Explained: how 18 Ukrainian howitzers were able to defeat 72 Russian Tanks and military vehicles

With overwhelming firepower from 5 to 10 times, but why did the Russian artillery not have absolute advantage over the Ukrainian artillery? Russian military expert explained on this issue.

On the Donbas battlefield, the Russian Army gradually increased artillery fire from three times, four times, five times to seven times, eight times; even 10 times, and 20 times more than the Ukrainian Army in key areas. The Russian Army has only achieved absolute control of the battlefield, although the Ukrainian Army can still conduct limited counter-attacks, but basically, the Russian Army has taken the absolute initiative; push the Ukrainian Army into a passive defensive position.

Russian forces can prevail in warfare as long as they have a threefold lead over their adversaries. However, why is the Ukrainian artillery so powerful that the Russian Army needs to boost its firepower to 10 times its supremacy in order to entirely conquer it?

In May Russian armed forces lost more than 73 military vehicles including Tanks, IFVs, military trucks, and other vehicles because of Ukrainian artillery shelling when the Russian army built a bridge to cross the North Donets River before.

In the Russian TV program “60 Minutes”, former Colonel Khodalyonok, of the Operations Officer of the Russian General Staff, cited two main reasons why Ukrainian artillery is relatively strong.

First, Mr. Khodalyonok said that the reason why Ukrainian artillery has a relatively high tactical and technical quality is that during the Soviet period, the Soviet Army established 6 advanced artillery training schools throughout the territory of the Soviet Union, including 3 advanced artillery command schools in Ukraine, 2 schools in Russia and 1 in Georgia.

Among the artillery schools in Ukraine are the Odesa military academy, the Sumy Self-propelled Artillery School and the Khmelnytskyi Campaign Artillery Commanding Officer School.

M777 howitzers Ukraine
M777 howitzers in Ukraine battlefield

Thus, under the Soviet Union, there were more advanced artillery command schools on the territory of Ukraine than in Russia. At that time, Russia only had 2 advanced artillery command schools and Georgia also had 1 advanced artillery command school.

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Ukraine retained artillery school teachers and teaching materials, to continue training their artillery officers and non-commissioned officers. So there are many highly qualified platoon commanders, company captains and artillery scouts in the Ukrainian Army.

Therefore, after the Ukrainian Army is provided with modern Western artillery, Ukrainian artillery was able to regain its full advantage within three weeks against Russian artillery.

The main reason is that they have human resources who have been trained in artillery for many years and have actual combat experience. A new type of artillery has just been released, which soldiers can use proficiently after 3 weeks of getting used to the basic functions.

This is similar to a graduate of an automotive industry school who has been in the automotive industry for many years; Just give them an imported car, and in three weeks they can be completely familiar with the operation of the imported car.

Therefore, in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, the Ukrainian Army often directly uses UAVs to carry out long-range precision attacks against moving tanks and armored vehicles. More than 45% of the losses of tanks and armored vehicles of the Russian Army during the Russo-Ukrainian conflict were caused by Ukrainian artillery.

In fact, indirect aiming artillery is very difficult to destroy tanks and armor; After all, most tanks and armored vehicles are moving, and it is difficult to grasp where shells fall. Even if the shell missed the tank by 1-2 meters, it would not cause any significant damage to the tank.

If the 152mm-155mm howitzer hits tanks and armored vehicles at a long distance, it must hit directly, and the target deviation must not be greater than half a meter. This is to test the basic skills and synergy of each unit.

In addition, Mr. Khodalyonok said, the range of the Russian 2S5 Giatsint-S 152mm self-propelled howitzer is 28 km, although a artillery brigade has 72 2S5 Giatsint-S152mm self-propelled howitzers, but it can be destroyed single handily by Ukrainian 155mm Caesar howitzer supplied by France.

CAESAR howitzer
CAESAR howitzer

The reason why Ukraine’s Caesar self-propelled howitzer has a range of 40 km for conventional tank shells and a range of 50 km for guided tank shells. At the same time, the informationization performance and accuracy of the Caesar cannon, also far surpassed the 2S5 Giatsint-S self-propelled howitzer, produced in the late 1970s.

Finally, Khodalyonok believes that, between the 1960s and 1970s, the leadership of the Soviet Army became very “fanatical” about the power of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, and gave up investing in artillery.

Thus, for decades, the Soviet Army’s leaders’ disregard for the development of artillery led to many artillery research institutions and many very advanced experimental models of artillery being abandoned.

Therefore, the main force of Russian artillery can only rely on the old artillery from the 1960s-1980s, although the number is large, but the efficiency is not high. Of course, the main reason is that Russia’s military spending is tight, and it is not rich enough to invest in manufacturing artillery weapons; although Russia is completely overcapacity for development.

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