• Short Summary

    THE TWENTY-YEAR TERM OF THE NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANISATION CONCLUDES ON APRIL 4. THE NATO?

  • Description

    THE TWENTY-YEAR TERM OF THE NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANISATION CONCLUDES ON APRIL 4. THE NATO PACT WAS SIGNED BY TWELVE NATIONS AT A CEREMONY IN WASHINGTON ON APRIL 4, 1949, AND PROVIDES FOR THE COMMON DEFENCE OF FIFTEEN NATIONS.

    THE SIGNING OF THE TWENTY-YEAR TREATY CAME AT A TIME WHEN THE "COLD WAR" WAS MOST INTENSE. WESTERN POWERS, INCLUDING THE UNITED STATES, BRITAIN AND FRANCE WERE ACUTELY ANXIOUS AT THE GROWING INFLUENCE OF THE SOVIET UNION IN EASTERN EUROPE. COMMUNISM HAD BEEN FIRMLY ESTABLISHED IN HUNGARY, POLAND AND CZECHOSLOVAKIA AND GERMANY WAS SEPARATED INTO TWO REPUBLICS, THE COMMUNIST-GOVERNED GERMAN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC, AND THE PRO-WESTERN FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY.

    AT THE SAME TIME THE UNITED STATES' VIRTUAL DOMINATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS WAS ABOUT TO END. IN SEPTEMBER, 1949, THE SOVIET UNION CONFIRMED UNITED STATES REPORTS THAT A SOVIET NUCLEAR BOMB HAD BEEN DEVELOPED AND SUCCESSFULLY TESTED. IN THE SAME YEAR THE SOVIET UNION INTRODUCED A BLOCKADE AROUND BERLIN, CUTTING ALL TRANSPORT TO AND FROM THE CITY EXCEPT AIR ROUTES, WHICH WERE SAFEGUARD BY AGREEMENTS MADE AFTER THE FALL OF GERMANY AT THE END OF WORLD WAR TWO.

    UNDER THE NATO AGREEMENT MILITARY EQUIPMENT WAS STANDARDISED, AND EACH MEMBER NATION CONTRIBUTED EITHER WEAPONS OR EQUIPMENT. LATER, THE MULTI-NATIONAL CREWING OF NATO NAVAL VESSELS WAS INTRODUCED.

    THE FIRST SERIOUS INTERNAL CRISIS TO CONFRONT NATO CAME IN 1960 WHEN FRANCE SUCCESSFULLY TESTED ITS FIRST NUCLEAR BOMB, AND BECAME THE WORLD'S FOURTH NUCLEAR POWER. THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT REJECTED A SCHEME UNDER WHICH THE UNITED STATES WOULD RETAIN CONTROL OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS UNTIL AN ATTACK WAS LAUNCHED AGAINST NATO. FRANCE DECIDED ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF ITS OWN UNILATERAL NUCLEAR DEFENCE FORCE. FRENCH DISILLUSIONMENT WITH THE MILITARY STRUCTURE OF NATO REACHED A CLIMAX IN 1966, WHEN UNITED STATES AND CANADIAN TROOP WERE ASKED TO LEAVE FRANCE AND THE NATO HEADQUARTERS IN PARIS WAS CLOSED. AT THE SAME TIME, FRANCE WITHDREW TROOPS FROM BASES IN WEST GERMANY.

    AN EXAMPLE OF THE PREPAREDNESS OF WARSAW PACT FORCES TO IMPLEMENT A LARGE SCALE INVASION WAS GIVEN IN 1968 WHEN TROOPS OF THE SOVIET UNION AND FOUR ALLIES, HUNGARY, POLAND, BULGARIA AND EAST GERMANY, ENTERED CZECHOSLOVAKIA. THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE OPERATION WAS TREATED WITH SIGNIFICANCE BY NATO MEMBERS IN NEARLY TWENTY YEARS -- WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE ABORTIVE HUNGARIAN UPRISING -- IT WAS THE FIRST TIME SOVIET TROOPS HAD BEEN MOBILISED AND BROUGHT INTO OPERATION IN A SUBSTANTIAL WAY.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA7MM49QEPAN740FK6L77YEKXCU
    Media URN:
    VLVA7MM49QEPAN740FK6L77YEKXCU
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    21/03/1969
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:07:17:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

Comments (0)

We always welcome comments and more information about our films.
All posts are reactively checked. Libellous and abusive comments are forbidden.

Add your comment