A follow on Guest Post from DomJ
Thank you everyone who commented, requested clarification and helped, I’m resubmitting with explanations, detail and the pound of flesh Jed demanded J
So here goes
I’d start, with the “war fleet”, of which we would have two, each one “active” for 6 months of the year, or 8 months, or 4 months, or whatever else makes everyone happy.
Active would be “ready to at short notice go and beat some unfortunate foreigners to a bloody pulp”.
Inactive would be everything else, overhaul, training, diplomacy, exercises ect.
|First Fleet||Purchase Cost||Operating Cost|
|24 Fast Air||Rafale||
|6 Infantry landing ships||Juan Carlos||
|24 Heavy Lift||Chinook||
|6 Armour Landing Ship||Bay Class||
|6 AAW Destroyers||T 45 Daring Class||
|6 Light Helicopter||Lynx||
|6 ASW Frigates||T46||
|6 ASW Helicopter||Merlin||
|3 Guided Missile Cruiser||T47||
|5 SSGN / Deterrent||Astute+||
The Carrier and fast air is I hope fairly self explanatory, shoot down enemy aircraft, possibly bomb enemy targets, provide close air support and reconnaissance.
It’s the QE class, because that’s what we have, and the Rafale, because I believe thatFranceandGermanyare about to have a massive falling out, and we’ll buy it hoping to influence French opinion in our favour.
I assume some sort of ISTAR platform will also arrive, hopefully not that silly Sea King, but have no real idea whether we will end up with the Hawkeye, something funky based on the V22 or something else entirely.
This will also function as the flag ship, to what extent that means anything anymore
The Amphibs, the reasoning behind numbers simply being so that the entire force could be landed in a single group. Well, obviously not quite, a single group, each ships group of four Chinook would need to make 5 trips to offload the ship “battalion” and even with 4 LCUs it would take 13 trips to deposit the 50 warriors of an armoured infantry battalion. But we’re talking 11 hours rather than the 11 days Sutton took, or so I hope. To my none military mind, that sounds like a smashing capability. I’m wedded to neither Bay nor Carlos, feel free to suggest better ships, or just assume they are better. I’d much prefer something with a much greater cargo handling capacity, but am open to a third heavy landing ship specifically to vomit ISO boxes onto a beach.
Why Chinook? Again, its that realism (lol) bit, I’d prefer a bigger lift, I’m sure that there is something bigger than the CH53-k planned in the long term, but we have Chinooks.
Standard Darings, so PAAMS, a gun and a Lynx. Bow Sonar, Harpoons, Torpedo tubes ect would be nice, but not worth squabbling over. There purpose is, rather predictably, to shoot down enemy aircraft that Carrier Air misses. Why Lynx? Why not? Again, I’ve just taken it “as is”
Daring Hulls with towed array sonar, bow Sonar, torpedo tubes, Harpoon (or similar), a gun and a dumbed down PAAMS (would be nice if it can still speak to PAAMS for a joint radar picture) and ASW Merlins because again, that’s what we have. Why Daring hulls, well, because steel is cheap and air is free and we already designed the things and made the tools. Purpose, sub hunting and “sacrificial” outer pickets
Daring hulls, a dumbed down PAAMS and say, 256 cruise missiles each.
Purpose is to provide a massive opening barrage that even the most phallicly challenged would be satisfied with. Shock and Awe gets kind of a bad deal, but if anything, it worked too well. Destroy out enemy air capability, either direct hits on aircraft, or just by knocking out airfields. Yes I know, airfields can be repaired, but BROACH is going to seriously damage an airstrip, and if you put 50 holes in an airport, just how quickly can it start launching aircraft again? How many military airports is the other side likely to have. Don’t we have 4?
On top of that, command links are an obvious target to bombard.
After that, its hard to say, it really depends on the situation. Are we issuing a “back the hell off” warning, or do we intend to topple the government come hell or high water. Transport links, mobilised ground forces, “die hard” military, infrastructure. Communications are iffy. We certainly want them disrupted, but I can see the advantage in allowing just enough to survive to allow terror to spread through the ranks, what’s the point in winning if the people shooting back don’t realise its time to give up . Personally, I think slaughtering a load of conscripts is a bit unfair, I’d much rather they rebelled and joined us or buggered off home.
Astutes with 4/6/8 Trident Tubes. Iffy I know due to nuclear/none nuclear issues.
Purchase Cost is now £37,168,000,000 and operating costs £4,102,000,000 for each of the two fleets.
These would kick the doors in, deploy a pocket division and support it in theatre, as part of a coalition, great, or alone if required.
Said Pocket Divison, I know even less about, but I would put manpower somewhere around 5000, and would hope it contained some heavy armour, some IFV and a rather large light infantry component.
The original suggestion was 10 “Battalions” each of roughly 500 men.
Now, this, is probably going to sound really really really stupid, but since no one will provide more accurate numbers, you’ll just have to live with it.
12 Challenger 2s, 24 CVRTs (and a replacement PDQ), unknown number of logistics/engineering vehicles and a 500 strong crew.
I realise its not exactly Kursk, but until the enemy can get heavy and/or numerous anti tank weapons into the area, and if/until it gets its own armour into the area, 12 Tanks are likely to be a bloody scary force.
I’m not a massive fan of electronic land scouts, if you want to see what’s going on on the ground, its likely to involve being shot at and shooting back. Or so my “land warfare papers” tell me. Not that I have a problem sticking longbow on top of the 4 Chally leaders and some audio grabbers on the rest.
2 Armoured Infantry Battalions,
Fairly easy, 50 warriors a piece, each with 7 dismounts and three crew. I realise theres a logistical failing there, I may have a solution. I can only hope 10 guys have the technical wherewithal to keep a warrior serviceable for a few weeks.
An Artilery Battalion
I figure they don’t all have to in use at the same time?
4 Light infantry battalions (possibly one Para and one RM special forces lite)
I’m quite happy to distribute weapons to whoever wants them, I don’t really get why we have separate SHORAD/LRATGW troops. Motorised, (landrovers) rather than Mechanised (bulldogs). I kinda figure these can follow on behind the Armoured infantry, making sure logistics keeps functioning, manning strong points after the warriors seize them ect.
An Engineer Battalion
I kinda figure these would like, build a port/dock type thing, or operate a pre existing one, deal with damaged vehicles and maybe logistics?
And a “Headquarters” Battalion
Which would cover command, signals, medical and I suppose an RMP detachment.
Its interesting to note the entire Royal Marines budget in 08/09 was £620mn, I assume that includes Warthog/Viking ect. 6 Royal Marine Brigades of over 8,000 men would come in at a mere 3bn. Unless the Army funds any RM work Do the RM have any sort of organic engineer capability?
I’m happy to break the Engineer Battalion down into REME/Eng/Log Detachments if that improves things
So anyway, what does the Strategic Raiding Pocket Division do?
Well, my thinking was based on the Falklands, roughly fight a 120 day “war” that involves around 30 days of positioning (sailing there), 30 preparatory work (bombing everything), a further 30 days of high intensity fighting (shooting anyone who hasn’t yet surrendered) and then a further 30 days of “clean up” and awaiting relief (tea and medals).
But in the real world, I suppose the first “big” task, is it in a single stroke solves Europes Rapid Reaction Force problem. It provides a force the rest ofEuropecan latch onto if and when it decides it wants to do something violent.
Perhaps its “headquarters” aren’t big enough for this? I don’t know, the huge command staffs in NATO armies confuse me, I cant remember the last time my line manager told me to do something, I occasionally bug her for help, but maybe once a month? Even if it cant “command” a division, its certainly the forced entry / teeth components of one. I don’t know enough to create deployable divison HQs
As a NATO component, it would counter attack against the Northern Fleet in Murmansk Oblast, which would hopefully have a “Pariseffect” on the Russian leadership and force a ceasefire. It wouldn’t matter if they were at the very gates ofBerlin, withoutMurmansk, they don’t have a nuclear deterrent inEuropeand so would be forced to retreat back to pre war borders.
In the future?
Well, who knows what the future holds, but I cant imagine we will ever be in a position where we have too much forced entry capability, currently only the US can do that at any scale, and France on a small scale.
Nor do I imagine that we will ever be in a position where we have too much available firepower.
It gives us the capability to act alone in protection of our interests, and to enable our allies to act in coalition interests, we bombard the target to create a crack, go in first and seize a port, they follow on and overwhelm the defences entirely.
It was mentioned that “what we really need, is forward based allies”, and I very much agree. But what is more likely to win us friends overseas than both the capability my fleet represents, and the commitment to use it?
What would make Chile feel more secure? The status quo? Or my fleet?
The lead elements held at 2 days readiness and taking an active role in combat 10 days later (northernArgentinacomes into range). Within 30 days, the Pocket Division will have landed in theTierra Del Fuegoand seized the island. What more could anyone ask? An armoured division forward deployed inGermanyis only of any use toEastern Europe. Its very useful to them of course, but only them
Lets assume War betweenIndiaandChina, how should we secure Bangladeshi Independence? A UN resolution? A 6 month long build up of ground forces that arrives after the wars over, and would be over ran in days anyway? Or deploying my Raider Fleet and threatening to join the war against the side that first infringes Bangladeshi neutrality? We couldnt hope to win a land war against either, or occupy them even if we did, but in the midst of a war, neither can afford us bombing the crap out of their airfields and such, it would be a near instant loss.
In the past?
Preparation – Bombardment destroys much of theLibyaheavy core.
Invasion – Land forces deployed in support of Libyan rebels, providing logistical support, specialist functions, and for lack of a better term, “Stop Lines”, frequently, the TNC ran out of ammunition, and in the face of a mild counter attack, retreated 200 miles. If a British Light Infantry Battalion and a couple of Tanks dug in a mile behind the rebel Lines, retreats would have a fixed rally point, behind which we could protect and resupply the rebels.
Shock and Awe – We could have provided far more support in the bombing campaign, fireing some 600+ missiles in a single barrage.
Al-FawPeninsula– Could have been taken without additional US forces.
Basra– Little land contribution, Fast Air from the carriers and transport helicopters possibly detached from the Al-Faw Occupation ground forces.
Umm Qasr – No change (suppose I need to specify some mine sweepers, but they could have come from the Diego Garcia fleet
Occupation – Al Faw, Umm Qasr, training of Iraqi army within that zone. Someone else would have to manageBasra.
Shock and Awe – Again, much greater contribution from Submarines, Cruisers and Carrier. The Carrier allows some recon capability rather than simply destructive force.
Special Forces – Para Battalion can be dropped in with US forces, rest can be airlifted in without heavy equipment once airfield secure.
Occupation – Possible occupation support, again, realism about areas controllable, 20:1 ratio to be respected, which puts Laskhar Gah out of reach, requiring two “Pocket Divisions”.
The Development Solution budget to be put under the control of the PD and spent on their terms, by them if they wish (IE, not sub contracting out toUKstaff who wont leaveKabul). Personaly, I believe the best bet would have been to erect temporary accommodation, bribe the locals, level the town, and rebuild from the ground up. Add a curtain wall with towers, train the second sons as a town militia, build in water, sewage, solar lighting, gobar gas and build out narrow alleys, funnels and ambush points.
Pretty much do what we did, but on a far grander scale. Barras unlikely to be required, but doing it with Rafales bombing enemy heavy machine gun posts would no doubt have been much easier.
Preceding Bombardment – Carrier air (supported possibly by land fighters) and cruise missile bombardment would be far in excess of what we actually did.
Ground War – Ground forces could have been deployed to directly challenge, or at least threaten, Serbian forces refusing to retreat.
Well that was a complete disaster, but who knows what a small but military capable force ready and able to deploy aggressively could have accomplished. Cant imagine how things would’ve been worse.
Much stronger barrage from cruisers perhaps negating need to send tornados against airfields.
Much smaller land component
Air War – Proper Carrier air defeats Argentine Airforce, cruiser strikes against mainland disable airbases.
Sea War – Argentine fleet forced to port by submarine threat, directed on to target by AWACS
Land War – Availability of armour and helicopter logistics sees Goose Green surrender with little loss. Remaining Argentine positions fall under combined arms advance, Argentine forces incapable of harming Chieftain, aggressive use of which only curtailed by mine fields.