Sigismund the British

Sigismund the British



1/15 Based on Tatarigami's excellent thread on the subject, below is an OOB of the Assault Unit/Detachment which has become the Russian's have been using in their recent offensive operations in Ukraine. #RussianUkrainianWar #Military

2/15 The lack of infantry, heavy losses in vehicles and reliance on artillery for firepower that have thus far characterised much of Russia's approach in Ukraine are on display for all to say. However, there are others better qualified to discuss what this is likely to mean

3/15 moving forwards into the rest of 2023. So, I will try to stay in my lane, such as it is, and talk about aspects of this OOB that strike me and the lessons they can teach other armies, specifically although not only the British, moving forwards.

4/15 1. Infantrymen and leaders willing to press forwards an assault to its conclusion are priceless. This may seem like an obvious conclusion but sometimes the obvious is worth stating. Since its mobilisation, Russia likely has the manpower to field larger tactical units

5/15 if it were practical to do so. However, the assault detachment as a whole is quite small and the assault platoons themselves are the size of some NATO squads/sections. This could be due to a lack of officers and NCOs able to lead larger units, lack of personnel with the

6/15 training and morale to accomplish the unit's task or some combination of the two. Given the Russian units we've seen at the forefront of assaults in Vuhledar and around Bakhmut have been drawn from a mix of Russia's premier formations (VDV, Naval Infantry etc.) and convict

7/15 Wagner personnel who have no option but to do or die, I suspect it's principally an issue of finding personnel with the intangible qualities needed in assaulting troops. All this is a very long-winded way of pointing out that infantry willing and able to press forwards an

8/15 assault are not easily found or replaced. In an environment where cutbacks are the norm and we need to prioritise which pieces of our army to man, this is worth bearing in mind.

9/15 2. There is still a need for something to bridge the gap between artillery lifting and infantry closing into the assault. The British Army's practice of maintaining guns platoons is an oddity within NATO that finds its roots in the trenches of WW1.

10/15 However, these platoons served an important purpose which we are seeing in the Russian assault detachments being fulfilled by a mix of snipers, AGLs and HMGs, namely bringing to bear firepower that can bridge the gap between artillery lifting and the infantry closing in.

11/15 Now. This is not to say that every NATO force, or indeed the British Army, should go and form guns platoons in all of its battalions. However, it is evident that there is a need for something to bridge that gap that will always exist when artillery lifts to avoid killing

12/15 its own infantry. 3. Availability of responsive indirect fire to platoon commanders is crucial. We see in the Russian assault detachment there is organic indirect firepower at both company and battalion, with the platoon commander effectively being a mortar fire

13/15 controller For many years, the British Army used and got a great deal of use out of its 2in and later 60mm platoon mortars. These provided platoons with a rapid and always available indirect fire capability. This was eventually phased out due to concerns over the weight of

14/15 the 60mm mortar and the overall weight infantrymen needed to carry. Whilst it is absolutely true that infantrymen should not be loaded down with burdens so great they can't fight, the need for rapid and available indirect fire at platoon level has evidently not

15/15 reduced in modern war. So, even if the Hirtenberger 60mm is too heavy for what it brought to the table, we should be investigating other ways of meeting this requirement.

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