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September 15, 1962

Instruction from M. Zakharov and Bakayev to the Commander of the Ship and the chief of the Military Contingent concerning the Defense of a Transport Ship

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[handwritten document]




Only copy


17 September 1962





to the commander of the ship and the chief of the military contingent concerning the defense of a transport ship from the piratical acts of aircraft, surface ships, and submarines of the US and Cuban counterrevolutionaries during the voyage


1. The captain of the ship is the senior officer on the ship when transporting the military contingent. Only he has the right to make decisions in the event of а complication of the situation on route, when meeting foreign vessels, and during overflights by foreign aircrafts.

2. A Soviet ship is the property of the Soviet Union and any open attack on it by foreign aircraft or warships should be viewed as an aggressive act against the Soviet Union.

When foreign aircraft or warships open fire on the ship the captain of the ship is permitted to use weapons and open return fire.

3. Two 23-mm twin anti-aircraft mounts with crews and two units of fire (2400) for each mount, of which half are armor-piercing and incendiary, are installed on the ship to defend the personnel, equipment, and cargo being transported. The location of the anti-aircraft mounts on this ship is determined at the port of departure by the representative of the Ministry of Defense together with the captain of the ship, ensuring concealment of the weapon and rapid preparation for battle when needed.

The anti-aircraft mounts are located on the deck in a convenient place to be brought into a combat position, and on alert combat duty of the crews is organized.

4. The captain of the ship is obligated to immediately report all cases of an open attack on the ship by foreign aircraft or warships and the use of weapons against them in the prescribed manner (concerning an attack of an enemy, by open text via radio; concerning his retaliatory actions, in cipher).


Deputy USSR Minister of Defense

Marshal of the Soviet Union


M. Zakharov

15 September 1962

Minister of the Merchant Fleet of the USSR



15 September 1962


Reported to the Minister of Defense in the presence of the Chief of the General Staff and the Chief of the Main Operations Directorate. 27 September 1962 [illegible signature]

These instructions provide regulations regarding the procedures in case of piratical acts committed by Cuban or US "counterrevolutionaries." They include information about how and when to use antiaircraft mounts in defense.

Document Information


TsAMO fond 1, opis 14041cc, delo 1, ll. 171-172. Contributed by Sergey Radchenko and Vladislav Zubok and translated by Gary Goldberg.


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