Some Chicago Boyz know each other from student days at the University of Chicago. Others are Chicago boys in spirit. The blog name is also intended as a good-humored gesture of admiration for distinguished Chicago School economists and fellow travelers.
Since 2010 Chicagoboyz has been commemorating the anniversaries every August or September, the two atomic bombings, the acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration by Imperial Japan and the official Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay. This year’s commemoration focuses on September 2, 1945, when General Douglas MacArthur as “Supreme Commander Allied Powers” or “SCAP” officiated the Tokyo Bay surrender ceremony with Imperial Japan that ended World War 2.
There are several films of this event. There was the official one MacArthur’s Signal Corps camera crew recorded. There is a film from war correspondent William Courtenay that became a newsreel and there was a color film taken by Commander George F. Kosco of the US Navy.
The most complete version of the ceremony I’ve found was the Newsreel restored by Critical Past in black and white immediately below. It is more historically relevant for me as it includes visuals of all the Allied national military & Imperial Japanese signers of the document of surrender. It runs almost nine minutes.
The National Archives has a less restored version of the same newsreel.
The Naval History & Heritage Command has the color film taken by Commander George F. Kosco of the US Navy of the surrender ceremony.
This past December 16th 2022 marked the 78th anniversary of the German Unternehmen Wacht am Rhein (“Operation Watch on the Rhine“) offensive in the Ardennes area of Europe, otherwise known popularly as “The Battle of the Bulge.” The “official narrative” for this battle is that it was an “intelligence surprise” where “Ultra’ code breaking signals intelligence missed because Hitler kept all of the important communications on untappable telephone/telegraph land lines or special couriers. The sole exception being General Patton’s 3rd Army G-2 intelligence officer Colonel (later Brigadier General) Oscar Koch who didn’t rely upon ULTRA and put together the complete picture through a process now known as “All Source Analysis“. Which built an intelligence picture for every intelligence discipline. signals, human, photographic, geographic, combat reports plus dogged order of battle cross filing that sorted every bit of information to plot existence, location and status of enemy ground and air units. A week before the German attack, December 9th 1944, Colonel Koch briefed General Patton’s full 3rd Army staff as to German capabilities and most dangerous probable intentions of those capabilities. Based upon this briefing, Patton ordered his 3rd Army staff to put together a series of counter attack options that were immortalized in a scene from the 1970 movie PATTON.
Like a lot of narratives of World War 2, it uses a couple of nuggets of truth with the German ULTRA security black out and Colonel Koch’s brief to Patton to hide and conceal more than inform. It turns out that a lot more people on the allied side than Colonel Koch foresaw the impending German offensive. And that the failure to act on these multiple sources of accurate intelligence was a Command Failureby the “Ultra Cliques” of allied officers at Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces (SHAEF), United States Strategic Air Force (USSTAF), the American 12th Army Group, and American 1st Army.
This command failure came less from a German security induced blindness of ULTRA than from a months long manipulation of Ultra intelligence data stream by senior officials in the British government — located in the Ministry of Economic Warfare, the “Oil Lobby” through out the Air Ministry and Whitehall ‘Committee Bureaucracy’ as well as the Directorate of Bombing Operations in the Air Ministry — intent on making German oil supplies the top strategic target set over German transportation targets in the Combined Bomber Offensive. Their motives here were not only to collapse the German economy as a “War Termination Strategy,” but more importantly, make sure Air Powerwas seen as responsible for the German collapse after the Russian capture of the Romanian Ploesti oil fields in August 1944. (If you are seeing some post-war institutional motivations here…you are correct.)
These manipulations were discovered in February 1945 by SHAEF when the after action forensic analysis by Royal Air Force Deputy Chief of Air Staff (DCAS) Air Marshall Bottomley found the Combined Strategic Targets Committee (CSTC) was systematically removing messages relating to the distress of the German Railroad, and collapse of the German economy resulting from the railway problems, starting in the fall of 1944.
Welcome to the third installment of the Russian invasion of Ukraine series. Since Napoleon stated that the moral is to the physical what ten is to one. After the situation map (below) we are going to start the post with a look at the moral dimensions of the current fighting. Follow it with my impressions of the current fighting. Then close with a counterfactual of the Ukraine-Russian fighting based on the works of Trevor Dupuy.
I have posted on twitter about the Russian Army columns North of Kyiv decaying into immobile blobs due to the Rasputitsa, poorly maintained Chinese truck tires and shear “follow the plan” Russian incompetence.
The head and first dozen or so kilometers of the southernmost column north of Kiev have been stuck there for EIGHT DAYS. The Russians have since rammed more and more vehicles into this monster traffic jam (idiotically “following the plan” Soviet-style) so the whole thing is now 65-70 kilometers long (almost 40 miles).
And, because the trucks can’t go off-road due to the Rasputitsa mud and tire problems, they’re stuck on the roads and the roads’ shoulders three vehicles wide for the whole @40 miles. That means fuel and resupply trucks can’t move on or off road to deliver anything to anybody.
So all the columns’ heads are now out of fuel and battery power. They can’t move north, south or sideways, and everything behind them is stuck because of the mud, and rapidly running out of fuel and vehicle battery charge too (assuming they haven’t already). Nor can any of those columns defend themselves because they’re too densely packed. They’re just targets waiting for the Ukrainians to destroy them.
Only the Ukrainians had something better to do. They opened the floodgates of reservoirs around those columns to flood them and turn the surrounding areas into impassable quagmires for months – probably until July or August. (See photo below) Probably several thousand Russian vehicles in those columns will be irrecoverable losses. Hundreds of Russian soldiers might have drowned.
This was not just a debacle, but an EPIC one. About 1/5th of the Russian force in Ukraine is now flooded or trapped, and are definitely out of the war for good.
Now to the moral dimension. The 1242 Battle of the Neva, where the Teutonic Knights fought Alexander Nevsky, is one of the founding myths of Russia.
The Battle on the Ice, 1242 – Teutonic Knights vs. Alexander Nevsky
President Zelensky’s drowning of Putin’s minions in the Battle of the Kyiv reservoir may be as central to modern Ukraine’s founding national identity going forward, for similar reasons, possibly with Zelensky as modern Ukraine’s Alexander Nevsky.
Reddit and other Meme generating sites are going to have a glorious time redoing Stalin’s Alexander Nevsky movie by putting Zelensky’s face on the actor playing Nevsky.
The last five days have seen the Russian Army pushing into Ukraine from the North, South and East with multiple failed helicopter & parachute drops around the cities of Kyiv and Odessa in the Southwest, plus three amphibious operations in the South that has left Mariupol all but surrounded.
The Russian Army started with only 3-4 Russian division-equivalents (roughly the size of the Israeli forces in Sinai in the 1967 Arab-Israel War) entering Ukraine, which is about the size of Texas with twice Texas’ population. The Russians sent these units in five separate columns into Ukraine with the truck park sufficient to support three columns, a shortage of fuel trucks and very poor radio communications.
3-4 division equivalents are insufficient to even attempt to occupy the Ukraine unless the Ukrainian people themselves give up, and they haven’t. The opposite in fact as there are about 150 battalion sized Ukrainian territorial militia being handed out weapons in addition to active & reserve Ukrainian ground forces.
The next three maps give a useful overview of the military events to date.