Hail the conquering infantryman! That appears to be one lesson of the current Special Military Operation by Russia in Ukraine.
In the past any fighting in open country would be led by tanks. But because of the lethality of Anti-Tank missiles, tanks and infantry fighting vehicles are now left behind. It’s up to foot soldiers to push the contact line.
Take this platoon of Chechen infantry. Those you can see are spread down the road over 200 feet. Other photos show more trailing well behind. This means the tail can swing left or right to enfilade an ambush attempt.
If the platoon hits a strong point, it’s taken out with an RPG or Anti-Tank missile.
These troops are able to do this because all the obvious fortifications, trenches, mortar positions and firing points have alredy been destroyed by mobile artillery10 or 20 miles away. That, in turn, has been able to do this with the aide of drones spotting, or guiding, the shots.
The infantry moves forward, the artillery moves forward, and the support trucks with ammunition, gasoline, food, etc., moves forward as well.
It’s only in urban environments were the Armoured Fighting Vehicles and tanks move in. The AFVs use heavy machine guns to fire at snipers and Ukrainian troops, moving out of and into cover every few seconds. The tanks are further back, more than 1000 feet, and both are firing at UAF positions spotted by mini-drones (quadcopters).
What don’t we see? Heavy crew-operated machine guns. Small towed artillery. Barbed wire. Mortar crews.
Why? I think the reason is that the Ukrainians laid out a deffence-in-depth based exclusively on Anti-Tank and Anti-Aircraft missiles. When the Russians were attacking with tanks, this worked well. When they switched to using mobile artillery and drones, this tactic was overmatched.
And so, it’s back to the infantry to clean up, assault and wipe out the remaining UAF soldiers.
Incidentally, have you noticed how spread out this battle is? It’s like the battlefield is empty of soldiers, guns, ammo dumps, barbed wire (none that I’ve seen), roads, and much else. There are a few rudimentary bunkers, but nothing on WWI scale, much less WWII.
You can be sure textbooks are being rewritten in military colleges all over the world. It’s all very strange.