July 24, 2014

Fellow combat artist Michael D. Fay refers to what we do as “witness art.”

from a good GQ article by Victor Juhasz: http://www.gq.com/news-politics/newsmakers/201207/victor-juhasz-afghanistan-combat-artist

'A good drawing walks an interesting tightrope of being in the moment and reflecting on that moment, from the visual impact of a subtle gesture to the energetic desperation of concentrated activity. In between those successes are all the false starts and failed attempts at capturing that which at times eludes even the fastest of hands and sharpest of eyes.'

hhmm

12:19am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZUiflw1MJrkaS
Filed under: war art reportage 
July 7, 2014
interesting article about british jihadism

As inequality continues to deepen, the lower rungs of British society are responding by getting angrier. They’re feeling severe economic pressure, and are dismayed at the ineffectiveness of elected institutions to address social issues. This underlies the appeal of the far right, in every community. It doesn’t matter which manifestation of it ultimately captures their imagination. British members of ISIS are being spawned by the same Dickensian realities that are making UKIP more popular.’

jihadism’s ideological appeal is linked to ongoing social processes. It’s not about ideology, per se.  Due to the persistence of the War on Terror, and the ongoing economic crisis, surveillance and racism are the norms of the day, making young Muslims like Reyaad and Nasser feel as though they don’t belong in countries like the UK, despite being natives. This nurtures a desire for acceptance that they find in radical groups like ISIS. It’s very similar to joining an inner-city gang, albeit a far more violent one.’

I’d probably agree with the first part, that radicalisation (of any sort) is caused by rising inequality … and it also says that turning to jihadism is a result of not feeling at home in your own country

7/7/2014

June 18, 2014
gallipoli is endlessly fascinating

'The evacuation of Gallipoli was astonishingly well-planned. It almost defies belief, but there was not a single Allied casualty during the operation – not even by friendly fire or accident.

If the Australian official history[1] is to be believed, some of the ANZACs left gifts of prepared meals for the notoriously underfed Turks, even though all the trenches were extensively booby-trapped. The Germans later cited this as evidence of the rushed and chaotic nature of the evacuation – so abrupt they left hot meals sitting at their tables!

The story goes that one of the last Turkish fatalities of the campaign was a soldier who died from stomach illness after gorging himself on abandoned English marmalade.’

also Churchill’s involvement in the planning, his conception of it as a naval assault, and the bungled execution (but maybe that’s all part of Chruchill’s myth-making …)

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Filed under: gallipoli ww1 war history 
May 23, 2014
The truth about gentrification: regeneration or con trick?

May 22, 2014
different views of princip

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/06/gavrilo-princip-hero-villain-first-world-war-balkan-history

Bosniaks say he was a Serbian supported terorist

but Serbas say he was a freedom fighter, and the murder was a pretext for Ausria Hungary to blame Serbia ..

10:24am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZUiflw1GZCLvk
Filed under: ww1 history 
May 19, 2014
good war story

"My orneriest mission was on a B-25 escort, where I was given what was called low/underneath cover. My wingman and I were on the backside of the formation underneath to weave back and forth to prevent any Zeroes or other enemy aircraft to come in from underneath. The route usually would go westard to Point St. George and St. George’s channel (runs between New Ireland and New Britain). Cape St. George is where they (Japanese) had an AA gun established as well as radar. They put up so much AA material that would go above the formation and then drop phosphor bombs. They rarely did much damage, but with everything going on above the formation with the top defense formation dropping all of the extra AA flak and linkage material from the fighting going on above it was like I was being rained on with aluminum. Somehow I ended up sucking some junk into my oil cooler that caused me to start loosing oil, and I noticed that my oil pressure was dropping quickly. When the engine sputters and you can’t keep up, flight school teaches you to point your nose down and maintain gliding speed, turn into the wind. From 20,000 feet, I was fiddling with switches and things to see if I could get it going again. The Corsair would stall at 90 knots, so you had to maintain 140 knot airspeed to keep the plane under control. This meant about a 45 degree downward glide, and there’s no way to keep up with the formation. Usually during the day, the sun beating down on the ocean causes cotton-candy clouds forming from about 4 to 12 thousand feet, and I glided through looking for a place to bail out. At 10,000 feet, I’m within sight of Duke of York island, which is occupied by the Japanese. I pop the canopy and wait until 5000 feet and I’m away from the island but the water doesn’t look good to land on. At 2500 feet the water looks much better, but there’s not enough air left so I take the plane down to the water… I made one of my better landings.

As I hit the water, I hit the gunsight (I had unhooked the harness while looking for the right place to ditch) and get some lacerations on my arm. In 3 seconds I’m out of the cockpit. 5 seconds later, the plane is 45 degrees in the water with the cockpit underwater and the engine dragging it down. I swam away trying to avoid any potential vortex from sucking me down. After 20 seconds the plane is down to Davy Jones.

I look around and realize that nobody has seen me and nobody has followed me. I’m sitting there with my parachute on and a lifejacket bobbing in the water, and my first thought is “How can I stay invisible?” This was about 3 PM, and I waited until about 6 PM (around twilight) and I decide, “Now I’ll get the raft out.” The raft is right under the seat cushion, and there’s a CO2 bottle to trip it, and I wish somebody had told me beforehand to tie it onto myself. I trip it, and the raft jumps 10-20 feet away. I’m wearing these L’il Abner shoes and it’s tough to swim. That was tough to catch, the wind was moving it, but I was able to get to it.

I got into the raft, there was a little paddle system, and my parachute and harness system were still floating. I took my shoes off because they were an obstruction, so I tied them to a raft. I’m really tuckered out by this point. I look around and can’t see anybody. We’d gone north to get to the target and then the plan was to go south to get back home. I had a canteen of water hooked to my belt, a Smith & Wesson police revolver, a .38 caliber? A .36? I think it was a .38, and the bullets were tied up in another pocket in my suit. The bullets seemed dry and I could blow through the cylinders to dry it out, so I loaded it up with tracer shells. Then I decided ‘Wait a minute,” took out the tracer shells, and put in regular shells.

I had some peanut butter, there was a guy in our squadron, he was a little beaver guy, and one time when we were in the ready tent and I asked what he was doing. He had gone to the quartermaster and was always wheeling and dealing, and he’d fill up the toilet paper tubes with the peanut butter and would seal them up in a bag. He was putting them into his survival cushion, so I traded him a bottle of White Horse scotch for 6 of these peanut butter tubes to put in my survival kit. So I was having peanut butter for supper.

So I get pretty comfy, and I fell asleep. All of the sudden in the middle of the night, I can hear dogs barking. It reminded me of an uncle who always wanted to go coon hunting (he made me hold the lantern), but it sounded just like those dogs when they pick up a scent. I don’t know what to do, I don’t want to expose myself, but I need to figure out what’s going on. So I pull a one-cell flashlight out of my survival kit, and here are a bunch of little sea lions barking at me and giving me some looks. So I quickly shut off the light, they bark some more and then they go away and I go back to sleep.

I wake up around dawn, and I pull my emergency map out to figure out where I am. At night, there’s a 4 knot current flowing south through the channel, but it only flows south [ed note: towards friendly forces and away from enemy forces] during December and January and it’s now January 22nd. I’d drifted about 50 miles south, and I’m now out of the channel. I said, ‘Oh, there’ll be another mission and they’ll come over, I’m in good shape.’ They came later that day, but were way up, probably 15,000 feet. I fired two tracer shells at them, but nobody came down to investigate. So I waited for them to come back, and I shot all of the tracers I had and had thrown my emergency dye in the water, but nobody comes down. Now I’m thinking, “Wow, I’m in big trouble.” I’m in a raft, the wind is picking up and I’m being blown north and I don’t really have any drag.

At about 4 in the afternoon, I’m dozing but then I realize that there’s a plane nearby. It’s another Corsair, it’s only at about 500 or 600 feet, so I get my emergency mirror out and flashed it at him. He comes down to the deck to investigate, I wave at him and he waggles his wings at me and heads off. A while later, here comes Dumbo - a Catalina PB-Y float plane. I’d run a few Dumbo escort missions in my tours. The sea wasn’t whitehorsing, but there were some swells so they couldn’t pull right up to me. They get as close as they can as they circle around and toss me a rope, and boy do I know what a walleye feels like when it gets hooked. Bam, that thing yanks me right out of the raft and I’m holding on. Everything I had on got ripped off me - pistol, holster, flight suit, all I’ve got left is a stretched out t-shirt. They pulled me in one of the gun blisters, and as they pull me in they go, ‘Lieutenant Marsh?’ I’m like, ‘No, I’m Smith.’ They weren’t looking for me, but they found me somehow. We got on the radio so they could figure out who I was, and realized I was another pilot so we got back up in the air to keep looking for Lieutenant Marsh. We found him about an hour later, and the water was smooth enough that we could just taxi right up to him and pull him in without needing the rope.

Marsh and I got together every year after that until our wives both passed away in 2012, then we didn’t get together.”

from here: http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/25vpg3/iama_92_year_old_who_served_in_wwii_as_a_pilot/

2:06pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZUiflw1GIO2lO
Filed under: interviews 
April 30, 2014

'Experience had taught it the penalties of neglecting logistical preparations, the germans, by contrast, accorded far less effort to logistical preparatinos because they were habituated to fighting continental wars across short distances supported by good communications. British generals, and in particular Montgomery, have been frequently castigated because of their habit of waiting until their logistical arrangement were in perfect order before taking the offensive. German generals, and in particular Rommel, have conversely been accorded high praise for their willingness to take risks with their logistics. these criticism fly in the face of all logic. The German system worked well across the short distances involved in fighting in France and Poland, and against enemies with an inferior operation doctrine….but in Russia, North Africa and finally in Normandy the German effort foundered, this was because their reach exceeded their logistical grasp. time and again in North Africa Rommel was able to achieve tactical successes, but lack of transport meant he could not transform them into operational victories. British offensives may have proceeded at a more stately pace, and on occasion the logistical system could not meet all demands placed upon it. But after 1941, major british operations rarely failed because of a breakdown of logistics'

French, D., Raising Churchill’s army (Oxford, Oxford University press, 2000), p120-121

8:25pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZUiflw1EZItHQ
Filed under: war ww2 logistics 
April 27, 2014

http://www.collectorsweekly.com/articles/the-perfect-american-male/

j c leyendecket. no sure if i agree with this guy saying he was gay by reading ‘subtext’, but whatever

April 24, 2014
huge answer

http://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/23s3s8/can_someone_explain_what_bismarckian_diplomacy/ch09kkg

Highlight:

He also avoided challenging British naval supremacy, a policy not continued by his successors. By not challenging Britain, they mostly maintained traditional British neutrality in continental affairs. But when what was clearly the strongest continental power began building a large fleet, the British lined up with France and Russia, setting up the alliance system that lead to World War 1. Bismarck knew that Germany’s limited coastline and numerous choke points would make challenging Britain directly difficult. When the new Emperor ordered a build up anyway, it led directly to a realignment of Britain on the side of France.’

Bismarck’s policies led to Britain not getting involved! His successor(s) fucked it up!

April 22, 2014
"All good journalists are politically motivated. We want to help change things."

— Jon Snow