Big Serge has a detailed article on Operation Barbarossa which is well-researched, insightful, and very long. Anyone interested in WWII history, and anyone who hopes to make any sense of what is happening in Ukraine, would do well to read the entire thing.

Soviet preparation for war had focused on material factors – the sheer size of tank, artillery, and aircraft inventories – while neglecting the professional aspects of command, communications, and coordination. Consequentially, despite adequate equipment and weaponry, the Red Army was, very simply, outmatched by the nimbler and more responsive Wehrmacht.

In the first place, the performance of the Red Army cannot be separated from the fact that Stalin had conducted a widespread purge of his own officer corps only a few years prior to the outbreak of war. This appalling churn in the command hierarchy had occurred at the same time that the Red Army was expanding; as a result, Soviet officers tended to be rapidly promoted and were for the most part in over their heads early in the war, fighting a highly trained, experienced, coolly competent German officer corps, which had by now successfully undertaken two large campaigns in France and Poland, along with a variety of other specialized operations from Norway to Greece. The basic factors of experience and training were thus hilariously disposed in Germany’s favor.

At the same time, the Red Army lacked a dedicated communications system and relied on civilian telephone and telegraph lines, many of which were quickly cut by the Germans. It was not uncommon during the early phases of the war for Soviet officers to have to inquire with local communist party officials (the party did have access to wireless communications) as to where the Germans were and how far they had advanced.

The Red Army fought bravely but was unprepared for war at Germany’s pace
These two factors – an overwhelmed officer corps and a broken communications system – had a particularly deadly synergy. Different levels of the command hierarchy were cut off from each other and blind, while at the unit level, commanders were simply unable or unwilling to take initiative. Furthermore, the… shall we say peculiarities of the Stalinist system left the officer corps with instincts that were oriented towards political survival, rather than military exigency, and this meant not making drastic unilateral decisions.

This was an absolutely central aspect of war making that Stalin and the communists simply did not grasp; they had focused on churning out tanks, guns, and shells, while neglecting the command and control functions of the army. The Germans, quite simply, were prepared to fight war at a different pace than the Soviets: German commanders were more experienced, more decisive, more precise, more willing to act independently, and more level headed. The Red Army consequentially resembled an enormous, muscle bound fighter, but with a diseased nervous system and bad eyesight.

These vulnerabilities made the Red Army particularly susceptible to the Wehrmacht’s approach to warfighting, which brought overwhelming firepower and violence at the point of attack to allow rapid penetration and movement, creating an encircled pocket, or what the Germans called a kessel, for cauldron – which could then be liquidated. By fighting multiple kesselschlachts, or encirclement battles, the Wehrmacht planned to annihilate the Red Army and destroy the Soviet Union’s capacity to resist by the autumn of 1941. The objective was very clear: destroy Soviet fighting power. Annihilating the Red Army took absolute priority over capturing any specific geographic markers. Hitler himself had remarked that even Moscow was “of no great importance.” Rather, the objective of Barbarossa was to destroy Soviet manpower: “The mass of the army”, read the Barbarossa directive, “is to be destroyed in bold operations involving deep penetrations by armored spearheads, and the withdrawal of elements capable of combat into the extensive Russian land spaces is to be prevented.”

This last portion is the key to the concept of Barbarossa, but we shall return to this later.

The first shots fired in the cataclysmic Nazi-Soviet war came in the form of an aerial bombardment by the Luftwaffe, which attacked over 60 frontline Soviet air bases early on June 22. The Red Air Force lost over 1200 aircraft on the first morning of the war, ensuring German control of the air all along the line of contact. On June 24, literally two days into the war, Soviet western front headquarters informed Moscow that “Enemy aviation has complete air dominance.” The wholesale destruction of the Red Air Force’s frontline units was one of the most remarkable events in the history of warfare, yet it occurred so quickly that it receives scant mention in much of the war’s historiography; it is as if the Soviet air force simply vanished into thin air. Meanwhile, German advance teams managed to cut many civilian telephone and telegraph lines, throwing the Red Army’s command and control system into disarray and forcing the NKVD (which operated a wireless radio communication system) to act as middlemen to relay orders to the army. With the Red Army severely disoriented and bereft of air support, on came the fearsome German mechanized package.

The Soviet response was woefully inadequate. 1941 would be a year of terrible mistakes, but above all, what high level Soviet leadership – including and especially Stalin – did not understand was just how much could be won or loss in the opening moments of the war. By neglecting to put the Red Army on full combat alert, the regime allowed the Wehrmacht to achieve tactical, but not strategic surprise. Years later, one Soviet Marshal, Andrei Grechko, would make the tongue in cheek remark that the government and senior commanders were fully prepared for the outbreak of war, and the only people surprised by the German attack were the Red Army soldiers on the front line. What Stalin’s team did not comprehend was that tactical surprise, mixed with Germany’s particularly aggressive and mobile approach to war and the Soviet Union’s sclerotic command system, could produce a total catastrophe.

It is interesting to note that Big Serge tends to support Suvorov’s Icebreaker hypothesis, which is that Stalin was preparing to invade Central and Western Europe, but was taken by surprise by the timing and effectiveness of the German offensive. And indeed, the most convincing aspect of the hypothesis is the extreme forward placement of the 60 Soviet air bases, which led to the incredible destruction of the Soviet air forces.

it occurred so quickly that it receives scant mention in much of the war’s historiography

I would argue that it receives scant mention because it destroys the narrative that the German attack on the Soviet Union was unprovoked and took place solely as a consequence of Hitler’s vast imperial ambitions.


White People Wanted

It’s fascinating to see how Clown World completely abandons all of its diversity rhetoric the moment that it gets scared enough to believe it might actually lose WWIII to the nationalists.

ITEM: If you see obstacles ahead of you, it’s time to draw strength from a team who’s been overcoming them for almost 250 years. #BeAIIYouCanBe in the USArmy.

ITEM: The percentage of white people in this ad is higher than the actual United States. You know they’re desperate for recruits if they’re willing to tell HR no.

The lesson, as always, is this: Let the clowns defend Clown World. Don’t fight and die for Satan and Globohomo.


The Beginning of the End

Asia Times concludes that Ukraine – and therefore the USA and NATO – is going to lose the war with Russia:

There’s a notion floating around the Internet that the current conflict in Ukraine is going to remain a static war of attrition that will bleed the Russian army dry. So what if it decimates Ukraine’s society and eradicates most of its population? At least the dreaded Russian war machine will have been ground to a halt in the killing fields of Ukraine.

Those believing this narrative are living in a fantasy.

Fact is, the Ukrainian military is drained, the Western supply chains are strained, and the NATO stockpiles of critical weapons and ammunition are depleted. The war is transitioning, therefore, into a conflict in which the Russian side will enjoy several critical advantages.

For those under the impression that the attritional warfare will lead to a negotiated settlement: Fat chance!

Moscow is now totally all-in on this conflict. The window of opportunity to have gotten a settlement is closed. Unless Russia loses significantly soon (which it does not appear to be in danger of, if the Battle of Bakhmut is any indication), the Russians’ numerical superiority over Ukraine’s force structure alone will ensure that they achieve the victory they’ve been waiting for.

The outcome of this war, a defeat for Ukraine and its NATO backers, was totally avoidable. Sensing the weakness of the West – and the fact that they’re woefully overextended – the Russians are going to use all means to break Ukraine and subdue it. The beginning of the end is likely happening right now…

I don’t think the NATO-Russian war is going to end anytime soon. Its continuance not only suits most of the parties involved, it suits the most important global player, which is to say, China. Everyone, on all sides, is hoping to buy time before the next stage in the conflict, ergo, there is no need to rush things.

Until, of course, NATO runs out of Ukrainian men to feed into the slaughter.


Convincing the Recalcitrant

The USAF is removing the tail markings from its transport planes:

For decades, airlift and tanker aircraft of the U.S. military have flown with a proud “U.S. AIR FORCE” painted on the side of the fuselage, along with markings indicating home units, tail numbers and oftentimes a tail flash showing the unit’s heritage.

But that is no more for much of Air Mobility Command (AMC).

AMC recently directed a change to its fleet, removing the large “U.S. AIR FORCE,” unit markings, tail numbers and other identifying markings. Recent photographs of KC-135s and C-130s operating show just a small U.S. flag on the tail and a light gray Air Force roundel.

AMC says the change was directed for operational security.

This is an obvious preparation for war with Russia and/or China. But more ominously, the removal of AMC markings would make it easier to lay the groundwork for nuclear false flags within the continental United States. And I suspect, given the long and sordid history of US false flags prior to major wars combined with the utter lack of enthusiasm on the part of the white male population to go to war for Ukraine and Uncle Samuel, that the neoclowns are very well aware of the way that a series of serious false flags will be necessary to instill the necessary fighting frenzy into Americans of combat age before any large-scale war is possible.

And I doubt the success of the vaxx campaign has left them with any doubts about the general gullibility of the American population. On the other hand, those who withstood the vaxx propaganda are even more unlikely to find the false flags even remotely convincing.


What Winning Looks Like

The victorious Ukrainian Army is blowing up bridges as it advances away from the defeated Russian Army, which is also demoralized, out of ammunition, and contemplating revolution against Vladimir Putin, the thuggish dictator who is crazy, Communist, cancer-stricken, and also dead.

Engineer units of the 24th and 93rd mechanized brigades of the Ukrainian Armed Forces began February 27 to blow up bridges in Artemovsk (Bakhmut). By destroying railway and road bridges, the Ukrainian army wants to slow the advance of Russian forces deep into the city.

First, the enemy blew up the bridge over the Bakhmutka River in the northeastern part of Artemovsk. In addition, the automobile bridge over the canal northwest of the city, which served as a communication route with the surrounding area – Chasovy Yar, Bogdanovka and Kalinovka, no longer works.

Another reason for the destruction of the bridges could be the fear of the Ukrainian side that the weapon arsenals of several large Ukrainian Armed Forces formations defending Artemovsk might fall into the hands of Russian Armed Forces units. They store thousands of anti-tank missiles, shells for mortars and grenade launchers, reconnaissance and satellite communication equipment. It is known that at the beginning of the Russian special operation, ammunition was placed in the industrial zone of the electrical plant and the Tsvetmet factory, as well as in the trolleybus depot.

Earlier, the famous Ukrainian activist blogger with call sign Madyar said that his unit left Artemivsk. He said part of the Ukrainian troops had received the long-awaited order to leave the city. According to military correspondents from the scene, Wagner PMC fighters approached the last road to the encircled town.

I wonder if the Ukrainian people are as tired of winning as Donald Trump’s supporters yet?


Restoring the Mandate of Heaven

Some observers believe the Chinese have already declared war on the United States – or to be more precise, the imperial rulers of Clown World – on the basis of their recent proposal for peace in Ukraine and a recently published essay concerning the Chinese position on US imperialism.

All these vectors are evolving as ramifications of the bombing of the Nord Streams, the only military attack – cum industrial terrorism – ever perpetrated against the EU, leave the Collective West paralyzed, dazed and confused.

Perfectly in tandem with Putin’s address, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs chose the geopolitical/existential moment to finally take the gloves off, with a flourish: enter the US Hegemony and its Perils essay cum report, which became an instant massive hit across Chinese media, examined with relish all across East Asia.

This blistering enumeration of all the Hegemon’s lethal follies, for decades, constitutes a point of no return for trademark Chinese diplomacy, so far characterized by passivity, ambivalence, actual restraint and extreme politeness. So such turnaround is yet another proud “achievement” of the outright Sinophobia and mendacious hostility exhibited by American neocons and neoliberal-cons.

Scholar Quan Le notes that this document may be regarded as the traditional form – but now filled with contemporary wording – the Chinese Sovereigns used in their millenary past before going to war. It is in fact an axio-epistemo-political proclamation justifying a serious war, which in the Chinese universe means a war ordained by a Higher Power capable of restoring Justice & Harmony in a troubled Universe.

After the proclamation the warriors are equipped to strike mercilessly at the entity judged to be troubling the Harmony of the Universe: in our case, the psycho Straussian neo-cons and neoliberal-cons commanded as rabid dogs by the real American elites.

Of course in the Chinese universe there’s no place for “God” – much less a Christian version; “God” for the Chinese means the Beauty-Goodness-Truth trinity, Timeless Heavenly Universal Principles. The closest concept for a non-Chinese to understand is Dao: the Way. So the Way to the Beauty-Goodness-Truth trinity represents symbolically Beauty-Goodness-Truth.

So what Beijing did – and the Collective West is completely clueless about it – was to issue an axio-epistemo-political proclamation explaining the legitimacy of their quest to restore Timeless Heavenly Universal Principles. They will be fulfilling the Mandate of Heaven – nothing less. The West won’t know what it hit them until it’s too late.

It was predictable that sooner or later the heirs of Chinese civilization would have had enough – and formally identify, mirroring Putin’s analysis, the upstart Hegemon as the premier source of chaos, inequality and war across the planet. Empire of Chaos, Lies and Plunder, in a nutshell.

To put it bluntly, in streetwise language, the hell with this Americana crap of hegemony being justified by “manifest destiny”.

So here we are. You want Hybrid War? We will return the favor.

This is distinct from the Unrestricted Warfare policy declared and successfully pursued by the Chinese military in 1999. The focus of that policy was to enable China to prevent US hegemony in Southeast Asia and gradually allow China to become a dominant regional power capable of defeating any enemy that dared to enter its zone of influence. It was essentially a defensive doctrine.

The new policy is a warning: mend your ways or else.

While a just cause wins its champion wide support, an unjust one condemns its pursuer to be an outcast. The hegemonic, domineering, and bullying practices of using strength to intimidate the weak, taking from others by force and subterfuge, and playing zero-sum games are exerting grave harm. The historical trends of peace, development, cooperation, and mutual benefit are unstoppable. The United States has been overriding truth with its power and trampling justice to serve self-interest. These unilateral, egoistic and regressive hegemonic practices have drawn growing, intense criticism and opposition from the international community.

Countries need to respect each other and treat each other as equals. Big countries should behave in a manner befitting their status and take the lead in pursuing a new model of state-to-state relations featuring dialogue and partnership, not confrontation or alliance. China opposes all forms of hegemonism and power politics, and rejects interference in other countries’ internal affairs. The United States must conduct serious soul-searching. It must critically examine what it has done, let go of its arrogance and prejudice, and quit its hegemonic, domineering and bullying practices.


Brer Zelensky

Don’t throw us zat zere briar patch, Brer Zelensky!

And that percentage of Americans as you’ve mentioned is increasing, I can tell them only one thing: If they do not change their opinion, if they do not understand us, if they do not support Ukraine, they will lose NATO, they will lose the clout of the United States, they will lose the leadership position that they enjoy in the world.

That sounds like an excellent deal! Lose Ukraine, lose NATO, and see Clown World collapse. Not only will I not change my position, I am now inspired to not support Ukraine even harder!

Meanwhile, two-thirds of the world is now aligning with Russia and China against the imperial United States and its Ukrainian puppet state.

In geopolitical terms, the war in Ukraine energized Washington to build a global coalition to oppose Russia. This is often presented as a major achievement of the administration of President Joe Biden. Yet, to look at this from a different perspective, the Russia (and China) policies of the three successive US administrations – Obama’s, Trump’s, and particularly Biden’s – have led to a major split among the great powers that widened from competition to bitter rivalry (with China) and proxy war (with Russia in Ukraine).

US efforts to get China to distance itself from Russia appear ridiculous in a situation where Washington’s strategy appears to be to defeat/contain its two main adversaries one by one, and, moreover, to pit them against each other. The famous Kissingerian triangle is now pointed in a different direction: it is Washington that has the worst possible relations with the other two. As for Moscow and Beijing, they are getting even closer as a result.

Closer cooperation and coordination between China and Russia amid the war in Ukraine, which is gradually emerging on the platform of common strategic interests, represents a major shift in the world power balance. What is more – and what goes well beyond the usual Western concept of ‘great power competition’ – is the rise of over a hundred actors of different caliber in many parts of the world that have refused to support the US, and its allies, on the Russia sanctions and have maintained or even expanded their trade and other relations with Moscow. These countries insist on following their own national interests as they see them and seek to expand their foreign policy autonomy. At the end of the day, this phenomenon – call it the Rise of the Global Majority – could be the single most important development so far en route to the new world order.


Under 7 Percent

I should probably update the numbers. But as of 2008, the figures were 1,763 wars, of which 6.98 percent could be reasonably connected to religion of any kind, half of which involved Islam. Statistically speaking, an attack on religion in war is intrinsically anti-Islamic.

And Jack is right to bring up Chinese civil wars. They were unbelievably brutal.


Address to the Assembly

The President of Russia addresses the Federal Assembly. It does not appear to be a direct declaration of war or even an announcement of the launch of the anticipated military offensive. It’s wise to read the whole thing directly, as the Clown World media coverage of it is literally worse than useless, quoting the responses to the speech before the speech was even given or the transcript released.

So far, only the very first part of the official English transcript has been released, but the whole thing will eventually be posted here by the Kremlin’s press agency.

This Presidential Address comes, as we all know, at a difficult, watershed period for our country. This is a time of radical, irreversible change in the entire world, of crucial historical events that will determine the future of our country and our people, a time when every one of us bears a colossal responsibility.

One year ago, to protect the people in our historical lands, to ensure the security of our country and to eliminate the threat coming from the neo-Nazi regime that had taken hold in Ukraine after the 2014 coup, it was decided to begin the special military operation. Step by step, carefully and consistently we will deal with the tasks we have at hand.

Since 2014, Donbass has been fighting for the right to live in their land and to speak their native tongue. It fought and never gave up amid the blockade, constant shelling and the Kiev regime’s overt hatred. It hoped and waited that Russia would come to help.

In the meantime, as you know well, we were doing everything in our power to solve this problem by peaceful means, and patiently conducted talks on a peaceful solution to this devastating conflict.

This appalling method of deception has been tried and tested many times before. They behaved just as shamelessly and duplicitously when destroying Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. They will never be able to wash off this shame. The concepts of honour, trust, and decency are not for them.

Over the long centuries of colonialism, diktat and hegemony, they got used to being allowed everything, got used to spitting on the whole world. It turned out that they treat people living in their own countries with the same disdain, like a master. After all, they cynically deceived them too, tricked them with tall stories about the search for peace, about adherence to the UN Security Council resolutions on Donbass. Indeed, the Western elites have become a symbol of total, unprincipled lies.

We firmly defend our interests as well as our belief that in today’s world there should be no division into so-called civilised countries and all the rest and that there is a need for an honest partnership that rejects any exclusivity, especially an aggressive one.

We were open and sincerely ready for a constructive dialogue with the West; we said and insisted that both Europe and the whole world needed an indivisible security system equal for all countries, and for many years we suggested that our partners discuss this idea together and work on its implementation. But in response, we received either an indistinct or hypocritical reaction, as far as words were concerned. But there were also actions: NATO’s expansion to our borders, the creation of new deployment areas for missile defence in Europe and Asia – they decided to take cover from us under an ‘umbrella’ – deployment of military contingents, and not just near Russia’s borders.

I would like to stress –in fact, this is well-known – that no other country has so many military bases abroad as the United States. There are hundreds of them – I want to emphasise this – hundreds of bases all over the world; the planet is covered with them, and one look at the map is enough to see this.

The whole world witnessed how they withdrew from fundamental agreements on weapons, including the treaty on intermediate and shorter-range missiles, unilaterally tearing up the fundamental agreements that maintain world peace. For some reason, they did it. They do not do anything without a reason, as we know.

Finally, in December 2021, we officially submitted draft agreements on security guarantees to the USA and NATO. In essence, all key, fundamental points were rejected. After that it finally became clear that the go-ahead for the implementation of aggressive plans had been given and they were not going to stop.

Read the rest there.


Red Lines

The USA consistently refused to respect Russia’s red lines. Why on Earth would China pay any attention whatsoever to whatever the USA claims its red lines to be?

Any nation providing lethal support to Moscow in its ongoing conflict with Kiev would cross Washington’s “red line,” the US envoy to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, told CNN on Sunday. Earlier the same day, US State Secretary Antony Blinken directly warned a top Chinese diplomat, Wang Yi, against considering such an option.

We … have to be clear that if there are any thoughts and efforts by the Chinese and others to provide lethal support to the Russians in their brutal attack against Ukraine, that that is unacceptable,” Thomas-Greenfield told CNN’s ‘State of the Union,’ adding that it “would be a red line.”

Her words came as Blinken was meeting Wang Yi on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference in Germany. There, the US diplomat told his Chinese counterpart that the US was “very concerned that China is considering providing lethal support to Russia,” Blinken told NBC’s Chuck Todd in the wake of the meeting.

This is what happens when you have a bunch of very special boys in charge of things. The neocons genuinely believe that they have the right to do whatever they see as in their own interest, but no one else has the same right.

Of course China is going to provide “lethal support to Russia”. It’s in their interest, because the same special boys who are threatening them if they do have already announced their intention to go to war with China just as soon as they’re done defeating Russia.

All I can conclude is that because the neocons hate literally everyone, including themselves, they’re playing a suicidal game of Samson burning down the temple using the US military as a match. I mean, it’s impossible to believe that they’re literally this stupid and totally unable to see the obvious consequences of their actions.

On the other hand, the possibility of stupidity should not be entirely dismissed. China is already allied with Russia, and World War III started with the Special Military Operation in February 2022.

“If China allies itself with Russia, there will be a world war.”

—Volodymyr Zelenskyy, 20 February 2023