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Osprey's Fatal Flaw

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  • #46
    The Charge of the Light Brigade

    You might wonder where the above quote comes from.

    Only the Brits would write glorious poetry about what is one of the more spectacular screwups in military history. If you don't win then turn a defeat into something glorious. The charge took place in the Crimean War 1853-1856 when the Light Brigade charged up a narrow valley, straight into a Russian gun battery that they knew was there. The casualties were 478 killed out of 673, 70%++


    THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE

    by: Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892)

    I

    HALF a league, half a league,
    Half a league onward,
    All in the valley of Death
    Rode the six hundred.
    'Forward the Light Brigade!
    Charge for the guns!' he said.
    Into the valley of Death
    Rode the six hundred.

    II

    'Forward the Light Brigade!'
    Was there a man dismay'd?
    Not tho' the soldier knew
    Some one had blunder'd.

    Theirs not to make reply,
    Theirs not to reason why,
    Theirs but to do and die.
    Into the valley of Death
    Rode the six hundred.

    III

    Cannon to right of them,
    Cannon to left of them,
    Cannon in front of them
    Volley'd and thunder'd;
    Storm'd at with shot and shell,
    Boldly they rode and well,
    Into the jaws of Death,
    Into the mouth of hell
    Rode the six hundred.

    IV

    Flash'd all their sabres bare,
    Flash'd as they turned in air
    Sabring the gunners there,
    Charging an army, while
    All the world wonder'd.
    Plunged into the battery-smoke
    Right thro' the line they broke;
    Cossack and Russian
    Reel'd from the sabre-stroke
    Shatter'd and sunder'd.
    Then they rode back, but not,
    Not the six hundred.

    V

    Cannon to right of them,
    Cannon to left of them,
    Cannon behind them
    Volley'd and thunder'd;
    Storm'd at with shot and shell,
    While horse and hero fell,
    They that had fought so well
    Came thro' the jaws of Death,
    Back from the mouth of hell,
    All that was left of them,
    Left of six hundred.

    VI

    When can their glory fade?
    O the wild charge they made!
    All the world wondered.
    Honor the charge they made!
    Honor the Light Brigade,
    Noble six hundred!
    Last edited by jdullighan; 08-19-2003, 20:11.
    John

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    • #47
      Thanks, John, for the encouragement. As many know, "stuff happens" in developing a new aircraft. It's expected, it's planned for, and the effects are dealt with as they occur. There are real professionals working on the Osprey program, and they do what pros do...

      The discouragement comes from people who are unable or unwilling to look at things objectively and acknowledge the good with the bad. Objectivity can be a rare commodity.

      S/F
      TC

      edited to add:
      Next Thursday at New River, the Marine Corps' newest squadron stands up. VMX-22 will first train for, and then execute an operational assessment of the Block A aircraft, and then execute OPEVAL Phase Two in late 2004. Then they'll become a tiltrotor experimantal squadron to learn how to fight the machine. What a long time coming; but we're on the right track, I think.
      Last edited by Leatherneck; 08-20-2003, 09:53.
      Semper Fidelis means Semper Fidelis

      Comment


      • #48
        It is good news that the Osprey is finally scheduled to get back into a "lets see what it will REALLY do" mode.

        It will be interesting to see if one can do what we used to do with the phrogs. (see below).

        Lotsa luck and hope that all the really "big" bugs are taken care of.
        Attached Files
        Oh boy! More Ham 'n Muthas

        Comment


        • #49
          Sadly, and in my humble opinion, we are all looking at the 'technology' of war. History, in most instances clearly demonstrates that victory in war is rarely achieved with technology. Strategic bombing in World War 2 is a perfect example. While bombing certainly had an affect on the outcome of the war it still did not prevent Germany from producing arms right up to the last day of the war. Germany, without a doubt had a leadership role on technology. One need only look at the V2, V1, jet aircraft and rotarywing technology they produced. Germany lost the war because it could not produce enough people to fill it ranks and it diverted precious resources to the development of costly weapons systems. War is simply the law of large numbers prevailing over an opponent with fewer numbers...the Russians proved it on the Eastern front in WW 2. Many men (and women), simple but effective tanks, artillery and planes. The Germans would have two hundred 88 artillery pieces only to be faced with eight hundred Russian 82's...guess who won?

          My point is really simple: Technology is a great thing, but having my ruthers I would take say one hundred 53's over twenty V22's. From an operational aspect I believe the 53's, or even the old 46's would outperform the V22's tactically. No one involved in combat operations wants to hear about maintenance hours and growing pains of an aircraft platform...they want to see those medevac planes in the air, they want to see resupply and troop insertions whenever necessary...and they want aircraft survivability to be part of the game plan.

          It is unfortunate, but true, that the Marine Corps is still the step child of the military. The Corps has to still perfome above expectations, produce results that exceed all other branches of our armed forces, do it better and faster than everyone and do it all on a budget that is an insult to the Corps. If you really want the Corps to progress and improve contact your elected representatives in Washington, DC. And if you believe all is well try to catch Congressional hearings on cable when the Marine contingent is there presenting their case to Congress...it will make you sick.

          Anyway, my nickels worth on the subject. Frankly, we should still be building the 34D's...now there was a piece of machinery that was simple, strong and ugly...but it could take a licking and keep on ticking...

          Comment


          • #50
            And My Nickel's Worth

            I have to side with 'Gordo' on this, and that is my nickel's worth.


            Brook Stevenson
            9/'67 - 10/'68

            Comment


            • #51
              Originally posted by Leatherneck


              The discouragement comes from people who are unable or unwilling to look at things objectively and acknowledge the good with the bad. Objectivity can be a rare commodity.
              I fully agree, but objectivity must be equally applied by both sides of a problem-both from the suporters and the detractors. I hope the aircraft proves itself soon & gets out into the field & fleet where more realistic evaluations can be made. I also hope, if it goes that way, that those who are working on it and even those who have vested financial interests in it are objective enough to be able to say- "Hey, it's been 'X' years now, billions spent, 'X' lives lost, & it's still not (??????), so it's time to shut this down & find an alternative fast."
              Like you said, objectivity is a rare commodity. The reality is, that even with entheusiasim, hard work & dedication, some things are just not to be in a specified timeframe or technological era. . We have to be able to admit it if that turns out to be the case here.

              I've sen some really interesting photoshopped jepgs regarding armament & defense on the osprey. most are unrealistic, but kinda fun to look at . I'll try to downsize them enough to post here.
              With Liberty and Justice for All. Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, and Jane Fonda can all view this.

              Comment


              • #52
                I've not entered the fray on the Osprey before but I do have a few comments.

                The Osprey could very well have a place in the modern Marine Corps and it's deployments.

                However I just can't see it totally taking the place of my beloved, yes beloved, 46. I just can't see it backing up to a place like the rockpile (see the great picture above), or a multitude of other zones we all remember in the jungles of Viet Nam.

                Even if the Osprey becomes operational I just don't see how it can do the job of a medium lift helicopter like the 46.

                I have no doubt the Corps needs a replacement or major upgrade of the 46, but don't see it as a monster larger than the 53. There's a reason the 53 couldn't be used exclusively instead of the 46 and the same reasons plus many others seem to apply to the Osprey.

                The 46 was at one time thought to be too large to replace the 34 but I guess after almost 40 years it has shown itself as a capable repacement. The Osprey could probably do alright in open areas like most of the mideast, but what about jungles and mountains. Another option will be needed. I can't see the transition of the Osprey being fast enough in a hot zone in restricted space to hit the ground and get back off with emergency medevacs or recon extracts without losing lives and aircraft at an alarming rate.

                Don't get me wrong. I believe it will be able to do a lot of things better than our great birds of the past and present, but there will still be a need for medium lift helicopter in our Marine Corps and I pray they aren't putting all their eggs in one basket.


                Semper Fi,

                John Allison

                PS. I have to admit I worried a lot when my son joined the Marine Corps 11 years ago and I thought about him flying in some of the same airframes we flew back in the 60's. I still worry about our young brothers flying those same airframes today but they still manage to get the job done.

                Comment


                • #53
                  H-34 replacement

                  It must be 35 years since I first heard "The H-46 may be a great airplane but it'll never replace the H-34." I also heard "It was the happiest day of my life when I stopped flying that underpowered hog" You choose.

                  But to suggest that we should substitute the H-34 for the V-22 takes my breath away. If you put a present day helicopter pilot in an H-34, he/she would bust their chops within minutes. They were quite tricky to fly with some nasty ways of biting. And remember 80 knots cruise. The H-34 was the first real helicopter the Marines had but compared with what we have today, get serious.

                  I love the picture of the H-46 landing(!) at the Rockpile. Are there any more out there. I'd love to start a collection.
                  John

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    John,

                    No one is suggesting we start to again manufacture the H-34.

                    First, I was being faceious...a little levity from a person who spent his entire four years in the Corps with the H-34.

                    My philosophy in life is based upon the KIS principle...KEEP IT SIMPLE...on the ground level we have the AK47. Russian pilots popped more German aircraft with fewer planes on the eastern frony because of large numbers. They would have four or five planes attack one German Me109....guess who won? The problem the Russinas had...they could not train more pilots fast enough to keep up with plane production!

                    Technologically, the 34 is a simple aircraft and as such I will stand by its defense....takes a licking and keeps on ticking...amazing what Wessex has done with the airframe ain't it.....

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      John,

                      That should read:

                      The Germans had fewer planes than the Russians and what they did have would be swarmed upon by the Russians....

                      Gordo

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        H-34 replacement

                        Gordo:

                        Sorry, I'm taking myself too seriously.

                        But your example isn't a good one. The Mig-3 was inferior to the Me 109 but the La 3 was comparable and the La 5 was better. The differences were such that pilot skill was the most important factor and the Russians had some good pilots. It is ironic that the top Russian Ace got most of his kills in a Bell P39 Airacobra, an aircraft avoided like the plague by both American and British pilots.

                        A better example is the difference in quality between the German tanks and the Allied tanks (mainly the Sherman) in WW2. The Germans up to the end of 1944 built 26,639 tanks. The Allies built 113,273, (the Brits 26,869 the Americans 88,410) which was fortunate because the allies would lose 5 tanks for every German tank they knocked out. The Sherman was a fast, reliable tank but compared to the German Panther or the Tiger it was under gunned and poorly armored. At Villers-Bocage on 13 June 1944, a single Tiger tank commanded by Captain Michael Wittman stopped the advance of the entire British 7th Armoured DIVISION. Wittman knocked out 25 British tanks and 28 Armored Vehicles by himself. His Tiger was hit by fire from the Brits without any apparent effect. He later did similar carnage to American formations. He was killed by the Canadians at Falais in August who surrounded him and just battered him to death. The Canadians had been concerned at the start of the action because the Germans had 35 Tiger tanks and they only had 700 Shermans. Yes, the huge advantage the allies had in numbers meant that they would win but at a greater than neccesary cost in men's lives. The American nickname for the Sherman was the Ronson. The Germans called it the 'Tommy Cooker'.

                        The good news was the Allied superiority in artillary and aircraft, both in quality and numbers was unchallenged.
                        Last edited by jdullighan; 09-12-2003, 01:49.
                        John

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