The situation in Ukraine

Ukraine March 2022

I don’t claim to be any sort of military strategist. I do have claim to be a student of history; history was my favourite subject at school also something I studied in further education and have had an interest in ever since.

History has taught me that there are only two ways to capture a city.

Encirclement and siege or scorched earth.

There doesn’t appear to have been any in-between these 2 options. World War 2 and to a lesser extent the wars since then have shown that armour is very ineffective in a city environment and also very vulnerable.

A Molotov cocktail thrown by a single person onto a tank moving slowly through an urban street has the potential to destroy that tank.

Armour needs to be able to manoeuvre to both protect itself and project it’s power, it’s far better suited to wide open fields and plans where it can rain down it’s destruction from a distance, putting it inside an urban environment negates both it’s manoeuvrability and it’s ability to attack from a distance.

The only way to make a city a suitable environment for armour is to clear it building by building and then to level those buildings. A very long and very brutal process that would cost countless lives on both sides.

The other choice is siege. This is another long term strategy and ties up massive amounts of resources as you have to encircle the city and cut off every avenue of supply completely, very hard to do in the modern world.

There appears to be no in-between these 2 choices apart from the hope that the defenders of the city just surrender and to make that happen the attacker needs to become so brutal that the defenders think surrendering is the only way to save themselves, to do this means starting a scorched earth policy.

There is of course in the modern world another option, the option to just wipe that city out in an instant but even that’s a double edged sword because you put your own encircling forces in harm’s way.

If I had to guess what Putin’s intentions were, then looking back at history I would say the massive amount of armour he is moving in is for encirclement and siege so this look like it’s a long term strategy developing and won’t be over any time soon.

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