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Subject: The Royal Marines - Too Light?
rza    3/5/2004 11:13:02 AM
Although essentially an expeditionary force, with deployability the key, does anyone reckon a heavier element should be introduced into the RM along the lines of the USMC? Possibly the purchase of LAV type vehicles just to allow a more independent capability?
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RM-Nod    RE:The Royal Marines - Too Light?   3/5/2004 9:19:13 PM
Not really. The Royal Marine are light infantry commandos when it comes down to it. There true purpose is to be a strike force against light targets (ie not tanks). If they need armour it can be carried on existing landing craft so the RM can have that ability if really needed but it usually isn't. Commando training is longer and hence more costly than regular infantry training and anyone wanting to serve in anyway with the RM must go through the AAC (all arms commando) course even the artillery lads so the need for drivers to be trained could be a particular annoyance to the top brass since they would have to go through either infantry training with the army or commando training with the marine and go through a drivers course with the army. If they come from the army (most likely) they will also have to go through the AAC. Overall it would be costly and not really neccessary. Though I would like to see more armour come into service along with more attack helos with 16 air assault brigade.
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raymond    RE:The Royal Marines - Too Light?   3/7/2004 5:37:19 PM
Can't really see the value. RM is essentially a commando force, whic is to say raids and siezures. The heavy impedimentia is most useful for sustained operations, which RM is otherwise unsuited to engage in. Making them suited for such would entail numerous changes in structure, doctrine, training, and equipment beyond buying a few LAV's.
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clarkey188    RE:The Royal Marines - Too Light?   3/10/2004 9:29:13 AM
If the marines needed armour they would have a Troop/Squadron or regiment attatched to them, when on ops. They don't need there own.
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ambush    RE:The Royal Marines - Too Light?   3/11/2004 7:44:00 PM
"If the marines needed armour they would have a Troop/Squadron or regiment attatched to them, when on ops. They don't need there own" True enough, this is what happened in the Falkland Islands War. There, however, are advantages to having an armored force well trained in working in close support with Infantry. I do not think that the Royal Marines need to have more heavy weapons and vehicles as part of the organization when it would better serve their purposes to train with Heavy Units so that they can work together when necessary. A Marine Commando unit is very lean to begin with. Making LAVs or other armor elements organic to the unit is not simple a matter of just adding a troop of light tanks. With the heavy units come their maintenance and logistics burdens. Perhaps the biggest obstacle to attaching these heavy assets to the Royal Marines is the Royal Navy. The Royal Navy has extremely limited amphibious shipping. If you add LAVs or Scorpions and their logistics burden to what must be squeezed on board what do take off to make room? Any talk of up making the Royal Marines Heavier must include talk of increasing the size of the Royal Navy. "Why in hell can't the Army do it if the Marines can? They're the same kind of men; why can't they be like Marines." General John J. "Black Jack" Pershing, United States Army 12 February 1918 "We have two companies of Marines running rampant all over the northern half of this island, and three Army regiments pinned down in the southwestern corner, doing nothing. What the hell is going on?" General John W. Vessey Jr., United States Army; Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff During the assault on Grenada; 1983.
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perfectgeneral    RE:The Royal Marines - Too Light?   8/31/2004 11:03:41 AM
I'd like to see amphibeous tanks with an over the horizon means of deployment made available to the marines (able to fire from the water). Fitting Air Tracks on the new medium tank could even allow air-dropping tanks into water. The problems of training are about expecting tankers to be marines too. In truth they need to be marine tankers and a new training programme would need to be developed for them. I don't think the current RM size justifies such a unit. Maybe if the RM ever gets enlarged to a divisional outfit this maybe called for (with amphib mobile artillary getting a similar course).
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Worcester    RE:The Royal Marines - Commando 21   8/31/2004 12:13:14 PM
RM Commandos have always had a higher establishment than an army infantry battalion (800 vs 650) because they need to be more independent and, fighting isolated, need to "carry their first line casualties" in Brit parlance. Typically they were tasked for mintain and arctic - taking on the Russian Reydoviki in northern Norway. Gurkha battalions have a similar over-scale personnel allotment for their equally remote operations, but para battalions are very light at 575. The Commando 21 reorganization gives the RM an unique organization - 2 Close Action Companies, 2 Stand-Off Companies, a Command Company and a Logistics Company. Not just go anywhere, but stay there. Cdo 21 gives an RM Commando 2x the support fire of an army infantry battalion (including a para battalion) and a huge logistics stack well-forward. To carry all this they are getting the Viking, an armored, amphibious variant of their traditional BV202 Snow Mobiles. The Viking lets them swim ashore, cross beach, marsh, sand and snow and run inland at 30 m.p.h. with full protection against 7.62mm. This is a serious increase in firepower, armor and maneuverability.
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Worcester    RE:The Royal Marines - The Commando Light Horse   8/31/2004 12:20:19 PM
Last year a squadron of a Brit Force Recon Regt with the Scimitar high speed tracked light tank were put under command 3 Cdo Brigade and led the way to Basra. I don't recall the regiment (it wasn't the Blues who were in the Falklands in 1982 and busy last year leading the paras, but possibly the Light Dragoons). They did so well for the RM that they were individually awarded the Commando Dagger Flash by the RM Brigade commander and were thinking of calling their squadron the "Commando Light Horse". Of course, the original Boer kommandos were light horse!
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perfectgeneral    RE:The Royal Marines - The Commando Light Horse   9/5/2004 9:50:44 AM
This is more an example of as and when attatchment of light armour to the RM rather than the intrinsic amphibious armour that Viking represents. Could Viking be seen as comparable to the Scimitar as a fighting vehicle once on land? Are Vikings APCs more than light tanks? I am doubtful that Vickings will do any more than increase mobility and resupply. This will allow the use of more infantry heavy equipment, but is hardly armoured support.
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perfectgeneral    RE:The Royal Marines - 155mm equiped?   9/5/2004 10:27:01 AM
XM777 ultralight howitzers offer helo mobile heavy fire support on the move. 3,745 kg splits into 2,414 kg and 1,331 kg of L39 155mm howitzer. Easily towed by a Viking without splitting it up. If the RM ever needed to go heavy the option is there.
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Yimmy    RE:The Royal Marines - 155mm equiped?   9/5/2004 12:10:35 PM
The Vikings are really just glorified amphibious taxis in their APC role; their not taking a weapon larger than .50 cal. However they have been put to use as 105mm light gun tractors in training, and I would dare say that their second module would be easily converted to hold an 81mm mortar or octaple manpad.
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