The Dream of the Quick War

By David Glenn Cox

I want to tell you a secret, but you can’t tell anyone that I told you. It should be announced later today that the US will provide Abrams tanks to the Ukraine. But that’s not the secret. There was a political log jam holding things up. As several allies were willing to offer Ukraine tanks, but no one wanted to be the first. Finally, Poland broke that log jam by offering up to fifty Leopard tanks. That gave Germany the political cover necessary to offer fifty more Leopards.

Now, the US will offer up to fifty Abrams tanks. This is a game changer. In Iraq, the Abrams tanks decimated the Russian built T-72 tanks. The Abrams tanks have a longer-range gun. It has a computer targeting system and all the high-tech wiz bang the Republicans wish to defund.

Every week or so, there has been some new rumor that Belarus will join the war against Ukraine. But the Russians have been “borrowing” equipment from Belarus. Leaving Belarus with empty warehouses. At the beginning of the War, Belarus was expected to join Russia. The Belorussian military strongly objected and threatened to revolt. The President/dictator, Alexander Lukashenko choose the wiser path as the military was the only thing keeping him in power.

It is another case of history repeating itself of history’s lessons needing to be relearned, yet again. The German’s invaded Russia in June of 1941 with over four million soldiers along an 1,800-mile front. Remember last year when the Russians invaded Ukraine along a large front? Several attacks along multiple fronts and some said, too many fronts. But the Germans had expected Russia to collapse, and the war would be all over in six weeks.

When it wasn’t over in six weeks, the Germans began to suffer serious supply issues. Every hundred miles farther into Russia was a hundred miles farther from Germany. The penalty for anticipating a short war is big, big trouble. Tanks, artillery and equipment all require maintenance which require parts. Parts which must be sent from hundreds and hundreds of miles away.

After the Battle of Stalingrad in 1942 where the Germans lost a quarter of a million men and equipment. The Germans no longer had the men or equipment to launch attacks on broad fronts. They had to make their attacks along a limited front. After the Russians failed to reach Kiev, Putin withdrew his forces to the south and began attacks along a more limited front in the South of Ukraine.

Also not in the news, Russian politicos have been defecting to the west in record numbers. Over twenty  high-ranking Russian officials have left town permanently, headed for the west. Putin calls them traitors and promises the usual Russian retribution. But it’s never a good sign when you replace senior commanders in the middle of a war and the politicians are running away from home.

Russia is running out of cruise missiles and artillery fire is down by 40% either due to ammunition shortages or worn artillery barrels or both. A Russian army of 275,000 men before the war has suffered an estimated 180,000 casualties. An air force of one thousand planes has lost nearly 300 front line aircraft. Ditto attack helicopters and over 6,000 trucks.

Everyone has heard about the Russian conscription and Russia using convicts in their army. Do you know how they are using their draftees and convicts? They’re being sent out on patrols with one magazine of ammunition each to locate Ukrainian positions by making themselves targets. AKA cannon fodder.

But I won’t hold up the secret anymore. Last month, I was a watching a news report from Europe. A cargo ship had just docked in Holland. It was loaded with hundreds of US military vehicles. Bradley fighting vehicles and Abrams tanks and Humvees. Maybe it was just a safeguard in case the war suddenly grew larger to backstop our allies. But more than likely, that’s where the fifty Abrams tanks will come from. And maybe they don’t count so good, maybe fifty, maybe more.

The Russian offensive in Bakhmut has stalled. The Russians are lacking equipment, and the Ukrainians have been playing rope a dope. Last week, the Russian took a few acres of land at the cost of 860 causalities and the next day 800 more. All for a measly couple of acres. It smacks of desperation equipment shortages and of irrational political demands to make progress or else! Demands such as those signal desperation.

So, why now? Spring is coming! Russia is losing steam. One hundred and fifty front line high-tech main battle tanks will change everything. Did you happen to notice the Russians are placing anti-aircraft systems on the roof tops of Moscow? Could it be because the Ukrainians are now  receiving new Bayraktar drones from Turkey? The jet powered models with a 900-kilometer range and a bomb loads of 1,500 pounds. It means Moscow is now in range but more importantly, so is the Crimea Bridge.

Just across the Dnipro River is the water works and pipeline which supplies Crimea with their fresh water. If you put all this together, the picture becomes obvious. A Russian military losing steam squandering men and equipment for impossible pointless political goals. Even Putin needs some good news for the six o’clock news sometimes. 1,600 dead men to buy a couple of acres of good news!

Crossing the Dnipro River will end all fresh water for Crimea. The advanced battle tanks will make that crossing possible. The new Bayraktar drones means Russian Navy base in Sevastopol is now in range. It means the Crimea Bridge will also be in range. The front door can now be forced open, while the back door can be slammed shut. There are only two ways in to Crimea and only two ways out.

Russia’s ultimate goal in Ukraine has been to defend Crimea. With 150 high-tech main battle tanks and long-range drones. The Russian position will rapidly become untenable. By the Ukrainians attacking from around Kherson, keeps Russian supply lines at hundreds of miles and is also the shortest possible route to retake Crimea. Taking out the Crimea Bridge closes that back door and will make resupply impossible.

Russia’s losses are unstainable, sanctions make replacements difficult or unavailable. Russian apologists warn that Putin could go nuclear, but there are two problems with that theory. First, it won’t do anything to advance Russia’s goals and would almost certainly guarantee the end of Putin’s regime, if not the end of Russia itself. Second, the prevailing winds would carry the deadly fallout right back over Russia.

From Napoleon to the Nazis, the dream of the quick war becomes the nightmare of the long war. There is still much going on beyond our eyes, but the picture is rapidly coming into focus.

“We will have no truce or parley with you, or the grisly gang who work your wicked will. You do your worst and we will do our best.” Perhaps it may be our turn soon; perhaps it may be our turn now.  – Winston Churchill

2 Thoughts

  1. Putin is not good for the Russians but they’re afraid of him. I had a great school teacher that was like that. Not good for prosperity. Crimea convenience of neutral zone but they don’t want democracy them being Russians by large or at least 82% as of a couple years ago I read generally. I’ll leave the knowing up to you David Glen Cox I can’t do keeping up in news too well.


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