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Ah and I just cross-checked this one :

Understand Russia started its "special military operation" with a severe manpower deficit--200,000 attackers to some 600,000 defenders (or more). Classic attritional conflict was never an option. Russian victory required maneuver.

As the Ukrainian standing forces are about 200 000, Ritter seems to be counting enormous numbers of reservists, recent conscripts and probably civilians who have recently received handouts of guns.

And unverifiable numbers of foreign fighters. This conversation between two ex US Marines is illuminating:

As Jed sat across from me in the empty restaurant, with his shoulders hunched forward over the table and his palms cupped around the tea, he explained that since arriving in Ukraine at the end of February, he had been fighting as a volunteer along with a dozen other foreigners outside Kyiv. The past three weeks had marked him. When I asked how he was holding up, he said the combat had been more intense than anything he'd witnessed in Afghanistan. He seemed conflicted, as if he wanted to talk about this experience, but not in terms that could turn emotional. Perhaps to guard against this, he began to discuss the technical aspects of what he'd seen, explaining in granular detail how the outmanned, outgunned Ukrainian military had fought the Russians to a standstill.

First, Jed wanted to discuss anti-armor weapons, particularly the American-made Javelin and the British-made NLAW. The past month of fighting had demonstrated that the balance of lethality had shifted away from armor, and toward anti-armor weapons. Even the most advanced armor systems, such as the Russian T-90 series main battle tank, had proved vulnerable, their charred husks littering Ukrainian roadways.

When I mentioned to Jed that I'd fought in Fallujah in 2004, he said that the tactics the Marine Corps used to take that city would never work today in Ukraine. In Fallujah, our infantry worked in close coordination with our premier tank, the M1A2 Abrams. On several occasions, I watched our tanks take direct hits from rocket-propelled grenades (typically older-generation RPG-7s) without so much as a stutter in their forward progress. Today, a Ukrainian defending Kyiv or any other city, armed with a Javelin or an NLAW, would destroy a similarly capable tank.

I had reached a similar conclusion: the era of the tank, having lasted about 100 years as a dominant force in land warfare, would seem to be over. Clearly the Russians did not expect that.

Perhaps tanks are now like aircraft carriers : only useful in peacetime.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Mar 30th, 2022 at 11:19:50 AM EST
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