Wednesday, 31 October 2012

I'm all for libertarianism

But can we please ban flat head screws?

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Really BIG guns

TrT has been thinking about heavy artilery recently.

As I say frequently, I dont really see the UK facing a "fulda gap" style mobile war in the near future, if ever.

What I do see, is the UK finding people smaller than us, and beating seven shades of shit out of them.

I always remember reading, probably on Britains Small Wars, that one of the many problems faced, was that Argentina had a 155mm Howitzer, that greatly out ranged our light guns.
They lacked the logistics to keep it fed, and the organisation to provide its operators useful targeting data, but still, we had to hold material far back from the front, or risk it being destroyed.

So, if we hold that pattern, the enemy basically unable to mount effective offensive operations, really heavy artillery gets more and more impressive.

And when I say really heavy, I mean really heavy, like battleship heavy.

Maybe not "quite" 100,000 kg, but, complete spit balling here.

Something like an LCU, possibly two.stuck together, with very very large tracks to resolve the ground pressure issue.
Just spit balling again, but if it could lob a 2000lb shell 60km, and self deploy from an amphib, any UK task force would be quite capable of annihilating any conceivable field fortification from well outside ranges the enemy could reply from.
Which of course, leaves them the unenviable choice of "be blown up" and "charge of the light brigade".
The gun of course is an easy target to be charged, since it can probably only run away at a few miles per hour, but that of course implies the enemy has an effective capability for offensive action, and that we cant crush their field armies in a mobile defence, and that the whole point isnt to draw them out and do just that.

And yes, I know, I did once argue a Brigade needed no more than 6 guns.....

Sunday, 28 October 2012

setting the agenda.

There is currently a, well, civil war, in Burma.

According to Wikipedia, the violence started when 10 Muslims were killed.

After the Rape and Murder of a Rhakine girl, by said Muslims.

Its hard to understand why you wouldnt list those two chronologically, unless you were trying to create the impression that the muslims were the victims of an unprovoked attack, rather than the perpertrators.

"The immediate cause of the riots was unclear, with many commentators citing the killing of ten Burmese Muslims by ethnic Rakhine after the rape and murder of a Rakhine woman as the main cause"

Saturday, 27 October 2012

2015 is there to win

I want Cameron to be hung up from a tree and gutted.

That said, if he wasnt such a sanctimonious prick, he would be breezing the next election.

A friend form mate girl I went to school with is complaining.

Shes (employed) watching the Z-factor at home, drinking cheap vodka and energy drink.
Her friend (unemployed) is drinking smirnoff and red bull in the pub, also watching X Factor.

Its not exactly a difficult aspiration to fulfill you twit!

And **** you autocorrect!!!!

"Short Survey"

Just on Ikea.
They asked if I would complete a "short survey".
Ten minutes in, I looked to be about 15% of the way through.

I got angry at that point

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Just polished off the last of the black grouse

All in all not bad, nothing on the snow grouse.

have to go shopping on the weekend

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Argentine Strategy in the Falklands

TrT was looking for a specific piece on logistics on the Falklands, couldnt find it.

Did Find this comment however

Argentinas best chances to defend the Falkland were first defeat or turn back the British Task Force before it could land and failing that they had to prevent to prevent a successful  landing.    Unfortunately for Argentina they lacked the numbers necessary to defend all likely British landing sites and also lacked the mobility to move forces enough forces  to the site the British had chosen  to contest the landing (San Carlos).  Once  the British Forces were established ashore and the Falkland Islands isolated it was over for Argentina.

Now, if we ignore that for now.
There were 24 days between the landings at San Carlos and the Argentine Surrender.

Despite having numerical, materiel and transport superiority, they appeared to do precisely nothing?
Was there just a hope that they could hold on long enough for the weather to force us out?

The Four Brigade Division

Following on from, and partly copying, my most recent piece on a three division British Army

I thought I would attempt to better explain the component pieces.

Four Brigades
Each of (roughly) 5461 men.

An Armoured Brigade
A Mechanised Brigade
A Light Brigade
A Logistics Brigade

The Armoured Brigade would be a fairly standard leading edge high end warfighting force.
Battle Tanks, Recon Tanks, Infantry in IFVs and Artilery.
During the First Gulf War, the UK deployed 180 Challengers, but only 120 during the second gulf war.
None at all to Kosovo or Bosnia, where we deployed nothing heavier than the Warrior (and I assume Striker as a more heavily armed platform).

The Mechanised Brigade would be the follow on force
Infantry, a mix of IFVs and APCs

The Light Brigade, would either be the third echelon, following in the wake of the mechanised troops, or the preceding force, 
The Brigades Marine Infantry, Parachute infantry, Heavy Motorised (MRAP) and light motorised (which would also make a good induction place one assumes)

And the Engineering Brigade, which would contain
REME, Engineers, Signals, Other Support

The actual force is considerably larger than I was expecting to justify, but throwing away the insane 6/36 deployment schedule and adopting an "every soldier is a combatant" mentality allows us to maintain a bigger deployable force than we managed twenty years ago on half the manpower.

The UKs defence prioritisation is insane.

I've maintained this view for a while, but I've crystalised the thinking.

If the Russian Fleet sailed into the Thames Estuary and began shelling London, the British response would be limited to Torpedoes fired from our 7 strong hunter killer fleet, and the 4 strong deterrent fleet

If the Russian Army rolled into Poland and began shelling Warsaw, we have hundreds of tanks, artillery pieces and ground attack aircraft, backing up tens of thousands of mechanised infantrymen.

Given the boomers need to stay the hell out of the dangerzone, and the seven astutes could be facing 30 or more Russian hunter killers, its a situation that goes beyond farcical.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

The Three Division Army?

TrT has been playing with his excel army again.

I still remain convinced that 66,000 men, organised into three divisions, is more than ample for the UKs needs.

Whilst playing, I also came up with the idea of moving N/CO's out of the current position within a fireteam/section (Which I believe would move us closer to what the Americans do?)


Three Identical Full Strength Divisions (no pocket divisions anymore :P )

Each made of four Brigades of 5461 men
(Armoured, Mechanised, Light, Logistics?)

Each of four Regiments of 1365 men
(Tank, Recon, Armoured Infantry, Self Propelled Artillery
Armoured Infantry, Mechanised Infantry, Mechanised Infantry, Self Propelled Artillery
Motorised Infantry, Parachute Infantry, Amphibious Infantry, Light Infantry
REME, Engineers, Signals, Other Support)

Each Regiment of four companies 341 men
(16 Challie2's  x 4?)
(16x Scimitar, 4x Striker (Variant carrying javelin), x4)
(20x Warrior x4)
(16x AS90, 16x Starstreak, 16x Radar/Microphone, 16x UAV)

(20x Warrior x4)
(20x FV432 x4)
(20x FV432 x4)
(16x AS90, 16x Starstreak, 16x Radar/Microphone, 16x UAV)

I'm bored now, I might come back to this if I remember when I sober up.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Fortress Falklands - Second Site

As I mentioned previously, an effective Radar site on the Falklands would cover a vast area at high altitudes, and if raised high, would provide a shocking amount of low level coverage.

But Radar cant see through hills.

A base at Port Philomel would be well protected by the site previously mentioned.  But not completely, the hills to the south would provide a substantial blind spot.  Those to the east would as well, but the chance of an aircraft circling round, under / outside the radar horizon of the Mt Adam site is very remote.

A second site, on the southern hill, would provide cover to the south, and between them, would close off much of the east as well.

The lower hill would provide somewhat shorter lines of site, but not substantially so.

Short Range

And Long Range

Also provides redundancy against attack / breakdown / maintenance.

There remains a hill range to the South East, which ideally, would be covered as well, but its an imperfect world, and they are considerably more distant from the proposed base, and considerably lower.
Flying in behind their shadow is possible, if, difficult.
And there would be 38km of open space between the secondary radar and the last of the cover.
2 minutes in a fighting hawk at flank speed (and it wont be that fast down low)
A Typhoon going flat out can barely cover that in under two minutes.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Face Book Fail

Now, I am by no means an expert, but, I'm pretty sure they arent boobs.......

Friday, 12 October 2012

Am I missing something?

The Police, allegedly, lied about fans looting dead fans.

Who the fuck cares?

Going through the motions

Reading a bit at Slouching

A comment was made that the C4i networks of Syria would need to be destroyed before any sort of ground offensive could take place.

Now, dont get me wrong, Syria has, at least in theory, a formidable air defense net that would need to be neutralised, but beyond that?

Why would the planning capabilities of the tank corps need to be bombed?

Dont get me wrong, I'm for killing high ranking officers on general principle, but I dont see a military benefit here.
Every attempt by the Iraq forces to counter attack in the second gulf war was a disaster.

Surely we would want Syria to resist any allied invasion with its absolute best effort?

Easier to destroy an armoured division charging you than once scattered across the desert, buried.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

What if BoJo really doesnt want to be PM?

Just saw a pic of Cameron genuinely laughing at a BoJo speech and it occurred to me that BoJo makes one hell of a "traitor catcher".
Think about it, anyone who wants Cameron gone reports in to BoJo offering support.
BoJo tells them to wait until he gives the signal, and then tells Cameron to isolate them from any sensitive information.

Pure speculation of course, and of course, if Bojo ever decided he wanted to take power, he would be in a brilliant position to turn Camerons circle on to itself.

Monday, 8 October 2012

She doesnt look pretty

She looks like she was kicked in the head by a horse!

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Christmas Dinner for nine

How on earth did I end up doing Christmas Dinner for nine?

Good god that will be something to regret

Savile Row

I dont get the surprise
When has the BBC ever had a problem with the sexual abuse of white girls?

Fortress Falklands - Port Philomel Naval Base

The more I think about relocating significant portions of the UK Armed forces to the Falklands, the more sense it seems to make, and the more ideas I get as to what can actually be moved.

Above, is West Falkland, the highlighted area, is, according to google maps, called Port Philomel.
There is no port.
There is however a farm, Dunnose Head. (not shown, just felt like padding)

A close up of the area.
Now lets be honest, is there a better natural port anywhere in the world?
Easy to control access, and about 20km from the entrance point to the little "beak" in the top right corner.
Now it could be that the area would make a very poor anchorage, due to depth issues, or hidden rocks, or whatever, but if we assume its usable, what a resource.

Obviously, its on the wrong end of the world for he needs of the surface fleet, but for the submarine fleet?

Now, before I try and justify the problems, lets look at the advantages.

Its on the other end of the world.
Events like this would be far more difficult
Getting past the GIUK gap unseen is hard enough, they would then have an 8000 mile trip to even reach the staging area, never mind infiltrate it.

Whats the legality on declaring Queen Charlotte and King George Bays weapons testing grounds, and ensuring anyone trying to sneak in only tries it once?

Only a short hop north, and Moscow is in range of Trident, and those hits could could from a much larger area than is presently the case.  Fancy building an ABM system to cover missiles coming from India as well as America Vlad?

For the fleet submarines, the 8,000 mile trip between the Falklands and the UK, is, ten days?

Not much out of a six month deployment.
Obviously you would need some sort of replenishment facility in the UK, still, could close Falslane

Fortress Falklands - Radar

Radar, at least in theory, obeys certain rules.

Like horizons, caused by the curvature of the earth.

Mount the radar higher, and it can see further, one of the reasons the T45 is so big is to provide a stable platform high up
Fly lower, and you can get closer without being seen, few anti ship missiles come without "sea skimming" these days

The highest point on West Falkland, is Mount Adam, 700m above sea level.
The overlay above, shows the horizon for an aircraft with a 10m flying height, its about 127km.
Obviously, that doesnt take into account blind spots from hills and such

First thought is that its pretty rubbish, but a bit a of delving, and its actually rather impressive.
Even if you accept the speeds of things like the BrahMos at face value, you would still have a two minute window between crossing the radar horizon and intercept.
Storm shadow would take closer to seven minutes, and thats before I recalculate the bigger radar horizon because it flies higher.
Two minutes isnt a long time, but its a longer time.
And of course, the "sea skimmer" also has to climb up 700 meters to hit the radar facility, I wonder how many designers have considered that?


And this is the radar overlay, for aircraft flying at 10,000 meters, from the same site.

The Typhoon could, just about get in under that outer radar horizon, although what weapons it would be carrying to do so I couldn't say.
But the fighting hawks certainly couldn't.
Nothing that wasn't designed from the ground up as a long ranged low flying aircraft could manage it.

Could we build a mountain for another radar site?

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Its not always about punishment!

Now, given that I consider stick and chainsaw the corner stone of a viable foreign policy for the UK, where we should use collective punishment to force enemy governments to change their ways.

That said, you have to make sure you punish the right people, and that punishment is the way to go.

And thats where Defence and Freedom and Think Defence have gone wrong.

Good behavior has two main drivers.

Hope for reward
Fear of Punishment

Hope for reward.
The Armed forces have no hope for reward.
Both on a personal level, and an organisational level.
Imagine FRES had come in ahead of time, under budget, and above specification.
Who would have been rewarded?
The army would have just lost the unspent money and theres no person or group of people in charge of the project long enough to say "I did that".

Fear of Punishment.
The Armed forces have no fear of punishment.
Both on a personal level, and an organisational level.
 FRES came in late, over budget, and under specification.
Who's been punished?
By the time budget cuts feed through, everyone in power now will either be retired or CDS, and since no one is charge of the project, no one can be punished when its a complete fucking disaster.

Cut the budget, and they will do everything they can to protect themselves.
To be fair, increase the budget, and they will just waste more/

Competing defence forces *Might* be viable, for the US.
Because over there, congress seriously can say, ok, this is the effect we want, 4 services, submit plans to deliver it.
But the UK couldnt.
Lets face, the US Navy Airforce and the Marine Corps are bigger than the RAF and British Army.

Thats not to say its hopeless, and I may expand after I've got another beer

Soldiering is more than shooting, No?

I posted on (and joined) small wars journal (Is that the place Yon was taking the piss out of for being ran from a food truck?) and someone, who I assume to be someone else posting under a pseudonym, mentioned that it can create a "soldier / porter" mentality within the forces.

Oddly, this was my initial objection.
Tommy Atkins is better than a ****ing donkey!

But, I wonder?
Is he?  And does it matter either way?

Its nice to imagine we employ 160,000 Stirling Archers, but, well, we dont.
And whats important?
Winning Wars?  Or ensuring the riflemen only do duties under arms?
If we can win wars with nail painting, the SAS will become the special acrylic service if I have a say.  Probably a good job I dont.

But is soldiering just shooting?

Taking my theoretical fireteam, everyone "ports".
The machine gunner carries his gun, the three jobbies carry his ammo.
But do they "just" carry his ammunition?

Well, no.
We already have "co gunners", in that snipers have spotters, machine gunners have feeders/loader, AT posts have, well, ok, they have missile carriers.
So having one ammo jockey / close protection / replacement gunner isnt anything new.

Add in a fire team leader, and three men of the fire team are already "important".
Number four gets to be the fireteam medic type dude?

I can see how it could create a "porter" mentality, but I would disagree it must.
For example, from what I have been told, the UK Apache gunship crews are an equal partnership.  Whereas the American Apache Crews have a very rigid master / slave structure.
Same platform, different operating model.

Oh fuck, operating model, I'm still in work, I so need to quit.

Anyway, I might have a go at posting a larger force, like "my" 64(ish) man company.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Bridge over the river Carling

Those of you who are men, should recognise the above picture, as a masterful technical drawing of a plastic beer holder.
Mrs TrT insists that, after manfully drinking my beer, I cut up the  plastic binders to make sure that no fish or other mentaly challenged animals die in them.

Because I am, by this point rather sozzled, I am attempting to work out how to destroy any "enclosure" and create the longest (or indeed, shortest) remaining piece of plastic, with the fewest cuts possible.

Since its many years since I did decision maths, I have forgotten how the bridges of possibly Colne, or perhaps somewhere now in poland, actualy worked.

Maneuver against Attrition?

Whilst searching for that Owen article on fireteam arms, I found another on Maneuver against Attrition.
There were others, but this one caught my eye.

Now, I havent finished reading it, but, and I am no expert here, but, wasnt the whole point of maneuver to ensure that when it became time to pay the butchers bill, they paid considerably more than you?

Its an interesting and important point.
Napoleon, tiny quasi frog he was, was an expert at the first part, enemy armies repeatedly scattered when he faced them..
But he never managed to progress beyond that, he never managed to destroy those armies.
Every year, or every other anyway, the same "beaten" armies reformed, and every year,. France lost a little more blood and treasure "out maneuvering", scattering,  but not destroying those forces.

Until eventually, France failed its attempts at maneuver, and those armies who were "neutralised" 5 times, wiped out the French armies.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

One year warrior program

The army (and one assumes the other forces, but we will stick with army for now) suffers from a fairly insurmountable problem.
Too many chief wannabes, not enough chief positions, not enough Indians or Indian wannabes.

They also suffer from another problem.
Not enough soldiers for a big war.

Astute readers, and clever readers who dont serve on a submarine, will have noticed that those two problems appear, to be each others solutions?

The army needs a lot of pre trained soldiers, who could be quickly retrained.
The army needs a lot of ground level soldiers, without higher aspirations.

May I present, the one year warrior program.

Instead of joining for a, 5 year term, I think it was when I was applying (apparently they dont let you in the RAFReg if you have eyes as ****ed as mine), possibly 12 years for none officers, everyone joins for a year.
Undergoes basic (infantry) training, deployment, and maybe "taster training" at a few of the different schools.

Those who dont want the army, can duck out after a year.
Those who the army doesnt want, have an honorable way out.
Those who arent sure, can "try before they buy"

The army gets 40,000 men per year off the payroll but with at least basic infantry warfare training.
It also gets a chance to test those it isnt quite sure if they will make the grade for anything above, or even as high as the bottom level.

Man, that sounded like so much more inside my head before I put finger to keyboard

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Section Weapons - on a larger scale

TrT has been toying with this idea for some time, but has never really plucked up the courage to knock it out.
Since blogging is planned to be heavy this evening, with counters to the thin pinstripe line and defence with a c brewing, I thought I might be able to sneak it out without too much ridicule.

Anyway, there are two pieces I would like to revisit.

Army Structure and Section Weapons
If for now, we just look at a 64 man force commanded by a Captain, supported by a couple of Lts doing "on the job training" who dont make the official strength.

4 "Bricks", each a of 4 fire teams, of four.

Hmm, maybe I should look at the "brick" first.

I would want each four to be equipped differently.

Says it all really.
A nice big fuck off rifle to blow someones head off from a mile, or two, away.
Obvious contender would be the AIAWM chambered in .338 LM
Weight a hefty 7kg
I am of course drawn to the much bigger .50 sniper rounds, for reasons which will become clear shortly.

Machine guns to those civilian readers like me :)
If, and this is a big if, a, its possible to select both a machine gun and a sniper rifle that use the same ammunition without compromising on either, awesomeness, but given the .50 sniper rifles were almost twice as heavy as the Accuracy International rifle, I'm not convinced that is entirely possible.
Its hard to get away from the GPMG
I simply dont have anything near the knowledge to argue on the specifics of what comes out the dangerous end.
There is an alternative to matching the snipers bullet, which I will again discuss later 
Weight, a really hefty 12kg.

Anti Tank
Javelin, or Spike, or something like.
Probably Javelin, based on its much better command unit, which is a handy information gathering tool, as well as a missile director.
Weight, 6.4kg, plus 11.8kg per missle

High Explosives
Something funky, like the Milkor MGL.  Which weighs 5.5kg, and fires 245g grenades out to 400m

Rest of them
Well, thats 4 guys with guns weapons, since the rest will need something more than sharp sticks and bad language to win wars.
We have, options, not, great options, but options.
It took a long time for me to come round to this was of thinking, but, those four are the primary combat effect of the Brick.  The rest, exist to look, see, carry, and protect.
After reading a comment thread at small wars journal about the William Owen article, one point was constantly repeated, "a soldier needs a weapon that lets him kill at 800m".
The sad reality is, the only weapon that is going to allow the average squaddie to kill at 800m, is an above average squaddie he can carry around with him.......
Yep, I'm arguing in favour of a PDW.
So what are the options?
Well, what does it fire?

There are, to my mind, three viable options.
The first, is fire a "normal" bullet.
Something like 5.56.
The Magpul PDR
Normal bullets, fired from a very small, very light gun, allowing plenty of spare weight for proper tools of war.

The second, is the "normal" PDR bullet.
That would be a small, fast, armour piercing bullet.
The obvious example being the P90
I'm sorry, but I refuse to believe anyone hit five times in the torso with one of those is going to keep fighting, frankly, even if it happens in a surgical theater I dont rate your chances of surviving.
But if anyone wants to volunteer to be the target in a test to prove they can survive......
Again, small, light, plenty of capacity for their fire teams main effect.

Thirdly, lets call it, MAGPUL extreme.
Chamber something like the MAGPUL, in something bigger than 5.56.

Maybe, if we dont match the machine gun and sniper round, we could match the PDR and the Machine gun?

In deference to those who prefer the "main battle rifle" concept, I wonder.
Can 16 MBRs make more accurate hits than a sniper at 1600m?
Can 16 MBRs match the volume of fire of a medium machine gun?
Can 16 MBRs put out more kinetic energy than a grenade launcher?
Can 16 MBRs knock out more tanks than a javelin?

Section Weapons - on a larger scale
Ok, so it wasnt that much of a "larger" scale, arse.

Maybe do away with the Javelin section for a dedicated leader/recon/casualty replacement section?

Monday, 1 October 2012

BAE deal? Why not?

Sell BAE to EADS
Buy all new equipment from UKAE, a new corporation that poaches all of BAEs staff.

The Russian Navy, a realistic threat?

TrT was reading an SSI piece on the Georgia War.
It makes constant mention of Russian Higher Echelons failing to move past the Soviet Union.  I remember a recent reorganisation that eventually went through only when a census pointed out that there simply were not enough Russian men, fit or otherwise, to conscript in to man all the divisions they had planned, and officers for.

But do we make the same mistake?
For all its vast size, the Russian army is old.
And its getting older, fast.

Its spends something like $20bn per year on new equipment, thats more than the UK spends, but not much, and given Russia attempts to operate in many many more fields there is a significant dilution effect.
Every step of the way, we see procurement plans scaled back, 80% solutions become 60% solutions.
Dreadnought Fleets become "juan ecole" fleets, their carriers are more delayed than ours are, ours are nearly built, theirs havent even been designed yet!  But they are churning out corvettes, reasonably quickly.

Not saying they are a pushover, however the Georgia war certainly showed some serious questions as to their readiness for a fight.
But in five years time, ten, twenty?  When the last of the Soviet era parity is gone, when there has been three decades without real advancement?