Hello folks. I've recently been playing a very enjoying game of Mod33 as Russia. So entertaining was it, that it has inspired me to make this AAR. Though it is based roughly on said game, this AAR will be heavily driven by historical narrative as well as fictional narrative when it is appropriate. The things that happen in the story will not always be the exact same things that happen in the game. This has always been my style, for those who have kept up with my other AARs.
I hope this proves to be an enjoyment for all who choose to follow it!
Rise of the Eurasian Alliance: Operation White October
The Russian winter of 1932…one of the harshest winters to hit Russia in recent times. The Ukraine had been by far the hardest hit by the bitter chill, suffering widespread famine and the death of millions. The Soviet government had proven incapable of, or perhaps unwilling to providing for the people trapped in the bitter embrace of General Winter, and many food riots had broken out. These riots were brutally suppressed by the NKVD, but the winter’s chill that year would have long lasting effects on the future of Russia.
Russia at the start of 1933 was an impoverished state. Its people lived in abysmal conditions that would be considered absolutely intolerable by the west. They worked restlessly for very little pay, and could barely afford enough food to last their families through the winter, if even that. Russia in 1933 was a country ripe for change. With the horrible famines of 1932 leaving several million dead, only the sheer force of personality of Joseph Stalin, the brutal dictator of the USSR was holding the country together. That would soon change however…
On January 6th 1933, Joseph Stalin was in transit to the Kremlin, heavily guarded by his NKVD escorts as he rode in the luxurious car of the Communist Party. As they neared the Tver to Moscow train station however, they were incensed to learn that there was a small delay at the Moscow station and the train had fallen behind schedule. With their vehicles grounded in the snow, they awaited the train’s arrival impatiently. A short distance away however, camouflaged in the snow was Lieutenant Vassili Marchaiev, the son of a ‘white’ soldier who fought with General Anton Denikin in Crimea during the Russian civil war. After being captured in 1921, his father had been swiftly and mercilessly executed.
As the train finally arrived and Stalin exited his car to board it, the man took aim, and fired the shot that rang throughout all of Russia. The bullet hit Stalin in the right eye, killing him instantly, and sending the NKVD into a frantic search for the man responsible for the assassination. Grigory Zinoviev immediately replaced Stalin as General Secretary, but was unable to fill the power vacuum left by Stalin’s death. Word of Stalin’s death spread quickly throughout, and an enamored Leon Trotsky hurried back to Russia from France in order to stake his claim in the post-Stalin USSR.
Acting on orders from the Communist Party, Zinoviev had actually called Leon Trotsky out of exile in France. This alienated Stalin’s supporters within the party and the NKVD, who soon organized uprisings throughout Russia, basing their ‘headquarters’ in the appropriately named city of Stalingrad. Though not enjoying wide support from the population, the ‘Stalinists’ were nevertheless able to raise a fairly significant force in opposition to the Trotsky-Zinoviev alliance. Trotsky became the new Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, replacing Mikhail Kalinin, who fled to join the Stalinists.
Seeking to consolidate their position in the USSR, the Trotsky-Zinoviev alliance declared the Stalinists to be outlaws and enemies of the workers. The Red Army was sent in to try and quell the Stalinist uprising, and bitter fighting throughout the country ensued between the supporters of Boukarin who now lead the Stalinist faction and the Trotskiests. Fighting between the two sides continued throughout 1933, as Boukarin sought to depose Trotsky and reinstate the Stalinist system of Communism, albeit with a slightly more even hand.
Despite the remaining trouble with the Stalinist insurrection, Trotsky gave an inflammatory speech on April 7th of 1933, proclaiming a great Crusade against Capitalism. This terrified the western powers, and greatly aided the newly elected Adolf Hitler in consolidating his position in Germany. This would have disastrous affects for Communism in Russia however. Gravely concerned with the extremely belligerent words of Trotsky, Britain and France began a joint operation to sponsor insurrection within the Soviet Union, with the ultimate goal of overthrowing the Communist regime.
With the help of Grand Duke Kyrill Vladimirovich, considered the strongest claimant to the Russian throne, the Entente powers launched ‘Operation White October’. The allies were able to successfully gain the support of Finland for their operation, which would be primarily responsible for the transmission of supplies and aid to the White Revolutionary forces. They were also able to enlist the aid of the Danish government, thus allowing the easy transmission of supplies through the Baltic. Terrified by Trotsky’s speech, Poland eagerly agreed to help with the operation as well, providing a second avenue of supply shipments.
With the NKVD being greatly weakened by the party split, Trotsky’s attempts to reform the Soviet system and with state’s efforts focused against suppressing the Stalinist faction based around Stalingrad and the Low Countries, the Soviet government took little notice of the growing white movement in the first few months of the operation. On September 3rd, Britain officially declared its support for the return of the Tsar as a Constitutional Monarch at the head of a democratic Russia. It was only then that Trotsky’s government realized the extent of the growing problem.
Formerly suppressed by the relentless NKVD secret police, many people with tsarist and democratic sympathies began to openly voice their opposition to the Communist regime. Emboldened by Britain’s declaration of support, they began holding speeches and rallies in many Russian towns and villages. Though the greatly weakened NKVD tried to suppress this activity, their words touched the hearts of many, particularly the kulaks, who had suffered greatly under Communist rule. They also gained support amongst much of the population with their promise of liberty, better wages and democratic elections.
The Ukraine in particular, having suffered so greatly in the previous winters due to seemingly intentional Soviet neglect, flocked to the white cause in increasing numbers. In 1933, Russian Communism was teetering on the brink, as their greatest supporters, the lower class population, trickled away. Having seen their wages reduced to 1/10th of what they were under Lenin, they were ready for change, and the promise of better wages and living conditions in combination with liberty and democracy held great appeal for many.
The truth was they were now little better off than they had been under the old Tsarist regime. Famines had been widespread and food riots had broken out on several occasions, only to be severely repressed by the NKVD. The White agitators portrayed the Communist regime as hypocritical, as it preached support for the workers yet refused to properly provide or care for them. By late September the Russian Orthodox Church in exile had loudly trumpeted its support for the restoration of the Tsar. They were followed by what remained of the Church in Russia, further incensing the still devoutly Christian peasants against the Communists.
By October the country was in flames, with the NKVD struggling to suppress pro-white gatherings and rallies. Many massacres were carried out in an attempt to suppress the growing insurrection, and thousands of people were killed as a result. This only helped to fuel the flames of the anti-Communist revolution however. With the Stalinists refusing to surrender to Trotsky’s government, the Communist Party found itself divided at a crucial moment. Trotsky refused to negotiate with the supporters of his bitter enemy, and had since his rise to power in February carried out many executions of former Stalinist regime members.
As the White Revolution erupted throughout Russia, Admiral Vladimir M. Orlov made a fateful decision. A well-known supporter of Stalin, he believed that sooner or later Trotsky would come for his head, as he was in too powerful of a position to be ignored, being the head of the Russian Navy. After making a secret agreement to join with the White Revolutionaries in exchange for amnesty, Orlov quickly went about securing the consent of his most loyal officers and a battalion of marines. At 5 AM on November 1st the Baltic fleet opened fire on the naval base of Leningrad, while a team of commandos managed to secure it with minimal resistance.
Orlov handed the port, and in turn the city over to the White Revolutionaries as per their agreement, and was granted amnesty and protection from the Soviet government. Orlov and his forces agreed to fight for the Monarchists in exchange for their lives. With the fall of Leningrad to the White Revolutionaries, the first stage of Operation White October was a success. Supplies from Britain, France and Finland now flooded into city, as foreign volunteers and former white Russians in exile from the first civil war flocked to the banner of democracy and the Tsar.
The countryside surrounding Leningrad erupted in a wave of pro-white sentiment, as Soviet flags were burnt and the people loudly proclaimed their support for the White Revolution. Enamored by the promise of better wages, living standards and liberty, peasants flocked to join the ranks of the rapidly growing White Army. Soon, four British expeditionary corps had landed in St. Petersburg to support the Tsarists. Several days later Grand Duke Kyrill Vladimirovich, now using the last name of Romanov, landed in the city and settled into the Winter Palace.
The Grand Duke soon read a proclamation over the radio denouncing the Soviet regime and it’s inhumanities. He strongly condemned them for “devastating and lowering Mother Russia” to the unstable and impoverished condition it was now in, and calls for all Russians who have been wronged by the Reds and the reign of terror they unleashed to unite behind the White cause, and to end the Bolshevik’s brutal “rape of the motherland”. The broadcast met with wide support from the population, who were incensed against the Soviets by the patriotic and nationalistic rhetoric.
By mid November of 1933, the Second Russian Civil War was in full swing. It was a three-way struggle between the main Soviet government under Trotsky, the weakened but still fighting remnants of the old Stalinist regime, and the White Revolutionaries based in St. Petersburg, as it had been renamed in the Grand Duke’s proclamation. Russia now teetered on the brink of disintegration as the three political movements vied for control of the motherland.
State of the Soviet Union shortly after Grand Duke Kyrill's proclamation in November (still October by the Julian Calender). Green is the White Revolution, Dark Red is the Soviet government under Trotsky. Light Red are the Stalinist controlled lands, while pink are Russian satellite states. The shapeless green blobs scattered throughout the USSR represent significant pro-white guerrilla movements.
There you go! There will be more updates very soon - I've already written them after all. So keep your eyes peeled.