Soviet war plans vs. NATO 1956 - 1989. Anybody knows?

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Lupo Solitario
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Post by Lupo Solitario » 12 Oct 2005 17:33

Acolyte wrote:The WP was to invade Yugoslavia as well in case of an all-out European war. Yugoslavia was not a Soviet puppet state after all. As a result I doubt they should have been added to WP forces.
.


me too but I was quoting something I read a lot of time ago...I believe it was a way to keep always an eye open on Yugos, friends or not...

However trying to give a look at Cold War non-german fronts is always a complicate stuff. Acolyte, have you any data about OOB of hungarian army/soviet forces in hungary between 1955 and 1990?

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Acolyte
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Post by Acolyte » 13 Oct 2005 19:35

Respecting this subject I rely on the links I already mentioned in this thread. I recall reading most of this info is based on the findings of a Swiss research institute, which made many declassified WP war plans available online. With respect to the Soviet Army forces stationed in Hungary between 1945-91, I don't know much to be honest. They were part of Soviet Army Group South - headquarters in Harkov, I guess - and numbered in the hundreds of thousands. The headquarters of Soviet forces in Hungary was in Hajmáskér, in the mountains north of Lake Balaton. They held there annual military exercises there as well. They stored nuclear warheads in underground bunkers. I'll try to look for Hungarian sources as soon as I have time. It's an interesting subject after all.

On a further note, according to the official estimates of the Hungarian People's Army High Command (in the early '70s), 65% of all the country's armed forces would have been wiped out in 30 minutes by NATO nuclear strikes in case of a WP attack. I learnt about that estimate in a Hungarian documentary which was aired a few months ago.

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henryk
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Post by henryk » 27 Nov 2005 20:50

Looks like the new government in Poland is releasing Warsaw Pact information.
http://mosnews.com/news/2005/11/26/polandfiles.shtml
Poland Releases Cold War Files Discrediting Russia
Created: 26.11.2005 09:40 MSK (GMT +3), Updated: 09:40 MSK
MosNews
Poland on has risked inflaming tensions with Russia when on Friday it released 1,700 highly sensitive Warsaw Pact files, including a war game exercise that envisaged massive nuclear destruction in western Europe and Poland, Financial Times reported.

The new conservative government in Warsaw wants Poland to deal more firmly with its communist past, and Friday’’s opening of military files shows it is prepared to incur Moscow’’s wrath and confront those Poles who worked closely with the Soviet Union.

Warsaw has already protested to Moscow over plans to build a new Russo-German gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea that bypasses Poland, and over Russian restrictions on Polish meat exports.

Radoslaw Sikorski, Poland’’s defense minister, claimed the country had been ““an unwilling ally of the Soviet Union in the cold war”” and that being in the Warsaw Pact had put the country in mortal danger.

Sikorski published a map showing Soviet bloc forces planning a ““counter-attack”” against NATO forces, in which the Soviets would have dropped nuclear bombs along a line from the Dutch coast to Strasbourg, wiping out cities in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.

But the 1979 exercise also showed that Warsaw Pact planners believed such a conflict would have seen NATO target its nuclear bombs along the line of the Vistula river in Poland, to prevent Russian reinforcements reaching the front.

““The Polish army was being asked to take part in an invasion which could have resulted in a nuclear violation of our country,”” Sikorsky said. ““Poland is a country which would have been bombed out of existence.”” He claimed two million Poles would have died in any conflict.

The military files handed over to Poland’’s Institute of National Remembrance also included details of the 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia to crush the ““Prague Spring””.

The release of the documents will reopen questions about the involvement of Polish communist-era politicians and soldiers in the Soviet-bloc alliance, 15 years after the country left the Warsaw Pact.

Poland agreed at that time never to release the Pact’’s military files but Sikorski claims it never ratified the agreement. He also said Moscow was not alerted to the fact he intended to make the files public.
““We need to know our own history,”” he told journalists in Warsaw. ““It’’s important for a democracy to know who was the hero and who was the villain. A morality tale has to be told.””

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Musashi
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Post by Musashi » 27 Nov 2005 21:43

The plans were revealed 2 days ago.
Poland on has risked inflaming tensions with Russia when on Friday it released 1,700 highly sensitive Warsaw Pact files, including a war game exercise that envisaged massive nuclear destruction in western Europe and Poland, Financial Times reported.

According to many Poles and Russians, Polish-Russian relations are so bad, that it would be difficult to inflame them more.

BTW,
I read a few years ago, that West German nuclear plants would have been one of primary targets for Polish attack aviation (Su-7s, Su-20s, Su-22s).

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Acolyte
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Post by Acolyte » 28 Nov 2005 18:49

henryk wrote:Radoslaw Sikorski, Poland’’s defense minister, claimed the country had been ““an unwilling ally of the Soviet Union in the cold war”” and that being in the Warsaw Pact had put the country in mortal danger.

Sikorski published a map showing Soviet bloc forces planning a ““counter-attack”” against NATO forces, in which the Soviets would have dropped nuclear bombs along a line from the Dutch coast to Strasbourg, wiping out cities in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.


Is the current Polish government saying that the Polish army would have been "unwilling" to fight the West Germans if NATO attacked the Warsaw Pact in 1979? Give me a break.

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henryk
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Post by henryk » 28 Nov 2005 20:43

Actually the Warsaw Pact plans were well-known in the US DOD. They had been revealed to them by a Polish General Staff officer, Colonel Ryszard Kuklinski, concurrently with their dissemination within the Warsaw Pact countries. A highly recommended book describes how a Polish patriot placed the Polish People above his oath to the Soviet Union controlled Communist state:
A Secret Life: The Polish Officer, His Covert Mission, and the Price He Paid to Save His Country, by Benjamin Weiser 2004
Editorial Reviews: From Publishers Weekly
Highly placed in the military councils of the Warsaw Pact, Polish colonel Ryszard Kuklinski made himself the CIA's most important East Bloc intelligence asset in the 1970s, passing along invaluable information about Soviet weaponry, military plans and the brewing crackdown on Poland's dissident Solidarity movement. In this absorbing biography of an emblematic Cold War figure, journalist Weiser paints Kuklinski as a Polish patriot, his pro-American sentiments motivated by love of freedom, resentment of Soviet domination, and fear that a superpower confrontation would unleash a nuclear holocaust on Poland.
Both a gripping spycraft procedural and a study of the moral tension of simultaneously collaborating with and undermining a system one detests, the book sheds light on a shadowy but evocative aspect of life under Communism.

A gripping account of how this hero of the Cold War survived years of fears of being uncovered, while presenting thousands of pieces of information vital to the West. Finally he, with his family, was forced to flee to the US. To me the most shocking account in the book was the long overdue action by the newly independent Poland to withdraw the legal penalties imposed on him by Communist Poland. It was not done until the late '90s. The failure was caused by many who still considered him a traitor to the Army. Even Walensa did not take action.

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Post by soldat_m56 » 15 Feb 2006 22:52

Anyone have any plans for non-European fronts of the war? (e.g. America and Asia) Did the Soviets have any designs on Alaska?

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Post by Black Forest » 22 Sep 2007 02:45

Too bad this thread died, let's revive it. Like Nick89, I'm also interested in for non-European fronts (non-Central European front to be exact).

By the way, as my contribution, here's Polish offensive plan (probably from 1960's)
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Buckshot06
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Soviet plans against Alaska

Post by Buckshot06 » 03 Feb 2008 08:17

See here - it's in Russian.

http://www.kommersant.ru/doc.aspx?DocsID=191077

Regards

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Re: Soviet war plans vs. NATO 1956 - 1989. Anybody knows?

Post by Black Forest » 05 Apr 2008 16:39

http://www.torontosun.com/News/Columnis ... 25-sun.php

Secret tales from Vienna

At the height of the Cold War, plans for an invasion had spies and soldiers on edge

By ERIC MARGOLIS


VIENNA -- Memories of past glories still haunt this majestic imperial capitol of the now sadly vanished Austro-Hungarian Empire.

There are also fresher memories of the post-war era when the Soviets shared control of Vienna with Britain, France and the United States. A large, freshly gilded Soviet war memorial still looms over the city.

The old, sinister days of spying, kidnapping and black marketeering were captured here by Carol Reed's magnificent film, The Third Man, starring Orson Wells as the charming thug, Harry Lime.

My father used to produce plays with Wells, and the actor often regaled us with amusing tales about making this film in the ruins of Vienna under the baleful eyes of the KGB.

Half a century later, Wells' presence still haunts Vienna. I half imagine seeing him in the twilight, dressed in a long, black great coat and fedora, slipping around a corner into the dusk.



Vienna also has another fascinating secret.

Back in the 1960s, at the height of the Cold War, I was studying international law at a Swiss university.

A group of Swiss Army officers in mufti (civilian dress) were arrested by Austria for spying on its modest fortifications on its Czech border.

Many jokes about "chocolate spies" were made at the time over this seeming trivial incident. But the Swiss, as always, were deadly serious.

The Swiss officers were monitoring Austria's eastern defenses against the Soviet Warsaw Pact because their intelligence service had uncovered frightfully alarming news.

STATE SECRET

This information still remains a Swiss state secret, but thanks to my contacts with the Swiss military, I can reveal it for the first time.

NATO's defenses were concentrated on the North German Plain -- the hundreds of miles of flat terrain running from the Bavarian Alps up to the North Sea and supplied by the vast Belgian port complex of Antwerp.

This region, and the Fulda Gap to the south, were the Warsaw Pact's expected invasion route into Western Europe. U.S., German, British, Canadian, Dutch and Belgian troops were massed there, awaiting an attack.

However, the Soviet General Staff had developed a brilliant plan to outflank the bulk of NATO forces in north Germany.

It was a variant of the pre-First World War German Schlieffen Plan.

The Soviet version called for a major deception and pinning attacks in the north, while a mass strike force of at least 60 armored and mechanized divisions would sweep west from Czechoslovakia into neutral Austria, cross it, and then erupt into eastern Switzerland.

The Red Army would have to fight its way through the Swiss fortress zone at Sargans, then drive west on an axis: Zurich-Bern-Neuchatel-Lausanne-Geneva.

BOUND FOR PARIS

From Geneva, the Soviet blitz would break out into France's Rhone Valley near Grenoble and Lyon, swing northwest along the Saone River and envelop Paris from the south and west.

This vast enveloping attack, whose northern flank would be in large part protected by the Alps and Vosges, would come up behind NATO forces deployed much further east.

A Soviet column would take Antwerp and Rotterdam, thus cutting off the main supply lines of American, British and Canadian forces, and then attack them from the rear.

Had this plan worked, it would have been more successful than the 1914 Schlieffen Plan and as great a triumph as Germany's 1940 campaign against France.

Like Von Manstein's and Guderian's audacious attack through the Ardennes forest in May, 1940, a Soviet offensive through Austria and Switzerland would have struck the least expected spot -- NATO's underbelly.

Austria lay naked, but Switzerland was ready.

Its 600,000 tough soldiers prepared to fight the Red Army from their mountain fortress redoubts at Sargans, Gothard and St. Maurice in the Valais.

The Swiss would have seriously delayed Soviet attacks, perhaps giving NATO time, were it fleet enough, to withdraw its northern forces eastward, and pull back troops to defend the strategic Rhone Valley.

But it would have been a very, very close run thing.

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Re: Soviet war plans vs. NATO 1956 - 1989. Anybody knows?

Post by Alp Guard » 02 Dec 2008 10:59

Black Forest wrote:http://www.torontosun.com/News/Columnists/Margolis_Eric/2007/09/16/4500225-sun.php

Secret tales from Vienna

At the height of the Cold War, plans for an invasion had spies and soldiers on edge

By ERIC MARGOLIS


The Red Army would have to fight its way through the Swiss fortress zone at Sargans, then drive west on an axis: Zurich-Bern-Neuchatel-Lausanne-Geneva.



This was in fact expected. But keep in mind that the axis mentioned above is rather narrow ( 50-70 miles wide). It is called Mitteland, full of rivers (Rhein, Reuss, Aare), packed with buildings, forrests, mined bridges, and flanked with heavy artillery from the Alps on one side and the Jura mountains on the other side. Not to mention a 620'000 man army for a relatively small part of the country to be defended, dug-in and prepared for exactly this kind of attack, with underground hospitals, airplane shelters (Kavernen), and bunkers all over the country.

I doubt that a tank army could have swept them away within a few days. The delay would have been too long.

I'm happy that it was not necessary, as I would have been one of the defenders.... 8O

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Re: Soviet war plans vs. NATO 1956 - 1989. Anybody knows?

Post by Acolyte » 02 Dec 2008 18:47

Black Forest wrote:The Soviet version called for a major deception and pinning attacks in the north, while a mass strike force of at least 60 armored and mechanized divisions would sweep west from Czechoslovakia into neutral Austria, cross it, and then erupt into eastern Switzerland.

The Red Army would have to fight its way through the Swiss fortress zone at Sargans, then drive west on an axis: Zurich-Bern-Neuchatel-Lausanne-Geneva.

BOUND FOR PARIS

From Geneva, the Soviet blitz would break out into France's Rhone Valley near Grenoble and Lyon, swing northwest along the Saone River and envelop Paris from the south and west.

This vast enveloping attack, whose northern flank would be in large part protected by the Alps and Vosges, would come up behind NATO forces deployed much further east.

A Soviet column would take Antwerp and Rotterdam, thus cutting off the main supply lines of American, British and Canadian forces, and then attack them from the rear.


Doesn't make much sense to me. Attack through the Austrian Alps and then through the mountainous regions of Western Switzerland? That sounds suicidal. Attack from Geneve and capture Paris from the south? Yeah right...

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Re: Soviet war plans vs. NATO 1956 - 1989. Anybody knows?

Post by Venttiseiska » 07 Jan 2009 18:11

Here's some info on the Soviet plans against the Nordic states:

http://www.php.isn.ethz.ch/collections/ ... =6&nav3=12

And the best parts:

"During this exercise the staff in Leningrad also anticipated that they would, as a result of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, be able to gain access to roads and railways through Finland without fighting, a starting point that, in the light of my knowledge of the feelings of the Finnish people, appears unsound.

The Soviet Union also attempted to guard against this uncertainty and ensure rapid success in Northern Norway. At the beginning of the 1970s, they therefore put forward a proposal for the Soviet Union to take over the defence preparations for the northern part of Finland within the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance. A reinforcement of the defence of the Murmansk area, yes, but also an improved starting position for an attack on Northern Norway. However, this measure would surely also have provoked a change within NATO. Norway would, perhaps, have reviewed its base policy and requested that US troops were constantly deployed in Norway, even in peacetime."

"Through the rapid occupation of Denmark and Northern Norway, they reckoned that Sweden would declare itself neutral and that Finland would adhere to what the Soviet Union interpreted as the spirit of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance. The advantage in this for the Soviet Union was that there would be no need to detach forces to militarily defeat Finland and Sweden. In the case of Sweden, it could be perceived as particularly important at the beginning of a war not to be forced to neutralise the large air force and the Swedish Navy in connection with the break-out through the Baltic straits as this would require deploying forces that could be better used against NATO."

"According to the Swedish Military Intelligence and Security Service’s notes, Sweden had previously been just as important a target as Finland and Northern Norway. It was the perception of the Soviet Union (in the 1950s, before the era of long-range missiles, we must presume) that Sweden had a special role for the American strategic bombers. If these were to launch an attack into the Soviet Union’s heartland, with Leningrad and the Moscow area as two important targets, they would require the support of attack and fighter aircraft against the air defences in the Baltic, and the limited ranges of these would preferably require being based in Sweden.

Was this the reason for the British and American interest in prioritising practical preparations within air activity in their secret co-operation with Sweden? How far did the discussions on the purpose of these practical preparations go, and at which level?"

"The exercise with Leningrad’s front staff had taken place as late as during the latter half of the 1970s and involved attacks across Finland against Northern Norway and Sweden. As previously mentioned, they were counting on transport movements through Finland without fighting. An exercise with the Baltic Fleet had taken place in 1968 and involved landings in several locations in the southern half of Sweden."

"General Dvorkin outlined different options for a conventional USSR attack against Norway in the 1980s. Some of the options bypassed Sweden and Finland, while other options implied violation of Swedish or Finnish territory. A Soviet attack could bypass Norway’s neighbors in the East by using amphibious attack forces towards North Norway, or by an attack from the South, directed through the Danish Straits and probably violating the northern parts of West Germany and Denmark.

However, the main option was a massive, strategic assault conducted by joint Soviet land, naval and air forces, hence very similar to the German attack on Norway April 9 1940. A strategic assault of this dimension would include seizing the Danish Straits in a massive amphibious attack against the Danish mainland and violating Swedish and Finnish territory by land forces. For a long period ten divisions were earmarked for this option."

"Whether or not Sweden’s security policy was a good one, we also had an altruistic reason for our choice of neutrality policy in 1948–1949, i.e., Finland’s vulnerable situation. At that time a policy of neutrality with a hidden lifeline in the form of an Atlantic link appeared a practicable way. The Soviet Union would certainly have put Finland under pressure – and Sweden – even more during the Cold War if Sweden had been a member of NATO. On the other hand, the Swedish military potential in the 1960s could have been decisive in a battle between the alliances for the Baltic straits and, ultimately, the Norwegian Sea."

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Re: Soviet war plans vs. NATO 1956 - 1989. Anybody knows?

Post by Steady » 22 Mar 2009 19:32

Will of Finnish people is one thing, courage of Finnish politicians another. According to a book written in 1982 by the ex-commander of Tshekkoslovakian military staff, who had fled to the west in 1968 (if I remember right), President Kekkonen promised during 1960's that if an european war broke out, Finland would give Soviets full access to the ports along the southern Finnish coastline. That would automatically mean Soviet dominance over all of Finland also.

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Re: Soviet war plans vs. NATO 1956 - 1989. Anybody knows?

Post by Acolyte » 21 Oct 2009 21:00

Venttiseiska wrote:Here's some info on the Soviet plans against the Nordic states:

http://www.php.isn.ethz.ch/collections/ ... =6&nav3=12

And the best parts:

"During this exercise the staff in Leningrad also anticipated that they would, as a result of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, be able to gain access to roads and railways through Finland without fighting, a starting point that, in the light of my knowledge of the feelings of the Finnish people, appears unsound.

The Soviet Union also attempted to guard against this uncertainty and ensure rapid success in Northern Norway. At the beginning of the 1970s, they therefore put forward a proposal for the Soviet Union to take over the defence preparations for the northern part of Finland within the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance. A reinforcement of the defence of the Murmansk area, yes, but also an improved starting position for an attack on Northern Norway. However, this measure would surely also have provoked a change within NATO. Norway would, perhaps, have reviewed its base policy and requested that US troops were constantly deployed in Norway, even in peacetime."

"Through the rapid occupation of Denmark and Northern Norway, they reckoned that Sweden would declare itself neutral and that Finland would adhere to what the Soviet Union interpreted as the spirit of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance. The advantage in this for the Soviet Union was that there would be no need to detach forces to militarily defeat Finland and Sweden. In the case of Sweden, it could be perceived as particularly important at the beginning of a war not to be forced to neutralise the large air force and the Swedish Navy in connection with the break-out through the Baltic straits as this would require deploying forces that could be better used against NATO."

"According to the Swedish Military Intelligence and Security Service’s notes, Sweden had previously been just as important a target as Finland and Northern Norway. It was the perception of the Soviet Union (in the 1950s, before the era of long-range missiles, we must presume) that Sweden had a special role for the American strategic bombers. If these were to launch an attack into the Soviet Union’s heartland, with Leningrad and the Moscow area as two important targets, they would require the support of attack and fighter aircraft against the air defences in the Baltic, and the limited ranges of these would preferably require being based in Sweden.

Was this the reason for the British and American interest in prioritising practical preparations within air activity in their secret co-operation with Sweden? How far did the discussions on the purpose of these practical preparations go, and at which level?"

"The exercise with Leningrad’s front staff had taken place as late as during the latter half of the 1970s and involved attacks across Finland against Northern Norway and Sweden. As previously mentioned, they were counting on transport movements through Finland without fighting. An exercise with the Baltic Fleet had taken place in 1968 and involved landings in several locations in the southern half of Sweden."

"General Dvorkin outlined different options for a conventional USSR attack against Norway in the 1980s. Some of the options bypassed Sweden and Finland, while other options implied violation of Swedish or Finnish territory. A Soviet attack could bypass Norway’s neighbors in the East by using amphibious attack forces towards North Norway, or by an attack from the South, directed through the Danish Straits and probably violating the northern parts of West Germany and Denmark.

However, the main option was a massive, strategic assault conducted by joint Soviet land, naval and air forces, hence very similar to the German attack on Norway April 9 1940. A strategic assault of this dimension would include seizing the Danish Straits in a massive amphibious attack against the Danish mainland and violating Swedish and Finnish territory by land forces. For a long period ten divisions were earmarked for this option."

"Whether or not Sweden’s security policy was a good one, we also had an altruistic reason for our choice of neutrality policy in 1948–1949, i.e., Finland’s vulnerable situation. At that time a policy of neutrality with a hidden lifeline in the form of an Atlantic link appeared a practicable way. The Soviet Union would certainly have put Finland under pressure – and Sweden – even more during the Cold War if Sweden had been a member of NATO. On the other hand, the Swedish military potential in the 1960s could have been decisive in a battle between the alliances for the Baltic straits and, ultimately, the Norwegian Sea."
The URL has been changed. The article can be found here:

http://www.php.isn.ethz.ch/collections/ ... info=46465

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