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Under the Scarlet Banner we March



A Soviet Union AAR



Contents

Book I: The Rebirth of the Soviet Union
I. The Dark Dacha
II. NKVD Headquarters, January 5
III. Bukharin's Government
IV. Burying the Red Tzar






The Hymn of the Soviet Union
Listen to it here

Unbreakable Union of freeborn Republics,
Great Russia has welded forever to stand.
Created in struggle by will of the people,
United and mighty, our Soviet land!

Sing to the Motherland, home of the free,
Bulwark of peoples in brotherhood strong.
O Party of Lenin, the strength of the people,
To Communism's triumph lead us on!

Through tempests the sunrays of freedom have cheered us,
Along the new path where great Lenin did lead.
To a righteous cause he raised up the peoples,
Inspired them to labor and valorous deed.

Sing to the Motherland, home of the free,
Bulwark of peoples in brotherhood strong.
O Party of Lenin, the strength of the people,
To Communism's triumph lead us on!

In the vict'ry of Communism's deathless ideal,
We see the future of our dear land.
And to her fluttering scarlet banner,
Selflessly true we always shall stand!



 
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Book I - Rebirth of the Soviet Union




The Dark Dacha
January 5, 1936

Stalin sat quietly at his imposing desk, situated in the corner of his long, rectangular and airy private office. The room’s polished wooden floors, red and green carpets and heavy velvet drapes were always kept immaculate and clean. The whole room was a shrine to order, efficiency and cleanliness. Not an object was out of place, and every piece of furniture, every chair, every lamp, every portrait and photograph had been diligently positioned in the perfect place. Everything had its place. But the room was not clinical. It was not without its charm. In fact it was overflowing with character, love and warmth. Pictures of his smiling children hung on the walls. A framed crayon drawing of a farm house sat on its desk. In the bottom left corner, a few words were scrawled by the hand of the Soviet dictator’s daughter, “For my Daddy, with love from Lana.” Svletlana, or Lana as Stalin called “the light of my life” was one of few people the iron fisted man had ever loved.

Stalin glanced at his daughter’s drawing for a moment before the face of his wife, Nadya, caught his eye. He picked up the photograph of her and held it close to his face. It had been well over three years since her death. Nadya, a soft spoken and quiet women, had suffered from debilitating depression. Stalin’s sneering did not help, and during late 1932, her despair, fueled by alcohol and Stalin’s own stress, spiralled out of control. Although she often felt that her husband did not care for her, there were some touching moments of tenderness between the dictator and his wife. In March 1932, when Nadya took an unaccustomed drink that caused her to fall seriously ill, Stalin gently took her to bed. She looked up at him and whispered pathetically, “Oh Joseph, so you love me a little after all.” Just a few months later she killed herself.

Stalin stared mournfully at the photograph. The dark, morbid eyes of his late wife stared back at him, and a chill ran down his spine. He gently placed the photograph face down on his desk and closed his eyes for a moment. His hands began to shake. He clenched his wrists to stop the shaking and took a deep breath. For the next few minutes, he sat there silently, fists clenched and eyes closed, breathing deeply. When he opened his eyes again, he looked around the office. It was beginning to get dark as the sun set over the Red Capital. The dictator was exhausted and his limbs were aching. Instead of retiring to his private apartment in the upper levels of the Yellow Palace (Sovnarkom Building, one of the Kremlin Palaces), Stalin decided to spend the night at his secluded dacha, Zubalavo, hidden within the thick pine forests on the outskirts of Moscow. He put on his coat and hat and left his office. As he walked out into the anteroom, his Private Secretary, Poskrebeyshev, rose from his desk.

“Are you retiring to your private quarters now Comrade?”
“Not tonight Vyachy.” Stalin replied. “I am driving down to Zubalovo. Tell Andrea (the children’s nanny) that there is no need for her to cook me dinner tonight.”
“But Lazar wishes to speak with you Comrade. He said he would come over to your apartment for a drink this evening, like he does most evenings.”
“It’s nothing important Vyachy. He just wants to get away from his wife. Give him a bottle of cognac, then he’ll be satisfied.” Stalin smiled and left the anteroom.

The long hallway leading from his corner office to the grand stairs was deserted. There were no Red Army guardsmen anywhere in the building, as Stalin cherished his privacy. Four NKVD bodyguards waited in a small office by the main entrance of the building. Another two were always stationed in an office opposite Stalin’s private study, out of sight. They were there for emergencies only and were not permitted to enter Stalin’s study unless he was in danger. The four NKVD men stationed by the building’s entrance would only follow Stalin when he left the building. Stalin refused to be followed around by an entourage of soldiers and bodyguards twenty-four hours a day. The NKVD men were only permitted to escort him while he was outside. As he walked past the open door of his bodyguard’s office, Stalin casually called for them.

“I’m going to Zubalovo now comrades.”
“Of course Comrade Stalin,” came the reply. The four NKVD men hurriedly put on their coats and ran after Stalin, who was briskly walking across the Yellow Palace forecourt towards his private garage. Red Army soldiers, Kremlin officials and party members would enthusiastically salute and cry out “Comrade Stalin!” as he walked past. The dictator failed to return the enthusiasm and simply replied with a half-hearted hand gesture or quick nod. The closer he got to the garage the faster he walked. He couldn’t wait to get out of Moscow. As he neared the garage, Yuri, the young garage attendant, carefully drove Stalin’s black Rolls-Royce onto the main Kremlin road so the dictator would not have to wait. Stalin grabbed the keys for the car and hopped in. After thanking Yuri for keeping his beloved Rolls-Royce so clean, Stalin started the engine and hastily drove along the inner Kremlin road to the main gate. The NKVD men followed closely behind in another vehicle. Unless he was going to a formal ceremony or meeting, Stalin always drove himself. It was one of the few pleasures he could enjoy.

Stalin’s modest dacha, Zubalovo, was an austere two story mansion, painted a grim camouflage green with a complex of guesthouses, a Russian bath and a cottage for a library. This was all surrounded by pinewoods, two concentric fences, six checkpoints and at least one hundred NKVD guards. At Zubalovo, Stalin indulged in his natural craving for privacy. No guards or servants stayed within the house (they were confined to the guest houses, out of sight from the main house). Unless friends came over to stay the night, he closed himself in.

By the time Stalin reached his secluded dacha it was dark. The house itself appeared like an impenetrable fortress of solitude and darkness. As the four NKVD guards entered the house and turned on all the lights, Stalin watched silently from the drive. The night air was cold, and a bitter wind swept across the front of the bleak wooden house. After a few moments, the NKVD men appeared at the front door. One of them nodded to Stalin.

“All is clear Comrade. Have a good night.” Stalin thanked them watched them drive away towards the guesthouses. Once they were out of sight, he walked into the house, closing the heavy oak door slowly behind him. He immediately went upstairs, talking the steep staircase slowly as to not slip. He had slipped once before on these horrible little wooden stairs. They really needed to be replaced, but he never got around to organising it. After a quick visit to the lavatory, he retired to his favourite room in the house, a small wood panelled antechamber attached to his bedroom. It was small yet comfortable, with a fireplace and two large sheepskin armchairs. The walls were adorned with cheerful Bolshevik propaganda posters, relics of the now vague revolution and civil war. He lit a fire and poured himself a small cognac. He settled down in one of the armchairs and opened a photograph album filled with small black and white photos of his family at sunny Sochi. As he looked over the memories, a small smile appeared across his face. He let his fingertips gently touch a radiant picture of his Nadya, hoping to feel her smooth warm skin under his cold fingers. As he was doing so, he heard something behind him. It was footsteps he was sure. It was faint, but he knew it was footsteps. His heart skipped a beat and he froze. He couldn’t move. The last thing he felt was the cold barrel of a gun on his right temple. Then nothing. Everything went dark.
 
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The Yogi

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Hooray! Another AltHist AAR!
 

Machiavellian

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I like how you made Stalin seem almost human. I wonder who killed him. So many possibilities.
 

Sir Humphrey

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Tally Ho! Nice way of making Stalin feel real. Great start.
 

unmerged(23122)

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Very interesting start Lord British. I love alternate history, that is why I enjoyed your Fascist France AAR so much. I'm really looking foward to more of this, nice work!
 

Eddy Gemmell

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Come on!

Great words now where's the action!

Lets see ya tanks!
 

coz1

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And here I was wondering how you were going to be able to truly humanize a demon like Stalin. Great beginning. And if anything, the previous HoI2 AAR serves as a backdrop - the history before this one, if you will. I'll be following along.
 

kelden

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I must say this is among the most intriguing AARs I have read... really good job on making me believe you'd humanize stalin and then killed him off... really impressive :cool:
 
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Nice start, proving that no matter how dehumanized a person can be, they always retain their human characteristics and feelings.

I'm wondering who it was, I'm thinking an inside job. The NKVD guards "cleared" the house before he entered, so they may have turned a blind eye to that guy in the closet.
 

N Katsyev

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:eek: Someone has struck Comrade Stalin! Good show so far, though I hope Stalin isn't dead, just really pissed off. :D Maybe that blow will knock some sense into him and lead to early victory!
 

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Book I - Rebirth of the Soviet Union





NKVD Headquarters
7 P.M, January 5



Genrikh Yagoda looked at himself in the mirror. He was white as a sheet and his eyes were bloodshot, quite frankly he was a mess. He couldn’t sit down and it was impossible for him to remain still. As he turned away from the mirror he rubbed his tired face. He was a bundle of nerves. He couldn’t take it anymore. He glanced across his spacious office on the 6th floor of NKVD Headquarters. He noticed the open doors of his drinks cabinet. The little NKVD cheif needed a stiff drink to clam his shattered nerves and so he briskly walked over to the cabinet and peered inside. After fumbling around, he pulled out a new bottle of Nevensky Vodka and poured himself a generous shot. He swallowed it in one quick mouthful and slammed down the glass.

“Calm down Genrikh.” Yagoda turned around to face Nikolai Bukharin, who was sitting in a plush armchair on the other side of the room. Leaning back comfortably in the large chair, Bukharian took a puff of his cigar and blew out a plume of light grey smoke. Yagoda just watched Bukharin silently for a moment, wondering how the man could be so suave and relaxed.
“Genrikh, did you here me?” Bukharian now leaned forward, a slight frown forming on his face.
“How can I be calm? There is too much at stake here Nicky.” Yagoda’s trembling voice made Bukharin smile.
“We won’t fail Genrikh. Pour me a drink will you?” Bukharin took another puff of his cigar. As Genrikh poured a generous amount of vodka into a glass, the telephone on his desk rang. The shrill and sudden ringing made him jump. The bottle of vodka fell from his trembling hand and he froze as it smashed on the floor. Bukharin rose from his chair and rushed over to Yagoda.
“Answer the landline Genrikh, I’ll take care of this.” Yagoda nodded and reluctantly walked over to the phone, slightly dazed. He picked up the receiver and gradually guided it towards his ear. He swallowed hard.
“Yagoda here.”
“It is done comrade.” Came the reply from the other end.
“Ah…good.” Yagoda felt the relief spread throughout his tense body. “You know what to do now Levensky. That is all. Good night.” As he placed down the receiver, Bukharian rose from the ground where he was picking up the shattered glass. He shot a glance at Yagoda’s trembling hands and then focused on his pale face. Yagoda’s expression was completely blank. He looked straight ahead, staring into middle distance.
“Genrikh? Is it done?” Bukharin asked, a tinge of apprehension appearing in his voice for the first time. Yagoda could muster nothing more than a slight nod.
“No complications?”
“None.” Yagoda sank into his chair. The relief was overwhelming and his whole body collapsed. “Everything went as planned Nicky.” Yagoda closed his eyes and took a deep breath, then exhaled in relief. Bukharin made his way to the chair in front of Yagoda’s desk. He sat down and let a slight grin appear across his face.
“Excellent. Marshall Tuchatjevskij is waiting for your call Genrikh.” Yagoda picked up the receiver and was connected through to the Soviet High Command.
"Marshall? Go ahead, the General-Secretary has been disposed of."

Less than an hour after Stalin’s assassination, the Soviet Chief of Staff, Marshall Tuchatjevskij, placed Moscow under Martial Law. Tanks quickly appeared on the streets of the capital, and thousands of Red Army soldiers were deployed to secure important government buildings. Foreign embassies were sealed off and civilian telegraph and telephone lines leading out of Moscow were disconnected. Portraits of Stalin rapidly disappeared from public places. The Man of Steel had been removed. For now, The Soviet Union was without a leader.
 
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