|Nun defilierte Regiment auf Regiment mit fliegenden Fahnen und klingendem Spiel bei Nußknacker vorüber und stellte sich in breiter Reihe quer über den Boden des Zimmers. Aber vor ihnen her fuhren rasselnd Fritzens Kanonen auf, von den Kanoniern umgeben, und bald ging es bum bum und Marie sah wie die Zuckererbsen einschlugen in den dicken Haufen der Mäuse, die davon ganz weiß überpudert wurden und sich sehr schämten. Vorzüglich tat ihnen aber eine schwere Batterie viel Schaden, die auf Mamas Fußbank aufgefahren war und Pum — Pum — Pum, immer hintereinander fort Pfeffernüsse unter die Mäuse schoß, wovon sie umfielen. Die Mäuse kamen aber doch immer näher und überrannten sogar einige Kanonen, aber da ging es Prr — Prr, Prr, und vor Rauch und Staub konnte Marie kaum sehen, was nun geschah. Doch so viel war gewiß, daß jedes Korps sich mit der höchsten Erbitterung schlug, und der Sieg lange hin und her schwankte.||Regiment after regiment now defiled before Nutcracker, with flying colors and warlike music, and ranged themselves in long rows across the floor of the chamber. Before them trundled Fritz’s cannon rattling along, surrounded by the cannoniers, and soon bom—bom it went, and Maria could see how the mice suffered under the bombardment, how the sugar-plums plunged into their dark, heavy mass, covering them with white powder, and throwing them more than once into shameful disorder. But the greatest damage was done them by a heavy battery that was mounted upon mamma’s footstool, which—pum, pum—kept up a steady fire of caraway seeds against the enemy, by which a great many of them fell. The mice, notwithstanding, came nearer and nearer, and at last captured some of the cannon, but then it went prr—prr—and Maria could scarcely see what now happened for the smoke and dust. This however was certain, that each corps fought with the greatest animosity, and the victory was for a long time doubtful.|
In his description of the epic battle between Nutcracker (with his Allied forces of toy soldiers and dolls) versus the Mice, ETA Hoffmann accurately described the vital role played by artillery. Once the rodent brigades had captured the caraway-seed cannons, then Fritz’s toy soldiers were forced to retreat in disarray.
For those who watch the youtube channel Ukraine Military Summary and Analysis, we learned yesterday “some very interesting updates,” as Dima likes to say. He believes that the Ukrainian decision to move artillery brigades from the Donbass to the Kherson front was a terrible blunder; leading to an irreversible breakthrough on the part of the Allied forces, starting in the Peski area and building a saliant towards Bakhmut/Artemovsk.
[I just realized that, in this extended literary metaphor, the Russians are the mice! But that would make General Zaluzhny the Nutcracker; and President Zelensky the Harlequin doll.]
In Dima’s opinion, this breakthrough is not just a tactical advantage for the Russians, it is “unfixable” for the Ukrainians. Those trenches and fortifications, which they spent 8 years building, have finally been cracked open like a ripe nut (which Dima pronounces as “gnat”). In his view, a Ukrainian counter-offensive is physically impossible on that front. In general, over the course of this war, the Ukrainians have proven themselves incapable of any kind of real, strategic counter-offensive on any front, they are mostly passive defenders. I personally attribute this to their NATO curators. I believe that if the Ukrainians had been allowed to fight the way they were taught in Soviet times, with NCO’s and other commanders fighting alongside their troops, then they would have done a much better job. NATO crippled them by imposing alien mannerisms of warfare.
“It Was A Very Hard Nut To Crack” (ETA Hoffmann)
Western MSM disagrees, of course; they think the Ukrainians are doing a dandy job, and about to launch massive counter-offensives on two fronts. For example the International Study for War (ISW) gushes that the Ukraine has begun “actively shaping the course of the war for the first time…” In other words, up until now Ukraine has been passively volleying back Russian hardballs, but now, for the first time, showed some agency in painting their own animal shapes onto the battlefield. There is a grain of truth in this claim. In the sense that Ukraine’s well-publicized intentions to re-take Kherson, did force the Russians to move 30 BTG’s from the Donbass to the Kherson line. But Westie hopes that this was “at the cost of attempts to capture Slovyansk and Siversk in Donetsk Oblast, which [the Russians] seem to have given up on so far,” are delusional. According to Dima, Seversk will fall like a domino after Bakhmut/Artemovsk falls. With some difficulty, the Russians are able to sustain offensives on two fronts; but the Ukrainians cannot sustain a strategic counter-offensive even on one front, let alone two.
That being said, Dima feels that Ukraine, in its own strategic interests, has one chance, and one chance only, left to it, to remain a viable state: Now that it has moved its artillery, there is no going back, and it must double down: Must focus all its forces on the Kherson front and push the Russians back onto the Left Bank of the Dnepr River. In other words, everything else (even the Donbass) must be sacrificed to retake Kherson. It’s their very last Hail Mary pass before the bitter ending to this circus show. Dima’s analysis matches to the debates and chattering one sees in the pro-Ukrainian blogosphere (to the extent that there is any rational non-delusional kind of thinking going on at all within that milieu). It is said that the Ukrainian leadership is deeply divided on this matter: One faction, led by General Valery Zaluzhny, wants to move the heavy artillery and troops back to the Donetsk front, in a desperate attempt to regain lost ground. Another faction, led by Ukrainian Defense Minister Alexei Reznikov and represented in the media by Alexei Arestovich, is prepared, like a painful chess move, to sacrifice the Donbass in favor of Kherson. Whereas Zelensky himself, the Clown-in-Chief, has come to believe that he is able launch counter-offensives on two fronts at the same time.
Meet The Colonels
To help us sort through all of this, we have two Russian Colonels, Viktor Baranets and Mikhail Timoshenko. Both of whom are retired and work as analysts for KP.
Is this for real? is the first question the reporter asks. And next: Or is this just some grandiose bluff on the part of the Ukrainians?
Not at all. Zelensky himself has already promised U.S. Congresspersons that the Kherson counteroffensive will take place in August, and will be completed within 3-6 weeks. Like the reincarnation of Julius Caesar Zelensky himself will lead the charge, and then modestly accept the laurels of victory. OR, if he loses badly, then (according to our analysts) he will blame his Generals and sack Zaluzhny, something he has been longing to do for quite some time.
In this simulated war game, Colonel Baranets will play for the Ukrainian General Staff. He is qualified to do this, since he himself was born in the Ukraine, in the Kharkov Oblast, and he is familiar with the Ukrainian officer class and their mentality. Colonel Timoshenko will play for the Russian side.
Baranets: I am hunched over this enormous map, studying our plan for the counter-offensive, and I am thinking: Are we not perhaps playing the fools, having already for the past month been announcing to the world our plan to throw our troops to the South. Whatever happened to military secrecy, cunning, and surprise? I just think it was stupid to let the Moskali know where we were planning to attack, and even our timeline.
Timoshenko: When I learned about Ukraine’s preparation for the counter-offensive, my first thought was: Have they lost their minds? Even the pigs are laughing in their sties, over this so-called “stratagem”. This is the first time ever in military history when politicians and generals have shown all their cards to the enemy, even before the game commences.
Baranets: As a General, I condemn all bombastic promises to conduct an offensive. That sort of PR will cost the lives of thousands of our Ukrainian soldiers. However, as a Politician, I understand that this counteroffensive is not just ours, but also belongs to the entire Western world. And for the sake of this victory, the West will send us twice as many tanks, cannons, and shells. Not only that — it’s a pretty cool way to terrorize the people living in Kherson and Melitopol; to sow panic. They will be afraid now to apply for Russian passports and vote in the referendum. They will know that once we return, we will punish them.
Timoshenko: Oho! How very well thought out, in the purely Bandera manner. Those people living in the liberated territories are saying, more and more every day: Kherson and Zaporozhie were never supposed to be included in the Ukraine, that was a mistake. And once the counteroffensive has been broken, there will not be any doubt left in anybody’s mind. The Crimean scenario for Kherson and Zaporozhie will become irreversible at that point.
Scenario #1: The Attack On Kherson
Baranets: Things are going badly for us on the Donbass front, we are falling back, and our losses are horrendous. We need to pull off some kind of victory, otherwise our army will simply flee from the trenches.
Timoshenko: True. In the Donbass you guys are making a lot of noise [literally “snarling”], but then you still run away. Where do you think you can achieve some success?
Baranets: The best plan is to advance on Kherson. And here we have many different options…
[to be continued]