Webster

The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)


Saturday, June 30, 2018

The T-34 tank




One of the most important weapons in the Second World War, the T-34 medium tank was also one of the most influential designs in the history of tanks.

Tanks were critical to combat in the Second World War, and all the combatant nations worked on developing better versions. The Soviets, with their massive program of mechanization, had been able to experiment with a wide array of designs in the 1930s. This taught the Soviet designers what did and didn’t work, leading to the T-34.
The "Christie" Tank, an American design that the Soviets used and copied. 
The design work that led to the T-34 began in 1936. Engineers began from the basis of the BT-7, a capable light tank that had gone through repeated modifications as designers sought ways to improve it. For the T-34, the designers enlarged the hull, added an extra roadwheel, lengthened the suspension, and improved both engine and armament.



T-34/76 medium tank.
Pilot models of the T-34 were created at the Komintern Factory at Kharkov. Many other factories would be involved when it went into mass production.
The T-34 went into production in May 1940. It continued in use throughout World War Two and beyond.


T-34/76 tank in color.
During the war, the Soviets relied on massing forces to defend their homeland and eventually overwhelm the Germans. The T-34 was perfect for mass production and huge numbers were produced – 39,698 in total.  When the German invaded and they ran into the T-34, they were unpleasantly surprised, the T-34 was better than what the Germans had, but what helped the Germans was the training and the close air support of the Luftwaffe especially the Stuka. 
However, production was almost stopped in the early days of the war on the Eastern Front. The German advance into Russia was so swift and decisive that it overran the tank arsenals. Through an incredible application of labor, the Soviets managed to evacuate every movable machine part from these factories, transporting them by rail deeper into the USSR.
There they set up new tank production lines, including the Uralmashzavod (Ural machine factory) at Nizhni Tagil. This factory churned out thousands of T-34s, keeping up the supply of tanks the Red Army needed



Soviet Tank T-34 76 model 1940 abandoned by the Red Army.
By 1943, there were 43 factories producing just two types of tanks – the T-34 and the heavier KV.
One of the T-34’s most important features was its engine. This was a high-powered diesel design that was created at the Kharkov Locomotive Works. It was the result of five years of research and development all focused on the creation of one engine. It was both reliable and resistant to fire, making the tank better able to survive being hit.



T-34/76 soviet tank, turret with additional armor.
Many previous tanks had riveted armor. However, fighting in the Spanish Civil War and in border conflicts between China and Japan had tested the limits of this design and proven the vulnerability of a riveted tank. So instead of riveting, the T-34’s armor was joined by welding, to make it tougher.
The angle of the armor was also re-thought. It was carefully sloped, to avoid presenting a face at right angles to the trajectory of a shot against the tank. This made it far more likely that enemy shells would be deflected off.
Alongside its improved engine and armor, the T-34 carried a powerful weapon for a tank of its size – a high-velocity 76mm gun.


T 34/85 at the Saumur Armored Museum. Photo:
As the war progressed and German tanks improved, a heavier weapon was needed to penetrate their armor. The 76mm weapon was replaced with the D-5T 85mm anti-aircraft gun, which would prove as effective against tanks as it was against planes. At the time, the T-34/85 was one of the most powerful tanks in the world.
As well as its main gun, the T-34 was equipped with two 7.62mm Degtyarev machine guns. One of these was mounted coaxially with the main gun, The other was fitted in the front right-hand side of the hull.


T-34/76 model 1941 in the Tank Museum, Kubinka.
The turret on the first T-34 was cramped and limited in how far it could depress its gun. Like many features of the tank, it went through continual improvements over the course of service, creating a more spacious and better-protected turret.



T-34/76 model 1943 soviet tank.
The importance of being able to function in bad weather had been proved to the Soviets when they invaded Finland in 1939 and many of their vehicles stopped working in the snow. While conditions in the USSR were seldom as trying as in the Finnish winter, the Soviet winter could also be grueling, and a tank needed to be able to get across mud and snow. The wide tracks of the T-34 were designed for this purpose.
During the Cold War, the Soviets exported the T-34 tank to their Warsaw Pact allies. The Czechs started producing their own T-34s in 1951 and the Poles did the same in 1953. The Polish vehicle incorporated several improvements not seen in the Russian model.


T-34/85 Tank in Poland at the Open Air Exhibition of the Armament of the Polish Armed Forces.
The T-34 saw many adaptations to its design over the course of its long career. It also became the foundation stone upon which a variety of other vehicles were built, by both the Soviets and their allies. These include at least six different armored recovery vehicles, built in the USSR, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, and Poland.
Like the BT-7 before it, the T-34 became the basis for designing other, more advanced tanks. The Soviet T-44 tank was based on the T-34, and in turn became the starting point for the T-54.


T-34-76 (Model 1941).
The effectiveness of the T-34 was such that it remained a mainstay of the Soviet army for a decade after the war. But by the mid-1950s, it had been surpassed by its descendant the T-54, and the Red Army began phasing it out in favor of that tank, with T-34s finally leaving Soviet service in the 1960s. It continued in service in other Communist countries for decades afterward, a testament to the enduring quality of this most influential of tanks.
Additional Photos –


T-34 winter camo turret number 54.



Abandoned T-34/76 with German soldier approaching.



Abandoned T-34/76 with the Uralmash Turret. Panzer Grenadiers in foreground.



Captured T-34/76 used by the German army.



Another Captured T-34/76 used by the German Army.
Color  Photo of T-34/76 models 1940 and 1941.



Column of Soviet Troops including several T-34s. look like T-34/85 models, you can tell by the gun mantle and the longer barrel



T-34/85 with additional armor in Czechoslovakia 1945.




Here is a movie"White Tiger", it is a Russian movie with english subtitles, the movie tried to be accurate as far as kitting out of the gear, except they had to use a modified JS-3 as the "Tiger Tank"  I thought the movie was pretty good, I was telling Mack about the movie while we were returning from Alabama after buying my Garand





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Friday, June 29, 2018

Exciting Purchase ..

My schedule and Mack's schedule finally meshed and I took a trip to the southern CMP office in Anniston Alabama.   We went Garand shopping, I have wanted one for a long time, I had one before and it was a Century Arms Incorporated purchase, basically a civilian made some really crappy receivers for Garand parts and I got snookered into buying one.  It was a Disaster, you can read the trials and tribulation of that rifle.

 The end results is that it got parted out, was unsafe to shoot due to throat erosion and corrosion and other issues that it had and I didn't know of when I bought the rifle.
    Well anyway I grabbed Mack from his domicile and we hit the road,  it was good spending time with my friend and fellow tribe member.
    Well we got to the CMP in Anniston..
As we were walking up Mack commented "Wonder how the GI .45's are doing...."  We go through the first door and saw this sign...
We chuckled as we read this and Mack answered "I guess it answers that question...", as we walked inside and saw this right off the bat.
They were separated by grade and condition.    I looked at the other wall and saw this...
Some accessories and hats and shirts....and a real nice sniper Garand M1D type.

   Well I was picking up rifles by price tag, I was governed by how much cash I had with me, and the prices were higher than the website indicated.  I had brought enough cash for a "Service Grade" rifle with extra left over the 10% Alabama sales tax.  but the price for the rifles were higher than expected.  As I was getting sticker shock, Mack found a "Winchester" Garand and told me to hang on to it, as he looked farther, he then found another one and told me to switch them.  I got the better one.

      While we were doing this...the creator/inventor of the Garand, Mr. John C Garand was watching the proceedings...
Well they finished prepping the rifle and I was filling out more paperwork and they got my rifle ready..
The really cool CMP case comes with the rifle...
Here is the serial number of my Garand, It is a Winchester Garand, and out of the 5.4 million Garands, Winchester only had the contract from 1943 to 1945 and made 65,000 rifles....and I have one...Mack choose real good.  I asked him about that later and he replied self depreciating "Well it is a certain skill set I have."
    
The rifle was rebarreled at Springfield armory in 1956. I wish I know what the rest of those marking mean.  I recognize the cartouche from the Ordinance department.
  
The rifle uses a really dark wood, the guy at CMP said it was really dense and because it is really dense, there is no cleaning storage rod compartment.  I was looking to ID the stock and apparently it is a Winchester lower Stock according to this Site, the "V" is in the right place and it is a long channel for the barrel compared to the Springfield stock, but the rifle does have a Remington operating rod, it has the RA marking, The Trigger group is from Springfield. but the stock has no cleaning compartment hole.  Is that normal?  The Stock might be this "Hackberry" stuff, I don't know..

   All in all I am stoked that I finally have a good Garand, now I gotta find time to go to the range.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Soviet Post War Self Propelled AAA

I decided to post an article on Soviet equipment, my specialty was Soviet Sam systems and how they operated and their doctrine.  I found it fascinating because the Soviet mobile units would accompany their echelon forces to protect them from opposing air units.  The Soviets remembered what the

German Stuka dive bombers did to their armored formations during WWII.  This article probably would have accompanied my "Red Storm Rising" articles that I did a while back.




Soviet Sam Performance Envelope.(Unclassified)

To counter the helicopters and planes of both current and anticipated enemies, the Soviet military planners of the Cold War built their air defense forces around three principles – mobility, mass, and integration.
Integration was achieved by incorporating the weapons into units at all levels. Mass was achieved by building vast numbers of them. And mobility was achieved by installing them on vehicles, creating a wide range of self-propelled anti-aircraft weapons.

BTR-40A
This was one of two early specialist anti-aircraft vehicles built by mounting weapons on armored personnel carriers (APCs). The BTR-40A was an adaptation of the BTR-40 APC, with a simple turret installed above the troop compartment. A pair of 14.5mm KPV machine guns were mounted in the turret, which had an elevation of up to 80°.

BTR-40A (ZTPU-2) in the Kubinka Tank Museum.
Though it could theoretically take on aircraft, the BTR-40A wasn’t very effective in this role. The manually operated turret was slow to reverse and the simple sights were ineffective. To make things worse, the gunner had little armor to protect him.

ZSU-57-2
Brought into service in 1955, the ZSU-57-2 had a chassis based on the T-54 tank, but with fewer wheels and weaker armor. It carried two air-cooled 57mm S-68 guns. These were mounted in an open-top turret that left the gunner vulnerable to fire from above, with only a tarpaulin over his head to keep out rain and snow.
ZSU-57-2 self-propelled anti-aircraft gun.
However, it did have three significant improvements over previous air defense vehicles. Firstly, its powered turret led to faster traverse and elevation, giving the gun more chance of keeping up with its targets. Secondly, more advanced optical sights, later fitted with a rangefinder, gave a better chance of accurately targeting an enemy. Thirdly, its range was twice that of the BTR-40A.
Still, this vehicle had its limits. A lack of radar made it useful only in clear weather.

ZSU-23-4 Shilka

In 1964, the ZSU-57-2 was replaced by the far more effective ZSU-23-4.  Now this was the "Big Kahuna for us Army guys, the ZSU was very capable with the radar able to target the Cobra's/Apache/A-10 and help protect the lead elements.  The emphasis was to take out the Air Defense assets first so the American air can loiter around the armored formation and savage them.  Our Air was part of our Airland Battle to offset the numerical superiority of the Soviet forces.  The ZSU was like so many self-propelled anti-air vehicles, this was based on the chassis of another vehicle – the ASU-85 anti-tank gun. Unlike its predecessor, it had a fully enclosed turret as well as nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) protection for its crew. Infra-red equipment let it operate effectively at night.


ZSU-23-4 Shilka.
This vehicle had four water-cooled 2A7 23mm guns. These gave it a shorter range but higher rate of fire, increasing the chances of hitting a target. A computer-operated Gun Dish radar improved its ability to find and track targets regardless of the weather.
The vacuum tubes in the analog fire-control computer caused some problems for the crew, as they generated lots of heat. An improved version released in 1966 had better ventilation, reducing the problems with overheating. Later models provided both better computers and better cooling.

SA-4 Ganef
The Soviet Army had been one of the first to fully embrace the potential of rocketry. In 1965, the SA-4 Ganef became its first self-propelled weapon to make use of this in air defense, carrying an elevated turntable loaded with two missiles. It had no onboard fire control, instead relying on a radio link to a radar vehicle to line up a shot before the missiles took over with semi-active radar homing.
Soviet SA-4 Ganef.
With a maximum range of 55km and a 135kg high explosive warhead, these missiles seriously increased the reach and impact of Soviet anti-aircraft fire.
Another version of the missiles came in later, exchanging a shorter range for better low altitude performance. These missiles were often fielded together because of their different strengths.
The SA-4 had a new chassis of its own, rather than one borrowed from other designs. It was fitted with infra-red driving lights and NBC protection, like most Soviet fighting vehicles of the mid-to-late Cold War.
A battery of SA-4s was accompanied by TZM transloader vehicles carrying spare missiles and cranes to load them. It took 10-15 missiles to reload.

SA-8 Gecko
The SA-8 entered the Soviet army in 1970. It was the Soviets’ first self-contained surface-to-air missile system, with the tracking radar and missiles based in the same vehicle.
SA-8 Gecko. By Andrew Zorin
The controlling radar was mounted in the center of the vehicle. A pair of small antennae let the equipment guide two separate missiles at once. Pairs of missiles were carried on rails to each side of the radar, and the vehicle carried a total of four missiles. Reload vehicles using the same chassis carried 18 missiles each and a crane with which to load them. There were usually two reloaders for every four SA-8.
SA-13 Gopher
The SA-13 came into service in 1976, following a troubled development. Its chassis was based on the MT-LB APC, with the machine gun turret removed. A launcher lay on top of the cargo compartment, where it could be laid down flat while on the move.
9K35 Strela-10 combat vehicle.
The launcher carried four 9K35 Strela-10 missiles. Another eight were stored inside the vehicle for reloading. The Strela-10 had a range of 5km and a maximum speed of nearly Mach 2. A more sophisticated missile with a heavier warhead and proximity fuse was introduced in 1981. The SA-13 could also fire the older, less sophisticated Strela-1.
The Strela-10 missiles were initially directed by a range-only Hat Box radar system, to make sure that targets could be reached. In-built infra-red heat-seeking systems within the missiles then took over.

2S6
A 2S6. Photo: Mike1979 Russia 
Arriving in 1982, the 2S6 combined guns with rocketry for greater firepower, carrying four SA-19 Grison missiles and a pair of 2A38 30mm cannons. Two radar systems allowed it to identify and track targets. Stabilizing equipment let the gunner fire the guns while on the move, but the missiles could only be fired when the vehicle was still. It had light armor that could keep out shell splinters and small arms fire.
The main production version of this vehicle, the 2S6M, arrived four years later. It had twice as many missiles, better missiles and guns, and superior fire control systems.  The 2S6 was considered the replacement for the venerable but formidable ZSU-23-4 but with improvements in firepower to deal with the newer American ground support aircraft like the A-10




The SA-6 GAINFUL (2K12 KUB/KVADRAT) is a two stage, solid-fuel, low-altitude SAM. Although it is frequently reported that a naval version of the missile is the SA-N-3 GOBLET, this is evidently not the case. The 3M9 KUB self-propelled surface-to-air tactical low-altitude anti-aircraft missile system is intended for destruction of aircraft, missiles, cruise missiles and assault helicopters at low to medium altitudes.
The SA-6 low altitude surface to air missile uses radio command guidance immediately after launch, switching to semi-active radar homing in the terminal phase. In the event of jamming or radar shut down the SA-6 may be guided optically and acquire its target after launch. It has radio command guidance with semi-active radar terminal homing.
 The SA-6 system is still an efficient weapon, although service is seriously limited by ageing electronics. The original system design and technology are very demanding in operation, maintenance and repair. Highly appreciated SAM system capabilities, namely vehicles mobility and missile performance, suffer from aging radar electronics and lack of superior command and control network interface. RETIA, a.s. has proposed an SA-6 upgrade that would include the SURN radar vehicle , missile launchers 2P25 and replace of 3M9 missiles including new loading vehicle. This upgrade would prolong system lifetime, increase combat efficiency and decrease operators load. The integrated logistic support is proposed to allow efficient use of upgraded system for the whole lifetime.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The perils of Command


I saw this on ASO(Angry Staff Officer), I got turned to this guy a while back because of Mack, so blame him, LOL.  I am working on a posting but I ran out of time and I am in the middle of my work schedule.    The article is from ASO, and the pics are compliments of "Google"

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything on here. And for that, I blame command, which sucks away all the years of your life. It’s basically “The Machine” from Princess Bride, just with more soldiers with DUIs.
count rugen
Basically what one month of command feels like.
However, the topic of command is fascinating in and of itself. Especially when one examines the span of control that modern commanders are looking at when compared to past high intensity conflicts. And of course for an opening example, I turned to Star Wars.
During Star Wars: the Empire Strikes Back, Darth Vader appeared in active command of the joint Imperial force that attacked Hoth. While he had a ground commander in the person of General Veers, the Sith lord retained control over naval operations – including  battlefield firing/chokings and promotions. Now, the Imperial Army and Navy were massive; the task force attacking Hoth was merely a small portion of the total force. Granted, the attack was considered decisive to defeating the decentralized Alliance forces as the Hoth system contained a significant number of Alliance high value targets. His presence in this operation was not an aberration – Vader was present in a tactical and operational command capacity at Scarif and Yavin IV. He even piloted a ship during the defense of Death Star I. But even so, these actions would be akin to George Marshall personally overseeing the Sicily landings in World War II.

 General Grant and his staff
As weird as that analogy is, it’s not as off base as one would expect. In fact, it actually appears in U.S. history; during the Civil War, the general-in-chief of the Union armies, General U.S. Grant accompanied a field army in campaign. His presence with the Army of the Potomac during the 1864-1865  Overland campaigns meant that he did not need to rely on subordinates to feed back information – he could observe directly. It also meant that his land forces commander, General George S. Meade, felt entirely micromanaged and put upon.
What both of these examples have in common is the difficulty that is inherent in managing massive military organizations and commanding them in battle. For the U.S. military, this issue was particularly difficult during the 20th century. Because other than the Civil War, the majority of U.S. military actions were conducted with fewer than 15,000 troops under one direct tactical or operational command. And then World War I happened, where the basic maneuver element – the division – consisted of 28,000 men. No one had ever commanded an element this large. And by the end of 1917 there were five U.S. divisions in France, over 150,000 men. One year later there were two million men, in 44 divisions. Simply put, no one knew how to move or fight these organizations. It would all have to be by trial and error.

 General John J. Pershing
The man chosen to lead this experimental force was General John J. Pershing. Pershing’s model for his campaigns on the Western Front was Grant’s Overland Campaign in 1864, based off of how Grant used large-scale maneuver to his advantage and kept moving on. However, Pershing also believed that open warfare would be the key to breaking what he saw as a stagnant Western Front. Now, while Pershing had many qualities that were admirable – his insistence in keeping the American Army together, for example – he also had many that were less than so. One was his insistence that what had plagued the French for so long was a lack of aggression and willingness to use the rifle. He saw French troops making raids with pistols, grenades, and trench knives and thought that it indicated that they had given up on maneuver warfare. He resolved to solve this problem in his own troops. In their train-ups for front line duty, U.S. divisions were given instructions in open warfare and were told that the rifle would be the dominant force that would win the war.
 U.S Army on the Attack in WWI
When the U.S. Army finally went on the offensive in the summer of 1918, they went in with the rifle and the bayonet. And the casualties were dreadful. Regiments staggered out of the carnage along the Marne with 50% casualties. Which is what any of the French observers could have told them would happen, having seen the same thing in their own battles of the previous three years. The Americans would eventually catch on to the way that the French and Germans – especially the Germans – were fighting: infiltration tactics whereby groups of highly trained soldiers enveloped enemy strong points after a blistering artillery barrage, often supported by tanks and ground attack or intelligence aircraft. The Germans had perfected this kind of warfare on the Eastern Front in 1917 and used it to good effect on the Western Front in 1918.
 George C. Marshall
But Pershing did not see this right away – nor would he listen to what his division commanders would tell him. The American Expeditionary Force headquarters in Chaumont became the bane of division commanders’ existence – orders issued forth and very little advice was taken. The exception would of course be George C. Marshall, who did his best to mediate between Pershing and his division commanders, soothing egos and making plans. And he also took notes on the lessons that this brand new U.S. Army was learning, at times painfully. Because Pershing considered himself another U.S. Grant, issuing forth a stream of orders from Chaumont and threatening division commanders with relief if they did not fulfill them to the letter – which he on occasion did. While he didn’t force choke anyone, he applied a similar leadership model of fear. Simply put, Pershing was struggling with the age-old problem of command: how much of an army is too much for one man to command? And how best does one lead it?

Pershing chose to go down the path of micromanagement, with complex and precise orders which were duplicated down to the army, corps, and division level. This was compounded by the massive formations that commanders were leading, resulting in lost time, lost chances, and more casualties. Compare this to the German concept of auftragstaktik, mission command, where junior leaders were given the encouragement to seize the initiative when able. Fortunately, the Germans were facing logistical and manpower shortages; and the fighting spirit of the U.S. serviceman overcame many staff-level deficiencies.
If Pershing was daunted at the number of men under his control, his problem was nothing compared to what would face the War Department in World War II. Pershing at least was able to collect the majority of his command on one continent and could literally make the auto trip to 90% of his divisions in one or two days. Marshall, now Army Chief of Staff, looked out on a situation where the Army would be deployed across five continents. And not just the Army – to even get at the Japanese, the Army would be dependent on the Navy. And with an insurgent Army Air Corps, the services were nearing dangerous levels of disjointedness – pardon the puns – at an incredibly dangerous time. And then there were the Allies – partnerships that not only included troops, aircraft, and ships but supply lines, treaties, and subordination of commands. This caused the formation of headquarters groups with acronyms longer than your arm.
   

 General "Ike" Eisenhower
While the U.S. military had experienced the difficulty of working in partnerships during the First World War – Pershing fought the French and British nearly as much as he fought the Germans – World War II proved to hold a whole new level of complexity. Much of Dwight D. Eisenhower and Marshall’s time was spent in working with Alliance partners to assure them of U.S. support and melding plans together. It was a dangerous high-wire walk where a single misstep could lose a battle or alienate an ally. Allied victory is a strong testament to the leadership of men like Ike, Bradley, and Marshall, often overshadowed by the more flamboyant Patton and MacArthur –

who both carried Pershing-like tendencies of micromanagement, volatile tempers, and the ability to alienate partners.
World War II also demonstrated the difficulty of maneuvering large units, although the Army cut the size of the division in half from World War I. It also encouraged maneuvers during the inter-war period which gave leaders the opportunity to actually move large numbers of troops in training. But still difficulties remained.

 While Patton’s Third Army in Europe might be able to be in close contact with most of its units, Walter Krueger’s Sixth Army in the Pacific could be scattered across hundreds of miles of ocean, dependent on the Navy to move. It was a far different game that commanders had to learn to play. Successful commanders, such as Bradley, learned that the best way to serve their subordinate commanders was to give them minimal essential guidance and as much leeway as possible.

 Bradley also decreased the size of his staff and did as much as possible to un-clutter the staff landscape, so to speak, realizing that multiple headquarters units confused the situation more than they helped.
So that brings us up to today, where the U.S. Army has embraced the idea of Mission Command in doctrine. But it struggles with its implementation. One reason for this is the connectivity of the modern battlefield; modern commanders are saturated with information through a variety of systems. Most of these systems are meant to enable commanders but more often than not they can hinder rapid decision making and good judgment by taking the focus away from the mission and placing it on the data. What we have not yet seen is how this will play out when commanders begin to maneuver troop formations in the excess of 50-80,000, or even 100,000. As I’ve mentioned before, we haven’t conducted large scale maneuvers since the 1980s REFORGER exercises.

 REFORGER 1987
And all this is made the more difficult because of the rapidly changing nature of war – both technologically and in the way that nation states choose to conduct conflicts through proxies. It becomes difficult to predict how future commanders will wage war or what it will look like. What is certain is that the intricacies of commanding mass formations is not going to go away. Commanders at all level need to focus on the lessons of the past. And training needs to encompass not just blocks to be checked, but true challenges from a dynamic enemy and large numbers of troops. The perils of command are timeless.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Monday Music "Birds Fly(Whisper to a scream) Icicles Works

I remembered this song hitting in 1983 on the MTV music circuit, you know MTV...Back when they played Music video's rather than the insipid reality shows and other crap.   and I thought it was a pretty cool song, but it faded away and I forgot about the song until my Sirius/XM did their forgotten hit with cuts from Indiana Jones and "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and this song came on and it was a "Eureka" moment and I recalled the song and saved it and bootlegged it on an app I have on my phone.


"Birds Fly (Whisper to a Scream)", given the reversed title "Whisper to a Scream (Birds Fly)" in some markets, is a song by the British band The Icicle Works. It was released in 1983 as the first single from the band's 1984 debut eponymous album The Icicle Works. The song was written by Ian McNabb, the band's lead singer, and produced by Hugh Jones.


The Icicle Works is the eponymous debut album by The Icicle Works. The album was released in 1984 and charted at number 24 in the UK and number 40 in the US.[2][3]
The original 1984 issue features different track listings and cover artwork in the UK, in the USA, and in Canada.
In 2006, Beggars Banquet Records issued both a 2-CD and a limited edition 3-CD expanded edition of The Icicle Works. Disc 1 consists of the original album in its entirety, in the UK configuration. Disc 2 features a selection of b-sides, radio sessions, and remixes, as well as one live track. On the 3-CD edition, the first 10 tracks of disc 3 consist of "radio session" versions of the songs from the original UK Icicle Works album; they are presented in the original UK album sequence. Disc 3 then concludes with a previously released b-side, and a previously unreleased album outtake.
The US version of the album has a remixed and re-titled version of "Birds Fly (Whisper to a Scream)". The US remix does not include the female spoken introduction heard on the UK mix. The US album was released by Arista Records.


Pitchfork Media described the song "Love Is a Wonderful Colour" as "one of those "wow where was this hiding?" tracks that make you think there's something left to 80s crate-digging."