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Military

Yes, they do have a Navy

Former heads of Bolivia’s army and navy arrested over failed coup

The current boats are on Lake Titicaca but they do have a Navy, Admiral and all. No coastline but a Navy.

Part of the argument is that Peru (I think? Maybe Chile?) nicked that coastline a century and more back. And maybe they’ll get it back one day so best be prepared.

BTW, yes, there is a Hungarian Navy. I think so at least – Lake Balaton needs defending after all (poss more important, the Danube).

The Army is finally catching up with the Navy

Dotted among the 1,400 soldiers in the parade on Saturday were soldiers sporting a variety of beards beneath their bearskin hats.

However, the style of grooming differed very little as rules regarding facial hair remained strict.

All the beards had to be “full-set” – with a moustache – and be trimmed neatly off the cheekbone and neck. Bristles had to be thick – not patchy – and the length had to be between 2.5mm and 25.5mm, or between a Grade 1 and Grade 8.

Wonder how they’re going to do the other bit of it?

Traditionally, the Navy was fine with someone having a beard or not. Not so fine with someone growing a beard. So, the actual production of one was limited to either leave or a long cruise (note that this is a generation ago). At which point, “Permission to stop shaving, Sir” and the responsible officer would muse on whether he thought a full beard could be produced in the time to the next port. If yes, then OK. If not, then no.

So, what’s the Army’s equivalent of a cruise – and do they have to ask permission – which can be denied – to grow a beard?

Surprise!

Israeli special forces have freed four hostages held in Nuseirat, central Gaza, as Israeli attacks and airstrikes in the same area killed at least 93 Palestinians, including children, local medics said.

The way The Guardian has that it’s here’s the rescue, over here, then there’s this entirely other thing, over there but just close by, which is the massacre of innocents standing in the street.

Some other – possibly more balanced but who knows – reports have the rescue going on then armed men tuble out of nearby buildings to try to prevent it who then get shot and bombed and so on.

Who to believe, eh?

Well, no, not right

Man ‘caught with explosives and cyanide in makeshift lab in shed’
Neighbours reported loud bangs and smoke coming from the garden over many years

They do not, in fact, work together. Bang and useful poison are choices, not complements.

How small British service life can be

Commander ‘Sharkey’ Ward obituary: pilot who played a decisive role in Falklands
A pugnacious fighter known as Mr Sea Harrier who fought the war his own way and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross

My father would have known of him, probably not known him. But the son of someone who served with my father was someone I worked with for a time. And that son had been RN and was one of the fighter controllers in the Falklands. And, well coincidence, right?

But that smallness of British military life:

He only started to thrive after spending three years in Pakistan, after his father was posted to RAF Mauripur in Karachi, where his health improved in the dry climate.

Where the father would have known my grandfather. Quite a number of serving and immediately post-retirement were sent out to set up the varied armed forces of the newly independent nations…..

No grand point to this, other than to point out how small British service life can be. Generations of the same families intertwining perhaps. Which does lead to a thought – if a generation leaves, or doesn’t join, then that’s that whole subsequent family that doesn’t. Something to think about over terms, conditions and the attraction of recruits. Historically, it’s not been going fishing in the general population at all.

Nothing new here

Machines may replace crew on Royal Navy’s warships of future
The proposed multi-role support ships could need a crew of about 100, a quarter of the total on today’s vessels

We do, after all, use guns these days rather than boarding and fisticuffs.

Machines replacing human labour is normal.

Don’t be cretinous

On the one hand, too many young people are out of work. On the other, the Western world is gradually realising its armed forces are inadequate in the face of threats from Russia and other aggressive dictatorships.

In a dire moment, a dire solution comes to mind: conscription.

The idea has some appeal. Drill sergeants have long experience at giving work to idle hands.

The Army’s had three periods of conscription in which to build up the knowledge of how to do it.

1916-18, 1939-45 and 1948 (?) 1960(?)

If the first two there was an actual and bloody war on and the requirement was for infantry with a couple of months training. That can be done with compulsion and, it’s fair to say, the general agreement that the job was worth doing of those being conscripted.

In the third episode, peacetime, the Navy took no conscripts, the RAF few, the Army took near all. And, if we’re honest about it, it was a disaster. Past the early 50s no one actually did anything after basic. Or near nothing at least.

All the other 400 years of the Army’s existence it has been training up people who wanted to be there. This is inherently different from trying to gain a decent response out of the sullen who have been conscripted.

Conscription simply won’t give us armed forces worth having – as with the Navy not taking any last time around. But rather more than that, unless the Army starts shooting people for telling Sergeant Majors to fuck off I don’t see it working at all. There really would have to be serious and significant punishment of a large number of people to get today’s youth buckling down. And I really don;t think modern society would be willing to put up with the bill for that – the bill I insist would actually be necessary.

BTW, the people most against conscription are likely the officers.

Even by Russian standards this is bad

Vladimir Putin said Russia had arrested all four gunmen responsible for the shooting that killed 133 people at a concert hall on the outskirts of Moscow, claiming that the perpetrators of one of the worst terror attacks in the country’s history planned to flee to Ukraine.

In his first public comments on the terrorist attacks that shocked the nation, the Russian president made no mention of Islamic State’s claim to have carried out the attack.

Instead, Putin suggested without evidence that Ukraine may have been involved in Friday’s attack at the Crocus City Hall just outside Moscow, saying that “the Ukrainian side” had “prepared a window” for the terrorists to cross the border from Russia into Ukraine before they were apprehended.

“They tried to hide and move towards Ukraine, where, according to preliminary data, a window was prepared for them from the Ukrainian side to cross the state border,” Putin said in a televised address.

A “window” eh? Someone sut the wire in preparation for them being able to get through?

Imagine – no, just go on – imagine that the FSB had that level of data. Then why didn’t they have the data about their coming the other way?

Tractor statistics stuff.

Sure

A senior Ukrainian army official who allegedly embezzled more than £1 million meant to buy rations for the military has been detained.

The suspect, named locally as Oleksandr Kozlovsky, was working as the head of a military department that procured food for soldiers before his arrest.

Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigation claimed he had used the funds to buy an apartment in Kyiv, a dozen plots of land and a car instead of spending the money on supplies for the military.

Both Russia and Ukraine are grossly corrupt by our or any reasonable standard.

From gossip – and yes, gossip with those who would if not know at least have a very clear idea – the Russian military is grossly more corrupt than the Ukrainian, even if at more general government level that was the other way around a few years back.

That Ukie food supply is bent is therefore not a game changer. Either on the ground – is it more or less bent than the Russian matters – not in any support level outsiders might want to give. Note “any support level”. Whatever conclusion we have already is not to be changed by this detail is what is meant.

Working with the Americans can be difficult

One of the UK’s most senior military figures in Afghanistan was sent home in disgrace after drinking champagne with colleagues, The Telegraph can reveal.

Maj Gen Charlie Herbert OBE took up a post in June 2017 in Kabul as deputy advisor to the ministry of the interior, the government department responsible for law enforcement, civil order and fighting crime.

No, nothing to do with Afghans, Muslims or anything:

in breach of a US rule on the consumption of alcohol.”

The American armed forces can get very anal puckered about booze. It’s not just that the Navy is dry.

Just as an example, USN is clean shaven. Pops was RN and so could continue to wear his beard as he had done all his adult life. But one posting had him, RN Captain, under USN Admiral. So, off the beard came. While feasible to insist upon RN rules, line of command and all that, be polite etc.

US military really can be very anal.

Which fuckin’ idiot decided this?

But from next month, the MoD will change the rules across the Army, Navy and RAF so that for the first time houses are allocated on the basis of how many children a serviceman or woman has, not their rank.

Just insane:

“There has always been married quarters and soldiers quarters,” he said. “They work together but socialise separately and it’s the same for married accommodation. Officers should live amongst each other, and non-commissioned officers and soldiers should live together, to avoid the difficulties of your next-door neighbour being your boss or one of your subordinates.”

Now you can do it the other way. I’ve been on an American base in Germany that does.

Colonel’s rather grander house surrounded by those of slightly less grand Majors and so on, to a circular suburb of enlisted. Another way of enhancing, enforcing, that heirarchy if you like.

But having the widower Colonel, kids left home, in the one bed housette while the progenitive corporal has a 4 bedder right next door? No, that’s simply not going to work.

An MoD spokesman said: “Our Armed Forces personnel make extraordinary sacrifices to protect our nation, which is why our Modern Accommodation Offer puts fairness first.

Shoot the cunts.

Now.

Missing the point

A government minister has defended the military’s “woke” policies, as he said the Armed Forces must reflect today’s society.

Andrew Murrison, the minister for defence people and families, told MPs that he was “guilty as charged” if he believed in making the military a more inclusive and diverse workspace.

We don’t want the military to reflect society. We want them to defend it. This is different and it’s not a subtle difference either.

Still, fortunately this fool will be out of office within the year. But will the successor believe the same drivel?

This might not work out so well

The British Army wants to relax security checks for recruits from overseas to boost diversity and inclusion, The Telegraph can reveal.

Britain’s armed forces have consistently failed to hit recruitment targets and are looking overseas to boost ethnic minority representation, which currently stands at 14 per cent of the regular army.

A document leaked to this paper, titled The British Army’s Race Action Plan, notes that the Army “struggles to attract talent from ethnic minority backgrounds into the officer corps”.

Published in March 2023 and understood to be the latest guidance, it outlines a series of “actions” to boost representation and describes security clearance vetting as being “the primary barrier to non-UK personnel gaining a commission in the Army”.

I’ve been vetted a couple of times. Not sure how deep they went but I passed both times (over export licences for military/nuclear goods). It does take time. There are also different levels of vetting – I didn’t get the full going over. But the idea that you don;t want to check those who are going to become your own intelligence officers of the future – no, that doesn’t make sense, it really doesn’t.

Err, yes…..

The Royal Navy is redeploying marines and sailors to become diversity and inclusion officers to enhance the “lived experience” of personnel amid ongoing recruitment challenges in manning its ships.

Three internal Navy job advertisements, seen by The Telegraph, seek to attract serving sailors and marines to work on diversity policy. The roles are based in Navy Command HQ [NCHQ] in Portsmouth and are intended to “improve the lived experience of our people”.

No, shoot them all

In a networked world where fighting methodologies, communications circuits and recognised pictures are shared and homogenised between allies in an instant, there is seemingly little consensus on how to fight within the information battlespace.

That’s from an article complaining that the tweets from a British ship in the Red Sea aren’t very amusing.

Shoot the entire media class. All of them.

There’s a reason everyone shrugged this off

If the world’s powerful nations had not so brazenly shrugged off three-quarters of a million Palestinians being driven from their homes 76 years ago, accompanied by an estimated 15,000 suffering violent deaths, the seeds of today’s bitter harvest would not have been planted.

Because the invaders – all the Arab nations that could get troops to the area – told the Palestinians to leave so they could slaughter all the Jews. Who, unfortunately for the invaders, decided not to die and fought back.

Then, a piece of truly abject fuckwittery. Instead of that displaced population dispersing around the wrold so that the call for the river to the sea became as politically important at the 15 nutters who march each year for the return of the Sudeten (and I’ve been there and seen them doing so) it was maintained as a seething mass in Gaza.

But, you know, history doesn’t exist for polemecists, does it?

As to what’s really happening here. Hamas fucked about and now it’s finding out. Vile, terrible and awful though it is, that’s what’s happening.

Sigh

Seem to be forgetting what the Royal Navy is for.

1) Control the seas

2) Put troops ashore exactly where needed then come and take them off again when necessary.

So:

Two amphibious assault ships are to be mothballed under government plans to make up for a severe sailor shortage in what critics have described as “the beginning of the end for the Royal Marines”.

Grant Shapps, the defence secretary, has put forward proposals to retire HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark from active service, The Times can reveal.

Bad, bad, idea.