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°viet Naval Academy
wSs Leader: A-ten-Hut! Good morning comrades. Be rH<] y°u know, we are honored to have Com-
e^Ct Captain (Second Rank) Kozlovsky here today.
t0^ln Kozlovsky is a mine warfare expert and is here present the Soviet Ministry of Defense. He will
discuss the Ministry’s planning and execution of operation Checkmate. For those of you who do not know, Checkmate was the maritime portion of an overall strategy called Red Hammer. As intended, Checkmate successfully contained Western Alliance military and merchant shipping worldwide. As a result, Soviet forces gained a significant strategic advantage and were able
llngs / July 1988
Question: Sir, I assume we were covert in laying
to execute the other aspects of Red Hammer. Victories on all fronts were thereby attained quickly and with minimal difficulty.
Our honored guest will begin his presentation with a brief statement, and then conclude with a question- and-answer session. 1 am now honored to present Comrade Captain Kozlovsky.
Kozlovsky: Thank you, Comrade. Good morning men! At the time, Red Hammer was considered a bold and dangerous course of action. However, since every aspect of Soviet culture was seriously threatened by numerous economic, political, and military forces, we were convinced that it was necessary. As you all know, some of us foolishly yielded to Western thinking in past years, imposing “glasnost” on the Soviet people. As you recall, glasnost was a well intended but distorted philosophy based on Western ideology. Yes, it’s true that a few initial successes were evident, and glasnost did work to our advantage in some ways. As predicted, however, glasnost failed, and this venture into decadence was finally halted. Those responsible were deposed.
In implementing Red Hammer, we found that the Western Alliance could not withstand Soviet superiority because of the weaknesses incidental to the failures of capitalism. Exploitation of these weaknesses played a key role in our strategy.
Owing to today’s time constraints, I will focus on the maritime strategy called Operation Checkmate, and its mine-warfare aspects.
1 remind you that Red Hammer was the military and economic strategy wherein the Soviet Union asserted its tactical and strategic superiority to force a negotiated accord with most of the Western Alliance. This plan ultimately resulted in the inclusion of Western Europe, Eastern Asia, and the Middle East into our union of socialist states. We are now on the verge of executing the final phase of the overall strategy we call Golden Sickle. I cannot discuss details, but I will say that we are confident that this measure will result in the addition of African and Latin American countries to our socialist union. We are also convinced that it is simply a matter of time before the United States finds it has no choice but to join our alliance under the banner of world communism.
Now that I’ve covered some of the background, try to concentrate your questions on the mine-warfare aspects of Checkmate.
Question: Sir, with the U. S. Navy’s massive build-up efforts and the infamous “600-ship navy,” how were we able to contain the military and merchant fleets of the Western Alliance?
Kozlovsky: We simply mined major Western ports and their seaward approaches. In conjunction with other aspects of our strategy, we were able to sever lines of resupply and replenishment, thereby holding military and economic resources in abeyance.
Question: Comrade Captain, do you mean that we too these actions after hostilities commenced? I would have expected our enemies to perceive the imminent threat, and react by denying us access to those ports. Kozlovsky: No, young man! Keen strategic planning and superior skills took all of that into account. For example, we laid dormant influence mines prior to e cution of Checkmate. Then, just before hostilities coin menced, those mines assumed an active status according to predetermined schedules. Furthermore, our intelligence discovered that Q-routes had not been Pr°* erly surveyed and channels had not been cleared. As result, the Western allies could not discern the nature or the degree of the threat from Soviet mines.
mines, so I must ask how we were able to do it? I . would have thought that our vessels were closely mo tored when entering Western ports.
Kozlovsky: Yes, of course, Comrade, it is true that vessels were watched and boarded by U. S. Coast Guard and Customs officials. However, we learne long ago that it is possible to hide narcotics, js
hardware, and even high-technology equipment- * |S easily accomplished with hidden compartments, dlS guised containers, and false decks and bulkheads- cause of the large quantities of cargo on board rnet^,ere chant vessels, and other related factors, inspectors _ simply overwhelmed. We correctly assumed that u1 ence mines and mine-laying apertures could be disguised just as easily.
Permit me to clarify an important point, Cornra ^ Some of our mines were laid by diesel submarines, well as by Soviet merchant and fishing vessels. A ^ many were laid by Soviet agents embarked on boa
rtestion: What about their war plans? Didn’t they di-ct a coordinated use of their limited resources? 0/lovsky: Oh yes, the Alliance had many redundant Hr Plans that actually resulted in confusion. Attempts reconcile all the different organizations and plans
an m.ately forced to resort to the use of ill-equipped Hilaries.
a°n-Soviet-flag merchant vessels under charter to the QVlet Union. Since our socialist union is comprised of many ethnic groups, we were able to pass off our Merits and those of our allies as Latin Americans, Taiwanese, Scandanavians, etc. Incidentally, components a large number of mines were smuggled into various C°untries and, after assembly, were laid with local rec- |^ational boats and airplanes registered in those counts- These excellent craft of opportunity were able to °Perate without suspicion or restriction.
^aestion: Sir, what about mine countermeasures? Why eren’t the Western navies able to counter the threat 'wCe we laid the mines?
°*lovsky: Soviet planners demonstrated superior strata skills. We simply created a “crisis” in the Per- Gulf. Since Iran and Iraq had been engaged in a erce war for several years, we merely “augmented”
..e lining efforts that Iran had already unleashed. We l‘sguised the true origin of the mines that we covertly creel' W^£ ^ran va'nly» t>ut mistakenly, claimed the
^This tactic worked extremely well because most of Intern Europe depended on petroleum products from sa<l and its neighbor states. The United States also had 'Snificant interests in the region. While the Soviet n'°n was exchanging military hardware for petroleum 'h both sides, Western powers were committing sub- nt>al numbers of mine-countermeasures resources to e Gulf. While efforts had been initiated to expand ^'He-countermeasures capabilities in the West, progress ^as slowed by numerous difficulties and delays. Con- ‘luently, they stretched their limited mine-countermea- .IfCs resources too thin, and the response to the Per- ^ n Gulf crisis was accomplished at the expense of e,r domestic mine warfare capability.
(jiCre futile. Since they could not be integrated or coor- ab^ated °n a practical basis, implementation resulted in t^S°'Ute cf'aos- Furthermore, national politics and dis- st adversely affected coordination efforts. The lack ■ adequate resources became a major problem in try- e ® to implement the plans, and desperate measures „lt01ved. More confusion resulted when the West was ,jVestion: Comrade Captain, would you say that we ^helmed the West with such a large quantity of v es that they were not able to counter them? ^Zlovsky: That’s partially correct, young man, but p at I’m actually saying is that the Western Alliance— |jelcularly the United States—allowed mine warfare to dj.<>rne a low priority. Every aspect of mine warfare 'nished to the point where resources were inadequate, both in quantity and capability. Mining and countermining technology became static, and, since mine warfare was not considered career enhancing, the number of skilled and experienced personnel in mine warfare diminished. In view of these weaknesses, and the fact that the Persian Gulf “crisis” drew away a significant number of NATO resources, the mining of critical ports became a rather simple matter. Incidentally, we were able to capitalize on intelligence reports that indicated most Americans could not remotely comprehend the possibility of a mine threat to their major harbors. Their apathy and the lack of precautions simplified our task.
Question: I don’t understand, Sir. I recall that NATO forces were involved in serious mining scenarios in the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, and they discovered even then that their mine-countermeasures capabilities were woefully inadequate. Why didn’t they learn their lessons and correct their deficiencies, like Soviet forces would have done?
Kozlovsky: Good question, Comrade. Next question? I’m sorry, I joke and hesitate to respond to such a question because I’m also at a loss to explain it. I can only assume that the Americans refused to take mine warfare seriously—in order to concentrate on other more glamorous and costly programs such as submarines, aircraft carriers, and even their archaic battleships. As a result of their capitalistic mentality, they lost sight of true warfare priorities.
Also, the Americans preferred to be occupied with the development of high technology, while we concentrated on producing quantities of practical and proven weapons. Consistent with our simple strategy, we simply exploited the fact that most capitalists put greed ahead of loyalty. Ironically, we found that we could purchase their high technology from clandestine sources, minimizing our research and development costs while we concentrated on acquisition and construction. Incidentally, glasnost and the insignificant treaties that it spawned lulled many in the West into believing that mine warfare was obsolete. They could not imagine the potential threat from such a weapon in an age of high technology.
Question: Captain, did the Americans and their allies deploy defensive or protective minefields? If so, how effective were they?
Kozlovsky: Yes, the Western allies reacted with defensive minefields of their own. But since our mines were already in place we had no reason to return to those areas, and their efforts were therefore in vain. Furthermore, because our minefields were superbly planned and executed, they suffered substantial losses while trying to lay their own fields.
Question: Sir, what about the countermeasures capabilities of nations other than the United States? Why couldn’t they counter our mines?
Kozlovsky: It’s true that the Europeans placed more
- - - -- - «-~i cnjisi
U. S. Navy’s Mine Warfare Command in Charleston, S. L
in 1967, he was commissioned in 1972. He has served in the' -n lia (WLB-398), Chautauqua (WHEC-41), Mellon (WHEC-71
emphasis on the mine-warfare threat and had developed superior mine-countermeasures forces. However, most of those assets were also lured to the Persian Gulf “crisis.” The remaining forces were simply overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of mines that we laid, especially the large number of sophisticated influence mines we used.
Incidentally, one aspect of our strategy was based on the fact that in the 1980s a major California port was closed for several days by a simple phone call. When a radical special interest group claimed that mines had been laid in this harbor, the Americans needed five days to estimate the threat and respond. As a part of Checkmate, we used this very tactic to contain some less significant ports. We made these false claims credible with mine detonations in other key harbors. As expected, this tactic was not quite as effective against the Europeans. They were better prepared to respond.
Question: Comrade Captain, I can understand why we would want to contain naval combatants, but what was the threat from merchant ships . . . and what did you mean when you mentioned replenishment and resupply? Kozlovsky: You surprise me, Comrade! Can’t you see that replenishment and resupply are the only ways our enemies could sustain prolonged opposition to our advances? Hundreds of cargo ships would have been required on a daily basis to sustain the Western Alliance. Remember, the Soviet Union had far more combat aircraft and superior air-defense systems. Since we essentially controlled a significant portion of the world’s airspace, all that remained was to control maritime-shipping lanes. Since the allies did not have the time to coordinate and dispatch convoys, we found that we could disrupt sea lines of communication by containing merchant ships in port—a relatively simple matter.
And, lacking a logistics chain, European nations were powerless to prevent Soviet occupation. Even North America depended on large quantities of imported materials and products, and thus found itself severely crippled.
Do you remember the unfortunate accident that occurred at Chernobyl in the 1980s? It made quite an impact on the Western Alliance, reinforcing strong fears of nuclear warfare. Consequently, the West feared the possibility of Red Hammer escalating to the nuclear option. Thanks to their hesitation and indecision, their nuclear capability was essentially nullified, and the Soviet Union was able to use its conventional superiority to gain significant advantages on all fronts.
Question: Sir, we understand that glasnost was a mistake, and that such perverse philosophies have no place in true communist doctrine. Forgive my curiosity, Comrade Captain, but what did you mean when you said that it actually worked to the “advantage” of the Soviet Union?
Kozlovsky: I did not intend to discuss this matter in detail. However, your question deserves an answer: Glasnost actually brought about a lot of complacency
in the West. Western strategists and leaders even trie to downplay and discount our superior capabilities by refuting what they called the “ten-foot-tall myth. As you know, this phenomenon permitted us to maintain distinct Soviet nuclear advantage while insisting to t e West that reductions in our nuclear arsenals were m 0 mutual best interest.
At the same time, the Soviet Union was able to forge ahead, developing and producing mass quantitieS of such sophisticated conventional weaponry as sea mines. At the same time, Western inventories of capa ble defensive hardware dwindled. So did the Alliance . cadre of properly trained personnel. They simply c°u not counter our overwhelming mine-warfare superior1)
Furthermore, a key aspect of Soviet industrial pm ophy was overlooked during this time. As you know, our factories are designed for rapid conversion to de fense production. It is true that defense plants were ther closed or reprogrammed during the glasnost era. but many were rapidly restored before Red Hammer-
Glasnost produced some other advantages, as we • Before glasnost, Europeans viewed the Soviet Union a “potential” adversary. Glasnost quickly diluted t perspective, and as diligence relaxed, we were able expand our presence in significant Western ports.
Ironically, glasnost seemed to encourage a fierce competitive spirit in the Soviet people, motivating exploit our superior capabilities. However, since h inspired greed and other corruptive influences, this competitive aspect was discounted. . [
Finally, as we observed a weakening of our nati011^ identity and resolve, many loyal and true commun>s moved to convince key individuals in the Presidium and the Supreme Soviet that corrective action was a solutely necessary. Consequently, glasnost acted as catalyst that actually prompted our inspired initiate
Your keen interest and curiosity has been most come, and I regret that I must now terminate my Pr sentation. You are all fine young men, typical of 1 high caliber of Soviet youth serving in the world s greatest navy.
Class Leader: A-ten-Hut! Comrade Captain Kozl°vSJ on behalf of the class, I extend our deepest appreCl^ce tion, admiration, and respect. We anticipate our set ^ in the Soviet Navy officer corps with great zealserving under your leadership—in any assignment-" would be a great honor!
Commander McClinton is the Coast Guard Liaison Officer ^njjStinS
. Mag”0' -.1111'
Vietnam, Bittersweet (WLB-389), as executive officer of the 1 ^ ^ (WMEC-292), as an instructor in port security/law enforcenien^ qperations officer at Puget Sound Vessel Traffic Service, as c ^ manding officer of Coast Guard Base San Juan, and as Chie Coast Guard Operational Intelligence in Long Beach, CA. ^^ijforfl'11 a B.A. degree from Upper Iowa University, an M.A. from £oast State University, and a Ph.D. in management from California University.