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Ukraine - implications for Russian military going forward

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Ukraine - implications for Russian military going forward

Old 3rd Apr 2022, 00:56
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Count of Monte Bisto View Post
We have not been without our issues ourselves over the years. Go back in history and you will find the scandal of the Sherman tank (or Tommy Cooker as it was known). It had a rubbish 75mm peashooter main gun, poor armour and would go on fire in an instant due its petrol engine. I remember seeing a Germany officer being interviewed after the war who had been in charge on an 88mm anti-tank battery. I think he said his unit took out 18 Shermans, but had to retreat in the end because another 6 kept coming when he had run out of ammunition! In that one event you had the wonders of American industrial power on display - they had the wrong tank, but in the right quantities to overwhelm the opposition. The Russians have some of the right equipment but seem completely unable to run a campaign. Russian losses historically have been eye-watering, but as a nation they do not seem to flinch. In the space of a month they have lost the same number of dead as they did in the whole of the Afghanistan conflict and still they do not seem to care. Their Air Force cannot operate and their tanks are either out of fuel, stuck in the mud or being destroyed by the Ukrainians using UK and American anti-tank weapons. They are facing economic collapse, shortages of basic goods and food - not to mention utter humiliation on the battlefield. Yet most of the population are drinking the Kool Aid and believing they are liberating Ukraine for Nazi oppression and that it is the Ukrainians who are destroying their own cities to curry favour with the West. It is simply insane, but that is a mere detail in the eyes of most Russians. Crazy stuff.
It is apparently the consensus that the Russian Army is poorly led and hugely wasteful in its tactics. There are certainly plenty of early invasion images that would support that thesis, but there are countertrends.
In particular, we should look at the gradual progression of the Russian invasion in the eastern regions, where the insurrection had attracted the Ukrainian Army's focus and where there has been intense fighting even before the invasion..
We hear little about that front, but the French Defense Dept maps indicate that the Russians are advancing there and have cut off parts of the Ukraine forces.
It seems to be a meat grinder type of combat which the Russians are prepared for. The dismissal last Thursday by Zelensky of two of his senior military officers for being 'traitors' may be a reflection of these realities.

Separately, I have to doubt the claim of economic collapse or of food shortages.
Given that Russia was a major exporter of foodstuffs, energy and raw materials, with a large perennial trade surplus, the various sanctions seem to me to do more damage to us, the buyers, than to them, the sellers. Russia will certainly have fewer imported consumer goods and Russian industry will suffer, forced to retreat to older technologies or reinvent workarounds of the embargoed systems, but that is not unusual in Russia.
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Old 3rd Apr 2022, 07:18
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Originally Posted by MPN11 View Post
The probability of a major restructuring, re-equipment and doctrinal change is ZERO.

Mercifully, the RF is still hampered by Soviet-era thinking and leadership. Finance will be further restrained by sanctions. And the population, despite propaganda, doesn't give a sh1t.

”Lessons Learned” only works if someone is listening. And Vlad won’t be listening, just casting blame in all directions, as Stalin and Hitler did.
I'm not the best at this but Stalin and Hitler ruled by fear. Also Stalin eradicating his best generals before the war (the fear of him led to his painful death) also the Russians had the numbers to defeat the germans. General Pattern even halted his advance in France due to logistics shortages. We are mostly getting our information from the Ukranian side so the only accurate information is from the military in what they'd be prepared to release (even then they can bias this). Also we are seeing the determination of the Ukranian people to resist the Russian invasion and their kindness to under equipped and fed Russian troops, so the propoganda fed by Putin was false. We have allot more information sources these days than say the Falklands War (less). Then go further back to Vietnam (less) or WW2 and WW1. How many of these Russian Generals were killed and how? I wonder if perhaps there was some like Von Stauffenberg trying to kill Hitler. We'll probably never know. I just hope this war can end peacefully?
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Old 3rd Apr 2022, 10:17
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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- all intentions and plans are known long before
- all moves can be observed anytime and reacted to by the opponents
- small missiles have become too capable to go on with cold war style traditional tank columns and helicopter operations
- whatever is of value and intended to be occupied gets destroyed before in the process
- there is not enough military knowledge at the top, surprise blitz move led to under equipped troops
- lack of diplomatic preparation and alliances moved conflict and cost to hurt/destroy own economy
- new equipment works not as good as advertised, even huge quantities of hardware and total superiority by size cannot be efficiently used against some guerrilla style warfare
- upcoming public opinion issues with victory day next and returning troops spreading "different" information
- small opponent can win info war
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Old 3rd Apr 2022, 10:43
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Kingbird87 View Post
...As long as the nation is run by an authoritarian without any checks of power, and enabled by a kleptocracy, I can't imagine any subordinate in the chain can effect real change...
Surely you are talking about the EU, or the IMF, or the WEF (or indeed even our cousins - both north and south of about 49 degrees north - over in the Americas)??
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Old 3rd Apr 2022, 10:47
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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It does appear that Western political leadership enjoys an ostrich like ability to not recognise the strategic dangers of being reliant on supplies from abroad, especially from countries who can turn their coats in a flash. Both Russia and China have demonstrated that they cannot be trusted, while being reliant or dodgy African nations for material such as lithium is likely to be just as dodgy. The opposite argument is that it is economically justified to buy where the material is cheapest, but that can be akin to taking the free heroin and then complaining when it is no longer free... We are seeing the same thing with the world wide semiconductor industry: much of western industry is reliant on the output of TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp) - including some devices for the F35! Yes, you can keep spares, although hopefully e MoD learnt a lesson with Clansman radio ICs when an obsolete line closed, a 'last time buy' made and all the parts put in one warehouse which burned down!
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Old 3rd Apr 2022, 11:31
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The western strategic reliance on globalisation got scaled back since about 9-11 already. The US is -or has been depending on the shale oil production- even a net oil exporter. Wages in China have become too high for qualified personal together with increased automation and logistics troubles, IP theft and there is no more advantage to move there. Chip factories are already moving back to the US like server farms. Globalisation is slowing down if not turning around from a western perspective.
However there is one big nation that is getting more reliant on other regions and supplies and this is China itself.

Russia relies on raw materials exports for some time to come. It would need to have more hard currency friends instead of less. Military might and threats like against Scandinavia recently might not be the way to go.

Last edited by Less Hair; 3rd Apr 2022 at 11:56.
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Old 3rd Apr 2022, 15:11
  #27 (permalink)  
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"- all intentions and plans are known long before
- all moves can be observed anytime and reacted to by the opponents
- small missiles have become too capable to go on with cold war style traditional tank columns and helicopter operations"

Interesting point as they certainly apply in Europe but not necessarily everywhere (eg Mali) - its the density of communications that seems to be the major factor.

On post war changes I can see a case for more infantry rather than armour TBH - as for the air war the Russians don't seem to be fully engaged compared to say Syria
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Old 3rd Apr 2022, 15:28
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
"- all intentions and plans are known long before
- all moves can be observed anytime and reacted to by the opponents
- small missiles have become too capable to go on with cold war style traditional tank columns and helicopter operations"

Interesting point as they certainly apply in Europe but not necessarily everywhere (eg Mali) - its the density of communications that seems to be the major factor.

On post war changes I can see a case for more infantry rather than armour TBH - as for the air war the Russians don't seem to be fully engaged compared to say Syria
How is the infantry going to get around without armour? In particular, how are they going to be protected during the advance?
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Old 3rd Apr 2022, 23:37
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ninthace View Post
How is the infantry going to get around without armour? In particular, how are they going to be protected during the advance?
Armor is not helping much even now, as we see in gory detail from the Ukraine videos.
Fast forward another decade, much cheaper sensors and much smaller, yet more capable drones and the individual soldier will be as threatened as the tank is today.
There is an obvious revolution pending in the military, but it is held up by the reluctance of the US to lead the way.
That is quite rational, such a revolution would eliminate the US's current advantage in military power. Resetting the forces for the new era favors new entrants, as Turkey and their Bayraktar have just demonstrated.
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Old 4th Apr 2022, 00:46
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Originally Posted by etudiant View Post
Armor is not helping much even now, as we see in gory detail from the Ukraine videos.
Fast forward another decade, much cheaper sensors and much smaller, yet more capable drones and the individual soldier will be as threatened as the tank is today.
There is an obvious revolution pending in the military, but it is held up by the reluctance of the US to lead the way.
That is quite rational, such a revolution would eliminate the US's current advantage in military power. Resetting the forces for the new era favors new entrants, as Turkey and their Bayraktar have just demonstrated.
Too simplistic. What is to say that effective anti drone technology will not be developed or that armour will not be improved through the use novel materials and redesigned against attack from above. Much as I like air power, how do you occupy and dominate the ground without boots on it? There are limits to what a drone can achieve and it can only stay around for so long.
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Old 4th Apr 2022, 01:50
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Several posts in this thread, elsewhere on the forum and in other spheres express opinions gloating about failures on Russia's side.

I venture to say that it is a VAST miscalculation to conclude that after a mere 35 days (April 3 - Feb 28, 2022), Vlad has shot his bolt.

Underestimate him and his people at your peril.
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Old 4th Apr 2022, 07:27
  #32 (permalink)  
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"How is the infantry going to get around without armour? In particular, how are they going to be protected during the advance?"

Over time (or rather history) the weapons mix changes. Invention of the machine gun led, eventually to the tank - but things never stay static. It may be, that in some areas, driving around in a very large, expensive tank is no longer a great idea (think Battleships post 1940). Dispersed infantry are a lot harder to hit with drones etc and the cost of using smart air launched missiles to attack small groups of infantry is prohibitive.

The pendulum will probably swing back once cheap anti-drone defences are available - I don't think tanks and armour will disappear at all - but I think they'll be less important for the next 20-30 years

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Old 4th Apr 2022, 07:29
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Originally Posted by EddyCurr View Post
Several posts in this thread, elsewhere on the forum and in other spheres express opinions gloating about failures on Russia's side.

I venture to say that it is a VAST miscalculation to conclude that after a mere 35 days (April 3 - Feb 28, 2022), Vlad has shot his bolt.

Underestimate him and his people at your peril.
What would suggest Putin still has in his armoury to counter any apparent underestimation of he and/or the Russian military?

Aside from the nuclear option (which, let's be frank, isn't an option as Putin doesn't get to actually "push the button", just order someone else to order someone else to) what has he got in his toy box that would worry anyone with effective counter air and counter battery assets?

What combat experience has the Russian military had since WW2 to mould their doctrine? Their experience has mainly been either putting down civilian uprisings or asymmetric warfare, in both cases relying upon overwhelming numbers to try and pacify a numerically and technologically inferior enemy.

The tactics they are utilising in Ukraine hark back to WW2 and, other than their 'prowess' at reducing civilian population centres to rubble (never a good way to win hearts and minds), they have been found wanting against an enemy who are benefitting from the technology and advice from countries with far more breadth of combat experience than Russia.

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Old 4th Apr 2022, 07:59
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
"How is the infantry going to get around without armour? In particular, how are they going to be protected during the advance?"

Over time (or rather history) the weapons mix changes. Invention of the machine gun led, eventually to the tank - but things never stay static. It may be, that in some areas, driving around in a very large, expensive tank is no longer a great idea (think Battleships post 1940). Dispersed infantry are a lot harder to hit with drones etc and the cost of using smart air launched missiles to attack small groups of infantry is prohibitive.

The pendulum will probably swing back once cheap anti-drone defences are available - I don't think tanks and armour will disappear at all - but I think they'll be less important for the next 20-30 years
While things change in warfare, there are some constants. Infantry in some form or other has existed for centuries, there is no reason to believe this will change while ground still has to be taken and held. The evolution in is in the speed of manoeuvre. That requires the ability to get from one place to another safely and in a coordinated manner which in turn requires the use of an appropriate vehicle that can deliver forces in sufficient numbers. There will also be a requirement for system to support and protect the infantry, this seems to be another constant going back centuries.
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Old 4th Apr 2022, 10:31
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- all intentions and plans are known long before
- all moves can be observed anytime and reacted to by the opponents
that said, the Ukrainians do seem to have "kept their secrets - secret!"



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Old 4th Apr 2022, 10:38
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I was talking about the Russians.
Never in history the US have publicly shared that much TS information about upcoming military conflicts and detailed moves early on. It feels like the average western newspaper reader for months ahead knew more than the Russian military about what was intended and what would happen in detail.
I did not claim this war would be over soon and that there won't be nasty surprises.
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Old 4th Apr 2022, 14:25
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Originally Posted by Ninthace View Post
Too simplistic. What is to say that effective anti drone technology will not be developed or that armour will not be improved through the use novel materials and redesigned against attack from above. Much as I like air power, how do you occupy and dominate the ground without boots on it? There are limits to what a drone can achieve and it can only stay around for so long.
Your perspective may be quite right, but at least currently the technologies for drones (sensors, motors, powerpacks, processors and associated software) are progressing much faster than those for improving armor or for anti drone weapons.
It implies that the battle space will become much more lethal for everyone, as there is no good way to distinguish combatants from civilians. Drones can commit war crimes without anyone being directly at fault.
How that is reconciled with the subsequent effort to occupy the ground or to make peace is very murky.
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Old 4th Apr 2022, 14:29
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I see the main problem for negotiations and any peace treaty is that everything written and promised was broken at will. How can the West trust anything signed by Russia ever again? UN, Helsinki, Budapest, recent talks. Will we need to simply fight it out as there is no more credible diplomacy left?
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Old 5th Apr 2022, 07:25
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LH that's the problem in any war that doesn't finish with total occupation of the other country. Occasionally you get Regime change (Argentina 40 years ago) that increases your confidence but essentially if it's the same people on the other side all you're doing is stopping the fighting now but with a probability of renewed fighting in 10-20 years.

You start to think France v Germany - 1870, 1914, 1939
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Old 5th Apr 2022, 09:58
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I'm finding it hard to think of any conventional capabilities which Russia possesses which couldn't be relatively easily countered by any country with a well trained mil with access to western military tech. Air power? Not much to worry about here, and easily countered by even mid grade (by NATO standards) air defences. Ballistic and cruise missiles? Unlikely to be used in any number to be a major problem, and again potentially negated by air defences. Naval forces? Nothing much to worry about here either, apart from their use as a platform in launching the aforementioned cruise missiles. Tanks/AFVs? Again, nothing here of any note apart from their numbers, easily countered with man portable systems. Artillery? Problematic given the numbers employed and their indiscriminate use, but comparatively limited in range.

As for the prospects of Russia acquiring any peer capabilities across these areas, I can't see them doing it on their own given their shambolic efforts to date, not to mention their economic strictures. The only way they could realistically do it is by working with China, possibly buying their kit with all that could entail.

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