OTDIH 23 October 1943

70-years ago today…

Großadmiral Karl Dönitz has 95 U-boats at sea. The Battle of the Atlantic was not over.

In the South Atlantic:

U-170, a Type IXC U-boat, KptLt Günther Pfeffer commanding, on its 2nd war patrol, torpedoed and sunk the unescorted Brazilian steam merchant Campos (4,663 GRT) 5-miles south of Alcatrazes Island, Brazil. The crew of 57 and 6 passengers took to the ship’s lifeboats, tragically two of which were struck by the ship’s screw, throwing the occupants to the water. 10 crew members and 2 passengers were lost.

SS Campos.

In the Black Sea:

U-23
, a Type IIB U-boat, KptLt Rolf-Birger Wahlen commanding, on its 12th war patrol, torpedoed and sunk the Soviet motor merchant Tanais (372 GRT) anchored at Poti, Georgian SSR. The U-Boat was operating in the Black Sea with the 30th U-Boat Flotilla… having been transported overland to Konstanza, Rumania in 1942.

Type IIB coastal U-boat.

Setting a wartime record:

U-196, a Type IXD U-boat, KKpt Eitel-Friedrich Kentrat commanding, returned to Bordeaux, France… thus completing the longest patrol by any submarine during the Second World War: 256-days from 13 March to 23 October 1943.

KKpt Eitel-Friedrich Kentrat.

Attacked in the Atlantic:

U-190, a Type IXC U-boat, KptLt Max Wintermeyer commanding, on her 3rd war patrol, was surfaced ahead of convoy GUS-18 when attacked by the US Navy Gleaves-class destroyer USS Turner (DD-648). The Turner attacked the surfaced U-boat with her Mk 12 5-inch/38-caliber guns. When the U-190 submerged, the Turner attacked with depth charges… shock waves from which disabled the destroyer’s radar and sound gear. By the time Turner was able to resume her search, U-190 had escaped.

USS Turner (DD-648).

Royal Navy suffers double disaster during Operation Tunnel:

During Operation Tunnel, HMS Charybdis, a Dido-class cruiser commissioned into the Royal Navy in 1941, Captain George Arthur Wallis Voelcker, RN commanding, was sunk off north coast of Brittany, France in position 48º59’N, 03º39’W by 2 torpedoes from the German Elbing-class torpedo boats T-23 and T-27 (not MTBs, but torpedo-armed destroyers). 464 men died (including the commanding officer) and 107 survived.

HMS Charybdis.

During the same action, HMS Limbourne (L57), a Hunt-class escort destroyer, Cdr Walter John Phipps, RN commanding, was heavily damaged by German torpedo boats T-22 and T-24. Damaged beyond repair, Limbourne was sunk by gunfire from HMS Rocket (H92) and HMS Talybont (L18).

HMS Limbourne.

Russia to stop using carrier-based pilot training site in Ukraine

Well, either the Russians are giving up on naval aviation entirely, and the blueprints for those Nimitz-style nuclear-powered carriers will be consigned to dustbin of history (unlikely), or the new facility at Yeysk is really going to be opened in 2014 and training will continue at a shiny new stretch of concrete near the Black Sea (probable).  Either way, they’re not going to pay to do it in Ukraine any more. Hmm… do you think the Chinese will take up the lease?

МИД Украины подтвердил отказ России от использования полигона НИТКА

Ранее сообщалось, что Россия официально проинформировала украинскую сторону о том, что, начиная с 2014 года, больше не планирует использовать полигон НИТКА для подготовки летчиков в интересах авиации Военно-морского флота (ВМФ) РФ.

© Фото: Украинский споттерский сайт Аэровокзал

КИЕВ, 10 сен — РИА Новости, Максим Беденок. Министерство иностранных дел Украины подтверждает отказ России от использования полигона по подготовке палубной авиации “НИТКА” с 2014 года, сообщил во вторник директор департамента информационной политики МИД Украины Евгений Перебийнис.

“В ходе шестого заседания подкомитета по вопросам безопасности украинско-российской межгосударственной комиссии, которая состоялась 4 сентября в Москве, российская сторона сообщила о том, что начиная с 2014 года она не планирует использовать полигон”, — сказал Перебийнис журналистам.

Он также сообщил, что такое решение российской стороны было ожидаемым для Украины, поскольку РФ вводит в эксплуатацию неподалеку от Ейска аналогичный объект.

Перебийнис добавил, что с учетом сложившейся ситуации украинская сторона принимает меры по определению направлений дальнейшего использования данного полигона, поскольку украинская армия не нуждается в нем.

Ранее об отказе России использовать полигон “НИТКА” РИА Новости сообщил высокопоставленный источник в Минобороны РФ. Читайте подробнее >>

Авиационный комплекс “НИТКА” (наземный испытательный тренировочный комплекс авиационный) используется для подготовки летчиков палубной авиации. Единственный созданный в СССР тренировочный авиакомплекс находится на аэродроме Новофедоровка (близ города Саки в Крыму). После распада СССР он перешел к Украине. Соглашение между правительствами Украины и России об использовании полигона было подписано в феврале 1997 года.

Каковы функции полигона НИТКА

Авиационный комплекс НИТКА (наземный испытательный тренировочный комплекс авиационный) используется для подготовки летчиков палубной авиации. Единственный созданный в СССР тренировочный авиакомплекс находится на аэродроме Новофедоровка (близ города Саки в Крыму). После распада СССР он перешел к Украине. Соглашение между правительствами Украины и России об использовании полигона было подписано в феврале 1997 года.

Кто может арендовать полигон в Крыму

Ранее украинское оборонное ведомство заявляло, что прорабатывает возможность предоставления полигона для летчиков палубной авиации НИТКА в Крыму по согласованию с РФ для учений вооруженных сил других государств. При этом отмечалось, что использование украинского полигона третьими странами возможно в том случае, если Россия откажется от его использования.

Сообщалось, что в аренде комплекса заинтересованы Индия и Китай. Однако конкретных договоренностей по этому вопросу еще не достигнуто.

http://ria.ru/defense_safety/20130910/962242483.html

Assessing the terrorist threat against the Sochi Olympics

When the IOC announced that Russia had bribed its way to a “successful” Olympic bid er… been awarded the privilege of hosting the 2014 Summer Olympics at Sochi, I thought to myself, “Oh dear. That’s rather close to the Caucasian hornet’s nest. I do hope the Russian authorities take all the necessary precautions.”

Sochi lays on the Black Sea, domain of the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet. Given the low-outlay, high-impact of a USS Cole style attack or a Mumbai type attack it should be hoped that the Russian military have a strong… very strong… presence at Sochi.

Assessing the terrorist threat against Sochi

© RIA Novosti. Mihail Mokrushin

Throughout Russia, clocks are counting down to the 2014 Sochi Olympics. The importance of the event, to both government and country, is hard to overstate. President Vladimir Putin has vested much of his personal credibility in the games, as well as the economic future of Southern Russia.

Costs are estimated to run to $33.5 billion, making the Sochi Games the most expensive Olympics in history. Thirteen massive new facilities, plus a Formula One track, are currently under construction. The investment in infrastructure is no less impressive, with roads, railways and an airport terminal being constructed to service the games.

Security is one of the key talking points of the Sochi games, of course. On July 3, Doku Umarov, leader of the separatist organization the Caucasus Emirate released a video stating that the 2014 games would be “prevented.”

Umarov had previously claimed responsibility for the 2011 terror attack on Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport, the 2010 bombing of the Moscow metro, and the 2009 bombing of the Nevsky Express.

In the video, Umarov not only called on all Muslims within the region to use “maximum force” against the Sochi Games, but also signaled an end to the 2012 moratorium against attacks on Russian civilian targets. The moratorium, Umarov claimed, had been a gesture of solidarity with Russian opposition protesters.

The excuse they needed?

“The Olympics are really the world’s games” Frank Cilluffo, former White House special assistant to the president for homeland security and an associate vice president at George Washington University, told The Moscow News. “Everyone will be watching. Hosting the Games is therefore a point of genuine national pride.”

The Olympics are also an opportunity to cause the host state harm – and the Sochi Games may be no exception. “Looking to the Games in Sochi, you combine a symbolic target with the long history of bloody violence in the nearby North Caucasus, and you have a potentially toxic and explosive mix,” Cilluffo said.

This year’s muted opposition rallies in Russia may also have given Caucasus Emirate leaders the excuse they needed to terrorize civilians again.

“The moratorium was introduced at the time when public protests against Russian authorities were widespread,” Valery Dzutsev, North Caucasus analyst at American think tank the Jamestown Foundation, told The Moscow News. “By the summer [of] 2013, the situation… does not seem to be nearly as threatening to the Kremlin as it [once] was. So the insurgents may have decided that the initial rationale for implementing the moratorium did not exist anymore.”

Threat debated

“How much of a threat the group may pose outside of the Caucasus themselves is unclear,” Matthew Henman, senior analyst at Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Center, told The Moscow News. “The Caucasus Emirate has been coming under a lot of security forces pressure over the past few years [as Sochi approaches], and it isn’t at all clear whether the group, or elements within the group, retain the ability to carry out decisive operations beyond the North Caucasus.”

“This is somewhat less of an issue in terms of Sochi, given its relative proximity to the North Caucasus, but the high level of security surrounding the Winter Olympics may make carrying out a successful attack a very challenging proposition for the group,” Henman added.

The authorities respond

The Russian Anti-Terrorist Committee’s response to Umarov’s statement was brief and unyielding. “All of Russia’s state institutions, special services and law enforcement bodies are constantly implementing a set of measures aimed at providing security for Russian citizens,” its official statement read.

The response from Ramzan Kadyrov, head of the Chechen republic and close Kremlin ally, was more emotional. ” [Umarov] is Satan,” Kadyrov told journalists. “I am certain that we will eliminate him before the Olympics.”

Yet according to Dzutsev, Kadyrov may be overstating his ability to go after Umarov. “The Olympics in Sochi are Putin’s labor of love, and when Umarov abuses that… even verbally, Kadyrov understandably becomes very upset,” he said. “But he cannot do much more.”

According to Henman, killing Umarov may not necessarily make the Caucasus Emirate organization go away. “As such, even were Umarov to be killed, then a successor would be appointed and the group would continue as before,” he said. “Each of the jamaats [assemblies] has suffered the loss of multiple emirs over the past six or seven years, and these deaths rarely entail a loss of capability or intent.”

It can be said that there is a bitter irony in that a spectacle designed to celebrate humanity at its best should now attract the attention of humanity at its very worst. Worse yet, according to the experts, the threat of terror from the North Caucasus will persist long after the Sochi Games are done.

“The federal and respective republican governments have engaged in concerted counter-terrorism offensives for several years now in an attempt to decisively defeat the Caucasus Emirate,” Henman said. “While they have somewhat succeeded in reducing the group’s operational tempo, they have not addressed the underlying causes of the insurgency.”

http://themoscownews.com/russia/20130716/191771837/Assessing-the-terrorist-threat-against-Sochi.html