• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

shierholzer

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I laughed when I read that. I imagined Zaitsev getting off the phone, full of pride over his promotion until he looked out the window at the empty Valdivostok harbour, and said "F@$#!!!" At least there would be no fleet for the Japanese to sink.
Well, a peace time navy usually has far more officers than they need just now. It's just, that you could grab sailors of the merchant marine easily, while grabbing larger amounts of combat officers out of nowhere is considerably more difficult.
 

Gen. Marshall

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Communique from the Commissariat of Justice
Regarding the detention of Konstantin Ivanovich Gey

Comrades of the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics,

On December 31st, 1937, police officers of the Moscow Police Department have arrested Comrade Konstantin Ivanovich Gey. The People’s Commissar of Agriculture was found unconscious in the home of a local worker’s family: the drunk Commissar had reportedly broken into the home at midnight, while the inhabitants were celebrating New Year elsewhere. Subsequently, worried neighbours who had heard the sound of breaking glass alarmed the police. By the time local police officers arrived, Konstantin Ivanovich Gey had demolished a substantial amount of property, before passing out under the influence of a bottle of rum found inside the house.

As of now, Comrade Gey has been kept in detention for 4 days. After returning to a sober state, the People’s Commissar stated that he would resign from his duties, as he is unable and most likely not allowed to continue his duties after this disgrace. While a more suitable job for Konstantin Ivanovich is being looked for, there is now a vacant position in the Politburo. It is unclear who will succeed the ever-drunk Commissar of Agriculture, but both Comrades Zaitsev and Smilyvyўenko have already stated their willingness to serve the Union in this capacity.

- Major General Feodor Vasilevich Sokolov, People’s Commissar for Justice
 

Davout

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Lucky we are in a Socialist state, otherwise the shares in Smirnoff would be going through the floor.
 

Davout

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By Field Correspondent, Vasily Grossman

1.I.1938​


Meet the Politburo – The Enigma


A thin vapour of smoke rises from the cigarette, curling into a question mark that hangs in front of the Narkom’s face. Comrade Sakharov patiently listens, to the questions, answers courteously but with a minimum of words, and a complete absence of emotion. What his thoughts and emotions on the subject, any subject, are known only to the Comrade who has made an art of inscrutability.

At only 36, Comrade Sakharov is very young to hold such an important position as NK Finance. His rise has not been accompanied by any fanfare, quite to the contrary. But his life appears to have been moving inexorably to this moment.

The Comrade has excelled in all tasks asked of him. In the Army, the Foreign Affairs Department and the Kazakh Soviet, he has applied his brilliant mind to a plethora of problems. Through quiet application, devotion to duty and a razor sharp intellect, he has cut through Gordion knots which have stumped lesser men. By his selfless devotion, he has made himself the indispensable aide who gets things done and has been rewarded for his success by grateful superiors.

Following the untimely demise of the late Comrade Hyrnko, Comrade Sakharov has taken the reigns of the Finance Ministry. Quietly, he has continued to steer the Soviet Union’s industry assuredly along the course set by his predecessor, although without the histrionics. The Comrade is a shrewd judge of telling which way the wind blows and to find shelter when storms arise rather than shout at the tempest. Valuable characteristics in such troubled times.

The Va-Va Zoom in the VVS

The VVS has welcomed the new Polikarpov I16 fighter, affectionately known as the Donkey. The most modern fighters in the world, they are a marvel of Soviet engineering to rival the BT5, with a cantilevered low wing, retractable landing gear and fully enclosed cockpit. Only the strongest men are permitted to fly this plane as the landing gears must be manually cranked and the cockpit has a habit of snapping shut in tight manoeuvres, making extraction in an emergency difficult. But it has been clocked at over 280 mph, easily outpacing the Fascist machines of the He51 at 205 mph and the CR 32 at 224 mph and is a manoeuvrable as a biplane.

The Type 10 has also solved the problem of the machine guns jamming, after it was discovered the guns were being inserted upside down at the factory because of the limited space between the wing struts. The four machine guns now operate reliably and give the I16 an impressive punch.

Training has begun in aerial tactics learnt from the Spanish Civil War. Unfortunately the number of experienced pilots is still low and more training is required, especially in the basics such as safe landings.


However the darling of the VVS is the SU2 Ivanov, the plane every pilot wants to get their hands on. With a 1,000 hp Tumansky M88 engine, the SU2 has a top speed of 320 mph, incredibly, faster than even the I16. It is able to outrun any opposing fighters once it has delivered its deadly payload.

The Ivanov has been designed to provide close air support for our troops, being able to carry up to 400 kg in bombs with pinpoint accuracy. They promise a swift and deadly response to any foreign aggressors. The planes are also equipped with formidable protection with 4 forward facing machine guns, a machine gun in the rear turret and a surprise in its belly, a ventral machine gun which can be operated through a hatch in the floor.

The VVS has taken delivery of its first squadrons of SU2 and the aircraft has already been licensed to our comrades in the Mongolian Air Force to help build up their offensive capabilities. Truly, our Air Force is the envy of the world in its cutting edge technology.

Rage against the Imperialist Machine


The Evil Empire of Japan has once again displayed their avarice and cruelty for the world to see as they invaded the peace loving people of China on 1 September 1937. With the premeditation of violence which has become their calling card, the Imperial Japanese Army flooded across the border without a declaration of war, taking the Nationalist army and their warlord lackeys by surprise.

The People’s Army of the Chinese Communist Party stood firm within the enclave of safety which they have established in the Xian mountains. The Soviet Union came to the aid of its fellow proletariat, warning the Japanese aggressors of the dire consequences of attacking those whom the Soviet has vowed to protect. Wisely, the Japanese army diverted its forces from the certain doom of attacking our Chinese comrades although they have continued to push back the corrupt Kuomintang troops.

Along the Far Eastern frontier, the soldiers, sailors and airmen of the Red Army stand on alert to repel any attempted incursions by the Japanese. Once more we see the wisdom of our great General Secretary in continuing to build up our forces to defend the Socialist ideal from external aggressors who would seek to place us under their imperialist yoke. We look forward to the day that we can teach a lesson to these People of the Sun.

The Oath of the Red Guard


On each and every attack our valourous will answer with three times more powerful blows.

On the Siberian border with Manchuria, soldiers of the Red Army, volunteers all, stand guard, protecting our Motherland. Men of tireless devotion and fortitude, they are sworn to protect the glorious Soviet Union and its people.

Amongst those men, a simple private, Ivan Sneg, has penned a soldier’s oath which is now part of the ritual of joining those Rifle Divisions who stand watch on the Red Wall.

War gathers and my watch begins.
It shall not end until my death.
I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children.
I shall wear no laurels and seek no glory.
I shall live and die at my post.
I am the shashka in the darkness.
I am the sentry on the Red Wall.
I am the shield that guards the Proletariat.
I pledge my life and my honour to the Red Army.
For this fight and all other fights to come.​
 

SirkTheMonkey

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As the Commisar of Ideological Purity, I worry when the main paper of the Commissariat of Defence is publicising our failures. As a person, I find it amusing that we keep screwing up every new thing we get.
 

son of liberty

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Quite well done.
 

Vrael_1492

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The portrayal of Sakharov is brilliant :) Good Job!
 

Avindian

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Chapter 5: The Axis threat

1 February 1938, Yagoda's office, Dzerzhinsky Square

Yagoda waited impatiently for the connection to complete. A man's voice responded "Это Пастернак. Что это?" ((This is Pasternak. Who is this?))

"Это Ягода. Что нового?" ((This is Yagoda. What's new?))

Pasternak paused for a moment and replied in English. "Everything is going fine, my friend! How are the kids?"

Yagoda, who was unmarried, started to respond, then recognized that Pasternak was probably being overheard. "They are well. Do you have the latest stock report?"

"I do, sir. My analysts tell me that stock you asked about is up 7 points. Mr. Black will be an excellent CEO for the Chevrolet branch in Sheboygan!"

Yagoda mentally translated the code and scribbled it down on the paper in front of him.



"Good to hear. Joe reminded me that if the increase drops to three points, you should sell."

"Understood, Hank. Have a great day!"

Yagoda hung up the phone and picked up his briefcase. Stalin wouldn't be pleased about the efforts (or lack thereof) of Pasternak in Washington so far, but the news that Hugo Black was in charge at the FBI was a welcome bit of information.
[HR][/HR]
8 February 1938, Sukhoverkovo

Private Gennady Vladimirovich Konstantinov hated being a soldier. He would never admit that to anybody, but he was already regretting joining the army. He'd volunteered at the end of 1937, hoping to get into a tank company. Gennady was an excellent mechanic, and had joined the Red Army as a way to see more of the world and possibly even find adventure. Instead of getting his preferred assignment, though, when he completed basic training he was assigned to the 11th infantry brigade of the newly formed 6th Rifle Division. Instead of repairing trucks or serving as part of an armor crew, he was stuck lugging a rifle as part of a mortar team. He also got to carry the rounds, which would make him an excellent target in the event of war.



But, deep down, Gennady didn't expect a war. His father had fought in World War I as a Lieutenant in a rifle division, then joined the Bolsheviks during the Civil War. His father's stories had captivated young Gennady. Instead of fighting against the Hun, as his father had done, Gennady sat trying to stay warm. He started dreaming of home when he found himself laying in the snow face up. Senior Sergeant Grazhdanin peered down at Gennady.

"Problem, Konstantinov? You can't even sit properly."

"S-sorry, Senior Sergeant. Won't happen again, Senior Sergeant."

"It better not, Corporal."

It took Gennady a moment to register the news. "Corporal?"

"Did you get snow packed into your ears, idiot? Report to division HQ at once; you've been reassigned."

"I serve the Soviet Union!"

As Konstantinov scurried off to the motor pool, the Sergeant smiled. He liked the new Corporal, and when the new project began, Grazhdanin himself had proposed Konstantinov for it.
[HR][/HR]
10 March 1938, Vienna

A. I. Petrova had jumped at the chance to get out of Moscow; she'd been stuck in the Soviet capital for a few months, poring over paperwork. When Stalin asked her to go to Vienna and get the truth of things for herself, she treated it as a vacation. Granted, Berlin was no socialist paradise, but she did rather like some of the art museums. She patted down her coat for a cigarette lighter, to no avail. She sighed and opened the folder on her lap.

The Japanese defeat of Nationalist China was wholly unexpected, and the creation of Mengukuo something of an irritant to Mao and his friends in China.





Yet that wasn't what Petrova was worried about. It was the spontaneous annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany. Anschluss, they call it, she muttered.



Symbols of the Third Reich were literally on every street corner. Petrova was flabbergasted. Even members of the Austrian SPD cheered as German panzer divisions went down the Ringstrasse. Comrade Stalin will be furious with these reactionary lunatics. Socialists indeed! The only people not delirious with joy were the few Communists Anastasia had met. To her horror, not only was one of them Polish, but he even propositioned her, like some sort of bourgeois dandy! With a blank expression that would have done even Comrade Molotov proud, she asked the Pole if he wouldn't rather prefer to spend the night a little lighter between the legs. The Pole continued to smile until he realized what she said. He turned white as a sheet and left.

Petrova chuckled, but only for a moment. She had to get back to Moscow as soon as she could.
[HR][/HR]
15 May 1938, Voronezh

Gennady Konstantinov smiled as he read the letter from his old Sergeant. The new Sergeant Major was attached to one of the NKVD's new military police brigades, and had lots of unflattering words to share about the undisciplined Чекисти. ((Chekist is a very, very unflattering term which refers to the old Cheka, or predecessor to the NKVD. They were known for being especially thuggish.)) It was a well deserved promotion, thought Gennady.



The Corporal liked almost everything about his new assignment. These wonderful new machines would completely change the way Red Army infantry fought, and he was part of the team designing them!



He sat in the mess hall among a couple other Corporals and a Private. The private was a very cocky youngster, insistent that he could beat the fascists single handedly. "At least, I could if I could understand that barbarian of a Lieutenant! Doesn't he know Russian?"

It got deathly quiet. Gennady coughed. "Private, I would keep your voice down."

"Why the hell should I, Corporal? Just because he's got a bowlful of consonants at the end of his name? I don't even think he's really Soviet!"

Gennady grabbed the private by the scruff of the neck and dragged him out of the barracks. "You are going to get yourself killed!"

"Aw, Corporal, he's just an officer."

"Just an officer?! What's his last name?"

"Damned if I can say it. Dzugosh... Dzugrash..."

"Dzhugashvili."

"So?"

"Do you know his son he is?"

"Hell no."

The Corporal whispered the name in the private's ear. The private's face turned deathly pale, and he ran back to the barracks. He didn't speak again for the next two weeks.
[HR][/HR]
1 July 1938, Moskva

Anastasia chatted with the Turkish ambassador while she waited for the meeting to start. For a few weeks, Turkish radio had been full of praise for the Soviet Union, although that moment had passed.



A strikingly young and handsome officer saluted Marshal Tukhachevsky and departed. Anastasia waved over Milena Kamensky. "Who is that man?"

"Lieutenant Dzhugashvili. I think he's a bit out of your league, Anastasia."

Petrova snorted. "I can't handle a Lieutenant?"

"Not this one." The Commissar for Foreign Affairs watched as the Lieutenant walked up to Stalin and shook hands.

"So he's a gutsy young man. I like that." Then Petrova's face froze as she heard the word отец ((father)) pass the young man's lips. "He isn't...?"

"Yakov Dzhugashvili. Comrade Stalin's oldest son."

Stalin pounded on the table for a couple of moments and everybody quieted down. Anastasia noticed a mature but still virile officer sitting next to Tukhachevsky. "That isn't Stalin's son too, is it?"

Kamensky laughed quietly. "No, that's General Voroshilov."

"Oh, the recruiter! He certainly looks imposing."

"And our manpower has gone through the roof, I've heard!"



All of a sudden, Petrova felt Stalin's heavy gaze. "Er - sorry, Comrade Stalin?"

"You promised to give us an update on the world. I trust you haven't forgotten?"

"No, sir."



Petrova cleared her throat. "Sinkiang and Mao's communists move steadily closer to us each day. Turkey, Switzerland, and Tibet all have reported interest in moving closer to us."

"Yes, but not very much. The Americans?"

Petrova checked a report. "If there's a war, Comrade Stalin, I do believe they'll side with the British."

Stalin grunted. He rose an eyebrow and glanced at Yagoda.

"Comrade Stalin, Comrade Pasternak has informed me that his men have begun penetrating some American laboratories; we expect results soon."

"What are the Americans doing?"

"Building new factories, it seems. Improving fortifications in the Pacific, too."

Stalin nodded. "Thank you, Comrade Yagoda. Comrade Pasternak does not mind staying in Washington?"

"Of course not, Comrade Stalin. He serves the Soviet Union, as do we all."

"Then let us move on to new business, Comrades..."
 

SovietAmerika

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We need more allies pronto. This drifting is good.
 

Sakura_F

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ho-ho-ho.... Yakov and Petrova? If only -- Petrova already has her eye on some other man. :p
 

Sakura_F

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I object. Anastasia isn't thinking of cheating, is she then? ;)
Of course not, Feodor. Anastasia would never cheat on her loving boyfriend...

especially with the circumstances (laugh laugh laugh)
 

SovietAmerika

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Of course not, Feodor. Anastasia would never cheat on her loving boyfriend...

especially with the circumstances (laugh laugh laugh)
Milena can't chat either. She is a married woman, and she's married to a Red Army soldier no doubt.
 

Davout

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By Field Correspondent, Vasily Grossman

1.VII.1938


Meet the Politburo – The Faceless Man


If it were not for his identity papers, no-one would know that there ever was a Aleksandr Yakushev. No photos are permitted. He refused to discuss his past. No questions about how he came to be elevated to the critical position of People’s Commissar for Education. If I did not see him, hear him and touch him, I would not believe that he existed.

Comrade Yakushev slips silently between the Ministry office in Moskva and his “planning room” in the Smolny Institute in Leningrad. No official car, no entourage. A quiet, unassuming man in the Metro or walking the streets, who could be mistaken for a diligent apparatchik, or a studious professor but for the steely glint in his eyes which hint at his unspoken past.

Despite all of that mystery, his efforts in keeping the Soviet Union a modern power have borne tangible results which we see every day. The Twenty-two, as his research teams are known, attract the best and brightest of Russia to work on a myriad of problems, from new artillery sights to the latest methods of industrial efficiency. New and astounding gadgets pour out of Comrade Yakushev’s ministry like a modern cornucopia of engineering. Every month seems to produce a new technological wonder, with the troops of the RKKA and the pilots of the VVS wondering if the comrade is in fact Ded Moroz.

In speaking to him, one is struck by the seriousness with which he takes his task and the strong moral rectitude which drives him for the betterment of the people. In his own words:

“I have a very strong belief that the person plays a very insignificant role in the historic process. Our role in the Politburo is quite insignificant. If we are replaced, somebody else will take our place and he or she will perform the same. We share a common background and education and as a result the same limitations, same thinking despite some differences in abilities. These differences in abilities can be compensated for by hard work and true belief in the workers' cause and the rebuilding of our Motherland.

Another issue very important for me is my sense of honour which is only surpassed by my sense of duty. This sense of honour has been developed during my years of service to the State. Whilst allegiances and ideologies seemingly change constantly, there is only my moral compass to guide me. As such, I can never betray my principles, even if I am certain that it would endanger my life. But even if this happens I am sure that I will be replaced by an equally able servant of the people and the party.”


I do not have to know where Aleksandr Yakushev has come from to admire the man he is now or feel proud of the accomplishments which he will achieve in the future.

Planes, Tanks and Little Bitches

Close on the tail of the Sukhoi 2, work has finally finished on the production models of the new long range bombers, the Ilyushin DB3. And once again, the VVS is at the cutting edge of aerodynamics.

[video=youtube;M79XqeLhgq8]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M79XqeLhgq8[/video]​

The DB 3 has two Turmansky M87 engines which allow it to travel at an amazing 240 mph at 16,000 feet, and carry 1,000 kg of bombs over a range of more than 1,900 miles, at a faster speed and twice the range of the fascist Heinkel 111.

However, this high performance comes at a price. Welds have to be so precise that an Xray machine is used in production to ensure there are no flaws which may pull the wing apart during the strain of take off. Consequently, an air division of DB 3 costs the same as 2 air divisions of Su 2. The VVS will upgrade its current fleet of tactical bombers but we will have to wait some time until we can afford to expand at this price.

There are no such problems with the Red Army’s new tanks, the BT-7M. The new tank uses the same turret as the BT-5 although the gun aperture has been redesigned so that it can be upgraded from the present 45mm gun to a ZIS 76mm as used in the SU 76 Sukas. However, the chassis is another step up in class from the lighter BT-5’s. With thicker armour and a more powerful Mikulin M17T engine, these tanks can withstand most anti-tank weapons, including other tanks, allowing it to sweep aside its opposition and conduct deep operations with lightning fast speed and deadly force.

[video=youtube;Jzpom1gZcag]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jzpom1gZcag[/video]​

Sadly, these advances also mean the gradual replacement of the much beloved little bitches, SU76 tank destroyers. Whilst the drivers will no doubt be happy to say goodbye to the demanding gear shift drive, which required both hands and all of the driver’s strength to move the lever, the motorised infantry of the Shock Armies have come to love their friend who could travel anywhere, even the boggiest marsh, to provide protection from enemy tanks. The new SU85 is a far more imposing beast and lacks the simple charm of the Suka, for all of its greater firepower.


All Quiet On the Eastern Front


The Japanese Imperialist Kwantung Army has returned to our borders. They are cocky from their recent pillaging of the Chinese people and appropriation of territory from the corrupt bourgeois Kuomintang government. The Japanese troops display their arrogance daily in their taunts and incursions, seeking to goad the men of the Eastern Direction into making a false move.

The men of the Red Army are also uneasy at their posts following the recent defection to the Japanese of the traitor, Genrikh Lyushkov, a former NKVD Commissar 3rd Class, the very head of the State’s sword and shield in Asia. The fact that the traitor came from the NKVD after the grilling which Red Army officers recently endured at the hands of that organisation adds more chagrin to the hearts of the State’s true defenders. Who knows what secrets this viper may reveal to our foes?

General Konev has acted swiftly to revise deployments and move the Eastern Direction to a heightened state of preparedness. Strategic positions have been fortified and all are on alert.

I visited the men of the 128th Rifle Division under General Larionov in the Primorye district. I spoke to men from Rzhev and the Volga, the same simple Russian infantry as those who fought in the armies of General Chapaev, Marshals Kutusov and Suvorov, Pyotr the Great and Alexander Nevsky. Quiet and determined men, stoic in their endurance of hardships, skilled in the deadly art of battle, willing to lay down their lives to defend the Motherland. One of the men from the Volga, Private Matin, took pains to remind me that this is not the first time he and his kin had faced enemies of the State who boasted of suppressing our people. He and his platoon proudly sang of the fate of the Cossacks of Yekaterindar in the Kuban and their haughty General Kornilov.

The Red Gift

And who are you, the General said
That I must bow so low?
Only a tzar of a different coat,
That’s all the truth I know.
In a coat of white or a coat of red
A soldier still has swords
And mine are long and sharp, my friend
As long and sharp as yours.

And so he spoke and so he spoke
Before the Krasnodar
But now the rain falls upon his grave
As our soldiers march afar
Yes, now the rains fall upon his grave
As our soldiers march afar
 
Last edited:

SovietAmerika

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Another lovely read!