With the ease the Ukranians are knocking out Russian tanks, I don't know if thats a good idea or not. Even Abrams and Challenger tanks are capable of being knocked out.
The war in Ukraine has showed what modern artillery and AT weapons do to tanks. But the Russians are using their tanks and other units wrong. Mechanized units have nothing to do in urban areas. That is the job for the infantry. How they drove right into urban areas and elsewhere got me to questioning the Russian military training.
The Russian tactical battle groups are designed to meet similar battle groups and not infantry with effective AT weapons. There are indications the Chinese military doctrine has changed now from having tanks as the major component in their battlegroups to have them in a supportive role instead. Maybe that is the lesson from the war in Ukraine
Notwithstanding what the tank lobby still is telling us,in WW2 tanks had in the East only a supportive role and it was not much different in the West .
The Russians committed a lot of tanks ( too many ) in Ukraine because they lacked the needed number of infantry . They hoped that 10 tanks would provide more firepower and mobility than an infantry battalion . The tanks could not provide more firepower and there was no need for more mobility .Their mechanized units fought in urban areas because there was not enough infantry .And because the Russian tanks were only efficient on short distances,if they did not fight in urban areas, what else could they do ?
When you say "East" I assume you mean the Japanese campaign?
What else could they have done?
Well if they had a shortage of infantry they could have limited the number of fronts they attacked on instead of multiple lines of advance, they could have focused on Eastern Ukraine, alternatively if they thought taking Kyiv would force a surrender they could have made a single drive on Kyiv.
Instead they don't appear to have had a plan that extended beyond crossing the border.
East is the war in the USSR ,Barbarossa:in June 1941 the Germans attacked with 150 divisions ( their allies not included ) ,3 million men,of which 17 Panzer divisions 3000 tanks ,and after a few weeks of victories,it was already over, Halder was forced to admit in August 1941 already that they had failed .These 3000 tanks failed to give the Germans a decisive victory and very soon Guderian was whining that it was the fault of the infantry divisions of Kluge .
The Russians OTOH had on 21 June a big numerical tank superiority ,more than 10000 tanks ,but that did not help them : they were forced to disband their tank divisions, most of these had been destroyed, a lot of them by non combat losses .And in the Autumn of 1941 the Russians did better wit a small number of tanks .
This proves that tanks were not decisive during Barbarossa .
And in 1940, the German tanks failed to capture Dunkirk,because there was not enough artillery and infantry available .
We see now that history repeats itself .
I also think that the Russians had no plan for war if the war continued after crossing the border, but I suspect that the reason is that they knew that they could not win if the war continued after crossing the border .Thus, as the Germans in 1941,they made every effort for a short war and refused to admit that this could fail .
Why not a single drive on Kiev ? Maybe because this was logistically not possible with 2000 tanks . Tanks need space .
An other reason could be that they feared that a single drive to Kiev could result in a new Stalingrad .
And, would the fall of Kiev result in the fall of Ukraine, or would it be the opposite ?
About tank losses
1 The German writer Hartmut Schustereit gives the following tank losses for June-July 1941 in his book Vabanque
Germany : some 600 ( VaBanque P 91 )
Soviets : some 8000 ( Yes : 8000 ) ( VaBanque P 103 )
We know that on both sides,the majority of the tank losses were non combat losses ,created by accidents, maintenance and supply problems and not by ATW .
2 For Ukraine :the pro Ukrainian Oryx gives Russian tank losses as some 1400,the figures of the Ukrainian MOD are 2300.
One of both is lying, or both . I have as much trust in Oryx as in the Ukrainian MOD .
Oryx said that at least 550 Russian tanks had been abandoned and were not destroyed by ATW ,but not all destroyed tanks were destroyed by ATW. Thus we can assume that almost 40 % of lost Russian tanks were not lost by ATW (tanks, aircraft, artillery, mines, Javelins ,etc.. )
For the Ukrainian tank losses ( 300 or more ) ,I have seen the claim that 50 % of them were lost also by non combat causes .
I think that we may conclude that the role of the Javelins,etc, has been very much exaggerated by our media who were only copycatting the claims of the producers of the Javelins, for obvious reasons .
More ATW do not result in more tank losses . For more tank losses are needed
a ATW where they are needed
b men who can use the ATW
c the presence of tanks where the enemy can detect them
d the possibility to use the ATW
c the impossibility for the enemy to stop the ATW or to hide/evacuate his tanks .
This brings us to the question if tanks advancing off road are less vulnerable than tanks advancing on road . Problem which I will comment later .
In VaBanque doesn't Schustereit claim that Germany invaded the Soviet Union in order to defeat Great Britain and that Goering tried to talk Hitler out of it (p181).
Again I won't argue with his statistics just the conclusions he draws from them.
I think you look at things far too literally, ATGMs do not have to have a 100% kill rate to be effective, I would argue that just the thought of an ATGM crew in an area will cause poorly trained armour crews to get nervous and change the way they operate.
Much like the rumour of a PzKpfw-VI caused allied troops consternation the psychological effect of the Tiger was far greater than its battlefield impact but that impact was effective in pushing the enemy out of its normal operating environment and increased casualties and material loss.
With regard to the current ATGMs in Ukraine I disagree entirely with your conclusions, my knowledge and understanding of the use of these things is rudimentary at best and I am not going to argue tactics or kill rates as I don't know them but what I will argue is human nature, if Ukrainian service frontline personnel did not see a value in these weapons they would not take them.
I am prepared to bet that rather than hump a bulky 22kg Javelin or 12.5kg NLAW around a battlefield if they thought they were useless they would either not take them and load up on items they thought they would need or dump them at the first available opportunity.
I am also prepared to argue that Ukraine would not have been calling for more of them if they were just being dumped on the side of the road because soldiers weren't using them, what the continued demand for them tells us is that the soldiers using them see vale in them and that is all that really matters.
That the aim of Barbarossa was to force Britain to give up,is a historical fact .
About the Javelins,which were claimed by the media to have a 100 % killing rate, for which there is no proof : as tanks were not and are not a decisive weapon, their elimination can not be decisive .The Russians used their tanks as a substitute for their infantry and given the fact that tanks can not replace infantry,the Russian tactic is an indication of how desperate their situation was already before the war .
No one said that Javelins are useless but the reality is that they are not decisive,as the elimination of 1100 + tanks is not the cause of the Russian failure .
There were few ATW in February 2022, but no one is claiming that this was the cause of the Russian advance ( besides :the Russian advance was a sign of failure,as was the German advance after the Summer of 1941 in the USSR ).
About the killing rate of ATW :Ukraine has received 100000 ATW following the US ,but today Ukraine is not eliminating more tanks/trucks than in March,and,if they do it,it is irrelevant :to kill 10 % more tanks, 10 % more ATW are insufficient .The Russians are not retreating because the use of Javelins and Drones .
They are retreating because they have advanced,unwillingly,too fat and with the small force they have ,they can only hold a small front ,besides,as for Barbarossa, an advance of hundreds of km,was not needed,neither was it possible .
The German plan was to defeat the Soviets on the border,this would,hoped they, cause the fall of the Soviet regime, and this would make possible an advance ( mostly by train ) of small armed occupation forces, to the Volga . The Panzer Divisions would return to Germany .
The Russian plan was a variant of the German plan,with the exception that the Russians had not the intention to advance to the border with Poland and Romania ,such an advance was not only impossible but also not needed .
Everything changed when the Russian plan failed : the Ukrainians did not run away in March and the Russians were forced to go west,hoping that a small advance would finish the war, when this did not happen,an other advance was started,etc ,..
It isn't a historical fact at all as it never eventuated and even had the Russians surrendered then is no proof or corroborating data to suggest Britain would have given up.
I also don't entirely agree about Russian aims, I suspect initially it was meant to be a short, sharp shock that would result in Ukraine acquiescence to Russian demands, when that failed their arrogance pushed them to think they could make it to the Polish border.
On the whole I think Lukashenko's map is not a Photoshopped joke but rather the hopes of deluded leaders.