British troops must prepare “to fight in Europe once again” as the battle in Ukraine rages on and intensifies, General Sir Patrick Sanders who succeeded General Sir Mark Carleton Smith said.
“There is now a burning imperative to forge an Army capable of fighting alongside our allies and defeating Russia in battle,” Sir Patrick wrote to his charges, according British press. The new professional head of the British Army, said that his “singular duty” would be to “make our Army as lethal and effective as it can be.”
Gen Sir Patrick Sanders issued the rallying cry to troops — telling them they need to be ready to face Russia on the battlefield.
Gen Sanders, who started the job last week, addressed all ranks and civil servants in an internal message on 16 June, seen by the BBC. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine shows the need “to protect the UK and be ready to fight and win wars on land”, he says. He added the Army and allies must now be “capable of…defeating Russia”.
A defence source told the BBC’s defence correspondent Jonathan Beale the tone of the message — issued on the Ministry of Defence’s internal intranet — was unsurprising. They said all armies train to fight, but the threat has clearly changed.
Gen Sir Patrick noted in the message that he was 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 major continental power”.
He added: “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine underlines our core purpose — to protect the UK and to be ready to fight and win wars on land — and reinforces the requirement to deter Russian aggression with the threat of force.”
He noted “the world has changed since the 24th February and there is now a burning imperative to forge an Army capable of fighting alongside our allies and defeating Russia in battle”.
Gen Sir Patrick also set out his goal to “accelerate the mobilisation and modernisation of the Army to reinforce Nato and deny Russia the chance to occupy any more of Europe… we are the generation that must prepare the Army to fight in Europe once again”.The Russian invasion of Ukraine has changed the outlook and context for the Army, which faces cuts to the workforce in the coming years.—BBC News