Troops from D Coy 5 RIFLES ‘The Dogs’ deployed on a NATO mission in Estonia are “ready to deter and ready to fight”.

5 RIFLES is a Regular Infantry Battalion based in Bulford Camp, Wiltshire. The battalion consists of around 600 Riflemen who deploy from their base location on training and operations worldwide.

“The Battalion is an Armoured Infantry Battalion that is part of 20 Armoured Brigade, within 3rd (UK) Division – ‘The Iron Division” that is the only division at continual operational readiness in the UK.”

In 2017, 5 RIFLES provided the lead element for the UK’s first ever Enhanced Forward Presence in Estonia.

British forces routinely operate in the region, only recently Royal Air Force RC-135 and Sentinel surveillance aircraft were observed operating over the Baltic nations near the Russian border.

UK surveillance aircraft operate over Baltic near Russia

In addition, a detachment of German Air Force Eurofighters recently arrived in Lithuania to undertake combined Quick Reaction Alert training alongside the RAF Typhoon fast jets already deployed there, say the Royal Air Force.

British and German Typhoons fly together over Baltic

In 2019, Robert Clark explored ‘British defence in the Baltics’ and looked at the UK commitment to the region.

BALTIC PROTECTOR – British Defence in the Baltics

You can read more about British involvement in the region by visiting the link above.

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Airborne

They are, of course, but if it comes to that, none of the people involved will last very bloody long. I see the Baltics as the up and coming issue over the next few years, a gamble which Russia may play for. That will depend on how things are going for Putin and his domestic popularity and the Kaliningrad question.

Ulya

What is Kaliningrad question? And what value does Baltic states bring us?

Airborne

Look at history Ulya and please don’t patronise people with your attempt at playing innocent and less than aware. It makes you look very shallow and one dimensional.

Ulya

You fail to mention why we want the Baltic, they once served purpose as buffer states and ports but are no longer needed for that, the west is no threat to Kaliningrad and there is no question of ownership so how does Russia benefit from war with NATO over them?

Airborne

First of all you took Kaliningrad as part of the spoils of war, they were German, then Polish then Russian in 1945. The “West” doesn’t claim them, we in the “West” are individual countries and are not the “West”, but certain countries would like their territory back. Why would you want them? You tell me why you would not want them, when you have a megalomaniac in charge? Your replies show a feigned innocence, a face which Putin’s Russia shows often.

Ulya

Yes we did take Kaliningrad as spoils of war, so? I should feel bad about that? The Prussians lost and are gone, either dead or now German and the Pole have not had claim for hundreds of years so to me there is not dispute. If German or Pole now try to make some claim I could not care less. You clearly have no logical reason regarding the Baltic states as you fall back to default troll and cliche setting but fail to offer valid answer, I assume it is just easier for you so I will not bother asking… Read more »

Meirion X

Looking at a map of Kaliningrad, it would fit into Lithuania nicely!

Airborne

I have given you the answer to the Baltic states, come on Ulya please make an effort and read the posts again. Firstly history, secondly, Putin’s domestic agenda and thirdly, Georgia,/Ukraine/Crimea…all which roll us around to point one once more! Don’t get grumpy and angry Ulya, of course you are going to support your country, but also don’t think anyone in the “West” thinks Putin is out for anyone or anything aside from Putin. While we have selfish, arrogant and greedy politicians, you have a murdering, power mad meglomainiac, one who seems to be supported by an unwitting, uneducated or… Read more »

Ron

Airborne, I will help out here. A good reason for Russia to have interest in the Baltic States is the Gulf of Riga. After the fall of Soviet Russia the Russian Navy has only one Ice Free location in the Baltic which is in Kaliningrad Oblast, I think it is the old German naval port of Pillau. It is the main reason that Russia keeps control of Kaliningrad. This port however is easily within range of artillery. Although the Baltic Fleet is small in numbers of combat ships, (still big enough to give the German Navy a headache) it is… Read more »

Airborne

Some of this I knew Ron, a lot I wasn’t aware of, so thanks for the in depth response, cheers mate.

Airborne

And what did Putin state about the on going “containment of Russia”? Come on Ulya, he is your illustrious leader, you need to stop playing the friendly troll.

Meirion X

Putin regrets the breakup of the Soviet Union, he regards it as a very Big mistake!

So there!

Last edited 1 month ago by Meirion X
Finney

There is no question over Kaliningrad as far as I’m aware. To be honest it’s a stranded asset and one of the biggest reasons why I don’t think there will ever be a war over the Baltics. Russia has almost nothing to gain from annexing small states with hostile populations and next to no resource assets, and whilst everyone agrees that if Russia wanted to they could probably roll over Latvia and Estonia in a few days, they would surely lose Kaliningrad if there was a concerted NATO response. I bet the Poles would absolutely love to take it. Poor… Read more »

Airborne

Mate the issue is there would not be a concerted NATO response, certainly not in the first 36hrs, and by then the Baltics would be done and dusted. Western leaders would just be happy the Russians have stopped, and gone no further and would be content by playing the peacemakers and talking, with no result, handing the Baltic state to the Russians. Why would they invade, why not, when you have a man like Putin in charge he will do what he needs to do depending on public perception and popularity (or lack of it) Its not ignored by many… Read more »

Meirion X

Kaliningrad cuts into Lithuanian territory!
Poland has a nearly strait border with Lithuania.

David

Regrettably I tend to agree with you. We are nothing but token strength and both we – and the Russians – know it. Militarily, if the Russians made a lightning land grab, there is precious little to stop them. However unlikely that might be, the fact remains. Sobering.

BB85

I can’t see them invading the Baltics. Even if they tried to instigate protests and civil unrest, they could never repeat what happened on Ukraine without crossing a clear red line. Strategically Ukraine is much more important to Russia as well which is why Putin was no prepared to let it break away and pursue EU membership. The reason Germany spends less than 1% of GDP on defense is because they don’t see any realistic threat coming from Russia.

Airborne

Agree to a degree….does that make sense? The Baltics are 24hrs of hard work, confusion and horrendous BBC reports. Then it’s all about stop lines and retaining what they have taken, and going no further. The Russians will claim the Baltics, say they go no further, NATO will flap, make rash decisions, argue amongst themselves and then appreciate the fact that when the Russians stop then the descison making process is taken away from them. That is how I see it playing, however the big question is why would they go for the Baltics….I don’t know but reason doesn’t seem… Read more »

John Clark

In a sense David, they only need to be in token strength, an aggressive Russian action against them would effectively trigger war with NATO. They are the trip wire. That said, comparatively small units can have an effect totally out of proportion to their size, ask Airborne! A perfect example of this came in the final days of WW2 when a Canadian Parachute battalion of 600 men was rapidly deployed in front of an advancing Soviet Armoured division in a blocking manoeuvre. The mission was simple and required a brass neck and steely nerves, stop the Russians flanking North and… Read more »

4th watch

I think if the Russians had occupied Denmark it would have rapidly become a shooting War. That’s why steely nerves worked. Their lines of communication would have been very extended and reinforcement by sea vulnerable to interdiction. The sight of the Russian Army surrendering in Denmark would have been interesting!

Crabfat

Read “2017: War with Russia” by General Sir Richard Shirreff. It’s a fictional tale about Russia invading the Baltic states. However, Gen Shirreff writes as a former DSACEUR and a lot of the book reflects his own thoughts and experience on the subject. I couldn’t put it down. If I was a citizen of a Baltic state I’d be scared s***less about what this book predicates.

Daniele Mandelli

I will. I wasn’t aware of that.

John Hartley

Well, in that book a Russian sub torpedoes HMS Queen Elizabeth. I think Putin does not want full war with the West. It would damage too many of the assets he has bought here with dodgy money. However, if he could grab a few acres of ex Soviet land in the Baltics & get away with it, he would see that as good propaganda. Even our token forces need some artillery to counter the Russian “God of Battle”. A few cheap ex USMC 155mm M777, could be a way to do it.

dan

Never fear! Joe “white flag” Biden is here! lol

John Clark

Well Dan, I think most people would prefer a sane and stable US president, that doesn’t threaten his own democracy….

Mr Trump got his wall in the end, just a shame it’s around Washington DC….

I’ll take Mr Biden any day of the week.

Jonny

Please stay away from Parliament, we don’t want your sort there.