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  • That bridge the Ukrainians blew isn't going to be replaced with a pontoon. We haven't seen the photos yet, but they are claiming the destruction of the 35m Devil's Bridge. Maybe the bridge is merely damaged, and will be easy to repair, nobody knows at this point except the Russians. The Ukrainians picked the two absolute best spots to sabotage the BAM line - the 15km tunnel (longest tunnel in Russia), and the Devil's Bridge.

    Both the tunnel (main route) and Devil's Bridge (bypass) are single track. There are only two ways east and west across thousands of miles of Siberia as well - the BAM and the Trans-Siberian Railway. Maybe there are thousands more miles of track and rail infrastructure that could be targeted, but this is where the Russians are most vulnerable, due to the paucity of alternative routes. In areas where the rail network is denser, traffic can merely be re-routed. Not so much the case in Siberia.

    As far as the original construction is concerned, it took the Soviets and Russians from 1977 to 2003 just to finish the tunnel. The bypass that includes the Devil's Bridge was completed in 1989, because the tunnel construction was extremely challenging and taking so long. Even if the Russians can quickly repair the Devil's Bridge, it's going to be a major bottleneck as they can't pass both eastbound and westbound traffic simultaneously along the BAM, and westbound traffic was already highly speed limited, requiring additional locomotives to get trains up the grade.
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    Last edited by Ironduke; 01 Dec 23,, 23:52.
    "Every man has his weakness. Mine was always just cigarettes."

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    • Originally posted by Ironduke View Post
      That bridge the Ukrainians blew isn't going to be replaced with a pontoon. We haven't seen the photos yet, but they are claiming the destruction of the 35m Devil's Bridge. Maybe the bridge is merely damaged, and will be easy to repair, nobody knows at this point except the Russians. The Ukrainians picked the two absolute best spots to sabotage the BAM line - the 15km tunnel (longest tunnel in Russia), and the Devil's Bridge.

      Both the tunnel (main route) and Devil's Bridge (bypass) are single track. There are only two ways east and west across thousands of miles of Siberia as well - the BAM and the Trans-Siberian Railway. Maybe there are thousands more miles of track and rail infrastructure that could be targeted, but this is where the Russians are most vulnerable, due to the paucity of alternative routes. In areas where the rail network is denser, traffic can merely be re-routed. Not so much the case in Siberia.

      As far as the original construction is concerned, it took the Soviets and Russians from 1977 to 2003 just to finish the tunnel. The bypass that includes the Devil's Bridge was completed in 1989, because the tunnel construction was extremely challenging and taking so long. Even if the Russians can quickly repair the Devil's Bridge, it's going to be a major bottleneck as they can't pass both eastbound and westbound traffic simultaneously along the BAM, and westbound traffic was already highly speed limited, requiring additional locomotives to get trains up the grade.

      Thanks for the photo. I mentioned pontoon bridges only because that was listed amongst the engineering assets railway troops are supposed to be supplied with. You would assume other assets required for the emergency repair of bridges and other critical rail infrastructure is also included in their inventory or at worst can be reallocated from the civilian state rail authority as needed on short notice. Assuming it wasn't all stolen years ago of course.

      As for the rest there's 'destroyed' and then there's 'Destroyed!' Until we see photos of the bridge post explosion we wont know how badly it was damaged. Satellite imagery perhaps? But at the least you'd have to assume one or more of the upper pylon quads has been shattered. I'm not an engineer of course (if only we had someone on the forum who was and who could give us the benefit of his knowledge and experience ) but if I had to guess assuming the lower quad tiers are still structurally sound you could shuttle in sections of heavy duty steel supports and lower them onto the middle platforms once you've cleared/cut free the ruined upper supports and bridge section. If both sets of quad pylons have been compromised? Well at least those reinforced concrete bases look sound enough.

      I guess it's going to come down to how the Ukrainians did it. If they infiltrated a team who had the time and resources to rig multiple spans with explosives at critical failure points we could be looking at a total loss. If they blew up a munitions train while it was crossing the bridge? Who knows. Over to the Colonel if he has an opinion on the topic.
      Last edited by Monash; 02 Dec 23,, 06:00.
      If you are emotionally invested in 'believing' something is true you have lost the ability to tell if it is true.

      Comment


      • Yeah, we need photos before we can do an eval.

        Generally speaking, the Soviets expected the Chinese to nuke the BAM and the Trans-Siberian railways and had built up the infrastructure to rebuild 10s of miles of railroad around 5 megaton blast craters. However, the men who were supposed to do this had long retired and their limited replacements are now fighting in the UKR.
        Chimo

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        • Russia likely doesn't know how many troops it's lost because its military has a 'culture of dishonest reporting': UK intel


          Russian soldiers in St. Petersburg on August 25, 2022.
          • Russia has likely seen up to 350,000 casualties since its invasion of Ukraine, the UK MOD said.
          • But that figure is an estimate, and Russia probably doesn't even know the real figure, it said.
          • Russia has "a long-established culture of dishonest reporting within the military," the MOD said.
          Russian officials likely don't know how many of their own soldiers have been killed or injured since the invasion of Ukraine because Russia's military has a history of dishonesty in reporting those figures, according to the UK Ministry of Defence.

          The UK MOD said in an intelligence update on Monday that Russia has likely seen up to 350,000 casualties since it launched its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

          But it gave the number as an estimate, as there is no confirmed accurate measure for Russian losses.

          Russia likely doesn't have an accurate count itself, the MOD said.

          "Even amongst Russian officials there is likely a low level of understanding about total casualty figures because of a long-established culture of dishonest reporting within the military," it said.

          The UK ministry broke down Russian casualties into likely numbers of injured and killed between the traditional military and soldiers with the Wagner Group, a mercenary force that played a key role earlier in the war and experienced huge losses.

          Russia's traditional military has likely experienced between 180,000 and 240,000 personnel wounded and about 50,000 killed, the UK MOD said, while the Wagner Group has seen about 40,000 wounded and 20,000 killed, it added.

          This would mean about 290,000 to 350,000 total casualties.


          That is in line with other estimates: The head of NATO said last week that Russia has had more than 300,000 casualties, but warned that those losses don't mean it will stop its war efforts.

          Ukraine said that, as of Monday, Russia has had more than 332,000 casualties in its invasion.

          Ukraine also doesn't share figures for its losses.

          US officials said in August that Ukraine's casualties are likely notably smaller than Russia's, with almost 70,000 Ukrainians killed and between 100,000 and 120,000 wounded at that time.

          Ukraine has also suffered civilian casualties. The UN said at least 10,000 Ukrainian civilians, including more than 560 children, have been killed.

          Russia has a much larger population than Ukraine, making it easier to replenish its troops after its losses.
          _______
          “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

          Comment


          • Deputy Russian army corps commander is killed in Ukraine


            Commander of Russia's Kantemirovskaya Tank Division Vladimir Zavadsky delivers a speech during a ceremony marking the anniversary of the unit's foundation in Naro-Fominsk in the Moscow region, Russia, June 28, 2020.

            MOSCOW, Dec 4 (Reuters) - Major General Vladimir Zavadsky, deputy commander of Russia's 14th Army Corps, has been killed in Ukraine, a top regional official said on Monday.

            The governor of Russia's Voronezh region, Alexander Gusev, said Zavadsky had died "at a combat post in the special operation zone", without giving further details.


            "Special military operation" is the term that Russia uses to describe the war in Ukraine, now approaching the end of its second year.

            The investigative news outlet iStories said Zavadsky was the seventh Major General whose death had been confirmed by Russia, and the 12 senior officer overall to be reported dead since the start of the war.

            Deaths of senior Russian officers, which military analysts have attributed in some cases to Ukrainian success in intercepting lax communications, have become rarer as the war has progressed.

            Zavadsky was a much-decorated officer and a former tank commander, said Gusev, adding that his death was a heavy loss that caused "transfixing pain".
            _________
            “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

            Comment


            • WaPo reporting Stalemate: Ukraine’s failed counteroffensive.

              Miscalculations, divisions marked offensive planning by U.S., Ukraine - The Washington Post

              In Ukraine, a war of incremental gains as counteroffensive stalls - The Washington Post


              A long but interesting read.

              Turn off Javascript to bypass paywall.
              Last edited by Officer of Engineers; 05 Dec 23,, 20:34.
              Chimo

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              • Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
                WaPo reporting Stalemate: Ukraine’s failed counteroffensive.

                Miscalculations, divisions marked offensive planning by U.S., Ukraine - The Washington Post

                In Ukraine, a war of incremental gains as counteroffensive stalls - The Washington Post


                A long but interesting read.

                Turn off Javascript to bypass paywall.
                Zelensky was supposed to make a direct appeal to the Senate yesterday via Zoom but his side canceled it not too long before it was supposed to start for no publicly stated reason.

                Comment


                • No, he was not scheduled to make an address to the Senate, it was the Senate classified briefing on Ukraine. The very same one that devolved into an indecorous affair about border funding and border policy according to several accounts. Apparently some Republicans were upset that a classified briefing on Ukraine was not equally focused on border issues, and that administration officials from the DHS, ICE, and the CBP weren't present to answer border questions at a Ukraine briefing. I'd say he did well to become preoccupied with something else last moment.
                  "Every man has his weakness. Mine was always just cigarettes."

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Ironduke View Post
                    No, he was not scheduled to make an address to the Senate, it was the Senate classified briefing on Ukraine. The very same one that devolved into an indecorous affair about border funding and border policy according to several accounts. Apparently some Republicans were upset that a classified briefing on Ukraine was not equally focused on border issues, and that administration officials from the DHS, ICE, and the CBP weren't present to answer border questions at a Ukraine briefing. I'd say he did well to become preoccupied with something else last moment.
                    So are those "several accounts" going to be prosecuted for releasing details from a classified briefing?

                    Politico yesterday said that Lankford had a Ukraine deal focused on "drawing 40 Republicans and 20 Democrats while Murray had a Ukraine deal focused on "drawing all Democrats and 10 Republicans". Those are very different bills.

                    If anyone hates riders in legislation, they can put a Single Subject Amendment into the U.S. Constitution. Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats want that. So I don't really care about people b*tching about riders when no one does anything to put a stop to them.

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                    • Originally posted by rj1 View Post
                      So are those "several accounts" going to be prosecuted for releasing details from a classified briefing?
                      I dunno, is characterizing other senators as having acted like screaming, petulant children a violation of laws regarding classified material?
                      "Every man has his weakness. Mine was always just cigarettes."

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Ironduke View Post
                        I dunno, is characterizing other senators as having acted like screaming, petulant children a violation of laws regarding classified material?
                        Nope. The laws were written by screaming, petulant children for screaming, petulant children.
                        If you are emotionally invested in 'believing' something is true you have lost the ability to tell if it is true.

                        Comment


                        • Apparently the damage to the Severomuysky Tunnel on the BAM Line was superficial, damage to electrical wiring and such. The Russians put it back into operation in two days. Haven't heard anything regarding the Devil's Bridge.
                          "Every man has his weakness. Mine was always just cigarettes."

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Ironduke View Post
                            Apparently the damage to the Severomuysky Tunnel on the BAM Line was superficial, damage to electrical wiring and such. The Russians put it back into operation in two days. Haven't heard anything regarding the Devil's Bridge.
                            One assumes that if there was any really significant damage to the bridge news media would be releasing satellite images of it. Commercial recon satellites are more than capable of resolving large scale structural damage to an object that size.
                            Last edited by Monash; 12 Dec 23,, 13:22.
                            If you are emotionally invested in 'believing' something is true you have lost the ability to tell if it is true.

                            Comment


                            • Thus far, commercial owners of such birds refuse to activate their eyes over Russian territory. Case in point, Elon Musk ignored Ukrainian request for STARLINK activation over Crimea, citing that the Ukrainians uses STARLINK as a weapons guidance system.
                              Chimo

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                              • Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
                                Thus far, commercial owners of such birds refuse to activate their eyes over Russian territory. Case in point, Elon Musk ignored Ukrainian request for STARLINK activation over Crimea, citing that the Ukrainians uses STARLINK as a weapons guidance system.
                                The Europeans are in the business and so are others. For that matter if the Uki's had succeeded in significantly damaging the bridge the US Government would probably have released some (low res) images of that damage by now to bolster domestic support for Ukraine.
                                If you are emotionally invested in 'believing' something is true you have lost the ability to tell if it is true.

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