Old Mother Hubbard
The cupboard is bare...
On the 4th June 1942, Adolf Hitler secretly flew to Finland to meet with that country’s leader and commander-in-chief, Field Marshall Carl Mannerheim to congratulate him on his 75th birthday. After formal speeches and pleasantries, Hitler and Mannerheim and their entourages retired to Mannerheim’s personal train carriage for lunch and a private discussion about the progress of the war. Of course, Hitler wasn’t really in Finland to celebrate Mannerheim’s birthday. He was concerned about the progress of Operation Barbarossa and he desperately wanted Finland to increase its commitment to the war. Hitler was unaware however that a sound engineer from the Finnish national radio broadcaster was secretly recording the conversation. The 11 minute recording - it was discovered and stopped - is interesting for two reasons. One, it is the only recording of Hitler’s normal speaking voice, and two, it contains a frank admission that Germany had substantially underestimated the industrial capacity of the Soviet Union. Hitler admitted,
“It is evident…evident. They have the most monstrous armament that is humanly conceivable…so…if anybody had told me that one state…if anybody had told me that one state can line up with 35.000 tanks, I’d have said ‘you have gone mad’… …I had not thought this possible…If somebody had told me that…I have told this just before, we have found industrial plants…one of these in (unintelligible: Kalanuskaja?) for example, that was under construction two years ago…and we had no idea…and today there is a tank production facility that…that…in the first shift a bit over 30.000 and in full development should have employed more than 60.000 workers…one single tank production facility…we have occupied it…a gargantuan facility…”
One of the key, undisclosed, motivations for Germany’s attack on the Soviet Union was the realization that the Soviet’s rapid economic and industrial expansion under Stalin’s Five Year Plans was rapidly outstripping German industrial capacity. If the Soviet Union was allowed to continue industrializing unmolested, Germany would not be able to resist a future Soviet invasion in 1943 or later. The Germans felt they must strike now while they retained military superiority - even though all their war-gaming showed they would lose a long war. Hitler and the German general staff gambled everything on a long-shot that the Soviets could be defeated in a short war followed by a negotiated peace. It was a gamble that Germany lost.
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Ironically, there was an element of de-ja-vu with the situation in 1914. After the disastrous Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05, Imperial Russia had undergone an industrial expansion that, had it continued unabated, would ultimately have made Russia the biggest industrial nation in Europe. Germany’s war planners were keen to smash Russia and seize its western, more industrialized territories before the balance turned against them.
The idea that Germany’s ‘drive to the east’ policy belongs to Hitler is ridiculous. The eastern expansion of Germany had a very long history stretching back into the 17th century.
Everybody under-estimates Russia, except Otto von Bismark, but there are no Bismarks anywhere in the west these days.
The Arsenal of Democracy
Since the beginning of the Ukrainian operation, western media and commentators have confidently declared ‘Russia is running out of tanks/bullets/missiles/aircraft/soldiers….’ Bernard at Moon of Alabama provides a good collection of headlines: https://www.moonofalabama.org/2022/06/russia-is-running-out-of-whatever-the-media-claim-.html
There is more to this than propaganda. The reason for these confident assertions is that the combined west actually has no comprehension of the true scale of modern industrial warfare. During the Second World War, the United States became the arsenal of world as it was blessed with enormous quantities of both raw materials and workers and - most importantly - was insulated from enemy attack by two oceans. The US could therefore pump out tanks, guns and artillery in unheard of quantities and supply the armies of all the Allied nations. At the end of the war - and in preparation for the anticipated next one with the Soviet Union - hundreds of thousands of shells, bombs and munitions were stockpiled. These vast stockpiles were slowly spent down in wars in Korea, Vietnam and the countless other wars the US has subsequently fought around the world. The US was still dropping World War Two era bombs on targets in the Second Iraq War in 2003. https://stolzuntermenschen.blogspot.com/2022/03/2003-iraq-war-gru-intelligence-archive.html
The US - and Europe to a lesser degree - makes much of its new generation weaponry, but most of this expensive matériel has proven itself not combat capable. Half of the M777 howitzers the US sent to Ukraine broke down before they could be bought into action and are too complex to be repaired in the field. They also need extensive training to be used effectively. Similarly, the ‘game changing’ Javelin anti-tank missile comes with much fancy electronics, but it cannot be used unless fully charged, is sensitive to knocks and requires extensive training. Thousands of these munitions have been shipped to Ukraine where they were abandoned and captured by the Russians.
At the end of this operation Russia is likely to have working examples of virtually all western military tech.
“The most monstrous armament that is humanly conceivable”
The Russians learned from World War Two the importance of mass firepower on the battlefield. The Soviets stockpiled huge quantities of tanks and artillery. Huge ‘abandoned’ tank parks were a feature of the post-Soviet landscape and were called out as examples of the massive waste of the communist system. There was an important difference however between these ex-Soviet stockpiles and western stockpiles. The Russians favor practicality over sophistication. With only the barest maintenance and a fresh battery a T60 battle-tank can easily be put back into front-line service.
Reinhardt Gehlen’s intelligence service did not observe the Soviet’s massive military industrial capacity in 1941, and neither did America’s in the 2000s. Russia’s slow reconstitution of its economy and military industrial capability was simply brushed over as being of no consequence. In 2014, President Barack Obama declared “Russia doesn’t make anything.” Psychopathic warmonger, Senator John McCain followed that up declaring “..Russia is a gas station masquerading as a country." While Obama, McCain and their associates sat around congratulating themselves on Americas greatness and stroking each other’s dicks, Russia quietly got to work. The results were the deployment into combat readiness of the Su-57 fifth generate fighter, the S-600 anti-ballistic missile system, the Sarmat and Satan super ballistic missile systems, the hyper-sonic Khinzal, nuclear powered cruise missiles, undersea nuclear drones, state of the art electronic warfare systems and, underlying all this cutting edge tech, an effective military industry capable of manufacturing all the munitions the Russian army require. The Russian MoD talks casually about the operation continuing to the end of the year because they are not concerned about supply and logisitics.
Russia, in the Ukraine campaign, is demonstrating how modern combined arms warfare is fought. The Russian armed forces - air, sea and ground - are expending both high tech and conventional munitions in massive quantities to grind down the Ukrainian / NATO forces and minimize Russian casualties. US and NATO commentators complain bitterly about Russia’s ‘horrific’ use of artillery, as if shelling your opponent was somehow new. As Napoleon said, “Great battles are won with artillery.”
It’s not just the effect of the artillery on the battlefield that has the west in a panic. It’s sheer volume of munitions being expended. The Americans have scoured Europe for all the stockpiles of Soviet era weapons they can find and the cupboard is now bare. They’ve extended their search to Africa and the Middle East in a desperate effort to supply the Ukrainians. Whatever meager quantities are shipped in - Soviet era or modern - are destroyed as soon as it gets there.
Australia’s contribution to the post-Ukrainian scrap metal industry - the Bushmaster - shipped to Ukraine with much fanfare in April 2022. https://stolzuntermenschen.substack.com/p/war-is-a-scam
There is now a dawning realization among those with a functioning brain that the west has bitten off more than it can chew. Alex Vershinin, writing in the Royal United Services Institute for Defense (RUSI) lays out the details in his article, ‘The Return of Industrial Warfare.’ It is a very good read. https://rusi.org/explore-our-research/publications/commentary/return-industrial-warfare/
The bottom line is, modern war requires a vast expenditure of munitions and this can only be achieved by a modern industrial power. Russia is a modern industrial power. The US and the collective west however, have de-industrialized and do not have the capacity or capability to manufacture the required munitions to sustain a war with a peer power (i.e., Russia and China). https://stolzuntermenschen.substack.com/p/war-is-a-scam If fought at the same scale as the Ukraine operation, the combined west would burn through their entire munitions stockpile in a matter of weeks. Russia can sustain this rate of consumption indefinitely.
None of this should be a surprise to anyone. Russia already demonstrated in Syria that it could sustain round the clock aerospace sorties at a rate that left US observers shocked. That, and the speed with the Russians could deploy and move forces around the battlefield. And yet….
The implications are obvious and trial balloons and warnings are beginning to be floated in the media - with Russia obviously losing the war in Ukraine, how long before she resorts to nuclear weapons.
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