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Ukraine #17: Is There Life on HIMARS?


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12 hours ago, Derfel Cadarn said:

The problem surely is equipping and transporting these milkion soldiers. Not just getting then to Ukraine (which woukd cost a fortune in fuel alone) but in moving them aboit. Surely nowhere near enough APC’s to move around battleground

Said this before - I personally have wrestled with getting vehicles that were 'parked' for a long time - multiple years - operational again. I know others, including professional and backyard mechanics who have done the same. Going from the comments on this thread and linked pieces to Twitter and elsewhere, my take is the Russian military is going to be doing damn good if they get even a quarter of those mothballed trucks up and running. Note - I said 'running,' not 'properly repaired' - that's one of the biggies that crops up with vehicles that have been 'parked' for a while - yes, you can (sometimes) get them to where they'll run, but given the rust and rot and other issues, it is likely they won't remain running for very long - at least not without full rebuilds, which takes skilled people, who seem to be in short supply there.

My guess is the amateur hour mechanics the Russian's do have *might* be able to get a fifth (?) of those rigs up and running - but they will run like shit and will have major issues inside of the first thousand miles or so. (I have no idea where that would put them in Ukraine)

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I was sitting next to a Ukrainian man from Bucha on the train today (heartbreaking to hear from a survivor, see photos on his phone etc.) - a bit surreal when I showed him this thread (though his English wasn't good enough to follow it), but I think he needed to know people know what is happening. Will post more tomorrow.

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Just now, straits said:

Why did you show him this thread?

Hmmm? To show that Ukraine is not alone, and individuals from many different nations know Ukraine is in the right and support their struggle. That on the world stage Russia is currently a pariah.  

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I don't think commenting on the struggle translates to active support, from any of us. And it looks like Russia is a pariah in (mostly western) parts of the world that share an ideological slant... but it was a pariah there before, too. Africa, China, India and parts of LatAm seem vaguely uninterested.

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Interesting information on how Ukraine was forced to buy coal from the separatist regions of their own country to fuel their utilities, but had to do so on the black market through separatist regions in Georgia because corruption in the breakaway areas of Ukraine is so bad.

Report: In Crimea and the Donbas, Organized Crime Reigns Supreme (occrp.org)

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1 hour ago, ThinkerX said:

Said this before - I personally have wrestled with getting vehicles that were 'parked' for a long time - multiple years - operational again. I know others, including professional and backyard mechanics who have done the same. Going from the comments on this thread and linked pieces to Twitter and elsewhere, my take is the Russian military is going to be doing damn good if they get even a quarter of those mothballed trucks up and running. Note - I said 'running,' not 'properly repaired' - that's one of the biggies that crops up with vehicles that have been 'parked' for a while - yes, you can (sometimes) get them to where they'll run, but given the rust and rot and other issues, it is likely they won't remain running for very long - at least not without full rebuilds, which takes skilled people, who seem to be in short supply there.

My guess is the amateur hour mechanics the Russian's do have *might* be able to get a fifth (?) of those rigs up and running - but they will run like shit and will have major issues inside of the first thousand miles or so. (I have no idea where that would put them in Ukraine)

Absolutely!  I have some experience with this as well.  Also, my father was an auto mechanic for 40+ years and, at the very least, one picks up some mechanical knowledge by osmosis.   Even if everything else with those old, mothballed vehicles is fine, which is likely not the case, the seals/gaskets will be dried out.

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There's also that story from early in the conflict of a Russian officer who was ordered to make ready hundreds of reserve tanks for deployment, went to inspect them, and then shot himself stone dead because the entire fleet was completely unusable and he didn't want to report that. They'd been ransacked (many times over) for parts, the treads were useless, upgrades and maintenance that had been performed on paper had not happened in reality (and the funds allocated had just vanished) and so forth.

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9 minutes ago, Werthead said:

There's also that story from early in the conflict of a Russian officer who was ordered to make ready hundreds of reserve tanks for deployment, went to inspect them, and then shot himself stone dead because the entire fleet was completely unusable and he didn't want to report that. They'd been ransacked (many times over) for parts, the treads were useless, upgrades and maintenance that had been performed on paper had not happened in reality (and the funds allocated had just vanished) and so forth.

Oh yeah!  Well...good!  I hope none of that old equipment is usable for them.

 

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2 hours ago, ThinkerX said:

Said this before - I personally have wrestled with getting vehicles that were 'parked' for a long time - multiple years - operational again. I know others, including professional and backyard mechanics who have done the same. Going from the comments on this thread and linked pieces to Twitter and elsewhere, my take is the Russian military is going to be doing damn good if they get even a quarter of those mothballed trucks up and running. Note - I said 'running,' not 'properly repaired' - that's one of the biggies that crops up with vehicles that have been 'parked' for a while - yes, you can (sometimes) get them to where they'll run, but given the rust and rot and other issues, it is likely they won't remain running for very long - at least not without full rebuilds, which takes skilled people, who seem to be in short supply there.

My guess is the amateur hour mechanics the Russian's do have *might* be able to get a fifth (?) of those rigs up and running - but they will run like shit and will have major issues inside of the first thousand miles or so. (I have no idea where that would put them in Ukraine)

This is absolutely true.  I daily drive a 1967 Ford pickup eight months of the year, except in the summer, when it is too hot.

Even getting my lovingly-cared for truck running properly in the fall, after sitting for just three or four months on a trickle charger, is a task requiring about two days of effort and at least a week of running rough.  And inevitably some bits need to be replaced every fall.  And this is in a dry, warm Arizona garage, not outside in the cold, wet Siberian forests.

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5 hours ago, Werthead said:

The Russians were, quite rightly, annoyed with the Americans and Brits massively underselling the Soviet contribution to victory in WWII during the Cold War and the occasional American historian who declared that the Soviet success was solely down to US support. However, some Russian sources, especially recently, tend to go the other way and dismiss the American and British contributions as completely pointless and Russia did 99.9% of all the work to beat Hitler, which is likewise inaccurate.

It’s an unfortunate feature of all military alliances that nationalist historians will claim their own country did it all.

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Perun had a YouTube video about artillery which was fairly informative.  One thing I hadn't thought of was that the Russians bragging about using 30 to 60k shells a day is actually stupid.  You want artillery to get results, you're not firing it for it's own sake.  If the Russians are firing 60k shells in a day, that is the equivalent of wearing out 15 arty barrels per day.  That is, in fact, huge.  We're 150+ days into this way.

Yes, the Russians have a huge reserve of older artillery pieces, but they have a limited number of post 2000 era artillery, and there's definitely reason to think those barrels are getting used up.  Could they be replacing those barrels in a large scale program?  They could, if those spares are already on hand.  But there's no indication that is happening.  And if the Ukrainians launch a big counteroffensive in coming months, Russian artillery may be much less accurate than it was in February.

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Apparently Russian forces in the south are "alarmed" by the size of the Ukrainian forces building up to the north and north-west and have been rushing reinforcements into the area. However, they seem uncertain about the precise axis of attack, and are stringing out these reinforcements from Kherson to Melitopol and then north to Zaporizhia, which is a huge front to defend against.

According to UK MoD analysts, Ukrainian forces started applying pressure to the Kherson front in earnest over a month ago and have succeeded in retaking small amounts of territory favourable to launch a counter-offensive. They have held this territory against Russian counter-attacks, inflicting serious casualties on the Russians in the process.

The Russians seem to be trying to reinforce the southern front whilst simultaneously conducting limited offensives (characterised more as a offensive reconnaissance) in the Donbas. Both Russian and overseas analysts seem to agree that Russia should make a choice on what it wants to do, as trying to mount a fresh offensive in the Donbas (presumably to take Donetsk Oblast) against heavy Ukrainian positions whilst also defending against a possible major counter-attack aimed at Kherson may be beyond Russia's current manpower situation, which the UK MoD and several sources now view as dangerously stretched thin.

Some Russian sources are playing down the situation, however, saying their defensive bulwarks around Kherson are strong enough to repulse any attack and their reinforcements are enough to commit to the Donestk offensive.

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On 7/16/2022 at 8:04 AM, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

American logistical support of the Soviet effort during the “Great Patriotic War” (WWII) is rarely mentioned in Russian historical discussions I’ve been made to understand…

This is a 2 way failure though, as many Americans are not enlightened to the extensive sacrifices and contributions the Red Army made chasing the Germans back to Berlin.

The losses borne were unfathomable. Including stupendous amounts of losses to Ukranians 

"3 to 4 million non-Jewish Ukrainians were killed during the occupation; other sources estimate ...

Reichskommissariat Ukraine - Wikipedia"

Seems like were very good at teaching the D-Day to Eagles Nest narrative, while the Eastern front gets a little lost in Western discussions.

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47 minutes ago, DireWolfSpirit said:

This is a 2 way failure though, as many Americans are not enlightened to the extensive sacrifices and contributions the Red Army made chasing the Germans back to Berlin.

The losses borne were unfathomable. Including stupendous amounts of losses to Ukranians 

"3 to 4 million non-Jewish Ukrainians were killed during the occupation; other sources estimate ...

Reichskommissariat Ukraine - Wikipedia"

Seems like were very good at teaching the D-Day to Eagles Nest narrative, while the Eastern front gets a little lost in Western discussions.

Give the forum some credit, as I do. 
 

On the whole, we know this. 

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3 hours ago, DireWolfSpirit said:

This is a 2 way failure though, as many Americans are not enlightened to the extensive sacrifices and contributions the Red Army made chasing the Germans back to Berlin.

The losses borne were unfathomable. Including stupendous amounts of losses to Ukranians 

"3 to 4 million non-Jewish Ukrainians were killed during the occupation; other sources estimate ...

Reichskommissariat Ukraine - Wikipedia"

Seems like were very good at teaching the D-Day to Eagles Nest narrative, while the Eastern front gets a little lost in Western discussions.

I’m well aware the Soviets bore the huge brunt in lives losts in fighting the Nazis.

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Geezus you guys I'm speaking about society in general. Comment isn't meant narrowly to the posters here.

I'll allow the optimism that maybe people are learning about it more broadly in the internet age. But for generations previous, it wasn't in many (Western) Cold War era school books in an objective way.

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56 minutes ago, DireWolfSpirit said:

Geezus you guys I'm speaking about society in general. Comment isn't meant narrowly to the posters here.

I'll allow the optimism that maybe people are learning about it more broadly in the internet age. But for generations previous, it wasn't in many (Western) Cold War era school books in an objective way.

Credit to Alan Clark, whose work “Barbarossa” in 1965, was probably the first popular Western history to give the Red Army its due.  

Edited by SeanF
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47 minutes ago, SeanF said:

Credit to Alan Clark, whose work “Barbarossa” in 1965, was probably the first popular Western history to give the Red Army its due.  

Nice.

And note the description for it at Amazon-

Many histories of the Second World War written by American and English authors downplay Russia's critical role in the Allied triumph over Germany. Some of this has to do with the Cold War rivalry that emerged after 1945, and perhaps more of it comes from a lack of Russian source material and unfamiliarity with the Russian language. 

Pretty much agreeing with what I posted earlier.

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