Created: 8/1/1968

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

Joint Study

Soviet Capabilities to Reinforce in Central Europe

Equipment Levels in

Soviet Combat-Ready Divisions






Equipment Levels in Soviet Combat-Ready Divisions


From intensive

it has been determined that two typical

"SovXe"tr"conioat-ready divisions in East Germany have fewer cargo and auxiliary vehicles than previously believed. At the level of equipment strength now estimated, these divisions would require outside logistic help for any extended action.

The analysis concentratedovietotorized rifle division in East Germany

fiecause these two divisions are probably as close to full strength as any divisions in the Soviet army, the results of the analysis are believed toefined basis for estimating the typical equipment levels of Soviet combat-ready divisions. This in turnighly quantified measure against which to compare the equipment levels of Soviet divisions elsewhere in assessing their degree of combat

The findings supportfrom other

analyses that Soviet divisions are designed for high-intensity, short-duration combat, with thetail" reducedinimum.

Note: This report was produced by CIA. It wasby the Office of Strategic Research, CIA, and coordinated with the Directorate of IntelligenceDIA. It is published as partoint CIA-DIA study on Soviet reinforcement capabilities.

Analytical Method

1 tfie

h Motorized Rifle


1. In an effort to obtain an accurate assessment of the equipment levels in Soviet combat-readyan intensive study was made of twoermany which are accessible for



sion and located

rawc uivi^ Division/ both of Berlin. (See map, opposite pageVJ Tnsy are believed to be similar in organization and equipment to other Soviet"in XJexmany and probably are as close- ti> full strength as any divisions in the Soviet army. Thus, the results of the study can serveeliable standard against which equipment levels of Soviet divisions elsewhere may be compared in assessing their degree of combat readiness.


' Tnis


positive identification of all vehicle storage shedsount and identificationubstantialof the equipment therein. (See appended foldouts.)

3.. The success of the analysis depended upon accurate identification of the divisions1 units and their respective equipment This identification was accomplished in two steps*>i

4. This procedure resulted in the location and identification of all the subordinate units ofh Guards Tank Divisionh Motorized Rifle Division, with the minor exceptions noted in Table


Previous estimates of combat vehicle strength (tanks, artillery, and rocket launchers) wereby the analysis, but the number of armored personnel carriers was found to be aboutercent lower than previously believed. General-purpose cargo trucks and auxiliary vehicles such as theeep were also down aboutercent. The total amount of equipment in the divisions was found to beercent lower than previously held. (Sao chart, opposite pngo.)

On the basis of the assessed equipmentof these two divisions, it appears that aSoviet tank division hasand major equipment items*otorized rifle division. The figures for subordinate units of the divisions arc given in Tableage 6.

These figures are best estimates derived from the consistent but slightly varying results obtained by analysis. In the case of artillery instrumental reconnaissance batteries and chemical defense companies, more weight was given to the results obtained foL the tank division, since the tank division data contained fewer ambiguities for these units, and there is no

totals include all self-propelled vehiclesmotorcycles and all large towed vehicles ouch as artillery pieces and two-axle trailers.



Table 1

Equipment Holdings of Soviet Combat-Ready Tank and Motorized Rifle Divisions

Division Units


Motorized Rifle Regiment

Tank Regiment

FROG Battalion Artillery Regiment Multiple Rocket Launcher

Battalion b/ Antiaircraft Artillery Antitank Artillery Battalion Maintenance Battalion Artillery Instrumental

Reconnaissance Battery Engineer Battalion Reconnaissance Company Chemical Defense Company Motor* Transport Battalion

(Ammunition) Motor Transport Battalion (POL) Signal Battalion c/ Residual d/


Tank Division

3ach 30

ot applicableo 60



/ 80

ot identifiable Not identifiable

Hote: Data are rounded to the nearest S.

is some evidence that the artillery regiment ofrifle division hasore guns than the tankso, it should haveoore vehicles. However, theybe identified in this study.

multiple rocket launcher battalion ofh Guardsis re-equipped with theround launcher, andhas more ammunition trucks thanh Motorizedwhich is still equipped with theround launcher.

additional signal equipment may be attached to otherunits to provide signal support in garrison.

residual includes those units which could not betype but which are considered to belong to the division. the medical units of both divisions are dispersed amonglisted.

reason to believe these particular units would be differentotorized rifle division. (Secummary of the analysish Guards Tank Division andummaryh Motorized Rifle Division.}

9. The analysis has provided new insight into some aspects of the logistical capabilities of Soviet divisions. The mobile ammunition and POL supplies of the combat units and in the division trains were

counted. Tho ammunition car-

triers, and probably the POL carriers, are kept loaded at all times. This practice is consistent with other evidence which indicates that Soviet divisions in Germany are required to be capable of being assembled and moved out to combat within two hours from an alert.

study also supported earliorthat the Sovietslexiblein the allocation of pontons toin the case of tank divisions. number of pontons inh Guards Tankarea increased fromuggestingontons may have been allocated to thefor some special purpose. It appears that,being permanently assigned in fixed numbers,may be allocated to divisions in numberswith their intended missions. We havethat onlyontons are organic to eachtwo divisions and havo excluded the rest.


methodology used for this study and the

a high

degree or confidence in the findings^ immr a

long period,

en til ication ot equipment-.. Tlie

allowed observation of

trquipraenr lnsiQG tne buTTdlhgs

12. Thereigh degree of internalsince the analysis of all units of similar type yielded analogous results. This consistency

is further supported by the results obtained in the study of six additional Soviet units in Germany,to the analysis described herein- Thesefour motorized rifle

io range DCtween

cquipmenr. noiaings. econnaissance company was found to have aboutehicles and an antiaircraft artillery.

evidence indicates that, in the twostudied, the Soviets made optimum use ofstorage space* Wherover sufficientwas possible to determine the pattern ofprecisely, it was found that all usablevehicle sheds was occupied by vehicles. Thenoted were in areas of constructionand in buildings where physicalpracticality prevented maximum usage. In onlywas an apparently usable storage shedbe unoccupied (see Annex This findingthat the actual equipment holdingshigh side of our estimate of probable holdings.

We have followed this reasoning in estimating the equipment lovels of combat-ready divisions andunits.

intelligence cut-off date for studytwo divisions However,units are normally dynamic organizationsconstantly changing in some degree. Forscan of information receivedanuarythat the tank division nowet ofmore quickly assomblod PMP pontons inthe three sets of the older TPP pontonsits areaew unitntiaircraft guns. 2 tanks to older models has alsosubstantially. The divisions' facilitiesrebuilt, and this work may have caused somein the delineation of unit areas andof buildings.

Tactical and Logistical implications

findings of this study areSoviet writings on the evolution offorces* Inthes, Soviet militarythat dramatic reductions in thetaxi" of the Soviet division had beenfirepower was maintained and even improved*

inister of Defense Malinovskiy claimed that even greater reductions were planned* Others, such as General Malykhin, now deputy chief of the rear services, complained that the cuts had already dangerously reduced the levels of mobile stocks at division and army level. Malykhin indicatedivision should have at least three to four days of mobile stocks, with two more days in mobile army depots*

Our current analysis suggests that organic supplies of POL will not permit sustained periods of intensive combat beyond about three days without resupply and support from outside the division* Thus, the Soviets have kept mobile supplies near thelevel and are relying, primarily on front-level rear services to begin delivery of supplies to the combat unitsew days after initiation of hostilities*

Judging from the two divisions analyzed, the combat-ready Soviet division is smaller and moreequipped than previously believed. The Soviets have attempced to maximize direct firepowerinimum level of combat and service support in the division. They have probably been successful in this design but have sacrificed staying power and flexibility to achieve it.



This annex illustrates the procedures used in the study by describing the analysis of one tank regiment ofh Guards Tank Division, located in Potsdamsee Photoppended foldouts).

The regiment's equipment is contained in nine of the ten vehicle storage sheds in Subarea Bb, which is separated from other divisional elementsence. One of theused jointly by the tank regiment and the adjoiningartillery battalion, as indicated by the security fence which separates the two units and divides the building.

as identified as housing the regimental ammunition train and is separately secured from the rest of the regimental area. The estimatedrucks andrailers located inere observed to be continuously loaded with ammunition andeady condition.

ontained the regiment's major combat equipment including tanks, reconnaissance vehicles, and self-propelled antiaircraft weapons. Some supportrecovery andalso noted in these sheds.

ere observed to contain onlymaterials and no vehicles throughout the ere razed in

Shedshroughere observed to contain most of the general-support and maintenance vehicles of the regiment.

Shedas identifiedehicle storage shedapacity forehicles but repeatedindicated that it was not used for thestorage of any vehicles during thehis was the only instance noted in either division where an apparently usable storage shed was not used for permanent storage.


Subarea Li is the regimental tank miniature firing range. The structure at the range head was not used for permanent storage of any unit vehicle-

For illustrative purposes.sdetail. Tablehows thein the shed on all dUriflgb7,

A total ofehiclos regularly stored inore observed and identified. In four of the five sections at least one, and usually two, tanks appeared in each bay on several coverages. In all cases where only one tank was observeday, it was"impossible to determineecond tank was also present in tho bay. However, enough observations of two tanks per bay support an estimate that allanx nays weresod,otal ofanks probably stored ino 5. This judgment was further supported by the observation that optimum use was generally made of storage capacity throughout the units of the division. In Sectionach bay was observed to hold at least one vehicle. It could not be determined whether more than one vehicle was stored in any of the four bays, although each bay could hold two. Therefore,as estimated to hold four to eight vehicles. Totaling the results for all five sectionsrobable holding forfoehicles.

The results of similar analyses for each shed of the tank regiment in Subarea Bb are summarized in Table 3. It will be noted that, for Shedsassociated equipment" was considered, in addition to equipment observed inside the sheds, in estimating the probable holdings of those sheds. The "associated equipment" figures were derived by totaling the highest numbers of each type of vehicle observed outside and subtracting from those totals all vehicles of the same type which had been observed to be stored inside.










-"Ambulancermored Recoverympty

aintenance Van

ot Seen

van temporarily present to service tank in bay




Table 3

Analysis of Equipment Storage in^ ,

Identified Associated Probable

a. Excluding the portion occupied by an antiaircraft artillery battalion.


in Bay3 Equipment Holdings



Sumsary of Analysis of Equipment Storage ofh Guards Tank Division, East Germany

and Location

(see Photoeadquarters (Subarea Ba)

Chemical Defense Co and Signal Bn (S'jbaraa Bb)

Frog Bn (Subarea Be)

Tank Regt (Subarea Bd)

Multiple Rocket Launcher Bn (Subarea Be)

Artillery Instrumental Reconnaissance Btry

and Engineer Bn (Subarea Bg) Kotor vehicle Workshop (Subarea Bh, ai) Kotor(Subarea Bj) Reconnaissance Co (Subarea Bk) Kotoriied Rifle Regt (Subarea Bl) Tank Workshop (Subarea Bo) Unidentified (Subarea BO

otor Transport--toito

Tank Regt (Subarea Ba)

Motor Transport--FOL (Subareas Be, Be) Unidentified (Subareas Bb, Abj

rtillery Regt (Subarea Ba) Tank Regt (Subarea Bb) AAA Bn (Subarea Be) Motor Transport--POL (Subare*

Division Total











Yotai capacity it derived mathanatieally andnotpractical vsAtelarestraints. TXtse

-tatrainto inaludepeai in nainttnanca buildings, aoeass aiilao in tota* tandtt thtde, and in eertain casta, unit integrity.

transient vehicles not assigned to Headquarters.

onstandard tracked vehicles probably used only for driver training.

C. Excludesonton carriers and their storage area probably not permanently assigned to the division.

Bide of range probably inflated by as much asecause of less than optlnun occupancy while subarea Unoccupied bays could not be identified through observation.

opaces which were probably abandoned7 in conjunction with reconstruction of Subarea Ba.


Sunmary of Analysis of Equipment Storage ofh Motorited Rifle Division, East Gormany

>bo r









emitted from the analysis are tnet subordinate ton Kotonzed Rifle Division.) Subareas Ba and Bf of; Bb; Bb and Be.

Signal Battalion vehicles were probably dispersed throughout the division area, but could not be identified.

ehicles in Subarearobably associated with the Multiple RocXet Launcher Battalion.

Original document.

Comment about this article or add new information about this topic: