They are not Tanks

September 5, 2007

[video:youtube:HEDRM6l0SKs]
I was in Gereshk to witness the first deployment in Southern Afghanistan of what the military would call “proper armour”. A company of Scots Guards, called the Right Flank, arrived in a large sand-cloud with more than 20 “Warrior” armoured fighting vehicles.
Soldiers frown and straighten their collars when you call them tanks because they are not tanks and the military likes this sort of thing to be clear. These vehicles, which they have had in Iraq since the invasion but not yet in Afghanistan, are designed to carry infantry in the back and deliver them to the fight protected and with the support of heavy machine guns.
Tanks are different. They have much bigger guns, are heavier, and if things are going well for them in a battle then nobody is going to dismount from one.
So British tanks have not arrived in Afghanistan but still the arrival of Warriors is an upgrade to the military capacity of note. Each weighing over 30 tons and costing several London mortgages, taking them to Afghanistan represents a further investment in the conflict.
The forces being committed to the conflict in Afghanistan are being increased.



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6 thoughts on “They are not Tanks”

  1. Peter Bach says:

    Enjoying your intimate reports tremendously. They feel direct, uncluttered, and without the baggage of too many people in between. As well as the news itself, I feel close to the men and women on the ground as a result of watching your reports from the relative comfort of a UK living room. I really want to get out there again. Thanks.

  2. Thank you for your superb work and for keeping us so well informed. It is very much appreciated.

  3. Paul Clark says:

    Thank you for your work my son is with the Scots Guards who rocked u in the video he doesnt seem so far away now.

    Cheers

  4. Gavin Philipps says:

    Vaughan,
    Hope all goes well…..look after yourself and all the best wishes from your cousin. Let me know when you get back and I’ll come for dinner at the club.

    Gavin P

  5. Patrick C says:

    Speaking as a Canadian soldier who saw British troops roll out of camp in unarmored Land Rovers, I’m very happy to hear that they are getting some armor. We’ve learned through hard experiance that our own LAV 3(a wheeled vehicle comparable to the Warrior) has been invaluable in combat and in protecting us against IEDs.

    We also discovered that we actually did need full sized tanks, and brought those too. Hopefully the British military will reach the same conclusion and bring in their Challenger tanks.

    Patrick C

  6. Simon says:

    Outstanding reporting, Vaughan. Well done! Keep your head done. Mark Fisher and I met in th estreet and were talkinabout your excellent work. Take Care, Simon

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