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UK public faces call-up to defend country against Russia, warns army chief

General Sir Patrick Sanders

The head of the British Army has warned UK civilians would need to be called-up to defend the country against Russia.

General Sir Patrick Sanders said it was “essential to plan for national mobilization”.


He said lessons had been learned from the current Ukraine conflict and the value of a citizen army.

Baltic and Scandinavian countries are bolstering its forces with non-military people.

Although against conscription, General Sanders said citizens need to defend the country in a time of conflict.

Speaking at a conference on armoured warfare in London, General Sir Patrick said:

“We need an Army designed to expand rapidly to enable the first echelon, resource the second echelon, and train and equip the citizen army that must follow.

“Within the next three years, it must be credible to talk of a British Army of 120 000, folding in our Reserve and strategic reserve. But this is not enough.”

He added: “This is our 1937 moment.

“We are not at war but must act rapidly so that we aren’t drawn into one through a failure to contain territorial expansion.”

The British Army faces imminent Government cuts; it will soon at its smallest size for hundreds of years.

General Sir Patrick’s call comes after a senior NATO military official warned that private citizens should prepare for an all-out war with Russia in the next 20 years.


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