Anger over troop cuts plan

The biggest cuts to Britain's military strength for decades – including a 20,000 reduction in the size of the Army – will be announced today by the Defence Secretary.

The regular Army will be reduced from 102,000 to a head count of 82,000 by 2020 as the Government moves to slash defence spending.

Five infantry battalions are expected to be scrapped, although no regimental cap badges will be lost. The Yorkshire Regiment, the Mercian Regiment, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, the Royal Regiment of Scotland and the Royal Welsh are set to lose battalions.

The size of the Royal Artillery and the Royal Logistic Corps will shrink by about one-third.

Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, will confirm that the Army is to be split in two, with a "reaction" force and an "adaptable" force drawing heavily on reservists.

The planned moves have already attracted heavy criticism. In a leaked letter to the Chief of the General Staff, a brigadier in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers protested that plans to axe one of its two battalions would not "best serve" the armed forces and "cannot be presented as the best or most sensible military option".

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