Military Review

Unattended victory

23 January 1983, US President Ronald Reagan addressed the nation with a speech, the essence of which was as follows: from now on, America will begin to create an effective weaponscapable of repelling the Russian nuclear strike. Politicians, primarily Soviet, made it clear that the United States was starting to develop a missile defense system in circumvention of the agreement concluded in 1972.

In the mass consciousness, thanks in large part to the media, over the years the idea has been established that this statement was deliberate misinformation in order to draw the USSR into a new round of the exhausting arms race and undermine its economic potential. This is so and not so.

On the one hand, the NSDD plan, developed under the leadership of the then CIA head William Casey, did indeed exist. It was approved by President Reagan in 1981 and envisaged the collapse of the USSR by non-military means. It should be noted that Casey’s proposals, despite the superpower confrontation that lasted for more than a quarter of a century, looked innovative, because after reaching military parity in 70's, most of the heavyweights in the American political elite, like former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, believed that to negotiate, and the arms race is the road to nowhere.

But along with Reagan, figures of a different scale, like Casey, who sincerely wanted to crush the “evil empire”, came to the White House. And the point here is not so much in ideological confrontation, as in the antagonism of two world centers: "Continent - Ocean". At one time, eminent thinkers wrote about this in Russia - say, Vadim Tsymbursky, and earlier in Germany - Karl Haushofer and Karl Schmitt. However, in the UK and the United States also did not avoid such an important problem: let us recall the works of American admiral Alfred Mahen and the English politician John McKinder.

The arms race in space cannot be considered solely as a consequence of the strategic decisions of the rulers on both sides of the ocean. It is necessary to see in it, perhaps, one of the most important components of the inevitable opposition of thalassocracy - the state symbolizing sea power, and the tellurocracy, personifying the land empire in the widest sense of the word. Such a coalition of Germany and Russia with the annexation of Japan, which was a maritime power, but in the Asia-Pacific region would inevitably enter into a tough conflict with the United States, Britain and France, was to become such at the end of the century before last.

The union of these strongest monarchies at the beginning of the 20th century would undoubtedly lead to the start of space exploration much earlier than the middle of 50, save the world from two terrible world wars and as a result of US domination on the planet, which brought so much grief and misfortune to many nations. Vietnamese, Serbian and Arabic first.

Superpower on start

So, like Kissinger, the Reagan team was also aware of the impossibility of crushing the Soviet Union by military means and at the same time avoiding a retaliatory strike. Therefore, we relied, we repeat, on the collapse of the USSR from within. In the NSDD plan, there was a section "Psychological and Information Warfare", its integral part was the stuffing into the overseas enemy of information about the beginning of active work in the United States under the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) program, which many call a bluff decades later. And there were grounds for this. In the book by Lieutenant General Viktor Starodubov "Superpowers of the XX century" there are the following lines: historical Sciences A.A.Kokoshin, it was concluded that the system advertised by Washington is clearly incapable, as its supporters claim, to make nuclear weapons powerless and obsolete, to provide reliable cover for the territory of the United States, and even more so for its allies in Western Europe or in other areas of the world. And Korolev's colleague, academician Boris Viktorovich Rauschenbakh, called SDI nonsense.

Unattended victory

But it is on the one hand. On the other hand, many politicians and journalists on both sides of the ocean were still interested in 80-s about how real the threat of “star wars” was. Have we not been mistaken in underestimating the PIO? Could a fairy tale come true? In the book “War and Peace in American: Traditions of Militarism in the USA”, historian Nikolai Yakovlev quoted the words of an American physicist, father of the hydrogen bomb Edward Teller, who commented on Reagan’s speech mentioned above on the pages of the Washington Post: “Technical aspects of star wars are not only were ignored, but I would say shamefully ignored. What the President of March 23 reported should have been pronounced at least 10 years ago. ”

That is, unlike Soviet scientists, the American physicist believed that the PIO program was quite feasible. However, not everyone in the United States shared the optimism of Teller. In particular, his former subordinate R. Woodruff bluntly stated that there would not be any laser weapons in the near future, all this is pure bluff. Woodroffe was also listened to by congressmen, one of whom, Senator Edward Kennedy, called the PIO reckless plans. In the end, a scandal broke out and Teller was forced to admit: “I never claimed that these weapons would be manufactured. I said it could be made. ”

However - the irony of history - the confrontation in low Earth orbit began long before Reagan's speech, when he himself was still working on the acting field and did not think about the presidential chair, at least seriously. One can even with a certain degree of caution - for work in the space field both in the USSR, and in Germany, and in the USA began before the Second World War - say: the start of the space race was given in 1945. That year, almost immediately after the end of the war, the United States exported German physicists working in the secret laboratories of Peenemuende, led by the Nazi Werner von Braun.

In parallel, Soviet specialists, having captured documentation, also prepared for a breakthrough into space: a scientific research institute of the same name, headed by Major-General Lev Mikhailovich Gaidukov, was created on the territory of Thuringia, in Nordhausen in 1946. The scientific component in this institution was led by Sergei Pavlovich Korolev. Materials and personnel that were not inherited by the Americans were transferred from Peenemünde to Nordhausen. Moreover, Academician Boris Evseevich Chertok (at that time major) recalled in his memoirs that the local burgomaster had asked the Germans working in the field of rocket technology to meet with Soviet specialists. And by the next morning, "it turned out that after the call of the local authorities, we had a whole line of people willing to offer services."

Well, the geopolitical theories of the above-mentioned thinkers were not abstract constructions, but reflected the essence of the mental attitudes of two great continental peoples, and for the Germans at that time the Russians were enemies, but theirs, while the Americans remained alien from another planet.

Shootout Race

At the start of the space race, we were ahead of the United States - they underestimated the power of the organizational potential of their recent ally, and speaking directly, the White House did not have its own Lawrence Beria, who oversaw the creation of a nuclear missile shield in the USSR. The launch of an artificial satellite of the Earth, launched into orbit of the world's first intercontinental multi-stage ballistic P-7, had an almost knockout effect on Washington, because a rocket could be standing not a satellite, but a nuclear warhead.

It must be admitted that the Americans themselves missed the opportunity to become the first in space. Initially distrusting von Braun, the country's leadership commissioned the creation of a launch vehicle to launch an artificial satellite to the Naval the fleet. But, as you know, the Avangard project born in its bowels failed.

Part of the reaction of the American public to the launch of the Soviet satellite was the letter of the editor of the space research journal published in the USA with the words: “We have to work feverishly to solve the technical problems that Russia undoubtedly decided ... In this race - and this is the race “The prize will be given only to the winner, the prize will be the leadership of the world.”

But despite the failure to launch the Vanguard rocket, the United States was not going to refuse to gain dominance - military primarily in low Earth orbit, finally commissioning the creation of the von Braun rocket. Boris Chertok quotes the words of the strategic commander in the book aviation The USA of Thomas Power, uttered by him in 1958: “Whoever first approves his place in outer space will be his master. And we just can’t afford to lose ... "

In fairness it should be noted that not everyone in the American leadership supported such militaristic views. In particular, President Dwight Eisenhower, who knew first-hand what war is, quite consistently advocated the peaceful exploration of space. However, the above Power's words have become the motto of the United States in the struggle for supremacy in near-earth orbit. Academician Chertok stressed: "The initial proposals for the creation of heavy missiles in the United States did not find support for the implementation of a peaceful lunar program."

At about the same time, the development of missile defense systems began on both sides of the ocean. In the Soviet Union, this happened as follows: “Already at the beginning of the 50-s, the USSR Defense Ministry’s research institute-4 and the research institute-885, which were engaged in the development and use of ballistic missiles, launched the first missile defense capabilities. Our specialists have proposed two schemes for equipping anti-missile systems with guidance systems. For antimissiles with a telecontrol, a fragmentation warhead with low-speed fragments and a circular field of destruction was proposed. For homing missiles it was proposed to use a directional warhead that, together with the rocket, was supposed to turn toward the target and create the highest density of the fragment field in the direction of the target during the explosion ”(Stanislav Slavin -“ Space battle of empires ”).

However, in the Soviet military elite, the attitude toward missile defense was initially very skeptical, as recalled by one of its founders, Lieutenant-General Grigory V. Kisunko, in his Confession of a General Designer: “Essentially, ABM problems in 1953 were venerable academics when discussing the letter of the seven Marshals of the Soviet Union about the need to begin to develop this problem: "Missile defense is the same stupidity as shooting a projectile projectile."

Nevertheless, the build-up of nuclear capabilities on both sides of the ocean made both the Kremlin and the White House begin active work on building their own missile defense systems. At the beginning of the 60-ies, the Americans began to deploy a group of lightweight ICBMs "Minuteman." In response, Academician Vladimir Nikolaevich Chelomey in the OKB-52 began to create the Taran anti-missile system (MIC No. 29, 2009). The SKB-30 team, under the leadership of Kisunko, developed system A, which was successfully tested in March on 1961: the P-12 and P-5 ballistic missiles were intercepted. At the same time, the United States acquired its missile defense system: the Nike-Zeus complex, which was a three-stage solid-fuel rocket with a thermonuclear warhead.

In addition, the center of attention of both the military and scientists on both sides of the ocean was the Moon, on which the Americans had already planned to create a military base, Horizon, on 1960, with the deployment of systems capable of bombarding the Earth. Referring to the lunar programs of the Soviet Union and the United States, it is important to emphasize: this is not about the feasibility of these plans, but about the very strategy of the superpowers in space exploration, which was of a pronounced military nature.

Star diplomacy

In 1963, the USSR, the USA and the UK signed a treaty banning nuclear testing in space, atmosphere and under water. Why did it happen? After all, for Washington, the proliferation of nuclear weapons in space is an additional appropriation for the military-industrial complex and the possibility of achieving military superiority over the USSR. The explanation is contained in Kissinger's Diplomacy: “If European forces decide to strike the Soviet Union, they can thus involve America in a nuclear war. For it is extremely possible for the Soviets to strike retaliation against America so that it does not benefit from the damage done to them. However, an even more likely scenario would be when the response of the Soviet Union to the strike of the American allies would be so powerful that it would be asked if America could sit idly by emptying the territory of its closest allies, regardless of what it was provoked. And because American leaders were determined to avoid US involvement in a nuclear war against their will. The decision to take the risk of destroying one’s own society was already odious enough to worry about whether it would not be imposed by the allies. ” Recall that in the 60s, the United States had strained relations with French President de Gaulle, who turned the Fifth Republic into a nuclear country and, unlike England, was outside the control of the White House. And behind the superpowers there were two crises, which almost pushed the world into the abyss of a nuclear catastrophe: Berlin and Caribbean.

As for Khrushchev, as you know, he was going to build communism, and this was more than problematic in a country devastated by atomic war, and the break in relations with Maoist China, which gave rise to a number of border problems, also did not contribute to deepening confrontation with the United States. Nevertheless, the arms race in space is not curtailed. Recall only some of her episodes. In 1967, the USSR is launching a Kosmos-139 satellite capable of destroying enemy spacecraft. In the same year, two more significant events take place: the landing vehicle of the Soviet reconnaissance satellite Kosmos-138 landed, the Treaty on the Prohibition of the Placement of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Space was landed. Less than ten years later, as the USSR launched the Salyut-5 station, which had a military purpose.

Both in the Kremlin and in the White House, they tried to combine the buildup of combat power in near-earth orbit with treaties, this very combat power as restrictive as possible. And even for some time carried out joint projects in space like the "Union" - "Apollo". In 1976, in the USSR, tactical and technical tasks were formulated for the development of the Buran reusable space system, designed to carry out comprehensive measures to counteract a possible enemy to expand the use of outer space for military purposes, and at first it was planned to create five ships with a frequency of thirty flights year.

Americans thought about the creation of combat space shuttles ten years earlier. There were various myths, not outdated, at the level of mass consciousness, to this day - like stories about the ability of the shuttle to act as a nuclear bomber. But something else is important: the programs of manned space flights on reusable shuttles being developed by superpowers were an undoubted element of the arms race in space - the notorious SOI. As for the USSR, in the 80-ies, in the framework of a missile defense system, we developed the Skif and Kaskad orbiters.

Convergence orbit

We emphasize once again: the concept of SDI, formulated at the beginning of 80, was no more than a continuation of the long-standing confrontation of superpowers in Earth orbit. Another thing is that a specific project, declared by the Americans, could not be implemented for technical reasons. And therefore, ten years after Reagan’s speech, US Secretary of Defense Les Espin announced that he was ceasing work on it.

But Casey’s plan worked, because in the middle of 80's, the Americans, following the terminology of military theorist of the past century, Liddell Garth, brilliantly carried out an indirect action strategy, defeating an equal force of the enemy’s cold war without actually firing a single shot. We see the consequences today: an almost successful attempt by the United States to consolidate in the Central Asian region of the former post-Soviet space and put Ukraine under control, destroying the friendly Russia of Iraq and Libya, an operation against Syria that almost succeeded.

Fortunately, Casey’s second was not surrounded by Obama, and Putin wasn’t Gorbachev or Yeltsin. And today, the battle with the Islamic State, which was banned in the Russian Federation and was born on the ruins of Iraq destroyed by the Americans, is essentially a new round of confrontation with the United States. Will it go into space - time will tell. Today, Americans are more interested in cooperation with Russia in near-earth orbit than in confrontation with it, and China’s space ambitions, which, of course, are of a military nature, make Washington seek to unite with Moscow rather than oppose with it. Joint operation of the ISS is a vivid example.

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  1. iskander491
    iskander491 21 September 2016 15: 48
    The article is not bad, I liked it. Its name just did not understand, why is it?
  2. megavolt823
    megavolt823 21 September 2016 16: 09
    yes Vasya a sharpie with three glasses is more dangerous than a nuclear missile. hi
  3. Asadullah
    Asadullah 21 September 2016 16: 09
    make Washington rather seek to unite with Moscow, rather than quarrel with it.

    I wonder how it is? The containment policy does not provide for unification, does not even provide for rapprochement. At best, parallel neutrality in some areas. Throughout the post-war history, the United States pursued a policy of containment of the USSR and then of Russia, seeking pressure through sensitive places. This policy was either softer or tougher. Any other, never. We must proceed from this.
  4. Gormenghast
    Gormenghast 21 September 2016 16: 30
    And where are the kosher pictures from on Scythian, Cascade, interceptor missiles, military space station, strike modules and maneuvering nuclear warheads? The shorts showing the complete defeat of the United States, from ocean to ocean, look very pretty.


    1. Mavrikiy
      Mavrikiy 22 September 2016 19: 01
      And we don’t mind. Both in the USA and in other deserving states corresponding to the attitude (comrades are now considering the lists). And pictures that pictures. As time goes on, it's time to draw new pictures. I gave the command a new globe to draw. What? RTOs have nowhere to frolic. Everything should have been exactly, England was hindering access to the vastness. (Honestly not a country, but a misunderstanding). Well, if instead of the USA a large American channel will be dug, then we don’t need it, let the Chinese dig, they have more people.
      And so, everything is correct, everything is fine. But let people do this not from our area and not from our area.
  5. ramzes1776
    ramzes1776 21 September 2016 17: 56
    Yes famously then our current "partners" bluffed with their "star wars". And it was just necessary to push the speech to the actor Reagan and invest in a fantastic cartoon. And our party bosses, not paying attention to the opinions of our scientists, immediately all and crap.
  6. voyaka uh
    voyaka uh 21 September 2016 18: 29
    "That is, unlike Soviet scientists, the American physicist believed
    that the SOI program is quite feasible "////

    Teller had a strong vision ahead.
    He clearly distinguished between physics and technology, roughly: "If some innovation is not
    contrary to the laws of physics, then it can be implemented: technique -
    business is gaining ".
    In the 80s it was technically impossible to hit the "bullet-in-bullet", they laughed at the idea, everyone
    who is not lazy, but in the 00th - already please.
    Hit a direct kinetic blow to a warhead in space.
    1. Asadullah
      Asadullah 22 September 2016 23: 16
      Hit a direct kinetic blow to a warhead in space.

      Yes, not straight, but a fan, along the calculated trajectory. With a probability coefficient, which is under the bar for all developers. That is, in the real world they may not get there ....
  7. akudr48
    akudr48 21 September 2016 20: 15
    A good article from a historical and cognitive point of view.

    But in conclusion, the conclusion is in no way consistent with the practice of "partnership with America."

    The author sums up:

    Today, Americans are more interested in cooperating with Russia in near-Earth orbit than in confrontation with it, and China's space ambitions, which, of course, are military in nature, make Washington rather seek to unite with Moscow, rather than quarrel with it. Joint operation of the ISS is a vivid example of this.

    The ISS is the only project that the Americans have not refused because of the Russian delivery and return of the crews. Not any interest, and certainly the desire to unite.
    They just now have nothing to carry. But they break through several projects of new transport ships at once, they will break through in 2-3 years ..
    Yes, and they buy engines from us.

    But space is not limited to the ISS, and even there they are without us. And there’s nothing special to offer us except space taxi services.

    Therefore, the author is right in naming the publication Unattended victory in the sense of memories of the achievements of the USSR, which after the collapse of the country became useless to anyone, ownerless.
  8. Operator
    Operator 22 September 2016 12: 11
    The United States entered the world wars twice only on one condition - guarantees against not spreading the war to its own territory.

    Since the 1970-ies such a guarantee does not exist - the end of American history.
  9. shinobi
    shinobi 22 September 2016 13: 48
    Let’s see how the West will sing when our air defense update is completed. Unlike their missile defense, which does not have roofing felts, our system (which, as it were, not) can already shoot down ballistic blocks. While it’s low-speed, up to 4,5 km / s. And in general the process of resuscitation of the USSR programs. For some reason, nobody remembers about the combat orbital laser that Energy was going to output. But it was already in metal, and it was a purely financial issue to restore production. A heavy modular launch vehicle is not just being filmed. The Lunar-Martian program is rather to disguise, well, and a bonus.
  10. AUL
    AUL 22 September 2016 18: 46
    Quote: shinobi
    Unlike their missile defense, which will not be felts,

    Since their sea-based standards near Aegis are already quite successfully shooting down warheads ...
    But, of course, in spite of everything - LITTLE!
    1. Asadullah
      Asadullah 22 September 2016 23: 26
      Since their sea-based standards near Aegis are already quite successfully shooting down warheads ...
      But, of course, in spite of everything - LITTLE!

      Who did they shoot down? Give an example. And why is the "successful" knocking down of something there by the CIUS system, is it a layered character, with mathematical corrections? How about a non-ballistic target? How about decoys? How about electronic warfare missile elements?

      Yes, and about seasoning, better seasoning than taking off a coward in diarrhea and becoming cancer ....
      1. AUL
        AUL 23 September 2016 11: 42
        Eco, my friend, the hot Italian-Caucasian blood leaped into you! About cowards and diarrhea - this is strong!
  11. rasteer
    rasteer 22 September 2016 20: 30
    I read and thought ... what did the author want to say? It seems like the headline is about victory, and the introduction clearly indicates that the US is victorious over the USSR, and it comes out of abandonment that America could not use it. But the paradox in conclusion, the author refutes its ownerlessness, directly pointing to the dominance of the United States in the world over the past quarter century.
    Well, okay, maybe the author had in mind the victory of the USSR in the military-space arms race, but again this is not visible from the article. Yes, we and they regularly drew something, bluffed something, sometimes successfully launched something, but as it is clear from the article, everyone perfectly understood that there was no PROK in the ABM except for business, at least at the then technological level .
    So, after reading the question, WHAT IS THE ARTICLE? If about the history of space exploration, then the heading and introduction with the conclusion are superfluous. And if about the information war developed by Casey and its consequences, then why all this wall of text about space.