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Old 10-24-2010, 03:13 PM
Ironside Ironside is offline
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Default British Army Equipment in the Later Twilight War

I am working on expanding information on the British Army and this is a first draft of a part of it. I would be grateful for any comments or criticisms anyone cares to leave.

British Army Equipment in the Later Twilight War

The British Army has never been a particularly visible part of British society, outside of garrison towns, except during a major war; so many minor wars and actions have taken place that there is no authoritative list of them. During ‘peacetime’, e.g. when military actions and casualties are not front page news, equipment for the army is not a priority. The British Army has learned therefore to avoid throwing anything away if they can possibly help it. Obsolete or surplus equipment can be found squirreled away in obscure stores and depots which proved a great boon to the British Army during the Twilight War.

Artillery is a huge consumer of ammunition; no commander in modern history has ever had enough smoke for instance. When the 155mm ammunition began to run short old 5.5” guns were taken from storage and the School of Artillery Trials Unit to make use of the large stocks of 5.5” ammunition remaining in storage. The 51mm mortar L10 was designed from the outset to be able to use the extensive stocks of 2" mortar ammunition.

Although MBTs became rarer on the battlefield, anti-tank capability was still most important. As the supply of MILAN missiles dwindled the BAT Wombat L6 returned to the fray. Likewise, instead of the LAW 80, the 84mm ‘Carl Gustav’ was brought back into service; to the severe disgruntlement of those tasked with carrying it’s 14.2kg empty weight!

The armoured units would have been in direr straits without the Chieftains of the war reserve; some of them with the Chieftain/Challenger Rearmament programme, some without. Even the remaining 1950’s vintage Saracen and Saladin armoured cars were used to great effect.

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Old 10-24-2010, 06:11 PM
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Looks good so far, and I'm looking forward to further posts!

Its always funny how much "older" equipment remains stashed away in warehouses and depots. I can name several posts in the US that still had stockpiles of M-1 Garands and BARS, still in the original crates, and still waiting to be issued.
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Old 10-24-2010, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by dragoon500ly View Post
Looks good so far, and I'm looking forward to further posts!

Its always funny how much "older" equipment remains stashed away in warehouses and depots. I can name several posts in the US that still had stockpiles of M-1 Garands and BARS, still in the original crates, and still waiting to be issued.
Lee,

A friend said he saw thousands of US-made FN-FALs (built as the T47) in storage back in the 90's. However, I seem to recall at that point when bases were closed and facilities reorganised a lot of the old gear was disposed of. Another friend who had been a guerrilla in Africa said M14 rifles started arriving in bulk at that time via clandestine aid and the black market and were much preferred over the Kalashnikovs. The former were well-maintained and well-made, while the latter were the worn-out dregs from Central and Eastern European arsenals.

That said, the massive base-closures and disposal happened in response to the end of the Cold War and largely formed part of the "peace dividend". As T2K is an alternative timeline, it's quite possible this course wasn't taken and all or most of the old ordnance is still around!

Tony

Last edited by helbent4; 10-24-2010 at 07:07 PM.
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Old 10-24-2010, 08:19 PM
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Looks good so far, and I'm looking forward to further posts!

Its always funny how much "older" equipment remains stashed away in warehouses and depots. I can name several posts in the US that still had stockpiles of M-1 Garands and BARS, still in the original crates, and still waiting to be issued.
Heh. I read of a pre-WW2 US infantryman who was at Fortress Monroe (or some other Virginia-area coastal fort). While renovating or remodeling some part of the fort, they broke through a stone or cemented wall to find several cases of factory-fresh Civil War-era rifled muskets, still in preservative grease. The author was still pissed that he couldn't keep one, but they were sold to the officers instead.
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Old 10-24-2010, 08:35 PM
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I wouldn't be surprised to see the British 25-pounder field gun recalled to service either because I think the British were still producing ammunition into the 1980s for it to sell to former Commonwealth countries that still used it as their main artillery.

Given the situation in Northern Ireland at the time, the British Army apparently had a very large fleet of Saracen APCs but there are other vehicles that would probably have been still in use even though they were discontinued in the real world such as the Fox armoured car (withdrawn from service in 1994 I think)

As for war stores, I would suspect that there would be huge stocks of L1A1s, Sterlings and 7.62mm Brens along with lesser stocks of SMLEs, Stens and Vickers Guns. By way of an example, here in Australia the army was disposing of war-stored SMLE rifles as late as 1991 or 92 in Western Australia (I don't know about the other states).
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Old 10-24-2010, 08:48 PM
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There was, and to my knowledge still is, a large warehouse of SMLE rifles stored up near the Queensland/NSW border. I can't say for sure, but I would guess that there are/were Brens, Vickers, Owens, Austens, etc to be found there too.
Our Company armoury even had an old Martini Henry rifle which got pulled out and put on display every year for the Company ball.
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Old 10-24-2010, 09:45 PM
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Leg,

For that matter, a friend of mine related how when they were clearing out some basement rooms at a militia armoury here in Vancouver they found uniforms and kit dating back to WWII.

A different friend said his reserve unit saved weapons that had been written off or otherwise forgotten. Like FN C1A1s and C2A1s that had been rebuilt, 81mm mortars that were forgotten when the regiment (the Seaforth's) got rid of it's mortar platoon, C6 GPMGs and C9 SAWs that had been declared inoperative but rebuilt over time by bored armourers.

For that matter, the cadets apparently use FNs (C1A1s) and SMLEs chambered for .22 ammunition, and the Northern Rangers certainly use the SMLE through the north.

Tony
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Old 10-24-2010, 10:32 PM
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For that matter, the cadets apparently use FNs (C1A1s) and SMLEs chambered for .22 ammunition...

Tony
In my T2K timeline, the various governments have weapons like these farmed out to young teenagers and hunters.
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Old 10-24-2010, 11:53 PM
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Although the letter of the law says certain weapons and classes of weapons are illegal and through a number of amnesties, buyback schemes, etc they've all been removed from public hands, you can bet on finding all sorts of goodies squirrelled away out of sight.
Here in Australia, semiautomatic rifles and shotguns have been illegal (or HEAVILY restricted) since the early 90's. I personally know of a few caches here and there though of unregistered weapons which if found by the police would get the owners a serious stint in prison.
It's funny really that the weapons themselves are illegal, but the ammo is still freely available (provided you have a liciense). Even some parts can be had fairly easily over the counter.
Depending where in the country one is, sometimes you can get away with carrying an officially illegal firearm - the police themselves in outback (aka country) areas often have a few tucked away for hunting on their days off (sometimes obtained when handed in by concerned citizens for "destruction".
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Old 10-25-2010, 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by StainlessSteelCynic View Post
I wouldn't be surprised to see the British 25-pounder field gun recalled to service either because I think the British were still producing ammunition into the 1980s for it to sell to former Commonwealth countries that still used it as their main artillery.

Given the situation in Northern Ireland at the time, the British Army apparently had a very large fleet of Saracen APCs but there are other vehicles that would probably have been still in use even though they were discontinued in the real world such as the Fox armoured car (withdrawn from service in 1994 I think)

As for war stores, I would suspect that there would be huge stocks of L1A1s, Sterlings and 7.62mm Brens along with lesser stocks of SMLEs, Stens and Vickers Guns. By way of an example, here in Australia the army was disposing of war-stored SMLE rifles as late as 1991 or 92 in Western Australia (I don't know about the other states).
Fox was indeed withdrawn in the mid 1990's IRL, but in a Twilight Timeline (particularly v1), I think it's highly likely that it would have stayed in service, particularly with the Territorial Army Recce units. You'd also likely see a number of Ferrets.

As well as older equipment remaining in use, there's also the possibility that newer equipment might have come into service earlier if the Cold War had carried on (for example IRL Challenger 2 didn't go into service until 1998, although first deliveries took place in 1994). In my T2K World I also brought forward the introduction of the A2 version of the L85 so that it came into service in time to equip front line units (as a knock on effect this obviously led to increased numbers of A1's in reserve stocks).

You're right about the Army having a number of different vehicles because of the situation in Ulster...off the top of my head I would expect that as well as the Saracens some Humber Pigs and Shorland armoured cars (Long Wheel Base Land Rovers fitted with some armour plating and a machine gun turret) might make an appearance on the mainland during 1998 and 1999. Tigger may well be able to suggest others...

Just a few thoughts...

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Old 10-25-2010, 06:09 AM
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Leg,
For that matter, the cadets apparently use FNs (C1A1s) and SMLEs chambered for .22 ammunition, and the Northern Rangers certainly use the SMLE through the north.

Tony
The Cadets Canada and Canadian Rangers use the Lee-Enfield No. 4 Mk I in the .303.
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:13 AM
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I personally know of a few caches here and there though of unregistered weapons which if found by the police would get the owners a serious stint in prison.
Same here.
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:48 AM
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Back in 1943 the US Army Ordnance Dept was looking for a very heavily armored tank to use for attacking heavily fortified enemy positions as well as being invelnerable against all known enemy tanks. It was to have a maximum armor protection of 8 inches (300mm) and was to be armed with the newly developed T5E1 105mm cannon.

Five pilot models of the T95 Gun Motor Carriage were to be built, but due to their complex construction, only two were built by March 1945, when the project was canceled. One was destroyed by fire during one of its trail runs, one is at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland and the third is at Fort Knox, Kentucky. That's right, three models were built although the official records stated two.

When I first heard this story, I was able to look at the one on display at Ft. Knox, and I've seen photos of the remains of the burned out one. Never have had the chance to get to APG, but I have been told that there is one on display there, near the Elefant.

The story goes on that the third one was located inside a set of older warehouses that were being torn down. So the US Army managed to lose a 95-ton prototype....

Kind of makes you wonder just what is stored in government warehouses?
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Old 10-25-2010, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by dragoon500ly View Post
Looks good so far, and I'm looking forward to further posts!

Its always funny how much "older" equipment remains stashed away in warehouses and depots. I can name several posts in the US that still had stockpiles of M-1 Garands and BARS, still in the original crates, and still waiting to be issued.
Funny my shitbird doesn't belive me when I told him that Force Recon still had usable High Standard Supressed pistols in their inventories as late as 1997.

According to him he had worked with recon and all they used were M16s and Beretta M9s.

Even though i found the High Standard to be front heavy it pointed well and I wouldn't want to be a local jack rabbit.


As far as British Equipment goes I would not be very suprised if they were not improvising various munitions. heck you would probably see the few Omani vetrans left acting as senior advisors to the home guard and distributing such nice info as how to use a cup of gasoline to get longer range out of a mortar without blowing the tube.
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Old 10-25-2010, 04:29 PM
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Not sure if that would do much for the range tables - hard to hit a target with an indirect weapon if you don't have the maths ready...
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Old 10-25-2010, 05:57 PM
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The Cadets Canada and Canadian Rangers use the Lee-Enfield No. 4 Mk I in the .303.
That sounds about right. I've seen references that the Lee-Enfields issued to the Canadian Rangers was .303, not 7.62x51mm.

I have seen references who cite that the Lee-Enfields that were used by Cadets were re-chambered to .22LR (now they use air rifles). Several people I know who were in Cadets mentioned C1A1s, but it's possible this was only a local thing and not widespread, something in the past (like, 80's or 90's) or they were bullshitting. At any rate, for the purpose of my game I assume there were still stocks of FNs out there up until the 90's, when they were repurposed for national defence.

As for American weapons, I was reading how a large cache of Springfield '03s were found in 1977 and 1996 and distributed for JROTC/ceremonial use/civilian sale. So yeah, I would guess there's a lot of that stuff out there.

Tony
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Old 10-25-2010, 06:12 PM
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British cadet forces have Lee Enfields chambered for .22 rounds for target shooting, and up until recently had the L98 Cadet Rifle, a bolt action (and utterly useless) version of the L85. The thinking behind the L98 was that a bolt action rifle would be less attractive to possible theft, and harder for a cadet to do damage with than a sem-automatic weapon, should they make some kind of mistake. Despite what some people seem to think, no regular, unless they are former cadets or serving as an instructor or liasion with cadets, should ever have the misfortune of being in the same room as one of these weapons. Still, at the bare minimum they could be cannibalised for parts for L85s, as there is a reasonable amount of compatibility.

However, in real life the L98 has been replaced with a version of the L85 limited to semi-automatic fire only, the idea being that it is actually safer as this weapon can be fitted with a blank firing attachment, and not having to re-cock the weapon (with an awkwardly placed and designed cocking handle) each time means that more control can be maintained over the weapon. This weapon would also be more attractive in a Twilight scenario.
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Old 10-25-2010, 08:37 PM
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Not sure if that would do much for the range tables - hard to hit a target with an indirect weapon if you don't have the maths ready...
Well IRL since the British Troops fighting in Oman durring the late 1960~1970s were not officially at war they were not sent the last two propellant bands that the mortars they were using needed to get the maximum effective range. So the Brits improvized by poring gasoline down the mortar barrel to give the round an extra kick. Now such acts are very dangerous especially when you have friendly troops assaulting the target of the mortar.
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:00 PM
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It'd certainly work for increased range, but accuracy must have STUNK!
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Old 10-25-2010, 11:35 PM
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As well as older equipment remaining in use, there's also the possibility that newer equipment might have come into service earlier if the Cold War had carried on (for example IRL Challenger 2 didn't go into service until 1998, although first deliveries took place in 1994). In my T2K World I also brought forward the introduction of the A2 version of the L85 so that it came into service in time to equip front line units (as a knock on effect this obviously led to increased numbers of A1's in reserve stocks).
A lot of that stuff gets wonky when you start figuring in the Cold War not ending -- like with the L85A2, had West Germany not ditched the G11 project and slashed military spending fire-sale style, HK wouldn't have gone bankrupt, and wouldn't have been bought out by Royal Ordnance and probably wouldn't have gotten the contract to upgrade the L85. No Gulf War means the L85 wouldn't have been so hashed up when the rubber really met the road, which might not have provoked the powers that be to start looking at fixes.

On the other hand, Gulf War or not, a product-improved version of the L85 or a completely new replacement weapon was very overdue (as pretty much everyone in the British Army knew by the time of the Twilight War). I could see an upgrade program being implemented, possibly during '95 when the Sino-Soviet War kicks off or maybe even an emergency crash program when the balloon went up in Europe and troops began mysteriously losing the L85s and reequipping themselves with anything else that would shoot.
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Old 10-25-2010, 11:39 PM
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I have a question with seeing several photos of British troops using M-16's from the early 80's like in the Falklands to 2000's like in Afganistan. It seems like there is sometimes a guy here and there armed with a M-16 when everyone else has a L1A1 or L85. Why? What is the purpose? Is it a normal thing? I could maybe understand them using one fitted with a M203 before Britian got there own standard GL, but in some pics it's just a M-16 with no GL on it. What's the deal with that? Not all the pics are SAS guys either, some where Royal Marines and I think regular Army. Just curious to these strange sightings.
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Old 10-25-2010, 11:57 PM
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I have a question with seeing several photos of British troops using M-16's from the early 80's like in the Falklands to 2000's like in Afganistan. It seems like there is sometimes a guy here and there armed with a M-16 when everyone else has a L1A1 or L85. Why? What is the purpose? Is it a normal thing? I could maybe understand them using one fitted with a M203 before Britian got there own standard GL, but in some pics it's just a M-16 with no GL on it. What's the deal with that? Not all the pics are SAS guys either, some where Royal Marines and I think regular Army. Just curious to these strange sightings.
I'm not an expert on the ins and outs, but my understanding is that in addition to the SAS, M16s and then the UKSF version of the M4 are fielded to the SBS, Para pathfinder units, and some Royal Marine and Army units functioning in the patrols/recce role (i.e. may be wrong, but my recollection is that the cadre from the Moutain Leader school in the Royal Marines had M16s issued during the Falklands in their battlefield patrolling role).
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Old 10-26-2010, 12:08 AM
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Here in Australia the standard issue rifle was the L1A1 SLR, however in most full time units, there tended to be 3-4 M16A1s per section (One with the section commander, one with an M203 in the hands of No1 rifleman and one or two with the Scout group). Considering that a section was nine men and one of those carried an M60, that means up to 50% of all rifles (more when you take into account Plt and Coy HQs carrying the lighter weapon) were not standard issue.

Same could be true in the UK I would think, but I understand the bulk of Australia's M16s came through our involvement in Vietnam (yes, some of the rifles really are that old).
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Old 10-26-2010, 12:20 AM
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Thanks guys for the prompt replies. Those questions always puzzled me. I always kinda thought maybe it was just some kind way for them to play with different weapons so they didn't get bored or something like that.
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Old 10-26-2010, 04:23 AM
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British cadet forces have Lee Enfields chambered for .22 rounds for target shooting, and up until recently had the L98 Cadet Rifle, a bolt action (and utterly useless) version of the L85. The thinking behind the L98 was that a bolt action rifle would be less attractive to possible theft, and harder for a cadet to do damage with than a sem-automatic weapon, should they make some kind of mistake. Despite what some people seem to think, no regular, unless they are former cadets or serving as an instructor or liasion with cadets, should ever have the misfortune of being in the same room as one of these weapons. Still, at the bare minimum they could be cannibalised for parts for L85s, as there is a reasonable amount of compatibility.

However, in real life the L98 has been replaced with a version of the L85 limited to semi-automatic fire only, the idea being that it is actually safer as this weapon can be fitted with a blank firing attachment, and not having to re-cock the weapon (with an awkwardly placed and designed cocking handle) each time means that more control can be maintained over the weapon. This weapon would also be more attractive in a Twilight scenario.
Ah, the L98 - what a truly horrendous piece of When I started with the cadets we used the .303 Mk 4 Lee Enfield, which I really loved, but in fairness it was a bit of a handful for a 12 year old We also used the L81A1, which was a variant of the Parker Hale M82 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parker_Hale_M82)

Personally I really like the L81A1, despite ARRSE's damning view of it here http://www.arrse.co.uk/wiki/L81A2_Cadet_Target_Rifle

In fairness, I'd have been using it before they discovered any of the problems, and I was comparing it directly to the L98, but I did like it, and unlike the L98 I could pretty much hit anything I pointed it at - I'm pretty happy that I managed to rank second in Northern Ireland with it, consistently shooting 2" groups at 600 yards with ring sights. The L98 on the other hand I could barely hit a barn wall with, even if I was inside the barn

When did they convert the .303 to .22? We occasionally used a .22 rifle, but I've no idea what type it was. And I should point out that I left the cadets way back in '92 so I've no idea what happened after that, plus things may have been a wee bit different here in NI.
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Old 10-26-2010, 05:44 AM
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You're right about the Army having a number of different vehicles because of the situation in Ulster...off the top of my head I would expect that as well as the Saracens some Humber Pigs and Shorland armoured cars (Long Wheel Base Land Rovers fitted with some armour plating and a machine gun turret) might make an appearance on the mainland during 1998 and 1999. Tigger may well be able to suggest others...

Just a few thoughts...

Cheers
Off the top of my head other vehicles that might be available would be some of the Saracens and Pigs, as well as a load of the 'Piglets' - the armoured landrovers that preceeded the Snatch/CAV100, the Tangia armoured landrovers that the RUC/PSNI use plus all the armoured cars they use - by this I mean they are armoured variants of ordinary cars, as opposed to the normal definition of armoured cars. Tactica APCs were in used with 321 EOD over here, but I'd imagine they'd be a specialist set up inside which might not be so much use in a general role - as an aside I think the British Nuclear Constabulary (responsible for policing non military nuclear sites, as opposed to cops with nukes) used Tacticas as well. Pretty much any vehicle that served in NI, from land rovers to four tonners to diggers would have had an add on armour package, so I think there might be a lot of that available. I don't remember seeing Fox's or Ferrets over here, but I know they were deployed, although I think it was out in the cuds more than the cities. I can remember seeing rows of Saladins and Saracens parked up at Gosford Castle in Armagh. Saxons were used here, although in T2K I think they'd very rapidly have disappeared back to frontline service. Also the Tavern APV might have appeared, although I think it might be too late for use in a standard T2K timeline - which would be no great loss! It was the most modern vehicle used in NI, and they have already been scrapped and sold off through Witham Specialist Tenders as apparently it was absolute bollocks. It was based off a commercial cash in transit van, had huge reliability problems and massively limited space inside.

Heres a few links for inspiration;

http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums...n-Ireland-Pics

http://www.regimental-art.com/northern_ireland.htm

http://www.clash-of-steel.org/galler...index=vehicles

http://www.arrse.co.uk/rlc/104151-no...equipment.html

http://www.warwheels.net/TavernAPVindex.html
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Old 10-26-2010, 05:49 AM
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Forgot to mention the Shorland - I've never seen one here, although I know both the RUC and UDR used them. Not sure when they were retired.
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Old 10-26-2010, 05:51 AM
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Originally Posted by HorseSoldier View Post
I could see an upgrade program being implemented, possibly during '95 when the Sino-Soviet War kicks off.
That was exactly the justification that I used. That said, the A1 version remains by far the most common variant, particularly since most of my focus has been on what's been happening in the UK itself rather than in Europe, where most of the A2's ended up.
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Old 10-26-2010, 05:53 AM
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Forgot to mention the Shorland - I've never seen one here, although I know both the RUC and UDR used them. Not sure when they were retired.
I've always been guilty of overlooking the Shorland...

Edit....one of my all time favourite T2K British vehicles would have to be the Alvis Stalwart converted into a gun truck...
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Old 10-26-2010, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by waiting4something View Post
I have a question with seeing several photos of British troops using M-16's from the early 80's like in the Falklands to 2000's like in Afganistan. It seems like there is sometimes a guy here and there armed with a M-16 when everyone else has a L1A1 or L85. Why? What is the purpose? Is it a normal thing? I could maybe understand them using one fitted with a M203 before Britian got there own standard GL, but in some pics it's just a M-16 with no GL on it. What's the deal with that? Not all the pics are SAS guys either, some where Royal Marines and I think regular Army. Just curious to these strange sightings.
It's quite likely that British troops in the early 80's used Colt M16s.

By 2000 those were probably replaced by Diemaco C7 rifles and C8 carbines, licence-built versions of AR-15 pattern weapons that are considered to be "product improved" over the original Colt designs.

"The MoD has recently acquired some £2.2 million plus worth of Diemaco C8 SFW carbines and C7A1s for special forces troops, this is in addition to the C7 rifles already used by grenadiers with M203s."

http://www.cybershooters.org/january_2001_editorial.htm

"Elements of 5 Airborne Brigade and also the Royal Marines and 22 SAS have used the Diemaco C7 and C7A1 rifles for some time, and they are also taking delivery of these carbines now as well..."

http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums...php/t-907.html

"Throughout much of the 70s, 80s and 90s, the main assault rifle of the SBS was the M16. A modern day SBS trooper is more likely to use the Canadian Diemaco C8 SFW carbine."

http://www.specialboatservice.co.uk/sbs-weapons-c8.php

"C8 carbine The [British SAS] Regiment's primary assault carbine"

http://www.whodareswins.com/weapons-and-tactics.html





"L119A1 is acutally [sic] the Canadian Diemaco C8SFW. Building upon the C8 and C8A1, Diemaco created the Special Forces Weapon (SFW), which provides an interesting combination of ideas. Featuring a longer, 16-inch barrel of a heavier profile than the C8/A1, the SFW is designed to provide a fire support capability in carbine form. The profile of the barrel is not uniform, oddly enough bulging out at the end, whereas the M4 profile barrel steps down. The front sight base is strengthened for mounting of the H&K AG-C grenade launcher. The British Ministry of Defense acquired a number of SFWs, primarily for the SAS, giving them the Land Force designation L119A1. Because of the barrel profile, another Diemaco specific mount is required at attach the M203 grenade launcher (though the British have decided to use the HK AG-C/L17A1)."

http://www.rm45.com/l119/l119a1.php

Granted, none of these are "official" sources, but googling "UK L119A1" seems to bring a lot of hits for C8s in British service. I would imagine that during the Twilight War, if a suitable replacement or upgrade of the SA-80 had not been put into service then Diemaco rifles and carbines might well be issued to British troops, as it was a proven design that was already in limited use.

Tony

Last edited by helbent4; 10-26-2010 at 07:38 AM.
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