again!!" - - Gene Autry.

Some of those Vietnam War era riverine vessels used so successfully are still alive and well. Being brought out of retirement, taken out of mothballs, refitted, and sent to the Columbian Navy for THEIR riverine operations.

From that article:

"Rebuilding the riverine fleet"

"a Vietnam-era mini-ATC, or armored troop carrier. Low-slung, squared off, flat-bottomed and armed to the gills, the mini-ATC has been out-of-service with the U.S. for years, but a Virginia-based company has rebuilt 10 of the 36-knot boats for the Columbian military."

[I did not think the ATC could reach a speed of 36-knots. I had thought it was far less. Hmmmm!!??]

"The boats have been entirely rebuilt and up-armored with titanium plates."

I was not familiar with titanium used as armor. Titanium armor seems to be a real growth industry. Is light weight [relatively speaking], but very strong. I recall that the Soviets at one time had achieved building an entire submarine of titanium. But found the metal difficult to work with. The U.S. does not have large reserves of titanium and has to pay a premium for the raw ore to work with?? Is not so much an ore as a nodule, pick from heaps of earth by hand?

Used on the Magdalena river to interdict cocaine traffickers heading north from the hinterland of Columbia. The Magdalena is a major river draining into the ocean and a route frequented by both drug-narcoticos and FARC style guerrillas both??!!

Those ATC's need to be heavily armored and carry some pretty formidable firepower if they run up against those folks [druggies, FARC].



Riverine I.

This is coolbert:

"Rebuilding the riverine fleet"

The U.S. Navy IS currently deploying and using riverine vessels in Iraq. For use on the Euphrates and Tigris rivers.

These are “brown water” vessels originally developed for the U.S. Marines. “Donated” to the Navy, only coming into usage this very spring, FOUR YEARS after the beginning of the conflict in Iraq!

The SURC. Small Unit Riverine Craft. In the inventory of the Marines for some time now. Features a ramp, enclosed helm and control room, radar, remote controlled weapon of some sort [.50 caliber machine gun or 40 mm grenade launcher??]. Can carry up to fifteen combat troops. Is capable of high-speed operation, shallow draft, and is highly maneuverable! IS NOT armored!

Small Unit Riverine Craft

At this very moment are being used for patrolling and special operations type missions?!

As seen by the U.S. Navy, the SURC is NOT the be-all and end-all for future riverine operations.

“Brown-water” naval operations ARE very much on the mind of U.S. Navy planners.

Naval “futurists” see a definite need NOW for a much more robust and capable vessel than the SURC!

"When Navy leaders talk about the places NECC units will go — South America, Africa and other parts of Asia come up time and again — they invariably mention places with shallow water where the gray-hull Navy can’t operate."

"A small boat such as the SURC, effective in constricted rivers, may not be the best vessel for big, wide-open rivers with strong currents."

[especially for operations on rivers prone to flooding during the "wet" season. Main body of a river becomes an inland sea and tributaries themselves become substantial rivers also.]

Other designs are called for. Small river craft with considerable capability, possessing better features, durability under rougher conditions, and MORE organic firepower!!

What the U.S. Navy sees as the trend in current riverine operations is fast, maneuverable, modern, sleek designs in contrast to the plodding, armored, but still very formidable water-craft as used by American riverine units in Vietnam.

Among the most modern designs suitable for riverine units is the U.S. made Joint Multimission Expeditionary Craft.

Joint Multimission Expeditionary Craft

ACB's design is "intended for an array of uses":

* 41 feet long.
* 9-foot-11-inch beam.
* draft of only 28 inches.
* two Cummins QSC 8.3-liter, 540 HP turbocharged diesel engines.
* top speed of 48 miles per hour.
* crew of four.
* two observers.
* 14-member combat team or various cargoes up rivers or streams.
* intended for reconfiguration depending on the mission.
* a bow ramp.
* armed with a remote controlled minigun.

A Swedish designed small boat also has gotten good reviews from the U.S. Navy. Highly thought of for innovative design with a lot of capability for "brown-water" type operations. Called the Riverine Command Boat [RCB].

"One boat that has caught the Navy’s eye is the CB90 series. Built by Safeboat, of Port Orchard, Wash., it’s based on a Swedish design that has proven very popular with military forces around the world"

A multi-dimensional vessel that can perform a lot of small boat missions.

"operate as a fast attack boat, patrol boat and special operations support vessel"

"the Riverine Command Boat - - "armed troop transport"

* 18 seats in an air-conditioned cabin.
* sealed off from chemical, nuclear and biological contamination.
* cabin can be reconfigured as a floating command post.
* a waterborne ambulance.
* a mortar pit. [AMOS]

Performance is impressive:

* 40 knots.
* carries enough fuel to go 430 miles.
* a bow ramp.
* controlled by joystick.
* video monitoring system.
* carries 21 armed soldiers.
* up to 4.5 tons of cargo.
* two waterjet propulsion units.
* each powered by a 460 kW diesel engine.
* Long Range Acoustic Device.

Weaponry is mission task selected and can include:

* a remote-operated .50-caliber machine gun. [Heavy machine guns are mounted in fixed installations, or stabilized and remotely controlled from a monitor in the wheelhouse.]
* LRAD also can focus a powerful beam of sound as a weapon.
* mines.
* Hellfire missiles [guided by a UAV mounted laser designator?].
* gyro-stabilized twin-barrel 12-cm mortar. [AMOS] [recall that AMOS fires a precision-guided-munition round!]

The modern riverine boat is fast, very maneuverable, versatile, muti-dimensional, task tailored for mission. AND, for the cost [$3 billion] of a modern DD(X) destroyer, you could buy hundreds of these craft!! Swarm over your enemies like gnats on a buffalo!



Friday, July 13, 2007

Manta Ray!

This is coolbert:

Very interesting article in the Chicago Tribune yesterday.

The “Great Submarine Race”. A biannual race [International Submarine Race] sponsored by the U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center to see who can build the fastest or most innovative midget submarine.

In addition to the engineering schools of various colleges and universities, there are several hundred civilian amateurs throughout the U.S. that build and race their own submarines.

Tiny submersibles, for an individual or a crew of two. Powered by pedal power, NOT internally waterproofed [the occupants wear SCUBA gear].

Most of these home-built designs resemble the teardrop shape of submersibles first seen in the U.S.S. Albacore. The body shape of a tuna fish that was found to be the ideal for undersea movement.

A local builder from Wheaton, IL., Mr. Bruce Plazyk, won second place in the competition for most innovative design. Built a plywood submarine that emulates the swimming motion OF A MANTA RAY!!

Looks like a small airplane, complete with flapping rubber wings forward of the cockpit, a tail and rudder as you would find on a conventional aircraft. Again, uses pedal power for propulsion.

Judges at the competition first were of the opinion that the “manta ray” would not work. But it did, much to the amazement of everyone.

"It was an extremely unusual type of submarine. When we saw it, we didn't even think it would work." . . . "But that thing was absolutely beautiful in the water." - - Retired Rear Admiral Timothy Beard III. [A judge at the competition.]

Here is a YouTube video of the Bogus Batoid in action:


[Plazyk has a son [Martin] currently attending Georgia Tech. The son assists the father with design and construction.]

Previously had built a submarine that propelled itself forward with a flapping tail, as would a fish.

"Four years ago, he and his son built 'Faux Fish', a white and red submarine that used a flexible tail to 'swim' though the water, and took home a first place award for innovation".

[this particular local builder of submersibles seems to be adept at constructing submarines that emulate and mimic the motions of animals. This is a whole field of study unto itself. Called biomimetics.]

"His machine is one of the most interesting applications of that type of propulsion I've ever seen" . . . "He's a talented boat builder, and one with a real knack for bringing biomimetic propulsion to life."

[said here by Professor William Megill, a lecturer at University of Bath [England]].

Do these types of midget submarines HAVE a military application? I am not sure if U.S. Navy SEALS employ “swim vehicles” of this type. As was seen in the James Bond movie, “Thunderball”. I know that Suvorov describes the Soviet Naval Spetsnaz as having available for military operations an assortment of miniature and midget submarines.



Wednesday, July 11, 2007


This is coolbert:

These are alarming headlines.

"Philippine marines 'beheaded by Islamists'"

"Filipino marines killed, some beheaded, in clash with rebels"

"Muslim insurgents ambushed a Philippine marine convoy searching for a kidnapped Italian priest, killing at least 14 soldiers and beheading at least 10 of them"

"The chaotic seven-hour firefight took place in dense jungle on the southern island of Basilan. The government has touted Basilan as a success story in the war on terrorism after American troops carried out yearlong counterterror training exercises in 2001-02 that were aimed at ousting the al-Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf group."

This is an example of a success story??!! About eighty Filipino marines versus a band of around three hundred guerrillas. Sounds as if the Filipinos did not fare so well against the Moro Muslim.

Part of a continuing pattern that has gone on for centuries now.

* First the Spanish had no success for centuries against the "Moor".

* Then the Americans had limited success [??] against the Moro. Think General "Black Jack" Pershing.

* Now the Filipinos themselves face the same determined foe that others have before them. And without success either??!!

[I do so love the picture accompanying this blog entry. That is Moro Datu Abdul. From way back when [over 100 years ago now??]. Carrying the Krag, the pearl-handled .38 revolver [ACP], and the sword. Today, the Moro will come at you with an AK, a RPG, but still probably wearing the obligatory sword. A sword used for you know what!!]



Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Red Mosque III. [Conclusion]

This is coolbert:

The siege of the Red Mosque is over. A yesterday blog topic is today’s old news.

Pakistani security forces have stormed the mosque and captured the facility without a lot of bloodshed [23 dead??]. The situation seems to be in hand.

Some surprising aspects to this entire “incident”.

The Red Mosque is [was?] a religious compound [madrassa] sponsored by the Pakistani government, established and maintained by government funds.

The “siege” has been on going for almost seven months. ONLY became heated and violent in the last several weeks.

Fundamentalist clerics had been dispensing Taliban-style morality and justice from the mosque for some time prior to the siege as well!

One high-ranking cleric attempted to escape dressed in a burqa. But was unsuccessful in the effort and apprehended!

Yet another high-ranking cleric remains hold up in the woman’s section of the mosque, cowering among women and children, hoping for martyrdom!!

The Pakistani authorities were extremely lenient and tolerant of fundamentalist clerics who had occupied the Red Mosque and who [clerics] had attempted to carry out Taliban-style extra-judicial “justice”.

Musharraf walks a tight rope. I fear he cannot maintain his balance FOREVER! Walks the proverbial fine line. On one hand have pro-democracy groups that dislike the General for his usurpation of civilian rule. On the other hand have the Islamic fundamentalist clerics who despise his alliance with the U.S.

The target of many assassination attempts now. So far has been very lucky. How long can Musharraf hold on to power? That is anyone’s guess!!

Hope for the best, but plan for the worst!!??



Monday, July 09, 2007

Red Mosque II.

This is coolbert:

Go to these links to see some good dope on the situation at the Red Mosque.

From the South Asia Terrorist Portal.

I have recommended this site previously. Very well done by persons who can claim to be experts on the battle against terrorism. Persons well connected to the Indian government and the security forces of the same nation?

It seems that there is GOOD reason for the Pakistani military and police to be so KEEN on resolving the Red Mosque stand-off in a manner favorable to the Islamabad government.

“Nine suspected terrorists said to be far more dangerous and harmful than al Qaeda and Taliban operatives were hiding inside the mosque compound,”




Red Mosque I.

This is coolbert:

Has everyone been following the confrontation taking place right now at the Red Mosque, Islamabad, Pakistan?

This has great potential to blow up into a catastrophe.

Madrassa educated Taliban-type students have occupied the mosque and are currently besieged by Pakistani security forces.

As usual, with these situations, the authorities have to walk around as if they were stepping on eggshells and hoping not to break any of them. Defuse the situation, maintain law and order without causing “incidents” that will further exacerbate existing tensions. NOT to arouse an emotional response that might snowball out of control.

"Islamabad will become like Baghdad if the government commits aggression against the Red Mosque and kills me" [says a leading cleric inside the mosque!]

As I have said repeatedly, the Islamic societies have a BAD tendency to work themselves into a frenzy over matters which to the rest of the world seem to appear as trivialities. Rumors are enough to cause a mob to become enraged beyond control. Even a rumor of a rumor is enough to get the juices flowing in some instances.

"Emotion clouds reason" - - Michael Corleone.

And, another assassination attempt was made on Musharraf the other day. Tried to shoot down his plane as it was taking off, nearly succeeding in doing so.

[there have been now REPEATED assassination attempts on Musharraf!!]

I have often thought that since 9/11, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have to be the two places on the earth that U.S. planners are most worried about. If either one of those two nations go under from a combination of anarchy and internal insurrection, the ENTIRE WORLD COULD FIND ITSELF IN THE PROVERBIAL DEEP DOO-DOO!!

[for those foreign readers, DOO-DOO is a colloquial American expression meaning shit, scat, stront, scheisse, merde, skit, go’wno. ]

If Saudi Arabia disintegrates into anarchy or total internal insurrection the oil supply of the ENTIRE WORLD will strained beyond belief. Chaos will ensue on a scale the likes of which has NEVER been seen!

Pakistan of course has an arsenal of forty to fifty atomic bombs. With production facilities to make more [is in the process of continuing production??]. If Musharraf goes - - through whatever means - - coup’, assassination, rebellion, etc., what then!!?? Atomic weapons and the means of production may fall into the hands of madrassa educated students of the Taliban persuasion??!!

[even if the situation at the Red Mosque does not worsen and the siege ends peacefully, it is indicative of a large degree of instability present in Pakistan.]

The potential consequences are “too awful to contemplate”!!?? But must be contemplated! The governments of the United States [world power] and India [regional power] HAVE TO BE watching the events of the Red Mosque closely. One wrong move and the world may be changed in a way that EVERYONE will deeply regret!!



Friday, July 06, 2007


This is coolbert:

"Another significant German weapons advancement of World War Two [WW2] was the Type XXI submarine.

Was a potential war-winning weapon that was not deployed in time or in numbers to be effective."

This must have been one of the instances that Albert Speer had in mind when he wrote in his memoirs that the allied strategic bombing offensive of World War Two [WW2] did hurt Germany badly.

German industry, under the overall direction and command of Speer, did disperse industrial production in an effort to combat the allied bombers.

[dispersal was done across the board. Tanks, airplanes, submarines, etc.]

In the case of tanks, for instance, one plant would build the gun and the engine. A second plant would build the hull and the gun. A third plant would build the engine and the turret. Etc. Parallel modular manufacturing with the final assembly done at several other facilities.

Modular construction such as was used with the Type XXI submarine was successful, but at a cost.

Slower and required greater coordination.

A process that followed this path:

* pre-fabricated sections manufactured in parallel, in distributed works around the country.

* sections to be transported to the shipyard by water (big Type XXI sections).

* final assembly of sections at the shipyard.

"the construction office was housed in a remote location in the Hartz mountains; the boats were built decentralized in modules, which were ferried by barge to a main site only towards the end of construction. Here they were assembled to complete hulls, reducing the period of vulnerability towards air attacks in the shipyard."

According to Speer, German submarine production capacity progressed and was undiminished all throughout the war, BUT WOULD HAVE BEEN MUCH GREATER IF NOT FOR THOSE PESKY ALLIED BOMBERS STRIKING DAY AND NIGHT!!

"Speer repeatedly said (both during and after the war) it caused crucial production problems. A particular example comes from Admiral Karl Dönitz, head of the U-Boat arm, who noted in his memoirs failure to get the revolutionary Type XXI U-boats . . . into service was entirely the result of the bombing."


Labels: ,


This is coolbert:

"The American’s interest in this type of submarine was aroused earlier, during joint naval exercises, when the USN failed in its efforts to track a Gotland-class sub"

"Since last summer the Navy has spent months playing a game of cat and mouse . . . and time after time the Swedish sub has eluded its pursuers."

"in training exercises the Gotland has sunk our most sophisticated nuclear submarines . . . it reportedly sunk our largest aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. Reagan."

The above all with regard to the Swedish Gotland class submarine out-performing the American Navy in joint exercises.

This is presumably NOT the first time that exercises and “tests” of American undersea warfare technology has been “probed” by the submarines of FOREIGN nations.

Here are two instances I came across by accident while researching the Type XXI blog entry.

One involving an Australian Oberon class submarine participating in joint exercises with the U.S. Navy.

"the ability of the O-boats to run in total silence enabled Australian submarines to successfully attack [the] USS Enterprise in a training exercise, despite a huge number of supporting ships 'protecting' it."

Was able to sink an American aircraft carrier. NOTIONALLY of course. Just as with the Swedes and the Gotland series of “exercises”. NOTIONALLY!

[“notionally” means to the military simulated, in an exercise, NOT for real, but would have been IF IT WAS FOR REAL!!


3. abstract, theoretical, or speculative, as reflective thought.
4. not real or actual; ideal or imaginary: to create a notional world for oneself."

And, a British Porpoise class submarine intruded into U.S. waters undetected, evading U.S. anti-submarine technology.

"The class [Porpoise] also performed excellently in clandestine operations, such as surveillance and inserting special forces."

"Rorqual [Porpoise class sub] was later able to surface undetected off the Statue of Liberty"

Surfaced near the Statue of Liberty. New York City. The message this sends is quite clear! “If we had wanted to do so, we could have done so!” NO, we did so!!

Did the Soviets ever do any of this stuff FOR REAL??!! An ex-Soviet Admiral says NO! According to this man, Soviet submariners during the Cold War NEVER penetrated American waters! Who knows!?



Type XXI.

This is coolbert:

Another significant German weapons advancement of World War Two [WW2] was the Type XXI submarine.

Was a potential war-winning weapon that was not deployed in time or in numbers to be effective.

A submarine designed to be an almost totally submersible vessel. Powered by the conventional diesel engine/electric motor combination, but “breathing” while submerged through a snorkel mechanism.

The Type XXI represented a MAGNUM leap over existing conventional WW2 submarine designs.

Was larger, had bigger engines [diesel], motors [electric], and battery banks of improved variety. Was designed to provide more comfort and livability to the crew.

"The streamlined hull design allowed the XXI to travel faster submerged than surfaced."

"The XXI featured an advanced sonar system which allowed the crew to aim torpedoes without relying on the periscope"

"The Type XXI featured a hydraulic torpedo reload system"

"The Type XXIs had much better facilities than previous classes, with a freezer for foodstuffs and minor conveniences for the crew such as a shower and wash basin"

Could submerge immediately upon leaving port, remaining under water during the entire mission, surfacing ONLY to dock upon completion of a voyage.

[NOT totally underwater the entire time of course. During snorkeling a TINY fraction of the submarine would be exposed!]

Used modular assembly, somewhat unique for manufacturing of the period, and totally unheard of with regard to submarines of the time.

"The boats were built faster than earlier types as the hull was constructed from 8 prepared sections which were assembled after being transported from the various factories they were made in."

"the boats were built decentralized in modules, which were ferried by barge to a main site only towards the end of construction. Here they were assembled to complete hulls"

Experts of Great Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union keenly examined the Type XXI, following the end of war.

Found to be a design so good, that it was emulated and did begat a series of submarine classes. To include:

British Porpoise class. [which in turn resulted in an even more advanced Oberon class.]

Soviet Romeo, Zulu, and Whiskey classes.

And the U.S.S. Nautilus. The Nautilus was a Type XXI with the diesel engines/electric motors removed and replaced by nuclear propulsion!!

"The design directly influenced USS Nautilus"

"the hull design of one of the Electroboats [Type XXI] was adopted and used in the development of the first nuclear submarine."

Admiral Rickover knew a good thing when he saw it!!??

Go to this site and scroll to the bottom to see links to complete photos of the last existing Type XXI.