Friday, May 20, 2022

King Of Battle


(Shout out: I forget who tipped me off about this source, 
but many thanks. Pure gold.)

Assuming there are folks out there still interested in information, rather than posturing, empty gainsaying, and reflexively giving Putin his daily tongue-bath:

Why Vlad Is getting his Ass Kicked, Day 82

Oberst (Col.) Reisner of the Austrian Army giving a thoroughly professional and easily understandable briefing on why Ukraine keeps kicking the shit out of inferior Russian forces with artillery tactics hitherto largely unknown, and capabilities that are even better than us at our best to date, especially so for a fourth-rate military cobbled together under constant attack and three months of invasion by a nominally far stronger power.

(Click on YouTube to turn on CC, then go to settings, and select English captions, and Bob's your uncle, you've got the briefing in real time. You can even turn off the sound.)

In short:

1. Ukraine developed a simple program (GIS ARTA) which anyone, even people who are essentially untrained national guardsmen conscripts, can use to upload target info to the network in seconds, to within a couple of meters of accuracy. This wiped out any requirement for highly trained FOs, and shortened required competency at that task from months to minutes. That's world-beating.

2. Elon Musk's 1760-satellite multi-redundant and unjammable Starlink system communicates that data to every weapon system user on the network, in real time.

3. Ukraine deploys its artillery, not in traditional "Come counter-battery the shit out of me" compact battery formations, but rather in highly dispersed packets over wide areas, making counter-battery massing of fires immensely more difficult. Used to be, an artillery gun or rocket battery fit inside an acre or two, and Ivan's counter-battery would wipe out that whole grid square within 3 minutes. Now, the Ukes have dispersed their weapons over entire square miles and miles, and anything over everywhere can get the target, and open fire, and the fires are massed on the impact area, without the tubes or systems being massed from the launch point. This isn't evolutionary, it's revolutionary. It's the difference between taking a Napoleonic company of riflemen blasting away with smoothbore muskets, and transitioning your force to 200 guys with Barrett .50BMG sniper weapons, and scattering them from hell to breakfast, and having them pick off people from a mile away. Good luck returning that kind of incoming fire. (It was last tried by the US 7th Cavalry at the Little Bighorn. Spoiler Alert: This did not go well for them.)

4. The Ukrainians are using laser-targeted and GPS guided projectiles, and getting first-round hits with artillery. Russia is getting, in their laps, what happened to Saddam's army for the first time in 1990, where you had LGBs going into truck windows, and through ventilation shafts at HQ, and precisely targeting anything you can see. And Ukrainian drones are seeing everything.

5. Turning this level of targeting on Russian HQ, and any massed forces. In the video, Col. Reisner notes 13 Soviet generals, and 30 colonels are now good Russians, courtesy of the Ukrainians shellacking the hell out of any Russian HQ they find. (FTR, IIRC, the US hasn't lost 13 generals in battle in the last century.)

The Ukrainians also wiped out the best part of two entire Russian assault battalions in that famous disaster of a bridging operation in Donetsk. When your forces are knocking the enemy's attacks out in job lots of 1000 men at a time, it's become less a battle, and more a harvest of baby Harp seals.

Ukraine is now visiting on Russian troops the sort of artillery bitch-slapping smackdown Russia was formerly famous for, only by using targeted sledgehammer blows, instead of dropping a bus on the target. And it's kicking Ivan's ass all the way back to the Russian border, chewing up the best he's got, and spitting out nothing but scrap metal and bloody bits of corpses. No wonder the Russian troops don't want to play any more. This is like playing Army, and you draw Iraqi Republican Guards, against the other guy's choice of US 1st Armored Division. The Washington Generals have a better chance against the Harlem Globetrotters.

But hey, why worry? This isn't really the Austrian military college's analysis, this is all "Globohomo propaganda", those 13 dead Russian generals and 30 colonels are all secretly massing for the Big Russian Counterattack, any day now, and everything is going according to Vlad's brilliant 97-dimensional master plan. (That's what you get when you listen to people who put the "anal" in "analysis", because that's where their heads are.)

For those of you still believing your lying eyes, instead of the World's Foremost Internet Experts, this is why the number of people still talking about Pee Wee Putin's Big Adventure are getting quieter and quieter, and turning into the Chicago Cubs Fans of Russian Cheerleading and Current Affairs.

From  Lenin to Putin, when your head guy is named Vladimir,
it's not going to go well.

And FWIW, mad props to the Austrian Army, which is putting out weekly Master's level commanding general briefings for free, on the internet, just because they can. And I don't know how large or ferocious the Austrian Army is, but if this guy is representative of their competence level, you do not want to f**k with them.

Thursday, May 19, 2022



Data Points




I. (US News - LONDON) Russian President Vladimir Putin has lost faith in his top general and has fired other senior commanders for their high-profile and embarrassing failures on the battlefield in Ukraine, British intelligence believes.

U.K. military intelligence reports Tuesday morning that the Kremlin has fired Lt. Gen. Serhiy Kisel, commander of the elite 1st Guards Tank Army, for failing to capture Kharkiv. International attention has focused on the strategically critical northeastern Ukrainian city in recent days following news Ukrainian forces capitalized on Russia’s retreat and had pushed the invading troopss back to their border. The commander of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, Vice Admiral Igor Osipov, has also come under suspension likely for allowing the flagship cruiser Moskva to sink in April from an apparent missile attack – for which the Ukrainian military claims credit. 

Perhaps most notably, Valeriy Gerasimov, the chief of the Russian General Staff – a position roughly analogous to the U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs – remains in his post but, British intelligence believes, “it is unclear whether he retains the confidence of President Putin.”

The damning assessment follows reports that at least a dozen Russian generals have died on the battlefield – a seemingly stunning fact that the Pentagon has downplayed as indicative of how the Kremlin goes to war combined with the dysfunctional state of a Soviet-era army.


II.  (Metro-UK)Putin ‘facing a coup after his closest allies accept they’ve lost the war’

Vladimir Putin's top security officials think the war in Ukraine is 'lost', making the chances of a coup more likely, an analyst in Moscow says. The chances of the Russian tyrant launching a nuclear strike are receding as it is likely people would refuse to carry out his order. That's according to expert and investigative journalist Christo Grozev, who suggests Putin is losing his grip on power. He says leading officials are unlikely to obey Putin's commands to launch nukes as they don't trust he will still be in power in three months time. 'I think that it is the informed elite within the security forces who understand that the war is lost,' Grozev told Radio Liberty. He said Putin's inner circle understand the president would need a full mass mobilisation to win the war, but this would cause a 'social explosion' in Russia. Some hardliners may pressure for use of nuclear or chemical weapons, Grozev warned. But others will say 'enough is enough' and 'it is better not to waste another 10,000 lives of our soldiers and officers'. Grozev, lead Russia investigator for investigative journalist group Bellingcat, said one or more of the 'five hands' needed to launch Russia's nukes could end up defying Putin. 'And this refusal will be the trigger, most likely, a coup d'état, because after the refusal to comply with the order of the king, everything will go down very quickly,' he added. 'If Putin decides to give an order to use nuclear weapons, he must be sure that everyone along the chain will carry out this order'. If one person does not comply, Grozev says this will be a 'signal of insubordination' which could lead to the 'death of Putin'. 'So until he is sure that everyone will comply, he will not give this order,' he added. It is known that defence minister Sergei Shoigu and chief of the defence staff Valery Gerasimov would both need to sanction a nuclear strike. The journalist said senior figures from the FSB security agency and the GRU military intelligence organisation are preparing for life after Putin. He said the 'FSB elite' knows exactly how many Russian troops have died in Ukraine and knows that the loved ones of the dead or missing 'do not stop asking questions'. 'They know that this situation will eventually get out of hand,' Grozev added. 'This is already a kind of betrayal by these people, because they do not follow the ideological orders of the Kremlin, but are preparing for an alternative reality'.

Bummer for Vlad. 


"From Elsewhere"

"Russia’s military BS, its inflated readiness and pencilwhipped training & inspections, deceived the worst targets possible: their own high command.

It’s pretty obvious that Russia thought they would pin the bulk of the Ukrainian army’s best units in the Donbas and trap it with a double envelopment, preventing it from pulling back to reinforce the capital, which would be seized by a coup de main striking south from Byelorussia linking up with the airhead at Hostomel.

All very Shock & Awe. Very lighting warfare and deep battle. And literally none of it came true because it was all wishcasting based on undertrained troops and fantasyland readiness reports.

We're curious, because a quick quote search on Gulag and Bing revealed no matching language, presumably anywhere (or at least, anywhere its search engines chose to reveal). And Tam, usually happy to post a link, has none for this snippet, merely heading it "From Elsewhere". So our interest is piqued, but we'd rather see the primary source ourselves.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Mariupolic Victory


Finally, Some Good News For Putin's Fanboys!


За здоровье!

Glorious Russian Army Finally declares victory in Mariupol after 21 33 45 days of trying!

Russia reports 265 Ukrainian fighters, most of them unwounded and fully able to continue to resist, bored and tiring of waiting nearly six weeks for the Russians to finally win on their own, decided to shorten the contest, and under direct orders from their own military command, walked out and surrendered instead. Which time period is slightly longer than it took the U.S. to militarily defeat the Afghani and Iraqi armies, depose Noriega in Panama, and free Grenada from a communist coup, combined.

Better news: at that rate of attrition, and after the expenditure of tens of thousands of rounds of artillery to not kill any Ukrainian fighters, Russia can look forward to conquering all of Ukraine, in only an additional 16,272 years, 1 month, and 18 days.

It looks like it will be a fine day for Mother Russia on July 6th,18,094 A.D., when they finally get the last Ukrainians to walk out and give up.

Of course, that assumes Russia can ever cut the rest of Ukraine off as rapidly and totally as the six weeks it took to do so in Mariupol, to achieve this stunning victory over one single steel plant in a single mid-sized city. If, on the other hand, they fail to cut off all further military re-supply from the West, it may take Russian military incompetents considerably longer to conquer all of Ukraine than a paltry sixteen millennia.

Walk tall, Ivan! A Mariupol "victory" is now orders of magnitude worse than a mere Pyrrhic one.

But seriously: Watch what happens next. If Vlad was serious, rather than just offering a pizzling excuse as a pretext for a naked land grab, now is the perfect opportunity for Russia to declare victory over the Nazi bastards, and get the hell out of Ukraine, before risking any more blood and treasure while they embarrass themselves in front of the entire world. If they do that now, they solve a ridiculous number of self-inflicted problems, and scrape a lot of egg off their faces. Not all, but a lot.

If, instead, they redouble their flailing efforts, that crapola was just boob bait for the bubbas, and they're going to keep shooting holes in their own junk until they run out of sausage, until someone gives Putin a 9mm Q-tip, or until half the northern hemisphere glows in the dark.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Why Is That?

 h/t My Daily Kona

The Russian Army of 1980 called. From the convalescent hospital.
On life support.

As in, "Why do we keep getting it right, and the Putin-fanboys keep doing an endless faceplant?"

How The Soviet Army Fights: RTWT  

Go read Mr. Garibaldi's accurate 30-second thumbnail on how the Soviet Army trained to fight.

That was exactly the Soviet model doctrine. We knew it backwards and forwards. Hell, I read the whole collection from the S-2's open shelves while I was on battalion guard duty. It's not that complicated, and was written at a high school grade level, like most military manuals.

And that was great, when Ivan had 50,000 tanks to our 10,000, and his senior generals had no-shit fought German panzers at Kursk, and crushed them.

That was in the 1980s. When Russia was the Soviet Union.

But what too many fanboys forget, is that was then.

Here's a not-so-subtle clue:

This is 1980s heartthrob Kelly McGillis, co-star with Harrison Ford and Tom Cruise from movies like Witness and Top Gun, in a t-shirt and shades:

Hot stuff in 1986.

This is her in t-shirt and shades now:

There ain't enough lipstick to put on that to make anybody want it. It's box wine and cats forever. Time is cruel to women. They shine brightly when young, but biology's payback for that is that they age like milk, not wine.

Now imagine that as the entire Russian Army, after divorcing from Daddy Warbucks in 1990, living not in a Black Sea dacha on champagne and caviar budgets, but on vodka and cabbage soup and dwindling government handouts for forty years. And haven't won a war in 70+ years.

That's the force you were so certain was going to stomp Ukraine in 2022.

Ukraine, conversely, dumped Russia in 1990. At the same time Russians were siphoning alcohol from missiles to drink, Ukraine started beefing up its forces with Western technology. They accelerated this when Putin invaded once to steal back the Crimea (because he wanted it), and again when he invaded Donbas with soldiers in civvies. Both those illegal invasions took place under Putin, and both before 2022. So when the war drums were pounded again (mostly by D.C., and by Putin, not by Kyiv) they started getting their hands on mil-tech with a vengeance, and they'd spent years preparing for Russian grabbiness when it came calling the third time.

And once all of Europe, and most of the rest of the world, saw Russian military adventurism as a direct threat, the floodgates really opened, to a country neither as tiny as Chechenya, nor as backwards as Georgia, and the results in Ukraine have been anything but spectacular for Russia, but phenomenal for an army nominally outnumbered 10:1 by Russia.

Take another look at Kelly McGillis now, and see why.

Things get old. Rust never sleeps. People joining the army literally for the potato soup and a bed aren't as motivated as people fighting for their own homes, farms, and country.

The Russian troops rapidly don't want to be there, and sure as hell don't want to die there.

The Ukrainian troops are on the exact opposite end of that spectrum.

The Russians have no NCO cadre, and no junior leadership. When their senior leadership is incompetent, or takes a bullet in the head, they lose their collective shit, and they get slaughtered. They've been taking it in the head for going on three months, and they aren't getting better, they're getting worse, with less equipment, zero morale, and fewer leaders who have a clue, rather than a bullet in the head. And Vlad's not helping by shooting the old ones when they fail him either.

This was both predictable, and predicted, to anyone not taken in by knee-jerk anti-Biden responses, and people pimping an army that ceased to exist 40 years ago as being a world-beater. It's more of a wife-beater: fine for putting down tiny republics with disarmed citizens, but hopelessly outclassed by 40 years of military technology advances from the West, in the hands of a motivated people with a hard-on for payback for Stalin's Holodomor. Anyone who couldn't see that coming a mile off is simply too short to be talking geopolitics and military affairs with grown-ups.

Was this war cobbled up by Poopypants' minions in D.C., as a distraction from 57 massive failures, from election fraud to rampant inflation and looming economic collapse?

ABSOLUTELY IT WAS. We've never made any secret of that, nor failed to call it out.

But Russia remains in only one sense anything more than a Turd World failed state: they still have nuclear-tipped ICBMs in substantial numbers. Because they're drunken paranoid fucks with a pathological inferiority complex, have been since the 1400s, and getting invaded by Genghis Khan, Napoleon, and Hitler over the centuries hasn't helped their mindset or disposition. Even though their artillery can only hit minute-of-Mariupol, for a 10MT hydrogen warhead on an American city, that's close enough.

And that's the only reason why nipping their military escapades in the bud is important. They can stew all they want; they can beat their chests all they want; they can even beat up their subjugated client-state constituents all they like, as they've done for centuries. But once they step outside their own territorial boundaries because they think they CAN, they're a bully in need of getting their dicks kicked up to their throats.

History teaches this lesson with excruciating clarity, over and over again.

Which is why we will cheer Ukraine and jeer Putin's warmaking until we are hoarse, and why anyone with a lick of sense should do so as well.

The sooner Putin either quits, or dies, the better for humanity. Then we can go back to letting Ukraine make its own way in the world, and go back to largely ignoring Russia as the vodka-soaked incompetent irrelevancy it has been and will be again, left to its own devices. Until they stop hugging dictators, keeping their heads down, and just following orders, as they've done since the czars, they will continue to be a failed state. Nothing has changed just because Emperor Poopypants and his minions needed a proxy war with them as a political tampon, to staunch the flow of blood from their pussified regime.

If you're butthurt by that, you've been on the wrong side of this since the outset. Sorry there's no nice way to say that. So just stop already.

Know When To Say When


Stop buying it by the case.

Just quit cold-turkey.

Your life will improve immeasurably.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Lakehurst, N.J.: LZ Hindenburg Coming In For A Landing

h/t WRSA


Item One:

On Sunday, the foreign policy blogs were abuzz with the news that Scott Ritter had done “an about-face in his assessment of the war”. It appears that the ex-Marine had examined recent developments in Ukraine and concluded that it’s going to be much harder for Russia to win than he had originally thought..

O, ye gods and little fishes, if only someone, somewhere, ANYWHERE, had told you, and told you, and told you, and told you, and told you, and told you, and told you, and told you, and told you, that Putin had massively miscalculated, and that he and his assclown minions were merrily shooting themselves in the feet so many times they were running out of toes, based on report after report after video after video ad infinitum.

But wait! There's MORE!

Item Two:

Scott Ritter — “The thing that frustrates me… is that, it was my assessment that it would be very hard for Ukraine to absorb this new equipment and material (Material– the additional lethal weapons that have recently been shipped to Ukraine) but the howitzers are already operating against Russia. They are having an effect in the Kharkov region. Not all 90 of them, but they have several batteries in place that are being used.

The fact that these advanced howitzers are operating on the front lines right now, shows there’s something wrong with the Russian methodology. And–unless they alter that methodology– I think we’re in for a very long summer.

Sweet blistering fuck! Aiyee, the humanity, O the humanity! If only someone, maybe with a tad bit of artillery experience, had told you firsthand how hard learning field artillery work IS NOT, and had then gone on to point out that such could be accomplished in days, not months.

If, If, If. If only the World's Foremost Experts had stopped listening to the sound of their own awesomeness for thirty seconds, they wouldn't fully deserve the catastrophe of Reality now cudgeling them about the head and shoulders with 20-pound iron kettlebells.

Me? I'm laughing my @$$ off right now!

Could this two-course feast of Crow possibly turn into a three-course banquet?

Item Three:

And the fighting that’s taking place right now –even though it is slaughtering Ukrainians– it isn’t cost free to the Russians. They’re losing equipment, they’re losing men, they’re losing material, and unless Putin mobilizes or transfers forces in, those aren’t being replaced. So, instead of having 200,000 online, Russia might have 180,000 men. And if you don’t think removing 20,000 men doesn’t change the options available to the Russian leadership, then you don’t know anything about war.”


Waitwaitwait. You're saying that Russia losing substantial numbers of front-line troops - which Russia swears, cross our black hearts, hasn't happened - could seriously get their military dicks chopped off? Who knew? Who could possibly have foreseen that Russian military strength wasn't endless, and that losing the tiger's teeth and claws would relegate him to a zoo curiosity instead of a fearsome predator in mere days?

Who indeed.

blog comments that didn't age well

Maybe some folks might begin to twig to the reason why I've tagged multiple posts regarding events in the Ukraine with

Cleat Marks In Your Dick Are Hard To Heal

Clever readers, who knew this all along, will thus be in no wise shocked that this post is tagged:

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Sunday Music: A Taste Of Honey


The second big hit for Herb Alpert (the "A" in A&M Records) and The Tijuana Brass, this one from 1965 hit #1 on the Billboard Easy Listening chart and stayed there for five weeks, and made it to #7 on the Hot 100, and the song and album won four Grammy awards.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Recharging Batteries


As in mine. Thursday was more trauma classes. New toys, new procedures. Don't go into the medical field if you hate school: learning never stops. Never. And just for more fun, an entirely new computer system, which they've been threatening/promising since before COVID, will apparently finally be dropped on us by the end of this year. Oh goody.

Meanwhile, stocking up hereabouts. On everything. Pushing months of redundancy into years is slow, steady, work. Which will be followed by another weekend of saving lives. Which is sometimes an inside joke, and far more frequently of late, exactly what's going on. Warmer weather and longer days means people are out and about more, doing stupid things and winning stupid prizes. The only constant is the constant conga line of illness, accident, and on-purpose mayhem, for most of the next week.

And the big wide world seems locked into SS,DD Mode, so it's not like I'm missing anything there.

So I'm taking the morning off. Y'all have fun, and amuse yourselves. We expect we'll be back when the spirit moves.