France takes the lead of NATO’s highest-readiness military force on Saturday for a period of one year.

The formation, formally known as NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), was created in 2014 in response to crises in the Middle East and Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, and is permanently available to move within days to defend any Ally.

NATO say here that the VJTF is the highest-readiness element of NATO’s 40,000-strong Response Force.

“I thank France for leading NATO’s rapid reaction force in 2022,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

The Very High Readiness Joint Task Force is a substantial contribution to our collective defence, and France’s leadership is a strong display of commitment and capabilities. At a time of unprecedented security challenges, there must be no misunderstanding about NATO’s resolve: we stand together to defend and protect all Allies,” Mr Stoltenberg added.

NATO say in a news release:

“In 2022, the VJTF will comprise a multinational force of several thousand troops. The Franco-German brigade of 3,500 troops will serve as the core of the force, drawing on the 1st Infantry Regiment and the 3rd Hussar Regiment.

Led by France’s Rapid Reaction Corps in Lille, the Franco-German brigade is a bi-national unit, underlining the strong bond between NATO Allies Germany and France. Other NATO countries, including Spain, Portugal, and Poland will also provide forces. The majority of the force is comprised of units from the lead brigade.”

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
152 Comments
oldest
newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Marked
Marked
3 months ago

France…. is it April 1st already?

OldSchool
OldSchool
3 months ago
Reply to  Marked

I know. A Franco-German brigade with others bits and pieces wedded in. If the balloon went up they would be paralysed with the resultant debate-fest of ‘what should we do now’ agreement being virtually impossible. A prototype of an EU army I suspect…..

Delabatte
Delabatte
3 months ago
Reply to  OldSchool

Not really, the Franco German is a close to be a joke. Units never practise between them. The 1st RI and the 3rd Hussard make their stuff in Africa and other place without any German involving. Sending them together against a peer enemy will be “challenging” at least..

Hermes
Hermes
3 months ago
Reply to  Delabatte

“challenging”.
I think I can convince Xi Jinping to be my pet before the FR-DE Rgt can really be deployed.

Andy Gass
Andy Gass
3 months ago
Reply to  OldSchool

The EU has been making joint decision making for 40 year’s and deployed it’s rapid response corps to Bosnia incidentally commanded by a UK General.The Britsh and Germans have also formed a joint Engineer Regiment.Remember also the multi national force which operated in Norway as well as multi national forces operating in Afghanistan. What most People who keep referring to a so called European Army that it was the UK who were the lead in pushing for closer cooperation and integration.

Bluemoonday
Bluemoonday
3 months ago
Reply to  Marked

A number of shameful comments being made here. Some are simply lazy and subjective while others are willfully ignorant and xenophobic.
Good to see contributors with objective opinions calling out the more irrational comments.
One of the many concerning issues I have when I see this nonsense, is that these people are contributing to the social discussion on defence policy in this country. Their influence, whatever amount it may be, is I suspect not insignificant and therefore unhelpful if not dangerous.

Darren hall
Darren hall
3 months ago
Reply to  Bluemoonday

Agreed.

I had the opportunity to work alongside the French Infantry in Afghanistan, they soldiers were professional and well trained…
Something else I noticed, was the lack of over weight French soldiers…

Tommo
Tommo
3 months ago
Reply to  Marked

White bedsheet factories now working overtime too reach probable demands Marked

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
3 months ago

French tanks have 1 forward gear 5 reverse. Very good at retreating or just surrendering in the face of the enemy.😁 just joking. I do love a good bit of French bashing. They ask for it with a twit like Macron in charge.

Hermes
Hermes
3 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Dont worry, we know the History and how fast the british expeditions forces was retreating in 40 covered by the french 😉

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

BEF had to retreat to recover over the sea. The BEF flanks had collapsed and the BEF was exposed and likely to be surrounded and cut off. Retreat was the only option. Still France cant really complain as I know my history too and the allies returned in 1944 to liberate France and the whole of western Europe. Not that we got much thanks for that cost in terms of British and allied lives lost. Would have been better if the 4 million strong French army had acquitted themselves better in 1940. Poorly led, poorly organised and defeated due to… Read more »

Hermes
Hermes
3 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Seem to have triggered something. You joke, I joke 😉 We all know the poor lead of both french and british forces in 40 and the great success of the blitzkrieg. Its juste a little too common to read about the french failures when it was absolutely everyone in 40… “the allies returned in 1944 to liberate France and the whole of western Europe” Well, for me, reading this a “savior syndrom”. From the US to the UK, you didnt going on the continent for saving France and others, just to beat the nazis and mostly to pushback the soviets.… Read more »

Matt C
Matt C
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

On the subject of WW2-era French bashing, remind me again how many Frenchmen fought for the Allies and how many against?

Hermes
Hermes
3 months ago
Reply to  Matt C

Vichy was limited to 100 000 troops, versus the 750 000 of the FFL + resistence (known). Vichy was doom right after overlord, so… Something from some thousands to 100 000. How many french civilians the allies have killed ? Do you know this amount ? 518 000tons of allied bombs drop on France, you think only the nazi and bad french was killed ? Must I talk about what the british empire do to its “best friend” aka the US? At least France is not a state of Algeria… Dont play a game if you are not sure about… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Hermes
Matt C
Matt C
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

750,000? By war’s end you mean. Certainly not in 1942, when the Vichy Milice were busy eradicating the Maquis.

The Allies killed no French civilians on purpose. The French killed more French people through premeditated action than the Allies did.

Hermes
Hermes
3 months ago
Reply to  Matt C

More than 400 000 from the start, for the rest, since its about 250 000 from résistance, I dont have any timeline. “The Allies killed no French civilians on purpose.” Not being killed on purpose doesnt excuse anything. That’s why Iraq and Aghanistan was lose. “The French killed more French people through premeditated action than the Allies did.” Well, like I said, real french hates more the collabo than the rest of people. So for these, doesnt count like kill a french. A trash at most. I just point the fact that the french have paid a big price, from… Read more »

OldSchool
OldSchool
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

Paris on fire? Wasn’t it declared an open city and you know whose army marched in unopposed.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  OldSchool

Correct. A German general defied Hitler’s orders. Unlike poor Warsaw.

OldSchool
OldSchool
3 months ago

I was thinking of 1940. Daniele you obviously of 1944. Either way Paris remained intact.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  OldSchool

Ha! Indeed I was OS.

Matt C
Matt C
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

More than 400,000 “from the start”? If only. De Gaulle would have been delighted. No sir, you do not get away with putting down the BEF or claiming victimhood or playing the “no true Frenchman” game. The BEF sailed away to fight again, while Frenchmen asked to be repatriated and most of those not in the colonies laid down arms until 1944, barring the brave 50,000 or so Maquis who better understood honour and principle than their compatriots. Frenchmen were not deliberately bombed by the Allies. Nor is there any comparison with Iraq (unless you’re trying to make the case… Read more »

Dern
Dern
3 months ago
Reply to  Matt C

Well if you count 1940, a hell of a lot more fought on the allied side. And when you factor in the 300,000 dead, far more died fighting the axis than did fighting the Allies.

Last edited 3 months ago by Dern
OldSchool
OldSchool
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

Err what did the British Empire do to the US??

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

“Must I talk about what the british empire do to its “best friend” aka the US?”
Please do, I’m very curious, at least drop me some keywords so I can research it myself.

Steve
Steve
3 months ago
Reply to  Matt C

These types of jokes make me feel sorry for our French allies. It is generally forgotten how hard and bloody France fought WW1 and not really surprising they didn’t want it a second time.

OldSchool
OldSchool
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Thats not the issye imho. Its tge ungrateful attityde of tge French. They at times fawn over tge US ( for ww2) or the Australians ( over ww1 but now with AUKUS suddenly the Aussies are disliked and forgotten) but Britain has always been shiuldered off even tho they fought well in wa1 & 2. And as for Brexit the French hypocrisy is breathtaking. Saying the UK owes money when the French reneged on their ww1 debt to uk ( as I’ve said before in todays terms $240bn) and then there’s the rip off regarding the EIB. However one thinks… Read more »

Matt C
Matt C
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve

It’s not a joke, it’s historical fact as much as Chamberlain is. We can learn from history or whitewash it. I don’t mind not bringing up dirty laundry and letting bygones be bygones, but when I see active revisionism, then yes I will put in my oar. The belligerents of WW1 were much the same as of WW2. What’s your point? That one had had a rough time of it before is not an excuse to truckle meekly to villainy and oppression. I think most of us here are familiar with the idea that battles are won by the breaking… Read more »

Johan
Johan
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

we accept your thanks, and just be warned, WE WONT DO IT AGAIN. stand up for yourselves. id rather join the other side, wouldnt stab in the back quite so often

Gary
Gary
3 months ago
Reply to  Johan

“In truth France was far from a nation of resisters. Anti-Nazi partisans in Yugoslavia, Poland and Greece were far more effective and constituted a substantially higher percentage of the population of each country.” https://www.historynet.com/french-resistance-resistant.htm Makes for even grimmer reading. But we are not bashing the French. But, many in France still love Napoleon? Seen as some hero figure. The fact is, France as sided with Germany on most political matters in the EU. Germany allows France to believe you are equal partners but ultimately you are subservient. Prefer to point finger at the UK, rather than the elephant in the… Read more »

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
3 months ago
Reply to  Johan

Agree. Current EU and French attitudes towards the UK and its population raise the question why should our country fight and die on European soil again? NATO treaty dictates we should and that is the purpose of a mutual defence pact. But did the French and Germans support us when a soverign part of the UK was invaded eg the Falkland idlands? Hell no. The French sold exocet to Argentina and kept their super etenard and mirage jets flying during the conflict. If thats not stabbing an ally in the back i dont know what is. UK servicemen died on… Read more »

Tommo
Tommo
3 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

I Was there for Corporate and we hated the French for their actions , my Grandfather lies at Dainville near Arras July 1918 for the Freedom of France so I have a reason too dislike the French ,one other thing more French personnel were evacuated from Dunkirk ,than troops from the Highland division those boys fought on and were not evacuated

Mark B
Mark B
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

Whilst I suspect everyone is joking I also detect some uneasiness discussing sometihng which started as an inspired victory by a detestable regime and ended with the free countries of the world ensuring that they remained that way by working together to defeat facism. Victory came thanks to the help of the Russians and oddly Hitler’s own incompetance. We got lucky and therefore we sometimes forget that we only achieved final victory by working together. Let’s hope we never let our guard down again.

John Clark
John Clark
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

Oh, I really wouldn’t open that particular Pandora’s box Hermes …. I used to own a holiday home in Normandy and every Christmas the grateful Germans used to send a Christmas tree for collaborating in WW2.😉

Hermes
Hermes
3 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

Well, I’m not really someone who keep his mouth closed when people insult the deaths.
I can understand from stupid civilians without any respect for the uniform.
Less from people on a defense website generally close to the values of the uniform and duties.

John Clark
John Clark
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

It’s meant to be a little good natured ribbing Hermes, probably best steer clear of any BEF references though, let’s respect the enormous number of British and Commonwealth lives that were lost liberating our French friends in two Wars mate…

Re your German reference, while I wouldn’t doubt the French elements would be up for the fight, the Germans won’t deploy any combat elements…

Hermes
Hermes
3 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

Dont worry.
I can respect all deads and argue with stupid jokes on the web, I’m multitask 😎
For the last 2 centuries France and UK have fougth together on a lot of grounds and against a lot of countries.
I hope for the same in the nexts centuries.

But I prefer the UK-France love-hating relation, than bad jokes about soldiers.
Better to talk about who fishing where.

John Clark
John Clark
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

Fishing you say ….. Before we settle that one, we need to discuss the repatriation of Brittany😁

Hermes
Hermes
3 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

About that, we need to talk about how much french is the blood of the royal family of england.

That’s what is funny with UK and France, so much history to keep bother the other for at least another millenium.

John Clark
John Clark
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

Ok Hermes, I might have a suggestion for you, you take Prince Andrew and Harry and in return we will take Brittany.🤣

Feel free to wheel out and dust off the Guillotine mate…..

Hermes
Hermes
3 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

Let me think…

Well:.. no.

But I can send you a guillotine for freedo****… no costs.

John Clark
John Clark
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

Ok, now we’re getting somewhere, some common ground in Anglo French relations…

Ok, you drive a hard bargain Hermes, how about we give you alternate weekends in Gibraltar, you get cheap pubs and fish and chips ( plus the bonus opportunity, to join in the fun annoying the Spanish) , we in turn get the same in Brittany and all the wine and wonderful food we can grab?

Lets shake on the deal…..

Hermes
Hermes
3 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

“to join in the fun annoying the Spanish” I’m from the south of France, it’s a normal weekend to go at the border for that x) Dont forget the worst thing if you get the Brittany. You will have a ground border with France. Look what happens when you have a border with us: Spain ? Invaded Italy ? Invaded Germany ? Invaded (well it was not germany at this time huhu) Belgium ? Piece of cake. Swiss ? Chocolate:.. wait what ? Oh yes, they have our banks thats true. At our discharge most of these countries have at… Read more »

David Barry
David Barry
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

Hermes, do you know of any literature wrt to arrival of the French from Dunkirk and where they stayed and how they were reconstituted? TIA

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

Best not mention Mers-el-Kébir!

John Clark
John Clark
3 months ago

I was going to steer clear of that particular incident Daniele, move along now, nothing to see here….

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

😆

Tommo
Tommo
3 months ago

Why not Daniele at least we gave them a heads up prior too the bombardment

RobW
RobW
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

We also conveniently forget that we were saved by the sea. If we were attached to the European continent we would have been blown away the same as everyone else by the German advance. There were complex reasons why they were able to win, it does all those who died a great disservice to simplify it.

At least we are all free to have these debates, which came about because we all wired together, including so many brave French citizens who led the resistance.

eclipse
eclipse
3 months ago
Reply to  RobW

Well I’d disagree with the sea thing. Had we been attached to the continent our focus would have been less on the Navy and more on the army, like other European powers. Without the supremacy of the Royal Navy against all its European rivals (I mean Germany and Italy) the sea would have meant nothing.

Hermes
Hermes
3 months ago
Reply to  RobW

It’s a good thing to keep our success in mind.
But failures are really what teaches us.

I dont want to launch another debate on who was the most courageous or any sterile debate like this.

Just be humble when we talk about our dead soldiers, especially when we have both fight shoulders on shoulders in the 2 great wars.

And I hope to not see another 1940 for any of us…
We have a lot of concerns today, much more important than these bad jokes.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  RobW

Agreed.

One can look at it in so many ways.

The RAF victory in the Battle of Britain.
The might of the RN which required German air superiority.
Hitlers “halt” order when the BEF was finished.
Manstein’s brilliance.
Above all, and ignored by Hollywood which bigs up everything American, but for the Russians we might all be speaking German. The bulk of the German war effort and forces was deployed in the east. The losses the Poles and Russia especially suffered were enormous.

Matt C
Matt C
3 months ago

The Western Allies and the USSR respectively accounted for roughly the same number of Axis casualties and POWs. That the USSR incurred the losses that it did, speaks more about their capabilities than it does about their contributions.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Matt C

Did they? Never checked.

On the losses front I disagree, so I think we shall agree to disagree and leave it there then mate, regards the USSRs contributions and their capabilities, and what German forces faced them compared to the west and Africa.
Just an small observation on Hermes point of destroyed buildings and infrastructure, Oradour sur glane had over 600 examples in Bylorussia alone.

Dern
Dern
3 months ago

I think only if you count the closing days of the war, when the Wehrmacht was literally fighting for the chance to surrender to the Allies does it even come close.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Dern

Exactly. The scale of the battles, the casualties, and the forces committed dwarf all other theatres.

Damo
Damo
3 months ago
Reply to  Matt C

What?

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
3 months ago
Reply to  Matt C

Thats not technically true Matt. Sorry. Ive extensuvely studied and read WW2 military history. The Russians fought and defeated some 350 axis army divisions on the Eastern front. The Western allies at no time fought and defeated more than 56 divisions.
Hence why the Russian army suffered massive attritional loses. They were fighting upto 4 million axis soldiers during 1942-1943 when the truelly gigantic land battles were being fought on the eastern front.
Russia suffered 21 million dead in WW2. 11 million military casualties mostly in the Red army.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Yes nice summary. The Eastern Front is a particular interest of mine, alongside our modern military.

Time and geographical size saved Russia, along with the elements, German mistakes, and of course the ability of the of the Red Army to take millions if casualties and still survive.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

That 56 Divisions was the garrison of France in Army Groups A and B in June 44. Many of them were skeletons, like Coastal Divisions. Few were 1st rate formations. By that point the Russian front was collapsing, Bagration was about to swamp Army Group Centre, and the Panzer Divisions of the west were outfitted better than those of the East. Even then the allies did not fight all at once, many were kept back in Calais. The British Army had to take on the role of grinder to pin down and wear out the Panzer Divisions around Caen till… Read more »

peter fernch
peter fernch
3 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

IM sitting on the sidelines enjoying all postings some say banter but the undercurrent is a little vitriolic how ever i have to intervene at your post Mr Bell which claims the Russians faced 350 divisions that seems extreme to say the least . I dont think any Army boasts a nmber even close to that , Explain your claim

Alain Conte
Alain Conte
3 months ago
Reply to  RobW

The same for USA. At the begining of the war, the US Army was weak with no experience of fighting except for some vets from WWI.

Johan
Johan
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

i doubt keeping your mouth closed is an option you use much. wave that white feather little Napolean. we really don’t care anymore.

Damo
Damo
3 months ago
Reply to  Johan

You sound like you’ve spent a long day on the ointment

Frank62
Frank62
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

I’m sorry for all the French bashing beyond friendly neighbourly banter Hermes. Without the Channel & our radar we too would’ve collapsed in 1940. We had many retreats & defeats too.(BEF Dunkirk, Crete, Libyan/Egyptian desert, Singapore, Burma, Dieppe etc.). Even the Vichy defeated our attempts to invade & take Dakar in 1940(September I think) with one of our battleships being towed home. Had we been occupied too by the Nazis there would’ve been a significant 5th column here too. The Daily Mail was very pro-Nazi until we declared war on them. The French soldier is as staunch as our own.… Read more »

Cripes
Cripes
3 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

A refreshingly honest and realistic post there, Frank62. I really don’t get this French-bashing business on here. Britain and France were both outclassed in land equipment, strategy and tactics in 1940. And training, in the UK’s case, as half the divisions in the BEF were TA with limited training. We easily forget/choose not to remember Hermes that France fielded 80% of the land forces in 1940. Indeed, Churchill lamented Britain’s failure to provide an adequate expeditionary force, for which he blamed the failure to re-arm under the Baldwin government. Had Britain been conquered, we too would without doubt have had… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

Your history needs a little more detail, monsieur. We sent 13 divisions (lead elements deploying within 24hrs of the declaration of war by the British and French governments) and a strong air force to help France in her hour of need. Both British and French forces were outmanouevred by a stronger German force. During the Dunkirk Evacuation 198,229 British personnel were evacuated and 139,997 other personnel, were also evacuated, mainly French. The rearguard action was fought mainly by the French army but also by the British 51 Highland Div. We lost 243 ships sunk and 177 aircraft destroyed. We re-appeared… Read more »

Jon
Jon
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Yes. Of course we would. When your neighbour’s house is burning, do you help put out the fire, or wait to see if it spreads?

Tommo
Tommo
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Thanks Graham for that, Yes the 51st Highland division fought on regardless too the fact that they were not going to be evacuated although a plan that could of been put into action wasn’t those boys kept fighting until most had expended what muntions were left I don’t often watch channel 4 but they had a programme about the 51st and their stand well worth watching

Tommo
Tommo
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

That funny the Highland Division Fought on until the French capitulated Hermes

dave12
dave12
3 months ago

Joking aside the French army seem to be better equipped and is larger than the UK army at the moment.

Last edited 3 months ago by dave12
Hermes
Hermes
3 months ago
Reply to  dave12

Less cut than the UK in the last decade, and more national industries.
But the french army, specially ground forces, are not in the best conditions.

Infantries are on the spot in the last years, we hope to see new individual stuffs, especially the basics such as uniform and rangers (:cry:) quality…

But for the combat readiness of this NATO leads… Well its a Franco-GERMAN unit…
Anyone really think the germans will send their guys to fight if needed ?

Last edited 3 months ago by Hermes
David Barry
David Barry
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

However, just as we had Northern Ireland which developed leadership among junior ofgicers and nco’s, you do have Mali as a live fire exercise area not to mention, with UK help, the logistics involved – something we are ignoring @daniele!

eclipse
eclipse
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

Air Force seems to be more or less similar, I still don’t understand why the french are getting 50 A400Ms and we’re stuck with only 22 AND we’re retiring the Hercules. Navy wise the U.K. is definitely ahead, with more funding, more ships, more plans and, essentially, more everything. Army wise it’s the opposite, the French Leclerc is equal to the CR2 and will likely be beaten by a CR3, but barring the Special Forces the French are probably ahead everywhere. Ajax with its advanced technologies COULD have put britain ahead in that category but they’ve just made a mess… Read more »

Hermes
Hermes
3 months ago
Reply to  eclipse

Dont forget some C17 for UK, its a good value even with only 8 of them. Dont forget the Chinook, when again the french have said “no” this month to any heavy helicopter… As for the navy, ahead, yes and no, clearly the MN is not what it was intended, but, the RN is not really far beyond, from numbers to capabilities. Amphibian ? France, thanks to the 3 Mistrals Submarine ? UK since you have 1 more SSN Surface ? For what I know, we are pretty at the same level, with advantage for France because of the cruise… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

And you still have tactical nukes, I think?

eclipse
eclipse
3 months ago

Yes, they do. Including on the CDG.

Hermes
Hermes
3 months ago

If we can call a 300kt supersonic missile with 400+Km of range, “tactical”.
Yes.

The ASMPA is used by a bomber (Rafale) squadron from France, and can be deployed by the Rafale M from the CVN.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQ-jCFEdDSk

Last edited 3 months ago by Hermes
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

I also recall when France maintained its own Triad, most impressive.

Hermes
Hermes
3 months ago

Costly is probably the best description.

With the size of France, ground based missiles is almost useless.

Fun fact, the ground based missiles was at the “Plateau d’Albion”.
In France, England is greatly described as the “Perfide Albion” .

Maybe it is some subtext to understand with this choice.

Last edited 3 months ago by Hermes
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

True. Yes, fixed IRBM silos too vulnerable and pointless given the accuracy of Russian 1st strike.

Which is why I always support a SLBM deterrent.

eclipse
eclipse
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

Carrier? U.K., little competition. Air Defence? U.K. with its Type 45 destroyers which, even the USN agrees, are the best in the world. Amphibious? I disagree. It’s two Albions and 3 Bays and 4 Points against 3 Mistrals, so while the MN may have more helicopter carrying capacity on amphibious assault ships, throwing in one QE for britain solves that. The RN and RM can land many more troops than the MN. Submarines? 7 Astutes against 6 Barracuda (I’ll count future not current) isn’t much of a competition again, Astutes are far more capable and almost 50% larger. Patrol? Hands… Read more »

Hermes
Hermes
3 months ago
Reply to  eclipse

For carrier operations, Its more complicated than that. Having 2 STOVL vs 1 CATOBAR, its not an easy equation. When available the CATOBAR is far superior in overall capabilities. Like I said on another post, the QE really lack of refuel capability for their F35. But ofc, having only 1 carrier is such a weakness… I prefer to avoid the issue and say we complete each other :d For amphibian, I must desagree, I prefer the Mistral class. Each mistral can deploy up to 500 troops (With vehicle), versus the 405 of the albion. A QE can give you some… Read more »

eclipse
eclipse
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

There is no way to justify the superiority of a single 40,000 tonne carrier over two 70,000 tonne ones. There just isn’t. QEs are getting cats and traps for UAVs, and those will be able to in air refuel. QE’s can sortie many more jets, as well as being able to carry many more jets. QE can provide helicopters, Albions + Bays = 1900 against Mistral’s 1350 and fewer helicopters. Don’t forget the Bays, they’re very important to British amphibious capability. VLS shortage… definitely. Type 26 is FINALLY going in the other direction and hopefully Type 32 and type 83… Read more »

Hermes
Hermes
3 months ago
Reply to  eclipse

Sorry but you must not compare 42 000 tons CATOBAR CVN and 65 000 tons STOVL GAS. One of the reason the QE is big is also because he need to store a lot of fuel for himself. Size doesnt mean everything. A Rafale have the same payload than the F15, with 6tons of difference (MTOW). CATOBAR means: Farther (Refuel), bigger(Full payload), better awareness(Hawkeye). (And I keep out of the table the nuclear strike capability of the Rafale M on board of the CDG with the ASMPA, even if diplomatically, its important) All of these means also 2 things: -Farther… Read more »

Max Jones
Max Jones
3 months ago
Reply to  eclipse

There’s no way a 40kt carrier is equal to the 65kt ones the UK have, true.

But France is a lot further along in its carrier development right now and generally can provide a much more capable air wing on board its single carrier, even if it available far less often.

Dern
Dern
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

In all capabilities? Can CdG maintain AEW 24/7? Because a QE can. Does CdG embark 5th gen fighters? QE can. How many Allies can cross deck onto CdG?

Hermes
Hermes
3 months ago
Reply to  Dern

AEW 24/7, probably not on the long run. But 2 Hawkeye are far superior to a crowsnest, farther, longer, better… And its coming to be far better with the E2D. I agree, a third on the deck can only be better, but ofc the CDG is small. “5th gen” fighters or not on board is more complex than what you seem to think. Especially with less than half the range of a Rafale/F18/F35C… Not without a reason if the USN want a F18ASH or another fighter than the F35C. (How many times before you will have the F35B to replace… Read more »

Dern
Dern
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

AeW any less than 24/7 is not AEW. Doesn’t matter how good you platform is if you have to have it down for maintenance it’s inferior.

I suggest you look at the range of qn F18 it’s actually less than an f35s combat radius.

Japan, US, Italy, South Korea, and Singapore all can cross deck with the RN qnd all are operational in combat areas. (On the subject how many carriers operate Rafale?). Italian F35s have already operated off QE too.

Plus we can afford 2, qnd don’t rely on the US to qualify our pilots, unlike the MN.

Hermes
Hermes
3 months ago
Reply to  Dern

“if you have to have it down for maintenance it’s inferior.” Same with the Crowsnest… You need more of them because to cover the same area for the same time… “I suggest you look at the range of qn F18 it’s actually less than an f35s combat radius.” Since you cant refuel the F35B from the QE, no, Rafale/F18/F35C have a lot more range… “Japan, US, Italy, South Korea, and Singapore all can cross deck with the RN qnd all are operational in combat areas.” Being able to crossdeck in peaceops doesnt mean being able to do it in war… Read more »

Dern
Dern
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

Wrong! RN has enough crowsnest to maintain 24/7 unlike CdG. Funny how you try to wriggle around that fact, but it doesn’t change the truth: CdG doesn’t have enough. Again trying to wriggle around facts, but F35s range is actually better than an F18 (and good luck to a Rafale that is in a F35s combat radius). Basically the MN is incapable of cross decking, buy the RN has proven it can do it, so like everything else you’re pretending that it doesn’t happen. RN, MM, and USMC have all cross-eyed aircraft qnd other nations listed can do so. The… Read more »

Hermes
Hermes
3 months ago
Reply to  Dern

How can you be so wrong and dont understand anything ?
Especially about the Trident and F35 manufacturing…
Sad to see you dont even know you country.

“Basically the MN is incapable of cross decking”
Clearly
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnBcSjs_QLo

Well, I will stop here, since you are not able to understand the basics, and visibly dont even know your country and industries.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

Regards Trident, some areas require clarification, but I believe Dern is correct. “Our” Trident missiles are pooled with US ones and maintained at Kings Bay. So yes, not totally sovereign. The warheads within are British versions, with assistance from LANL, so not totally sovereign. Warheads are created, stored, maintained, rotated, and issued in the UK, so sovereign. Operationally, the most important bit, Trident is sovereign. It can be fired by the UK without US permission. There is no magic plug where the US can “turn it off” From DCMC, NOTC, CTF345, at the top of the firing chain downwards. I… Read more »

eclipse
eclipse
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

As for the C-17s, I’m not certain if 8 of them are strategically more valuable than 28 A400Ms.

Hermes
Hermes
3 months ago
Reply to  eclipse

Well, I dont think so, but they exist and they are important.

chris
chris
3 months ago
Reply to  eclipse

The C-17 and C-5 are the only western heavy lifters that can carry a main battle tank. A400M cannot.

John Clark
John Clark
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

Swings and roundabouts Hermes, the good thing is between us, we have the mass and equipment to compliment each other….

dave12
dave12
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

👍

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago

I won’t bash the French Army, although as a Brexiteer I get the joking as I share the scepticism regards EU and politics.
The British Army, with exceptions, like our professionalism and training, SF, and so on, is an absolute shambles by comparison kit and ORBAT wise.

David Barry
David Barry
3 months ago

See above – thoughts?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

And CS/CSS wise!

I see my constant sermons regards the need for the less sexy but vital enablers has certainly been noticed by you David!

As it is, despite 33 Infantry Battalions and 9 assorted RAC Regiments, we can barely put 3 brigades with supports into the field.

Cripes
Cripes
3 months ago

31 infantry bns Daniele, once 2 Mercian have been put into suspended animation.

We can’t really count the Royal Gib regt, it’s got one (?) regular infantry company and a couple of reserve companies, it’s not a regular bn in any sense.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Cripes

Ah, true that. I was also including 3 R Gurkha Rifles in my 33 which won’t now form. Its 2 companies have gone into Ranger Btns.

I wasn’t including R Gib Reg. Yes, it has 1 regular company, a reserve company, a battery, and other small bits and pieces.

John Clark
John Clark
3 months ago

I would have to agree unfortunately Daniele….

The bulk of the Army is tilting into a state of shambles, years of procrastination, piss poor procurement decisions and a head shed full of Colonel Blimps, determined to keep cap badges at any cost….

These people actually seem to fight and lobby far harder to keep bloody cap badges, than anything else…

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

John, I think you overstate the preservation of cap badges. Whilst in this 2021 review I think that no capbadges were lost although I am not sure – don’t the 4 Ranger battalions lose their original capbadge?
However, in most, if not all defence reviews since WW2, then capbadges have been lost, despite some rearguard action from the senior serving and retied officers.
I doubt many regiments have been unaffected by battalions being axed or amalgamated over the years. How many of todays teeth arm regiments have a cap badge older than 30 years? Not many, I guess.

David Steeper
David Steeper
3 months ago

I know it’s in jest but I wouldn’t criticise the French Army right now. I’d swap their Army equipment plan for ours in a heartbeat.

Rob
Rob
3 months ago

I find it very sad that people seem to want to slap down the French on here. Look France has been a loyal ally since 1904, suffered millions of casualties defending democracy and liberty and continues to be the UK’s second most important ally. Remember present tensions with France are temporary and political whilst our ties in terms of values, geography and family are permanent.

OldSchool
OldSchool
3 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Loyal ally! Err it is the UK that is the loyal ally. France desperately wanted UK support pre-WW1 to balance up vs the more powerful Germany. The UK more than fulfilled its obligations in WW1…..France later reneged on its war debts to UK….about $240bn in todays terms. Realoyalty eh! Italy also failed similarly…so then the UK couldn’t pay bsck the Americans wgst it owed. So when WW2 came along…the US wouldn’t loan to UK so to get material aid the UK had to do a fire sale of assets. And as for the French inWW2 enough said ….except at wars… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by OldSchool
Meirion x
Meirion x
3 months ago
Reply to  OldSchool

“…so then the UK couldn’t pay bsck the Americans wgst it owed.”

Not True!
The UK did Not owe the Americans anything pre-WW2. It was the reluctance of American politicians to get involved in WW2 pre-PH in 1941. You may of meant France owed America for it’s defense in WW1.

OldSchool
OldSchool
3 months ago
Reply to  Meirion x

No. I’m pretty sure the UK owed money to the US in ww1. But as France and Italy didn’t pay back Britain it couldn’t pay the US whst it owed etc. Thats not to say France didn’t owe the US directly itself – it did. In todays terms France owed the UK about $ 240b and the US even more $320bn. These are admittedly my own figures ( based on Gold price then and now – a very good way of showing the devaluation of money post gold standard). The original figures were $3bn & $4bn was in a US… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by OldSchool
Tommo
Tommo
3 months ago
Reply to  Meirion x

America although neutral prior too the zimmerman cable ,were producing munitions for the Allies at a cost especially from Black Tom Isle New York until it was sabotaged and blown Sky high there’s still shrapnel damage too the statue of liberty

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
3 months ago

One of the reasons for an increase in defence spending, they appear to be acquiring a lot of new kit!

“France continues to raise defence spending, which will reach EUR40.9 billion (nearly USD48 billion) in 2022, a EUR1.7 billion increase on 2021.”

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/france-increases-defence-budget

22 DECEMBER 2021

France orders H160M helos for armed forces
https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/france-orders-h160m-helos-for-armed-forces

Last edited 3 months ago by Nigel Collins
Johan
Johan
3 months ago

Will they have to Ask Biden if they can start there little Tanks. cannot finish anything they start never have, Mali is now turning into another French Mess, which will require the How u say thee Run awayyy Quickley and live it to some one else.

Steve
Steve
3 months ago
Reply to  Johan

And Iraq/ afgan went smoother? Counter insurgency warfare is a mess that the west is just not capable and/or willing to fight.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve

I think the British Army has always been capable and willing to fight insurgents. Just that they are often not permitted to deploy with sufficient numbers; we really needed a division in Helmand.

David Barry
David Barry
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Should there have been upwards of 70K tasked with security in NI, all wearing the Crown in a country where some people understood the culture, most got by in the language and there was +/- a code conduct wrt civvies, how do you think a Div would have made much difference?

Secondly, Korea, interesting point came up last week – how long have 38K US Forces been deployed there? Still subject to attack, and yet over 70 years have striven to keep S Korea free.

How many years did we deliver to Afghanistan?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

I am not following your points David. We did not need upwards of 70k security forces in NI – I did not say that we did. My point about a Div being required for the UK’s Task Force Helmand was based on the size of that province (as big as wales) and the difficulty to track down and defeat small groups of well dispersed insurgents with a small Force, whilst bearing in mind that only 25% of the force would be infantry and then, not available all the time. Korea – Those 38k US troops have done a good job… Read more »

David Barry
David Barry
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

My points were: Armed Forces incl the Ulster Regt, police, security services as well as the odd one or several pilgrims popping over the water meant the Crown forces in NI numbered circa 70k(Big Boy’s Rules) and there was still shootings and bombings; a Div in our Afghan AOR where we did not share culture, language, imbedded int sources and several thousands miles from home would still not have made a big difference – we needed critical mass re the American surge. Followibg that surge, keeping the bare min. in Afghanistan could have kept the lid on things as the… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Thanks David, No matter how large Security Forces are, the insurgents will still ‘get lucky’ and accomplish some shootings and bombings. Just that they will be less lucky and more prone to capture if there is a large Security Force. Wikipedia: “In the spring of 2008, a battalion of U.S. Marines (say, 500 tps) arrived to reinforce the British presence. In the spring of 2009, 11,000 additional Marines poured into the province”. If we had a division in Helmand, the US would not have had to bail us out with a 11,500 surge. But I accept that it did not mean… Read more »

Hermes
Hermes
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Where the brits was deployed alone in the last 20y ?
Sahel is bigger than France and UK together… For only some thousands soldiers.

Barkhane was effective, but just too small to really finish this endless war.

Russia also really push the antifrench feelings in Africa.
Why fighting with them if you are not welcommed anymore ?

If we are not hit on our soil, its time to stop being in foreign countries where the people doesnt want us.
Its as simple as this, sahel:
-Costly
-Endless
-Locals doesnt want us anymore

So, just another Afghanistan.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

Hello Hermes, Havin deployed to Africa with the military and worked in Africa for some 20 odd years I have seen when the West get tired of propping up the the government the Chinese and Russians come rushing in they take any and all of the local resources from Gold, Diamonds, hard woods to bush meat and they pay for them with armaments from AK47’s and RPG’s. If you look at the Sudan which supply’s China with 12% of its oil and gas, go to port Sudan and you will see ship after ship coming in full of weapons to… Read more »

Hermes
Hermes
3 months ago

Being in Africa to work on developpement, create industries, parternship.
Yes we need.

Being in Africa with bombs, clearly no.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

Hello Hermes, Yes you are right, money talks bullshit walks as our North American brothers like to tell us but you have to be in a position of strength so you need a strong economical package along with a military presents to help train and in most cases keep an eye on the local military to keep pointing them in the right direction. As the French did in the past with Chad as it was not the French troops that kicked Gadhafi out of Chad it was the Chadian troops supported by the French. There is a sense of nationalism… Read more »

Dern
Dern
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

Sierra Leone, Northern Ireland. Didn’t have to to think about either.

Hermes
Hermes
3 months ago
Reply to  Dern

Northern Ireland? Well if you count that as a war deployment…
Sierra Leone was a good ops, but very small in size in comparison… More like Kosovo.

Dern
Dern
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

More of a war than Mali, and we actually won our unilateral deployments.

Then again Mali is only possible because of UK Strategic Airlift so that’s not exactly unilateral.

Hermes
Hermes
3 months ago
Reply to  Dern

Well Sahel, is pretty special because of its big size.
But I agree, its not the most combats intensive’s deployment.

But for logisticians, I think it was the biggest hell!

“Then again Mali is only possible because of UK Strategic Airlift”
Well, no, they help, of course, but “only possible”, its an exageration.

Dern
Dern
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

Funny you mention logistics since that’s where we had to bail you out.

Hermes
Hermes
3 months ago
Reply to  Dern

Giving a hand doesnt mean doing all the jobs.
I know its a british thing.
But ukranians companies have moved more freight than the british for the sahel ops…

But you also think the F35 and Trident are all build in UK…

Steve
Steve
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Fact is we lost. Why we lost is down to many factors, numbers being just one. I’m sure many history books will be written debating the why, with no one really agreeing on it. On paper we had more soldiers deployed than the opposition (although not really sure how accurate the predicted numbers are, but considering also ally nations and especially the US) and we went effectively into afgan to remove the Taliban and now they are back in charge. The west just isn’t setup to fight a counter insurgency war, as our morale sense of right/wrong means there are… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Steve
OldSchool
OldSchool
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve

We lost in Afghanistan becsuse there was never a chance of winning. Winning was redefined when the West decided on ‘nation building’ etc. I recall hearing about it in the media – I just shook my head ( or some such) and thought to myself that it would all go pear shaped and they’ll learn ( as in regret it when they lose). It was so obvious. Anyone who has read history ( Astan, Vietnam etc) should have got the message. We should have left after the first year.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
3 months ago

The Franco/German brigade have been in existence for some 30 years and although they have not deployed overseas together their command structure and support elements are used to working together so I think it is the best that Europe can put together at the moment. Also the Germans are coming around to the fact that they are going to have to start pulling their weight in Nato and have started to increase their commitment. Like the Japanese forces who are having to shed the “self defence force” image so that they can counter the threats of today and tomorrow and… Read more »

Hermes
Hermes
3 months ago

Anything involving the germans in a military context is a bad concept.
Waste of ressources.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

I agree Hermes, but the European members of Nato have to step up to the plate we cannot keep relying in the Americans to bail us out and the UKs army would struggle to feild a brigade strength quick reaction force so the Germans being the biggest economic power in Europe have to start putting them selves front and centre. The reason they are the strongest economic power in Europe is because they have lived under the umbrella of the US,UK and France so have not had the commitment to their armed forces as we have had to do. Other… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
3 months ago

No issue here from me. The French lads are capable, professional and know their enemy and decent in a fight! Worked with them a number of times. Ze Germans, mmmmmm, not much experience with them, bit of time at Pfullendorf with a training Fallschirmjager Para Coy, were good, but aside from that not overly impressed, or experienced many more. But that’s just a small snapshot and they could be better. Either way happy the French are pulling their weight as normal! Cheers.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

I remember stories that German troops in Afghan (ISAF) were forbidden from operating at night. Maybe an urban myth?

Hermes
Hermes
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Seeing them turn arround the FOB and visible from the FOB, and back at the first sound of fireshot.
They had orders.

Polittically they was deployed, but on the ground, you cannot count on them.

But I must precise, it was not the fault of the germans soldiers, as capable and willing as the french or UK ones (with less experiences).

Cant even imagine if we need to fight against Russia…

Damo
Damo
3 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

The voice of reason in the midst of all the France bashing

David Barry
David Barry
3 months ago
Reply to  Damo

You know the joke about the two French PARA much in love with each other, over in Brize to get UK wings?

Well Jean Paul was very scared about jumping in Brit Kit and although Andrě jumped, JP hesitated. SNCO UK PARA spoke in his ear like and said, if you don’t jump I’m gonna ram you so hard up the shItter!

André asked JP afterwards… “allors, but did you jump?”

Certainmon replied JP, but, then I enjoyed it…

@Airborne was the SNCO behind JP.

Airborne
Airborne
3 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

;0)

Hermes
Hermes
3 months ago
Reply to  Damo

french bashing is just another way to see who is interesting to read, and who is not needed in discussions.

Its much more interesting to debate than spread bad jokes.

We can also resume:
https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-adfaf7b310c927c485ddb7be0d7853d8-pjlq

Last edited 3 months ago by Hermes
Hermes
Hermes
3 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

The problem with germans are not the soldiers, but the politicians.
(A lot more than a “normal” country)

Airborne
Airborne
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

To be fair thats the case in many countries. Given the opportunity the vast majority of professional soldiers, can, will and want to get into a decent scrap. Cheers.

Hermes
Hermes
3 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Well.
A lot of countries doesnt really have a decent training.

When I said its not a problem with the germans soldiers, thats because they have a decent training and mentality.

peter fernch
peter fernch
3 months ago

Hoe Russia doesnt go active over a weekend the Germans refuse to make war until a Monday to Friday

Sean
Sean
3 months ago
Reply to  peter fernch

I was thinking same , if handover is on Saturday then it’s the perfect day for Russia to go walkabout in Ukraine. Inevitable slowed response due to the handover and NY long holiday-weekend absences.

Sebiotimo
Sebiotimo
3 months ago

I’ll like to believe that most of us commenting don’t either know Russia or we are short sighted. If a war truly breaks out, not only will anyone be able to comment, we will all be either in hell fire or paradise depending on what you do with your life. Nuclear weapons are not just toys, they destructive and will end everyone. Make peace with your neighbours. That’s the best we should preach not encouraging NATO. I just pity you all.

JOHNT
JOHNT
3 months ago

The real problem in 1940 for the French was poor communications not willingness to fight. The French had more and bigger tanks the the Germans but most had no radios and had to rely on telephone or even verbal orders. Which meant the radio equipped German forces could run rings around the poorly coordinated French forces.

OldSchool
OldSchool
3 months ago
Reply to  JOHNT

The problem was the Germans were just much better ( on land) at all levels ( especially operational and tactical) than their opponents in 1940 and for some time after that.

simon
simon
3 months ago
Reply to  JOHNT

The German fitted all there tanks with radios which no other nation did which gave them a big advantage

Tommo
Tommo
3 months ago

Happy new year too all UKDJ keyboard contributers My new-year resolution I must quit French baiting fir 2022 good luck on that one ,I WILL Really try my hardest well let’s just see

Iain Anderson
Iain Anderson
3 months ago

Franco-German force, is this the alamagated French/German/Cech/Dutch force, the EU force (EuroForce) we were told was never going to be put together when the UK’s BEXIT vote was being debated?

Tom Keane
Tom Keane
2 months ago

Multinational force, predominantly between France and Germany… green light for Russia v Ukraine then?