UK troops to withdraw from Germany by end of decade under MoD plans

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The UK military's long march out of Germany begins on Thursday when the Ministry of Defence announces details of a pullout that will eventually cover all 20,000 British troops there.

Under the plans, 1,800 will leave by next January, and then there will be a steady return home of another 8,200 by 2015. The rest will be back in the UK before the end of the decade – 15 years earlier than first proposed.

The pullout has been accelerated as part of the cuts announced in last year's Strategic Defence and Security Review, which was an attempt to streamline the armed forces at a time when billions were being taken out of the defence budget.

The British bases in Germany still represent the biggest deployment of UK forces overseas. With civilians, families and children, the British contingent in the country stands at more than 43,000....

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