Author Archives: Hognose

About Hognose

Former Special Forces 11B2S, later 18B, weapons man. (Also served in intelligence and operations jobs in SF).

Some American Thoughts on Russia’s “New Generation War.”

russian_rangerettes

You’ve come a long way, baby! Russian movie portrayal of the Red Army.

Both of these documents were sent to us by a retired senior special operations officer who is employed in an influential position in operations planning. The authors of the first (and more recent) document recently did a stand up in front of, if we have this right, Joint Ops at the Pentagon. So you’re learning here what American colonels, generals, and senior policy civilians are learning about our Russian rivals.

“Rival” is, we think, the right word; so far, Russia sees itself as in competition with the democratic West, and not entirely at war. In fact, Russian leadership, which was Soviet junior leadership during the Cold War, seems intent on a new Cold War with the same broad spectrum of rivalries: political, economic, propaganda, and military via proxy wars. We have not seen a return to terror sponsorship on the level of  the pre-1992 KGB and GRU, but we can’t tell whether that’s because: today’s Russia actually eschews this as a tactic, either on moral or practical grounds; today’s Russia is better at doing it undetected than the USSR was; or, increased surveillance of terrorists and their sponsors heightens risks for state sponsors. (If we had to pick one we’d go with #1, Russia is not sponsoring terrorists, because Russian policy does not permit that at this time. But we don’t have evidence for that).

The first article is a nine-page extract from Army Magazine, the usually low-value trade mag of the Association of the US Army, an organization that young lieutenants are dragooned into joining. But it’s by two serious guys, Professor Phil Karber, a reformed Marine who’s been a heavyweight in US Army ground forces strategy for over 40 years, and LTC Josh Thibeault, a typically overeducated (heh) Operations Analyst.

(U)Russia’sNew-GenerationWarfare(ARMYMagazine,Jun16)

(Note that we made three small corrections in the file, a typo in the filename, removed a blank tenth page, and ran it through our own OCR. If you are planning on sending this around anonymously, get the Army version from the Early Bird or “they” can trace you to WeaponsMan). Here’s an edited excerpt:

Russia represents a real threat, to real allies, on real terrain. Though Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intentions might be unknowable, we do know what his game plan is.
It’s called “new-generation warfare,” and it targets Western weaknesses, not strengths. New-generation warfare differs from Western views of hybrid conflict in that it combines both low-end, hidden state involvement with high-end, direct, even braggadocio superpower involvement.

Russian new-generation warfare is manifested in five component elements:

– Political subversion.
– Proxy sanctuary.
– Intervention.
– Coercive deterrence.
– Negotiated manipulation.

Contrary to Western politicians, the Russian leadership understands these military options and plays them like a Stradivarius.

Karber and Thibeault do examine each of those in depth, and review such newly evident Russian competencies (many of which, in fact, the old Soviet Army was not at all weak on) and their consequences for US Army RDT&E, strategy and doctrine. These areas including electronic warfare, unmanned aerial systems (new, as is the way the Russian Army uses them), tank and IFV developments, air and missile defense.

Russian artillery is particularly well-developed. Always a historic strength, new technology has made this artilllery more effective, accurate and lethal, and Karber and Thibeault project a bit of what might happen to American units if they were hit as two Ukrainian mech battalions were hit two years ago, in July 2014. (The authors don’t mention this, but the units were moving as agreed with the Russians under a cease-fire agreement).

Russia launched fire strikes with long-range artillery and multiple rocket launchers employing top-attack munitions and thermobaric warheads against two Ukrainian mechanized battalions in the open. This intensely concentrated fire strike lasted only a few minutes yet inflicted high casualties and destroyed most armored vehicles, rendering both battalions combat-ineffective.

The T-64 improved Bulat tanks of the Ukrainian 1st Armored Brigade burn, 13 July 14

The T-64 improved Bulat tanks of the Ukrainian 1st Armored Brigade burn, 13 July 14.

In combat situations like this, when up to 30 percent of a unit is killed or incapacitated, command and control breaks down and the unit is unable to treat its own wounded, much less reconstitute itself and continue its mission. The Army needs to develop reconstitution teams at the brigade level that will re-establish command and control, provide triage and other medical support, and quickly coordinate reconstitution. Likewise, units at all levels must frequently train in mass-casualty scenarios.

It’s an interesting idea, but the reconstitution team can’t work as long as the artillery continues.

Needless to say, fifteen years of desultory low-intensity warfare against rifle- and RPG-armed primitives in plastic flip-flops has not prepared the United States Army to fight against a competitor like this. (And what is a Russian capability today is a Chinese capability tomorrow, and a global second-tier state’s capability in months or a year. We are not the only ones studying these battles).

Meanwhile, we have a leadership adept at social engineering, but incompetent at war planning or even weapons procurement. What the Russians did to those two Ukrainian battalions, the US can’t do, because the US has unilaterally disarmed from thermobaric and cluster munitions. The article’s conclusion on that:

Russian artillery maintains an approximate 3:1 size advantage over the Army’s artillery, and they have a capability advantage as well with their use of dual-purpose improved conventional munitions and submunitions. For the Army to be competitive, the DoD must repeal then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’ 2008 directive to comply with the provisions of the Ottawa Treaty, which resulted in the removal of all submunitions from the Army’s inventory.

Note that, while Gates is often thought of one of Obama’s lousy defense officials, when he made this lousy decision he was still one of Bush’s lousy defense officials. This is a defense problem, not a partisan problem.

One more thought: military planners love infantry fighting vehicles. You know who doesn’t? Infantrymen. After seeing what protection a BMP provides, Ukrainians ride on top. In Chechnya, Russians rode on top. In Vietnam, American mech infantry rode on top. None of these things can resist artillery fires. Which right now the US unilaterally has disarmed itself of, believing that navigation satellites (subject to other Russian and other weaponry) and air supremacy were permanent conditions of US deployments.

And one final thought, on aviation. The Russians swept the Ukrainian fast movers and helicopters from the sky. Flying this high could be deadly (20 August, 2014):

So could flying even lower:

Ukrainian helicopters were reduced to flying 3 to 5 meters above ground or treetop level to avoid the larger surface-to-air missiles from the self-propelled systems, but ambush teams of two to five manportable air defense systems, cued by the integrated air defense network, shot them down. Without adequate suppression of enemy air defense assets or hardened bases and defenses, Ukraine was powerless to stop this.

Some other interesting tactics have been emerging, too, but this is a start. As we said, there are two articles; the other tomorrow or Thursday (we have to hunt it up).

Video: SIG Wants You… to Buy an MPX

We’re not sure how old this current MPX video is, but it’s not the one we’ve had before.

We’re starting to see factory SBRs show up but we’re too tied up in Czech stuff at the moment….

And is it just us, or are factory gun videos getting more and more hooah with every iteration?

We don’t have hands on one yet. but we like the idea of the MPX; it’s a good revision and upgrade of the MP5 concept. It makes the best use of advances in materials (modern plastics), ergonomics (M16-sized, for people with normal human thumbs, rather than HK sized, which are suited only for people in the six-sigma zone (99.9999) percentile of pollex protrusion).

Other postwar submachine guns like the Beretta M12S and the Walther MPL/MPK never caught on the way the MP5 did. And all pistol-caliber submachine guns are up against the problem that a rifle-caliber long gun is, for most purposes, more useful. But an MPX SBR seems like it would be a blast as a range toy. We’ll have to get hands on with one soon.

Update

Apologies to all for having an incomplete version of this post up for about four hours this morning. Your humble blog editor is now writing fifty times, “I will check the site first thing… I will check the site first thing…”

 

Student Filmmakers Mistaken for Active Shooters

Last week, a bunch of kids with airsoft toys that look very like real guns were making a student film at their school in Tustin, California. How much like real guns do they look? Real enough that the kids probably don’t even grasp just how close they came to being capped by cops. Behold:

Tustin Cops Fake Gun Photo

After everybody’s pulse rate got back down into the normal range, the cops had a talk with the would-be Tarantinos, so that this film didn’t end like one of Quentin’s bloodbaths, except with buckets of real blood.

By the way, in the image above, two of the guns are the kids’ airsofts. One is one of the cops’ patrol rifle that he responded with. (You can probably figure it out). The cops’ whole statement:

We are currently clearing a call of several subjects with rifles at one of our schools. Ultimately we determined the subjects were local high school students making a film and the rifles were only replicas. Neither the school or the city of Tustin had any knowledge of this incident until we received the radio call. This situation could have turned tragic. Parents, please use caution when allowing your children access to replica firearms. These situations have turned deadly across our nation. The photo shows two of the rifles we encountered on this call. The third rifle in the photo is one of our real rifles that we responded with. We included it to show you how realistic these weapons can appear, especially in darkness.

Really, a kid can get hurt playing with the wrong toys. But if you deny kids any engagement with real guns under adult guidance, they’re going to develop their own knowledge under peer guidance. That seems to be the antithesis of a good idea.

A hearty hooah to the Tustin cops for not shooting anybody. Can you imagine how they’d crucify the poor cop that nailed one of these kids? But look again at the guns — it would be hard to fault a cop for jumping to what turned out to be a wrong conclusion.

Sometimes the best thing is to sit weapons tight and develop the situation.

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Even More Knives

bloody-knifeRemember BG (Before Guiliani), where a trip on the New York subway was a dance with death? Well, building on the stellar work of anti-gun and pro-criminal Mike Bloomberg, current  Bill de Blasio (or perhaps we should say, “anti-gun and pro-criminal mayor Bill de Blasio”), had pretty much got the subways back to BG status.

He must be very proud of himself.

When the train doors opened at the busy transit hub the victim still had his phone out and that’s when the attacker plunged a knife into his stomach and grabbed the phone before running off the train with the weapon, cops said.

Emergency responders put the man on a stretcher and rushed him to New York Methodist Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Cops were still hunting the thug who is believed to be 18-years-old with neck tattoo. He was wearing a gray and black jacket with lettering on it, police said.

The daytime stabbing inside the busy transit hub stunned straphangers.

“That’s not good at all,” said train rider Vanessa Rivera, 33, of the Bronx, adding that she doesn’t feel “safe” riding the city’s rails. “Especially being with my kids…They think I’m being hard on them telling them to stay close to me but I’m not.”

Straphanger Gloria Diaz, 62, who regularly rides the D and R train out of the Atlantic Avenue station called the incident “scary,” but noted that “It happens a lot these days.”

via iPhone robbery turns subway into bloodbath | New York Post.

“It happens a lot these days.” But it has nothing to do with a mayor who hates cops and loves criminals, who has piled obstruction and obloquy on the former and swept every societal impediment out of the way of the latter. Naw, that can’t be it.

Smitten with the Hammer of Drone

Doesn’t quite ring the way Hammer of Thor does, does it? But US forces/agencies droned another Taliban Emir-of-Schmo character over the weekend.

While the Administration and its suck-ups in the press are exchanging bouquets over this, it’s hard to see how this changes anything. We’ve been decapitating terrorist organizations and Islamist insurgencies for 15 years now, and about all we’ve done is teach these mohammediots the importance of a chain of command, a succession plan, and leadership cross-loading.

Sure, it’s fun to see the FOOM and watch the car, to steal an image from Al Stewart, “flicker its souls to the wind.”

Mulla Akhtars car2

Actually, that is kind of cool. Gotta love Hadji — he brings his own Tannerite to his cremation. FOOM is in da house! Do we have a close-up? Here’s the ace first responders of Balochistan province on the scene:

Mulla Akhtars car

We picked this up from The Sun when we were slumming there looking for When Guns are Outlawed stories. Here’s what they say:

The US targeted drone strike took place near Ahmad Wal in Balochistan, south-west Pakistan at around 3pm on Saturday.

His death was confirmed by Afghanistan’s spy agency this morning.

It is likely to be a huge blow for the Taliban as it triggers another leadership struggle.

Our emphases, there. Feh. Somebody will do take his place, and if we keep knocking off the bozos, sooner or later they’ll come up with someone good — probably sooner. The average Afghan will never solve quadratic equations or appreciate the 3rd Brandenburg Concerto, but he’s bred for war. So the long-term promise of this kind of attack is probably nil at best, and potentially negative. We’re only doing it at all, so that people don’t look too hard at President Internet Tough Guy’s real record on Islamic extremism.

Not that it isn’t satisfying in its own way:

Mullah Akhtars Crispy Corpse2Is it just us, or does the guy in the robin’s-egg blue shalwar kameez look like he’s saying, “Damn it, Jim, I’m a doctor, not a miracle worker!”?

Mansour became Taliban leader in July 2015 after replacing Taliban founder and spiritual head Mullah Mohammad Omar.

via Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour confirmed dead.

So here’s bad cess to the old boss, and hello to the new boss, whom Beltway armchair strategists (the only kind to be found in that location) have concluded will somehow be less hostile or effective than the crispy critter illustrated above was. Good luck with that.

Wonder why they’ve never tried to assassinate our President?

Anyway, the whole accomplishment of this attack is this one insignificant Sumdood, about to go into this one pine box.

Mullah Akhtars Crispy Corpse

Note the fine Pakistani workmanship on this fine sharia-compliant casket.

What makes the Taliban our enemy is not men. It’s ideas. But we’re only attacking men.

Retro Rejoice: Colt to Reissue “Collector’s Edition” M16, XM177E2

Retro heads, rejoice: You have nothing to lose but your slavish obsession with parts gathering. Because Colt, the original maker of historic firearms like the M16A1 (Colt Model 603) and XM177E2 (Model 639), has something new in the works: the Model 603. The 639. The 602. Maybe even the 601, the 605, the 608, and all those other rarities. Here’s the first two of what is promised to be a line:

colt_retro_guns

We learned this in an excited email from Shawn of LooseRounds.com this weekend, as he shared what Colt spokesmen have told him. (And the photo, a detail of which you see above). He has two posts:

Taken together, they cover most of what Colt has let out about the new vintage reissues. Here’s our distillation of it:

  1. The showing at the NRA Annual Meeting was just a tease, the “real” product intro will come at next January’s SHOT Show.
  2. Colt will make a short run, maybe as few as 1,000 pieces, of two models of these rifles every year for the next 10 years.
  3. Colt will make every effort to accurately produce the weapons as they were produced, except,
  4. They’re all going to be Title 1 firearms — no NFA weapons.
  5. The first two up are believed to be the M16A1 and XM177E2, the two key weapons of the Vietnam War.

Personally, we think this is brilliant. Guitar makers have done it for decades — we believe the first to get on the Vintage craze was Rickenbacker, whose use by the Vietnam War’s contemporaries like the Beatles and the Byrds made them a natural for vintage reissues (but it might have been Fender). Naturally other makers like Gibson and acoustic-guitar specialist Martin joined in. Soon the drum brands followed suit, and the amplifier makers, and by the time the Beatles Anthology was released in the mid-90s, a Ringo, John, Paul, or George wannabe could equip himself with everything but the talent by swiping his credit card at Manny’s or George Gruhn’s. For the guitar makers, this opened up an entire new market — aged-out rockers who had never given up their desire to sound like, say, Roger McGuinn of the Byrds, could at least buy a ringer for his 12-string. Unlike today’s starving musician, the aged out former-starving-musician-of-the-70s now has the disposable income to buy the guitar he couldn’t in his Ramen Noodles days.

Your humble blogger may resemble that fictional aged-out rocker, with vintage reissues from Fender, Gibson, and Gibson’s budget brand Epiphone sharing guitar racks with real vintage instruments. (Some of which were merely “old” when put away, but emerged from storage “vintage,” like Schrödinger’s Guitar or something).

It’s not hard to conceive Colt’s marketing move as a parallel to what the guitar makers are doing. Yes, they’re still trying to reach today’s guy but they also want the dollars of the guy inspired by yesterday’s heroes. Colt, like Rickenbacker, ought to be able to survive as a nostalgia, vintage brand, but they are hoping, perhaps, to be more like Gibson — something for everybody, including the free-spending nostalgia buff.

Colt’s representatives promise attention to detail. Another photo Shawn has shows a rep holding an unfinished aluminum buttstock, as all Vietnam “submachine guns” bore (albeit coated by being dipped in vinyl acetate — it will be interesting to see how Colt handles this).  Colt has done something very similar, already, with the Colt 1903 pocket pistol; Colt also, now, stocks parts for the pistol that work in the new reissue and the originals.

We don’t know what this new Colt line is going to be called: Historic, Vintage, Reissue, Retro, or some combination, or maybe something with the model year (M16A1 Vintage ’66?) or a famous fight or hero (“Dick Meadows CAR-15”?). And that shows other paths that open up for Colt now:

  1. They can constantly tweak and reissue the reissues (Fender does this with guitars); or,
  2. They can support a two-tiered market with a standard mass-produced vintage reissue on the entry tier and perfect replicas of a specific firearm at higher tiers. But wait! They can also:
  3. Use the parts engineered for the retro clones to make new and interesting takes on modern AR15s. They could even support mass customization / personalization. The sky’s the limit.

If we have a squawk with Colt’s plans it’s the low production numbers they envision — perhaps as few as 1000 rifles of each model. That more or less ensures that they go direct to the kind of collectors that will keep them new in the box in a climate controlled vault in a salt mine somewhere deep beneath the lair of Dr. Evil.

Because we’re totally going to buy one. Of each.

Do go to Loose Rounds and read Shawn’s two posts if you’re interested in these guns.

Sunday Scheduippage

What, you may ask, is “Scheduippage”? Well, it’s schedule slippage, and we’ve had it pretty badly this past week. Indeed this post is hours late and the two last Saturday posts are not done.

Thanks to a cheap-n-easy video post, at least tomorrow will start on schedule.

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Towed Rage

stoughton stabbing tow truckIn Massachusetts, where a dwindling gun culture is subject to ever-greater pressure from a mobbed up legislature (in recent decades, most legislative leaders graduate to federal pen), people actually inclined to violence seem to have no problem getting their murder on. In this case, using a knife.  WCBV TV Channel 5:

State and Stoughton police detectives remain on scene questioning residents about the the incident which began shortly before 4 p.m. Norfolk County crime scene investigators arrived on the scene shortly after 5 p.m., and immediately began collecting evidence.

A JB’s tow truck driver was unloading a car at 89 Canton St., when a fight broke out and the stabbing ensued, witnesses told The Enterprise. One local resident said the male victim was stabbed in stomach and torso. The victim had reportedly been rushed to Good Samaritan Hospital in Brockton but he later died.

via Man killed in backyard stabbing in Stoughton | Local News – WCVB Home.

According to their competition, WFXT-TV 25, the tow truck driver was neither stabber or stab-ee, but witness, who called police. The murderer was still at large at that time.

keenan-brasfield-mugshotA day later, the police knew who they were hunting: Keenan (some stories day Kennan) Brasfield, a 26-year-old career criminal. (Are the cops ever hard up for a mugshot when they’re hunting a murderer? Not so far as we can see. The guy’s always in the system already, and he usually would still be in prison if we were serious about punishing criminals).

The next night after that, he turned himself in (or his lawyer brought him in. Not clear, but he apparently did lawyer up and plead not guilty). Was it his first rodeo? The Herald says nay:

The defendant, who has a criminal history and at least two defaults…

He’ll probably get seven to twelve or something like that for manslaughter, do half of it, and be back in front of a court within months or his release. Because “Massachusetts,” where pols see the convicted murder as a victim — of incarceration, as if prison sentences were just bad luck that the justice system dispenses to random people, kind of like jury duty.

His motive for killing the tow truck driver? He was irate about the towing of his car. You’ve heard of “road rage,” this is “towed rage.”  The Boston Herald, quoting the ADA at Brasfield’s arraignment:

“The defendant was heard to say, ‘You didn’t know I had a hawk’ … hawk apparently being the slang word for knife,” she said, and he was seen stabbing the victim before running off.

In more civilized places, tow drivers, especially repo drivers, are still assaulted by irate deadbeats.

This murder will never be a Movie of the Week. It will never inspire true crime writers, let alone a  novelist. But this is actually what homicide in America looks like, nine times out of ten: some dysfunctional but supremely selfish hominid taking a life over some transcendentally insignificant grievance.

Prague 1938: The Doomed and the Saved

jan_syrovy_may_1938

As you can see from the cut-off margin and wavy horizontal line, we’ve got to go back to the drawing board on this scan.

We have been working to scan a story from the 30 May 1938 LIFE magazine for the site. The cover of that magazine shows “Commander of the Czech Army,” whose actual title was General Inspector (or Inspector General), Jan Syrový. A tough-looking guy, he had fought on both sides in World War I, like many Czechs and Slovaks, abandoning the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s weak claims on his loyalty, and going over to the Russians. The Russians had their own problems, but allowed their Czechoslovak POWs to form the Czechoslovak Legion, which started small but would ultimately be a brigade-sized unit of three infantry regiments. Syrový lost his right eye fighting alongside the Russian Army during the ill-fated Kerensky Offensive. (The Czech Legion took their objectives, but few of the Russian units did). Around the time this photograph was taken, Czechoslovak defense leaders had mobilized their reserves — 70,000 men — under threat from Germany.

At the time, Munich was still in the future (by then, Syrový would have bene elevated to Prime Minister, over his own objections), but in May, the Czechoslovaks were still hoping for support from former allies Britain, France and the USSR; in the end they would be betrayed by all three nations, Britain and France cutting the Munich deal for the death of Czechoslovakia (with Czechoslovakia conspicuously unrepresented), and the USSR writing the rump of the state off in the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact of 1939.

In the LIFE issue, we saw the photo immediately below. The LIFE caption was:

German Refugees. In this hand-decorated Prague cellar of an abandoned factory Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany find the safe haven Prague has long offered their race.

german_jewish_refugees_in_prague_2

That struck us pretty hard. Note the tied-down swastika on the map of Germany, and the weird cartoon figures… not sure who they’re supposed to be. LIFE had more to say about the refugees, including some fairly deep background. As we read it, the realization sank in that these people were almost certainly murdered in the next few years. Seeing the picture, we know what the happy musicians could not: the Nazi menace was coming their way.

Generations before Romulus and Remus found their Roman wolf, Prague on the Vltáva River was an old established village that had been inhabited continuously since Paleolithic men scrabbled caves in its riverbanks some 15,000 years ago. Modern industrial Czechoslovakia thus has not only one of the oldest capitals in Europe, but one of the most beautiful. The curving Vltáva (pronounced Vultava) splits the city in two as the Seine splits Paris.

Prague has an ancient and honorable reputation for liberalism. Its university is the oldest in Central Europe. The martyrdom of John Huss not only foretold the Protestant Reformation, but started a wave of Czech nationalism among the nobles of the Bohemian court. Like other medieval cities. Prague kept its Jews in a ghetto, the Josefstadt, but they were not molested. They had a separate Jewish town hall, with a Jewish clock that still ticks on its steeple. The 14th Century synagogue where the Golem was made is still in use. Prague’s Jewish cemetery is the oldest in Europe.

Currently Prague is an asylum for thousands of Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany. At the left LIFE’s photographers show several of these in an abandoned factory in Prague’s Strašnice district. Their faces are purposely turned from the camera for the protection of relatives still in Germany. They manage to exist on an average of 11¢ a day donated by Czech workers’ unions, but because of Czech unemployment they are not allowed to accept jobs. All of them are ready to enlist in an anti-Nazi brigade should Czechoslovakia be invaded by Germany.

It was depressing, reading this, reading the cautious optimism on the crumbling pages, and knowing what became of the Jews of Prague and other Czechoslovak cities (herded into ghettos, relocated to KZ Theresienstadt (Terezín, Czech), relocated to KZ Auschwitz-Birkenau, murdered like rats. Especially the kids. When a transport came in, the old, the sick, and the children went straight to extermination.

We looked on that picture, and the accompanying legend, and despaired. They never got the chance to “enlist in an anti-Nazi brigade.” The list of European nations and statesmen who sold them out is a long and bleak catalog of shame. To that must be added the shame of the United States in not accepting these refugees — for unlike the ISIL advance parties currently roiling Europe, these people were actually refugees in the classic sense of the word.

The day after hitting an emotional rock bottom over this long-forgotten little tragedy, in one corner of The Greatest Tragedy Show on Earth that was the Second World War, we stumbled on this report by Kemberlee Kaye at the great law blog, Legal Insurrection. It’s all about this guy, a master of English pluck… and English understatement.

Sir-Nicholas-Winton-memorial-service-holocaust-hero-saved-children-world-war-ii-2-e1463766689273-620x435

Nick Winton was a young stockbroker who found himself in Prague on holiday about a year after that Life Magazine, and he decided to do something. Something was getting permission to bring unaccompanied refugee children from Prague to London from the Nazis (which turned out to be easy, as they were looking to get rid of Jews), from the Foreign Office (which turned out to take one visit and compliance with a list of conditions) and the rest of midcentury British bureaucracy (which was a little more complicated).

At one point, he resorted to forging a letterhead to convince authorities he wasn’t just one guy, but head of a large and potent organization. He did all that he could.

He saved 669 children; the parents who put them on the train, and most of the rest of their families in Europe, vanished forever into the Nacht u. Nebel of the Final Solution.

And what did he do then? Like most men his age, he served in the war, and afterward, moved on with his life. What is different about his rescue is what he didn’t do — he didn’t tell anybody. Apart from a brief mention in a flyer for a 1950s campaign for local office — he lost, by the way — he never brought it up. He did it, and that was enough. It was in 1988, almost fifty years later, that his wife found an old scrapbook — and discovered Nick Winton’s secret.

After that, he was showered with honors, none of which he sought. Last week, there was a memorial service for Sir Nicholas Winton, who passed away last year, leaving alongside his own progeny perhaps as many as 15,000 “descendants” among his foster children.

Winton didn’t do this alone, of course, and that is one reason he never blew his own horn. He actually ran the operation from London, and had a team of helpers — all long since passed away — on the ground in Prague. So do bear in mind that it was a team effort, if you go (as we are about to recommend!) to Kemberlee’s story and Read The Whole Thing™, and watch the two embedded videos there (one from the Beeb and one from CBS’s 60 Minutes, but they’re not like all the others…).

 

Surplus Pistol Deals at Bud’s Gun Shop

buds_cz_exampleBud’s Gun Shop is a high volume dealer that sells stuff retail for, in some cases, less than your local guy can get it for wholesale… so when you do buy from Bud’s, it’s good manners to tip your transfer dealer.

Right now they have quite a collection of surplus guns, including some rack grade CZ’s that they’re putting forward as Good condition (the Good units sell out quickly) and Fair condition, with the “condition” mostly referring to exterior finish. Most of these are pre-Bs (and so, they have the mag brake and may not work with current CZ mags without some modification). But the prices are pretty good, as this example shows.

Here’s the whole surplus list, including a lot of FNs and Clones (FeG, Mauser — which is an FeG, Kareen etc.) as well as the CZs (and some Jericho clones). These are apparently all surplus cop guns from somewhere, perhaps Israel. Sometimes they sell out, sometimes new stock comes in. Heads up!

buds_surplus_guns

 

Here are their clearance guns, which are a mix of desirable oddities and things that were born to die on a clearance list.

Update

Thanks to Dave in the comments. At least one buyer of a CZ-85 (now sold out) got a shock when he got it home and stripped the firearm:

Buds CZ slide failure

Man, that’s ugly. Reddit thread here, original image posted on imgur here. It will be interesting to see what action Bud’s takes.