. I get the impression the problem the Army had was doctrinal of a strategic level, not at the tactical level.As you say Tactical initiative was fine by NCO's and lower ranked officers, the problem came when it came to do anything at the divisional level and above. There is an exceptionally good book by Anthony Cordesman IIRC, called 'Cold War, Hot Peace', which suggest the army didnt really have a strategic or operational doctrine at all before 1981. No, not all the way through its history! The idea for WW3 as best I can tell was walk backwards very slowly, sort of recreating the thin red line with Chieftains and FV432's. Nobody was much in love with it, nobody was in a mind to change it.
it seems that around 1981 we got a new Commander of BAOR called Bagnall, and at that point all previous history went out the window. He didnt just develop operational concepts, but he basically put the army on counteroffensive doctrine, that he later expanded to all of NORTHAG. The only snag was the fuel and the ammunition, but as far as operating a corp, it was a done deal. The success of 1 UK Division in Desert Storm was largely down to this.
I dont think there was as much of a problem at the lower levels. If you think back to army history, the building block has always been the battalion, and in many of the out of area operations they did, they didn't really have much else to support them. So as far as battalion level doctrine, I think we were fairly good to go. That may have left us uncertain of cross attachments, but again, if you look at the Korean war, integration of higher level elements with Battalions always seem to work ok. Im thinking of the heavy mortar battery (170 IIRC) that fought at the Imjin, that acquitted themselves well.
Well, its just a personal opinion. I think there was two armies. One of the below brigade level, the one of the Divisional and above. The one below Brigade I think was pretty good. I think to be charitable the one above brigade level lagged, and I dont believe this was a hangover from the wide horizon reforms.
Completely agree though, the real strength of the army was on its NCO's and junior officers.