Monday, May 25, 2015

Another "Bloodiest Battle"

As was promised in the Bloodiest Battle post, I did catch it. Here it is:

At this stage the only explanation that can be given to this blatant propaganda, and, believe me, in the documentary itself, some US 3rd Army's veterans DO TALK about the Battle of Arracourt as some kind of tank Armageddon, is complex of inferiority, which comes with self-proclaimed exceptionalism. Other than that, I can not possibly explain the stream of blatant lies, exaggerations in a face of irrefutable facts. Propaganda, of which these snippets of the TV programming are but a drop in the bucket of the immense effort in rewriting the history of WW II in US. 

The Battle of Arracourt was nothing more than a division force (in reality even weaker), week long, clash of Patton's 3rd Army elements with the elements of 5th Panzer Army, which resulted in about 100 tanks and self-propelled guns lost on both sides. An excellent narrative to all this Lorraine Campaign is given by superb US Army In WW II:


How this all merited a special presentation is beyond me. As overview states the realities of what Patton was facing:

The German defenders were critical of, but grateful for, Patton's decision to a broad front of nine divisions spread out over 60 miles. In particular, they felt that the Americans made a grave error in not concentrating their three armored divisions into one corps for a knockout blow. The 3 panzer divisions in Lorraine were down to 13, 7, and 4 tanks respectively, a fact that Patton was well aware of, thanks to Ultra. On paper, there were 12 German divisions facing Third Army's 9, but in reality, the defenders possessed just 1 battalion for each 4 miles of front. Therefore, Patton's decision to tie his armored divisions to the infantry enabled the Germans to delay the Third Army with a thin screen and pull the bulk of their forces back into the Westwall.

But the real overview is the matter of me finally finishing my big job (it is almost done) and getting down to the realities of the Western Front. Needless to say, that looking at the realities of Kursk Battle makes any discussion about "largest tank to tank battle" at Arracourt an exercise in futility. But here, we have to get to a genius of an actor George C. Scott, his Oscar-winning portrayal of Patton, and to the first page of Ladislas Farago's 


Monday, May 18, 2015

Despicable A-holes (not all, though)

The behavior of Russian hockey players after losing to Canada 6-1 in IIHF 2015 World Championship final game in Prague is despicable. It is an example of disgrace and loss of any sports (and not only sports) honor.  It is also a disservice to their country.

The only thing I have to say here--what a bunch of sore losers! Disgusting!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Immortal Regiment

It has been three days since the end of celebration of the 70th Anniversary of Victory in Great Patriotic War in Russia. A lot has been already written about a magnificent parade and what happened after it. I decided to take several days to come to terms with what really happened. Here are some of my thoughts.

The parade was magnificent and so is the hysteria in Western media. In fact, it is enjoyable. In the culture dominated by shallow appearances, manipulation of perceptions, which somehow is called political "science" and "journalism" (one may even get Ph.D in these "fields") and with the lack of substance, Moscow's parade was a sight to behold precisely for its substance, not, however magnificent, appearance. I will omit here the obvious geopolitical impact of political leaders, representing about the half of the planet's population, being present on the Red Square--so much for "isolation"--I want to concentrate on other signs. 

1. "Armata". The bad news for West's "hawks" (most of them--chickenhawks, who never served a day in any armed forces) are next:

a) "Armata" platform and T-14 Armata Main Battle Tank is not about some appearances, albeit the tank and family of Kurganets and Armata-platform vehicles do look futuristic, but about what Russian Armed Forces were working on since mid-2000s--Net Centric Warfare (NCW). The NCW concept is a brain child of brilliant late American Admiral Cebrowski disclosed to the military world in late 1990s and it is evolving ever since. The idea of nodes, constituting a network, whose value is proportional to the number of nodes (Metcalf's Law) and their interactions, sensor and data fusion, issues of information superiority are immensely powerful ideas capable to define the outcome on the future battlefield. 

For those interested, a superb summary by Alberts, Garstka and Stein:

 Well, T-14 Armata is it. The tank has an unprecedented array of sensors, including AESA radar, which makes it possible to create a whole coverage over battlefield and be both a node and a command node fully integrated into the network. Tank is also capable of operating unmanned, as a drone. Throw in here all those other pesky things like the system of defense and countermeasures and you get the picture. It is the future. But Russia, is not supposed to be able to field more than several prototypes because its economy is "shredded to pieces" (c) and sanctions are about to destroy it?  Right? Wrong! 

b) During Putin's meeting with military-economic block in Sochi today it was revealed (drum roll) that Russian Armed Forces are financed fully and, in fact, the tempo of modernization only increased. 

 c) So, all those "analysts" who are going apoplectic at their, yet another, failure to predict anything (it will happen to you once you begin to trust Russian "liberal" sources and US NGOs in Russia), understand what is going on as much as I understand the rules of blernsball from Futurama. 

Obviously, not all of those US "Russia specialists" are dumb as f.cks (most are, however), Roger McDermot of US Army Staff College certainly recognized (within the wrong framework, though) what was going on long before T-14 rolled out to the Red Square.

Russian Perspective on Network-Centric Warfare

So, basically, Russia rolled out a completely NCW capable armored force and with it, Russia defined the future of the warfare as based in the combined arms operations by large formations. Remember COIN? Big continental powers are not defined by COIN capability, they are defined by the ability to sustain standing armies capable of large scale operations. Russia simply reclaimed its status, she also presented the best weapons available for the job of being independent and militarily mighty nations which will not take sh.t from anyone, including US and NATO. The hysteria in the West (and especially in US) ensued. Ah yes...T-14 and Armata-platform vehicles look...gorgeous and sexy. 

d) If the decision to resume production of TU-160s turns out to be a practical decision, and there are no reasons to believe otherwise so far, considering Russia's arsenal of cruise missiles this could be a very bad news for proponents of Prompt Global Strike since Kh-101 missile is a true stand off weapon which could be launched way beyond the reach of US interceptors. 

2. But it was the Immortal Regiment march of 12 million all over Russia (500 000 in Moscow alone) which did what no military technology is capable of. On May 9, all over Russia, spirits of Borodino and Stalingrad, Kursk and Battle of Moscow were present. Because, as Tolstoy stated in the greatest prose ever written:

"But all the general and soldiers of [Napoleon’s] army…experienced a similar feeling of terror before an enemy who, after losing half his men, stood as threateningly at the end as at the beginning of the battle. The moral force of the attacking French army was exhausted. Not that sort of victory which is defined by the capture of pieces of material fastened to sticks, called standards, and of the ground on which the troops had stood and were standing, but a moral victory that convinces the enemy of the moral superiority of his opponent and of his own impotence was gained by the Russians at Borodino…The direct consequence of the battle of Borodino was Napoleon’s senseless flight from Moscow… and the downfall of Napoleonic France, on which at Borodino for the first time the hand of an opponent of stronger spirit had been laid"(c)

Tolstoy, War And Peace.  

Russia finally found its spiritual pivot, and the totality of an immense Russian culture and history finally fused together in the midst of those millions of people who carried photos of their relatives who defeated Naziism. That, the historic memory of people, the immense shared historic experience, can not be erased and it will not be erased. That is the victory which the whole world, some with joy, others spewing bile, observed on May 9. And that was way more important than any parade or an advanced military technology, which are the derivatives of the national spirit, which finally found the way out. 


Friday, May 8, 2015

Victory Day

May 9th is approaching--it is a solemn day, it is also a day which honest, decent people around the world will remember forever. The day, when humanity's historic singularity ended. It ended in the ultimate destruction of Europe, especially its Eastern part, it also saw a horror of warfare in Asia. But it was the carnage of the Eastern Front which defies imagination. In the moment of rare clarity, Washington Post, today, published a piece which could have been a title of this post:

Festivities in Moscow are coming and, of course, there will be Red Square military parade. The praises to Allies will also sound from the Presidential podium. This celebration, however, will be without Western Allies' stately presence. They are "offended" and "insulted", well it is their loss. In the end, the ultimate destruction of Wehrmacht, in battles without parallels in human history, happened on the Eastern Front. The meaning of that destruction was not what one of the Obama's "femme fatales", UN Ambassador   Samantha Power dared to cynically promote in her abhorring UN General Assembly speech, by quoting Tanya Savicheva's diary. The destruction of Nazi military machine was NOT about some "principles" Power implied. It was for survival of humanity and sanity, and the scale of this sacrifice by all those 27 million Soviet people will remain incomprehensible for her, no matter number of worthless Ivy League degrees in humanities she, or people who lit the current world on fire, accumulate and whom she so passionately serves by lying, will ever understand. 

But it is Victory Day in Russia and my intentions are simple: I praise the heroism and sacrifice of tens of millions Soviet people who demolished Nazism, I also praise and bow in gratitude to Western Allies, who did their duty heroically--we, Russians, always remembered. I will raise the toast today, also, for my three (yes, my grandma remarried) grandfathers-all three fought, one survived. The only one grandfather I knew and still love deeply. For every Russian it is always personal. So, with the Victory Day!

С Днём Победы!