Shocking Perspective – Ukraine’s Losses Greater Than the Whole of the British Army – In a completely hypothetical scenario – one that didn’t involve NATO and its Article 5 or the fact that no power has successfully invaded the British Isles since 1066 when William the Conqueror proved it could be done – had Russia attacked the UK instead of Ukraine, the situation might have been very different. One can only speculate if the RAF would have had another finest hour, but what is certain is that the British Army couldn’t have incurred the losses the Ukrainians have taken.
While much has been reported of the massive casualties that Russia has suffered since it launched its unprovoked and unjustified invasion in late February, Ukrainian has also seen its casualties mount.
According to a report from Axios earlier this month, up to 1,000 Ukrainian soldiers are being killed or wounded each day, and it was reported this week that Ukraine has now suffered more casualties in the four months since Russia began its attack than there are infantry troops in the entire British Army.
Sam Cranny-Evans, research analyst at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), who is focused on C4ISR – or Command, Control, Communications, Computers (C4) Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) – noted the statistics on Tuesday.
He tweeted, “Big stat: #Ukraine has lost more troops, killed and wounded, than there are infantry in the British Army.”
Ukraine: The Contemptible Little Army
Despite once having an empire on which the sun never set, the British Army was never actually that large in size. However, prior to the First World War, it was Europe’s only truly “professional army” – meaning that its ranks consisted of volunteer regular soldiers and wasn’t made up of conscripts.
That didn’t exactly earn it respect, and Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany had described it as the “Contemptible Little Army” at the outbreak of World War I. For those in the ranks at the time, they took to calling themselves “The Old Contemptibles,” a name that stuck for the duration of the war.
The size of the British Army swelled during that horrible war, and it would be likely in such a conflict with Russia today that tens of thousands, likely even hundreds of thousands of British men and women would again join the fight. Yet, the fact that so many brave Ukrainians have been killed – and that the numbers are now greater than much of the UK’s ground fighting force – shows how serious this war has become.
It remains unclear how long either side can actually keep up the fight, but Ukraine has certainly shown that it is unwilling to surrender and continues to fight hard for every inch of its territory. For the Kremlin, which no doubt expected a swift victory, the war has simply shown that its force isn’t “contemptible” – it is shameful.
Now a Senior Editor for 1945, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes.