fredag 25 mars 2022

Afghanistankriget 1979-1989

Ryssland kan ses som en expansiv stormakt... och i så fall så har det alltid varit det. Från begynnelsen som "Storfurstendömet Moskva" har Ryssland expanderat. Avsaknaden av naturliga gränser har gjort att grannar, inklusive Sverige, behövt "hålla garden uppe". Ur svensk-nationalistisk synpunkt är detta lärdomen, igår, idag och imorgon; detta är den grundattityd man som svensk nationalist måste ha. -- Ett av många länder som Ryssland försökte (men misslyckades) att ta var Afghanistan. Härmed berättelsen om Sovjetrysslands krig i Afghanistan. Fokus ligger på de militära operationerna, och inte på politik. Men generellt kan man säga att detta krig illustrerade Rysslands eviga geopolitiska strävan, att dominera det eurasiatiska hjärtlandet. Och en artikel på bloggen som redogör för geopolitik, Eurasien och dess hjärtland finner du här.




Sovejtunionen invaderade Afghanistan 1979. Det blev början till ett nio år långt krig.



Invasionen

Sovjet hade gett Afghanistan bistånd sedan 1950-talet. Bland annat hade man hjälpt till att bygga upp dess armé. Därför kunde man enkelt göra dess fordon obrukbara vid tiden för den sovjetiska invasionen, julen 1979. Till exempel tog man bort bilbatterier som led i ”vinterrutiner”.

Sovjet hade även trupp inne i landet. En sådan förtrupp intog nu Kabuls flygplats. Inom kort flögs över 5.000 sovjetiska soldater med materiel in. Det var delar av 105. luftburna divisionen. Senare flögs även 103. och 104. luftburna divisionerna in. Operationen understöddes av attackflyg, men mycket strid förekom inte.

Juldagen anföll två sovjetiska kolonner på marken, över gränsen mellan Sovjet och Afghanistan. Med pansardivisioner i täten svepte de ner längs de två huvudvägar som leder genom Afghanistan. Spetsarna möttes i Kabul, huvudstaden. Allt motstånd slogs ner.

27 december besatte specialtrupper (Spetsnaz) presidentpalatset och mördade president Amin. Marionetten Babrak Karmal installerades istället.



Krigsförloppet

Från december 1979 till mars 1980 slogs Röda armén på bred front i landet. Men motståndarna, afghanska muslimer, tillämpade gerillataktik. Sovjet började därför föra antigerillakrig. Man använde till exempel taktiken ”attackhelikoptrar samverkande med patruller på marken”.

Under höjdpunkten av denna inledande fas satte Sovjet in cirka 100.000 man, men endast 15% av dessa användes för att bekämpa gerillan. Huvudansvaret för operationerna kom att ligga på Spetsnaz och den reguljära afghanska armén. Efter åtta års krig var gerillan visserligen en kraft att räkna med, men den utgjorde inget större hot. Den kunde inte ta och hålla strategiskt viktiga punkter.

Sovjetiska förluster under kriget var förhållandevis små. Inalles dog cirka 14.000 sovjetiska soldater i Afghanistan. Förlustnivån var faktiskt lägre än i dåvarande, inhemska sovjetiska militärområden, som exempelvis det vitryska. Där brukade dödsfall regelmässigt inträffa under övningar med skarp ammunition och dylikt.

Moralen i sovjetiska förband i Afghanistan var, om inte på topp, så i alla fall nöjaktig. Procentuellt sett deserterade avsevärt fler under andra världskriget än under Afghanistan-kriget.



USA:s roll

USA stödde gerillan från första början. President Reagan hade också stöd från kongressen för att förse gerillan med vapen. Man använde Pakistan som mellanhand i den praktiska leveransen. Sovjetiska vapen var vad gerillan främst ville ha, eftersom Afghanistan sedan 50-talet var del av den sovjetiska militära kulturen. Egypten hade sovjetiska vapen och var villigt att hjälpa USA. Automatkarbiner, minor, granatkastare och lv-vapen skeppades från Egypten till Pakistan på amerikanska plan, hyrda av CIA. I gengäld fick Egypten köpa modern amerikansk utrustning.

Från 1985 överfördes även amerikansk utrustning till gerillan, främst den avancerade lv-roboten Stinger. USA lät tillverka egna ”sovjetiska” vapen när lagren inte räckte till. Kinesiska vapen slussades till Afghanistan i stora mängder.

Vapnen överfördes till Afghanistan via Pakistan. Men Pakistan ville inte att gerillan skulle bli för mäktig. Ibland såg man till att de tyngsta vapnen, såsom lv-robotar och granatkastare, ej överfördes till gerillan.

Vissa amerikaner såg Afghanistan som en parallell till deras eget Vietnamkrig. En kongressledamot sa detta om vapenhjälpen till gerillan:
Jag såg detta som ett försök att besegra sovjeterna på slagfältet. Vi förlorade 58.000 man i Vietnam. Ryssarna har kanske haft 25.000 döda i Afghanistan. Jag förmodar att de är skyldiga oss 33.000 döda.

[Arney s. 157]
Detta var den makabra matematik denne kongressman använde. Men vad man ska komma ihåg är att Afghanistan är ett mycket mindre land än Vietnam. Vi nöjer oss med att ange befolkningsssiffror: Afghanistan 40 miljoner (2021), Vietnam 96 miljoner (2019). Detta kan ge viss proportion på huruvida Afghanistan var "Sovjets Vietnam" eller inte.



Slutet

Sovjet bestämde sig till slut för att retirera från Afghanistan. Kriget hade blivit för kostsamt. Ansvaret överfördes till den reguljära afghanska armén. Den lyckades hålla stånd mot gerillan länge och väl. I mitten av 90-talet övertogs emellertid makten i Afghanistan av en ny muslimsk gruppering, talibanerna. Det var en yngre generation muslimska ledare som stred mindre inbördes än den tidigare gerillan.

De sista sovjetiska förbanden lämnade Afghanistan i början av 1989. Den 15 februari stannade en olivgrön GAZ-jeep mitt på bron över Amu Darja, gränsflod mellan Afghanistan och Sovjetunionen. En man klev ur och gick till fots den sista biten. Det var general Boris Gromov, sovjetisk ÖB på platsen. Han var den siste sovjetiska soldaten att lämna Afghanistan. Bakom sig hade Röda armén ett ödelagt land med över 100.000 döda, sårade eller på flykt.

Rent militärt hade Sovjet inte vunnit mycket på det hela, men man hade inte förlorat så mycket heller; förlusterna var inte på ”Vietnam-nivå” så att säga. Men som sagt hade Afghanistankriget varit ekonomiskt kostsamt. Och detta var förvisso en bidragande till Sovjetunionens upplösning, som inträffade strax efter detta.



Ögonvittne 1: Vladikin

Härmed en ögonblicksbild från striderna, hämtad ur helikopterpiloten Y. I. Vladikins dagbok för 1986:
15 november. Landsättning av trupper på Svarta berget. I 30 minuter var allting tyst, sedan började stenarna skjuta – så många ställningar var det. Mi-8:orna är nedanför, vi ovanför. De i Mi-8:orna måste verkligen vara modiga: landningsplatserna är svåra att nå och det är tusentals trupper som ska landsättas. Fientlig eld kommer från varje klippa. Redan kretsar jag runt landningsplatsen en andra timme. Väldigt lite ammunition kvar. Vi använder våra resurser sparsamt och skjuter bara på tunga kulsprutor. Flera gånger har vi slagit ut ksp-besättningar, men varje gång skyndar en ny för att ta dess plats. Vitya Buyashkin passerar över bergstoppen där vi alldeles nyss slog ut en ksp. Rakt framför mina ögon, rätt på Buyashkin – flera skurar ksp-eld. Jetmotorns högra sida skadades allvarligt, motorkåpan sköts bort. Nikulin, piloten, nödlandade utan att kommunicera på radio. Han täcktes av Matveev. Gergel och jag stannade över landningsplatsen. Nikulin landade normalt. Jag skrek åt honom: ’Släng klossarna överbord.’ Han hörde inte. Alla lever men två av oss är skadade. Feodorich kommer förmodligen inte att kunna flyga igen. Piloter kan flyga utan ben men inte utan armar. Vitya Buyashkin startade samma dag men återvände inte till flygfältet. Vi plockade upp honom på kvällen...”

[Borovik s. 73]




Ögonvittne 2: Borovik

Artyom Borovik tjänstgjorde som krigskorrespondent ibland annat Nicaragua och Afghanistan. Här berättar han om en strid i de afghanska bergen 1987. Han följer en avdelning fallskärmsjägare:
Jag tittar genom kikaren och ser ungefär 20 rebeller som rör sig snabbt längs flodbädden i fjärran. Alla är beväpnade, men jag kan inte avgöra exakt vilken sorts vapen de bär.

Vi är så tysta att man kan höra en nål falla. Zherelin väser något till Kozlov över radion.

Vi låter rebellerna komma så nära oss som möjligt. Kozlov har spärrat av flodbädden bakom dukhis [= gerillasoldater] och håller på att dra åt snaran kring dem. Om dukhis tar sig genom växtligheten kommer de att möta våra trupper. Om de försöker ta sig mellan bergen kommer de också att få ett varmt mottagande.

Vilt skjutande bryter ut där nere. Mörkret genombryts av oregelbundna flammor från handeldvapen. Ungefär ett dussin rebeller flyr mot högra flodbanken. Många faller till marken, fem eller sex kastar sig ner bakom klippor. Några ögonblick senare öppnar de eld för att täcka rebellerna som försöker slå sig mellan oss och det närmsta berget. Det dånar till höger och vänster om mig – Dzhabarov och Kirillov avlossar sina automatkarbiner mot tre dukhi som försöker kringgå oss till vänster.

Sedan börjar fyrverkeriet. Spårljuset skär mörkret i strimlor. Flera spårljusfragment landar till vänster om Zherelins bunker och antänder några växter. Radiomannen är nu ensam; Zherelin rusar runt mellan våra eldställningar.

Plötsligt upphör eldgivningen nedanför oss. Kozlov har slagit ut alla ställningar vid flodbädden.

Tre dukhi besvarar fortfarande elden från växtligheten. Det ser ut som om någon dragit röda och gula trådar över natthimlen. Men snart försvinner de glödande trådarna i mörkret. Inga dukhi finns kvar.

Striden har varat i tio minuter.

[Borovik s. 68f]




Diverse

. Gerillan omfattade under kriget cirka 100.000 man. Den hade baser i Pakistan. Den kallades ”mujahedin”, vilket lär betyda ”det heliga krigets (jihad) soldater”.

. Den mest kända sovjetiska attackhelikoptern som användes i kriget var Mi-24. Den var tvåsitsig och var beväpnad med automatkanoner, raketer, pv-robotar eller bomber. Toppfarten var 300 km/h.

. Den amerikanska lv-roboten Stinger var bärbar och kunde avlossas från axeln. Den hade infraröd målsökning och kunde träffa mål upp till 4 km höjd. Sedan gerillan hade försetts med Stinger tvingades de sovjetiska helikoptrarna flyga på avsevärt lägre höjd än tidigare; man fick ”konturflyga” för att undgå upptäckt. Man måste även nyttja motmedel såsom fällning av IR-distraherande facklor ("flares") och dämpning av flygfarkosters jetutblås ("exhaust baffles"). På detta sätt kunde Stingers rätt allvarliga hot i någon mån mötas.



Källor
George Arney. Afghanistan. 1990
Artyom Borovik. The Hidden War. 1990



Relaterat
Östeuropa -- kärnlandet i Eurasien
Det moderna slagfältet
Gulfkriget
Karta ritad av LS

onsdag 23 mars 2022

Senaste podden med mig

En ny podd...!




Den ständigt aktive Jalle Horn kör vidare med sin podd. Den heter På gamla och nya stigar och görs i Svegots regi. Svegot är DFS:s mediahus. Och DFS uttyds "Det fria Sverige". De har ett hus. I Älgarås. Svenskarnas hus kallas det. Och detta hus besökte jag i höstas.

I det senaste avsnittet av aktuell podd gästas Jalle åter av mig. Nu gäller det Ernst Jüngers roman På Marmorklipporna. Romanen är en klassiker och envar högerradikal kan få ut något av den. Ja, litteraturfantaster i allmänhet behöver känna till den.

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Jünger har förekommit en del på sistone här på bloggen.

Dels gav jag ut en biografi om honom i höstas.

Och för ett tag sedan behandlade Jalle och jag hela Jüngers verk i ett poddavsnitt.

Men nu gäller det alltså Jüngers Marmorklippor.

Mycket nöje.



Relaterat
Den nya podden -- om Marmorklipporna
Ernst Jünger -- en biografi
Podden från februari då hela Jüngers liv och verk gicks igenom
Svenskarnas hus i Älgarås och mitt besök där i oktober 2021
Senaste svenska utgåvan av På Marmorklipporna (Bakhåll 2011)

torsdag 17 mars 2022

Lennart Svensson interviewed by John Wisniewski

Lennart Svensson is a Swedish radical conservative, footed in the tradition of the ancient Swedish kingdom. He has authored a couple of books, both in English and Swedish (bibliography here). His latest book is Rigorism, an historical essay in English. The below interview was conducted before Rigorism came out. Nevertheless, this conversation covers a lot of, shall-we-say, timeless aspects of Svensson's authorship.



Lennart Svensson has been around for some years now. He debuted in 2014 with Ernst Jünger – A Portrait, depicting the life and works of Germany’s probably greatest author since Goethe. Svensson continued to publish works in “the perennial, idealist, radical-conservative” vein, like the selfhelp guide Actionism, the metaphysical essay Borderline, and Science Fiction Seen From the Right. Svensson lives in Sweden and also writes in Swedish but he has a keen eye for the English-speaking world. Here John Wisniewski talks with Svensson about various topics, covering his works in English (pre-Rigorism). Mr. Wisniewski is a freelance writer who resides in New York.



1. What subjects did you study in your early years, particularly at University?

In my youth I was into history; how great, how fun... But, alas, it was a mistake studying it at University. History at Uppsala University in 1985 was rather much co-opted by leftism. So instead, I eventually settled for Classic Indology which equals the study of Sanskrit. I wanted to be able to read the Bhagavad-Gîtâ in its original form. And I got to do that. It wasn’t, at first, easy but it payed off... creatively and spiritually. As a 1990s university student, I didn't have to listen to leftist diatribes on how bad everything traditional was. To be sure, neither was it traditionalism that was expounded from the Indology pulpit. That specific ideology I only learned about later. I took a BA in Indology which to 99% meant reading ancient Indian documents and translating them. Sanskrit grammar was the leitmotif, not some religious or philosophical interpretation of it, be it traditional or modern.



2. What interested you about traditionalism?

Traditionalism, the way I see this ideology, functions as a counter-point to the mainstream of current Western thought. I mean, modern thought has the tendency of only starting with things having developed since 1945, things that can be read on the web in a minute or so. Traditionalism wants nothing of this. It forces you to learn ancient languages and delve into old documents. Traditionalism kind of says: “Shut up! Until you know the truth.” Traditionalism implicitly acknowledges eternal values such as faith, duty, honor, courage, fidelity. And this, of course, is dismissed out of hand by modern thought. Ultimately, modern thought is nihilism and sterility; traditionalism is life and light.



3. Did you become interested in the works of Julius Evola?

Indeed, Evola has meant something to me. I first encountered his name in 2010 and then got going buying and reading his essential works. He was great in being this: a traditionally minded conservative who was also (in Ride the Tiger) endowed with a combative spirit. An attitude saying that the past was great, the present is dismal -- but -- Aristocrats of the Soul, having order inside them, can wait out the current development and then take over when it has ran out of steam. Evola stressed the person’s will to persevere; he morally bolstered those of us living today who want to create a new, or old-new, traditional society. My appreciation of Evola can be read in Chapter Twelve of Actionism (2017), my philosophy of life.



4. Indeed Lennart, you have written about actionism. Was this term coined by philosopher Theodore Adorno and how does it apply to Western culture? OK. Actionism. If you google it you might come to a reflection made by Adorno (regarding an aspect of leftism). But that’s not my creed, not at all. My creed is based in perennial thought. It is a moral anchored in being, a positive affirmation of action. The thing is, we all have to act. Even a meditating recluse. He at least has to breathe. And we must sustain our bodies with food and drink. Thus, we all have to act. And Actionism makes action into a state of mind. For instance, I talk about “Rest in Action” and “Action as Being”. To this, I have it based in the existence of the divine, in God as the eternal light, and the individual soul as a spark of this. The previous, historical gurus I invoke, in Actionism and its preceding, metaphysical outing Borderline (2016), are Plotinus, Goethe, Steiner, Evola, Jünger -- and, to some extent, Nietzsche. He, for one, rediscovered will. Will is a centerpiece of Actionism. Will per se is spiritual, it is in accordance with divine will which equals the light. Conversely, desire equals the dark. Western man today often confuses will with desire, he reduces it to desire. With Actionism, I’m striving to rectify this fault.



5. You have written a book about Ernst Jünger. Could you tell us who he was, and why he is important to understanding man's place in the universe?

Ernst Jünger (1895-1998) was Germany’s greatest author since Goethe; you might call him "a definite neglect for the Nobel Prize in literature"... His memoirs of WWI, his WWII-diaries, his essays and novels beggar description. His novels may lack the charm and warmth of a Hesse or a Mann but he beats them in conceptual daring and symbolic vigor. As Bruce Chatwin said, “Jünger writes a hard, lucid prose.” It is like shiny blue steel, it is prose with the beauty of ice. In mere philosophical terms Jünger is part of the perennial tradition from Plotinus, Goethe, and Schopenhauer. Few other 20th century authors come near this "integrating idealistic thought in a readable and relatable way" that is Jünger’s trademark (in for instace the novel Eumeswil and the essay collection The Adventurous Heart). To this he was an avid entomologist and traveler, writing and publishing a diary almost until he died (in German only, entitled Siebzig verweht). — As intimated, Jünger was definite “Nobel Prize material”. His novel On the Marble Cliffs summarizes many subjects he returned to in his works: the conflict between activity and quietism, power and spirit. Jünger is a radical conservative with a sense of spiritual elevation.



6. Lennart, you have also written Science Fiction Seen From the Right. How did you view authors such as George Orwell and Aldous Huxley from that perspective?

Orwell and his 1984 I used as an example of “the ambiguity of a symbol,” being as it is a novel that has morphed with the times, keeping its character of warning example. For, it might be that Orwell wrote his novel as a way to criticize Stalinism of the late 1940s kind. But the vision also applies to current Politically Correct societies of the West, primarily in how the novel pictures the use and misuse of language as a tool of dictatorship. 1984 indeed has staying power...! As is the case with Huxley’s Brave New World. It applies even better to current times and PC’ism, in that it stays away from the more brutal sides of dictatorship (the regimentation, the hands-on torture of dissidents) and focuses on propaganda and conditioning, making the citizen actually love the lack of freedom and the "Gleichschaltung”. Just as in today’s mainstream culture, where it’s hip to follow the cues from above.



7. Lennart, with Borderline – A traditional Outlook for Modern Man, you present a way to unite man with God, action with being, east with west and mind with matter. Could you tell us about writing your book?

The keyword of Borderline is “holism”. To see wholes. A holistic outlook. The counterpart is reductionism, the current paradigm where everything is reduced into parts, fragments, bits easy to study but that ultimately don’t make any sense. The angle I have in Borderline is to fuse everything — science, art, spirituality — on holistic grounds. Plotinus, Caspar David Friedrich, Goethe, T. S. Eliot, Swedish poet Edith Södergran etc. etc. It’s all there. The all-encompassing concept I employ is bold but it pays off, it awards the reader with a fresh outlook. No other writer today takes this kind of look at “the Big Picture”. I mean, a writer like Jordan Peterson might be a somewhat viable guru for today’s lost generation — but — his outlook strikes me as overly down to earth and lacking in esoteric qualities. The metaphysics just isn’t there. Any ethic must be metaphysically founded. We need a metaphysical outlook to counter the bland materialism of the official ideology. We need a discussion about the nature of reality, and this I deliver in Borderline. It is perennial idealism, it is Plotinic forms, it is the invisible-and-eternal foundation of the world that shapes everything. This view, with additional perspectives from Hinduism and esoteric Christianity, is taught in Borderline and this is in sync with the emerging esoteric, spiritual, non-materialist zeitgeist. It forms a basis on how to act; it is about “action as being” which to some extent is explained in Borderline and also in the follow up, Actionism – How to Become a Responsible Man, which focuses more on ethics per se.



8. What inspired you to write your novel Redeeming Lucifer?

A lot of things. Like, being a Swede, I’ve always been annoyed with the acclaim for Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal (1957). True, it is an above-average, serious fiction film; still, I can’t see that "atheistic knights afraid of death" are the model protagonists for a metaphysical drama with historical scenery. I, for one, wanted to stage a historically founded, “cosmic" fantasy with real spirituality, real esoteric depth. Going further in what inspired me I can mention Michael Moorcock’s novels about the Eternal Champion, fantasy adventures with sometimes profound metaphysical visions. Like Bergman Moorcock is an atheist; so, to take “a step farther out," I wanted to deepen the moral argument by anchoring it in ontology, and by putting GOD in there. To this, I wanted to teach the reader about my version of cosmic history, of the creation, of "the war in heaven," of the moral history of Earth with forces of good and evil playing it out with man as battleground. A little bit like Milton’s Paradise Lost (and I quote that work on page 105, depicting the plight of Lucifer, “Which way I fly is Hell, myself am Hell” etc). So in this my Luciferian outing we get this and that, a divinely anchored vision of history, seen through the adventures of a Russian captain of the First World War, one Carl Griffensteen. Whose mission it is to “redeem Lucifer,” that is, forgive him and draw him into the Light.



Related
Rigorism (2022)
Actionism (2017)
Ernst Jünger -- A Portrait
Redeeming Lucifer
Science Fiction Seen From the Right
Borderline (2015)

tisdag 8 mars 2022

In the Battle of Kharkov, March 1943, this happened to Arno Greif

Out of the news... and into history and myth.



We read in the news today of the Battle of Kharkov (Charkiv).

In the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war they are fighting in the city of Kharkov.

For the moment I have nothing more to say of this, the current war and its events.

I only come to think of this: that there was a Battle of Kharkov in 1943 also.

This is historical.

And further, I tell about this "Kharkov 1943" event in my novel Burning Magnesium (2018).

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The novel starts with the hero fighting in Stalingrad. That went well... not. At least not for the German 6th Army. It had to capitulate there in February 1943. However, before the final defeat the hero of the novel, private Arno Greif, is ordered out of the Kessel and off to Kharkov, way out northwest of Stalingrad.

And that's not the end of action; now the Germans have to retreat from Kharkov. This is an epic in itself.

However, by this time German panzer general Manstein planned a counterstrike... and, eventuelly, the Russian spring offensive was halted... and Kharkov could be retaken.

So how does this read in the novel?

I can't summarize all of the above. But in Chapter Four there actually is a kind of summary. We read:
... the Russians had encircled Stalingrad, then they had obliterated and eradicated the huge pocket of trapped men. This is was in January 1943. The broken remnants of the German 6th Army, 91,000 men, trudged off in endless, freezing columns to the prison camps.
Very succint, eh...? Very epic, eh...?

That, at least, is the aim of this very work... to be an epic war novel.

Further we read in Chapter Four:
As we have seen, February 1943 continued with a Russian offensive in Ukraine. It went well and the Red Army advanced many miles. Kharkov was retaken and it was there that Arno’s unit ... had to break out of an encirclement. But then the Germans, with Manstein in the forefront, launched a counterstrike. The timing was perfect.

Just as Vatutin’s columns had stretched themselves too far and begun to spread out, Manstein threw his reinforcements into the fray and the Russian advance was halted in late February and early March. Once again, everything was turned around. Soon Manstein’s forces were advancing; Kharkov and Belgorod were retaken. The main job was done by the 2nd SS Panzer Corps. The 50th Regiment, to which Arno belonged, supported the renewed offensive, coming to the front by rail. -- It was dramatic. As advance company to an advance battalion, Arno’s unit arrived in Kharkov on March 10, just as the SS armour reached the suburbs.

Arno and his comrades disembarked and dashed straight into position outside the railway station, blasting MG fire down the streets. Then they advanced into the devastated city, driving out the Soviets and finally establishing contact with the panzers. They celebrated victory in the joyful springtime.
But this is just the preamble to the episode I was going to relate in this post. The story of what happened to Arno Greif in the Battle of Kharkov proper, March 1943, 79 years ago today...

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Thus, in Chapter Four of Burning Magnesium, we read that during the Battle of Kharkov in March...
... a remarkable thing happened. They fought over a park. The Russians retreated from it. The park was a chaos of armour, debris and fallen trees. Leading his rifle squad forward, Arno was hit by a 7.62 mm bullet.

An enemy had got him in his sights and shot him. Arno was hit on the side of the chest. He was knocked to the muddy ground. But the bullet was stopped by a remarkable combination of things that he was carrying: a rifle sling, the shoulder strap to his Sturmgepäck and a wallet with a lot of coins. He was hit but he survived, only getting a vivid bruise on the chest where he had been struck.
Very dramatic...! -- And further:
After a first aider had checked that Arno was unhurt, he was able to continue to lead his squad in combat. He pondered the meaning of what had happened. He realised that it was a close shave. The bullet could easily have killed him. But he survived. He wouldn’t die in this war, this he now realised. It was such an insight that soldiers sometimes get.

He wouldn’t die. This realization disappointed him a tad. Because, to die in battle, this was surely the highlight of a warrior’s life, wasn’t it...? Few soldiers admitted it openly – but unspoken, this was a feeling many elite soldiers nourished.

Knowing that they would do their utmost and then fall, in the midst of the most intense battle: O höchste Lust, O Seeligkeit...! By contrast, to fight, to live to see the peace and then go home just to fade away – this was nothing in comparison. It was like an insult.

He wouldn’t die. But the eureka moment didn’t tell him whether he would completely avoid getting hurt. He felt invulnerable a after this encounter with death, but how do you go through a war without even being wounded...?

This he wondered. But he reached equilibrium later that day, the day when he was shot and survived unscathed. Resting with the squad in a backyard, waiting for orders, Arno looked up at the overcast sky, so dark it was almost purple, and said to himself: I Am. It was the same mantra he had utilised in his pre-war existence and the one he had said before going into the combat zone in 1942. This saying always brought clarity; it always brought peace of mind: I Am.
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And that's it... there you have it... What I want to say is: the above is an excerpt that, hopefully, throws some light on this novel as a whole. A novel about a war playing in an area where, today, another war is fought.

Overall my novel tells about Arno Greif's exploits on the Eastern Fron from 1942 to 1945, in the process capturing events from Western Ukraine 1943, the Kamenets-Podolsky breakout, Warsaw 1944, and Berlin 1945. One reviewer said: "For the reader wishing for a war novel that deviates from the moralizing, pacifist pattern, Jünger’s Storm of Steel has long been the obvious alternative. With his work, Burning Magnesium, Lennart Svensson has given us yet another alternative."



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Commanders (2018)

torsdag 3 mars 2022

Book News: Rigorism -- The Influence of Willpower Upon History (Svensson 2022)

A new book by Lennart Svensson has seen the light of day. It is called Rigorism -- The Influence of Willpower Upon History.



A new watchword is spreading over the traditionalist community: rigorism.

It is a new interpretation of an old term, a term previously belonging to canon law.

So then, this "new rigorism" is an alternate way of looking at history. It is a way of focusing on "the man on horseback" instead of on the scribe. It is a way of focusing on rule with the sword and not the pen. It is a harsh and metal-grey world we meet, a world inhabited by greats like Alexander, Caesar, Machiavelli, Cromwell, Frederick the Great, Napoleon, etc.

This is what the title essay of the book is about. It portrays the role of WILL in history, symbolized by the man of action.

Then, we have a lot of other texts in this 160 pages volume. We have entries about war cycles, about temples, about aviator authors, about "rigorist women", rigorism in the east, etc.

In all, a great little book, conceptually covering a lot of ground.

You could say that, in this book, you get "all" of history, seen through a temperament -- the temperament of Svensson, author of Actionism, Commanders, and Ernst Jünger -- A Portrait.

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Product details
Trade paperback, 6 x 9 inches (same format as most of my books)
160 pages
Publisher: Manticore Press

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The names of the chapters of the book are:

Chapter One. Rigorism: The Influence of Willpower upon History
Chapter Two. Cycles of War
Chapter Three. Anecdotes
Chapter Four. Monarchs
Chapter Five. Musical Rulers
Chapter Six. A Tribute to the Ladies
Chapter Seven. Spenglerian Deliberations
Chapter Eight. The Role of Temples
Chapter Nine. Aviator Authors
Chapter Ten. Rigorism in the East, 1: The Shoguns
Chapter Eleven. Rigorism in the East, 2: Kaṇikanīti

There is also an introduction and an index.

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Related
Borderline
Painters and Draughtsmen
Svensson: Bibliography