Thursday, October 6, 2022

I Was Wrong

But before the World's Foremost Experts, who've gotten this wrong  every day since February 26th, start wetting themselves with delight, some background:

You see, I assumed that the military tribe of incompetents surrounding Putin would call up their 300K reservists, equip them, give them some minimal refresher training, and use shattered leftovers from early in the war as cohort units, around which to rebuild serious fighting forces.

That takes weeks to months for us, and Russians aren't anywhere near that competent, so I figured a reasonable expectation was that either they'd have to issue and train for a winter offensive (good luck with that in Russia or Ukraine on the steppes), or far more likely, they'd take the time to do it right, and have another go at things next spring.

Because that's what military leaders competent in logistics, tactics, and strategy would do.

Only total farking military idiots and morons would send them straight into combat immediately, right?

Nope. I was wrong there. Nothing could be further from the truth. That's not what's happening at all.

They loaded the busses and trains with old farts, and simply shipped them Stalingrad-style, straight to the front lines, to be fed face-first right into the meat-grinder, and they're already turning up in Uke POW hauls. In short, Russian generals are falling for their own patriotic propaganda from their Great Patriotic War.

Three days after the mobilization, their fresh conscripts were already being captured. Some of them are simply driving over to the Uke side, and surrendering, to get it over with. And bringing fully functional BMPs with them.

Unarmed, unfed, unsheltered, un-equipped, and generally surly and pissed at being treated as exactly the cannon fodder they are.

Captured Russian equipment is now a sizable percentage of the reason for the renewed and re-invigorated Ukrainian push forward: Russia is supplying them nearly as much gear and ammunition in some areas as they're getting from the West. How annoying.

The Russian conscripts being force-fed into this would be rioting and mutinying, but they don't even have the ammo to pull that off.

So where I'd previously expected the Ukrainian Army to take a breather any day now, if not weeks ago, to consolidate their gains, and then see where to go next, I expect they may be able to completely push the remaining Russian forces back strategically. They're encircling a full corps (two-plus divisions) now, and if they cut off the southern front, everything from Odessa to Mariupol is in play, including shutting the Crimea off from Russia proper by land again.

Things on the fronts might return to something like normalcy eventually, but that would depend on Russian military leadership competence (another thing they're under-supplied with), so the only limiting factor may become how long the Ukrainians can keep kicking Russian forces in the balls, and how long they want to keep doing it, before they stop to fully consolidate their gains, with an army on the ground now about 4 times the size of the Russians, and at least twice the size it was when this conflict started.

And the whinging that this offensive was all NATO troops has dissipated like fog on a sunny day. The Ukes are doing this themselves, and it's obvious from space.

Russia's big mobilization so far is looking like the mouse that farted.

Bummer, Putinophiles.

The primary concern, and still-open question, is whether Putin has the ability and the will to order a nuclear strike, and the insanity to try it, or if that really is the point at which he gets retired, and he knows it, and is thus forced to eat the entire shit sandwich he ordered, until all of it is gone.

Interesting times continue.


Ken Moore said...

I saw my opposite numbers at the Fulda Gap, both before and after the Wall came down.
This is about what I came to expect of them. People that think the Russians are competent still think the CIA has a handle on what's happening in the world.
The Russians, individually and collectively, are a bunch of drunken bums wishing and imagining themselves as terrifying tigers, instead of alley cats drunk on vodka.
Their national color is rust, and their flag should be a dirty diaper.

These are my credentials - Pathfinder

JNorth said...

Ken, I was in quite a bit later, still my dad never expected to see a picture of my sister with the Brandenburg Gate behind her to the west or me on a hill overlooking Vladivostok and neither places being irradiated wastelands.

My ship pulled into Vladivostok back in '95 for the 50th anniversary of VJ day (not that they had shit all to do with that). The only US flag they had there only had 48 stars because we were the first ship to pull in there since WW2. We moored at their military pier and the first 3 ships next to us were all freshly painted... only on the side facing us, walk around to the other side and you could stick your finger through some of the rust patches.

Was not at all impressed with their soldiers or sailors there.

John Wilder said...

Wow. Just wow. So, what does that imply about the Russian ability to, oh, keep a nuclear warhead functional?

elysianfield said...

"Wow. Just wow. So, what does that imply about the Russian ability to, oh, keep a nuclear warhead functional?

The issue is not what they are capable of, but rather what our shot callers BELIEVE they are incapable of.

This scares the hell out of me. Mutually Assured Destruction? ...Not so much....

Joe in PNG said...

Or the rockets for that matter.
Stick a Beech Kingair C90 fully fueled and ready to fly in a hanger, but do no maintenance and see how long until it won't be ready to fly without a major overhaul. (hint- not that long)

Now add a kleptocratic society where pencil whipping reports, crooked deals, selling off inventory, nepotism, skimming the budget, and so on is fairly common. And that's not taking drunkenness, incompetence, poor training and bad engineering into account either.

Allen said...

Operation Pack The POW Camps is a complete success! now the great russian government is freed of the responsibility to pay pensions to those people, and can put that money in someone's pocke....errrr..into supplies for the real troops!

do I need a /sarc tag?

Tucanae Services said...

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” – Winston Churchill

"I was wrong", God I have said that more times than I can count. That is the mark of an individual who operates on better intelligence as it comes in.

Wayne said...

VoxDay is gonna need a freight train of Preparation H for that butthurt.

Anonymous said...

And it looks like Putin is giving the conscripts a choice between the death jab and 10 years in the slammer.

Joe in PNG said...

I don't think the Volksdeutcher Expat is there for the hunting, if you know what I mean.

Anonymous said...

Should we be financing and encouraging the Ukrainians and Europeans to set up large POW camps in Western Ukraine? Announce them. Publicize them. Even if they are Potemkin POW Camps. Show them wonderful warm barracks, mess halls, and medical facilities. To reassure the Russians, make sure they see lots of "Civilian" Western European staff, so they know it is not a Death Camp Gulag. As further encouragement for Russian Capitulations? Show the Enlisted and Officer clubs stocked with booze.

It probably would cost less to capture and imprison a Russian soldier for six months or a year than for the arms and ammunition needed to kill him. Make sure he has a cell phone to reassure Mama Babushka and tell the boys back home that POW Life is good.


Tucanae Services said...


Probably true that it would cost less to capture than to fight. The average Uke citizen looking at his shell ruptured apartment block with little heat might think differently on the 'warm and comfortable' angle though. But the poor Uke will have come full circle comforting his enemy. Just like American taxpayers are comforting invaders of our Southern border. Makes one wonder truly who is IN the gulag; the POW or the citizen paying for it all.

Stealth Spaniel said...

I guess that everyone went so over the top for Putin and His Minions is that we are sick of Ukraine and their Chosen Person Leader. As sad as it was for Stalin to starve to death innocents in that country, that same place is nothing but a black hole for money, misery, and GRAFT. Nobody wants to send MOAR MONEY to the imbeciles in CONgress via the "air package" but here we are. To add to this mess, we have a dementia ridden nut who can't get his pants on correctly, Valerie Jarrett running the scam, and Obama juggling nukes. He thinks they won't hit Martha's Vineyard, but it might be first on Putin's list. Miss mean tweets yet? I could use a few along with $2 a gallon gas.