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I don't have definitive information on this but I have some information to share. Germany of course, was truncated following the war. In what was left of the German nation, occupation troops from the USA, USSR, France, and Britain took up residence in their respective quarters. The USSR had by far the largest portion of Germany under their control. About half of their conquest was transferred to Poland. Otherwise about 300,000 troops were stationed in what came to be known as East Germany or the Democratic People's Republic of Germany. These units could be quickly supplemented by additional forces coming directly from the USSR (only about 300 to 400 miles away) or units in Poland, Hungary, etc. The Soviet forces remained until 1990, as I recall. At that time the USSR was basically bankrupted and unable to find quarters for the troops back in Russia. Germany (western portion) had to pay extortion money to the USSR to get these troops to leave. Supposedly the funds were used by the Soviets to build barracks for the returning troops and pay transit costs. The USA took up residence in the greater Bavarian area of southern Germany, in 1945. I don't think more than about 125,000 American troops were ever stationed in Germany. American units are still stationed in Germany to this day, with numbers around 50,000 I think. Until about 1989 these unit were highly armed with large numbers of tanks and other heavy units. The heavy involvement of the USA in the Persian Gulf region has caused these units to be drawn down, as has the collapse of the Soviet military threat. France took their slice of Germany from the western edge that abutted their homeland. The first order of business was to expel German speaking peoples whose families had lived for centuries along the western Rhine. Then the French took German POWs and put them to work as slave labor in French coal mines where thousands perished. Thousands of German army veterans joined the French military to escape the poverty and destruction in Germany. Many of these ended up fighting the French version of the Vietnam War. I have never heard how many French soldiers occupied Germany but I would think the number was fairly modest considering French resources....perhaps 50,000 or so. I think they stayed until 1954, when Stalin died, the western German nation was formed, and the political situtation had stabilized. Britain, to their credit, generally treated the German peoples well.....remarkable considering that in two world wars the main contribution of the British military was to attack innocent civilians. In WWI it is well known that the British blockade was continued for an entire year after the end of hostilities, resulting in the deaths of 1,000,000 German children and unknown numbers of adults. In WWII the stated British policy was to maim and kill civilians in order to destroy the Germany economy and social structure. Following the war the English took over the choice area of Hamburg and surrounding territories. This gave them easy access to Germany via the large ports and habors. Unlike their war time policies, the British were very civilized in their occupation. Food shipments to Germany from Britain were substantial, despite Britain being essentially bankrupted by the war. British military resources were limited nearly as much as France's, thus I suspect no many more than 50,000 or so troops ever occupied this part of Germany at one time. I believe these troops were gradually drawn down and all were gone by 1954. Other than Germany, many nations had occupying forces on their territory. the United Kingdom had several American bases for decades, and some still exist. France had American units for a time, but these were all withdrawn following France's withdrawal from NATO in 1966 (I think that was the year). Belgium continues to be the headquarters for NATO and as such has large numbers of American and British troops within her borders. Later units from Norway, Italy, etc.....even western Germany came to join these units. American units were stationed in Spain and Italy for a time and I think the USA still has Spanish bases in 2006. In the east, Soviet units were common throughout Poland, Bohemia, east Germany, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria - not being withdrawn until the collapse of the USSR in 1990. Soviet units also occupied about 30% of Austria/Vienna following the war. I believe these left in 1954 following a large extortion payment from the Austrian government.

2006-08-22 15:41:18
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