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Archive for the ‘Morale’ Category

Black Ops Edition Deck from Quick Draw Card Co

Thursday, December 23rd, 2021

New to Kickstarter is the Black Ops Edition playing card deck from Quick Draw Card Co which will feature SOF units from around the world.

The company was founded in 2019 by two Former British Royal Marines Commandos and these guys make some amazing artwork so be sure to check them out.

Here’s an example of what you’ll find in the deck.

The four Aces:
– Special Air Service
– Special Boat Service
– Navy SEALs
– Delta

Back it at www.kickstarter.com/projects/quickdrawcardco/quick-draw-card-co-black-ops-edition-playing-cards.

My Third Favorite Christmas Tale – “NUTS!”

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

My third favorite Christmas tale comes from the Battle of the Bulge.

December 22 1944 – Encircled by German forces at the Battle of the Bulge, the 101st Airborne Division, under acting commander Brigadier General McAuliffe received a message from German General Heinrich Freiherr von Lüttwitz delivered under flag of truce.

To the U.S.A. Commander of the encircled town of Bastogne.

The fortune of war is changing. This time the U.S.A. forces in and near Bastogne have been encircled by strong German armored units. More German armored units have crossed the river Our near Ortheuville, have taken Marche and reached St. Hubert by passing through Hompre-Sibret-Tillet. Libramont is in German hands.

There is only one possibility to save the encircled U.S.A. troops from total annihilation: that is the honorable surrender of the encircled town. In order to think it over a term of two hours will be granted beginning with the presentation of this note.

If this proposal should be rejected one German Artillery Corps and six heavy A. A. Battalions are ready to annihilate the U.S.A. troops in and near Bastogne. The order for firing will be given immediately after this two hours term.

All the serious civilian losses caused by this artillery fire would not correspond with the well-known American humanity.

His response was perfect.

To the German Commander.
NUTS!
The American Commander

Gold Tiger Christmas Stockings

Monday, December 13th, 2021

Gold Tiger Christmas stockings from OC Tactical start shipping out today. Use code GOLDTIGER for 10% off till the 19th.

stores.octactical.com/gold-tiger-stripe-christmas-stocking

Savotta Wishes Finland a Happy Independence Day!

Monday, December 6th, 2021

Finland’s Savotta posted this to social media and it’s simply awesome. Totally worth a share here.

Hyvää itsenäisyyspäivää Suomi!

A large part of our work, and the very existence of our company, is strongly connected to the independence of Finland. Savotta was founded in the 50’s to make gear for the lumber industry, which at the time employed a huge amount of people cutting down trees in the vast woodlands of Finland to pay war reparations to the Soviet Union and to rebuild our nation after the wars.

It didn’t take long for Savotta to start making gear for the Finnish Defence Forces as well. And oh how we have made our share of that stuff over the years. This work continues today, quite actively, and we intend to keep it that way.

Finland’s independence is a lot more than wars and such, but those things are also in reality a big part of it. Without independent Finland Savotta probably wouldn’t exist at all. So thank you all who have done and keep on doing their part to ensure the well-being and sovereignty of our people!

PS: The Finnish M05 snow camouflage suit worn by Matti the Horse here is our own custom piece, not available for public sales unfortunately.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 25th, 2021

Enjoy your day!

Bawidamann – Yippee Ki Yay

Thursday, November 18th, 2021

Celebrate the best Christmas movie ever with Bawidamann’s Yippee Ki Yay ornament and stickers.

bawidamann.com/accessories/ticicle-candy-canes

Tattoos of the GWOT – VOL I

Friday, October 29th, 2021

Limited to just 500 copies, Tattoos of the GWOT – VOL I features themed tattoo flash from some great artists and all contained in a binding that resembles the Green GSA books you used in the service.

There are still some copies left, get yours before they’re gone at www.fortherecordbook.net.

The Dogs of War: Slow Boat to Zangaro

Sunday, October 24th, 2021

Movies, guns, some tactics, some snark, and lots of nostalgia. Those are a few of the things you’ll find in the Saturday Night at the Movies film reviews from GunMag Warehouse. Interested in an example? Remember Dogs of War (book not movie)? Come take the…

Slow Boat to Zangaro

The Dogs of War

by Scott Waters

Carrying on with the idea of a period film that started when I reviewed The Way of the Gun sometime back, I took a spin through my DVD collection (yeah, I still have one). There it was, that classic of Bush War post-colonial havoc, The Dogs of War.

The-Dogs-of-War-movie-poster

Set principally in the fictional country of Zangaro (played handily by Belize), this 1980 film, based on the Frederick Forsythe novel, revolves around a small group of mercenaries who set out to lead the overthrow of that country’s despotic leader. Starring Christopher Walken, Tom Berenger, and Colin Blakely, the film also has worthwhile supporting roles by JoBeth Williams and Ed O’Neill.

If you’ll forgive me a small indulgence here, I’ve often through that Walken, in his youth, looks almost translucent (see The Dead Zone or the second half of The Deer Hunter). In The Dogs of War, you get the sense that looking through his skin and seeing into his soul, you’d feel troubled indeed.

Dogs-of-War-the-Crew

While the film is ostensibly about a team of mercenaries developing and executing a mission, it’s perhaps more accurately about morality and errant compasses, centering on Walken’s character, Jamie Shannon. I say this based on many watchings of the “European” version, which adds about 14 minutes of character development over the so-called “U.S.” version. Early on, Shannon attends a baptism for a fallen comrade’s newborn — he is the Godfather. The widow, however, explains that he will be allowed nothing to do with his Godson’s life.

There you have the central tension for the very stoic Shannon: he’s a man who wants some facsimile of domesticity but can’t find a way to it. Shortly thereafter, fate and a job offer intervene, forcing him to revert to the hard skills and harder stares of his profession.

Here’s a more off-the-cuff reading of what this film is about: it’s a love letter to the fictional XM-18. Many are the scenes of the team firing from what is essentially a rotary magazine shotgun. It’s all gleaming chrome and stubby purpose. Based on the Manville Gas Gun that first appeared in 1935 and was designed for crowd control purposes, the movie version was modified by the film’s armourers.

In one fun scene, an arms dealer extols its virtues, including the variable-load possibilities that he refers to as a “mixed-fruit pudding”. In that same scene, Shannon pops out a zinger when he asks the dealer if he’s ever been in combat, to which the dealer replies, “no, I’m Canadian.”

dogs_of_war_berenger_XM18

There are folks out there who hate this film, and one podcast in particular (it shall remain nameless but you can search for “Christopher Walken podcast” on YouTube) seemed to not know what to make of it at all. Is it an action film? Is it a drama? Is it a thriller?

Well, I submit that it’s all of those genres and none. It does fit nicely within the genre of 70s military procedurals that Fredrick Forsythe (author of the original novel) is known for. If you enjoy Forsythe’s The Day of The Jackal or The Fourth Protocol, you’ll likely enjoy this film.

In another memorable scene, the team has gathered in a hotel room to plan the mission. They talk about who to source their materiél from and the need to drive hard bargains; they drink beer and order food: pizza and maybe “drinking pudding”. The French team member, played with a certain charm by Jean-François Stévenin, then offers a very memorable toast,

Vive la mort, vive la guerre, vive le sacre mercenaire.

This translates to: “Long live death, long live war, long live the cursed mercenary.”

Much film time is spent on logistics: hiring a ship and crew, transporting Uzis across European land borders, negotiating the sky-high prices for 9mm quad (a term I never bothered to research until right now). For me, this stuff is a real pleasure. The film slows down, and the viewer is forced into the back-end of warfighting. But this is what will make or break the operation. What’s that quote?

Amateurs talk about tactics, but professionals study logistics.

But the main reason I come back to The Dogs of War, again and again, is that it’s a period piece. I’m not referring so much to post-colonial exploits in Africa, but more that of a pacing style in action/thrillers that is hard to come by these days. There are pleasantly long periods where little excitement occurs, but the film is immensely watchable for just those reasons. The same can be said for The Day of The Jackal or more recently, the George Clooney vehicle, The American.

dogs_war_spray_pray

By the time we reach the climactic assault we’ve watched the guerilla army that Shannon’s team will lead demonstrate their military discipline, as well as their proficiency with Uzis. There’s also a subplot involving a journalist (played with great verve by Colin Blakely) that winds its way through the first two acts. All these elements lead to the final assault.

The approach onto objective by the force is a quietly tense pleasure, and then, finally, all hell breaks loose, including many a loving shot of the XM-18 being reloaded and firing off all of its 18 rounds. Having said all that, it’s the slow build-up – like the boat that carries them from Europe to Africa – that remains the most worthwhile aspect of this film.

Check out the entire Saturday Night at the Movies series, from GunMag Warehouse.

About the Author: Scott Waters escaped the North of England as a child and has lived in the occasionally frozen/occasionally fecund land of Canada since then. An epigrammatically jocose former Canadian Infantry soldier who got himself some “higher education”, he became an artist and writer. These days he does some work with aid groups, dips his toes in the Army while continuing to dip his toes in art and writing. As you can see, there is a general “toe-dipping” theme. @militaryart_swaters