MEMORANDUM FOR: Tha Director of Central Intelligence
MILITARY TBOUOBT (TOP SECRET): "Some Problems
In Destroying Targets with Nucleary Chief Marshal of Artilleryarentnov
. 1. Enclosederbatim translation of an article vhlch appeared in the TOP SECRET Special Collection of Articles of the Journal "Militaryoyennaya Mysl"by the Ministry ofR, and distributeTdovn to the level of Army Commander.
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Richard Helms Deputy Director (Flans)
Original: Tho Director of Central Intelligence
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MILITARY THOUGHT (TOP SECRET): "Some Problem* in Destroying Targets with Nucleary Chief Marshal of Artillery S. Varentaov
DATE OF INFO: 1 Documentary
Followingerbatim translation of an article entitled "Some Problems ln Destroying Targete with Nucleary Chief Marshal of Artillery S. Varentsov.
This article appeared in1 Fourth Issuepecial version of the Soviet military Journal Voyennaya My si (Militaryhis Journal is published Irregularly and is classified TOP SECRET by the Soviets. 1 Fourth Issue vent to prees
Headquarters Commentr "Military Thought" is published byof Defense in three verslons7 classifiedand TOP SBCRBT. The RESTRICTEDssuedhas existed The SECRET version is Issuedtbe endl Issues had beenf .them The TOP SECRET version was initiated lnnd la 'issued 1
Some Problems In Destroying Targets with Nuclear Warheads
by Chief Marshal of Artillery S. Varentsov
As is known, the use of nuclear weapons is making fundamental changes in the quality of fire and la increasing immeasurably the force of fire strikes against the enemy. The effectiveness of the destructive power of nuclear weapons can be Judged by the fact that it is sufficient to deliver only two or three nuclear strikesieldt each to destroy an Infantry or armored division located in the concentration area.
The destructive effectuclear weapon la greatly increased through the use of surface nuclear bursts, which result in an additional destruction of enemy personnel by atrong radioactive contamination of the terrain following the drift of the cloud formed by the burat. Thus,urface nuclear burstieldt andind speed ofph, the burst itself will destroy unprotected personnel In ao area ofm2. Because of the radioactive contamination of the terrain, however, one hour after the burst the unprotected peraonnel in an area ofm* willose of radiationoentgens. Thus, the total area of destruction increases fromo UO km2.
created by surface bursts andind favorable to uaaralysis of enemy maneuverarge area.
But, if careful consideration la not given to the foroe and direction of the wind, then one can contaminatewn troops or lower their aaneuverabillty with one's own nuclear strikes. This consideration must be kept in mind when planning surface nuclear strikes.
The use of mlsallea aa delivery vehicles for nuc'lear charges has increased Immeasurably the depth of the effect of fire on the enemy. There cannotingle enemy objective which can remain Inaccessible to our nuclear strikes.
The great range of fire of missiles makes it possible to resolve the problem of fire maneuverabilityew
and more successful way thaa formerly while conducting an operation. It is now possible to maneuver fire on abroad scale and, thereby, quite effectively, and quickly Influence the course and outcome of combat operations. By using missile units and large units of front and army subordination to carry lt out, maneuver by fire is possible along the entire offensive zoneront and an army. Furthermore, missile large units and units may be used successfully to carry out missile/nuclear strikes not only in their zone but also in the zones of adjacent armies.
All the above-mentioned qualities of missile/nuclear weapons allow them to be used for primary missions of destroying the enemy and, first of all, for missions of destroying the enemy's means of nuclear attack, hison bis airfields, bis missile and nuclear warhead depots, his control points, his first echelon troops and his operational reserves in concentration areas, and in unloading and other areas, as well as his most Important objectives of the rear.
ount is made of the number of objectives in the offensive zoneront, the destruction of which can be assigned to nuclear weapons, it would reveal that they greatly exceed the possible allotment ofarheads for the operation. hows the most typical objectives of.aa enemy field, army, the. destructionof which objectives can bs assigned to nuclearr"
In order to Insure success in an offensive operation, whenimited amount of nuclear warheads ia"available, It is necessary to exercise great care in selecting the objectives to be destroyed by nuclear weapons.' They must truly be the most important objectives, the destruction of which will result in achieving fire superiority over theharp change in the relative strength of forces in our favor, the loss of control by the enemy, and,esult, the creation of most favorable conditions for operations by i motorized infantry and airborne .large units and units in completing the total rout of the enemy. The first to be destroyed are the enemy's means of nuclear attack, his sain grouping, Including those troopa occupying defensive positions in the tactical zone, his most important operational reserves, and bis large control points.
The experience of command-staff exercises and of exercises with troops shows that the staffs, when planning missile/nuclear strikes, often fail to take into consideration the nature of targets and the fire capabilities of miBsile units and large unite. The yields of nuclear charges needed fort the destruction of specific targets are estimated by eye (na.ithout taking into account the actual characteristics of the missiles or the nature of the targets. Estimates of the expected result from each missile/ nuclear strike and of the possible enemy losses sufferedassed strike are not made. All thisasteful expenditure of powerful means of destruction and,esult, considerably reduces the fire effect upon the
planning missile/nuclear strikes, the combined-arms staffs and the staffs of missile troopsrtilleryront or army and,umber oforps andesides selecting objectivesestruction,issile unit or large unit to carry out each fire mission, and resolving manyroblems, also have to select the yielduclear charge needed for the destruction of each target and estimate the expected result of fire against each target by chargesiven yield.
The destruction of each of the targets Bhown'1 callsuclear charge of alatter depends on the nature and size ofaccuracy In preparation of fire, the effect ofcharge at the target, and the assumedindex of fire
Accuracy in preparation of fire la the result 'iSJf the total effect of technical dispersioniven type of missile and of errors in the preparation of fire data. It is definedean error determined from tables of fire or with the help of tables prepared in advance.
The Most Typical Objectives for Destruction by Nuclear Weapons
Element of objective to be 'destroyed
Distance from forward edge, in km
Area of objective, in sq km
Approximate number in field army zone
means of nuclear attack
Batteriesmm howitzersmm guns
Infantry and tank companies of the first echelon of divisions
Battle groups t. and tank battalions of the second echelon of divisions
Infantry divisions of second echelon of army corps (Ax) and field army (PA) in areas of
Personnel in trenches
same as above
Personnel in trenches and tanks
Armored divisions of second echelon of AK and PA in areaa of concentration
of Reserve of the High Command (RGK)
in areas of concentration
of infantry [Vehicles
divisions in shelters
and army group
airr fields of tactical aviation(TVA and company airfields of army aviation!
and warning centers "Radar in
and control centers for aviation in the sector
Name of objective
Element of objective to be destroyed
number in zone
supply depots, nuclear warhead supply points, and special weapona depots of the forward area.
Light type of
"Hawk" SAM batteries
ln parantheaea la number of launching mounts:
The effectuclear burst at tha target depends on the yield of the nuclear charge, the type of burst (air ornd the degree of target protection. The radius of the zone of destruction serves as the characteristic of the effect of a nuclear
Numerical characteristics of probability are called Indices of fire effectiveness and are uaed to help estimate the possible results of fire. In carryinguclear strike against enemy means of nuclear attack, or against other small-sized targets, tbe result of the firing can be either full destruction (annihilation) or
non-destruction of the target. Consequently, a'probability of destruction of the target may be assumed, and isjirV -assumed, to be the index of fire
In firing on collective tajpgets (Infantrygroup, command post,hich occupyareaa, the results of fire may vary ln each In some cases the target may be annihilatedin other cases only partially destroyed, ln whichcombat effectiveness may be lost completely,not at all. And, finally, the target may not beall. Because of this, fire effectiveness against targeta Is estimated not on tbe baaiaof destruction of tha target, but on .thethe alza of its smallest part to be destroyedIn .planning fsize of the smallest part ofesult of its destruction tha entire targetcombat
Deed as supplementary indices of firegainst collective targets are the mathematical expectancyf the relatlVe value Xpercentage) of the destroyed part of tba target and tha largest possible percentage of the -destroyed part of the.target.
The location, nature, and size of tha target are usually determinedesult of reconnaissance, but the distribution of individual elements within tbe target area is usually not known. Therefore, in computing indices of fire effectiveness, it is assumed that individual elements
of the target are evenly distributed over its. entire area. Consequently, instead of determining the size of the smallest part of the target, the size of the smallest part of the target area covered by the zone of burstuclear chargeiven probability is determined. It is considered that the percentage of the target area covereduclear burst zone equals the percentage of the destroyed part of the target's elements.
When selecting the yielduclear chargeingle missile launching, as well as when determining the expenditure of missiles for the destruction of.targets if the yield of one available charge proves to be Insufficient, it is necessary to know the value of the. fire.effectiveness index. The values of Indices cannot be established on the basis of theoretical considerationselection is based on combat operational experience and on various economic, production, and technical considerations. The accumulation of combat experience and the consideration of changes in enemy troops morale, arms, tactics, and technical equipment, and ln production and economic capabilities, bring about changes in fire effectiveness requirements.
At the present time, when selecting yields of nuclear charges, the probability of destruction of enemy moans of nuclear attack and of other small-sized targets la assumed to boercent. This means that, when firing against such targetsuthey will be annihilated,while "in'the^Other^lO '
they will not be
When selecting yields of nuclearor the annihilation of collective targets, the minimum size of target area which, when destroyed,destruction of the entire target, isThus, the probability of destruction of at leastercent of the target area is assumed to be equal toercent. This means that, when firing chargeselected yield on collective targeta, inases out,ercent, or more of the target area will be annihilated, while in the otherases less thenercent of the target area will be destroyed. In the future the minimum part of the target area withercent destruction probability will be called the reliably destroyed area (nadezhno porazhayemaya ploshchad) and will be designated SQ.
The physical basis for the rules of selecting the necessary yielduclear charge for the destruction of small-sized targets is shown in Sketchnd of collective targets in Sketch 2.
1. Yield of nuclear cl-rgc r';vt'sssry fcr the deatruction cf an individual target.
"this deviation of ground mero of nuolear burstof target, the number of destroyed elements of target la
selecting the necessary yielduclear charge, it is necessary, first of all, to determine the radius of the nuclear burst zone, Rz, which will assure coverage by the burst zone of the entire small-sized target, orercent of the areaollective target. Forircumference is drawn, using the aiming point
(center of the target) as its center,adius, fl, that would assureercent probability of hitting within its circle Iniven missileiven range
The raniusuclear burstrarhichwill assure the destructionmall-sized target is assumed to be equal to the radius of the drawn circle
When determining the radiusone, Rz, which will assure the destructionollectiveoint on the circumference ofSketchs selected as tho centerircleadius that would have the circle overercent of the collective target.
Using the calculated radius of the zone Rz, itwith the help of special reference books,the yield of nuclear charge necessaryiven target, depending on tho .nnturoofover , of>;the target and oaburst (air or surf ace),
In practice, the yields of nuclear charges necessarythe destruction of given targets are determinedhelp of previously prepared charts or tables..found in the Information Collection of theay serve as samples of such chartsThe tablesfound in the Mapual pf FJrlng and Fire Control
5ketc5hlch was prepared for the typical targets listed innd which is based on the average sizes of these targets, shows the relationship of the necessary yielduclear charge, q, to the nature and size of the target and the characteristics of firing errors, when using the above-dodi'cated values of indices of fire effectiveness.
With the help of this chart, on the basisnown value of the characteristics of errors In fire preparation, r,iven type of missile, it is not difficult to determine the yielduclear chargeiven type of missile necessary to annihilate the target.
Determine the yield of nuclear charge, q, necessary for the destructionountRedstone" guided missile with an air burst, whenissile, whose average error in fire preparation.
On the chart in Sketcherpendicular line is drawn from pointm to where it intersects Linehich represents the launching mounts for the "Corporal" and "Redstone" guided missiles. The reading on the vertical axis opposite the point of Intersectiont.
he^aboye answerait, whenissileean firing preparation error0 and a'nuclear charge with a;Redstone" guided missile mount will be destroyedrobability ofercent.
With the dame conditions as in Exampleetermine the yield of nuclear charge necessary toattle grouponcentration area.
On the same charterpendicular fromo where it crosses Line No.hichattle grouponcentration area. The reading on he vertical axis opposite the point of intersection7 kt.
The above answer means that under the specified conditions uclear chargeield7 kt will annihilate not leas thanercent of the target arearobability ofercent.
A study of the chart showing the relationship of the necessary yielduclearo the nature of the target and the characterlstica of firing errors allows the following conclueiona to be drawn.
an increase ln the errors of firethere is an Increase ln the yields of nuclearto destroy the target. For example, to annihilate
a "Corporal" or "Redstone" guided missile launching mount with a
henmean error of fire preparationuclear charge oft is required, and,harge of approximatelyt yield la required.
firing missiles whicheanerror, the nuclear chargenecessary to annihilate a collective target dependsthe nature and size of target and does not depend,onlymall degree, on the characterlsticaerrors. For example, toattlea concentration area (Linef the graph ina misBile, when the mean fire preparation error-he required yield of nuclear chargennihilate the same targat, butissile witherror of fire preparationof tbe same8 kt. Is required.
It follows that, based on the requirements for the destruction of collective targets, ln creating new missiles, primarily those of an operational-tactleal designation, the accuracy of fire preparation may be within the Units.
However, in the course of combat there willinstances when the distance between small units of our own troops and the counterattacking (attacking)of the enemy, or the enemy's line ofillm. In those Instances, the nuclear charge yield and the mean fire preparation error must be minimal in order toafe distancem for our own troops. Figures show that this requirement
is set by missilesean fire preparation error of not morenduclear charge yieldt. The aforementioned alas lies vlll allow tbe annihilation to tbe required degree of destruction, of auch moat typically close combat targets aa an infantry company on the offensive or on the defensive. These same missiles vill assure the destruction of enemy tactical meana of nuclear attack and certain other targets shown in Table 1.
3. It ia evident from the chart (Sketchhat when there are large fire preparation errors, thenuclear charge yield necessary for the annihilationollective target dependsarge dogree on the nature of the target and fire errors, and not on the size of the target. For example,ean fire preparation error0 m, the same nuclear charget, Is required for the annihilation of an Infantry company on the offensive in an areaq km orattle group on the offenaive in an area ofq km (these targets are represented on the chart by Lines To annihilate these aama targets when they are on the defensive, aad vhen the personnel are protected in trenches (these targets axe represented on the chart byuclear chargeieldt la required.
It la evident from the examples cited above that missiles which have large errors in fire preparation and whichaximum range ofkm must be armed vith charges of large yields t) and be used for the annihilation of large collective targets. It la Inadvisable to use such miaalloa>nd chargea in firing on small-sized collective targets, ecause the employment of large yields of nuclear chargea against such targets would be wasteful.
The chart inay be used directly vhen planning nucloar strikes against various targeta. Also, vith the help of this chart, it is possible to prepare, in advance, tables of the yields of nuclear charges necessary for the destruction of various targetsingle firingissileiven type.
It is evident from the chart (Sketchhatannihilation of the targeta shown inith the assumed degree of destruction requires nuclear charges of yieldst and higher. In practice, each type of missilemall choice of nuclear charge yields with which all the missions for this missile must be fulfilled'.. For example, theas nuclear charges with yieldsndt. Therefore, when planning missile/nuclear strikes and determining the necessary yield of the charge, one also has to determine the expected degree of destruction when firing on the targethargeiveno find, out what, the value of. the fire effectiveness index will be,iven target is hit withtrikeield which is different from "one selected in accordance with the chart i- ':
At the present time, this very important problem iswith the help of previously prepared
such as the ones found in the Information. Cpllection_gf the Artillery These chartsith"realistically acceptable accuracy, the determination of the expected degree of destruction for any nuclear charge yield. f
As previously stated, tactical andmissilesomparatively small choicenuclear charge yields; this makes it possible toup in advance
of the relationship .of the degree ofheP, of destructionmall-sizedof the reliably destroyed area, So, of a'collective to the nature of the target and fireiz"'
hows an example ofhart drawnuclear chargeield oft and for the targets listed in Table 1.
Sketchhart of the Relationship of "the Degree of. Target Destruction to the Nature of the Target and" Firing Errors
Nature of TargeT
company of the first echelon on the offensive Battle group of the second echelon on the offensive Tank battalion on the offensive
An infantry companyank company on the defensive
Battle group of the second echelon on the defensive
Tank battalion on the-
Battle group of an infantry division (PD) of the second
Infantry divisiononcentration area
Tank battaliononcentration area
Motorized infantry battaliononcentration area
Armored divisiononcentration area
Field artillery battaliononcentration area
Tank battalion of the Reserve of the High Command (RGK),
Division command post.
Army corps command post
Field army command post
Army group command post
Control and warning center Sector aviation control center Army nuclear warhead sltpply point Tank battalion column '
Columnattle groupattalion of "Corporal" guided missiles
Column of battalions of "Honest John" free rockets, and "Lacrosse"guided missiles
Launching site for "HonestNike" Launching site foraunching site formm battery
of nuclear attack Exposed personnel
CommandPersonnel in trenches
Aircraft on airfields inin
Besides the expected degree of destruction,hart also reveals the largest possible percentage of the destroyed portionollective target. The expected degree of destruction la determineday Bin liar to that of defcrainlng the necessary nuclear charge yield from the chart in Sketch 3. In order to arrive at the maximum possible percentage of the destroyed partollectivea assumed to be equal tond the rent la done In the aame manner as when determining the oxpectod degree of destruction.
Determine the reliably destroyed area and the highest possible percentage of the destroyed partuttle grouponcentration area, if it is planned toissileuclear charge oft yield andean fire preparation error.
On the chart in Sketcherpendicular line la drawn froma to where it Intersects with Line No.hichattle grouponcentration area. The reading on the vertical axis opposite the point of intersection is4 percent. The reading'at the point of intersection of Lineith the vertical axis ) is5 percent.
The result obtained indicates that, whennder specified condltiona, lnases outhe destruction of the target area will beoercent. In the otherasea the deatruction will be less thanercent of the target.
It may happen in practice that. In orderivenuclear charge ofyield Is required but that the onlyare thoseifferent yield. If thethe charge is greater than is required, thadestructioniven target will be2 shows that in order tooncentrationnuclear charge7 kt
la required. It is not difficult to determine from tha chart Inhat if the same target, under tha same conditions, is hit with a nuclear charge oft yield, the reliably destroyed part of the target area will beercent Instead ofercent.
If the yield of an available nuclear charge is smaller than that necessary for the destructioniven target several nuclear charges may be used ln order to fulfil the fire mission with the required reliability. The number of nuclear charges equivalent to one chargeequired yield may be determined from tables usually found In the manuals for firing and fire* control of tactical and operational-tactical missiles.
It should be noted that if there isimultaneous strike by alliven target, it is advisable tostrikes successively. However, each successiveto be made only If the prefetous one failed to
Veryarget, especially such as thenuclear attack, will bo destroyed byuclear chargemall yield. hows that the nuclear charge needed to"Corporal" guided missile mount mustt. the sametrike is madet, then,as is evident from the chart ln Sketchprobability of destruction of this target with thestrike will beercent. This means thatcases outhe target will be destroyed byfirst shot. econd shot will beases out of
In conclusion, we wish to note that the above-mentioned problems of evaluation of fire effectiveness, although basically simple, are labor-consuming and Xafce up much"of the time and energy of generals and staff officers. Electronic computers capable of rapidly solving not only such problems as were mentioned here, but many other problems dealing with troop and fire control, are being developed at the present time and will be issued to the troops as thoy become available.Original document.