Another 18/02/20 Public domain”Ogarkov Doctrine”: the chief of the General staff of the USSR taught to fight Americans

Marshal of the Soviet Union Nikolai Ogarkov in our time undeservedly forgotten. Meanwhile he during the leadership of the General staff of the USSR at the turn of 70-80-ies was able to begin large-scale reform of the armed forces, and developed a number of concepts that are applied in the modernization of the modern Russian army. Despite all the merits, the Marshal lost his job after the death of Leonid Brezhnev. What happened?

Military pioneer

For the position of head of the General staff Ogarkov was appointed in 1977. By this time the US and USSR reached nuclear parity. Side looking for new, effective methods of warfare that were supposed to provide guaranteed victory over the conditional opponent, but, if possible, without the use of nuclear weapons.

Marshall believed that instead of huge armies in the wars of the future will come armed mobile forces ready to move quickly in any direction. Instead, the millions of communities that were in world war II, Cinders were planning to create more compact, but at the same time, highly trained army, a rich military equipment.

According to the head of the General staff, this will allow you to get away from the stamping of tens of thousands of tanks and aircraft, the need to clothe and feed armies of millions. Marshall, therefore, planned to translate the Soviet armed forces from dead-end extensive to intensive, high-tech way of development.

“Ogarkov Doctrine”

the Views of Marshal was called “Ogarkov Doctrine”. Along with the development of the mobility of the Soviet army, in his view, was to abandon the non-stop nuclear build-up. In the war, was convinced Ogarkov, wins the one who has a high-precision non-nuclear systems. Their use will help to minimize casualties, but successfully to withdraw from StroI military infrastructure of a potential enemy and to force him to surrender.

Another condition for success is the use of automated control systems of armies, mass introduction of troops in the computing system. Ogarkov knew that the Soviet Union is critically lagging behind the West in the number of computer equipment and suggested that instead of forming another thousand tanks or guns to attend to the automation of management processes in the armed forces.

It was a mobile army with high-precision weapons, managed with the help of modern communication systems, was able, according to the concept of Marshall, to defeat the United States in the battle for Europe. The concept of Marshall was first demonstrated during the exercises “West-81”. The United States, said publicist Richard

Clark, in his book about the end of the Cold war, “Breakpoint”, was unpleasantly surprised by the opportunity to destroy the Soviet Union quickly to destroy the armed forces of NATO, while not engaging in a nuclear conflict.

the Afghan issue

At the end of 1979 the Soviet Union sent troops to Afghanistan. A large part of the Politburo, including the head of the KGB Yuri Andropov, defense Minister Dmitriy Ustinov, and foreign Minister Yuri Gromyko supported this step. Ogarkov spoke out against.

Lieutenant-General Lev Gorelov in an interview, recalled that Marshall was trying to convince the country to go on a political solution to the crisis, as the bombs of the Soviet Union will not achieve anything. First, he warned, the Afghans have never tolerated foreign invaders, and secondly, in their favor played the complex nature of the terrain – mountains, rivers. And the locals know their country like no better.

Moscow, told Ogarkov to Brezhnev and Andropov, bogged down in Afghanistan. As noted by comrade Ogarkov, General of the army Valentin Varennikov, head of the KGB replied in a rather sharp form. Andropov said that the opinion of the chief of the General staff, the Politburo is not interested, the task of the army to complete the task, and to obey the party leadership.


On the layeryou varennikova, the conflict in the Politburo meeting led to a sharp cooling between Ogarkov on the one hand and Andropov, who came to power after the death of Brezhnev, Ustinov and Gromyko on the other. The last three, as noted by historian Sergey Chertoprud, have full power in potriveasca of the USSR. This means that to contradict them was very dangerous.

Plus, at the same time, the Western media began to emerge publication, praising the military genius of the chief of the Soviet General staff. So, the German newspaper “stern” flattering Ogarkov was named a “rising star”, clearly placing it in contrast to Ustinov.

“it is Clear that it was a provocation,” said Varennikov. However, the “triumvirate” began to fear Ogarkov. In September 1984 he was fired from the post of chief of the General staff with the demotion. The author of the breakthrough of the concept of reform of the armed forces went to lead the troops of the Western direction.


ironically, it is in NATO the concept of Marshal then appreciated. His contribution to the war effort were carefully studied and the basis for the reform of the armed forces of the United States and its allies on the turn of the century.

Colonel us army, Advisor to the Pentagon, David Glantz in his report “Inheriting Ogarkova” wrote that his ideas, whether they are implemented fully, would give the USSR a distinct advantage in a future war with NATO.

Ivan Proshkin

© Russian Seven

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