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

By Vojtech Mastny; Malcolm Byrne | Go to book overview

Document No. 31: Plan for Hungarian
Command-Staff War Game, May 1965

This war game involving Hungarian army action on the southwestern front provides valuable detail on Warsaw Pact expectations of Budapest's role. The Hungarians were to participate in an operation first directed at confronting NATO in Germany by advancing through Austria (which would represent a violation of that country's neu- trality), and then into northern Italy. The game posited that at least three major cities— Vienna, Munich, and Verona—would be either totally destroyed or largely devastat- ed by nuclear attacks. But in an example of utterly unrealistic thinking—what might be called nuclear romanticism—the planners presumed this would in no way prevent alliance forces from advancing on schedule.

"…"

The "Westerners" have started direct preparations for a surprise attack on the Soviet Union and the other socialist countries under cover of various exercises.

In the ensuing situation, the "Easterners" strive to ease international tensions and prevent war. At the same time, they increase all types of intelligence activities (and secretly conduct partial mobilization) "…"

The "Westerners" ("South" army group) advance their main forces after nuclear strikes, under cover of the Austrian armed forces north of Vienna and east of Graz and the 5th independent tactical air force and carrier aviation of the 6th Fleet, and mount an offensive to destroy the main groupings of the "Easterners" in Southern Czechoslovakia and Western Hungary, cross the Danube from movement, and later extend combat towards the borders of the Soviet Union and Romania.

The "South" army group directs its main thrust in the direction of Trnava, Lučenec and another thrust in the direction of Szombathely, Székesfehérvár, Cegléd (assignments of the troops—according to the map).

During the first nuclear-missile strike, 30 nuclear weapons are used.

"…"

The "South" army group is provided with 130 nuclear weapons, with a yield of 7,654 kilotons, including 55 nuclear weapons for the 5th independent tactical air force. Additionally, in the zone of the "South" army group, the carrier aviation of the 6th Fleet delivers 10 nuclear strikes and the "Polaris" submarines deliver five.

In the direction of Berlin and Prague, the "Center" army group assumes the offensive.

"…"

The "Easterners"

The Southwestern Front secretly prepares an offensive operation. After the nuclear strikes, it assumes the offensive from movement from the permanent barrack stations, its assignment being, by delivering the main strike in the direction of Vienna, Linz, and another strike in the direction of Szombathely, Graz, Villach, to

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