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How Hot is Ukraine Gonna Get?


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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, fireship4 said:

A potential new RU attack toward the Zaporizhzhia area:

FTeCBpUWAAE9kfC.jpg%3Fname=origSource: https://nitter.net/DefMon3/status/1528833764083879947#m

Good, bring it Ivan!

It seems clear that mech attacks are very challenged at this point in history, for both sides.  Let's see if the Russians demonstrate smarter tactical use of leg infantry here too. If they use more VDV paras though, that's a very bad sign for them, as those forces have been heavily depleted since 25 Feb.

Also, in simplistic rock-paper-scissors terms, 'mech' was invented to kill machine guns that force infantry attacks to ground (at which point arty takes over the killing). So the requirement to employ combined arms in the attack to achieve break-in and breakthrough, somehow, remains. We will see which side masters that first.

Edited by LongLeftFlank
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Posted (edited)

CAS is playing a big role in their advances, artillery doing the heavy work. Plus after those heavy losses the left over RU forces are becoming battle hardened. Kind of like when you go to a boxing gym, you can train all you want but nothing gets you ready or teaches you how to fight better than fighting/hard sparring (although you gotta learn the basics obviously and get conditioned) anyways..

I would assume if Ukraine wins here the Russians are done but if the Russians keep pushing they might win in the Donbas and be able to threat/bluff other options. 

Edited by Suleyman
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US Pentagon briefing today reported a potentially huge quantity of stuff for Ukraine from 20 different nations:

Quote

WASHINGTON — Twenty nations have agreed to provide new weapons to Ukraine, offering the government of President Volodymyr Zelensky additional ways to fight Russian troops on land and at sea, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said Monday.

At a news conference with Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mr. Austin said that the new munitions would include U.S.-made Harpoon anti-ship cruise missiles and a launcher, which will be provided by Denmark for coastal defense.

The Czech Republic will send attack helicopters, tanks and “rocket systems,” and additional howitzers and artillery ammunition will come from Italy, Greece, Norway and Poland, he added.

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/05/23/world/russia-ukraine-war?action=click&pgtype=Article&module=&state=default&region=footer&context=breakout_link_back_to_briefing#20-nations-are-sending-new-weapons-to-kyiv-says-the-us-defense-chief

Anti-ship missiles, helicopters, ammo, and howitzers... all very good stuff!

Steve

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9 minutes ago, Fenris said:

Quid pro quo Clarice 

 

The Kurds always seem to get the short end. But one war at a time is an excellent rule, and the one with Russia has to have priority. Bleep I feel bad about that, but Syria is epically unfixable, and Ukraine actually might not be. I do find it more than ironic that Turkey complains bitterly about the way Israel oppresses the Palestinians, and then does something ten or a hundred times worse to the Kurds.

Steve feel free to delete this if you think it will knock the thread off track.

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Posted (edited)

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/23/world/europe/us-ukraine-howitzers.html

@SeinfeldRules pretty much what you were saying in many respects.

I was curious when you talked negatively about how RUS rarely did about even simple camouflage, as I thought, as a civilian, that drones would negate a lot of that effect. But obviously any type of cover is better than none and the low profile and size of the 777s v. a SPG makes impromptu foliage cover a sensible precaution. The thick greenery of the summer also helps, I'm sure.

@Taranis you spoke quite highly of the Caesar; the above article states a 6-month training window and also quotes: “Even the French think they are too complicated” . Thoughts?

Edited by Kinophile
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https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/12/world/ukraine-russia-weapons.html

A bit further down there's a clear summation of the different force priorities, structuring and implications:

Quote

 

Russia cannot capitalize on its artillery superiority to advance. Its tactic for attacking on the open plains is to hammer the opposing positions with artillery, then send armored vehicles forward on a maneuver called “reconnaissance to contact” aimed at overwhelming what remains of the defensive line.

But because of Ukraine’s wealth of anti-armor missiles and weapons, Russia cannot advance and seize ground.

Ukraine, meanwhile, also cannot advance, though its tactics differ. The Ukrainian military relies on small unit infantry with armored vehicles playing only supporting roles. Though Ukraine could seize ground, it could not hold it or use it for logistical support for further advances, as any new territory would remain under Russian bombardment

 

They each can do something the other can't, but neither of them can do both of what they need to do (in this particular theatre and AO).

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56 minutes ago, MikeyD said:

I've seen some publications give up reporting altogether because 'Washington beltway punditry' is of zero utility to this story and that's all they've got.

So we have writers at home adding nothing to the information they recieve, and reporters on the ground with no useful information in the pieces they send.  The answer seems to be 'journalism'.  You can make plenty out of decently sourced material, and find out a lot from direct access to a country or the right people, if your intention is to inform.

Confused business sense is obviously a driver behind many problems: 'paper 'x' already provides good analysis, we need to provide something different and eye-catching if we are going to get people switching subscriptions.'  And as always, stupid people.

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The dominance of ranged fires is interesting. Whether it's artillery or precision guided missiles, observation and weight of fire are the key.

Have I mentioned the need for the US to produce a good 8" gun lately?  ;)

Whichever side can bring it's artillery to bear against the enemy's, will be the side that dominates the fight and wins. Counter-battery fires are critical. Curtail the enemy's artillery, enable your artillery to pummel the enemy positions, and then move forward with infantry and armor, then shove your artillery forward to push your "bubble" further...seems to be the solution.

All of which pivots on the ability to observe your ranged fires.

The days of the stubby howitzer are over. Today, the battle goes to the guns with range. (155L39 doesn't cut it anymore: 155L52 or 155L59 are the key, followed soon by the 203L59. Oh, and every gun section gets a geolocating drone or two.)

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Posted (edited)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/05/23/ukraine-security-assistance/

Interesting how attack helos are on the menu.

With UKR Su-25s running around and extra ground attack rotary (I assume Mi-24 hinds, shared by both Czech and UKR) in the offing, it suggests that RuAF has fully lost the battle for at least tactical air superiority (if it ever really gave a proper effort) and is settling for parity.

It also suggest that UKR are expecting to go on the offensive in late June, allowing time for transportation and integration of the Helos.

This fits with previous assessments, that Russia's Donbass offensive would culminate c.May-June, and that June-July would be UKR's turn - mobilization, training, equipping and integration of the first round of war draftees would be completed.

Naturally, the question becomes - where?  Where does UKR push? 

  • Kherson AO is just too flat and exposed to facilitate any offensive that includes newer formations, and it ends in a fortified city with a bloody big river to cross and nice short rail GLOCs to Crimea. So, nope.
  • Zaporizhzhia -> Azov coast is better terrain, relatively close to the city and directly threatens, even just as an extrapolation of any success, the "land bridge" to Crimea. It suffers from strong RUS presence and easy counter-attack/ reinforcement lines on both flanks of any attempt. Would be a very good spoiling/distraction operation for something else, somewhere else, pulling units south that then helps thin out northern RUS lines. Possibly.
  • Donetsk/Luhansk front. Ahhh, the Donbass; where shoddy invasions go to die, slowly... Good GLOCs for UKR but very heavy RUS concentration, good terrain (but also for defenders), very familiar to UKR but ends in two strong points of two very large and easily defended cities. A human combine harvester of an AO. Why waste fresh UKR infantry on an already culminated RUS force that is now overly familiar with the terrain and has plenty of arty? Maybe. Unlikely.
  • Izyum -> Russian Border. Good terrain to maneuver within. Russia is apparently hyper-hydrophobic, so the Donets pumpkins them whenever they touch it. RUS offensive will absolutely be burned out by Late June and the Kharkiv front acts as significant threat (and hence drain) to defending RUS forces. Avoid hitting the city itself and flank it to the south east, heading north-east (north of Lyman), hit the Oskil's western(?) bank and fighting up it. Good possibility.
  • Kharkiv East -> Russian border/Izyum attack. RUS is solidifying its defense but still seems to be 2nd tier formations and operational priority. But its also further north (long UKR GLOCs), flanked by Russia proper to the north again, and already has clear objectives (cut Izyum GLOCs) that make it a subsidiary op; it needs pressure on Izyum to justify and support its own pressure and raison d'etre. But mutually supportive operations make military analysts get super sticky in their over-starched tighty-whities; so I think this has a good vibe to it but only as part of a Izyum assault. Probably the only AO on the front that has the operational options of converging, supporting axis of attack, so the regional battle space has been somewhat pre-shaped, which is something that UKR HQs get all hot and bothered about also. Good possibility.

So this useless couch-humping civvie suggests 2 options:

  1. Izyum & Kharkiv 
  2. Zaporizhzhia (followed by Izyum).

 

 

 

Edited by Kinophile
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43 minutes ago, Kinophile said:

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/23/world/europe/us-ukraine-howitzers.html

@SeinfeldRules pretty much what you were saying in many respects.

I was curious when you talked negatively about how RUS rarely did about even simple camouflage, as I thought, as a civilian, that drones would negate a lot of that effect. But obviously any type of cover is better than none and the low profile and size of the 777s v. a SPG makes impromptu foliage cover a sensible precaution. The thick greenery of the summer also helps, I'm sure.

@Taranis you spoke quite highly of the Caesar; the above article states a 6-month training window and also quotes: “Even the French think they are too complicated” . Thoughts?

The ultimate problem you are trying to solve when defending against drones is to avoid being seen, whether that’s through the use of good camouflage or by a strong air defense that denies the UAV the “high ground”. Camouflage can still be effective if the UAV is forced to operate at distances that hinder it’s ability to locate targets due to the quality of its sensors. You won’t necessarily be able to hide if it’s right over your head, but hopefully you have ADA to counter that threat. What I suggested about Russian artillery is not that they are too incompetent to utilize camo, but instead that they are not being incentivized to do so. Perhaps in that portion of the line there is very little counter battery or UAV threat. Perhaps they have determined that it’s easier to leave the howitzers in the open and have personnel occupy hardened positions in the tree line, where they are able to hide better without howitzers. Ukrainians seems to have adopted a similar tactic, leaving the gun in place but displacing the personnel. Interestingly enough US Army towed howitzers crew train with their vehicles and crews collocated with the guns for the sake of simplicity, so I’m curious to see if we change our training to match lessons learned in Ukraine. Vehicle + howitzer makes for a juicy target. I think the US idea of constant displacement to avoid counter battery is unsustainable on the human level, as fatigue quickly starts to set in.
 

Anyways, I’ve seen Russian howitzers camouflaged so they know how to do it, I just don’t think they feel the need every time. 
 

In regards to complexity, such systems are usually feasible when you’re dealing with smaller armies that can have higher quality soldiers and mechanics, with relatively simple supply chains. Perfect for small scale, limited time span conflicts. When you start to get into large scale, attrition type conflicts, that complexity can quickly bite you in the butt. 
 

A note on smaller howitzers - I was an M119 battery commander at JRTC, which is heavily wooded with limited space for firing points and less then ideal roads. Compared to the larger M777 battery that we had in our battalion, I was able to occupy much more treacherous terrain and move around the battlefield much faster. The M777s were limited to only a few firing points and were ruthlessly targeted by OPFOR who knew their limitations exactly. There is absolutely something to be said for the lighter howitzers. Range isn’t the be-all end-all, because you will always be in range of something else. 

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1 hour ago, dan/california said:

I do find it more than ironic that Turkey complains bitterly about the way Israel oppresses the Palestinians, and then does something ten or a hundred times worse to the Kurds.

@sburke

Sorry, but I have to wade into this, because you guys are getting into 'crazy' territory.

For the record, I'm fully opposed to Erdoğan and all his oppressive policies, including the ones against Kurds. I also recognize that the secularists governments that preceded Erdoğan's Islamists also led oppressive policies against Turkey's Kurds, and I would like Turkey to apologize to its Kurdish citizens for the policies of the military junta of 1980, in particular.

That being said:

Turkey has had two Kurdish presidents.

The head of the current secularist opposition - whom I vote for - is a Kurd.

Moreover, all Turkish Kurds - unlike Syrian Kurds and Palestinians in Israel - have Turkish citizenship.

Can you please direct me to any Palestinian president of Israel, or a Palestinian leader of the Knesset?

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1 hour ago, Kinophile said:

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/23/world/europe/us-ukraine-howitzers.html

@SeinfeldRules pretty much what you were saying in many respects.

I was curious when you talked negatively about how RUS rarely did about even simple camouflage, as I thought, as a civilian, that drones would negate a lot of that effect. But obviously any type of cover is better than none and the low profile and size of the 777s v. a SPG makes impromptu foliage cover a sensible precaution. The thick greenery of the summer also helps, I'm sure.

@Taranis you spoke quite highly of the Caesar; the above article states a 6-month training window and also quotes: “Even the French think they are too complicated” . Thoughts?

😁 Yes, as you notice, I closely follow all the information concerning the CAESARs. These are my babies! Today's video from the War in Ukraine channel (which produces daily reports) indicates that they would be assigned to the 55th Artillery Brigade and would be in the Zaporhizhzhia sector.

I did not find the mention of "too complicated" in the link you indicated. Personally, something can be complicated for someone and not for another. I don't find the CAESAR to be a complicated weapon (IMHO). It is sure that it is more complicated to use than a 120mm and 82mm mortar which are more rustic but the system is much more automated, so it is more complicated for the vehicle commander than for the aimer where  it is even easier. In this case the T-72 is a complicated weapon because of its automatic loader (procedures to follow etc). The deployment of CAESAR in Ukraine within the 55th Artillery Brigade is proof that it is not that complicated. And then after all, all modern weapons by their technology are technical and complicated weapons (a fighter even more, try DCS 😂).

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8 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

Seriously though, the report of T-62s coming out of monthballs is a confirmation of what long war pessimists like me have been saying since this war started.

At least you can be sure that nobody stole thermal imagery equipment or other stuff to bolster his paycheck.  I guess all the Armata's went to the Finish boarder. 😃

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2 hours ago, Taranis said:

😁 Yes, as you notice, I closely follow all the information concerning the CAESARs. These are my babies! Today's video from the War in Ukraine channel (which produces daily reports) indicates that they would be assigned to the 55th Artillery Brigade and would be in the Zaporhizhzhia sector.

I did not find the mention of "too complicated" in the link you indicated. Personally, something can be complicated for someone and not for another. I don't find the CAESAR to be a complicated weapon (IMHO). It is sure that it is more complicated to use than a 120mm and 82mm mortar which are more rustic but the system is much more automated, so it is more complicated for the vehicle commander than for the aimer where  it is even easier. In this case the T-72 is a complicated weapon because of its automatic loader (procedures to follow etc). The deployment of CAESAR in Ukraine within the 55th Artillery Brigade is proof that it is not that complicated. And then after all, all modern weapons by their technology are technical and complicated weapons (a fighter even more, try DCS 😂).

I wonder can we see anything similar in the footage as with the M777. Meaning electronic(GPS ext.) systems missing.

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8 minutes ago, The_MonkeyKing said:

I wonder can we see anything similar in the footage as with the M777. Meaning electronic(GPS ext.) systems missing.

The problem is that the CAESAR has no manual mode (no barrel movement system without hydraulics with cranks for example and no traditional sighting system (goniometer) because the sighting system depends on the navigation inertial system. Thus, it is not possible to give a "simplified" version, in particular because its strength is its technology. Even the system of closing the breech is subject to safety systems and hydraulics. that's why I said earlier that it's a high-tech and effective weapon but "fragile". 

Unless of course they have developed new systems since I left the army, but I really doubt it because I wouldn't understand the point. SeinfeldRules' remarks are totally relevant because these are materials that are not intended to be in the field permanently but must be easily maintained. The choice to assign them to an Artillery Brigade is therefore fully justified.

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2 minutes ago, Taranis said:

The problem is that the CAESAR has no manual mode (no barrel movement system without hydraulics with cranks for example and no traditional sighting system (goniometer) because the sighting system depends on the navigation inertial system. Thus, it is not possible to give a "simplified" version, in particular because its strength is its technology. Even the system of closing the breech is subject to safety systems and hydraulics. that's why I said earlier that it's a high-tech and effective weapon but "fragile". 

Unless of course they have developed new systems since I left the army, but I really doubt it because I wouldn't understand the point. SeinfeldRules' remarks are totally relevant because these are materials that are not intended to be in the field permanently but must be easily maintained. The choice to assign them to an Artillery Brigade is therefore fully justified.

Great info! Thanks.

 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Taranis said:

😁 Yes

I did not find the mention of "too complicated" in the link you indicated. 

Smaller numbers of the computer-controlled, self-propelled Caesar guns from France will also help, Mr. Zhirokhov said, but learning to use them takes months. “Even the French think they are too complicated,” he said.

Last paragraph, you skim-reader, you! :P

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/05/24/world/europe/russia-shrinking-war-ukraine.html

Worth it for the heatmap visual.

 

Edited by Kinophile
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