The might of France's military forces went on show in Paris today (July 14) in the annual Bastille Day parade.
The might of France's military forces went on show in Paris today (July 14) in the annual Bastille Day parade. Thousands of tourists crowded the Champs Elysee, and President Goerges Pompidou took the salute as ten thousand military personnel marched down the wide avenue. Supersonic jets roared overhead, followed by other aircraft and helicopters, and tanks, armoured cars, personnel carriers and rockets rolled past the reviewing stand in the 75-minute parade. No new weapons were on display, but a contingent of women from all three branches of the forces took part in the parade for the first time since World War II. As far as the crowds were concerned, they shared top popularity rating with the famed Foreign Legionaries -- in the parade for only the second time since the Algerian revolt in 1961. The Legion was unpopular with the late President De Gaulle for its part in the revolt. This year, Bastille Day, -- the anniversary of the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789 -- may mark another revolt. For French police clashed today with demonstrators trying to prevent the famed Les Halles exhibition centre and market place from being demolished tomorrow (July 15).