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

Saturday, March 31, 2007


This is coolbert:

Read this too from the BBC.

Fighting again has broken out in the capital of Somalia. Mogadishu. A reprise from "Black Hawk Down" and what seems to be just endless warfare and violence.

"The death toll continues to mount even as people cowered inside from what they say is the worst fighting in 15 years."

"Ethiopian troops, in support of the Somali government, began an offensive against Islamist rebels three days ago."

Islamic fundamentalist jihadists have re-grouped, bided their time, and have begun attacks on the forces of Ethiopia and the Somalian "central government forces"?

The nation-state model is not appropriate for a place like Somalia? Let the Somali live out his clan life with all that goes with it unmolested by concepts such as a "central government", etc? Is this the answer? Some mad, bad, and dangerously armed folks in that part of the world. With AK-47, PKM, and RPG, even "irregulars" can do a lot of damage.



This is coolbert:

"War is bad for the economy" - - David Rockefeller.

Read this article about the Falkland Islands [Islas Malvinas].

"25 years after war, wealth transforms Falklands"

I would have never thought this would have happened. This was never anticipated by ANYONE? It appears that the Argentinians are NEVER going to "get back" the Islas Malvinas. NOT NOW!


Unmanned VII.

This is coolbert:

Here is an article from an Australian air power web site concerning the future of the UCAV.


Panacea or Pipe Dream?

This particular author, Carlo Kopp, has a much MORE skeptical and realistic [?] attitude toward the entire concept of the UCAV than most. I have extracted pertinent items. My comments in BOLD!

"Unlike established technology, a modern UCAV is designed from the outset for a combat role, delivering a range of precision guided munitions."

Prior versions of the UAV were designed as basically a reconniassance vehicle. Cameras, radars, imagery, etc. The UCAV is designed from the start as FOR A COMBAT ROLE!

"Carried into combat by modified DC-130 Hercules transports, reconnaissance variants of the BQM-34 were used extensively during the latter part of the Vietnam conflict and achieved considerable success in photographing semi-mobile NVA SAM sites."

This is the first I have read of this. My prior blog entry on the multi-faceted roles of the venerable Hercules did NOT mention this? I must check this out!

[that was the DC version of the Hercules. My blog entry did mention the DC version. That is a good idea. Gives the drone/UAV very extended range. Ferried to a target, released, controlled from the mother craft, etc.]

"Moore's Law driven advances in computing power offered potential for onboard intelligence beyond the dreams of designers in the 1970s."

Moore's Law again! How many times I have mentioned that with regard to the UAV concept? More on Moore's Law later.

"The basic idea underpinning most UCAV development is that of a low cost, stealthy robotic combat aircraft capable of undertaking very high risk, or typically very high attrition, roles in which the used of manned aircraft is regarded to be problematic."

Low cost - - stealthy - - robotic - - FOR very high risk - - high attrition - - roles [missions].

"the CNN Effect, as shot down aircrew are regarded to be a very high value negotiating asset by a great number of regimes which find themselves frequently at odds with the US or indeed other developed nations."

We are seeing this right now, as we speak!! Those fifteen English being held captive by the Iranians. For propaganda and bargaining chip value!! Statements, videos, more statements, interviews, etc. All faithfully covered by the CNN and other media. A "negotiating asset"? YES!

"The defeat of mobile SAM and AAA systems requires loitering or persistent bombing techniques"

See my Wild Weasel blog entry.

"the priorities seen in the DARPA/US Air Force/Boeing X-45 program - Suppression of Enemy Air Defences / Destruction of Enemy Air Defences (SEAD/DEAD) is the prime role for the vehicle"

See my Wild Weasel blog entry.

"Indeed, proposals have been floated in recent years for UCAV variants of the F-16C and JSF, intended to address the issue of aircrew exposure and very long loiter times"

This is an interesting idea. Take existing aircraft, or those being manufactured right now, and use THEM, with proper controls as UCAV! Of course advocates of designing UCAV as they are being developed now would point to the flying wing concept, the size, the stealthiness, the long endurance, etc, as being factors for NEW aerial vehicles to be built rather than modify existing ones.

"UCAVs do offer some compelling advantages other than avoiding aircrew exposure. A UCAV does not fatigue, and thus endurance is bounded by consumables like lubricants, weapon payloads, and availability of aerial refuelling assets. Another consideration is G tolerance - UCAV CPUs do not experience GLOC."

With regard to GLOC. G-force Loss Of Conciousness. Pilots since World War Two [WW2] have had to deal with the problem. Obviously obviated with the UAV, there is NO pilot. Those rapid and at-the-edge-of-the-envelope maneuvers done by modern combat aircraft place an enormous strain of the physiology of the pilot. A HUMAN BODY IS NOT MEANT TO ENDURE SUCH STRESS!! Black-out and loss of conciousness was the result. Planes would crash. THE G-SUIT, CURRENTLY WORN BY FIGHTER JOCK COMBAT PILOTS MITIGATES GLOC. HUMANS ARE ALREADY OPERATING COMBAT AIRCRAFT, AND HAVE BEEN FOR SOME TIME, BEYOND WHAT THE HUMAN BODY IS CAPABLE OF WITHSTANDING!!

[NOT ONLY GLOC. The human brain is not capable of absorbing, digesting, and reasoning quick enough for all the data input a fighter pilot will exposed to during a combat mission. "Stuff" happens so quickly that one cannot react quick enough. The limits of human physical and mental ability has been exceeded for some time with current combat aircraft. Systems aboard aircraft have been designed with this in mind. UCAV with AI that WORKS is an answer to this problem!!??]

"The core technology issue in UCAVs is not the design of the airframe - in principle any airframe can be adapted. The do or die item will be the software in the UCAV's central mission computer and the digital radio datalinks which connect the central mission computer with offboard operators or mission supervisors."

"is not the design of the airframe". I might seriously disagree with this. Those flying wing type aerial vehicles can fly longer, higher, use less fuel, much more stealthy, than can conventional airframes that INCORPORATE A COCKPIT FOR A PILOT.

"One extreme, a wholly autonomous UCAV, does so with a hardware/software system, the other extreme, a wholly remote controlled UCAV, does so via radio datalinks to a remote operator in another aircraft or ground station."

"Curiously enough, the enthusiastic belief that human cognitive and decision-making capabilities will soon be emulated in computer hardware/software is not one shared widely in the computer science research community, or indeed the artificial intelligence (AI) research community."

AI, artificial intelligence, has not progressed to the extent that proponents desire. The HAL2000 computer has not transpired, as of yet. We DO NOT FULLY UNDERSTAND THE WAY A HUMAN BEING THINKS AS WELL AS WE WOULD LIKE TO. EMULATION BY COMPUTER OF HUMAN THINKING IS NOT POSSIBLE. RESEARCH IS ON-GOING, BUT PROGRESSING SLOWLY.

"Without onboard AI the complexity of the role will push up bandwidth demands, as a human operator becomes increasingly needed to drive the UCAV and its systems."

This is of course for the UCAV that is controlled from the ground. A data link allows the operator on the ground to control the UCAV [or any other UAV for that matter]. A continuous signal is passing to/from the UCAV and the ground station.

"Datalink resilience is another key issue"

The enemy can jam the data link.

"Aerial refuelling will be a key capability in making full use of the benefits inherent in the UCAV."

Even the flying wing type UCAV will require refueling at some point. Mid-air refueling, intuitively is very risky and difficult.

"the question arises as to which roles and missions are best performed by UCAVs, and which are best retained in the domain of manned aircraft."

* "Roles which involve unusually high risk of aircraft loss are immediate candidates, as are roles in which unusual range or persistence is required."

* "The SEAD/DEAD role is the focus of the current US Air Force sponsored demonstration program"

Again, see my prior Wild Weasel blog entry.

* "High power support jamming of hostile radar systems, the Prowler/Raven role, is another environment where the UCAV might prove particularly useful."

* "One role which has been debated for the UCAV is that of a reusable cruise missile."

"UCAV proponents have for some time prognosticated the demise of manned fighters, predicting that UCAVs will displace these wholly in coming decades."

It has been theorized that with sufficient developments in AI, the dog-fighting aircraft manned by a human "fighter jock" will be replaced by UCAV also. NOT just a bomber, but a fighter as well.

"The ultimate conclusion is that manned combat aircraft will remain with us for the forseeable future."

The U.S. Air Force has contracted for 2500 of the F-35 to be built. UCAV will presumably NOT be replacing those? Humans are going to be pilots for some time to come?

"The current UCAV has the brains of a cat". Until AI catches up with human congnition, reasoning ability, etc., the UCAV will only play a limited but perhaps still important role in aerial warfare of the future.



New Duranty Times.

This is coolbert:

The New Duranty Times [New York Times] has done it again.

Printed lies about the American military. They [The New Duranty Times] seems to have a bad habit of doing this. Printing things that are not true. Did it in the 1930's. Persists in the same today.

Recently printed a COVER story in the newspapers magazine about American women in the military. Had a story about a woman that claimed she had been raped and suffered head injuries from a road side bomb while serving in Iraq. Presumably the "rape" was at the hands of a fellow soldier [this woman is in the Navy??].

Trouble with this story. It was all make-believe. Woman IS [?] in the Navy, but HAD NOT BEEN IN IRAQ. SHE WAS NOT RAPED AND HAD SUFFERED A HEAD INJURY FROM A ROADSIDE BOMB. IT WAS ALL BALONEY!!


Seems the New Duranty Times put the story out for public consumption, EVEN KNOWING THE STORY WAS FALSE!! The editors found out this was a baloney story THREE DAYS before it was going to be released, and did not have to circulate the magazine [a weekend only item] to the public, and, YET, THEY PERSISTED IN RELEASING THIS LIE TO THE PUBLIC!!

[the magazine is printed in advance of the weekend edition of the normal newspaper!]


It is one thing to tell a lie. It is another to tell a lie and be in habit of doing so.

Some things never change? The New Duranty Times?



Thursday, March 29, 2007


This is coolbert:

“The person that said ‘the pen is mightier than the sword obviously has not encountered automatic weapons.” - - Douglas MacArthur.

Here is another Soviet/Russian firearm having a marked influence in conflicts throughout the world.

The PK machine gun.

The version being most seen is the PKM variety.

[the PKM is distinctive in that it has such a long barrel, at the end of which is the typical AK-like shrouded front sight!]

"Currently available as the PKM ("Machine-gun Kalashnikov Modernized"), the machine gun fires 7.62 x 54 mm R Eastern Bloc standard ammunition. It is equipped with a simple bipod and is designed as a squad-level support weapon also suitable for installation and vehicle mounting."

A belt fed machine gun roughly equivalent to the U.S. M60. Fires the old fashioned Russian small arms round, the 7.62 X 54.

I have recently seen a number of photos from conflicts around the world of soldiers sporting the PKM. Ethiopia, Nigeria [rebels], Iraq [Iraqi troops]. This weapon was not familiar to me!

It seems that EVEN AMERICAN TROOPS IN IRAQ ARE CARRYING THE PKM AND USING IT. This one particular photo I saw showed an AMERICAN soldier on patrol with a PKM, THE MACHINE GUN HAVING A VERY BIG TELESCOPIC SIGHT mounted on it.

"A special PKMSN2 model fits modern NSPU night sights for low visibility operations."

Several points here:

* Those cinder block buildings found in MOST “Third World” cities are extremely resistant to the round fired by the M-16 or M-249 SAW. The 7.62 NATO or 7.62 X 54 Russian round fired from a M60 or PKM machine gun chews those same walls up good. Has penetration capability with the latter weapons that the former do not! American forces in Iraq are reverting back to the M60 as the squad automatic weapon, the M249 found to be lacking.

* The Israelis were offered by the U.S. the M60 machine gun some time ago now. To use as THEIR squad automatic weapon. The Israeli turned the M60 down as it had the bad habit of jamming when confronted by the talcum powder like desert sand of the Middle East. I CAN ALMOST BET YOU THAT THE PKM IS NOT SO FINICKY. IS MORE OR LESS JAM RESISTANT.

* It would make sense for American units to adopt the PKM in Iraq to some extent. The desire for a more robust caliber, the abundance of such weapons AND ammo [Iraq was so awash with assortments of weapons as to boggle the mind!!] make this a snap choice. Inter-operability with Iraqi troops also a plus??!!

This is a formidable weapon. Deadly and providing militaries the world over with awesome firepower. Even for folks, who not so long ago, were still in the bow and arrow stage of weapons development!!

Cheap and abundant, and can do a lot of damage!!


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Ultra/Enigma II. [Conclusion].

This is coolbert:

The question has been asked by some authorities, “to what extent during World War Two [WW2] were the Russians [Soviets] also able to “read” German Enigma encrypted radio traffic?

Calvocoressi writes:

"They [Russians] must have captured Enigma machines and cypher books and must have supposed that we did so. They [Russians] were not lacking in mathematicians and chess-players capable of appreciating what was involved in the breaking of cyphers."

Beesley [author of “Very Special Intelligence”] writes:

"According to Capitaine de Vaisseau C. Huan, the Russians raised U.250 after she was sunk in the Gulf of Finland . . . and recovered her Enigma machines . . . Admiral Golovko [Russian] . . . in his memoirs that he was aware that Admiral Fraser [British] knew in advance of the German intentions to send Scharnhorst to sea . . . which raises the interesting question of how Golovko came by this knowledge."

Personally, I have not seen anything yea or nay on the subject!

The Russians seem to be very good at keeping the “reading” of Enigma a secret, if indeed they were able to!!

It is not unreasonable to infer that the Russians were able to “read” German Enigma encrypted radio traffic, and do so in a manner to produce actionable intelligence.

From a Russian web site: [this particular web site is for a Russian private concern that produces and sells cryptographic algorithms and equipment for the commercial market.]

"Ciphering machines started to be used about this time: 'Enigma' (Germany) . . . 'Purple Code' (Japan). They had one typical weakness for all of them: the period of a key was about 10 days, and later the messages could have been easily decrypted by analysts, which now is a well-known fact: 'Enigma' had been broken by American and British specialists, the 'Purple Code'; – by American and Russian code-breakers in 1939 – 1940."

That the Russian was able to “read” the Japanese Purple crypto machine was news to me. I have not seen this referenced anywhere else. My understanding was that the Americans and the British each independently arrived at a cryptanalytic solution to Purple, but NOT the Russian.

[see David Irving's article on the British reading of "Purple" independently of the Americans!!]

That the Russian was ABLE to “read” Purple indicates to me that the Soviet military [probably the GRU], had an apparatus of "mathematicians, chess players", and cross-word puzzle solvers at the ready and working. If you could “read” Purple, you PROBABLY COULD “READ” ENIGMA!! The ability to find a solution to the “reading” of one type of cryptographic machine means an ability to find a solution to the “reading” of other machines of different types, given time, manpower, brainpower, etc.

[Russian mathematicians have the reputation as the best in the world!! Having good mathematicians is a must in creating and “breaking” cryptographic systems!]

NOW, go to this web site to see a description, complete with graphic simulation of the Russian electro-mechanical rotor cryptographic machine, the Fialka. Analogous to the Enigma, but much more sophisticated in design. MUCH MORE resistant to cryptanalytic attack??!! Was introduced by the Soviets in 1965 and NOT retired until the 1990’s??!! Download the simulator and try it. OUTSTANDING. You too can be a Russian cipher clerk!

[this graphical simulation and entire web site is just astounding. Information regarding Soviet/Russian cryptographics in the past would have been obtainable ONLY through the most dangerous and difficult of espionage operations!!]

What is most interesting to me is that the Soviets/Russians incorporated into the Fialka, from the start, what is called a “Magic Circuit”. The inability, "no letter of the alphabet could ever be enciphered as itself" as seen in the Enigma has been observed and eliminated in the Fialka, and done so from the start. This tells me the Russians had examined captured Enigmas and found “weakness” at several levels? “WEAKNESS” taken into account when designing their own crypto machines of a more sophisticated and resistant nature than the Enigma.

"One wire (13) is connected only to a diode that is in turn connected to the mechanical 5-bit plain-text encoder (under the keyboard). This line is used to override the coded letter and replace it with the original letter. When the current (through the drum) reaches pin 13 of the reflector, no signal is returned and the plain-text letter is used instead. This results in a 1:30 chance for a letter to be enciphered as itself."

"a letter to be enciphered as itself". An A in plaintext CAN appear as an A in the ciphertext.

[please recall the Enigma, that "no letter of the alphabet could ever be enciphered as itself. Z might turn into any letter from A to Y but never did it become Z."

And from Suvorov, how the Soviets exploited foreign cipher machines:

[here describing the compromise of an American cipher machine.]

"The cipher machine which was obtained, or more accurately two of its basic blocks, enabled the technical services of the GRU to decipher thousands of American radio communications which had been intercepted earlier but remained undeciphered. They also enabled them [technical services] to study the principles of cipher work in the American Army and in the armies of its allies and by exploiting the American principles, to create more complete Soviet examples."

* You study the strengths of the American machine and incorporate those strengths in your own designs.

* You study the weaknesses of the American machine and see if similar weaknesses exist in your own machines, and eliminate as possible.

My intuition tells me that the answer to the question - - "could the Russians read Enigma??" - - is YOU BETCHA!!



Ultra/Enigma I.

This is coolbert:

Without a knowledge of the Ultra secret, one cannot be conversant and knowledgeable in the history of the Second World War [WW2].

Ultra. The intercept, the decryption, the analysis of supposedly “secure” German military radio traffic during the war. A process that produced ACTIONABLE intelligence the allied forces could and did use to their advantage.

"By 1943, a large proportion of intercepts (over 2,000 daily at the height of operations) were routinely read, including some from Hitler himself. Such information enabled the Allies to maintain an often remarkably accurate picture of enemy plans and orders of battle, and, when appropriately used, was of great value in formulating Allied strategy and tactics."

[primarily of military encrypted radio traffic, but not confined exclusively to the military.]

German “secure” radio traffic encrypted using the military version of the ENIGMA cryptographic machine. An electro-mechanical apparatus that unbeknownst to the German was NOT secure. Read with impunity by the British and Americans, before them by the Poles, and sparingly by the French.

Considered to be a war winning weapon. NOT a weapon in a literal sense. A figurative sense. Allowed the allies to know where and when to apply military force to gain the best results. Shortened the war and enabled allied victory by TWO YEARS??!!

"but a typical assessment is that the end of the European war was hastened by two years because of the decryption of German ciphers."

It should also not be forgotten that the "reading" of the Japanese "Purple" crypto machine also contributed significantly to the victory in Europe and also hastened the end of the war in the Pacific too:

"Some Purple decrypts proved useful elsewhere, for instance detailed reports by Japan's ambassador to Germany which were encrypted on the Purple machine. These reports included reviews of German strategy and intentions, reports on direct inspections (in one case, of Normandy beach defenses) by the ambassador, and reports of long interviews with Hitler."

"Baron Oshima, who was a military man, avidly studied German military developments and deployments and reported on them at length back to Tokyo via PURPLE-enciphered messages sent via radio. A good example of this was that he reported on the emplacement of the Atlantic Wall fortifications that the German Wehrmacht was building along the coasts of France and Belgium. Thus, unbeknown to either the Germans or the Japanese, he was reporting to the Allies much about German military preparations against the forthcoming D-Day invasion of Western Europe."

Ultra obtained through the reading of Enigma can be thought more of providing intelligence of a “nuts and bolts”, “bread and butter”, “beans and bullets variety”. Crucial day-to-day intelligence supporting the Allied combat commander.

Think of “Purple” as being also of crucial value, but regarding long-term, strategic and geo-political thinking of the Axis leadership. NOT normally found in Engima traffic. Those Japanese military attaches’ from all over Europe, without even realizing it, contributed significantly to the defeat of the German and the other Axis aligned powers.

NOT until the mid-1970’s was the Ultra secret declassified so that it became public knowledge.

[The historian/biographer David Irving and the novelist Herman Wouk both apparently stumbled upon the Ultra secret during their researches!!]

Perhaps the best book, short but to the point, describing the entire Ultra story, without confusing descriptions of cryptology, is the book, “Top Secret Ultra”, by Peter Calvocoressi. Dated now, but still very good. I recommend.

Go here to see an outstanding graphical simulation of the Enigma machine. Everything is quite clear and made apparent. The plugboard [stecker], the three rotors, the reflector, the connections and rotations as the machine steps through the encryption process. Type with you computer keyboard the plaintext where the “input” is shown, and below you will see the ciphertext. Same as actual machine would work!

[when you go to the Enigma simulation site, click on the yellowish box with the gears in the center of the web page to access the graphics.]

Try this too. Repeatedly enter the letter “A” [or any other letter for than matter] at the input as many times as you want and observe the output [the ciphertext]. If using “A” in the input stutter group [AAAAAAAA . . .] you will NEVER see “A” in the cipher text output, NO MATTER HOW LONG THAT STUTTER GROUP!! This is a WEAKNESS of the Enigma. Keep this in mind.

"no letter of the alphabet could ever be enciphered as itself. Z might turn into any letter from A to Y but never did it become Z."



Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Night Witch!

This is coolbert:

Regarding the recent aerial attack by the EELAM Tigers on the Colombo airport, Sri Lanka.

That Czech Zlin is a pretty nice looking aircraft. I would not mind owning one. Rather sophisticated from what I see. NOT needing however, a sophisticated airport or runway to operate out of.

Attacking the Colombo airport in this manner is unprecendented for this conflict. An escalation of hostilities when negotiations have stalled or ended? Even if the Sri Lanka military did spot the aircraft as it approached, they would have been hesitant to act, IF THEY EVEN COULD!

This was the “bomb chucker” squadron of the Tamil Tiger EELAM forces in action. Drop hand grenades and improvised explosives out the window as you fly by.

Such an attack will have more of a PSYCHOLOGICAL effect than anything else. [except for the three KIA and the sixteen WIA of course].

"The attack had limited military significance . . . But it had great psychological impact"

Cathay Pacific is now hesitant to fly into the international airport for all of Sri Lanka. With good reason why too! Others will follow suit? NO telling the amount of damage to the tourist industry of Sri Lanka this will cause.

"There were indications the rebel attack could harm the country's lucrative tourism industry. The air base targeted was next to Sri Lanka's international airport, and Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. announced it was indefinitely suspending its daily flights to and from Sri Lanka."

That is the idea in the first place. Economic damage suits the purpose just as well as damage on the battlefield. The IRA with one ANFO [ammonium-nitrate-fuel-oil] explosive detonating in downtown London caused $1 billion in damage with just blown out high rise widows alone. Insurance becomes prohibitive. Economic growth is snarled.

There is also precedent for this type of low technology, PSYCHOLOGICAL attack.

The Soviet “Night Witch” squadron of World War Two [WW2]. A Soviet Air Force squadron of women-only pilots. Flying the antiquated but ubiquitous PO-2 aircraft. A bi-plane, designed as an observer aircraft, but having a myriad of civilian applications as well.

[This all-woman unit was called “Nachthexen” by the German. I give this unit of Russian women the utmost credit. It IS an established fact that a specially selected unit of women fliers CAN EXCEED THEIR MALE COUNTERPARTS in many regards. American women WASP pilots of WW2 fame also were outstanding fliers!!]

Flying very low, almost exclusively at night, these women pilots flying the PO-2 would drop bombs, fire rockets, strafe with machine gun fire German forward positions. Again, the effect was intended to be mostly PSYCHOLOGICAL. I think the worst part would have been KNOWING that this was women doing this to you!

"The material effects of these missions was mostly insignificant, but the psychological effect on German troops was much more noticeable."

"the psychological effect of terror and insecurity and constant restlessness in the Germans (and Rumanians, Italians, Finns...) was very effective."

"Their usual tactics involved flying only a few meters above the ground, rising for the final approach, cutting off the engine and making a gliding bombing run, leaving the targeted troops with only the eerie whistling of the wind in the wings' bracing-wires as an indication of the impending attack."


Intense is a word that cannot even begin to describe!!??


Monday, March 26, 2007


This is coolbert:

“Seek and ye’ shall find!!” - - Matthew 7:7.

While looking over the wiki entry for the Japanese Purple cryptographic machine, came across something that partially answers a question I had posed in a previous blog entry:

The Japanese Army cipher machine, analogous to the Enigma, but more secure [??] was not decrypted by Allied intelligence until 1943!! Now it can be understood WHY! Japanese army cryptologic theoreticians had looked at the Purple machine and found it to be wanting??!!

"Just before the end of the war, the Army warned the Navy of a weak point of PURPLE, but the Navy failed to act on this advice."

"The Army developed their own cipher machines on the same principle as Enigma, 92-shiki injiki, 97-shiki injiki and 1-shiki 1-go injiki from 1932 to 1941. The Army judged that these machines had lower security than the Navy did its PURPLE design, so they were less used."

[it is not entirely clear from the wiki article if the Army machines were more secure than Enigma? Confidence in these crypto machines was lacking and they just tended to be used less?]

Rather than use Purple, the Japananese Army devised and used THEIR own cryptographic machines, NOT HAVING the same weakness as Purple!! Machines that were used with less frequency.

There is also confusion here. It seems that the cryptographic success achieved in 1943 was against an enciphered code system used by the Japanese Army, and NOT against a machine cipher??

"It is the first square recovered by Central Bureau and Arlington Hall in April 1943, for the 2468 Japanese army water transport system, the first Japanese army system to be read."

This was an enciphered code system as opposed to a machine cipher.

The Japanese Army had crypto machines, but just used them less and not with confidence?

However, the various Japanese military attaches’ stationed in Europe continued to use Purple for their correspondence [they had diplomatic status!!]. That Purple traffic “read” by the allies [primarily the U.S.] was the proverbial “goldmine”.

NOW we know the rest of the story!?

It seems I am going in a circle with this.




This is coolbert:

Came across a web site for savate. The French form of “kickboxing”. A martial art discipline totally indigenous to France. Developed without outside influence.

Found an item on that web site pertinent to a previous blog entry on the World War One [WW1] tactic of the trench raid.

"Of the trench club I am not sure of all the details?! Some sort of baseball like club with metal spikes hammered through it?"

Weapons are a part of the savate’ martial art form. Of particular interest here is the truncheon. A club. Was based upon the belaying pin used by sailors in the age of the wooden sailing vessel. Savate’ was a popular fighting form used by French sailors for recreation purposes and also used when ashore and off-duty [bar fights and such undoubtedly!].

"Now classified as a truncheon this compact weapon is highly efficient in confined spaces especially indoors."

"Sailors used them as a weapon because they could easily be carried in their clothing

It may well be that the “trench club” wielded by soldiers of World War One engaging in a trench raid maybe have been the truncheon [belaying pin] as taught to savateurs’ [a savate’ practitioner is called in French a savateur’.].

Trench knife, trench club, revolver, grenade, bare hands, a heavy boot kicking away! That is all you need for the trench raid. Get in and get out quick. NO excessive impedimenta. The less the better. Hand-to-hand close quarters combat. Brutal cave man warfare of the simplest and most deadly type.



Sunday, March 25, 2007


This is coolbert:

"How do you think he does it? . . . What makes him so good?" - - "Tommy" - - The Who.

During the Second World War [WW2], the all-time leading American fighter "ace" was Major Richard [Dick] Bong. Ended the war with forty kills. Fighting in the Pacific theatre and comporting himself with excellence. For his feats, Major Bong was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

[at that time, it was called the Congressional Medal of Honor, now just called the Medal of Honor!!]

For Major Bong to have been awarded the Medal of Honor for a long period of distinguished and valorous service, was somewhat unusual. The medal is usually awarded for a SINGLE brave act of heroism and not a long and continued history of gallantry. But what else could Bong have been awarded? After all, HE WAS THE LEADING AMERICAN ACE OF THE WAR.

Now, to the Germans:

Contrast the "kill" record of Major Bong with the aerial combat record of the LEADING GERMAN ACES OF THE SAME WAR. The contrast is startling!

German aces

Note: **** marks an ace awarded the Knights Cross with oak leaves swords and diamonds medal. Only 27 men of all German military branches and ranks were awarded this very high medal during the entire war.

Name Victories

Erich Hartmann **** 352
Gerhard Barkhorn 301
Gunther Rall 275
Otto Kittel+ 267
Walter Nowotny+ **** 258
Wilhlem Batz 237
Erich Rudorffer 224
Heinz Bar 221
Hermann Graf **** 212
Heinrich Ehrler+ 208
Theodor Weissenberger 208
Hans Philipp+ 206
Walter Schuck 206
Anton Hafner 204
Helmut Lipfert 203
Walter Krupinski 197
Anton Hackl 192
Joachim Brendel 189
Max Stotz+ 189
Joachim Kirschner+ 188
Kurt Brandle 180
Gunther Josten 178
Johannes Steinhoff 178
Ernst-Wilhelm Reinert 174
Gunther Schack 174
Emil Lang+ 173
Heinz Schmidt+ 173
Horst Ademeit+ 166
Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke+ 162
Hans J. Marseille+ **** 158
Heinrich Sturm+ 158
Gerhard Thyben 157
Hans Beisswenger+ 152
Peter Duttmann 152
Gordon Gollob **** 150
Fritz Tegtmeier 146
Albin Wolf+ 144
Kurt Tanzer 143
Friedrich-Karl Muller+ 140
Karl Gratz 138
Heinrich Setz+ 138
Rudolf Trenkel 138
Walter Wolfrum 137
Horst-G. von Fassong+ 136
Otto Fonnekold+ 136
Karl-Heinz Weber+ 136
Joachim Muencheberg+ 135
Hans Waldmann+ 134
Alfred Grislawski 133
Franz Schall+ 133
Johannes Wiese 133
Adolf Borchers 132
Adolf Dickfeld 132
Erwin Clausen+ 132
Wilhelm Lemke+ 131
Gerhard Hoffmann+ 130
Franz Eisenach 129
Walther Dahl 129
Heinrich Sterr+ 129
Franz Dorr 128
Rudolf Rademacher 126
Josef Zwernemann+ 126
Dietrich Hrabak 125
Wolf Ettel+ 124
Herbert Ihlefeld 123
Wolfgang Tonne+ 122
Heinz Marquardt 121
Heinz-W. Schnaufer **** 121
Robert Weiss+ 121
Erich Leie+ 121
Friedrich Obleser 120
Franz-J. Beerenbrock 117
Hans-Joachim Birkner+ 117
Jakob Norz+ 117
Walter Oesau+ 117
Heinz Wernicke+ 117
August Lambert+ 116
Wilhelm Crinius 114
Werner Schroer 114
Hans Dammers+ 113
Berthold Korts+ 113
Helmut Lent+ **** 113
Kurt Buhligen 112
Kurt Ubben+ 110
Franz Woidich 110
Reinhard Seiler 109
Emil Bitsch+ 108
Hans Hahn 108
Bernhard Vechtel 108
Viktor Bauer 106
Werner Lucas+ 106
Gunther Lutzow+ 105
Eberhard von Boremski 104
Heinz Sachsenberg 104
Adolf Galland **** 103
Hartmann Grasser 103
Siegfried Freytag 102
Friedrich Geisshardt+ 102
Egon Mayer+ 102
Max-H. Ostermann+ 102
Josef Wurmheller+ 102
Rudolf Miethig+ 101
Werner Molders+ **** 101
Josef Priller 101
Ulrich Wernitz 101

Whoa!! What is this!! Hard to believe, isn't it? This list just seems to go on and on forever. Dick Bong would not even been on the bottom of the list, he would NOT HAVE EVEN BEEN ON THE LIST!!

One might reason that forces are at work here that are just not understood. "Kills" for a German included aircraft destroyed on the ground? These kills were accomplished against backward Russians flying inferior aircraft with only a weeks flight time under their belt?

It does make you wonder.

Erich Hartmann shot down 352 aircraft, of which seven were American P-51's in one day over Ploesti, and did all that he did in the period of eighteen months!!

[If Hartmann had been an American, for that one act of shooting down seven enemy aircraft in one day, he would have been awarded the Medal of Honor. For that alone, not even counting the rest of his war time accomplishments!! The German awarded medals for LONG AND CONTINUOUS VALOROUS CONDUCT ON THE BATTLEFIELD, in contrast to the American or British militaries, who awarded their highest awards, once again, for a SINGLE FEAT OR HEROISM in combat!]

The Luftwaffe just seems to be in a class all by itself when it comes to the highest German awards and decorations. Hans-Ulrich Rudel HAD TO HAVE A SPECIAL MEDAL CREATED JUST FOR HIM, the Knight's Cross with Golden Oak Leaves, Swords, and Diamonds. Of the twenty seven men awarded the CONVENTIONAL HIGHEST AWARD, Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords, and Diamonds, you have ten Luftwaffe men, including Rudel of course. The remainder being high ranking commanders, with the exception of two U-boat captains!


Unmanned VI.

This is coolbert:

We now enter the era of the UCAV. Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle.

The UAV, but designed now specifically for a COMBAT role.

Predator type UAV already have been armed with Hellfire missile and laser designator. ARE being used in Afghanistan and Yemen to attack the villains. The UAV expediently armed for combat mission. In this case, used by the CIA. The UAV being taken one step beyond the reconnaissance [recon] and surveillance role. NOW a killing machine also.

UCAV are the latest incarnation and evolutionary step of the UAV. Again, not just intended for recon and surveillance. This variety of UAV from the start designed as a combat vehicle.

NOT just on the drawing board. Already have been flown. To be deployed in 2008?

Initially to fulfill the role of bomber aircraft. Deliver ordnance on the target. Penetrate enemy airspace and drop bombs or fire missiles on the target. The same role as would be had for say a F-16 or a F-18, but in this case, without a pilot at the controls.


Can be flown remotely. Can even venture forth on missions autonomously?

NOT yet at the stage of a fighter aircraft engaging in aerial combat, dog-fight style. That is for the future. But as a bomber putting “stuff” on the target. Can be done and is being done, right now. [Hellfire missiles from a Predator at any rate!!]

Being developed by a whole host of nations. THE WEAPON OF THE FUTURE!!?? THE FUTURE IS NOW??!!

Nations to include:

* United States.




* France.

* Israel.

* South Africa.

* Sweden.

* Italy.

* China?

* Russia?

UCAV seem to be of the flying wing variety. Greatly resemble the B-2 bomber, but smaller in size. Novel designs that stress aerodynamic efficiency. Can fly high, efficiently using fuel, tremendous endurance, stealthy. Formidable aerial vehicles that will pose tremendous difficulties for conventional anti-aircraft systems. AND, IN THE COMBAT ROLE, NOT POSING A RISK TO PILOT OR CREW!!

Please note that NOT ALL UCAV follow the flying wing design. See these examples:

* Sweden [in national colors.]

* Italy.

* Israel.

UCAV should be thought of as comprising a SYSTEM.

* The UCAV and it's ordnance.

* Mission control.

* Ground support. [includes a transport to ferry the UCAV to the mission departure site.]

All this of course thanks to Moore’s Law in action.

If, indeed, the UCAV proves to be successful, the F-35 might well be the last fighter-bomber purchased by the United States Air Force [USAF]. The wave of the future is the UCAV!!??

[the USAF intends to buy 2500 of the F-35 and operate same until the year 2050.]

As for aerial dog-fight combat, well, that is not yet in the cards. In the words of one pilot, “UCAV are at the thinking level of a cat, as compared to a human!!”

Well, for the time being!!



Friday, March 23, 2007


This is coolbert:

From the comments of a reader. This is very germane.

"This isn't the place for this comment, but just found this. I was not in the navy, but this doesn't look good."

Apparently, the Iranians are looking to buy it.

This is the Sizzler anti-ship missile. A Russian design that confounds conventional anti-ship missile defenses of the U.S. Navy. NOW the Iranians want to buy? The Chinese have already done so.

This Sizzler is a particularly nasty piece of work. Can be launched from either a surface vessel or a submarine. Will be used by the Chinese or the Iranians to confront and possibly defeat an American surface force based on the aircraft carrier.

[the U.S. Navy ever since World War Two [WW2] has realized that the aircraft carrier is a "heavy weight with a glass jaw!" One proper punch in the wrong spot and the ship is out of business. The kamikaze proved that in WW2. Carriers must be used offensively and aggressively and take out the opponent FIRST!!]

NOT a big missile. But potent. I guess the idea would be to fire a barrage of these "things" at a U.S. naval battle group, and some would get through, regardless of defensive measures. In the final approach, accelerates to a Mach 3 speed and makes mid-course maneuvers to defeat the defender. DOES NOT fly straight and true just prior to impact.

Russia HAS NOT stopped it's advance weapons design. CAN and WILL come up will "stuff" that is sold on the export market and can upset the apple cart.

Can this stop the Sizzler??

The Phalanx. Mounted on U.S. ships. Intended to STOP missiles such as the Sizzler. Often called "a Dalek". Well, it is hoped the Phalanx in the most advanced stage is up to the task??!!



Wednesday, March 21, 2007


This is coolbert: From an informant of mine currently living in Italy - - comments to "Rampage on Cassino" and the actions of the goum.

[thanks here to Buti]

Curzio Malaparte followed the Allied troops from Naples and reported how Italian women in Naples valued black Americans more than whites and were not reluctant to bring them home as "fiancès". Malaparte further chronicles an incident with the Moroccans (goumiers) in the French army before the Allied troops marched on Rome:

"When news of the goumiers' arrival spread throught the district, all the peasants fled, crossing themselves...and a number of monks immediately hurried forward from the neighbouring monasteries to convert the goumiers ...they had orders to baptize all the Moroccans because the Pope did not want Turks in Rome. The Holy Father had in fact sent a radio message to the Allied Command in which he expressed his desire that the Moroccan Division should be halted at the gates of the Eternal City".

[the term Turk is used to describe in a generic manner any Muslim, regardless of nationality. The goums of course were not Turks, but Morroccans.]

It was not black American troops, but Muslims in the French Army that he feared. The reason "why the Pope didn't want Turks in Rome" was that "there were three thousand women refugees in the papal villa". "It has devolved upon me, said General Guillaume (the French general), to throw a cordon of sentries round the outer walls of the papal villa so as to prevent the goumiers from going in to pay their addresses to the Pope's wives".

[it seems the goum not only committed rape, pillage, and murder on the slopes of Cassino, but intended to do the same on the grounds of the Vatican?? Seek out the refugee women and have a repitition of what previously transpired? As for converting the goum and baptizing them, well, forget it!!]

Curzio Malaparte was a person perhaps uniquely suited to report events as they occurred. Was first in the 1920's an ardent fascist, then ran afoul of the Mussolini regime, later rehabilitated by Count Ciano himself [the son-in-law of the Duce'], ended up his life as a communist!!??

[Malaparte was certainly a man of varied political beliefs. Did not see the democratic, Christian, capitalist institutions of the western world as AS HAVING answers for the problems of the common man? Saw either fascism or communism as viable alternatives.]

Wrote extensively as a journalist and author. Authored several books during the war years. Again, was perhaps uniquely qualified in the manner with which he reported the war.

"From November 1943 to March 1946 he was attached to the American High Command in Italy as an Italian Liaison Officer."

"Malaparte extends the great fresco of European society he began in 'Kaputt'. There the scene was Eastern Europe, here it is Italy during the years from 1943 to 1945; instead of Germans, the invaders are the American armed forces. In all the literature that derives from the Second World War, there is no other book [this is 'The Skin'] that so brilliantly or so woundingly present triumphant American innocence against the background of the European experience of destruction and moral collapse."

Again, thank you Buti!


Labels: , ,

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


This is coolbert:

The Greatest Soldier of All Time??

[thanks to Steve Sailer for the lead to this story.]

Here are links to the story of the Finnish sniper Simo Hayha. The "White Death".äyhä

The # 1 rated all time in number of kills by a sniper. Over five hundred Russians killed in a four month period. The Winter War of 1940. That is one per hour during periods of daylight in a four month period!!

"is widely considered to be the most successful sniper in history."

Did so with an antiquated rifle, the Mosin-Nagant. And did so with a scopeless rifle, firing at ranges of over four hundred meters using "iron" sights.

"Häyhä used a Finnish variant, M28, of the Soviet Mosin-Nagant rifle (known as "Pystykorva" rifle), because it suited his small frame (5 ft/1.52 m). He preferred to use iron sights rather than telescopic sights"

"he used the Mosin Nagant M28 rifle as his 'sniping' rifle. This was indeed a standard issue rifle with iron sights, which is somewhat amazing as many of his targets were engaged at 400 yards or more."

Is also reputed to have killed over two hundred more Russians in conventional combat using a sub-machine gun.

"Simo Häyhä was also credited with as many as two hundred kills with a Suomi M-31 SMG submachine gun"

This guy was one tough bird. Had a goodly portion of his face shot away by an exploding bullet, but survived. Lived a long life, passing away just recently at age ninety six.

"Häyhä was shot in the jaw during close combat . . . He was picked up by fellow soldiers who said 'half his head was missing'"


"the moral is to the physical as three is to one" - - Napoleon.



Monday, March 19, 2007

“The 300”.

This is coolbert:

Well, not actually a movie review. A review of the movie reviews.

[let us make this clear from the start, I have not seen the movie. But I have read the book!!]

The 300”. The Spartans battling the Persian hordes at Thermopylae. I must say that I cannot recall so MANY op-ed pieces in the newspaper and commentaries regarding a MOVIE!! This film has turned out to be a blockbuster both at the box office and in the printed review media also. I might as well contribute also.

An unusual movie at that too. A combination of real-life actors and computer generated animation. In the same genre’ as “Cool World” and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”. I must confess that I DO find these films entertaining. Good stuff.

The movie is based upon the “graphic novel” by Frank Miller. ”The “novel” I have read. Some time ago. Also great stuff. When I say “novel”, or when others use the term “graphic novel”, please think ADULT COMIC. That adult type of comic where all the men have physiques that rival that of Arnold-at-his-prime-the-current-Governor-of-California-you-know-who and all women have hour-glass-figures-are-tall-and-leggy-with-enormous bust lines!!! Adult type comics where all characters for the most part are scantily clad and the dialog contains a lot of “gyaaaaaaas”, “grrrrrrr” and “arrrrrgh”.

[I again might as well admit I enjoy this genre’ of adult comic also. Light entertainment they call it!! Adult comics that have a story line where Batman and Tarzan combine forces to foil the evil Finnegan Dent. That sort of thing! Please however, do not under-estimate the “graphic novel” The 300” “novel” DOES SEEM to be a pretty accurate rendering of the history as told by Herodotus!!]

As extracted from the latest op-ed piece in the Chicago Tribune about “The 300”:

[my comments in bold.]

”After seeing “300” . . . I had a few questions.” [op-ed piece by Dan Neil.]


“I doubt that . . . Xerxes looked like Dennis Rodman , only taller and gayer.”

Much seems to have made of the various body piercings and silver eye shadow of Xerxes. To portray the man as an effete femme’? Well, I am not sure about the body piercings, but I do know that persons of that period did wear eye shadow for medicinal effect. Appearing “gayer” would be the perception MODERNS would have!!

The ancient Greeks too considered the human body in the unblemished state to be the acme of perfection. That Xerxes was shown with so many piercings indicates he is a “barbarian” and “imperfect”??

“It also seemed implausible that the Persians had mutant rhinos.”

This is true! It is implausible!

The rhinoceros is NOT a tamable animal. WAS NOT and HAS NOT ever been domesticated. And certainly NOT a mutant giant. I DO NOT remember this as being something present in the “novel” form of the story! The Persians may have had war elephants!!?? I am not sure if Herodotus mentions this!!??

In the movie, this rhino is killed by a single spear thrust??!! So another pundit has said. Sounds implausible too!!?? NO, is not. In the Bible, Eleazar kills a war elephant with a single spear thrust to the belly, and the Portuguese soldier at Malacca sends an enemy war elephant on a rampage by a spear thrust to the eye!! IT COULD HAVE HAPPENED!!

"So he dashed forward alone and got under the elephant and, stabbing upward, killed him. But the elephant in falling crushed Eleazar and killed him."

"de Lima pierced the leading elephant in the eye with his spear and the maddened brute turned in the narrow road and fled"

“I knew the Thespians and the Arcadians were allied with the Spartans, I wasn’t so sure about the Chippendales.”

Chippendales? Mr. Neil is referring to the manner with which the Spartans are portrayed in the both the graphic novel and the movie. Very lightly attired and very muscle bound.

As for the scant wardrobe, well, it is known that the Spartans would carefully groom themselves and anoint their bodies with scented oil prior to combat. So as to better meet “the Gods” when meeting death on the battlefield. During the same historical period, IT IS KNOWN THAT CELTIC WARRIORS WERE NOTED FOR GOING INTO BATTLE NAKED!!

"The Celts fought naked and wore torques around their necks. The torque was not simply an ornament but above all a great catalyst of energy, as was the horned helmet."

As for the muscle bound characterization. This WOULD CERTAINLY HAVE NOT BEEN SO!!!

The super-muscularity as found in the Mr. America/Mr. Olympia competitor is ONLY A RESULT OF STEROID USE!! Plain, pure, and simple as that!! A modern invention.


[it is a known fact that a person from the American Civil War era could manhandle 150 pound blocks of ice with ease. A modern can manhandle ONLY half that weight of ice with comfort. Your average American has been weakened by the sedentary way of life we lead!!]

“Actually, the movie is rigorously faithful . . . The slaughter of the hapless Medes, followed by the routing of Xerxes’ vaunted “Immortals.’”


[Many military principles and tactics apply here. Make the enemy fight on ground of your choosing. “Defense is the stronger form of combat” - - Clausewitz. Defense is easier to do, you can accomplish more with less!!]]

"even the quote of Dieneces, who jokes that if the enemy arrows blot out the sun, then the Spartans will, 'fight in the shade.'"

Please understand that Dieneces is not necessarily speaking metaphorically here. He may be speaking practically as well. The Romans and probably the Greeks before them had a battle maneuver when under bombardment from a barrage of arrows. Would interlock shields over their heads and form what was called "the turtle". Called "fish scales" by the Chinese. If done by the Spartans in response to Persian arrows, the defenders WOULD be fighting in the shade!!

"If this is America's version of a classical education, it works for me."


Gyaaaaa! Grrrrrr! Thwaaaack!



Saturday, March 17, 2007


This is coolbert:

In the recent blog entry dealing with the burning of libraries by military forces, I mentioned that the library at Leuven, Belgium was burned in retaliation for attacks by franc-de-tieurs upon German soldiers. This of course in World War One [WW1].

Franc-de-tieurs are often thought of or defined as insurgents, guerrillas, terrorists, irregulars, etc.

[various spelling exist. Franc-de-tireurs being most common.]

Combatants in civilian clothes waging partisan type warfare against the regular forces of an invading military.

The term franc-de-tieurs is obviously of FRENCH origin. Describes irregular forces that have been combatants in French wars since the time of the French Revolution.

Groups of persons, that during times of peace, who were not, however, so totally "irregular". Groups of persons who in time of peace belong to MARKSMANSHIP clubs. Persons able to shoot a rifle with accuracy. Trained and practiced in doing so. Preparing to fight during a time of war in the manner of the SNIPER. Firing from hiding, dressed as a civilian, and doing so against the regular, uniformed, conventional troops of the invader.

"The Spanish word francotirador and the Portuguese word franco-atirador, meaning sharpshooter, are derived from the word franc-tireur."

"Francs-tireurs were an outgrowth of rifle clubs or unofficial military societies . . . The members were chiefly concerned with the practice of rifle-shooting . . . They wore no uniforms, were armed with the best existing rifles, and elected their own officers."

At this translated French web site, the great Russian sniper Zaitsev is described as a franc-de-tieur. This is incorrect. Zaitsev was as sniper, but NOT an irregular. Was a soldier, uniformed, and fighting as a conventional soldier would do, albeit as a sniper.

This entry from the translated site seems to suggest otherwise. Perhaps they are wrong? I am right!! I tend to think I am. Semantics? You judge.

"Not to confuse franc-de-tieur and marksman or English sniper."

"One also speaks by extension about a 'franc-tireur' to qualify a person who completes a work as a recluse, often without being concerned with impact that that can have around him."

It DOES seem the German military has a particular aversion to the entire concept of the franc-de-tieur.

"The francs-tireurs were often vilified by the German armies and popular press as murderers and highwaymen."

One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter!!??


Friday, March 16, 2007


This is coolbert:

Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress [during the most recent election], took his oath of office with his hand on a Koran that at one time was owned by Thomas Jefferson.

A Koran that had been part of Jefferson’s private library. A library that at the time [late 1700’s], was the largest collection of books in North America.

That Jefferson even POSSESSED a Koran came as a mild surprise to some people.

Islam has always been a minor blip on the American radar screen. Even more so during the time of Jefferson. Almost a total unknown, and NOT of any interest.

It is undeniable that Jefferson was an intellectual of the highest caliber. ONE OF THE GREATEST THINKERS OF ALL TIME??!! Had an insatiable curiosity about all things. To me, it would not be surprising that Jefferson would have had sacred scriptures from world religions in his own personal library. The Bible in several versions, the Koran, the Bhagavad-Gita, etc.

It may also be that this Koran belonging to Jefferson was a valuable tool and reference to be consulted by President Jefferson during an “international crisis” that developed during his time of office.

[the same crisis also occurred during the Presidency of John Adams!]

An “international crisis” involving an Islamic “power”, the Barbary Pirates. Corsairs who attacked “European” shipping in the Mediterranean Sea. Capturing ships, booty, crew and passengers. The latter to be held for ransom or SOLD as slaves!! Corsairs who were being faithful to their Islamic religion.

Corsairs that began to attack American ships which also began to ply Mediterranean waters. [this of course in the aftermath of the American Revolutionary War.]

To BOTH Adams and Jefferson, that the Barbary Pirates of Algiers and Tripoli would attack American shipping was a puzzle to them.

Why was this happening?

The question was posed to the Ambassador [??] of Tripoli in London, “why do you attack us [American ships]? We have done nothing to you!!”

To which this Ambassador had a quick and ready and true answer:

"Ambassador Adja answered them, as they reported to the Continental Congress, 'that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise.'"

Did President Jefferson use his personal library copy of the Koran for this purpose? To better “understand” the mind-set of the Muslim. I just cannot say. But it would not have been out of the ordinary for persons during that period to refer to scripture as a means of “understanding” something. Southern apologists for slavery as practiced in the United States WERE able to quote you chapter and verse regarding the legality and “justification” for a master and slave relationship, taken in a Biblical context!!

[Consider this also. During the take-over of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, 1979, it is reputed that President Carter began a serious reading of the Koran, in an attempt to better “understand” the motivations of the Iranian hostage takers.]

Now, again, I am going to go back to the “Rampage at Cassino”. The goum running amok and perpetrating murder, rape, pillage. Islamic soldiers behaving true to THEIR culture and scriptural legalism as they perceive it?? The goum, victorious in the Cassino campaign, acting in accordance to their cultural mores in wartime? Booty and the enemy women being fair game for the victor??

I cannot say. Would anyone have a definitive answer to this question? I doubt it.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007


This is coolbert:

“the best preparation for being a soldier is poverty” - - Napoleon.

“he goes by the name of Turk, and he is very good with a knife!” - - Tom Hagen - - “The Godfather I”.

Reading over the George Duncan web sites on atrocities of World War Two, this particular entry caught my attention. [from part III. Germany and Italy.]


"Monte Cassino fell to the Allies on May 18, 1944 . . . The next night thousands of French Moroccan, Algerian, Tunisian and Senegalese troops, attached to the French Expeditionary Corps, swarmed over the slopes of the hills surrounding Monte Cassino and in the villages of Ciociaria and Esperia, which is in the region of Lazio, raped every woman and girl that came within their sight. Over 2,000 women, ranging in age from 11 years to 86 years suffered at the hands of these gang-raping soldiers as village after village was entered. Menfolk who tried to protect their wives and daughters were murdered without mercy, around 800 of them died . . . Most of the dwellings in the villages were destroyed and everything of value was stolen. Later in the war, these same troops raped around 500 women in the Black Forrest town of Freudenstadt, on April 17, 1945, after its capture. In Stuttgart, colonial French troops, mostly African, but under the command of General Eisenhower, rounded up around 2,000 women and herded them into the underground subways to be raped. In one week more women were raped in Stuttgart than in the whole of France during the four year German occupation."

Several comments here.

It may very well these instances of mass rape by “African troops” are what Pope Pius XII had in mind when he requested of General Mark Clark that American black troops NOT be allowed to enter Rome in June of 1944. Cassino had been captured just that spring, and it was not until June 6 that Rome was liberated by Operation Diadem, spearheaded by the U.S. 85th and 88th Divisions, fighting side by side. Word of what had occurred in the aftermath of the capture of Cassino probably by that time had gotten back to Pius.

As to the actual mayhem itself, I would make a guess this was probably mostly the work of the goum.

The goum.

French Morrocan troops from the High Atlas mountains of north Africa. Berbers? Units of goum, [goumiers in French], officered by Frenchmen, sent specifically to fight in the rough mountainous terrain of Italy.

French officer, side-by-side with his goum charges.

Very skilled, tough, able fighters. Renowned for their ability to move quietly in mountainous terrain, and doing so at night!! Also renowned for their ability with a knife. Troops receiving a pay bonus for the number of enemy soldiers killed. Bringing back EARS of dead German soldiers as evidence of their prowess on the battlefield.

"Two companies of Goums...were stationed next to our CP, and these had sent out two raiding parties the same night... Mostly mountain men from Morocco, these silent, quick-moving raiders were excellent at night raids, and in surprise attacks . . . Part of the Goums' success lay in their silence as they moved forward, and in their highly perfected art of camouflage. One anecdote ran that one warrior had so successfully camouflaged himself all day in full sight of the Germans that a German officer had wandered over to what he thought was a bush, and had urinated on the motionless head of the Moroccan soldier who bore the trial well, but who marked that particular officer down for special attention that night. Goums did not take any prisoners, and it was well-known to the Germans and Italians what befell anyone who ran afoul of those Moroccans."

Strangely attired and odd looking troops, uniform consisting of a long wool robe and a British style helmet. Poorly equipped, armed with a melange’ of weapons, quite often captured from the German!

Goum wearing the British style helmet. Goum, French units, did not wear the “Adrian” helmet.

"they adopted the distinctive brown and grey striped jellaba (a hooded Moroccan cloak) that was to remain their trademark throughout their history with the French Army."

Goum dressed in the typical jellaba, giving the distinctive appearance.

"The companies lacked most of the clothing, equipment and weapons necessary for warfare. Several raids had remedied that. Inspection of their clothing revealed a good many German articles of clothing under their conventional brown and white vertical striped robes. Their rifles were mixed German and Italian, with a few old French rifles firing clips of four. Mess equipment, and a good deal of the food was also of enemy origin, as were the knives, pistols, blankets and toilet articles."

But able fighters who gave a good account of themselves in the mountains of Italy. Simple mountain village folks to whom poverty and hardship were a normal way of life. [all outsiders to the remote mountain villages of the High Atlas are called arrumi’ by the locals. A corruption of the word Rome or Roman!!! An indication of the remote and primitive existence persons in the High Atlas lead!]

"during Operation Diadem . . . 'Here the Goums more than proved their value as light, highly mobile, mountain troops who could penetrate the most vertical terrain in fighting order and with a minimum of logistical requirements.'"

To the goum, rape and pillage would have been seen as a normal extension of the war effort! Concepts such as “war crimes” and “atrocities” being foreign to them!

Indeed, it is suggested that the goum raped and pillaged their way through the entire Italian campaign! Taking advantage of a situation as they saw fit!

"exceptional numbers of Moroccans were executed—many without trial—for allegedly murdering, raping, and pillaging their way across the Italian countryside. The French authorities sought to defuse the problem by importing numbers of Berber women to serve as 'camp followers' in rear areas set aside exclusively for the Goumiers. According to Italian sources, more than 7,000 people were raped by Goumiers. The victims, later known in Italy as Marocchinate, included women, children and men, including some priests. The mayor of Esperia (a comune in the Province of Frosinone), reported that in his town, 700 women out of 2,500 inhabitants were raped and that some had died as a result. In northern Latium and southern Tuscany, it is alleged that the Goumiers raped and occasionally killed women and young men after the Germans retreated, including members of partisan formations [friendlies]."

[crimes of this nature and magnitude are NOT the result of sexual lust go amok. Importing Berber women to serve the goum sexually would have not done any good. These crimes were the result of an abuse of all-consuming and absolute power gone crazy. "We can do what we want and we will", was the attitude!!]

Go here to see more photos of goum soldiers.

[please note that many of the goum sport beards. Within their culture, a male lacking a beard is unmanly. American SF troops in Afghanistan also allowed their beards to grow, so as to fit-in better with the Islamic culture!!]

Go here to see a French web site on "Les GoumsMoracains".


Yes, that, and much more.



Unmanned VI.

This is coolbert:

Here is the Helios.

Unmanned aerial vehicle of the HALE [high-altitude long-endurance] variety.

Solar powered during the day, fuel-cell powered during the night. The fuel-cell recycling it’s fuel.

Having the ability to fly at an altitude of 100,000 feet, carrying a payload of 100 pounds, and having an endurance of MONTHS being totally autonomous in the process.

[can achieve an altitude of 60,000 feet carrying a 400 pound payload.]

A flying wing. Again, unusual aerodynamic designs and power concepts can be implemented with UAV’s. When first attempted, flying wings were found to be inherently unstable. It was not until the micro-computer revolution that flying wing designs became feasible. Moore’s Law in action again.

Helios. To be used by NOAA for upper-atmospheric “research”. They said the same thing about the U-2 also.



Monday, March 12, 2007

The Brutal Hun.

This is coolbert:

With regard to the atrocity links from my recent blog entry, let me ask you this?

Why such a widespread occurrence of atrocities in World War Two [WW2], BUT NOT in World War One [WW1]?

Am I imagining things, or was this sort of thing, the atrocity, NOT prevalent in WW1?

Why did “things” in WW2 get so far out of hand?

I know that there WERE atrocity stories that were in circulation during WW1. Widely believed, but for the most part NOT TRUE.

These were the “stories” of the BRUTAL HUN!! The German bad guy acting “true to his basic nature”.

“Stories” such as: [“stories” in the sense of a novel - - fiction.]

* The rape of English nurses.

[rape in particular really has a strong emotional effect upon an intended target audience. Good propaganda always should include rape stories.]

* The crucifixion of Canadian soldiers.

* The use of Belgian babies for bayonet practice. [toss the little baby into the air, stick him with the bayonet on the way down!!]


In the aftermath of the war, most if not all of the most lurid “atrocity” stories WERE found to be fiction. The BRUTAL HUN was found NOT to be so brutal. At least in WW1.

I am sure that there WERE acts committed in WW1 that could be classified as atrocities. Barbara Tuchman in her book, “The Guns of August”, describes the deliberate arson to the library at Leuven, Belgium. Burned down by the German in retaliation for the killings of German soldiers by franc-de-tieurs [irregulars]. This particular library was a repository for many of the original works from the masters of the renaissance.

"The Francs-tireurs partisans (FTP, 'Partisan irregular riflemen')"

[there seems to be something in the nature of the German military [not necessarily confined to them?] that detest with a particular hatred the franc-de-tieurs. The irregular combatant. The guerrilla, the insurgent, the terrorist, etc. The "Hun" reacts in a disproportionate manner when confronted with the actions of the irregular!]

The burning of libraries does resonate as the act of the BARBARIAN!! The BARBARIAN attacking the civilized and destroying something that he, the BARBARIAN, cannot understand or appreciate, or even WANTS to!!

Such was the case when the Mongol under Hulagu burned the libraries of Baghdad in 1258. The Mongol took a particular relish in destroying all the books they could find, destruction for the sheer sake of destruction, and done with GLEE!! Such relates the Arab who chronicled the events that transpired.

"The Mongols . . . conquered Baghdad in the 13th century. At that time, Baghdad was a center of learning and culture with 36 public libraries. The Mongols eagerly sacked them, ripping the leather covers from books to resole their shoes, burning manuscripts, and dumping thousands of volumes into the Tigris River. According to contemporary accounts, the water ran black with the ink."

So too the burning of the great library in Alexandria, Egypt by the Romans under Julius Caesar can also be considered to be an act of BARBARISM. This act of the SAVAGE, while not perhaps intentional, still did occur. The destruction of this library was a calamity. The single largest depository of ancient works of literature, history, science, in the world, at the time. When we speak of the ancients, we are talking about people that were ancient in the time of Caesar!!!

"It has been estimated that at one time the Library of Alexandria held over half a million documents from Assyria, Greece, Persia, Egypt, India and many other nations. Over 100 scholars lived at the Museum full time to perform research, write, lecture or translate and copy documents."

[among the works lost in the great library at Alexandria were the history of the world, from 40,000 B.C. to present [present in this case was just prior to the birth of JESUS!!], by Berossus.]

And let us not forget in the year 2003:

"So yesterday was the burning of books. First came the looters, then the arsonists. It was the final chapter in the sacking of Baghdad. The National Library and Archives ?a priceless treasure of Ottoman historical documents, including the old royal archives of Iraq ? were turned to ashes in 3,000 degrees of heat. Then the library of Korans at the Ministry of Religious Endowment was set ablaze."

[Let me make it perfectly clear. It was the Iraqi, the Iraqi, the Iraqi themselves that did the damage. THEY ALONE, acting with malice aforethought and total reckless disregard, did all the damage. Foolish, ignorant, hate filled Iraqi vandals and looters and NO OTHER! DO NOT BLAME the American forces!!]

Atrocity in WW1? Yes, must have occurred. But compared to WW2, a nothing?

[go here and see a very fine Masters degree paper by Penelope Hamblin on the historical burning of libraries in war time.]