Troop Movements in Soviet Tactical Doctrine

by Oleg Hoeffding

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An annotated translation of a chapter from a Soviet textbook on tactics published in 1966. The chapter covers the doctrine of Soviet troop movements under their own power, by rail or water, and by air. Major points include the following: (1) The Soviets have a casual and noncommittal approach to movement of troops by air. (This aspect of doctrine is probably obsolete by now with Soviet acquisition of a major troop airlift capability.) (2) There is an unqualified expectation that troop movements in the European theater will proceed under conditions of tactical nuclear warfare, and confidence that orderly movements will be feasible under such conditions. (3) Soviet doctrine expects enemy efforts toward mobility interdiction by air. (4) Soviet troops moving under their own power appear to be capable of laying and using rough "column tracks" to overcome demolition of regular roads or to increase the capacity of inadequate road networks in offensive operations.

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