A Blog by Jonathan Low


Jul 12, 2023

The Reason Cluster Munitions Now Give Ukraine A Strategic Advantage

As Ukraine's counteroffensive strategy has evolved from direct armored assault against heavily fortified positions to attritional attacks on both defenses and logistic capabilities, having enough ammunition is crucial to their success. 

The benefit of cluster munitions is that they increase the impact and frequency of bombardment but with fewer rounds fired. This enables Ukraine to keep up the pressure on Russian forces, hastening the point at which assaults can be launched. JL 

RO37 reports in Daily Kos:

A shortage of resources like anti-air missiles, fuel, or artillery shells can force the suspension of an offensive just as much as a shortage of soldiers could. Ukraine’s overall strategy (is) a broad-front offensive, ranging from the Dnipro River Crossing up to Kreminna, 500km away, even as Ukraine has only committed six of 16 armored brigades, keeping their main force in reserve. The goal is to sap Russia’s combat power to grind down Russia’s ammunition, fuel, armored vehicles, and infantry, combined with long-range strikes on rear Russian logistical nodes. Opening 155mm DPICM artillery to Ukraine (provides) as much ammunition as it needs to keep pressure on Russian defenses.

“Culmination” happens due to the weakest link in the attacker’s ability to sustain the offensive.

Many people think of an offensive continuing until one side runs out of soldiers—but that need not be the case.

An offensive requires soldiers, vehicles, fuel, small arms ammunition, anti-air missiles, and artillery shells. Culmination need not mean that an army has run out of soldiers to send to the front. A shortage of any number of resources like anti-air missiles, fuel, or artillery shells can force the suspension or cancellation of an offensive just as much as a shortage of soldiers could do the same.
So can a lack of small arms ammunition or fuel.

When you look at Ukraine’s overall strategy, you see a broad-front offensive. Ukrainian attacks are going on ranging from the Dnipro River Crossing up to Kreminna, 500km away.


This is all happening even as Ukraine has only committed six of 16 armored brigades to combat, keeping their main force in reserve. Some of Ukraine’s most powerful units like the 1st Tank Brigade (Leopard 2s) or 82nd Air Assault Brigade (Challenger 2s) have been kept in reserve, as have a majority of Ukraine’s new NATO-trained and equipped armored brigades.

The goal is evidently to sap Russia’s combat power before the decisive push—to grind down Russia’s available ammunition, fuel, armored vehicles, and infantry reserves. This is combined with numerous long-range strikes on rearward Russian logistical nodes, to reduce the flow of men and material that can be brought forward.

Some look a lot like God smiting the Russians.

Explosion of a fuel depot in Donetsk via Noel Reports.  https://twitter.com/NOELreports/status/1676299615283343363?s=20
July 4, 2023 explosion in Donetsk City near Makiivka,

The key to this type of offense is sustained pressure. Ukraine is trying to grind down Russian resources, to stretch out its defenses till it reaches a breaking point, when it will throw in its main forces into a decisive attack.

If Ukrainian attacks are forced into a pause due to a lack of ammunition, it would give Russia the time to restock its ammunition, fuel, and reserves—potentially undoing weeks or months of Ukrainian attempts to degrade the Russian position.

This is the way the war devolves into a stalemate.

Even if Ukraine has plenty of uncommitted reserves, it doesn’t do Ukraine any good if it’s forced to let up the pressure due to its logistical issues.

Conversely, if Ukraine DOES have plenty of ammunition it can push, push, push continuing to strike Russian positions until the cascading losses of ammunition depots, fuel, and troops empty Russia’s reserve strength and a fatal break in its defenses open up that Russia is unable to plug.

Opening up 155mm DPICM artillery shell stockpiles to Ukraine gives Ukraine as much ammunition as it needs to keep the pressure on Russian defenses. It even lightens Ukraine’s logistical burden, because fewer DPICM shells are needed to clear Russian defenders from an area compared to conventional shells.

Providing Ukraine with hundreds of thousands, potentially millions of DPICM shells to sustain Ukraine’s offensive momentum is the key to breaking the back of the Russian Army. With this offensive logistical piece in place, Ukraine’s offensive need not end after 2-3 months. It can keep grinding, and grinding and grinding until the Russian Army begins to disintegrate.

It’s the “Battle of Normandy” scenario I laid out a couple of weeks ago, where German defenses at Normandy appeared to hold steady for about a month and a half before the defenses failed and Allied forces liberated Paris in a matter of days following the breakout.  In the same way, Russian defenses will be weakened slowly until it reaches a critical point where they will fail.

The DPICM 155mm stockpile is likely the difference between the Russo-Ukrainian War devolving into a long-term stalemate, and a sustained Ukrainian offensive that might break the back of the Russian defense.


Anonymous said...

There are no rules in war,except maybe on the use of nuclear....lets talk for a while about the nuclear angle in Ukraine the main problem is CHINA,this country is well happy with its existence and the last thing it needs is mass nuclear poison.Basically thats what will happen if either Nato or Russia play about with dirt bombs or tactical weapons.We are not in any way at all confident of bidens recent comments that Russia wont engage and to be clear nuclear radiation will blow over into other countries not directly involved,Id get rid of Biden out of Government in America he is undoubtedly fueling a European Armagaddon

Anonymous said...

On the subject of weapons since the disappearance of Prigozhin Wagner has handed over a large amount weapons like thousands of tonnes.This is an extremely fast development ,,,so fast indeed that it might well be linked to his apparent death,although not confirmed certain American top brass have indicated through major US media outlets
that there is a belief Prigozhin may well be another victim of the mechanisms of war.

The entire world press that have built up this persons stage presence are waiting for finalization or news of his present location.Having viewed both sides claims as follows,one American top brass indicated that he doubts this person is dead or in prison as Putin would indicate because it would make him more strong or feared....this is a good lineage and thinking however the reality is that Russia itself is in a form of turmoil,its holding its ground and on automatic issue however there is too much dirt warfare at higher levels.At a guess id go on the line that after he went over to Belarus the top guy over there forced him back on a plane at gunpoint to Russia where another internal unit detained him upon arrival whereby muslim factions have shall we say detained him as a form of internal hostage...perhaps.the evidence Russia is in turmoil is because the warrant for him is gray and also he simply left Russia for belarus.Think about this the entir Russian federation couldnt kill or detain this guy,complete nonsense .Only time will tell

Anonymous said...

Cluster like Thermo is outlawed but we have just stated there are no rules in war,its that simple as pacifists that dont support either side we are mor afraid of Biden ! Eayor .I

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