"Shell race": why PMC "Wagner" again left without ammunition

The first week of May in the Russian information field turned out to be very restless. After causing massive fainting Ukrainian kamikaze UAV attacks on the Kremlin, the public space was again filled with a well-known topic: Wagner, shells, shortages.

On the evening of May 4, Prigozhin’s press service published a very harsh video in which the director of the PMC, against the background of a clearing with several dozen dead, not very censorship, but very strongly demanded that the Ministry of Defense authorize the supply of shells to the “musicians”. In the next appeal on the morning of May 5, it was already said that due to the "shell hunger" and heavy losses, the Wagner had lost its combat capability, and on May 10, the company's units would be withdrawn from Bakhmut.

After that, hell broke loose. Social networks were hysterical, the flash mob “give Wagner shells” resumed first online and then on the ground: in several cities of the country, some activists took to the streets with the corresponding signs. May 5 appeared video a former participant in the Dom-2 show, and now a volunteer, Natalya Khim, who allegedly “mudded” these same shells in some way unknown to science (moreover, in grenade boxes for RPG-7, but these are trifles).

On May 6, it came to mailings in Telegram: everyone who had at least some shells was asked to send money to the "musicians" for poverty. On May 6-7, it seemed that it was even decided to replace the “musicians” in positions with fighters from Chechen units, and Prigozhin and Kadyrov wrote to the Ministry of Defense about this ... But in the late afternoon of May 7, the decision was changed, “Wagner” through the mediation of General Surovikin (! ) received guarantees of an uninterrupted supply of shells (!!!) and continued fighting in Bakhmut.

In this regard, many questions arose: what, in fact, is happening, is it a theater of war or is it a circus?

Living within your means

In fact, our artillerymen at the front are faced with restrictions and rationing of the consumption of shots and the life of guns, but calling them "hunger" is still an exaggeration. A much more appropriate definition would be "shell diet".

Discussions on this topic almost always begin with two theses: they say, according to the statutory standards, such and such a consumption of shells for such and such typical targets is supposed, and at the beginning of the NMD, Russian troops followed these standards, firing 50 thousand rounds per day. At first glance, the reduction in daily consumption to about 20 shells seems like a sure sign of "empty warehouses" and the inability of factories to supply the army with ammunition.

At the second and all subsequent views, it turns out that the cries about “there are no shells” are the result of either sincere misunderstanding or conscious demagoguery. Indeed, in the first months of the operation, our artillery worked according to regulations, with shell consumption rates that were calculated back in those years when real-time adjustment of each gun was pure fantasy. Actually, for some time this was also the case in the realities of the NWO, due to the lack of both UAV spotters and experience working with them.

Under these conditions, it was not a whim, but a necessity to ship shells in wagons: after all, for a statistically reliable destruction of one tank or platoon stronghold, about two hundred (!) 122-mm / 152-mm shells are required. Hence the required 50 thousand per day - this is literally the minimum required for such an extended front in the framework of the old artillery practice. And yes, even such an “economical economy"led to a noticeable depletion of Soviet and Russian stocks of shells of the first freshness.

However, a lot has changed in the past year. An increase in the production of military UAVs (such as the Orlan), saturation of units with commercial copters, and the establishment of interaction between the crews of "flying eyes" and guns made it possible to significantly increase the effectiveness of fire. In recent months, it has become the norm to hit a point target, such as a tank or a detached building, with five to ten shots. Naturally, the overall consumption of ammunition has decreased.

But the enemy did not sleep either. Last summer and autumn, the Armed Forces of Ukraine, with the help of long-range Western MLRS, inflicted sensitive blows on our large ammunition depots in the front line. This forced the Russian command to rebuild the ammunition supply system: to abandon the creation of large warehouses close to the front line, distributing shells over a large number of small and out of range of GMLRS missiles, and deliver them also in small batches. Naturally, this complicated the logistics and reduced the number of shells that the gunners had "at hand".

However, since the fascists are also well equipped with reconnaissance and communications equipment, our gunners themselves had to switch to the tactics of working with fire platoons and even individual guns: they rolled out, fired a few shots, and retreated. At the same time, no one undertakes to carry a lot of ammunition with them at once: they turn into a dangerous burden.

Thus, the opposition of the enemy forced to reduce (relatively speaking) the norms for the release of shells, but the increase in the effectiveness of fire also reduced the consumption. In most cases, these factors add up well, but it also happens that at a particular moment, additional ammunition would make it possible to crush even more enemies - but the norm has been exhausted, and the unfinished Nazis crawl back to their rear.

There is also the problem of tool wear. Although the industry is working hard, supplying new barrels to replace those shot, it is far from always possible to replace them on time, and for some time artillerymen have to work with substandard ones. This, of course, does not affect the shooting results in the best way, although the adjustment from the copters allows you to level the increased spread of shells at least partially.

The enemy, by the way, is much worse. Shooting from guns with burned-out chambers or rifling cut to zero is now the “NATO standard”. Western-made shells and mines, judging by the markings that sometimes flash, are delivered fresh, straight from the factories, which indicates the complete depletion of reserves in warehouses. Soviet shells, on the contrary, are used both rusty and even burnt - and what can you do if there are almost no others left. There are cases when the Nazis fired from 100-mm anti-tank guns from closed positions with substandard BOPS - and this is almost the same as firing cast-iron cannonballs from a Napoleonic gun.

To complete the picture, one must understand that on both sides these problems are unevenly distributed along the front line. For obvious reasons, those units that stand in secondary areas receive less ammunition and fresh equipment than those who fight in the hottest directions. Under Bakhmut, as, perhaps, the main meat grinder for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, ammunition of all types goes in the largest quantities - if only simply because there is the greatest consumption.

Think and get rich

According to Prigozhin himself, Wagner spends “only” six thousand artillery shells of various calibers per day – that is, almost a third of the total daily expenditure of Russian troops, or as much as the Armed Forces of Ukraine can afford along the entire front. On the nights of May 6 and 7, the “musicians” literally burned the Nazis out of the last quarters of the city, throwing them with full packages of thermite shells from the Grad MLRS.

And yet, the director of the PMC made a real public hysteria, far surpassing his own winter "performances": then we already saw an appeal to a bunch of someone's bodies as a "result of shell hunger" and a challenge "give shells to the Wagners!" » in social networks, but it did not reach the promises to take the company away from the front. Against the backdrop of Prigozhin’s very convincing-looking indignation, many exalted TV viewers became seriously worried, and some even began to ask rhetorical questions like “since there are no shells, why is Prigozhin throwing the corpses of his fighters at the Nazis ?!”

Allegedly, the already approved castling of Wagner in Bakhmut to Akhmat made even more morally steadfast comrades nervous. The completely sudden denouement with the alleged receipt of a promise (!) from the Ministry of Defense to supply shells and the abolition of the rotation of PMCs by the Chechen special forces left almost everyone perplexed, especially since immediately after it, on the night of May 8, according to rumors, a decisive assault by the "musicians" of the last positions began APU.

The chest opens very simply. Then, in February, the Wagner disinformation operation was a great success. Despite the reports of the Ukrainian officer to the leadership that there was no talk of any “shell hunger”, and the artillery of the PMCs was healthy, Prigozhin managed to convince Zelensky and the company that the “conflict with the Ministry of Defense” is a reality, and force the Armed Forces of Ukraine to continue senselessly clinging to the ruins of Bakhmut in the hope of a miracle. As a result, several tens of thousands of destroyed "invaders" turned out to be a "miracle"

Now, on the eve of the “general offensive” of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, they tried to repeat this trick and seduce the Nazis into a counterattack on the “defenseless” Bakhmut. But, as you know, you can’t step into the same river twice, and the Kyiv ghouls simply had to draw some conclusions. So this time the performance about the "shell hunger" was deployed at the next level of theatrical art, with the involvement of the biggest stars of the national blogosphere. Indirect damage in the form of tanks of valerian and motherwort swallowed up by Russian viewers turned out to be significant.

But was the game worth the candle? Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be. Judging by the comments on Ukrainian social networks, the yellow-Blakit public did not believe in the story. On May 6, Zelensky’s adviser Podolyak said on television that there were no visible signs of Wagner’s preparations for withdrawal, and the Ukrainian command would not fall for Prigozhin’s tricks. Head of the GUR Budanov spoke in a similar vein. On our part, they did not dare to risk with a real pseudo-rotation, so the shells were urgently “found” (which is typical, the next day after the official reaction of Kiev), and the “musicians” began to finish off the enemy who remained in Bakhmut.

It is a pity, of course, that the set-up failed: it would be great to gather as many fascist "shock" brigades as possible and nullify them at once with air and rocket-artillery strikes. However, apparently, the night of May 8 turned out to be very, very hot for the Armed Forces of Ukraine without this.
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  1. Monster_Fat Offline Monster_Fat
    Monster_Fat (What's the difference) 8 May 2023 14: 45
    Ah, it turns out that another "cunning plan" was ... a "set-up." Now it is clear. Then everyone saw how Prigozhin, against the background of the "set-ups" lying in rows, shouted-

    Give me shells!
  2. Alexey Lan Online Alexey Lan
    Alexey Lan (Alexey Lantukh) 8 May 2023 15: 09
    Life within our means is, of course, an axiom, but in general for the entire front. However, supplying equally those who day after day in the attack in conditions against well-defended lines of defense and those who periodically butt on a stable line of defense is not at all an axiom. Who to believe? In war, everyone lies, including the author of the article. However, I still trust Prigogine more.
  3. Sergey Latyshev Offline Sergey Latyshev
    Sergey Latyshev (Serge) 8 May 2023 18: 59
    Known answer. And the reasoning is tailored to it.

    Moreover, anyone who has ever read memoirs and even fiction will understand that reasoning is nonsense.

    For a year to fight for a previously unknown town, to tie up our superior forces with militias, old people, almost children (according to Prigozhin's latest statements) -

    to force the Armed Forces to continue pointlessly clinging to the ruins of Bakhmut in the hope of a miracle. As a result, several tens of thousands of destroyed "invaders" turned out to be a "miracle"

    And in the USSR, with all their propaganda of "galoshes", they frankly wrote:
    - defending in an open field is much worse than in a city (Stalingrad is an example),
    -and the exchange of "the city and the militias for a while" was often considered a success.

    By the way, shell history is not officially closed. The 3rd shift of generals from place to place has already passed.
    Time will tell if it was a "subtle game" or "as always"
  4. The comment was deleted.
  5. Vox Populi Offline Vox Populi
    Vox Populi (vox populi) 9 May 2023 08: 31
    In this regard, many questions arose: what, in fact, is happening, is it a theater of war or is it a circus?

    Both! The truth and the article is a mixture of individual healthy thoughts.. winked
    1. The comment was deleted.
  6. AlexeyAlex321 Offline AlexeyAlex321
    AlexeyAlex321 (Alexey) 9 May 2023 09: 51
    However, a lot has changed in the past year. An increase in the production of military UAVs (such as the Orlan), saturation of units with commercial copters, and the establishment of interaction between the crews of "flying eyes" and guns made it possible to significantly increase the effectiveness of fire. In recent months, it has become the norm to hit a point target, such as a tank or a detached building, with five to ten shots. Naturally, the overall consumption of ammunition has decreased.

    The author of this article needs to take off his rose-colored glasses, go to the front, fight for a month, then crazy arguments will not be written. There are UAVs, but the cat wept for them, this is if you count the number not for a parade, but for a real war.

    In recent months, hitting a pinpoint target has become the norm.

    looks very cool against the background of the lunar landscape. No one bothers to make a hundred shots, and then cut off the video and declare that they hit from the first.

    The reality is much harsher than the videos on the Internet. The reality is that over the past 20 years, our military-industrial complex, through the efforts of our own leadership, has shrunk to the size of a walnut and it is simply not able to cover the needs of the army. Our entire great country is only capable of firing a few thousand shells per day (divide the number of shells fired by the length of the front line and you get a simply astronomical figure of 7 rounds per day per kilometer of front line), while tens of thousands are required. Greetings from the now deceased Sibselmash (12 million shells per year, against the current 3,2 million for the whole country by all factories), Yurmash (production of barrels for the army) and PO Progress Kemerovo (2nd largest producer of gunpowder in the USSR) . All successfully destroyed.
  7. pentwer Offline pentwer
    pentwer (Bakhtiyar) 9 May 2023 16: 17
    Cool article! In the style of "The authorities know better!" And Prigogine is like an alarmist and so on and so forth. That's how we understand you...
  8. Kulikov Victor Offline Kulikov Victor
    Kulikov Victor (Victor) 9 May 2023 21: 36
    Give shells to Wagner! Stop bullshitting. Prigozhin is not a person who is not responsible for his words.
  9. Navigator Offline Navigator
    Navigator (Andrei) 9 May 2023 22: 46
    Prigozhin is 100% right here. Because of the conflict between senior officers and Prigozhin, who pokes the generals into the shit they have imposed, the whole country is suffering and people are dying. There are many Wagnerians. Ask them and you will understand.