Europe saw the armies of NATO and the Warsaw Pact officially launch some of the biggest manoeuvres ever staged in Europe on Monday (8 September).
GV & SV Tanks and heavy armour move along road in England towards port of embarkment. (4 SHOTS)
GV Convoy of tanks arriving and massing at port before amoving onto ferry for cross channel trip. (2 SHOTS)
GV Warsaw Pact generals in East Germany.
GV Flags of Warsaw Pact countries.
SV Two generals meeting and talking (3 SHOTS)
SV Group of generals talking.
GV Soviet general steps off plane to be greeted by other generals.
GV British troops arriving off plane and unload gear. (2 SHOTS)
SV American general takes salute.
SV _ CU Emblems of different troops in NATO Pact. (3 SHOTS)
GV Troops stand to attention as aircraft brings in more troops.
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Background: Europe saw the armies of NATO and the Warsaw Pact officially launch some of the biggest manoeuvres ever staged in Europe on Monday (8 September).
SYNOPSIS: Britain's Crusader Eighty exercise started last week when the Queen's Royal Irish Hussars left for France with one hundred and thirty vehicles including forty-six Chieftain tanks. Interest in Britain focuses mainly on the reinforcement phase in which 30,000 regular and reserve troops will join the British contingent on the Rhine.
By Monday, ten thousand troops had crossed the English Channel. The army said it had already run into problems. The system of loading troops and equipment on and off ferries proved slow resulting in hours of dockside delay.
In Potsdam, East Germany, military leaders from Warsaw Pact countries began arriving to direct more than forty thousand troops on manoeuvres. Codename for the exercise -- "Brothers-in-Arms Eighty".
It is the largest Warsaw Pact exercise staged in East Germany for ten years. The size of the manoeuvres and their coincidental timing with neighbouring Poland's labour unrest has led officials to stress the months of planning behind the operation. According to Allied Intelligence a visit to Polish ports by Soviet Warships is purely routine. Western press and military observers have not been invited and details of the operation are scarce.
Official publicity stresses Warsaw Pact armies are only strengthening their defences. But the Eastern bloc claims NATO exercises across the border are aggressive preparations for war. Defence Ministers from throughout the Eastern bloc including Cuba and Mongolia have been invited to watch the exercise.
The NATO exercises known collectively as "Autumn Forge", are the largest in thirty years with as many as 300,000 troops involved.
The aim of the operation headed by United States General Bernard Rogers, is to test NATO's reinforcement capabilities in the event of a war in Europe. Two years ago NATO member agreed to increase their mobilisation speed and "Autumn Forge" is the first practical application.As part of the test the Second American Armoured Division has been airlifted from Fort Hood in Texas. NATO has already claimed it will need more manpower to test how well NATO forces can co-ordinate and perform.