Monday, June 17, 2024


 It just wasn't that long ago that some people in the West were lamenting that the poor overwhelmed Ukrainians were running out of artillery ammunition and its stocks were running low and even the U.S. stocks of 155mm artillery were running so low that it found it necessary to replace variable time fragmenting rounds with what it still had in abundance and never planned to use because it is a grotesque weapon of war: cluster munition 155mm rounds.

I haven't heard or read a peep about this in several months now and I wonder if the problem went away simply because the problem was defined away much like Ukraine's shortage of "Absolute War Winning American and NATO Tanks!!!!!" which have also faded away. Is the need for 155mm artillery ammunition no longer acute simply because the Ukrainians have run out of 155mm tube artillery?

You could speculate about how well it's doing with regard to it's formerly unstoppable HIMARS artillery and totally devastating battlefield ballistic missiles the ATACMS. I wonder how many of the HIMARS firing units are left and I don't think the US ever really had all that many ATACMS. 

One of the take-aways (don't they wish) from waging massive artillery duels across one's own territory is the ugly fact of life left behind after the troops have moved on and now the farming class of comrades gets to plow up all the unexploded ordnance (magnified a hundred times by cluster munitions). I know of an island where the Emir ordered every single soul to leave and it turns out to never return because our aircraft simply used it as a dumping target for any unexpended ordnance on their way back to sea to recover aboard our aircraft carriers after striking, or not, targets in Kuwait and Iraq during Desert Storm. 

Nobody likes to walk around in an impact area even years after the fighting has stopped. I know of another place in New Jersey which still has many square miles fenced off simply because the ordnance stored there exploded with such fury over the years that it scattered unexploded munitions far and wide and it was deemed too expensive to sweep them all up.

Did the rocket science minds of the various national security staffs in NATO forget why exactly the United States military did not attack targets in China during the Korean War or why we did not interdict the supplies coming into North Vietnam beyond the token and far too late mining of places like Haiphong? Why we didn't simply sink all the Soviet ships bringing in more SAMs and weapons to fight the war in the South? Why did they think we didn't do that then but contemplate the reasonableness of directly attacking the xSoviet Union now?

I really am looking forward to the pirate submarines sinking one or two of the ships carrying weapons for Ukraine to NATO ports for further shipment to Ukraine. Why wait until you have to engage them with ABM or counter-battery fires? It is the same thing in the end, isn't it?

For those eager to know of my admiration for "pirate submarines" they were a lesser known feature of the Spanish Civil War. Who, the NYT wondered, could have pirate submarines attack the communist forces supporting the commies in Spain? Well, with the Houthi now trading in direct attacks on world shipping in the Red Sea, who is to say it isn't pirates sinking ships mid-Atlantic or in the Med?


tsquared said...

I can find loaded 5.56 and 9mm ammo but most of it is reload. New rounds are out there but very pricy. What I can't find is popular gun powders and primers. I have a few years supply stashed away but the only powders available are oddball powders that are not very temperature stable or have other less desirable traits. The only primers available are made south of the border and go for $90 a thousand before shipping and hasmat fees.

Michael said...

I kind of got the impression that HMS Defiant was talking about larger than small arms ammo.

Missiles, 155 mm shells and that sort of thing.

I've seen no shortages of lower grade military small arms ammo.