M. Daniels (FB): Ce poate fi retragerea rusă din Donbas

As recently observed, Russian forces are in tough positions in both the Kharkiv and Kherson areas. There are clear signs and reports of Russian units withdrawing, some surrendering and or being routed, most being disorganized and retreating. However, in truth, while there are all elements of that occurring, the reality is, Russia is attempting to conduct what is known as a „Retrograde” [however successful or not is another story].

In basic terms, a Retrograde is an action, that is entirely defensive and aims to attempt an organized* movement away from enemy forces attacking. The basic reasons are fairly obvious. What is less obvious are the specifics of such an attempt and can widely be misleading and labeled as a rout, disaster, retreat, etc.

Naturally, there will be chaos, fear, confusion, all causing units to abandon positions, etc. The critical factor[s] with this is scale and scope. An unexpected attack could likely lead to these events occuring, at least initially, and especially in a specific sector or area. What a Retrograde does is that it attempts to organize a response and prevent the chaos and disorganization from affecting an entire force.

In simple terms, it is designed to preserve a force in totality, to retain or re establish order, in totality, and to move the remaining force, away to regain its cohesion. Retrogrades are usually successful if the attacking force does not have an exploitation force in hot pursuit of a disrupted and disorganized force and by trading ground for time, is allowed to re establish positions out of contact.

*[side note: The pundits earleir claiming tanks and combat vehicles are antiquated are wrong yet again as current events are proving such novice views wrong]*.

Back to it..

There are clear signs that Russia has begun to re establish order for their front. One clue is the ability to C2 disarrayed formations and units, while concurrently re establishing lines elsewhere. These efforts are occurring, whether or not that will be successful is another matter. Another factor is that a force retrograding MUST abandon terrain, thus lose ground and the reason for this is simple; soil is irrelevant and can be potentially regained, as shown by the Ukrainian attack last week.

Next lets focus on what helped cause the Russian need to even do a Retrograde?

As mentioned in earleir articles, the Russian Army has several organizational flaws. A chief flaw among the many is that the Russian Army lacks dedicated and specifically trained reconnaissance units that are primarily tasked, trained and equppied to conduct Cavalry operations, more specifically, to conduct dedicated Reconnaissance and Security Operations for the main Army or formation.

Russian forces lack this ability and below will lay out how and why that matters.

I: Purpose

Reconnaissance forces provide early and accurate warning for their Army. Russian forces in the Kharkiv front were taken by surprise, even with Ukrainian forces massing for an concentrated attack against a specific sector in Russian lines for a clear amount of time.

Secondly, Reconnaissance units also must provide their Commander enough time to react. This clearly implies that a „Guard mission” should be the baseline level of capability required [there are three main ones, a „guard” mission is in the middle].

II: Why

Having time and early warning to react to an attack allows for a formation or force to retain organization and C2 efforts. It also affords the main body or force time to reposition, to move to other positions of advantage, to be prepared, to initiate a planned and organized withdraw and in good fashion, etc.

Thus, these shortcomings are fairly evident in the Russian Army MTOE and doctrine as both are exceptionally weak and is widely evident in their overall performance. It is also widely known in US military circles as well. These failures, when identified, usually are exploited fully with the introduction of ISR assets, C5 assets and oppositional reconnaissance efforts, known as the counter reconnaissance fight. The „why” helps to prevent ambushes, abandoned equipment, clogged routes, mitigates vulnerability along said routes, hinders the ability to engage High Value Targets, hinders Artillery and Indirect Fires and most definetly, helps* to prevent surprise attacks.

Reconnaissance forces also can serve as rear guard contingency for a force conducting a Retrograde and or to facilitate a rearward passage of lines, should the need arise, such as when defending and the need to withdrawal arises. Critical for these options to be feasible.. is early warning and time.

The above all are known as „Enabling Operations”.

The reality:

Sometimes a situation has more to do with an inherent weakness in a defending force than an oppositional strength in an attacking force. When the fundamentals are not followed, failures can and do often occur. It is precisely why the fundamentals and basics are so deeply interwoven with the concepts of military discipline and why history has repeatedly shown that a disciplined force that is motivated and drilled on the fundamentals and basics has less errors than those who skip and ignore it.

Looking forward, this and the following week will be very telling on what becomes of this situation. Despite recent claims of „Ukrainian Blitzkriegs” as well as other site[s] stealing my articles, and as well as the various claims of the entire eradication and doom of the Russian Army, the Russian Army is still very much in Ukraine, it is not yet defeated and it is not surrendering in detail or even withdrawing to Russia. It’s still there and that means what it implies.

Further, the Ukrainian Army is still fully reliant on the West, particularly the United States, for help, which without, Russia would be in a very different position than it is currently. This reality constrains and limits the situation for the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The reality also is that 3000 square km sounds better than squared miles, or say 60 by 50 or 100 by 30 or using the size of Lisbon metro in Portugal. This war is not over and there will be more devastation to come and more innocent people will suffer.

Some should remember that before cheering like it’s a sporting match, it’s a war and it’s truly tragic.

sursa: Defensionem (FaceBook)

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