Archive Logo.jpg

July 03, 2004

Happy Independence Day!

I'm off to a family reunion. I'm taking a laptop because of possible business needs, but probably won't blog again until Monday. I'm sure there will be Good Stuff all over the 'sphere, just troll the blog roll. Start with Beth.

I'm going to leave you with these snippets of some of the most important words ever written (leaving out religious texts). Guess what, I *don't* think it's the UN Charter. The UN Charter exists, because these words below were written, and then believed in, by generations of Americans.

The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness...

Which led to this:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Which led to this:

"I, (state your name), having been appointed an officer in the (insert Armed Service), as indicated above in the grade of Second Lieutenant, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of The United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter. So help me God. "

Which led to this:

:

America's Wars: U.S. Casualties
and Veterans

American Revolution (1775–1783)

Total servicemembers

217,000

Battle deaths

4,435

Nonmortal woundings

6,188

War of 1812 (1812–1815)

Total servicemembers

286,730

Battle deaths

2,260

Nonmortal woundings

4,505

Indian Wars (approx. 1817–1898)

Total servicemembers

106,0001

Battle deaths

1,0001

Mexican War (1846–1848)

 

Total servicemembers

78,718

Battle deaths

1,733

Other deaths in service (nontheater)

11,550

Nonmortal woundings

4,152

Civil War (1861–1865)

 

Total servicemembers (Union)

2,213,363

Battle deaths (Union)

140,414

Other deaths in service (nontheater) (Union)

224,097

Nonmortal woundings (Union)

281,881

Total servicemembers (Conf.)

1,050,000

Battle deaths (Conf.)

74,524

Other deaths in service (nontheater) (Conf.)

59,2972

Nonmortal woundings (Conf.)

unknown

Spanish-American War (1898–1902)

 

Total servicemembers

306,760

Battle deaths

385

Other deaths in service (nontheater)

2,061

Nonmortal woundings

1,662

World War I (1917–1918)

Total servicemembers

4,734,991

Battle deaths

53,402

Other deaths in service (nontheater)

63,114

Nonmortal woundings

204,002

Living veterans

fewer than 500

World War II (1940–1945)

Total servicemembers

16,112,566

Battle deaths

291,557

Other deaths in service (nontheater)

113,842

Nonmortal woundings

671,846

Living veterans

4,762,0001

Korean War (1950–1953)

Total servicemembers

5,720,000

Serving in-theater

1,789,000

Battle deaths

33,741

Other deaths in service (theater)

2,827

Other deaths in service (nontheater)

17,730

Nonmortal woundings

103,284

Living veterans

3,734,0001

Vietnam War (1964–1975)

Total servicemembers

8,744,000

Serving in-theater

3,403,000

Battle deaths

47,410

Other deaths in service (theater)

10,789

Other deaths in service (nontheater)

32,000

Nonmortal woundings

153,303

Living veterans

8,295,0001

Gulf War (1990–1991)

Total servicemembers

2,183,000

Serving in-theater

665,476

Battle deaths

147

Other deaths in service (theater)

382

Other deaths in service (nontheater)

1,565

Nonmortal woundings

467

Living veterans

1,852,0001

America's Wars Total

Military service during war

42,348,460

Battle deaths

651,008

Other deaths in service (theater)

13,998

Other deaths in service (nontheater)

525,256

Nonmortal woundings

1,431,290

Living war veterans

17,578,5003

Living veterans

25,038,459

 

To which we add this: The New Fallen Heroes.

All of which is summed up in this:

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
-- Thomas Jefferson


Something the Left doesn't seem to understand, enamored as they are, of tyrants.

It ain't perfect, it's still growing, and it took the efforts of all of us to get where we are today - from the immigrants pushing across the wilderness, to the Robber Barons that spawned the modern left* - it took us all. And at one time or another, all of us, right, left, and in-between, have had our spell being an anchor, and not the sails.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by John on Jul 03, 2004 | Historical Stuff
» Dean's World links with: Independence Day

Here's one to keep you busy over the weekend.

High-res version is here.

Same rules as before. Answers in email.

johnbethd*@*DIESPAMBOTDIE*yahoo.com

Removing the asterisks and capped letters, natch.

Answer to the Challenge.

Oddly enough, none of the usual characters were players this time. But we did have a new crop, two of whom got the right answer! Here's the original post.

Martin got in with the first correct answer, and Neil came in with the correct answer too, after thinking about it across a couple of emails.

Here they are, with a 12 Gauge blank for scale.

High res shot is here if you have the bandwidth.

Here's the 81mm, standing next to a round. Inserted. High-res shots here and here.

Here's the 60mm, standing next to a round. Inserted. High-res shots here and here.

These are WWII primers, made by Winchester. They look just like shotgun rounds, and are made the same way, but have a different, hotter burning powder in them.

Thanks to those of you who chose to try (or got there in time, as I know some of you were traveling this weekend.

While you're having a good time this weekend...

First off, take your camera to your local fireworks show. Greyhawk and Diggs have some ideas of what to do with them.

...if you deal in the medal collectors market, keep and eye out for these stolen Medals of Honor. Leads thus far are slim, and they are going to need the help of the collector community to retrieve these medals.

As for you thieves - bastards. I hope when you arrive to your reward, the recipients are there to kick your sorry ass.

July 02, 2004

Viven-Bessiere Rifle grenade and launchers. Part 1

Nota Bene: this is a long one, and I've chopped it up into four parts.

Okay, as I have said before, people who are trying to kill you while you are trying to kill them suck. They’re supposed to just surrender, right? I mean, why can’t we all just get along – especially if you’ll do what I tell you! Anyway, once this whole blackpowder/gun thing got going, especially as the guns got better, people started doing things like hiding. And that sucks. Besides, they rarely come at you alone, and if you’ve got a single-shot rifle and all, well, gee, it would be nice to be able to get more’n one guy at a time, if you could, and ya know the penny-pinching bean counters who don’t ever *have* to do any of this fighting stuff, well, they think fancy guns are an extravagance, but they’re willing to spend some bucks on grenades.

But then that means you have to throw them, right? And back in the day, pretty much only Americans played baseball, a game that teaches you how to throw a long way. So the namby-pamby Europeans, decided to find ways to loft grenades without having to stand up and throw ‘em like a man, yet were cheaper than mortars, artillery and such. First they started out with stick grenades . Then they moved on with rod grenades, that you stuck in the barrel of your rifle, fired a special blank, and off it went. Of course, this required you to carry blanks AND remember to use them. If you didn’t, well, it ruined the rifle, and caused annoyance to yourself and those around you.

Of course, then we discovered that it ruined the rifle anyway, splitting stocks and such, as well as bulging the barrels, which required that stocks be reinforced, and barrels replaced. The Brits carried that the furthest, by wrapping ‘EY” (grenade launcher, so designated from rifles no longer accurate enough for issue use) rifles with copper wire, so when the stock split the grenadier didn’t get a faceful of splinters. The Indian Army, who carried forward the WWI Enfield rifle design into the 1970’s, went so far as to wrap their rifles with sheet metal. Well, the rod grenades are a different post, so to heck with them. Let’s move on to grenade discharger cups, and in particular, the French WWI version.

To save eyestrain on the main blog, I've broken this into four parts.

Part II, the story, con't.

Part III. The Launchers.

Part IV. The Grenades.

I'm finishing up the VB post...

...here's an easy challenge for ya to tide you over.

So, what is it?

Here's a hint, for those of you who have to play it safe.

This one is so easy, no answers in the comments. Email your responses (all four of you who ever play these things) to:

johnbethd*@*DIESPAMBOTDIE*yahoo.com

removing the asterisks and capped letters, natch.

by John on Jul 02, 2004 | Ammunition

Al-Qaeda's Graveyard?

Jim Dunnigan of Strategy Page (and a heckuva wargame designer who drained mucho dinero from my pockets) has these thoughts on Al-Qaeda.

Al Qaeda's Graveyard by James Dunnigan July 2, 2004

Iraqi terrorists released a video showing them killing a captive American soldier by shooting him in the head. The terrorists have learned that the beheading routine is counterproductive and even offends many of their own supporters. The terrorists are probably also debating their suicide bombing campaign, which has killed over a hundred Iraqis in the past week. Perhaps the al Qaeda leadership is also pondering their long string of failures over the last decade or so. The fact of the matter is that al Qaeda, and their predecessor, the Moslem Brotherhood in Egypt, have turned Arab populations against them whenever they practiced their terror tactics "at home." Moreover, when al Qaeda was in control of the government, as they were in Afghanistan, they quickly became hated by the average Afghan. Al Qaeda was most popular in Arab countries when it was not operating in any Arab countries, but instead concentrating on attacks on Western targets. But the war on terror has forced al Qaeda back to its homelands, and concentrated them in Iraq. There, al Qaeda is becoming as hated as it already is in the West. This hatred led to the Moslem Brotherhood's defeat, and expulsion from Egypt over a decade ago. The same thing is happening again in Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Recent surveys have shown support for bin Laden and al Qaeda shrink dramatically in Saudi Arabia (from 96 percent in late 2001, to less than a quarter of that currently.) It's easy to admire terrorists from a distance, rather more difficult when they are terrorizing you. Iraq is rapidly becoming al Qaeda's graveyard.

Word, Jim, to devolve to the vernacular.

July 01, 2004

Now let's take a look at this...

Attack Iran, US chief ordered British By Michael Smith, Defence Correspondent (Filed: 30/06/2004)


America's military commander in Iraq ordered British troops to prepare a full-scale ground offensive against Iranian forces that had crossed the border and grabbed disputed territory, a senior officer has disclosed.

Um, it seems to me he told them to prepare. Not attack. There is a difference. An important one. If you don't have a plan when you get the order, you either wing it, or delay execution until you have one - and usually do things like take more casualties. Based on that one paragraph alone, I would say Sanchez was saying, "Prepare for an attack, I want that option." Which is exactly what a commander is supposed to do. Develop options. Planning. It's what staffs are there to do.

Not the same thing as saying, "Go get 'em!" Maybe I'm missing something.

An attack would almost certainly have provoked open conflict with Iran. But the British chose instead to resolve the matter through diplomatic channels.

Maybe it would, maybe it wouldn't. They might have pulled back. We'll never know, will we? But they learned that we wouldn't attack, didn't they? So they know something about us - and we learned next to nothing about them. Oh, and did what they learned about us figure into subsequent actions... like shanghaiing some patrol boats? Not necessarily the best trade. And, if the Brits or US did go through any motions of movement, positioning forces, aerial reconnaissance - how do we know their decision to act on diplomatic overtures was not influenced by the presence of probably the two best armies in the world right there? That's before you introduce the Air Force and Naval and Marine aviation into the picture. Somehow, I'm just not picturing the Iranians too keen on committing a large number of heavy forces with trigger happy US flyboys looking to add more tank silhouettes to their aircraft. Just saying.

"If we had attacked the Iranian positions, all hell would have broken loose," a defence source said yesterday.

"We would have had the Iranians to our front and the Iraqi insurgents picking us off at the rear."

Maybe. You might have had Iranians fleeing back across the border and insurgents learning that Iran wouldn't be too supportive, too. Again, just saying.

The incident was disclosed by a senior British officer at a conference in London last week and is reported in today's edition of Defence Analysis. The identity of the officer is not given.

"Some Iranian border and observation posts were re-positioned over the border, broadly a kilometre into Iraq," a Ministry of Defence spokesman said.

The incident began last July when Revolutionary Guards pushed about a kilometre into Iraq to the north and east of Basra in an apparent attempt to reoccupy territory which they claimed belonged to Iran.

It would be instructive to know what level of force remained close by the border that could have supported these forces. Then the decision making would be a touch easier to understand.

The rest is in the extended post.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

Al-Qaeda spells out Iraq attack strategy in handbook

Al-Qaeda spells out Iraq attack strategy in handbook: report

PARIS (AFP) - Al-Qaeda reportedly planned to target Spain as the weakest link of the coalition in Iraq to force its troop pullout, according to a document from the terror network.

"We consider that the Spanish government cannot suffer more than two to three strikes before pulling out (of Iraq) under pressure from its own people," said the document obtained Wednesday by AFP from Radio France Internationale's regional office in Beirut.

"If these (Spanish) forces remain after the strikes, the victory of the socialist party would be near-guaranteed and the pullout of Spanish forces from Iraq would be on its agenda," said the document, distributed ahead of the March 11 attacks in Madrid.

They got that right, didn't they?

Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, elected after the train bombings in Madrid which left 191 people dead in Spain's worst ever terrorist attack, withdrew Spanish troops from the troubled country in May.

Score 1 for Al-Qaeda.

The rest is in the extended post.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

June 30, 2004

IN keeping with my other pointer to news from Afghanistan...

...my Canadian Connection, CAPT H, points to to this link from a Blog Down-Under... thus completing 3 sides of the ABCA alliance.

Good news is no news - which is why Afghanistan isn't in the news.

Another Good War story.

I won't spoil it by sharing. Go visit Cool Blue and check out Marines in Afghanistan.

Serving a Nation At War.

Continuing my reading of Parameters this month - next up for your consderation is this bit from Acting Secretary of the Army Brownlee and Chief of Staff, Army General Schoomaker their vision of where the Army needs to go - and our part, all of us serving, (yes, Ich Dien, in a nod to the House of Windsor) as we go about our business.

From the Army Leadership:

President Bush told us that this war will be unlike any other in our Nation’s history. He was right. After our initial expeditionary responses and successful major combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, those operations have become protracted campaigns where we are providing the conditions of security needed to wage a conflict—a war of ideas. This is not simply a fight against terror—terror is a tactic. This is not simply a fight against al Qaeda, its affiliates and adherents—they are foot soldiers. This is not simply a fight to bring democracy to the Middle East—that is a strategic objective. This is a fight for the very ideas at the foundation of our society, the way of life those ideas enable, and the freedoms we enjoy.

The single most significant component of our new strategic reality is that because of the centrality of the ideas in conflict, this war will be a protracted one. Whereas for most of our lives the default condition has been peace, now our default expectation must be conflict. This new strategic context is the logic for reshaping the Army to be an Army of campaign quality with joint and expeditionary capabilities. The lessons learned in two and a half years of war have already propelled a wide series of changes in the Army and across the Joint team.

This learning process must not stop. Although this article outlines the strategic context for the series of changes under way in our Army, its purpose is not to convince you or even to inform you. Its purpose is to cause you to reflect on and think about this new strategic context and what it portends for our future and for the Nation. All great changes in our Army have been accompanied by earnest dialogue and active debate at all levels—both within the Army and with those who care about the Army. As this article states, “The best way to anticipate the future is to create it.” Your thoughtful participation in this dialogue is key to creating that future.

Les Brownlee
Acting Secretary of the Army

General Peter J. Schoomaker
Chief of Staff, US Army

Quoted above is the intro to the article, which is available in it's entirety here.

What is important here is that the Army leadership is laying out something for a mostly internal audience (but publicly available to anyone who surfs) an open acknowledgement that this isn't just a response to terror, a knee-jerk reaction to 9/11, or a grab for oil.

The leadership is on record that it's about a clash of ideas. Of worldviews. Of a worldview that is fundamentally opposed to our own, antithetical to our own, and seeks to crush us, one way or another, until we bend the knee to them.

The rest of this is in the extended entry.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

June 29, 2004

The Elephant.

I was sent this by a friend who received it from a mutual friend of ours who is a righteous warrior in his own right. I've never met Mr. Galloway, but I've got only one degree of separation from him and other veterans of the Ia Drang.

I was lucky. All my 'wars' were short, sharp, and over. I don't have the days and days and days, weeks, months, and now years of experience at the sharp end my father's generation and now this new generation of soldiers do. I was in a lucky generation whose experience of war was for the most part short and sweet.

But just as the Greatest Generation met their challenges, so to did my Father's, and mine - and my grandfathers', who fought the Great War and a great-grandfather and other relatives who fought in the Civil War, and on into the beginnings of this nation to our Roger's Ranger. We were there in the Corps of Discovery, too.

Now these young Americans are doing just what the rest of us did all the way down through history - prove our parents wrong. We do have the metal, the mettle, and the stomach for the job.

-----Original Message----- I thought ya'll would appreciate this -- some maybe more than others. Joe Galloway is a pretty good writer about such things. A couple days on LZ X-Ray in the Ia Drang really influenced what and how he writes. --Dan

Iraq combat: What it's really like over there

BY JOSEPH L. GALLOWAY Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON - (KRT) - The Internet, which fills our inboxes with spam and scams every day and keeps our delete keys shiny, occasionally delivers a real keeper, such as the words below, which were written by a graduate of West Point, Class of 2003, who's now at war in Iraq.

We tracked down the author, who gave us permission to quote from his letter so long as we didn't reveal his name.

Old soldiers in the Civil War coined a phrase for green troops who survived their first taste of battle: "He has seen the elephant." This Army lieutenant sums up the combat experience better than many a grizzled veteran:

"Well, I'm here in Iraq, and I've seen it, and done it. I've seen everything you've ever seen in a war movie. I've seen cowardice; I've seen heroism; I've seen fear; and I've seen relief. I've seen blood and brains all over the back of a vehicle, and I've seen men bleed to death surrounded by their comrades. I've seen people throw up when it's all over, and I've seen the same shell-shocked look in 35-year-old experienced sergeants as in 19-year-old privates.

"I've heard the screams - `Medic! Medic!' I've hauled dead civilians out of cars, and I've looked down at my hands and seen them covered in blood after putting some poor Iraqi civilian in the wrong place at the wrong time into a helicopter. I've seen kids with gunshot wounds, and I've seen kids who've tried to kill me.

"I've seen men tell lies to save lives: `What happened to Sergeant A.?' The reply: `C'mon man, he's all right - he's wondering if you'll be OK - he said y'all will have a beer together when you get to Germany.' SFC A. was lying 15 feet away on the other side of the bunker with two medics over him desperately trying to get either a pulse or a breath. The man who asked after SFC A. was himself bleeding from two gut wounds and rasping as he tried to talk with a collapsed lung. One of them made it; one did not.

"I've run for cover as fast as I've ever run - I'll hear the bass percussion thump of mortar rounds and rockets exploding as long as I live. I've heard the shrapnel as it shredded through the trailers my men live in and over my head. I've stood, gasping for breath, as I helped drag into a bunker a man so pale and badly bloodied I didn't even recognize him as a soldier I've known for months. I've run across open ground to find my soldiers and make sure I had everyone.

"I've raided houses, and shot off locks, and broken in windows. I've grabbed prisoners, and guarded them. I've looked into the faces of men who would have killed me if I'd driven past their IED (improvised explosive device) an hour later. I've looked at men who've killed two people I knew, and saw fear.

"I've seen that, sadly, that men who try to kill other men aren't monsters, and most of them aren't even brave - they aren't defiant to the last - they're ordinary people. Men are men, and that's it. I've prayed for a man to make a move toward the wire, so I could flip my weapon off safe and put two rounds in his chest - if I could beat my platoon sergeant's shotgun to the punch. I've been wanted dead, and I've wanted to kill.

"I've sworn at the radio when I heard one of my classmate's platoon sergeants call over the radio: `Contact! Contact! IED, small arms, mortars! One KIA, three WIA!' Then a burst of staccato gunfire and a frantic cry: `Red 1, where are you? Where are you?' as we raced to the scene ... knowing full well we were too late for at least one of our comrades.

"I've seen a man without the back of his head and still done what I've been trained to do - `medic!' I've cleaned up blood and brains so my soldiers wouldn't see it - taken pictures to document the scene, like I'm in some sort of bizarre cop show on TV.

"I've heard gunfire and hit the ground, heard it and closed my Humvee door, and heard it and just looked and figured it was too far off to worry about. I've seen men stacked up outside a house, ready to enter - some as scared as they could be, and some as calm as if they were picking up lunch from McDonald's. I've laughed at dead men, and watched a sergeant on the ground, laughing so hard he was crying, because my boots were stuck in a muddy field, all the while an Iraqi corpse was not five feet from him.

"I've heard men worry about civilians, and I've heard men shrug and sum up their viewpoint in two words - `F--- 'em.' I've seen people shoot when they shouldn't have, and I've seen my soldiers take an extra second or two, think about it, and spare somebody's life.

"I've bought drinks from Iraqis while new units watched in wonder from their trucks, pointing weapons in every direction, including the Iraqis my men were buying a Pepsi from. I've patrolled roads for eight hours at a time that combat support units spend days preparing to travel 10 miles on. I've laughed as other units sit terrified in traffic, fingers nervously on triggers, while my soldiers and I deftly whip around, drive on the wrong side of the road, and wave to Iraqis as we pass. I can recognize a Sadiqqi (Arabic for friend) from a Haji (Arabic word for someone who has made the pilgrimage to Mecca, but our word for a bad guy); I know who to point my weapons at, and who to let pass.

"I've come in from my third 18-hour patrol in as many days with a full beard and stared at a major in a pressed uniform who hasn't left the wire since we've been here, daring him to tell me to shave. He looked at me, looked at the dust and sweat and dirt on my uniform, and went back to typing at his computer.

"I've stood with my men in the mess hall, surrounded by people whose idea of a bad day in Iraq is a six-hour shift manning a radio, and watched them give us a wide berth as we swagger in, dirty, smelly, tired, but sure in our knowledge that we pull the triggers, and we do what the Army does, and they, with their clean uniforms and weapons that have never fired, support us.

"I've given a kid water and Gatorade and made a friend for life. I've let them look through my sunglasses - no one wears them in this country but us - and watched them pretend to be an American soldier - a swaggering invincible machine, secure behind his sunglasses, only because the Iraqis can't see the fear in his eyes.

"I've said it a thousand times - `God, I hate this country.' I've heard it a million times more - `This place sucks.' In quieter moments, I've heard more profound things: `Sir, this is a thousand times worse than I ever thought it would be.' Or, `My wife and Sgt. B's wife were good friends - I hope she's taking it well.'

"They say they're scared, and say they won't do this or that, but when it comes time to do it they can't let their buddies down, can't let their friends go outside the wire without them, because they know it isn't right for the team to go into the ballgame at any less than 100 percent.

"That's combat, I guess, and there's no way you can be ready for it. It just is what it is, and everybody's experience is different. Just thought you might want to know what it's really like."

ABOUT THE WRITER

Joseph L. Galloway is the senior military correspondent for Knight Ridder Newspapers and co-author of the national best-seller "We Were Soldiers Once ... and Young." Readers may write to him at: Knight Ridder Washington Bureau, 700 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20045.

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

Caveats: NONE

by John on Jun 29, 2004 | Observations on things Military
» King of Fools links with: Life Changing

For the Flea!

The Ghost of A Flea, soft-spoken Warhawk of the North (his Indian name (in a burst of un-PC on my part)) laments the election results in this post.

I'm more interested in this bit:

Along the way, he mentions a promotional site built by Canada's embassy to Washington. Canadian Ally is presumably meant to reassure our southern neighbours we are doing, like, something. Sad that we have to go out of our way to make this point. Actions, one might observe, speak louder than websites.

Nicholas: The Canadian flag flies on at least one shoulder in Iraq. And a pretty influential shoulder at that.

June 28, 2004

Wahabism Delenda Est!

Some Muslims are starting to get it - and more importantly, act on it.

I would note they manage to do it without suggesting that the Muslim world need adopt westernized ways, or follow western custom - but that they do need to drag themselves out of the 8th Century.

Good on 'em. But they probably ought to buy body and neck armor. I hope the message is heard.

Wahabism is a problem the Muslims created - it's a problem that only the Muslims can fix, absent the glass craters that some of my more bloodthirsty commenters suggest (and I do *not* support).

The christian Church rose above it's medieval dogmatic craving to cleave unto the darkness, so too can Islam. if they wish. Sadly, it looks like Islam will spill as much blood doing so as christianity did.

The answer to the question...

Which only one of you guys bit on, anyway. The question is here.

Gunner - you were really very close. It's the cartridge (not the primer) that goes in a PIAT round. Which isn't recoilless, but ya still got pretty close, all things considered!

Here's the cartridge in context (in service it was all the way up inside the tube and not visible).

My PIAT round is actually one of the more complete 'in the wild' outside of big time museums. I have the cartridge, the fuze holder (battlefield recovery from Oosterbeek Heights, Arnhem), and a fuze. Since it was an inert trainer not intended to be fired, it disassembles to show the forcing cone of the shaped charge and the shape of the charge itself.

So, take this post, add to the other PIAT post, and you've got a pretty good idea of what the PIAT was and how it worked.