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Bittenfeld

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Welcome to my first AAR, The Red Flag Rising. I will be playing as the Soviet Union, beginning in 1936, with Hearts of Iron 2: Doomsday. The only modification I will be using is the Graphics Improvement Pack, edited to remove any illegal/offensive content.

The emphasis of this AAR will be on history and telling a story rather than gameplay. As such, this AAR will no doubt strike some as unrealistic or at the least “gamey”, so for those grognards out there, this may not be your cup of tea. But if you have an open mind and are looking for something interesting and entertaining, I hope I will not disappoint. Please do understand that this is, again, my first AAR and I am not even an experienced HoI player.

Questions and comments are appreciated, as long as they are constructive and substantive. You can be critical if you like, assuming it is in a friendly and helpful way. There are many veteran AAR writers out there and I am sure I have a lot to learn from you.

Anyway, enough with my introductions… On with the show!

1936

It had been almost 20 years since the Soviet Union emerged out of the fires of the Russian Revolution. Following Vladimir Lenin’s death, Joseph Stalin came out victorious from the resulting power struggle. His chief rival, Leon Trotsky, was disgraced and in exile, and his remaining opponents, Grigory Zinoviev and Lev Kamenev, had been neutralized. Stalin wielded absolute power and with it, intended to totally reform Soviet society.

Industrialization

In 1931, Stalin gave a speech to the First All-Union Conference of Leading Personnel of Socialist Industry, in which he said:

“In the past we had no fatherland, nor could we have had one. But now that we have overthrown capitalism and power is in our hands, in the hands of the people, we have a fatherland, and we will uphold its independence. Do you want our socialist fatherland to be beaten and to lose its independence? If you do not want this, you must put an end to its backwardness in the shortest possible time and develop a genuine Bolshevik tempo in building up its socialist economy. There is no other way. That is why Lenin said on the eve of the October Revolution: ‘Either perish, or overtake and outstrip the advanced capitalist countries.’ We are 50 or 100 years behind the advanced countries. We must make good this distance in 10 years. Either we do it, or we shall go under.”


A 1930 propaganda poster declares “We Will Turn the Five Year Plan into a Four Year One.”

The first Five-Year Plan, begun in 1928, had been intended to bring the Soviet Union up to speed, to be on par with its capitalist rivals. Stalin realized that as long as the USSR remained a poor, largely agrarian nation unable to provide its own goods and services, it would be unable to maintain its independence. There was no option but to stand alone and in order to do that, self-reliance had to be achieved. Through great toil and sacrifice, the first plan concluded a year earlier than expected in 1932, prompting the government to pursue a second Five-Year Plan starting in 1933.

This second plan was not as successful, for while there were rapid advances in chemicals and steel production, it fell short in areas such as coal and oil. As 1936 started, important factories were in line for production, with others still waiting to be built. Lazar Kaganovich, the man in charge of implementing Stalin’s economic policies, reported that the construction of the major factories would likely not be completed until early 1938.


Science for the People… And for War

As the Soviet Union struggled to fully realize its economic potential, it also aspired to break new ground in technological advances. Various design bureaus were tasked with developing new forms of machinery so the motherland could engage in the same levels of research and manufacturing as other countries. Once such knowledge was had, the prosperity of the workers and the farmers could be better guaranteed… or so went the propaganda. Stalin promoted a very different image of the Soviet Union than the followers of Lenin once advocated, with their dreams of world revolution. When asked by an American journalist if the Soviet Union had abandoned its plans to carry out a global overthrow of the established order, Stalin replied, “We never had any such intention.”

In truth, however, the Soviet Union was preparing for war. Even before Hitler had started rearming, Stalin had been making plans of his own. In 1930, the Chief of the General Staff, General (now Marshal) Mikhail Tukhachevsky conceived a detailed plan for the rearmament of the Red Army. He wrote:

“Dear Comrade Stalin! I fully understand that one has not just to win a war but to preserve one’s economic might while doing so… By working along those lines you can most profitably solve the problems posed by a Great War. Communist greetings. Tukhachevsky.”

In 1936, the commander of the Leningrad military region, General Boris Shaposhnikov, was hard at work coming up with ways for his masterpiece, The Brain of the Army, to be applied to fighting along large fronts – which would be invaluable when a second world war inevitably erupted. Yakolev Design Bureau, which had just produced a series of trainer aircraft, was sketching plans for planes to intercept and destroy enemy bombers.


General Shaposhnikov shares some of his notes with the Boss.

Meanwhile, the work of Enrico Fermi in regards to nuclear fission prompted nuclear science research in earnest, which had been largely ignored as too conjectural and unfeasible by the Soviet leadership. Igor Kurchatov and his apprentice Georgy Flyorov were given state funding with the hope that their labor would produce something fruitful for the Soviet Union eventually.


I Spy Strangers!

Being a large place, the Soviet Union had many places for spies from foreign countries to hide – which was something Stalin could not tolerate. He was playing a dangerous game – working with the United Kingdom and France on one hand while sending positive overtures to Germany, all while pursuing his own agenda; drafting a constitution and making advances to give the appearance of progress, while maintaining an iron grip of total control.

He tasked his security chief, Yan Berzin, with utilizing the Red Army’s Fourth Bureau, the GRU, to flush out intelligence agents who could pose a threat in the near and far future. Although it was a timely process with mixed profits, gradually the number of infiltrators within Soviet society was drastically reduced.


That's it for now. I'll do my best to have the rest of 1936 (including the start of the Spanish Civil War!) up by tomorrow.
 

Deus Eversor

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most warmful communist greatings comrade!
since you say that you are a beginner i then humbly sugest that you spend 4/3 of your ic on ic with that that 2/3 will be of only lowest ic per province and another 2/3 let go red (planed) so they jump in in place of done lowest per province
~1/3 on small tanks
spare ic give to infantry
in 1940 start removing ic production
2/3 move on infantry and tanks rest on modernisation
during war move half of modernisation to reinforcements

this way you should have means to crush germans in year or two

however you can in '38 move your forces to crush china
 
Last edited:

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Cool, another Soviet AAR. Use Zhukov well, that is my advice. ;)
 

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Nice AAR. I second Storm's comments.
 

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Teep said:
Nice AAR. I second Storm's comments.

Forget Zhukov, Gorodovikov and Budennij for the win!

Seriously, Gorodovikov is a master General, Maxskill of 9. Logistics Wizard/Offensive Doctrine.

Budennij is just a classic, put him in command of your Cavalry. :cool:

Zhukov is alright, but you have to raise him from the beggining.

Use Tukhachevsky, he is your best FM at the start, just dont kill him in the Great Purge.




LOL @ Shaposhnikov's balding head.
 

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Originally Posted by Maj. von Mauser
Forget Zhukov, Gorodovikov and Budennij for the win
Well, he is playing as the Soviet Union its big enough for both parties. You also need to use Chuikov, Konev and the guy with the huge moustasche.
 

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Teep said:
Well, he is playing as the Soviet Union its big enough for both parties. You also need to use Chuikov, Konev and the guy with the huge moustasche.

Hehe, yes, that moustache is legendary!

Also nice AAR. I like the style, it reads well.
 

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Maj. von Mauser said:
Forget Zhukov, Gorodovikov and Budennij for the win!

Seriously, Gorodovikov is a master General, Maxskill of 9. Logistics Wizard/Offensive Doctrine.

Budennij is just a classic, put him in command of your Cavalry. :cool:

Zhukov is alright, but you have to raise him from the beggining.

Use Tukhachevsky, he is your best FM at the start, just dont kill him in the Great Purge.


LOL @ Shaposhnikov's balding head.

Wasn't Gorodovikov the guy with the super moustache? And Gorodovikov and Budennij have the Old Guard trait, so in that case getting a skill of 9 could take a lot of time. :D
Zhukov has the panzer leader, offensive doctrine and winter specialist traits, so he is good at commanding tanks and attacking on winter. Chuikov is a good defender with his defensive doctrine and winter specialist. Konev is a good leader too and don't forget about Kulik! :rofl:
But anyway a good start, I hope to see more soon. :)
 

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I think Gorodovikov has Old Guard too. The good thing about Kulik, Konev, Chuikov, Zhukov, etc is that they're all high potential skill and low rank without old guard and each has a couple of good traits. We shouldn't let this 'argument' ruin this AAR though. Mj. von Mauser, all your guys are high rank and will be commanding our (me and Storm's) favourite generals anyway, so don't worry.
 

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Thanks to everyone who has been reading and I appreciate the comments. While it is true that there are many good leaders in the Red Army right now, let us not forget about the Great Purge in 1938. I don't want to give anything away about what I plan to do, so who knows if any of those generals will still be around in a few years...

Summoning the Red Army

In early 1936, the majority of the Red Army was ordered to converge in Moscow. The units would arrive in late spring, in time for the annual May Day Parade in Red Square. But in addition to flaunting the military strength of the Soviet Union, Stalin also intended to reorganize the many divisions for redeployment along the western border. In doing so, he would also appoint new commanders, promoting those he favored while dismissing those who displeased him. With anxious minds, the generals obeyed their directive and marched for the capital.


Elsewhere, reorganization was already taking place. Units in the Caucasus congregated in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, where Stalin was from. Divisions stationed in Central Asia were joined in the Tynda region while the Far Eastern forces came together in Vladivostok. Defense was relatively light in the east. The Soviet Union had non-aggression treaties with Persia and Afghanistan; China was a divided jumble of warlords and relations with Japan, while tense, were not yet sour. Stalin had his eyes firmly fixed on Europe for the time being.

The May Day Parade

Fortunately for them, the generals called to Moscow arrived on time. Compared to the modern troops and tanks of the United Kingdom and Germany, the Soviet forces were largely shabby and obsolete. Unfortunately for Stalin, the lion’s share of the state’s treasury was being dedicated to producing vital utilities and much-desired goods. The average people were constructing the new model nation by their own muscle and their needs and wants had to be fulfilled. So while they smiled and waved at seeing their brave soldiers proceed through the square, Stalin had to put off his own desire for a more contemporary and fearsome fighting force.


Prominent members of the Soviet leadership observe the soldiers filing by at the May Day Parade. From left to right: First Secretary of the Moscow City Committee Nikita Khrushchev; General Secretary of the Comintern Georgi Dimitrov; The Boss; Chairman of the Council of People’s Comissars Vyacheslav Molotov; Chairman of the Central Executive Committee Anastas Mikoyan.

In short order, new commanders were named and their orders were given. Units were staggered out along the border with Poland, the one-time target of the USSR. Those who were experts on defensive tactics were given preference, although their standing in Stalin’s good graces was not ignored. Those divisions that could be spared, including the few armored divisions, were sent to the northeast, along the borders of Finland and Estonia. Whether anyone could read anything substantial into this redeployment was debatable, for while the Soviet Union wished to bring both of its smaller neighbors into its hegemony, those were certainly not the only ones…


General Georgy Zhukov, known for endorsing the utilization of armored units in war, was promoted and given command of the 1st Tank Corps and sent to Leningrad after the May Day Parade.

Opportunity Knocks

In the Spanish general election of 1936, victory went to the parties of the left. General Francisco Franco, with support from Nazi Germany and fascist Italy, led a revolt against the government of the Republic. In the civil war that followed, anti-fascists from all over the world rallied to the Republican army. Stalin’s reaction was instantaneous and enlightened: Soviet advisers, tanks and planes were rushed to the aid of democracy in Spain. As the United Kingdom and France twiddled their thumbs rather than offer direct support, the Soviet Union scored a coup amongst those who wished to see an intervention on the side of individual freedom. And Stalin exploited it as best he could.


Besides supplying Soviet arms to the Republicans, Stalin made Vladimir Orlov, one of his senior military leaders, deputy chief military adviser to the Republican army. His official assignment was to organize intelligence and counterintelligence activities and guerilla warfare behind Franco’s lines. When the Nationalist forces seemed to be getting the upper hand, Stalin ordered Orlov to persuade the Republican government to transfer the country’s gold reserves to the USSR. The gold, which had been stored in a cave at Cartagena, was exported to Russia with no intention of returning it. The Boss saw the gold as a form of payment by the Republicans for his help in the war. Orlov supervised the export of the gold as “Mr. Blakeston, representative of the National Bank of America.”

As 1936 drew to a close, the war in Spain was not going well for the anti-fascists, but Stalin had gotten what he wanted: experience for his military, an improved image in the eyes of many in the West and several boxes packed with bullion.

 

Khalep

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A pity about Spain, you never know however, it might still turn out well. Good to see you re-organize the Red Army though, that's always one of the more tedious things about playing the Soviet Union if you ask me. Hehe, I wonder what goon (historically) placed those soldiers in their starting composition.
 

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Interesting... you organized your army quite early (I usually organize them in -38 or -39). But maybe the Soviet Union is preparing for something unexpected? ;)
 

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Storm501 said:
Wasn't Gorodovikov the guy with the super moustache? And Gorodovikov and Budennij have the Old Guard trait, so in that case getting a skill of 9 could take a lot of time. :D
Zhukov has the panzer leader, offensive doctrine and winter specialist traits, so he is good at commanding tanks and attacking on winter. Chuikov is a good defender with his defensive doctrine and winter specialist. Konev is a good leader too and don't forget about Kulik! :rofl:
But anyway a good start, I hope to see more soon. :)

The fact that Gorodovikov has a max skill of 9 means he will gain experience very quickly, despite the Old Guard trait. It's similiar to Mannerheim, he is a Old Guard with a max skil of 9 or 8, and he gains experience very quickly because of it. Besides, Offensive Doctrine, Logistics Wizared, plus Epic Mustache mean Gorodovikov is quite a formidible general.

Budennij is a another story, use him as as leader purely for flavour purposes, also because he was awesome in real life. His max skill is probably 2 or 3 at the most, and he won't be gaining much experience anytime soon. His mustache is second only to Gorodovikov though.

Old Guard isn't as bad a trait as some think it is. Even though you gain experience only one third as fast, it dosent stop a highly skilled general from gaining experince very quickly. Also several of your Old Guards have very nice traits.

As for Tukhachevsky, I usually decline on the Officer Purge soley because of him (not to mention I've seen people lose leaders like Zhukov and Gorodovikov because if it). He has great stats, and he is a decent TT. You will lose von Blyuker no matter what, due to the Japanese Incident, and I usually move Gorodovikov or Shaposhnikov up to Field Marshal to replace him.
 
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El Pip

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Nuclear research in 1936? "Coming soon, the five year atomic powered plan!" I'd have though Stalin would rather build more steel mills then nick nukes from the West.

Anyway, an interesting start with plenty of hot moustache action. How could I not follow? ;)
 

Bittenfeld

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Sorry this wasn’t up earlier, but the forums went down and then the power adapter for my laptop died. Things are still somewhat dull, what with there still being peace and all, but I hope you like this update anyway!

1937

One Door Closes, Another Opens


The Spanish Civil War did not last long. With assistance from the major fascist powers of Europe, the Nationalists under General Francisco Franco secured several early victories, including capturing Madrid before the end of 1936 and managed to hold it despite fierce Republican resistance. The Basque territory soon followed, driving the government out of the north, leaving only Catalonia. Despite trying to prolong the inevitable, Barcelona fell in early spring in 1937, leaving Franco victorious.


A jubilant Franco reviews his armed forces in Madrid shortly after the war’s end.

Stalin knew that nothing short of direct intervention would have saved Republican Spain from defeat. Yet he was not about to send troops all the way to the tip of Western Europe to gain a lukewarm ally. He saw far more promise in Asia – specifically in the Chinese communists under their leader, Mao Zedong. Not only were they committed communists, they were a valuable ally against a potent threat to the Soviet Union: Japan. Stalin had at first pursued the Kuomintang a decade before, but in 1926, the leader of the KMT, Chiang Kai-shek, dismissed his Soviet advisers and shortly afterward broke off relations with his own domestic communists, resulting in the Chinese Civil War. The USSR had provided some minor support to Mao but not enough to prevent the KMT from forcing the communists to flee the Chinese Soviet Republic in the now famous Long March.


Mao Zedong stands with his wife, He Zizhen, in the communist enclave of Yan’an, an isolated location where the guerillas were relatively safe from the Nationalists.

The Soviet Union, having a large number of resources, arranged trade deals with the Chinese communists where the latter were given valuable assets for essentially nothing in return. There was much speculation over the wisdom of such an investment, as the communists could easily be crushed by the Nationalists or the Japanese in the near future. But for Stalin, the gamble was worth it. To have a fellow communist country nearby was something he was prepared to roll the dice for. The Soviet Union was both Russian and communist, and the more and more bellicose Japan had love for neither trait.


Death From the Skies

1937 saw the Soviet Union focus on making deep inroads into military aircraft. Stalin met often with the head of the Soviet Air Force, Yakov Alksnis, to discuss new techniques and revolutionary prototypes. Alksnis pointed to dive bombers, which would allow aircraft to operate in a tactical role by diving vertically at a target and releasing the bombs upon approach. Stalin soon thereafter gave Pavel Sukhoi, a well-known constructor and designer, orders to develop a ground attack combat aircraft.


A ground attack light bomber designed by Pavel Sukhoi, this aircraft was criticized as being too slow and vulnerable to enemy fighters.

Some wondered if the likes of Alksnis and Sukhoi were not being overworked, as Stalin repeatedly had more and more questions and demands for them. The navy was receiving virtually zero attention and the Red Army was only receiving minor attention. But if there were any who seriously questioned the wisdom of the Boss’ decisions, they did not speak up too vocally… if at all.


The Usefulness of Enemies

In 1937, Germany and Japan announced the Anti-Comintern Pact, which was intended to “safeguard their common interests” in regards to the "threat" of the Soviet Union and Communist International. The year prior, Special Ambassador Joachim von Ribbentrop and the Japanese military attaché in Berlin, General Oshima Hiroshi, had drafted the treaty to form an anti-communist alliance. Germany alienated Nationalist China and the Soviet Union in the process, but in doing so hoped to attain a more respectable appearance in the eyes of other Western countries, who were wary of Germany’s increasing belligergence but shared a mutual hatred of Bolshevism. Japan's government also despised left-wing politics, loathed the Russians and thought German support would cow the Chinese into submission.

Italy was invited to sign the treaty but declined. While Italy and Germany were not all that far apart ideologically, Mussolini was unnerved at Germany’s expansionism, which posed a hindrance to planned Italian domination, especially on parts of Austria. He also had contempt for Hitler, whom he called a “silly little monkey”, and regarded Mein Kampf as a “boring tome.” While no lover of communism or socialism himself, Mussolini saw little to gain in signing the pact, whereas it was a foreign policy coup for Germany and Japan.


German and Japanese diplomats come together to sign the Anti-Comintern Pact. The alliance was against Communist International, but there was no mistaking that the real target was the power behind Comintern – the Soviet Union.

Stalin was not bothered by the pact. If anything, it worked in his favor. The threat of Germany and Japan, of intervention on the part of capitalist imperialists, conferred on him enormous powers, justified the most extreme measures. Just as those caught up in anti-communist hysteria now looked to the signers of the pact, leftist radicals rallied to the Soviet Union as the beacon of their cause. In effect, the Anti-Comintern Pact and the associated anti-Bolshevik rhetoric that came along with eased the international isolation of the USSR. Enemies help create friends (or at least allies), and as long as Germany and Japan were making enemies, the more possibilities the Soviet Union had to gradually come out from the world’s shadow.

 
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Deus Eversor

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unite with commie china and bring socialism to china before japan takes it all!!!!!!!11111
 

Teep

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Hmmm that german diplomat looks suspiciously like FDR to me...