British Army to serve as Europe’s first line of defence if Putin invades

In the event that Vladimir Putin strikes a NATO ally, British forces will be the front-runners in Europe’s defence.

As the UK takes over leadership of NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force on January 1, thousands of soldiers will be on high alert, ready to deploy “within days.”

“The world is a more dangerous and contested place than it has been for decades and we need NATO more than ever,” stated Defence Secretary Grant Shapps.

Chiefs of the armed forces fear that if Vladimir Putin’s forces win the largest land conflict in Europe since World conflict II, he might turn his forces against another partner.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said: “The UK is at the heart of NATO. By heading up NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force in 2024, we are taking another leading position in the Alliance, sending a clear message that Britain is stepping up to our global defence commitments as NATO enters its 75th year.

Reports in Germany had claimed earlier this year that the military alliance asked Berlin to remain in charge of NATO’s rapid reaction force for an extra year amid concern over the shrinking size of the British Army.

But in a clear message to armchair critics, Lt Col Ben Hawes said “There’s no distraction.

“If I ask for it, I get it. I don’t feel like we’ve been under-resourced. Everything has been thrown at making sure we are completely credible.”

Senior figures within the unit said soldiers are used to working with limited resources and won’t “cross the line at 100 per cent”.

But war requires the “want to fight” and Russian troops are not “up for it” despite outnumbering Ukraine with tanks and artillery systems, British squaddies believe.

Leading NATO’s elite unit will be the UK’s 7th Light Mechanised Brigade Combat Team, also known as the “Desert Rats.”

A light cavalry regiment and four light-mechanized infantry battalions, along with supporting artillery, engineering, logistical, and medical regiments, make up the brigade.

The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, the Royal Regiment of Scotland (4th battalion), and the Royal Anglian Regiment (2nd battalion) are some of the major troops.

The task force was formerly headed by the UK in 2017.

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