Our European Friends

Italian navy combat swimmers of the GOI with an ltalian U 212A in the background.

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A just released Rand corp study on French forces

An Overview of France's Defense Capabilities from a Burdensharing Perspective

Research Questions​

  1. To what extent is preparing for a large-scale conventional war a French priority? How does it compare with other contingencies?
  2. What is France's level of readiness for such a conflict, and what would France's comparative advantages be in this conflict?
  3. Which future programs (planned or potential) would be most likely to increase France's capabilities for a high-intensity conflict?
  4. Which internal or external factors might constrain the development of France's military capabilities and its ability to use them in a European large-scale conventional war scenario?

 
A just released Rand corp study on French forces

An Overview of France's Defense Capabilities from a Burdensharing Perspective

Research Questions​

  1. To what extent is preparing for a large-scale conventional war a French priority? How does it compare with other contingencies?
  2. What is France's level of readiness for such a conflict, and what would France's comparative advantages be in this conflict?
  3. Which future programs (planned or potential) would be most likely to increase France's capabilities for a high-intensity conflict?
  4. Which internal or external factors might constrain the development of France's military capabilities and its ability to use them in a European large-scale conventional war scenario?

A fair synopsis. In order for the French to maintain affordable capabiliy across the whole spectrum of warfare as much as possible the emphasis on the "middle segment" is a practical compromise.

Not sure, though, if I agree with the (reportedly French espoused) view that a Moscow initiated limited "salami-slicing" conventional war of territorial agrandisement in Eastern Europe would necessary rapidly lead to a nuclear standoff and thus limit the prospect of such a conflict. Hence the need for strong conventional forces to be able to firstly deter any such adventure by Moscow and secondly to defeat it if that fails.

I would add that the report is already a little out of date, wih ongoing measures programmed to remedy some of the highlighted gaps - particularly the reallocation of the equiment maintenance task to unit level.
 
The body of the Belgian NCO who had stolen military weapons, had threatened various Belgian personalities last month and who had then escaped a large police search has been found.

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A Belgian Captain belonging to the 12 e régiment de ligne/13° régiment de ligne who deployed to Op Barkhane with the French 1er régiment de tirailleurs received the French overseas service medal during a ceremony following the reconduction of the bond of friendship between the 2 units for another 20 years
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Italy's told to pack up its base in the UAEs after her decision in January to place an embargo on the sale of munitions and missiles to the UAE and Saudi Arabia due to concerns over the Gulf states’ military campaign in Yemen.

 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
Italy's told to pack up its base in the UAEs after her decision in January to place an embargo on the sale of munitions and missiles to the UAE and Saudi Arabia due to concerns over the Gulf states’ military campaign in Yemen.

You can see the UAE's point.
 
It also serves as a "pour faire réfléchir les autres" to the other nations that have bases in the UAEs....
Who don't really GAF anyhoo. We, the US and yourselves will chin off any domestic protest with some nice concerned noises.
 
Portuguese Naval Rifles deployed onboard FNS Dixmude for the Corymbe 156 mission which aims at securing maritime traffic in the Gulf of Guinea.

More and more nations are taking a keen interest in the GoG; Italy has a naval presence and large interests in defence exports in Nigeria and Denmark is also keeping an eye on the region because of the pressure of the Maersk shipping company on the DK Gvt.

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Prompted by other conversations hereabouts and taking the opportunity, immediately before official confirmation of the final hollowing-out of our peer conflict capability, I have been musing on Europe and the relative capabilities and political will to use them of some of our close friends, partners and allies (note, not all nations are in all three categories).

Interested to hear peoples’ views - and informed opinion about Italy, Spain, Portugal etc

France
Dead shooty, keen on their own military industrial strategy, utterly focused on their own interests and generally great if you want West Africans topped, with the enthusiastic and loyal support of Chadian and other auxiliaries. Don’t necessarily play well with others, but have a grudging – but real – bilateral defence relationship with the UK. Pretend to like the Bundeswehr, not great with Americans.

Germany
Profoundly risk-averse and spineless – at governmental level. Decent folk in the Bundeswehr, some top kit, criminally under-invested and -supported. Some problematic elements of German military history still constrain what they can get up to. Perennially heavily impacted by sudden discoveries, to general amazement, that elite Bw elements tend, largely, to have conservative political views. In the Russian pocket, courtesy of dependency on Russian natural gas.

Poland
Shooty as, but keenly aware of what’s immediately to their East. Have no historical reason whatsoever to expect good things to happen from that direction – and not much faith in similar from the West. Are under no illusions that they’re the first line in the event of any silliness from the Russians.

Denmark
Shooty, reliable, but tiny. When deployed, will interpret national policy directives constructively and aggressively, often managing to turn risk-averse direction from Copenhagen into stirring calls to armed action through complex and confusing logic-chopping. Have a Home Guard which grew out of a Resistance organisation and retains strong hints of terrorist/partisan philosophy.

Norway
See Denmark, with added snow and ice. Nails as, especially North of the Arctic Circle.

Sweden
Suddenly discovered the joys of democracy and liberal society around 24 hours after von Paulus surrendered at Stalingrad, after many years of eugenics and sending refugee Jews back to Germany. Chose a French Marshal as King immediately before weighing in on the winning side in the Napoleonic Wars, squatted sullenly in Norway until finally ejected in 1905. Built very competent and well-equipped neutral military establishment throughout Cold War (using NATO standard fittings, ordnance and doctrine), dismantled almost completely after 1989, slowly building capabilities back with a wary eye across the Baltic Sea.

Netherlands
Shooty in parts (Marines, SF etc), hands tied by timorous successive governments. Labouring under a certain embarrassment at Srebrenica debacle. De-NL joint airmobile formation apparently quite useful, but untried in combat and unlikely ever to be so (see above re German risk adversion).

Belgium
Yeah, Belgium.

The Baltics
Nice enough people, strong martial tradition, desperately afraid of the Russians. Significant and not always well-treated ethnic Russian minorities in all three nations.

Finland
Astonishing historical record vis-à-vis Russian aggression. Generally nails, take their neutrality seriously, although, as with Sweden, would find it easy and straightforward to cooperate with NATO.
1. They're aren't our friends. But we do have a common interest with them to keep the Russians out of Europe.
2. NATO is simply too big. But the military problem and more aggressive attitude is entirely down to the fall of the Ukraine to our side. Its much like Armenia falling out of the sphere of the Roman Empire and into the hands of the Persians or vice-versa.
3. Much like the Roman Empire the problem is now one of mobility and the problem with mobile troops is they're aren't great at holding ground and takes time to move those mobile armies from one locale to another. So the local armies in position shouldn't really be NATO light as their job is to hold and turning them into an offensive force is threatening to the other side.

In Summary:-
Its obvious the Russians see the fall of the Ukraine as a strategic defeat and that will have almost certainly pushed them into China's Camp. The alliance states are a very thin slice of shooters and a mass that can't be moved and we are rather like the old roman empire with a massive army, but it would take a year to shift anything.
 
Portuguese Naval Rifles deployed onboard FNS Dixmude for the Corymbe 156 mission which aims at securing maritime traffic in the Gulf of Guinea.

More and more nations are taking a keen interest in the GoG; Italy has a naval presence and large interests in defence exports in Nigeria and Denmark is also keeping an eye on the region because of the pressure of the Maersk shipping company on the DK Gvt.

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The UK will also deply an asset to the GoG in a few months

 
Portuguese Naval Rifles deployed onboard FNS Dixmude for the Corymbe 156 mission which aims at securing maritime traffic in the Gulf of Guinea.

More and more nations are taking a keen interest in the GoG; Italy has a naval presence and large interests in defence exports in Nigeria and Denmark is also keeping an eye on the region because of the pressure of the Maersk shipping company on the DK Gvt.

View attachment 584379
Isn't the Gulf of Guinea a pirate hotspot now. More than Somalia?
 
On 25 June, the 37 th anniversary of the creation of the "Lagunari" speciality was celebrated by the "Fanti del Mar" (Sea infanteer), that is the Lagunari Regiment.

This unit is based near Venice and is tasked with amphibious operations in the very specific conditions of the venetian lagoon. The Lagunari belong to the Esercito (Army) and are not to be confused with the "San Marco" who belong to the italian navy

 
According to this generally well informed french economic paper, France will leave the MAWS MPA project after Germany decided to buy P-8s.

France will develop its own MPA probably based on the Dassault Falcon 10X.

It should please the Marine Nationale MPA pilots who were really not keen on the idea of a huge MPAs like the Airbus A320 which would have been purchased in small numbers and would have been difficult to deploy to austere locations

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