Posts Tagged ‘Military’

Video of French Forces Fighting the Islamic State

Saturday, February 11th, 2017

Here’s a video of French Special Forces operating against the Islamic State, including some mopping up operations in Mosul:

A few points of interest:

  • In the first few minutes there’s a glimpse of the tunnel systems that have become common in urban warfare where the defenders have had time to dig in.
  • I’m assuming that boxy weapon the French are shown setting up at 5:27 is a grenade launcher, but I’m not sure I’ve seen that make before. The closest would be the Heckler & Koch GMG, but it doesn’t quite look like it.
  • French drones (6:13) look like funky kit planes, and get launched with a tether assist. Whatever works…
  • LinkSwarm for February 3, 2017

    Friday, February 3rd, 2017

    It’s been a weird, busy week here at BattleSwarm World Headquarters, including a bunch of job interviews and having my iMac in the shop most of the week. Now I’m back up and running, and even have that OS upgrade (to El Capitan) I’ve been putting off for longer than you would believe (I was running Mac OS 10.6.8).

    All of which explains why today’s LinkSwarm is somewhat abbreviated.

  • Democrats retreat from reality:

    “Real people” are what the Democratic Party is sorely missing. By real I do not mean the members of a specific ethnic or religious or cultural or regional group but simply those men and women who are uninterested in the latest trend embraced by the left. For the Democratic Party to win again, it would need to recapture voters in the Midwest and Appalachia who supported Barack Obama twice but felt so disillusioned and dejected by the end of his second term, so utterly unenthused by the bland and corrupt technological illiterate the party nominated to replace him, that they embraced an outsider who promised to upend the system. The Trump era is just beginning, but so far Democrats have been much more willing to retreat into their ideological cubbyholes, or ascribe the election results to (take your pick) James Comey, fake news, or Russian subversion, than to acknowledge the power of nationalism and populism. It’s their loss.

    (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)

  • Democrats still don’t get it:

    3) The race/class/gender agenda so favored by coastal elites and promulgated by media, Hollywood, and popular culture is an anathema to Middle America, especially its strange disconnect between affluence and the mandate for purportedly progressive equality. Moralistic lectures from wealthy people are not a way to win over the working classes. Rants by Hollywood celebrities and racialist sermons by would-be DNC chairs will not win over 51 percent of the voters in swing states. The twin agents of progressive dogma, the media and the university, are themselves under financial duress, must recalibrate, and have lost support from half the country.

  • Over at Ace of Spades Open Blogger helps articulate what I call the “How my liberal Facebook friends helped elect Trump” theory:

    Let me start by saying that Donald Trump is a reactionary phenomenon and most of us who voted for him are, by definition, reactionaries. And I would argue that most of this is due to social media.

    When one looks at the left wing, you can basically separate the institutional left from what I call the soft left. The institutional left consists of the political players and their lackeys, media, academics, street agitators and the like. These are the people that shape the direction, agenda, strategy and tactics of the left.

    The soft left are the voters. They don’t give much thought to anything other than their preferences, which the Democrat party caters to very effectively. They are, traditionally, passive players.

    Now I’ve understood since the Clinton years that the institutional left was actively seeking to harm me. Historically they’ve primarily done this through policy while other tactics such as demonization, othering, character assassination and lawfare were generally reserved for powerful political players and institutions on the right.

    During the Obama years, we saw a radical shift. No longer were the Tom Delays and the Rush Limbaughs of the world the exclusive targets of what Bill Clinton labeled “the politics of personal destruction.” Your average citizen was now in the cross hairs as well.

    I first became aware of this during the Joe the Plumber episode when the media relentlessly attacked a citizen simply for asking, on his own property where Barack Obama was a guest, a question that happened to make their Boy-King look silly.

    I thought it was a one-off due to the threat that Plumber’s inquiry posed, but soon after the examples piled up–the slandering of the Tea Party movement, targeting of Christian wedding photographers, the harassment of the Memories Pizza owners, etc…

    Which leads me to social media, Facebook specifically.

    As this dramatic shift occurred, we began to see another shift within social media, one that reached its apex during the 2016 presidential election. That was the politicization of everything, not just by the institutional left, but by the soft left as well.

    Where before the voters on the left were mostly passive receivers of Cultural Marxism, they had now become active participants via propaganda, slander, social shaming, and otherizing. This meant that conservatives were now being assaulted on two fronts, both from the institutional left and the soft left.

    Every conservative who is active on Facebook knows what I’m talking about. After decades of Americans keeping their politics mostly to themselves, suddenly our feeds were jammed up with political invective.

    It wasn’t just directed at politicians. It was personal–a relentless litany of insults and abuse, first at the Tea Party and then Trump supporters. Most of it was generalized, but the message was clear. They held our kind in contempt and didn’t care who knew it. In fact, they seemed to be in a contest to see who could broadcast it the loudest.

    Most conservatives were hurt by this. We tend to keep our politics relatively private, both out of decorum and respect for our relationships with people whose politics differ from ours. The message that these public posts sent to us was that our “friends” on the left didn’t respect or value us enough to avoid giving offense.

    As someone who has been following politics since high school, I tend not to trust my own instincts what the average voter thinks. I’m simply to close to the subject. My wife, however, is a fairly low-key traditionalist who doesn’t care to immerse herself in that world and so I use her as my political weather vane.

    And so I knew that there was a storm brewing when she snapped down her phone over breakfast one day after reading Facebook and told me how sick and tired she was of her friends’ political posts.

    “When they say those things,” she fumed, “they’re talking about our family.”

    “I’m so sick and tired of being told that I’m a bad person because I disagree with someone’s position on abortion or transgender bathrooms. Who do they think they are to tell everyone what they’re required to believe?”

    The hurt had turned to anger and quiet resolve.

    The left sought to reprimand the right. What they did was alienate it. Their social media echo chamber only served to steel conservative misgivings about Donald Trump, if for no other reason than we simply couldn’t abide by being pushed around for another 4-8 years.

    It’s one thing to know that your friends disagree with you. It’s another to realize that they think you’re stupid, uneducated, a bigot, bully, sexist, jerk and everything that’s wrong with the world.

    It’s then that you realize that it’s not just the institutional left that yearns to place its boot on your neck, it’s your left-wing neighbors, friends, coworkers and even family. When you see attacks on regular citizens cheered and reinforced by people on Facebook, your worldview changes radically.

    You can no longer believe that they don’t really understand what they’re voting for. It becomes clear that they do–they’re voting to turn you into a second class citizen, an “other” who is not due the same rights and courtesies as their exhalted tribe of Right Thinkers.

    We loathed Obama and all the Marxist cockroaches surrounding him. Now we were beginning to loathe his supporters.

    Donald Trump had exposed the press for the lying, shameless partisan hacks that they are. But social media exposed the soft left, the formerly passive Democrat party support.

    This is why the left never saw it coming. They took over public spaces and shouted down the opposition with personal attacks. Horrified conservatives withdrew from engagement, but we didn’t disappear.

    We seethed with resentment and contempt.

    And it drove us to the polls, quietly and without fanfare, like assassins in the night.

    The left still doesn’t know what hit him. They’re still too busy screeching, insulting, protesting, rioting, and trying to manipulate the rules to ask the simple question: Why?

    I’ll tell you why. We see you. We see what you’ve become. And we’re not having what you’ve been dishing out any longer.

  • The rise of the alt-left intifada. “Just like ISIS and Hamas have found the use of unique hashtags on social media to recruit and radicalize, unique hashtags are now being used by groups here in the U.S. that call for violence, protest, resistance and anarchy. By the use of these unique hashtags with a call to action to a specified group and location, the online mob becomes a real world-mob that can cause damage, disruption and violence, like we just witnessed in Berkeley.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Why Democrats have declared war on Trump: They’re terrified:

    I believe it stems from the inability of many Democrats to accept their defeat in November, or to understand that the people of mainland America — that heartland between California and New York — overwhelmingly rejected their elitist vision and collectivist values.

    During the campaign, Donald Trump made a number of specific promises to the American people. Over the past 10 days, he has been fulfilling them one by one and the Democrats are tearing out their hair, because they know what this means for 2018.

    Democrats are terrified that Trump will succeed.

    (Hat tip: Director Blue.)

  • The war between President Trump and the bureaucracy. “Not only are there two Americas. There are two governments: one elected and one not, one that alternates between Republicans and Democrats and one that remains, decade after decade, stubbornly liberal, contemptuous of Congress, and resistant to change. It is this second government and its allies in the media and the Democratic Party that are after President Trump, that want him driven from office before his term is complete.” (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • DHS Secretary John Kelly says that the border wall should be finished in two years. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • The Other McCain has more on the Berkeley riot.
  • Milo (congrats liberals, your hate has tuned him into a one-named celebrity like Bono or Cher) talks about being the object of SJW wrath in the center of it:

  • Mother killed by President Trump’s travel ban is a hoax. She died five days before he even issued the order.
  • Army selects Sig Saur as it’s new official pistol.
  • Texas Governor Greg Abbott cuts funding to Travis County over the sheriff’s refusal to enforce immigration laws.
  • Women send Gov. Abbott soiled tampons.” Because that’s a dandy way to prove to moderates that feminists aren’t deranged lunatics.
  • “I Don’t Dress For Men, I Dress For The Sea Witch That Cursed Me.” Parody site, just in case that was unclear.
  • Sarah Silverman Goes Coup Coup

    Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

    Sarah Silverman, the comedienne who starred in such big hit movies as….

    Sorry, that was the wrong way to start that sentence. My bad. Let’s try again.

    Sarah Silverman, winner of the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics for “I’m Fucking Matt Damon” and the second voice actress to play Fry’s ex-girlfriend Michelle on Futurama, called for a military coup against President Trump:

    Because Twitter is an optimal secure platform from which to launch a military coup, and no one is more likely to cause our soldiers to abandon their sacred oath than a voice actress from Untitled Wreck-It-Ralph Sequel.

    Hollywood liberals are “The Resistance” in the same way that I’m “The Heavyweight Champion of the World,” and the idea our military would follow them in a coup against President Trump is laughable.

    Silverman should stick to voice acting.

    Oh yeah. She was also in The Aristocrats.

    LinkSwarm for January 27, 2017

    Friday, January 27th, 2017

    Welcome to the Friday LinkSwarm! The first week of President Trump’s administration has been incredibly active and consequential! Not everything will be covered here (and I have a few posts on various issues and executive orders at various stages of assembly), but it touches on a lot.

  • One thing President Trump has taught conservatives: never give your critics an inch:

    Mr. Trump’s version of stray voltage has a number of effects beyond just causing chaos and distracting his opponents. When everything is an outrage, nothing is an outrage. And when everything is an outrage, you expose yourself as a purely partisan actor, turning off large swaths of the American public.

    Trump’s lack of fear of touching politically incorrect third rails that millions of Americans felt, but which had not been articulated so bluntly by a national politician, served him well. Incidentally, it also allowed him to shift the Overton Window on critical issues like immigration and Islamic supremacism.

    When attacked for taking these positions, unlike those to come before him, Trump did not avoid the fray. Rather, he jumped into it, counterpunching.

    Lulled into a false sense of security by Republicans who fought with their hands tied behind their backs, constrained by suicidal rules of political engagement for decades, the Left did not know how to react when hit.

    Leftists could not believe that a political opponent had the gall to actually fight tooth and nail.

    Trump does not give an inch to his critics, and neither should any other Republican. He defines the rules of engagement, and so should all on the Right.

    Watching the confirmation hearings to date, we see many on the Left jabbing as if we are in a pre-Trump world. Their questions all hew to the same old narrative that if you are not a racist, sexist, or bigot, then you are an out-of-touch plutocrat or a shill for some special interest or other.

    Like Trump, Republicans should challenge these charges head on. They should take issue with the Left’s premises from the start, showing that it is the Left who is projecting when it tries to discredit those who believe in capitalism, the power of the individual, and the sanctity of the individual’s rights, the rule of law, national sovereignty, federalism, and the Judeo-Christian morality on which the country is based.

  • How President Trump has freed the right from caring what liberals think.

    Donald Trump isn’t the bully; he only insults and abuses people in power who have attacked him. They’re the fucking bullies. The left, with their smears, their witch hunts, their slanders, their insults and their weaponizing of the federal bureaucracy.

    There aren’t any rules anymore because the left only applies them one way. And in doing so, they’ve left what once was a civil compact between the two parties in smoldering ruins.

    I have no personal investment in Donald Trump. He is a tool to punish the left and roll back their ill-gotten gains, no more and no less. If he succeeds even partially in those two things, then I’ll consider his election a win.

    Further, I no longer have any investment in any particular political values, save one: The rules created by the left will be applied to the left as equally and punitively as they have applied them to the right. And when they beg for mercy, I’ll begin to reconsider. Or maybe not. Because fuck these people.

    This new philosophy has freed me of more emotional angst that I can describe. Literally nothing the left says or does matters to me anymore. I don’t care about their tantrums. I don’t care about their accusations. I don’t care if they say Trump is lying. I don’t care if Trump is lying.

    They created this Frankenstein. They own it. I am free of all obligation. I will never play defense again. I will attack, attack, attack, attack using their own tactics against them until they learn their lesson.

    What I will not do is let them play my values against me ever again. I don’t need to prove that I’m better than them. I already know it.

  • President Trump had barely entered the White House, and yet the mainstream media was already falling all over themselves to prove what biased, lying partisan hacks they were. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Scott Adams says that President Trump is flooding the field with so much activity that his critics can’t focus their outrage on any one thing.
  • President Trump has been replacing Obama’s feckless political national security appointments with universaly respected military men. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Obama was not the Reagan of the left.
  • A better than usual example of one of those “How could those inbred redneck freaks of JesusLand possibly vote against their enlightened betters” thumbsuckers, this time about Wisconsin. Some quotes:
    • “I think they thought the liberal elite was looking down on them, and I guess, in some ways, we were.”

    • “They got this picture that we’re all country bumpkins, the locals are, that we’re not educated. The people who move in talk down to the natives. I don’t know how you want to word that, but that’s the persona given off.”
    • “I didn’t want to deal with these people. I didn’t want to be a part of what they were a part of. You’re talking about people from the Cities who are very progressive. I call them tree-huggers, a bunch of tree-huggers. They referred to us, meaning the people who’ve lived here and worked here all our lives, as a bunch of hicks. They just think they’re a little bit better than everybody else, and that we’re not as smart.” (And that’s from a former Democratic Party county chairman who switched to the Republicans.)
    • “The bastards out here in the country are sick of the bullshit.”

    Alas, it also includes that sturdy modern liberal journalism cliche, The Single Confederate Flag Mentioned To Suggest All Trump Voters Are Secret Racists.

  • You know all that talk of how Democrats own America’s emerging majority? Not so fast. “An electoral strategy that starts by assuming you’ve lost a plurality of the country is a rough ticket to victory.”
  • While the liberal rabble was off rioting inauguration weekend, Media Matters head honcho David Brock was throwing a private event attended by big money Democratic Party donors. Six of the seven DNC candidates attended. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Speaking of Brock, he’s working on a Twitter-like website for liberals only. And he expects them to pay for it. Get ready for the resounding economic success of Air America 3.0.
  • Instapundit says that Trump has the media’s number:

    Why are the relations between Donald Trump and the press so bad? There are two reasons. One is that Trump is a Republican, and the press consists overwhelmingly of Democrats. But the other reason is that Trump likes it this way, because when the press is constantly attacking him over trivialities, it strengthens his position and weakens the press. Trump’s “outrageous” statements and tweets aren’t the product of impulsiveness, but part of a carefully maintained strategy that the press is too impulsive to resist.

    Snip.

    The killer counter-move for the press isn’t to double down on anti-Trump messaging. The counter-move is to bolster its own trustworthiness by acting (and being) more neutral and sober, and by being more trustworthy. If the news media actually focused on reporting facts accurately and straightforwardly, on leaving opinion to the pundits, and on giving Trump a clearly fair shake, then Trump’s tactics wouldn’t work, and any actual dirt they found on him would do actual damage. He’s betting on the press being insufficiently mature and self-controlled to manage that. So far, his bet is paying off.

    If it comes to the press reforming to ensure their own institutional survival, or clinging to their liberal bias, my guess is that the current press will choose the way of the dodo…

  • Trump advisor Steve Bannon goes still further in calling out the MSM:

    “The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for awhile,” Mr. Bannon said during a telephone call. “I want you to quote this,” Mr. Bannon added. “The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States.”

    “The elite media got it dead wrong, 100 percent dead wrong,” Mr. Bannon said of the election, calling it “a humiliating defeat that they will never wash away, that will always be there.”

    “The mainstream media has not fired or terminated anyone associated with following our campaign,” Mr. Bannon said. “Look at the Twitter feeds of those people: they were outright activists of the Clinton campaign.” (He did not name specific reporters or editors.) “That’s why you have no power,” Mr. Bannon added. “You were humiliated.”

    “You’re the opposition party,” Mr. Bannon said. “Not the Democratic Party. You’re the opposition party. The media’s the opposition party.”

  • CNN has gone from in-the-street news reporting to pundits on panels.
  • CNN is so desperate to smear President Trump they lied about Nancy Sinatra criticizing Trump.
  • “Iran deal supporters call Schumer a greedy, disloyal Jew.”
  • Is President Trump the good cop on Russia with congress playing the bad cop? Problem: The Henry Ford anecdote is a Just So Story masquerading as a serious analogy.
  • Is the British Army’s actual army fighting force down to a single brigade? “The last time the fighting division was sent to war was in 2003 during the Iraq War but according to experts if they were to be deployed now, at best they would only be able to deploy a brigade of 10,000 troops.” I thought this might be some Daily Mail exaggeration, but Wikipedia states the British Army now consists of just 87,610 regulars. Keep in mind the British Army contributed 46,000 troops to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • President Trump announces plans to announce his Supreme Court pick February 2nd:

  • Ted Cruz plays down talk that he’ll be President Trump’s supreme court nominee.
  • Speaking of Cruz, President Trump just just hired Paul Teller, his ex-Chief of Staff, be be his chief liaison to Capitol Hill conservatives. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • You too could own something from Tom Clancy’s estate.
  • The usual liberal idiot protesters block buses in Portland. Police take their asses down. Onlookers cheer.

  • Meanwhile, in the world of fashion:

  • I’ll give the final word to Steve Hayward over at Powerline: “I’m starting to think Trump really is a one-person wrecking crew for the left delivered by divine Providence.”
  • Pentagon Successfully Tests Microdrone Swarm

    Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

    Given the name of my blog, you wouldn’t expect this development to escape my eye:

    The Pentagon may soon be unleashing a 21st-century version of locusts on its adversaries after officials on Monday said it had successfully tested a swarm of 103 micro-drones.

    The important step in the development of new autonomous weapon systems was made possible by improvements in artificial intelligence, holding open the possibility that groups of small robots could act together under human direction.

    Military strategists have high hopes for such drone swarms that would be cheap to produce and able to overwhelm opponents’ defenses with their great numbers.

    The test of the world’s largest micro-drone swarm in California in October included 103 Perdix micro-drones measuring around six inches (16 centimeters) launched from three F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets, the Pentagon said in a statement.

    “The micro-drones demonstrated advanced swarm behaviors such as collective decision-making, adaptive formation flying and self-healing,” it said.

    “Perdix are not pre-programmed synchronized individuals, they are a collective organism, sharing one distributed brain for decision-making and adapting to each other like swarms in nature,” said William Roper, director of the Pentagon’s Strategic Capabilities Office. “Because every Perdix communicates and collaborates with every other Perdix, the swarm has no leader and can gracefully adapt to drones entering or exiting the team.”

    And I tracked down video of the test:

    Of course, there are all sorts of military and ethical considerations to truly autonomous drones. Like what theaters do you deploy them in, and under what conditions. And what do the first time they decide to dismantle a schoolhouse, or kill one of your own guys…

    Rep. Sam Johnson to Retire

    Saturday, January 7th, 2017

    U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson of the Texas Third Congressional district (northeast of Dallas, including Plano and McKinney) has announced that he’s retiring at the end of his term.

    Like Sen. John McCain, Johnson served as a military pilot who was shot down, held prisoner and tortured during the Vietnam War. Unlike McCain, Johnson has been a fairly reliable conservative, earning an 89% ranking from the Heritage Action for America’s scorecard and 82% ranking from Conservative Review, earning particular liberal ire for a bill to reign in the abuses of the EPA.

    At 86, Johnson is well into retirement age. As for replacements, State Senator Van Taylor’s Eighth District is right smack dab in the middle of the U.S. Third, and like Johnson, Taylor is ex-military, having served with the Marines in Iraq. He’s also a staunch conservative, pulling a 100% rating from the American Conservative union, all of which makes him a natural candidate.

    I just sent Taylor a tweet asking if he’s running. I’ll let you know if I get a reply.

    Obama Administration Awards Obama Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service

    Thursday, January 5th, 2017

    Un. Freaking. Believable:

    On Wednesday, President Obama added another prestigious medal to his Nobel Prize collection when he had Defense Secretary Ash Carter award him with the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service.

    Secretary Carter awarded his boss with the medal on January 4 during the Armed Forces Full Honor Farewell Review for the President held at Conmy Hall, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Virginia.

    Carter insisted that the medal was a token of appreciation for Obama’s service as commander in chief, the Associated Press reported.

    There are two possibilities: Either Obama ordered them to do this, because he has the biggest ego in the world, or the DoD came up with this on their own, and Obama didn’t have the good sense to decline the obvious wrongheaded flattery, because he has the biggest ego in the world.

    If The Onion had published this as a parody, people would complain it was too unsubtle. I’m sure he feels the “World’s Greatest Boss” mug he ordered his staff to buy him was also richly earned.

    For people who think that Donald Trump has the biggest ego in the world: Have you seen who he’s replacing?

    (Hat tip: BigGator5’s Twitter feed.)

    (PS: And yes, George W. Bush should have had the good sense to turn it down as well. A Distinguished Public Service Medal shouldn’t be handed out like a retirement watch…)

    Tank Watch: Abrams To Control Drones?

    Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

    The army is thinking of making the M1A2 Abrams tank a drone control platform:

    The Army is preparing to configure Abrams tank prototypes able to control nearby “robotic” wing-man vehicles which fire weapons, carry ammunition and conduct reconnaissance missions for units on the move in combat, service officials said.

    Although still in the early stages of discussion and conceptual development, the notion of manned-unmanned teaming for the Abrams continues to gain traction among Army and General Dynamics Land Systems developers.

    Algorithms are progressing to the point wherein they will be able to allow an Abrams tank crew to operate multiple nearby “wing-man” robotic vehicles in a command and control capacity while on the move in combat.

    As for how good an idea this is, it depends on the drone and depends on the mission. Reconnaissance seems like a natural, and some drones might work well at over-the-horizon top-down attack roles against other armored vehicles in rough terrain or beyond the range of the 120mm main gun (which is plenty far), assuming they can find a way to defeat active countermeasure systems like Drozd and Arena.

    I can also imagine non-winged drones, like an updated, low-profile version of the old German Goliath tracked mine used for tasks like bunker clearing.

    The M1A2s equipped with the System Enhancement Package (SEP) already have considerably upgraded electronics, and drone control is probably seen as a natural follow-on. The question is where do you store the drones and, if they’re not launched from the tank itself, what advantages does having local control over give you over remote control. I suspect that needing to launch the drones from the tank before rotating the turret is going to be a non-starter in most combat environments. Maybe that could be done automatically, assuming the kinks could be worked out in autonomous operation (a big if; all it takes is one friendly fire incident to scuttle that idea right quick).

    (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)

    Tanks For the Memories

    Sunday, December 18th, 2016

    Reading up on The Battle of the Bulge brought research on just how quickly the Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant (where a quarter of all American tanks were built) was assembled.

    Here’s a video on how the the Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant was built. If you can look past the Chrysler rah rah tone, there’s a lot of information on how quickly it was built and what went into building it (including 51,000 tons of concrete, and 13,000,000 pounds of steel).

    Skip ahead to 13:40 to see the first tank off the assembly line drive through a house.

    Evidently they started producing sample tanks six months after groundbreaking and before the entire building was finished. There were giants in the earth in those days…

    Here’s a video of the plant producing and testing M3 Lee/Grant tanks.

    The Grant/Lee tanks were well armed and armored when deployed by the British to North Africa, but the exceptionally high silhouette and extremely limited traversal range for the main gun meant they were quickly outgunned when German Panzer IV’s with their own 75mm main guns mounted in full 360 turrets hit the battlefield, and were quickly replaced by the M4 Sherman tank for European battlefield roles. (M3s continued to be used in the Pacific theater with great success, since it was superior to any tank the Japanese fielded outside the home islands before the end of the war.)

    72 Years Ago: The Battle of the Bulge

    Saturday, December 17th, 2016

    On December 16, 1944, Nazi Germany launched The Battle of the Bulge in a last desperate effort to stave off defeat. It failed due to a combination of stiff American resistance and German shortages of materials and manpower, but it was a hard-fought struggle. Next to D-Day it was the most important Western Front battle of World War II, but as it fades from living memory I thought it offered the opportunity for a reminder.