Desert Rats to be left tankless

Discussion in 'Postwar' started by RemeDesertRat, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    Just read in newspaper, 4th and 7th armoured brigades are to be re-roled as infantry. o_O
     
  2. Warlord

    Warlord Veteran wannabe

    Bl**dy non-sense!

    Just hope one of this days the Queen doesn't have to send her armies again into one of the far-flung corners of her late empire...

    So much for armchair brass :mad:
     
  3. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

  4. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    before we all have heart attacks about this very strange decision by the minister of defence- it should be recognised that is only applies to the 7th AB as the 4th AB is no longer a factor - thre hasn't been a 7th AD for many years now....

    I would agree with this decision as in WW2 all tank crews KNEW that their lives were no more than 30 minutes long in Battle with the special 75mm's and particularly 88mm's of the enemy - and that was in '44/'45

    To-day with the advent of Helicopter gunships and now cheap drones the lives of the crews must be measured in seconds and not minutes - so why on earth should the time and money be spent on a year long training of crews to fight for a few seconds in a multi thousand pound cost of a Tank.....better spend the money on hand held weapons to knock out the drones which are killing everyone...

    I am reminded of Einsteins comment that WW4 will be fought with sticks and stones - he may be right

    Cheers
     
  5. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    This was muted a long time ago after the cold war ended, questions were asked about armour and airborne forces. Many asked for both to go and increase the size of the battlefield air support (army air corp) and ground force delivery by helicopters with armoured infantry as the ground arm. The cost of air put that one to bed. Planners are restricted by political intent blaming senior officers is unfair, they know what would be needed for all types of conflict - they can only plan for those conflicts within political intent and budget. Is it likely we will be involved in armoured warfare and where will we get the naval forces to project that armoured force? Is it likely that an airborne assault in any strength will ever occur again? The principals of warfare may not change the wherewithal to fight it does. Churchill said something along the lines of - 'future wars will be wars of the mind!' The thoughts were that the final step to avoiding European continental war was to make sure no one army was capable of fighting independently within Europe (is that not an aim we should all hope for) - major projects are multi national, ammunition and supplies are multi national. No Monarch has had the power to order the forces to do anything since 1698. It is sad and hurts, the tank replaced the horse - I fear the tank will for reasons that are not just political be relegated and then phased out.


    Tom - a Tankie has put it so well!


    If asked what weapons system I would like as Armoured Infantry it would be something like this:


    Bofors Defence - Combat Vehicle 90 - CV90 - YouTube
     
  6. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    From the BBC article:The number of reservist troops are to double by 2018 to 30,000, to help fill the gap.

    Presumably troops still have a reserve commitment when they're made redundant, so they've obviously thought something through and are planning to sack 6000 a year above natural wastage. :rolleyes:
     
  7. Vitesse

    Vitesse Senior Member

    There's been much wailing, gnashing of teeth and rending of garments about this.

    I'm sure similar comments were made when the cavalry pensioned off its horses.

    Or when the longbowmen were told they were no longer required in that role and had to retrain on an arquebus.

    Probably even as far back as when Hannibal told his elephant drivers they were being made redundant ...

    The tank was a phase of warfare, which lasted less than a century and had its apotheosis between 1940 and 1980. Since then, it's been little more than a deterrent.
     
  8. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    Nonsense. Look at the Georgia incident a few years back. Lots of Russian heavy metal action, which dominated over an (arguably) technologically superior Western backed opponent.
     
  9. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    It's an SOP. Threat of cuts? Put a big name in the firing line, e.g. Red Arrows, Ark Royal or Desert Rats, and hope enough journos have heard of it to cause a stir.
     
    von Poop likes this.
  10. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Swiper
    your "nonsense-look at the Georgia incident a FEW YEARS BACK " is right there -

    a few years back -

    before tank hunting drones perhaps.....you would not catch me in a Tank today as I was in an argument with an 88mm once - don't need that again....

    Cheers
     
  11. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    Yes, it is sad, but the British Army has suffered many such changes in recent decades. Moreover, changing from one role to another was very common in WWII. Units originally formed as infantry, armor, or artillery shifted to other combat arms as the development of the war dictated. Thus the Chindits put an RA field regiment and 45 Recce on foot, a TA battalion of the Buffs became 141st RAC, a TA infantry battalion of the DLI became an RA ack-ack regiment, and the Northumberland, Norfolk, Leicestershire, Hertfordshire, and Essex Yeomanry all became gunners. Armies that don't adapt to changed conditions lose.
     
  12. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Idler
    probably is a sop to get the journos going with their Media Myths - it's already started with the one I read to-day of how the 7th AD won the battle of Alamein - well er - no they didn't - 7th AD were so battered in the Cauldron of the Crusader battle that their remnants were first in the Gazala Gallop back to Alamein in order to refresh and refurbish
    and sat in the south of the Alamein line along with the French brigade. To become active in the battle when the Chasse de Corps with 1st and 10th AD's pursued the DAK back all the way to Fuka when they all ran out of petrol......so let the Media Myths continue - the Tanks didn't come into their own until El Hamma with 1st AD and then at Tunis when 7thAD came into their own..
    Cheers
     
  13. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    TTH
    Many Infantry battalions were converted to Armour in the early 40's- my own 145th RAC evolved from the 8th Batt Duke of Wellingtons as we had too many Infantry and not enough Tank crews - this was again changed in mid '44 when there was no Luftwaffe to shoot at and there were NO reinforcements coming from the Uk and so all the AA units became Infantry and Armour.. we had nothing left by that time of the war...but -we didn't touch the 16 y.olds...
    Cheers
     
  14. Vitesse

    Vitesse Senior Member

    Nonsense. Look at the Georgia incident a few years back. Lots of Russian heavy metal action, which dominated over an (arguably) technologically superior Western backed opponent.
    Exception that proves the rule. An essentially domestic conflict, fought in ideal tank country - steppe. Apart from the invasions of Kuwait and Iraq there have been no other significant tank v tank engagements since the Egyptians and Israelis last knocked seven bells out of each other in 1973 - again in ideal tank country.

    Kuwait - and even more so Iraq - showed that the tank is essentially obsolete when it comes up against modern weapons systems.

    And big set-piece wars just don't happen any more. We need an army which can fight dirty little wars. Tanks don't fit that pattern.
     
  15. Warlord

    Warlord Veteran wannabe

  16. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    Exception that proves the rule. An essentially domestic conflict, fought in ideal tank country - steppe. Apart from the invasions of Kuwait and Iraq there have been no other significant tank v tank engagements since the Egyptians and Israelis last knocked seven bells out of each other in 1973 - again in ideal tank country.

    Kuwait - and even more so Iraq - showed that the tank is essentially obsolete when it comes up against modern weapons systems.

    And big set-piece wars just don't happen any more. We need an army which can fight dirty little wars. Tanks don't fit that pattern.

    I'd argue that is incorrect. GW2 saw a reasonable number of armoured engagements. To call it essentially a domestic 'conflict' would certainly not meet with widespread approval.

    Anyway, the Army has glaring capability gaps and... ah well... we'll have to just wait and see twiddling our thumbs. Seems what most do anyway.
     
  17. Thunderbox

    Thunderbox Member

    There's been much wailing, gnashing of teeth and rending of garments about this.

    I'm sure similar comments were made when the cavalry pensioned off its horses.

    Or when the longbowmen were told they were no longer required in that role and had to retrain on an arquebus.

    Probably even as far back as when Hannibal told his elephant drivers they were being made redundant ...

    The tank was a phase of warfare, which lasted less than a century and had its apotheosis between 1940 and 1980. Since then, it's been little more than a deterrent.


    But this is nothing to do with obsolescence of equipment - its all to do with cost cutting by a bankrupt country that needs to meet its social welfare commitments.

    Most current serving soldiers still think tanks are a key weapons system. For all the talk of drones and precision AT weapons platforms, US remains about the only country able to deploy even a limited force of such weapons.
     
  18. Thunderbox

    Thunderbox Member

    And big set-piece wars just don't happen any more. We need an army which can fight dirty little wars. Tanks don't fit that pattern.

    It was probably the presence of a Challenger that caused the Serb delegation to back down and stand aside for the entry into Kosovo in 1999. Heavy armour doesn't necessarily need to fight to be effective.....
     
  19. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    Poltical intent, all the expert advice comes to nought if a government signals intent to involve our forces in bush wars only - as many think that is right as those who think it misguided - how much of the armour we had was capable of going to war? Whenever a until went overseas all other units were stripped to keep them running, tanks left on the tank parks minus engine packs taken as spares for active units. Much of the BAOR in my tours of the 70s/80s had the same problem. Social services budget? - Maybe, surely not the cause but the opportunity. In the 1922 Cavalry review experts came from both sides some believed the horse on the battlefield was essential others that it had its day - Lloyd George visited the front many times in WW1 - he said as I talked to Haig a cavalry unit was forming up, asking what they were doing I could not believe they were about to charge modern weapons of war. Yet in 1922 - 'experts' could be found to propose the continued use of the horse as cavalry. We can scour history and find actions that would fit our argument isolated incidents can be found, firstly politicians rarely do history (unless it is modern political or of art) Secondly they will have seen billions spent in Afghanistan and know that the day we leave - the question will be asked - what on earth were we doing there the public will link it to cost - armour may not be linked in our minds to that conflict the public will. I have seen TA nominal rolls where a battalion was 'in being' on the orbat - A Coy here and B and C elsewhere, yet when visiting the Coy the actual roll was well short of the battalion roll. Politicians would talk of cutting regular battalions and using the TA units. I hope things have changed and we are not going to have units on paper. I think we have to get out of the WW2, Korea and big war concept, China is huge military force, it is also a huge growing industrial economy and that is where they will 'take on the world'. World economies are interlinked China is buying up businesses the world over, Russia rumbles and grumbles but war? She had no intention of going to war when she could! This PC along with clever minds is going to be the threat of the future. Some may remember Duncan Sandy's who proposed that the RAF should lose manned fighters and Britain should use rockets for air defence this was in 1959. Maybe with technology that day will come and we will stop saying what an idiot that man was and say, 'gosh what a far sighted man was our Duncan' Time marches on!
     
  20. South

    South Member

    From the BBC article:

    Presumably troops still have a reserve commitment when they're made redundant, so they've obviously thought something through and are planning to sack 6000 a year above natural wastage. :rolleyes:

    My husband is in the Army and up for redundancy again this year - they actually have no regular reserve liability once they are made redundant. I'm not sure where they are going to find so many people to join the TA...
     

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