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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 10, 1980

MILITARY EXERCISE OPERATIONAL TASK FOR A COMMAND-STAFF MAP EXERCISE

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    This document describes a theoretical military confrontation in which "Western" NATO forces declare war on the "Eastern" Warsaw forces. The document details the capabilities of the NATO forces on land and at sea.
    "Military Exercise Operational Task for a Command-Staff Map Exercise," January 10, 1980, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Institute of National Remembrance (IPNBU) 142019. Translated for CWIHP by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114260
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Secret

Copy Nº 4

Exercise

[Original Polish receipt and

declassification stamps]

["Nº 9909" appears in the bottom left corner of all the pages]

Delivered 10 January 1980

OPERATIONAL TASK FOR A COMMAND-STAFF MAP EXERCISE

I. GENERAL SITUATION as of 20 January

Chart Nº 92114

Map [scale] 1:500,000

1. Beginning 0300 19 January the "Westerners" (NATO countries), unleashed a war in Europe, launching mass tactical and naval airstrikes on the troops and fleet forces, control posts, airfields, and rear targets of the "Easterners".

At the same time battle groups of ground forces began an invasion of the Maritime, Berlin, Dresden, and Prague sectors, trying to defeat the main forces of the "Easterners" deployed in the GDR and CSSR. During a two-day battle the enemy managed to penetrate 15-30 km into GDR territory.

Suffering considerable losses, by the end of 20 January under the blows of the 1st and 2nd fronts of the "Easterners" the "Westerners" were forced to temporarily halt the offensive in a majority of sectors.

The enemy continues a joint movement of reserve formations from the US and Britain and also the formation of additional formations in the FRG and France.

Beginning 19 January the OVMS NATO [combined NATO naval forces] have been launching strikes by air, submarine, and surface ship on the groupings of forces, the basing structure, and the command and control of the Combined Baltic Fleet.

Aircraft and submarines are laying mines in the approaches to the bases and the waterways of the "Easterners". The laying of defensive mine barriers and the reinforcement of defenses against amphibious landings continue in the Baltic Approaches. On 20 January the American AMG [Multipurpose Carrier Group] 401.2 consisting of the aircraft carrier Forrestal and eight escort ships entered the North Sea. With convoys and individual transports the "Westerners" are transporting troops and equipment to the European continent from the US and Britain.

2. The "Easterners" (the Warsaw Pact countries) are repulsing the invasion of the "Westerners" and by the end of 20 January have mainly halted the US and TsGA [Central Army Group] offensive and have thereby created conditions to switch to an offensive by their own troops and the commitment of the troops of the approaching Maritime Front.

Having repelled the aggression from the sea, the Combined Baltic Fleet (OBF), carrying out the missions assigned by a directive of the Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Armed Forces [GK OVS] in the Western Theater of Military Operations with the start of the war, is conducting the first operation of the fleet to win control in the Baltic Sea, destroy the convoys and strike groups in the North Sea, and help the troops of the Maritime Front. The fleet's forces are launching strikes on enemy ship groups, control posts, naval bases, and rear targets.

Combat operations are being waged with the use of conventional weapons.

The position of the fleet forces and the troops of the sides is according to the situation map (Appendix I). The positions of formations and units not indicated on the map are at the discretion of the players.

II. Partial situation as of 1900 20 January

The situation at sea

1. The OVMS NATO continue to conduct combat operations in the Baltic Sea and in the Baltic Approaches. Submarines are operating on the "Easterners"' lines of communication and at the approaches to naval bases. Aircraft are launching strikes on ships at sea and coastal installations of the "Easterners"' fleet.

In the North Sea anti-submarine forces are searching and destroying the submarines of the "Easterners". Defense forces and the protection of sea lanes of communication and oil and gas fields have been strengthened. The unloading of American and British ships continues at the ports of ROTTERDAM, NORDEN, EMDEN, BREMERHAVEN, WILHELMSHAVEN, and ESBJERG.

2. The Combined Baltic Fleet is continuing active combat operations in the Baltic Sea and is preparing a group of forces to participate in an airborne-amphibious assault landing operation on the islands of the Baltic Approaches.

In the North Sea submarines and naval missile-carrying aircraft are launching strikes on the multipurpose aircraft group and the convoys in coordination with Long Range Aviation.

On 20 January the forces of the OBF landed an amphibious assault landing force composed of a naval infantry regiment of the 1st fleet on the island of Bornholm which is conducting combat operations to seize the island with the support of fleet ships and aircraft.

Part of the forces of the OBF are supporting the movement of troops and military cargo for the troops of the 1st fleet and the amphibious assault landing party on the island of Bornholm and are protecting the seaward flank from enemy attack from the sea and are helping the troops protect the coast against an amphibious landing.

The situation regarding the ground forces

The 1st front (the 10th Army of the GDR National Peoples Army, the 15th Army, the 20th Tank Army, and air forces) in coordination with the OBF have repulsed the invasion of the troops of the SGA and, inflicting defeats on them, have created the conditions to commit the troops of the Maritime Front and switch to an offensive in the direction of the Ruhr.

The CP of the front is a LUCKENWALDE.

The Maritime Front (30th and 31st Armies, air forces, the 49th td, the 50th mdd [naval infantry division], the 13th rbr, and the 13th gabr [Howitzer Artillery Brigade]) is completing regrouping and is preparing to commit to battle beginning 21 January in order to defeat the opposing enemy grouping and occupy the Jutland Peninsula and the Baltic Approaches, knock Denmark out of the war, and create conditions for the OBF forces to reach the North Sea.

Immediate objective - to defeat the OAK [possibly "Combined Air Command"] formations of the "Westerners" and occupy the line VEJLE-ESBJERG and the island of Fyn by 27 January.

The next objective - is to completely defeat the enemy and seize the Jutland Peninsula and the islands of the Baltic Approaches by the end of 1 February.

During the operation be ready to conduct an airborne-amphibious assault landing operation to seize the islands of the Baltic Approaches.

The front CP is at NEUBRANDENBURG.

The Air and Air Defense Situation

The Air Forces of the 1st Front. On 20 January they rebased aircraft with the goal of creating an aircraft grouping to support a shift of troops of the front to the offensive and to participate in an air operation in  accordance with a plan of the VGK [Supreme High Command] [text apparently missing between pages as the next page begins in the middle of a sentence] from the second half of 20 January fighter aviation protected the rebasing of the air forces of the Maritime Front in the northern part of the GDR.

The CP of the 1st Front air forces is at [JENIKKENDORF] [possibly HENNICKENDORF].

By the end of 19 January the air forces of the Maritime Front had rebased to airfields in the northern part of the GDR, and had created an air grouping to support the commitment of the front's troops and to participate in an air operation; they are protecting the troops and facilities of the Maritime Front in coordination with air defense troops of the front and GDR air defense and aviation of the 1st Front and are also protecting the troops of the 1st Front in their zone from enemy airstrikes and aerial reconnaissance; they are also conducting aerial reconnaissance in its [the Front's] tactical operational depth.

The CP of the air forces of the Maritime Front is at [WENTIN].

The air defense forces of the SVD [Northern Theater of Operations], fronts, and fleet air defense forces are repelling enemy air raids and protecting the forward movement of the Maritime and 3rd Fronts. Centralized command of all air defense resources is being exercised by the commanding general of air defenses in the TVD [Theater of Military Operations]. The boundary between the areas of responsibility of the 9th iad [Fighter Aviation Division] and IA of the 13th Air Defense Division is the island of Møn, DARSSER ORT, [NEN?UPLIN].

The Communications and Radioelectronic Warfare Situation

Partial damage to the landlines on some links and individual damage to the antenna feeder devices of fixed radio stations is being noted as a result of the airstrikes of the "Westerners" on control posts and also on basing points. Radiorelay liaison communications between the CP of the allied fleets are unstable. The continuously operating reserve communications system is providing command and control of the forces of the OBF and ensuring the coordination of fleet forces and the troops of the 1st and Maritime Fronts. Strong HF interference is being noted in radio nets with submarines and surface ships.

Aircraft of the OBF and the 1st Front launched airstrikes on the COPENHAGEN, FLENSBURG, and KIEL US [Communications Centers]. The KIEL US has not been observed in operation for eight hours. Intensive operation of a HF radio communications jamming station has been recorded from the area of Århus.

Coastal REhB units of the OBF and RehB units of the 1st Front in coordination with COMINT units are suppressing the enemy strike groups' command and control radio channels in the Baltic and North Seas and of the troops of the SGA. The positions of RehB units detected by the enemy have been subjected to airstrikes of his frontal aviation and up to 15 stations and antenna systems have been destroyed and damaged as a result.

The rear situation

The rear of the allied fleets which have deployed their main units and facilities are conducting all types of rear support to the combat operations of [fleet] forces. It supports the demothballing and rapid repair of combat ships and cutters and also the re-equipping of civilian ships requisitioned from the economy.

Five to 10 percent of sea and river ports, warehouses, and ship repair yards have been destroyed. Repair work is being done at rear facilities.

The shipment of materiel resources, weapons, and equipment is being performed in conditions where ports and temporary basing points have been destroyed.

Additional information about the enemy

It has been determined by all-source intelligence that:

- the 401.2 AMG  (the carrier Forrestal) is 70 miles southeast of SCAPA FLOW;

- the permanent NATO formation in the Atlantic (three guided missile frigates and four frigates) is 65 miles southwest of FARSUND;

- on 20 January the 401.3 U.S. AMG (the carrier America) was noted in the BAY OF BISCAY;

- the offloading of British, Canadian, and American troops continues at the Rhine-Main and Ålborg airfields;

- the approaches to coastal sectors suitable for amphibious landings have been equipped with mine and artillery positions (up to 4500 mines) and artificial obstacles;

- up to 2000 AAA guns have been identified at airfields and other important island facilities;

- on 20 January two transports with US Marines were observed 40 miles north of AMSTERDAM moving to the northeast.

III. Reference information

The weather, physiographic, and astronomical conditions are practicable.

IV. To do:

The Commanding General of the Maritime Front is to assess the situation and be ready to report a decision to conduct a front offensive operation and ideas about conducting an airborne-amphibious assault landing operation on the islands of the Baltic Approaches.

The Commander of the OBF is to assess the situation and be ready to report a decision to conduct the first operation of the fleet and ideas concerning support to an amphibious operation on the islands of the Baltic Approaches.

The Commanders of the GDR Peoples Navy and the Polish Navy are to assess the situation and be ready to report suggestions for the use of fleet forces in the first operation of the OBF and ideas about landing tactical assault groups.

Appendices: 1. Situation map as of 1900 20 January

2. Fleet order of battle

3. Composition of the rear of the 2nd Fleet

4. Availability of material resources of the 2nd Fleet

5. Air defense resources of the Warsaw Pact countries

6. Order of battle of the "Westerners"

THE EXERCISE CONTROL STAFF