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Slugfest on the Dnieper?


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Considering the cvarious issues we have beem discussing (eg air defence systems. APS) the two sides seem to vbe close to parity. But there are key differnces between the wo sides. The game seems to predict that the 2017 War would be a brutal armoured slugging match on the Dnieper.

 

But that was the same outcome tht was predicted in 1990 prior to the Kuwait War. Yet tht war turned out to be very differen from what was expected

 

In he early days of the next Great Power conflict, whether that starts in the Ukraine r somewhere else both sides are likely to mke many mistakesin the opening stages as happened in 1914. New and untried systems may or may not work as adverised. It coulld indeed becomea bloody slugging match. Or one side could snatch a quick and deciive victory as in the 1991 Gulf War. Most likely is that it will be somewhere between the two extremes. We won't know for sure util it actually happens

 

As far as Ukraine 2017 is concerned how do we see the initial Russian invasion and the NATO response developing and how will this affect the openig battles on an operational level?

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Because the Iraqis were terrible.

 

Yes they were although to be fair the Republican Guard did put up a halfway decent fight.

 

I however am recallin all the horror stories in the press about how the Iraqis were "ten feet tall" and how the war was going to be a deadly armoured slugfest in the sand with heavy casualties, chemical warfare etc etc. When it actually happened of course the war did not turn out that wayand, ideedd, was a bit of a cake walk.

 

But should we assume that all our future wars will e like that? It might be that the Russian army will turn out to be a paper tiger as it did in 1914. Or it might prove itself to be a tough and resourceful opponent as this army has so often proven itself to be in many past wars. I think it would bwe a serious mistake to under estimate a possible future enemy.

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But should we assume that all our future wars will e like that? It might be that the Russian army will turn out to be a paper tiger as it did in 1914. Or it might prove itself to be a tough and resourceful opponent as this army has so often proven itself to be in many past wars. I think it would bwe a serious mistake to under estimate a possible future enemy.

Nobody is under-estimating the Russians in this game.

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I should hope not!

 

Anyway, in terms of theinitial moves of the campaign I would expect some major fighting in the vicinity around the citybecuse of its' strataegic nature. A significant Russian push via the M2/M20 and a flnking move down he M03. The UKA would likely have  to make some sortt of a stand here due to the city's strategic, econmomic and symbolic significance

 

After Kharkov the Russias willl advance on Poltava and on the Dnieper crossings south of Kiev.

 

A thrust up the E40 via Poltava, Lubny, Pyrytin, Boryspil, Kiev would make sense in order to join up with a Russian advance down the E351 via Hlukiv, Konptop, Borzna Nizhyn then down the E101 and E95 via Kozalets and Brovary.

 

The forces emplyed in the above would join in the assault on Kiev. Dependig on the strength of Ukranian resistence 5 to 10 days would likely be requred before the Red Army can mount the attack on Kiev. By then the magority of the UKA may well have been destroyed in the field east of the River Dnieper.

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Desert Storm was kind of unique in that the Iraqis (for various reasons, including the not totally unrealistic expectation that the coalition would fall apart) sat in the desert for several months and let themselves be bombed. The disparity in equipment and training was probably also bigger than between Russia and Nato today. 

 

Of course a European conflict may be similar in that Nato achieves air supremacy and more or less pummels the Russians into submission, but the closeness to Russia and the range and mobility of their most modern AD systems makes it less likely. Not saying it's impossible, just less likely.

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Desert Storm was kind of unique in that the Iraqis (for various reasons, including the not totally unrealistic expectation that the coalition would fall apart) sat in the desert for several months and let themselves be bombed. The disparity in equipment and training was probably also bigger than between Russia and Nato today. 

 

Of course a European conflict may be similar in that Nato achieves air supremacy and more or less pummels the Russians into submission, but the closeness to Russia and the range and mobility of their most modern AD systems makes it less likely. Not saying it's impossible, just less likely.

 

Indeed. Putin is no fool and i don't see him making the same mstake Saddam Hussein did. The Russian army is not going to sit there for six months letting NATO build up ground forces and supplies. No, the Russians are already on the offensive once the clash with NATO occurs and they are then going to go all out to win the war before US reinforcements arrive from across the Atlantic, NATO countries mobilise and those forces are deployed. A Russian grab for the Baltic States might very well be on the cards at this point for obvious reasons, not least because it would enable Russian forcxces to directly threaten Poland, a key NATO cuntry in this scenario as the Polish road/ail network is essential to the supply and reinforcement of NATO forces operatig in Ukrane. Indeed, knocking Poland out of the war early could win the war for Russia. Hence NATO reserves intended for Ukraine would have to be diverted to defend a suddenly vulnerable Poland/Lithuania border. Which would be an immensely helpful diversion directly assisting the Russin campaign in Ukraine.

 

And of course NATO cannot count on defeating the Russian air force anywhere near as fast as those of Iraq or Serbia. Indeed, US neglect of tactical air defences may very well prove to be a costly failure in the first weeks of the war. Once NATO gain air supremacy and air dominance the situation will beginto change. Russian ar defence systems still need to be tackled but, once that is done NATO airpower can of course blast Russian forces and supply routes. However, while that would be easy enough on the Steppes it would be harder in denser terrain such as woods, built up areas and hills as we saw during the Kossovo Campaign. Besides, the Russians would be using tricks similar o those used by the Serbs and even the Iraqis (in 2003) So it would be no cake walk.

 

And the above assumes the Russians have not succeeded in winning n early victory presenting NATO a fait accompli.

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Desert Storm was kind of unique in that the Iraqis (for various reasons, including the not totally unrealistic expectation that the coalition would fall apart) sat in the desert for several months and let themselves be bombed. The disparity in equipment and training was probably also bigger than between Russia and Nato today. 

 

Of course a European conflict may be similar in that Nato achieves air supremacy and more or less pummels the Russians into submission, but the closeness to Russia and the range and mobility of their most modern AD systems makes it less likely. Not saying it's impossible, just less likely.

 

It would certainly take longer for NATO to achieve air dominance and more aircraft are likely to be lost both to Russan fghters and to heir air defence systemms. The Russians saw what happened to Iraq's air defence system and to Serbia, There was an interesting technothriller written some years ago entitled Ttal War 2006by Simon Pearson n which the West gets one hell of a shock when an enemy (in this case an Islamic Caliphate which gts some help from Russia stymmies Western airpower using conventionaal and asymetric methods The West does win a phyrric victory in the end but not before a uclear and biological  exchange destroys much of the Middle East.

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