Thursday, July 4, 2024

Interlude: Electric Light Orchestra - Mr. Blue Sky

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Interlude: Racey - Lay Your Love On Me

Friday, June 14, 2024

Russia: Putin lays down terms for a ceasefire.

(Moscow)  So Vladimir Putin speaking to diplomats at the Russian foreign ministry, issued his demands to Kyiv in order to halt his invasion of the Ukraine. they were:

  • That Ukrainian troops leave the entire regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia and that they be declared Russian territory by international agreement,
  • Drop its NATO bid in order for him to end his war in Ukraine.

He also issued a demand to the West which was:

  • drop all financial sanctions against Russia as a precondition to a ceasefire
To be fair, nothing has really changed as Moscow has laid claim to the 4 oblasts since the 30th of September 2022, however and a big however weeks after that proclamation Moscow suffered huge reversals in Kharkiv and Kherson Oblasts  meaning that currently Moscow doesnt fully control any of the Oblasts it covets. 
So here is what Moscow currently occupies inside the Ukraine:

What its demands are:

We saw something similar in 2014 when Moscow annexed the Crimea, which the world was told was all Russia wanted and in Feb 2022 we saw different. Who's to say that if Kyiv accepts this so called peace deal, that in say 8 years time after Russia has made good its losses, it decides its wants more. I mean isn't that how Russia has operated for over 200 years

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Interlude: The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo : Black Bear

Germany: To bring back a limited form of conscription

(Berlin) Coming on the back of Moscow's invasion of the Ukraine and the viewpoint of Putin that he wishes to bring back into the fold the former parts of the Russian empire which went their own way. (Finland, Sweden, Poland and of course Ukraine) the spectre of the Russia bear again worries the leaders of Europe. Military experts taking note of Moscow's huge hikes in the funding of its military have arrived at the conclusion that Moscow will be powerful enough to march into Europe proper by 2029. (Yes I know Moscow hasn’t achieved much in 2 years inside the Ukraine other than return vast tracts of the country to the stone age, but I’m only regurgitating what is been parroted in the European corridors of power).

This threat has resulted in Finland and Sweden give up neutrality and join NATO . Poland which has a long history regards Russia has remilitarised which when completed will make Warsaw the most powerful nation (militarily) in Europe with its ground forces outnumbering Germany, France, Uk , Holland and Italy combined. In fact all the European nations have taken to increasing military spending (Bar the Uk, which whilst acknowledging the threat facing Europe continues cutting defence spending with a promise they will increase defence spending in 2030) Germany which until the other year held the title of defence spending laggard has turned that around with a record amount of funding poured into its military and the otherday declared that it intends to bring back a limited form of conscription in which to build up a reserve in case it is needed post 2030.

The government has plans to increase the size of the army from 182,000 to 203,000 by 2031. But military officials believe it needs as many as 460,000 soldiers to defend Germany in the event of an attack. Under the plan, men aged 18 will be required to fill out a form with information about their willingness and ability to serve in the army and then, if selected, to undergo a medical examination. Recruits will then be chosen from those tested.

Of the 400,000 18-year-olds who would be approached by the Bundeswehr under this plan every year, it is estimated about a quarter would likely express an interest in serving. Of these, 40,000 to 50,000 would be invited to undergo a medical examination.  Those who pass the medical will be offered six months of basic training which can be extended to a total of 23 months of service. Recruits will then become part of the reserve force, with an obligation to undergo annual training. However the Bundeswehr currently only had the capacity to train 5,000 additional recruits a year, though that number would rise in the coming years.

Meanwhislt the upcoming general election in the Uk (4th July 2024) sees the SNP, Greens, Plaid Cymru (and a sizable element of Labour and the Liberals) stating that if elected they will get rid of the Uks nuclear deterrent in which to be the adult in the room in which to force others to get rid of their nukes and thus make the world a safer place. Yup good luck with that. (looks at how Ukraine got rid of her Nukes in 1994) seeing as how Moscow has threatened Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Romania, Poland and Holland with nuclear strikes if they don't do as told.

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Russia: Adding Cope cages to Motorbikes

(Russia) So a few weeks ago I knocked out a post about how Moscow has started utilizing motorbikes  in which to allow its troops to advance quickly into Ukrainian territory in which to try and offset the vulnerability of slower armoured vehicles on the battlefield especially to First Person View UAVs, which have taken a terrible toll on Russian armour inside the Ukraine. Well as i mentioned at the time, Motorbikes whilst quicker than armoured vehicles (And a lot smaller) are a lot more vulnerable and taking note, the Russians have started fitting their Motor bikes with cope cages, fine if the device doesnt  detonate , but if it does, then the rider (lacking the protection afforded by armoured vehicles) is history and that assessment doesnt include artillery bursts . 

Germany: Latest iteration of Leopard 2 tank reveals unmanned turret

(Amsterdam) KNDS is a European defence industry holding company, which is the result of a merger in 2015 between German Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and French Nexter Systems. Which is headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands. One of its first projects was to develop a new Main Battle Tank (MainGround Combat System) which would replace the leopard 2 tank in German and the Le Clerc in French Service. Well KND has just revealed its latest iteration of the Leopard 2 tank which has moved on from its last concept of fitting the Leclerc turret onto the Leopard 2 chassis, by ditching that idea and replacing the manned turret  for a unmanned one  and relocating the 3 man crew into the hull .

The Leopard 2 A-RC is designed to address the evolving challenges of modern battlefields, incorporating cutting-edge innovations to enhance its operational capabilities.

A major highlight of the new turret, is the ability to fit the current 120mm gun, Rheinmetall’s new 130mm gun, or KNDS’s proprietary 140mm Ascalon transformer gun. The turret comes fitted with an autoloader capable of firing three rounds in ten seconds and is configurable for both direct line-of-sight and non-line-of-sight (NLOS) engagements.

The sensor suite includes optronics and multiple detection systems such as laser warning, optics detection, and drone detection, ensuring heightened situational awareness and battlefield effectiveness.

The unmanned turret reduces the tank’s vulnerable area by 30%. The Leopard 2 A-RC modular armour configuration system allows for quick replacement and upgrades and is backed up by a active protection systems (APS) capable of intercepting incoming projectiles.

The Leopard 2 A-RC will weigh less than 60 tons and have a reduced height compared to its predecessors.

Sunday, June 9, 2024

Russia: Ukraine takes out Russian stealth fighter

(Akhtubinsk) Ukraine carried out a long distance drone strike on a major Russian Air base 589 km from the Ukrainian border 

where Russia’s latest Su-57 fighter jets are based. 

They are part of the 929th State Flight Test Centre of the Russian Defence Ministry, which tests new aircraft systems, onboard radars, and weapons. According to published annual photographs of the airfield, aircraft with number 053 and aircraft with number 510 were based there, and the latter is used as a flying laboratory where Russia has for the past few years been testing the Su 57 with different weapon systems

Anyway yesterday, Kyiv struck the runway and damaged at least one Su 57 (acknowledged by Moscow) and it appears that a second may have been taken out as well. 

Say what you want about this war, but one thing is becoming very clear, for Moscow, this has become a very expensive affair.  

Gaza: Operation Arnon: The rescuing of 4 Israeli hostages from Gaza.

(NuseiratThis is how the operation to rescue Noa Argamani, Almog Meir Jan, Shlomi Ziv, and Andrei Kozlov was conducted.

Thursday, 6:30 PM: After meticulous planning, drills, models, and advanced intelligence tracking that lasted for many weeks, the political echelon approves the operation initially named "Summer Seeds." The authorization was given in a classified discussion, under heavy secrecy, waiting for the right moment.

Saturday, 10:00 AM: Two main commando teams launch from several directions, disguised, towards the Nuseirat refugee camp near the coast. The forces move in broad daylight covertly towards the two buildings where the hostages were held, amidst thousands of Palestinians and hundreds of terrorists from the local Hamas battalion, who do not notice them. According to the Palestinians, the forces entered using a humanitarian aid truck, and Al Jazeera even published footage of it with IDF vehicles, apparently from moments after the operation. The IDF denied this and also denied using the American dock later on.

10:45: Special ground observations and technological tracking means from Air Force aircraft identify that the area is clear, and there is no suspicious movement in the two buildings, which are 3-4 stories high. In one of them, Noa Argamani was held, and in the other, the three remaining hostages, along with Gazan families and armed guards. 

10:50: The information and live footage of the alleys, hundreds of meters long, separating the two targets are transmitted to screens in two command posts overseeing the operation: one of the Shin Bet in central Israel, attended by the head of the service Ronen Bar and Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi, and the Southern Command in Be'er Sheva, from where the Southern Command chief managed the surrounding and rescue forces.

11:00: The two ground teams receive the "execute" order, personally approved in real-time by the Shin Bet head and the Chief of Staff. They storm the buildings simultaneously and in full coordination, at the same second, to prevent the terrorists at the second target from discovering it, which would endanger the hostages. 

11:10: While the elimination of the terrorists guarding Argamani and her rescue goes relatively smoothly, the operation at the second building is much more complicated. Commander Zamora’s team reports being hit in the exchange of fire. The fighters who eliminated the terrorists at that target treat their commander and try to save him while exiting the building under increasing fire.

11:15: Over the radio, the awaited announcement is reported: "The diamonds are in our hands," meaning the hostages are with us.

11:20: Under the cover of delay, dozens of terrorists accumulate around the building where the three hostages were held, and hundreds more armed with RPG launchers, PK machine guns, and Kalashnikov rifles approach from all sides. They run through the narrow alleys and the nearby market, crowded with thousands of Gazans.

11:22: The forces attempt to escape in the rescue vehicle, but it is hit by heavy fire and starts to falter. Southern Command chief Yaron Finkelman activates the pre-prepared rescue plan. 

11:25: Air Force fighter jets and helicopters launch dozens of munitions towards the terrorists to isolate the scene. Hundreds of soldiers from Brigades 7, Paratroopers, Givati, and Kfir, who were positioned as reinforcements, are rushed in on foot, tanks, and Namer APCs into the refugee camp, with Navy ships providing cover from the west.

11:30: The reinforcement forces and the Air Force manage to isolate the main battle zone, providing a safe escape route for the main force with the three hostages. The Southern Command authorizes, in a rare move, the Air Force Sikorsky helicopters to land deep inside the Gaza Strip, under cover fire from fighter jets. The aerial fire hits the terrorists, dozens of meters from the soldiers. 

11:50: The last of the special forces board the helicopters that take off for hospitals in Israel. Resuscitation attempts for Commander Zamora continue in the air, but at the hospital, they are forced to pronounce his death. The reinforcement forces from IDF brigades continue to engage the terrorists around the operation area, eliminating dozens more until the operation concludes.

Chief Inspector Arnon Zmora, who was killed in a mission to rescue hostages held in the Gaza Strip, June 8, 2024.

1:33 PM: The IDF, Shin Bet, and police officially announce the rescue of the four hostages, and spontaneous celebrations begin both in Israel and among Israelis abroad.

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Interlude: The Dandy Warhols - Bohemian Like You

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Interlude: Depeche Mode - The Meaning of Love

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Ukraine: Russian electronic jamming proves effective at degrading US supplied weapons'

(Kyiv) It is been reported that U.S. supplied Precision Guided Munitions (PGMs)  in use by Ukraine have failed to withstand Russian electronic jamming resulting in Kyiv ceasing using certain Western-provided armaments after failure rates rose sharply.

Much vaulted weapons such as Excalibur GPS-guided artillery shells and the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System(HIMARS) (Along with its larger sibling the M270) have seen their ability to strike on target reduced when faced with Russian EW systems. For example, the Excalibur GPS-guided artillery shells ability to hit its target, fell to less than 10 percent before Ukraine decided to stop using them last year. Similar degradation of targeting has been seen in US supplied Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAMs) however Boeing the manufacture was quickly able to knock out and provide a fix. Another example was the MRLS missiles used by HIMARs and the M270, but as that system is still in use, It can only be presumed that a fix was worked out for this also. 

Moscow is using 3 main systems for its Electronic warfare these are:

R-330Zh Zhitel

The R-330Zh is a truck based system designed for detection, analysis, direction-finding, and jamming of satellite and cellular phone communication systems 


The Krasuha-4 is a broadband multifunctional jamming system designed to neutralize spy satellites  ground-based radars, airborne surveillance radars, and radar-guided ordinance at ranges between 150–300 km, and may also cause damage to enemy radar electronic warfare and communications systems. 


Tirada-2: This system is designed specifically to jam satellite communications, including those used by GPS-guided munitions. By targeting the communication links between satellites and ground-based receivers, the Tirada-2 can effectively neutralize the guidance systems of weapons like the HIMARS.

Why does this matter on the larger stage. The US and its allies started swapping it dumb weaponry for smarter ones after the first Gulf War, citing that whilst these new weapons are more expensive,  due to the fact they are much more accurate, less weapons need to be procured , (And it allows politicians to play the less collateral damage card due to much smaller warheads used) If Moscow has worked out how to blind such systems , expect others such as China, North Korea, Iran to either develop similar tech or receive it from Moscow resulting in the technological edge the US (and the West) have over everybody else regards military capabilities has been eroded . But what makes this even more damning is this is nothing new, these systems (and Moscow has a lot)  have been public knowledge for years

It’s a huge wake up call for the West who will need to find ways to harden their PGMs and questions will have to be raised at how such a vulnerability wasn’t anticipated .

Monday, May 27, 2024

Russia: Forms Motorbike assault groups

(Ukraine) It never fails to amaze me how Moscow goes well out of its way in which to come off worse in the war it instigated inside the Ukraine a war to all intent and purposes it should have ended in a few days. We saw that with how it failed to gain control of the air, its poor quality of troops, the poor quality of the equipment it issues and most of all the very poor quality of its leadership who like the generals of the Western front in WW1 are happy to throw away the lives of thousands in which to gain a few feet. 

This is a military force whom the West expected if the balloon went up during the cold war to see the Soviets reach the English channel in a week. and after 2 years of fighting inside the Ukraine where from get go, Moscow has vastly outnumbered the other feller from numbers of men and equipment, the ability to absorb losses and most of all the money in the world in funding this war and yet currently Moscow has still metaphorically speaking to get out of the starting blocks. The vast majority of its gains were made at the start of the war and after suffering huge losses in men and equipment, around Kyiv and huge reversals around Kharkiv and Kherson, the only thing that saved Moscow's arse in the south was the foresight by General Sergey Surovikin to build a huge line of defences which prevented total humiliation and defeat for Moscow. Since then for both sides the war has been measured in advances of a few hundreds metres a day which of late has seen Moscow losing around 900 and 20 tanks a day.

Noting this Moscow has looked at alternative ways in which to take the war to Kyiv and some bright spark came up with the idea of equipping assault troops with Motorbikes allowing them to rush deep inside enemy territory. (gee I wonder why nobody else came up with idea) and the Russians to much fanfare reported this new breakthrough in advanced military thinking to the Plebs back home via the silver screen: (Take note how those 4 soldiers on bikes don't have any form of optic fitted to their weapons.)

Some Russia soldiers even fitted netting at the back of their assault motorbikes in which to protect them from First Person View (FPV) drones, which have taken a very heavy toll of Russian forces.

The problem with using motorbikes as a means of assault whilst good on paper, fails at the first hurdle if the other fellow is armed simply because they don't offer you any protection at all.

There's plenty more such videos across social media, I have to ask what will the Russians think of next?

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Supernova: The Music Festival Massacre

Friday, May 24, 2024

China: Carries out huge military exercises around the Island of Taiwan

(Beijing) So 3 days after Lai Ching-te was sworn in as the new President of Taiwan where in his inaugural speech he asked China to stop its military and political threats, that peace was the only choice and that Beijing had to respect the choice of the Taiwanese people. Fair enough request you’d think, but apparently not so to Beijing whose response was something of an infantile hissy fit accusing Lai of seeking independence and destabilising the region. In retaliation, Beijing sanctioned three US defence contractors over arms sales to Taiwan, and former US congressman Mike Gallagher for visiting the  Taipei. It lashed out at US Secretary of State Antony Blinken for congratulating Lai. This it followed up with a full on set of Military exercises which completely surrounded and cut off the Island from the world for the 2 day exercise period which was aimed to intimidate, and threaten Taiwan for voting in a China skeptic as their new president and not voting as China demands. In other words the actions of a bully.

Picture taken from Damien Symon Twitter site

In a nutshell Beijing covets the tiny Island state and has done so since 1945 when the Nationalist army losing the civil war to the communists on the mainland retreated across the 100 mile Taiwan straits to set up home on the Island of Taiwan and since then Beijing refuses to accept Taiwan as an independent state which is why in 1971 it forced the UN to kick Taiwan out , which is why Taiwan is not recognised to this day on that so called world stage. On that note state run Chinese news (CCTV 13) appears to be preparing the Chinese for war with Taiwan

China: Army shows off armed robotic dog

(Cambodia) On the 16th of May  Phnom Penh and Beijing started the Golden Dragon 15 day military exercise  in the central Kampong Chhnang Province of Cambodia involving around 2000 troops of which around 750 were Chinese. The interesting thing here was the Chinese army showcased their latest robotic military dog.

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Interlude: The Mavericks - Dance The Night Away

Ukraine: Despite overwhelming Russian pressure, Kyiv continues to knock out high value Russian targets.

(Mospyne) Despite the acute pressure Moscow is placing on Kyiv of late: 

The Ukrainians are still holding the Russians at bay making them pay heavily for every foot they concede,(reported Moscow is losing around 900 men a day)  but not only that, they are still taking the fight to Russia taking out a lot of top notch high quality equipment which is a lot harder to replace than your average conscripted infantry soldier such as the destruction over the weekend of the Karakurt-class corvette Tsiklon. 

A recent addition to the Russian navy (she was commissioned last July) whilst a naval asset, the Tsiklon has the ability to launch land strike cruise missiles such as the Kalibr and  the P-800 Oniksboth of which the Russians have used to deadly effect targeting primarily civilian targets all across the Ukraine . Ironically the small but deadly Karakurt class is also fitted with a most comprehensive air defence suite comprising of either a couple of AK-630M gun-based close-in weapon systems (CIWS), or, the Pantsir-M air defense system has been installed, but as we saw with her sister ship Askold in Nov 2023, all that defensive gear means squat when the Ukrainians have you in their sight, which is why the Tsiklon  which was pictured docked in Sevastopol on Friday the 17th May 2024 is now gracing the bottom of Sevastopol harbour.

And today it has been reported that the Ukraine targeted a air defence missile system in the village of Mospine which can be found 15 miles behind Donetsk city destroying the following:

·        X S-300/400 air defence missile launchers were destroyed:

·        1 X S-300/400 air defence missile launcher was damaged

·        1 X Radar “96L6E” was destroyed;

·        1X Control centre of the S-300/400 air defence system was destroyed:


Video has emerged of the above missile strike. (I recommend keeping the sound off)

In the Krasnodar Krai  region of Russia on Wednesday (22/05/24) the Ukraine damaged a couple of  Voronezh early warning radar systems.  The Voronezh is a huge static radar system designed specifically for long distance monitoring of airspace against ballistic missile attack.

This strike comes just a week after Ukraine took out the Russian long distance Radar system based on Mount Ai-Petri

So whilst the Russians is easily able to replace men and armour, its ability to replace high value targets such as Ships, Aircraft, Radar and Missile systems is a lot harder and that we have seen in how Ukraine in its selective targeting has effectively removed the Black sea fleet (due to losses) from around the Crimea Resulting in Russia conceding command of that area to the Ukraine which hasn't a navy and as we are seeing it is slowly but surely eradicating Russian long distance Anti-air missiles systems from the region as well, which I feel will come back to bite Moscow in the near future.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Russia: New weapon of choice is slowly turning the tide for Moscow.

(Ukraine)  One of the weapon systems Russia has quickly developed in which to make up for its depletion of its holdings of cruise and precision guided missiles (Which after 2 years of war  even Moscow's huge stocks which it started with has been drained) was knocking out their version of the US Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) or glide bomb. However whereupon the JDAM was designed in slow time taking 7 years to develop with it entering service in 1999. The Russians took less time and whilst their cheap as chips UMPK glide wing kit is deemed not as accurate as the JDAM, their ad hoc Heath Robinson affair works and allowed them to use the thousands of dumb bombs they held in stock, which due to Ukrainian air defence they couldn't use the old fashion way, but by fixing a set of wings and some form of guidance, they could drop the bombs from inside Russia (and safe from air defence) and hit targets 30 miles inside the Ukraine with 1000lb bombs 

which even if they miss still cause a lot more devastation than a 152mm artillery shell which contains around 6.5kgs of high explosive, it also explains the numerous gains Moscow has made this year, where instead of artillery , they have just targeted Ukrainian defensive positions with large bombs dropping 3,500 guided aerial bombs with the UMPK module in the first 77 days of 2024 alone.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Gaza: Pentagon states" None of Food Aid Moved Through Gaza Pier Has Made It to Palestinians"

(Gaza) On Tuesday (21/05/24) the Pentagon said it believes none of the hundreds of tons of aid delivered over several days via a military-built pier in Gaza has made it to Palestinians.

The pier, erected by the U.S. Army to ease the humanitarian crisis amid the Israel-Hamas war, was secured to the Gaza shoreline last Thursday, and trucks began dropping off pallets of food ashore on Friday. But the United Nations reported difficulties moving the aid once it reached the shore, including an apparent ambush that reportedly turned deadly. Pentagon spokesman Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters Tuesday that more than 569 metric tons of aid had been delivered to Gaza via the pier, called a Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore operation, or JLOTS, but that it did not appear that any of it had actually been delivered to the starving residents of Gaza. During the first days of aid deliveries, reports indicate that the security situation outside the pier area is highly unstable and dangerous. Ryder confirmed that some of the first loads of aid that were brought in were looted before aid organizations could formally distribute them. "As it was being taken along the transportation route, it was intercepted by some people who took that aid off those vehicles," Ryder said.

The U.N. said that 10 truckloads of food aid - transported from the pier site by U.N. contractors - were received on Friday at a World Food Programme warehouse in Deir El Balah in Gaza. But on Saturday, only five truckloads made it to the warehouse after 11 others were cleaned out by Palestinians during the journey through an area that a U.N. official said has been hard to access with humanitarian aid."They've not seen trucks for a while," a U.N. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters. "They just basically mounted on the trucks and helped themselves to some of the food parcels."

Gaza: Egyptian spy single-handedly ruined the Israel-Hamas cease-fire:

(Cairo) Ahmed Abdel Khalek a Egyptian intelligence official sunk a potential cease-fire deal between Israel and Hamas earlier this month by secretly changing its terms before handing it between the warring sides. it appears he changed the deal after Israel had already agreed to it by adding in more of Hamas' demands to the framework to clinch their approval.

One of the biggest points of contention in the deal was a call for "sustainable calm" to be reached in its second phase, Israel is opposed to discussing an end to the war until Hamas is defeated and all of its hostages are freed, If it had been passed, the deal could have seen the release of some Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners and temporarily paused combat. US officials have pushed for a temporary cease-fire in the hopes that a stop to the fighting could open the possibility to a more lasting peace. Officials involved in the talks from Qatar, the US, and Israel were blindsided and angered by the spy's secret changes.

One source familiar with the negotiations said Abdel Khalek told the Israelis one thing and Hamas another. More of Hamas’ demands were inserted into the original framework that Israel had tacitly agreed to in order to secure Hamas’ approval, the source said. But the other mediators were not informed; nor, critically, were the Israelis. “Hamas was telling their people, ‘We will have a deal in place tomorrow,’” the first source said. “All sides were under the assumption the Egyptians provided the same document” that Israel had signed off on and the other mediators, the US and Qatar, were aware of, the person said. Instead, the second source said, the Egyptians sought to blur the lines between the original framework and Hamas’s response.

Ukraine: Video show how poor Russian Tanks are to FPV drone attacks

(Donbas)  The one thing that has come out in the wash these past 2 years, is how poor Russian tanks are when it comes to protection. The main issue is primarily with all the tanks from the T64 onwards (T72/T80/T90) seeing as they are all based around the T64 which was designed to be smaller than contemporary designs (AMX 30/ Leopard 1/ Chieftain/ M60)  but just as lethal. However getting rid of a crew member and replacing him with an autoloader which whilst a good idea when designed when the enemy was supposed to attack from the front, (which is why the Soviet era tanks are pretty well protected from that direction) hasn't aged very well with the advent of Anti-tank guided Missiles and of late First Person View (FPV) drones which can attack from all directions. 

The Russians noted this weakness somewhat earlier on and after adding additional armour to the front of the T72 tank either side of the main gun (which garnered the nickname 'Dolly Patton and Super Dolly Patton", they went down the path of Explosive Reactive Armour (the tiny little bricks) common on Russian armour) which culminated in the T72B3M which came into service in 2014 where the ERA bricks are thinner , less distinguishable and flow into each other than previous iterations as seen below where the ERA on the front of the T72B3M cannot really be seen.

Most of the world looked at the latest Russian tanks as world beating and excused their poor showing across the Middle East as due to poor training and lesser quality export models sold by Russia and then the Ukraine happened and all the weaknesses of the T64 onwards which had supposed to have been rectified turned out not to have. Which explains the following video of a T80BV tank from last week, which on getting hit by a FPV drone (usually a drone with an RPG warhead affixed) 

suffers a catastrophic explosion which as we have seen this past 2 years has become something of a hallmark of Russian armour. The only problem for the Ukraine, is that Russia has thousands of tanks in stock and a leader willing to accept horrendous losses. 

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Ukraine: Carries out devastating strikes on Russian Airbase.

(Crimea) Over a period of 2 consecutive nights Ukraine struck the Russian military airbase at Belbek  which is situated around 5 miles north of Sevastopol formerly known as Sevastopol International Airport Belbek when under Ukrainian control, since Russia annexed the area in 2014, it has only been used as a military airbase, which Moscow has used to great effect in its war against the Ukraine.

On the nights of the 14th and 15th of May the Russians claimed that they had stopped and prevented attacks on the Airbase stating they had shot down 10 recently supplied US MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System missiles (ATACMs) and then daylight broke allowing satellite photos of the airbase to reveal that something did get through and that quite a bit of damage was caused:

Resulting in the loss of:
1x S400 Missile system
2x Mig 31 (Used by Russia to launch cruise missiles into Ukraine)
1x fuel compound 

There is claims that more aircraft were damaged, but that the Russians removed them from sight so as keep the full details to themselves.

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Interlude: John Williams : "Imperial March"

Monday, May 13, 2024

Ukraine: Russia opens up new front above Kharkiv.

(Kharkiv)  On Friday the 10th May (The day after the Russian 9th of May celebration and where Putin gave a speech about fighting the Nazis) Moscow open up a new front against Ukraine by crossing the border into the northern part of the Kharkiv Oblast with 35000 troops.

After 4 days of fighting, not much is known but it appears that Russia has advanced around 5 miles into Ukraine, which to be fair isnt that good going for a country which outnumbers the other feller in everything bar the will to fight. In fact whilst the western media is pushing the narrative that the Russians just walked in, it hasn't been exactly easy going for the Russians and they have suffered heavily, but that said it isn't the first time that Moscow has turned a blind eye to causalities suffered

At this moment in time, nobody knows what Putin is after, some say he wants a buffer zone to prevent  Kyiv from striking inside Russia, but when we see UAVs striking targets 700 miles into Russia, that plan of action comes across as moot. Maybe he wants to divert Ukrainian forces from the Donbas in which to take some pressure off his forces there, or maybe, just maybe he wants to take Kharkiv, believing that will place pressure on Zelenskyy to step down, affording the new President the freedom to sue for peace on Russian terms.. Only time will tell

Sunday, May 12, 2024

UN: OCHA revises Gaza death toll of women and children and halves it.

(UN) There's a very interesting story regards Gaza that came out a week ago, which for some very strange reason not many MSM news outlets have bothered to report and that story is, the UN revised the death toll from Gaza and halved the death toll of women and children stating it couldn't trust the figures promulgated by Hamas.  Other than been covered by Israeli news outlets (naturally) the only other news org I can find other than an Israeli one is the Canadian National Post:

The United Nations has significantly adjusted Palestinian casualty figures for the ongoing war in the Gaza Strip, halving the number of women and children previously reported killed. While more than 9,500 women and 14,500 children were reported among the fatalities by the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on May 6, two days later that number was revised significantly downward. Today, under 5,000 women and 8,000 children are now officially listed by the UN as casualties David Adesnik, director of research at the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), told the National Post he suspects the discrepancy stems from the UN’s decision to quietly stop using figures provided by the Hamas-run Government Media Office (GMO). “So you see May 6 and before, the GMO (is listed as a source); all of a sudden, May 8, they don’t cite a source,” Adesnik told the Post over the phone on Sunday. He pointed to the similarity between the new figures and those from a May 2 Gaza Health Ministry (GMH) report as a tip-off suggesting the UN had ditched the media office’s figures in favour of those from the health ministry, “even though they don’t say (the Gaza) Health Ministry in the thing. “So clearly here we’ve done a switch from GMO’s big number, which never had any clear basis elaborated; like they just offered nothing but their own assertion. Whereas the Health Ministry does more to back its stuff up,” he said. The differences between the two datasets was investigated by Gabriel Epstein of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, an American think-tank, who found in late March they yielded “wildly different and irreconcilable results, indicating that the media reports methodology is dramatically understating fatalities among adult males, the demographic most likely to be combatants.”


Epstein argued that his analysis of the two Hamas-run institutions “undercuts the persistent claim that 72 per cent of those killed in Gaza are women and children.” Hillel Neuer, the executive director of UN Watch, an organization that monitors the body’s constellation of agencies, told the Post that the UN’s approach to monitoring Israel and Gaza is unique. “The UN’s method of reporting deaths in Gaza is the complete opposite of what they do in other conflict situations,” Neuer said, pointing to the UN’s recent efforts in Ukraine where it has established “a defined methodology using individual records of civilian harm, where a standard of proof was met, namely, reasonable grounds to believe that the harm took place.” Neuer suggested the divergent approach is due to institutional anti-Israel bias plaguing the international community.


“But when Israel can be blamed, it’s the complete opposite. For reporting Gaza deaths, there is no method, and no standard of proof. All the UN does is parrot figures supplied by Hamas, which is laundered and legitimized by the UN as the neutral-sounding ‘Gaza Ministry of Health,’ or ‘Government Media Office,’ when in fact both are run by the Hamas terrorist organization.” Neuer called the significant update, which was not announced, as an admission “essentially … to have been feeding the media and the world completely false numbers.” The UN Watch leader encouraged the body to take a page out of its own playbook used during the Syrian Civil War, “when the UN Human Rights Office announced it had stopped updating the death toll … because it could no longer verify the sources of information, acknowledging its inability to verify ‘source material’ from others.”

The news comes a month after the Hamas-run Ministry of Health publicly disclosed that more than 10,000 previously reported fatalities had “incomplete data,” lacking basic biographical information such as their names. Such recent developments have cast serious doubts on earlier Hamas claims that 70 per cent of Palestinian casualties in the Israel-Hamas War were either women or children. According to the Times of Israel, the latest revision would bring the ratio of combatants to civilians killed in the conflict to nearly 1:1. “Either way, the number would be historically low for modern urban warfare,” West Point’s urban war studies chair John Spencer wrote in late March, contextualizing the conduct of Israel’s military operations compared with other recent urban combat theatres such as Mosul, Iraq, in fighting against the Islamic State.

Two days after Spencer’s article, University of Pennsylvania professor Abraham Wyner spoke with the Post explaining a recent analysis of the Gaza Health Ministry he conducted, suggesting that the numbers were largely fabricated by Hamas to fit its political narrative. “Hamas hasn’t provided detailed data since early in the war. And why should it?” Wyner said via email. “You use what you can.”


National Post

A much clearer reporting of the above can be found at the The Foundation for Défense of Democracies website where i picked up the above after they reported on the 2nd of May 2024, how The Hamas run Ministry of health inside Gaza couldn't account for 11000 deaths

Saturday, May 11, 2024

US: Trialing novel Mine clearing system.

(Yuma) Mine warfare is where a military force plants small explosive devices (mines or Improvised explosive devices aka IEDs) in which to form a barrier so as to force the other feller to do as directed , be it halt their advance, be channeled down a path not of their choosing and in the case of nuisance mines just be a pain in the ass resulting in forces to be redeployed in the anti insurgency role .

Or the other fellow could do neither of the above and simply carve a path through the minefield and upset the applecart. This was done by hand as immortalised by Hollywood with a soldier (always American) prodding the ground in front of him with a bayonet until the British after the debarkle of the Dieppe raid in (Of the 29 tanks landed on the beach, only 15 made it off the beach) 1942 set up a department led by Major General Percy Hobart in which to develop specialised armour in which to overcome the issues that the Canadians suffered at Dieppe and develop he did coming up with the Hobarts funnies which were used to great advantage on D-day when the allies landed in Normandy. 2 of the vehicles were designed specifically to combat mines, there was the British Sherman Flail tank  aka "The Crab" which saw fitted a 10 foot spinning cylinder at the front of the tank to which were affixed 3 foot long heavy metal chains which beat the ground in ground detonating any mines in the tanks path

The other was the Bullshorn Plough tank which saw a plough fitted to the front of the tank (in this case the Churchill tank)  which pushed any mines in its path to the side where they either detonated ot were cleared by sappers following up.

Both concepts are still in use today but in modified formats, however the use of such vehicles leaves them vulnerable to attack from any overwatch forces, this has resulted in alternative forms of clearance Giant Viper (a giant tube filled with explosives fitted to a rocket which launches it and then once deployed detonates clearing a huge path) There is the fuel air mixture concept where a dense fuel vapour is released over an area which when detonated hopefully takes any mines out in the area, and finally there is the trained soldier with a metal detector and a bayonet (actually its a aluminum pike on a handle) which I do believe is what I started with.

Well its a new age with lots of new technologies that can be utilised and the US has come up with the  Ground Obstacle Breaching Lane Neutralizer concept which uses a UAV to fly over the area using its  sensors to spot any hidden mines, then it will direct a automatic mortar system to target it with a round to either destroy or  disable that mine.


Ok, its still a concept, but if succesful it would allow for the rapid clearence of paths through a minefield in extra quick time without placing troops lives at risk.