Publication: The Sunday Times

Full Citation

  • Title Russians Pull Back their Berlin Tanks
  • Author Terry, Antony
  • Publication Title The Sunday Times
  • Collection The Sunday Times Digital Archive, 1822-2006
  • Date Sunday,  Oct. 29, 1961
  • Issue Number 7224
  • Page Number 1
  • Place of Publication London, England
  • Language English
  • Document Type Article
  • Publication Section News
  • Source Library Times Newspapers Limited
  • Copyright Statement © Times Newspapers Limited.
RUSSIANS PULL BACK THEIR BERLIN TANKS BERLIN, Saturday. THE tactical withdrawal of a dozen heavy Soviet " Joseph Stalin " tanks to their temporary bivouac nearby this morning, has left the situation on the Berlin border at " Checkpoint Charlie " tense and liable to deteriorate again suddenly. The Russian tanks are now hidden in the bombed ruins of the former palace of the German Crown Prince, where there are 33 of them only triree minutes' drive from the border. A further 40 tanks, reported by the West Berlin authorities to be in the centre of. East Berlin this morning, were said later to have been withdrawn. The U.S. tanks, which spent 16 hours of the night and morning facing the Russian armour, were pulled back just before noon today, but heavy American armoured troop carriers, bristling with G.I.s. are still stationed in the roadway 100 yards distant and overlooking Checkpoint Charlie, the international crossing point for foreigners travelling into East Berlin. 'Test' Crossings Suspended U.S. forces in Berlin have decided, for the time being to suspend their daily " test crossings " into East Berlin with civilian cars and occupants under jeep escort. The decision was taken after the Russians had broken the deadlock in the muzzle-to-muzzle encounter . Apparently, their intention was to show that they were not accepting the U.S. thesis that by moving up tanks to the border, the Soviet accepts responsibility for administering the crossing. A Soviet official said today: " We are refusing to play the American game on this. The Russian armour was there to protect the integrity of the East Berlin authorities and East Berlin territory against American provocations, nothing more." An American twin-engined air- craft flew over East Berlin three or four times today soon after it was disclosed that Russia had pro - tested to the United States against helicopter flights in the area. The plane flew within sight of the terminal where the Russian tanks are parked. The potential risk., of the present electric atmosphere along the East - West border was revealed by an incident shortly before noon to - da y , when a furious crowd of several hundred West Berliners stampeded through rope barriers and police cordons to attack a Russian Army car carrying three officers. Banged Windows The vehicle had just crossed over into the U.S. sector from East Berlin, on its way to the inter - national air safety centre in West Berlin, when the crowd pummelled its roof and windows with their fists and shouted curses at the occupants. The Russians were escorted through the crowd by U.S. military police and West Berlin policemen. Today, East German Communist guards were again checking all civilians, including British, U.S. and French nationals crossing into East Berlin. My passport was taken away by a Communist guard and passed to a hidden control official who kept it for 10 minutes. By ANTONY TERRY