Britain: Old Regiments Just Fade Away

Old Regiments Just Fade Away

The cold war is over, so why is there so much saber rattling in Britain? When Defense Secretary Tom King announced last week that the British army will be reduced to its smallest fighting strength since 1830, the military reacted with anguished cries. The number of troops will shrink more than 40,000, to about 116,000, and the British Army of the Rhine will be halved. Twenty-two cavalry and infantry regiments -- many in existence for centuries -- will be forced to merge with old rivals.

Leading the parade of pared-down regiments: the royal household's elite Life Guards, which sprang up in...

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