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Instructor Notes:
Author: Jalali, Sloan, Wardak
Date: July

1. General: This one hour lesson is designed to give the students only a general awareness of the format and content of Soviet troop control documents and the richness of their map symbology.

2. Sublesson Introduction: Explain to the students that in one hour you will only cover the subject very broadly. Only through extensive practice will they become adept at drawing Soviet map symbols. For the purpose of this course they will use pre-drawn map symbols and fill in the blanks in prepared combat documents.

3. Teacher Learning Objective: The students need to acquire a general understanding and familiarization with Soviet combat documents, plans, and maps as quickly as possible in order to begin to accomplish the practical exercises. They obviously need this information also to perform their functions in the OPFOR headquarters. From this brief exposure, they will not be able to create Soviet plans, maps, or other documents unaided. However they should at least become sufficiently familiar with them so that they won't feel afraid to start using Soviet forms in their course of their work. Otherwise they will usually fall back on using American army methods. The question is frequently raised, well, why not just perform the functions of the Soviet staff but use U. S. map symbols and combat document forms? We believe the Soviet planning method is so integrally tied to the conceptualization of decisions "on the map" and the structuring of orders in terms of the document forms in use, that it is essential to absorb these aspects of the Soviet "mentality" in order to take the role of Soviet staff officers in an OPFOR staff. The following tasks are designed to begin this process of acculturation.

Task: Describe the types of artillery documents prepared by the artillery staff.

Condition: Given prepared forms and student handouts.

Standard: The description should differentiate between the three kinds of documents: troop control, information, and reference. Refer students to the Handbook on Soviet Planning, Chapter Six for samples of many documents and text discussing the nature of combat documents.

Task: Describe Soviet map symbols.

Condition: Given prepared maps and sets of map symbols.

Standard: Students need to gain some familiarity with Soviet map symbols to enable them to complete the practical exercises in later lessons. Show various symbols and point out how they are created logically by building on a basic symbol. In this course we naturally focus on the symbols required for artillery plans, the students will gain familiarity with other symbols in the other courses.

Task: Describe the Soviet plan map.

Condition: Given prepared maps and map symbols.

Standard: The description should include the division, army, and front artillery maps. Using a wall sized sample go through the parts of the map in sequence showing what information is depicted at each level. The description of the content of the artillery map is given in the Handbook. The artillery map shows the basic skeleton of the indices of the operation as a framework on which the artillery units and their missions are presented in great detail. One principle is to depict artillery units two echelons below the headquarters preparing the plan.

4. Level of Instruction: Survey.

5. Method of Instruction: Lecture with demonstration of samples of maps and documents.

6. Author's Intent: Overall - The purpose of this hour is to familiarize the students with the general nature of the materials they will be handling during the practical exercises to come. They cannot be expected to learn much about the Soviet theory or rationale behind the use of various map symbols or the whys or wherefore of Soviet combat documents. In the practical exercises they will "fill in the blanks" and prepare maps and documents "by the numbers". Only after much exposure to these materials through usage will they become fully comfortable with them. The instructor will have to adapt his discussion to his observation of the current level of student knowledge of maps and documents.

a: types of artillery documents - The student should be familiar with basic Soviet combat documents relating to artillery. There is not enough time for the students to become thoroughly adept at creating original documents. This would only come with extensive practice, but the instructor can show examples of each main document with both standard, generic, unfilled-in forms and completed versions. The students will gain further ability to use the documents be filling in sample forms during the practical exercises.

b. map symbols - Again, full ability to identify Soviet map symbols will only come with extensive practice, however, the instructor can provide a full set of the symbols used in these exercises and can discuss some of the general principles of their construction. This should aid the students in their initial work with Soviet artillery planning maps. For the practical exercises the students will receive cut-outs of prepared symbols to place on their maps so they won't be required to learn how to draw the symbols immediately.

c. marking artillery situation on map - This period will be a short practical exercise in using the map symbols. The instructor should focus on discussion of just what information is shown on the Soviet map and what is not shown. He may use samples of Soviet artillery maps placed on the wall or diagrams representing Soviet artillery maps, which might be placed on the table. The instructor and course organizers will have to determine how many copies of maps to provide, (or the reverse, how many students they believe should use one map or diagram.

7. Equipment/Materials:

This period requires a student handout showing Soviet map symbols, packages of predrawn symbols and blank schematics in place of maps. The students should also receive sets of all the documents they will be working with later in the practical exercises. The particular references, which should be available for further study, are Pombrik, I. D. and Sherchenko, N. A., The Officer's Map, Moscow, 1985, JPRS trans.; DIA books on Soviet may symbols.

8. Homework: none, but students should read course materials prior to class.

9. Annexes

Discussion agenda

List of viewgraphs

Excerpt from Handbook - Soviet documents


3 min

Lesson III - Introduction: The purpose and content of this hour of instruction.

VG 1

20 min

a. types of artillery documents prepared by the artillery staff:

VG 2-7
1. troop control documents:
--- decision on combat employment of artillery;
--- artillery plan;
--- combat instructions to artillery troops;
--- instructions on artillery to lower echelon;
--- instructions on all types of support.

2. information and accountability documents:
--- status report;
--- situation combat reports to higher artillery staff;
--- operation and reconnaissance summaries.

3. reference documents:
--- suggestions to the combined arms commander on the combat employment of artillery;
--- data on the assessment and mathematical modeling of artillery action grouping and deployment;
--- listings of the effective troop combat strength;
--- data on amount and delivery of ammunition;
--- various table, diagrams, and other reference materials.

10 min
b. artillery map symbols (diagram)

VG 8-9

20 min
c. marking the artillery situation and missions on the maps:

VG 10-12
--- deploying, showing the location of batteries;
-- -deploying artillery groups;
-- -artillery fires (SO, PSO, OV, NZO, PZO, MO);
--- antitank reserve in initial area on move and on firing lines in the depth;
--- deploying artillery reconnaissance means.


VG 1- Outline Lesson III

VG 2- Artillery documents

VG 3-7 Sample documents

VG 8-9 Map symbols

VG 10- Points in the graphic part of the artillery plan

VG 11- Points in the written instructions

VG 12- Points reflected in other work documents



types of artillery documents

artillery map symbols

marking artillery situation and plan on map


1. troop control documents:
- decision on combat employment of artillery;
- artillery plan;
- combat instructions to artillery troops;
- instructions on artillery to lower echelon;
- instructions on all types of support.

2. information and accountability documents:
- status report;
- situation combat reports to higher artillery staff;
- operation and reconnaissance summaries.

3. reference documents:
- suggestions to the combined arms commander on the combat employment of artillery;
- data on the assessment and mathematical modeling of artillery action grouping and deployment;
- listings of the effective troop combat strength;
- data on amount and delivery of ammunition;
- various table, diagrams, and other reference materials.


Figure 1 - Distribution of Frontal Artillery and Artillery Units from Higher Command

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Figure 2 - Distribution of Army Artillery and Artillery from Front

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Figure 3 - Distribution of Division Artillery and Artillery from Army

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Figure 4 - Availability, Time of delivery and Distribution of Nucmear and Chemical Rounds

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Figure 5 - Availability, Location and Distribution of Material Supplies

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Figure 6 - Availability, Time of Preparation and Disribution of Nuclear and Chemical Weapons

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Figure 7 - Availability, Delivery and Expenditure of Artillery Ammunition

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Figure 8 - Graphic of Artillerfy preparatory Fire - 5th MRD

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Figure 9 - Annex to the Division Artillery Fire Plan

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Figure 10 - Availability, Time of Delivery and Distribution of Nuclear and Chemical Rounds

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Figure 11 - Availability, Time of Delivery and Distributio nof Nuclear and Chemical Rounds

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Figure 12 - Availibility, Time of Preparation and Distribution of Nuclear and Chemical Weapons

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Distributed separately


1. enemy situations, his important groupings, and targets of rocket troops;

2. situations and missions of front, armies, (division, regiment) with boundaries between organizations;

3. missions of rocket troops in initial and subsequent nuclear strikes and specifying numbers of targets, yields of nuclear rounds, types of bursts, specifying the rocket sub-units and units launching strikes on specific targets, and the time of launching the strike;

4. employing rocket troops against enemy means of counternuclear weapons struggle;

5. directions of movement, position areas (deployment and assembly areas) of rocket troops, rocket technical units and large units, and artillery and their relocation during the operation;

6. groupings of army, division, (regiment) artillery;

7. penetration areas and density of artillery there;

8. areas of location and directions of action of anti-tank reserves of armies and divisions regiments);

9. areas of location and direction of actions of front antitank reserves;

10. maneuver of rocket and artillery troops during operations;

11. areas of radar coverage and positions of air defense artillery;

12. other elements of combat formations.


1. specific numbers of nuclear and chemical rockets allocated for the operation and their distribution in terms of the initial nuclear strike, front missions, and among different armies;

2. availability and distribution of conventional rockets in terms of front missions and among armies;

3. combat composition of front rocket and artillery troops, distribution of artillery of the Supreme High Command (attached to the front), and front artillery among armies and their regroupment during the operation;

4. distribution of artillery ammunition in terms of front missions and among armies;

5. composition of antitank reserves.


1. method, time of preparation, and delivery of rockets to troops;

2. calculating the time for bringing artillery and rocket troops to a state of full combat-readiness;

3. expending conventional rounds;

4. measures for protecting troops against mass-destruction weapons.VG - Points in the graphic part of the artillery plan.


Preparation and Formulation of Combat Documents

The effectiveness of troop control and maintaining mission-oriented coordination in the activities of the staff in troop control are directly related to the formulation, transmission, use, and storage of combat documents.

Combat documents include all documents related to organization, preparation, and conduct of combat actions (operations). Combat documents also include documents connected with movement and deployment (concentration) of the troops on the terrain. They are used in the process of preparing data, formulating the commander's decision, planning combat actions (operations), and in disseminating missions to the troops. In addition, they are used to transmit necessary information to higher, lower, and interacting headquarters and to summarize and disseminate experiences of combat actions. Therefore, combat documents are considered general-purpose information means which affect all control organs, since some formulate them, some insure their transmission, some organize accountability and storage, and others are guided by these documents in their practical activities. The documents contain information needed for troop control displayed by letters, figures, set drawings, and symbols.

Preparation and duplication of combat documents is normally conducted with the help of technical documentation equipment. These documents are easy to store, transport, and transmit over all modern technical communication equipment. In addition, written combat documents have a great legal significance and their storage in archives makes it possible to study and analyze the experiences of preparing and conducting combat actions. Moreover, combat documents are one of the most convenient forms of feeding information into a computer and its subsequent processing and output.


Depending on their various characteristics, combat documents can be classified in various ways. In terms of their purpose and content, they are broken into three categories:

Troop control documents (Dokumenti po upravlenie): These documents are intended for drawing up the commander's decisions, planning an operation (battle), and assigning missions to the troops. They include the following:
--- decisions;
--- plans;
--- operational directives;
--- operational orders;
--- combat instructions;
--- instructions on all types of support;
--- working maps.
--- Information and accountability documents (Otchotno - enformtsioni dokumenti): These documents are intended for reports to higher commands on the progress of conducting assigned missions, developing situations, new decisions, as well as for informing higher and interacting staffs. They include the following:
--- situation combat reports (Boevie Donisenie);
--- operational and reconnaissance summaries;
--- reports on various types of support;
--- rear service summaries;
--- accounts, combat action logs, wrap-ups, maps, diagrams, etc.

Reference documents (Spravochni Dokumenti): These are reference documents designated for support of the commander's decision making, planning an operation (battle), and also for reports to the commanders and other officials in the process of directing troop combat actions. They include the following:
--- data on the operational assessment and mathematical modeling of an operation (battle);
--- listings of the effective troop combat strength;
--- data on the amount and delivery time of ammunition, various tables, diagrams, and other reference materials necessary in the work of the control organs.

In terms of the form of preparation, combat documents are classified as follows:
--- written (textual);
--- graphic (on map and diagrams);
--- tape recordings;
--- phonograms;
--- photographs;
--- computer software.

Written documents can be prepared in the following forms:
--- Standard and arbitrary statement forms: Today the most commonly used documents in the practical work of the staff are those in which the information is stated in an arbitrary form but has a specific structure. Such documents are characterized by brevity and even a certain vividness of stating the information contained in them;
--- Formalized form: Includes documents drawn up with the help of special forms which are pre-prepared for specific types of combat documents. The formalized documents form consists of two parts - fixed and variable information. The fixed part of the form includes the description of information (group of information) which is always contained in a given combat document and also the corresponding codes. The variable part of the form is filled out while preparing the document. To fill out the form, means to state clearly and specifically only that information, the descriptions of which are indicated in the corresponding lines of the fixed portion of the form.


Experience gained from exercises indicates that commanders and staffs spend a lot of time preparing combat documents. Therefore, in order to speed up the preparation of combat documents, cut the preparation time, and also to insure the working out of the combat documents in accordance with prescribed specification and requirements of combat manuals (regulations), necessary pre-prepared formalized blank forms should be established.

At the same time the recommended forms for various combat documents should not be very rigid (structured) in order to prevent them from negatively affecting the initiative and creativity of commanders and staff in preparing them. Depending on the availability of time, the characteristics of the assigned missions, and the method of conveying missions to the executing elements, the form of such documents can be adjusted.

The form of formalized documents (blank forms) should be suitable to use in case of employment of nuclear weapons or without the use of such weapons. In the later case irrelevant points are crossed out.

Contemporary Requirements of Combat Documents

In contemporary times experiences of various exercises indicate that one of the important characteristics of troop control is the ever-increasing volume and complexity of information which must be received and processed in the interest of accomplishing troop control tasks. This entails an increase in the number of documents prepared by staffs, while at the same time reducing the time for developing them. Resolution of this contradiction is one of the important problems of modern troop control. At the same time, it is necessary to take into account the increased demands for documents and the broad possibilities of using technical equipment for their development, formulation, transmission, processing, and depiction.

Secrecy, accuracy, and speed have always been the principle requirements in preparing combat documents. Today combat documents must also be as brief as possible and permit machine processing. They should be clear and concise in statement, have a high standard and clarity in design, and be easy to document, duplicate, transmit, process, and display by technical equipment. Another important requirement of a modern combat document is its timely development and transmission.

In order to achieve the brevity, clarity, and conciseness of statement in combat documents, concise and clear wording, standard abbreviation, and conventional signs must be used. In all combat documents, particularly directives, only extremely necessary information, orders, and combat instructions should be included without repeating already known information or irrelevant information and data known to the recipients from other sources. It must also be noted that brevity of documents does not degrade the clarity and must not subject the statement to different understanding or interpretation or raise questions or necessitate additional explanation.

When including situation data in combat documents such as the time, status, and character of action of friendly and enemy troops, only verified information should be included. Information requiring verification or clarification should be so stated, if there is a need to show it in the document.

Clarity of graphic documents is achieved by using appropriate symbols, conventional signs, and setting off the content of the document against the background of the topographic features of the map. Clarity is also achieved by using the appropriate colors established for conventional signs. The graphic document should not be cluttered up with textual data and tables. Reference and explanatory texts should not block the topographic background of the map. Given the various capabilities of technical equipment for documentation and reproduction of combat documents and for transmission of textual and graphic information and their processing, the capabilities of available technical equipment must be taken into account in preparing the documents in terms of size, structure, color combination, and others.

One of the most important requirements of combat documents in contemporary times is the timeliness of developing and transmitting of documents to executing elements. An untimely prepared or transmitted document is useless. This requirement follows directly from the nature of modern operations (battles), characterized by high dynamism and abrupt and rapid changes in the situation. The timeliness of working out combat documents depends on the following factors:
---preparing and training of control organs;
--- overall organization of the work in the staff, directorates, and sections;
--- perfecting levels of methods used in preparing documents;
--- types of combat documents;
--- technical equipment used.

In addition to the need for timeliness in the development of combat documents, timeliness in transmitting the documents is equally important. The time for transmitting a document is determined by the following:
--- size of the document;
--- type of document (written form, graphic, or a combination of both);
--- speed and reliability of the transmission equipment.

Since the form and structure of combat documents greatly affects their preparation and transmission time and their overall effectiveness as combat documents, one way of further improving combat documents is to find new forms and structures. The introduction of formalized documents (blank forms) is part of the effort. Formalization of combat documents insures a substantial reduction in the size of the part of the document being developed and reduces the time to prepare and transmit it over technical communication equipment, while the load on the equipment is significantly decreased. In addition, formalization helps to standardize documents and eliminates duplicate and superfluous information in them. Moreover, the possibility of using formalized combat documents for transmitting and processing information in automated control systems is another important advantage of formalized documents. The formalized documents can be easily used as input into a computer without any kind of preliminary preparation. Furthermore, the use of formalized documents simplifies the transmission of information when conducting troop control of multi-national troops of a coalition force. This reduces the problems caused by language barriers.

Despite all advantages of formalized documents they can not replace all of the usual forms of combat documents, particularly in peacetime and when adequate time is available to prepare combat documents during the preparation and conduct of an operation (battle). Therefore, it is recommended to formalize only those combat documents which are characterized by a relatively consistent set of information needed for troop control and are frequently and regularly circulated and which should be sent quickly to headquarters and the troops. These will primarily include combat instructions issued in the course of combat action and the information and accountability documents (Otchotno-enformatsioni dokumenti) such as combat situation reports (Boyevie Donisenie), operational and reconnaissance summaries, reports on different types of support, combat action logs, etc.

One of the most convenient forms for preparing and transmitting formalized documents is considered to be the questionnaire form structure. In addition to the questionnaire form structure of the formalized document, a tabular form may be used. Formalized document forms can be published as tablets of forms as applied to each type of combat document. After development of the document, the form is torn off and the drafter and time of development and transmission of the document to the communication center are indicated on the remaining stubs. These form tablets, have their own permanent numbers, and are provided to all staffs between which the corresponding types of combat documents may be circulated.

Procedure for Preparation and Transmission of Combat Documents

The procedure of preparation and transmission of combat documents is specified by the orders, instructions, and directions of the commander and the chief of staff. The specific listing of combat documents to be prepared in actual situations is specified by the chief of staff on the basis of the commander's instructions, higher command's directions, and the prescribed priority report log. The chief of staff determines who must develop which documents, the procedure and times for submitting the documents for signature, and the method and forms of transmitting them.

On the basis of the instructions of the chief of staff, the heads of staff directorates (sections), chiefs of arms and services, and heads of working groups within the control organs, organize direct development of related combat documents and assign specific officers to prepare each document. The drafters of such documents are instructed on the content of the documents, form of their design, and the number of copies and deadlines to prepare them. The chiefs of staff directorates (sections) and chiefs of arms and services and other control organs follow and track the preparation of assigned combat documents and at the prescribed time submit them to the commander and chief of staff for signature and approval.

The design of combat documents requires preparation of a set of specific procedural information. They are as follows:
--- title and statement of content;
--- classification and copy number;
--- addressee;
--- identification of the originating unit (formation);
--- location of the originating command post;
--- date and time of the document being signed;
--- scale and year of edition of the map;
--- signature of officials indicating their name, rank, and position;
--- remarks on time of dispatch and reception of the document by the addressee.

During the preparation of combat documents the following must be taken into consideration:

Time is shown on the basis of Moscow time, when necessary local time is shown but clearly stated as local;

Names of populated areas (cities, towns) and terrain features are written in capital letters and not parenthesized. When necessary their map coordinates are given;

In identifying areas of deployment of our own forces by population centers and terrain features, they are mentioned from right flank -- and for enemy location from his left;

To identify defensive areas, strong points, and areas of deployment or concentration of troops, a minimum of three reference points (orientation points) must be shown. To identify lines a minimum of two points must be shown;
--- boundary lines are identified by using population centers and terrain features as orientation points in the following manner:
--- first from the right, covering the depth of combat formation of our own forces and the entire depth of offensive mission in the enemy's depth;
--- then, by the same method on the left;
--- in defense, the boundary lines begin from the rear of defensive area to the point in front of the forward line which corresponds with the range of available weapons;

The direction of the attack is identified by several points starting from the line of initiation of the attack (line of commitment into battle) and ending with the line of the assigned mission;

Only those abbreviations are to be used which are officially established and are standard. Quantities of units and sub-units in combat documents are shown in written form such as:
--- two tank companies;
--- one motorized rifle platoon;
--- In tables of correlation of forces and means and other calculation tables quantities of units and weapons are shown in number form such as:
--- tank companies - 2;
--- T-62 tanks - 27;
--- Zil-157 vehicles - 8;

Numbers of echelons in combat formations are shown in written form such as:
--- first-echelon;
--- second-echelon.

Graphic documents are usually prepared on maps of various scales. When they are prepared on non-transparent paper, the paper must have a grid system with numbering of coordinates corresponding to the map. A graphic document made on overlay paper must have grid square references in the corners or at least three local features plotted to facilitate matching the overlay to the map. It must also include a north direction indicator, a linear scale, and a reference to the map from which it was made. In preparing graphic documents the following must be taken into account:
--- situation of friendly forces, their missions and actions are marked in red except for rocket troops, artillery, engineer, chemical, radio technical, and signal troops which are marked in black;
--- the situation and action of the enemy are marked in blue;
--- numbers, names of units, and explanatory details for our own forces are written in black and for the enemy forces in blue;
--- symbols to show friendly and enemy forces and weapons are marked in accordance with the ground features and their deployment on the basis of directions of actions and fire; when needed the type and number of equipment are written next to the symbol;
--- situation data is marked by fine lines without covering and smearing map details;
--- sources of information acquired are marked by appropriate symbols in black at the side of the markings such as:
----- (N) for observation, (P) for POW interrogation, (DP) for enemy documents, (MZh) for debriefing local populations, (PRTZ) for information provided by partisans; (?) for unverified information; time and date of information received from the source are shown beside the symbols;
--- actual situations and actions of troops are shown in solid lines, while likely or expected situations and actions are marked by dotted lines;
--- when several situations (at several times) are shown on the map, the markings related to different times are distinguished by different color shadows or other marks (dots, crosses, dashes, etc. along solid lines).

The time for development of combat document,, particularly graphic documents, can be greatly reduced by advance preparation of blank forms, calculations, tables, commander's decision map (plan of the operation), and charts with information on them which is not subject to change during the time of documents' preparation, such as:
--- initial situation of our own and enemy forces;
--- assigned missions;
--- boundaries;
--- target coverage;
--- zones of enemy's fixed sites;
--- etc.

In order to expedite the preparation of combat documents, their development can be conducted concurrently with making the commander's decision. Specially prepared blanks of standard combat documents can be of great help in making the required documents in a short time. They include a set of texts on various types of combat actions (operations) applicable to various command levels, the nature of missions to be accomplished, and the types of operations (battles).

Transmission of combat documents is conducted both over technical communication equipment and by postal-courier service or staff officers. The selection of specific methods of transmitting a written document is determined by taking into account its importance, the time allocated for its dissemination, and also the transmission reliability requirements.

The staff is obliged to inform the commander or the chief of staff of subordinate troops about the dispatch of operational directives, operation orders, and instructions, indicating when and how the document was sent. The receipt of operational directives, operation orders, and instructions, including those transmitted over technical communications equipment, is acknowledged immediately.

Operations Reports

The operations section in addition to keeping itself informed, is responsible for disseminating information. this is done by means of verbal and written reports and answering inquiries. In addition to keeping the commander and the chief of staff informed, the operations section must keep the next higher headquarters, other staff sections, staffs of chiefs of arms and services, and subordinate staffs informed, and must provide for mutual exchange of information with adjacent staffs. This responsibility is assigned to one of the assistant chiefs of the operations section. Inquiries from the next higher headquarters, usually from the operations section or the operations duty officer, normally are answered orally, using prearranged message codes and map codes. In addition to oral reports, the operations section prepares written reports, the most important of which are the combat report and operations summary. The operations section also maintains the journal of combat operations and at army level maintains the summarized report of combat experiences.

Combat Report:

The combat report (boyevoye doneseniye) is one of the basis documents that provide information to higher commanders and staffs relative to the situation and the progress of the operation. The document is used by the higher commander to estimate the situation and also serves as a basis for his supervision over the fulfillment of missions by subordinate units. The combat report is a periodic report; that is, it is submitted at regular specified intervals, often 3 or 4 times a day, to higher headquarters. This does not preclude the lower unit commander from rendering a combat report at any time upon his own initiative, when the changing situation requires a new plan of action. The final scheduled combat report of the day (every 24 hours) is submitted as a summary and is signed by the commander. It purpose is to give the higher commander information on the activities of the enemy, of his own troops, and on the course of the operation during the day. It contains more detailed information than the other periodic combat reports and may describe in considerable detail significant happenings and heroic achievements by individuals or units. The typical combat report covers the following points in order:
--- the first part describes the character of the assigned operation and progress or results attained during the report period. (Locations and activities of units need not be discussed in order; eg right units to left units as in the operations order, but begins with the unit concerned with the most significant or critical action.)
--- the second part contains new enemy order of battle information and enemy activities.
--- the third part outlines the decision of the commander of the reporting unit and briefly describes how the decision is to be implemented
--- the fourth part contains requests for assistance (additional units or equipment) if the situation requires it.

The combat report, if directed to the next higher commander, is signed by the lower commander and his chief of staff. However, combat reports may also be submitted to the chief of staff of the higher headquarters, in which case they are signed by the lower chief of staff and chief of operations directorate. Shorter combat reports are frequently sent over radio or wire.

Operations Summary:

The operations summary (operativnaya svodka) is a document which summarizes the situation during the last 24 hours, briefly describing friendly and enemy operations, condition of units and equipment, and general progress in accomplishing missions by each subordinate unit. It is prepared by the operations department (directorate) on the basis of written reports and summaries received from subordinate units and reports from staff observers, from observation posts, and from liaison officers. This document differs from the combat report in that it is purely a staff document, not going to the next higher commander but direct to the next staff level. It is signed by the chief of staff and the chief of operations. The operations summary normally includes the following:
---general description of the operation of the unit as a whole, evaluation of enemy and friendly operations, locations of the main forces at the time of the summary was prepared, a listing of the losses, and a brief description of friendly and enemy air activity.
--- description of the operations of each subordinate unit (separate paragraph for each unit). Situation and condition of each unit, losses and capabilities, and major episodes involving contact with the enemy.
--- situation of specialized units and reserves
--- activities and situation of adjacent units
--- information on terrain and weather;
--- information on the status and types of communications with subordinate and adjacent units

Compiled Summary of Combat Experiences:

The compiled summary of combat experiences (itogovaya svodka oboshchennogo boyevogo opyta) is prepared twice a month at division level and once a month at army level. Its primary purpose is to inform the higher commands of the lesson learned from combat experiences. The form of this summary is not prescribed, but Soviet manuals do recommend that the general sequence be followed. The summarized report should include the following:
--- a short description of the situation, progress of the operation, and results attained during operations by the unit for the period covered in the report;
--- general description of enemy activity, with particular emphasis on typical characteristics observed in enemy organizations, methods of combat, and use of arms and technical equipment. The enemy's tactical and technical concepts, fortified areas, defensive organization and centers of resistance, antitank and antipersonnel obstacles, and similar matters are described.
--- typical characteristics observed in the operations of friendly troops and the use of new methods of coordinating, maneuvering, regrouping, or supervising units and installation also are included;
--- use of various arms and services in combat should be described;
--- significant observations on the exercise of troop control and organization of communications, especially the use of radio equipment, are reported;
--- conclusions are offered as to the lessons learned as a result of the combat experience of subordinate units during the report period.


Combat Instructions

Serial Number
Copy Number

Combat Instructions for Commander 116th Div

Command post:__ Time__ Date__

Scale of map___ Date of map___

1. Brief assessment of enemy

2 Mission of the division in this instruction

3. Missions of means of higher commander in support of this division, missions of adjacents, and, if needed, major questions on interaction.

4. Time for being prepared to fulfill mission

5. Troop control, signal communications, and time for sending reports and deputies of commander

Signature of chief of operations directorate and
Signature of chief of staff

(Sometimes commander does not need to approve.)



Combat Report and Situation Report

Serial No
Copy Number

Title is to whom, such as

To army commander

command post and time and date and map

1. Results of combat actions Results of combat actions for period of action. It can vary depending on lapsed time since receipt of order

2. Situation, composition, and character of actions of own forces at the specific time of the situation report and character of adjacents

3. Composition, situation, and actions of enemy

4. Decision of commander at present time or in new situation coming up in future

5. Request for assistance to fulfill mission

Signature chief of operations department
Signature of chief of staff
Signature of division commander


Operations Summary Operativnaya Svodka

Serial number
Copy number

To commander of army

Command post - time and date - map scale etc

1. Character of actions, situation, and composition of division during the past 6 hours or 24 hours

2. Grouping, composition, and character of action of enemy

3. Brief combat action of regiments and others two levels below. The division discusses battalions and the army talks about regiments.

4. Losses and what has been captured from enemy (trophies)

5. Material support, how much used, and how much on hand, how much they need

6. Brief report on situation and actions of adjacents

7. Other data on the outcome of combat

Signature of chief of operational directorate
Signature of chief of staff


Reconnaissance Report

Serial Number
Number of copy

To commander army or to chief of reconnaissance of army

Reconnaissance Report

Command post - time and date and map scale

1. General character of enemy actions at the appointed time

2. Situation, grouping, and intentions of enemy

3. Changes that happened since the last report and what data from what sources has been received

Signature chief of reconnaissance department


Reconnaissance Summary svodka

Differences from the reconnaissance doneseniye:

The doneseniye information is a staff document of units and formations that report to higher staffs on the enemy. They send it at appointed time or on their own initiative or on request of higher staff. However a reconnaissance svodka is an information document of the staff of units, formations, and higher units on the data on the enemy at a specified time sent to higher staff according to the reports table and to adjacent and lower on enemy situation.

Serial number
Secret Copy Number

Heading to whom sent

Command post and map and time and date

1. General character of enemy actions in front of unit and on flank

2. Data on nuclear, chemical, and bacteriological weapons and use of these by enemy and location of enemy weapons at the time of preparation of report

3. Data on combat composition, grouping, character of actions, of ground forces on each axis, showing the boundaries between enemy units, order of battle, unit designations, formations, and their situation

4. Data on air forces, PVO, command posts, radio technical means, rear service installations, engineer fortifications and obstacles, and others

5 Results:
--- general assessment, actions, and forces of enemy, capabilities for using nuclear weapons, possible character of actions
--- during conduct of reconnaissance, identify and locate the following objects required;


Types of reconnaissance svodka

Daily reconnaissance summary

Itogovaya svodka - Compiled results summary, as a rule it is reported for a specified period of operation or at end of the operation and sent to higher staff. In the itogovaya reconnaissance svodka they analyze the following points:
--- brief analysis of combat actions of enemy for the period;
--- data on forces and means of enemy that are located in front of unit
--- character possible of actions
--- character of command, composition, and troop control organs including the commander and his capabilities and habits etc.
--- new types of combat actions and operations
--- new weapons;

In the annex to the reconnaissance svodka are the following:
--- maps, information on the enemy organizational set up, tables of organization, number and order of battle, etc., losses of enemy, prisoners, and other explanatory data.


Operational Directive of Army

Serial number approval army commander
Number of copy

Command post time date, map scale and etc. date

1. Brief data on composition, grouping, actions, and possible concept of enemy;

2. Missions of forces and means of higher commander and adjacents;
--- a. missions of forces and means of higher hqs in support of army;
--- b. missions of adjacents of army and boundaries with adjacents;

3. Concept of operation:
--- means for destruction of enemy and mission of army;
--- axis of main attack and other attacks;
--- combat grouping ;
--- means for maneuver;

4. Missions for subordinate formations:

I order:

division of first-echelon: forces and means for reenforcement, line for commitment into engagement, width of breakthrough sector, missions for fire preparation, means for destruction of enemy, axis of main strike, immediate mission, subsequent mission, missions of forward detachments if any, number of nuclear and chemical weapons for battle, positions for FUP areas, axis for routes for movement into commitment, command posts of division and rear control post, boundary lines with adjacents;

division of second-echelon: line of commitment into engagement, means for destruction of enemy, axis of main attack, immediate mission, axis for further advance, location for deployment of division, means and routes for movement forward for commitment of division. means and forces for reenforcement on commitment into battle, number of nuclear and chemical rockets at time of battle;

missions of rocket forces brigade: missions during offensive, targets for first nuclear strike, time for delivery of rockets, missions on reconnaissance and observation of targets, preparation of rocket forces for firing, position area for unit, how positions will be prepared by engineer fortifications, maskirovka of area, defense and security of area, movement of rocket forces during operation;

missions of artillery forces: composition of artillery group army, division and regiments, general missions of artillery during offensive, missions during the fire preparation, duration of fire preparation, quantity of ammunition fired in preparation, means of fire support, and accompanying fire, and positions for artillery;

missions for supporting aviation: general missions during offensive, missions during participation in air preparation, aviation support and aviation accompanying fire, missions for reconnaissance, missions for fight against enemy tanks, missions for covering main grouping of army against enemy aviation strikes, distribution of air resources by missions to divisions and conduct of air assaults;

missions of air assaults: composition and means of air desants, areas for landings, time for landing, missions of desant actions, FUP for desant forces, and assembly waiting areas, aircraft or helicopters for the landing, cover of FUP area ,time for landing of aircraft, means for support of desant during flight and landing and time of combat. troop control of desant;

missions of PVO forces: missions for covering main grouping and rear service installations during preparation for operation and during operation, missions for reconnaissance, observation, and warning on enemy; combat duty service, position areas for forces, movement forward of PVO during the operation;

missions of anti-tank reserve: composition and mission of anti-tank, lines for deployment, with aim of destruction of enemy tanks, area for location in FUP area, means for movement and axis of movement;

missions of POZ (mobile obstacle detachment): composition and missions, lines for mine fields, areas for deployment in FUP area, means for movement and axis;

missions of general combined arms reserve: composition, deployment area, means for movement during operation and possible missions;

engineer reserve: composition, location of deployment, means and axis for movement, possible missions during operation;

chemical reserve: composition, location for deployment, means and axis of movement, possible missions during operation;

time for preparation of forces for operation;

norms for use of material means during operation; 5. Troop control: command post and forward CP and rear control post and axis for their deployment;

signal communications;


Signature chief of operational directive

Signature of chief of staff


Journal of Combat Operations:

The journal of combat operations (zhurnal boyevykh deyestviy) is the basic document providing historical information and description of the combat operation and various phases of the operation. Its purpose is to provide material for studying combat experiences and to serve as a source of historical data on the unit for a given combat operation. The journal is maintained during lulls in the operation, but it must not lag behind events more than 24 hours at division level, 2 days at corps level, and 3 days at army level. The keeping of the journal is usually the responsibility of assigned line officers who are assisted by the chief of staff and the chief of operations. The journal is kept on the basis of documents and notes selected by these officers. With in 1 month after completion of an operation, the journal entry describing the operation, complete with appended documents, must be ready for the signature of the chief of staff and the chief of the operations directorate and the approval of the commander. (At front and army levels it must be approved by the military council. The typical entry in the journal of combat operations describing a complete combat operation includes:
--- a detailed account of the combat operation, the work of the commander and staff, and the utilization of arms and services, including conclusions and lessons to be learned from the operation and various phases of it. --- significant innovations in the utilization of personnel or weapons, in tactics, and in the utilization of material or equipment;
--- comments from various sources describing the operations by subordinate units and by the commander and staff, including outstanding episodes or heroic feats which would be of interest to military historians;
--- copies of all important operational documents and maps used for a given operation are appended to the journal.

This is a reporting information document which relates to the time of preparation and during the course of combat actions. It is used for developing lessons and combat experience, and making reports and reference material on combat activities of forces, for preparing historical journals and also used for scientific experimental work in the future. The journal of combat actions of units and formations and larger units and ships from first to third rank is prepared and made by officers and prepared by a staff officer appointed to this duty for the duration of the time he is on the army staff.

The notes for the journal are entered every day and usually have the following list:
--- date, day, month, and year
--- general situation at beginning of the operation or battle;
--- composition and grouping, character of actions, and situation of enemy in the area of combat actions;
--- means of battle, weapons, new means, and tactics that enemy has used
--- on own forces - combat and organizational composition including composition and number of each and their location;
--- missions that were issued to units and formations and large units;
--- decisions that were made by the commander during the operation or battle;
--- material support of forces in main basic types;
--- morale- political situation of personnel;
--- situation of adjacents and fulfillment of missions by them;

The account shows the following information:
--- account of action during combat actions, new missions that were issued to units, formations, and large units from higher commanders, decisions that were made by the commanders during operation, actions of troop control and signal means, episodes and actions that are most important and heroic actions of officers and soldiers, new types of tactical actions, means for conduct of combat;

In the journal of combat actions only new data are written but not routine activities when out of action. In the journal there are annexes for operational directives, combat instructions, report maps, and plans for enemy fortified regions, photographs of officers and soldiers mentioned. At an appointed time they make a copy of the journal and send it to the higher staff.

Situation Report Map:

Otchetnaya carta obstanovki;

The situation report map (otchetnaya carta obstanovki), kept by the operations section illustrates operations conducted during the given period. During the less active periods of combat the time covered by the map is of course greater, in more fluid situations a situation report map is prepared for each phase of the operation;

The situation report map is used primarily to report the situation to higher headquarters. copies of this map or sketches form the map are frequently appended to reports and summaries. The original map is appended to the journal of combat operations and is considered a fundamental source of material for the preparation of military history.

This is a reporting information document in which the historical sequence of action of own forces and those of enemy for an appointed period of time is shown by means of graphics and maps. The map is issued by the staff of units, large units, and formations. The map is used for information and explanation of combat experience of forces and for making reports for use during preparation of historical material. The map shows the following information:
--- general data on the situation of own and enemy forces at the start of the operation;
--- combat missions of formations, large units, and units of own forces and attached and supporting forces and adjacents;
--- actions of own forces and adjacents during fulfillment of given missions and results that they achieved;
--- actions of enemy forces.

The map typically shows most important situations (breakthrough of enemy prepared defense, destruction of counter attack blow, commitment of second-echelon into combat, passing of water obstacles and others). During the conduct of combat actions with use of mass weapons, they show on the map nuclear strikes of both sides, areas of contamination, destruction, movement of forces around destruction areas. Data on own forces is shown for two levels lower. The situation of forces at various times is shown by different symbols or colors in accordance with use of proper tactical symbols.

For protection of the surface of the map itself they use plastic and write with special dissolvable solutions. The map for the staff of formations and large units is prepared by an appointed officer in the operational department or directorate. The map for reconnaissance, artillery, engineer, signal, and rear service units is prepared by officers of their staffs. In units they only prepare one map - that is prepared by the assistant to the chief of staff.

Recording documents

The various staffs, staff sections, and headquarters elements preparing, receiving, and dispatching operations documents are required to keep current records on the documents and their location. Procedures for recording documents vary with the headquarters; however, in the processing of documents, three basis records are generally required. These are - a "record journal", a "daily record sheet", and the "dispatch book."~ Receipts are also used to supplement these records. If the contents of documents are transmitted by signal communications, the messages are coded, but the transmitted or received messages are registered in the clear in a "form for recording signal communications."

"Record journal" (zhurnal ucheta)

The record journal is primarily a record of documents prepared by the preparing agency. The preparing section keeps a separate journal of each of the various types of documents prepared, such as one for operations orders, one for reconnaissance plans, one for air defense plan, etc. Documents prepared primarily for use within the section such as working documents, as well as documents prepared for dispatch, such as orders, are noted in the "record journal." However, in the latter case, dispatched documents are also noted in the "dispatch book'.

"Daily record sheet" (list po dennoy zapis)

The daily record sheet a daily record of all document received. Essentially, it is a record of the identity of the document received, when dispatched, from whom it came, and when and by whom it was received.

"Dispatch Book" (razhosnaya kniga)

The dispatch book is a record of documents dispatched. In addition to identifying the document and the sender, this record identifies the messenger and the final recipient and indicates the time required to deliver he document.


Receipts are an additional method used to record the exchange of documents. Sometimes, standard receipt forms are utilized, but it is more common practice to have the envelope in which the document is delivered signed by the recipient and retained by the messenger as a receipt.

Form for recording signal communications (blank zapisi peregovorov)

The form is used to record receipt and dispatch of messages and conversations conducted by telephone, telegraph, or radio. The communications normally are coded, but this record identifies the station, participants, and summarizes the communication in the clear.

Document routing

Methods of Transmission

Documents or messages may be delivered by messenger or liaison officer, or transmitted by telephone, telegraph, radio, or liaison aircraft. In the latter group, the contents of documents sent by signal communications are normally coded, and the more important operations documents are sent band received only through the cryptographic section or the staff for coding and decoding. Decoded messages re sent directly to the chief of staff and the operations section. A record is kept of all messages sent or received by signal means in the "form for recording signal communications".

Incoming Documents

Depending on the means of delivery documents arrive in the message center, radio center, central telephone station, or at the air liaison landing strip. The documents are then recorded and delivered directly to the addressee. The addressee signs a receipt, normally on the envelope, making a notation as to the time of delivery, and notifies the sending agency immediately, normally by signal communications. Documents with a dispatch classification of "K", "G", or "B" coming to the command post are delivered immediately to the operations duty officer. He, in turn, immediately sends "K" documents to the addressee and "G" documents to the chief of staff or chief of operations section. "B" documents, with the exception of those addressed to the political section, are opened by the operations duty officer and delivered to the address within the specified time limit or in accord with significance of contents.

Outgoing Documents

The documents preparing agency or staff section keeps a record of documents prepared in the "record journal" In addition to recording dispatched documents in the dispatch book, notation is made on the copy retained by the preparing agency, as to the number of copies prepared and to whom, when, and by what means the document or excerpts from the document were dispatched. For delivery, the documents are given to a signal communication agency, to a liaison officer, or to the message center. The documents are then delivered according to the dispatch classification. The more important documents are delivered personally by the liaison officers. The most important documents received by the message center are dispatched immediately to the addressee. Documents of lower category and other correspondence are sent to the message center to be delivered according to priority and schedule.

Filing Documents

Most staff sections use a five folder system for filing the operations documents. Documents are numbered consecutively for filing in each folder; there is a folder for each of the following types of documents: ---documents received from higher staffs;
--- documents prepared by the staff section;
--- reports to higher staffs;
--- documents from lower staffs;
--- all other operations documents.

Final Disposition of Documents

In addition to the staff combat documents, the staff collects for record and historical purposes the individual situation maps and field note books of the unit officers and the forms for recording signal communications. The operations section of the staff has primary responsibility for preparing on the basis of these documents the unit history and other studies to be used for instruction and training. Twice a year, at a time prescribed by the general staff, usually 1 January and 1 july, documents are collected and sent to a central receiving point to be processed for storage in the central archives of the Soviet army in Moscow.

Decision Process and Document Preparation

The Soviet method for making decisions in which the commander and staff interact has been discussed in the chapters on division, army, and front troop control procedures. It conforms to the description of the dual subordination of Soviet combat arms, special troops, and services chiefs to their commanders and to their counterparts at the next higher headquarters that is shown in the diagram in Chapter One. The procedure is essentially the same for each specialty, ie. artillery, signal, engineer, etc.

At the same time that the commander receives the operations directive or order from his superior commander each of these chiefs is receiving instructions on the use of their forces and means from their counterpart. These instructions provide details on the forces and means they may receive as reinforcements from above, what actions the higher level forces will be doing that may affect their level, what activities they will be required to accomplish in the interest of the higher level, and other coordinating instructions relative to their specialty. As the commander clarifies his mission, they also clarify these instructions and prepare to brief the commander. When the commander receives the operations order he also issues his own preliminary instructions to his staff and other officers. After the clarification of the mission the commander and staff begin the estimate of the situation during which the special staff and other officers provide their suggestions as desired by the commander. After the commander makes his decision it is translated into action by the dual channel method. The more general aspects are promulgated in the form of the operations order or instructions to the next subordinate combined arms commander and the special aspects are covered in two sets of special instructions issued by the various specialty chiefs. One set of instructions is on the actions of that specialty forces and means directly subordinate to that headquarters (ie instructions on engineer support issued by army to the army engineers troops), and the other set of instructions is issued to the related specialty chief at the next lower combined arms headquarters (ie, instructions on engineer matters issued by army to the chief of engineers at division). This process is illustrated in the diagram in Figure 200.


Journal of Orders, Instructions, and Reports Sent and Received


Number Time and date To whom sent or from whom received Brief summary of content Means by which sent Who sent or received Who discussed the info Signature Remarks