Monday, September 29, 2008

Old posting on Military "Secrets"

Ran across this.

Newsgroups: sci.military
From: (Henry Spencer)
Date: 26 Mar 92 01:36:36 GMT
Local: Wed, Mar 25 1992 6:36 pm
Subject: Dirty Little Secrets, a mini-review
From (Henry Spencer)

"Dirty Little Secrets", subtitled "Military information you're not supposed
to know", by James F. Dunnigan and Albert A. Nofi, William Morrow 1990.

Quick summary: disappointing, don't bother.

There is very little in this book that lives up to either the title or
the subtitle. It would be fine preparation for a military variant of
Trivial Pursuit, but that's about all. There are interesting tidbits
here and there, but it's not worth the price. I expected better from

This was all the more disappointing because it *could* have been a
fascinating, if perhaps slightly thinner, book if the authors had really
done some digging. There *are* dirty little secrets that you're not
supposed to know. (Samples... After the first operational Polaris
missiles were already at sea, it was discovered that their nuclear
warheads were defective and would not work. Nobody knows whether
Minuteman missiles could be launched from the operational Minuteman
silos, because every attempt to launch one from an operational-type
silo failed. [The Vandenberg training silos, which have launched many,
are a totally different design.] The great USAF-USN "shootout" between
Falcon and Sidewinder ended in humiliation for the USAF when repeated
attempts failed to so much as *launch* a Falcon. Aluminum armor is so
dangerous to troops behind it that Israeli soldiers will ride on the
*outside* of their aluminum-armored M113 APCs when there is risk of
serious enemy fire... and guess what the M2 Bradley uses for armor.
Flying a jet at 50 feet -- the altitude where most of them would try
to be in a real war against a dangerous opponent -- is so different
from flying at 200 feet that it takes considerable training for pilots
to fly effectively at the lower altitude, yet only two air forces in
the world train for it [the USAF not among them]. And so on.) Don't
expect to find any of them in this book.
GCC 2.0 is to C as SVR4 is to Unix. | Henry Spencer @ U of Toronto Zoology
-Dick Dunn | utzoo!henry
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