Royal Marines Gucci Rebrand

You could always employ them a 'cavalry in the traditional sense' but retain the option to employ them as dismounted cavalry should the need arise.
Which is exactly the conclusion that was reached in the early 1900s. The British cavalry was equipped with the SMLE (unlike continental cavalry who used carbines), had a standard of marksmanship equivalent to that of the infantry, yet retained the ability to charge with sword or lance if required to do so. This ethos reaped rewards in 1914.

ETA: and also during the 'Last 100 Days' in 1918

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Which is exactly the conclusion that was reached in the early 1900s. The British cavalry was equipped with the SMLE (unlike continental cavalry who used carbines), had a standard of marksmanship equivalent to that of the infantry, yet retained the ability to charge with sword or lance if required to do so. This ethos reaped rewards in 1914.

ETA: and also during the last 100 Days in 1918.

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Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
. A lot of stuff has been wilfully allowed to wither and die because the future was light infantry skirmishing.
Not quite true. A lot of stuff has been allowed to wither and die because the fight we were engaged in at the time was a light infantry battle and we couldn't afford to equip for that and the heavy metal stuff.

Plus a healthy dose of procurement f*ck ups like FRES, obviously.
 
To be fair, a very similar debate occurred at the start of the 20th Century as part of the lessons learned process of the Second Boer War. Should the cavalry be employed as 'cavalry' in the traditional sense or as mounted infantry?

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Thankfully we don't have any cavalry and haven't had since mechanisation (apart from HCR as is now). Better still get rid of Inf Bns,RAC, RE, and RA Regts and form Bdes from three combat units having elements of each so unit CO commands all arms all the time, exusting COs to beggar off to Bde as SO2/SO1 as appropriate.
 
Not quite true. A lot of stuff has been allowed to wither and die because the fight we were engaged in at the time was a light infantry battle and we couldn't afford to equip for that and the heavy metal stuff.

Plus a healthy dose of procurement f*ck ups like FRES, obviously.
Funny that as during 30 years of Op Banner managed to sustain 3 Bdes on Operations and all the heavy metal stuff for the 3rd Shock Army plus lot's of out of out of area stuff including short term Ops. The manpower and equipment commitments to Iraq and Afghanistan were not so huge that the rest of the Army should have been allowed to wither on the vine It was never the tempo of ops simply we allowed poor leadership to become the norm.
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Funny that as during 30 years of Op Banner managed to sustain 3 Bdes on Operations and all the heavy metal stuff for the 3rd Shock Army plus lot's of out of out of area stuff including short term Ops. The manpower and equipment commitments to Iraq and Afghanistan were not so huge that the rest of the Army should have been allowed to wither on the vine It was never the tempo of ops simply we allowed poor leadership to become the norm.
I don't think so. I think it's more that funding was lower compared to the cost of kit.

Unless you can point to about 20 billion pounds of kit for Afghan that wasn't needed, I don't think you can sustain the argument that we unnecessarily funded HERRICK at the expense of other options.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
Not quite true. A lot of stuff has been allowed to wither and die because the fight we were engaged in at the time was a light infantry battle and we couldn't afford to equip for that and the heavy metal stuff.

Plus a healthy dose of procurement f*ck ups like FRES, obviously.
@twentyfirstoffoot nails it above: we couldn't afford what we were doing and to maintain a contingent army on the money we were given.

That should have been made clear and commitments extracted.

How though you'd do that from someone as vain and short-sighted as Blair and as arrogant and short-sighted as Brown is the debate.

Poor leadership, aye. Weak leadership, aye.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
I don't think so. I think it's more that funding was lower compared to the cost of kit.

Unless you can point to about 20 billion pounds of kit for Afghan that wasn't needed, I don't think you can sustain the argument that we unnecessarily funded HERRICK at the expense of other options.
If we were going 'abroad' then the money should have been found to cover the extra.

I could point to additional kit that was needed for HERRICK. I'd start with helicopters, the money for which Brown robbed from defence to spend elsewhere. The absolute turd.
 
I don't think so. I think it's more that funding was lower compared to the cost of kit.

Unless you can point to about 20 billion pounds of kit for Afghan that wasn't needed, I don't think you can sustain the argument that we unnecessarily funded HERRICK at the expense of other options.
That is simply disengenuous, the funding came from many sources. There was no excuse for allowing units not deployed and equipment not in theatre to fall into redundancy. For goodness sake there was only a Bde+ deployed at any one time and even the there were rear parties etc to keep any unit capable of its war role. Are you seriously arguing that for over 15 years no one thought about warfighting in the real sense? Actually that is true and as a result we are incapable of deploying a single properly supported Bde. God help us when Cummings comes to town.
 
I could point to additional kit that was needed for HERRICK. I'd start with helicopters, the money for which Brown robbed from defence to spend elsewhere. The absolute turd.
I'm starting to think I should put this in my signature block.

Brown (or HMT more widely) never, ever, did this. The UOR request never made it out of MoD Main Building due to inter-service squabbling. The HMT can't be damned to not give money for something that was never asked for.

Indeed, the HERRICK UOR pot was (near) unlimitless within the strictures provided - i.e. you couldn't by 500 Chally 2 with UOR money without coming up with the plan to field said Chally 2 in Helmand Province.

There was some very sharp practice by Army RP over capability spends (or otherwise) which was designed to field better equipment in the post-HERRICK era. The problem is a certain CGS decided that being wheeled and like the French was all the craze, ordered stuff for that, and then suddenly defending the IGB became all the rage (again). Some of that can be down to "events", some of it is about utter indecision in Army HQ.
 
That is simply disengenuous, the funding came from many sources. There was no excuse for allowing units not deployed and equipment not in theatre to fall into redundancy. For goodness sake there was only a Bde+ deployed at any one time and even the there were rear parties etc to keep any unit capable of its war role. Are you seriously arguing that for over 15 years no one thought about warfighting in the real sense? Actually that is true and as a result we are incapable of deploying a single properly supported Bde. God help us when Cummings comes to town.
There is a really interesting (and I mean that) story to be told on this subject: "The British Army: 'the war' vs. 'a war' 2003 - 2014". Indeed, you could probably do it via the means of ARRSE threads alone.

In short, many many people (mainly those who were going onto, on, or recovering from HERRICK rotations) thought the Army's only effort should be to win HERRICK, and that war amongst the people was the only thing on the block. There were some (who were mainly castigated as the "old school") who were intent on preserving things like Armoured Warfare, Divisional Deep tactics etc. I would note that I was mainly in the former.

Perhaps the bigger question is why did the Army fail on both fronts - why didn't it commit to ENTIRETY fully, and why didn't it commit to "old war" fully.
 

Check_0ne_Two

Old-Salt
I can see what you're after but it's very dangerous thinking. We're in trouble enough in terms of where we are. If a lot of those capabilities were 'gapped' you'd never see them back.

In all honesty, if we were to call 'Stop' and say only those capabilities which are useful can stay, several of them would. CR2 is competent, it just needs upgrades out to end-of-life. It can still kill things just not with the overmatch it once enjoyed. You'd want it if you didn't have it, mind. WR the same. MLRS the same.

The problem is I think you're confusing stage of life (I'm careful not to say obsolescence) with incapable.

Some of those things are getting long in the tooth, sure. They'd have needed replacing in the not-too-distant even if we'd kept after their upkeep. AS90 is pretty much shagged out, for example.

The real problem is that we should be farther up the road in terms of their replacements by now. A lot farther. But we've dicked about and not been helped by having had a guy in the driving seat who was too prejudiced towards his own favourites, if I might put it like that.
Do the gapped legacy capabilities need to come back ? What guise do they come back in ? Do we innovate for tomorrow or throw money into the wind to tread water today ? We seemingly can't do both. Nor at this point should we.

In regards to the CR2 and MLRS examples that's the point. They'll be ok. Probably. Hopefully. As long as the enemy plays ball and don't have anything too nasty up their sleeve. In the meantime they're hemorrhaging upkeep costs and sitting around offering nothing towards how we conduct our business today and how we might realistically want to going forward.

Mass or agility ? Pick one. Actually don't because budget and political climate will do it for you.

Incapable as I understand it to mean here is surely context based. Most of the listed systems and capabilities won't ever do what they were designed to do again. Were they capable? possibly. Are they capable Now ? Not really. What's their point right now ?

The Andrew were quite ruthless in bining the Harriers / Carriers and Ocean. All able to plod on at great cost and able to do a job. but to what end ? What was their raison d'etre ?

If it didn't exist why should they?

Yes their hand was forced, but whose hand isn't these days ?They knew the QE class was on the horizon, but they gapped, saved a bob or two and are quite rightly reaping the innovation rewards. They are now ' ringfencing ' The Royal's role going forward as everyone else chucks pies. Who is going to be more nervous come the next review - Pie chuckers or the Royal's ?


Of course we should be further up the road, but we're not ruthless enough or honest enough to affect change.
 
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Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
Do the gapped legacy capabilities need to come back ? What guise do they come back in ? Do we innovate for tomorrow or throw money into the wind to thread water today ? We seemingly can't do both. Nor at this point should we.

In regards to the CR2 and MLRS examples that's the point. They'll be ok. Probably. Hopefully. As long as the enemy plays ball and don't have anything too nasty up their sleeve. In the meantime they're hemorrhaging upkeep costs and sitting around offering nothing towards how we conduct our business today and how we might realistically want to going forward.

Mass or agility ? Pick one. Actually don't because budget and political climate will do it for you.

Incapable as I understand it to mean here is surely context based. Most of the listed systems and capabilities won't ever do what they were designed to do again. Were they capable? possibly. Are they capable Now ? Not really. What's their point right now ?

The Andrew were quite ruthless in bining the Harriers / Carriers and Ocean. All able to plod on at great cost and able to do a job. but to what end ? What was their raison d'etre ?

If it didn't exist why should they?

Yes their hand was forced, but whose hand isn't these days ?They knew the QE class was on the horizon, but they gapped, saved a bob or two and are quite rightly reaping the innovation rewards. They are now ' ringfencing ' The Royal's role going forward as everyone else chucks pies. Who is going to be more nervous come the next review - Pie chuckers or the Royal's ?


Of course we should be further up the road, but we're not ruthless enough or honest enough to affect change.
The RN were indeed very cutthroat. A LOT was cut to ensure CVF survived into service. I'd argue perhaps too much, as we're unbalanced and I'm not seeing that get better any time at all.

So were the RAF, cutting Harrier and Jaguar and going to a two-aircraft 'teeth' fleet of Tornado/Typhoon and latterly Typhoon/F-35.

The problem with your suggestion is that if you cut all that kit from the army, there's nothing - nothing - left.

Yes, the army has cut its own throat to a degree with its buggering about and chasing of unicorns but getting rid of the last vestiges of anything 'heavy' and a lot of other stuff besides... okay, let me push this back to you:

If we got rid of all of that stuff, what do you see the army doing in the short and medium term? How do you see it doing it, and how do you see it regenerating?

I'm firmly in the camp that the army is unbalanced and the cap badge politics are helping it towards its own demise. There needs to be some sacrifices, and some really quite harsh realities embraced (however unwillingly). But how the hell (respectfully) do you see that being achieved?

Because the army has done very, very well at preserving tradition over capability so far.
 
The Andrew were quite ruthless in bining the Harriers / Carriers and Ocean. All able to plod on at great cost and able to do a job. but to what end ? What was their raison d'etre ?

If it didn't exist why should they?

Yes their hand was forced, but whose hand isn't these days ?They knew the QE class was on the horizon, but they gapped, saved a bob or two and are quite rightly reaping the innovation rewards.
There's a pretty easy explanation - you didn't become a VSO in the RN in the last 20+ years without pledging your one true allegiance to CVF/CEPP. Regardless if you were a submariner, skimmer, WAFU or whatever - the future of the RN was CVF.

Now compare and contrast that with the Army.
 
There's a pretty easy explanation - you didn't become a VSO in the RN in the last 20+ years without pledging your one true allegiance to CVF/CEPP. Regardless if you were a submariner, skimmer, WAFU or whatever - the future of the RN was CVF.

Now compare and contrast that with the Army.
Only to get there and find out that you won't have the necessary support ships to sustain the things: Is the Carrier Strike Concept Worth It? Thoughts on the NAO Report.
 
Indeed.

Although in fairness RN and MoD MB/Ministers have been around this dance many times before.
 

A2_Matelot

LE
Book Reviewer
There is a really interesting (and I mean that) story to be told on this subject: "The British Army: 'the war' vs. 'a war' 2003 - 2014". Indeed, you could probably do it via the means of ARRSE threads alone.

In short, many many people (mainly those who were going onto, on, or recovering from HERRICK rotations) thought the Army's only effort should be to win HERRICK, and that war amongst the people was the only thing on the block. There were some (who were mainly castigated as the "old school") who were intent on preserving things like Armoured Warfare, Divisional Deep tactics etc. I would note that I was mainly in the former.

Perhaps the bigger question is why did the Army fail on both fronts - why didn't it commit to ENTIRETY fully, and why didn't it commit to "old war" fully.
For my two-penneth I think it came down to a lack of internal coherence. In the Navy we're nowhere near as tribal or fractured as the Army, where Corps fights Corps, Arm fights Arm and Regiment fights Regiment

Generalising, but In the Herrick era Inf and the AAC were on the ascendancy, they were fighting the public war, they were seeking the UORs, all for light, relatively mobile COIN style engagements.

Meanwhile the rest of the Army wasn't seeing the action and wasnt getting the exercises and funding. In many ways becoming a lot like the Navy.

Once out of Herrick that wide church has made it harder to cohere, almost impossible. Apart from Strike Brigade what vision have we seen?

The RN has had some pretty strong leadership over the past 10 years. We might not agree with them all the time but they've created a pretty robust vision and tried to draw all the Navy around it. Even to the extent of accepting disinvestment to get future investments.

Edit: read upwards to find others have posts broadly similar posts.
 

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