A Cardboard Castle? An Inside History of the Warsaw Pact, 1955-1991

By Vojtech Mastny; Malcolm Byrne | Go to book overview

Document No. 2: Statute of the Warsaw Treaty
Unified Command, September 7, 1955
The Statute of the Unified Command governed the structure and division of authori- ty within the Warsaw Treaty Organization. Like the treaty itself, it was supplied by the Soviets and imposed on their allies. Unlike the treaty, it was kept secret throughout the Cold War, although it was occasionally referred to in public, for example in 1956 and in 1968 when the Poles and Czechoslovaks, respectively, criticized it for assigning all prerogatives to the Soviet Union and all obligations to the East European signatories. In fact, the provisions of the statute were left deliberately vague so that the Soviet Union could interpret them to its advantage. Later, in 1969, the document was revised and the language made more precise. This version of the statute came from the Polish archives.Draft
TOP SECRETGeneral Provisions of the Warsaw Treaty
Armed Forces Unified Command
PART I

The Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces
The Supreme Commander chairs the unified armed forces of the members of the Warsaw Treaty on friendship, cooperation and mutual aid, adopted on May 14, 1955.The responsibilities of the Supreme Commander are:
a. to carry out resolutions of the Political Consultative Committee, which deal directly with the unified armed forces;
b. to supervise and direct operational and combat preparation of the unified armed forces and to organize unified exercises of troops, fleets and staff under the command of the Unified Armed Forces;
c. to have a comprehensive knowledge of the state of troops and fleets under the command of the Unified Armed Forces, and to take all necessary measures in cooperation with the governments and ministers of defense of the respective countries in order to ensure the permanent combat readiness of the forces;
d. to work out and present to the Political Consultative Committee constructive proposals on the further improvement of the qualitative and quantitative state of the available staff.

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A Cardboard Castle? An Inside History of the Warsaw Pact, 1955-1991
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