• Short Summary

    BRITISH TROOPS AND TANKS WERE CALLED TO THE EAST-WEST GERMAN BORDER AT STAAKEN IN THE SPANDAU BOROUGH OF WEST BERLIN, AUGUST 21, WITH THE REPORT OF INCREASED EAST GERMAN MILITARY ACTIVITY THERE.

  • Description


    TRANSCRIPT: BRITISH BROADCASTING CORPORATION NEWSMAN: "I'M STANDING ON THE VERY EDGE OF THE BRITISH SECTOR WHERE IT BACKS ON TO THE EASTERN ZONE OF GERMANY, I'VE COME HERE BECAUSE THIS AFTERNOON THERE'S BEEN AN ALERT AND BRITISH TROOPS HAVE BEEN CALLED OUT. THEY'RE MEN OF THE 1ST BATTALION WELCH REGIMENT, ABLE COMPANY, AND THEY'RE SPREAD ALONG TWO MILES NOW OF THIS FRONTIER. THE REASON FOR THEM BEING CALLED OUT WAS BECAUSE THERE WAS SUDDEN ACTIVITY ON THE PART OF EAST GERMAN ARMY MEN THIS MORNING. THE ARMOURED CAR BEHIND ME, HERE, AN EAST GERMAN ARMOURED CAR, FLYING THE YOUNG ARMY FLAG, ARRIVED AND WAS FOLLOWED BY GROUPS OF SOLDIERS WHO CUT THROUGH THEIR OWN WIRE. NOW THIS CAUSED THE WEST GERMANS HERE, THE WEST GERMAN POLICEMEN WHO PATROL THIS FRONTIER TO BE SUSPICIOUS, AND THEY CALLED IN THE ARMY AND OFFICERS CAME AND HAD A LOOK AND DECIDED THAT SOMETHING WAS CERTAINLY GOING ON. IT'S STILL A BIT OF A MYSTERY WHY THE EAST GERMANS HAVE CUT THEIR OWN WIRE, BUT NOW THEY SEEM TO BE STRENGTHENING IT AND PUTTING IN (DANAT) WIRE, COILS OF (DANAT) WIRE BETWEEN THE STRANDS. THIS IS AN AREA WHICH IS KNOWN FOR ESCAPING. SEVERAL PEOPLE HAVE GOT ACROSS THE FENCE DOWN HERE, AND AT THE MOMENT IT ONLY LOOKS AS IF THE EAST GERMANS ARE STRENGTHENING THIS, AND TRYING TO PREVENT ESCAPES AS THEY'VE DONE ON THE SECTOR BORDER BETWEEN EAST AND WEST BERLIN."



    "EXCUSE ME, GENERAL, HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO HAVE A LOOK YOURSELF YET AT THE SITUATION?"



    GENERAL: "ER-I HAVE. YES."



    WOODS:- "WHAT DO YOU THINK OF IT? WHAT DO YOU SEE IN IT?"



    GENERAL:- "WHAT DO I SEE, WELL THEY'RE STRAIGHTENING UP THEIR WIRE, AND I-ER THINK THEY'LL MOVE IN CONSIDERABLE NUMBERS ALONG THE SOVIET BORDER, ER-PROBABLY TONIGHT THEY'LL BE SOMEWHERE ELSE. PROBABLY FURTHER TO THE SOUTH OR FURTHER TO THE NORTH."



    WOODS:- "DO YOU SEE THIS AS AN ATTEMPT TO PREVENT FURTHER ESCAPES?"



    GENERAL:- "THAT IS HOW I SEE IT, YES."



    WOODS:- "YOU DON'T SEE IT AS ANY MILITARY BUILD-UP?"



    GENERAL:- "NOT A MILITARY BUILD-UP, NO."



    WOODS:- "IS THIS THE FIRST SORT OF ALERT THAT YOU'VE HAD SINCE THE CRISIS BROKE?"



    GENERAL:- "OH NO."



    WOODS:- "I MEAN SINCE ER-A WEEK LAST SUNDAY?"



    GENERAL:- "OH NO". "WE HAVE SEEN ON THE ALERT THE WHOLE TIME."



    WOODS:- "BUT OF THIS SORT?"



    GENERAL:- "NO, NO".



    WOODS:- "HAS THERE BEEN MUCH RE-WIRING FOR INSTANCE?"



    GENERAL:-"OH YES, THE WHOLE TIME, EVER SINCE LAST SUNDAY ER-THERE'S BEEN RE-WIRING."



    WOODS:- "DO YOU PLAN TO BRING ANY MORE TROOPS TO WATCH THEM, OR DO YOU THINK THE ONE COMPANY WILL BE ENOUGH?"



    GENERAL:- "ER - WE WILL BRING IN AS MANY TROOPS AS IS NECESSARY. AND WE HAVE THEM IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE, DAY AND NIGHT."



    WOODS:- "GENERAL, THANK YOU VERY MUCH INDEED."




    Initials JRG/V/WS/BB



    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: BRITISH TROOPS AND TANKS WERE CALLED TO THE EAST-WEST GERMAN BORDER AT STAAKEN IN THE SPANDAU BOROUGH OF WEST BERLIN, AUGUST 21, WITH THE REPORT OF INCREASED EAST GERMAN MILITARY ACTIVITY THERE.

    THE BRITISH ALERT CAME AFTER A GROUP OF EAST GERMAN TROOPS WITH ARMOURED CARS DREW UP ON THE EASTERN SIDE OF THE BORDER WHERE IT RUNS ALONG THE MIDDLE OF A WIDE ROAD, FINKENKRUGER WEG, FOR ABOUT A MILE.

    A BRITISH BROADCASTING CORPORATION NEWSMAN ON THE SPOT REPORTED (S.O.F.):
    STRENGTHENING THE FENCE AT STAAKEN FILLED ANOTHER LOOPHOLE TO EAST GERMANS WANTING TO FLEE TO WEST BERLIN. MAJOR-GENERAL SIR ROMAN DELACOMBE, THE BRITISH COMMANDANT, TOURED THE AREA AND WATCHED THE FENCE BEING STRENGTHENED DOWN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD BY EAST GERMAN SOLDIERS.

    THE B.B.C. REPORTER, PETER WOODS, INTERVIEWED THE GENERAL (S.O.F.):

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA8QZM5I8D5IUK3W1H76JVZ4U86
    Media URN:
    VLVA8QZM5I8D5IUK3W1H76JVZ4U86
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    22/08/1961
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:03:39:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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