Courage, a study

Can you spot the courage?

Operation Market Garden, 70 Years Ago

Immortalized by Ryan’s great book, A Bridge Too Far, it happened seventy years ago this week: …Montgomery developed Operation Market-Garden. A two stage operation, the plan called for troops from Lieutenant General Lewis Brereton’s First Allied Airborne Army to land and capture key bridges in the Netherlands. While these troops held the bridges, Lieutenant General Brian Horrock’s XXX Corps would advance up Highway 69 to relieve Brereton’s men. If successful, Allied forces would be over the Rhine in a position to attack the Ruhr, while avoiding the Westwall by working around its northern end. For the airborne component, Market, Major […]

The Long War

When I was studying in France back in 2009 one of the many unique opportunities I had was to attend the Collogue Guerre Irreguliere/Irregular Warfare Conference at Camp Coetquidan.  And one of the things a British General said was that NATO knew Afghanistan would be a 20 year war.  That it would take an entire generation to fight and rebuild that country. The reason I bring this up, one of our categories here on OPFOR is The Long War.  I’ve had this sneaking suspicion that my generation’s war never ended.  That this irregular enemy, the non-state actor, would continue to […]

INCHON DAY!

15 September 1950. Amphibious landing, the way it ought to be done– a stunning stroke of operational art. Could we do it today? Not on that scale, we don’t have the amphib lift, nor do I think we have the true capability, even adjusting for improvements in ships and weapons systems. Check me if I’m wrong but be sure to justify your answer.

George Santayana doesn’t blog here

But our readers and commenters here at Op-for.com have taken to heart the prescriptions of the venerated American man of letters, philosopher, essayist and novelist. Thank you to George Warren and others for the reminder. From Austin Bay: Expansionist dictators take until stopped by superior power. For these beasts, peace is war by other means, and the other means always involve deception. Idiots walking. Indeed.

And So It Began (1939 Version)

URR reminds us, in this this centennial of the Great War, of the follow-on act and how it was brought about. In 1914, the world was plunged accidentally into a bloodletting that spiraled out of control, by incompetent and irresponsible leaders in the nations of Europe.   In 1939, the world was again plunged into bloodletting, this time deliberately so by monsters who spewed their hatred and made no secret of their plans for conquest and subjugation.  Following a half a decade of weakness and appeasement from the Western democracies, whose desperation to avoid war only fueled the appetite of the […]

Good Pieces of Kit

Laminated and taken to the field since 1066! This is really fascinating, and you could spend a lot of time– time well spent, I’d say– poring over the lists and the photos. (You’ll have to overlook some problems with the weapons terminology and description, such as calling the 7.62 L1A1 (the FAL) of Falklands War fame a “very light” rifle. But we’re dealing with Limey pinko journalists here, and what do they know about guns??) Still– a pretty nifty look at the Soldier’s Load.

The Hagelian Dialectic

Perhaps a certain Senate Majority leader was premature. SecDef Hagel is certainly inspiring confidence.   History tells us in the last 3,000 years we’ve had perhaps 250 years of peace, with millions slaughtered to make way for various and sundry master races, religions, and ego. Maybe SecDef Hagel’s Aide could read him a bedtime story about Hannibal and Scipio some time. Or Bellisarius and Narses. Something besides Ernest P. Worrell.

Happy Birthday, C-130!

Sixty years old! Here’s a great vid of the landing on the carrier (starts at about :30)– I’ve ridden a C-130 from 29 Palms to Cherry Point, another from Bagram to Kabul, I’ve jumped out of a few, and I’ve watched one pound the shit out of Fallujah in 2004. It’s a pretty nifty piece of gear, and I don’t see it going anywhere anytime soon.  

What is the philosophy of grand strategy?

**Updated** The times make the man, and the men who defined strategy for the past two hundred years have been shaped by near-constant or very long wars, and informed by philosophies that brought perspective to the question of what assures victory in war? Clauswitz spent his years fighting, learning and teaching about Napoleon. The French Emperor at the time was more a force of nature, and master of the operational and tactical arts. While Napoleon owned the battlefield, he failed France and Europe in terms of economy, diplomacy, and industry. France’s strategic force, its navy, was expended in futile combat with the […]