Broadsword calling Danny Boy: NFL playoffs, Bengals/Bills, Cowboys/49ers; Penicillen and the salt mines of Bakhmut | Eastern North Carolina Now

    Heard of a van that is loaded with weapons,
    Packed up and ready to go
    Heard of some grave sites, out by the highway,
    A place where nobody knows

    The sound of gunfire, off in the distance,
    I'm getting used to it now
    Lived in a brownstone, lived in a ghetto,
    I've lived all over this town

    Transmit the message, to the receiver,
    Hope for an answer some day
    I got three passports, a couple of visas,
    You don't even know my real name

    High on a hillside, the trucks are loading,
    Everything's ready to roll
    I sleep in the daytime, I work in the nighttime,
    I might not ever get home

    We dress like students, we dress like housewives,
    Or in a suit and a tie
    I changed my hairstyle, so many times now,
    I don't know what I look like!

    Burned all my notebooks, what good are notebooks?
    They won't help me survive
    My chest is aching, burns like a furnace,
    The burning keeps me alive
- David Byrne

The Correspondent and the Hawk assess battle damage across Mostar, 1990-something: Above.     Click image to enlarge.

    A month ago when Ukraine was firing 2500 artillery rounds a day in support of their sixteen brigades defending Bakhmut, the Russian high command prescribed a Penicillen solution; now Kiev launches less than 500 shells daily in support of their twelve remaining brigades. With the fall of Soledar, north of the fortress, to the private military gruppe Wagner, the hundred plus kilometer salt mines throughout the sector present access to underground infiltration routes beneath the Ukrainian citadel city.

    The collapse of Bakhmut, combined with the approaching Russian winter offensive will effectively end Kiev's battlefield resistance. The introduction en masse of the 1B75 "Penicillen" counter-battery system to the sector has effectively flipped the field in Moscow's favour; utilizing thermal acoustics in lieu of traditional electromagnetic radar wave pulsing, the system is quicker and more accurate than her predecessors.

    The Penicillen is a short range system with an effective range of 25 km, ideal for static ground engagements such as the Bakhmut siege. The modular nature of the unit makes it compatible with any Russian artillery system, thus requiring less cross-training and integration at the divisional level. Compare this to the much vaunted and absolutely pitiful Patriot system now headed to Ukraine that requires months of training for Kiev warriors in the States, and will still be ineffective if ever reaching the front.

    Simple versus complex. There is a reason the AK-47 is still the most ubiquitous battle rifle on Earth; there is a reason Serb snipers were still using the SKS in the hills above Sarajevo -- Russian gear is built robust for the peasant masses to pick up and kill the enemy. Western electronic counter-measures (ECM) caught flat-footed with this mass introduction; the Penicillen, when combined with automated artillery systems, can deliver counter-fire before the Ukrainian HIMARS can shoot and scoot.

    Ukie artillery now sitting ducks for Russian counter-battery response every time they fire. With Wagner taking Soledar the tunnels now open for business -- infiltration business.

    The salt tunnels beneath the region might be viewed more as underground cities in terms of their cavernous ceilings, girth and weapon stockpiles. Used as arms depots and food storage granaries, the bedrock of the entire front defence rests above these communication links now breached. With heavy Russian assaults on Krasna Hora to the northwest and Klishchiivka to the southwest, and Bakhmut unlikely to survive the month.

    When Bakhmut falls the war is effectively over in terms of Ukrainian ability to resist Russian ground combat advances. There is no Ukrainian capacity to maneuver; the more they try to hold Bakhmut, the more they see days where half a thousand Ukies are killed by relentless Russian artillery fire.

    Despite what you may see in Western media or at the Golden Globes or other Zelensky propaganda venues, Ukraine is getting wiped out while burning through hundreds of billions of American taxpayer dollars. The entire domestic American form is in a cascading meltdown now, but for some reason all of DC feels the biggest problem for the country is saving Ukraine.

    When the power grid goes down and you can't find more medicine for your sick child, make sure you bow down to your masters and demonstrate you are properly grateful with the opportunity to suffer for the artificial nation-state known this century as Ukraine. Russia didn't start the conflict -- the Ukies did in 2014 -- but they are sure gonna end it.

BENGALS @ BILLS (-5)    Sunday 3 pm EST   CBS

COWBOYS @ 49ers (-3 and the hook)    Sunday 6.30 pm EST   FOX

    The Chargers blowing a 27 point lead, combined with the Vikings loss and Bengals squeaking through with early line shopping, leaves us at 1-2 and down 3.6 units after the opening NFL playoff weekend. Abysmal play calling once the lead secured doomed San Diego and the Vikings showed why mathematically it was the closest pick. The Bengals we were just very fortunate to snag early as later line moves shifted the play negative.

    With the first six games of the playoffs being the first six games viewed all season, much insight becomes apparent. First lesson learned is that the 49ers are the best team playing now. Their weakness is the young QB but otherwise they are the strongest and most balanced team left. That is why as well as taking them this weekend, we will go for a futures play on San Fran to win the Super Bowl at +575.

    Do we think they win the Super Bowl? Maybe, maybe not, but we can sure see them being there and at that price we can afford to hedge the wager for a middle down the line, even if the 49ers are the underdog. The value we really like is the possibility of the Giants beating Philly and then going into San Francisco next week as about a seven point underdog; such being an opportunity to take the points and see both plays advance with a 49ers non-covering victory.

    Regardless, our numbers show this game as the largest power rating margin of the postseason with the 49ers up at 191-177 before the Frisco 2.5 point home field advantage. Dallas tore up a very poor Tampa Bay team Monday and knows two fewer days rest than San Francisco. The line opened 49ers minus four and early Dallas money has sent the game to three and the hook; Texas money once they believe in the Cowboys knows no boundaries or shame.

    Put their greed to your advantage. Hammer the 49ers this weekend.

    The Bills face a semi-rematch with the Bengals from the game suspended a couple weeks ago. The fact they almost stumbled against Miami helps keep this price low. We have the Bills at 197 and the Bengals at 185. Combined with the Bills five point home field advantage and we have the much better setup with likely precipitation and wind.

    The Bills appear as a team of destiny and likely headed for a unique AFC championship game versus the Chiefs. If not for the Chargers miscue we would be hitting this one just as hard as the 49ers. However things are what they am, so to speak.

    Our calls here are the 49ERS to win the Super Bowl (+575) for two units, the 49ERS (-3 and the hook) for five units in our biggest move of the year, and the BILLS (-5) for two units. Once again, counting the juice, we have close to ten units at risk here.

       BILLS     37     BENGALS     24

       49ers     24     COWBOYS     12

    Whatever your struggle in this earthly existence, this is not the time for caution. Best to find the nexus of your own personal L shaped ambush and hit it hard on full-auto, throwing every remaining grenade until you have broken through or are terminated. Should you find yourself lacking experience with such classic form, feel free to hammer the 49ers this weekend instead. The Cowboys and Jerry Jones are about as sorry as Joe Biden; seldom will you enjoy such an opportunity to take as much quam out of Texas as your battered wallet can handle.
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( January 18th, 2023 @ 2:31 pm )
And here is a former US Armey infantry officer who writes at the conservative site Red State:
( January 18th, 2023 @ 2:24 pm )
Here is a commentary from a British military expert on Bakhmut / Soledar published in the Daily Express of London which offers a different viewpoint.

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