This Day in History: Task Force Smith

Not a pretty story, not the greatest hour for American arms. http://www.aei.org/article/foreign-and-defense-policy/defense/the-lesson-of-task-force-smith/ The soldiers of Task Force Smith were the victims of a conscious policy, even if not stated openly, to be unready. When you hear people say, “No more Task Force Smiths!” understand that they mean no more being caught unready. Yet, readiness has a steep price tag and it has to be planned out and paid for up front. Don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise. The cost of the alternative is even steeper.

Re-writing the Declaration of Independence

Just in time for the 4th of July comes this question: of what value is a period? So what does punction, or lack thereof, mean in this case?

Deserters: CPL Wassef Ali Hassoun surfaces.

Marine Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun, who has been declared a deserter on two separate occasions a decade ago, has turned himself in to U.S. custody and will face charges, the Marines confirmed. The 34-year-old arrived in Norfolk, Va., on Sunday and is scheduled to go Monday to Camp Lejeune, N.C., where his case will be adjudicated, according to a Marine spokesman. He had been in the Middle East, the spokesman said. I must say summer is a crazy time of year.  Bring one home and another wants to come back.  Should he be found guilty, he faces a maximum penalty […]

WWI: And So It Began

One hundred years ago today. I remember as a 3rd Classman taking a class on the Cold War from a visiting professor– his name escapes me at the moment. One of the first things he told us, and this has stuck with me, was that it was World War One that brought on the world as we knew it in 1987, that  the Great War shattered the old order.   (http://m.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/06/28/the-assassination-of-archduke-franz-ferdinand-and-the-drumbeats-of-war/)

Cats and dogs, living together

As a kid living on West Point in 1981, the newly-released Marines and other Embassy personnel held hostage in Tehran for 444 days were brought into the cafeteria of the old Elementary School building. They were outwardly calm, but had eyes as big as saucers. Looking back, I question the judgement of exposing those men to a crowd of any type and size so soon after release. What was apparent then to my friends and me then was that those men were in shock. Since pulling Iran out of poverty as a British and Soviet piss pot, Iran and America were good […]

Cruzada de los ninos, or, so you thought you had a military retirement

Updated Nothing in life is free. Someone is paying for creating the America’s greatest humanitarian disaster of this century: a modern Cruzada de los niños. The logistics for transporting children from Central America apart from their parents is enormous. Consider how much goes into moving 100,000 soldiers from America to Kuwait. The folks paying for all of this expect to be repaid with American tax dollars. These children, now our wards, need food, water, clothing, shelter, and will get an education. And likely medical and mental health care – because these are the ones who survived the trip. Instantly, close to a […]

German AAR on Op Overlord

Apropos for D +1 (plus 70 years), von Rundstedt’s report on the Normandy invasion: The following most recent battle experiences confirm in broad outlines all the experiences which were made known regarding Sicily, Salerno, Nottuno and those other heavy defensive battles in Italy. The proximity of the English mother country and thus also of all the embarkation and supply bases afforded to the Anglo-Saxons in their first great land attack against the Western Bay of the Seine and against the peninsula of the Cotentin the opportunity of employment on the greatest  scale so far of men, material and technical means. […]

70 Years Ago: “All of This Fire Coming up Towards Us”

Read about a real warrior. Jim was a private in the 101st Airborne, one of the paratroopers dropped behind German lines in the hours before the D-Day landings. “We wanted to get out of the plane quickly, because it was hitting the plane,” he says. “Planes were blowing up, and we wanted to get the hell out of there.” They were inviting targets as they drifted toward the ground and the enemy. Asked what was going through his mind as he slowly descended through the clouds into hostile territory, Jim says, “Fascination, because of all of this fire coming up […]

Tanks for Sale… LOTS of Tanks

HOLY S**T! And not just tanks, either. Make sure you follow the link to the individual photos and descriptions, like this one: The vehicle being offered, Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf. H, chassis number 89457, was most likely built by Nibelungenwerke in February 1944. This vehicle was bought by Syria in the 1950s, probably from Czechoslovakia. It was captured by the Israelis during the Six Day War in 1967. After its capture, it was used as a training vehicle by the Israeli Army. It was then shipped to the Israeli Armor museum at Latrun in 1994. This tank was obtained from Israel […]

Forty Confederate Soldiers and One New Market Cadet

DVH61, ETP0802 and several more of you sent me this link, which is fascinating: Their remains sat, unmarked, in shallow graves at the Old City Cemetery in Lynchburg, Va., for decades. Now, some 150 years after the Civil War, the bodies of 40 Confederate soldiers discovered over the past two months will receive a proper memorial. This is right and just, in itself. But read on. In 2007, Ricks received an unusual request, which led him to a discovery that was “like finding a needle in a haystack.” Ricks was approached by a descendent of Nathan Tiernon Walton, a cadet […]