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  1. #1
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    T[h]anks or no t[h]anks

    well, the AML was kept on long after it was well obsolete because the DF follow the rule that "Ireland is unsuitable for tanks" so the DF shall not have any, a supposition which is based on their experience with the Churchill tank, which annoyed county councils because it tore up the roads and the DF had one lowloader. Just one. So, the DF keeps on a car which is a pain to drive, a bitch to service, has a shit engine and the survivability of a soap bubble. They upgrade it to remove or reduce these problems and retire them as soon as the refit is done( a decision for which no-one was punished. The logic is fine, the timing was inept) and then replace it with inadequate numbers of 30 mm equipped vehicles, whilst still retaining the Tonka Toy known as the Scorpion, which competes with the AML for the contender of least useful weapon in the DF. So, the DF managed to bypass every tank built since WW 2, big or small, cheap or expensive because county councillors have more power than the Chief of Staff and they then have to place inordinate reliance on anti-tank weapons like the 84 and the Milan and Javelin. Nice toys but they cost a packet and are rarely fired so training becomes a bit of a joke. Irish soldiers then go to the Lebanon where the people who least like or respect them or the alleged mandate have the best tanks in the world. If Kafka wrote it, it would be a best seller......

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    Post of the decade G .
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    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere***
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

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    100% gttc....
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
    well, the AML was kept on long after it was well obsolete because the DF follow the rule that "Ireland is unsuitable for tanks" so the DF shall not have any, a supposition which is based on their experience with the Churchill tank, which annoyed county councils because it tore up the roads and the DF had one lowloader. Just one. So, the DF keeps on a car which is a pain to drive, a bitch to service, has a shit engine and the survivability of a soap bubble. They upgrade it to remove or reduce these problems and retire them as soon as the refit is done( a decision for which no-one was punished. The logic is fine, the timing was inept) and then replace it with inadequate numbers of 30 mm equipped vehicles, whilst still retaining the Tonka Toy known as the Scorpion, which competes with the AML for the contender of least useful weapon in the DF. So, the DF managed to bypass every tank built since WW 2, big or small, cheap or expensive because county councillors have more power than the Chief of Staff and they then have to place inordinate reliance on anti-tank weapons like the 84 and the Milan and Javelin. Nice toys but they cost a packet and are rarely fired so training becomes a bit of a joke. Irish soldiers then go to the Lebanon where the people who least like or respect them or the alleged mandate have the best tanks in the world. If Kafka wrote it, it would be a best seller......
    Jim Cusack, when you read this, stick that on your clipboard and publish it.

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  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
    well, the AML was kept on long after it was well obsolete because the DF follow the rule that "Ireland is unsuitable for tanks" so the DF shall not have any, a supposition which is based on their experience with the Churchill tank, which annoyed county councils because it tore up the roads and the DF had one lowloader. Just one. So, the DF keeps on a car which is a pain to drive, a bitch to service, has a shit engine and the survivability of a soap bubble. They upgrade it to remove or reduce these problems and retire them as soon as the refit is done( a decision for which no-one was punished. The logic is fine, the timing was inept) and then replace it with inadequate numbers of 30 mm equipped vehicles, whilst still retaining the Tonka Toy known as the Scorpion, which competes with the AML for the contender of least useful weapon in the DF. So, the DF managed to bypass every tank built since WW 2, big or small, cheap or expensive because county councillors have more power than the Chief of Staff and they then have to place inordinate reliance on anti-tank weapons like the 84 and the Milan and Javelin. Nice toys but they cost a packet and are rarely fired so training becomes a bit of a joke. Irish soldiers then go to the Lebanon where the people who least like or respect them or the alleged mandate have the best tanks in the world. If Kafka wrote it, it would be a best seller......
    In case you missed it the Churchill was replaced by the Comet.
    Tanks are only really useful if operating as part of a heavy armoured force with all the supporting assets such as M-ICV's, SPG's, SPAAG's etc. The days of single MBT's supporting a light infantry attack or defence have long passed since the man portable ATGM entered the battlefield. Unless your up against an inferior enemy who don't have ATGW's your not going to use armour for fire support.

    The Javelin is no "toy", there is no armoured vehicle that it cant destroy, it would turn a Merkava into a furnace. Most of training for the Javelin is done using Simulated Command Launch Unit's and also Field Tactical Trainer's which is the very same system the US military use. These systems provide more realistic combat training than actually firing a live missile at a stationary target in the Glen. Far from a "joke".

    The AML's were not retired as soon as the upgrading was complete, it was another 13 or 14 years before they were finally retired and after two further overseas deployments. Ideally they should of been replaced in the early 90's along with the Panhard APC's but that was never going to happen so upgrading was the only option.

    A number of countries have deployed MBT's on peacekeeper missions partially in the Balkans but only along with their M-ICV's and SPG's. MBT's certainty have a role in peacekeeper missions, practically if all the belligerents in the conflict have their own heavy armour but only if you have M-ICV's and SPG's to complement them.

    While the AML 20 fleet was partially replaced with the CRV's and MRV's its unfortunate there has been no replacement for the 90, the planned FSV would be getting a coat of white paint now im sure if they had of been purchased.

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    I know the Comet took over from the Churchill but the complaints remained the same, even though the Comet did less damage to roads. The DF was effectively unable to use tanks because of complaints from civvies about the state of the roads and from the horse mafia in the Curragh and their own failure to have more low-loaders meant that the tanks were essentially confined to the Curragh, which basically rendered them pointless in an all-Army context. They were bought at a time when the tank was still a major force in warfare and not having decent armour, wheeled or tracked, meant that the DF went into an African war for three years with no decent armour, no experience worth the name and little or no defence against them and suffered as a consequence. Remember, their armoured opponents were obsolete M8 Greyhounds armed with a 37mm and the Army went in fear of them!...... I agree that the Javelin is no joke and it's great to have it in our Army but it's net effect in the DF is to replace armour, rather like the DF's proliferation of mortars masks a lack of heavy gun power. We have a DF that goes abroad with it's lightest armour (in terms of gun power), it's second best gun (a 120mm mortar, which is nice but is no real substitute for a 105), scant air support (at least in the Congo they could call upon the Swedish and Indians for real fighter and bomber cover) and is trying to fulfil mandates which tie their hands behind their backs. We don't have to have big, tracked armour of the Merkava class. We do need to have decent gun power and a 90 or a 105mm wheeled armoured car would be just right and we do need to retain the corporate knowledge of armour and how to operate, use it and defeat it.

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    Interesting account of Danish Leopard 1A5's in the Balkans, who were supporting a Swedish observation post which was under attack - and then the grenades & anti tank missiles started coming towards them:

    http://archive.today/wScs

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    We don't have to have big, tracked armour of the Merkava class. We do need to have decent gun power and a 90 or a 105mm wheeled armoured car would be just right and we do need to retain the corporate knowledge of armour and how to operate, use it and defeat it.
    This is the big misnomer in the whole armour equation.

    Cavalry is a recce force not an tank based force.

    Ireland bought tanks originally to train forces in Anti Tank methods. Tanks have never been trained along side those forces they traditionally deploy with.

    The AML 90 was fire support for a recce unit , not primarily tasked with Anti Tank warfare. 99% of people in the Cav have no interoperabilty with tracked vehicles. The recce role evolved , the Cavalry have the vehicles to carry out that role in current times, the are not a tank based force.

    The AML is no different to any other 50/60s wheeled AFV with all its faults, but as with CM170s, Minesweepers and other dated peices of equipment that long out lived their original designed role we just held on to them out long creating the impression they had a real time use.
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    So, in effect, Ireland could still be operating Comets, or indeed Vickers Mark 1's, as they are only there to play the part of Opforce?
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  16. #10
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    Comet and Churchill were bought for training purposes only after the british refused to sell us Centurion tanks in the late 1940's ( they were worried that the weapons would be used to invade the north and pressurised the Americans into not selling us tanks either. .

    the scorpions however were bought with the intention of developing an armoured regiment, but the economic crisis of the 1980's put an end to that plan.

    If the wanted to they could have got no end of m-60 or leopards from the americans and europe in the 90's, the americans gave away virtually brand new m 60a3 for free. But its not so much the country council's worried out their roads, and who'll pay to repair them that prevented tanks being bought. FF was traditionally frightened of being outflanked by "republicans" from Clann na poblachta in the 1950's to Sinn Fein today. Look at PANA and Roger Cole who was a leading light in the protests against the Queen of England popping over for a few days, the anti neutrality campaign is very closely associated with militant republicans. Any sort of defence spending provokes a very vocal but powerful minority to object and say thaty we're joing in with the british etc.

    Actually I think that the identification of "neutrality" with anti britishness it will change somewhat, as european defence structures become more important to the df, and as increasing numbers of non nationals from eastern europe start to vote in irish elections
    Last edited by paul g; 9th September 2014 at 04:58.

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  18. #11
    Commander in Chief hptmurphy's Avatar
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    Ireland could still be operating Comets,
    Comets were still on strenght up to 1970 despite a lack of ammunition. An effort was made to re employ the hulls using a 90mm recoiless weapon but the exposure of the crew meant it came to nothing.
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  19. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul g View Post
    Comet and Churchill were bought for training purposes only after the british refused to sell us Centurion tanks in the late 1940's ( they were worried that the weapons would be used to invade the north and pressurised the Americans into not selling us tanks either.
    Paul I'd be interested if you have a source for this.

    My gut feeling is that I don't think its right...given that the British Government sold the Irish DoD warships, artillery, universal carriers, rifles, HMG's, LMG's, MTB's etc (and eventually 14 very capable light tanks....Scorpion)...but I'm happy to be proven wrong.

    Seven Centurion tanks (the Irish Army operated I believe 3 Churchills then 4 Comets) was hardly going to swing the balance militarily on the Island of Ireland.

    When or from whom did this perceived threat of an invasion of Northern Ireland in the late 1940's come from?

    Was it discussed in the London or Stormont Parliaments?



    Do you have a source indicating that the AML 90's were bought because of a fear of clashes with the UDR / RUC?

    Again I'd be interested if you have...not out of smart-arsedness...but out of curiosity...and of a general fascination with the hysteria on both sides at times.

    Neither the UDR or RUC had more effective armour than the Irish Army...the RUC in the late 60's operated about a dozen Saracen APC's...which were handed over to the Regular Army in 1970. They also had Shorland Armoured Cars armed with .30 HMG's...these were handed over to the UDR around 1971 / 72...and were the only armour ever operated by the UDR.

    Before the Saracen's the RUC operated WW2 vintage Daimler Dingo Scout Cars...which were refurbished by Shorts Brothers in the early 60's to be sold to a Middle Eastern Country (can't for the life of me remember which one). The sale never happened as there was a coup...the Dingo's sat in a scrapyard for years before a number were rescued by military vehicle enthusiasts.

    With respect to both the RUC and UDR...the crews of any of these vehicles would have died in flames if they had taken on the Irish Army...armed as it was with anti-tank weapons etc...not that they ever intended to.

    Were the AML series vehicles not bought with a view to supporting Ireland's increasing involvement in UN missions overseas?
    Oh Fortune...like the moon...you are changeable...

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  21. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by spider View Post
    Paul I'd be interested if you have a source for this.

    My gut feeling is that I don't think its right...given that the British Government sold the Irish DoD warships, artillery, universal carriers, rifles, HMG's, LMG's, MTB's etc (and eventually 14 very capable light tanks....Scorpion)...but I'm happy to be proven wrong.

    Seven Centurion tanks (the Irish Army operated I believe 3 Churchills then 4 Comets) was hardly going to swing the balance militarily on the Island of Ireland.

    When or from whom did this perceived threat of an invasion of Northern Ireland in the late 1940's come from?

    Was it discussed in the London or Stormont Parliaments?



    Do you have a source indicating that the AML 90's were bought because of a fear of clashes with the UDR / RUC?

    Again I'd be interested if you have...not out of smart-arsedness...but out of curiosity...and of a general fascination with the hysteria on both sides at times.

    Neither the UDR or RUC had more effective armour than the Irish Army...the RUC in the late 60's operated about a dozen Saracen APC's...which were handed over to the Regular Army in 1970. They also had Shorland Armoured Cars armed with .30 HMG's...these were handed over to the UDR around 1971 / 72...and were the only armour ever operated by the UDR.

    Before the Saracen's the RUC operated WW2 vintage Daimler Dingo Scout Cars...which were refurbished by Shorts Brothers in the early 60's to be sold to a Middle Eastern Country (can't for the life of me remember which one). The sale never happened as there was a coup...the Dingo's sat in a scrapyard for years before a number were rescued by military vehicle enthusiasts.

    With respect to both the RUC and UDR...the crews of any of these vehicles would have died in flames if they had taken on the Irish Army...armed as it was with anti-tank weapons etc...not that they ever intended to.

    Were the AML series vehicles not bought with a view to supporting Ireland's increasing involvement in UN missions overseas?
    Ther book in question is "orders for the captain" by james kelly, long since out of print but a good library should be able to get a copy, he details a conversation with Colonel Heffernan director of military intelligence about the RUC's shortland armoured car and how it broke the informal agreement on deploying armour.


    Centurion being favoured look at Victor Laing's Book the chief of staf reports published recently which is the definitive source on the development of the Df post war.

    About british fears abouit selling weapons in case it might destablise the north, again books, look atRonan Fannings discussion about Sean Mc Bride's offer of of a joint pact with the americans in Documents on irish foreign policy. Clann no poblachta in ther 1940's were far more radical that FF, and trhere was a fear Mac Bride might use force to end partition. Though some suggest that the biritsh actually wanted to keep the money in the sterling area.
    Last edited by paul g; 9th September 2014 at 23:49.

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  23. #14
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    This has become an subject which is no longer relevant to overseas ops, and more of a what equipment we should have/should not have thread, since it's noisy, expensive things wot don't run on Wheels it's rumbled over here, please feel free to continue as it is very interesting...Turkey [with apologies]..
    Last edited by Turkey; 9th September 2014 at 22:39.
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    [QUOTE=spider;417122]
    (the Irish Army operated I believe 3 Churchills then 4 Comets)


    4 churchills and 8 comets.

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  27. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul g View Post
    Ther book in question is "orders for the captain" by james kelly, long since out of print but a good library should be able to get a copy, he details a conversation with Colonel Heffernan director of military intelligence about the RUC's shortland armoured car and how it broke the informal agreement on deploying armour.


    Centurion being favoured look at Victor Laing's Book the chief of staf reports published recently which is the definitive source on the development of the Df post war.

    About british fears abouit selling weapons, again books, look atRonan Fannings discussion about Sean Mc Bride's offer of of a joinmt pact with the americans, look at ronan fannings Documents on irish foreign policy. Though some suggest that the biritsh actually wanted to keep the money in the sterling area.
    Paul,

    Thank You...I'll have to look for Kelly's book... though with respect are you suggesting that a conversation between two reasonably junior Army Officers led to a major uplift in Defence Force procurement? Surely this would be in the public domain...discussed in The Dail etc?

    I can understand perhaps more modern equipment being purchased because of the situation in Northern Ireland...and that situations threat to the stability of the rest of the Island...but bought in case the RUC decided to fight the Irish Army??? I can think of no sound reason why the RUC or UDR would want to fight the Irish Army...or why anyone would think that they might.

    The RUC didn't break any informal agreement on deploying armour...because such an agreement can't have existed.

    The reason I say that is that due to the terrorist threat the RUC were equipped with armoured vehicles from their inception...my Father was crewing a Daimler Dingo in 1958...eleven years before things went into meltdown...and many years before the AML's were purchased. The Daimler Dingo was a much more militarily capable vehicle than the Shorland... which was a lightly armoured / armed urban internal security patrol vehicle.

    Victor Laing...again I'll try and source it but does it say that the Centurion was favoured but not an option at the time...or that the British refused to sell it to the Irish?

    I have never been aware of any form of British military embargo involving Ireland...and I don't think it would have been in British interests to do so either...for selfish British reasons of course...Perfidious Albion and all that.

    But as always...happy to be corrected / educated.
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    @murph, it's a pity they didn't try to convert the Comet to a Self propelled gun like a 25-pdr Sexton or a Bofors mount like an M42 Duster......I always thought the AMLs were bought to (a) replace the tanks, especially from the point of view of nationwide mobility (b) give the DF some kind of transportable armour for overseas ops, with a credible gun (c) match the M3 Panhards for alleged compatability/single source and let them replace the mishmash of troop carriers that did exist(d) get over the embarrassment of having no decent armour in the Congo..........with regard to buying tracked armour, I'd consider a 155mm tracked gun such as the Phz-2000 or the Paladin (to make up for the lack of a heavy gun in the DF) and M88 Wreckers (or equivalent) for sheer grunt when it comes to hauling wrecks or heavy loads or heavy engineering such as bridging or vehicle repair. I would most certainly replace the old, short 90mm gun as not being fit for purpose and get a new 90mm or 105mm eight-wheeler. I would also adopt the French attitude of bringing the biggest bang you've got with you, when you go on tour, as much as possible.

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    Lots of examples of British embargoing export of hardware to Ireland during WW2, hence why we ended up with so few aircraft, artillery pieces etc. Even post-war they were not keen on supplying, e.g. Spitfires. But once 'normal service' was resumed in the 1950's, I too have never heard of their refusing to supply anything after that, nor that there was a serious attempt to procure centurions. I would have thought something like that would have been mentioned in printed material relating to Tank Squadron over the years, e.g. the squadron history issue of An Cosantoir. I do recall several Chiefs of Staff briefing lapdog journos on their 'wish list' of equipment, and such articles appearing over the years. This sounds like one of those.

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    The response from the British depended on the humour in 10, Downing Street.Certainly, allowing PoWs to escape across the border helped to supply spares and kit but there was obstruction on both sides. One order for 3.7 in AA guns was delayed by civil servants arguing the toss over payments, even though the UK Govt was willing to ship them at once. Another example was the Air Corps insisting that the Seafires be fitted with the cannon and .303 wing, when the production system was well past that. Most of the cooperation at local level was very friendly and only rendered difficult at political/governmental level.

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    Initially between 1948 until 1954 the Churchills were leased when they were bought outright.One remained in service until 1969, two had been boarded in 1967 and one in 1963

    Were the AML series vehicles not bought with a view to supporting Ireland's increasing involvement in UN missions overseas
    .

    I believe this to be the case as the first batch of AML 60 CS cars were delivered directly to Cyprus, October 1963.

    The AML 90 was the preffered option but possibly for financial reasons the AML 60 _7 CS was the first purchased. The initial descison to purchase was made back in 1961.

    In 1970 20 x AML 90s and 16 x AML 60 HBs were ordered with deliveries complete in 1975!

    So......
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    @murph, it's a pity they didn't try to convert the Comet to a Self propelled gun like a 25-pdr Sexton or a Bofors mount like an M42 Duster.
    Given we were never going to be able to opertae tanks in a conventional role and that 120mm mortars are far more flexible and mobile I think it was a last grasp at trying to retain tracked capability, even if we couldn't move it as tanks are supposed to be moved

    ie by transporter, not under there own steam.

    match the M3 Panhards for alleged compatability/single source and let them replace the mishmash of troop carriers that did exist(d) get over the embarrassment of having no decent armour in the Congo
    Looking at the time scale the VTT M3s were a bit of an after thought given the first two batchs of AML 60s had been in service ten years before their delivery. But the attempt at commonality was indeed a good one and a well earned lesson by continuing to use a range of Mowag products in modern times.

    M88 Wreckers (or equivalent) for sheer grunt when it comes to hauling wrecks or heavy loads or heavy engineering such as bridging or vehicle repair
    Pardon the pun but they have never really attempted to realistically 'bridge' that gap in prime movers. The Three Berliets they bought were fine machines but had a relatively short service life.

    I would most certainly replace the old, short 90mm gun as not being fit for purpose and get a new 90mm or 105mm eight-wheeler.
    Which was the plan on a Mowag based platform until some one on the infantry side blew the budget on the second batch of APCs. The Cav had been told. Mowag 6x6 with big gun.....were jumping up and down..and then were told to get another 10 years out of the AMLs because of the cost of the upgrades. Money went on APCs. Which in hindsight wasn't that bad as the first batch of Mowags were falling apart at the time.

    I was in the workshops in 2009 where there was a Mowag parked up outside still in Liberia colurs and off the road for at least three years at that pointAttachment 7777

    The 90s and 20s from the same mission were under canvass never to move again

    Attachment 7778
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    Arrgh!!!! The IMO monster ate the attachments.

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    Arrgh!!!! The IMO monster ate the attachments.
    FCUK!
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    I'm not wanting to get into the whole Irish Army vs British Army thing.

    But is the British Army's newly evolving Light Calvary role something the Irish Army could adopt in conjunction with the relatively small number of armoured vehicles they operate?

    This is a result of lessons learnt in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    This new Reserve Unit has just been formed in Scotland and Northern Ireland http://www.army.mod.uk/armoured/regiments/28480.aspx

    Light and agile recce specialists with the vehicles and firepower to extract themselves out of contact with enemy forces.

    http://www.army.mod.uk/equipment/23594.aspx

    http://www.army.mod.uk/equipment/23243.aspx

    Also I believe to be used to screen and protect the flanks of logistics convoys etc.

    Useful for UN missions?

    I suppose my point is Calvary don't necessarily have to operate tanks / armoured cars.
    Oh Fortune...like the moon...you are changeable...

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    Just visiting

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