Changing the army - how?

Alamo

LE
I've read it. It's ok but has some massive flaws as the article points out. I think several of his arguments are out of date and some are demonstrably false.

King's book on Urban Warfare is a better read. I read it shortly before Ukraine kicked off and I think his arguments have mostly held up.
I liked Storr’s stuff, but having met him and seen him present I cannot imagine him ever, under any circumstances, conceding a point. The WR article suggested to me that he is still banging a somewhat similar drum, that being that modern HQs = bad (with which I have a great deal of sympathy), just presented slightly differently. Desperate to be right, and until the army concedes that he was all along, will keep on banging.

I do enjoy it though!
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
I liked Storr’s stuff, but having met him and seen him present I cannot imagine him ever, under any circumstances, conceding a point.

He's part of a breed of people who switch to being unpleasant quite quickly when challenged. It's not particularly edifying. See also: Mike Martin.
 

Pteranadon

LE
Book Reviewer
I liked Storr’s stuff, but having met him and seen him present I cannot imagine him ever, under any circumstances, conceding a point. The WR article suggested to me that he is still banging a somewhat similar drum, that being that modern HQs = bad (with which I have a great deal of sympathy), just presented slightly differently. Desperate to be right, and until the army concedes that he was all along, will keep on banging.

I do enjoy it though!
A Liddell Hart for the modern age...
 

Cynical

LE
Book Reviewer
He's part of a breed of people who switch to being unpleasant quite quickly when challenged. It's not particularly edifying. See also: Mike Martin.
I didn't find that when, a long time ago, I did some work on his proposed organisation for an Inf pl. But I had the advantage of evidence from simulation to support my conclusion that his proposed structure was not viable. (Significantly, the study was for the Royal Marines, who have the guts to question what they do, not DInf).

I've just put up a review, but it seems to me that many of the points he makes are valid and internally consistent. His habit of keeping his sources protected by anonymity is, I think, mitigated by his reasonable description of them. I'm also inclined to give significant weight to the forward by Rupert Smith, arguably the last commander of a properly functioning Div HQ on operations (in as much as it got orders out in good time, the orders worked and the HQ was able to move and thus survive).

My post military experience of companies introducing management information systems leaves me in absolutely no doubt that the rigid combination of IT, processes and HR leads to a hell of managerialism that often destroys efficiency, profitability, decision making (speed and quality) and ultimately the companies.

Storr may or may not be right. That does not mean that the criticisms he raises are not valid, or at the least deserve answering. As Simon Akram wrote, the British Army remains in denial about its problems.
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Storr may or may not be right. That does not mean that the criticisms he raises are not valid, or at the least deserve answering. As Simon Akram wrote, the British Army remains in denial about its problems

I think he's definitely more right than wrong (unlike Akam) and says a lot the army should listen to, which is why I'd put him in the same bucket as Mike Martin.
 

Cyberhacker

War Hero
I liked Storr’s stuff, but having met him and seen him present I cannot imagine him ever, under any circumstances, conceding a point. ... Desperate to be right, and until the army concedes that he was all along, will keep on banging.
Sounds a lot like Douglas Macgregor (Colonel, retired) and his Reconnaissance Strike Group concept
 
Be honest, Russia had to sort out the collapse of the Soviet Union, keep its friends and allies happy, keep its foes distant, and reorganise its armed forces, all while trying to keep the populace fed and happy too. No mean feat.

They now have a small army, in comparison to Soviet times, mostly volunteers and better quality, better treated, better led and better equipped with a variety of wheeled and tracked platforms capable of operating from arctic to desert.

What do we have?

This aged well aha!
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
Your last question, "What do we have?" remains both pertinent and unanswered...
One might say, ‘an Army that is good enough to train the Ukrainian Army well enough to beat the Russians’.
 

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
One might say, ‘an Army that is good enough to train Ukrainian Army well enough to beat the Russians’.
So we were the best Army in the world; then we were the best reference Army in the world; now we're...the best training Army in the world? I presume Guardsmen would also say we are already the best drill Army in the world, so I think the only remaining step to unspire to is the Best Toy Army In The World.
 
So we were the best Army in the world; then we were the best reference Army in the world; now we're...the best training Army in the world? I presume Guardsmen would also say we are already the best drill Army in the world, so I think the only remaining step to unspire to is the Best Toy Army In The World.
Disagree. I go with @Bubbles_Barker on this.
Most of the men at Minden and Waterloo were rookies.
We won.
Nothing has changed in reality.
 
Disagree. I go with @Bubbles_Barker on this.
Most of the men at Minden and Waterloo were rookies.
We won.
Nothing has changed in reality.

In Napoleons defence it had rained the night before, his horsemen failed to break squares and he had the Prussians at his erse.
In Wellingtons defence he ensured the French hated the Prussians for three wars to come


Todays army has that mix, early 90s almost time served, war on terror trapped by pension and of course those in post Herrick/Telic

Good mix as bull n bumf almost but not quite sidelined. Equipment worn but not completely U/S plus the ability to train others willing to learn. National survival is a great incentive, knowing you are getting replenished? Also helps.
 
In Napoleons defence it had rained the night before, his horsemen failed to break squares and he had the Prussians at his erse.
In Wellingtons defence he ensured the French hated the Prussians for three wars to come


Todays army has that mix, early 90s almost time served, war on terror trapped by pension and of course those in post Herrick/Telic

Good mix as bull n bumf almost but not quite sidelined. Equipment worn but not completely U/S plus the ability to train others willing to learn. National survival is a great incentive, knowing you are getting replenished? Also helps.
Your experience is far more relevant than mine, not that will stop me posting.
I don't think Wellington needs defending, he was a far better General and man than Napoleon and thus hammered him the only time they met.
 

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
Disagree. I go with @Bubbles_Barker on this.
Most of the men at Minden and Waterloo were rookies.
We won.
Nothing has changed in reality.
Poor comparisons. But most of all, the armies at Minden and Waterloo were actually used, and contained a crucial backbone of veterans from the previous 4-15 years.

Nothing in what I said suggested we can't build an Army quickly. I was saying that if you don't actually use it, then pretty quickly your military becomes some version of toy soldiers.

PS Also not sure what experience you think is relevant here to defer to @tiger stacker , but with all respect to her (I think?), I suspect I've got a little more combat experience, and a lot more training experience. Armies, particularly British armies, without a core and recent track record of operational experience tend to do exceptionally poorly in their first engagements.
 
Last edited:
Poor comparisons. But most of all, the armies at Minden and Waterloo were actually used, and contained a crucial backbone of veterans from the previous 4-15 years.

Nothing in what I said suggested we can't build an Army quickly. I was saying that if you don't actually use it, then pretty quickly your military becomes some version of toy soldiers.
I don't know about Minden but most of Wellington's Peninsular vets were in the USA burning the Whitehouse.
 
Your experience is far more relevant than mine, not that will stop me posting.
I don't think Wellington needs defending, he was a far better General and man than Napoleon and thus hammered him the only time they met.

Not at all, that’s the good thing about arrse it has a plethora of actual experience from the 60s to present day.
I value your posts informative and honest, keep them coming.

Sir Arthur was good, he had the scum of the earth defeat Boney twice. First time in France itself where his countrymen gave up, second time where his Guard were malleted.

Yet for some reason the Americans thought the French were worthy teachers.

Apologies for thread drift

As a Army the currently serving men girls and animals, are earning their wages.
 
Not at all, that’s the good thing about arrse it has a plethora of actual experience from the 60s to present day.
I value your posts informative and honest, keep them coming.

Sir Arthur was good, he had the scum of the earth defeat Boney twice. First time in France itself where his countrymen gave up, second time where his Guard were malleted.

Yet for some reason the Americans thought the French were worthy teachers.

Apologies for thread drift

As a Army the currently serving men girls and animals, are earning their wages.
He actually admired his soldiers and cared for their welfare.
As did Marlborouh and Nelson.
Napoleon despised his soldiers as cannon fodder to make up his lack of ability and the same in his Marshalls.
 

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
I don't know about Minden but most of Wellington's Peninsular vets were in the USA burning the Whitehouse.
The army at Minden had been training and fighting for almost as long as WW2, and the army at Waterloo was about 10% veterans...which approximately equals all JNCOs and SNCOs given the formations at the time, plus some for luck.
 
Top