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A NKVD/NKGB Report to Stalin: A Glimpse into Soviet Intelligence in
the United States in the 1940s
by Vladimir Pozniakov
The Soviet intelligence community, comprising the NKVD/NKGB First Chief Directorate (FCD), the Fourth Department of the Red Army General Staff (later called the GRU), the Communist International's Division of International Communications (DIC), and the Intelligence Department of the People's Commissariat of the Navy, had built a number of formidable networks abroad by the outset of World War Two. Working separately and coordinated by I.V. Stalin himself, they were severely decimated during the Great Terror2 but still managed to supply the Soviet political leadership with all kinds of information to counter the Axis.3 The majority of these networks, aside from notable exceptions such as the Sorge ring in Tokyo, Rote Kapelle centered on Germany and the Sandor Rado group in Switzerland, survived the war. A
5 November 1944 joint report sent to Stalin by L.P. Beria and V.N. Merkulov gives a clear indication of the scale of NKVD/NKGB activities abroad, particularly in the United States.
called “award list”-is still classified and can not be reproduced here. It contains names of officers who in the opinion of Beria and Merkulov deserved medals for "successful realization of tasks safeguarding state security during the period of the Patriotic War” in ways that might interest an international audience. 6 The list reflects the growing importance of Soviet intelligence activities in the United States from the pre-war to wartime to the post-war period.
Before the war, the United States was at the periphery of Soviet intelligence's main interests, especially regarding military intelligence. In late May 1934, in setting the tasks for Soviet military intelligence (then called the Fourth Directorate of the Red Army), the Politburo made a decision to focus intelligence activities primarily on Europe and the Far East. The decision of the Politburo read: “The center of gravity of military intelligence's work is to be transferred to Poland, Germany, Finland, Romania, England, Japan, Manchuria and China. Any studies of other states' armed forces are to be undertaken by legal means by official military representatives (military attaches), visitors and trainees, examiners of military equipment, etc."8 Thus, the principal efforts of the NKVD/NKGB New York and Washington rezidenturas (intelligence mission) as well as those of the GRU and DIC were focused on the collection of economic, scientific and industrial information. At least four out of the eight
9 officers mentioned in the appendix were occupied with such matters, with heavy emphasis on information related to radio and electronic equipment, weapons, military aircraft construction, shipbuilding, chemical technology,
World War Two brought a dramatic rise in the United States' standing in Soviet political, and especially military, priorities, including a number of important mission
11 changes for Soviet intelligence in America. According to A. Feklisov's memoirs, these tasks were stated by Stalin to Vasilii Zarubin as follows: “...to watch Churchill and Roosevelt and to learn whether they are going to reach a separate peace agreement with Hitler and then go to war against the Soviet Union together; to obtain Hitler's plans of war against the USSR which the Allies might possess; to learn any secret goals and plans of the Allies related to the war; to find out when exactly the Allies are going to open the second front in Europe; to obtain information on the newest secret military equipment designed and produced in the USA, England and Canada.” According to the instruction received by the FCD rezident in the United States, Stalin had also requested any information related to the “Allies' secret plans on postwar global settlement.” 12
The broader spectrum of tasks facing Soviet intelligence in the US required additional personnel, both Soviet and local. The pre-war staff of the NKGB and GRU rezidenturas was rather modest. For example, in the New York consulate and in Amtorg there were only 13 intelligence
officers, most of them well known to the FBI. 13 Also, because the USSR and the US had become wartime
During the period of the Patriotic War employees of the 1st (intelligence) directorate, NKVD/NKGB undertook substantial work in organizing intelligence networks abroad and in obtaining political, economic, technical and military information.
During this period 566 officers have been sent abroad for illegal work, 1,240 agents and informers have been recruited, 41,718 various items including many documents have been obtained by intelligence. Out of 1,167 documents obtained by technical intelligence, 616 have been used by our country's industries!
Attaching herewith a draft for a USSR Supreme Soviet Presidium decree, we request that the most distinguished employees of the 1st (intelligence) directorate, NKVD/NKGB, USSR, mostly those who have served and do serve abroad, be decorated with orders of the Soviet Union.
Appendix: according to attached text.
allies, both branches of Soviet intelligence had to limit their usage of the clandestine structures of the American Communist Party (CPUSA),14 The usage of local Communists was also limited by two other reasons: many of them were well known to the FBI, while many others were drafted after Pearl Harbor by the US Army and Navy15 or interned, as had happened to a number of CPUSA members of Japanese extraction on the West
The lack of trained personnel in 1941 and early 1942 was soon supplemented by the growing flow of Soviet military and civilian specialists coming to the United States to work in the Soviet Purchasing Commission (SPC) and other agencies that mushroomed after the USSR became a part of the Lend-Lease program. According to Feklisov, by 1944 the staff of Amtorg and the SPC in New York City alone reached some 2,500, with an equal number of officials, engineers and other specialists serving at the SPC branch in Washington, DC.17 The majority of these people worked directly or indirectly either for the GRU or NKVD. 18 Also, the limitations imposed on the usage of the CPUSA membership did not mean that Soviet intelligence ceased recruiting both Americans and nonAmericans in America. 19 And though the actual number of agents and informers recruited by Soviet intelligence officers in the United States will probably never be known, according to British estimates, out of 1,200 cryptonyms that “littered the traffic" of the New York/Moscow and Washington/Moscow channels of the FCD and GRU communications, "more than 800 were assessed as recruited Soviet agents."20
The first name mentioned in the appendix was that of Lieutenant Colonel Iskhak A. Akhmerov, the NKGB illegal rezident (chief of intelligence mission) in the United States during the prewar period. In 1940 he returned to Moscow for a short tenure in the American division of the 5th Department of the NKGB (the FCD since 1941) only to be sent back in 1942 to Washington, DC as the head of an illegal sub-rezidentura. 21 A Volga Tartar by origin, he spoke English better than Russian and was married to an American who worked along with him in the United States both before and during the war. Throughout his second stay in the US, he ran a number of agents supplying Soviet intelligence with a large amount of extremely valuable political, military and scientifictechnical information.22
The next high ranking officer recommended for decoration with the Red Banner Medal, number five on the list, was NKGB Commissar III (roughly equal to the army rank of Major General) Gaik B. Ovakimyan,
a veteran of Soviet intelligence in America, operating there since 1932. Working under the cover of an Amtorg official and nick-named by the Federal Bureau of Investigation the wily Armenian," he controlled in 1933-1941 a vast network of agents scattered not only throughout the United States, but also as far afield as Mexico and Canada. His name first cropped up in the 1930s in conjunction with an
extensive industrial espionage operation tied to a certain Armand Feldman.24 He also laid the foundation for a network later used by Moscow "Center" to penetrate the American nuclear program by recruiting a number of its important agents, including Harry Gold, who was approached in 1935 through Thomas L. Black and in the late 1940s became a key member of the Klaus Fuchs-David Greenglass spy ring 25 Ovakimyan was caught redhanded by the FBI in April 1941 while contacting one of his agents who, according to the memoirs of another FCD officer, Aleksandr S. Feklisov, was a plant. 26 In July, Ovakimyan was exchanged for a number of Americans detained in Russia.27 He was replaced in the New York City rezidentura temporarily by his deputy Pavel P. Pastel’nyak and then by Vasilii Zarubin who headed both the NYC and Washington, DC branches of the NKGB American networks until late 1944.28
Several other names mentioned in the appendix should also be familiar: NKGB Major Stepan Z. Apresyan, who in 1944 replaced Vasilii Zarubin as the Soviet rezident in Washington, and Major Leonid R. Kvasnikov, deputy rezident in NYC and the chief of scientific and technical intelligence in the United States. Captain Semion M. Semenov is there, the other “Amtorg official” who played an important part in sci/tech intelligence and later, in 19441947, played a crucial role in Soviet atomic espionage in the United States. Lieut. Col. Grigory G. Dolbin is also listed, since 1946 the NKGB (MGB) rezident in Washington, DC. Among the younger generation of FCD officers mentioned in the appendix were Captain Alexander S. Feklisov of the NYC network, who in 1947-1949 ran Klaus Fuchs in Britain and in 1960-1964 became the KGB rezident in Washington, DC, and Senior (First) Lieut. Constantin A. Chugunov, also in the NYC FCD group.29
Among those Americans who (in the NKGB parlance) helped Soviet spymasters were the names of several Red Star medal nominees. These included: 1) Elizabeth T. Bentley, a liaison agent assigned by her Soviet controller (along with Joseph Katz) to collect information from some of the Washington rings, 2) Harry Gold, a courier for Klaus Fuchs, and 3) George Silvermaster (an apparent NKGB typist misprint (Ed note: Or tongue-in-cheek alias]), a top official of the Department of the Treasury and one of the most successful and productive Soviet agents. By Pearl Harbor he had gathered together a group of ten government officials working in Washington" in various branches of the Roosevelt administration. 30
The results appear to be impressive. Tons of “diplomatic” mail was being sent home monthly by the Soviet embassy in the US.31 Hundreds of NKGB informants provided a wide range of information, with scientifictechnical secrets in the forefront. With the release of further intelligence documents, the structure and importance of Soviet espionage efforts in the US will become clearer. For now, the available documentation can only sketch some outlines and whet the appetite.
9 Dallin, pp.
Vladimir Pozniakov is a Senior Researcher at the Institute of General History of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow.
Narodnyi Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del (People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs), and Narodnyi Komissariat Gosudarstvennoi Bezopasnosti (People's Commissariat of State Security) are the predecessors of the KGB. 2
In early 1937 the NKVD/NKGB Chief N.I. Ezhov sent a special agent (code name “Journalist”) to the US and Britain to investigate supposed penetration of the US and British Communist Parties' apparatus by the Trotskyites as well as by the FBI and MI5. Though the investigation was focused on “Trotskyist functionaries and their entourage” it led to accusations that a number of Soviet illegals working within the underground structures of the CPUSA and British Communist Party had ties to Trotsky and his followers.-see: Minaev (NKGB Deputy Chief) to Dimitrov (Comintern Secretary General) 23 April 1937— Russian Center for the Storage and Study of Contemporary History Documents (RTsKhIDNI), Moscow, f. 495 (Communist International), op. 74 (G. Dimitrov's Secretariat), d. 465, 11. 1-4. Soon after this mission, many Soviet rezidents and agents abroad were charged with being a part of a Trotskyist conspiracy. They were summoned to Moscow for execution. Among them were such outstanding intelligence officers as Theodor Maly, Ignace Poretskii (aka Reiss), Walter Krivitskii and Alexander Orlov. Krivitskii defected and Poretsky refused to return and was subsequently killed in Switzerland. For details see: E. Pretsky, Our Own People. (Ann Arbor, Mich., 1969), pp. 214-216, 231; A.Orlov, The Secret History of Stalin's Crimes. (New York, 1953), pp. 231; B.Starkov, “The Tragedy of Soviet Military Intelligence” in V. Krivitsky, I Was Stalin's Agent. (Moscow, 1991), pp. 39-52 (in Russian); J. Costello, O. Tsarev, The Deadly Illusion. (New York, 1993), pp. 293-314, 315-340. 3
More generally on information provided by Soviet intelligence throughout WWII see: V.A. Novobranets, "Memuary,” Znamia (June 1990), pp. 165-192; P. Sudoplatov, Special Tasks. (Boston, 1994), pp. 116-120, 126-171, 172-220; A. Foote, Handbook for Spies. (London, 1964), pp. 88-99, 118-125; L. Trepper, The Great Game. (New York, 1989), pp. 126, 136-137, 140-197; S. Rado, Codename Dora. (London, 1990), pp. 53-59, 61-114, 130-151, 196-211; Christopher Andrew and O. Gordievsky, KGB: The Inside Story of its Foreign Operations from Lenin to Gorbachev. (New York, 1991), pp. 270-279, 305-311, 312-340. 4
For details see: C. Willoughby, Shanghai Conspiracy.: G. Prange et al., Target Tokyo: The Story of the Sorge Spy Ring. (New York, 1985); Trepper, especially pp. 96-329; D. Dallin, Soviet Espionage. (New Haven, 1955), pp. 234-272. 5
See: Foote, pp. 37-148; Dallin, pp. 182-233. 6
State Archive of the Russian Federation (GARF), f. 9401 (Stalin and Molotov Special Files), op. 2, d. 67, 1. 275. 7
Ed. Note: The evaluation of intelligence's historical role is problematic. The case of atom spying will serve to illustrate, since the procurement of an industrial method or bomb design represents an idea that might take a Russian scientist but a moment to have. It is also possible that the crucial moment might not come for years. Furthermore, since the Venona project had cracked the Soviet radio code, most of this information was available to the enemy. 8
Minutes of Politburo Decisions, No. 7, paragraph 229/213, 25 May 1934—RTsKhIDNI, f. 17, op. 162, d. 16, 1. 65. One can probably assume that NKVD/NKGB priorities were basically the
396-414; Andrew and Gordievsky, pp. 226, 228229, 279. 10
A. Feklisov, Beyond the Ocean and On the Island. (Moscow, 1994), pp. 55-58, 77-78, 81-107. 11 Circumstantial evidence of this shift was reflected in the list of salaries set by Politburo decision for Soviet diplomats posted abroad. According to this “Table of Ranks” the United States was listed second, right after Germany. Britain, Japan and China followed. 12
Feklisov, 13 Feklisov,
pp. 50, 60-63. [Ed. note: Amtorg was the Soviet organization responsible for trade with America.] 14
Sudoplatov, pp. 186-187. (Ed. note: The Comintern, previously the main conduit to the American party, was disbanded in 1943.)
Sudoplatov, p. 187; also, see: Information from “Brother" and "Son" (codenames of Rudy Baker and of an unidentified American Communist functionary) to Georgii Dimitrov, Approx. Jan. 1943. Photocopy of the original typewritten report in English–RTSKLIDNI, f. 495, op. 74, d. 480, 11. 1-4. On R. Baker see also: The Secret World of American Communism. Ed. by Klehr, Haynes, and Firsov. (New Haven, 1995), pp. 205-216. 16
Information from “Brother” and “Son" for G. Dimitrov, ca. Jan. 1943—ibid., 11. 3-4. 17
Feklisov, p. 32; V. Kravchenko, I Choose Freedom. (Garden City, 1945), p. 465. 18 Feklisov, pp. 100-101; Kravchenko, pp. 445, 461, 465; Dallin, pp. 428-432. 18
Feklisov, pp. 65-105; M. Vorontsov, Capt. 1st rank, Chief Navy Main Staff, Intelligence Directorate, and Petrov, Military Commissar, NMS, ID to G. Dimitrov, 15 August 1942, No. 49253ss, typewritten original; G. Dimitrov to Pavel M. Fitin, 20 November 1942, No. 663, t/w copy; P. M. Fitin to G. Dimitrov, 14 July 1944, No. 1/3/10987, t/w copy; P. M. Fitin to G. Dimitrov, 29 September 1944, No. 1/3/16895, t/w copy. All these documents are NMS ID and FCD Chiefs' requests for information related to Americans and naturalized American citizens working in various US Government agencies and private corporations, some of whom had been CPUSA members. The last two are related to a certain Donald Wheeler (an OSS official), Charles Floto or Flato (who in 1943 worked for the "...Dept. of Economic Warfare"), and Harry Magdoff (War Production Board)—the request dated 29 Sept. 1944—and to Judith Coplon who according to the FCD information worked for the Dept. of Justice.—RTsKhIDNI, f. 495, op. 74, d. 478, 1. 7; d. 484, 1. 34; d. 485, 1. 10, 14, 17, 31, 44. 20 P. Wright, Spy Catcher. (New York, 1987), p. 182. This is close to the NKVD/NKGB statistics cited above in the Beriia/ Merkulov document. 21
GARF, f. 9401, op. 2, d. 67, 1. 276. 22 Feklisov, pp. 14, 106. 23
GARF, f. 9401, op. 2, d. 67, 1. 276. 24 Lamphere R.J., Shachtman T. The FBI-KGB War. A Special Agent's Story. (New York, 1986), pp. 25-26. 25
Ibid, pp. 164-165, 167-177. 26 Feklisov, pp. 23, 51. 27 Lamphere and Shachtman, pp. 25-26; Feklisov, p. 51. 28 Feklisov, pp. 23, 51-53. 29 GARF, f. 9401, op. 2, d. 67, 1. 281. On Feklisov's role in atomic espionage see: Feklisov, pp. 154-163. On Klaus Fuchs see also: R. Williams, Klaus Fuchs, Atom Spy. (Cambridge, Mass., 1987), pp. 100-101; Sudoplatov, pp. 200-210, 212-220. 30
GARF, f. 9401, op. 2, d. 67, 1. 278. 31 Dallin, pp.436-7.
The Pitsunda Decision: Khrushchev and Nuclear Weapons By Aleksandr Fursenko and Timothy Naftali
Nikita Khrushchev has left us with tantalizing clues with which to solve one of the essential mysteries of the Cold War: were the Soviets ever close to using nuclear weapons? Two documents photocopied by General Dmitrii Volkogonov from the Defense Ministry files in Moscow and now available at the Library of Congress (where they were located and obtained for CWIHP by Vladislav M. Zubok, James G. Hershberg, and David Wolff) shed additional light on what we described in our book, One Hell of a Gamble: Khrushchev, Castro and Kennedy, 1958-1964 (WW Norton and John Murray, 1997), as the Pitsunda decision. 1
On the face of it, these two Defense Ministry documents do not appear that startling. The first discusses the movement of tactical nuclear weapons to Cuba. The second lists all of the components of Operation ANADYR. But it is the dates of these documents, 6 September and 8 September, respectively, that arguably make them more revelatory about Khrushchev's understanding of nuclear weapons than any other documents currently available from Russian archives. As has been known for some time, Khrushchev decided to send ballistic missiles to Cuba in May 1962. Since the Havana conference organized by James Blight, David Welch and Brown University in January 1992,2 we have known that the Kremlin included tactical nuclear weapons along with the ballistic weapons. But Khrushchev's personal role in adding the tactical weapons, which, unlike the SS-4s (R-12) and SS-5s (R14), were not primarily weapons of deterrence, was not known. Moreover, it was assumed by some scholars that the Defense Ministry simply added these weapons as a matter of course to the large shipment.
Historians naturally look for turning points, when actions of human beings or a timely gust of force majeure shifted or could have shifted subsequent events. September 1962, as these documents attest, belongs in the pantheon of Cold War turning points. The planners of the original version of Operation ANADYR, and Khrushchev himself, assumed that the United States would not try to invade Cuba in 1962. Soviet intelligence detected increased US planning, without creating any basis for belief that an attack would come that year. The single most important piece of information in shaping Khrushchev's understanding of the threat to Soviet interests in the Western Hemisphere seems to have come from President Kennedy himself. At a meeting with Khrushchev's son-in-law, Aleksei Adzhubei on 30 January 1962, Kennedy promised the Kremlin that he expected to be able to treat Cuba as Khrushchev had handled Hungary in 1956. Neither the KGB nor the GRU could detect a timetable for aggression, but Khrushchev understood that Kennedy was as unwilling to accept a challenge to the US
sphere of influence THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE
in the Caribbean as CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS
the Soviets had
1962 to September OF A
1962, the Kremlin mounted an operation to create a deterrent to US
aggression in Cuba. KHRUSHCHEV
“The thing is we CASTRO 6 KENNEDY
were not going to 1958.1964
Khrushchev later ALEKSANDR FURSENKO explained to his TIMOTHY NAFTALI Kremlin colleagues
when the operation
began to unravel in October, "[w]e just wanted to intimidate them, to deter the anti-Cuban forces."3 The operation was cloaked in secrecy because the Kremlin assumed that Kennedy would only accept a deterrent if presented as a fait accompli.
From the very beginning, the Kremlin was aware that the plan had a glaring flaw. As of spring 1962, Soviet intelligence and presumably the Communist Party leadership knew that Washington regularly flew U-2 reconnaissance missions over Cuba. Yet Khrushchev apparently only began to worry about the effect these flights would have on the secrecy of the operation in July, two months after the plan was adopted. He decided at that point that SA-2 surface-to-air missiles, which were credited with shooting down Gary Powers' U-2 in May 1960, would be erected around the island before the strategic missiles arrived. Up to that point, no priority had been assigned to these weapons. Later, American analysts, chiefly CIA Director John McCone, would "deduce" the existence of nuclear missiles in Cuba from the elaborate SA-2 net arrayed around the island. Until July 1962, however, the Kremlin had not considered the SA-2s as a possible shield to ward off U-2 spying.
By September 1962, Khrushchev had successfully willed himself to believe that the operation would remain secret and, even if it did not, that Kennedy would somehow swallow the deployment without incident. Then an event in Washington roiled these assumptions, triggering a dramatic reassessment by Khrushchev of ANADYR. On September 4, in an effort primarily to quell domestic criticisms of his Cuba policy, John F. Kennedy had his press secretary, Pierre Salinger, read a statement that "[t]he gravest issues would arise” if the Soviets sent organized combat troops, offensive ground-to-ground missiles or anything else with “significant offensive capability" to the island. 4 This was the signal that Khrushchev had dreaded.
. There had been some information from the Cubans in August that suggested the Americans knew the missiles
were going to the island. In Khrushchev's mind, it appears, the Kennedy statement was Washington's way of signaling that it knew about ANADYR and was planning to do something about it.
Khrushchev had a chance to stop the operation. As of September 5, when he learned of Kennedy's statement, there were no missiles or nuclear warheads in Cuba. As he would do on October 25, he could have terminated the deployment. But he didn't. As these two “Pitsunda” documents show, Khrushchev not only decided to stay the course, but his reaction to Kennedy's effort to deter the deployment of missiles was to ratchet up the incipient crisis by introducing tactical nuclear weapons into the picture.
Pitsunda was the location of Khrushchev's dacha on the Black Sea. As his daughter Rada Adzhubei recalls, Khrushchev ordered this dacha to be built after he discovered that his rival Georgii Malenkov had a similar one down the road." It was here that foreign leaders caught a glimpse of the famous Khrushchev pool and the rotund Khrushchev posed in his intlatable rubber ring. As he did every summer, Khrushchev had left Moscow in August and was carrying on the affairs of state by his pool when the news from Washington arrived.
The first thing that needs to be said about the two Volkogonov documents evidently sent to Khrushchev at Pitsunda is that they were handwritten. So obsessive was Soviet security that the marshals and generals at the Defense Ministry, who did not themselves know how to type, did not trust their own secretaries to prepare these documents on nuclear deployments.
The first document, which is a report to Khrushchev from Defense Minister Marshal Rodion Malinovskii, makes plain that Khrushchev had asked his armed forces for a crash program to save Cuba. The US military might be preparing to move against Cuba in the next few days or weeks and as of September 5, the Soviet Union was in no position to save Castro. According to the schedule of deployments approved in July, the medium-range missiles would not be operational until mid-October, and the intermediate
range missiles would not be ready until even later, at least the end of November. Since abandoning Cuba was not an option that Khrushchev would consider at that time, the Soviet leader reached for a dramatic stopgap measure. He needed weapons that were small enough that they could be rushed to Cuba in a matter of days, but powerful enough to stop a US amphibious landing. In 1962, only tactical or battlefield nuclear weapons could meet both criteria. With this in mind, Khrushchev asked his defense minister Rodion Malinovskii whether tactical nuclear weapons could be flown to Cuba immediately.
In this report, Malinovskii explained that the shortrange Luna missiles, with their nuclear warheads, and the newest nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, the “R-11m” could go by plane. 6 Although the operation was feasible, the Defense Ministry discouraged rushing the tactical weapons
to Cuba by airplane. Either the generals did not share Khrushchev’s anxiety or the risk of flying nuclear weapons was too great. In light of these concerns, the Ministry recommended to Khrushchev that one squadron of Il-28 light bombers, with six 8-12 kiloton nuclear bombs, be shipped in crates. The Soviet Defense Ministry also recommended sending an R-11m missile brigade and between two and three divisions of Luna missiles. In
7 terms of the timing of these reinforcements, the Ministry suggested sending the missiles and the bombers in the first half of October. The warheads would go separately on board the ship Indigirka, which was already supposed to take 45 warheads for the medium range ballistic missiles, and would be leaving the Soviet Union on September 15.
Because Khrushchev annotated the report in his own hand, we can see Khrushchev's extraordinary response to the Defense Ministry. On 7 September 1962, he chose to put the maximum reliance on nuclear weapons. The document bears his signature where that day he personally authorized the sending of 6 atomic bombs for the 11-28s and where he asked for Luna missiles. The Ministry had suggested two or three detachments, with 8-12 missiles. Khrushchev, betraying his concerns and his belief in the value of battlefield nuclear weapons, chose the higher figure. Khrushchev, however, decided not to send a regiment of R-11m cruise missiles.
Khrushchev understood the importance of the decision he had just made and took pains to maintain direct control of these special weapons. The day after Khrushchev authorized the new shipment, the Defense Ministry drafted an order permitting the Soviet Commander in Cuba, General Issa Pliev, to use these battlefield nuclear weapons in the event that communications to Moscow were cut and a US-led invasion had begun. The order required two signatures. Malinovskii's deputy, Marshal Zakharov, signed in his capacity as Army Chief of Staff, but Malinovskii did not. Malinovskii was Khrushchev's man, selected to replace the independent-minded Marshal Georgii Zhukov in 1957. [Ed. Note: On Zhukov's replacement, see Mark Kramer's essay in the “Plenums” section of this Bulletin.) Since Khrushchev did not want to lose control over the decision to use nuclear weapons, the document would sit unsigned in the files until events in Cuba warranted a change.
The second document, also classified the equivalent of "eyes only" for Khrushchev and dated 8 September, reflected the Soviet leader's new concerns in September 1962, too. A revised operation plan for ANADYR, it stresses two very significant points: a) That the mission of ANADYR was to defend Cuba b) That the use of nuclear weapons can only be authorized by a direct order from Moscow (po signalu iz Moskvy). Khrushchev is clearly girding himself for a limited war in Cuba, something he had perhaps not really contemplated before. To be able to defend the island, he might have to use nuclear weapons; but he wished to retain final control over that momentous decision. This second