Reference FO 371/151981
Title Northern (N): Soviet Union (NS). Armed Forces
Former Foreign Office Reference Code NS file 1192 (pp 20 to 30)
The National Archives Closure Status File was closed for 30 years after creation, under the Public Records Act 1958.
Themes International Relations, Military
Document Types Correspondence, Legal and Treaty Material
Subject Countries Soviet Union
Countries East Germany, France, United Kingdom, United States
People Nikita Khrushchev, Rodion Malinovskii, Rodion Malinovsky
Key Events U-2 incident
Language French
Notes Documents in this file were retained under Section 3(4) of the Public Records Act 1958, but put back in place on April 18, 1994. The following article has been removed from this file due to copyright restrictions: The Times, 1 June 1960, Changes in Soviet attitude, demands by armed forces.
Copyright Information
Article(s) from Manchester Guardian reproduced with permission of Guardian News & Media. Copyright Guardian News & Media Ltd 2017.


A file of correspondence and legal material on the Soviet armed forces. The file reports a speech by the Soviet Minister of Defence, Rodion Malinovsky, after the shooting down of an American spy plane, in which he threatened to attack any military base used by aircraft which went on to violate Soviet airspace; and later comments by Nikita Khrushchev indicating that it would be at the discretion of military commanders whether conventional or nuclear weapons would be used in the strike. The file discusses the motivation for the threat, suggesting that it covered Soviet vulnerability to further overflights; and the text of a joint NATO protest to be delivered if the Soviet threat were repeated. The file also reports the military equipment displayed during the May Day parade in Moscow, and the relatively low rank of the Soviet commander-in-chief in East Germany, which suggested the command would be reduced.


airspace, Anglo-American relations, British press, East German-Soviet relations, Joint Intelligence Committee, law, Manchester Guardian, military bases, military equipment, military officers, missiles, national holidays, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), occupation, parades, propaganda, public events, Soviet armed forces, Soviet government, Soviet politics, Soviet press, Soviet troops abroad, speeches, spy planes, threat of nuclear war, threat of war

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