Ranger Brigade(s)

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
Thread Drift Warning
The whole thing was about counter moves, be they counter penetrations, counter attacks or counter strokes.
The Whole of 3 Armd Div (which included the then 19 Bde in Colchester) was the likely corps level counter stroke formation, hence their prioritisation.
7 Bde had to have first as its role in covering force was crucial in buying time (for rest of NATO to deploy - huge debates as to whether the Belgians could get to their battle area (approx the Harz mountains), and on some scenarios whether 4 Div could get there.) And of course they had to be able to break clean and refurbish.
Fortunately I was in Wolfenbuttel, so we were deffo there for WW3 - although it could have been a tad lonely and one sided.
Yeah, our garages were in Wolf, we were even further up the road at Langeleben. There wasn't a great deal of optimism in our unit about even reaching GDP, never mind actually achieving anything.

I think the chances of i (BE) Corps actually making it their GDPs might, charitably, be assessed as 'vanishingly small'.
 

Cynical

LE
Book Reviewer
Granted it isn’t going to be the end product straight off the bat, but neither was the SAS and I don’t recall the originals having to go through selection to become SF. It was a work in progress, as this will be.
Suggest you do some more research. Stirling ran a very tough selection course for the originals, plus some failed operations before piggy backing on LRDG. SAS already existed as a deception plan and L detachment could not fail if it gave some credibility to that. It was not core to UK or even 8th Army. For sure it went on to do great stuff, but that was a bonus.

Today we seem ton have a policy for the Army that is almost entirely reliant upon a concept cribbed from the US (and, to be fair, used by us in Afghanistan), with a global focus to be determined and, as being noted above, detail of whence manpower and where they will be sent and how the rest of the army will cope with 1200 or so of its (supposedly) best doing Ranger tours is an open question.

While there is no real doubt that the Offrs and NCOs in the Ranger Bns will make a go of it, proving the concept (as indeed happened one someone invented "Light Cavalry" at short notice) there still seems to be no coherent, high level articulation of where they will deploy, on what grounds (remember, they are deigned to go into harms way on the battlefield, not simply train allies like what used to be called BMATT).

Given the public and political outpouring about casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan,which were our wars - or at least our Prime Minister's, what PM is likely to sanction Tommy dying ins some far corner of a foreign war which we're not particularly bothered about?

Rangers may be the answer, but what is the problem?
 

Cynical

LE
Book Reviewer
I think the chances of i (BE) Corps actually making it their GDPs might, charitably, be assessed as 'vanishingly small'.
The intent was there for sure, unlike perhaps the French....

I guess it all depended on how early in the Sov/WP mobilisation cycle NATO mobilised. IF their maskirovka worked (supported by the useful idiots or the CND persuasion) I suspect there would have been the mother of all encounter battles somewhere between the Weser and the Leine - IIRC alarmingly close to Line Omega
 

Wagner-Group

Old-Salt
FFMkLLBWYAMVZv6
 
They're only American degrees, though.

US officers need what over in tut'USA is a 4 year degree. That is their equivalent to a euro-land 3 year degree. It takes them 4 years because over here they do not have a 6th form equivalent and therefore need the extra year at uni to make sure they know how to read, write, and how to take their socks off to count to more than 10.

They also call their two year college course a degree, an associates degree. When I had my academic equivalency done to attend a college here they wrote my HND down as somewhat less than an associates degree. Having done a couple of associate degree level courses now I can categorically state that the HND is more rigorous and academically demanding than what passes for an associates degree here.

An acquaintance of mine is an engineer from Nepal. He did a Masters degree in engineering here to get his foot in the door for immigration. He tells me that what he learnt on his Masters degree was the same as 2nd year stuff on his degree back home.

So, in a nutshell, American degrees and education are generally shite nowadays
 
Last edited:

dragon825

War Hero
The intent was there for sure, unlike perhaps the French....

I guess it all depended on how early in the Sov/WP mobilisation cycle NATO mobilised. IF their maskirovka worked (supported by the useful idiots or the CND persuasion) I suspect there would have been the mother of all encounter battles somewhere between the Weser and the Leine - IIRC alarmingly close to Line Omega
if Ivan had come during Waterloo weekend at wolfers it would have been a walk in the park! (there was a reason why we carried out the PRE at the same time every year
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
Bit of comment from RUSI on the reality of what has been put in place:


A key determinant of whether the Army will get the licence to operate as it intends is risk, and here there are serious questions. The force only has one level 3 deployable field hospital at readiness, able to conduct high-level surgery. It can potentially pull some of the surgical capability into role 2 field hospitals and thereby increase the number of deployable units, but medical capacity is a major bottleneck in getting a licence to operate in smaller formations.

A second consideration is that the Army’s operations will be dependent upon the Royal Air Force (RAF) and Royal Navy, and it is not clear whether the RAF’s transport fleet and declining amphibious capability within the Royal Navy are well aligned with the Army’s ambitions. This, perhaps, highlights a major problem with force design in Defence: that the services generate their propositions in isolation, while the centre acts more like a referee than a shepherd.

The restructuring set out was pragmatic, and if ministers are prepared to use the tool being offered, it could prove a valuable means to project influence and protect UK interests. But with the vast majority of the new warfighting capabilities not being delivered until the latter half of the 2020s, the British Army has essentially admitted that it cannot field a force for high-intensity combat for the best part of a decad
e.

Given the public and political outpouring about casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan,which were our wars - or at least our Prime Minister's, what PM is likely to sanction Tommy dying in some far corner of a foreign war which we're not particularly bothered about? Rangers may be the answer, but what is the problem

The key question.

On 19th C European politics, Otto von Bismarck famously dismissed the irksome Balkans as

' Not worth the bones of a single Pomerainian Grenadier '
-
a unit which was a joke in the Imperial German Army.

There are a number of looming trouble spots around the World right now that would easily replace the perennial Balkans as the modern equivalent.

British soldiers dying to defend Taipei/Ougadougou/Vilnius ?
Say what ?
On who's behalf ?
 
Bit of comment from RUSI on the reality of what has been put in place:


A key determinant of whether the Army will get the licence to operate as it intends is risk, and here there are serious questions. The force only has one level 3 deployable field hospital at readiness, able to conduct high-level surgery. It can potentially pull some of the surgical capability into role 2 field hospitals and thereby increase the number of deployable units, but medical capacity is a major bottleneck in getting a licence to operate in smaller formations.

A second consideration is that the Army’s operations will be dependent upon the Royal Air Force (RAF) and Royal Navy, and it is not clear whether the RAF’s transport fleet and declining amphibious capability within the Royal Navy are well aligned with the Army’s ambitions. This, perhaps, highlights a major problem with force design in Defence: that the services generate their propositions in isolation, while the centre acts more like a referee than a shepherd.

The restructuring set out was pragmatic, and if ministers are prepared to use the tool being offered, it could prove a valuable means to project influence and protect UK interests. But with the vast majority of the new warfighting capabilities not being delivered until the latter half of the 2020s, the British Army has essentially admitted that it cannot field a force for high-intensity combat for the best part of a decad
e.



The key question.

On 19th C European politics, Otto von Bismarck famously dismissed the irksome Balkans as

' Not worth the bones of a single Pomerainian Grenadier '
-
a unit which was a joke in the Imperial German Army.

There are a number of looming trouble spots around the World right now that would easily replace the perennial Balkans as the modern equivalent.

British soldiers dying to defend Taipei/Ougadougou/Vilnius ?
Say what ?
On who's behalf ?
I was with you through most of your post, until you included Vilnius as being "worthless" . . . WRONG !!

NATO member. Shared border with Russia . . . physical manifestation, of everything that is wrong with Russia's continuing policies of disruption, expansion, aggression. If we, the West, NATO, can't look after a little place like Vilnius, we might as well give up :( .

Note: I'm not even going to Google the the other two names you give, so yes, I agree . . . "Strange places, far away, of which we/I, know little" ;) .
 
Suggest you do some more research. Stirling ran a very tough selection course for the originals, plus some failed operations before piggy backing on LRDG. SAS already existed as a deception plan and L detachment could not fail if it gave some credibility to that. It was not core to UK or even 8th Army. For sure it went on to do great stuff, but that was a bonus.

Today we seem ton have a policy for the Army that is almost entirely reliant upon a concept cribbed from the US (and, to be fair, used by us in Afghanistan), with a global focus to be determined and, as being noted above, detail of whence manpower and where they will be sent and how the rest of the army will cope with 1200 or so of its (supposedly) best doing Ranger tours is an open question.

While there is no real doubt that the Offrs and NCOs in the Ranger Bns will make a go of it, proving the concept (as indeed happened one someone invented "Light Cavalry" at short notice) there still seems to be no coherent, high level articulation of where they will deploy, on what grounds (remember, they are deigned to go into harms way on the battlefield, not simply train allies like what used to be called BMATT).

Given the public and political outpouring about casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan,which were our wars - or at least our Prime Minister's, what PM is likely to sanction Tommy dying ins some far corner of a foreign war which we're not particularly bothered about?

Rangers may be the answer, but what is the problem?

I wonder...

IraqiStan was a major wake up call for the Royal Marines. They realised that (under most circumstances) they didn't deliver much that good Line Regiments weren't already providing. That's a real problem when expensive units have to justify their existence to government cost cutters. The RM were astute enough to identify a new niche role that matches their existing skillset, and fits in nicely with a shift in strategic concerns.

Possibly the Army wants it's own version of the new RM concept. Keeping up with the Booties?

Personally, I'd have created a new Naval Division. 3 Commando Brigade doing their specialist thing, and three or four light role infantry battalions retrained as 'beach bashers' in the USMC style. Britain was traditionally a sea power, and we're rapidly shifting back in that (natural) direction.
 
I wonder...

IraqiStan was a major wake up call for the Royal Marines. They realised that (under most circumstances) they didn't deliver much that good Line Regiments weren't already providing. That's a real problem when expensive units have to justify their existence to government cost cutters. The RM were astute enough to identify a new niche role that matches their existing skillset, and fits in nicely with a shift in strategic concerns.

Possibly the Army wants it's own version of the new RM concept. Keeping up with the Booties?

Personally, I'd have created a new Naval Division. 3 Commando Brigade doing their specialist thing, and three or four light role infantry battalions retrained as 'beach bashers' in the USMC style.
All sounds good. I'm not going to give your post a DISLIKE, or a DISAGREE, but . . .
Britain was traditionally a sea power, and we're rapidly shifting back in that (natural) direction.
Another instance of Britain's illustrious naval past, being used as an excuse for abandoning, deliberately marginalising, our equally illustrious history of military (land) campaigns, from the Crusades, to Wellington, to WW1, WW2 and the Cold War (which we won ;) ).
 
Another instance of Britain's illustrious naval past, being used as an excuse for abandoning, deliberately marginalising, our equally illustrious history of military (land) campaigns, from the Crusades, to Wellington, to WW1, WW2 and the Cold War (which we won in which we were on the winning side but have since squandered the benefits.... ;) ).
I think this is a more realistic appraisal...
 
All sounds good. I'm not going to give your post a DISLIKE, or a DISAGREE, but . . .

Another instance of Britain's illustrious naval past, being used as an excuse for abandoning, deliberately marginalising, our equally illustrious history of military (land) campaigns, from the Crusades, to Wellington, to WW1, WW2 and the Cold War (which we won ;) ).

I wouldn't do that for a second. I have a passion for military history and the extraordinary human adventure that was the British Empire. If there is a trend towards marginalising the history of land campaigns, I haven't seen it. If you can open my eyes to something I've missed, please do.

My perspective - as an amateur and partially informed armchair strategist - is that Britain can now best promote and protect it's national interests through sea power. That will possibly also be the UK's most effective contribution to NATO.

The Army has been gradually marginalising itself since Options for Change and needs a cultural transformation to become a top tier 21st century fighting force. Even it it achieves a technological and intellectual revolution at the top; numbers matter. The Army is too small to be a credible deterrent in it's own right. The Eastern and Central Europeans will defend NATO's Eastern land borders. The British Army contribution will necessarily be as a very junior partner (comparable to the Canadian military presence in West Germany during the Cold War). There will also be some specialist niche contributions, but no 1BR Corps. Those days are gone forever.

The RN and RAF have technological innovation and a respect for scientific thinking hardwired into their corporate DNA. The Army doesn't, and the technical and tactical innovations of the 20th century were made almost in spite of its attitudes, not because of them. 6G, AI, and other developments are a science fiction style game changer, and the Army is looking increasingly anachronistic.
 
I wouldn't do that for a second. I have a passion for military history and the extraordinary human adventure that was the British Empire. If there is a trend towards marginalising the history of land campaigns, I haven't seen it. If you can open my eyes to something I've missed, please do.
Yours was the second post in as many days emphasising referencing "glorious naval history", I do admit by inference, to the exclusion of our military history. I suspected a trend . . . :( .
My perspective - as an amateur and partially informed armchair strategist - is that Britain can now best promote and protect it's national interests through sea power. That will possibly also be the UK's most effective contribution to NATO.
I don't see as an "either/or" question.
The Army has been gradually marginalising itself since Options for Change and needs a cultural transformation to become a top tier 21st century fighting force. Even it it achieves a technological and intellectual revolution at the top; numbers matter. The Army is too small to be a credible deterrent in it's own right. The Eastern and Central Europeans will defend NATO's Eastern land borders. The British Army contribution will necessarily be as a very junior partner (comparable to the Canadian military presence in West Germany during the Cold War). There will also be some specialist niche contributions, but no 1BR Corps. Those days are gone forever.
I believe, I hope, that the decline of our Military is not irreversible. We may not again need to "muster" and deploy the numbers associated with 1BR Corps. We do now have the additional, former Warsaw Pact countries with all their troops. That does not mean we should not be involved!!

I firmly believe - and keep posting - that we seriously need to provide the focus and give the attention to MoD/Politicians/the Army's VSOs, by permanently deploying what armour we do have to mainland Europe. It was announced last week that the vehicles will be permanently positioned in Germany - that is a start. Now, we just need someone, to realise it would be a "good idea" to permanently station 3(UK)Bde, in Poland.

If we are to maintain a peer-on-peer capability - to deploy anywhere in the world - it might as well be positioned, and train, in the theatre that it is most likely to fight.

3(UK)Bde, may well be a "small contribution", but we cannot expect to be invited to the "bird-table" O-Groups, unless we are actually there !!
The RN and RAF have technological innovation and a respect for scientific thinking hardwired into their corporate DNA. The Army doesn't, and the technical and tactical innovations of the 20th century were made almost in spite of its attitudes, not because of them. 6G, AI, and other developments are a science fiction style game changer, and the Army is looking increasingly anachronistic.
They may be "anachronistic", but there is something very persuasive about a 5.56mm/7.62mm round, a 120mm/155mm shell !! "6G, AI, and other developments" may be the on-trend, topics, but they are (only) the "enablers" allowing us to more effectively deliver the munitions mentioned earlier ;) .
 
Last edited:

Latest Threads

Top