This information is extracted from various lectures and is provided
for the information of readers pending the preparation of a more comprehensive
discussion of observation on the control and employment of Soviet nuclear,
bacteriological, and chemical weapons.
The Soviets categorized nuclear, bacteriological, and chemical weapons as
weapons of mass destruction (OMP). The authority to use them, the selection of
targets, and the delivery means vary from weapon to weapon. Depending on
target, assigned purpose, and magnitude, nuclear weapons are considered either
tactical or strategic weapons: chemical weapons are considered tactical weapons
only. The characteristics of bacteriological weapons is not known.
The authority to use nuclear weapons is vested in the Soviet high command. The
commander in chief of the Front determines the time of delivery and assigns
individual nuclear weapons and targets for the first nuclear strike to all
Front nuclear--capable units. After the first strike, the commanders of units
with organic nuclear weapons can use the remainder of their nuclear inventory
in their section of operations at their own discretion.
Exact information on the offensive use of Soviet chemical weapons is difficult
to obtain. According to international agreements, the employment of chemical
weapons is prohibited, and officially, the Soviets teach only chemical defense
at their military academies. However, the firm intention to employ chemical
weapons may be inferred from the following;
----- - Offensive chemical weapons and supplies are included in the inventories
of Soviet's military units;
----- - Samples of various poisonous gases (agents) are shown to students of
the Voroshilov General Staff Academy and their individual characteristics are
----- - Students at the Vorshilov Academy are instructed to plan for employment
of all available weapons systems when preparing operational plans for the
Soviet Front or army in a defensive or offensive operation.
No information is available on the employment, use, or targeting of