Watch tv and you know the 'rebel' force Odyssey Dawn is supporting is just a lightly armed rabble. The pictures of the favorite weapon of the impoverished, a light pick-up truck with an old surplus Eastern bloc machine gun mounted in the back, are inescapable. The plastic gun story, all over television, has made this 'force' appear to be an army of the hopeless yelling for close air support from Uncle Sam.
In terms of heavy weapons, this is what Moe has.
Page down to "Howitzers and Guns."
Hmmm, Moe has an awful lot of self-propelled armored artillery.
A video -- here -- shows one very large piece destroyed by a US strike.
It is an Italian Palmaria, a weapon developed exclusively for export. It bears some similarity to the old Wehrmacht King Tiger. (Weight comparison, former to latter: 46 tons/69 tons.)
Libya was involved in a series of significant transactions with Italy in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In 1978 the Italian aircraft company Siai-Marchetti secured a contract to supply SF-260 light aircraft intended for training and reconnaissance. The G-222 military transport plane assembled by Aeritalia was also supplied to the Libyans. The Italian firm of Oto Melara received orders for a large number of Palmaria 155-mm self-propelled howitzers.
According to the page at Globalsecurity, Moe has 160 of them. Readers will note Moe also has (or had) 14 US M-109's. Also under Moe's command are a great many large-calibre Soviet armored howitzers.
Even if many of these are inoperable because of general incompetence, one still asks the rhetorical question: How does the Libyan rabble in technicals and sneakers advance against Palmaria?
Moving along, it's good to look at the other token military forces involved in Odyssey Dawn.
The order of battle is here at Globalsecurity.
The alert reader will note the Italian contribution seems somewhat less than the number of big mechanized artillery pieces they sold to Moe years ago.
The Danes are contributing four F-16's. DD mentions this because the mainstream media was fond of showing photographs of one of these taking off.
Spain has contributed one frigate and, remarkably, one submarine! (It's a Tramontana and pictures are here.)
Turkey has contributed a few ships, including one mighty feeble-looking submarine. Submarines, especially little ones, are apparently very popular in the lesser militaries of the 'coalition.'
Qatar's alleged yachts and jets seem to have gone missing.
The Libyans now quite obviously do not want help from the token militaries in Odyssey Dawn. They want the real thing. No substitutes will do.
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