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11 November 2019


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Keith Harbaugh

No challenge to your account was intended,
rather, just an attempt to explore what alternative ways to handle the situation might have existed.

Col. B. Bunny

That reminds me of John Masters's account of his time in Iraq with the Ghurkas during WWII. They were attacked by French aircraft and a couple of the Ghurkas stood out in the open with a machine firing back at them.

His earlier book, Bugles and a Tiger, is a masterpiece. An account of his service with the Ghurkas in the Indian Army in the 1930s.


Colonel Bunny

Master's book on his WW2 service is "The Road Past Mandalay." I don't remember anything in it about Iraq.


Keith Harbaugh

The Bn CO was within his authority to order a company sized reconnaissance in force. His mistake for which so many paid dearly was to not believe me. IMO the USAF would never have agreed to a low level B-52 strike.

English Outsider

A thought that didn't occur to me last time I read that vivid account, Colonel. They were, albeit at great risk, extracting wounded throughout. Could not that officer, once he had discovered what he was up against, have pulled all his men out the same way and mounted a more considered attack later?

Also gives an idea of what the SAA are up against in Idlib, attempting to take positions that are very much better provided with defences and tunnels etc. From Wellington placing his men on the reverse slope to avoid direct artillery fire but still keeping them in readiness for the subsequent attack, to the often intricate dugouts on the Western Front, an enemy that can take a break below when the heavy weapons are deployed but still pop back up again when the infantry follows on must be the very devil to deal with.



Once the NVA opened fire on D Company out in the open with no cover or concealment there was no possibility of withdrawing them. The die was cast.

Keith Harbaugh

Doing a rough google search on
bomb dispersal as function of altitude -nuke -nuclear
turned up the following web page:
I am sure the U.S. Air Force has done extensive studies on this matter,
but I don't know how to find them, or their results.
The above web page contains the following, which includes some aircraft Col. Lang no doubt remembers:

We come to a conclusion that for bombs dropped from a non-harassed modern bomber at high altitude, for example over 5000 meters, a reasonable rule of thumb for CEP is 50 meters.
Fast forward another decade to Vietnam and
the bombs dropped by the F-105s achieved a CEP of 111 meters.
This was when the airplanes were not shot at.
The CEP increased to 136 meters under anti-aircraft artillery fire. Another report gives the A-1 a 90-meter and the F-4 a 150-meter CEP, when bombing from 600 meters of altitude.
Finally, the book “The Precision Revolution” gives a direct estimate of 61 meters for the CEP of US freefall bombing in 1990.
The author concludes with some estimates of the accuracy of (assumed) SU-25s employed in Syria, based on videos from RT!

Rob P.

It seems too many senior officers, especially those with stars, ignore any information that conflicts with their preconceived notions or their larger aims of awarded success. History of war is replete with stories of military leaders receiving accurate information on the enemy in advance that would have saved thousands of lives, and either refused to believe it or ignored it. My experience there in 66/67 VN in an intel. unit opened my eyes to this and my reading of military history since then confirms it.

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