BONN, JAN. 12 -- Almost 200,000 Germans in about 70 cities joined "no blood for oil" demonstrations today against the military buildup and prospect of war in the Persian Gulf.

Protests across Europe included 40,000 people at two Paris rallies organized by the Communist Party. A U.S.-chartered supply train was delayed by a crowd in Ghambery. In London, police said about 40,000 people joined a march from Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square. A reported 100,000 Italians marched in Rome.

Here, a nationwide publicity campaign announcing the mass demonstrations warned in a German phrase meant to convey the imminence of a possible conflict: "It's 5 to 12 {midnight} -- no war in the gulf." The banners and signs that lined city marketplaces here and in several other cities were heavily anti-American. In Bonn, the central square was filled with anti-U.S. banners, but not one poster was aimed at Iraq.

"The Americans have no right to be there," said Bettina Wagner, a biology graduate student who was holding one end of a banner that said, "Americans Out of Arabia."

"All the Americans want is to rule the world and get cheap oil," Wagner said. "Iraq is being oppressed by American power lust, just like Grenada and Panama."

"But it's not just the Americans," said Andreas Hahn, a Bonn university student who argued with the anti-U.S. demonstrators for nearly an hour. "There are 28 other nations in the coalition. The Americans were the only ones able to get so many troops there quickly. The world dominance of America is over. Japan bought them up. They're not doing this for economic reasons, they're doing it to protect everyone from a terrible dictator."

Anti-war protesters maintained vigils outside the U.S. and Iraqi embassies here, while crowds ranging from the hundreds to the thousands demonstrated in cities from Berlin to Bremen. Speakers denounced the Bonn government for agreeing to send 18 Alpha jets to Turkey to defend that NATO member's border with Iraq.

About 15,000 anti-war activists gathered outside the headquarters of the U.S. Army 5th Corps in Frankfurt, where a number of police officers assigned to watch the protest used the opportunity to join the demonstrators. Another 10,000 people marched in Berlin, where police reported making five arrests after a group of several hundred anarchists disrupted the otherwise peaceful gathering.

In the former East Germany, protesters heard speeches by pastors who argued that those who took to the streets in 1989 to remove the Communist regime "did not take down one dictator to let our sons be sent to the desert to be gassed," as one speaker in Weimar said.

A poll by the respected Emnid Institute indicated this week that 70 percent of Germans oppose the use of force in the gulf. The poll said 25 percent favor an attack by the international coalition if Iraq fails to pull out of Kuwait by Jan. 15.

The chairman of the youth organization of Chancellor Helmut Kohl's Christian Democratic Party criticized the anti-American demonstrations as an act of "political blindness," saying the protests would make it easier for Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to play for additional time.

Germany has refused to send troops to the gulf because, Kohl contends, the country's constitution forbids the use of its military outside NATO territory. That view is sharply contested by many legal scholars and editorialists. The Frankfurter Allgemeine, one of the country's most conservative newspapers and a firm supporter of Kohl, this week accused the government of "inventing" a constitutional ban.