Monday, June 16, 2014

Message to the readers of this blog from Juan

'A scorecard for the US "lukewarm war" on Russia - strategic and tactical levels' is an excellent synopsis by The Saker of the entire situation in Ukeland, Novorossiya and the World.  When I first came in contact with Saker I realized within a nanosecond that he and most of the posters on this blog were intellectually far above my narrow view. I am a 'nuts and bolts' man and I mentioned in one of my first posts that while Saker and many others here had and have a vast overview of the world I could see not much beyond my weapon sights in days past and to an extent to this day.

However, having looked through weapons sights I can at least try to give you on this blog an idea of what has and is happening for those who are boots in the mud, or, today it being summer, boots in the dust, and somewhat of an idea of what to expect in the daily grind and semi chaos of small unit actions. I will as usual try not to give the Nats any idea at all of what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong. For our boys I do from time to time mention things to people I know.

In small unit tactics, small unit being fire team, squad and platoon sized ops plus Recon activities, you will have good days and you will have bad days. No army, no regiment, no rota (company), no section has ever enjoyed complete and unbroken success in any war since the beginning of time. Small units are tactical units, period. The combination of the activities of many tactical units creates strategy, but for a single small unit to have any real affect on strategy is quite rare and in reality are for the history books and studies at war colleges. Reality is small units are expendable in the grand strategic scenario.

A small unit will hold, for instance, a road block post, a bridge, a relatively important terrain feature or minor communications hub. A small unit can not and will not hold their position against an overwhelming enemy attack. Faced with massive superiority of an enemy force arrayed against it the unit will simply report in to Command, give a hasty sitrep, put up a short resistance to the enemy force and then withdraw, inflicting what casualties they can before and during the tactical withdrawal. If Command decides the terrain feature is worth holding then the small unit fights as hard as possible until help arrives from Command. The reality is the Army of Novorossiya can rarely contest in great numbers an action by the Nats when said Nats bring all their forces to bear, although this reality has in fact been changing in the last two weeks or so. Remember, a scant month or so ago the Army of Novorossiya didn't have heavy weapons or even more than a precious few medium machine guns. Most of what they did have and have today was donated by the Nats army one way or another. A tactical withdrawal of a few hundred meters generally has precisely zero to do with overall Strategy in general. The fly in the ointment of that statement is a whole series of tactical withdrawals in a short period of time adds up to a strategic withdrawal and that can have a distressing affect on the overall strategy of your command structure.

Normal life for a small unit is day in day out grinding hours of boredom interspersed with seconds and minutes of hard fighting. The soldiers clean weapons and equipment always, first and foremost, improve their positions as much as possible with what is to hand, eat, clean themselves, some always on the firing steps so to speak and keeping a keen eye out for any untoward activity in the area and they will generally have LPOP's (listening/observation posts) out in front to give early warning of anything untoward coming their way. This activity is 24 hours a day seven days a week. There is no holiday when you are in the line even if the 'line' is a 30 m wide position out in the middle of nowhere. You get to know your fellow soldiers in your unit very well as you wile away the endless hours talking about everything in the world. As with civilian life the soldiers will run the gamut from good to bad to average. The bad don't last long, they tend to be attrited out of a combat unit either by enemy action or their sarjanti (sergeants). Bravery don't mean squat when you're facing half a dozen nats tanks or BMP's and said nats are irritated to an extreme. What civilians call 'bravery' is almost always simply the unthinking actions of soldiers in protecting their comrades and holding their position as ordered. It is only after the fact that 'bravery' is adjudged.

A small unit is, as mentioned, expendable. This happens. Never underestimate the fighting abilities of your enemy and this includes the Nats army. The Nats do, indeed, have some units that will fight and fight hard plus at this time the enemy still has overwhelming numbers and vast equipment. There will be times, both in static defense or in patrols, where our boys will lose and have lost. Our casualties reflect this reality. We will lose positions, we will lose villages and towns, we will lose entire tactical units, no doubt. I also have no doubts that in the end we will prevail but our boys will pay and are paying a heavy price in blood.

Civilians. As I have aged I have mellowed and I remember every dead civilian face I've ever seen. I can not and do not dwell on them, but I remember. My old Sarjant's philosophy was 'civilians get in the way'. Neither he back then nor I today mean the poor civilians in Novorossiya who are mercilessly bombarded day and night by the thugs from Kiev. I mean that when taking or holding a position there will often be civilians in the area. Our task is to either take or hold a position. Civilians can be and often are foolish. Especially in today's times they have all seen movies that in no way, shape or form reflect reality. I've seen civilians stand beside a tank that was actively fighting and firing at their enemy and I saw the civilians die when the tank was hit and brewed up. Nothing I or we could do. Every civilian death is a tragedy, but for God's sake when civilians hear or see active combat, go and hide! Find a hole, a ditch, a thick wall, run away from the shooting, anything, but get the hell out of the way and take the children with you! Our boys will do what they can to protect you but reality is they are soldiers who are fighting and ever second you take them from or distract them from their task at hands risks not only them personally but the success of the operation they are involved in and if they fail in that operation it puts you, the civilians, in the tender mercies of the nats/right sector gentlemen.

Bottom line, we will lose men and units and positions just as we take positions and cause the enemy to lose men and units. This is the reality of War. One can not and must not dwell on the losses of men and small units, however cold and hard that may sound.

My friends, do not ever get discouraged. Remember our men, women and children who have fallen and those who will fall today, tomorrow, and every day until we achieve the victory I know is coming. Do not expect the Russian Army to cross the borders and help Novorossiya. This will not happen unless The West unleashes some horrendous attack on civilians that kills thousands of them. Can The West do this? Yes. Will The West do this? I don't know. I pray The West doesn't and I hope my, and our, prayers are answered.