A U.S. soldier secures Marines to a cable dangling from a UH-60 Black Hawk medevac helicopter during a casualty evacuation exercise near Camp Buehring, Kuwait, Feb. 5, 2015. Minnesota National Guard photo by U.S. Army National Guard Spc. Jess Nemec
U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Michael A. Grinston, foreground right, reviews Iraqi army trainees passing by to observe a platoon live-fire demonstration on Camp Taji, Iraq, Feb, 5, 2015. Grinston is the senior enlisted advisor to the 1st Infantry Division. In an upcoming session, Iraqis will lead a similar live-fire exercise requiring the use of complex maneuver and communication among units. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Daniel Stoutamire
The following book review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper. You can read all of our book reviews and author interviews by clicking on the Books category link on the right sidebar.
The Nazis Next Door by Eric Lichtblau is a compelling reminder of how quickly man’s inhumanity to man has been forgotten. Many in the FBI, CIA, the space program, and other agencies of the US government teamed up with war-criminal Nazis to combat the Soviets. As WWII came to an end there were those in the government that were more concerned about the next great conflict, the threat of Communism. The book delves into two issues. The first chapter in the book examines an important topic, the myth of the concentration camp liberation. The second narrative is the story of the people who worked so hard for decades to find war criminals given safe haven by the FBI, CIA, and military.
Lichtblau points out how many Jewish survivors had to be bunked side by side with the Nazi POWs, while in certain cases, the Nazi tormentors were given the duties of overseers of the camps including medical care. These terrible conditions in the Displaced Person’s Camp were highlighted, showing how the detainees were kept there because of illness, lack of resources, or because visas were limited. The author compares this to the thousands of Nazis able to gain entry as self-proclaimed refugees, or with the help and protection of US government agencies.
The author commented to blackfive.net, “History has forgotten what happened to the survivors. There is an image that they were embraced by the allied forces as they flooded out from the camps, given warm showers, beds, and plentiful food. It was really not like that at all. The blame has to go to U.S. Army General George Patton who was in charge of the displaced persons camps. He had sort of an odd fondness almost for the Nazi prisoners, believe it or not. He believed that they were the ones in the best position to efficiently run the camps, and he gave them supervisory approval to basically lord over the Jews and the other survivors. I hope the book makes people aware of the horrific conditions of the camps and Patton’s overt Anti-Semitism. Jewish groups complained to President Truman who did not ignore it. After an investigation there was a blistering and condemning report, lost to history, by Penn Law School Dean, Earl Harrison. This report to Truman stated, ‘As matters now stand, we appear to be treating the Jews as the Nazis treated them except that we do not exterminate them.’ Even though conditions did improve some survivors were kept in the camps for as long as five years. They were still confined behind barbed wire, under armed guard in camps.”
Nazis who were able to flourish in the US included Dr. Hubertus Strughold, Arthur Rudolph, Otto von Bolschwing, and Rocket Scientist Werher von Braun. American civilian and military leaders chose to look the other way because of the information and knowledge in science, medicine, military, and engineering the Nazis provided during the Cold War fight. For example, Dr. Hubertus Strughold, M.D., once director of the Aviation Medical Research Institute in the Third Reich, was recruited by the U.S. Air Force and rose to head its School of Aviation Medicine in San Antonio. He became celebrated as "the father of space medicine,” even though he performed medical experiments at Dachau involving subjecting victims to high altitude and freezing torture. There is also the case of Otto von Bolschwing, an asset for the CIA, even though he was a onetime colleague of Adolf Eichmann's who had laid out a plan for persecuting Germany's Jews.
Lichtblau noted, “There was this blind spot of the benefit of having them help in the Cold War effort. Remember the Dulles quote, paraphrasing, ‘I would deal with the devil himself if it would help national security.’ In the early months, and the first few years after the war, beginning in mid-1945, there were only a very limited number of immigration visas to get into the United States. There were many, many thousands of Nazi collaborators who got visas to the United States while the survivors did not.”
The Nazis Next Door powerfully examines if the cost of harboring Nazis within US society outweighed the gains for national security. There was the new mindset that the Nazis were yesterday’s enemies, with the newfound enemy the Soviet Union. Readers are asked to consider if the allies betrayed those who suffered atrocities. The book is very interesting and an eye-opener.
The guided-missile destroyer USS Farragut conducts an exercise in the Atlantic Ocean, Feb. 3, 2015. The Farragut is training with the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group to prepare for deployment. U.S. Navy Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jackie Hart
Air Force 1st Lt. Greg Johnston, left, and Capt. RJ Bergman fly a UH-1N Iroquois over a mountain range near Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls, Mont., Jan. 27, 2015. Johnston and Bergman are assigned to the 40th Helicopter Squadron. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dillon Johnston
I was coated in hydraulic fluid and profoundly grateful as I stumbled bowlegged away from the helicopter.
It doesn't matter if it's a 46 or 47 (and I suspect true of any similar make anywhere in the world), you and everything in it gets a fine coating of the fluid. Just the nature of the beast. On the up side, the camera still hasn't needed lubrication since (extra cleanings, yes). As for stumbling, that came from being wedged into place among the other cargo, legs spread far wider than comfortable. I'm not saying that the few of us that made the bird had our legs forcibly spread so wide that porn stars were shocked and awed, but... Yes, it was painful but I was secondary cargo and glad to be able to get out on that particular bird no matter the contortions. In short, not an atypical flight.
There were some interesting maneuvers on the Marne Express (and similar flights), but those were to prevent people from being able to easily shoot at us. Being a sick puppy, I found them pretty fun, and they reminded me of some even more interesting rides down at Ft. Rucker back in the day (between those two trees, no, between THESE two trees!). I will not say the Blackhawks are more comfortable than the old Hueys but will note that you can cram a lot more people and gear into them.
If anyone shot at myself or any of the units I was with via small arms fire, they either did so using suppressors or from such a distance we could not hear the shot, and were lousy shots. At the time I was there, the largest form of attacks were IEDs, rockets, and mortars. The only time there was the sound of gunfire (other than practice ranges) was in the run up to Operation Browning, and I still wish I could have stayed for that.
As for one particular 5 o'clock Charlie, the safest place to be was his known point of aim. Sadly, like most sports pools I enter, my picks as to distance missed/what is actually hit have a dismal success rate. Whoever it was that kept betting on the greater than distance made out like a bandit. Say, wait a minute...
For whatever mainstream media still checks us out, Brian Williams is a hint as to why troops neither like nor trust reporters. If you check out the writings by or about dedicated military reporters (Dan Lamothe, Tom Kludt as but two of several articles), you will find that they are livid too. Far more surprised I think than milbloggers, but... I also want to point to this story about Stars and Stripes, the first major publication to investigate and run the story. Note, however, that they were the first old-school media to run it; it was social media/new media that first began to expose it.
As for me, my decision to have my "media" badge say "Blogger" instead of press or media was reinforced by hearing more than once about previous mainstream media embeds and pithy discussions of "misremembered" reporting. Giving the number of personal videos and other recordings made, I would not be surprised to see more than Brian Williams be deservedly bitten in the ass for "misremembering" and "misreporting" events. My own opinion is that such extends far beyond military coverage, and the rapid circling of wagons indicates that others see this more than mildly damaging for the media. Kudos to Tom Brokaw for his reported thoughts on the matter, and if Dan Rather has to try to defend you...
Marine Corps Staff Sgt. John Freeseha begins singing the Marines' Hymn after completing a plunge into freezing water during an ice-breaker drill as part of Winter Mountain Leaders Course 1-15 at Levitt Lake on Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, Calif., Jan. 30, 2015. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Charles Santamaria
Former Paratrooper and Army Officer, "Blackfive" started this blog upon learning of the valorous sacrifice of a friend that was not reported by the journalist whose life he saved. Email: blackfive AT gmail DOT com
Retired Special Operations Master Sergeant, Jim Hanson ("Uncle Jimbo") is now focused on writing about the military, politics, intelligence operations and foreign policy. Email: jimbo AT unclejimbo DOT com
Writer, photographer, and raconteur C. Blake Powers is the Laughing Wolf. He is independent in politics and covers topics including journalism, military, weapons, preparedness, space, science, cooking, food and wine, product and book reviews, and even spirituality. Email: wolf1 AT laughingwolf DOT net Laughing Wolf's Amazon Wish List
Bill Paisley, otherwise known as Pinch, is a 22 year (ongoing) active and
reserve naval aviator. He blogs over at www.instapinch.com on a veritable
cornucopia of various and sundry items and will bring a tactical naval
aviator's perspective to Blackfive. Readers be warned: any comments of or
about the F-14 Tomcat will be reverential and spoken in low, hushed tones.
Email: wpaisley AT comcast DOT net
Mr. Wolf has over 26 years in the Army, Army NG, and USAR. He’s Airborne with 5 years as an NCO, before becoming an officer. Mr. Wolf has had 4 company commands. Signal Corp is his basic branch, and Public Affairs is his functional area. He recently served 22 straight months in Kuwait and Iraq, in Intel, PA, and senior staff of MNF-I. Mr. Wolf is now an IT executive. He is currently working on a book on media and the Iraq war. Functional gearhead.
In Iraq, he received the moniker of Mr. Wolf after the Harvey Kietel character in Pulp Fiction, when "challenges" arose, they called on Mr. Wolf...
Email: TheDOTMrDOTWolfAT gmail DOT com
Deebow is a Staff Sergeant and a Military Police Squad Leader in the Army National Guard. In a previous life, he served in the US Navy. He has over 19 years of experience in both the Maritime and Land Warfare; including deployments to Southwest Asia, Thailand, the South Pacific, South America and Egypt. He has served as a Military Police Team Leader and Protective Services Team Leader and he has served on assignments with the US State Department, US Air Force Security Police, US Army Criminal Investigation Division, and the US Drug Enforcement Administration. He recently spent time in Afghanistan working with, training and fighting alongside Afghan Soldiers and is now focused on putting his 4 year Political Science degree to work by writing about foreign policy, military security policy and politics.
McQ has 28 years active and reserve service. Retired. Infantry officer. Airborne and Ranger. Consider my 3 years with the 82nd as the most fun I ever had with my clothes on. Interests include military issues and policy and veteran's affairs.
Email: mcq51 -at - bellsouth -dot- net
Tantor is a former USAF navigator/weapon system officer (WSO) in F-4E Phantoms who served in the US, Asia, and Europe. He is now a curmudgeonly computer geek in Washington, DC, picking the taxpayers pocket. His avocations are current events, aviation, history, and conservative politics.
Twenty-three years of Active and Reserve service in the US Army in SF (18B), Infantry and SOF Signal jobs with operational deployments to Bosnia and Africa. Since retiring he's worked as Senior Defense Analyst on SOF and Irregular Warfare projects and currently ensconced in the emerging world of Cyberspace.
Major Pain --
A Marine who began his blog in Iraq and reflects back on what he learned there and in Afghanistan. To the point opinions, ideas and thoughts on military, political and the media from One Marine’s View. Email: onemarinesview AT yahoo DOT com
Uber Pig was an Infantryman from late 1991 until early 1996, serving with Second Ranger Battalion, I Corps, and then 25th Infantry Division. At the time, the Army discriminated against enlisted soldiers who wanted use the "Green to Gold" program to become officers, so he left to attend Stanford University. There, he became expert in detecting, avoiding, and surviving L-shaped ambushes, before dropping out to be as entrepreneurial as he could be. He is now the founder of a software startup serving the insurance and construction industries, and splits time between Lake Tahoe, Boonville, and San Francisco, CA.
Uber Pig writes for Blackfive a) because he's the proud brother of an enlisted Civil Affairs Reservist who currently serves in Iraq, b) because he looks unkindly on people who make it harder for the military in general, and for his brother in particular, to succeed at their missions and come home in victory, and c) because the Blackfive readers and commenters help keep him sane.
COB6 spent 24 years in the active duty Army that included 5 combat tours with service in the 1st Ranger Battalion and 1st Special Forces Group . COB6 was enlisted (E-7) and took the OCS route to a commission. COB6 retired a few years back as a field grade Infantry officer.
Currently COB6 has a son in the 82nd Airborne that just returned from his third tour and has a newly commissioned daughter in the 4th Infantry Division.