One of the most interesting aspects of the Ukraine War is the widespread use of technology to record combat. Everything from individual soldiers wearing GoPro cameras to drones with thermal imagery capability are a constant presence on the battlefield. Many of the images and combat footage has been posted to various official and unofficial media sites. The video and images reveal in raw detail the terrible nature of modern warfare. They also offer insight into how each side is prosecuting the war, how tactics have evolved, and what perhaps is to come… Read More Ukraine War Frontline Update – Combat Footage
While most of the 878 British Commonwealth merchant ships lost during the first year of the war are chalked up to U-boat attacks, few people realize that 172 of those transports were the victim of long-range attack aircraft. During the interwar period German firms developed long range aircraft, ostensibly for civilian use as it would have been a violation of the Treaty of Versailles to create long range bombers. Among these were the twin-engine Heinkel 111 (He-111) and four-engine Focke-Wulf 200 (Fw-200) “Condor.” However, these aircraft were built with a dual purpose in mind and by the start of the war large numbers were in Luftwaffe service as bombers. German engineers later modified both airframes to carry torpedoes and installed additional fuel tanks to increase range to over… Read More Britain’s World War II “Kamikaze” Pilots
The key to arresting the Japanese offensive early in the war, as far as U.S. territories were concerned, hinged on the defense of the Philippines. The islands, which gained independence from the United States on July 4, 1946, were the largest of all the U.S. territories at the time. When Japan launched her war of conquest on December 7, 1941, the bulk of U.S. armed forces in the Far East were garrisoned in the Philippine Islands. Had the U.S. been able to hold out in the Philippines and tie up the Japanese in a prolonged fight, it is possible that they could have been delayed long enough for Allied forces to strike back in force.… Read More World War II in the Pacific Part II – MacArthur and the Philippines
In what has evolved into a national holiday of celebration and remembrance, on May 9, 1945, Soviet propagandists organized the first massive celebration and military parade marking the end of World War II. The date, still commemorated throughout the Russian Federation and most former Soviet Republics, is simply known as Victory Day. Since 1945 the “big event” has been the military parade on Red Square in Moscow. In recent years the Moscow Victory Day parade has continued to be a military showcase for the Russian Federation. Normally the event features more than ten thousand active duty Russian Federation servicemen, dozens of military vehicles, and a mass fly past of military aircraft. In contrast with past tradition, this year’s Victory Day Parade was only forty-five minutes long (as opposed to the usual one and a half to two hours) and featured only a fraction of the personnel and armament usually on display. Many military experts and intelligence agencies have taken the scaled back Victory Day Parade as an indicator of how over a year of combat in Ukraine has affected Russian Federation armed forces.… Read More Victory Day – Then and Now
The 1941-1945 clash between the Empire of Japan and the United States was inevitable for various reasons. The winds of war began to blow with Japan’s disregard of the sovereignty of neighbors and imperialistic ambitions. Japanese aggression in China took place on a scale that equaled the barbarity and disregard for human life that took place on the European Eastern Front during World War II. The Rape of Nanking in December 1937 was fully on par with the type of atrocities committed in that theater of the war. Thousands of Chinese people were brutalized; women and children were raped and murdered. On December 12, 1937, the Japanese Air Force attacked and sank the USS Panay, a U.S. Navy patrol vessel, as it was in the process of evacuating civilians from Nanking. These acts, combined with Japanese membership in the Tripartite Pact and the subsequent Japanese occupation of French Indochina (now known as Vietnam), forced the U.S. to take a hardline stance against Japanese aggression with trade embargoes and demands that Japan withdraw troops from occupied territories as part of any possible diplomatic solution.… Read More World War II in the Pacific Part I – Recipe for War
On February 24, 2022, after weeks of media hype and repeated warnings from numerous western intelligence services, the Russian Federation launched what was supposed to be a 72-hour anschluss that would bring Ukraine back into the Russian sphere of influence. Confident in imminent victory, Russian soldiers brought along dress uniforms. Many who participated in the initial invasion were told they would soon parade in Kyiv and receive military decorations. As it has turned out, the affair was not the walk in the park anticipated by Putin and his planners. They grossly underestimated Ukrainian willingness to fight tooth and nail for every meter of territory, as well as NATO resolve to ensure a Ukrainian victory. This, combined with inept Russian leadership, antiquated tactics, and poorly prepared troops, quickly turned the conflict into the bloodiest conventional war of the 21st Century.… Read More Ukraine War – Year One
2022 was a deadly year to be an influential Russian, especially one who opposed the Ukraine War. Aside from numerous high ranking military officers who have been killed in the Ukraine war, a string of Russian oligarchs, politicians, and bureaucrats passed away unexpectedly. All had close connections with the Kremlin, many had immense wealth, most expressed an anti-war stance. Causes of death range from falling (out of windows, down a stairwell, and off a yacht) to heart attack, suicide, and murder. Add it all up and it is not surprising that many in the intelligence community and international law enforcement now suspect that they are in fact staged suicides, “accidents,” or murders ordered by Putin.… Read More High-Profile Russians Who Died in 2022
The idea that Germany, during World War II, would attempt to completely eradicate the entire Jewish population of the territories under their control was initially inconceivable to the Allies. Even though the Nazi’s hate of Jewish people and other groups of “undesirables” was well known, nobody could have imagined that Germany – a modern nation of cultured people, would perpetrate such a base, primitive crime against humanity. Additionally, from a warfighting standpoint it made no sense to the Allies that the Nazis would waste the immense amount of manpower and resources that they did in such an effort.… Read More The Allies and the Holocaust: What they knew, when they knew it, and what they did about it
In Claude Lanzmann’s famous documentary film Shoah he interviewed SS guard Franz Suchomel who called Auschwitz a “killing factory.” There could not be a more adequate description of the hell that was Auschwitz-Birkenau. However as with most events of the Holocaust its purpose as a killing center did not emerge overnight. Rather, it evolved in response to circumstances and the whims of the Nazi leadership.… Read More Holocaust History: Auschwitz – Evolution of a Killing Factory
Recently Ukrainskaya Pravda’s Roman Kravets sat down with Kiril Budanov, head of the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense. Since the beginning of the war, Budanov has become one of the most authoritative Ukrainian sources on the conflict. He accurately predicted that Russia would initiate hostilities with Ukraine a year before the invasion. In late May of this year the young intelligence expert predicted that by August Ukrainian forces would be able to launch an offensive that would reclaim most lost territory by the end of the year. The subsequent summer offensives and ongoing push in the south toward Kherson and in the Donbas are the fruit of those predictions… Read More The Crimean Bridge Will Cease to Exist: Interview with the Head Ukrainian Military Intelligence
By the time Operation Barbarossa kicked off in June 1941 and rolled across the East, Heinrich Himmler’s Schutzstaffel, or SS for short, controlled law and order in the police state that was the Third Reich. It all began in 1936 when Hitler appointed Himmler Chief of the German Police; he also retained his position as head of the SS. Himmler immediately set about creating new ministries under the umbrella of the SS that eventually controlled all aspects of policing in the Reich.… Read More Holocaust History: A Sinister Organization
The conditions in Germany at the time of Adolf Hitler’s ascension to power were ripe for exploitation to advance the sinister causes of National Socialism. Hitler and his high-ranking Nazi associates were acutely aware of existing sentiments and prejudices; they moved quickly as soon as they took power to exploit them as far as was possible through legislation, propaganda, and other unofficial means. A prime example of this are the dealings of the Nazi Regime with the Protestant churches in Germany.… Read More Holocaust History: Legislation – Propaganda – Intimidation, the Nazi Trifecta of Persecution 1933-1939
The tragic and horrifying events of the Holocaust perpetrated by Nazi Germany was a process. There was no main event that kicked off the mass murder perpetrated by the Third Reich. Rather, it was a complicated series of events that built one upon the next.… Read More Holocaust History: Nazi Zeitgeist – The Spark the Set Europe Ablaze
For many in the West, the Ukraine war has now become an afterthought with blue and yellow yard signs fading in the sun or blown away in the wind. However, the war continues to grind on in what has become the largest and longest conventional war in recent decades. According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, Russian Federation troops have lost over 50,000 killed in action (KIA). While this number may not be accurate, if the actual body count is even half what the Ukrainians claim, it is devastating. Add to that approximately three wounded for every KIA and the total number of Russian casualties could exceed six figures, making it one of the deadliest conflicts of the 21st Century. One of the most interesting aspects of the conflict are the real time reports and footage from the front lines. Soldiers from both sides have made and posted videos… Read More Ukraine War Update (Day 200)
Nineteenth Century historiography was dominated by the Empirical Model espoused by German historian Leopold von Ranke in which history was a narrative based on documented facts. Historians wrote volumes on wars, battles, great men, leaders, political institutions, and the rise of nations. Very few works were produced on the poor working class or peasants – the faceless little people on whose backs great nations and economies were built.… Read More The Evolution and Influence of the “Annales” School on Modern Historiography
The following is a response to an editorial titled The Voice of the Unheard by Managing Editor Nathaniel Arroyave, published in the Desert Review.
In his June 9th editorial The Voice of the Unheard Mr. Arroyave made some excellent points regarding the low voter turnout in our local elections, and the importance of voting to make our voices heard. As a high school civics teacher, I preach the same thing to high school seniors – know what is going on in your community, state, and the nation then cast an informed vote in every election. I do however wish to question his assertion that… Read More Response to Editorial “The Voice of the Unheard”
The following article is a response to an Op-Ed titled The Supreme Court: An Illegitimate Institution by Yomar Aguilar published in the Holtville Tribune and Calexico Chronicle.
In the May 5, 2022, opinion piece published in this paper titled The Supreme Court: An Illegitimate Institution, the author made several assertions that I wish to challenge – beginning with his claim that the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) is an “illegitimate institution.”… Read More Response to Op-Ed ‘Illegitimate Institution’
The Greek pattern of writing “mythtory,” the fabrication of a rhythmic “history” loosely based on legends and performed for audiences, was broken by two Greek contemporaries: Herodotus of Halicarnassus and Thucydides. For the first time historians attempted to use scientific methods and evidence to… Read More Herodotus and Thucydides: The World’s First Historians
During the tumultuous times of the American civil rights movement of the 1950s a work emerged that challenged and eventually helped transform the historical narrative on interracial relations in the South. C. Vann Woodward’s The Strange Career of Jim Crow was born of the author’s concern that at the time the current national discussion regarding race relations and segregation laws in the American South was “being conducted against a background of faulty or inadequate historical information.” With that in mind, in 1955 Woodward published what had begun as… Read More Book Review: The Strange Career of Jim Crow “Historical Bible of the Civil Rights Movement”
The everyday men and boys who served in colonial militias during the Revolutionary War played a vital and often overlooked role in the conflict. They came from all walks of life and varied in age from teenagers to men in their sixties. Many were farmers and their sons, others were apprentices, tradesmen, or merchants. They came from a storied tradition going back to… Read More Citizen Soldiers: Militia in the American Revolution
Ukraine State Security Service continues to intercept Russian communications and post excerpts on its YouTube channel. If the intercepts are accurate, the situation for Russian federation forces on the front line is anything but ideal. Among other things, Putin’s troops complain of poor rations, living under constant artillery bombardment, and refusal to follow orders. The audio also confirms that Russians continue to commit war crimes in eastern occupied territories. Following are excerpts of Russian comms from the last… Read More Ukraine War: Russian Comms Update (Day 118)
U.S.-Soviet relations prior to U.S. involvement in World War II, in particular the relationship between President Franklin Roosevelt and Stalin, are often overlooked. FDR proposed the idea of assisting the Soviet Union a full nine months before Pearl Harbor after he received intelligence that a German attack on the USSR was imminent. After Operation Barbarossa began, there were many in the President’s administration and Congress who thought it a big gamble to aid the Russians with one Soviet city after another falling to the Wehrmacht during the summer 1941. Ultimately the President was able to convince Congress that it was worth the risk… Read More Stalin, FDR, and the Truth about U.S. Lend Lease Aid to the USSR
Operation Stalemate II has gone down in history as one of the bloodiest and most controversial American actions in the Pacific during World War II. The fighting on Peleliu is enshrined in Marine Corps history as one of its most difficult and savage battles. Today Peleliu rightly holds a place alongside Iwo Jima and Tarawa in Corps lore. The taking of “Bloody Peleliu” is inexorably associated with the 1st Marine Division. Contemporary film productions, such as the HBO miniseries The Pacific, as well as History Channel programs and others have highlighted the efforts and losses of the Marines on Peleliu. The campaign, while joint service in nature, was planned and commanded primarily by U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. Consequently, the first widely read narratives on the subject were those produced by Navy and Marine Corps commanders, whose works were naturally tainted by their own bias, perspective, and experiences. These factors have cemented the role of the Corps in the campaign in the minds of many lay historians. While the Marine Corps has received well deserved acclaim for its performance in the Palau Islands operations, the equally significant contributions of the U.S. Army in the same campaign have on the contrary been relegated to almost anecdotal status. Without the often ignored yet significant contributions of Army units, specifically the 81st Infantry Division, success in Operation Stalemate II would have been impossible.… Read More Unsung Heroes: The 81st Infantry Division “Wildcats” at Angaur and Peleliu
Ukrainskaya Pravda reporter Roman Kravets recently interviewed Kirill Budanov, Head of the Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense Intelligence Directorate. Appointed in 2020, Budanov has risen to become one of the most influential and authoritative sources of information about the war, cited in many international news articles. He was one of only a few Ukrainian government officials who publicly warned of imminent large-scale war with Russia starting last year, including the directions from which Russia could attack. He has been proven correct in his predictions thus far. In this rare intimate interview Budanov speaks about Vladimir Putin’s health, possible coup attempts in Russia, why the Ukrainian government did not better prepare the country for war, and his predictions for how the war will end among other topics. The following are English translation excerpts of the interview.… Read More Ukraine War: Interview with Ukrainian Head of Military Intelligence – Kirill Budanov
Ukrainian State Security continues to intercept and publish audio of intercepted communications between Russian servicemen in Ukraine and family members in Russia. The nature of the topics discussed in these calls varies from talk about the commission of potential war crimes to insubordination and mutiny. Intercepts posted portray the occupying Russians in a negative light; however, this is to be expected given the source and the… Read More Ukraine War: Russian Comms Update
Ukrainian Pravda recently reported that a handful of fishermen saved 2,000 of their countrymen trapped behind Russian lines. The ad hoc operation began in early March 2021 after the Ukrainian government organized evacuation and humanitarian assistance efforts in unoccupied areas near the Kyiv reservoir and local fishermen decided to pitch in with their motorboats. The 356 square mile reservoir (922 square kilometers), known locally as the Kyiv Sea, stretches for nearly seventy miles along the Dnieper River. Several small fishing villages dot its marshy banks and inlets. One of these, Strakholissya, became the homebase of the operation.… Read More Unsung Heroes: Ukrainian Fishermen Save Thousands Behind Enemy Lines
In his award winning work War without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War (1986) historian John W. Dower explores the racist attitudes prevalent on both sides in the Pacific War of 1941-1945. Dower exposes the hypocrisy of the belligerent powers in which both were equally guilty of racist attitudes while accusing the enemy of the same thing.… Read More Book Review: War Without Mercy
Russian forces operating in Ukraine have been plagued with logistical problems since the onset of hostilities. Inability to effectively evacuate casualties, resupply, and refuel frontline combat units were certainly a major factor in the Russian decision to withdrawal from northern Ukraine and Kyiv. In part, it also explains why the Russians shifted their main effort to eastern Ukraine. This move, which seeks to secure the breakaway provinces in Donbas, significantly shortened supply routes which now run largely through more secure areas that have been under Russian control for some time now. Regardless, it appears that supply problems continue to… Read More Ukraine State Security Service: Disgruntled Russian Troops Ready to Rebel Against Commanders, Ukrainians Inflict 70% Casualties on Russian Units at Mykolaiv
As an Air Force veteran this post topic is especially interesting. I will start by committing what some of my airmen colleagues might consider heresy – conventional strategic air power has never won a war on its own and is not likely to do so in the future. I recall discussing the subject with my late grandfather, who served a total of 20 years as a USAAF pilot during WWII and in the USAF Reserve. He was schooled in the doctrines of Billy Mitchell and firmly believed that Strategic Air Power could bring just about any enemy to its knees. I recall him telling me in 2003 that we should have leveled every city in Iraq including all major infrastructure before a single U.S. soldier set foot in the country. He also pointed to the fact that it was the Operation Linebacker I and II bombing campaigns during Vietnam that brought the communists to the negotiating table. A look at history, however, is enough to dispel the myth of a quick and decisive victory won by air power.… Read More Air Power: 21st Century Evolution – Russia Left Behind
Earlier today Maxim Marchenko, head of the Odessa Regional State Administration, announced that Ukraine naval forces hit the Russian flagship inflicting heavy damage. In the first days of the Ukraine-Russia war the Moskva made the news when its captain demanded that Ukraine servicemen on Snake Island surrender to which they responded, “Russian ship – Go to hell!”… Read More Ukraine Missile Strike Scores Hit on Flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet
The atrocities that Russian soldiers and militia are committing in occupied areas of eastern Ukraine are reminiscent of those perpetrated by Red Army soldiers during World War II. In addition to mass murder of Ukrainian civilians discovered in liberated areas around Kyiv, there is now evidence that Russian men are raping women and children in occupied territory. It is estimated that during the Second World War Red Army soldiers raped approximately two million German women. It is also common knowledge that Soviet servicemen committed similar acts in Poland and other areas of Eastern Europe during their 1944-1945 march to Berlin. Soviet propagandists at the time vociferously encouraged Soviet soldiers to exact revenge on the German population, including rape and murder. When Stalin received reports of widespread theft, destruction, wanton murder, and rape in Germany, he and other high-level Soviet authorities tacitly condoned these actions.
Russian state-controlled media today is rife with similar inflammatory anti-Ukraine propaganda which falsely promotes the idea that Ukrainians are all Nazis. One political commentator has gone so far as to… Read More History Repeated – Russian Servicemen Commit Wholesale Rape in Eastern Ukraine
Today Der Spiegel reported that the German Foreign Intelligence Service intercepted and recorded communications of Russian military units on the ground in the area north of Kyiv. It is possible that some of these comms may be linked with the horrifying images that have emerged from Bucha and other areas where civilians were shot, many with their hands bound behind their back. The Ukrainian State Security Service also posted two intercepted audio cuts of Russian soldiers giving and receiving orders to fire at civilians as well as soldiers discussing the killing of civilians. These were intercepted in other parts of Ukraine and posted to the service’s YouTube channel on March 30th and April 6th.… Read More Intercepted Russian Ground Force Comms Confirm Troops Ordered to Shoot Civilians
In an April 3, 2022 article that has not been retracted, Timofei Sergeitsev, a prominent Russian political consultant, made an open call for the Russian Federation to commit genocide in Ukraine. The article published in the state-controlled RIA Novosti news magazine is titled – What Should Russia Do With Ukraine? In an address to the Romanian Parliament on Monday, Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky stated that the article constitutes yet another piece of evidence to be used in a future war crimes tribunal. In a tone reminiscent of Soviet WWII propaganda, Sergeitsev rants extensively about the “inevitability of the denazification of Ukraine” and attempts to make correlations between the Ukrainian Banderite movement with the current Ukrainian government. He further states that “Denazification is necessary when a significant part of the people – most likely the majority – has been mastered and drawn into the Nazi regime in its politics… Denazification is a set of measures in relation to the nazified mass of the population, which technically cannot be subjected to direct punishment as war criminals.” The methods he suggests that the Russian government and military should employ to accomplish “denazification” of Ukraine appear to be taken directly from the Joseph Stalin playbook on how to deal with ethnic and other groups of people that were deemed a threat to the ruling Communist Party. As evidence of the barbaric atrocities committed in areas of Ukraine now liberated from Russian occupation comes to light, it is evident that Sergeitsev is not alone in his thinking. Read on and judge for yourself. … Read More Russian State Media Pundit Calls for Genocide in Ukraine
In late 2019 my students and I had the unique opportunity to witness in real time a fourth chapter in the history of U.S. presidential impeachments unfold. The first being the impeachment of Andrew Johnson (1868) followed by the almost impeachment of Richard Nixon (1974) and the salacious Bill Clinton affair (1998). Unlike the first three, which are pretty “cut and dry,” the first Trump impeachment had more to it. To help my students understand it better, I put together a timeline of events leading up to that historical event which, interestingly, centered on a phone call with the current president of Ukraine. At the time, I predicted to my students that if Joe Biden were to be elected President of the United States in the future, that he would likely face scrutiny over his actions in Ukraine as well. Trump impeachment 1.0 did not begin with a random phone call to Volodymyr Zelensky, it began with the 2014 Russian invasion of Crimea and the subsequent U.S. policy in Ukraine led by then Vice President Joe Biden. The timeline of events leading up to the Trump impeachment are inexorably linked with the earlier Biden family dealings in Ukraine – and they could lead to a Biden impeachment inquiry.… Read More Could Trump Impeachment 1.0 Lead to Biden Impeachment 1.0 After 2022 Mid-Term Elections?
Tatiana Popova, former Ukraine Deputy Minister of Information and Policy and former Adviser to the Ukraine Minister of Defense (2014-2015), recently interviewed former U.S. Navy Captain Gary Tabach. Russian-born Tabach served for over twenty years as a Foreign Area Officer in Eastern Europe. During this time, he worked out of Moscow where he served as Chief of Staff for the NATO Military Liaison Mission to the Russian Federation. He also spent time in Belarus, Poland, and Ukraine. Following are excerpts of the Russian language interview.… Read More Former U.S. Navy Captain, Russia Expert: American Weakness, Lack of Leadership, Caused Putin to Invade Ukraine
After the initial success of the conventional war against Saddam Hussein’s regular army, the situation rapidly deteriorated into a vicious civil war that pitted rival Sunni and Shia militias against each other and against coalition forces. Initially the U.S. military response was to wage a “kill and capture” battle that largely relied on heavy conventional tactics – massive use of force, large, armored patrols, etc. The goal was to take out as many of the “bad guys” as you could and bring home as many of your troops as possible. For many soldiers it was a demoralizing and terrifying experience as they came to distrust the Iraqi people and view them as the enemy.… Read More 2007 U.S. Shift in Iraq Warfighting Policy: The “Ideal” Counterinsurgency Strategy?
The differences between conventional and unconventional warfare are numerous, however the most obvious is the fact that irregular/unconventional/guerrilla warfare pits a strategically more powerful conventional army against a weaker enemy force – weaker in personnel, materiel, technology, weaponry, etc. Historically, conventional armies have attempted to use their tried and true conventional warfighting methods such as the use of massive firepower and operational maneuver, while a guerrilla force will avoid fighting in the open (because they know it will lead to its annihilation) and only engage in situations carefully selected to give them a tactical advantage.… Read More Guerrilla Warfare – Weak vs. Strong: Why do some insurgencies succeed while others fail?
After watching the tragic events of the last few weeks unfold in Ukraine, being the news junkie that I am, I found myself wanting for more direct sources of information about the situation. All of the information on major news outlets in the United States and European Union nations all seemed, for the most part, generic. So I decided to find news as close to the situation on the ground as possible and discovered the following websites.… Read More Ukraine War – Useful Sources
The tendency in contemporary education to emphasize negative aspects of U.S. history has caused many young people to believe the only way forward is to destroy America’s remarkable past and restart with a new set of ideals. However, if they are given the opportunity to objectively examine all of the information and think for themselves, most will moderate their hostile attitude toward historical figures and American history. They will achieve a broader understanding of their country’s unique and complex history and be better equipped to confront the challenges that lie ahead. The purpose in writing these essays was to help my students to do that by providing a foundation or framework that will better help them understand historical figures and events of the past.… Read More Judging the Past