In the face of escalating challenges, Ukraine finds itself engaged against a formidable adversary boasting superior military capabilities. Russia’s expansive arsenal, augmented manpower, and abundant resources present a daunting scenario. Nevertheless, this glaring power asymmetry underscores the imperative for Ukraine to devise innovative strategies aimed at blunting Russia’s advances and inflicting substantial damage.

As detailed in Forbes, Ukraine’s defense forces have demonstrated ingenuity by repurposing conventional weaponry for modern warfare. Leveraging drones as a delivery platform, they deploy caltrops—metallic spikes historically known as jackrocks or crow’s feet. These ancient implements, utilized for centuries to impede enemy cavalry, epitomize rudimentary yet effective tactics of area denial reminiscent of simpler eras before the advent of sophisticated landmines.

The unique design of caltrops ensures that regardless of their orientation upon deployment, a piercing spike always remains upright, resistant even to attempts to dislodge them. The indiscriminate dispersion of these devices across the battlefield amplifies their effectiveness, posing a constant and unwelcome hazard to any encountering them.

Ukrainian forces have exhibited resilience, devising tactics to disrupt Russian logistical operations. Among these, the use of kamikaze drones stands out, relentlessly targeting adversary trucks. Employing a strategic energy-conservation approach, these drones lie in wait on roadways, activating only upon the approach of a target vehicle. This tactical finesse not only conserves energy but also catches Russian forces off guard.

In a stroke of innovation, Ukrainian forces have outfitted these drones with caltrops, impeding Russian wheeled vehicles crucial for logistical support missions. This interim measure has proven highly effective in hampering Russian transport capabilities.

Reports circulating on social media platforms indicate Russian soldiers expressing frustration over encountering unexpected obstacles on their supply routes. Fearing drone attacks, Russian forces have resorted to nocturnal supply convoys. Nonetheless, thanks to these innovative Ukrainian tactics, navigating supply routes has become an increasingly formidable challenge for them.

In contemporary warfare, where the use of high-speed vehicles is prevalent to mitigate the risk of drone strikes, detecting a caltrop amidst a dusty road presents a considerable challenge. The potential consequences of encountering these ancient devices are significant, as they have the capacity to induce a catastrophic truck crash by puncturing tires. Subsequently, when a vehicle is forced to halt, it becomes vulnerable to First Person View (FPV) drones, exposing it to further threat.

Military-grade truck tires, engineered to withstand harsh conditions, are typically resilient to compromise. However, the disruption caused by caltrops can swiftly render them inoperable. Concurrently, Ukrainian forces have employed drones to deploy anti-tank mines, introducing another layer of complexity to battlefield challenges. Russian troops may clear a field section, deeming it safe, only to discover covertly placed anti-tank mines the following day.

While caltrops may not be decisive in contemporary warfare scenarios dominated by drones, robots, and sophisticated electronic warfare systems, their resurgence in current conflicts is noteworthy.

Regarding the effectiveness of caltrops, commonly referred to as crow’s feet, in puncturing vehicle tires, various factors come into play. These include the tire’s thickness and inflation pressure. Crafted to land with a spike upright, crow’s feet possess the capability to pierce tires of varying thicknesses. New car tires typically feature a tread depth ranging between 8 and 9 millimeters, gradually decreasing with wear. Sidewalls, often thinner, typically measure around 2 to 3 millimeters in thickness.

Standard car tires are typically inflated to a pressure of approximately 30-35 pounds per square inch (PSI), which can facilitate the puncturing process. Additionally, the material composition and design of the crow’s foot are crucial determinants. Typically forged from hardened steel, a crow’s foot can breach rubber and certain types of armored tires.

It’s important to note that while crow’s feet can indeed puncture tires, they often do not cause immediate bursting. Instead, they tend to induce slow leakage, gradually deflating the tire. This is primarily due to the small size of the hole created by the crow’s foot, which the tire’s internal pressure tends to seal, impeding the escape of air.