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Husák's Right Arm: Military of Czechoslovak Socialist Republic in Photos


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During my hiking trips I found this place. It used to be a standby communication bunker for the state of war. It's located under a low but rather steep cliff in the forest south of Kladno city, west of Prague. The facility was used between 1950' till 2002 when it was abandoned. Now it's deserted and used by some hobos. It's one large two-storey concrete bunker, several service buildings, small vehicle park and several pillboxes around. 

 

The main bunker

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One of the pillboxes

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A single hangar of the small vehicle park

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I believe the following info will be of great interest for you. I have recently read a book "SCUD a OKA ve službách ČSLA" from Vladimír Mohyla about Czechoslovak missile forces, mainly SCUD and OKA systems (Tochka, Luna, artillery or airforce as other delivery systems are not subject of the book). For a man who remembers the cold war only as a child some numbers were quite shocking - especially the number of nuclear warheads allocated to Czechoslovak units (to be distributed from Soviet bases in Czechoslovakia in case of war with NATO). 

 

Number of nuclear warheads allocated to ČSLA:

1964: total 115 warheads: 1st strike: 44 (theatre-tactical and tactical missiles) + 10 (airforce); 2nd strike: 42 (missile forces) + 7 (airforce); reserve: 10 (missile forces) + 2 (airforce) - at that time no nuclear warheads were stored in czechoslovakia and it was intended to airlift them here by Sovier airfoce in 12-16 hours (that seems to be optimistic)

1974: same numbers but warheads already stored directly in Czechoslovakia

1977: total 258 warheads: 1st strike: 28 (theatre-tactical missiles) + 56 (tactical missiles) + 40 (airforce); 2nd strike: 40 (missile forces) + 31 (airforce); 3rd strike: 30 (missile forces) + 15 (airforce); reserve: 10 (missile forces) + 8 airforce)

1986: total 344 warheads: 1st strike: 88 (missile forces) + 12 (airforce); 2nd strike: 139 (missile forces) + 78 (airforce); reserve: 21 (missile forces) + 6 (airforce)

1989: total 546 warheads: 1st strike: 270 (missile forces and artilley) + 58 (airforce); 2nd strike: 137 (missile forces and artillery) + 32 (airforce); reserve: 43 (missile forces and artillery) + 6 (airforce) - according to this plan the Soviet 22nd army was subordinate to the so called Czechoslovak front and is therefore counted together (22nd Soviet army had 186 warheads for missiles and artillery)

 

What may be also interesting is, that when Czechoslovakia purchased its first SCUDs in 1962 it already didn't purchase any conventional warheads, i.e. the missiles were intended to be a delivery platform for nuclear and chemical warheads only - ČSLA considered Elbrus/SCUD to be useless with conventional warhead due to its low accuracy. I believe later conventional warheads were acquired as well but likely only for the highly accurate systems like Tochka. 

 

Czechoslovak artillery could theoretically use nuclear ammo (there were two batteries of Pion and one battery of Tulpan) but nuclear strike was never trained in the units, hence why that was probably only a case of Soviet units in Czechoslovakia. 

 

Regarding delivery systems - the most numerous were for sure different varians of Elbrus/SCUD, later also 17 modern Oka systems (the most powerful system in ČSLA inventory) and Tochkas. Also older Luna and Luna-M. From airforce it's sure about Su-7BM/BKL. The other types are not clear, some sources say that MiG-29 9.12A were nuclear capable until 1994 when the ability was removed - and there were no warheads for them anyway). It is likely that at least some MiG-23MF/ML/BN, Su-22M4 were nuclear capable too.* Also it's questionable what would be the airforce delivery platform in the plan from 1964. In theory it would be Il-28 but there don't seem to be sources confirming that. 

 

Between 1983-1988 there were also 39 theatre ballistic missile systems TR-1 (SS12) of Soviet units placed in Czechoslovakia.

 

*I always found it very curious why ČSLA used so hugely diverse airforce (in 1989 it was MiG-21MF, MiG-23ML/MF/BN, MiG-29 9.12A, Su-22M4, Su-25K and even still several Su-7BKL). The usual answer is that it was intentional in order to keep maximum possible available local support for Soviet airforce in case of major war. 

 

 

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