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Kennedy Orders Battle Group of 1,500 to West Berlin

Aug. 18, 1961 - President Kennedy (pictured with West Berlin Mayor Willy Brandt in March) today ordered a battle group of 1,500 men to West Berlin to reinforce the U.S. garrison there. They are to move overland from Helmstedt along the Autobahn used to supply the Western garrisons in West Berlin. The move will emphasize the Allies' determination to defend those routes of access. Once the troops arrive, the U.S. will have increased its Berlin garrison to 6,500 men. Britain, with 4,000 troops, and France, with 3,000, are also expected to increase their garrisons.


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