Combined Arms Tactics – TTG

Zhenya Poddubny says correctly that the Ukrainians Liman and other villages do not take head-on. There are forests and swamps around. They operate in maneuverable groups, up to a platoon, three jeeps, one “Kozak” (something in between our “Typhoon” and “Tiger”). That’s it. And there are many such groups going forward. There is no big collective goal, they do not accumulate in one place. Their comms are reliable (stable closed communication between groups and headquarters, use of large and small UAVs). They inspire fear with their appearance (who knows, maybe  it’s a regiment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine coming towards you).

These groups envelop the villages, block them. The same way the militants in August 1996 took Grozny. They entered the city by “goat paths”, blocked checkpoints in small groups, and that’s it, then the main forces entered, the city of Grozny was taken by militants.

Everything from the fact that we lock ourselves in our bases, do not pierce the entire space around with tentacles, do not have the active defense initiative, give it to the enemy. Here in Chechnya (these wars cannot be compared, I understand) if the regiment stood in the mountains, and its intelligence did not rummage around in the required 5 km distance, that’s it, the militants blocked this regiment, strangled it. This is my vision of the process. If there is a city in front of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and operational space around, they will go the same way, in front of the “Cossack patrol” then large groups, but also enveloping the city. And then, figuratively speaking, the bend of the arm behind the back, followed by strangulation.

What to do? Calm down. Who is really interested in the real situation, you will not find the nuances in Telegram or on the Web. I believe that we are doing everything right. TODAY, TO NOT TURN THE COUNTRY INTO A THEATER OF WAR, IT IS NECESSARY TO TURN IT INTO A TRAINING GROUND. We are moving towards this.

Comment: Between this RFE/RL video and the observation/analysis of the Russian war blogger going by the name of Sladkov, we have a good account of Ukrainian tactical operations on the Kharkiv-Donbas front. I don’t know why, but Sladkov ends his lament on a surprisingly optimistic note. But his observations are in line with what I said in a discussion with Leith and Sam yesterday.

“By all accounts the Russians are dazed, confused and shit out of reserves. But they are still dangerous and can inflict losses on the Ukrainians they can ill afford if they’re allowed to consolidate and throw out mine fields. IMO the best bet is to push the lighter sabotage-recon units like the two battalions of the Kraken Regiment into the rear avoiding strong points and tearing up as many command and control, artillery and logistic targets as they can. Use their drones for recon and calling in long range fires. These units have already proved up to the task. The tank and mech brigades can catch up.”

I’m not sure how they’re operating on the Kherson front, probably something closer to the assault on strongpoint Moscow rather than the Cossack predations described by Sladkov. They don’t have the tree cover there, but I’m sure they’re using some appropriate form of combined arms tactics.


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30 Responses to Combined Arms Tactics – TTG

  1. Pat Lang says:

    Standard CA tactics well executed. It is surprising the Russians cannot stand up to this.

    • TTG says:


      Russia’s military reforms of the last two decades seemed reasonable on paper, but the implementation was a corruption-ridden scam.

      • Barbara Ann says:


        On this topic you may be interested in an article today on (a conservative Russian site) entitled “In the war with Ruin, the bureaucracy wins. Serdyukov laid a mine under the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation”. It includes a quoted passage from a DPR commander complaining that he is drowning in paperwork (machine translation):

        “I don’t see or hear any personnel. Organized the shooting — couldn’t attend. I prepare bottled “forms”, personnel security clearances, a patient record book, an evening verification log, training plans, platoon logs. I don’t have any company equipment — there are reports on fuel and lubricants, receiving and writing off ammunition… There is a war going on, and I don’t see people: meetings, papers, reports, offices.”

        The author ends with this staggering claim:

        During the Great Patriotic War, a combat order took up half a page and was often issued after the fact, to avoid wasting time and losing operational understanding of the situation. Now the order is 10-20 A4 sheets for the simplest task and is issued before its oral delivery. And, God forbid, it will not comply with the governing documents invented by Serdyukov. And there is always someone to report “inconsistencies” in the actions of real commanders

        As the title implies, the blame is laid at the feet of the reforms undertaken by Serdyukov (during Medvedev’s presidency). They seem to have turned the Russian military into a completely dysfunctional force. Surely this will take much longer to fix that the timescale now available. How long before we see the ‘suddenly’ phase?

        https/ (in Russian)

        • Fourth and Long says:

          Remind you of lawyers ? Like Mr Big for example. Gotto have someone to blame. It’s possibly one way to deceive yourself that you are effectively fighting corruption. Reminds me of Kafka’s short story titled Poseidon. Turns out the God of the sea is a bureaucrat at a desk deep under the surface, tallying up whirlpools, currents, eddies, rates of fish migration, minnow counts, shrimp depletion etc. All alone at his desk.

        • cobo says:

          Yes, yes, that would be the “New World Order,” same as the “Old World Order.” Bureaucrats and Technocrats will inevitably fail. And, unlike the Men of Action, here, and the old “Silent Majority,” School Teachers, Cops, Firemen, Nurses, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines… who will address the reality and do the hard work left without recourse due to complacency, stupidity and criminality, well I digress.

      • Pat Lang says:

        In retrospect it seems quite possible that GSFG and the echelons behind it were also a pile of crap.

        • borko says:


          the Soviets had a pretty capable military at the end of WW2. How does a country lose those hard learned competencies ?

          • Pat Lang says:

            Easily. All you need is generals who are focused on their personal ambition and for whom remembering is inconvenient. We forgot everything we had learned about counterinsurgency after VN. In three years teaching at USMA I never once heard anyone o the faculty mention VN. Never.

  2. mcohen says:

    Probably Starobilsk then m4

  3. Al says:

    Reuters Daily Briefing <
    Ukrainian forces achieved their biggest breakthrough in the south of the country since the war began, bursting through the front and advancing rapidly along the Dnipro River, threatening to encircle thousands of Russian troops.

    Kyiv gave no official confirmation of the gains, but Russian sources acknowledged that a Ukrainian tank offensive had advanced dozens of kilometers along the river's west bank, recapturing a number of villages along the way.

  4. Sam says:


    The video was very interesting. What struck me was if the Russians stood their ground and fought back against the small “marauding” Ukrainian forces they could have thwarted these advances. They had plenty of ammunition. They lost their nerve as they had no intelligence that the attack was with a small force.

    Don’t they have UAVs and other tools for reconnaissance? What does it say about their fighting spirit and how can they change that in the short term?

    • TTG says:


      Yes, if the Russian Army was better, they might prevail. However, they are not and they will not. I seriously doubt they can do any better in the short term.

      • blue peacock says:

        “I seriously doubt they can do any better in the short term.”


        Maybe this reality is hitting home to Putin. His next gamble is to try and spook the west by getting his nuclear weapons train and submarine going. I’m sure we are communicating to those who actually push the red button that it will not be a smart idea to do that.

        In the meantime the Ukranian military is trapping some 25K Russian soldiers west of the river in Kherson with limited supply replenishment and pushing further east in the Donbass. By the time Putin gets his hapless conscripts to the front line it may be back at the Russian border. And that would be the time for Ukraine and its western backers to suggest a ceasefire.

        All said and done it is evident that the Russians do not have a “super power” class military. Irrespective of Putin’s and their militant nationalist wing’s rhetoric, it is time for the Russian elites to give up on beating up their neighbors and strutting on the world stage as an equivalent military adversary to the US.

  5. MT_Bill says:

    So on a good day I need 2 hours to get clear of the missle fields and 12 hours to hit a low-density area of the west coast. Six hours gets me outside of the fallout impact zones of Seattle and Portland given the current jet stream and the old FEMA maps.

    If the Russians use a low yield nuke in Ukraine, and we target the Black Sea Fleet, what’s the educated guess on how many hours we have until things get western out here?

    Or do you think each escalatory step might have some sort of built in “cooling off” time period and we’ll have a nice, neat, organized progression to nuclear war?

    I only put the odds of this going pear-shaped in the 10-25% range, but those are plenty high enough to have an exit plan. He who panics first often panics best. If nothing else you don’t get caught at the exits.

    • Pat Lang says:

      MT Bill
      On the subject of TC Tonight, tonight. Someone suggested he i just a pacifist. This tonight went way past pacifism. His message was basically that Putin and the Russians have been wronged and that the US should surrender to Putin’s threats. This is pacifism?

      • MT_Bill says:

        So I don’t watch much TV. I really only catch Tucker when someone sends me a direct clip via a link. Sometimes I agree with them and sometimes I don’t. Which is. Which is better than my thoughts on most people in politics generally. If it isn’t clear from some of my previous posts I think the whole thing is stupid and a obvious waste of human life, potential, and resources that could have been avoided diplomatically. But it was also obvious that this was eventually gonna happen back in 2014, and maybe even earlier to those people who were really paying attention. Then their were those that were clearly pursuing every opportunity they could to make this happen.

        I think we’re past the point of where pacifism matters, and both sides are already locked into a narrowing set of available options that could clearly turn out poorly. My assessment is that in Sun Tzu’s terms Russia believes they are on deaths ground so they will fight. The West thinks they have Russia backed into a corner and can beat them militarily and economically which maybe they can but clearly disregards the potential of nuclear conflict.

        And so my only interest is my own and my family survival. We were on this continent long before the United States existed and as far as I’m concerned I’m happy for us to remain here when it’s gone. It’s not like I have any say in that matter. And so the question remains, if a nuclear conflict kicked off with low yield weapons in the Ukraine, how fast do we think it could escalate?

      • MT_Bill says:

        And as a side note, I’d like to point out that I keep hearing our president tell us that we are not at war with Russia. So how could we possibly surrender to them?

      • blue peacock says:

        Col. Lang,

        What do you speculate are Tucker’s, Larry Johnson’s and the rest of the crowd that are promoting “surrender to Putin’s threats” motivation?

        I like Tucker as he is the only mainstream show that has taken a markedly different position on many issues. He has consistently held the neocons and the illiberal wokeists to task. He counseled Trump from escalating in Syria and has been front and center against the wokeism that has taken over the elite structures in media, politics and government.

    • Fred says:


      If the Ukrainians, or anyone else, uses a big conventional bomb and then scatters radioactive material around they can shout “Tac Nuke Tac Nuke Russia Did It” at the top of their lungs and get the conventional (or rataliatory action) intervention by the US and NATO they have been screaming for, with much western aid, for months. It is so reminiscent of who was to be blamed for MH17 or for “gas attacks” in Syria. Meanwhile did you see the pending destruction of Credit Suisse and Duestche Bank due to blowback from sanctions on the Russians? Even the UN is now demanding the FED keep inflation alive and bail out the EU banks. To get even more support from the EU member states some agent blew up a pair of pipelines off-shore. That sure kept one player in this from making a deal with the other, didn’t it?

    • blue peacock says:

      MT Bill

      Are you suggesting that the next time some tinpot dictator with nuclear weapons threatens Armageddon that the world should cave?

      Putin should get that Ukraine and the west are not going to be intimidated with his nuclear threats. He’s gonna have to eat crow considering he completely misjudged the quality and effectiveness of his much vaunted military against a much smaller neighbor. His judgment that all he needed was a “special military operation” to effect regime change in Ukraine is being proven wrong on the battlefield. He should cut his losses and get what is remaining of his military back home instead of letting his ego drive him at this point. Putin needs to recognize that his military is not in the “super-power” class.

      • MT_Bill says:

        To be clear not much concerned with nuclear threats, I’m concerned with their use and subsequent escalation.

        Been a long time reader here way back on the old site don’t recognize your handle so I’ve got to ask are you on the clock and getting paid?

        • Pat Lang says:

          MT Bill
          I don’t pay anyone.

        • blue peacock says:

          MT Bill,

          “….don’t recognize your handle so I’ve got to ask are you on the clock and getting paid?”


          When argument fails impugn the motive of the interlocutor. Your approach seems like what I’ve seen from commentators on anti-American blog MoA anytime someone posts reports on the failure of the much vaunted hero Russian military.

          • MT_Bill says:

            So you deny being paid to make posts on sites such as this? You never answered my original question.

            I am not being paid. I askqed my question because in the past there was a fairly good discourse among the commentary. That makes it useful to get a general feeling on the overall vibe of the educated populace. Obviously as of late that has changed dramatically.

          • blue peacock says:

            MT Bill,

            Your question/assertion that when your argument fails you impugn the motive of the other person is ridiculous to start with. Are you paid to post here or is it your own opinion? My posts on Col. Lang’s blog for many years have always been mine. Your approach here is classic cultural marxist – attack the person not the argument!

            You show me the earliest post you have made on Col. Lang’s blog and I’ll show you mine. How about that?

  6. Pat Lang says:

    The little “marauding bands” are just the recon element of the UA armored force. In German they would have been called something like “panzer aufklarungs abteilungen.”

    • TTG says:


      In the Ukrainian Army, they’re recon-sabotage units like the Kraken Regiment which spearheaded the initial drive to Kupyansk and beyond. It’s could be this unit that so haunts that Russian war blogger. This unit is far lighter than our armored cav squadrons but are well equipped with mortars and drones along with a wide array of pickups, SUVs and light armored trucks. They have some heavier stuff, probably captured, but not much. The troops seem well trained, well motivated and with balls of steel. There’s one video of an armored Humvee on the attack with an American volunteer shooting a 50 cal and a couple of AT-4s from the top hatch.

      • Pat lang says:

        Ok. What do they “sabotage?” I went on an exercise once with the Italian Sabotage Battalion. Blowing bridges was their idea of sabotage. If they do sabotage, how about the Kerch Strait bridge? One way trip? Hey, these are the death or glory boys. Or is this like the RSTA Bns. that have been substituted for armored or air cavalry. Amusing. MI people playing cavalry. Yes, that will work out well.

        • TTG says:


          I don’t know where the sabotage comes in. It was the term used by both sides back in the 2014-2015 fighting. Judging by their actions, the sabotage might just be a capability to conduct independent raids forward of the lines. Superficially, the two battalions of the Kraken Regiment, and any other unit that might look like this, do resemble the RSTA squadrons. The difference I see is that the RSTA units only have enough personnel to man the vehicles and crew served weapons. The Kraken is mostly infantry with rides. I don’t think it was planned that way. It was only created when the war started with mostly Azov veterans and foreign SOF volunteers mounted on scrounged/donated vehicles. Earlier in the year the regiment assaulted and cleared towns outside Kharkiv by itself with supported dismounted infantry attacks.

          A lot of Soviet era bridges were built to take a few missile strikes. The Kerch bridge was supposed to be built that way, but given the Putin era corruption, I would not be surprised to learn that it was built with crap concrete and steel. Perhaps we’ll learn soon enough.

          The cav squadron in the 25th Infantry, 3/4 Cav, was fairly unique when I was there. It had one armored cav troop and two air cav troops. That meant there were three M-551 Sheridans as the division’s only armor.

          • scott s. says:

            3-4 Cav organization has bounced around a lot. When they retired the Kiowas that was the end of their aviation, they were replaced in 25th CAB by 2-6 Cav flying Apaches. So now 3-4 Cav is a recce squadron in 2d BCT.

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