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August 28, 1980

Special Dossier on the Polish Crisis of 1980

Top Secret
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The situation in the PPR remains tense. The strike movement is operating on a countrywide scale.

Taking account of the emerging situation, the Ministry of Defense requests permission, in the first instance, to bring three tank divisions (1 in the Baltic MD, 2 in the Beloruss. MD) and one mechanized rifle division (Transcarp. MD) up to full combat readiness as of 6:00 p.m. on 29 August to form a group of forces in case military assistance is provided to the PPR.

To fill out these divisions, it will be necessary to requisition from the national economy up to 25 thousand military reservists and 6 thousand vehicles, including 3 thousand to replace the vehicles taken from these troops to help out with the harvest. Without the extra vehicles, the divisions cannot bring their mobile reserves up to full readiness. The necessity to fill out the divisions at the expense of resources from the national economy arises because they are maintained at a reduced level in peacetime. The successful fulfillment of tasks during the entry of these divisions into the territory of the PPR requires combat arrangements to be established some 5-7 days in advance.

If the situation in Poland deteriorates further, we will also have to fill out the constantly ready divisions of the Baltic, Belorussian, and Transcarpathian Military Districts up to wartime level. If the main forces of the Polish Army go over to the side of the counterrevolutionary forces, we must increase the group of our own forces by another five-seven divisions. To these ends, the Ministry of Defense should be permitted to plan the call-up of as many as 75 thousand additional military reservists and 9 thousand additional vehicles.

In this case, it would mean that a total of up to 100 thousand military reservists and 15 thous. vehicles would have to be requisitioned from the national economy.

The draft of a CPSU CC directive is attached.






28 August 1980

No. 682-op (3 pp.)

Memorandum to the CPSU Politburo from the Suslov Commission regarding a request by the Soviet Ministry of Defense to bring up to full readiness 3 divisions of the Soviet Armed Forces. The memorandum cautions the Soviet leadership that, in case the Polish Armed Forces switch allegiance to the counter-revolutionary forces, another 5-7 divisions might be necessary.

Document Information


Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Dmitriĭ Antonovich Volkogonov papers, 1887-1995, mm97083838, Reel 18, Container 27. Translated by Malcolm Byrne.

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