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 parcel 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.


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