July 31, 2018

US diplomats secretly meet Afghan Taliban. What of Afghan IS?

Illustrating the Taliban is not the only insurgent force in Afghanistan is the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI's) 2017 map of other Islamist groups in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Middle East, Africa and ISIS in the Philippines. (See much larger on page 9 of this ODNI Report).

The INTELNEWS, July 31, 2018 article US diplomats secretly met with Taliban without Afghan government is interesting.


The US and coalition allies have been faced with a never ending war in Afghanistan since 2001 which has cost $Billions, maybe one US$Trillion. “The estimate for the cost of deploying one US soldier in Afghanistan is over US$1 million a year.

As one response to 9/11 Afghanistan has also cost the lives of 3,405 Western troops (see right sidebar “Casualties and losses”) including 2,271 Americans, 456 British and 41 Australians.

A problem with the US negotiating with an enemy to end a war (eg. Vietnam and now Afghanistan) is responding to US public questions “why did our loved ones die fighting?” A Government response along the lines of “Peace with Honour” or this is part of the "War on Terror" wears thin.

But how do you stop an unconventional war without clear enemy combatants, with no clear territory to take and without an enemy government to surrender?

Also the Taliban are not the only enemy in Afghanistan. Other anti-Western, Islamist, or "terrorist", insurgents operate in Afghanistan including Islamic State. Will or can the US Government negotiate with Islamic State forces in Afghanistan?


July 30, 2018

As Predicted New Zealand Buying 4 P-8 Poseidons as its main MPA Force

As predicted in January 2017 when I said "I think NZ buying 4 x P-8 Poseidon MPAs is more likely...This is noting NZ's main ally, Australia, is buying the P-8."

The New Zealand Defence Minister, Ron Mark, July 9, 2018, announced it is buying 4 x P-8 MPAs. Ron Mark notes the purchase will allow New Zealand to "work effectively with partners including Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, which all operate, or will operate, [P-8s]”


July 29, 2018

Crimean War 1850s - No Wonder Russia Occupied Crimea 2014

The Charge of the Light Brigade, 1854 by Richard Caton Woodville (1856-1927), (Published by Henry Greaves and Co, London, 1895).

Its no wonder that Russia risked international pariah status in 2014 by retaining or reoccupying all of the Crimean Peninusula in order to protect Russia's Black Sea Fleet's status at the port of Sevastopol. This month my local Poetry Group commissioned me to do the following synopsis of the Crimean War and its relationship to the Tennyson's 1854 poem The Charge of the Light Brigade.

The Crimean War was fought from October 1853 until the peace treaty in February 1856. The War claimed at least 750,000 casualties mostly from disease (including 530,000 Russians).

Origins of the war included a power vacuum created by the weakening of the Ottoman/Turkish Empire particularly its chaotic hold on the southern European (Balkans eg. Rumanian and Bulgarian) territory as well as the Middle East. A religious and racial justification was added by Russia (defending Eastern orthodox Christian rights in Jerusalem and Balkan states) and France defending of Catholic rights in the Turkish Empire.

Britain and France’s main concern was not religious but strategic. Britain and France feared that as Russia took over Turkish territory (especially in the Balkans) Russia would become the strongest power in Europe. In 1853 Russian demands that its soldiers defend Eastern Orthodox Christian rights in the Turkish dominated Balkan countries became too much for Britain and France.

The British, French and Turkish Alliance in 1854 decided to invade the Russian strategic base in the tiny Black Sea peninsula of Crimea. The ultimate objective being the Russian Fleet Base and fortress of Sevastopol. The British/French fear was if Russia retained Crimea AND took over the Turkish capital at Constantinople (that controlled Mediterranean access to the Black Sea) Russia could gain influence in the Mediterranean Sea and surrounding countries. Britain and France also wanted to protect their future 1859 on Egyptian Suez Canal project from possible Russian influence.

Poor British/French organisation and the strength of the Russian defended Sevastopol fortress meant that a year long siege developed. Like most extended old-fashioned sieges disease broke out due to crowding and sewerage infected water. Disease killed far more men on all sides than Crimean battle deaths.

On 25 October 1854 the Russians tried to weaken the siege by attempting a large assault on the British supply port of Balaklava. This confused combination of events became known as the Battle of Balaklava of which part became known as the Charge of the Light Brigade. This Brigade was of 670 light cavalry who were not meant to assault a Russian Force of around 50 canon, but (less mentioned) around 8,000 Russian infantry who shot at the Light Brigade. The Charge was meant to retake some wheeled canon or “guns” that the Russians had stolen from the British. 

Of the 670 the Charge caused 270 casualties (110 killed, 160 wounded). This 40% casualty rate was actually not unusual in the preceding Napoleonic wars and subsequent First World War.

Reasons for the charge included poor communication between the British High Command and the commander leading the Light Brigade. Miltary expert Field Marshal Wolseley later recalled that during the Crimean War era the British Army did not study war. Hence, when the Crimean War broke out, so ignorant were our generals and our colonels, it is a marvel any of us survived. Our officers had no training. They never read a book upon military matters, and at the mess, those who mentioned tactics were told to "shut up." Since the Napoleonic Wars the British Army was clear out of practice.

Tennyson probably never visited Crimea (?). His poem was published 3 weeks after the Charge. Another major event was the counter-propaganda of the "Thin Red Line" of mainly Scottish red coated infantry who gloriously blocked a Russian cavalry charge at Balaklava.

The British losses epitomised by the Charge became such a major public and high political concern that a riot broke out in London in January 1855. By 1855 Britain, France and Russia all wanted the war to end, leading to the Treaty of Paris in March 1856.

Besides Florence Nightingale and military medicine what came out of the war was Russian author Leo Tolstoy’s interest in War. Unlike Tennyson Tolstoy was at Crimea serving as a young artillery officer (promoted for heroism). Tolstoy recorded that time in his short story book Sevastopol Sketches

Although not as wasteful as many military actions The Charge of the Light Brigade became synonymous with the horrors of war.


July 27, 2018

Thailand's Mini-submarine Requirements - Possible Foreign Suppliers

A newbuild South Korean HHI HDS-400 (400 tonne surfaced or submerged?) mini-sub may be what Thailand may buy. Or perhaps a modernised version of the 1980s Russian Piranha/Losos mini-sub (photo above). Thailand's requirements may be - operate in very shallow water, Special Operations and generalised training capabilities. 

The Thai government in mid July 2018 approved an (equivalent to) US$5.8m project to design a mini-submarine. It is early days, but so far the Thai project is named the Chalawan-class. Requirements are reported as:
-  150-300 tonne surfaced displacement

-  crew of 10, and
-  300 nautical mile range. 
(Comment - Lithium-ion batteries only, with no diesels, might be sufficient for a range so short.)

COMMENT (Speculative of course!)

These miniature submarines may be designed for the very shallow waters of the Gulf of Thailand, waters probably too shallow for the 3 future Chinese built Yuan derivative S26T submarines, that Thailand is buying. Minisubmarines generally can also serve as Special Forces transporters and cheap training platforms for crews before they man larger subs.


From SSMs records both Germany and South Korea have developed plans for submarines in the 150 – 300 tonnes range. More substantially South Korea has actually built and operated 175 tonne Dolgorae-class submarines with 14 crewmen. 

South Korea's remaining two Dolgoraes, launched 1990-1991 will reach the end of their usual South Korean Navy operational lives by 2020. Perhaps they could be (or will be) sold to Thailand, within the next 2 years for Thailand's floated US$5.8 million. Maybe logical as less than $6 million won't buy much submarine!

Interestingly in September 2015 Wiki and Janes reported that South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) started construction of a single 40 metre long HDS-400 mini submarine for an unnamed naval customer.[2] 

[Comment: could that customer be Thailand? Or if that customer (maybe the South Korean Navy?) dropped out has HHI offered the sub to Thailand?] 

Russian built and operated Piranha (“Losos”) minisubs also provide an option Russia could build for Thailand directly or pass designs to China for supply to Thailnd. Significantly specs for the Piranha/Losos coincide closely with Thailand’s stated requirements. With Piranhas/Losos:
-  Being 218 tons (surfaced)
-  Crew of 9
-  With a short 10 day endurance (enough for a Thai mission to Myanmar or Cambodian waters and

China has the industrial base and SSK building experience to also design such submarines (or adapt Russian designs) then make the parts for Thailand to assemble.


July 26, 2018

SSKs are Good For Intelligence Ops: HMS Onyx - Falklands War

The UK designed Oberon class sub HMS Onyx. (Photo courtesy RN Subs).

Submarines are very capable at Signals Intelligence (SIGINT), traditional Human Intelligence (HUMINT) operations as well as Special Operations.

The following is a fragment of a slightly longer article “War Patrol The Falklands - HMS Onyx” (retrieved July 25, 2018) based on original Source: The Submariner 03/2004 in RN Subs: Website of the Barrow Submariners Association. New links added in [...].

“...[the conventional sub - SSK HMS] Onyx had a double role, as well as adding the submarine deterrent, she could also be employed in reconnaissance and "cloak and dagger" operations, taking periscope photographs of enemy installations and likely landing areas for small groups of Special Forces. Onyx was better suited for this as she could move closer inshore where her silence of operation afforded her extra protection.

At Ascension Island, she picked up yet another cargo of SAS/[SBS] men trained in the clandestine arts of sabotage ashore for a series of operations. The crew worried about them every time they left, as it wasn't always the Onyx who picked them up again. [From Wiki "Contrary to some reports, after the British cancelled Operation Mikado, there was never a plan to use Onyx to land the SAS in order to destroy Argentina's remaining stockpile of Exocet missiles. Prior to the submarine being damaged the SBS had been embarked to attack a mainland airfield but this operation, too, was cancelled.]

One of the biggest problems was the navigational information available. [Even in 1982] The charts for this part of the globe were mainly signed by one Captain James Cook over 200 years ago [including South Georgia island, in 1775, which is near the Falklands. South Georgia was also occupied by Argentine forces during the Falklands War]. The give away was where the distance between the soundings of the seabed got to be five or ten miles apart. Onyx hit one rock that James Cook missed which put a bit of a dent in the front end of the submarine..."


July 20, 2018

Trump’s Constant Indiscreet Tweets Aid Hostile Intelligence Agencies

INTELNEWS, July 3, 2018, reports:

"...according to former Central Intelligence Agency analyst Nada Bakos, foreign intelligence agencies are among those paying close attention to the president’s tweets...

...All intelligence agencies, explains Bakos, build psychological profiles of foreign leaders. These profiles typically rely on information collected through intelligence operations that are “methodical, painstaking and often covert”. The final product can be crucial in enabling countries to devise strategies that counter their adversaries, says Bakos. But with Trump, covert intelligence-collection operations are not needed in order to see what is on his mind, since “the president’s unfiltered thoughts are available night and day”, she claims. 

The former CIA analyst points out that President Trump’s tweets are posted “without much obvious mediation” by his aides and advisors, something that can be seen by the frequency with which he deletes and reposts tweets due to spelling and grammatical errors. These unfiltered thoughts on Twitter offer a “real-time glimpse of a major world leader’s preoccupations, personality quirks and habits of mind”, says Bakos.

...[Bakos] clearly thinks that the US leader’s use of social media is too impulsive and potentially dangerous from a national-security perspective...."


If only the leaders of Russia and China were as indiscreet as the random Trump!

July 19, 2018

China & Russia Fear Islamic Terrorism as much as West Does

INTELNEWS on July 11, 2018 reports:

"Intelligence directors from Russia, China, Iran and Pakistan met on Tuesday to discuss regional cooperation with particular reference to combating the Islamic State in Afghanistan. Information about the high-level meeting was revealed yesterday by Sergei Ivanov, media spokesman for the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR). Ivanov told Russia’s state-owned TASS news agency that the meeting was held in Pakistan and included the participation of SVR director Sergei Naryshkin. TASS reported that the meeting was held under the auspices of Pakistan’s powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Directorate and was attended by “senior intelligence officials” from Pakistan, Russia, Iran and China..."


Pakistani agencies (including ISI) had many organisational and personal links with al Qaeda and, of course, the Taliban from the 1980s to the 2000s, but Pakistani agency links with Islamic State have not yet matured. This is partly because Islamic State is more extreme and frequently less venal ie. less bribe-able.

The makeup of the meeting reinforces strategic alliance realities that Pakistan is dependent on China for much missile, nuclear weapons' developments and now submarine building. Meanwhile Iran is dependent on Russia in many respects, including deterring any Boltonesque US-Israeli bombing of Iran.

Overall the meeting recognises China and Russia fear Islamic terrorist attacks as much as Western countries (eg. US, UK, France) as well as India. 

Spain's new S-80 Plus submarine 'too big for its dock'

Also see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S-80-class_submarine for the S-80’s broader problems and specs.

July 18, 2018

Months or Years? Obama's Image ended a perfectly good US Counter-Terrorism Process

In an operation smaller than the much larger US operation that monitored Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda guests in Abbottabad, Pakistan, from 2005 to 2011 (then international exploitation of the intelligence gained):

INTELNEWS JULY 17, 2018 reports:

“A joint Indian-American counterintelligence operation, described as “unprecedented in its scale and scope”, reportedly foiled a major suicide attack by the Islamic State in New Delhi and helped achieve “a string of victories” against the group in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Citing “top diplomatic and intelligence sources”, the New Delhi-based daily The Indian Express said that the “audacious” operation took place a year ago, but details about it were only made available to its reporters in recent days...”


Looking back again to Abbottabad - so many massive counter-terrorism operations continue for years below the surface. As ever, “discoveries” just a few months old that boost a US President’s (in 2011 Obama's) counter-terrorism credentials, actually concern operations of great value that lasted several years. The SEALS Abbottabad operation, requiring the planned execution of bin Laden, supported Obama's image as, not only a Democrat with a conscience, but Obama the hard-nosed "National Security President".

Taiwan's New Submarine Project Wildly Underfunded and Optimistic

It is interesting that countries-companies have been variously reported as submitting submarine designs for Taiwan’s (once again) US endorsed submarine building project. These may be:

-  1 or 2 Indian firms. Though India has never built a conventional submarine other than assembling
   foreign designed submarines. Even the strikingly Russian Delta SSBN-like INS Arihant owes much
   to Russian design assistance especially due to the need to integrate a basically Russian designed
   reactor into it.

-  1 or 2 Japanese firms (MHI and KHI). Though Japan has not built an export submarine since the 
   Matchanu class, for Thailand, in the 1930s. Japan also scrupulously protects its submarine design
   secrets. Notoriously PRC intelligence penetrated Taiwan may not be a secure customer. Matthias
   Halblaub has drawn my attention to this link that indicates even US companies are not secure
   against Chinese intelligence hacking.

-  2 US firms. Though the US has not built conventional submarines since the Barbel class of the
   1950s, and

-  2 unnamed European companies (perhaps from Sweden, France, Germany, Spain or the

As The Diplomat’s (paysite’s) reminded on July 12, 2018 Taiwan allocated a paltry US$65.66 million to complete design work on its future submarines. Then Taiwan is over-optimistic in compressing milestonesto build a fleet of eight domestically designed SSKs, each displacing around 1,500 tons, with the first boat entering sea-trials by 2024 followed by its first operational deployment in 2026."


I argued in April 2018 "BACKGROUND-COMMENTS" that Taiwan is likely relying on updating existing teardrop designs (from Netherlands, Japanese or US companies) which all draw on the US’s sixty year old Barbel design. See Wiki

"The Zwaardvis-class submarine of the Netherlands and [Taiwan's] Hai Lung-class...(built and sold by the Netherlands) were developments of the Barbel class design. The Japanese Uzushio class and its successors were also influenced by the Barbel class."

Taiwan would need fundamental updates to be competitive against China. Major upgrades needed include up to date quiet diesels, new electric motors and broader electrical fitout, new snorkel, new quieting technologies all over the sub, new sonars, photonic masts, computers and other electronics, anechoic tiles, new pressure hull steel and the vast number of other new submarine innovations since the 1950s. The US$65.66 million Taiwan is talking about wouldn’t even cover new sonar integration.

Perhaps Taiwan intends to rely financially and time-wise on a sympathetic US interpretation of America's Taiwan Relations Act (effective 1979). This ambiguously states that "the United States will make available to Taiwan such defense articles and defense services in such quantity as may be necessary to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capabilities". Time and Trump's changeable nature will tell.

A PRC-Hong Kong South China Morning Post article of July 19, 2018 subsequently carried many of the arguments stated above.


July 16, 2018

SubMatts quiet since June 11, 2018 due to Dad’s Death

Dad in the 1970s.

Below is a poem written and delivered by Peter Coates as part of the Family Eulogy at Dad’s Funeral Duntroon Chapel Canberra, July 12, 2018.
"After talking to Dad for many years I’ve written a short poem that imagines:


When tomorrow starts without me
Just like yesterday
On this cold Winter afternoon
I have some things to say.

In 1970
I expected Vietnam would kill me
My end coming by a mine or RPG
Blowing up my APC.

But I lived 48 more years
Till 85 years old
Two diseases promised life till 2020
Then my heart gave out early.

I know I wasn’t perfect
Many things I regret
I had my faults
But please forgive me yet.

Life needs more forgiving
That’s the way we learn
It bonds us all together
For the better life we yearn

If I could relive yesterday
Even for a while
I’d crack a joke
And make you laugh
And even make you smile.

So when tomorrow starts without me
Don’t think we’re far apart
For every time you think of me
I’m right here in your heart."

Rest in peace Dad.


  Below is Dad's Military Obituary, by Major General (retired) Peter Phillips AO MC
        (who was also one of Dad's Duntroon classmates) 

         in the Sydney Morning Herald (online) and

        (a very similar version) in hardcopy in the Canberra Times (and also online) on 
        July 14, 2018, page 24.

This Obituary is an abridged version of the Eulogy delivered by Peter Phillips at Dad’s Funeral, at Duntroon Chapel, Canberra, on July 12, 2018.

JOHN COATES December 28, 1932 – June 11, 2018

Distinguished soldier and scholar

The former army chief went on to become an acclaimed military historian.

Lieutenant-General John Coates, a former chief of the Australian Army, died on the Queen's birthday weekend. Perhaps that was fitting: he entered the Royal Military College, Duntroon, in 1952, just as the Queen ascended to the throne, and served loyally in her army for 40 years. By any reckoning, his service was remarkable. Aside from reaching the army's top position as chief of the general staff, he went on to be an outstanding military historian before his death at age 85.
In his own words, Coates described his childhood as "inauspicious". He had little family life and boarded at Ipswich Grammar for nine years. He spent the summer holiday, before entering the school, playing with other boys in Albert Park in Brisbane. He befriended a young American boy, Arthur MacArthur, who lived in the nearby Lennon's Hotel. Together, they played war games in 1942: Coates, who would one day lead Australia's army, and MacArthur, the son of the supreme allied commander in the Pacific.
At Ipswich Grammar, Coates was senior prefect and excelled at sport. He was a member of the first XI, the GPS athletics team and the school tennis team, which included Roy Emerson. He was also a cadet lieutenant, which fostered his interest in a military career. The headmaster, Richard Morrison, said Coates was a loyal and distinguished scholar.

From Duntroon, Coates was commissioned into the Royal Australian Armoured Corps in 1955 and served with the 1st Armoured Regiment in Puckapunyal. He learnt his trade as a troop leader on Centurion tanks.
In 1956, he and others were detached to help run the Melbourne Olympics. At the Games, Coates scored a plum job commanding the ceremonial guard at the Games village. Being a tall, good-looking, eligible bachelor, he attracted much attention from female athletes, especially – but not wholly – from the Australian team. Pixmagazine christened him "Dreamboat". Flattering as this might seem, Coates was less than pleased when this nickname spread throughout the regiment and the army! 

A year later, he married Diana Begg in Adelaide. She was a noted athlete herself who played tennis at state level, and as a talented artist and designer before she took up nursing at the Adelaide Children's Hospital. They moved to Perth in 1958 where Coates was adjutant of the 10th Light Horse Regiment. It was the start of his close association with the Army Reserve, which he championed later in his service. 

He then returned to Puckapunyal to round out his experience in a tank squadron.

Coates was posted to Duntroon in 1963 and lectured in military history. He was offered a scholarship at the Australian National University, which he was unable to take up, but began a masters thesis on the Malayan Emergency, which he finished after a sabbatical in 1974.
From Duntroon, Coates sailed with family to join the Royal Scots Greys (now Royal Scots Dragoon Guards) on exchange as a squadron commander in the British Army on the Rhine. He adjusted quickly to working with one of Britain's aristocratic regiments and won the trust of his British cavalry subordinates. His commanding officer was Lieutenant-Colonel John Stanier, later a field marshal and Britain's chief of the Imperial General Staff. Stanier highly commended his Australian squadron commander and remained a friend.
On returning to Australia, Coates attended the army's Australian Staff College at Fort Queenscliff before taking command of a squadron of the 3rd Cavalry Regiment, earmarked for service in Vietnam. Beginning in April 1970, he was to spend 14 months in Vietnam. First, he was an armoured personnel squadron commander taking part in "clear, hold and build missions". He helped developed the technique of ambushing armoured personnel carriers. He was proud of his crews, one of whom, Sergeant Ed Levy, he successfully recommended for the distinguished conduct medal.
Coates' own bravery was never in question. On May 27, 1970, in action as officer commanding B Squadron, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, he commanded a relief force sent to stabilise the situation near Xuyen Moc, Phuoc Tuy Province, where the enemy had over-run a Vietnamese post. He was supporting infantry from the 7th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Ron Grey. Grey, who was later to be a major-general commanding the army's land forces and a federal police commissioner, remarked that "Coates's action in personally taking the lead armoured personnel carrier into the village at full throttle was inspirational and an extraordinary feat of personal valour". He was made a member of the Order of the British Empire and awarded the Republic of Vietnam cross of gallantry with gold star.
Coates was also commended for his later work as operations officer or "brigade major" on Headquarters 1st Australian Task Force. He disliked the "body count" used by American forces as a measure of success and discouraged its use by Australian units. From Vietnam, he returned to Duntroon to be commanding officer of the Corps of Staff Cadets. He was much involved in the changes necessary following the 1970 Fox report on the "bastardisation" of Duntroon cadets. A decade later, he returned to Duntroon as commandant and found that some "hazing" still continued, which he systematically set about removing.
In [1975 and 1976], Coates was attached to the United States armoured training centre at Fort Hood, where he enjoyed working with the innovative commander, General Bill De Puy, and George S. Patton IV, son of another famous US general. 
Coates was especially interested in the use of assessment exercises for units, which he promoted in his next post as a colonel in the army's land forces headquarters. During that time in Sydney, he was involved in dealing with the 1978 Hilton Hotel bombing episode and in other contingency planning.
In 1981, he attended the Royal College of Defence Studies in Britain before returning to Canberra. Then, in 1984, Coates was appointed defence attache in Washington, where he watched over Australia's interests alongside ambassador Rawdon Dalrymple and in dealings with US defence secretary Casper Weinberger.
In 1987, he was appointed to head defence policy in the Australian Defence Force headquarters before taking command of the army as chief of the general staff. He was much involved in affairs in the ASEAN region and, like his predecessors, worked to strengthen links with their armies. 
Coates was made a companion of the Order of Australia before he retired in 1992.
Coates then began an association with the Australian Defence Force Academy's history department. Professor Peter Dennis said Coates "was both a productive scholar and an engaging colleague". At Dennis' suggestion, Coates published his master's thesis on the early part of the Malayan Emergency to positive reviews.
Coates then wrote some of the major campaign entries in The Oxford Companion to Australian Military History. His next book, Bravery above Blunder, was a detailed study of the performance of the 9th Division on the Huon Peninsula in 1943-44. These works combined rigorous and extensive research with the keen eye of an experienced soldier, and were extremely well received.

Coates' most ambitious project, An Atlas of Australia's Wars, was first published in 2001 as part of The Australian centenary history of defence that he and Dennis produced. Atlas was an enormous undertaking, requiring endless consultations with cartographer Keith Mitchell, and researching and writing the essays that accompanied each map. The series received outstanding reviews but there is no doubt that Coates' Atlas was the crowning glory. 

The University of NSW awarded Coates an honorary doctorate in 2011, in recognition of his services to scholarship, particularly military history.

Dennis said Coates was a wonderful colleague, ready to engage in argument but always open to correction or disagreement. His Atlas will be a boon to young military professionals for years to come. Dennis went on to say that "as I look back on Australian military history, I cannot think of any other senior officer who came close to John's achievements as a historian. John truly exemplified the idea of a 'soldier/scholar' ".

John Coates is survived by Diana, their children Tina, Peter and Michael, and four grandchildren."