Created: 2/27/1962

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MEMORANDUM FOR: The Director of Central Intelligence

MTUTABY THOUGHT: "The Problem of Transportation

ln Moderny Lieutenant -GeneralTroops I. Kovalev, Colonel-GeneralTroops P. Bakarev, and Colonel

k. Pavlovtch

Enclosederbatim translation of an article which appeared in the TOP SECRET Special Collection of Articles of the Journal "Military Thought" (Voyennayaublished by the Ministry of Defense, USSR, and distributed down to the level of Army Commander.

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MILITARY THOUGHT: "The Problem ofIn Moderny Lieutenant-General of Technical Troopa I. Kovalev, Colonel-General of Technical Troopa P. LaUuk-ov, and ColonelPavlov lcii



A reliable aource

Followingerbatim translation of an article titled "The Problem of Transportation in Modernritten by Lleutenant-General of Technical Troops X. Eovalev, Colonel-General of Technical Troopa P. Bakarev, and Colonel E. Pavlovlch.

Thla article appeared in0 Third Issuepecial version of Voysnnaya Mysl (Military Thought) which is classified TOP SECRET by the Soviets and Is issued irregularly. It is dintrlbuted within thoMinistry of Defease down to the levol of Army Commanderhird Issue was sent for typesetting on


Problem of Transportation In Modern Warfare


Lleutenant-General of Technical Troopa I. Kovalev, Colonel-General of Technical Troopa P. Bakarev, and Colonel K. Pavlovlch

Tho appearance of nuclear/missile weapona has caused basic changes ln tha means and methods of conducting armed combat.

On the basis of the well-known tenet of Engols that "tactics and strategy depend, first of all, on the level of production and means of communication attainedivenngels, Anti-Duehrlng, State Political Publishing House, lt is necessary to examine ln the light of new conditions, one of tha problems of utmost importance to our country, namely, tha problem of transportation ln modern warfare, the strategic role of which has grown immeasurably.

V.I. Lenin indicated that without wall-preparedtransportation, and without railroads,'Is an empty v

These tenets of Marxist-Leninist teaching retain their full strength and meaning. Modern warfare will demand the maximum effort ot the economic, military, 'and psychological forces of the country. From its very first moments the efforts of all types of transportation must be concentrated on supporting combat operations of tha missile troops, PVO troops, and the first strategic echelon of our Armed Forces. At tho same tins tromendous efforts must be directed at ensuring shipments for mobilization of the armed forces and their strategic concentration.



with thls- s impossible tothe opinion of Colonel-General A. Gastilovichexpressed in his article.1 He apparentlyallegedly mobilization and strategic deploymentraultimlllion-man army is impossible andpresent conditions because nothing from thethe country will reach the front in time, and mayreach it at all. In his opinion, the outcomewill be decided by missile troops and borderin such strength and with such armament aswhen war fell upon

The views of Colonel-General Comrade Gastilovich are apparently based on the assertion that allegedly under modern conditions only "blitzkrieg" war is possible.

We cannot agree with this viewpoint. The country its armed forces should not be prepared only forwar. The risk is too great, too greatare the possible consequences in the eventwarrotracted character. Indeed, thethe Socialist Camp will be placed on the scales ofwar must not be rejected at the very outset. contrary, it Is for Justar that theits armed forces must be prepared, allowing, attime, for the possibilityblitzkrieg",for the latter must be provided for andbut within the framework of preparation for a ivw;.:

The tasks connected with preparation of transportation for war are distinguished by thoir tremendouscharacter and demand great resources andTo organize these properly there mustlear and concise conception of the nature of modern warfare. If we agree with the viewpoint of Colonal-Gonoral Comrade Gastilovich, and rule out the possibility of anythingblitzkrieg" which would be decided by the forces of only border district armies, and plan the development of the war economy, and specifically transportation, accordingly, then we may lose precious time made available by the period of peacetime development, andoment of severe trial find ourselves ill-preparedrotracted war.

Our opinions aro bassd on tho fact that nuclear/missile weapons will not eliminate massed armies but, on the contrary, will cause their inevitable increase,because losses in personnel will increase and large numbers of reserves will be required to replace them. Besides, no amount of missiles can ensure the occupation and retention of enemy territory; troops are needed for this,reat many troops.

The decisiveness of the aims and the tremendous spatial scope of modern warfare make it necessary to transit considerable expanses. Armed combat carried on simultaneously in several isolated theaters of military operations will call for strategic and operational maneuvering of forces and weapons, as well as the bringing up of large quantities of supplies to troops in action during the course of the war. These shipments, for the most part, will be carried out not only on the territory of the USSR, but also on that of the adjacent allied countries, as well as on enemy territory.

Organizing shipments between countries is complicated by the varying widths of railway gauge, differences in means of transportation, and by the absencenified controlling organ which has appropriate authority for carrying out and coordinating military shipments between countries, conducted on land, sea, and air.

In addition to military shipments, consideration must be given to the large volume of shipments within each country to satisfy the requirements of the military economy and civilian population of the countries taking partar.



Recently, with the spread of opinion regarding the possibilitynd the simplifications permitted in conducting command-staff exercises, many generals and officers have formed an incorrect idea

regarding the place and role of various types ofin war. The role of railroads is greatly belittled because of their supposedly great vulnerability to strikes of all typea of weapons and the complexity of reconstructing them. These ideas are quite erroneous. Their authors fall to take into consideration the fact that railway transportation renains the basic and declslvs type of transportation in the zone of interior and one of its basic types within the limits of the front.

The experience of many wars shows thatell* organized reconstruction service, railroadsigh degree of viability, and any damage to them is quickly eliminated. This pertains to the conditions of nuclear/ missile war as well, during which lt is possible to maintain relatively prompt reconstruction of damaged sections of railroad lines by the assignment of appropriate manpower and ths extensive mechanization of work.

In relation to this question, the statements of two prominent' American generals are of considerable interest.

The former commander of the. Army in Korea, Van Floot, writes In his memoirs: "Ve knew that the basic mass of military supplies was delivered to the enemy by rail. Ve knew the location of all railway lines. Ve had superiority at sea and in thss did everything possible day after day, and atill could not atop the traffic of the Red trains. We attacked with dive bombers and from low altitudes, shelled with artillery fire from heavy sea and landbased guns, attacked with rocket weapons and machine guns, and organized sabotags. We were witnesses of new proof.of the dependability and flexibility of railroads in wartime."1

Chief Engineer of. Army General Hall, In mentioning that in cass of war railways will pass from the categoryecessary means of transportation to one of vital importance, stresses the fact that even under the impact of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, railway Installations were the most stable.

All this attests to the high viability of railroads and, consequently, also to the fact that with appropriate preparation and organizationeconstruction service, they will be one of the major strategic means of support for armed combat even in modern warfare.

For proper clarification of the rola of theof transportation in tha economy of the country,in the near future, let us list some figurestheir relative proportion ln relation tofreight turnover of our

Types of Transportation








It la apparent from these figures that rail transport still accounts for more thanercent of all freight and passenger shipments, and if we count only that'whlch covers distances ofm, then the proportion^bf rail shipments will rise tooercent. This should always bo kept ln mind in working out various theoretical conceptions and ln developing long-term plans for shipments, so that they are based on the actual capabilities of ths transportation means*.

It is also necessary to take Into consideration the fact that the railway type of transportation is the cheapest, and, after all, questions of economy have Important significance not only ln peacetime but ln wartime as well.

The cost of shipping one kilometer-ton of. freight by rail isopeeks, as compared tooopeeks by motor vehicle, and moreubles by air transport,

ong time to come railway transport willecisive role in serving the transportation needs of the country, in peacetime as well as wartime, especially in long distance shipping of freight.

During the period of the Second World War,1he proportion for the various types ofin the total volume of military shipments (excluding medical shipments) were:1

Types of Transportation

Shipping Distanco (km)

(in percent)

(sea and river)


modern offensive operations, when the operational rear is of considerable depth, regardless of ths development of other means of delivery, rail transport will carry up toercent of all front shipments, neither transport aviation, field pipelines, nor motor vehicle transport can replace railvays in the near future.

We aro for the comprehensive utilization of all types of transportation because no single type can independently fulfil all the needs of the national economy and the armed forces. Consequently, the task consists of vorking out tha principles of comprehensive utilization of all types of transportation on the basishorough analysis, of the nature of modern warfare and taking into consideration the actual potentialities of the theaters of military operations. In accordance with this, we must bring about their development and essential construction.


The viability of the transportation network dependsarge extent on the degree of ita preparation in peacetime.

One of the moat important measures is the developmentetwork of railroads and highways, construction of airfields, pipelines, river and saaports, and also of bypasses of major Junctions of communications lines tunnels, large bridges, etc. Ths accomplishment of these tasks willrolonged poriod of time and large capital investments, and in this connection, they must be closely coordinated with the economic needs of ths country. It is necessary to combine correctly ths economic and defenss interests of the country, which in our opinion, Is not always done in practice in questions of the development of the transportation network.

For instance, the Seven-Tear Plan calls for0 km of rails on railroad lines. Of this amount,m are allotted for new railway construction, and the rest will be used for the reconstruction of existing lines and replacement of old rails. It must be stated, that In the course of the past several years ths rate of railway expansion has fallen behind the growth rats of the volume of induatrial output. For the pastears the volume of industrial output has grown yearly byoercent, but the expansion of rail lines has beenercent, and highways even less than that. The density of Iho network of rail lines and mobile highways even in the woetern * -theater of military operations, the most favorable in this respect, is illustrated by the following figures:


Automobile highways

kmq km of territory)

the Soviet Union

other countries

the Socialist Camp

the capitalist

It is necessary to note that in compiling these figures on the USSR, only thoso territories having tbe most highly developed networks of railways and automobile highways were considered.

otal network of main railway lines stretchingm, we haulercent more freight than the entire railway notwork of tbe USA, which stretchesm (first-class roads only). Thus, the density of freight traffic carried by railways in the USSRimes that of the USA. During the current Seven-Tear Plan the average freight traffic density will be increased by anotherercent approximately. Thus, despite the development of other means of transportation, the operating pace of the railways of the USSR in the coming years will not decrease,but on the contrary, will increase considerably. Meanwhile, lt is now planned to utilize basla capital -investment not for the development of new rail lines, but for the reconstruction of existing lines.

From the military viewpoint, umber ofit would be more correct to solve the problem ofthe shipment of tbe increasing flow or freightnow railway linos,enser networka"higher degree of

Converting the basic railway main linaa to electric traction will not raise the vlabl lity of the^transportatlon network, because the work of the railways wlllTdependentirely on the uninterrupted performance of the'powerful electric power plants, which ln themselves will be an important target for enemy strikes. In these circumstances it is necessary to establish alternate sources of power (zakoltsevat) in our power system as soon as possible,


Diesel-electric traction is morendmore viable, provided that stocka of diesel fual are establishedrolonged period of time,because fuel suitable for diesel locomotive use is produced ln only one or two places in the country. It must also bo noted that our main, line locomotives cannot be used abroad because of thoir clearance and load characteristics and the design of the running gear, which is not adaptable to Vest European gauge.

One of tho measures for Increasing the viability of the transportation network which is being carried out in peacetime is the construction of bypasses of majorJunctions and establishment of stocks of reconstruction materials and structures.

In ourumber of errors are committed in this matter. Bypasses of junctions takeong time to build, and are expected to be used only in wartime. Thus, large capital investments are immobilized. For example, the bypass of the Smolensk railway Junction; which has been under construction forears, and whose estimated cost isillion rubles, does not completely perform the task of increasing ths viability of this railway. It is necessary to construct wide bypasses of junctions, taking into account the possibility of using them in peacetime for transporting local freight, llowing for feat recovery of the expenditurea which have been made.

Little attention has been given to the problems of the construction and development of rail spurs to river and seaports, mooragea for support of combined rail-water shipments, and also to the construction of railway spurs

to airports.

Not everything is going well in establishing stocks of materiel, structures and equipment for the reconstruction of bridges, tunnels, ports, airfields and other installations in the transportation network. For instance, the Ministry of Transportation Is stockpiling pre-assembled, transportable (tselnoperevozimyy) spans weighing up toons to reconstruct bridges, and they can be transported only by rail and installed by apeclal railway cantilever cranes.

Under modern conditions, when the enemy will attempt to cut our railway network into individual isolated sections,ajority of cases lt will not be possible to transport these spans and cranes by rail to the bridges


In our opinion it would be proper to stockpilebridge structures, and cranes to Install them, so that In caae of need they could be shipped by motor vehicle transport.

It Is advisable also to establish stocks of materials and structures for reconstructing highway bridges and river porta.

At present the need has arisen for closer coordination of activities among the member countries of tho Warsaw Pact. Many problems have accumulated which require coordinated solutions and collaboration. Specificallyolution are problems of great importance such as:

ark of special rolling stock which would allow for automatic transfer (while in motion) from the Soviet gauge4 mm to the West European gauga5 mm and back again without changing trucks;

-setting up extensions of rail lines with Soviet gauge deep into the territory of Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Sumania and of West European gauge deep into our territory;

-establishing common bases for reconstruction materials and structures and consolidating them;

-reinforcing railway and highway bridges to meet the load specifications of our rolling stock and units of independently driven equipment.

solve them we must first of all enlist the services of the already existing Organization for the Cooperation of Railroads of the Socialist Countries (Organlzatsiya Sotrudnlchestva Zheleznykh Dorog-OSZhD) but include in lt appropriate military specialists.

In addition to engineer-construction measures, the viability of communications lines is ensured by the presence of reconstruction organizations, capable of moving quickly to work installations and having at their disposal the necessary equipment cadres of specialists trained in working under conditions of radioactive contamination of the terrain.

Within the boundaries of the zone of the front, the viability and reconstruction of communications lines will be ensured by railway, engineer, and road units which are trained to perform thla work In peacetime.

Reconstruction of the rear area networks is entrusted to the organizations in charge of their operation and which do not have the technical equipment or the trained cadres for performing this work.

The exception is the Ministry of Transportation, which has reconstruction trains and bases of reconstruction materials. In addition, for reconstruction of major installations it is provided that construction organizations of the Ministry of Transport Construction will be called upon. However, even these organizations are not trained in the reconstruction of installations destroyed by nuclear weapons.

In case of large-scale destruction of. major,railwaywhose reconstruction will require'a greattime, the organization of temporary transshipmentperegruzochnyyPR) should bein order to transit obstructed areas by usingof transport, primarily motor vehicle. ForVPR, special mobile formations should be organizedand equipped with loading-unloading machineryvehicleV-

It would be incorrect to assume that such special formations will be able to perform independently the task of transshipping freight In obstructed areas. Kven rough estimates indicate that for settingPR onain line as that between Moscow and Minsk, when the railway


at Vyazma has boon destroyed, and through which passairs of trains daily, the transshipment area stretchesm, and for it to serviceof supply trains alone we shall aeed no less0 motor vehicles and more0 men for the loading-unloading operations.

In circumstances when the enemy inflicts large-scale destruction, it will be very difficult to effect necessary national economic and military ahipmenta without atrlct centralization of the comprehensive utilization of all forms of transport.


At the present time in our country, all forms of transportation are controlled by various ministries and departments. Some of them ars subordinate to central, and aome to republic and local organs of authority. Because of thia, it is very complicated,even in peacetime, to organize and conduct combined shipments with the participationypes of transport.

In time of war, such bureaucratic disunity in transportation means is intolerable because it can lead to aerious consequences for the armed forces, as well as for the economy of the country, and these consequences would be difficult to correct.

All forms of transportation which are at'the .disposal of ths country can be systematically and expediently utilized only if ths control of their exploitation eaanatssingle center, closely connected to the Supreme High Command.

In our opinion, tt is extremely essential to unite the management of all types of transport in one organ, for instance,pecially established transportation committee. At the same time, decentralization of control must be ensured byoirecting bodies territorially and administratively linked with industrial-economic aroaa and military districts. ystem will ensure the viability of the controlling organs and willore effective aolution of the problem of combined utilization of all types of transportation in peace and wartime.



At the sane time it la necessary to complete the unification within the Ministry of Transport Construction of all construction organizations which conduct construction of rail lines and highways, pipelines, airfields, and sea and river ports, after preparing them organizationally and technically for wartime accomplishment of the most complex work in reconstructing communications lines in the zone of interior.

However, tho forces of ths construction organizations of the Ministry of Transport Construction alone will be far from sufficient to reach this goal. Appropriate preparation is needed so that reconstruction work and tha establishment of VPH's are also assigned to local territorial organizations and the populace.

In wartime, reconstruction of communications lines ln the zone of interior mustommon task of all tho people and be organized by the State. People andmust be assigned ln advance to all the most Importantail cantors, ports, large bridges,nd, in case of need, must go immediately to the installation and put themselves at the disposal of the chief in charge of organizing the reconstruction work.

Under peacetime conditions, it is expedient toeries of measures in .accordance with the policy of tha Ministry of Defense and the civilian ministries to ensure more effective utilization of ths means'of transport" In the initial periodar. '

In the present situation, to outfit one fully mobilized motorized-rifle division, various types of equipment must be brought fromoeparate depots to the activation point from distances0 km. In order to decrease this volume of shipmentsime when tho railways are working under the most strain, complete depots should be set up at the mobilization points, from which all the requisite military equipment and materiel could be obtained at once.

The problem of supplier and consumer routing of trains must be solved in order to reduceinimum tha layover time of military goods at points where trains are reconstituted.


It is time to take practical action ia creating apecial freight containera, pallets (poddon) and other means for shipping military goods which will ensure mechanization of loading-unloading work and will sharply reduce the layover time of trains in transshipment areas.

To decrease the time neoded for full mobilization and shipment of troops of the first strategic echelon, the traveling speed of trains should be Increased0 kmhour period. doubled) and the weightilitary train increased to at0 tons (gross weight) Instead of0 tons used presently. The present level of technical equipment of railway transport fully allows Implementation of these measures.

According to modern views, it is planned to reconstruct,rontalrontal railway routeaateral ones. To carry out these tasks, the composition of the frontailway brigades, reinforced with bridge regiments, battalions of railway pontoon bridges, special formations, and, when necessary, tunnel battalions.

The rats of reconstruction of railways will dependonsiderable extent on the extent and nature of their destruction and on the number of railway units assigned to tho reconstruction of ons or another railway route.

It is known that In previous vara each of the opposing sides tried to effect complete destruction of railwaysetreat. Roadbeds, tracks, all bridges and pipes, communication lines, railway water supply installations, and service and technical buildings were all blown up. Practically speaking, such complete destruction was possible onlyactical zone of defenseepth ofom from thes of resistance, and then only under conditionslow retreat. In an operationalm In depth, rallwayalight to average amount of destruction.

In the currently effective regulations and Instructions of our probable enemies, there is provision by way of "delaying operations" for massive obstructions along communications routes. In the field manual of tbe

mbstruction and Destruction, it ia plannednuclear weapona to create obstruction.. * ioerB*Qir in preparing structures

h.up ? to available data, Sine devil"

have been installed in morenstallationsdams,

he Iastthe faster

the rata of offensives of troops, the loss time the enemy

has to set up obstructions. Under modern conditions with the fast rate of offensive and the dense railway network In the western theater of military operations, it is to be expected that the enemy will beosition to destroy railways only by individual focal points, striving to split aad break up the entire network into isolated sections. Moreover, first to be destroyed will be all large bridges and tunnels. The extent of destruction to railways In this case will not be as great as in the case of comploto destruction, but the nature of destruction and conditions of reconstruction will be more complex than in the last war.

Under the conditions of highly mobilo modern warfare when offensive operations are conducted in great depth and the destruction of railways Is accomplished at certain points, railway units will have to workide front separated from each other,ule, in small subunits oftendeep envelopment" of railway sectors'"still occupied by the enemy, or in "corridors" made by our troops.

Taking into account the possible tempos of offensive

operations, railway troops must reconstruct the basic

front railway main linesace of no less thano

mhour period and strive to raise this to 55

tom per day. In tha last war the railway reconstruction

m on one route

(in Individual cases up toom).

In order not to be separated from the advancing troops by moreistanceay's ride by motor vehicle transport, railway troops must reconstruct any destroyed point or any Installationays. If its


There is no clarity in the problems of organizing the operation of reconstructed sectors and their technical concealment. Many independently operating organizations have appeared in front railway sectors. Reconstruction of railways is conducted by railway brigades and special reconstruction formations subordinate to tha chief of railway troops of the frontnd operation of tho reconstructed railway sectors is ensured by operating railway regiments and operating special formations, subordinate to the chief of the military-operatingof the front (nach. VBU) . The organization of military shipments Is conducted by the chief of military transport of the front (nachalnik VOSO) . Thsy all have equal rights and, with the exception of the chief of voso, are directly subordinate to the commander of the front. The NZhVF and VBO for special service are also subordinate to the Ministry of Transportation of the


When our troops are operating on the territory of allies. It must be taken into account that there are also local governmental organs of railway administration with whom the work must be coordinated.

As was polntod out earlier, under modern conditions we must strive for the comprehensive utilization of all types of transportation located within the limits of the front: rail, water, motor vehicle, air, and pipeline. Tet, all these types of transportation are subordinate'to different arms of troops and services.

The need ham arisen to examine tha problem of setting up within the composition of theingle military transport servicendowed with the necessary powers for organizing centralized utilization of all types of transportation subordinate to tha front and appropriate authority to coordinate problems of military shipments with appropriate ministries and departments. The complement of this directorate must include experienced specialists and reprasentatives of all types of transportation who are capable of establishing and efficientlyowerful transport service.

At tho beginning of the Second World War an attempt was made to assign the responsibility for reconstruction and operation of front railwaysepresentative of the NKPS (Narodnyy Komissariat Putey Soobshcheniya -Peoples' Commissariat ofho was attached to the Military Councilront. The experience of many wars has shown that front railways must be controlled by the military, especially beyond the limits of our national boundaries. In time ofwar, neither railwayman nor local agencies of authority will recognize anyone else's authority, and no one else will have adequate legal rights.

At the present time the planning of shipments and coordination of the tasks of all types of transportation are the responsibility of tho third department ofeadquarters of the rear servicesront. This department will be unable toingle practical problem, and willuperfluous echelon of command, tying up the operations of all transportation agencies. This conclusion is corroborated by the experience of many practical exercises.

To ensure comprehensive utilization of all types of transportation, It will be necessary to make up mutually coordinated schedules and plans (possibly using electronic computingnified dispatcher control for shipments, good and accurately operating communications, etc. All this requires highly qualified specialists who have experience in working in transportation agencies.

To coordinate the preparation of the entire transportation network for operation in wartime, and also to resolve problems of its utilization in the Interests of -operating troopa, it Is necessary to set up, within the scope of the member-countries of the Warsaw Pact, an appropriate transportation agency which must be closely connected with the OSZhD.

It Is also expedient to distribute properly the stocks of reconstruction materiel, and to unify reconstruction

equipment ami reconstruction units so that they vlll meet modern requirements. Comprehensive utilization of all types of transportation must also be organized ln accordancenified plan, regardless of the nation to vhlch they belong.

It Is perfectly obvious that appropriate preparation of means of transportation for work under conditions of war must be carried out in advance. Every delay in this matter is very dangerous because the scope of tha work is so great that it will be impossible to make up lost time ln the coursear.

Original document.

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