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

Sunday, September 30, 2018

WWII German Aircraft Carriers could they have impacted the war?

 I have posted before about WWII Germany's only Aircraft Carrier.  I had blogged about that carrier back in 2016.  Now this is a "What if" if Germany had gotten their carriers into the war especially after seeing the effect that carriers were having on the war in the Pacific.   

It might be easy to throw out a discernible “no” when asking such a historical “what if” given that we know the real outcome. What if the Germans developed the atomic bomb? What if America was ready for Pearl Harbor? What if the D-Day landings had failed? Yet, military history captures the imagination in part, in that we get to live out events beyond our own time in history.
The German military was feared for many reasons in the 1930’s and 40’s, but the might of their aircraft carriers was not one of them. Germany would produce only 2 aircraft carriers, if you could actually call either a full production. Both remained in port and neither would see service.
Stern View of the Graf Zeppelin German Aircraft Carrier.
Given that we know the outcome without the carriers in action and that outcome was less than favorable to the Germans, let’s consider the alternative. Could Germany have won the battle of the Atlantic with momentum on it’s side had the aircraft carriers been pressed into service? Would allied shipping already in a state of fear over the dreaded U-boat have been given more problems than they could solve with the addition of air power at sea?
Graf Zeppelin at her launch December 1938
It can be said of war that the military leadership’s primary mission is to give the enemy more problems than they can solve. It is the premise behind combined arms exercises that bring to bear the full spectrum of military power. Air, land, and sea converge to create these myriads of problems for the enemy.
In that sense, it would be a discernible yes that the presence of German aircraft carriers in the Atlantic would have created another problem for the allies.
U-570 scourge of the sea to the allies during WW2
Ponder the Bismarck roaming the open seas among herds of wolfpack U-boats and the aircraft of the Graf Zeppelin soaring overhead. The Allied “problems” would now exist under, on the surface and above the sea.

The importance of aircraft carriers in the Pacific proved their strategic and tactical value. It demonstrates with certainty that Germany would have gained some strategic and tactical value had they put completed carriers to sea. Would it have been enough to win the Battle of the Atlantic?
Bismarck in 1940. By Bundesarchiv,
To answer this question, one needs to discover the reason Germany decided to forgo the full production of aircraft carriers in the first place. In the 1930’s Germany did indeed put out a call for two aircraft carriers the first of which would be the Graf Zeppelin launched on December 8, 1938.
The 2nd designated Flugzeugtrager B would follow but would quickly find itself scrapped. Neither saw functional service and the reason boiled down to a limit in resources and a change in priorities.
RAF reconnaissance photo showing Graf Zeppelin at Gotenhafen – 6 February 1942
With Germany’s rapid advance on the ground throughout Europe there was an emphasis placed on coastal guns and shore defenses. Moreover, there was a reported shortage of anti-aircraft guns that would be necessary to defend the ship.
As the war pressed on, a shortage of pilots further stretched resources to the limits and by 1943 the new head of the Kriegsmarine, Karl Donitz, ordered the program scrapped. Whereas the presence of aircraft carriers in the Atlantic would have indeed created a new problem for the Allies to solve, it would have most certainly pulled resources from other parts of Germany’s losing war effort.
Flugzeugträger B under construction. By Bundesarchiv 

In the end, the quality of both the Graf Zeppelin and the Flugzeugtrager B would have fallen far behind that of the Allied Navies. Unless one hopes to imagine a fantastic scenario where Germany would have produced 5 to 8 carriers in a world where they lacked the resources to produce 2, the point seems moot.  By 1942, the Americans and Japanese were far ahead of the Germans in quality of their carriers and the numbers.
German aircraft carriers roaming the Atlantic would have most certainly caused problems and won its fair share of victories, but the fate of the war itself would have been sealed.
Drawing depicting the Graf Zeppelin
In the end, the Graf Zeppelin and the Flugzeugtrager B would have found companionship at the bottom of the Atlantic with the famed Bismarck. To have won a battle is not to have won the war. When one considers the Battle of the Atlantic as the sum of events from 1939 to 1945, it doesn’t appear that the outcome would have been any different If Germany had hoped to compete in the Atlantic with carriers, 1938 was far too late to have launched its first. The victory in this scenario again goes to the Allies and modern divers would have two new ghost ships in the Atlantic in which to explore

Friday, September 28, 2018

Some of the German subs that didn'tsurrender immediately after the war.

This ties in with the article that I posted last week about Germany and it rolls with some of the articles that I have posted about Postwar Germany.

German U-boats were the scourge of the high seas in the Second World War. The Atlantic was always a contested battleground with the threat of a wolf pack nearby.
These insidious machines managed to escape the crippling naval limitations imparted by the Treaty of Versailles. After the end of the First World War, Germany was limited to six battleships of no more than 10,000 tons, six cruisers, and twelve destroyers.
The torpedo is the weapon most commonly associated with submarine warfare, and rightfully so. But the U-boat also came with a deck-gun, which was often used to deadly effect when the U-boat breached the surface.
Convoy escorts and anti-submarine aircraft, November 1941
The eminence of the U-boat was enough to make even staunch Winston Churchill admit that the German U-boat was the only thing that he truly feared. Even so, the primary missions of U-boats were to disrupt supply lines by attacking convoys carrying reserve weapons, troops, and especially food supplies.
The total tally of ships sunk during the Second World War by U-boats included nearly 3,000. Of these, 2,845 were merchant ships and less than 200 were warships.
Oblique aerial photograph taken from Short Sunderland Mark III, EK586 ‘U’, of No. 10 Squadron RAAF during an attack on German type VIIC submarine U 426 in the Bay of Biscay.
The U-530 was a Type IXC/40 submarine and considered an improvement on its smaller predecessors. It required a full complement of 48 soldiers to run smoothly. It had six torpedo tubes and a full armament of 22 torpedoes. It also came standard with an anti-aircraft gun, SK C/32 naval gun, and 180 rounds of ammunition. In terms of communications, it sported a FuMO 61 Hohentwiel U Radar Transmitter.

The U-530 joined the 10th flotilla and later on the 33rd flotilla. The crew of the U-530 was active through several patrols, where they racked up two kills and did serious damage to a third ship before being one of the final U-boats to surrender in July 1945.
An Argentine Navy boarding party inspects German u-boat U-530, July 1945.
The crew ignored the order to surrender from Admiral Karl Donitz, who had taken control after the death of Adolf Hitler. Instead, they traveled to Argentina and surrendered on the 10th of July at Mar del Plata. The reason behind the captain’s insubordination still isn’t known, but several mysteries float around the submarine’s final journey.
For example, the journey took two months longer than it should have. When the U-boat finally reached its destination, the crew had no identification, the submarine’s log had disappeared, as had the deck gun.
A German type XXI submarine, U-2502, comes under cannon fire from a De Havilland Mosquito FB Mark VI during an attack on four surfaced U-boats and an M-class minesweeper escort in the Kattegat by 22 Mosquitos of the Banff Strike Wing. U-2502 received only slight damage, but a type VIIC submarine was sunk, a type XXIII seriously damaged and the minesweeper left burning.

The rumor mill churned out a story that endures to this day: that the U-530 had taken a peculiar detour to spirit Hitler and Eva Braun to safety. It was then accused of sinking a Brazilian cruiser, although that accusation would later be disproved when the cause was found to be an accident aboard the cruiser.
Upon surrendering, the U-530’s crew was immediately interned prior to being sent back to Germany. The fate of the U-530 was sealed by a torpedo from an American Submarine which used it for target practice.
A soldier of the 7th Cameronians is dwarfed by half-completed U-boats in the docks at Bremen, 28 April 1945.
However, the U-530 was not the last of the U-boats to surrender.
The U-977 was a Type V11C U-boat with a displacement of 769 tons, five torpedo tubes with 14 torpedoes, and a naval gun with 220 rounds of ammunition. It was not as powerful as the U-530.
With the war winding down and the threat of meeting a terrible end at the hands of victorious Allied forces, the captain headed off to Argentina on August 17th, 1945. The escape route saw the U-977 travel from Norway to Bristol, through heavily defended Allied waters.
The U-boat traveled underwater for 66 days, making a total of 99 days at sea, before they arrived at Mar del Plata on the Argentinian coast to surrender to the Argentinian authorities.
Germany submarine U-977 in Mar del Plata

Rumors, not unlike those that swirled around the U-530, circulated around that the U-977 had also served as a transport for top Nazi authority figures, including Hitler and Eva Braun, as well as Nazi gold. Regardless of the veracity of the claim, the U-977 suffered a similar fate to the U-530 and was sunk to the bottom of the ocean, courtesy of the US Navy.
   The War ended but the effect of the U-Boats on warfare in WWII far exceeding their numbers and manpower.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Some more musings and thoughts about Kavanaugh, and the coming Chinese "Social rating system"

I am getting back into the swing back to being home, We came back from vacation and I immediately rolled into my work schedule.  I am now relaxing a bit.  I have seen the circus called the Kavanaugh hearings, and the democrats have pulled out all the stops..

But her story is also growing less believable by the day. Here are eight reasons why it’s hardly “anti-woman” for senators to question her account at Thursday’s hearing:
1) For starters, Ford still can’t recall basic details of what she says was the most traumatic event in her life. Not where the “assault” took place — she’s not sure whose house it was, or even what street it was on. Nor when — she’s not even sure of the year, let alone the day and month.
Ford’s not certain how old she was or what grade she was in when she says an older student violently molested her. (But she doesn’t plead inebriation: She described having just “one beer” at the party.)
2) Ford concedes she told no one what happened to her at the time, not even her best friend or mother. That means she can rely on no contemporaneous witness to corroborate her story.
3) Worse, the four other people she identified as attending the party, including Kavanaugh, all deny knowledge of the gathering in question, including Leland Ingham Keyser, who she calls a “lifelong friend.”
Keyser’s lawyer told the Senate Judiciary Committee: “Simply put, Ms. Keyser does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with or without Dr. Ford.”
The other two potential witnesses — Mark Judge and Patrick “P.J.” Smyth — also deny any recollection of attending such a party. The committee took their sworn statements “under penalty of perjury.” “These witnesses directly contradict Professor Ford’s allegations against Judge Kavanaugh,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley advised Ford’s attorneys last week.
 In her original letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Ford claimed that Kavanaugh talked to Keyser and Smyth right after he assaulted her. Yet neither shares her memory.
This is, to say the least, highly problematic for her case. No witness corroborates any part of her story.

4) Her own immediate family doesn’t appear to be backing her up, either. Her mother, father and two siblings are all conspicuously absent from a letter of support released by a dozen relatives, mostly on her husband’s side of the family.
The letter attests to her honesty and integrity. “Why didn’t her parents and brothers sign the letter?” a congressional source familiar with the investigation wondered.
5) This summer, Ford tried to reach out to old friends from high school and college to jog her memory. They couldn’t help her. “I’ve been trying to forget this all my life, and now I’m supposed to remember every little detail,” Ford complained to one friend in July, according to an account in The San Jose Mercury News.
6) Yet she still pushed forward with her bombshell charge, contacting The Washington Post tip line and Democratic lawmakers, while hiring a Democratic activist lawyer. Ford is also a Democrat, as well as an anti-Trump marcher, raising questions about the motive and timing of the allegations along with their veracity.
7) Ford contends that notes her therapist took in 2012 corroborate her account. But they don’t mention Kavanaugh.
They also point up inconsistencies in her story. For instance, her shrink noted that Ford told her there were “four boys” in the bedroom, not two as she now says. The notes also indicate Ford said she was in her “late teens” when she was assaulted. But Ford now says she may have been only 15.
8) In another inconsistency, Ford told The Washington Post she was upset when Trump won in 2016, because Kavanaugh was mentioned as a Supreme Court pick. But Kavanaugh wasn’t added to Trump’s list of possibles until November 2017, a full year later.
On top of all that, Kavanaugh “unequivocally denied Dr. Ford’s allegations . . . under penalty of perjury” during a Sept. 17 interview with committee lawyers, Grassley said, adding he was “forthright and emphatic in his testimony” and “fully answered all questions.”
The sworn interview will no doubt be used to test the consistency and veracity of his public statements Thursday.

Yet Democrats have already tried and convicted Kavanaugh of sexual assault. Without hard evidence, without substantiation, some even go beyond Ford’s claims to call him an out-and-out “rapist,” “sexual predator,” even a “child predator.”

    I am concerned big time....our judicial system is based on the presumption that the accused is "Innocent before proven guilty", well now it is totally the other way, people are saying that because she is the accuser, than she should be believed and the accused has to prove their innocence.
    This is frightening, someone can make an accusation from way back in the past and you have to try to prove your innocence.  I have done some dumb things when I was much younger, and no I didn't try to molest any one, but I did do some boorish behavior as have any teenager.  Now as a the parent of a 15 year old son, I have great concerns of what kind of world he will inherit, when his reputation can be smeared and he can lose a job because of an accusation with no shred of proof, just the accusation would be enough to derail him, possibility put him in jail and certainly ruin his career.  What happened to the "Rule of Law", our judicial system is based on the premise that "Better 10 guilty men go free rather than 1 innocent man is locked up."  This totally sets that premise aside and will make the court system a kangaroo court where it is no longer the rule of law, but the Rule of the Mob and the mob will be whoever is the flavor of the month is.
      And there are more women claiming that they are "Victims" also.  This has the makings of a modern day Salem witch trials.  And I saw an article where some of the women on the left side of the aisle are reveling in the power, they make comments that "After 20,000 years, men finally fear women. now it is our turn."  Besides the vapid stupidity of that comment, it shows that this belief is a danger to our civilization.  It takes both men and women to work together for a workable society.  These vapid women believe that they can create a society of women only, I wonder who is going to defend their "utopian" society when the barbarians come over and make them slaves and slap a burka on them.

     A friend of mine at work told me about something that the Chinese are doing, and this if successful would be a democrat/socialist wet dream for control of the population and crushing thought that is contrary to democratic grouphivethink.

That may sound like a dystopian vision of the future is already happening in China. And it’s making and breaking lives.
The Communist Party calls it “social credit” and says it will be fully operational by 2020.
Within years, an official Party outline claims, it will “allow the trustworthy to roam freely under heaven while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step”.

Social credit is like a personal scorecard for each of China’s 1.4 billion citizens.
In one pilot program already in place, each citizen has been assigned a score out of 800. In other programs it’s 900.
Those, like Dandan, with top “citizen scores” get VIP treatment at hotels and airports, cheap loans and a fast track to the best universities and jobs.
“It will allow the trustworthy to roam freely under heaven while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step.”
Those at the bottom can be locked out of society and banned from travel, or barred from getting credit or government jobs.
The system will be enforced by the latest in high-tech surveillance systems as China pushes to become the world leader in artificial intelligence.
Surveillance cameras will be equipped with facial recognition, body scanning and geo-tracking to cast a constant gaze over every citizen.
Smartphone apps will also be used to collect data and monitor online behaviour on a day-to-day basis.
Then, big data from more traditional sources like government records, including educational and medical, state security assessments and financial records, will be fed into individual scores.
Trial social credit systems are now in various stages of development in at least a dozen cities across China.
Several companies are working with the state to nationalise the system, co-ordinate and configure the technology, and finalise the algorithms that will determine the national citizen score.
It’s probably the largest social engineering project ever attempted, a way to control and coerce more than a billion people.
If successful, it will be the world’s first digital dictatorship.
At the supermarket, Dandan is browsing the aisles. Even this everyday task will not escape the Party’s penetrating gaze.
When social credit is fully implemented, what she puts into the trolley could impact her social score.
Buying too much alcohol might suggest dependence; she’ll lose a couple of points.
But buying a pack of nappies might suggest responsibility; she’ll gain a few points.
The system will be “live” so her score will update in real time.
Dandan doesn’t object to the prospect of life under the state’s all-seeing surveillance network.
The 36-year-old knows social credit is not a perfect system but believes it’s the best way to manage a complex country with the world’s biggest population.
“I think people in every country want a stable and safe society,” she says.
“If, as our government says, every corner of public space is installed with cameras, I’ll feel safe.”
She’s also likely to benefit from the system.
Dandan’s financial behaviour will be an important measure for the national social credit score.
Under an existing financial credit scheme called Sesame Credit, Dandan has a very high score of 770 out of 800 — she is very much the loyal Chinese citizen.

Thanks to her rating, Dandan is already able to partake in many of the rewards of China’s rapid development.
An app on her phone gives access to special privileges like renting a car, hotel room or a house without a deposit.
“If, as our government says, every corner of public space is installed with cameras, I’ll feel safe.”
But social credit will be affected by more than just internet browsing and shopping decisions.
Who your friends and family are will affect your score. If your best friend or your dad says something negative about the government, you’ll lose points too.
Who you date and ultimately partner with will also affect social credit.

Dandan married for love but she chose the right husband — Xiaojing Zhang is likely to have an even higher score than her.
He’s a civil servant in the justice department, a loyal cadre to the party.
“We need a social credit system,” says Xiaojing.
“In the Chinese nation, we hope we can help each other, love each other, and help everyone become prosperous.
“As President Xi said, we will be rich and democratic, cultural, harmonious and beautiful.
“It is Xi’s hope for the country’s future. It is also the hope of the whole Chinese nation.”

China has long been a surveillance state, so the citizenry is accustomed to the government taking a determining role in personal affairs.
For many in China, privacy doesn’t have the same premium as it does in the West.
The Chinese place a higher value on community good versus individual rights, so most feel that, if social credit will bring a safer, more secure, more stable society, then bring it on.
But most don’t seem to comprehend the all-encompassing control social credit is likely to have, and there’s been no public debate about implementing the system inside China.
In private, there’s been some disquiet in the educated middle classes about the citizen score being the only criterion for character assessment.
But that’s not going to stop the rollout.
The Party is using the system to win back some of the control it lost when China opened up to the world in the 1980s and rapid development followed.
It’s a way to silence dissent and ensure the Party’s absolute dominance.

Already, about 10 million people have been punished in the trial areas of social credit.
Liu Hu is just one of them.
In many societies, he would be celebrated. Not in China.
Liu Hu is an investigative journalist who has uncovered corruption at the top levels of the Party and solved serial murder cases.
He says the government considers him an enemy.
Hu lost his social credit when he was charged with a speech crime and now finds himself locked out of society due to his low score.
In 2015, Hu lost a defamation case after he accused an official of extortion.
He was made to publish an apology and pay a fine but when the court demanded an additional fee, he refused.
Last year, the 43-year-old found himself blacklisted as “dishonest” under a pilot social credit scheme.
“There are a lot of people who are on the blacklist wrongly, but they can’t get off it,” says Hu.
It’s destroyed his career and isolated him, and he now fears for his family’s future.
The social credit system has closed down his travel options and kept him under effective house arrest in his hometown of Chongqing.
“Their eyes are blinded and their ears are blocked. They know little about the world and live in an illusion.”
In an apartment above the streets of Chongqing city, Hu tries to use a phone app to book train tickets to Xi’an. The attempt is rejected.
“[The app] says it fails to make a booking and my access to high-speed rail is legally restricted,” he explains.
Hu’s social media accounts, where he published much of his investigative journalism, have also been shut down.
Hu claims his combined Wechat and Weibo accounts had two million followers at their peak but are now censored.

Hu believes his blacklisting is political and has tried to appeal to authorities. So far he has been met with silence.
Hu wants to warn the world of the nightmare of social credit.
Doing so could put his friends and family at risk of reprisals from the state, but Hu believes most Chinese don’t yet understand what’s to come under the digital totalitarian state.
“You can see from the Chinese people’s mental state,” says Hu.
“Their eyes are blinded and their ears are blocked. They know little about the world and live in an illusion.”
Dandan sees blue skies in her digital future. 
And for her, there’s another incentive to be optimistic about social credit.
It’s a way to ensure a happy and healthy future for her two-year-old son, Ruibao.
Thanks to his parents’ high citizen scores, Ruibao will get the best possible start in life — the best housing, schools and healthcare.
The provisions and protections of the Party will be bestowed upon him.
So long as mum and dad keep their credit up.

Here is the Article that I got the information from.  This is scary and I can see the collectivist democrats trying to implement something like that especially since they have the Tech giants as their enthusiastic supporters and donors.  Can you see what might happen and someone gets punished for deviating from democratic party dogma, you can get your reputation ruined, lose your job and directly impact your family.  This is frightening from a freedom of speech, freedom of association perspective.


One Liners from the Internetz

I ran across this surfing the web and decided to add them to a post.


I may be middle-class, but I'm hard. Al dente, you might say.
--Jimmy Carr
I went to a Grateful Dead Concert and they played for SEVEN hours. Great song.
A boy can learn a lot from a dog: obedience, loyalty and the importance of turning around three times before lying down.
--Robert Benchley
I'm a Psychic Amnesiac. I know in advance what I'll forget.
--Sue Murphy
The world is a dangerous place; only yesterday I went into Boots and punched someone in the face.
--Jeremy Limb
A lady came up to me on the street and pointed to my suede jacket. "You know a cow was murdered for that jacket?" she sneered. I replied in a psychotic tone "I didn't know there were any witnesses. Now I'll have to kill you too".
--Buzz Belmondo
Eighty-two point six per cent of statistics are made up on the spot.
--Vic Reeves
How about those Dodge Turbo Wagons?! What's the deal on those anyway? You can sleep in the back while you're waiting for a tow truck.
--Jim Samuels
If you're being chased by a police dog; try not to go through a tunnel, then on to a little seesaw, then jump through a hoop of fire. They're trained for that.
--Milton Jones
You just know when a relationship is about to end. My girlfriend called me at work and asked me how you change a lightbulb in the bathroom. "It's very simple" I said. "You start by filling up the bathtub with water"...
--Michael Prichard
There are three kinds of people. Those who can count, and those who cannot.
I don't kill flies, but I like to mess with their minds. I hold them above globes. They freak out and yell "Whoa, I'm way too high".
--Mark Pitta
Why is the winner of the Miss Universe contest always from earth?
--Rich Hall
Yuppie pregnant women don't go into labour, they go straight into management.
--Jake Johansen
Cats have nine lives. Which makes them ideal for experimentation.
--Jimmy Carr
I like to go to concerts that are related, like Talking Heads with Simple Minds. I also rent videos together too. Last week I rented "Bambi" and "The Deerhunter".
--Mark Guido
One day my father took me aside and left me there.
--Jackie Vernon
A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kickboxing.
--Emo Philips
I play golf even though I hate it. I'm not done with a game yet. I hate those windmills.
--Steve Kravitz
If you look like your passport photo, you're too ill to travel.
--Will Kommen
Did you ever walk into a room and forget why you walked in? I think that's how dogs spend their lives.
It was so cold I saw a politician with his hands in his own pockets.
--Henry Youngman
Hotels are tired of getting ripped off. I checked into a hotel and they had towels from my house.
It's a small world, but I wouldn't want to have to paint it.
--Steven Wright
My mother wants grandchildren, so I said "Mum, go for it!"
--Fred Reiss
There are various ways to give up smoking - nicotine patches, nicotine gum. My auntie used to pour a gallon of petrol over herself every morning.
--Paul Merton
I don't have a problem with San Francisco parking. I drive a forklift.
I don't do drugs. If I want a rush I get out of the chair when I'm not expecting it.
--Dylan Moran
I bought one of those anti-bullying wristbands when they first came out. I say 'bought', I actually stole it off a short, fat ginger kid.
--Jack Whitehall
She was the flabbiest stripper I've ever seen. When she ran off the stage she started her own applause.
--Les Dawson
What do you call a kid with no arms and an eye patch? Names.
--Bo Burnham
I don't believe in astrology. I'm a Sagittarian, and we're sceptical.
--Arthur C. Clark
As a kid I was made to walk the plank. We couldn't afford a dog.
--Gary Delaney
First the doctor told me the good news - I was going to have a disease named after me.
--Steve Martin
I picked up a hitch hiker. You've got to when you hit them.
--Emo Philips
I don't like all this fresh air. I'm from Los Angeles. I don't trust any air I can't see.
--Bob Hope
Dave drowned. So at the funeral we got him a wreath in the shape of a lifebelt. Well, it's what he would have wanted.
--Gary Delaney
I saw a woman wearing a sweatshirt with 'Guess' on it. I said, 'Thyroid problems?'
--Emo Philips
For Vanessa Feltz, life is like a box of chocolates: Empty.
--Robert White
I believe our Heavenly Father invented man because he was disappointed in the monkey.
--Mark Twain
I'm in therapy at the moment. I don't need it, obviously, but I got all these psychiatrist gift vouchers for Christmas which my family clubbed together for. What I wanted was a crossbow.
--Sean Lock
I base most of my fashion sense on what doesn't itch.
--Gilda Radner
Dad can you get my coat? "Erm no son that is in the cupboard and that is where the goblins live".
--Russell Howard
My parents put a live teddy bear in my crib.
--Woody Allen

Monday, September 24, 2018

Monday Music "Already Gone" by the Eagles and some other stuff

I am continuing my series of songs that I can play over and over again. And it is on Tuesday...Eh it happens...
I kinda went on a vacation, after attending a seminar/work session and we were told that we needed to read a book called "Good to Great", how certain companies defied the odds and were great, far exceeding the S&P and the Dow.  How they did it and why.  It was a very interesting read.
The plane is a USB Card, 
I also was treated to the "Medieval Times", which is a show and dinner, and it was interesting eating food with no utensils, I being a former GI and scout leader didn't have problems with that

The show was neat, I knew that the show was an act, but they really got into it and the choreography was evident in the performance.  After finishing the seminar from work, I flew down to Florida to catch up with the spousal unit and my son who was visiting my brother, sister in law and my niece.  They live near Pensacola and I like the panhandle area.  If my employer had a facility in that area, I would consider transferring.    While I was there, I was talking to my brother and I mentioned that I had posted a couple of pics that I had taken while I was in Germany and in the Gulf and I mentioned that when I had visited him in the gulf, I wish that I had someone take a pic of us being together.   I then went to harass my son about something and my brother brought a book of pics that he took in the Gulf and flipping through the pics and seeing what the sky looked like after the Iraqi's fired the Kuwaiti oil wells, brought back memories of the dark skies and that you could barely see the sun.  After the war ended, we spend a couple of months waiting to return back to Germany and I found out that my brother was a couple of hours away from me and I finangled a humvee and drove like a banshee down MSR "Grape" I think it was.   Well I saw my brother and I spent an hour or so seeing him.  I was glad to see him and glad that he also made it.  Well apparently this did happen...

     Some one did take a pic of me and my brother, I was shocked, I had thought for 27 years that I had missed an opportunity.   I do know that I pissed blood for several days after the visit because the tank trails were rough and the humvee had no padding, LOL, but it was worth it.   My brother sent me the pic as a PDF and I haven't figured out how to convert it to a Jpeg or something like that.

  I decided to roll with Eagles "Already Gone".  There are a group of songs that I can listen to over and over again and this is one of those songs.  This is a good driving song....especially with the windows open and the music blaring.  the song reminds me of driving in the southland on a country road.   In my heart I am a country boy, I do not want to live in the city, I am not a city dweller...being trapped inside a city if things go "pear-shaped" definitely is not a comfortable feeling.  When ever I hear it, I think of driving near my kaserne "Cooke Barracks" in Germany south of Stuttgart.

"Already Gone" is a song recorded by the American rock band Eagles for their 1974 album On the Border. It was written by Jack Tempchin and Robb Strandlund and produced by Bill Szymczyk.
The song was the first single released from On the Border and peaked at #32 on the Billboard Hot 100. Since then, the Eagles have included it on their greatest hits albums and in their live performances. Tanya Tucker and Wilson Phillips have covered the song.

"Already Gone", which is four minutes and 13 seconds long, was written by Robb Strandlund and Jack Tempchin. In the liner notes for The Very Best Of, Glenn Frey said that Tempchin sent him a tape of the song through the mail. Tempchin had already written one of the Eagles' previous singles, "Peaceful Easy Feeling".
"Already Gone" was one of the first songs that the Eagles recorded after they moved to Los Angeles, and it was produced by Bill Szymczyk. Frey was the lead vocalist
I couldn't find any video's from back then.  Only stuff I saw was stuff from the 1990's and later and I didn't like that.

 "Already Gone" is the opening track of the Eagles' album On the Border, which was released by Asylum Records on March 22, 1974. It was released as the first single from the album in April 1974. Its b-side was "Is It True".
The song has also been included on some of the Eagles' compilation albums, including Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975) and The Very Best Of

"Already Gone" has been described as a "classic". In his book To the Limit: The Untold Story of the Eagles, Marc Eliot wrote that the song "was an out-and-out rocker ... Musically it sounded like a fuel-injected rave-up, with melodic echoes of both 'Peaceful Easy Feeling' and 'Take It Easy.

Running late from Vacation

I ain't gonna get "Monday Music" up until Tuesday, We came back from vacation and from what I saw, the scheduler thingie worked well and kept the contents stocked on the blog.


Sunday, September 23, 2018

If the Hoth Planet crash was an Air Force Investigation...

I shamelessly clipped this off Angry Staff Officer, Like I have said in the past, he uses Star Wars references due to the cultural implications and uses them as a "Lesson Learned" for the Military.  In this case it was a guest writer and he wrote this from the Air Force point of view and as an Army guy and experience in the aviation field I can see this happen.  "Angry Staff Officer" is an Army Officer who writes to keep from being too angry and my buddy Mack who turned me on to ASO a while back met the guy and he told me.."That guy is always pissed".  So you can blame Mack for letting me find out about the guy. 

If the Hoth Crash was an Air Force Investigation

By Matt Wright

Accident Investigation Board – Rebel Alliance 

T-47 Airspeeder (Field Modified)
Battle of Hoth, 3 ABY
Executive Summary
During the disastrous Battle for Hoth, a locally modified version of the Incom T-47 Airspeeder was engaged in close proximity to advancing Stormtrooper infantry and heavily armored All-Terrain Armored Transport (AT-AT) units of the Imperial Army led by General Maximillian Veers. During the battle, the mishap pilot brought the mishap aircraft within close proximity of the advancing AT-ATs and often in direct line of fire of their weaponry. The mishap aircraft was eventually struck and downed, resulting in the death of the mishap gunner and the total loss of the hull.
The mishap aircraft was assigned to Rogue Squadron, assigned to the defenses of Hoth. The mishap crew consisted of a mishap pilot and mishap gunner, both assigned to Rogue Squadron. It was determined that the mishap gunner died instantly, and the mishap pilot was able to escape the Hoth system in an unassigned X-Wing.
The board president found clear and convincing evidence that the cause of the mishap was due to the pilot failing heed sound crew resource management (CRM) principles and ignoring repeated warnings from the mishap gunner regarding failed mission essential systems. Furthermore, the board found other causal factors relating to poor maintenance standards and practices, and contributing factors relating to unsound tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs).
Mishap Aircraft
The mishap aircraft (MA) was a T-47 Airspeeder, built and developed by Incom and delivered to the Alliance in the base Speeder format. Upon assignment to Hoth, it was noted detachment-wide that the Speeder variant could not perform to designed standards due to the extreme cold weather prevalent on the planet. Inspection of surviving T-47’s revealed that most were modified with locally manufactured heat exchangers in proximity to the power generator units (PGU), as the PGUs reportedly would exceed designed measured generator temperature (MGT) in order to keep essential operating systems at designed temperatures. As this deficiency was not reported through proper channels, no new aircraft limitations or preflight warm-up procedures were implemented, and the effects of the unauthorized modification were not available for operational test & evaluation (OT&E). Furthermore, study into maintenance practices revealed several discrepancies. It was fortunate that the majority of the maintenance records were uploaded to the lead escape craft data banks. Several of the assigned T-47 aircraft that participated in the mission sortie had open discrepancies in their forms, most of which were mission essential items. Additionally, it was noted fleet-wide with the T-47 fleet that laser output, which were local modifications including installation of Corellian Engineering Company (CEC) AP/11 Double lasers, degraded on the platform, reducing the effectiveness against Imperial armored units. Output was sufficient to damage All Terrain Scout Transports (hereafter, Scout Walkers) but insufficient for penetration of AT-AT armor. Hoth Maintenance Group (HMXG) sent engineering disposition (ED) requests to Incom for an enterprise solution, as HMXG lacked the technical guidance and equipment for laser repair. CEC was unavailable to provide technical advice, due to the on-going occupation of Corellia by the Empire.  The EDs provided by Incom, in conjunction with CEC setbacks, granted HMXG the authority to delay calibrating laser output until the next depot maintenance input per speeder. The mishap aircraft itself had several aircrew noted discrepancies regarding electrical faults in the harpoon assembly. HMXG repeatedly refused to repair the assembly, citing the T-47 MESL as listing the assembly as not required for non-cargo movements. The discrepancy was eventually entered into the delayed discrepancies for repair during the next phase inspection. Unfortunately, the flight data recorder was not recovered, as Imperial forces maintained a small garrison on the planet after the evacuation of Echo Base. Due to this, engine and system operation parameters captured during the mishap sortie could not be analyzed.
Mishap Crew
The mishap crew (MC) consisted of the mishap pilot (MP) and mishap gunner (MG). The MP was a highly regarded pilot due to his exemplary performance during the destruction of the Death Star. He had been in Squadron Command for approximately two years at the time of mishap.  He did not have the request requisite hours in a T-47 Airspeeder, but was current and qualified in both the T-65B X-Wing and the T-16 Skyhopper.  Of note, Alliance Starfighter Command senior leadership regarded all three Incom platforms as interchangeable for training purposes, despite the widely divergent mission sets and mission environments.  He was upgraded to aircraft commander and flight lead with a flight-hour waiver endorsed by several high ranking members of the Alliance. Despite his resounding technical competency as a pilot, interviews conducted by the board in the course of the investigation revealed a tendency for the MP to display four of the five hazardous attitudes of a pilot: impulsivity, antiauthority, invulnerability, and machoism. The MP executed the sortie as the flight lead for Rogue Squadron with little to no mission planning, and while executing the sortie within the parameters Attack Pattern Delta, the MP failed to consider alternate methods of attack.
The AIB had considerable difficulty in obtaining and analyzing the flight and training records of the MG due to the loss of critical Alliance Personnel Center records during the evacuation of Yavin IV. During the course of the investigation, interviews from surviving squadron members revealed the MG was technically and tactically competent. Furthermore, it was discovered that the MG repeatedly expressed concerns to squadron leadership about being assigned with the MP over consistent CRM breakdowns between the two. In a hologram interview, the MP acknowledged that the MG expressed concerns over the lack of appropriate approach path vectors for the run-in route to attack an Imperial AT-AT. The MP also stated he dismissed the concerns regarding the approach and continued the run-in, even after the MG stated additional concerns that the harpoon assembly primary fire control assembly had failed and that more time would be required to engage the auxiliary controller. Eventually, the MA was struck by enemy fire while making a head-on pass to engage the legs of the AT-AT in an attempt to bind them with the harpoon assembly. The aircraft crashed in vicinity of the AT-AT, with the MP egressing the aircraft and assaulting the AT-AT on foot, successfully destroying the enemy armor.  MG did not survive the crash, with MG’s remains remaining unrecovered due to the airframe being crushed by an advancing AT-AT.
With clear and convincing evidence, the board has determined the primary causal factor of the accident to be pilot error. Ignoring several warnings from the MG, the MP failed to break off the run-in for the planned engagement allowing time for the MG to both correct for the failed approach path solution and ensure the proper operation of the harpoon assembly. The MA’s aggressive flying and disregard for sound tactics placed the MA directly in the line of fire of enemy fire with the MG being channelized and heads down in the aircraft during a critical phase of flight, as opposed to being actively participating in the engagement and practicing sound threat clearing techniques.
As contributory factors, the board finds that the lackadaisical maintenance culture in the HMXG led to aircraft being launched that were partially to non-mission capable. While the board recognizes this sortie was an all-out defense of the facility, and that all aircraft capable to launch would sortie, had proper maintenance procedures be followed in the time prior to the invasion, the board finds that attrition rates would most likely have been lower. Also noted as a contributory factor were the poor tactics, techniques, and procedures used during the mission. Although technically in compliance with standing doctrine, it should be expected of Alliance flight leaders and pilots to adapt to a rapidly evolving battlefield to ensure mission success.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Kiplings Firearms, the Jingal and the Jezail

I am a huge fan of Rutyard Kipling, one of my best friends loves the movie "The Man who would be King",

This adaptation of the famous short story by Rudyard Kipling tells the story of Daniel Dravot and Peachy Carnahan, two ex-soldiers in India when it was under British rule. They decide that the country is too small for them, so they head off to Kafiristan in order to become Kings in their own right. Kipling is seen as a character that was there at the beginning, and at the end of this glorious tale.

  Rutyard Kipling also wrote "The Jungle Book"...

 He also wrote a lot of books and articles about India and other areas that back in the day was "Dark and Mysterious" to the average English reader and citizen in London and in England.     I also have used the poem from Mr. Kipling "When the Saxons began to Hate" to describe the upcoming "unpleasantness" if the deep state are successful in their endevours and we no longer have a say in the business of the Republic.

“A scrimmage in a Border Station
A canter down some dark defile
Two thousand pounds of education
Drops to a ten-rupee jezail.” –“Arithmetic on the Frontier,” Rudyard Kipling
The jezail and the jingal are two very different weapons from very different places. Despite this, they both have a place in Western literature thanks to writers like Rudyard Kipling. Both these weapons appear in his works. Knowing the weapons he referenced in his writings is just part of understanding the weapons and how they relate to Kipling’s works.
Rudyard Kipling in London in 1895
The jezail was a hand-crafted type of long musket or rifle used prominently in India, the Middle East, and Central Asia. Usually a musket, the jezail was similar to the Kentucky rifle, meant to provide superior accuracy and range in rugged terrain. Often featuring a curved stock, the jezail was often fired from higher ground along a hillside and propped with a pole.
Jezail rifle from Afghanistan
Such a method of fire proved devastating during the First Afghan War. Firing from the hills along mountain trails, the Afghan tribals could safely and accurately pick off British troops, who were often armed with shorter barreled weapons and thus lacked range to return fire on their attackers. The firing mechanism was usually a flintlock or matchlock, often scavenged from a British Brown Bess musket.
Lithograph dated during the First Anglo-Afghan War of a Kohistani and his jezail.
Simple in design yet beautiful in construction and function, jezails earned their place in British literature of the nineteenth century from several writers, not just Kipling. Though a stark contrast to Western mass-produced firearms, their effectiveness could not be denied.“The men of the First Shikaris
Shouted and smote and slew,
Turning the grinning jingal
On to the howling crew.
The Jemadar’s flanking-party
Butchered the folk who flew.” –“The Grave of the Hundred Head”, Rudyard Kipling
Group of Afridi fighters in 1878, pictured with their jezails, during the Second Afghan War.
Jingals were a type of wall gun used in various parts of Asia. Although the word itself is based on a Hindi word, jingals are more often associated with China. Designed as a form of siege or bulwark defense, jingals, like any wall gun, relied on their accuracy, range, and caliber to do their work.
Group of Afridi Fighters.
Whether a small cannon or a large musket, the role of the jingal was to defend a wall or other similar emplacement, such as a barricade or bulwark. Usually placed on a swivel or at least a brace, jingals proved highly accurate and effective, especially when fielded in numbers. Usually muzzle-loading with a barrel of sixty inches or longer, jingal muskets could weigh over forty pounds.
Illustration of jingals in action from the Shenqipu.Photo: Yprpyqp CC BY-SA 4.0
Though far from mobile, as a wall gun they served very well during their time of use from the 1700’s to the middle of the twentieth century. By the nineteenth century it was more common to find bolt action versions of the weapon. With a caliber in the .60’s or higher, these wall guns proved devastating against any who opposed them, British or otherwise.In his time Kipling wrote a great deal about imperialism, his tongue-in-cheek writings often criticizing British policies and actions in their overseas efforts. The jezail previously mentioned took down a British officer, trained to lead his men to glory and victory for Queen and Country. The jingals downed soldiers as part of a recursive cycle of vengeance, in a thinly veiled reference to imperialist notions of honor.
A large jingal from the Shenqipu.
Both weapons were devastating in their time, being well known by their users and their victims. Jezails in particular proved a bane for British troops in India. Though British arms proved superior, the impressive accuracy and firepower of Chinese and Indian jingals provided pivotal fire support for defensive works. For these reasons the weapons entered the English lexicon, and it was for these reasons that Kipling’s works made note of them.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Chancellorsville, Was it a strategic victory or a tactical victory?

While Chancellorsville is often regarded as General Robert E. Lee’s greatest victory, many would be surprised to know that after the battle he remarked “We had really accomplished nothing; we had not gained a foot of ground, and I knew the enemy could easily replace the men he had lost. At Chancellorsville we gained another victory; our people were wild with delight—I, on the contrary, was more depressed.” He even went so far as to yell as his own generals and subordinates, accusing them of not obeying his orders and costing the South a true victory.
What could have led the general to such a conclusion? After all, the victory was widely celebrated in the South, and the North was sent into a panic at every level of leadership up to President Lincoln.

Confederate General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson.
The loss of General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson is widely known, but Lee’s concerns went much deeper than the loss of his best general and friend – Lee realized that he had lost an opportunity to permanently cripple the Union army and potentially end the war.
Ever the perfectionist, this lost opportunity would haunt him for some time, and he made his frustrations known to his subordinates, some of whom had not acted in accordance with Lee’s orders. Did the Confederates have a realistic chance of ending the war, or at least dealing a much greater blow to the Union, at the Battle of Chancellorsville?
Throughout this conversation it is important recognize the manpower advantage the North had, and in particular their ability to replace their losses. Although the Union suffered around 17,000 casualties to the South’s 13,000, the Army of Northern Virginia lost over 20% of its soldiers in the battle, including nearly a third of its officers, while the Army of the Potomac only lost about 15% of its men. This is why Lee was not satisfied with merely driving the Union back – it was simply not sustainable.

Photograph of Robert E. Lee in March 1864
The weapons the North lost could likewise be replaced with relative ease. Lincoln himself had made this observation after the similarly “disastrous” Union defeat at Fredericksburg, saying that if “the same battle were to be fought over again, every day, through a week of days, with the same relative results, the army under Lee would be wiped out to its last man.”

24-pounder Howitzer of Austrian manufacture imported by the Confederacy. Its tube was shorter and lighter than Federal 24-pounder Howitzers.
The only way the South could win would be with either such a great victory that the North would not be able to recover its numbers in time to stop a Confederate advance into the North, or by inflicting such losses that the Northern public would turn strongly against the war, thus making it politically unfeasible for Lincoln to continue fighting.
Lee recognized this, and decided that the political impacts of a greater victory would be worth the risks of an aggressive effort to rout and destroy the Army of the Potomac. The North would have to choose to give up due to the loss of blood and treasure the war extracted, rather than being defeated traditionally. In some ways Lee was already succeeding, as the Democratic platform by 1863 was already calling for an end to the war, even if it meant Southern independence.

Commanders of the Army of the Potomac at Culpeper, Virginia, 1863
The Union retreat from Chancellorsville took place over several days, and involved two separate forces that needed to cross the Rappahannock River back to the North. Beginning late on May 3, 1863, Union forces began to withdraw in the face of Lee’s bold and successful decision to split his own forces repeatedly in the face of an opponent with superior numbers.
The Union forces had been split in two, with one section under the command of General Sedgwick, and the other under General Hooker directly. Lee wanted an attack on the morning of May 4 in order to press his advantage, but indecisive and slow actions by his subordinates led to the failure of this plan.

General Sedgwick (seated right) with Colonels Albert V. Colburn and Delos B. Sackett in Harrison’s Landing, Virginia, during the Peninsula Campaign in 1862.
In particular, Confederate efforts against Sedgwick’s section of the army failed when General McLaws failed to join in an attack by General Early when ordered to because he felt his forces were not strong enough. Instead, McLaws delayed for hours while Early’s significantly outnumbered divisions were repulsed by Union men.
Lee later ordered reinforcements from General Anderson’s division to aid in the McLaws/Early assault. Even then, McLaws delayed the attack, and eventually when the assault commenced they too were repulsed. Lee and Early made their frustrations with McLaws clear after the battle, and McLaws would be court-martialed several months later for gross inefficiency in another campaign, although the court martial was later overturned on procedural grounds.

Battle of Chancellorsville, depicting the wounding of Confederate Lt. Gen. Stonewall Jackson on May 2, 1863)
Late on May 6, when Lee was able to finally organize his army to attack the other Union position – under Hooker in Chancellorsville – they found only empty trenches. Hooker had escaped without the Confederates even having a chance for a final battle to crush his forces, and Sedgwick had done well enough to escape with his men. Lee’s plan for a conclusive victory had failed.
One key caveat to the argument that the South could have crushed the Union forces with a more aggressive pursuit in the closing days of the Chancellorsville campaign is that it relies entirely on the idea that Lee’s pursuit would have been successful, and beyond that, successful enough to have the desired result.
If Lee’s disappointment with Chancellorsville was that he lost so many men without destroying the Union army entirely, then surely it would have been even worse to launch a costly attack on the retreating Federal forces if he did not achieve total success in that attack. Instead of losing 20% of his men his losses would have been even more severe.
How would those men be replaced? If this theoretical greater victory was still not enough to lead to an immediate surrender, Lee would have had even greater difficulty in whatever the next major battle would have been, due to the loss of those men.

Major General Lafayette McLaws
Even if he continued to inflict more casualties on the Union, barring an utter collapse, the Union would have still been able to replace men that the South simply did not have. If Lee’s aggressive plans for a follow-up attack failed, or led to a Pyrrhic victory, the war may have well been almost ended, but not in the way Lee wanted.
The failure of Lee’s aggressive pursuit is often blamed on numerous failures of his subordinates, and this assessment has a fair amount of evidence to back it up, but even better performance by generals like McLaws could not have guaranteed success.

A group of Confederate soldiers-possibly an artillery unit captured at Island No. 10 and taken at POW Camp Douglas (Chicago)
With this important caveat in mind, the most reasonable conclusion is that Lee’s strategy was worth the risk. Lee was correct in his assessment that the North could only be defeated by a crushing victory – one that would psychologically devastate the Union and deflate their will to fight.
Ultimately a risk like Lee’s goal of an aggressive final assault at Chancellorsville would have been necessary for the South to win. Whether this one victory could have been enough by itself to convince the Union to negotiate for peace can never truly be known, but total destruction of the Army of the Potomac would have certainly increased Lee’s chances of success in his following campaign into the North.

Scouts and guides, Army of the Potomac
Ultimately, Lee’s desire to entirely crush the Union army at Chancellorsville reflected an accurate assessment of the greater political factors governing the war. If successful, it had a good chance of leading directly, or indirectly after a successful follow-up campaign, to a Southern victory. Chancellorsville was truly a turning point in the war, but perhaps not in the way that many assume.

After Chancellorsville, Lee realized that he still needed a victory on Northern soil in order to convince the Northern public that the war was no longer worth fighting. He followed up his victory at Chancellorsville with a march that would end at a small Pennsylvania town named Gettysburg, where he encountered a replenished Army of the Potomac.