Size of the British military

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  • The number of serving personnel in the British military is down to around 150,000

    In 1970 the number was 368,000

    In 1980 320,000

    In 1990 290,000

    In 2000 207,000

    & 2010 197,000

    Have these cuts gone too far ?

    What type of operation should we expect our forces to be capable of ?

  • I think the numbers have got to a bare minimum now for home defence, but in terms of going to war overseas we are likely very inadequately numbered. Obviously there is a greater reliance these days on technology and over the horizon warfare techniques but ultimately to clean up and take control boots have to be put on the ground.

    The Conservative Party have to be held to account for this as the financial cuts of the past decade have hit military spending hard.

    Maybe that foreign aid budget could be redirected...

    Celebrate it, Anticipate it, Yesterday's faded, Nothing can change it, Life's what you make it

  • Numbers of military don't have anything like the significance they had 50 or more years ago. Numbers of advanced munitions, weapons platforms and the level of training are far more important now to the military roles we have long limited our aspiration to.

    Having 300,000+ poorly trained and equipped personnel is a recipe for embarrassing military failure.

    That said we need to spend more on the equipment side particularly if we ever want to act independent of the USA

  • Numbers of military don't have anything like the significance they had 50 or more years ago. Numbers of advanced munitions, weapons platforms and the level of training are far more important now to the military roles we have long limited our aspiration to.

    Having 300,000+ poorly trained and equipped personnel is a recipe for embarrassing military failure.

    That said we need to spend more on the equipment side particularly if we ever want to act independent of the USA

    I’m not so sure , of course training & equipment are important but if you expect your military to fight over an extended period of time you need the numbers too

  • Numbers of military don't have anything like the significance they had 50 or more years ago. Numbers of advanced munitions, weapons platforms and the level of training are far more important now to the military roles we have long limited our aspiration to.

    Having 300,000+ poorly trained and equipped personnel is a recipe for embarrassing military failure.

    That said we need to spend more on the equipment side particularly if we ever want to act independent of the USA

    Correct. The difference relates the modern military technological capability requiring less manpower and no further need for cannon fodder as in the days of old.

  • A subject close to my heart but in some way you are all a little correct.

    A defence review post 2010 election indicated that warfare had changed, required more mobile quick reaction smaller forces than previous wars.

    Unfortunately, Ukraine threw that out of the window big style. The Russian armour caught on the river crossing highlighted just how quickly a whole unit can be destroyed, potentially leaving a gaping hole in your defenses. The volume of casualties and fatalities on both sides clearly show that conventional warfare is very much alive.

    As technology has entered the battlefield so has the ability to wipe out company size units (couple of hundred) with one or two munitions. However these munitions are VERY expensive and manpower is cheap as the saying goes.

    Again our problem is that our TA is very much under manned which ultimately leaves conscription in times of need, with under trained less professional force meaning your capability is reduced accordingly. Once again our politicians faced with needing to balance the books have come up short. Done with the best of intentions but in doing what they have done imho reduced our ability to A, look out for our interests abroad and B, put our nation at risk, although I do appreciate that that was never intended.

    We are fast become reduced to a bystander status, at a time of global instability and at home a time when they could be given over to a public support role.

    Did your parents have any children that lived.

  • I’m not so sure , of course training & equipment are important but if you expect your military to fight over an extended period of time you need the numbers too

    So you need an initial highly potent capability to buy time to enlist such. 100,000 troops in boots won't stop a tank, 10 well trained soldiers with good intel and anti tank missiles can stop a whole bunch of them.

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