MarkHertling Profile picture
Nov 9 6 tweets 1 min read
Lots of commentary on RU withdrawal from Kherson & potential for UA capturing equipment & personnel.

Yes. Watching RU activities in this Oblast since about 3 Oct, was predictable.

Plus, from experience an enemy's withdrawal provides many opportunities. 1/6
Please know that armies can gain a great deal of intelligence from an enemy's withdrawal.

The UA has great intelligence gathering and that capability is supplemented by its partners & allies.

They won't be fooled. They'll know if RU action is a "ruse" or "feint." 2/
A real (or a fake) RU withdrawal from Kherson will provide a lot of intelligence.

Intel will consist of new targets, signal intercepts, routes, new locations for assembly areas and supply caches, and things "left behind" that will indicate the capabilities of those who left. 3/
There will also likely be prisoners, dead and wounded left behind, equipment stockpiles, and even documents.

Russia has not proven themselves to be good with operational security (OPSEC) & a withdrawal provides all kind of unintentionally or accidentally discarded info. 4/
Add to all this the associated lowered morale of the withdrawing force. It's never a boost to a forces' will to be ordered into a retrograde or withdrawal operation.

This action will only further lower the morale of the RU force, and increase the fight in the UA. 5/
I've been watching the Kherson front for weeks. This isn't the "bagging" of a large force that I anticipated, but it is just as good.

No one should be worried about Ukraine's army being fooled by RU misdirection, 6/6

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More from @MarkHertling

Nov 11
Happy Veterans' Day!

I've had this photo hanging in my office everyday since 2004 as a reminder of what we ask of our military. Let me tell the story in a short 🧵.

It's a picture of a soldier from the 173d Airborne Brigade.
He had just parachuted in on a mission. 1/4 Image
When most see it, they are appalled by the soldier's load. And yes, that's what they carry into combat.

But look closer...

It's hard to see, but he has a comrade right next to him. Soldiers always have "battle buddies" to help them through the tough times. 2/
He looks exhausted. He likely is. But the load is more than physical.

Looking at his face, there's more to his load.
-Is it the mission?
-Is he wondering if he'll live up to expectations of his troopers?
-Is he concerned about his family back home? 3/
Read 4 tweets
Nov 11
@soledadobrien @CNN Basically, Kherson is a critically important piece of terrain due to major roads (from Rostov in Russia to Odesa and beyond), wide rivers, important bridges, and ability to control access to Crimea. RU army made a bad operational mistake of moving forces beyond their ability.. 1/
@soledadobrien @CNN …to resupply. They also made the mistake of attempting to establish a RU government w/o the adequate supply of troops to “secure” cities in the Oblast. But the biggest mistake was pushing 40k troops across the Dnipro River. Without going into tactical details…2/
@soledadobrien @CNN …the RU Army was split on two sides of a wide river without resupply capabilities, and the UA blew bridges behind them…then maneuvered to surround they forces who had their backs to the river (tough to escape). The RU move is similar to the mistakes German forces made…3/
Read 4 tweets
Oct 30
Last week, @SpyTalker published a solid piece commenting on how RU's lack of an NCO Corps were the chief cause of failure in UKR.

It not the only one, but it's a huge contributor.

We'll see implications of that as winter approaches

A new 🧵 1/17…
I've been evaluating the actions of both sides based on something the Army calls "Warfighting Functions."

Warfighting functions are defined in an Army Doctrinal Publication 3-0. It's a group of tasks & systems commanders use as a guide to successfully accomplish missions. 2/
The Warfighting Functions provide an intellectual organization for thinking about actions of different groups in combat.

A framework of how to "see" the battlefield to determine how things "fit."

This chart comes from the manual. It's a bit "power-point-ish," but it's great. 3/
Read 17 tweets
Oct 23
The @washingtonpost was one of many reporting on @SecDef call w/ Russian MOD Shoigu.

There isn’t much substance in the reporting, because governments either don’t provide the substance or they skew what they want people to know based on their messaging.1/…
Having been on these kinds of contentious calls with foreign counterparts (with less at stake) sometimes it’s just feeling each other out.
The pentagon describing the call with the term “professional” tells me there was little to no significant breakthroughs. 2/
Sec Austin likely provided some pointed but nuanced communication that gave Shoigu pause. And Shoigu was likely testing Austin…and lying.

Remember, Shoigu is corrupt, a crook, a grifter, & is the guy most responsible for how poorly the Russian army is performing. 3/
Read 7 tweets
Oct 20
It appears Putin is taking a page out of the 17th century. He's now attempting to "dragoon" Ukrainians to fight in the RU Army.

The smart RU expert @jillrussia used the term "dragooning" during @wolfblitzer's @CNNSitRoom tonight.

What's that mean? A short historical 🧵 1/12
Dragoon is usually a noun, but Jill used it as a verb.

As a verb, it means: "subjugate or persecute & by extension compel by violent measures or threats."

The term dates to 1689, when the French forced Protestants to lodge soldiers at the householder's expense. 2/
In the 17th century, it expanded to mean forcing locals to "serve against their will under arms to fight."

"Dragooning" suggested forcing someone to take up arms or support a ruler without loyalty or patriotic duty.

The subdued were usually given the choice: fight or die.
Read 13 tweets
Oct 17
Today, Putin continued to commit war crimes. This time incorporating newly purchased Iranian drones to attack civilians.

Many are commenting how to counter these weapons so it might be best to understand the Iranian Shahed 136 (Russia calls them Geran-2).

A new 🧵 1/10
The Iranian Shahed 136 (we'll call it G2 for RU Geran-2) is termed a "loitering munition" drone, according to the Oryx handbook.

It's one of dozens of Iranian drones of myriad types.

Shahed translates as "witness," Geran is the RU for "geranium." 2/…
Facts about the G2:
-It has a published range of 2500 km (about 1500 miles). That's suspect.
-It weighs about 200 kg (≈ 450 lbs)
-The payload (explosives) are estimated to be ≈ 50-60kg (130 lbs of explosives, smaller than the lightest 250 lb bombs delivered by aircraft). 3/
Read 10 tweets

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