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Marines, Paratroops or just Infantry?

uk 75

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As the numbers of infantry available to Western countries have diminished, the proponents of specialist formations like marine and paratroop units have persuaded politicians to maintain them.
However, infantry more often arrives in combat by airlifter, airliner, helicopter or armored vehicle than by parachute or landing craft.
The UK is justifiably proud of the Royal Marines and the Parachute Regiment. But in increasingly straightened times, with fewer recruits able to reach their demanding standards, are these units the best use of resources?
Well equipped modern infantry deploying from armoured vehicles or helicopters have fought in most of the major conflicts since the Cold War (Falklands a one off).. These units are likely to be needed in our NATO role.
What should the balance be? The US has a similar issue as the Marine Corps are virtually a Navy, Air Force and Army of its own
 

riggerrob

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Marines are specialized infantry trained to attack shore lines. They need plenty of ships, artillery and aircraft for support.
Paratroopers often assist marines by seizing key bridges, etc. a few miles in from the beach. Marines and paratroopers have learede to fight within range of their own artillery, nanal gunfire and air force. Marines and paras have learned to take along plenty of spare radios and artillery forward observers.
Politicians prefer to send in small rading parties that have high possibilites of success: ego send specialists.
 

Pioneer

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Interesting topic and analogy uk75!

In a way, the West has become infactuated with Special Forces doing almost everything IMO. Ironically this is undoubtedly based on the notion of a cost analysis, not much different to that notion of the 50's & 60's of nuclear weapons were a cheaper form of defence and deterant, than that of conventional forces (Special Forces are cheaper than Conventional units...)
It's funny, for more than 20-years, I personally use to ask what is the relevance of the Australian Army having the likes of 3RAR as a parachute battalion, when neither the ADF or government are willing to actually equip, let alone operationally deploy them by parachute? Instead they were continuesly deployed as standard infantry.....Sadly I was seemingly vindicated when in 2011, 3RAR lost its para role, to become a Mechanized Infantry battalion...Like Ive always advocated - if you don't and arn't prepared to support it and use it, you should lose it....


Regards
Pioneer
 
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