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The first word a division may receive of impending combat action may come in various ways. During peacetime the earliest warning most likely would come in the form of a direct, encrypted, elecronic alert (warning) signal from the general staff. Once this has been received and acted upon, or during the course of a war already begun, the division would normally receive a warning order in the form of "Initial Instructions" sent from its parent army when the latter received its new mission from the front. A sample of army iniitial instructions follows.



Only to the commander of the 16th MRD

The army has received an offensive mission: The time of readiness is set for ___.

The army commander has ordered:

1. All troops and staffs will be brought to a state of full combat readiness and prepared for the conduct of combat actions.

2. All personnel, equipment, weapons, ammunition, foodstuffs, POL, and other material means must be brought up to mobilization norms in all units and staffs.

3. The army's large units and units will occupy designated departure areas for attack. Departure areas will be prepared in terms of engineer work and obstacles to repel likely enemy attacks and to provide protection against mass destruction weapons and air strikes.

4. One motorized rifle regiment from each first echelon division, reinforced by two artillery battalions, will be assigned as covering troops to organize the security and defense of border areas with interaction with the border troops.

5. Divisional rocket battalions will occupy positions from 5 to 10 km from the border. Positions will be prepared and camouflaged.

6. Surplus equipment, weapons, means, and other material and damaged equipment will be evacuated to appropriate places.

7. Wounded and sick personnel requiring long treatment will be evacuated to the front, military district, or group of forces hospitals. The army's medical facilities will be readied to receive sick and wounded.
8. All air defense troops will prepare and occupy positions to repel the enemy's air attacks. The rocket troops will be brought to such a state of readiness to enable them to launch rockets at the shortest time, when it becomes necessary.

Chief of Operations Chief of Staff



Once the army commander has made his decision and the army operations plan and operations directive have been written, the army will issue extracts of the operations directive to each division in the form of "Combat Instructions." The format of the instructions contains the following sections.

I. Enemy

II. Specific missions to the division

III. Army means and missions of adjecents

IV. Troop control measures

A sample of the combat instructions follows.

I approve ___/___/Guards Army
Major General --

Serial No:
Copy NO:

Combat Instructions

of the commander of the Eighth Guards Army for offensive operation to the commander of the 16th MRD:

Command post Wickerstedt, at ---, on --- Map 1:250,000 Aug 1983 ed:

I. Enemy

As a result of the deterioration of the international situation the NATO has secretly brought its armed forces to the state of full combat readiness and wants to launch a surprise attack on the territories of the Warsaw Pact.
Confronting the troops of the Eighth Guards Army, t he forces of the U. S. V Corps are deployed with the Third Armored Division and the Eighth Mechanized Division in the first echelon composed of a total of up to --- nuclear missile systems, --- nuclear artillery pieces, --- tanks,--- guns and mortars, --- SAM systems, and --- fixed wing aircraft and helicopters.

In the second echelon of the V Corps, the ___ division and most likely tank troops of the FRG will operate with a total of --- nuclear missile systems, --- nuclear artillery piece tan guns and mortars, --- SAM systems, --- fixed wing aircraft and helicopters.

In front of the forward defense belt, the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment and the enemy's border troops are deployed in the security zone.

The combat action of the enemy during the operation will be supported by --- combat aircraft from the U.S. and FRG national air forces and aviation troops of the 4th ATAF, organic to the Central Army Group, which has nuclear capability. During the conduct of the operation the enemy can launch a total of ( ) strikes of nuclear rockets, rounds, and bombs in the area of the Eighth Guards Army.

On the flanks of the Vth Corps, the III German Corps in the north and the VII U. S. Corps in the south will operate. Their actions can affect the Eighth Guards Army actions during the conduct of the operation.

During the operation, movement of the U. S. and French strategic reserves and newly mobilized German reserves to the area of the Eighth Guards Army is likely. The enemy tries to inflict maximum losses on the Warsaw Pact countries by launching a surprise decisive offensive operation and seize vital territories. If the Warsaw Pact countries overtake the NATO in offensive operations, it is likely that the troops of the Vth U. S. Corps will hold pre-prepared defensive lines at the line of Bad Hersfeld, Niederaule, Schlitz, Fulda, Gersfeld, Bad Neustadt, to inflict heavy losses on the army by defensive actions.

In this case the enemy's counter strikes by his second echelon troops are likely to be launched from the line: Birstein - Gedern in the direction of Grehenhain, Lauterbach, Bad Hersfeld, and from the line: Neustadt, Homberg in the direction of Kirtarf, Alsfeld, Niederaula.

II. The 16th MRD with --- Arty Brigade of the VGK artillery div, -- Anti-tank Bn, ---Combat Engineer Bn, -- Assault Crossing Co, and ___ Bn of the Road and Bridge Regiment is to attack the enemy at the line of Ludwigsau, Eichhof and to develop the attack in the direction Bad Hersfeld, - Rockerod and destroy the enemy in the area Ludwigsau, Gittersed, Rockerod, Eichhof and at --- seize the line of its immediate mission at Unlergeis, Go Bmanerode and south of Kircheim.

Subsequently the division is to continue the attack in the direction of Go Bmanerode - Ottrau and destroy the enemy's brigade reserves in the area: Wigshain, Schorbach, Ottrau, and Kemmerod and at --- hrs seize the line of its subsequent mission at Schorbach, Ottrau, and north of Lingitbach.

Then the division is to continue the attack in the direction of Ottrau, Alsfeld, Hill 384, destroy the enemy forces in the area ---, ---, ---, --- and at the end of the day seize the line of west of Anlrifttal, Heimertshausen and the stretch of route 49 to the south. The direction of attack of the division for the next day is Heimertshausen and Hill 322.

The division is to detach one reinforced BMP motorized rifle battalion as a forward detachment to destroy, from the line of march, the enemy's border and covering troops in the security zone and to facilitate quick advance of the division to the line of the enemy's forward defense area.

For the division's attack 15 nuclear rockets, 5 chemical rockets and 15 conventional rocket warheads are allocated. The chemical and nuclear weapons will be used in accordance with the order and instructions via signal for the initial nuclear strike by the front.

(In case of the conduct of the attack with the use of nuclear weapons the targets of divisional rocket troops are specified as shown below.) During the initial nuclear strike of the front the following targets are to be destroyed by the division's rocket battalion:
----- - target No 314, enemy's first echelon bn, in area ---, --by a 3 kt warhead air burst at H- 00:20 or at the signal;
----- - target No 315, enemy's first echelon bn, in area --- , --by a 3 kt warhead, air burst, at H - 00:20 or at the signal;
----- - target No. 316, enemy artillery bn, in area ---, --- by a 3 kt warhead, air burst, at H - 00:20 or at the signal;
----- - target No. 317, enemy brigade second echelon bn, in the area ---, --- by a 3 kt warhead, air burst, at H - 00:20 or at the signal;
----- - target No. 318, enemy brigade second echelon tank bn, in the area ---, --- by a 10 kt warhead, air burst, at H + 00:20 or at the signal:
----- - target No. 319, enemy's division CP, in the area--- by a 10 kt warhead, ground burst, at H + 00:20.
----- - target No. 320 enemy's brigade CP in the area ---by a 10 kt warhead, ground burst, at H + 00:20 - target No. 321, enemy's rear service, in area --- by a 10 kt warhead, air burst, at H + 00:20.

The division is to conduct breakthrough of the enemy forward defense area in the area ___ on a 4 km front and destroy or suppress during the preparatory fire the enemy's strong points on the forward line and in the depth, command posts, artillery and mortar batteries, and enemy's immediate reserves.

The division CP during the breakthrough of the enemy's defense is to be established at 3 km west of road junction of Fredewald and the division's rear Cp in the area--.

The time of readiness of the division troops for the attack is 2400 on __.

III. The army means and adjacent missions:

a. The following targets are destroyed in the division's sector by army means:
----- - enemy's Corps CP at --
----- - nuclear depot at --
----- - nuclear rocket system at --
------ During the artillery preparatory fires, the following targets in the division's sector are destroyed : targets ---, ---, ---, ---.

The air force destroys and suppresses during the preparatory fire the enemy's nuclear weapons at ---, enemy CP at ---, enemy SAM systems in ---, enemy radar posts at ---.

b. On the right the 11th MRD of the First Guards Army attacks with an immediate mission to seize the line of the road junction west of Schellbach, Wattenstein, Rabolds, and a subsequent mission to seize the line of Frielendorf, 3 km west of Seigertshausen, and Neukirchen. The daily mission of the division is to seize the line of Momberg, Neustadt, Arnsha. The boundary with the division passes through: Eisenach, Hill 754, and Dannenrod.

On the left, the 18th MRD attacks with an immediate mission to seize the line of road junction 3 km northwest of Hattenbach, Breilenburg, 2 km east of Hatterode. The division's subsequent mission is to seize the line of Lingetach, and airfield at Lauterbach, and its daily mission is to seize the line of 2 km west of Neider, east of Windhausen, and Meiches. The boundary with the division passes through : Mohara, Hill 366, road junction south east of Bad Hersfeld, Kleba, Lingellach, Neider.

IV. Troop control- The Army's FCP is at Walreslenben
------ army's CP is at Wickastedt
------ army's rear CP is at Tumpling

The direction of relocation of the FCP, CP, and rear CP during the operation is the direction of Waldfisch, Schenklengsfeld, Gruynbverg, Weilmunster, Ober Dmershausen.

The signal communication from army's CP's to the front' commander and staff and with the subordinate, adjacent and interacting troops is to be established by radio, radio-relay, telephone and mobile communications means with strict observation of the rules of secrecy of the troop control.

My deputies are in order of succession: The chief of staff, first deputy army commander, chief of the political affairs dept, and commander of the 16th MRD.

Chief of operations directorate

Chief of Staff x