MEMO FROM RICHARD HELMS TO DIRECTOR CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE CONCERNING MILITARY TH

Created: 1/18/1962

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

WWW

62

MEMORANDUM FOR: Director of Central Intelligence

MILITARY THOUGHT: he Nature of Modern

y Colonel-General A. Babadzhonyan

Enclosederbatim translation of an article which appeared In tho TOP SECRET Special Collection of Articles of the Journal "Militaryoyennayaublished byMiniatry of Defense, USSR, and distributed down to the level of Army Cocnander.

In the interests of protecting our source, this material should be bandiedeed-to-know basis within your office. Requests for extra copies of thla report or for utilization of any part of this document in any other form should be addressed to the originating office.

FOR THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR, PLANS:

LK3

if-

Director of Central Intelligence

ec: The Director, Defense Intelligence Agency

Military Representative of the President

Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs

Director for Intelligence The Joint Staff

Assistant Chief of Staff, Intelligence Headquarters, U. S. Air Force

Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence Department of the Army

Director of Naval Intelligence Department of the Navy

Director, National Security Agency

The Director of Intelligence and Research Department of State

Director, Division of Intelligence Atomic Energy Commission

National Indications Center

Chairman, Oulded Missiles and Astronautics Intelligence Committee

Deputy Director for Intelligence

Assistant Director for National Estimates

Assistant Director for Current Intelligence

Assistant Director for Research and Reports

Assistant Director for Scientific Intelligence

w DSSB

THOUQST: "Iho nature of Modern *rfare",

by Colonel-General A. Bacodxhanyan.

DATS OT

APPRAISAL OP

reliable aouroo

Followingerbatlm translation erf an article titled "Theof modernritten by Colonel-General A. Babaozhenyan.

article appeared in1 Flret Issuepecial version of the Soviet Military Journal Toyennaya Mynl (Military Thought). This Journal is published Irregularly and is classified TOP SECRET by the Sovlata. This issue vas consigned to tbe printer on

Hatura of Modern Warfare

by Colonel-General a. Babadzhanyan

With great interest and attention, we read the article of Major-GeDerel Ooryainov depicting tbe technical-mathematical baaea of future warfare, tbe article of Colonel-General Gestilovlch which, on thia technical basis, analyzes the new possible methods for conducting war, the articles of Generals Tolkonyuk and Baakakov echoing in many respects the articleeneral OsatiloTich, end finally, the article by General of the Army Eurochkin which expresses serious criticism of tbe basic positions taken in the articles of Comrades Gastilovich, Tolkonyuk, and Baskakov.

We must admit that upon first reeding the articled by Generals Gastllovlch snd Goryainov, some degree of doubt waa created regarding the proper course along which our military science la developing and, consequently, regarding the correctness of the principles on which our armed forces are being built. However, subsequent deliberations snd study of the problem have, ln our opinion, shown that ln many respects the authors mentioned sre wrong: They have simply "laid it ono to speak. True, It must be admitted that such "exaggeration"is useful. It will force our military specialists to analyze the nature of modern warfare more profoundly and to draw practical conclusionsound basis with consideration for tbe new conditions in military theory, as well as in the field of its practical implementation.

The article by General cf the Army Kurochkin appears to us to be much more realistic snd to reveal ln greater depth tbe possible conditions and nuances of future warfare.

One of the basic problems discussed is the.Does Soviet nllitary doctrine require fundamental review, is Soviet mllitery artrisis? General Gastilovich insists that thia la so, while General Kurochkin anavera in the negative. This natter la complicated and fundamental.

We mist agree with General Kurochkin that weilitary doctrine which dwells on the nsos use of nuclear weapons. Including those In the megaton class. This is attested to by tbe report. Khrushchev to tbe0 session of tbe Supreme Soviet, ln which he depicted the possible nature of tbe beginning and

.the development of modern warfare. However, the principles .for the use of the types of armed forces and arms of troops within the frame -work created hy this doctrine are not yet sufficiently elaborated. The views of the authors of both articlesthla. They claim that Soviet military-scientific thought, led by the nev military doctrine, has only begun to develop and to determine those laws and principles which must be established as the basis for armed conflict in its modern phase.

This is true for both the strategic and operational scales. It ia sufficient to Imagine, forront offensive operation in which the front troop commander has at his disposal two or three megaton warheads. Or, en the other hand, that there are such weapons at the disposal of the commander of the enemy group opposing the front. It can be stated with complete assurance that the front operation under such conditions will assume forma other than those under conditions when only klloton warheads- ore available.

General Gastilovlch'a important and possibly basic mistake Is due to the fact that in defining future warfare, he approached it too narrowly, without taking into account political and economic factors, and without consideration for the existence of various theaters of military operations, each with different conditions.

Proceeding from the premise that there vouldorld var with unrestricted use of nuclear weapons, the author arrived at the wrong conclusions regarding the number of armed forcea necessary toar and tha nature of tha actions of ground troops in offensive and defensive operations of modern warfare.

iew to analyzing some of the positions expressed in the articles of Generals Gastilovlch, Tolkonyuk, and Baskakov, let us dwell in more detail on individual questions of military art.

Plrst of all, it must be recognized that the yieldhermonuclear weapon la extraordinarily high. It Is still difficult for one to grasp and evaluate It. The radiological factor of destruction is particularly great. For0 megaton bomb is capable of destroying industrial and municipal structures over an areaquare kms; thla is sufficient to destroy any capital. Radioactive contamination resulting fromurst will be such that under average wind velocity ma/hr} all persons in an area ofquare kms0 kms) will perish from radiation sickness, and in an aree of0 square kmso kms)

ercent of the persons will perish and the rest will lose combat (working) effectiveness for several months, and finally, all those in an area upquare kmsOQ kms) ^slc/ will partially lose combat (working) offectlvenees. This means, for example, tbat an industrial area such as tbe Ruhr can be knocked out of actionong time byegaton bombsesult of tbe destruction of basic installations and of the annihilation of the labor force.

According to tbe estimates of American specialists, theofuclear weapons against the principal cities of the USA would kill off about one half of the total population and would destroy up toercent of all industrial enterprises. According to thla same estimate, the USAotalrban areas in which the principal body of the population ond industrial plantsconcentrated. Consequently, the useuclear weapons over the territory of the USA would knock out up to three fourths of the industryignificant portion of the population of tha USA. Considering the high degree of industrial cooperation in producing complicated military equipment, one can say thatlow would halt production of armament and supplies for the army and ita demise would beatter of time.

But what would bo tbe consequencesimilar blow against our country?

The large territorial expenses, the great dispersion of population and Industry, snd tba observance of proper camouflage and aecrecy measures willignificant reduction in the effectimilar massive thermonuclear attack against our Installations. However, thla would only reduce the affect! Resultstrike would be significant enough to require the nost extreme human efforts to restore order in the country and to ensure the capability of our armed forcea to daounterblov and to seize the strategic initiative.

Under modern conditions, aggressive circles possibly may notar, if only been use they recognize the Impossibility of depriving the Soviet Union,esult of oca strike, of the capability ofevastating counterblow.

But this situation cannot be permanent. The power of theattack la modern times is not determined by the supplybut on the availability of tbe aeans to deliver thee

r

to estimates, the USA at present baa thermonuclear materiala tn sufficient quantity to buildegaton varheada. The NATO countries' basic means for delivery of nuclear veaponatrategic scale ie still aircraft. Our possession of highly effective antiaircraft missile veapona doe6 not allow them the necessary degree of confidence In their capability to deliver nuclear weapons by this means. Tbo strategic missiles at their disposal clearly cannot satisfy the requirementsajor war, and, in addition, their quallty is not high, since, according to assertions of the Americans themselves, onlyercent of the missiles launched reach their target.

This is the situation today. What will the aituation beuture time, when governments which do not now have sufficient numbers of missiles win overcome their shortcomings in this typo of armament? In the future, the probable enemy willreater capability to deliver surprise massive nuclear strikes in order toignificant portion of industrial targeta, administrative -political centers,ie -launching sites, strategic aviation airfields, and other vital areas and installations. owerful, practically simultaneous initial strike can destroy the moat Important and crucial Installations of the country, disorganize national control, disrupt mobilization and deployment of armed forces, and severely reduce the combat effectiveness of the army and the country hole.

This is so serious In ita possible political and economic consequences that every measure must be taken so that if the imperialists try toar lt will not beginudden massed enemy nuclear strike.

peace-loving foreign policy of our Party and the Soviet Government is known to all. It stems from the very natureocialist state. We do not want war and our Party is conducting constant work in the direction ofev world war, which would demand huge numbers of victims and would destroy all that has been created by human bands. However, if it becomea evident that aggressive forces have decided on war, and tbat the initiation of military operations isuestionhort time, end if we fell to prevent the aggressor's attack by diplomatic means, then it is necessary to wreck the enemy strike by all our available forcea and means. Under such conditions, the strategic concept of the armed farces of our country must be based on the total annihilation of all enemy capabilities to sccompliah his aggressive schemes during

:^P"

The question may he asked: When will these new conditions come about? from vhat year or what date must our armed forces be guided by the new concept? The number of missiles and launching sites grows gradually, and occasionally ln spurts. The precise determination of the period of the transition of the quantity of these means to the new category is difficult and unnecessary. What should be dene now snd quickly is to prepare and organize our Intelligence and tbe armed forces inay that they will beonstant state of readiness to deliverlow against the aggressor.

The possession of missiles, particularly intercontinental,eans for delivering nuclear weapons, permits the conduct of preparations for an attack in utmost secrecy. Under these conditions, the work of our intelligence organs will be very difficult. Possibly, information about aggressor preparations for an attack will be received only at tbe last minute before the beginning of en attack. Thisew approach to the preparation and definition cf tbe atage of readiness of our own means of attaak.

Regarding the matter of the numerical size of armed forces, and specifically of the ground troops. We agree with the assertion of General Oaatllovich thst, ln order to accomplieh specific strategic and operational tasks in modern warfare, ana Her numbers of forces will be required than in past wars However, in making this conclusion, ve must not forget that tbe Dumber of atrategic and operational tasks to be fulfilled ln modern warfare will be incomparably greater than in the pest.

In the eventlobal war, today our armed forces will be required to operate simultaneously in many theatero of military operatlona, including the Arctic. Considering the wide use of means of mass destruction, which will create heavy demands for replacements in the active armies, sndumber of cases for their full re-conetltutlon, one can sey that in modern war more massive armed farces will be needed than those discussed by Comrade Gastllovlch.

General Gastilovich considers that the role of ground troopB in modern warfare will be sssentially that of "occupation". In order to seine countries subjected to massed strikes by megaton bombs, ground troops need only overcome zones of partial aad total destruction. Thus, tbe author excludes the bringing up of large operational and, what la more,of strategic reserves. On the basis of this, one reaches

l(4)

conclusion that In the Western TVD (Theater of MilitaryUO dlvlalona vould be required to accomplish the war's tasks. There la no need to engage in polemics regarding the number of One thing is clear,ufficient number of troops must be available to make possible the rapid rep ia cement of large units knocked out of action by nuclear weapon strikes. There will be numerous such situations. It seem* to us tbat General GastlloTlch's estimates are too optimistic.

can we agree with the view of Genera la Gastilovlch and Baskakov that, under modem conditions, tbe distinction between defensive and offensive operations has been erased, we agree vith tbe authors that the conduct of offensive or defensive operations will be conditioned by the number of nuclear weapons aad their delivery means which ara allottediven front. Let us add to thla the fact that the conduct of one or another type of operation will depend essentially on the relative quantities cf nuclear veapona and their delivery means available to the front and to tha enemy grouping opposing tha front.

At tha same time it la impossible to agree tbat an offensive which differsn the purpose of the action will resemble lt in the net hods of tactical actions of large units (OaatLlovich) or with the concept that the difference la conducting offense and defense will be retained only in tactics (BaBkakov).

We fully agree with the vlev of General Kurochkin, who says tbat mass employment of nuclear weapons does not erase the boundaries between offensive operations and defensive operations, but givesnique character requiring the development of nev methods for conducting offensive and defensive operations. Actually, whet can there bo In commoo between aa operation whose goal la to crush enemy resistance and to penetrate into the depth of bis territory, and aa operation whose goal la to prevent enemy penetration and consequently to hold specific terrain and establish conditions favorablewitchciunter-offenslveT la our view, such an assertion could have been made only In vlev of the denial by General Gastilovlchtable defense Is necessary.

Stabilityasic quality of defense, operational Included. Without thla quality, defense as such ceases to exist and becomes meanlngleoo. Let us Imagine,oment, tbe defense of an Important economic or strategic area which does not have stability and in which stability Is not required. Most probably,efense will not

^accomplish its defensive tasks and the installations defended can be surrendered to the enemy without any particular feeling of responsibility.

Defensive operations must, unquestionably, be btable. However, mass use of nuclear weapons has its Impact on this concept. If the previous concept of "stability"pecific, if one may use the expression, "linearity" (tho holdingpecific line) now, under present conditions, stability must be referred to ss being established within the depthector of the territory.

Let ua clarify this thought. To hold specific 2ones, positions, or centers, when the attacking enemyufficient number of nuclear weapons, is practically impossible. Therefore, one cannot speaktability. Tho offensive can bo halted onlyystem of massed nuclear strikes, counterattacks, and counterstrikes. This can be done, however, onlypecific depth of the defense. In each case tbe rear boundary of the defensive depth must be determined on tbe basis of specific conditions of the situation, In which the main factor le the relative strength In weapons of mass destruction possessed by the attacker and the defender.

Under these conditions, should defensive zones be established? General Gastilovich says that they should not. We do not agree with .this. We know that tho enemy will use gaps and open flanks during his attack. Therefore, we can channel the enemy offense along directions which are advantageous to us by establishing zones and centers in specific areas. In addition, defensive structures serve ss troop protection against nuclear weapons. It is more advantageous to build defensive structures vhlchual purpooe (the protection of personnel snd equipment and incroooing the stability of the defense) rather than shelters at concentration areas with the sole function of protection.

We also consider General Gastilorich'e view regarding tbe use of nuclear weapons in defensive operations to be incorrect. Be rejects both tho necessity for delivering massed nuclear strikes to disrupt the enemy offensive snd the desirability of conducting counterpreparations.

The wide use of nuclear weapons changes the method for conducting defensive operations. low, it is of paramount importance that action be taken to disrupt or to diminish the strength of enemy preparations for the offensive. Massed employment ofimited number of nuclear weapons con place the enemyituation where he may be

.forced to cancel his offenslTe. In this case, the greatest significance will unquestionably be attached to countexpreparatlona directed primarily against the enemy's deployed nuclear means of attack aod his troop groupings.

In light of this, the proposal to licit ourselves to day by day aod immediate deetructloo of detected enemy nuclear etteck veepons and to Individual (to the degree possible) nuclear strikes at varying tines against hla most dangerous enemy tank divisions vhlch have broken through, aounda at range, to say the leest. Even more strange la tho fearassed strike by nuclear weapons can lead to tbs growthefense into an offensive, first of all,rowth is unlikely, considering the relative relationship of nuclear veepons, and secondly. It should be welcomed rather than feared.

In conclusion, we would like to dwell on the role of tsnks under modern conditions. The development of tanks ss an effective striking force from the time of the first world war until now was conditioned by the fact that the tank emerged victorious ln the competition with antitank veepons. Today the development and serial production of antitank miasile launchers whichigh effectiveness both with respect to accuracy and destructive action, haveew situation.

In singleank against an antitank missile launcher, the tank will usually lose. This means thatigh enough concentration of antitank miasile launchers on the field of cocbot, any tank attack con be disruptedargo portion of tbe tanks and their crews participating In the attack will be destroyed. But if ve consider further that the production of an antitank missile launcher coots several tens of thousands of rubles sndank costs several hundreds of thousands of rubles, then it becomes clear that the use of tanks In their modern concept in warfare is unprofitable both militarily and economically.

In our view, heavy tanks must deport from the scene. They should be replaced by medium and, particularly, light, combat vehicles armed with an automaticound missile launcherrazing rangemc, equipped with antl-small arms fire, and splinter-proof armor, and capable of crossing water barriers.

The basis for this combat vehicle can be the amphibious tank, It nuat be kept in mind that, under modern conditions, troops must cover greet distances on their own power both during preparation

as well as during the course of, combat^ and that, possibly _it_

would haadvantageous toombat vehicle with an especially high cross-country capability wheel drive with three or four axles.

The proposed combat vehicles, retaining the basic positive qualitv of tanksstability against the destructive factorsuclearould coat such less, vould be easier to produce, and would be more effective In their firing action.

Not considering that the viewa expressed in this article are the only correct ones, we trusteview of tbe large and basic questions raised by this issue of tbe Collection will serve to develop individual views corresponding to the modern conditions of conducting an operation.

UMft)

Original document.

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

CAPTCHA