Thursday, December 31, 2009
French Constitutional Court Rejects Carbon Tax
The world's most progressive people, and leading proponents of the only logical solution to the world's energy dilemma . . . i.e. nuclear power . . .
Nuclear power plant in Cattenom, France
Hopefully this signals the point in history where sanity & logic begin to prevail the whole cap & trade / climate change / carbon-tax / global warming madness . . .
"Round up the usual suspects!"
Louis, this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship . . .
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
"The open steppe, a clear day, and a swift horse under you," responded the officer after a little thought, "and a falcon on your wrist to start up hares."
"Nay," responded the Kahn, "The greatest things in life are to crush your enemies, to see them fall at your feet - to take their horses and goods and hear the lamentation of their women. That is best."
There is a recent movie on Genghis Khan, "MONGOL" (2007) or монгол, a Russian movie filmed in Kazakstan, Russia, and Germany.
Genghis Khan is played by the Japanese actor Tadanobu Asano. The rest of the cast actors are Chinese, Mongolians, one Kazak and Atlay. Extras were all played by Kazaks.
Mongol was directed by Sergei Bodrov. It is the epic tale of how a young boy ascended to become Genghis Khan. Mongol reaches Shakespearean heights in its narrative account of a family that is torn apart, cast aside, and eventually restored to power. A young boy tests his courage against forces determined to destroy him and, through sheer force of will, wins out.
Nine-year-old Temudgin sets off with his father, a khan, to search for a bride. Travelling across the region’s stark and beautiful tundra, Temudgin sees a girl whom he proclaims to be his wife, though his choice runs counter to his father’s wishes. But Temudgin’s life instantly changes when a group of Tartars poison his father. Even though he is next in line to rule, the rest of the tribe refuses to accept leadership from a young boy. They cast out his entire family, forcing them to eke out a meagre existence.
An epic of courage and resourcefulness follows, as the boy becomes a man, finds the girl whom he had chosen as his bride all those years ago, and gradually reasserts his claim to the leadership of his kingdom. Temudgin’s picaresque journey sees him descend to the depths of slavery before exacting his revenge and reascending to the heights of power he knew as a young boy. This saga plays out against the stunning landscapes of Central Asia, where tribal loyalties rule and violent warfare trumps other means of resolving differences.
The grand canvas of the storyline clearly stimulates Bodrov, and he relishes the visual opportunities afforded in the scenes of realistic warfare. But he also finds ample time for the quiet moments between Temudgin, his wife and his beloved mother. Family forms the bedrock of behaviour, and Bodrov constantly returns to this idea in re-imagining a vital period of Mongol history.
Scenes from the movie:
"Malım – janımnıñ sadağası, Janım – arımnıñ sadağası"
"Sacrifice your riches for your life, Sacrifice your life for your honor"
. . . IT FELL FLAT ON ITs ASS ! ! !
Let's go over what we now know, from open sources:
A man previously identified to the United States State Department as a radical Muslim Fundamentalist with sentiments sympathetic to al Qaeda and intentions to travel to Yemen to MEET with al Qaeda some how FAILS to make in on any "NO FLY" lists.
Terror on Flight 253: Wealthy, Quiet, Unassuming: the Christmas Day Bomb Suspect
The SAME man, with a Muslim name - Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab - of Nigeria:
A) bought a one-way ticket to the United States,
B) paid for it in cash,
C) checked no luggage on an international flight from Europe to the United States,
D) FAILED TO PRODUCE A PASSPORT -
. . . and they STILL let him on the flight!
Better let this guy on the plane - whatever we do, we don't want to be accused of racial profiling now, do we?
The nicest thing we can say about this entire affair is that it is a case of Political Correctness run amuck. In an incredible attempt to defend this mess, the United States Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano establishes herself as a blithering idiot:
If this incident falls within your success criteria, Janet, then Heaven help us.
OOOPS - it looks like that story about no passport has turned out to be something of a red herring.
New evidence surfaces that this whole thing was possibly a probe or diversion, to examine our responses.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
I worked with "Hank" back in 2001/2002 as a member of TF DAGGER.... not sure I agree the same strategy would work in Pakistan, but thought you (and possibly the StormBringer crowd) would enjoy the news article.
I'll work on a sanitized Advisor article for you this week. It's been a bit crazy over here during the Ashura. We've been conducting multiple operations (mainly warrants and ambushes), and unfortunately, my partner, Federal Police LTC _____ is still in critical but stable condition.
Will update later.
Take care brotha . . . .
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Ex-CIA operative Henry Crumpton describes using local might to oust al Qaeda and their Taliban hosts in 2001, a strategy he says is needed in Pakistan, where terrorist are hiding. Lara Logan reports.
I hate it when the journalists throw the "spy" word around. To be a spy, one must betray from within. To be a 'clandestine operator' is not spying; it is closer to being a scout - S.L.
To the Guy Who Tried to Mug Me in Downtown Savannah Night Before Last.
Date: 2009-05-27, 1:43 A M EST.
I was the guy wearing the black Burberry jacket that you demanded that I hand over, shortly after you pulled the knife on me and my girlfriend threatening our lives. You also asked for my girlfriend's purse and earrings. I can only hope that you somehow come across this rather important message.
First, I'd like to apologize for your embarrassment; I didn't expect you to actually crap your pants when I drew my pistol after you took my jacket. The evening was not that cold, and I was wearing the jacket for a reason. My girlfriend had just bought me that Kimber Model 1911 .45 A CP pistol for my birthday, and we had picked up a shoulder holster for it that very evening. Obviously you agree that it is a very intimidating weapon when pointed at your head ... Isn't it!
I know it probably wasn't fun walking back to wherever you'd come from with that brown sludge in your pants. I'm sure it was even worse walking bare footed since I made you leave your your shoes, cellphone, and wallet with me. (That prevented you from calling or running to your buddies to come help mug us again).
After I called your mother, or "Momma" as you had her listed in your cell, I explained the entire episode of what you'd done. Then I went and filled up my gas tank as well as four other people's in the gas station on your credit card. The guy with the big motor home took 150 gallons and was extremely grateful! I gave your shoes to a homeless guy outside Vinnie Van Go Go's, along with all the cash in your wallet. (That made his day!) I then threw your wallet into the big pink "pimp mobile" that was parked at the curb . . . after I broke the windshield and side window and keyed the entire driver's side of the car.
Later, I called a bunch of phone sex numbers from your cell phone. Ma Bell just now shut down the line, although I only used the phone for a little over a day now, so what's going on with that? Earlier, I managed to get in two threatening phone calls to the DA's office and one to the FBI, while mentioning President Obama as my possible target. The FBI guy seemed really intense and we had a nice long chat (I guess while he traced your number, etc).
In a way, perhaps I should apologize for not killing you . . . but I feel this type of retribution is a far more appropriate punishment for your threatened crime. I wish you well as you try to sort through some of these rather immediate pressing issues, and can only hope that you have the opportunity to reflect upon, and perhaps reconsider the career path you've chosen to pursue in life.
Remember, next time you might not be so lucky. Have a good day!
P.S. Remember this motto . . . "An armed society makes for a more civil society!"
Hey Sean! Check it out, I got this letter from Wal Mart:
Dear Mr Skull Head
Over the past six months, you have been causing quite a commotion in our store. We cannot tolerate this behavior and have been forced to ban you from the store. Our complaints against you are listed below and are documented by our video surveillance cameras.
1. June 15: Took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in people's carts when they weren't looking.
2. July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at 5-minute intervals.
3. July 7: Made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to the women's restroom.
4. July 19: Walked up to an employee and told her in an official voice, 'Code 3 in Housewares. Get on it right away.'
5. August 4: Went to the Service Desk and tried to put a bag of M&M's on layaway.
6. August 14: Moved a 'CAUTION - WET FLOOR' sign to a carpeted area.
7. August 15: Set up a tent in the camping department and told other shoppers he'd invite them in if they would bring pillows and blankets from the bedding department.
8. August 23: When a clerk asked if they could help him he began crying and screaming, "Why can't you people just leave me alone?"
9. September 4: Looked right into the security camera and used it as a mirror while he picked his nose.
10. September 10: While handling guns in the hunting department, he asked the clerk where the antidepressants were.
11. October 3: Darted around the store suspiciously while loudly humming the ' Mission Impossible' theme.
12. October 6: In the auto department, he practiced his 'Madonna look' by using different sizes of funnels.
13. October 18: Hid in a clothing rack and when people browsed through yelled, "PICK ME! PICK ME!"
14. October 21: When an announcement came over the loud speaker, he assumed a fetal position and screamed, "OH NO! IT'S THOSE VOICES AGAIN!"
And last, but not least...
15. October 23: Went into a fitting room, shut the door, waited awhile, then yelled very loudly, "Hey! There's no toilet paper in here!"
He just ain't right =D . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Monday, December 28, 2009
Alessandra Mussolini, the far-right Italian politician and granddaughter of Benito Mussolini, the Fascist dictator, has claimed that his blood and brains are being offered for sale on the internet.
She said she had complained to police that remains taken from Mussolini’s body during a post-mortem examination in April 1945 and preserved at a hospital in Milan had been offered on eBay for €15,000 (US$21,600).
Mussolini was captured and shot by partisans at the end of the Second World War and his body was hung upside down in a Milan piazza together with that of Clara Petacci, his mistress. He is buried at Predappio in Emilia-Romagna, his home town.
Ms Mussolini said she had been attending a conference on internet crime in Naples when told about the offer. However, eBay said in a statement that the advert had been withdrawn shortly after it appeared and “before any offer could be made”. It said the sale violated eBay rules which forbid the sale of “any human organic material”.
On 29 April 1945, the bodies of Mussolini, Petacci, and the other executed Fascists were loaded into a moving van and trucked south to Milan. There, at 3 a.m., they were dumped on the ground in the old Piazza Loreto. The piazza had been renamed "Piazza Quindici Martiri" in honor of 15 anti-Fascists recently executed there.
"Sic Semper Tyrannus."
After being shot, kicked, and spat upon, the bodies were hung upside down on meathooks from the roof of a gas station. The bodies were then stoned by civilians from below. This was done both to discourage any Fascists from continuing the fight and as an act of revenge for the hanging of many partisans in the same place by Axis authorities. The corpse of the deposed leader became subject to ridicule and abuse.
Fascist loyalist Achille Starace was captured and sentenced to death and then taken to the Piazzale Loreto and shown the body of Mussolini. Starace, who once said of Mussolini "He is a God", saluted what was left of his leader just before he was shot. The body of Starace was subsequently strung up next to the body of Mussolini.
After his death and the display of his corpse in Milan, Mussolini was buried in an unmarked grave in Musocco, the municipal cemetery to the north of the city. On Easter Sunday 1946 his body was located and dug up by Domenico Leccisi and two other neo-Fascists. Making off with their hero, they left a message on the open grave: "Finally, O Duce, you are with us. We will cover you with roses, but the smell of your virtue will overpower the smell of those roses."
On the loose for months—and a cause of great anxiety to the new Italian democracy—the Duce's body was finally 'recaptured' in August, hidden in a small trunk at the Certosa di Pavia, just outside Milan. Two Fransciscan brothers were subsequently charged with concealing the corpse, though it was discovered on further investigation that it had been constantly on the move. Unsure what to do, the authorities held the remains in a kind of political limbo for 10 years, before agreeing to allow them to be re-interred at Predappio in Romagna, his birth place, after a campaign headed by Leccisi and the Movimento Sociale Italiano.
Leccisi, a fascist deputy, went on to write his autobiography, With Mussolini Before and After Piazzale Loreto. Adone Zoli, the Prime Minister of the day, contacted Donna Rachele, the former dictator's widow, to tell her he was returning the remains, as he needed the support of the far-right in parliament, including Leccisi himself. In Predappio the dictator was buried in a crypt (the only posthumous honor granted to Mussolini).
Mussolini's tomb is flanked by marble fasces and a large idealised marble bust of himself sits above the tomb.
The crypt with a Fascist Guard of Honor:
Incredibly, they worship him still . . .
Sunday, December 27, 2009
The Internet Craftsmanship Museum
Christmas Time is when we like to play with model trains.
1/6 Scale working model steam crane.
It's the right color, I wonder if it's a John Deere, like MY tractor?
The maker of this all aluminum F-4 Corsair cutaway model gets an honorable mention on the STORMBRINGER Wall of Honor.
Mr. Young C. Park: A retired dentist turns his skills to making aluminum aircraft models.
1/15 scale 1930 Duesenberg SJ-563 La Grande Roadster
The incredible Wingrove Collection.
What a luxury to have this kind of time on your hands to pursue a hobby like this . . .
. . . S.L.
STORMBRINGER received an email from a reader who wanted to know how to post comments with his name (as opposed to "Anonymous", that is) - I believe this involves signing up for some kind of Google account. I agree it is annoying, but they own the Blogspot Blogger service that makes STORMBRINGER tick, so they make the rules.
OK now I'm going to attempt to post a picture of Dog Tiny braving the winter . . .
Sent from my BlackBerry Smartphone provided by Alltel
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Man Attempts to Set Off Explosives on Detroit-Bound Airplane
The man said he was directed by al Qaeda to explode a small device in flight, over U.S. soil.
The device went off as Northwest Airlines Flight 253, an Airbus 330 carrying 278 passengers and operated by Delta, was arriving in Detroit from Amsterdam.
The suspect was identified as Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, who according to federal documents is an engineering student at University College of London.
Federal law enforcement authorities are trying to determine the credibility of Abdulmutallab's story; i.e. IS he an Al Qaeda operative, or is this another episode of what I have coined 'Self-Induced Jihad Syndrome'?
Abdulmutallab certainly fits the 'Self-Induced Jihadi' profile - he is young, intelligent, educated, AND "inspired" - according to his entry visa he was flying from Nigeria to the United States for a "religious seminar".
The suspect had been in a law enforcement-intelligence database but was not on the government's no-fly list. According to a federal situational awareness bulletin: "The subject is claiming to have extremist affiliation and that the device was acquired in Yemen along with instructions as to when it should be used."
BRILLIANT - we have apparently returned to the pre-9/11 mindset. There's your Federal government taking care of you.
I am a Special Forces engineer - I have extensive training and experience in what we refer to as 'field expedients'.
The suspect told authorities that he had explosive powder taped to his leg and used a syringe of chemicals to mix with the powder that was to cause explosion. This is of concern because it is a method of mixing that is consistent with terror techniques.
The trouble with this sort of improvised explosives is that they are not reliable, and are very difficult to initiate. Factors such as temperature, ambient pressure and relative humidity affect chemical reactions. A chemical mixture that may have initiated perfectly well in a hot, dry desert climate like Yemen obviously failed to produce results in a jetliner at altitude, thankfully.
The popular television show Mythbusters put these 'MacGyver'-type energetics to the test: in one episode, they tried to replicate how MacGyver once blew a man-sized hole in a wall with one gram of sodium reacting with water. The MythBusters placed sodium in a gel capsule, placed it in a bottle full of warm water, placed the bottle against a cinder block wall, and tamped it with sand. One gram of sodium was not powerful enough to damage the wall (or even the bottle it was in), and 100 grams of sodium was also not enough. The MythBusters then used 500 grams of more-reactive potassium placed inside a cannon-like contraption to direct all the force onto the wall, but still failed to cause any damage. The MythBusters finally resorted to using C4 high explosive to demolish the wall.
Colonel (Retired) Robert L. Howard, 70, Medal of Honor (Republic of Vietnam) died Wednesday, 23 December 2009 in Waco Texas. At the time of his death Cl. Howard was believed to be the most-decorated living American soldier. Howard will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Howard grew up in Opelika, Alabama, enlisted in the United States Army in 1956 at the age of 17, and retired as a full colonel in 1992.
In Vietnam, he served in the U.S. Army Special Forces and spent most of his five tours in the secretive Military Assistance Command, Vietnam-Studies and Observation Group (MACV-SOG), an unconventional force that conducted high-risk deep-penetration reconnaissance and interdiction missions. He was nominated three times for the Medal of Honor; he was eventually awarded the Medal in 1971 for the rescue of a seriously wounded platoon leader while under enemy fire.
SFC Robert Howard (front left) in Vietnam with some of the guys MACV-SOG (CCC).
Standing behind Howard at far left is SGT Chuck Erikson - my Battalion CSM in Okinawa. Erikson participated in the Son Tay Raid, on the "BlueBoy Element" chopper with Dick Meadows. (Photo courtesy John Plaster)
Medal Of Honor Citation
HOWARD, ROBERT L.
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces. Place and date: Republic of Vietnam, 30 December 1968. Entered service at: Montgomery, Alabama. Born: 11 July 1939, Opelika, Alabama.
Citation: For Conspicuous Gallantry and Intrepidity in Action at the Risk of his
Life Above and Beyond the Call of Duty.
1st Lt. Howard (then Sergeant First Class), distinguished himself while serving as platoon sergeant of an American-Vietnamese platoon which was on a mission to rescue a missing American soldier in enemy controlled territory in the Republic of Vietnam. The platoon had left its helicopter landing zone and was moving out on its mission when it was attacked by an estimated 2-company force. During the initial engagement, 1st Lt. Howard was wounded and his weapon destroyed by a grenade explosion. 1st Lt. Howard saw his platoon leader had been wounded seriously and was exposed to fire. Although unable to walk, and weaponless, 1st Lt. Howard unhesitatingly crawled through a hail of fire to retrieve his wounded leader. As 1st Lt. Howard was administering first aid and removing the officer's equipment, an enemy bullet struck 1 of the ammunition pouches on the lieutenant's belt, detonating several magazines of ammunition. 1st Lt. Howard momentarily sought cover and then realizing that he must rejoin the platoon, which had been disorganized by the enemy attack, he again began dragging the seriously wounded officer toward the platoon area. Through his outstanding example of indomitable courage and bravery, 1st Lt. Howard was able to rally the platoon into an organized defense force. With complete disregard for his safety, 1st Lt. Howard crawled from position to position, administering first aid to the wounded, giving encouragement to the defenders and directing their fire on the encircling enemy. For 3 1/2 hours 1st Lt. Howard's small force and supporting aircraft successfully repulsed enemy attacks and finally were in sufficient control to permit the landing of rescue helicopters. 1st Lt. Howard personally supervised the loading of his men and did not leave the bullet-swept landing zone until all were aboard safely. 1st Lt. Howard's gallantry in action, his complete devotion to the welfare of his men at the risk of his life were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
(Source: U.S. Army Center of Military History
When I first reported to Fort Bragg in the early 80s, Colonel (then Major) Howard was serving at nearby Camp MacKall, where he conducted rigorous daily morning PT runs with the Special Forces candidates in training. Once asked by a journalist why he continued to do this, despite his significant wounds from Vietnam and his highly decorated status, Colonel Howard simply replied, "Because I'm a soldier - this is my job."
He is an American Hero.
Friday, December 25, 2009
. . . we pray for those less fortunate than us this holiday season . . .
. . . and of course a special prayer of thanks, may the Good Lord watch over our Blessed Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines . . . wherever circumstances may find you this Christmas Season . . .
S.L. . . .
Thursday, December 24, 2009
GERMAN DECEPTION & SPECIAL OPERATIONS IN THE ARDENNES
Before the offensive, the Allies were virtually blind to German troop movement. During the reconquest of France, the extensive network of the French resistance had provided valuable intelligence about German dispositions. Once they reached the German border, this source dried up. In France, orders had been relayed within the German army using radio messages enciphered by the Enigma machine, and these could be picked up and decrypted by Allied code-breakers to give the intelligence known as ULTRA.
German Wehrmacht soldiers sending an encrypted message via the Enigma machine.
In Germany such orders were typically transmitted using telephone and teleprinter, and a special radio silence order was imposed on all matters concerning the upcoming offensive. The major crackdown in the Wehrmacht after the 20 July plot resulted in much tighter security and fewer leaks.
The foggy autumn weather also prevented Allied reconnaissance planes from correctly assessing the ground situation.
Two major special operations were planned for the offensive. By October it was decided Otto Skorzeny, the German commando who had rescued the former Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, was to lead a task force of English-speaking German soldiers in Operation Greif.
Waffen SS Obersturmbahnfuhrer Otto Skorzeny - "the Most Dangerous Man in Europe"
These soldiers were to be dressed in American and British uniforms and wear dog tags taken from corpses and POWs. Their job was to go behind American lines and change signposts, misdirect traffic, generally cause disruption and to seize bridges across the Meuse River between Liège and Namur.
By late November another ambitious special operation was added: Colonel Friedrich August von der Heydte was to lead a Fallschirmjäger (paratrooper) Kampfgruppe in Operation Stösser, a nighttime paratroop drop behind the Allied lines aimed at capturing a vital road junction near Malmedy.
Originally planned for the early hours of 16 December, Operation Stösser was delayed for a day because of bad weather and fuel shortages. The new drop time was set for 03:00 on 17 December; their drop zone was 7 miles (11 km) north of Malmedy and their target was the "Baraque Michel" crossroads. Von der Heydte and his men were to take it and hold it for approximately twenty-four hours until being relieved by the 12th SS Panzer Division, thereby hampering the Allied flow of reinforcements and supplies into the area.
Just after midnight on 17 December, 112 Ju 52 transport planes with around 1,300 Fallschirmjägern took off amid a powerful snowstorm, with strong winds and extensive low cloud cover. As a result, many planes went off course, and men were dropped as far as a dozen kilometers away from the intended drop zone, with only a fraction of the force landing near it. Strong winds also took off-target those paratroopers whose planes were relatively close to the intended drop zone and made their landings far rougher.
Fallschirmjäger exiting a JU 52 in the unique German headfirst technique.
By noon, a group of around 300 managed to assemble, but this force was too small and too weak to counter the Allies. Colonel von der Heydte abandoned plans to take the crossroads and instead ordered his men to harass the Allied troops in the vicinity with guerrilla-like actions.
Wehrmacht Fallschirmjägeren in combat, 1944
Because of the extensive dispersal of the jump, with Fallschirmjägeren being reported all over the Ardennes, the Allies believed a major division-sized jump had taken place, resulting in much confusion and causing them to allocate men to secure their rear instead of sending them off to the front to face the main German thrust.
Operation Greif and Operation Währung
For Operation Greif, Otto Skorzeny successfully infiltrated a small part of his battalion of disguised, English-speaking Germans behind the Allied lines. Although they failed to take the vital bridges over the Meuse, the battalion’s presence produced confusion out of all proportion to their military activities, and rumors spread quickly. Even General Patton was alarmed and, on 17 December, described the situation to General Eisenhower as “Krauts… speaking perfect English… raising hell, cutting wires, turning road signs around, spooking whole divisions, and shoving a bulge into our defenses.”
Checkpoints were set up all over the Allied rear, greatly slowing the movement of soldiers and equipment. Military policemen drilled servicemen on things which every American was expected to know, such as the identity of Mickey Mouse’s girlfriend, baseball scores, or the capital of Illinois. This last question resulted in the brief detention of General Bradley; although he gave the correct answer—Springfield—the GI who questioned him apparently believed the capital was Chicago.
The tightened security nonetheless made things harder for the German infiltrators, and some of them were captured. Even during interrogation they continued their goal of spreading disinformation; when asked about their mission, some of them claimed they had been told to go to Paris to either kill or capture General Eisenhower. Security around the general was greatly increased, and he was confined to his headquarters.
Because these prisoners had been captured in American uniform, they were later executed by firing squad. This was the standard practice of every army at the time, although it was left ambiguous under the Geneva Convention, which merely stated soldiers had to wear uniforms that distinguished them as combatants. In addition, Skorzeny was aware under international law such an operation would be well within its boundaries as long as they were wearing their German uniforms when firing.
Skorzeny and his men were fully aware of their likely fate, and most wore their German uniforms underneath their Allied ones in case of capture. Skorzeny avoided capture, survived the war, and may have been involved with the Nazi ODESSA escape network.
Otto Skorzeny addressing his troops in the field.
For Operation Währung, a small number of German agents infiltrated Allied lines in American uniforms. These agents were then to use an existing Nazi intelligence network to attempt to bribe rail and port workers to disrupt Allied supply operations. This operation was a failure.
So great was the confusion caused by Operation Greif that the US Army saw spies and saboteurs everywhere. Perhaps the largest panic was created when a commando team was captured near Aywaille on 17 December. Comprising Unteroffizier Manfred Pernass, Oberfähnrich Günther Billing, and Gefreiter Wilhelm Schmidt, they were captured when they failed to give the correct password. It was Schmidt who gave credence to a rumour that Skorzeny intended to capture General Eisenhower and his staff.
A document outlining Operation Greif's elements of deception (though not its objectives) had earlier been captured by the US 106th Infantry Division near Heckhuscheid, and because Skorzeny was already well-known for rescuing Italian dictator Benito Mussolini (Operation Oak or Unternehmen Eiche) and Operation Panzerfaust, the Americans were more than willing to believe this story and
Eisenhower was reportedly unamused by having to spend Christmas 1944 isolated for security reasons.
Pernass, Billing, and Schmidt were given a military trial at Henri-Chapelle, sentenced to death, and executed by a firing squad on 23 December. Thirteen other men were tried and shot at either Henri-Chapelle or Huy.
To be continued . . .
THE LAW IS THE LAW
So Be It!
SO . . .
"if" the US government determines that it is against the law for the words "In God We Trust" to be on our money, then so be it . . .
. . . and "if" the government decides that the Pledge of Allegiance cannot be said in school because of the words "One Nation, Under God," then so be it . . .
. . . and "if" that same government decides that the Ten Commandments are not to be used in or on a government installation, then so be it . . .
I say, "so be it," because I would like to be a law abiding US citizen.
I say, "so be it," because I would like to think that smarter people than I are in positions to make good decisions.
I would like to think that those people have the American public's best interests at heart.
BUT YOU KNOW WHAT ELSE I'D LIKE?
Since we can't pray to God, can't Trust in God and cannot post His Commandments in Government buildings, I don't believe the Government and its employees should participate in the Easter and Christmas celebrations which honor the God that our Government is eliminating from many facets of American life.
Therefore, I'd like my mail delivered on Christmas, Good Friday,Thanksgiving & Easter. After all, it's just another day . . .
I'd like the US Supreme Court to be in session on Christmas, Good Friday, Thanksgiving & Easter as well as Sundays. After all, it's just another day.
I'd like the Senate and the House of Representatives to not have to worry about getting home for the 'Christmas Break.' After all it's just another day.
I'm thinking that a lot of my taxpayer dollars could be saved, if all government offices & services would work on Christmas, Good Friday & Easter. It shouldn't cost any overtime since those would be just like any other day of the week to a government that is trying to be 'politically correct.'
IN FACT . . .
I think that our government should work on Sundays (initially set aside for worshipping God . . . ) because, after all, our government says that it should be just another day . . .
WHAT DO YOU ALL THINK?
If this idea gets around to enough people, maybe our elected officials will stop giving in to the 'minority opinions' of the Politically Correct crowd and begin, once again, to represent the 'Majority' of ALL of the American people.
SO BE IT ! ! !
Please Dear Lord,
Give us the help needed to keep you in our country!
By 0800 hours three German armies attacked through the Ardennes. Waffen SS General Sepp Dietrich’s Sixth SS Panzer Army moved toward the offensive’s primary objective: Antwerp, to capture the critical Allied supply depots there – most especially the fuel dumps. In the center von Manteuffel’s Fifth Panzer Army attacked toward the strategic road junction cities of Bastogne and St. Vith.
To the north at Lanzerath, Belgium and the Elsenborn Ridge, attacks by the Sixth SS Panzer Army’s infantry units encountered unexpectedly fierce resistance by the U.S. 2nd and 99th Infantry Divisions. On the first day, an entire German battalion was held up for 20 hours by a single 18-man Intelligence and Reconnaissance Platoon from the 99th Infantry Division, causing a bottleneck in the German advance.
As it became obvious to the Allied High Command that the German attacks represented a major Nazi offensive, snowstorms engulfed the Ardennes. While having the desired effect of keeping the Allied aircraft grounded, the weather also proved troublesome for the Germans because poor road conditions hampered their advance. Poor traffic control led to massive traffic jams and fuel shortages in forward units.
The Western Front, showing the German "Bulge" Ardennes Offensive 16-26 December 1944.
The main armored spearhead of the Sixth SS Panzer Army was Kampfgruppe Peiper; 4,800 men and 600 vehicles of the 1st SS Panzer Division under the command of Waffen-SS Obersturmbannführer (Lieutenant Colonel) Joachim Peiper. At 07:00 on 17 December, they seized a U.S. fuel depot at Büllingen, where they paused to refuel before continuing westward.
At 12:30, near the hamlet of Baugnez, on the height halfway between the town of Malmedy and Ligneuville, forward elements of Kampfgruppe Peiper captured troops of the 285th Field Artillery Observation Battalion, U.S. 7th Armored Division. The Americans were disarmed and sent to stand in a field near the crossroads, where approximately 150 of them were machinegunned to death.
The Malmedy Massacre
Even though executing prisoners and shooting civilians were a trademark of Waffen SS operations, news of the killings raced through Allied lines. Although there is no record of an SS officer giving an execution order, following the war SS soldiers of Kampfgruppe Peiper were to be held accountable during the Malmedy massacre trial.
Belgian civilians killed by SS units during the offensive.
The fighting went on. By the evening of the 16th Peiper was already behind schedule; it had taken him 36 hours to advance from Eifel to Stavelot, compared to just 9 hours in 1940. As the Americans fell back, they blew up bridges and fuel dumps, denying the Germans critically needed fuel and further slowing their progress.
In the central 'Schnee Eifel' sector, the Fifth Panzer Army surrounded two regiments (422nd and 423rd) of the 106th Division in a pincer movement and forcing their surrender. The official U.S. Army history states: "At least seven thousand men were lost here (the figure was probably closer to eight or nine thousand). This substantial amount of manpower, arms and equipment represents the most serious reverse suffered by American arms during the operations of 1944–45 in the European theater."
American soldiers taken prisoner by the German Wehrmacht
Further south the main German thrust crossed the River Our, increasing pressure on the key road centers of St. Vith and Bastogne. The 112th Infantry Regiment (of the US 28th Division), held a continuous front east of the Our, keeping German forces from seizing and using the Our river bridges around Ouren for two days before withdrawing progressively to the west.
The 109th and 110th Regiments both offered stubborn resistance in the face of superior forces, keeping the German offensive days off schedule. Denied their intended avenues of approach, Panzer columns took outlying villages and widely separated strong-points in bitter fighting, slowed in their advance to Bastogne.
An American road-block with .30 caliber machine gun in the Ardennes, December 1944.
By 17 December Eisenhower and his principal commanders realized that the fighting in the Ardennes was a major offensive and not a local counter-attack, and they ordered vast reinforcements to the area. Within a week 250,000 troops had been sent. In addition, the 82nd Airborne Division was also thrown into the battle north of the bulge, near Elsenborn Ridge.
In the center of the 'Bulge' salient the town of St. Vith, a vital road junction, presented a major challenge for German Wehrmacht forces. The defenders included the 7th U.S. Armored Division, and remnants of the 106th U.S. Infantry, with elements of the 9th U.S. Armored and U.S. 28th Infantry, all under the command of General Bruce C. Clarke.
Clarke's forces successfully resisted the German attacks, significantly slowing their advance. Under orders from Montgomery, St. Vith was given up on 21 December; U.S. troops fell back to entrenched positions in the area, presenting an imposing obstacle to a successful German advance. By 23 December, as the Germans shattered their flanks, the defenders’ position became untenable, and U.S. troops were ordered to retreat west of the Salm River. As the German plan had originally called for the capture of St. Vith by 18:00 on 17 December, the prolonged action in and around the city presented a major blow to their timetable.
U.S. M4 Sherman tanks take up positions on the outskirts of St. Vith, 20 December 1944.
The struggle for the villages and American strong-points, plus transport confusion on the German side, slowed the attack sufficiently to allow the 101st Airborne Division (reinforced by elements from the 9th and 10th Armored Divisions) to reach Bastogne by truck on the morning of 19 December. In fierce defensive fighting, the American paratroopers denied the Germans their critical objective Bastogne, with its important road junctions. Panzer columns swung past on either side, cutting off Bastogne on 20 December but failing to secure the vital crossroads.
According to Wehrmacht plan, by 19 December the town of Bastogne and its network of eleven hard topped roads leading through the mountainous terrain and boggy mud of the Ardennes region were to have been in German hands for several days.
Eisenhower realized the Allies could destroy German forces much more easily when they were out in the open and on the offensive than if they were on the defensive. Meeting with senior Allied commanders met in a bunker in Verdun, Ike told his generals, "The present situation is to be regarded as one of opportunity for us and not of disaster. There will be only cheerful faces at this table."
General Dwight Eisenhower poses with a group of soldiers during a visit to the Battle of the Bulge battlefield. The soldiers were members of the 334th Anti-Aircraft Artillery (AAA) Battalion.
By the time of that meeting, two separate west-bound German columns were to have by-passed Bastogne to the south and north, the 2nd Panzer Division and Panzer-Lehr-Division of XLVII Panzer Corps, as well as the 26th Volksgrenadier Division. Instead these units had been engaged and slowed in frustrating battles at outlying defensive positions up to ten miles from the town proper.
Members of the 101st Airborne Division armed with bazookas, on guard for enemy tanks. On the road leading to Bastogne, Belgium, 23 December 1944.
Eisenhower asked Patton how long it would take to turn his Third Army (located in northeastern France) north to counterattack. To the disbelief of the other generals present, Patton said he could attack with two divisions within 48 hours. Before he had gone to the meeting, Patton had already ordered his staff to prepare three contingency plans for a northward turn in at least corps strength. By the time Eisenhower asked him how long it would take, the movement was already underway. On 20 December, Eisenhower removed the First and Ninth U.S. Armies from Bradley’s 12th Army Group and placed them under Montgomery’s 21st Army Group.
By 21 December, the German forces had Bastogne surrounded. Conditions inside the Bastonge perimeter were tough — most medical supplies and medical personnel had been captured, food was scarce, and by December 22 artillery ammunition was restricted to 10 rounds per gun per day. The weather cleared the next day, however, and supplies (primarily ammunition) were dropped in by parachute over four of the next five days.
The perimeter held despite determined German attacks. The German commander, Generalleutnant Heinrich Freiherr von Lüttwitz, requested Bastogne's surrender. When acting commander of the 101st General Anthony McAuliffe was told of this, he responded with a frustrated, "Aw, nuts!" After turning to other pressing issues, his staff reminded him that they should reply to the German demand. One officer (Lt. Col Harry W. O. Kinnard) recommended that McAuliffe's initial reply would be "tough to beat". Thus McAuliffe wrote on the paper delivered to the Germans: "NUTS!" The famous reply - a morale booster to his troops - had to be explained both to the Germans, and to non-American Allies.
General Patton pinning the Distinguished Service Cross on BG Anthony C. McAuliffe, acting commander of the 101st Airborne Division during the Siege of Bastogne
Both 2nd Panzer and Panzer Lehr moved forward from Bastogne after December 21, leaving only Panzer Lehr's 901st Regiment to assist the 26th Volksgrenadier Division in attempting to capture the crossroads. The 26th VG received one panzergrenadier regiment from the 15th PzG Division on Christmas Eve for its main assault the next day. Because it lacked sufficient troops and those of the 26th VG Division were near exhaustion, the XLVII Panzer Corps concentrated its assault on several individual locations on the west side of perimeter in sequence rather than launching one simultaneous attack on all sides. The assault, despite initial success by its tanks in penetrating the American line, was defeated and all the tanks destroyed. The next day, December 26, the spearhead of the 4th Armored Division broke through and opened a corridor to Bastogne.
In the extreme south, Brandenberger’s three infantry divisions were checked after an advance of four miles (6.5 km) by divisions of the U.S. VIII Corps; that front was then firmly held. Only the 5th Parachute Division of Brandenberger’s command was able to thrust forward 12 miles (19 km) on the inner flank to partially fulfill its assigned role.
To be continued . . .