QCprepper said…

I recently came across an extraordinary voice recording on YouTube that brought back many memories.  Before I embed it, a little background information is necessary. South Africa bought ENTAC anti-tank missiles from France during the 1960’s.  Like many such first-generation weapons, they proved pretty useless in combat, scoring some hits, but many more misses.  During the 1970’s, MILAN anti-tank missiles were added to the inventory, including a version produced under license.  However, this was a short- to medium-range missile, and did not provide the long range or striking power the Army wanted for bush warfare.  Unfortunately, thanks to the 1977 arms embargo against South

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Oh, my itchy trigger finger . . .

Yesterday Miss D. and I went to the Guardians of Freedom Air Show at Sheppard Air Force Base near Wichita Falls.  It was a lot of fun, with a surprisingly good range of aircraft for a training base, including the F-22 and F-35 fifth-generation combat aircraft.  There was a decent-size crowd, too. While we were walking from the parking lot to the entrance to the display area, our attention was caught by a silver dart-like aircraft zooming low over the runway, quite close to us. I don’t know what I looked like to my wife, but I could feel the tension right away as I recognized it. I must have

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Saturday snippet: the opening battle of the Red River War in 1874

Today’s snippet is taken from the autobiography of legendary Western scout and Indian fighter Billy Dixon, as recorded by his wife during the last year of his life, and completed by her after his death in 1913.  It’s titled “Life of Billy Dixon, Plainsman, Scout and Pioneer“. Dixon (shown below) was one of the great figures of the Indian Wars and the Old West. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his role in the Buffalo Wallow fight of 1874, shortly after the events narrated here (one of only eight ever awarded to civilians).  Due to his status as a civilian scout,

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An amazing find in naval and military history

I was amazed to read about a recent discovery in England. A sketch hand-drawn by Admiral Lord Nelson showing his plan for victory at Trafalgar has been discovered tucked inside the pages of a scrapbook after nearly 200 years. The map was found by Martyn Downer, a historian who is an expert on Nelson, in a book dating from the 1830s which was recently sold at auction. It shows his plan for splitting the Royal Navy fleet into three divisions to break and destroy the enemy French and Spanish lines coming out of Cadiz harbour. Lines representing wind direction also appear on

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Remember those ISIL terrorists being held by the Kurds?

According to Strategy Page, they’re probably in a world of hurt right now.  Turkey may be, too, due to the hornet’s nest it’s disturbed by invading Syria.  Bold, underlined text in the excerpt below is my emphasis. The Kurds responded to the Turkish offensive by doing something the Americans told them they would eventually have to deal with. The Assad government has prevailed in the civil war and they are technically in charge of the entire country, including border areas occupied by the Turks. The Assads declared that the Americans and Turks were in Syria without permission while the Russians and

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A remarkable man

I recently came across a video interview of a British Army veteran who, at the age of 94, jumped into Normandy, France, as part of this year’s 75th anniversary commemoration of the D-Day Landings in 1944.  It surprised me to see it, because I’d met him before, more than 30 years ago. This interview with Mr. Hutton was filmed a few years earlier. Little did the cameraman and reporter know that Jock Hutton was far more than just another D-Day veteran.  He was – and remains – a living legend in the Special Forces community. Former Squadron Sergeant Major of the Rhodesian Special Air

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The President’s decision in Syria, and the cost of war

Following President Trump’s decision to pull back US forces from a potential conflict with Turkey in parts of Syria, he’s come in for fierce criticism from many quarters.  I support his decision, as I stated yesterday.  In that article, I said: I’ve been on the front lines of a war like that – a war that the political masters on both sides kept going for years longer than it need have lasted, solely because of their intransigence and blinkered vision.  Many paid for those shortcomings in blood;  but it was never the politicians who paid.  It was always the men in uniform.  I don’t

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Saturday snippet: A doofus in Africa

This isn’t your typical “Doofus Of The Day” incident.  It’s a tale from about forty years ago, when yours truly was still young, sweet and innocent.  (That’s my story, anyway, and I’m sticking to it!)  I came across it while re-reading the late Brigadier-General Dick Lord’s excellent book “From Fledgling to Eagle: The South African Air Force during the Border War“. The story made me laugh just as hard as it did the first time I heard it, so I thought you might enjoy it, too.  It became something of a legend among troops on the border between South West

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A very interesting statistic from the Israeli Air Force

The Israeli Air Force is renowned as a ferociously effective defender of its country.  Its pilots are amongst the most professional in the world, and it operates the most up-to-date aircraft it can afford.  Therefore, I was struck by an interview given to Breaking Defense, revealing a very interesting statistic. “Last year 78 percent of the IAF’s operational flight hours were performed by UAS [unmanned aerial systems]. This year the number jumped and is 80 percent,” Lt. Col. S. told me at the Tel-Nof Air Force base, where the largest Israeli drone, the Heron-TP flies from. The Heron, the squadron commander said, is performing a

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Elephants in the American Civil War?

I enjoyed a “what-if?” short story by Angry Staff Officer, imagining what might have happened if President Lincoln had accepted an unsolicited gift instead of declining it. Brigadier General Solomon Meredith stood with his frock coat unbuttoned outside his tent, airing out his tall frame from the long march. He commanded this brigade, nicknamed the “Iron Brigade” for its ferocity on the battlefield. The only all-Midwestern brigade in the Army of the Potomac, the Iron Brigade had a reputation as the toughest unit of the lot. Meredith was staring down the road, waiting impatiently for his last unit to arrive. The

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