German disruption of Soviet Command, Control and Communications in Barbarossa, 1941
Stolfi, Russel H.S.
Ratley, Lonnie O.
O'Neill, John F.
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The authors examine the German plans for Operation Barbarossa and the combat operations of the first five weeks of war in the East in June-July. The Germans achieved enormous success i n the opening stages of the offensive including the shattering o f Soviet command, control, and communications (c3). The purpose of the study was to determine the means by which the Germans disrupted Soviet C3 and the resulting possible use of Barbarossa as a model for the Soviets in disrupting NATO C3 in the opening stages of a Warsaw Pact offensive in Central Europe today. The study is based on interviews with German participants in Barbarossa and documents in the federal German military archives at Freiburg. The study supports the following generalizations: (1) The German planners of Barbarossa did not have sufficient intelligence of the Soviet armed forces, their relatively primitive C3 system, and the communications system of the Soviet states to consider as a vital part of their planning the deliberate paralysis of the Soviet armed forces. (2) The Germans were determined, particularly in the central front opposite their most powerful concentration of forces, to prevent the escape of the powerful peacetime armies in to the hinterland of Russia. (3) German military operations concentrated, therefore, on extra ordinarily swift and deep penetrations by mobile forces designed to encircle and destroy the largest possible concentrations of Soviet troops causing irreversible casualties and damage and resulting in the quick seizure of the transportation, communications, political, and psychological hub of the Soviet Union--Moscow. (4) The German military operations designed to encircle physically and destroy vast Soviet army formations simultaneously shattered Soviet C3. A lesson of the study would seem t o be that a massive, surprise offensive a t the beginning of a war should lead quickly to the destruction (direct casualties and damage) and distintegration (paralysis of command and disruption of control) of the strategic defender. In a Warsaw pact offensive at the beginning of a war in Central Europe, the Soviets could achieve a decisive victory with or without special emphasis on deliberate disruption of NATO C3 simply through the violence and speed of the attack against the opposing forces in the field It is unsettling to note further, however, that the Soviets in applying a potential version of Barbarossa in the future would probably deliberately target the massive and well known NATO C3 hardware systems and personnel in West Germany with corresponding paralyzing effects added to the destruction of the NATO forces lying in the paths of the major attacks
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
NPS Report NumberNPS-56-84-001
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