Regimental Cuts & mergers.

Discussion in 'Postwar' started by Algee, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    Part of the equation the supposed strategic defence review did not address was the fact that of military industrial capacity is being eroded - the Vickers factory at Newcastle is to close - it was where the majority of the tanks and SP guns were built. In an emergency the skilled workers and the specialist machine tools will not be available. many of the specialists necessary to make a modern army work are being lost and we are told the reservists will fill the gap - the military medical services were gutted a few years back and as Drew mentioned above a lot of those deployed are TA or Reservists - however a doctor or nurse deployed overseas is one lost to the NHS for a log period of time. One of the Defence Secretary's quotes was that there will be more use of contractors - more contracts for BAE no doubt and jobs on the board for the politicians!
  2. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    Here you can find battalions/regiments strength forof infantry and armoured units of the British Army by June 2012. Interesting that while 2 RRF is almost at full establishment, three out of fife battalions of RRS were down between 80 (2nd Scots) and 148 (4th Scots) men and yet it was 2nd RRF which will be cut. I guess in next ten years some of these present regiments will also disappear in new cuts.
  3. John Lawson

    John Lawson Arte et Marte

    Well here we go again with cuts to the Army (and the Navy and RAF) what can I say - nothing, except the oldy that a British soldier can stand up to anything except a British politician.:mad:

    Loyalty, honour, sacrifice, not words you would find in the Westminster lexicon, bastards!

    I see the Scottish got off lightly. I now know why scotsmen wear nothing under their kilts. It's so an english politician can kiss their arse, we're all in it together, are we F**k, once again the English Regts take a pasting.

    Please don't call us when you want a c**k stand on the international scene Mr Cameron we're not interested inbacking you up anymore. Correction ther's not enough of us to back you up (one or two on the greasy pole might I 'spose).:p

    Well that's my rant anyway

    All the best:poppy:

  4. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member


    The Scots do not have that many regiments left. If they got rid of one Btn with every round of redundancies, the Scots Regts would completely disappear in about 20 years.

    Who then would the English Generals have, to do the REALLY dangerous stuff?

  5. CombatCarer

    CombatCarer Junior Member

    The TA medical units (RAMC and QARANC) and field hospitals beat their regular counter parts hands down - Fairly obvious really when you consider Paramedics, Trauma Surgeons, A and E staff are dealing with major traumas day in and day out in the UK where as Regular Army medical staff have far less contact in this way. So much so the regular Army Field Hospital deployed first to Kuwait in 2002/03 and by the time the invasion took place in March they were replaced with a complete TA Field Hospital - The NHS give staff an extra two weeks paid annual leave for anyone serving in the reserves and do not stop staff deploying overseas.

    Whilst much of what you say is true, (although many Forces medical personnel now work in the MDHUs alongside their civvy colleagues since all of the Military Hospitals were sold off, but that's a separate issue!) it is becoming more difficult to recruit NHS staff into the TA, especially with the commitment to overseas ops.

    I also think that it depends on the type of Unit. The Fd Hosps seem reasonably well staffed, but they have a high proportion of PQOs at Field rank who have been in the TA "man & boy". However, the TA Med Sqns of regular Med Regts seem to struggle to recruit young doctors and MSOs. And as for nurses, many would rather join the Fd Hosp as an Officer than a Med Sqn as a Tom, the Med Sqns no longer having PIDs for Commissioned Nurses, although they will normally be a full screw on completion of training.

    It may get more difficult if the rumoured increase in commitment comes to pass, one version being compulsory mobilisation every three years for either home or overseas service. Some Trusts have already appealed when personnel whom they consider key are mobilised, and the current policy seems to be that if employer appeals, reservist does not get mobilised.

    In addition, some Trusts are also revising their leave policy and telling their TA members that the two weeks of their annual training commitment must be taken as unpaid leave.

    The list goes on... That said there is a big divide between the Regs and TA on things like fitness and I always felt basic military skills were sometimes found wanting in some reservists.

    The fitness thing no longer really an issue. A TA soldier deploying on Ops is often mobilised well in advance of the deployment so that they can join the Unit that they will be deploying with and train with them. It also gives that regular unit the opportunity to see the TA soldier prior to arrival in theatre. If they don't make the grade, physically, they will be binned.

    As for the military skills, I think that here will always be a slight divide, although many of the TA personnel deploying now will have done almost as many tours as their regular counterparts. In fact, I recently saw a regular pass off, where one of the "new recruits" had obviously been TA and was wearing Bosnia, Telic, Herrick & UN "Tosca" medals in addition to his VRSM!
  6. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    Ha ha

    Attached Files:

  7. John Lawson

    John Lawson Arte et Marte

    HI Gmyles,

    I just knew I'd get a response. I have served with Irish, Scots and Welsh Regts and mean no disrespect but when the Goverment creates LARGE Regts, the Anglians, RRF, LI, Mercians, Yorkshire Regt, Duke of Lancs and Rifles (hmm that's strange) etc, it's usually to salami slice them in a couple of years.

    My point was that two English Regts with high recruiting levels are being, doubley? sacrificed for one or two Bns of the RRS. Then look at the Welsh one Bn from the only Regt they've got is a higher percentage than the Scots, not counting the Guards as they will no doubt be a special case.

    Believe me, I feel for all the Regts/Units that are getting it and my/our worries will only be supported when another politician decides he needs his koudos enlarging by showing he has the 'guts' to send someone else to war (but not him/her) and usually with the last wars equipment, and not a lot of that either!

    Take it easy Gmyles, I'm on your side.


  8. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    When you look at the cuts a little deeper the Commando brigade are loosing the Engineer Squadron - that will lead to a lose of capability, also two Air Corps Regiments are being scrapped - no doubt lack of money to replace aircraft. However I cannot but help thinking the need for the reductions are in part due to the sell off of barracks and bases especially in the South East during the last 20 years - the property Developers made a fortune and we have nowhere left to base troops
  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Steve, A lot will be to do with the planned withdrawal of all troops from Germany.
  10. Joe Brown

    Joe Brown WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    Add :

    The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment) founded in 1633, its oldest Battle Honour Tangier 1680. Now we are merged with the King's Own Scottish Borderers to form the 1st Battalion The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland.

    Joe Brown
  11. CombatCarer

    CombatCarer Junior Member

    I predict that within 20-30 years, the Regimental system as we know it will have disappeared and will have returned to the Regimental system that our Great-Great-Great-Great-Great Grandfathers knew.

    I predict that there will be one capbadge for all, no distinguishing head-dress and the all soldiers will either be Infantry, Armoured, Engineers, MP, Transport, etc, the only distinguishing feature being their TRF. When in service dress, the only distinguising feature will be their collar dogs, very similar to the current US style.

    And rather than having Regimental names such as "The Queen's Own Deserters (Runaways & Hidebehinds)", they would simply be 1st, 2nd, 3rd Infantry, Amoured, Engineer etc Regiment.

    One of the major reasons that the British Army adopted the named Regimental system was to enhance recruiting in a specific region at a time when there was very little internal migration. It became a matter of pride, and I believe still is, to serve in one's local Regiment. However, with the amount of internal migration throughout the country, it is not uncommon for a Yorkshireman who has had to migrate to the South of England for work to join a "southern" Regiment.
  12. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member


    Who then would the English Generals have, to do the REALLY dangerous stuff?


    Strange comment, Gus. It suggests that all Generals have been/are English and that only the Scots Regiments do the hard fighting. I think not; on both counts!


  13. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Have merged about 4 or 5 threads on same topic.
  14. Joe Brown

    Joe Brown WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Like Combat-Carer I think we are headed for a complete restructure with 'Brigades' having fewer infantry and having their own tanks, self-propelled artillery and anti-tank guns, and special support groups of armoured troop carriers and specialist engineers. These formations to provide three or four battle-groups able to manouvre in support of each in attack and defence. These brigades and battle-groups may well be named after former regiments.

    Joe Brown
  15. John Lawson

    John Lawson Arte et Marte

    It may have been better to stick with the original Regt Nos, 1st Foot, 2nd Foot etc. Then with contraction (money saving) you abolish the higher Nos (ie younger Regts) and on expansion (when we're in the SH1T) we reconstiture those that have been disbanded or put into supended animation (eg the Cameronians).

    Still we wont know if this has worked until the next war - the acid test!
    von Poop likes this.
  16. John Lawson

    John Lawson Arte et Marte

    Oh on restructuring, many years ago (1980s I think) there was a suggestion that all Regts become company's which would be formed into large regt type Bns ie all fusiliers coys into a fusilier Bn/Regt. Then when the thing hits the fan the coys could be expanded into individual Bns, to aid recruitment whilst preserving an experienced Office NCO cadre.
  17. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    With regard to the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) sadly their name no longer exists within the army. They chose disbandment in 1968 which at least gave them a chance of being reformed this ended when they were struck out of the army list in 1995 and ceased to exist as a regiment of the army.

    The heavy armour will go in the next round, it may exist as a small training cadre with tanks mothballed for a few years and then go. This was the idea many years ago, we were told that the AAC would replace armour and guns for ground suppression and anti tanks. This was obviously cost prohibitive and they then decided (probably rightly) that smart weapons now in relative infancy will take over much of the support firepower. Roles change, politicians do not look at the price tag with a nostalgic eye.
  18. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    One of the major reasons that the British Army adopted the named Regimental system was to enhance recruiting in a specific region at a time when there was very little internal migration.

    If that is what the War Office thought in 1881 when they put in Cardwell's system, then they were quite wrong. While there was less than today, internal migration was already an extremely significant phenomenon, as every 19th century census of the British Isles showed. London was a magnet for people, not only from the English counties but from as far away as Ireland and even Scotland; the London Irish Rifles and London Scottish originated in Victorian times, as did similar units in Liverpool and Tyneside. In many ways, the Cardwell system was a nostalgic harkback to a pre-industrial Britain. It's true that industrial Yorkshire and Lancashire got a dozen regiments, but the rural counties were still over-represented and the Scottish Highlands grossly so.

    I feel sorry for the loyalists to the old regiments, but painful reorganizations like this have happened every few decades. Like you, I suspect that the British Army will eventually revert to numbers as in the early 19th C, but regimental spirit was already quite strong in Wellington's time and I don't see why it can't be so again.
  19. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    The Cardwell reforms 1881 were another round of cuts, battalions and units merged, as in the Hampshire regt the 37th and 67th of foot became the Hampshire regiment (and pairs of battalions Cardwell 1871) . Many of the arguments today were exercised then bringing units from overseas home-Cardwell's reforms- The complaints - 'The product of a civilian mind' yet it is the system to which we all cling.

    Search: cardwell reforms (Hansard) 1881

    Search: cardwell reforms 1871 (Hansard)

    Nothing new!

    It had been stated that, as a matter of history, the numerical titles of regiments had been often altered. On looking into that matter, he found that six changes had been made in 1748 and 11 in 1757; that 15 second battalions had been converted into new regiments in 1758; that two other changes had been made in 1798; and that, with the exception of the case of the Rifle Brigade, no change of the kind had been made in the present century. It would be absolutely necessary to revert to numbers for regiments, for the sake of convenience on parade and on active service. Supposing that instead of having to telegraph the numbers of the three battalions which had been lately prominently employed in South Africa, territorial designations had been employed, what a difference it would have made in the length of the telegrams. The 58th were the Northampton and Rutland Regiment; the 60th were the King's Royal Rifle Corps; the 92nd were the Gordon Highland Regiment. If he might venture to make a suggestion, the better plan would be, as 67 double battalion regiments were wanted, to keep the first 25 regiments as they were, and to give the other 42 most distinguished regiments a second battalion each, thus only destroying the identity of 42 regiments instead of that of 108. Next he approached the question of the proper strength of the battalions; and he agreed with the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Lansdowne) that it was most necessary to have a strong Corps d' Armée ready to take the field at short notice. He hoped no Secretary of State for War would ever reduce the strength of the battalions for foreign service. At the same time, he pointed out that of 51 home battalions the strength of eight was only 500 men, 704 and of the 43 others 480 men. Those were simply depots to feed the battalions on foreign service, and would be able to do nothing else. With such a system 51 depôts were altogether unnecessary. Another objection to such weak battalions was that they were in various ways so reduced as to be unavailable, or, at any rate, very inefficient, in case of any national emergency. In such an event, each of them would require at least 600 men from the Reserve, and it would be some months before, with so many strangers in their ranks, they could be regarded as in a satisfactory condition. In his opinion, the weakness of the battalions was the worst feature in our military system. The system, in fact, was not that which would give us the most efficient Army, but was the best which we could afford.
  20. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

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