Cost of front-line soldiers kit? (V. US costs)

Discussion in 'Weapons, Equipment & Rations' started by beaty1961, Feb 16, 2009.

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  1. Hello there - this is my first post, so I hope I am posting in the right place, etc...

    I came across a very interesting graphic the other day showing the relative costs of a G.I.'s personal equipment since WWII. I thought to myself, I wonder how this compared to the British Squaddie's kit costs?

    If I can get a rough idea of the various British equivalent costs I can draw up a British version of this graphic...

    Anyone know how I can get this information - or do any service/former squaddies have a rough idea about these figures please?

    Many thanks, Steve

    Here is the American version...

  2. Journo?
  3. so what?
  4. Hi all - I'm not a journalist (was that the question?) - this is purely a 'hobby' question. I'm just interested - I thought it would be an excellent graphic so people can see exactly how much is spent on our soldiers compared to the US.

    I am actually a graphic designer who works for a university (University of Hull), but this isn't to do with my work.

    If I get this graphic done, I'll post it back up here.


  5. Beaty, don't worry about it, almost everyones first post is greeted by the "journo" call. Not sure why as the info you are asking for can be googled and isn't exactly sensitive.

    As a rule of thumb add 30% to the US values and you won't be far off. Buying for many is much cheaper than buying for few and the US never buys small.
  6. Hi Pocoyo - thanks for that. I had a go at Googling for this, but kept coming up with articles about larger equipment costs (vehicle costs seems to be the big issue at the moment).

    Very good point about the scale of costs. I didn't consider that.

    Cheers, Steve
  7. chrisg46

    chrisg46 LE Book Reviewer

    On the other hand, the amount spent on British kit might be in the minus figures, as it has always eemed almost traditional for the average squaddie to go out and supplement his own equipment from his own pocket...
  8. That would be a cracking figure to add to the graphic! >thumbs up<

    I wonder how much the average squaddie does spend of his own money?

    --- I could add that as an additional segment in a pie chart of the cost.

    Nice one.
  9. i stumbled upon that page too beaty, found it vvery interesting also, nice to compared how it has changed and developed and how they percieve the future equipment of the us army
  10. How I might project the future British squaddie I'm not quite sure. I know the MoD does have a development programme for the 'future soldier' but costs are R&D, not production/field costs.

    In the meantime, I have contacted the Imperial War Museum about the costs of the 1940s/1970s squaddie equipment costs (fingers crossed).
  11. Such a comparison is flawed. How can you compare World War 2 and current ops with the aim of saying just because more is spent per-head there are fewer KIAs? One is mass industrial war, involving huge mobilisation; the other is a limited COIN operation using a professional armed force.
  12. or is it saying that because of better equipment there is a higher ratio of wounded to KIA - in which case the comparison is not flawed.
  13. The difference in these figures was first spotted in ww1. After the issue of tin hats the KIA ratio to wounded dropped.
  14. Surely you need to factor in the medical services improvements into this as well to give a true figure as to relationship between KIA & wounded. Whilst I agree might be instructive to compare costs of individual issue kit. It would be nice to compare weapon systems not so much SA against M4 but GMG, HMG etc.
  15. Hello all...

    There are certainly some very good points made in the replies to this question.

    I personally do not believe that you can directly equate the cost of personal equipment to relative survivability - what about (as pointed out) training or field medical support or (importantly) evac improvements.

    * At one time septicaemia and septic shock was a virtual death sentence. Today a solders death because of septic infection is almost unheard of.

    Additionally - though controversially - the 'smart' use of infantry must surely bring down comparative casualties.

    There are all sorts of ways you could off-set the relative casualty figures in a study. This diagram is VERY simplistic...

    Having said that it is still interesting - especially if you separate the implied correlation of equipment costs to casualty figures. After all, if you rolled back the clock just a bit further to WWI the statistical difference in the casualty rate between 1914 and 2009 would be even greater.

    However, none the less, the relative costs of personal equipment is still interesting as is the relative casualty statistics *if* you de-couple them.

    I am trying hard to find out the cost of a Lee Enfield Mk. IV - wonder how that will compare to the cost of a SA80?

    Thanks to everyone for adding their views on this.