About unguided torpedoes

This blog post is going to be reminiscent of my much earlier blog post about late propeller era combat aircraft, as it attempts to sum up concisely an obsolete topic. From time to time I gather the necessary motivation for such blog posts out of sheer frustration that I did not find such a summary anywhere.

The introduction of the steam engine in warships by the mid-19th century returned an element of independence from wind that battle fleets outside the Mediterranean and Baltic Sea had not enjoyed for centuries. Soon thereafter, said battle fleets rediscovered both the potency and the difficulties of ramming tactics. More warships have been sunk by accidental ramming than by intentional ramming during the past 150 or so years, but the initial interest in the rediscovered tactic was great and battleships showed off their impressive ramming bows well into the First World War.

A much safer approach to sinking ships close-up was to use the self-propelled torpedo (torpedo initially being a word for naval mines), after its invention by Whitehead in the early 1860's. The earliest torpedoes had indeed such poor characteristics that they were at best a weak replacement for ramming. Later on, more capable torpedoes eventually replaced ramming entirely when improved gunnery made gun firepower unbearable at short ranges.

Torpedoes replaced the hazard of more disastrous accidental collisions with the hazard of possible secondary explosions (if stored above waterline).

The Whitehead torpedo, late 19th century
The torpedo created new warship classes, forced navies to alter their tactical doctrines and provoked quite extreme ideas about its relative merits in comparison to the very expensive gun-armed battleships.

A most important tactical characteristic is that its speed was (and is) not much higher than the target's speed. The best ratio to be expected against a warship fleet in not extraordinarily rough seas was 52 kts versus 18 kts, pitting Japanese high-performance torpedoes of WW2 against a battleship line including the slowest British or American battleships of the time. The ratio between artillery shells and ships is incomparable: More than 1,300 kts to 18 kts.
As a result, the relative position and vectors of movement were very important for the utility of a torpedo. The shorter the running time till impact, the lesser the problems of dispersion, poor fire control and evasion.

Case #1
Case #2
First, an illustration about the use of a torpedo against a ship while on pursuit. The torpedo speed shall be four, both ships' speeds shall be three. The illustration shows the difficulty of catching up. The torpedo takes a usually unacceptable long time to reach the target.

Second an illustration of the opposite case: The pursued ship fires the torpedo on a pursuer. The speed of torpedo and target add up and the torpedo quickly reaches (or misses) its target. Meanwhile, the torpedo user can get away and avoid closing with the pursuer.

The third case shows two ships at equal position, in a broadside duel. The torpedo would need to be fired with deflection and would thus need to run a longer distance than the distance between the combatants. The duration required was usually unsatisfactory under such circumstances.

The fourth illustration shows two ships in a broadside duel with one enjoying the advantage. The speed of both torpedo and target ship add up at least partially and the odds of a hit under such circumstances were often satisfactory unless the combat ranges were long.
Case #4

Case #3

Please note that case three can easily be turned into case four by altering one's course some degrees away from the enemy. The transformation to case four is complete once the aggressive enemy pursues.
The torpedo was favouring the defence in a surface tactical engagement. It was very well-suited as an anti-pursuit weapon.

A 1930's baseline technology torpedo (wet heater type)
The use of torpedoes as envisaged by pre-First World War navies was never very successful: The navies expected seagoing fast and small torpedo boats and torpedo boat destroyers to rush through the friendly battle line towards the enemy battle line well into range for a torpedo attack. Two reactions were advisable for the battle line attacked like this: A simultaneous turn of direction either away from the threat or towards the threat. Either move would expose a much shorter effective target length to the torpedoes. The move towards the threat could protect the vulnerable aft section with its shafts, screws and rudder while the more careful turn away from the threat would exploit case one's dynamic and offer a better chance to avoid a hit altogether.
These overt attacks were historically not very successful, and this is more a problem of the aforementioned reaction (the British Grand Fleet turned away from the torpedo threat in 1916) than of the torpedo's performance.

These overt attacks lacked the one ingredient that proved to be a huge success multiplier in the employment of unguided torpedoes: Surprise.

There were several ways of achieving surprise:
(1) Unexpected long effective range (Japanese torpedoes in 1942)
(2) Employment by hardly visible vehicles under limited visibility conditions (submarines, torpedo boats, British nightly torpedo bomber attacks in 1941/42)
(3) Avoidance of the tell-tale sign of a visible stream of bubbles (German G7e torpedo, Japanese Type 92, 93 and 95 torpedoes).
(4) Unexpected high speed, pre-empting evasion manoeuvres (Japanese type 93; up to 52 kts)

The most powerful surface combatant of the Second World War for short and medium range combat was probably the Japanese light cruiser Ōi, which was one of two cruisers re-built into torpedo cruisers. It carried up to forty torpedo tubes for 610 mm Type 93 torpedoes and could have wreaked havoc on a hostile battleship line if positioned as in case four. The range, speed and explosive power came as a surprise to the Allies in 1942, and some cruiser and destroyer battles in the Salomon island campaign were decided by a weaker torpedo salvo than Ōi's twice 20 torpedoes.

The IJN's cruiser Ōi before it was rebuilt into a torpedo cruiser

No submarines were equipped with a comparable torpedo salvo capability, albeit not the least the minelayer submarine designs showed that such a design was likely feasible. The submarine's assumed stealthiness and ability to close with the enemy for aimed torpedo employment and the costs of torpedoes were likely the reasons for this. A typical torpedo costed about as much as an early 1930's fighter plane without engine. The slower, shorter-ranged yet bubble-free electric engine torpedoes with energy storage in batteries were much cheaper. The Japanese torpedoes with highly concentrated oxygen as oxidizer were more expensive, as the engineering problems caused by the aggressive oxygen required a more sophisticated production.
Late-WW2 autopilots for unguided torpedoes such as the German FAT autopilots which made torpedoes run in circles or other patterns in order to increase the chance of a lucky hit after an initial miss were worth their money. Still, this added to the price of an already very expensive piece of ammunition. Torpedoes were in short supply until about 1943 because of the difficulties and expenses of production.

There were two substitutes for surprise in torpedo employment: Numbers and coordinated multi-axis attacks.
Multi-axis attacks were feasible almost exclusively for aircraft, which had enough of a speed advantage over warships to manoeuvre into position quite freely.  A simultaneous torpedo bomber attack from two directions (90° or more angle) left no promising evasive manoeuvre options to the attacked ship's captain. Even a non-simultaneous attack from two torpedo bomber teams offered an advantage, as a turning ship quickly lost speed and could not recover it quickly. The maximum deflection required for a hit during a follow-up attack would thus be smaller than during the first attack.

A note about aerial torpedoes; the first ships were sunk by aerial torpedoes during the First World War, but the device used back then were about as small as today's lightweight anti-submarine torpedoes and it took till the 1930's for really good aerial torpedoes to appear.

First World War: Sopwith Cuckoo releases a torpedo
The mature unguided aerial torpedo was robust enough for a drop from impressive altitudes and at impressive speeds. Some poor designs from the 1930's were still capable of withstanding drops only from ludicrously low altitudes (such as 25 m) and at slow speed. Later, reinforced designs could be dropped from hundreds of metres and at speeds above 400 kph.
These relatively high drops didn't only make the attack much easier for the pilot and possible at night in the first place (altimeters of the 1930's were unreliable at low altitude because ground level air pressure was unknown - radio altimeters solved this problem during WW2). The torpedo travelled at approx. aircraft speed for the seconds till impact on the water, and this was much faster than its own submerged speed. This capability allowed drops from much longer distances (important in face of effective light anti-air weapons) or alternatively made the torpedo speed much less relevant for drops at short ranges.

Aerial torpedo attacks benefited as much from surprise as other torpedo attacks. The Royal Navy's Swordfish torpedo bombers were so very much obsolete in their performance that they had to prefer night attacks, and their successes against both the Bismarck (1941) and the Italian fleet at Taranto (1940) were impressive. German torpedo bombers also preferred low visibility conditions and often timed their attack into a time window of a few minutes at dawn when their targets' silhouettes were easily visible while the two-engined torpedo bombers were hardly visible.

Torpedoes were usually fused by an impact fuse in the nose, but other fuses appeared later and were quite successful. The most notable one was a magnetic fuse. Fuses caused great problems to the British (malfunction of aerial torpedoes, Germans (torpedo crisis early in WW2) and Americans (torpedo crisis till autumn 1942). The old impact fuse had provoked torpedo defence systems for battleships, which often involved an anti-torpedo bulge that added displacement and depth and was meant to absorb the explosion. The ships with such protection were few, though. The great strength of the impact fuse remained; it provoked the damaged ship to list, counter-flood (almost doubling the water intake) or risk capsizing.
The magnetic fuse was meant to detonate under influence of the ship's magnetic field distortions. The explosion was meant to happen below the ship, avoiding the bulges. The proper countermeasure was a triple bottom with empty compartments at the bottom followed by heating oil-filled compartments above. The detonation's power (apparently aided by a bubble effect) would largely be absorbed by the empty compartments. A magnetic fused torpedo's great strength was its ability to cut small ships in half or to cut off end portions of a large ship (even battleships had no substantial armour at their ends, concentrating their armour protection on firepower- and mobility-related compartments only).
The introduction of the tiny and relatively cheap magnetic fuse did thus cause major headaches to battleship and at times also cruiser designers and influenced battleship designs a lot.

I hope this will save others the effort and time to accumulate all this from a multitude of sources over time. I release this blog post into the public domain.



The Russians are serious about equipping their airborne forces



Quick inquiry

... about Information Dominance et cetera, all those military theory projects and doctrines that reset heavily on the assumption that collecting, disseminating, analyzing more information will provide a decisive advantage in battle:

As anybody aware of a psychology- or neurology-rooted critique of these whole concepts?

(I am aware of one angle of critique or rather I applied some such published research insights to this military stuff, but I'm researching if there are more such fundamental problems.)



Weighting lives during peacetime and wartime

It's been a while since I intervened in a discussion between two colleagues. One of them couldn't understand why Germany had no law permitting that the air force shoots a hijacked airliner down before it crashes into a city or even nuclear power plant.

I explained the reasoning approx. like this: We don't do this. We don't weight one life for another and choose to kill someone innocent to save others.
We could, but it is a slippery slope. You wouldn't want to be killed in order to allow the society to harvest your organs to save several ill people's lives, would you?
Well that is the same thing. Kill innocents to save innocents. We don't do this, period.
Besides, the whole political discussion about it was a farce anyway. We still have several nuclear powerplants only a few minutes of flight away from international airports. The air force has fighters on air policing readiness, but they could take half an hour before they would arrive on the scene. Even a 5-minute readiness (the highest standard maintained in peacetime anywhere in NATO as far as I know) would be too slow. An airliner could crash into a nuclear powerplant before flight control could even understand what's going on.

(I had a post on this years ago, but the graphic was lost in the meantime.)

There is a normative ethics theory called Utilitarianism, and at least some of its versions tell you that if in doubt, you should strive to maximise the net utility of two persons. This sounds all fine, but it is still widely rejected, and for fine reasons:
Let's say person A would benefit by ten points and person B would suffer by one point, should we execute this action?
It depends. Person A could be a psychopath who gets his benefit from enjoying to kill person B, while person B might suffer only from the bad taste of some sedative drink.

This can be complicated by the addition of opportunity costs for person B, but the point remains: We do not maximise the aggregate net benefit, period. It's official by ruling of the constitutional court.

This means we don't kill innocents to save innocents. In fact, we don't even torture suspect in order to attempt to save an innocent. A decade ago two policemen threatened a suspect in order to attempt to save an innocent person and are now convicted felons for it. We don't even do this.

So we reject such actions and still survive quite well and are actually very safe. Western civilisation at work.

This is a security policy-focused blog, though. Let's think about ho such a standard holds up in the event of war.
Civilisation's achievements, human rights et cetera are worth nothing if they get thrown overboard in the event of war or any other event, after all.

Specifically, how do we value life in wartime?
Assuming there is a legal war by Charter of the United Nations Article 2 standards, hostile combatants would obviously be fair game for almost all sorts of violence unless they're already wounded, surrendering or captives.
What about the civilians, though?

How many foreign civilians should be allowed to die in order to save a single one of our soldiers?

The troops themselves are emotionally compromised and can be forgiven to have extreme views on this. It's more irritating what certain civilians not the least from other Western (supposedly civilised) countries say and write about this question. Some pretend to or actually believe that a hundred dead civilians in order to save a single soldier would be fine. Or a thousand. Nobody seems to pinpoint a specific number, but it's clear that to many people the life of a non-allied foreigner has almost no value at least during wartime.
I would never subscribe to this, but the other end of the spectrum is very irritating as well:

Said foreign civilians would enjoy the same protection against sacrifices in Germany as would Germans. How could our ethics allow us to sacrifice but a single foreign civilian in order to save a thousand of our troops once said foreigner is abroad? We don't sacrifice innocents to save innocents, after all!

Could there be way out of this extremely impractical dilemma?

(a) Are they innocent? Maybe we should not consider foreign nationals as innocent if their nation is waging war against us?
Then again, how could we not? Save for those known to have supported a war of aggression politically, they are practically all innocent. Even those who supported the war of aggression would hardly have been found guilty by a court already, so who and how could decide that they are no innocents?

(b) Maybe the difference is all about hospitality?
How could this be? Don't we claim that human rights are universal, or don't at least the rights granted by our constitution do so? Those are no citizen rights; the rights are meant for everybody unless stated otherwise. Privileged guest or not - we couldn't sacrifice their lives to save others in a peacetime setting.

I may very well simply have missed bookshelves full of brilliant philosophical works solving the entire problem. You never know what you don't know. I just happen to guess there are no such bookshelves.
Additionally, it would be a great idea to make such results more public if they exist, for I am really an above-average suspect for learning about such results and still don't know such theories.

I suppose our peacetime society has progressed its ethics so far that ethics conflict and cognitive dissonance during times of war is all but unavoidable.
Let's keep this in mind as yet another reason to avoid unnecessary warfare. And let's consider this to be another nail in the coffin of the idea that warfare could be ethical or just.


By the way; I've recently read some jingoistic bullshit by common people in reaction to the crimes committed by some Chechens in Boston, MA that gave me the rare desire to beat and kick some assholes into hospital. I am really a peaceful person almost all of the time, but some degrees of dangerous idiocy are just out of bounds. Let's hope those assholes represent the 5-10% idiots every country has, not a more widespread sentiment.


"Armed forces create doctrine (...) to justify their role"

Some readers of this blog may remember that I occasionally call an army, navy or air force or the whole bunch a "military bureaucracy" or "armed bureaucracy". Nic Stuart unknowingly made sure at the ASPI'S The Strategist blog that I am not alone: 
Armed forces create doctrine (or operational ‘concepts’) to justify their role—any genuine analysis of the actual tactical conditions is inevitably forced into second place by equally real, perhaps even more immediate, institutional pressures. The primary driver is justification of organisational structures.

I am actually not sure if he's correct - he may exaggerate to make his point.

His quote is probably true in regard to naval affairs, but probably not so much in regard to ground forces affairs. Naval doctrines - as much as they get published at all - appear to be (even) much more blather than ground forces doctrines, albeit those can be intellectually frustrating as well.
Some modern times ground forces-borne doctrinal developments were not driven by bureaucratic self-justification. The (already dropped) Distributed Operations idea in its early shapes was such an example of a quite honest attempt to move forward. I can't really see any budget, structures or numbers justification motive in the Freie Operationen doctrine pushed in Germany of the mid-90's either.

Germany saw a couple embarrassing giant prestige projects - a railway station, an opera house and the new capital airport - go much over budget and time. The pattern was the same: The cost efficiency was doubtful, the people in power downplayed the costs, a large corporation gets the contract, the project is subjected to requirements creep, a much bigger budget is needed and granted, project not finished when due, even more money needed...

This sounds awfully similar to many military procurement projects.
My personal aversion against the ignoramuses which fall for the sunk costs fallacy (or being outright irresponsible) is also provoked: Some budget increases were bigger than the originally stated expected benefits.

It is refreshing to see someone (else) in the MilBlogosphere pushing for awareness that military forces are clearly subject to the principal-agent problem and behave as do bureaucracies.
Whatever you discuss about military affairs policies (that is, security policies concerning the build-up and maintenance of the own military power): You should keep in mind that military forces are heavily armed bureaucracies: First bureaucracy, "warrior" stuff distant second.


Maher: 'America Needs to Start Defining Peace as Strength'

2:55 min of assorted jokes,
the more serious stuff follows.

Early warning: More "War and Peace"-labelled stuff upcoming on Defence and Freedom.



Pocket aircraft carrier

I saw a lot of stuff, but this article still surprised me. I believed the British had begun to prefer normal carrier planes over seaplanes / amphibians long before 1936.

So unless you have missed the entire "sea control ship" idea of the 70's and the ever-recurring proposals for smallish carriers, you should recognise this as a very old published proposal from the very same lineage. It's one of the technical ideas which refuse to die, kind of like death rays, rail guns, maglev, hypersonic planes or moon colonies.



Low signature propellants

(Remark: The following blog post is not satisfactorily researched. I still want to put it on-line because I'm not going to complete this research any time soon and it appears that the topic has much less attention and awareness level than it deserves. Maybe someone else will pick up the topic and share a more satisfactory piece.)

The common story is that ground combat changed radically with the advent of machine guns and that the French mis-used their mitrailleuses wrongly in 1870. That's mistaking a symptom for a cause in my opinion.

The real change was rather the move away from black powder towards smokeless powders. It was this invention that made practical very rapid fire with lots of repeating rifles or with a machine gun.
Maxim's machine gun used with black powder as propellant in the cartridges produced so much smoke that the gunner was blinded within seconds (unless there were strong winds).

The new smokeless (or rather 'less smoke') powders / propellants were developed during the 1880's and introduced mostly during the 1890's. They changed rapid fire into rapid, aimable fire and this was the great leap forward in ground combat technology (well, this and the fact that the higher muzzle velocities and new explosives gave artillery a completely new meaning).

The historical example tells us that smokeless or generally lesser signature propellants can have profound effects, likely to be called "revolutionary" by many people sooner or later.

Such a change may be about to happen again.

Much propellant and explosives research has been directed at some exotic propellants for Mach 5 missiles, at insensitive munitions for less secondary explosion hazards and for less environmentally troublesome propellants (many soldiers remember that normal rifle cartridge propellant gasses can be quite troublesome for breathing beings under certain conditions. I had my personal experience with this, too).
There's a relatively low attention development as well, though: Rocket propellants that produce less flame and no smoke. Some progress had already been made a while ago (especially for the 1990's anti-tank missiles, and light anti-tank weapons tend to have a reduced signature as well), but some really powerful, insensitive smokeless rocket propellants appear to be underway. Composites with CL-20 included, ADL (ammonium dinitramide) and some others.

I don't want to needlessly infringe copyright, so I ask you to follow this link and look at slide 22 instead. Seriously, do it. It's the essential spice of this blog text.

Low signature solid fuel propellants can change many influential assessments.
Recoilless weapons might finally shed their signature issues and become truly practical (the amount of flash and smoke of recoilless guns was inviting too much counter-fire) and leave their niches to become more mainstream weapons.
Aircraft anti-missile systems would also be affected, as they tend to look out for IR signatures (large darting flame) and/or UV signatures (smoke trail) to spot and track incoming missiles and possibly launchers, too. This might not work so well against low signature propellant-driven missiles. Such sensors, sensors as the previously mentioned DAS and wartime experiences against truly dangerous opponents might become powerful drivers for lower signature propellants.

We might even live to see new tanks in the 2020's which dispense with heavy single fire cannons because of this development. A stub gun such as as once the M81E1 could fire both powerful single shots against soft targets and hypersonic anti-tank missiles (kinetic energy penetration) with minimal signatures. Another possibility would be the combination of such missiles in missile launchers couple with rapid fire main guns.
Such a shift would exploit the great power of hypervelocity missiles without the fixed costs of a big cannon and without the signature issues experienced with the known HVMs.

Some common wisdom is dependant on a context hat may change with technological progress change. The limitation of recoilless weapons and some limits to rockets and missiles as well as certain sensor technologies may be influenced greatly by low signature propellants, as such could make old conventional wisdom obsolete and change the armament structure and tactics of ground forces (and air forces) a lot. It is a bit strange how little attention this admittedly chemo-wonkish issue enjoys in comparison to the prominence of electronics wizardry or the 'tungsten versus uranium' ammo debates.



[Fun] The 'Somali pirates' who are not what they seem



"Why would a pirate act in a film when they have money? Pirates have money. Why would they do this? They don’t have time to tell their stories to white guys for money."
Adan has no regrets and feels no remorse. "You know, western guys they think the Africans are fools. But we have discovered we are not fools. We are much cleverer than the western people. We are fooling them, but they think they are fooling us."




There is a new buzzword, and I use it as an indicator for intellectual laziness: "disruptive".

The new buzzword is really fashionable and experienced a meteoric rise for the last year or so. The earliest uses during this rise were still quite true to the original meaning, indicating change, substitution and so on.

The word is now popular both in regard to military or wannabe toys and in regard to pseudo-academic discussions and articles.

When "disruptive" was still a real word: Disruptive Pattern Material;
a fine UK camo pattern from the 80's

Let's not fool yourself:
"Disruptive" is merely the buzzword de jour that describes quite the same stuff that would have been" transformational" just a few years ago. Previously, the buzzword was "revolutionary". Before that, "innovative", and at granddaddy's times it was "modern".
Old German books of the 1950's feature a similar buzzword, which was apparently in use before "modern" became fashionable in Germany: "neuzeitlich" (new-age, modern).

You may stumble on some article where "disruptive" is still being used in the sensible, original meaning (meaning something new which requires and/or causes creative destruction). I have no doubt that this example will be drowned in the flood of not-so-sensible buzzword uses during the next few years.
I wonder what they will cook up to replace "disruptive", since "change" has already been politicised in the U.S.. 
Maybe "re-inventive"?

In the end, it's old wine in new bottles.


P.S.: It took about six years for the word to take off. The roots of this fashion are likely in the re-naming of the ARDA into Disruptive technology Office in 2006.

I began writing this because I felt a lack of such a blog post calling out the fashion. It turned out that there already was one, albeit not in the defence environment: 


Nano UAV


I told you: Shotguns will have a huge revival in armies!

Shotguns (especially automatic ones) also seem most promising to me as a counter-weapon to the micro air vehicles that are under development; bird-sized flying reconnaissance/surveillance drones. You don't want to shoot an erratically-moving 10 cm diameter target at 50m distance with an assault rifle - it would take several magazines on average to hit once. A shotgun would kill such a target just as if it's being used for bird hunting.



Disappointments in war

Some recent wars which grabbed wide-spread attention in the West had in common that political goals and even more so expectations were not met until after they became much, much more humble.

A common explanation for this until as far as I can tell a few years ago was that the Western military didn't take off the gloves, did not use full and if needed indiscriminate firepower. The theory was that restraint reduced Western military might to a degree that allowed the enemy to survive.

This thesis was apparently replaced by a greater understanding that violence sows more violence. Smarter warfare was widely thus considered to be necessary, exemplified by the COIN fashion.

That did fade away over time as well, though. More and more voices acknowledged that political goals aiming at changing alien countries to more preferred patterns were bound to fail because of stubborn regional traditions, customs and culture. This view basically asserts that you cannot convert a tribal society into a Western-style civilisation democracy in a few years. It's still dominating the perceptions as far as I can tell.
Some people even go so far as to expect a "long" (open-ended) "war" of killing enemies without clear gain.

The people are missing the elephant in the room.
Disappointment in war is not a speciality of such wars, it is not dependent on unrealistic or overambitious goals.

Disappointment in war is the rule,
not the exception!

Warfare is about (at least) two parties warring, and it is NOT producing more than it destroys. At most one side can "win" a war unless there's a really unrealistic set of preferences at work (and then negotiations would clearly be preferable).

It is thus guaranteed that at the very least 50% of the parties in war will lose.

Now look at history.
History books are full of wars which ended unsatisfactorily not for one, but both (all) parties. A country going to war against another respectable country voluntarily and getting what it wanted is a rare occurrence.
This isn't only about mission creep; this is about a systematic overestimation of the probability of success and a systematic underestimation of the costs of warfare.

The people who lament about the trickiness of wars against elusive, "irregular" or "hybrid" or *enter fashionable word for poorly equipped yet tenacious opposition here* have a problem. Their problem is that they don't understand that they are not looking at exceptions. Maybe they are too clueless about history, having learnt only a caricature of history or only ridiculous details about their own nation's epochal wars (preferably victorious ones).
The reason doesn't matter much, for I am sure they won't detect their misunderstanding. They will cheer for the next stupid war, especially if they can talk themselves into believing that it will be different this time.
The military-industrial complex will happily provide fancy an fashionable theories and toys to cater to this apparent need of fooling oneself into believing that the next war may be successful.

I propose an alternative. Maybe it can provide you the desired peace of mind and satisfaction that the war-lover crowd never seems to have for long: 

Let's not look at whether we're able to force distant foreigners into submission and dictate changes to their country. Let's instead look at whether we are safe from military aggressions in the classic sense. Can any foreign power fool itself into believing it could "win" by attacking us?

Think about it, then feel free to relax. You might get a great peace of mind and satisfaction this way, very much unlike the people who are being fooled by fearmongering, bogeymen propaganda and warmongering.




In years past, I repeatedly compiled lists of germanophone MilBloggers and security policy bloggers. These lists weren't perfect and some of the mentioned blogs either disappeared or became inactive, but I can tell you I did put some effort into compiling these lists.
No, there's no recent version.

Maybe you understand my surprise as I read in a national German newspaper about an academic security policy blogger with a track record of three years and 3,000 page views a month.

My surprise was similar to the much earlier surprise of seeing an invitation list of German Milbloggers compiled by a trans-atlantic society or something for the purpose of a bilateral blogger conference or something. I didn't know the majority of the bloggers on that list and honestly, several of them did look more like stopgaps mobilised by that society itself than like actual bloggers. (There are few German Milbloggers and security policy bloggers, and they probably didn't search that much.)

Anyway, there's an academic security policy blog out there which gets some attention and it did slip past my radar for years. How could this have happened?

I made a quick check, using all bookmarks of germanophone Milblogs known to me. None of them features the unknown blog in its blog roll. Its own blogroll features few if any (depends on your definition) German security bloggers, but it does mention a few famous anglophone milblogs.
There was apparently a total disconnect, even between academic security policy bloggers.

There are some good news for the previously unknown guy; his 3,000 page views per month have indeed potential for improvement, not only because he was mentioned in a national newspaper, but also because he might get some (or more?) links from fellow German bloggers for a change.

By the way; I was not much excited by his previously unknown blog. It covers my interests only peripherally. A recent series about armed drones says it all. I'm not much interested in such fashions.