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Category: Robert Farley

Weekend WWII Thoughts…

[ 33 ] May 28, 2017 |
21May-4June1940-Fall Gelb.svg

By History Dept of United States Military Academy –, Public Domain

I have a couple pieces at the National Interest discussing WWII stuff.  First, a profile of the Graf Zeppelin:

Germany laid down its first carrier in December 1936, and launched the Graf Zeppelin two years later. It would never enter service, however: disputes between the Kriegsmarine and the Luftwaffe would delay the development of an air group, skepticism about the value of carriers would slow the project and, finally, the demands of the war prioritized other projects.

Second, some thoughts on the myths of Dunkirk (still looking forward to the movie):

The seventy-seventh anniversary of the Dunkirk evacuation has already received a great deal of attention, in no doubt due to the pending release of Christopher Nolan’s new film treatment of the battle. For nearly seventy-seven years, the battle has stirred controversy—in one view it’s an example of British courage and gallantry under fire, in another a catastrophic military setback, and in yet another an emblematic example of military and nationalist mythmaking. This article sets the stage for discussion with a description of the battle itself, and of the major debates that emerged in its wake and still stir historians and the public.



Fleets of the Future

[ 29 ] May 26, 2017 |
USS Independence LCS-2 at pierce (cropped).jpg

USS Independence. By U.S. Navy photo by Naval Air Crewman 2nd Class Nicholas Kontodiakos –, Public Domain, Link


I’ve been playing with the CSIS 2046 Fleet tool

The Center for Strategic and International Studies has developed a tool for projecting the cost, size, and construction time of different visions of the future U.S. naval fleet. The tool projects to 2046, and allows users to play with a variety of different ship types and fleet configurations. The tool remains in beta, and has a number of twitchy bugs, but nevertheless represents a fascinating contribution to the conversation on fleet composition.  The basic ship types include U.S. Navy Ford-class carriers (CV), Arleigh Burke Flight III destroyers (DD), Littoral Combat Ship and LCS based frigates (FFG), Virginia-class subs (SSN), Ohio-class ballistic missile subs (SSBN), America-class amphibs (LHA), San Antonio-class docks (LPD), LXR landing ships (LSD), and a variety of support and logistical vessels.

And a bit more…

However, as with any projection, it’s useful to ask where long-range expectations could go wrong. The CSIS model projects linear ship development, based on a few archetypal classes; large surface combatants, small surface combatants, and so forth. This raises the question of how effectively we can make long-term predictions about the general contours of ship types. A projection of 2017, based on 1987, would do rather well; today’s fleet is constituted mainly from platforms in development in the Reagan administration. The exceptions (the Littoral Combat Ship, for example) fortunately fit nicely into established categories, even if the meaning has changed (an LCS is a small surface combatant, but performs a far different function than the Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates of 1987).

Foreign Entanglements: Impeachment Here, Impeachment There…

[ 1 ] May 24, 2017 |

On the latest Foreign Entanglements, Colin Snider and I talked Brazil and Venezuela:

Foreign Entanglements: North Korean Missiles vs. Donald Trump

[ 0 ] May 22, 2017 |

On the latest Foreign Entanglements, Ankit Panda and I talk missiles and stuff:


Problem Ad

[ 6 ] May 20, 2017 |


Have received multiple reports of a particularly problematic below post ad (some people are saying Swiss Air) that autoplays and makes it difficult to comment.  If you’re seeing this ad, could you copy the URL and send to e-mail (on the far right sidebar)?  I will then ban the ad.


The Management

What Comes After Farce?

[ 178 ] May 19, 2017 |

Good lord.

You can’t even script this shit anymore. If you saw this in the McBain movie, you’d say to yourself “Damn; Simpson’s writing has all gone to hell.”

Friday Potpourri

[ 38 ] May 19, 2017 |

“Local Expert”

[ 27 ] May 16, 2017 |

I did the news. | Continuous News and StormTracker Weather



[ 16 ] May 16, 2017 |

I’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to review Mark Moyar’s new book on the history of special operations forces, Oppose Any Foe. A full review will appear at H-Net in the next couple of weeks, but here are a couple of spinoffs. First, at the Diplomat, a short article on the Pacific origins of US SOF:

Where did U.S. special operations forces come from? The answer, as with any major organizational entity, is complicated. The general want for special forces stems from a desire to concentrate and leverage high human capital- both in training and selection- for the accomplishment of specific, extremely difficult military tasks.

But as discussed in Oppose Any Foe, U.S. special operations emerged through a complicated process of inter- and intra-organizational dispute, waged over the course of several decades. Indeed, Moyar’s account makes clear that much of the history of the development of U.S. special operations forces is the story of their use in East Asia. Many of the foundations of modern special operations forces were laid in the Asia, whether in the Pacific theater or China theaters of World War II, or in the mountains of Korea, or the jungles of Vietnam.

And at the National Interest, some attention to SOF disasters:

Moyar turns a critical eye on the history of U.S. special forces, taking seriously the costs that developing such units imposes on the rest of the military, and taking account the strategic limitations of special operations. Moyar argues, among other things, that the glamor and undeniable heroism of special operators has helped deflect scrutiny of some of their more egregious failures, and of the special-operations enterprise as a whole.

Our Idiot King Part IV

[ 93 ] May 12, 2017 |


I’m generally happy to mock anyone who says “I couldn’t imagine that it would get this bad!” but hey. As far as I can tell, the President of the United States is publicly threatening the former Director of the FBI against testifying about their conversations, on the logic that the former may have secretly taped the latter.

Please no more Idiocracy comparisons; I would gladly trade Trump for President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho.

Our Idiot King Part II

[ 47 ] May 11, 2017 |

Working on that strong, credible reputation for strength and resolve…


Bob Owens RIP

[ 0 ] May 10, 2017 |

Bob Owens (known to long-time readers as TIDOS Yankee) has passed away:

Bob Owens, editor of the popular pro-gun blog, died Monday in what authorities have ruled a suicide.

Officials say Owens shot himself in the head near his North Carolina home. He was found around 11 a.m. near a stop sign outside his subdivision in Fuquay-Varina, N.C., a town southwest of Raleigh. A gun was located nearby, according to the Fuquay-Varina Police Department.

Condolences to his friends and family.

LGM became embroiled with Bob sometime after the right and left halves of the blogosphere had moved from “hostile diatribe” to “point and laugh,” but before the internal logics of each half had diverged so far as to make even that limited degree of interaction pointless. I had basically forgotten that he existed; had to do a double take before I remembered who he was.

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