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

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Weapons and Human Evolution

Weapons are very important to human evolution. Recent DNA findings prove the point.

MTDNA - DNA that passes from mother to child, indicates that every human alive is descended from one woman who lived about 150,000 years ago in Africa. But the Y Chromosome, that passes from father to son, indicates that every human alive descended from one man who lived about 60,000 years ago in Africa.

Sounds kind of kinky. But if the research is correct, it points out the difference in breeding options of males versus females. One male can father numerous offspring with numerous females, provided that other males let him. Other males are of course not all that fond of that outcome, which leads to conflicts among males of most species. The biggest toughest male gets the most offspring.

This is true for most species, including humans.

Enter weapons. The clever, smarter guys conceived better weapons, and with these weapons knocked off the other guys, and go their women. Hence a convergent date of our ancestral GGG Grandfather of 60,000 years ago versus our GGGGGrandmother of 150,000 years ago.

In a normal state, human males are in more or less constant conflict with other males over hunting areas and females. When things are equal, it is difficult for one band of males to knock off another band.

But each time a new superior weapon was created that gave one band of humans an advantage over the others, male on male genocide was the likely outcome, while preserving and breeding with the attractive females.

This scenario would have played out over and over again each time a superior weapon was developed. The first men and/or hominids that figured out how to property use a club or throw stones effectively would have had a field day. Ditto the first guys who developed the spear, the first who developed stone hatchets, slings, spear throwers, bows and arrows, guns, etc.

And each group who invented the new weapon was probably a little more clever and smarter then the guys who did not create the invention. Over time, conflict with weapons made humans more intelligent.

I think the above is correct, but who knows? I was not there,


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Russians III. [Conclusion]

This is coolbert:

Here is a whole series of extracts from the blog Cuban Colada concerning the proposed and suggested renewed use of Cuban soil for Russian military adventures. Primarily refueling of long-range aviation assets of the Russian Air Force. Bomber aircraft of the "Bear" and "Blackjack persuasion.

"Izvestia (sort of) recants tale of bombers"

"The Russian newspaper Izvestia reluctantly conceded it had been misled when it published a report that Russian bombers might use Cuba as a refueling stop."

"Another call for a renewed 'presence'"

"Col. Gen. Leonid Ivashov, a former Russian Defense Ministry official and currently the president of the Academy of Geopolitical Affairs, on Monday said a renewed Russian military presence in Cuba would be a suitable response to pressure from the United States"

"Castros will nix Russian arms, paper says"

"The Russian newspaper Kommersant on Monday poured cold water on calls for a Russian military presence in Cuba, saying that 'the Castro brothers are displeased over Russian politicians discussing a deployment of military facilities in Cuba without asking Havana.'"

"Ex-envoy: 'Renewed presence' is bluff"

"Recent reports that Russia wants to reestablish a military presence in Cuba are bluff leaked by Moscow, believes Wayne Smith, chief of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana from 1979 to 1982."

"How the Cuba bomber flap evolved"

"Lost in the unfolding controversy about the possible deployment of nuclear-capable strategic bombers in Cuba is an explanation of how the flap began."

"Col. Gen. Leonid Ivashov, pointed out Cuba could be used as 'an auxiliary airport for refueling,' the same way Russia now uses the Cape Verde islands."

"Russia calls pit-stop reports 'a hoax'"

"Reports that Russian bombers might use Cuba as a refueling base are 'disinformation,' a spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry said Thursday."

"Fidel urges prudence in bomber flap"

"Stay cool, seemed to say Fidel Castro in his latest 'reflection', published Thursday in the official daily Granma under the title Machiavellian strategy . . . in connection with the eventual installation of bases for Russian strategic bombers"

"White House: Russia is no threat"

"Following is an exchange Tuesday between reporters and White House spokesperson Dana Perino on the subject of the Izvestia report:
Q.: Dana, did you look into the report about the Russian bombers in Cuba?
A.: Yes, it appears to be just speculation and hypotheticals right now."

"General cautions Moscow on Cuba flights"

"Air Force Gen. Norton Schwartz warned that Russia would cross 'a red line' if it used Cuba as a refueling stop for strategic nuclear bombers . . . 'I certainly would offer best military advice that we should engage the Russians not to pursue that approach.'"

"Fears of a Cuba crisis emerge"

"Now that rumors are circulating that Russia may be planning to base or re-fuel long-range strategic bombers in Cuba or Venezuela, experts are beginning to sound the alarm about a possible future crisis over Cuba."

"Izvestia: Russia sees Cuba as landing strip"

"Russia is considering sending long-range bombers to Cuba in response to Washington's intentions to deploy an antimissile shield in eastern Europe, the Russian newspaper Izvestia reported Monday"

"Recants" - - "been misled" - - "will nix" - - "bluff" - - "a hoax" - - "disinformation" - - "stay cool" - - "no threat"!

A lot of hot air is being bandied about? For no real purpose but creating a lot of concern where none is warranted. And all because the decision has been made to place an anti-ballistic system in eastern Europe, within NATO territory! An anti-ballistic system to be used solely against a so far imaginary Iranian missile threat, yet to materialize!


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Monday, August 18, 2008

Russians II.

This is coolbert:

From a Chicago Tribune op-ed piece dated this last Friday.

"Another Russian thrust"

"Fifteen years after a breakup that ended with both parties reeling, Cuba and Russia are rediscovering that old magic - - the heady satisfaction that comes from keeping American's defense warriors up at night."

The Russian military is contemplating a return to the bad-old-days? A resurgent and awash-with-petro-dollars Russia will once again station military units in Cuba? Or at least use Cuban facilities as staging areas or refueling sites?

The Russian military is considering:

* "reopen a radar listening center in Cuba that was used to intercept U.S. communications until 2001"
* "Cuba's harbors could be a convenient place to park Russian combat ships."
* "nuclear capable bombers could be based or at least refueled at Cuban airfields."

This "radar listening center" was the Lourdes complex. Twenty five square miles of electronics, antenna farms, etc., specifically targetiting American communications, civilian, governmental, and military.

Nuclear capable bombers presumbably would include those of the "Bear" and "Blackjack" variety.

All of this is, according to the Russians:

"a suitable response to U.S. plans to install a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic."

Missiles in Poland, radars in the Czech Republic. TO COUNTER AN IRANIAN THREAT, NOT A RUSSIAN THREAT!!

Once again, further indications that a new "Cold War" is already afoot!


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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Russians I.

This is coolbert:

Here are excerpts from an Israeli source - - a quick and dirty analysis of the conflict currently taking place between Russia and Georgia.

"The Russian-Georgian War: Implications for the Middle East"

By Ariel Cohen.

"Ariel Cohen, Ph.D., is Senior Research Fellow in Russian and Eurasian Studies and International Energy Security at The Heritage Foundation."

Thanks to the Institute for Contemporary Affairs.

15 August 2008.

Russian has now confirmed itself as a resurgent world-power to be reckoned with? This conflict between Russian Georgia has much wider ramifications? NOT confined to the dispute over Abkhazia and South Ossetia? Russia is now engaging in machinations, geo-political intrigue, schemes, and plots worthy of the Czarist era as practiced ever since the time of Ivan the Terrible?

"Moscow formulated far-reaching goals when it carefully prepared - over a period of at least two and a half years - for a land invasion of Georgia."

"U.S. intelligence-gathering and analysis on the Russian threat to Georgia failed. So did U.S. military assistance to Georgia, worth around $2 billion over the last 15 years"

"Tbilisi was stunned by the ferocity of the Russian response. It shouldn't have been, nor should Americans be surprised. The writing was on the wall, but Washington failed to read it, despite repeated warning from allied intelligence services and a massive presence of diplomats and military trainers on the ground."

Russia's Goals.

* "Expelling Georgian troops and effectively terminating Georgian sovereignty in South Ossetia and Abkhazia."
* "Regime change" - bringing down President Mikheil Saakashvili and installing a more pro-Russian leadership in Tbilisi."
* "Preventing Georgia from joining NATO and sending a strong message to Ukraine that its insistence on NATO membership may lead to war and/or its dismemberment."

"Kill the Chicken to Scare the Monkey"

"Aggression against Georgia also sends a strong signal to Ukraine and to Europe"

Lessons from the War:

* "Watch Out for the Bear - and Other Beasts!" Russia is resurgent and very serious and very deadly. This current war is just the start. NOT a trifling matter confined to the Caucasus region but in addition a signal to the region and for that matter the rest of the world!

* "Strategic Self-Reliance." Israeli self-reliance that is. DO NOT depend upon promises from Washington. Depend upon yourself and your own "arms". DO NOT rely upon anyone else.

* "Intelligence Failure." Another severe intelligence failure for the U.S.?

* "Air Power Is Not Sufficient." Combined arms is a MUST - - using all assets as part of a coordinated plan.

* "Surprise and Speed of Operations Still Matter"

* "Do Not Cringe." - Be willing to inflict casualties and accept casualties on your own side as well.

* "Information and Psychological Warfare Is Paramount." There was a denial of service [DoS] cyber-warfare attack on Georgia just prior to and during combat operations. Similar as to what occurred to the Estonians last year?

A message is being sent to the United States, Europe, and the rest of the world. Russia is once again a player on the world stage and not to be taken for granted? A variety of means [to include on occasion the use of force!] are to be employed by the Russian in furtherance of "aims" on the international stage! A new "Cold War" has begun and the players are not even really sure that the curtain has lifted! Better wake up fast!



Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Flying Bomb!

This is coolbert:

"Harry [Truman], what the hell are you doing campaigning for that crippled son-of-a-bitch that killed my son Joe?" - - Joseph P. Kennedy Sr.

Sixty-four years ago yesterday, Lieutenant Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., naval aviator, met his untimely death in the skies over England.

Flying a B-24 Liberator bomber, on a TOP SECRET experimental mission, the details of which were not made public knowledge for FIFTY YEARS AFTER THE FACT!!

"British military officials did not want their people to know that planes packed with explosives, under shaky radio control, were flying over the country [England]."

A B-24 Liberator packed with high-explosive [ten tons worth], manually taken aloft and flown - - part way to the target - - guided the rest of the way to the objective by remote control from a chase plane, the two-man crew having previously bailed out. Intended to destroy German “V” [Vengeance] weaponry. A “flying bomb”, part of the Operation Aphrodite project.

It was Joseph Jr. that the father. Joseph Sr. had been grooming to become the first Irish Catholic President of the United States. Joseph Jr. had already completed two tours of duty flying Liberators and was due for return to the U.S. But volunteered for this experimental mission, knowing full well the danger.

For inexplicable reasons, the Liberator, chock full of high explosives, exploded spontaneously, Joseph Jr. and his co-pilot meeting instant death, bodies not recovered [BNR].

Amazingly so, Elliott Roosevelt, THE SON OF PRESIDENT FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT, was flying in an accompanying “chase plane” and witnessed first hand the explosion of the Liberator flown by Kennedy!!!

"Flying among the escorts was Colonel Elliott Roosevelt, the President's son . . . Just twenty-eight minutes after takeoff . . . Colonel Roosevelt saw a blinding flash."

It should not be thought however, that the idea of the “flying bomb” was confined solely to the allies!

The German too developed a similar “flying bomb” weapon system. Call “Mistel” [Mistletoe!]! A German bomber aircraft, the cockpit removed and replaced WITH AN ENORMOUS SHAPED CHARGE, flown to the target by a piggybacked Focke-Wulf [FW] 190!

[is this a case of a fighter strapped to a bomber, or a bomber strapped to a fighter? Since the bomber relies upon the fighter pilot for control, I think the latter? That shaped charge is the largest device of it’s type ever built? This was a unique weapon system!]

"The definitive Mistel warhead was a shaped charge . . . When detonated, the explosion would create a penetrator . . . capable of penetrating up to 7 metres (24 feet) of steel armour."

This particular photo is a head on shot of the shaped charge, [note] the propellers of the un-manned bomber on either side of the explosive device.

The German had in mind a specific mission for the Mistel. Destroy the power plants that supplied 75 % of the electricity used by Soviet munition makers. Missions on paper that did not materialize.

"As part of Operation Iron Hammer in late 1943 and early 1944, Mistels were selected to carry out key raids against Soviet weapons manufacturing facilities -- specifically, electricity-generating plants around Moscow and Gorky"

"If the attack were to succeed in destroying just 2/3 of the turbines it would have knocked out about 75% of the power used by the Soviet defence industry."

Missions of this type never seemed to work well during the Second World War. Results generally were always less, sometimes much less, than what was hoped for. I am thinking here of Schweinfurt [ball bearings] or Ploesti [oil]. The thought was - - one concentrated bombing effort - - a “maximum effort” - - would so cripple the Nazi munitions industry and war making potential that the German military would literally grind to a halt.


Please note too from the Operation Aphrodite wiki site the uniformly unsuccessful nature of the various Aphrodite missions. The concept was sound but the “hustle” was wrong? Remote-control flying of an aircraft using electronics and electro-mechanical controls available AT THE TIME was not just feasible to the degree needed?

Japanese pilots from the era of course would have welcomed, been grateful, and even relished to have flown an Aphrodite mission! ONE PLANE - - ONE TARGET - - ONE MISSION - - END OF TARGET!! And no bailing out either!!

As to the comments of Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. NO!! Joseph Jr. was a very brave man who died an unfortunate death, doing his duty and way beyond that!! Joseph Jr. knew what had to be done, and died in the process. NOT the fault of FDR!!




This is coolbert:

Here is a big break in the war on terror?

Again, being handled as a mere criminal case?

"Alleged Mata Hari of Al Qaeda Could Provide 'Treasure Trove' of Intelligence"

From only yesterday, when this woman was arraigned? "August 12, 2008".

Aafia Siddique. Woman Al Qaeda operative [alleged], captured in Afghan, brought to the U.S. This woman is a legal U.S. resident, with American born children that are U.S. citizens. A person educated at elite colleges, with a PhD in neuroscience.

"Siddique, who attended MIT as an undergraduate and earned her PhD in neuroscience at Brandeis"

"Aafia Siddique Had a List of Targets in New York & Chem-Bio Weapons Information in her Possession"

"When she was arrested in Afghanistan last month, Aafia Siddique allegedly had in her possession maps of New York, a list of potential targets that included the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, the subway system and the animal disease center on Plum Island, detailed chemical, biological and radiological weapon information"

"she also had in her possession a one gigabyte digital media storage device - a thumb drive - whose contents included a large trail of emails that authorities are now poring over, sources said. Those e-mails, a source involved in the investigation said, are between 'what she described as 'units' and what we would call 'cells'.'"

"This is a major haul, a major capture for the FBI," said Kiriakou [ex-CIA counter-intelligence]. 'To find someone who has such rich information, computer hard drives, e-mails, that is really a major capture.'"

"US authorities are analyzing Siddique's saliva, hair, and fingernail scrapings to determine, if possible, what evidence they can find of any exposure to chemical, biological or radiological materials with potential use in weapons of mass destruction, sources said."

"the useful information from high value prisoners it has had in custody for as long as six years and has watched the stream of new intelligence go from a torrent to a trickle"

From a torrent to a trickle??!! That is not good. "Breaks" of this nature are vital, but are hard to come by?

"she had become something of a cause celebre among some human rights activists who believe she was 'disappeared' five years ago by the Pakistani government"

A couple comments here:

* When this woman appeared in the NYC courtroom, she was in a wheelchair and appeared to be in a bad way. All the result of a shoot-out when she grabbed the M4 carbine of an interrogator and tried to go down fighting, Siddique herself being shot?! NEVER UNDERESTIMATE ANY OF THESE JIHADI!! Even a woman!!

* Americans tend to think [?] that a person such as Siddique, having lived among Americans for an extended period of time,, being educated [very highly so too!] among Americans, having her children born here, would be favorably disposed toward the U.S. and make poor material for recruitment to Al Qaeda and the jihad movement! This is not so? Sometimes, rather the opposite?

We have not heard the last with this case?



Glider - - Again! III. [Conclusion]

This is coolbert:

Allied and German forces both during World War Two [WW2] extensively employed gliders for their airborne operations. Glider-borne troops, following an initial parachute assault would bring reinforcement, supplies, heavier weapons, etc. right to the target consolidated in a unit, intact! A big advantage over parachute drops, which had a bad habit of dispersing paratroopers over a wide area, sometimes far from the intended drop zone. Airborne troops, that when landing and dispersed, had a much more difficult time of accomplishing their mission.

The German did have a well thought out protocol for parachute assault and further landings of airborne troops by glider. A lot of emphasis was placed on selection of suitable landing fields for gliders, and improvement where necessary.

Here thanks to the LoneSentry web site. Reprints of intelligence bulletins from World War Two [WW2] as published by American G2:

"'How Paratroops Clear Fields for Gliders from Intelligence Bulletin"

"The Germans are well aware that troops dropped by parachute must be supplied rapidly with sufficient reinforcements, equipment, ammunition, and rations . . . the Germans stipulate that the first mission of certain designated paratroopers, on landing in the jump area, is to improvise a landing field for gliders."

Subsequent to an initial assault by paratroopers, glider landings are prioritized as follows:

* "Reinforcement by air-landing troops [glider-borne] is the first use to which an improvised field is put."
* "Supplies which cannot be dropped are landed next"


An ideal field, the Germans specify, is one which:

* "permits gliders to land regardless of the direction in which the wind is blowing."

The German preference is for:

* "a field near a road or path leading to the fighting troops."
* "It is regarded as essential that the surrounding obstacles permit a glide of at least '1 in 15.'"

[This means that the length of the landing field must be at least 15 times the height of the trees or other obstacles which fringe the field.]

* "provide each regiment with one glider landing field having at least two landing strips."

[American Special Operations troops employing gliders for long-range missions would not be landing in regimental force, perhaps only in company grade strength at the most.]

* "allow a number of gliders to land simultaneously."

The Germans regard the following as unfavorable features:

* "very rocky, uneven ground"
* "stony ground where the stones go deeper than 2 feet"
* "swampy or wooded ground"
* "ground with thick vegetation, ditches, stone walls, hedges, wire fences, etc."

The following . . are described as favorable features:

* "moderately soft ground with grass"
* "ground with tall grass and even a little vegetation"
* "farm land, even if furrowed"
* "corn fields (which are fairly easy to clear)"
* "sandy ground, even if it is somewhat pebbly"

Besides the above [preferences]:

* "the prevailing wind direction also influences the German choice of a field."


* "All obstacles are removed, not only from the landing strip, but from a zone 65 feet wide on each side of the strip."
* "Uneven ground is leveled."

" Although normally every precaution is taken to lessen the danger of crash landings, the Germans follow an interesting procedure"

Under these circumstances [unfavorable], if time is very short or if the terrain presents great difficulties:

* "the Germans clear at least one-third of the landing strip"
* "Just off the landing strips, parking areas are prepared for the gliders already landed."
* "These parking areas are so arranged as not to hinder further development of the landing strip"
* "Vegetation stripped from the landing field is saved, and is used in camouflaging the parked gliders."


* "The center of the landing strip is marked with identification panels for air recognition"
* "the wind direction is shown by a large T made with panels and, indicated when necessary, by smoke as well."

NO! A thousand times NO! DO NOT mark the landing strip with identification panels made of cloth or similar substance. Mark with paint if possible. Use smoke to indicate wind direction - - YES!

With regard to marking a landing field for gliders with cloth identification panels or similar markers that might get thrown up into the air, again - - see too this previous blog entry of mine.

If and when the decision was ever made by the U.S. military to again employ military gliders, the experience, lessons-learned, doctrinal considerations are already on the books and ready-to-go! Re-inventing the wheel is not necessary.



Monday, August 11, 2008


This is coolbert:

Here is an example of independent parallel design and development?

First, the American C-82 Packet. "The C-82 Packet was a twin-engine, twin-boom cargo aircraft used briefly by the United States Army Air Forces following World War II."

And the German Gotha Go 242. "The Gotha Go 242 was a transport glider used by the Luftwaffe during World War II."

"The Go 242 was designed by Albert Kalkert in response to a Reichsluftfahrtministerium (RLM) requirement for a heavy transport glider . . . The requirement was for a glider capable of carrying 20 fully laden troops or the equivalent cargo."

Similar placement of the cockpit, the dual boom, high-wing. Of course the Packet has wheels [the glider had wheels and also lands on a skid running the length of the bottom?], and two engines [note too the windows on the GO 242 are lacking on the Packet]. But the basic design is remarkably similar? Espionage of some sort was involved? Or just logical minds at work arriving at a similar design based upon requirements?



Commentary - - Glider

This is coolbert:

From a comment to the blog:

"I've always been surprised that militaries don't use gliders anymore . . . they seem cheap to make. I am sure they could be built of "stealth" materials making them even harder to detect . . . When you jump out of a plane as a paratrooper, you are limited in the amount of stuff you can carry . . . I don't see why unmanned gliders that are remotely controlled couldn't be used for resupply either."

* Well, cheap to make, already stealthy, made of wood with doped canvas covering, NO engine, few metal parts. Towed by a conventional aircraft, say a AC-130, released a goodly distance from the target, swoops down upon the adversary, the troops disembark, the AC gunship turns around and from 8,000 feet gives the same combat support to the troops on the ground as if they had a nuclear weapon at their disposal. And you already have proven work-horse models such as the British Horsa that could be put back into production relatively easily and cheaply? THIS WOULD NOT COST A LOT OF BUCKS FOR A CAPABILITY THAT MIGHT DO SOME REAL GOOD? AND CAN BE DONE NOW?

* Those American paratroopers jump with about one hundred fifty [150] pounds on their back? Cannot hit the ground running and move toward the objective as you see in the movies. Jumping with the fighting load, the existence load, two chutes, all strapped to the body, is not only cumbersome, BUT DOWNRIGHT DANGEROUS!! I know American parachutists used to have a technique, and maybe still do, that would allow them to jettison the fighting and existence load just prior to impact to ease the paratroopers touchdown!! Just make sure you don't land on your own gear and hurt yourself!

* I guess the biggest drawback to gliders as used by the military was the inability, relatively speaking, for extraction. But that WAS NOT AN ISSUE DURING WW2! When employed paratroopers were to seize territory or objectives and THEN LINK UP WITH CONVENTIONAL MILITARY UNITS AND BE RELIEVED, AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!!

* See this web site. Blogged about this man and his company before. The resupply glider [actually a para-glider, more parachute than a conventional aircraft] is NOW? A concept at least embraced to a degree!



Saturday, August 09, 2008

Gliders - - Again II

This is coolbert:

"Germania rules!" - - Bert.

Originally my favorite military glider from the World War Two [WW2] era, to be resurrected and used by the American military for special operations type missions was the British Horsa. Able to accommodate a platoon of troops in one aircraft, hopefully with each man carrying his fighting load.

As an alternative, the German WW2 military glider, the Go 242 is a "possible".

"The Gotha Go 242 was a transport glider used by the Luftwaffe during World War II."

"The Go 242 was designed by Albert Kalkert in response to a Reichsluftfahrtministerium (RLM) requirement for a heavy transport glider to replace the DFS 230 then in service. The requirement was for a glider capable of carrying 20 fully laden troops or the equivalent cargo."

Would allow for a troop transport capacity twice what the DFS 230 allowed. Two squads in the Go 242 versus one in the DFS 230!

"Cargo versions of the glider . . . could accommodate a small vehicle such as a Kübelwagen [military version of the Volkswagen Beetle] or loads of similar size and weight."

There was evidently a cargo version and a troop carrying version? Distinct from one another?

The Do 242 had the capability to use rocket-assisted take-off [RATO] when too heavily laden! A variety of German military aircraft during WW2 used RATO. In this regard, at least during WW2, the German was unique?

"The glider was tested with rockets for overloaded take offs, a rack of four 48 kilogram Rheinmetall 109-502 take off rockets mounted on the rear of the cargo compartment. A second rocket called the 'R Device' was also used with the glider - it was a liquid-fuel Heinkel rocket engine R I-203 (HWK 109-500A) which was mounted beneath the wing on either side of the body and was ejected after takeoff, parachuting down to be recycled."

RATO take-off for a fully loaded and heavy glider. Useful in mountainous terrain where the air is "thin" and an assist is necessary to become airborne?

Please look carefully at the photo accompanying this blog entry. You can see what appears to be the RATO assembly at the rear of the cargo compartment?

And for those that would suggest - - "why not just develop your own military glider to your own specs?" - - I would respond - - "why bother to reinvent the wheel when the working proven product is already out there??"



Gliders - - Again I

This is coolbert:

[please see my previous blog entry on the subject of military gliders.]

Here is an English chap who is thinking along the same lines as I am. At least with regard to military gliders. Resurrection of a concept [military gliders], that was thought be gone in the same manner as the Dodo!!

"Lord Gilbert, defence minister of state formally responsible for intelligence during the Kosovo War, told the House of Commons Select Committee on Defence on 20 June 2000 that gliders could have been used to land troops in Kosovo. Neither Lord Gilbert nor the other politicians present appeared to be aware that this would not have been feasible . . . gliders . . . are not used [have not been used] in combat operations. No troop-carrying gliders have been in British service since 1957"

Lord Gilbert said - - COULD HAVE BEEN USED. If they were available, COULD HAVE BEEN USED. Were not available, but if they had been in the inventory, COULD HAVE BEEN USED!!

Gliders DO HAVE distinct advantages"

"gliders could land troops in greater concentrations precisely at the target landing area. Furthermore, the glider, once released at some distance from the actual target, was effectively silent and difficult for the enemy to identify."

Consider this amazing statistic:

"Out of the 2,596 gliders dispatched for Operation Market [Garden], 2,239 gliders were effective in delivering men and equipment to their designated landing zones."

Gliders would not be needed in profuse numbers? Only a limited number for use by Special Operations troops?

Several dozens total would suffice for special operations combat missions? World War Two [WW2] style gliders [able to carry a platoon of troops with impedimenta], with modifications and improvements - - ready to go in short order. This can be a NOW if the factory plans from the WW2 era are dusted off, glider-pilot veterans and after-action reports consulted, and the will is there!

Lord Gilbert is on the money? So is Bert? A feasible idea that has merit? I think so!



Friday, August 08, 2008


This is coolbert:

Again, from the Chicago Tribune today:

"Al Qaeda ex-driver's sentence: 5 1/2 years"

"GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba - - A military jury imposed a surprisingly lenient sentence of 5 1/2 years on Osama bin Laden's former driver Thursday for a war crime that could have brought him a life term."

"The sentence - - all of but about 4 months of which has been served by Salim Hamdan - - appeared to be a rebuke . . . of the Bush administration"

"Hamdan, relieved to know his fate after nearly 7 years in U.S. custody here and in Afghanistan thanked the jurors for their decision."

I'll bet he did thank them. Being "primitive", this must all come as a shock to him. "I am found guilty and sentenced, but then - - more or less - - will be let go??!!"

Well, this somewhat similar to what I thought was going to happen. But not quite such a lenient sentence. He has already been confined for longer than the sentence arrived at by the jury. So he could potentially be eligible for release at any time?

NO possibility for the GED now! Maybe the obligatory book, the book signing tour, the talk-show circuit, with potential fame and fortune to follow?


" Longer term - - The Pentagon has made clear it intends to hold Hamdan as an enemy combatant beyond the time his term ends"

NO!! Salim is not just an enemy combatant, he is an UNLAWFUL ENEMY COMBATANT!! NOT subject to the usual and customary practices by which prisoners are treated during a time of war!

And - - ask yourself the question - - what would Muhammad have done!!




This is coolbert:

From the Chicago Tribune today:

"MARCH AIR RESERVE BASE, Calif. - - The Air National Guardsmen who operate Predator drones over Iraq via remote control, launching missile attacks from the safety to Southern California 7,000 miles away, are suffering some of the same psychological stresses as their comrades on the battlefield."

"Working in air-conditioned trailers, Predator pilots . . . kill enemy fighter with a few computer key strokes. Then after their shifts are over, they go home."

"But that transition is taking a toll on some of them [Predator pilots] mentally."

"when a Predator fires a missile, 'you watch it all the way to impact, and I mean it's very vivid, it's right there and personal.'"

"The 163rd [163rd Reconnaissance Wing] has called in a full-time chaplain and enlisted the help services of psychologists and psychiatrists to help ease the mental strain of these remote-control warriors."

Well, this is not a video game as played by some children. This is for real. Real in that you are attempting to conduct surveillance and "hunt" a person who does not want to be found. And then, firing a Hellfire missile from an armed Predator WITH THE INTENTION TO KILL!!

The cameras on-board the Predator allow for really good close-ups afterwards too??!! You can see and do see all the gory details of what you did!! You did fly the drone - - you did the observation - - you did press the button to fire the missile - - you did track the missile all the way to the target - - aiming carefully - - with the INTENT TO KILL THE ENEMY!!

These jihadi too make it bad for everyone by mixing in a deliberate fashion with the locals, so that when you do "bag" one of the villains, you almost certainly will kill some innocents, quite often women and children.

Some personal comments of mine here:

* What sort of duty is flying a Predator in a battle zone categorized as? Do you get a combat badge for piloting the UAV or what? Your mission is basically the same as it would be for a manned aircraft aviator, BUT YOU - - THE PILOT OF THE UAV, ARE NOT IN ANY DANGER, EITHER FROM ENEMY FIRE OR FROM A VEHICLE MALFUNCTION AND CRASH!!

* Is it a good idea to identify the unit [163rd Reconnaissance Wing] and base [March Air Reserve Base] the pilots of the Predators "fly" out of? NO!! A jihadi somewhere will read this same article and get it in his head to avenge his fallen "comrades", now knowing where his tormentors can be found!!

[there is a particular video on the Internet, purportedly of a F-16 pilot releasing a 2,000 pound bomb on about two dozen jihadi during the first battle of Fallujah. The villains are running through the street in a group, caught, unbeknownst to them, in the cross-hairs of the laser guidance system. The video has some interesting accompanying dialog - - "five seconds to impact - - impact - - OH DUDE!!" REAL LIVE HUMANS - - JIHADIS ALL OF THEM, BUYING THE PROVERBIAL FARM!! Quite similar to what the Predator pilots must see!]



Thursday, August 07, 2008


This is coolbert:

Here is the final word on rocket artillery as employed from submarines during World War Two [WW2].

"The U-Boat Rocket Program"

"America's entry into WW2 prompted a discussion among German strategists seeking ways to strike the American mainland."

"Various methods were available at that time" [American entry into WW2]. Methods to include:

* "saboteurs by U-Boat"

German saboteurs were landed and betrayed almost immediately. Seems the group consisted of men who were not highly trained, poorly motivated and would have probably NOT had much success even if not for betrayal and capture. During World War One [WW1] German saboteurs WERE highly effective. The Black Tom explosions caused massive damage to New York City harbor facilities, the perpetrators NEVER being caught.

* "fly bombers to New York City, and ditch them near a waiting U-Boat in the Atlantic before the fuel ran out."

German long-range bombers on ONE-WAY attack missions against American targets. The planes NOT able to make a round-trip and return safely. Would need to ditch the plane in mid-ocean, the crew of the aircraft being plucked out of the water by a waiting U-boat. A U-boat presumably emitting a beacon of some sort. The results would have been so meagre for the cost that the idea is not even worth considering.

"Yet another method became apparent during a conversation between Dr. Ernst Steinhoff, an engineer at the Penemunde rocket development facility, and his brother, Korvettenkapitan Fritz Steinhoff, Kommandant of U-511."

* "fire an artillery rocket from the deck of a submerged submarine."

"Tests were conducted in May/June of 1942 using a standard army issue Wurfgerat 41 launcher and rockets from 21 to 30cm. The tests proved that it was not only feasible, but that the rockets could be fired from depths up to 15 meters below the surface, without effecting the normal flight path."

[the Nebelwerfer was in the original version a 15 cm. rocket "projector". Rockets to be launched from submarines were bigger by far!]

German Type II submarines were fitted with rocket launchers and did use same against Russian targets on the eastern front during WW2. Firing rockets at land targets while submerged and doing so effectively.

"The Type II U-boat was designed by Germany as a coastal submarine . . . It was too small to undertake sustained operations far away from the home support facilities."

"Six [Type IIs] were stripped down to just a hull, transported by river and truck to Linz (on the Danube), and reassembled for use in the Black Sea against Soviet Union."

Here from KTB "Sharkhunters":

"U-24 and . . . U-9 were ordered into dry dock at Constanta in Romania. The boats were then hidden from view by covering the dock with nets and tarpaulins . . . the majority of the crew were given leave . . . when they returned the found the boats back in the water without any unusual additions . . . A framework for holding the rockets had been attached and none of it showed above the water, even when the boat was fully surfaced . . . Each rocket was about 25 - 35 cm. in diameter and well over 1 meter long. Following this U-18 probably became the first boat to try the rockets operationally by bombarding Russian positions on land and it appears as if a number of sorties were undertaken throughout 1944."

"the following remarks at the end of the log of . . . U-18":

"The close approach to the harbor at Poti made the bombardment with the new projectiles [rockets] a total success."

The American submarine Barb, under the command of that most able commander, Gene Fluckey, too was able to use rocket artillery, in the Pacific theatre, against Japanese targets, right at the end of the war:

"Barb was sent to the U.S. for a yard overhaul and alterations, which included the installation of five-inch (127 mm) rocket launchers . . . For the first time [not exactly if German accounts are true!] in submarine warfare, Barb successfully employed rockets against the towns of Shari on Hokkaidō, and Shikuka, Kashiho, and Shiritoru on Karafuto."

Using rocket artillery from submarines, even while submerged, was a sound concept. But not embraced by either side until the war was nearly over. American east coast cities would have been vulnerable to attack - - but - - NOT exactly as Doenitz had in mind [NYC reduced to a sea of flame and rubble]. A diversion more than anything else. A valid concept but not contributing in a major way to the war effort.




This is coolbert:

Thanks here to KTB "Sharkhunters" from Harry:

The development by the German to fire rocket artillery from submarines came about as the result of:

"a conversation between Dr. Ernst Steinhoff, an engineer at the Penemunde rocket development facility, and his brother, Korvettenkapitan Fritz Steinhoff, Kommandant of U-511."

The ultimate fate of Fritz was grim. Indeed, very grim. Survived the war, taken prisoner but meeting a cruel fate at the hands of American interrogators. All in the AFTERMATH OF THE WAR!!

"U-511 and Steinhoff did this [fired rocket artillery from a submarine] in the Baltic as an experiment. His brother worked with Werner von Braun at the German rocket facility at Penemünde. Maybe that is what led to his death at the hands of an American beating some weeks after the war [had ended]. Steinhoff surrendered his boat (U-873 at the end of the war) in Portsmouth, NH but unlike the other POWs, he was tied to a chair in his cell and beaten all night long. Maybe they thought he could tell them something about the German rocket program. Either way, he did not live out the night. The government [U.S.] came up with the story that he was so despondent that he smashed his eyeglasses and slashed his wrists with the glass. Problem there - if you wore eyeglasses, you didn't serve on the boats . . . Captain Johann-Heinrich Fehler, Skipper of U-234, was in the next cell and witnessed it all."

Again, this occurred after the war WAS OVER, Fritz following commands - - surrendering for what he thought was going to be honorable captivity.

Mistreatment of a German POW for no really good reason?

"I believe you, it is just that I don't want to believe you!!" - - Bert!!



Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Background check - - III. [End]

This is coolbert:

Persons desiring employment as a TSA baggage screener or a U.S. Border Patrol agent will be expected to submit to a rigorous back ground check prior to obtaining a security clearance. A background check relying heavily upon source documents more or less provided by the applicant.

A lot [?] of emphasis is placed on determining, with a high degree of certainty, a valid identification [ID] for the applicant.

I.e., if Bert applies to be a TSA screener, you [TSA] wants to ascertain, as best as is possible, that Bert is who he says he is.

A variety of source documents could be asked for and verified as part of the ID process.

Documents [biometrics in the case of fingerprints] to include: [can be used solely or in combinations, and not limited to!]

* Drivers license.

* Social security number.

* Fingerprints.

* Birth certificate.

* Firearms owners ID card.

Additional references and background information can also be check, sometimes in a cursory manner, sometimes in a very detailed manner, depending upon the depth of the investigation. School records, places of residence or employment, etc.

Merely having an applicant present documents is just not sufficient, in many cases. Verification is A MUST also. Source documents must be double-checked for validity.

This is not to say that source documents as a form of ID are 100 % reliable. It is possible for clever persons, drug dealers, terrorists, penetration agents, etc., to provide documentation that fools even the best of experts. Especially if that persons attempting to avoid detection as an imposter has the help of an intelligence/security agency.

Such as the man known as Ramzi Yousef.

"Ramzi Ahmed Yousef or Ramzi Mohammed Yousef (also transliterated as Ramzi Yusuf, Ramzi Youssef) (Arabic: رمزي يوسف‎), birth name possibly Abdul Basit Mahmoud Abdul Karim (Arabic: عبد الباسط كريم‎) and also known by dozens of aliases was born in Kuwait and is of Pakistani descent who was one of the planners of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing"

A really bag egg if there ever was one. A terrorist of the first magnitude, evil in the extreme, possessing a depraved and malevolent mentality, fiendishly clever! A man who:

* Was the mastermind of the first World Trade Center [WTC] bombing [1993].

* Hatched a plot to kill the Pope.

* Had the idea, almost brought to fruition, to blow out of the sky, over mid-ocean, twelve American airliners more or less simultaneously!!

A man who now sits, hopefully forever, in the SuperMax penitentiary, Colorado. [should have been executed, but alas, a jury has decided otherwise!!]

"He is held at the high-security Supermax prison ADX Florence in Florence, Colorado"

A man whose real identity, however, CANNOT be established with absolute certainty? Source documents, which appear to be valid, are instead doctored [professionally so too!!] in a manner which has fooled even the experts!!

"THE WORLD TRADE CENTER BOMB: Who is Ramzi Yousef? And Why It Matters"

"by Laurie Mylroie"

"The National Interest, Winter, 1995/96"

Please note carefully the date here. Three years after the first WTC bombing, but five years prior to 9/11, and the second WTC bombings. The author, in 1995/1996, does make some very pertinent points:

* Intelligence/security agencies of the U.S. have created a wall that makes meaningful investigations into "incidents" as the first WTC bombing more or less impossible. "The WALL"! FBI and CIA not talking to one another, not sharing data, and NOT INTERESTED IN DOING SO, EVEN HAVING A STRONG AVERSION TO COOPERATION!!

* The U.S. government, and society in general, is at a loss, or is generally in a malaise [?] as how to handle "incidents" such as the first WTC bombing. Is this a domestic act of terrorism to be handled in no manner different from any other ordinary criminal case, OR ARE BOMBINGS OF THIS NATURE ACTS OF WAR PERHAPS EVEN NECESSITATING THE ADOPTION OF DRACONIAN MEASURES TO PREVENT FURTHER EVIL ACTS!!??

"But who is he [Ramzi Yousef]? Is he a free-lance bomber? A deranged but highly-skilled veteran of the Muslim jihad against the Soviets in Afghanistan? Is he an Arab, or of some other Middle Eastern ethnicity? Is there an organization--perhaps even a state--behind his work?"

"He presented an Iraqi passport without a U.S. visa, was briefly detained (and fingerprinted) for illegal entry"

"the mastermind of the bomb was a fugitive about whom almost nothing was known. How could anyone therefore declare confidently that he was not a foreign agent, especially in light of the fact that he had entered the United States on an Iraqi passport and had been known among the New York fundamentalists as 'Rashid, the Iraqi'?"

The man known as Ramzi Yousef entered the U.S. on an Iraqi passport [name on the passport not made clear!!], BUT FLED THE U.S. IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE FIRST WTC BOMBING, FIRST HAVING OBTAINED A PASSPORT UNDER THE ASSUMED NAME OF A KUWAITI KNOWN AS ABDUL BASIT KARIM!!

"Yousef escaped to Pakistan on falsified travel documents"

"there really was an Abdul Basit Karim, a Pakistani born in Kuwait"

Files for Abdul and his parents were maintained both by the Kuwaiti governement and the Pakistani embassy in Kuwait. Files and records evidently tampered with by the Iraqi in the months after the 1990 invasion and occupation of Kuwait.

"Kuwait's Interior Ministry maintained files on them"

"the files for Abdul Basit and his parents in Kuwait's Interior Ministry have been tampered with. Key documents from the Kuwaiti files on Abdul Basit and his parents are missing."

"The files on Abdul Basit and his family that should be in the Pakistani embassy in Kuwait are missing. The Pakistani government now has no record of the family."

It can be surmised that [??] the Iraqi intelligence service [Mukhabarat]:

"Moreover, Iraqi intelligence apparently switched fingerprint cards, removing the original with Abdul Basit's fingerprints and replacing it with one bearing those of Yousef."

"1) known of, or caused, the death of Abdul Basit and his family; 2) tampered with Kuwait's Interior Ministry files, above all switching the fingerprint cards; and 3) filched the files on Abdul Basit and his family from the Pakistani embassy in Kuwait."

"the World Trade Center bomber's real name is probably neither Ramzi Yousef nor Abdul Basit."

"Is 'Ramzi Yousef' really Abdul Basit or not? Let those who remember Abdul Basit from before August 1990 meet Yousef in person and tell us."

This too, may be futile. Identification by persons who KNEW Basit at an earlier time may be inconclusive. You can bet that the Iraqi, if they did tamper with the files of Basit and substituted the ID of Ramzi Yousef, would have been clever enough to select a person [Basit] that in appearance, height, weight, age, is an approximate match to Ramzi Yousef.

EVEN THE MOST EXHAUSTIVE AND INTRUSIVE OF RECORDS CHECKS CAN AVAIL INVESTIGATORS LITTLE WHEN IT COMES TO TERRORISTS SUCH AS RAMZI YOUSEF!! Ramzi, presenting himself as Abdul Basit, for all practical purposes, his charade being undetectable. Aided and abetted by the Iraqi security services, masters in such endeavors??!!

A word of caution here. Laurie Mylroie, the author of the article, "Who is Ramzi Yousef?", is considered to be a nut-job in some circles. If so, she is a nut-job employed as an associate professor by Harvard!!

Laurie Mylroie is a conspiracy theorist who is an "Armchair Provocateur . . . 'The Neocons' favorite conspiracy theorist"? At any rate, is not a liked person in some quarters.

I keep my own council regarding Laurie Mylroie and her theories!!


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Monday, August 04, 2008

The jury is out!!

This is coolbert:

“I have done nothing seriously wrong!! I am just a small fry! I was just obeying orders! Why are you persecuting me?”

From the Chicago Tribune today:

“Guantanamo Bay, Cuba - - “The case against Salim Hamdan - - Osama bin Laden’s former driver - - goes to the jury Monday”

Military jury weighs 1st Gitmo Verdict

We wait, with baited breath, for the verdict to be rendered in the case of Salim Hamdan. The first Gitmo prisoner to be tried by military tribunal.

Hamdan is:

* "Accused of transporting weapons for Al Qaeda."

* "Swearing an oath of loyalty to bin Laden."

* "Helping him [bin Laden] escape U.S. retribution [by acting as a driver]"

It is alleged about Hamdan that:

* "Hamdan was captured at a roadblock in southern Afghanistan in November 2001 with two surface-to-air missiles [SA-7?] in the car"

* "He was a low-level employee paid $200 a month."

* "Hamdan was too 'primitive' [uneducated/unsophisticated] to be involved in terrorist plots.” [so says Khalid Sheik Mohammad]

Well, he was only a driver. Well, he was only transporting the weapons, not actually firing them. Well, he only did “help” bin Laden. Well, he was low-paid. Well, he was primitive, uneducated and unsophisticated.

None of that is material? HE HAS sworn allegiance to bin Laden and thereby condemns himself? Belongs to a terrorist organization whose stated aim is to kill 4 million Americans, 1 ½ million of them children! Is accused in front of the tribunal for giving material aid and support to Al Qaeda and bin Laden.

That Hamdan IS a small fry and HAS done nothing seriously wrong is not even a question here. Merely giving material aid and support to Al Qaeda, even of the most trivial nature, is enough to get you a long sentence.

Please recall the case of the German saboteurs in World War Two. Ruled unlawful enemy combatants, tried, found guilty, and executed, all within two weeks. EVEN THOUGH THEY HAD NOT COMMITTED ONE ACT OF SABOTAGE!!

Hell, Salim might get a relatively light sentence, say twenty years [that is normally considered to be a life sentence in most locales], and counting time already served at Gitmo, might be out of prison in three years or so!!?? Presumably he can get his GED and maybe even consider college courses if he is interested.

Now, in Saudi Arabia, the punishment would be!!??

Being flippant - - are we now??!!



Sunday, August 03, 2008

Projektil Amerika II. [Conclusion]

This is coolbert:

"Darkest of night
With the moon shinin' bright
There's a set goin' strong
Lotta things goin' on"

- - "Superfly"

With regard to the German "desire" to bombard American cities during the Second World War:

3. Rockets?

"German engineers were also exploring the possibility of a rocket launched from a submarine. Allied photo reconnaissance over the coast of . . . Norway had, in fact, spotted a U-boat of the 740 ton class fitted with rails running from the conning tower to the ship's bow. 'The purpose of this,' the report concluded warily, 'is unknown'."

This was for the launch of a V-1 type "buzz-bomb"?? A single missile fired from a surfaced submarine? NOT really a rocket in the strictest sense of the word, but not exactly a guided missile in the true sense either! The U.S. in the post-war period had such a missile that was armed with a nuclear warhead, launched from the back of a submarine - - called Regulus.

"Besides experimenting on launching missiles from a heaving deck the Germans were working on more stable launching rafts to be towed by U-boats. the German navy's chief, Admiral Karl Doenitz, pleaded with Hitler to allow him to construct these platforms, assuring him that his wolf packs could surface off New York City in the dark of night, launch rockets, and turn the city into flame and rubble."

Rafts - - towed by U-boats - - to just off the coast of America - - and fire!

Firing? V-1 "buzz bombs"? Or perhaps Nebelwerfer type rockets?

The latter is CONCEIVABLE!! Nebelwerfer rocket projectors could be mounted on the decks of a submarine, or on rafts that were semi-submersible. Numbers of projectors could be bolted to a raft, towed to the east coast of the U.S., aimed in the right direction and fired. A barrage of rocket artillery that could devastate a large area, and do so in seconds. A NUMBER OF SUBMARINES TOWING RAFTS, ACTING IN CONCERT, COULD REALLY DO A LOT OF DAMAGE. In the case of the Nebelwerfer, accuracy, in contrast to say a guided missile of the A-10 variety, was secondary.

Surprisingly, the U.S. Navy during World War Two employed rockets in combat in a similar capacity, fired off the deck of an American submarine at Japanese coastal targets. Sub would surface, fire, submerge, and then leave the area in a hurry. WAS AN EFFECTIVE WEAPON!

Projektil Amerika was too little too late and would not have fundamentally changed the course of the war, even if employed.



Projektil Amerika I.

This is coolbert:

As the Second World War progressed, the German did develop a desire to bombard the American "homeland". Give back in measure and respond in kind to what the allied strategic bomber force was doing to the cities of Germany.

The German was developing [and only that], weapons that did have, on paper, a capability for long-range attack on American cities, albeit almost exclusively on the Atlantic coast. Attacks that would include manned bombers and missiles of extraordinary range.

1. Missiles.

"They [German rocket scientists] would place a winged V-2 atop and even more powerful missile, the A-10 . . . The A-10, within a minute of blastoff, would propel the V-2 to a speed of 2,700 miles per hour . . They would be able to cross from Europe to America in forty minutes. Indeed, a rocket launch site angled along the great circle route to New York was found when Allied troops liberated Wizernes, France."

An advanced booster rocket, the A-10, would allow the normally ONLY intermediate range V-2 to reach the east coast of the U.S. Since the V-2 warhead would have remained ONLY conventional [1,000 kilograms of Amatol 60/40] in nature, high explosive that is, accuracy over long range would have to be perfect. That would not have been the case. Development of guidance systems was still at a primitive stage!

But dig this: [Thanks to Anatoly Zak]

"The A-9/A-10 concept emerged far ahead of its time, but it was fueled by a dream of the Nazi government in Germany to bomb America, which also gave it a name -- "Projektil Amerika." To reach New York, the A-10 upper stage, would have to follow a string of radio-beacons deployed on submarines spread across the Atlantic. For its final guidance, the rocket could use a transmitter installed by Nazi agents in a window of a high-rise hotel in the heart of Manhattan."

2. Bomber aircraft.

"the Luftwaffe was testing the Junker Ju-390. This six-engine bomber had supposedly test-flown a 6,000-mile round trip for thirty two hours and skirted, without detection, within twelve miles of New York"

Such a bomber aircraft did fly and did make a test-flight all the way across the Atlantic and back, "skirting" to within twelve miles of NYC?! This is news to me!

"in June 1944, Allied Intelligence learnt from prisoner interrogations that a Ju 390 . . . had completed a 32-hour reconnaissance flight to within 12 miles (19 km) of the US coast, north of New York City. This was, however, rejected just after the war by British authorities."

Rejected AFTER the war!! Stress on AFTER!!

"a great circle round trip from France to St. Johns, Newfoundland was possible, adding another 2,380 miles (3,830 km) for a round trip [the Ju-390] from St. Johns to Long Island made the flight 'most unlikely'."

"the Ju 390 V1 was unlikely to have been capable of taking off with the fuel load necessary for a flight of such duration (unless assisted by rockets on take off"

Aircraft could not have taken off with a full amount of fuel to make the long range trip. And could not, in addition, have even carried a payload.

Germany never did develop, in any real sense of the word, during World War Two [WW2], a long-range strategic bomber force equipped with aircraft similar to the U.S. B-17 or B-24. The Luftwaffe was primarily designed as a tactical air arm whose primary role would be to support the ground forces. Serve as a flying artillery more or less.

Plans, projects, developments, mostly on paper, and mostly ideas, too little and too late to have any impact on the war, EVEN IF BROUGHT TO FRUITION!!



Saturday, August 02, 2008


This is coolbert:

"They don't shoot as well - - they don't swim as well - - they don't follow a course on the ground from a map as well!!" - - General Mundy, Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps.


These famous words were part of a exchange between General Mundy and a reporter for the television program "Sixty Minutes". This occurring some years ago now.

General Mundy was specifically being asked why - - of the one hundred twenty five [125] general officers in the Marine Corps, ONLY ONE was a black American.

It seems that - - ever since General Mundy spoke those words he came to regret - - the number of black Americans that have reached the rank of flag officer [general or admiral] in the U.S. military HAS NOT appreciably increased.

AND, the preponderance of those men/women that achieve flag rank is primarily to be found in the ranks of the U.S. ARMY and not in the other services.

It has been sixty years now since the U.S. military was ordered to integrate. Military units prior to the order of President Truman were segregated by race, and those black Americans that did serve, were primarily to be found in combat support [CS] and combat service support [CSS] units, NOT combat arms. Opportunities for advancement to flag officer rank for a black American was negligible to totally non-existent.

And yet, even after sixty years of integration, we NOW find a situation where the trend is for FEWER black Americans, men and women both, to achieve high military rank.

"After 60 years, black military officers rare"

[What the author of the MSNBC really means to say is that black military officers OF FLAG RANK are rare!]

This is a surprise? And perhaps for some reasons NOT so easily discerned?

* Black Americans continue to serve in CS and CSS type units, and primarily out of choice. When enlisting, black Americans eschew the combat arms MOS's [military occupation specialities]?

* Black American Congressional representatives are NOT appointing young, capable, motivated young black Americans to the various service academies in the numbers that they should be??!! Vacancies for appointments are not being filled, for whatever reasons!

"The reasons for the lack of blacks in the higher ranks are many and complex . . . Most often mentioned is that black recruits are showing less interest in pursuing combat jobs, which are more likely to propel them through the officer ranks."

"A review of congressional nominations to the military academies shows that black and Hispanic lawmakers often recommend fewer students.

According to Pentagon data, the number of lawmakers who failed to nominate at least one candidate to each academy increased from 24 in 2005 to 38 this year. Of the 75 lawmakers overall who did not nominate someone to each academy in all four years, 40 were either black or Hispanic."

Normally, in the U.S. military the way to the top [flag rank] is achieved by:

* Serving in a combat arms position and seeing battlefield experience.

* Being a graduate of a military academy. [Army, Navy, Air Force, and yes, Coast Guard]

NO combat arms - - no military academy - - probably a lot less chance of making it to flag rank!!

I have a bad feeling about all this. Within certain circles of the American black community, the U.S. military is looked upon as pernicious force? Doing a lot of destruction and killing against people overseas solely at the biding of American economic interests [i.e., BIG OIL]!

Young, talented, very able American black men and women are being actively discouraged, subtly or otherwise, EVEN MALICIOUSLY SO, to seek employment and higher education other than through the military? If this is so, this counts as a situation to the detriment of everyone.