Daily Archives: February 2, 2023
Wunderwaffen, Chapter Umpteenth
New Wunderwaffen are about (but see below) to be delivered to the faltering Ukrainian army. These Wunderwaffen come after several predecessors appeared to not be wonderful at all. I will mention here, and I am surely forgetting something:
Where all other Wunderwaffen have demonstrably failed, the tanks will, we are told, do the job; particularly because, as we are also assured, the Russians are extremely “demoralised” after “heavy losses” and the Country ready for “regime change” against a “dying” Putin.
It’s like seeing a drug addict taking bigger and bigger doses of Copium, after the previous ones showed ineffective.
General Zaluzhny told us 500 tanks will see him advance to and occupy the Crimea. He does not say what happened to the 1500+ tanks he had at the beginning of the conflict, plus the hundreds of Russian tanks he claims to have captured, plus the several hundreds of Soviet-era tanks received by the likes of Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia et alia. Those were all tanks the Ukrainians knew and were trained to operate, and for which the technical know-how, support vehicles and spare parts were readily available. These were, also, tanks specifically built for that war theatre, made to cope fairly well with the mud, get through the bridges, and not damage the roads.
Compare with the Challengers/Abrams/Leopard 2 of the world. You will need at least one year of training to make those tanks operate well together, time the Ukrainians don’t have unless they put Western mercenaries in them. They are,also, very heavy tanks unsuited to the muddy terrain (imagine a couple of thousand of Russian tanks going around as the Western ones are stuck in the mud), and which many Ukrainian bridges cannot carry. Also, there are no special trains for their transport, as the Ukraine has a different gauge than the West. There are also no special vehicles to recover the damaged ones, so that will have to be supplied, too; but only through a limited number of bridges, as the other won’t work. All repair will have to be done in Poland, imagine the fun! The specialised know-how for it will have to be recruited in the West.
They’ll need a lot of it. An Abrams needs 4 or 5 hours of maintenance for 1 hour of operation. These hours would only be spent of the tanks when they have been transported back hundreds of miles to the workshop, and then back again, possibly by truck until you manage to adapt the trains.
The logistics will also be great fun: Leclercs, Challengers, Leopard and Abrams will make for quite some work, and you have to create a separate logistic chain for them. The Challenger’s gun is rifled, the others smooth-bore. And oh, I forgot: the turbine-engined Abrams uses a special fuel, that is also highly inflammable, so that’s another logistics chain to add to your already massive amusement.
When all these problem have been “solved”, the Ukrainians will be exactly on square one, that is: exactly in the situation that saw certainly more than 1000, possibly many more, of their tanks destroyed in the first place. I seriously struggle to understand what would prevent the Russians from doing again what they already did when the Ukrainian had way more airplanes, missile defence systems, and tanks than they have now.
The reality is far more sobering than the Western triumphalism and fake optimism (which is getting more subdued by the month any way) would have you believe. Tanks don’t live in a vacuum. They are team players, parts of what needs to be team work. In order to operate effectively, they need great support from artillery (Russia dominates 10 to 1), infantry (Ukraine now has largely people taken from the street), armoured infantry (a massacre of Ukrainian armoured infantry vehicles happened there, too), and the air (Russia has clearly the advantage there).
Put those heterogeneous assembly of tanks to work, even if exclusively manned by experienced Western mercenaries, and they will be slaughtered in a matter of a few months.
Will they do damage? Yes.
Will they prolong the conflict? Certainly!
Will they change the outcome? Absolutely not.
In my eyes, these tanks are the fig leave of the West. They are the “we did all we could” excuse when the Western snowflakes experience a collective meltdown and can’t cope with the humiliation. They are the story the West will tell itself to try to look less dumb, or at least noble, when it has been plainly stupid from day one.
Last but not least (and I had hinted to this at the start): the timing.
The American will give sub-par Abrams which have to be built from scratch, because the precious composite armour they have should not fall in the hands of the Russians. The Brits will do something similar with their Challengers. The Cermans will deliver their own tanks piecemeal, because they need to be disassembled and completely revisioned to ensure cerman efficiency.
It almost looks like these promised deliveries are hoped to… never happen! What a surprise!
So this is where we are. More copium, more suffering, more destruction.
But who knows: some Western politicians might owe their political survival exactly to the tragedies they have wilfully encouraged.
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