Military Review

Features of the military reform of Nikita Khrushchev

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Features of the military reform of Nikita KhrushchevIt is known that the reform of one of the main institutions of the Russian state, its Armed Forces, as a rule, took place either after suffering defeats in wars, or after another change of state or power in the country. So from stories Russia knows at least five of the largest-scale reforms of the state’s military machine. All of them were carried out in the period from 1550 to 1960: this was under Ivan IV (Grozny), Peter the Great, Alexander II and already in the USSR, reforms carried out by Mikhail Frunze and Nikita Khrushchev. Of all these reforms, the military reform of Nikita Khrushchev, which he carried out in the 50s - the beginning of the 60s - continues to be of some controversy.


This reform was remembered by many, first of all, by large-scale reductions in personnel in the army and navyas many eyewitnesses of that time recall, “they cut it as if alive.” So, in 1955-1958, even under the Minister of Defense Zhukov, Khrushchev initiated the first reduction of the Soviet Armed Forces by a third, and this is almost 2 (according to other sources, 140 million 2 thousand) of soldiers and officers. Then, in January 100, the Supreme Soviet of the USSR without discussion approved the Law "On a New Significant Reduction in the Armed Forces of the USSR". Up to 1960 million 1 thousand (according to other sources for 300 million 1 thousand) soldiers and officers were dismissed from the army and navy, which is almost a third of the total number of all military personnel in the USSR by that time.

It is still not clear why it was necessary to carry out such large-scale events without any calculations and preparation, and in such a short time? Yes, it has long been clear that actually maintaining the army in the wartime states of the USSR could no longer continue (on 1 in March 1953, the USSR Armed Forces numbered 5. 396. 038 people (over five million people). Yes, it was clear that that urgent modernization of the entire military machine of the state is necessary, but the servicemen, who were then fired or, in other words, were thrown into the street without pensions, did not really think of housing and work.

The very first stage of the cuts was the most painful, when in less than three years more than 2 million people were fired from the army and navy, a huge figure, together with their families, these cuts affected the fate of millions of Soviet people. Not only military schools, various repair, industrial enterprises, but also the real deployed combat units and warships were reduced. The rampant demobilization caused discontent among the most loyal and class-conscious category of Soviet citizens, in the officer corps itself. Often, many officers were dismissed even without pensions, there were those with pensions who went through the whole war, but they could not find a job by themselves.

In the Central Committee there were reports of the seriousness of the situation with demobilized officers. So, for example, in June 1956 of the Central Committee of the CPSU informed Marshal I. Konev, "in the Odessa region.. Still not employed 329 officers dismissed from the army last year, of whom 120 people are not entitled to a pension" not improved even two years later.

The KGB reported to the “authority” that when writing letters from servicemen of the Transbaikalian military district in just one week — from 10 to 17 in February of 1958 — more than a hundred letters from officers were found that contained the condemnation of the reduction of the armed forces and how it happened. Here is one of the most typical letters: “For some time now we are under the fear of these events, but now this campaign has not passed us. Our division will be disbanded. From our regiment (according to rumors) only 5 people will remain, that is, almost everyone will be fired to the reserve ... We have to say that we are dressed and shod, but you would see how our officers are demobilized who have 2-3 children, no clothes, no money, nothing, and they are dismissed without a pension, 1,5 is not enough -2 years. The mood of all is terrible. Now it’s just a total demobilization. Why this? ”(Http://www.kprf.org/sho wthread.php? t = 7023).

On the other hand, it was clear to the country's leadership that the time had passed by the millions of armies and colossal battleships in modern conditions, and the next technical revolution was in full swing all over the world. The term Khrushchev's favorite, the nuclear missile shield, was firmly in use. The first under the press of reforms Nikita Sergeevich launched the Navy, where priority in the development of the Navy was given to missile-carrying submarines. As a result, many cruisers and battleships, even just built or still under construction, had to be disposed of. By order of this participation of the USSR Council of Ministers 25 March 1958 years divided 240 ships, including 6 destroyers, 12 submarines, 7 landing ships, 30 minesweepers, 89 torpedo boats, battleships project 24, heavy cruisers 82 project teams of all These warships, of course, were demobilized and sent to work in the national economy. However, it is worth noting one, but a very important point, and they demolished the old, but at the same time, the newest weapon systems were being created at the same time, so only for the period from 1956 to 1960 the domestic Navy replenished the 1863 of the new ship.

Already by the 1961, the Navy had nine nuclear submarines. The five-year program “On the creation of ships with new types of weapons and power plants for 1956–1962 ”and“ The program for the construction of ships of the Navy for 1959–1965 ”The missile armament, marine developed and developed on ships throughout aviation everything was also re-equipped, switched to missile systems, Nikita Sergeyevich, as if feeling his early resignation, was in a hurry to designers with the introduction of more and more new weapons. Thus, by the end of 1964, the domestic fleet already had 46 nuclear submarines (including 8 - with ballistic missiles, 19 - with anti-ship missiles) and 325 diesel submarines, as well as 150 missile boats.

It is also interesting that Khrushchev, being a man far from science, all sorts of innovations, etc., nevertheless, with his natural instinct managed to correctly identify the main directions in the country's defensive strategy. It is also possible that Khrushchev was just lucky with the entourage at that time dealing with military technical issues. In addition to nuclear submarine forces, Nikita Sergeyevich also had land rocket troops in favor, it was under him that various ground-based missile systems were tactical, operational-tactical, medium-range, and finally strategic (intercontinental). The latter two types later became part of the Strategic Missile Forces (RVSN), created by decision of the USSR Council of Ministers in December 1959, based on the missile units and formations of the Ground Forces and the Air Force. The Strategic Missile Forces have become a type of the Armed Forces of permanent readiness, equipped with modern combat control systems. Having such nuclear missiles in hand, Khrushchev began to talk on an equal footing with the Americans, and after the Cuban crisis the whole world realized that now only two countries of the USSR and the USA are deciding their fate.

The Ground Forces were also actively reforming, the number of towed barreled artillery was significantly reduced in them, thousands of guns were sent to storage bases, rearmament, saturation of formations and units with rocketry and self-propelled artillery took place. As part of the SV, a new type of troops was created - missile forces and artillery. Motorization of the NE increased, infantry units and formations are history, new motorized infantry units with a large number of tanks and armored personnel carriers (BTRs), the infantryman has now become a motorized rifle. Under Khrushchev, the new generation T-55 and T-62 tanks with weapon stabilizers, night vision devices, automatic anti-nuclear and fire protection systems, etc. were adopted. The combat training also underwent significant changes, the troops were now trained to act in conditions of the use of weapons of mass destruction. Everywhere various innovations were introduced, the infantryman with a rifle was replaced by a soldier in the OZK, and the aviator in a leather helmet was replaced by a pilot in equipment almost like that of an astronaut.

In 1958, the resolution of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Council of Ministers on the start of work on the creation of the Moscow anti-missile defense system А-35 (built and tested in 1977, was adopted, in the 1978, the modernized A-35М system was adopted). In the second half of 1950, the development of the first station of the missile attack warning system began, and in November 1962 was given the task to create 10 of such stations. The first set of missiles placed on combat duty in 1971 year. At the same time, the domestic defense industry began to develop a space detection system for the launch of ballistic missiles from US missile bases. The transformations carried out led to the widespread introduction into the troops of computers, automated control systems, radio engineering equipment, new reconnaissance equipment, communications of other high-tech weapons and military equipment.

During the reign of Khrushchev, the West finally stopped flying its reconnaissance aircraft over the territory of the USSR, since the new Soviet air defense system showed its effectiveness in practice. To create and deploy the above complex systems, the most important branches of the defense industry, radio electronics, rocket technology, automated control systems, communications and data transmission were created from the ground up, hundreds of laboratories and design bureaus were formed, and so the country spent billions of people of money. Maybe all this was done in vain then, and all the funds needed to be simply channeled to the development of the light or food industries so that the common people could not stand in line for food and other elementary attributes of bourgeois life? And in general, can Nikita Khrushchev’s military reform be called one of the most successful in the history of the Russian state ...
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  1. Sasha 19871987
    Sasha 19871987 14 September 2012 09: 52
    +4
    a double-edged sword, on the one hand, well done, but on the other hand, I did not accept many promising projects and greatly reduced aviation, it was too much of a bet on missiles
    1. carbofo
      carbofo 14 September 2012 11: 12
      +3
      sasha 19871987,
      There is an expression:
      You can’t shove the uncanny.
      In other words, it was not possible to do everything, but to evaluate a project at the concept level is a gift.
      It turned out more often, not as I wanted.
  2. Brother Sarych
    Brother Sarych 14 September 2012 10: 07
    +7
    In general, in my opinion, under Khrushchev, the Stalinist backlog was used more, and his reforms fully responded much later ...
    In any case, the results of any reform appear in about ten years, so Khrushchev’s involvement in the achievements is doubtful, but just in the late sixties and early seventies a lot had to be fixed, and it was not possible to fix it until the end ...
    1. apro
      apro 14 September 2012 10: 29
      +5
      I fully agree with Brother Sarych
      Quote: Brother Sarich
      in my opinion, under Khrushchev, the Stalinist backlog was used more

      Khrushchev accidentally made it to the finals of the great work that Comrade IVStalin did. All Khrushchev’s reforms were hacking for life and loss failures. The entire space industry was created before him, all the difficulties and defeats didn’t affect him, and victories went to support a worthless man. heavy tank building is not reform is wrecking. And people thrown into nowhere ...
      1. curious
        curious 14 September 2012 11: 35
        -2
        Khrushchev was put forward by Stalin, and one should never forget about it - this is his "creation" from A to Z. In addition to Khrushchev, there was also the Politburo and the Central Committee, and they, too, must bear concrete responsibility with him, otherwise they always like to write off everything on individuals. It is also worth putting on the scales: the crippled fates and careers of millions of people and the creation of a nuclear missile complex, and give yourself a clear answer. And finally: if Soviet citizens themselves would go as tourists to capitalist countries and see how people live there, would they vote for further strengthening of the Armed Forces, or would they still give preference to the development of the national economy? ...
        1. Karlsonn
          Karlsonn 15 September 2012 02: 33
          +2
          Yeah, even Stalin put forward: Sudoplatov, Tupolev, Abakumov, Ilyushin, .... and cho?
          Quote: curious
          It is also worth putting on the scales: crippled fates and careers of millions of people and the creation of a nuclear missile complex, and give yourself a clear answer. And finally: if Soviet citizens themselves went to the capitalist countries as tourists and watched how people live there, would they vote to further strengthen the armed forces or would they still prefer the development of the national economy? ...

          as you yourself think: being a pioneer-october-Komsomol member, I didn’t need, and I didn’t have time to do such stupidity - drink, smoke, inject drugs and what else modern schoolchildren are doing - now no one is figuring on the shield from the West, as it was under the Union, probably the national economy gave rise to milk rivers with jelly banks for 20 years good here I look around but I do not see point blank - the constructive action of the hands of the free market belay Let me remind you - in 20 years (1920-1941) Stalin was able to create an industrial power from a completely destroyed country bully that defeated the combined forces of Europe am
          - the question was born :: - how many citizens of a free country can now afford to go over the hill? in percent, say in the Tula region?
          and how many percent of citizens from the Tula region would exchange 100 about types of sausages and beer in stalls for a guaranteed right to education, medical care, employment and pride in their country?
          well and apart - any form of power - always a pyramid:
          the state is a conservative structure. And if you carefully look at its social structure (that is, the internal interaction of people who make up state structures), you can see that it is absolutely feudal in nature. And in all countries. The system of relations there is built on the interaction of "clans", each of which is a feudal pyramid, within which everyone knows his "vassals" and "overlord". Deviation from the fulfillment of the “feudal oath” is an exceptional phenomenon and almost always costs the disobedient.
    2. Karlsonn
      Karlsonn 15 September 2012 02: 15
      0
      He was not the heir to Stalin, all the blame for the formation of an untouchable caste of the Soviet party genossos lies with Khrushchev, as well as the Crimea, the artillery that he killed and a lot more am
  3. Leisure
    Leisure 14 September 2012 10: 50
    +3
    "Kukuruznik", patronized the missilemen, now it is only on them that the defense is held. The rest of the army in the current conditions is unlikely to be able to resist NATO.
    Although, not only Nikita Sergeyevich had a hand in creating the Strategic Missile Forces, with all the general secretaries, the systematic development of missile weapons was proceeding. In all matters, the main thing is not to go too far, a thoughtful, balanced approach is important.
  4. VadimSt
    VadimSt 14 September 2012 12: 41
    +5
    I fully support those who said that they took advantage of the fruits that were created before him - work on atomic weapons and rocket technology was started long before he took off as the first secretary.
    The demagogue and saucer who walked to power over corpses is one of the most active participants in the repressions in Ukraine and Moscow, the initiator and main culprit of the Kiev and Kharkov cauldrons for the Red Army at 41, the failed offensive at 42 in Voronezh. What can we say, about the political freaks that led to the confrontation with China, knocking "bast shoes" at the UN, the Cuban missile crisis, etc. And what did he leave behind in the agriculture and subsidiary farming of citizens?
    One gyrus, and the one from constantly wearing a hat !!!
  5. Andrei
    Andrei 14 September 2012 14: 26
    +4
    Because of this maize, Kotry decided to plant everything with corn; the situation almost repeated itself when thousands of people were dying of hunger (this was before WWII) and decided to plant corn so order to develop the territory on a new field, and instead of wheat, rye - corn ... oh yes you eat it ... and with the army ... if it weren’t for his entourage, he probably would have converted all the tanks into armored vehicles for harvesting corn ... we would have missile troops and armored vehicles ... and even after him they were smarter but Brezhnev at least didn’t cut everything and everything, and the military and the defenders were engaged in the army and not just anyone ... he would be told that he needed to make a new tank, he would give the order and off and on ... and Khrushchev was a careerist !!! such people should not be allowed to run the country, but we are the other way around.
  6. Rashid
    Rashid 14 September 2012 15: 47
    +1
    In those years, the CHX (Council of National Economy) was deciphered as follows: The Country Needs a Boss - A Boss Found Himself - The Most Real Ham - Khrushchev Nikita Sergeevich.
    Now of course. it is easy to judge what was right, what is wrong, but nevertheless cosmonautics is Khrushchev's, and helicopter engineering owes it its development.
  7. Alekseev
    Alekseev 14 September 2012 21: 44
    +2
    Every medal has two sides ...
    Something positive was done under Khrushchev, especially since real professionals were engaged in the army and the military-industrial complex. And with the "main" - the voluntarist, they were able to achieve outstanding achievements.
    The situation now worries. it seems that there are no ardent voluntarists, everyone talks correctly, but professionals are not allowed to drive, they themselves want to "own everything"
    1. Karlsonn
      Karlsonn 15 September 2012 02: 50
      +1
      I agree that all Khrushchev’s successful decisions are reminiscent of a finger in the sky, and his alleged abilities as a manager affected Ukraine in the 30's.
  8. 16
    16 14 September 2012 22: 44
    0
    Khrushchev’s reform, of course, not ah-ah !!!!!!!! but at that time ... !!!!!!!!!! ?????? ------ reduction of the army from the military staff! !!!!!!!!!!!!!! both missile forces and nuclear deterrence weapons !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    1. Karlsonn
      Karlsonn 15 September 2012 02: 48
      +2
      Give this your enthusiasm to the families of officers who came under reduction.
      Given the length of our borders, the reduction could have been carried out more smoothly.
  9. Forward
    Forward 16 September 2012 18: 15
    +1
    No reform in human history has ever gone smoothly. request
  10. borisst64
    borisst64 24 September 2012 15: 39
    +1
    "For the period from 1956 to 1960, 1863 new ships were added to the Russian Navy."

    Fantasy!! And this is 10 years after the war.