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The Secret Way 100 Royal Marines Smashed 1,500 U.S. Soldiers

100 Royal Marines
A U.S. Army mobile gun system Stryker variant belonging to Quickstrike Troop, 4th Squadron, 2d Cavalry Regiment fires at several targets during a week-long gunnery range at the Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, Feb. 14, 2019. The gunnery was the culminating event for their multi-month training progression. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Timothy Hamlin, 2d Cavalry Regiment).

Something must be said of the fighting spirit of the men who come from the British Isles, and the might Royal Marines.

During the Battle of Agincourt, fought on October 25, 1415, during the Hundred Years War, around 8,000 soldiers defeated a vastly superior force of Frenchmen.

More than four and a half centuries later, less than 200 British Army regulars and colonial troops successfully held off around 4,000 Zulus during the Defense of Rorke’s Drift in the opening stages of the Zulu War.

Here Come the Royal Marines

Last month it may have been during war-game training, but a force of just 100 Royal Marines reportedly “smashed” 1,500 U.S. soldiers. The £400million drill in California also was reported to have been cut short because the British victory was so swift and unexpected.

The Sun newspaper reported that it was expected that if the Future Command Force conducted an attack in an urban warfare exercise it would need to heavily outnumber the defending Americans. Instead by working in eight teams of a dozen Royal Marines each, the British troops successfully outmaneuvered their rivals while helicopter drones provided an eye-in-the-sky, which was used to pinpoint weak spots.

“This has overturned the principles of war,” Chief of the Defense Staff, General Sir Nick Carter told The Sun after the exercises were conducted last month in California.

“Mass is no longer the asset it once was — it is all about effect. If you concentrate your force, you are vulnerable,” added Gen. Carter. “On the modern battlefield, you want maximum dispersion to give your opponent maximum doubt. Then apply disposable technology that you don’t mind losing.”

Call in the Robots

During the recent war games, the “Ghost” copter drone was employed. It was designed to fly quietly and help reveal enemy positions, while larger quadcopter drones could also be utilized to drop off ammunition and potentially even recover wounded soldiers from the battlefield.

This could be reassuring to the British Ministry of Defence, which has sought to utilize robots to supplement its dwindling forces. It is all about doing more with fewer men – which as history has shown the British know how to do. Today’s drones could tip the scales much like the longbow did at Agincourt, while there is no doubt the massed fire from the Martini-Henry rifles and fighting from fortified positions helped ensure victory at Rorke’s Drift.

Smaller units supported by robots could be the game-changer now.

“This has turned around traditional thinking,” explained Brigadier Dan Cheeseman, head of the Royal Navy‘s hi-tech weapons wing.

The UK has also reportedly been experimenting with flying grenades, remote-controlled mortar bombs and so-called “throwbots,” which can be lobbed into buildings before soldiers conduct dangerous room-clearance operations.

“If we’d had this kit in Afghanistan, there is no doubt it would have saved lives,” added Dave Young, regimental sergeant-major of 3 Commando Brigade.

Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military small arms, and is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on

Written By

Harry J. Kazianis (@Grecianformula) serves as a Senior Director at the Center for the National Interest in Washington, D.C., a Washington D.C.-based think tank founded by President Richard Nixon in 1994. Kazianis in the past served as Editor-In-Chief of the Diplomat and as a national security-focused fellow at CSIS, the Potomac Foundation, and the University of Nottingham (UK). His ideas have been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, CNN, CNBC, and many other outlets across the political spectrum.



  1. Texan 111 1

    April 17, 2021 at 4:27 pm

    For example, the United States Marine Corps feels that a battalion of Marines would be sufficient to conquer Shanghai.

    • The Gunny

      April 18, 2021 at 10:36 am

      A battalion would be 3 companies too many


      April 18, 2021 at 4:35 pm

      This article isn’t about besting US Marines. We are built around the concept of the small tactical forces hitting the enemy fast and hard… always have been, which is why we win.

    • Derek Kantosky

      April 19, 2021 at 8:30 am

      Well it was not real war first /& those of the 1500 American soldiers that would not be killed by the bombs /& such of the 100 would be some really pissed off American soldiers & would regroup & open up cans of woop axx! On those 100 separated 8 men drone assault teams of an enemy. Drones & 8 men teams up to 100, would never gather up or even get close to capturing the remainder of those 1500 American soldiers; but we would have bern dealt a huge blow! Great Job! Britain

  2. The Gunny

    April 18, 2021 at 10:34 am

    This is what happens when you replace real leaders and warriors with PC officers and gender fluid snowflakes who put “feelings” ahead of strength.

  3. bunky

    April 18, 2021 at 4:08 pm

    Were they the US Army’s pregnant lady soldiers?

  4. TrustbutVerify

    April 18, 2021 at 4:48 pm

    Conquer and hold is the key. Sure, you might outmaneuver someone this way – or you might just as easily be isolated and destroyed in detail once the other side adjusts. The invasion of Iraq was the same way – over quickly, but in need of either a cooperative population (eventually got through bribing tribes NOT to fight or to fight with us) or a much larger garrison force to be EVERYWHERE.

  5. Mark Matis

    April 18, 2021 at 9:49 pm

    But which was more diverse???

  6. Penny

    April 19, 2021 at 6:35 am

    Its very common for the US Military to intentionally lose to Allied forces.

    EXAMPLE About 20 years or so ago the US navy lost every air battle they had with Indian Air Forces over the Indian Ocean in a training exercise. It was all designed to get the military more money. Our aircraft were going out as single airplane sorties and flying against 9-12+ Indian AF fighters and I believe our jets were armed with only short range missiles. Needless to say all of our planes were shot down.

    In this article no mention of the back up support was given and how a kill was achieved. I have trained in Mount operations and these brits could not have carried enough ammo (bullets/grenades/MG ammo) to have taken on 1500 soldiers so the had to be calling in imaginary air strikes and artillery barrages that had pinpoint accuracy. Or maybe call in an airstrike with a MOAB. Lopsided victories like this in wargames is always a setup and farce.

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