TRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
WASHINGTON ao. O.
MEMORANDUM FOR: The Acting Director of
SUBJECT : MILITARY THOUGHT (TOPTasks
ot the -Navy and the Methodsby Admiral N. Kharlamov
erbatim translation of anappeared in the TOP SECRET Spcclnl Collection ofthe Journal "Militaryovcn^wajlysl" 1
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MILITARY THOUGHT "TEe"
Performing Them Kharlamov
Followingerbatim translation of "The Tasks of the Navy and the Methods of Performingn article by Admiral N. Kharlamov.
This article appeared in2 First Issuepecial version of the Soviet military Journal Voyennaya Mysl (Military Thought). Thia Journal is published irregularly and is classified TOP SECRET by the Soviets. 2 First Issue went to presa on
Hoadquartors Comment: Military Thought is published by the USSR Ministry of Defense in three versions, classified RESTRICTED, SECRET and TOP SECRET. The RESTRICTED version has been issued monthlyhile the other two versions are issued irregularly. The TOP SECRET version was initiated iny the end1 issues of the SECRET version had beenf them
Tasks of the Navy and the Methods of Performing Then
Admiral N. Kharlamov
The tasks of the Navyuture warubject of theoretical as well as practicalto the entire Armed Forces. There is still lacking the necessary unity of understanding among the command elements of the various types of Armed Forces regarding the role, place and significance of combat operations at sea, especially in the initial periodar.
In the article by Admiral V. Platonov*, the tasks which may be assigned to our navyuture war have been examined in the main, correctly. However, these tasks are spelled out in general terms and are applicablearhole, with nofor the specific conditions of Its initial period.
And yet, the nature of naval forces operations, the substance of the tasks being performed, of thoir importance, and the sequence of their execution will differ greatly In the initial periodar from the execution of these same tasks during subsequent periodsar.
Itniversally recognized principle that the initial periodar willecisive influence on the subsequent oporations of each of the oppoelng sides. Obviously it is during this very period that both of the opponents will strive to use the greatest possible part of their nuclear/
1.Special Collection of Articles of the Journal
strike against them at any mjment. navalery high degree of mobility Ther for combat with enemy naval forces lt will sary also to bring in mobile forces whlc their disposal the necessaryhe only force actually capable of fruatra first enemy strikes from llic sea contlnuos tho Navy, and its basic task In ihe initioar is to frustrate then the course of (he enemy's so-called "al clear offensive" from the sea.
Just aa the missile troops, by their first strikes against objectives on enemy territory, will destroy those of his means of carryinguclear/missile war which are located on land, so the forces of the Navy will have task at soa.
is why the basic and primary task of our
Navy in the Initial periodar will be to
destroy the forces of the enemy navy, which, along
with other forces, comprise the basis of his nuclear/
missile power. The first strikes of our fleet should
be directed against such objectives as, above all,
missile submarines, carrier strike largo units, and
groupings of missile-carrying vessels at sea or in bases.
destruction of enemy navy sliould be car work of one or- more init against the enemy forces and will be carried out ingingleombat with aircraft car and groupings of surface individual tasks of thia be carried out bv specie of forcea which will del naval forces In the area the strike forces of the rled out within the frame-lal operations. Operations willingle goal, simultaneously andonnection with this, rlers, missile submarines vossels will be appropriate overall operation. It will lly constituted groupings Iver strikes againstf basing, under way at
sea, and directly la the areas of coabat operations.
If the task of frustrating the enemy's nuclear offensive from the sea is successfully accomplished, it willirect and substantial influence not only on subsequent combat operations at sea, but on the course of combat operations along certain strategic axes. Therefore, in order to destroy the strike forces of the enemy navy at the very start of the war, it Is necessarysufficiently largo forces,he detriment of theof other tasks, so that the first strike against the onemy is the most powerful. Only in this way can we be certain that the enemy will be incapable of parrying our strike, and that it will therefore be highly successful and bear Important results.
Up to the present time, authors of manyand scientific works, as well as the author of the article presently under discussion, maintain thataval task as disrupting enemy sea and ocean communication lines must also be accomplished in the initial periodar. Moreover, Admiral V. Platonov writes that "combat with carrier strike
large units on theonly part of the
taak of disrupting the enemy ocean routes ofthough lt may be the most difficult part".
There is no need to argue the point that the destruction of the main strike groupings of enemy naval forces will facilitate tho operations of our naval forces against the ocean communication lines of the enemy. The issue liescombat against enemy communication lines be carried out .simultaneously with the operations to destroy tho main strike forces of the onemy navy; will lt be Justified to allot for thisonsiderable portion of the forces to the detriment of theof the main task of the Initial period of
thethe enemy nuclear attack from -
There is no doubt that the disruption of ocean communication lines and Interruption of enemy sea transport will have considerable bearing on the course of combat operations ln all theaters, but the effect will not be felt immediately; it will become evident gradually, as the materiel prepared by the enemy in advance becomes expended and his armed forces begin to suffer seriously from lack of ammunition, fuel, materiel and personnel. It will take at least several months beforeituation isafter the firsthave already been completed.
Our probable opponenta are amassing the required supplies of materiel ln the theaters of military operationsate which, taking losses intowill ensure the conduct of combat operationseriodonths.
Due consideration must also be given to the fact that at the present time certain changes are taking place in the thinking of the probableregarding the system of protecting his sea and ocean communication lines. Aware of the fact that ocean and sea ports will become targets for nuclear strikes in the Initial periodar, the NATO military command now considers that one of the priority tasks in the Initial periodar is the withdrawal of their merchant ships from the areas of nuclear strikes in order tothem for carrying out heavy shipments in the subsequent period of the war.
This task was executed ln practice at the strategic command-staff exorcise of the NATO Armed Forces, "Side During the exercise, withinours after the beginning of military operations, almost all ocean-going vessels, with the exception of those ln mothballs or undergoing repair, were withdrawn from major European ports and from the Atlantic coastline of the United States.
essels originally located inajor2 were evacuated. emained in European ports, and approximatelyere left. ports. Those merchant ships which were at sea at the time were also directed to the western part of theOcean.
The ships were evacuated ln convoys as well as Individually. In all,onvoys were recordedays, each consisting oforansports; ln this instance protection for the majority of the convoys consistedscort vessels. Six convoys proceeded with no protection whatever. During the same period records show that there was only one convoy departing the United States for Europe; it consisted ofessels and was escortedar ships. The majority of the merchant66were evacuated to ports of North, West and South Africa. The remaining vessels were directed to the area of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.
Such operations of the enemy corroborate once more that in the initial periodar major
movements of troops and freight. ports to the European Theater of War are not very likely.
Also, although the destruction of thewhile they are in process of evacuation will decrease the enemy's capabilities to organizesea shipments, it-will have no directon the course of combat operations in the naval and ground theaters ln the initial periodar.
If small convoys are detected delivering troops across tbe ocean to the European Theater of War, their destruction can be incidental to theof the basic tasks.
Such is the situation regarding operations against enemy/ocean communication lines in the initial
We cannot rule out the possibility that In the first daysar, our probable opponent may begin transporting troops by sea along coastal communication routes for the purpose of regrouping, reinforcement or evacuation of groupings pushed up against the sea, or for delivering materiel to them. Such operations are likely to take place in both the closed sea and ocean theaters of military Such enemy sea transport will become the objective of operations of the inshore (bllzhneye deystvlye) naval forces, including missile-carrying surface vessels.
The main efforts of the Navy In the initial periodar must be concentrated against the strike forces of the enemy navy. Atomic and missile submarines and missile-carrying aviation should be dirocted first of all at the destruction of those forces of the enemy navy which deliver aucloar/ missile weapons. At tho same time, and incidental to this, the task of disrupting enemy sealines also will be accomplished in part. By destroying enemy naval bases and ports, the Navy will also destroy the transports and freightin them.
Although the task of disrupting sealines and frustrating enemy sea transport is one of the main tasks of the Navy in the initial periodar, it must be executed, in full scope, only after tho nuclear/missile power of the enemy strike groupings has been undermined considerably, and his forces have lost the capability to deliver concentrated strikes against our Navy and itaareas as well as against the rear areaof our country.
In order to set up successful combat with enemy sea transport, prevent reinforcement of his ground
groupings in tho course of the first operations, cut off delivery of essential materiel, andthe evacuation of valuable materiel from Europe to the other side of the ocean, it is necessary to take all possible measures for annihilating hlastrike large units and destroying his missile submarines. This task must be executed by the fleet in coordination with the missile troops of strategic designation, and will make lt possible,hort time, to weaken enemy naval forces in the theater and will release our-submarines and missile-carrying aviation for operation against enemy distant ocean communication lines.
At the time that large units of missile troops, while delivering strikes against vital objectives on onemy territory, including ports and naval bases, also are destroying the-ships located therein, the navy will engage In combat with carrier strike large units, enemy missile submarines and their supporting forces directly at sea, destroy aircraft carriers, missile-carrying vessels and atomic submarlnos in the areas of their combat operations and on the approaches to them. Part of the naval forcea will deliver strikes against the basing areaa of the antisubmarine forces, airfields of antisubmarine defense (PLO) aviation, communications conters, control centers and the more important means of radiotechnlcal surveillance and navigation In the soa theater.
Regarding the actual methods of naval forces operations for destroying enemy carrier strike large units, in this matter we share the point of view of Admiral V. Kasatonovl, and cannot accept as well founded the estimate of Admiral V. Platonov regarding the capabilities of our fleet ln the
overall plan for destroying coastal objectives, and will be considerably easier than under conditions of carrier strike force operations in remote regions of the ocean.
It is obvious that in the course of operational training, different versions of naval forcosmay be worked out. As Is generally known, during the Pacific Fleet exercise the concept and plan of naval operations envisaged action against objectives located on the mainland and on enemy island bases, as woll as strikes against carrier strike forces on the ocean. For this purposo it was planned to use aviation, shore missile unitsnit of submarines. However, for obvious reasons, strikes against the bases and againstof the probable enemy located on shore could not be worked out in practice.
Admiral V. Platonov is in favor of eradicating simplification and sketchiness in the operations of the naval forces while they aro working out methods of executing combat missions on the ocean In the process of naval training. Such ais obligatory, and in order to fulfill it, much effort is needed on the part of the teachers
and the pupils ln all exercisos conducted ln the Navy.
However, it must be mentioned hereremendous gulf sometimes exists betweenand capabilities of fulfilling them, and the fight against slnpllflcatlon in combat training can be carried on up to specific, sane limits, which, under present conditions, lt is impossible to exceed.
Before, when tbe main weaponar ship was artillery, and that ofand conventional bombs, delivery of strikes against groupings of ships could be simulated by the actual use of the weapons against special targets, or even against coabat vessels. True, even then full use could not be made of all the means of defense and protectionhip repelling the strikes of
enemy". Therefore, even at that time,strikes, combined attacks and single round firings on ships appeared far from what it would be in an actual combat situation.
Now, when missiles and torpedoes with nuclear charges are becoming the main woapons of war ships nd aircraft, carrying out even a. small number of experiments with the actual use of weapons is far from being always possible, and it iswhether the results attained would justify the use. The cost of the weapons, measures for ensuring security, tho great expenditure of forces which would be allotted for this purpose, and other circumstances would require an oven greater amount of simulation in the operations of the naval forces during combat training than is permitted at the present time without the actual use of weapons,
Nevertheless, evon now, as more and moreof various designation are being used for naval armament, lt is becoming difficult toaval exercise in which there la no actual use of missiles by submarines, aviation and surface vessels. It is true that, for obvious reasons, missile launch-ings at present are carried out at firing ranges, and not against vessels and aircraft participating in an exercise. From this point of view, some of our exorcises are simulatedertain degree, and the operations of naval forcea in theseare conducted in oversimplified conditions, different by far from those In which even the first combatuture war will be conducted. This is done because we still have not created perfected targets and means of simulating missiles which would permit us to work out their launchings effectively; thus, out of necessity, we have to use missiles only on special firing ranges, and not directly during the playing of tacticalattacks and strikes of mixed forces.
And although atomic and hydrogen bombs are not oxploded at the exercises, and the piercing whistle of cruise missiles is not heard over the war ships, everythingthe deployment of forces and the organization of strikes up to going into the attack using training torpedoes and various means ofcarried out just as it will be under combat conditions. Therefore we cannot agree with the assertion that oversimplification ln combat training and in the organization and conduct of exercises, and stereotyped use of forces, arein the Navy, As la generally known, our Navy broke away from the shoreew years ago, and the main areas of its combat trainingthose seas and ocean regions which would most likely be used by tbe naval forces of the enemyuture war. These areas are quite distant from our bases, airfields and coastline, and this fact in itself brings the conditions under which our naval forces will operate nearer to actual wartime conditions. In these areas submarines and missile-carrying aviation develop and check out in practice the most effective methods of operations and the uae of their weaponsomplex situation.
At the exercises, in accordance with thesituation, submarines are deployed lngroupings in the most probable areas ofof enemy carrier Btrlke large units. In order to simulate the operations of thear ships usually *go out 'to sea and carry outln accordance with the views of the military leadership of the NATO countries which are known to us.
In exercises of rocent years, the first strikes against the "enemy" war ship groupings wereby those forces which wore the first to arrive in tho area of "enemy"accordance with the principle "no ono waits for anyone". In aof instances the first to use their weapons
were tho large unite of missllo-carryingwere also cases when the first strikes"enemy" were delivered by submarines. naval command usually strived to direct asas possible at the "enemy". by aircraft completed the annihilationwar ship
One of the shortcomings of exercises is that the simulated forces aro not fully used in them. Their function is limited to that of simulating the enemy up to the time that submarines and aviationeries of nuclear strikes against him. As soon as the naval forces execute the task of annihilating the enemy strike groupings the simulating forcesto base.
ajority of the exercises conducted,not all of the submarines.had time to attack "thend often began to return to base, on signal, without having made even one attack. Thus, although the exercises were instructive for the Navy on the whole, and permitted it not only to check out, but to perfect, the methods of operations of submarines and aviation, for those submarines which did not succeed in"thehe prolonged Btay at sea, in ossence,outine, andombat, cruise.
Ve consider that all submarines proceeding to remote areas shouldhanco to conduct atew attacks on the "enemy" in the ocean. This can be ensured comparatively simply. After the main tasks of the naval exercise aro carried out, lt is advisable to conduct the simulated forces,through those areas whore, toward the end of tho exercise, our submarines are located. Thla will create the necessary conditions for working out the operations of submarines in remote areaa of the ocean, and will provide opportunity to carryeries of attacks under realistic conditions. The latter is necessary for the moral satisfaction of the
personnel, whose Intense trainingruise should be concluded by an attack, as it will under combat conditions.
The simulation forces should be used to the utmost in working out such matters as combat use of naval shore missile units, missile and torpedo patrol boats (kater) and various means of combat, in order that each naval exercise would actually be Navy-wide, and all the large units and units wouldeal opportunity to conduct attacks against thehus bringing-to athe long period of maintaining them atreadiness.
One cannot but express amazement at theof Admiral V. Platonov that "control of naval forces is presentlyrisis" and at his proposal to unravel some "knot of contradictions".
Does everything regarding the control of the naval forces actually seem to be as lt is pictured in Admiral V. Platonov's article? We are very far from accepting these extreme opinions and pointed conclusions as being fair.
If the logic of Admiral V. Platonov'sis followed, when he suggests that there be two commanders of the navalindependent of thequestion automaticallyonly two? If our Navy Is carrying out an operation for the destruction of enemy naval forces, the forces of the former will be conducting operations along several axes, executing Independent tasks. Part of the forces will carry on combat with carrier strike large units, another part will hunt out atomicand destroy them, and part will perform tasks for the destruction of ports, and naval bases, and for putting out of commission the ships and vessels located therein. To this we must add that in order to support the operations of their groupings of
forces, and also for the defense of the system of basing and for tho execution of thenumber of tasks by way of systematic combat operations, special forces will be needed which, at the present time, are the forces of naval bases and divisions (brigades) of the inshore defensekhrana vodnykh All thesewill operate in different areas of the theater, their methods and duration of operations will vary, and the groupings will differ from each other in the composition of forces.
In other words, it turns out that for each grouping of forces engaged in executing one of the tasks of the operation, it will be necossary toommander of forces, who will be, in the opinion of Admiral V. Platonov, one of thecommanders of the fleet. But since all these forces will execute their tasks inand organizationally are united into one Navy, it will be necessary to have still another naval commander over all the other commanders. Such ann our opinion, would not lead to better control of the naval forces, but would Indeed give riserisis.
It is nocessary to search for ways ofthe system of control of forces, not by increasing the number of commanders of each fleet, but in wide-scale automation -of .all -the work of the command and staffs. At present this Is the most correct and promising path, which, if followed, will open up great possibilities for ensuringuninterrupted and flexible control of all naval forces, operating in different areas of the theater and executing various tasks. And when the electronic-computing equipment takes its proper place in the work of our headquarters, it will fully assure the capabilityingleto control all the forces while they aro operating In any ocean areas.
dismal picture painted by the authorhe resubordination of part of the forces of one fleet to another while both are executing the same task, is far from the actual true
Actually, when two fleets Jointly fulfill the same task, we work out the transfer of part of the forces of one fleet to the subordination of another. This means that the attached or supporting forces are being used together with the basic forces of the fleet, which were allotted for the executioningle task. They are under the direction of one of the fleet commanders designated by the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy.
Experience gained in exercises has indicated that such use of the forces of two or more fleets for the execution of the same task fullyitself, and none of the awful situations with which the author attempts to frighten us has developed. And anyway, under presentthe development of such situations is impossible. The forces of one fleet are attached to another, not for operatingpecific area, limited by one of the parallels, but forefinite task. And only after this
task isof whether it is
below or above theparallel, the attached forces can be redirected .and consequently become resubordinated to the other commander.
Such resubordination is nothing to shy away from, but it should be worked out and mastered ln the process of combat training, because this is one of the possible workable means ofthe efforts of two or more fleets for the execution of important tasks in short periods of time.
unfounded are the author's misgivings that the war ships operating near the boundary lines will not know to whom to report and whose orders to follow. This will not happen if the tasks are, clearly assigned. We cannot seriously consider that the commanders of submarines belay deployed several thousand of miles away from their bases will not know why they were sent there. Neither will they be required to report to various addresses regarding their operations, because we have adopted and operatenified system of communications for all fleets. And finally, we must bear in mind that the boundary lines between the zones of operations of adjacent fleets are fixed by the high command, which, inask to the fleets, defines the areas of their operations, and at any given moment, just as soon as needed, can shift the boundary line as required by the actual situation.
umber of instances Admiral V. Platonov overestimates the capabilities of the probable opponent. He writes that. the situation forces the enemy to sally forth into open sea totrike, then the carrier strike large unit will see to ithorough preliminary search is carried out and that the area of its maneuvering is cleared of enemy submarines". We can hardly agree that the enemy will be able to destroy our forces completely in-one-or another area even before the accomplishment of thetask. However, if the author of the article thinks otherwise, then he should not only have described this situation, but also offered some way out of it.
We are of the opinion that our forces are capable of operating in remote areas of the ocean and successfully accomplishing the task ofcarrier strike large units.
Incorrect is the assertion of the author of the article that we still have not determined the main forces for the task of combat with missile submarines.
It is known that alreadynwith the accelerated construction by the United States of atomic submarines. armed with "Polaris" missiles, and the possibility of their being used from the ice areas of the Arctic, the Navy wasewprevent those submarines from delivering strikos against our territory. Special measures wore taken for the most rapid construction of special antisubmarine defense (PLO) forces, as well as for working out he use. for this purpose of the forces and means which were already part of the equipment of the
The fleets and academies were assigned the task of giving special attention during operational and combat training, and whilo conductingresearch, to finding effective methods of combat with missile submarines. esult of this, at the presentystem of antisubmarine defense has been worked out, as well as opinions regarding the performance of its tasks.
It is felt that combat with missile submarines Is to be carried out .with -equal intensity in both close and remote areas. It will consist of strikes against missile submarine bases, the mining of their basing points, and destroying them In remote areas, prior to their approach to firing positions.
Admiral V. Platonov correctly affirms that the main force of the Navy in combat with missilewill be antisubmarine submarines. absolute donial of the capabilities ofand surface vessels in this combat must be considered incorrect. In the next few years surface
and PLO aviation will comprise the basis for combat with missile submarines ln coastal
areas. Theae forces will alsoefinite role in remote areas.
In Admiral V. Platonov's article we come across other incorrect propositions. We fully agree with the criticism of them expressed in the article by Admiral V. Kasatonov.
The editors of the periodical "Military Thought" acted correctly lniscussion
of the most Important Issues of the development and use of the Navyuture war. road exchange of opinions by the command personnel of the Navy and other types of Armed Forces on the Issues touched upon will permit us to understand more deeply the significance and substance of the changes taking place in our Navy, caused by the adoption Into its armament of nuclear/missllo weapons and various combat means based on radio-electronics, and to work out unity of views on all the basic issues of the development and use of naval forces.Original document.