Operation Z–Dumb Bombs Go To School, by Helmholtz Schmidt

This article says a lot about the difference between the American and Russian approach to war. From Helmholtz Schmidt at sonar21.com:

We are told (old news now that Azovstal has been relieved or evacuated or however the West now spells surrendered) that Russia is so short of smart bombs that it’s hitting Azovstal with dumb bombs.

Well, the short and the simple is this – Russia doesn’t have any dumb bombs – they’ve all been sent to school.

Let me explain.

It’s World War 2, you’re in a bomber flying from a base in England to a target in Germany 500 miles away. You have a sophisticated bomb sight that can “put a bomb in a pickle barrel” but only if it has really accurate inputs. What’s your altitude? That is calculated by a barometer; you set it when you left your base but you’re 500 miles away and the air pressure is different. So the altitude your gauge tells you has a big plus or minus. What’s your speed over the ground? You have a reasonably good take on your airspeed (plus or minus) but that’s not – given winds – what your ground speed is. So that’s another estimate. And where are you anyway? You have a navigator and a lot of maps but it’s really only dead reckoning and there are plenty of ways that that can go wrong; so a huge plus or minus on that input. Later in the war you have Oboe and that makes the plus or minus a lot smaller but still not zero. And the Germans have turned all the lights off and done everything they can think of to make your target look like a forest and a forest look like your target. And where is the target anyway? The bomb sight only works if you can actually see it. So clouds, smoke pots, camouflage add another level to the estimation. In actual use, your bomb sight is 16 times less accurate than you were told it was.

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