Information

What “class” of soldiers were these soft targets?


In "The Battle for Stalingrad," Russia's Vasily Chuikov wrote that to the extent possible, Russian guerrillas and snipers tried to avoid "duels" with enemy fighting men, instead seeking out "soft" targets like the following:

Favorite targets included men carrying food and water to others (and therefore no arms). Killing or wounding one of them meant depriving other German soldiers of this nourishment. In one instance, Russian patrols captured a telephone "lineman" who was able to hook them up to staff headquarters, allowing the Russians to eavesdrop.

What kind of class were these troops? Were they regular soldiers on "special" duty, or were they specialized logistical troops that were spared from "normal" fighting. If a German division had say, 12,000 men, would these kinds of men be counted among a division's 12,000 strength, or would they be accounted for separately?


Soldiers had different specialties, but they were all part of the military

First of all, you need to understand that, similar to all other armies, German WW2 divisions were not composed only on infantry, and German panzer divisions didn't include only panzer units. Instead, they contained their own artillery, anti-tank units, FlaK and of course logistical and communication elements. You could find Table of Organization & Equipment (TO&E) for various German units on Internet, I will put just two sources: this, because it includes TO&E for various types of units, and this because it shows even very small logistical details, parts of German infantry battalion.

While various military specialties trained and were expected to perform different roles in combat (and everyday soldierly life) , all of them were members of Wehrmacht (or Waffen SS) and all of them were armed, i.e. issued rifle, submachine gun, pistol… etc. This included even lowly cooks, because even them would sometime find themselves in the middle of the combat. For example, this German training film shows that even rear area troops could sometime experience Soviet tank attack, and were expected to stop them .

Considering your question, "soft targets" or soldiers that were not specialized for infantry combat, could be considered easier targets for snipers, simply because they had to move around instead of sitting in trenches or lying down in cover. Of course, training would also influence outcome, although those carrying food and water could simply be riflemen temporarily assigned for the duty.


War on terrorism

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War on terrorism, term used to describe the American-led global counterterrorism campaign launched in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. In its scope, expenditure, and impact on international relations, the war on terrorism was comparable to the Cold War it was intended to represent a new phase in global political relations and has had important consequences for security, human rights, international law, cooperation, and governance.

The war on terrorism was a multidimensional campaign of almost limitless scope. Its military dimension involved major wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, covert operations in Yemen and elsewhere, large-scale military-assistance programs for cooperative regimes, and major increases in military spending. Its intelligence dimension comprised institutional reorganization and considerable increases in the funding of America’s intelligence-gathering capabilities, a global program of capturing terrorist suspects and interning them at Guantánamo Bay, expanded cooperation with foreign intelligence agencies, and the tracking and interception of terrorist financing. Its diplomatic dimension included continuing efforts to construct and maintain a global coalition of partner states and organizations and an extensive public diplomacy campaign to counter anti-Americanism in the Middle East. The domestic dimension of the U.S. war on terrorism entailed new antiterrorism legislation, such as the USA PATRIOT Act new security institutions, such as the Department of Homeland Security the preventive detainment of thousands of suspects surveillance and intelligence-gathering programs by the National Security Agency (NSA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and local authorities the strengthening of emergency-response procedures and increased security measures for airports, borders, and public events.

The successes of the first years of the war on terrorism included the arrest of hundreds of terrorist suspects around the world, the prevention of further large-scale terrorist attacks on the American mainland, the toppling of the Taliban regime and subsequent closure of terrorist-training camps in Afghanistan, the capture or elimination of many of al-Qaeda’s senior members, and increased levels of international cooperation in global counterterrorism efforts.

However, critics argued that the failures of America’s counterterrorism campaign outweighed its successes. They contended that the war in Afghanistan had effectively scattered the al-Qaeda network, thereby making it even harder to counteract, and that the attacks in Afghanistan and Iraq had increased anti-Americanism among the world’s Muslims, thereby amplifying the message of militant Islam and uniting disparate groups in a common cause. Other critics alleged that the war on terrorism was a contrived smokescreen for the pursuit of a larger U.S. geopolitical agenda that included controlling global oil reserves, increasing defense spending, expanding the country’s international military presence, and countering the strategic challenge posed by various regional powers.

By the time of U.S. Pres. George W. Bush’s reelection in 2004, the drawbacks of the war on terrorism were becoming apparent. In Iraq, U.S. forces had overthrown the government of Saddam Hussein in 2003, and U.S. war planners had underestimated the difficulties of building a functioning government from scratch and neglected to consider how this effort could be complicated by Iraq’s sectarian tensions, which had been held in check by Saddam’s repressive regime but were unleashed by his removal. By late 2004 it was clear that Iraq was sinking into chaos and civil war estimates of the number of Iraqi civilians killed during the period of maximum violence—roughly 2004 to 2007—vary widely but generally exceed 200,000. U.S. casualties during this period far outnumbered those suffered during the initial 2003 invasion. Afghanistan, which for several years had seemed to be under control, soon followed a similar trajectory, and by 2006 the U.S. was facing a full-blown insurgency there led by a reconstituted Taliban.

The Bush administration faced domestic and international criticism for actions that it deemed necessary to fight terrorism but which critics considered to be immoral, illegal, or both. These included the detention of accused enemy combatants without trial at Guantánamo Bay and at several secret prisons outside the United States, the use of torture against these detainees in an effort to extract intelligence, and the use of unmanned combat drones to kill suspected enemies in countries far beyond the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.


AI drone may have 'hunted down' and killed soldiers in Libya with no human input

A UN report suggests that AI drones attacked human targets without any humans consulted prior to the strike.

At least one autonomous drone operated by artificial intelligence (AI) may have killed people for the first time last year in Libya, without any humans consulted prior to the attack, according to a U.N. report.

According to a March report from the U.N. Panel of Experts on Libya, lethal autonomous aircraft may have "hunted down and remotely engaged" soldiers and convoys fighting for Libyan general Khalifa Haftar. It's not clear who exactly deployed these killer robots, though remnants of one such machine found in Libya came from the Kargu-2 drone, which is made by Turkish military contractor STM.

"Autonomous weapons as a concept are not all that new. Landmines are essentially simple autonomous weapons &mdash you step on them and they blow up," Zachary Kallenborn, a research affiliate with the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism at the University of Maryland, College Park, told Live Science. "What's potentially new here are autonomous weapons incorporating artificial intelligence," added Kallenborn, who is with the consortium's unconventional weapons and technology division.

Related: The 22 weirdest military weapons

These attacks may have taken place in March 2020, during a time when the U.N.-recognized Government of National Accord drove Haftar's forces from Libya's capital, Tripoli.

"The lethal autonomous weapons systems were programmed to attack targets without requiring data connectivity between the operator and the munition: in effect, a true 'fire, forget and find' capability," the report noted.

The Kargu-2 is a four-rotor drone that STM describes as a "loitering munition system." Once its AI software has identified targets, it can autonomously fly at them at a maximum speed of about 45 mph (72 km/h) and explode with either an armor-piercing warhead or one meant to kill non-armor-wearing personnel. Though the drones were programmed to attack if they lost connection to a human operator, the report doesn't explicitly say that this happened.

It's also not clear whether Turkey directly operated the drone or just sold it to the Government of National Accord, but either way, it defies a U.N. arms embargo, which prevents all member states, such as Turkey, and their citizens from supplying weapons to Libya, the report added. The weapons ban was imposed after Libya's violent crackdown on protesters in 2011, which sparked a civil war and the country's ongoing crisis.

Haftar's forces "were neither trained nor motivated to defend against the effective use of this new technology and usually retreated in disarray," the report noted. "Once in retreat, they were subject to continual harassment from the unmanned combat aerial vehicles and lethal autonomous weapons systems."

Though the report does not unequivocally state that these autonomous drones killed anyone in Libya, it does strongly imply it, Kallenborn wrote in a report in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. For example, the U.N. noted that lethal autonomous weapons systems contributed to "significant casualties" among the crews of Haftar's forces' surface-to-air missile systems, he wrote.

Although many, including Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk, have called for bans on autonomous weapons, "such campaigns have typically assumed these weapons are still in the future," Kallenborn said. "If they're on the battlefield now, that means discussions about bans and ethical concerns need to focus on the present."

"I'm not surprised this has happened now at all," Kallenborn added. "The reality is that creating autonomous weapons nowadays is not all that complicated."

As dangerous as these weapons are, "they are not like the movie 'Terminator,'" Kallenborn said. "They have nowhere near that level of sophistication, which might be decades away."

Still, the fears over autonomous weapons are part of larger concerns that scientists and others have raised over the field of AI.

"Current AIs are typically heavily dependent on what data they are trained on," Kallenborn said. "A machine usually doesn't know what a cat or dog is unless it's fed images of cats and dogs and you tell it which ones are cats and dogs. So there's a significant risk of error in those situations if that training data is incomplete, or things are not as simple as they seem. A soldier might wear camo, or a farmer a rake, but a farmer might wear camo too, and a soldier might use a rake to knock over a gun turret."

AI software also often lacks what humans would think of as common sense. For instance, computer scientists have found that changing a single pixel on an image can lead an AI program to conclude it was a completely different image, Kallenborn said.

"If it's that easy to mess these systems up, what happens on a battlefield when people are moving around in a complex environment?" he said.

Kallenborn noted that there are at least nine key questions when it comes to analyzing the risks autonomous weapons might pose.

  • How does an autonomous weapon decide who to kill? The decision-making processes of AI programs are often a mystery, Kallenborn said.
  • What role do humans have? In situations where people monitor what decisions a drone makes, they can make corrections before potentially lethal mistakes happen. However, human operators may ultimately trust these machines to the point of catastrophe, as several accidents with autonomous cars have demonstrated, Kallenborn said.
  • What payload does an autonomous weapon have? The risks these weapons pose escalate with the number of people they can kill.
  • What is the weapon targeting? AI can err when it comes to recognizing potential targets.
  • How many autonomous weapons are being used? More autonomous weapons means more opportunities for failure, and militaries are increasingly exploring the possibility of deploying swarms of drones on the battlefield. "The Indian army has announced it is developing a 1,000-drone swarm, working completely autonomously," Kallenborn said.
  • Where are autonomous weapons being used? The risk that drones pose rises with the population of the area in which they are deployed and the confusing clutter in which they travel. Weather can make a difference, too &mdash one study found that an AI system used to detect obstacles on roads was 92% accurate in clear weather but 58% accurate in foggy weather, Kallenborn said.
  • How well-tested is the weapon? An autonomous weapon tested in a rainy climate such as Seattle might fare differently in the heat of Saudi Arabia, Kallenborn noted.
  • How have adversaries adapted? For example, AI company OpenAI developed a system that could classify an apple as a Granny Smith with 85.6% confidence, but if someone taped a piece of paper that said "iPod" on the fruit, it concluded with 99.7% confidence that the apple was an iPod, Kallenborn said. Adversaries may find similar ways to fool autonomous weapons.
  • How widely available are autonomous weapons? If widely available, they may be deployed where they should not be &mdash as the U.N. report noted, Turkey should not have brought the Kargu-2 drone into Libya.

"What I find most significant about the future of autonomous weapons are the risks that come with swarms. In my view, autonomous drone swarms that can kill people are potentially weapons of mass destruction," Kallenborn said.

All in all, "the reality is, what happened in Libya is just the start," Kallenborn said. "The potential for proliferation of these weapons is quite significant."


Transformation [ edit | edit source ]

Abduction, Infection & Return [ edit | edit source ]

Transformation of abductee s into super-soldiers was accomplished via infection with an alien virus , which would keep the abductee 's body alive, just long enough to undergo the transformation. The infected abductees were often mistaken for having been dead for days or even months and would often display characteristics of being dead, even though they were clinically alive. The characteristics of death might include decomposition of tissue (as well as, presumably, the neural and vascular systems), a postmortem intumescence, tissue necrosis, heartbeat and rate of metabolism slowing to imperceptibility and rigor of the invidual's body. One infected individual set to undergo this transformation had a pulse of 56 bpm while another had a pulse of about 70 bpm.

During one of the final stages of his transformation into a super-soldier in 2001, abductee Billy Miles bloodily sheds his skin in a shower.

The final stages of the transformation into a super-soldier were a seizure, during which two heartbeats in the infected abductee could apparently be detected before their pulse returned to normal, and the subsequent bloody sloughing of the skin. (TXF: "DeadAlive")

The transformation into a super-soldier could be prevented with a vaccine against the alien virus responsible for the transformation, or with the healing capabilities of an alien such as Jeremiah Smith. (TXF: "DeadAlive", "This is Not Happening") Keeping the infected body connected to life-support machines would incubate the virus and hamper it along, however, and evidence that this was the case could be determined by disconnecting the individual from life-support, causing the person's temperature to drop rapidly without affecting their vital signs. To aid the individual's complete recovery, the person would be administered with a course of transfusions and antivirals. (TXF: "DeadAlive")

Any individuals who had recovered from the infected state of preparation for the transformation into a super-soldier, including those who had been transformed as well as those who had been prevented from transforming, initially had a slight difficulty with walking but were gradually rejuvenated to full health. For example, after Billy Miles recovered, every piece of medical data on him was one hundred percent normal, even though blood, fluid and electrolyte imbalances, as well as loss of brain function, would normally be expected, following the recovery he had apparently undergone. (TXF: "DeadAlive") Mulder's recovery rendered a neurological disorder he had been suffering from, prior to his abduction, no longer detectable and seemingly caused scars on his face, hands, feet, and chest - wounds from his abduction - to repair themselves. (TXF: "Three Words")

There is some evidence, from TXF: "DeadAlive", to suggest that the transformation into a super-soldier might possibly cause confusion and/or loss of memory in an individual who had undergone the transformation.

Other Methods [ edit | edit source ]

In 2001, Shannon McMahon claimed to Agents Doggett, Scully and Reyes that not only had both Carl Wormus and Roland McFarland been preparing Maryland's water supply, as part of a government program, but also that the same program altered the molecular make-up of chloramine before adding it to the water, with the secret intention of priming a population to breed a generation of super-soldiers by adding something to the water that promoted the mutation of offspring, in fertilization and pregnancy. (TXF: "Nothing Important Happened Today II")

is subjected to a failed attempt to turn him into a super-soldier.

The following year, Jeffrey Spender revealed that his scarring was due to having been injected by something that had burned throughout his entire body, inside and out, and that this procedure had been a failed attempt to turn him into one of the alien men whose kind were now conspiring within the government. Spender also claimed that the aliens planned to perform the same procedure on everyone else and, even after he came clean about his identity and normalized William's biology, Spender implied that there was a risk the aliens would subject William to this procedure. (TXF: "William")


Definitions of terrorism

Definitions of terrorism are usually complex and controversial, and, because of the inherent ferocity and violence of terrorism, the term in its popular usage has developed an intense stigma. It was first coined in the 1790s to refer to the terror used during the French Revolution by the revolutionaries against their opponents. The Jacobin party of Maximilien Robespierre carried out a Reign of Terror involving mass executions by the guillotine. Although terrorism in this usage implies an act of violence by a state against its domestic enemies, since the 20th century the term has been applied most frequently to violence aimed, either directly or indirectly, at governments in an effort to influence policy or topple an existing regime.

Terrorism is not legally defined in all jurisdictions the statutes that do exist, however, generally share some common elements. Terrorism involves the use or threat of violence and seeks to create fear, not just within the direct victims but among a wide audience. The degree to which it relies on fear distinguishes terrorism from both conventional and guerrilla warfare. Although conventional military forces invariably engage in psychological warfare against the enemy, their principal means of victory is strength of arms. Similarly, guerrilla forces, which often rely on acts of terror and other forms of propaganda, aim at military victory and occasionally succeed (e.g., the Viet Cong in Vietnam and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia). Terrorism proper is thus the calculated use of violence to generate fear, and thereby to achieve political goals, when direct military victory is not possible. This has led some social scientists to refer to guerrilla warfare as the “weapon of the weak” and terrorism as the “weapon of the weakest.”

In order to attract and maintain the publicity necessary to generate widespread fear, terrorists must engage in increasingly dramatic, violent, and high-profile attacks. These have included hijackings, hostage takings, kidnappings, mass shootings, car bombings, and, frequently, suicide bombings. Although apparently random, the victims and locations of terrorist attacks often are carefully selected for their shock value. Schools, shopping centres, bus and train stations, and restaurants and nightclubs have been targeted both because they attract large crowds and because they are places with which members of the civilian population are familiar and in which they feel at ease. The goal of terrorism generally is to destroy the public’s sense of security in the places most familiar to them. Major targets sometimes also include buildings or other locations that are important economic or political symbols, such as embassies or military installations. The hope of the terrorist is that the sense of terror these acts engender will induce the population to pressure political leaders toward a specific political end.

Some definitions treat all acts of terrorism, regardless of their political motivations, as simple criminal activity. For example, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines both international and domestic terrorism as involving “violent, criminal acts.” The element of criminality, however, is problematic, because it does not distinguish among different political and legal systems and thus cannot account for cases in which violent attacks against a government may be legitimate. A frequently mentioned example is the African National Congress (ANC) of South Africa, which committed violent actions against that country’s apartheid government but commanded broad sympathy throughout the world. Another example is the Resistance movement against the Nazi occupation of France during World War II.

Since the 20th century, ideology and political opportunism have led a number of countries to engage in international terrorism, often under the guise of supporting movements of national liberation. (Hence, it became a common saying that “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.”) The distinction between terrorism and other forms of political violence became blurred—particularly as many guerrilla groups often employed terrorist tactics—and issues of jurisdiction and legality were similarly obscured.

These problems have led some social scientists to adopt a definition of terrorism based not on criminality but on the fact that the victims of terrorist violence are most often innocent civilians. Even this definition is flexible, however, and on occasion it has been expanded to include various other factors, such as that terrorist acts are clandestine or surreptitious and that terrorist acts are intended to create an overwhelming sense of fear.

In the late 20th century, the term ecoterrorism was used to describe acts of environmental destruction committed in order to further a political goal or as an act of war, such as the burning of Kuwaiti oil wells by the Iraqi army during the Persian Gulf War. The term also was applied to certain environmentally benign though criminal acts, such as the spiking of lumber trees, intended to disrupt or prevent activities allegedly harmful to the environment.


The Secret History of Iraq's Invisible War

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In the early years of the Iraq war, the U.S. military developed a technology so secret that soldiers would promptly escorted out of the country. That equipment - a radio-frequency jammer - was upgraded several times, and eventually robbed the Iraq insurgency of its most potent weapon, the remote-controlled bomb. But the dark veil surrounding the jammers remained largely intact, even after the Pentagon bought more than 50,000 units at a cost of over $17 billion.

Recently, however, I received an unusual offer from ITT, the defense contractor which made the vast majority of those 50,000 jammers. Company executives were ready to discuss the jammer - its evolution, and its capabilities. They were finally able to retell the largely-hidden battles for the electromagnetic spectrum that raged, invisibly, as the insurgencies carried on. They were prepared to bring me into the R&D facility where company technicians were developing what could amount to the ultimate weapon of this electromagnetic war: a tool that offers the promise of not only jamming bombs, but finding them, interrupting GPS signals, eavesdropping on enemy communications, and disrupting drones, too. The first of the these machines begins field-testing next month.

On a fist-clenchingly cold winter morning, I took a train across the Hudson River to the secret jammer lab.

Tucked behind a Target and an Olive Garden knock-off, the flat, anonymous office building gives no hint of what's inside. Nor do the blank, fluorescent-lit halls. But open a door off of one of those halls, and people start screaming.

"Screens off!" barks a man with a fullback's build. "Turn off the test equipment!" On the ceiling, a yellow alarm light flashes and spins – the sign that someone without a security clearance is in a classified facility.

Afghan militants began attacking U.S. troops with improvised explosive devices in the first days after the October 2001 invasion. By early ✂, al-Qaida bomb-makers were cramming radio frequency receivers and simple digital signal decoders into the bases of Japan InstaLite fluorescent lamps. Then theyɽ connect the two-and-a-half inch wide lamp bases to firing circuits, and to Soviet-era munitions. The result was a crude, radio-controlled weapon dubbed the "Spider" by the Americans. With it, an attacker could wait for his prey, set off the bomb at just the right moment – and never have to worry about getting caught. When the explosion happened, heɽ be hundreds of yards away.

Worse, U.S. forces had no way of blocking the Spider's triggering signal. Military bomb squads carried around a few half-assed jammers. But they couldn't be mounted on vehicles, "and they were too weak to provide protection beyond a few yards," Rick Atkinson notes in his exquisite history, Left of Boom: The Struggle to Defeat Roadside Bombs.

'If somebody sits a kilometer away with a radio and targets our guys, we've got no ability to get him.'

Navy engineers hustled to build something a little stronger, and a little more portable. By November of 2002, they had a jammer called Acorn that was hard-wired to stop Spiders. It wasn't much. As a so-called "active jammer," the Acorn put out a relatively-indiscriminate "barrage signal" that ate up power and generated all kinds of interference. That kept its effective radiated power – the amount of signal hitting any one bomb receiver – low. The signal was so weak, the jammer had to be left on and screaming constantly. Otherwise, troops would be inside the bomb's danger radius before they ever had a chance to block it. Worse, it could only block the specific receivers used in Spiders. If the bombers switched frequencies, the countermeasure would be useless.

Meanwhile, the Army looked for ways to modify its Shortstop Electronic Protection System, designed to shield troops from artillery and mortar fire. This was a so-called "reactive" countermeasure. It monitored the airwaves, listening for one of the radio signals used by the munitions' proximity fuses. Once the countermeasure heard that signal, Shortstop recorded it, modified it, and then blasted it back at the munition. By confusing the weapons with their own signals, Shortstop could fool the shells into prematurely detonating.

The soldiers tweaked the Shortstop to scan for radio-controlled bombs' triggering frequencies, and to rely on a Humvee's power supply. "The wife of one Fort Monmouth engineer collected miniature kitchen witches that inspired a new name for the device: Warlock Green," Atkinson recounts.

Five Warlock Greens accompanied U.S. forces into Iraq in March, 2003. By mid-summer, there were 100 jammers in the warzone. It wasn't nearly enough. Iraq's militants had learned from their compatriots in Afghanistan, and were setting off remotely-detonated explosives everywhere.

Just like the first turn of this improvised explosive device (IED) war, the electronic countermeasures were having trouble keeping up with the bombs. It took Warlock Green, ultimately manufactured by the EDO Corporation, a couple of seconds to record, modify, and rebroadcast a triggering signal. An insurgent bomber could set off an explosive in a few fractions of a second, if he had a simple, low-powered trigger, like a garage door opener. The jammer didn't have time to catch up.

The jammers could only cover a small slice of the radio frequency spectrum. Whenever the insurgents should change triggers – from say, door openers to key fobs – the jammer-makers would have to go back to the drawing board. Warlock Greens could be reprogrammed, within limits. The Acorns couldn't the new threats rendered them useless.

"Every time we put a countermeasure in the field - especially with Warlock - they were able to outstrip it," says Paul Mueller, a long-time defense executive, who supervised jammer-building operations at EDO and at the ITT Corporation. "They were a step ahead of us."

ɾvery time we used a countermeasure, they were able to outstrip it.'

But with insurgents setting off 50 IEDs a week, even the step-behind jammers were better than no jammers at all. By May 1, 2004 – one year to the day since President George W. Bush declared the end of major combat operations – the improvised bombs had wounded more than 2,000 American troops in Iraq. The IEDs killed 57 servicemembers in April alone, and injured another 691. "IEDs are my number-one threat in Iraq. I want a full-court press on IEDs," Gen. John Abizaid, then the top military commander in the Middle East, wrote in a June 2004 memo.

In the early fall of 2004, the Army signed a contract for 1,000 Warlocks. By March, 2005, the Army upped that order to 8,000 jammers. It was a high-tech, electromagnetic surge. And it was meant to send the militants sliding back down the scale of sophistication. "If somebody can sit a click [kilometer] away with a radio and target our guys, we've got almost no ability to get him," says a source familiar with the jammer buildup. "But if he's doing the Wile E. Coyote thing, and pushing down that plunger, at least we've got some chance to shoot him before he gets it down."

All the big defense contractors – and lots of little ones – got into the electronic countermeasure business. The Marines bought one model the Army another Special Operations Forces, a third. The Army began buying Warlock Reds – small, active jammers that blocked out the low-powered triggers that Warlock Green couldn't stop in time. Warlock Blue was a wearable jammer, to protect the infantryman on patrol. Each countermeasure had its shortcomings Warlock Blue, for instance, was "a half-watt jammer at a time when some engineers suspected that 50 watts might be too weak," Atkinson notes. But no commander could afford to wait for a perfect, common bomb-stopper too many men were getting blown up. By May 1, 2005, the number of U.S. troops wounded by the bombs had climbed to more than 7,700.

There were drawbacks to throwing all those countermeasures into the field at once. Warlock Green would sometimes mistake Warlock Red's signal for an enemy's, and go after it. That would lock the jammers in a so-called "deadly embrace," cancelling one another out.


About the Author(s)

Nilanthan Niruthan is a defense analyst and researcher for the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies, Colombo. His writing revolves around global security, having covered issues like hybrid warfare, lethal drones, maritime piracy, human shields and urban insurgency for various international publications. He also teaches Low Intensity Warfare at the Defense Services Command and Staff College, the highest seat of military education in Sri Lanka. He is a recurring guest on radio and television news shows to discuss current affairs.He has also contributed in formulating security policy in the South Asian region, for bodies like BIMSTEC.


3 Jack Churchill

An allied commander in WWII, and an avid fan of surfing, Captain Jack Malcolm Thorpe Fleming Churchill aka "Fighting Jack Churchill" aka "Mad Jack" was basically the craziest motherfucker in the whole damn war.

He volunteered for commando duty, not actually knowing what it entailed, but knowing that it sounded dangerous, and therefore fun. He is best known for saying that "any officer who goes into action without his sword is improperly dressed" and, in following with this, for carrying a sword into battle. In WWII. And not one of those sissy ceremonial things the Marines have. No, Jack carried a fucking claymore. And he used it, too. He is credited with capturing a total of 42 Germans and a mortar squad in the middle of the night, using only his sword.

Churchill and his team were tasked with capturing a German fortification creatively called "Point 622." Churchill took the lead, charging ahead of the group into the dark through the barbed wire and mines, pitching grenades as he went. Although his unit did their best to catch up, all but six of them were lost to silly things like death. Of those six, half were wounded and all any of them had left were pistols. Then a mortar shell swung in and killed/mortally wounded everyone who wasn't Jack Churchill.

When the Germans found him, he was playing "Will Ye No Come Back Again?" on his bagpipes. Oh, we didn't mention that? He carried them right next to his big fucking sword.

After being sent to a concentration camp, he got bored and left. Just walked out. They caught him again, and sent him to a new camp. So he left again. After walking 150 miles with only a rusty can of onions for food, he was picked up by the Americans and sent back to Britain, where he demanded to be sent back into the field, only to find out (with great disappointment) the war had ended while he was on his way there. As he later said to his friends, "If it wasn't for those damn Yanks, we could have kept the war going another 10 years!"

The Best Hollywood Could Come Up With:

Colonel Bill Kilgore (Robert DuVall) from Apocalypse Now, of "I love the smell of napalm in the morning" fame.

Well, truth be told, they're pretty much the same person. They're both at home on the battlefield, they have the same philosophies of war and both of them seem to be immune to mortar fire and bullets. Churchill's basically a crazier, Scottish version of Kilgore. With a big fucking broadsword. Like if Kilgore was played by William Wallace from Braveheart on crystal meth.

Related: A Review Of What Is (Maybe) The Worst Book On The U.S. Presidency Ever Written


Shelter for the people

Anderson shelter © In the first years of the Blitz, Anderson shelter were provided by the government, and 150,000 of these were distributed to houses with gardens. They were constructed of corrugated iron, many quite poorly, and were usually cold and damp, but they did provide a little private shelter for those who had them.

Many people did not want to leave their homes, and even owners of Anderson shelters would forsake their shelters for the comfort of the understairs cupboard. The Morrison shelter was an iron cage that doubled as a table, but was designed to protect the family as their house collapsed around them. The theory was that they would crawl out from the rubble unhurt. However, if they were trapped and the house was on fire, they would die, powerless to save themselves.

But what of those without a Morrison or Anderson shelter, those without a garden and who lived in high density housing? For these people, communal shelters were constructed in the basements of certain houses, to be used by those who happened to be out and about when the raid happened. The government also decided to build surface shelters, in streets. These were built of brick, with concrete roofs, and were for families in surrounding estates.

Due to the incompetence of the Government's construction specification, however, an ambiguous instruction was misinterpreted, and resulted in a sand and lime mix being used in the construction, without the benefit of cement. These dark shelters quickly became squalid, unsanitary and dangerous. When the bombs began to fall, these inadequate shelters simply crumbled, and many people sheltering in them died.

On 7 September 1940, as the bombs began to fall on London, it quickly became clear to those seeking shelter that there was not enough space for everyone. And that even those in the poorly constructed surface shelters weren't safe. Without anywhere to sleep at night, public anger rose ,and people felt that it was time to take the responsibility for shelter into their own hands.

The demand for deep shelter returned, but this time more strongly. The obvious and most popular move in London was to take over the underground tube system. The government had previously ruled out - indeed forbidden - the use of the tube. But for many it was the last place of refuge. So by simply buying a ticket and staying underground for the duration of the raid, people slowly began to occupy the underground system.

The shelterers made it clear that they intended on making these new sanctuaries their homes. The government had to bow to pressure, and began to supply bunk beds and toilets for the tube dwellers. Nightly, a community of 60,000 would convene underground in London. A community was born, and the first victory for the people was won.


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The Pennsylvania rifle developed from earlier and much heavier Jaeger rifle which were brought to the American colonies by German gunsmiths. [3] The Jager rifle was a short, heavy rifle that fired a large caliber bullet. It was designed for hunting in Europe by the well to do. [3] Like the longer and heavier smoothbore muskets of the time, both were not well suited for hunting in America. [3]

These gunsmiths centered their activities around Lancaster County, Pennsylvania for a number of good reasons. [3] It was an important crossroads for trade at the time. It lay between Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the wilderness to the west. [3] The area also had large iron ore deposits for gun barrels and hardwood forests for gun stocks. [3] The product that evolved from the earlier gun designs could shoot up to five times farther. The Pennsylvania rifle could accurately hit targets at 300 yards (270 m). [4] From about 1730 and through the War of 1812, the Pennsylvania rifle was the preferred long range rifle in America. [3]

During the American Revolutionary War companies of Pennsylvania riflemen created disruption behind the British lines. [5] Well out of range of the British Brown Bess smoothbore musket, militiamen and snipers could target individual soldiers and officers from a long distance. [5] George Washington was delighted to have these men equipped with their Pennsylvania rifles. Most soldiers used the musket because it was much easier and quicker to load in battle. But an American sharpshooter with his long rifle could pick off a British general who thought he was far enough away from the battle to be safe. [6] This could and did change the outcome of several battles. Ashley Halsey Jr. wrote:

[A British general was outraged] that certain uncouth American frontiersmen, who wore their shirttails hanging out down to their knees, picked off his sentries and officers at outlandishly long ranges. Forthwith, the general ordered the capture of one specimen, each of the marksmen, and his gun. A raiding party dragged back Cpl. Walter Crouse, of York County, Pennsylvania, with his long rifle. At that point, the British … made a psychological blunder. They shipped their specimen rifleman to London. … Crouse, commanded to demonstrate his remarkable gun in public, daily hit targets at 200 yards—four times the practical range of the smoothbore military flintlock of the day. Enlistments faded away, so the story goes, and King George III hurriedly hired Hessian rifle companies to fight marksmanship with marksmanship. [6]

The sharpshooters who carried these weapons are part of American history and myth. But they most certainly did exist and played an important part in battles such as the Battle of Saratoga in 1777 and the Battle of New Orleans in 1815. [1]

There have been a number of names applied to this rifle and the name depended on where it was used. [1] Whether the design was called a Kentucky rifle, a Schimmel, southern poor boys or a Tennessee rifle, many have consistently been manufactured in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. [1] A typical rifle of this design had a barrel from 42 inches (1,100 mm) to 46 inches (1,200 mm) in length. [2] It was .50 caliber (13 mm) and had a stock made of curly maple. [2] The stock fully supported the barrel. It had a crescent-shaped buttplate, a patch box and a cheekpiece were also common. [2] Early models used a flintlock firing mechanism while later models used the percussion cap. The barrels were rifled.

Daniel Boone's rifle is a typical example of a Pennsylvania rifle. It was 5 feet, 3 inches long (160cm). [1] It was .44 caliber and fired a ball that weighed about 130 grains (8.4 g). The gun weighed 11 pounds (5.0 kg). [1] Using a bullet mold, Boone could get about 55 lead balls from a single pound (0.45 kg) of lead. [1] To fire a ball this size would require only about a thimble-full of black powder. [1]

In a situation where there might be Hand-to-hand fighting, the Pennsylvania rifle was too delicate to use as a club. [1] Striking it against anything could cause the stock to break. The long thin wrought iron barrel was relatively soft could be easily bent. [1] Frontiersmen knew this and were careful not to damage their main hunting weapon. In battle, it took twice as long to reload a Pennsylvania rifle as it did the Brown Bess musket. [7] Worse, due to the barrel length, the shooter almost had to stand up to carefully measure the powder, load the ball and patch, and tamp it down with a ramrod. [7] It is no wonder Pennsylvania riflemen hid behind trees so as not to expose themselves to enemy fire. [7] The main weapon during the Revolutionary war was the musket on both sides. Fewer than 10% of the American soldiers carried a long rifle. [7]