British public will be called up to fight if UK goes to war because ‘military is too small’, Army chief warns

23 January 2024, 21:47 | Updated: 24 January 2024, 20:44

The British military is too small, the army chief will warn
The British military is too small, the army chief will warn. Picture: Getty/Alamy
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

The British public faces being called up to fight in the event of a war with Russia because the military is "too small", the head of the Army will warn.

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General Sir Patrick Sanders will warn the Government of the need to "mobilise" the public if the UK goes to war with Russia, The Telegraph reports.

Sir Patrick wants British men and women to be prepared to fight if Nato goes to war with Russia, who have gained the upper hand in its invasion of Ukraine.

It follows a warning by a senior Nato official that the West faces all-out war with Russia within 20 years.

Read More: War hero Ben McBean says Brits would need to be dragged ‘kicking and screaming’ if conscripted to fight in Russia

Members of the British Army Royal Irish Battle Group
Members of the British Army Royal Irish Battle Group. Picture: Getty

Admiral Rob Bauer said that although Nato and member governments are readying themselves for conflict with Vladimir Putin's regime, civilians must realise that they also have a role to play.

He told reporters last week that civilians would have to be mobilised in large numbers if war broke out, and governments would have to prepare for how to manage that process.

LBC Views: Gen Z will not accept conscription as the price of previous generations’ failures

Read more: 'There's a 1939 feel': Tobias Ellwood warns UK 'complacent' after army chief says Brits face being called up to fight

Former Defence Secretary Ben Wallace with General Sir Patrick Sanders
Former Defence Secretary Ben Wallace with General Sir Patrick Sanders. Picture: Alamy

Meanwhile, Sweden, who is preparing to enter the Nato alliance later this year, has also warned its citizens it could soon be fighting in all-out war.

The country's defence minister Carl-Oskar Bohlin recently told citizens: "The world is facing a security outlook with greater risks than at any time since the end of the Second World War.

"Are you a private individual? Have you considered whether you have time to join a voluntary defence organisation? If not: get moving!"

Mr Bohlin's words have sparked a rush to join volunteer organisations and are said to have increased sales of torches and battery-powered radios.

Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin. Picture: Alamy

While the British Army chief does not support conscription, he does believe there needs to be a "shift" in the mindset of regular Brits.

Sir Patrick wants regular Brits to 'think more like troops' in case all-out war with Russia does break out.

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