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der Kriegsherr

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The Ride of the Black Tsar: A Russian Empire AAR (KR)

Author's note: Since the spring semester ended, outside of work, I haven't really found myself with a lot to do, so I decided to share another project of mine with you guys and gals. One that I had been planning for a while, but wasn't really sure about the interest that it would draw.

I had never noticed it previously, but KR Russia is really fun to play as. So many paths, it never gets old.
Anyway, I've read a lot of the KR Russia AARs and they're all great, but I think I'm taking it in a different direction than most have done. What exactly is that direction? Read on, dear reader and find out. As always, it is very image-heavy.


Table of Contents


Prologue

Part 2: Storm Clouds

Part 3: The Second Russian Civil War: Red Alert

Part 4: The Second Russian Civil War: And Now For Something Completely Different

Part 5: The Second Russian Civil War: Finish Him!

Part 6: The Black Tsar

Part 7: Preparing for War

Part 8: The Russo-Cossack War

Part 9: Russo-Azerbaijani War

Part 10: Russo-Georgian War

Part 11: The First Steppe War (Alash Orda)

Part 12: The Second Steppe War (Turkestan)

Part 13: Drang nach Westen/the Second Weltkrieg

Part 14: Deterioration

Part 15: das Undenkbare

Part 16: Und der Zukunft zugewandt

Part 17: Russo-Ukrainian War

Part 18: To the Victors...

Part 19: A War for Revenge and Final Preparations

Part 20: Operatsiya Vladyka: Russian Entry into the Second Weltkrieg


Part 21: Cause for Concern


Part 22: die Befreiung

Part 23: Crushing Pressure

Part 24: Meanwhile, in a Parisian Bunker


Part 25: L'Effondrement

Part 26: Cleaning House and Other Matters


Part 27: Operatsiya Padeniye: The Invasion of Britain


Part 28: The Foreign Regent

Epilogue: Even Legends Die Someday
 
Last edited:

Xie

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Author's note: Since the spring semester ended, outside of work, I haven't really found myself with a lot to do, so I decided to share another project of mine with you guys and gals. One that I had been planning for a while, but wasn't really sure about the interest that it would draw.

I had never noticed it previously, but KR Russia is really fun to play as. So many paths, it never gets old.
Anyway, I've read a lot of the KR Russia AARs and they're all great, but I think I'm taking it in a different direction than most have done. What exactly is that direction? Read on, dear reader and find out. As always, it is very image-heavy.

Yawn....Wrangel comes to power(title should be a good giveaway) and we've seen this a few times before. However most Wranglite AARs fail to be completed, so I wish you all the luck.
 

Doctor Stein

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Yawn....Wrangel comes to power(title should be a good giveaway) and we've seen this a few times before. However most Wranglite AARs fail to be completed, so I wish you all the luck.

How do you know it will be Wrangel? Is Wrangel the only Black Tsar?! NO!

tumblr_m53ggumFA11r8pxcho1_500.jpg


Praise be to Tsar Kalou! Ruler of all of Russia!
 

der Kriegsherr

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Prologue

Ride of the Black Tsar: A Russian Empire AAR (KR)


Conservative_Flag_Proposal.jpg


Ever since the humiliating defeat in the Weltkrieg at the hands of the German Empire, times had not been good for Russia: Shorn of her western realms and beset by revolutionary chaos, the Russian state narrowly avoided falling to the Bolsheviks, only due to the intervention of her former German enemy. The Kerensky regime which took the place of the old Tsarist government, was not much better:

image.png


Indeed, the government in Petrograd could barely be acknowledged as controlling the streets of Petrograd and Moscow, let alone the vast expanses of Russia. The army, poorly-trained, equipped, and even more poorly motivated, would be more truthfully described as a ragtag band of conscripts unfit for routine police duties, to say nothing of defending the Motherland.


image.png


Although some still took refuge in the old republican constitution of 1918, it was becoming clear to many that Kerensky's republic could not deliver on the grandiose promises delivered in the wake of the Tsar's abdication. Indeed, many poor and middle-class Russians struggled even to put bread on the table. By January of 1936, many had had enough:


image.png


Being led back to his limousine, President Kerensky was assassinated by a lone gunman (whose motives and identity still remain unclear to this day) on the streets of Petrograd. Immediately, chaos broke out in the political scene as the governing coalition of Kadets and Right Social Revolutionaries collapsed. A Bolshevik-led demonstration quickly devolved into a massive riot, with some claiming that said unrest was part of a Bolshevik coup attempt. Finally, one man, had finally had enough of the humiliation, starvation, and general madness which had plagued his beloved Russia since the proclamation of the republic:

pics_1.jpg

Enter Baron Pytor Nikolayevich Wrangel


The leader of the counterrevolutionary White Army, Baron Wrangel (affectionately known to his followers as the Vozhd or Chief) became renowned throughout Europe as a hero of the Russian Civil War. A counterrevolutionary through and through, Wrangel seized his chance, activating his militia in Petrograd to seize the Duma and the presidential palace, as well as to disperse the rioters. Just as suddenly as it had started, the the counter-coup concluded successfully:

image.png

The Russian cabinet after the successful coup. For some strange, inexplicable reason, Wrangel distrusted Security Minister Nikolai Yezhov immensely and immediately arranged for Vlassov to take him for a long walk down the nearest dark alley, pistol in hand.


In order to ensure internal security, the Vozhd recognized the need for a modern, combat-worthy military. To this end, a massive military-industrial modernization program was ordered to ensure that the new Russian state would be ready to meet any threat within five years:

image.png
 
Last edited:

NikephorosSonar

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You should have played this with the Russian Improvement Pack, it makes you look a lot less like the USSR in the mid-40s, and it removes people like Yezhov from Wrangel's faction anyways.

Getting rid of Yezhov makes no sense since in KR Canon he's one of Wrangel's most loyal supporters in the first place.

But it's your AAR.
 

der Kriegsherr

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Getting rid of Yezhov makes no sense since in KR Canon he's one of Wrangel's most loyal supporters in the first place.

But it's your AAR.

It's a joke about his role OTL
 

NikephorosSonar

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Battle bunny

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You should have played this with the Russian Improvement Pack, it makes you look a lot less like the USSR in the mid-40s, and it removes people like Yezhov from Wrangel's faction anyways.

Getting rid of Yezhov makes no sense since in KR Canon he's one of Wrangel's most loyal supporters in the first place.

But it's your AAR.

Well, if the writer wants to get rid of Yezhov for gameplay reasons (undesirable modifiers, for example), a RP explanation is still needed. I think this one was good enough.
 

der Kriegsherr

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Part 2: Storm Clouds

While the coup to overthrow the decadent republic had gone off without a hitch, many problems still plagued Russia in the international arena: Regarded as a cabal of extremist officers, Wrangel's Russia had become a pariah state among a fearful Europe. Indeed, out of the great powers of 1936, the German Empire alone extended diplomatic recognition to the new state, due to a large number of business interests in Russia and gratitude for foiling the Bolshevik coup. Speaking of the Bolsheviks, an ominous development came out of Birmingham in the Union of Britian:

image.png


Mikhail Bukharin, notorious Bolshevik agitator and veteran commander of the Russian Civil War, had recently announced his unequivocal support for Oswald Mosley's new doctrine of Totalism (totalitarian socialism), his correspondence with Mosley having had a considerable influence on Totalist doctrine. Needless to say, a renewed sense vigor due to their comrades' solidarity swept throughout the assorted revolutionary groups in Russia. The Vozhd and his inner circle were alarmed by these developments, and made preparations for the restoration of the Tsarist secret police, the Okhrana.


image.png

With the new regime firmly in place and any potential saboteurs in the government either disposed of or kept under close surveillance, many had wondered about the choice of the Vozhd's second-in-command. While General Andrei Vlassov was favored among many, Wrangel famously quipped that he "was the new autocrat".



image.png


By the month's end, the reorganization of the Okhrana was complete. The very finest officers and soldiers hand-picked from his ranks were reorganized into the new service, the officers to report to Wrangel directly and to take "whatever means required" to suppress revolutionary activity. The "new" security organization could not have come soon enough: On February 3rd, 1936, the Berlin stock market crashed, sending the German economy into an unprecedented tailspin, sending shockwaves all throughout Europe. Russia, being one of Germany's biggest trading partners, was bound to be hit hard by the crisis, making an unstable situation even worse.


image.png


Mass unemployment and skyrocketing prices of everyday goods were bound to leave many Russians afraid, desperate, and angry. Recognizing immediately that the only ones who stood to gain from this state of affairs were the Bolsheviks themselves, Wrangel immediately called a meeting of high-ranking Okhrana officers, their new, priority assignments being the arrest and general suppression of Bolshevik activists and agitators. In addition, the army, while not nearly the fighting force the Vozhd had hoped to field, was placed on heightened alert in preparation for any red trickery.


Almost immediately, Bolsheviks, anarchists, and assorted revolutionaries began to agitate against the old order. Often whipping up frenzied mobs, looting, indiscriminate murder, and assassinations were not uncommon in the weeks following the so-called "Black Monday":

image.png



But it was on the morning of March 5th, that all hell truly broke lose: What began as a general strike called by a red union on the streets of Petrograd quickly escalated to attacks on nearby garrisons and police stations. Unable to regain control of the situation, the area commander ordered a general retreat from the area. Upon learning this news, Bolshevik leaders gathered, declaring the Second Soviet Republic. The scourge which was once thought vanquished had returned to the Motherland once again:

image.png
 

NikephorosSonar

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I've found that the RCW is actually a great opportunity in disguise, especially for Wrangel.

If you're willing to put up with it (and the events allow), you can actually seize the Cossacks, Alash Orda, Finland, and possibly even Transamur.
 

der Kriegsherr

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I've found that the RCW is actually a great opportunity in disguise, especially for Wrangel.

If you're willing to put up with it (and the events allow), you can actually seize the Cossacks, Alash Orda, Finland, and possibly even Transamur.

Yeah, it is, but the reds were doing so much damage (especially in the very beginning) to my infantry divisions that I couldn't spare any to fight off Finland, Don-Kuban, or Alash Orda.
Combine that with the Siberian event chain, and you can imagine how stretched thin my army was. Seriously, it took years to recover from the mauling they took because of the reds.


First time I've seen a red Poland... Any chance you can grab them before they ally with a foreign power (i imagine revolution removes their German Protection?)

All in due time.
It's part of the government collapse event chain (as opposed to the liberalize one). Either nationalists or reds can take over the country and install a republic.

Also, I have a question: Did you start reinforcing your units from day 1? I didn't and I think that is part of why it took me so long to win the Civil War.

Yeah, I did but I also had other commitments with my IC, mainly upgrades and consumer goods.
Russia's pathetic (at the beginning) IC didn't leave me much room for reinforcing since I was trying to keep dissent to the bare minimum.
 
Last edited:

NikephorosSonar

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Yeah, it is, but the reds were doing so much damage (especially in the very beginning) to my infantry divisions that I couldn't spare any to fight off the Finland, Don-Kuban, or Alash Orda.
Combine that with the Siberian event chain, and you can imagine how stretched thin my army was. Seriously, it took years to recover from the mauling they took because of the reds.

I just played and I had the Siberian even chain fire but something screwed it up so lucky me up to that point. I ended up giving all of Lapland to Finland, but ended up annexing Alash Orda and the Don-Kuban Union. I wanted to take Finland, but war with them would ruin my northern position.

Watch out for Japan, they can come against you at the entirely wrong time.
 

der Kriegsherr

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Part 3: The Second Russian Civil War: Red Alert

On the morning of March 5th, 1936, the government offices of the interim capital of Kazan were abuzz with the ringing of telephones and the clattering of telegraph machines. From his personal aircraft, Wrangel ordered the full mobilization of the Russian armed forces and began to plan offensive operations against the reds.

image.png


The Vozhd's strategy was simple: Engage the Soviet units and crush them with overwhelming force while making a drive for Petrograd to cut the head off of the Bolshevik viper, ending the war as quickly as possible. As well as keeping the suffering of the Russian people to a minimum, there was also another understood motive to end the conflict quickly: With the fate of Russia hanging in the balance, it was inevitable that the Commune of France and the Union of Britain would aid the Soviets in their struggle.


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Upon touching down in Kazan, Wrangel and his inner circle were met with the news of mutinies in several squadrons of the Baltic fleet. While most, the Vozhd included (although there was concern as for their use for naval bombardment), dismissed this as a less-than-urgent matter, the fact that the Soviets were able to dispute the government's naval supremacy in the Baltic and around Arkhangelsk allowed a good deal of aid to come through from Britain and France.


However, after nearly a week in Kazan, Wrangel seemed somewhat depressed: Confiding in his wife, the Vozhd informed her that he felt guilty, simply micromanaging the war from a government office far away from the front and missed the feeling of solidarity with his men that came from from eating at the same tables and sleeping in the same accommodations. Against the advice of his family and advisers, In the dead of night, Wrangel did something which would be, at that time and now, unthinkable for a head of state and ordered his pilot to fly him to Tver, just outside the red lines:

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Upon his arrival at the military airfield, Wrangel began immediately to assemble a corps to take the fight to the Bolsheviks. Designated as the 1st Corps, this formation would become probably the most decorated, elite unit of the Russian military of the 1930s-40s


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But the problems of a head of state never ceased, even during a civil war: Receiving a phone call from Vlassov, the Vozhd was called upon to mediate a dispute about the nature of the new state's governing apparatus. Not wanting to make a bad situation even worse, Wrangel instructed that the gradual method of extending power was to be used.


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However, as to compound further on the country's problems, Siberian leaders issued a proclamation of a Siberian provisional government, with the eventual goal of independence should the war go badly enough. Enraged, Wrangel ordered the (few) units in Siberia to mobilize and begin preparation for a possible conflict. Of course, the leaders of the provisional government did not take kindly to this:

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On the morning of May 1st, the Siberian reply was delivered to Kazan, and it was not a cordial one. With the Siberian declaration of war, the Second Russian Civil War was officially a three-sided conflict. Unbeknownst to all, the prospect of a three-sided civil war was to play out again in the coming years.


Three days after the Siberian declaration of war, the ever-opportunistic Finns seized their chance, claiming authority over Russian Karelia and Lappland followed by a lightning strike into aforementioned areas:

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Naturally, the cabinet was in an uproar, many voices calling for war with Helsinki either to retake the territories or outright annexation. Wrangel however, recognizing the need for troops to defeat the Bolsheviks and unwilling to provoke Mittleuropa, allowed the Finns to claim the area in exchange for a non-interference treaty in Russian affairs.


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Situation on the Soviet front as of June 19th, 1936. While offensive operations against the reds had succeeded in breaking their lines and inflicting heavy casualties on their units, the Bolshevik units had as well, inflicted a great deal of damage on Russian units, destroying more than a few even. The reason for their efficiency soon became clear as vast stores of Franco-British equipment were located in captured supply dumps. Under interrogation, many "Soviet" POWs (either wittingly or not) revealed that they were in fact, Frenchmen and Britons.


But for all the good news out of the fronts (the lines in the east were holding quite well), there was some disconcerting news from the west

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Nominally in the German sphere of influence (yet heavily economically dependent on Berlin), the Kingdom of Poland had been in a state of turmoil ever since the Black Monday. As a result of said chaos, the regency council, unable to hold the country together, was overthrown, local Syndicalists declaring the People's Republic of Poland shortly thereafter. As it was assumed that the German Empire would deal with them, it was not an immediate concern, but disconcerting nonetheless.


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After a series of fierce battles with the reds around and in the city itself, on July 27th, 1936, the city of Petrograd finally fell to the Vozhd and his 1st Corps. The Bolsheviks fought valiantly, but were unable to withstand the swift, overwhelming force bought down by the 1st Corps. On the radio, Wrangel made an address, offering a general amnesty for the (Russian) Bolshevik soldiers in exchange for never raising their weapons or engaging in Bolshevik agitation again. The foreign volunteers were to be deported to their countries of origin. The Bolshevik leadership on the other hand, were not so fortunate: For treason and their multitude of crimes against the Russian people, Mikhail Bukharin and his comrades were hanged in the city square.
 

Teivel

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First time I've seen a red Poland... Any chance you can grab them before they ally with a foreign power (i imagine revolution removes their German Protection?)
 

NikephorosSonar

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I hope he does something with Poland, because the past few games I've played has had France beat Germany, and Poland will make that even more likely.

Anyways, I hope you do better with Wrangel than I just did. France dominates Europe north and west of Austria-Hungary, and with Lithuania, Western Ukraine and Beylorussia, and Poland also in their sphere, with me merely holding the bulk of Ukraine, the rest of Beylorussa, and Estonia and Latvia. They are allied with the UoB, Combined Syndicates, and the Canadian Socialist Republic, with the Combined Syndicates alone being as powerful as I am.

Also, I have a question: Did you start reinforcing your units from day 1? I didn't and I think that is part of why it took me so long to win the Civil War.
 
Last edited:

Milites

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All glory to the Vozhd!
 

der Kriegsherr

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Part 4: The Second Russian Civil War: And Now For Something Completely Different

With the reds defeated and Bolshevism in Russia buried once and for all, the only obstacle to a stable Motherland was the breakaway Siberian state:

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With the infrastructure poor and garrisons few in the east, the Siberians actually managed to score a small number of victories, taking a border province or two. With the vast majority of the Russian Army concentrated in the west, transporting the required divisions to Siberian front remained problematic. Combined with the scorched-earth tactics of the retreating Siberian forces, this it was becoming a very real possibility that the Siberian portion of the conflict would be a very long one indeed.


Upon his government's return to Petrograd, Wrangel's government was almost immediately beset by more bickering, only this time among the navy. The three highest-ranking admirals all presented the Vozhd with three separate proposals. Wrangel, envisioning a final, catastrophic clash with the red powers of Britain and France, approved the ambitious carrier-based reforms of Admiral Berens:

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Not even a week later, a letter from Patriarch Mikhail Polskii regarding the status of the Russian Orthodox Church in the new state.

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Given the traditionally close links between the Orthodox Church and the Russian state, Wrangel issued a proclamation that Orthodoxy was, as had been so for centuries, the state religion of Russia.


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After an increasingly chaotic election year, the American Congress had seen fit to give power to General Douglas MacArthur in an effort to control the increasingly militant Industrial Workers of the World and America First. While relations with Washington had been chilly ever since the Vozhd took power, Wrangel, recognizing MacArthur as a fellow military man and anti-socialist, started a concerted effort to improve relations with the new regime.


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Meanwhile the Swedes, sensing potential weakness in their traditional German protector, caused their king to see it fit to create a military government in preparation for possible war with a Norway increasingly close to the Union of Britain. Improved relations with Stockholm were also prioritized.


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In addition to the disturbance regarding naval policy, Wrangel and his inner circle had found their government beset with strife over the rebuilding of the country. While the Vozhd was with many in favoring increased military production, he, unwilling to destabilize a bad situation any further, ultimately decided on a path of "agricultural regeneration", from which the increasing reforms among the traditionally peasant classes would allow greater prosperity in the nation as a whole.


Soon afterwards, economic policies were clarified further: After several sleepless nights of debate, Wrangel and his cabinet hammered out a coherent extension to the existing economic policies. While excessive government intervention in the economy was to be opposed, the government reserved the right to intervene in economic matters should it serve the Russian nation and people as a whole:

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