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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 28, 1962

REPORT TO CZECHOSLOVAK COMMUNIST PARTY (CPCZ) GENERAL SECRETARY ANTONIN NOVOTNý ON EUROPEAN MILITARY SITUATION

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

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    This report to Antonin Novotny details the European military situation at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Most NATO troops were on combat alert, but no increased activity or suspicious movements were reported. The Czechoslovak Armed Forces were at combat ready status to repel any attack by NATO.
    "Report to Czechoslovak Communist Party (CPCz) General Secretary Antonin Novotný on European Military Situation," October 28, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, National Archive, Archive of the CC CPCZ (Prague), file Antonin Novotny, Kuba, box 124. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115192
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Report for Comrade Novotný

During the course of today no significant changes occurred on the European theater. The troops of the majority of NATO countries are on combat alert. However, no increased activity has been observed of strategic air forces or rocket units in Europe.

In the Federal Republic of Germany border zone with the CSSR, increased observation of our territory continues. This is accompanied by air reconnaissance flights.

In the Cs. [Czechoslovak] People’s Army and the troops of the Ministry of the Interior, the activities of commanders and political personnel are focused on securing the fulfillment of combat readiness tasks. Thorough checks of their fulfillment are being carried out. So far the results of these checks show good readiness on the part of the armed forces, and only defects of a minor extent are being found. In the 13th Tank Division severe insufficiencies in the material outfitting of soldiers were discovered; care for the soldiers had been neglected. Control organs have adopted remedial measures.

Political organs in nearly all units and sub-units agree in their reports that the current measures taken by our armed forces have led to a marked strengthening of ties between the different class years of basic-service soldiers and reservists. Comrades are helping one another to unify the level of their readiness as much as possible. For example, instructors in the 322nd Artillery Brigade have committed to accelerate the training of 1st-year soldiers. In the 62nd Radio Company, 33 2nd-year soldiers have committed themselves to help work their 1st-year comrades into their functions. Similar cases of helpfulness and conscientious fulfillment of tasks are being reported in all the armies. The company of the Internal Guard in Strážské reports the signing of 237 individual and 21 collective commitments. There is also a high state of political morale at [MND]. Officers are working intensively on combat alert and readiness tasks.

Besides these positive expressions of understanding of the current international situation, isolated incorrect opinions and attitudes continue to exist. Appropriate attention is being paid to these issues on the part of the political organs.

On the basis of a resolution of the politburo of the CC CPCz, measures have been taken in all sectors as directed by the XI Department of the CC CPCz.

At the Central Committee of Svazarm[1], inspection is successfully being carried of the feasibility and readiness of plans for the transfer of the entire organization to a state of national defense readiness. Similar measures are being carried out at all regional and district committees of Svazarm. Increased watchfulness is being implemented at all Svazarm airfields, and measures are being carried out to fulfill the designated tasks. The secure storage of weapons, ammunition, and radio equipment is being reinspected to prevent their misuse. The regional and district committees of Svazarm have been instructed to ask for schooling from the state organs in explaining the current situation and in training the population in II level national preparations, which are proceeding intensively at present.

At its meeting the presidium of the Svazarm Central Committee has adopted a resolution condemning the aggressive acts of the government of the USA, and supporting the resolution of the Soviet government and the position of the government of the CSSR. The resolution was published in the Svazarm magazine Obránce vlasti.

Likewise at the Ministry of Justice and the General Procurator’s Office, the measures assigned by the politburo of the CC CPCz have been carried out. Readiness in case of extraordinary events has been verified, and telecommunications links and readiness at all equipment have been verified. It has been ordered to increase watchfulness and wakefulness at all workplaces, and move consistently and in a timely manner against those who would misuse the situation.

Staff is on duty round-the-clock in all sectors.

Signature

[1] [Ed.note: According to Czech scholar Oldřich Tůma, Svazarm was a frequently used abbreviated name for Svaz pro spolupráci s armádou [Association for cooperation with the army], an organization for pre-military training of youth, military sports, etc.]