Logistics: Smaller is Survivable


June 23, 2023: In Ukraine, the Ukrainians have emphasized destroying Russian supplies or disrupting their delivery. This is done at all levels, from attacking large fuel and ammunition storage sites to going after individual supply trucks headed from troops on the front line. This has forced the Russians to move their large supply collection and distribution facilities farther from the front. That means greater use of trucks to transport supplies to the troops. The Ukrainians noted this and concentrated on attacking those trucks as they got close to the front lines. This led the unsupplied Russian troops to request that smaller, more difficult to detect and attack, trucks be used. Russian logistics officers refused to do this and kept sending full-size trucks to the front, where they were often detected and destroyed by the Ukrainians. Some Russian units obtained, often by purchase smaller pickup size trucks. These were more likely to reach the frontline troops. It is unclear if the logistics commanders have responded to this by purchasing the smaller trucks, which have often been seen operating right behind the Russian front lines, though at least some of those were stolen from Ukrainian civilians. Some Russian senior officers oppose adopting such unofficial equipment and that led to the destruction of at least one pickup truck by one of those officers. This is another example of how the rigid command structure and discouragement of initiative hinder Russian operations.




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