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

Sunday, December 30, 2007


This is coolbert:

More terra Cotta.

It seems I am wrong about certain details of the terra cotta army of the Qin Emperor.

From my recent blog entry:

"And was found more or less INTACT!! For a science [archeology], discoveries of this magnitude are few and far in between. AND INTACT MAKES IT EVEN THAT MUCH MORE SIGNIFICANT. Normally, archaeologists have to work with fragments, and then INFER a lot of what they conclude. NOT SO with this discovery."

The terra cotta warriors were NOT found intact. I am wrong here.

From an informant who has just visited the terra cotta army exhibit, I receive this correction: [thanks to Jan]

"in 206 BC a rebel in the Qin Dynasty burnt the palace and the mausoleum. The construction of the pits was damaged during the fire. The collapsed roof pressed the terra-cotta warriors and horses into fragments. None of them was completed when unearthed. Mending the broken figures became a painstaking work for archaeological workers."

"So all warriors, horses, etc. available to the public are broken fragments that have been pieced together. That is what is so amazing! You can still see the result of the fire in the other two pits where the warriors are still in pieces and you can see the staging areas where they are being put together. What painstaking work! Since they discovered the warriors they have also discovered a process of applying a pigment on the newly unearthed figures to keep the original paint on the statues from fading and flaking after being brought to light."

Have been painstakingly put back together - - and the original paint protected! Some are put back together, re-assembled as they were originally, some are being put back together, and some still lay shattered, and will be left that way as part of the exhibit!

Still, all the same, amazing.




This is coolbert:

"Don't be afraid of American counter-intelligence. They are walking in children's shoes" - - Reinno Hayhanen, as related to David Brinkley.

"Russian Spies of the Future"
By Ion Mihai Pacepa"

Our Ion. The Romanian chief of intelligence who defected to the west some years ago now. Still at it with AN INSIGHT OF THE MOST PROFOUND NATURE!!??



Ion has an interesting opinion regarding the current ruling elite in the modern Russia. Were almost all [?] members of the KGB during the time of the Soviet Union. Leopards do not change their spots is the operative adage here? Guile, trickiness, cleverness, dissimulation are the standard modus operandi for such persons and always will be.

"Today there are some 6,000 former KGB officers running Russia’s federal and local governments"


Ion in his article deals specifically with the ILLEGAL OFFICER!

"The concept of the illegal officer was—and still is—unique to Russian intelligence"

"An illegal officer is one who assumes a non-Russian identity and appears abroad as someone who has no connection whatsoever with Russia . . . a Russian illegal intelligence officer looks and acts just like your nextdoor neighbor."

"President Putin’s new Cold War has moved the illegal officer to the forefront again."

A NEW Cold WAR. To be fought with long-range bomber flights, the illegal officer, weapons sales of advanced means-of-war to powers hostile to the U.S.

Most startling and strange-as-it-may-seem, is this assertion by Ion:

"New information coming out of Moscow confirms to an informed eye what I have long suspected. Blake, a former senior officer of the British Secret Intelligence Service known to us, at the top of the bloc’s intelligence community, as the 'spy of the century,' was in fact a Russian from start to finish."

Ion is talking here about George Blake - - double agent. The conventional wisdom concerning Blake was finally established in 1961!! OR WAS IT!!?? Ion suggests that this is NOT SO!!

This is bitchin' stuff!!

And the Russian practice of employing the illegal officer continues unabated to this day??

"illegal officers are en vogue more than ever before. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Canada has arrested and deported at least three illegal officers working for the SVR (the new name of the PGU). Two were caught in 1996, and one in 2006. The first two, documented as Ian Mackenzie Lambert and Laurie Brodie, used the stolen identities of dead Canadian children. The third, documented as Paul William Hampel, used the identity of a living Canadian."

This from Canada ALONE!! And, those are ones that are CAUGHT!

The beat goes on!




This is coolbert:

Preparation for WAR - - or routine precautionary measure!!??

"Israel Preparing for WMD"

[Thanks here to Newsmax.]

Israel is again preparing it's citizens for the possibility of biological and chemical attack?

Taking back all the gas masks [presumably old filters too] that were originally issued just prior to the First Gulf War of 1991.

"The Israeli army in recent months has collected hundreds of thousands of gas masks it had distributed to civilians following the outbreak of the 1991 Gulf War"

The Israeli military is conducting a campaign to educated the civilian populace HOW TO protect themselves against WMD attack [Weapons of Mass Destruction].

"Information will be provided in a guidebook to be distributed to every household, as well as through television broadcasts, a Web site, and a telephone information center."

I do recall very well the issuance of the civilian version of the gas mask that did occur just prior to the commencement of the First Gulf War. A cheap and dirty but effective protective mask, with removable and disposable filter. NOW being replaced by an improved version mask and filter?

Originally, ONLY Jewish citizens of Israel were given the masks. Belatedly and after some protest, so too were the Arab citizens of Israel also issued the same masks.

It is not so much the masks that need replacing as the filters. Are normally sealed in a plastic bag ONLY to be opened when needed. The filter itself has a shelf life of ten years when in the bag, and considerably less than that when taken out of the bag and exposed to the air. EVEN WHEN NOT PROTECTING AGAINST CHEMICAL OR BIOLOGICAL AGENTS, THE FILTERS ABSORB MOISTURE FROM THE AIR THAT TENDS TO SEVERELY DEGRADE THEIR USEFULNESS.

A lot of education is needed for these masks to be used properly by the general populace. Gives you a false sense of security UNLESS used right. The Israeli is obviously aware of this and taking proper measures IN ADVANCE!

BUT, please do not read too much into this. Maybe is more routine than anything else!




This is coolbert:

Flash. Here thanks to Harry, KTB Sharkhunters. []

"New Russian 'hybrid' not a car, but a diesel/electric AND NUCLEAR submarine already undergoing sea trials, probably to replace the KILO Class diesel/electric boats."

[previously it had been thought that the Lada Class diesel/electric only Russian submarine was the follow-up to the Kilo!]

A "hybrid"? Combining "diesel/electric AND NUCLEAR" power plants all in one sub? This would be unusual. It is usually one or the other, NEVER both!

Such a submarine would allow for unlimited range, fast speed while in cruise mode, and then "stealth" [diesel/electric] while in the attack phase of a mission?

Such a submarine would have to be of large size? Allowing for an impressive array of weaponry to be carried on board too?

More later when available.



Friday, December 28, 2007


This is coolbert:

“Kill them all - - let GOD sort them out!!”

“The purpose of terror is to terrorize!!” - - V.I. Lenin.

From the wiki entry on Fourth Generational Warfare [4GW]:

"Ways for a state military to cope with fourth generation warfare"

It has been noted by many observers [Roger Trinquier the foremost?] that conventional military units, using conventional military tactics, have historically been generally unable to successfully combat an opponent who employs partisan/irregular/insurgent/guerrilla warfare as THEIR [the opponent] preferred means of combat.

Exceptional means can be used to combat the partisan/irregular/insurgent/guerrilla. Tactics and methods requiring massive violence quite often directed against UNARMED persons!

"There are few examples of the state being effective in a 4GW conflict . . . the state is to use overwhelming force to generate large amounts of casualties and do so fast enough that the objectives are achieved"

Tactics and methods [exceptional means] that most conquerors/occupiers are loathe to implement. Requires a level of destruction and killing on such a massive scale that, as a rule, normally even the WORST rulers/”military men” are hesitant to proceed.

Historically, there are of course exceptions. Some “military men”/rulers/conquerors/occupiers ARE WILLING to apply scorched earth measures on a massive scale. Murder, rape, pillage, arson. What is left of the victimized population is too terrified, dispirited, and cowed to respond. The will to resist no longer exists.


[we must be clear here. We are not talking about "things got carried away" or "things got out of control". We are talking about merciless slaughter for the most part done with pre-meditation and cold-bloodedness. Utter ruthlessness, normal restraints not applying!!!]

Within the historical record we find such as exceptions as:

* The chevauchee of the Black Prince.

* Destruction of Hama by Assad of Syria. [the Hama model is derived from this “incident”.]

"It is called the Hama (named after the Syrian city of the same name that was eradicated by the Syrian army under the leadership of Hafez el Assad) model"

* Liquidation of the Polish Home Army, Battle of Warsaw [1944].

[Greatly facilitated by the atrocious behavior of the Derliwanger.]

* Dispersals of conquered peoples by Tiglath-Pilesar. [Assyrian Empire, 700 B.C.]

With regard to the latter:

Entire populations of peoples, such as the Hebrews of ancient Judea, would be taken from their homeland and dispersed into small groups. Political and cultural continuity would be destroyed and with it, the will to resist the conqueror/occupier.

"The mighty Assyrian monarch Tiglath Pilesar III [r. 745-727 B.C. was the inventor of a new method of breaking the will of conquered populations . . Tiglath Pilesar's genial idea, therefore, was to sever the primary lifelines of attachment to the soil by transferring conquered populations to lands distant from their own . . . until not a vestige of the earlier, ground-rooted sense of a national continuity remained."

Tiglath was one hard and cold ruler who exercised POWER!!




This is coolbert:

Visiting China either for business or pleasure? If you are in the vicinity of Xian, or just have the curiosity to do so, here is a MUST SEE!!

The terra cotta army protecting the burial mound of the Qin Emperor. The first Chinese Emperor to UNITE all of China under one rule!

"Terracotta Warriors and Horses is a collection of 8,099 larger than life Chinese terra cotta figures of warriors and horses located near the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor (Chinese: 秦始皇陵; pinyin: Qín Shǐhuáng líng)."

To put things in perspective, the Qin Emperor ruled about the same time the Romans were fighting the 2nd Punic War!

"The Terracotta Army was buried with the Emperor of Qin (Qin Shi Huangdi) in 210-209 BC"

The Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses are one of the most significant archaeological excavations of the 20th century.

An entire combined-arms force, almost a division strong in size [over 8,000 figures]. Infantry, cavalry, chariots [tanks of the time], archers and crossbow men. All at readiness, terribly arrayed, as they say, in ranks, preparing for deployment into battle!


I recall very well the stir that was made when this archaeological find was first uncovered. A momentous discovery, made by accident. And was found more or less INTACT!! For a science [archeology], discoveries of this magnitude are few and far in between. AND INTACT MAKES IT EVEN THAT MUCH MORE SIGNIFICANT. Normally, archaeologists have to work with fragments, and then INFER a lot of what they conclude. NOT SO with this discovery.

"the terracotta figures were placed in the pits outlined above in precise military formation according to rank and duty."

And look at the immensity of the building that the terra cotta army is contained in. Left in situ, but covered to protect from the elements.

[deterioration is still occurring!]

The terra cotta soldiers are said to be larger-than-life! Six foot to six and one half feet tall. A foot taller than the average soldier of the time. BUT, PERHAPS, NOT LARGER THAN LIFE! The horses, for instance, seem to be real-life, true to size representations. I can surmise the soldiers are too? THIS MAY VERY WELL BE THE IMPERIAL BODYGUARD OF THE QIN EMPEROR!! NOT the average soldier. A personal bodyguard and “shock” force chosen for their stature. NOT your average-everyday military unit. Specially chosen soldiers forming a special unit, devoted entirely to the protection of the Emperor. Intimidating for no other reason than for their size.

"The figures vary in height according to their rank; the tallest being the Generals. The heights range is 184-197cm (6ft - 6ft 5in), or more than a full foot taller than the average soldier of the period."


"It is believed that the terracotta warriors were based on true people as every face has different facial features and expressions."

This exhibit is one of the wonders of the world? Worth seeing? YES!!

This is very cool too! You can buy replicas of the terra cotta soldiers! Life size if you desire and the price is right also!! The Chinese are masters of this stuff?



Thursday, December 27, 2007


This is coolbert:

The SS Mann - - as intellectual??

In a previous blog entry I mentioned the strange case [?] of SS General Eduard Deisenhofer. A man of obvious high intellect. A PhD, an outstanding scholar, etc. AND a SS mann!! Actually, a pretty high ranking SS mann!

I would think that most persons find a tremendous contradiction here. SS mann and intellectual? That persons with real mental abilities and scholarly backgrounds were attracted to the SS comes as a surprise to most? What goes on here?

[Joseph Goebbels was reputed to have THREE PhD's? I am not sure if a PhD in Europe and the right to claim the title of Herr Doctor has the same connotations it does here in the U.S.?]

Here too is another SS mann who was a Herr Doctor!

Oskar Dirlewanger.

A man of obvious physical courage and ability on the battlefield.

"was an infantry officer in World War I and won both the Iron Cross 2nd Class and the Iron Cross 1st Class."

"He served in the Condor Legion in the Spanish Civil War from 1936 to 1939 and he was wounded three times."

"Dirlewanger was known to lead his soldiers into combat personally which was unusual for someone of his rank; he was wounded many times in combat"

"Dirlewanger was seriously injured in combat for the twelfth time"

"Dirlewanger . . . led many assaults, winning several awards for bravery"

A man also of considerable intellectual talents. [??]

"in the year 1922 he attained a PhD in Political Science."

But, possessed a dark side to his character that was deplorable in the extreme.

"Oskar Dirlewanger was arguably a skillful psychopath"

"psychopath - - n. A person with an antisocial personality disorder, manifested in aggressive, perverted, criminal, or amoral behavior without empathy or remorse."

"Dirlewanger was an alcoholic"

"In 1934 he was convicted of, among other things, the rape of a thirteen-year old BDM girl and molesting other underage girls"

Dirlewanger, a reprobate, cad, bounder, anti-social psychopath, commanded a SS unit of similar like-minded men.

"Dirlewanger could be kept in check only while on military duty, so he [Berger] organised the creation of a military unit which would be used to rehabilitate convicts."

This became known as the Dirlewanger unit. First at battalion strength, then regimental, and finally a division size unit. As a division size unit, NEVER DID, however, actually get beyond the manpower level of a normal infantry brigade.

[from this point on, referred to as the Dirlewanger!!]

This is the very bad idea of trying to "reform" criminal minded persons by placing them under military discipline. "Reform" by induction into the military.

This "concept" [the "Dirty Dozen"] is proven to JUST NOT WORK, period. Is a popular notion, reforming criminals by forcing [inducing them to volunteer?] them to join the military. But only that, a notion, not working, usually backfiring on advocates.

[I am not absolutely correct here? The various Muslim armies [Turks for instance] have been known to employ criminals in bashi bazook units. I have blogged on this before. Irregulars drawn from the ranks of released prison inmates. Being used right now - - as we speak - - by the Sudanese government in the form of the janjaweed!!??]

"convicted criminals (starting with poachers) could be reformed and used as second line units on the eastern front against the partisans. However a lack of poachers meant that the division soon began accepting other criminals . . . and members of the Wehrmacht convicted of felony offenses and eventually all German convicts.

"the Wilddiebkommando Oranienburg (Poacher's Command Oranienburg) was formed. This unit was to be composed of criminals convicted of poaching. It was felt that poachers were in possession of skills which would make them excellent scouts and anti-partisan troops . . . Initially a unit of convicted poachers, it became over time composed of increasing numbers of common criminals . . . the volunteers sent to the Dirlewanger were convicted of major crimes which would be considered criminal in civilian courts. While the theory was that service in the Dirlewanger would rehabilitate the criminals, it in fact provided them with the ability to continue committing criminal acts with no repercussions."

[the primary role of the Dirlewanger was to be in anti-partisan operations. Very dangerous but necessary duty on the Eastern Front during World War Two. Gave the Dirlewanger also good opportunity to commit atrocity against helpless civilians!!]

"provided them with the ability to continue committing criminal acts with no repercussions."



Consider the sordid descriptions of what the Dirlewanger was capable of:

"numerous cases of corruption, rape, indiscriminate slaughter, beating and looting. Desertion was common."

"atrocities were a daily occurrence"

"Dirlewanger's unit . . . gained a reputation for extreme brutality, including mass murder of civilians, rape and other excesses. Even children were often the victims . . . Dirlewanger's unit was used in the suppression of the Warsaw Uprising, where they committed much worse atrocities"

"mass executions of tens of thousands of civilians in the Wola district of the city [Warsaw]"

"During the battle [Battle of Warsaw - - 1944], the Dirlewanger [unit] behaved atrociously, raping, looting and killing citizens of Warsaw"

"the brigade continued its practise of looting, raping and killing,"

"In its final phase, Dirlewanger's men came to include, besides common criminals, increasing numbers of political prisoners (Communist, Socialist, trade unionists, anarchists and so on), patients from psychiatric hospitals and homosexuals, as well as others considered unfit to serve in normal military units."

"the ability to volunteer [get out of prison for free ticket?] for service in the regiment was extended to all criminals, even those convicted of the most heinous crimes."

The "soldier" on the far left front appears to be enjoying himself? Shooting the man kneeling in the front of the photo!

Ordinary and common criminals can become soldiers? NO! More trouble than they are worth. A BAD IDEA! Never has worked, never will work.




This is coolbert:

Here is an excellent slide show from the BBC NEWS showing photos of Russian long-range aviation bomber aircraft involved in the recent resurgent international flights that have surprised so many observers.

Tu-95 [Bear] and Tu-160 [Blackjack].

"These enormous Tu-95 bombers have a range of more than 10,000km (6,250 miles)."

"Since the end of the Cold War, they have been virtually grounded. But this summer, President Vladimir Putin ordered their return to the skies."

Please note that each turbo-prop engine has the dual propeller. For that slight extra amount of boost if needed. The Tu-95 IS the fastest turbo-prop driven aircraft ever built.

"The Tupolevs carry cruise missiles and can be equipped with nuclear weapons. They were one of the most striking symbols of the Cold War."

"In recent months, they have been spotted again off the coasts of the UK, United States and Norway."

Mission is NOT to drop a "dumb" nuclear weapon over a city. Mission is a stand-off, fire cruise missiles with nuclear weapons at targets from a distance.

"This cockpit is now a museum piece. It was built to accommodate a crew of seven to eight."

"Pilots spent up to 13 hours in these incredibly cramped conditions. There were no toilets or other comforts – and controls were so heavy only a very fit person could operate them"

That cockpit by U.S. standards is probably terribly antiquated. Very ancient tube-type analog electronic systems. The U.S. can supply off-the-shelf upgrades and make a nice profit and "help" the Russians?

"The air traffic control unit does not seem to be very advanced, either.

"Russian bombers have to share the airspace with civilian flights going into Saratov, a big regional centre a few kilometres from Engels."

NOT so long ago, just knowing that these bombers were flying out of Saratov would have been a state secret known only to a few. NOW, it is common knowledge?

"These planes, Tupolev Tu-160s, were conceived as a replacement for the ageing Bears."

"The first Tu-160 Blackjack flew in 1981. These aircraft are supersonic and can carry up to 45 tons of bombs and missiles."

Blackjacks were made only in small numbers. ONLY about sixteen exist. And an even smaller number are capable of flight. Could penetrate enemy airspace, but again, probably more versatile as a stand-off delivery system firing a barrage of nuclear equipped cruise missiles at an adversary. NOTE too the anti-flash [nuclear] white paint on the bombers.

"Russian generals say the West has nothing to worry about."

"They insist these flights are for training purposes - and, as the commander of this air force base told us, Russian warplanes never venture beyond international waters."

Well, they do not have to. A primary mission of such bombers would be to locate and attack American naval ships, primarily aircraft carriers, in international waters.

"Most of the pilots who fly the Tu-160s have now seen the shores of Scotland, Iceland and Norway."

"'When you fly at night,' one pilot told me, 'Europe is all lit up like a Christmas tree. It's very beautiful – and very different from Russia.'"

There is a famous night-time satellite view of the world taken some years ago now. Places like Cuba, North Korea, Siberia, sub-Saharan Africa, all show up as big black empty spots. NO lights at night - - because - - NO electricity!

"But, of course, these flights are anything but sightseeing cruises."

"The Russian military may be saying their intentions are innocent – but it is easy to see why Europe is keeping a close watch on these ghostly Cold War bombers."

And not only Europe. The U.S. too!



Sunday, December 23, 2007

Designated Marksman II.

This is coolbert:

Designated Marksman [DM]


Way back when in 1958, the Soviet Army already had conceived of the role of designated marksman. Again, NOT a sniper as the word sniper is generally and commonly understood. A marksman equipped with an accurate, scoped, SEMIAUTOMATIC rifle that would enable a designated shooter to provide rapid and precise fire at long range in support of an infantry squad or platoon.

Again - - way back when in 1958 the Soviets already saw the need for the designated marksman [DM]. Almost fifty years BEFORE the U.S. military also saw the need for a DM. What does that say??!!

And such a weapon, able to provide accurate, precise, and rapid fire on targets in support of the infantry squad or platoon was developed and fielded.

The Dragunov SVD rifle.

"The SVD (Russian: Снайперская винтовка Драгунова, Snayperskaya Vintovka Dragunova), "Dragunov Sniper Rifle", is a 7.62 mm [a 7.62 X 54R round, slightly longer than the NATO 7.62 X 51 round used in the M14] semi-automatic sniper rifle, developed in the former Soviet Union . . . designed by Dragunov . . . Extensive testing in variable environmental conditions resulted in E. F. Dragunov’s design being accepted into service in 1963 . . . Since then the SVD has become the standard squad support weapon of several countries . . . including . . . Iraq (as the Al Kadesiah)."

Is being used by the Iraqi insurgents right now, as we speak. Used against U.S. troops. Al Qaeda too has these rifles and trains the villains in the use of same. This is a deadly, accurate, and very potent weapon - - IF USED IN THE RIGHT HANDS - - THAT OF THE TRAINED MARKSMAN!!!

"Extensive testing in variable environmental conditions"


"The PSO-1 sight . . . The PSO-1 scope includes a variety of features . . . an infrared charging screen that is used as a passive IR detection system. The PSO-1 sight enables targets to be engaged at ranges upwards of 1000 m; effective ranges in combat situations have been stated at between 600 to 1300 m, depending on the quality of ammunition and skill of the shooter."

That passive IR [infrared detector] was to be used to shoot out the active IR emitters found on American tanks and armored personnel carriers. Passive FLIR [forward looking infrared low light visibility capability was not developed and fielded at the time the SVD was developed. To use IR, some sort of active emitter was necessary. The designated marksman could engage U.S. active emitter IR targets in the dark using a SVD and the IR detector on the PSO-1 sight!!

"Above the main gun [on the M48A5 tank] was a 1 million candle-power Xenon searchlight. This light had both a white light and an infrared mode. It was boresighted with the main gun and gunsights so that it could be used to illuminate a target at night."

That searchlight in either the white light OR THE IR MODE would have been a main target for the Soviet DM!

Here an interesting web site about Evgeniy Dragunov. Developer of the SVD. An outstanding weapons designer by any standard. The Soviets and now the Russians do have some talented people who design good stuff!!

"In 1958 Dragunov accepted the challenge of designing a semiautomatic sniper rifle . . . more than a simple sniper rifle. Along with high accuracy and the substantial range of fire, the weapon had to be lightweight, compact, and capable of semiautomatic fire."

"Dragunov was an accomplished and enthusiastic target shooter and his shooting skills proved very useful in the war as well as in his subsequent career of an arms designer. He never missed an opportunity to take part in competitions and tournaments and did it with fairly high scores."

Dragunov KNEW exactly what went into the "makings" of a good "sniper" rifle, designed to be used by the designated marksman according to Soviet concepts. His abilities as a marksman stood him in good stead!

The Soviets and now the Russians - - fifty years of the U.S.? At least in weapons design? NOT only the weapon itself, but the concept, the doctrine for employment thereof!


Labels: ,

Designated Marksman I.

This is coolbert:

Designated Marksman [DM]

Here is a surprising concept that seems to have become vogue. Seen as NOW being an absolute necessity by the U.S. military? A concept that only until a few years ago, would have been thought to be not needed. A concept even passe' and outdated!?

[modern armies for the most part rely upon VOLUME OF FIRE to overwhelm the opposition. Accuracy is secondary, VOLUME is primary!]

The Designated Marksman [DM]!

"The DM's role is to supply rapid accurate fire on enemy targets at ranges up to 800 meters (875 yd) with a highly-accurate semiautomatic rifle equipped with a telescopic sight. Like snipers, DM's are trained in quick and precise shooting, but unlike the more specialised 'true' sniper, they are also intended to lay down accurate rapid fire."

Accurate, long-range, repetitive fire on enemy targets by MARKSMEN!

The DM differs from the traditional sniper in that he:

* "Designated marksmen are integral members of regular infantry squads or platoons, much like machine-gunners or grenadiers"

* "DM's are usually equipped with accurized battle rifles or assault rifles"

* "DM's are mainly employed for targets at ranges of up to 800 meters (875 yd)."

* "DM's usually change positions with their squad, and may have more camouflage gear than other infantrymen."

To satisfy the demand that the DM be able to provide accurate and repetitive fire at long range on a target, a SEMIAUTOMATIC rifle is A MUST! The USMC has decided that an improved version of the NOW somewhat ancient U.S. M-14 rifle is the way to go!

"The United States Marine Corps Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR, NSN 1005-01-458-6235; more formally the United States Rifle, 7.62-MM, M14, DMR is a semi-automatic, gas-operated rifle chambered for the 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge. It is a modified and accurized version of the M14 rifle built and utilized solely by the United States Marine Corps (USMC)."

[the U.S. Army has also adopted the concept of the DM, but has decided to use an improved version of the M-16 as it's DMR! Obviously commonality of ammunition here is a major issue. A Marine DM will carry ammo that is different from what the rest of his squad/platoon carries. An Army DM will not!!]

"The DMR, as its name suggests, is primarily used by a designated marksman. The DMR fills the need for a lightweight, accurate weapon system utilizing a cartridge more powerful than the M16A4's standard 5.56x45mm NATO—the 7.62x51mm NATO."

The above photo shows the sniper version of the M-14 from the Vietnam era. Was used in Vietnam by U.S. forces as a sniper rifle, but sparingly so!?

The basic version M-14 has been modified extensively and IMPROVED to satisfy the demands for a long-range, heavy caliber, accurate, SEMIAUTOMATIC rifle as needed by the DM.

Improvements to include:

* Barrel: "A 22-inch (560 mm) stainless steel, match grade barrel."

* Stock: "fiberglass stock. . . . a pistol grip and a buttstock with adjustable saddle cheekpiece."

* Optics: "a rather large variety of military scopes and imaging devices . . . day scopes . . . night vision scopes . . . fixed power scopes."

* Muzzle device: "Most . . . utilize the traditional M14 muzzle device . . . since deployment in 2001, some DMRs are now equipped with [a] 2-port muzzle brake . . . threaded and collared to accept a . . . sound suppressor."

* "Bipod: "A . . . bipod is used"

Other nations, too, have seen the need for the DM in the role of providing accurate, rapid, and long range fire is support of the basic infantry squad/platoon. Israel for instance!

"The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) implemented significant changes to sharpshooting doctrine in the 1990s . . . A major change was the introduction of a new battle profession – the designated marksman [DM] (קלע סער, 'kala saar' in Hebrew) – intended to improve the accuracy and firepower of an infantry platoon and compromise between the role of a sniper and an assault rifleman"

Designated marksman. Just a few years ago, who would have thought!!??



Saturday, December 22, 2007

Open Skies.

This is coolbert:

"Developing Trust - - One Frame at a Time"

My, how times have changed since the unmanned balloon flights of the WS-119 program.

Today, fifty years later, we have the:

"Treaty on Open Skies"

"The Treaty on Open Skies entered into force on January 1, 2002, and currently has 34 States Parties. It establishes a program of unarmed aerial surveillance flights over the entire territory of its participants. The treaty is designed to enhance mutual understanding and confidence by giving all participants, regardless of size, a direct role in gathering information about military forces and activities of concern to them."

Signatories - - at any moment- - but with nominal and minimum time pre-approval - - can overfly with reconnaissance aircraft the territory of any other signatory, gathering "intelligence". And do so unmolested, with a free range of movement, uncontested!!

"Open Skies aircraft may have video, optical panoramic and framing cameras for daylight photography, infra-red line scanners for a day/night capability, and synthetic aperture radar for a day/night all weather capability. Photographic image quality will permit recognition of major military equipment . . . thus allowing significant transparency of military forces and activities."

Is this treaty really being utilized by the participants and WORKING as advertised?

Trust and "transparency" are a result?



"99 Balloons"??

This is coolbert:

"for the ten year period beginning in 1945, it would have been better if the U.S. did not have an intelligence agency [CIA]" - - Richard Helms - - former director, CIA.

[what Helms means is that during that ten year period the intelligence agencies of the U.S. were NOT able to answer basic questions demanded by policy makers, planners, decisions makers. NOT ONLY unable to answer the basic questions, but were deceived on a massive basis by the communist security services through a series of clever and well planned deception plans.]

Here is just one example of American incompetence during that ten year period.

Project Skyhook and an offshoot thereof, WS-119.

Large, massive unmanned balloons, orbiting the earth at the altitude of 100,000 feet. Carrying a gondola with photo reconnaissance cameras inside. Designed to "float" over denied territory [Soviet Union and China]. Taking pictures that would later be recovered and processed to develop badly needed intelligence on the main adversaries the U.S. faced during the Cold War.

WS-119 was AT BEST only slightly nominally successful.

Between 10 January and 6 February [1956], a total of 448 balloons were launched, and resulted in 44 successful camera gondola recoveries.

For all those missions, only a small percentage [less than 10 %] were successful. By that is meant, "floated" over the Soviet Union, took pictures, the gondola recovered, the pictures process, intelligence developed.

Control was barely minimal. The balloons floated where ever they wanted to [where the wind currents took them]. NOT over areas targeted in most of the cases.

Until the advent of the high-flying U-2 reconnaissance "spy" aircraft, NO good intelligence came out of the Soviet Union for the ten year period starting in 1945? Finally, when the U-2 began to fly and DID bring back photo-reconnaissance of superlative quality, were American planners, policy and decision makers finally able to "sort things out".

And, here is the Soviet ANSWER to the WS-119 program. The Myasishchev M-17 "Mystic" The Soviet counter-part to the U-2, but much more. Was designed originally to SHOOT-DOWN those high flying balloons, using a dorsal firing gun to do so!!

"first known as the M-17. Its life began in 1978 when Soviet engineers searched for ways to intercept American unmanned reconnaissance balloons."

" (high altitude balloon interceptor) designed originally as high-altitude aircraft with a dorsal gun turret, to shot down US reconnaissance balloons floated over the USSR after WWII."

Developed, but NEVER did take to the air until 1982 [long after the balloon program had been terminated] !!?? And when finally in production [?], built only in limited numbers and then finally relegated to the scrap heap except for a select few aircraft used for upper atmosphere measurements.

[it should be noted, and has been suggested by a whole host of "experts", that many sightings of UFO [alien spacecraft] beginning around 1947 were actually observations of high-flying balloons of the Skyhook variety!!]



Friday, December 21, 2007


This is coolbert:

"the most valuable form of intelligence in this type of war [counter-terrorism] will be the hostile interrogation" - - Shlomo Gazit - - former Israeli commander of Aman [military intelligence].

The U.S. Congress is once again debating methods of "coercion" that are to be permissible in the fight against terrorism. Establishing guidelines and LAWS that must be followed by both civilian and military interrogators.

It seems that there are three forms of "coercion" that are felt to be controversial and "over-the-line". Methods and techniques as applied, specifically so, by CIA [?] operations officers when interrogating captured jihadists.

To include:

* Waterboarding. Used three times only [?] by CIA interrogators, and in all three occasions applied against what are called high-value targets.

* Extended periods of confinement in stressful postures. Shackled in such a way that the person being interrogated cannot stand, lie down, or sit. An extended period of time can be measured in DAYS.

* Nakedness. Stripping a man naked and keeping him so while questions are posed to him.

With regard to the latter, obviously a reaction to the Abu Ghraib incident. Photos, circulated world-wide of naked Iraqis did a lot of damage to the American image. WE WERE perceived as NOT the good guys in the white hats.

These methods and techniques of "coercion" are torture? NOT exactly as defined by the conventions on torture and the generally accepted definition of what has constituted torture in the past.

BUT, are seen be many in Congress as being deplorable and not to be tolerated.

More conventional and acceptable forms of interrogation are to be stressed when interrogating a captured jihadi! These are the various psychological techniques as taught to U.S. military interrogators.

To include [but not limited to]:

* "Mutt and Jeff". The good-cop, bad-cop routine. One interrogator the hard case, the other the "understanding" friend.

* The 201 file. "We already know almost everything about you. Let us just fill in a few blanks!!"

Several comments here.

1. The jihadi is already trained on how to resist psychological techniques of interrogation. Training is available via the various jihad schools. My instinctive, intuitive reaction is that a jihadi, when confronted by the psycho methods, will just sit there, smile, and remain mute. Forever!! Generally speaking, psychological methods will come to more or less naught with the jihadi.

[American interrogators had been told, that in case of a hot war with the Soviets, captured Soviet prisoners would give up the goods more or less immediately in 90 % of the cases!!!]

2. The specific instance of interrogating Abu Zubaida by waterboarding [by CIA operatives] has been mentioned with regard to the destroyed interrogations videos. The man [Abu Zubaida] WAS ABLE TO HOLD OUT FOR THIRTY FIVE SECONDS!! And that was that!! After that, the man sang like a canary!!??

[years ago now, a long-time CIA case officer who had spent decades working in Latin American countries recounted an incident where he applied psychological interrogation techniques [even to the extent of withholding cigarettes!!!] on a captured communist revolutionary for ninety six hours. The man did not utter a peep the whole time After thirty minutes with the local police, who employed their own "methods" the same revolutionary had spilled the beans and told all!! What was done was not mentioned, but it must have hurt!!]

[undoubtedly, some persons in Congress will agree that withholding cigarettes is a form of torture. Extreme pain, both physical and mental, is being inflicted on the victim!!]

3. Does Congress realize that passing a LAW outlawing certain interrogation techniques might actually render null and void current training methods used by the U.S. military during SERE qualification? During SERE training, certain select members of the U.S. military, Rangers, Special Forces [SF], combat pilots, are waterboarded, stripped, kept in confined stressful postures AS PART OF THE SERE QUALIFICATION PROCESS. I hope Congress addresses this and IS EVEN AWARE OF THE DIFFICULTY SUCH A LAW WILL POSE.

[it is reputed that CIA operations officers are also waterboarded as part of their training. The average person can withstand the sensation of drowning for about fifteen seconds max!!]

And, from the book, "Devil's Guard": [describing how a German prisoner post-World War Two was interrogated by the American counter-intellignece-corps [CIC]]

"kept chained to a hot radiator, naked of course, for ninety-six hours in such a manner that he could neither sit nor bed. At the end of the second day his ankles began to swell. At the end of the ordeal they were swollen to the size of grapefruits and he could not flex a muscle. During that ninety-six hours, he was given very spicy food and only one small cup of water per day. Installed twenty inches from his ears a pair of loudspeakers kept blaring distorted music without a break."

[and no bathroom breaks either. You crap and pee right where you are. Wallow in your own filth!]

Hostile interrogation! NOT torture as the term is normally understood? BUT, in a gray area that few want to cross!? Gets results, but at what cost?



Wednesday, December 19, 2007


This is coolbert:

"My name is Bond, James Bond!!"

Was there a real life inspiration for the Ian Fleming character, James Bond!!?? An intelligence officer [spy] with a multiplicity of skills and abilities, far beyond those of mere mortals. Performing missions for British intelligence [SIS/MI6]. Taking on a variety of enemies and always vanquishing same.

Considerable [?] speculation exists in this regard. NONE conclusive.

Did Ian Fleming actually have a person in mind when he wrote the entire "Bond" series of books?

"Many Ian Fleming biographers agree that James Bond is largely based on Fleming himself."

Worked in the intelligence field, the heavy drinking, the womanizing, living life in the "fast lane", etc.

Other candidates have been suggested. Among them are:

* Sir Fitzroy Maclean.

"reputed to be a British secret agent in WWII Yugoslavia and friend (and biographer) of Tito"

* Dusko Popov.

"a Serbian double agent nicknamed Tricycle." [called Tricycle because of his fondness for bedding two women at the same time!!]

"Popov was a worthy predecessor to the fictional spy James Bond. He stayed at the best hotels, ate at top restaurants, visited smart casinos, and was a bon vivant."

"bon vi·vant –noun. a person who lives luxuriously and enjoys good food and drink."

* Merlin Minshall.

"who worked for Fleming . . . during the Second World War"

* Sidney Reilly.

"a notorious adventurer and secret agent"

* Colonel Duane Hudson .

"Colonel Duane Tyrell Hudson was a British soldier who fought in Yugoslavia during World War II."

"a rugby player, swimmer, rider, skier, boxer, and wrestler . . . He spoke six foreign languages and had a reputation as a ladies' man."

Athlete, polyglot, skier, martial artist, AND LADIES' MAN!! Fits the bill pretty good!!

* Wilfred Dunderdale.

"Wilfred Albert (Biffy) Dunderdale (24 December 1899-13 November 1990[1]) was a British spy and intelligence officer."

* Peter Fleming. [older brother of Ian]

If we only slightly refresh our memories about James Bond, he is described by Ian Fleming as being of Scottish descent, a naval officer of lower rank during World War Two, but serving with the Royal Marine commando, enjoying aquatic and winter sports, a ladies man and bon vivant.

"Bond's father was Scottish and his mother was French Swiss"

James Bond, perhaps, is a composite character?

There is, however, one additional individual, who, again, perhaps, more than any other, is the man-of-action/intelligence officer/multi-faceted personality Ian Fleming had in mind when he created the character of James Bond and wrote the "Bond" series of spy thrillers.

Patrick Dalzel-Job.

"an accomplished linguist, author, mariner, navigator, parachutist, diver and skier."

Did possess "a multiplicity of skills and abilities, far beyond those of mere mortals", of Scottish descent, a naval officer of lower rank, serving with the Royal Marine Command during intelligence missions. Was a skier ["On Her Majesty's Secret Service"], and diver ["Thunderball"].

Was on a familiar basis with Ian Fleming. Served in the British 30 AU intelligence gathering unit. Prior to that, saw combat while on "special missions".

"He transferred to 30 AU under Commander Ian Fleming who was then Personal Assistant to the Director of Naval Intelligence."

Commissioned in the Royal Navy, but - - commanded Royal Marine Commandos.

"promoted to Lieutenant Commander, he landed near Varreville on Utah beach, Normandy, on D+4 with two Royal Marines Commandos allocated to him, and an unrestricted authority order"

Was given more or less carte' blanche authority to perform his mission in Europe subsequent to D-Day [6 June 1944].

"carte blanche –noun 1. unconditional authority; full discretionary power."

UNRESTRICTED AUTHORITY ORDER!! Sounds similar to the authority given James Bond, "license to kill". By that, MI6 has given Bond the prior approval to kill opponents at his discretion in furtherance of the mission.

"Dalzel-Job was widely acclaimed as one of the main inspirations for James Bond, Ian Fleming's fictional character"

Dalzel-Job did not totally fit the bill as the inspiration for James Bond, according to his own words [Dalzel-Job]:

"[I] personally 'only ever loved one woman' and was 'not a drinking man'".

But - - WHO would exactly fit the bill!!?? NO ONE!!



Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Hunt!

This is coolbert:

Very good program on PBS television. Well worth seeing. Again, from the continuing series, “Secrets of the Dead”.

The Hunt for Nazi Scientists

Frenzied activity in the latter days of World War Two [WW2] by allied and Soviet forces. Capturing German [Nazi] scientists and engineers and their advanced handiwork.

Military units, [at least for the western allies] consisting of an eclectic group of soldiers [persons actually holding military rank], but much more than that. Scientists, linguists, AND all the while soldiers, prepared to fight at a moments notice, AND without the possibility of any back up support.

* American [Alsos] searching primarily for German nuclear weapons development and missile technology.

* British [30 AU] searching primarily for German rocket and jet aircraft technology. [Commanded from London by Ian Fleming.]

* Soviet. [presumably rival teams from NKVD and GRU each] searching for ANYTHING of value. Also looting and moving to the Soviet Union factories from all over the occupied Soviet Zone. Factories both producing military and civilian items! Work [looting] in the case of the factories done by what were called “Trophy Brigades”!

Racing far ahead of the advancing allied armies, attempting to capture intact, to the greatest degree possible, laboratories, experimental models, research documents and files, AND the scientists themselves.


The western allies [British and American] WERE able to achieve success as desired.

The British [30 AU] did capture:

* Working rocket planes, jet aircraft, AND the design team leader [Helmut Walter].

The comments of the British chief test pilot, Eric Brown, with regard to captured German rocket planes and jet aircraft are most interesting.

According to Brown, he was actually able to fly a Me-163 and also ferried a Me-262 back to England. Take the planes up for a spin and see how they handled!

Brown further stated that the Me-163, the Komet rocket plane, was the only aircraft he HAD EVER FLOWN WHERE HE FELT THE PLANE ITSELF WAS IN CONTROL, AND NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND.


Brown also expressed great admiration for the Me-262. Much more versatile and tactically useful than the Me-163, a beauty of an aircraft [Me-262] to fly.

American units [Alsos] captured:

* German nuclear scientists, including Werner Heisenberg, AND the German nuclear pile.

It was determined the German nuclear pile was not of an adequate size to sustain a controlled fissionable reaction [a reactor, not a bomb.] ONLY half of the amount of uranium required was on hand. German nuclear technology HAD NOT advanced much beyond the research stage.

That is not to say that the German physicists DID NOT understand the basic theoretical physics concepts needed to build an atomic bomb. According to David Irving, in his book, “Virus House”, Werner Heisenberg had briefed a group of German military officers that a pineapple size amount of fissionable material would be all that was needed to make a bomb potent enough to destroy a city.

[whether we are talking here about a plutonium implosion style bomb or an enriched uranium U-235 “gun” type atomic bomb I am not sure. Whatever the case, Heisenberg and his colleagues did understand very well the theoretical physics of nuclear weaponry!]

* German missile technology. Werner von Braun and his entire design team with documents and files INTACT!! [von Braun anticipated the allied interest and his worth! Was ready to surrender and had taken measures in advance to make sure things went “smoothly”!!??]

Some aspects of German missile development and manufacture found by the Alsos team [?] left much to be desired.

What can only be called “slave labor” was used to manufacture V-2 missiles. The Nordhausen plant “employed” forced, impressed laborers from all over Europe to assemble the missiles used against English targets. Laborers treated badly and laboring under abysmal conditions. MORE PERSONS DIED [10,000] AT NORDHAUSEN ASSEMBLING THE V-2 MISSILES THAN WERE ACTUALLY KILLED [5,000] BY THE MISSILES RAINING DOWN ON BRITISH CITIES!!!

[as to the quality of workmanship with regard to a very complicated piece of machinery [V-2 missile], who can say!!?? The SS had “ways” of making sure quality was more than adequate??!!]

Soviet efforts at garnering their share of the "loot" were equally impressive. Perhaps even much MORE so!

Keep in mind that whatever the western allies captured, they HAD TO SHARE WITH THE SOVIETS!! That was part of the arrangement that had been made. The Soviets too, were supposed to share with their allied counter-parts whatever it was THEY [Soviets] had found. I bet the Soviets totally ignored their part of the bargain.





This is coolbert:

"It is commonly accepted that Stalin made extensive preparations for the future war and that he planned to exploit the military conflict between the 'capitalist' countries to his advantage"

It should be realized that the Soviet Union did NOT see itself as a passive player on the world stage.

Did see itself as being in the vanguard of “world revolution”. Asserting itself in many ways, ultimately using military force when the “time was ripe”. The eventual goal being a world either dominated by or totally converted over [by force if necessary] to the communist ideology.

The Soviet defector Boris Bajanov, in the 1920’s, revealed valuable intelligence to the “great powers” [France and England], regarding this state of affairs and Soviet intentions.

NO PERSON could have been better place to inform in this regard.

Bajanov had been: [during the early 1920’s]

* Personal secretary to Joseph Stalin.

* Personal secretary to the Politburo. [ruling communist elite of the Soviet Union prior to Stalin assuming sole dictatorial powers.]

According to Bajanov: [from the book "Storm Petrels" by Gordon Brook-Shepard]

"a series of Politburo discussions in the early twenties (all of which Bajanov had attended at secretary) to decide whether war with the West should be regarded as 'probably' or virtually 'unavoidable.' There was a parallel clash of views as to whether the Soviet Union should try to precipitate the struggle or postpone it . . . The politburo finally decided that war was indeed unavoidable, but hedged its bets . . . to delay a conflict as long as possible, while the Soviet armed forces were told to prepare for it as soon as possible."

The Politburo HAD contemplated the waging of war with the “capitalist world”. Had concluded that war WAS inevitable.


The OGPU [secret police] urged that the Soviet precipitate and initiate the war. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, while agreeing that war WAS inevitable, did not favor the same approach as the OGPU.

BUT, military development and preparation for a war with the “capitalists” would continue. WAR WOULD OCCUR , that was agreed. The Soviets would NOT merely remain inert, respond ONLY when attacked, but would take the initiative, “if conditions were ripe”.

Stalin, in 1941, did feel that “conditions were ripe”? Big Red was going to make the big move west?

For those that are interested in the subject of defectors from the Soviet Union, the books by Gordon Brook-Shepard, "The Storm Petrels", and the "Storm Birds", are well worth reading. I recommend highly.



Sunday, December 16, 2007

Otto Dix.

This is coolbert:

"He'd actually had [served] three years nearly at the front, as a gunner, in very heavy firing [fighting] consistently in France, Flanders, and Russia."

"But we know from other people's statements that this bloke [Dix] would sit in the trench just before and after grenades were biffing around the place and actually drawing." - - Sarah O'Brian-Twohig - - Tate Gallery.

"biff tr.v. biffed, biff·ing, biffs

To strike or punch. n. A blow or punch."

This bloke - - is Otto Dix. One of the foremost artists of the 20th Century?

German soldier and artist. Saw extensive combat during World War One [WW1]. Also served as a member of the German volkssturm during World War Two [WW2]. Captured by the French in 1945 and held prisoner until 1946.

[he was fifty four years old in 1945.]

Did not wait to be drafted in 1914. Was a volunteer. By his own words:

"The war was a horrible thing, but there was something tremendous about it too. I didn't want to miss it at any price. You have to have seen human beings in this unleashed state to know what human nature is... I need to experience all the depths of life for myself, that's why I go out, and that's why I volunteered." - - O. Dix.

"Carried copy of Nietzsche, The Joyous Science and the Bible in his soldier's knapsack. From N [Nietzsche] Dix learned that growth and decay necessary part of nature, procreation and death part of the life cycle, struggle for survival, cruel cycle of birth and death."

Most creative period was post-WW1. Drew and painted somewhat in the manner of the Dada movement, but was NOT a dadaist as such! Did share [with the dadaists] a similar world-view and outlook on the nature of war as it existed following the armistice of 1918.

Through his art [as with the dadaists] expressed a revulsion with the industrialized, mechanized, mass-production, assembly line, by-the numbers, totally impersonal warfare as exemplified by WW1. You are very small cog in a big wheel that is part of much larger machine, raw product [recruit] in one end of the line, finished good [soldier] out the other, shortly discarded [killed] when used in an abusive and callous manner by the "powers" .

Otto Dix "Machine Gunners Advancing" from Der Krieg (1924).

[please look closely at the detail of "Machine Gunners Advancing". The machine gun unit is advancing over A MOUNTAIN OF HUMAN BODIES!!

And here is how Dix portrays that very violent form of battle from World War One [WW1], the trench raid.

Dix was also very fond of self-portraits.

Dix as a machine gunner during the Great War [WW1].

Dix as a prisoner-of-war in 1946.

Dix had critics [the Nazi regime of Hitler among them], such as the gadfly art "critic" Julius Meier-Graefe.

"Meier-Graefe reviewed [ing] Otto Dix's painting, The Trench, in July, 1924."

"The trench is not only badly, but disgracefully painted, with a penetrating delight in detail, not I hasten to add, in sensuous detail but in matter-of-fact detail. Brains, blood and entrails can be painted in a way which makes one's mouth water. This Dix - forgive the crude expression - makes you want to throw up."

THAT IS THE WHOLE IDEA - - JULIUS. The idea of "The Trench" is to revolt you and make you want to throw up. That is what Dix intended.



Saturday, December 15, 2007

Crown of Grass.

This is coolbert:

More wiki stuff on the Romans and their legions.

The highest military decoration that could be awarded to a Roman soldier was a CROWN OF GRASS!!!???

"Roman military decorations and punishments"

[the Romans did have a whole range of punishments for soldiers that did not go their duty. This blog entry concerns only the highest award for superlative achievement!!]

Grass Crown.

"Grass Crown- (Latin, corona obsidionalis or corona graminea) was the highest and rarest of all military decorations. It was presented only to a general or commander who broke the blockade of a beleaguered Roman Army"

A Roman legion or army, surrounded and beset by an enemy, in danger of annihilation, is rescued by a relief column of other Roman legions. The general at the head of the relief column, receiving the award, "it was never conferred except at a crisis of extreme desperation, never voted except by the acclamation of the whole army".

[a general would have the soldiers of his own army confer this decoration by acclamation!! AND ONLY THEN!! Whoa!!]

"the highest and rarest of all military decorations in the Roman Republic and early Roman empire. It was presented only to a general or commander who broke the blockade around a beleaguered Roman army, thus saving a legion or the entire army."

"The Grass Crown can be compared the the contemporary Medal of Honor [OR Victoria Cross], which is awarded for valor 'beyond the call of duty',"

"Pliny also lists the persons who by their deeds won the grass crown":

* Lucius Siccius Dentatus.
* Publius Decius Mus. (received two grass crowns—one from his own army, and another from the troops which he had rescued when surrounded)
* Fabius Maximus.
* Marcus Calpurnius Flamma.
* Scipio Aemilianus Africanus.
* Gneius Petreius Atinas.
* Lucius Cornelius Sulla.
* Quintus Sertorius.

Traditionally, according to military historians of the U.S. Army, military units besieged and blockaded normally ONLY survive BY RELIEF FROM OVERLAND COLUMN. Such military operations by their very nature are fraught with great danger and are difficult to perform!!?? Alesia, Kut, Khe Sanh!!

Augustus also was award a Crown of Grass, but as a political, symbolic award, NOT for rescuing a beleaguered Roman military force. Think Wainwright and Mac Arthur in modern times??!!




This coolbert:

Read this amazing wiki entry on the Roman military engineering expertise.

Way far ahead of Roman contemporaries??!! Was a very institutionalized, integral, and important aspect of the Roman legion and Roman military conquest.

My comments on the wiki entry [in BOLD as usual!!]"

"The military engineering of Ancient Rome's armed forces was of a scale and frequency far beyond that of any of its contemporaries . . . each Roman legionary had as part of his equipment a shovel"

The Romans were hardly the first to employ military engineers, but it was the scale, and institutionalized aspect of their engineering that made them unique in this respect.

"when on the march, particularly in enemy territory, the legion would, after a day's marching, construct a fortified camp or castra, requiring as raw materials only earth, turf and timber . . . A legion could throw up a camp under enemy attack in as little as a few hours."


"One of the most notable examples of military bridge-building in the Roman Empire was Julius Caesar's Bridge over the Rhine River. This bridge was completed in only ten days and is conservatively estimated to be more than 300 feet long. The construction was deliberately over-engineered for Caesar's stated purpose of impressing the Germanic tribes"

Roman roads of course required bridges! As I have said in a previous blog entry, Roman roads were generally constructed in as straight a line as possible. NOT necessarily conforming to the terrain as would be a modern road. This WAS DONE IN LARGE MEASURE FOR PSYCHOLOGICAL PURPOSES??!! The Romans are saying to the locals, "we even defy the forces of nature itself and are victorious - - what chance - - do you have against us!!??"

In World War Two [WW2], the Rhine river WAS SEEN as a major obstacle for the allied forces prior to the invasion of Germany proper. A formidable obstacle. CAPTURING THE BRIDGE AT REMAGEN WAS A MAJOR COUP DE MAIN OF SIGNIFICANT PROPORTIONS!! The British Army when crossing the Rhine [1945] did so only with an effort that in magnitude closely resembled the Normandy invasion [D-Day].

In his book, "The Liberators", Suvorov speaks of Operation 'Bridge'. The construction of a railroad bridge designed to impress foreign observers!! The Soviets were trying to say, "even the Rhine is not an obstacle to us!!" Big Red moving from east to west will NOT be stopped by an insignificant obstacle as the Rhine. NATO BEWARE!!

[the bridge was a sham, according to Suvorov, but must have been impressive to some. I recall seeing a U.S. Army booklet from the era of the Cold War that DID describe this bridge as a "done deal"!]

[personal comment! Do you find that to be spooky? Caesar builds a great bridge across the Rhine to impress the Germanii locals. Two thousand years later the Soviets build a bridge [albeit a sham one!] to again impress the Germanii and their NATO allies!]

"The Roman army also took part in building projects for civilian use . . . the involvement of the soldiers in building works, kept them not only well accustomed to hard physical labour, but also kept them busy"

Good training. Any sergeant will tell you that. Hard physical labor, work as a team, learn skills that will be useful while on the march, etc.!!

"the scale of Roman military engineering exceeded that of any of its contemporaries in both imagination and scope."

"extra-ordinary constructions [by the Roman military engineers] . . . the walling in of the entire city of Alesia . . . within a massive length of double-wall - one inward-facing to prevent escape or offensive sallies from the city, and one outward-facing to prevent attack by Celtic reinforcements. This wall is estimated to be over 13 miles long"

That is an impressive figure. Thirteen miles. Is this the combined length of the inner and outer wall is not clear. And moat too, with watch towers, further impediments, etc.!

Romans - - can do!!



Thursday, December 13, 2007


This is coolbert:


From the wiki entry on the German Werwolf [German post-WW2 partisans].

A list of purported allied atrocities in reaction to werwolf activity??

"Allied Reaction and Reprisals"

* "At Seedorf UK forces randomly selected and burned 2 cottages on April 21."

* "At the town of Sogel the Canadian first Army evacuated the civilians from the city center whereupon it was systematically demolished."

* "The Canadians behaved in similar fashion in Freysoythe."

* "Unless the citizens of the city of Stuppach within 3 hours produced the German officer that the U.S. forces believed was hiding there they were informed that: all male inhabitants would be shot, women and children expelled to the surrounding wilderness and the city razed."

* "U.S. combat troops destroyed the town of Bruchsal, in retaliation for SS activities."

* "At the city of Constancein the French occupation zone in mid May 400 hostages were taken, two persons who resisted French orders had been shot, part of the city evacuated and threats were made to burn the evacuated part down."

* "French forces expelled more than 25,000 civilians from their homes. Some of them were then forced to clear minefields in Alsace."

* "Killing of hostages by the French took place amongst others in Markdorf and Reutlingen."

* "The city of Lichtental was pillaged and the female population raped by the French [read the goum here??]."

* "Jarmin was demolished by Soviet troops."

* "At the town of Schivelbein all men were shot and all women and girls raped by Soviet troops."

[communist troops within the Soviet Zone of Occupation uniformly behaved in what can only be described as a beastly manner!!]

Colmar von der Goltz would have approved of allied reprisals against the German werwolf!!??

The German military has a strong aversion to the guerrilla fighter? It was not so much reprisals as a German loathing of partisan warfare that contributed to the werwolf NOT materializing as expected?!



Lodge Act.

This is coolbert:

In the wiki entry for Larry Thorne, reference is made to the Lodge Act.

An effort to recruit specialized personnel from eastern European countries to the U.S. Army. Men who were anti-communist, had military skills, training, maybe even experiencing actual combat while serving as a partisan during World War Two [WW2].

Recruited almost exclusively to serve in American Special Forces [SF] units.

SF troops that would be parachuted into Soviet territory in case of an all-out war with the communists. Organize and lead into battle partisan units. Conduct guerrilla warfare behind-the-lines.

"The Lodge-Philbin Act was a U.S. law, passed on 30 June 1950, which allowed for the recruiting of foreign nationals into a military force, fighting under the command of the U.S. armed forces. The Act permitted initially up to 2,500 non-resident aliens (later expanded to allow up to 12,500) to enlist."

"recruits from Eastern Europe (the Soviet Bloc) to form infiltration units working in that part of the world. More than 200 Eastern Europeans qualified before the Act expired in 1959. No German nationals or citizens of countries of the Marshall Plan or of NATO were eligible."

[only a very small number, 200, actually were taken in under the Lodge Act!!??]

There WAS a dire need at the time [1950's] for such military personnel. Soldiers that could speak the languages, pass as a local national, familiar with the culture, etc. Willing to parachute into what in all probability was their communist occupied homeland and operate as guerrillas if necessary.

Recruits quite often were persons with a very strong anti-communist background. And often too had entered into the United States by dubious means. Such as Larry Thorne.

"in 1950, was hired to a Norwegian cargo ship, MS Libre Villa, whose destination was the United States. In the Gulf of Mexico, near the city of Mobile, Alabama, Törni [Thorne] jumped overboard and swam to shore. Törni [Thorne] travelled to New York City where he got a job as a carpenter and a cleaner with help from Finnish settlers. In 1953 Törni [Thorne] was granted permit of residence"

[once again, by the standards of the time [1950], and NOW, Larry was an ILLEGAL ALIEN!!]

In addition, Larry had also trained and served with German SS units. A foreign volunteer for the SS! Even prepared to become a German werwolf partisan post-war [WW2]!

[yes, the spelling is correct, werwolf!! Grrrrr!!]

"Törni [Thorne] was one of the men who were sent to Germany to train with Waffen-SS"

"went to Germany in 1945 for additional Werwolf saboteur training in order to be able to organize resistance in the case that Finland would be taken by Russia."

NORMALLY, PERSONS SUCH AS LARRY WOULD NOT EVEN HAVE BEEN ALLOWED TO ENTER THE U.S., MUCH LESS SERVE IN THE U.S. ARMY OR BECOME AN OFFICER. Membership in the German SS then and even now is a bar to even entering the U.S. or becoming a resident!

The Lodge Act did permit very strident anti-communists as Larry Thorne to become legal residents and serve with distinction in the U.S. Army. Serve in a capacity where they were most needed AT THE TIME!!

My own perception is that Larry Thorne and persons like him were not so much pro-fascist as anti-communist and especially anti-Soviet [and for good reasons too!!].




This is coolbert:

Got sisu??

Sisu - - "Finnish term that could be roughly translated into English as strength of will, determination, perseverance, and acting rationally in the face of adversity . . . . Usually sisu means the will and decisiveness to get things done against impossible odds, or to succeed when given the chinaman's chance."

Here is one of those Finnish soldiers who both during the Winter War and the War of Continuation, had sisu.

To the Finns, the man known as Lauri Törni.

To the Americans, the man known as Larry Thorne.

"Lauri Allan Törni (May 28, 1919 – October 18, 1965) was a Finnish Army captain who led an infantry company in Finnish Winter and Continuation War and moved to the United States after the war. He is known as the soldier who fought under three flags: Finnish and German (when he fought the Russians in World War II) and American (where he was known as Larry Thorne) when he fought in Vietnam."

First gained combat experience during the World War Two [WW2] era against the Soviets. Fought with distinction, in an exemplary fashion. Even lead a partisan unit of Finnish soldiers behind-the-lines. Wrought great havoc against communist forces. Had a considerable price on his head.

"The Soviet Army had a bounty on Törni's head equivalent to 3 million Finnish Marks (650,000 USD)."

Finally arrived in the U.S. [as an illegal alien??], enlisting in the U.S. Army, serving in the Special Forces [SF].

Taught American SF troopers the finer points of guerrilla [partisan] warfare. After all, who better to do so! This was a man that HAD ACTUALLY LED A PARTISAN UNIT AGAINST THE SOVIETS!!

Served several tours of duty in Vietnam, meeting his end tragically on the second tour. Killed in a helicopter crash. The character of Sven Kornie in the Robin Moore book, "The Green Berets" is based upon Larry Thorne.

"Larry Thorne's remains were found in 1999 and formally identified in 2003. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery on June 26, 2003"

Here is an excellent Finnish web site [in English] dedicated to Larry Thorne. In Finland, he is a legendary figure esteemed by his countrymen!!

Larry was man that definitely had sisu.