Deep Operation

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Deep Operation


the theory, developed by Soviet military specialists, that expresses fundamental views on the waging of combat actions with massed and technically equipped armies.

The theory of the deep operation was a major achievement in the development of Soviet military science. It pointed out ways to escape from the blind alley of trench warfare that had come about during World War I (1914-18), and it played an important part in the subsequent development of military science. By the middle of the 1930’s the principles for waging deep offensive operations with massed use of tanks, aviation, artillery, and airborne landings had been developed. The main idea of the theory of the deep operation was to strike to the full depth of the enemy’s defense in order to destroy the enemy’s entire operational grouping, through the use of artillery, aviation, armored forces, and airborne landings. Two missions were to be accomplished during the course of the deep operation: the breakthrough of the front of the enemy’s defense by a simultaneous attack to its full tactical depth and the immediate introduction of an echelon of mobile troops to turn the tactical breakthrough into an operational success.

The theory of the deep operation was recognized in a majority of the armies and successfully employed by the Soviet armed forces during the Great Patriotic War (1941-45). In the postwar period the theory of the deep operation has been further developed, relying on new physical facilities and the experience of the past war. The theory of the deep operation, worked out in detail by Soviet military specialists, has enriched and creatively developed the Soviet art of war.


Vremennyi polevoi ustav 1936, RKKA (PU-36). Moscow, 1938.
50 let Vooruzhennykh Sil SSSR [1918-1968]. Moscow, 1968. Pages 214-18.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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