Full Citation

  • Title Soviet Tanks Moved Up To Berlin Border
  • Author From Our Correspondent
  • Publication Title The Times
  • Collection The Times Digital Archive, 1785-2008
  • Date Saturday,  Oct. 28, 1961
  • Issue Number 55224
  • Page Number 8
  • Place of Publication London, England
  • Language English
  • Document Type Article
  • Publication Section News
  • Source Library Times Newspapers Limited
  • Copyright Statement © Times Newspapers Limited.
SOVIET TANKS BERLIN MOVED UP TO BORDER AMERICAN TROOPS AGAIN ESCORT CIVILIANS INTO EAST SECTOR American tanks in the Friedrichstrasse, west Berlin, yesterday. From Our Correspondent BERLIN, Ocr. 27 Tension was high late this afternoon when for the third successive day three American Army vehicles with armed soldiers escorted an officially licensed American car with civilians into east Berlin. Ten tanks and five armoured troop carriers stayed behind at the Friedrichstrasse check-point. This time four military policemen left their vehicle in east Berlin and escorted the car back on foot. The people's police made no attempt to stop them. Soon after the convoy had returned to west Berlin, communist tanks moved up to the border within 100 yards of the American side of the check point By that time the American tanks and troop carriers were on their way back. but were ordered to return to the border because of the presence of communist tanks. CHECKPOINT CLOSED The tanks on the eastern side were later on identified by a British officer as Soviet land tanks-three type T34 and four T54, the new model. At 6 p.m. the Friedrichstrasse checkpoint was closed by the communists, who claimed that it would not be opened again before the American tanks had withdrawn. Late at night the situation was unchanged. American Patton tanks and Soviet tanks which had moved closer to the border again were facing each other over a distance of about 200 yards. All Americans in civilian clothes with the exception of journalists were asked by the United States authorities tonight to stay out of east Berlin "until the situation is clarified ". Such civilians will be turned back on the western side of the checkpoint when attempting to enter east Berlin. After the arrival of about 30 Soviet tanks and armoured troop carriers and Army cars near the Brandenburg Gate in east Berlin last night British tanks and troops arrived on the westem side of the gate-early today. Three Centurion tanks were parked about 1,000 yards away ffom the gate. Meanwhile the Soviet tanks were out of sight, they were reported to be stationed on bomb sites off Unter den Linden and screened by straw mats. The British reinforcement was withdrawn during the early afternoon. A British spokesman said that the situation was quiet enough to permit the withdrawal of additional forces. American and British military vehicles drove into the east sector earlier this morning and confirmed previous reports that the tanks belonged to a Soviet unit. They also noticed increased patrols of Soviet officers in east Berlin. An American car with a captain and three men attempted to reenter west Berlin by a crossing point open for west Germans only. The car was stopped by the people's police, and the request of the American captain to see a Russian officer was not met. After an ho4r of waiting for a Soviet representative the car, without trying to force its way out, returned under protest to west Berlin via Friedrichstrasse. The three western commandants met today at the British headquarters to discuss the border situation. No details were disclosed. SERIOUSLY INJURED People's police seriously injured a young man this morning who tried to escape to the French sector. West Berlin border guards saw the man in a trench and heard him cry for help. The communists dragged him back from the border. It took more than an hour for an ambulance to arrive. Twenty persons succeeded in reaching west Berlin from east Germany or east Berlin last night. BERLIN, Oct. 27.-Tbe whole American command in Berlin was put on a state of alert for the second time in three days. The alert ended at 18.45 G.M.T. About 1,000 west Berliners near the border whistled and jeered when a Soviet Army bus, full of Russian soldiers in uniform, drove slowly between the American tanks into west Berlin. General Lucius Clay, President Kennedy's personal representative in west Berlin, issued a brief statement saying: "The fiction of an east German stoppage is now destroyed." The fact that Soviet tanks were on the scene proved that the harassments which were taking place at Friedrichstrasse were not those of the " self-styled east German Government but ordered by its Soviet masters." -Reuter.