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

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Grenades Anyone??!!

This is coolbert:

While surfing the web for material on Gallipoli and the periscope rifle, came across this incredible stuff.

"A feature of the fighting at Quinn’s [Quinn's Post. A location held by the Australian troops during the Gallipoli campaign!] was the bombing [grenade throwing exchanges between adversaries in closely adjacent trenches]. In the early days the advantage here lay with the Turks as the Anzacs possessed no grenades while the Turks had a seemingly endless supply of cricket-ball shaped bombs . . . If a man was quick enough, Turkish bombs [grenades] could also be picked up and thrown back. The Turks, however, soon began cutting their fuses shorter and one Australian had his hand blown off before it was realised what was happening. Another method of dealing with the bombs was to throw a thick overcoat over them to stifle the explosion or, if you had real grit, fall upon the bomb with a half-full sandbag."

Right! Infantrymen are taught in AIT that if an enemy grenade lands in their midst, try to pick it up and throw it back before it detonates!! Is that still SOP?? As for throwing a heavy overcoat over the grenade or falling on the grenade with a sandbag, well, the current hand grenades are too powerful for those methods to be effective??

coolbert.

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Step!


This is coolbert:

"Emotion clouds reason" - - Michael Corleone - - "The Godfather".

From the Gallipoli campaign:

"Lt-Col (later Colonel) Mustafa Kemal Bey (later, the great Turkish political leader Kemal Ataturk) . . . In planning one of the early counter-attacks, he [Kemal] issued the following order:

'Every soldier who fights here with me must realize that he is in honour bound not to retreat one step.'"

And from World War Two [WW2]:

"Stalin issues Order No. 227-outlawing cowards"

"July 27, 1943

On this day in 1943, Joseph Stalin, premier and dictator of the Soviet Union, issues Order No. 227, what came to be known as the "Not one step backward" order . . . "Panic makers and cowards must be liquidated on the spot. Not one step backward without orders from higher headquarters! Commanders...who abandon a position without an order from higher headquarters are traitors to the Fatherland."

There, that will put them in their place. Damnit!!

coolbert.

Corner Shot II.



This is coolbert:

NOT exactly a corner shot in this case. More like, an, over-the-top shot!!

Over-the-top of the World War One [WW1] trench to be exact.

The periscope rifle. A contraption and apparatus that I have always wondered about. Was this "thing" ever effective!!??

The concept is the same, however, as the modern Israeli/American "Corner Shot" apparatus with video camera in lieu of periscope. The troop engaging a target does not have to EXPOSE themselves to the enemy!!

"A homemade invention of mirrors, boxwood and wire, the periscope rifle allowed the user to sight and fire a rifle over the parapet without exposing himself to enemy fire."




[the Aussie soldier in the above photo is Lieutenant Shout. Won the Victoria Cross for exceptional heroism during the Gallipoli campaign!!]

"ANZAC INGENUITY--THE PERISCOPE RIFLE"

"The Australian soldier . . . earned a reputation for ingenuity and improvisation. One example of this at Gallipoli was the invention in May 1915 of the periscope rifle by L/Cpl. Beech of Sydney. Mirrors allowed the user to sight the rifle while completely invisible to the enemy. The rifle was accurate up to 300 metres (sometimes the opposing trenches were only metres apart)."

Accurate up to 300 meters. The SMLE rifle of course. The Aussie troops were all equipped with the SMLE.



"A scene in the front line Anzac trenches in May 1915 with a soldier using a periscope rifle. The first such rifle was brought to Quinn’s Post on 22 May. The man on the far right is using a periscope to observe the Turkish line that was only metres away. Riflemen on each side were always on the lookout for periscopes to shoot out." [shoot out the periscopes of the enemy!!!]

First was used by the Australians at Gallipoli!! Evidently so!! After that, used in other theaters of the war!

coolbert.

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True??

This is coolbert:

Here is a quote attributed to Dwight David Eisenhower.

"There are only two professions in the world in which the amateur excels the professional. One, military strategy, and, two, prostitution."

-- Maj. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower

For the devoted readers of my blog.

1. Can someone confirm or deny that this quote is correctly attributed to Ike?

2. Also, can someone comment at least with regard to military strategy, is this correct!!?? Can the amateur excel over the professional??!!

Consider the case of Genghis Khan. Totally unlettered [an illiterate]! And yet, was a strategist, tactician, and military organizer of the first magnitude. At the time of Genghis, there would have been recognized the amateur and the professional to begin with. Perhaps NOT!

There are other candidates out there?

Napoleon when he first assumed command [26 years old] of the French armies for his Italian campaign [1796-1797]?

"Napoleon said there's nothing theoretical about war. You do what you have to do. You do it fast, and you surprise the enemy and shock him if you can. Move quickly and be ruthless about it."

Grant during his campaign along the Mississippi river opposite Vicksburg?

"The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on." - - U.S. Grant.

General Giap. Defeated and flummoxed the best French and American general officers during Indo-China War I and II. WAS A SCHOOLTEACHER WITHOUT ANY MILITARY TRAINING, EXPERIENCE, OR HIGHER EDUCATION OF ANY SORT??!!

coolbert.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Corner Shot I.


This is coolbert:

Here is one of those "advancements" you have to wonder about.

A technological innovation that has a lot of merit??

The Corner Shot.

A weapons system that allows a person in combat to shoot effectively around a corner without exposing themselves. Has applicability in terrorist situations or in the close-combat situations found in urban warfare?

An "apparatus" consisting of a housing for a conventional auto loading pistol, a video camera with light [infra-red and laser designator both?], a swing-mechanism with stock.

Has several variants to include:

* A 40mm Personal Grenade Launcher.

* A "Panzerfaust" type weapon that fires a shaped charge round capable of defeating lightly armored vehicles.

Is this something that will "fly"?!

coolbert.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Bofors.

This is coolbert:

Bofors.

One of the most successful weapons systems of modern times just has to be the Bofors gun. Originally developed in the 1920’s STRICTLY as an anti-aircraft-artillery [AAA]. Fires a 40 mm round [comes both in the L/60 and L/70 versions].

Has been and even NOW is being used for AAA applications. BUT has also been employed in other roles, quite successfully too!! Ground to air [AAA], air to ground [close air support], and now as the main gun for combat fighting vehicles [CV90]!

Employed extensively by the U.S. Navy during WW2 in the AAA role. The famous “pom-pom” gun.




Look at that photo. One of the most famous photos of WW2? U.S. Navy AAA gun somewhere in the Pacific theatre. Maybe under attack by kamikaze? Crew chief yelling instructions over the dim. Pile of expended shells in front of the dual AAA guns. Loaders feeding clips of rounds into the guns, additional full clips being forwarded by handlers.

Also used by the U.S. Navy in Vietnam aboard riverine craft. Used in the direct fire mode at shore targets by Monitor class vessels. Clear the way for landing parties in an impressive manner.

"River bank troop landings were supported at close range by 'Monitors' –armoured landing craft that replaced the troop carrying area with weapon turrets and a rounded bow. The Monitors were armed with 40mm cannon and a wide range of smaller weapons such as machine guns and 20mm cannon."

Used currently by the U.S. Air Force aboard the AC-130 gunship. The air-ground attack role here! Being replaced by a more modern 30 mm “Bushmaster” gun. Variants of the AC-130 continue to use the L/60 in the meantime.

"L/60's are still used in the United States Air Force's AC-130 gunships in the air-to-ground role"

"The variant carried aboard the C-130 fires an armor-piercing shell called the APFSDS, short for Armor Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot. The AC-130 carries about 256 rounds of ammunition, and the L60 cannon can fire shots singly or at rates up to 120 rounds per minute."



Crew members of the AC-130 loading a clip of fresh rounds into the 40 mm cannon. Bang-bang, shoot-em’-up, YOUR DEAD!!



Here you see the deadly duo currently found on the AC-130. 40 mm cannon on the left, 105 mm howitzer on the right.

Improved, modern versions of the 40 mm round are available. Swedish 3P ammo. Programmable, pre-fragmented, proximity. The 40 mm L/60-L/70 continues to be the smallest round still available that can accommodate a proximity fuze.

"A proximity fuze (also called a VT fuze, for "variable time") is a fuze that is designed to detonate an explosive automatically when the distance to target becomes smaller than a predetermined value or when the target passes through a given plane."

"the 40mm shell . . . the latest versions have a '3P' round . . . As well as the normal proximity function"

"the fuze can operate in five other modes":

* "gated proximity (fuze only activated close to the target to avoid premature detonation)"

" gated proximity with impact priority (a slight delay in activation to provide the opportunity for a direct hit)"

* "time function (for air burst fire to provide a Shrapnel effect against surface targets)"

* "two impact functions with variable delay."

The much improved and advanced 40 mm round is also being used in the latest and greatest Swedish designed combat vehicle, the CV-90.



"In the Swedish Army Combat Vehicle 90 there is a cartridge fed, automatic version of the L/70 gun installed . . . New armour piercing and programmable ammunition have also been developed."

The CV-90 can be configured as a combat vehicle to support infantry, an armored tank-defeating vehicle, a mobile AAA, etc. All-purpose and deadly.

I have a distinct feeling that the Bofors 40 mm round originally developed solely as a round for AAA applications is going to be around for some time to come.

coolbert.

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Pain Ray!!


This is coolbert.

"I Was a Pain Ray Guinea Pig"

"By Sharon Weinberger"

[Sharon Weinberger is a reporter that has written a number of articles on strange or esoteric projects and weapons the military is working on. Cold fusion, teleportation, etc.]

"But today, the military offered the second opportunity ever for reporters to be blasted by the Active Denial System, a millimeter wave beam weapon designed to heat up the very tippy top layer of skin."

[some sort of a device to bombard folks with radar-like radiation. As if you were put into a big micro-wave oven!!]

"In the briefings leading up to the test, Susan LeVine, of the Joint Nonlethal Weapons Directorate, told us that ADS felt like being burned by a hairdryer at the hairdresser (women will understand this one better than men)."

"Colonel Kirk Hymes, head of the Directorate, described it like the heat on your face when you open the oven to baste a Thanksgiving Turkey (I guess that's a guy thing, because women don't stick their heads in the oven when they baste a turkey)."

This article has a number of links that deal with the "Pain Ray". NON-LETHAL weaponry to be used primarily for crowd control or in a riot situation. An alternative to gas, clubs, dogs, etc. Make it hurt - - cause people to disperse, break up crowds of unruly folks without INJURING them!!

Keep in mind that those "non-lethal" weapons work good against normal healthy people. CAN INJURE permanently persons such as the infirm, elderly, young. NOT totally 100 % effective as envisioned. But, then, what is??

This thought also occurred to me while writing and editing this particular blog. Osama bin Laden or any other of your average-everyday-jihadis, reading about the "pain ray", will only have their hate and contempt for the American military made worse. The thought would be, "what sort of military wants to make weapons that do not kill people???!!!"

coolbert.

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Firefighting=War!!??


This is coolbert:

[this is a reprise from a prior blog entry!!]

"The plan is the base from which all change is made!!" - - Israeli General.

I have often thought that fighting forest [wild] fires is the closest you can come to simulating battle without being in actual combat. I am thinking here about fires of the magnitude that devastated Yellowstone a few years ago, or the most recent fires in the L.A. area [both right now and from four years ago].

Fires at this magnitude require a response that can be only equated to a small army descending upon the area.

* Large numbers of persons [firefighters/troops] are required to fight the fire, each fighter carrying a standard kit, shovel, mattock, uniform, canteen, helmet [hard hat], boots, etc.

* Equipment such a fire trucks, bulldozers accompany the fire fighters and are employed when necessary.

* Sustainment of fire fighters and equipment in the field with resupply, rest, etc., sometimes for long periods of time, days, weeks, months (?).

* A command and control structure that resembles the C3I of the military. Command, control, communications, and intelligence.

* A commander [general] with staff directs the firefighting battle over a wide area, not being personally on the scene for the most part, relaying orders to the fire fighters via radio.

The commander [general] has many assets available besides the firefighters on the ground. To include:

* Engineers, in the form of heavy earth moving equipment, to create firewalls and temporary roads into remote areas where necessary.

* His [the commander] own air force. Fixed wing planes dropping slurry and helios dropping water are employed to fight the fire.

* The commander may even have airborne [parachutists] at his disposal. Called smoke jumpers, these parachutists jump into remote areas to fight fires when they are still small and can be fought with the basic equipment carried by the jumper.

To properly coordinate these assets, the commander needs intelligence. Appreciation of where the fire will be in 24, 48, 72, and 96 hours is all crucial to decisions made by the commander. Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (IPB) has to be done by the intelligence staff. Mapping and templating of vegetation, moisture levels, road network, water assets, built up areas and non-essential areas, etc., all this allows the commander to make informed decisions as he/she fights the fire.

And of course the element of danger is constantly present when fighting the fire. Fire fighters are killed when fighting fires, or injured from accidents, etc.

In addition:

* Widespread devastation. Wholesale devastation not seen possibly except for the devastation caused by war itself. Devastation of private property AND the environment in totality!!

* The unpredictable nature of a fire itself leads to apprehension and insecurity in the minds of the firefighters. You are fighting an enemy that is not playing by the rules of a war game or field exercise. This enemy is playing by it's own rules with a mind of it's own.

[read this amazing stuff addressing the proposition, "is fire alive??!!"]

[see here links to Clausewitz and Complexity Theory. War is chaos?? Some have suggested so. Probably only a superficial generality. "The plan is the base from which all change is made". NOBODY ever suggested that a "plan" will go perfectly 100 % of the time. But, the better the plan, the more contingencies are considered and prepared for properly, the more correct the basic assumptions from the start, the less the plan will have to revised. This is intuitive!!?? Change will always be present and is a given in warfare. Adjustments needed as conditions vary. BUT, WAR CHAOS!!?? To a degree, but not totally!!]

* Refugees. During the recent "Witch" fire in the San Diego area, up to as many as 300,000 persons had to flee the "war zone". Fled to safety and to clear the area for the firefighters to do their job properly. Too much disruption in the "battle zone" with civilians present. The mere presence of bystanders can impede the work of the "soldiers" [firefighters]. The burden of providing care for the refugees places an even greater strain on governmental resources and planners.

coolbert.

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Brain.

This is coolbert:

"US Army initiates brain-function tests for deploying troops"

Here is an idea that has a lot of merit to it.

"Before they leave for Iraq, thousands of troops with the 101st Airborne Division line up at laptop computers to take a test: basic math, matching numbers and symbols, and identifying patterns. They press a button quickly to measure response time."

"It is all part of a fledgling army program that records how soldiers' brains work when healthy, giving doctors baseline data"

Right!! Exactly!! Establish a baseline of a soldiers mental activity PRIOR TO GOING INTO COMBAT!! How many and what type of problems as presented on the laptop computer can the soldier do, how fast can he/she do them, and how well, with what accuracy. A measurement of mental activity and acumen.

Will allow doctors to - - "help diagnose and treat the soldiers if they suffer a traumatic brain injury".

What degree of mental impairment has the soldier experienced from a head wound? And how well is the soldier responding to treatment? To what extent is the wounded man being restored to a pre-combat status?

Questions of this nature can now be answered with a pretty good degree of certainty.

[Some of you devoted readers will recall that the officers and senior sergeants of the 101st Airmobile Division are also part of another program. Observe an autopsy and actually handle internal organs of a person with their hands. Accustom the person to seeing a dead body, blood, dismemberment of a corpse. What they will see in Iraq they have already experienced, albeit if only briefly and in a sanitized environment. The shock of seeing dismembered and mutilated troops when encountered on the battlefield for the first time will be that much less for senior leaders.]

"Hey, nobody ever said this was going to be easy!!" - - Bert.

coolbert.

Cadix.

This is coolbert:

"Cadix was the codename of a World War II clandestine Allied intelligence center that operated at Uzès, on the Mediterranean coast in southern, Vichy France, for over two years, from September 1940 to November 9, 1942."

"[a] French-Polish-Spanish-staffed center"

"Its personnel comprised the 15 Poles as well as nine Frenchmen and seven Spaniards (the latter worked on Italian and Fascist Spanish ciphers)".

Multi-national, clandestine, radio-intelligence unit working in denied territory for the allies. Working very well too. Contributed significantly in a manner you could have hardly expected.

Operated from Vichy controlled territory [southern France]. Under the noses of the Gestapo and French collaborators. In secret, with great courage and skill. MEN WITH GUTS AND REMARKABLE ABILITIES THAT ARE TO BE ADMIRED!!



Having a multi-national force of this type is unheard of?? Especially in radio-intelligence work. Intercepting German communications. Doing analysis and decryption of secret communication when possible to produce intelligence for the allies. Spanish-Polish-French personnel working successfully in concert!

Refugees all of them, Spanish, I would surmise Republicans, Poles fleeing the Germans, and defeated French working purportedly for the Vichy but actually doing so for the allies.

And before PC Cadix there was PC Bruno.

"PC Bruno was a Polish-French intelligence station that operated outside Paris during World War II. German ciphers were decrypted there, most notably messages enciphered on the Enigma machine. ('PC' is an abbreviation for the French term Poste de Commandement — 'Command Post.)"

PC Bruno was up and running during the "Phoney War" and up to the fall of France to the German in the summer of 1940.

"Bletchley Park and PC Bruno worked together against the German message traffic with considerable success — in the interest of security, themselves corresponding in the "unbreakable" Enigma cipher".

TO SECURE THE SUCCESS OF "READING" GERMAN SECRET COMMUNICATIONS TRAFFIC, THE BRITISH AND FRENCH THEMSELVES USED THE ENIGMA MACHINE, WHAT WAS CALLED AN "ENIGMA DOUBLES". A copy of the Engima was used by the Allies to SAFEGUARD their own secret intelligence communications!!

Never heard of any of this before!! NOW, you have too!!

coolbert.

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Grrrrrr!!!

This is coolbert:

If you have Boeing stock, news is good for shareholders. Boeing sales are up for the year, with results beyond expectations? The mix of civilian and MILITARY sales provides in both fat and lean times.

The latest Boeing military aircraft just released for operational use by the U.S. Navy is the EA-18. The “Growler”




Replacing the “Prowler [EA-6]”. Get it? “Prowler” replaced by the “Growler”!



The “Prowler” was a DEDICATED electronic warfare aircraft that first saw service in 1971. Now to be supplanted by a more robust, agile, and versatile aircraft, the “Growler”!

The “Growler” will evidently have a two-fold mission:

* Conventional electronic warfare [EW].

* SEAD [Suppression Enemy Air Defense].

The functions of the “Prowler” [EW] and the “Wild Weasel” [SEAD] all rolled into one.

This is sound!! Take an existing proven winner, the F-18 Hornet, modify the fuselage, add an additional crewmember [Electronic Warfare Officer] along with the most-up-to-date EW “suite” AND a capability to employ ARM and HARM missiles, and you have an EVEN MORE PROVEN WINNER!!

[the entire panoply of EW equipment taken as a system is referred to as a “suite”!]

The Russians too have taken a proven winner [the MiG-25], modified it, and came up a NEW, improved, much more robust and versatile aircraft. This is the MiG-31 [“Foxhound”]. An aircraft that has a slightly different mission than the “Growler”. The MiG-31 is a DEDICATED air defense [AD] aircraft with an autonomous capability. As with the “Growler”, a modified fuselage, an additional crewmember [again, the Electronic Officer], new engines, a brand-new air defense “suite”!



The MiG-31 also has improved engines and will sport the latest Russian air-to-air missiles!!?? And can play the SEAD role too!! A MiG-31 in the AD or SEAD role can employ the:

* AA-9 Amos.

* AA-X-13 Arrow.

* AA-6 Acrid.

* AA-8 Aphid.

* AA-11 Archer.

* AA-12 Adder.

* AS-17 Krypton [ARM].

* AS-11 Kilter [ARM].

Very impressive, isn't it!! Dig this stuff too. Four MiG-31's are all that is needed to provide air defense coverage for the entire British Isles!!??

coolbert

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Bolo.

This is coolbert:

Came across this one quite by accident.

The term, “to bolo” is a term quite often used in the U.S. Army. Is a perjorative term meaning the same as, “to fail”. “A bolo” is a person who is deemed, “a sorry individual”. NOT capable of getting with the program and passing tests, meeting even the lowest modicum of requirements.

The origins of this term are most surprising:

"In the US military, the slang term "to Bolo" a test, exam or evaluation [to fail!!] came from the Philippine/American guerrilla forces in World War II; those guerrillas who failed to demonstrate proficiency in marksmanship were issued bolos [knives] instead of firearms so as not to waste the scarce ammunition."




Filipino guerrillas fighting on the side of American forces during World War Two [WW2] DID USE bolo knives in combat! Japanese sailors who had managed to swim to ashore after their ships had been sunk during the Battle of the Surigao Strait, were met at the waterline by bolo-wielding Filipino fighters who proceeded to hack the unfortunates [Japanese sailors] to death!!

Incidentally, the encounter at the Surigao Strait was the LAST TIME battleships fought it out on the high seas with naval gunfire in the traditional style. Battleship against battleship, guns blazing, a spectacle NEVER AGAIN TO BE SEEN, the nature of warfare changing as it has.

coolbert.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fabius V.

This is coolbert:

"not all your reader[s] might know that Col Carlson was the key force creating the WWII Marine Raiders. An opinion deserving attention!" - - [Fabius]

Here are my various blog entries on the U.S. Marine officer Evans Carlson.

http://militarythoughts.blogspot.com/2006/07/this-is-coolbert-another-controversial.html

http://militarythoughts.blogspot.com/2006/07/this-is-coolbert-go-here-to-read-copy.html

http://militarythoughts.blogspot.com/2006/07/this-is-coolbert-i-can-definitely-see.html

A very talented, successful, AND CONTROVERSIAL Marine officer, both in the years prior to and during World War Two [WW2].

A man who was a confidant of President Franklin Roosevelt and sent on fact-finding missions to China during the 1930's.

Had his own personal hot-line to the President via Eleanor Roosevelt and her son James!!

"In 1933 Carlson had commanded the Marine Detachment at the White House where he formed a close friendship with both Franklin D. Roosevelt and his son James Roosevelt . . . Carlson [1941] still had the President's ear as well as FDR's son James Roosevelt who was now a Marine Captain was his friend and protégé."

[I do not think such a relationship would be ALLOWED today!!??]

Died a premature death, presumably as a result of battle stress from combat in the Pacific theatre.

"I am sure that Carlson died a premature death from the rigors of the Guadalcanal campaign. Heart attack the result of exhaustion, weight loss, malaria. It all adds up." - - [Bert]

coolbert.

Fabius IV.

This is coolbert:

Bert responds to Fabius again:

"Mao's version of 4GW, now 60 years old, called for a phase 3 of conventional military war. What we think of 4GW brought his movement from nothing to military victory."

"The 'classic' three-phase Maoist model"

"In China, the Maoist Theory of People's War divides warfare into three phases. In Phase One, the guerrillas earn the population's support by distributing propaganda and attacking the organs of government. In the Phase Two, escalating attacks are launched against the government's military forces and vital institutions. In Phase Three, conventional warfare and fighting are used to seize cities, overthrow the government, and assume control of the country."

"Mao brought 4GW to maturity, not perfection. In the generations since then phase 3 has been proven unneccessary for victory."

A three stage revolutionary war was called for in the "teachings" of Mao. These stages would be:

* Stage One. Incipient guerrilla warfare. Preparation for war, but not actual hostilities.

* Stage Two. Guerrilla warfare as it is understood in the classical sense. Five to ten man squads roaming the countryside, attacking government forces at will. Surviving and blending in with the local populace at will!

* Stage Three. Conventional warfare. Guerrilla bands coalescing into ever larger units [squad/platoon/company/battalion]. Battalion size units usually be sufficient to topple the "central government".

"In the generations since then phase 3 has been proven unneccessary for victory."

Fabius is absolutely correct here!

Two examples from fairly recent times demonstrate that is true.

* The Cuban revolution [1958] headed by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara.

* The Sandanista rebellion [1979] that toppled Anastasio Somoza in Nicaragua.

In both cases, the "rebels" won with miniscule guerrilla forces numbering ONLY several hundred fighters. Neither instance was as it was in China, a "Peoples War" as theorized by Mao. There was never a need to organize into platoon/company/battalion size "main force" units. The small squads [5-10 fighters max] of dedicated cadres' were all that was needed in both cases.

"During this time [1956-1958], Castro's forces were quite small, at times less than 200 men"

Batista [Cuba] and Somoza [Nicaragua] were typical Latin-American "strong men". Conditions under their rule were despotic. An internal rot festered to the point that "a good swift kick and the whole rotten mess came tumbling down!!"

[paraphrasing A. Hitler.]

coolbert.

Fabius III.

This is coolbert:

Bert again responds to Fabius:

c. "In which military history book did you find an example of a people packing-up and vacating its country to a much weaker, even powerless, enemy?" - - [Fabius]

You might not find an example in a military history book, but you might very well be finding an example in the newspapers, right now, as we speak. - - [Bert]

I would point to what is occuring right now, in the American Southwest. [with special regard to the state of California!]

A demographic change of mind-boggling proportions that might, in the maybe no-so-far-off-future, might actually have serious consequences for the physical integrity of the contiguous forty eight states that comprise the UNITED STATES!

The hitherto dominant [dominant in every sense of the word dominant] racial, ethnic, and cultural group [white English-speaking Americans] is vacating the state [California] in a manner that NO ONE would have forseen. Moving to states such as Idaho, Utah, Nevada in ever increasing numbers. Primarily a response in large part to an intolerable atmosphere created by illegal aliens.

"in the last years of the twentieth century, the state actually lost population. 'More than 1.4 million people in the U.S. migrated to California from 1995 to 2000, while 2.2 million left' . . . an exodus that one demographer labels 'unprecedented.'"

CALIFORNIA, ONCE CONSIDERED TO BE THE DESTINATION OF ABSOLUTE CHOICE - - NO LONGER HAS THAT APPEAL!!!

THERE ARE revanchists among the Mexican political elite, the illegal alien crowd, AND even among the native-born Mexican-American population living in the U.S., that see this demongraphic change as an opportunity for Mexico and the Mexican population to "REGAIN" lost territories [from the war of 1848]. Regain lost territories WITHOUT A SHOT EVEN BEING FIRED, YOUR ADVERSARY LACKING THE WILLPOWER TO RESIST!!!!

"You cannot give me a similar example of such a large migratory wave by an ant-like multitude, stubborn, unarmed, and carried on in the face of the most powerful and best-armed nation on earth . . . it [the American Southwest] seems to be slowly returning to the jurisdiction of Mexico without the firing of a single shot, nor requiring the least diplomatic action, by means of a steady, spontaneous, and uninterrupted occupation" - - Mexican columnist Carlos Loret de Mola [1982]!!

"re·vanche - - n.

The act of retaliating; revenge. A usually political policy, as of a nation or an ethnic group, intended to regain lost territory or standing. "

You also find an abandonment of settlement and occupation also occurring in the area commonly referred to as the Great Plains of North America!

When the "American West" was finally declared "settled" in 1890, the population density was about six persons per square mile. Due to a variety of factors [primarily economic], the "Great Plains" now has a population density LESS than it did in 1890 and continues to decline. A withering away of the dominant group [white Americans] slowly being replaced by others [??].

"The rural Plains have lost a third of their population since 1920. Several hundred thousand square miles of the Great Plains have fewer than six persons per square mile—the density standard Frederick Jackson Turner used to declare the American frontier 'closed' in 1893. Many have fewer than two persons per square mile. There are more than 6,000 ghost towns in the State of Kansas alone"

[there was book printed in the early 1970's entitled, as I recall, "The Last Days of the Late Great White Man". A book written for and directed at in specific the Lakota [Sioux] Indian tribe. The message was very simple! "Hang on to your culture and traditional ways. The 'white man' is on the way out and will eventually vacate the land that has been historically yours!!"]

coolbert.

Fabius II.

This is coolbert:

Bert again responds to the comments of Fabius:

b. "superior civilization tends to win and expand at the expense of the much less so." - - [J.S. Bolton]

"So that's why Rome defeated its barbarian invaders? History is filled with instances of 'superior' civilizations falling to barbarians." - - [Fabius]

Several instances from ancient history come to mind: - - [Bert]

The Persian Empire [500 B.C.].

NOT only merely military force, BUT cultural influence as well. Benevolent dictatorship [??] bringing advancements far superior to what the "locals" had?? The Persians saw themselves as "superior" beings with a "superior" culture bringing "advancement" to lesser people. The ruling emperor ["Shah"] was deemed the King of Kings, Light of Lights, Shah of Shahs.

The Roman Empire [1 A.D.].

Rome did eventually fall to the barbarians! YES! But prior to that, for centuries, was able to conquer and rule an ever expanding Empire. NOT, again, merely military force accounts for this. Benevolent [??] dictatorship, cities, towns, laws and administration of a just nature justly applied [??], economic advancement, roads of a superlative nature, potential for advancement as a Roman citizen when citizenship available, etc.

And TOO from much more modern times:

Think here of how, two hundred years ago, 3/4 of the world's arable land came under control of Anglo-Saxon peoples. The United States, Canada, Australia, and to a lesser extent South Africa and also Argentina. "Native" peoples were conquered and dispossessed of their way of life by what can only be seen as a combination of superior military force AND culture. The latter manifesting itself as "culture" in the totality of the word. Science, technology, organizational ability, liveliness [aggressiveness?], combined with vision and POLITICAL WILLPOWER!

I think "tends to win and expand" are the crucial words here. Tends.

coolbert.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Fabius I.

This is coolbert:

I see that Fabius Maximus has commented on a blog entry of mine. The author of the very article I quote from is responding.

Ave' Fabius. Your comments on my blog and any entries is highly appreciated. You are welcome.

"Who was [is] Fabius Maximus?"

"Fabius Maximus was the Roman leader who saved Rome from Hannibal by recognizing its weakness, the need to conserve and regenerate. He turned from the easy path of macho 'boldness' to the long, difficult path to rebuilding Rome’s strength and greatness. His life holds profound lessons for 21st Century America."

My response to the comments of Fabius:

"Mao would have appreciated the commitment of the Palestinians as they wage a protracted struggle against Israel." - - [Fabius]

Mao? Mao? Mao? Where have I heard that name before? - - [Bert]

"a. Mao brought 4th generation warfare to maturity, whatever his flaws as an economist or political scientist. This is validated by battlefield victory over a far larger and better supplied foe. Better men than him have won and had no -- or terrible -- ideas how to use their victory. Like Caesar." - - [Fabius]

The more and more I read about the victory of Mao and the Chinese Communists over the KMT and Chiang, I feel less and less inclined to attribute the results to MERELY Fourth Generational Warfare [4GW] techniques as espoused by the Chairman. - - [Bert]

The communists in China to a much larger extent relied upon STANDARD MILITARY UNITS such as the 8th Route Army and the New 4th Army rather than small bands of peasant guerrillas roaming the countryside. 4GW warfare was waged by Mao AS PART [to what percent of the whole is the question!] OF AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING STRATEGY. The battle for China was waged by that proper combination of CONVENTIONAL MILITARY FORCES [8th Route Army/New 4th Army] AND guerrilla peasant bands! 4GW techniques and methods WERE part and parcel of the overall communist strategy in China, but NOT decisive OF THEMSELVES!!?? - - [Bert]

[in the years prior to World War Two, Evans Carlson rated the Chinese Communist 8th Route Army as THE BEST MILITARY UNIT IN THE WORLD FOR PERFORMING IT'S MISSION!!! A conventional military unit with a standard TO&E, equipment, uniforms, etc. A unit commanded by officers that were grads of the Whampoa Military Academy? A UNIT THAT HAD DEFECTED EN MASSE' FROM THE SIDE OF THE NATIONALIST GOVERNMENT UNDER CHIANG TO THE COMMUNISTS!!] - - [Bert]

coolbert.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

War Museum X. [Conclusion]

This is coolbert:

* A senninbari.

Thanks here for the translation by Miyoko Schook - - "Good Luck on Going into the Service."

[translation from the senninbari on exhibit!]

A sash worn by Japanese military personnel during World War Two [WW2]. Worn around the waist, similar to a cummerbund, UNDER the uniform. Casually called a "belly warmer" or "1,000 stitch belt" by American troops.

"the senninbari, a red sash made with 1,000 stitches and worn around the waist under the uniform. The senninbari was to provide good luck and courage to those who wore it."

[I do not recall this particular senninbari as being RED!!]

"Senninbari was Japanese for Thousand-person-stitches, a charm belt more commonly known in the west as the "Thousand Stitch Belt" . . . As a part of the Shinto culture of Imperial Japan, Japanese women created these senninbari for their men. These belts were believed to confer courage, good luck and immunity from injury (especially bullets) upon their wearers. These women had to be the man's mother, sister or wife, if married. These women stood near their local temple and asked any female passerby to sew in a French knot stitch with red thread as red was considered an auspicious colour. Women born in the "year of the tiger " could sew in 12 stitches (or as much as the women's age) . . .The Senninbari were usually made as belts but could also be made as hachimaki or headbands, vests, and caps . . . The most common slogan was bu-un cho-kyu for "eternal good luck in war". The belts were worn under the uniforms of the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy."

Was an item of religious devotion and significance AND group [the Japanese "race"] solidarity.

The provenance of this particular senninbari has been established. This is an authentic item that once did belong to soldier of Nippon! Taken off the body of a dead Japanese soldier from WW2?

"prov·e·nance –noun- place or source of origin"

coolbert.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Snoxall.

This is coolbert:

From the blog entry on the SMLE rifle:

"The current world record for aimed bolt-action fire was set in 1914 by a musketry instructor in the British Army — Sergeant Instructor Snoxall — who placed 38 rounds into a 12" target at 300 yards in one minute."

As a person who does know military weaponry with more than a passing fancy, my instantaneous intuitive reaction was that this was not possible. NO ONE could fire a bolt action rifle that fast with such accuracy over such a distance! NOT possible.

The British Army in the years prior to World War One [WW1] was very professional and promoted to a high degree marksmanship with the SMLE rifle. Ability to fire the SMLE rifle with accuracy and speed [a contradiction] OVER DISTANCE was stressed. It seems that marksmanship of the quality as demonstrated by Sergeant Snoxall was NOT unique among English soldiers of the time. What the good sergeant did WAS indeed possible.

"The original feat was performed by Sergeant Instructor Snoxall in 1914. I [It] was 38 shots into a 12" bull at 300 yards. Prone, iron sights, no sling, loading with 5 round chargers."

"A Sgt. Instructor Snoxall at the British School of Musketry set the record in 1914 with 38(!) hits. Scores of 34- 35 hits were not uncommon."

Demonstrations and exhibitions of superlative skill with the SMLE rifle were periodically held to validate techniques of "musketry" as to taught to the pre-WW1 British "Old Sweats"??

I am making some basic assumptions regarding the "world record" of Sergeant Snoxall:

* Prone position. Prone position assumed prior to the minute starting.

* NO sling used.

* Metallic open sights only. No rear peep sight or telescopic allowed

[early pre-World War One versions of the SMLE would not have had a rear peep sight anyhow.]

* Rifle pre-loaded with ten shots loaded in magazine. [as it would be in combat!]

[I would assume too the rifle was ZEROED for 300 yards!!]

* 300 yards [274 meters]. Four foot by four foot target with 12 inch center bulls eye.

* One minute [“Mad Minute”]. Target raised, up for sixty seconds, then lowered. Fire, continue to fire, reloading as needed. Hit target as often as you can, with accuracy as great as possible.

[when reloading, two five round clips would have been used to fully charge the magazine prior to resuming fire!]

* Thirty eight hits in one minute within the 12 inch circle [# 4 ring?].

[exactly how many rounds Snoxall fired, how many hit the 4’ X 4’ target but were not within the #4 ring, all this is not made clear!?]

The standard for the common English infantryman of the era was 15 hits on the target in one minute. Target not totally defined! The 4’ X 4’ square alone?

[two charger clips of five rounds each to fill the ten round magazine!!]

"The British Soldiers were taught to positions their heads far enough back on the butt that they could work the bolt without having to break their spot weld. One of the training drills they used was a "race" between two man teams. One man would have the rifle, and the other would have a pile of dummy rounds and chargers. The object was for the rifleman to load and "fire" faster than the other man could fill the chargers. The trick was, that an instructor with a mirror would be observing the shooter's sight picture to ensure that he was actually AIMING correctly!"

"Cheek Weld [spot weld]

Consistency in sighting begins with proper 'cheek weld', positioning the cheek at the same place along the stock. Besides fore and aft placement of the 'weld', it also determines the height of the eyes in relation to the sights"

"A point of clarification here, the '15 aimed shots a minute' is the requirement for the 'average' British soldier. It is not unusual to have experienced soldiers and instructors aimed to get 30 shots, or more, off in the Mad Minute . . ."

"The criteria for 'aimed shot' is putting the bullets in a 4 ft X 4 ft at 300 yds. A shooting test devised by Lord Frederick Sleigh Roberts had this target pop up at that distance and the shooter has 60 seconds to get off as many aimed shots as possible. The criteria for 'aimed shot' is putting the bullets in a 4 ft x 4 ft at 300 yds. . ."

[a 4' by 4' target with a 12 inch bulls eye evidently!!]

[not just hits, but hits within the 12" bull!!!]

"A number of other features of the SMLE also helped increase the rate of fire."

* "The bolt handle of the SMLE was 'turned down'"

* "the SMLE was cocked when the bolt handle was pushed forward."

["Most people find it easier to push than to pull with greater effort. Therefore, combining the chambering the new round with the cocking would probably take less effort and be marginally faster."]

"Techniques were developed to maximize the rate of fire."

* "The shooter holds the bolt handle with his thumb and fore finger while pulling the trigger with his third finger."

* "polishing stripper guides . . . to enable quicker and easier insertion and extraction"

Such a demonstration of "musketry" is possible by moderns? One group of American shootists HAVE tried the "Lord Roberts Match" with less than favorable results! Read for yourself. NOT firing the SMLE. And NOT having the training and knowledge to replicate the feat of Sergeant Snoxall. The old ways are always the best ways!!??

The human being IS ABLE to accomplish feats that mere mortals DO NOT THINK POSSIBLE!! With the proper combination of innate ability, desire, will power, lots of practice, proper coaching and TIME, what might seem impossible becomes possible. YES, IT IS SO!!

coolbert.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Denard.


This is coolbert: Obituaries today from the Chicago Tribune.

"Colonel" Bob Denard. [1929-2007]

"Ex-mercenary led African coups"

"Bob Denard, a mercenary who staged coups, battled communism and fought for French interests and his own across Africa for more than three decades, has died . . . He was 78."

"he had suffered from Alzheimer's disease and cardiovascular problems.'

"Mr. Denard was among a group of post-colonial French mercenaries known as les affreux - - the horrible ones."

"born Guilbert Bourgeaud . . . the son of a non-commissioned officer in the French colonial army."

Had a long and storied career as a mercenary. To include:

* Belgian Congo.

* Nigeria. [Biafra??]

* Angola.

* Rhodesia.

* Iran. [served the Shah?]

* Yemen.

Led an unsuccessful coup in Benin [1977]. Led several coups, successful [1978] and unsuccessful [1978] in the Comoros Islands.

Was a convert to Islam??!! Nominally so??!! The obituary does not mention this.

"He was the father of eight children and had been married seven times (polygamously), after converting to Islam."

*************************************

Nolan 'Sue' Herndon [1918-2007]

"Doolittle Raider held by Soviets during war"

"Navigator and bombardier theorized that his flight after the 1942 U.S. air raid on Japan had been diverted on a classified mission"

"Nolan 'Sue' Herndon, a member of the Doolittle Raiders who was held captive in the Soviet Union after participating in the bombing run on japan that gave Americans a morale boost four months after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, has died. He was 88."

"Mr. Herndon's plane was the only one of 16 B-25 bombers to stray from then-Lt. Col. James Doolittle's orders to fly to China . . . Officially, the U.S. War Department blamed a shortage of fuel for the plane landing on a Soviet airstrip outside Vladivostok."

"late in his life Mr. Herndon . . . shared another theory: His plane had been on a classified mission to catalog airfields that might be use for attacks on Japan and to test the Soviet Union's resolve as an ally"

"Mr. Herndon once asked Doolittle why his plane unexpectedly - - carried - - navigational charts to the Soviet Union and a Russian-speaking crew."

[YES, it does sound fishy!!]

"Doolittle, by then a General, said" 'You'll have to speak with somebody higher than me,'" [regarding the charts and Russian-speaking crew!!]

coolbert.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Bugi Men IV. [Conclusion]


This is coolbert:

"Many of the soldiers from the NAOU later went on to join Z Special Unit"

Z Special Unit. Often referred to as Z Special Force. Australian commando unit during World War Two [WW2]. Ranged far and wide during WW2, New Guinea, the Indonesian archipelago, AND AS FAR WEST AS SINGAPORE.

"Z Special Unit, often known as Z Force, was a joint Australian, British and New Zealand commando unit"

"All of its [Z Special Unit] missions were cloaked in ultimate secrecy and even though it's been over 50 years since the end of World War II very little is known of its 182 missions."

[Bill Reynolds for one is NOT EVEN INCLUDED AMONG THE NAMES OF THOSE AUSTRALIANS KILLED IN ACTION DURING WW2. It is known for a fact Bill was killed! Secrecy being what it is, to not even include a hero of the war among the names of the war dead is strange!!??]

Best know for the two commando missions targetting Japanese shipping anchored in Singapore harbor. Missions that used unihabinted islands OF THE RIAU ARCHIPELAGO AS FORWARD STAGING BASES. ONLY SEVEN MILES FROM DOWNTOWN SINGAPORE!

These were the Jaywick and Rimau missions. One very successful, the second not so much so!! Both the Jaywickers and MODERN DAY PIRATES FOUND USING THE ISLANDS OF THE RIAU ARCHIPELAO TO THEIR ADVATAGE!!



"[the] most daring, unbelievable and most sucessfull Australian commando attack in World War II. They sailed with the Japanese fishing boat Kofuku Maru (renamed into Krait) from Australia to Riouw Archipelago, crossing a large portion of Dutch East Indies, to carried out a commando raid with canoes (!!!). Their targets were the anchored Japanese ships in Singapore Harbor. The raid was a huge sucess, as they sank 37,000 tons of shipping and return safely back to Australia."

"Operation Jaywick was one of the most daring and celebrated special operations undertaken in World War II. In September 1943, 15 Allied commandos from Z Force raided Japanese shipping in Singapore Harbour, sinking seven ships."

The Jaywickers employed folding boats [folboats] and limpet mines for their attack on Singapore harbor. Jaywick did not need fancy high technology to achieve the desired goals. Highly trained, daring, motivated soldiers and sailors, two-man kayaks, mines with magnetic hold-fasts to attach to the sides of targets, and that was that!!

"Limpet mines"

"Limpet mines are a special form of contact mine which are attached to the target by magnets and left, and are so named because of the superficial similarity to the mollusk, limpet . . . Usually they are set off by a time fuse."

"Operation Rimau was an attack on Japanese shipping at Singapore Harbour, carried out by the Allied commando unit Z [special] Force, during World War II. It was a follow-up to the successful Operation Jaywick, which had taken place in 1943."

"The second, similar operation, named "Rimau", was not so sucessful. They again managed to sink ca. 30,000 tons of the Japanese merchant fleet anchored in Singapore Harbor, but all 23 men who took part in this operation were lost either killed or captured-beheaded, including Lt-Col Ivan Lyon, who was killed by the Japanese troops on the tiny island of Soreh on 16 October 1944."

Most surprisingly so, for skilled kayakers, you too can follow in the footsteps of the "Rimau" raiders. Adventure type touring and vacationing, follow the exact path taken by the Aussie commando unit in their abortive and unsuccessful raid on Singapore harbor.

To conclude.

The Stait of Malacca and Singapore harbor have been historically major shipping routes for the last five hundred years or more, infested with pirates, then and now, OPERATING PRIMARILY OUT OF THE RIAU ARCHIPELAGO. Pirates quite of then of the Bugi ethnic group. Bugi men that had the ability to sail vast distances to the west [Singapore], and then return to the east [as far as Australia]!

The Jaywick raiders, sailing from northern Australia, following in the path of the Bugi men to Singapore, attacking shipping in Singapore harbor from the Riau archipelago, and retiring to the east, unscathed, as the Bugi men would have done.

The age-old patterns of behavior are the best ways?! What was good for the Bugi men was good for the Jaywickers!!??

coolbert.

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Bugi Men III.

This is coolbert:

Before there was the Regional Force Surveillance Units [RFSU], there was NAOU!!

"The 2/1st North Australia Observer Unit (2/1 NAOU) was an Australian Army reconnaissance unit of World War II. 2/1 NAOU was formed in May 1942 to patrol remote areas of northern Australia and provide warning to the Northern Territory Force of any Japanese landings"

"The 2/1st North Australia Observer Unit conducted horse and vehicle mounted patrols across northern Australia with the goal of observing and reporting on enemy movements on land, sea and in the air. These patrols were conducted in extremely harsh conditions, with little or no support or resupply - so this unit needed men who were very resourceful, independent, motivated and positive. Many of the soldiers from the NAOU later went on to join Z Special Unit"



Australian horse troops from World War Two! Looks like a formation from the era of the Boer War [1900]. From the time of "Breaker Morant" [Morant was a Australian stockman who made a living "breaking" wild horses]. White Aussies armed with what appears to be the SMLE rifle. Called "Nackeroos" [a jackeroo is an Aussie cowboy]. These are men in the mold of "Crocodile Dundee". Tough, hardened men, innured to hardship, accustomed to the terrain, climate, able to forage if necessary. Expert horsemen, trackers, etc.

"Many of the soldiers from the NAOU later went on to join Z Special Unit."

Right! Men already with military experience. Highly motivated soldiers with initiative. ONE OF WHICH WAS A SIXTY ONE YEAR OLD [various ages are given!] OFFICER WHO WORE A MONOCLE!!! Men who, if necessary, can operate ON THEIR OWN!!

"a 61-year-old Australian civilian, Bill Reynolds"

coolbert.

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Bugi Men II.

This is coolbert:

Bugi. A sea-faring culture of the Banda Sea. Noted sailors AND pirates. Feared for their attacks on "western" vessels carrying spices and other valuable goods. The Bugi man is the "boogeyman".

NOT persons of formidable physical stature. But fearless in battle. Much like the Moro of the Philippines in that regard!

"The Bugis are the most numerous of the three major linguistic and ethnic groups of South Sulawesi, the southwestern province of Sulawesi, Indonesia's third largest island"

"Respected as traders and sailors, and feared occasionally as adventurers and pirates"

NO! NOT just occasionally. By their own words, the Bugis WERE pirates and were very good at it too! NOT above attacking "European" vessels heavily laden with spices of all variety. Rich prizes for the Bugi and worth the risk! Sailed as far west as Singapore and as far north as the Philippines. AND as far east as the northern territories of the Australian land-mass! Followed the prevailing seasonal winds.

"the Bugis built elegant, ocean-going schooners in which they plied the trade routes . . . they travelled . . . to northern Australia, where they exchanged shells, birds'-nests and mother-of-pearl for knives and salt with Aboriginal tribes . . . The Bugis sailors left their mark and culture on an area of the northern Australian coast which stretches over two thousand kilometers from the Kimberley to the Gulf of Carpentaria . . . Each year, the Bugis sailors would sail down on the northwestern monsoon . . . They would stay in Australian waters for several months to trade . . . before returning . . . on the dry season off shore winds"

As far west as Singapore, and as far north as the Philippines. AND to Australia too. There has been a movement of people, historically, from the Indonesian archipelago to the northern reaches of Australia. For trade in "shells, birds'-nests and mother-of-pearl for knives and salt" originally. NOW, the trade is in drugs and persons [illegal migrants]!

coolbert.

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Bugi Men I.

This is coolbert:

Piracy/Malacca/Bugi/Jaywick.

Believe me, it will all come together!

The most recent edition of the National Geographic has an excellent article entitled, "Malacca Strait Pirates".

"Modern pirates have long plagued Southeast Asia’s Strait of Malacca, robbing sailors, kidnapping crews, and stealing entire ships."

Malacca, the strategic choke-point between Malaya and Indonesia, has been the subject of a prior blog entry. A part of the world that has regained a pre-eminent status as a place of maritime trade AND piracy. With regard to the latter, a plague of historic proportions is once again manifesting itself. Piracy has been "popular" in these waters for centuries, perhaps even millenia!

It was once said of the ruler of Malacca:

"it's ruler - - "had his hand on the throat of Venice"!!

"Malacca - - founded around the year 1400 by a refugee Sumatran Prince. A city that controlled to a large extent the spice trade between Asia and Europe. Spices greatly desired by Europeans and for which they [the Europeans] were totally dependent upon Arab and Venetian traders."

Currently, through the Strait of Malacca pass:

* 1/5th of all seaborne trade passes through the Strait of Malacca.

* 1/3rd of the world's crude oil shipments [natural gas too!!].

Pirates taking on three incarnations:

* Multi-National syndicates.

* Gangs.

* Guerrilla groups [Aceh province/Indonesia].

A very large percentage of the pirate attacks emanate from the Riau Archipelago. Located ONLY SEVEN MILES from downtown Singapore. An archipelago traditionally a staging area for pirate miscreants bent on mayhem!! Has the reputation as a "lawless" area NOT fully under the control of the Indonesian authorities.

Riau-Lingga Archipelago

"Two island groups of Riau province, Indonesia, in the South China Sea south of Singapore . . . Riau-Lingga is comprised of 3,214 islands, of which about 700 are uninhabited . . . . For centuries Riau's significance lay in its location immediately south of the major sea route passing Singapore. The Riau Islands were under the Bugis-influenced Johor sultanate in the 16th century, and during the 18th and 19th centuries were a centre of conflict between Muslim rulers and Dutch and British forces."

ONLY SEVEN MILES FROM THE DOWNTOWN AREA OF SINGAPORE, LAWLESSNESS BEGINS WITH ABANDON!!

[My impression is that Singapore is perhaps the most modern, prosperous, and safe big city in the world!! Can anyone name a place the equal of Singapore?]

Piracy yesterday, today, tomorrow. FOREVER! Piracy that falls into that grey area. Is it a problem that requires a law enforcement response or a military response? Pirates were the TERRORISTS of yesteryear. ANYONE fortunate to get their hands on the villains could deal with them summarily, execution being the norm.

coolbert.

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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Sky Net calling!

This is coolbert:

"Flight of the Extreme UAVs, From Smallest to Deadliest"

Here is a multi-media [??] presentation from Wired News. Extremes of American military unmanned aerial vehicles [UAV] currently operational. Smallest to largest and deadliest!

Some of that stuff DOES look strange. NOT meant to be anything but that. Appearance is not critical with the UAV.




"The German-made Microdrone is equipped with GPS, a camera and a loud-hailer to give instructions to those on the ground, and is currently being tested by police in the UK."



"The Killer Bee is part UAV, part missile. It's intended to be deployed in 'constellations' of many vehicles working cooperatively. These swarms can be used for either reconnaissance or for attack with up to 30 pounds of weapons per drone."

The Killer Bee uses what is called swarm technology? Autonomous robots that can interact with one another, communicate, map a strategy for the "swarm" so a mulitiple number of robots can act in concert!

I have said it before. MY suggestion to persons just receiving a brand new degree in aeronautical engineering is to find a company that is developing/experimenting with/researching UAV. Cutting edge stuff with no real limit in sight.

coolbert.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

War Museum IX.



This is coolbert:

Exhibits/artifacts/displays.


* A poignant letter written to the family of an Australian soldier who was executed by the Japanese during World War Two.

"poign·ant – adjective
1. keenly distressing to the feelings.
2. keen or strong in mental appeal.
3. affecting or moving the emotions."

An Australian soldier executed for trying to escape a cruel captivity at the hands of the Japanese.

Some Australian soldiers, held as captives of the Japanese, escaped from a prisoner-of-war [POW] camp AND ATTEMPTED TO WALK 800 MILES TO BRITISH INDIA!!

An effort that was unsuccessful, the soldiers being re-captured.

One soldier from among those re-captured was made an example of by the Japanese. Executed!! It is to the family of the executed man that this letter is addressed! [the person that wrote the letter was also part of the group that escaped and was re-captured!!??]

Australian Brigadier General Varley being forced to witness the execution.

"'a lonely rather majestic figure [Varley] still with his faded red tabs, and an air of battered dignity'."

There is further poignancy to this story. Arthur Varley, heroic commander of the Australian POW’s, was himself [along with his son] later executed by the Japanese.

Varley and his son, an infantry lieutenant, along with hundreds [?] of other Aussies, were machine-gunned on the open sea, adrift in life boats, after their Japanese “Hell Ship” was torpedoed and sank by an American submarine [1944].

"On 6 September 1944 Varley embarked for Formosa (Taiwan) in the Japanese transport Rakuyo Maru. Early on 12 September the vessel was torpedoed by an American submarine. Varley was last seen in command of a group of seven lifeboats, reportedly 'heading north-west'. Others in the water thought they heard machine-gun fire from that direction, possibly from Japanese frigates which might have killed Varley and his party."

[the letter writer WAS aboard the Japanese transport "Hell Ship" that was sunk. Plucked out of the water days afterwards by an American submarine!!]

That contingent of Australians, called “The Varley Party”, deserved a better fate!! Did not get one! Sometimes, in time of war, even brave men do not prevail! Meet an end they do not merit!

coolbert.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

RFSU.


This is coolbert:

Here is an Australian reserve military unit that performs a similar function to the Canadian Rangers. Regional Force Surveillance Units.

"The Regional Force Surveillance Units (RFSUs) are specialised units of the Australian Army responsible for patrolling northern Australia. The RFSUs regularly conduct operational patrols during peacetime, and the reservists who make up 90% of the RFSUs personnel carry out most of their training during these patrols."

Similar mission to that of the Canadian Rangers:

* Reconnaissance and surveillance.

* Showing-the-flag.

[done without actually being seen. You show-the-flag by having an armed presence protecting your contiguous territory and exercising the right as a sovereign to use force if necessary!]

Guarding and protecting the sparsely inhabited and extremely remote, unforgiving Northern Territories of Australia. Rough, rugged terrain, replete with dangerous animals that CAN KILL AND EAT YOU! [Saltwater crocodile]

"The RFSU's are unique and unconventional units whose mission is to conduct long range reconnaissance and surveillance patrols in the sparsely populated and remote regions of northern Australia. Unlike most Australian Army units, the RFSUs are on a permanent operational footing, conducting real patrols with real world objectives during peacetime."

BUT, IN CONTRAST TO THE RANGERS, THE RFSU CARRIES OUT THEIR MISSION IN A CLANDESTINE AND SURREPTITIOUS MANNER. RATHER THAN WANTING TO BE SEEN, THE TROOPERS OF THE RFSU DO NOT WANT TO BE SEEN.

"To be effective, RFSU patrols must remain completely undetected, so bushcraft skills, particularly camouflage and concealment, are very important to the RFSU patrolman."

Bushcraft. The ability to live in a wilderness, survive and thrive. Northern Australia is some of the harshest terrain on the planet. Six months of dry, followed by six months of wet! As late as 1941, the largest city in all of the territory was Darwin, total population 5,000 isolated people. Forbidding and remote for the most part!

"a high proportion the RFSUs' personnel are Indigenous Australians"

Aborigines. Persons that are accustomed to the terrain, climate, know how to forage if necessary. Both RFSU and Canadian Rangers are comprised primarily of "Natives" ideally suited for the task.

"this land provides, and you need not be beholden to any man!!" - - Caleb - - "The Highlander".

Used to counter drug smuggling and the movement of illegal aliens. Primarily from Indonesia, but not exclusively so. THIS IS A BIG PROBLEM FOR THE AUSTRALIANS, RIGHT NOW, AS WE SPEAK. BOTH DRUGS AND ILLEGALS FILTERING SOUTH FROM INDONESIA POSE A SIGNIFICANT RISK TO AUSTRALIAN SOCIETY. MUST BE COUNTERED!

And in the case - - worst-case scenario - - of an armed invasion of the Northern Australian territories by a hostile foreign power, the RFSU will form the nucleus of a guerrilla warfare movement. Already the RFSU are trained by the Australian SAS. Special Air Services. Active duty Aussie Army troops that specialize in guerrilla warfare and counter-terrorism.

coolbert.

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War Museum VIII.


This is coolbert:
Exhibits/artifacts/displays.

* Trench knife.

Yes a trench knife from the World War One era [WW1]. A Model U.S. M1917.

"the U.S. M1917 and M1918 trench knives, which featured more complex designs including a triangular stiletto blade, wooden grip, metal knuckle guard, and a rounded pommel."

Used in trained hands, I am sure is a deadly weapon. Was used by troops during WW1 in that particularly brutal, close-quarters-combat form of warfare, the trench raid!

A close examination of this weapons seems to show that:

* The rounded pommel does not have sufficient mass to be a skull crusher?

* The metal knuckle guard also does not have sufficient metallic mass to be used as brass knuckles [knuckle duster]??

That knuckle guard has protrusions on the outside that are razor sharp. Perhaps the intent was to slash the opponent with the knuckle guard across the eyes, the stiletto blade employed in a stabbing motion?

Anthony J. Drexel Biddle would have highly approved of this trench knife. The fencing type stabbing motion followed up by the boxing punch to the face?! Yee-ouch!

coolbert.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

War Museum VII.

This is coolbert:

Exhibits/artifacts/displays.

All reproductions here thanks to Ed - - the psy warrior, from his excellent web site - - http://www.psywarrior.com/VCLeafletsProp.html

* Vietnamese communist propaganda leaflets.

Leaflets, found on the battlefield, directed against American troops. Encouraging American soldiers to surrender, protest, desert, shirk their duty.

"The Vietnamese people are not your enemy!

Refuse to obey all combat orders! Sit on the fence! Refuse to interfere in the internal affairs of your Vietnamese brothers! Refuse to perpetuate crimes against them! When under attack, lay down your weapons, let yourselves be captured: you will be taken alive and will eventually be allowed to return home."

Intended to create a mental state where American soldiers question the war in general, lose faith in the cause, etc.

Communist doggerel for the most part, poorly done!!??

"dog·ger·el –adjective 1. (of verse) a. comic or burlesque, and usually loose or irregular in measure.

b. rude; crude; poor."

In particular, several leaflets are directed specifically at black American troops.



Tell the lie that black troops during the Vietnam War died and suffered in a disproportionate manner. In actuality, white soldiers died and suffered in numbers slightly disproportionate.



THIS CANARD [BLACKS DIED AND SUFFERED MORE THAN WHITES] IS REPEATED TO THIS DAY! BY PERSONS THAT KNOW BETTER, AND YET DO NOT SAY BETTER!

"ca·nard n. An unfounded or false, deliberately misleading story."

Do not lead your life by lies” - - A. Solzhenitsyn.

In my opinion, those leaflets directed specifically at black American troops WERE WRITTEN BY AN AMERICAN!! My intuitive appreciation only!



"In combat in Vietnam you are forced to:
- Go first
- Withdraw last
- Stay in the outer ring
- Do the hardest and the most dangerous jobs!

In Vietnam casualty rates for blacks are much higher than whites!

. . . . "

With regard to the TRUE casualty figures from the Vietnam War:

"the popular contention which has become part of modern 'conventional wisdom' that black soldiers fought and died in disproportionately high numbers in Southeast Asia during the war years."

"Before 1966 Black soldiers accounted for over 20 percent of U.S. combat casualties in Vietnam--far above the percentage of Black people in the military. The official figure dropped to between 11 and 13 percent after that."

"whites comprised . . . 86.8 percent of those killed in actual battle . . . Blacks . . . comprised . . . 12.1 percent of those killed in actual battle"

[then as now, black Americans comprised about 13 % of the U.S. population.]


coolbert.

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War Museum VI.

This is coolbert:

Exhibits/artifacts/displays.

* Montagnard loin cloth and robe.

"The Degar (referred to by French colonists as Montagnard) are the indigenous peoples of the Central Highlands of Vietnam. The term Montagnard means 'mountain people' in French"

[for the purposes of this blog entry, montagnards will be referred to as Degar, the name they call themselves!!]

The traditional standard dress [at least until recently] for a Degar man is a loincloth, and NOTHING ELSE, a robe being worn during times of ceremony or festivities?

These two pieces of apparel appear to be hand woven, finely made with loving care. Embroidered?!

"The Degar have a long history of tensions with the Vietnamese majority"

[the lowland Vietnamese derisively refer to the Degar as moi', meaning SAVAGE!!]

* Montagnard cross-bow.

Has the appearance of a TOY. But, mark my words, is much more than a toy. Small in size, but nonetheless deadly. A crudely made [again, apparently made with a lot of loving care, etching of a decorative nature present on the body of the crossbow!] but effective weapon probably used by the Degar for hunting small game. Complete with mini-arrows [crossbows shoot BOLTS]. If you got shot with a bolt from this crossbow, you would know that something was instantaneously very wrong!!

Instances of Degar wielding crossbows are mentioned in Vietnam era literature.

In the book “The Green Berets”, by Robin Moore, Degar men hunt monkey for food, using bolts tipped with poison.

Degar irregulars using crossbows have an encounter with the German French Foreign Legion SS battalion in the book, "The Devil's Guard"!!

Some special mention must be made here of the Degar and their contributions to the war effort in both the First and Second Indo-China War. Fighting first with the French under the command of GCMA [20,000 men], and then organized into fighting units by American Special Forces [SF] [up to 40,000 Degar fought with the Americans]. Conducted both guerrilla and counter-guerrilla warfare against the Viet Minh and later the Viet Cong/North Vietnamese Army.

"The U.S. military, particularly the U.S. Army’s Special Forces, developed base camps in the area and recruited the Degar, roughly 40,000 of whom fought alongside American soldiers and became a major part of the U.S. military effort in the Highlands."

[sometimes the Degar DID fight on the side of the communist in Vietnam. Please recall the scene in the movie “Apocalyse Now” where the chief-of-the-boat is killed by a thrown spear. That spear would have been thrown by a Degar who was hunting Americans!]

Since the end of the Second Indo-China War, the fate of the Degar has NOT been kind. The object of a repressive campaign by the lowland Vietnamese that borders upon GENOCIDE!!

An American ex-Special Forces trooper donated the loincloth, robe, and crossbow to the War Museum. A man who obviously had served with Degar units in Vietnam.

coolbert.

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