Thursday, February 17, 2011


So a South Korean company is showing off a new robotic gun mount, complete with superlatives built right into the name and the typical manufacturer's claims.

Apparently, the high tech gizmos are intended to bolster the defenses along the DMZ with North Korea, which has been the most heavily militarized border on the planet ever since East Germany filed for Chapter 11.

Of course, the North Korean government has eschewed wasting money on frivolities like food or shelter for its inmates citizens and has instead spent it on hookers and blow for the dear leader and on thousands and thousands and thousands of good old fashioned artillery tubes. All of them sited along the DMZ and all of them pre-registered and ready to unleash a bombardment of the like that hasn't been seen since the Somme, so the wisdom of parking a bunch of high-tech guardbots in the middle of the beaten zone is questionable.

Personally, I don't think the Maginot Line would have worked any better if it had been manned by R2D2 and C3P0 instead of Jacques and Pierre. To paraphrase Ol' Blood & Guts, "Fixed fortifications are monuments to man's stupidity, no matter how much RAM they have."

(H/T to Unc.)


McVee said...

I agree. It's the hell from above that will make all the difference.
You know, every cyber goodie we unveil each week, seems like a week closer to bladerunner.

Bram said...

I think the idea is to not waste personnel on those fixed fortifications. They will be needed for the hellacious counter attack after the arty is eliminated from above.

Noah D said...

The automated defenses are probably to counter infiltrators now, as opposed to artillery when the balloon goes up. Again.

Retardo said...

Sounds like a poor substitute for a well-tuned 1911 to me. Robot-loving homos...

Desertrat said...

I see no reason they can't be mounted on mobile platforms, or set up beyond the beaten zone--or both. NK troops gotta advance beyond the beaten zone to be a problem.

Ed Foster said...

Hear, hear. Those tubes are dug in against nukes. Smack the cave mouths with cruise missles and you only make the openings bigger, and waste a lot of cruise missles.

Most of the Russian navy's heavy artillery circa 1950 is in those holes, and the only way anybody is going to stop them is to land in back of them and kick them in the ass. It's what's behind them that's vulnerable.

Robert said...

And yet, just a few days ago, a guy managed to walk ( well, probably more like crawl / run while simultaneously crapping his pants ) across this heavily defended and guarded border. Going North to South.

Robert said...

" To paraphrase Ol' Blood & Guts, "Fixed fortifications are monuments to man's stupidity, no matter how much RAM they have." "

But Patton did get his ass kicked trying to take fortified locations. (The forts around Metz) They spent many lives for no gain and finally decided to just leave the damm places alone until the Germans surrendered a few months after they were surrounded and cut off.

Ferret said...

Great. I can't wait to see what happens when South Korea's Super Aegis 2 starts to communicate with North Korea's weapon systems and the two finally decide they're tired of taking orders from the human meat-bags on either side.

I would include the obligatory "blue-screen-of-death" comment here, but I think (hope?) the world's military organizations learned from the USS Yorktown incident.

Joshkie said...

When has a lack of common sense stopped anyone from enacting a 'good' idea.


Anonymous said...

The good news is the R2D2 machine bravely waits in the beaten zone preventing infiltrators before the artillery strike occurs.

When the massive artillery strike occurs, R2D2 is dead, just as Kim Han would be. If a few rounds go off, Kim Jong Il has thrown his temper tantrum, and been unable to randomly murder on the SK side of the border.

After the massive artillery strike or the few rounds, R2D2s commander doesn't have to write a letter to his momma.

Brian Dunbar said...

"Fixed fortifications are monuments to man's stupidity, no matter how much RAM they have.

Seoul is 35 miles from the DMZ. Half of South Korea lives there.

It might be too much to ask, for the Koreans to explicitly base their defense on turning that lovely city (again) into a battleground.

DirtCrashr said...

Kinda kewl, on a hunch I followed that link to the Indian supersonic cruise missile...and where they do their testing is at the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur - that's on the beach next to where we used to live, like living next to Vandenburg when they launch stuff. Woo!!

Randy said...

So somebody has been watching the Hangul director's cut version of Aliens, or John Ringo.

It's a multi-use system for NORKs and Posleen!

global village idiot said...

The trouble with comparing the Korean peninsula to northeastern France is that the South Korean's Ardennes really IS impassible.

From time immemorial the axis of advance down the Korean peninsula has been on the western side. Mechanization (such as the NKPA has) doesn't change the fact that you can't move large bodies of soldiers through the mountains on the eastern side. The North doesn't have the sea-lift or support capacity to stage a proper amphibious operation.

War in Korea will be unspeakably bloody and blessedly brief, and South Korea will win. The North has the ability to start a war, but not to survive one. The problem they have keeping their people fed extends to their army. Recently I saw a story about how the North has 60,000 "special forces" soldiers. It depends on what you call "special forces." In their universe, "special forces" are the soldiers who get three square meals a day as opposed to two. If they can't feed them in "peace," how are they gonna feed them in war? And how effective do you think a starving army will be? What do you suppose would happen to unit cohesion when they start moving through towns and villages and seeing the abundance of the South? I can assure you they'd fall to pillage nearly instantly and that'd be it for their effectiveness.

I'm a Reservist in a Human Resource Company and I'd put my kids against a company of North Korean "special forces" any day of the week.

They're no match for us and they're no match for the ROK army.

War in Korea will be a set-piece battle. The fortifications in South Korea would seem like the Maginot line if it weren't for a few facts:
o They learned a lot from the Frogs
o Their warfighting systems are FAR more integrated and comprehensive
o Their opponents are NO Wehrmacht

As to all the artillery the North has, they have it because they DON'T have something the South does: firefinder radar. It's old technology but the NKPA still doesn't have any. It basically tells you when and from whence any round goes off toward you. Consequently, all South Korean battle plans are based on the presumption that their artillery's mission for the first two days will be systematically destroying every single artillery piece the North has. In testimony to counterfire's effectiveness, Iraq in 1991 had about as much artillery as the NKPA has.

American military involvement in a second Korean war would be limited to only such forces as are already there on the ground or in the ocean. This is not to say that we'd be unwilling to help; rather, the war would be over before we could get any meaningful help mobilized and transported there.

It used to be a common joke that "the first five years of our stay in Korea was to keep the North from going South - the rest was to keep the South from going North."

This is no longer true. The South looks forward to unification even less than the Germans.

It's like this: Imagine you live on a street next door to a crackhouse. You're pretty proud of your property but you keep getting harrassed by the crackheads next door. They act up, occasionally fire a shot over your fence, and generally act like a bunch of dysfunctional welfare addicts. You talk with your neighbor two houses down and they don't know what to do with the crackhouse anymore than you do.

Now imagine yourself all-of-a-sudden in possession of the crackhouse property, only you also get all the crackheads in it. You're stuck taking care of the crackheads and trying to clean up the property which is now yours.

That's the best way I know to describe the situation of the two Koreas.


Marcus said...

In a country where the national pastime is "Starcraft," and where birth rates drop faster than Christina Aguilera's panties, this is a natural evolution in military thought. There is a very real fear that they will not have enough young men in the coming decades to man "Freedom's Frontier," so they are looking to automation to help fill some of the gaps.

Matthew said...

The Nork Special Forces are modeled on and trained and supplied like Spetsnaz. hey regularly in- and ex-fil South Korea with their presence only noted after the fact.

A North Korean attack will likely be presaged by those commandos blowing the everloving hell out of ROK and US airfields and such. They aren't supermen but they aren't to be taken lightly as a threat.

WV: begnani - what a good Italiano boy should do when mamma won't give-a him a cannoli...

Bram said...

Ferret - The only way the Super Aegis 2 would ever communicate with North Korean "systems" is by mailing them letters.

mikee said...

The autoshootems will be brought to naught if the Norks decide to send Grandma and little Park, Jr., to the DMZ. How many grandma shootings would it take for the Norks to win a propaganda war against the robotic genocidal automatons?

docjim505 said...

Tam - I don't think the Maginot Line would have worked any better if it had been manned by R2D2 and C3P0 instead of Jacques and Pierre.

On the flip side, R2 and 3PO aren't as likely as Jacques and Pierre to go over the hill and / or be passed out from drinking too much vin ordinaire when the balloon goes up.

Linoge said...

Replace those versions of R2D2 with the Navy's version, and I would be a lot more impressed, especially if they were situated around Seoul.

And, yes, the newer versions are starting to be useful against arty...

Steve Skubinna said...

The French of the early 1930's were not nearly as stupid as the French of 1940 were. The original strategic plan for the Maginot Line was for it to provide a base of maneuver for mobile forces.

Of course, once you build these expensive fixed fortifications and want to save some bucks, well, why the hell do we need to pay all these troops in peace time? Besides, not even those stupid Germans are dumb enough to try outflanking us again. Not after what happened last time.

Kristopher said...

Cute, but fortification isn't the reason for these.

The Norks regularly try to kill US and ROK troops near the border via sniper fire.

They could care less how many of their own troops get killed doing this, in fact each one killed is an excuse to accuse the US of warmongering.

This system is there to kill infiltrators without putting troops at risk by having them within sniping range of these assholes. If something isn't there to interdict, the Norks will happily move the real border south by expending their men a few at a time.

D.W. Drang said...

I fail to see the advantage over the system in place during my first night on the DMZ, in which the ROKs dealt with some infiltrators with a Vulcan.

The "beaten zone", the area from about Suwon north to the Imjin River, isn't quite wall-to-wall buildings--too many mountains--but enough of it, especially north of Seoul, is that we speculated that the massive apartment blocks, practically arcologies, were part of the Obstacle Plan.

montieth said...

The Maginot line worked fine, the Germans had to go where the Maginot line was NOT. As Steve Skubinna says, the problem was the lack of maneuver forces and the will/sense to use them properly.

There is no Belgium or Netherlands in Korea for a mechanized end run around the DMZ.