Desert Rats to be left tankless

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

  1. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    Hopefully they won't reactivate the Tower Hamlets Rifles...

    On a lighter note, this (from the Telegraph) made me chuckle:


    [​IMG]
     
  2. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    You know - when we really get down to it....

    I'm less concerned at the Desert Rats loosing their tanks...

    ...as I am at the WHOLE NATION loosing them!

    After this next "rationalisation" There will be exactly fifty-six main battle tanks in regular British Army service...:mad:

    That's more than a little wrong.
     
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    The last time the British Army deployed Tanks in mass I was there. The British Army deployed more tanks than the Americans -fact. After the first few days of the war they were mainly used for the worlds most expensive Vehicle Check Points - fact.

    Tanks to the Army are like Battleships to the Navy and Bombers to the RAF.
     
  4. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Phylo

    if what you say is fact of 56 Battle Tanks left in the Army then this is the establishment of ONE regiment only- BUT - there are four regiments still noted to be "Armoured" - 4 recce - and 1 -Training and demo i.e. 1st RTR AND four Bands ! - what are the other three regiments armoured with ..?
    Cheers
     
  5. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    BUT - there are four regiments still noted to be "Armoured" - 4 recce...


    Warrior? Bulldog? Mastiff? Viking? And of course aren't there still lots of LEP-upgraded CVR(T)s in service?

    if what you say is fact of 56 Battle Tanks left in the Army then this is the establishment of ONE regiment only


    What seems to be happening is that of the remaining "armoured" regiments - already light on Challengers, and with a lot of "mixed" sqns - several are loosing Challenger sqns here and there and having them re-equiped with CVR(T)s or similar, or are waiting on the arrival of FRES.

    It does look as if we're going to park up a lot of Challengers; some "armoured" units deployed to Afghanistan already park them up and use lighter recce vehicles in-theatre, for instance. The problem is - with financial straits as they are today - how long will it be before the MOD flogs them off to someone???

    A big temptation there....
     
  6. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    After the first few days of the war they were mainly used for the worlds most expensive Vehicle Check Points - fact.

    Admittedly that's not what they were designed for, but far better than a Landy and a pile of sandbags I'd imagine.
     
  7. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    but far better than a Landy and a pile of sandbags I'd imagine


    ....AND it had that gurt big gun! :D
     
  8. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    ....AND it had that gurt big gun! :D

    That's perhaps the crux of it all. 'Tank' is taken to mean an MBT which is of little use outside the NATO v Warsaw Pact scenario of massed armoured onslaught. We could (should) still have tanks in the old sense of the word. Something with Challenger levels of survivability around sensible support weapons might be the way forward for casualty-conscious dirty little warfighting; always assuming we'd have some ships or planes to get them where they were needed...
     
  9. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    Sometimes they lose their designated weapons even before they are actually formed into Regiments!.....good thing too sometimes. How would Dad have fared against a Tiger tank (reference the Fehrmann Tiger v. 3 Comets thread) armed with a Lance?

    ".....surely it was a very odd thing to create these outlandish numbered regiments of Dragoons, Hussars and Lancers, none of which has carbines, swords or lances.......". Quote: Winston Churchill on being told of the formation of 6 DOW 'cavalry' regiments. Mind you the 24th Valentines/crusaders/Sherms would not have sounded quite right.....
     
  10. dave500

    dave500 Senior Member

    The U.S. Army is also wrestling with the proper role and size of its armored forces in its future force structure.

    http://cgsc.contentdm.oclc.org/utils/getfile/collection/p4013coll3/id/2952/filename/2953.pdf

    It seems premature to suggest that the modern Main Battle Tank is obsolete.

    It still provides the offensive firepower and survivability that are paramount
    in a combined arms operation.

    Nonetheless, both the UK and the U.S. risk cutting the muscle ilo the fat in this
    era of constrained military budgets.


    Dave
     
  11. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    That's perhaps the crux of it all. 'Tank' is taken to mean an MBT which is of little use outside the NATO v Warsaw Pact scenario of massed armoured onslaught. We could (should) still have tanks in the old sense of the word. Something with Challenger levels of survivability around sensible support weapons might be the way forward for casualty-conscious dirty little warfighting; always assuming we'd have some ships or planes to get them where they were needed...


    Well, there's two answers to that....

    The Americans have the M1028 canister round for the Abrams, which is an antipersonnel munition, packed with over 1,000 tungsten balls! THAT weapon would be familiar to any Redcoat at Waterloo....

    But there's the other issue - "...the way forward for casualty-conscious dirty little warfighting". At the minute that's what we're fighting...but who says it's ALWAYS going to be like that? Look how short a time it was since the end of Gulf War II that required one sort of capability...and the start of the "dirty little war" in Afghanistan that required another? We're supposed to be multi-capable....not picking and choosing what threat to prepare for! :p

    Just in case we get it wrong...

    If we're ONLY going to prepare for one or two eventualities....then it HAS to be UK Home Defence. Anything else is sheer neglect of duty on a national scale.
     
  12. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    There is a golden rule with defence, home or other,sitting on the area you are defending invites the incoming stuff to that point. It was put thus, 'Defending the greenhouse from within as the stones break the glass is no defence, you have to go out and meet the stone throwers'. It was indeed drummed into us - get your area defence wrong in battle is something you will only do the once. We can put as many theories as we like, the planners can only plan for the most likely and not for every eventuality - that would take most of our GDP. As soldiers we do tend to train using past experience and we have (rightly) the history and past glories of our units to live up to. None of this should cloud forward thinking - I could sit on the sidelines as an old soldier and tell the grand lads and lasses of today just how good or bad things were and how we did it - and that they are making a grave mistake - perhaps they would say the borders of countries are not as defined there are countries grouped into economic areas. Of course there are rogue nations - will any response be one nation against another, or a UN effort? The Falklands could not have been taken back without the (covert) help of the USA. In the changing world where the US sees economic gains in South America would she help again if Argentina ever had the thought of military action? We apply the military mind we cannot do that in isolation to what is going on - hence those lectures on 'current affairs'. What we do as old soldiers is forget that when we were serving we were the very people making changes , the lads who landed in France in 1944 had moved on a long way from the army of 1940, things changed and changed rapidly. In my time we changed as the systems we faced from preparing for all out war in Europe and then into counter insurgency - am I to wallow in nostalgia and say all that we learned they are changing (the times they are a' changing), perhaps it is the world they face that has moved on. The principles of war never change the wherewithal to apply those principles does. When I was sent off for my Int training at Beaconsfield and Ashford in Kent - one of the instructors tapped his head and said this is where battles are won.

    The rifleman at Waterloo
    The rifleman in 1914
    The rifleman today

    all know the principles of warfare all would apply them in the method and conditions of the day.



    As already posted - Canister shot at a fraction of the cost of a MBT and carry infantry:

    Bofors Defence - Combat Vehicle 90 - CV90 - YouTube



    On todays battlefield would I call in guns and armour or air?
     
  13. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Admittedly that's not what they were designed for, but far better than a Landy and a pile of sandbags I'd imagine.

    Warriors etc. can do it and deploy the troops to man the VCP
     
  14. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Wills -
    That Bofors CV90 is indeed impressive - does Britain have anything to compare -as I can appreciate only one regiment of Challengers and three of this CV90

    Cheers
     
  15. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

  16. CM3

    CM3 Junior Member

    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

    I don't know, it seems tanks were very useful during the Desert Storm invasion and have served very well through the intervening years. You are right about the cost though, and as my country continues to deteriate economically there may come a time when we will have to get rid of them solely on that basis.
     
  17. mapshooter

    mapshooter Senior Member

    What a load of cobblers in some of the above posts.

    Lets deal with 7 Armd Bde first. The problem is that this bde took it on itself to 'inherit' from 7 Armd Div, which performed well is the desert but less notably in NWE. There was of course a 'real' 7 Armd Bde, it did spend some time during 1940-41 in 7 Armd Div. However, at the beginning of 1942 it was sent to Burma with 7 H and 2 RTR. There is a case to be made that they made the difference between a total defeat and an orderly fighting withdrawal. Of course they had to destroy their tks because there was no way to get them across the Irrawaddy. After this the bde spent 2 yrs in India, Persia, ME until reaching Italy in May 44 and fighting as an Independent Armd Bde wherever needed. Forget the Desert Rats BS, their contribution to Burma dwarfs it. However, I don't think they'll be destroying their tks this time.

    Now let's get on to the Army's future org.

    The army contribution to the RM cdo bde doesn't seem to be finalised yet. Not sure about 16 AA bde org, may have an armd recce unit.

    Then there are three armd inf bdes (1, 12, 20) with a div HQ, although bdes are designed to operate independently. Each of these bdes has:

    1 Armd Recce Regt RAC (planned to receive the new SV).
    1 Type 56 Armd Regt RAC
    2 Armd Inf Bns (with Warrior, being upgraded with 40mm CTA)
    1 Protected Inf Bn
    1 Fd Arty Regt with 3 btys AS90 and one bty for precision fires (presumably M230 SPLL and GMLRS in the short term at least), plus an btry to provide the 5th Tac Gp.
    1 Armd Engr Regt
    1 CS Logistic Regt
    1 CS REME Regt
    assigned units from under other HQs include 1 AD bty, 1 UAS bty (Watchkeeper & Desert Hawk) and 1 Tgt Acq bty.

    Then there are the 7 regional bdes, two (4 & 7) of which are 'adaptable' all arms and designed to be expanded, they will have a mix of regular and TA units and there seems to be some sort pairing arrangement of a regular RAC recce regt and TA RAC in each and something similar with infantry and arty.

    So Mr P-R your single tk regt is bolloks. Do try and get your facts at least partially right before you pontificate on matters you clearly know bu**er all about.
     
  18. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Mapshooter
    You might be just a tad hard on Mr P R as you call him as he was merely pointing out that ONLY 56 Challengers were left in the RAC - I then chipped in that this was only ONE battalion but four Armoured Battalions were listed - with four recce battalions etc

    I was not aware of your knowledge of the latest establishment as listed as it looks a good mix on the WW2 "Porterforce' system of battle groups.

    the 7th AB did not inherit itself from 7th AD as it was acknowledged by Gen Alexander in
    Palestine that 7th AB HQ plus 2nd Tanks - 7th Hussars and later 414 Arty would proceed to Burma..this was late in '42

    2nd Tanks returned to Palestine in late '43 to join with 6th and 8th Tanks in a reconstituted 7th AB and finally arriving in Italy in may '44 - as you rightly say as an independent Brigade as most Tank bdes were with the exception of 2ndAB in 1st AD later and 26th AB in 6th AD .

    They fought extremely well in the Gothic Line supporting the 46th - 4th Indian - 56th ID's at Gemmano- Croce
    Cheers
     
  19. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    Anything I add is of no more import than anyone else. My knowledge of what is going on now must come from the same sources anyone else can look up. Opinion, for that is all it can be, is no more valid from me as any military enthusiast who knows his or her subject . Of course I can get a sense of what is written or watch and that may give me an advantage over those who have not served. Sometimes we are inside looking out and it takes someone from the outside to look in. If a topic comes up I know the possible links and the likely places to look. Pundits from yesterdays team! See enough of them in sport. I have learned a heck of a lot more here than I could ever contribute. Guardsman by appearance and thought - it was said of us by an American author 'they are an anachronism with one foot planted firmly in the past the other in a future they are willing to embrace and strive for that one impossible step to reach perfection'. As do all of our units and they will embrace the future and they will strive to achieve that step.


    In short all opinions are valid in forum.




    stock-illustration-5402061-marching-guardsman.jpg
     
  20. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    So Mr P-R your single tk regt is bolloks. Do try and get your facts at least partially right before you pontificate on matters you clearly know bu**er all about.


    You might be just a tad hard on Mr P R as you call him as he was merely pointing out that ONLY 56 Challengers were left in the RAC - I then chipped in that this was only ONE battalion but four Armoured Battalions were listed - with four recce battalions etc


    Tom, unfortunately I was away for 24 hours, but this was indeed my point - which was about the total number, not how they were actually distributed within the RAC...which it seems is be going to be "thinly".

    Then there are three armd inf bdes (1, 12, 20) with a div HQ, although bdes are designed to operate independently. Each of these bdes has:

    1 Armd Recce Regt RAC (planned to receive the new SV).
    1 Type 56 Armd Regt RAC
    2 Armd Inf Bns (with Warrior, being upgraded with 40mm CTA)
    1 Protected Inf Bn
    1 Fd Arty Regt with 3 btys AS90 and one bty for precision fires (presumably M230 SPLL and GMLRS in the short term at least), plus an btry to provide the 5th Tac Gp.
    1 Armd Engr Regt
    1 CS Logistic Regt
    1 CS REME Regt
    assigned units from under other HQs include 1 AD bty, 1 UAS bty (Watchkeeper & Desert Hawk) and 1 Tgt Acq bty.



    Exactly - armoured infantry brigades. Tom and I were taking about the Army's present "armoured" regiments - the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, the Royal Dragoon Guards, the Queen's Royal Hussars, the Kings' Royal Hussars and the 2nd RTR.
     

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