there’s this, bullshit-less REAL writing— down there


—written in a way I’m very grateful I can’t. I just hope the comment I left there won’t be misinterpreted …





A humble salute to someone whose works I’d often seen and enjoyed without ever pondering the source—

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—I admire those who pop the bubbles of the self-aggrandising and pompous whilst duly crediting those who earn the credit. This world is an emptier place for him having left it.

(Image above hijacke  borrowed with thanks from CLICK HERE and thanks also to GP for bringing the works once more to the fore.)

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… to keep things lighthearted.


And also to illustrate (where appropriate) the ‘human cost’.

Perhaps if I can get enough people asking questions some mover/shaker types might be moved enough to create change where I’ve never been able to. ‘Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished …

Recently I posted this image—

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—which actually is universal, and timeless. It twanged my strings more than any other photo recently, and trust me … I look at lots of photos.

I googled the name and got a brief summary of the background story—

Source:  CLICK HERE 

—which is partly why I included the words ‘timeless’ … and ‘universal’ …


Don’t fret — there’s oooodles more just like these, and there always will be. You won’t miss out …





for service—and why not?

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So we have to ask a few questions, and fortunately I shan’t be answering any of them. I’m just a wee bit too jaded—but that comes from being some kind of idealist in a pragmatic world.

I vaguely remember posting a question in this blog, sometime back—

“A guy sitting in an office in Nevada flying a drone half a world away etc etc … wot if the poor bugger gets a sprained thumb from all those hours with his joy-stick?”

Shouldn’t he be awarded at least a Purple Heart (possibly even a Silver Star if he gets sore eyes from those screens, or a Victoria Cross for haemorrhoids from endless unthanked hours of patrolling*?

(SFX: insert sympathetic whimper here, please)**

Ooops … the explanatory reference (I almost forgot)—


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Doesn’t the whole concept throw up a thought that leads to the ol’ Law of —


a wee bit—?

Anyway, soon there’ll be a new business opportunity selling improved crutches (for guys with badly sprained backs from hobbling about under the weight of all them medals.)


a chestful of medals just ain’t gonna impress the chicks these days***.

But do not fret—

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Such a scene may well be a thing of the past.

All you need to be a hero these days is to sit in an air-conditioned trailer somewhere playing with your joy stick. Nary a mosquito nor leech in sight nowhere, and a probable endless tally of bars to your medals …


“Argus! Cool it! Or join me—I got lots of medals … !”

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* “They also serve …”

** (At least try to make it credible!)

*** not when ‘Equality’ allows them to accumulate just as many medals as you anyway.


There was a hoary old saying to the effect that—



—many a true word. So moving along in a bus where old soldiers are at best quaint, or (more normally) a damned inconvenience; let’s dwell a pause and ponder …

PERSONALLY I THINK IT’SScreen Shot 2019-01-19 at 19.28.51.png

wonderful that (to a point) we are ‘war free’ at the moment*. So of course pop stars are in (and grunts are out).

1-animated-arrow-right    For the moment~!

‘Twas ever thus.

Further below is an observation made some decades ago—but before you plough through it let me warn it’s in ancient English (pre 2000) and may be a bit rough on minds accustomed to television.

A few generations ago when lads joined the British Army their sign-up papers used the demo name “Thomas Atkins”; soon the word ‘Tommy’ became shorthand for someone who’d signed up. Brit soldiers became known as ‘Tommies’.


spiel? A news article came in—


So here’s yer poem:

I WENT into a public ‘ouse to get a pint o’ beer, 
The publican ‘e up an’ sez, ” We serve no red-coats here.” 
The girls be’ind the bar they laughed an’ giggled fit to die, 
I outs into the street again an’ to myself sez I: 
O it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ ” Tommy, go away ” ; 
But it’s ” Thank you, Mister Atkins,” when the band begins to play
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play, 
O it’s ” Thank you, Mister Atkins,” when the band begins to play. 

I went into a theatre as sober as could be, 
They gave a drunk civilian room, but ‘adn’t none for me; 
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-‘alls, 
But when it comes to fightin’, Lord! they’ll shove me in the stalls! 
For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ ” Tommy, wait outside “;
But it’s ” Special train for Atkins ” when the trooper’s on the tide
The troopship’s on the tide, my boys, the troopship’s on the tide, 
O it’s ” Special train for Atkins ” when the trooper’s on the tide. 

Yes, makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap. 
An’ hustlin’ drunken soldiers when they’re goin’ large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin’ in full kit. 
Then it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an` Tommy, ‘ow’s yer soul? “
But it’s ” Thin red line of ‘eroes ” when the drums begin to roll
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll, 
O it’s ” Thin red line of ‘eroes, ” when the drums begin to roll.

We aren’t no thin red ‘eroes, nor we aren’t no blackguards too, 
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you; 
An’ if sometimes our conduck isn’t all your fancy paints, 
Why, single men in barricks don’t grow into plaster saints; 
While it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an` Tommy, fall be’ind,” 
But it’s ” Please to walk in front, sir,” when there’s trouble in the wind
There’s trouble in the wind, my boys, there’s trouble in the wind, 
O it’s ” Please to walk in front, sir,” when there’s trouble in the wind.

You talk o’ better food for us, an’ schools, an’ fires, an’ all: 
We’ll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational. 
Don’t mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow’s Uniform is not the soldier-man’s disgrace. 
For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an` Chuck him out, the brute! “
But it’s ” Saviour of ‘is country ” when the guns begin to shoot; 
An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please; 
An ‘Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool – you bet that Tommy sees!

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from the UK’s ‘Telegraph’ newspaper:

” … If we routinely refer to all soldiers as “heroes” too glibly these days, conflating true heroism with the random tragedy of being in the wrong place at the wrong time when a roadside bomb explodes, there is something undeniably heroic about the willingness of young men and women to risk everything for their country …”

sourced:  CLICK HERE 

We do, too, you know, blatheringly refer to non-heroes as heroes* …

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dodododododo  dodododododo                                     dodo

* Why is that, do you think?


HUBRIS  pc, not

—’twas ever thus.

But (Battle of Savo Island)—

Admiral Turner assessed why his forces were so soundly defeated in the battle:

“The Navy was still obsessed with a strong feeling of technical and mental superiority over the enemy. In spite of ample evidence as to enemy capabilities, most of our officers and men despised the enemy and felt themselves sure victors in all encounters under any circumstances. The net result of all this was a fatal lethargy of mind which induced a confidence without readiness, and a routine acceptance of outworn peacetime standards of conduct. I believe that this psychological factor, as a cause of our defeat, was even more important than the element of surprise”.[1]:123


One has to ask with all due humility—

—has anything changed?

But wait, it gets better—

The report of the inquiry caused the US Navy to make many operational, and structural, changes.

Virtually every US Navy cruiser was retrofitted with emergency diesel electric generators. The fire mains of the ships were changed to a vertical loop design that could be broken many times and still function.

—and still the objective observer may note the same old patterns emerging; until there can be only one question left—




  • Lack of imagination? 
  • Complacency?
  • Hubris?

I blitzed an article in some obscure publication recently—to the effect that about nine years before Pearl Harbour some war games involving the US fleet took place. A mock battle group had to ‘attack’ PH, and dammit—

—it damned well did … Screen Shot 2019-01-15 at 22.18.10.png

They left their own battleships behind; a couple of fast carriers snuck in on a Sunday morning to launch a “catch ’em napping” attack. Did a truly lovely job of it, too—quite sorted out the mighty fleet.


—there were Japanese spies in the hills and shrubbery. Interestingly Yamamoto’s merry men followed that exact same American template … this time for real.

And again, just as before, caught ’em all napping.  Sunday, aaaah—the good guys all washed and brushed and at church, the others still abed with their shack-ups. Boom boom!


lost touch with naval anything but I like sometimes to ponder the wotiffs …

In February 1932, Yarnell pioneered carrier tactics in an exercise that later came to be discussed as Fleet Problem XIII. Rear Admiral Yarnell commanded the carriers Lexington and Saratoga in an effort to demonstrate that Hawaii was vulnerable to naval air power … … … The Navy’s war-game umpires declared the attack a total success.


So if I may be so bold … my prediction (Think ‘black swan’) is that people enthusiastically training for the last war will be—always, as always—surprised by the next one. active service

Let Wiki have the last word—

“The umpire’s report did not even mention the stunning success of Yarnell’s exercise. Instead they wrote, “It is doubtful if air attacks can be launched against Oahu in the face of strong defensive aviation without subjecting the attacking carriers to the danger of material damage and consequent great losses in the attack air force.”

Indeed, a valid point—

—YOU take it, History …

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