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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 11, 1964

PLAN OF ACTION OF THE CZECHOSLOVAK PEOPLE’S ARMY FOR WAR PERIOD

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    A detailed strategic miltiary plan the Czechoslovak People’s Army for war period.
    "Plan of Action of the Czechoslovak People’s Army for War Period," October 11, 1964, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Central Military Archives, Prague, Collection Ministry of National Defense, Operations Department, 008074/ZD-OS 64, pp. 1-18. Obtained by Petr Lunák and translated from the Russian by Svetlana Savranskaya (National Security Archive), and Anna Locher (Center for Security Studies and Conflict Research, Zurich). https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111624
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DOCUMENT

“Approved”
Single Copy
Supreme Commander
of the Armed Forces of the USSR
Antonín Novotný
1964

1. Conclusions from the assessment of the enemy

The enemy could use up to 12 general military units in the Central European military theater for advancing in the area of the Czechoslovak Front from D[ay] 1 to D[ay] 7-8.

—The 2nd Army Corps of the FRG [Federal Republic of Germany] including: 4th and 10th mechanized divisions, 12th tank division, 1st airborne division and 1st mountain division,

—the 7th Army Corps of the USA including: the 24th mechanized division and 4th armored tank division;

—the 1st Army of France including: 3rd mechanized division, the 1st and 7th tank divisions, and up to two newly deployed units, including 6 launchers of tactical missiles, up to 130 theater launchers and artillery, and up to 2800 tanks.

Operations of the ground troops could be supported by part of the 40th Air Force, with up to 900 aircraft, including 250 bombers and up to 40 airborne missile launchers.

Judging by the composition of the group of NATO troops and our assessment of the exercises undertaken by the NATO command, one could anticipate the design of the enemy's actions with the following goals.

To disorganize the leadership of the state and to undermine mobilization of armed forces by surprise nuclear strikes against the main political and economic centers of the country.

To critically change the correlation of forces in its own favor by strikes against the troops, airfields and communication centers.

To destroy the border troops of the Czechoslovak People's Army in border battles, and to destroy the main group of our troops in the Western and Central Czech Lands by building upon the initial attack.

To disrupt the arrival of strategic reserves in the regions of Krkonoše, Jeseníky, and Moravská Brána by nuclear strikes against targets deep in our territory and by sending airborne assault troops; to create conditions for a successful attainment of the goals of the operation.

Judging by the enemy's approximate operative design, the combat actions of both sides in the initial period of the war will have a character of forward contact battles.

The operative group of the enemy in the southern part of the FRG will force the NATO command to gradually engage a number of their units in the battle, which will create an opportunity for the Czechoslovak Front to defeat NATO forces unit by unit. At the same time, that would require building a powerful first echelon in the operative structure of the Front; and to achieve success it would require building up reserves that would be capable of mobilizing very quickly and move into the area of military action in a very short time.

2. Upon receiving special instructions from the Supreme Commander of the Unified Armed Forces, the Czechoslovak People's Army will deploy to the Czechoslovak Front with the following tasks:

To be ready to start advancing toward Nuremberg, Stuttgart and Munich with part of forces immediately after the nuclear strike. Nuclear strikes against the troops of the enemy should be targeted at the depth of the line Würzburg, Erlangen, Regensburg, Landshut.

The immediate task is to defeat the main forces of the Central Group of the West German Army in the southern part of the FRG, in cooperation with the [Soviet] 8th Guards Army of the 1st Western Front; by the end of the first day— reach the line Bayreuth, Regensburg, Passau; and by the end of the second day—move to the line Höchstadt, Schwabach, Ingolstadt, Mühldorf, and by the fourth day of the attack—reach the line Mosbach, Nürtingen, Memmingen, Kaufbeuren.

In the future, building upon the advance in the direction of Strasbourg, Epinal, Dijon, to finalize the defeat of the enemy in the territory of the FRG, to force a crossing of the river Rhine, and on the seventh or eighth day of the operation to take hold of the line Langres, Besançon.

Afterward develop the advance toward Lyon.

To have in the combat disposition of the Czechoslovak Front the following units:
—the 1st and 4th Armies, 10th Air Army, 331st front missile brigade, 11th, 21st and the 31st mobile missile support base in the state of combat alert.

—the reserve center of the Army, the 3rd, 18th, 26th, and 32nd mechanized rifle divisions, 14th and 17th tank divisions, 22nd airborne brigade, 205th antitank brigade, 303rd air defense division, 201st and 202nd air defense regiments with mobilization timetable from M 1 to M 3.

—the formations, units and facilities of the support and service system.

The 57th Air Army, arriving on D 1 from the Carpathian military district before the fifth or sixth day of the operation, will be operatively subordinated to the Czechoslovak Front.

If Austria keeps its neutrality on the third day of the war, one mechanized rifle division of the Southern Group of Forces will arrive in the area of Ceské Budejovice and join the Czechoslovak Front.

The following forces will remain at the disposal of the Ministry of National Defense: the 7th air defense army, 24th mechanized rifle division and 16th tank division with readiness M 20, reconnaissance units, and also units and facilities of the support and service system.

Under favorable conditions two missile brigades and one mobile missile support base will arrive some time in advance in the territory of the CSSR from the Carpathian military district:

—35th missile brigade—excluding Ceský Brod, excluding Ríèany, Zásmuky,

—36th missile brigade—excluding Pacov, excluding Pelhøimov, excluding Humpolec,
—3486th mobile missile support base—woods 5 kilometers to the East of Svìtlá.

Formations and units of the Czechoslovak People's Army, on permanent alert, upon the announcement of combat alarm should leave their permanent location in no more than 30 minutes, move to designated areas within 3 hours, and deploy there ready to carry out their combat tasks.

Formations, units and headquarters that do not have set mobilization dates, leave their locations of permanent deployment and take up the identified areas of concentration in the time and in the order determined by the plan of mobilization and deployment.

The following disposition of forces is possible in the area of operations of the Czechoslovak Front for the entire depth of the operation:

—in divisions–1.1 to 1.0

—in tanks and mobile artillery launchers–1.0 to 1.0

—in artillery and mine-launchers–1.0 to 1.0

—in military aircraft—1.1 to 1.0, all in favor of the Czechoslovak Front.

In the first massive nuclear strike by the troops of the Missile Forces of the Czechoslovak Front, the front aviation and long-range aviation added to the front must destroy the main group of troops of the first operations echelon of the 7th US Army, its means of nuclear attack, and the centers of command and control of the aviation.

During the development of the operation, the troops of the Missile Forces and aviation must destroy the approaching deep operative reserves, the newly discovered means of nuclear attack, and the enemy aviation.

Altogether the operation will require the use of 131 nuclear missiles and nuclear bombs; specifically 96 missiles and 35 nuclear bombs. The first nuclear strike will use 41 missiles and nuclear bombs. The immediate task will require using 29 missiles and nuclear bombs. The subsequent task could use 49 missiles and nuclear bombs. 12 missiles and nuclear bombs should remain in the reserve of the Front.

Building on the results of the first nuclear strike, the troops of the Front, in coordination with units of the 1st Western Front must destroy the main group of troops of the 7th US Army and the 1st French Army in cooperation with airborne assault troops, force the rivers Neckar and Rhine in crossing, and defeat the advancing deep strategic reserves of the enemy in advancing battle, and by D[ay] 7- 8 take control of the areas of Langres, Besançon, and Epinal.

Upon completion of the tasks of the operation the troops must be ready to develop further advances in the direction of Lyon.
The main strike should be concentrated in the direction of Nuremberg, Stuttgart, Strasbourg, Epinal, Dijon; part of the forces should be used on the direction of Straubing and Munich.

The operative structure of the troops of the Czechoslovak Front is to be in one echelon with separation of two tank and five mechanized rifle divisions for the reserve as they arrive and are deployed.

The first echelon shall consist of the 1st and 4th armies and the 331st front missile brigade.

The reserve of the front includes: Headquarters of the 2nd Army (reserve), mechanized rifle division of the Southern Group of Forces by D 3, 14th tank division by D 3, 17th tank division by D 4, 3rd mechanized rifle division by D 3, 26th mechanized rifle division by D 4, 18th mechanized rifle division by D 5, and 32nd mechanized rifle division by D 6.

Special reserves include: 22nd airborne brigade by D 2, 103rd chemical warfare batallion by D 2, 6th engineering brigade by D 3, and 205th antitank artillery by D 4.

3. On the right–the 8th Guards Army of the 1st Western Front advances in the direction of Suhl, Bad Kissingen, and Worms and with part of its forces to Bamberg.

The separation line with the Army is the USSR-GDR border as far as Aš, then Bayreuth, Mosbach, and Sarrebourg, Chaumont (all points exclusively for the Czechoslovak Front). The meeting point with the 8th Guards Army should be supported by the forces and means of the Czechoslovak Front.

On the left—the Southern Group of Forces and the Hungarian People's Army will cover the state borders of Hungary.

The dividing line with them: state border of the USSR with the Hungarian People's Republic, and then the northern borders of Austria, Switzerland, and Italy.

4. The 1st Army (19th and 20th mechanized rifle divisions, 1st and 13th tank divisions, 311startillery missile brigade) with 312nd heavy artillery brigade, 33rd antitank artillery brigade without 7thantitank artillery regiment, the 2nd bridgebuilding brigade without the 71st bridge-building battalion, the 351st and 352nd engineering battalions of the 52nd engineering brigade.

The immediate task is to defeat the enemy's group of the 2nd Army Corps of the FRG and the 7th US Army in conjunction with the 8th Guards Army of the 1st Western Front, and to develop advance in the direction of Neustadt, Nuremberg, Ansbach, and with part of forces in conjunction with units of the 8th Guards Army in the direction of Bamberg, by D 1 to take control of the line Bayreuth, Amberg, Schmidmühlen; and by the end of D 2 to arrive on the line Höchstadt, Schwabach, Heiden.

The further task is to advance in the direction of Ansbach, Crailsheim, Stüttgart; to defeat the advancing operative reserves of the enemy, and by the end of D 4 take control of the line excluding Mosbach, Bietigheim, Nürtingen.

Subsequently to be ready to develop the advance in the direction of Stuttgart, Strasbourg, Epinal.

The dividing line on the left is Podeäovice, Schwandorf, Weissenburg, Heidenheim, Reutlingen (all the points except Heidenheim, are inclusive for the 1st Army).

Headquarters–in the forest 1 kilometer south of Støibro.

The axis of the movement is Støibro, Grafenwöhr, Ansbach, Schwäbisch Hall.

5. The 4th Army (2nd and 15th mechanized rifle divisions, 4th and 9th tank divisions, 321st artillery missile brigade) with 7st antitank artillery brigade and 33rd antitank artillery brigade, 71st bridge-building battalion of the 2nd bridge-building brigade, 92nd bridge-building battalion and 353rd engineering battalion.

The immediate task is to defeat the enemy group of the 2nd Army Corps of the FRG in cooperation with the troops of the 1st Army and to develop advance in the direction of Regensburg, Ingolstadt, Donauwörth, and with part of forces in the direction Straubing, Munich; and by the end of D[ay] 1 to take control of the line Schmidmühlen, Regensburg, Passau; by the end of D[ay] 2—Eichstätt, Moosburg, Mühldorf.

The subsequent task is to advance in the direction of Donauwörth, Ulm, to defeat the advancing formations of the 1st French Army and by the end of D[ay] 4 to take control of the line Metzingen, Memmingen, Kaufbeuren.

Subsequently to be ready to develop advance in the direction of Ulm, Mulhouse, Besançon.

Headquarters—6 kilometers northwest of Strakonice.

The axis of movement is – Strakonice, Klatovy, Falkenstein, Kelheim, Rennertshofen, Burgau.

6. The Missile Forces of the Front must in the first nuclear strike destroy the group of forces of the 7th US Army, part of forces of the 2nd Army Corps of the FRG, and part of the air defense forces of the enemy.

Subsequently, the main efforts should be concentrated on defeating the advancing operative and strategic reserves and also the newly discovered means of nuclear attack of the enemy.

In order to fulfill the tasks set to the front, the following ammunition shall be used:

—for the immediate task—44 operative-tactical and tactical missiles with nuclear warheads;

—for the subsequent task—42 operative-tactical and tactical missiles with nuclear warheads;

—for unexpectedly arising tasks—10 operativetactical and tactical missiles with nuclear warheads shall be left in the Front's reserve.

The commander of Missile Forces shall receive special assembly brigades with special ammunition, which shall be transferred to the Czechoslovak Front in the following areas: 2 kilometers to the East of Jablonec, and 3 kilometers to the East of Michalovèe.

The use of special ammunition–only with permission of the Supreme Commander of the Unified Armed Forces.

7. Aviation.
The 10th Air Force—the 1st fighter division, 2nd and 34th fighter-bomber division, 25th bomber regiment, 46th transport air division, 47th air reconnaissance regiment and 45th air reconnaissance regiment for target guidance.

Combat tasks:

With the first nuclear strike to destroy part of forces of the 2nd Army Corps of the FRG, two command and targeting centers, and part of the air defense forces of the enemy.

Upon the beginning of combat actions to suppress part of air defense forces of the enemy in the following regions: Roding, Kirchroth, Hohenfels, Amberg, Pfreimd, Nagel, and Erbendorf.

To uncover and destroy operative and tactical means of nuclear attack, command and control aviation forces in the following regions: Weiden, Nabburg, Amberg, Grafenwöhr, Hohenfels, Regensburg, and Erlangen.

During the operation to give intensive support to combat actions of the troops of the front: on D[ay] 1—6 group sorties of fighter bombers, from D[ay] 2 to D[ay] 5-8 group sorties of fighter bombers and bombers daily, and from D[ay] 6 to D[ay] 8-6 group sorties of fighter bombers and bombers daily. The main effort should be concentrated on supporting the troops of the 1st Army.

In cooperation with forces and means of the air defense of the country, fronts and neighbors—to cover the main group of forces of the Front from air strikes by the enemy.

To ensure the landing of reconnaissance troops and general airborne forces on D[ay] 1 and D[ay] 2 in the rear of the enemy.

To ensure airborne landing of the 22nd airborne brigade on D[ay] 4 in the area north of Stüttgart, or on D[ay] 5 in the area of Rastatt, or on D 6 in the area to the east of Mulhouse.

To carry out air reconnaissance with concentration of main effort on the direction of Nüremberg, Stüttgart, and Strasbourg with the goal of locating means of nuclear attack, and in order to determine in time the beginning of operations and the direction of the advancing operative reserves of the enemy.

In order to fulfill the tasks set for the front, it will be required to use the following weapons:

—for the immediate task—10 nuclear bombs;

—for subsequent tasks—7 nuclear bombs;

—for resolving unexpectedly arising tasks—2 nuclear bombs shall be left in the Front's reserve.

The 57th Air Force, consisting of the 131st fighter division, 289th fighter-bomber regiment, 230th and 733rd bomber regiment and 48th air reconnaissance regiment, arriving by D[ay] 1 from the Carpathian military district, is to remain under operative subordination to the Czechoslovak Front until the fifth to sixth day for 5 army sorties.

The Army has a determined the limit of: combat sets of air bombs—3, combat sets of air-to-air missiles—2, combat sets of aviation cartridges—2, and fuel—3 rounds of army refueling

Combat tasks:

—in cooperation with the 10th Air Force to find and destroy the means of nuclear attack of the enemy, its aviation and command and control centers with concentration of main efforts on the direction of Nüremberg, Strasbourg;

—to support combat actions of the troops of the Front when they force the rivers Naab, Neckar, Rhine, and when they counter-attack the enemy;

—to support combat actions of the 22nd airborne brigade in the areas of its landing;

—to protect the troops of the front from air strikes by the enemy;

—to carry out air reconnaissance with concentration of the main effort on discovering the means of nuclear attack and deep operative and strategic reserves of the enemy.

The 184th heavy bomber regiment of long-range aviation should use nuclear bombs in the first nuclear strike against headquarters of the 2nd Army Corps of the FRG, 7th US Army, 2nd/40 Corporal artillery battalion, 2nd/82 Corporal artillery battalion, 5th/73 Sergeant artillery battalion, and the main group of forces of the 4th mechanized division and 12th tank division of the 2nd Army Corps of the FRG. Total use of nuclear bombs—16. Use of special combat ammunition—only with permission of the Supreme Commander of the Unified Armed Forces.

8. Air Defense
7th Air Defense Army of the country—2nd and 3rd air defense corps.

Combat tasks:

—in cooperation with air defense forces of the Front and the air defense of the neighbors in the united air defense system of countries of the Warsaw Treaty to repel massive air strikes of the enemy with concentration of main effort on the direction Karlsruhe, Prague, Ostrava.

—not to allow reconnaissance and air strikes of the enemy against our groups of forces, especially in the area of the Czech Lands, against aircraft on the airfields, and against important political and economic centers of the country, as well as communications centers. The main effort should be concentrated on protecting the areas of Prague, Ostrava, Brno and Bratislava;

—upon the beginning of combat actions, troops of the Czechoslovak Front with anti-aircraft missile forces to continue to defend most important areas and objects of the country, with forces of fighter aviation to defend objects of the Front after the advancing troops.

Air Defense troops of the Front

Combat tasks:

—Upon the beginning of combat action of the Front, to take part in the general air defense system of the Warsaw Treaty countries with all forces and resources to cover the main group of the Front's troops.

—During the operation, in cooperation with the 7th Air Defense Army, units of 10th and 57th Air Force and the air defense of the 1st Western Front, to cover the troops of the front from the air strikes of the enemy in the process of their passing over the border mountains, and also during the crossing of the rivers Neckar and Rhine to cover the missile forces and command and control centers.

9. The 22nd airborne brigade is to be ready to be deployed from the region of Prostijov, Niva, Brodek to the region north of Stüttgart on D[ay] 4 or to the region of Rastatt on D[ay] 5, or to the region to the east of Mulhouse on D[ay] 6 with the task of capturing and holding river crossings on Neckar or Rhine until the arrival of our troops.

10. Reserves of the Front.

The 3rd, 18th, 26th, and 32nd mechanized rifle divisions of the Southern Group of Forces, the 14th and 17th tank divisions are to concentrate in the regions designated on the decision map in the period from D[ay] 3 to D[ay] 5.

The 6th engineering brigade by D[ay] 3 is to be concentrated in the region of Panenský Týnec, and Bor, excluding Slaný, to be ready to ensure force crossing of the rivers Neckar and Rhine by the troops of the Front.

The 103rd chemical warfare batallion from D[ay] 2 to be stationed in the region of Hluboš, excluding Príbram, excluding Dobríš. The main effort of radiation reconnaissance should be concentrated in the region of Horovice, Blovice, and Sedlcany.

Objects of special treatment should be deployed in the areas of deployment of command and control centers of the Front, the 331st front brigade, and also in the regions of concentration of the reserve divisions of the Front.

11. Material Maintenance of the Rear
The main effort in the material maintenance of the rear of the troops of the Front should be concentrated throughout the entire depth of the operation in the area of the 1st Army's advance.

To support the troops of the 1st Army, the 10th and 57th Air Forces should deploy to the forward front base number 1 and the base of the 10th Air Force in the region to the West of Plzen by the end of D[ay] 2; troops of the 4th Army should deploy the forward front base number 2 in the region to the south of Plzen.

Field pipeline is to be deployed in the direction of Roudnice, Plzen, Nüremberg, and Karlsruhe and used for provision of aircraft fuel.

Rebuilding of railroads should be planned on the directions Cheb-Nüremberg or Doma.lice-Schwandorf- Regensburg-Donauwörth.

Two roads should be built following the 1st Army, and one front road throughout the entire depth of the operation following the 4th Army.

The Ministry of National Defense of the USSR will assign material resources, including full replacement of the ammunition used during the operation for the troops of the Czechoslovak Front.

Support for the 57th Air Force should be planned taking into account the material resources located in the territory of the USSR for the Unified Command.

Use of material resources should be planned as follows:

—ammunition—45,000 tons

—combustible-lubricating oil—93, 000 tons

—including aircraft fuel—40, 000 tons

—missile fuel:

—oxidizer—220 tons

—missile fuel—70 tons

Automobile transportation of the Front should be able to supply the troops with 70, 000 tons of cargo during the operation.

Transportation of the troops should be able to carry 58, 000 tons of cargo.

By the end of the operation the troops should have 80% of mobile reserves available.

In D[ay] 1 and D[ay] 2 hospital bed network for 10 to 12 thousand sick and wounded personnel is to be deployed. By the end of the operation the hospital bed network should cover 18% of the hospital losses of the Front.

12. Headquarters of the Front should be deployed from the time “X” plus 6 hours—5 kilometers to the east of Strašice. The axis of movement—Heilbronn, Horb, Epinal.

Reserve Command Post–forest, to the north of Brezová

Advanced Command Post – forest 5 kilometers to the east of DobÍany
Rear Command Post—Jince-Obecnice
Reserve Rear Command Post—excluding Dobøany, Slapy, excluding Mníšek
Headquarters of MNO—object K-116, Prague.

Minister of National Defense of the .SSR
General of the Army [signed] Bohumír Lomský

Head of the General Staff of Czechoslovak People's Army
Colonel General [signed] Otakar RytíÍ

Head of the Operations Department of the General Staff
Major General [signed] Václav Vitanovský

11 October 1964
[Rectangular seal:]
Ministry of National Defense
General Staff—Operations Department

Section: Operations Room

Received: 20.10.1964

No. 008074/ZD-OS 64, 17 sheets

Executed in one copy of 17 sheets
Executed by Major General Jan Voštera

[signed] Gen. Voštera
14 October 1964

[Source: Central Military Archives, Prague, Collection Ministry of National Defense, Operations Department, 008074/ZD-OS 64, pp. 1-18. Obtained by Petr Lunák and translated from the Russian by Svetlana Savranskaya (National Security Archive), and Anna Locher (Center for Security Studies and Conflict Research, Zurich).]

Petr Lunak received his PhD in Modern History from Charles University (Prague). He works for the NATO Office of Information and Press.

[1] See Mark Kramer, “The “Lessons” of the Cuban Missile Crisis for Warsaw Pact Nuclear Operations,” pp. 348-354.