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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

unmerged(81979)

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What could have been
The story of Lt. Tuca
in the
Slovenská republika rád


Hello all! This is my second attempt at a narrative AAR. After the abandonment of my mediocre first attempt, I have to redeem my credit. Thus this AAR is born. This is the tale of the short-lived Slovak Soviet Republic, and how one man, Janko Tuca, was involved. I hope you, the reader, enjoy this piece! Remember, if you have any questions, comments, concerns, corrections, or cheers, please post them. Even if it is to just demand an update, I would appreciate it in the extreme. It's feedback from you that keeps me going! Now, onto the story!

Chapter One: Story Time..........................Can be found on Page One
Chapter Two: Múčnik...............................Can be found on Page One
Chapter Three: Expanded Cabinet..............Can be found on Page One
Chapter Four: Stockpiling.........................Can be found on Page Two
Chapter Five: Secret Weapon...................Can be found on Page Two
Chapter Six: Ruthenia.............................Can be found on Page Three
Chapter Seven: Budget Cuts....................Can be found on Page Three
Chapter Eight: The Fightin' Fitz................Can be found on Page Three
Chapter Nine: Greeks Bearing Gifts............Can be found on Page Four
Chapter Ten: Supply & Recruit.................Can be found on Page Four
Chapter Eleven: Training.........................Can be found on Page Four
Chapter Twelve: Finalizing.......................Can be found on Page Five
Chapter Thirteen: Bratislava....................Can be found on Page Five
Chapter Fourteen: Battle of Galanta..........Can be found on Page Five
Chapter Fifteen: Suprise..........................Can be found on Page Five
Chapter Sixteen: Disaster at Zavod...........Can be foud on Page Six
 
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unmerged(81979)

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As a warning, I will use Slovak terminology, and I will post here the definitions of the words or phrases. These are in order of appearence. Any that I do not catch, tell me and I will put them here.

Chapter One​

Zdado- Grandfather

Baba- Grandmother

Haluski- Delicious Slovak dish, also referred to as Cabbage and Noodles

Prešov- City in Slovakia

Cusna- Dresser/ Chest of drawers

Kosice- City in Slovakia

slivovitz- A dry colorless plum brandy made in eastern Europe

Chapter Two​

múčnik- Loosly translated, it means pudding

krásny bábätko- Literally means beautiful baby

Chapter Three​

Gelnica- Small town in the Tatra Mtns. in Slovakia

koruna- Czechoslovak currency

Hlavná ulica- Very loosly translated, it means 'Main Street'

Chapter Five​

ovca pevnosť- Literally translated, it means sheep-fortress.

Chapter Ten​

bryndzové pyrohy- Pirogi and potato meal, very delicious.

Chapters 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16 use no new Slovak terminology.
 
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unmerged(81979)

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Chapter One
Story Time

Pavel went running through the forest, his boyish face in open smile. His older brother, Antonin, was not far behind him. The game of hide and seek had lasted for hours, but it never seemed to loose its excitement amongst the children. Eventually, Pavel’s bare feet tread from the forest and onto a mountain precipice. He stopped and leaned over the edge. After a few moments, Antonin exited the forest and almost fell off, except that he caught himself at the last possible moment.

“Come!” said Antonin. “Let us return another way.” Pavel turned and followed his brother into the forest once more. After an hour of backtracking, the boys reached the edge of a field. Walking from the cover, Antonin could see, off in the distance, a cottage with smoke being expelled from its chimney.

“I’ll race you home!” said Pavel, as he took off running once more. Smiling, Antonin started to run as well. By the time they reached the cottage, the boys were breathing heavily and arguing where the true finish line is. On the porch sat their Zdado smoking a pipe. “Antonin, Pavel! Wash up for supper. Tonight Baba made us some Haluski.” The boys excitedly ran off to the spring behind their house to wash their hands and face.

Although the primitive conditions of the area prevail, it betrays the actual time that Pavel and Antonin live in. 1954 Slovakia was as Wild and wooly as it had been under the Austro-Hungarian Empire 36 years before. Industrialization had not yet achieved full penetration into the valleys and forests of the high Tatra Mountains.

As the boys sat hungrily at the table, a women in simple dress came in with a heaping plate of Haluski, still steaming from the many hours it had been cooking. The sat down and a few minutes later, Dzdado joined them. All took hands and said a prayer of thanks for the meal before starting to eat. After the plates were emptied, and Baba had started to clear the dishes, the boys waited expectantly for what was coming next.

As far back as they could remember, after supper, Antonin and Pavel always heard a story by their Dzdado. Everything from the time he was kicked in the head by a cow in 1908, to the mysterious death of Pavel and Antonin’s mother and father in 1944. Every day, it seemed a different memory would take hold of their Dzdado’s mind and a story would be woven from it.

“Today I will tell you a different story,” began Dzdado. “Antonin, you are 13, Pavel, you are 11. I think it is time that you hear this story.” The children’s eyes widened as their Dzado’s eyes grew slightly glossier, as if it were painful to remember those thoughts.

“The year was 1919. The first republic of Czechoslovakia was not a year old when, on June 16, 1919, there was a proclamation made by Antonin Janoušek, creating the Slovak Soviet Republic. Janoušek, back by the Hungarian army, obtained the presidency, and was ‘sworn-in’, so to speak, that day in Prešov. This story is the story of how I was involved in the rise and fall of the SSR. But, I will only resume the story once you have finished helping Baba with the dishes.”

Antonin and Pavel rushed off to the spring and hurriedly started to help their Baba. Zdado smiled as he watched them go. Slowly, Zdado rose from the table and walked into the small room adjoining the dining room. Inside was a simple bed with a hand woven quilt on top. In one corner sat a cusna, overflowing with religious statuary.

Zdado leaned over the top most drawer as he opened it with care. Inside was his dress uniform from his days in the army. Gingerly, he removed it and took it to the table where the boys, still with suds in their hair, were returning.

“Now,” said Zdado, “onto the story! This is my dress uniform from when I was Lt. Janko Tuca, commander of 1,000 cavalry in the Czechoslovak Army, from December 1918 to February 1919. After my commander discovered I was a communist, President Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk ordered my dismissal. This came hard on my family, as your father was only two years old when I was expelled from my job at age 28.”


President Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk

“Originally, I tried to farm this land, but I was too restless, and I desired some action of the military kind. The fates intervened in my life when, on March 23, 1919, in a bar in Kosice, I met a man by the name of Antonin Janoušek. He was drinking some German Ale, I don’t recall the name off hand, but I remember that he was surrounded by several guards. The guards themselves were dressed in Hungarian uniforms. I thought it was odd, since the government of Hungary had fallen 2 days previously to a Red rebellion.”


Antonin Janoušek

“I walked over to Antonin and, guessing he was a communist, told him my name and a short story of how I was expelled from the army after their discovering that I was a communist. Intrigued, he bought me a drink of slivovitz and invited me to sit with him and discuss the revolution that was held in Russia.”

Zdado looked up from his gaze into space to look at the clock on the wall. It was already 8:00 PM. “Well, “said Zdado, “it is late, and tomorrow we must attend to the chickens. I will continue my story at tomorrow’s supper. Good night Pavel and good night Antonin.” As he said their names, he gave them a kiss on the forehead. Zdado picked up the dress uniform, returned it to his drawer, and went to bed. Where, a few minutes later, he was joined by his wife.

In the other bedroom, where the boys shared a bed, they stayed up late wondering, “What could their Zdado’s role in this affair possible be?”
 

unmerged(81979)

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Jaspume- Thanks! And, welcome to the story!

robou- I thought it was a different concept, so I decided to run with it. And, welcome aboard!
 

unmerged(81979)

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robou- Thank you! And, as much as he can remember, probably...

Jaspume- Thanks! I was hoping you would be!

Cinéad IV- I agree! And, welcome aboard!
 

unmerged(81979)

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Chapter Two
Múčnik

As dawn broke over the highest of the Tatras a rooster called in the new day. After being woken by their bird alarm, Pavel and Antonin rose from slumber. They quickly dressed and walked to the kitchen where Baba was making eggs and a little salted pork. Zdado was sitting by the fire smoking his pipe again. After the food was done cooking, the family sat and ate it in their humble kitchen. After the boys finished their helping, they left the house and walked to the chicken coop.

Inside were their 20 chickens and 1 rooster. After feeding and watering them, Pavel and Antonin went into the tool shed and took out a hammer, some nails, and a saw. There was a hole in the chicken coop caused by some unknown power, and it was their job to fix it. After hauling the equipment to the site, Zdado came from the house to the coop.

“It seems that you boys can fix the hole by your selves, no?” Both nodded their heads in agreement. “Well then,” continued Zdado, “If you can do that by yourselves, then I will go attend to the sheep.” Zdado turned and headed to the barn, where he kept his pride and joy. Inside the barn was a beautiful horse, whose name was krásny bábätko, or krás for short. Zdado put his old saddle on krás and then led her to the chicken coop where the boys were beginning to work.

“I’m off to the sheep. Be careful!” Zdado said before mounting krás and taking off into the fields. After riding hard for a few minutes, he turned onto the wooded path that led to the field were he kept the sheep. After ten more minutes of riding, Zdado came upon the eight foot high iron fence that separated his sheep from the wolves prowling outside. Opening the gate, he stepped out of the woods and into a concrete building.

Naturally, the dear reader may be wondering ‘how did this poor farmer acquire so much expensive material to build the fence and a building made of concrete?’ Well, that all ties in with the story.

Zdado walked to the end of the large building to a set of old wooden stairs. He climbed them until he reached the observation post at the top. Even though it was only 10 feet taller than the building itself, the post was tall enough to see over the trees and down into the valley below, where he could see his cottage and the chicken coop, both which looked like tiny specks.


One of the many views from the post. The fence is down over the hill.

After scanning the horizon, Zdado returned to the main concrete structure. He walked over about 100 feet to its other end. In the corner sat machine covered by a large canvas. Gingerly, Zdado removed the canvas to reveal the WWI vintage airplane underneath. He felt the planes worn wings with his calloused hands, and smiled, thinking, “I guess Antonin and Pavel really deserve to hear that story.”

Many hours later, Zdado returned to the house for supper. The boys were very happy because they fix the chicken coop, and even Zdado had to admit they did a fine job. Zdado returned the krás to the barn, and then came inside. Tonight Baba had prepared the leftovers from the Haluski to be eaten for supper. After grace was said and the meal eaten, Zdado leaned back in his chair and looked at his grandsons. They were waiting, eyes wide, for the next edition of the story.

Zdado began, “Well, where was I… Oh yes, I remember now, I was drinking alcohol! Anyway, after Janoušek and I had finished discussing Lenin, he looked around nervously, then pulled a letter from his pocket and handed it to me. It was written in Cyrillic, and I knew only a little Cyrillic, but I did recognize a few words, and one name. That signature was of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.”

The boys gasped, and their Zdado smiled. “Shocking I know!” continued Zdado. “After I returned the letter to Janoušek, I inquired further as to the letters purpose. He told me that he had received a letter from Lenin, encouraging him to try to set up a Communist state in Slovakia. At first, I showed much surprise. But, Janoušek said, since Slovakia had been incorporated into Czechoslovakia in name only, the timing for revolution was right. I sat there pondering the possibilities for a few moments before saying, ‘What can I do to help.’ Janoušek smiled and agreed to have me on his staff that he was assigning for the revolution. Since I had experience in the cavalry, he made me his military advisor.”

“Just before midnight, Janoušek and I left the bar and headed to one of his meetings which were to be held at midnight in the basement of an engine fitting factory. Janoušek, his retinue of three Hungarian guards, and I all entered the building through an open door in the ally. After shuffling inside, Janoušek produced a lantern and lit it, before continuing on.”

“At night, the massive factory was very eerie in appearance, and the lantern light did little to ease my fears. Janoušek led our small group to a door behind a stairwell. After slowly descending the stairs, we found ourselves at the bottom of the basement, with a door a few yards in front of us. Janoušek walked up to the door and rapped four times. A small voice called out. ‘Password!’ To which Janoušek answered ‘múčnik.’”

“After we entered the space, only one man was there. I asked Janoušek if this was his cabinet. He said there were only three: him, me, and this small man by the name of Miksa Fenyő.”


Miksa Fenyő from a 1910 photograph.

“Ah!” cried out Zdado, “Look at the time! It is already 8:30! We must be off to bed! More story tomorrow, I promise!” And with that, Zdado kissed the children and went to bed. Pavel and Antonin went to bed as well, and for the second night in a row were left wondering, “What exactly is going on!”
 

Emperor_krk

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Many thanks for the PM - I'm very happy to see you've already started you new AAR. I only hope this will not end as quickly as the other two...
You got me hooked already. Will this be a purely narrative piece, or will the game Victoria itself be concerned as well? If so, this is going to be the first Victorian AARs I follow and one of the (if not again the) first narrative AAR I'll follow from the start.

May I ask you about one thing - why Slovakia? Are you of Slovensko descent? Excuse me my curiousity ;).
 

unmerged(81979)

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Emperor_krk said:
Many thanks for the PM - I'm very happy to see you've already started you new AAR. I only hope this will not end as quickly as the other two...
I hope so as well!

Emperor_krk said:
You got me hooked already.
Excellent! My evil plan is working... :rofl:

Emperor_krk said:
Will this be a purely narrative piece, or will the game Victoria itself be concerned as well?
It'll probably be a pure narrative, maybe a little Vicky later on...

Emperor_krk said:
If so, this is going to be the first Victorian AARs I follow and one of the (if not again the) first narrative AAR I'll follow from the start.
There is a first time for everything!

Emperor_krk said:
May I ask you about one thing - why Slovakia? Are you of Slovensko descent? Excuse me my curiousity ;).
Well! It seems someone noticed my avatar had a connection with the story! Yes, my father's side is 100% Slovak dating back to the 1200s. Before that, it was German/Bohemian. And, your curiosity is excused... ;) :D
 

Jaspume

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I'm growing more and more curious as the story passes. 'Zdado', it seems, is going to play a very important role in this scheme. He's certainly benefitted from his part by the looks of it.

Another great installment. :)
 

unmerged(81979)

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robou-Thanks!

Jaspume- Yes, Zdado is the main character. Ah! But has really benefited? That is a question to be answered later! And, Thank you!
 

unmerged(81979)

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Chapter Three
Expanded Cabinet

By the time the rooster crowed the next day, the household was already up. Baba, Zdado, Antonin, and Pavel had dressed in their best Sunday clothes in preparation for church. Outside, Zdado and the boys were attaching the carriage to krásny bábätko. After the horse had been properly secured, they drove it in front of the cottage where Baba came from, prayer book in hand. After helping Baba in, Antonin and Pavel jumped in the carriage as well. Zdado, being the horseman, rode krásny bábätko himself.

After three hours, the Tuca family reached the outskirts of Gelnica, the closest village. Gelnica has been well-known for the last several centuries as a source of mineral wealth. The church of St. Barbora was just opening for its 9 o’clock mass. The Tuca family quietly went inside and took their place in the pew. The communist government in Prauge hadn’t eliminated every religious house of worship.


St. Barboa

After church had let out, Antonin asked Zdado, “I though communists don’t believe in God?” To witch Zdado replied, “Not all.” After the three hour return trip, the Tuca family returned home to have Sunday lunch, which would be the big meal of the day. As such, the boys would get their dose of story telling early. After krásny bábätko had been put away, Zdado returned to the house to eat the dish Baba had prepared for him. After the family finished eating, Zdado started his story once more.

“As I was saying, there were only three leaders of the Slovak Revolution as of midnight, March 23, 1919, Antonin Janoušek, Miksa Fenyő, and Janko Tuca, that’s me. In the dim lantern light of that office, we discussed the revolution. Janoušek revealed to us the fact that the Hungarian Army, or the Red Guards, would fully back every measure. Janoušek also revealed to us that he had a larger group of people interested in the revolution, and he had put together an idea for his cabinet that went like this.” Zdado handed the children a worn piece of paper, written in Slovak script. The boys, who were taught to read by Zdado, were taken in by every name and word.

President
-Antonín Janoušek

Commissar for Foreign Affairs
-Ernst Pór

Commissar for Military Affairs
-Janko Tuca

Commissar for the Interior
-František Fehér

Commissar for Justice
-Václav Cerny

Commissar for Finance
-Miksa Fenyő

Janoušek showed us this list, and I recognized only us three, while Miksa knew František Fehér, and Václav Cerny.”

“Janoušek also said that the chief of the Red Guard, Gen. Aurel Bromfeld, had promised to personally carry out the invasion of Czechoslovakia when the time comes, which was excellent news, because Gen. Bromfeld was one of the finest commanders in modern Balkan history.”

“Janoušek was very adamant about Hungarian military intervention. He felt that if the Hungarians were not involved, there would be the imminent fall of the Slovak Soviet Republic. Miksa agreed with him, probably because Miksa was Hungarian himself, but I did not. I felt that if the labor classes could be armed, and the farmers who could ride horseback commissioned to do so, that with little money we could hold off the Czechs by ourselves. Janoušek, Miksa, and I made a deal, that the Hungarians will help set up the revolution, and will stick around a few days afterwards, but after that will withdraw to Hungary.”

“Naturally, this was not the most agreeable way to start the beginnings of the revolution, but we settled our differences without much pain the rest of the meeting. At 2 o’clock, under the escort of the Hungarian guards, we returned to our different places to stay. Your Baba yelled at me because she thought I went drinking all night. But, I explained to her what was happening, and she felt even more uneasy. But, before we went to bed that night, I promised her everything would be alright.”

“The next morning, I received a telephone call from Janoušek saying that our group was to meet next on March 28, 1919 In Kosice in St. Michael’s chapel at 2:00 pm. I agreed to meet him there. Janoušek also said that the entire cabinet would be there, along with several heads of labor unions. After we had hung up, I told Baba that we were due in Kosice in 4 days. All she did was roll her eyes and say, ‘Yes Janko!’ Before we could leave, however, I had to procure money. My father, your great-Zdado Marion, was still living on this farm. He was not exactly a poor man, so he loaned me 500 koruna so that I could continue to be a part of the communist revolution. On March 27, Baba, your father, your aunt, and I all boarded the train from Gelnica and went to Kosice. The next day, I had my meeting in the chapel. I put on my finest coat and tie and went to the meeting.”


A view of historical Kosice from the Hlavná ulica.

Zdado looked up at the clock, “Well… that’s enough story for today. We still have to milk the cows and goats.” With that, the children got up and went to the barn. Inside, along with the carriage and krásny bábätko, was six milk cows, three pigs, and four goats. Antonin reached up and got the three milk pails that sat on the shelf above the stalls, and gave one to each person. The two then went about milking the animals that needed to be milked. Zdado came in a little while later and started to help as well.

Once they were done, Zdado poured the milk into a large pipe in the side of the barn. This ingenious device, which brought fresh milk to be stored in a large container underground, so it would stay cool, was built in 1902 by Zdado when he was only 11 years old. After their chores were finished, the family returned to the house where they ate a light supper before turning in early at 7:30. Antonin and Pavel spent the next few hours staying up late and wondering, often aloud, “What could Zdado mean by this story?” Or, “Was he really the co-leader of the 1919 revolution?”