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Alarich II

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  1. This war is an attack on the "old" world order of treaties and international cooperation. It's an effort to shift the political gears back into 19th century mode and if that succeeds, then we will (and we already do) see a significant increase in production and supply of arms worldwide. To cite Mao: "Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun". And in an unstable world order, most countries will need more, propably a lot more, guns - if only to protect themselves from neighbours like Russia. Even if (and that's a big if) Ukraine can regain their occupied territories and there is some kind of armistice, both sides will dig in at the LOC and prepare for the next round some years down the road. The destroyed equipment is going to be replaced by more and modern gear and this is not going to take decades. The sanctions against Russia are already being undermined by China and this will continue, and Russias production capabilities, while hampered by sanctions, are untouched by war (unlike Ukraines industrial production); meanwhile all countries in Europe are ramping up their military budgets and production, Japan is massively increasing military spending, so does China and the US are preparing for a confrontation in the Pacific. When this war is over, every side will have more than sufficient gear to supply their favourite dictator for a new war in an effort to stake out their claims and the more instable the old world order gets, the worse it will be.
  2. IIRC the French AMX-10RC still has a 105mm cannon, and at least Greece also has active Leo1s. These two will definitively have und produce 105mm shells, question is if it's enough. This calibre may not be very effective against modern MBTs but against fortified positions, infantry and light armour, (in situations for close infantry support) it still is very much an effective weapon. Also, I've heard the idea that instead of direct fire support, the T55s can be used for indirect fire - with a much greater range (10-14km), but of course even worse accuracy.
  3. I agree; we mustn't forget that this is a NATO specific paper, so there is a clear focus on defending NATO territory - especially in Europe, so there are some general points wrt to drone use, strategic communication, data-based combat, artillery etc. but also very defense-specific, eurocentric points like the decentralized defense and jagdkampf-strategies, robust rail logistics etc. and a notable absence of any points about air combat, probably because this is one area, where NATO is far ahead of Russia or Ukraine. But I hope that the points mentioned in this paper will enter the broader political discussion here in Germany.
  4. Link to an excellent paper on lessons learned how to beat Russia. It is very long but the two page summary at the beginning gives a very good overview.
  5. Well, the Ukrainians have a legitimate government. And they want to keep it that way.
  6. With the exception of Kaliningrad of course. Although interesting that they would voice this idea at all, I don't think it there really is a genuine separatist feeling within a sufficiently large part of the population of these regions.
  7. Some you may die, but it's a sacrifice I am willing to make.
  8. Let's face it: on the European theater, there is no short term viable alternative to the Leopard II as a western MBT for Ukraine. The Challenger II is a fine MBT, but there are fare too few around and afaik no production at the moment. Same goes for the Leclerc. The Abrams is out of production as well and although there are still many around, most of the would have to be refitted and then transported to Europe. The Leopard II is still in production, it is available in significant numbers because many Western armies use it, training facilities in Poland, Germany and other countries are plenty, logistics, spare parts production etc. is already up and running. The only thing is that we have to convince the SPD...
  9. It's not, the main feature of mines is that they reliably explode when triggered and with equal reliability don't explode when not triggered. The duds from unexploded cluster ammo do not work like mines, they may explode on their own or not at all, they are are not very effective against armoured troops and the actual dud-rate is too low. Rapidly laying minefields in an ongoing battle is usually a combined arms operation where usually a pioneer company of some sorts lays out a minefield (sometimes using mine launchers like the Skorpion) which is then usually guarded by mechanized infantry. The point is that you do not want to lay minefields where you cannot observe them, because in mechanized warfare (at least under the doctrine when I was a conscript) minefiels deny, delay or funnel enemy movement. Especially on the retreat they are used to create favourable spots for delaying action where you can engange a superior enemy, delay their movement, retreat ot positions from where to counterattack. And it is therefore of vital importance to know exactly where you put your mines because you do not want your counterattack running into your own minefields.
  10. Two points, because I think your long post boils down to this: 1. What is a reasonable Russian position? They invaded Ukraine and it would be reasonable to withdraw from this invasion and negotiate a peace. But this is not going to happen: After the official annexation of four Ukrainian oblasts, Putin himself has basically ruled out any "reasonable" position, because the Russian constitution rules out ceding any Russian territory. In Russian terms, this is now Russian territory, therefore they have to be defended and Putin has basically tied himself and all his successors to the mast of this ship. It is the political mirror of Putins military "holding orders" for Kherson and Lyman. He has left no room for a position that is reasonable to Russia and the West and so, the arms deliveries have to go on and very probably have to be increased to force Russia into a "reasonable" position. 2. Of course, the West has very clear reasons to share the objective of reclaiming the entirety of the Ukrainian territory for several reasons: a) Russia, the US and the UK have as per memorandum of Budapest, affirmed the territorial integrity of Ukraine within its existing borders of 1994. Ukraine gave up its nukes in return for this (and Russia got a ton of money to dispose of them). Obviously, already one of these nuclear powers not respecting what it signed, is a huge blow for any efforts of nuclear nonproliferation, if the other two were to accept this, we are opening a pandoras box. So these two powers have significant interest in the restitution of Ukrainian territorial integrity - including Crimea - if only to preserve the current order of nuclear powers and send a clear signal that the deal "territorial integrity against nonproliferation" will be held up, with signifianct conventional military investment if need be. b) European powers in general have agreed to agree on the post 1945 borders for all European states. This doesn't prevent the disintegration of states like Czechoslovakia or Jugoslavia, but the basic consensus, at least in Europe, was that no state will expand its territory at the expense of another after the borders were drawn in 1945 (except I think the US never officially recognised the Soviet annexation of the Baltic states). First and foremost, Germany who had lost about a third of her territory after 1945, was integrated into this peace order which held up remarkably well. If we were to give up this peace order and accept that states can claim or reclaim territory of other states, then the European peace order will fall apart. What would happen, if Germany says, okay, so we are now investing into massive rearmament and btw. we are fine with the Russian precedent and btw. Kaliningrad belonged to Russia longer than Crimea ever did... this would be catastrophic. So not accepting any revision of state borders and supporting this with significant military support, is also an important signal: of course to people like Orban who are talking about a Greater Hungary, but also to Germany. c) Those states who are within the boundaries of "Greater Russia", i.e. the sphere in which Russia claims the right to dictate policies and to territory, based on historic imperial expansion (which reaches as far as Warsaw), have a very keen interest in self preservance and so, their objective is probably the most far reaching: beyond just the territorial integrity, they do have an interest in decisive Russian defeat on all fronts - military, economic and cultural and long-lasting weakening of Russian ambition (I linked an interesting speech in Russian by an Estonian MP who basically spelled this out in the last Ukr. Thread). We see first developments of this already: in Latvia, the strongest opposition party which had it's roots in the big Russian community, has failed to enter parliament after the last elections. So the cultural grip of Russia on ethnic Russians abroad is already faltering. In conclusion - the US and most European powers do share the Ukrainian objective of reclaiming the territories that Russia has invaded. Some may have even further objectives and those are the ones who are most vocal about NATO membership, weapons deliveries etc. Germany has to make a decision - either be part of the European peace order and therefore signal its willingness to defend it (which has been so far the decision). Or try, with the help of Russia, to overturn it and become a revisionist power. I strongly prefer the first over the latter. But affirmation that the West has no clear reason to support the main objective of Ukraine, wich is the full restitution of its territorial integrity, doesn't hold up to scrutiny. On the contrary, the west has very clear and comprehensible reasons to share that objective.
  11. We harvested our apples and pears during the last three weeks, unfortunately all the plums have terribly suffered from the draught, so there was nothing there. And the same for elderberry. But our pears were glorious, big, sweet and plenty of them. The apples were 50/50 - the old trees (60 years and older) did still get some water; especially our old Boskoop had huge, but not very many, apples. The others had many, but small apples The biggest part of the apple and pear harvest went into our mincer and from there to the juice squeezer. From the juice I made a batch of apple must and a batch of perry and a batch of juice for the kids. The perry was a bit lacking on the acid, of which the apple must had plenty, so after 10 days, I made a 50/50 blend of the two. Which tastes so good, that I'm afraid it won't even last until christmas. The rest went into pear jam and jelly, apple purée, dried apples, pear compote and other stuff, which will (hopefully) last us until the end of next spring.
  12. That would be far beyond any Russian drone technology we've seen in this war so far. One possible explanation I've seen circulating on Twitter is that is has to do with a Russian flotilla that was operating south of Gotland / west of Oland in January this year and did include two ships ("Fortuna" and "Katun") that helped to building the pipeline. Maybe they put remote-controlled charges in place in preparation for their war? Although this would demonstrate a level of planning that was absent in almost every other aspect of the war and also this area is quite some distance to the damaged parts of the pipeline. Others say it was the Americans, because they had opposed this pipeline from the beginning.
  13. We cannot 100% rule out that it was WW2 ammo that has remained undetected when the pipeline was built and just randomly went off now, there's still quite a bit of that in the Baltic Sea. But it is very, very unlikely, which according to the seismic surveillance basically leaves only sabotage. But the question is: how? Because as far as Russian marine activities go, we know nearly everything - NATO surveillance net in the Baltics is very tight. These pipelines are extremely robust, you cannot simply have diver put a small charge to it. Same problem with depth charges - the pipeline is at the bottom of the sea and the main explosive charge of any underwater explosion will go upwards. Finding out, how this pipeline was damaged will be extremely important.
  14. I am afraid the "what if" scenario should also include an accident in of the nuclear power plants. Tbh, I ordered potassium iodite pills just in case there is a nuclear accident in Ukraine and the weather is unfavorable. Its not a big deal just to have a few packs at home - I have two kids and I prefer to be prepared rather than queue at the pharmacy in an emergency.
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