A ‘Shadow’ of its Former Self: General Says UK Army ‘May Not be Big Enough’ to Fight War


The comments come as the Ministry of Defense is carrying out a review of the military’s size, structure and strategic posture. It is anticipated that the review will call for conventional soldiers to be relocated to other areas, such as cyber war, to match the changing nature of contemporary warfare. The conclusions are to be released in autumn.

The British Army may be too small in size to fight a conventional war, according to a former leading general.

Sir Mike Jackson, who was the Chief of the General Staff from 2003 to 2006 has slammed the state of the country’s armoured corps, calling it a “shadow” of what it once was a few decades back. He said that the UK’s 80,000 man Army would likely struggle to hold its front in any future battle in the same way it was once able to.

The former military leader said that the British Army may be able to sustain itself in a conventional war “at a pinch” but that “it would take some preparation time.”

“We are down to the position where really if we get it right we can field a single division. Perhaps of two or three brigades. That is [the] maximum effort we could expect of today’s Army,” Sir Mike added.

Typically, a brigade has about 4,000-6,5000 troops, while a division can have anywhere from 8,000-20,000 troops.

When Sir Mike joined the paratroops in 1970, he said that the Army’s regular deployable strength was about 176,000 with 80,000 reservists.

“The Royal Armoured Corps…

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