After months of drought, this year's traditional celebration of Bastille Day took place in the French capital, Paris, on Wednesday (14 July) in a heavy downpour of rain.
LV President Giscard standing up in military vehicle driving down road lined by crowds
GV Crowds standing in rain with umbrellas up
GV President walks up to official rostrum
GV Female service personnel marching along street (2 shots)
GV Troops marching past
GV Military officials saluting
GV VIPs on Officials rostrum - including President - watching parade
GV Armoured military vehicles down street (2 shots)
GV Tanks down street (2 shots)
GV Gun carriers down street
SV President watching parade
GV Military personnel carriers passing in parade
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Background: After months of drought, this year's traditional celebration of Bastille Day took place in the French capital, Paris, on Wednesday (14 July) in a heavy downpour of rain.
SYNOPSIS: Despite the rain, however, President Giscard d'Estaing arrived bare-headed in an open jeep, to inspect the Parade in the Avenue de Friedland near the Charles de Gaulle Square. But the rain meant that the Air Force fly-past had to be cancelled.
The rain also soaked the thousands of spectators who had turned out to watch the Parade of service personnel and equipment. About eight thousand, nine hundred troops took part in the parade, and 554 vehicles, including 195 armoured vehicles.
The Parade was again held in the capital's tree-lined main avenue, the Champs Elysees, after two years during which it had been held in the working quarter of eastern Paris. In previous years it had started with Air Force jets sweeping low over the capital, trailing, red, white and blue smoke.
But this year the visibility over Paris was so bad that the aircraft did not even take off. Also in contrast to previous years, there was no display of tactical nuclear weapons. Last year the parade offered the French public its first full glimpse of the country's Pluton nuclear weapon.
Others sections of the French military machine which were not represented this year, were the Foreign Legion and the paratroopers.
However, many of the French military training establishments were represented, including the infantry school of the Gendarmerie, the Navy School, and the Air Force training centre. The crew of the nuclear submarine "Le Terrible" also took part in the parade, as well as 276 cavalry troops of the Republican Guard.