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By Senior Field Correspondent, Vasily Grossman


1.VII.1938​

Meet the Politburo – Sic Semper Tyrannis


He was a good man, once. A man who served to protect the State, once. But he is now no more than a lesson in history. A lesson for all to heed. That power is only held by, through and for the goodwill of the people.

Genrikh Yagoda had a long pedigree in the Communist Party and the various security bodies of the Soviet Union. He served for many years with distinction, rooting out reactionaries and foreign agents who would seek to return us to the Tsarist yoke. In 1934, he was rewarded for his diligence by being promoted to the position of People’s Commissar for Internal Affairs. And therein lay the seed of his doom.

Comrade Yagoda made great efforts in promoting the unity of the state, which lay the bedrock for the introduction of laws promoting industrial efficiency culminating in the brilliantly successful Stakhanovite movement. In many ways, the Soviet Union is the industrial Titan it is today because of his hidden hand of persuasion. But therein hid the demon of overweening pride from too much success.

He successfully foiled the plots of enemy agents whilst discovering the foul plots of our enemies to conquer our people. But his obsession to know everything eventually robbed him of his sanity.

Genrikh Yagoda began to think of himself as a god, a power above us mere mortals, controlling everything and everyone, striking down those who did not bend the knee to his commands, seeking to destroy any authority which he thought might rival his own, until he saw enemies even in his closest friends.

When Comrade Yagoda challenged the wisdom of Comrade Stalin, the State tottered on the brink of another Civil War. Comrade Yagoda planned to unleash his NKVD Corps as reborn Oprichniki, terrorising the innocent and imprisoning the honest.

But the brave Comrade Petrova took up the red banner of the people, rallying the Politburo to the defence of the State, and under the command of Comrade Stalin, the would be despot was struck down, his worker’s heart refusing to allow such hubris to continue any longer.

If only he had used his megalomania for niceness instead of evil.

At the Movies

This Summer has seen a flood of new films released to help promote National Unity and a love of our great army of workers and peasants.

Esli zavtra voina - If tomorrow the war…
[video=youtube;rltdx_mL5qI]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rltdx_mL5qI[/video]​

A film so big it struggles to keep within the screen.

Cheer as you watch the brave men of the Red Army parade before our glorious Politburo. Gasp at the awesome might of our tanks rolling to victory. Thrill at the daring acrobatics of our pilots and the vast fleet of planes. Be amazed by the intricate naval manoeuvres and admire the large guns of the fleet.

If tomorrow the war, I know which side I want to be on.

Istrebiteli
[video=youtube;iYKD4oD49l4]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYKD4oD49l4[/video]​

This is the story of a gallant young pilot, Dmitri, recently returned to the Soviet Union after his heroic deeds in Spain, together with his trusty I 16, Ivanka. You'll be on the edge of your seat as you watch their death defying flying feats whilst rescuing a train load of peasants bound for the celebration of the collective's bounty in the big city. And laugh at the japes and banter of Mikhail, the ground crew attendant.

Alexander Nevsky
[video=youtube;pXr0m7SaGvs]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXr0m7SaGvs[/video]​

An historical drama which also speak to our troubled times. A masterpiece by the Soviet Union’s leading director, Comrade Eisenstein. With an original score by the acclaimed Comrade Prokofiev. Inspired by the men of the Red Army who today stand ready, like their ancestors, to repel the armoured invaders from the West. A true classic to watched by young and old alike, on express orders from Comrade Stalin.

And coming soon to a theatre near you….

Faster than a speeding tank, more powerful than the Moskva-Leningrad Express, able to bend the Politburo to his will ….a strange visitor from a distant province, who came to Moskva with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men. Who can change the course of history, build factories in a single bound, and who, in his guise as Secretary General, fights a never-ending battle for truth, justice and the Soviet way!

The Man of Steel

The Last Summer


The men gather at the canteen late in the afternoon on a hot September’s day. It has been a very late Summer this year and the men gratefully pass around a bottle of Gey’s joy to wash away the dust of the steppes where they have been practising manoeuvres for months. While some think only of their next leave, the more philosophical wonder whether this will be the last Summer of peace they will know.

The old hands marvel at the new fangled weapons and tactics coming out of the Frunze Academy whilst the youngsters take it all for granted. This is not the Red Army they knew 2 years ago. But even the veterans concede that the armed forces of today have been changed for the better in every way. Not only new tools but a new spirit imbues the ranks with vigour, initiative and elan. Although the officers are spread thin commanding more men than ever, the ordinary private feels confident in himself, in his training and takes pride in his unit. No more is the Red Army a passive barrier but is now the living, breathing embodiment of the militant proletariat, ready to strike down any who seek to oppress the workers, in the Soviet Union, or anywhere else in the world.

The men gather around as the Commissar reads the weekly news to the company. Few of them know what the Sudetenland is or where Munich is, but they all know that it is no good thing for the Hitlerites to be seizing other people’s land, or for the fat capitalists in the West to let them commit such outrages. The feeling amongst the troops is that the fight is coming soon, and that it may come down to the Soviet Union alone to stand up to the bullies. Or take the fight to them.

Our borders now bristle with new artillery and anti-tank pieces. Divisions stand check by jowl, every man knowing his role and bursting to do his duty for his country. We stand ready, waiting only for the word to be given by the great man.
 
Last edited:

son of liberty

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Davout

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It is my understanding that Grossman could not be reached because he was on the Far East border with a Red Army unit near Lake Khasan. I understood it was the NKVD traitor who was assassinated in a Manchurian flophouse with poisoned Gey's joy. If you can point me to the link where Grossman was elimiated, I will edit to add a new correspondent, although Grosman was an amazing individual in real life.
 

SirkTheMonkey

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Decadent westernised iconography of the First Secretary? If Grossman is still alive he had better hope that the Commissar for Ideological Purity doesn't see this.
 

jeeshadow

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It is my understanding that Grossman could not be reached because he was on the Far East border with a Red Army unit near Lake Khasan. I understood it was the NKVD traitor who was assassinated in a Manchurian flophouse with poisoned Gey's joy. If you can point me to the link where Grossman was elimiated, I will edit to add a new correspondent, although Grosman was an amazing individual in real life.
I know Yagoda was planning on sending a plane to get Grossman. If I remember correctly, Yagoda moved against Grossman before he died, so it is likely Grossman was detained. He was probably not killed, and so Sokolov or Pasternik probably realised him after Yagoda's death.
 

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Decadent westernised iconography of the First Secretary? If Grossman is still alive he had better hope that the Commissar for Ideological Purity doesn't see this.
You are obviously not a fan of Mark Millar.
 

Avindian

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Decadent westernised iconography of the First Secretary? If Grossman is still alive he had better hope that the Commissar for Ideological Purity doesn't see this.
At the time of Stalin, it's still General Secretary: First Secretary is Khrushchev's title (because he didn't even want Stalin's title).
 

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I've been wrong this entire time? OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPS.
 

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shri

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Prologue


The Pole quailed under Stalin's penetrating gaze. "C-Comrade Stalin, I did all I could."
Sorry to be pedantic, really nice recreation of that dark and murky chapter swept under the carpet.
But i do need to point out- Unlike Drezhinsky and the next one (forgot the name)- both minor polish nobility, Yagoda was a jewish butcher from the interiors of russia who worked as a assistant to sverdlov's father.
 

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Sorry to be pedantic, really nice recreation of that dark and murky chapter swept under the carpet.
But i do need to point out- Unlike Drezhinsky and the next one (forgot the name)- both minor polish nobility, Yagoda was a jewish butcher from the interiors of russia who worked as a assistant to sverdlov's father.
In my defense, the person who created the character is the one who called him "Polish". http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showthread.php?671118-Tukhachevsky-s-Army-and-the-Politburo-(Interactive-TFH-4.02)-Admin-thread&p=15098716&viewfull=1#post15098716 Actually, a quick google search shows that there's some question as to whether or not he was indeed born in Lodz. Rybinsk does seem to be the dominant birthplace, but it did at one point in Wikipedia say he was from Lodz (which is I assume where son of liberty got it). For our purposes, we'll claim this Yagoda is from an alternative universe where he was born in Lodz. :D
 

Davout

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At least we now know 1 person outside of the Politburo is reading the AAR.
 

Vrael_1492

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[sarcasm] This is proof of the remarkable progress that our glorious nation has shown the last 3 years [/sarcasm] :p
 

Avindian

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Chapter 7: Imperialists being imperialists

1 January 1939, Stalin's office, Kremlin

"Sasha?" asked Stalin, calling to Aleksandr Poskrebyshev, his private secretary.

"Yes, Comrade Stalin?"

"Has Yulya called recently?"

"No, Comrade Stalin."

Stalin grunted. "Any news?"

Poskrebyshev shuffled some papers. "Comrade Petrova reports that she has filed the embargo with the United Nations and authorized increased expenditures to the embassy in Hungary."





"Хорошо ((good))." Stalin started to return to his office. "Are you sure that wasn't Yulya? It is peculiar how similar she and Comrade Petrova appear."

"Er, quite sure, Comrade Stalin."

"Как жаль! ((What a pity!)) Thank you for your service, Sasha. I am leaving for the dacha tomorrow. Everything is packed?"

"Конечно ((of course)), Comrade Stalin."

"Excellent."
[HR][/HR]
A few hours later, Stalingrad

Marshal Tukhachevsky watched with endless fascination as the last of the cavalry divisions in the Red Army closed its last stable. "Ah, Kolya. What do you think of all this?"

Colonel General Vatutin couldn't help but wipe a small tear from his cheek. "It is a shame to see those magnificent animals leave, Comrade Marshal."

Tukhachevsky put his arm on Vatutin's shoulder. "I am promised that they will find good homes, my friend. Your peasant sentimentality is touching." The Marshal scanned the horizon, but as always, heard the tanks before he saw them. "That, Comrade Colonel General, is something worth getting emotional about."

The first medium tanks had been driven the last few kilometers from the train station, and Tukhachevsky watched with satisfaction as the former stable became a spare parts depot. All around "Stalin's City", at the General Secretary's request, new weapons were being delivered to divisions, including the latest in self-propelled artillery.



Vatutin opened his notebook. "That's four brigades of armor, 26 tank destroyer brigades, and 25 self-propelled artillery brigades ordered at your request."

The Marshal nodded. "Odd of Comrade Rakobolskaja to miss the Politburo meeting. Do you think she is ill?"

Vatutin shrugged. "It is possible, but I know Comrade Stalin was not happy."

"He is never happy, Kolya."

Vatutin did not respond.
[HR][/HR]
8 February 1939, Red Square

Stalin smiled for the camera -- which he rarely did away from them -- and draped his army around the newly promoted Captain Yakov Dzhugashvili. As soon as the camera was away, Stalin dropped his arm. "What do you think of the new self-propelled guns, Yasha?"

"I am proud to be commanding a battery of them, Father."

"Good. You should be." Stalin said nothing else, and Yakov, after a moment, saluted and left. The General Secretary spotted Marshal Tukhachevsky and gritted his teeth. "If only Yagoda had done his job... ah, he is gone now." More loudly, he smiled again and waved. "Marshal, a fine day, is it not?"

Privately, Tukhachevsky thought Stalin a fool. A parade? In the middle of February?! Has the yokel lost his mind? Of course, he was too smart to say such a thing in public. He might as well shoot himself in the head and save Stalin the trouble. "Indeed, Comrade General Secretary. Your Yakov is a fine soldier."

Stalin simply grunted noncommittally. "Any word from Pasternak about the American plans?"

"No, Comrade Stalin. He is... often late to meetings."

Stalin pursed his lips, considering the Marshal's comment. "He is no Comrade Gey, I trust?"

"No, just lazy."

Stalin considered that as well. Inefficiency may be the price we pay for Yagoda's insanity. "I shall have a talk with him."

"Thank you, Comrade General Secretary."

Stalin simply nodded and continued to watch the parade.


[HR][/HR]
5 April 1939, Office of the People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs

Anastasia Petrova bit her lip as the reports kept coming in. That некультурный немецкий ((loosely translated, German barbarian)) is at it again. Comrade Stalin will not be pleased. The only People's Commissar who looked good these days was her friend Kamensky, who had managed to find a whole new crop of Stakhanovites to power Soviet factories.



Anastasia could make no such claim. The absorption of Czechoslovakia and the First Vienna award had been expected and correctly predicted.



Even Memel Stalin could tolerate, since it was of little consequence.



Mussolini's decision to annex Albania had provoked nothing but laughter from the entire Politburo.



Then Petrova took her first blow: the British were going to protect Poland! Comrade Stalin had, more than once, bothered her about the pact she was considering with Ribbentrop, as he had a keen interest in Poland. The British knew nothing of the diplomatic talks, of that she was sure. Were the British concerned about Hitler... or Stalin? She had no way of knowing! Worse, the BBC press release was full of capitalist lies, and she wasn't sure if Stalin had already heard.



Yet her greatest failure, in the eyes of Stalin, was Hungary.



Vatutin had most strenuously asked for her to make Hungary a priority, and she'd tried to do that, but that cheapskate Yakushev wouldn't give her the money. If Hungary joined the Axis, then Stalin would have to fight Germany for it -- something he was loathe to do, at least as of yet. The one thing she could to do to repair her reputation -- she had narrowly avoided censure over a procedural rule a few days before -- was to get Ribbentrop to sign the damned pact. What was taking him so long? Weren't Germans supposed to be punctual?
[HR][/HR]
1 July 1939, Moscow

Stalin glared at the door; made of solid oak, it didn't quiver, but everyone else in the room did. He was not pleased with Yulya. She vanished without a trace, and Pasternak was too much of a fool to do anything to her. Teterev was the most loyal person in the room. He then turned his gaze to the table and nodded gruffly. "Comrade Rakobolskaja has been stripped of her duties as People's Commissar for Defense and is expelled from the Politburo. Pasternak, what do you have to report? Pasternak...?"

Teterev reached out and smacked the NKVR in the back of his head. Pasternak woke with a start, mumbled an apology, and cleared his throat. "Comrades, the Western Europeans are acting very peculiar. The Belgians are apparently afraid of the French, who partially mobilized their army to respond to a threat of assassination.



The Netherlands and Luxembourg similarly responded, and finally, surrounded by enemies, France decided to mobilize as well.



That ends my report."

The room got very quiet. Stalin started to redden visibly. Teterev leaned over to talk to Pasternak. "Alik Fyodorovich, do you really think France is afraid of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg?"

"Of course, Pavel Pavlovich. What else could it be?"

"Maybe... Germany?"

Pasternak laughed. "Don't be a fool! Why would Germany be afraid of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg?"

Teterev opened his mouth, then closed, then opened it again, then closed it and kept it shut. Stalin, recognizing that Pasternak was perhaps out of his depth, turned to other business. "Comrade Kamensky, you have more good news to report?"

Kamensky, bursting with pride, nodded. "We have again exceeded quotas, Comrade Stalin!"



"Excellent news, Comrade Kamensky! You are serving the proletariat with distinction and honor. Comrade Petrova, what is this paper attached to hers?"

"Er, I apologize, Comrade Stalin. Italy joined the Axis."

For a brief moment, Stalin looked fit to burst. Then he did.

He burst out laughing. Everybody else dutifully laughed at the joke. "What does that Italian lunatic hope to accomplish? It's as absurd as South Africa joining the Allies a few weeks ago. Thank you, Comrade Petrova, I needed that."

"Um... thank you, Comrade Stalin, but it isn't a joke. South Africa really did join the Allies and Italy really is part of the Axis."

Stalin choked off his laughter. "Yes, of course, Comrade Petrova. I am no fool. Anything else?"

"The French gave up part of Syria to the Turks."



Stalin nodded. "Thank you, Comrade. Let us settle down to business; first, we must appoint a new People's Commissar for Defense. Any nominations?"
[HR][/HR]
The war should probably start next update, so there's going to be lots of interesting goings-on! Be sure to join us.
 
Last edited:

red_KLG

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Very nice update.... Pasternak also deserves what is happening to him !!!
 

Davout

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Vatutin shook his head ruefully. If only they had listened to his warnings about Hungary sooner. Now it would be left to the Red Army to clean up the mess....

On the other hand, 2 thumbs up for the Stakhanovites - great work Soviet Amerika!!!
 

SirkTheMonkey

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I'm really liking the characterisation of Teterev. Is it normal for nations to be mobilising at this point?
 

red_KLG

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And Yakushev has to take the blame for Petrova's incompetence.. tsk tsk tsk.