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      Welcome!   03/05/2016

      Welcome, everyone, to the new 910CMX Community Forums. I'm still working on getting them running, so things may change.  If you're a 910 Comic creator and need your forum recreated, let me know and I'll get on it right away.  I'll do my best to make this new place as fun as the last one!

The Old Hack

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Everything posted by The Old Hack

  1. I started to think about some military matters that I feel do not belong in the politics thread and am therefore creating a new thread for it. Recently I started to think about the use of conscripted troops versus volunteers, training and equipment (or absence thereof), and situations they are deployed in. (Disclaimer: I myself was a volunteer and I personally find the use of conscripts highly problematic. Still, I can see that there are times where grim necessity may compel their use.) All else being equal, volunteers tend to be superior to conscripts. But there are situations where conscripts may function quite serviceably. This happens if: They are well motivated, for example if deployed in defence of their homeland. They receive a decent amount of training. They receive equipment and munitions that are if not necessarily modern at least capable of keeping up. They are not used beyond what may be reasonably expected of them. (Holding a pre-prepared defensive line is good. Frontal assaults, not so much.) This is all of course subject to change. Conscripts may also battle harden, for example, and as time passes, they may gain in capabilities and receive better training. And taking time to build their morale is never a bad idea. Unfortunately not all leaders have the foresight to use conscripts in such a way. In a certain war I do not think I need to name one side has found itself being driven out from areas it seized in the opening months of the conflict. It has suffered painful losses in equipment and experienced troops and the morale of its troops is... not good. The Great Leader of this side has determined that the correct response is to engage in, shall we say, a leveé en masse, in which a large number of civilians is conscripted into fighting. Few of these have had any active military experience for years, some of them have never been trained. They are being shipped to the front line in a haphazard way, their organization is poor, they have a desperate shortage of NCOs and what equipment they do have available is old if not obsolescent. (I must point out that 'obsolescent' is not quite the same as 'obsolete.' An aging bolt rifle might fairly be considered obsolescent. A muzzle-loading smoothbore musket? Probably obsolete.) The scenario they are headed for is not a happy one. They are facing a smaller but much better motivated and trained army largely consisting of volunteers, one with half a year of battle hardening to bolster it. Its leadership is superior and they are riding high on a wave of recent victories. They are pushing their opposition back and have momentum on their side. I am having trouble seeing any scenario in which the conscript forces, large numbers notwithstanding, is headed for anything but disaster. If their leaders do have the foresight to have them prepare a defensive line and attempt to hold it, that might help. Some. I can see only two hopes for these hapless conscripts. One, the weather might provide it with some cover; autumn rains might turn the fighting zone into a morass of mud and temporarily slow or halt fighting. This might buy them time to train and get at least some improved weaponry. Two, there could be agreement on an armistice or a peace. The latter is hard to see happening but I do not wish to rule it out. I'm interested in hearing the opinions of other posters, if you can either spot any mistakes I have made or if you can add anything. Discussion of different scenarios in which conscripts are employed would be very welcome. Lastly, this is a general thread for discussion of matters military, be they real life, speculative fiction, wargames and computer games. Go nuts. Humor is also welcome. Thank you all for your attention. ~tOH.
  2. Random. Just Random.

    Also it is excellent if you want a vehicle that can inescapably trap you when it is on fire or immersed in water. Because when you have only seconds left before suffocation, drowning or hideous disfiguring injury, it is the exact time you need to scramble for a manual that can tell you how to manually force the doors to open.
  3. Random. Just Random.

    GOD that thing looks awful. And Teslas are already concentrated awful to begin with.
  4. Random. Just Random.

    So today while driving near the University of Copenhagen I encountered a car with a vanity plate reading OBAFGKM. I was highly amused. I do take joy in encountering someone who is not only a huge nerd but also openly and proudly embraces it.
  5. Discussion of Military, real or fictional

    Oh. I got confused for a moment there. I thought the training grounds of the marines had been invaded by 30-50 feral hogs.
  6. Political Discussion Thread (READ FIRST POST)

    Their objective seems to be 'Make Russia Great Again.'
  7. The Moderator: By popular request, I am relaunching the political discussion thread. Once again, however, I must stress that it will be very strictly monitored. Adherence to the forum courtesy rules will be enforced with especial care here. This is a particularly contentious topic and no flames, personal attacks, scandalmongering nor slurs of any kind will be permitted. People have a great range of opinions and while it is hard to remain calm and civil at times we should nevertheless strive for that to the best of our ability. Use of particularly offensive terms about other posters (including but not limited to 'RWNJ', 'SJW', 'Nazi' and others) will result in immediate warning points. We had some good and beneficial discussions on the old thread and largely managed to remain civil and respectful. I hope we can accomplish the same here. Remember: do not post here in the heat of anger and always keep in mind that your fellow posters are people, too. Last point: as in the old thread, when I do post here it will be in my capacity as moderator only. It will be easier for me to moderate here if I do not allow myself to become personally involved. While I do have a political bias, I will do my best to not let it affect me. And remember that as always, you have a right of appeal to the admins if I make a decision you disagree so much with that you find it unacceptable. The Old Hack
  8. Political Discussion Thread (READ FIRST POST)

    Trump just claimed that he never said to lock Hillary Clinton up. https://www.youtube.com/shorts/V8_8xmDlM6A He must either believe that his voters are all complete idiots or that they will just blindly believe and obey everything he tells them to. Or both.
  9. Political Discussion Thread (READ FIRST POST)

    So we spend a lot of time complaining about how stupid politicians of today can be. In this post I will venture to show that they were not necessarily all that much brighter two centuries ago. In 1815 outgoing governor and gubernatorial candidate of Vermont Jonas Galusha decided to prove his manhood by bringing down a particularly notorious bear. He would at the same time introduce a brand new hunting method: lather himself with the scent of female bear. So with much ado he set out with an entourage and entered the woods in a place the bear was believed to dwell. He then proceeded to enter the underbrush alone armed with his hunting rifle. A few minutes later he burst out of the woods again in panicked flight, hotly pursued by an eager bear. Needless to say, he failed to win reelection.
  10. Discussion of Military, real or fictional

    So, I am going to grumble about logistics for a bit. For large armies logistics are everything. Without supplies they cannot fight. It is entirely possible that they cannot even reach wherever they are supposed to go. This rule is even more important for modern armies but even for medieval or fantasy armies this holds true. Now Tolkien was completely aware of this and did it right. He had both the strategic and operational scale covered. Strategically in that while Mordor was a terrible place for growing food, Sauron also controlled more distant and presumably more fertile nations who paid tithes in the form of food and valuable materials. Presumably this allowed him to keep large stockpiles of food in Mordor so he could keep his armies supplied. What is more, when he did move his armies he split them up and used different routes before they converged on their target (as seen in the battle for Minas Tirith). This made them much more manageable supply-wise; moving all his troops in a single column would have been unmanageably difficult. (David Weber also did this well in his Safehold series where he not only describes the logistics very realistically but also has them be the deciding factor in at least three or four of the campaigns described.) Unfortunately -- and this is where my ranting begins -- not all authors are very concerned with this. Especially the Tolkien ripoffs have a tendency to have huge armies but not spend even a moment of thought on where they get their food from. A particularly egregious example would be Robert Jordan's massive The Dragon Procrastinating series in which Totally Not Morgoth™ has a massive army of Absolutely Not Orcs™ and I Can't Believe It's Not Nazgul™. This army somehow emerges fully equipped from a country described as being as about as welcoming as a WH40K hellworld and where you take your life in your hands if you try to travel as much as half a kilometer. There is certainly no possibility of growing food there for even a small settlement, let alone for a massive army on the march. Apparently Totally Not Morgoth™ pulled this huge army straight out of his arse. There are of course numerous lesser offenders. They typically create a Mordor ripoff which can at least credibly serve as an industrial base for their not-Orcs but where the only vegetation consists of maybe two thorn bushes and a cactus. It is blindingly obvious that this country cannot sustain an army let alone the population needed to recruit it from. It is so frustrating to me and often destroys my immersion, changing my read from enjoyable relaxation into sneering at the writer's ineptness. (I can get fun from the latter, too, but it annoys me when the writer does not even try.) In short: Armies need food. This isn't hard. Sigh.
  11. Sad news

    Well yes but they have been doing that for decades now without actually bringing the US close to socialism so it isn't really comparable.
  12. Political Discussion Thread (READ FIRST POST)

    I feel very tired. Trans visibility day always falls on March 31. Easter happened to fall on March 31. Certain Republican douchevolcanoes decided to pretend to be angered by this and demanded an apology from trans people in a blatant attempt to stir up outrage among their voters. This is offensive in so many ways. Just to mention a few: 1) They are demanding that trans people apologize for existing. They know perfectly well we won't and plan to use our refusal to further outrage their befuddled and frightened voters. 2) Their pretense that it is somehow the responsibility of trans people that a holiday that falls on a different day EVERY YEAR happens to coincide with an unrelated holiday this year. 3) Their use of a holiday meant to honour a man who preached tolerance and acceptance as a tool to further promote hatred and intolerance. 4) Their assumption that their voters are so blisteringly dim-witted so as not to know how calendars work. 5) The possibility that a number of them actually are that dim offends me personally. Sigh.
  13. Sad news

    Currently their stance seems to be that anyone who is not an outright authoritarian fascist is lurching uncontrollably to the left.
  14. Discussion of Military, real or fictional

    To be fair to the shooting from the hip thing, perhaps the shooter though they might as well because the sight was so awful.
  15. Happy News

    Thank you!
  16. Who in the cast has met an immortal?

    We could be immortal, immortal just not for long, for long...
  17. Project X

    "Project X" sounds kinda like something Elon Musk would come up with so yeah. How about something less impenetrable like "Fire At Will"? (I never did get why so many people seem to hate poor Will.)
  18. Comic for Wednesday, Oct 18, 2023

    Well, from a certain point of view it is. For example, traditionally when you negotiate with Nazis you do it with, say, thirty-ought-sixes fired from an M1. (You are allowed to upgrade to more modern negotiation methods today, of course.) By the time they are finally tired of that you can move on to negotiate their surrender with words. (Give up or we go back to previous methods.) I loved the 'Edwardian' joke in the comments. Possibly because I am like that myself. I have a friend named Elizabeth whom I once cited as the ideal source with whom to consult about Elizabethan English.
  19. Discussion of Military, real or fictional

    So Russia just withdrew its Black Sea fleet from Sevastopol. Think about that for a moment. A much smaller nation with no navy of its own just forced Russia to move its navy back to a safer port in Russia proper. What an amazing feat. https://www.wsj.com/world/russia-withdraws-black-sea-fleet-vessels-from-crimea-base-after-ukrainian-attacks-51d6d4f5
  20. Political Discussion Thread (READ FIRST POST)

    Oh yeah, like Brock Turner. Oh wait, he was a solid American Christian white boy of a good family. My bad, no reason to mention HIM. I mean if we started to consider people like him worthy of note they might never be able to be appointed to the Supreme Court. Obviously, but it also depends at least a little on the hosts treating their guests properly. I daresay stuffing them into ghettos, treating them like trash and not giving them decent schooling might be factors that could aggravate teenagers and make them more likely to act out even to the point of serious crimes. Once while I was riding a bus I witnessed an immigrant innocently approach two Danish girls who told him off. He then left them alone. They, on the other hand, spent the next ten minutes swearing at him, cursing him and insulting him. I tried to soothe him down but finally he had had enough and attacked them. I and another passenger tried to intervene but at that point he broke off and threw a beer bottle at them and fled. I know exactly what the headlines would have read if the tabloids had gotten hold of that one. "DRUNKEN <slur> ATTACKS DANISH GIRLS WITHOUT PROVOCATION." As an aside, I told the driver of the bus to call the police (this was pre cell phone days) but he was himself an immigrant and he was afraid to call the cops. I told him that I would take responsibility for the situation and speak to the cops and then he finally called them. That whole experience spoke volumes of what a minefield immigrants have to navigate here in happy little Denmark. Yeah, you need to show good manners when you are a guest, but it really makes it a lot easier to behave nicely if your host doesn't treat you like trash. With all due respect to laws and customs, I am a lot less motivated to follow them if in doing so I am likely to become a Darwinian example. Oh, that was never in question as far as I am concerned. All I was saying was that if they had had their way my family would shortly after had been en route to a fun little holiday camp and I myself would never have been born. Which was my whole point. Meh, I am unworried. The people doing that are in no risk of being out of work. Still lots of genocidal fascists running around murdering queers Jews illegal immigrants whatever flavour of people they have been told not to like. Once WW2 is finally left so far behind that it is no longer practical to track down its offenders, there will be plenty of new material to work on.
  21. Discussion of Military, real or fictional

    "War is a failure of politics." -- Some American Guy
  22. Discussion of Military, real or fictional

    "All warfare is based on deception, so that tracks." -- Some Chinese Guy, Misquoted
  23. Political Discussion Thread (READ FIRST POST)

    Discussion moved here from military thread: My apologies. I allowed anger to goad me into sarcasm and lack of clarity. Two strikes against me; I will try to avoid a third. I am sorry. I was talking about Denmark in early October, 1943. My family was in hiding, having only a few hours before learned that the Nazis were moving en masse to arrest all Danish Jews and move them to internment camps in Germany or eastern Europe. My grandfather was at the time quite ill and unable to reliably make major decisions and my grandmother decided that the family had to flee to Sweden. After barely dodging Nazi patrols on the eastern coast of Zealand they managed to cross the Sound in a leaky rowboat that almost sank before making it. And here, unfortunately, we arrive at the crux of the matter. My grandmother had no way of knowing whether the Swedes would actually welcome her family or not. She was caught in the refugee's dilemma: flee from horrible danger to an uncertain future. No, it would be the decisions of Swedish politicians and officials whether her family would be welcomed as deserving refugees or arrested and rejected as 'illegal immigrants.' As already mentioned there was a sizable faction in Sweden that wanted to refuse Jews admittance to the country whether for reasons financial or out of fear of offending the Nazis. My grandmother could have done everything right and still faced expulsion on arrival. The difference between a refugee and an illegal immigrant is out of the hands of the people fleeing. They cannot be certain of their welcome or absence thereof. The only surety they have is that their home is no longer safe or even survivable in some cases. They then leave everything they know behind bringing only what they can carry. They go elsewhere in the hopes that they will find better in the end. That these hopes are all too often dashed is hardly anything to blame them for. Using such language as 'illegal immigrants' and them being 'rewarded' for a 'crime' they had no idea they could even be committing is loaded language, and to be frank, it made me lose my temper. It is common propaganda to dehumanize these people as 'being too lazy to work' and also somehow 'coming here to steal our jobs' (I am not sure how these two work together. The logic escapes me, I fear.) Especially since what distinguishes the 'illegal immigrant' from the refugee is an all too often purely arbitrary distinction applied by politicians based on whether they come from 'shithole countries' or are Jewish or of the wrong skin colour/religion. I feel that naming someone 'an illegal immigrant' and then punish them for having this definition applied to them might not be very just.
  24. Discussion of Military, real or fictional

    Following up on this in politics thread.
  25. Discussion of Military, real or fictional

    The same thing occurred to me. Thank you for pointing this out.