Skip to main content

11 October 1961: Overview of LIVE OAK

This memorandum gives the official description of the LIVE OAK plans and their relation to NATO, focusing on three key areas:

(1)  The development of small-scale military probes to determine Soviet/GDR intentions with respect to the denial of ground or air access by force;
(2)  The use of air lifts as appropriate to meet the essential requirements in the event that civil air access is interfered with or ground access is denied; and
(3)  The readying of limited ground forces and tactical air forces to be employed, if necessary, to demonstrate tripartite determination to use force.

The document nevertheless makes it obvious that the relationship between LIVE OAK and NATO military is still unclear and requires further clarification.


Memorandum, ‘‘Berlin - Contingency Planning,’’ 11 Oct. 1961, LAC, RG 25, vol. 6080, file no. 50341-A-2-40, part 1.

11 October 1961: Overview of LIVE OAK