[fa.arms-d] Arms-Discussion Digest V0 #142

C70:arms-d (07/15/82)

>From HGA@MIT-MC Thu Jul 15 00:15:25 1982

Arms-Discussion Digest                            Volume 0 : Issue 142

Today's Topics:
                        Let's conquer Canada?
                        Basic Military Library
                           End of the world
                        Firepower vs. Manpower
                       Soviet Launch-On-Warning
                         Expensive vs. Cheap

Date: 13 July 1982  02:14-EDT (Tuesday)
From: Robert A. Carter <CARTER at RUTGERS>
Subject: Let's conquer Canada?

But we have already tried twice.

The first time, during the Revolution, was the most understandable.
After all, why shouldn't all the British colonies in North America
seek Independence together?  We invaded Canada with two armies, using
the natural strategic gateways, in the autumn of 1775 and the winter
of 1775-6.  Gen. Montgomery went up the Champlain and took Ontario,
and Benedict Arnold took another force through the wilderness route to
the gates of Quebec.  Montgomery joined him there, but the siege of
Quebec collapsed when Montgomery was killed and it became evident that
the Canadians were fighting back.  Even then, Canada's French origins
made some of its people feel themselves a unique nation; the
English-speakers were overwhelmingly loyalists, and were joined by a
substantial number of loyalists from the 13 colonies.

The second attempt was in the War of 1812.  Indeed, conquest of Canada
was the principal war aim of the Jeffersonian Democrats who (sans
Jefferson, who had left office in l809) were the war party in
Congress.  The Democrats, from the South and southwest, were utterly
uninterested in the putative casus belli, impressment, because they
had little interest in maritime commerce.  The maritime traders of the
Northeast were all Federalists, the peace party of the time, and the
fact that generations of junior-high school students have been told
the war was about impressment is one of history's ironies.

The British had perfectly good practical and legal reasons for
impressing American sailors: Practical because they were fighting
Napoleon, and every body counted; legal because under English law,
liegance (we would say "citizenship") was a bilateral relation of
mutual obligation between sovereign and subject which could only be
terminated with mutual consent.  See Calvin's Case for the best
statement of this doctrine.  While the British had concluded a treaty
with the U.S., that treaty had been with the government of the U.S.,
not its citizens, and any caught beyond the power of that government
were legally British subjects, and subject to compulsory service.  (In
modern times, even aliens have always been subject to the American
draft, if found within U.S. jurisdiction.)

Despite these reasons, the British were sensitive to the then growing
international law of nationality, and the Order in Council that
terminated the practice of impressment was issued just a few days
after the War of 1812 began.  The Democrats in Congress kept it going
to get Canada.

The war was a catastrophe.  American forces had no success equivalent
to Montgomery's 37 years before, and the only creditable fighting done
by our side was on the water.  Our main thrust was through the
Champlain gateway again, and the principal result was that the British
counterattacked and took Detroit.  We could have won in Viet Nam, if
we had had the will.  The Democrats had the will in l812, but nothing
else; no plan, no training, no reliable troops, no equipment to speak
of.  Some of our units even lacked uniforms, and had to be dressed in
local homespun gray.  This is said to be the origin of the gray
uniforms still worn by the Corps of Cadets at the U.S.  Military

The disaster, among other things, showed that Jefferson's
administration had been scandalously incompetent about defense
planning.  It did not help that during the war the presidency was in
the hands of the Federalists, or that Federalist bankers conducted a
strike of capital against it; for much of the war they refused to buy
government paper.  At least one Federalist congressman argued against
appropriations on the ground that it was unconstitutional for the U.S.
to wage aggressive war.

The only Army officer to distinguish himself in 1812-14 was Winfield
Scott, who was later the hero of the Mexican War, and who in the early
days of the Civil War drafted what the newspapers scoffingly called
his "Anaconda Plan."  That plan, which called for a tight blockade of
the Confederacy, seizure of the Mississippi and a war of attrition
against the split Confederacy, described just what Lincoln and Grant
wound up doing much later.  The quality of the rest of the leadership
can be judged from an engagement near Bradenville, Maryland.  The
American general drew up a line of defense to protect Washington, but
was unable to hold it because his troops ran away.  The battle is
known to history as "The Brandenville Races."  The British burned

The Navy performance was more creditable, and gave us one famous
victory and two famous quotations.  Captain Lawrence of U.S.S.
Chesapeake said "Don't give up the ship" just before being sunk by
H.M.S. Shannon in the Atlantic.  On the great lakes, where the victory
was, Lt. Oliver Hazard Perry said "We have met the enemy and the are
ours."  This last was not as good as "Veni, Vidi, Vici," and not even
in the same league as "Peccavi," (by the British general who had
Sind), but had he not said it, Pogo could never have said "We have met
the enemy and he is us."

_R. Carter


Date: 13 Jul 1982 16:34:24-EST
From: Carl Burch <cdb at Purdue>
Subject: Basic Military Library                

     In response to Laura Creighton's request in Arms-D #138 and an
obvious need in view of the debate over ships-versus-aircraft, I
recommend :

        Modern Warship Design and Development
        Norman Friedman, 1979
        Mayflower Books, Inc.
        575 Lexington Ave  
        New York, NY  10022

        Library of Congress 79-89722
        ISBN 0-8317-6082-6

     Other than glossing over the vast improvements in firefighting
equipment deployed in the last ten years (and apparently not purchased
by the British given their dismal damage control off the Falklands),
the main limitation of this book is it's concentration on the single
ship's view of the battle. Since it was originally published in
England and they have abandoned the aircraft carrier battle group for
all practical purposes, this is hardly surprising.

     The criticisms above aside, Friedman has an excellent insight
into the design trade-offs involved in naval architecture and the
various design approaches used among the naval powers. He explains
technical weaponry and sensors in lay terms and includes their
tactical implications.  This is an excellent primer in modern naval
warfare and equipment, quite appropriate to the nuts-and-bolts genre
of discussion on this news-group.

                                                Carl Burch


Date: 13 Jul 1982 15:48:53-PDT
From: rabbit!wolit at Berkeley
Subject: disarmies

Robert Maas is sadly mistaken if he thinks that women are employed in
combat roles by the Israeli army.  This is a myth, propagated, I
think, by such movies as "Exodus" and "Cast a Giant Shadow", but the
fact is that women are better integrated into the U.S. Army than in
the I.D.F.  Israel uses women as typists, communications operators,
etc., but never in anything approaching a combat role.  By contrast,
the Strategic Air Command has flown ALL-woman B-52 missions (even the
ground crew was all-female).  Just walk down the street of any Israeli
city -- the male soldiers all carry automatic weapons, the women carry


Date: 13 Jul 1982 15:53:43-PDT
From: rabbit!wolit at Berkeley
Subj: Cheap vs. Expensive

It was during the AIMVAL and ACEVAL (sp.?) exercised a couple of years
ago that the effectiveness of cheap planes (Northrop F-5) against
expensive ones (McDonnell-Douglas F-15, Grumman F-14) was
demonstrated.  In one-on-one fights, the more sophisticated aircraft
came out on top, but once they started simulating dogfights involving
the numbers and ratios expected in, say, a European conflict between
NATO and the Warsaw Pact, "cheap" proved better.  This advantage was
futher enhanced when the requirement was added that "enemy" aircraft
be positively identified as such before being fired upon, a resonable
restriction given the complicated air combat situation that could be
expected under such conditions.  In this case, the advantages of such
long-range air-to-air missile systems as the Phoenix and Sparrow were
much reduced, and the effectiveness of the guns and Sidewinder
missiles carried by the F-5's proved quite adequate.

Air combat in the radar environment for which our most sophisticated
planes are designed has been likened to a duel between gunfighters in
a dark room.  All of them have flashlights that let them see their
opponents, but the first to turn on his flashlight is a dead duck.


Date: 13 Jul 1982 18:51-EDT
From: Sesh.Murthy at CMU-750M at CMU-10A
Subject: End of the world

	[from  decvax!pur-ee!purdue!pur-phy!els at Berkeley;  I wish I
	knew your name]
           (5) With US out of the way, think how many other wars
           start, Arabs vs. Israelis, Black Africa vs. South Africa,
           India vs.  Pakistan, China vs. any Soviet remnant+Vietnam+
           India.  All of these are potentially NBC wars.

Seriously, I think you are overestimating the influence of the US and
the USSR in preventing wars.  I think that without anybody present to
provide really sophisticated arms the number of wars will decrease.

           (7) Without US food shipments, FAMINE, probably of a scale
           never before seen.

           (8) With all the dying and dead and weak from starvation,
           you pick your favorite disease and I'll bet it kills 10
           million people at least.  The biggies like typhus might get
           many 100 millions.

Again you are underestimating the capability of nations to survive.  I
know for a fact that India produces most of the food it requires.  I
am sure the rest of the world can also produce food to meet its own
needs.  Also antibiotics are produced in most countries and I don't
see why disease should kill so many people. Of course nuclear war
could produce climatic changes that could affect crop production.

I have been reading the "Long-term effects of multiple nuclear weapons
detonations" ( see Caulkins' message Volume 0 : Issue 141) and I seem
to get the impression that neither radiocative fallout nor U.V. pose a
really serious threat to the survival of mankind in faraway areas.
The world would definitely not end.

Given the way things are going I am quite sure that in the near future
there is going to be nuclear war.  The only thing I can say is thank
God man does not yet have the capability to completely destroy himself

An interesting thought is that the US is not following the right
policy in trying to prevent nuclear proliferation.  I think the best
way to convince people is to tell them that if they produce such
weapons they will have warheads pointed at them.  I think this would
really produce results.

Enough rambling for today.				Sesh.


Date: Wednesday, 14 July 1982, 05:45-EDT
From: Joseph W. Boyle <boyle at MIT-AI>
Subject: firepower vs. manpower

On the "firepower" side, I'd like to recommend the book

"Social History of the Machine Gun"

Its main point is that military tacticians grossly underestimated the
destructive power of the machine gun before and during most of WWI,
causing much of the pointless slaughter of that conflict.

Also, the machine gun allowed ridiculously small bands of European
adventurers to extend colonial control to the African interior for the
first time.  However, Westerners generally preferred to credit racial
superiority, British public-school training, ad nauseam.

The conclusion seems to be that officers, especially army officers,
are a conservative lot who will pooh-pooh the impact of new weapons
unless a major war rubs their noses in it.  The book is very readable
and well documented.

Another relevant book would be Noel Perrin's "Giving Up The Gun."  Gun
technology was introduced to Japan in 1549 and rapidly advanced to
European levels.  Since guns made the samurai monopoly of
swordsmanship irrelevant, they were generally despised by the warrior
class.  Since Japan was divided into a patchwork of tiny feudal
domains, though, when some lords adopted guns the rest had to
reluctantly follow suit.  This lasted until the Tokugawa reunification
of Japan (largely carried out at gunpoint) some 50 years later.  With
no nearby competition, the shogunate was able to regulate guns back to
the status of curiosities within a generation.  This worked for over
200 years...


Date: 14 Jul 1982 0732-PDT
Subject: Soviet Launch-On-Warning

>From the 13 July 82 San Francisco Chronicle (P10):

"Marshall Dimitri Ustinov, the Soviet defense minister, issued a
veiled warning yesterday that the Soviet Union might adopt a defense
policy that could trigger an almost instant retaliatory nuclear
attack, dictated largely by machines, in response to President
Reagan's arms buildup. ...

In contrast to the current policy of 'launch under attack', the
proximity of the Pershings might force them into a strategy of 'launch
on warning'...

Ustinov's article appeared to have been designed for domestic readers,
suggesting concern within the Soviet Union about the government's
'peace policy', which does not seem to be going anywhere.

In language that suggested an internal debate on defense, he said the
Soviet people had been 'asking questions whether the right moment has
been chosen' to pledge no first use of nuclear arms. ..."


Date: 14 Jul 1982 14:28:37-EDT
From: csin!cjh at CCA-UNIX
Subject: Re: expensive vs. cheap

In response to your [APPLE's] message of Mon Jul 12 01:56:40 1982:

   Start with AVIATION WEEK & SPACE TECHNOLOGY, quoted to me by
someone who considers most of my positions on weapons laughably naive.


End of Arms-D Digest