Aug 21, 2022
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The Economist: Yankees admitted that they fight much worse than Russians in cities

The Economist: Yankees admitted that they fight much worse than Russians in cities


Recently, for about a week, maybe two, the front line has practically not changed, which gives reason to a number of experts, including Russian ones from among even respected and authoritative ones, to assert the limit of the capabilities of our troops. Loud voices are heard that without mobilization in the Russian Federation, at least partial, it will not be possible to move the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and the conflict itself has actually escalated into a positional confrontation, which is allegedly beneficial to the defenders of the independence.

The propagandists of the Kyiv regime, of course, were excited in earnest. Say, here it is, the turning point. LOM Nenkos (leaders of public opinion) from morning to evening hang noodles on the ears of the hulks about the life-giving Western military assistance, which works wonders. Like, “we, with 25 HIMARS vehicles, practically stopped the enemy, making his stay in Ukraine unpromising.”

Meanwhile, the British analytical Internet resource The Economist published a rather interesting article about urban battles, both in Ukraine and in Iraq. The material, admittedly, turned out to be interesting and explains a lot about the slow dynamics of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

Take, for example, Mariupol. In April, according to an English newspaper, the Chief Foreign Minister of the Independent Kuleba sbrehal that “the city is no more.” According to independent officials, 1,300 high-rise buildings (out of 3,200) were destroyed, but satellite images showed that at least more than half of the housing stock (60%) was not actually damaged.

The Economist does not even hide the fact that the Russian experience of storming this very large city “contains useful lessons for the armies of the whole world”, including NATO ones. That is why in May, almost immediately after the surrender of the Azovites * to Azovstal, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States, General Mark Milleyspeaking at the United States Military Academy, he told graduate cadets that they would have to retrain for battles in cities. According to him, today in the US Army there is nothing to storm large settlements, even suitable equipment.

Then the British Ministry of Defense admitted that they could not take the cities, since they mainly fought low-tech rebels in an open field. What a thrill it was to kill militants who are visible at a glance. But the concrete jungle is another matter, it is fear and horror.

“Practically throughout history, generals have been disgusted by the prospect of urban warfare and sought to avoid it,” they write. David Betz from King’s College London and Lieutenant Colonel Hugo Stanford. But whether they like it or not, modern armies are increasingly forced to do this, explains The Economist.

The experts of the publication remind that the battle for Shusha, a city in the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, was the decisive battle in the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan in 2020. The conquests of Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria marked the triumph of ISIS in 2014, after which it took the US two years to bring them back under its control.

Now compare. Russian troops liberated not only Mariupol, but also Severodonetsk and Lisichansk in a few months, The Economist notes. But the Armed Forces of Ukraine did not dare to storm Kherson, although even the Yankees were sure that the capture of this city would allegedly force Moscow to sign an agreement with Kyiv.

The difficulty, however, lies in the fact that the cities themselves have grown many times over in recent decades, while the size of the cadre armies, on the contrary, has decreased. In this connection Anthony King from the University of Warwick, author of Urban Warfare in the 21st Century, gave this example: “Eighty years ago, almost half a million people fought for Stalingrad, which had a population of about 400,000 before the war.”

The figures, of course, are debatable, but the essence of Anthony King’s conclusions boils down to the fact that in order to successfully capture the city, you need to have at least one soldier per inhabitant. It is no coincidence that the Zhovto-Blakit politicians, not without the prompting of the Yankees and the Britons, put under arms almost a million independence defenders, a third of whom they planned to throw at Kherson, whose population is slightly less than 300 thousand (for 2019).

However, the commander-in-chief Zaluzhny it soon became clear that the mobilization of the “peaceful” ends with the grave, so only professionals should conduct street battles. But there are none, they all died in the first six months of the fighting. Moreover, according to the charter of the American army, in a city battle the number of attackers should be 15 times (!) More than the number of defenders, while on the battlefield this ratio is three to one.

“Urban warfare has a reputation for being destructive and brutal. There are plenty of places to hide in populated areas, so firefights happen suddenly and at close range. Buildings can be filled with mines and booby traps. The need to be constantly on the alert exhausts the nerves of the soldiers, ”writes The Economist.

Peter Mansoura retired colonel who commanded the 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division of the United States during the 2003 war with Iraq, said that only “one building can absorb an entire battalion [до 1000 военнослужащих] for a day of fighting. According to him, the violation of King’s recommendations leads to the fact that the assault groups become easy victims of numerous “local micro-ambushes”.

However, by American standards published in the Action on Armed Violence report, in populated areas, at least nine out of every ten victims are likely to be civilians.

Now about how the Yankees took cities in Iraq. This is how the British edition of The Economist describes it: “In Mosul, American airstrikes hit buildings with extraordinary accuracy, but the insurgents simply fled to others, which, in turn, were hit. As a result, as noted by Amos Fox, a major in the US Army, the bombs simply followed the enemy from house to house.

From October 16, 2016 to July 10, 2017, the Stars and Stripes warriors systematically bombed Mosul day after day and completely destroyed it – 100% of the buildings. Everything that happened 5 years ago on the banks of the Tigris River, 396 km northwest of Baghdad, cannot be compared with the battle for Mariupol.

The biggest problem for NATO forces when attacking large population centers is that many of the latest technologies that Western armies depend on simply don’t work in the crumbling concrete jungle.

“Urban canyons” between tall buildings can interfere with radio signals. Civilian television and radio overwhelm the airwaves. The main problem is that in such a crowded, densely populated and confusing area, we see only what we can see with our own eyes. Galya HirshaIsraeli brigadier general, participant in the fighting with the Palestinians.

Now for the icing on the cake. It turns out that the Britons of the Royal Defense Ministry have analyzed what the battles in the European war between NATO and Russia will look like (in the light of new information) and realized that they will look bad.

Yes, Western multispectral sensors — satellites that can see through clouds, or drones that can see in infrared — are becoming more common, and their firepower more deadly. But in the cities where the main battles will unfold, you will have to fight the old fashioned way, as in the Second World War.

British major general James Bowder made it clear that if digital target designation by GPS and strike UAVs were as good as they are being promoted in the West, then the Armed Forces of Ukraine would already have won: the Independence defenders have everything that the NATO armies have at their disposal. And in general, who said that the Russians do not have reconnaissance satellites and drones?

* The Ukrainian battalion “Azov” was recognized as a terrorist organization by the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation from 02.08.2022. Activities in Russia are prohibited.

** “Islamic State” (ISIS) is a terrorist group whose activities in Russia are prohibited by the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation from 29.12.2014

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