Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Art of War IV. [Conclusion]

This is coolbert:


"it will be less a campaign than a hunt." - - Jalisco federal commander General Jesús Ferreira [Cristero War].

"a bloodless blitzkrieg, that would not last any longer than December 20 [this on December 11]." - - Grachev [Russian Minister of Defense prior to the First Chechen War]

"Experts", speaking in a casual, self-assured manner, turning out to be "dead" wrong!! A conventional, over-powering [on paper] and over-confident military force being stymied, humiliated and often downright badly beaten at the hands of an opposing irregular force of lightly armed but highly motivated partisans??

Such was the case in the First and subsequent Second Chechen War .

The subject of much of the cathartic writings as found on the Suvorov [?] web site, the ArtofWar.

"ca·thar·sis [cathartic]
1. the purging of the emotions or relieving of emotional tensions, esp. through certain kinds of art, as tragedy or music . . .
3. Psychiatry. a. psychotherapy that encourages or permits the discharge of pent-up, socially unacceptable affects.
b. discharge of pent-up emotions so as to result in the alleviation of symptoms or the permanent relief of the condition."

The writings of Mironov in particular stand-out. "Vyacheslav Mironov. Assault on Grozny Downtown"

Mironov is an equal to Tolstoy and Novikov in this regard. Writes in the manner of a modern, with all the nitty-gritty gory detail as the former two Russian writers would not have done?

"Someone took the mag off his assault rifle and quickly took out several cartridges. There was no other way to stop [the] bleeding, but to use this barbaric approach . . . A soldier came forward with two opened cases in his hand. The bandages were removed at once and he quickly poured the gunpowder from the cases into the wound. One of the guys touched it with his torch and the powder burned with a flash that blinded us for a second. The wounded soldier jumped up, but we saw that the bleeding had stopped."

A wounded Russian soldier is bleeding to death and modern techniques do not staunch the bleeding! Cauterization of the wound as would have been in the era of the Crusades, the Romans, the Greeks, and before them the ancient Egyptians - - was used to stop the profuse bleeding. Remember, this is Christmas Day 1994!!!

It is perhaps impossible to describe the traumatic effect the First and Second Chechen War has had on the modern Russian Army. Disaster after disaster was the RULE rather than the exception for the Russian troops sent into Grozny. [Grozny is best translated as HOSTILE!! Really!!] Entire companies and battalions would disappear on missions, obliterated in a manner never anticipated by the Russian high command. At the hands of a lightly armed but determined foe, the basically untrained and almost totally raw Russian troops suffered shameful defeat after defeat. Such was the fate of the Maikop Brigade [as mentioned in the account of Mironov], for instance. Told to capture and hold the Grozny downtown rail station, the brigade was surrounded, outfought, defeated, pitiful remnants being withdrawn with humiliation!!

"The battle for Grozny cost [the Maikop Brigade] 157 casualties, including 24 officers (including Colonel Savin), one warrant officer (Russian: прапорщик) and 60 NCOs and soldiers killed and 12 officers, one warrant officer and 59 NCOs and soldiers missing (presumed dead). The brigade also lost 22 T-72 tranks, 45 BMP-2s, and 37 cars and trucks."

And this was just ONE instance among many!

Today, eight years after the beginning of the Second Chechen War, the area of Chechnya is a partial wasteland, devastated by two wars of no-holds-barred warfare!! A sullen Chechen population and "occupying" Russian troops are presently at arms length, but both awaiting another round of hostilities??!!

"The conflict greatly contributed to the deep changes in the Russian politics and society." Deep changes to include [but not limited to]:

* "Many of the veterans [from the Chechen wars] came back alcoholic, unemployable and antisocial."

* "Thousands were also physically disabled for life"

* "Russian policemen lose their qualifications and professional skills during their duty tours in Chechnya." ["This conflict was linked to the rising brutality and general criminalisation of the Russian police forces."]

Catharsis will have to take place at a much deeper and profound level. Writing [Mironov and others] of what occurred by survivors is only a beginning and partial surcease to a situation totally bad for all!!??




Anonymous Oleg Abramov said...


I tried to make a full version of the book of V. Mironov in English, the name is "I was at that war", close to the sense of the name in Russian. Here is a link - I appreciate the comments and advisings to better the text, some mistakes are corrected already, the renewed versions will be posted regularly. Welcome to see the text.
Thanks, Oleg

3:25 AM


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