Game Changer

Poland has just changed the rules for the Ukrainians. By offering to send a company of Leopard II to them, they have opened the possibility of rapid manoeuvre and devastating striking force.

We have long debated the force on force worthiness of the Leo II vs the T80/T90 and soon we shall see who was right. When I was a major we had similar debates regarding the newly up-gunned T72. The Gulf War put an end to that debate. We are there again. I have reminded my subordinates and students for years that tactics was less about the technical qualities of weapons than about their employment. You don’t need a Javelin to disable a tank; only a can of spray paint (under the right conditions).

Much will depend on employment. If the tanks are used timidly or wasted by employing them as tank killers, then much of their potential will go unrealized. Maybe someone in Ukraine has read Praxis Tacticum. This company needs to be used as a fist, commanded by an aggressive, competent commander working for a likewise aggressive and competent commander. One can hope.

This tank company has the potential to destroy countless infantry or even mobile artillery vehicles. They don’t need to be used to kill other tanks. The Ukrainians have ably demonstrated their abilities to do that already. This company is the proverbial gun being taken to a knife fight. But just having the weapon, does not guarantee success; it needs to be used correctly.

I have faith.

Celer et Audax!

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