A Cardboard Castle?

An Inside History of the Warsaw Pact
$50.95 / €42.95 / £36.95
Out of print
Publication date: 
792 pages

This is the first book to document, analyze, and interpret the history of the Warsaw Pact based on the archives of the alliance itself. As suggested by the title, the Soviet bloc military machine that held the West in awe for most of the Cold War does not appear from the inside as formidable as outsiders often believed, nor were its strengths and weaknesses the same at different times in its surprisingly long history, extending for almost half a century.

The introductory study by Mastny assesses the controversial origins of the "superfluous" alliance, its subsequent search for a purpose, its crisis and consolidation despite congenital weaknesses, as well as its unexpected demise.

Most of the 193 documents included in the book were top secret and have only recently been obtained from Eastern European archives by the PHP project. The majority of the documents were translated specifically for this volume and have never appeared in English before.

The introductory remarks to individual documents by co-editor Byrne explain the particular significance of each item. A chronology of the main events in the history of the Warsaw Pact, a list of its leading officials, a selective multilingual bibliography, and an analytical index add to the importance of a publication that sets the new standard as a reference work on the subject and facilitate its use by both students and general readers.

Editors’ Preface
Introductory Essay by Vojtech Mastny
Acronyms and Abbreviations
Chronology of Events

The Documents

Document No. 1: The Warsaw Treaty, May 14, 1955

Document No. 2: Statute of the Warsaw Treaty Unified Command, September 7, 1955

Document No. 3: Imre Nagy Telegram to Diplomatic Missions in Budapest Declaring Hungary’s Neutrality, November 1, 1956

Document No. 4: Gen. Jan Drzewiecki’s Critique of the Statute of the Unified Command, November 3, 1956

Document No. 5: Polish Memorandum on Reform of the Warsaw Pact, January 10, 1957

Document No. 6: Gen. Drzewiecki Interview regarding Memorandum on Reform of the Warsaw Pact, May 8, 1997

Document No. 7: Soviet Directives to the Czechoslovak Army on Operational and Combat Preparations, September 25, 1957

Document No. 8: Draft of a Warsaw Pact-NATO Non-aggression Treaty, May 24, 1958

Document No. 9: Marshal Ivan Konev Analysis of a Czechoslovak Army Operational Exercise, March 31-April 7, 1959

Document No. 10: Conclusions from the Operational Exercise of the Czechoslovak Army, March 31–April 7, 1959

Document No. 11: East German Description of a West German Plan for the Occupation of the GDR, July 29, 1959

Document No. 12: Warsaw Pact Views of NATO’s Plans and Capabilities, April 28, 1960
Document No. 13: The Soviet-Albanian Dispute, March 22-28, 1961

Document No. 14: Political Consultative Committee Resolution on the Restructuring and Modernization of Warsaw Pact Forces, March 29, 1961

Document No. 15: The Soviet Conception of Czechoslovakia’s Role in a European War, April 1961

Document No. 16: Speech by Marshal Malinovskii Describing the Need for Warsaw Pact Offensive Operations, May 1961

Document No. 17: Czechoslovak Politburo Resolution on Mobilization Readiness with Respect to the Berlin Question, July 25, 1961

Document No. 18: Joint Declaration of the Warsaw Treaty States on the Berlin Wall, August 13, 1961

Document No. 19: Resolution by the Czechoslovak Party Military Defense Commission on the Introduction of Emergency Measures, September 14, 1961

Document No. 20: The “Buria” Exercise Preparing for an Advance into Western Europe, September 28-October 10, 1963

Document No. 21: Organizational Principles of the Czechoslovak Army, November 22, 1962

Document No. 22: The “Mazowsze” Exercise for Nuclear War and Interview with Gen. Tuczapski on Soviet Bloc Planning of Exercises, 1963-1964

Document No. 23: Polish Command Post Exercise Rehearsing an Advance to Northern Germany, Low Countries, and Denmark, June 14, 1963

Document No. 24: Mongolian Request for Admission to the Warsaw Pact, July 15, 1963

Document No. 25: Polish Foreign Ministry Memorandum regarding Possible Mongolian Accession to the Warsaw Treaty, July 20, 1963

Document No. 26: Czechoslovak Drafts of Orders and Appeals to be Issued in Occupied Western European Territories, June 29, 1964

Document No. 27: Warsaw Pact War Plan for the Czechoslovak Front, October 14, 1964

Document No. 28: Warsaw Pact Intelligence on NATO’s Strategy and Combat Readiness, 1965

Document No. 29: Albanian Note to the Political Consultative Committee, January 15, 1965

Document No. 30: Memorandum of Discussion at Political Consultative Committee Meeting in Warsaw, January 20, 1965

Document No. 31: Plan for Hungarian Command-Staff War Game, May 1965

Document No. 32: Transcript of Ceauşescu--Deng Conversation, July 25, 1965

Document No. 33: Hungarian Proposals for Reform of the Warsaw Pact, January 18-19, 1966

Document No. 34: Polish Proposals for Reform of the Warsaw Pact, January 21 & 26, 1966

Document No 35: Czechoslovak Proposal for Reform of the Warsaw Pact, February 1966

Document No. 36: Statement by the Romanian Chief of Staff on Reform of the Warsaw Pact, February 4-9, 1966

Document No. 37: Summary of Discussion at Conference of Warsaw Treaty Deputy Foreign Ministers, February 17, 1966

Document No. 38: Study of Special Features of a Surprise Outbreak of War Prepared for the Hungarian Military, February 22-23, 1966

Document No. 39: Memorandum of the Conference of Defense Ministers, May 27-28, 1966

Document No. 40: Memorandum of the Conference of Foreign Ministers, June 14-15, 1966

Document No. 41: Minutes of Summit of Warsaw Pact Leaders in Bucharest, July 5-7, 1966

Document No. 42: Transcript of Gathering of Warsaw Pact Leaders in Karlovy Vary, April 25, 1967

Document No. 43: East German Analysis of the NATO “Fallex 66” Exercise, 1967

Document No. 44: Report on the State of the Bulgarian Army in the Wake of the Middle East War, October 7, 1967

Document No. 45: Memorandum of Results of the Chiefs of General Staff Meeting regarding Reorganization of the Warsaw Treaty, March 1, 1968

Document No. 46: Czechoslovak Report on the Meeting of the Political Consultative Committee of March 6-7, 1968, March 26, 1968

Document No. 47: Remarks by Czechoslovak Chief of Staff on the Theory of Local War, March 13, 1968

Document No. 48: Record of Gomułka--Iakubovskii Conversation in Warsaw, April 19, 1968

Document No. 49: Report to Nicolae Ceauşescu on the Meeting of the Political Consultative Committee in Sofia, June 3, 1968

Document No. 50: Memorandum of the Academic Staff of the Czechoslovak Military Academies on Czechoslovakia’s Defense Doctrine, June 4, 1968

Document No. 51: Action Program of the Czechoslovak Army, June 11, 1968

Document No. 52: Czechoslovak Central Committee Study of Security Policy, June 24, 1968

Document No. 53: Reports on the “Šumava” Exercise; Memorandum by Gen. Tadeusz Tuczapski, July 4, 1968

Document No. 54: Transcript of the Meeting of Five Warsaw Pact States in Warsaw, July 14-15, 1968

Document No. 55: Czechoslovak Reformist and East German Views on the Czechoslovak Crisis, July 1968

Document No. 56: Report by East German Defense Minister on the Invasion of Czechoslovakia, August 22, 1968

Document No. 57: Record of Meeting between President Ludvík Svoboda and Czechoslovak Army Officers, August 28, 1968

Document No. 58: Letter from the East German Deputy Defense Minister to Erich Honecker about His Conversation with Marshal Iakubovskii, August 31, 1968

Document No. 59: Report by the East German Defense Minister on NATO’s “Fallex 68/Golden Rod” Exercise, November 21, 1968

Document No. 60: Czechoslovak-Soviet Agreement on the Stationing of Soviet Nuclear Forces, November 13-14, 1968

Document No. 61: Czechoslovak General Staff Study on the Warsaw Treaty, December 21, 1968

Document No. 62: Secret Resolutions on Reorganization of the Warsaw Pact, March 17, 1969

Document No. 63: Appeal for a European Security Conference, March 17, 1969

Document No. 64: Report by Ceauşescu to the Romanian Politburo on the Political Consultative Committee Meeting in Budapest, March 18, 1969

Document No. 65: Polish Army Report on East German Misbehavior during the “Oder-Neisse-69” Exercise, October 22, 1969

Document No. 66: Speech by Marshal Grechko at the “Zapad” Exercise, October 16, 1969

Document No. 67: Hungarian Foreign Ministry Memorandum of Soviet-Hungarian Consultations on the European Security Conference, October 18, 1969

Document No. 68: Polish Proposals for the Conference on Security and Disarmament, October 24, 1969

Document No. 69: East German Evaluation of Polish Proposal for a European Security Treaty, November 13, 1969

Document No. 70: Speech by Grechko at the First Meeting of the Warsaw Pact Committee of Ministers of Defense, December 22, 1969

Document No. 71: Hungarian Report of Warsaw Pact Summit on Policy toward West Germany, January 7, 1970

Document No. 72: Minutes of Romanian Politburo Meeting Concerning the Ceauşescu-Brezhnev Conversation, May 20, 1970

Document No. 73: The Surrender of Hannover according to the Polish Army’s “Bison” Exercise, April 21-28, 1971

Document No. 74: Transcript of Romanian Politburo Meeting on Ceauşescu’s Trip to Asia and Moscow, June 25, 1971

Document No. 75: Comparison of Warsaw Treaty and NATO Positions concerning the European Security Conference, December 1, 1971

Document No. 76: Hungarian Memorandum on the Deputy Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Moscow, February 3, 1975

Document No. 77: Iakubovskii Report on the State of the Unified Armed Forces, December 31, 1975

Document No. 78: Evaluation of the Helsinki Final Act by the Czechoslovak Party Presidium, April 28, 1976

Document No. 79: Czechoslovak Analysis of the “Soiuz 77” Exercise, March 21-29, 1977

Document No. 80: Description of Activities of an East German Spy inside NATO, April-May 1977

Document No. 81: Marshal Ogarkov Analysis of the “Zapad” Exercise, May 30-June 9, 1977

Document No. 82: Report by Marshal Kulikov on the State of the Unified Armed Forces, January 30, 1978

Document No. 83: Soviet Statement at the Chiefs of General Staff Meeting in Sofia, June 12-14, 1978

Document No. 84: Speech by Brezhnev at the Political Consultative Committee Meeting in Moscow, November 22, 1978

Document No. 85: Minutes of the Romanian Politburo Meeting, November 24, 1978

Document No. 86: Statute of the Unified Command in Wartime, March 18, 1980

Document No. 87: Ceauşescu Speech at the Political Consultative Committee Meeting in Warsaw, May 14-15, 1980

Document No. 88: Summary of the Deputy Foreign Ministers’ Preparatory Meeting for the CSCE Madrid Conference, July 8-9, 1980

Document No. 89: Bulgarian Report on the Defense Ministers’ Meeting in Bucharest, December 8, 1980

Document No. 90: The Soviet Military’s Attempts to Gain Polish Leadership Cooperation to End the Polish Crisis, January-April 1981

Document No. 91: Report on Conversation between Marshal Kulikov and Senior East German Military Officials, June 13, 1981

Document No. 92: Information by Marshal Ustinov on Soviet Strategic Offensive Forces, September 1981

Document No. 93: Report on the Committee of Ministers of Defense Meeting in Moscow, December 1-4, 1981

Document No. 94: Transcript of the Soviet Politburo Meeting on the Crisis in Poland, December 10, 1981
Document No. 95: Memorandum of Conversation with Marshals Ustinov and Kulikov concerning Soviet War Game, June 14, 1982

Document No. 96: Report on Speech by Marshal Ogarkov at a Warsaw Pact Chiefs of Staff Meeting in Minsk, September 8-10, 1982

Document No. 97: East German Intelligence Report on the Operational Plan of the U.S. 5th Army Corps in War Time, December 16, 1982

Document No. 98: Speech by Andropov at the Political Consultative Committee Meeting in Prague, January 4-5, 1983

Document No. 99: East German Summary of Warsaw Pact Summit in Moscow, June 28, 1983

Document No. 100: Letter from Marshal Kulikov to the Czechoslovak Defense Minister on Results of the “Soiuz-83” Exercise, August 2, 1983

Document No. 101: Summary of the Committee of Ministers of Foreign Affairs Meeting in Sofia, October 20, 1983

Document No. 102: Statement by Marshal Ustinov at the Committee of Ministers of Defense Meeting in Sofia, December 5-7, 1983

Document No. 103: Report on the Committee of Ministers of Foreign Affairs Meeting in Budapest, April 26, 1984

Document No. 104: Transcript of Honecker--Chernenko Meeting in Moscow, August 17, 1984

Document No. 105: Report by the Head of Soviet Military Intelligence to the Committee of Ministers of Defense, December 3-5, 1984

Document No. 106: Speech by Gorbachev at the Warsaw Treaty Summit in Moscow, April 26, 1985

Document No. 107: Warsaw Pact Information concerning Improvements in NATO Military Technology, November 11, 1985

Document No. 108: Speech by Marshal Kulikov at the Committee of Ministers of Defense Meeting in Strausberg, December 2-5, 1985

Document No. 109: East German Intelligence Assessment of NATO’s Intelligence on the Warsaw Pact, December 16, 1985

Document No. 110: Scenario for the “Granit-86” Exercise, December 23, 1985

Document No. 111: Summary of the Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs in Warsaw, March 19-20, 1986

Document No. 112: East German Intelligence Assessments of an FRG Appraisal of the National People’s Army

Document No. 113: Bulgarian Memorandum on the Bulgarian-Romanian Proposal for a Chemical Weapons-Free Zone in the Balkans, March 21, 1986

Document No. 114: East German Ideas concerning a Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone in Central Europe, May 21-23, 1986

Document No. 115: Minutes of the Political Consultative Committee Party Secretaries’ Meeting in Budapest, June 11, 1986

Document No. 116: Report to the Bulgarian Politburo on Romanian Arms Reduction Proposals, September 22, 1986

Document No. 117: Czechoslovak Summary of the Committee of Ministers of Foreign Affairs Meeting in Bucharest, October 18, 1986

Document No. 118: Summary of Statements at the Military Council Meeting in Bucharest, November 10-11, 1986

Document No. 119: Summary of Soviet Statement at the Committee of Ministers of Defense Meeting in Warsaw, December 1-3, 1986

Document No. 120: Outline of a Czechoslovak Command Post Exercise, January 27-28, 1987

Document No. 121: Report on the Committee of Ministers of Foreign Affairs Meeting in Moscow, March 24-25, 1987

Document No. 122: Soviet Explanation of the Warsaw Pact’s New Military Doctrine at the Chiefs of Staff Meeting in Moscow, May 18-25, 1987

Document No. 123: Records of the Political Consultative Committee Meeting in Berlin, May 27-29, 1987

Document No. 124: Summary of a Consultation of Chiefs of Staff in Moscow, October 14, 1987

Document No. 125: Speech by General Iazov at the Ministers of Defense Meeting in Bucharest, September 26, 1987

Document No. 126: Proposal to Establish a Warsaw Pact Information and Propaganda Department, March 11, 1988

Document No. 127: Memorandum of Akhromeev-Kessler Conversation, March 19, 1988

Document No. 128: Speeches at the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Sofia, March 29-30, 1988

Document No. 129: Draft of a Revised Statute of the Unified Command in Wartime, March 30-31, 1988

Document No. 130: Summary of Statement by Marshal Akhromeev on Exchange of Data between NATO and the Warsaw Pact, May 17, 1988

Document No. 131: Transcript of Romanian Party Politburo Meeting, June 17, 1988

Document No. 132: Memorandum of Kulikov-Honecker Conversation, June 27, 1988

Document No. 133: Romanian Proposal for Reform of the Warsaw Pact, July 1988

Document No. 134: Summary of Gorbachev Speech at the Committee of Ministers of Defense Meeting in Moscow, July 7, 1988

Document No. 135: Speech by Gorbachev at the Political Consultative Committee Meeting in Warsaw, July 15, 1988

Document No. 136: Summary of Discussion among Defense Ministers at the Political Consultative Committee Meeting in Warsaw, July 15, 1988

Document No. 137: Summary of Discussion at the Committee of Ministers of Defense Meeting in Prague, October 17-18, 1988

Document No. 138: East German Evaluation of NATO’s 1988 Exercises, November 15, 1988

Document No. 139: Record of Conversation between Honecker and the East German Defense Minister, December 4, 1988

Document No. 140: Minutes of the Sofia Meeting of the Committee of Ministers of Defense, December 17, 1988

Document No. 141: Report by the Bulgarian Foreign Minister at the Unofficial Meeting of Foreign Ministers at “Niederschönhausen” near Berlin, April 10, 1989

Document No. 142: Summary of Statement by the Soviet Defense Minister to Warsaw Pact Chiefs of Staff, April 28, 1989

Document No. 143: Czechoslovak Description of “Vltava-89” Exercise, May 23, 1989

Document No. 144: Bulgarian Proposal for Reform of the Warsaw Treaty, June 14, 1989

Document No. 145: Letter from the Bulgarian CC to the Romanian CC, June 21, 1989

Document No. 146: Records of the Political Consultative Committee Meeting in Bucharest, July 7-8, 1989

Document No. 147: Records of the Foreign Ministers’s Meeting in Warsaw, October 26-27, 1989

Document No. 148: East German Statement at the Committee of Ministers of Defense Meeting in Budapest, November 27-29, 1989

Document No. 149: Memorandum of Conversation between the Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister and the Romanian Ambassador to the USSR, December 21, 1989

Document No. 150: Czechoslovak Report on a Meeting at the Soviet General Staff, January 29, 1990

Document No. 151: East German Summary of the Ottawa Meeting of NATO and Warsaw Pact Foreign Ministers, February 12-13, 1990

Document No. 152: Memorandum of Eppelmann-Iazov Conversation, April 29, 1990

Document No. 153: Records of the Political Consultative Committee Meeting in Moscow, June 7, 1990

Document No. 154: Recollections of Czechoslovak Foreign Ministry Adviser Jaroslav Šedivý, 1990-1991

Document No. 155: Agreement on the Cessation of the Military Provisions of the Warsaw Pact, February 25, 1991

Main Actors

"An impressively extensive collection of original documents and transcripts of the Warsaw Pact from its beginning in 1955 to its dissolution in 1991. The two main themes in the documents is that the Pact seemed to have no intention of a preemptive attack on Western Europe. The other is that the Pact was not all as united as outside observers believed. This is a great book for historians and for anyone else who is interested in this subject."
"By far the most ambitious and integral project in the burgeoning field of Cold War history has been the Parallel History Project on NATO and the Warsaw Pact, directed by Mastny. This is its early culmination, a massive volume... Mastny's extended introductory essay does more than survey the history."
"Did the Soviets expect a war? They were not planning to overrun western Europe so it could fall under Communist domination, but their plans to initiate a nuclear strike were pre-emptive. In that hair-trigger environment, if your information isn't perfect, you may push the button before it is really justified. It was surprising to see that the potential for miscalculation and nuclear disaster was so high"