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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Rey

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The poor people in Russia are waiting for a lenin to turn them against you. :D
 

Heretic

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Butcher

Not always the brightest spark, our Joseph, is he? He seems to have somewhat missed the wider point of the little skirmish between the two Emperors and the cabal of Congress. Oh no, he is only worried about his next trip to the stockyard to fill his next order.

Anyway, for those of you who do have an interest in history, I can safely say that our mighty Tsar has been a little upset over his treatment at the peace table. Deployments of Cossacks deep into Mexican California, and shipping his own personal Corps of the Guard out to Washington have availed mother Russia of very little. The sneaky Mexicans grabbed some land off the US of A, but did not even throw their erstwhile allies a bone.

However, since the Tsar is an honourable man, nothing has come of it to date. Besides, if allies cannot act as one, then there is little hope for the world, now is there.

The cold winds are certainly whistling from the north now, although it remains a little too snug in Joseph’s pocket for my taste. The Neva has been covered with a thick layer of ice for the last month. This year of 1854 is drawing to a chilling close, let’s hope the winter does not last too long.
 
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Heretic

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Butcher

With a heavy creaking and cracking noise, the cart moved slowly across the frozen street. Huddled down against the bitter wind, the driver could see little except the street in front.

Viktor stumbled as he chased after the cart; “Hey, Joseph, stop, it’s me! – Are you all right? What did they want you for?”

The shouts finally got through, and Joseph turned, startled “Want me?”
“Yes, in the barracks; what did those cursed imperialists want you for?”

“What? Oh, I think you’ve got it wrong – I was just delivering some beef.”
“Delivery? My own cousin, supplying the army like that? Have you no shame? Listen, even now there are troops in our homeland! And you feed them? Where has your pride gone?”

“Pride? They are good customers, and I am just a man trying to make a few roubles. What’s wrong with selling them meat?”
“Pah! Collaborator! – Send word if you ever decide to be more of a true Armenian, I am leaving this city, to defend our homeland.”

“Viktor, hey, don’t be so hasty!”

But Joseph’s cry fell unheeded at Viktor’s back; he had stormed off with a dramatic sweep of his coat. Joseph sat on the cart seat, staring a little uncertainly down the road. The next few icy blasts brought him back to his senses, and he spurred the donkey back to shuffling along the road.

Confusion reigned in Joseph’s head. What was so wrong about making a little money? What was Viktor getting so worked up about? Feeling puzzled, and also a little ashamed, Joseph guided the cart slowly home.
 
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coz1

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Oh let the man sell his meat, Viktor! :p

Good updates, Heretic. :D
 

Rensslaer

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Very interesting... Just keep those troops away from Colorado... Some nasty partisans there, I understand! :D

Rensslaer
 

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Butcher

Well, I hope that’s the last we see of Viktor for some time. He does worry me, what with his anti monarchist sentiments. Speaking of monarchism, it appears that the ‘little father’ has got into a spot of bother too.

Just to fill you in a little, for some years now, edicts have been issued proclaiming support for all the Slavic peoples. Now, that includes rather a few who are under the care of the Ottoman Empire. It appears that the Sultan wants to tell our Tsar to stop meddling. Normally, that wouldn’t be too much of a problem, since their army is stuck someplace in the Arabian nights (by all accounts).

Sadly, the great Queen Victoria seems to have made it here business to intervene. I suspect it’s the fact that the Russian factories are putting people out of work all over the British Empire.

So, the little problem is that after the First War of the West, some of our best troops and navies are stuck all over the American Continent. They have thousands of miles to travel just to get back to friendly territory, be they travelling by land;

1855janlongroutehome.jpg


Or even by sea;

1855janlongwayback.jpg


It’s little better back home. All those little revolts, of the kind it seems Viktor is heading to promote, are distracting our troops from the borders. The south of the Caucuses would be wide open to any advancing Janissaries:

1855janunpreparedforcrimea.jpg


Of course, the situation is fractionally better on the other side of the Black Sea, since at least it is clear there is only one direction of attack:

1855janbulgariaadvance.jpg


So, in short, a king size birthday present from one monarch to another – why can’t they just stick to socks like everybody else?
 
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coz1

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They always try to get at you when your back is to them. Good luck and sweep over those Turks!
 

Rensslaer

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Heretic said:
Coz1, Resnsslaer,

Thanks for the notes, it's nice to see that I have an active readership that can still be described using a plural. Oh, I know that there are more people out there, it's just they are awfully quiet..

Heretic
You know, often I must content myself with noting the number of views, rather than the number of posts... I do notice that you've gotten about 30 views in just the past few hours, and your average daily is better than that, so you definitely have some quiet lurkers.

Perhaps we shall have to taunt them until they show up and post! :D

Rensslaer
 

Heretic

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Weychun,

as of 1854, my BB is quite likely zero - no declarations of war (since I was jumped on by the Ottos and the UK, and I only honoured my alliance with Mexico against the USA). Rest assured, the BB level will change!

Coz1,

Yeah, I'll sweep over them some time, it may just take a little while

Rensslaer,

I think I'll stop harping on about comments, since I'm pretty happy writing.

Next Installment:
 

Heretic

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”Vanya? Vanya – is that you?”
Joseph called out from inside the darkened room

“Yes papa”
“Well, have you seen any sign of him?”

“No papa”

Prudently, Vanya remained outside the room. For the last few days, Vanya had been keen to keep out of Joseph’s way as much as possible. It was a little puzzling. First, his uncle Viktor turns up out of nowhere, and now, only few months later, he disappears again. Jospeh had been sending Vanya on errands to the market, just to see if he could find Viktor.

It was all a bit too puzzling for a seven year old. Maybe he could sneak off and play with the boys in the yard. Their latest favourite game was ‘Bash the Turk’. Vanya was lucky in that he was never picked on to be the Turk. He was always a brave Cavalryman, leading the charge across the fallen body of the Turk.

“Vanya?” – the voice had caught him before he could sneak off – “Go off and play, why don’t you.”

With a shy smile, Vanya scurried out of the doorway. What luck; he had got just what he wanted, although a happier Papa would have been even better.
 

Rensslaer

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Heretic said:
Rest assured, the BB level will change!
What? No more sweet, cuddly, teddy-bear Russia??? :rofl:

Renss
 

Heretic

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Butcher

“Harrumph! You have to understand, you see, that what the people talk about in the streets is not always, shall we say, strictly correct.”
“No” Joseph cautiously answered the quartermaster, hoping he would go on.

“No, indeed. It’s a little embarrassing indeed. Our beloved ruler has been so keen to see Russia prosper that he has been, shall we say, slightly lacking in maintaining the kind of army we need.”

Joseph was a little worried, he wondered if the quartermaster should really have been telling him this. He kept quiet, to try to avoid upsetting the man.

“No, it’s all very sad, there has been a little backsliding here and there. It sounds like the regulars just can’t quite hold the line south of Odessa.

1855marbulgariaretreat.jpg


And as for the Caucuses, well, much of the same. I hear that many of the regiments down there are nothing but Cavalry. Now, that’s all very grand, but as an infantryman myself, I can tell you that they just can’t hold the line like we can.

The navy, now, they are in not too bad shape. My goodness, you would hope so, wouldn’t you? Against a bunch of Musselman Pirates eh?

1855marseawinning.jpg


Oh yes, that’s not the only little ray of light. From what I hear, the Amerussian regiments are making light work of the British settlers out in the Alaskan plane. I should hope so eh? These Brits can’t stand a bit of cold, can they?”
“No” answered Joseph judiciously, wondering when the quartermaster would stop ranting.

1855maralaskagrab.jpg


“Eh, speaking of the deep south, you’re one of those fellows from down there, aren’t you?”
“Well, yes sir, my..”
The quartermaster interrupted before Joseph could get any further, “Oh yes, I could tell by your skin – dark from the sun. I’m no stranger to you foreign types, oh no.”

“Sir, did you say that things were not going so well down there?”
“Well, it’s not a disaster, since there are few Russians in the area, but from what I hear, some of the armies of the Turk have made it over our border.”

1855marcaucusesdefence.jpg


“What into Armenia?”
”Armenia? There’s no such place! The Treaty of Turkmenchaj back in 1828 between our exulted monarch and the evil Ottoman rulers carved up what was, and led to what is; the Armenian Oblast, no more than a province within our great nation. Although I would say, one that has produced the odd fine butcher! Anyway, get along, I don’t have all day to talk, we have a parade to organise.”

Again, dismissed summarily, Joseph shuffled out. Now, he was even more worried. Now he was concerned not just for his cousin, but his whole family back home. Were they even now being terrorised by the troops of the vole Turk? Had their homes been burned to the ground as the battle raged to and fro? There was no way to tell, since the front was many, many miles away, and news was still strictly controlled.
 

coz1

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Touch and go it sounds like. A little bit of goodness here, some not so goodness there. Surely the tide will turn soon though.
 

Heretic

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Well, now we do have a pretty pickle here, don’t we: a rebellious cousin, and now a whole family in jeopardy. Joseph must be very worried. As for me, well, I’m pretty worried myself. I’m worried that I won’t get out of the little bag that he’s put me in. See, Joseph has been doing pretty well lately, so he’s saved a bit of money. What that meant is that he emptied his pockets into a bag, and has stuffed the bag to the bottom of a chest.

Yes indeed, here we are, the little coins, all stuck in a stuffy bag tightly pushed into the corner of a wooden chest. And I’ll tell you, when the hasp and the lock went on, it sounded like the doors of the jail closing. You see, we coins are sociable fellows. Like to get about a bit, we do. So being stuck with the same collection of battered roubles and grubby kopeks is like being stuck in the corner at a party with the most boring person there.

Oh, I didn’t say that too load, I hope, I’ll be shunned by the other coins. They are all a bit sniffy about me, since I’m the newest of the bunch. Oh well, never mind, surely things will move on sometime.
 

Heretic

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Hallelujah! Free at last!

Well, free from that horrible stuffy bag anyway. It’s been an absolute age that we were stuck in there for. However, Joseph came and took the bag out, rustled for some coins, and has given us to little Vanya. I say little, but frankly he’s looking a lot bigger these days. It really must have been quite some time that we have been cooped up. On the other had, these little ones do grow up very fast.

Now, it seems that Joseph is giving Vanya some very strict instructions. He’s not to speak to any strange people, he’s to make sure has keeps on the right train, and he’s to be very careful when he gets to Odessa. Odessa! That’s really far away! Why send a little boy all that way?

Oh, there’s more – he needs to find his uncle Kirkan. Apparently he has a bakery on Ulitsa Gorkia – that is to say, on Gorky Street.

Oh, the good news is that in Vanya’s pocket, I’ve met a two-kopek piece who has filled me in. I’ve been stuck in that chest for two years. Things have changed a little, this railway we are going on is not like the one there was two years ago;

1856marrailways.jpg


Oh no, this is the new national marvel, to bring Russia into the steam age.

1858railways.jpg


Also, our beloved Tsar has passed on, and now Alexander II reigns in his place. To think, my obverse is now a piece of history. I guess I’ll get used to not being the newest kid on the block any more.

Mother Russia continues to be a largely agricultural nation, for all of these new railways we hear about.

1856populationoverview.jpg


Having said that, there are a fair few factories out there these days, with the Don valley being a major focus for textiles and the like.

1856marfactories.jpg


All those factory workers and farmers are pretty hard pressed by the taxman, but then, that’s just the way it has always been. Now, let’s see how our little Josepevitch gets on.

1856economyoverview.jpg
 
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