Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

Because the members of Team Kimberlin tell whatever lie they believe is useful at any given moment, they often wind up contradicting themselves. This post about Cognitive Dissonance & Military Timekeeping first ran nine years ago today.

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This evening, Sore Loserman Bill Schmalfeldt tweeted this:

RadioWMS [redacted] My [redacted] #2 — this is my hobby, not a job.
10:27 PM – 2 Aug 13 GMT

It seems to be a response made to comments here at Hogewash!, and it appears to be a rather odd position for Schmalfeldt to take considering that he told the Circuit court that the

Peace Order violates the Americans With Disabilities Act by discriminating against Respondent, an American with advanced Parkinson’s disease, by limiting his employment

Then again, the Cabin Boy writes lots of odd stuff.

One other thing … 2 am? In the Navy? How about Oh-Two-Hundred or 4 Bells? Which reminds me of a great line an AFVN (Armed Forces Viet Nam) DJ once used:

This is AFVN, the Armed Force Viet Nam Network. Stay tuned for the news at 1600. For the Air Force, that’s 4 o’clock. For the Navy, that’s 8 bells. And for you Marines, Mickey’s little hand is … [fade to newscast opening]

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BTW, the Cabin Boy™ did spend part of his tour as a Hospital Corpsman imagining that he was storming the beach in Lebanon with the Marines.

The Usefulness of Ammunition Control

The Kyiv Independent reports that Ukrainian forces are working to offset Russia’s advantage in artillery by targeting Russian command posts and ammunition supplies.

Now that Ukraine has acquired advanced Western artillery and rocket systems, it has gradually begun a campaign to take out Russia’s key military infrastructure. Over the last four weeks, nearly 20 Russian ammunition depots in Russian-occupied Donbas and Ukraine’s south, including some of the largest, have been hit or completely destroyed.

As Russia continues with its slow but steady advance in Ukraine’s eastern region of Donbas, Ukraine’s military is working to undermine Russia’s overwhelming artillery power and disrupt its logistics deep in occupied territories.

Devastating strikes upon Russian command posts have become increasingly frequent since mid-June when Ukraine began using the first of four M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, provided by the U.S., nearly a week before their arrival in Ukraine was publicly announced.

On June 15, a massive explosion occurred near the city of Khrustalniy (formerly Krasniy Luch) in occupied Luhansk Oblast.

Explosions continued for days. According to satellite images, the blasts created a destruction zone spanning some 500 meters around the epicenter. The site was one of Russia’s largest ammunition depots, built after Russian forces occupied the area in 2014. In the Azotniy neighborhood in the northeastern part of Donetsk where Russia established ammunition depots through the city, successful attacks have continued on an almost daily basis.

While it still isn’t clear that the Russians have bitten off more than they can chew, if they do manage to swallow all or part of Ukraine, the resulting indigestion will last for a long, long time.

 

Military Base Renaming

The Naming Commission set up by Congress to propose new names for military bases named for Confederate generals has recommended that eight bases be renamed. I served at two of them. If the recommendations are accepted, Fort Gordon will become Fort Eisenhower, and Fort Bragg will become Fort Liberty.

One of the persons whose name was under consideration for a base name was Alvin York. York, who won the Medal of Honor in WW1, did his stateside training at (then) Camp Gordon and served in the 82nd Division in France. The 82nd is one of the principal units at Fort Bragg.

Although the recommendation proposes to rename four bases after Medal of Honor recipients, Sergeant York’s connections to either base apparently didn’t impress the Commission. Or perhaps he was passed over because he was a Southerner.

Changing Geopolitics

The Russian Army has lost substantial amounts of irreplaceable (on any short term) equipment and a large number of irreplaceable professional soldiers during Putin’s adventure in Ukraine. As the war continues, the Russians will have to move more of their remaining cadre of professionals from around the country to the active war zone, and that will require staffing other garrisons with inexperienced, poorly trained conscripts.

If I were a senior commander in the Peoples’ Liberation Army, the view to the North across the Amur River might become more tempting than the view to the East across the Taiwan Strait.

Don’t Know Much About History

Drone footage shows that the Russians set up a field camp and dug trenches in the Red Forest near Chernobyl. The forest got its name when the trees there turned from green to red as they died from radiation poisoning. They were bulldozed, a layer of sand spread over them, and new trees planted. After more than 35 years, the place is still so radioactive that the Ukrainians stay away.

It appears that the young Russians were unaware of what had happened at Chernobyl in 1986. It’s not something that fits into approved State History in Russia. (You’ve got to be carefully taught.)

Of course, the senior military leaders who were alive in 1986 would have known, but they didn’t tell the men under their command—yet another leadership failure.

Warfare: 20th Century v. 21st Century

My podcasting partner Stacy McCain has a post up about the Russian casualty figures that were “leaked” yesterday. If true, they indicated that the Russians are taking around 1,000 casualties (400 killed) per day. I’m skeptical. That the figure seems high, but, considering the Russians’ general incompetence, their losses could be that bad.

While the Russians have improved the technology of their weapons since the Second World War, they made few significant changes in the structure of their army. It is in many ways the same force Zhukov led almost 80 years ago, mostly a bunch of poorly trained conscripts led by corrupt NCOs and inept officers. The equipment may be more technologically advanced, but that makes it more susceptible to poor maintenance. However, today’s Russian army is very different from the Zhukov’s force—it is not repelling an invader; it is not fighting a Great Patriotic War. For now, the Russians are losing senior officers to snipers and drone strikes. How long will it be until the fragging begins? If it hasn’t already.

Meanwhile, Ukraine is fielding a highly motivated force armed with some of the be best weapons of the 21st century. The best Western technology backed by the West’s manufacturing capacity isn’t being sent as aid to Russia but to Ukraine. The Javelin and other anti-tank weapons are doing to Russian armor what the machine gun did to Infantry in the First World War. And Western intelligence service are clearly providing real time information.

The Russians may still win through brute force and sheer numbers, but the race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong. Sometimes the victory belongs to the smart and the brave. That’s beginning to look more like the Ukrainians than the Russians.

Keeping Warm and Fed

One of the reasons the Russian advance had gone more slowly than Putin expected is that the Russians are having trouble getting food, fuel, and other support to their troops.They clearly lack the assets to maintain a reliable supply train. Poorly maintained trucks running on cheap, unreliable Chinese tires may be the undoing of their campaign. While the Russians may not be able to keep their soldiers fed, the Ukrainians are helping them stay warm by the fires of vehicles set alight by Javelins and Molotov cocktails.

Of course, the Russians may still pull off a costly win via overwhelming numbers, but the war in Ukraine shows the truth of the principle that amateurs study tactics and professionals study logistics.

A War Story

I mentioned in a previous post that my father was the only Infantry officer to accept the surrender of a German submarine during WW2. I’ve had a couple of requests for the details, so here’s a brief telling of the tale—

Captain Hoge’s Combat Intelligence Team was attached to the 66th Infantry Division during their operations in the west of France mopping up German forces cut off by the main thrust through France. While the division was moving along the coast, they captured several naval installations. One day, they overran a U-boat base that had been heavily bombed by the RAF. All the subs, except one, had been sunk, and the intact boat was trapped by the wreckage of the others. When the boat’s captain surrendered the intact vessel, it turned out that my father was the senior allied officer present, so he accepted the surrender. During the surrender, the boat captain gave my father his sidearm.

I have the captain’s Luger here on my desk as I write this.

Dad had a couple of other good war stories. One was about a bank robbery he investigated. That one became the basis for a movie.

Your Miley May Vary

I have no idea whether the story being pushed by Bob Woodward about Mark Miley’a phone calls to his Chinese counterpart are true. Or whether the story about an allied signal intelligence operation intercepting at least one of the calls is true. I am troubled by the the stories being believable.

If Miley is the Woodward’s source, one wonders why he thought it would be a good idea to let the tale out into the wild. Who did he think would approve?

I really does look as if when 2020 turned 21, it started drinking openly.

Fasten your seat belts—there’s turbulence ahead.

A Phone Call With A Foreign Leader

Reuters reports the transcript of Joe Xiden’s  23 July phone call with Afghan President Ghani contains the following—

Biden: Mr. President, Joe Biden.

Ghani: Of course, Mr. President, such a pleasure to hear your voice.

Biden: You know, I am a moment late. But I mean it sincerely. Hey look, I want to make it clear that I am not a military man any more than you are, but I have been meeting with our Pentagon folks, and our national security people, as you have with yours and ours, and as you know and I need not tell you the perception around the world and in parts of Afghanistan, I believe, is that things aren’t going well in terms of the fight against the Taliban. And there’s a need, whether it’s true or not, there is a need to project a different picture.

Wow! It’s a good thing he didn’t ask Ghani to do something such as conducting an investigation. That would have been an impeachable high crime or misdemeanor.

Everything Is Proceeding As I Have Foreseen

I wish I were wrong, but I’m not.

I understand the frustration of the actual warriors feel because of the incompetence of the the generals and admirals who are supposed to be leading them. I turned down a promotion to major and left the Army Reserve rather than continue to serve under Carter’s Pentagon crowd.

I foresee that Carter’s second term was much too optimistic an expectation for the Xiden Administration. Let’s pray that we can still avoid the likes of Buchanan’s second term.

Non-Stranded Non-Hostages

White House press flack Jen Psaki has admitted that it is likely that there will be American citizens still stranded in Afghanistan after 31 August. Indeed, given the current progress in the evacuations, there will probably be thousands of Americans who want out and who can’t get out by 1 September.

There were only 52 American hostages trapped in Tehran in 1979/80.

You know that thing about Carter’s second term being the best case scenario. It was clearly too optimistic.