Publication: The Daily Telegraph

Full Citation

  • Title Allied Tanks at Berlin Border
  • Author From Our Special Correspondent
  • Publication Title The Daily Telegraph
  • Collection The Daily Telegraph
  • Date Thursday,  Oct. 26, 1961
  • Issue Number 33132
  • Page Number [1]
  • Place of Publication London, England
  • Language English
  • Document Type Article
  • Publication Section News
  • Source Library Telegraph Media Group
  • Copyright Statement © Telegraph Media Group Limited.
ALLIED TANKS AT BERLIN BORDER 6-HOUR STAND-BY IN PASSES DISPUTE U.S. PROTEST: RUSSIAN 'ACTION' THREAT FROM OCR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT BERLIN, Wednesday. ORITISH and American tanks and infantry in battle order took up positions on the Berlin border for six hours to-day during the dispute over Allied rights of entry to the Eastern sector. American helicopters flew over Communist territory and three Jeeploads of heavily-armed military police crossed the border to escort a civilian who was refused entry. Two buses carrying American sightseers turned back after East German police had demanded passengers' papers. Major-Gen. Watson, American Commandant, went to see Col. Soloviev, his Russian opposite number. He told Col. Soloviev that Russia's attitude on Western access was potentially so serious that he would refer the matter to Washington on a " most urgent basis." The American Command told troops and their dependants not to enter the Eastern Sector. It wanted an id i p m G f r t s i h s c o incident-free period to permit discuss'oni'. Later Allied armour was withdrawn from the border. A Russian Embassy official uid "a strong protest, possibly backed by concrete action " could be expected after the American display of tanks. j DEJCREE DEFIED Illegal and Unacceptable Tbe cause of the tension was the refusal of civilian officials of the American administration in Berlin to obey the new East German decree and show identity documents to the East Berlin police at the Friedrichstrasse checkpoint. They recognise only Russian officials. An American spokesmen said Gen. Watson had told Col. Soloviev that East German police controls would not be permitted on American civilians using efficientlylicensed vehicles. Such restriction of free movement was illegal and unacceptable. Col. Soloviev replied that the East German decrees were binding. lt was then that Gen. Watson said he would refer the matter to Washington. When the Communists began to refuse entry to American, British ■nd French officials, American tanks and infantry were sent to the Friedrichstrasse check point. ARMY ESCORT Police in Armoured Vests One of those turned back was Mme. Lacomme. wife of tbe French Commandant Some Britons got through by "flashing™ their papers at Communist police. More armour was sent until finally there were 10 heavy tanks and three armoured troop carriers at the Friedrichstrasse checkpoint Some of the tanks carried bulldozing equipment. One American official who was stonped bv the Communists was escorted back to the Western side bv three jeeploads of heavily•rmed military police. The men wore bullet-proof vests. Later fwo American buses taking Servicemen and their families on a sightseeing tour were refused entry. After some delay they drove away from the checkpoint, BRITISH ' PRECAUTION ■ Armour Moved Forward A State Department spokesman uid the buses were ordered back to prevent further harassment to the occupants, many of whom were women. As tension mounted. American helicopters began to patrol over East Berlin. Tbis u usual practice. A company of British infantry with three 50-ton Centurion tanks nti-tank wins, armoured cars and •nt to tne mamm.m.. Gate area. This was stated by « British spokesman to be a normal precaution." A troop carrier with 20 British soldiers took up position on the PtKdamerptat7. Riflemen patrolled T road between the square and the nhurt Gate. FRENCH STRONGPOINT Dismantled After Dark French troow «« # « *"" machinegun post near^theGesundhrunnen overhead ra This vay station a, ' dismantled after dart lhe stanon is jn West Bert*, tat is administered by Eatt Ge.m.n transoort nolle* initials of the German Pfurritie Rerublic. from a water tower there. •.j.i... a,nld Bows—B«k rates orillslt •■»»■«•■ . Picture*—P»»