NATO commanders put on a show of strength during a tank competing exercise in Germany, as Russia flexed its muscles by parachuting tanks onto a battlefield. Six Nato allies competed in the Strong Europe Tank Challenge in the town of Grafenwoehr yesterday, with Austria coming first to beat France, Germany, Poland, Ukraine and the USA. The competition, held for its second time, tested soldiers on vehicle identification, battle damage assessment and precision manoeuvres.

Lt Gen, Ben Hodges, the commander of US Army Europe, has said the competition was designed to help build a team spirit between the six nations. Nato, increasingly at odds with Russia over their perceived ambitions in Europe, held the event across five days. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s troops were seen practising dropping tanks onto a battlefield on the same day. A BMD-4M tank was dropped from the back of a Ilyushin Il-76 cargo plane from 800m. READ MORE