UK Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson has ordered hundreds of British troops to remain in Germany to deter Russian aggression.

The defense chief has decided to tear up plans to withdraw all forces from Germany by 2020, and will keep forward bases on the central European plain, The Sunday Times has learned.

Williamson will issue a stark warning to Vladimir Putin at the Conservative Party conference this month after intelligence chiefs and military commanders told him Russia was at its most dangerous since the end of the Cold War.

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"More than 200 servicemen and 400 family members will not be coming home as planned in the next year," reads the report.

Those due to remain in Germany include an engineering regiment that is NATO's main unit ensuring river crossing by tanks in locations where bridges have been destroyed.