Historical background:  The day Germany lost the Battle of Britain.

During the Blitz, a reporter asked Elizabeth, Queen Consort (Later the dowager Queen Mother) when the Royal children were leaving London.

She replied, "The children will leave when I leave, I will leave when the King leaves, and the King is not leaving."

If the King would not leave, his people would not leave, no matter the threat.

They were all one people, and they would fight and live as one--Princess Elizabeth, the current Queen, trained as a truck mechanic and ambulance driver for the Territorial Army. She was 16.

             Germany should have given up at that moment.


This is a Ukrainian recruiting commercial from about four years ago.  I think it defines the entire war, and is possibly one of the best commercials ever, from a production and market standpoint.


Let’s go through this:  It starts with shovels in farm and industrial use, and used as toys. It establishes the humble shovel as a critical tool for an agricultural society, a common link for everyone.

Next, we move to the battlefield—management of expectations. You are not joining the Ukrainian Ground Forces for some PT, foreign travel, and college money.  You are joining a military that expects to fight.  But you will have a shovel.  You can dig a hasty position, a tank sump, trenches and breastwork, raise it over the parapet to look for enemy fire, paddle across a river.  If you don’t have a (I believe the actual word in the original is a generic “chopper” that can refer to any tool such as a cleaver or axe) to cut your frozen bread in the trenches, you will have a shovel.  If you run out of ammo, you will still be in the fight, because YOU HAVE A SHOVEL.

Then they conclude that shovels will be used to build a fortress around their nation.

The commercial doesn’t glamorize the rifle, the tank, doesn’t even show missiles and aircraft, which they have plenty of.  The most important tool for a Ukrainian soldier, or any Ukrainian, is a shovel.     

The Russians can invade with aircraft and tanks, artillery and missiles, but as we’ve seen from the stranded convoys and horrifically outdated logistics (about 1930s tech), the Russians don’t have shovels, or at least not enough.

They really thought they could beat a people who are that down to earth, in all definitions.

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