Betcha didn’t know that James Blunt once saved the world. The pop singer has cocked the eyebrows of conspiracy theorists with the assertion that he prevented World War III by disobeying a general’s orders during his tenure as a British soldier.
Blunt, who was a cavalry officer in the British Army before leaving the service in 2002 to launch his music carerr, told BBC Radio over the weekend that he was willing to risk a court martial by rejecting orders from an American general during the Kosovo conflict in 1999. Blunt’s unit of Life Guards was at the head of a column of 30,000 NATO troops in the war-ravaged nation. The unrest that occurred over the taking of the Pristina airfield was widely reported at the time, but it is the first time Blunt has spoken about his role in it. The “You’re Beautiful” singer told 5Live he was ordered to seize an airfield that had already been taken over by Russian troops.
“We had 200 Russians lined up pointing their weapons at us aggressively, which was… and you know we’d been told to reach the airfield and take hold of it,” Blunt told the Pienaar’s Poltics.
“I was the lead officer with my troop of men behind us… the soldiers directly behind me were from the Parachute Regiment, so they’re obviously game for a fight. The direct command [that] came in from General Wesley Clark was to overpower them. Various words were used that seemed unusual to us. Words such as ‘destroy’ came down the radio,” the singer said.
When questioned if following General Clark’s orders could have started World War III, Blunt replied “absolutely.”
“Fortunately, up on the radio came General Mike Jackson, whose exact words at the time were, ‘I’m not going to have my soldiers responsible for starting World War III’,” added Blunt, who was 25 at the time. “And after a couple of days the Russians said, ‘hang on, we have no food and water. Can we share the airfield with you?'”