BAOR in the 1980s: Changes in doctrine and organization

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With the debates over flexible response, FOFA and INF dominating British thinking about NATO in the 1980s, it has been easy to ignore the major changes which have occurred over the past 7 years in BAOR, changes which have produced a quiet revolution not only in 1(BR) Corps (the main British fighting unit in Germany), but which have spread to the whole of Nato’s Northern Army Group (NORTHAG). The organizational changes outlined in John Nott’s 1981 defense review, the major reequipment programme undertaken during the “years of plenty” in the early 1980s, and the changes in doctrine launched by General Sir Nigel Bagnall in 1983–1985 whilst commander of 1(BR) Corps, and completed by his successor General Sir Martin Famdale in 1986, have combined to produce a “new-look” BAOR. This article examines these changes in organization, doctrine and equipment, and attempts to identify some of the problems which BAOR faces in the late 1980s, and will probably continue to experience in the early years of the next decade.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-394
Number of pages18
JournalDefense Analysis
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 1988


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