Category Archives: Neptunus Lex

The Lessons of TF Smith

 

By lex, on December 30th, 2010

On 30 June 1950, an understrength and under-equipped battalion of 430 infantrymen, along with a 134-man artillery detachment – together known as Task Force Smith – left their cozy garrisons in occupied Japan to reinforce the line in Osan, Korea. The occupation forces sent to oppose the North Korean blitz were not the same battle hardened soldiers that had driven through Europe and across the Pacific 5 years earlier. Their training in combined arms action had been perfunctory. They faced over 30 tanks and 5000 DPRK regulars – two full infantry regiments. When the North Koreans hit them – hard – they fought as well as any men might under such circumstances before they were nearly enveloped. After three and a half hours of sustained combat, low on ammunition and with their communications cut-off, they were forced to withdraw. One isolated platoon was even forced to leave behind its equipment, their dead and even some of their more seriously wounded comrades. With characteristic magnanimity, the victorious North Korean soldiers bound the survivors hands behind their backs and shot each of them once with a bullet to the back of the head.

This wasn’t the war that they had trained for.

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The UAV Game

By lex, on November 20th, 2010

Everybody’s getting into it:

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Waiver

By lex, on July 16th, 2009

When I was a youngster midshipman, I had the opportunity to exchange pleasantries with a World War II veteran that had sailed his submarine into Tokyo Bay, leaving havoc in his wake.

“How many ladies d’ye have at the Naval Academy these days, boy?” asked the old coot with a gleam in his eye.

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Teutonic Ingenuity

By lex, on October 21st, 2010

You’ve got to admire it:**

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Strange Justice

Posted by Lex, on September 16, 2010

Stephen Breyer applies Justice Holmes “shouting fire” standard to otherwise protected speech:

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Pros and Cons

By lex, on September 7th, 2010

The conventional landing gear equipped single engine aircraft is trickier to fly under normal operations, requiring exacting attention to wind corrections and drift in order to prevent the back end racing towards the front. Land in a crab, and sideloads kick the center of gravity out beyond the main wheels, while gyroscopic precession as the tail rises or plants subtly imparts yaw that, left un-countered, could result in a ground loop. Which – I am told – is nothing like as fun as an “air” loop.

But there are certain advantages as well:

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Cause Celebre

By lex, on August 9th, 2010

Hope and Change brought 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan and a continuance of the Deep National Disgrace That Is Guantanamo. Notwithstanding, Code Pink has been strangely quiescent and Cindy Sheehan doesn’t draw the kind of coverage she used to get.

All changed, changed utterly: A terrible beauty is born

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