​Ukrainian Artilleryman on His Experience Operating M777

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M777 howitzer working on Ukrainian eastern frontlines / Photo credit: Photo credit: Joint Forces Task Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
M777 howitzer working on Ukrainian eastern frontlines / Photo credit: Photo credit: Joint Forces Task Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

Ukrainian soldiers say American howitzers are more powerful and easier to use than the Soviet ones they used to operate

In a brief interview with Associated Press, a Ukrainian artilleryman lieutenant with a call sign "Wasp" praised the M777 towed howitzers provided to Ukraine by the United States. The interview was published by Voice of America.

The lieutenant compared modern 155mm M777s with Soviet-era 152mm and 122mm howitzers, such as D-30 or "Msta-B". He said M777 is "much more accurate", has a higher fire rate, effective range and is easier to use. The latter, he explained, is due to the gun’s dimensions. Being closer to the ground, the howitzer is easier to camouflage.

Read more: Ukrainian Paratroopers Shows How They Eliminate Russian Tank, IFVs With M777 Howitzers' Precise Fire (Video)

"This is NATO weaponry. It raises the fighting spirit of our soldiers," Wasp said, "because we see we can get more work done, with more efficiency. The same way it demoralizes the enemy."

The M777 howitzer is 0,65 m high in firing mode – Army Recognition. This makes it easy to camouflage / Photo credit: Joint Forces Task Force

There are a lot of artillery rounds to work with, he said. The quantity and precision of strikes make russians terrified.

According to the Pentagon, the United States has provided 260,000 155mm artillery rounds already (data of June 17).

Ukrainian artillerymen write inscriptions on the M777 shells / Photo credit: Joint Forces Task Force

But there is still not enough gunpower to match russian artillery advantage, said another Ukrainian commander to AP reporters. Commander Mykhailo Strebizh lamented that his unit’s artillery shells stockpile amounted to only about four hours’ worth of return fire in case his troops got under russian barrage.

The Kiel Institute for the World Economy in Germany last week reported that the US has delivered about half of its pledged commitments in military support for Ukraine, and Germany about one-third.

Emplacement and displacement of the howitzer takes up to 3 minutes / Photo credit: Joint Forces Task Force

Thus Ukrainian artillerymen have to mitigate the sheer numbers advantage with tactics.

Wasp says his squad gets to change its firing position 12 to 20 times per day. This is called the "shoot-and-scoot tactics''. Defense Express has already covered how these tactics work with M777 guns and man-portable ATGMs.

"The enemies just cannot comprehend how we can take a position so quickly, in quite inconvenient places from their perspective, and get our work done upon them".

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