The British public will be called up to fight if the UK goes to war because the military is too small, the head of the Army is to warn.
General Sir Patrick Sanders will stress the need for the Government to “mobilise the nation” in the event of war with Russia in a speech on Wednesday.
With the British Army being reduced to its smallest size for centuries, The Telegraph understands Gen Sir Patrick, who has been openly critical of troop cuts, wants British men and women to be prepared for a call-up if Nato goes to war with Putin.
It 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, which would require wholesale change in their lives.
Adml Rob Bauer said that nations needed to be prepared to “find more people if it comes to war”, and to consider “mobilisation, reservists or conscription”.
‘Shift’ in the mindset
The Army chief would not support conscription, it is understood, but believes there should be a “shift” in the mindset of regular British people, where they think more like troops, who are mentally prepared that war with Russia could happen.
Gen Sir Patrick, who will stand down as Chief of the General Staff in six months, will make his speech at the International Armoured Vehicles expo in Twickenham.
In 2022, Gen Sir Patrick used a speech to warn that the UK was facing its “1937 moment” over the war in Ukraine, and said Britain must be ready to “fight and win” to ward off the threat from Russia.
He said: “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.”