The murder, this time, not of Israeli Olympic athletes, but German children as they ate in a shopping mall in the Bavarian city of Munich. (URR here.) But the perpetrators are the same as those in September of 1972. Radical Islamists. The very people responsible for Khobar Towers, the Achille Lauro, the first World Trade Center bombing, USS Cole, 9/11, Charlie Hebdo, Brussels, Paris, San Bernadino, Fort Hood, Chattanooga, Orlando, Nice, Nigeria, Syria, Benghazi.... You know. Those who have declared all the West as their mortal enemies. Those whom our own President refuses to acknowledge exist, let alone are responsible for their bloody acts of terrorism. From Daily Mail:
A woman named Loretta said she was in the McDonald's when the man with a gun came out of a bathroom and began shooting.
She told CNN: 'I come out of the toilet and I hear like an alarm, boom, boom, boom. He's killing the children. The children were sitting to eat. They can't run.'
Loretta said she had been in the bathroom at the same time as the shooter, with her eight-year-old son. She said the man yelled: 'Allahu Akbar!'
Guns are, of course, regulated to the point of essentially being illegal in Germany. Unless you are an Islamist who has friends that can get them for you. If so, there is little to stop you from killing anyone and everyone you want, until the police arrive. Just like Hillary and Obama would like here. The perfect recipe for muhammedan terrorism in our cities and towns, even more so than we have already seen? A generous portion of gun control liberally sprinkled with Islamist "refugees". Add an apologist media and office-holders sympathetic (or is that empathetic, Hillary?) to Islamists, stir frequently with racial and class warfare propaganda, just like Alinsky told you.
And spare me the nonsense about how the violent, filthy radical muhammedan terrorists of Black September are somehow different from the violent, filthy radical muhammedan terrorists of Al Qaeda, or ISIS, or Boko Haram, or any of the other violent, filthy muhammedan terrorist organizations, including the Muslim Brotherhood. Because it is a distinction without difference.
They mean to kill Jews, gays, Christians, Westerners. Men, women, children. And continue to succeed. Yet our own President will not even call them our enemies.
The American Army Infantry Division of World War II was a relatively compact unit, finely balanced between firepower and mobility, and with great care to keep the size of the supporting elements to a minimum, and a maximum number of troops on the line. It had three infantry regiments, a division artillery with three battalions of 105mm artillery, and one battalion of 155mm artillery. There were an engineer and medical battalion, a signal company, a cavalry troop, a quartermaster company, and ordnance company, and an MP platoon.
All of these assets were “organic,” that is, they belonged to the division, and were part of the Table of Organization and Equipment, spelling out just how they were to be, well, organized and equipped, and how they were to be manned.
But it was, especially in the later stages of the war, very common, indeed, almost habitual, for higher headquarters to augment an infantry division with additional assets to better accomplish its mission. Most Infantry divisions, especially during an attack, could count on receiving additional artillery battalions to reinforce the fires of the divisional artillery. And by the end of the war, virtually every Infantry division was supported by an attached independent tank battalion. The tank battalion was frequently further divvyed with a tank company supporting each Infantry regiment. So too, a tank destroyer battalion was very often attached, in much the same manner.
A brief digression on the organization of the Army at that time- the division was the largest organization in the Army that had a fixed TO&E. The higher headquarters of a division would normally be a corps, commanding from two to five divisions. Above the corps was the field army (that is, the numbered armies, such as Patton’s 3rd Army). An army normally commanded from two to five corps.
A corps was a tactical headquarters. It had no organic assets beyond its own headquarters. It was assigned such divisions as it needed to accomplish its mission, and those divisions would cycle in and out of the corps as needed. The corps also had no services of supply, or other logistical assets. Those roles were the responsibility of the field army, and the field army pushed fuel, ammunition, rations, replacements, and parts forward directly to the divisions, as well as receiving casualties for evacuation to the rear.
The field armies, while not having a fixed establishment, did have not only organic services of supply, but also a great number of combat and combat support battalions. But the field army rarely directly exercised control over these battalions, instead attaching them to the corps and divisions as needed to bolster their firepower.
For instance, GEN Omar Bradley, in his “A Soldier’s Story,” tells us that on the 24th of June, 1944, VII Corps, a part of his 1st Army, had assigned or attached four Infantry divisions, two Armored divisions, 20 independent artillery battalions, five independent tank battalions, 7 tank destroyer battalions, 11 anti-aircraft battalions, 8 Engineer battalions (and three independent Engineer companies), and two cavalry squadrons. How those battalions were distributed throughout VII, Bradley doesn’t say, but that’s a pretty impressive total, considering the landings only began 18 days before, and that’s just one of four corps ashore in Normandy.
Let’s back up a bit, to World War II. As you doubtless are aware, incapacitating gas was first used on the battlefield, initially with crude chlorine gas, and later to other more deadly gases, such as mustard, in an effort to break the stalemate of trench warfare. It failed to accomplish that, and instead simply added to the already pretty horrific conditions at the front.
The first delivery method of these chemical weapons was to simply position cylinders of chlorine in front of friendly trenches, and wait until the wind would carry the gas across no-man’s land to the enemy trenches.
That was a very inefficient system, and quite hazardous if the wind unexpected shifted, and waiting for the right conditions was often impossible because of other tactical considerations.
Artillery shells that could deliver gas were developed (and used widely) but that distracted the artillery from the firing missions they were needed for.
The British developed the Stokes trench mortar, a simply steel tube with a firing pin at the bottom. It rested on a baseplate, and the tube was held at about a 45 degree angle by a simple bipod. It was fired by simply dropping a round down the tube. Something like a blank super shotgun shell at the bottom struck the firing pin, fired, and the expanding gases sent the round flying. The gas shell itself was a rather simple canister, with a fuze to burst it upon impact, spreading its chemicals in aerosol form. It had a range of about 800 yards, more than enough to cover the distance across no-man’s land, and with its very high rate of fire, quickly became the preferred method of delivering chemical attacks.
After the war, while pretty much everyone was working to prevent or ban the use of chemical weapons in a future war, it was also recognized that a deterrent capability to retaliate in kind would be needed, lest any future opponent exploit a unilateral advantage.
In the United States Army, this responsibility fell to the Chemical Warfare Service , the forerunner to today’s Chemical Corps.
After World War I, the CWS began looking at improving upon the Stokes mortar as a delivery system for chemical weapons. After a lengthy development, they (and interestingly, I mean they, not Ordnance) by 1928 fielded the M1 4.2” Chemical Mortar. One challenge CWS faced was the need for increased range. 800 yards had been fine in 1918, but something more was needed for the future, at least 2000 yards, and hopefully somewhat more. And because the chemical shells had no fins, a rifled tube was needed to keep the shells from tumbling in flight, reducing both accuracy and range.
Further refinements of the mortar, now designated the M2, eventually doubled the range to 4000 yards. It could fire mustard, lewisite, and, since the CWS was also responsible for battlefield smoke, a pair of smoke rounds, one firing a chemical compound known as FS that produced a cloud of thick white smoke, and the other, White Phosphorous, which also produced a thick white cloud of smoke, but was also a potent incendiary, and casualty producing agent, what with the intense heat of burning WP particles.
What there wasn’t, was a high explosive round.
And the reader will recall that in the 1920s and 1930s, the Army was incredibly small, and damn near penniless. So, while the CWS had developed the M2, it hadn’t produced more than a handful of production examples. It wouldn’t be until the eve of America’s entry into World War II that the M2 would be produced in numbers, and fielded with troops.
With the expansion of the Army begun with the Selective Service Act of 1940, the CWS began to form Chemical Mortar Battalions. Originally, each CMB consisted of a battalion headquarters, and four companies, each with four firing platoon, with four tubes in each platoon. In 1943, the battalion lost one company, and each of the remaining three companies lost a firing platoon, bringing the CMB in line with the triangular organization of the ground forces.
It wasn’t until 1942 that MG William N. Porter, then head of the CWS, was able to secure permission to develop a high explosive round for the M2. And it wasn’t until March 1943 that GEN Marshall authorized the use of high explosive shells by the CMBs.
Too late for service in North Africa, the CMBs and their “four dueces” would first go into action July 10, 1943 during the invasion of Sicily with the 2nd Chemical Mortar Battalion.* Prior to the landings, the entire battalion had only fired 35 high explosive rounds in training. Attached in support of the 45th Infantry Division, 2nd CMB would fire some 35,000 rounds of HE during the 38 day campaign. The M2 was popular with Infantry commanders because it was very quick to emplace, incredibly accurate, and could respond to calls for fire far faster than conventional 105mm artillery.
It wasn’t long before Infantry commanders were clamoring for more of the CMBs, and eventually a total of 25 would serve overseas during the war. It was standard operating procedure during both the Italian campaign, and in Patton’s 3rd Army, that every division in the attack would have a CMB attached, if at all possible.
Further CMBs would see service in the Pacific theater, and the Marine Corps would field 12 gun companies to support their infantry regiments.
The mortar itself, while simple, was not crude. It weighed 305 pounds, and could be broken down into three components for transport- the baseplate, the tube, and a monopod support. Originally, each gun section was supposed to be transported by two jeeps, one with the gun, and another with an ammunition trailer, but very often the guns were transported via a handcart over terrain too rough to be passable even by the legendary jeep.
The high explosive shell of the 4.2” mortar weighed just under 25 pounds, with an explosive filler of about 8 pounds of TNT. It could be fitted with either an impact fuze, or a time fuze for airburst, or a delayed impact fuze to allow the round to penetrate a bunker or similar target. While it had only about a third of the range of a 105mm howitzer, the shell was quite comparable in its effect, and it had an incredible rate of fire, about 20 rounds per minute, per gun.
The range of the gun was, like many artillery weapons, adjusted not only by the elevation of the tube, but also by varying the charge used to fire it. When a round was uncased, it had a full charge. This consisted of a fixed base charge, and a series of fabric packets affixed to the base, and loaded with propellant. Consulting the firing tables would tell the appropriate number of charges needed for a given firing range, and the gun crew would simply remove and discard any excess charges needed.
The need to again increase the range of the 4.2” mortar led to a new design, the M30, with a completely revamped baseplate and support, a longer tube, and a range of almost 7000 yards. Introduced in service 1951, the M30 would equip the 2nd CMB in Korea.
Eventually, it was realized that the 4.2” mortar was, like the 60mm and 81mm mortars, more properly an Infantry weapon than a CWS weapon, and responsibility for it was transferred from the CWS to Ordnance.
And after the Korean War, the CMBs were stood down. But that hardly meant demand for the Four-Duece had gone away. Instead, each infantry unit would field its own firing platoons of the M30. Originally, this was a firing battery of 12 guns in the headquarters of the Battle Groups of the Pentomic Division TO&E (though, interestingly, manned by artillerymen). Later, with the reintroduction of the triangular division and conversion of battle groups back to battalions under the ROAD TO&E, each battalion had a six tube mortar platoon, manned by 11C Indirect Fire Infantrymen.
The 4.2” mortar would serve as the heavy mortar for mechanized infantry and armor battalions until well into the 1990s, until replaced by today’s 120mm heavy mortar.
Of note, the round appears to tumble in flight. First, our gunner is using a very, very slight charge, even less than the normal “fixed” base charge. Partly that is because these illumination shells are empty, and thus quite light, and partly that’s because they have a very small range to shoot on.
That in turn means there was a very low pressure in the chamber during firing, and the obturating ring likely failed to fully engage the rifling of the tube.
What’s an obturating ring, you ask? I’ll be happy to explain. Did you see the two discs he emplaced on the round after inserting the fuze, and before adding the firing charge? One was steel, and the other brass.
Because the M2 is muzzle loaded, the round has to be able to slide smoothly down the barrel to strike the fixed firing pin.
But any round that is able to slide smoothly down the tube won’t engage the rifling of the tube on the way back up, and thus won’t be stabilized.
When the round is fired, the steel ring is driven into the brass ring, flattening it, and increasing its diameter and forcing it into the rifling of the tube. This both allows the projective to be spun for stabilization, but also forms a seal that prevents gases from expanding past the projectile body, thus increasing the efficiency of a given charge.
Also known as a driving band, obturating rings are very common on most artillery and mortar projectiles, even smoothbore mortars.
*Sorry, Grump, I double checked. I was right, you were wrong.
But it isn’t the first 5.56mm minigun. GE, original makers of the minigun, did test a 5.56mm version, but decided it had no advantages over its slightly larger cousin, the M134 in 7.62mm.
I’m tired. Not just today.
This whole election, and the last 7 and a half years of the Obama administration, have me feeling quite down. Serisously, it’s hard to write interesting things about the Army when the latest news isn’t what is happening in the war, or what new equipment and doctrine is coming, but the implementation of how the services will pay for sex change operations.
So, yeah, you’re getting a lot of World of Warships videos, and other stuff I scrounge off YouTube.
Because frankly, it’s just too depressing to write about that other stuff.
URR here. Since the February 23, 2009 publishing of an FBI memo detailing likely domestic terrorist suspects as being white male Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who believe in God, smaller government, and the Second Amendment, the scorecard* reads as follows:
*The above does not count honor killings. Otherwise the disparity would be much higher. Counted are Fort Hood, Little Rock, Tucson, Marquette Park IL, Aurora CO, Buena Vista CA , Waltham MA, Newtown CT, Chattanooga, Umpqua CC OR, Boston, U-C Merced, Moore OK, Orlando, Dallas, and Baton Rouge.
...as in "...I shall have gained a peerage, or Westminster Abbey", as Nelson said before the Battle of the Nile. (URR here.)
Yes, I am playing World of Warships, but I am not like our host, who pisses away a million hours at the game. I am a mere novice. That said, a couple of tips if you wanna play:
Surrounded by four enemy ships is not a good situation. I managed to sink three, believe it or not, but the fourth guy got me.
Also, don't run aground at 24 knots. Not good for the ship.
URR here. Interesting goings-on in Istanbul. And an interesting take on events there involving the supposed coup against Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President/Prime Minister/President/Dictator of NATO member Turkey. An unrepentant Islamist, Erdogan has been accused of engineering his own 'coup' for the purposes of cracking down on political enemies and subjugating the Army, which is the last major institution that guards what is left of a secular state. Nearly 200 dead, 1,500 wounded, and thousands arrested, including Army officers, judges, prosecutors, and other officials whose loyalty to the regime is questioned. (Not loyalty to the Constitution, mind you.)
I can imagine Valerie and Huma echoing the Soviet ambassador in Dr. Strangelove, "You have an astonishingly good idea!"
It remains to be seen if subversion of the US Military will require a 'coup', or simply more Ash Carters and Ray Mabuses and Missy Mullens....
In his prime, Nate Thurmond was one of the greatest defensive centers ever to play in the NBA. A competent scorer, too, he was a ferocious rebounder and shot-blocker who could dominate the defensive end as only two others, Chamberlain and Russell, ever could. Cat-quick, relentless, and in superb shape, Thurmond was a close third behind the aforementioned giants, and was a cut above Jerry Lucas, and Willis Reed, and Walt Bellamy, more recognized stars at the position.
Thurmond was also an intelligent gentleman and a wonderful ambassador of the game. Another boyhood sports hero of mine, gone. The NBA could use his like these days.
France has been the scene of three horrific attacks in the last 18 months, including the Thursday deaths of 84 people at the hands of a muhammedan truck driver who crushed them in the midst of Bastille Day celebrations, while he shouted "Allahu Akbar!", the signature cry of these Satanic animals, as he did so.
Now we are to believe that the driver, 31-year old Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, killed by police at the scene, was not a jihadi, or even muhammedan. MSNBC is quick to headline that his family didn't consider him muslim because he was violent and hit his wife. Huh.
But there is more from France, fast becoming the focal point for islamist terror and ISIS terrorists, er, "refugees". Seems that the French Government left out some pretty significant information regarding the bloody November 2015 attacks in Paris that left 130 dead. Seems the victims of these filthy muhammedans were systematically tortured and dismembered by these representatives of the Religion of Peace.
According to this testimony, Wahhabist killers reportedly gouged out eyes, castrated victims, and shoved their testicles in their mouths. They may also have disemboweled some poor souls. Women were reportedly stabbed in the genitals – and the torture was, victims told police, filmed for Daesh or Islamic State propaganda. For that reason, medics did not release the bodies of torture victims to the families, investigators said.
Nope, radical islam isn't the problem. No siree. To even hint that it is makes you a racist islamophobe (despite the fact that muhammedanism is not a race). Nope, sounds like a gun control issue to me. Worry not. Coming to cities and towns near you. By the train load. Allahu akbar.
Arm up. To protect us from our government, from the enemies our government is allowing to pour into our communities, and from the emotion-over-reason incessant moral busybodies who would disarm the law-abiding on order to make us "safe". If you want to live as if this is your fantasy world, knock yourself out. Don't expect me to indulge in such weak-minded stupefaction.
71 years ago, in the desert of southwestern New Mexico, at 5:29:21AM, Mountain War Time, a blinding flash lit the sky, and for the first time, the power of an atomic explosion was unleashed upon the world. The scientists of the Manhattan project were so confident that the gun type uranium bomb they were developing would work that no test was required. But the far more complex implosion type plutonium weapon was another story. And so a tower 100 feet high was built, and the exorbitantly expensive “Gadget” was installed atop on an oak platform.
The blast yielded the equivalent of about 20 kilotons of TNT, and left a crater in the desert five feet deep, and about 30 feet across.