1. General: This two 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 two hours 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
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 operations documents prepared by the operations
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
operations plans, the students will gain familiarity with other symbols in the
Task: Describe the Soviet plan map.
Condition: Given prepared maps and map symbols.
Standard: The description should include the division, army, and front
opperations 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 operations map is given in the Handbook.
4. Level of Instruction: Survey.
5. Method of Instruction: Lecture with demonstration of samples of maps and
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
a: types of operations documents - The student should be familiar with basic
Soviet combat documents. 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 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 operations 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 maps placed on the wall or diagrams representing Soviet
operations 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.
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.
List of viewgraphs
Excerpt from Handbook - Soviet documents