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Transcript of WARSAW PACT ORDER OF BATTLE - 1988 · PDF file...




    The original document, including many of the orbats and the forward was prepared by Andy Johnson, to whom I owe a debt of gratitude for preparing

    the original document. His commentary is in blue

    Last update by Mr. Johnson: 27 May 00 Last update by Pat Callahan: 10 July 06

    Draft Document 1



    Click on the page numbers to jump to that section

    References NATO Forward 4 United States Army 5 United States National Guard & Reserves 21 US Army generic TO&E 34 United States Air Force 37 United States Marine Corps 43 United States Naval Air Power 48 British Army 52 British Royal Air Force 62 British Royal Marines 65 German Army 66 German Luftwaffe 80 Belgium Royal Army 82 Belgium Royal Air Force 85 Canadian Forces 86 Danish Royal Army 89 Danish Royal Air Force 91 French Army 92 French Air Force 96 Greek Army 99 Greek Air Force 102 Italian Army 104 Italian Air Force 115 Luxembourg Army 117 Netherlands Royal Army 118 Netherlands Royal Air Force 120 Norwegian Royal Army 122 Norwegian Royal Air Force 124 Portuguese Army 125 Portuguese Air Force 126 Spanish Army 127 Spanish Air Force 134 Turkish Army 136 Turkish Air Force 139

    Non-Aligned European Countries Austrian Army 141 Austrian Air Force 142 Finnish Army 143 Finnish Air Force 143 Irish Army 144 Irish Air Corps 145 Swedish Army 146 Draft Document 2

  • Swedish Air Force 147 Swiss Army 149 Swiss Air Force 152

    Draft Document 3


    Andy Johnson’s References:


    1. Almanac of Airpower 1989 2. Jane's Defense Weekly's published in the late 1980's 3. Military Technology’s World Defense Almanac 1988, 1989 and 1990 4. NATO Armies Today, Osprey Publishing 1987 5. NATO in Europe 1989 6. The British Army in the 1980’s, Osprey Publishing 1987 7. US Army Active Troop List, June 1988 and June 1989 8. US Army Field Manual 1-111 Aviation Brigades August 1990 9. US Army Green Book 1988, 1989, and 1990 10.US Army, British Army, Canadian Army, and assorted unit internet home pages

    Note 1: Only the Combat and Combat Support units are listed. The Combat Service Support such as maintenance, medical, and transport were excluded.

    Note 2: Throughout this OOB there will be an occasional bold designation or value other than titles. Since research is not an exact science, sometimes I had to resort to a more refined approach…I took a swag (stupid wild a-- guess), hence the bold lettering. Newly updated information will be underlined.

    References Added For Revised Edition: 1. Armies of NATO’s Central Front, David Isby and Charles Kamps, 1985 2. Jane’s Armour & Artillery, 1986-87 and 1992-93 3. ORBATs available at ORBAT.com 4. “Combined Arms,” GDW, Frank Chadwick, 1987 5. World Armies Today, John Keegan, 2nd Edition, 1983 (good for general organizational information) 6. IISS Military Balance 1989-90 and 1990-1991 7. USNI’s Combat Fleets of the World 1988/89 and 1990/91 8. Various Micro Mark army lists for some specialist units (for example, Gurkhas, Spanish Marines and Paras,

    Greek special forces, etc) 9. Jane’s NATO Handbook 1990-91 (OOB comes straight from IISS, but best source out there for holdings of

    older equipment) 10. John Baugher’s US Aircraft Encyclopedia was extremely useful for nations holding US aircraft.

    In addition, numerous web sites were utilized and are noted in each individual section.


    Historical Introduction: NATO was organized on 4 April 1949 with 12 original members as a response to the growing Soviet threat. Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and the United States became a unified force to protect Western Europe. Greece and Turkey joined NATO on 18 February 1952 followed by West Germany on 9 May 1955. Spain joined on 30 May 1982. As the Cold War in the eighties heated up, new and modern equipment entered into service throughout NATO and the Warsaw Pact in ever increasing numbers. By July 1989, most of Europe had become an armed camp with both sides having reached a pinnacle of proficiency and capability. Unexpectedly, in November 1989, the Berlin wall came crashing down and in December, Soviet President Gorbachev stunned the world by announcing a unilateral withdrawal from Eastern Europe. This was soon followed by massive downsizing throughout Europe and America with units and designations changing faster than ever before. In August 1991, Soviet hard-liners attempted to reverse the situation and following a failed coup attempt, the Soviet Union ceased to exist. Presently, the former foes are no longer poised for global annihilation, but face new challenges as old hatreds and fears re-surface. Recently, Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, all former Warsaw Pact members, joined NATO in March of 1999. Other former Warsaw Pact and Soviet Republics are seeking membership as NATO struggles to find new purpose.

    The NATO military chain of command began with the North Atlantic Council based in Brussels under the Secretary General and aided by the International Military Staff controlling all NATO forces. The various commands included Allied

    Draft Document 4

  • Command Europe (ACE), Allied Command Channel (ACCHAN), Allied Command Atlantic (ACLANT), and the Canada- US Regional Group. ACE contains the majority of the NATO ground forces and is based at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Belgium. The Commander is titled Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) and is usually a US Army General. The four subordinate commands to the SACEUR are Allied Forces Northern Europe (AFNORTH) at Kolsas, Norway responsible for defending Scandinavia. The Allied Forces Central Europe (AFCENT) at Brunssum, Netherlands which include NORTHAG and CENTAG are responsible for the defense of West Germany, Great Britain, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and France. The Allied Forces Southern Europe (AFSOUTH) at Naples, Italy defends southern Europe and Asia Minor. Finally, the Allied Mobile Force (AMF) was an international quick reaction force of US, UK, Belgium, Canadian, W. German, Italian, Luxembourg, and Spanish battalions or brigades capable of deploying anywhere within NATO. A British Admiral commands ACCHAN while a US Admiral commands ACLANT.

    Named locations were peacetime barracks positions. Prior to hostilities, all units would deploy to their wartime General Defense Plan (GDP). There were three wartime scenarios that could have occurred. The first was where the Warsaw Pact attacked directly out of their barracks locations with only a few days of preparation, depending on strategic surprise, NATO would have had about 48 to 72 hours warning. This was the scenario NATO feared the most. The second, and most likely, was a 7 to10 day warning with REFORGER units moving into place and the Soviets mobilizing for 2 to 3 weeks. The last scenario would have allowed full deployment for both sides. A nuclear exchange was a high probability in the 1st and 3rd scenarios.


    During the 1970's, the US Military was recovering from the Vietnam era with much of its strength downsized and that which was left seriously neglected. With the election of Ronald Reagan and the coming of the early eighties the military underwent a Renaissance. The US Army grew from 13 Divisions to 18, new equipment such as the M1 Abrams tank, M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle, Multiple Launch Rocket System, and the AH-64 Apache were but a few of the systems integrated into the force structure. For the individual soldier, new uniforms, kevlar helmets, better pay and realistic training had much improved the situation. All this along with determined leadership created an entirely new image for the US Army. No longer was the Army a haven for drugs and alcohol. A new breed of soldier was emerging and with it the pride and esprit de corps that had been so long neglected. This was one of many legacies of the 1980's, the re-birth of the US Army.

    With the new equipment came new tactics and a reorganization that maximized combat power. The Airland battle concept was developed emphasizing a combined-arms approach. Although this was not really new, the degree of combined arms integration and the new approach onto a non-linear three dimensional battlefield was. The Division 86 or “Army of Excellence” was born and fully in place by the summer of 1989.

    This Order of Battle includes the entire US Army, US Marine Corps, and the US Air Force with their respective Reserve and National Guard components. Although not all the forces listed were scheduled for deployment to Europe in the event of a war with the Warsaw Pact, many of the forces did have multiple wartime contingencies.


    Note 1: National Guard and Army Reserve Round-out units are included in their designated active Army organization’s.

    Note 2: A generic Airborne, Air Assault, Armor, Artillery, Cavalry, and Infantry Tables of Organization and Equipment are included at the end of the US Army section. Unique equipment types are incorporated within each specific unit.


    Note: The Army level headquarters located within the States did not have any designated subordinate units as their counterparts in Germany or Korea had. They were primarily responsible for the mobilization of Reserve and National Guard forces in their region in time of national crisis. Each headqua