• Short Summary

    The revelation of a proposed contingency plan by Warsaw Pact countries to send troops into Austria has caused controversy in Government and broadcasting circles in Vienna.

  • Description

    The revelation of a proposed contingency plan by Warsaw Pact countries to send troops into Austria has caused controversy in Government and broadcasting circles in Vienna.

    Details of the plan were revealed by former Major-General Jan Sejna, who was a senior Communist Partly official in Czechoslovakia, and a member of the Defence Ministry. Sejna defected to the United States in 1968, and was interviewed there recently.

    In the interview, Sejna said the plan -- codenamed "Polarka" -- involved the sending of troops into Austria and Yugoslavia. He said the plan involved occupation of eastern Austria and an invasion of Yugoslavia in the event of internal conflict, which could follow the death of President Tito.

    Sejna said the plan would also be put into operation in the case of "global conflict", or in the event of domestic upheavals in Austria.

    The Austrian Defence Minister, replaying to Sejna's statements, said the East and West military power blocs were only interested in maintaining peace. Earlier the Minister, Mr. Karl Luetgendorf, said he took the plans "very seriously", but pointed out that country would have such "planning games".

    Chancellor Bruno Kreisky said the plans were no cause for alarm, and had no political significance. He denied a report that Mr. Luetgendorf was planning to resign over the affair.

    Sejna's disclosures sparked off a television programme on the national ORF network. The programme earned condemnation from political spheres, who attacked ORF for "irresponsibility".

    The Soviet newspaper "Isvestia" said the programme "slandered the peaceful foreign policies of the Soviet Union". The news agency Tass condemned the disclosure of the plan, and said it was part of a wide-spread anti-Soviet campaign.

    Austria has been a neutral country since 1955.

    SYNOPSIS: Austrian tanks thunder through the wintry countryside, preparing for an attack by enemy troops from the east. The exercise, mounted by the Austrian Army, took place recently. It was aimed at deflecting an attack by Eastern troops on NATO areas.

    Exercises like this have a new significance. A former member of the Czech Defence Ministry, Jan Sejna, has disclosed plans for the invasion of Austria and Yugoslavia by the Warsaw Pact countries. Sejna, who defected to America in 1968, was interviewed recently.

    Asked what circumstance would have to arise for Warsaw Pact troops to enter Austria, Sejna cited three instances. He said that, in the case of global conflict, the plan provided for a lightning occupation of the whole of Austria in order to beat a possible third party to it. He said the plan would also be put into operation in the event of anti-Soviet unrest in Rumania, Hungary or Yugoslavia. This could follow the death of Yugoslav President Tito.

    Sejna said that entry to Austria wold guarantee an approach to Yugoslavia quickly, and from several sides. He said the plan -- codenamed "Polarka" -- may also be implemented in the event of domestic unrest in Austria. Such a situation could be used by the Warsaw Pact countries, he said, and the Soviet Union might be asked for the help of the Red Army.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA75CM7KFRRD9ODM7JEF4A9LR9F
    Media URN:
    VLVA75CM7KFRRD9ODM7JEF4A9LR9F
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    01/01/1974
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:02:24:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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