Trotsky's War

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Trotsky's War

Post by DuceMoosolini on Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:13 pm

1923-1924: Testament

Over the course of two years, Lenin suffers from a debilitating series of strokes, robbing him of his speech and mobility and forcing him to retreat to his home in Gorki. In January 21st, 1924, Lenin dies. One of the man's last efforts, however, was a testament concerning the state of the Soviet Union, including thoughts on many of its higher-ups. Lenin reserved his harshest criticism for Joseph Stalin, the Party's General Secretary, whom Lenin had begun to regret supporting.

After the XII Party Congress, Lenin's wife, Krupskaya, decides to release Lenin's testament, which becomes a political disaster for Joseph Stalin. After Lenin dies, even Stalin's public appearances do nothing to make the Party forget the contents of the testament. The Party is cast into turmoil as they seek Lenin's successor.


Unfortunately for Trotsky, many in the Party see him as an arrogant bastard, and, even worse, he's a Jew. Even as the favorite to assume leadership, Trotsky is smart enough to realize he needs allies, so he begins negotiations with Lev Kamenev and Gregori Zinoviev. Eventually, his appeals to their ideological similarities win out, and both men formally support him.

The Central Committee meets and names Trotsky as Chairman of the Party and Premier of the Soviet government. They remove Stalin from his position as General Secretary, but allow him to remain in the Party's ranks.


1925-1927: Forward, Comrades!

Trotsky immediately begins his program of industrialization and agricultural collectivization. Trotsky's allies on the Central Council, a faction led by Zinoviev and Kamenev, engage in furious debate with the Right Communists, led by Bukharin and Tomsky. Trotsky is less paranoid than Stalin, but his rule is by no means gentle, and he still utilizes a vast network of labor camps for the people who won't fall in line.


In terms of foreign policy, Trotsky steps up support for leftist movements in Europe while forcing the Politburo to officially declare policies of "permanent revolution" and "export of revolution." This becomes especially evident when leftists in Spain and Germany begin to make common cause as "Popular Fronts." He and Maxim Litvinov, his foreign commisar, also begin to look for ways to reclaim the Russian land lost to Poland in the Treaty of Riga.

Trotsky invests heavily in his Red Army, using spies to steal and copy technology, and using newly established industry to churn out tanks and guns. Several border incidents break out with Finland, Poland, and the Baltic states.

Party democracy remains in place, where the decisions of the Central Committee are supported by everyone. Meanwhile, Trotsky allows several factions to form within the Party, like the Social Revolutionaries and a weak neo-Menshevik faction. But when Stalin attempts to gather support for himself, Trotsky pushes to have him exiled back to Georgia.

Unfortunately for Trotsky, he lacks the sheer totalitarian brutality of Stalin, but he also doesn't have the charisma or likability necessary to peacefully keep the Party united behind him. And even in the new communist Russia, his Jewish heritage is a detriment to his ability to gain support and power.


1928: Consequences

Even in Stalin's absence, Trotsky's unpopularity begins to cause fractures in the Party. A notable Stalin ally, Nikolai Bukharin, has been advocating for the New Economic Policy, which would allow a certain level of private enterprise, and Stalin's ideal of Socialism in One Country. As discord rises in the Party, as does Bukharin's power, allowing him to become a severe threat to Trotsky. In his ambition, he begins to secretly collaborate with Genrikh Yagoda, the leader of the State Political Directorate (OGPU). Yagoda had quietly expressed his sympathies for the peasants forced into collectivization, and the two men began to explore methods of getting Bukharin into power.

By summer, things finally reach a breaking point. Several agents of the OGPU drug Trotsky and take him to a prison, where they spend several days torturing him in an attempt to make him sign a testament willing power to Bukharin. Meanwhile, other agents conduct political assassinations throughout the Party, including Zinoviev. However, their attempts on the lives of Trotsky's loyalists in the Red Army would fail with disastrous consequences.


The poorly conceived plan finally falls apart when the Red Army lays siege to the OGPU prison, rescuing Trotsky from captivity. Trotsky's vengeance is swift. Bukharin and Yagoda are both hunted down and shot by the Red Army. The OGPU is dissolved, and most of its members are either shipped into camps or shot. The GRU, the Red Army's military intelligence branch, has its powers vastly expanded to fill the gap left by the OGPU. Yan Berzin, its leader, faces extreme scrutiny from Trotsky. Other Right Communists, such as Rykov and Tomsky are arrested and are placed on trial, where they "confess" to their ideological sins, and go in front of a firing squad.

The following years see a rapid expansion of Soviet totalitarianism, with the GRU expanding into its new role as the country's primary domestic secret police.


1929-1932: Rise of Evil

As the Great Depression slams into the world, fascist and communist movements surge in power. Fascism represents a deadly ideological threat to the Soviet Union. The leftists receive extensive support from Trotsky. In Germany, leftist movements are emboldened by Trotsky's supply of aid, and they begin rising up once more. Trotsky strengthens ties with the other nations of the Comintern and watches as the situation in Germany begins to boil over.

1933: Kampf Fur Das Vaterland

Shortly after Hitler is sworn in as German Chancellor, the Reichstag building burns down in an apparent act of arson. The German government swiftly responds by convicting and executing a Dutch communist and passing the Reichstag Fire Decree, which suspended civil liberties. Using this legislation, Hitler banned the German Communist Party and arrested thousands of people across the country.


However, the communists have been receiving Trotsky's aid for almost a decade, and they resolve to not go down easily. Leftist militas take control of much of central Germany, and riots break out across the country. In response, the Reichstag allows Hitler to suspend national elections, and it rushes through the Enabling Act, allowing Hitler to enact policies without the Reichstag support.

Hitler bans the Social Democrats and trade unions, and they meet with the communists to form a broader Popular Front, which declares itself to be at war with Hitler's government. Naturally, Hitler sends the military to defeat the revolutionaries, even choosing to remain in war-torn city of Berlin. Unfortunately for the leftists, even with armaments from the Soviets, they still lack the discipline to stand up to a military force. Most communist pockets throughout Germany are mopped up within several months.


Much of the worst fighting happens in the cities, particularly Berlin, and in Germany's industrial areas, like the Ruhr. The French remain neutral, even when Hitler sends forces into the Rhineland. Ultimately, the war damages Germany's economic capabilities, but it strengthens Hitler's power and teaches valuable lessons to military theorists about fighting in urban areas. The war concludes by November, having lasted less than a year. Anyone caught expressing sympathies for leftist ideals are either executed or shipped into concentration camps. After the war, Hitler leaves his forces in the Rhineland, triggering a diplomatic protest from France and Britain, which he promptly ignores.

1933-1936: Heim ins Reich

Having emerged from a deadly struggle against the communists, Hitler's foreign policy grows much more aggressive. He rebuilds the German military at a feverish pace. Meanwhile, Hitler passes legislation allowing Austrians to vote in German elections, and he makes frequent visits to the nation. Although enthusiasm for a political union in Germany has diminished in Austria after the German Civil War, the Austrian Nazi Party still has significant support. Taking a page from Trotsky's book, Hitler supplies extensive aid and military assistance across their border. In late 1934, the Nazis launch a successful coup against the Austrian government following the assassination of Chancellor Engelbert Dolfuss in July. Hitler sends his forces into Austria to "restore order," ignoring protests from the West. Hitler has a very happy New Year finalizing the Anschluss in early January.


The Western powers make a public show of arming for war against Germany, but an emboldened Hitler still makes his demands against the Sudetenland. In 1936, the worst Western capitulation occurs at the Frankfurt Conference. Czechoslovakia has no choice but to make the territorial concession. Afterwards, Hitler makes more noise over the airwaves about Danzig, but France and Britain finally come around and threaten war if Hitler threatens Poland or Czechoslovakia once more. Realizing he is unprepared for a confrontation over Bohemia-Moravia, Hitler temporarily stands down.

1937-1939: The Bell Tolls For Us!

In mid-1936, Spain exploded into a Civil War as a coalition of military leaders and other rightist movements launches a coup attempt against the leftist Spanish Republican government. Enormous levels of Soviet aid keep the leftists in the game, and the earlier Soviet encouragements to assemble a Popular Front in Spain pay off when the communists prove to be unified enough to stand up to Franco's forces, who recieve aid from Italy and Germany.


Trotsky's Red Army sends military advisors, and his government sends journalists and economic planners to assist in every way possible. Marina Ginestà, a translator for Russian journalist Mikhail Koltsov becomes the subject of the iconic photograph seen above. With this influx of foreign support on both sides, the war teeters back and forth, with tens of thousands dying.


With the world distracted by Spain, Trotsky uses unrest in Finland as pretext to declare war in 1938. The well-trained and well-equipped Red Army storms across the border and successfully penetrates the Mannerheim Line with heavy losses. Finland capitulates in 1939, allowing Trotsky to place a communist government in power.

1940-1941: The Polish Question

Meanwhile, Trotsky has been growing more and more aggressive towards the nations along his borders. The Western allies reach out to the Baltic states, and Trotsky cites this "conspiracy" as a reason to diplomatically pressure them into allowing a Soviet military presence within their borders. Several months later, communists mysteriously manage to overthrow the governments of Estonia and Latvia, with only Nazi intervention preventing the same in Lithuania. The communists promptly vote to be annexed into the Union. This causes an uproar in the West, even in Nazi Germany.

In Poland, however, communists continually rise up in the eastern stretches of the country, leading to concern about a Soviet "intervention to restore order." Fearing western abandonment, the Polish government acknowledges the inevitable. Polish Foreign Minister Józef Beck travels to Berlin to meet with Joachim von Ribbentrop and strikes an agreement, forcing them to cede the Polish corridor in exchange for military protection and promises of future conquests to the east. This becomes known as the "Beck-Ribbentrop Pact." The Western allies are shocked, but they maintain support of Poland against Trotsky's aggression.


Elsewhere in the world, matters develop explosively. Japan, currently in the process of invading China, strikes Pearl Harbor in an attempt to prevent America from interfering in its attacks against the UK and the Netherlands. The Allies declare war, and Japan quickly occupies the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Germany and Italy, both facing a far deadlier foe, decline to join the war against the Americans.

Reasoning that Germany is weakened by its destructive civil conflict and that the western allies would be unwilling to actively assist, Trotsky invades eastern Poland. Germany, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom all respond, beginning the Second World War.


1942-1943: Trotsky's War

The Poles fight bravely, even against overwhelming odds. Of note is the Battle of Wizna, where less than 700 Poles hold against 100,000 Soviets for almost two days. Soviet forces move to besiege Warsawa, but German forces finally arrive. The Red Army is initially taken off guard by Hitler's Blitzkrieg; the northern Group almost completely collapsing and being forced back to Bialystok. However, the Red Army's generals manage to recover by the end of the 1942, using their manpower to devastating effect at the Battle of Lublin.

With the German force in the south forced back to Radom, Trotsky feels emboldened enough to launch a full scale invasion into another enemy: Romania. The Red Army swiftly occupies Bessarabia, moves along the Black Sea coastline and begins to threaten Bucharest. And despite heavy German bombing efforts, the Red Army successfully occupies Lithuania, bringing the Soviets to the borders of the Reich itself. They press the offensive along the Baltic coast before being turned back by a destructive battle in Danzig.

In Asia, things go poorly for the Americans for several months, but the situation stabilizes. Eventually, the Japanese attempt to distract the Americans by attacking the Aleutians, but code-breakers have determined the true plan: an attack on Midway. The resulting battle is a crushing defeat for the Japanese.

Meanwhile, the Allied leaders meet with the Axis at the Stockholm Conference. Hitler and Churchill bash heads, and Mussolini is forced to mediate between them. This strategy meeting is busy but ultimately inconclusive. Despite France's promises to contribute to the front line, most troops stay on the Maginot Line. The Royal Navy helps the Kriegsmarine hunt Soviet ships in the Baltic but still seem to allow the Germans to do most of the dying. Mussolini, while sincere, quickly runs into his own problems.


1944: The Southern Strategy

As the Allies hold their conference, so does Trotsky. He meets at Yalta to discuss terms with three other communist leaders. Manuel Diaz, Josip Broz Tito, and Markos Vafadis all agree to bring their respective movements into the Comintern. To Italy, this is both a disaster and an opportunity. Mussolini quickly declares war. While the war in Yugoslavia goes slowly, the invasion in Greece quickly founders. Hitler is too busy fighting with the Soviets to offer any assistance.

In Poland, however, Trotsky makes a fatal miscalculation. After such the embarrassing outcome of the last war with Poland, Trotsky views the capture of Warsawa as an important symbolic victory. Trotsky orders the Red Army to attack the city and take it house by house. The Wehrmact on the other hand, pulls back and successfully traps Trotsky's forces in the city. As winter falls, conditions grow so wretched that the Red Army has no choice but to surrender. This proves to be a devastating defeat for Trotsky.

To the south, things begin to go better as Italy convinces Turkey and Bulgaria to send troops into Greece. Seeing the Italians threatening to fully occupy Greece, the British send troops into the Peloponnese, splitting the country in two. Yugoslavia falls, and both Markos and Tito are executed by the Italians. In Spain, however, the Republican army is still holding against Franco.

After a major labor demonstration in Paris instigated by communists, France attempts to ban the ideology, leading to social unrest and rioting. Bombs explode across France's cities, and the French president appoints Philippe Petain as Prime Minister. He sends the military to put down the communists. When this proves costly, he requests German help, and as a result, much of France comes under effective German military occupation. Petain swiftly takes complete control over the government, which votes to replace the French Third Republic with a fascist regime called the French State. To honor the newfound common ground with his country, Hitler pays a visit to Paris.



1945: The Jaws of Death


Despite the heavy blow dealt at Warsawa and the weakening of his position in Poland, Trotsky still has life in him yet, and he pursues a new strategy. With the help of Finnish soldiers, he launches an attack into Norway, pushing southwards in the hope of striking the UK and France, as well as drawing closer to Germany. To the south Soviet soldiers fully occupy Romania and race through Hungary. These two fronts threatening the Germans become known as the "Jaws of Death."

In the Pacific, the war has irrevocably turned against the Japanese, with American forces capturing Okinawa and preparing an invasion of the Home Islands. Seeing the opportunity, Trotsky orders the Red Army to open yet another front by invading Manchukuo. Japanese forces collapse against the superior foe, and the Red Army pushes south into Korea.


Then, in a move that shocks the world, President Truman drops atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, causing the Japanese to surrender. American troops land at Inchon to prevent a Soviet occupation of Korea, and several violent incidents break out.


1946-1948: Takedown

In early 1946, Allied and Axis leaders meet in Washington to determine strategies for the war. Petain promises a full invasion of Spain and Churchill resolves to liberate Norway. Facing pressure from both Churchill and Hitler, and facing his own hatred for communism and fear of Trotsky, Truman speaks to Congress urging them to declare war.

The decision is made for Truman when a confrontation at Seoul leaves several hundred American soldiers dead by Soviet hands. The American populace, despite being exhausted by war, cries out for atomic vengeance, especially when Truman gives a speech promising to limit American casualties through extensive use of nuclear bombs. Congress votes to pass a resolution declaring war against the USSR. US forces slam into North Korea, and Truman orders a nuclear strike against Pyongyang. Kim Il-Sung perishes in the blast. The American invasion comes as a welcome surprise to Chiang Kai-Shek, especially when Trotsky uses Mao's forces to fight back against the Americans. Mao's guerrilla forces fold and retreat under direct assault, allowing the Americans to take Vladivostok. To prevent Red reinforcements, another American nuke destroys the vital transport hub at Harbin, China.


To the east, the Wehrmacht uses its divisions in France to assist Petain in an assault against the Spanish Republicans. Under the combined pressure of France, Germany, and the Nationalists, the Republicans only last six months. In Norway, the war goes worse. British and German soldiers struggle to remove Red Army presences from the fjords. However, the operation successfully prevents Trotsky from launching any attacks.

At the open of 1947, Allied and Axis leaders meet in Vichy, France to discuss their plans for the postwar world. Truman, despite distrusting Hitler, accepts his promises of allowing democratic elections in Poland, Czechoslovakia, and the Baltics. Petain also promises to restore Republican France and allow elections in Spain. Churchill and Mussolini decide to split Greece.


Assisted by an American atomic blitz directed at Minsk, Kiev, and Vitebsk, Wehrmact soldiers push the Red Army back to the frontiers of Russia. Trotsky is forced to withdraw soldiers from Romania, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia to defend the Motherland. By fall, the situation has completely deteriorated, and the Americans have dropped another bomb on Leningrad. Officers of the Red Army and the GRU conspire to assassinate Trotsky in an event known as the October Bomb Plot. This attempt succeeds, and this casts the Soviet Union into temporary chaos it struggles to fill in the gap Trotsky has left behind. Infighting and assassinations break out as Trotsky's government falls apart.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, German troops push forward, meeting little opposition. They take Moscow, and the Soviet Union unconditionally surrenders.


1949-1951: From the Ashes

After the war, elections take place in the defeated powers and Germany's nations of interest. Hitler moves his troops to annex large swathes of Poland, and the "election" puts in a fascist government which quickly votes to be annexed into Germany. Churchill, during the Vichy Conference forbade any German attempts to annex Poland, and this situation draws both nations closer to war. Churchill drafts a military plan called "Operation Unthinkable" to destroy Germany, but neither the US and France is willing to go along with it.

Lithuania also elects a fascist government, and it successfully allows Germany to annex it. Germany, Bulgaria, and Italy divide Yugoslavia between them. The UK places a democratic government in charge of Greece, and Italy annexes the areas it occupied. Petain breaks his promise of holding free elections, and he retains power in France. Spain "elects" Franco as President, who immediately grants himself emergency powers. Russia is given a German puppet government and is forced to release Ukraine-Caucasus and its Central Asian republics.

The world in 1951 is split between NATO and its German-led opponent, the Moscow Pact, and war in Europe seems all too likely.


In Asia, Japan and Korea become democratic. Chiang eventually wins the Chinese Civil War with American assistance.


Last edited by DuceMoosolini on Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:26 am; edited 5 times in total
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Re: Trotsky's War

Post by DavidlVofGeorgia on Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:00 pm

VERY GOOD!

A few things that I don't think you covered though.

1. Air power. Specifically, the UK would not risk its expensive Navy in the Baltics were the Soviets would probably have the air-superiority. That would be naval suicide. The British navy at the time was designed for fighting in open waters.

You did get a lot of things right that people forget.

1. Germany had A LOT of communists during the Wiemar republic. Germany was either going to go far right or far left.
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Re: Trotsky's War

Post by Thorfinn Karlsefni on Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:02 am

I love it, Duce! So. Much. Detail. Well done!
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Re: Trotsky's War

Post by DuceMoosolini on Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:20 am

Updated to fix a broken picture and to improve some of the writing
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