Captives

Podpolkovnik (Lieutenant Colonel) Alexander Olegovich Koshel, born on April 5, 1982, personal number: F-905994, head of the information and psychological counteraction group of the 47084th military unit reported directly to Mikhail Zusko, commander of the 58th Combined Arms Army.

Podpolkovnik Alexander Olegovich Koshel was captured by the Ukrainian Army. He’s one of a number of high field grade officers with an intimate working knowledge of the operational Russian field army who have been captured during the course of the war.

When a POW is taken, codes are changed, operations are shifted, etc. but they know how the army and how the commanders think, how it works, what problems it faces, and even if they don’t speak for 72 hours, they will talk, and they will each be subjected to careful interrogation where homework is done and the facts are sifted against known standards. Accurate pictures will be painted through the use of many prisoners of this caliber to give both Ukraine and its allies operational assessments that strip the Russian army naked in many ways. Losing generals to enemy fire is one thing. Losing 1,000 majors and lieutenant colonels to capture is far more damaging.

 

Russian Commercial Aircraft are Failing

Sanctions from the War in Ukraine has caused a lack of spare parts and operational problems with Russia’s commercial common carriers and cargo aircraft. (h/t) Claudio

 

It’s Shocking

(below)Young American sailors, fighting as soldiers in a land war, displaying a jolly roger. It’s Islamophobic and possibly also racist since it’s a white skull and crossbones on a black field.

 

What is wrong with this picture?

*See Below

 

 

 

 

 

* It is a famous original color photo of Captain Robert Bacon leading an ARVN patrol somewhere in the Mekong Delta in 1964. The bright hardware that identified him as an officer was gone soon during the war.

It appears as though there is an American radio operator with a PRC-25 behind the captain and an ARVN with his own radio. Whoever stood next to the radioman was the officer and the target for snipers. The radioman was next. They learned to bend the antennas over so that they wouldn’t be so easily identified.

50 COMMENTS

      • Larry. At this stage of the war the ARVN carried M-1’s and the Advisors, whether officers or senior NCO’s, usually carried M-2’s. Those respondents knocking the Captains uniform obviously were not there at this stage. That was what the standard US Army issue was, metal rank insignia, brass belt buckles, white name tape and all. They, therefore, had to go with what they had. Did not matter if you were out in the paddies or jungle or a REMF. Everyone, except for Special Forces and those who managed to acquire camouflage uniforms of some description, mostly, but not always, duck hunter or Marine World War 2 vintage at that time, wore it. Tiger stripes came later. From my perusal of the picture both RTO’s, the one close behind the Captain, and the one further back, appear to me to be ARVN. This does not surprise me. At this stage of the war there would have only been two Advisors present and both would have been shooters, neither of them an RTO. If the RTO had been an American this would have put the two Americans close together and, when one went down, either from a sniper or from a mine, the other would have followed (at the same time if a mine and soon after if a sniper). I would say that the RTO closest to the Captain spoke reasonable English and the one further back maybe not so good. I knew several Advisors who, because mostly the ARVN RTOs English was not so hot, frequently carried the radio themselves. I also note a tendency to denigrate the ARVN. This has pissed me off over the years and, quite bluntly, still does. When all is said and done the bulk of the fighting, and dying, was done by the ARVN. Yes, I know there were many poorly trained and led ARVN units, but there were also some very good ones, such as the Airborne, the Rangers, and the Marines. As an aside. Many of these Advisors got a shock when they arrived and found out the type of war they would be fighting. They had trained to re-fight World War 2, albeit with Soviet armoured and heavy infantry divisions pouring through the Fulda Gap onto the north German plain. Big Army then, and subsequently, had no conception of counterinsurgency warfare (in fact it was forbidden to talk about insurgency, counterinsurgency, and revolutionary warfare), and were focussed on training for, and re-fighting, World War 2. This was notwithstanding that this was a counterinsurgency war and, despite all evidence to the contrary, they proceeded to attempt to do so. Sorry if my rant has upset anyone but I call things as I see, or saw, them.

  1. Prime target as point man? The capt. bars sure do stand out. Guy that married one of my cousins was in the Central Highlands and got to see a new butterbar, fresh off the plane, start lecturing a guy who had just walked past him….without saluting. The guy finally got tired of it, took several steps back, and saluted.

    • The picture is the picture. I’d expect that he would have some ARVNs walking point at some distance forward, looking to set off booby traps and so forth, but they aren’t pictured. It’s sort of a John Wayne photo and I don’t doubt the Captain’s courage.

      Yes, a salute in the bush is known as a “sniper check”.

      Just as a matter of interest, there is no saluting in special forces or SEAL compounds simply as a matter of policy, and rank is often not worn, but you know who they are and what they are. First names work. The Marines have a HUGE problem with that.

      I love Marines, but they really want to know who to salute and are massively frustrated when there are no ranks visible. In Gulf War 1, the SEALs were at Ras al Mishab near Kuwait, on the Saudi Coast. We ended up eating chow with a Marine BTN, camped nearby. No name tape, no rank. One Marine senior NCO heard one of the guys call me Mister Lambert and he said, “you must be an officer.” Uh, yeah. “We don’t know who to salute and it’s a problem.” I explained that if he waved at us, we’d wave back.

    • And he’s wearing the ubiquitous tracksuit that is so beloved by Russians who have some rank, particularly in the intelligence side of their business.

      • What is with the Adidas track suits in that part of the world? In Taken-2 the Albanian hit man wore one the entire movie and looked “right”.

        • It’s a sign of status. I don’t get it. Then again, I’m not from that part of the world. It’s like China where they are obsessed with your wristwatch and the brand of expensive pen in your pocket. Years ago I was in China and was told that my expensive wristwatch (a Breitling B-50 Night Mission) wasn’t cool enough, so I bought a Rolex knock-off there in China for $15.00 and they said that was much better. True of Mexico in some circles too. I was in Mexico City and was chided for the tie that I wore. It was too plain, they said. I ended up at a mall and bought a gaudy tie as advised and it was somehow cooler. If I was in Russia, I guess that I’d need to buy an Addidas tracksuit and wear a $15.00 Rolex to fit in.

          • That would explain all the young males standing on street corners in Germany in the 90s, who wore the track suits with shiny leather dress shoes. Never could make sense of that.

          • The Russian mafia, the KGB (roughly the same thing), and the wanna-be folks all think it’s just too cool. The fake Rolex is a must. I just looked at the one I got in China in my watch drawer and it’s really not a bad knockoff. If you don’t look too closely. I had to get a different band for it because the folks in China don’t have wrists as large as mine.

          • In addition to the watch and loud tie, was strong perfume, er, manly cologne required? My experience with that part of the world is quite limited, but I’ve been impressed with how much scent (sickly sweet, yet) that some people from thereabouts wear.

          • In the Arab/Persian Middle East it’s worse than in China. They bathe in it and then they sweat and seem to wash less and it becomes a sweet stench that is overpowering.

          • It’s not as though we are any better over here, really. Look at all the idiots with their pants falling off, like some kind of cross between a a brain-injured person and one of those purple-assed baboons. Saw a dad(?) dropping his kid off one morning at a Catholic elementary school from his Mercedes sedan, looked perfectly business-presentable from the waist up, sport coat and all, then dark sweatpants pulled down so is briefs-clad ass stuck out.

            Nowadays, the madness is just too much, sometimes.

            -Kle.

          • Kle: Maybe dad was modeling himself after our stalwart Defenders of Democracy in the news biz, and prepared for a work-Zoom call a la Jeffery Toobin. MUCH easier in sweats rather than proper trousers.

    • I wonder if they’d be up for a trade.

      Captain needs more ammo. There used to be a skool of thought that you take out the RTO first and then the orificer because the other way around, if the RTO’s on the ball he’ll be down and out of sight and calling for a fire mission. And I’m not so sure that’s an American radio operator behind the captain; the eyes and cheekbones look Vietnamese to me. Main thing the picture reminds me of is, I should have taken more pictures.

        • Yes, two RTO’s. I really wasn’t much thinking about an ARVN RTO calling for fire, but I see your point. Now, as to where the shots might land, Louis L’Amour once said that every bullet has a target. Sound familiar?

          • If you wanted to communicate with another ARVN unit, and this captain did, he’d need an ARVN RTO, particularly at this early stage of the war.

  2. That POW guy looks exactly like what you would expect a Russian officer would…doubtful he’s showing up on The Bachelor anytime soon.

    Let’s not give the Greenie Fools any ideas…AOC will believe that’ll actually work and Camulah won’t know which end to put where.

    The JR is a good touch, although I wouldn’t want to be the Navy guy on the left, being a foot and half taller than your mates might not work in your favor.

    Funny, I never though about my “whiteness”, I was just…me (and we had a few black guys in high school, never treated different than anyone else). Yet the Left shouts the loudest at “our differences” instead of our commonality; labeling everything to divide instead of unify. They are a tiny minority with big mouths. Was up in Lander (WY), tooled around as I hadn’t been in town since my NOLS days back in the early 80’s except to pass through. We like to stop at the Wyoming Trading Post in Fort Washakie (a must), a native American run business that is amazing. Then went up the road to Sacajawea’s grave marker. All of us in the group (ranchers, a retired sheriff, us) had nothing but respect for those who came before…and only a tiny bit of a sense that I was a white guy (with a farmers tan) when having a meal at The Oxbow. No one cared because dollars, politeness, and respect spend the same across most cultures. Christ requires that of us.

    • I liked Cody better than Lander but I’ve been told by a paramedic I know who works for the Fire Dept. there that the place has CHANGED a lot since I was last there – 20 years ago. But what hasn’t changed. Lander gentrifying? Strange. What about Thermopolis?

      From my perspective, a lot of the racial division we now see came from the Half-Blood Prince and his two terms in the White House. I’ve worked and have great friends who are of all races and I don’t see the big thing. Then again, I’m white, so based on the current rants, I wouldn’t see the big thing.

      • As my dad would say, “If you look for trouble, you will find it.” The Left always looks for trouble. They are bored with their sorry lives so feel the need to start something. Brandon is he guy opening the doors for them, which is why we feel lousy about America, the fools are running a dumpster fire instead of nice cookout.

        You get a “feel” for a place when you stop and step out. Lander hasn’t changed a lot, fewer “feuds” between the locals and the Casino up the road is always busy (and very nice). Money can smooth things out a bit. The older neighborhoods have been renovated, really nice homes and quiet. Cody, like many of these out of the way towns off a main highway, has changed a lot because of the influx…used to be mostly ranchers, now they want a Starbucks and a Bistro. You move to a place and ingratiate yourself to it, not change it. Most people don’t understand that, simply can’t help themselves. Funny tho, the emcee at Monday’s steak fry in City Park asked all the veterinarian’s in attendance if they drove their EV trucks. Huge laugh and a lot of “pointed” comments. Our people.

        THERM-Opolis…not bad, as expected. Hot springs of course. Moons ago MrsPaulM vet-ed their 100 mile trail ride from Hole-in-the-Wall back to town, hot dry country unless you were in the bottom land back inside the hills 20 miles. But again, same sort of out of the way place, fun to visit and a good burger/ice cream place as you come into town.

        • Jackson is unrecognizable – almost completely except they still have the antler arch, or did the last time I was there. I went into one of the trendier shops just because and saw a ranch shirt (a nice silk one) going for $500. Or maybe that’s just what ranchers in Wyoming wear these days? Silk…OMG. Anyway, different times from the Jackson that I knew as a young man. It’s always been a tourist trap, but it’s Rodeo Drive (the Beverly Hills one) now.

          • I suppose the only reason a rancher would need a silk shirt is for making black powder patches, otherwise it’s for those who think this is what ranchers wear. Maybe they don’t watch the show, which uses Schaefer and Carhartt. Practical wear.

            Arches are still there, and well selfie’d. Now the Yellowstone south loop is back open so people can ogle the roaring rivers for selfies or get too close to a ticked off bison trying to take a nap…for yet another selfie. I think they should outlaw selfies, caused more deaths from stupidity than guns.

          • Same thing happened with Gatlinburg, TN. Went through there when it was a nice little place, not overly touristy back in the late 70’s. Went back maybe 10 years later and, gag a maggot, it went touristy bad. Went back in the mid 2000’s and, yeah, never again.

            Saw the same thing beginning to happen to Townend, TN in the late 2000’s.

            “Progress.” Bleh.

  3. Intel. Interesting. I wonder to what degree the Ukrainians are able to take advantage of the info.

    Young sailors. Lad on the left sure reminds me of one of my oldest son’s high school buddies.

    Captain Robert Bacon. Yeah, the bright brass caught my eye too. Embarrassed to admit I made the same mistake in the late 90’s on maneuvers with the reserves in California. I was a mustang officer so knew better. At the time, we wore bright brass on our BDU hats, and I had another hat with subdued rank for the field, I just forgot to swap them. I was told later that shiny silver bar sure picked up the afternoon sun.

    IIRC, early in Vietnam Army uniforms still had gold lettered name tapes. Troops quickly learned to wear them inside out when in the field.

    • When I went in back in ’68 the white name tags and the black and gold US Army tags were things of the past being replaced by OD with black lettering. Rank, however was still quite visible enlisted having bright yellow insignia sewed onto the sleeves. I did start seeing subdued insignia later that year primarily on Vietnam returnees.

      • It’s not the Ukrainians who will be doing the bulk of the interrogating once Ivan is taken back from the front. The US/Brits and maybe even Israelis will have a go at them. I have done my share of that sort of work in my time. It’s professionally managed. The US types can only go so far, but the Israelis can go all the way and if they have anything left, you feed them to the Turks.

        Turkish prisoners almost always lack fingernails.

  4. that vietnam pic could be used in a basic training class on what not to do. damn near everything is wrong. makes me wonder how they survived long enough to learn from it….i read the ukr casualties are finally being admitted by the brits, or at least 60k of them are. big deal was made about a mall getting bombed. like omg civilians get killed in war, who knew? i’d like to see the counter battery scope on that one. ten bucks says it came from the ukr side….watched a woman purger herself all afternoon at the j6 showtrial making up stuff as she went along. the media and dems gobbled it up like the pigslop that it was, even on fox. brett beyer is still trying to spin it as truth. idiot. she fired her own lawyer when he refused to put her on the stand knowing she was going to lie. these folks have no shame, and “their hypocrisy knows no bounds.”

    • It was all hearsay anyway, so inadmissible in a real trial…but as you say, this isn’t a trial, it – like everything the Dem’s do – is a charade, push marketing and projection. Listen closely and you will find out their delusional agenda to upset November in order to maintain power, led by The Cretinous Nan.

      • The Adidas “Track Suit” top works most everywhere! You’ll “blend in” (more or less) whilst wearing jeans in Northern Ireland, Iraq or Eastern Europe. It’s been a “must have” for all my international travel!

        Bob

        • You and a lot of people, this is scripted and so unconstitutionally beyond the pale it makes me froth to the pint of wishing these people dead…then God can deal with them.

          • And what part of this ‘administration’ has been constitutional? If it’s illegal and unconstitutional from the beginning…

            Then again, the Dems (and RINOS) have been unconstitutional since 1994.

          • Good point. If you don’t like the results, look at the beginning; the greatest coup in our history, and not a shot fired. And those on our side of the aisle entrusted to protect this half of the place folded like the thinnest tin foil shells they are…because they’re not on our side.

            Inflection point may be reached by November. But…MONKEYPOX! PANIC!

    • How’s Christine Beasley Ford doing nowadays? Her acolyte on display yesterday probably has a career ahead of her at CNN+.

  5. M-2. I enjoyed shooting one but wonder just how useful it was in a firefight. Same with a 1911. As much as I disliked the early issue M-14 I carried, it did put a big round downrange. Of course, there is another M-2 that will still be in use when it turns 100.

    • The new M-14s are much lighter and are more user-friendly. I prefer the M-14 to the M-16. I have at least one M-1 Carbine, inherited from my father. It’s a pistol round for all intents and purposes – moving a little faster than 38 Special because of the longer cartridge (more powder) and the longer barrel than a 38 Spc. I like to shoot it but other combat options are preferable.

      • Early M-14s. As I understand it, two companies made them. One tried to rework existing M-1 production machinery. The other company invested in all new machinery and turned out a superior product. My luck to get one of the former.

        Mid 1960’s one winter we were on a field exercise in Bavaria. My job at the time was returning to our barracks each day driving a M-37 as the company courier. Long trip and late one night stopped at a rest stop cafe while wearing full battle rattle. Two nearby Germans were eyeballing my M-14 so I let them handle it. Obvious veterans, they soon had it apart. One just looked at me and shook his head with a frown on his face.

          • It was a humbling experience being around them and a reminder of just how tough our troops had to be in defeating them. Artillery and air power helped.

          • Logistics wins wars. And air supremacy helps because it destroys marshaling yards, supply dumps, rail access, and fighters pick off what the bombers miss.

            In many cases the Germans fought the Russians at 10:1 odds. It’s tough to win under those conditions.

            The Germans were never a fully mechanized army. If they had been, the conflict would have been worse. The Russians manufactured East of the Urals but there wasn’t that sort of advantage for the Germans. It could and was bombed continuously.

        • Ouch, an M-37 as a courier vehicle? Long ride, indeed. Did it at least have the 4.88 rear end instead of the 5.88, so you could go 45mph instead of 35?

          At least you wouldn’t get stuck, I suppose.

          -Kle.

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