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"British Army heavy division comes up light" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP13 Jan 2021 3:27 p.m. PST

"An ongoing House of Commons Defence Committee inquiry into British armoured-vehicle programmes has made the British Army's shortfall in modern armour evident. The army's war-fighting division, which it previously aimed to field by 2025, will be smaller, less ‘heavy' and have less armour than set out in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review.

The British Army will be capable of fielding a war-fighting division by 2025. However, it will be smaller, less ‘heavy' and have less modern armour than originally planned. The shortfall in armour is the result of procurement problems compounded by inadequate funding: the outcome is that the army will deliver considerably less near-term capability than was the goal…"
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Legion 413 Jan 2021 4:24 p.m. PST

I'd expect nothing else …

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP14 Jan 2021 11:17 a.m. PST



arealdeadone15 Jan 2021 8:52 p.m. PST

I love ho ethey talk about overmatch. As if the Russians are going to deploy a single division against any British division.

And note this single division is the only heavy division in the British Army. It is one of only two combat divisions in the British Army. The second division is the 1st Division and it is weak – basically a motley collection of infantry battalions with little else.

So there are no reserves so to speak whereas the Russians can probably.

Whole of NATO is increasingly this level pathetic.

newarch16 Jan 2021 2:31 a.m. PST


I didn't even know we were at war with Russia. The world has moved on a lot since the 1960s.

I thought that everyone was desperate for war with China?

arealdeadone16 Jan 2021 3:57 a.m. PST

Accotding to NATO and the USA, Russia is enemy number 1. With changes in US executive, Russia will become an even bigger focus as president elect doesn't view China as a threat.

newarch16 Jan 2021 5:09 a.m. PST

I suspect the threat from Russia (and China) is more from soft projection of power/proxy wars and psychological warfare, especially cyber warfare rather than risking direct confrontation which no one really wants.

arealdeadone16 Jan 2021 8:09 a.m. PST

newarch you have to be somewhat prepared for any unplanned escalations. No one wanted WWI or II either.

Legion 416 Jan 2021 1:37 p.m. PST

The US has recently designated the PRC/CCP as our #1 Threat. That may change with the new administration. So stand by …

newarch17 Jan 2021 5:11 a.m. PST


British armed forces would need to be six times bigger to match Russia's, 1 in 70 of us would need to be a full time professional soldier which is obviously ridiculous.

More pertinently Russia has over 12,000 tanks compared to about 230 British tanks. Lots of the Russian tanks are older and in storage, but there is no way you can address any mismatch, Russia is simply a much bigger country with bigger resources.

There is absolutely no comparison between the UK 70 or 100 years ago and today. We had an Empire to support (and to support us) and could afford and field a well equipped and with Commonwealth support rather large military.

Legion 417 Jan 2021 7:56 a.m. PST

As with many in NATO, their militaries have become smaller and smaller. With different levels of competence. That is another reason why NATO must remain. The coalition of nations and their forces may be the only way to be effective. If another "Big War" breaks out. At this time and/or anytime in the near future. But just like when we made parachute drops. We'd always have a reserve chute. Just incase.

newarch17 Jan 2021 8:38 a.m. PST

There isn't always enough money to go around. The annual UK military budget is about £55.00 GBPbn. The cost of dealing with the global pandemic in the UK is about £280.00 GBPbn at the moment (and rising). The UK is going to have to cut its cloth accordingly. I should point out that British soldiers and medical personnel are currently serving in the UK helping to co-ordinate the vaccination programme.

The simple truth is that old fashioned symmetrical warfare is less and less likely for the UK in the modern world. We had a huge public enquiry after our Prime Minister effectively misled Parliament to get them to agree to war in Iraq. I doubt any subsequent PM is going to risk making the same mistake.

arealdeadone17 Jan 2021 10:23 a.m. PST

Newarch, I don't deny any of what you are saying. It is the British government itself that comes up with this comparison to a Russian tank division.

The problem is that currently Europe provides only 25% of its defence capability and the US the other 75% (it used to be 60% US, 40% Europe during Cold War).

This is despite the massive eastward expansion of NATO. And note the irony that NATO eastward expansion just brings it into conflict with Russia.

Legion 417 Jan 2021 3:36 p.m. PST

Frankly I'm more than glad with many Eastern/former WP nations have joined NATO. E.g. Poland for one …

newarch18 Jan 2021 12:57 a.m. PST


I think most European countries are in the same boat, politically it is hard to justify the huge sums of money required to maintain a modern competitive military to voters.

It is very much up to the US to withdraw (or threaten to withdraw) its forces from Europe perhaps that will galvanise some countries into action?

arealdeadone18 Jan 2021 4:34 a.m. PST

Legion other than Poland*, rest of new Eastern European NATO partners are net defense consumers and contribute nothing worthwhile. Many need bolstering by western forces for even routine functions such as airpolicing. This inclides even large countries such as Bulgaria and Romania.

In an actual shooting war they are a liability as they are completely unable to withstand even minor levels of aggression against them.

At best these countries provide NATO western states with strategic depth and a buffer zone.

*A lot of Polish capability is whithering on the vine too due to lack of investment and/or bad management.

Legion 418 Jan 2021 9:08 a.m. PST

Yes, I know, I used Poland as an example. Because they were the best of the lot. From what I had read, seen in the media, etc.

But yes, many former WP are probably not going to be that effective in a Hot war.

Poland's military like many thru out Europe are declining. But I'd still put my $ on the Poles. Over the other former WP.

Hopefully we will never have to find out …

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