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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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Warsaw Pact Military Planning

Documents on military cooperation and shared exercises among the Warsaw Pact states. See also the general Warsaw Pact collection and the related collections in the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project. (Image, Warsaw Treaty Organization badge)

  • January 20, 1980

    Military Exercise Order of Battle of the 2nd Fleet (Polish Navy)

    This document details the types and current statuses of ships under command of the Warsaw Pact.

  • January 20, 1980

    Military Exercise Appendix No. 17: NATO Order of Battle in the Western Theater of Military Operations

    This document details the composition of NATO military forces by country and by class.

  • January 20, 1980

    Military Exercise Plan of the Commander of the 2nd Fleet

    This document provides instructions on naval exercises in the Baltic Sea.

  • 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.

  • April 07, 1981

    Report, Discussion with Supreme Commander of the Combined Military Forces of the Warsaw Pact on 7 April 1981 in Legnica (PR Poland)

    German military commanders meet with Marshal Kulikov following the evaluation meeting by the joint operative-strategic Command Staff Exercise "SOYUZ-81." Kulikov states that the military exercise was called to support Polish leaders Jaruzelski and Kania and so "a certain pressure should also be exerted upon the leadership of 'Solidarity.'"

  • December, 1981

    Military Exercise: Report of a Representative of the Chief of USSR Armed Forces Communications at an Assembly of Signal Troops Command Personnel of Warsaw Pact Member Countries

    Speech discussing front-line communications and their importance in modern warfare.

  • October 20, 1983

    Protocol of the extraordinary meeting of the Committee of Ministers for Defense from the Warsaw Treaty member states

    The Warsaw Treaty Member States' Committee of Ministers for Defense discussed the situation resulting from the deployment of new American medium-range nuclear missiles in some Western European countries. Some general military planning was proposed in response.

  • October 20, 1983

    Statement by CPSU Central Committee and USSR Minister of Defense, Marshal of the Soviet Union D. F. Ustinov, at the extraordinary session of the Committee of Defense Ministers of Warsaw Treaty Member States on 20 October 1983 [in Berlin]

    CPSU Central Committee and USSR Minister of Defense, Marshal of the Soviet Union D. F. Ustinov make a statement to Warsaw Treaty member states addressing the decision by the US and NATO to deploy new American medium-range missiles in Europe. He appeals for improvement of the Unified Forces.

  • 1985

    Report of a Representative of the USSR Chief of Armed Forces Communications, Developing Modern Communication Systems

    This report summarizes findings and recommendations by the leadership of the Combined Armed Forces of the Warsaw Pact on the issue of improving allied communications systems and equipment. The writer warns that the alliance's communications technology has not kept up with the demands of modern military command and control systems, emphasizing the importance of rapid combat readiness and survivability; the complexity of modern technical systems and equipment; the imperative of maintaining secrecy; and the significance of efficient transmission of information. By integrating advanced technologies within the existing military infrastructure, it is argued, the Warsaw Pact forces will be better equipped to meet these challenges. Suggestions include standardizing equipment across the military, adopting digital formats of information, automating communications, developing technologies immune to the environmental consequences of nuclear explosions, and more.

  • September 03, 1985

    Military Exercise Druzhba-85 Plan to conduct a one-sided, multi-stage combined-arms army exercise codenamed "Druzhba-85"

    This document introduces the trilateral military exercise known as Druzhba-85. Involving troops from the Soviet Union, East Germany, and Poland, the September 1985 exercise was implemented with the goal of improving commands and staffs in joint offensive operations; identifying more effective methods of military organization; coordinating allied commands and staffs; and deepening international political ties via military coalition. The exercise is premised on a hypothetical scenario in which NATO forces exacerbate East-West tensions and launch an offensive against the Warsaw Pact countries. The document provides additional detail on the operational procedure of the exercise.

  • November 30, 1987

    Information on the 20th Session of the Committee of the Ministers of Defense of Warsaw Pact Member States

    Report on the course and results of the 20th Session of the Committee of Ministers of Defense of Warsaw Pact Member States held in Bucharest on November 24-25, 1987.

  • April 14, 1988

    Lecture by Sergei Akhromeyev, 'The Current State of Soviet Military Doctrine'

    This is a transcript of a lecture delivered by Sergei Akhromeyev, the Chief of the General Staff of the Soviet Armed Forces, to the Polish General Staff about Soviet military doctrine in early 1988. The document defines what the Soviets meant by military doctrine, differentiating between the doctrine of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact by stressing the former’s wider range objectives, especially concerning the use of strategic nuclear weapons. In addition, it identifies contemporary issues facing Soviet doctrine and analyzes topics such as nuclear non-proliferation, reduction of nuclear stockpiles and refutes the idea that nuclear weapons should be used in a counter-offensive operation. It stresses the importance of defense, negating offensive military preparedness in lieu of purely defensive Warsaw Pact capabilities (albeit altogether sufficient to successfully deter a NATO attack from the West). It also discusses the results of the March 2-3 1988 NATO talks and concludes that the West is not willing to stop the arms race and is increasing its offensive capabilities. The Warsaw Pact’s response should include increased military research, better vigilance to capture signals of a possible attack and more tactical and technical training for the military command. It asserts that even though a war is less likely than in the past, quoting Gorbachev, “the nature of capitalism itself can be the cause of war.”

  • May 25, 1988

    Military Exercise Shchit-88 Operational Summary No. 1 for the period 0800 25 May to 0800 2 June 1988

    This document describes Warsaw Pact military exercises conducted between 25 May and 2 June 1988. Summarized in detail, the comprehensive exercise brought all facets of the combined forces to "wartime strength" in response to a theoretical threat posed by NATO.

  • June 02, 1988

    Military Exercise Shchit-88 Operational Summary No. 2 for the period 0800 2 June to 1900 6 June 1988

    This document describes a Warsaw Pact military exercise known as Shield-88. The exercise addresses a theoretical scenario in which NATO forces suddenly prepare to launch an attack on Warsaw Pact territory.

  • June 02, 1988

    Military Exercise Shchit-88 Information Summary No. 1 as of 0800 2 June 1988

    This document provides a scenario in which the "Blue" governments have engaged in a campaign of increasingly hostile propaganda intended to discredit the "Red" bloc socioeconomic system. Consequently, domestic morale is low. The population has grown pessimistic and, in light of the international situation, feels emboldened to challenge the Red authorities and leaders.

  • June 02, 1988

    Military Exercise Shchit-88 Intelligence Summary No. 1 as of 0800 2 June 1988

    This intelligence summary describes a potential scenario in which the policy of detente in "Blue" countries begins to deteriorate and increased military exercises are conducted.

  • June 02, 1988

    Military Exercise Shchit-88 Intelligence Summary No. 2 for the period 0800 2 June to 1900 6 June 1988

    This document provides background information on a hypothetical political/military scenario leading up to the command staff exercise SHICHT-88 [TARCZA-88 in Polish]. In the scenario 'Blue' military leaders have begun to oppose the policy of detente pursued by their governments and consequently have raised their level of combat readiness by increasing the frequency of military exercises and pressured 'Blue' governments into ending the destruction of intermediate-range nuclear forces as required by the 1987 Treaty on Intermediate Nuclear Forces in Europe. In response the 'Reds' have also raised their combat readiness. The increased international tension has affected the situation within Poland, contributing to increased anti-government sentiment.