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Lessons (Already) Learned From The Ukraine War - Military, Political, Technical


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8 minutes ago, bojan said:

Extremely nasty surprise for everyone involved, with doctrines falling apart all around.

I don't know about that... when you look at the Russians today, they have fallen back to Cold War doctrine pretty much to the letter: Blast the ground with artillery, advance, set up in defence, repeat. Which was the takeaway from 1944-45, but not from the Manchuria operation which they hoped to re-enact in Germany.

The counter to that was MLRS, TACFIRE, FOFA and AirLand Batttle if you were USian, which the Ukrainians aren't.

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Oh, one thing that everyone missed - amphibious capability on IFVs/APCs is not worth a shit and even pathetically small rivers can not be crossed by swimming because their banks are a problem. Unless you have prepared exits on other bank vehicles can not exit river. And in order to prepare a bank you would need to send bulldozer to the other bank. Which require using either a floating bridge or it's sections as rafts. In which case what is a point of vehicles trying to swim over  the river.

Poles, I am looking at you with that Borsuk IFV prototype heavily optimized (hull shape) for swimming.

Also @futon :) 

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55 minutes ago, bojan said:

Oh, one thing that everyone missed - amphibious capability on IFVs/APCs is not worth a shit and even pathetically small rivers can not be crossed by swimming because their banks are a problem. Unless you have prepared exits on other bank vehicles can not exit river. And in order to prepare a bank you would need to send bulldozer to the other bank. Which require using either a floating bridge or it's sections as rafts. In which case what is a point of vehicles trying to swim over  the river.

Poles, I am looking at you with that Borsuk IFV prototype heavily optimized (hull shape) for swimming.

Also @futon :) 

At least not in this conflict. I wonder why that didn't occur to people in exercises before though, as I've heard a few times now that this was a bit of an unexpected problem for the Russians. Maybe an artifact of "Hey let's train a river crossing on our river crushing training site. The one with the ramps. Works flawlessly!"

However where I'm from, pretty much ever village has some sort of more or less paved boat ramp, so you can actually cross every few kilometers.

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7 hours ago, ex2cav said:

Recon drones should be incorporated to at least battalion level, perhaps even company as personnel allows. Incorporate targeting drones for all artillery units.

Squad level I'd say.  Maybe not officially, but drones are cheap and save lives.

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16 hours ago, Ssnake said:

The lack of infantry is something that all western armies would have to deal with likewise. The conclusion can only be, "don't wage an offensive land war in Asia" or something to that effect.

I should point out that this isn't just a Russian phenomenon. The disaster in OIF was founded on political bending of intelligence findings. The Western miscalculation about Afghans as a whole wanting to become little secular Europeans was the basis for the whole nation building post 9-11. Similar cases could be made about Libya and Arab Spring (and if there had been no military coup, we'd have another Islamic terror state in Egypt right now). Arguably, most wars are started out of miscalculations that are largely the result of political directives to find supporting evidence for a theory already formulated at the top.

In this case, a direct consequence of #2 combined with #1.

I don't see much stalling by the Ukrainian army in the initial phase of the run on Kiev. It was about as fast as if it had happened in a near vacuum. The Russian columns stalled when they ran out of fuel, because they ran out of fuel. They lost more equipment to bad terrain than to enemy action. Even then a large part of the long and terribly exposed columns could eventually be extricated because Ukrainian armed forces were too weak to mount an effective counterattack. So, yes, the wisdom of METT-T is unbroken, but I'm not sure if this is really something new.

 

WRT drones, I think they should and will be pushed down to the platoon level, eventually.

Regarding your last paragraph, both sides seemed weak around Kiev. The Russians appeared generally weaker in the north. The Russians needed, and need, more forces. They had too many goals with too little. 

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13 hours ago, bojan said:

Extremely nasty surprise for everyone involved, with doctrines falling apart all around.

Give it time, we might be heading that way. Though it likely would go nuclear, at least on Ukrainian territory.

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16 hours ago, Ssnake said:

I should point out that this isn't just a Russian phenomenon. The disaster in OIF was founded on political bending of intelligence findings. The Western miscalculation about Afghans as a whole wanting to become little secular Europeans was the basis for the whole nation building post 9-11. Similar cases could be made about Libya and Arab Spring (and if there had been no military coup, we'd have another Islamic terror state in Egypt right now). Arguably, most wars are started out of miscalculations that are largely the result of political directives to find supporting evidence for a theory already formulated at the top.

True that. As somebody with an advanced degree in international security studies from a fancy US university, I seriously thought that the aftermath of Afghanistan and OIF would have proven all of the theories I learned as completely bogus -- you have no idea how much ink was wasted by "brilliant" USAian people in academia trying to prove that it was all going to work out great. I ended up completely disgusted with all these nerdy academics who never tanked and got a bonus trying to act like the real world is Civ IV. 

Edited by Angrybk
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18 hours ago, ex2cav said:

1. Infantry, Infantry, Infantry....The Russians stalled for lack of infantry. Armor takes ground, infantry holds it. There is enough open source info out there showing that most BTG's were woefully short infantry in their IFV vehicles. As the Russians advanced, they should have been dropping off infantry companies along the way. They didn't. Large areas were initially un-held.  Infantry.

3. Armies shouldn't have multiple axis of advance. Combat power is immediately degraded and different axis can't support each other.

Russians have stalled for a lack of mass. They went in with way to little for what they were trying to do and seemed to have banked everything on a lack of opposition. More infantry as a  % of the same total IMO wouldn't help but instead exacerbate this.

13 hours ago, bojan said:

Oh, one thing that everyone missed - amphibious capability on IFVs/APCs is not worth a shit and even pathetically small rivers can not be crossed by swimming because their banks are a problem. Unless you have prepared exits on other bank vehicles can not exit river. And in order to prepare a bank you would need to send bulldozer to the other bank. Which require using either a floating bridge or it's sections as rafts. In which case what is a point of vehicles trying to swim over  the river.

Poles, I am looking at you with that Borsuk IFV prototype heavily optimized (hull shape) for swimming.

Also @futon :) 

I disagree. IFV's having is not realistic given the needed protection levels, but for APC's it's still a useful design requirement. 

Relying exclusively on what will always be an extremely limited number of bridging tanks, which are the primary target for anything and everything, is IMO not a practical solution and waterways are everywhere. Banks are a problem but the capability in certain % of the force creates a threat that needs to be honored.

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As I predicted weeks ago sanctions have backfired:

Opinion 

 Russia’s oil earnings are booming. The U.S. and Europe need a new plan.

The leaders of the Group of 7 nations, or G-7, will assemble Sunday in the Bavarian Alps. Dominating the discussions will be the biggest war in Europe since 1945 and its ramifications. With Russia still waging an offensive on eastern Ukraine, increasing the effectiveness of economic sanctions on the Kremlin should be an urgent priority for the group, which includes President Biden and his counterparts from Germany, Japan, Italy, Britain, Canada and France, as well as representatives of the European Union. Specifically, they should acknowledge that Europe’s efforts to block oil imports from Russia are proving ineffective in the short run and must be modified.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/06/23/russia-oil-money-new-plan/

 

Russian oil products are likely ending up in the US after being refined in India, report says.

https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/commodities/russian-oil-products-us-sanctions-refined-india-trade-ukraine-war-2022-6?op=1

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President Biden views shortages of energy as a feature, not a bug.  Strangely Putin may yet be proven to have the better long term vision after all.  That's not to say that I approve of the invasion as I do not.  I view it as a terrible waste of lives on both sides but the idea that the West can "starve Russia out" looks to be fleeting at best and wildly off the mark in reality.

In two hundred years people will talk about these times the same way that we talk about the French Revolution and spring of 1914

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18 hours ago, Tim the Tank Nut said:

I view it as a terrible waste of lives on both sides but the idea that the West can "starve Russia out" looks to be fleeting at best and wildly off the mark in reality.

Projection here of contraction of Russian economy in 2022 at 3.1% and growth in 2023 at 1.4%.  A far cry from the original heady opinions of - wasn't Russian GDP supposed to shrink by 20% in 2022?

https://blog.oxfordeconomics.com/content/a-darker-economic-scenario-from-russias-war#:~:text=In this downside scenario%2C the,year and 0.9% in 2023.

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No, even T90M seems to lack one. Ukrainian Nozh isnt APS either, though it does supposedly work a little differently from other reactive armour.

3 hours ago, Harold Jones said:

Has either side used APS on their tanks?

 

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As I predicted weeks ago sanctions have backfired:

This is by no means true. If you read the non-state press and reader comments in Russia, it becomes clear that the sanctions have hit very hard.

 

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31 minutes ago, Stefan Kotsch said:

This is by no means true. If you read the non-state press and reader comments in Russia, it becomes clear that the sanctions have hit very hard.

We were told back in March that the Rouble would be wiped out and sanctions were going to bring Russia to its knees.  Well, the Rouble is now on a 7 year high and there are no signs that Russia is about to collapse.

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1 hour ago, glenn239 said:

We were told back in March that the Rouble would be wiped out and sanctions were going to bring Russia to its knees.  Well, the Rouble is now on a 7 year high and there are no signs that Russia is about to collapse.

I don’t remember anyone on this board claiming such nor was that a conclusion I saw in most mainstream media. Please quote posts and articles to support.

 

the ruble is on a high but that is hardly a good single metric for economic growth. By that standard, the US is in the best economic shape it’s been for years. Inflation and GDP tell a rather different story. As has been discussed every other time you raise this point, the longer term damage will come from technology not being available to Russia, particularly chips, airliners, and oil/gas extraction. It will take years for the worst effects to manifest.

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1 hour ago, Harold Jones said:

This is going to have an impact, maybe not so much today but future borrowing will be impacted.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/06/27/russia-defaults-foreign-debt-ukraine-war/

Well, technically could be considered a default, but...

Quote

The country has the cash but is unable to get it to creditors because sanctions have cut Russia out of international payment systems.

On future borrowing, I dare say China will not have any issues buying Russian treasure bonds.

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rouble is basicly non-convertible by russia´s own admission.

on sanctions and esp. the leaving of very specific western companies , the best comparison i can think of is like a hospital .

one day the whole anesthesiology section   leaves and takes with them their drugs and textbooks. now, the hospital administration can beat on their chest that this is ok, look, the dentists can do novocaine injections and besides, our in-house apothecary has never sold so much aspirin before and we have youtube anesthesiology DIY tutorials  but soon there will be no serious operations aside from the ones done with good old stick between teeth or the same novocaine shot...

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