Created: 9/1/1968

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Intelligence Report

Fuel Supply of Soviet Combat-Ready Divisions

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CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY Directorate of Intelligence8


Fuel Supply of Soviet Combat-Ready Divisions

Soviet combat-ready divisions can carry enough POL for only about three days of sustained offensive combat. Longer operations would require extensive resupply from army- or front-level resources.

The conclusion derives from an intensivethe mobile POL supply capacities of twoin East10th Guards Tankandh Motorized Riflethe Berlin air corridor

. together with information alreadyon the capacities of these transporters and of the regular fuel tanks on division vehicles, made it possible to calculate the total fuel supply of each division.

These calculations were then correlated with tlie fuel consumption of the divisions' vehicles and with Soviet planning factors for fuel usage in combat in order to determine how long the divisions could themselves in offensive combat.

The results accord with Soviet military articles of thes which indicate that logistical elements of Soviet divisions had been reduced totheir mobility and combat effectiveness on the nuclear battlefield, and that divisions had no more than three to four days' supply of mobile stocks.

Note: This reportroduced solely by CJA. It uae prepared by the Office of Strategic Research and coordinated uith the Office of National Estimates.



Division POL Capacities

1. Recent intensive analysis has revealed tha mobile POL supply capacities of two Soviet divisions in East Germany: h Guards Tank Division andh Motorized Rifle Division.


2. At divisional and regimental levels, most of the POL transport is provided by spccial-purposo tank trucks and trailers and general-purpose vehicles carrying portable bulk containers. The tank trucks can each transportallons of fuel and often tow tank trailers of equal capacity. General-purpose trucks carrying bulk containers also can holdallons each.

The analysis shows that the tank divisionOL-carrying vehicles,otal capacity ofallons. The notorized rifle divisionOL carriersapacity ofallons .

The amounts of fuel carried in the divisions' vehicular tanks wore calculated ftom data published by the Soviets on tha fuel tank capacities of their vehicles. These amounts and the capacities of the POL supply vehicles were combined to determine the



total POL suppliesivision can carry. These data are summarized in the following tabulation.


POL carriers On-board fuel tanks

Light and medium tanks

Armored personnel carriers

Light trucks

Medium trucks

Heavy trucks

POL Capacity (Gallons)

notorized Rifie Division



Assessment of Capabilities

5. The data on fuel-carrying capacities were then used in conjunction with vehicle inventories, vehicle fuel consumption rates, and Soviet planning factors for combat fuel consumption to determine the probable number of days of intensive combatoviet division could sustain without resupply. Thewhich are detailed in the section onindicate that supplies of POL within aadvancing betweenndilometers per dav would permit sustained periods of intensive combat for only about three to threealf days. At this point the mobile POL stocks would have beenand only the fuel in the vehicle tanks would remain. Resupply must commence by this time or the division would begin to lose its combat effectivenessatter of hours.



Soviet Planning Factors

6, The planning factors used in these calculations are based mainly on Soviet military writings about advance rates and fuel usage in combat, ublication,

.^^ described

Soviet planning factors for fuel consumption in offensive combat in the following terms:

It is known that the expenditures of fuelalendar day when the speed of the offensive isilometers may amount to: diesel fuel for heavyand for mediumuelings; aviation gasoline for armoreduelings; motor vehicle gasoline for combat and transport vehicles,5 fuelings,

Malykhin further stated that all calculationsilometer cruising range for motor vehicles and that, for tanks, calculations were based on the actual capacity of the integral fuel system,** Maly-khin's consumption factorsilometers of total

A fueling is theamount of fuel required to fill all vehicle tanks except auxiliary tanks.

The Soviets provide most vehicles with externalontainers either as an integral part of the main fuel system or as auxiliary fuel tanks. The integral type used on tracked vehicleslat container--approximately capacity--unually mounted just above the running gear. The auxiliary fuel system used on tracked vehiclesof two or more jettisonable S'6-gallon drums connected to the integral fuel system. These auxiliary tanks are used in movement before combat begins and then are probably discarded.


driving distance per vehicle for each kilometer of combat advance by the entire unit. This ratio is the same as that used by the US Army in planning for cross country battle consumption of POL.

ilometer pcr-day advanceassumed was cited frequently in Sovietpublications of thes as thein nuclear combat. Recent Soviet writings,suggest that this planning factor hasore realisticoilometers pernuclear warfare andoilometers per day

in nonnuclear combat. To allow for these lowerance rates, the fuel usage factors cited by Malykhin were reduced proportionally and the days of effective combat recalculated. The tables in the section on methodology show the results for all three rates of advance for comparative purposes.

cases the calculations includefor oil and lubricantercent figure used inplanning.

Soviet Views of POL Requirements

s, Soviet military authorities claimed "administrative tail" of the Soviet division reduced and its firepower increased. The ofgreater reductions were planned for the that the cuts had already dangerouslystocks at division and army levels.

proposedivision should have at least three to four days of mobile stocks with two or more days in mobile depots at army level. The asses ment of division POL supplies indicates that thedivision's capabilities remain at the levelOnsidered the acceptable minimum.


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