Bakhmut: Out of Ammo? Fix Bayonets

The phrase “fix bayonets” rings throughout military history. It means different things — final assault or out of ammunition and last stand.

Sometimes, both.

On the evening of October 14, 1781, the sharp clanking of steel bayonets being fixed to muskets echoed through the dense fog that descended over the American earthworks outside of Yorktown Va.

Every young American should visit Yorktown. The earthworks are still there. Even more than Gettysburg, Yorktown stands as the monument to an incredible American victory.

Visit the redoubts where American light infantry and French troops secured the victory.

The bayonet had been used extensively and effectively throughout the Revolutionary War, but this instance at Yorktown was extreme — night assault on 2 Brit redoubts.

On the American side, Continental light infantry (regulars – not militia) led by the Marquis de Lafayette and Alexander Hamilton were to storm British Redoubt No. 10 in a night assault.

400 French regular soldiers of the French Royal Deux-Ponts Regiment were to take the adjacent Redoubt 9.

A choreographed attack.

Troops were forbidden to even load their muskets. Secrecy was paramount in this endeavor, and a single accidental musket shot could sink the whole operation. Success would mean that the Americans would be on top of the British soldiers before they could respond, a climactic assault in what had become a protracted siege.

The stakes were clearly high as General George Washington implored his men that they “act the part of firm and brave soldiers.”

Captain Stephen Olney, commanding a company that would take part in the assault, later wrote that “his Excellency’s knees rather shook, but I have since doubted whether it was not mine.” Fear must have pervaded many of the men’s minds, as Olney remembered that many of the men were “no doubt, thinking, that less than one quarter of a mile would finish the journey of life with them.”

In the Redoubts, awaiting the assault. In the Redoubts were Brit and Hessian troops of the 71st Foot, 33rd, 43, and von Bose Regiments – almost our of ammo.

And so goes the AFU in the Bakhmut cauldron – surrounded, units decimated, and low on ammo.

Moon of Alabama (The Last Hurrah):

The Last Hurrah

ZubuBrothers has a piece that reports about a talk given by the Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces General Rajmund Andrzejczak:

Andrzejczak said that the situation doesn’t look good for Kiev at all when considering the economic dynamics of this conflict, with him drawing particular attention to finance, infrastructure issues, social issues, technology, and food production, et al. From this vantage point, he predicts that Russia can continue conducting its special operation for 1-2 more years before it begins to feel any structural pressure to curtail its activities.

By contrast, Kiev is burning through tens of billions of dollars’ worth of aid, yet it still remains very far away from achieving its maximum objectives. Andrzejczak candidly said that Poland’s Western partners aren’t properly assessing the challenges that stand in the way of Ukraine’s victory, including those connected to the “race of logistics”/war of attrition” that the NATO chief declared in mid-February. Another serious problems concerns refugees’ unwillingness to return to their homeland anytime soon.

As Andrzejczak himself admitted, “We just don’t have ammunition. The industry is not ready not only to send equipment to Ukraine, but also to replenish our stocks, which are melting.” Considering that Poland is Ukraine’s third most important patron behind the Anglo-American Axis, this strongly suggests that all other NATO members are struggling just as much as it is to keep up the pace, scale, and scope of support, if not more since many are a lot smaller and thus less capable of contributing in this respect.

Accordingly, this observation means that Kiev’s upcoming counteroffensive will likely be its “last hurrah” prior to resuming peace talks with Russia since the West won’t be able to keep up its assistance for much longer. Andrzejczak seems keenly aware of this “politically inconvenient” fact, hence why he wants his side to give its proxies as much as possible until the end of that operation in the hopes that they can then be in a comparatively more advantageous position by the time these talks recommence.

I agree with the General’s analysis.


Bakhmut/Aryomovsk is to 90% under Russian control and the rest will be captured during the next few days. Ukrainian losses in the city must have been huge. The Ukrainian troops who try to escape from the city immediately come under artillery fire. The latest daily Russian clobber report counts 575 ‘enemy losses’ in Bakhmut over the last 24 hours for a total of 815 along the whole frontline. This is the largest number reported over the last two months.

Holding onto the city at all cost was in my view the wrong decision. A more mobile defense would have cost more land but also would have had much fewer losses than occurred in those static positions under strong artillery fire. As Ukraine is geographically big but has relative few mobilizable soldiers it would have been better to trade land its for time and not its soldiers.

The defense of the lowland city cost the Ukrainian army dearly as it eroded its material and human reserves. Those will be missing to patch the holes in the front line when that long announced ‘last hurrah’ counteroffensive fails to make any serious gains.

Posted by b on April 29, 2023 at 16:37 UTC |

Here is the bigger picture in the Donbass

And, here is Dima at the Military Summary Channel – first at Bakhmut:

We’re within 2 weeks of the AFU charge.

Or, perhaps, 2 weeks when Russian attacks in the north and east steals the march.

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