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Nuclear War in Southern Europe.

Review of NATO and Warsaw Pact Operational Strategic Planning.

Part I. Balkans and Black Sea Straits.

Kiev, 2021.



This scientific research describes (in a generalized and systematized form) preparations for possible military operations with the use of nuclear weapons in the South European theater of military operations (Southwest strategic direction) during the Cold War of 1945-1991. At the same time, for the first time, the documents of the Headquarters of the Red Banner Odessa Military District (operational documents, reports on command and staff exercises, reports on military scientific conferences, etc.) were used, which until recently were classified “Top Secret”. Also, for the first time, the topics of the exercises and maneuvers of the Romanian and Bulgarian armies are traced. Taken together, this reveals the direction of the operational training of command and staff and their possible actions in the event of a war. In close connection with the processes of building up the armed forces of the NATO and the Warsaw Pact member states in the Balkans,  changes in the approaches of the headquarters to the use of troops in the performance of their main combat mission are traced: for the Warsaw Pact Organization - to seize the Black Sea Straits zone, and for NATO, respectively, to hold it. Separately considered the Greco-Turkish conflict, the Romanian-Soviet military relations and the “zigzags” of the Yugoslav military policy, as factors influencing operational and strategic planning of the two opposing blocs. The book is intended for those interested in military history.


Here you can see sample pages and maps from the book.



Introduction >
You can read English translation here.

I. Topic, sources and scientific elaboration of the topic

§ 1. Plans for war (military operations) in peacetime: is there a subject for research?
§ 2. On the documents of the operational and strategic planning of the opposing sides during the Cold War
§ 3. On the question of the connection between exercises' scenarios and real operational-strategic planning
§ 4. On the question of secrecy
§ 5. Review of sources and literature

II. The Turkish Straits Area
in the plans of NATO
1. Strategic weakness (1945-1952)
2. Domination on the flank (1953-1955)
3. The Greek-Turkish conflict and the collapse of the southern flank of NATO
On the brink of war
Intra-alliance contradictions
 «Separate» оperational planning
4. Defense in specific conditions (1956-1988)
    4.1. T
he defense of Northern Greece
The defense of Eastern Thracian
The war in the air
4.4. Nuclear weapons and civil defense

ІІ. Soviet Army and its allies on the Balkans in the Cold War
1. Yugoslav factor in the Warsaw Pact strategic planning
2. The first defensive operation of the Bulgarian People's Army
2.1. Bulgarian People's Army organization and armament
2.2. Bulgaria in the initial period of the war
§3. Romanian position in the Warsaw Pact

Development of the Romanian People’s Army as an ally of the Soviet Army
.2. Resource mobilization capacity and operational training of the Romanian People’s Army
.3. The special position of Bucharest in the Warsaw Pact Organization and the problem of military transit through Romania

IV. Offensive operation in the Balkan strategic direction

§ 1. Order of battle of the fronts on the direction
§ 2. The balance of forces in the Balkan strategic direction in the 70s and 80s
§ 3. Combat training tasks of the Unified Armed Forces at the military exercises
§ 4. Tasks, combat readiness, control system and mobilization deployment of the Odessa Military District's troops
§ 5. Regrouping of the Odessa Military District's troops to Bulgaria
§ 6. Breakthrough of fortified areas
§ 7. Airborne assault forces
§ 8. Forcing the Black Sea Straits
§ 9. Actions on the Asian coast of the Black Sea straits
§ 10. Reconnaissance and destruction of nuclear weapons and enemy control systems
§ 11. The possible nature of the fighting on the example of the exercises 1960-1980
   11.1. Оperation and tactic exercise «Rhodopi», August 20-27, 1967
   11.2. Command Post Exercise in Budapest, June 29, 1970
   11.3. Operational war game on maps «Union», February 12-21, 1973
   11.4. Оperation and strategic exercise «Shield-82», September 25 – October 1, 1982
§ 12. Use of nuclear weapons

V. Amphibious assault operation in the Turkish Straits Area > You can read English translation here.

Codenames, acronyms and abbreviations for events, related to the Balkan strategic direction during the Cold War
List of the tables, maps and photos
Color maps and schemes