Category Archives: Artillery

20 November 1943 Tarawa; Keep Moving

Originally posted 20 November 2009:

The buildings in the “regimental area” of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina are modest, post-war brick buildings that, to the visitor’s eye, look more or less alike. Yet, each of the Marine Regiments of the Second Marine Division has its own storied history and battle honors.  As Captain J. W. Thomason wrote in his Great War masterpiece Fix Bayonets, these histories represent the “…traditions of things endured and things accomplished, such as Regiments hand down forever.”

There are symbols of these honors for one to see, if you know where to look. On a thousand trips past those symbols, there is one that never failed to make me pause and reflect. On the headquarters building for the 2d Marine Regiment hangs their unit crest. Aside from the unit name, the crest contains only three words. They are in English and not Latin, and they are not a catch phrase nor a bold proclamation of a warrior philosophy. They are simple and stark. Across the top of the unit crest is the word “TARAWA”. And at the bottom, the grim admonition, “KEEP MOVING”.


It was 66 years ago on this date that the Second Marine Division began the assault on Betio Island, in the Tarawa Atoll. The island, roughly two thirds of the size of my college’s small campus, was the most heavily fortified beach in the world. Of the Second Marine Division, the 2nd Marine Regiment (known as “Second Marines”) landed two battalions abreast on beaches Red 1 and Red 2. The assault began what was described as “seventy-six stark and bitter hours” of the most brutal combat of the Pacific War. More than 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed, nearly 2,300 wounded, along with nearly 5,000 Japanese dead, in the maelstrom of heat, sand, fire, and smoke that was Betio.

Assault on Betio's Northern beaches

Assault on Betio’s Northern beaches

Marine Dead on Beach Red 1

Marine Dead on Beach Red 1

I will not detail the fighting for Betio here, as there are many other sources for that information. Nor will I debate whether the terrible price paid for Betio was too high. What cannot be debated is the extraordinary heroism of the Marines and Sailors who fought to secure the 1.1 square miles of baking sand and wrest it from the grasp of an entrenched, fortified, and determined enemy. The fighting was described as “utmost savagery”, and casualties among Marine officers and NCOs were extremely high. As one Marine stated, initiative and courage were absolute necessities. Corporals commanded platoons, and Staff Sergeants, companies.

Marines assault over coconut log wall on Beach Red 2

Marines assault over coconut log wall on Beach Red 2

The book by the late Robert Sherrod, “Tarawa, The Story of a Battle”, is a magnificent read. Another is Eric Hammel’s “76 Hours”. Also “Utmost Savagery”, by Joe Alexander, who additionally produced the WWII commemorative “Across the Reef”, an excellent compilation of primary source material. For video, The History Channel produced a 50th anniversary documentary on the battle, titled “Death Tide at Tarawa”, in November 1993. I also highly recommend finding and watching this superb production. It is narrated by Edward Hermann, and interviews many of the battle’s veterans, including Robert Sherrod, MajGen Mike Ryan, and others, who provide chilling and inspiring commentary of the fighting and of the terrible carnage of those three days.

 Master Sgt. James M. Fawcett, left and Capt. Kyle Corcoran salute Fawcett's father's ashes on Red Beach 1. MSgt Fawcett's father landed on Red 1 on 20 Nov 1943.

Master Sgt. James M. Fawcett, left and Capt. Kyle Corcoran salute Fawcett’s father’s ashes on Red Beach 1. MSgt Fawcett’s father landed on Red 1 on 20 Nov 1943.

Tarawa remains a proud and grim chapter in the battle histories of the units of the Second Marine Division. Each outfit, the 2nd, 6th, 8th, and 10th Marines, 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Tracks, and miscellaneous support units, fought superbly against frightful odds and a fearsome enemy. It is on the Unit Crest of the 2nd Marines, whose battalions paid the highest price for Betio, that the most poignant of those histories is remembered. Three simple words: “TARAWA; KEEP MOVING”.



Filed under armor, Around the web, Artillery, aviation, Defense, doctrine, engineering, guns, history, infantry, leadership, logistics, marines, navy, planes, ships, SIR!, Uncategorized, veterans, war, weapons, World War II

Why the Army doesn’t bring back the 106mm RR

Timactual in the comments on the M8 AGS asks a reasonable question:

“The three man crew could bolt on the additional protection in a couple hours with simple hand tools.”

Why, oh why, am I so skeptical.

Why not bring back the 106 mm. reckless rifle? Mount it on an modified and armored Humvee, like the Germans did with the Marder.

I like the M40 106mm Recoilless Rifle (which has proven popular with Syrian rebels). It’s a nifty weapon. My thoughts on why the Army doesn’t bring it back into service are pure speculation, of course, but I think you’ll see the logic has merit.

First, as to his skepticism about mounting the bolt on armor, it really was pretty easy to do.

As to why you’d want a rifled cannon mounted on a vehicle instead of an M40- the M40 was only capable of defeating armor via its HEAT warhead.  It’s low muzzle velocity ruled out using any kinetic penetrator. HEAT warheads offer fantastic penetration for a given size round. The problem is, they can be defeated by a pretty wide variety of simple countermeasures. See the slat armor on US Stryker vehicles deployed in the war zones. Or simply a little vegetation can set off the warhead before it reaches the armor. The 105mm main gun of the M8 can fire existing sabot rounds that are fully capable of defeating tanks up to various T-72 models. And if you’re facing a threat with more advanced armor than that, you’re going to need more than Airborne forces anyway.

As to why the Army doesn’t bring back the M40 to complement the firepower of Infantry Brigade Combat Teams, I suspect it is mostly because, they don’t really need it. IBCTs are fairly generously equipped with the TOW and Javelin missile.

A Javelin is a crapload more expensive per shot than an M40. On the other hand, it is also virtually a one shot/one kill system with greater effective range than an M40. And the Army has so many TOW missiles in the inventory, we can afford to expend them at a pretty brisk rate for years and years to come. Most stocks of US 106mm ammo are expired, and the ammunition in use today overseas is made overseas.

As much as I like the M40, I just don’t think bringing it back would solve any issues that can’t be address by other means. Yeah, you could probably save a little money, but there’s no gain in combat effectiveness, so why bother?


Filed under Artillery, guns

Of Strength, and Courage

Strength and courage in such measures that I cannot do justice to using  a keyboard.  Indy Star sportswriter Gregg Doyel does, however: (To do his article justice, I have inserted it here in its entirety.)

She had one more soccer game to watch, and maybe then she would let herself die. But not before Saturday afternoon, no matter what the doctors were saying, because what the doctors were saying was unacceptable.

They were saying almost two weeks ago that Stephanie Turner had just a few days to live, that what had started five years ago as breast cancer and had come back with a vengeance a month ago was now rampaging through her body and shutting down her liver and, well. It was a matter of days. That’s what the doctors were saying.

No, Stephanie Turner had said. I need two weeks.

Because her daughter, Brebeuf goalkeeper Lauren Turner, had a state championship to win.

And Stephanie was going to be there.

Stephanie has always been there, for all three of her kids, starting years ago when her eldest played football at Cathedral. John Turner is a senior safety at Notre Dame now, and Stephanie goes to those games, too. She watches William, her youngest, a freshman running back on the Brebeuf varsity.

On Saturday, Lauren Turner and the Brebeuf girls soccer team played Penn for the Class 2A state title at Carroll Stadium. Lauren was in goal.

Stephanie Turner was in a Carroll Stadium suite, in a wheelchair, under a blanket.

The family let me inside Suite 7, offering hot dogs and soda and strength and grace, and Stephanie is beautiful under her blanket. She is so weak she can barely speak, her words coming softly in small mouthfuls, gentle words like, “I love my kids.”

She tells me, “I had to be here.”

She tells me, “I wouldn’t miss this.”

One by one the Brebeuf starters are introduced before the game. One by one they jog onto the field, wave to the crowd, then turn toward Suite 7 behind them and wave to Stephanie Turner.

The announcer introduces Lauren Turner.

“There’s your baby!” says Stephanie’s mom, Nettie Watkins. “Oh, and she waved to her mama. Did you see?”

Stephanie Turner responds in the affirmative.

“Mmm-hmm,” she coos.

She is wearing a maroon Brebeuf hat, with a Brebeuf windbreaker over her Brebeuf soccer shirt. Her eyes are yellowing behind her glasses, jaundiced from liver failure. She didn’t have to be here.

She had to be here.

“I think it’s keeping her going,” Stephanie’s husband, Troy, is telling me.

We’re sitting in the bleachers in front of the suite, just a few minutes before kickoff of the Class 2A title game, and I’m asking him how his daughter is holding it together on the soccer field. Lauren Turner has been blanking opponents for weeks, even as her mom has been growing weaker and weaker, and her brothers – John at Notre Dame, William at Brebeuf – likewise have been maintaining their academic and football commitments. I’m asking Troy: How can these children be so strong?

Troy smiles. He gestures at the suite behind us, at Stephanie in her wheelchair, under the blanket.

“She’s our strength,” he says. “If she can handle this, we can’t justify not being able to handle it, too.”

And she can handle this? That’s what I ask Troy Turner about his wife, dying of cancer. Even now? Today? Is she still handling it?

Troy nods and tells me what happened this morning.

Well, it was game day. And Stephanie Turner, home on hospice care for almost a week, unable to get out of bed, suddenly was able.

Her parents have been in town for a week, Nettie and John from Baltimore, and for almost a week they’ve seen their daughter in her bed. Now they see her up and wearing the Brebeuf shirt and windbreaker, and she’s ready to go, and it’s not time.

“She was ready two hours early!” Nettie was telling me. “We had to tell her she could get back into bed for a little while.”

They’ve come from all over for these final days – her parents and sister from Baltimore, Uncle Bill from Atlanta, a handsome nephew named Carter, more – and on Saturday morning 12 members of the family woke up under the same roof. That included John, the senior safety at Notre Dame. The Irish played at Temple on Saturday, but Troy Turner had told Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly about the situation back home. He asked if John could come home to see his mom for perhaps the last time.

“And Coach Kelly was great about it,” Troy said.

Everyone has been great about it. U.S. World Cup keeper Hope Solo – Brebeuf coach Angela Berry-White is a U.S. national team alum – sent Lauren Turner a signed pair of soccer gloves. While Stephanie was in intensive care last week at IU Hospital downtown, seven members of the Brebeuf team visited her. And Stephanie being Stephanie, this is what she did: She had the soccer players stand over her bed, put their hands together and holler, “Braves!”

This game Saturday, it wasn’t going so great for the Braves. Penn scores two minutes into the game, just the eighth goal that has gotten past Lauren Turner this season – eight goals in more than 1,200 minutes –  and the score stays 1-0 into the second half.

Stephanie watches the game quietly, barely moving, until Brebeuf scores midway through the second half to tie the game at 1. Suite 7 explodes in happy noise. Family members turn to Stephanie, who bumps fists with her sister, Crystal, and raises her hand to the glass window in front of her, pantomiming a high five with her sons outside. Troy comes inside to wrap an arm triumphantly around her shoulder, then goes back out.

With 6 minutes left Brebeuf scores the go-ahead goal and Suite 7 erupts again. Stephanie is smiling and holding up her right hand, and family members rush to pat it. Troy comes inside for a hug, then goes back out.

“Six minutes!” Uncle Bill says. “Run that clock down.”

Six minutes later, it’s over. Brebeuf wins 2-1. Lauren Turner and the Braves are state champions.

“That’s my La-La,” Stephanie Turner says, softly, as Suite 7 explodes for a third time.

And then the most amazing thing happens.

The clock shows zeroes and a horn sounds and the Brebeuf soccer team is celebrating, and Lauren Turner is sprinting off the field, onto the track around it, over the railing. The Brebeuf goalkeeper has scaled the wall and is running up the bleachers toward Suite 7, and now the Brebeuf soccer team is following her.

Lauren bursts into Suite 7, and Stephanie is crying, and Lauren is crying, and now the whole suite is crying. And here come the Braves, one after another, forwards and midfielders and defenders and they’re all crying and hugging their goalkeeper’s mom. They’re hugging Stephanie Turner, who is wiping tears from her eyes as her husband watches.

In a corner of Suite 7, Lauren Turner is almost inconsolable. Teammates are holding her up, and after about three minutes the team is heading back onto the field for the trophy presentation.

Troy asks Stephanie if she wants to leave the warmth of Suite 7. Does she want to go onto the field for the trophy ceremony?


Stephanie says something I’ve heard her say before.

“I have to be there,” she says, and in a few minutes she is in her wheelchair, under her blanket, next to the field. She watches her daughter receive a championship medal.

Brebeuf gets the team trophy, a giant plaque of wood and brass, and now Lauren has it. She walks to her mom, setting the trophy on her lap. Behind them, Troy is tucking the blanket around his wife’s neck, and draping a jacket over that. Warm now, she lowers her head and closes her eyes.

Stephanie Turner is tired, so tired, but she has seen what she came to see. Whatever happens next, whenever it happens, she saw the game. And she saw her daughter win that state championship.

Troy Turner was one of the best Marine Officers I have ever served with.  He was one of my Lieutenants when I had the honor of commanding Romeo Battery 5/10 back in the mid-1990s.  Troy was the kind of young Officer I could rely on for anything.  I could assign him any task, and he was smart enough and professional enough to figure it out.  And a finer man, one could not find.  He and Stephanie were a delightful young couple.   Now, as they face this tragedy, I am in awe of the indomitable strength and courage of Troy’s lovely Stephanie, and of Troy’s, and that of his daughter and other children.   I haven’t words.   God bless you all.

-Rhino 6


“Lieutenant” Mewborn


Filed under Artillery, girls, leadership, Personal, veterans

‘England Expects Every Man to Do His Duty’


When the fragile Peace of Amiens collapsed after just fourteen months in May of 1803, triggering the War of the Third Coalition, French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte was determined to invade England.  His goal was to remove once and for all the British interference with his plans for the conquest of Europe. In 1803, England was a part of that ultimately unsuccessful Third Coalition (Austria, Russia, England, Sweden, the Holy Roman Empire, Napoli and Sicily) opposing France and Napoleon’s alliance which included Spain, Württemberg, and Bavaria.

The main obstacle to those invasion plans, as had been so often in the past (and would be in the future) was the Royal Navy. Britain had stood, alone, against revolutionary Republican France, and against Napoleon, at various times between 1789 and 1803. In the autumn of 1805, a combined French and Spanish fleet under French Admiral Pierre-Charles-Jean-Baptiste-Silvestre de Villeneuve, operating in the western approaches of the Mediterranean, were to combine with other squadrons at Brest and elsewhere to challenge the Royal Navy’s sea power in the English Channel.

Lord Nelson, after less than a month ashore from two years at sea, was ordered to take command of approximately 30 vessels, which included 27 ships of the line, and sail to meet the combined French/Spanish fleet gathered at Cadiz.   Aboard HMS Victory, Nelson eschewed the more conservative tactic of engaging the enemy in line-ahead, trading broadsides while alongside the parallel column of the enemy. Nelson instead planned to maneuver perpendicular to the enemy line of battle, with his fleet in two columns. Nelson in Victory would lead the larger, northern (windward) column, while Cuthbert Collingwood in HMS Royal Sovereign, would lead the southern (leeward) column.

The goal was to divide the French/Spanish fleet into smaller pieces and leverage local superiority to destroy the fleet in detail before the remainder could be brought to bear. (The risk, of course, was the possibility that the allied broadsides would rake and destroy the British columns upon their approach before they could bring their own broadsides into action.)  It was a tactic used by Admiral Sir John Jervis at the battle of St. Vincent some eight years before, a British victory in which Commodore Nelson had served under the future Earl St. Vincent.

The French/Spanish fleet was larger, with 40 ships to Nelson’s 33, and counted more ships of the line, 33 to the Royal Navy’s 27. Several of the French and Spanish ships were far larger than even Nelson’s Victory, carrying considerably more cannon.   But the Royal Navy held two important advantages.

Firstly, the Officers of the RN were far more experienced than their French and Spanish counterparts, and of significantly higher quality. The bloodbath of the French Revolution, predictive of the Soviet purges of the 20th Century, saw the execution or cashiering of the cream of the French Officer Corps. Also, the British crews, particularly the gunners, were far better trained and disciplined than those on the allied ships. In the coming battle, both fleet maneuver and ship handling would be critical to the outcome.

Just after noon on 21 October, Nelson observed the French/Spanish fleet struggling with light and variable winds, in loose formation off Cape Trafalgar, wallowing in a rolling sea. Nelson and Collingwood led their respective columns toward the enemy, enduring broadsides without the ability to respond, and suffering considerable casualties.  However, allied gunnery was not accurate and the rate of fire was subpar, allowing the British warships to close.

As the two British columns sliced through the allied line, the battle degenerated into individual battles between ships, and sometimes two and three against one. Casualties on both sides soared, as cannon and musket fire raked gun decks and topside. Nelson’s flagship Victory herself was almost boarded, by the French Redoubtable, saved at the last minute by HMS Temeraire, whose timely broadside slaughtered the French crews preparing to board.

At quarter past 1pm, as Nelson walked topside with Victory’s Captain, Thomas Hardy,  he collapsed to the deck, struck in the left shoulder with a musket ball. The ball had torn through his chest and severed his spine. Nelson knew he had been mortally wounded.   Carried belowdecks, he lingered for about three hours, weakening, but still inquiring about the course of the battle. His last words, according to physician William Beatty, who was an eyewitness, were, “Thank God I have done my duty.”

Slowly, the superior British gunnery and seamanship began to tell.  Ships in the allied column, many a bloody shambles of broken masts, shredded sails, and dead crewmen, began to surrender.  By 4pm, the action came to a merciful end.  The result of the battle was a serious defeat of the French/Spanish fleet. The van of the allied line never were able to circle back and engage either of the two British columns. Twenty-two allied ships were captured, one French vessel sunk. The French and Spanish suffered almost 14,000 casualties, with more than 8,000 seamen and Officers captured, including Admiral Villeneuve. The Royal Navy had lost no ships, despite the dismasting of two frigates. Casualties numbered 1,666, with 458 dead, including Britain’s greatest Naval hero.


It was Nelson himself who was, of course, the greatest advantage the Royal Navy possessed. Nelson’s skill and aggressive command style, his ability to motivate men and engender something very close to complete devotion in his junior commanders, and his willingness to issue orders and refrain from meddling, all were part of the famous “Nelson touch”.   His tawdry personal life, his open affair with Lady Hamilton, a lawsuit against Earl St. Vincent over prize money from the Battle of Copenhagen, all this was overlooked, and in some cases added to the legend and celebrity of Horatio Nelson. His likeness, replete with empty sleeve (from a grievous wound received at Santa Cruz) adorns a 143-foot column in Trafalgar Square. Lord Nelson’s name is synonymous with the Royal Navy. The guidance he gave to his ships’ captains echoes down through the centuries. “No captain can do very wrong should he lay his ship alongside that of the enemy”**.

Ironically, the great victory at Trafalgar came one day after the annihilation of an Austrian army at Ulm, another in an unbroken string of successes for Napoleon’s armies on the European mainland. The Third Coalition, like the two previous would suffer defeat at Napoleon’s hand. As would the Fourth Coalition. It would not be until 1815 that Napoleon would be defeated for good, this time, on land, by Wellington at Waterloo.

Of course, Nelson hadn’t any knowledge of the Battle of Ulm, or even the campaign. But he likely did know that his defeat of the combined French and Spanish naval forces off Cape Trafalgar had once and for all eliminated the threat of invasion of the British Isles.

**A fascinating look at the evolution from Nelson’s entreaty of the duty of a Royal Navy captain to the risk-averse and centralized sclerosis of command that plagued the Royal Navy in the First World War is provided in a masterpiece by Andrew Gordon called The Rules of the Game (USNI Press). Worth every second of the read, as both a historical work and as a cautionary tale.


Filed under army, Artillery, Defense, girls, guns, history, leadership, marines, navy, ships, SIR!, training, veterans, war, weapons

Daily Dose of Splodey

The Mk45 5”/54 gun was, until recently, the standard in production medium caliber gun for US Navy warships, being replaced in production (but not in existing fleet units) by the Mk45Mod4 5”/62 gun, which is mechanically almost identical, but has a longer barrel for greater range. It fires the same ammunition as the earlier 5”/54.

Here’s an older video, dating from the early 1990s showing a demonstration of the lethality of proximity fused rounds against simulated truck type targets.

The “HECVT” projectile stands for High Explosive Common Variable Time. That is, it’s a high explosive shell. Common means it is a general purpose round, as opposed to having an armor piercing body, or prefragmented anti-aircraft body. It is, by far, the most common round- hence, Common. Variable Time oddly doesn’t stand for Variable Time, but instead for Proximity fused. That is, a small radio transmitter in the nose of the fuse senses when the round is within a predetermined distance from an object, and then initiates the bursting of the charge. Variable Time was a cover story from when VT was invented in World War II to keep the Germans or Japanese from discovering how VT worked, and either developing their own, or countermeasures to defeat it.


Filed under Artillery


Although our Army loves mobility, the fact is, in any theater of operations, you simply have to have some fixed bases. Logistics, airfields, maintenance facilities require some sort of base. And in the nature of warfare, fixed installations are tempting targets for indirect fire.  For instance, in both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, insurgents have targeted bases with a variety of indirect fire weapons. For the most part, these attacks have been primarily harassing fires.  They’re too small to destroy much of an installation, but they’re enough that work has to stop, people have to take cover, and occasionally the enemy gets lucky and causes casualties or hits an important piece of equipment.

In wars past, the tactic to counter these attacks was counter-battery fire. Special radars detect the incoming fire, and by tracking their trajectory, can locate their origin. That targeting in information is sent to the artillery (or helicopter gunships, or what have you), and fires placed on the attacker. But sometimes, that’s simply not possible. For instance, if the attack comes from a protected space such as a mosque, firing back might have worse consequences that simply riding out the attack. It’s hard to win hearts and minds when you’re shelling the locals village and their church.

With advances in technology, and some adaptation of existing technology, the Army has developed systems to actually intercept incoming fire. Under the term C0unter- Rockets, Artillery & Mortars, the Army is testing or actually fielding a family of weapons that defeat, well, rockets, artillery, and mortar shells in flight.

The first fielded system was a derivative of the US Navy’s Mk15 Phalanx Close In Weapon System, or CIWS.

A good start, but the Army is looking at other systems as well. For instance, lasers are maturing enough that a deployable system will soon be a reality.

In addition, the Army is realizing that its monopoly on cheap drones is coming to an end, and enemy forces, either state actors, nor non-state forces will be able to operate drones over our installations. Denying the enemy this intelligence is a critical task, and one that the C-RAM initiative is addressing. One interesting concept we noticed the other day is this mobile 50mm chain gun with guided ammunition.


While civilian countermeasures to combat malicious drones is moving toward UAV-freezing radio beams, the US Army is taking a more permanent approach. Under development by the U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Center (ARDEC) at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey, the Enhanced Area Protection and Survivability (EAPS) system used steerable 50 mm smart rounds to shoot down two drones in recent tests.

The Army says that EAPS is a gun-based alternative to the missile-based Counter Rocket, Artillery, and Mortar (C-RAM) system currently favored by the US military. It was originally designed to counter rockets, artillery, and mortars (RAM), but due to the increasing threat from UAVs the system’s mission was expanded to include drones.

Using a 50 mm cannon, EAPS fires guided interceptor projectiles guided by a precision tracking radar interferometer and a fire control computer. The system tracks the projectile and the target and computes an ideal trajectory correction. A radio transceiver then beams an engagement “basket” at the target for the projectile to home in on. Thrusters on the projectile are used for course correction and as it nears the target a forward-fragmenting warhead with a tantalum-tungsten alloy liner detonates to deal with C-RAM targets, while steel body fragments take out unmanned drones.

As an aside, that’s one of the nifty things about the Chain Gun, it’s scaleability. The most common chain gun in use is the M242 25mm. But basic gun mechanism has also been used in 30mm (both the low velocity M230 of the Apache gunship, and the high velocity of the Mk46 intended for the canceled EFV) and even 7.62mm. There’s also a 35mm version. I’ll admit this was the first I’d heard of a 50mm variant. And I wonder if, given the fin stabilization of the guided ammo, is it a smoothbore gun? Heck, it would be fun to see a 60mm mortar version.

And having designed the basic architecture for a guided 50mm round, it should be quite simple to design various different warheads for the rounds, enabling it to be used for other roles beyond just C-RAM. For instance, might we see a variant tailored for ships as defense against cruise missiles or small boat attacks? That would be interesting, seeing the circle completed from the adoption of the sea based CIWS.


Filed under Artillery

“Rebels” adjusting artillery fire with a drone.

Yeah, “rebels” who just happened to be in Russian uniform. What are the  odds. The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine in the eastern regions of Ukraine has been characterized by heavy, heavy use of artillery. Any time either side attempts to mass decisive combat power, the other pounds it with artillery. Sadly, the Russians have done a better job. While they lack the sophistication of UAVs like our MQ-1 Predator or MQ-9 Reaper, these commercial off the shelf drones do provide enough information to make terrain feature recognition and artillery adjustment quite feasible.

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Filed under Artillery, ukraine