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Military Coup...could it ever be possible?

I was just watching a BBC Panorama filmed in 1975 following a group of new Army officers as they progress through their initial training at RMA Sandhurst. All very interesting, but especially so is a question that a group of 4 soldiers, including the young Patrick Mercer, were asked. The question was: could the British Army ever sustain a successful military coup.

There are two reasons, according to one young officer, why the structure of the British Army would make it impossible. Firstly, the Army is made up of many competing Regiments. Without political masters, the Army would collapse under the weight of its own in fighting. The Army is dependant on politicians for leadership, as much as the politicians are dependant on the Army for the protection and security of the UK.

The second part to the answer is interesting. Presuming for a moment that the Army could find some unity between regiments, the world would never accept the UK under a military leadership. In order to successfully execute a coup, personnel from all over the world would have to be recalled. This would involve abandoning our NATO et. al. commitments across the globe, and irreparably damaging our relations with NATO member countries.

I thought it was interesting that officer cadets were being encouraged to debate this topic. As the program concludes, the very system (Sandhurst) that trains our officer cadets makes the possibility of a military coup impossible.