Saturday, October 31, 2009


Actual quotes from a Conference Call I participated in yesterday morning:

"The Corporate Death Star has gone into Geosynchronous Orbit over the site . . . . . . meanwhile they had a moment of Quiet Lucidity . . . "

"Uh, that's 'Silent', Chief - 'Silent Lucidity'."

"Oh, quite right. 'Silent Lucidity' . . .

QueensRyche - Silent Lucidity

"What I want you guys to do is go down there and corner the thing that's been lurking around that site . . . catch it, whatever it is, then hold it down and drive a stake through its heart and KILL IT . . .

"Now that I think about it this thing has a nasty history of resurrecting itself. I'm afraid a stake through the heart won't do the trick - You're going to have to use something more . . .

"Silver bullets. That's right, silver bullets. I want you guys to drive a stake through its heart and then fire silver bullets into its brain at point blank range. Make sure you bring along whatever it takes to kill zombies. Shotgun to the face, or whatever . . .

". . . the place is infested with zombies. Thousands of zombies . . .

"Zombies and werewolves and vampires and even more zombies, all over the place . . ."

Real conference call . . . and Halloween had nothing to do with it - the bossman talks that way even on a NORMAL day . . . I'm lyin' I'm dyin' . . . S.L.

"Happy Halloween Ladies!"


We love them . . . but we sure have a funny way of showing it sometimes . . .

That just ain't RIGHT ! ! !

That ain't no way to treat a Jack Russell ! ! !

This reminds me of the Case of Bananas pub on St. Kilda Road, in Melbourne.

Ha! Ha! Ha! He's got the Cat locked up ! ! ! Score one for the Dogs ! ! !

Look at this poor rascal - he's scarred for life!

How do you get a pair of Jacks to stand still long enough to get them into the costumes, never mind pose for a shot like this?


In the personal spiritualism of STORMBRINGER - which is a cross between Vikingism, Ancient Greek Philosophy and Roman Stoicism, Thai Buddhism, the spirituality of the Native Americans, and Judeo-Christianity - Halloween ranks amongst the Highest of All High Holy Days . . . to celebrate this Auspicious Occasion STORMBRINGER will be posting throughout the day . . .

The Crib of Stormbringer, it all it's Holiday Finery.

Believe it or not it started out as a Viking Long Boat . . .

. . . keep coming back throughout the day for SITREPs and updates ! ! !

Friday, October 30, 2009


When is a photo-op not a photo-op? When the press is only informed "on condition of secrecy"

"The White House kept Mr. Obama's plans off his schedule, informing a small group of traveling reporters in advance on condition of secrecy."

"Mr. Obama was expected to observe a somber moment on the tarmac of the base without public comment." I don't think we've heard the last of this, however . . .

Make no mistake about it, Barack Obama is a shrewd political operator; every move he makes is calculated for the maximum political effect.

These past couple of weeks have seen the media on a renewed full-court-press to relive the heady days of 1968 - remember a little thing called the Tet Offensive? That's when we met the Viet Cong and the NVA on the battlefield and wiped the floor with them. 45,000 dead Communists later, Walter Cronkite announced to the world that America was losing the war. This maneuver is known as "Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory".

The truth is, we won Vietnam. We won it in 1968 right after Tet. Then we won it again a year later. Then we won it again during the Christmas bombings. The trouble is, we never consolidated our victories with an invasion of the North. We won and we won and we won until we got tired of winning, and then we packed up our bat and ball and went home. Millions of Viets died in the ensuing Communist bloodbath.

STORMBRINGER TRUISM: When you are in a war, the stupidest thing to do is anything but whatever it takes to win it.

True to script the media is at it again: this week I enjoyed the privilege of watching the sublime philosopher Chris Matthews in a discussion with America's greatest military thinker, the brilliant dopesmoker Woody Harrelson.

Woody Harrelson: "I think we should get out of Afghanistan."

Chris Matthews: "Yes I agree with you, I think we should get out."

Woody: "In fact, I don't know why we're even there in the first place. I think we should get out."

Chris: "Yes, it's like Vietnam, after 1968 it was lost. I think we should get out of Afghanistan."

It was sickening to watch this pair of geniuses make the same pronouncements that cost us Vietnam, and cost the lives of millions of Vietnamese. The only thing Afghanistan has in common with Vietnam is that they are both low intensity conflicts.

Afghanistan is nothing like Vietnam: A) the Viets never sneak attacked New York City, causing 3000+ civilian casualties and B) US / Australian / South Korean / South Vietnamese casualties were 4,954 killed; 15,917 wounded; 926 missing in January-February 1968 alone - we've had about that in eight years in Afghanistan.

And so we see the same old equation: ANY number of US casualties is unacceptable to the left. The writing is on the wall - the press is getting into body count math = game over for USA, we're throwing in the towel. No consideration for what this will mean to the people we leave behind, of course.

Right now my buddies in the Stan are reporting to me that the Taliban shot their wad during their Spring Offensive, that they are spent and done for; I am told that we are shooting them like fish in a barrel and that the raghead bodies are stacking up like cordwood. We don't hear a thing about that in the press. Instead, we have a photo op showing The One using dead American servicemen as props.

This is absolutely disgraceful. I predict B.O. will twist this solemn occasion for sober reflection as justification deny General McChrystal's request for more forces.

Then he will go play some more golf.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


If it's stupid but it works, it isn't stupid.

"People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war or before an
election." - Otto Von Bismarck

When the pin is pulled, Mr. Grenade is not your friend.


"Life is hard - it's harder if you're stupid!"

Famous Last Words:

Sure I can navigate! See my Ranger Tab?

By the looks of this training schedule, we're going to be pretty busy so you might as well leave your party money and civvies at home!

You don't need to pack your sleeping bag! A poncho liner and field jacket will do it!


1. Enthusiasm

2. Disillusionment

3. Panic

4. Search for the Guilty

5. Punishment of the Innocent

6. Praise and Honors for the Non-Participants

Monday, October 26, 2009


On this day, 25 October 1415, King Henry V of England, and his tiny army of nobles, men-at-arms and English and Welsh longbowmen, left the Flower of French Chivalry laying face down in a muddy field in Northern France, near the village of Agincourt.

At Agincourt Henry Monmouth - King Henry V, England's greatest warrior monarch - deployed his troops against a larger French army on a muddy field near Agincourt, in northern France. Henry personally led his troops into battle and actually participated in hand-to-hand combat. The French were commanded by Constable Charles d'Albret and various prominent French noblemen of the Armagnac party.

This famous battle is notable for the use of the English longbow, which Henry used in very large numbers, with English and Welsh longbowmen forming the vast majority of his army. The Battle of Agincourt has been celebrated in literature, song and film ever since; it is quite possibly the most significant English victory in that tiny island country's glorious history.

Henry V
King of England, Prince Regent of France; Lord of Ireland, Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Lancaster

Prelude to Combat

Henry's army had landed in northern France on 13 August 1415 and besieged the port of Harfleur with an army of about 12,000. The siege took longer than expected - the town did not capitulate until 22 September, and the English army did not leave until 8 October, by which the English had suffered many casualties through disease.

The campaign season coming to an end, Henry decided to move most of his army (roughly 7,000) to the port of Calais, the English stronghold in northern France, where they could re-equip over the winter.

During the siege, the French had raised an army which assembled around Rouen. This was not a feudal 'serf' army, but rather an army of paid professionals very similar to the English. The French hoped to raise 9,000 troops, but the army was not ready in time to relieve Harfleur. When Henry V marched to the north, the French moved to blockade them along the River Somme. They were successful for a time, forcing Henry to move south, away from Calais, to find a ford.

The English finally crossed the Somme south of Péronne, at Béthencourt and Voyennes and resumed marching north. Without the river protection, the French were hesitant to force a battle. They shadowed Henry's army while calling a semonce des nobles, calling on local nobles to join the army. By October 24 both armies faced each other for battle, but the French declined, hoping for the arrival of more troops.

The next day the French initiated negotiations as a delaying tactic, but Henry ordered his army to advance and to start a battle that, given the state of his army, he would have preferred to avoid. The English had very little food, had marched 260 miles in two-and-a-half weeks, were suffering from sickness such as dysentery, and faced much larger numbers of well-equipped French men-at-arms.

However Henry understood that his longbowmen greatly outclassed the French crossbowmen and he needed to get to the safety of Calais. He knew that if he waited, the French would get more reinforcements.



The lack of reliable and consistent sources makes it very difficult to estimate accurately the numbers on both sides. Modern estimates have the French forces at Agincourt numbering between 12,000-15,000, the English at approximately 9,000.

It is estimated that the French army consisted of about 2,250 crossbowmen, and 11,250 heavily-armored, dismounted knights who were "immobile and poorly equipped for the muddy terrain".

English effectiveness and readiness was questionable as a result of their prior 20-day march across 250 miles of hostile territory under constant harassment. They were suffering from dysentery and exhaustion. However, the English and Welsh longbowmen (approximately 6,000) were extremely adept at firing deadly volleys over long distances, and were believed to have outclassed the 1,000 French crossbowmen they faced.

Both sides were hampered by inclement weather, which contributed to the muddy terrain which provided a decisive advantage for the nimble and lightly-armed English versus the heavily-armored and immobile French.

The battle was fought in the narrow strip of open land formed between the woods of Tramecourt and Agincourt (close to the modern village of Azincourt). The French army was positioned by d'Albret at the northern exit so as to bar the way to Calais. The night of 24-25 October was spent by the two armies on open ground.

Early on the 25th, Henry deployed his army (approximately 3000 men-at-arms and 6,000 longbowmen) across a 750-yard part of the defile. It is likely that the English adopted their usual battle line of longbowmen on either flank, men-at-arms and knights in the center, and at the very center roughly 200 archers. The English men-at-arms in plate and mail armor were placed shoulder-to-shoulder four deep. The English and Welsh archers on the flanks drove pointed wooden stakes into the ground at an angle to force cavalry to veer off.

The English may have feared that they would not escape alive. One English account describes the day before the battle as a day of remorse in which all soldiers cleansed themselves of their sins to avoid Hell.

By contrast, the French were confident that they would prevail and were eager to fight. The French believed they would triumph over the English not only because their force was somewhat larger, fresher and better equipped, but also because the large number of noble men-at-arms would have considered themselves superior to the large number of commoners (such as the longbowmen) in the English army. The English army contained approximately 2,000 men-at-arms.

Provided they could close with the English army, the French may have been confident that their somewhat larger number of heavily armored troops would prevail in hand-to-hand fighting, were it not for the deep mud into which they were marching. Many French troops had fathers and grandfathers who had been humiliated in previous battles such as Crécy and Poitiers, and the French nobility were determined to get revenge. Several French accounts emphasize that the French leaders were so eager to defeat the English that they insisted on being in the first line; "All the lords wanted to be in the vanguard, against the opinion of the constable and the experienced knights".

The French were arrayed in three lines called "battles". Although modern research suggests the following accounts of the size of the French army are greatly exaggerated, Chronicler Jehan de Waurin says there were 8,000 men-at-arms, 4,000 archers and 1,500 crossbowmen in the vanguard, with two wings of 600 and 800 mounted men-at-arms, and the main battle having "as many knights, esquires and archers as in the vanguard", with the rearguard containing "all of the rest of the men-at-arms".

The French appear to have had thousands of troops in the rearguard, containing commoners who the French were either unable or unwilling to deploy. Many French archers and crossbowmen were unable to deploy as the site was so narrow that there was only enough room for the men-at-arms. A historian known as the Monk of Saint-Denis wrote: "Four thousand of their best crossbowmen who ought to have marched in the front and begun the attack were found to not be at their post and it seems that they had been given permission to depart by the lords of the army on the pretext that they had no need of their help."

The rearguard played little or no part in the battle; English and French accounts agree that many of the French army fled after seeing so many French nobles killed and captured in the fighting.

French accounts state that prior to battle, Henry V gave a speech reassuring his nobles that if the French prevailed, the English nobles would be spared, to be captured and ransomed; however, the common soldiers would have no such luck, and he told them that they had better fight for their lives.

Shakespeare gives us a better account; the great St. Crispin's Day Speech, given by King Henry V on the morning of battle:

This day is call'd the feast of Crispian.

He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,

Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,

And rouse him at the name of Crispian.

He that shall live this day, and see old age,

Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,

And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian.'

Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,

And say 'These wounds I had on Crispian's day.'

Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,

But he'll remember, with advantages,

What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,

Familiar in his mouth as household words-

Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,

Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-

Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.

This story shall the good man teach his son;

And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,

From this day to the ending of the world,

But we in it shall be remembered-

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;

For he to-day that sheds his blood with me

Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,

This day shall gentle his condition;

And gentlemen in England now-a-bed

Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,

And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks

That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

The French suffered a catastrophic defeat at Agincourt, not just in terms of the sheer numbers killed, but also because of the number of high-ranking nobles lost. After several years more campaigning, Henry was able to fulfill all his objectives and was ultimately recognized by the French in the Treaty of Troyes (1420) as Regent and heir to the French throne; this was cemented by his marriage to Catherine of Valois, the daughter of King Charles VI.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


STORMBRINGER presents the story of Jim Thompson, Thailand's most famous farang and one of America's many unknown Secret Warriors.

From The Secret Agent by Francine Matthews, CIA (retired):

"I called my contact on the CIA's Publications Review Board a few months before I left for Thailand. As a former employee, I'm required to vet my manuscripts with the Agency, to ensure I don't publish anything classified. When I once casually referred to this process as censorship, my contact chided me gently. He had, after all, required me to delete only one word from my previous spy novel, The Cutout.

"I'm writing about Jim Thompson," I told him. "Is that likely to set off alarms?"

I was curious how the Agency would react. In some circles there is a firm belief that Thompson was killed by the CIA, for dark and inexplicable reasons embedded in espionage's culture of betrayal. Jim Thompson: the man who knew too much. Would they ask me to give the topic a wide berth? Would they slap some sort of legal injunction on me?

"Cool," my contact replied. "Let me know when you find out who killed him."

Click HERE for the rest of Mathew's fascinating story.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Jim Thompson was recruited by Brigadier General William Joseph Donovan and served during World War II as a commissioned US Army officer in the Office of Strategic Services (the OSS was disbanded in 1947 then later re-established as the Central Intelligence Agency and US Army Special Forces). A fluent French speaker, Thompson participated in missions behind enemy lines in German-occupied France.

After the surrender of Nazi Germany in May of 1945, Thompson was transferred to Ceylon. He was about to be deployed in Thailand when Japan's surrender in September 1945 officially ended World War II. Thompson arrived in Thailand several weeks after Victory in Japan Day to take charge of the Bangkok office of the OSS.

Thompson left the US Army in 1946 and returned home to New York, with intent to bring his wife back to Thailand. She did not agree to this and divorced him. Thompson returned to Bangkok and embarking on a renovation of the Oriental Hotel with a number of partners. From here he worked with a number of Thai investors to found the Thai Silk Company in 1947.

Although he officially abandoned intelligence activities, many have suspected he was still a non-official cover. During the Vietnam War, his closest friend, General Edwin Black, was in charge of United States Air Force operations Special Operations activities over Laos and Thailand.

Returning to private enterprise, Thompson devoted himself to revitalizing a cottage industry of hand-woven silk, which had for centuries been a household craft in Thailand but was dying out. Thompson located a group of Muslim (Cham) weavers in the Bangkok neighborhood of Bankrua and provided hitherto unavailable color-fast dyes, standardized looms, and technical assistance to those interested in weaving on a piece-work basis.

Jim Thompson invented the bright jewel tones and dramatic color combinations nowadays associated with Thai silk. His endeavour showed a profit from its first year of operation, raising thousands of Thais out of poverty. Thompson made millionaires out of his core group of weavers by giving them shares of the Thai Silk Company. Thompson's determination to keep his company cottage-based was significant for the women who made up the bulk of his work force. By allowing them to work at home, choosing their hours and looking after their children while weaving, they retained their position in the household while becoming breadwinners.

It was only after Thompson's disappearance that the Thai Silk Company relocated its weaving operations to Khorat, a city co-located to a major Royal Thai Army base. Although the Company abandoned home-based weaving in favor of factories in the early 1970s, the Thai Silk Company's Khorat facility looked more like a beautifully landscaped college campus than a factory.

As Thompson was building his company, he also became a major collector of Southeast Asian art, which at the time was not well-known internationally. He built a superb collection of Buddhist and secular art not only from Thailand but from Burma, Cambodia and Laos, frequently traveling to those countries on buying trips.

In 1958 he began what was to be the pinnacle of his architectural achievement, a new home to showcase his art collection. Formed from parts of six antique Thai houses, his home (completed in 1959) sits on a klong (canal) across from Bangkrua, where his weavers were then located. Most of the 19th century houses were dismantled and moved from Ayutthaya, but the largest - a weaver's house (now the living room) - came from Bangkrua.

The Jim Thompson House, now a museum, is the second most popular tourist attraction in Bangkok, surpassed only by the Grand Palace in visitor attendance.

In 1967 Jim Thompson disappeared under extremely mysterious circumstances in the Cameron Highlands region of Malaysia.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

This posting is a continuation of a theme I am developing - events in Mainland Asia at the end of World War II, and the direct connections of that great conflict to the wars in Korea and Vietnam.

Several readers were distressed that I chose to present yesterdays' post about Japanese soldier and notorious war criminal Tsuji Masanobu. It was not my intent to honor or pay tribute this monster, but rather to explore Tsuji's possible participation in the Vietnam conflict.

I wish to report on the presence of hundreds of thousands of Japanese soldiers in Vietnam and China at the end of World War II, their re-arming by Allied occupiers in order to maintain order and fight Communist forces in those countries, and their subsequent participation as combatants and advisors in Viet Minh (Communist) units against the French.

There is tons of material about this out there on the web - I first learned of these activities first hand from a retired Marine who participated in actions against the Communist Chinese in the late 40's. Imagery is more difficult to come across - I'd like to request to any readers who can share links to pictures or photos of the post-World War era in China and Vietnam, so I can develop some postings on this little known era of relatively recent world history.

Sean Linnane

Saturday, October 24, 2009


For some warriors, the shooting never stops . . .

Tsuji Masanobu: Modern-day Samurai, Member of Parliament, War Criminal.

I first heard of this Japanese warrior at a party many years ago, at a friend's house in Washington DC. Notorious in his native Japan, if he did half of what he is reputed to have done, then his place is secured at the Viking Long Table in the Mead Hall of Valhalla. - S.L.

Tsuji Masanobu ( 辻 政信 ) was a professional soldier the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second World War. While never indicted, investigations revealed that he was involved in various war crimes throughout the Pacific Theater of Operations including the massacre of Chinese civilians in Singapore, executions of numerous surrendered prisoners of war during the Bataan Death March, and other war crimes in China.

Tsuji served as a staff officer in the Kwantung Army 1937-39. In this role, his aggressive and insubordinate attitude contributed to the Soviet-Japanese Border Wars, particularly the Changkufeng Incident/Battle of Lake Khasan and the Nomonhan Incident/Battle of Khalkhin Gol.

Japanese Imperial Army in Manchuria in the 1930s.

An extreme fanatic by even Imperial Army standards, Tsuji's conduct under fire earned him numerous decorations and he was wounded in action several times. Repeatedly transferred by generals exasperated by his insubordination; Tsuji once burned down a geisha house to highlight his disgust at the moral frailty of the officers inside it.

During the Pacific war he served mainly in Malaya, Burma, and Guadalcanal. His excesses were responsible for some of the worst Japanese blunders on Guadalcanal. He was directly responsible for brutalities to prisoners and civilians in every part of the Japanese empire in which he served. In northern Burma, he reportedly dined off the liver of a dead Allied pilot, castigating as cowards those who refused to share his meal: "The more we eat, the brighter will burn the fire of our hatred for the enemy."

Some time after Japan's surrender in 1945, Tsuji went into hiding in Thailand to avoid being brought up on war crimes charges. When it was clear he would not be tried, he returned to Japan and wrote of his years in hiding. His book Senko Sanzenri ( 潜行三千里, Lurking 3000 li) became a best seller, made him famous and led to his elections as a Member of the Diet - the Japanese Parliament.

At the age of 59, Tsuji traveled to Laos in Southeast Asia in 1961 and was never heard from again. Presumably a casualty of the Laotian Civil War, Tsuji Masanobu was declared dead on 20 July 1968.

NOTE TO READERS: I had some serious reservations about going forward with this post, as I do not wish to glorify an individual whom, by anybody's yardstick, is a bona fide war criminal. Having said that, I finally decided to post this material in order to develop up some background material to a larger story I will post this weekend. - S.L.

• Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette.
• Order of the Sacred Treasure, 3rd Class.
• Order of the Golden Kite, 4th Class and 5th Class.
• Decoration of Manchuria, 4th Class and 5th Class.
• Commemoration Medal of the Coronation of Emperor Showa.
• Commemoration Medal of the Census.
• Commemoration Medal of the Founding of Manchuria.
• Commemoration Medal of the 2,600th Year after the Accession of Emperor Jimmu.
• Campaign Medal of the Chinese Incident.
• Campaign Medal of the Manchurian Incident.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


From: J. Davis <>
Subject: Interview request from Fox 5
Date: Wednesday, October 21, 2009, 8:38 PM

Hi there. My name is Jennifer Davis and I'm a reporter with Fox 5 News in Washington, D.C.

We are doing a story tonight about Marine Sgt. David Budway, who you wrote about in your blog. He's being sentenced today for claiming to be an injured veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan and scamming his way into free events.

(Former) Marine David Budway. He dishonored the Corps.

We wondered if you are local - are you based in the DC area? If so, you seem to have a strong opinion about this guy. Would you want to talk about it on camera?

It's Wednesday, about 430 Eastern and I'm doing this story for 10 PM tonight. Please call me at our assignment desk if you want to talk - (XXX)-XXX-XXXX.


I answer all emails from readers, each and every one of them:

Hello Jennifer,

Sorry I'm so late in getting back to you - I just got off work, late. Thanks for the update on David Budwah - note I do not honor him with the title of "Marine" for he has dishonored the Corps, and I doubt he is still a sergeant.

Thank you also for your interest in my opinion - I am honored. Although I spend a lot of time in the DC area, I do not live there. My home is in North Carolina. I travel a lot in my work and at present time I am in the Midwest, for at least the next month or so.

Now I must be straight with you: I work in the security field and aspects of my work is sensitive in nature. Bottom line, my employers would not be excited to see me voicing my opinions on TV. Therefore, I must decline your offer for an interview. Anyhow, I don't know if I really want to be too closely associated with this story. There is no honor here.

Anyway Blog STORMBRINGER is not about publicity and it is not about a personal agenda; it satisfies a need I have for a creative outlet, and helps me explore the philosophy I am developing. There is legitimate reason I go by a pseudonym - there are people out there who know who I am, people I've served with, and that's good enough for me. The rest of you just have to have good faith, and enjoy STORMBRINGER as it develops.

Thanks again for your interest, and thank you for all the good work you do at the Fox network. You have a new fan.

Sean Linnane

P.S. My opinion about David Budwah - what do you think? He's a pathetic loser, and that's putting it mildly. He has virtually spit upon the graves of those who died for this country, and he has dishonored the tens of thousands of disabled veterans who suffer pain and disability for the rest of their lives. I don't know what's worse - all that, or the fact that he let down those kids. The whole thing is shameful, a disgrace. Thank you for publicizing this case, and I am glad I could do my bit. - S.L.

Here at STORMBRINGER we honor the Few, the Proud, the Marines. Semper Fi, guys. Keep doing what you do - God loves you, and you know why.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


. . . all the more remarkable because I don't BELIEVE in coincidences . . .

Monday night, driving down the Great American Highway in a brand new Dodge Charger, just passed a sign that tells me I'm on a remnant of the historic Route 66 somewhere northern Illinois, Elvis on the satellite radio singing Unchained Melody, when suddenly my phone rings. It's Kleck, the mad German bombmaker I haven't laid eyes on in about twenty years.

"What are you doing?"

"Me? I'm driving down the Great American Highway, Elvis is on the radio. What are YOU doing?"

"I've been an FBI agent for the past twelve years."

This is EXCELLENT news of course because now we can finally get to the bottom of these annoying rumors about where's the President's brain? "How the hell did you find me, Kleck?"

"Well, I was hanging out around the old hacienda wondering what our old friend Thane was up to, so I googled him up and up pops this wild STORMBRINGER site, and I read "retired Special Forces career NCO (1st SFG, 3d SFG, 10th SFG). I served with honor on five continents . . ." and then there's a story about the Legion, and I think, "This is wild and wierd and wonderful enough, this has GOT to be The Critter . . ."

I'm thinking he must also have seen that post about Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner, because we used to sing Warren Zevon songs while we were standing in formation, and of course we used to call our platoon The Legion because we had an international flavor and we all considered ourselves mercenaries in training.

". . . and your nom de plume . . ."

"uh, that's nom de GUERRE, buddy . . ."

"hmmm, yeah, that seems a little more apropos . . . "

"Yeah, nom de plume is for some kind of Count of Monte Crisco dude with a big white feather sticking out of his big floppy musketeer hat or something . . ."

"Yeah, when you think about it, nom de guerre makes more sense."

Then I started running into these annoying toll booths they have all over the Northland like some kind of national disease, and I had to abort the call.

Good talking to you again, buddy - glad we finally made link up. We'll talk again sometime soon. In the meantime, this post is dedicated to you my buddy Kleck.

Blue Skies . . . now I've got to break contact and get on to my paying job . . .

Monday, October 19, 2009


As promised - and I know I'm going to regret this . . .

"The song '122 Hours of Fear' - inspired by the hijacking saga of Lufthansa Flight 181 - was recorded by The Screamers in 1978. A lifetime membership to Team STORMBRINGER to anybody who can come up with a copy of that song - S.L."

"Be quiet or be killed!"
he said.
In front of you and in front of me.
He made the pilot get on his knees.
Made him crawl, made him whimper,
Made him cry out for his mother.

Wow! What a show!
122 Hours Of Fear.
Wow! What a show!
122 Hours Of Fear.
122 Hours Of Fear.

"You better shut up and listen!"
he said.
Danger, danger, danger, Mr. Schumann
We are in a hurry, Mr. Schumann
What are the odds, dear Jorgen?
Am I disturbing You?

Wow! What a show!
122 Hours Of Fear.
Wow! What a show!
122 Hours Of Fear.
122 Hours Of Fear.

STORMBRINGER presents The Screamers, 122 HOURS OF FEAR . . . from the tail end of the Decade of Bad Taste:

Special thanks to Team STORMBRINGER's newest Lifetime Members Mac, Tattoo Jim, TWRose and FLYNAVY.

I struggled with the decision to post the video - it is THAT bad - and it occurred to me that Western Civilization might actually benefit from a remake of this song, WITH guitars this time and WITHOUT the goofy post-punk New Wave suspenders & string-tie outfit. Just a thought - Sean Linnane

Sunday, October 18, 2009


On on the early hours of this day in 1977, members of the Grenshutzgruppe 9 (GSG-9) storm Lufthansa 737 jetliner Flight 181 Landshut in the Somali capital of Mogadishu and freed 86 hostages. Three of the hijackers were killed during the assault; the fourth, a woman, was wounded. The hijackers murdered the aircraft pilot Jürgen Schumann (age 37) three days prior.

At 11:00 am on Thursday October 13, 1977, Lufthansa Flight LH181 "Landshut", a Boeing 737, took off from Palma de Mallorca en route to Frankfurt with 86 passengers and 5 crew, piloted by Jürgen Schumann, with co-pilot Jürgen Vietor at the controls. About 30 minutes later as it passed over Marseilles, the aircraft was hijacked by four militants calling themselves "Commando Martyr Halime".

The terrorists were leader Zohair Youssif Akache (23), a Palestinian who adopted the alias "Captain Martyr Mahmud"; Suhaila Sayeh (22) a Palestinian; Wabil Harb (23) and Hind Alameh (22), both Lebanese. Akache (Mahmud) burst into the cockpit with a loaded pistol in his hand and ordered Vietor to join the passengers, leaving Schumann to take over the flight controls. Mahmud ordered Schumann to fly to Larnaca in Cyprus but was told that they had insufficient fuel and would have to first land in Rome, Italy.

The hijackers, acting in concert with the Red Army Faction group Siegfried Hausner Commando, who had kidnapped West German industrialist Hanns Martin Schleyer 5 weeks earlier, demanded the release of ten Red Army Faction (RAF) terrorists detained at the Stuttgart-Stammheim prison plus two Palestinian compatriots held in Turkey and US$15 million.

Lufthansa Flight 181 changed course and landed in Rome for refueling. After the aircraft was refuelled, Mahmud instructed Vietor (who had been allowed back into the cockpit on the ground) to take off for Larnaca at 5.45pm without even obtaining clearance from Rome air traffic control.

After landing in Larnaca, Cyprus, a local PLO representative arrived at the airport and tried to persuade Mahmud via radio communication to release the hostages. This provoked a furious response from Mahmud who started screaming at him over the intercom in Arabic until the PLO representative gave up and left. The aircraft was then refueled and Schumann asked flight control for a routing to Beirut. Being informed that Beirut airport was blocked and closed to them, Mahmud said they would go to Damascus instead. Flight 181 took off at 10:50 pm; after also being denied landing permission in Damascus, Baghdad and Kuwait they headed for Bahrain.

Schumann was told by a passing Qantas airliner that Bahrain airport was closed. He radioed flight control and told them they had insufficient fuel to go elsewhere and despite being told again that the airport was closed he was suddenly given an automatic landing frequency by the flight controller. They finally landed in Bahrain at 1:52 am the following morning. On arrival the aircraft was immediately surrounded by armed troops; Mahmud radioed the tower that unless they were withdrawn he would shoot the co-pilot. After a standoff with the tower, with Mahmud setting a 5 minute deadline and holding a pistol to Vietors head, the troops were subsequently withdrawn. The aircraft was then refuelled and they took off for Dubai.

Approaching Dubai they were once again refused landing permission. Overflying the airport in the early light of dawn they could see that the runway was blocked with trucks and fire engines. Running short of fuel Schumann told the tower that they would have to land anyway and as they made a low pass over the airport they saw that the obstacles were being removed. At 5:40 am Vietor was able to make a normal landing on the main runway.

In Dubai the terrorists asked the tower to supply water, food, medicine and newspapers, and to take away the garbage. Captain Jürgen Schumann was able to communicate the number of hijackers onboard via a note placed in the garbage. In an interview with journalists, this information was revealed by Dubai's Sheijk Mohammed, then Minister of Defense. The hijackers learned about this - possibly from the radio, causing Mahmud to threaten to kill Schumann. The aircraft remained on the ground at Dubai all through the day and night and the following morning. Mahmud threatened to start shooting hostages if the aircraft was not refueled, and the Dubai authorities finally agreed.

In the meantime both Hans-Jürgen Wischnewski, the German minister responsible for handling the hijacking, and Colonel Ulrich Wegener, commander of the elite German anti-terrorist squad GSG 9, arrived in Dubai to try to get the government to agree to let GSG 9 commandos into Dubai to storm the aircraft. This was refused, with Sheijk Mohammed stating that any military action would have to be undertaken by his troops. While Wegener was examining that option, the Landshut was being refueled and at 12:20 pm it took off, heading for Salalah, Oman, where landing permission was once again denied. A course to Aden, Yemen, at the limit of their fuel range, was established.

In Aden, Yemen they were denied landing permission and the two main runways were blocked by vehicles. The plane was running low on fuel so the pilot Vietor had no choice but to make an emergency landing on a sand strip almost parallel to both runways. The Aden authorities told the hijackers that they would have to leave but the two pilots were skeptical over the condition of the aircraft after an emergency landing on sandy ground. Mahmud consequently gave Schumann permission to leave the aircraft in order to check the condition of the landing gear following the rough landing, and the engines. However, Schumann did not immediately return to the plane after the inspection, even after numerous attempts to recall him or even a threat to blow up the aircraft on the ground. The reasons for his prolonged absence remain unclear and some reports suggest that Schumann asked the Yemeni authorities to prevent the continuation of the flight and to accede to the terrorists' demands.

After this Schumann voluntarily returned to the aircraft to face the wrath of Mahmud, who forced him to kneel on the floor in the passenger cabin and then shot him in the head without giving him a chance to explain himself.

The plane was refuelled at 2:00 a.m. on October 17 and, coaxed by co-pilot Jürgen Vietor, it slowly and laboriously took off from Aden on course for the Somali capital of Mogadishu.

At around 6:22 am local time, Lufthansa Flight 181 made an unannounced and perfect landing in Mogadishu, Somalia. The leader Mahmud (Akache) told Vietor that he had provided a super-human performance and that he was consequently free to leave the aircraft since they were not planning to fly elsewhere. However Vietor opted to remain with the onboard passengers and crew. Schumann's body was thrown on the tarmac and an ultimatum was set for the RAF prisoners to be released by 4:00 pm or the aircraft would be blown up. After pouring the duty free spirits over the hostages in preparation for the destruction of the aircraft, the hijackers were told that the German government had agreed to release the RAF prisoners but that their transfer to Mogadishu would take several more hours, so they agreed to extend the deadline to 2:30 am the next morning (October 18).

The Landshut at Mogadishu Airport, on October 18, 1977.

Meantime, while German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt attempted to negotiate an agreement with Somali President Siad Barre, special envoy Hans-Jürgen Wischnewski and GSG 9 commander Ulrich Wegener arrived at Mogadishu airport from Jeddah in a Lufthansa aircraft.

In Germany, a team of 30 GSG 9 commandos under their deputy commander Major Klaus Blatte, had assembled at Hangelaar awaiting instructions. There is some controversy over whether members of the British SAS were directly involved in the operation. The commandos had already taken off from Cologne-Bonn Airport on a Boeing 707 on Monday morning (October 17) planning to fly to nearby Djibouti while Schmidt negotiated with the Somalis. Finally, whilst still in the air over Ethiopia, agreement was reached and permission was given to land at Mogadishu. The Boeing 707 landed at 8:00 pm local time with all lights out to avoid detection by the hijackers.

After four hours to unload all of their equipment and to undertake the necessary reconnaissance, Wegener and Blatte finalised the assault plan, scheduled to start at 2:00 am local time. They decided to approach from the rear of the aircraft in its blind spot in six teams using black-painted aluminium ladders to gain access to the aircraft through the escape hatches under the fuselage and via the doors over the wings. In the meantime a fictitious progress report on the journey being taken by the released prisoners was being fed to Mahmud by the German representatives in the airport tower.

Just after 2:00 am Mahmud was told that the plane carrying the prisoners had just departed Cairo after refuelling and he was asked to provide the conditions of the prisoner/hostage exchange over the radio.

At 2:07 am local time, GSG 9 commandos blew open the emergency doors, Wegener, at the head of one group, opened the forward door, and two other groups, led by Sergeant-Major Dieter Fox and Sergeant Joachim Huemmer stormed the aircraft over the wings. Shouting in German for the passengers and crew to hit the floor, the commandos shot and killed three of the terrorists (Zohair Akache, Wabil Harb and Hind Alameh), and wounded the fourth (Suhaila Sayeh), who was hiding in the toilet. Three passengers and a flight attendant were slightly wounded. An American passenger aboard the plane described the rescue: "I saw the door open and a man appears. His face was painted black and he starts shouting in German 'We're here to rescue you, get down!' and they started shooting."

The GSG 9 did not use SAS-supplied flash/stun grenades inside of the cabin, as often reported, because after a test in Dubai they were ruled out due to a high phosphor portion.

The emergency escape chutes were deployed and passengers and crew were ordered to quickly evacuate the aircraft. At 2:12 am local time, just 5 minutes after the assault had commenced, the commandos radioed "Springtime, Springtime," which was the code word for the successful completion of the operation. A few moments later a radio signal was sent to Chancellor Schmidt in Bonn: Four opponents down - hostages free - four hostages slightly wounded - one commando slightly wounded.

The rescuers escorted all 86 passengers to safety, and a few hours later they were all flown to Cologne-Bonn Airport, where they landed in the early afternoon of Tuesday October 18, and were given a hero's welcome.

Freed hostages and their GSG-9 rescuers disembarking Lufthansa jetliner “Stuttgart” at Cologne Bonn Airport, October 18th, 1977.


News of the rescue of the hostages was followed by the deaths of RAF members Andreas Baader, Gudrun Ensslin, and Jan-Carl Raspe in an apparent suicide pact at JVA Stuttgart-Stammheim. RAF member Irmgard Möller survived her injuries. On Wednesday October 19, the body of Hanns-Martin Schleyer, who had been kidnapped by the RAF 5 weeks prior to the hijacking, was found in the boot of a car in a Mulhouse side street after the RAF heard of the deaths of their comrades and contacted the Paris newspaper Liberation. A post-mortem indicated that he had been killed the previous day.

After the Mogadishu crisis, the German government stated that it would never again negotiate with terrorists. German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt was widely praised for his decision to have the plane stormed. While the hijackers had control of the plane it traveled over 6,000 miles.

The song '122 Hours of Fear' - inspired by the hijacking - was recorded by The Screamers in 1978.

A lifetime membership to Team STORMBRINGER to anybody who can come up with a copy of that song - S.L.