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Sublime

Need internet info (free pls?) On Prairie Fire Ops and Bright Light Ops

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Prairie Fire (forget the predessecor name for LRRPS in N VN) as I explain were deep LRRP penetrations

BRIGHT LIGHT was emergency rescue units for these teams - often to no avail and nothing there except blood trails.  Some of the most harrowing stories from the war come from these missions. Anyone have a good repisitory of history, anecdotes, etc

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9 minutes ago, Sublime said:

Anyone have a good repisitory of history, anecdotes, etc

Assuming that you meant to type 'repository' and are not looking for a urinal, you might try BACM: archivist@paperlessarchives.com. ISTR getting an announcement from them a few months back that they were releasing a humongous number of files on Viet Nam. They might have something on the subject you are interested in.

Michael

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Emrys you smartass you know damn well what I meant. Worse still I have to thank you for it. jerk.

Anyways Heil Grammar! and all that

;) thx buddy

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a report on a prairie fire team MIA for decaSdes that got found sparked my interested. I remember SFC Schue, and 2 others were killed.  a local remembed the NVA yelled capture the americans - schue had a deifnite bullet wound below his ribs, the other US were heavily wounded by grenade fragments. BRIGHT LIGHT couldnt get there until the next day due to weather. They only found some web belt that was it. around 2011 they found the 3 americans in shallow graves nearby.

RIP

but that and Pete Wennmans avatar is a USN F4 pilot named J Chesshire.  Hes got fantastic anecdotes - and of course my dad was a F4D WSO and his squadron CO was Roger Locher which was the furthest north we retrieved any downed US aircrew IIRC and I DO know for USAF Locher holds the record for being in the wild - he was out there like 22 days before rescue.

Also I remembered (der) shining brass was prarie fires predessecor ( im surprised I didnt misspell that one? Thats the one I thought I misspelled)

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Also mike lemme clarify.

Are shiningbrass prairie fire all SOG missions for N VN LAOS and Cambodia, or did they mean LAOS and CAMBODIA ONLY?  If so what were LRRP/other insertions in N VN?

Id love to be able to see what will be declassed about now in 50 years. but alas. it makes u wonder what theyll never release about vietnam. there must be some rlllllly juicy stories.

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Hell, there is stuff from WW II that is only grudgingly trickling out now. Information is a weapon and gets freely used as such.But there is a lot of stuff that is still under wraps, not because there is any strategic reason to keep it there, but because nobody is still alive who knows it's there.

Michael

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Posted (edited)

Unfortunately youre all to right.

And much of its going to simply be lost forever.  It reminds me of reading how a German archivist found Kaiser era German invasion plans for the US - from 1906.  They planned to land at Cape Cod, move on Boston, lay siege and hopefully conquer it.  Then the main drive would seize or shell at least NYC and hold this region hostage for American concessions for colonies, terrritories, etc.

Even then they expected a 26 day (!!) trip and planned a decisive naval victory (which they deemed necessary) with the USN before the landing.  And they noted this was all impossible unless Europe was totally secure or at peace.  Of course this was all silliness - it would have been a disaster.  But its interesting

Thanks for your help Emrys.  Yeah its a shame so much will be lost - again reading the article about that 3 man Shining Brass team and them only finding their remains around 2011 - and the subsequent accounts of their demise... Rough way to go, must have felt very very lonely and far away from everything you knew.   Balls of steel on those men. 

And yeah also on WW2- I always have to remind myself watching my fav WW2 documentary - the world at war bbc - that the enigma secret wasnt declassified yet

Edited by Sublime

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12 hours ago, Sublime said:

And yeah also on WW2- I always have to remind myself watching my fav WW2 documentary - the world at war bbc - that the enigma secret wasnt declassified yet

It's amusing sometimes when reading an account of the war written before Enigma was declassified and the author writes something like "Allied intelligence had received hints that the Germans were planning this or that..." and you recognize that this is a subtle and covert hint about the fact that they were reading the Axis mail.

:lol:

Michael

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Yes.  Churchill was brilliant in ensuring that even at the cost of lives the made sure a allied convoy or plane would 'happen' upon the DAKs resupply convoys etc.

However, and yes hindsight is 20-20, I still think Donitz's error of not realizing the truth by 43 (Admittedly too llate but if he persuaded the entire Heer to change everything it may have really extended the war) is nigh unforgiveable.  He added a fourth rotor and voila! shipping sinkings rise dramatically and losses drop dramatically.  For a small period in 43 until the extra 'bombes' (super comps to break enigma) got the 4th rotor.

Interestingly we were much more careless about potentially exposing our intelligence coup in the PTO -  you'd think the Japanese would have been sure that Yamamato's death was basically an aerial hit.. IMO at least.

Thoughts?

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2 hours ago, Sublime said:

...you'd think the Japanese would have been sure that Yamamato's death was basically an aerial hit.. IMO at least.

Thoughts?

The idea has even crossed my mind that he himself might have planned it that way. I haven't the slightest bit of evidence to prove the proposition, but it has a certain allure. Japan was losing the war...as he predicted it would...and he couldn't bring himself to stick around to watch it fall. He was hoping the Americans would provide him with a nice sword to fall on, and they did.

Well, that's my outrageous speculation for the day. I'll crawl back in my cave now.

Michael

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Id buy it BUT-

I cant resist

I think if so he demand (and would eventually receive) command of a battlegroup crowned with same Yamato.  Then he leads a suicide charge and goes down with the ship.  I think culturally and given his backround that'd be his method, if not outright seppuku.

Also if so - he was very high ranking - easily he could have excused the other 'betty' bombers and claimed they needed to save fuel - thereby making him the ONLY target, not 1 of 4 (or was it 3?)

It has an allure but I feel he was too professional and too patriotic. Just like some of Hitlers generals who loathed the man they couldnt bear to not participate in a war for national survival even if for an evil regime and I feel he would have prosecuted the war for Japanese gain to his dying breath - those men very much meant their oaths, as it should be. (not that I condone the IJA/IJN or Third Reich, I just mean honor has become cheap)

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IIRC In the Med - with the shipping losses the Germans were casting a suspicious beady eye on their Italian allies as being less than trustworthy ('Loose lips sinks ships' style)...   Allied reccon aircraft were from top down directed, from broken intercepts, to happen to patrol certain 'probable' areas where they just so happened to 'luckily' spot Axis supply convoys sneaking along leading to follow up attack and sinking  - which in turn gave ships a chance to radio back circumstances of their initial spottiing . Therby alleviating blame and suspicion that it was broken codes responsible.  Caused much headscratching for Germans.

Besides there was liitle joined up thiinking with German Interlligence Depts and without effective overview. -  it was another just dept/dog fighting with others in competition over the bone of Hitler's attention.

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Fair enough - though what about Donitz in '43? He ordered a fourth rotor installed, and had visible results too. I dont see how he could have ignored this cause and effect as it seems he did..? The rest yes, as I said especially Churchill was very very careful to make sure that planes or ships 'happened upon' enemy convoys.

Thanks though Wicky as usual your post was good $hit

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In 1943 allied anti-sub measures - better air cover and escort were getting more & more effective, so much so that Dönitz pulled back his subs back to base.  Code changes and crackability were only relatively temporary.  https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/losses_year.html

There was in 1942 a window of 10 months when codes couldn't be broken. > https://uboat.net/technical/enigma_breaking.htm

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19 hours ago, Sublime said:

I think if so he demand (and would eventually receive) command of a battlegroup crowned with same Yamato.  Then he leads a suicide charge and goes down with the ship.  I think culturally and given his backround that'd be his method, if not outright seppuku.

I tend to agree with you, which is why I didn't put my conjecture forward as a serious proposition.

Michael

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Posted (edited)

Sublime,

If it helps any, the MACV SOG records have been declassified. Not directly pertinent, though I believe you'll find of interest, is Project Alpha, by Sedgwick Tourison. It chronicles US ops into NVN using RSVN personnel.

As for your principal request, believe this'll help. RAND was deeply involved in VN military analyses before and after the war there. The various sources listed should provide you with springboards for further investigations.

https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monograph_reports/MR1408/MR1408.ch2.pdf

Here's a particularly harrowing one, Double Pairie Fire, recounted by John Plaster, whom I know of through his numerous studies of sniping and countersniping. This excerpt is from his Secret Commandos. It is all about MACV SOG ops. He participated in 22 cross-border ops as a MACV SOG NCO team leader.

http://doubleprairiefireinlaos.blogspot.com

Regards,

John Kettler

Edited by John Kettler

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Sublime may still have me blocked from a misunderstanding quite some time ago. If he fails to respond, would one of you please let him know what I've provided, or maybe simply quote my immediately above post so he can see it? Definitely info useful to his researches. Thanks!

Regards,

John Kettler

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13 hours ago, John Kettler said:

Sublime may still have me blocked from a misunderstanding quite some time ago. If he fails to respond, would one of you please let him know what I've provided, or maybe simply quote my immediately above post so he can see it? Definitely info useful to his researches. Thanks!

Regards,

John Kettler

Thought I'd killed this post as superfluous, but like a Hollywood horror film monster, it refused to die!

Regards,

John Kettler

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On 3/14/2019 at 2:42 PM, Wicky said:

In 1943 allied anti-sub measures - better air cover and escort were getting more & more effective, so much so that Dönitz pulled back his subs back to base.  Code changes and crackability were only relatively temporary.

To expand on this a wee bit, a whole lot of things started to come together on the Allied side in the second quarter of 1943. In no particular order:

  • Arrival of Long Range Bombers fitted with radar. Even when they weren't sinking subs, they might force them to dive with operational effects.
  • Increased installation of HF/DF equipment on ships that improved direction finding of transmitting subs, allowing convoys to be detoured around them.
  • Vast increases in number of available escort vessels in various classes. Not only were convoy escorts increased, this also allowed Hunter/Killer groups to be formed to hunt down and eliminate submarine underway replenishing. Escort carriers were important in this work.
  • Improved weaponry such as mortars whose bombs exploded only on contact and thus did not interfere with sonar contact.

These and other factors meant that finally from May 1943 on the Allies were able to build more merchant ship tonnage than the German U-Boots could sink. Without that shift, Overlord probably would not have been possible.

Michael

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Im not arguing the battle of the Atlantic was doomed from the start unless all those shiny pocket battleships and the Graf Spee had been turned into another thousand uboats and I still doubt it.

I still also believe the Nazis defonitely would have lost anyways but realizing enigma was cracked and changing everything could have drastically changed how the war played out and Im shocked it didnt occur to Donitz as he was so close, it seems, in hindsight at least.

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2 minutes ago, Sublime said:

Im not arguing the battle of the Atlantic was doomed from the start unless all those shiny pocket battleships and the Graf Spee had been turned into another thousand uboats and I still doubt it.

Another 200 at the start of the war might have done it. Of course such an ambitious building program (assuming Germany could even have pulled it off) would have caught the eye of the Allied navies who would have been mightily upset by it.

Michael

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Sublime,

Always happy to help, and I wish you all the best in sorting out your employment problems, which I'm sure are downright harrowing with a child in the mix, too!

Regards,

John Kettler

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Sublime said:

Im not arguing the battle of the Atlantic was doomed from the start unless all those shiny pocket battleships and the Graf Spee had been turned into another thousand uboats and I still doubt it.

I still also believe the Nazis defonitely would have lost anyways but realizing enigma was cracked and changing everything could have drastically changed how the war played out and Im shocked it didnt occur to Donitz as he was so close, it seems, in hindsight at least.

Revealed: the careless mistake by Bletchley's Enigma code-crackers that cost Allied lives

"The mathematicians at Bletchley Park may have figured out the Nazis' code, but their ciphers were broken too. Claudia Joseph explains how the catastrophic failure to react led to the loss of hundreds of ships"

"Günther Hessler, Admiral Dönitz's son-in-law and first staff officer at U-boat Command, revealed what he called the "game of chess" played before the British cipher was changed in June 1943.

In his official History of the U-boat War, published by the Admiralty, he wrote: "We had reached a stage when it took one or two days to decrypt the British radio messages. On occasions only a few hours were required. We could sometimes deduce when and how they would take advantage of the gaps in our U-boat dispositions. Our function was to close those gaps just before the convoys were due."

Captain Raymond Dreyer, deputy staff signals officer at Western Approaches, the British HQ for the Battle of the Atlantic in Liverpool, found out the extent to which the codes had been broken only after the war. "Some of their most successful U-boat pack attacks on our convoys were based on information obtained by breaking our ciphers," he said."

Edited by Wicky

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