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EvilMerlin
Apr 10, 2018

Meh.

Give it a try...

Valtonen posted:

M1a2 is not a tank Its a deadline on tracks.

Its not a deadline on tracks. Its a target.

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Cessna
Feb 20, 2013

KHABAHBLOOOM

Valtonen posted:

M1a2 is not a tank Its a deadline on tracks.

True.

(Admittedly I only worked on M-1A1s.)

ilmucche
Mar 16, 2016

#essereFerrari



So it came up on the first page, but how exactly did banners control units? Did they have a flag under them that would signal various things, and someone would blow a horn when it was time to look? Were they purely rallying points? Did the scots actually use bagpipes to give orders?

HEY GUNS
Oct 11, 2012

FOPTIMUS PRIME


ilmucche posted:

So it came up on the first page, but how exactly did banners control units? Did they have a flag under them that would signal various things, and someone would blow a horn when it was time to look? Were they purely rallying points?
in the 17th century: flags are much bigger than you probably think they are, every company has (ideally) three drums so every regiment has (ideally) about thirty, and there's yelling.

i took part in regimental drill at a big reenactment: i was in the first rank in my company as is customary which put me smack in the middle of the big block and i couldn't see a drat thing, but every time the officers way up at the front yelled something, eventually it was picked up by the officers directing the companies.

Hogge Wild
Aug 21, 2012

by FactsAreUseless


Pillbug

HEY GUNS posted:

in the 17th century: flags are much bigger than you probably think they are, every company has (ideally) three drums so every regiment has (ideally) about thirty, and there's yelling.

i took part in regimental drill at a big reenactment: i was in the first rank in my company as is customary which put me smack in the middle of the big block and i couldn't see a drat thing, but every time the officers way up at the front yelled something, eventually it was picked up by the officers directing the companies.

haha, that noise must be really something

how wide would a company and a regiment be?

HEY GUNS
Oct 11, 2012

FOPTIMUS PRIME


Hogge Wild posted:

haha, that noise must be really something
it truly is. all the drums together is a magnificent sound, a beautiful sound. and the people giving the orders translate them into the languages their companies speak. i don't know if that would have been correct at the time.

quote:

how wide would a company and a regiment be?
3,000 on paper divided by about six or seven is 500 people wide
314 on paper divided by six is about 50

this is not the thin lines of 18th and 19th century drill. You see much less well and there are far fewer officers and NCOs per unit.

HEY GUNS fucked around with this message at 15:52 on Nov 5, 2018

EvilMerlin
Apr 10, 2018

Meh.

Give it a try...

Hogge Wild posted:

haha, that noise must be really something

how wide would a company and a regiment be?

Lets not even get into then noise and cover of smoke when cannon and muskets start firing.

HEY GUNS
Oct 11, 2012

FOPTIMUS PRIME


EvilMerlin posted:

Lets not even get into then noise and cover of smoke when cannon and muskets start firing.
this explains why the flags were so big in the 17th century, but it does not explain why they got smaller in the 18th and 19th.

Phanatic
Mar 13, 2007

Please don't forget that I am an extremely racist idiot who also has terrible opinions about the Culture series.


Hogge Wild posted:

I remember reading about some Italian submarines that gassed their crews when they dived.

In the Cold War thread someone posted this, a CIA report on the sinking of the Komsomolets, the USSR's only Mike-class sub:

https://www.cia.gov/library/center-...Montgomery.html

When a fire broke out on board carbon monoxide from the fire somehow infiltrated the emergency breathing air supply. So anyone who put on a mask because they couldn't breathe the smoke started getting CO poisoning.

HEY GUNS
Oct 11, 2012

FOPTIMUS PRIME


Phanatic posted:

In the Cold War thread someone posted this, a CIA report on the sinking of the Komsomolets, the USSR's only Mike-class sub:

https://www.cia.gov/library/center-...Montgomery.html

When a fire broke out on board carbon monoxide from the fire somehow infiltrated the emergency breathing air supply. So anyone who put on a mask because they couldn't breathe the smoke started getting CO poisoning.
every cia agent secretly yearns to be a fiction writer

it is known

edit: excellent story, thanks for posting. the captain was a boss, did everything right, and i'm sorry he died

HEY GUNS fucked around with this message at 16:49 on Nov 5, 2018

Milo and POTUS
Sep 3, 2017

I will not shut up about the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. I talk about them all the time and work them into every conversation I have. I built a shrine in my room for the yellow one who died because sadly no one noticed because she died around 9/11. Wanna see it?


KYOON GRIFFEY JR posted:

this guys swag is approaching early modern levels

That's a tank.

Vincent Van Goatse
Nov 8, 2006

Don't be so gloomy. After all it's not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance.


Smellrose

Mycroft Holmes posted:

how is max hastings new book about the vietnam war? is it good?

It's Max Hastings, so the answer is no.

Mazz
Dec 12, 2012

Orion, this is Sperglord Actual.
Come on home.


I was hoping my previous post was enough but seriously someone go bug thefluff about a Cold War Sweden effortpost because those always own

TheFluff
Dec 13, 2006

FRIENDS, LISTEN TO ME
I AM A SEAGULL
OF WEALTH AND TASTE


hello, yes, this is nerd

Comrade Koba posted:

There’s a YouTube video from the 1970s depicting live fire trials on the S-tank. The simulated shockwave from a nuclear detonation is nice.

(No subtitles, but probably still interesting to a lot of people in this thread)

That's a copy of my original upload. I paid for a copy from the archives, translated and subtitled it and had it on youtube on my own channel for years before it got copyright claimed for whatever incomprehensible bureaucratic reason (I'm 95% certain the claimant didn't and doesn't actually own the rights but I didn't feel like risking a civil lawsuit just because someone was wrong on the internet). Here's the subtitle file though in the unlikely event that it might be useful to someone.

Fangz posted:

There's an interesting article on evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the S-tank here:

https://defenceoftherealm.wordpress...and-the-s-tank/

Mainly based on source documents from my blog, more specifically these two:
http://tanks.mod16.org/2015/04/02/r...-the-baor-1973/
http://tanks.mod16.org/2015/04/02/r...-the-baor-1973/

Chillbro Baggins posted:

The S-tank was a turretless MBT, it had proper armor and just sacrificed the turret for a low profile because their whole schtick was to dig in and slow down the Red Army for a day or two until NATO got their poo poo mobilized.

People keep saying this for some reason. I guess it makes some kind of intuitive sense, but the actual plan was, uh, not really that. If you actually go and look up what's left of the operational planning of the southern military district in the 1960's and 1970's you'll find three armored brigades (or, in other words, a bit less than half of the tanks in the entire army) with initial positions in Skåne, a miserable province barely bigger than 100x100km. That's in a country that, if you flipped it over north-to-south, would stretch down over Europe as far south as Rome. There is a reason why they thought it was important, though.

The strategic reality of Sweden in the Cold War revolves around The Great Naval Invasion. The Warsaw Pact was expected to only care about Sweden as a minor speed bump on the way to their strategic objectives - the Sound and the Norwegian North Sea harbors. Possibly they could be interested in Gotland (which was fundamentally indefensible, but the attempt had to be made) and in a decapitation strike on Stockholm as well, but that was pretty much it. Reaching the Norwegian coast was a matter of crossing many hundred kilometers of frozen taiga and sub-arctic mountains with incredibly poor infrastructure, and that war was expected to become the Winter War 2.0. The Sound and the decapitation strike though were a different matter. To accomplish either objective, a naval invasion was needed.

When people look at Cold War Sweden they kind of assume that NATO support must've been expected, because of course the idea of Sweden winning a war against the Soviet Union is absurd. However, Swedish operational planning did not actually expect or plan for any military NATO help. The NATO cooperation was on a subtler level and more political than anything else. If you're thinking that, well, in that case the Swedish operational planning was pretty much a very complicated way to say dulce et decorum est pro patria mori and delaying the inevitable for as long as possible, then, well, you'd be wrong. The Swedish plan was to win the war, to win it alone, to win it quickly and decisively. Not winning in the sense of dictating terms from the ruins of Moskva, but winning in the sense of eliminating the military threat to Sweden for the immediate future. The planners saw one way to do that and then they bet on that horse with almost everything they had.

The way you win a land war in Asia is by not fighting it. Everyone knows this. Sweden attempting to delay the Soviet Union would be idiotic. There is nothing good that could ever come from that. Instead, the Swedish military focused with laser-like intensity on the Great Naval Invasion. It was the Soviet Achilles heel, the only point at which there was a fighting chance, the one moment where the war could be won. Push the landing force back into the sea, destroy the specialized landing craft (a scarce strategic resource for the Soviets) and there you go - you can sit back and stare at the Russians over the Baltic Sea in relative safety. If they establish a beachhead and start shipping in Guards tank armies, might as well throw in the towel immediately, because there is no winning that game.

This is what the S-tank was built for and why half of all the tanks in the country were stationed so stupidly close to the Iron Curtain (seriously, you could reach their tank garages with rocket artillery from across the Sound). East Germany and Poland were too close, the sea too narrow and the travel time too short for the navy and the air force (the Swedish air force was and to some extent still is specialized on anti-ship strikes) to take much of a bite out of the landing craft, so the army had to shoulder more of the burden. The plan in the 60's and 70's was to take every tank and APC that could be scrounged up and start rolling towards the sea as fast as the tracks would carry them. As soon as the brigades were concentrated and rolling on the open roads, they were expected to take horrifying losses from air strikes, but that was part of the calculation. Go for the beachhead, establish close contact as soon as possible to make it unpalatable for the enemy to use tactical nukes (since they'd be hitting their own guys too), and either you reach the sea or you run out of tanks. That's it, that's the plan, the one chance to win the war. If it doesn't work, then the infantry brigades get to fill the entire southern half of the country with mines and it's time for the delaying tactics while waiting for an unlikely bailout from NATO, but that doesn't involve much tanking.

This it not some creative interpretation on my part, by the way - when they were setting the tactical and operational requirements for the strv 103 project back around 1960, they were doing calculations for what kind of operational range they needed based on how much fuel it would take to take the armored brigade from its initial positions down to the sea and fight a battle there without refueling (no time for that stuff when the enemy strength grows by the hour). Similarly, in the air force, there's planning documents that very strongly emphasize that the strike aircraft must not be wasted on things like close air support - that's for silly Americans with more money than sense. The Swedish strike aircraft were a strategic resource, to be carefully protected and saved until it was time for the moment of truth, the potentially war-winning day, where you would deploy every aircraft and pilot completely without regard for losses in three or four concentrated strikes. The surviving planning documents speak of it in those exact words, "a potentially war-winning opportunity".

For a long time, this really did seem like a battle that was actually sort of winnable, at least on paper. For many years tje Soviet Baltic fleet had enough landing craft to lift around two reinforced naval infantry brigades in one go, and against six Swedish armored brigades on the mainland that's actually not such a bad equation.

There you go, not-a-tank-destroyer chat.

TheFluff fucked around with this message at 22:08 on Nov 5, 2018

Cessna
Feb 20, 2013

KHABAHBLOOOM

TheFluff posted:

Instead, the Swedish military focused with laser-like intensity on the Great Naval Invasion. It was the Soviet Achilles heel, the only point at which there was a fighting chance, the one moment where the war could be won. Push the landing force back into the sea, destroy the specialized landing craft (a scarce strategic resource for the Soviets) and there you go - you can sit back and stare at the Russians over the Baltic Sea in relative safety. If they establish a beachhead and start shipping in Guards tank armies, might as well throw in the towel immediately, because there is no winning that game.

This (and the rest of the post) makes a LOT of sense.

Geisladisk
Sep 14, 2007



What blows my mind about is the S-tank is that the gun is completely fixed; It is not like a WW2-era casemate SPG where the gun can swing around a little bit to aim it. You aim by bouncing all forty tons of tank around on the suspension or spinning it around on the tracks. The fact that you can do this accurately enough to aim the gun over a distance of multiple kilometers is pretty amazing.

Another interesting fact is that in tests with the Centurion, the swedes found that there was no appreciable difference in the time that it took a traditional turreted tank (a Centurion in the test) and an S-tank to go from moving full out to engaging a target. Before modern stabilizers came along, tanks didn't hit poo poo on the move and would come to a stop before firing, anyway.

Clarence
May 2, 2012


Apologies (again) for falling behind with the diary entries (at one point I had a cushion of nearly two week's worth transcribed as well). I'd been building up to a big effort-post on the 23rd (heading towards it for a year), then the old thread being closed and illness completely threw me off my stride. The next target was to be up to date by the 4th, if for no other reason than the complete for part of the entry. Missed that one as well. So now I'm trying to get back on track for the 11th. We'll see.

13th KRRC War Diary, 16-19th October 1918 posted:

Training and preparation for future operations.

13th KRRC War Diary, 20th October 1918 posted:

Divine Service was held during the morning.
In the afternoon the final for the Divisional Football Championship (Soccer), commenced in the first half of the year, was played between the 8th Battn LINCOLNS and ourselves and resulted in a win for the Battalion by 3 goals to 2. Notification was received from Brigade that operations on a large scale were pending and that the 37th Division was to take part.

13th KRRC War Diary, 21st October 1918 posted:

The Battalion moved to BETHENCOURT.

13th KRRC War Diary, 22nd October 1918 posted:

The Battalion moved to BRIASTRE. Operations Orders were received. The part to be played by the 111th Infantry Brigade being to capture the villages of NEUVILLE, VITERIAN and SALESCHES and to consolidate on the hight ground in squares X.15.a.,b and d. The 21st Division is to attack simultaneously on the Right and the N.Z. Division on the left of the 111th Infantry Brigade. The 5th Division will attack at 0200 hours on 23rd inst from the Brown Line and will capture the Blue Line East of BEAURAIN. At 0840 hours the 111th Infantry Brigade will pass through the 5th Division and continue the attack. The 13th K.R.R.C. will be on the Right and the 13th Rif. Bde. on the left of the Brigade attack. At 1212 hours the 10th R.Fus will pass through the Battalion and the first ESSEX (112th Brigade) through the R.B. at the respective Battalion objectives and will capture the villages of NEUVILLE and SALESCHES and consolidate on the high ground ot the N.E. The Battalion objective will be on the Green Line and the advance will be made under a creeping barrage movign forward at a rate of 100 yards in four minutes. One Stokes Mortar is to be placed at the disposal of the Battalion.

Cessna
Feb 20, 2013

KHABAHBLOOOM

Geisladisk posted:

What blows my mind about is the S-tank is that the gun is completely fixed; It is not like a WW2-era casemate SPG where the gun can swing around a little bit to aim it. You aim by bouncing all forty tons of tank around on the suspension or spinning it around on the tracks. The fact that you can do this accurately enough to aim the gun over a distance of multiple kilometers is pretty amazing.

I wonder how well it works when you need to nudge it up and over just a fraction of a mil and you're parked on uneven ground.

There I go with my turret-chauvinism again...

TheFluff
Dec 13, 2006

FRIENDS, LISTEN TO ME
I AM A SEAGULL
OF WEALTH AND TASTE


Cessna posted:

I wonder how well it works when you need to nudge it up and over just a fraction of a mil and you're parked on uneven ground.

There I go with my turret-chauvinism again...

Laying precision was required to be equal to or better than what was available on the Centurion, that is to say 0.2 mils, and in practical tests the tank met the requirement. Or, well, it's not 0.2 mils, it's 0.2 streck because in Sweden we do things a little bit better than everyone else, so we have 6300 mils to a circle - neither 6400 like the imperialist Americans nor 6000 like the imperialist Soviets.

the army adopted the NATO standard 6400 mils in 2007

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Could someone in here explain to me how/what/why Barbara Tuchman gets wrong in The Guns of August? I can't find much in the way of details about why that book is bad, just a general "it's outdated" or "she wasn't a REAL historian" and like okay, prove it buster. Teach me about WWI properly, please.

FrangibleCover
Jan 23, 2018

Nothing going on in my quiet corner of the Pacific.

This is the life. I'm just lying here in my hammock in Townsville, sipping a G&T.

TheFluff posted:

The Swedish strike aircraft were a strategic resource, to be carefully protected and saved until it was time for the moment of truth, the potentially war-winning day, where you would deploy every aircraft and pilot completely without regard for losses in three or four concentrated strikes.

From my understanding of it, the Viggen force was basically held at the same state of readiness that everyone else had their nuclear bombers at for basically the same reasons. Sweden looked into nukes, did the cost-benefit analysis and then ditched them and developed the world's only conventional strategic deterrent.

LatwPIAT
Jun 6, 2011

Do I need a title?

TheFluff posted:

hello, yes, this is nerd

Have you written effortposts on the Hawée modifications of the J 35F1/F2/J Drakens or will I have rewrite my draft lost draft through a torrent of tears?

(I was 75% done and lost my draft. It was saved but the save was overwritten. )

Cyrano4747
Sep 25, 2006



StrixNebulosa posted:

Could someone in here explain to me how/what/why Barbara Tuchman gets wrong in The Guns of August? I can't find much in the way of details about why that book is bad, just a general "it's outdated" or "she wasn't a REAL historian" and like okay, prove it buster. Teach me about WWI properly, please.

Here's a low-effort post off the top of my head. I don't have the book in front of me and it's been quite a while since i had to engage with it in any detail.

1) She leans hard into what you could describe as "national characteristics." Germans think about war like this and French think about war like this. This isn't an entirely bunk notion as command culture is a thing and you can get into why various ways of thinking about a strategic or tactical challenge arise in various armies (see: Hull's Absolute Destruction for a truly excellent example of this), but she chalks way too much of it up to cultural, almost ethnographic explanations. It's a very 1960s approach to grappling with the issue. It also really oversimplifies the issue. French tactical doctrine is a bit more complex than just Elan and Cran.*

2) She makes a mess of Germany's diplomacy leading up to the war. IIRC she really undersells how Bethman-Hollwig used the assassination early on. It was less about just blindly backing alliances and more about throwing elbows in great power politics for the purpose of expanding German influence.

3) She neglects the eastern front in a huge way, and that front was of immense importance early on. Really any place that the British weren't involved in she neglects. It's a very British book.

4) there are a lot of places where she uses single sources really uncritically, which leads to her stating things as fact that are very much debatable. One of my personal pet peeves that, while minor in the extreme, illustrates it well is that she is one of the major sources for the myth that the British fired their Enfields so fast that the Germans mistook the rifle fire for machineguns at Mons. She cites a single memoir from a British soldier about this, without any corroboration, and if you get into German sources things look really loving different.

5) Perhaps the biggest issue is that she really drills down on the idea that once poo poo got started war was inevitable because the logistical timetables made it impossible for that not to happen. It borders on being a mono-causal explanation here, where she describes the war as happening because a dumb event precipitated an almost inevitable chain reaction. You also have to understand that she's writing at the height of the early Cold War, when people are rightfully freaking out that a pissing contest at a Berlin checkpoint could lead to a nuclear conflict. It's no accident that a lot of people involved in that kind of policy making point to her book as an example of what they want to avoid today. The problem is that it's a LOT more complicated than that, and everyone involved had a lot more reasons for escalating than just the need to mobilize before the other dude did. See also: point 2 above.

That's just a few things off the top of my head. I'll poke around in some older notes from when I was actively reading and thinking a lot more about historiography. I seem to remember also being a bit peeved at something with regard to the Fischer Controversy but I can't remember well enough to pin it down.



*not sure where I'm going to put this but I figure it will be towards the end - one of the major things to remember is that she's writing on essentially the 50th anniversary of the war and a lot of public commemoration is going on or being planned, a lot of thinking about the war has gone on, and public perception of it has been colored by WW2 to an extreme degree. The public perception at the time was basically "a bunch of guys charged machineguns for nothing and everyone died." That Black Adder season is pretty much the 50s-80s British public notion of WW1 distilled, and her book reflects a lot of it. Of course she becomes instrumental in furthering those notions, but she's also distilling a lot of what was going around before then.

Clarence
May 2, 2012


Didn't somebody previously mention that it was better to have maps/pictures etc. before the main text rather than after? No Operations Orders in the appendix, unfortunately, despite what the diary entry claims.

First let's have the maps. The general location is 14 miles East of Cambrai. (See map at end of post.) Apologies for the large size of some of the images.

Contemporary 'Trench map' of the area - with not many trenches marked on it. Or course, they had to be attacking across the boundary between maps, and as the maps I was working with weren't completely horizontal then merging them together was more fun and games.


Satellite view of the same area in the present day. The trench map and this one should align up pretty well.


Key to the markings on the maps -
Blue arrows - direction of advances
Blue lines - assembly points where the advance paused
Magenta arrows - location and direction of modern photos below
Red arrows - MG fire for the evening advance
Red circle - assembly point for the evening attack

Photo 1 - "along the line of the Railway from K.1.b.8.7. to E.25.d.4.6". The railway isn't there any more, but the trees in the middle of the picture show part of the extant embankment for it running parallel to the road.


Photo 2 - "the embankment in E.21.b.". On approaching this location I was wondering if the folds of the ground leading down to a small valley where what was meant by 'bank'. Then I walked round the corner and it was obvious, and still there 100 years later.


Photo 3 - the CWGC cemetery in Beaurain, behind the church. This is looking in the direction of Neuville and the direction of the attack.


Photo 4 - About 1500 yards 'in advance' of Beaurain, looking back towards the village and the ground being advanced over to that point


Photo 5 - Looking from square F.3.a, in which M.G. positions were located, towards the deploying position.



13th KRRC War Diary, 23rd October 1918 posted:

Operations Orders (see Appendix) were issued to Companies and at 0005 hours Companies commenced to move off from BRIASTRE to positions along the line of the Railway from K.1.b.8.7. to E.25.d.4.6. Here Companies remained for some 3 hours.

At 0130 hours the enemy put down a heavy barrage on our front line lasting for about half an hour.

At 0200 hours (ZERO hour for the general attack) our barrage opened. It was very intense, and practically no reply was made by the enemy on the reserve area.

At 0430 hours Companies moved forward to the embankment in E.21.b. arriving about 0530 hours. Here a large number of troops were already in position, mainly elements of the 5th Division. According to reports received from the Commanding Officers of the 1st BEDFORDS and the CHESHIRES the position in front was vary obscure and it was not definitely known as to whether even the first objective of the 5th Division had been taken.

At 0800 hours the O.C. the 1st BEDFORDS informed the Commanding Officer that one of his Companies was just S.W. of BEAURAIN and the other three were back on their original line. Verbal reports on the situation were phoned to Brigade H.Q. and orders were received not to attack until further notice. A Battalion of the NORFOLK Regt. commenced to pass through the Battalion about 0815 hours.

At 0850 hours verbal orders were received from Bde.H.Q. by 'phone that ZERO hour for the Brigade attack would be 1000 hours. Instructions were immediately sent to Companies to move at once. The attack was launched on a one Company front with B Coy (Capt.J.N.Evans-Jackson M.C.) leading, A Coy (Capt. E.J.Putman M.C.) in support, C Coy (Capt. T.B.Craig M.C.) in reserve and D Coy (Lt.S.T.Harvey M.C.) covering the Right flank of the attack. Special orders were given C.Coy to send patrols through the village as far as the line of the river immediately the barrage died away in order to ascertain if and to what extent the village of NEUVILLE was being held. On the result of these patrols the subsequent method of the Brigade advance was to be determined. Enemy aeroplanes were active during the morning but no artillery action followed their observations of the troops assembled at various positions in close support.

At 1020 hours Battalion Headquarters moved forward to BEAURAIN and at 1140 hours Battalion Scouts reported that our men could be seen about 1500 yards in advance of BEAURAIN.

At 1240 hours a report timed 1130 hours was received from O.C. B Coy. to the effect that he was some 200 yards short of his objective and that machine guns were firing from the objective, This report was accompanied by some 25 prisoners.

A report timed 1200 was received from O,C, D Coy stating that he was in touch with the 21st Division on the right.

At 1340 hours a report timed 1245 hours was received from O.C. B. Coy stating that he was on his objective.

At 1545 hours patrol reports were received from C. Coy to the effect that the ground as far as the line of the river in the village of NEUVILLE had been exploited and made good and that two platoons were holding posts along the West Bank of the River. Considerable difficulty was experienced during the advance from M.G. and most of the casualties were due to this cause. Casualties were light considering the nature of the country advanced over - approx: 6 officers and 72 other ranks.

Captures include:-
2 Officers and 40 other ranks.
14 machine guns
2 Field Guns
22 Civilians were liberated in the village of BEAURAIN and were discovered by the French Interpreter M. BOB DREYFUS (attached to the Battalion) hiding in cellars. He also discovered 1 German Officer and 4 other ranks concealing themselves in a similar manner.

10 p.m. Verbal message was received from Brigade that the 10th R. Fus were unable to advance on to the dotted Green Line owing to machine gun fire from squares F.3.a & c. (21st Divn Front) and the Battalion was ordered by Brigade to co-operate with the 10th R.Fus in advancing along the line of the railway from X.26.d.10.20. towards the dotted Green Line.
After consultation with the C.O. of 10th R.Fus. and the artillery, it was decided to attack at 0200 hours under a barrage. D Coy was detailed for this operation but on attempting to reach the deploying position on the road at X.26.d.4.1. they came under heavy machine gun fire at very short range and suffered considerable casualties. Further attempts to advance were unsuccessful in the face of enemy M.G. fire and permission was then obtained from Brigade to withdraw the Company.
Casualties -
1 Officer wounded
3 Other ranks killed
19 Other ranks Wounded.

A question was previously asked about handling of casualties. My grandfather was wounded at some point during the attack on the 23rd. On the 24th he was admitted to 34 CCS at Grevillers, after passing through 29 CCS at Delsaux Farm on the way (it's not a coincidence that both of these places have CWGC cemeteries located there). Grevillers is about 55 km/34 miles as the crow flies from Beaurain/Neuville. I take this as (weak) circumstantial evidence that he was wounded in the main attack during the day, not the action right at the end, and so (even more weakly) possibly in B Company, which was leading the attack. Going through the casualty system to a second CCS 34 miles behind the lines seems much more possible if wounded earlier in the day. He was listed as having "G.S.W. left leg", given 1500 units of anti-tetanus serum and loaded onto an ambulance train for transport to a hospital Terlincthun near Boulogne, and eventually shipped back to England. He got a "blighty" wound.

Le Quesnoy (of recent NZ and escalades fame) can be seen in the top right of the map.



The lines of the advance can be seen in the following image from the official history. 37th Division is circled just below the centre of the map (13th KRRC is in 111th Brigade, 37th Division, IV Corps, Third Army). The NZ division was part of the same Corps.


Going back to the cemetery in Beaurain, there are 9 graves of soldiers in the 13th KRRC who were killed in the attack on the 23rd. These are the ones grouped in a line in the foreground. There is another group visible behind, in front of the cross. These are from the subsequent action (spoilers) on the 4th.



(For anyone wondering, and still reading, yes I really did drive around French back lanes taking pictures of fields (and cows) exactly 100 years after the day being described!)

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Cyrano4747 posted:

Here's a low-effort post off the top of my head. I don't have the book in front of me and it's been quite a while since i had to engage with it in any detail.

1) She leans hard into what you could describe as "national characteristics." Germans think about war like this and French think about war like this. This isn't an entirely bunk notion as command culture is a thing and you can get into why various ways of thinking about a strategic or tactical challenge arise in various armies (see: Hull's Absolute Destruction for a truly excellent example of this), but she chalks way too much of it up to cultural, almost ethnographic explanations. It's a very 1960s approach to grappling with the issue. It also really oversimplifies the issue. French tactical doctrine is a bit more complex than just Elan and Cran.*

2) She makes a mess of Germany's diplomacy leading up to the war. IIRC she really undersells how Bethman-Hollwig used the assassination early on. It was less about just blindly backing alliances and more about throwing elbows in great power politics for the purpose of expanding German influence.

3) She neglects the eastern front in a huge way, and that front was of immense importance early on. Really any place that the British weren't involved in she neglects. It's a very British book.

4) there are a lot of places where she uses single sources really uncritically, which leads to her stating things as fact that are very much debatable. One of my personal pet peeves that, while minor in the extreme, illustrates it well is that she is one of the major sources for the myth that the British fired their Enfields so fast that the Germans mistook the rifle fire for machineguns at Mons. She cites a single memoir from a British soldier about this, without any corroboration, and if you get into German sources things look really loving different.

5) Perhaps the biggest issue is that she really drills down on the idea that once poo poo got started war was inevitable because the logistical timetables made it impossible for that not to happen. It borders on being a mono-causal explanation here, where she describes the war as happening because a dumb event precipitated an almost inevitable chain reaction. You also have to understand that she's writing at the height of the early Cold War, when people are rightfully freaking out that a pissing contest at a Berlin checkpoint could lead to a nuclear conflict. It's no accident that a lot of people involved in that kind of policy making point to her book as an example of what they want to avoid today. The problem is that it's a LOT more complicated than that, and everyone involved had a lot more reasons for escalating than just the need to mobilize before the other dude did. See also: point 2 above.

That's just a few things off the top of my head. I'll poke around in some older notes from when I was actively reading and thinking a lot more about historiography. I seem to remember also being a bit peeved at something with regard to the Fischer Controversy but I can't remember well enough to pin it down.



*not sure where I'm going to put this but I figure it will be towards the end - one of the major things to remember is that she's writing on essentially the 50th anniversary of the war and a lot of public commemoration is going on or being planned, a lot of thinking about the war has gone on, and public perception of it has been colored by WW2 to an extreme degree. The public perception at the time was basically "a bunch of guys charged machineguns for nothing and everyone died." That Black Adder season is pretty much the 50s-80s British public notion of WW1 distilled, and her book reflects a lot of it. Of course she becomes instrumental in furthering those notions, but she's also distilling a lot of what was going around before then.

Woah, thank you! This is exactly what I've been looking for - it's me, I'm the layperson who wants to read WWI histories and then blindly trusts that if it got a Pulitzer, it must be good, right? Right?

It doesn't help that she's so readable, right or wrong. She's good at weaving a narrative, and that will absolutely demolish 'real' history in the eyes of the public, because narratives are more fun and feel right, so they must've happened that way. (I think my favorite error she's made is the claim in A Distant Mirror that since everyone was dying all the time, only teenage men were in positions of power during the era, which is why a lot of the moves they made were so rash. On a surface reading, hey, it explains a lot! Then you think about it, and uhhhh no. People are just stupid / the culture was different / etc.)

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

Cyrano4747 posted:

It borders on being a mono-causal explanation here, where she describes the war as happening because a dumb event precipitated an almost inevitable chain reaction. You also have to understand that she's writing at the height of the early Cold War, when people are rightfully freaking out that a pissing contest at a Berlin checkpoint could lead to a nuclear conflict. It's no accident that a lot of people involved in that kind of policy making point to her book as an example of what they want to avoid today. The problem is that it's a LOT more complicated than that, and everyone involved had a lot more reasons for escalating than just the need to mobilize before the other dude did. See also: point 2 above.
IIRC, Kennedy specifically cited The Guns of August at various points during the Cuban Missile Crisis as a reminder of how things could get out of hand if the weren't careful so they needed to be really careful.

Cyrano4747
Sep 25, 2006



FMguru posted:

IIRC, Kennedy specifically cited The Guns of August at various points during the Cuban Missile Crisis as a reminder of how things could get out of hand if the weren't careful so they needed to be really careful.

Yeah, there's someone else also more modern, also. One of the generals heavily involved in the GWOT iirc.

Jobbo_Fett
Mar 7, 2014

It would be a sad error in judgement to mistake me for a corpse.


Clapping Larry

WW2 Data

What guided munitions did the US have following the conclusion of World War 2? Today's entry shines some light on the munitions developed by the Bureau of Ordnance's "Dove" and "Bat" weapons. How exactly does the "Dove" bomb work? Why was a 2,000-pound guided missile not developed? All that and more at the blog!

FrangibleCover
Jan 23, 2018

Nothing going on in my quiet corner of the Pacific.

This is the life. I'm just lying here in my hammock in Townsville, sipping a G&T.

Clarence posted:

Or course, they had to be attacking across the boundary between maps, and as the maps I was working with weren't completely horizontal then merging them together was more fun and games.

This was a superb post, where should I be looking for the others in the series?

Also, at this point I'm convinced that a guild of militant pacifist cartographers deliberately arrange maps such that any military operation crosses a map boundary.

Jobbo_Fett
Mar 7, 2014

It would be a sad error in judgement to mistake me for a corpse.


Clapping Larry

https://i.imgur.com/u5xJNfa.gifv

Practicing skip bombing

Rocko Bonaparte
Mar 12, 2002

Every day is Friday!


Cyrano4747 posted:

The problem is that it's a LOT more complicated than that, and everyone involved had a lot more reasons for escalating than just the need to mobilize before the other dude did. See also: point 2 above.
I think I remember Dan Carlin's thing on WWI running with that notion too. There was something I saw on YouTube that showed the cascade of diplomatic lost opportunities and downright fuckups that happened in the wake of Archduke Ferdinand's assassination but not on the start of everybody moving out with rifles. It just sounds like somebody pushed a button, a bunch of German's pupils dilated in unison, they grabbed the nearest rifle, and marched off like unstoppable T-800s--following The Plan.

Cyrano4747
Sep 25, 2006



Rocko Bonaparte posted:

I think I remember Dan Carlin's thing on WWI running with that notion too. There was something I saw on YouTube that showed the cascade of diplomatic lost opportunities and downright fuckups that happened in the wake of Archduke Ferdinand's assassination but not on the start of everybody moving out with rifles. It just sounds like somebody pushed a button, a bunch of German's pupils dilated in unison, they grabbed the nearest rifle, and marched off like unstoppable T-800s--following The Plan.

Yeah that question was asked because in another thread I mentioned how Carlin has some major problems and one of them is that he accepts secondary literature really uncritically and Tuchman’s influence is a big part of why I had problems with his series on WW1. I’ll go find that post ina sec it was in the bitching about students thread.

Cyrano4747
Sep 25, 2006



Cyrano4747 posted:

I've got really mixed feelings about Hardcore History. Basically he's a pretty OK introduction to a topic if you know absolutely nothing about it. I had a lot of fun listening to his series on Ghengis Khan but then I knew little to nothing about him prior beyond "mongol dude who conquered a ton of poo poo and killed the gently caress out of central Asia." I had a LOT of problems with his series on WW1, however, to the point where I really can't recommend it.

His problems don't lie in not assessing sources properly (he's more than fair about looking at bias in propaganda, news reports, etc) but in being utterly uncritical about the works of historians. Listening to his take on early WW1 it was pretty clear that when he had to do a section he would grab one, at most two, books on a narrow subject and just go on what they were talking about. The problem is that he's not exactly always using the latest stuff. He mentioned Tuchman's Guns of August more than once and that book has a few problems in light of the 60+ years of scholarship that have built on it.

Hardcore History is about on the level of reading Wikipedia, just far more entertaining. I'm not saying this to drat it with faint praise, either. Wikipedia is useful as gently caress if you just need the basics and know next to nothing. It's just one of those things that when you know a subject more intimately the errors in it really stand out to you.

And a bonus joke about his boxing metaphors:


Cyrano4747 posted:

LIKE TWO PUNCH DRUNK BOXERS IN THE TENTH ROUND THE GERMANS AND FRENCH CONTINUED THEIR DEATH GRAPPLE IN THE RUINS OF THE FORTRESS OF VERDUN.

FastestGunAlive
Apr 7, 2010

Dancing palm tree.


TheFluff posted:

we have 6300 mils to a circle - 6000 like the imperialist Soviets.

This broke my artillery brain (actually I think I had previously read that the soviets didn’t use 6400)

TheFluff
Dec 13, 2006

FRIENDS, LISTEN TO ME
I AM A SEAGULL
OF WEALTH AND TASTE


FrangibleCover posted:

From my understanding of it, the Viggen force was basically held at the same state of readiness that everyone else had their nuclear bombers at for basically the same reasons. Sweden looked into nukes, did the cost-benefit analysis and then ditched them and developed the world's only conventional strategic deterrent.

Yes, the Strategic Air Command is a pretty good analogy for the Swedish strike wings. Though the reasons for abandoning the nuclear program were more political than budgetary, I'd say.

LatwPIAT posted:

Have you written effortposts on the Hawée modifications of the J 35F1/F2/J Drakens or will I have rewrite my draft lost draft through a torrent of tears?

(I was 75% done and lost my draft. It was saved but the save was overwritten. )

I don't know much about that
I have a had a draft for an effortpost about the Stril 60 data link system sitting around for years though. My post history in the AIRPOWER/Cold War thread also has some pretty good posts, if I might say so myself.

Morholt
Mar 18, 2006

Contrary to popular belief, tic-tac-toe isn't purely a game of chance.

FrangibleCover posted:

From my understanding of it, the Viggen force was basically held at the same state of readiness that everyone else had their nuclear bombers at for basically the same reasons. Sweden looked into nukes, did the cost-benefit analysis and then ditched them and developed the world's only conventional strategic deterrent.

Sweden was definitely going for nukes during the 50's and early 60's. The program got delayed due to difficulty in obtaining plutonium, then the reactor built to produce plutonium being poo poo, and after that the program was ended due to public outrage.

LatwPIAT
Jun 6, 2011

Do I need a title?

TheFluff posted:

I don't know much about that

Welp..

F 35 Draken And the AIM-4 Falcon


In 1949 the Swedish Air Force (Flygvapnet) are looking to the future and issue a set of requirements for a single-seat, high-altitude, supersonic, all-weather, day-and-night jet fighter capable of engaging bomber groups and enemy fighter planes from all directions, using Swedish roads as runways, By 1955 the first prototypes take to the skies, and in 1960 the first model of Flygplan 35, the J 35A Draken, enters service, armed with unguided A2A rockets, twin 30mm autocannons, and the AIM-9B Sidwinder. It's technically capable of engaging bombers and enemy fighters from any angle, but Flygvapnet want the brand new American AIM-4 Falcon missile (Rb-27 in Swedish service), and on the 22nd of December the same year the Falcon-equipped J 35B3 prototype takes to the skies.

Development of this aircraft continues, and in 1965 the J 35F1 enters service with the AIM-4 Falcon, just in time for the US to commit to Vietnam and discover that the AIM-4 is actually garbage.

This'll be slightly awkward for a good 15 years, when Flygvapnet finally take JA 37 Jaktviggen into service, a wonderful and amazing plane capable of carrying the Skyflash air-to-air missile, which I'll let Frangible sing praises to.

Right before Jaktviggen enters service, the Draken wing at airbase F16 is conducting an exercise, simulating defence against Soviet aviation. The aggressor aircraft standing in for Soviet MiGs are J 32E Störlansens, electronic warfare planes equipped with advanced jamming equipment. In the F16 barracks after the exercise, some of the pilots are bitching amongst themselves about how difficult it is to get a radar lock on Störlansens. They ask Draken radar-engineer Göran Hawée what's making Störlansens so hard to hit, and Hawée begins explaining how radar jammers work. So this is a good time to explain how a radar jammer works!

How A Radar Jammer Works (Abbreviated)



Radars work a lot like bat echolocation. A bat makes a screech and listens for the echo. The time it takes for the screech to echo back to the bat tells it how far away things like yummy insects are. Similarly, a radar sends out a radiowave and listens for the radar echo: the time it takes for the radio signal to return tells you how far away things like dangerous Soviet MiGs are.

The main difference between bat echolocation and radar in method is that bats screech in all directions and triangulate on the echo with their ears, while radars tend to transmit in a very narrow cone and make multiple scans at different angles to determine the angle to the echo:



Imagine you're a bat, hunting for yummy insects. Imagine that, instead of hearing your own echo, there was an rear end in a top hat bat screeching false echoes at you? You'd hear both the true echo and the false echoes from the other bat. The false echoes tell you there's insects where they're not, and while you're hunting false insects, the rear end in a top hat bat flies in and eats all the yummy insects.

This is one of the ways radar jamming works: by sending out false radar echoes, you confuse enemy radars as to your true location. All you need to do is transmit lots of false echoes at the same frequency as the enemy radar. (You can transmit false echoes on every frequency but then you have to spread your jamming power out over many frequencies.) Since a radar is a giant glowing Eye of Sauron to any receiver nearby, it's pretty easy to figure out which frequency it transmits on. In the analogy of bats, if a bat is screeching, you can hear exactly which frequency it's screeching at and copy that frequency.

Another method of radar jamming is side lobe jamming. While a radar listens for returns in a very narrow cone, it's not deaf in other directions:



The big lobe is where the radar is pointed, but it can detect radar echoes, faintly, in every lobe - and it can't tell if a signal is in the main lobe or a side lobe. Imagine that your radar is pointed 45 degrees to the right and an rear end in a top hat MiG 45 degrees to your left suddenly 'screams', as loud as it can, in your radar frequency. It'll get picked up by one of the sidelobes and your radar will think that there's a MiG 45 degrees to your right, even though the MiG is 45 degrees to your left!

If the MiG does this just once, you'll just see a blip at 45 degrees right while the MiG's real return is at constantly there at 45 degrees left: it's easy to tell which is the real and which is the false MiG. However, if the MiG times its screams to always happen when your radar is pointed 45 degrees to the right, you'll have two MiGs on your radar, one real and one false (and you only get one question). The MiG can easily do this if it knows how fast you sweeps are. One sweep every second? Scream once every second, on the second.

A 90 degree difference between the real and false echo is an extreme case. If an enemy radar has a lock on you, you can make a false echo at just a few arcseconds off your real position, then slooooowly increase the distance between yourself and the false echo. As long as your false echo is 'louder' than your true echo, the radar will stay locked on your false echo. Once the radar lock is far enough away, you can stop transmitting false echoes. To the enemy radar, it'll look like it gets a lock, then suddenly there'll be no lock. It'll reacquire you, get a lock, and then it'll lose you suddenly again.

Back in 1979...
Göran Hawée is trying to explain this, probably better than I, to Draken pilots. Shortly afterwards he visits a J 32E unit and asks one of their engineers how the jammer actually works, then sits down with a circuit diagram for the Draken's PS-01 radar.

The jammer detects which frequency the PS-01 is transmitting on and sends false echoes on that frequency. So if you vary the PS-01's send and read frequency just a little bit every time, it won't hear the false echoes. And the jammer detects how often the PS-01 sweeps across it and uses that to time the false echoes to break radar lock. So if you vary the PS-01's scan speed just a little bit each time, the jammer can't break radar lock.

OK, so how to wire up the PS-01 so the frequency and sweep rate varies over time? Well, it turns out that the PS-01 is an overwrought mess of a radar, full of unused cables and electronic components with unused outputs. Including a signal generator.

Soon thereafter FMV (think Swedish DARPA) receives a proposal: wire the PS-01's frequency selector and sweep-rate selector through the unused signal generator parts, using leftover cables in the system. This will greatly improve the Draken's ability to fire on targets in a jamming-heavy environment.

In 1982 the Swedish and Finnish J 35F Draken fleets are upgraded with the PS-011A Hawée 1 radar, a process I like to imagine involves giving Göran Hawée a soldering iron and pointing him at a Draken.

J 35J Draken
At the same time Flygvapnet comes to the realization that the JAS 39 Gripen is not going to arrive on schedule and they're going to have to keep their Drakens in service much longer than expected, well into the 90s. This is a very long service life for the Draken, and the J 35F2 just isn't going to cut it anymore. It's time for an upgrade.

One of the people working on this upgrade is Göran Hawée, who is trying to solve a problem with the PS-011 radar. Like all radars from the early 60s, if you point it below the horizon while flying, the radar will be completely overwhelmed by the echo of the ground. This makes it almost impossible to see and lock onto targets flying near the ground, which is a significant weakness - especially after the Soviet Union fitted radars capable of filtering away the ground echo on the MiG-23P in 1978...

The usual way of making a radar that can filter away the ground echo is to make a completely new radar with new electronics using pulse-Doppler methods to filter away everything moving about as fast as the ground is moving relative to the plane, leaving only very fast things like enemy planes.

Göran Hawée looks at a circuit diagram for the PS-011, realizes that he can just wire the return signal through the echo suppression and logarithmic arithmetic circuits already present in the radar, and gives the Draken a radar capable of spotting and engaging targets despite ground clutter.

This becomes the PS-011A Hawée 2, applied to all PS-011-equipped Drakens in Swedish service. Again, this process seems simple enough that all you need is a circuit diagram and a soldering iron.

Hawée 2 is not the only upgrade the Swedish Drakens received. Sixty-six J 35F2 Drakens receive a number of avionics upgrades to the AIM-4 systems, becoming the J 35J Draken. Between the new avionics, Hawée 2, and new proximity fuses, the Rb-27 in Swedish service is rated "Mycket God" (very good) in 1985.

Which is not bad for a missile that was garbage twenty years earlier!

Further Reading on Hawée 1 and 2, in Swedish:
https://www.aef.se/Avionik/Notiser/Hawee_1_Notis_1.htm
https://www.aef.se/Avionik/Notiser/Hawee_2__Notis_2.htm

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010



Lipstick Apathy

LatwPIAT posted:

This becomes the PS-011A Hawée 2, applied to all PS-011-equipped Drakens in Swedish service. Again, this process seems simple enough that all you need is a circuit diagram and a soldering iron.

Swedish Radar McGyver is an amazing story

Clarence
May 2, 2012


FrangibleCover posted:

where should I be looking for the others in the series?
I was (mostly) trying to post war diary entries 100 years to the day since they were written, so they've been spread out through the thread since late last year. The vast majority are short entries.
One bigger one was around March 9th - https://forums.somethingawful.com/s...0#post482005017
I think there may have been a few mid-size ones between then and now.

Clarence fucked around with this message at 14:36 on Nov 6, 2018

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Kemper Boyd
Aug 6, 2007

no kings, no gods, no masters but a comfy chair and no socks



This is one abbreviation that never stops being amusing.

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