Thousands of people took to the streets of Paris on Saturday (14 July), to watch the traditional military parade marking the anniversary of Bastille day.
Thousands of people took to the streets of Paris on Saturday (14 July), to watch the traditional military parade marking the anniversary of Bastille day. Because of the energy crisis, fewer units took part this year -- resulting in a fuel saving of forty percent.
SYNOPSIS: French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing has changed the traditional Champs Elysees route in recent years. This year's parade was from the Place de la Republique to the famous Bastille. The fuel-saving measures meant less than a hundred planes and helicopters took part in the fly-past. Among the eight thousand troops, was a contingent from the First Infantry Regiment -- five hundred years old.
A mounted band preceded the three hundred members of the Republican Guard cavalry whose appearance is always popular with the spectators packing the parade route.
The French military uses the Bastille Day parade to show off some of the country's most sophisticated weaponry. This year it was the turn of the new long-range 155 millimetre gun, accurate to a distance of twenty-three kilometres (14 miles).
Military hardware included a new anti-aircraft gun which fires seven hundred and fifty rounds a minute. One of the most interesting displays was a convoy of light trucks from the parachute regiment. These can be dropped from transport planes to support airborne divisions and can handle the roughest terrain. Helicopters are also invaluable support for infantry, but the Anglo-French Lynx has been developed mainly for anti-submarine warfare.