Falling through the universe at the speed of life

By David Glenn Cox

It is a most unique story; despite war’s wearing a well-worn path. Napoleon’s men abandoned valuable cannon and shot after retreating from Moscow due to hunger and exhaustion. Having eaten their horses there was no other alternative. The Germans abandoned their vehicles in the Battle of the Bulge, after the weather cleared and they ran out of gas. Losing equipment is not how you go about winning a war and is a definite signal, that you aren’t winning.

“Where the fuck is our air cover?” Reported last transmission from the Captain of the “Moskov.” The Captain doesn’t know what’s wrong, but the average Russian private does. The Ukrainians were interviewing this Russian kid wearing a military uniform. Peach fuzz recruit haircut and peach fuzz all over. He had the look of a puppy dog full growd, but not yet mature. The last puppy out of the box, just a big kid in a grown-up world. They asked him his commander’s name, and he complied. What was the Battalion commander’s name? And what was his boss’s name?

The kid freely gave names. And then said he wasn’t sure of the Battalion commander’s name because was new, and nobody in the unit had ever met him. They were living in a trench, with what they called a “Bunker” at one end. A dug-out dirt room with sandbags and few sheets of plywood overhead. In the event of artillery useless. Which is why Russian troops often adopted an alternative strategy called, “Run for it!”

Think of the most dystopic novel or movie and multiply it seventy times seven. The kid said that his own commander was holed up in the basement of a house a quarter mile away. That he was afraid of his own men and was guarded in the house by the reconnaissance squad. That was supposed to be out doing…I don’t know…reconnaissance? To visit the commander, you had to disrobe and empty your pockets, before they’d let you in. Like mobsters making sure you weren’t wearing a wire.

Only three men in his outfit had shot themselves to avoid combat, and only one accidently! A Junior officer, so fearful he slept with his rifle at night. Kids don’t try this at home! But if you do, always remember this important little Roy Rogers rifle safety tip! “When sleeping with a loaded weapon partners, especially with the safety off, it’s always best to point your rifle towards your feet.” The kid continued, Then they issued an order; if you could stand and hold a rifle in one hand, you were fit for combat.

They only saw officers every once in a while, and they never answered their questions about what was going on, or what they were doing or why. So, one day, the kid heard a bunch commotion outside the bunker. He thought it was his comrades, but it was the Ukrainians. “Way to keep a sharp look out fellas!” His comrades had run for it as fast as their fat little legs would carry them, and without so much as a word of warning. “Oh shit! Bye!”

The food is bad when available, crackers, and potted meat, with instant soup packets. M, M, good. Just pop it in the microwave and…oh. Right, we don’t have a microwave. The kid said he had heard of another unit with 200 dead, and they just buried the bodies rather than send them home and have to explain about them. He was asked why he didn’t desert? Because they shoot deserters. They shoot at their own men and beat them if they don’t like their answers.

The kid explained one officer threatened his unit by pulling the pin on a hand grenade and raring back like he was gonna throw it at them if they didn’t move. One unit was ordered to the front and got about halfway there and changed their minds about visiting and just went back to base. “Just not feeling it today! We just don’t feel warlike today.”

Duh! Big machines and armored vehicles leave fresh tracks in dirt Kemosabe. Especially, when trying to fit or parallel park tanks or heavy vehicles into tree lines over freshly plowed farm fields. Leaving the telltale tracks spotted by drones which send plenty artillery shells their way. The Russians can’t seem to figure out how the Ukrainians keep finding them. It could the complete map of all the Russian cell phones operating in Ukraine. “How do they keep finding our supply depots?”

The Russian air force is effectively neutered. When you go to war and lose 200 aircraft, you just lost your best 200 aircraft. You will now have to make do with whatever is left and curtail operations. Likewise with helicopters, it’s not just the machines, it’s the pilots. The Russian  Black Sea fleet, the one’s still watertight had attack submarines fire torpedo tube launched cruise missiles at land-based targets.

Attack submarines per the name, generally attack other ships, not land based targets. You don’t do that because it’s smart to do. You do that because you have to do it. Don’t look now, but I think that somebodies running out of cruise missiles.

Vladimir Putin has a dilemma on his hands, he’s told his people that this is a Special Military Operation, and no big deal. Yet, it just goes on and on. He can’t call for a general mobilization without Putin admitting that he’s screwed the pooch. Reports circulate of an attempted or unsuccessful coup in Moscow. But given the Russian military situation, rumors like that should be expected. And if not true this time, maybe will be true next time.

Despite the Ukrainian loss of Mariupol, the Russian Army losses are nearly insurmountable. Air superiority lost. Air force, lost. Black Sea fleet, lost. Russian vehicles, the best they had, lost by the hundreds and hundreds. Abandoned by simple Russian soldiers who knew just exactly how incompetent the Russian military was, even if the Captain or the General, has been unable to figure it out… until now.

“Where the fuck is our air cover?”

“Now, when your weapons are dulled, your ardor damped, your strength exhausted and your treasure spent, other chieftains will spring up to take advantage of your extremity. Then no man, however wise, will be able to avert the consequences that must ensue.” – Sun Tzu

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