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Ukraine’s Forces Get Boost From Arsenal of Old-Fashioned Artillery

Rogue Valley

Putin = War Criminal
DP Veteran
Apr 18, 2013
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Ukraine’s Forces Get Boost From Arsenal of Old-Fashioned Artillery


In the mythology of Ukraine’s resistance against Russia’s invading forces, light-footed infantry armed only with shoulder-fired anti-tank missiles from the U.S. and Europe have played the starring role. Yet that’s only part of a story where old-fashioned artillery is helping create decisive wins. Artillery’s less articulated but central function explains why the U.S. and other nations that collectively make up Ukraine’s arsenal are now putting so much emphasis on providing 155mm howitzers — in the case of the U.S., at least 90 of them, worth as much as $750,000 a piece, plus 184,000 rounds of ammunition. Traditional firepower, supported by drones that allow for pinpoint targeting, is set to remain dominant in the next phase of the war, along a 300-plus mile (482 km) front in the eastern Donbas region. Even before the arrival of the more sophisticated, often longer range canons now being fed into the Ukrainian war effort, artillery was key. The success was on show in Bucha before the town outside Kyiv in Ukraine’s north became infamous for the brutality of its Russian occupation. An iconic image of Russian tanks destroyed on a main street seemed to sum up the success of Ukraine’s David versus Goliath tactics.

Just two dozen Ukrainian volunteers, armed with Kalashnikovs, hunting rifles and Soviet-era grenade launchers managed to slow the column by destroying the lead vehicle in an ambush, according to Vasyl Shcherbakov, who helped organize Bucha’s defense. The tiny force couldn’t take on the entire Russian column of more than 30 tanks and fighting vehicles, but the delay they caused provided time to alert an artillery battery on the outskirts of the capital. That unit sent drones up over the column to provide targeting coordinates while it moved through the town. As Russian tanks began to pass out of Bucha, the artillery let fly with devastating accuracy. “They sent us Javelins first because they didn’t trust Ukraine would hold up,” Narozhnyy said. The U.S. is sending artillery now, Narozhnyy believes, because that collapse didn’t happen and Washington sees the ability of Ukraine’s organized defense to survive. Artillery, numbers and even technology aren’t everything. Intangibles such as motivation, training and planning have been at least as important in determining the course of the war to date, according to Zagorodnyuk, the former defense minister.

The number of US artillery pieces that have arrived in Poland and destined for Ukraine are enough to constitute a modern artillery battalion. Ukraine needs about six such new artillery battalion's.

The 184,000 delivered artillery shells can be fired in one month in a hot conflict.
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