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British troop withdrawal info 'due in January'
The Duke of Edinburgh visiting troops in Fallingbostel. Photo: DPA

British troop withdrawal info 'due in January'

Published: 25 Dec 2012 10:23 GMT+01:00
Updated: 25 Dec 2012 10:23 GMT+01:00

British troops could be leaving Germany earlier than planned - Lower Saxony state premier David McAllister said he was expecting a new announcement in January.

Although he said that all supposed information about an early departure was just speculation, McAllister also revealed, "An official announcement of the British forces with possibly new withdrawal dates is anticipated for January 2013."

An internal note from the British military recently caused waves after it suggested that troops would be leaving Lower Saxony bases at Fallingbostel and Bergen in 2015, with the process complete by 2018 - a full two years before what had previously been expected.

"These papers describe possibilities for consideration, but are not definitive," McAllister said.

He has been to London to discuss the withdrawal of British troops with UK Prime Minister David Cameron. He has appealed for the decision not to be unnecessarily delayed.

"We hope for clarity as soon as possible over the withdrawal of British troops," said McAllister, adding that he hoped that Lower Saxony would not be completely shorn of a British military presence.

Thousands of local jobs are considered to be at risk when the British troops, their families and support staff leave Germany. Yet the plans to leave are expected to save the British defence ministry millions of pounds a year.

DPA/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

11:34 December 25, 2012 by Englishted
It is time to go ,the cold war is long over ,but they did serve their purpose for those dark times.
00:18 December 26, 2012 by Tonne
It is time for them to return home. But, like the local inhabitants, their probable future is redundancy.
12:37 December 26, 2012 by Anny One again
@Englishted..yeah,yeah.".they did serve their purpose for those dark times."

The British armed forces are due over the next decade to complete a final withdrawal from bases in Germany. But they'll leave behind a remarkable human legacy - many thousands of former soldiers who have decided to stay in Germany. In this programme Chris Bowlby goes in search of these ' British Germans', and traces their relationship with Germany and Germans. He meets a soldier who was punished by the British army for marrying a German woman just after the end of the Second World War.Nice Interview !

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0174h5t

Dark Times..Pfffft !!!
13:16 December 26, 2012 by Englishted
@Anny One again

What did the French do to the woman who were with Germans and I believe English women were imprisoned even if they were married to German men in Germany.

Yes but you are the only one who only sees one side ,and doesn't think the cold war was a dark time.

And always remember German was not the cause of WW2 ".Pfffft !!!"
23:09 December 26, 2012 by septiSeverus
Why and whats the point? We are one family.

This is not the first withdrawal for a former world empire.
01:44 December 27, 2012 by Anny One again
What's that for an answer?

Have you ever taken the time to listen to the interview? Probably not !

Many brit Soldiers enjoyed their time in Germany,it wasn`t really dark times for them,some said it was one of their best times in their entire life.

And;"Yes but you are the only one who only sees one side..."says the right one.

Better question for the real reason why your Country declared war on Germany for Poland.When you stand after WW II as enemies for nearly forty years against each other and possibly shoot down your Pilots during the Proxy War in Korea.

Btw the real cause for WW2 is lying in the wrong handling after WW1. Oxford historian Niall Ferguson reviews the world's oldest motives for war,and concludes in his book,"The Pity of War",that World War I was unnecessary.

Search on U tube;"Was World War I the error of modern history?"
02:14 December 28, 2012 by Tonne
@ Anny One again

If I may intercede on @Englishted's behalf, I believe the "dark times" he is talking about is the Cold War in general, not the experience of British troops stationed in Germany.

I have heard the programme concerning 'British Germans' and the punishment for marrying a German woman was because it infringed the non-fraternisation policy which was in place after the war. Marriages were first permitted between British soldiers and German women in 1946 and the first marriages took place in 1947 (the marriage could only take place six months after application).

The men I have worked with who spent their National Service in Germany appear to have had a great time. It was certainly better to be in Germany than to be in Korea, or Palestine, or Cyprus, or Northern Ireland.
08:31 December 28, 2012 by Anny One again
@Tonne

Your are obviously right on this.

He spoke of dark times in general and I put the dark times for the British armed forces in question.

But let's be honest when we talk about the cold war, those who grew up in the West (he obviously has) has experienced and lived on the sunny side of the World in contrast to the East.

Stable and reasonably orderly living conditions, less poverty, less competition in all fields, jobs, lower government debt etc.Sure the transformation of the former communist countries is encouraging,but I felt that time better and even safer despite the cold war.

I saw sadly rather dark times for the British armed forces for example,during the Falklands War,the two Gulf Wars and the war in Afghanistan, instead of a long term training phase during the cold war with the opponents from the Warsaw Pact.

Also, I have personally experienced twice the withdrawal of British forces,regrets have not only the locals of the garrison towns, but also some brit.Military personnel not only in financial terms.I found from time to time these opinions in the internet and in some YouTube comments as well.

I posted the link because I believed that he had also married a German woman (former posting),i assumed that it had been a similar situation with him.I guess i was wrong.
16:40 December 29, 2012 by Kennneth Ingle
I shall, for personal reasons, be sorry to see the British soldiers leave Bielefeld and am pleased that this town will probably be one of the last to see them go. The one thing I shall really miss most, is the annual German/British Christmas carol singing. The church in the middle of the town is always fully packed on such occasions. Other than in some regions of Great Britain, there is no sign whatsoever of the hostilities which once existed between our two countries.

On the other hand, There is certainly no reason now for an army of occupation to be stationed on German soil. We might, or might not agree with each other, as to whether there ever was. It is not possible and few would want to try, to rewrite history in the restricted space of these posts, but I do remember well how in a address to the British government, following WW2, Winston Churchill said, WE HAVE SLAUGHTERED THE WRONG PIG.

I do not think anybody would ever claim that he was a friend of the Nazis, but he did realise, that other fanatical organisations, of political and religious nature, were of as much, or even greater danger to the freedom of Europe.

The Germany of today appears to be quite different to that of the 1930s. Its own government takes every opportunity it can to smear as much dirt onto passed generations as is possible. Much of what is said, has more relationship to the wartime anti-German propaganda, than with the facts as they were at the time. Not only the educated Russian and Polish historians find such behaviour as rather strange, but also many older Britons who experienced the war themselves. Under these conditions, posting British troops to this country is nothing more than a waste of taxpayers money and has very few advantages. A British contingent within an army of the EU, instead of NATO, might be another question.

.
16:49 December 30, 2012 by Englishted
@Anny One again

I was not and have never claimed to been in the military ,I came to Germany through choice ,but am married to a German and have a German family.

I do think that the cold war times were dark ,when a possible nuclear war could have started (by mistake or a act of lunacy) there is still a threat I know but somehow (rightly or wrongly ) it seems safer.

If the allies had withdrawn straight after ww2 ,would the U.S.S.R have attacked ?,

we will never know .That is what I meant by they did their job a deterrent maybe.

@Tonne

Thank you.
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