Taking ground means nothing.

Robin Horsfall. Former SAS Soldier. Writer, Veterans Campaigner and Public Speaker. University of Surrey, United Kingdom.

May 29

To win a war an army must destroy the enemy’s ability to mount war. This means the destruction of his forces and their ability or will to fight.

Taking ground on a map might look impressive, especially when it is coloured to look as though an area is occupied. However, taking ground does nothing to reduce enemy forces that have simply moved to another place.

All the time an army exists it is a threat regardless of the land occupied. The Romans never took the mountains in Britannia, the Americans never isiolated the NVA after the Tet Offesive, the UN never destroyed the Taliban in the mountains of Afghanistan. Regardless of the superior size of the occupying forces they failed to destroy the main enemy army or prevent them from mounting war.

In Ukraine, Russia has occupied some territory. Russia has a larger armed force than Ukraine but has done nothing effective to defeat the Ukrainian army. Ukraine’s army has grown stronger while the cost to the Russian army increases daily. When Harpoon missiles from Denmark arrive in Odessa the Russian fleet will have to retire or sink. As heavy artillery arrives in the east of Ukraine the Russians will be forced out of their defences.

The Russians are unable to fix the enemy army in one place or prevent them from fighting effectively. Taking ground is irrelevant in such circumstances. Russian Generals of poor quality have been replaced with new Generals of similar quality from the same school. They have reduced their aims downward from taking the entire nation to taking some Russian speaking towns in the east. This does not effect Ukraine’s ability to fight in any way.

While the popular media like to concentrate on coloured maps the point that is missed is whether Ukraine’s army exists and can fight. When Putin invaded Ukraine he wakened a sleeping giant. Ukraine can fight, does fight – and it will continue to fight as long as we in the west support it.

Slava Ukraine!

Who Dares Shares.

Robin Horsfall

3 comments

  1. Much as I enjoy Robin’s forthright options and support for Ukraine, the following phrase is a little over-optimistic : “They have reduced their aims downward from taking the entire nation to taking some Russian speaking towns in the east.”
    Unfortunately they haven’t reduced their aims at all and those “Russian-speaking towns” amount to more than 20% of Ukraine’s sovereign territory.
    Ukraine needs a much greater level of support at this critical time.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. “While the popular media like to concentrate on coloured maps the point that is missed is whether Ukraine’s army exists and can fight. When Putin invaded Ukraine he wakened a sleeping giant. Ukraine can fight, does fight – and it will continue to fight as long as we in the west support it.”

    This is very true. Taking ground means little. Sometimes it even means nothing. Sometimes, it brings more trouble than advantages. Mafia land can’t even fully control what it now has, and it won’t be able to hold on for very much longer. Ukraine is getting better and bigger weapons, while mafia land is sending in old Soviet-era junk, operated by badly trained crews with low morale. Mafia land is also relying on dubious characters from Syria and Chechnya and grandfathers up to 65 years of age and kids without the ability to grow a beard yet.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The end of your post shows the desperation of Putin. He is scraping the bottom of the barrel in manpower resources and the Ukrainians are also taking good care of his material resources. Putin doesn’t have much left. The reason Putin doesn’t go to outright moblization is that he does not have the equipment needed to equip an Army the size he would need to take and hold Ukraine.

      Liked by 3 people

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