Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 26, 2017

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Germans advance in Soviet Union on June 29, 1941

Germans advance in Soviet Union on June 29, 1941

Germans advance in Soviet Union: One week after launching a massive invasion of the USSR, German divisions make staggering advances on Leningrad, Moscow, and Kiev.

Despite his signing of the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 1939, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin knew that war with Nazi Germany–the USSR’s natural ideological enemy–was inevitable. In 1941, he received reports that German forces were massing along the USSR’s eastern border. He ordered a partial mobilization, unwisely believing that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler would never open another front until Britain was subdued. Stalin was thus surprised by the invasion that came on June 22, 1941. On that day, 150 German divisions poured across the Soviet Union’s 1,800-mile-long eastern frontier in one of the largest and most powerful military operations in history.

Aided by its far superior air force, the Luftwaffe, the Germans raced across the USSR in three great army groups, inflicting terrible casualties on the Red Army and Soviet civilians. On June 29, the cities of Riga and Ventspils in Latvia fell, 200 Soviet aircraft were shot down, and the encirclement of three Russian armies was nearly complete at Minsk in Belarus. Assisted by their Romanian and Finnish allies, the Germans conquered vast territory in the opening months of the invasion, and by mid-October the great Russian cities of Leningrad and Moscow were under siege.

However, like Napoleon Bonaparte in 1812, Hitler failed to take into account the Russian people’s historic determination in resisting invaders. Although millions of Soviet soldiers and citizens perished in 1941, and to the rest of the world it seemed certain that the USSR would fall, the defiant Red Army and bitter Russian populace were steadily crushing Hitler’s hopes for a quick victory. Stalin had far greater reserves of Red Army divisions than German intelligence had anticipated, and the Soviet government did not collapse from lack of popular support as expected. Confronted with the harsh reality of Nazi occupation, Soviets chose Stalin’s regime as the lesser of two evils and willingly sacrificed themselves in what became known as the “Great Patriotic War”.

The German offensive against Moscow stalled only 20 miles from the Kremlin, Leningrad’s spirit of resistance remained strong, and the Soviet armament industry–transported by train to the safety of the east–carried on, safe from the fighting. Finally, what the Russians call “General Winter” rallied again to their cause, crippling the Germans’ ability to maneuver and thinning the ranks of the divisions ordered to hold their positions until the next summer offensive. The winter of 1941 came early and was the worst in decades, and German troops without winter coats were decimated by the major Soviet counteroffensives that began in December.

In May 1942, the Germans, who had held their line at great cost, launched their summer offensive. They captured the Caucasus and pushed to the city of Stalingrad, where one of the greatest battles of World War II began. In November 1942, a massive Soviet counteroffensive was launched out of the rubble of Stalingrad, and at the end of January 1943 German Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus surrendered his encircled army. It was the turning point in the war, and the Soviets subsequently recaptured all the territory taken by the Germans in their 1942 offensive.

In July 1943, the Germans launched their last major attack, at Kursk; after two months of fierce battle involving thousands of tanks it ended in failure. From thereon, the Red Army steadily pushed the Germans back in a series of Soviet offensives. In January 1944, Leningrad was relieved, and a giant offensive to sweep the USSR clean of its invaders began in May. In January 1945, the Red Army launched its final offensive, driving into Czechoslovakia and Austria and, in late April, Berlin. The German capital was captured on May 2, and five days later Germany surrendered in World War II.

More than 18 million Soviet soldiers and civilians lost their lives in the Great Patriotic War. Germany lost more than three million men as a result of its disastrous invasion of the USSR.

History Channel / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica The Atlantic / BBC / RT (Russia Today) / Eastern Front (World War II) (YouTube) video

Understanding Military Terminology: Scout of Many Trails (Sea Scout and Boy Scout look at globe with old sailor) ~ Norman Rockwell

Understanding Military Terminology - Medical engagement protocols

(DOD) Directives issued by competent military authority that delineate the circumstances and imitations under which United States medical forces will initiate medical care and support to those individuals that are not Department of Defense health care beneficiaries or designated eligible for care in a military medical treatment facility by the Secretary of Defense.

Joint Publications (JP 4-02) (Health Service Support - Defense Technical Information Center)

“The Odyssey”

The Old Salt’s Corner

“The Odyssey”


Now when the child of morning, rosy-fingered Dawn, appeared, Alcinous and Ulysses both rose, and Alcinous led the way to the Phaecian place of assembly, which was near the ships. When they got there they sat down side by side on a seat of polished stone, while Minerva took the form of one of Alcinous' servants, and went round the town in order to help Ulysses to get home. She went up to the citizens, man by man, and said, “Aldermen and town councillors of the Phaeacians, come to the assembly all of you and listen to the stranger who has just come off a long voyage to the house of King Alcinous; he looks like an immortal god.”

With these words she made them all want to come, and they flocked to the assembly till seats and standing room were alike crowded. Every one was struck with the appearance of Ulysses, for Minerva had beautified him about the head and shoulders, making him look taller and stouter than he really was, that he might impress the Phaecians favourably as being a very remarkable man, and might come off well in the many trials of skill to which they would challenge him. Then, when they were got together, Alcinous spoke:

“Hear me”, said he, “aldermen and town councillors of the Phaeacians, that I may speak even as I am minded. This stranger, whoever he may be, has found his way to my house from somewhere or other either East or West. He wants an escort and wishes to have the matter settled. Let us then get one ready for him, as we have done for others before him; indeed, no one who ever yet came to my house has been able to complain of me for not speeding on his way soon enough. Let us draw a ship into the sea- one that has never yet made a voyage- and man her with two and fifty of our smartest young sailors. Then when you have made fast your oars each by his own seat, leave the ship and come to my house to prepare a feast. I will find you in everything. I am giving will these instructions to the young men who will form the crew, for as regards you aldermen and town councillors, you will join me in entertaining our guest in the cloisters. I can take no excuses, and we will have Demodocus to sing to us; for there is no bard like him whatever he may choose to sing about.”

Alcinous then led the way, and the others followed after, while a servant went to fetch Demodocus. The fifty-two picked oarsmen went to the sea shore as they had been told, and when they got there they drew the ship into the water, got her mast and sails inside her, bound the oars to the thole-pins with twisted thongs of leather, all in due course, and spread the white sails aloft. They moored the vessel a little way out from land, and then came on shore and went to the house of King Alcinous. The outhouses, yards, and all the precincts were filled with crowds of men in great multitudes both old and young; and Alcinous killed them a dozen sheep, eight full grown pigs, and two oxen. These they skinned and dressed so as to provide a magnificent banquet.

Book VIII continued ...

~ Homer

Written 800 B.C.E

Translated by Samuel Butler

Table of Contents

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin”

“In amnesia, more recent memories are most affected.”

~ Ribot's law

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“When one door closes,

another opens;

but we often look so long

and so regretfully

upon the closed door

that we do not see

the one which has opened for us.”

~ Alexander Graham Bell

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“At some point

you just have to let go

of what you thought should happen

and live in what is happening.”

~ Anonymous

Bizarre News (we couldn’t make up stuff this good – real news story)

Bizarre News (we couldn’t make up stuff this good – real news story)

Mysterious 'Alien' cylinder on NASA live feed for International Space Station spotted by space experts

Mysterious 'Alien' cylinder on NASA live feed for International Space Station spotted by space experts

NASA's live feed of the International Space Station (ISS) captured a mysterious object, which UFO experts claim is an alien cylinder that goes transparent.

The odd shape was spotted in a black space behind the ISS by space fans watching the live feed.

And experts said the cylinder - which they claim was a UFO - was 'partially transparent', which may be a technique used to keep the craft safe so that it is not seen.

It is not the first time objects have been spotted on the ISS feed without explanation.

In February, six large orbs were seen apparently creeping past the ISS in NASA footage.

Last year it was also suggested that a “nervous” astronaut was telling ground control about the appearance of a strange red-coloured UFO on the live NASA feed.

They claim he said the word “gospel” when the object appeared, and suggested this may have been a codeword as ground control replied “we pray for you.”

Mirror UK (04/20/2017) video

What's the distribution of eye colors in the world?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: What's the distribution of eye colors in the world?

Gokul Nair, studied at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Thiruvananthapuram

Eye color worldwide:

Brown    55%

Black    0%

Blue     8.0%

Green    2.0%

Grey     0%

Amber    5.0%

Hazel    5 - 8%

Brown is the most common eye colour

In the U.S. only 1 out of 6 people have a light (blue) eye colour. The brown eye colour is in the U.S. the most prevalent. No surprise, because brown is also the dominant colour.

Africa is very brown

The further you go to the south, the more chance there is that you will find a person with brown eyes. Further south, going to Africa, light eyes are almost disappeared.

Scandinavia light eyes

Scandinavians tend to have a very light appearance. Light eyes are definitely the standard in these northern countries. Sweden, Norway and Denmark all have high percentages of light eyed people. Also Finland and Iceland are extremely light with almost 90% of them having light eyes (green, grey and blue).

Green eyes are rare

Within the “light” eyed population, the green eyes are outnumbered by the blue eyes. Green eyes are dominant over the blue eye colour but there are only very few people that carry the genes responsible for green eyes. Only 1-2% of the entire human population have green eyes.

Heterochromia iridum

Having eyes with two colours. This is extremely rare as low as 0.6%. Even then it wouldn't be at a level that is noticeable by people.

CosmopolitanEye Doctor GuideNational Library of MedicineQuoraMIT.eduStanford.eduWikipedia

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Mealy-mouthed”

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Mealy-mouthed”  Meaning: Unable to speak simply or directly.

Origin: It’s an improper pronunciation of the Greek word melimuthos, meaning 'honeyed speech'.

Avoiding the use of direct and plain language, as from timidity, excessive delicacy, or hypocrisy; inclined to mince words; insincere, devious, or compromising.

The Free Dictionary

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang - U.S. Navy America's Navy - A Global Force For Good

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Penis Anus: Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS).

Penis Machinist: The Hospital Corpsman.

Periscope liberty (Submarine Service): Looking through the periscope to see the world outside after being underwater for a long time. Surface equivalent: “Eyeball Liberty”.

Just for MARINES - U.S. Marines Marines - The Few. The Proud.

Just for you MARINE

PT: Physical Training, Physical Exercise to build or maintain strength, agility, and flexibility.

Pucker Factor: High level of anxiety experienced by those in tight situations, usually aircrew.

Pull Butts: To mark and score targets on a shooting range from behind a berm. See also butts & pits.

PX: Post eXchange; more properly the Marine Corps Exchange.

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

VX-30 - Operational Test and Evaluation Force (used for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance): “Bloodhounds”
Weapons Test, Naval Air Station Point Mugu, Ventura County, near Oxnard, California

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Possibility of Silicon-Based Life Grows

The Possibility of Silicon-Based Life Grows

Science fiction has long imagined alien worlds inhabited by silicon-based life, such as the rock-eating Horta from the original Star Trek series. Now, scientists have for the first time shown that nature can evolve to incorporate silicon into carbon-based molecules, the building blocks of life on Earth.

As for the implications these findings might have for alien chemistry on distant worlds, "my feeling is that if a human being can coax life to build bonds between silicon and carbon, nature can do it too," said the study's senior author Frances Arnold, a chemical engineer at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. The scientists detailed their findings recently in the journal Science.

Carbon is the backbone of every known biological molecule. Life on Earth is based on carbon, likely because each carbon atom can form bonds with up to four other atoms simultaneously. This quality makes carbon well-suited to form the long chains of molecules that serve as the basis for life as we know it, such as proteins and DNA. [The Search for Life on Mars in Pictures]

This story was provided by Astrobiology Magazine, a web-based publication sponsored by the NASA astrobiology program. Follow Space.com @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Story posted on Space.com.

Live Science (04/18/2017) video

© CEASAR CHOPPY by cartoonist Marty Gavin - archives Ceasar Choppy's Navy! “© CEASAR CHOPPY” by Marty Gavin


“Hair of the Dog” - Nazareth 1975

“Hair of the Dog” - Nazareth
Album: Hair Of The Dog
Released 1975 video

Nazareth guitarist Leslie West said of this song: “When Corky (Laing, drummer) brought me the idea, it was a one-chord dance song. We got real high, took out a napkin, and I came up with the main riff and the chords. Then we fit the words over the sound”. Laing says of the song: “I was madly in love with The Band, and I decided to put a 'Cripple Creek' video feel behind it. Later on, I told Levon Helm that I felt bad about ripping him off, but he said that he didn't hear any similarity between the 2 songs, and that we didn't owe them any money!”

“Hair Of The Dog” does not appear in the lyrics. The logical title would be “Son Of A Bitch”, but it would be tough to get airplay with a song of that name. “Hair Of The Dog” comes from the phrase “Hair of the dog that bit you”, which some people consider a hangover cure, meaning that if you wake up in pain after drinking lots of beer the night before, a beer will help cure you.

In the U.S., this was used in a TV commercial for Dodge.

This was used in a popular commercial for Miller Genuine Draft beer where some guys traveling in a jungle open a bottle of the beer to magically freeze the body of water separating them from some lovely ladies who beckon.

Girls Aloud sampled this on their UK hit “Sexy! No No Novideo.

Artist to cover this song include Guns N' Roses, Warrant and The Michael Schenker Group.

Nazareth, official site / Billboard / All Music / Song Facts / Ultimate Classic Rock / Wikipedia

Image: “Hair Of The Dog (album)” by Nazareth



Many historians believe that World War II in the Pacific region began on July 7, 1937, when Japan invaded China.

● Recognized as the first book of poetry in the English language, English author Geoffrey Chaucer published his Canterbury Tales around 1400.

● The island of Manhattan is surrounded by three rivers: HUDSON, EAST and HARLEM.

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

Blondes it's not about gender

There was an Irishman, a Mexican, and a blond guy who worked construction together. They were working on top of a building one day, and it was lunch time.

The Irish man opens his lunch pail and he sees he has cabbage and beef, and he says, “If I get one more beef and cabbage for lunch I'm gonna jump off of this building!”

Then the Mexican opens his lunch pail and he gets a burrito, he says, if I get one more burrito for lunch I'm gonna jump off this building!”

The blond man opens his lunch pail and gets a bologna sandwich. He says, ”if I get one more bologna sandwich I'm gonna jump off of this building!”

The next day the Irish man opens his lunch pail and finds cabbage and beef so he jumps off the building to his death.

Then the Mexican opens hid lunch pail and finds a burrito so he jumps off the building to his death.

Then the blond guy opens his lunch pail and finds a bologna sandwich, so he jumps off to his death as well.

The next day at their funeral the Irish man's wife said, “If I only knew he was sick of cabbage and beef I would have packed him something else.”

Then the Mexican's wife then said, “If I only knew he didn't like burritos, I would have packed something else.”

Finally, the blond man's wife said, “I don't know what his problem was! He packed his own lunch!”

Quotable Quotables

“It Happened One Night” (1934)

Ellie Andrews: “Aren't you going to give me a little credit?”

Peter Warne: “What for?”

Ellie Andrews: “I proved once and for all that the limb is mightier than the thumb.”

Peter Warne: “Why didn't you take off all your clothes? You could have stopped forty cars.”

Ellie Andrews: “Well, ooo, I'll remember that when we need forty cars.”

~ “It Happened One Night” - “YouTube search” (“It Happened One Night” 1934) video Director: Frank Capra