• Short Summary

    INTRODUCTION: A 24-hour civil defence exercise was held in West Germany on Saturday (7 November).

  • Description


    GV Staff walking into bunker 0.06
    SV INTERIOR Person shutting door 0.10
    CU ZOOM OUT TO SV Console panel and operator on phone 0.14
    SV Headquarters deputy leader announcing emergency 0.21
    sv Staff member reading out data through microphone 0.30
    SV Crosses being marked on plexiglass wall 0.40
    CU Radio equipment TILT DOWN TO tape recorder working 0.48
    SV Person adjusting marker on map 0.53
    GV Leader charting movements on map 1.02
    CU Sign PULL OUT TO GV Man at microphone 1.15
    CU Illuminated map ZOOM OUT TO GV entire map 1.22
    SCU Men with retractors marking map 1.38
    GV Banks of teleprinters 1.42
    SV Workers at desks 1.47
    GV PAN AROUND Operations room 1.54

    Background: INTRODUCTION: A 24-hour civil defence exercise was held in West Germany on Saturday (7 November). Secret command posts, sited underground, alerted civil defence units throughout the country.

    SYNOPSIS: A Visnews cameraman was granted a rare chance to film at a secret bunker near Bad Kreuznach, which controls civil defence for the Rhineland Palatinate and Saarland. It is considered one of the most important in the West German network. Officers at the command post kept local centres informed on latest developments in simulated enemy air attacks and military progress by opposing forces they had codenamed 'bandits'.

    The underground bunker, spread throughout four storeys, has a staff of more than 120 people manning its complex operations.

    The civil defence system that had existed in Nazi Germany was completely dismantled by occupying forces after World War Two. So it's had to be built from scratch.

    West Germany would be in the front line in the event of conventional, or any form of nuclear, attack. This exercise shows how the federal government are trying to set up the core of civil defence. Their efforts gained impetus from recent remarks by NATO Secretary General Joseph Luns. He told a NATO Council meeting that member states were not doing enough to protect civilian populations if any conflict breaks out.

    The government supports the building of nuclear shelters in private houses -- shelters complying with standards of shock-proofing, safety regulations and so on. Citizens are encouraged through subsidies and income tax rebates.

    So far, some six per cent of German citizens have built shelters in their houses, sparse national protection compared to the 90 per cent of Swiss people who already have sound and well-stocked shelters.
    InitialsBB Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

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    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Issue Date:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
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