God fights on the side with the best artillery.
– Napoleon Bonaparte
Oberst (Col.) Reisner of the Austrian Army giving a thoroughly professional and easily understandable briefing on why Ukraine keeps kicking the shit out of inferior Russian forces with artillery tactics hitherto largely unknown, and capabilities that are even better than us at our best to date, especially so for a fourth-rate military cobbled together under constant attack and three months of invasion by a nominally far stronger power.
1. Ukraine developed a simple program (GIS ARTA) which anyone, even people who are essentially untrained national guardsmen conscripts, can use to upload target info to the network in seconds, to within a couple of meters of accuracy. This wiped out any requirement for highly trained FOs (Forward Observers), and shortened required competency at that task from months to minutes. That’s world-beating.
2. Elon Musk’s 1760-satellite multi-redundant and unjammable Starlink system communicates that data to every weapon system user on the network, in real time.
3. Ukraine deploys its artillery, not in traditional “Come counter-battery the shit out of me” compact battery formations, but rather in highly dispersed packets over wide areas, making counter-battery massing of fires immensely more difficult. Used to be, an artillery gun or rocket battery fit inside an acre or two, and Ivan’s counter-battery would wipe out that whole grid square within 3 minutes. Now, the Ukes have dispersed their weapons over entire square miles and miles, and anything over everywhere can get the target, and open fire, and the fires are massed on the impact area, without the tubes or systems being massed from the launch point. This isn’t evolutionary, it’s revolutionary. It’s the difference between taking a Napoleonic company of riflemen blasting away with smoothbore muskets, and transitioning your force to 200 guys with Barrett .50BMG sniper weapons, and scattering them from hell to breakfast, and having them pick off people from a mile away. Good luck returning that kind of incoming fire. (It was last tried by the US 7th Cavalry at the Little Bighorn. Spoiler Alert: This did not go well for them.)
4. The Ukrainians are using laser-targeted and GPS guided projectiles, and getting first-round hits with artillery. Russia is getting, in their laps, what happened to Saddam’s army for the first time in 1990, where you had LGBs (Laser Guided Bombs) going into truck windows, and through ventilation shafts at HQ, and precisely targeting anything you can see. And Ukrainian drones are seeing everything.
5. Turning this level of targeting on Russian HQ, and any massed forces. In the video, Col. Reisner notes 13 Soviet generals, and 30 colonels are now good Russians, courtesy of the Ukrainians shellacking the hell out of any Russian HQ they find. (FTR, IIRC, the US hasn’t lost 13 generals in battle in the last century.)
This is all new to me. And (if true) gives heretofore unknown importance to Elon Musks Starlink system. And it finally explains (to me at least) why the Russians are doing so badly.
I don’t believe this system is completely or even mostly homegrown, EU or USA is the Papa.