MEMORANDUM POR: The Director of Central Intelligence
MILITARY. THOUGHT: "The Suitability of Modern
Means and Methods in the Conduct ofy Major General I. Zavyalov
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THOUGHT: "TheModern Means and Methods inofyI.
reliable source (B)
Followingerbatim translation of an articlehe Suitability of Modern Means and Methods in the Conduct of Operay Major-General I. Zavyalov.
This article appeared in0 First Issuepecial version of Voyennaya Mysl (Military Thought) which is classified TOP SECRET by the Soviets and is issued irregularly. It la distributed only within the Ministry of Defense down to the level of Army Commander. 0 First Issue was the initial issue of this publication.
Major-General I. Zavyalov
In all armies, the essence of the development of military art has consisted, at all stages, of researching into and of developing methods of conducting combat operations which will ensure the most effective use of the weapons available.
This task acquires particular urgency during periodseaponompletely new principle is appearing which has higher combat characteristics and which calls for completely new methods in the conduct of combat operations. ituation has been created today by the introduction of nuclear weapons into the armament of armies.
We must recognize thatreat leap was madehort period of time in the development of modern means of armed combat and especially of nuclear weapons, there are still many very complicated and unresolved problems in the research into and the development of methods for the conduct of combat operations.
It stands to reason that new methods of conducting armed combat must be built not on the conjectures and fantasies of individuals or on their good intentions buteal foundation; on the material resources for war which the State and its armed forces possess with regard to the quality and quantity of the new weapons and to the other military equipment which is already available or which can be produced by the State for the conductar and, also, with regard to the forces and potential of the probable enemy. Obliviousness to these requirements during research on and the development of new methods of conducting armed combat will lead inevitably to serious mistakes in the theory of military art and to adventurism in theconduct of war, as was the case, for example, with Germany in the two World Wars.
At the flame time, tho theory of military art must not becomea registrar of practical achievements- In studying andexperience of troops and the results achieved in themeans and methods in the conduct of armed combat, militaryevery other advanced scientific theory, must light the waymust provide decisive^influence on the structure ofa few wordsand methods ofa war. Toask, one must have acinarone and one must look far ahead.
Under modern conditions, military art, in theory and practice, must not go so far aa to base its calculations on the idea that the entire military-political and strategic aimsar can be attained solely with the aid of nuclear/missile weapons. This will lead to narrow mindedness in military theory, to one-sidedness in theof the armed forces and in the final analysis, to the inability of the latter to perform combat tasks in the complicated situationsuture war. It should not be forgotten that nuclear weapons are, afteromplex, expensive, and, in the quantitativeimited means of armed combat. This situation obliges us to seek and to create such new methods of conducting combat operations as will ensure the most effective use of the vast combat capabilities of nuclear weapons in the first place and. with this, of the conventional means of armed combat.
Large qualitative changes have occurred in the development of nuclear weapons. They have been widely introduced in all types of armed forces and have become the basic means of armed combat. The aircraft, as the basic carrier of nuclear weapons, has yielded its place to the missile- At present, the nuclear/missile weapon hasevel of development which has called intoew type of armedissile troops of strategic designation to whom the main roleuture war has been assigned. Thus, the nuclear weapon has already ceased to beeans for the independent fulfillment of combat missions on any scale.
It is no longer possible to limit oneself solely to adapting the old methods for the conduct of combat operations to the new weapons.
A bold, radical break is needed in this matter, so that the use ofweapons becomes the basis of everything. This break must not be indiscriminate, needlessly disclaiming all previous experience, but reasonable.
However, we do not always take into account the changes which have taken place, and even now the mere renovation of pastin tactical and in operational art and the adaptation of antiquated methods of conducting armed combat to the new weapons continue to persist. We will attempt to show this, using as an example the solutions of some of the questions of the preparation and conduct of modern offensive operations.
Conditions of the Preparation of an Offensive Operation
As is generally known, any offensive operation is restricted in time and space which are, in turn, determined primarily by theof material and technical equipment and by the moral andcapabilities of the troops. In the past war, after the conclusionormal offensive operation and the performance of the assigned tasks, the troops halted, put themselves in order, and consolidated themselves along the lines which they had reached. This occurred most frequently while the defending enemy, having brought up fresh reserves, was strengthening his resistance and when the advancing troops were exploiting their offensive possibilities completely.
esult, an operational lull of varying duration occurred, during which both sidea prepared for new operations. Such an operational lull, during which preparationsew offensive were carried out or the troops prepared for defense, wasof past wars. However, even now, one comes across attempts to transfer this experience mechanically to modernalthough such operations are no longer in keeping with the new means of armed combat.
In speaking of the first operations of the initial periodar, one must assume that these will be primarily nuclear/missile
uper&tiunu, dlrecteo at the coixplete destruction of the erterr.y. It is Jeyond any doubt that both sides, even during peacetime wiiiscover and tof each others most important targets and
ue such as misai'e *fites, quo'.ear weapons storagend military-industrial and political centers. The opponents will estimate and prepare the cuantity of nuclear weapons needed for the annihilation of these targets and will take every measure required to accomplish the tasks of the war with the first massive salvoes of nuclear/missiles, using fixed launch sites (statsionarnaya pozitsiya) already prepared in peacetime, and missile submarines and aviation.
In the course of such shattering blows or. after their delivery. If the goals of the war have not been attained, the ground troops, who wi'l develop offensive operations aimed at the consolidation of the results achieved and at completing the destruction of the enemy, will go into action.
Uncer these conditions,ule, the transition from oneto another will take place without any operational lull since the preparationew operation wili have to be accomplished while the offensive ia developing. Even in cases whenull does occur, it will be far shorter in duration than those of the last war and will differ significantly from these in accordance with theof the combat operations. It Is surely quite evident that, with the powerful long-range means of destruction at their disposal, theill scarcely limit themselves to operations which are purelyeconnaissance nature or to fighting to improve their positions during the preparatory period of an operation. Therefore, given that the means of nuclear attack are available, both sides will conduct aggressive combat operations even during an operational lull. They will strive to make use of every favorable moment to deliver nuclear/missile strikes, primarily against theeans of nuclear attack, against his approaching reserves and against concentrating groupings of his troops, in order tothe preparation of an offensive long before its beginning or to seriously weaken the enemy and thus to create favorablefor the successful executionew operation. The strength of such strikes will depend upon the availability of nuclear weapons
and on the ability ol the ground troopa to perform the tanks assigned by exploit ng tho results of nuclear strikes.
Modern means of combat not only permit the allocation andof such tasks but also require similar activity in the course of the operation as well as during the operational lull. Furthermore,ufficient amount of nuclearransition to the offensive is possible even though the troops are not completely ready and although the correlation of the romalning force and weapons is'" unfavorable. This lack of readiness can bo offset by the delivery ofptive (uprezhdayuahchyy) nuclear strikes against the enemy which will make it possible to inflict serious losses on him and to change the correlation of forces to our advantage quickly.
Incidentally, too, we still approach the appraisal of theof forces in the old manner: we consider divisions, aircraft, tanks,_and gune first of all and often forget that the principal advan-
ow word" missingthe methods of using
it, in the. skilful employment of these means, even though all this is more difficult to bring out and to evaluate.
Thus, the constitution of the operational lull, if one takes place, will now change completely, itwill be characterised by aggressive operations by the troops with decisive goals, owing to the fact that there will apparently be no sharp distinction between the end of one offensive operation and the beginning of another. In order to avoid needless losses during the operational lull, both sides will strive to shorten it aa much as possible. esult, the preparationew offensive operation will now take place under different and considerably more complexthan was the case during previous wars. Past methodology, in this matter, is dead. However, we must take into account that such operational methods will require high combat readiness on the part of the troops both in the exploitation of the results of thalr nuclear strikes and in repelling possible enemy strikes.
the making of decisions on an operation, the tendency which manifests Itself most noticeably is that of adapting former methods of operations to new weapons, or alternatively, new weapons to old methods. If we take the operational decisions of the World War II period or of the immediate postwar years before the adoption of nuclear weapons and compare them with modern operationalinvolving the mass employment of nuclear weapons, it is difficultumber of cases to discover any kind of differences in principle in their content. In both cases, the activities of the combined-arms and tank formations or large units form the basis of the commander's plan for the attainment of the assigned aims of the operations. Dependent upon this, the method of uaing (or the tasks of) aircraft, artillery, and other means of armedfor the support and protection of infantry and tank combat operations is determined. Today, such tasks are also given to tbe means of nuclear assault.
This was correct at the time when there were no nuclear weapons or when their consumption in an operation did not exceed twenty or thirty units, because the main role in ths rout of the enemy and in the operationhole was played by the tanks and the infantry while nuclear weapons, as well as aircraft, artillery and other means of combat,rotective role and supported the operations of the infantry and tanks. Now, with the massof nuclear weapons, when they have become the basic and decisive means of destruction, when with nuclear missiles of varying designation one can perform Independently any tasks in the destruction of enemy groupings, it Is wrong to put these weaponsar with conventional weapons as used lo be done and to decide on the way in which they should ba used innce with the methods of Infantry and tank operations, it would be wrong to assign themrotective role, as was done previously.
Tha activities of those forces and weapons which play the main role in the attainment of the goals of an operation must
form the conceptual basis of any decision. Under modernoperations by missile troops and nuclear/missile strikes on the enemy will form the basis of the troop combat activities designed to fulfil the tasks of an operation and to attain its goals. If the missile troops and nuclear weapons are allotted the main role in an operation, the methods and sequence of use of these missiles must form the basis of the plan, which aims atdecisive destruction on the basic groupings of the enemy. In accordance with and bearing in mind the possible results of nuclear strikes, it is necessary to determine the sequence and methods of operations by the infantry, tanks, and other means of armed combat in order to exploit these results to the fullest for the final destruction of the enemy.
Questions concerning the planning of an operation, which must be based on the use of nuclear weapons, should be resolved in the same fashion. This position provokesfrom no one. However, in practice, during our exercises, the reverse is often done: operations by the infantry and the tanks are made the basis of the plans in theae cases, while nuclear weapons are seen as means for their reinforcement and support.
ThuSjpast experience prevails even in this question.
The selection of the direction of the main strike. As we know, the principal goal of any operation has been and remains theof the enemy- It is for thia that operations arend conducted. In offensive operationsront, this goal is attained by the combined efforts of all the forces and weapons called upon to carry it out by the deliveryeries of simultaneous or consecutive strikes on the enemy, most frequently in several directions. One of these strikes is the main one.
In Soviet military art the greatest importance is attached to the selection of the main strike because it is on this that the success of the operation largely depends. The determination of
the direction of the main strike depends on the goals and tasks of the operation, on the nature of the defense, on the groupings and expected methods of enemy operations, the availability andof our troops, the nature of the terrain, and on other conditions. The basic requirements in directing the main strike are, firstly, that the most effective use of the combat capabilities of all forces and weapons called upon for the operation is made in this direction; secondly, that the main strike is aimed at the destruction of the basic enemy grouping and that it is delivered at the most vulnerable and weakest point of his defense where maximum results canibe attained with the least losses in short periods; and thirdly,oncentration of the basic forces and means of the advancing troops is ensured in the direction of the main strike and that their significant superiority over the enemy is established.
To what extent do these requirements correspond to modern conditions for the conduct of operations and to the combatof nuclear weapons? In order to answer this question, one must take into consideration the fact that the direction of the main strike ia always selected in the interests of the most effective use of the basic means of armed combat. Previously, these means, whicheecided the success of an operation, were infantry, artillery, and tanks. The direction of the main strike was selected in their interests and they formed the basis of the principle of military arteliver the main strike on tbe enemy's weakest and most vulnerable spot. This principle accurately reflected the capabilities of earlier combat weapons.
Why was it necessary to deliver the main strike exactly at the enemy's weakest spot? First-of all, because to deliver the main strike directly on the basic grouping of the enemy made it necessary toarge quantity of forces and weapons in order to establish superiOriry,lnvolved the advancing troops in heavy casualties, did not ensure high rates of advance and.ule, did not lead to the destruction but only to the repulse of the enemy,he goal of the operation was not achieved. Of no small significance was the fact that the advancing troops did not have the powerful long range means of destruction which
would have enabled them to inflict decisive destruction on the enemy by strikes carried out throughout his entire tactical and operational defense, to inflict decisive destruction on him, to paralyse the movement of his reserves, and to prohibit an organised withdrawal to occupy new defense lines. The absence of these means could only be compensated forapid breakthrough in the weakest sector of the enemy's defense andwift movement (iykhod) to the flanks and rear of his basic forces by powerful strike groupings of the advancing troops, particularly tank, with the simultaneous dropping of airborne troops on tbe enemy's
Finally, it is necessary to remember that the enemy, who was on the defensive, also lacked long range means with sufficient power to allow him to step up his efforts rapidly in ths weakeet sectors of his defense, where the advancing troops were breaking through and delivering the main strike. In the majority of cases, this could only be done by maneuvering the reeervos or bytroops from sectors which were not under attack, whichong time. Profiting by this and possessing superiority in forces and weapons, the advancing troops most often succeeding in breaking through the enemy's defense before he could bring his reserves up into these directions.
Consequently, the delivery of the main strike against the weakest spot of the enemy'a defense was dictated by the relatively limited combat capabilities of earlier weapons. It was primarily by breaking through the weakest link in the enemy's defense that the rapid movement of the strike groupings of the advancing troops against the flanks and rear of the basic enemy forces and the task of destroying them as quickly as possible could be achieved.
At the same time, an analysis of many of the operations of past wars, and of Worldn particular, also shows thatumber of cases the main strike was delivered directly against the basic enemy grouping,gainst the strongest sector of his defense. This happened particularly in offensive operations conducted in mountains, In deserts, In wooded and marshy areas
and also during an advance from bases of operations on river lines. But in theultiple superiority over the enemy was always established particularly in weapons for neutralization (sredstvo podavleniya).
Under modern conditions, nuclear weapons alone, without the aid of other means of combat, are able to inflict such losses on the enemy that they can seriously reduce and even completely deprive his basic groupings of combat ability and can thus ensure aof forces advantageous to us. Therefore, in determining the direction of the main strike, it is now necessary to begin bythe possibilities offered by the most effective use not of the infantry or of the tansk, but primarily of the nuclear weapons. Where, against what targets, and for the solution of which tasks would it be most advantageous to employ these weapons? Obviously, in the. spot where the most appreciable losses can be inflicted on the enemy, where his system of troop control will be destroyedrolonged period, and against those targets which present the greatest danger to the advancing troops and which could prevent the attainment of the goals of the operation. Such targets are the enemy's means for nuclear assault, the basic strongest groupings of his troops and his control centers. The destruction of these targets will leadharp reduction in the enemy's capabilities for the employment of nuclear weapons and to the disorganization of his defense in the most important directions and thusdvantageous conditionswift advance by the infantry and the tanks. The bulk of the means for nuclear attack and the basic efforts of the attacking troops must be directed towards the fulfillment of such tasks.
The use of nuclear weapons against the most important targets of the enemy's defense permits the infliction upon him of such destruction that he will not beondition to offer any kind of serloua resistance here. The surviving remnants of the enemy's forces and weapons will be paralyzedast area and because of the areas devastated by nuclear strikes, the existing gaps in his defense will increase even more. This will become the weakest spot in the enemy's defense, which the ground troops must boldly
The availability at the front of nuclear missilesange of upilometers now permits the simultaneous delivery of strikes throughout the entire depth of the enemy's operationaland against his communications and his troop supply bases, thus destroying the stability of his defense and prohibiting troop maneuver, and the provision of supplies. Such strikes will oblige theo use his reserves not to deliver counterstrikes against thetroops but to close the breaches formed in his defense and to make up the losses of the first echelon of the defense troops. esult of the operations indicated above, the necessity for theof deep enveloping maneuvers by large groupings of the advancing troops, aimed at gaining the rear of the basic enemy forces and at their subsequent encirclement and destruction,haa largely passed. Now this task can be more successfully performed by the rapid advance of strike groupings In the shortest direction after nuclear strikes, with the simultaneous landing of airborne troops in the enemy's rear.
To use nuclear weapons for the penetration of the enemy's weakest defense sectors and for the delivery of strikes against unimportant targets, contradicts the very nature of these weapons and leads to their unproductive expenditure. One must take into account that the defending enemy will also have nuclear weapons and that, if the advancing troops do not inflict decisive destruction on him at the proper time, making use of the whole power of their nuclear weapons, the enemy can forestall them and can wreck the advance with strikes by his own nuclear weapons.
One must also take into account that the concept ofeak spot in the enemy'sn itselt,ompletelymeaning under modern conditions. The availability to the enemy of nuclear/missiles permits him to carryaneuver with nuclear strikes, concentrating them in any sector of the defense.
Furthermore, the enemy will deliberately leave sectors.in his defense uncovered by troops while keeping them covered by nuclear weapons in order to lure the advancing troops into this trap, and then to destroy them with nuclear/missile strikes. Even where the advancing troops are successful in breaking through the weak defense of the enemy, he will beosition to block the progress of the advance in depth by using the nuclear weapons of his basic grouping. Consequently, sectors weakly protected by enemy troops are no longer necessarily his most vulnerable spots. Under modern conditions, the most vulnerable spots can even be those sectors with the strongest defense, if the enemy is unable to conceal them and to cover them with aquantity of nuclear weapons. When superiority of nuclear means over the enemy is present, his defense in any direction can be disorganized and weakenedseveral wordsor the attainment of the aims of an offensive operation. Properly assigned reconnaissance is necessary in order to prevent nuclear weapons being used against an empty area.
In selecting the direction for the main strike, the nature of the terrainole which is far from unimportant. In the past,was usually selected which best provided for the use and maneuver of large masses of infantry,nd artillery, and for theof close coordination. It should be said that the suitability of the terrain from the point of view of using all forces and weapons and of the advantageous delineation of the front line often determined the selection of the direction for the main strike, despite the fact that,ule, it was here that the enemy set up his strongest defenses.
Under modern conditions, the terrain will also be of great significance in the selection of the main strike direction. However, it is not now necessary to establish powerful groupings of troops in the most accessible section of the terrain for the penetrationtrong defense. The performance of this task is facilitated by the availability of nuclear weapons. The delivery, here, of the main strike through the mass use of nuclear weapons-makes-it possible to deliver decisive destruction to the defending enemy grouping, to destroy the stability of his defense, to paralyze his reserves, and towift troop advance in great depth.
la speaking of Che main strike, one cannot pass In silence over the fact that the demand still persists among us, although withreservations, for the concentration of the basic forces and weapons in the main strike direction. Under modern conditions this demand is not only unfounded but also conceals within itself the danger of unnecessary losses caused by the enemy's nuclear weapons. Now, it is of primary importance to attain superiority over the enemy In nuclear weapons dispersing them throughout the entire zoneront's advance. The great ranges of operational-tactical missiles permit nuclear weapons to maneuver their strikes freely and, when necessary, to concentrate these strikes in any direction and in anyhusecisive influence in changing the situation to our advantage.
There Is, therefore, no need to concentrate large forces of infantry, tanks, and other weapons In the main direction. They, too, should be dispersed throughout the entire zone of the front. However, they should be aimed in advance against those directions where nuclear strikes will be delivered and where they will be operating. The high mobility of tanks and motorized infantry will also permit them to carrywift maneuver In any direction if they are supplied with suitable itineraries (oarshrut dvlzhenlya).
Thus, under modern conditions, the concentration of the efforts of the troops is determined, not by the creation of powerfuland great denfeities of the forces and weapons of the ground troops, but, primarily, by the quantity and power of the nuclear weapons which can be used in one direction or another and for the performance of the most important tasks.
Finally, in speaking of the selection of the main strikeit should be noted that under modern conditions this term is beginning toighly conditional connotation. It must be realised that in view of the threats of nuclear strikes, theenemy will not allow large concentrations of troops! In any one definite direction. By maneuvering the strikes of his nuclear weapons, dispersed throughout the entire defense zone, he can quickly intensify the efforts of troops In any direction where the
situation demands it. Por these reasons, powerful strikenot be built up in the advancing troops as previously and.the necessity for them will disappear since the advancebe conducted by small troop groupings in separateadvantageous directions. In addition, it must befronts will not now obtain the quantity of troops which theythe past war. The tasks of operations and of the war willprimarily by nuclear weapons, while the infantry andbe used for the destruction of the remnants of the enemythe consolidation of occupied
In connection with all that has been said, the conclusion suggests itself that, under modern conditions, it is more correct to speak not of the selection of the main strike direction but of theof the main tasks of an operation toward whose fulfillment the basic efforts of the means of nuclear assault and of the troops should be directed.
Thus, the requirements established by us for the selection of the main strike direction need serious correction. If thereufficient quantity of nuclear weapons, these must be usedfor the destruction of the baaic enemy grouping and the main strike by the ground troops must be delivered in this direction; if these means are not available it will be necessary to resort to cunning and deception, to seek out the enemy's weak spots, to maneuver, and to achieve victoryore difficult andpath. It must be borne in mind that the sensitivity of the troops to strikes along their flank* and rear is not weakened in the least by the fact that they have been armed with nuclear weapons. Therefore, the deliverytrike against the enemy's weakest spot retains its full significance in all casea when, for' some reason, It la not possible to employ nuclear weapons, when they are insufficient or when they are completely lacking. This is especially applicable to the operationo of the troops in the depth of the enemy's defense.
The quantity of strikesront. ule, during operationsrldront, in addition to the main strike, also delivered
one and, leas frequently, two auxiliary strikes. An army practically alwayi delivered one strike. Thia system for the delivery of strikenront and an army is employed, without any changea, in the organisation of modern operations. Attempts toarge number of atrikea and to disperae the striking groupings somewhat are often Been by usissipation of the efforts of the troops.
It seems to us that, in this question,echanical transfer of past experience to modern cocditiona la taking place. When there were no nuclear weapona or missiles, the front was indeed unable to deliver more than two or three strikea aince it did not have either the forcea or the weapons to do this. Much time waa required to maneuver forces and weapons from one direction to another and fire maneuver was limited.
Modern nuclear/miaBile weapons permit the executionaneuver with nuclear strikes along the entire zoneront and can ensure the destruction of the enemy by advancing troopa at any point of hla defense. It is therefore entirely possible that, during operations by motorized rifle'and tank divisions in separatea front may deliver three, four, and five strikes, coordinated by general concept and directed at the attainment of the goals assigned to the operation. ufficient quantity of forcea and weapona must be aaaigned to each direction to enaure the fulfillment of the taak which haa been allotted and to_make denae operational and
combat formation unnecessary. I_ Sentence miaeing_/_
Between adjacent strike groupinga and alao between separate large unite there can be considerable gaps.
Under modern conditions, it is not important how many groupings have been established for an offensiveront, although this, too, has considerable significance but, primarily, how their advance is organized, where it ia directed to, which main taaka are carried out with the aid of nuclear weapona, and how the infantry and tanka are to exploit the reaulta of nuclear atrikea in order to advance at maximum speeds. The diaperalon of forces
and weapons throughout the entire rone of the front does not by any means indicate that the efforts of the troops are being dissipated. One must look at the essence of the situation and not at theform. And the essence is that, irrespective of tneof forces and weapons, the basic efforts of the troops of the front should be directed towards the solution of the main task--the destruction of the enemy's baste grouping. Here it isto recall the well--known saying "go separately but fight together," Nuclear/missile weapons allow this maxim to be fully realised.
The operational formation of the troopsront in an offen-aivc operation. In the resolution of this question, too* the changes essential in any comparison with the last period of World War II have not taken place. Powerful, strike groupings of troops, of low mobility, continue to be set up for an offensive. In the process, two echelons are createdrontule and, ineneral reserve of several divisions is set up. If one takes into account that armies, divisions, and even regiments can also advancewo-echelon formation, it turns out that nearlyercent of all the forces and weapons of the front will be located in the second echelons and the reserves.
ituation was normal and even necessary during the period of World War II since, at that time, commanders andofficers had no means for performing subsequent tasks or for the development of the offensive in depth, other than the second echelons and reserves. Furthermore, there were no effective long-range means of destruction which could have threatened the second echelons which, until their committment to combat or engagement, hardly ever suffered any serious losses.
Things are different in modern operations. The availability of missile weapons makes it possible to provide effective support to the troops with nuclear strikes throughout the entire depth of an operation and to support the development of the offensive in any
direction. The commanders of the armies and troops of the front can now influence the course of the operation not so much through the second echelons, which will be locatedreat distance from the first echelons, as through strikes by nuclear weapons and by strong, highly-mobile and maneuvering reserves.
Front and army reserves must be echeloned inispersed fashion and must be used to develop theof the operation, to relieve divisions which havelosses and have lost their combat efficiency, to
enemy counterstfnd to carry out other unforseen tasks which may appear in the course of the operation. Here one should remember that,in connection with possible sharp changes in the situation, the replacement of some divisions by othersthe course of an operation will take place repeatedly and fairly frequently.
For this reason, and also because of the complexity of control in modern operations, separate large units and units located in the reserve can be directed beforehand to fulfil definite tasks as is now done for second echelons.
Under modern conditions the operational formationront or an army should be no'less flexible than the combat formationegimentivision, in accordance, of course, with their sizes. This suggests the conclusion that the many-echelonedtroop formation which we use in offensive operations does not correspond to the changed conditions in the conduct of combat operations and requires serious review. One may agree that, with modern means of destruction, the two-echeloned formationegiment andivision can be to some extents regards an army and, even moreront, however, the<crea-tion of second echelons in the old concept is not necessary. Their tasks can be performed most effectively by the more mobile reserves, which are maneuverable, and echeloned in'depth.
CoordinationuVzalpodeystvlye). The basic principlehe synchronization of the efforts of troops in the
carrying out of taska concerned with the aim, place and time of anetains all its significance under modern conditions, but one should include in it another constituent produced by the new means of armed combat and by the changed nature of combat operations.
In each stage of an operation and during the fulfillment of any task, Soviet military art requires that coordination be organised in the interests of those large units and formations which play the main role in the performance of the tasks allotted and in the attainment of the goals of the operation. Previously, in offensive operations by ground troope, coordination was organized most frequently in the interests of the infantry and tanks because they represented the principal means of performing the allotted tasks. Today, this question muBt be resolvedifferent manner, since the principle means of combat are nuclear/miasile weapons, and it seems that it will be necessary to arrange coordination in support of the operations of missile large units and units.
It appears to us that support for the fulfillment of the two main tasks should form the basis of coordination in modern The first task ia the deetruction of the enemy's means of nuclear assault; the troops will be faced with this from theto the end of an offensive operation and also, during the operational lull (if there is one) while the troops are preparingew operation. Tho second task is the timely exploitation by the advancing troops of the results achieved by nuclear strikes, with the aim of completely destroying the enemy. Both these tasks are of paramount significance. The success of an operation dependa upon their fulfillment.
In considering the first task, it ahould be noted that the enemy's means of nuclear aeaault, located not only in the zone ofront's) advance but alao in the zones of adjacent fronts and beyond theirreat danger to the front. The destruction of these means must therefore be carried out not only by forces of one front but aleo by those of adjacent fronts and armies; those enemy means which are out of range must be
destroyed by the strategic missile troop*ew lines missing 1
With the help of nuclear weapons large losses can be inflicted
on opposing enemy groupings and their combat efficiency can be seriously reduced, but it will not always be possible to destroy them completely or to force them to capitulate. First among those who areosition to perform this task are the ground troops -tha infantry and the tanks. It is they who must exploit the results of nuclear strikes and complete the final destruction of the enemy. Therefore, during the arrangement of coordination in the delivery of nuclear strikes, there must be agreement on the place andf the subsequent operations of the infantry and tanksiew to the maximum utilization of their combat capabilities. Nuclear weapons must clear the way for the infantry and tanks, while the latter, taking advantage of the results of nuclear strikes, must push forward with determination, break the organised resistance of the remaining enemy forces, and consolidate the territory which haa been occupied.
The remaining questions of coordination ln an offensivemust be resolved with regard to and in accordance with the accomplishment of the two basic tasks mentioned above.
In organising coordination in modern operations. It Is also very Important to ensure the maximum viability .of- our own means of nuclear assault, their timely preparation for an operation and an agreed place and time for the'delivery of nuclear strikes.
Methods of conducting offensive operations^ The experience of many exercises shows that even in the first operations of the initial periodar, we often envisage the timely concentration of troops In the attack petitions, their deployment In combat formation, the carrying out of artillery and air preparationubsequent transition to the offensive. Generally, such anis not to be excludederiod of threat (ugrozhayemyy period), If there is one, but this will not be typical for troop activities in operations during the initial periodar, which are conducted with the mass use of nuclear weapons.
Am we have already said, the first and decisive actuture war will be the mutual delivery of mass nuclear strides by both sides, with the aim of destroying the means of nuclear assault of the enemy, tha disorganization of his deep rear, the destruction of his most important military-economic and administrative-political centers, the creation of complete chaos in the country, theof popular morale and the destruction of the basic groupings of armedherefore, the first offensive operations will most probably be initiated by those troops who have escaped the enemy's nuclear strikes, in those directions which have already beenfor them in peacetime.
The transition to the offensive of these troops will not beby artillery or air preparation. These methods of using artillery and aircraft in combat, which were highly recommended during World War n, have already lost their former significance and do not correspond to the modern capabilities of the Armed Forces. It is not these means but nuclear weapons which will now determine the content of the fire preparation for an offensive.
The first offensive operationsuture war will develop simultaneously with or after strikes by the missile troops which will prepare the shortest and most advantageous ways (napravlenlye) for the advancing troops to attain the goals assigned to the Only during the course of the offensive in the depth of the enemy's defense can the means of closeircraft,and smallind combat application. The nuclear offensive has replaced the former artillery and air offensive and it will determine the success of the operations.
The main tasks of the advancing troops In the first operations will be, while exploiting the results of nuclear/missile strikes to the full, to complete the destruction of the remaining enemy groupings, to capture the areas where his basic means of armed combat are based, and to paralyse any effort by the enemy to put himself in order or to offer organized resistance. Time and, consequently, the speed of the advance willecisive role
in tho fulfillment of this taeik. He who first seizes the initiative and who acts more quickly and more decisively will be in the better position. For this, according to our estimates, troops should move forward at an average speed of not lessilometers in everyours. Such speeds can only be guaranteed by troops who are highly trained, mobile, and well providedariety of equipment, who are capable of restoring roads and bridgesimited time and of crossing water obstacles quickly, of operating in zones contaminated by radioactivity, in areas where there are fires and obstructions, and under other difficult conditions. The surprise factor and the destructive power of nuclear/missile strikes make it impossible for the enemy to set up organized defense over any significant area of the front near the border or in the depth of his country. Large gaps and unoccupied sectors of terrain are inevitable in his troop grouping and in his defense system. Even f the enemy were successful in creatingefense in several directions, it would be completely disrupted by mass nuclear/ missile strikes. Under these conditions there is no need toethodical advance in combat order. Most probably the basic method of troop operations will be an advance by highly maneuver -able columns of tanks and of Infantry on armored carriers. These columns must move ahead swiftly, going around or overcoming obstacles, barriers, contaminated sectors of the terrain and other obstructions. With tank fire they must quickly destroy the enemy groupings which attempt to offer resistance, and, in cases where this cannot be done, they must search out places which are not occupied by the enemy, break through them and continue to move forward without pause, allocating part of their strength to deliver strikes against the flanks and rear of tho defending enemy grouping or leaving large covering detachments (deployed) against It. the Accomplishment of (his task will be left to the echelons and reserves which are following. In order to avoid the loea of high speeds of advance, one should not get involved in prolonged battles, even if the enemy is successful at some point inthe basic directions In the zoneront or of an army and in organizing their defense. Inituation, it is better to go round the enemy and to transfer the efforts of the troopsto other directions or to withdraw one's own troopsafe
distance and to deliver repeated nuclear strikes on the consolidated enemy grouping, exploiting their results to continue the advance.
Aggressive and decisive operations by airborne troops, who are dropped in the enemy's rear and across the route along which he is moving and, especially, while troops are negotiating zones which are contaminated by radioactivity or wide water barriers, are acquiring great scope and increasing significance in offensive
operations. Several wordsspeeds
of movement of the advancing troops and their performance of tasks aimed at the final destruction of the enemy.
In the course of offensive operations, the most varied types of combat operations are possible: in some directions troops will move forward swiftly, meeting no serious enemy resistance, or willurning maneuver; in others Urge head-on colli* sions may develop or the troops may be compelled to conduct defensive operations, to contain an offensive by superior enemy forces and to repulse strikes by his airborne troops; in still other directions, the troops may overcome the enemy's defense or may withdraw in order to make possible the delivery of repeated nuclear/missile strikes on the enemy. Very frequently, troops will have to negotiate contaminated sectors of terrain with high levels of radiation, obstructions, and other obstacles which are created by nuclear strikes. fcault of such operations, the front line, as lt used to be understood, will disappear. Front and army engagements will develop across vast areas along the front and in depth and will become separate centers, areas and zones of combat operations of the most varied scope and nature. The driving of deep mutual wedges (vzaimnaye vklineniye) by tha. troops willeneral phenomenon. Our troops may find themselves deep in the enemy's rear and his troops will conduct aggressive combat operations in the rear of ours.
Although the troops will have to conductariety of combat operations in the course of an offensive, the basis of all
these operations must be wide maneuver, founded on the useobile/combat (pokhodnoboyevoy)wift forward movement in small columns with operations in combat formations when this is demanded by the situation. When nuclear weapons are being used,ethod of operations can provide the best assuranceigh rate of advance and of the performance of tactical and operational tasks In significantly shorter periods of time than was possible with earlier means of armed combat.esult of this, the duration of offensive operations can be greatly shortened despite their Increased depth.
This, in general terms, is how we see the methods ofan offensive in the operations during the initial periodar.
We have very briefly surveyed separate questions ofoperations In order to show the disparity which existsumber of cases between the methods of troop operations In modern operations and the combat capabilities of the new means of armeduch disparity can be foundumber of other questlona of military art.
Of course, our reasoning cannot pretend to represent any degree of exhaustive argument. The questions which we have touched upon, like many other questions of modern military art, require profound and complete study and research, andtesting on "battle" training grounds. raction of this study is represented by the attempt of this article toritical analysis of the nature of tha operation of one of the mostlaws of development in militaryhe law of theand interdependence of means and weapons of armednd to show the fulfillment of the requirements of this law in our resolution of the questions of the preparation and conduct of modern operations.Original document.