INTRODUCTION: The three Western Allies sharing control of West Berlin have started four days of military exercises on Tuesday (24 March).
GV American tank and moving through Tegel Forest in West Berlin. (2 SHOTS)
GV Heavy US M-60 tank passing in forest.
LV PAN M113 armoured personnel carrier firing automatic weapon and US troops running across road ZOOM TO French troops in distance PAN TO helicopter flying over.
LV Machine gun fired from armoured vehicle
LV & SV French troops running through forest and in defensive position. (2 SHOTS)
SV & CU Troops climbing aboard trucks. (2 SHOTS)
LV Helicopter flying over.
LV British engineers ferrying American vehicle over River Havel. (3 SHOTS)
SV & SV PAN German civilian taking photographs, as vehicles drive off ferry. (2 SHOTS)
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Background: INTRODUCTION: The three Western Allies sharing control of West Berlin have started four days of military exercises on Tuesday (24 March). The Soviet Union, currently involved in joint manoeuvres with Czechoslovakia and Poland, have condemned the western exercises as provocation. Units from the U.S., British and French forces are participating in the Berlin manoeuvres.
SYNOPSIS: There is little open ground around West Berlin: a city confined by a wall insulating it deep inside East Germany. Tegel Forest is one of the few recreational areas for some two million West Berliners, but they don't appear to mind the intrusion by the allies' heavy armour.
In the manoeuvres, the Americans are playing the defenders for this the West's most eastern outpost. Under cover of automatic fire they advance against the French who symbolise the attacking forces. French military officials are leading the exercises, designed to test the preparedness of the three western allies.
The exercises are the second western manoeuvres in West Berlin in the last four months. Some 2,500 French, British and American troops and 300 combat vehicles are involved. The manoeuvre plans call for exercises in West Berlin's urban districts as well as the recreational areas of the Tegel Forest and the River Havel. They also include airborne troops.
The scenario of attack and defence calls for the offensive forces to push the American troops back beyond the river. British troops organised the line of retreat across the river which provides a natural barrier between rural and urban districts. The war games call for the defending forces to regroup and launch a counter attack establishing bridgeheads back across the Havel. But NATO planners fear the defense of West Berlin may prove far more difficult in the face of real attack.