For the first time in 100 years German troops crossed into France, Oct 27, without hostile intentions.
For the first time in 100 years German troops crossed into France, Oct 27, without hostile intentions. The West German convoy, consisting of 32 trucks and 15 jeeps, rumbled through the first World War battlefield of Verdun a day after the signing of a Franco-German agreement allowing West German units to train on French soil. The advance guard of about 200 soldiers were not moved in quickly to forestall possible reaction from French demonstrators.
Two camps already selected by the Germans at Mourmelon and Sissonne, in the Champagne country, have been taken over by the new arrivals. Unlike American bases in France the German camps will remain under French Army control. To avoid offending the French population the German Soldiers - mostly young conscripts - will not use their field grey uniforms. Instead they have been issued with a special khaki uniform, The troops have also been issued with a tourist pamphlet giving a guide to the French way of life.
In all, four battalions of West German troops will eventually be stated in France. About 2,400 men will arrive with the second convoy next week. They will comprise of two parachute and two panzer grenadier battalions. Apart from training men the West German Government will use French bases to store about 70 per cent of the supplies they are supposed to keep in accordance with NATO obligations.