Out of the mouths of babes
For what seems like forever, but is in fact only about 75 days, I have been sporadically writing about both Russia’s military incompetence, and Vladimir Putin’s incompetence specifically, since, like Hitler, he had taken personal control of the conduct of the war. Just yesterday I wrote about Putin’s inability to come to grips with tactics. And in my comments, my reader Daithi put it better in one sentence than I could in four paragraphs;
Amateurs talk about tactics. Professionals talk about logistics
That sums Putin’s stupidity up in a nutshell. First, a brief explanation. You all know by now that I’m an avid military simulation gamer. So of course tactics are front and center in my mind. But if you’re going to be any good as a military gamer, you have to do a couple of things. The first is that you can’t just see your pieces as squares of cardboard on a topographical map. You have to open your mind and see them as actual troops, tanks, artillery and trucks. And to make it all work, you have to learn about logistics. Because the best tactics in the world won’t work if you can’t supply your troops, and get them where they need to get.
When Putin makes a battle plan for his campaign, he’s likely looking at a topographical map with unit designators. And because he’s obsessed with tactics, all he sees is an example of that the terrain looks like. And so he sets up a plan of attack. But he doesn’t look at any of the peripheral things he needs to do to make it work. Putin looks at a map, sees a numerical superiority in forces, and moves forward, not taking into account physical restrictions in the terrain that could stall the advance.
Perfect example. No US soldier above the rank of corporal would send heavily armored vehicles across the Belarus border a week into the spring thaw. They aren’t going to get more than 5 miles before becoming mired in the goo, and a total loss until the ground firms. So they end up abandoned. But what Putin saw was superior forces, and a long stretch of flat ground to drive on, so in they went. Logistics tells you that’s suicide.
I bitched endlessly about Putin’s folly, that stupid 8 mile long supply train at the start of the war. Actually, it’s not a bad idea if you leave screening forces from your original army to keep the road free and clear of enemy opposition. But Putin wanted every available man to take Kyiv, so he advanced everything. Which left the supply train in a shooting gallery. After all, the Ukrainians didn’t need to take out the tanks, they just needed to shoot the shit out of the trucks to disable them in order to stall the entire convoy. Russian soldiers fled, and the Ukrainians helped themselves to ammo, and drove off in Russian tanks.
Daithi nailed it for me in one, and I thank him/her from the bottom of my heart. Putin is an amateur, Putin is an amateur, and so he only sees tactics, troop strength and terrain. What he doesn’t realize is that conducting a successful battle is almost as intricate as conducting successful open heart surgery. And that’s logistics. And since Putin’s generals would rather stand there and piss their pants than correct him or school him up, his fuck ups will only continue. Don’t touch that dial.