New Army chief tells troops to be ready to fight Russia in World War Three

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Britain's new Army commander has told the nation's soldiers they must be ready to fight in a potential World War Three.

The country's top general, Sir Patrick Sanders, has promised to put together a military force that can defeat Russia following their invasion of Ukraine.

Gen Sanders only assumed his new role on Monday but, in a message to his troops that conjured up a chilling reminder of World War Two, he wrote: "We are the generation that must prepare the Army to fight in Europe once again. There is now a burning imperative to forge an Army capable of fighting alongside our allies and defeating Russia in battle."

As Chief of the General Staff, though, Gen Sanders is now in charge of the smallest British army since the early 18th century with Government cuts having reduced its size to 73,000 soldiers.

Even though Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged "not to cut our armed forces in any form" back in 2019, the army is also losing 800 armoured vehicles and 80 tanks.

But Gen Sanders – the former Rifles commander – understands the gravity and purpose of his new position and the situation in Ukraine, adding: "I am the first Chief of the General Staff since 1941 to take command of the Army in the shadow of a land war in Europe involving a continental power. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine underlines our core purpose – to protect the UK by being ready to fight and win wars on land."

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The 56-year-old has previously led tours of Afghanistan and Iraq and is committed to modernising the Army, while wanting to respond quicker to overseas crises in future.

If successful in those ambitions, it would help strengthen Nato and "deny Russia the chance to occupy any more of Europe”.

Gen Sanders, who as commander of Strategic Command from 2019 until last month oversaw all UK Special Forces, also insisted the Army had to "deter Russian aggression with the threat of force", adding: "It is my singular duty to make our Army as lethal and effective as it can be. The time is now and the opportunity is ours to seize."

  • World War 3
  • Russia Ukraine war

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