MEDIAPART: Macron face au monde, ou le président Castafiore

La Castafiore, la Diva, le Petit Prince (Stéphane Guillon)

3 JANVIER 2018 PAR ANTOINE PERRAUD

En recevant le Turc liberticide Recep Tayyip Erdoğan vendredi 5 janvier, Emmanuel Macron va au-delà d’une diplomatie fondée sur les réalités. Il joue avec notre crainte de la menace dictatoriale. Pour cultiver son ascendant et s’embellir en ce miroir…

Le côté caméléon kaléidoscopique d’Emmanuel Macron défie les étiquettes, dont il se méfie. Elles collèrent à ses deux prédécesseurs. Jusqu’à les faire disparaître sous les dénominations infamantes reprises en chœur par les électeurs : Nicolas Sarkozy n’était plus, aux yeux de tous, que le vulgaire insensé ; puis François Hollande l’empoté dépassé. Du coup, M. Macron refuse de se laisser épingler par les entomologistes médiatiques : insaisissable il se veut. Aucune danse du scalp définitionnelle ne pourra le « jivariser » !

Dans ce grand jeu à l’œuvre sous nos yeux depuis l’élection de mai, l’hôte de l’Élysée se voue au simulacre, à la feintise, aux mascarades les plus diverses : la politique est pour lui la continuation du théâtre par d’autres moyens. D’où le paradoxe sur le président : « C’est le manque absolu de sensibilité qui prépare les acteurs sublimes » (Denis Diderot, Paradoxe sur le comédien). Ne surtout rien éprouver pour donner l’impression de compatir : « Tout son talent consiste non pas à sentir, comme vous le supposez, mais à rendre si scrupuleusement les signes extérieurs du sentiment, que vous vous y trompiez » (Diderot toujours).

Tapisserie de l’Apocalypse («La Grande Prostituée sur les eaux »), château d’Angers…

Le huitième président de la VeRépublique ajoute quelques degrés à ce vertige : il se regarde – en observateur continu de l’effet qu’il produit – nous embobiner. Et il invite par conséquent les plus critiques d’entre nous à le contempler se regardant nous embobiner.

S’il n’y avait qu’un fil à tirer de la pelote Macron, ce serait la fibre narcissique. Il se mire et s’admire, penché sur l’image que lui renvoie l’opinion publique, tout en appréciant de surcroît le contraste flatteur reflété par les despotes qu’il reçoit en provenance de Moscou, Washington et bientôt Ankara : « Ah ! je ris de me voir si beau en ces miroirs ! », semble chanter à tue-tête ce président Castafiore.

Puisqu’il aime à picorer chez ses grands prédécesseurs histoire de bâtir et d’installer son personnage, force est de rapprocher l’ardeur mise à recevoir les horreurs mondiales d’un certain goût, naguère manifesté par François Mitterrand, pour la canaille transgressive – Hassan II du Maroc au-dehors, Bernard Tapie au-dedans…

Toutefois, le modèle insurpassable demeure de Gaulle, que singe avec constance son lointain successeur – Emmanuel Macron est le premier président de la République française né après la mort de mon général : « Il faut prendre les choses comme elles sont, car on ne fait pas de politique autrement que sur des réalités (…) On va sur des chimères, on va sur des mythes ; ce ne sont que des chimères et des mythes. Mais il y a les réalités et les réalités ne se traitent pas comme cela. Les réalités se traitent à partir d’elles-mêmes »(Charles de Gaulle, entretien radio-télédiffusé avec Michel Droit, 14 décembre 1965).

Emmanuel Macron nous sert du de Gaulle dévoyé en ne traitant pas les réalités à partir d’elles-mêmes, mais à partir de l’idée présomptueuse que s’en fait, à sa seule aune, l’actuel locataire de l’Élysée. Celui-ci n’est guère loin de penser, à propos de lui-même et pour paraphraser Aragon : suffit-il donc que je paraisse…

Aller au contact, sans peur sinon sans reproche, ne signifie pas que notre président thaumaturge guérisse ses hôtes, et partant la planète, des écrouelles dictatoriales. Dès le 20 mai 2017, Vladimir Poutine fit mine de considérer l’amphitryon de Versailles, de façon que ce tendron français gonflé d’importance entravât l’omnipotence de la chancelière allemande et désincarcérât le maître du Kremlin de son dialogue contrariant avec cette Angela Merkel à qui on ne la fait pas.

Lors du 14 juillet, le tour de piste en compagnie du bouillant Donald Trump offrit à ce dernier le bol d’air international dont il avait besoin. Ces deux dirigeants contestés, le Russe et le Yankee, mirent donc les formes au nom de leur intérêt bien compris, permettant au président Macron de se hausser du col, sans rien obtenir mais en donnant accroire que sa diplomatie cash était payante – avec la complicité des médias français prompts à entonner l’air du service après-vente.

En revanche, grande discrétion des thuriféraires après que M. Macron était tombé sur un os : Bachar al-Assad, qui ne tire pour sa part aucun profit à ménager ce président français se prenant pour le deus ex machina de la scène internationale. Paris a été sèchement et injurieusement traité par Damas à la mi-décembre. L’Élysée a poussé un petit cri de réprobation étonnée, puis c’en fut fini de l’aggiornamento que la France brûlait de faire adopter pour résoudre la désolation syrienne.

Les tyrans sur la défensive n’auront jamais, vis-à-vis de la mouche du coche française, la magnanimité madrée d’un Poutine ou d’un Trump au faîte de leur puissance. Emmanuel Macron le découvrira sans doute à ses dépens, vendredi 5 janvier, en recevant le président turc Erdoğan. Celui-ci a du reste commencé par une mauvaise manière diplomatique : il annonça tout de go sa visite à Paris le 30 décembre, avant même que la puissance invitante n’eût eu son mot à dire.

Qu’importe, pour Emmanuel Macron, que soient nuls les résultats de ses invites à le venir rencontrer, tant l’avantage escompté s’avère, au bout du compte, intérieur. En se constituant un tel musée des horreurs confinant à une Monstrueuse parade géopolitique, le président joue à la fois gros et fin. Il rappelle aux Français ce à quoi ils ont, grâce à lui, échappé : la démagogie haineuse et scélérate d’une Marine Le Pen à laquelle plus des deux tiers s’opposent ; le populisme rageur de Jean-Luc Mélenchon que redoute une majorité du corps électoral.

Ne manque plus que le proconsul de Budapest, Viktor Orbán, à cette collection en forme de piqûre de rappel : moi Macron, ou le chaos atrabilaire, autoritaire, arbitraire, totalitaire des grands fauves oppressifs.

Le libéralisme politique, c’est ce qui reste à la France quand elle a tout perdu, selon la mise en récit (storytelling) du nouveau pouvoir. Et M. Macron se présente comme l’ultime incarnation de cette dernière carte. D’où son perpétuel chantage électoral rétrospectif, qui consiste à lui conférer les pleins pouvoirs : « C’est pour faire cela que j’ai été élu. » Le président joue sur les affres de tout perdre, jusqu’à sa dignité de peuple tombé sous une férule odieuse, qui taraudent l’esprit public en notre étrange pays.

Alors le Machiavel amiénois ravive, à coups d’invitations lancées à des personnages horrifiques, cette grande peur restée en partie sourde et inavouée du printemps 2017, quand tout sembla tragiquement possible et qu’il fut hissé à l’Élysée davantage par un lâche soulagement que par l’adhésion populaire.

C’est une façon de nous tenir. En témoigne ce passage, au troisième paragraphe de ses vœux, sur « les mille fils tendus qui nous tiennent ». Nous avons porté sur le pavois un président-araignée. Araignée, quel drôle de nom pour un monarque républicain ! Pourquoi pas lib élu, ou pas à pas pillons (les pauvres) ?

 

Key Middle East Publics See Russia, Turkey and U.S. All Playing Larger Roles in Region

 

 

 

 

DECEMBER 11, 2017

Most do not expect Syrian war to end in 2018

BY JANELL FETTEROLF AND JACOB POUSHTER

Majorities across five Middle Eastern and North African countries agree that Russia, Turkey and the United States are all playing more important roles in the region than they did 10 years ago, according to a spring 2017 Pew Research Center survey.

While a median of 53% across the same countries also see Iran playing a more important role, fewer in the region say that Israel and Saudi Arabia have gained influence in the past 10 years. The only country the surveyed publics see as less influential a decade on is Egypt.1

Overall, a number of influential powers in the Middle East are not seen in a favorable light. Roughly one-third or fewer view Russia (median of 35%) or the U.S. (median of 27%) positively. Within the region, views of Iran are particularly poor (14% favorable), though Saudi Arabia fares better (44%).

Middle Eastern and North African publics also tend to rate leaders of other countries in their region negatively. A median of roughly one-third have positive opinions of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Saudi King Salman. Views of Jordanian King Abdullah II are similarly low. And very few view Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu favorably, while a median of 12% have a positive view of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad or Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is the exception to the enerally negative views, but opinion of him is still mixed.

With respect to the ongoing conflict in Syria, publics are divided on how long they expect it to continue; a median of 26% expect the war in Syria to end in the next year, 32% expect it to end in the next five years and 29% think it will continue for more than five years. Overall, just 32% in Jordan are optimistic about the war ending in the next year, but 64% of Syrians living in Jordan expect the conflict will end in 2018.

Additionally, on the issue of allowing Syrian refugees into their country, people in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon are strongly in favor of letting in fewer, with many volunteering “none” as the best option.

These are among the major findings from a Pew Research Center survey conducted among 6,204 respondents in Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia and Turkey from Feb. 27 to April 25, 2017.

Influence of Russia, Turkey, U.S. seen as increasing in the Middle East

iddle Eastern publics see both the U.S. and Russia playing more important roles in the region today than they did 10 years ago.

At least half in all of the nations surveyed say Russia is more influential now compared with a decade ago. Lebanon is particularly likely to say Russia’s role has grown, with Shia (81%) and Sunni Muslims (77%) sharing this view.

Majorities in four of the five nations surveyed also say that the U.S.’s prominence in the region has grown in the past 10 years. A plurality in Israel agrees, although roughly a quarter each say that the U.S.’s role is as important (24%) or less important (27%) now.

In Lebanon, Sunni Muslims (78%) are more likely than Christians (64%) or Shia Muslims (52%) to believe the U.S. has become more prominent.

Within the region, many say that Turkey plays a more important role. People in Turkey and Jordan are the most likely to say Turkey’s role in the region has grown. Israel is the only country where a plurality says Turkey has lost influence over the past decade. This view is more common among Israeli Jews (45%) than among Israeli Arabs (29%).

About eight-in-ten in Lebanon say that Iran is more influential in the Middle East today than it was 10 years ago. Large majorities across all religious groups hold this view: 89% of Shia Muslims, 77% of Sunni Muslims and 71% of Christians. The view that Iran now plays a less important role in the region is held by roughly a quarter in both Israel (24%) and Turkey (26%).

More than half of Israelis and Jordanians say that Israel has taken on a more important role in the Middle East. And in Israel, Jews and Arabs are similarly likely to hold this view. By contrast, roughly three-in-ten in Lebanon (31%) say that Israel’s role has decreased.

Across the region, fewer say Saudi Arabia’s role in the region has grown. Jordan is the only country where more than half hold this view, though a majority (61%) of Sunni Muslims in Lebanon say this. Only a quarter or fewer in Israel and Turkey agree.

Few say that Egypt plays a more important role in the Middle East now compared with 10 years ago. Instead, at least four-in-ten in Turkey, Lebanon, Tunisia and Israel say that Egypt’s prominence in the region has waned.

Widely negative views of Iran

Overall, the Middle Eastern and North African nations surveyed have a very poor opinion of Iran and generally rate Saudi Arabia and Turkey more positively.

Majorities in both Tunisia and Jordan espouse positive views of Turkey. Lebanese are split based on their religious views, with more than half of Sunnis and Christians but only 8% of Shias holding a favorable opinion. Similarly, Israeli Jews and Arabs strongly disagree on Turkey; 72% of Israeli Arabs but only 7% of Israeli Jews think well of Turkey.

Many view Saudi Arabia negatively, but Jordan – which has deepened its ties to Saudi Arabia in recent years – has a very positive opinion of the neighboring kingdom. More than half in Tunisia agree. As with views of Turkey, Sunni Muslims in Lebanon hold significantly more positive views of Saudi Arabia than Shias.

Opinions of Iran are remarkably poor. Fewer than one-in-five in Turkey, Israel and Jordan have positive views of Iran. Jordan’s extremely negative views are similar to views in 2015, but have soured substantially since 2006 – the first time the question was asked in Jordan – when roughly half (49%) viewed Iran favorably.

Compared with its neighbors, Lebanon holds more positive views of Iran overall, but opinions are once more sharply divided by religious background; 93% of Shia Muslims in Lebanon view the Shia-majority nation positively, compared with only 27% of Christians and 16% of Sunnis.

Mixed views of Erdogan; poor ratings for Assad, Rouhani, Netanyahu

Publics in the Middle East tend to see Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan more positively than other Middle Eastern leaders. Yet, views of the Turkish president vary drastically across the region. Fewer than half in Lebanon and only 15% in Israel express a positive opinion of Erdogan. Israeli Jews (4%) and Lebanese Shia Muslims (7%) hold particularly negative views.

Views of Erdogan have improved in Tunisia (up 10 percentage points since 2014) and Jordan (7 points since 2015). Lebanese views have become less favorable since 2015 (down 8 points).

Middle Eastern publics have much more tepid views of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Israelis have the most positive opinion of Sisi among the countries surveyed, but Israeli Arabs (22%) view him significantly less positively than Israeli Jews (49%). Sisi receives the most negative ratings in Turkey, where only 12% view him favorably. Erdogan, the Turkish Prime Minister in 2013, publicly opposed the overthrow of Sisi’s predecessor, Mohamed Morsi.

Saudi King Salman is generally viewed poorly, especially in Israel where only 14% hold a favorable view and no Israelis say they have a very favorable opinion of the Saudi leader. By contrast, 86% in Jordan view Salman positively and half view him very positively.

Jordanian King Abdullah II receives ratings more similar to those of other Middle Eastern leaders. Views of the king are the least positive among Turks; only 18% view him favorably, but a plurality (43%) does not express an opinion.

Views of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are negative across all of the Middle Eastern and North African nations surveyed. Only 7% in Israel and 1% in Jordan view Assad positively. Syrians living in Jordan have similarly negative views of the Syrian president; only 3% have a favorable view of Assad.

Views of Assad are more favorable in Lebanon than in any other country, but they vary starkly between Shia and Sunni Muslims in the country. A large majority of Shias (93%) and only 13% of Sunnis have a favorable opinion of the Syrian president.

In most countries, ratings of Assad have been similarly low since the first time this question was asked. However, opinion has become more favorable in Tunisia over the past five years (up 13 percentage points since 2012).

Opinions of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani are generally similar to opinions of Assad. Fewer than 10% in both Israel and Jordan hold a positive view of the Iranian president.

Public views of Rouhani have become more negative in Jordan – 13% held a positive view of the leader in 2015 – but views in Israel have remained very low. Israeli Jews (0% favorable) and Israeli Arabs (22%) share low opinions of Rouhani. And in Jordan, both Syrians (1%) and Jordanians (4%) have very negative opinions of the Iranian president.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu receives extremely negative ratings from nations in the Middle East and North Africa. Only 7% in both Tunisia and Turkey, 1% in Jordan and 0% in Lebanon have a favorable view of Netanyahu. And the negative opinion in ordan and Lebanon is particularly intense; 95% of Jordanians and 97% of Lebanese say they have a very unfavorable view.

Lebanese opinion on leaders diverges by religious group

In Lebanon, Christians, Shias and Sunnis have remarkably different views of the Middle Eastern leaders tested. Overall, Shias and Sunnis disagree the most, with Christians’ views falling omewhere in the middle.

Shia Muslims in Lebanon hold more positive views of both Rouhani and Assad, compared with Sunni Muslims. Rouhani supports Assad in the civil war in Syria, as does Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shia-run militant group labeled a terrorist organization by the U.S. A Pew Research Center survey in 2014 found that a large majority of Shia Muslims in Lebanon held a positive view of the group.

Sunni Muslims show the strongest preference for Erdogan, a 66-percentage-point difference compared with Shia Muslims. Salman, Sisi and Abdullah II – all leaders of Sunni-majority countries – are also viewed more positively by Sunnis than Shias.

Netanyahu is the only leader whom Sunni and Shia Muslims in Lebanon view similarly; none of the Lebanese surveyed hold a positive view of the Israeli leader.

The Syrian civil war

The Syrian civil war, now in its eventh year, pits many of the region’s key players against each other. Few are optimistic that the war will end within the next year, though many believe it will not last beyond the next five years.

Views are most optimistic in Jordan. Fully 80% expect the war in Syria to end sometime in the next five years, including 32% who think it will end within the year. Syrians living in Jordan are even more hopeful about the war in their homeland; 64% expect it will end within the year, 26% say it will end within the next five years and only 10% think it will continue for more than five years.

Roughly two-thirds in Israel say the war will be over within the next five years, and 48% in Lebanon agree.

Turks are the most pessimistic about the length of the civil war in Syria. Nearly half say the war will continue for more than five years.

While the conflict continues, many in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon want their country to accept fewer refugees. As of mid-2016, these countries and other neighboring nations have taken in about 4.8 million Syrian refugees. Only 8% in Jordan and 4% in ebanon and Turkey support accepting more refugees from Syria.

A majority in Jordan wants its country to accept fewer Syrian refugees and around one-quarter (23%) say their country should not accept any refugees (a volunteered category). However, Syrians already living in Jordan have very different views. A large majority of them say the country should accept more refugees from Syria and 0% say that Jordan should stop accepting refugees all together.

In Lebanon, similar numbers say their country should either accept fewer refugees (40%) or none at all (42%). Christians are more likely than Shia or Sunni Muslims to say that Lebanon should not accept any refugees from Syria.

Three-in-ten in Turkey want their country to accept fewer refugees from Syria and more than half say their country should stop accepting refugees entirely.

La Turquie, la Russie et les Etats-Unis du point de vue militaire

Missiles russes sol-air S-400

 Bernard Owen

Ce n’est pas la première fois que la Turquie se trouve impliqué dans des accords où son rôle n’est pas des plus claires.

Le premier rôle que la Turquie jouait pendant la guerre froide est d’être le fidèle allié des Etats Unis. Dans ce temps là elle possédait des missiles sol-air Sherman américains, ce qui inquiétait les deux grands, Certes, la Turquie pouvait pénétrer en Russie soviétique grâce à ces  missiles qui avaient ‘une portée de 150 kilomètres). Mais les Etats-Unis parlait de missiles démodées. Seulement lors de la crise de Cuba les troupes Turques s’entrainaient déjà à Redstone Arsenal sur les nouveaux missiles. Donc la politique de l’un n’était pas en conformité avec l’autre mais nous n’irons pas plus loin. (Voir mon article « Du tac au tac », 21 mars 2016)

Missiles américains Nike

La Russie va fournir quatre divisions de missiles à la Turquie

27 DÉCEMBRE 2017 PAR AGENCE REUTERS

La Russie va fournir à la Turquie quatre divisions de missiles sol-air S-400 pour un montant de 2,5 milliards de dollars dans le cadre d’un accord sur le point d’être conclu, déclare Sergueï Tchemezov, patron du conglomérat public russe Rostec, cité par le quotidien Kommersant, mercredi.

MOSCOU (Reuters) – La Russie va fournir à la Turquie quatre divisions de missiles sol-air S-400 pour un montant de 2,5 milliards de dollars dans le cadre d’un accord sur le point d’être conclu, déclare Sergueï Tchemezov, patron du conglomérat public russe Rostec, cité par le quotidien Kommersant, mercredi.

La Turquie versera 45% de la somme en à-valoir et la Russie couvrira les 55% restants sous forme de prêts, a précisé Tchemezov.

Les premières livraisons devraient avoir lieu en mars 2020, a-t-il ajouté.

Cet accord a suscité la préoccupation des Occidentaux car la Turquie est membre de l’Otan et que le système de missiles russes n’est pas intégré à l’architecture militaire de l’alliance.

La Turquie est le premier pays de l’Otan à faire l’acquisition de ces missiles S-400.

Les ministères russe et turc des Finances ont conclu leurs négociations sur le financement de l’accord dont les documents définitifs doivent simplement être approuvés, indique Tchemezov.

Macron voudrait faire juger Bachar el-Assad par la CPI

 

Maria Rodriguez McKey

Parfois les hommes et femmes politiques profitent de l’ignorance des citoyens, ou de leur peu d’intérêt pour certains sujets, pour annoncer n’importe quoi? Et le domaine des relations internationales est propice à cela.

Dans un article du journal « Libération », Estelle Pattée explique la difficulté, voire  l’impossibilité, de faire juger Bachar el-Assad par la Cour Pénale Internationale.

L’article mentionne le fait que l’ambassadeur britannique a appelé à la saisine de la Cour Pénale Internationale (CPI) « pour juger les crimes de guerre en Syrie. Libération continue «  Une demande qui a peu de chances d’aboutir. Lors de la dernière tentative du Conseil de sécurité, en 2014, la Russie et la Chine avaient une nouvelle fois déposé leur veto. »

Bien que cela relève, en principe, du droit international, cela ressemble plutôt à la bonne vieille politique, comme avant l’existence des Nations Unies.

Mais le Président Macron envisagerait-il de positionner la France dans la négociation qui aura lieu à la fin de la guerre en vue du partage ?

Dans tout conflit, il faut attendre la défaite de l’ennemi, Hitler (lors de la deuxième guerre mondiale) et DAESH dans celle-ci, pour entamer toute négociation,  et il est clair qu’à cette table il y aura la Russie, l’Iran, la Turquie, et les Etats-Unis,  d’où la diplomatie déjà actuelle et très active de la France.

Néanmoins, ce n’est pas avec cette idée de faire juger  Assad par la CPI que la France arrivera à être à la table des négociations, vue la position des autres pays intervenants.

Mais la CPI est le bébé de la diplomatie française toujours dans son idée d’une gouvernance internationale qui lui offre un rôle dans les affaires du monde, (comme le siège au Conseil de Sécurité, qu’elle a obtenu grâce à Winston Churchill, qui a participé aux négociations d’après guerre et qui ne voulait pas un affrontement direct URSS – Etats-Unis). Les deux pays qui participent le plus au budget de la CPI sont la France et l’Allemagne, les Etats-Unis n’ayant pas ratifié le traité la créant. Vu que les Etats Unis ont des militaires postés un peu partout dans le monde, ils préfèrent des accords bilatéraux.

La France a ratifié le traité de Rome instituant la CPI mais en s’autorisant un délai de 7 ans pour son application.  Voici ce que dit le site http://www.cfcpi.fr/spip.php?rubrique6:

« La France a signé le Statut de Rome dès le 18 juillet 1998 et déposé son instrument de ratification du Statut de Rome le 9 juin 2000, après une autorisation votée à l’unanimité du Parlement. La ratification par la France du Traité de Rome a nécessité la révision de la Constitution suite de l’avis rendu le 22 janvier 1999 par le Conseil constitutionnel.

Lors de la ratification du Statut de la CPI, la France a fait jouer la « déclaration de l’article 124 ». Cette déclaration a pour effet de suspendre la compétence de la CPI en France pour les crimes de guerre pendant une période de sept ans à partir de l’entrée en vigueur, c’est-à-dire jusqu’au 1er juillet 2009. La CFCPI ne peut que regretter l’utilisation de l’article 124 que rien ne justifie. Il serait normal et souhaitable que la France y renonce au plus vite.

A ce jour, seules la France et la Colombie ont utilisé l’article 124. »

La guerre de Libye a été une catastrophe pour le pays lui même mais aussi pour l’Afrique car Khadafi a joué le rôle de policier dans la région. L’Union Africaine a plaidé avec le Président Sarkozy pour négocier avec Khadafi. L’Union a reçu une fin de non recevoir.

Le Président Sarkozy et le Premier Ministre Cameron ont créé un vide de pouvoir dans cette région. Le Président Obama n’est pas allé plus loin que l’installation de la « no fly zone », ce quia empêché les avions de Khadafi de bombarder les populations. Il faut dire que, contrairement à l’Assemblée Nationale (droite et gauche confondues), le Congrès n’a pas donné un sous au président (aux Etats Unis ont dit que le Congrès a « the power of the purse » ou le pouvoir du portefeuille).

L’état de la Libye, et les conséquences sur la région, y inclus les centaines de réfugiés noyés dans la Méditerranée, sont directement imputables à cette guerre.

La guerre de Libye ressemblait à la  guerre du Président Bush Jr. en ce que le but de l’un comme de l’autre était de se débarrasser du gouvernement en place. Mais le Président Sarkozy a pensé que s’ il n’y avait pas une occupation de troupes étrangères, il n’y aurait pas de résistance, de toute façon, il aurait été politiquement impossible d’envoyer l’armée française. J’ai encore cette image de Cameron et Sarkozy se faisant féliciter par la foule après la défaite.  La seule chose positive pour la France c’est que la présence du Qatar sur le sol libyen, a permis à ce dernier d’acheter des Rafales!

Il y aurait dû y avoir un seul ennemi : DAESH.  Le gouvernement Hollande avec son ministre des Affaires Etrangères, Laurent Fabius, n’aurait pas dû attendre les attentats de Paris pour le réaliser. Il ne faut jamais se tromper d’ennemi.

Après le 11 septembre, il ne fallait surtout pas se débarrasser des gouvernements dans les pays du monde arabe et créer des vides de pouvoir où DAESH pouvait pénétrer. D’ailleurs, DAESH est présent en Libye et en Irak.

Evénements israélo-palestiniens, décembre 2017

La grande Mosquée de Jérusalem.

Bernard Owen

Il est difficile de comprendre ou de saisir la situation palestino-israélienne sans avoir travaillé d’une façon ou d’une autre au Moyen Orient.

Lors d’une de mes missions, mon chauffeur parlant fort bien l’anglais, me raconta sa propre situation. Il avait quitté Israël pour s’installer au Koweït, après la prise en main des Américains, car le travail ne manquait pas.

La défaite de Sadam Hussein a mené à l’expulsion des Palestiniens, qui s’y étaient installés. Cette petite anecdote pourrait illustrer la bienfaisance à laquelle on pourrait s’attendre entre Palestiniens.

Un autre exemple : J’avais des questions précises à poser lors d’une réunion entre Palestiniens et Israéliens à Jéricho (ville proche de Jérusalem). Au cours du trajet, j’ai fait le touriste. La zone traversée était surprenante, une belle route bien entretenue, aucune habitation en dehors de celles groupées sur les hauteurs, à l’allure de châteaux-forts d’architecture moderne. De belles et grandes voitures circulaient sur la route. Après quelques kilomètres, nous arrivâmes aux abords de la ville de Jéricho et là mon étonnement fut grand de remarquer partout des hommes armés, en haut, en bas, à droite, à gauche. J’ai déjà rencontré des frontières bien gardées, mais à ce point non. La voiture nous déposa à l’endroit de la réunion où avait lieu l’accord qui fut quasi immédiat. Je pense que ce travail fut utile.

En quelques jours, l’on avait perçu que les oppositions pouvaient venir de partout, des ennemis mais aussi des amis.

Il faut avoir travaillé en Israël pour le comprendre.

Ci-dessous un article du New York Times sur le fait que la plupart d’anciens ambassadeurs américains en Israël sont en désaccord avec la décision du Président Trump concernant Jérusalem.

MIDDLE EAST

Nearly Every Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Disagrees With Trump’s Jerusalem Decision

By SEWELL CHANDEC. 7, 2017

President Trump declared recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Here’s why that’s so fraught.

By CAMILLA SCHICK on Publish DateDecember 5,

All but two of 11 former United States ambassadors to Israel contacted by The New York Times after President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital thought the plan was wrongheaded, dangerous or deeply flawed.

The 11 ex-envoys all closely followed Mr. Trump’s announcement on Wednesday, in which he also set in motion a plan to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. Even those who agreed that Mr. Trump was recognizing the reality on the ground disagreed with his approach — making a major diplomatic concession without any evident gain in return.

One of the exceptions was Ogden R. Reid, a former congressman who was the ambassador from 1959 to 1961, at the end of the Eisenhower administration. “I think it’s the right decision,” he said. “Not a lot more to say.”

The other exception was Edward S. Walker Jr., who was ambassador from 1997 to 1999, under President Bill Clinton. “I think it’s about time,” he said. “We’ve been remiss in not recognizing realities as they are. We all know Israel has a capital, it’s called Jerusalem, and over my 35 years of service in the Middle East no one ever questioned that.”

What about the departure from United States policy since 1948 — that the final status of Jerusalem is a matter for negotiation between the Israelis and Palestinians — and the condemnation from the international community?

Continue reading the main story

“It’s really a question of what are the lines, the borders, to be drawn around the state of Israel and the ultimate state of Palestine,” Mr. Walker said. “Nothing in what the president has said precludes the negotiation of a settlement of this issue.”

That was not the prevailing view. More typical was the perspective of Daniel C. Kurtzer, who was the ambassador from 2001 to 2005, under President George W. Bush.

“There are many downsides, both diplomatically and in terms of the Middle East peace process, and no upside,” Mr. Kurtzer said. “We are isolated internationally once again — except for the Israeli government, which supports this — and we are taking ourselves out of the role the president says he wants to play as a peace broker.”

What of the argument that the peace process, with the goal of a two-state political solution, was dormant, and needed to be shaken up?

“The fact that the process is moribund calls for a much more dramatic role,” he said. “It doesn’t call for the U.S. to lean over and adopt the position of one party and offer nothing to the other party.”

Richard H. Jones, who was ambassador from 2005 to 2009, also under Mr. Bush, warned that groups like Hamas and the Islamic State would exploit the issue to incite violence, and predicted that the Palestinian Authority would step up international efforts to boycott and condemn Israel.

“This is a risky move, which no doubt will cost lives in Israel and the region, particularly as Israeli settlers use it to justify accelerating their activity further,” he said in an email.

Several of the ambassadors were open to recognizing West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. But they said that should happen as part of a broader strategy that would also require the Israelis to halt or slow settlement construction and that would recognize East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

Martin S. Indyk, who served as ambassador twice, both times during Bill Clinton’s presidency, proposed just such a deal in an Op-Ed essay in The New York Times this year, weeks before Mr. Trump was sworn in.

“Not surprisingly, President Trump didn’t follow my advice to couple his move on Jerusalem with a diplomatic initiative,” Mr. Indyk said on Thursday. “Instead, he tried to limit the damage by avoiding any geographic definition of the capital that he is officially recognizing. Unfortunately, that nuance will be lost on all sides.”

“My motivation was to incentivize Israel’s participation in the Madrid peace talks,” he said, referring to negotiations in 1991 that helped give momentum to what later became the Oslo process. He recalled that there was significant resistance to the proposal in the Bush administration, and that the idea was dropped.

“If he was going to make this announcement, it ought to be very, very carefully crafted so as to minimize a blowup,” he said, making clear he did not think Mr. Trump had succeeded.

William Caldwell Harrop, who was the ambassador from 1992 to 1993, called Mr. Trump’s decision “slightly reckless” and even “kind of a masochistic move” that might “undermine his own, repeatedly discussed, ‘great deal’ of bringing peace to the Israelis and Palestinians.”

Having decided to make his announcement, Mr. Trump could have been explicit that he would place the embassy in West Jerusalem, Mr. Harrop said.

“One has to be pessimistic,” he said after listening to Mr. Trump’s speech. “We’ll get, before long, more efforts by Palestinians to build up international recognition of the state of Palestine. Some form of intifada is very likely, and there will be more bloodshed.”

Edward P. Djerejian, who was the ambassador from 1993 to 1994, in the optimistic aftermath of the Oslo peace accords, also found Mr. Trump’s effort to thread the needle unsatisfying.

Mr. Trump portrayed his decision more as a recognition of on-the-ground reality than as a sharp change in policy, insisting that “the specific boundaries” of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem had yet to be settled.

Introduction aux guerres européennes

Bernard Owen

L’Empire Russe représentant le christianisme   orthodoxe si longtemps considéré comme étant son défenseur contre tout empiétement  musulman. Cela déplut à Napoléon III qui disposait de zouaves bien formés,  équipés de fusils modernes. Une  entente étant impossible   les zouaves montèrent à l’assaut et prirent Sébastopol.  et Tolstoï qui était militaire russe fondit en larmes quand il vit le  drapeau français flottant sur la ville. L’amitié franco russe ne pouvait résister à cela  et quand Bismark, chancelier allemand, tendit un piège à la France de Napoléon III le poussant à lui déclarer la guerre. Il savait que jamais l’Empire Russe ne viendrait au secours de Napoléon III. Cela fut la fin de la guerre et de l’Empire de Napoléon III. Il s’agissait d’un manque de prévoyance de l’Empereur français.

En 1870 les allemands furent surpris en voyant après la reddition de la France, la quantité de troupes françaises se trouvant à Sedan, et leur équipement, qui se rendaient sans s’être battus.  L’incompétence des chefs est universelle.

L’autre erreur d’un grand chef apparaît.  Ludendorff à la tête de l’armée allemande  lors de la première guerre mondiale a oublié l’une des premières règles de combat « d’assurer à tout moment de conserver la liaison avec ses arrières ». Les munitions, son ravitaillement. Il fonça sur Paris . La grosse Bertha n’était pas une compensation. Ludendorff resta sur le terrain et conserva le corps de son gendre bien aimé à ses cotés.

Plus tard, l’extrémiste germanique, Hitler imputa la défaite allemande aux troupes elles-mêmes. En Fait, une défaite militaire est plus vraisemblable.

Que valent nos chefs des armées? Nous en sommes aux allemands. Nos allemands politico – militaires ont une réputation que l’on pourrait juger surfaite.

Le cinisme  nous montre des milliers de troupes russes prisonnières en 1940.  Puis pour Stalingrad, on voit souvent les pieds ensanglantées et enfouis dans la neige.

L’on a oublié  la surprise des allemands quand ils reçurent les orgues de Staline ou Katioucha à multiples canons qui se déplaçaient facilement, d’abord sur  des camions russes marque SIS plus sur des camions américains Studebaker. A Stalingrad les nouveaux chars allemands  furent presque   démodé par le char T-34/76  conduits par des homme et des femmes qui les avaient construit. Déjà l’aviation  soviétique prenait  le dessus sur la Luftwaffe. Et  Von Paulus nommé Maréchal fut contrait de se rendre.

L’intelligence militaire  n’est pas récente  même si les  circonstances leur furent très défavorables aux russes. Les japonais ont obtenu l’interdiction de franchir le canal de Suez à la flotte russe du nord par les britanniques.

Les russes font peur non seulement par leur taille mais par leur intelligence. Ils firent s’éloigner Napoléon en utilisant le principe des manœuvres simples et successives. Un pilote me fit survoler la Berezina. Napoléon tient à contrer  l’armée russe mais n’y arriva que très partiellement.

Voici  des extraits du Pacte de non agression entre l’Allemagne Nasi et l’Union Soviétique.

La signature du pacte de non – agression par Molotov–Ribbentrop.

Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact was a neutrality pact between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed in Moscow on 23 August 1939 by foreign ministers Joachim von Ribbentrop and Vyacheslav Molotov, respectively.[8] The pact was followed by the German-Soviet Commercial Agreement in February 1940.

The pact delineated the spheres of interest between the two powers, confirmed by the supplementary protocol of the German–Soviet Frontier Treaty amended after the joint invasion of Poland. It remained in force for nearly two years, until the German government of Adolf Hitler ended the pact by launching an attack on the Soviet positions in Eastern Poland during Operation Barbarossa on 22 June 1941.[2]

The clauses of the Nazi-Soviet Pact provided a written guarantee of non-belligerence by each party towards the other, and a declared commitment that neither government would ally itself to, or aid, an enemy of the other party. In addition to stipulations of non-aggression, the treaty included a secret protocol that divided territories of PolandLithuaniaLatviaEstoniaFinland, and Romania, into German and Soviet « spheres of influence« , anticipating « territorial and political rearrangements » of these countries. Thereafter, Germany invaded Poland on 1 September 1939. Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin ordered the Soviet invasion of Poland on 17 September, one day after a Soviet-Japanese ceasefire at the Khalkhin Gol came into effect.[9] In November, parts of the Karelia and Salla regions in Finland were annexed by the Soviet Union after the Winter War. This was followed by Soviet annexations of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and parts of Romania (Bessarabia, Northern Bukovina, and the Hertza region). Advertised concern about ethnic Ukrainians and Belarusians had been proffered as justification for the Soviet invasion of Poland. Stalin’s invasion of Bukovina in 1940 violated the pact, as it went beyond the Soviet sphere of influence agreed with the Axis.[10]

The territories of Poland annexed by the Soviet Union after the 1939 Nazi-Soviet invasion of Poland remained in the USSR at the end of World War II. The new border was set up along the Curzon Line. Only the region around Białystok and a small part of Galicia east of the San river around Przemyśl were returned to the Polish state from that line. Of all other territories annexed by the USSR in 1939–40, the ones detached from Finland (KareliaPetsamo), Estonia (Ingrian area and Petseri County) and Latvia (Abrene) remain part of the Russian Federation, the successor state of the USSR upon the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Northern Bukovina, Southern Bessarabia and Hertza remain part of Ukraine.

The existence of the secret protocol was denied by the Soviet government until 1989, when it was finally acknowledged and denounced.[11] Some time later the new Russian nationalists and revisionists including Russian amateur negationist Alexander Dyukov and Nataliya Narotchnitskaya, whose book carried an approving foreword by the Russian foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, described the pact as a necessary measure because of the British and French failure to enter into an anti-fascist pact.[11][12] Vladimir Putin has also defended the pact.[13][14]

By the end of May, drafts were formally presented.[48] In mid-June, the main Tripartite negotiations started.[58]The discussion was focused on potential guarantees to central and east European countries should a German aggression arise.[59] The USSR proposed to consider that a political turn towards Germany by the Baltic stateswould constitute an « indirect aggression » towards the Soviet Union.[60] Britain opposed such proposals, because they feared the Soviets’ proposed language could justify a Soviet intervention in Finland and the Baltic states, or push those countries to seek closer relations with Germany.[61][62] The discussion about a definition of « indirect aggression » became one of the sticking points between the parties, and by mid-July, the tripartite political negotiations effectively stalled, while the parties agreed to start negotiations on a military agreement, which the Soviets insisted must be entered into simultaneously with any political agreement.[63]

« The Prussian Tribute in Moscow » in the Polish satirical newspaper Mucha of September 8, 1939.

Beginning of secret talks

From April to July, Soviet and German officials made statements regarding the potential for the beginning of political negotiations, while no actual negotiations took place during that time period.[64] The ensuing discussion of a potential political deal between Germany and the Soviet Union had to be channeled into the framework of economic negotiations between the two countries, because close military and diplomatic connections, as was the case before the mid-1930s, had been largely severed.[65] In May, Stalin replaced his Foreign Minister Maxim Litvinov, who was regarded as pro-western[clarification needed] and who was also Jewish, with Vyacheslav Molotov, allowing the Soviet Union more latitude in discussions with more parties, not only with Britain and France.[66]

In late July and early August 1939, Soviet and German officials agreed on most of the details for a planned economic agreement,[67] and specifically addressed a potential political agreement,[68][69][70][c] which the Soviets stated could only come after an economic agreement.[72]

 

…, British, French, and Soviet negotiators scheduled three-party talks on military matters to occur in Moscow in August 1939, aiming to define what the agreement would specify should be the reaction of the three powers to a German attack.[61] The tripartite military talks, started in mid-August, hit a sticking point regarding the passage of Soviet troops through Poland if Germans attacked, and the parties waited as British and French officials overseas pressured Polish officials to agree to such terms.[77][78] Polish officials refused to allow Soviet troops into Polish territory if Germany attacked; Polish foreign minister Józef Beck pointed out that the Polish government feared that once the Red Army entered their territory, it might never leave.[79][80]

On August 19, the 1939 German–Soviet Commercial Agreement was finally signed.[81] On 21 August, the Soviets suspended the tripartite military talks, citing other reasons.[49][82] That same day, Stalin received assurance that Germany would approve secret protocols to the proposed non-aggression pact that would place half of Poland (east of the Vistula river), LatviaEstoniaFinland, and Bessarabia in the Soviets’ sphere of influence.[83] That night, Stalin replied that the Soviets were willing to sign the pact and that he would receive Ribbentrop on 23 August.[84]

The secret protocol

On 22 August, one day after the talks broke down with France and Britain, Moscow revealed that Ribbentrop would visit Stalin the next day. This happened while the Soviets were still negotiating with the British and French missions in Moscow. With the Western nations unwilling to accede to Soviet demands, Stalin instead entered a secret Nazi–Soviet pact.[85] On 24 August a 10-year non-aggression pact was signed with provisions that included: consultation, arbitration if either party disagreed, neutrality if either went to war against a third power, no membership of a group « which is directly or indirectly aimed at the other ». The article « On Soviet–German Relations » in the Soviet newspaper Izvestia of August 21, 1939, stated:

Following completion of the Soviet–German trade and credit agreement, there has arisen the question of improving political links between Germany and the USSR.[86]

The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact

Last page of the Additional Secret Protocol of the Pact

There was also a secret protocol to the pact, revealed only after Germany’s defeat in 1945,[87] although hints about its provisions were leaked much earlier, e.g., to influence Lithuania.[88] According to the protocol, Romania, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland were divided into German and Soviet « spheres of influence« .[87] In the north, Finland, Estonia and Latvia were assigned to the Soviet sphere.[87]Poland was to be partitioned in the event of its « political rearrangement »: the areas east of the PisaNarevVistula and San rivers would go to the Soviet Union, while Germany would occupy the west.[87] Lithuania, adjacent to East Prussia, would be in the German sphere of influence, although a second secret protocol agreed to in September 1939 reassigned the majority of Lithuania to the USSR.[89] According to the protocol, Lithuania would be granted its historical capital Vilnius, which was under Polish control during the inter-war period. Another clause of the treaty stipulated that Germany would not interfere with the Soviet Union’s actions towards Bessarabia, then part of Romania; as a result, Bessarabia was joined to the Moldavian ASSR, and become the Moldavian SSR under Moscow’s control.[87]

At the signing, Ribbentrop and Stalin enjoyed warm conversations, exchanged toasts and further addressed the prior hostilities between the countries in the 1930s.[90] They characterized Britain as always attempting to disrupt Soviet–German relations, stated that the Anti-Comintern pact was not aimed at the Soviet Union, but actually aimed at Western democracies and « frightened principally the City of London [i.e., the British financiers] and the English shopkeepers ».[91]

On 24 August, Pravda and Izvestia carried news of the non-secret portions of the Pact, complete with the now infamous front-page picture of Molotov signing the treaty, with a smiling Stalin looking on.[49] The news was met with utter shock and surprise by government leaders and media worldwide, most of whom were aware only of the British–French–Soviet negotiations that had taken place for months.[49] The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact was received with shock by Nazi Germany’s allies, notably Japan, by the Comintern and foreign communist parties, and by Jewish communities all around the world.[92] The same day, German diplomat Hans von Herwarth (whose grandmother was Jewish) informed Guido Relli, an Italian diplomat,[93] and American chargé d’affaires Charles Bohlen on the secret protocol regarding vital interests in the countries’ allotted « spheres of influence », without revealing the annexation rights for « territorial and political rearrangement ».[94][95]

Time Magazine repeatedly referred to the Pact as the « Communazi Pact » and its participants as « communazis » until April 1941.[96][97][98][99][100][101][102]

Soviet propaganda and representatives went to great lengths to minimize the importance of the fact that they had opposed and fought against the Nazis in various ways for a decade prior to signing the Pact. Upon signing the pact, Molotov tried to reassure the Germans of his good intentions by commenting to journalists that « fascism is a matter of taste ».[103] For its part, Nazi Germany also did a public volte-face regarding its virulent opposition to the Soviet Union, though Hitler still viewed an attack on the Soviet Union as « inevitable ».[citation needed]

Concerns over the possible existence of a secret protocol were first expressed by the intelligence organizations of the Baltic states[citation needed] scant days after the pact was signed. Speculation grew stronger when Soviet negotiators referred to its content during negotiations for military bases in those countries (see occupation of the Baltic States).

The day after the Pact was signed, the French and British military negotiation delegation urgently requested a meeting with Soviet military negotiator Kliment Voroshilov.[104] On August 25, Voroshilov told them « [i]n view of the changed political situation, no useful purpose can be served in continuing the conversation. »[104] That day, Hitler told the British ambassador to Berlin that the pact with the Soviets prevented Germany from facing a two front war, changing the strategic situation from that in World War I, and that Britain should accept his demands regarding Poland.[105]

On 25 August, surprising Hitler, Britain entered into a defense pact with Poland.[105] Consequently, Hitler postponed his planned 26 August invasion of Poland to 1 September.[105][106] In accordance with the defense pact, Britain and France declared war on Germany on 3 September.[107]

 

 

 

Katyusha rocket launcher

We can watch films about Soviet prisoners during World War II. But this is only part of the story. The multiple rocket laucher used by the Soviet Union astonished Nazi Germany just as the new Soviet tanks did as they were able to destroy the Nazi ones.

Bernard Owen

 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

multiple rocket launcher (Russian: Катю́ша; IPA: [kɐˈtʲuʂə] ( listen)) is a type of rocket artilleryfirst built and fielded by the Soviet Union in World War IIMultiple rocket launchers such as these deliver explosives to a target area more quickly than conventional artillery, but with lower accuracy and requiring a longer time to reload. They are fragile compared to artillery guns, but are inexpensive, easy to produce, and usable on any chassis. The Katyushas of World War II, the first self-propelled artillery mass-produced by the Soviet Union,[1] were usually mounted on ordinary trucks. This mobility gave the Katyusha, and other self-propelled artillery, another advantage: being able to deliver a large blow all at once, and then move before being located and attacked with counter-battery fire.

Katyusha weapons of World War II included the BM-13 launcher, light BM-8, and heavy BM-31. Today, the nickname is also applied to newer truck-mounted post-Soviet – in addition to non-Soviet – multiple rocket launchers, notably the common BM-21 Grad and its derivatives.

Nickname

Initially, concerns for secrecy kept the military designation of the Katyushas from being known by the soldiers who operated them. They were called by code names such as Kostikov guns, after the head of the RNII, the Reaction-Engine Scientific Research Institute, and finally classed as Guards Mortars.[2] The name BM-13 was only allowed into secret documents in 1942, and remained classified until after the war.[3]

Because they were marked with the letter K (for Voronezh Komintern Factory),[3] Red Army troops adopted a nickname from Mikhail Isakovsky‘s popular wartime song, « Katyusha« , about a girl longing for her absent beloved, who has gone away on military service.[4] Katyusha is the Russian equivalent of Katie, an endearing diminutiveform of the name Katherine: Yekaterina →Katya →Katyusha.

German troops coined the nickname « Stalin’s organ » (German: Stalinorgel), after Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, comparing the visual resemblance of the launch array to a church organ, and the sound of the weapon’s rocket motors, a distinctive howling sound which terrified the German troops,[5] adding a psychological warfare aspect to their use. Weapons of this type are known by the same name in Denmark (Danish: Stalinorgel), Finland (Finnish: Stalinin urut), France (French: orgue de Staline), Norway (Norwegian: Stalinorgel), the Netherlands and Belgium(Dutch: Stalinorgel), Hungary (Hungarian: Sztálinorgona), Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries (Spanish: Órganos de Stalin) as well as in Sweden (Swedish: Stalinorgel).[4]

The heavy BM-31 launcher was also referred to as Andryusha (Андрюша, an affectionate diminutive of « Andrew »).[6]

World War II

A battery of Katyusha launchers fires at German forces during the Battle of Stalingrad, 6 October 1942.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Katyusha rocket launchers, which were invented in Voronezh, were mounted on many platforms during World War II, including on trucks, artillery tractors, tanks, and armoured trains, as well as on naval and riverine vessels as assault support weapons. Soviet engineers also mounted single Katyusha rockets on lengths of railway track to serve in urban combat.

The design was relatively simple, consisting of racks of parallel rails on which rockets were mounted, with a folding frame to raise the rails to launch position. Each truck had 14 to 48 launchers. The M-13 rocket of the BM-13 system was 80 cm (2 ft 7 in) long, 13.2 cm (5.2 in) in diameter and weighed 42 kg (93 lb).

The weapon is less accurate than conventional artillery guns, but is extremely effective in saturation bombardment, and was particularly feared by German soldiers. A battery of four BM-13 launchers could fire a salvo in 7–10 seconds that delivered 4.35 tons of high explosives over a 400,000-square-metre (4,300,000 sq ft) impact zone,[2] making its power roughly equivalent to that of 72 conventional artillery guns. With an efficient crew, the launchers could redeploy to a new location immediately after firing, denying the enemy the opportunity for counterbattery fire. Katyusha batteries were often massed in very large numbers to create a shock effect on enemy forces. The weapon’s disadvantage was the long time it took to reload a launcher, in contrast to conventional guns which could sustain a continuous low rate of fire.

 

Development

In June 1938, the Soviet Jet Propulsion Research Institute(RNII) in Leningrad was authorized by the Main Artillery Directorate (GAU) to develop a multiple rocket launcher for the RS-132 aircraft rocket (RS for Reaktivnyy Snaryad, ‘rocket-powered shell’). I. Gvay led a design team in Chelyabinsk, Russia, which built several prototype launchers firing the modified 132 mm M-132 rockets over the sides of ZiS-5 trucks. These proved unstable, and V.N. Galkovskiy proposed mounting the launch rails longitudinally. In August 1939, the result was the BM-13 (BM stands for Боевая Mашина(translit. Boyevaya Mashina), ‘combat vehicle’ for M-13 rockets).[1]

The first large-scale testing of the rocket launchers took place at the end of 1938, when 233 rounds of various types were used. A salvo of rockets could completely straddle a target at a range of 5,500 metres (3.4 mi). But the artillery branch was not fond of the Katyusha, because it took up to 50 minutes to load and fire 24 rounds, while a conventional howitzer could fire 95 to 150 rounds in the same time.[citation needed] Testing with various rockets was conducted through 1940, and the BM-13-16 with launch rails for sixteen rockets was authorized for production. Only forty launchers were built before Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941.[4]

After their success in the first month of the war, mass production was ordered and the development of other models proceeded. The Katyusha was inexpensive and could be manufactured in light industrial installations which did not have the heavy equipment to build conventional artillery gun barrels.[2] By the end of 1942, 3,237 Katyusha launchers of all types had been built, and by the end of the war total production reached about 10,000.[7]

The truck-mounted Katyushas were installed on ZiS-6 6×4 trucks, as well as the two-axle ZiS-5 and ZiS-5V. In 1941, a small number of BM-13 launchers were mounted on STZ-5 artillery tractors. A few were also tried on KV tank chassis as the KV-1K, but this was a needless waste of heavy armour. Starting in 1942, they were also mounted on various British, Canadian and U.S. Lend-Lease trucks, in which case they were sometimes referred to as BM-13S. The cross-country performance of the Studebaker US6 2½ ton truck was so good that it became the GAU’s standard mounting in 1943, designated BM-13N (normalizovanniy, ‘standardized’), and more than 1,800 of this model were manufactured by the end of World War II.[8] After World War II, BM-13s were based on Soviet-built ZiL-151 trucks.

The 82 mm BM-8 was approved in August 1941, and deployed as the BM-8-36 on truck beds and BM-8-24 on T-40 and T-60 light tank chassis. Later these were also installed on GAZ-67 jeeps as the BM-8-8, and on the larger Studebaker trucks as the BM-8-48.[2] In 1942, the team of scientists Leonid Shvarts, Moisei Komissarchik and engineer Yakov Shor received the Stalin prize for the development of the BM-8-48.[9][10]

Based on the M-13, the M-30 rocket was developed in 1942. Its bulbous warhead required it to be fired from a grounded frame, called the M-30 (single frame, four round; later double frame, 8 round), instead of a launch rail mounted on a truck. In 1944 it became the basis for the BM-31-12 truck-mounted launcher.[2]

A battery of BM-13-16 launchers included four firing vehicles, two reload trucks and two technical support trucks, with each firing vehicle having a crew of six. Reloading was executed in 3–4 minutes, although the standard procedure was to switch to a new position some 10 km away due to the ease with which the battery could be identified by the enemy. Three batteries were combined into a division (company), and three divisions into a separate mine-firing regiment of rocket artillery.

Combat history

The multiple rocket launchers were top secret in the beginning of World War II. A special unit of the NKVD troops was raised to operate them.[2] On July 14, 1941, an experimental artillery battery of seven launchers was first used in battle at Orsha in Vitebsk Province of USSR(Belarus, under the command of Captain Ivan Flyorov, destroying a concentration of German troops with tanks, armored vehicles and trucks at the marketplace, causing massive German Army casualties and its retreat from the town in panic. Following the success, the Red Army organized new Guards mortar batteries for the support of infantry divisions. A battery’s complement was standardized at four launchers. They remained under NKVD control until German Nebelwerfer rocket launchers became common later in the war.[7]

On August 8, 1941, Stalin ordered the formation of eight special Guards mortar regiments under the direct control of the General Headquarters Reserve (Stavka-VGK). Each regiment comprised three battalions of three batteries, totalling 36 BM-13 or BM-8 launchers. Independent Guards mortar battalions were also formed, comprising 12 launchers in three batteries of four. By the end of 1941, there were eight regiments, 35 independent battalions, and two independent batteries in service, fielding a total of 554 launchers.[14]

In June 1942 heavy Guards mortar battalions were formed around the new M-30 static rocket launch frames, consisting of 96 launchers in three batteries. In July, a battalion of BM-13s was added to the establishment of a tank corps.[15] In 1944, the BM-31 was used in motorized heavy Guards mortar battalions of 48 launchers. In 1943, Guards mortar brigades, and later divisions, were formed equipped with static launchers.[14]

By the end of 1942, 57 regiments were in service—together with the smaller independent battalions, this was the equivalent of 216 batteries: 21% BM-8 light launchers, 56% BM-13, and 23% M-30 heavy launchers. By the end of the war, the equivalent of 518 batteries were in service.[14]

Post-war development

 

Russian forces use BM-27 rocket launchers during the Second Chechen War

The success and economy of multiple rocket launchers (MRL) have led them to continue to be developed. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union fielded several models of Katyusha-like MRL, notably the BM-21launchers somewhat inspired by the earlier weapon, and the larger BM-27. Advances in artillery munitions have been applied to some Katyusha-type multiple launch rocket systems, including bomblet submunitions, remotely deployed land mines, and chemical warheads.