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Mr. HARRISON. A lot of people have asked you about Yugoslavia. Would you like to make any comment on the funds in this bill for General RIDGWAY. No, sir. As a matter of fact, I am not familiar with what is in the bill for Spain. That too is outside my authority. Mr. VORYS. Mr. Adair.
COMPARISON OF NATO AND SOVIET DIVISIONAL SIZES
Mr. ADAIR. General, you have compared the Russian and the NATO divisions numerically.
Would you care to make any comparison as to their respective effectiveness and the numerical strength within a division?
General RIDGWAY. Yes, sir. Take the Russian infantry division at full strength; it is roughly 11.5 thousand. Its tank division is almost the same, within 100 or 200. Its mechanized division, which has a great deal of motor transport in it, goes higher, about 14.5. Our infantry division is roughly 19,000, and our armored division is about 17,000. Our divisions numerically are considerably stronger.
This argument about fire power is another one of these fruitless exercises. We try to equate a 105mm howitzer with a burp gun. Our fire power is nothing to compare with that of a Russian division.
The front-line American divisions in Europe today are thoroughly satisfactory in my mind. You need have no concern unit for unit about how they would perform in battle. Some of these other units in other nations, with all the vicissitudes they have had to encounter, you cannot say the same thing for them. They are all coming up and are thoroughly alive to the value of training and leadership, and we are putting emphasis on both of those.
Mr. ADAIR. Do the divisions of our allies compare to those of the United States?
General RIDGWAY. More or less. They are patterned on the United States organization in many countries, but vary substantially in aggregate strength. Their countries do not require the degree of support and the degree of refinement that our people demand for our troops, and they have a special problem, too. They know exactly the ground they are going to fight on and we have to design our division to fight anywhere in the world. We never know between one war or the next where we are going to fight.
Mr. ADAIR. Then would I be correct in saying that it is not accurate to compare just division for division-10 divisions against 10
General RIDGWAY. Not at all.
Mr. ADAIR. Did you take into account the other factor?
NONATOMIC WEAPONS DEVELOPMENT
Mr. ADAIR. There is in this bill an item of $250 million which we are informed is earmarked for new secret nonatomic weapons.
Do you regard that as an essential item? Would you care to make any comment upon that?
General RIDGWAY. I did not know about that, sir, and I do not yet know.
It seems to me it is very forward thinking and imaginative anticipation of what our needs may be. In other words all of us are devoting an intensive amount of our thinking to try to see where these new weapons, when they become available in quantity and are in the hands of troops, will take us, and what economies we can effect, if any, and certainly what increase we can make in our own security.
I would take it that as a measure of anticipation, if and when these things do exist in quantities, the money would be there to put them in the hands of our troops. Without such anticipation it might well be that they would not be in our hands in time.
Mr. ADAIR. That was my understanding, sir, from Governor Stassen, 12 that it was a fund established to be used in case of need, or if the need did not arise for all of it or any portion of it, it would not be used but it would be available for the development of new weapons wherever the ideas might arise, but under the control of this Nation. Does that conform to your thinking?
General RIDGWAY. Yes, sir, but mine is surmise. I have not had the advantage of discussing it with Mr. Stassen and I did not know anything about it until I read it in the bill.
Mr. VORYS. Mr. Prouty.
Mr. PROUTY. General, you suggest that EDC is the key to effective European defense.
If you knew today that EDC would never become a reality, would you be advocating this program now?
General RIDGWAY. Yes, sir, because I do not see any alternative to
Mr. PROUTY. How far do you think Russia is behind us in her ability to conduct an atomic war?
General RIDGWAY. I do not believe in any fields is our information more uncertain or meager. My own conviction from all I know is that Russia is very distinctly behind us. I understand that she is very distinctly behind us, but what her rate of progress is relative to our own, I do not know.
Mr. PROUTY. Have you seen any of the reports prepared by the MSA evaluation teams?
General RIDGWAY. No.
Mr. VORYS. Mr. Bentley.
Mr. BENTLEY. When I asked you this morning if your wartime mission was limited strictly to the defense of the NATO countries, some of the newspaper boys came around later and asked me if I had any other country in mind and I told them I did not.
Did I understand that mission would not include the defense of such countries as Yugoslavia at the present time?
General RIDGWAY. That is right, sir, but I was in error in my answer to your question. I should have included West Germany, which is not a NATO member. I thought you were thinking of Yugoslavia when I answered you before.
1 Mr. Adair is here referring to Harold E. Stassen who was a former Governor of Minnesota and a former president of the University of Pennsylvania. At the time he was Director of the Mutual Security Agency; he was Director of the Foreign Operations Administration and then later a Special Assistant to President Eisenhower in the period 1955-58.
TIME REQUIRED FOR NATO FORCES TO REACT TO A SOVIET INVASION
Mr. BENTLEY. On page 4 of your statement you read to us this morning, general, you spoke of a period of warning.
Could you tell us what period of warning you might reasonably anticipate at the present time?
General RIDGWAY. In the first place, the Soviet Government would never undertake an all-out war unless it were convinced it had amassed the necessary means to give it all reasonable chances of carrying it forward without loss of momentum, until it had at least overrun the greater part of Western Europe and thereafter continue operations in accordance with its plan. I would conclude from that that the buildup could not be made without our getting in the matter of 2 or 3 weeks, or maybe a month, a warning of the buildup.
The point there is, and the great danger which I would like to emphasize is the reliance. If we know we are going to get that much warning, we feel we can relax and do not have to worry.
The point here is, what is our ability to react within that period? What can we do to put ourselves in a reasonable defensive posture without sacrificing these magnificent troops that we have, land, sea and air, that are on the front line and will take the brunt of this thing and will absorb those terrific blows in the beginning and continue to do so until we can bring up our reserves and begin all-out mobilization. Now that is the crux of the thing. The mere determination of what warning you get in itself is insufficient. It itself is a question of what you can do by way of reaction.
TIME REQUIRED FOR THE NATO FORCE BUILDUP
Mr. BENTLEY. I was reading General Handy's 13 statement and in his conclusion he said on the last page:
As I have indicated, the European Allies are incapable of raising and equipping the forces needed for the defense of the key area in the time available.
What time does he refer to there? What time is available for building up the European forces, in his estimation, as we read this statement?
General RIDGWAY. I do not know. I have two officers here from his headquarters and I have missed it in his statement.
General O'HARA. I will try to speak for General Handy.
I think General Ridgway will agree, sir, that in a situation like this, it is very difficult to say how much time you have. If you knew it would be very simple to decide how much you can stretch this out or speed it up.
I think the time that General Handy speaks of is the fact that as soon as possible we must get out of this situation of complete void of which General Ridgway spoke.
When he speaks of time, it is not by 1954 or 1955, it is the required speed with which we must generate some capacity in Europe.
Mr. BENTLEY. He refers to no specific period of time then?
Mr. BENTLEY. Thank you.
13 See footnote 3 on p. 39 of this volume.
SOVIET STRATEGIC CAPABILITIES
Mr. VORYS. As to this matter of warning General Gruenther 14 told us last year that the Soviets knew that our contribution was going to be strategic bombing and if they launched a major effort on one of these traditional paths, and therefore they would not do that without an attempt to neutralize the strategic bombing and therefore probably the warning we would have would be a blow-up, here. What do you think of that? You see what I mean: If they determined to make an effort, they would try to eliminate our potential as much as possible before launching it.
General RIDGWAY. By attack, do you mean, sir, or by subversion? Mr. VORYS. By letting loose with whatever atom bombs they could smuggle in, or fly in, here. I wondered whether that situation had changed in the year?
General RIDGWAY. That is always speculative, sir, and of course it is very, very dangerous to figure out as a military commander, to get yourself tied down in your mental processes to what the other fellow is going to do. You must keep an open mind as to what he is capable of doing.
Now he is perfectly capable of making his first blow an atomic blow against targets in the United States and there would be no warning at all of that, or next to nothing. Just what his capabilities are in there today is exceedingly hard to evaluate. A determined air attack pressed through by a well-trained, capable enemy, I do not think any air officer in the world would say you can stop all of it. If it is pressed home, a good part of it is going through.
What is his atomic potential? What targets does he have? He has valuable targets on the other side of the world, too. I have no question but what he will go after our atomic capabilities on the other side. What strength he has and what proportion of that strength he would devote to each, I do not know.
However, what does 'seem to me a reasonable thesis is that he is not going to take this first irretrievable step unless he is convinced in his own mind that he is all set to go; with a momentum that he will not again lose. If he is going to do that, then you are going to get these many indications of this massive buildup on the ground. That is what I think.
The point that I would like to leave so clearly with you-and if you challenge this statement, so much the better. If our military thinking is wrong, we are the first who would want to know about it. It is that he could achieve that buildup now within a period of time which would make impossible our raising our defensive strength sufficiently to meet it successfully. Do I make that clear, sir?
Mr. VORYS. No.
General RIDGWAY. He has 22 divisions in East Germany and he has eight more in the captive nations, there. That is 30 divisions in very close contact to us and they are in the training areas in East Germany. They are almost right up there, almost in contact with our covering forces. He can launch those with practically no warning at
14 Gen. Alfred M. Gruenther, U.S. Army, had previously been Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers, Europe.
all. They can start right out of their training areas, tonight and they would be on the border or across the border by daylight tomorrow morning.
He would not do that because he cannot sustain that effort through to the major objectives on the channel coast in France. So he is going to build up a further mass to reenforce them, in follow-up troops.
As I say, we will get indications of that. Many indications. The point is if we get 30-days indication, what greater strength can we have in our advanced positions within 30 days? The ammunition. stocks, you cannot possibly get them there in that time today. The fuel distribution system is going to take you 18 months from the time you get a green light to put these underground pipe systems in, and we have not got the green light. Reserves? They are not trained today. Not officers, real leaders. We are in the process of developing those. All those things take time, they take money, and they take funds of the caliber you are dealing with.
Mr. VORYS. Your point is that a 30-day notice would not mean a great deal to our side in preparing?
General RIDGWAY. That is right. The relative power ratio within those 30 days would change enormously in his favor, what he could do in 30 days compared to what we could do.
PROJECTED NATO REQUIREMENTS
Mr. VORYS. Now one other question. This 140, 12,000 and so forth, I do not yet see what that is. If that means perfect security, if that means minimum security, or if that is the soldier's requirement as opposed to the politicians goal, I am not clear on it. It is not merely a matter of quibbling about words, General, but the right hand column is a set of goals it would not appear we are going to reach in any series of years, or certainly those fellows over there are not, the way they are going at it with the present degree of effort.
Now, if that is what they have to reach to be safe, and have a peaceful world and they are not going to do it, well that's one thing. I do not quite get what the concept of the right hand requirements is.
General RIDGWAY. I am glad you brought it up, sir, and if I have not made it clear, I will keep on trying, if you have the patience, until I do.
Let us start with the Army up there. That is 140 divisions for a 4,000-mile front from the North Cape of Norway. That is a 4,000mile arc from the North Cape of Norway down to Paris and down to Rome and over to the eastern Caucausian border of Turkey, 140 divisions. For the Northern Command which includes Norway and Denmark, only 13 divisions. For the Central Command, which is the vital area of the whole thing, 65. France is prewar days alone had 100 divisions of her own, pre-World War II. For the Southern Command, Italy, 19; for Greece, 12; and for Turkey, 35. That is, by D-plus-30.
The Soviets by that time can have mobilized 320 divisions in the first 30 days. They are on superior lines. We are not going to fight