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BlackMoria

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Posts posted by BlackMoria


  1. That second posted documentary by Gwynne Dyer - A Profession of Arms has footage of me in it.  I was doing my artillery officer training in CFB Gagetown and we were told a CBC crew shooting a documentary would be shooting some footage of us doing our training and other activities.  

     

    Obviously, a lot of that footage was left on the cutting room floor but when A Profession of Arms came out, I watched for myself and I am in the footage of the Regimental mess dinner at the end during the credits.  

     

    Unfortunately, the YouTube version above cuts off just as the credits start, so, so much for my 15 minutes of fame on these boards.  :lol:


  2. Finished up tonight.  Total victory.  My losses were zero.  

     

    As I posted earlier, extracted the consulate without losses by doing a breech cover by vehicle and infantry smoke.  

     

    Ran into the insurgents bum rushing the consulate and crushed them in my kill zones.

     

    Mad white knuckle driving through the city.  I must of picked a good route as I ran into only two groups of infantry and two technicals.

     

    Got near the extraction point, took to the buildings just outside the zone and kicked the snot out of the insurgents in the extraction.

     

    Nice fun scenario and I am certain that if I did stuff differently, it would have played quite different, so I expect some replayability due to the different ways one can attempt to do the extraction and the multitude of different routes to the extraction zone.

     

    I don't know if there is more than one AI plan but if so, that makes this scenario even better.

     

    As I said, good fun scenario.  Plays quick as the force size is manageable and the map not too small or too large.  Plot short movement legs as I found the due to the density of the urban terrain, the pathfinding for longer legs can get your forces moving into areas you don't wish, particularly the vehicles.

     

    Also, two thumbs up for the subject matter - actually withdrawing nearly a dozen non-combatant consulate personnel represented by single person icons. Makes timing and covered movement during the exfil out of the consulate problematic, as it should be.  Make the actual evacuation a nail biter.


  3. For your amusement, I will relate this story from my peacekeeping tour in Bosnia in '93.    It is funny (after the fact for me) but has a lesson in it.

     

    I was doing OP duty and had around 10 soldiers under my command.  Our group was in a heavily sandbagged structure on a hilltop.  It was just the crack of dawn and the night shift was going to ground to catch some sleep while the soldiers just waking up were going on shift.

     

    One of the soldiers was going to the latrine and only grabbed his weapon instead of also putting on the flak jacket and helmet.  Now in '93, the Canadian Forces didn't have modern body armor so we were provided with bulky flak jackets.  They were big, heavy and uncomfortable as hell to wear.  The rule was, you didn't need to wear it in hardened structures but if you were outside, a helmet (soldiers refered to them as pisspots) and flak jacket was expected to be worn.  Soldiers, including myself didn't like the wearing the flak jacket.

     

    Back to my story.  So I look out the vision slit of the bunker and see this soldier heading for the latrine with just his rifle and blue beret.  This has happened a few times now and I haven't said anything.  Remember me saying there is a lesson here and that is the danger of complacency.  One can get too accustomed to the routine and short cuts happen.

     

    The soldier come back and I dress him down for not wearing his flak jacket and helmet.  As the officer, I must lead by example so I don my flak jacket and helmet as I need to take a wicked dump at the latrine.  I head to the latrine, pants down and adopt the squat to push out the aftermath of last night's rations.  Just then a mortar round impacts about a dozen metres behind me.  I feel a hard hit in the middle of my back and I know I've been hit.  

     

    I race for the safety of the bunker with weapon in one hand and trying to pull my trousers up from around my knees.  It was quite the athletic event according to the soldiers, as they were amazed that someone can run that fast with their trousers around their knees.

     

    So there I am standing just inside the bunker door, my pants now fallen around my ankles but I barely aware of it as I am concerned that I am wounded.   Flatly, in a loud voice, I say "That gentlemen, is why we wear our f^%$#* helmets and flak jackets when we go outside this f%$#@ bunker!!"

     

    I took about a two inch by half inch fragment into the flak jacket but was otherwise unharmed.  Other fragment cut a very shallow channel along the left side of my helmet.

     

    Needless to say, for the rest of the tour, flak jackets and helmets where worn without complaint by the soldiers when they went to the latrine.


  4. This is actually pretty interesting to me. A lot of my instructors here at the academy were in the Balkans in the late 90s and early 2000s, and I have never really heard about a lot of combat between US forces and forces in the "peacekeeping" missions. One of my former instructors, a LTC (engineer), had to clear minefields in Kosovo in the late 90s, but that is the extent of anything I've heard in regards to any activity. And I knew one MAJ that was an armor officer in Bosnia, but I'm not sure what operations were going on between the NATO(?) forces.

     

    I'm very ignorant about this haha

     

    I was a Canadian peacekeeper, not American and it was the early '90s ('93 for me) when it was 'peacemaking', not 'peacekeeping' as the public envisions it.  The late '90s was when it was more traditional peacekeeping.

     

    The Serbs and Croatians shot at us or would shell us with mortars. Both groups didn't like us being there, despite agreeing to the accords and articles that all sides have to agree to before the peacekeepers come in.  With one exception, (the Medak pocket, where Croatian and Canadian troops actually fought each other), the nature of the shelling or shooting was more of harassment than an attack.  Typical pattern was to drop a few mortar rounds on our OPs and then stop, or fire a couple dozen small arms rounds at us and then stop.  As I said, more of a harassing fire to see how we react and to test our resolve and attempt to rattle us. 

     

    That said, it doesn't matter if the shots or shells are harassing or a deliberate attack, when you get a bullet striking something beside your head or a mortar round land a dozen metres from you, it is unsettling and a matter of concern.  One of the other officers from my unit took a Russian 14.7mm round through his lower leg as he sat in a vehicle.  It took him about 5 months to recover from that injury to the massive shattering and splintering of the bones of the lower leg.

     

    It was the mines and booby traps you really had to be alert for.  They were everywhere and most of the peacekeeping deaths were caused by these weapons.  So when I went on patrols, not only did one have a head on a swivel around you for hostile forces, you had to constantly scan the ground in front of you before you moved your feet.  Nerve wracking to say the least.


  5. Being an artillery officer (now nearly 20 years retired), I received some training in shell crater analysis.

     

    Firstly, it isn't particularly precise.  You can generally get caliber of the weapon, bearing/azimuth of the trajectory, and the sometimes the angle when the shell struck the ground.  but unless you known something about what bag charge the round was fired at, you are not going to get any precision on location other than somewhere along the bearing and maybe within a 500 metres plus or minus.  Fragments of the shell can tell caliber and perhaps manufacturer but only if you can recover enough fragments for that analysis.

     

    The real problem is we are not talking clean fixed lines of contact between forces.  If the shell analysis indicated the rounds came from very near a town and that town is being contested, you can't tell which side fired it.  That is generally the situation on the ground in the Donbass - forces in close proximity and roving around.  Makes shell crater analysis giving you details only in generalities that probably don't offer much useful intel.


  6. I am surprised there are not more cases of this since the battlefield is usually full of residual smoke and dust. There is also a video from last year where the separatists were clearing out a terminal throwing grenades into cellars and covering up the holes.

    I've been mildly nauseated by battlefield smoke during my service so I suppose someone may react a little more strongly than that.  Still, uncontrolled muscle spasms is not something I associate with nausea bought on by inhaling smoke but I am not a medical person so you may be right.  

     

    Still, during my service, the drill is to mask up if the least bit suspicious.  I assume Ukraine soldiers carry gas mask protective gear as a minimum but looking at pictures, maybe they don't as a general practice.


  7. From the OSCE Observer mission site (latest 21 January report)

     

    "A Ukrainian soldier in a hospital in government-controlled Konstantinovka (56km north of Donetsk) told the SMM that he was being treated for injuries sustained at the Donetsk airport on 19 January. He said 80 Ukrainian soldiers in total had suffered the same injuries, manifested in uncontrollable muscle spasms, vomiting and difficult breathing. Some, he said, had become unconscious. Eleven of the soldiers had been transferred to a hospital in Dnepropetrovsk, he said."

     

    The symptoms look suspiciously like a chemical agent weapon of some sort was used in Donetsk airport, more so when some 80 soldiers get the same symptoms more or less the same time.   This, if true, could mean a significant change in the conflict with potential larger ramifications if found to be true.

     

    I really hope this is not the case because the ramification of chemical weapons being used potentially can throw all previous political and military assumptions out the door.


  8. Served in the Canadian Armed Forces for 17 years. Started in the artillery as a gunner, then went officer after a few years.  Served in 1 Royal Canadian Horse Artillery and 3 Royal Canadian Horse Artillery at various times in my career.  Current status is retired, rank of Captain.

     

    Memorable moments:

     

    Served as a peacekeeper in Bosnia in 1993.  Back when it was more 'peacemaking' than 'peacekeeping'.  Got lots of stories that I can tell about that experience.

     

    As a forward observer, adjusted and fired a 'Fire Mission Division' during one of the few Division exercises the Canadian military did during the 1990s.  About 40 tubes of 105mm and 155mm fired some 160 rounds total rounds for one fire mission.  I am one of only a few artillery officers who have fired a division fire mission from that time period.  I don't think that Canada has done a Division live fire exercise in the last 20 years, near as I can tell, since I took early retirement in 1996.

     

    Did a winter exercise for three days of winter warfare training (winter infantry training and living in tents)where the temperature varied between -45 C and -55 C and one of those days, the temperature with windchill was -83 C.   Discovered at those temperatures that a book of matches will burn out while floating in a bowl of white gasoline (used as fuel for lanterns and stoves).

     

    I remember the one year where I was unlucky enough to go on three winter exercises back to back and literally, except for two weeks, I humped the boonies and lived in a tent from the beginning of January to the end of March (nearly 3 months) on exercises in Alaska, the Northwest Territories (northern Canada) and Manitoba (center of Canada and the coldest of the provinces in winter).

     

    I have been mortared by the 1 PPCLI mortar platoon by accident, fired on by an American 155 gun battery by accident, shot at by a German Leopard 1 tank by accident, and bombed (with practice bombs thankfully) by the Canadian Air Force by accident.  Yeah, training accidents with live ammuniton do happen and can be deadly serious affairs. Had some pretty close calls in Bosnia but someone was actually trying to kill me in those cases, but such is the case in a war zone.   My wife says I got more lives than a cat.


  9. You speak about France here... acually France refused to provide Russia with Mistrals ships recentry under the pressure of US. These ships are no way a strategic weapon and the fact that France broke the contract will hurt France reputation at the world weapon market and France will have to play a big forfeit for Russia so it's against french interests and they didn't want to do so, they delayed a final decisions and still didn't state it clear enough,but US makes them to say NO.

    Really?

     

    I could say the France, being somewhat nervous and concerned about the unfolding Ukrainian crisis and Russia's possible involvement in said crisis, maybe came to their own conclusions about the ramifications of that deal and needed no US 'convincing', as you seem to claim has happened.


  10. Be that as it may, it is one more ball that Putin has to juggle to keep on top of things.  Personally, I don't think think he is a good juggler and the balls may start dropping.  And it will be the Russian people who will pay when the fumble occurs and the balls fall to the ground.

     

    Oh, about politicians and promises - let's just say in the West, politicians make them all the time and the voters get disappointed mostly all the time. 


  11. Regarding the airport, not clear.  Despite looking at numerous reports, both sides are claiming they hold it and pushed the other side out, so I don't know the truth of the matter.

     

    Judging from the pictures, the airport fight looks to me like junkyard dogs fighting over a bag of garbage because the hard infrastructure looks like it is totally destroyed so I don't understand why lives are expended in continuing to fight over something that is more symbolic than strategic now.

     

    Even if the Pro-Russian forces have taken it, what use is it to them?  Even if the runways are still okay, the Pro-Russian forces can't re-build the infrastructure or even bring in supply flights without the infrastructure until the front lines change enough that the airport is out of range of the longest range artillery system the Ukraine military has because any attempt to bring in flights or rebuild is going to getting destroyed by artillery strikes. 


  12. Iraq is a mess, not because that was the intent of the US to destabilize Iraq,  but because the US failed to understand that kicking over Saddam and trying to setup a democracy is nearly impossible in a region of the world where thousand of years to tribalism is the firmly entrenched mindset.

     

    Dissect the entire mess and one can see the tribalism is a huge reason why Iraq and Afghanistan are relative failures despite the best but misguide intentions of the west.

     

    Never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity.  In other words, Afghanistan and Iraq turned out the way they did because the whole venture was not well thought out, mistakes were made and more importantly, social/political factors deeply entrenched in thousands of years of history were ignored.


  13. I had mortars fall on the consulate as well but it was airburst thankfully, and only one guy got a light wound as I had everyone hunkered down in the buildings.   Yeah, I was luckier than you in that regard.  

     

    Played another few minutes last night.  I had most of my force overwatching the consulate during the extraction.  Got the non combatants loaded up in a Stryker and just as my forces are pulling back from the area to regroup for the push to the extraction, several dozen insurgents take to the streets to bum rush the empty consulate while I am loading troops onto the Strykers.  Fortunately, I had one rifle squad and a MG squad still in position watching that street who were about to pull back to the vehicles and they lit the insurgents up real good.  Nearly two dozen enemy dead lie in the street now.

     

    Looks like I got everyone out of the consulate in the nick of time but the area is now hot, making me reconsider my route to the extraction.  Push through a known hot area or take a chance for a hopefully quieter neighbourhood to speed through.   


  14. I get what you are trying to say but there is no tanks coming from Russia you can trust me on that, I have a example for you.  If Obama supports rebels in Syria openly with US ATGMs and other training, But everyone says it is alright when they do it. But when Russia does it Russia the "big bad bear" and "putler" is bad man. So of course Putin will try to hide it, Not much people will be fond of it in the west because every media source that is in America shows Russia bad in anything it does. There is more to it then just Ukraine it goes back to the 1920s when the USSR came along, And America decided it wanted to get rid of it.

    So where is the all the armor coming from then?  I don't believe T-72 tanks and other armored vehicles are being purchased from the local Donetsk hardware store.  Nor do I believe that all this stuff was captured from the Ukraine military.  Nor do I believe all this stuff is from 'hidden compounds' filled with mothball equipment from the Donbass area, particularly since such equipment is more current and newer equipment.  So if the tanks are not coming from Russia, pray tell where they are coming from?

     

    As to the comment about Syria, the US has told the world that they are providing certain weapons to certain factions in Syria.  Russian has made no such admission of any kind and would have all of us theorize that tanks are being hammered together from pots and pans from old starving pro russian grandmothers in the Donbass area.  In case it is not clear, that last statement was sarcasm on my part. 


  15. Having serious fun with this one.   Still into it but I usually try to be unorthodox and this scenario so far has allowed me to indulge that aspect of me.  

     

    I managed to extract the consulate without a shot being fired by making entry into the city through a blocked vector by using explosives, positioned an vehicle(to smoke off the street with vehicle smoke) with engineer support.  I smoked off a street and breached the consulate walls with engineer charges while under smoke and got everyone out without the bad guys even spotting my forces.

     

    Now for the hard part... getting to the extraction point.  I don't think I can pull off a sneak play to get a reinforced stryker company through the city to the extraction point without shots being fired in anger but at least I managed to extract the consulate staff without fighting half the neighbourhood to do so.


  16. Damn.   That would have been great to have triggers on reinforcement spawn in times.

     

    I remember with bitterness one scenario where a T72 tank company spawned on top of my Stryker platoon.  The outcome was ugly, needless to say.  And the Marine campaign scenario where you assault a ridge line.  I remember assaulting and occupying the trench works on the ridge, only to have Syrian infantry spawn into the trenches with my squads in them.   Mutual annihilation by grenades.   :lol:


  17. It is a poor man's AT weapon.   Modern warfare tends to be a 'come as you are' warfare because gone are the days of factories pumping out X number of tanks or aircraft per day like in WW2.  Modern equipment is so complex and so expensive that it takes months to produce and will take considerable time to replace when lost.  

     

    The MT-12 is a product of a mind set typical of Soviet thinking of throw nothing away, it may have use somewhere, even if it is just training reservists.  In a 'Come As You Are' war, such weapons will use in third echelon units and as replacement weapons when the higher priced and more capable weapons get attrited to the point that it is either use the older piece of equipment or do without.

     

    Let's face it, a Abrams is going to laugh in the face of a MT-12, because it is going to do very little to a Abrams.  But to a Hummer or a not upgraded Bradley or Stryker, the weapon is still dangerous.

     

    That said, I am not going to be a happy soldier if I am told that WW2 era anti-tank gun is going to be my AT weapon to face off with modern tanks with...

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