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May 07, 2004

Another Arsenal Artifact.


This gizmo is a dial sight. In US parlance, it's called a panoramic telescope. This particular one is the WWI-era sight for the Brit 18pdr howitzer.

To hit a target the gun can't see, without a lot of wasting rounds registering and adjusting, you need to have a few simple things.

Accurate target location. Accurate observer location. Accurate gun location, and a common grid to measure angles from. There's some other stuff, like accurate weapon, ammunition, and weather data, but that's the subject for a different, glaze-your-eyes post that will make people run away screaming in fear. Or get me sued as people break their noses as their heads hit the table as they fall asleep reading.

Anyway - you align the gun tube on a known azimuth. To do that, you use an aiming circle (director in commonwealth-speak) to align the gun and sight on a known azimuth. You set that azimuth on the sight, with the sight pointed to an aiming reference point, whether it's a collimator as used now (an instrument that simulates an infinity reference point but that can be placed close to the gun), aiming posts, (which, when aligned in the sight mean that you are looking at them straight on) or a distant aiming point, at least 1000m away (least desirable, bad weather is your enemy there).

Still interested? The rest is in the extended post.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by John on May 07, 2004 | Artillery
» Stop the Bleating! links with: CANNON-COCKER PORN
» BLACKFIVE links with: Castle Argghhh!!! - Brilliant Blog

Rumsfeld dodges bullet.

Bush isn't firing Rummy, yet. I've got issues with Rumsfeld, but I sit so far from the center of that particular universe these days, I tend to let the elephants play on their own.

But if I were Prez, Rumsfeld might well have lost his job over this abuse thing, as the straw that would have broken my back. Not because the abuse happened, I've covered that. Things like this happen in war, what's instructive is what's done about it. And the major media, when breaking and feeding on the story, didn't do so based on their own sleuthing the story the military was hiding - they did it using the military's report on the subject. Discuss amongst yourselves.

No, what would have torqued me is the Rumsfeld knew about this, and the depth of it, months ago - but no one told the President?

Bush said he told Rumsfeld on Wednesday that, "I should have known about the pictures and the report" done by the Pentagon before they turned up in news reports.

That wasn't oversight. That was deliberate. For those of you Army vets old enough - this, and it's true meaning - should cover it: Simply amazing.

by John on May 07, 2004 | Global War on Terror (GWOT)
» Madfish Willie's Cyber Saloon links with: Life & Times of Madfish Willie

May 06, 2004

Since the news has been, well, depressing...

I think it's time for pictures of Arsenal Artifacts. Besides, I've been playing with the new camera - proving only one thing. That quality pictures are a function of the photographer, more than they are the camera. This is a good camera, Canon EOS Digital.

Anyway, I have this item up for your consideration. The german WWI spigot mortar, the Granatenwerfer 16 (literally, Grenade Thrower).

Spigot mortars get their name from the fact that instead of a barrel, they have a rod, more technically, a mandrel, onto which slips the round. The tail of the round acts as the barrel. These things are not light, and this one does not have it's full baseplate that contained the traversing table. The round slips all the way down the rod, unlike the picture. This is a battlefield recovery round and I haven't finished the cleaning/preserving action in the tail, so it's blocked by corrosion. Doesn't take much, the tolerances here are pretty tight. The advantage of these weapons is that you can fire many different sizes of warhead, since you aren't constrained by the barrel dimensions. Your constraint is range, due to differing weights, which can be accomodated by different charge sizes, just as in a tube weapon. The other advantage is simplicity of manufacture - you don't have as many precision measures, especially in the munitions, as you do in tube weapons. It also means you can have people who don't normally make weapons build 'em. This one was built by the (in Europe at least) famous toy manufacturers, the Gebrudern Bing. (Bing Brothers) in Nueremburg.


For a close up, click here.

Max Range : 350 meters
Min Range : 50 meters
Total weight : 38 kg
Distribution : 1916 , 12 per infantry regiment , 24 in 1918
Crew: 2 men.

Simple to use. Using a compass, orient along a known azimuth. Then when you compute data, it goes to the gunner as a left or right deflection from the 0 line. Based on range, and round, select a quadrant elevation, and set that on the scale on the side of the mortar. Load the round, pull the lanyard, ready to go for the next one.

May 04, 2004

Here's the Army's 15-6 report from one of the abuse investigations.

It's up on MSNBC. I assume the Army released it. MSNBC's post is here.

John - if this is what you were trying to point me to - MSNBC had already changed locations on it. Regardless, hat tip for alerting me!

It's a rough read in places. If you're already stressed (Boudicca) you might want to just skip it until you're ready.

I haven't fully digested it, so I don't have any comments yet. You get to draw your own conclusions without any pressure from me!

UPDATE: Whoever released it screwed up or took a huge risk. It's got classified info in it. If you're reading it from a Gov't computer over lunch - don't download it.

by John on May 04, 2004 | Global War on Terror (GWOT) | Observations on things Military
» Brain Shavings links with: Abu Ghraib investigation report
» uruloki's lair links with: Bad dealings
» A Collection of Thoughts links with: The Prisoner Abuse Scandal
» A Collection of Thoughts links with: The Prisoner Abuse Scandal

Here's another story.

I received this story in email today, like many of us with .mil addresses have over the past couple of days. I was going to get it up - but then I got an encouraging email from a fellow blogger (who can tell I'm a little grumpy right now!) who also got it and has posted it on her site. So, I'm running with it ahead of schedule. Winds of Change is right - it's an honor to have trained and led these young soldiers - and to support them from a layer farther back, now. 99.9% of them carry on the tradition, and serve admirably, and proudly. Here's my 'buck-up, bucko!' email:


Thought you might enjoy reading this one:

The letter came across my email inbox earlier today. It describes the outstanding leadership and quick thinking of a young lieutenant whose tank company's equipment was being moved across Iraq. The convoy came under heavy, planned ambush and this young tank officer rallied the tankers, got the tanks off of the transport trucks while they were under heavy fire, saved the transportation officers who were lightly armed and got them all out of there alive. The convoy commander, a Captain, credits this younger officer with saving all their lives.

At a time when professional soldiers are angry at the lack of professionalism show by a few MPs (abuse of prisoners), which tars them all, it's good to know we have young men and women like this young man. As as 1st Lt, he's probably around 24 yrs old. I feel very fortunate that he and others like him chose to serve.


Best - (and keep on blogging!)

Oh, by the way: there's at least one report out today saying the real
physical abuse in the Iraqi prison was done by Iraqi guards. Sigh.

As for the last, I sure hope so. Click the link above to read what Winds had to say on her blog.

And now - another story of a sharp soldier who can think on his feet!

The CSA wanted to share this email with you. The email was sent to GEN Bell, CG, USAREUR from MG Dempsey, Cdr, 1AD.



...I met yesterday outside Najaf with a 1LT from the Iron Dukes of 2-37 Armor who as tank company XO was leading a convoy of two platoons of tanks on HETs from Al Kut in the east to Najaf in the west, a distance of about 175KM. As they passed through the town of Diwaniyah, they were ambushed by a group of insurgents--undoubtedly former regime soldiers with some military training--with RPGs, heavy machine guns, and AK-47s. The Task Force Scouts had passed through only 30 minutes earlier without contact, so this was a well planned ambush of probably 50 or so organized in two and three man teams.

The convoy suffered three soldiers KIA in the initial moments of the ambush--one Iron Duke, one 2ACR cavalry trooper, and one transportation officer. The convoy immediately returned fire. They had several HUMMWVs in escort, and the tanks on the back of the HETs were manned with loaders and TCs on crew served weapons.

Within minutes of the ambush, one of the HETs was disabled, and the Lieutenant realized he would have to stand and fight to ensure he had everyone. The Iron Dukes "broke chains" as they described it, by essentially driving off the back of the HETs under fire to engage the enemy. In the course of the next hour, they fought their way out of Diwaniyah employing every weapon available to them including main gun. They got everyone and everything out with the exception of one HET.

Enemy BDA was 30 killed and an unknown number wounded.

A day after this fight, I received an email from CPT Thomas Moore, of the 1175th Transportation, who was the convoy commander. He wrote: "were it not for the courage and actions under fire of the 2ACR and 2-37 soldiers that day, he is certain all his men would have been killed." He asked me if he and his soldiers engaged in that fight with us could wear the 1AD combatpatch. I told him I'd be honored.

There are many such stories of courage under fire and just as many stories of incredible compassion to the innocent...

Continuing mission, sir.

V/R Marty

It's our job as milbloggers to get these, and the other stories, out in the public eye!

by John on May 04, 2004 | Global War on Terror (GWOT) | Observations on things Military
» Brain Shavings links with: Nice going, Eltee
» Technicalities links with: Just for a Change...

Not all the news is bad.

Most soldiers over in Iraq are doing their duty, pissed off at what's going on back here, pissed off at the assholes who are smearing the rest of them with the abuse/murder crap - but they are still soldiering on.

So are our allies. This El Salvadoran soldier can share my foxhole anytime. My thanks to the Salvadoran people for their commitment.

By Denis D. Gray
NAJAF, Iraq — One of his friends was dead, 12 others lay wounded and the four soldiers still left standing were surrounded and out of ammunition. So alvadoran Cpl. Samuel Toloza said a prayer, whipped out his knife and charged the Iraqi gunmen.

In one of the only known instances of hand-to-hand combat in the Iraq conflict, Cpl. Toloza stabbed several attackers swarming around a comrade. The stunned assailants backed away momentarily, just as a relief column came to the unit's rescue.

"We never considered surrender. I was trained to fight until the end," said the 25-year-old corporal, one of 380 soldiers from El Salvador whose heroism is being cited just as other members of the multinational force in Iraq are facing criticism.

Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said recently that the Central American unit has "gained a fantastic reputation among the coalition" and expressed hope that the Salvadorans will stay beyond their scheduled departure.

Phil Kosnett, who leads the Coalition Provisional Authority office in this holy Shi'ite city, says he owes his life to Salvadorans who repelled a well-executed insurgent attack on his three-car convoy in March. He has nominated six of them for the U.S. Army's Bronze Star medal.

"You hear this snotty phrase 'coalition of the billing' for some of the smaller contingents," said Mr. Kosnett, referring to the apparent eagerness of some nations to charge their Iraq operations to Washington. "The El Sals? No way. These guys are punching way above their weight. They're probably the bravest and most professional troops I've every worked with."

The Salvadorans are eager to stress their role as peacekeepers rather than warriors, perhaps with an eye toward public opinion back home. Masked protesters last week seized the cathedral in the capital, San Salvador, demanding that President-elect Tony Saca pull the troops out of Iraq.

The rest is in the extended post. Hat tip to JMH for the picker-upper.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

When things work as they should.

In a post below, regarding the Canadian flyer now being credited with taking Rommel out of the Battle of Normandy at a crucial moment, one of the commenters asked, "What the hell happened?" - meaning to the Canadians and their warriors.

A serving Canadian allowed as to how they were still around, and still serving, just not as obvious. True.

Here's some proof. In the form of a kevlar noodle-wrapper damaged in a suicide bombing in Kabul on 27 January, 2004. The Canadian noodle wrapped in this helmet is happy that it worked as intended.

If you have high-speed access, or don't mind waiting, click the pic for a higher-res version of the picture.

Helmet w-splintethumb.jpg

Gee, it just gets better.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two Iraqi prisoners were murdered by Americans and 23 other deaths are being investigated in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States revealed on Tuesday as the Bush administration tried to contain growing outrage over the abuse of Iraqi detainees.

"The actions of the soldiers in those photographs are totally unacceptable and un-American," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said of humiliating images in the media of Iraqi prisoners. "Any who engaged in such action let down their comrades who serve honorably each day and they let down their country."

Army officials said the military had investigated the deaths of 25 prisoners held by American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and determined that an Army soldier and a CIA contractor murdered two prisoners. Most of the deaths occurred in Iraq.

An official said a soldier was convicted in the U.S. military justice system of killing a prisoner by hitting him with a rock, and was reduced in rank to private and thrown out of the service but did not serve any jail time.

"...and was reduced in rank to private and thrown out of the service but did not serve any jail time."

C'mon, guys, yer killin' me!

Anybody got any idea of what the 'extenuating and mitigating' circumstances were in this case? At best it's manslaughter, at worst it's premeditated murder. Manslaughter gets you busted and fired? That's it? Geez, this must be one hell of a story we aren't hearing about.

The whole depressing story is here.

Note to President Bush and Secretary Rumsfeld. You might as well dump whatever information you legally can. This story is not getting better with age. Regardless if it represents a lesser level of violence than in previous conflicts (and I don't know that) this is now - and you guys are losing the media battle.

Anybody who has better info - please pass it along. I want to see heads on pikes, not privates on the streets. And I don't think I'm outta line.

Since poor training, bad leadership and inadequate supervision is in the news...

This won't bring anyone who's a friend fo the services any farther down - and will perhaps serve to remind us we've weathered other Really Stupid Venal Criminal Things before, as well. But will perhaps serve to steel us to keep our voices added to the fire demanding an accounting. A just, fair, accounting. We owe that to the dead, to the maimed, to the Constitution, to the Iraqis (as a demonstration of the rule of law), and to the accused. A Brit paper ran the pictures with this headline, "The Photo Which Lost The War."

We must strive hard so that those pictures don't have the same resonance over time as this one:


I don't want anyone railroaded - I want fair trials, and if there are convictions, fair sentences. But for the more senior among 'em, fair sentences are probably long ones. I actually had an emailer quibble with me on this, saying, arguing that in terms of actual injury inflicted, what appears to have happened in relatively minor. And also went on to say that what Iraqis did to our POWs was worse.

MY correspondent is not thinking the problem through. Even if the actual injury to the prisoners is slight - the downstream effects are astounding. This isn't running a stop sign and being seen by a cop and getting a ticket. This is running a stop sign and causing an accident that results in multiple deaths and injuries. In this case, the deaths and injuries caused to Iraqis and Coalition troops as the militants respond. The initial causes in my example are the same - the effects are not. And the effects matter. That doesn't even touch the reality of the inadequate training and supervision this monumental act of criminal stupidity represents. The stiffening of resolve of your opponent and a mindless sinking into further barbarity is why this sort of thing is explicitly banned by US policy, not just a pro-forma conformance to international law and custom.

Today is the 34th anniversary of Kent State.

The units that responded were ill-trained and came right from riot duty elsewhere; they hadn't had much sleep. The first day, there was some brutality; the Guard bayonetted two men, one a disabled veteran, who had cursed or yelled at them from cars. The following day, May 4th, the Guard, commanded with an amazing lack of military judgment, marched down a hill, to a field in the middle of angry demonstrators, then back up again. Seconds before they would have passed around the corner of a large building, and out of sight of the crowd, many of the Guardsmen wheeled and fired directly into the students, hitting thirteen, killing four of them, pulling the trigger over and over, for thirteen seconds. (Count out loud--one Mississippi, two Mississippi, to see how long this is.) Guardsmen--none of whom were later punished, civilly, administratively, or criminally--admitted firing at specific unarmed targets; one man shot a demonstrator who was giving him the finger. The closest student shot was fully sixty feet away; all but one were more than 100 feet away; all but two were more than 200 feet away. One of the dead was 255 feet away; the rest were 300 to 400 feet away. The most distant student shot was more than 700 feet from the Guardsmen.

The dead:

Alison Krause,
Jeffrey Miller
Sandra Scheuer
William Schroeder, ROTC cadet, shot while in uniform at Kent State

It would appear that the Iraqi prisoner abuse issue is being taken seriously - let's hope so, demand so, and make it so. So that if anyone writes paragraphs like this about Abu Ghraib, it's because they are a barking moonbat, and not correct.

It would be too charitable to say that the investigation was botched; there was no investigation. Even the New York City police, who are themselves prone to brutality and corruption, do a better job. Every time an officer discharges his weapon, it is taken from him, and there is an investigation. Here--to the fatal detriment of the federal criminal trial which followed--it was never conclusively established which Guardsmen had fired, or which of them had shot the wounded and the dead. Since all were wearing gas masks, it is impossible to identify them in pictures (many had also removed or covered their name tags, a classic ploy of law enforcement officers about to commit brutality in the '60's and '70's), and though many confessed to having fired their weapons, none admitted to being in the first row and therefore, among the first to fire. The ballistic evidence could have helped here, but none was taken.

May 03, 2004

More on the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal.

#1. BG Karpinski should just shut up. She's digging the hole for herself deeper and deeper. She wants to take someone down with her, it would seem. I understand she's terrified that she's being set up. Fine. Get with your lawyer, start building a defense that names names. But General, you're just making yourself sound like a fool - and more and more an embarrassment to the uniform you wear.

#2. Between forays over to The Queen of All Evil to defend my criticism of Kerry (which has turned into teaching pigs to wrestle - we're just getting dirty, but the pig's having fun) I got an email with questions from a fellow blogger and frequent commenter. I decided what the heck, why not share the questions and the answers (and, he said I could). Heck, probably over half of my 1200+ visitors today are googling the Iraqi prisoner thing. I must be sitting pretty high in Google on the subject. Therefore: Any JAG types or senior commanders who have the time to read it (and even know about the Castle - feel free to jump in and bash it around, or email with comments. I've got no problem with posting them anonymously for you, and I'd rather put out the current truth as opposed to my fading memories of same.

Without further ado - here we go.

XXX - my responses interspersed among the questions.

I'm writing because I wanted to ask people I know who are or were members of the armed forces some questions to help me gain some context regarding the accusations of prisoner abuse in Iraq. I'm sure you've heard the rationales offered by some of those accused that the leadership was aware of what was going on, and in some cases made allegations that the leadership was either encouraging it or even ordering it. Some of the rebuttals to these assertions I have read include statements that the accused should have known that any orders of this nature were unlawful.

They are correct, they should have known they were illegal orders. Even if true, it's a bogus defense, and simply means more people need to come visit here at Leavenworth for a long tour for failure to do their duty in training these people.

My questions are:

1) It is my understanding that a soldier (or other member of the armed forces) can either refuse to obey an unlawful order or request that order be given in writing. Is this true?

A soldier is required to disobey an unlawful order. In the case where a soldier is not sure that the order is or isn't unlawful, they should request a written order. They should still pursue getting a legal opinion about the order. If a superior refuses to give a written order, you can pretty much guess you're on good ground. I ran into this exactly once. I had a senior officer ask me to purchase something in my capacity as a contracting officer that was clearly outside the guidelines. He knew it was. He knew I knew. And he let me know that this sort of thing was going to happen from time to time over a career and we had to learn to work with it. I told him, give me a written order, please. He threw me out of his office. My boss had to go and fly top cover for me when it came time for fitness reports. He did. I survived. But I did what I did not knowing whether or not my boss would take care of me. I did it because I was supposed to.

When you start getting into junior enlisteds it gets a little less clean. Clearly, they are in positions where they can be intimidated into doing things they feel are probably wrong. I don't think that applies in this case, but I can cut some slack in the punishment phase of a courtsmartial in that regard. Officers don't get any slack - as some of the Kerry-defenders over at Rose's (Dean Esmays wife) site have found out. I don't cut officers slack.

You take a risk when you refuse an order you believe to be illegal. Goes with the territory, and is all part of the integrity thing. If you refuse, and the determination is made that the order was legal - any number of Bad Things can happen to you, depending on the consequences of your refusal to obey. On the flip side, you may work for someone who recognizes you were trying your best to do what was right, have learned that not all circumstances match your conceptions, and all is right with the world. Reality is, the fallout will fall somewhere between the two extremes, depending on the who, what, where, why, and results.

Getting an order in writing, if said order is illegal, isn't necessarily going to relieve you of responsibility (this is where BG Karpinski is going to get her butt in a crack, if she keeps up the way she's going). An illegal order is an illegal order. You are essentially just ensuring other people go in the dock with you. As I said, circumstances count, as do the level of experience and maturity of the junior member of this example, but those are questions for the courtsmartial convening authority and in the punishment phase. The CMCA can simply choose not to prosecute junior people who were seemingly obviously led astray by bad leaders. Or, they can see evidence of a greater level of culpability and leave it to the panel to decide guilt or innocence and appropriate response.

2) If it is true that a member of the armed forces can refuse an unlawful order, would a Reservist or, even more so, a member of the National Guard, feel that they could assert that refusal to an unlawful order, especially if the order was given by a "regular" officer?

The should feel that way. Once on active duty in a federal status, there is no distinction in authority, and Guard and Reserve troops should know this. There is also no official distinction between Guard and Reserve on fully federalized active duty. The distinctions come when in drill status other situations. An illegal order is an illegal order regardless of it's source. Doesn't mean that intimidation can't happen, or that weak personalities won't console themselves with that thought. But there is no statutory distinction in authority regardless of component, when in federal status.

3) It is my understanding that regardless of the level of knowledge regarding the incidents in question, the commander of the facility is ultimately responsible for what has occurred. It appears to me from what I have read that the commander is attempting to deny responsibility. Is it true that the commander is responsible even if she or he were not aware of the incidents in question, and if so, could this officer be subject to court martial over these apparent abuses of prisoners?

Given that I only know what I've read - you've hit it exactly on the head. BG Karpinski seems to be using the defense of "I brought it up to my bosses and they didn't do anything!" I'll buy that from junior enlisted. I'll listen to it from a Second Lieutenant. I won't countenance it from a senior officer, much less a general officer. If Karpinski knew something was going on that was wrong - and she didn't take steps to prevent further abuse of the prisoners while she forced the issue to a resolution through the chain of command - I think she's vulnerable under failure to discharge the duties of her office, i.e., her people were responsible for the safety, health and well-being of the prisoners entrusted to her care. I like to think that had I been BG Karpinski, I would have forwarded my concerns to my superiors, and instituted my own, local investigation. At the same time - I would have ordered my MPs to cease and desist cooperation with the MI types (and reassigned MPs under suspicion) until such time as I could talk to the MI chain of command. If those discussions were unsatisfactory, I would have taken that up with my chain of command - still refusing access to the prisoners by the MI types absent a direct order from competent authority (meaning someone in my chain of command, not the MI). If I got such an order, I would have discussed it with my JAG, and if needed, told my JAG to run it up the JAG side of things.. If those attempts were not producing a resolution to my satisfaction (of legality), I and my JAG would have had face-to-faces with my boss if that hadn't happened already. I suspect by this time I would have either succeeded or been fired. If my internal investigation showed credible allegations of abuse, I would have taken those to my boss (because of the horrible possible consequences) and asked my higher if they would like me to deal with it, or would they prefer it be bumped up to higher and handed off to a different agency (like CID) for further investigation). My lawyer would have lived in my hip pocket. For my money, at this point, everybody in the direct chain of command from the troops to Karpinski is at risk for relief, or should be, and should have to defend themselves. Above Karpinski - that all depends on what she said, how she said it, and to whom she said it - and the actions that result from that. I'm willing to entertain the idea that there are those above Karpinski who should also be retaining lawyers. But I don't have any information to base an informed opinion in that regard. I don't have a whole lot with Karpinski - but every time I read her latest quote in the paper, it isn't helping her case.

I have been concerned for quite some time about the constant undercurrent of reports regarding the "coercive techniques" being used by the US in interrogating prisoners who may have information relevant to the war on terrorism. My concern arose because it seems to me to be a fundamental part of human nature to allow these "coercive techniques" to get out of hand and result in something along the lines of what we appear to have in the case of the prison in Iraq, or to result in instances of outright torture. I want to make sure I am not letting my cynicism regarding human nature overwhelm my intellect when thinking and discussing the apparent incidents in the Iraqi prison. If

Wartime interrogation is always a sticky business, because of the lives on the line. And here is where I have the weakest answer for you. We have pretty robust guidelines about what you can and can't do. We do a lot of them to our own guys when they go through SERE, (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape) school. You can make someone very uncomfortable physically without actually doing much damage, and with no long-term damage. And you can screw with someone mentally, too. But it has to be watched, or it can, and will, slip over the line. Choosing and training interrogators is a very delicate process, and hard to get right. And keeping them from slipping over to the dark side is probably even harder.

Like it or not - out there where the Iron Crosses grow, it's a shitty world and shit happens. The measure of an Army is not so much if it happens - it will - but how they react and deal with it. The former Iraqi government would either give raises all 'round, or fire 'em for not getting enough info.

So far, we seem to be doing the right thing - and going for prosecution.

Hope this helps.

by John on May 03, 2004 | Global War on Terror (GWOT)
» Random Fate links with: Some needed context for lifelong civilians
» Watcher of Weasels links with: Submitted for Your Approval
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» Watcher of Weasels links with: The Council Has Spoken!
» uruloki's lair links with: An experience in antisocial behavior

Canada Saves Western Civilization. Again.

At least, that's how the email was titled.

Canadian ended Rommel's career.


Canadian pilot Charley Fox is now credited with this Spitfire attack on a staff car that seriously wounded German general Erwin Rommel. Photo via CANWEST NEWS SERVICE.

CanWest News Service

Sixty years later, a decorated Spitfire pilot from 412 Squadron is finally being credited with the strafing attack on a German staff car in France that severely wounded Hitler's most accomplished general


A Canadian pilot long recognized for his Second World War heroics - including three sorties on D-Day alone - is now being credited with knocking legendary German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel out of action in the crucial weeks following the invasion of Normandy.

Good on ya, Charlie. Not just for your professionalism and skill, but for your modesty, as well.

The full story is here.

Update: As Bill points out, the original link has expired. Here is another one that probably has some stamina! Thanks, Bill!

May 02, 2004

Good news from Iraq.


Welcome home, Mr. Hamill!

"He said he heard a military convoy come by and pried the door open. He said he ran half a mile down the road and got with the convoy," Kellie Hamill said.

Way to seize the day!