Considering all the news these days concerning the shortages in personnel for the army I wonder if any consideration should be given to raising a few "Penal Battalions". Perhaps go back to the days when enlisting was an option as opposed to jail time. Been done many times before with some success. wiki article. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penal_military_unit "Penal battalion service was very dangerous: the official view was that they were highly expendable and were to be used to reduce losses in regular units. They were used in attempts to break through particularly stubborn enemy defences with human wave attacks, reconnaissance to determine enemy strength, as rearguards during retreats and in conspicuous ways (eg, wearing dark, instead of snow camouflage, clothing) to attract enemy fire away from regular units". I post - "a bit tongue in cheek" but maybe the idea has some merit. Views anyone ?