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.

I Blame Bush

There is no question Joe Xiden owns the catastrophic nature of our exit from Afghanistan. He can’t dodge that. However, the failure of the entire enterprise was predetermined years ago by George W. Bush when he failed either to limit the mission to a brief punitive expedition (as against Mexican bandits in 1916) or to conduct a successful war of total destruction of the enemy (as against Germany and Japan in WW2).

What is essential in war is victory, not prolonged operations.

—Sun Tzu

A Supply Chain War Story

The Daily Signal has a post up about What the Pandemic Can Teach Us About Vulnerabilities in Our Defense Supply Chain. Everyone understands the need to get ammunition and food up to the front lines, but many people are surprised about how critical batteries are.

Numerous forms of military equipment are battery-powered, including night vision goggles, radios, and weapon optics. Complex platforms, from fifth-generation stealth fighters to submarines, all use batteries.

Batteries will play an even bigger role in the future of military technology. The Army is considering adding electric vehicles into its fleet in order to reduce its dependency on fuel. The Marine Corps is testing miniature drones that can be launched from the underbelly of a rifle. The Air Force is looking to field a body-armor cooling system in order to combat extreme heat.

Batteries have been a critical supply item for decades.

Here’s my war story. Well, it’s really a war game story.

Back in the ’70s, I participated in a war game exercise. The scenario was a Second Korean War, and I was tasked with keeping the internal communications systems operating for a deployed airborne division and between the division and its higher headquarters. Keeping the forward units supplied with batteries required the Air Force to provide airlift from the west coast equivalent to a C-130 flight every day. We were able to reduce that load on the Air Force by “buying” commercial batteries on the civilian market in Japan for use in equipment that used standard batteries.

That “worked” because we had an ally with major industrial capacity next to the combat zone. That may not always be the case. BTW, the major producer of batteries these days is … you guessed it … China.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

Kimberlin’s empr dot media website continues to muddle along, but almost all of the news stories seem to relate to the quasi-war between Ukraine and Russia and COVID in Ukraine. Both are reasonable stories to be tracking, but … well, I’ll need to do a bit more research before I say more.

A Change in Staffing

CNN (they haven’t folded yet) reports that Richard Torres-Estrada has been reassigned from his recently hired job of head of diversity and inclusion at US Special Operations Command. Questions have arisen about his qualifications for the position following the circulation of a photoshopped image that compared Donald Trump with Adolph Hitler.

Actually, I’m surprised by this development. I had supposed that the image in question demonstrated Torres-Estrada’s qualification for such a post in the Xiden Administration.


I’m So Old …

… that when I served in the Army and if I had made a potentially intimidating statement about a member of the the civilian press of the sort recently seen on Twitter, I would have expected to be charged and court-martialed under Article 134 and/or Article 133 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

What those senior servicemen did was not only unwise, it was likely a crime.

IANAL, but if I were one of those servicemen, I’d consult a JAG officer or a civilian attorney with JAG experience. OTOH, given who the individuals with actual court-martial convening authority over this individuals are, they may have nothing to worry about.


Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

Occasionally, the TKPODs have had as much or more about me as they did about the member(s) of Team Kimberlin. Cabin Boy #BillSchmalfeldt, Journalist, from eight years ago today was such a post.

* * * * *

Bill SchCBBS_HM3malfeldt claims to be a Journalist. He cites his training and experience. He learned how to proofread while training to be a PR flack an enlisted Journalist (JO rate) in the Navy (That’s CBBS on the right). He’s done talk radio in such major markets as Sheboygan. He’s won awards for his writing and editing of government documents.

OK, so he’s a Journalist. Big deal.

If he’s going to work in Maryland, he might want to download a copy of The Journalist’s Guide to the Maryland Court System. This handy reference was put out as a joint project of the Maryland Courts, the Maryland Bar Association, and the Society of Professional Journalists. He might find the sections on Knowing Your Limits (p. 14, ff.) and The Law of Libel and Invasion of Privacy (p. 75, ff.) to be instructive.

BTW, I am not a Journalist. I am just a blogger and a hobbyist blogger at that. I have a day job providing engineering consulting to various projects at NASA (But what I do isn’t rocket science; it’s applied quantum physics.). Once upon a time, I was a Journalist, but that was a long time ago, back when CBBS was in middle school and high school. One of the places I worked was the news department at WLAC, a 50,000 watt clear-channel station in Nashville. Back in ’60s, WLAC was the number one R&B station in the U. S. covering 28 states at night. I was the guy in the newsroom and on the air the night Martin Luther King was shot. I wonder if CBBS ever covered a story that big—or that sensitive. Given his modus operandi, I doubt it.

algore in Nam

UPDATE—Several prominent Journalists got their starts in the Armed Forces. Al Gore (at right), who worked at the Tennessean while I was in broadcasting in Nashville (We were both recently returned from Viet Nam), got his first reporting gig as a Public Affairs Specialist (46Q) in the Army. While he was in Viet Nam, he wrote for The Castle Courier, the newspaper of the 20th Engineer Brigade at Bien Hoa. I was stationed with the 12th Combat Aviation Group down the road at Plantation Army Airfield, but we weren’t in country at the same time.

* * * * *

BTW, the picture above shows the Cabin Boy™ (who is a Viet Nam era veteran) wearing more decorations on his uniform that are listed on His DD214.

Nothing to See Here. Move Along.

According to an Agence France-Presse report published by France 24, North Korea and Iran have resumed cooperation long-range missiles development according to the UN. The report, which was submitted to the Security Council this week, also confirms that the Norks continue to violate several UN resolutions related to nuclear weapons development.

President Xiden has said that the U. S. should rejoin the Iran Nuclear Deal.

Don’t Let Your Mouth Write a Check …

Legal Insurrection reports that Iran has been making public threats against the life of President Donald Trump. Tomorrow is the anniversary of the airstrike that killed Revolutionary Guards commander Qassem Soleimani, and the Iranian government is plainly stating that they intend to take revenge by killing the President.

On Friday, Iran’s judiciary chief, Ebrahim Raisi, warned that President Trump and members of his administration will “not be safe on earth” as the regime marked Soleimani’s death.

“Do not presume that someone, as the president of America, who appeared as a murderer or ordered a murder, may be immune from justice being carried out. Never,” Raisi said. “Those who had a role in this assassination and crime will not be safe on Earth.”

Tehran could hit President Trump on American soil, Soleimani’s successor Esmail Ghaani suggested. “It’s even possible that there are people inside your home [the U.S.] that will respond to your crime,” he said on Friday.

This strikes me as a sign of desperation on the part of the Iranian government. Their economy is free fall, collapsing not only because of sanctions but also because American energy policy has held the price of oil at levels well below what Iran needs.

I doubt that the Iranians will be able to carry out their threat successfully. Their mouths have written a check that their asses can’t cash. However, I’m afraid that they will not learn the proper lesson from that failure—that they should moderate their behavior. Their evil brew of politics and religion won’t permit that. Rather, they will further convinced of the need to acquire nuclear weapons and use them.

I fully expect the Xiden/Harris administration will take the steps necessary to remove restraints from the Iranian weapons program.

2020 has turned 21 and has started drinking.

Quote of the Day

Kind-hearted people might of course think there was some ingenious way to disarm or defeat the enemy without too much bloodshed, and might imagine this is the true goal of the art of war.Pleasant as it sounds, it is a fallacy that must be exposed: War is such a dangerous business that mistakes that come from kindness are the very worst.

—Carl von Clausewitz