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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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*Inspired by my first AAR ever*

Difficulty and AI Aggressiveness: Regular
Version: Combination of regular 1.05c, CORE 0.64 and CORE 0.8. Slight modifications have been made to prevent A-Bombs from being used.


January 5th, 1943

Inside a concrete bunker deep within New York City, a shimmering blue rift appeared, through which three men, one being dragged along by the others, entered. Instantly, the portal closed, and the scientists crowded together to see the arrivals.

The two men roughly threw the other man to the ground. One of the scientists stepped forward to look at him.

"Stukov! I should have known it was you!" growled the man.

Stukov remained silent, trembling with rage.

The scientist turned to face the others, "We've caused enough problems. Destroy the equipment and tell no one of what happened here."

For a decade, these scientists had been working together to create something of a time machine. Funded by the U.S. government, it was the single most top secret project on the entire planet. But one of the scientists, Alexei Stukov, used the time machine to travel to 1936, where he assassinated Hitler and assumed his place. But Stukov had been careless, and had allowed the project to continue. Thus, the scientists had travelled back to 1936 as well and had stopped Stukov before he could ever start his war of world domination.

The scientist turned back to Stukov, "As for you, you will be locked away in prison, where you won't cause any more trouble."

With that, Stukov was lifted up to his feet and dragged towards the door. With his scheme ruined, he no longer had the energy to struggle, or even utter a word.

One of the scientists , shorwded by the shadow of a massive computer bank, pulled a pistol from his coat pocket. Unnoticed, the man leveled his gun and fired off the entire clip into his colleagues. Seven shots had been fired, and eight men had been killed. The scientists lay on the ground, a bullet through each of their heads. Blood was splattered across the room, giving it a gruesome appearance. Stukov slowly turned to face the murderer, stunned at what had transpired in the last few seconds.

The man chuckled, "You get a second chance, comrade," the man said in Russian, shocking Stukov, who had known the man for a decade as an American scientist born in the American heartland.

"I take it you're not the man you appear to be," said Stukov.

The man shook his head, "No, I replaced him a few months ago when the remains of the NKVD learned of this project."

"Remains of?" Stukov asked.

The NKVD agent laughed, "I suppouse you don't know of how much damage you did before you were stopped. You cannot succeed with Germany. But you can with another."

Stukov raised an eyebrow, "Are you suggesting what I think you are?"

The man nodded, handing Stukov a case filled with documents, "You might find these helpful."

Stukov browsed through the papers, "How do you know all this?" he asked.

The agent smiled and winked, "Have faith, all will be revealed in due time."

Without warning, a blinding flash of light filled the small, bloody room, consuming the man. Stukov shielded his eyes, but the light vanished almost instantly, leaving Stukov alone with the dead.

Shocked, Stukov read through the documents and tossed them to the ground. He began activating several banks of computers. A droning hum filled the room and a familiar blue rift appeared in the room. Taking a deep breath, Stukov hesitated, knowing this was his last chance. Without another word, he stepped into the rift and dissapeared.

January 1st, 1936

Stalin stood with his hands held at the small of his back, looking out the window of his Kremlin home. The snow was falling heavily, not unusual for this time of year.

From behind him, an eerie blue light drapped the room. Startled, Stalin whirled around. Standing before him was a man outlined by the bright blue light. The rift abruptly vanished and the man was swallowed in darkness.

The man spoke, "Greetings comrade Stalin, we have much to discuss."
 

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Whatever had just happened, Stalin did not understand it. A man had appeared in his quarters and arrogantly demanded to speak with him, the unquestioned leader of the Soviet Union. He was either very brave, or very stupid.

"Who are you?" Stalin asked.

"Who I am is of no importance, but I bring you an offer that will change the world."

Stalin remained silent, waiting for him to get to the point.

The man glanced around the room and sat down in a chair closest to him, "In 1953, you will be murdered by a group of your chief advisors and administrators. Coincidentally, you were murdered on the same day you had planned to start a world war against the capitalist west. You had come close to conquering the world. I am here to assist you in this."

Stalin stared incredulously at the man, you was obviously insane.

Calmly, Stalin spoke, "What proof do you have of this ridiculous claim?"

"I have no gaurantees of the future, but I know enough of the past, you're past, comrade Stalin."

"What do you mean?" asked Stalin hesitantly.

The man frowned, "I mean you are the son of an ex-serf and a drunk cobbler who used to beat you. I mean you were once expelled from a seminary. Your first wife died at the turn of the century."

Stalin flinched at hearing of his first, tragic marriage, one of the few happy times in his life.

The man continued, pointing to his left arm, "Your arm was deformed and crippled in childhood when you were run over by a horse. You wear makeup to hide your pock-marked face. You hid Lenin's last will, which condemned you as the Soviet leader. Your childhood name was Soso."

Rage overtook Stalin, "Enough!" he yelled, rushing towards the man.

His teeth barred, Stalin snarled at the man, now standing inches away from each other, "Who ARE you!?" Stalin demanded.

The man remained calm, looking the Soviet leader straight in the eye, "I am here to help you. With my knowledge and Russia's power, we can change the world forever."

Stalin's rage was checked now, and he thought the offer over. Finally, with a great sigh, "I think I will take you up on that offer."

The man smiled wickedly, "Then we must hurry. There is much to do."
 

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January 2nd, 1936

The 1930s were tumultuous times for the Soviet Union. Recovering from the bloody agricultural collectivizations that had taken the lives of millions and with the continued arbitrary deportation of Soviet citizens to gulags in Siberia, Stalin's ambitious 4-year plans were achieving success. Fueled by fear, patriotism, and a gun to their heads, the Soviet Union's industry roared forward from it's primitive beginings to the makings of a world industrial power. With the arrival of immigrants from the West trying to escape the econmic mire of the Great Depression, Soviet industrial production was catching up to the west of the modern world. With a powerful industry, Russia could build a powerful military.

--------------------------

Stukov stood inconspicuously in a corner of the conference room where Stalin had assembled his advisors. He listened happily as Stalin relayed Stukov's suggestions.

At the moment, Stalin was speaking to Lazer Kaganovich, Commissar of Industry and Armaments, "Industrial output must still be increased. Setbacks will not be tolerated."

Kaganovich flinched, "Of course comrade Stalin. But the workers are often being pressed too far. Impossible quotas will mean failures, and the workers will not let their failures known. They know the consequences."

"Then get workers who CAN reach those quotas!" growled Stalin.

"Yes, comrade Stalin. But these continued indutrial expansions will severally deplete our resource pool."

Stukov nodded to himself, unnoticed by the rest.

Stalin spoke again, "Comrade Voroshilov," Stalin glanced over at the general, his only real friend amongst the assembled group, "Begin transporting the 2nd Army from Vladivostok to Baku. Also, begin training six new divisions to be formed into the new 14th Army. Assign officers and generals as you see fit."

Voroshilov was shocked at being given so much freedom of choice, "Yes, comrade Stalin. I will begin immediately."

Vladimir Orlov butted in, "What of the navy?"

A young man whom Stukov didn't know spoke as well, "The air force is too weak at the moment to be of much military use either, comrade Stalin."

Stalin froze, glaring at Orlov, "Construction is already underway on several new ships, as you should already know."

Stalin turned to the young man, his attitude suddenly changed, "The air force is of secondary concern to the army at the moment. Resources will be allocated to it's development in due time."

The rest of the meeting went on uneventfully, aside from an abysmal report by the ever bumbling Litinov. As the men began leaving the conference room, Stukov walked up behind Stalin and whispered into his ear, "Who was that young man? I'm not sure who he is."

Stalin did not look up, continuing to sign reports and go through the newest list of gulag deportees, "His name is Yakov Alksnis."

Stukov froze, pondering the name. Then it suddenly hit him, "Yakov? You mean your son?"

Stalin paused for a moment, then continued writing, "Goodbye, comrade Stukov."

The finality with which Stalin spoke caused Stukov to back away from him. Such things were of little importance Stukov decided. More important things needed to be done.
 

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The tale is quite interesting so far. I think perhaps Stukov may have gotten in too deep with Stalin. I am waiting for the moment when one of them betrays the other.
 

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April 24th, 1936

In the rugged countryside bordering Persia, the combined strength of the 2nd and 14th Armies, numbering 120,000 strong, along with the Zakavkazskiy Voenny Okrug numbering 20,000, waited for their orders.

In a HQ south of Baku, Generals Chuikov and Vatutin waited for the go ahead. Both could easily guess what the purpouse of their newly assigned armies was for.

"I wonder how long Stalin will keep us waiting here," grumbled Vatutin.

Chuikov grinned, taking a puff from his cigar, "I'm sure he has everything planned out. It's not like he'll forget about 120,000 soldiers sitting along an undefended border."

Vatutin snorted, "Most of these men bairly know how to march properly."

"If any NKVD hear you talking like that, you'll be sent for reeducation."

As the generals continued their idle banter back and forth, an officer walked into the room and handed a paper to Chuikov.

Quickly reading it, he handed it over to Vatutin, "Guess he hasn't forgotten us," he said with a grin.

Vatutin scowled, "Oh this is just great. You get the glory of marching south to the Indian Ocean while I'll be stuck in the deserts at Tehran."

"I'll have my men send you some water to drink," laughed Chuikov.

Vatutin grabbed the cigar and pressed it against the orders, "Come on, we have a war to start."

Soviet battle strategy of the 1936 Persian War:
S1.gif

-------------------------------------------

In the early hours of April 25th, the Soviet Union declared war on their southern neighbor Persia. Almost immediately, Soviet troops began pouring across the undefended Persian border. Well supplied and well led, the Soviets made good progress early on.

The Persians managed to muster 40,000 men to defend Tabriz against Chuikov's assault, engaging the 14th Army on May 5th. Meanwhile, along the Caspian coast, Vatutin attacked a hastily prepared Persian defense consisting of 20,000 cavalry men on the 8th. Within a day, the Persians were sent retreating back to Tehran. In Tabriz however, Chuikov was meeting heavier resistance. The Soviets finally managed to break the Persian defenders apart with the arrival of the Zakavkazskiy Voenny Okrug which attacked along the Persian left flank. On the 10th, Chuikov finally managed to blast through the Persian army. With the Persians defeated, Chuikov could now march south unimpeded.

Despite the stiff resistance, Stalin was pleased with the progress the Soviet army had made. Chuikov had suffered only a light 8,000 casualties and Vatutin less than a thousand. The Red Army was getting invaluable field experience, Stalin's looser control of army operations was revitalizing the army's effectiveness. And more importantly, Soviet aggression had resulted in nothing more than a few harsh words from the West.
 

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An insightful course of action. Going against Persia should give you some valuable reasources and perhaps even more important, field experience.
 

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Vatutin wasted little time after siezing Rasht. The general ordered his entire army to advance on Tehran while the Persians were still retreating. On May 24th, his army caught up with the Persians and engaged them on the outskirts of the capitol. Within 12 hours, the exhausted and bloodied Persian forces melted away, fleeing south. Tehran was open to the Soviets, who took control with little struggle. The Shaw left the palace and set up the provisional capitol in the city of Esfahan. It was a dangerous move, with the 2nd Army just north and Chuikov's 14th Army lumbering it's way through the rough terrain west of the region, the city was a tempting target, and if siezed, could trap 40,000 Persians in Hamadan.

But no such move could be made until Chuikov marched south. His army had taken significantly longer to get marching than Vatutin's, and had to travel across inhostipable terrain, slowing the 14th's progress. But by June 9th, Chuikov smashed a tiny Persian army of 10,000, suffering virtually no casualties. With this victory, Esfahan was threatened from two sides and Chuikov was within a hundred miles of reaching the precious warm water ports of the Persian Gulf which were totally undefended.

With this, Vatutin marched most of his army south to Esfahan while 10,000 stayed behind to secure the region east of Tehran. On June 20th, Vatutin smashed the Persian cavalry and siezed the city, cutting off 20,000 Persians to the north. Already the Zakavkazskiy Voenny Okrug had begun moving in to finish them off and break the back of the Persian resistance. On June 29th, they attacked the entrenched Persian position. Suprisingly, the Persians held out for over a week.

Meanwhile, Chuikov had reached the coast, brushing aside the survivors from Esfahan on July 2nd. The event was of great significance. Jubilant Soviet soldiers rushed headlong into the water while Soviet cameras filmed the historic event. Vatutin, seeing an opurtunity, marched his army directly south without warning Chuikov or the Soviet command. On July 6th, he as well reached the coast. Stalin was furious at Vatutin's apparent lack of discipline and prepared to eliminate him when the disobedience's purpouse became clear. For the next several days, the 2nd Army attacked the retreating Persians, taking thousands of prisoners. Coordinated Persian resistance had been crushed and the whole country lay open for the Soviets.

In Hamadan, the final Persian soldiers surrendered. Soviet victory was almost complete.

Stalin's focus was suddenly turned away from Persia to the Iberian Peninsula. A large portion of the Spanish military failed to overthrow the government in an attempted coup and now Spain was pulled into civil war. Stalin became alarmed when Germany and Italy began supply the Nationalist rebels, and sent his own aid to the Loyalist Spainards.

Spain at the Begining of the Civil War:
S2.gif


In less than a month, the Nationalist holdings in the north were quickly destroyed, leaving only a pocket of rebel resistance in Cordoba and Seville by August 13th.

Coincidentally, August 13th was the day Vatutin siezed the last Persian port city, finishing of Persia as an independent nation. The Soviet Union quickly annexed the nation as the Shaw fled to London, hoping to avoid Soviet assassins.

The 1936 Persian War was a great boon for the Soviets. They had proven their army in battle, gained invaluable experience, siezed the rich oil fields of Persia, gained badly needed warm water ports, and had tested the West's desire to check communist expansion. Stalin saw the West's weakness, and planned to use it to his advantage.

S3.gif
 

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October 26th, 1936

Spain in late 1936:
S4.gif


Stalin and Stukov sat across from each other in the conference room alone.

"I don't understand it," murmured Stukov as he read the reports, "The Nationalists are actually gaining ground."

"Even after all the aid we've given them," muttered Stalin as he smoked on his pipe.

"This new round of supplies will do it, I think," Stukov mentioned the most recent, largest shipment of war materials to the Republican Spainards.

"It'd be cheaper just to intervene."

Stukov raised an eyebrow, "What good would that do, we don't have any transports large enough to ship our armies."

Stalin ignored the remark and changed the subject, "The army is certainly enjoying it's newfound freedom of command."

"Yes, I believe so."

"Maybe a bit too much."

Stukov frowned, "What are you talking about?"

Stalin glanced up, his expression impassive, "Yagoda has informed me a great deal of our officers are starting to perhaps act with a bit too much freedom."

Stukov's mouth fell open, "No, you're not suggesting what I think you are?"

Raising a piece of paper, "This is a list of some of the more prominent generals, many from czarist times."

Stukov grabbed the list and read it through, "This is ridiculous Stalin! If you go through with this, you'll cripple half the Red Army!"

"People will rise to take their place."

Stukov slammed his fist down on the table, "You don't understand. You can't just have people fill in as officers. They need to be trained, they need experience! We're not talking about replacing factory workers, we're talking about decapitating the Red Army!"

Stalin leaned back in his chair, "Are you questioning my ability to lead, comrade?"

Stukov froze, "Of....of course not, comrade Stalin."

Stalin sneered, "Loyal, inexperienced officers will be better than disloyal czarist rebels. The army will be purged within a matter of months."

Resigned, Stukov slumpped back into his chair, "If I couldn't stop him purging the Red Army, what else might I fail to change?" he thought.

Stalin stood up and began walking towards the doorm, "Know your place, comrade. I lead mother Russia, not you."
 

Morpheus506

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Don't want to cross Stalin, there. ;)

Looks promising. Will you keep steamrolling Middle Eastern/Asian nations, or turn on your European neighbors next?
 

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Ahhh, the Infamous Purge of the Red Army. I thought that perhaps the victories in Persia and Stukov would have been able to halt that, but it seems that Stalin will continue to go on as planned. I am curious however, has Stukov warned Stalin of the German betrayal and the future attack of Hitler?
 

TC Pilot

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Morpheus506: The communist spirit will spread anywhere it can. ;)

Xizo: Thank you. I think it's going to be a great one too :p

Machiavellian: Guns and words are not enough to stop Stalin's paranoia. Remember, he is in charge. Stukov has to keep a few things to himself to retain his usefulness.

------------------------------
The begining of 1937 was a time of great turmoil. In the United States, the incumbent president, Franklin Roosevelt, was defeated by the Republican candidate Alf Landon, reversing the New Deal and plunging the country into isolationism. Japan and Germany joined together to sign an anti-Comintern Pact, Spain was still caught up in bloody stalemate, and Nationalist China finally made headway in it's war against Sinkiang.

But in the Soviet Union, a dramatic series of events was unfolding. Industrail progress in Stalin's 2nd 4-Year Plan was starting to show results, but economic progress was still very much underway. But the major focus of Stalin now shifted to the military. Strangely, after granting the Red Army much more freedom in command in the Persian War, Stalin reversed himself, alarmed by this newly found freedom and from his own sense of paranoia. Starting in January, Red Army officers were discretely being removed from their units for "reassignment", either to be relocated to an unmarked grave or the gulags of Siberia.

March 2nd, 1937

Sweat was beading on Field Marshall Tukhachevsky's forehead. He had been called into a private meeting with this man, Stukov, to discuss certain problems within the Red Army. He knew what it really meant.

For five minutes now, Stukov had been sitting across the table from Tukhachevsky reading several reports to himself, ignoring the Marshal.

Finally, Stukov looked up at him, as if just noticing his presence, "Ah, thank you for coming to this meeting comrade."

Tukhachevsky nodded nervously, "It was no trouble at all," he said quickly.

Stukov cleared his throat, "I suppouse you've been aware of the large number of officer "relocations" occuring recently?"

"They say they are being transfered east."

Stukov snorted, "In a manner of speaking, yes. Basicly, Stalin has a list of the generals he wants "transfered", and you are one of them."

Tukhachevsky froze, knowing he was doomed.

"However," said Stukov, "I seem to have misplaced that portion of the list," Stukov leaned forward, smiling, "And I feel your skills are best suited for our western armies. Don't you agree?"

Tukhachevsky was lost for words. This man was daring to oppose Stalin's orders, to save his life. Sputtering foolishly, Tukhachevsky stood from his chair and shook Stukov's hand furiously, "Thank you comrade....I....I do belive I would like to stay in my current assignment."

Stukov laughed, "And make sure to keep my little bookeeping error a secret," he said with a wink.

Tukhachevsky backed towards the door, speaking rapidly, "Of course comrade. Just between you and me. No one will know. You can count on me. Not a word, nope, none at all," with a nervous laugh, he left the room.
 

TC Pilot

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Mettermrck: Actually, I didn't do anything to influence it. Guess time-travelling changed more than you know. :rolleyes:
-------------------------------

April 7th, 1937

Stalin sat in the conference room with the Commissar of Security, Genrikh Yagoda, smoking his pipe.

"So what is it you wanted to talk about?" asked Yagoda.

Stalin grinned, "I wanted to compliment you on a job well done, my old friend."

Yagoda brightened up immediately, "We always did work well together."

Stalin contineud to grin, laughing jovially, "Yes, you and Yezhov helped me remove Trotsky. And for your years of service and loyalty, I have a reward for you."

Stalin slid a piece of paper across the table to Yezhov. Gingerly, the man picked it up and read it. Yagoda's smile grew even more.

From the shadows, Stukov walked up behind Yagoda and pressed a gun up to his right temple.

Yagoda's eyes grew wide and looked terrified at Stalin, "But.....what did I do?"

Stalin's facade of delight suddenly dropped, "You must always remember one thing....I AM IN CHARGE."

Before Yagoda could say anything, Stukov pulled the trigger. In an instant, Yagoda was thrown against the side of his chair. The right side of his head covered in blood and a hideous wound. Yagoda had been killed instantly.

Stalin gestured with his pipe, "Remove the body. And tell Yezhov he's in charge of the NKVD now."
 

Morpheus506

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So much for going against Stalin :p