The East German Army has mounted one of the biggest displays of the country's military might in recent years.
The East German Army has mounted one of the biggest displays of the country's military might in recent years. Watched by Communist Party Leader, Erich Honecker, troops, tanks and rocket-launchers joined in manoeuvres north west of Berlin.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Honecker met with young soldiers before the display began. As part of an East German Army of 150,000 they are the main link in the Warsaw Pact's European defences. There are also 400,000 Soviet troops based in the country.
Most of the party's ruling politburo and Defence Chiefs joined Mr. Honecker for the exercise, details of which later filled the pages of the East German press. But the reports didn't give an explanation for the manoeuvres, nor did they say how many soldiers were involved. The East German Army, equipped with some of the most modern Soviet weapons, faces NATO forces along the 860 mile (1.300 kms) mile border with West Germany.
Some 40,000 East German border troops man the frontier with the West. The army, as a whole, comes entirely under the Warsaw Pact Joint Supreme Command.
East Germany military leaders reminded their forces of the need for untiring revolutionary vigilance and described their soldiers as part of a dependable workers' and peasant army.