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

Monday, March 31, 2008

Surface Raider IV.

This is coolbert:

"Merchant raiders are ships which disguise themselves as non-combatant merchant vessels, whilst actually being armed and intending to attack enemy commerce."

Also referred to as the commerce raider.

"Commerce raiding or guerre de course is a naval strategy of attacking an opponent's commercial shipping rather than contending for command of the sea with its naval forces. The objective is to sink or destroy the logistics (supplies) of an enemy, rather than engage the combatant themselves."

"Commerce raiding was heavily criticised by the naval theorist A.T. Mahan, who regarded it as a distraction from the destruction of the enemy's fighting power."

"Usually, commerce raiding is chosen by a weaker naval power against a stronger, or by a nation with little ocean-going trade against one with a great deal."

As with Germany versus England. A weak naval power [Germany], relatively speaking, against a very strong naval power [England]! ASYMMETRIC, GUERRILLA WARFARE AT SEA!!

The German in particular, in both World Wars, seemed to have flair for guerre de course! Realized that fighting the British at sea could be done, but to be successful, ruse and stratagem had to be employed.

Such was the voyage of the World War One [WW1] surface raider, SMS Wolf.

"SMS Wolf (formerly the Hansa freighter Wachtfels of 5809 GRT) was an armed merchant raider or auxiliary cruiser of the German Imperial Navy in World War I."

"As a commerce raider, the Wolf was equipped with six 15-cm guns, one 10.5 cm gun and several smaller caliber weapons as well as four torpedo tubes. She also carried about 400 mines to be dropped outside enemy ports."

This assortment of weaponry gave the Wolf considerable firepower and versatility. DID NOT have armor as a conventional ship-of-the-line would have had. BUT WAS NOT INTENDED TO FIGHT IT OUT WITH ENEMY WARSHIPS!! A GUERRILLA FIGHTER ON THE HIGH SEAS!!

"a bunker capacity of 8000 tons of coal she had a cruising range of 32,000 miles"

Did NOT have to refuel while at sea! Could circumnavigate the globe without taking on more coal. WAS ALSO ABLE TO REPLISH FUEL BY USING COAL FROM CAPTURED ENEMY VESSELS.

[resupply yourself from captured enemy stocks. Typical of the guerrilla fighter on land - - and on the sea too!!]

The Wolf led pursuers on a merry chase throughout the oceans of the world. Waters to include:

* "North Atlantic"

* "north of Scotland"

* "the Cape of Good Hope"

* "the Indian Ocean"

* "the harbors of Colombo [Ceylon] and Bombay [India]"

* "the waters of South Asia, Australia and New Zealand"

"The Wolf destroyed 35 trading vessels and 2 war ships, altogether approximately 110,000 tons."

"After 451 days she returned to her home port of Kiel on 24 February 1918 with 467 prisoners of war aboard. In addition she carried substantial quantities of rubber, copper, zinc, brass, silk, copra, cocoa, and other essential materials taken from her prizes."

NOT only captured prisoners of war [treated with great courtesy] BUT also valuable prizes taken from enemy vessels. Minerals and "other essential materials" vital to the German war effort. Substances NOT available to the German during a time of war because of English naval blockade!

Download for free and read an account of the SKS Wolf and the epic combat voyage of same:

"Five Months on a German Raider by Frederic George Trayes"

The Captain and crew of the Wolf - - guerrilla fighters at sea - - against the odds - - comported themselves with honor and courage? I would say so!



Sunday, March 30, 2008

Surface Raider III.

This is coolbert:

From the American Civil War, the naval battle between the surface raider CSS Alabama and USS Kearsarge has become the stuff of legend.

A clean fight between matched opponents, mano-a-mano combat at sea. NO destruction of civilian property of killing of non-combatants.

[very reminiscent of the World War Two [WW2] battle between the Sydney and Kormoran!]

The Alabama, cornered by the Kearsarge in the French port of Cherbourg, had no recourse but either to be interred for the duration of the war or fight it out!

A naval battle witnessed by thousands of French civilians ashore, AND MANY MORE WHO FOLLOWED THE ALABAMA OUT TO SEA ON RENTED EXCURSION VESSELS!!

"CSS Alabama was a screw [steam-powered, propeller driven] sloop-of-war built for the Confederate States Navy at Birkenhead, England in 1862 by John Laird Sons and Company of Birkenhead. Alabama served as a commerce raider, attacking Union merchant and naval ships over the course of her two-year career."

The Alabama, a Confederate surface raider which roamed the oceans OF THE WORLD, preying upon Yankee merchant shipping. Ranged the waters of the Atlantic, Indian Ocean, as far east as the Dutch Indies.

Waters to include:

* "the Azores"

* "eastern seaboard of the U.S."

* "the Caribbean"

* "the Brazilian coast"

* "South Africa"

* "the Indian Ocean"

* "South China Sea"

* Bay of Bengal,

"All told, the Alabama sunk 62 vessels, mostly merchant ships."

"The C.S.S. Alabama was the most successful ship to ever wage war on the commerce of a great commercial people."

France during the American Civil War was very favorably disposed toward the Confederacy. Napoleon the Third was a ruler that hated the United States and all things American. At one time the French had contemplated entering the War of Secession on the sides of the rebels, sending troops to the rebellious southern states!!

The people of Cherbourg in particular saw the Confederate sailors as brave men that went to their defeat and death with panache'. American and French scuba divers to this day visit the wreck of the Alabama, recovering valuable artifacts!

pa·nache - –noun 1. a grand or flamboyant manner; verve; style; flair"



Surface Raider II.

This is coolbert:

QQQQ ("suspicious ship sighted").

Coordinates: 26°05′49.4″S 111°04′27.5″E

Read here of the epic sea battle between the Australian naval ship HMAS Sydney and the German surface raider HSK Kormoran. Makes for exciting reading.

A sea battle that resulted in BOTH ships being sunk.

The wreckage of both ships ONLY NOW, just a few days ago, being determined.


"On 17 March 2008 the Australian Government announced that the wreckage of both HMAS Sydney and the German raider Kormoran had been found, approximately 112 nautical miles off Steep Point, Western Australia. Kormoran is lying at a depth of 2,560 metres; Sydney, approximately 12 nautical miles away, is at 2,470 metres."

Evenly matched opponents, fighting it out mano-a-mano, both sides willing and able to slug it out at close quarters, but in an honorable and courageous fashion.

Kormoran - - "Armament: 6x 150 millimetres (5.9 in) guns (hidden behind counter-balanced covers[2]), 2 x 37 mm anti-tank guns, 5 x 20 mm FlaK anti-aircraft guns, 2 x twin 533 mm (21 inch) torpedo batteries above the waterline; two single tubes below, 390 mines"

HMAS Sydney - - "Armament included four twin-mounted BL-6 152-millimetre (6.0 in) guns, four QF 4 in Mk.V (102 mm L/45) anti-aircraft guns, three quad-mounted 12.7-millimetre (0.50 in) Vickers machine guns and eight 21-inch (530 mm) torpedo tubes."

"Of her crew [Kormoran] of 393 officers and men, 78 lost their lives, either in the action or the sea afterwards. Two captured Chinese were also killed."

"The Sydney was last seen about ten miles away, well ablaze and limping off into the gathering evening. Her glare could be distinguished until 10.00 [P.M.] and then only occasional flickerings which had ceased by midnight. Of her [Sydney] complement of 645, none survived."

There is something particularly appealing toward ships-of-the-line fighting it out in this fashion? A CLEAN FORM OF WARFARE? The destruction of civilian property and the loss of life among non-combatants is not an issue? A duel is being fought [in the case of the HMAS Sydney and the HSK Kormoran, between evenly matched opponents] - - may the best man [ship] win!



Surface Raiders I.

This is coolbert:

Photos here thanks to KTB Sharkhunters and Harry. []

During the entire episode of the Cold War, the ubiquitous Russian "trawler" played an integral role on the "high seas".

Wherever the U.S. Navy was, so was the Russian trawler. Supposedly "fishing vessels" but in actuality adjuncts to the Soviet Navy. Merchant type "fishing vessels" primarily used for intelligence gathering, reconnaissance, surveillance. Also an oceanographic survey capability that was vital to the military.

Trawlers that maintained station off the Cape Kennedy space center during missile tests, the island of Guam reporting on the take-off of B-52 bombers during the Vietnam War, trailing American aircraft carrier groups [also not above interfering with the landings of airplanes].

Trawlers that did have the appearance of a civilian merchant ship. At least from outward appearances. Below decks or the waterline, MUCH MORE!!


These "torpedo tubes" could be MULTIPURPOSE, depending upon the diameter.

Can fire conventional torpedoes, and if wide enough, cruise missiles! Can also deploy naval spetsnaz forces [combat swimmers, autonomous or remotely controlled underwater combat vehicles, etc.]!

And, with regard to the sonar: [thanks again here to Harry]

"[the] trawler has a nice 'stay-bright' sonar-window below the bow. These 'stay bright' windows use a high frequency sonar in the 32khz - 45khz range. The sonar makes a beautiful high resolution, high frequency picture of a submarine passing by it that is as detailed as any photograph . . . it [makes] a sound similar to two blocks of wood slamming against each other."

One nice aspect of utilizing such "civilian" vessels is that it allows you retain a combat capability close to the coastline of an adversary while NOT necessarily ruffling too many feathers!!

The Soviets had given considerable attention to the concept of naval surface raider. The "trawler" would have played a major role in case of war with the U.S.?



Friday, March 28, 2008

Trench Gun/Combat Shotgun.

This is coolbert:

Believe it or not, the Model 97 shotgun, in the trench gun variety is still available. Reproductions manufactured by the Chinese firm, Norinco, exported to the U.S. and purchased by those individuals preparing for trench raids.

Norinco Model 97 Trench Gun 12g 20" barrel.

"This is an authentic reproduction of the original 1917 WWI Trench Gun,a hammer pump shotgun complete with proper markings, finish and wood. Norinco's modern manufacturing technology has enabled them to recreate this classic beauty with it's ruggedness, durability, and balance."

Twenty [20] inch [51 centimeters] barrel, twelve gauge shotgun, pump action.

This weapon has an apparent bead front-sight ONLY. NO rear sight. Modern combat shotguns come with rifling, front and rear sights. Can employ a variety of SABOT rounds of awesome capability [flechettes/armor piercing/canister]. For those that want a BIG bore weapon, a SABOT round that fires a .68 caliber slug is available! Can stop an elephant if you encounter one.



This is coolbert:

Speaking of the Chinese:

From the Chicago Tribune the other day:

Around the World



“In a rare dire appeal from Guantanamo Bay, a prisoner from western China says the United States is holding him and fellow Chinese Muslims in harsh conditions, even though authorities told them in 2004 and 2005 that they were innocent and would be set free. Abdulghappar Turkistani says in the letter, obtained by The Associated Press, that he and other Uighurs in Guantanamo were being held in cramped and windowless cells.”

Uighurs [wee-gars]. Muslim people living in the western part of China. NOT Han Chinese. An Indo-European people more than anything else?

There is restiveness among the Uighur for some time now. As with the Tibetans!

Only problem the Uighur have is that the Han Chinese outnumbers them about 1000 to 1! [same situation for the Tibetans too!]

As with Tibet, the homeland of the Uighur has become an integral part of China. Dissidence suppressed with the harshest methods possible.

Abdulghappar complains that he is being held in a cramped and windowless cell.


Well, perhaps it can be arranged for Abdulghappar to be repatriated to China. There he will get lots of fresh air working outdoors on “projects” in the Chinese “GULAG”. Socialist reconstructive labor for the next thirty years, if he makes it that far!

[the LAG in GULAG stand for "lagery" in Russian. Camp! Cognate with the word "lager". In Chinese the GULAG is called the "laogai". A corruption of the Russian word?]

Abdulghappar - - better off where he is now!!?? Am I being excessively harsh and cynical here??!!



Thursday, March 27, 2008

Combat Shotgun.

This is coolbert:

Here is a unique American addition to the weaponry as carried by the common soldier of World War One [WW1] during that particularly brutal and savage form of warfare known as the TRENCH RAID! [effective when employed either on the offense or defense!!]

The combat shotgun!

"The Winchester Model 1897 is a pump-action shotgun with an external hammer and tube magazine. It was offered in 12 and 16 gauge, solid frame or take down. Numerous barrel lengths were offered"

"the first true combat shotgun--the Winchester[R] Model 1897 (known as the Model 97)."

The Winchester Model 97 -- firing a modern 12-gauge shell -- with pump action; six-round magazine capacity; and short, 18-inch barrel was brought over by American military police and infantrymen and soon became known as the 'trench sweeper' . . . A soldier with a shotgun, fast to pump and fire, could quickly suppress German trench assaults and clear dugouts with devastating effectiveness.

The Model 97 had a particularly unique feature about it that allowed it to be used almost as an automatic weapon:

"Unlike most modern pump-action shotguns, the Winchester Model 1897 (versions of which were type classified as the Model 97 or M97 for short) fired each time the action closed with the trigger depressed (that is, it lacks a trigger disconnector)."

Let us get this straight. With the trigger pulled and held down after the first round is fired, merely operating the pump action will fire susequent rounds until the tube magazine is empty. This allows for a high rate of fire.

[according to the guru of combat pistol shooting, Ray Chapman, a man with an auto loading [semi-automatic] shotgun, firing # 1 shot, can put more lead on the target faster than can a man armed with an Uzi!!]

Dig this amazing stuff. What one man could do with a shotgun. Unstoppable until overcome by exhaustion.

"On 27 September 1918, Sergeant Fred Lloyd, using a Model 97, advanced alone into a German-held village and began methodically clearing it, pumping and firing the shotgun as he moved. He finally collapsed with exhaustion after routing thirty German soldiers."

Exhaustion NOT ONLY a result of physical exertion. The stress of combat, fear, a hyper-rush and flow of chemicals in his body, adrenaline and such, wore the man out until his muscles probably just plain collapsed. The good sergeant just could not go on any further. Well, no need to. He had done his bit.

I know that ever since the use of combat shotguns in WW1, there has been considerable controversy regarding the use of this weapon. CAN BE CATEGORIZED AS AN ILLEGAL WEAPON??!! Causes unnecessary suffering in that fires a round [buckshot] that is not a military style full-metal-jacketed bullet!!

"The Hague Convention of 1899 . . . defining[ed] illegal rounds as a jacketed bullet with an exposed lead tip"

A buckshot round of whatever size is not even jacketed and therefore illegal!! Rendering the shotgun as a weapon of war illegal in the process?!



Sunday, March 23, 2008

Submarine II. [Conclusion]

This is coolbert:

Here is another class of submarine that was of dubious value? Intentions were good, and the concept was sound, but as a class, never came to fruition. Operationally, for intended missions, would have been of little consequence if had been deployed?

The Japanese The Sen Toku I-400-class submarine. An aircraft carrier submarine!

"The Sen Toku I-400-class (伊四〇〇型潜水艦) submarines of the Imperial Japanese Navy were the largest submarines of World War II, and the largest ever built prior to the development of nuclear ballistic missile submarines in the 1960s. These were submarine aircraft carriers and each of them was able to carry 3 Aichi M6A Seiran aircraft underwater to their destinations. They also carried torpedoes for close range combat and were designed to surface, launch the planes then dive again quickly before they were discovered."

A submarine designed from the start to carry combat aircraft [three carried per sub]. NOT reconnaissance aircraft. Combat warplanes that could carry bombs and torpedoes. A submarine to approach enemy coast lines stealthily, launching flight combat missions against vital and critical targets.

"The I-400 was originally designed so that it could travel round-trip to anywhere in the world, and it was specifically intended to destroy the U.S.-controlled Panama Canal."

A submarine carrying a specially designed, top-secret float plane, the existence of which was unknown to American intelligence.

"They were able to carry three Aichi M6A Seiran aircraft, each carrying an 800 kilogram (1,764 lb) bomb [or one torpedo]"

A submarine developed with very specific missions in mind:

"the Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese Combined Fleet, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, devised a daring plan to attack the cities of New York, Washington D.C., and other large American cities as well as to destroy the Panama Canal."

"sen toku (secret submarine attack) . . . The plan was to sail westward through the Indian Ocean, around the southern tip of Africa, and attack the canal’s Gatun Locks from the east . . . The flights would, of course, be one-way trips. None of the pilots expected to survive the attack, a tactic called tokko. Each pilot was presented with a tokko short sword, symbolic of the ultimate sacrifice."

It WOULD HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE for the I-400 class of sub to make an around-the-world-voyage and mission if they had been deployed in time. The I-400 and the Seiran float plane is an example of how an asymmetry in warfare can work. Great damage COULD HAVE BEEN DONE WITH JUST ONE BOMB IN THE RIGHT SPOT AT THE PANAMA CANAL. A lock damaged or a ship sunk in the right spot and the canal is closed until cleared of damage.

But DID NOT happen!



Saturday, March 22, 2008

Submarine I.

This is coolbert:

"At Paris, during a state dinner the French Minister of Marine leans close to the Japanese Ambassador and whispers that France and Japan must stand to the last on the submarine question." - - from "The American Black Chamber" by H.O. Yardley.

The "submarine question". An item on the agenda of the Washington Conference [1921].

Treaty negotiations that resulted in the Washington Naval Treaty.

A naval treaty that restricted the number of capital ships the signatories to the treaty were allowed to have. When I speak of capital ships, I am thinking battleships and heavy cruisers. The significant striking force of all self-respecting navies the world over.

"The Washington Naval Treaty, also known as the Five-Power Treaty, limited the naval armaments of its five signatories: the United States, the British Empire, the Empire of Japan, the French Third Republic, and the Kingdom of Italy."

"This burst of capital ship construction kindled fears of a new naval arms race, similar to the Anglo-German Dreadnought race leading up to World War I."

A treaty that resulted in successful negotiations and signing thereof by the major powers of the world. CONFINED TO THE RESTRICTION OF SURFACE VESSELS!!


"The Washington Naval Treaty had placed strict limits on naval construction by the major naval powers, but submarines had been omitted."

The French in particular, took advantage of the treaty exception to the "submarine question" by constructing a naval warship of an unique class. The underwater cruiser.


This was the French Navy class of underwater cruiser Surcouf (N N 3):

"Surcouf was designed as an "underwater cruiser", intended to seek and engage in surface combat. For reconnaissance, she carried an observation float plane in a hangar built abaft of the conning tower; for combat, she was armed with 12 torpedo tubes and a twin 203mm/50 Modèle 1924 guns [that is dual 8 inch guns for those of you that are metrically challenged] in a watertight turret forward of the conning tower."

Prior to the Surcouf, the British too had "tinkered" with the idea of an underwater cruiser.

* HM Submairne X1.

"HM Submarine X1 was, conceived and designed as a submersible commerce raider for the Royal Navy . . . She was larger than any other submarine previously built and besides her six 21-inch bow torpedo tubes she carried two twin 5.2 inch gun turrets"

* HMS M2.

"HMS M2 was a Royal Navy aircraft-carrying submarine . . . she was armed with a single 12-inch (305 mm) gun as well as torpedo tubes."

[able to carry aircraft too. Those planes had an offensive capability? A combination of triple threat. A conventional submarine, surface attack, or aerial assault!]

The role of the underwater cruiser was strictly limited? Surprisingly so? A naval warship designed to do it all could not any of them [combat operations] well?



Friday, March 21, 2008


This is coolbert:

Here is the type of exaggeration for which the defector/writer Suvorov has been criticized?!

From Suvorov, "Inside the Soviet Army":

"the Soviet Army is a present evolving techniques for using helicopters for fuel resupply. . . A V-12 helicopter lands, carry 40 or more tons of fuel. Within ten minutes in has refuelled all the tanks [in a single battalion] and taken off again . . . A single V-12 helicopter flying at low altitude at a speed of 250 kilometers and hour, can refuel a whole division in one day . . . While a single truck carrying ten tons would take twenty-four hours to make a particular journey, a helicopter could do the same job in one hour."

In this particular instance, Victor is speaking of the Soviet V-12 helicopter. "Homer" using the NATO code name.

"Homer" was indeed a wonderment. The largest [even to this day] helicopter ever built. Holds [even to this day] a variety of world records for the type aircraft.

"The Soviet made Mil Mi-12 (Also known as the V-12, NATO reporting name "Homer") is the largest helicopter ever built."

"Although only two examples of the Mil Mi-12 were built, both being V-12 prototypes, this giant machine is worthy of mention as the world's largest helicopter to have flown to date . . . on 6 August 1969, the V-12 lifted a payload of 40204.5kg to a height of 2255m, establishing a record that remains unbeaten."

Was NOT originally conceived as a helicopter that would fulfill a re-fuelling role.

"Development came about as a need for a heavy lift helicopter capable of carrying major missile components."

In addition, NEVER ENTERED INTO PRODUCTION. Only two prototypes were ever built, and that was that. Another instance of the Soviets scaring the wits out of NATO planners. A threat that never materialized.

"It is to date the world's largest helicopter and flew for the first time in 1968, but did not enter production."

The maintenance requirements for this "beast" must have been formidable. These V-12 helicopters were not cost efficient. Great for photo opportunities but that is about it!

Please see also this photo of a German World War Two [WW2] transport helicopter, Fa-223.

There is, again, a remarkable similarity between the two designs. One [V-12], much larger of course, but similar, nonetheless!!


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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tibet II. [Conclusion]

This is coolbert:

"Emotion clouds reason!!" - - Michael Corleone.

"Hindi-Chini bhai-bhai (Indians and Chinese are brothers.)" - - Nehru.

How many people remember this war?

A war - - three weeks in duration - - fought over the Aksai Chin region of Tibet.

Indian military versus the Chinese communist Red Army. Sino-Indian War, 1962.

Chinese emerging triumphant, administering a severe beating to the Indian army.

This war, fought over what has to be one of the most inhospitable and desolate regions on the planet, came as a big surprise to many.

"The region is almost uninhabited, has no permanent settlements, and receives little precipitation"

India saw itself as a leader [at the time] in the non-aligned movement. NOT "western", NOT communist. The leaders of India saw their nation as a player on the world stage, BUT NOT subject to the normal machinations of major world power geo-political intrigue The leaders in New Delhi DID NOT see their nation as EVER needing to resort to military force as a means of solving conflicts between countries.

Aksai Chin HAS TO BE one of the most GOD-forsaken places on the planet. Again, THIS IS NOT EVEN A PLACE WORTH FIGHTING FOR, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!!! Mountainous [high Himalaya], arid, road less and uninhabited almost without exception, extreme cold most of the year. FIGHTING IN THIS CASE PRIMARILY OCCURRED AT ALTITUDES ABOVE WHAT IS CALLED "THE DEAD ZONE"!! Altitudes beyond which the human being cannot live for extended periods of time.

Some comments here:

Look at these casualty figures!! In modern warfare, the historical ratio of wounded to killed in action has been about 350 wounded for every 100 killed!!

China: Killed 1,460 (Chinese sources)
Captured None
Wounded 569

India: Killed 3,128 (Indian sources)
Captured 3,123
Wounded 1,697

In Aksai Chin, the ratios are reversed!! A result of warfare in the "dead zone"'!!??

This war was fought over a “border dispute”! Borders in that part of the world have NEVER been established with certainty. Just look at the convoluted historical record [in the wiki entry] of WHO has claimed Aksai Chin in the past! Whose borders and whose history is going to be accepted by the warring parties? NO ONE WANTS TO GIVE AN INCH!! This is something that needs to be submitted for arbitration? An arbitration that neither side will ever be happy with?

Border disputes between India and China exist to this day! Have never been resolved! Both China and India deploy significant [?] military forces along the common border. EMOTION DOES CLOUD REASON!

The defeat of the Indian army had a very traumatic effect upon the “non-aligned" government of Nehru. The size of the Indian army was increased by 1/3 in the aftermath of Aksai Chin. India NOW realized it had a very tough and determined enemy that had to be dealt with in the manner of traditional power politics between nations. I wonder also, if the Indian government, again, as a result of Aksai Chin, at that point resolved to develop nuclear weapons? Before Aksai Chin, nukes were not seen as needed. After Aksai Chin - - nukes are now a must??

Before Aksai "Hindi-Chini bhai-bhai" - - . After Aksai Chin, India and China - - NOT brothers!



Tibet I.

This is coolbert:

By now, the devoted reader will be keenly aware that Tibetan refugees world-wide are carrying on a series of demonstrations and protests directed against Chinese rule in Tibet. Peaceful demonstrations and protests in Chicago [U.S.], New York [U.S.], Zurich [Switzerland], Hamburg [Germany], Dharmasala [India], etc.

There has also been - - a series of less than peaceful actions by Tibetans in the capital city of Lhasa? Rioting is a better description? Arson, beatings of Han Chinese, etc?

The modern history of Tibet has not been good! That is an understatement. It has been almost sixty years now since the invasion and occupation [1950] of Tibet by the Peoples Liberation Army [PLA] of the Chinese communists. And almost fifty years now since the last [??] major rebellion [1959] of the Tibetans against Chinese [Han] domination!!

[since 1950 there have been six major rebellions and forty minor ones against Chinese rule in Tibet. All suppressed with great violence bordering upon the genocidal!!]

The Buddhist religion and teachings of same severely limit the manner with which the Tibetan people can react to aggression by the Han Chinese??

The exiled ruler of Tibet, the Dalai Lama, is urging his followers to NOT resort to force in any circumstances.

The use of violence to resolve conflicts, even in self-defense, IS NOT ESPOUSED BY THE TEACHINGS OF BUDDHA??!! Think of the non-resisting Buddhist monks beheaded [4,000 in one day] by the Muslim invader at the University of Nalanda, or the current low-intensity conflict currently being carried out by Muslim “dissidents” in the southern most province of Thailand, non-resisting Buddhist monks again being a prime target!

Peaceful non-resistance - - NOT an attitude, however, universally held by ALL Tibetan people.

The Khamba tribesmen for instance. The Khambas DO have a reputation as warriors and DID resist the Chinese invasion and occupation of Tibet. Excellent horsemen accustomed to carrying rifles and SWORDS as part of their daily dress.

Were trained and equipped by the CIA to conduct guerrilla warfare against the PLA.

A guerrilla warfare campaign that lasted for the better part of a decade, before sputtering to a halt!

[guerrilla warfare, whether practiced in Albania or Tibet, just does not seem to work against communist powers!]

The Tibetan people, now as in 1950, face a foe [Han Chinese] who can apply overwhelming force in an overwhelming manner, without qualms!

Can someone suggest - - an answer - - that will work - - for the Tibetans!!??


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Monday, March 17, 2008


This is coolbert:

It could very well be that the engineering development of the Soviet I-16 "Rata" fighter aircraft was very greatly influenced by the American GeeBee series of airplanes.

But NOT EXACTLY as I had thought.

Here is the Russian web site ["History of Creation"] in English describing the process by which the I-16 came into being.

The GeeBee series of aircraft were innovative and unique for their time. Very much so. In some respects far advanced.

"The GeeBee and its designers had until recently been given a bad rap for their aircraft designs. In actuality they were remarkable aircraft and contributed greatly to the technical advancement of aviation design and aeronautical engineering, and had monumental impact on the development of military and civil aircraft that followed."


Judge for yourself!!

Espionage was involved here?! If so, it was probably the work of Amtorg. American Trading Corporation. Handled trade matters between the Soviet Union and the United States BEFORE diplomatic relations were fully established.

"The Amtorg Trading Corporation is an American company based in New York that was founded in 1924 by the Soviet Union to serve as its buying and selling organization in trade between the USSR and the USA. It handled the bulk of Soviet-American trade until 1935 . . . Working as an Amtorg employee served as a convenient cover for Soviet spies"

Probably, if so, the work of the GRU. Soviet [now Russian] military intelligence.

There was in all likelihood, extensive espionage activity being conducted by employees of Amtorg. As witnessed by the enormous number of secret messages passed between NYC and Moscow during the early 1930's. Messages probably sent in an enciphered code system with one-time-pad additive. Unreadable under all circumstances if used properly.

"In 1930 Hamilton Fish . . . American Congressman . . . managed to lay his hands on 3,000 coded telegrams from the Soviet Trading Corporation "Amtorg" in New York"

Amtorg got their hands on - - the plans of the Model-Y aircraft? From whence came the I-16?



Saturday, March 15, 2008


This is coolbert:

Those Soviet pilots fighting fascist forces in the skies over Spain [Spanish Civil War] and China [Second Sino-Japanese War], would have flown the Polikarpov I-16.

A fighter plane well advanced for it's time. Had many features that were "firsts", unique and deadly [to both friendly and foe alike!].


"Polikarpov I-16 Ishak (Rata) Though it looked like a stumpy racer, the Polikarpov I-16 was very much a fighter"


"Though it looked like a stumpy racer, the Polikarpov I-16 was very much a fighter, and the first in the world to go into service combining cantilever monoplane wings with retractable landing gear. It was also the greatest fighter of its day, but it was slightly marred by being tricky to fly and dangerous to an inexperienced pilot."

"The aircraft soon proved to be rather difficult to fly - it was almost unstable under all three axes, and had to be flown with ceaseless attention. On the plus side, its rolls and loops were so fast as to be quite startling."

"The outbreak of Civil War in Spain on the 18th July 1936 led to urgent pleas from the Republicans to Russia for fighter aircraft. After a suitable payment in gold, Stalin dispatched a large number of I-16’s for Republican service. Straight into action, the stubby monoplane mastered most opposition with ease."

"In 1937 more than 250 I-16’s were supplied to China. These aircraft fought over China until 1943"

There were a number of "affectionate" nicknames for this aircraft:

* "The Red Army pilots nicknamed the aircraft Ishak (Russian: Ишак, Donkey)."

* "The Nationalists [Spain] nicknamed the stubby fighter "Rata" (Rat)."

* The Republicans [Spain] affectionately called it "Mosca" (Fly)."

The design of the I-16 bears a remarkable resemblance [not totally so] to the American racing aircraft, the famous Gee Bee R-1.

The Gee Bee in it's time was the FASTEST airplane in the world. Incorporated unique and advanced designs NOT SEEN anywhere else!


"But the R-1 rapidly earned a reputation as, potentially, a very dangerous machine. The small wings, very low polar moment of inertia, and tiny control surfaces made for an aircraft that could rapidly get away from all but the most skilled pilots. Unfortunately, this shortcoming was common to most air racers of the day."

Again, the huge engine way out of proportion in size to the rest of the aircraft. An airplane bolted to an engine.

Jimmy Doolittle in the years prior to World War Two [WW2] developed a cult following from his successful piloting of the Gee Bee during aircraft races.

I have often wondered if Polikarpov "borrowed" the basic design and concepts as incorporated into the Gee Bee during the design and development phase of the I-16? Or was this a case of parallel development?




This is coolbert:

While surfing the Internet looking for info on the use of poison gas by the Japanese military, of course came across the Battle of Wuhan.

NOT even a footnote to history now?

A battle of the most momentous proportions. An epic fight on the scale of a Stalingrad?? NOW, forgotten?

"The Battle of Wuhan . . . was a large-scale battle of the Second Sino-Japanese War. More than one million National Revolutionary Army [the Nationalists] troops were gathered, with Chiang Kai-shek himself in command, to defend Wuhan from the Imperial Japanese Army . . . It lasted four and half months, and was the longest, largest and one of the most significant battles of the entire Second Sino-Japanese War.

Staggering statistics as to the number of combatants involved:

Chinese - - 1,100,000 troops (120 divisions).

Japanese - - 350,000 troops.

Casualties and losses - - 400,000 Chinese

"including a small band of Soviet Air Force volunteers [100 casualties total]."

[Soviet pilots at the same time were also fighting in the skies over Spain. I think it comes as a surprise to many that the Soviets would supply aid and assistance to the Chinese Nationalists!?]

The Battle of Wuhan was a Japanese victory [facilitated in measure by the use of poison gas?]! But what is called a pyrrhic victory!!??

"pyrrhic - - adjective - - 3. of or relating to or resembling Pyrrhus or his exploits (especially his sustaining staggering losses in order to defeat the Romans); 'a Pyrrhic victory'"

"The Japanese's pre-war hopes for a final showdown in Wuhan, to annihilate the main force of Chinese Army and forcing them to yield were unsuccessful . . . the China theatre now entered the stage of stalemate"

The Chinese Nationalists under Chiang Kai-shek were often seen and portrayed in the U.S. media as being corrupt, inefficient, lackadaisical, more concerned with fighting and defeating the communists under Mao than fighting the Japanese.

That is all baloney? The U.S. media and historians have fed us garbage. The Battle of Wuhan is an indication this is so [being fed garbage]! Persons willing to commit resources, fight as long and as hard as the Chinese did at Wuhan [even in defeat] is NOT indicative of laziness, corruption, a lackadaisical attitude, etc.!!


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Mc Cain.

This is coolbert:

Thanks here to the New Duranty Times. A/k/a as the New York Times.

John Mc Cain is not eligible to be President? As a former military dependent, IS NOT A NATURAL-BORN CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES! Does not meet constitutional muster!!

[Mc Cain as a military dependent was born in the American Canal Zone, Panama, NOT within the contiguous forty eight states as they existed at the time [1937].]

Could it be so!!?? Seems unbelievable, does it not!!??

Senator Patrick Leahy ONLY TODAY proposed a special law that would clarify this situation and "allow" persons born "overseas" as military dependents to be eligible for the Presidency without qualification even being controversial.

"McCain’s Canal Zone Birth Prompts Queries About Whether That Rules Him Out"

The question of birthright eligibility has been raised about other candidates for the Presidency. To include:

* "LOWELL P. WEICKER JR. of Connecticut, born in Paris"

* "GEORGE ROMNEY, born in Mexico"

* "BARRY GOLDWATER was born in the Arizona territory in 1909, before it became a state.

* "CHESTER A. ARTHUR [actually was elected President] was born in Vermont, but rumors suggested it was Canada."

"WASHINGTON — The question has nagged at the parents of Americans born outside the continental United States for generations: Dare their children aspire to grow up and become president? In the case of Senator John McCain of Arizona, the issue is becoming more than a matter of parental daydreaming."

The U.S. Constitution is quite clear on this matter:

"only a 'natural-born citizen' can hold the nation’s highest office."


“'There are powerful arguments that Senator McCain or anyone else in this position is constitutionally qualified, but there is certainly no precedent,' said Sarah H. Duggin, an associate professor of law at Catholic University who has studied the issue extensively. 'It is not a slam-dunk situation.'”

"multiple experts and scholarly reviews say the issue has never been definitively resolved by either Congress or the Supreme Court."

“There is some ambiguity because there has never been a court case on what ‘natural-born citizen’ means.”

“But it is certainly not a frivolous issue.”

Senator Graham of South Carolina also has weighed in on the issue and says it IS a matter of concern [not excessively so??]. Lindsay Graham at one point was a senior JAG [legal] officer in the U.S. Air Force!

NOT a frivolous issue!! NOT a slam-dunk!!



Thursday, March 13, 2008

My Japan!

This is coolbert:

Here is the type of thing Bert likes to read.

A wiki entry on the World War Two [WW2] "propaganda" movie, "My Japan"

"My Japan"

"My Japan is an American anti-Japanese propaganda film produced in 1945 to spur sale of American war bonds. The film takes the form of a mock travelogue of Japan, presented by an impersonated Japanese narrator."

Well - impersonated - sort of! Man appears to be a Nisei. Japanese-American doing his bit for the war effort. Dig the ever-smiling face, the Ming-the-merciless haircut, the flower arrangement.

This particular wiki entry tries to make some hay of the fact that this is a "propaganda" film. Uses statistics that are incorrect. NOT factual or accurate.

From the narration:

"Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, Iwo Jima - you boast of them as major victories; to you they are. To us they are minor defeats - the loss of island outposts. You Americans are fond of saying 'look at the score.' Very well, look at it. You sent your finest troops against these outposts. They died by the thousands. Here they are massacred, slaughtered. But you took the islands, you say. Yes, we expected you to. That is why we garrisoned them with second-rate troops. The best of your lives for the worst of ours. WE TOO, know a thing or two about bargains. You have not yet faced the best of our armies. You have faced only ten percent of our worst!"

That the statistics are incorrect is not germane!! The narration would BE CORRECT FROM A JAPANESE STANDPOINT!! Even up to the final surrender, the Japanese public did believe the war was going just swimmingly and that the American forces were being annihilated right and left. Superior Japanese fighting spirit would always triumph over materially rich but spiritually weak American forces. The film IS CORRECT IN PORTRAYING THINGS AS THE JAPANESE SAW THEM!!

[In 1944, the Japanese for two weeks celebrated in a delirious manner the sinking of an entire American aircraft carrier task force in a naval battle near Formosa [Taiwan]!! A naval battle THAT DID NOT EVEN OCCUR!! Such was the mental state of the Japanese even at the end of the war!!]



Gas II - - Conclusion.]

This is coolbert:

For some reason, the Japanese use of chemical weapons against the Chinese during World War Two [WW2] has not been a subject of controversy. NOT EVEN covered in conventional histories or even acknowledged at all!!??

The use of poison gas was much more widespread that anyone realizes!?

"Poison Gas"

"At the outbreak of the Wusung-shanghai campaign on August 13, 1937, the Japanese army used poison gas against Chinese troops. In the succeeding eight years of war, Japan had used poison gases 1,131 times in 14 Chinese provinces."

[this would of course cover the years from 1937 until surrender in 1945. To what extent chemical munitions were employed after 7 December is not mentioned! Release for commanders in the field to use poison gas had to be obtained from Hirohito himself!!??]

"The Changde chemical weapon attack refers to the use of chemical and biological weapons by Japan during the Battle of Changde in the Chinese Province of Hunan in April and May, 1943."

NOT ONLY did the Japanese employ chemical munitions in China with abandon, the manufacture and stockpiling of same [chemicals] was done on a massive basis. This was the work of Unit 516. It would seem that enormous amounts of chemical weaponry fell into the hands of the Soviets, the Chinese communists, and the Chinese Nationalists.

"Unit 516 was a top secret Japanese chemical weapons facility, operated by the Kempeitai, in Qiqihar (齊齊哈爾), China."

Japanese chemical weapons stockpiles ARE STILL BEING FOUND ALL OVER CHINA, TO THIS DAY!! POSE A SEVERE AND UNRELENTING PROBLEM THAT WILL BE AROUND FOR DECADES??!! A big source of friction between China and Japan.

"Disposing of Japan's World War II Poison Gas in China"

Let us make it clear now! We are NOT talking about unexploded chemical rounds found in a random manner. We are talking about large, intact, and still deadly stockpiles of QUANTITIES of poison gas rounds.

The Japanese, and historians in general, for some reason, are just able to come to grips with this aspect of WW2!!

[also, let me say that German use of poison gas during WW2 was in very specific circumstances. Used against enemy fighters hiding in underground sewers and catacombs. The heavier than air poison gas is more easily used in such a situation!]



Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Gas I.

This is coolbert:

Here is another instance of poison gas being used during World War Two [WW2].

"Defense of the Adzhimushkay quarry"

Soviet partisan fighters, underground in the Adzhimushkay Catacombs, were flushed out in part by the German using poison gas.

These catacombs were a series of quarries with connecting tunnels that had been dug over a number of previous decades [prior to 1942]. NOT burial chambers as the catacombs of Rome.

"German forces started to use explosives and toxic gases to end the resistance. On October 30, 1942, German forces finally entered the catacombs and captured the remaining defenders. Of the 13,000 or so people who took refuge in the catacombs, only 48 were alive at the end of the 170 day siege."

You would have thought that the use of poison gas, if it WAS used, would be well-known and even highly publicized AT THE TIME!!

This is not so!? The German used chemical agents both in suppressing the ZOB fighters of the Warsaw ghetto and the Soviet partisans underground at the Adzhimushkay Catacombs?! Very specific instances for specific reasons.

I think it was a surprise to many at the time that poison gas was NOT employed by the various combatants during WW2! Advantages were far outweighed by the disadvantages?

The Japanese used poison gas EXTENSIVELY AGAINST CHINESE TROOPS PRIOR to Pearl Harbor. After that, no use? Poison gas use authorized personally by Hirohito?! A war crime for which the "divinity" was totally excused??!!

"Emperor Shōwa [Hirohito] authorized by specific orders (rinsanmei) the use of chemical weapons against the Chinese. During the battle of Wuhan, Prince Kan'in transmitted the emperor's orders to use toxic gas on 375 separate occasions"

Toxic gas = Poison gas!!



Monday, March 10, 2008


This is coolbert:

Thanks here to Al Nofi, CIC, [CIC # 136] through StrategyPage.

"The ancient Chinese general Wu Ch'i once beheaded a man who had ventured into the enemy camp to kill two of their men, because 'He acted without orders.'"

"He acted without orders." Exactly. He was acting as a warrior - - NOT as a soldier. NOT fighting as part of a team, according to a plan, and comporting himself with regard to discipline and accepting same!! The general wanted soldiers - - NOT warriors!!

Here is the entire item as found in the annotations of Lionel Giles to the English translation [1910] of "The Art of War" [get the free download if you so desire] by Sun Tzu. [this from the reprint of the translation as commissioned by the distinguished novelist, James Clavell!]

"I have taken a few liberties with this translation [Giles] . . . and have inserted some of Giles's notes, according to the Chinese method, immediately after the passages to which they refer." - - James Clavell.

"Tu Mu tells a story in this connection of Wu Ch'i, when he was fighting against the Ch'in state, approximately 200 B.,C. Before the battle had begun, one of his soldiers, a man of matchless daring, sallied forth by himself, captured two heads from the enemy, and returned to camp. Wu Ch'i had the man instantly executed, whereupon an officer ventured to remonstrate, saying: 'This man was a good soldier, and ought not to have been beheaded.' Wu Ch'i replied: 'I fully believe he was a good soldier, but I had him beheaded because he acted without orders.'"

The context from Sun Tzu is:

"The host thus forming a single united body, it is impossible either for the brave to advance, alone or for the cowardly to retreat alone."




Sunday, March 09, 2008

Gooney Bird III. [Conclusion.]

This is coolbert:

The concept is called "big sky, little bullet".

American combat aircraft, providing close air support [CAS] for engaged U.S. ground forces, can fly through a battle zone in relative security, the chances of being hit by an indirect fire round [hostile or friendly], being relatively slim.

Here is an instance of where the concept failed.

An AC-47, flying CAS for embattled U.S. forces in Vietnam, taking a hit from a DOWN-WARD PLUNGING Viet Cong [VC] mortar round.

A hit [on a wing] the shrapnel of which wounding the flight-crew servicing the 7.62mm miniguns. A perilous situation that would have resulted in the AC-47 being blown out of the sky.

IF NOT FOR THE HEROICS OF A SEVERELY WOUNDED CREW MEMBER!! JOHN LEVITOW. Heroics for which John was awarded the Medal of Honor [MoH].



Sixty years and going. The "gooney bird". Again, with a remarkable robustness!!



Gooney Bird II.

This is coolbert:

Am watching last Sunday the TV program "Sixty Minutes"

The organization RAM [Remote Area Medical] is being profiled.

Provides high-technology medical care to remote areas of the world. People who have NEVER seen a doctor are able to get a medical examination, see a dentist, get examined for glasses, etc.

An organization, RAM, headed by an outstanding human being. Stan Brock. One of the MOST REMARKABLE PERSONS ALIVE!! An autodidact who has led one of the most profound and accomplished lives you can imagine.

"Brock is an Airline Transport Pilot with Flight Instructor certificates, a skilled writer on a variety of subjects; published author of five books in hard-cover and numerous articles in Reader's Digest and other publications, and a physical fitness expert.; 1st Cho Dan Black Belt Tae Kwon Do Karate."

A South American cowboy, naturalist [associated with the famous Marlin Perkins], and now humanitarian going good work the world over.

Also a man of imposing physical abilities. A tribute to good-living [hard living at that] and adherence to a most strict physical regimen. A minimum of two hours running, high repetition calisthenics, and stretching per day [a day beginning no later than 5 A.M too]. Pretty good for a man sixty-nine [69] years old!!!


[please note the logo for RAM. A parachute dropping medical supplies! Ala' World War Two missions!]

Sixty years and going. The "gooney bird" is remarkable, IS IT NOT!!!



Gooney Bird I.

This is coolbert:

From Suvorov:

I adore weapons. Of every sort . . . One day I shall open a small museum, and the first exhibit which shall buy for my museum will be an American jeep.. This is a real miracle weapon . . . how many types of tanks guns, aircraft, rockets have come and gone in the time of the jeep? . . . But they have gone and the jeep is still there."


The world-famous C-47 [and in all the variants thereof]

"The Douglas C-47 Skytrain or Dakota is a military transport that was developed from the Douglas DC-3 airliner. It was used extensively by the Allies during World War II and remained in front line operations through the 1950s with a few remaining in operation to this day."

A few in operation to this day. In the transport AND THE COMBAT MODE.

The AC-47 for instance. "Puff the Magic Dragon" from Vietnam fame.

A modified C-47, sporting three 7.62mm mini-guns, carrying a minimum of 20,000 rounds per mission for use in combat.

A weapons system that had an unexpected usefulness in Vietnam. When the AC [attack cargo] version of the C-47 was proposed, I don't think anyone would have believed the "gooney bird" was going to have the dramatic impact it did?

From the comments of Rich Silva to the blog:

"I used to fly on the original Spectre gunships [this I assume is the AC-130] before we had TV and big guns and stuff. The 'A' models were all retired in the early or mid 90s. Now there are the 'E' and 'U' models flying." [the A models of the AC-130 are now retired, all the while the AC-47 IS STILL GOING!!]

And, SOME OF THOSE AC-47 ARE STILL IN USE. Being flown right now, as we speak, by the Colombian air force, used in the COIN [COunter-INsurgency] role once again!!

"Retrofitted AC-47s are still in use in Colombia, where they are known by civilians as Avion fantasma (ghost planes). They are successfully operated by the local airforce in COIN operations"

Bang-bang, shoot em' up, your dead!!

Over sixty years and counting. The "gooney bird".



Thursday, March 06, 2008

Rape - - Again!!

This is coolbert:

From the Chicago Tribune of today also:

This was a new one on me:

“Marine Trials: The U.S. military says it will court martial four U.S. Marines in Japan for the alleged rape of a Japanese woman. Master Gunnery Sgt. John Cordero of the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station in Iwakuni in southern Japan said that the courts – martial are to be held beginning next month. The four Marines are accused of an attack on a 19-year-old woman in October, were charged by the Military in December.”

The one Marine was let go just the other day. Had been accused of raping a 14-years-old girl, but charges were dropped.

Here, four other Marines are also accused of rape. AND ARE GOING ON TRIAL!! Very serious stuff!!

That Marine unit is slated to be moved from Okinawa to Guam - - either this year - - or next. NO WONDER the folks on Guam have a degree of trepidation.




This is coolbert:

"And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars." (Matt 24:6-7)

A sampling of articles from the Chicago Tribune today that have a military dimension to them:

Chicago Tribune:

March 6, 2008.


Warships Patrol"

The U.S. Navy switched out warships patrolling in the Mediterranean, maintaining a show of strength during a period of tensions with Syria and political uncertainty in Lebanon. Official said it was a routine, planned deployment, but the deployment last week caused a political stir in Lebanon.”

Uzbekistan allows U.S. back on base"

"Moscow - - A NATO official said Wednesday that Uzbekistan has allowed some members of the alliance, including the United States, into use an air base on its territory in a signal of thawing relations with the west."

"Uzbekistan evicted U.S. troops from an air base in the Karshi-Khanabad region, 90 miles from the Afghan border, in 2005, after the U.S. criticized a crackdown on unarmed demonstrators in the eastern city of Andijan in May that year.”

"President Islam Karimov said in December that he favored good relations with the United States and Europe. Since then, a base in the country has been used as a transit point for troops and equipment headed to Afghanistan. NATO’s Central Asia envoy, Robert Simmons, told reporters in Moscow.”

German troops bulking up around the middle, study finds"

"Berlin - - The German military has been traveling too much on its stomach."

"A parliamentary report sent to the Defense Ministry says the nation’s soldiers are more overweight than civilians, a spokesman said."

“'Soldiers are too fat, don’t do enough sports, and don’t pay attention to what they eat,' wrote Reinhold Robbe, the parliamentary commissioner for the military."

“His report, issued Tuesday, drew on a study conducted by sports physicians at the University of Cologne that showed 40 percent of all soldiers between the ages of 19 and 29 are overweight.”

This is obviously NOT the German Army of the two World Wars as fought in the previous century!!

Across the Nation:

New fare helps Army to travel on its stomach

“Washington - - The Army on Wednesday rolled out the latest in combat cuisine - - special packets of easy-to-eat, high nutrition, high-calorie foods designed for mobile forces.”

“The chow, mostly bagged finger-type foods that soldiers can just tear open and eat on the move, will be available in the field next month.”

What’s on the Menu?"

"New packaged items include blackened catfish, teriyaki chicken, little French toast squares and pumpkin cake.”

“Also Wednesday, spread out on tables along the Pentagon’s third floor at lunch time, containers of garlic mashed potatoes, barbecue port, beef and black beans, and Mediterranean chicken simmered as soldiers lined up for a taste.”

“Those new offerings will be available to troops in MREs (meals ready to eat) over the next three years.”

"The southwest beef and black beans got the nod from Army Secretary Pete Geren, who sampled some of the fare."


War Crimes Alleged

“The Defense Department said Wednesday it has finalized war crimes charges against Ibrahim Ahmed Mahmoud al Qosi, a Sudanese citizen accused of working for Osama bin Laden, paving the way for a war crimes trial at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Al Qosi, who allegedly serve as an armed guard and driver for bin Laden between 1996 and 2001, will be arraigned on charges of conspiracy and supporting terrorism, the Pentagon said.”

I will take the opportunity to remind everyone that the German Nazi saboteurs captured in the U.S. during World War Two were executed within two weeks of apprehension, and HAD NOT EVEN DONE ANYTHING WRONG!! Merely being a bodyguard and driver hardly mitigates the charges. Just being a member of a terrorist organization is a very serious crime in itself!!

"Sailor Convicted"

“Hassan Abu-Jihaad, 32, a former Navy sailor, was convicted Wednesday in Connecticut of leaking details about ship movements to suspected terrorism supporters. The American-born Muslim convert faces up to 25 years in federal prison when he is sentenced in May.”

This man adopted the name of Abu-Jihaad when he converted!! You would have thought that alarm bells would have been going off all over the place!! Abu Jihaad was at one time WAS THE ROOMMATE OF THE WANNABEE JIHADI DERRICK SHAREEF [the Rockford, Illinois hand grenade bomber]!! Man was passing the movements of naval vessels ACTUALLY INVOLVED IN ANTI-TERRORIST OPERATIONS to persons described as "suspected" terrorist supporters. That should warrant the DEATH PENALTY!!?? I would think so!




This is coolbert:

From a comment to the blog:

"My uncle fought in Korea and said that the PRC and North Korean soldiers were the toughest, hardest people he had ever had the misfortune to run into. After a fight at night where he and his men were dug in, they found some dead Chinese the next morning who had no rifles, just pouches of hand grenades(which they thankfully never got close enough to throw). And this was a guy who fought the SS in France."

Some devoted readers will remember the rating scheme of the Japanese Colonel Tsuji. Rating soldiers of various armies with regard to fighting ability, the Chinese ranked # 2 [Japanese, as you may of course realize, were # 1 in the mind of a chauvinist such as Tsuji]!

[Japanese # 1, Chinese # 2, Russian # 3, Ghurkha # 4, American # 5, Australian # 6, British-Indian army troop # 7, British # 8]

That the Chinese soldier was so good [close quarters infantry fighter] came as a decided shock to American officers in Korea. Those Americans that had contact with the Nationalist Chinese Army in World War Two [WW2] had a less than sanguine attitude toward the Chinese infantryman. Good on the defense, less so on the offense - - was the image! Of course, the Chinese encountered by U.S. forces in Korea were part of the Chinese Communist New Fourth Army. A superior fighting force that had more than proved itself in combat with Nationalist forces in the Chinese Civil War. Good on defense, AND, good on offense too.

"san·guine - –adjective 1. cheerfully optimistic, hopeful, or confident"

And for the web site:

NOT off topic! NOT off topic at all! The snow mobile was originally designed and developed as A WEAPON OF WAR. Both the Soviets AND the Germans in response did some original designs BEFORE and during the war? The U.S. had intended to use snow mobiles in Norway during WW2. The special operations unit, Canadian/American Special Services Brigade was to be air dropped into Norway and conduct guerrilla warfare, the snow mobile being the transport of choice. Developmental problems precluded the deployment thereof, the brigade sent to the mountains of Italy instead!!


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This is coolbert:

Here is the valenki boot. The boot as worn by Soviet troops in winter conditions. Made of FELT!
Wool is very worm EVEN WHEN WET!!

"traditional Russian winter footwear, essentially felt boots . . . Valenki are made of wool felt. They are not water-resistant, therefore they are sometimes worn with galoshes to protect the felt."

"Valenki are a part of the Russian army uniform in winter . . . both winter boots and valenki are worn in the Russian army and that valenki are generally preferred for lower temperatures."

There is a boot obtainable in the U.S., for outdoorsmen, that is rubber on the outside, with FELT inserts. Removeable inserts, several carried by the user, one drying while another being worn. Very warm in all temps!!


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Wednesday, March 05, 2008


This is coolbert:

Here thanks to the Daily Mail, 3 March 2008

"A warrior prince! Cry God for Harry, England (or maybe Wales) and St George!"

"With the pictures of Prince Harry on front-line combat duty in Afghanistan filling acres of newsprint, something deep and long-stifled in the British psyche has stirred."

"Overnight, the image of Prince Charles’s wayward younger son has been transformed from a dissolute nightclub reveller to a heroic soldier putting his life on the line for his country."

I am quite sure Cornet Wales WOULD NOT SEE HIMSELF as a hero. Just as another "Tommy" doing his bit! Making his own life decisions and acting upon same. Doing what HE wants to do!



El Gran Capitán.

This is coolbert:

Thanks here to Al Nofi of CIC [CIC # 174 ] through StrategyPage.

"Never attack on ground chosen by the enemy."

-- Gonzalvo Fernandez de Cordoba, “El Gran Capitán” The Battle of Seminara, June 28, 1495

My instantaneous, instinctive, intuitive response upon reading this quote of El Gran Capitán was to think of the Israeli "incursion" into southern Lebanon, 2006.

An attack by the full might of the Israeli army and air force upon the prepared positions of the Hezbollah "fighters" that did not result in the usual Israeli unqualified victory. The "incursion" of Israeli forces did not go well? Was viewed in Israel even AT THE TIME [2006] AS SOMEWHAT OF A DISASTER!

Objectives were NOT fulfilled. Captured [kidnapped] Israeli soldiers were NOT repatriated!! Hezbollah, even when suffering a lot of casualties, emerged with a lot of prestige in the Arab world. NOT what the Israeli military had hoped for! Issues leading to hostilities and fighting in southern Lebanon were NOT resolved but only exacerbated!! A TENSENESS still exists, Israeli and Hezbollah forces preparing for a second round of fighting at any time!?

Attacking on ground chosen by the enemy is intuitively a bad idea!?

Your enemy has made his appraisal of the situation, decided upon defense, and has the INITIATIVE IN THAT SENSE?! In the case of Hezbollah, about 5,000 fanatical fighters have selected ground suitable for defense [southern Lebanon] and improved with multiple hardened fighting positions, connected by a series of tunnel complexes.

Hezbollah "fighters", armed with a seeming inexhaustible supply of anti-tank guided missiles [ATGM] of super-sophistication, WERE able to inflict unexpected casualties on Israeli armor. Casualties that the Israeli CAN ILL AFFORD FROM A POLITICAL STANDPOINT!!

Of the thirteen verities of combat as enunciated by Dupuy, these qualfify in this instance:

# 2 - - "Defensive strength is greater than offensive strength."

"Defense is the stronger form of combat". Defense is easier to do, produces more with less.

# 6 - - "Defenders' chances of success are directly proportional to fortification strength". NOT ONLY had Hezbollah chosen ground suitable for defense, the terrain had been prepared with carefully constructed fighting positions of strength. Hardened and relatively impervious to all but a direct hit from a large caliber weapon or a terminally guided bomb dropped from an aircraft!

The observation of El Gran Capitán was true in 1495 and WILL ALWAYS BE TRUE!!

"Gonzalo de Córdoba (September 1, 1453 – December 2, 1515), was a Spanish general who made Spain the preeminent world military power for almost a century and half. He was called El Gran Capitán ('The Great Captain')"

Along with the essential Sun Tzu, all senior military commanders should carry around a little book just chock full of quotes such as was made by El Gran Capitan? Refer to the book and help them avoid mistakes and unnecessary casualties!? Essentials of warfare that have been true, are now, and ALWAYS will be!?



Monday, March 03, 2008


This is coolbert:

From the Chicago Tribune of this last Saturday:

"Around the World"

"Teen drops rape charges against GI"

Tokyo - - "A U.S. Marine who was accused of raping a 14-year-old girl in southern Japan has been released after prosecutors dropped the charges at the teenager's request, the Foreign Ministry said Friday."

"Staff Sgt. Tyrone Luther Hadnott, 38 was arrested Feb. 10 on suspicion of raping the girl on the southern island of Okinawa, fueling a nationwide furor over crimes involving some of the 50,000 U.S. troops based in japan."

What is one to make of this? Charges are dropped! Accused is released. Girl declines to press charges!

This is unexpected? Forces are at work here we are not aware of?

Other concerns have manifested themselves.


Need I say anymore!!??



Sunday, March 02, 2008


This is coolbert:
The Chinese Communist volunteer Forces [CCVF] Korea went into battle wearing a low quarter tennis shoe, NOT a boot. The shoe worn by the Chinese was made of rubber and canvas, totally inadequate, and the cause of monstrous trouble in the cold, wet weather of the Korean winter, 1950.

"His [Chinese] uniform is a good cotton quilted pants and jacket. When it gets wet it becomes a deadly situation. The Chinese soldier for the most part has tennis like shoes for his feet, and were not satisfactory."

"The rubber-and-canvas tennis shoes worn by the Chinese soldiers provided no protection against the cold and resulted in extremely heavy rates of frozen feet. The basic uniform was heavily quilted cotton . . . Warm in dry weather, the quilted uniforms were impossible to dry when soaked. Few Chinese soldiers had gloves, so many suffered from frostbitten or frozen hands. They often had to sleep out in the open, in minus-30 degrees Centigrade, without blankets . . . In fact, two-thirds of the Chinese casualties were from the cold that winter, against one-third from combat. Chinese veterans later declared that 90 percent of the 'volunteers' in Korea suffered from some degree of frostbite in the winter of 1950."

Right, we think that American troops in Korea as suffering from the cold. The Chinese suffered even worse. That quilted down filled uniform is NO GOOD when wet. Those tennis-like shoes made of canvas cannot be dried properly and contribute to "trench foot". The purpose of puttees was to PREVENT water and muddy wet cold slosh from getting inside the low quarter cut shoe, but the Chinese did not even have those [puttees].

As I have said before, historically, most casualties in war are either due to water [not having enough or polluted with disease!] and feet!!



Prince Harry.

This is coolbert:

Prince Harry of England has returned from combat duty in Afghanistan. Harry, having chosen the profession of soldiering, is NOT ONE to shirk his duties.

As Teddy Roosevelt would have said, "bully for him!!"

"Prince returns from Afghanistan"

"Prince Harry has returned to the UK after being withdrawn 10 weeks into a front-line deployment in Afghanistan."

"In pictures: Prince Harry in Afghanistan"

[see an excellent slide show of Prince Harry while he was on duty in Afghan! In this particular photo Harry is in the back row center - - Fijians in the front row kneeling!]

The cover for Prince Harry was blown by the Drudge Report. American gadfly media darling who "breaks" big time stories. A modern day version of Walter Winchell!?

Matt Drudge, NOW, a man not in favor with the British media or public?!

"The news that Prince Harry was serving with the British Army in Afghanistan leaked out much earlier than its intended publication date. The story was broken by an American website, The Drudge Report. But what is it, and who is its eponymous author, Matt Drudge?"

"ep·on·y·mous - – adjective - - giving one's name to a tribe, place, etc.: Romulus, the eponymous founder of Rome."

Matt Drudge, Drudge Report - - eponymous.

AND, Prince Harry over Matt Drudge any day!



Saturday, March 01, 2008


This is coolbert:

Another sign that all is not well in Russia. The "bear" is resurgent in a manner that does not bode well?

I like to think the Russians will not assume the previous hostile attitude toward the rest of the world that existed in communist times!

Indicators seem to suggest the Russians are contemplating a return to the bad-old-days? Such as:

"In denial"
Feb 7th 2008
[through the Institute for Historical Review]

"Russia revives a vicious lie"

That vicious lie - - is that - - the German Nazi - - perpetrated the Katyn Massacre. The slaughter, from World War Two [WW2], of Polish prisoners by the Soviet secret police [NKVD]. Military officers, intellectuals, priests. The very elite of pre-WW2 Polish society executed on the order of Stalin. A cold, callous, unfeeling, vicious, sadistic act of a barbarian [Stalin] that hurt post-war Poland for decades afterwards!

Acknowledged by Yeltsin as a despicable act with the fall of the Soviet communist regime.

NOW, denied by Putin and his cronies!!?? Yes, that would be troubling!!

[a word concerning the Institute for Historical Review [IHR]. On his radio talk show, the host Michael Medved has described IHR as a neo-Nazi, anti-Semitic organization. I present the material free of judgement or qualification. Actually I have used links from IHR previously. Such as with the blog entry for General Sir Percy Cleghorn Hobart! You the devoted reader to my blog judge accordingly with an open mind, please!!]