Military Review

Foresight of the “Terrible Soldier”

30 October marks the 100 anniversary of the birth of Nikolai Vasilyevich Ogarkov. People who knew the marshal well, speak with one voice as a man of philosophical mentality who knew how to look at the problems of the military organization of society, strategy and operational art widely, in a state way, with a high staff culture. In the West, he is called the "father of the revolution in military affairs."

Foresight of the “Terrible Soldier”

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of the USSR Ogarkov headed the 1977 year, in a very difficult time. Although the Soviet leaders, headed by the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU, L.I. Brezhnev long ago proclaimed the transition from the “cold war” to defusing international tensions, and a number of Soviet-American agreements on the limitation of strategic weapons were signed, and the geopolitical confrontation between the USSR and the Warsaw Treaty with the United States and NATO was still growing.

Having failed in the protracted Vietnam war (in which Soviet pilots and anti-aircraft gunners took a large part, and the Soviet Union provided a multilateral assistance to communist North Vietnam), the Americans adopted the doctrine of "limited nuclear war" against the Soviet bloc and began to develop a full-scale (still secret) development neutron weapons. It was a new means of mass destruction, designed to destroy millions of people, leaving in relative integrity the objects of material culture. Moreover, this monstrous slaughter, according to their plans, should have developed in Europe and would not affect the North American continent. At the same time, in the depths of the US intelligence community, a plan of a global subversive operation aimed at drawing the USSR into a protracted unpromising war near its borders (now it would be called “hybrid”) begins to be hatched in order to maximize the exhaustion of all the forces of the Soviet system and its subsequent collapse as a result of internal cataclysms ...

An amazing paradox: a bibliography in English about Marshal Ogarkov includes hundreds of major works, but we still have not published at least one, a little bit serious monograph!

Foreign experts and reputable military encyclopedias respectfully call him a formidable soldier ("menacing soldier"). The “Ogarkov Doctrine” is featured in all the basic western works on military strategy! And in Russia, his ideas began to be seriously considered and adopted recently.

True, as the course of the operation of the Russian videoconferencing system in Syria shows, from comprehension to putting into practice our distance, thank God, is small ...

What is the essence of the Ogarkov Doctrine? Marshal believed that it was necessary to rely not on the infinite build-up of nuclear missile potential, capable in the event of a global conflict with the West or China (with which in those years serious tensions also remained) to destroy all life on Earth many times, but on high-precision non-nuclear weapons and ultra-modern battle management systems.

It is they who will ensure victory with relatively small casualties and will force the adversary to a favorable compromise. Accordingly, the strategic goal of the modern warfare, Nikolai Vasilievich, did not at all guarantee nuclear mutual destruction, the whirlwind of which would incinerate the entire planet, but the achievement of a just world as low as possible and the creation of favorable external conditions for peaceful construction ...

After graduating in 1941, the Military Engineering Academy. V.V. Kuybyshev, he spent almost all of the Great Patriotic War on the front line, practicing his deep knowledge of engineering. In April, 1945 was seriously injured. After the war, he consistently walked through all the steps of the command and staff staircase until the appointment of the commander of the district, and in April 1968 of the year - first deputy chief of the General Staff of the USSR Armed Forces.

Three years, from 1974 to 1977, already being the Deputy Minister of Defense of the USSR, headed the State Technical Commission - the most important body of military-technical planning and control, without considering or approving any new means of armed struggle. The tasks of this body included the organization of countering foreign technical intelligence, trying to get important information about the novelties of Soviet weapons.

When Ogarkov began, in particular, the introduction of components of the KSBU, a command strategic command and control system, into our military practice.

KSBU united the control points of the Strategic Missile Forces, the Navy and aviation, which allowed the Soviet Union in the event of a crisis to forestall the actions of the strategic nuclear forces of its main opponents. The basis of KSBU was a data exchange system that connected dozens of remote, sometimes thousands of kilometers, stationary computers (until the mid-80s they were called electronic computers in the USSR - computers) into a single network. It was this network that ensured the guaranteed transfer of information to the addressee, which means quick decision-making and its timely execution.

The principles of building such a network for a good ten years ahead of global trends. In the United States, an experimental ARPANET network, which is considered the prototype of the modern Internet, was just being developed.

The only thing that was missing was our network of KSBU - field automated troop control system (ACCS). This work, coded with the name “Maneuver”, was started in 70 in the Minsk Scientific-Research Institute of Automation Facilities (NIISA) formed in 1969, created on the basis of a special design office of the Minsk Electromechanical Plant. The direct supervisor and leader of the whole complex of measures to create automated integrated command and control systems in the front (district) — army (corps) —division (brigade) —regiment — battalion (division, battery, squadron) division was General Ogarkov.

Soon, automated control systems for troops, weapons, reconnaissance and electronic warfare of the front began to be developed and manufactured (with the leading role of the Minsk company, which was led by General Yuri Podrezov) in cooperation with more than 600 enterprises of the USSR ministries and departments of the USSR, including with the participation of more than 29 research institutions of the Ministry of Defense. It was a huge, future-oriented work that laid the foundations of the modern Armed Forces of Russia.

For the first time, in the Soviet troops, under Ogarkov, mobile field computing networks and distributed databases began to be introduced, and a number of samples of electronic data transmission equipment were created and adopted in real time. It is important that the systems created at the Belarusian and identical Soviet enterprises promptly passed practical tests and tests on all the largest military exercises, in which the State Technical Commission under the leadership of Ogarkov was also great. On the basis of these developments, the work on the coordination and implementation of the INTERASU program was subsequently developed, to which the Warsaw Pact member countries joined. As part of this program, a unified field-based automated command and control system (EPACVM) was created, integrated with the armies of the allied countries of the USSR: the GDR, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia ...

The Soviet computers, on the introduction of which into the daily life and combat training activities of the troops, were so much concerned about the future marshal, in fact, represented the domestic counterparts of the praised American Pentium II and IBM.

Why does the author focus so much on this (frankly, not studied by the researchers at all) side of Nikolai Vasilyevich’s multifaceted activity — his role in equipping the troops of the USSR and then allies with advanced electronic computing technology? The fact is that in a modern (and especially “hybrid”) war, the main and decisive condition for victory in battle is reconnaissance of enemy targets and their exact defeat. If the organs and means of intelligence provided in time complete and accurate information about the future object of destruction - any attack, any actions have many chances for success (especially when high-precision weapons are used!), And their own losses, as a rule, are reduced to the minimum. This is being demonstrated day after day during the antiterrorist operation in Syria conducted by our forces and the troops subordinate to Damascus.

If the target is mobile, then you must first detect it and report it before it moves, and then decide how and how to destroy it. All this takes time. In modern military terminology, this is called the battle control cycle.

Anyone who seeks to reduce the time span occupying this cycle, respectively, increases the effectiveness of their weapons. How many times the precious time will be reduced - so many times his combat power will increase. Not difficult at all, right?

But you can’t quickly calculate it manually: you need a fairly productive computer. And, accordingly, the rules of action are the tried and tested algorithms. They all salt. And no wonder foreign researchers note that after receiving information about the appearance of high-precision weapons at the Americans, Ogarkov immediately became interested in their combat use.

In our military academies and schools, as an example of the high efficiency of reconnaissance and strike complexes, they often cited the American system "Assault Breaker" as an example, which was able to thwart deployment at the starting line to attack an entire Soviet tank divisions!

That is why, having headed the General Staff in 1977, Ogarkov did everything possible to make the development and implementation of such “smart” weapons extremely active and quick.

But it is not enough to create new systems - they must be carefully checked. Be sure to practice. And with the help of Nikolai Vasilievich and his associates — staff officers and military commanders — Soviet military associations, formations and units were well off.

Operational and strategic exercises "West-81" (three military districts deployed to the fronts and the Baltic Fleet were involved) using the ACME "Maneuver" and new high-precision weapon systems turned out to be so large-scale that the dashed Europe declared them "the last test before the war" .

Doesn’t it, it is strikingly reminiscent of the reaction of Europeans to our recent exercises “West-2017”, with the only difference that the real number of forces and means involved in the maneuvers was now an order of magnitude smaller?

The brainchild of Ogarkov - the Maneuver control system - increased the effectiveness of the artillery and aviation weapons used, according to experts, by three to five times!

The following year, together with the Warsaw Pact allies, the exercise “Shield-82” was held (in the West, in horror, they were called the “Seven-hour nuclear war”). By the way, for the information of the current spiteful critics from Poland: in these maneuvers the fighters of the Condor unit of the Polish Army showed themselves well. It was a real fighting fraternity, to defame and defame that Russophobes are now so frightened ...

Along with regular large-scale exercises, new aircraft, artillery systems, MLRS and T-80 tanks, called “Channel Channel” began to arrive in those years (probably because one of the likely targets that Soviet tank corps were to reach in the armed confrontation in the West European theater, it was designated, according to NATO experts, the northern coast of France).

Our current successful operation in Syria is, in essence, the Ogarkov doctrine put into practice. Its key idea is: to achieve victory by non-nuclear means, units and subunits of the highest mobility and the closest constant link between intelligence, command and means of destruction are needed, so that in preventive offensive actions always have a definite advantage.

By the way, it was Ogarkov who initiated the creation of army special forces, called upon, along with units and subunits of the Airborne Forces, to carry out ground reconnaissance, fire adjustment and “dagger” lightning actions in the rear of the enemy. Already at the end of the 1970-ies, the General Staff began the formation of airborne assault brigades and separate reconnaissance and sabotage detachments (battalions) of special missions. To increase the firepower and mobility of troops, army aviation was enhanced by attack and multi-purpose helicopters ...

And our Special Operations Forces, which have proven themselves well now in Syria, along with the VKS, in a certain sense, owe their birth to him too, Marshal Ogarkov.
The unification of all districts, fleets and air defense forces into four commanders in strategic areas: the West, South-West, South and the Far East, with the creation of corresponding rates (commanders), has become a new word in troop management. In fact, it was a prototype of the administrative-territorial division of the country into four major military districts (instead of the previously existing set of districts), which was affirmed by us as a result of the current military reform.

Today, a lot of things are provided in full by computers that have finally penetrated literally into all spheres of military life; drones that can continuously patrol the enemy; robotic complexes. And in the days of Ogarkov everything connected with electronic control of troops and many other innovations were classified as “secret”.

It is known that after the abolition of the Warsaw Pact, one ACCS system remaining in the GDR, attached to the Federal Republic of Germany, went to the Americans. They were very interested in them and did not fail to conduct a command-staff game using it. The results are shocked! Thanks to the automation of management developed by Soviet specialists, the conditional "Warsaw Pact army" (which no longer existed) smashed NATO troops into dust in a matter of days without any nuclear weapons! And, according to experts, the most important algorithms of the “Maneuver” were then based on a similar system of the US armed forces.

A modern officer needs knowledge, intelligence, appropriate and versatile training, including technical training ... Chief of the General Staff N.V. Ogarkov, speaking, for example, in his native "alma mater" - the Academy of the General Staff of the USSR Armed Forces. By the way, according to reviews of such comrades-in-arms who knew well Nikolai Vasilyevich as Army General Valentin Varennikov, he paid the most important attention to the training of the higher command personnel.

Based on the analysis of the already mentioned major exercises conducted in all major strategic areas during the years of his leadership of the General Staff, Nikolai Vasilyevich managed to create a unique five-volume military theoretical work - “Basics of preparation and conduct of operations”. This fundamental research covering the entire spectrum of combat employment of all types of troops and combat arms (front-line operations, front groups, air forces, air forces, naval forces, etc.) is now the reference book of every Russian military commander. Experts conclude that, having familiarized themselves with the Ogark Basics ..., the American strategists formulated the new principles of their military policy implemented during the two wars in Iraq and the air campaign against Serbia by the beginning of the 1990's.

However, paying special attention to non-nuclear methods of warfare, Ogarkov also took care of the development of the theory and practice of managing strategic nuclear forces, as well as missile defense and means of breaking through enemy missile defense, which has now become particularly relevant in connection with the plans to “nullify” our and Chinese nuclear missile potentials.

Nikolai Vasilyevich created in the General Staff a Center for Operational and Strategic Research, where the luminaries of theoretical thought soon gathered. The TSSI GSH was destined to become a powerful engine of the whole military science ...

Marshal of the Soviet Union Ogarkov (he was already in the 1977 year) strongly objected to the entry of our troops into Afghanistan, considering it an unnecessary, costly and dangerous adventure. He made remarkable efforts to dissuade the Minister of Defense of the USSR DF Ustinov and other members of the Politburo from this undertaking.

December 8 1979, Nikolai Vasilievich, apparently on the initiative of A. Gromyko or Y. Andropov, was invited to a meeting with L. Brezhnev. Together with him, Lieutenant-General Lev Gorelov also arrived in the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU, having served for a long time as the Chief Military Adviser in the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan.

Gorelov, as he recalled in a recent conversation with one of the journalists, described to Soviet leaders the state and capabilities of the Afghan army, spoke about its operations against anti-government forces (quite successful at that time), our measures to improve its combat capability. In conclusion, he expressed categorical objections previously agreed with Ogarkov against the direct participation of Soviet troops in the intra-Afghan events. The most important arguments against were, in fact, three. First, as stated by Lieutenant-General, "if we send in troops, we will be in the first echelon, and the Afghans will be in the second." Secondly, “with the introduction of Soviet troops, the Americans will strengthen assistance to gangs in Pakistan, will arm them, and then, perhaps, will create units and formations in Pakistan at the expense of the refugees who left there from Afghanistan” (this will happen soon! ). And the third: “our army is not ready to fight in the mountains”. Gorelov “was convinced of this by advisers who come to work: they have no experience of fighting in the highlands”.

For a good hour, first, Gorelov (who was asked to wait in the next room after his information), and then the chief of the General Staff, in private conversation, proved the futility and danger of our troops entering Afghanistan.

They listened attentively, thanked, served tea and ... said goodbye. Already in the car, on the way to Znamenka, the marshal bitterly admitted to the lieutenant-general, whom he rightly counted in like-minded people and friends: "Leo, we lost ...".

Some researchers stories of the Afghan war they also write about another meeting with Brezhnev, to which they again invited the chief of the General Staff Ogarkov ... Later, Nikolai Vasilyevich recalled: he had the impression that Ustinov and Brezhnev had discussed everything in advance and a preliminary decision had already been made. The KGB’s “truthful” information about some plans of the CIA and the Pentagon to commit a coup d'etat in Afghanistan and, bringing the government obedient to Washington to power, to deploy its military bases and even bring here missiles capable of to sweep almost the entire territory of the USSR ... In fact, as time has shown, it was the misinformation of the purest water, concocted and cleverly thrown by the Americans to a Soviet resident.

Probably it was then, from the prologue of the Afghan epic, between Ustinov, the USSR Minister of Defense, and his first deputy, the Chief of the General Staff Ogarkov, and "ran a black cat." Although since the beginning of the joint work in 1977, as General Varennikov recalled, they "had good, good business relations."

Ustinov, a civilian who had devoted his whole life to the “defense industry” and had not completed any command or staff positions in the troops, who was appointed Minister of Defense in 1976, concentrated administrative and supply issues in his hands. The reform of the Armed Forces of the USSR, which unfolded in those years, and their operational control proceeded under the leadership of Ogarkov. He “well studied current issues that were a brake on the further development of the army and fleet, and now he took concrete, energetic measures in order to break the braking "shackles", increase the combat readiness and combat readiness of the Armed Forces, "writes Varennikov. to Ustinov. ”

In the West, they were alarmed by the rapid strengthening of the Soviet military potential and, in order to somehow halt this process, they tried in a Jesuit manner to slyly soviet Soviet military leaders.

For example, the popular German magazine “Stern” wrote that the appointment of Ustinov as minister of defense is “Brezhnev’s mistake”, that “three years have passed since Ustinov was at his post, but he didn’t show and didn’t show it, because next to him is the chief of the General Staff - a gifted man ten years younger ”. In a journal article, Ogarkov was flatteringly called "a rising star ...".

“It is clear that this was a provocation,” believes General Varennikov. “But with the character of the minister, it was not easy to resist such a provocation. In addition, there were “headphones” both in the military department itself and in the Old Square (the apparatus of the Central Committee of the CPSU was located there). So the relationship between the two top military leaders on a personal level was complex, there were many grievances and misunderstandings, unfounded claims against the Chief of the General Staff. ”

Therefore, when in 1984, the formation of strategic rates was approved and formalized by a secret resolution of the Politburo, Ogarkov was almost immediately transferred from the General Staff to the position of commander in chief of the Western direction ...

From Moscow to Legnica (Poland), where his headquarters was created, Nikolai Vasilyevich served with a heavy heart. The new assignment, despite the scale of the tasks (in the western direction was concentrated up to 40% of all personnel and equipment of the Soviet army), it was still a clear decrease. And most importantly, he did not have time to bring to the logical end the reform carried out by him in accordance with his own military doctrine and designed to adapt the Armed Forces to new realities and tasks.

Anxious forebodings are not deceived. After his departure from Znamenka, the reform was quietly curtailed: the successor as Chief of the General Staff SF Akhromeev was more engaged in Afghanistan, and there was a lack of money for defense ...

Meanwhile, if the reform of the Armed Forces initiated by Ogarkov had been fully implemented, it would pull, according to experts, the urgent reform of the defense industry, and all other production spheres of the Soviet Union, up to agriculture, roads and the post office ... could prevent the maturing of the sharpest economic crisis and the subsequent collapse of the USSR.

Headed the country in March 1985, MS Gorbachev, the future "best German of the year", set a course for large-scale conversion, for example, welcoming the forging of barbecue grills from ... aviation titanium. He, to the bitter accompaniment of empty phrases about “perestroika”, etc., gradually handed over to the western “friends” both the GDR, the Warsaw Pact, and his own country. In May, the Secretary General of 1987, taking advantage of an extravagant flight and landing a light-engine West German Sesna with a half-mad M. Rust, near Red Square, fired USSR Minister of Defense S.L. Sokolov, all the command of the Air Defense Forces, and the following year, under another “plausible” excuse — another large group of the most experienced military leaders, including the marshals of Akhromeyev and Ogarkov.

Although until August 1991 Ogarkov worked as chairman of the All-Union Council of War Veterans, Labor and the Armed Forces, and also a consultant to the group of inspectors general of the USSR Ministry of Defense, alas, he did not play any significant role in the military affairs of the country ...

However, after the formation of the Ministry of Defense of Russia in May 1992, an important turn occurred in the fate of Nikolai Vasilievich: the new leadership of the Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation took a keen interest in his ideas, which had already become forgotten. Appointed an adviser to the ministry, Ogarkov was in close contact with Deputy Minister A.A. Kokoshin, successively alternating chiefs of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Dubynin and M.P. Kolesnikov. As A.A. Kokoshin, "consultations with Ogarkov were very important for the development of optimal solutions for the first State Armaments Program of the Russian Federation." If the necessary funds were found in the state budget, the army’s digital revolution, Nikolai Vasilyevich’s cherished dream, would have already unfolded here.

But 23 January 1994 G. The life path of Marshal of the Soviet Union N.V. Ogarkov broke off. He was buried in the Novodevichy cemetery - in the traditional tomb of prominent figures in our history.

Liberal economists urge to take an example from the "civilized West", to learn from the "father" of the digital revolution Andrew Marshall from the Office of Assessments of the US State Department. But knowledgeable people know that the Marshal of the Soviet Union N.V. was her “father” in our country. Ogarkov.

Russia, its Armed Forces, are now following the path anticipated by them. Alas, with many years late, paying an incredibly high price for this monstrous miscalculation.
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  1. parusnik
    parusnik 4 November 2017 07: 34 New
    Liberal economists urge to take an example from the "civilized West", to learn from the "father" of the digital revolution Andrew Marshall from the Office of Assessments of the US State Department. But knowledgeable people know that the Marshal of the Soviet Union N.V. was her “father” in our country. Ogarkov.
    ... And this is so, but Ogarkov is Soviet, “a stranger”, and Andrew Marshall is “his own” ...
  2. Mar.Tirah
    Mar.Tirah 4 November 2017 08: 10 New
    According to popular wisdom: the purpose of man is to carry the vessel of the mind to the end of life and not splash a single drop. V.V. Ogarkov fulfilled his destiny. One he could not foresee the collapse of the country, and its armed forces. He was completely devoted to his convictions. He could not survive the coup.
  3. XII Legion
    XII Legion 4 November 2017 08: 53 New
    I love the biographies of great people
    Story in faces
    And Ogarkov is not only an outstanding engineer, commander and military organizer. He is a wise strategist who opposed the entry of troops into Afghanistan, created a center for operational-strategic research at the General Staff and advocated the development of missile defense, and conducted the largest comprehensive strategic-operational exercises in the history of the Russian armed forces in all the main strategic directions.
    It’s great that they remembered this man
  4. ilimnoz
    ilimnoz 4 November 2017 09: 29 New
    “they tried in a Jesuit way to slyly bleed the Soviet military leaders” now that everyone was infected with the virus of exclusivity and star diseases, the Jesuits made it even easier to pit people together.
  5. creak
    creak 4 November 2017 09: 32 New
    Thanks to the author for the work done and the memory of this extraordinary commander .. Everyone with whom I spoke had an exceptionally high regard for the marshal and his business and human qualities ... Unfortunately, professionals were always uncomfortable for power amateurs and the fate of Ogarkov confirms this ...
  6. Bersaglieri
    Bersaglieri 4 November 2017 13: 25 New
    Friend of my grandfather. Eternal memory to him! One of the few "technocrats" in the General Staff in the 70s-80s.
  7. sabakina
    sabakina 4 November 2017 14: 01 New
    I, too, are Garkov, only in A. Sometimes such thoughts are visited, just hold on. Maybe in vain I did not listen to my father and did not go to Suvorov? What if it is reincarnation? But seriously, a smart man was.
  8. strannik1985
    strannik1985 4 November 2017 19: 13 New
    1. The mass creation of new DShCHs not provided with helicopters was a mistake. Before Ogarkov’s initiative, 3 SDBBs (11,13,21) were created, they included a helicopter fire support regiment and a transport and combat regiment, a total of 135 helicopters. Work in this direction was carried out, for TakVD forces less than the brigade were going to use dismounted motorized rifles. Where brigades, battalions, two separate regiments were not provided with helicopters, TakVD cannot be used in the "shot-and-forget" style, helicopters will be tied all the time during the operation, moreover, the BMD battalion requires the presence of Mi-26, which are few. In general, darkness, a bunch of light infantry (about 150 thousand people with airborne forces) without means of landing.
    2. They shot him for air defense reform, briefly subordinated the air defense regiments, they subjugated the air force, they naturally decided to use air defense planes for strikes on the ground, all this without changing the OSH and removing tasks in the main direction. They created a commission of the Central Committee, it worked from 1982 to 1984, following the results of its work, Ogarkov was removed from the NHS.
  9. Some kind of compote
    Some kind of compote 4 November 2017 19: 59 New
    Strong personality
    Real marshal