British Army Falls to Lowest Numbers in 200 Years

Territorial Army Recruitment Day Held In London
The number of regular soldiers in Britain’s army has fallen below 80,000, the lowest it has been for over 200 years, the latest manning figures show. The Army was slashed by the government from 102,000 to a target of 82,000 during the 2010 defence review – reducing it to the smallest British force since the Napoleonic Wars – driven by the austerity budget introduced by the coalition government. Reservists were expected to make up the shortfall, increasing from 19,000 to 30,000. But the latest personnel figures from the Ministry of Defence show that the army only had 79,590 trained regular soldiers in July, while the RAF and Navy also both fell hundreds short. Low morale, low unemployment and a lack of high-profile operations are all contributing to a recruitment rate at only 90 percent of target rates, officers told The Telegraph. One Army source said: “It’s a competitive market out there. In a recession we find it easier to recruit and when things are on the upturn, we find it more difficult. “When we are on operations, it’s a little bit easier strangely enough. Soldiers want to get out there and get rounds down.” Charles Heyman, editor of Armed Forces