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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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Warsaw Pact

Documents on the Eastern Bloc military and security organization dominated by the Soviet Union.Also known as the Warsaw Treaty Organization, or the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance. The documents span 1955 to 1988, and most come from archives in Russia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Poland. Most discuss troop movements amongst the Warsaw Pact states. Topics discussed include military exercises, cooperatives agreements, Romania and Czech military formations, and relations with the United States. See also the 1956 Polish and Hungarian Crisis, the 1980-81 Polish Crisis, the Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia, and Warsaw Pact Military Planning. (Image, Warsaw Pact leaders, 1987, Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-1987-0529-029)

  • May 24, 1972

    Memorandum by Chief of Defense Staff, 'Political-military considerations with regards to the ministerial meeting of the NATO Defence Planning Committee' (DPC), Bruxelles

    The document discusses the weak state of European defence in light of the threat posed by Warsaw Pact that continues to increase its capabilities. It underlines the minimal participation and marginal role of Italy in the alliance, demanding a more meaningful financial and military contribution.

  • May 24, 1972

    [Report on Warsaw Pact] Presentation about the information (intelligence) concerning Warsaw Pact's military potential, explained at the meeting of NATO Defence Planning Committee (Bruxelles, 24th May 1972)

    This rather technical document compares the strategic capabilities (conventional and nuclear) of Warsaw Pact and NATO. The document notes that Warsaw Pact has considerably increased its capabilities catching up with the West, and raises the question about Soviet intentions, and whether continuing armament is in line with peaceful coexistence.

  • June 01, 1972

    Letter from General Marin Nicolsecu to Vasile Glinga

    Nicolescu is informing Glinga about a conversation he had with Lt. General A.A. Dementyev about a draft of a convention on the Unified Command structure of the Warsaw Pact.

  • July 06, 1972

    General Staff of Defense (SMD) Summary Report about the meeting of NATO Defence Planning Committee at the ministerial session (Bruxelles, May 24th 1972)

    Summary of the DPC meeting in Brussels where the alliance members discussed potential responses to the increasing and modernizing capabilities of the Warsaw Pact. Although US Secretary of Defense Laird highlights US commitment to its allies, Italy and other NATO members should not resort to "optimism of convenience", but fully commit to common defense.

  • January 23, 1973

    Letter from Marshall Ivan Ignatyevich Yakubovsky to Todor Zhivkov

    A letter accompanying the official 1972 Warsaw Pact Report.

  • September 20, 1973

    Minutes of Conversation between Todor Zhivkov – Leonid I. Brezhnev, Voden Residence [Bulgaria]

    The two leaders discuss trade agreements, the situation in the Balkans, and policies toward Yugoslavia, Romania and the PRC.

  • April 30, 1974

    Report, 'NATO Conference on intelligence (AHIWG) for the review of the documents MC 161/73 and 255/73 (Bruxelles, 25th March-5th April)'

    Report from NATO's Intelligence Conference (AHIWG) where member states reviewed and updated two key intelligence documents: "Strength and Capabilities of the Soviet bloc" (MC 161/73) and "Warsaw Pact Penetration and Military Presence in the Middle East, North Africa and adjacent areas" (MC 255/73).

  • March, 1975

    Task for the Operational Command Staff Exercise Soyuz-75 for the 4th Army

    This document outlines the politico-military situation in advance of a 17-25 March 1975 operational command staff exercise. The exercise scenario begins with a conventional offensive initiated by the 'Westerners' at 0600 on 17 March which escalated to a theater nuclear war by 19 March. This briefing document for exercise participants describes the military situation as of the morning of 19 March, including the tactical information on the geographic disposition, activities, and status of Warsaw Pact and 'Western' forces, air defense, communications, electronic warfare, and the situation in the rear. Appendices (included as a .pdf) contain detailed information on: The order of battle of the troops of the 4th Army, The availability of nuclear warheads and surface-to-air missiles [SAMs] in the 4th Army, Information about the nuclear strikes of the "Westerners," Information about the nuclear strikes by the "Easterners" on troops and objectives in the "Westerners" rear, Information about the engineer troops of the 4th Army, Information about the chemical troops of the 4th Army, Information about the signal troops of the 4th Army, Information about the rear of the 4th Army, The order of battle and the identified numbering of the formations and units of the "Westerners."

  • June 11, 1975

    Todor Zhivkov’s Consultations with Soviet Experts on Relations with Romania

    Prior to his visit to Bucharest, Todor Zhivkov meets Soviet representatives in Sofia in an attempt to co-ordinate Bulgarian policy toward Romania with the Soviet government. They discuss Soviet-Romanian relations, role of Romania in the Conference for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Romania in the Warsaw Pact and COMECON, Romania and the Non-Aligned Movement, Sino-Soviet relations, etc.

  • November 20, 1978

    Stenographic transcript of meeting of the Consultative Political Committee of the CC of the Romanian Communist Party

    The meeting concerns an upcoming trip to Moscow by Ceausescu to talk about the Warsaw Pact. The conversation is focused on preparing answers for potential questions that may be asked in Moscow

  • November 22, 1978

    Meeting of the Political Consultative Committee of the Warsaw Treaty Member Countries

    Meeting minutes taken by Romanian Ambassador Vasile Sandru at sessions of the Warsaw Treaty Political Consultative Committee, taking place in Moscow on 22-23 November 1978. Session I contains a speech by Leonid Brezhnev in which he discusses détente, Warsaw Pact economic cooperation, disarmament, national liberation movements, and relations with China, the Western countries, and Japan. In Session II and III political leaders of the other Warsaw member countries respond to Brezhnev’s speech. Session IV features a report by Commander-in-Chief Viktor Kulikov on the United Armed Forces. He recommends an increase in military expenditures. All of the leaders agree, except for Nicolae Ceausescu of Romania.

  • June 06, 1979

    Operational Directive from a Military Exercise Performed from June 6 to June 13, 1979

    This document is a simulation of a Warsaw Pact response to a hypothetical NATO conventional attack on the GDR and the Baltic region. It provides pathways of assault with specific coordinates for naval maneuvers and specific objectives to be achieved on each day of hostilities. The United Baltic Fleet is supposed to make its way as quickly as possible to the North Sea. The ground counteroffensive first is to defend the GDR and then attack the FRG and advance along its northern coast to the border with the Netherlands and France. Other counteroffensive measures included: an amphibious landing on Bornholm and other Danish Islands, destroying aircraft carriers in the North Sea and disrupting the offshore oil platforms there. The document specifies exact villages and towns that are to be used as objectives for individual operations, and finally notes which types of units and existing divisions are supposed to participate in the counteroffensive.

  • February 29, 1980

    Report on the Meeting of the Foreign Secretaries of the Socialist Countries in Moscow, 26 February 1980

    This document explains the views of the cooperating Socialist countries relating to Afghanistan. The USSR perceived the US attempt to line up NATO support against the Soviets as an aggressive action, designed to counter Soviet influence. The Soviets, by contrast, viewed their involvement in Afghanistan as increasing their sphere of influence around the Warsaw-pact countries, making such actions defense, rather than offensive. The USSR's leadership states that it should increase its ties to NATO countries to counteract the foreign policy of the US.

  • July 16, 1980

    Memorandum of conversation between Vadim Zagladin of the CPSU CC and Gyula Horn, deputy head of the HSWP CC Foreign Department on debates inside the Soviet leadership on issues of international politics

    This document reveals substantial internal debate among Soviet policy makers regarding the USSR'S foreign policy. Issues of counter-balancing US influence by increasing alliances in Western Europe, and the disagreement regarding political turmoil in Afghanistan, illustrate two prominent disagreements in Soviet politics.

  • September 03, 1980

    CPSU CC Politburo Report "On Theses for the discussion with representatives of the Polish leadership"

    Cable to the Polish leadership regarding the position of the Soviet leadership in regard to the agreements reached earlier in 1980 between the Polish Government and the Inter-Factory Strike Committee. The Soviet leadership expresses its concerns with the consequences of the agreements on the role of the Party in Polish society.

  • November 25, 1980

    Record of a Meeting between CPCz CC General Secretary Gustáv Husák and HSWP CC First Secretary János Kádár in Bratislava, (excerpt from Kádár)

    Excerpts from a discussion between Czechoslovak leader Husak and Hungarian leader Kadar on the situation in Poland. Janos Kadar suggests that the source of the crisis rests with mistakes made by the Polish leadership regarding economic policies. However, he still supports Polish leader Gierek, and believes that he should not have been removed from his position of responsibility.

  • November 26, 1980

    Letter from Honecker to Brezhnev

    East German leader Erik Honecker writes to Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev requesting that a meeting of the First Secretaries of the Communist Parties in the Warsaw Pact member states be convened to discuss the crisis in Poland. Honecker suggests that any delay in taking action agains the "reactionary forces" would result in the demise of communism in Poland.

  • December, 1980

    Report Warning of Soviet intervention

    "Jack Strong" [Ryszard Kuklinski] shares an urgent message relating contents of a secret Soviet meeting that outlined plans to bring USSR, East German, and Czechoslovak forces into Poland.

  • December 05, 1980

    Speech by Erich Honecker at the meeting of the party and state leaders of the Warsaw Pact

    Honecker discusses the problems facing the Polish United Worker’s Party and emphasizes that the “counter-revolutionary” forces must be stopped and punished.

  • December 05, 1980

    Speech by Leonid Brezhnev at the Meeting of the Party and State Leaders of the Warsaw Pact

    Brezhnev speaks at length about the growing situation in Poland and emphasizes the importance of trade unions. However, he makes it clear that socialism and unity are most important.