Thursday, February 28, 2013


This is coolbert:

Thanks once more to StrategyPage and Jim we have the latest on American military communications capability.


Satellites and an add-on kit to the current standard American military back-pack radio allowing "infinite range" what it is referred to.

A PRC-155 equipped with the add-on kit able to uplink and downlink via satellite to any other similarly configured PRC-155 ANYWHERE ON THE WORLD AND ON DEMAND!

SATCOM at the squad level.

"The Radio With Infinite Range"

"Last December the U.S. Army ordered the first hundred MUOS (satellite communication) upgrade kits (some additional hardware and software) for PRC-155 radios . . . The PRC-155 is equipped to provide Internet-like capabilities on the battlefield and MUOS gives access to a world-wide net."

"MUOS (Mobile User Objective System) is a new military communications system. MUOS will give military users cell-phone-like capabilities anywhere in the world. Four communications satellites operating in 36,000 kilometer stationary (geosynchronous) orbits provide superior satellite phone service"

MUOS those four satellites in orbit AND four ground stations strategically located.

"The four ground stations (one for each satellite) are in Sicily, North America, Hawaii, and Australia."

It should be noted and I would deficient in not reminding devoted readers to the blog that there has been for at least a period of fifteen years now a satellite network in orbit that ALSO has world-wide capability, peer-to-peer communication utilizing handsets, SATCOM for the average citizen much less for the military troop!

This is Iridium. A commercial venture needing about forty low-orbit satellites for proper operation AND of which the U.S. military for quite a long while was a major subscriber and user.

Iridium NOT considered to be a commercial success, the handsets too big, the cost too great for an individual subscriber to make the enterprise profit-making. My understanding was that the U.S. government had such an investment in Iridium equipment that for a long time the American military was the one subscriber that kept the entire system afloat!

Iridium to my surprise still up and going, evidently even thriving [?] and even expanding [?].

"Iridium Products. Cutting-edge communication by the only truly global network."

"The Iridium satellite constellation is a large group of satellites providing voice and data coverage to satellite phones, pagers and integrated transceivers over Earth's entire surface. Iridium Communications Inc. owns and operates the constellation and sells equipment and access to its services. It was originally developed in 1992, and subsequently implemented in the October of 1999."

See here a web site that allows orbit predictions for the Iridium satellite
"Catch a *Flaring/Glinting Iridium" as they are called. A "glint" of the satellite in orbit that can be observed from earth by the unaided eye, an impressive but ephemeral spectacle.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

BrahMos & X-38.

This is coolbert:

First there was BrahMos.

Then there was X-38.

Thanks to StrategyPage for the tip.

Russian supersonic cruise missiles additional indicators of Russian continuing military evolution and engineering expertise.

The former analogous to the American Tomahawk.

The latter analogous to the American Harpoon.

BrahMos available in a land-based [GLCM], ship-launched [SLCM] or air-launched [ALCM] variety.

That supersonic capability making the missile more or less impervious to any and all know defenses?

That X-38 an air launched cruise missile [ALCM] with a much shorter range than the BrahMos but still a significant weapon advancement.

Both BrahMos and X-38 both highly [?] reliant on the Russian GLONASS GPS system for guidance? AND these two missiles the primary target of which is the warships of the U.S. Navy? Fleeting targets that can maneuver and introduce counter-measures.

American military planners DO NOT have comparable cruise missiles of supersonic variety on the drawing boards or in development? I do not know. Or is the supersonic speed an over-rated capability NOT to be taken as a serious and overwhelming threat? Devoted readers to the blog know more than I do?


Monday, February 25, 2013

Dog Lab?

This is coolbert:

From the Chicago Tribune only today:

"World briefing"

"Military to justify using animals in training"

"This week by order of Congress, the Pentagon must present lawmakers a written to plan phase out 'live tissue training," military-speak for slaying animals to teach combat medics how to treat severed limbs and gunshot wounds."

This is DOG LAB?

And training not just for combat medics? In particular, training for SPECIAL FORCES [SF] COMBAT MEDICS? A combat medic of a higher level of competence and proficiency. A combat medic more or less functioning as a licensed doctor and ABLE TO PERFORM SURGERY OF A BASIC BUT STILL VITAL NATURE.

Dog lab what it is called a legacy of SF training from way back when, even before the Vietnam War.

That one year SF combat medic course learning to perform basic surgery part of the curriculum and an obligatory PASS for graduation and certification.

Dog lab a dog anesthetized and shot with a firearm [type and caliber not know], the trainee demonstrating a proficiency to extract the bullet, repair internal damage, sew up and save the life of the canine!!

That representative from PETA seems to suggest or think that alternatives to this type of training are available? "it is wrong to harm animals for crude medical training exercises if modern and superior alternatives are available" - - Justin Goodman, PETA.

And WHAT exactly are those alternatives? This is not specified. Computer simulations perhaps?

Devoted readers to the blog should ask themselves if they would be willing to undergo surgery from a physician NOT actually having been trained and experienced with tutelage that operation on living "tissue and flesh" too great a risk to assume based upon computer simulations?

From this web site of the recently deceased SF officer Dan Marvin read "The Dog Lab at Fort Bragg". I believe this to be a true and and factual account of what occurred during SF combat medic training.



This is coolbert:

From the book review by Professor Al Nofi  "Burning Rails as We Pleased" that title MOST evocative of a pervasive and peculiar practice from the American Civil War, the destruction of southern railways, entire sections of track ripped up, the rails bent and twisted into forms and shapes rendering them unusable. This "phenomenon" referred to by a variety of names given the circumstances and context.

 "Sherman's neckties were a phenomenon of the American Civil War. Named after Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman of the Union Army, Sherman's neckties were railway rails destroyed by heating them until they were malleable and twisting them into loops resembling neckties, often around trees. Since the Confederacy had limited supplies of iron, and few foundries to roll the rails, this destruction was very difficult to repair. They were also called Sherman's bow ties, Sherman's hairpins or Jeff Davis hairpins."

That explicit order of Sherman referring to the destruction of a section of railroad track and the bending of the rails:

"... twisting the bars when hot. Officers should be instructed that bars simply bent may be used again, but if when red hot they are twisted out of line they cannot be used again. Pile the ties into shape for a bonfire, put the rails across and when red hot in the middle, let a man at each end twist the bar so that its surface becomes spiral."

Yankees hard at work destroying a section of Confederate railroad track. That army of Sherman was said to be most workmanlike. As a blue collar worker in a factory, rise early in the day, break camp, march on the objective for the day, complete the mission, make camp. A daily routine an integral part of that "March to the Sea" the destruction of southern industrial and transportation capability.

A torn up section of track ready to be set afire. Railroad ties in a pile with another pile of rail on top. Those ties ignited and  heating the rail until the iron turns a cherry red color. The rail then malleable to be bent and twisted into a form making it unsuitable for further use! 

This military sketch art shows the rails being dragged to a location where they are to be bent and twisted. Malleable after being heated, the soldiers functioning much as would a workman in a foundry, again, that army of Sherman described as "workmanlike" many of the troops probably having at some point worked in a factory! 

Neckties! Here in the aftermath of the destruction showing the preferred method of destroying the rail, wrapped around a tree, bent and twisted as to make further use not possible, efforts to straighten futile. Please note closely that several of the rails seem to have formed the letters U & S. United States!

"The legend of Sherman's Neckties would grow after the army had left. One story of particular interest concerns the shape of the 'neckties' left by the invaders. As the Union soldiers became more skilled at heating and bending the rails, they would create a U and an S and leave them in a prominent position."

There was also a certain amount of malicious delight derived from this "phenomenon" A gleeful enjoyment of the destructive nature of man that is latent in all of us? Giving themselves to abandon and able to do on command what is ordinarily in civilian life a grave criminal offense is pleasurable? I am not sure but this might well be the case.


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Gold & Treasure

This is coolbert:

From that era of the Second World War [WW2] once more the search has begun for hidden gold, stolen and ill-gotten gain looted and as taken from victims of the fascist powers.

1. "Hunt begins for legendary £1billion in Nazi gold"

"An Israeli investigator has begun a hunt for Nazi gold worth an estimated £1 billion which legend says was dumped in a lake near Berlin in the closing days of the Second World War."

Legendary they call it. Probably more than legendary. Gold wedding bands and gold as a by-product of  "economic processing" those persons done in by Nazi atrocity, their gold teeth pulled the metal extracted.

Persons searching for the lost and hidden treasure trove unsuccessful attempts to recover the gold coming up empty.

This particular latest search for looted fascist gold hardly unique and not strictly limited to the European theater!

2. Yamashita's Gold. Gold looted by the Japanese army from all over Southeast Asia and hidden by the Japanese General Yamashita. Allegations never established as fact but widely believed and for almost seventy years searched for, to no avail.

"Yamashita's gold, also referred to as the Yamashita treasure, is the name given to the alleged war loot stolen in Southeast Asia by Japanese forces during World War II and hidden in caves, tunnels and underground complexes in the Philippines . . . Though accounts that the treasure remains hidden in Philippines have lured treasure hunters from around the world for over fifty years, its existence is dismissed by most experts"

3. The lost treasure of the Awa Maru. Japanese hospital ship torpedoed and sunk and long having thought to contained a treasure of unsurpassed value. The stuff of a Hollywood movie but for real, and NOW found to be all a mirage!

"Having delivered her supplies, Awa Maru took on several hundred stranded merchant marine officers, military personnel, diplomats and civilians at Singapore. In addition, there were stories that the ship carried treasure worth approximately US$5 billion—40 metric tons of gold, 12 metric tons of platinum, and 150,000 carats (30 kg) of diamonds and other strategic materials. Less dramatic and more credible sources identify the likely cargo as nickel and rubber."

The Chinese communists making a concerted an long-term effort to recover that treasure believed to remain in the wreckage of the Awa Maru but finding NOTHING!

"After approximately 5 years and $100 million spent on the effort, the search was finally called off. No treasure was found. However, several personal artifacts were returned to Japan."

That American intelligence agency NSA having the solution to the question of the Awa Maru all along!!

 "In the aftermath of the salvage attempt, the NSA [the American National Security Agency] scoured thousands of intercepted communications to determine what exactly happened to the treasure. From the communications, they determined that the treasure was not to be taken back to Japan. It was to be sent from Japan to Singapore where it would then be delivered to Thailand. The gold was successfully delivered and the Awa Maru was reloaded with a cargo of tin and rubber for the return trip to Japan."

And last but not least we have:

4. Rommel's Gold. NOT necessarily suggesting that Erwin Rommel was a thief and pillager. Actually believed to be cases of gold as extorted and stolen by the German SS from Tunisian Jews during WW2. Rommel NOT to blame! This gold indeed has been found and recovered?

"Rommel's sunken gold 'found' by British expert"

"six steel cases said to contain 440lb of gold bullion plus other precious objects pillaged from the Jewish community in Tunisia during the war."

And this all again from that era of WW2. And from other wars that multitude of conflicts throughout the ages we can expect similar historical accounts even many more so! That most famous of all [?] English sailor and raider Sir Francis Drake even BALLASTING his ship with captured treasure to include: "13 chests of pieces of eight, 80 lbs. of pure gold, jewels and plate, 26 ton weight of silver, and sundries unspecified."

"Sundries unspecified" INDEED!


Friday, February 22, 2013

22 Tips.

This is coolbert:

From National Public Radio [NPR] and as seen on CNN we have item of the counter-drone measures document as circulating among those adherents to Al Qaeda.


If the drones were not working well and not causing the BIG HURT among the jihadi such a document t would not even exist in the first place? That is what my intuition tells me!!

The 22 tips!

"In Document Left Behind By Al-Qaida, 22 Tips To Avoid Drones Strikes"

"As al-Qaida extremists streamed out of Timbuktu, they left behind a curious document and the Associated Press got its hands on it."

"It's written by Abdallah bin Muhammad, a senior commander of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the Yemeni arm of the group, and it includes 22 bulleted tips on how to evade drone strikes."

For those having further interest, you can download and see the entire document both in the original Arabic and the English translation thanks to the Associated Press.

My instantaneous reaction was that this document is a form of "false flag". Actually written by American operations/intelligence and circulated among the jihadi in the name of Abdallah. Those 22 tips some valid but some also rather than being counter-drone in actuality the types of measures ONE WOULD NOT ADOPT TO AVOID DETECTION BUT RATHER BRING ATTENTION TO YOURSELF!

Perhaps this is not so, but I would like to believe so. Sort of like bomb making recipes surreptitiously placed on jihadi web sites those "bombs" prematurely detonating and killing the would-be jihadi bomb maker in the process?


South Pole.

This is coolbert:

“This is tied to the fact that the broad dynamic in the world is changing,” he said. “There are more centers of gravity.” - - Kennicutt

From a recent article in the Stars & Stripes and thanks to the tip from Jungle Trader again as usual a headline that somewhat alarmist.

The Chinese are coming!!

OR at least an increased presence.

But not an issue that requires a hysterical response.

"China is boosting its presence in resource-rich Antarctica"

"Antarctic Treaty members, which include the U.S. and China, have agreed not to exploit Antarctic resources until 2048, but there is nothing to stop them doing geographical surveys"

"China already has as many permanent research stations as the U.S. in Antarctica — including the Great Wall Station on King George Island off the Antarctic Peninsula, Zhongshan (Sun Yat-Sen) Station in the east and Kunlun Station in the interior."

"Now the Chinese appear poised to start work on a fourth station close to the main U.S. base — McMurdo Station — in a part of Antarctica known as the Ross Dependency"

. . . .

"the Chinese efforts are part of a broader dynamic that has seen several other nations, such as India, Brazil and South Korea, become major players on the ice in recent years."

Right, increased presence by nations that do not have a historical link or a territorial claim [claims in now abeyance for some time by treaty] to Antarctica NOT a bad sign. Just merely denotes that many nations including South Africa, India, Brazil,. etc., conduct research of value to all mankind and this cannot be bad! "More centers of gravity" indeed!

The consensus without question is that ever since the IGY [International Geophysical Year] of 1959 Antarctica has been A GREAT INTERNATIONAL SUCCESS STORY AND HOPEFULLY IS THE MODEL FOR ALL FUTURE GREAT INTERNATIONAL SUCCESS STORIES? No military presence but tangential and very limited.

Those last two military expeditions of the southern most continent the German expedition just prior to the start of World War Two [WW2] and the American Operation High Jump in the aftermath of the same conflict.

Resources if indeed present in abundance perhaps should not and also perhaps cannot be extracted but at a cost to the environment that would be devastating. Keep that area of world free of development for posterity in perpetuity surely there must be a better way to have "growth".

See at these links previous Military Thoughts blogspot entries the topic of which was Antarctica:


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Fifth & Sixth.

This is coolbert:

"There is no one on my left, and only a few on my right. I will hold."

From a comment to the blog by Colonel Craig USMC [Ret.]:

"The 5th and 6th Marines Regiments received this award in WW1."

The fourragere. For outstanding combat unit action!

That Fifth and Sixth Marine [USMC] regiments entitled to wear the fourragere for accomplishments and valorous action during the Great War [WW1] on repeated occasions and all done within a period of less than a year.

American troops entering the fray of WW1 during that most critical moment of 1918, the grand spring offensive of the German still going well, the situation in doubt, the British and French almost on the ropes and reeling!

That intervention of American combat units in numbers able to hold the line and even to give back in measure to the German what had been dished out to the British and French.

Foremost in the lead USMC regiments as incorporated into regular U.S. Army divisions the Marines maintaining all the while their unit cohesion and integrity vital to success on the battlefield.

That Fifth and Sixth USMC regiments comporting themselves so well on the battlefield as to be awarded the fourragere by the French indeed a high honor!!

From that World War I wiki history of the Fifth USMC Regiment:

"The unit was activated on June 8, 1917, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as the 5th Regiment of Marines. They immediately deployed to France and were assigned to the 1st Infantry Division of the United States Army. Later that year, in October, they were reassigned to 4th Brigade of Marines under the 2nd Infantry Division."

Combat actions of the Fifth Regiment during the WW1 to include:

* Belleau Wood.
* Saint-Mihiel.
* Meuse-Argonne.
* Aisne.
* Toulon-Troyon.
* Château-Thierry.
* Marbache.
* Limey.

"The regiment's [Fifth] actions in France earned them the right to wear the Fourragère (seen in the outline of the unit's logo), one of only two in the Marine Corps (the other being the 6th Marine Regiment). The award was a result of being the only regiments in the American Expeditionary Force to receive three Croix de guerre citations: two in the order of the army and one in the order of the corps—Fourragère and Croix de guerre with two Palms and Gilt Star. The Fourragère became part of the uniform of the unit, and all members of the organization are authorized to wear the decoration on the left shoulder of the uniform as long as they remain members of the organization."

From that World War I wiki history of the Sixth USMC Regiment:

"The 6th Marine Regiment was first organized at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, on 11 July 1917 . . . Virtually all of the senior officers and staff non-commissioned officers of the 6th Regiment were long-service professionals, while most junior officers and all privates were new joinees. Although the new men were short on experience, they were long on education: Colonel Catlin estimated that 60% of them were college men."

Combat actions of the Sixth Regiment during to WW1 to include:

* Château-Thierry.
* Belleau Wood.
* Soissons.
* St. Mihiel.
* Blanc Mont Ridge.

"For the actions at Belleau Wood, Soissons, and Blanc Mont, the 6th Marine Regiment was awarded the French croix de guerre three times. As a result, the regiment is authorized to wear the fourragère of the croix de guerre (seen in the unit's logo), one of only two units in the Marine Corps so honored (the other being the 5th Marine Regiment). The fourragère thereafter became part of the uniform of the unit, and all members of the modern 6th Marines are authorized to wear the fourragère while serving with the regiment."

Graves B. Erskine while a lieutenant serving with the Sixth Regiment wounded in action and forever after entitled to wear the fourragere " authorized to wear the decoration on the left shoulder of the uniform in perpetuity!!


Tuesday, February 19, 2013


This is coolbert:

Promotion to the higher levels or rank in the U.S. Army [for officers and enlisted both] being done by a totally [?] impersonal promotion board at the Department of the Army [DA] level that board of officers relying exclusively on the 201 file of those under consideration. That 201 file to include a posed photograph of the troop done in a professional manner by a professional photographer, according to a specific protocol.

That dress uniform as worn by the soldier in the photograph it being the case that more "bling" is a plus? The more badges, decorations, patches, tabs, hash marks, etc. being a positive, creating a more favorable impression. "Bling"!

"Bling - - 3. Gaudy over the top hideous and wholly unnecessary.."

Myself in conversation with an authority on the subject:

"And since the informal selection for promotion is done for the higher
  level of officer and enlisted both that military photo is very important?
  The more bling on the uniform the better when that panel evaluates the
  written record and the image both?"

Question 1: The photograph is of importance?

Question 2: The more "bling" the better?

The answer being:

"Yes and yes. We were always briefed that the promotion boards have less than a minute per file to determine who gets promoted and who doesn't. There is first a list of minimum requirements for each level of promotion: service schools, education, type of job and of course, OER level. At the time I was considered for promotion, anything less than a 9 out of a 1-to-9 scale was non-promotable. All OERs were 9s but for some really really bad guys [the OER was an eight!]"

Gaudy and overly ostentatious spectacle and the wearing of too much "bling" not desired but being often the case? That military official photograph the importance of which while not being minimized is often not well served by excessive decoration and "bling"


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Aiguillette & Fourragere.

This is coolbert:

Shoulder cords. Better referred to as an aigullette or a fourragere.

"An aiguillette . . .  is an ornamental braided cord most often worn on uniforms . . . it will denote an honour. Originally, the word 'aiguillette' referred to the lacing used to fasten plate armor together. As such, a knot or loop arrangement was used which sometimes hung from the shoulder."

"The fourragère is a military award, distinguishing military units as a whole, that is shaped as a braided cord. The award has been firstly adopted by France"

The aiguillette and fourragere as with the gorget the last vestigial and emblematic items worn on the uniform in remembrance of the olden times of knighthood and the wearing of armor?

"A more probable explanation [and reasonable] is that the aiguillette derived from the laces used to secure plates of armor together . . . —the breast- and back-plates would be attached on one side with short loops of cord acting as a hinge, and on the other by a longer and more ornate tied one . . . As armour became more ornamental and less practical, so too did the ties. This would also explain the aiguillettes of varying levels of complexity"

So astonishing is the number, variety, and how-to-be-worn versions of merely aiguillette that you almost need the proverbial scorecard just to keep track.

Here with a sample of images, aiguillette and fourragere:

The braid worn under the arm with the single hanging rope.

On the right the braid by itself worn under the arm. On the right the braid with rope looped and worn over the sleeve but with an additional rope worn under the arm AND one more rope hanging. 
Frenchman on parade wearing a fourragere. Attached obviously in the front to the blouse button with rope handing but then the braid connects exactly where in the back? 
 Here Graves B. Erskine. Senior USMC commander from the era of the Second World War [WW2]. His shoulder cords described as a fourragere. This is a combination of braid, and ropes, looped ropes and single. Those looped ropes over the sleeve, braid under the arm with the single rope not a loop. "General Graves B. Erskine wears the fourragère with the cords hanging over the sleeve, a mark of being in the military unit when the award was made. Soldiers and Marines who are later assigned to the unit do not wear the outside cords. Graves B. Erskine, then platoon leader in the 6th Marine Regiment, was personally authorized to wear the fourragère."

This one appears to be a fourragere but I cannot be sure. The uniform is Canadian formal dress as one might wear to an event when meeting the Prime Minister! The braid and ropes worn under the arm with the two additional ropes hanging. And those metallic tips to the hanging ropes are called a what? Anyone know?

Devoted readers to the blog might want to peruse the various regulations that govern the wearing of the shoulder cords, the aiguillette and fourragere. You almost need a law degree to understand this stuff, it gets so complicated and so fast, who can wear and when and how, etc. the "varying levels of complexity" immense.


Friday, February 15, 2013

Wreath & Crown.

This is coolbert:

From that prior blog entry:

"Ribbons, medals, patches, hash marks, awards, decorations, tabs and badges"

And I have forgotten gold braid, shoulder cords and the decoration on the visored cap that is referred to as "egg salad".

That "egg salad" emblematic of the wreath that was awarded to the Roman general that had performed with great skill and valor on the battlefield, vanquishing an enemy the Senate of Rome only on rare occasions conferring such a distinguished decoration!!

Here with a collection of images, American naval and marine flag officers from the era of World War Two [WW2], the wearing of the uniform with decorations NOT so terribly ostentatious as is the present mode of dress.

Admiral King. Was that most senior American naval officer during WW2. Considerable awards but NOT so elaborately so!

Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher. Won the Medal of Honor at Vera Cruz [1914] "for coming under fire".
General Holland M. Smith Commanded the USMC landing force at Saipan and Iwo Jima. Pretty good amount of decorations deservedly won still not so excessive.

Admiral Kincaid.

Admiral Husband E. Kimmel. His fleet was sent to the bottom at Pearl Harbor. Some troops in basic training have more decorations than the Admiral is wearing?

Read further of those crowns and wreaths as awarded to the Roman military man, general officer and the common soldier both:

For that general officer that highest decoration being the "Corona Obsidionalis corona graminea were the highest honours and were conferred to army generals who broke a siege. It was made of grass, or weeds and wild flowers taken from the site of the siege as a token of victory"

And for the enlisted man, the common soldier, decorations and awards of the highest type conferred as a result of combat action such as:

" [that Roman] who had saved the life of a Roman soldier in battle"

"the first Roman to board an enemy ship"

"the first man who scaled the wall of a besieged city"

"the first man who scaled the wall of a besieged city"

Wreaths, gold braid, shoulder cords. Have I forgotten anything? Devoted readers to the blog will surely know!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013


This is coolbert:

"I want a medal, I want a medal, I want a medal, I want a medal. ME TOO!!!"

Thanks to CNN from only today the American DoD has now created and is going to bestow upon those operators of the umanned drone UAV a new medal for distinguished duty and "heroism"?

"'Distinguished Warfare Medal' created for cyber, drone wars"

 "WASHINGTON (AP) — They fight the war from computer consoles and video screens. But the troops that launch the drone strikes and direct the cyberattacks that can kill or disable an enemy may never set foot in the combat zone. Now, defense officials say, their battlefield contributions may be recognized."

"A recognition of the evolving 21st Century warfare, the medal will be considered a bit higher in ranking than the Bronze Star, but is lower than the Silver Star, defense officials said."

"a medal that can be awarded to troops who have a direct impact on combat operations, but do it from afar."

FROM AFAR meaning many thousands of miles from the actual scene of mortal combat, without even the slightest degree of danger to those operators at the controls of a combat drone UAV.

"unlike other combat medals, it does not require the recipient risk his or her life to get it."

Devoted readers to the blog, please note that my military service did NOT include duty in combat arms. In my case self-satisfaction gained not from medals and awards but doing my assignment and doing it well! Ribbons, medals, patches, hash marks, awards, decorations, tabs and badges all secondary and should be!

Those most senior American military commanders today when wearing dress uniform almost a caricature in my opinion these senior officers having the appearance of what used to be associated with your average everyday Latin American military dictator. So many "ribbons, medals, patches, hash marks, awards, decorations, tabs and badges" it is a wonder the guy can even walk being weighed down with so much impedimenta!

Or I am just being envious here or have other persons seen the same as I see?



This is coolbert:

Once more from Joel at Bubbleheads we have the tip, American submariners for DECADES operating their vessel using and EIGHTEEN HOUR DAY while on patrol, the accepted practice now under review?

"The Stupid Shall Be Punished"

"Are Eight Hour Watches The Way To Go?"

"According to this Navy Times article, the Navy is studying if the current 6 on - 12 off watchstanding cycle practiced by Submariners is detrimental to our health and well-being, or if we should shift to something else."

And from various other sources including Prometheus:

"The submariner's day lasts 18 hours: three 6-hour watch cycles, 1 on and 2 off. He stands a duty watch, then has the next 12 hours for everything else: repair and maintenance tasks, study, relaxation, eating, and sleeping. Then it's back to the duty watch."

"There are four meals a day: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and midrats. There is always plenty of food. Crew members usually get about six hours of sleep per day; most people fall to sleep very quickly because they are tired after a long workday. The days pass without sunrises and sunsets"

That eighteen hour day with the sub crew operating in three shifts [watches] of six hours each thought to be that schedule allowing for the greatest effectiveness and alertness.

Humans as almost all [?] living being having adapted through eons to a circadian rhythm of twenty-five hours that is almost exactly the same as the twenty-four hour rotation of the planet, that eighteen hour day poses problems [?] and is being evaluated as a result of new science.

Other environmental factors aboard a submarine such as LIGHTING [artificial] also a source of difficulty, remedies not being easily found. From Prometheus:

"We also talked about lighting onboard which some percentage of sailors complain bitterly about. The new 'broad spectrum, low level fluorescent lighting used onboard many submarines gives some headaches, and honestly does not adequately represent enough light to approximate what one might expect of the spectral benefits of daylight."

ONLY until the advent of the nuclear powered submarine those submariners for the most part operating on the surface, having access to the natural environment, able to observe the rising and setting of the sun, the phases of the moon, etc. That no longer possible and the normal bodily functions as related to the natural cycle disrupted?

Seems the eighteen hour "day" regimen has worked well for many decades now? And yet a better way is being sought to improve things. "BETTER IS THE ENEMY OF GOOD ENOUGH?"

And this thought has occurred to me too. Those two Virginia class submarines to be "manned" with total female personnel with have a crew each and everyone of those young women having a natural biological clock built into their system. THEY will know with a certain exactitude how long the patrol has lasted without having had access to the sun and phases of the moon!!


Tuesday, February 12, 2013


This is coolbert:

Thanks to the Barents Observer from ONLY yesterday we have this item:

"Gets multi-billion subs, lacks gas for heating"

February 11, 2013

"Russia’s paradox in a nut-shell: Naval base Gadzhievo on the Kola Peninsula is home port to the core of the country’s naval nuclear forces, but lacks gas to heat the submariners’ houses."

That home port for the various Russian intercontinental missile firing submarines those quarters of the personnel, enlisted and officer both lacking basic heating for warmth!.

As you can well imagine those temperatures in the FAR NORTH of Russia adjacent to the Barents Sea very cold in the winter.

That paradox as described self-evident to all, even the most casual of observers. State-of-the-art Russian nuclear submarines docked at a facility [Gadzhievo] the high command unable to provide the necessities of life to the sailors when ashore! Russia having an abundance of natural gas but evidently that abundance for export and not enough for internal use?

There is a solution immediate that can be availed of? Those barracks and quarters need to be heated by electricity, those nuclear submarines while in port the reactors connected to the electric grid! And there is a precedent for this! American aircraft carrier during the Depression era hooked to the electric grid of Tacoma during an emergency, providing power, dynamos of the warships having a dual military/civilian application. So this can and has been done!

That home port of the Russian "boomers" only to become more important in the near future.

"Gadzhievo is the home port to the Northern fleet’s current six ballistic missile submarines of the Delta-IV class. Russia’s new generation missile submarine of the Borey class will also be based here."

The Barents Observer is a Norwegian publication? And seems to be particularly well informed. Indeed this web site Russian Navy blog in particular contains the type of material that during the Cold War would have been classified as TOP SECRET?

It is worth noting [?] that during Czarist times the Russian navy was considered to be the most brutal of all Russian military services. Harsh, unremitting and poor treatment of the enlisted was the rule rather than the exception. The Potemkin was not an isolated incident.



This is coolbert:

Thanks to Bubbleheads from 2009 we have more on the MOST COMPLICATED THING made by man [the Astute class submarine]. That British Astute class attack submarine. A combat submersible that seems to be JINXED!

"jinx   — n  1. an unlucky or malevolent force, person, or thing"

I was aware of previous unfortunate episodes as was recently the case with the Astute, but this was a new one on me.

Previous incidents involving the Astute to include:

* Running aground.
* Having a mad man shoot up the inside of the warship.

And too FIRE!

Once more that danger of dry dock disaster seeming to be more of a hazard to the modern submarine than running submerged on combat patrol!

"Brit Sub Fire In Shipyard"

"BBC News is reporting that there was a fire onboard HMS Astute on Saturday; damage appears limited to the top of the sail."

Pay attention to the comments at the end of the blog entry. Many of them and very acerbic, informative in all cases.

Sailors of whatever nationality generally are VERY superstitious. Even in the modern age. NONE of these events even if trivial bodes well for the long term service of the Astute? Well, keep in the mind the USS Guitarro sank at dock EVEN BEFORE making a maiden voyage and yet saw thirty years of yeoman service!

Joel at Bubbleheads has not posted to the blog for some time. Anyone aware of what has happened to Joel? The man is by his own admission an esophageal cancer survivor.



This is coolbert:

As it was with the Swedish Vasa from many hundred years ago so was it too only not that long ago now [several decades] with the Soviet K-278 Komsomolets

Soviet submarine, on the FIRST operational patrol SUNK. Caught fire, foundered, sunk, the loss of life not total but still heavy.

"K-278 Komsomolets was the only Project 685 Plavnik . . . also known by its NATO reporting name of "Mike"-class) nuclear-powered attack submarine of the Soviet Navy. The boat sank in 1989 and is currently resting on the floor of the Barents Sea, one mile deep, with its nuclear reactor and two nuclear warheads still on board. The single Project 685 was developed to test technologies for Soviet 4th generation nuclear submarines . . . [it] sank after a fire broke out in the aft engineering compartment on its first operational patrol."

The K-278 a "test bed" as was the Soviet Alfa class submarine. Test new technologies and concepts.  K-278 seems to have formidable capability, awesome even. BUT SANK ON THE FIRST OPERATIONAL PATROL!"

"K-278 had a double hull, the inner one being composed of titanium, which gave her an operating depth far greater than that of the best American submarines . . . Initial Western intelligence estimates of K-278’s speed were based on the assumption that it was powered by a pair of liquid-metal lead-bismuth reactors."

"her [K-278] commanding officer, Captain 1st Rank Yuriy Zelenskiy was honored for diving to a depth of 1020 meters (3,345 feet)."

That the K-278 was able to achieve such a stupendous depth was due to that titanium inner hull? This would seem to be the case. That 1,000 meter depth as a demonstration of prowess the military virtues of such a "stunt" questionable also? The abysmal depths are about 10,000 feet [about 3,000 meters] the modern attack submarine operating at best ONLY in that top tenth of what is normally referred to as mid-oceanic [pelagic] waters!

There is significant advantage to the use of the liquid metal cooled type fast reactor. There are however also disadvantages as you might well imagine. Such reactors were tested with the Soviet Alfa class sub and found to be lacking, theory and concept not agreeing with reality? That reactor design not being ever used in American submersibles and by no one other than the Soviet either.

"They [liquid-metal cooled fast reactors] were significantly lighter than typical water-cooled reactors and had an advantage of being capable to quickly switch between maximum power and minimum noise operation modes"


Monday, February 11, 2013


This is coolbert:

"kill a chicken to scare the monkeys".

As orignally reported in a Reuters special article as authored by David Lague and seen only yesterday in the Chicago Tribune very inflammatory and heated rhetoric as emanating fromn those senior military officer of the Chinese Peoples' Liberation Army [PLA].

The type of language as might have been heard from the time of Mao in the 1950's and 1960's or during the Korean and Vietnam war!!

A bellicose tone from those senior PLA military commanders most worrisome and must be taken seriously! Those disputed islands and contiguous waters of the South China Sea, the Paracels, Spratly, Scarborough, Sendaku/Daiyo the sovereignty issue high on the agenda!

"Special Report: China's military hawks take the offensive"

"January 17, 2013|David Lague | Reuters"

"Flames of the war ignited by fascist countries engulfed the whole region, and many places, including Darwin in Australia, were bombed." Ren

"prepare for conflict"

"short, sharp wars"

"strike first"

"we have decided that the U.S. is bluffing in the East China Sea" Dai Xu

"the three running dogs of the United States in Asia," [Vietnam, the Philippines and Japan] Dai Xu

"kill one, and it will immediately bring the others to heel." Dai Xu

"people's war at sea" Luo Yuan

"run like a rabbit"  Zhang Zhaozhong [the United States running like a rabbit!]

"engulfed in the vast ocean of a people's war." Zhang Zhaozhong

That new Chinese leader Xi also a military man and the SON OF A MILITARY COMMANDER WHO SERVED UNDER MAO, THE LONG MARCH, THE INSURGENCY AND EVENTAUL VICTORY OF COMMUNISM, Xi described as a nationalist!

"China's new leader, Xi Jinping, begins to stamp his authority on the Communist Party and the military. Xi, the "princeling" son of late party leader, military commander and economic reformer Xi Zhongxun, has clearly signaled he will be a strong nationalist."

"Many places, including Darwin in Australia, were bombed." Ren obviously intentionally attempting to intimidate his Australian hosts in reaction to that recent decision to deploy and station an American U.S. Marine regimental size contingent in Darwin on a more or less permanent basis of concern to the Chinese.

And the monkeys are? Devoted readers to blog can decide for themselves.


Bismarck Sea.

This is coolbert:

From a prior blog entry:

"Other clashes took place because Allied submariners were engaged in rescuing downed airmen, or were trying to capture or inflict vengeance on Japanese seamen"

"Inflict vengeance". Shoot and kill Japanese sailors in the water after their ship had been sunk - - torpedoed, all hands taking to the water either in long boat, raft, or wearing only a life preserver.


Men hors de combat, murdered by callous, cruel, vengeful and even racially hateful American sailors.

That most egregious incident of course being the American submarine USS Wahoo under the command of "Mush" Morton. Morton his warship having sunk a fully loaded Japanese troop transport ordering the massacre of those in the water, thousands perhaps killed AFTER their ship had gone to the bottom!

Those of you that have seen the made-for-television series "War and Remembrance" based upon the Herman Wouk novel will recall this very event as portrayed, the slaughter just immense!

Those figures regarding the USS Wahoo and the allegations perhaps unfounded? That troop transport having aboard thousands [?] of Japanese GROUND COMBAT TROOPS, those men in the water other than the sailors manning the sunken ship CONTINUING TO BE FAIR GAME?

Sailors their status as hors de combat not questioned, those ground troops still valid targets the thought being that at some point even the floaters may be picked up, taken to their ultimate destination and re-constituted as a combat arms ground unit, further military action possible!

From an authoritative source I have some feedback on this question the consensus being that the matter is unresolved!

"I have no idea about the legalities of shooting troops in the water. I do know it was done - - when troop ships were sunk around Guadalcanal while delivering troops, I do know the planes sinking them then strafed the survivors for the same reason: those troops, if they made shore, were to reinforce enemy forces and carry on the battle against the Marines and US Army troops struggling to retain their foothold on that island."

"I think the previously arrived at solution is probably the correct one, troops being transported to the battle zone may be fair game in the water, whereas sailors without their ships, and airmen without their planes are hors de combat."

"It is too complex an issue to address with simple laws such as the Geneva Conventions and the Hague treaties (there were/are several of each floating around, including addenda and new protocols)."

And further more this additional comment being made:

"You mean like shooting guys parachuting from planes?"

A combat aviator whose warplane has been shot down parachuting to the ground by convention CANNOT BE SHOT WHILE DESCENDING TO THE GROUND.

A paratrooper [a ground combat infantryman] descending to the ground CAN BE SHOT AT!

There is a distinction being made here, the combat aviator hors de combat must be unmolested while the paratrooper is NOT legally protected and can be targeted!

"Attacking enemy troops while they are being deployed by way of a parachute is not a war crime. However, Protocol I, Article 42, of the Geneva Conventions explicitly forbids attacking parachutists who eject from damaged airplanes, and surrendering parachutists once landed. This is the ONLY area that discusses engaging potential targets that are parachuting - which, by default, makes it legal."

"The Law of Armed Conflict: International Humanitarian Law in War" - - By Gary D. Solis

"when discussing prohibited targets . . . "Paratroopers may be targeted, parachutists may not be (1977 Additional Protocol I, Article 42)."

"Hague Rules of Air Warfare"

"Article 20 of the 1923 Hague Rules of Air Warfare provides: “In the event of an aircraft being disabled, the persons trying to escape by means of parachutes must not be attacked during their descent.”

Even far worse too was what occurred in the AFTERMATH of the Battle of the Bismarck Sea. Numerous Japanese troop transport vessels sunk, those survivors in the water FOR A PERIOD OF THREE DAYS BOMBED AND STRAFED!! In comparison Wahoo was a trifling?

Such splitting of hairs and Talmudic style legal reasoning is something Americans and others of the Anglo sphere tend to engage in? And as can be intuitively understood, during the heat of battle such niceties are ignored, the tendency of the common soldier or sailor BEING TO SHOOT!


Technology II.

This is coolbert:


Again from Trevor Dupuy "Understanding War".

"Congruence of Weapons, Tactics, and Doctrine."

"Congruence between weapons of war and methods of war has historically been rare. I nominate 
 ONLY SIX MILITARY SYSTEMS OVER THE COURSE OF HISTORY [MY EMPHASIS!] in which there has been real congruence":

1. "the Macedonian system of Alexander the Great."
2. "the Roman system of Scipio and Flamininus."
3. "the Mongol system of Genghis Khan."
4. "the English system of Edward I, Edward III and Henry V."
5. "the French system of Napoleon."
6. "the German blitzkrieg system."

As to the meaning of congruence and the principal characteristics:

1. "High relative combat effectiveness."
2. "Decisive battlefield success."
3. "Relatively low casualties for the congruent system."
4. "Relatively high causalities for the opposing system."

Congruence that combination of new weaponry matched with appropriate doctrine and tactics. And must be understood as such NOT merely the weapons themselves.

AND I would have to think superior inspired and motivated senior leadership at various echelons of command AND that top leadership aggressive as well.

With regard to # 6 that German blitzkrieg system of the Second World War [WW2] combining massed armor [tanks] formations with the dive bomber and a rapid form of secure communication [high frequency radio communication encrypted by the Enigma crypto machine] allowing for dynamic change.

The tank, the dive bomber, the radio and encryption were not new to the battlefield prior to WW2, the German however combining those elements in a congruent system AND having doctrine and tactics to maximise use of the weaponry, senior leadership having absorbed and assimilated the concepts of blitzkrieg an agreed upon military strategy that WORKED!


Friday, February 8, 2013

Technology I.

This is coolbert:

"Defense is the stronger from of combat" - - Clausewitz.
"Yoo hoo, General Grant, remember me? I was wounded at Cold Harbor."

From Trevor Dupuy "Understanding War": Historical Eras and Innovations in Weapons.

"An important and dramatic change in the waging of war occurred in the decade between 1850 and 1860. This was the result of the introduction of an apparently minor improvement in small arms; the conoidal bullet for the infantryman's rifled musket. NO OTHER TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE IN WEAPONRY, BEFORE OR SINCE, HAS HAD A COMPARABLE, DIRECTLY DISCERNIBLE, IMMEDIATE EFFECT ON THE BATTLEFIELD. [MY EMPHASIS]"

That infantryman of the period wielding the muzzle-loading rifle firing a conoidal round able to in a pronounced manner:

* Fire further.
* Fire faster.
* Fire with greater accuracy.
* Fire with greater lethality?

Once more  from Dupuy:

"During the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, and through the last years of the Old era . . . artillery was responsible for 50 % or more of the battle casualties . . . After 1860 (American Civil war, the Austro-Prussian War, and the Franco-Prussian War), artillery was responsible for barely 10 % of the casualties. Small arms (rifled Muskets) were responsible for nearly 90 % of the casualties inflicted."

More so than the mere new technology and the application thereof it was the continued used of tactics and formations during an assault [offensive action] the methods as would have been found five decades earlier during the Napoleonic conflicts.

Clumped and tightly packed formations of infantry advancing across open ground the adversary defending while occupying trenches. [called breastworks during that period]

From those various battles of the American Civil War that muzzle-loaded rifle firing a conoidal round the casualties horrific as exemplified by:

* Fredricksburg.
* Gettysburg.
* Franklin.
* Cold Harbor.

Gettysburg 5,000 casualties in thirty minutes, Cold Harbor 10,000 casualties in ten minutes!! Union troops at Fredericksburg certain units when advancing told to hold their fire and use bayonets only, NOT able to reply to the entrenched and prepared Confederates.

War in that immediate period following the American Civil War [Franco-Prussian war, 1870 and Russo-Turkish War, 1877] the various combatants employing even more devastating firepower infantry equipped with breech-loaded single shot rifles THOSE IN COMMAND DURING AN ASSAULT PERSISTENTLY AND AS AUTOMATONS CONTINUING TO USE THOSE CLOSED AND CLUMPED FORMATIONS OF INFANTRY ADVANCING ACROSS OPEN GROUND!! NAPOLEONIC STYLE OFFENSIVE ACTION WITH DISASTROUS CONSEQUENCES!

Those single-shot breech-loaded rifles of the period to include the Dreyse "needle gun", the French Chassepot and the Peabody-Martini.

"The Chassepot, officially known as Fusil modèle 1866, was a bolt action military breechloading rifle, famous as the arm of the French forces in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 and 1871 . . . in 1866, the Chassepot marked the commencement of the era of modern bolt action, breech-loading, military rifles."

"The Dreyse needle-gun . . . was a military breechloading rifle, famous as the main infantry weapon of the Prussians, who accepted it for service in 1841 . . . with the name chosen to hide the revolutionary nature of the new weapon"

From the Franco-Prussian War of 1870:
* Mars-la-Tour. 5,000 DEAD in fifteen minutes!
* St. Privet. 8,000 casualties in twenty minutes!

AND from the Russo-Turkish War of 1877:

"I am sending forth battalions and only squads return"

"On 11 September [1877] the Russians and Romanians made a large-scale assault on Plevna. The Ottoman forces were dug in and equipped with Krupp-manufactured steel breech-loading artillery and American-manufactured Winchester repeaters and Peabody-Martini rifles. For three hours they poured murderous fire into the waves of advancing Russians . . . From the beginning of September, Russian losses had amounted to roughly 20,000, while the Ottomans lost 5,000."

That Peabody-Martini used at long range, the Turk commencing fire using plunging rounds at a distance of one mile [1 1/2 kilometers] and using that American Winchester 73 lever action rifle when the Russian had advanced to within 200 yards [200 meters give or take a few] of the Turkish positions. Absolute murder!!

I hate to say this but the American experience in Iraq and Afghan by comparison has been a gemuthlichkeit? A happy time except consider this amazing stuff:

"Early in 2010 and 2011, United States Marines recovered at least three from various Taliban weapons caches in Marjah. In April 2011, another Martini-Henry rifle was found near Orgun in Paktika Province by United States Army's 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)."

That Afghan with nostalgia preferring the old ways and weapons. And where exactly do they find the ammo for those old Peabody-Martini?


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Minesweeper II.

This is coolbert:


From that previous blog entry:

"They [Avenger] are scheduled to be replaced in the coming years by Littoral Combat Ships, which can be fit with a minesweeping package"

YES INDEED. That new naval warship Litoral Combat Ship [LCS] designated as the replacement for the current Avenger class of minesweerpers.

LCS multi-faceted and multi-role naval vessels designed to operate in littoral waters [green/coastal] and able to perform a number of task oriented missions, using modular packages [containers] pre-loaded mission task oriented and ready to go!

LCS as planned a surface/anti-submarine/anti-mine warfighter with some innovative and interesting features.

"the LCS program will initially draw upon module sets for Mine Warfare (MIW: 24 planned), Anti-submarine Warfare (ASW: 16 planned) and Surface Warfare (SUW: 24 planned)."

Trimaran hull with high speed plus good stability.

From a variety of sources we have more info on the LCS. That minesweeping "package' having been tested and successful!

"Navy Tests LCS Minesweeping System"

"PANAMA CITY, Fla. (NNS) -- The Navy announced the successful completion of shore-based and at-sea integrated system tests on the prototype Unmanned Influence Sweep System . . . at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City Division, in Panama City, Fla"

"Designed for the LCS as part of the mine countermeasures mission package, the system provides unmanned mine sweeping capability that keeps warfighters out of the mine field. The system consists of an unmanned surface craft that carries and tows the minesweeping payload."

"Mine sweeping gear is one of many modular packages that can be fitted to the new Littoral Combat Ship. Mission flexibility is a high priority for the new program"

"the vessels will fill many roles including launch and recovery of manned and unmanned vehicles, anti-countermeasure duty, surface combat, and submarine mitigation. Modular equipment packages to suit the tactical situation can be swapped at pier side in a few days."

LCS is a hybrid? The navy is hoping the LCS can do it all and do it all well. Hybrids traditionally have a lackluster performance the U.S. Navy hoping the LCS is the exception to the rule.


Tuesday, February 5, 2013


This is coolbert:

From a very recent blog entry:

"To what extent these jihadi in Mali are Salafist I am not sure. And to what extent there was religious motivation for the torching of the archives and manuscripts I also cannot say."

That collection of ancient manuscripts and documents, archives as stored in Timbuktu, the arson a portion of which by those retreating jihadists in Mali has aroused the ire of learned scholars!

There DOES seem to have been  a religious motivation for the burning of the collection to the extent it was done. From an acknowledged authority on the subject:

"Destruction of jahiliyya"

"Jahiliyyah ("ignorance") is an Islamic concept of 'ignorance of divine guidance' or 'the state of ignorance of the guidance from God' or 'Days of Ignorance' referring to the condition in which Arabs found themselves in pre-Islamic Arabia, i.e. prior to the revelation of the Quran to Muhammad . . . it has come to refer to the state of anyone not following Islam and the Quran."

"more recently its meaning has been expanded to mean Western non-Muslims"

Those scholars in residence and the students at the medieval university not in consonance with the beliefs of the Salafists. Salafists those Muslims attempting to emulate to the greatest extent possible the ancient way as practiced by the first three generations of Islam as beginning with Mohammad and his initial group of followers.

Those manuscripts, archives, texts, the entire collection is jahiliyya? And in the modern context whatever is found to be pleasing and of interest to the non-Muslim also to the Salafist by definition is verboten, forbidden and jahiliyya!


Wood & Fiberglass.

This is coolbert:
"Warp speed Mr. Sulu!!"

Thanks to the Stars & Stripes we have the latest info on the run-aground USS Guardian.

NOW to be sectioned and cut into pieces in situ and removed, the wreck now deemed as not worthy of being re floated and salvaged. As we speak naval oceanic cranes on the way to facilitate the process.

"Minesweeper to be cut up for removal from Philippine reef"

"The Guardian was the fifth of 14 Avenger-class mine countermeasure ships to be put into service . . . They are scheduled to be replaced in the coming years by Littoral Combat Ships, which can be fit with a minesweeping package"

The USS Guardian Avenger class minesweeper having run aground high and dry in the Sulu Sea and battered now by waves is deemed as a wreck and will be cut up for scrap that much is clear. The hull of that naval vessel wooden and fiberglass, that salvage task less complicated than ordinarily so"

That reef where the Guardian ran aground according to the charts eight miles [14 Kilometers] from where it was supposed to be. The navigators of the Guardian were ON COURSE, the reef was NOT!

From your history books recall that the greatest sailor and navigator of his age, Captain Cook, also while exploring the eastern coast of Australia ran aground on the Great Barrier Reef and nearly sank, only surviving and the ship remaining afloat with the most drastic measures being taken!

And what exactly was the USS Guardian doing to begin with in such dangerous waters? Perhaps doing a sounding of the Sulu Sea bottom, preparing the battlefield in advance, a reconnaissance to determine with precise accuracy water depth, bottom contour, thermoclines, salinity, etc. In case of push comes to shove in the South China Sea and the U.S. has to honor treaty commitments, the info is available to those war fighters, tactics and strategy based upon the "terrain" having been made in advance?


Richard III.

This is coolbert:

"and now Richmond, get ye to France!" Henry Tudor, the Earl of Richmond.
Richard has been found!!

Richard III the last King of England to die in battle, his remains after five hundred years have been found. This is a major news story and deservedly so.

From the Chicago Tribune today:

"Face of Richard III, England's "king in the car park", revealed"

"LONDON (Reuters) - With a large chin, a prominent slightly arched nose and delicate lips, the "face" of England's King Richard III was unveiled on Tuesday, a day after researchers confirmed his remains had finally been found after 500 years."

DNA testing confirming this is the remains of Richard, that sample as taken from the skeleton compared with the DNA of a cabinet maker a direct descendant of Richard's sister.

Richard again the last King of England TO HAVE DIED ON THE BATTLEFIELD. That mortal wound evidently several blows from an edged weapon to the head as confirmed by forensics.

That spinal column of Richard also severely deformed, scoliosis in the extreme!

Richard III his reign short, less than two years, the man not having a good press, reviled as a murderer and brute, a despot very guileful and amoral!

For those of you who have not seen the most recent cinematic adaption of the Shakespeare play: "Richard III" starring Sir Ian McKellen I recommend it highly without qualification. The setting 1930's England, Richard portrayed as a power-mad fascist!

And only from several years ago thanks to the Daily Mail that exact location [?] of the Battle of Bosworth now pinpointed with exactitude:

"Is this the field where Richard III lost his kingdom for a horse? Real location of Battle of Bosworth finally revealed after 500 years"

"Dug out of the ground after more than 500 years, this perfectly preserved tiny silver badge has finally pinpointed the exact site of the battle which decided the Wars of the Roses."

"The 1.5in decoration proved to archaeologists where the Battle of Bosworth had actually taken place and it was in a field a mile from where historians have always believed it happened."

That emblem, that badge of Richard THE WILD BOAR!

Richard III as is fitting for this station and rank to be re-buried with honors in the nearest consecrated ground. Even the vanquished NOW to rest in peace with honor after five hundred years!


Monday, February 4, 2013

Ahmad Baba.

This is coolbert:

As originally reported by the DEBKAfile:

January 28, 2013 Briefs:

"Fleeing Islamists burn priceless Timbuktu library

"As French-led Malian troops captured the airport of the world heritage town of Timbuktu Monday, fleeing Islamists set fire to the Baba Ahmed Institution and its priceless ancient manuscripts"

The actions of the savage, the barbarian, the callous and unfeeling conqueror. Destroying those manuscripts and archives, the scholarship as accumulated from medieval times, the very essence of civilization and learning put to the torch, arson of a horrific nature.

Ancient manuscripts as might have been found at the University of Timbuktu in the medieval period. Students from all parts of Saharan Africa being able to avail themselves of a level of scholarship at least equal [?] to the learning as would have been found during the same period at Oxford, Cambridge, the Sorbonne, Bologna, Salamanca.

"The University of Timbuktu was a medieval university in Mali, West Africa . . . During its zenith, the university at Timbuktu had an average attendance of around 25,000 students within a city of around 100,000 people."

The retreating jihadists behaving in the manner of the Mongol at Baghdad [1258], the German at Leuven [1914]. The library in a purposeful manner during a time of war a target for arson, manuscripts and archives totally destroyed, lost forever. That form of destruction a very ancient tradition most regrettable!

That damage however, does not seem to be as bad as might be expected. Precautions evidently taken in advance, the danger realized far in advance and measures taken to protect the manuscripts and archives. SOME items lost, but the bulk saved! So it seems.

"Timbuktu Locals Saved Some of City’s Ancient Manuscripts from Islamists"

"the center’s collection of about 40,000 ancient manuscripts, some of the 300,000 or so historic documents stashed in libraries in Timbuktu and the villages around it, mostly as family heirlooms.
Realizing that the documents might be prime targets for pillaging or vindictive attacks from Islamic extremists, staff left behind just a small portion of them, perhaps out of haste, but also to conceal the fact that the center had been deliberately emptied"

To what extent these jihadi in Mali are Salafist I am not sure. And to what extent there was religious motivation for the torching of the archives and manuscripts I also cannot say. This was more than anything else a perverse petulance and nothing more? ONLY the perpetrators know for sure.


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Knox & Stimson.

This is coolbert:

It should be understood too that Franklin Roosevelt [FDR] was not above bi-partisanship. Especially in those years just prior to Pearl Harbor, FDR appointing to high level civilian positions within the War Department [before it was called the Department of Defense] prominent Republicans, those in opposition, quite often very vocal opposition for that matter to FDR and his policies.

1. Frank Knox. Secretary of the Navy during World War Two [WW2].

Newspaper reporter, publisher, and newspaper owner. Also a man with a pretty extensive military background, AND IN 1936 THE VICE-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE ON THE REPUBLICAN TICKET!

"William Franklin "Frank" Knox . . . was an American newspaper editor and publisher. He was also the Republican vice presidential candidate in 1936, and Secretary of the Navy under Franklin D. Roosevelt during most of World War II."

Knox volunteering for military service both during the Spanish-American War [1918] and the Great War [1917].

"During the Spanish-American War, he joined the Army, and served in Cuba with the Theodore Roosevelt's famous Rough Riders, the 1st US Volunteer Cavalry Regiment."

"During World War I, Knox was an advocate of U.S military preparedness and then of participation in the war. When the U.S. declared war on Germany, he rejoined the Army. He reached the rank of Major and served as an artillery officer in France."

"After the war, Knox became a newspaper reporter in Grand Rapids. This was the beginning of a career that included ownership of several papers."

Knox while in the capacity of Secretary of the Navy in constant contact with FDR, again all things naval of intense interest to the President.

"During World War II, Knox again was an advocate of preparedness. As an internationalist, he supported aid to the Allies and opposed isolationism. In July 1940, he became Secretary of the Navy under Franklin D. Roosevelt; the Democratic president sought to create bi-partisan support for his foreign and defense policies following the defeat of France."

"As Secretary, Frank Knox carried out Roosevelt's plan to expand the Navy into a force capable of fighting in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. He traveled extensively to Navy installations worldwide."

2. Henry L. Stimson. Secretary of War on two occasions, prior to WW1 and during WW2. A prominent Republican and a man surely in the political arena in opposition to FDR.

Also a man having a military backgournd and having seen combat during WW1. "Stimson served the regular U.S. Army in France as an artillery officer, reaching the rank of colonel in August 1918."

"Henry Lewis Stimson . . . was an American statesman, lawyer and Republican Party politician and spokesman on foreign policy. He twice served as Secretary of War 1911–1913 under Republican William Howard Taft and 1940–1945, under Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt. In the latter role he was a leading hawk calling for war against Germany. During World War II he took charge of raising and training 13 million soldiers and airmen, supervised the spending of a third of the nation's GDP on the Army and the Air Forces, helped formulate military strategy, and took personal control of building and using the atomic bomb"

It has been suggested by some historians that FDR did have a worthy opponent during the election of 1940 [Wendell Wilkie], and these appointment of Knox and Stimson were in some measure an effort to assuage public opinion and ALSO to create that atmosphere of BI-PARTISANSHIP! Persons such as Knox and Stimson also men of high caliber and intellect and a significant plus to the FDR administration without doubt!



This is coolbert:

From a comment to the blog by Dan:

"Since you are enamored with the great satan , FDR, did you know he killed a really great type of plane because of politics: the planes of Vincent Justus Burnelli and his Lifting body concept. Burnelli had the misfortune to have (Arthur?) Pew as one of his backers, a person who was a Republican player."

Thanks Dan and this aeronautical engineer Vincent Justus Burnelli was indeed an innovator. His interest in the flying wing and lifting body not totally unique but Burnelli furthering the concept with actual flying prototypes of some significant capability.

 "Burnelli had a lifelong career devoted to exploiting the advantages of the lifting body airfoil concept that characterized many of his earlier aircraft designs."

 "Flying wing/Lifting body"

 "Burnelli was one of the first American designers to capitalize on the 'flying wing' mystique . . . His goal was to develop a more efficient airplane that could carry a large payload. Although Burnelli referred to his lifting body transports as 'flying wings', his production aircraft invariably retained some kind of a tail, frequently supported by upswept booms that extended rearward. More accurately, Burnelli had a 'lifting body' design, rather than a true 'flying wing' where all major aeronautical components are housed within the wing."

NOT a flying wing as that concept generally understood. An aircraft with a more or less conventional appearance but having a aerodynamically designed fuselage, LIFT added in the process to the entire assemblage. THE LIFTING BODY!

That most successful design of Burnelli the CBY-3. A transport able to out-muscle and out-perform the vaunted DC-3.

"The Burnelli CBY-3 Loadmaster was an unconventional transport aircraft"

The CBY-3 able to carry MORE cargo and take off with a shorter run! Better! It is not without reason the CBY-3 was called the LOADMASTER!

"The CBY-3 'lifting fuselage' was an evolution of the earlier Burnelli UB-14. Burnelli worked as a designer at Canadian Car and Foundry (CanCar) in Montreal, and the CBY-3 was intended for bush operations in northern Canada. The sole prototype was extensively tested but failed to gain a production contract."

Roosevelt [FDR] again considered by many to be a dilettante who dabbled in matters for which he had no expertise.With regard to the military FDR favored the navy, being a patrician blue-blood with yachting experience AND reminding one and all that he [FDR] understood war, having visited on one occasion the front during the Great War, firing a single round from an artillery piece and smelling the carcass of a dead horse. You take it from there!