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Enewald

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With glory and pride of the foe died freedom and democracy. :p
 

cthulhu

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Incognitia: I hope you're entertained. :) The result even if considered horrifying, will not even be close to the horror of Stalin's Soviet Union in our own time line.

Enewald: For freedom and democracy to die, they must have been alive in the first place. Hardly the case in Tsarist Russia. :(
 

Myth

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Ahh, back in the days of straight talk in the Soviet Union. :D
 

ddiplock

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Cthulu you've got guts in playing as the Soviets in HOI3. The new command system makes their OOB a total and utter nightmare to manage :p

I just went into a savegame as the Soviets and tried to make sense of it with the Army Organiser and very quickly realised i'm going to stick to my guns....the Soviets are the one nation I will NEVER play in HOI3. Sorting through all that mess i quite simply cannot be bothered with :( I'd sooner disband every unit, and rebuild the Red Army from scratch, one division at a time. But with the massive map and front to cover now....you'd never get the army back upto scratch to cover everything :(

Still, I'll keep an eye on this and see how it turns out :D Good Luck!!!!
 

cthulhu

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Myth: Ha ha, yup. The paranoid Georgian guy haven't had the opportunity to NKVD to death all open discourse. :)

ddiplock: Don't you worry, Comrade! The Red Army, Air Force, and Fleet will crush the imperialist and in the process free their people from oppression! :D Please do more than keep an eye. I'm sure you will find this story worthwhile.
 

Deus Eversor

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yes i believe so, back then industries in europe (excluding major western contries) were pretty much the same kind and in russia secret police wasn't this effective or putting this much effort into terrorising soemone who isn't from opposition, then in nonsocialist countries i do not think socialists were welcome either. I believe diplomatic immunity along with being in such unimportant embassy is the thingie here
 

cthulhu

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Deus Eversor: I get your point. However, Svetlana was having a job that was much more comfortable than the current one, so the sense of freedom she has, is according to me the writer a correct one. At the moment, things are going in an oppressive direction in the SU. Judging from you posts I take it you are a communist or a communist sympathizer. I would love to hear your thoughts on the last scene and General Ivanov's opinions.
 

truth is life

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Cthulu you've got guts in playing as the Soviets in HOI3. The new command system makes their OOB a total and utter nightmare to manage :p

I just went into a savegame as the Soviets and tried to make sense of it with the Army Organiser and very quickly realised i'm going to stick to my guns....the Soviets are the one nation I will NEVER play in HOI3. Sorting through all that mess i quite simply cannot be bothered with :( I'd sooner disband every unit, and rebuild the Red Army from scratch, one division at a time. But with the massive map and front to cover now....you'd never get the army back upto scratch to cover everything :(

Still, I'll keep an eye on this and see how it turns out :D Good Luck!!!!
It's not that bad...the trick is to reorganize your military once and then save the game so you never have to do it again :)
 

vbanev

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Enewald: About as much as in Helsinki? :D

Myth: We'll see my friend.

Deus Eversor: So your point is that the increased freedom they feel in norway is because the work in a delegation. If they were in a Norwegian factory then they wouldn't feel as free? Question is would they feel even less free if the worked in a Soviet factory?
Could not resist commenting on this little exchange about freedom.

The events in Oslo, I believe, are set shortly after Kollontai's appointment in 1923, in any case before even the 1930's.
It is important to note, that at that time back in Petrograd and Moscow were brewing the worlds most liberal, almost anarchic spirits of the day. Canons of culture and morals were largely lost and abolished during the civil war and the air in the streets was quite avant-garde and libertarian. If anything, Moscow was a destination for feminists, socialists and those feeling repressed by conservative european societies.
The names of Rodchenko, Popova, Mayakovskij may be used for a good illustration. Back in 1923 Moscow was probably the only city you could run naked into the street in the name of art...

Bottom line - Kollontai would not have been feeling free in Oslo, au contraire, she was there as an advocate of change fighting against repressive european conservatism. Same largely applies for platova, except maybe her being more philistine, she would feel a greater lifestyle change from a life in a war ravaged city to a paid for lifestyle of a diplomat.
 

cthulhu

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vbanev: I'm glad you didn't resist the urge to share your views. :) I must admit that I'm still learning about this period of Soviet history, but according to the Mayakovsky biography I'm reading, the liberal-anarcho spirits that was brewing was suppressed by the end of 1922 and all buildings occupied and establishments operated by anarchists and other non bolshevik organizations had been forcefully evacuated and closed.

As for Kollontai's and Platova's views on the West, I agree to an extent but I also think that that slow change toward opression could already be felt "in the air" in Moscow and that that would be in contrast to Oslo. :)
 

vbanev

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The times were very turbulent, the Bolsheviks were definitely working hard to take control of things, but the modern terms in which we speak about freedom and oppression, I believe, do not apply to the very different europe of 1920s.
At the time most russians had a memory of the Tsarist secret service and its long arms of spies and provocators. Compared to that Bolsheviks' rather straightforward(then) methods of restoring order after the civil war would not create the a sense of repression. While at the same time the european capitals to a societ official were quite hostile, bear in mind, mid 20s are the peak of Comintern's activity, anyone openly affiliated to it was under a lot of hostile attention from foreign secret services.

On another note. What I have read of the Russian authors' writing of that period (many were taking trips to the US and Europe around the same time for inspiration and propaganda) indicates that while there was a massive wealth gap (most of those russians capable of international travel post revolution were soviet officials, engineers and artists coming from educated but far from wealthy backgrounds), but the overall attitude, both ways, was defined by the ideological conflict of progressive and radical versus conservative. In fact it was the opposite of what later came to be in the 1980s. In 1920s Comintern was the wind of freedom, not the other way around.

To shed some more light on how it later came that the two sides switched sides, pardon the tautology, you may want to look at memories of some of the people repressed in the 1930s. Even when mass arrests begun, the initial perception was not of fear, but of enthusiasm, to an extent that many of the "old" bolsheviks(this applies more so to the mid - rank) allowed themselves to be repressed with false charges without protesting because of their strong belief in the system they were building.

I mentioned it above, just want to underline it, i am pretty certain that a communist abroad in 1923 would first of all be feeling surrounded by a rather backward and hostile environment to which his duty was to bring the ideas of freedom and equality. It was only much later that the tables switched.
 

unmerged(172501)

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Best way I've found to fix the soviet OOB is break up the western forces into threat chunks. Redeploy each chunk (north middle and south) to one province and then split everyone from their HQs. Reassign in groups of 5 divs to a corp, 5 corps to army ect and then deploy them back to the front with a 2/2/1+HQ disbursement. Assemble all of the armor in one central point and rebuild it back into sensible divisions (there are like 4 different compositions used) and assign 1-2 corps of each to each of the 3 chunks.

Then I split off a lot of the infantry to garrison the finnnish border and assign all of these units to the Archangel HQ. Shuffle a lot of the Caucus stuff around to make it all make sense, reorganize the mess that is the Far East and then consolidate the navy into better fleets.

I can usually do it in around a hour or so, and I keep the save for the next time I want to play.
 

von Sachsen

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There I was about to post a complaint on how you AAR is excellent but never updated and then you post 3 updates!
 

The Yogi

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Woah, THREE updates that I missed! And good ones too!

Now the questions are piling up;

* Will Lenin live long enough to put Trotsky ahead against the Central Committe Bureacracy and Comrade Stalin?

* What do Iron Felix and Boris want with Kollontai? And will she drag young Svetlana down with her, if she goes down?

* Who is Akuan, really?
 

Lordban

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As always, this is brilliant storytelling :)

I too wonder whether Trotsky may have a better shot at ousting Stalin than he did historically. But then both his and Lenin's intentions are fettered by the shackles of humanity. When corruption lies rampant amid the bloated bureaucracy of a dictatorial regime - even when it's a proletarian dictatorship - there are few limits beyond which the bureaucrats would not go to assert their power. A point Volosatov seems to make brilliantly...
 

Myth

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Congrats cthulu! :D
 

volksmarschall

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Leon Trotsky, maybe you'll keep him and make him the leader of the Soviet Union one day. Always prefered Trotsky over Stalin in any context. And I can't say it enough, your art and skill in the narrative prose is one that all of Paradoxia envy's (maybe not really...) but I must say your mastery in narrative is unlike must that I've seen on the forums. Second to none next to The Yogi! ;)

Again, marvelous story telling!
 

cthulhu

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vbanev: Yes, the comintern might have been the wind of freedom for the children of the wealthy and intellectuals who wanted to be rid of all constraints their parents generation tried to put on them. The poor and dirt poor also felt that wind, and in our TL the longing for liberation was so strong that it took years of Stalinism before the illusion of the wind of freedom gave away to the reality of the stench of oppression and dictatorship. What Platova was sensing, which becomes clearer to her in Oslo which acts as a contrasting scene to Moscow – that things are going in the wrong direction. At least from her point of view.

Red Cossack: I will keep this in mind.

Von Sachsen: He he. I’m happy to surprise you.

The Yogi: Hey old friend. Nice to hear from you. Time for a cold beer soon?

Lordban: Thanks so much. Yes, the battle with the gossiping hoard of simpletons called the bureaucracy will be a very hard fight indeed.

Alfred Packer: You’re most kind, sir. Thank you!

Myth: Thanks!

volksmarschall: I appreciate your encouragement!


Easter is upon us, and that means I should be able to write a couple of updates and bring the story forward. :)
 

cthulhu

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Pleasure and pain. Most humans strive for the first and avoid the second. Some find pleasure in pain and others enjoy bringing other people pain. Pyotr ‘Pete’ Tarasov experienced how fast a situation can go from pleasurable to painful. In this case, it was a stark contrast, from lovemaking to physical harm. Tarasov was a frequent visitor to the ‘House of Harmony’ brothel, and although he was very discrete, the fact that he regularly took his pleasure with the slender young men there was known to all members of Shanghai’s underworld who cared. He had quickly risen to some fame in the Russian community. His clever anti communist articles in the newly established “’Shanghaiskoe Novoe Vremya 1” were much appreciated and the accuracy of his information regarding political events and relations in Moscow had contributed to his standing as the newspaper’s star reporter. Now that accuracy brought disaster upon him. Tarasov was so lost in physical pleasure that he did not register the intruders before they dragged him off the bed, his partner for the hour grabbed a robe and ran from the room. The Four Chinese men ignored the young man and slammed Tarasov against the wall and three of them held him. In comparison to the Russian, they were all short, with brutish faces and parts of intricate tattoos not entirely covered by the men’s clothes identified them as members of one of the city's triads. Three of them held their victim and what seemed to be the leader drew a knife and held it against Tarasov’s throat.

The man known in Shanghai as Andrei Sergeevich von Berg cringed at the sight of the assault. He was crouching on the roof on the building facing the ‘House of Harmony’ on the opposite side of Shangdi Street. He had a perfect view of the last minutes Pyotr Tarasov’s life. He was also responsible for his untimely death – or as responsible as one could be in the long chain of people from the GPU leadership, perhaps Dzerzhinsky 2 himself, to the Triad henchmen carrying out the actual murder. Moscow generally did not care enough about anti communist propaganda abroad to resort to killing to silence it, there was however the suspicion that someone at the Soviet Consulate in Shanghai or the embassy in Bejing was Tarasov’s source. The message had reached him through the channel only used in urgent communications and it stated that Tarasov was to be convinced to reveal who his source or sources were and then he should be disposed of. Andrei had never killed nor had he ordered anyone to be killed before. He had always expected this situation to arrive but the intensity of the sadness that came over him was something he could have never guessed at. Now when he was watching it happen it made him nauseous but he forced himself to watch. That was the price he paid he told himself and stayed fully aware and alert. The Triad thugs were clearly interrogating Tarasov and the knife was now positioned at his crotch – the implied consequence of the Russian not talking or giving false information was clear. Tarasov’s expressions were easy to read, first he was desperately trying to convince them of his sincerity and the validity of whatever information he gave them. Then as according to the plan the situation turned worse and he started to plead for his life. Part of Andrei hope that the Chinese men would break all rules and let Tarasov live, he had been scared to eternal silence. That was when the knife struck the reporter the first time. It went in between the ribs on his left side and his face first showed surprise and was then twisted in pain. The knife was withdrawn and it struck again and again, hitting him in the throat and then close to where his heart was. The thugs then grabbed him, his chest and abdomen already covered with blood, and threw him through the window. Tarasov fell downwards in a cloud of shards and then struck the street with a dull thump.

A couple of hours later he met with his contact man with the Triad in a crowded and rowdy tavern in an alley close to the square of the Ancient Masters. The short Chinese man wore a white suit with visible sweat stains around his armpits. He smiled nervously when pausing, throughout their exchange of nonsense as they each drank a pint of beer. The man known as von Berg was then handed an envelope discretely and this prompted him to leave with a quick goodbye. He walked a couple of blocks and made sure no one was following him. He then stopped and opened the envelope in the warm light from one of the lanterns hanging outside a restaurant. There was a name written on the sheet inside. Nothing else. The name belonged to the second man at the Soviet embassy in Beijing. Von Berg sighed, and then walked back the way he came and then turned south on the square of the Ancient Masters. He continued for some time before reaching a small Buddhist shrine squeezed in between the seedy establishments on one of Shanghai’s notorious red light streets. He bowed to the largest of the Buddha statues and then used wax from one of the candles to seal the envelope. The keeper of the shrine, an ancient toothless monk waited patiently as the wax cooled. Von Berg then handed the monk the envelope and money and received the blessings of the Buddha. More importantly, the information would securely reach the Soviet consulate by the morning after at the latest.

The next stop was a tavern a hundred yards down the street. It was unknown to most Europeans and Americans in the city but the food was excellent and von Berg was famished and ordered several dishes and a pitcher of Tsingtao beer. As he ate he thought of Ningjing, but then as many times before he was drawn back to 1919 and Svetlana. He wondered how her life was in Moscow.


* * *​

Unbeknown to von Berg, Svetlana Nikolaevna Platova lay on her bed in the tiny room that was her own place in Oslo. She, however, was thinking about Boris Volosatov and his visit two weeks ago. The only reason she had agreed to meeting him had been the implied threat to Kollontai – at least that was what she hoped had motivated her. She had resisted his attempts at getting her into bed with him. He had been hard to resist back in 1919, but now he was even more alluring than before, since he was apparently using some of the fruits from the work they both had learnt from Akuan, to bend others to his will. Ironically this made it much easier for her to resist him. Akuan had repeatedly told them all that the shameless use of these gifts would only lead down the wrong path and away from liberation. Boris had later studied under the notorious Kristof S. Havel and only the gods knew what he had been taught. Certainly, Akuan would have laughed in Boris' face if he had witnessed his cheap tricks. Maybe she was too serious she reminded herself - that was something Akuan had repeatedly told her to avoid being. She must be able to laugh at herself, the absurdity of life, and her fellow man as well. Akuan had also scolded Propykin for the same seriousness but he had been harder on him. Svetlana felt both tenderness and guilt when she thought about him. He was everything Boris wasn't, earnest, dependable, and a very gifted person - but with one fatal flaw, he was too easy...too nice. There was no excitement, no spark.

She had asked Boris about Propykin and he had answered, 'Vasily Ivanovich is prancing around in Shanghai, pretending to be Baron.' His face had then turned crimson red and he had stammered that he should never have told her this and that it was both classified and could endanger their old friend's life. Svetlana could never have guessed that both Boris and Vasily would become involved with the GPU. Two men seeking the 'truth' who were fascinated by the disciplines of the east, especially yoga and martial arts. Boris had also revealed that Kollontai was indeed under suspicion and that his advice to her as a friend was to write down everything she thought might be of interest in the reports. Rather that she wrote too much than missing something. Their meeting had left her disgusted and sad. At least she had got it confirmed that there was more to her mission that just a need to keep an eye on Kollontai, and now that Boris of all people had been chosen to reinforce the importance of her assignment she would make sure to report nothing of value to Moscow as long as she didn't became convinced that Kollontai was acting against the interests of the Soviet Union.


1 Shanghai New Time

2 Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky, Head of the GPU (State Political Directorate), People's Commissar for Interior Affairs, and Head of the Supreme Council of National Economy

3 Chinese Criminal Organizations, equivalent of the Mafia in the west, or the Yakuza in Japan.
 
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