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December 20, 2016
Document Release Date: 
November 15, 2006
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August 4, 1964
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PDF icon CIA-RDP79R00904A001100030005-1.pdf345.22 KB
Approved For Release 2006/11/15: CIA-RDP79R00904A001100030005-1 T-O- - - -E-T I C E N T R A L I N T E L L I G E N C E A G E N C Y OFFICE OF NATIONAL ESTIMATES 4 August 1964 MEMORANDJM FOR THE DIRECTOR SUBJECT: Reorganization of Soviet Forces in East Germany SUMMARY The Soviets appear to be reducing their military forces in East Germany. In our view, the cut is likely to involve the with- drawal of at least one army headquarters and two divisions, and it may be larger. Khrushchev will probably announce any reduction in such a way as to turn it to political use against the West. 1. Prior to 10 June 1964, the Group of Soviet Forces, Germany `GSFG), was known to be made up of 20 divisions organized into six armies. Since that date we have acquired evidence that a reorgani- zation of GSFG and a probable reduction of Soviet troop strength in East Germany have occurred. * Coordinated with CCI. T-O-IIR-E-T GROUP 1 Excluded from automatic downgrading and declassification FIR Approved For Release 2006/11/15: CIA-RDP79R00904A001100030005-1 Approved For Release 2006/11/15: CIA-RDP79R00904A001100030005-1 T-O-P S-E-C-R-E-T 2. ne of the six armies lost 25X1 its former status in GS'G, and iI elements of that army are probably already back in the USSR. c. There has been a resubordination of divisions among armies of GSPG.* 3? a. The East European press reported suspension of all railway express shipments to the USSR via Poland for an indefinite See attached diagram for graphic presentation of this evidence. T-O-P S-E-C-R-E-T Approved For Release 2006/11/15: CIA-RDP79R00904A001100030005-1 ? Approved For Release 2006/11/15: CIA-RDP79R00904A001100030005-1 T--o-P E-T period beginning 9 June; thorities stated the reason to be overloading of the Brest-Litovsk transloading facilities. have reported unusual eastward movements of military trains through Warsaw and Poznan during June. reported a troop train carrying troops frora the l8th Guards Army area moving eastward near Cottbus, East Germany, on 17 June. 4. The eastward movement of Soviet troops during June is highly unusual; troop rotation normally occurs in the fall,, and GSFG is now entering the period of increased field exercises and maneuvers. Considering the size of the sample of train movements, obtainable by our observers and the reported overloading of trans- loading facilities, we believe that the exodus of men and equipment could have already involved a division or more. The sightings of eastward movement through Cottbus and Poznan, on two distinct rail lines out of East Germany, indicates withdrawal of elements from both the 18th and the 20th Guards Armies. T-O-P S-E-C-R-E-T Approved For Release 2006/11/15: CIA-RDP79R00904A001100030005-1 ? Approved For Release 2006/11/15: CIA-RDP79R00904A001100030005-1 V T-O-PF-T 5. We believe that these movements are more likely to involve divisions than support units. As noted in NIE 11-14-63, "Capabilities of the Soviet General Purpose Forces, 1963-1969," dated 8 January 1964, the support structure of GSFG is extremely austere, and the removal of nondivisional units alone would make it even more so. According to U'SAREUR estimates, removal of only the headquarters and service elements of an army would involve only about 3,500 men and relatively little equipment. A withdrawal of this size might escape observation, and would probably not account for the reported disruption of civil rail traffic. At the moment there is one division whose continued presence in East Germany cannot be confirmed. We conclude that the reduction of force in East Germany will include, as a minimum, two line divisions. 6J it appears almost certain that the :L8th Guards Army Headquarters is being withdrawn from East Germany. The 20th Guards Army, after the resubordination of divisions mentioned above, has only two divisions, I Thus these two armies are possible candidates for withdrawal from East Germany, and the reorganization of GSFG could involve the withdrawal of as many as three army headquarters and a total of five divisions. Approved For Release 2006/11/15: CIA-RDP79R00904A001100030005-1 . Approved For Release 2006/11/15: CIA-RDP79R00904A001100030005-1 7. Whatever the scale of reduction and reorganization of GSFG proves to be, we believe that the reasons for it are primarily strategic and economic. For several years, the six Soviet armies and their 20 divisions have constituted a ground force more than adequate to cope with any NATO attack that the Soviets could reasonably have expected and to support the East German regime. At the some time, they remained insufficient to pose a credible threat of successful surprise attack against opposing NATO forces. Whatever the contribution East Germany makes to the maintenance of MG, it is likely that the cost to the Soviets of keeping such forces in Germany significantly exceeds the cost of maintaining similar forces inside the U3Si(. We believe that any force totalling between 15-18 divisions organized in 3-5 armies would not be inconsistent with Soviet doctrines for defense, and would be sufficient for control of the East Germans. A reduction to some point within this range would represent a rationalization of GSFG on the basis of a primarily defensive posture. 8. We conclude that a Soviet farce reduction in East Germany is likely to fall within the range of (a) one army headquarters with a total of two divisions and (b) three army headquarters and five Approved For Release 2006/11/15: CIA-RDP79R00904A001100030005-1 Approved For Release 2006/11/15: CIA-RDP79R00904,001100030005-1 T-0-P S-E-C-R-E-T divisions. In terms of manpower, the reduction would be from about 20,000* to 60,000 troops. 9. If we are correct in believing that a reduction on this scale is under way, Bbrushchev is likely to announce this fact in a way which twxinizes its impact upon the West. He would assuredly cite the move as a Soviet contribution to the process of "disarma- merr by mutual example" and press for a Western response. 10. The most serious impact of such an announcement may be in the area of NATO military structu-=e and posture. Many of NATO mili- tary, requirements are now based on the threat of Soviet surprise attack, using forces in East Germany with minimum secret rein- forcement. This concept is already viewed skeptically in some NATO military staffs. The USSR is aware that a reduction of GSFG by even as little as two divisions would upset NATO planning and strengthen the arguments of those who are reluctant to meet current NATO planning levels. More generally, on announcement of GSFG On June, a Soviet embassy offici in the course of a conversation with stated that Soviet troop atreneth In t reduced by about 20,000. While statement supports the probable reduction of forces is s rmany, his quotation of the figure 20,000 may not reflect his opinion of the scale of reduction since it evolved during a conversation about "mutual example" in disarmament. He stated that the Soviets would withdraw twice the number that the US has recently withdrawn from Europe (about 1o,000). -6- T-o-P S-E-C-R-E-T 0 25X1 25X1 Approved For Release 2006/11/15: CIA-RDP79R00904A001100030005-1 Approved For Release 2006/11/15: CIA-RDP79R00904A001100030005-1 T-0-P S-E-C-R-E-T II reductions, by diminishing the apparent Soviet threat, would help to encourage NATO governments to a more independent line in their overall attitude to the NATO alliance and the US. FM THE BOARD CP NAPICNAL ESTIMATES: SHE NI N NEST Ohairm n -7- T O-P S-E-C-R E-T 0 Approved For Release 2006/11/15: CIA-RDP79R00904AO01100030005-1 r Approved For Release 2006/11/15: CIA-RDP79R00904A001100030005-1 GROUP OF SOVIET FORCES, GERMANY (Schematic, armies in relative geographical positions) TANK DIVISION, 1 JUNE 11964 MOTORIZED RIFLE DIVI SION,1 JUN 64 Resubordination of divisions among armies since 10 June 1964 does not imply physicam movement. Continued location in Germany in doubt. Future in doubt. 2ND GUARDS r~ TANK ARMY TOP SECRE Approved For Release 2006/11/15. R00904A001100030005-1