Thursday, 26 March 2015

Global re-armament (except Europe)

Britain went into the second world war with a 2lbr anti-tank gun that couldn't penetrate German armour and a 3mph infantry tank that could be destroyed with ease by enemy weapons. Whilst Lord Gort, commander of the doomed BEF, was exercising on his charger his German counterpart was doing unsportin' scientific war stuff. Our forces were still under the command of the effete and historical Gentlemen and awaiting the battle-winning Players to take the field. Gort's charger was eventually shot on the quayside at Dunkirk, not qualifying for a place on the destroyer home.

Well, it may be good news that the Germans in 2015 pose no threat. Our approach to defence may not have improved, but the German armed forces are in even worse condition. Whilst the US has maintained a defence spend by cutting domestic infrastructure budgets, Germany has cut both. Now the bridges and autobahn are crumbling but it doesn't matter because Merkel only has 30 working MBTs and half a dozen working helicopters.*

Meanwhile Japan has just launched its first carrier since WWII in response to rapid Chinese military expansion, Russia has a programme of building 100 new warships between 2011 - 2020 and is bringing into service a long-range bomber with a top speed equal to our air defence fighters, Chinese naval vessels are anchored off African ports and the US is expanding its 'smart' war fighting resources (i.e. kit that doesn't depend on being operated by Americans - the average size of US pilots and submariners having doubled since WWII and with no sign of slowing).

Of course Dave's commitment to maintaining the foreign aid budgets remains inviolable.  
The state of the Bundeswehr is analysed HERE and makes grim reading; the table below was released by the generals and is, er, 'optimistic'. For instance, when it was released, only 2 of Germany's 33 NH90s were flyable and ALL of her Sea Lynxs were grounded. 


Sceptical Steve said...

Your first paragraph includes too many lazy steoreotypes, and isn't up to your usual standards.
The Wehrmacht in 1940 was more dependent on horses than the BEF, our Matilda 2 infantry tanks were resistant to most German anti-tank weapons (until they cheated and started to use 88mm AA guns against our tanks), and, if our 2 pdr AT gun was so useless, why would the Germans adopt captured 2 pdrs for their own use?
Gort's reputation was largely trashed by the disolyalty of some of his more politically astute subordinates, but the BEF's fate had been largely sealed by the fact that the French armed forces quickly collapsed and left it stranded.
The rest of your comments are spot on, though the scandal has to be how we can continue to spend so much on defence and yet get so little value from it.

Anonymous said...

A big bomber at Mach 2 is not agile, and as the Yanks discovered with the B70, predicting where it will be when a missile catches up with it is trivial. It also can't come in under the radar.

Remember Sceptical Steve that the Germans' use of the 2pdr AT was against our tanks not their's!

Krauts had more bloody horses than we did, because (a) they had more Krauts than we had Tommies, (b) Krauts could eat the bloody things with a helping of boiled spuds and some pickled cabbage! Even Gort would have turned his nose up at horse burger.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

Sceptical Steve may be right on the details (I'm not enough of an armaments geek to know) but you're right on the principles Radders.

And of course the Royal Navy now consists of eighteen ships, none of which is an aircraft carrier.

But by God we've got plenty of windmills.

We're doomed, aren't we.

Anonymous said...

On watching some of that kitchen sink drama, Dave was allowed by SamCam to talk for a while. Dave, came across as a very big girl's blouse, an airhead with not a lot to say on aught of real note.

So, there was I thinking, what the fuck is he [call me DAVE] doing in charge of running a country and as an afterthought, it's no fucking wonder that, Merkel runs rings round him.

Now, the trouble is, Dave went to Eton, which was a school run by blokes who had no truck with anything else but inculcation of what was needed. Back in those Eton days, Eton used to train 'em up for war and Empire. But now, Eton it's a finishing school for girl's blouses and girls.

But think, if Eton is that bad - what chance have kids from state schools - I'll tell you, 11 years wasted insofar as the taxpayers behalf is concerned.

A constant, deliberately designed assault.

Since, over two generations, a diet of pap pushed on kids stuffed into a nightmareish dystopian education system where rigour is banned, learning is shunned and critical faculties are not enabled or, even sought.
All of it run by Frankfurt School acolytes and with an aggressively 'war is bad, lady boys are good' anti male agenda. Women did this, the Feminazis cut off Britain's balls and are still nailing them to the wall.

Throw in compulsory diversity training in all walks of life and mass immigration as ethnic cleansing/ demographic replacement - actually could we raise an army ala 1939-41 [probably not]? The modern way of thinking.... and all politicians [Westminster] deem..... who needs tanks and planes ["certainly not" says Dave] and implying "what are they for - pass me my lady boy dolly."

Anonymous said...

Lord Gort deserves admiration. He was the one who took the difficult decision to evacuate the BEF knowing the difficulties and that he wouldn't be that popular to say the least. He also died a few years later.

Give him the credit of saving the BEF.

RE: the RN, it has 19 destroyers and frigates not 18 ship in all and in addition there are patrol ships, submarines and support ships. It also has one aircraft carrier, HMS Ocean. Which is not to say that it isn't too small.

Re tanks: We have allegedly around 225 MBT's I wonder how many of those are fully serviceable given that at the time given that at the time of the Gulf War I remember it being said that we'd stripped the BAOR of all working tanks to send around 125-150.

Brightside Bob said...

Our ace up the sleeve in this modern age though is GCHQ.

Surely any 'modern war' will be, in no small measure, a cyber war. I hope I'm not being naive in thinking that we are at least at the forefront in that regard...

Bill Quango MP said...

Sceptical Steve is correct.
The British army was justifiably proud of being the first nation to have a fully mobile army. The BEF.

Small, by Continental standards, but then our armies had been small since about the crusades.

The 2pdr was a perfectly adequate gun in 1939/40. Its drawback was in not having HE ammunition. The 6pdr replacement was already on the drawing board.

German armour was mostly PzII and czech tanks. Inferior to all but British light tanks, which unfortunately were quite numerous.

The rest is fair enough. British Army was too blinkered.
The Hun had developed combined arms..put his airforce at his armies disposal and had very capable anti-air assets.

We hadn't. Seriously underestimated the air power threat. Had quite poor AA weapons throughout the entire war in all services.

The BEF had the best equipment that we had. In large quantities.
That wasn't the reason they lost.

As for Gort .. A blimp, yes. But he withdrew despite express orders from Winston, to stay put.
At the same time Winniwe was demanding Dowding send the home defence fighters to France. He also refused.

So Gort and Dowding both played a major part, against the Prime Minister's wishes, in enabling the UK to continue the war after Dunkirk.

Anonymous said...

re: the Bundeswehr weapon systems
The Marder is not really a tank it's a Infantry Fighting Vehicle like the British Warrior. The Boxer is similar except wheeled.

As for Eurofighter and Tornados, they seem to have more than the RAF.

Demetrius said...

We are Fred Karno's Army........

Raedwald said...

Steve / Bill

Happy to bow to your better knowledge of WWII kit; I was relying rather lazily on Alan Moorehead's comments in his Desert War trilogy, which I'm just re-reading.

Raedwald said...

Anon - yes, Marder and Boxer are AFVs not tanks - I was referring in MBTs more to the 2A6 / 2A7s which, if they are as equally unserviceable as the AFVs would give Germany only about 30 tanks ready to roll right now ...

Thud said...

Our medium and heavy artillery was also of rather good quality with more prime movers than the Germans (lots of horses as mentioned0

Edward Spalton said...

Anonymous re education.

You may have read recently of the eminent historians who have complained about the EU's hi-jacking of the history syllabus.

The English national curriculum has just been amended. Mr Gove appears to have started out with good intentions but the educational establishment ran rings round him and there is no real improvement. Children are not taught a coherent national story but "skills" to evaluate evidence which is, of course, selected by the teachers.

CIB (Campaign for an Independent Britain) will shortly publish a pamphlet on the subject. This is something which is self-inflicted but it makes a wider open goal for the EU and PC manipulation than in most other European countries.

The pamphlet is not an easy or happy read but I do recommend it. The title is "Generations Betrayed - cutting the roots of national identity".It has been written by Chris McGovern, a former head teacher with 35 years experience who leads the Campaign for Real Education.

If things go to plan, it should be available around 13 April.
Price (estimate) £1.60