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British Army Post Second World War Plans?!

pf matthews

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I have to admit that I am very much a Naval Buff, followed by Aircraft (both in particular relating to the United Kingdom).
There is a great amount of information available from both published and unpublished sources, and the internet regarding planned force levels and projects which did and did not make it to 'hardware' for the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force, but I am at a loss to find anything as comprehensive regarding the British Army regarding the Army's own (early and later) post-war plans for equipment, which no doubt would have been rather like the Navy planning for the refitting of it's entire carrier and cruiser fleet (pie in the sky as it were). ie: vast regiments of shiney new tanks and artillery etc.

I know this may be frowned upon, but do any members have any pointers as to where I might locate anything on such plans (and I am not just asking members to share their own hard-found research). An indication of any published sources, either in print or on-line would be very much appreciated.

Thank you
 

edwest

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I would suggest Army, Empire, and Cold War: The British Army and Military Policy, 1945-1971 by David French. It is expensive.
 

pf matthews

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I would suggest Army, Empire, and Cold War: The British Army and Military Policy, 1945-1971 by David French. It is expensive.
Thanks for that. I see what you mean about the price!
Looks as if I will just have to ‘bite the bullet’.

I will keep hunting as well though
 

uk 75

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pf excellent ask. edwest thanks for the tip. Not cheap but patience and Amatheft may provide
 

edwest

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Amatheft? Perhaps I don't want to know.
 

uk 75

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Well known company named after the virgin warriors of Antiquity along with Fleabay, well know auction site.
My lawyers assure me I can use these terms as long as I don't use the brand names
 

riggerrob

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At the end of WW 2, the British Army was broke, but generals still wanted new weapons.
For example, they fielded the first Centurion tanks just before VE Day, but it took until the late 1950s before they could afford to replace all the WW 2 surplus tanks. The British and Commonwealth armies fought the Korean War with WW 2 surplus pistols, SMGs, bolt action rifles, Bren guns, etc.

Look up the EM-2 assault rifle that was briefly adopted for British Army service. Only a few were manufactured before the USA forced the rest of NATO to standardize on 7.62 X 51 mm ammunition.
www.forgottenweapons.com has an episode or three on EM-2 development.

Even in the late 1950s, the Royal Navy was still trading guns for butter .. er .. aircraft carriers for Canadian butter. Food remained rationed in Britain until well into the 1950s.
 
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DWG

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The British and Commonwealth armies fought the Korean War with WW 2 surplus pistols, SMGs, bolt action rifles, Bren guns, etc.
So did pretty much everyone! Korea actually killed a lot of modernization programmes on the fight with what you have now principle.
 

Kadija_Man

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The weapons used in Korea were not "surplus". They were considered up to date at the time. The Australian Army used British weapons (.303in SMLE Mk.III*, Bren Gun, Owen Gun, Vickers MMG, 3in Mortar), basically American uniforms in the winter and the RAAF flew (initially) Mustangs and then later Meteor fighters. The British Army did basically the same (with .303in No.4, Sten Gun, Bren and Vickers MMG. etc.). The Canadian similar (with the exception of MBTs, they used M4a3e8 tanks supplied by the US Army). The Royal Navy flew Seafire Mk.47, Sea Furies - which while propeller driven, were still a match for the early jet fighters flown by the Communists.
 

riggerrob

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Canadian soldiers grumbled loadly about how slow their bolt-action Lee-Enfield rifles were when trying to halt Chinese/North Korea’s human-wave tactics. Lee-Enfields had a slower rate of fire compared with M-1 Garland rifles fired by neighboring American troops. Some Canadian soldiers “borrowed” American M1 carbines to improve their rate of fire.

Note that Canada was the First Nation to adopt FN FAL/C1 semi-auto rifle a few years after fighting died down in Korea.
 

Kadija_Man

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That is a question of effectiveness, not whether they are surplus or not. While the .303 SMLE was long past it's use date (it was originally intended to be replaced in 1914!) it had remained effective through WWI between the wars and WWII. The British Army had recognised the problems associated with a bolt-action and were seeking to replace it with a semi-automatic firearm but first WWI and then WWII intervened. The EM2 was meant to be it's ultimate replacement but the US Army intervened in that saga...
 
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