Tactics and Trade-Offs: The Evolution of Manoeuvre in the British Army

Alex Neads, David J. Galbreath

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section


Today, the dominant paradigms of land warfare in the United Kingdom stand at a crossroads. For decades, the British Army’s vision of manoeuvre has sought to balance US concepts of digital transformation with more limited UK financial resources. Now, this old paradox presents new challenges for the British Army as it attempts to rejuvenate its warfighting capabilities in a fashion fit for the future. Here, the collective obsolescence of most of the British Army’s major conventional platforms—from main battle tanks and infantry fighting vehicles to artillery systems and communication suites—simultaneously represents both a rare opportunity and an unparalleled risk. This chapter examines the continuing evolution of UK doctrine through professional debates over concepts and capabilities. It concludes that British military manoeuvre ultimately remains the product of uncomfortable trade-offs between conceptual innovation and strategic ambition on the one hand, and material reality and budgetary constraints on the other.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvanced Land Warfare: Tactics and Operations
EditorsMikael Weissmann, Niklas Nilsson
Place of PublicationOxford, U. K.
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191948220
ISBN (Print)9780192857422
Publication statusPublished - 13 Apr 2023


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