365 days - 195k pageviews

The Flagcounter gadget was added on 21 June 2009, one year ago. It counted 195k pageviews*.

195k pageviews is a quite impressive figure in my opinion. The blog was almost entirely hidden from view before late 2008, after all.

Next step: Make it 195k a month. ;-)

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German blogs are rare, German MilBlogs are even more rare and German blogs in English language are ... well, I know only two or three.

I'd love to see a few more blogs like mine in German, English or French. The MilBlog scene is too much dominated by American and French blogs in my opinion. They've got the language advantage (maybe there's a great MilBlog in Hungarian, but who could know about it?).

The British MilBlogs are often critique blogs with a strong focus on UK affairs. It's a bit strange why the UK bloggers don't cover stories from the whole Commonwealth. British TV and newspapers seem to have a raised interest in Commonwealth-wide affairs in comparison to foreign ones.

The American MilBlogs are often either too hardware-centric for my taste, or rabid and respectless right wing or a very few so-called "liberal" blogs. American MilBlogs in a wider sense do also include the more than 95% "I (or my husband) was in Iraq" MilBlogs.

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It's not exactly an advantage in the modern German society to have a strong interest in military affairs - especially not so if you've already left the payroll of the Bundeswehr years ago. I do like to compare it to an interest in firefighting:
Nobody wants buildings to burn, everybody despises arsonists, yet you want a well-equipped, quick, effective and relatively safe firefighting reaction once a building is burning. Maybe I'm a pessimist, but I believe that even though most buildings are quite well-protected against fire, there are arsonists, buildings will burn, our firefighter department will be called. I do also believe that it's not going to be as good as it could be - it will even be worse than in earlier actions.

I blog with some interest in military affairs and civil liberties, and I do so with a conviction that Western armies are as ill-prepared for modern, full warfare as they were in 1913. Many people told me about their agreement with this view, and some were even more pessimistic.

Maybe I'm wrong and much more is fine than it seems to me - fine. Great. I'd love to be wrong on that one.
On the other hand - maybe I'm not that wrong. In that case, why not inspire some thinking with own thinking?

This is why I'd like to see more blogs like mine. I am cocky enough to assume that mine is an inspiration to some readers; that it raises the interest in different interpretations, in weak spots, in historical best practice examples. Many more blogs like that could probably have an advantageous combined effect.

Military theory is today being treated as a state secret in Germany (as if that secrecy had worked aginst the Reds). It wasn't always like that. Germany had a huge amount of published military theory discussions, articles and books prior to WWI. That activity wasn't enough to prevent the disasters of 1914-1918, but it had a very positive net effect nevertheless; a very competent officer corps. I'm not willing to say that the U.S. army officer corps is very competent (in comparison to other NATO officer corps), but they still have an open discussion culture on military theory. That was a bit restricted after 2001 when some branch journals (infantry, armor) were pulled from public view (as if that would enable secrecy...ridiculous).
Nevertheless, such a look beyond one's own nose can tell us that a more public military theory discussion in Germany would not equal treason. Our few military journals (to be found only in in the biggest press shops) do not need to be on the level of industrial propaganda, modeller and airsoft journals.

Sven Ortmann

P.S.: Statcounter counted 175k in the same period, now I want to see their CEOs in a boxing ring. ;-)


  1. I have some way to go before I'll get close to that, congratulations.

    I accept the criticism as a British blogger that my military coverage has been very Brit-centric, I can only plead that the coming Defence Review has rather dominated the agenda, but that will change as I am very much interested in european and commonwealth defence matters.

    I enjoy reading your blog, my thanks for a great deal of useful information.



  2. The biggest Swedish Mil-blog by far is the pseudonymous Wisemans Wisdoms.


    Despite the name, it is entirely in Swedish and deals almost exclusively with Swedish matters and perspectives.

    What's interesting about it is that it is written by an anonymous air-force Officer who currently work within the HQ.

    The best thing about this blog is that it is regularly detailed, technical and harsh in its criticism of Swedish defense policy and military culture, and yet attract a very wide and influential readership. As such, the comment section is usually very good.

    Another Swedish-language Mil-blog is the slightly more philosophical


    written by an anonymous employee on the Swedish college of defense, and a prolific commenter on Wiseman's blog...

    An excellent source for current Swedish academic military thinking can be found at


    which is associated with Kungliga Krigsvetenskapsakademin (The Royal Academy for the Science of War). Very critical, insightful stuff, and entirely in Swedish.

    A slightly more unconventional "blogg" is the Gripen News Thread at military photos which is dedicated to all things JAS 39 Gripen. The main participant is the pseudonymous "Signatory" who apparently work at SAAB and regularly link to, and write about, all aspects of the plane. The only site where everything is in English.


    As for the language barrier, there is always Google translate... Not perfect, but a lot better than nothing.

  3. Congrats Sven!

    I'll continue to do my part to pump up your numbers.

  4. Mit einiger Verspätung auch von mir Glückwünsche zu diesem Erfolg, der für deutsche Blogs nicht selbstverständlich ist (und vermutlich vor allem von Lesern aus dem angelsächsischen Raum verursacht wurde ;-))).

    Deiner Einschätzung der sicherheitspolitischen Diskussion in Deutschland kann ich ebenfalls zustimmen. Das Niveau ist niedrig und oftmals beschränkt man sich auf das Dreschen von Phrasen ("wir dürfen nicht verlieren") oder Rahmentexte für Annoncen der Rüstungsindustrie.