Could the UK Defend Itself?

The Country has 20,000 more postmen than it has soldiers (so I found out this morning on R4). We might need to go back to WW1 days and form pals battalions again. I’m off to Twickenham again in a month’s time - when last there I had a glum moment to myself when I realised that we could fit the whole Army in there with 10,000 seats to spare. Sad to think as a once proud member of 1 (Frightfully British) Corps.
Hopeless.

That's a little pessimistic. Even in the heady days of 1980s BAOR, the Army was only 160K. So between Twickenham and Wembley, you could comfortably fit the Army even then in both. In June 1945, it was 2.9 million. The Army hasn't been more than 180K for the last 50 years.

The more concerning issue to my mind is the parlous state of the RN and RAF manning, both currently 33,000. 50 years ago, 82,000 and a staggering 111,000 respectively.

Figures from here:

 

Mbongwe

War Hero
I don't think the history of Pals battalions lends itself to re-introducing it as an idea in a war.
Given that more nebulous concepts such as Queen and Country and Empire would no longer be motivating factors for most to fight, maybe the idea of fighting for your mates and your street would be more likely than anything else to motivate most people.
 
The Country has 20,000 more postmen than it has soldiers (so I found out this morning on R4). We might need to go back to WW1 days and form pals battalions again. I’m off to Twickenham again in a month’s time - when last there I had a glum moment to myself when I realised that we could fit the whole Army in there with 10,000 seats to spare. Sad to think as a once proud member of 1 (Frightfully British) Corps.
Hopeless.

The UK has more registered drug addicts on the loose than it has people serving in the entire Armed Forces. What an absolute mess...
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
That's a little pessimistic. Even in the heady days of 1980s BAOR, the Army was only 160K. So between Twickenham and Wembley, you could comfortably fit the Army even then in both. In June 1945, it was 2.9 million. The Army hasn't been more than 180K for the last 50 years.

The more concerning issue to my mind is the parlous state of the RN and RAF manning, both currently 33,000. 50 years ago, 82,000 and a staggering 111,000 respectively.

Figures from here:

We also had over 100,000 army reservists (TA as was) and a large ex-regular reserve with the kit in stores to issue. A lot of it more modern than the stuff the Russians appear to be issuing now.
 
Given that more nebulous concepts such as Queen and Country and Empire would no longer be motivating factors for most to fight, maybe the idea of fighting for your mates and your street would be more likely than anything else to motivate most people.

So how does France do it? By definition, La Republique has no Monarch, and little of an Empire.

D’Oh, silly me :D
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Don't bite or be so easily offended young 'un.

I sat through enough of the films and read enough via taking the Kids to watch the dull shite/reading the dull shite, to know what I saw and read.

Thanks for the reminder that your opinions on Harry Potter belongs in this , the serious section though, seems that most of this site is now anyway.

If I really want to insult, you I could find plenty of better words as your Mum will tell you - You touchy , over sensitive NERD!!!!!

Now go untwist your panties.

FFS!
Arn’t the Potter books about doing the right thing and defending you and yours against an unspeakable enemy.

If we were to ever need a Levee en mass it would have to be made up of nerds as well as feral youths.

Many of the Ukrainians on the front line appear to be nerdy and middle class. There’s a long tradition of warrior poets and you don’t get much nerdier than that.

It’s not the nerds that are the problem it’s the selfish me, me, me crowd. The creatures who are calling for appeasement. The creatures who are saying that if only the west hadn’t provoked Putin and if only the Ukrainians had done the decent thing and surrendered.

The sort of creature that takes it’s phone out film policemen getting beaten up.
 
Arn’t the Potter books about doing the right thing and defending you and yours against an unspeakable enemy.
That and one aspect I got from
it was treating people according to their words and actions, rather than what is becoming prevalent now of having to treat people a certain way because a loud minority say they have to be treated that way, due to a specific "feature" of that person.
 

Mbongwe

War Hero
So how does France do it? By definition, La Republique has no Monarch, and little of an Empire.

D’Oh, silly me :D
Exactly, fighting for one's fraternity. Droves of British recruits used to (1914-1945 let's say) sign up for Queen and Country and national pride: now, I think it'd have to be an existential war to get the same number of us Brits signing up off the street.
 
The only issue is that civ pop lack the training and kit to do that. The Ukrainians have been able to hand out kit to people with some previous training. We ain’t got the kit even if we had the people.

I don’t think there is a credible threat of n the face of our naval and air defences but if someone managed to get a big enough bridgehead not sure what the levee en masse could do.
They've been doing it from 2014, something often over looked
 
OP,
To answer your question I'd say that the UK could more than likely defend itself. We do have history on our side after all!
 

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