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Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko vowed Monday to deploy thousands more troops and hundreds of new armored vehicles,” reports, “and warned Russia-backed separatists that they will be defeated in their quest to divide Ukraine from its Western allies.” With refurbished WWI Maxim machine guns? Well, why not? They look pretty lethal to me. Besides, there’s this, too . . .

“By the end of the year, we will provide the armed forces with 300 armored vehicles, 400 cars, 30,000 missiles and ammunition and over 3,000 small arms,” Prez Poroshenko promised.

In case you don’t think that’s enough to defeat the Russian-backed, Russian-equipped, Russian-trained, Russian-staffed Ukranian “separatists,” consider how relatively under-equipped the Taliban are, and how much trouble they’ve caused the world’s most powerful military. Then ask who’s selling those missiles? And who’s paying for them . . .

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  1. I sometimes wonder why we don’t still use water-cooled machine guns, at least in a mounted/static role. There is something pretty awesome about a gun that can fire full auto indefinitely as long as you can feed it water and ammo.

    • … because in combat, fashion is everything?

      The Brits continued service for their Vickers machine guns well into the 1980s.

  2. Funny how as far as we’ve come, the Maxim is still very capable. I have read that it’s accuracy is astounding.

    I hope the Ukes get some infusion of good equipment, but understand how it may only escalate the situation for certain parties to be seen to be openly providing weapons. I say funnel it all through the Poles, but all decisions have consequences and sometimes unexpected ones, so hard to say what the best decisions are until afterwards sometimes. But we promised the Ukranians we’d get their back when they gave up their nukes. We need to help them in any way we can. Besides, they’re pretty cool people. They would naturally be our allies. And their chicks are hot too (sorry, I know, I’m a pig sometimes). Viva Ukraine! Hell, I’m at the stage in my life where I’d almost consider going to join them, but would probably just slow them up lol

    • So self-determination of the regional natives be damned? I thought we were all about Democracy and the rule of law? How does that jive with backing a revolution that overthrew a legally elected government and is now silencing dissent with artillery strikes?

      • So are you pimping for the Putin/KGB sockpuppet “insurgents”? or not?

        As much/most of the “former Soviet areas”.
        – mass murder/deport residents (1930s)
        – resettle with Russians (1930s on)
        – area is now “Russian” (according to the commie Russians).
        Great formula for success.

        Think same thing going with Mexicans in California (or perhaps the US)? Eurup with mohammedans?

        • You mean those horrible things that happened when a Georgian was in charge of the Soviet Union?
          You are literally blaming Russia, for something that happened under a Georgian and affected the Russians negatively more than even the Ukrainians.

        • So by your logic we should hand the entire south-west back to Mexico? Come now… The only opinion that matters is that of the people who live there and have done so for several generations now.

        • @xanthro
          I would hope NEIOWA’s ignorance about Ukraine, in regards to Russia’s role, is his older age. That horrible communist ideology neiowa is accusing powersurge of being a serf to, is probably the same ideology that made the computer allowing this article to be read.

          My guess is neiowa hails from the era where negotiating rights into state privileges, was considered advancing the Second Amendment. My guess would be that he thinks Reagan was the greatest president ever, even though that is where the first surge of illegals gained legitimacy, and the 1986 gun bans. Reagan was good at padding the pockets not protecting American’s rights.

          This is a “bay of pigs” charliefoxtrot that the government got caught sanctioning.

        • >> The only opinion that matters is that of the people who live there and have done so for several generations now.

          What if the opinion of the people is split, say, 70% to 30%, and if 70% have their way, the minority is going to be expelled or ethnically cleansed?

      • Yes, yes, the situation over there is completely fucked. And I blame Russia. We have no idea how things would have played out if they hadn’t A. Invaded and ANNEXED the territory of a sovereign nation and B. Instigated, perhaps even started from the get-go, the separatist movement and conducted military operations in support of it. We also don’t know how radicalized things would have become after the revolution. I don’t think it would have gotten like this, as Russian involvement and war have given fuel to the more radical elements, and made the government desperate enough to either willingly accept help from these guys, or at the very least ignore their actions.

        • What is also apparently unknown (in the West) is how desperately the ethnic Russians in the Crimea and eastern Ukraine HATED having been given away to Ukraine by the former Soviet government when the Soviet Union broke apart.

          My ex-wife spent most of 40 summers in Crimea and still has many friends there. These people live in Crimea but have ALWAYS considered themselves Russians. How much Putin had to do with starting and abetting this conflict I do not know, but I do know that the vast majority of the so-called “separatists” are over-joyed at no longer being dominated by a government in Kiev they want nothing to do with.

          Consider if the Mexicans on the Baja peninsula finally had enough crap and seceded from Mexico, then petitioned to join the United States. Should we help them, or let them wither on the vine while we just watched and wrung our hands because they were, after all, part of Mexico and had no right to decide differently.

          Using that criteria we should just call England and apologize and ask them to send their occupation troops back.

  3. Geees man, I know it’s water-cooled and all, but you don’t have to torch the rifling out of the barrel like that by chewing through the whole case of ammo non-stop. Bursts man. Controlled bursts.

    • That’s the beauty of the maxim, she may be a pig but she doesn’t quit. supply it with ammo and water and it fires indefinitely until a catastrophic failure. The brits decided to test the endurance of the vickers and fired one continuously for a week nonstop. No failures and they only stopped because they were getting bored.

      • They ever get a round count on that test?

        Be interesting to know how many rounds a full week of auto fire is…

        • “Gun, Machine, Vickers, 303in Mk1” runs about 500 rounds/minute.
          Over a week nonstop that’s 5,040,000 rounds.

    • In the trials that resulted in the M1917, Browning’s design fired continuously for 48 minutes and 12 seconds.

      • That’s pretty damn incredible. I am not aware of anything like that today. I still have to imagine that plays havoc with the rifling(?). Also believe that there is potential to learn from these lessons of the past and come up with something better today by incorporating jacketed or liquid-cooled barrel capabilities.

        • It took a hell of a lot less time than that for a couple of knuckleheads to destroy the barrel of an M60 on a range out at Ft. Riley. I will say I have no idea how many rounds had been fired through that gun previously, so YMMV. (Personally, I always liked the M60 (As long as I didn’t have to carry it. Or the tripod.))

        • If the barrel is properly cooled, wear is a minor issue. The system can fire tens of thousands of rounds continuously with minor degradation. This is especially true if the barrel is made out of a properly hardened alloy.

        • “In 1963 in Yorkshire, a class of British Army armorers put one Vickers gun through probably the most strenuous test ever given to an individual gun. The base had a stockpile of approximately 5 million rounds of Mk VII ammunition which was no longer approved for military use. They took a newly rebuilt Vickers gun, and proceeded to fire the entire stock of ammo through it over the course of seven days. They worked in pairs, switching off at 30 minute intervals, with a third man shoveling away spent brass. The gun was fired in 250-round solid bursts, and the worn out barrels were changed every hour and a half. At the end of the five million rounds, the gun was taken back into the shop for inspection. It was found to be within service spec in every dimension.”

    • Eh, you won’t burn the barrel out as long as the water jacket is full, and the mount does a good job of keeping the gun under control. These things are basically artillery pieces, anyway.

      • So essentially this is century-old technology that outperforms the latest and greatest in the way of sustained fire capability (perhaps THE limitation of any machine gun). Sure, it’s not ‘man-portable’ per say, but as a crew-served defensive weapon, with that heavy mount, is almost unmatched. That to me is amazing – and something to learn from. I’m sure there a few firefights our guys have been in where they would have loved to have this thing set up and dinging away non-stop from their OP

        • I think the concept still could have interesting applications, but it does have certain drawbacks. 1) Weight, as mentioned, but in a mounted or defensive role, this wouldn’t be as much of an issue. 2) Temperature, specifically freezing temps. If the water freezes, the cooling system will not work and the gun will overheat. Probably not an issue with some sort of anti-freeze mix. 3) Vulnerability. Big static machine guns typically draw a lot of incoming fire. A hole in the water jacket will shut the gun down. The Germans solved this by armoring the water jacket on the MG 08, but that resulted in an extraordinarily heavy weapon. The British issued patching kits, but I cannot imagine trying to patch a hole while someone is shooting at me.

  4. And we will also be issuing our new battle rifle, Glorious Peoples Rifle Mosin Nagant, to every other infantryman!

    “The one with the rifle shoots! The one without follows him! When the one with the rifle gets killed, the one who is following picks up the rifle and shoots!” – Enemy at the Gates

    • Just FYI, this particular scene is sheer mythology. One thing that USSR never had a shortage of is rifles. Ammo could be scarce early on (but not by Stalingrad), but not to the point where they wouldn’t have any to shoot, either.

      • Thanks, I had heard that. It’s still a great scene.

        The part about KGB units with machine guns following infantry in the attack “to encourage them” actually happened, tho.

        • >> The part about KGB units with machine guns following infantry in the attack “to encourage them” actually happened, tho.

          Not really – at least not in the way it’s depicted in the movie. The barrier troops (zagradotryad) did exist, but their goal was hanging out behind the front line at least a few km away, and basically catch deserters and/or spies. Most (97%) people they’d catch would be escorted back to their unit at gunpoint; repeat offenders would be deployed to a penal battalion or executed.

          There are very few witness reports that would describe such a scene where they would be deployed immediately behind the advancing troops and mow them down if they retreat, and all that I know of refer to penal battalions, which were considered utterly disposable in any case.

  5. Perhaps our government shouldn’t have backed ziNas (social nationalists as opposed to national socialists) to protest a straight forward election of politicians who were pro-Russian, and considering Russia is their neighbor, a major creditor, and WAS a strategic ally, pro-Russian politicians aren’t unheard of. Instead our state department push a fake demonstration of anti-Semitic Nazi wannabes and call it a revolution, declare the elections rigged(with no evidence), and throw in pro EU pols.

    • The problem is that modern Ukraine is an artificial nation. The eastern side of the country is very pro-Russian and is largely ethnically Russian. The western side of the country is a completely different ethnic and political makeup. If you allow one side to force their political will on the other, then this mess will never end. I say let the nation split and be done with it. Both sides will be happier.

      • Putin will be satisfied only when he has resurrected the USSR but with ALL the profits flowing to him/his “KGB” thugs.

        • Yes… I’m sure the fact that the Ukrainian military is killing civilians in job lots is completely irrelevant to the conversation… (Not to mention the fact that the regions that seceded were overwhelmingly in support of the government that the current coup in Kiev kicked out.)

        • @pwrsurge
          Amnesty international went to Ukraine and didn’t find the Ukrainian army killing civilians in “job lots”. They said that both sides had been used heavy weapons recklessly and had killed civilians but that neither seemed to target civilians intentionally. They released the report on their website if you’re curious. Regardless, neither side seems to be as brutal as the Russians when they destroyed Grozny in 1995, killing 35000 civilians. Or as reckless as the US when bombing North Vietnam.

      • “If you allow one side to force their political will on the other, then this mess will never end. I say let the nation split and be done with it. Both sides will be happier.”

        That sounds like America, and those who love Liberty, against those who love the State illusion of security.

        “I’m sure the fact that the Ukrainian military is killing civilians in job lots is completely irrelevant to the conversation”

        -That is the scariest part on how OUR government has sanctioned the Ukrainians to use heavy weapons, on the civilians to gain state control.

      • This is an extremely oversimplified presentation. For one thing, most of Ukraine (including its eastern regions, with the sole exception of Crimea) is predominantly ethnically Ukrainian – as in, if you ask people whether they’re Russian or Ukrainian, the majority will say Ukrainian. However, in the eastern regions, they’re Ukrainians who predominantly speak Russian. This doesn’t make them ethnically Russian, just like the fact that most Irish only speak English doesn’t make them ethnically English.

        It’s not like there’s any clear boundary between east and west, either. There is a gradient going from West to East, as the percentage of those for whom Ukrainian is the mother language drops, and those for whom it’s Russian picks up. But you cannot really draw a clear line there and say that everyone is going to be happy on either side of it.

        Nor is the “western side” particularly uniform. Center (Kiev etc) is its own thing, and rather cosmopolitan. In the west, there’s a big difference between Transcarpathia and everyone else, and everyone else is not all that uniform either.

        Long story short, you can’t split it without drawing a lot of arbitrary boundaries. You can see how well that usually goes from past experience in Middle East and Balkans.

  6. “In case you don’t think that’s enough to defeat the Russian-backed, Russian-equipped, Russian-trained, Russian-staffed Ukranian “separatists,” consider how relatively under-equipped the Taliban are, and how much trouble they’ve caused the world’s most powerful military”

    Unfortunately for the Ukraine Putin and his crew don’t give a crap about politically correct rules of engagement or PR.

      • If you mean Afghanistan, then the USSR lost this war because it was folding onto itself, not because of anything that Afghani insurgents did. In a similar vein here, unless Ukraine gets direct military support from NATO, the only hope they have is Russian economy collapsing. The only problem is that this time, such a collapse may actually accelerate the invasion into Ukraine – the last resort of politicians who are losing in a game of populist pandering is to start a “small victory-bringing war” (as one Russian minister quipped shortly before the 1905 war with Japan).

  7. Those guns may be old, but put them in defensive emplacements and they’ll work great and free up some PKs for more mobile work.

  8. According to John Kerry, there is no evidence that the “separatists” are backed by the Russians. Except, oops.

    The Ukrainians used to have ICBMs as well as a nuclear defense, however slick Willy had them agree to unilateral disarmament in exchange for a promise that if the Russian wolves ever came to the door, we would step in and protect them… funny who we help and negotiate with and who we ignore and denounce in Obama’s America. All I can say is watch out Taiwan.

  9. The only reason the Taliban stand a chance against NATO is because NATO has screwed-up ROEs that don’t allow them to put up a proper fight. Don’t think Russia has the same problem.

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