VOROSHILOV ARMED FORCES GENERAL STAFF ACADEMY
I. General Information:
Identification and Location:
Voroshilov Armed Forces General Staff Academy of the USSR (Akademiya
generalnovo shtaba vooruzhyonnykh sil SSR imeni Voroshilova) was
founded in 1936 and named for Marshal Voroshilov in 1941. The academy is
located between Komsomol'skyy Prospekt and Bolshaya Pirogovskaya Ulitsa in
MOSCOW. The academy consists of three buildings. (See sketches.)
The academy provides the highest level of Soviet military training to selected
field grade officers from all branches and services of the Soviet armed forces
and to selected officers from Warsaw Pact and some other communist and third
world countries. The academy prepares officers from the Warsaw pact countries
to insure that during wartime there will be close cooperation between the armed
forces of those countries and Soviet forces. The other WP countries do not have
general staff academies of a similar nature.
The academy is considered to be a scientific center within the Soviet higher
academic system focused on the research and development of military science and
the resolution of current military problems. The course of instruction is for
two years. The course is on strategic, operational, and tactical subjects and
is designed for the preparation of senior generals and admirals.
The academy also has a higher academic course (VAK), which is a refresher
course for senior Soviet commanders (Corps commanders and higher). The course
lasts from 2-3 months and is given on an irregular basis.
The academy is organized as follows:
---- - The academy is headed by a General of the Army. The position is
considered to be very important and comes under the control of the Central
Committee of the Communist Party (nomenklatura system). Under the Chief of
Academy (Nachal'nik akademiyi) there are three deputies:
---- - 1st Deputy for Scientific Matters and Training - COLGEN.
---- - 2nd Deputy for Political Matters - COLGEN.
---- - 3rd Deputy for Administration and Rear Services - COLGEN.
- The Deputy for science is a very well educated and prepared individual who
supervises the faculty. His training department prepares course schedules,
lesson plans, books, and lectures. It also translates foreign documents.
- The academy has about twenty-two departments (kafedry) and a faculty of about
300 colonels and 200 generals. Each department has a general-major or
general-lieutenant as chairman with two assistants and about 25 colonels and
generals who are lecturers. The faculty have higher scientific degrees either
as professors, docents or doctors. Some are officers whose physical health will
no longer permit them to serve with troops. Some do not have to teach classes,
but perform scientific research work and writing instead. The faculty works as
full and busy a day as the students (from 0700 until 1900). Most do not have
time outside class to talk with the students. In fact there is very little
interaction between faculty and students outside the classroom. The faculty are
assigned offices in pairs. Each instructor has his own safe and secret books.
The following are the academic departments (see Figure -):
---- - Strategy.
---- - Military Art
---- - General Tactics.
---- - Artillery and Rocket Troops.
---- - Air Defense.
---- - Air Forces.
---- - Navy.
---- - Rear Services.
---- - Staff Operations (Rabota shtaba).
---- - Engineer Troops.
---- - Chemical Troops.
---- - Signal Troops.
---- - Radio-Electronic Combat.
---- - Intelligence and Foreign Armies.
---- - Military History.
---- - Marxism-Leninism.
---- - Russian Language.
---- - English Language.
---- - German Language.
---- - French Language.
---- - Spanish Language.
---- - Physical Education.
- Chiefs and instructors in the language departments are female civilians.
Russian language study is obligatory for all foreign students. The Soviet
officers are assigned to study one of the non-Russian languages; the majority
The general support elements of the academy are subordinate to the
commandant of the Academy, a General - Colonel, and consist of the following
components (see Figure -):
---- - A Soviet infantry academy guard unit.
---- - A motor transport department which provides buses, cars and drivers to
transport the faculty and students.
---- - Repair shops which maintain and repair buses, cars and drivers to
transport the faculty and students.
The Rear Services Department consists of the following:
---- - A Finance Section.
---- - A Medical Center, actually a first aid station, which has a doctor and
serves basic medical needs. More seriously ill students and faculty are driven
to the nearby Medical Center of the Frunze Military Academy.
---- - Food Service
---- - Quartermaster.
---- - POL.
---- - Billeting.
---- - A PX which has two stores, one sells books and academic items and the
other general merchandise.
The academic support element consists of the following:
---- - A typing pool which has a large number of female civilians who provide
typing support to the faculty and students. One typist is assigned to three or
---- - Three libraries (open, secret and map), run by female civilians.
Obtaining books from the libraries is a very elaborate procedure in which the
students are required to sign for the individually numbered books when checking
them out and the library cadre sign for them upon their return.
---- - The translation department employs female civilians. It has three
sections; English, German and French, that translate military books, articles,
manuals and instructions into Russian for academy use.
---- - A print shop prints and publishes academy writings. It has female
---- - The Memorial Hall displays pictures of all past graduates and faculty
- Organization: The students are divided into two groups: Soviet and
foreign. Each group is supervised by a Group Chief (general-lieutenant) who has
two colonels as deputies, one for political matters and one for administration
and general nationality issues. Larger nationalities have more than one study
---- - Student Body: A class, which graduated in the mid-1970's, had about 120
students; about half were Soviet officers, the rest were foreign officers. The
students were MAJs, LTCs and COLs; two Soviet students were generals. At the
end of the course each Soviet student is promoted one grade and also is
assigned to a position as division commander or equivalent general officer.
Soviet students were from the following branches:
---- - Combined Arms 20% (the largest representation);
---- - Tank Troops 15% ;
---- - Artillery and Rocket Troops 10% ;
---- - Signal Troops 3% ;
---- - Strategic Rocket Troops 3%;
---- - Engineer Troops 5% ;
---- - Chemical Troops 3% ;
---- - Electronic Warfare 2% ;
---- - Rear Services 12% ;
---- - Air Forces 8% ;
---- - National Air Defense Forces (PVOS) 10% ;
---- - Navy and Naval Infantry (Morskaya pekhota) 7%;
---- - Border Troops (KGB) 2%.
The students were relatively young, most were between 35 and 40, the oldest
being 45 and the youngest 32. The number and country of origin of the foreign
students were as follows (see Figure -):
---- - Twelve from East Germany.
---- - Ten from Cuba.
---- - Ten from Poland.
---- - Eight from Czechoslovakia.
---- - Seven from Bulgaria.
---- - Six from Hungary.
---- - Three from Afghanistan.
---- - Three from Vietnam.
---- - One from Mongolia.
Foreign students who attend the Voroshilov academy have already attended
another academy. They should know the language. They do not have to pass an
entrance examination but are carefully selected by their own country. In the
past students were more senior than at present. Now only a very few are already
generals, most are colonels and Lt colonels and some even are majors. The
Soviet authorities are very concerned that the students are very well prepared
and outstanding officers. The party has a hand in the selection process.
Students are selected by their military district commanders. The course work is
long and hard and difficult. Students study 12 hours a day.
- Foreign Student Billeting: Foreign students who have their families with them
are provided with small apartments in the Moscow University district. The
officers/students from Cuba and Vietnam are not permitted to bring their
families. Unaccompanied students are billeted in a four-story building (BOQ) at
Sechenovskyy pereulok. Each student has a single room. The building has several
bathrooms and kitchenettes where students can prepare their own meals. There is
also a dining room and kitchen where evening and weekend meals are prepared and
served by women. No information is available on the billeting of Soviet
---- - Breakfast: Students and faculty have breakfast at one of the academy's
two pay-as-you-go snack bars. Breakfast consists of coffee and rolls.
---- - Lunch: Students and faculty have lunch at the academy's messhall. Lunch
is approximately 30 minutes and is served in two shifts. A choice of three
meals is ordered for the next day. The lunch cost is from one to two rubles.
The lunch is served by civilian waitress. The quality of food is poor. The
messhall is divided into two sections: one for students and one for faculty.
---- - Dinner: Accompanied married students have dinner and weekend meals at
home. Single foreign students have their evening and weekend meals at the
Sechenovskyy pereulok BOQ. Dinner is ordered the day before and is generally
better than the lunches at the academy and cost about the same.
---- - Club: Voroshilov academy has no officers club, but the students are
authorized to use the club at the Frunze academy on weekends and holidays. The
club has a dance hall, snack bar, theatre and lounge which serves alcoholic
---- - Store: The academy has a small military operated store (voyentorg).
Students are able to buy toilet articles, cigarettes, shoes, shirts, etc. The
prices are similar to outside stores, but the quality is better.
---- - Pay: Soviet students receive regular military pay, i.e. rank pay plus
function pay (for the job held before entering the academy). Students from
Warsaw Pact countries are paid their regular salaries converted into rubles.
The result of this pay system is that officers of the same rank, but from
different countries receive varied monthly pay in rubles. Polish officers are
the highest paid. For example, a Polish COL received 350 - 400 rubles monthly.
Among the Warsaw Pact countries, the Bulgarians receive the lowest pay. Cuban
and Vietnamese officers are paid only 120 rubles per month, the lowest salaries
among the students. This amount is not sufficient so Cubans and Vietnamese have
to beg or borrow money from other students to buy food.
Security and access to the academy are strictly administered and enforced.
The following measures apply:
Main gate guard: Identification documents of all personnel, entering or leaving
the academy, are thoroughly checked by the military guard at the main entrance.
Students are issued academy identification cards with photos which are signed
by the Commandant.
Officer of the Day (OD): Soviet officers/students serve as academy OD. The tour
of duty is 24 hours and the OD works from a duty room where the keys to all
classrooms are secured during after-day hours. In addition, both the Soviet and
foreign student group have a separate OD. The group OD's duty is to pick- up
classroom keys in the morning at the duty room, open classrooms, lock
classrooms in the evening, and take the keys to the duty room. The group OD
duty rotates among the students.
Closed circuit TV: All classrooms, halls, and corridors are under closed
circuit TV surveillance.
Charge of Quarters (CQ): Four female civilians are employed as CQs at the
foreign students BOQ; one CQ every 24 hours. They speak Russian and English and
control access to the BOQ. They also help foreign officers to solve minor
problems during their stay.
II. Study Program
The selection for and acceptance to the Voroshilov academy is highly desired by
Soviet and foreign officers. The curriculum at the academy is strenous, study
hours long and its academic standards are very high, judged the best available
to Soviet bloc officers. Also, graduates are assured of fast advancement and
The following class schedule is followed Monday through Saturday: 0800-1200:
four classes, 50 minutes each, followed by a 10 minute break; 1200-1300: lunch
period; 1300-1700: four classes as above; and 1700-1900: mandatory studyhall in
classroom. On Saturdays, the school day ends at 1700 and there is no obligatory
study. Sundays are free. Students are transported to and from the academy by
military bus. They arrive at the academy about 0715 and leave about 1920.
Course of instruction:
Except for very few lectures given to the entire student body by the academy
chief in the main hall, Soviet and foreign classes are completely separated.
Lectures are delivered by an instructor from an academic department to a single
3-6 student study section. These sections are made up of a single nationality.
If there are ovedr 6 students from one country in attendance then the group
will be divided into two or more sections. The lecture is followed by one or
more seminar/question and answer periods. Sometimes a seminar is conducted
during the mandatory study period (1700-1900).
Apparently the reason for this separation is the academy's intention to teach
and inform only Soviet officers about the latest Soviet military equipment, its
technical data, and employment capabilities.)
The instructional method used at the Voroshilov Academy is a combination of
lecture, seminar and practical exercise. For some subjects the entire class is
assembled in the auditorium to hear an important lecture. In most cases the
lecture on the particular subject is given to the small study group by the
individual instructor. The lecture will be followed and supplemented by a group
seminar for which the students prepare ahead of time. In this seminar the
instructor generally is quite tough in his expectations for student
preparation. In the seminars there is pressure to work quickly. Students are
expected to study reference books and write down their answers within short
deadlines. The students are required to answer detailed specific questions on
the course material. Students who do not satisfy the instructor's expectations
in their seminar work are reported to the department head. The next day during
the general lecture there will be an announcement that they did not fulfill
their duty the previous day.
The majority of the time devoted to each topic is spent working out practical
exercises. These may be focused on specific narrow aspects of a tactical or
operational problem or may be on a more complex and general problem. In these
exercises the students assume in turn the role of unit commander or staff
officer or chief of a particular arm or service. The exercises generally
involve considerable map work, extensive mathmatical calculation, and analysis
of the individual components of complex issues in their total context.
During the academic year the students participate in several command and staff
exercises (wargames). These are conducted in the mock command post in the
Two to three times or more during the year the students are given tests of
their ability (Letouchka). The day before they are told to prepare by
sharpening their pencils etc. Then on test day they go to the library where
they are given a combat situation with maps and texts. In this exam they are
asked one question or given one task. They may write out their concept of the
operation and mark the decision on the map. The task might be to commit the
second echelon or counterattack or conduct a road march, etc. All the
information is placed on the map as usual and given to the instructor within
the established deadline for his evaluation. The test is a form of control to
check on student progress.
The Voroshilov academy class begins in September and ends in July. Four
semesters are taught and their major objectives are as follows:
At the beginning of the first year the new students are first given a short
familiarization course on the Soviet military. The two week course includes a
discussion of the role of each of the branches, arms and services together with
demonstrations of military technology, weapons and equipment. A day is devoted
to discussion of ground force combined arms. Then artillery, rocket troops,
chemical, air, air defense, engineer, signal, REW and other branches are
treated. The class goes on field trips to various bases near Moscow and Gorki
at which the branch material is displayed and demonstrated. The
tactical-technical characteristics of weapons are emphasized in small tactical
lessons. The course includes a three day trip to Sevastopol to view the Soviet
First semester :
The first two months are devoted to the Soviet motorized rifle division,
to include general tactics, equipment, organization, units and combat
operations. Also mentioned are the organization, equipment, and strength of
American, British, German, French and Turkish divisions. From the very
beginning, instruction was in Russian and foreign students attended Russian
language classes until graduation. The first two-month period concluded with a
test (zachet) and results are recorded in individual student test booklets.
The major course objective of the rest of the semester is offensive operations
of the Soviet combined-arms army. The following additional subjects begin
during this period: general principles of strategy, Marxism-Leninism, and
military history. During this semester, students participate in a staff
exercise on the offensive operations of the combined-arms army. The semester
concludes with a test which covers all subjects taught. Examinations are graded
on a five number grade; two is a failure, and the student receiving it could be
expelled from the academy; however, this seldom happens. At the conclusion of
the first semester, students are given a 14-day vacation and all foreign
students go home except Cubans and Vietnamese.
As mentioned above, the academic year proper opens with a two month course on
general tactics in which the actions of the Soviet division in the attack,
defense and on the march are studied in an integrated program. In this course
the employment of each of the individual components of the division is examined
both separately and in the context of integrated division operations. There are
separate lessons on the roles and missions of artillery, rocket troops, air
defense, signal engineer, rear services, reconnaissance, chemical, special
forces, tanks and combined arms.
The students are divided into small groups to work out division tactical
exercises on the map. At the end of the two months they are tested in a large
scale map exercise. The Students assume the role of division commander in which
they are responsible for clarrifying their mission, making the estimate of the
situation, formulating a decision, and preparing the orders. They write the
decision on paper and show it on their maps.
Operational Art - Army Operations
At the end of the two-month course on division tactics the students start the
course on operational art. The first phase is the study of the army in the
offensive. In this section they also study the organization and planning of
offensive operations as well as the employment and role of all forces, arms and
services as part of the army offensive. These include the artillery, air
defense, air, engineer, chemical, signal, rear services, reconnaissance, radio
electronic warfare and troop control. The course lasts about five months.
Army in offensive operations
The following is an outline of the content of the course on the Army in the
----I - General Characteristics
------ A. - Role and place of army offensive operations in the offensive of the
----- -B. - Aim of offensive operation and missions of Army.
------ C. - Role and place of army in offensive operations of Front.
------ D. - Aim of offensive operations of Army in first echelon, and mission
and scale of operations.
----II. - Organization and general military capabilities of combined arms army
and tank army.
----III. - Size and composition of forces and means of combined arms and tank
army and details of capabilities of individual parts.
----IV. - Forms of conducting an operation.
----V. - Operational formations and forces of army in offensive operation and
----VI. - Preparation for offensive operation.
------ A. - Content of preparation of offensive operation.
----- B. - Sequence for reaching and working out the decision:
--------- 1. - Clarification of mission.
-------- 2. - Estimate of situation.
------- 3. - Organization of Concept of Operation
----- C. - Issuing the combat missions to forces.
----- D. - Planning the operation:
--------- 1. - Planning of offensive operation.
--------- 2. - Plan of the participation in first nuclear strike.
--------- 3. - Plan of the preparation and occupation of assembly areas for the
--------- 4. - Separate plans and documents for offensive.
----VII. - Preparation of forces and jump off areas before operation.
----VIII. - Organization of coordination (interaction).
----IX. - Organization of combat support of forces.
----- A. - Reconnaissance.
----- B. - Operational deception (Maskirovka).
----- C. - Defense of forces and rear from enemy mass destruction weapons
----- D. - Engineer support.
------ E. - Radio Electronic Combat.
------ F. - Chemical support.
------ G. - Hydrometeorological and topogeodetio support.
----X. - Organization of troop control of forces.
----XI. - Maintaining high state of combat readiness of forces.
------ A. Routine state
------ B. Higher state
------ C. Full combat.
----XII. - Conducting offensive operations with use of nuclear weapons.
------ A. Participation in First Nuclear Strike of Front.
------ B. Destruction of opposing force of enemy.
------ C. Meeting engagement.
----XIII. - Inflicting losses on the enemy nuclear delivery means and enemy
reserves during course of operation.
----XIV. - Secure commitment of 2nd echelon or reserve of army in exploiting
offensive. -XV. - Passage through nuclear mine obstacles - contaminated areas
and destruction areas.
----XVI. - Use of airborne assault tactical landing forces in an operation.
----XVII. - Conduct offensive of operation without nuclear weapons.
------ A. - Defeat of enemy attack and going over to offensive operation.
------ B. - Initiation of the offensive operation.
------ C. - Defeat of enemy grouping in meeting engagements.
------ D. - Defeat of enemy groups that go over into defensive positions.
------ E. - Defeat of enemy reserves and destruction of his counter-attack.
------ F. - Crossing river in offensive operations.
------ G. - Preparation of forces to fight at night.
------ H. - Preparation of forces to change over to use nuclear weapons.
----XVIII. - Writen documents for the plan of operations.
------ - Assessment of enemy and his capabilities of actions.
------ - Aim and mission of operation
------ - Scale of operation.
------ - Combat composition of army.
------ - Deployment of forces and means into axes, etc.
------ - Distribution of number of nuclear and chemical weapons into missions,
axes, and between units.
------ - Inflicting losses on enemy by first nuclear strike of Front and by
forces of army.
------ - Distribution of aviation forces.
------ - Correlation of forces and means of enemy and friendly.
------ - Secure own forces from effects of nuclear weapons.
------ - Technical situation and availability (tanks - APC's -SP guns) at the
beginning of operation.
------ - Availability and distribution of material supplies during operation.
------ - Signal and command and control measures.
------ - Plan - map of operation.
During the course the students take the role of the army commander as well as
that of the major staff officers and chiefs of arms and services. They study
complex army missions by breaking them into components. In each case they
examine the situation from the viewpoint of each participant separately. For
instance when studying the role of artillery in support of army operations they
consider it from the point of view of the army commander and what he expects to
obtain from the use of artillery. Then they study the role of the artillery
commander and how he provides artillery support to the army. They work through
each army operation from start to finish by phases making the appropriate
decisions, creating the necessary plans and reacting to possible enemy actions.
An army operation has four or five parts such as making the initial decision,
planning the start of operations, defeating the enemy counterattack, committing
the second echelon, etc.
The primary objective of this semester is the operational and tactical
aspects of the Soviet combined-arms army in the defense. The secondary subject
is the organization and operations ofthe Soviet Air Army. Students are taught
the mission, duties, and functions of an Air Army commander and his staff.
Classes on strategy, military history and Marxism-Leninism continue during the
semester. When the semester concludes, students are given a test on the Soviet
Combined-Arms Army in the defense and a final exam on military history.
Students then go home for summer vacation and return at the end of August.
Following the course on the army in the offensive the students receive
instruction on the army in the defensive. This lasts about three months. Again,
each speciality is studied in the context of combined arms operational art.
The final course for the first year is that on the strategic march of an army
over long distances. This lasts about six weeks. In it the class studies the
move of a Soviet army from the USSR to East Germany. They do all the planning
as if for an actual move. This includes the plans for support by all special
troops and services to include air defense, air, rear services, engineer, etc.
An army marches in about seven columns in such a movement.
At the end of the first year the ministry of defense sends a state commission
to examine the students on Marxism-Leninism. This is a very important
examination which must be passed in order to receive a diploma.
During the first year there is a general course on strategy which proceeds
throughout the year in parallel with the other courses. The content of the
first year strategy course includes the following:
---- - Principles of Strategy
---- - Branches of arms and services of the different services of the Soviet
---- - Control of Armed Forces
---- - Theaters of Strategic Military Action
---- - Preparation of a Theater of strategic military action
---- - Preparation of the transport network in a theater for wartime use.
Foreign language is also studied for the entire first and second years. Soviet
officers study English, German, Spanish or French, while the foreign officers
At the end of the first year there are final examinations in each subject. The
students also prepare a lecture on a special subject to present as a research
There is a month vacation between academic years. The second year begins in
The main semester objective covers all aspects, elements, branches, services,
missions and operations of the Soviet Front in the offensive. This is a five
month course conducted in similar fashion to the army course. Classes on
strategy and Marxism-Leninism continue and classes on combat readiness begin.
The following is an outline of the content of the course lectures on Front
I. The role and place of the Front in the strategic operation in the TSMA
The aim and missions of the Front in offensive operations
----- -the role of the Front
----- - the place of the Front
----- - the aim of the Front
----- - the missions of the Front
----- - contents of the mission in the initial nuclear strike
----- - contents of the immediate mission
----- - contents of the long range mission
The scope of the offensive
The composition of the Front
The combat capabilities of the Front
II. Preparation of the offensive operation of the Front
Conditions and contents of the preparation of the offensive operation
Making the decision
---- - clarification of the mission
---- - assessment of the situation
---- - estimate of the enemy situaiton
---- - estimate of own forces
---- - estimate of other factors
---- - contents of the decision
---- - concept of the operation
---- - selection of the main attack and other attacks
---- - operational formation of the Front forces
---- - missions to subordinates
---- - contents of instructions to different elements on assigning missions to
---- - to first echelon armies
---- - to rocket troops
---- - to artillery
---- - to air army
---- - to second echelon armies
---- - to air defense troops
---- - to airborne troops
---- - etcetra
planning of the operation
planning of the initial nuclear strike
planning of the operation of the armies
the operation plan
graphic content of the plan
written instruction of the plan
annex documents to the plan
contents of the written plan
annexes to the plan
the plan of the initial nuclear strike
the plan of the occupation of staging areas by the Front
preparation of the troops and staging areas prior to the beginning of the war
organization of coordination (interaction)
organization of combat supporting measures and troop control
maintaining the combat readiness of the troops
constant combat readiness
higher combat readiness
full combat readiness
III. Conduct of the offensive operation with the use of nuclear weapons
Form of the conduct of the operation
Launching of the initial nuclear strike and measures to restore the combat
capability of the troops
Initiation of the attack and destruction of opposing enemy
----- - destruction of the enemy in a meeting engagement
----- - breakthrough
Development of the attack
----- - use of air assault brigades
----- - passage through contaminated areas
----- - commitment of the second echelon armies
IV. Conduct of the offensive operation without the use of nuclear weapons
Forms of conduct of the operation
Repelling the enemy's invasion and foiling its attack
Initiation of the attack
----- - destruction of the enemy in meeting engagement
----- - destruction of enemy which has assumed the defensive
----- - breakthrough
Development of the attack
Initiation of action by the Front with the use of nuclear weapons
Defensive operations of the Soviet Front is the primary subject. Also, the
structure, organization and operations of the Soviet Navy are covered,
including short discussion of Naval Infantry. Classes on strategy and
The Staff Operations Department teaches staff procedures at the division, army,
and Front level. Students receive simulated war-time staff training in a
replica of an army/Front command post (CP) in the academy Hq. basement.
Students perform all staff functions during practical exercises and generally
learn all staff functions applicable to Soviet operations. (See Figure -)
The Reconnaissance and Foreign Armies Department presents classes on the
organization, equipment, and tactics of American, British, German, French and
Turkish armed forces, comparing them to the Soviet army, and explaining the
The Air Army
The following is an outline of the general content of study of the air army:
Organization and preparation of combat action of an air army
Planning the combat action of the air army in the Front offensive operation
Coordination of Offensive action
The command posts and control points system in the air army
The Air Defense Army
One of the major topics studied in the second year is the Air Defense Army.
This course lasts for two to three days. This operational formation consists of
units and formations of air defense troops whose missions is the defense and
protection of areas, important installations and concentrations of armed
forces. The organization, combat characteristics and capabilities of the NATO
air forces also are covered in this course, but are not further addressed here.
The general mission of the air defense army is air defense of administrative,
political, industrial and economic centers, protection of troops
concentrations, air forces, naval bases, lines of communication and
replenishment and mobilization bases.
The missions during combat operations include reinforcing the air defenses of
the ground forces and naval forces of the Fronts and Fleets and airborne and
amphibious landings. Also they defend transport aviation at airheads and
jump-off points and while in flight.
Among the major topics discussed in this course are the following:
---- - Table of organization of air defense troops
---- - Basic principles of employment of air defense army troops
---- - Organization of the air defense army actions to include decision making,
estimate of the situation, planning, deployment of air defense forces, command
and control, operational support, and combat readiness.
The lectures and discussion on the conduct of air defense operations include
---- - combat reconnaissance of the aerial opponent and his space assets;
---- - repulse of enemy air attacks;
---- - regroupping maneuvers of the air defense forces in support of various
front and naval operations;
---- - establishment of the air defense system during the course of an
---- - restoration of air defense assets after enemy strikes.
A twenty day block of instruction is devoted to naval art of the fleet.
The navy is a component of the armed forces which carries out strikes against
important industrial, economic, political and other major installations of the
enemy and destroys the naval forces at sea and in the TSMA's.
The navy's mission is to conduct nuclear strikes on enemy ground targets,
destroy enemy naval forces and bases, destroy enemy naval LOC, defend friendly
naval lines of communication, organize joint operations with ground forces in
the course of military operations within a TSMA, launch amphibious operations,
repulse enemy amphibious operations, transport military forces, equipment and
supplies over water.
Among the topics discussed in this course are the following: operational
formations of the navy, general missions for naval forces, types of naval
operations and naval amphibious operations.
The subcourse on amphibious operations contains the following subjects:
missions and basis for amphibious operations, organization of amphibious
operations to include decision making, assignment of combat means, estimate of
the situation, planning of combat operations, deployment of naval forces,
organization of joint operations, command and control, operational support,
combat readiness, conduct of amphibious operations, assaault landings and their
defense from enemy air attack, transport of amphibious forces and their air
defense, over the beach operations, assault landings and their defense from
air, ground and naval attack, conduct of amphibious operations and joint
The course in military history continues for the two years, concurrently with
the other courses. The lectures briefly summarize the history of warfare from
ancient times to the Second World War. The discussion of WWII includes the
German invasion of Poland and France, but allied activities are not mentioned
or are covered very quickly. Much attention is placed on the study of Kursk.
The German plan and preparations for Operation Barbarossa are discussed, but
the effects of this plan and operation on the Soviet forces are not mentioned.
The defense of Moscow and Leningrad, the Caucasian campaign are discussed.
Detailed discussion begins with the Soviet counterattack at Stalingrad. All the
main operations of the later period of the war are examined in detail. The
Manchurian campaign is studied, especially with focus on lessons to be learned.
The history course includes reviews of the US wars in Korea and Vietnam.
The course does not cover the errors made by Soviet commanders nor losses to
Soviet forces. Thus it is largely propaganda.
During the second year the course on strategy includes the following topics:
---- - combat readiness ----
---- - strategic deployment
---- - principles of strategic movement in the initial phase of war
---- - strategic operations in a theater of strategic military action (TSMA)
----- air operations at the strategic level in a TSMA
---- - air defense operations at strategic level in a TSMA
---- - airborne operations and transport aviation at the strategic level in a
---- - organization of civil defense
---- - role of economics in warfare and the relation between the economy and
---- - principles of the development of means of space warfare
About two months prior to the end of the semester, each student is assigned a
theme for his dissertation work (diplomnaya robota); the
assignment is in the field of Soviet Front operations and the student has to do
his own research including complete operational planning, issue of orders, etc.
These are major research projects devoted to a single theme. They could be on
the offensive or the defensive phase of combat. They could be focused on a
speciality such as rear services or artillery. The topic roughly corresponds to
the officer's branch of service and country of origin. The product is written
as a lengthy document and is depicted on maps. The more theoretical topics it
can address the better. The student then has to explain his decisions, and
planning, discuss tactics and command performance to the class and instructor.
For example, a student may prepare a study of the offensive operations of the
Soviet combined-arms army in the mountains. An instructor is assigned to assist
each student in the preparation of his dissertation.
The officers defend their thesis before commissions of department faculty
members and academy administration. Then they again give an oral defense before
a commission sent from the ministry of defense. A passing grade is required for
At the end of the fourth semester, students undergo two final examinations.
There are several examining groups, each consisting of five general officers,
two from the Ministry of Defense and three from the academy. The examinations
are as follows:
Each student presents his dissertation to an examining group. Using maps,
charts and orders, the student explains his planning, decisions, use of
supporting elements, and the execution of this assigned operation. This
examination takes about one hour.
Each student draws a five question list. He has to present answers to the
questions to the examining group in about 30 minutes. The student can draw a
second list if he does not know answers to the questions, but loses one point
on his final evaluation. The questions are on material taught at the academy.
All students who take the final examination are generally graduated from the
academy. The graduates are given diplomas which certify that they successfully
completed the academy's course. Diplomas of foreign graduates are printed in
two languages: Russian and English. (See Figure 8.) The top graduates are
awarded gold medals. It may be that the gold medals are given mainly for
political purposes, not for academic achievements. About two months prior to
the final examinations, Soviet and Warsaw Pact officers are given
post-graduation assignments. All are assigned to general officer positions,
such as division commander or senior staff positions at the army or Front
level. Also, Soviet and Warsaw Pact graduates are immediately promoted to the
next higher rank. The graduation cermony is held at the Kremlin. The graduates
are driven there on military buses and escorted to a large hall on the third
floor. The Minister of Defense accompanied by the Deputy Minister for Political
Matters, the Chief of the Academy, and several other high ranking generals
generally appears. Marshal Grechko has been the graduation speaker and has
presented the top graduates with gold medals. After the ceremony, snacks, vodka
and brandy generally are served to graduates and guests. They are then driven
back to the academy. The next day, the graduates depart from Moscow and either
go home or on to their assignments.
The following personalities from the faculty of the Voroshilov academy are
General Colonel A. G. Shurupov, Deputy Chief of the Academy for Staff
General Colonel F. A. Mazhaev, Deputy Chief for Political Section
Colonel Kobinov taught in the Operational Art Department.
General Lieutenant F. F. Gaivoronsky, Deputy chief for Operational Art,
Generalmajor (Air Forces) Kapustin, member of the Air Forces Department.
General Major V. A. Tsarev, member of the Intelligence and Foreign Armies
Deparment who taught course in reconnaissance. In the 1950's and 1970's, Tsarev
was the Soviet military attache, first in Afghanistan and later in Pakistan. It
was believed that in the past he worked for Soviet Military Intelligence.
A. K. Slobodenko taught intelligence and foreign forces.
K. V. Spirov, taught communications and Radio-electronic warfare
General-lieutenant Pozanov, Group Chief of the Foreign students.
Colonel Karneyev, Deputy Group Chief of the Foreign students.
P. F. Antipov, Chief of Foreign Students Section
N. A. Fokin, vice-`Admiral who taught naval affairs
General Major I. V. Shaposhnikov, lectured on space systems in the armed
forces. He is the son of Marshal B. M. Shaposhnikov, head of the General Staff
prior to and during the Great Patriotic War.
N. P. Petrov, taught staff work
LEGEND TO FIGURE 1:
A. HQ and admin building; two-story; mock CP in basement.
B. Old building; two-story.
C. New building; four-story.
D. Voroshilov statue.
E. Guarded main entrance and checkpoint
F. Parking area for military vehicles and POVs of faculty members.
G. Parking area and stop points for military busses.
A1. Area reserved for Chief of Academy and his immediate staff.
A2. Messhall for faculty members.
A3. Messhall for students.
A5. Unidentified office.
B1. Snack bar.
B2. Office of duty officer.
B3. School equipment store.
B4. Russian language instructors.
B5. Medical facility.
B6. Hall of Memories.
B7. Office of Military History department.
B8. Finance office.
B9. Unidentified administrative office.
B10. Print shop.
B11. Unidentified office.
B12. Typists office.
B13. Library (open).
B14. Office of Strategy Department.
C1. Snack bar.
C2. Classroom of Soviet students or office of unidentified department.
LEGEND TO FIGURE 2:
A1. Movie projection room.
A2. Academy's main hall (capacity 300-400 persons).
A3. Unidentified office.
A4. Office of the Air Forces department.
B1. Office of classroom of Senior Officer Refresher Course.
B2. Foreign student classroom.
B3. Office of an unidentified department.
B4. Secret library.
B5. Office of the Deputy Chief of Foreign Students Group (political).
B6. Office of the Chief of Foreign Students Group.
B7. Office of the Deputy Chief of Foreing Students Group (administrative).
B8. Training aids supply.
B9. Office of Strategy Department.
B10. Office of Intelligence and Foreign Armies department.
C1. Classroom of Soviet students or office of unidentified department.
NOTE: The third and fourth floors of the new building contain Soviet student
classrooms and various department offices.
LEGEND TO FIGURE 3:
1. Operations center.
2. Commanding General (FRONT or Army).
3. Chief of Staff.
6. Artillery and Rocket Troops.
7. Air Defense.
8. Air Forces.
9. Political affairs.
10. Engineer troops.
11. Chemical troops.
12. Signal troops.
13. Communications center (including ZAS).
14. Rear services.
15. Radio Electronic Warfare.
16. 1st Deputy to the Commanding General.
17. Computer room.
18. Storage for such items as maps and food. Contains a quartermaster section,
repair shops and houses the academy's main heating plant.
NOTE: Each room has telephone and teletype and is equipped according to the
speciality. Closed circuit TV monitors each room.