Russian Infrastructure – Vulnerable

Vyacheslav Gladkov, appointed by Vladimir Putin in 2020, said that two of Ukraine’s military helicopters struck a fuel storage facility in the Russian city of Belgorod on Friday after crossing the border at low altitude, at night.

Did the Ukrainians steal Russian IFF transponders?

Belgorod is a city and the administrative center of Belgorod Oblast, Russia, located on the Seversky Donets River 40 kilometers north of the border with Ukraine.


Identify the Knocked-out/Wrecked Tank (SPG)


Dedicated to DRJIM


Very Woke


Run Brandon, Run!

Yesterday, Brandon delivered remarks on the March jobs report. The March jobs report was another disappointment with fewer jobs than expected. 431,000 nonfarm payroll jobs were added in March, CNBC reported. CNBC’s Rick Santelli sounded the alarm on the spread between wages and the consumer price index. “The CPI rate was close to 8%.… more here

Joe didn’t answer the reporter’s questions, he just did the old man shuffle off the stage. He’s headed to Delaware to sit in his basement and eat pudding/jello & prunes…again.



Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin announced yesterday that she will run for US Congress from Alaska. Palin is running in the seat left vacant by Rep. Don Young who passed away in late March after 50 years in Congress. Governor Palin released a statement earlier today.


Identify the Aircraft

It’s easy, but if I posted a photo with national markings on it, it would be stupid easy. Let’s see what you can do with this.



Wire is nasty stuff. This is what the wire looks like after it’s been “broken” by a preparatory barrage.

Above: Half-section of the 31st French Infantry Regiment on the crest of the Bois des Buttes during the reconstruction of the attack on the hill of 16 April 1917.


    • My best guess, is they were part of the regular Ukrainian Air Force. At the onset of hostilities, they had 35, and there is no telling how many were ground kills in the early days of the war. On the first day of the war the Russians conducted attacks on runways and aircraft shelters. The airborne assaults on Ukraine Air Force assets were all dismal failures as the Russian elite VDV which were deployed were almost completely obliterated. It’s shocking, really.

      We know that at least two Hinds survived to conduct this raid. The Ukraine Army has been conducting raids primarily on rail lines within Russia, but we may see more air raids such as this one as Russian/Soviet-built rotorcraft are transferred from former Warsaw Pact nations to Ukraine. That trend will only continue and be expanded as the general Russian weakness continues to be exploited.

  1. My congratulations to Old Surfer on correctly identifying the SAAB 29 TUNNAN (= “the barrel”).

    The tank is a MARDER III (Sd.Kfz 138 or 139 = Sonderkraftfahrzeug = special purpose vehicle).
    I am guessing that this particular specimen is a MARDER III (Ausf. H = version H); the period and location of the picture could very well be late summer 1944 in Italy.

    This tank destroyer, based on the hull of the Czech tank ČKD LT vz. 38 (Panzerkampfwagen 38(t)), was initially equipped with the Russian 7.62 cm field gun. This is an interesting feature: the Germans combined two war prizes and constructed a new tank out of them because by 1942 the Wehrmacht had started to improvise on a large scale, utilizing all available war materials and whatever else could be scrounged in the conquered territories.

    The later versions of the MARDER III (Ausf. H and M. = Ausführung = version) were armed with the 7.5 cm Pak 40.

    At the time of the introduction of the MARDER III in 1942 to the frontlines the Wehrmacht was quite desperate to find adequate means of fighting the threat posed by the Soviet T-34 and KV-1. In spite of all it’s drawbacks, the MARDER III proved to be a welcome and effective addition to the sorely overstretched anti-tank capabilities of the Wehrmacht at this point in time.

    The MARDER III remained in service for the duration of the hostilities.

    • Yes, another perfect response from Martin. It is indeed a Marder III. It’s difficult (for me) to definitively say which gun it mounted but as you suggest, it’s likely a 7.5 cm Pak 40. A good anti-tank rifle.

    • Necessity is the mother of invention, and not limited to the Wehrmacht. Thus it was that the Yankee War Department was forced to scrounge Shermans left behind on conquered but abandoned Pacific islands and send them to Japan to be rebuilt to arm the post-WWII army of occupation, such as it was, before the snit hit the fan in Korea.

      • The Americans were the best scroungers. The Heer/Wermacht did a lot of it well behind the lines but the Americans were able to handle it at the regiment or division level in part because farm boys had been scrounging to keep things going during the Great Depression and there was a built-in capability.

        I wasn’t aware of the recovery effort of damaged & abandoned Shermans on Pacific islands, but I’m not surprised. Even though soundly and continuously maligned, the venerable Sherman was an excellent tank precisely because it could be repaired and thrown back into action. Yes, the advanced German tanks were ahead of their time, but they were maintenance dependent and as the war dragged on and the Germans retreated, they were unable to recover as many as the allies, who had the advantage of advancing and not leaving armor behind.

          • Farm boys and skilled trades were in demand. My Dad found out on 8 Dec 41 that he was color-blind, so the services wouldn’t take him. BUT…when they saw he was an apprentice machinist, they sent him down the hall to the SeaBees, who welcomed him with open arms.

          • DRJIM, though I don’t consider myself a farm boy in the classic sense, I was. There is something about growing up in a very rural ranching or farming environment that builds a different sort of man. City people scoff at what they don’t understand. I left that world in my late teens and only just returned. I know you understand because you did the very same thing at the very same time.

  2. That helo at the top with the hidden “ID this” caption is the HH-60W Jolly Green II CSAR bird, which the USAF is increasing go-fast pilot morale by reducing it’s buy of, on the basis that “we are only intending to do WW3 from now on, and if you get shot down in that, we have no intention of trying to rescue you”.

    Geniuses. If we’re just going to plan for WW3, we don;t need airplanes, either.

    I find the Russian whining over the Ukes hitting a perfectly legit log depot target to be hilarious, especially after they have moved into their standard “indiscrininate shelling of cities” phase of operations.


  3. The Sherman design was dictated, in part, by the size that could be transported on available rail cars and cargo vessels.

    Barbed wire. When we went through Combat Engineer school at Ft Leonard Wood we had a week devoted to barbed wire and concertina wire. About two hours into the first day the training NCO pulled me aside. The conversation went along these lines.
    “Son, you have experience. I’m making you an assistant instructor”.
    “Yes Sgt. so when the wire is over tightened and breaks it will wrap around my legs instead of your?”
    “I KNEW you were experienced”.
    The two glamorous cowboy occupations, fixing fence and stacking hay bales. Maybe someone knew what they were doing when then made me a Combat Engineer.

    • I’m sure that you made a great combat engineer.

      Standing in the Fulda Gap in those days, waiting for the Red Army to come west, must have been an interesting experience.

      • At least for me the possibility kept me focused on the task at hand. Grateful I wasn’t in the CAV units right on the border day by day. Working in a support role and being able to observe gave me an appreciation for the mental strain they lived with. I imagine the same applies to those facing North Korea these many decades.

  4. We can imagine imagine a rethink taking place in Russia’s Command. Stand by for the largest battle since WWII in E Ukraine.

    Kyrie Eleison.

    • I don’t think that will happen, LSP. That’s not how the Russians think and not how the place works. From reports, they’re consolidating control of Donbas. To me, that signals a strong intention to remain there where the Russian Army has the support of the locals.

      The larger issue is the hollowed-out army that the Russians don’t have the capacity to rebuild. The shrinking population of Great Russian people means that the percentage of people able to serve in the military in say, a decade, will make the place vulnerable. You can applaud that, but a fearful Russia with all of those nuclear weapons does not make the world safer.

      • It also tends to make Russia a satrapy of the PRC, which is also not so good for the world. At least they still hate each other, so it will be an uneasy satrapy.


  5. Americans were the best scroungers. Tru dat. Reminds me of the stories from Guadalcanal when after the army pukes finally arrived to mop up after the marines, they left tons of supplies on the beachhead….unguarded. The marines set off the air raid sirens and when the army guys hot-footed it into the bunkers, the marines proceeded to liberate much needed supplies for themselves, including brand new M1 Garand’s to replace the bolt action Springfield’s many of them were still using. Semper Fi.

  6. I wonder if the Uke’s Hinds were flying with captured IFFs taken off of downed Russkie stuff.

    I also wonder if Putin’s personal surgeon is sweating bullets over Putin’s blood pressure. A ‘Short Victorious War’ this has not been.

    As to the plane, until someone correctly identified it, I thought it was an illustration off of the ‘Luft46’ website that is dedicated to all the wacky projects the Nazis didn’t get to implement in good enough numbers, and also some real reasonable projects that we are all glad they didn’t get working in time (like the Horton’s Amerika Bomber flying wing.)

    • The Swedes came up with a pretty good jet for its time. I don’t know how it would have stood up against a MiG-15 or 17? I’m sure at some point that it was tested in that sort of match-up.

    • Definitely a Marder III. Definitely a 75mm rifle. I can’t say which model of gun from the photo. As the war continued, the guns that the Germans mounted were less standardized and there was a push to get them out the door, onto a train, and at the front where they were needed.

      The Russians are having a very similar problem today…except their ability to manufacture tanks in numbers does not exist. They can build custom-made, one-off T-14’s but that’s more of an aspirational thing than combat capability.

    • The Pak 43 had an 88mm calibre, the famous “Acht-Acht”. Surely you are talking about the Pak 40, which had a 75mm calibre.

      • Yes. Pak 40.

        The superstructure varied for different guns. The ones that used the Russian 3” were different than the pic.

        Those Czech 38t platforms were repurposed, re-engineered, and saw action till the end of WW2 with the Germans. Pretty impressive run for that platform.

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