I don't believe your first paragraph here was in any way necessary. I will address that and then hopefully we can move on. I do get it. I respect those who have served, including several close relatives, and those who do serve. I respect their experience and their knowledge, while also knowing from my own experience that they're not all experts on every aspect of defence, and nor would anyone expect them to be.You really don't get it do you? There are people on here who done this stuff in the real world and even a few, unlike the has-beens like me, who do it all day, everyday, including having deployed to combat zones. People like me, who are out of the loop are more free to talk about it than those in the loop, but there is a lot, the has beens like me are not up to speed on, though we still know more than the average person on the street or the average jouno.
On armour, armour, particularly tanks, save lives, fact. Tank units have much lower personnel requirements than infantry units but are far more survivable and have far greater combat power. The situational awareness of mounted verses dismounted is unbelievable, the networking of armour is fantastic as well. Armoured forces can cover much more ground in less time and are able to be redeployed tactically much faster than light infantry.
It feels like we are going around in circles. You have this idea that light infantry is cheaper has a lower logistic footprint and is perfectly adequate for or region. The thing is it's not survivable, nor is it able to deliver the strategic outcomes required by government policy unless it is beefed up with a lot of Gucci kit specifically developed for light forces. Start adding all this stuff and armoured vehicles don't look so expensive.
As for historically, the only time Australian forces deployed without heavy equipment was in the panicked defence stood up in 1942. Once the fighting left the mountains tanks were deployed when ever available. It's just common sense, how many men do you lose taking out a bunker? The answer when there was a Matilda available with the later 2pdr HE round is usually none.
I agree completely with you that tanks save lives, and yes, they are much more survivable, have lower personnel demands, greater combat weight, absolutely. Spot on, all of your second paragraph, couldn't agree more.
As for going around in circles, I'm far from intending that. I was asking you genuine questions. I'm interested in your thoughts. I expect we will disagree on some aspects, here and there, but I was looking for context for some of your comments.
I should add that you continue to mischaracterise my position. I didn't say scrap armour and have an all infantry army, did I?
Historically, well as you say we deployed tanks when we could, though we didn't engage in the kind of armoured warfare that occurred in North Africa and Europe. The armoured forces we raised were sent in smaller numbers to support infantry. That was the reality of the terrain in which we largely fought.