Saturday, May 25, 2024

Chinese Checkers, Not Chess

h/t WRSA 

Newsflash for the Tactically and Strategically Retarded:

When the U.S. conducted the Normandy invasion in 1944, the U.S. Navy had already performed  about two dozen successful amphibious assaults on three continents, just in WWII, and had been making opposed landings of troops on hostile shores on four continents going back to 1776.

Chicomia and the PLA Navy, to date, since ever, has performed precisely zero. The day you think they're going to get the first one they've ever done correct across a 75 mile strait, check your hole card.

The PLAN operates only two types of ships: submarines, and targets.

Ukraine -- Ukraine, FFS! -- with zero ships, and some homemade AS missiles, has swept the Russian Black Sea Fleet off the board, and is kicking the shit out of Russian ships tied up in port at ranges of 200 or more miles. China is about to learn a very expensive lesson in the limits of their infant navy's capabilities and limitations, with their homeports less than half that far from Taiwan.

And anyone to whom this is news doesn't know how much they don't know, and isn't tall enough to play on the internet without adult supervision.

That is all.


tweell said...

Yes, we have great submarines. Yes, the Chinese don't have equivalent forces there. Still, there's nothing that our politicians and admirals (but I repeat myself there) cannot eff up.
Since Clinton got rid of Charleston and its' 5 drydocks, the Navy has been short on repair facilities. The backlog is now at 1100 days, with 16 of 49 fast attack subs currently out of action. The Chinese can send a swarm of ships across the strait, run the few submarines posted there out of torpedoes, and have more than enough left to invade with.
My opinion (free and worth almost that) is that China is playing intimidation games while embedding enough spies and saboteurs to keep Taiwan from blowing up their chip fabs when the invasion actually kicks off. Given how they've bought the Biden crime family, they aren't as worried about the USA as they are about making those fabs theirs.

Aesop said...

Much as Russia has found out about Ukraine, China trying to take Taiwan by force is going to look an awful lot like the dog who caught a car, and then didn't know what to do with it.

And don't forget that even if China prevents the Taiwanese from blowing up the chip manufactories, they aren't the only ones who could conveniently choose to blow them up.
Cui bono?

Plague Monk said...

I saw this linked by a blogger the other day; can't remember who...

As to the subs, I saw the article linked by tweell, and I am concerned about it. OTOH, if the Great Chinese invasion actually happens, China is going to have to play at least some defense. Japan will definitely participate, probably South Korea, and the 3 Gorges Dam that powers so much of China's economy looks mighty vulnerable to a cruise missile strike. Not to mention other economic points and logistic centers. Lots of people have lists, and targeting info...:)

One last thing to consider is that, anecdotally, there is an upsurge in DoD contract work to help remedy some of the shortfalls. I've gotten over 50 different inquiries about positions, but I just spent 4 weeks in hospital/skilled rehab after stepping on a nail and letting the wound go bad. Nothing around Cincy, and I won't be able to drive until around Christmas. Too bad, for I would love to be working to help thwart Chairman Xi's plans.

Anonymous said...

Invasions are hard. Combined Arms is hard. Attacking people where they live is hard.
Both Russia in Ukraine and China in Taiwan combine all those hards and more.

jadair04 said...

Can't see it going hot, unless the USA provokes it. The PRC has what it wants.

Rick said...

When you say Ukraine (s'yeah) you mean 20+ nations depleting their stocks to send to the laundromat.
But now it's tank season. It should be spectacular.

Aesop said...

Nice try, but no.

We're not talking about ground warfare.

Ukraine built their AS missiles from leftover Russian parts.
Russia now has quite a number of Black Sea Fleet submarines that used to be called surface ships as a direct result.

There's a reason Russia hasn't tried a naval assault on Ukraine: they got their naval asses kicked off the map, and have pulled everything off the board. And even in port in Sevastopol - twice as far from Odessa as mainland China is from Taiwan - they're still losing ships all the time.

And Ukraine is not as technologically advanced as Taiwan.

We won't even bring up what happened to Russia's attempt at an airborne invasion, beyond pointing out they lost most of an airborne division trying one.

Chinese invasion? The word anyone thinking that is looking for is "debacle".

RegretLeft said...

Recent (at least) Ukrainian attacks against and sinking of Russian warships have been by navel drones, not AS missiles - there were some impressive videos Feb, March. There have not been any or many since the winter since - you are correct- what's left of the Russian black sea fleet has moved far out of range - out of the theater of operations. Fleet admiral was fired - maybe worse - and they brought in a new guy to do the retreat.

Reltney McFee said...

Debacle? I pray (a) that we do not find out, and, if we must, I pray that you are being generous. To the Chicoms. OTOH, as has been noted by smarter folks than I am, quantity has a quality all it's own. And I 'spect that the PLA has quantity up somebody's wazoo.

Anonymous said...

Pick a random number number of troops needed to take and hold Taiwan...say 250,000. Question number one for me is how would the PLA get that many men actually on the ground?

They're not all going to parachute in. If they go by sea the PLA will need several hundred troop transports, each capable of holding a fully equipped battalion or thereabouts. And each of which represents a fat target for an ASCM. It'd be shame to lose one battalion after another to the ocean before they even got into the fight.

Then there's the Higgins boat equivalents needed to get the troops from the transports to the landing sites, which I don't think the PLA has an adequate number of.

I could go on and on, but the whole idea of a physical invasion of Taiwan by the PLA just doesn't make sense to me for purely logistical reasons, before any consideration of the combat capabilities of the opposing forces.

Termite said...

I suspect the Taiwanese may be able to build a nuke or two, if they really try. The Japs could probably field one in less than 2 weeks.

Aesop said...

I suspect Japan would need about 15 minutes to build one.
Their constitution notwithstanding, they could have the parts standing by, just waiting for a "Go" order to assemble the Lego parts into a coherent whole.
Taiwan and Singapore might need as long as a week.
Oz and NZ about the same, and SKorea may have a couple quietly squirreled away already.

Long before then, China finds out the lemon was never worth the squeeze.

Aesop said...

@Regret Left,

Yes, and well aware of that, but both bargain basement AS missiles and AS drones are beating actual warships.

That makes an opposed landing across a strait after all this saber rattling pretty much the modern equivalent of The Charge Of The Light Brigade.

The best way to land a small invasion force on Taiwan is to set out with a large one.

Anonymous said...

Make no mistake: China intends to invade and take Taiwan. There will be at least one U.S. carrier group in the immediate vicinity and they will intervene. China will attack that carrier group sinking some or all of them, yes at great loss of Chinese forces but it will happen anyway. It will be a de facto declaration of war by the Chinese on the U.S. Then what? The one or two U.S. nuclear subs will still be there and they will be aware that the Chinese military just killed some 10,000 or so of our forces. What next?

Tucanae Services said...

tweell, Aesop,

"My opinion (free and worth almost that) is that China is playing intimidation games while embedding enough spies and saboteurs to keep Taiwan from blowing up their chip fabs when the invasion actually kicks off. Given how they've bought the Biden crime family, they aren't as worried about the USA as they are about making those fabs theirs. "

Now you are kinda in wheelhouse. Bottom line:

Taiwan does not have to blow up anything luddite style. Its push a button and like Cheshire Cat, 'poof' its all gone.

1) These is only one company on the planet that makes the nanoscale machinery at volume at present, ASML. Most assuredly China has the machinery targeted for capture. Problem is you have to capture the right machinery. More on that later.

2) The single most important company in Taiwan is TSMC as they use the ASML machinery and are the largest supplier of Nm chipsets.

3) There is also the software and designs that would need to be captured. The Chinese may already have them but regardless a few taps on the keyboard could make it all disappear.

4) Finally there is the personnel. Chip making is a multipart process and no one engineer knows it all. Fact the engineers that may know the whole process are not even Taiwanese, they are dutch.

5) The wild card -- ASML can destroy all the machinery at the touch of the keyboard at distance. Suck on that AT&T.

So lets role play it. China invades. China triggers plan 'Chip Maker' to capture TSMC whole using airborne spec forces. To accomplish this they would have to:
a) Land sufficient numbers to take the facilities with a % loss rate. The effort won't be unopposed.
b) Cut off all communications to/from the island so that ASML can't brick the machines. If we have learned anything about the RU-UA conflict, attempting to block Sat Comms is very hard to do.
c) Disable any explosives that they can find if any. That is a time consuming task.
d) Capture as much of the clean room engineering staff as is possible in one sweep.

But China does not get to make all the moves. Taiwan has counter moves. ASML will be directed to brick it all. Short of that security staff at TSMC will be directed to bust up the lithographic printer(s) which are few in number. Without that the 'etchers' that lay down the paths are useless. On the personnel side the choke point is the chip designers which last I knew were less than 5000 worldwide. Assuming TSMC has less than 200 they can airlift them and their families on a couple of planes out of the country in no time. The rest is just a matter of time. The machinery that ASML builds like any device needs tuning at intervals. Stop the maintenance and everything gets out of whack in short order. Then in the long game, ASML and the rest of the world might in fact just place an embargo on anything that China makes. (A tough one to swallow for the US)

A last point about personnel. Ever play a video game where you can't kill the NPC or the game ends? Neither have I. But the point is, if TSMC initiated an airlift of their key personnel the Chinese are in a lose-lose. If they let the engineers escape the machinery is worthless. If they down the planes killing the engineers the machinery is worthless.

China would have to capture it all or its for naught.

JNorth said...

Tucanae Services, agree, but it is even more then that, a lot of the needed "stuff" that ASML uses isn't made by them and also often has a sole supplier that isn't in Taiwan. Are the Dutch going to work with China or just go "guess we'll spend the billions and corner the market".

Also, pretty much any of the third parties here (US, Japan, Korea, India) can shut down any Chinese shipping through the Indian Ocean, do that and China dies in months.

Allen said...

honest question...has anyone head about the status of the Vladiostok fleet?

I heard from a single source that they're fueling up and loading everything they have and there are no exercises known to be planned.

every other source I have including some people who live there but aren't military, are silent.

Anonymous said...

At the point which China is second only to TSMC they would benefit from the Taiwan chip plants being bricked.
Speaking of the effectiveness and low cost of air and sea missiles, this works for China also. Just establish a naval and air blockade, nothing in or out, and things will settle themselves soon enough. Why else would they have built up and militarized those shoal islands

Rick said...

What then of all those reports of intel which the U.S, or other nations supplied to allow Ukr to target and sink Rus ships or even gun boats?
The subject being Russian navy effectively sidelined, like the Tirpitz, who's armaments and targeting software did that?

I have long been bearish on China. To the extent that China does help Russia, it will be anonymous with great care to hide Asian source.
China is feeble, a paper dragon. She's betting the house on military might. Notice nothing but sabre rattling.

Aesop said...

I'm sure we're handing targeting info from naval recon satellites to UKR on a silver platter, and expect we'll do the same to Taiwan regarding the Chicom fleet(s).

The end result is a lot of submarines that used to be surface warfare craft.

China tries to blockade Taiwan?
Ask Russia how that works out, economically.
Then, random tankers bound for Chicomia start disappearing, and no one want to go to China anymore.
Then a couple of container ships go all explodey leaving China, and they suddenly understand why Japan and Britistan aren't island empires anymore.

Sunk ships don't leave a hole in the water, and torpedoes don't leave much in the way of forensic evidence, for a long, long time.

John Wilder said...

Our logistics chain is long. I'm sure there's a binder on the shelf with plans, but will Sleepy Joe do anything?

Anonymous said...

TSMC has a factory in Arizona right next door to Intel, Intel has more, and our defense chipmakers are in lots of different states. Even Samsung put some here. If I was China, I'd be more worried about spicy dorito's turning my chip factories into moondust. You cant have drones without chips and boards; that strategy goes both ways. Checkers (invade taiwan), chess( Mutually assured destruction). Covering 75 miles of ocean is so hard. Getting Air dominance over 75 miles is harder. Japan and S Korea along with the Phillipines and Aussies; well 3rd monkey, Noah's ark. That's what they're up against. The problem with Totalitarians is they don't like to hear no, or we'll lose. See Saddam circa 1990, Putin 2020. Ego is the only reasonable cause for the stupidity of attempting to invade, and unforseen consequences are an absolute bitch.