Russias Military Posture - Commons Briefing Paper

Discussion in 'Int Corps' started by Iolis, May 25, 2009.

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  1. The Commons Defence Select Committee are also conducting an inquiry titled
    RUSSIA: A NEW CONFRONTATION? Link here Interesting evidence has already been submitted, some of which can be accessed on the Defence Committee website.
  2. aka: "Defence primes are hurting now everyone's realised Homeland Security is not hardware-heavy and we desperately need something to terrify politicans with so all that lovely money goes to procurement of expensive toys".

    God help the Northern Red Banner Fleet and 16 Air Army, to say nothing of the First Strategic Echelon of the North Western TVD when they pour across the IGB...

    What's that you say, Skippy, the Red Army of Workers and Peasants doesn't exist any more?
  3. Oo-er Gladys you old cynic. Next you'll be telling us that the Russians didn't kick off first in Vladikavkaz last summer.
  4. They did an OK job from a standing start, very much "come as you're caught" judging by the traffic coming South through the tunnel to boost the formations in South Ossetia to anything remotely approaching combat effectiveness - unless convoy packets in the front line of mixed SP arty and odds and sods from at least three separate units, all mixed in, were part of some devilish Russian plan.

    Honestly. The Russians spend around $50Bn p.a. on defence, which is a bit less than we do, with a much wider strategic problem to address.

    Let oil go to $145+ and stay there for a few years and then I'll believe in the Russian bogeyman - although I was always taught to assess intent as well as capability and while they might acquire the latter, I see no reason for them to want to sweep Westwards to the Rhine.
  6. Sub you have let me down, I had a bet that you were bound to have an opinion on this and would post within two days.
  7. They fell flat on their face and took a pasting early on. Wonder what happened to the General commanding the re-enforcing forces as he was given a right rollocking.

    The Georgians failed to consolidate, failed to intercede at the tunnel and when they did got hammered in turn.

    After that it was good night. Air power ruled.
  8. Were we watching the same conflict ? I didn't think they did a bad job given the 80's kit and shonky comms they had, but this might be only when compared to the utter, total shambles that was the Georgian army - on their performance I'd assess their plan as:

    1. Launch Grads at Tshkinvali
    2. Mill around aimlessly
    3. Get hoop kicked up between ears by motivated yet uncoordinated tidal wave of armour
    4. Go home and cower under bed as Russians steal or destroy anything remotely military

    As to air power, the Russians themselves are doing some heavy self-criticism as their performance was p!ss poor. They lost 4 Frogfoots and I strongly suspect there were some blue on blues we've not heard about. Still, remember the old cartoon of two Soviet tanks parked in Trafalgar Square ? One commander turns to the other and goes "Well, who did win the air war ?"
  9. The Georgians had a lot of political interference and the operational instructions kept changing.

    Initially they achieved what they set out to do, namely to take Tskhinvali and did so according to schedule (within a few hours overrun).

    However they were supposed to put in place a blocking force and when that blocking force finally advanced to the tunnel, they were stopped short of it and hammered.

    That's when the order for mobilisation went out and that was just too late.

    The Georgians to be honest had a window of opportunity from about 11am to 2.30pm to get to the tunnel. They had entered Tskhinvali in the early hours and by 8am had secured most of the provincial capital.

    The first Russian re-enforcements didn't come through the Roki Tunnel until just after 2.30pm that day.

    What the Georgians did wrong was to waste precious time mopping up and securing the capital instead of pressing on to cut the source of re-supply and re-enforcement.

    Effectively they ignored Tsun Tzu. "If you lay siege to a town you will exhaust your strength" and "the next best thing is to prevent the junction of the enemy's forces".

    They didn't go for the Roki Tunnel until too late. Checkmate.
  10. ah, sun tzu. didn't he also say "don't fuck with the russian bear?" or was that grizzly adams? :D
  11. Now folks, be careful. I suggest noone sneaks up behind Glad and whispers "Don stoj" in his ear 'ole. He might spill his Gin and Senatogen and emit body fluids into his "Catchitall" Odour supressent special adult underpants
  12. I don't think the Georgians had much of a plan at all; I saw the whole thing as a last ditch attempt by Saakashvili to cling to power. The real objective was to ethnically cleanse SO under an American umbrella, hence the tunnel couldn't be shut as that was the way the refugees would be pointed. That's why they nailed an urban area with a Grad strike, get the locals to flee.

    Had they sealed the tunnel then the Russians would still have prevailed, it would just have taken longer and been even bloodier. The Russians were well motivated, have ridiculous amounts of kit stockpiled and would not accept any other outcome on their borders. Remember that as long as they win they have never been too concerned about casualties - doctrinally they believe that bleeding in the short term to secure an advantage (particularly tempo) saves lives in the long run. I don't suppose that gets taught any more though.

    Of course the US was not stupid enough to back Georgia; indeed one of the major threats to Saakashvili was (and remains) the Americans finally noticing the gulf between his rhetoric (democracy, freedom, human rights) and his old school warlord actions. And when they notice, it must be bad. This is of course why Old Europe has quietly yet firmly pointed out to our cousins that they will die in a ditch rather than allow Georgia into NATO; they feel that flicking the Bear's love spuds with a towel while gesturing obscenely just to keep a dodgy regime in power is a sub-optimal policy.
  13. Yes I agree, it was a last ditch stand and the political interference was immense. There was an attempt the day after the launch of the attacks to close the tunnel which was beaten off. This was their second attempt.

    What took the Russians by surprise was a complete lack of Intel. Thus when they did move to interdict, they approached the matter piecemeal.

    In fact it was so much of a fcuk up, the head of the 58th Army got shot up driving towards the Russian peacekeeping force stationed in South Ossetia.

    It took them about 24 hours to get themselves together but only after a mauling of the lead elements which had been sent forwards piecemeal.

    The Russians certainly have loads of spare kit lying around. Shame the UK adopted the business practice of obtaining kit on an as needs basic. Simply because when you get it, the need has passed.
  14. yep. the Japanese mastered JIT (Just In Time) production.

    whereas the UK are masters of FYTL production (Five Years Too Late). :roll: