January 27, 2012


On January 27, 1945 Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated by soldiers of the First Ukrainian Front, the 322nd Rifle Division of the 60th Army, under the command of Marshal Ivan S. Konev. Soviet troops had been pushing westward in pursuit of the retreating Nazis in what was called the Vistula-Oder Offensive.

When the Soviets reached Auschwitz the Nazi Germans had already evacuated the camp. Tens of thousands of Jewish inmates were forced by their captors on a death march towards Loslau and Gleiwitz in Upper Silesia. Thousands of prisoners died along the way. Those who survived were deported to concentration camps in Germany and Austria. Only 7,500 Jewish inmates remained in Auschwitz, most of them children. Huge piles of cadavers were scattered everywhere - the remains of Jewish prisoners - men, women and children who had been murdered, or who perished of starvation and disease. These and the piles of human ashes and bone, remnants of the gas chambers were all testament to Hitler's Final Solution.

The vast network of Nazi concentration camps and death camps established throughout Europe were managed like efficient "killing factories". By the end of the war a total of about 6 million Jews had been killed by the Nazis.; half of them were Polish Jews and the remainder were Jews who had been deported from all parts of Europe - one million of them were children. Least known is the fact that Hitler also planned to eliminate ethnic Poles, and by the end of the war about 5 million Polish citizens had perished. Though many other peoples had been killed by the Nazis, the Jews and the Poles were the ones singled out for annihilation.

On November 1, 2005 the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 60/7 designating January 27th as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The following is an excerpt:

Reaffirming that the Holocaust, which resulted in the murder of one third of the Jewish people, along with countless members of other minorities, will forever be a warning to all people of the dangers of hatred, bigotry, racism and prejudice,

1. Resolves that the United Nations will designate 27 January as an annual International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust;

2. Urges Member States to develop educational programmes that will inculcate future generations with the lessons of the Holocaust in order to help to prevent future acts of genocide, and in this context commends the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research;

3. Rejects any denial of the Holocaust as an historical event, either in full or part;

4. Commends those States which have actively engaged in preserving those sites that served as Nazi death camps, concentration camps, forced labour camps and prisons during the Holocaust;

5. Condemns without reserve all manifestations of religious intolerance, incitement, harassment or violence against persons or communities based on ethnic origin or religious belief, wherever they occur;

6. Requests the Secretary-General to establish a programme of outreach
on the subject of the "Holocaust and the United Nations" as well as measures to mobilize civil society for Holocaust remembrance and education, in order to help to prevent future acts of genocide; to report to the General Assembly on the establishment of this programme within six months from the date of the adoption of the present resolution; and to report thereafter on the implementation of the programme at its sixty-third session.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day is more than a day of commemoration and memorials. It serves as a perennial reminder to every nation and citizen thereof that we are
obligated under the principals of natural law to respect one another irregardless of nationality, race, color, or creed.

The following are only excerpts of speeches made on November 1, 2005 by a few of the selected members of delegations who attended the 42nd plenary meeting of the 60th session of the United Nations General Assembly. They speak about the importance of observing International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and the urgency of educating the world about the horrors of the past - so that they do not repeat in the future. These are not words to be taken lightly.


Speaker: Liu Zhongzin
(Spoke in Chinese)

"Allow me to express, on behalf of the Chinese Government and people, our profound condolences in connection with the 6 million Jewish and other victims of the Holocaust and our sincere sympathy to all the bereaved families and the survivors of the Holocaust.

"Sixty years ago, military aggressors also inflicted untold misery on Asia. Casualties in China alone reached 35 million, of which more than 300,000 died during the 1937 Nanjing Massacre. Like the Jewish people, the people of Asia will never forget that chapter in our history.

"Our purpose in emphasizing such an indelible memory is not to perpetuate hatred but to use history as a mirror and to look into the future.  The bitter lessons of the Second World War and the tragedy of the Nazi camps have taught us that the basic values of freedom, democracy, equality, justice and peace cannot be denied.


Speaker: Prince Zeid Ra'ad Zeid Al-Hussein

"Sixty years on, we live at a time when it is still difficult for the vast majority of Member States to examine their own national histories to their very limits, particularly their modern histories. And while we should continue to feel great pride in what good we find in them, we must also begin to reckon with what in our national memory is distasteful or perhaps even criminal or terrible. It is therefore extraordinary and encouraging how a few European States have started to follow the example set by Germany many years ago, in beginning a process of recovering memory and in beginning a painful and critical, although ultimately liberating self-examination where their part in the Holocaust is concerned.

"The concentration of evil found within the historical experience that is the Holocaust does, however, bring the point home for all peoples everywhere, Jewish and otherwise. And the principal lesson drawn by 100 members of the General Assembly is that if we are ever to make genocide and the like truly unthinkable in the future, not only must we squarely confront the philosophies of negation within our own socieities, where and whenever they occur, but, if we are to give true meaning to the phrase "Never again", we must also collectively support the existence of the world's only permanent judicial body designed to end impunity for the gravest of crimes - and that body is, of course, the International Criminal Court.......


Speaker: Mr. Skinner-Klée
(Spoke in Spanish)

"We are gathered here today in remembrance of the victims of the Holocaust, innocent human beings who were the victims of ethnic and racial hatred and political and social intolerance. The Shoah is the greatest horror suffered by humanity in the twentieth century: the execrable extermination of more than a third of the Jewish people, along with countless members of other minorities who died unjustly and cruelly, murdered only because they were different, only because they were not understood or tolerated.

"Thus, the constructive and peaceful co-existence of peoples depends on mutual respect and mutual
understanding. Unless there is a genuine dialogue among nations and among civilizations, ignorance will persist and the human family will continue to be threatened or once again become its own victim.

"Guatemala knows only too well the horror caused by intolerance. Guatemalans have suffered in their own flesh the maelstrom of violence that afflicted our country merely because some people professed contrary views, held different beliefs or belonged to a different ethnic or social group.


Speaker: Mr. Shin Kak-Soo

"Let me begin by joining other delegations in expressing our deepest sympathy in connection with the millions of victims of the Holocaust during the Second World War who were murdered because of their ethnic origins, religious faith or political beliefs, and in condemning in the strongest possible terms the horrific, inhuman crimes against humanity committed by the Nazi regime.

"It goes without saying that such a horrendous tragedy should never be allowed to recur. To our dismay, however, we cannot deny that even today we are witnessing genocide and many crimes against humanity, from Srebrenica to Kigali to Darfur. Those recent acts of genocides and crimes against humanity, still fresh in our memory, compel the international community to redouble its efforts to put in place a reliable and effective security system that deters such heinous crimes and promotes mutual understanding and tolerance among people of all ethnicities, races, cultures and nations.

"As a country that suffered greatly from atrocities committed during the Second World War, the Republic of Korea has decided to become a sponser of the draft resolution on Holocaust remembrance. We believe that proclaiming 27 January as an annual International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust is a good way to ensure that the Holocaust's dreadful lessons are not forgotten. We cannot allow the memory of these crimes to fade with the passage of time.

"We also believe strongly that any attempt to deny the Holocaust as a historical reality, in full or in part, must be rejected. It takes courage to tell the truth about the past when that truth is painful or even shameful.

"....Facing up to the truth of history and learning its lessons is not a choice but an obligation. In this regard, we strongly support the draft resolution's recommendation to develop educational programmes that will teach the lessons of the Holocaust to future generations. It is the collective obligation of humanity to promote education and tolerance so that there will never again be a similar tragedy.


Speaker: Mr. Dapkiunas
(Spoke in Russian)

"The draft resolution to be adopted today is a testament to terrible grief and pain. For the people of my country, Belarus, such pain is not an alien experience; it is our pain as well. The flames of blind racial hatred and ethnic exclusion did not only claim countless victims in Belarus. The brutality of the Nazi regime and the incinerating flames of the Holocaust are seared into the soul of the people of Belarus.

"Why, 60 years after the end of the Second World War, are we still returning to this topic - not as a distant and tragic chapter of our history, but as a page in our collective life that has not yet been turned? Why do many millions of poeple throughout the world continue to experience the daily, direct and obvious threat and unbearable suffering that result from ideas of racial superiority and ethnic enmity?

" As long as we live in a world divided into "us and them", as long as we feel that the bitter lessons of history must be learned by others and not by us, as long as we do not do everything in our power to understand and welcome those who do not resemble us, the echoes of the Holocaust will continue to resound in our hearts.....


Speaker:  Mr. Kuchinsky

"The Holocaust is a permanently painful subject not only for the Jewish people but for the world community as a whole.  We remember the enormous suffering of those who perished in the death camps at Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Dachau and many other horrific sites, where, in the name of a perverse and inhuman ideology, millions of human beings were deliberately and cruelly exterminated. Jews and gypsies, men and women, children and the elderly - the sons and daughters of different nations, including hundreds of thousands from Ukraine, became the innocent victims of a ruthless political system that caused immense losses to humankind.

"Many thought that the horrors of the Second World War - the camps, the cruelty, the exterminations that took place during the Holocaust - could never happen again. And yet they have - in Cambodia, Srebrenica, Rwanda, and most recently, in Darfur.

"In that respect, we are deeply convinced that the history of the Holocaust must be learned and extensively explained so that a similar tragedy never happens again.

"As we commemorate the victims of the Holocaust, Ukraine cannot but recall the terrible damage which intolerance, violence and aggression caused in the past.....one of the most tragic chapters in Ukraine's history, the Great Famine of 1932-33 - in Ukrainian, Holodomor, which means "death by famine". Deliberately aimed at the very core of the Ukrainian nation, the cruel campaign of terror by hunger carried out by the totalitarian Soviet regime led to the deaths of seven to 10 million innocent men, women and children.

"Ukraine will continue to do its utmost to bring the truth about Holodomor and the Holocaust to the world at large. We believe that it is high time that the international community recognized that crime as an act of genocide against the Ukrainian nation.


Speaker:  Mr. Sardenberg

"The Jewish Holocaust is the paradigmatic case of genocide, a crime that until that time lacked a definition and did not allow for legal recourse.  None of the Hague Conventions mentioned genocide, nor could the massacres that had taken place be properly judged or their perpetrators punished owing to the lack of a legal definition of genocide.

"Of particular historical resonance in our part of the world are the crimes committed against the indigenous peoples of the America during the colonial period and during the period when slavery was practised. It remains profoundly shocking to the conscience of mankind that those crimes could have reached such inconceivable proportions.

"The fight against the crime of genocide will only be complete when Member States adhere to and implement human rights instruments in both the domestic and the international spheres.


Speaker: Mr. Mayoral
(Spoke in Spanish)

"Collective remembrance is indispenable in world overwhelmed by the need to solve new problems and at a time when young people may think that the Holocaust was an event of history that occurred under specific political circumstances and for reasons that no longer exist.  They are wrong. Faced with that possible reaction, we must realize that no country in the world can consider itself immune from a future wave of violence fuelled by intolerance, economics, religious fundamentalism, political intolerance or racial conflict, or even a combination of any of them.

"We are in a crucial moment of history when we are all called upon to make further efforts of generosity in order to face up to new challenges and threats to a future of peace based upon the respect for all persons and peoples. My country believes that task must be carried out within the collective framework of the United Nations. If we want to avoid repeating the cycle of history and avoid another Holocaust and genocide such as occurred in the last century, we must keep alive the memory of what happened, by giving the United Nations powerful tools to effectively protect human rights in all circumstances and at all times.


Speaker:  Mr. Pfanzelter

"Austria attaches great significance to the draft resolution on Holocaust remembrance and is honoured to be among its earliest sponsers. The designation of 27 January, the day of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp, as an annual International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust is of special significance to all of us.  Auschwitz is of global relevance.

"For Austria, this day is a reminder of the dark sides of our past.  We feel the agony of knowing that our country lost so many of its Jewish citizens to the Holocaust. At the same time we feel the pain of realizing that far too many Austrians took part in the genocide, a crime of colossal proportions.

"Simon Wisenthal, who passed away a few weeks ago, helped us to come to terms with our past when he said, "For your benefit, learn from our tragedy".  He showed us that education and information are powerful tools for preventing the tragic repetition of history.

"Today, we should all remember Simon Wiesenthal's speech to the General Assembly 10 years ago (see A/50/PV.66). He called upon the international community to warn younger generations against prejudices, especially the prejudice of racial hatred, which has led to immeasurable human suffering.  Austria is conscious of its responsibility and is taking a broad spectrum of measures to fight anti-Semitism, xenophobia and other forms racism and intolerance at all levels.

"We have successfully initiated national programmes aimed at teaching our young people about the lessons of history. The young generation, representing our future, must be taught that no country and no society can achieve any degree of progress or development without respect for human rights and the dignity of each human being. That is the lesson that the memory of Auschwitz hands down from generation to generation.


Speaker: Archbishop Miglore

"Remembering is a duty and a common responsibility. That is especially true in the case of the Holocaust. So, my delegation welcomes the draft resolution on Holocaust remembrance and congratulates all those that sponsored it.

"For 60 years, we have had the horror of this kind of crime before us, and yet, history has repeated itself. An international convention against that crime has not prevented the kind of thinking that leads to genocide, the violence that sparks genocide, the injsutices that make it possible or the interests that allow a genocide to be sustained over time. The twentieth century witnessed genocides, atrocities, mass killings and ethnic cleansings which, deplorably, were not confined to just one continent. As we stand before the Holocaust, it is only right that we remember and pledge to make the best collective efforts to ensure that, having now named this crime, the world's nations will recognize it for what it is and prevent it in the future.

"After the Shoah, the first step towards prevention was the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Many more steps forward are needed. In every country, the memory of the Holocaust must be preserved as a commitment to spare future generations such horror. 


Speaker: Mrs. Nunez de Odreman
(Spoke in Spanish)

"The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has participated in the adoption by consensus of resolution 60/7 and is in full agreement with the States that sponsored the resolution and endorsed the memorandum of explanation accompanying the draft resolution, which affirmed that the Holocaust constituted a systematic and barbaric attempt to annihilate an entire people in a manner and of a magnitude that has no comparison in the history of humankind.

"We must also recall other Holocaust that took place during that terrible and barbarous conflict and those which came to light at that conflict's end, all equally attributable to founding States of the Unitd Nations that were part of the coalition that defeated the Nazi Fascism exclusively at the military level around the year 1945.

"We are referring to the annihilation of the defenceless population of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, who were victims of a deliberate, devastating destruction by the use of nuclear weapons, without any justification, and to the silent, low-intensity daily annihilation of peoples of the world, whose adults and children are condemned to misery, hunger, ignorance and repression with no escape or hope, as a result of the exploitation and the barbarous, systematic neglect to which they have been submitted during centuries by colonialist and imperialist States and elites that were also the principal actors of the aforementioned war.  The annihilation continues today, at the start of the twenty-first century, giving rise to a popular insurgency that seeks to restore justice.

"The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela also shares the concern and sense of urgency with regard to establishing educational programmes to eradicate from the face of the Earth, genocide as a political act to exterminate groups of human beings or entire peoples on the unspeakable pretext of hatred, racism and the fundamentalist, obsessive and messianic blindness that characterizes religious intolerance.  We call upon those States that, together with us, supported the resolution to ensure that the educational programmes proposed therein are designed, in a balanced and well-thought out manner, to put an end to holocausts and to raise global awareness of the perversion and crime against humanity that is genocide - including the genocide of the Jewish people, which deserves universal repudiation.


Speaker: Mr. Abdelaziz

"We fully share and understand the feelings of the sponsors with regard to the need for Holocaust remembrance. We have no objection to designating 27 January as a day of remembrance in connection with the Holocaust because of our firm belief that the victims of genocide, regardless of their religion or ethnic background, should not be forgotten.

"On the other hand, the resolution fails to address the responsibilities of the society in which the Holocaust was perpetrated and its socio-political and racist causes. Furthermore, we should ask ourselves why we should restrict the resolution on the Holocaust forgetting similar crimes of genocide against Christians and Muslims in Rwanda, and against Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Srebrenica, Sanski Most, Kosovo, and elsewhere.

"We are firm in our belief that the established mechanism, in accordance with the resolution, should apply to the victims of genocide as a whole, worldwide, without discrimination on the basis of religious or ethnic background.  We trust that the sponsors will consider our strong reservations and reflect on how to put things back into the right perspective.  We reserve the right to do so ourselves.

"We further trust that the General Assembly will attach the same importance to financing other activities in similar resolutions in full. In that context, we reserve the right to assist in the implementation of such resolutions all together, so as to ensure equal treatment for all victims of genocide, including the victims of the Holocaust.


 Speaker: Ms. Ismael

"My delegation joined the consensus on the resolution on Holocaust remembrance. We condemn the Holocaust, as it constituted a systematic and barbarous attempt to annihilate an entire people in a manner and on a scale that have no parallel in human history. Yet its lessons are universal, and my delegation feels that we should draw on them. There are other events that are no less tragic which would benefit from the lessons learned from the Holocaust.

"In this connection, my delegation would have preferred operative paragraph 2 of the resolution to be broader in scope so as to include inculcating in future generations the lessons not only of the Holocaust, but also other acts of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.


Speaker:  Mr. Anshor

"I am pleased to explain my delegation's position with regard to the resolution that has just been adopted. My delegation went along with its adoption on the basis of a number of understandings.

"First, we recognize that the Holocaust represents a dark episode in human civilization, whose lessons must never be forgottten if we are to save future generations from similar atrocities. However, the Holocaust is not the only human tragedy that provides such lessons. There are numerous others that send an equally strong message and warning to all people of the dangers of hatred, bigotry, racism and prejudice. Human history, whether classical or contemporary, registers a long list of human tragedies. Therefore, we would have preferred it if the sponsors, in formalizing and institutionalizing Holocaust remembrance and education within the United Nations system through the resolution, ahd given equal attention to other human tragedies.


Speaker: Mr. Ozawa

"My delegation wishes to exercise its right reply in connection with the statement made by the representative of China regarding atrocities during the Second World War in Asia. Mistakes made in our past history must be remembered.  We must learn from them and resolve never to allow them to happen again.  Only by learning from the past can humanity make progress in the future.

"On the occasion of the recent Asia-Africa summit in Indonesia, Prime Minister Koizumi stated,

"In the past Japan, through its colonial rule and aggression, caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations. Japan squarely faces those facts of history in a spirit of humility. And with a feeling of deep remorse and hearfelt apology always engraved in mind, Japan has resolutely and consistently maintained since the end of the Second World War never to turn into a military power but to be an economic power and its principle of resolving all matters by peaceful means without recourse to the use of force.

"Japan once again states its resolve to contribute to the peace and prosperity of the world, in the future as well, prizing the relationship of trust it enjoys with the nations of the world."

These are very sobering words amidst a world hell-bent on destroying each other in the name of national or cultural self-preservation.  While it is of utmost importance to remember the Holocaust, we must also acknowledge the horrendous genocides that have been perpetrated against other peoples since the end of World War II. 

But I must add a word of caution here. The term "Holocaust" must never be appropriated to describe any other genocide. "The Holocaust" uniquely refers to the tragedy of the Jewish people, just as the word "Shoah" cannnot be used to categorize other genocides. The delegate from the Ukraine, Mr. Kuchinsky addressed this issue though indirectly, by mentioning the terrible genocide suffered by the Ukrainian people in the Great Famine of 1932-33. He did not refer to it as "the Holocaust", but rather the "Holodomor".  

I strongly support this Resolution and do not approve of any attempt to alter the content of its assertions. I do however strongly recommend that the United Nations consider the idea of adopting (many) subsequent resolutions that address each genocide separately. This strategy can only serve to magnify the urgency which is needed to deal with our global conflicts. Because, when we are faced with an overwhelming plethora of United Nations resolutions on genocides, it will force us to look at the enormity of our evils - so that we can no longer bear to let it continue.

If the word "Holocaust" falls into misuse, it will become a kind of repository for the history of all the genocides of the world - past, present and (God forbid) the future. This will serve only to blur our collective vision of the past and dilute our understanding of the historic details.

I conclude this blog post with the words of Elie Wiesel: (he was a Holocaust survivor, and became a renowned author, professor, and is a Nobel Laureate.)

 "Not every victim was a Jew,
but every Jew was a victim"

Please donate funds to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum in Poland so that they may preserve it as an historical site. Teams of highly qualified specialists in landmark preservation work tirelessly to preserve all the artifacts and structures on the site.  Click on the following link to visit their website, and please donate generously. Thank you.


The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme (Remembrance and Beyond)
Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on the Holocaust Remembrance
(A/RES/60/7, 1 November 2005)

Resolution 60/7 Official Record (Document) (12 pages)
United Nations General Assembly 60th Session, 42nd plenary meeting  November 1, 2005


The Simon Wiesenthal Center

Jagiellonian University Centre for Holocaust Studies (Warsaw, Poland)

Task Force for International Co-operation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research

The Nizkor Project  (counters Holocaust Denials)

Genocides in History (Wikipedia)

Video of Raphael Lemkin (regarding Armenian Genocide, etc)

Video of President Obama concerning Armenian genocide

Voices of the Holocaust - tape recordings made in 1946 of Holocaust survivors’ testimonies.


USC  Holocaust & Genocide Studies (Database)

BBC Archive
Personal accounts of persecution and genocide by the Nazi Regime WWII Holocaust

USHMM Holocaust  Survivor Testimonies

Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team (H.E.A.R.T.)


“Their Denial and Our Silence Mock International Holocaust Memorial Day”
by Rabbi Abraham Cooper  Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and its Museum of Tolerance  (The Huffington Post.com)

“Auschwitz Liberator honoured by Poland’ Walter Ruby / Daily News Writer March 6 2005

“Polish Jewish Museum to open in April 2013” (The Associated Press)


Yad Vashem Channel

USC Shoah Foundation Institute
(founded by Steven Spielberg)

January 15, 2012


GROM is at the forefront in the global war against terrorism. They are Poland's secret weapon as well as a valued ally of western nations. They have trained with the best in the world - the SAS and U.S. Navy Seals, among others. What makes GROM so unique is that they are a hybrid elite force, integrating the most effective and most deadly tactics acquired from each of the top special forces around the world. GROM is so highly rated that the U.S. Navy Seals have called them the "Polish Navy Seals". GROM and the Navy Seals have collaborated closely in many international missions, including Operation Iraqi Freedom.

As part of this special series, we take a look at some of the most powerful weapons that have been produced during the past several years. Because the field of weaponry is so vast, only a few can be presented here. Bear in mind that the specifications that are to follow are far from comprehensive, but rather rudimentary and intentionally incomplete. Nevertheless it is meant to be a showcase of lethal weapons; weapons that are part of the arsenal of some of the world's special forces, including GROM.



The Bushmaster ACR (Adaptive Combat Rifle) is a relatively new design in the arsenal of weapons and is being used by the United States Army, as well as by GROM forces. The design is borrowed from the Magpul Masadan, which is an amalgamation of the best features of rifle designs recently developed: the short-stroke gas system from the Armalite AR-18; the upper receiver, charging handle location, from the FN SCAR; the liberal use of polymer components from the Heckler & Koch G36/XM8; the trigger pack from the M16/AR-15; and the barrel from the M16. The Busmaster also includes a quick-change barrel/trunnion system, adjustable gas regulator, non-reciprocating charging handle and storage compartments in the stock and grip. The weapon's caliber can easily be changed by replacing the bolt head, magazine and barrel. Incidentlaly the rifle was named after the Siege of Masada, though Magpul Industries is not Jewish-owned or Israeli-backed.


Type: Assault Rifle
Place of Origin: United States
Service: 2011 to present
Used by: USA and Poland
Wars: Afghanistan War
Weight: 3.54 kg (7.8 lb) (14.5" barrel no mag)
Length: (with stock deployed mid) 32-5/8 in
Barrel Length: 10.5 to 18 in (266-508 mm)
Width: 2.5 in (63.5 mm)
Height: 7.75 in (196.9 mm)
Cartridge: Current: 5.56x45mm NATO, .308 Winchester
Future: 6.5 mm grendel, 6.8 Remington SPC, 7.62x39mm
Action: Gas-piston, rotating bolt
Rate of Fire: 800-950 RPM (est)
Muzzle Velocity: (.223) 792-990ms (2600-3250 ft/s)
Effective Range: (.223) 300 m.
Feed System: 30 round Magpul PMAG
Sight: Magpul MBUS iron sights


The Heckler & Koch MP5, the "Maschinenpistole 5" is a 9mm submachine gun developed in the 1960s by a team of German engineers for the small arms manufacturer Heckler & Koch GmbH (H&K)and Oberndorf am Neckar. The MP5 is still being manufactured and is one of the most widely used machine guns in the world, used by countless number of military forces, police units and intelligence and security organizations. In the 1990s Heckler & Koch developed a new successor to the MP5, called the Heckler & Koch UMP, both of which remain in wide production. There are virtually dozens of variants of the MP5 on the market - for example the MP5A2, which is a lightweight, air-cooled, selective fire delayed blowback operated 9x19mm Parabellum weapon with a roller-delayed bolt. It fires from a closed bolt (bolt forward) position. The MP5-N ("N" for Navy)was developed especially for the United States Navy in 1986. This particular model has a collapsible stock, a tritium-illuminated front sight post and a 225mm (8.9 in) threaded barrel for use with a stainless steel sound suppressor (made by Knight's Armanent Company) combined with quieter subsonic ammunition. The MP5K (K for the German word kurs, meaning "short") was developed in 1976. It was a shortened version of the MP5A2 and was designed for battle in close quarters, ideally used by clandestine operatives and special services. The MP5K model does not have a shoulder stock (the receiver end is covered with a flat end cap, featuring a buffer on the inside and a sling loop on the outside) and the bold and receiver were shortened at the rear. It produces a higher rate of fire than the MP5. The barrel, cocking handle and its cover were shortened and a vertical foregrip was used to replace the standard handgard. The barrel ends at the base of the foresight preventing the use of any kind of muzzle device. The MP5 is being manufactured under license in several countries including Greece, Iran, Mexico, Turkey, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom. It is the Ultimate weapon for battle in close quarters. It's lightweight, small, but wields deadly accuracy.

US. Navy SEALs armed with MP5s on a training exercise

Specifications (of MP5-K)

Type: Submachine Gun
Place of Origin: Germany
Service: 1976- current
Used by: over 70 countries, including Poland.
Weight: 2 kg (4.4 lb)
Length: 368 mm (14.5 in) stock folded
Barrel Length: 115 mm (4.5 in)
Width: 50 mm (2.0 in)
Height: 210 mm (8.3 in)
Cartridge: 9x19mm Parabellum
Action: Roller-delayed blowback, closed bolt
Rate of Fire: 900 rounds/min
Muzzle Velocity: 375 m/s (1,230.3 ft/s)
Effecive Range: 100 m (328 ft)
Feed System: 15-30 or 32 round detachable box magazine,
100-round Beta C-Mag drum magaine.
Sights: Iron sights: Rear: rotary drum; Front: hooded post.

FN F2000

The FN F2000 was designed by Belgian manufacturer, FN Herstal and made its debut in March 2001 at the IDEX defense exhibition at Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates.

The F2000 is a modular weapon system. Its principal component is a compact 5.56x45mm NATO caliber assault rifle configured in a bullpup layout. The F2000 is a selective fire weapon operating from a closed bolt. The rifle consists of two main assemblies: the barreled receiver group and the frame, coupled together by means of an axis pin located above the trigger guard. The barrel group has an integral ML-STD 1913 Picatinny rail used to mount optical sights. The frame or lower receiver contains the trigger group, the bolt and bolt carrier assembly, return mechanism and magazine well. The removable handguard is installed in front of the trigger which completes and enclosed the trigger guard.

The F2000 is a gas operated, fully automatic and ambidextrous bullpup rifle. One of the modules developed for the F2000 system is a proprietary lightweight 40 mm under-slung GL 1 grenade launcher that uses standard low-velocity 40x46mm grenades. The launcher is a single-shot breech-loaded pump-action weapon with a barrel that slides forward for loading and unloading (like the M203 grenade launcher), locked by axial rotation of the barrel.

Slovenian soldiers with F2000 S rifles.


Type: bullpup assault rifle
Place of Origin: Belgium
Service: 2001 - current
Used by: about 10 countries including Poland
Wars: 2011 Libyan Civil War, Operation Astute (2006 East Timor Crisis, War in Afghanistan Weight: 3.6 kg (7.9 lb Length: 688 mm (27.1 in)
Barrel Length: 400 mm (16 in)
Width: 81.3 mm (3.20 in )
Height: 259.1 mm (10.20 in)
Cartridge: 5.56x45mm NATO Action: gas-operating, rotating bolt
Rate of Fire: 850 rounds/min
Muzzle Velocity: 900 m/s (2,953 ft/s)
Effective Range: 500 m (1,600 ft)
Feed System: detachable box magazines/ capacities: 10 rounds restricted, 30 round (standard STANAG
Sights: 1.6× magnified telescopic sight, notch back-up sight


When Poland became a member of NATO in 1999 the Polish Armed Forces were required to produce firearms that were compatible with NATO standards. In the early 2000s, Aleksander Lezucha embarked on a joint venture with the Polish Science Research and Information Technology Ministry to create a new standard sniper rifle. During the development stage the rifle was named "Alex" but received the military designation of "Bor" thereafter.

The Bor is a bullpup-configuration bolt-action magazine-fed sniper rifle. The barrel length (of 680 mm, or 26.8 in) provides increased accuracy while minimizing the overall length of 1,038 mm (40.9 in). Weight has been reduced by the use of a free-floting fluted barrel, without sacrificing accuracy. The muzzle is fitted with a double-baffle muzzle brake, which is claimed to reduce recoil by up to 30%. The "in-line" design of the barrel-receiver group also directs recoil rearwards in a straight line, minimizing muzzle flip. A sturdy adjustable bipod is fitted to the front of the fore-end. The rifle features a fully adjustable buttstock and cheek riser. A folding/adjustable monopod located behind the magazine on the inside of the buttstock can be used to support the rifle in firing position during extended periods of deployment. No iron or emergency sights are provided; a MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rail is mounted above the centerline of the barrel, over the receiver area for mounting various optical sights. The standard telescopic sight is a Leupold 4.5-14x50, with sight grid mil-dot reticle, parallax correction and an adjustment range of 100 MOA.

Sgt. Chad Droege, Illinois Army National Guard, learns how to fire a Polish sniper rifle from Polish army Cpl. Lukasz Bocwinski during Immediate Response 07
at the Wedrzyn Training Area in Poland.


Type: Sniper Rifle
Place of Origin: Poland
Service: 2007 - current
Used by: Polish Army
Weight: 6.1 kg (13.45 lb)
Length: 1,038 mm (40.9 in)
Barrel Length: 680 mm (26.8 in)
Cartridge: 7.62x51mm NATO
Action: Bolt action
Muzzle Velocity: 870 m/s (2,854 ft/s
Effective Range: 800 m
Feed System: 10-round detachable box magazine.
Sights: day or night optics, ZTOCS-1 ACRAB (also Carl Zeiss Optronics NSV 80 )


These sniper rifles are developed by SAKO, a Finnish firearm manufactuer. The TRG-22 was designed to fire standard.308 Winchester ammunition, while the TRG-42 was designed with a larger action and barrel to fire more powerful .300 Winchester Magnum and .338 Lapua Magnum ammunition. The SAKO has a folding stock, and are normally fitted with muzzle brakes to reduce recoil, jump and flash. The muzzle brakes vent sideways and are detachable. Most are fitted with a Zeiss or Scmidt & Bender PM II telescopic sight with either fixed or variable power of magnification. However, variable telescopic sights can be fitted for operators needing more flexibility to shoot at variable ranges, or when a wider field of view is required.

What is unique about the TRG is that it is a purpose-designed sniper rifle rather than an accurised version of an existing rifle. The heart of the TRG system is a cold-hammer forged receiver and barrel, which provide the maximum strength at minimum weight making it exceptionally resistant to wear. The "resistance free" bolt has three massive lugs and requires a 60 degree bolt rotation and a 98 mm (3.86 in) bolt throw for the short and 118 mm (4.65 in) bolt throw for the long bolt-action - features that should be appreciated by the shooter during multiple firings that require rapid projectile placement on the target.

Sako TRG M-10


Type: Sniper Rifle
Place of Origin: Finland
Service: 2000 to present
Users: 22 countries including Poland (Policja, GROM, 1st Special Commando Regiment of Lubliniec)
Wars: Afghanistan War, Iraq War
Weight: 4.7 kg (10.4 lb) empty
Length: 1,000 mm (39.37 in
Barrel: 510 mm (20.08 in)
Cartridge: .260 Remington, .308 Winchester (Magnum), .338 Lapua Magnum
Action: Bolt Action
Effective Range: (TRG-42 /.300 Win. Mag) = 1,100 m (1,203 yd)
(TRG-42 /.338 Lap. Mag) = 1,500 m (1,640 yd)
Feed System: 5, 7 or 10-round detachable box magazine
Sights: Aperture rear (with flip-up open tritium night/combat sight); day or night optics.


AT-4 Light Anti-Tank Rocket
The AT4 built by the Swedish, Saa Bofors Dynamics (formerly Bofors Anti-Armour Systems), is an 84-mm unguided, portable, single-shot recoilless smoothbore weapon. The AT 4, as well as its variants, AT4 CS, AT4CS have had considerable success and has become one of the most commonly used anti-tank weapons in the world.

The designation "CS" (confined space) refers to the propellant charge which makes it possible to operate the AT effectively within buildings in an urban environment. It enables infantry units a means to destroy, or disable armored vehicles and fortifications. But it is not designed to defeat a modern MBT (main battle tank). The launcher and projectile are manufactured prepacked, and issued as a single unit of ammunition with the launcher discarded after a single use.

The AT4 took many of its design features from the Carl Gustav, and may be considered a disposable, low cost alternative to a Carl Gustav recoilless rifle. It operates on the principle of a recoilless weapon, where the forward inertia of the projectile is balanced by the mass of propellant gases ejecting from the rear of the barrel. But unlike the Carl Gustav, which uses a heavier and more expensive steel tube with rifling, the disposable AT4 design greatly reduces manufacturing costs by using a reinforced smoothbore fiberglass outer tube. Since recoilless weapons generate almost no recoil, a relatively large projectile can be fired which would otherwise be impossible in a man-portable weapon.

To fire the AT4, the gunner must first remove the safety pin located at the rear of the tube, thereby unblocking the firing rod. He then takes a firing position ensuring that no one is present in the back blast area. If firing from the prone position (lying on his stomach) he must also place his legs well to the side to avoid burning himself. Then the gunner moves back the front and rear sight covers, allowing the sights to pop up into their firing positions. After firing, the AT4 is discarded. Unlike the heavier Carl Gustav, the AT4 outer tube is built only to take the stress of one firing and is not reusable and cannot be reloaded like the Carl Gustav.

Spc. Thomas Johnson shoots an Swedish AT-4 anti-tank weapon during familiarization training at the Udari range in Kuwait. Johnson is a legal specialist assigned to the 25th Infantry Division's Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade Combat Team. Soldiers of the division recently deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Sean Kimmons. (February 3, 2004)


Type: Anti-tank weapon
Place of Origin: Sweden
Used by: over 20 countries including Poland, USA, and UK
Wars: USA invasion of Panama, Afghanistan War, Iraq War
Weight: 6.7 kg (14.8 lb)
Length: 102 mm (40 in)
Caliber: 84 mm
Muzzle Velocity: 290 m/s (950 ft/s)
Effective Range: 300 m (point target)
Maximum Range: 500 m (area target) / 2100 m (maximum)
Sights: Iron sights, optional night vision unit
Filling: Octogen/TNT
Filling Weight: 440 g HE (HEAT round)


Accuracy International Arctic Warfare Magnum Folding (AI AWM F 300WM) .300 Winchester Magnum / 7.62x63 sniper rifle

The AWM (Arctic Warfare Magnum) is a sniper rifle manufactured by Accuracy International. It is also known by the acronym AWSM (Arctic Warfare Super Magnum), which typically denotes the .338 Lapua Magnum version.

The AWM rifle is a variant of the British Accuracy International Arctic Warfare, and has a longer bolt to accomodate larger magnum-length cartridges such as the .300 Winchester Magnum and the .338 Lapua Magnum, that are approved by NATO standards. The AWM has a detachable box magazine which holds five rounds. Muzzle brakes are fitted to reduce recoil, jump and flash and act as a base for optional iron sights and suppressors.

Normally, the AWMs are outfitted with a Schmidt & Bender PM II 10x42/MILITARY MK II 10x42 telescopic sight with 10x fixed power of magnification. However, a Schmidt & Bender PM II/MILITARY MK II with variable magnification of either 3-12x50, 4-16x50 or 5-25x56 can be used if the operator wants more flexibility to shoot at varying ranges, or when a wide field of view is required. Accuracy International actively promotes fitting the German made Schmidt & Bender PM II/MILITARY MK II product line as sighting components on their rifles, which is rare for a rifle manufacturer. The German and Russian Army preferred a telescopic sight made by Zeiss over Accuracy International's preference.

The AWM rifle is normally supplied in a metal transit case together with scope, mount, butt spacers, bipod, spare magazines, sling, cleaning and tool kits.

A Dutch ISAF sniper team displaying their Accuracy International AWSM .338 Lapua Magnum rifle and Leica/Vectronix VECTOR IV laser rangefinder binoculars.
(originally uploaded to Wiki by Francis Flinch)

Type: Sniper Rifle
Place of Origin: United Kingdom
Service 1996 - now
Used by: 9 countries including Poland (GROM, 1 Pulk Specjalny Komandosow) .338 L.M
Wars: Afghanistan War, Iraq War
Weight: 6.9 kg (15.1 lb) (.338 Lapua Magnum) with stock, bipod and empty magazine
Length: 1230 mm (48.4 in) (.338 Lapua Magnum
Barrel Length: 686 mm (27 in) (.338 Lapua Magnum)
Cartridge: .300 Winchester Magnum or .338 Lapua Magnum
Action: bolt action
Effective Range: 1,500 m (1,640 yd) (.338 Lapua Magnum)
Feed System: 5-round detachable box magazine
Sights: detachable aperture type iron sights day or night optics.


Spike is a fourth generation man-portable, fire-and-forget, anti-tank guided missile with tandem-charged HEAT warhead, developed and designed by the Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and in service with numerous countries.

As well as engaging and destroying targets within the line-of-sight of the launcher ("fire-and-forget"), some variants of the missile are capable of making a top-attack profile through a "fire, observe and update" guidance method - the operator can track the target, or switch to another target, optically through the trailing fiber-optic wire while the missile is climbing to altitude after launch. This is similar to the lofted trajectory flight profile of the US FGM-148 Javelin.

The missile is a fire-and-forget missile with lock-on before launch and automatic self-guidance and equipped with an imaging infrared seeker, that is available for medium, long, and extended range missiles.

Spike is connected by a fiber-optical wire that is spooled out between the launch position and the missile. It allows the operator to obtain a target if it is not in the line of sight of the operator at the time of launch, permits switching targets while in flight, and is capable of compensating for the movement of the target if the missile is not tracking the target for some reason. Hence, the missile can be fired speculatively for a target of opportunity, or to provide observation on the other side of an obstacle. The missile has a soft launch capability - the motor firing after the missile has left the launcher- which allows for the missile to be fired from confined spaces, which is a necessity in urban warfare.

The missile uses a tandem warhead - two shaped charges, a precursor warhead to detonate any explosive reactive armor and a primary warhead to penetrate the underlying armor. Currently, it is replacing aging second generation anti-tank missiles like the MILAN and M47 Dragon in the armies of the user nations.

Spike can be operated from the launcher by infantry, or from mounts that can be fitted to vehicles such as fast attack vehicles, APCs or any utility vehicle.



Type: anti-tank missile
Place of Origin: Israel
Service: 1997 to present

Used by:

Azerbaijan 100 Spike-LR missiles.

Chile 2,200 Spike-MR/LR missiles

Equador 244 missiles, delivered October 2009

Finland 300 Spike-MR and 400 Spike-ER missiles; 100 MR launchers plus an option for 70 more, and 18 ER launchers for coastal anti-ship use.

Germany 4,000 Spike-LR missiles, 311 LR launchers on Puma vehicles.

Italy 1,155 Spike-MR/LR missiles. Army: 65 Infantry Launchers, 36 LR launchers, 20 LR launchers, 26 indoor and 37 outdoor training systems. Navy: 6 Infantry Launchers, 2 indoor and 2 outdoor training systems. Contract: at least 120 million Euros.

Netherlands 2,400 Spike-MR missiles, 297 launchers.

Peru 516 Spike-LR missiles, 48 launchers.

Poland 2,675 Spike-LR missiles, 264 launchers.

Romania 1,000 Spike-ER and 950 Spike-LR.

Singapore 1,000 Spike-LR missiles, with associated launchers.

Slovenia 75 missiles. (Spike MR/LR in operational use since 2009)

South Korea A South Korean government deal concluded on 6 September 2011 has confirmed the procurement of unspecified numbers of Spike NLOS, of which about 50 missiles will be forward deployed to the South Korean islands of Baengnyeong and Yeonpyeong, close to the Northern Limit Line with North Korea.

Spain 2,600 Spike-LR and 200 Spike-ER; 236 Spike LR launchers (option for 100 more), 2,360 missiles for Spanish army, 24 Spike LR launchers and 240 missiles for Spanish marines. Spike ER on Eurocopter Tiger attack helicopters (Spanish army).

Wars: Second Entifada, 2006 Lebanon War, Afghanistan War (2001 - present), Gaza War.


(a) Spike ER from helicopter
Missile in canister: 34 kg (74 lb)
Launcher: 55 kg ( 121 lb)
Launcher + 4 missiles: 187 kg (412 lb)

(b) Spike MR/LR from ground
Missile round: 14 kg (30 lb)
Command & launch unit (CLU) 5 kg (11 lb)
Tripod: 2.8 kg (6 lb)
Battery: 1 kg (2 lb)
Thermal sight: 4 kg (8 lb)
Length: 1,670 mm (5 ft 6 in) (Missile w/launcher)
Diameter: 170 mm (6.7 in) (Missile w/launcher)
Rate of Fire: Ready to launch in 30 seconds, reload in 15 seconds
Maximum Range: 800 to 25,000 m (870 to 27,000 yd) depending on version
Sights: 10× optical sight
Warhead: Tandem=charge HEAT warhead
Detonation: on impact
Engine: Solid Rocket Fuel
Guidance System: Infrared homing - Electro Optical
(CCD, IR or Dual CCD/IIR), Passive CCD or dual CCD/IIR seeker