Skip to content

June 2, 1988

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

[letterhead] General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces



Copy Nº 4




[Original Polish receipt and

declassification stamps]




Nº 2









for the period 0800 2 June to 1900 6 June 1988





The actions of the BLUE countries have led to a further aggravation of the military-political situation in Europe. In their official statements the leaders of the BLUE countries accused the governments of the RED countries of violating human rights and also of forcing their citizens to perform military obligations.


Alternative military service is being subjected to sharp criticism, particularly in the Polish armed forces.


The parliaments of the BLUE countries have approved government proposals about granting special credits for the financing of dissident organizations operating in the RED countries. Propaganda directed against political parties and government groups has been stepped up and the number of radio broadcasts in Slavic languages has been increased . Dissident organizations active in RED countries have increased their efforts in order to shake the unity of the [RED] countries and provoke a rebellion.


The diplomatic steps of the RED countries to halt conflict and relax international tension have not brought tangible results. The security services of the BLUE countries have recently taken steps to publicly compromise the most active diplomats from the RED countries. More than 50 diplomats from RED countries had been expelled from BLUE countries by 5 June. The mass media is waging a campaign against other diplomats who have allegedly engaged in espionage.


Taking retaliatory measures, the REDS suggested that 30 diplomats of the BLUE countries leave their countries, accusing [them] of espionage, and did not agree to the accreditation of 20 diplomats of these countries. The BLUES accused the RED countries of whipping up tension in bilateral relations and also of intentionally inflaming international relations in order to lead to an armed confrontation.




Within the framework of a spring series of exercises and preparations for a strategic command-staff exercise, DRUZHBA-88, in which operations groups from the staffs of the Northern, Central, and Southern Fronts, armies and selected divisions are to be involved, the BLUES are continuing to develop measures to inspect the state of combat readiness of the large formations and formations in the ground forces, air forces, and navy. A regrouping of formations and units is being conducted.


During the exercises being conducted up to now measures have being worked out to verify the state of combat and mobilization readiness of the selected formations and units. Officers are improving their knowledge in the area of planning, organizing, and marching to great distances. In addition, an inspection of the level of combat training of the troops involved in the exercise is being conducted.


In addition to the exercises being conducted up to now in the ground forces of the BLUE countries, in recent days the following training measures have begun to be worked out:


- on 2 June at the CEDYNIA Training Area, a one-sided exercise of units selected from the 28th td under the name RUBIN-88. The primary goal of the exercise is to improve the troops' planning, organization, and conduct of defensive operations;


- on 4 June an opposing-force exercise with the troops of the 62nd td under the name CHERNYY KOT began at the [WEISSEWASSER] Training Area. The goal of the exercise is to check the state of combat readiness of division units and improve the officers' knowledge of the planning, organization, and conduct of defensive operations in the initial period of a war;


- on the morning of 6 June an inspection of the combat readiness of the 10th and 12th td's was declared. At 1200 the departure of units of these divisions for areas where troops go on alert was noted;


- in areas north of NEUBRANDENBURG the operation of the field CP communications center of the 26th Army; 15 km west of NEURUPPIN [that of the] 27th Army; 20 km east of DESSAU  -[of] the 35th Army; 18 km north of KARL-MARX-STADT - [of] the 36th Army; and 25 km north of PRAGUE, [of] the 48th Army were noted;


- intensive training of troops has been noted in training grounds near locations of permanent deployment and in the areas of [LIPSTADT] and SIEGEN. The outfitting of the troops and the technical condition of transport equipment is being checked;


- the departure of march columns of the 36th td was noted in the area of HALLE at 1800 6 June. Traffic control posts were set up on the streets in an easterly direction;


- intensified preparations for a march of the 63rd td were noted in the area of the LEIPZIG Training Area;


- formations and units not involved in the exercise are in permanently deployed locations and are undergoing intensive training.




The number of workers employed in key military industrial enterprises has increased in the BLUE countries. The high rate of production of T-72 tanks and SU-27 and MiG-29 aircraft is being maintained.


The implementation of a program to build and repair ships and submarines has been accelerated. Restrictions have been introduced on the free movement of RED diplomats in the territory of most of the BLUE countries.


The security of important military facilities has been strengthened, new passes introduced, and the operating procedures of the personnel observation and monitoring systems near guarded facilities have been increased.


On 5 June government control over the distribution of fuel and electrical power was introduced in a majority of BLUE countries. Their supply to the civilian population was reduced considerably.


The number of reconnaissance flights along the border with the BLUE countries has increased as well as reconnaissance missions [reysy], especially in the Baltic Sea area. Fishing cutters have been enlisted to conduct reconnaissance in the waters bordering the RED countries. The number of fishing cutters of the BLUE countries in fishing grounds near the territorial waters of RED countries increased sharply last week.


An increase in the tempo of repair work, the installation of air defense equipment on several BLUE ships, technical inspections, and the presence of crews on mothballed ships has been noted in ports and naval bases.


On the night of 5-6 June selected surface ships left the main naval bases for forming-up places within the framework of preparations for the SKAGEN-88 exercise which, according to plan, will be held from 7 June to 6 July in the area of the western BALTIC straits.


On 5 June an inspection of the air defense system was conducted in the BLUE countries. An additional 36 radar stations and 46 AAA battery firing positions were deployed near airfields within the framework of this inspection. Individual air defense regions have reached readiness Nº 2 within the framework of a training exercise.


At 1900 6 June a codeword message to bring formations and units into full combat readiness was intercepted in the warning net of the armed forces of the BLUE countries.





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.


Document Information


Polish Institute for National Remembrance, IPN BU 1408/2. Published in CWIHP e-Dossier 20, "Roundtable Discussion on Warsaw Pact Exercises SOYUZ-75 and SHCHIT-88."


The History and Public Policy Program welcomes reuse of Digital Archive materials for research and educational purposes. Some documents may be subject to copyright, which is retained by the rights holders in accordance with US and international copyright laws. When possible, rights holders have been contacted for permission to reproduce their materials.

To enquire about this document's rights status or request permission for commercial use, please contact the History and Public Policy Program at [email protected].

Original Uploaded Date



Report Directive


Record ID


Original Classification

Top Secret