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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

c0d5579

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III. The IX. Party Congress

Trotsky's address to the Party Congress was his first major speech since his return to the Soviet Union. Given that he had spent the past four years abroad, it would be fair to say that many of the Party had doubts about his intentions at this point. Would he prove to be another Stalin? Would there be infinite reprisals for his shabby treatment in the 1920s? After ten years of Stalin's rule, it had become the norm to fear some new campaign when a major speech was announced.

Because of these mounting fears, and because of the offices which Trotsky had assumed, the Chamber of People's Deputies was filled to capacity for his opening remarks. Trotsky himself arrived early, impatient to begin the proceedings, in his typical mobile style. For a man whose reputation was that of warlord-commissar, he was again dressed against type, wearing a simple charcoal suit that, according to witnesses such as the Ukrainian deputy Khruschev, was badly rumpled and likely slept-in. He brought notes, but consulted them infrequently, apparently having resolved his speech in his head long beforehand.

Trotsky spoke at great length on two subjects. He began by defining fascism and decrying the parties which had either co-opted or repressed the Revolution, and by publicly distancing himself from the Stalinite program of calling the Social Democratic parties in the West 'social fascists.' They were socialists - generally Right-deviant, to be sure - but adhering to the principles laid forth by Marx. Where a violent revolution was impossible from within, he could understand their choice to work by degrees.


He understood it, but he did not agree with it. The proletarian Revolution must be brought about, and as the Revolution spread, it would of necessity purify itself of those elements which must be purified before the dictatorship of the proletariat could be dissolved into true communism, thus ending Marx's lower 'socialist' phase and ushering in the end of the dialectic and with it, the end of history. This was the second phase of Trotsky's speech: the necessity for the Revolution not to confine itself to one country, but to expand by whatever means it could. Where peaceful means would not work, violent means must be used. Where open means failed, covert means must be found. Where the law was against the Revolution, the Revolution must be against the law. "The proletariat did not begin this war," he declared, shouting to be heard above the applause, "it was begun by the first man to enslave another in order to benefit by means of his labor."

The speech caused an understandable uproar in the West, and across western Europe, Soviet embassies closed one by one, trade missions were cancelled, and Communists were forced to tread quietly for much of the remainder of 1933. It was, however, not in Europe that the strongest reactions occurred. In China, Chiang Kai-shek interpreted the speech as a direct criticism not only of himself, but of the traditionally highly hierarchical society of China. Having benefited extensively from Soviet aid in the 1920s, and having almost eradicated China's Communist party, the Generalissimo believed that the Nationalist government was strong enough to force Trotsky into at least an apology. "The Russians are divided," he is reported to have stated, "Merely look at the drunkards in Shanghai, complaining of their lost Tsar! If this is the breed of men we face, I will fish in Vladivostok!"


Reports of all of this naturally came back to Comrade Trotsky, who had resumed the wandering style which he had favored thus far. He is reputed to have received the announcement of China's mobilization in Arkhangelsk, where Kombrig Zhukov was relieved of his command of the garrison there and replaced with a nonentity, as Trotsky would do wherever he could, selecting talented middle-rank officers for his own staff and replacing them in many case with White holdovers. It scandalized the political officers favored by Stalin, but Trotsky was able to back his actions with a practical appeal to Marxist theory: in the Revolution, it was generally not the old guard like Plekhanov who had led the Party, but the equivalent of battalion commanders, smaller factionalists, and young men.

At the same time, Litvinov, who had experienced a nervous collapse upon hearing Trotsky's speech, was dispatched to the hills of Yan'an, to seek out the remnants of the Chinese Communist Party. He was to propose an alliance between the two. Comrade Mao Zedong, of the Chinese Party, received Litvinov cordially, but skeptically after the fiasco of 1928. Litvinov went to great lengths to persuade the Chinese leader that Trotsky agreed, both on revolutionary-theoretical and personal grounds, that 1928 had been a disastrous year. In the end, Litvinov left Mao with the official recognition of the Communist Party of China as the official legitimate government of China, and a formal alliance.


Mao viewed the alliance, hurriedly written in Russian and Chinese on a sheaf of rough paper that Litvinov had originally meant to use for his diary, as worth little more than a propaganda victory to the peasants of the Yan'an region, which was all that the Chinese Party controlled at the time. Trotsky viewed it as something quite different, a formal promise to a fraternal Party that the Soviet Union would assist it in spreading its own Revolution.


The other beneficiary of the Nationalists' declaration of war on the Soviet Union was the Red Army. After languishing under Stalin and placing greater emphasis on political than tactical doctrine, when Trotsky sent out Conscription Order Number One in early August, some in the Moscow staff doubted that obedience would come quickly, if at all. Trotsky had a response to that: he made labor service an alternate form of conscription. If anyone who wished to avoid military service could find a "military soviet" factory or farm, he could labor there. At the same time, he gave attractive incentives to farms and factories to become "military soviets." It became impossible, for instance, for a regular collective farm to acquire a tractor - but because the military farms were technically Red Army organizations, they could request them. So, too, with factories: new equipment was earmarked for military-soviet factories, run by workers' and soldiers' councils in which each group received some representation, but responding to an officer. It was a pattern very similar to the War Communism of the early 1920s, with the radical departure that in addition to the threat of draconian requisitions, there was the promise of reward if a collective were able to cooperate with the war effort.


The public image of these new "labor army" soviets was a coal-miner named Alexei Grigorievich Stakhanov, a self-educated man who had risen from manual laborer through Party courses and educational opportunities. Stakhanov was reported to have mined in excess of 100 tons of coal during a six-hour shift. While eager for laborers to celebrate, Trotsky was personally suspicious of such a claim. There had been many "over-fulfillment of the norm" claims under Stalin, with Party leaders at the local level looking to feather their nests. Thus, during a recruiting campaign, Trotsky arranged to verify Stakhanov's output personally. He was surprised. "It is true," he conceded, "that the Party man in the mine could have eased Stakhanov's way, but there is only so much greasing of the wheels that can be done."

Under the example of men such as Stakhanov, and feeling a wave of revolutionary fervor that had not been felt since 1920, the Soviet Union began the long, drawn-out campaign against the Nationalist reactionaries in Nanking.
 
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Red Cesar

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I'm curious as to how you do against the Chinese, as I was totally unprepared for the declaration of war and was forced to sign a white peace.
 

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I didnt meant to make Bukharin hos but that he should be ther somewhere in the fable.
anyway is there any chance for china to get accesion to ussr member republic status?
 

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From my salt mine to your coal mine, sir, nice update!
 

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I'm curious as to how you do against the Chinese, as I was totally unprepared for the declaration of war and was forced to sign a white peace.
As I said, Comrade Trotsky views the Chinese alliance as a binding promise to a fraternal party. :p

I didnt meant to make Bukharin hos but that he should be ther somewhere in the fable.
anyway is there any chance for china to get accesion to ussr member republic status?
Bukharin will get his moment when economic policy becomes more important than War Communism. That'll be 1936-1939.

No; the political, economic, and cultural differences are simply too great. Even given the low level of industrialization in the USSR, the Chinese are far more rural, have no linguistic common ground, and the Maoist Party is austere even by Trotsky's standards.

From my salt mine to your coal mine, sir, nice update!
Thanks, and I won't badger you too much. I figure if you're posting, you're likely to update. :p

And if the Japanese take the chance to grab more land?
Continuous, inconclusive skirmishing that more or less looks like Kalkhin Gol several years early.

Coming up: A brief overview of the strategy of the Sino-Soviet War and some of the personalities involved. Don't expect too much from screenshots, as it was one of the dullest wars I've ever fought in HoI2. No encirclements, no sweeping maneuvers until it was obvious the war was won, just endless grinding in the worst terrain imaginable.
 

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Again great updates. I find myself forgetting that it is not real.

Coming up: A brief overview of the strategy of the Sino-Soviet War and some of the personalities involved. Don't expect too much from screenshots, as it was one of the dullest wars I've ever fought in HoI2.
Strangely this just makes me want to hear more about it.
 

Kroisistan

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Trotsky, making waves right off the bat! I wonder, though, will he and Mao get along? I imagine their visions of socialism will differ. Maybe after the defeat of the Fascists we'll see a global showdown for the soul of Communism.

EDIT: And in case it's not obvious, I'm loving this premise and I'm an especially big fan of the style so far.
 
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Red Cesar

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Might I ask as to how you were able to get the Chinese into your alliance? Im at war with the nationalists and it's still a large 0. As well, the invitation event was launched, still 0.
 
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c0d5579

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Again great updates. I find myself forgetting that it is not real.



Strangely this just makes me want to hear more about it.
Really, not terribly exciting: Build up in winter, beat against the terrain, repeat. Plus, as I've noted elsewhere, I'm terrible at screenshots unless it's a big event.

Trotsky, making waves right off the bat! I wonder, though, will he and Mao get along? I imagine their visions of socialism will differ. Maybe after the defeat of the Fascists we'll see a global showdown for the soul of Communism.

EDIT: And in case it's not obvious, I'm loving this premise and I'm an especially big fan of the style so far.
I suspect Trotsky and Mao will probably get along better than Stalin and Mao; Trotsky to the end of his days was a born revolutionary, much like Mao, while Stalin once in power turned increasingly into a traditional autocrat. The Chinese do take a dim view of Trotsky's endless wars even as they benefit from them, though.

Might I ask as to how you were able to get the Chinese into your alliance? Im at war with the nationalists and it's still a large 0. As well, the invitation event was launched, still 0.
My guess is a different version of Mod33. I used the same one I used for Siegerkranz, which was kind of a mistake on my part since it means the Ottoman Empire appears more often than not. That at least plays into a paranoid view of international capital.
 

Deus Eversor

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"I suspect Trotsky and Mao will probably get along better than Stalin and Mao; Trotsky to the end of his days was a born revolutionary, much like Mao, while Stalin once in power turned increasingly into a traditional autocrat. The Chinese do take a dim view of Trotsky's endless wars even as they benefit from them, though."

i dotn think so, Maoism is very akin of stalinism, if not a branch of it*. Mao was very stalin alike, besides, they were two good ol' pals, the sino soviet split was caused by nothing other than destalinization of USSR...**

*the difference is mainly that, instead of industrialization, you had agrarization, and propaganda was concentrated on youth and a little red book

Trotsky to do anything with Mao will have to act stalin alike... constantly affirm mao, that he is the underdog and that there is only one true Red Army, which can wipe out maoists like it did with japanese, and grab all industry there was in China as if it was some luggage like in Manchuria.**

** the fact sino-soviet split happened after destalinization and not after death of stalin, is, by my understanding, a proof stalin and mao were friends and not some alpha dawg and the underdawg.
 
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Red Cesar

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Mao had an admiration of Stalin, but nothing more really....Hell, The USSR funded the KMT more than the Communists.
 

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Chapter 2: The Sino-Soviet War

I. The Plan of Operations

The Sino-Soviet War set the pattern for all later operations by the Red Army, if not the Red Fleet nor the Red Air Force, and thus bears close inspection. This is because most of the later leadership of the Red Army were involved directly in this war, whether as field commanders, such as Zhukov and Vasilievski, or as advisors to the Chinese Communists, such as Rokossovski and Chuikov. These men used the war as an opportunity for testing new ideas and technologies, such as the mechanized-armored concept of warfare and the development of units specifically trained for mountain warfare. Additionally, the Sino-Soviet War set the pattern for all of Comrade Trotsky's later military-political maneuvering, including the philosophy of "gambling high" and the determination that allied governments of acceptable ideology which sustained the war in an acceptable manner were to receive much, if not all, of the direct benefits.

In China, this last was born of necessity: the Soviet Union had neither the interest nor the capacity to establish village soviets in the occupied territories, while the Chinese Communist Party had the means to do so, and the imposition of direct rule by Comrade Mao's Party in occupied regions strengthened the claim of that organization to be China's legitimate government, in the face of the apparently overwhelming strength of the Kuomintang and as a further proof of Soviet distance from the popular front policies of the 1920s.

"Gambling high," as Trotsky described it, was an adaptation of the general philosophy behind the imperialist Schlieffen Plan of 1914. Where no suitable means presented itself in the existing sphere of conflict, Comrade Trotsky simply widened the conflict, in order first to propagate the Revolution, and second to allow the Red Army the full freedom of maneuver required to prosecute the war. In China, this meant that individual warlord cliques, such as the Ma Clique or the East Turkestan "Republic," were overrun to strengthen Comrade Mao's hand and weaken the Generalissimo's.

This method had two rationales, one political, the other military. Politically, as mentioned, it meant the strengthening of Chinese Communist authority and weakening of Kuomintang control of the outlying provinces. This was, surprisingly, more in keeping with Mao's philosophy of guerilla warfare, relying upon control of the countryside and peasantry rather than the urban proletariat, than with the Russian model, relying heavily upon the control of major cities and production facilities. The military reasoning was that an infinitely extended flank would benefit the Red Army, more mobile and better led, more than it would the Kuomintang, who relied heavily on mass peasant levies. This proved at all events to be somewhat optimistic, but as a prediction it was essentially true: the Red Army could more easily concentrate at any given point than the Kuomintang forces, especially in the Mongolian deserts where so many of the fugure armored spearhead commanders were tested against Chinese cavalry.

In executing this plan, of course, the Red Army faced one massive disadvantage in that China was more or less fully mobilized thanks to Chiang's endless campaigns against local warlords, the Chinese Communists, and occasionally a true imperialist enemy, the Japanese. Comrade Trotsky ordered the levy of thirty-six new infantry divisions and an unheard-of new force of twenty-four motorized divisions, which were meant to augment the Red Cavalry rather than to fight as infantry traditionally had. This mobile force would be heavily engaged in China, and at war's end, fewer than half of these divisions were considered salvageable, but they proved that the essential principles behind them were sound.

The calculation behind this year-long buildup of forces was simple: the Chinese could not easily reach the Soviet border, even through Mongolia, and therefore the widely-feared bisecting of the Trans-Siberian Railroad was simply a phantom. The Red Army could afford an initial sluggish period because the Chinese had a long, long distance to travel before they could execute any effective operations. When the Chinese did choose to engage, it was in the difficult, poorly mapped foothills of western Mongolia rather than across the Gobi Desert, playing to the strengths of the Mongolian-Soviet forces, as this very region was where the Red Army was most easily able to concentrate against Chinese aggression.

After Comrade Trotsky's speech at the Party Congress, there was a great deal of concern that the Western powers would intervene. Trotsky, as ever one of the shrewdest judges of conditions outside the Soviet Union from his extensive travels, disagreed, with reason. The Western Allies were too concerned about the deteriorating situation in Germany, where the Bonapartist regime of Chancellor Schleicher continued to be deeply embroiled in the suppression of fascist uprisings and the deliberate eradication of what remained of the Communist Party in Germany; this merely drove the Party in Germany underground, where the Party membership intermingled with and eventually overtook the Social Democrats. Similarly, Poland was too involved with German affairs, and Romania too weak, to cause any trouble on the mainland of Europe. In Scandinavia, the newly-formed Scandinavian Empire displayed its fascist tendencies immediately, calling for a distinct rebuff from Comrade Trotsky, but as in Germany, their own internal affairs precluded any foreign adventures.

Thus, the fundamental assumptions underlying Trotsky's war plan were the following. First, the Red Army would have sufficient time to build up in sufficient strength to act against the Nationalists. Second, the international situation from Murmansk to Baku would remain more or less stable, allowing the suction of experienced troops and commanders from the Second Civil War into the East. This would allow the Red Army sufficient time to make up its material and personnel deficiencies after Tukhachevsky's review of Second Civil War performance. Third, the Nationalist Chinese would be unable to act effectively to protect the imperialist warlords in China's west.

Of these assumptions, the first was accurate; a wave of enthusiasm for the Revolution led to volunteers on a scale which overwhelmed even Trotsky's planned mobilization orders. They needed less time to find men than to train and organize them; given that the standards of organization and training were much simpler and more robust than in 1914, to the point that most infantry divisions went into the field equipped with rifles and little else, finding men to lead them was more difficult than any other measure of organizing the divisions. Trotsky returned to the Civil War standby of soldiers' soviets electing their officers to company level, while promoting interbellum officers extensively to fill the gaps in battalion, regiment, brigade, and division commanders.

The second assumption was less accurate, but remained valid. There was the distinct possibility throughout the last quarter of 1933 and first quarter of 1934 that the Scandinavians would declare war, but the situation from Poland to Persia remained remarkably stable. Komandarm Tukhaschevsky conducted extensive maneuvers among the western troops in exercise of his theory of deep operations, impressing the Poles with the Red Army's ability to put large forces on their border at the same time as fighting a major war in China. This was mostly successful due to a lack of western observers on the Chinese front, where operations were essentially noexistent during this period.

The last assumption was the weakest. Chinese forces, especially the Ma generals' divisions, were able to begin early operations, but they were impeded by poor maps, poor roads, and a general lack of interest in the vigorous prosecution of a campaign that the Mas themselves saw as one more of Chiang's campaigns to centralize his authority. General Ma Hongbin, the only one of the Ma Clique generals who chose to side with the Chinese Communists, described it rather aptly: "Chiang wanted to humble a foreign power before he proclaimed himself Emperor; mere rule of China would not have given him sufficient influence to do that, but defeating the Soviets would." Because of this general perception, and the belief that the Nationalists' leadership would expend northwestern-frontier troops at will before committing their own lowland veterans, the Ma Clique troops on the border prosecuted the initial stages of the war with amazing laxity.

It was an attitude which would do little to protect them when the Red Army deployed fully.
 

Deus Eversor

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Good read as always!

as i see it, metropolitan cities could be assumed by USSR already as military bases and Red Army rally point, when the rural china (actually the rest of it) would go under Maos administration as a puppet-client state on the road to modernisation and eventual (+20/30 years) accesion into USSR. ( game lasts to 64 right? and now we have 34 yes? so its doable :D )
 

unmerged(62170)

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Awesome stuff.

Mao and Trotsky not be a match made in heaven but pre-49 he was hardly at Stalin's level of untouchable. Someone like Lin Piao certainly fits the Trotskyite bill - Red General, labour armies, revolution by the bayonet. Frankly I wouldn't be surprised if a Trotskyite USSR tried for a *Cultural Revolution somewhere down the line.
 

Timmie0307

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Interesting to see the first Sino Soviet War so soon...I am not familiar with mod 33 though, but an update of the European situation would be nice though, as you mentioned the Scandinavian Empire, so I presume the Scandinavian nations chose to join together? Or did Sweden or another nation chose to fight for it?

No rise of Hitler yet in Germany or is it too soon?

Do you already have motorized divisions (I thought in 'normal' HOI 2 or Kaiserrreich they are normally available around 1938-39...)?

Good luck with the war!

Tim
 

Alfredian

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Is the USSR providing any real assistance to the communists in western Europe?
 

c0d5579

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Good read as always!

as i see it, metropolitan cities could be assumed by USSR already as military bases and Red Army rally point, when the rural china (actually the rest of it) would go under Maos administration as a puppet-client state on the road to modernisation and eventual (+20/30 years) accesion into USSR. ( game lasts to 64 right? and now we have 34 yes? so its doable :D )
It's doable, but in Trotsky's perfect world, in 30 years, there would be no Party, and no states. We know from the introduction that in '68 there's a "Union Commonwealth" still, so at least part of that fails. Additionally, there are far more problems associated with direct Soviet management of China (distance, lack of rail lines, other issues on their plates, cultural differences, a sense of betrayal on the part of the Chinese Communists...) than benefits. Once China is subdued, the goal really is to hand administration to the Chinese, albeit with Soviet advisors (which is how Rokossovsky doesn't materialize until 1940, and then as a lieutenant-general, when he was Zhukov's division commander in '36).

Awesome stuff.

Mao and Trotsky not be a match made in heaven but pre-49 he was hardly at Stalin's level of untouchable. Someone like Lin Piao certainly fits the Trotskyite bill - Red General, labour armies, revolution by the bayonet. Frankly I wouldn't be surprised if a Trotskyite USSR tried for a *Cultural Revolution somewhere down the line.
Have to go back and see what Lin Piao's record in this game looks like, but I can comfortably say from memory that Zhu De is definitely the name people say when they think of the Chinese Red Army's history TTL. Zhu De was literally EVERYWHERE in the Chinese war.

Interesting to see the first Sino Soviet War so soon...I am not familiar with mod 33 though, but an update of the European situation would be nice though, as you mentioned the Scandinavian Empire, so I presume the Scandinavian nations chose to join together? Or did Sweden or another nation chose to fight for it?

No rise of Hitler yet in Germany or is it too soon?

Do you already have motorized divisions (I thought in 'normal' HOI 2 or Kaiserrreich they are normally available around 1938-39...)?

Good luck with the war!

Tim
There's a Scandinavia event chain which can lead to Sweden inheriting Norway, Denmark, and Finland, and the resulting country becoming "Scandinavia." They're a radically far-right government led by "Thor IV," whom I suspect is a totally fictional entity.

Hitler was suppressed in summer of 1933.

Motorized divisions become available in 1933; at this point, I really am using them more or less like cavalry divisions, which are faster than the T-17-equipped prewar divisions.

Is the USSR providing any real assistance to the communists in western Europe?
As of 1933, none that the game reflects directly; however, there's a series of events 1936-1938 for Soviet espionage throughout the west. Additionally, something is going on in Germany that I would rather not discuss now.
 

Deus Eversor

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"It's doable, but in Trotsky's perfect world, in 30 years, there would be no Party, and no states"

YES! IT IS INVINCIBLE!

"Frankly I wouldn't be surprised if a Trotskyite USSR tried for a *Cultural Revolution somewhere down the line."

i think such revolution would be going on and on and on, as it has been said in permanent revolution theory. :D





updataar??? :D