Well, he’s got a point

An arguable one at least:

Anewly elected member of Berlin’s regional parliament once described Winston Churchill as a “war criminal”, it has emerged.

Ronald Gläser of the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party accused Churchill of responsibility for 50m deaths.

Obviously not responsible for the whole thing and I would assume that Ronnie here is being more than a bit of a dick. But certainly some of Churchill’s decisions could be argued to be war crimes. Myself I’d generally put it down to “war is hell” and thank the lord the correct side won. But some of those decisions are a bit iffy.

I dunno about the Mel Gibson movie but….

He was a company aid man when the 1st Battalion assaulted a jagged escarpment 400 feet high. As our troops gained the summit, a heavy concentration of artillery, mortar and machine gun fire crashed into them, inflicting approximately 75 casualties and driving the others back. Pfc. Doss refused to seek cover and remained in the fire-swept area with the many stricken, carrying all 75 casualties one-by-one to the edge of the escarpment and there lowering them on a rope-supported litter down the face of a cliff to friendly hands. On May 2, he exposed himself to heavy rifle and mortar fire in rescuing a wounded man 200 yards forward of the lines on the same escarpment; and 2 days later he treated 4 men who had been cut down while assaulting a strongly defended cave, advancing through a shower of grenades to within eight yards of enemy forces in a cave’s mouth, where he dressed his comrades’ wounds before making 4 separate trips under fire to evacuate them to safety. On May 5, he unhesitatingly braved enemy shelling and small arms fire to assist an artillery officer. He applied bandages, moved his patient to a spot that offered protection from small arms fire and, while artillery and mortar shells fell close by, painstakingly administered plasma. Later that day, when an American was severely wounded by fire from a cave, Pfc. Doss crawled to him where he had fallen 25 feet from the enemy position, rendered aid, and carried him 100 yards to safety while continually exposed to enemy fire. On May 21, in a night attack on high ground near Shuri, he remained in exposed territory while the rest of his company took cover, fearlessly risking the chance that he would be mistaken for an infiltrating Japanese and giving aid to the injured until he was himself seriously wounded in the legs by the explosion of a grenade. Rather than call another aid man from cover, he cared for his own injuries and waited 5 hours before litter bearers reached him and started carrying him to cover. The trio was caught in an enemy tank attack and Pfc. Doss, seeing a more critically wounded man nearby, crawled off the litter; and directed the bearers to give their first attention to the other man. Awaiting the litter bearers’ return, he was again struck, by a sniper bullet while being carried off the field by a comrade, this time suffering a compound fracture of one arm. With magnificent fortitude he bound a rifle stock to his shattered arm as a splint and then crawled 300 yards over rough terrain to the aid station. Through his outstanding bravery and unflinching determination in the face of desperately dangerous conditions Pfc. Doss saved the lives of many soldiers. His name became a symbol throughout the 77th Infantry Division for outstanding gallantry far above and beyond the call of duty.

I reckon that’s worth a Medal of Honor in anyone’s currency…..

I can see this working

Women fighters will share rooms with male Royal Marines commandos for the first time under controversial plans put forward by the head of the navy.

Of course, it rather depends on what you think the definition of “working” is.

Ah, waitta minute. This is for the initial training course only. Will all be too shagged to shag.


You don’t need a six-pack to be a soldier
ben macintyre

After another army training death we should acknowledge that modern wars are not won by superfit warriors

There’s people around here who know much more about this than I do.

And you certainly don’t need to be fit to hump stores and cook the meals – which is 90% of what any military does these days.

But the bloke at the front end, the bloke those other 9 are there to equip, feed and place in the right spot?

Yer average infantryman does need to be super fit, yes. Marines and on more so. Because, at the extreme, you want them to be able to yomp however many miles carrying all their kit and then still be able to fight when they get there. That’s actually rather the point of having them.

Here’s your new ships Admiral. Just don’t take them out to sea, right?

Invalidates the guarantee that does, all that salt water:

Taxpayers will have to foot the bill to refit warships that break down in the Persian Gulf when the water becomes too warm, because they are ‘out of warranty’.
The Ministry of Defence said the ‘arduous’ conditions that made the £1billion Type 45 Destroyers ‘degrade catastrophically’ were not covered by the guarantee.
Engines on the six warships fail because the intercooler units, which reduce heat from the exhaust, slow down in warm waters, leaving the engine unable to generate enough power.

The, err, Persian Gulf is one of the more likely places that the Royal Navy will have to work in, no? We’ve been working there for what, century and a half? No, more, given India and Suez.

So some idiot signed off on a design that doesn’t work there?


The assault rifle used in Orlando

When Omar Mateen entered an Orlando, Florida, nightclub on Sunday to carry out the deadliest mass shooting in US history, he wielded a weapon that has been used in massacres from California to Connecticut: a military-inspired semi-automatic rifle.

Though so-called assault rifles account for a small fraction of the United States’ 30,000 annual gun deaths, they have been used in at least 10 mass shootings since 2011, according to a database compiled by Mother Jones magazine.


The AR-15 was developed from the US military’s M-16 rifle, used in the Vietnam War in the 1960s. Unlike the military version, the AR-15 is not fully automatic, meaning users must pull the trigger each time they want to fire a shot. Like the military version, many AR-15s combine light weight with a relatively modest recoil.


An assault rifle is a fully automatic selective-fire rifle that uses an intermediate cartridge and a detachable magazine.

So it’s not an assault weapon then?

Well, maybe

Longer than the Houses of Parliament and able to launch up to 108 air strike sorties per day, Britain’s new aircraft carriers will make potential enemies “think twice” about starting future wars, their senior naval officer has said.

The new Queen Elizabeth Class carriers will be become Britain’s most potent conventional weapon and change the way the Royal Navy does business, Capt Simon Petitt said.

Super. Although shouldn’t we actually get some planes on them first?

There’s a cheap explanation for this

Data on the life expectancy of aristocrats in England has fascinated researchers for years. Before the 1700s, dukes and their families had about the same life expectancy as average Brits. So there was no gap in longevity between the rich and the rest of the population.

Then, over the next 100 years, this changed dramatically — and the rich began to pull away from the poor in terms of health.

The professional army.

Before about 1700 aristos were those who led everyone into battle, after, not so much.

And battle does have certain lifespan shortening attributes to it…..

Do the three get a freebie?

A Norwegian fighter jet on a training exercise jet mistakenly machine-gunned a control tower with three officers inside, who survived unhurt, the military said Sunday.

Two F-16s were taking part in a mock attack on the uninhabited island of Tarva off Norway’s west coast when one of them opened fire with its M61 Vulcan cannon, which is capable of firing up to 100 rounds a second.

You know, a sort of return match? right, you, pilot, stand just there. You three, there’s your .50 cal machine guns. You have five seconds, starting……NOW!

So they were well experienced then?

UK firm ’employed former child soldiers’ as mercenaries in Iraq
Former director acknowledges Aegis Defence Services may have recruited former child fighters in Sierra Leone

And I’m really struggling to find out what the problem is here.

Contract documents say that the soldiers from Sierra Leone were paid $16 (£11) a day. A documentary, The Child Soldier’s New Job, to be broadcast on Monday in Denmark alleges that the estimated 2,500 Sierra Leonean personnel who were recruited by Aegis and other private security companies to work in Iraq included former child soldiers.

“When war gets outsourced, then the companies tries to find the cheapest soldiers globally. Turns out that that is former child soldiers from Sierra Leone. I think it is important that we in the west are aware of the consequences of the privatisation of war,” the film’s maker, Mads Ellesøe, said.

Employing child soldiers, obviously wrong. But “former”?

Ellery, who said he was speaking in a personal capacity, told the Guardian that it would be “quite wrong” to ask whether people had ever been child soldiers, as it would penalise people for things they had often been forced into doing.

He pointed out that under UN rules, child soldiers are not liable for war crimes. “They are, once they reach 18, in fact citizens with full rights to seek employment, which is a basic human right. So we would have been completely in error if, having gone to Sierra Leone, we excluded those people.”

How amusing about Skorzeny

A notorious former SS officer known as “Hitler’s commando” reportedly worked as an assassin for Israeli intelligence.
Lt-Col Otto Skorzeny, once described by British and American intelligence as “the most dangerous man in Europe”, was secretly recruited by Mossad after the Second World War, according to Israel’s Ha’aretz newspaper.

But then I think there were quite a lot of such around. No, I don’t mean just Nazis who went on to do other things. But men for whom the excitement of war and battle was so great that the actual cause wasn’t the important point at all.

There were such on the British side too, popping up all over Africa in the next few decades. A proper shooting war simply suits some people. They revel in it.

Once the Telegraph would have got this right


The caption is:

Captain Dusek (left) is presented with flowers on arrival in port during a visit to Muroran, located on the northern island of Hokkaido

 Dusek is that first on he left. And it’s an old photo, where he is a Commander of course. Fraud in the provisioning of ships is of course as old as the navy itself. Getting ranks wrong though…..in he old days that second mistake would probably have created more letters to the editor….

So here’s an interesting new military theory

She warned that media stories about Mr Corbyn’s non-interventionism were having a negative impact and imagined a voter saying: “That Jeremy Corbyn you know, faced with terrorists he’d sit down and have a cup of tea with them or something.”

Ms Shawcroft went on: “Now I mean, you know, maybe we should try it! Bombing them and attacking them has got us nowhere, why don’t we get the teabags out?
“You know I did read a while ago about when the EDL were going round picketing outside mosques… One particular mosque in the Midlands somewhere just opened the doors and said would you like to come in for a cup of tea?
“And they went in for a cup of tea and now they’re friends with the EDL. Straight away the EDL are now like oh, well actually these people are not the monsters you know that we’re being told all this time, they’re actually human beings that you can sit down and have a cup of tea with.
“So you know I think we should bear in mind that having cups of tea might actually be the best kind of system of defence and national security that you could have, but there we are.”


Ms Shawcroft, who is on the steering committee for the pro-Corbyn activist group Momentum, has courted controversy previously.

Makes you wonder why the Stalinists didn’t just sit down and have a cup of tea with the kulaks. The BEF with the Panzergruppen.

Yes, Owen Jones is an idiot

More than seven in 10 of Britain’s top military brass had parents with the means to send them to private schools;

The military tends to run in families. People who are in the military get an allowance, from their employer the government, to send their kids to public (for non-UK types, private) schools. Thus is the incidence of the privately educated in the Armed Forces explained, not by inherited wealth.

Rumour has it

Australia boosts defence spending with eye on South China Sea tensions
HMAS Canberra after completion of exercises off the New South Wales Coast.
Australia will buy £100 billion worth of equipment over the next decade – a budget increase of £13 billion – to address China’s growing assertiveness in the South China Sea

Australian icebreaker runs aground in Antarctica

Two stories one after the other in The Telegraph. And rumour has it that they will buy some charts of the rocks and reefs with that 100 billion.

Odd thought.

So, Field Marshals (and Adm Fleet etc) never retire. They just go on half pay.

So, what happens to their accumulated pension rights? Widows pensions, lump sum payouts and all that?

Not a very important question as it happens what, two or three times a generation, but still…..