Originally Posted by Sadurian
You don't need MBTs for low-tech enemies, but there is nothing to say that these will exclusively be the UK's military enemies for the future. It is worth training and preparing for overseas policing actions, but not at the neglect of our first-line forces developed to face peer enemies. We went down that route in the late C19th and the result was seen in Belgium in 1914. We then went down the same route in the 1920s and 30s, and 1939/40 showed what happened. We have wandered down that same old avenue again, and should the British Army be called upon to deploy, we better hope that the enemy are even worse equipped than we are.

Whilst trawling files in the UK archives at Kew, I came across a press clipping attached to a file. It was an announcement that Britain should never allow herself to be caught unprepared for war by letting her military forces deteriorate in peacetime. The announcement was by Queen Victoria in the late C19th.

Every single time we neglect the expensive forces intended to face peer enemies, the result is that we are caught on the back foot when war against such an enemy breaks out. Tanks aren't something you can suddenly re-introduce at a moment's notice. They need training and integration, logistical practice and experience. That takes years to attain. Worse is the neglect of the domestic tank industry. By allowing it to wither to a token rump f what it was, Britain is in real danger of not having a replacement for Challenger 2. The tank is already obsolescent (but not yet obsolete), and there are no replacement designs in the pipeline. We will either have to collaborate on a new design (and all efforts in that field have historically failed) or buy a foreign design 'of the shelf'. That will be the final nail in the UK tank industry's coffin, as well as becoming reliant on a foreign power for licences, support and training.


And yet, at the start of WW2 the UK, France and to some extent Russia (KV1 for eg) had better tanks with apparently better production rates than Germany. It was to a degree, surprise and good leadership (and probably a lot of luck) that led to the success of the blitzkreig (or so I've read). War drives creativty and I think we saw that during WW2. I think if we ended up in another similar situation, we would see that same drive and creativity. AS long as we dont rely too heavily on code to fight our wars.... Or better still, focus on political and economic causes of conflict and prevent the bloody awful things in the first place. But how realistic is that really...