Soldiers are facing the undignified prospect of being forced to shout "bang, bang" on military training exercises after an admission by the Army that it is running out of blank ammunition.
The shortage is also likely to result in a large number of important training exercises being cancelled or severely restricted.
Details of the fiasco emerged after a letter from the Headquarters Land Command, the organisation responsible for training the Army in Britain, was leaked to The Sunday Telegraph.
The letter, dated June 24 2005, is headed "Shortage of 5.56mm Blank Ammunition for Cadet Force's Summer Camp" and reveals that the problem has been caused by the Defence Logistics Organisation's failure to anticipate how much blank ammunition would be needed over the summer.
Jul 18, 2005
British Army short on blanks.