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Thread: The Rodina and the Shackles of Humanity

  1. #121
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    first Kartaphilov was a drunk commander that punished a rockyboy and now he was in jail for threatning people at trainstation? was he so drunk?

    With Ivanov i wonder where Tukhatchevskiy might be now...
    and watchout for Budionnyi this guy along with Stalin didn't want to help Tukhachevsky under Warsaw in 1921
    Last edited by Deus Eversor; 10-04-2010 at 01:05.

  2. #122
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    Myth: Kartaphilov’s imprisonment in this scene is two month’s later than the first scene in Moscow which is in the beginning of January. I changed the dialogue just a bit to try to make it clearer that this is entirely new situation that he got busted for. I’m trying to avoid the “Ryazan, March 7th 1923 header”, but perhaps it’s needed? The jeopardy lies in freeing Kartaphilov by force. If this behavior reached the ears of the wrong people it would be a perfect reason to remove Ivanov from his command or worse.

    Enewald: Fortunately for all involved, the Soviet Union has not sunk so low just yet. At least not when it concerns the higher ups.

    Deus Eversor: Drunk as a skunk he thought it a great idea to get on the train to Ryazan. At the station I’m sure someone commented his not too sober visage and that was that.

    According to my admittedly limited sources on Mikhail Nikolayevich Tukhachevsky at this time I believe he’s holding a command at the western border after a short spell as Commander of the Red Army Academy in 1921. If developments follow our timeline, he will be made First Assistant to Frunze and Deputy Chief of Staff and the Principal Director of Studies for Strategy at the Military Academy in 1924. Of course, soon after he continues to new heights.

    Budyonny and his Konarmia 1st Cavalry Army are indeed no friends of either Trotsky or Tukhachevsky. I can recommend the book ‘White Eagle, Red Star: The Polish-Soviet War 1919-1920 and "The Miracle on the Vistula' by Norman Davies. One can see some parallels between the Konarmia and the Sturm Abteilung and Budyonny and Ernst Röhm. A brutal anti-intellectual, anti-all things foreign force at the command of a leader who live up to all those traits including Antisemitism (even if its not close to the sophisticated evil of the Nazis).
    Last edited by cthulhu; 11-04-2010 at 12:53.
    The Rodina and the Shackles of Humanity - A Soviet HOI3 AAR


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  3. #123
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    Ah, I didn't expect Kartaphilov to warrant the attention of the likes of Ivanov. And not only does he warrant the attention, his usefulness is important enough to make his release from jail worth violating a good number of laws. Somehow I don't think this is the last we'll be seeing of Kartaphilov.
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  4. #124
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    Lordban: I dare say that you're right. We will see much more of Kartaphilov.
    The Rodina and the Shackles of Humanity - A Soviet HOI3 AAR


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  5. #125
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    Grigory Yevseevich Zinoviev





    Zinoviev 1 was led into Kamenev’s office, and once through the doorway, he almost threw his coat and trademark fur cap at the secretary who hastily exited the room. Zinvoievs black curly hair was tousled and his eyes wild. “Have you read today’s Pravda?!” he said while shaking his clenched right hand with which he held a copy of the newspaper. Kamenev smiled at his old friend’s comical entrance, “Good morning, Grigory Yevseevich, what’s the matter?”

    “Have you read, Pravda yet?”

    “No, I only leafed through it at breakfast. What Have I missed?”

    Zinoviev almost slammed the paper down on Kamenev’s desk and frenetically tapped his finger on an article before sighing and sinking down into an armchair positioned beside a tall bookshelf. Kamenev first thought was to ask Zinoviev if he could read the article later, he was quite busy, but his friend looked pale, so whatever the article said must be troubling. Not without irritation he started reading.


    Leon Trotsky, Organizer of Victory*




    History has prepared our party for various tasks. However defective our state machinery or our economic activity may be, still the whole past of the party has psychologically prepared it for the work of creating a new order of economy and a new state apparatus. History has even prepared us for diplomacy. It is scarcely necessary to mention that world politics have always occupied the minds of Marxists. But it was the endless negotiations with the Mensheviki that perfected our diplomatic technique; and it was during these old struggles that Comrade Chicherin [1] learned to draw up diplomatic notes. We are just beginning to learn the miracle of economics. Our state machinery creaks and groans. In one thing, however, we have been eminently successful – in our Red Army. Its creator, its central will, is Comrade L.D. Trotsky.

    Old General Moltke, the creator of the German army, often spoke of the danger that the pen of the diplomats might spoil the work of the soldier’s sabre. Warriors the world over, though there were classical authors among them, have always opposed the pen to the sword. The history of the proletarian revolution shows how the pen may be re-forged into a sword. Trotsky is one of the best writers of world socialism, but these literary advantages did not prevent hum from becoming the leader, the leading organizer of the first proletarian army. The pen of the best publicist of the revolution was re-forged into a sword.

    Marxist Military Literature Was Scant

    The literature of scientific socialism helped Comrade Trotsky but little in solving the problems which confronted the party when it was threatened by world imperialism. If we look through the whole of pre-war socialist literature, we find – with the exception of a few little-known works by Engels, some chapters in his Anti-Duehring devoted to the development of strategy, and some chapters in Mehring’s excellent book on Lessing, devoted to the war activity of Frederick the Great- only four works on military subjects: August Bebel’s pamphlet on militia. Gaston Moch’s hook on militia, the two volumes of war history by Schulz, and the book by Jaurès, devoted to the propaganda of the idea of the militia in France. With the exception of the books of Schulz and Jaurès, which possess high value, everything which socialist literature has published on military subjects since Engels’ death has been bad dilettantism. But even these works by Schulz and Jaurès afforded no reply to the questions with which the Russian Revolution was confronted. Schulz’s book surveyed the development of the forms of strategy and military organizations for many centuries back. It was an attempt at the application of the Marxian methods of historical research, and closed with the Napoleonic period. Jaurès’ book – full of brilliance and sparkle – shows his complete familiarity with the problems of military organization, but suffers from the fundamental fault that this gifted representative of reformism was anxious to make of the capitalist army an instrument of national defense, and to release it from the function of defending the class interests of the bourgeoisie. He therefore failed to grasp the tendency of development of militarism, and carried the idea of democracy ad absurdum in the question of war, into the question of the army.

    Origin of the Concept of the Red Army

    I do not know to what extent Comrade Trotsky occupied himself before the war with questions of military knowledge. I believe that he did not gain his gifted insight into these questions from books, but received his impetus in this direction at the time when he was acting as correspondent in the Balkan war, this final rehearsal of the great war. It is probable that he deepened his knowledge of war technique and of the mechanism of the army, during his sojourn in France (during the war), from where he sent his brilliant war sketches to the Kiev Mysl. It may be seen from this work how magnificently he grasped the spirit of the army. The Marxist Trotsky saw not only the external discipline of the army, the cannon, the technique. He saw the living human beings who serve the instruments of war, he saw the sprawling charge on the field of battle.

    Trotsky is the author of the first pamphlet giving a detailed analysis of the causes of the decay of the International. Even in face of this great decay Trotsky did not lose his faith in the future of socialism; on the contrary, he was profoundly convinced that all those qualities which the bourgeoisie endeavors to cultivate in the uniformed proletariat, for the purpose of securing its own victory, would soon turn against the bourgeoisie, and serve not only as the foundation of the revolution, but also of revolutionary armies. One of the most remarkable documents of his comprehension of the class structure of the army, and of the spirit of the army, is the speech which he made – I believe at the first Soviet Congress and in the Petrograd Workers’ and Soldiers’ Council – on Kerensky’s July offensive. In this speech Trotsky predicted the collapse of the offensive, not only on technical military grounds, but on the basis of the political analysis of the condition of the army.

    “You” – and here he addressed himself to the Mensheviki and the SR’s – “demand from the government a revision of the aims of the war. In doing so you tell the army that the old aims, in whose name Czarism and the bourgeoisie demanded unheard-of sacrifices, did not correspond to the interests of the Russian peasantry and Russian proletariat. You have not attained a revision of the aims of the war. You have created nothing to replace the Czar and the fatherland, and yet you demand of the army that it shed its blood for this nothing. We cannot fight for nothing, and your adventure will end in collapse.”

    The secret of Trotsky’s greatness as organizer of the Red Army lies in this attitude of his towards the question.

    All great military writers emphasize the tremendously decisive significance of the moral factor in war. One half of Clausewitz’s great book is devoted to this question, and the whole of our victory in the civil war is due to the circumstance that Trotsky knew how to apply this knowledge of the significance of the moral factor in war to our reality. When the old Czarist army went to pieces, the minister of war of the Kerenski government, Verkhovsky, proposed that the older military classes be discharged, the military authorities behind the front partly reduced, and the army reorganized by the introduction of fresh young elements. When we seized power, and the trenches emptied, many of us made the same proposition. But this idea was the purest Utopia. It was impossible to replace the fleeing Czarist army with fresh forces. These two waves would have crossed and divided each other. The old army had to be completely dissolved; the new army could only be built up on the alarm sent out by Soviet Russia to the workers and peasants, to defend the conquests of the revolution.

    When, in April 1918, the best Czarist officers who remained in the army after our victory met together for the purpose of working out, in conjunction with our comrades and some military representatives of the Allies, the plan of organization for the army, Trotsky listened to their plans for several days – I have a clear recollection of this scene – in silence. These were the plans of people who did not comprehend the upheaval going on before their eyes. Every one of them replied to the question of how an army was to be organized on the old pattern. They did not grasp the metamorphosis wrought in the human material upon which the army is based. How the war experts laughed at the first voluntary troops organized by Comrade Trotsky in his capacity as Commissar of War! Old Borisov, one of the best Russian military writers, assured those Communists with whom he was obliged to come in contact, time and again, that nothing would come of this undertaking, that the army could only be built up on the basis of general conscription, and maintained by iron discipline. He did not grasp that the volunteer troops were the secure foundation pillars upon which the structure was to be erected, and that the masses of peasants and workers could not possibly be rallied around the flag of war again unless the broad masses were confronted by deadly danger. Without believing for a single moment that the volunteer army could save Russia, Trotsky organized it as an apparatus which he required for the creation of a new army.


    Utilizing the Bourgeois Specialists

    But Trotsky’s organizing genius, and his boldness of thought are even more clearly expressed in his courageous determination to utilize the war specialists for creating the army. Every good Marxist is fully aware that in building up a good economic apparatus we still require the aid of the old capitalist organization. Lenin defended this proposition with the utmost decision in his April speech on the tasks of the Soviet power, In the mature circles of the party the idea is not contested. But the idea that we could create an instrument for the defense of the republic, an army, with the aid of the Czarist officers – encountered obstinate resistance. Who could think of re-arming the White officers who had just been disarmed? Thus many comrades questioned. I remember a discussion on this question among the editors of the Communist, the organ of the so-called left communists, in which the question of the employment of staff officers nearly led to a split. And the editors of this paper were among the best schooled theoreticians and practicians of the party. It suffices to mention the names of Bukharin, Ossonski, Lomov, W. Yakovlev. There was even greater distrust among the broad circles of our military comrades, recruited for our military organizations during the war. The mistrust of our military functionaries could only be allayed, their agreement to the utilization of the knowledge possessed by the old officers could only be won, by the burning faith of Trotsky in our social force, the belief that we could obtain from the war experts the benefit of their science, without permitting them to force their politics upon us; the belief that the revolutionary watchfulness of the progressive workers would enable them to overcome any counter-revolutionary attempts made by the staff officers.

    Trotsky’s Magnetic Energy

    In order to emerge victorious, it was necessary for the army to be headed by a man of iron will, and for this man to possess not only the full confidence of the party, but the ability of subjugating with his iron will the enemy who is forced to serve us. But Comrade Trotsky has not only succeeded in subordinating to his energy even the highest staff officers. He attained more: he succeeded in winning the confidence of the best elements among the war experts, and in converting them from enemies of Soviet Russia to its most profoundly convinced followers. I witnessed one such victory of Trotsky’s at the time of the Brest-Litovsk negotiations. The officers who had accompanied us to Brest-Litovsk maintained a more than reserved attitude towards us. They fulfilled their role as experts with the utmost condescension, in the opinion that they were attending a comedy which merely served to cover a business transaction long since arranged between the Bolsheviki and the German government. But the manner in which Trotsky conducted the struggle against German imperialism, in the name of the principles of the Russian revolution, forced every human being present in the assembly room to feel the moral and spiritual victory of this eminent representative of the Russian proletariat. The mistrust of the war experts towards us vanished in proportion to the development of the great Brest-Litovsk drama.

    How clearly I recollect the night when Admiral Altvater – who has since died – one of the leading officers of the old regime, who began to help Soviet Russia not from motives of fear but of conscience, entered my room and said: “I came here because you forced me to do so. I did not believe you; but now I shall help you, and do my work as never before, in the profound conviction that I am serving the fatherland.” It is one of Trotsky’s greatest victories that he has been able to impart the conviction that the Soviet government really fights for the welfare of the Russian people, even to such people who have come over to us from hostile camps on compulsion only. It goes without saying that this great victory on the inner front, this moral victory over the enemy. has been the result not only of Trotsky’s iron energy which won for him universal respect; not only the result of the deep moral force, the high degree of authority even in military spheres, which this socialist writer and people’s tribune, who was placed by the will of the revolution at the head of the army, has been able to win for himself; this victory has also required the self-denial of tens of thousands of our comrades in the army, an iron discipline in our own ranks, a consistent striving towards our aims; it has also required the miracle that those masses of human beings who only yesterday fled from the battlefield, take up arms again today, under much more difficult conditions, for the defense of the country.

    That these politico-psychological mass factors played an important role is an undeniable fact, but the strongest, most concentrated, and striking expression of this influence is to he found in the personality of Trotsky. Here the Russian revolution has acted through the brain, the nervous system, and the heart of its greatest representative. When our first armed trial began, with Czecho-Slovakia, the party, and with its leader Trotsky, showed how the principle of the political campaign – as already taught by Lassalle – could be applied to war, to the fight with “steel arguments.” We concentrated all material and moral forces on the war. The whole party had grasped the necessity of this. But this necessity also finds its highest expression in the steel figure of Trotsky. After our victory over Denikin in March 1920, Trotsky said, at the party conference: “We have ravaged the whole of Russia in order to conquer the Whites.” In these words we again find the unparalleled concentration of will required to ensure the victory. We needed a man who was the embodiment of the war-cry, a man who became the tocsin sounding the alarm, the will demanding from one and all an unqualified subordination to the great bloody necessity.

    L. D. Personified the Revolution

    It was only a man who works like Trotsky, a man who spares himself as little as Trotsky, who can speak to the soldiers as only Trotsky can – it was only such a man who could be the standard bearer of the armed working people. He has been everything in one person. He has thought out the strategic advice given by the experts and has combined it with a correct estimate of the proportions of social forces; he knew how to unite in one movement the impulses of fourteen fronts of the ten thousand communists who informed headquarter as to what the real army is and how it is possible to operate with it; he understood how to combine all this in one strategic plan and one scheme of organization. And in all this splendid work he understood better than anyone else how to apply the knowledge of the significance of the moral factor in war.

    This combination of strategist and military organizer with the politician is best characterized by the fact that during the whole of this hard work, Trotsky appreciated the importance of Demian Bedny (communist writer), or of the artist Moor (who draws most of the political caricatures for the communes papers, posters, etc.) for the war. Our army was an army of peasants, and the dictatorship of the proletariat with regard to the army, that is, the leading of this peasants’ army by workers and by representatives of the working class, was realized in the personality of Trotsky and in the comrades co-operating with him. Trotsky was able, with the aid of the whole apparatus of our party, to impart to the peasants’ army, exhausted by the war, the profoundest conviction that it was fighting in its own interests.

    Inseparably Linked in History

    Trotsky worked with the whole party in the work of forming the Red Army. He would not have fulfilled his task without the party. But without him the creation of the Red Army and its victories, would have demanded infinitely greater sacrifices. Our party will go down in history as the first proletarian party which succeeded in creating a great army, and this bright page in the history of the Russian revolution will always be bound up with the name of Leon Davidovitch Trotsky, with the name of a man whose work and deeds will claim not only the love but also the scientific study of the young generation of workers preparing to conquer the whole world.



    Karl Radek

    Kamenev swore. His heart was beating hard and anger almost overwhelmed him. What he did not admit to himself was that the anger was fueled by childish envy. “Why is everyone so obsessed with Trotsky? So he was an effective leader of the Red Army during the civil war, but this making him out to be some Napoleonic Messiah of the Revolution is preposterous.”

    “I will tell you why.” Zinoviev almost growled, “It’s his speeches and articles – like some evil wizard he has twisted the facts and managed to take credit for all victories and hidden all his failures. He has no scruples at all. Now that Vladimir Iliych is sick, he has the man completely duped. Have you noticed how he pretends to be oh so amiable and fair? Oh no Comrade Trotsky doesn’t want to be Lenin’s deputy. Oh no he cares only about us all working openly and honestly together. I have told you before that it’s a diabolical strategy and while he acts unassuming his agents like Radek 2 continues to weave the myth of Trotsky the hero of the revolution. I will rather die than see him worm his way to the leadership of our party and state.”

    “Do you think this is a way to prepare the ground for the Party Congress? Is he moving against us?”

    Panic was clear to see in Zinoviev’s eyes for a second, “Maybe there is more than he told us regarding Georgia? Perhaps he and Vladimir Iliych will use the situation on the Congress? After all you broke your word and followed Stalin’s suggestions at the Georgian conference.”

    “Calm down, Grigory Yevseevich. Lenin is paralyzed, he cannot add his voice to Trotsky’s. At least not in person. But we must immediately discuss this matter with Stalin. We will coordinate with him.” They hastily left together to meet with the man they thought was the weakest member of the triumvirate they had formed. The pact had been sealed by Kamenev’s treachery in Tiblisi.



    * This is the authentic text of Karl Radek's article "Leon Trotsky — Organizer of Victory" published in Pravda on March 14, 1923
    1 Grigory Yevseevich Zinoviev - Full member of the Politburo
    2 Karl Radek - Secretary of the Comintern and member of the Central Committee
    Last edited by cthulhu; 13-04-2010 at 20:04.
    The Rodina and the Shackles of Humanity - A Soviet HOI3 AAR


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  6. #126
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    Ooh, they think he's firing a broadside at them! The intrigue will go on!

    Also, a fantastic shout-out for Jean Jaures. I really need to get around to reading his stuff on military affairs some time.
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    Indeed for Zinoviev and Kamenev this article of Radek's is published at an inconvenient time. That Pravda article can be capitalized on, and even if Trotsky and his supporters do not press their advantage it still grants Trotsky some short-term protection. To doom a popular man requires quite a bit of power and of propaganda technique, yet simple assassination can leave a trail for Trotsky's supporters to pick up.
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    Hmm, what of the glorious peasants red commissars?

    The troika is born, but only the future will reveal who is the weakest member.

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    Field Marshal

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    how a mind can be twisted by its inferior childish goals

  10. #130
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    Myth: I don't even know who Jaures is. I have to remedy this soon.

    Lordban: Yes, political death by slow and malignant smearing

    Enewald: There was a glorious red peasant commissar?

    Deus Eversor: Yes. I think most of us are lived by our childish assumptions. To an extent.
    Last edited by cthulhu; 14-04-2010 at 12:44.
    The Rodina and the Shackles of Humanity - A Soviet HOI3 AAR


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    Trotsky looked around himself and took in the room and the other members of Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. There were the full members Zinoviev, Kamenev, Rykov, Stalin, Tomsky, which included himself and then the candidate members Bukharin, Kalinin, and Molotov. The atmosphere was quite different from the last planning session for the Party Congress. At that time when the question of who, in Lenin’s absence, was to make the principal political report came up, Stalin had said “Trotsky, of course.” This had been instantly supported by Kalinin, Rykov, and, although his face betrayed his resentment, Kamenev. Trotsky had remembered his objection, “I think it would unwise for any of us to attempt take the place of Lenin. The Party would be ill at ease. Let us for this time manage without an introductory political report and instead state our opinions in connection with the separate items on the agenda. Let’s not forget that we have differences between us when it comes to economic questions.”

    Stalin had replied, “I don’t see any differences.” Kalinin filled in, “The Politburo adopts almost all of your proposals.” As Zinoviev had been enjoying some well deserved rest in the Caucasus, the question had been postponed. Still, Trotsky had agreed to report on industry. Stalin had for a couple of weeks done all he could to ingratiate himself with Trotsky and kept repeating that the political report should be made by the most influential and admired member of the Central Committee after Lenin and that the party members expected it. His false attempts at friendliness made him even more disagreeable than when he showed his enmity openly – his agenda was so obvious.

    Now with Lenin apparently beyond recovery Trotsky was met with growing resistance. Kamenev proposed that the political report should be made by Zinoviev and Stalin responded with a crooked smile, “I feel confident that Grigory Yevseevich will make an excellent report.” Trotsky met Stalin’s gaze with sad but determined eyes, “I have no objection to Comrade Zinoviev making the report, although I think as you all know that it would be for the best that none of us would take Lenin’s place at this time.” Despite this objection, Kamenev’s suggestion was accepted. He then continued to propose an addition to Trotsky’s resolution on the peasantry which had already been approved of in the beginning of the meeting. Trotsky realized that this amendment had no ideological or political importance and was only a provocation – much like the first signs of a three year old's budding drive for autonomy. He agreed to it, this was neither the time nor the issue to fight for. The meeting was ended and Trotsky returned to the Commissariat for Army and Navy Affairs where he was delighted to learn from his secretary that his schedule allowed for an hour to catch up on some reading. He lay down on the sofa in his office and tried to concentrate on a report but fell asleep.

    Trotsky stood at the shore of a frozen lake. There was a heavy snowfall and the pine trees and the open areas in the landscape were wrapped in a white shroud. He turned around and saw a huge pension – apparently built in the mid 19th century and in a state of decay. He knew this place well; he had once hidden there, waiting for the right time to return to Petrograd. He walked up to the house, the snow crunching under the feet, and then saw his reflection in a dark window – he was in uniform. A dream he thought, this must be a dream. Lying beside the entrance was a big placard with the pension’s name painted with large faded letters. “Rauha” it said, and Trotsky knew it meant peace in Finnish. He entered the building thinking it was strange that the placard had not been covered by the snow, and walked through the sparsely lit hall and ascended the stairs. He easily found his way to the room he had had here the last time. It looked exactly the way he remembered it and his private things was also there. He removed his cap and sat down in front of the typewriter and was soon busy working on a speech. Trotsky felt that his writing did not get much better than this and he longed for the day when he would be able to give the speech. This time the party would be convinced that his ideas were the way of the future. To his irritation, there was a knock on the door, “Just a minute.” How typical, who knew if he would remember the brilliant suggestions he had if he had to stop writing now. The knocking grew more insistent and soon whoever stood out there was banging on the door. Trotsky finally got up in a rage and opened the door.

    He was surprised to see the young boy who had been working here during his last stay. How could he possibly have banged the door with such a force? “Please Sir, you have to stop him. His thirst will surely kill her. How can she be kept alive?” Trotsky stared at the boy in utter incomprehension. “Please, come right away, kind Sir. This is more important than your writing.” He hesitated, his writing was very significant. That speech and those policy suggestions could alter the course of the nation. He began closing the door, despite the tears that started to fall from the boys eyes, “Please, Sir.” He could not afford sentimentality now. The speech had to come first. Suddenly something blocked the door from being closed. Trotsky looked down and saw a polished leather boot blocking the door. He swore and opened the door again. There was General Ivanov and he was unexpectedly wearing a full dress uniform of the Tsar's now defunct army with a sabre in hand. His voice thundered, “Lev Davidovich! People are dying while you spend your time building castles in the sky! Follow the boy and help him!”

    He hesitated yet again, feeling confused and Ivanov saw this and stepped forward and lay a hand on his shoulder. A sense of calm and purpose came over him and he smiled at Ivanov, “Thank you.” Trotsky then took the boy by the hand and walked up the stairs to the next floor. The door to the room exactly above his was open and he could hear a woman sobbing and a man’s delighted laughter. They slowly approached the room and the first Trotsky saw was a beautiful woman lying on a bed. She struggled to breathe and her very pale face was framed by long locks of shiny brown hair. In her right hand she held an empty glass. Also in the room stood several crates of the finest French champagne. There was a man in the room and he was wearing a dress suit and was gulping down Champagne from a bottle. The face was cruel with a mocking sneer under the drooping moustache. The eyes shone of greedy hate and irrational paranoia and fear. “Sir, stop drinking all the Champagne! She needs it to keep her heart beating!” The man laughed at this and took another swig as if to make a point. “Joseph Vissarionovich!” Trotsky shouted. “Are you insane? Can’t you see she is dying because of you?!”

    “I can see that, Comrade, and I don’t care. It feels good, it dulls the pain inside. It's gnawing.”

    “You don’t need all the Champagne, there is enough for all of us.”

    The man’s features grew more twisted and he soon looked like something from the pits of hell. Trotsky felt fear as never before as he watched the transformation. He couldn’t stop staring at the mouth which now resembled the jaws of some wild beast. It was insatiable hunger manifested. Trotsky wanted to flee but he could not leave the woman and the boy with this thing. “Take my sabre.” Ivanov appeared at his side, “and end this.” Trotsky grabbed the blade and took a deep breath. He then charged the thing and drove the blade to hilt right into its heart. The horror screamed in terrible frustration and anger and then struggled to stay upright for a few seconds, tearing Trotsky's uniform jacket, before it fell to the floor. Trotsky quickly opened a Champagne bottle and filled the woman’s glass but she was too weak to bring it to her lips, so he helped her. As she drank the wine, color returned to her face and the lights in the pension started to shine brightly. The boy jumped up and down in delight. Mama! Mama! Trotsky smiled. The pension was still in disrepair but now the light shone again and there was hope. “Lev Davidovich.” Ivanov's voice was distant, “ Lev Davidovich. Wake up.”

    Trotsky opened his eyes and saw Ivanov standing in front of him in his usual Red Army uniform. The General smiled, “You work too hard and sleep too little, my friend.”

    The People's Commissar for Army and Navy Affairs rose and yawned. I had the weirdest dream. I was back in a hotel…an isolated pension in Finland I stayed at in 1905 before I returned to Petrograd.”

    “Yes?”

    “I was the only guest apart from a Swedish writer who was staying there during the last days of my stay. He was accompanied by an English actress. They left without paying their bill, and the proprietor rushed after them to Helsinki. His wife was seriously ill, and they kept her heart beating by means of Champagne.”

    “Champagne?”

    “Yes. I never saw her and she died while the proprietor was still chasing the couple. Her body was in the room above mine. Only a young boy remained of the staff. He was in my dream…but younger.” Trotsky looked puzzled.

    “I see. Well, I have brought you my report on the facility in Ryazan we spoke about. I believe it urgently needs resources to be able to effectively rehabilitate the inmates.” Ivanov opened the leather briefcase he carried and put a folder on the top of one of the piles of documents on Trotsky’s desk. There was a knock on the door and one of the Commissar’s secretaries appeared, “Excuse me, Comrades. You have a visitor. Comrade Christian Rakovsky 1.”

    “Thank you, show him in.” Trotsky turned to Ivanov, “Have you met Rakovsky?”

    “No, I haven’t.”

    “A remarkably capable man, I have known him a long time.”

    A man, of slightly shorter length than average, who wore a dark brown suit with beige stripes and bow tie, entered the office. He had lost most of his hair and his pouchy eyes gave a tired impression. His gaze however was full of intelligence and purpose. The General and the leader of the Ukraine greeted each other cordially. They were quickly absorbed in a discussion regarding the Franco-Belgian occupation of the Ruhr in the beginning of the year and the developments in Germany.

    “I hope that Heinrich Brandler 2 with the support of the Comintern will be able to seize upon the moment when it occurs and bring about a revolution. Social Democracy is losing its grip over the workers because its foremost tool to keep the proletariat chained to the bourgeois order, that is the trade unions, is failing miserably due to the serious economic dislocation and the tide of hyperinflation. If there is a nationwide uprising we must be ready to assist it with all means at our disposal.”

    “From a strategic vantage point, we are not near strong enough yet to be able to assist our German comrades militarily.”

    “We can do much to help up to the point of actual intervention. Which in all honesty wouldn’t be very practical anyway.” Rakovsky interjected.

    “I agree with you both,” Trotsky said excitedly, “but the key to Europe is Germany and it might very well be the stumbling block on the path to world revolution. We must be prepared to take calculated risks to gain the upper hand against the Imperialist hegemony.”

    They continued their discussion for some time before Trotsky and Rakovsky were politely reminded of a meeting and this prompted Ivanov to take his leave and return to his headquarters.


    1 Christian Rakovsky - Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the Ukrainian SSR
    2 Heinrich Brandler - Chairman of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD)
    Last edited by cthulhu; 16-04-2010 at 08:47.
    The Rodina and the Shackles of Humanity - A Soviet HOI3 AAR


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  12. #132
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    Thus Trotsky went back to building Castles in the Sky. He has been warned: his foe's thirst will surely kill the Rodina. Yet his thoughts are not bent upon finding how she can be kept alive...
    "Mankind has only one science. It is the science of discontent." -- Count Hasimir Fenring
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    Castles in the Sky indeed. Looking for adventure abroad specifically to avoid uncomfortable questions at home, perhaps? Sounds like a familiar theme running through a number of wars.
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  14. #134
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    Well, but to get to Germany you need Poland.

    Rauha is a odd name for a place...?
    Yes it means peace, but I have never encountered that kind of place-name.

  15. #135
    Comrade Great Old One cthulhu's Avatar
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    Lordban: You read the symbolism very well. When I read Trotsky's autobiography I just loved the imagery of him staying in that isolated and beautiful place. I felt that I just had to use it. I knew it would be a dream but not where and when.

    Myth: In my opinion, one of Trotsky's flaws was that he thought the he could open the eyes of his adversaries in the party and bring about change by dialogue within the party organs as well a publicly. It might have been self deception. From our vantage point in the future, it's hard to understand that he could be so naive.

    Enewald: Yes Poland is in the way and the Baltic Red Banner Fleet is in no shape to supply an expedition force. The name 'Rauha' is from Trotsky's autobiography so it's an authentic name for from that period. But what is so strange with a Pension named 'Peace'?
    The Rodina and the Shackles of Humanity - A Soviet HOI3 AAR


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  16. #136
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    Damn! Trotsky must tell that dream to Ivanov! He'll know what to do!
    Ivanov seems to me now as a salvation and a cold water to Trotskys warm naivness.

  17. #137
    General Lordban's Avatar
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    I'm not sure Trotsky was more naive than others in his dealings with Stalin. Twenty years on Churchill would also be persuaded that it was possible to convince him to change his mind, and even in the early fifties he still believed a Truman - Churchill - Stalin meeting could bring an end to the Cold War... Stalin had a way to convince his political antagonists that he was a reasonable man and open to discussion, and he often pictured the Russian people and the Soviet bureaucracy (!) forcing him to take this or that unsavory measure.
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  18. #138
    Comrade Great Old One cthulhu's Avatar
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    Deus Eversor & Lordban: I think you compare pears with apples here. Trotsky is working in the same government as Stalin and has known him for quite a while. As I see it, he has no illusions about Stalin's lack of character, but he is naive not to see Stalin's boundless ambition. Sure, ha can imagine Stalin wanting to dominating the bolshevik agenda and promoting his cronies but he could not at this time imagine that he was a person that would not only seek domination but also the physical liquidation of his political opponents. That he didn't really give a damn about socialism and the revolution. Power and Paranoia. Not much more.

    In my opinion Trotsky was a very gifted and intelligent man, but his idealism clouded his judgment. He should have realized that kind of people he was dealing with and have crushed them and then like George Washington he could have relinquished power. At least when he was convinced that the Bolshevik leadership consisted of mature men and women who at least had a semblance of ambition to defend intra-party democracy.
    Last edited by cthulhu; 16-04-2010 at 21:18.
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  19. #139
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    Hey,

    I catched up with the developments of your story. I must confess it was a great read.

    Hope to see some more posts
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  20. #140
    Comrade Great Old One cthulhu's Avatar
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    Deus: I'm glad you're still following this. Thanks!
    The Rodina and the Shackles of Humanity - A Soviet HOI3 AAR


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