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1. The Chairman's Staff Group has revie ... /ed the 1956 Report of the Net E:valuation Subcommittee. \~e consider 1 t to be responsive to the directive and guidance contained in NSC 5605. The report itself contains four major parts; Introduction, Summary, Conclusions and Discussion. In add::tion, there are

a n~mber of annexes ... rhich contain detailed information and analyses which have been used in formulating the report.

CJCS .381 (Net Evaluation)

(1 Nov 56)


1 l\ovember 1956

2. The Chairman's Staff Group recommends that you read the Introduction, Summary and Conclusions (pages 1 through 10). In noting these conclusions .. ''Ie are again impressed with the urgency of major technological improvement in air,defense.

In addition to the Swnrnary and Conc Lus Lona , there are certain items of interest contained in the Disc~ssion which we have highlighted for you in an Appendix hereto.

3. The Chairman's Staff Group recommends that you approve the report as "'lri tten for distribution to members of the t>!et Evaluation Subcommittee for their concurrence and comments •

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1. The total time involved fo~ this nuclear exchange was 14 hours.

2. Under conditions of "strategic sLlrprlse", the Soviet

forces had as an objective the security of the USSR and the neLltrallzation of U.S. nuclear capability to prevent devas-

tating nuclear counter attack. The Soviet concept also provided for the launching of strong la~d offensive forces in Europe and the rUddle East with an objective of seizing key bases" industrial areas and communication centers. Also under the Soviet ooncept, the Red naval forces were to find and to destroy if possible

U.S. and Allied carrier attack forces.

3. In addition to the objective of destroying the U.S. nuclear retaliatory capability, the Red forces also had as an objective destruction of industrial and population type targets which wou Ld destroy the U,S. economic, political and social structure. Soviet air tactics were deSigned to penetrate 5imultaneo:.J.sly U.S. and Allied early warning nets at H-hour during the hours of darkness. Their tactics also provided for the use of aircraft in one-way missions.

4. The Soviet attacks produced the ~ollowlng general results: ~. They were able to :a~nch some 1706 aircraft against

the United states and Allies. This operation resulted in }::laclng some 6600 rr.egatons on the U.S. and its Allies.

a- The losses from those attacks · ..... ere very high; in the neighborhood of 1300 ai~craft. A high percentage of those losses resulted fro~ the use of one-~ay ~trlke8.

c. The Soviet clandestine attack ,rovlded for the detonation of one 10 1le,;;aton ',·'eapon in tr,e 80viet Embassy in l::ashington and one 10 mega ton "'ecpon i:1 the Soviet ~n: offices in ~ew Yor~.

::1. I'he Soviets also launched 'll':'::;s::'lcs !'rorn submar'Lne s a6e..lrls~ s ome of' a .. ~r c o as t a.I bas e s ano :c .. c.Jl_l:!. t a e e ,

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e. The general results r r-o-n this nuc i ear a t tack ver e hiS~ losses across the board 1n our clv!lia~ ?OPulRt1on and also 1n our military personnel. As an EK2.'nple, SAC personnel losses wer-e about 66%; 6g,:, of C01{A]) oersonnel Here casualtiesj Army forces in the United States had about 65% c asua l tiesj the Navy suf'f'er-e-t lower losses with some 42% casualties world ~1de.

5. The FCDA estimated that the results of this lIsurprisell attack would find:

§:.. The national Government virtually uiped O'.lt.

b. Transportation severely damaged.

c. Energy and po-rer- severely damaged.

d. Manufacturing capability severely crippled.

e. Labor forces almost non-existent.

f. Financlal structure almost completely paralyzed and, as previously stated, over-all personnel cas'.lalties in excess of 50%.

6, The U.S. concept for reacting to the "surprise!! attack '.JaS as f01101<18:

a. The United States had as objectives the defense cf COl':'ITs with forces available to CINCOKAD ~ and the launching o~ nuclear stri~es against the USS? deB~gned to ~eatroy its 1t'111taI"'J capabllit~r and \,111 to r-es t s t ,

b. Allied and U.S, roi-ces thr-oughout the wor-Ld wer-e to pa:otlcipate Ln defensive operations '."it.hin their capabll:!.ty.

c, ~actlca] ~orceo in 3u~orye an~ cthe~ areas were to un-jerta1ce cf fens:!. v e o "')e::"E. tlo:lt •

E_, St""i\es by naval carr:er t:r;e a:!.rc~'a~tl rr,:sslles anc s~a~lane~ to support the atove o;e~att0n~' E~ct i~ a~d1~lon, osv.::.' f'1:::ce6 -'er~ ~a rrotect sea cO·"'_,~.1~C3.t:!.'J1L2 E..n"l s ecur-e t he seC' 1~r·2S.

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Lc. level delivery tactics ",e:,'e to be us ed h'he"E po s c Lb l e , employing Eerl, decoys and radar busters to the max tmum capabili ty.

8. The r eadz.nee e of :r.S. s tir Lke forces =as as fcl~o,.~:

~. SAC expected to have 50% of their overseas forces

on alert and 1/3 of their forces in the 21 on alert. The fi:-ost aircraft wer-e to be launched in five to seven minutes after warni!1g.

b. TAC and Navy had 25% forces on alert and their first strIkes ~lere launched in 25 to 35 minutes.

c. U.S. sur!ace-to-surface missiles were launched 15 minutes after the execution order.

d. CONA~ had four aircraft squadrons on rummy alert and could man the rest during the period enemy aircraft crossed from the DEW Line to the GCr Line.

9. In carrying out its quick stril{e~ SAC '4aS able to ~aunch 642 bomb carriers, ''11th 7l~0 bomb carriers on a !'ollc':l-Up. It also launched 40 SNA::tK nuclear surface-to-surface missiles. The SAC combat losses in these two strikes were 610 aircraft.

The Navy launched on quick strike 65 aircraft in the r"edi terranean End 46 in the Pacific, with over 100 fo110~-up strikes in those

n-t~he r-es u'l ts of these strikes was a delivery of some

~ on the Sino Soviet BlO~ ,

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10. The U.S. and Allied armies had a total of 72 divisions deployed. Since the over-all military operation totaled only 14 hours, no decisive results could be determined as far as ground "'arfare Ls concerned. The report does indicate that all Soviet army ac tions in Europe wou.l.d be at a virtual halt due to fall-out after H/14 hours.

11. T~a report provides some infcrmation a5 to 'lhat the U.S. attacks wout o do to the USSR. The Soviet :on::;-r~nbe

air force lost almost 2/3 of its personnel as h~ll 2S s~bstan~!Fl nu~~ers of aircraft and base faClllt1es. Ec~ever, the ma1'" !'c:.ctor \/~dch limited its c on t Inuac cc~,''Jc,t c aj .. a"bill;:y ',las axpeud i t.:.::.'e of t+ie 'JSSR atomic stocl{pil'? TIle r~~cr~ eEtj;na tea the, t. ,]'1"0,' ?O,~ 0:::' the LRA.l1' a 11' facil i ties and ,)ersonnel ,~cre Lo s t .

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to note that of 114 divisions in

13. The Soviet naval forces did not sustain heavy losses and were estimated to continue as an effective force at Bea for 15 to 45 days.

~."~he report indicates that the Soviet ....... ~~a effectively damaged; exercising .......

wou l d therefore be a difficult problem.

8 that U on the USSR

17. Since the Allies still possessed 30% of their original war-head stockpiles and adequate delivery means, whereas the USSR retained only 10% of its weapons (26), it is considered that the U,S, forces could effectively terminate any further resistance on the part of Soviet forces.


18. Under th~s condItion, tte Soviets had the same general concept of operations, I.e., security of the OSSR and neutralization of :':.3. nuclear c apabf.Lf ty , '.:'0 attain tr.ose ob jac t i ves , they planned a1!' a t t.acks , land c ampa tgris and nava), c a-npaf.gns , Their t~ctlc was to ~el1v~r thei~ ai~ 5t~ike3 agEin~t the ~.s. ~nder cover of ~-3.!'~:'l'2f::S, ri"3.:!.n ::"11J:rl'!~lately :'ol ... ov .... ng.s :-lollc1:-:' per rcd ,

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19. Under the t er-n lIful1 alert" the U.S. was to be in a

period of international tension for 20 days prior to the Soviet Bloc attack. T!1is alert period enabled some force augmentation and redeployments~ particularly in the Air Porce. Also~ the early ''larnil'!g lines wer-e extended and augmented to obtain earlier of attack. The early line provided for some tvro to six hours ... for U.S. strike forces, both in "surprise" and under condition of "full alert".

20. The Soviet attacked with 965 bombers against the United sta.tes. Lo','l al tltudes, ECf.i decoys and air-to-aurface missiles were employed. 674 weapons were detonated with the yield of 5047 megatons against the United States. Against this attack, the U,S. employed 3650 all-weather fighter sortIes and 180 of

304 HIKE batteries. U. S. air defense kills totaled 367 flying ob~ (218 bombers and 189 decoys).

21. The Soviets also launched attacks in other areas of Europe and the Far East} delivering an additional 2000 megatons against targets in those a~eas.

22. In addition to thejr air attacks, Soviet naval forces particlllarly sLlb'l1arines -- partiCipated actively in missile attacks agains~ U.S. bases and installations.

23. Har gaming \las not accomplished on a ground phase nor a naval phas e 0:' a t t ac k ... nde r conditions of "full alert".

2ll. The res~lts of the Soviet attack on the U.S. were in ~ost resoects the same as for the conoition of "strategic surprlseh• The forces they dispatched against the U.S. were slightly larger J an« they ",ere able to put do ... .n some 500 more megatons. However- J due t..9 __ tp~.£J:1..<;:R_y.3ed in the selection of their targets~ the over-all results \iere nct as great as

under slJrt::r1se a t back , 'I'her-e 11€re fevIer pel'sonne!KTITed in

this "rull 2.1ert" than under the sur~rise type of attack.

25. In gene r-a l , It is 'orthy of none trLat ~nde!" tre cond.; tion 0:' "f.)11 alert"} tr.e possibility of' cont t nua t Lon of government \;o'lld be i:1cre2..sej. Ot'1er';ise, 5'CDA e s t Lrna t e s c:~ d amaz e sbo s tne aane Geno:o-ral O:,_'d2~ of r1a;;,ni tll'je as unde r "su!"pr1seW• t'lll:tary losses ere ~lsc 0~ a~prox~nate:y the same ~e~e:El o~der.

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~. SAC was able to la<lnch its lIqulck strike" at H/lO minutes and to dispatch in the first Nave 2051 bombers. This 1s a substantial increase over their uquick strike" under "strategic surprise" (in that II quick s tr-Lke" they

\"ere able to launch ~. This force was

abl ver over_ against the USSR_

b. SAC combat losses were estimated as 478 bomber aircraft.

c. The naval capablli ty under "full at er-t" increased. 550 carrier based attack aircraft on 18 ca~riers deployed to the forward areas. they had REGULUS equipped cruisers and guided marines.

was substantially were available

In addition, missile sub-

d. Allied ground forces under u~'ull at er t" were the same as for IIstrategic surprisell• However, the ground action \'las not assessed in this report.

26. The generruorder of magnitude of da~age inflicted by the U.S. on the USSR 15 aPRroximately as outlined under the conditions of II strategic surprise'.

27. Under "full alertll it 1s concluded that the U.S. would still possess a high portion of its nuclear stocl<:pl1e and a delivery capabllitYJ while the USSfl. would have expended practically its entire stockpile.

28. The general Inef~ectiveneS5 of our air defense forces to prevent devastation of the U.S., even under conditions of

IIfull a l er t " when they have been augmented by additional ror-c e s ,

is a significant product of the report.

29. The clandestine threat covers in general terms the Soviet capability to introduce clandestine weapons into the U.S. and

to detonate them under ce~taln conditions.

30. The report elsa mentions other variable critical fac~ors '/hicr. substantially affect this eva'l ua t aon:

5.. The first deals ·,1th the size and c o-npos t t t on of the

sovt et atomic stockpile 1 ,;o~ethel' .'Ii th the size and ccmpo s t t t cn of the Soviet long-r~n~E ai~ forces. This ye8r's repcrtJ b22ec on t~e National Intell!6ence ~st1mate, uses a Soviet stock~~lE f'i:;'_'re that 1s appr-ox.lmace.l y f'ou r times gr-ea t e r than the "1.6U::'o:?

us ed :Last year , :::1 '.;he ~9:5 re.1'or t tht:: Soviets · .. er e s'LVe'1 £.

C::'.;'3:JU:!.tr of deliverl"2- 700 mega t one on t .ie :1.S. 3.8 Co;r')5.::,ed . lt~ the 5000 megPt~n~ ~~ the l]~~ velsion.

.~ppe'1.d tx

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£. The second is the progress of the Soviet guided missile program.

c. Third is the composition of U,S. forcee in 1959. and whether or not pro8rammed equipment ... lil1 etta1n the expected capability.

31. Certain aspects of special analysis are treated as follows:

a. Areas of special interest requiring concentration of intelligence effort are:

(1) Soviet nuclear t ... eapons stockpiles.
(2) Soviet long-range all' force.
( 3) Soviet guided missile program.
( 4) Soviet electronic countermeasures. b. The alert requirement for U.S. nuclear military forces.

For-SAC to achieve the reaction ti~e of from five to seven minutes to launch B-47 and B-52 aircraft w111 require augmentation of SAC forces and increase 1n SAC facilities.

32. The report concludes by discussing the ICB~ probleM, particularly the proolem of defense against ballistic missiles. There is also a discussion of the psychological effect of a nuclear attack. It is pointed out that the people will not be prepared for an attack of this type, .... T1th respect to chemical · . ..,ra.rfare,

the report concludes that the total havoc of nuclear war offers

a more profitable course of action for the Soviets than chemical war rar-e ,

33. In a comparison of the 1555 and 1956 reports, it 1s concluded that in 1959 the U.S. wo~ld be in a period characterized by eIther side havln~ a capability to launch an attack which uou l d r-eau l t in mutual destruction (s8me as Period #JJ. of the Killian qeport) •