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.) 

(UPDATE: Sorry, Angus, but natzsofast: this is not a Time-On-Target (TOT), which item is pretty glorious, and in which we participated multiple times; that is a wholly different thing from what is being discussed here by Herr Oberst. See follow-on post.)

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.


Anonymous said...

Laser Guided Artillery?

Didn't the US Army cancel the Copperhead System as too expensive?
Didn't the US Navy cancel a similar system for their naval gun systems?


Anonymous said...

I posted that via a link to CDR Salamander

Plague Monk said...

In some respects, the Uke strategy reminds me of two battles in the Revolutionary War; those of Kings Mountain, and Cowpens. Both featured the skillful use of long range rifle fire from scattered Patriot militias to decimate and more the Loyalist and regular English forces.
I've spent time walking around both battlefields when I worked in Greenville some years ago, and the battles arguably kept the Patriot cause alive.

Winterborn said...

Watching the video now. Thanks Aesop!

Looking at the list I found here, from WWII to present (WWII being a slightly larger and more violent level of warfare /sarc) has only 13 KIA (1 of which was a Col. who had just been ok'd by Congress to be a general, 8 in WWII, none in Korea, 4 in Vietnam, mainly from flying to close during observation etc.

I didn't count the ones that died in accidents or when not in actual battles. etc.

Interesting article I came across on the subject here, with the losses the Russians are seeing, being in excess of WWII by far, and as bad as WWI. One note towards the bottom with a casualty rate of 18.5 per cent over 51 months of fighting. MuthaRussia has exceeded all expectations and doing even better!

Wonder how many of those Russian generals and colonels got 9mm q-tips for failure?

End of the article with the old Civil War story:
"None will compare with the misfortune of US General John Sedgewick in the American Civil War, at the battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse in May 1864. Admonishing a Union soldier for hugging the ground under fire, the general touched him gently with his foot, and said, “Why, my man, I am ashamed of you, dodging that way… They couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance.” Whereupon Sedgewick was immediately felled by a fatal shot."

Joe in PNG said...

Simps, Nuthuggers, and Fanbois are always the last to admit that their beloved icons are just talk and bluster.

David DeGerolamo said...

And yet the Russian ruble continues to strengthen every day and Russia's oil export profits have doubled over last year. Isn't it strange that a Ukrainian officer is not providing this information? Isn't it strange that if this information is correct, it verifies that we are in WWIII?

JPT said...

i have a kid who is a 13 Bravo in the 3rd ACR. they are currently at the NTC working up for a deployment. i'm not sure i can comment on where that will be. i sent the kid a link to this article. they are blacked out until the end of the month there. comms out not allowed. they currently crew the M777, but in october , may be switching to the palladin.
i have no idea how our arty works, and would like to talk about this with my kid. scares me since the MIL went woke, about what OUR capabilities and doctrine are. i mean, we have not won shit for the last 77 yrs. not due to the E-Nobodys, but by design of the system . its there the enrich the fat cats.....not win conflicts. Smedley Butler commented on this i think. JPT.

Anonymous said...

Russia still wins by making Ukraine a landlocked vassal state of the Davos Group. They still have air superiority, lots of new territory and still have military supremacy on Ukrainian land and I don’t see that changing unless NATO troops are deployed en - mass after which this thing goes nuclear.

Anonymous said...

Not seeing the big win here. Don't care about russia or ukraine. What I do care about is the shitstorm from hell forming over fusa and myopic fools pushing gov/corp/globo propaganda. Colombo salvage & arsenal

Housewolf said...

Perhaps Mr. Putin's motivations are more strategic than tactical?

Tucanae Services said...

Be interesting to get my hands on the GIS Astra app and see just how easy it is. If every Babushka can be an FO for an artillery strike there truly is no place to hide.

Aesop said...

@David DeG,

1) The ruble is only strengthening because the countries still paying for Gazprom are doing so by trading actual hard currency for rubles. That works as long as the gas flows. Russia cuts the gas off, and they cut their own throat, and the ruble craters. China and India sales can't make up what Europe buys, and even if they did, Russ NG sales won't surge to offset the loss of all other trade with Europe.

2) Why would a Uke officer provide that briefing? He'd be revealing literal national security intel. And if he was cleared by his NCA to do so, who would believe it, being from a combatant with an interest and a dog in the fight? As it is, the current provider makes it a 5x5 source: highly accurate, and highly reliable.

3) How do you figure any of this "verifies" that we are in WWIII? Russia was shipping metric fucktons of war materiel to both Korea and North Vietnam back in the day during those conflicts, so they can't very well get all hissy-pissy because the West now has the shoe on the other foot, and it's now Ivan taking it hard in the pants, without lube, 24/7/365. Sauce for the goose, bitchez.

@Anon 4:24,

Russia has no "win" left.
1) They don't have air superiority. They have ;limited air capability, and no coordination with ground forces. Their lame attempts at joint coordination are a flaming shitshow, which is a good part of why they're sucking ass for going on 11 weeks straight.

2) Ukraine isn't landlocked, yet, nor likely to be, barring Russia suddenly becoming militarily competent, which appears to be as likely as ice cream in Hell. And Ukraine always gets a vote in anything they try.

3) They have little presence on any part of Ukraine they didn't occupy by Feb, 26th, and they've given up vast areas they formerly held, by necessity, to avoid turning a debacle into all-out slaughter. They don't even have full control of the "breakaway" areas, nor are likely to get it anytime soon. And if they do, it will be an even bigger Mariupolic Victory, with even the ethnic Russian speaking ukrainians hating them as much or more than the rest of the country does. Lose-lose.

4)The Ukrainians are not only mopping up, they may attain the ability to start pushing the Russians out of long-held areas, or at the least making holding them so untenable that the lemon isn't worth the squeeze, and like attempts at Kyiv and Kharkiv, they end up having to withdraw to get their shattered units out with some remaining capability. Having lost a lot of hard tracked assets, they may find unassing those areas an order of magnitude more difficult than it was to get into them.

5) Putin going nuclear triggers MAD. At which point everyone loses north of the equator. Everyone.

@Anon 4:41P,
How much attention you pay when a nuclear power is engaging in war is your choice. Read Point #5 above, and look to how many feet of earth you have over where you'll sleep at night if that happens, and how you'll get along once the fallout weakens enough to venture out and about.

See Point #1 in my first reply above. Putin destroying 10-20% of his armed forces, all of his credibility, uniting all of Europe against him, and dumping most of his trade to bulk up the ruble with gas sales is kind of like sawing off your leg to boost your stock in crutch- and prosthetic-making companies. You can do it, once. Maybe twice. And you'll save on shoes and socks too. But other than that, it's rather short-sighted, not long-term thinking. Putin is obsessed, and he's playing checkers, not chess.

Anonymous said...

Whether you love the Russians, hate them or something in between, the fact remains that Russia has 6,000 nuclear warheads. Celebrating the "victory" of the U.S.-NATO bloc and the "defeat" of Russia in the Ukraine, if that is what they actually are, is both shortsighted and foolish.

Shortsighted because the victory party is likely a Pyrrhic one if it triggers WWIII and a possible nuclear exchange. Albert Einstein, one of the stalwarts of the Manhattan Project, famous said: "I know not with what weapons WWIII will be fought, but World War Four will be fought with sticks and stones..."

Foolish? Well, we're back to Russia's 6,000 nukes and their willingness to use them to defend Mother Russia. Yes, that's right. Most westerners are utterly unaware that Soviet doctrine during the Cold War (which has been carried forward to the present) was that the nation and its people could survive a nuclear exchange with the West. Whereas U.S. doctrine was "MAD" or mutually-assured destruction, Russia built national civil defense facilities and prepared to not just survive a nuclear exchange, but to win. The U.S., on the other hand, smug in its "victory" over communism, did nothing whatsoever to prepare civil defenses for ordinary people.

That's know, colloquially, as being caught with your pants down. Way down!

The globalist oligarchs in their arrogance and stupidity, believe that they can ride the nuclear tiger and come out the other side A-OK and on top of the world just as they are now. They're wrong, badly wrong, and if the nuclear exchange happens, they will find a dramatically different world when they emerge from those high-dollar bunkers in New Zealand. One filled with angry crowds with hanging ropes in their hands and vengeance in their hearts, to name one example.

So, the best course of action here is to de-escalate in the Ukraine and hope that the other side is sensible enough to do the same. Though after all of the broken promises by the West over the last thirty years, whether they'll trust a damned thing our side's leaders say, is an open question. Unfortunately, the oligarchs and the mandarins of the West are doing precisely the opposite, pushing all of their chips into the pot and betting on nukes.

I can see the inscription on the gravestone of the civilization once known as the West, including the United States: "Here lies the United States, 1776-2022. Cause of death - terminal stupidity and bottomless arrogance." Europe's headstone would read much the same.

Aesop said...

And you're sharing that as if it's news to anyone...why, exactly? We've only mentioned the stakes about 20 times, give or take.

Russia started this war, and if losing it is grounds for them instigating a nuclear holocaust, then on their heads be it, because that die was cast the minute they began this fool's errand. Ukraine is not Russia, and them wishing otherwise doesn't reverse history. "Don't start nothing, won't be nothing" takes on a whole new meaning with nuclear weapons, and they've already violated that axiom. Figure about 6000 detonations, for the opening act.

They won't survive such an exchange, and neither will anyone else anywhere close. 100:1 the minute one missile flies, everyone launches their entire possible first strike, rather than risk losing them to an incoming strike. And that means China, India, Pakistan, Britain, and France, not just the US and Russia.

After that, the subs will bounce the rubble for about a month, just to make sure.
Kiss the Northern Hemisphere goodbye, and count on a lot of scores getting settled all at once.

Knowing that as they do, it's far more likely Putin alone sees a bright flash, and his senior military aides carry the body out, mop up his brains, and then begin extricating themselves from this shitshow as rapidly as is prudent. Because unlike Putin, they're likely neither psychotically obsessed, nor suicidal.

John the River said...

An eyeopener. The way I'm seeing this, without Elon Musk and his Starlink network, this doesn't work. Was this artillery targeting system developed with Starlink in mind? And (really) by who?

Funny how important Elon Musk has become in such a short time in so many areas.

Anonymous said...

@aesop I have 4 feet of dirt and a roof over that, might even park a truck over it too. As for russia started it, what I saw was globalists, bankers, corps and paid for politicians looking to both loot and put some black on the balance sheets breaking an agreement(s) that russia seemed to take a bit more seriously than globohomo realized. The russians don't need to go nuclear, just outlast the wests self inflicted "virtue" and starvation/civil war. Anon4:41 aka Colombo salvage & arsenal

Tucanae Services said...

"Knowing that as they do, it's far more likely Putin alone sees a bright flash, and his senior military aides carry the body out, ..." -- Aesop

Likely the case. But Putin's motivations may indeed be short sighted until one factors in that there are reports the man is dying. Worrying about the future when you the individual have none is not exactly a trait of the human race. Ironically Greed may indeed cause that bright Qtip to go off. The Generals want to keep that dacha and yacht on the Black Sea and Vlad is in the way. Greed usually gets us into trouble. Maybe this time it works for us.

T said...

I am really hoping that Putin's generals/admirals, while they are his lackeys, are Russians first, and Putin's lackeys second.

Regarding the Russian nukes:

No one knows for sure what shape they are in, most likely not even the Russian command. If they are in comparable shape to the Russian conventional equipment that we have seen used in Ukraine, over half of them won't work.
However, no sane person wants to bet on that.

Jess said...

I think people forget the incompetence, lack of direction, and unhappiness found in the former Soviet Union. It created people that really don't care much about anything, but survival. Conscripting from people with this attitude never turns out well. Where Ukraine has a national pride, Russia has little to find. They know the corruption of unbridled power was taken by Putin, and have little faith in his direction.

W. Morgan said...

From everything I've read or heard recently, Putin has eliminated anyone who isn't slavishly devoted to him. Watching translations of Russian political talk shows reveals a heightened nationalism coupled with an unrealistically high opinion of Russia's conventional military capabilities.

This is a bad situation & likely to get worse because, looking at Russian population figures, this year's conscription pool is the largest it's going to be for the next generation; the Russian population, like the rest of the First World nations of Europe, the US, China, and Japan is dwindling. The Russians, if they can't take control of Ukraine and the rest of the countries that comprised the traditional invasion corridors into the Russian interior soon, aren't going to have the native manpower to do it at all in coming years.

It remains to be seen just how far they'll go to reach their strategic goals if they can't win conventionally in Ukraine.

Anonymous said...

I thought we lost a Major General at Taejon during the retreat to the Pusan Perimeter at the beginning of the "Korean Police Action." No, Major General Dean was captured and survived the war.


I keep saying that Putin's "Short Victorious War" will be a long destructive slog, similar to WW1, or the Spanish Civil War. The only ways it stops soon are: Putin "Retires" or the Russian Army completely collapses, Western Support of Ukraine collapses, or Thermonuclear War and everyone loses.

How could all the fervent patriotic European support of Ukraine end? One way could be when most of Europe is freezing in the dark next winter without Russian Oil or Natural Gas, and damned little of either from the rest of World. Do you think the Good Germans, French, and all gthe rest will sacrifice much for Ukraine then?

But, but, BUT! F. Joe Biden promised them American Oil and American Natural Gas. Does anyone believe that senile old pedo will deliver? That hypocritical green-washing fool even withdrew American support of the Mediterranean Natural Gas Pipeline from Israel and Cyprus to Greece and Europe. The only pipeline Pedo Joe has ever approved is the Russian Nordstream 2, where his Senility withdrew American sanctions that had STOPPED pipeline construction for a few years.

It is going to be a long war, longer than the resolve of all the Sunshine Patriots in Europe. Ukraine better hope most of the corrupt politicians they bought, stay bought.

Anonymous said...

100:1 the minute one missile flies, everyone launches their entire possible first strike, rather than risk losing them to an incoming strike. And that means China, India, Pakistan, Britain, and France, not just the US and Russia.

I completely agree, except I think Pakistan, India, and others might try to launch, but find out their plans, equipment, or their personnel were just not good enough. You also left out Israel, which I think will desperately hope not to be noticed, while reserving their strike for anyone that attackes them.


The cobbler said...

Artillery isn't called the King of Battle for nothing

Anonymous said...

All I can say is that I'm glad I didn't spend TOO much time reading The Saker these past 5,6 years (actually, very little).

Old NFO said...

Thanks for the link, and yes, 'old' tech used in a different way works!

Allen said...

I keep seeing videos of the ukranian made stugna missile destroying tanks.

this makes me assume they are still in production.

if they are, either the russians don't know where, or they're incompetent and can't muster a bombing mission to destroy it.

I'm betting on incompetence.

John Wilder said...

Excellent, excellent rundown.

Anonymous said...

I served with some Austrian field-grade officers in the Balkans in the latter 90's. Many were grads of our staff courses.Even taking into consideration that most of the functioning Euro militaries sent their best to NATO, the Austrians I interacted with were head and shoulders over the rest.
Boat Guy

SL said...

Nazis killing Communists.
Communists killing Nazis.
Win, Win.
Ukraine shouldn't be getting our tax dollars.
Russia shouldn't be getting our tax dollars.
Screw 'em all.