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Former senior officer warns that Britain’s ‘laughably’ small tank fleet would be destroyed by Putin’s forces within two weeks in a conflict with Russia.



Britain’s tank fleet is facing criticism from ex-senior officer Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Crawford, who warned that the country’s small tank fleet would be wiped out in just two weeks by Vladimir Putin’s forces in a war with Russia. Crawford, who served in the army for 20 years, highlighted the precarious nature of the UK’s Armed Forces and mentioned that the US no longer sees the UK as a ‘Tier One’ military power. He expressed concerns about the insufficient number of Challenger 3 tanks, with only 148 set to be built by 2030.

Crawford compared the current situation to the height of the Cold War when the British Army’s Royal Armoured Corps could field around 900 main battle tanks. He emphasized that the current fleet of 148 tanks would only be enough to support two armoured regiments and reserve and training vehicles, leaving the UK vulnerable in a conflict scenario. Crawford pointed out that even Ukraine, which lost around 3,000 tanks in just two years, serves as a cautionary tale for Britain’s insufficient quota of vehicles.

In addition to the tank fleet concerns, General Sir Richard Shirreff also raised alarms about the state of the UK’s Armed Forces, citing damaging shortages that could hinder the deployment of troops. Shirreff stated that ammunition is in crucial short supply, and the UK may struggle to send a significant army force into the field due to the impact of ten years of cuts. The former Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe stressed the need to replenish supplies and address the existing vulnerabilities.

Highlighting the threat posed by Russia, General Sir Richard Barrons warned that Putin could potentially target Britain with missiles similar to the ones used in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Barrons estimated that an attack could involve Russia firing dozens of missiles at speeds of 600mph, capable of reaching Britain in just 90 minutes. He expressed concerns about the UK’s lack of air and missile defense systems, which could leave the country vulnerable to such an onslaught.

In conclusion, the warnings from military experts highlight the need for the UK to address the deficiencies in its Armed Forces and enhance its defense capabilities in the face of evolving threats. With concerns about the adequacy of the tank fleet, shortages of critical supplies, and the potential vulnerability to missile attacks, there is a pressing need for the government to prioritize strengthening the country’s defense capabilities. Addressing these issues will be crucial in ensuring the security and preparedness of the UK in the increasingly complex global security landscape.

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