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Two lessons so far in this conflict:
1) Armed drones will play an outsized role in any conflict and must be taken seriously. Whether land based, or possibly ship based (watch for the Turkish Navy to deploy a ‘carrier version’ of their Bayraktar TB2 from their LPD).
2) The age of main battle tanks may be over. The US Marine Corps divesting of their MBTs may have been a wise move after all. No MBT appears safe from man-portable anti-tank weapons. Each soldier will have at least a LAW-type weapon in addition to their regular kit, with heavier weapons in each platoon.

A third lesson awaits, should there be an amphibious assault on Odessa.

IMHO, this conflict is rewriting some lessons and reinforcing others from the Falklands War.

Last edited 1 year ago by DaSaint
Scott Carpenter

I’m not sure the day of the tank is over just yet. The day of the not quite top tier, poorly crewed, tank operation without artillery, infantry, and attack helicopters might be over.


It takes massive balls to take on a tank with an NLAW. You’ll always be better off in something protected mounting a big weapon then not…


Two lessons from the war: the fog of war is still with us. Don’t believe first reports.

It hadn’t occured to me when discussing what hit that it might not have been an attack at all.


Lesson 3) Don’t believe anything you see on the media. Information warfare and propaganda is rife.


You’re not wrong there sir. It’s also not a new phenomenon.


Armed drones – agreed. I’m wary of an over-reliance on such things though.
Tanks – I’m not so sure.
There’s been a too and fro with armour and the tools to defeat it since armour became a thing – look at persians v spartans. In tanks:

  • we make the Mk1 Tank, Germans make 1918 T-Gewehr.
  • People make armour thicker, make a bigger rifle (see Boys AT rifle)
  • People make armour even thicker, can’t carry a rifle big enough so now make a bazooka or panzerfaust

It goes on through composite armour, ERA, dazzlers and now active protection systems versus longer range missiles, guidance systems, Tandem charge warheads & top-attack.

What it does show is something Scott says above and that we’ve known for a while: don’t use your armour without supporting elements.

What it also shows is that you can’t afford to make a modern tank (or any military asset really as we can apply the same logic to most things) & then call it “good” for the next 30 years. You have to continually improve and upgrade it to keep up with modern threats. This is something I think the Americans have got right if we look at Abrams: they’re onto to their 5th/6th(?) upgrade to the M1A2 since it’s introduction in 1992 & about their 20th since the M1 came in service in 1980.

Phil Chadwick

Look at the state of it anyway.. So old it’s almost a museum piece!

Andrew Stackpool

But while these ships are old they still float and can do their job,especially in a neutral ASW environment.
Navies by and large are very capable at role interchange to meet specific operational requirements. Indeed the French operated light frigates for just that purpose.
The problem for the Ukrainians despite their tactical and morale-impacting attacks at HQ (I’ll take Moskva out, while a shock and morale booster – and an example of tactical thinking out of the box) Navies carry on with their assets.
Which is what the Russians are doing. They still have major hulls and SSG in the Sea and can devise means to get them into OPAREAs as and when they see fit. Remember, history shows casualties are secondary to achieving an aim for them. However it is unlikely the Ukrainians at present will sink any more prestige targets or operate against the Navy beyond what they have so far achieved.
Keeping up their drone attacks by sea and air will keep the Russians on alert though simple methods can beat the water-borne drones which may if detection and range are considered be better at underway targets, a sort of ersatz submarine force. Where they are in their element is using the small armed fast patrol boats they are getting for riverine operations. Vietnam taught us much about that and the conditions are much the same.

Phillip Johnson

Excellent article, more informative than anything else that I have seen.


An ancient LST isn’t much of a loss, but we’ll take it. What I wouldn’t give for the Ukrainian s to be supplied with shore launched anti-ship missiles. The loss of a Russian frigate or a Sovernemy class would truly bloody Ivan’s nose.

Meirion x

The Ukrainians are developing their own anti-ship missiles anyway called Neptune. If the Russians don’t have an antidote for them before embarking on Acts of aggression, it’s bad luck on them! It certainly seems Putler believes has own propaganda.

Last edited 1 year ago by Meirion x

Yes. They have there own design bureau for such things from the Soviet era

John Hartley

Just thinking out loud that RN Harpoon 1C are to be retired next year. Also thinking how in the last days of the 1982 Falklands conflict, the Argentines jerry rigged a MM38 Exocet to be fired from the back of a truck on shore. Think they used the generator from a WW2 search light to power it.

James Shepherd

In the second world war, frequently infantry would not advance without tanks, and tanks would not fight without infantry support. That was the psychology if not the requirement.
I would prefer a portable anti tank device and some cover, to being locked down in a tank.
I read somewhere that if tanks have to fight tanks, it’s gone wrong. Presumably they should be doing some outflanking?


I’ve heard infantry stories from WW2 saying something like ‘when the enemy tanks started shooting at our tanks, I thanked god I was infantry and not in a tank crew.’
I’ve also heard tank crew stories from WW2 saying something like ‘when the enemy artillery started falling, I could see infantry through my periscope scrambling for cover & thought; thank god I’m in this tank.’
Combined arms 🙂


If any one is listening. Maybe we could run up some railway guns for the Eastern Front. There are quite a few tubes about still; not least the IWM 15″‘s and the USN 16″. Just need some smart shells to shoot off and frighten Putin at the siege of Sevastopol3.

John Hartley

Combined arms. In WW2, Panzer IV + Stuka, later Sherman + rocket armed Typhoon. Now, probably, Boxer with 105mm Cockerill turret + Apache attack helicopter.


Another lesson for us to learn here is that we need to sometimes keep our old stuff as you never know when you might need it. No RN or RFA ships should be sold or scrapped so easily and often on ill an advised basis. We nearly scrapped the Bulwark and Albion after giving away one of the Bay’s. Goodness we have loads of Dry docks doing squat all, why not use them.

Chris Newlon

This is the best write-up I have found on this incident, but it still seems very sparse. Every story in the media lists two ships fleeing the dock during the explosions, but a full-length video of the incident ( shows six ships fleeing, including what appears to be a third Ropucha-sized landing craft that was moored on the other side of the dock. That ship also appears to be smoking, while the fire on one of the first two doesn’t look “small” but large. Now that Russia has admitted that the captain of the Caesar Kunikov died in the incident, I’m left to wonder what happened to the third ship.

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