Quotulatiousness

November 11, 2017

Mark Knopfler – “Remembrance Day”

Filed under: Britain, Cancon, History, Military — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

Bob Oldfield
Published on 3 Nov 2011

A Remembrance Day slideshow using Mark Knopfler’s wonderful “Remembrance Day” song from the album Get Lucky (2009). The early part of the song conveys many British images, but I have added some very Canadian images also which fit with many of the lyrics. The theme and message is universal… ‘we will remember them’.

August 4, 2017

Experimental Lightweight Browning High Power

Filed under: Britain, Cancon, History, Military, USA — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Published on 3 May 2017

One of the handguns that resulted from the post-WW2 interest in standardizing arms among the future members of NATO was a lightweight version of the Canadian produced Browning High Power. Experiments began in 1947 to create first a lightened slide by milling out unnecessary material, and then additionally with the use of machined and cast aluminum alloy frames. The first major batch of guns consisted of six with milled alloy frames, with two each going to the Canadian, American, and British militaries for testing.

This would reveal that the guns were in general quite serviceable, except that the locking blocks tended to distort their mounting holes in the alloy frames under extended firing. The cast frames were generally unsuccessful, suffering from substantial durability problems. The program was cancelled in 1951 by the Canadian military, and the last United States interest was in 1952. The example in today’s video is one of the two milled frame guns sent to the US for testing.

November 11, 2016

Mark Knopfler – “Remembrance Day”

Filed under: Britain, Cancon, History, Military — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 13:41

A Remembrance Day slideshow using Mark Knopfler’s wonderful “Remembrance Day” song from the album Get Lucky (2009). The early part of the song conveys many British images, but I have added some very Canadian images also which fit with many of the lyrics. The theme and message is universal… ‘we will remember them’.

November 11, 2015

Mark Knopfler – “Remembrance Day”

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

A Remembrance Day slideshow using Mark Knopfler’s wonderful “Remembrance Day” song from the album Get Lucky (2009). The early part of the song conveys many British images, but I have added some very Canadian images also which fit with many of the lyrics. The theme and message is universal… ‘we will remember them’.

November 11, 2014

Mark Knopfler – “Remembrance Day”

Filed under: Britain, Cancon, History, Military — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 11:11

A Remembrance Day slideshow using Mark Knopfler’s wonderful “Remembrance Day” song from the album Get Lucky (2009). The early part of the song conveys many British images, but I have added some very Canadian images also which fit with many of the lyrics. The theme and message is universal… ‘we will remember them’.

November 11, 2013

We will remember them

Filed under: Britain, Cancon, History, Military — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 00:01

A Remembrance Day slideshow using Mark Knopfler’s wonderful “Remembrance Day” song from the album Get Lucky (2009). The early part of the song conveys many British images, but I have added some very Canadian images also which fit with many of the lyrics. The theme and message is universal… ‘we will remember them’.

April 5, 2013

Is the North Korean government crazy like a fox or just plain crazy?

Filed under: Asia, Military — Tags: , , , , , — Nicholas @ 09:47

Tim Worstall has actually had dealings with North Korean military officials. On the basis of those experiences, he’s much more worried that things will go very, very wrong:

My experience comes from working in Russia. The Norks had a special deal on freight rates on the railways. So, if you had a metals deal that would only work if you got cheap rail freight (say, aluminium alloy from Chelyabinsk in the Urals to Japan) then you’d chat to the local Nork KGB guy and cut them in on the deal. Which is how one day I ended up wandering through the Nork embassy, past the mural of Kim Il Sung standing on the mountain top, to present $10,000 in fresh $100 bills to my freight rate fixer.

Do note this was a couple of decades ago when such shenanigans were indeed legal. Not necessarily moral, but legal. This then led to more contacts, including being asked to rewrite into real English the collected works of Il Sung (at $100 a volume, not me, matey) and a request to provide aluminium alloy into N Korea itself for “window frames”. That the purchasing commission for these “window frames” was to go to three generals made us think that perhaps the windows were going to be on the rockets that you can also make from aluminium alloy. Fortunately my lust for lucre was never really tested as this sovereign nation was unable to come up with a Letter of Credit for $250,000 as required. Their “western” bank simply didn’t think they were good for the cash so refused to issue it. Which is one interesting little fact about the place.

But it was that long-ago meeting with those generals that makes me worried about what the Norks might do now. For they were entirely, completely and totally unaware, ignorant, of how the wider world worked. Even my demand for an LoC surprised them. But surely I would just do what the State desired of me? And who could doubt that the State would indeed pay me if it was in my or the State’s interest to do so? Umm, yeah, right.

We’ve all heard of groupthink, even of brainwashing. And the problem is that the people at the top of this State really do seem to believe their own propaganda: that the world really is out to get them; that their army, were they to unleash it, would sweep all before them; and even that lobbing a nuclear bomb at wherever would make all quail before their mighty power. They seem not to have considered the option obvious to the rest of us: that doing so would turn Pyongyang into a shiny glass parking lot for the assembled armies of the world.

Update: Just a bit of context from Wikimedia:

North Korean missile ranges

March 28, 2013

US responds to North Korean rhetoric with symbolic B-2 bombing exercise

Filed under: Asia, Military, USA — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 08:15

March 27, 2013

North Korea breaks off remaining communication channels

Filed under: Asia, Military, Pacific, USA — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 08:23

The North Korean government continues to escalate the tension level:

Reclusive North Korea is to cut the last channel of communications with the South because war could break out at “any moment”, it said on Wednesday, days after warning the United States and South Korea of nuclear attack.

The move is the latest in a series of bellicose threats from North Korea in response to new U.N. sanctions imposed after its third nuclear test in February and to “hostile” military drills under way joining the United States and South Korea.

The North has already stopped responding to calls on the hotline to the U.S. military that supervises the heavily armed Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and the Red Cross line that has been used by the governments of both sides.

“Under the situation where a war may break out at any moment, there is no need to keep north-south military communications which were laid between the militaries of both sides,” the North’s KCNA news agency quoted a military spokesman as saying.

March 8, 2013

Kim Jong-un tells North Korean troops to be ready “to annihilate the enemy”

Filed under: Asia, Military, USA — Tags: , , , , , — Nicholas @ 12:25

North Korea continues to rattle the sabre:

North Korea has dissolved the agreement that ended the Korean War in 1953, as it simultaneously ramps up its military presence along the border with South Korea.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un appeared before military troops positioned near the border and told them to that they should be ready “to annihilate the enemy,” reports The Telegraph.

This latest rallying cry comes after Kim threatened missile attacks on Washington the previous day, saying the American capital city would become a “sea of fire.”

The move towards brinkmanship is in response to a decision by the United Nations Security Council to impose further sanctions on North Korea after it conducted a third nuclear test in February. The UN resolution was unanimously approved by all 15 member countries siting on the council. The sanctions are financial and will also increase efforts to prevent North Korea from shipping banned goods into the country.

March 7, 2013

North Korea rhetorically re-starts the not-officially-ended Korean War

Filed under: China, Military, USA — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 09:46

The Chinese news agency Xinhua reports that North Korea wants to scrap the armistice that brought the Korean War to a halt in 1953:

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has vowed to nullify an armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War from March 11, and warned of more and stronger countermeasures if the United States and South Korea continued joint military drills.

The announcement, made by DPRK’s top Army Supreme Command on a rare appearance on the state TV, came when the UN Security Council is ironing out penalties against Pyongyang over its third nuclear test on Feb. 12. Diplomats said that a Council resolution condemning the test and toughening sanctions on DPRK will be put to a vote as early as this week.

March 11 marks the start of the annual joint South Korea-U.S. military exercises, which will involve 10,000 South Korean and 3,500 U.S. troops. The drill, dubbed Key Resolve, was denounced by DPRK’s official KCNA news agency as a prelude to an invasion.

Experts said the DPRK’s latest move aims to defy the possible new UN sanctions and seeks to replace the armistice agreement with a peace treaty that guarantees Pyongyang’s security, as requested by DPRK at the six-party talks.

September 1, 2010

T.R. Fehrenbach’s This Kind of War

Filed under: Asia, Books, History, Military, USA — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 12:01

Austin Bay recommends a book first published in 1963 as still being the best single-volume history of the Korean War (and I agree):

June 25 marked the 60th anniversary of North Korea’s premeditated attack on South Korea. The attack, which scattered South Korea’s weak and disorganized defense forces, began a vicious two and a half months of combat. The North Koreans would smash the ill-starred U.S. 24th Division’s Task Force Smith, then shove remnant South Korean troops and U.S. reinforcements into the Pusan Perimeter, at the southern tip of the peninsula.

In the weeks since June 25, I’ve re-read T.R. Fehrenbach’s “This Kind of War,” still the premier Korean War history. (Clay Blair’s “The Forgotten War” is also an excellent book.) Published in 1963 and reissued in 2000, “This Kind of War” is lyric history, delivering analysis in elegant, honest prose. Fehrenbach is also a decorated Korean War veteran, a man in touch with the emotions as well as the facts.

“This kind of war,” Fehrenbach writes, “is dirty business first to last.” Fehrenbach’s commentary on those first battles of July and August 1950 depicts the confusion of initial defeat and retreat, as well as the courage and intellect required to stem the onslaught. His chapter on the Inchon landing of September 1950 — the American amphibious counter-stroke — is incisive. Its 60th anniversary is two weeks away.

I think I first saw This Kind of War recommended by Jim Dunnigan, many years ago, but the Korean War has never been a major historical interest of mine. When I did get around to reading the book, it certainly opened my eyes. As Bay points out, the work is still topical because the war has never officially ended (as the sinking of the ROKS Cheonan amply demonstrated).

November 10, 2009

Korean War flare-up at sea

Filed under: Asia, Military — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 08:25

The technically still-at-war Korean navies had a brief sea battle yesterday:

Warships from North and South Korea exchanged fire in disputed waters off the western coast of the Korean peninsula on Tuesday, leaving one North Korean vessel engulfed in flames, South Korean officials said.

The two Koreas accused each other of violating their territorial waters to provoke the two-minute skirmish. It was the first border fighting in seven years between the two countries, which remain technically at war.

[. . .]

North Korea appeared to have intended the clash to highlight its long-standing argument: the 195-53 Korean War never officially ended and the United States must negotiate a peace treaty with it if it wants the North to give up its nuclear weapons program, according to analysts in Seoul.

“Our high-speed patrol boat repelled the North Korean patrol boat,” the South Korean Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement following the skirmish. “We are fully prepared for further provocations from the North Korean military.”

South Korea said it suffered no casualties. Speaking in Parliament, Prime Minister Chung Un-chan said the North Korean boat limped back to its waters “enveloped in flames.”

September 23, 2009

Watch the collector value of M1 rifles drop now

Filed under: Asia, History, USA — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 12:05

The South Korean government is planning to sell off its large holdings of M-1 rifles and carbines, according to this BBC News report:

South Korea has come up with a novel way to boost its defence budget — by selling a vast stockpile of old Korean-war rifles to collectors in the US.

The guns were originally sent to Korea as military aid, and some were also used during the war in Vietnam.

For more than five decades, they have been kept mothballed in warehouses.

Most of those on offer are M1 rifles — a weapon once described by US General George S Patton as “the greatest battle-implement ever devised”.

I recall when the Canadian Forces retired the FN C1 rifle . . . the government freaked at the thought of thousands of “assault rifles” being sold to civilians, so they changed the regulations to move the FN into a more restricted category (which most casual gun owners didn’t qualify for).

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