Saturday, December 3, 2022

Perekop I.

This is coolbert:

OPLAN Perekop? As goes Perekop so will go the Ukraine Conflict? Dust off the old history books and annals of World War Two to understand this one.

Paragraphs as extracted from a Strategy Page article 

"Russia: Racing For Perekop"

"If the Ukrainians can get across the Dnieper River in force, they can advance to the Isthmus of Perekop which connects Ukraine to the Crimean Peninsula. This isthmus is five to seven kilometers wide and less than ten kilometers long. It is a vital supply line because the Kerch Strait bridge is still undergoing repairs and not able to carry enough traffic to keep troops and civilians in Crimea supplied. That means the isthmus forms a vital supply line (via rail lines to Donbas and then to Russia). Through it is a canal that supplies much of the fresh water for everyone in Crimea province. In 2014 Ukrainian forces blocked access to Crimea via Perekop, which limited the number of people that could live in Crimea and forced Russia to use lots of shipping to supply Crimea. That was a major reason for spending nearly $4 billion to rapidly build the long-planned Kerch Strait bridge, which opened for truck traffic in 2018 and rail traffic in 2019."

"If the Ukrainians can reach Perekop by the end of the year, the Russians won’t be able to hold onto Crimea. The Ukrainian military believes it will take until early 2023 to block Perekop and force Russia to abandon Crimea without a fight."

"The strategic and commercial value of this area, together with the strategic value of being the gateway to Crimea, has made the isthmus the location of some particularly fierce battles. From antiquity through the Byzantine era the Greeks fortified the area, and so subsequently did the Crimean Tatars. "

"Between Perekop and Yiahun there is about 30 kilometer long [about eighteen miles long by about five miles wide] of a narrow strip of land [connecting Crimea to the Eurasian main land] on which in addition there are a number of large, medium and small lakes . . . If the attacking side owns the Crimea up to and including the Perekop position and has fire superiority over the enemy located north of Perekop, then when attacking from the Crimea, the defender will not be able to escape anywhere in the entire space of the Taurid steppes. He must retreat to the Dneiper to the West and to the Molochnaya River to the East. [click map to see an enlarged view]"


Undeniably the Isthmus of Perekop a vital port of land with great military significance. To chase the Russian out of Crimea you must capture Perekop first.

Ukrainian military must: 1. Cross the Dneiper and establish a bridgehead the Left Bank of the river. 2. Expand that bridgehead and move south toward the Isthmus of Perekop. 3. Cross an open and very  dangerous bit of ground. 

Personally I strongly doubt the Ukrainian can accomplish and of these goals. If the Russian could not provide a continuous supply for those Russian military occupying Kherson, hardly do I imagine the Ukrainian faring any better even if a bridgehead established.


Friday, December 2, 2022


This is coolbert:

 Expenditure of ammunition the Ukraine Conflict by both side prodigious to say the least.


"So Much for Counter-Battery Fire: Ukrainian Howitzers Are Surviving to Have Their Barrels Wear Out"

"RU [Russian]arty has underperformed expectations but maybe we're to blame for having them"

"The artillery the West has provided Ukraine is 'breaking' the NYT says"



"A barrel wears itself out over time. That’s a normal thing. But that Ukrainian howitzers are living long enough for their barrels to wear out tells us that they’re mostly not being taken out by Russian counter-battery fire."

"By late October Ukraine had received 1.1 million 155 mm shells. The majority of these have been expended, fired by just 350 155-mm weapons in Ukrainian hands. That Ukraine successfully fired off around a million shells is another indication Ukrainian artillery isn’t being suppressed."

That is about 3,000 rounds fired by each unit of tube artillery. Equipment just "breaking down" from excessive usage, wear and tear. I might imagine that includes ALL NATO artillery of the 155-mm caliber. 

Consider too ammunition expended within context of the Battle of Verdun, 1916, the Great War:

"Millions of shells were fired in single battles, with one million shells alone fired by the Germans at the French Army in the first day at the 1916 battle of Verdun"


Thursday, December 1, 2022


This is coolbert:

As proposed an American-style cemetery for Polish war dead the Ukraine Conflict seen as abhorrent? Controversial at the least?

"Ukraine War - A Contentious Graveyard In Poland"

"An independent Polish news site, Niezaleizny Dziennik Polityczny, has an interesting piece about Polish losses in the war in Ukraine."

"I [moonofalabama] can not confirm the reports veracity but since at least 2014 the site has regularly published several news and opinion pieces per day. It seems to be opposed to the current conservative PiS led government in Poland."

From moonofalabama November 28, 2022.

"In early November, the regional media announced plans to create burials similar to American war cemeteries in Olsztyn. The reports sparked a wave of indignation, both among the city's residents and Poles across the country. 'This is a necropolis for Poles? We are from a different culture' this is how indignant users in social media reacted to the strange ideas of the city council."


The municipal cemetery in Dywity is the main necropolis in Olsztyn and covers over 35 ha [eighty-six acres]. Today it is loud about it all over Poland, because soon it will look like a war cemetery in the USA. It has to be like in an American movie. A large lawn with identical tombstones on it. Without trees, benches, angels bending over the dead. The tombstones will be the same, they will only differ in color. Their manufacturers provided for only three: black, gray and red-brown.

Article gives an idea too of the number of Polish dead the Ukraine Conflict! 

"The number of wounded is probably three times the number of dead, though that can vary depending on the war's circumstance. It means that in total some 4800 men of the Polish contingent in Ukraine were wounded or killed. Is that one third of the Polish 'mercenary' forces in Ukraine? Is it more? Or less?"

It should not be considered strange to find Poles fighting in the Ukraine as distinct [?] military units. That western part of Ukraine prior to 1939 was Polish sovereign territory. Polish troops the Ukraine Conflict better referred to as interventionists than mercenaries?



This is coolbert:

Concern ourselves here not so much with the F-35 warplane but the internally carried ALE-70 countermeasure device. Towed behind the aircraft as a decoy. Protection against enemy radar guided missiles.

"Take A Look At These Photos Of An F-35 Flying With The ALE-70 Towed Decoy Door Open"

From the article by DAVID CENCIOTTI November 29, 2022.

"The ALE-70 towed radio frequency countermeasure is stored under a hatch next to the dual infrared countermeasures dispenser doors, that appear to be open too."


Click on image to see an enlarged view: "Towed decoy systems are used to protect military aircraft from radar-guided missiles. These countermeasures are towed behind the host aircraft protecting it against both surface-to-air and air-to-air missiles. They provide a radio-wave reflecting bait that attracts the RF-guided missiles away from the intended target. They are attached via a Fiber Optic link that is used to send commands to the decoy radio frequency emitter to produce jamming signals required to lure the missile away from the 'parent aircraft'."

True and fully complete stealth capability of the F-35 only realized when munitions and associated devices such as the ALE-70 carried internally.



This is coolbert:

Within the Russian Orthodox church there definitely exists an ardor for piety and grandiose [?] displays of support of the Russian military! Here too!

"A New Church for Russia's National Guard in Moscow"

From 24.11.2022.

"Patriarch Prays for All 'Willing to Risk Their Lives for the Safety of Russia.'"

"Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church consecrated a church dedicated to Grand Duke Vladimir on the 6th November, 2022. The Church, located in Balashikha in the Moscow region is to serve as the main church of the troops of the Russian National Guard."

"An Honor Guard was assembled on the square in front of the temple. The Director of the Federal National Guard Troops of the Russian Federation, Army General V.V. Zolotov, together with the command staff of the Federal Guard Service and clergymen met His Holiness Patriarch Kirill at the western gate of the church."

Viktor Zolotov the commander of the Russian National Guard in the center. Viktor the right-hand man of Vlad Putin. Russian National Guard if needed a head knocker elite used to suppress internal dissension. Hammer protruding nails so to speak.


"From at least since the 12th century Russia has built Churches in honor of certain victories or events, for example such as victory over the Mongols or the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow, which was built due to the Tsar offering it as a thanksgiving to God for deliverance from the Army of Napoleon. The Main Church of the Russian Armed Forces, built as a memorial to victory over the Nazis in World War 2 and consecrated in 2020, is a grand example of this motif in Russian religious tradition.

It continues. Displays of extreme religiosity as expressed within the context of the Russian military: See previous blog entries as relevant:

Russian "holy mission" yesterday, today, tomorrow, forever! We have come a long way since the days of self-described militantly atheistic Soviet Union. Haven't we!


Wednesday, November 30, 2022


This is coolbert:

More "holy mission" of the Russian Orthodox church on display within the context of the Ukraine Conflict?

"Spetsnaz warriors from Sputnik put their faith in brigade's holy patron"

From the the story by Atle Staalesen November 18, 2022.

Holy icon of St. George restored and returned to Russian naval infantry [marines].

"After a period of restoration, the main church icon of the 61st Naval Infantry Brigade is returned to Sputnik, the garrison town located near the border to Norway and Finland. 'It will give the marines inspiration to take part in special military operations,' the local church says."

"There was jubilation in the tiny church building in Sputnik as the icon of St. George, the main patron of the potent military force, was put back on the wall."

"The icon of the military saint had been under restoration for quite some time. It was now back with fresher colors, new frame and materials. On the sword sheath of the warrior saint is now painted the logo of the brigade; a polar bear on top of a hill and an anchor."

Excessive displays of religiosity on the part of the Russian military strange? A declared and militantly atheistic Soviet Union as existed slightly less than thirty years ago has now been replaced with theological devotion the exact polar opposite of what previously existed?

Sixty-first Naval Infantry not really spetsnaz as that term normally understood. Spetsnaz the cut-throat killer elite ranger/commando unit subordinate to Russian army military intelligence. Naval infantry in Russian parlance rather best understood as marines, a conventional fighting force.

Sixty-first Naval Infantry even many years before 24 February 2022 involved in the Donbass stand-off attrition warfare, that prelude to the Ukraine Conflict.



This is coolbert:

Russian battlefield concept the artillery-heavy battalion tactical group [BTG] found to be ineffective and now being abandoned. 

"Russia abandons battalion tactical groups [BTG] as conflict reveals weaknesses"

From "The Telegraph" ^ | November 29, 2022 | Verity Bowman the tip from Freeper.

"Russian forces have largely stopped deploying as battalion tactical groups because the formations have proved ineffective, the UK's Ministry of Defense (MoD) has said. In its latest intelligence update on Tuesday, the ministry said that while 'the BTG concept has played a major part in Russian military doctrine for the last ten years' it has proven unsuccessful in the kind of high-intensity fighting seen in Ukraine. A battalion tactical group (BTG) is a temporary formation bringing together troops and equipment from different units to complete particular operational objectives."

[click on either image below to see and enlarged view]

Refreshing our memories from a prior blog entry, the Russian BTG a combined arms unit with organic artillery assets having substantial firepower way and beyond what normally would be found in a NATO unit of roughly the same size. 

Three batteries of mechanized artillery [standard in a BTG?] normally including conventional tube artillery, rocket artillery and mortars of 120 mm or greater caliber.

The "weakness" of the BTG not having enough mechanized infantry to exploit damage as caused by artillery barrage however strong? Not enough "boots" on the ground to either capture or hold terrain.