Ukraine Update: Mud season won’t stop Ukraine’s advances

Ukraine Update: Mud season won’t stop Ukraine’s advances

UPDATE: Saturday, Sep 9, 2023 · 12:36:07 AM +00:00


ABC News: ATAMCS are coming.

A surprising discovery could also ease the administration’s choice to send the weapons: The U.S. has found it has more ATACMS in its inventory than originally assessed, the two officials told ABC News.

The serviceability of the rediscovered stockpile is not yet clear, nor which specific type of missiles it contains. ATACMS come in several forms, from missiles with large high-explosive warheads, to anti-personnel cluster-munition versions that drop hundreds of bomblets on targets.

What the hell kind of excuse is “we actually didn’t know how many f’ing missiles we had”? If true, that’s gross negligence by the Pentagon. If it’s CYA, it’s lame as hell. 

If we assume they aren’t lying, it would likely mean that they found the old version, which are the cluster munition ones from back in my day. Those would shred rear logistical bases, but do little to damage bridges like Kerch. However, sending ATACMS would free the Germans to send their Taurus cruise missile with a range of 500 kilometers and a nearly 500 kilogram warhead (around 1,000 lbs). That thing packs a wallop, and could very well do a number on the Kerch Bridge. 

For whatever weird reason, just like with battle tanks, Germany has refused to send the missiles unless the United States moves first. The fact that France and the U.K. already sent cruise missiles has been irrelevant to them. It’s downright bizarre. 

A couple of days ago, I wrote about how the big Ukrainian advance from Robotyne toward Tokmak is likely to slow as: 1) Ukraine can sit back and destroy Russian forces at leisure as those forces continue to counterattack in the open rather than hunker down in their prepared defenses; 2) Ukrainian counter-battery fire has gotten particularly effective of late, and the less artillery Russia has, the quicker things will move down the road (literally); and 3) Ukraine has to consolidate the breach of Russia’s main defensive line outside Verbove, which will ultimately allow Ukraine to roll up the whole defensive line in an enveloping maneuver.

It is an article of faith that Ukraine is on a deadline. Fall rains and the return of “raputitsa” (in Russian) or “bezdorizhzhia” (in Ukrainian) will bog down any advancing army.

Indeed, the early arrival of mud season in 2022 was a major factor in Russia’s early war failures, with legions of images and video showing Russian tanks and other vehicles trapped in the sticky mud.

But don’t worry. Given the shape of current combat tactics and the location of the main fighting, the fall rains shouldn’t be much of a problem for the continued Ukrainian counteroffensive.

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