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This is a basic type of combat support measure. It is a complex of measures done with the aim of confusion of the enemy and taken in accordance with a plan structured in time, space, and mission. The confusion of the enemy should be especially strong with respect to the commander's plan; the structure of forces and means, especially the rocket and nuclear forces; on the level of forces, their location, capability, readiness, and quantity; and on the situation. The enemy should be confused also about the character of our operations. Maskirovka should prevent the enemy from discerning the operational character of our maneuver and the characteristics of our various forces and rear service installations.

Maskirovka measures are done in peacetime as well as in wartime, and in fact much of their ultimate effectiveness is dependent on their being carried out during the normal peacetime period. Their capability is to provide surprise. They increase the effectiveness of combat operations and the retention of combat effectiveness by the forces. They also raise the capability of ground, air and naval forces.


The definition of Maskirovka given in the Soviet Military Encyclopedia is as follows:

Aggregate of measures to deceive the adversary regarding the presence and disposition of troops (forces), military vehicles and installations (targets), their status and condition, combat readiness and actions, as well as command authority plans; category of operational (combat) support. Camouflage, concealment and deception help achieve the element or surprise in the actions of troops (forces), help maintain their combat readiness and increase survivability. Subdivided, by scale of employment and nature of missions, into strategic, operational, and tactical (voyskovaya). It can be, depending on the means of reconnaissance and intelligence-gathering against which it is directed, hydroacoustic masking, noise reduction and sound masking (acoustic), magnetometric, optoelectronic, radiation, radar, radio and electronic, thermal, etc. The greatest effect is achieved with simultaneous employment of camouflage, concealment, and deception against all hostile reconnaissance and intelligence-gathering assets. Conducted continuously in all types of troop (forces) military operations. Modes of camouflage, concealment and deception: secrecy and concealment, feints and decoy (diversionary) actions, simulation, deception and dissemination of false information.

Strategic camouflage, concealment and deception (strategicheskaya maskirovka) is carried out on the decision of the supreme command authority and encompasses an aggregate of measures to keep secret preparations for a strategic operation or campaign, as well as measures to confuse the enemy regarding military force grouping, the state and intentions of military forces. Planned and organized by the general staff.

Operational camouflage, concealment and deception (operativnaya maskirovka) is accomplished by means of carrying out feints and decoy (diversionary) actions, simulating concentrations and deployment of troops, vehicles and military installations, deception and dissemination of false information on the state of one's troops and the character of forthcoming actions during preparation for and conduct of operations. Planned and organized by front (military district, fleet) headquarters on the basis of an operation plan.

Tactical camouflage, concealment and deception (takticheskaya voyskovaya maskirovka)is accomplished by concealing from the enemy movement and position of friendly troops (forces), artillery and missile/rocket forces firing (launcher) positions, location of command and control facilities and other important installations, utilizing the concealment properties of the terrain, conditions of reduced visibility, and means of camouflage, concealment and masking, as well as construction of dummy positions and areas. Carried out on the decision of combined unit (unit, subunit) commanders by all armed forces personnel without specific instructions.

As shown in this definition, Maskirovka has three levels corresponding to the levels of combat actions; strategic, operational, and tactical as classified by character, scale, and missions.

Figure 1 Maskirovka Applications

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Strategic maskirovka:

This is conducted on the basis of the decision of the high command or the general staff or the command in a TVD. Strategic maskirovka has he following elements. These are done to support secrecy concentrated on strategic missions. Strategic maskirovka is focused on preserving the secrecy of preparations for war and military for operations and the strategic movements conducted during preparatory periods. It also is used to deceive the enemy on the number and separate actions of the armed forces and the concept of operations and intentions. Strategic maskirovka is conducted by the forces and means of the high command and the forces and means participating in strategic operations. These are planned by the general staff and the TVD command.

Operational maskirovka

This is conducted on the basis of the decision of the front commander or commander of the naval fleet. If an army operates on a separate direction, then the decision of the army commander can be the basis for maskirovka plans.

Operational maskirovka has the basic aim of preserving secrecy of preparations for operations. In normal conditions operational maskirovka is conducted on the basis of the front commanders` decision. An army only fulfills missions that are specified in the front plan. The missions are designated for the army to fulfill. In some unusual situations the army may be told to expand the measures in accordance with the front plan. In other words the army may work out implementing measures, but only in unusual situations, when it is specifically ordered to develop such measures. In the usual plan the missions of the army are spelled and on the basis of these missions the army fulfills its own functions. If the army on its own were to conduct maskirovka measures, these would not be fully effective and the enemy would see through the situation.
On the other hand the effectiveness of strategic maskirovka is not tied so closely with the front and visa versa, the operational maskirovka being done by the front is not tied so directly into the TVD plans. So the front has more independence in the development of maskirovka. But army has to be coordinated within the front plan. One principle is that it is not necessary to reveal the essence of the maskirovka in order to accomplish it. In other words the actors are just ordered to do as told in this situation, without questioning why. Thus, the tactical commander will most likely not even know his unit activities are conceived of by the operational level as part of an operational maskirovka.

Tactical maskirovka

This is the system of activities conducted by units, sub-units, formations, and independent targets to have maintain secrecy prior to movement as well as their own strength (quantity), location of positions, and intentions. At the tactical level it makes use of the maskirovka capabilities of local conditions of the weather, light, and locations (terrain). It also employs the standard artificial techniques such as wearing camouflage clothing or exercising sound discipline. Use of tactical maskirovka for these purposes is a standard operating procedure for all tactical commanders for the preservation of their own troops. It is not part of or really have anything to do with a larger operational level plan, nor does it have to be ordered specifically by an operational commander.

General principles and means of maskirovka as a combat support measure

Maskirovka is a combat support measure closely associated with combat action to support and facilitate the conduct of missions and to insure the achievement of aims. The command has to take a series of measures, not combat itself, but in support of combat. Some of the other combat support measures are reconnaissance and protection against enemy use of mass destruction weapons. etc

There are four principal methods for maskirovka. These are secrecy, demonstrations, imitation, and disinformation. All actions are classified under one of these categories.

Secrecy and immitation are more predominant at the tactical level and demonstrative acrtion and disinformation are more used at the operational and strategic levels. Demonstrative action means to display false movements or false actions for the enemy to observe. To be believable these must be mixed with real activities. Immitation is the use of dummies and other means for showing false targets. Secrecy is preservation of information about the real situation and disinformation is spreading false ideas by whatever means. Since the enemy has many different technical means for reconnaissance, such as optical, electic, sound, hudro, radar, radio, heat, radiation, electro-magnetic, as well as human sources, it is essential to employ a full variety of deception means to counter each and every one of these methods.

Maskirovka has three major aims: to conceal, to deceive, and to hamper.

To conceal is a counter reconnaissance action to protect the forces against the enemy's reconnaissance effort. As a measure to deceive the enemy, maskirovka is an active action to influence the enemy. To do this you have to do something. To conceal you have to do both active and passive measures.

To hamper the enemy's selection of targets is to confuse the enemy on what are the important targets. The idea is to hamper his selection of main targets at which to fire and to confuse him on where the main grouping of forces is, where is main targets will be, etc.

Maskirovka insures undetected preparation for war itself as well as for offensive action. At the highest levels it is the country`s preparation for war that is being concealed, while at lower levels it is preparation for a particular operation that is concealed.

Figure 2 Maskirovka

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Given the aims of maskirovka, there are a series of guidelines to be followed to achieve the aims. The four guiding principles are: variety, timeliness, continuity, and persuasiveness.

Figure3 Principle Guidelines

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The idea is that a stereotyped kind of maskirovka is dangerous, because once enemy knows the pattern it will know that some sort of effort is being conducted. Therefor maskirovka must be varied and imaginative and not standard. It must make use of different measures to convince the enemy from different directions. Timeliness at the tactical level is a matter of hours, while at the strategic level it may be years. The point is that part of the skill in accomplishing maskirovka is in knowing at what time you should do what. If you do something before the appropriate time, it may reveal things worse than doing nothing. To convince the enemy that the troops are moving at a certain direction it is necessary to do things at right time so the enemy will think what it sees is in the right context. When troops deploy to a location and the enemy detects that where they are seems to be part of a logical larger pattern he may believe his perception is valid. But if it is an isolated action he may not be fooled.
Continuity means that to be effective maskirovka must continue and activities must be conducted constantly with no gaps. The type of actions must look real and be convincing. If you put dummy guns in the open without camouflage and expect the enemy to take them as real you will likely fail. They will know it is a model and see though it. You have to put also some camouflage and engineer work conducted in a way to give the enemy an impression to convince it real. Once enemy sees it is not real it will compromise all maskirovka measures.

While following these guidelines there are a number of basic measures which have proved effective for achieving the aims of maksirovka. They include the following:

Figure 4 Basic Maskirovka Measures

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Use of terrain properties to achieve dispersed and undetected positioning is a traditional measure of measure of camouflage.

This is the simplest and oldest way of maskirovka. It is not always possible because sometimes the troops are in open areas without much natural cover and concealment. If possible, however, the first thing the troops do is to use the terrain for whatever value it can provide, and only then, if it is not possible to succeed with only natural means, use artificial means. This is first method.

Figure 5 Concealment of Movement

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Sometimes the operational requirements will be in conflict with the maskirovka requirements. Sometimes the area best for cover is not on the main axis of attack. The principle is that maskirovka is a measure to support combat, so maskirovka is always subject to the requirements of operational planing. You can't change the plan for the sake of maskirovka. When the commander makes his decision the characteristics of terrain are evaluated as part of the estimate of the situation and, if the terrain is so bad that it can influence the conduct of the operation, it must be taken in consideration. But once plan is taken can't change forsake of maskirovka. Some local conditions, such as darkness and bad weather can be used effectively at the tactical level, but not as easily at the operational level then local use of terrain and weather is fine but hard to use as a whole for the army and front at operational level. sometimes maskirovka level is only effective at tactical level but not at operational level. sometimes you know where enemy division is even if you don't know where the regiments are. on the other hand at the operational level actions conducted by forces to deceive the enemy a complex action conducted over a period of time will deceive while tactical level is short in time and space

Use of terrain

One other measure associated with terrain is dispersion. Dispersion is an old method of maskirovka. In addition to the protection it gives directly, it provides more capability and possibilities to use the terrain for maskirovka purposes. It the forces are dispersed in an area of 60 sq km they will have a certain capability for concealment, but if they are in an area of 200 sq km area, then the capability is multiplied. The more dispersed the troops are the more capability they have to use the camouflage characteristics of the terrain.

Figure 7 Dispersion Provides for

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The more one is able to use the natural capabilities of the terrain the more one can reduce the time needed for artificial engineer preparation of camouflage and concealment. If you then don't have to do so much engineer work when the terrain is good, you can complicate the enemy's reconnaissance requirements. Thus a wider area makes reconnaissance more difficult for the enemy. In addition of course when the forces are in a smaller area the enemy can concentrate his reconnaissance more effectively.

When we have terrain with characteristics that provide cover and concealment we use it, but if this is not possible then artificial means must be used. Perhaps there is no natural cover or not enough. Therefore a number of artificial means are developed to help when natural characteristics are insufficient. Some of these are organic to troops and some are improvised.

Figure 8 Use of Organic and Improvised Means - Paint

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Paint is a common artificial means. It is for use on combat and other vehicles and on other items like airfields and buildings etc. Usually the vehicles are painted in peacetime with colors depending on expected area of operation. The painting will use different colors. If the equipment is used in areas other than the areas where they were intended to be used, the command must change the color. Stationary objects are normally not painted in peacetime. If they were painted in peacetime it would be a waste of resources. They only paint them when war comes. The most common colors in use are brown and green, depending on the type of terrain. The percentage mixture of the different colors varies. The paint is used to merge the object into the background of terrain.

Figure 9 Use of Organic and Improvised Means - Clothing

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Another common artifical means is the use of camouflage type clothing. This includes overalls and white winter suits for ski troops etc. In recent times the infrared signature accociated with clothing has become a more important consideration.

Other artificial means include building materials for making covers. These can be put together out a number of seperate prefabricated cover pieces to fit the requirements of the position. The normal time required to use these is 5 to 10 minutes. They can be assembled easily. In addition to horizontal instatation to cover a target they can be used in the vertical position to camouflage something from ground observation. For example a communication trench can be cut in different parts so the enemy can't see all of it. The continuity of the trench is broken by the cover of parts of it with the screens. By this way they protect it from ground observation. If a communication trench is going to the depth of the position it can be cut by the use of screens. They change the shape and conceal its dimension. The screens are put on very simple frames that can be disassembled and moved. The screen is made of cloth and can be put up anywhere.

In some cases you can use local material like bushes with the screens to make it more similar to the ground. Road screens are placed by the side of road in exposed areas and where the roads are passing over a hill and in areas not covered by vegetation.

Camouflage fences are an individual means used for soldiers. The most common is a frame with different covers and branches. The soldiers can open it and put it on ground to protect themselves. It looks like a fan.

A sloping cover is to cover objects located beside a cliff or building. It makes a lean to to cover the vehicles etc right next to the building.

A distorting camouflage does not have standard size. It comes in specialized sets for specific objects and individuals. These can include special covers for machine guns or artillery pieces prepared ahead of time.

Figure 10 Artificial Camouflage Material

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Figure 11 Specialized Camouflage Sets

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Use of smoke

Smoke is one of the very effective means used througout the ages for the purpose of blinding, concealing and deceiving. Smoke also has other properties, such as protection against thermal radiation of a nuclear burst. The radiation can't penetrate. Smoke will also degrade munitions that depend on guidance. The use of smoke screens is only effective when they are used at the proper place and time when the wind direction is planned for. The distance should be such that smoke should not interfere with normal action of own troops. The smoke should not be so limited that instead of covering a target it makes it more distinct. The time of use should be at the time when some important action is to be conducted or to deceive the enemy about movement. For example, if the movement of the 2nd echelon is planned you can use smoke in the wrong place to make the enemy think the unit is some where else. Or when second echelon is moving it can be used when the troops move out of a covered area into the open. The smoke must be placed such that when it is used it should not be only in front of the troops or they will move out of it too soon. If it is done right, it is very effective against enemy and will reduce casualties. The Soviets have estimates on number of casualties that can be reduced by use of various types of smoke screens.

Figure 12 Use of Smoke Screens

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Figure 13 Kinds of smoke producing means

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Smoke generators are attached to vehicles so they can create smoke screens themselves without waiting for engineers to come and do it. It is more expedient and easier method.

There are three types of smoke screens classified by purpose; for blinding camouflaging and decoying.

Figure 14 Types of Smoke Screens

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For blinding use the smoke against enemy observation on the target area. If smoke is used to protect yourself, use it near yourself. Blinding is more effective. By blinding the enemy observation post you don't have to cover your own troops. But you must be sure you are blinding all observation posts. Smoke screens can be used at night too, when enemy uses illumination. When the enemy is using ATGMs, it is best to blind them. However, if there are many of them then you have to cover own forces. When you cover your own troops and activities and positions, the area covered must be at least 5 times greater in size than the unit covered. This norm refers to small units and individaul targets. To cover a company that is occupying 500 meters the screen if 5 times larger would be 2500 meters. This is usually not possible. The smoke can used to cover individual tank or gun positions but not a whole unit. When used be sure the target is not in the center of the smoke.

Deceptive smoke is used just to make enemy think an attack is in different place. For instance it is used in river crossing to confuse the enemy about real area for river crossing. Half the smoke would be in areas where no crossing was taking place.

Smoke grenades from tank are used purely as defense and to cover the tank while moving. If is used with a whole cmpany or platoon it would create a screen, but for individual tanks it is just to cover the tank.

Smoke can be delivered by helicopter and aircraft. From helicopter they can put smoke pots on ground quickly and lay 10 km rapidly. From fixed wing airplane smoke is used with dispenser container that explodes on impact. When you want to use a very thick screen along terrain in a wider area, then the air force can do it quickly. Hiowever that depends on the availability of airplanes.

Close to the front lines there are other more effective methods. Air delivered smoke can be at greater depth more ealily or on landing areas. It is harder for air to concentrate smoke in a small area. Air delivered smoke can by used to blind direct firing weapons, gun positions and artillery observation posts.

You can use smoke mines in a an ambush and raid for reconnaissance units. In the depth of your own area it is more effective to use smoke generators by engineers rather than shells.

Dummy positions and actions etc

To use dummy actions there are certain things to consider. You have to do it in a way to deceive the enemy and not yourself.

Figure 15 Requirements for use of Dummy Equipment

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Dummy actions must be used in areas where it is tacticlly sound. If the firing position is not in range, it won't make sense. If you put 122 mm right on FEBA it is also not right. The regiment has a frontage of 5 km. In that area the RAG will be in one area but there are many other areas at same depth that you could put a model of the guns to show that the position is in different area.
The dummies must be the right size and dimension. For instance to show that there is a T54 tank you have to use the right size model. However for purposes of deceiving aerial reconnaissance the height of the model can be reduced by 30% and still be effective.

The decoy must be also be camouflaged to conceal the defects in construction, but not well enough to really hide it. You must also conduct actions from time to time. A unit will occupy the area and show activity and make noise and produce signal communications. They can change the pattern of tracks the next day.

Engineer units are responsible for providing materials that are assembled in the area. They are prefabricated in kits. At lower echelon combat engineer units are used and at higher echelon the maskirovka battalion is used.

Soviets used smoke in Afghanistan to cover attack and it sometimes was like tear gas too. They used it from helicopters. The Afghans used camouflage and decoys very well too.

Figure 16 Signal security and Deception

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This is done to deceive the enemy and cover own communications. To cover signal from the enemy, use radio silence this is the best way newly arrived units can be covered. This can cover buildup of forces. Reduce radio use in area of main attack and increase it in other areas. Other measures are more important than radio silence. Active measures are more effective than passive measures. With active measures conduct continuous action to influence the enemy. It is better in addition to radio silence. Along with heavy activity in the supporting area radio deception can fool the enemy when combined with other measures. The enemy can detect a unit from the type of communication since it is different for different units or operators. One task is to seek for these kinds of signs in your own forces to eliminate them. Dummy traffic ia usually temporary for an operation. Soviets have norms for sending messages depending on how long they were to reduce time on air.
Radio communication maskirovka is based on reduction of information and reduced time on air. The Soviets use simple ciphers and codes and simple map codes. They have tables on one side letters and other numbers table contains common sentences and phrases. can change number of a square also for coordinates on maps. The numbers on maps are reversed to increase to thje south instead of the north or they change the number of one part of a grid or change the vertical measured from Greenwich to some other place. Instead of going west to east they go east to west, or make other changes on the map grid often.

The enemy will be using electronic means for detection effective when other side is using radio and in the reverse. Therefor one can dis-inform the enemy by using radios in different ways to conceal real activities, as well as to deceive. One can can use specific types of radios at different operational levels and short transmission rates or use short wave radios at high level for long distance transmissions. One can use different types of antennas that will increase the radio's range in one direction but not another. At tactical level it is better to use short range radios.

Hydroacoustic reconnaissance is conducted over water surfaces so masking noise is used to cover submarine etc. One can use different types of material to degrade sonar systems. And it is possible to have dummy targets too.
Anti-heat masking is employed against infra-red detection systems. If one has a tank with a hot engine, even covered by foliage, infrared reconnaissance will detect it. To conceal it all unnecessary use of the engines must be avoided or it may be possible to cool down the surfaces with water etc.

Figure 17 Sound masking

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Sound concealment is especially important and practiced at the tactical level. Sound masking is important to cover and conceal all sounds that represent some specific activity. Especially on the offensive, action will come from direct contact with the enemy. A sound curtain is a camouflage screen used to cover one noise by another. One can make a louder and heavier noise depending on the duration of sound. One method is to use artillery fire or low flying aircraft to cover the sound of moving vehicles.

Figure 18 Light masking

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An ancient "strategem" has been to use campfires in dummy areas to conceal the movement of troops or use other light sources to make dummy positions look real. Now lasers can be used to blind optical reconnaissance instruments.

Figure 19 Radar camouflage

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One important area that should be concealed is movement of troops. Movement is critical because it is conducted in columns and columns are long and can be detected by various reconnaissance means. In offensive operations a large part of the action is movements, which if known will reveal the axis of concentration for the main attack. Therefor in offensives covering movement is one of the main objectives. To conceal movement there are number of basic actions typically taken. When driving along roads the units use covered routes and bypass cities. Movement is conducted at night to reduce the ease of visual observation. Moving forces use VHF radios of the traffic control organization rather than their own. In addition one can use dummy movement. Deceptive movement is conducted using a mixture of dummy and real equipment. The dummy is attached to a vehicle by cable to pull it. Then during the night it can be disassembled and moved to another direction and used there. Sometimes dummies are pushed by personnel or used with real troops and moved back and forth to simulate a larger force. In ancient times Hannibal tied brush to the tails of oxen and placed torches on their horns to simulate the movement of large bodies of troops.

Operational maskirovka

According to `Soviet analysts the importance and role of maskirovka in contemporary conditions has increased greatly. during World War II maskirovka already played an important role, but the experience of local wars since then shows that the role is expanding. The principal reason for this is the greatly expanded importance and capability or reconnaissance in all major armed forces. On one hand modern armed forces are developing new and improved weapons and munitions and other systems for making decision, which rely even more directly than ever before on accurate reconnaissance information. On the other hand the technical capabilities of a wide variety of reconnaissance systems is rapidly increasing and keeping pace with the increased demands for information. At the same time the ability to defeat these weapons and reconnaissance systems must also keep pace by use of equally sophisticated and technical means for achieving maskirovka.

During the Second World War the arsenal of reconnaissance methods available to commanders was less varied and effective than now. Adverse weather conditions or darkness were severe limiting factors on some reconnaissance means. Moreover, at that time the control systems, decision processes, and communication means were such that there was a significant time delay between the acquisition of reconnaissance information and the firing of weapons. At that time the delay was a matter of hours, while now the elapsed time is only minutes. And the range, accuracy and lethality of the weapons was also less than now.

Soviet military analysts write extensively about numerous Western advanced reconnaissance/ weapons systems under the general heading of reconnaissance strike and reconnaissance fire complexes. Some of the specific systems which have earned their attention include the PLSS, the Assault Breaker, SOTAS and TACFIRE. Soviet writers list twelve new American advanced systems and also mention several British and West German systems. The most important characteristics of these systems, in the Soviet estimation, is that the reconnaissance process is directly attached to the highly accurate firing systems. They take very seriously the slogan that if a target can be found it can be destroyed immediately.

In total Soviet writers judge the NATO army group has 3000 various reconnaissance systems. Moreover, these systems operate on a wide variety of physical principles in such a way that even if one is defeated another may still detect a target. According the Soviet analysts, if one wants to cover one target from the many detection methods available to the enemy, he will have to employ many separate but interrelated methods as well. Soviet writers pride themselves that during World War II the Soviet army was greatly successful in fooling the Germans, especially at the operational level. They emphasize that commanders today will have to devote even more attention to deceiving the enemy in order to be even minimally successful on the battlefield.

Maskirovka, then has shown a tendency to increase in tandem with reconnaissance. This tendency is manifested in a number of ways, such as the following:
- constant expansion of the scale and methods required, but severe reduction in the time available to do the job;
- greatly increased capability for maneuver of all forces and means has brought an increase in the dynamic rapidity of situational changes on the battlefield;
- the role of anti-reconnaissance methods has increased in peace and war;
- maskirovka techniques and technologies have followed the expansion of other scientific disciplines into outer space and electronics and every other field;
- maskirovka requirements for protection of the rear have grown even faster than at the front lines, as the range of enemy weapons has increased;

The importance of dispersion of forces and means for protection against mass destruction weapons and other lethal weapons brings with it certain maskirovka or anti-reconnaissance characteristics, because the difficulty of the task of reconnaissance is multiplied just by the expansion of area and the opportunities to employ false targets expands with area as well. Creating false targets as a way to dissipate enemy fire is a prime maskirovka technique. The Soviets calculate that the enemy has the capability for exact reconnaissance in the sense of pinpointing whatever target he acquires for firing weapons, and he also has techniques for distinguishing between false and real targets. Consequently the task for creating credible false targets becomes a very difficult as well as important one. For instance, a simple dummy tank may fool a visual observer, but unless additional steps are taken it won't deceive an infrared detection device.

Basic methods for maskirovka

The types of methods employed depend on the type of military operation being subjected to maskirovka. Forces on the offensive will require different techniques than those on the defensive. Marches will be different from attacks or concentrations in assembly areas. The following measures are deemed significant in relation to offensive operations:
- secret bringing of the forces and means to full mobilization;
- secret movement of forces and means into the initial and final concentration and assembly (FUP) areas;
- secret regrouping of the air army on operational airfields;
- conduct of various maskirovka methods to conceal the concept of the operation as a whole;
- concealed deployment of command posts, first echelons, second echelons and other installations into secret places;
- creation of false military elements, including installations and large and small units;
- imitation methods for depicting false assembly areas, artillery firing positions, rocket launch areas, and especially false airfields, etc.
- if the enemy does expect an impending attack, then concealment of the axis of the real main attack and depiction of a false attack axis;
- use of secret signal systems and communication systems that are more difficult to compromise, such as telephone and couriers or, if necessary, UHF radio.
- conduct of local, tactical maskirovka measures by all types of units, with or without professional engineer assistance.

Organization of maskirovka

Maskirovka must be carefully organized with respect to mission, time, and place. This is the basic responsibility of the front staff. Organization is conducted on the basis of the operational directive and the instructions on as maskirovka from higher headquarters and the operational decision and instructions of the front commander. The chief of staff directly supervises the effort, while the chief of the operations directorate takes the leading role in coordinating and providing details. All the chiefs of combat and support arms and services participate, along with the deputy commander for rear services. The staff organizes maskirovka in response to a number of specific situational factors including: the enemy's reconnaissance capabilities, the conditions of weather and terrain, and the capabilities of own forces and means. Preservation of secrecy is a prime consideration. Only the key staff members participate in formulating the details. The actions that are then generated in fulfillment of the plan are not necessarily identified as having anything to do with maskirovka and even for those that do the aim is not revealed. The plan will take account of and use all the various means that are available for deceiving the enemy. The most critical element to be concealed is the concept and aim of the combat operation. Along with this then goes the missions of forces and means, their locations, the location of command posts, the artillery and rocket positions, air fields, direct preparations for nuclear strikes, and the timing of deployments and other actions.

In organizing maskirovka it is important to avoid simple, stereotypical or patterned activities. Success is achieved in the following ways:
- Maskirovka methods are conducted in close relation to the times, sequences and requirements of the operational plan.
- The maskirovka plan itself must be secret. Typically it is prepared in a specially secured room, not open to subordinates. If the enemy discovers the essence of the maskirovka plan, he will be greatly strengthened.
- The commander and staff must exercise central and continuous direction and control. Control means inspection to check on the effectiveness of the various methods.
- All means must be employed in a complex and interactive manner to counter all enemy reconnaissance methods. If the staff even suspects the enemy has penetrated the design, the project should be terminated or at least changed significantly.
- The procedures should include not only passive measures, but also and especially active ones. Activeness of maskirovka is a key principle. In other words, not only conceal real assembly areas, but also show false ones. And the false activities must be conducted in conjunction with real ones to give them credibility.
- Maskirovka must be agile and able to change rapidly in accordance with the changing situation.
- It must be realistic down to many small details.
- It must be constant.

Sequence of organization

The commander is responsible for maskirovka as a combat support measure. He issues instructions on maskirovka and on this basis and the instructions of higher echelons, the staff organizes it. The main officers are the operational staff and rear staff and engineer and other staff officers.

Figure 20 Contents of Commander's Instructions

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Maskirovka is organized in subordination to, but in conjunction with the operational plan in the following sequence:
- making the decision and establishing the aim;
- developing the plan
- issuing the orders and instructions;
- conducting troop control;
- supervising and inspecting execution.

The decision and aim are developed on the basis of the commander's overall operational decision by the commander himself or the chief of staff. The operations directorate then prepares the elaborate plan with the participation of the other directorates. A special group is organized to create the plan and also to inspect its execution. The decision contains the following points:
- aim;
- missions which must be accomplished;
- forces and means to be employed;
- specific means to accomplish each task;
- times for execution;
- how sequences of actions will interrelate;
- control measures and troops control system.

The aim is determined and described in terms of the aim of the operation itself. It will be different in each operation. The detailed planning is done on the basis of the decision and prepared in two parts. The graphic part of the plan is show on a map. This depicts real and false unit assembly areas, main attack axis, unit boundaries, weapons positions, etc. and the times for fulfilling each task shown. The written part of the plan consists of notes specifying the forces and means, the signals, the statement of aim and concept, control actions, and the description of various methods that cannot be depicted on the map. An important part of the plan is the designation of the responsible individuals for each activity and the discussion of how individual activities will be inspected for effectiveness. The plan is signed by the chief of operations and the chief of staff and approved by the commander.

The orders and instructions to subordinates are issued on the basis of the plan. They are promulgated in a manner that won't reveal the aim or intent of the maskirovka. In other words, while a critical aspect in the issuing of basic, standard operational orders is to insure that they are thoroughly understood as to aim as well as content, for orders relating to maskirovka it is critical to conceal the aim of the activities being ordered.

One way this is accomplished is to keep the various complex activities separate. For a normal order requiring the interaction of many elements, for instance in the construction of an airfield, their interaction is specified and explicitly assured by direct contact. However, for the creation of a false airfield, which will require at least as much coordinated activity for depicting the many different aspects, such as buildings, radars, dummy airplanes, POL dumps, etc. the coordination is handled centrally, but without the direct interaction of the various players. Likewise, all control measures are conducted centrally and the observation and inspection is done by a specially created operational group.

Maskirovka in defensive operations

Maskirovka in the counterattack

Maskirovka in special conditions, mountains, coastlines, etc.