Guest Contributor – War Pig – Memorial Day

My Memorial Day weekend will be spent visiting various cemeteries. I have veteran relatives to honor, such as mom, dad and several uncles and cousins. I will also remember conrades who died in action or later after retirement. My Vietnam generation is fast aging. Most of us who were privates then are in our 70s now, and those who were officers and NCOs are even older. Many of us served well into the War on Terror and against Iraq and even Afghanistan, as well as many places that never made it in the news.

For me and many others Memorial Day is bittersweet and rather melancholy. Families with a strong military tradition likely feel the same. Since the Civil War there have been men and women in our family who have served and fought in each war and “police action”. So I will stand and salute as the Anthem or Taps is played or the colors pass at various cemeteries and Memorial services, and I will shed the odd tear in memory of those braver than I who went before.

 

Guest Contributor – War Pig – 03MAR2022 – On War

(In reply to comments on the review of the 1965 movie “The Battle of the Bulge”) – photog

I’ve never heard what Eisenhower had to say about it. I get my lean on it from my uncle, an enlisted man. Battles are seen quite differently if you’re one of the dogfaces in the ranks than by staff generals and politicians and people who write about it later.

Having been in a couple or so battles myself I can say the troops fight a battle intimately, not cooly and detached like they do at headquarters. You fight what is in front of you and you do not fight for king or country. You fight for the dogfaces to your right and left, your brothers. Your own world in battle is quite small, really. Your brothers on your right and left, and what you can see to your front. Usually about 400 yards or so. Modern thermal sights changes that for tank xrews and the like, and better optics on rifles extends that range a little bit but the soldier with the rifle in the ranks can only worry about what he sees and what can see him.

I generally don’t watch war movies that involve ground action. They are so fake overall. I’ll watch Battle of Brirain or In Harms Way about planes and ships, but I usually don’t watch ground war movies. I saw Bulge before I went to Vietnam. After that I gave up on ground war movies. I especially never watch movies about conflicts or operations in which I took part. They remind me of things I’d rather not remember and they are so wrong I get angry.

 

Guest Contributor – War Pig – The Battle of the Bulge

My uncle, who fought under Patton, told me of how the battle shaped up for him and his tank crew. It was snowy and icy and muddy all at the same time. The Germans did blow up trees to block roads and used mines and panzerfausts with skill and daring. They shelled trees to make splinters to wound the infantry. Pattons forces did have to fight without air cover. I don’t know if it was the prayer Patton uttered or just a warm front moving in but when the skies cleared, P47s, B25s/26s and British Typhoons feasted upon the Germans. The brave men of the 101st Airborne were heroic in their stand which brought down the entire offensive. Both the last stand of the 101st and Patton’s charge are excellent examples of American military exceptionalism.

Guest Contributor – TomD – 23FEB2022 – Thoughts on the Battle of Midway

Tom | Flickr

TomD

I’ve spent a great deal of time throughout my life reading about WWII in general. I was born a few years after the end of the war and grew up in a society in which virtually everyone’s father took part in one way or another. My father was a 1943 West Point grad who was a company commander with the 101st Airborne when the Germans shot him up very badly at the Battle of the Bulge, crippling him physically for life, but not mentally as he later got a MS Degree in Chemical Engineering.

But for some reason, I’ve always been most fascinated with the Pacific war, and especially with Midway. I’ve lost count of the number of books I’ve read on the battle and can specifically recommend Shattered Sword, a history taken from the Japanese viewpoint.

Midway, the battle turned on the purest of luck and very easily could have gone the other way had 3 or 4 isolated throws of the dice gone otherwise. The US would have eventually won the war anyway but it would have been a longer and harder version of the already desperate and bloody struggle that it was.

Below, a photo of interest, it is the last actual aircraft still in existence to have taken part in the battle. This SBD Dauntless was based on Midway Island and wasn’t one of the 3 squadrons of SBDs from Enterprise (I think) that luckily found the Japanese fleet as all their fighter defenses were down at wave top height finishing off a squadron of torpedo bombers. The next 5 minutes proved decisive as those SBDs sank 3 of the 4 Japanese carriers.

The plane in the photo made it’s attack earlier but none of the Midway Island aircraft made any hits. After the battle, this plane was flown to the point of decrepitude and sent back to the US for use in training new pilots. Some US Navy Ensign pilot candidate managed to put this aircraft in the drink while trying to land on a training carrier in one of the great lakes where it remained until salvaged 50 years later. The wreck was taken to NAS Pensacola where it was restored and is currently on display at the US Naval Air Museum.

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07DEC2021 – OCF Update – Pearl Harbor Day

I’m sure the mainstream media will celebrate Pearl Harbor Day with endless recriminations about Japanese Americans being interred in California.  But I think it’s important for us in post-America to remember what a united nation can accomplish when its enemies give it no choice.  We may have the courage to unite against the enemies within who are determined to destroy us and our way of life.

Pearl Harbor Survivors Tell Their Stories

 

Guest Contributor – War Pig – East Berlin and Breaking Bread with Ivan – Part 2

Guest Contributor – War Pig – East Berlin and Breaking Bread with Ivan

 

(photog) – War Pig, what would an American serviceman have to do to enter East Berlin? Just a frontier checkpoint to inspect identification papers?

(War Pig) – Back then, you had to have a pass, and you had to be in uniform. Military from America, Brits, French, etc. were nothing unusual in visiting East Berlin. They were rather inclined to allow you in as you brought western currency with you. Your papers were inspected at the checkpoint but I don’t remember anyone being denied entry with the paperwork correct. You could even bring in a camera as long as you obeyed the “do not photograph” signs. You were overcharged but even at that it was cheaper than West Berlin prices. As I recall, we had black beer, & roast or corned beef sandwiches on dark bread. Hearty and satisfying. Must have been corned beef as I now remember I mentioned to the Russian that the corning spices in German corned beef were different than the Irish style used in America. That led to a side discussion about our favorite foods. He was surprised that I actually like borscht. I said I liked it some ways as I had had it about a dozen different ways and I only liked two or three.

I wish I could meet him again if he still lives. I’d like to see how he got along. It really would have been a pity if we’d had to fight each other.

Guest Contributor – War Pig – East Berlin and Breaking Bread with Ivan

When I worked in counter-intel I often went to West Berlin. There about every other person you met was a spy for one side or the other. Great parties, though.

I got into uniform and went into East Berlin all according to Hoyle. I had a camera and took some neat pictures of the architecture. Of course, the polizei had to come and harass me. I told them to piss off and get a Russian officer, which was according to the treaty. The polizei weren’t squat in East Berlin if you were an American in uniform. I kept walking about and a Russian officer approached me and was polite. GRU, naturally. We chatted and sat in a bistro and had beer and sandwiches, which I paid for. We talked and both agreed it would be sad if we ever had to go to war against each other as we had more in common than with most of our allies. Rather charming fellow. We played it according to the rules and he asked what I was photographing, I told him the buildings and that I wasn’t stupid enough to photograph military things out in the open with the polizei watching me like a hawk. We both laughed. I left him with a spare Zippo lighter with a naked woman on it and two packs of unfiltered Camel cigarettes. I had already gotten the message I went in to get. He walked me to the checkpoint and had them wave me through without issues. All gentlemen and friends.

Guest Contributor – War Pig – East Berlin and Breaking Bread with Ivan – Part 2

Guest Contributor – War Pig – On Women in the Military

It would be interesting to see how women fare in the infantry in actual combat as an example of why we should not do it again. It would be expensive for the women involved but since infantry is voluntary, too bad. Women have their uses in even spec ops. Delta has a “fuzzy section”. Women can be brave and intelligent. However, physically, they are no match for men in a fight. I am 70-something and I could whip pretty much any 20-year-old woman in an all-out fight. When I was 60 I proved it to a MMA femme fighter by manhandling her when challenged as I voiced my opinion on the matter.

After, she said that; “Well, you’re a trained soldier”. “Yes” I replied; “And so are all the enemy infantry you are going to go up against. I could have killed you several times when I was mopping the floor with you. Any fit, enemy soldier will not be so considerate.”

My concern with the experiment is that the men in the mixed unit may suffer when the women prove physically unable to withstand combat. In one unit I was assigned to the Army placed women where they did not belong. The sergeant major placed them all in my section as he knew I was faithful to my wife and there would be no hanky-panky. As soon as the femmes found out they were going to be treated like any other soldier you never saw so many sick call runs. They wanted the sex-based special favors they were used to, not to work like any grunt. Pretty soon I had two, only two out of twenty, that stuck around. In the meantime, the others had tried to use sex to get favors from me. When that backfired on them, they tried false accusations of sexual harassment or battery. One flat out offered me oral sex to get out of weekend duty. All she got was 25 pushups for offering. Then my wife started getting calls from disguised female voices telling her I was sweating up the sheets with so-and-so, one time when I was sitting across the table from my wife.

Having a flock of women in a military unit is like high school all over again. Sure, there are a few, damned few who are worth their salt, but the great majority are not. Maybe that has changed since I retired. But with politics involved, I doubt it.

The Practical Problem with Alienating the Normal Half of Your Country

In September of 2001 New York City and Washington D.C. were attacked by Arab fanatics who flew jumbo jets into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and almost got the US Capitol Building too.  Hundreds of New York firemen and dozens of police died attempting to rescue civilians in the chaos of the destruction of the twin towers.  Afterwards the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were fought, as usual by young men from Middle America.  A few came from New York City.  I know of some.  But most kids from New York City didn’t want to go off to war.  I remember an interview right after the attack when a reporter asked a student at New York University whether he thought he should defend his country after his city had been attacked.  The smart kid said, “Sure somebody should go fight.  But not me, I don’t believe in war.”  And that is the majority opinion in a place like New York City.

So those other somebodies did fight and die in those wars.  And they went on fighting and dying for two decades.  But now the Defense Department is combing through the ranks looking for white supremacists and other deplorables to be kicked out of the military.  And I’m sure eventually they’ll get a different military.  LGBTQ soldiers and especially transgender soldiers are very popular right now not to mention pregnant air force fighter pilots.  It sounds very exciting and vibrant.

But what happens after the next 9-11 type attack?  Let’s say Iran sneaks in a dirty bomb over the Mexican border and sets it off in New York City.  Not a real nuke just a big conventional weapon that’s been peppered with enriched uranium.  Now after the George Floyd riots and the calls to prosecute police for upholding the laws how many cops are going to run into that hell to restore order?  And without the police how many firemen are going to put out those fires?  And how many ambulances will go in to rescue the wounded?

And who is going to volunteer to go to Iran to fight the mullahs on the ground?  I’ll be curious to see just how the LGBTQ brigade will do fighting in the 115 °F middle east heat.  Hot flashes from the hormone therapy must be such a bother at those temperatures.  And I wonder just how sharp those pregnant fighter pilots are going to be battling in the air space with surface to air missiles lighting up their instrument board.  Sounds daunting.

My point is I have a feeling the US military is going to be a lot less impressive pretty soon.  If countries like Iran and China start thinking that we aren’t the military superpower that we used to be then they will start to look for ways to apply pressure on us to get what they want.  China is already doing it.  They are throwing their weight around in their own back yard and scaring their neighbors, Japan and South Korea and Taiwan, with a narrative that says the US is a spent force and that China is the new hegemon.

What happens when China decides that we really are impotent?  Let’s say they sink an aircraft carrier.  And let’s say that Commander in Chief Hair Sniffer puts out the call for volunteers to sign up and defend their country.  Who’s going to show up?  No one.

And after he walks back his banter and kowtows to China and our allies in Asia switch allegiance to the strong horse what kind of foreign policy problems will we be looking at then?  Well, actually things will simplify.  We will resemble Britain as their empire evaporated in the post WW II period.  The Russians and the Chinese and the Iranians and the Turks will carve out spheres of influence in the power vacuum we create and we will recede more and more from the dominant role we had.  Even the position of the US dollar may change radically.  And that will have a devastating effect on the US economy and the federal government.

Of course, some good will come of a scenario like this one.  If America’s status as a military superpower is degraded by a Democrat administration there is a very good chance that a massive shift in political support will occur.  Think back to what happened when Jimmy Carter let the Iranians hold our embassy personnel hostage for over a year and then bungled the military operation to rescue the hostages.  Ronald Reagan beat him in a landslide in the 1980 presidential election.  If it is perceived that the Democrats have endangered the country militarily, they will be removed.  What the Republicans do with such an opportunity is hard to say.  Hopefully they will be less stupid than they have been up until this point.  Hopefully they restore the armed forces to a condition where it consists of normal men led by the best men we’ve got.  If not then I won’t be surprised if this country really does crack up.  If our military is exposed as a spent force then regional groups will become emboldened to defy the federal government even more easily and openly.

Either way things will be getting interesting in the new world we live in.  The woke are going to find out that their new world order requires a little more force than the LGBTQ brigade can muster with or without the pregnant fighter pilots.