By David Glenn Cox
It was Rochambeau who first advised a young General Washington, to always keep the militia in front of you. So that you might keep an eye on them. So that they might come to understand that any sudden loss of their courage on their part, will be met with the sudden loss of their lives. So, it is with untrained troops, unfamiliar with the sights of gore or the smell of blood and powder.
Let’s step back into the Way Back machine and set the dial for 1917. Bring your coat along Sherman; we’re headed for the Russian front. The Czar always bragged on his grand army. Huge numbers of rural men, drafted for wartime service. Some in full uniforms, other without. Some with fine weaponry, others with whatever was left in the warehouse.
“You men have each been issued a board with a nail in it! Use this board to kill the enemy when I yell “Charge!” Any questions? Good, your military training is now complete.”
Russian troops without warm blankets, without proper food, sleeping out under the stars in the cold. They were a paper tiger. The men would trade their weapons for a can of beans in a heartbeat. The stomach holds us captive and demands new tribute each day.
In this atmosphere, Stalin forecast the Communist Revolution would occur in the next five years. It occurred in the next six weeks. You could get away with intimidating your opponent back in the day by sticking huge numbers of men on the frontier, back when tanks were experimental, and aircraft were rare. Just like in the days of old, when them with the repeating rifles and you, with a handcrafted board with factory crafted nail in it. Squared off and begun to scrap.
Jumping back into the current century, let us visit the Russian War planning council. “The operation should take no more than three or four days! A week tops, comrade Generals.” The genesis of all problems, start right here. We don’t have enough food in the warehouse or the trucks available to move it. “It doesn’t matter comrade General; it will be all over in three days! Three days it will all be over, and it will all be ours, roll the film Yuri.
“Bbbrave Rrussian Ttroops, well trained and well-disciplined advance on all fronts equipped with state-of-the-art, modern Russian equipment.” As you can see in this exercise film, the Russian Army is unstoppable juggernaut. Numerous anti-aircraft units will sweep the skies clean of our enemies. So, you see comrade Generals, there is no need to worry.
The modern Russian stroking of its revolutionary cannons are the huge numbers of draft age, would be, soldiers lined up twelve miles thick, trying to flee the country. I’ve always said, “listen to the locals, if they think it’s time to go, then it’s time to go.” Almost as if these men know a thing or two about Russian military service, that the Generals don’t know.
Math is resolute, it doesn’t care about your ideology or your patriotism. If you don’t have enough trucks to mathematically resupply your troops. You will start to fall behind on day one, and fall down the stairs and into the logistics abyss from there. Running behind they push men and equipment and then the losses start to accelerate.
I was looking at Lymon, Ukraine, on Google Earth. Yes, I’m that nerdy. But what makes the picture interesting, is it isn’t a big town with a railroad yard. It’s a big railroad yard with a town around it. This is a railroad town. The two town assets are, the huge railroad yard and the paved road heading South. That’s it. If you’re looking go South, Lymon is where you start.
The loss of this town cuts the Russian supply route for three hundred miles. No more choo, choos from home! No more bullets and most importantly, no more food.
Russian conscripts are being advised to bring along a sleeping bag, if possible, to the training base. Also advised to bring along their own boots, if possible. If you already have a uniform, please wear it. Due to the recent surge in recruitment, we are running short of most of the popular sizes. Which do you prefer, too small or too large?
Conscripts say they’ve been dropped by the roadside and left to fend for themselves. Vodka Da! Food, Nyet! Sleeping out under stars on the cold ground with whatever cover they brought from home. Winter is coming and it’s easy enough to forget that here in Central Arizona, but hard to avoid in Central Europe. If you think the Russian troops are poorly prepared now, wait until the first freeze sets in and the snow begins to fly.
But they aren’t being readied for offensive action, theirs will be futile defensive actions to prop up a disintegrating front with poorly equipped warm bodies. Putin attempts to pump up patriotic fervor by declaring the land he is losing in fact, a part of Russia forever in fiction.
Hyperbolic flag displays and patriotic song singing, iron fisted beating up protestors who would be better left alone. You don’t have enough problems? So, you start a war a home too? Nothing says, “Well in control, like beating up protestors and little girls in the town square.”
Powering the exodus and summoning the collapse. Estimates of up to one million Russian men fleeing their homes and their jobs in a week. Tearing holes in what’s left of the economy.
The media likes to play this off as quizzical, “Gee, I wish we knew what was going on.” The Russian army is collapsing. That’s what it looks like, It’s been pushed as far as it can for as long as it can. The equipment losses are staggering, over one thousand trucks, when they started on day one without enough trucks. They were equipped for three days, and it’s now been seven months. Estimate of 60,000 Russian casualties when the initial invasion force was little more than a 100,000.
Riddle me this Batman if you can’t supply your current army at the front. How are you going to raise a new army from the farm boys, criminals, and derelicts of the Republics? Other missing military hardware items include toothbrushes and toothpaste. Soap and socks and linens and clean underwear. Beds and buildings to put the beds in. New mattresses from this new century of ours, without the unsightly mold, blood and shit stains from prior conflicts. And everybody’s favorite, food.
The Russian mobilization is the cluster cherry on the fluster cluck war. Units that were sent to war unaware and promised they’d be home in a week. Annihilated and forced to defend check points zeroed in by snipers and artillery. Military planning that doesn’t seem to have any goals. Just waiting to be punched again. Just trying to hang on with terror and torture.
But all of Putin’s actions spell immediate crisis and possible imminent collapse of Russian forces. The Ukrainian surrender phoneline has been swamped with those seeking information on the proper terms of surrender. Surrender offers escape to those captured and escape offers freedom to those who surrender.
If the locals won’t fight for it, it won’t be around too much longer. Ask the Czar, how cold does it get in November? And when’s the right time to evacuate your family from the Winter Palace? The time grows short Yuri. Roll the film again. “Bbbrave Rrussian Ttroops, well trained and well-disciplined advance on all fronts equipped with state-of-the-art, modern Russian equipment.”
“If then, I were asked for the most important advice I could give, that which I considered to be the most useful to the men of our century, I should simply say: in the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you.”
― Leo Tolstoy