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Ukraine has replaced its airpower with artillery but this comes with its own challenges


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French Caesar self-propelled artillery guns

This has been a logistics war, and when I say that, I mean it’s been an artillery war. 

Logistics is about moving troops, food, water, fuel, lubricants, ammunition, weapons, spare parts, and everything else needed to fight a war to the front lines. How do you fight logistics wars? Stopping those supplies moving. How can you stop these supplies from moving? You disrupt supply lines—by destroying supply depots, trucks, rail lines, and bridges. How do you do this? Well, it depends. 

If you’re NATO, you use air power. You must first destroy enemy air defenses and air bases. Next, you will systematically degrade these logistical targets. 

If you’re Russia, you … you don’t. Other than some random railhead strikes here and there, Russia inexplicably prefers to blow up playgrounds and apartment buildings rather than suppress Ukraine’s ability to move supplies to the front. 

And if you’re Ukraine, devoid of significant air power? You use artillery. The dramatic change in the course of war was made possible by HIMARS/MLRS, long-range rocket artillery. It meant disabling rail and key bridges, as well destruction of ammunition dumps.

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