Arbor Mortis

I wake up every day at 03H59.

Which is a stupid time (I know). But it is also a very considered time. Most importantly its thirty one minutes before Jocko Willink gets up. I have this weird competitive thing (forward slash mental disorder) going on.

I don’t actually roll out of bed, attack my day and kill my enemies (unlike Jocko). It takes me a solid ten minutes to haul my (plus-size) carcass out of bed. Then I loiter around and lollygag for a bit. This morning I thought it might stop raining if I waited…

At zero dark thirty it was still bucketing down and I was running out time. I decided to swap out my backpack for a poncho instead for my 5mi tour de neighborhood. On my way back and probably 700mtrs from my house I suddenly hear a thunderous crack behind me. I turn, three or four meters away this huge tree comes down across the road, directly were I was a second ago.

Holy cow! I stop and stare. Death by tree. That would have been… so incredibly… uncool!

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Schwerpunkt

Blitzkrieg was never a codified dogma in the German army. Rather it evolved due to a situational requirement. Schwerpunkt, literally means, ‘Heavy-point’, although a better translation might be ‘Focal point’. In German it is a word that describes a type of solution when problem solving. Many German businesses use this term to illustrate when the majority of a finite resources should be used on a critical area of focus.

This tactic was used very successfully by Erwin Rommel during the battle of France. His armored division was often so far a head of the main line that is was referred to as the ‘Ghost Division’ since no-one knew where exactly it was, and by the time they did, Rommel had likely already moved on.

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Situationally the German army could not afford to get bogged down in Poland and France. Having learned from the disaster of The first World War and how quickly the fighting had devolved into attrition trench warfare they were keen not to repeat their mistake.

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The Goggles of Erwin Rommel

Have you ever noticed how in (almost) every picture taken of Erwin Rommel commanding the DAK (Deutsches Afrikakorps) in North Africa he’s wearing a pair of goggles on his head?

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Okay… maybe it’s just me.

Turns out these are (actually*) British Mark II Gas Goggles. Most likely just picked up somewhere. But there is an apocryphal account on how Rommel came to own these glasses which is a much more interesting narrative.

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