Quotulatiousness

June 10, 2017

The Articles of Confederation – II: Ratification – Extra History

Filed under: France, Government, History, Liberty, Politics, USA — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

Published on 13 May 2017

The Continental Congress sent the Articles of Confederation to the thirteen states for ratification, but Maryland insisted on changes that Virginia rushed to oppose. Meanwhile, the American Revolutionary War raged on.

Canadian Special Operations Forces Command

Filed under: Cancon, Military — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 03:00

While we hear a lot about the special forces of some of our allies — US Navy SEALs, US Army Rangers and Delta Force, the British SAS and SBS — we generally hear very little about our own special forces. Some of that is natural: maintaining operational secrecy is very important, but long after the event, we still hear very little from official sources. A few years back, I posted a quick crib on the organization of Canada’s special forces, based on what was available at the time. Here, cribbed directly from the pages of Strong, Secure, Engaged [PDF], the new Canadian Defence Policy document, is a description of the role of the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command:

Special Operations Forces are small, highly skilled, adaptable, multi-purpose forces held at very high readiness levels. Special Operations Forces are employed in situations that pose an imminent threat to national interests, where the use of larger military forces is inappropriate or undesirable, in operational environments where access is limited, and against high-value targets.

These situations benefit from small, well-planned or precision tactical operations. Such activities include: domestic and international counter-terrorist response, discrete intelligence collection, surveillance and reconnaissance activities, specialized capacity building to assist allied host nation forces, and immediate reaction in response to emergent or imminent threats. Flexible, scaleable Special Operations Task Forces often play a role in longer-term military missions but the limited numbers of highly skilled individuals at the heart of such forces typically deploy for limited durations of time.

Canada’s Special Operations Forces structure is lean. It consists of a headquarters commanding Joint Task Force 2 (JTF 2) – Canada’s military counter-terrorism unit; the Canadian Joint Incident Response Unit (CJIRU) – Canada’s military Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear detection and response unit; the Canadian Special Operations Regiment; the Special Operations Aviation Squadron; and the Canadian Special Operations Training Centre.

At its core, Canada’s Special Operations Forces are focused on a cooperative joint, inter-agency, and multi-national approach to operations. In order to meet future challenges, the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command will continue this cooperation to support government decision-making in security situations, including counter-terrorism efforts. Additionally, the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command will support international peace and security missions, and contribute to and harness the ‘Global Special Operations Forces Network’ consisting of allied Special Operations Forces.

The lean nature and unique characteristics of Canada’s Special Operations Forces require sustained and tailored investment to ensure continuity and effectiveness over the long-term

Could a Tankgewehr Really Take Out a British MkIV Tank?

Filed under: Britain, Germany, History, Military, Technology — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Published on 6 May 2017

The Tankgewehr antitank rifle was developed by the Mauser company and adopted by the Imperial German military as an emergency measure to counter the introduction of tanks to the WW1 battlefield. The question is, did they really work? Could a 13.2mm AP bullet from a Tankgewehr really perforate the armor of a British tank? Well today we find out!

The armor on a British tank was steel plate of 6mm, 8mm, and 12mm thickness, through-hardened to Brinell 440-480. We have replicated this with a plate of AR450 (ie, Brinell 450) armor, which we will be shooting at a distance of 50 yards. The ammunition we are using is original 1918 production German AP, and the rifle is a Tankgewehr captured by Allied troops late in the war and brought home as a souvenir.

This video was only made possible with help from three very helpful folks:

MOA Targets provided the steel (and on short notice!): https://www.moatargets.com

Mike Carrick of Arms Heritage Magazine provided use of the T-Gewehr: https://armsheritagemagazine.com

Hayes Otoupalik provided the original ammunition: http://www.hayesotoupalik.com

QotD: Quoting and mis-quoting Orwell

Filed under: Liberty, Media, Politics, Quotations — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 01:00

The interpretation of George Orwell could be a paradigm for how dead literary figures get knocked from pillar to post by the winds of political interpretation. During his lifetime, the author of 1984 and Animal Farm went from darling of the left to exile for having been willing to write the truth about Communist totalitarianism in allegories too pointed to ignore.

With the end of the Cold War, forty-two years after Orwell’s death, the poisonous fog breathed on Western intellectual life by Soviet agents of influence slowly began to lift. It became possible to say that Communist totalitarianism was evil and had always been evil, without being dismissed as a McCarthyite or reactionary not merely by those agents but by a lot of “no enemy to the left” liberal patsies who should have known better. In this climate, Orwell’s uncompromising truth-telling shone even more brightly than before. For some on the left, belated shame at their own complicity with evil transmuted itself into more adulation for Orwell, and more attempted identification with Orwell’s positions, than at any time in the previous fifty years.

Then came 9/11. Orwell’s sturdy common sense about the war against the fascisms of his day made him a model for a few thinkers of the left who realized they had arrived at another of Marx’s “world-historical moments”, another pivot point at which everything changed. Foremost among these was Christopher Hitchens, who would use Orwell to good effect in taking an eloquent and forceful line in favor of the liberation of Afghanistan and Iraq. For this, he was rewarded with the same vituperation and shunning by the Left that had greeted the publication of Orwell’s anti-totalitarian allegories fifty years before.

Eric S. Raymond, “Getting Orwell Wrong”, Armed and Dangerous, 2005-08-29.

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