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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Baron Jukaga

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So it's sorted out - only three more parts, including epilogue :p
Sounds good, and thanks for the great AAR. This has been one of my favorites for years now and inspired me to play many renewalist Russia games. You make great unpretentious fun AARs and I hope you keep it up!
 

Vlad_Dracul1989

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Part 43: Call of Winter

"In the long run the Renewalist movement was moving to a position in which the world's greatest economic powerhouse would be controlled by the military through a bureaucratic apparatus staffed by technical experts and dominated by political interests of the officer cabals, not so unlike the system that had already been built up in the Commune of France."
- Randolph Churchill, 'Regime in the Black', 1955
In 1945, the new Russian Empire was a world's greatest superpower, ruling from Portugal to Japan. Strategic bombers armed with nuclear weapons and the new fleet consisting of dozens carriers and hundreds submarines were prepared to project Tsar's power anywhere, anytime. Literally every nation in it's vicinity was either crushed, absorbed or puppeted to serve the Eurasian behemoth. Inside the tyrannical monstrosity ruled the secret police, the Okhrana, with Army's intelligence services as it's only rival. Most of the prisoners of war from roughly thirty countries never returned and their children were taught to hate their own parents and previous eras, with the Tsar as their only father they will ever need.
And yet, there were weaknesses in construction. Serious infighting for glory at the imperial pedestal amongst the Marshals, as much as between Okhrana's departments could easily explode without strongman in charge. Decades later, historians debated whether Black Tsar had such efficient agents to survive every assassination attempt - or no one within the Empire really wanted to see what will happen if he dies.


Painting made by French prisoner in one of the Ural camps, 1950s. Local commanders often desired such mementos of their patriotic work.



Such fears were clearly expressed in 1947, during the funeral of Anton Denikin, the Peasant Marshal, once at odds with Wrangel, only to deliver him fate of nation in 1936 after Kerensky's murder. The remaining members of the tsarist 'old guard' stood around the coffin, surrounded by hundreds of young and ambitious officers, some of them just barely pretending the sadness over Marshal's death. And certainly not honestly believing, that another old man, Admiral Kanin, deserves the position of Prime Minister.


Despite the spectacular funeral procession of ten thousand officers from every corner of the Empire, the Marshal insisted in his last will to be buried in same village he was born, Szpetal Dolny, Vistula Land. Protected also by ten heavy tanks and entire guard division of infantry, the Tsar himself arrived to say few words. It was the last time he appared in public, due to quickly deteriorating health.



During the last years of Wrangel's rule, the imperial economy turned from Army to Navy production, as the only nations able to resist still had superior navies, able to withstand any Russian strike. This had to changed as quickly as possible. Shipyards in the Baltic Sea continued with construction of submarines, with the first attempts to build missile-armed types able to effectively attack warships and cities from the surface, without any support. Shipyards in the Black Sea built capital ships instead, mostly carriers, but few battleships were produced too, for a firepower support during any future amphibian invasions and to serve as flagships.


From the 1948 onwards, submarines commonly carried missiles armed with nuclear warheads. Imperfect technology caused numerous accidents and six (confirmed) nuclear contaminations of the coastline. Investigation usually ended with 'human error' as a cause and crew names were erased from all the records.



As the submarine force was the only part of the Russian Imperial Navy delivering heavy strikes against Internationale's shipping and battlefleets, it's crews retained respect and fear gained in the war and remained prominent part of the Navy, with all it's sailors starting here, before they could be sent to other warships.


Piece of U.S. propaganda in the late 1940s. President Taft's administration was staunchly anti-Russian, to the point uncomfortable to the Anglo-Canadians, trying hard to get any lasting agreement out of the Renewalists, clearly now struggling to keep everyone and everything in shackles it forged at such great cost.



The necessity to stabilize the Far East and continue with it's development was in the long term more important task, than enlargement of the Navy or the Europe kept under absolute control. As long as vast lands and resources of Central and East Asia were ready and available, the Empire may keep it's superpower status indefinitely. The Europe can hardly turn hostile again in any future, if all their economies will depend on these resources - such were geopolical calculations for the future relations.


The people in Britain celebrating the return of the King and the government to London, 1949.



The so called 'Tranfer of English Occupation Zone' didn't happen without complicated negotiations in the Winter Palace and several delegations had to return without any progress, before the Tsar was convinced, that immediate British intentions were not against the Russian ones. The country was depopulated and devastated from the war effort and blockades more than any other in the Europe (with the sole exception of Poland) and since the war on the brink of famine or epidemics at least five times. After all, the nuclear bombardment of Tokyo and Dublin clearly showed how far the Tsar would go against any perceived treachery.
In truth, the British were convinced that Black Tsar may do it anyway, out of the simple whim.


The new president of Colombia, Jorge Eliécer Gaitán. Viewed by the conservatives as the radical, by the liberals as the populist and by the totalists as too liberal, he was, in fact, the moderate socialist, who would soon advocate for some level of cooperation with the Entente to fight the Renewalist tyranny from spreading further.



For the upper class ruling the Colombia for generations, it was a nightmare, but in the end, the country became the least syndicalist of all the left-wing regimes in South America. The land reform, social and educational reforms eased the transition from largely impoverished third world country into modern state and progressive republic.


The Xuantong Emperor in Japanese-style uniform, 1939. To not show servility towards Germans or any acknowledgment of Xinhai Revolution, the Qing forces rejected both German and Chinese Republican uniforms and rather adopted the Japanese ones. These were used during and after the Second Sino-Japanese War without much troubles, as the Chinese forces used blue and grey uniforms, while the Japanese ones were distinctly olive green.



When the Year of Tiger started, the Xuantong Emperor announced the 'era of final China's reconstruction', which will finally transform China into Great Power it deserves to be, as the China's unity as the nation and the country is unquestionable, and this 'must continue'


First explosion of hydrogen bomb in the word, much more powerful weapon than previous 'simple' fission devices.



Further development of nuclear weapons opened a ways to create more destructive weapons, which now could truly destroyed the world.


Cossack officers prepared to give their last respects to their greatest general, war leader and the Tsar.



One would say, that death of one man is hardly same earth-shattering event like the invention and testing of Hydrogen bombs, but this case was an exception. When it happened, no one really knew and no one really wanted to know, what will happen now. Only few people, actually. After confirmation of His death, one small radio station in the middle of the forest east of Moscow transmitted the clear orders to eliminate hundreds of people throughout the heart of Russia.
Wrangel's right hand couldn't take the chances.


Destroyed train station in Silesia, 1950. Many towns were abandoned altogether, as there was almost no one to return here and at least remove the rubble. It will take another decade to replace, repair or demolish everything which was destroyed in the greatest war in the history of Mankind.
 

Rifal

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This world order simply cannot last.
"You can make a throne of bayonets, but you can't sit on it for long."

With Wrangels death follows a civil war between the Marshalls, with Russias european subjects rising up and deposing the monarchs Russia forced on them in a horribly bloody revolution that makes the French one look like a minor disagreement.
 

HIMDogson

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Eagerly awaiting the hit historical comedy by Armando Ianucci, "The Death of Wrangel".
 

Khor

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It would be great to see events similar to the fall of the Soviet Union. Probably a lot of rebellions, revolts, new civil wars and conquests would happen. China would break his puppet status along with larger European powers.
 

Baron Jukaga

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I count 4 defeatists already and the Tsar's body isn't even cold yet. A year or two of hard labour in Siberia seems in order for such talk. The Empire will survive the Tsar's passing!
 

JodelDiplom

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It would be great to see events similar to the fall of the Soviet Union. Probably a lot of rebellions, revolts, new civil wars and conquests would happen. China would break his puppet status along with larger European powers.
It will likely be more like the chaotic fall of the despotic Qin dynasty, than like the relatively peaceful fall of Gorbachev's much mellowed Soviet Union
 

Rifal

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This is Kaiserreich, if your country does not go through atleast a 3-way free for all civil war you are playing it wrong.
 

Nikolai

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Oops. There goes the world wide neighbourhood.
 

Vlad_Dracul1989

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Part 44: In the Monster's Den

April 25th, 1950
Helsingfors, Rozhevsky Café



It was a sunny day in the governorate's capital, safely deep within imperial borders. The spring was unusually warm and Pavel N. Shatilov could think only about this right now, while taking a slow sip from his cup of coffee. A politics were, after all, similar to weather changes. Sometimes there was a short storm, week of rain or long sunny month, like now. Unlike weather, however, he can assure a fair days in world's politics. Not that any passer-by person noticed him in last hour. Only two of his agents visited him, one with intel, other with a note, that important guest will arrive as soon as possible. Everything according to his plans. General Shatilov always hated it, when someone screwed the job and rarely gave second chances. Same as he hated attention. His old friend could make him Prime Minister or very at least a Marshal of the Russian Empire. He had none of such ambitions. To bask in the glory and make wide propaganda smiles in the newsreels? This definitely wasn't something worth the price. Behind closed doors happened more important decisions than during press conferences for the public. Or during breakfast in café.​


Shatilov's guest sat in front of him, two or three people turned around, perhaps recognizing him, but then they returned to their interests. Especially since now, secret police agents and militia guarded all the doors and corners, without saying anything. Such were the times. No one dared to ask. They were all just there, and it wasn't pleasant to know or ask anything. It was definitely safer this way.
"Please, Grand Duke, join me." said general with nonchalant gesture, not even looking up
Few minutes of silence passed, interrupted by a pretty Finnish waitress with plate of food. She widely smiled to Shatilov's guest and paid no attention to anything else.
"Your excellency, please forgive us, if toasts are a little burned." she said with a face down, before she returned back to the kitchen
The general finally stopped reading from the previously brought files and chuckled for moment.
"Yes, this is exactly why we fought. To make people know what is proper. Too bad I am not few decades younger, though. How's your leg?" he asked casually, while refilling his cup of coffee. In that alone, he was never a typical Russian. Never liked the black tea or the alcohol. Coffee always calmed his nerves.
Grand Duke Vladimir wasn't in mood for a games, but this relaxed man in plain general's uniform wasn't someone he wanted to anger.
"Last time I was here, it was fifteen years ago, to take care of some bussiness." said general after a while, more to himself, it seemed -
"The true patriot must do anything to save his country. Nothing is too incomprehensible for the service to the Motherland. Do you what I mean?"
"I do. Or I might do. I don't know your secrets, General, to make a qualified opinion in that regard. Does anyone?"
Shatilov chuckled - so well hidden disapproval and perhaps hint of disgust. Looking, as if he judged the value of person in front him, he finally answered:
"You know, for example, I never wanted to hurt my old friend's family. When I found out what these idiots did, I prayed to God that Baron survived."
The Grand Duke's heart stopped. After he finished the sentence, he immediately realized, what he talks about.
"I was beyond furious. Everyone who had anything to do with it, I executed by my own hand. Of course, this I would do anyway, but after that, I made them suffer for incompetence." Shatilov sighed, otherwise strangely expressionless, but looking directly to the Vladimir's eyes.
The General now openly studied his guest's reaction to the most horriffic of his deeds. What he was able to do without blink of an eye, long before the Unification War or Battle of Warsaw. From what exactly the Renewalist ideology and the New Empire was reborn.
But Vladimir Kirillovich Romanov already realized, what it means, that he's there. For a lesson before his next assignment.
"When did it happen?" he simply asked. Everyone knew how long Wrangel wasn't seen in public and how long only people close to the General are visiting him. These hints combined with sudden recall from his post abroad didn't left many other options - with other being the execution, of course
"Smarter than your father. Good. That will do."​


"Did you know, that he always intended to gave imperial throne back to your family?" said Shatilov casually, as before
"Good old sentimental Wrangel. He insisted to make you a succesor, but I just wasn't sure. Until you proved yourself."
Vladimir had nothing to say on that. The things he was made to do, created a holes in a soul he wasn't sure to ever fix. Sometimes, he wished to be simple worker in some Ural factory or peasant caring only about food production. This Russian Empire was no longer the country of his ancestors.
"I don't envy you, boy." he continued, with emphasis on the last word. "I won't be here much longer. Unless you will be just as ruthless as we were, everything was done in vain. All these lives lost. For nothing. Their sacrifice should be preserved."
Before he left the café, General Shatilov added, in same unnervingly casual way:
"The power over the world is now in your hands, Your Imperial Majesty."

 
Last edited:

HIMDogson

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Well, given that, at the very least, the Russian and Qing Empires still exist in the modern day, Vladimir couldn't have done that bad of a job. Be pretty great if the next thing Vladimir said was "Guards, arrest Pavel Shatilov for conspiracy and manslaughter."

As he's being led away Shatilov looks back, smiling. "So Pyotr was right after all."
 

Khor

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What would have happened if Shatilov would have stayed in power? Was there some event after that? Also if Wrangel have become a ruler, wouldn't Shatilov also claim the throne?
Another thing is, that Wrangel had at least three children, of whom two were boys.
I copy the Russian translated wiki here:
  • Baron Pyotr Wrangel (14 (27) 01. 1911. St. Petersburg - 27. 10. 1999, Southampton, NY, buried in the cemetery of Novo-Diveevo monastery in the state of New York) - worked in the US engineer in aeronautics, engaged in designing spacecraft to fly to the moon
  • Baron Alexei Petrovich Wrangell (7. 07. 1922, Belgrade , Serbia - 27. 05. 2005, Tara, County Meath, Ireland , is buried in the cemetery in the village of Celbridge) - gisatel, athlete, horse-breeding specialist. Educated in England and the United States. He served in the Air Force and the US diplomatic service. A magnificent rider, and authority for the breeding of horses. Author of many books, including "The End of Chivalry", "Arabs in Arabia" and "great cavalry battle." Alexei Petrovich devoted several books to his father. Among them, "White Russian General Wrangel crusader" and written in collaboration with Cherkasov "St George's General PN Wrangel - the last knight of the Russian Empire" and "Baron Wrangel. Memories".
So in fact there would be two claimants of whom both would be of proper age in 1950.
 

RV-Ye

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What would have happened if Shatilov would have stayed in power? Was there some event after that? Also if Wrangel have become a ruler, wouldn't Shatilov also claim the throne?
Another thing is, that Wrangel had at least three children, of whom two were boys.
I copy the Russian translated wiki here:
  • Baron Pyotr Wrangel (14 (27) 01. 1911. St. Petersburg - 27. 10. 1999, Southampton, NY, buried in the cemetery of Novo-Diveevo monastery in the state of New York) - worked in the US engineer in aeronautics, engaged in designing spacecraft to fly to the moon
  • Baron Alexei Petrovich Wrangell (7. 07. 1922, Belgrade , Serbia - 27. 05. 2005, Tara, County Meath, Ireland , is buried in the cemetery in the village of Celbridge) - gisatel, athlete, horse-breeding specialist. Educated in England and the United States. He served in the Air Force and the US diplomatic service. A magnificent rider, and authority for the breeding of horses. Author of many books, including "The End of Chivalry", "Arabs in Arabia" and "great cavalry battle." Alexei Petrovich devoted several books to his father. Among them, "White Russian General Wrangel crusader" and written in collaboration with Cherkasov "St George's General PN Wrangel - the last knight of the Russian Empire" and "Baron Wrangel. Memories".
So in fact there would be two claimants of whom both would be of proper age in 1950.
If my memory isn't wrong, i think Wrangel lost his family before the start of the AAR building up his character to become the Black Tsar.
 

Khor

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If my memory isn't wrong, i think Wrangel lost his family before the start of the AAR building up his character to become the Black Tsar.
Oops, sorry than, but Shatilov is still there, or a rogue general, who wants the throne.
 

SniperSOAP

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  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
Oops, sorry than, but Shatilov is still there, or a rogue general, who wants the throne.
I think it would have irked the people. Wrangel had not groomed Shatilov as his heir and there wasn't a clear statement from the Black Tsar about having his protégé replacing him after his dead. I suppose Shatilov nominally ruled over Russia but he wouldn't get recognised by the people and would get some civil war between the other generals for full control. By bringing back the Romanovs, monarchy is fully restored and no one can contest the succession line without incurring in the popular and religious wrath.

EDIT: Forgot to add that Vladimir does say that Wrangel wanted Shatilov to succeed him but I think it was a private thought. Maybe the Black Tsar had planned to make some announcements before his death but the Cruel Mistress reached him faster than he had thought.