ENIGMA 2000 Newsletter - Issue 31

November 2005
Articles, newsreports and Items of interest :enigma2000-owner@yahoogroups.com

Morse stations | Voice stations | Oddities | Polytones
Beginners corner | German branch | Numbers predictions
Confirmed end user of number transmissions
Verwaltung Aufklärung | E10 schedule research
HJH's watch | Secret service on the short wave | Killing of Colonel Callan
News Items | Web sites | Contribution deadlines
Index | E2K NL Home


HJH’s E2k watch

We continue with HJH’s informative column…………….

“May Allah be with him”

The Arab man says a prayer as he approaches the body, which is still twitching from a head shot some minutes earlier. As he pulls out his knife, he says a prayer. He is 38 years old and nervous, although he has done this type of thing before, and doubtless, if God and Allah will it, he will do so again. “There is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is the messenger of Allah”. The prayer has worked thus far, and he sees no reason to change it now, and he hopes it will again today.

But all is not as it would seem, for this man, Haqy Assad, and a former member of Sadaam Hussein’s Interior Ministry, is one of the good guys, an explosives expert who works for the newly re-constituted Iraqi Security Forces. When, post Sadaam, all Baath Party supporters were sacked from Government posts, so too was he, but that was in 2002, and 3 years is a long time in Iraq. He was recalled and offered a job in the new Administration in Bomb Disposal, at which, as we all know, “If at first you do not succeed, then it probably is not for you”. Having spent a month in Florida, being trained by the U.S. Military in explosives, he is now back in Iraq and doing what he does best.

On this particular day, a Thursday, he is about to disarm a suicide bomber, which is a world away from the usual roadside IEDs with which he and his team have to deal. Amazingly, the man he is approaching was injured when another suicide bomber exploded. US Army troops of the 3rd. Infantry Division were quickly on the scene, and, at first thought that this man was a casualty of the first explosion. But the vest packed with explosives and wires told a different tale. A quick head shot disabled, but did not kill, him. The troops then sent for Hasaad and his team.

This particular bomber is wearing this seasons must-have for all wanna-be “Dissies”, eager to be seen all over Iraq, namely a slip over vest with four metal plates covering front back and both sides. These are between layers of the vest. Also between these layers are packed hundreds of ball bearings. A subtle blend of B4 explosives completes this deadly ensemble. Wires lead from multiple detonators to a push button which acts as the trigger for this device, and is normally on the right.(Not that it matters!!) These wires are cut, and everyone present says a prayer of thanks to his or her particular God. Nothing, in this author’s opinion, brings one closer to one’s own particular Deity, than sudden death breathing down ones neck!

Asaad’s philosophy is simple. “For me, you win over it, or it wins over you. If you’re scared, it’s going to get you!

So, what does he get for doing all this? The equivalent of 330 US Dollars per month, a “Leather man” knife, which is his tool of choice for cutting the wires on IEDs, and a bomb disposal suit. Neither high tech nor high paid! Working for the newly formed Interior Ministry’s Criminal Investigations Directorate, he belongs to the Explosives Ordnance Detachment, a 13-man team (wonder if that number has the same hint of menace for the Arabs?) He can expect to deal with an average of 15 roadside IEDs in a month.

His motivation? Let him tell it in his own words. “I am an Iraqi. I just can’t leave these bombs in all these neighbourhoods. I want to live in a peaceful Iraq someday.

This author, and, most certainly thousands of others, particularly service men and women of ALL nationalities serving there, hope so too. He is one very brave man, and definitely this author’s kind of guy.

Whoever your particular God may be, say one to him on his behalf. He, and Iraq, need all the help they can get.

Stand back and wonder!

Ever wondered what happened to those old die-hards who clung on in the Third Reich, the guys who didn’t quit, although, for them. the Barbarians were, quite literally, knocking at the gates of Rome. Or in this case, Berlin. Well, we know what became of some. They helped Herr Walter Ulbricht build his Socialist Workers Paradise. The one that was so good, they had to build a wall around it to keep people in. (The press release said, it was to keep us decadent Westerners OUT!) That’s why they called it the Anti Fascist Wall. So let’s see how they got their Armed Forces up and running.

Before we start, this is NOT a dig at the former German service men and women who fought on to the bitter end, just as, one hopes, we would have done, had the positions been reversed. No way were they ALL Nazis, nor is that the intent of this article so to imply. Indeed, several became close friends during the author’s time in Germany. (Shows how old your scribe really is!!!) At war’s end, Germany was, as we all know, split into two. Come to think of it, it is not that much of a jump to a Communist, (Soviet -Stalin style) from a Nazi, Adolph Hitler style. Both were one party systems with just one guy running the show. Elections were easy, as was the choice of whether or not to agree with the government. So, let’s see what happened.

Question. How does one build an Army, following one of the most catastrophic defeats ever suffered by any nation in history?

Answer. Recruit any of the now unemployed and, probably starving; thousands of former soldiers of the said defeated nation’s now disbanded armed forces. They require no training, since they have had the benefit of one of the finest training systems of one of the best armies in the world. Also, they have a largely intact officer Corps, many of whom were still in Soviet captivity. So, you recruit them.

Not too difficult, seeing as one has thousands of them in POW cages all over the Soviet occupied zone of a newly conquered Germany. Walter Ulbricht, who had been in exile in the Soviet Union, was a founder of NATIONAL KOMITEE FREIES DEUTSCHLAND. (National Committee for Free Germany). This organisation, together with the BDO, Bund Deutsche Offiziere, (Federation of German Officers), had, during the war, shortly after the failed Kursk offensive, after which a blind man could see the writing on the wall for Germany, tried to gather from the numerous POW cages in Russia, a group of anti Hitler Germans. At first, this was for their own propaganda purposes, but would, after the war, take on a quite different aspect. The name given to these soldiers was “EHEMALIGER” which literally translates as one time members.

1945 and 1946 saw a large group of these soldiers in the Soviet zone. They were employed as a cadre in the organising of all manner of bodies which were under State control. (So, no change there then. These guys must have felt right at home). Amongst these bodies were the press, universities, schools, factories, and of course, the police. This police force started out as the DVP, Deutscher Volks Polizei, or German Peoples Police. It became the Kasinierte Volks Polizei, or Barracked People’s Police, but that was later. At this time, it consisted of a large number of former Wehrmacht officers and other ranks. In fairness, it would have been difficult to have NOT recruited these men. In 1948, The Soviet Government had decided to allow 10, 000 East German men to be recruited, and to use 100 officers and 5 generals as the officer corps. These they already held in their POW cages. By October that same year, they had 4,774 troops under arms. Known as the German Administration of the Interior, the Department of Border Police Reserves was born, and with it, the basis for the later Armed Forces of the GDR.

 Enter now Vincenz Mueller, a former Lieutenant General in the wartime German Army. Awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron cross, his career had started, like so many other soldiers of all sides, in the 1914 1918 War, you know, that was the war that would stop ALL wars. He rose from a front line officer to the Imperial War Ministry. On the staff of Von Schleicher, he was as fine an example of the German officer Corps as one would meet in a day’s march. (No pun intended) October 1 1948 saw him once more a general, now the 2i/c of reconstructing Germany’s armed forces. Various other posts in other occupied East German (GDR) States were awarded to three other officers who had each held the rank of Major General in the wartime German Army. So good were these new officers and their assistants, that one-year later the strength of the VOPOs had reached 35,000 men. (VOPO= Volkspolizei). Mueller did his job so well that his deputy, Bernhard Bechler, a former wartime Major, who had now become a Major General in the KVP, reported on his chief to the MfS (STASI) that his boss was enforcing old German “Fascist“ traditions and command style.

So, Ulbricht got his country, (GDR) and Mueller got his Army. What they were not so keen to tell the world was the following:

Nor did the Navy fare any better. Commanded by a newly released first lieutenant, Heinz Neukirchen, it was developed along identical lines to the former wartime Kriegsmarine (German Navy). To say that Neukirchen was familiar with the Russians was an understatement, given that he was released from POW Camp in 1951! (Author’s Note; This was by no means uncommon. During his time in Germany, the author met several old soldiers who had suffered long terms of imprisonment after the war. Officers were especially singled out for this treatment). Be that as it may, he had, by 1964, reached the rank of Vice Admiral and head of the Volksmarine (GDR Navy).

Meanwhile, Vincenz Mueller had by now become a Lieutenant General, and the Manpower which he commanded was 55,000 strong. On July 1 1952, the first regular units of the GDR Army were formed, and the police were the cadre from which it sprang. By the end of 1952, his manpower strength had reached over 90,000 men and, as Chief of Staff, he was second only to Willi Stoph, the Interior Minister.

1953 saw the first test of the newly formed forces of the fledgling GDR State. The workers revolt of that year was crushed with the assistance of Soviet armour and troops and the KVP played an active part in the brutal suppression of this revolt. As an indicator of the percentage of former Wehrmacht personnel in service with the GDR armed forces at that time, the following is a good guide. In the KVP, the chief of staff, one of his two deputies, four of seven reserve force staff chiefs, and 40 per cent of reserve leaders deputies and of all directors of military schools, 75 per cent were former Wehrmacht officers.

However, 1953 saw a waning of the star of these EHEMALIGERS, as they were still called. The Cold War had intensified, the rebuild of the GDR armed forces had been completed successfully, some would say too much so. The close links between the Soviet Union and GDR were causing tensions, due perhaps to the previous experiences of some that now served the Soviets. Whatever the reasons, the former officers of Hitler’s army had done their best. Now, having served their collective purposes, they were sidelined, or, put another way, cast aside like so many pairs of old marching boots, like the “Stiefel” (German for “boots”) which they had so recently discarded. It is perhaps, a measure of their effectiveness that the Russians considered the GDR armed forces to be the best of their non-Soviet Warsaw Pact allies. For a better description of these events, the reader is directed to the World Socialist Web Site, or the excellent book by Peter Joachim Lapp, namely Ulbricht’s Hilfer (Ulbricht’s Helpers). They did what they did as well as they knew how, because that was the kind of men and soldiers that they were. It reassures this author in a perverse fashion that we, the British, are not the only nation to treat good and faithful soldiers so shabbily.

Special forces get scars

No surprise about that, you, being a sharp E2K reader cry. That’s dangerous work they do! Except that the SCAR in this case is a mnemonic, and it stands for Special Operations Combined Assault Rifle.

In Summer of this year trials began on this new weapon by it’s intended users, the US Special Forces. It is intended to replace the multiplicity of weapons with which these units are currently equipped, and will be available in two calibres. 5.56mm (light) and 7.62mm(heavy) Designations will be Mk.16 SCAR L (light) and Mk. 16 SCAR H (heavy) respectively. The L is intended for close combat, and the H is for long-range work such as sniping. Also planned is a Mk. 18, which has a grenade launcher fitted.

It is proposed that the firer will be able to fire rounds of varying calibre from the same weapon. A commonality of parts between will mean that components will be interchangeable between weapons, said this author’s source, Lt. Col. D. Heilig, who is Systems Acquisition Manager in US Special Forces Command, during a recent briefing given to National Defence, NDIA’s Business and Development magazine.

The manufacturer is FN Herstal, that‘s the same FN who gave us the FN and SLR, a real man stopper. Another feature is the ability of the weapon to accept customized add-on components, popular in the US Special Forces (And not unknown in ours. either!!!).

Rate of fire is between 600 to 650 rounds per minute, which is lower than the M14 and M16 which it will replace, both of which have a cyclic rate of fire of 800rpm)

(For this authors money, one round where it was meant to go is worth 50 that didn’t!)

The lower rate of fire will, it is believed give greater accuracy. The finish to be applied to these weapons is intended to give protection in severely adverse operating climates, and the protection against water is a plus for the US Navy SEALs, who are amongst the prospective users. It will be manufactured at FN Herstals South Carolina facility. Should this weapon live up to its hype, the author has visions of rows of SCARs in racks, below which is a skip containing piles of SA80s, on which is a sign. “PLEASE TAKE ONE

6-2 and even! (or the Hebrew equivalent!)

Only readers of a similar vintage to this author will recall Dick Tracy, and the wristwatch radio into which he spoke in the strip cartoons and comics of our now distant youth.

Well, the Israeli company Tadiran Spectralink Ltd. has made one, and it is for the use of the Israeli Army. But it’s not just a radio; it’s a V RAMBO (Those Goldurned mnemonics again!) So what is a V RAMBO? Easy! It’s a Video Receiver and Monitor for Battlefield Operations. It will, Tadiran assure us, receive real time signals displaying information sent from UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) which are, presumably, scouting ahead of the ground forces for whom such intelligence is intended. It can be worn on the users wrist, waist belt, or web harness. The monitor is cable fed, but, ideally, say the users, (and who better to ask!) it should be wireless and the information encrypted. It consists of a colour LCD screen, 3 inches wide, on which will be displayed the information sent from the UAV. This information will speed up targeting information and identification. Currently only on issue to Israeli forces, this author will wager good coin of the realm that such a device will be on the wrists of US combat soldiers VERY SOON!

So, there you go guys, V_RAMBO, now appearing on the wrists of Israeli Army troopers at a combat zone near YOU!

And you thought TV was BORING!

Challenger a challenge!

From the people who gave the British soldier the SA80 (Another mnemonic which means Scraps and Allsorts in 80 pieces) and BOWMAN (which, I am reliably informed by Paul Effendi, means Better Off With Map And Nokia!) comes the 7.62mm Chain Gun as fitted to the Challenger Mk II tank. This is the logical follow on to all self-loading weapons, a SELF FIRING weapon! And, should you be in the Armoured Corps of the British Army, it could be appearing on a Challenger near YOU!

The problem, which has been localized to the firing mechanism, was identified as far back as December 2004. Other faults on this weapon were reported, but these were limited to the weapon merely jamming. (That IS a relief!) M o D stated that rectification work to resolve this problem would be complete by the end of February 2005, but as at March 2005 work had not even begun! The firms that are responsible for carrying out these repairs/modifications say that the maximum number of tanks that can be worked on per week is 5. The British Army has 368 Challenger Mk.II tanks.

The author leaves you, the reader, to do the math. our wonderful government leaves our soldiers and other service personnel to struggle on, yet again, with second-rate crap kit, which endangers the users and any one in the vicinity (Would you hitch a ride on THIS tank?) To paraphrase Rommel, himself no mean soldier who led from the front, and knew what it was all about, “Lions equipped by donkeys!

HJH.


Morse stations | Voice stations | Oddities | Polytones
Beginners corner | German branch | Numbers predictions
Confirmed end user of number transmissions
Verwaltung Aufklärung | E10 schedule research
HJH's watch | Secret service on the short wave | Killing of Colonel Callan
News Items | Web sites | Contribution deadlines
Index | E2K NL Home

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