I tend to agree that it Will be used. There is an impending election and if Stalin survives, its a long and costly Way to the Urals.
While the Soviet Union isn't scraping the bottom of the barrel yet in regards to manpower, if Moscow falls most of its war industry does as well. And I'm not just talking tanks and warplanes. Ammunition, clothing, equipment hell, most of the food is produced West of the Urals.
The Soviets would be finished as a major threat. And Stalin hasn't made many friends anyway, even in the Communist Party ranks...
 
I think that once Moscow falls and Stalin is killed / captured then the war in Europe is over. The vast bulk of the Soviet army is being crushed while defending Moscow, their military leadership has surrendered and their capital city about to be captured. Who is left to fight and what do they have to fight with? If Germany and its allies can make a peace then there may not even be a willingness to resist.
I can see the bomb being used against Japan. We know the war ends 2 years from now. Will Germany do an Olympus? Do they have the forces needed? Do they decide to starve Japan into submission? Or do they drop the bomb? So far, there probably isn't a reason for Lang to go that far, but if Japanese resistance matched the levels in OTL or there was some Japanese atrocity from Unit 731 then the bomb might become a necessity.
 
The war in Europe may be approaching its final phase, but I think things will carry on for some time in the Pacific theatre.

Yes, and eventually Schmidt and TTL Allies will face the same questions that faced the OTL Allies a the end stages of the war - proceed with Downfall's Operations Olympic and Coronet, letting Japan starve to death, or a topical application of instant sunshine. To simplify things the OTL Soviet invasion of Manchuria won't happen. After the deliberate Soviet famines I don't see letting Japan starve as a viable alternative.


I think that once Moscow falls and Stalin is killed / captured then the war in Europe is over. The vast bulk of the Soviet army is being crushed while defending Moscow, their military leadership has surrendered and their capital city about to be captured. Who is left to fight and what do they have to fight with? If Germany and its allies can make a peace then there may not even be a willingness to resist.

Making the peace will likely be an exercise in herding cats with all the competing interests of the coalition.

I can see the bomb being used against Japan. We know the war ends 2 years from now. Will Germany do an Olympus? Do they have the forces needed? Do they decide to starve Japan into submission? Or do they drop the bomb? So far, there probably isn't a reason for Lang to go that far, but if Japanese resistance matched the levels in OTL or there was some Japanese atrocity from Unit 731 then the bomb might become a necessity.

If Japanese delusion matches that of OTL they might attempt the "strategy" of making it too expensive to pursue a total conquest, but if the Japanese leadership is slightly rational they'll realize that Germany, France and Britain have just won a war with Russia with casualties in the millions and discount the possibility.

TTL's war against Japan has one major difference: three of the four major allies have constitutional monarchs so they can guarantee that the Emperor will continue.
 
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While the Soviet Union isn't scraping the bottom of the barrel yet in regards to manpower, if Moscow falls most of its war industry does as well. And I'm not just talking tanks and warplanes. Ammunition, clothing, equipment hell, most of the food is produced West of the Urals.
The Soviets would be finished as a major threat. And Stalin hasn't made many friends anyway, even in the Communist Party ranks...
True to a degree the threat to the german heartland is gone fir a while, but as long as the Soviet leadership remains, that comfort only lasts until the odds Can be changed. SU had physicists as well.
 
Part 33, Chapter 391
Chapter Three Hundred Ninety-One


9th July 1944

Moscow

Irony. That was the word that was bouncing around Molotov’s head as he walked through the basement of the Kremlin. The State had shipped entire factories east of the Urals. Now it was looking like all they had managed to do was preserve the Soviet Union’s industry for whatever puppet state the Germans set up after the war. Then there was Stalin himself. The General-Secretary was demanding that Armies that now only existed on paper move to counter the armored columns that were racing towards the city. Molotov’s unsaid prediction about what would happen if anything happened to Tukhachevsky had come to pass. Aside from the most fanatical of the NKVD the rest of the Army was in the process of evaporating. As for Tukhachevsky himself. Just what did anyone expect to have happen when the order for his execution went out?

Now this.

Everyone had seen the film. The Germans being who they were had made sure of that by delivering several copies to Moscow at the start of this conflict. It had let the Soviet Government know that they had no plans to use poison gas first but they would retaliate in kind. What the film showed next was the stuff of nightmares. Their own people had been able to prove that the film was authentic but they couldn’t even begin to duplicate what was seen in the film. The narration was in flat, emotionless Russian describing was happening as the animals in a lab setting died horrifically. The gas was supposedly colorless and odorless. But to breath it, touch it or ever look at it was to die a messy death, convulsing so hard your spine snapped.

Stalin was asking if using the stock pile of mustard gas could help reverse the situation. The that the time for that had passed. All that would do is condemn the people of Moscow for no worthwhile reason. That objection was made but it was met with the suggestion that Moscow didn’t matter. They could just leave ashes like had when Napoleon had invaded Russia and reestablish the Government in the Urals. Molotov knew that was a fantasy. Even if they could get a convoy or train moving out of the city it would be bombed into oblivion before it had gone more than a few kilometers.

The thing was that Stalin, for whatever reason, didn’t want to be seen as giving that order. He was suggesting that as his deputy Molotov should be the one to do it. While Molotov had never been squeamish about the realities of his job he knew that it had grown pointless. Unless he wanted a new hole in the back of his head he needed to comply. So, in the time-honored fashion of the Soviet Union he issued the orders but then had them get lost in the labyrinthine bureaucracy, hopefully forever.


Near Venyov, Tula Oblast, Russia

Kurt recalled what it was like to be in a formation of charging Panzers on the attack but he couldn’t recall the last time he had been in one. Almost every time in the past he’d been in the start-stop of the road march or been involved in the brawls of tank battles. This area, with its open fields and rolling hills was nearly ideal for this. There was a strategic crossroads ahead and it was said that there was a Russian Division that still had enough starch in them to put up a fight. They had been sent to see if they could do something about it.

Kurt’s Panzer Brigade had left the trees and spread out, behind them the APCs of 13th Panzer Dragoon Division had followed suit. It was too rough a ride for Kurt to use his binoculars but he could see the Russian positions. They were probably shitting themselves when they saw what was coming right at them.

Kurt heard the sound of an anti-tank gun firing and then the shell went long and screamed past before hitting the ground ineffectually behind the formation. That was a mistake, he thought to himself and that was confirmed when dozens of the Panzers guns fired back. In spite of the efforts at building stabilization systems and improving the suspensions of Panzers the odds of hitting a target on the move were never good. When charging across fields, or through a creek like what had just happened that became next to nil. But with the volume of fire in question it just became a matter of luck, or lack thereof.

Then they were almost to the Russians and Kurt heard the blaring of an airhorn. Echelon right. He smiled when he remembered General von Wolvogle making him memorize the old-time cavalry signals. Perhaps one day the sabre drill would prove useful too. He yelled into the intercom to clue Lars in.

The formation changed with some of the Panzers slowing slightly. The change in the line left the Panzers facing the dug in Russian positions straight on which was how they hit the barbed wire and entrenchments. Wolvogle had once told him about an incident that the old General had seen in the last century when cavalry got in among infantry with swords and pistols. The result was shock and slaughter. That was what was happening now.

Then Kurt heard the next order over the Brigade’s radio net. They were to fall in and resume the advance up the road letting the 13th do the mop up. About sunset, Kurt got an excited radio call from Field Marshal von Wolvogle asking him if he really had been in an old-time cavalry charge. When Kurt told him that he had Wolvogle had congratulated him and invited him back to his train car for drinks the next time the opportunity came.
 
Molotov has just earned a place in the upcoming Moscow War Crimes Tribunal docket.

By the way, whatever happened to von Ribbentrop?
 
Molotov has just earned a place in the upcoming Moscow War Crimes Tribunal docket.

By the way, whatever happened to von Ribbentrop?

I believe Molotov is making a point of NOT using gas. Stalin wants it done, but doesn't want to dirty his own hands. Molotov doesn't want to, but gave the orders in such a way as to see them lost.
 
I believe Molotov is making a point of NOT using gas. Stalin wants it done, but doesn't want to dirty his own hands. Molotov doesn't want to, but gave the orders in such a way as to see them lost.
The orders will be found with Molotov's signature on them, and that will be enough to do the "Beria Drop".
 
Then they were almost to the Russians and Kurt heard the blaring of an airhorn. Echelon right. He smiled when he remembered General von Wolvogle making him memorize the old-time cavalry signals. Perhaps one day the sabre drill would prove useful too. He yelled into the intercom to clue Lars in.

Whose airhorn was that? I wouldn't be surprised if it was Wolvogle in his helicopter. :cool:
 
The orders will be found with Molotov's signature on them, and that will be enough to do the "Beria Drop".

If they are found, yes. However, he's in a bad situation. He receives a 7.62 mm brain hemorrhage for certain if Stalin finds out that he hasn't done as ordered, or a risk of German charges later.
 
If they are found, yes. However, he's in a bad situation. He receives a 7.62 mm brain hemorrhage for certain if Stalin finds out that he hasn't done as ordered, or a risk of German charges later.

The orders will be found with Molotov's signature on them, and that will be enough to do the "Beria Drop".

To Stalin: "Yes, I ordered it; they just haven't gotten there yet."
To the Germans, "Yes, I ordered it but I made sure the orders would get lost."

He might make it out alive.
 
To Stalin: "Yes, I ordered it; they just haven't gotten there yet."
To the Germans, "Yes, I ordered it but I made sure the orders would get lost."

He might make it out alive.
And both parties would say 'Really, now?'.
If Molotov is lucky, he'll just spend a few decades in Torgau or Germersheim. He's too high rank to get out of the mess, and after nearly half a decade of war and hundred of thousands of casualties, Germany and the Soviet Union's neighbors would want their pound of flesh. I think Finland, for example would greet Molotov with open arms, a length of rope and a bar of soap.
 
Part 33, Chapter 392
Chapter Three Hundred Ninety-Two


9th July 1944

Near Serpukhov, Moscow Oblast, Russia

Horst knew that he had been working the men of the 6th Division hard as they had moved with the best possible speed north. They had come the three hundred fifty or so kilometers over the last week. He could see the stirrings of pride in them. They had done it and now they were in sight of the Oka river. As far as Horst knew they were the first Division to make it to the river.

For some reason, the Russian Army had melted away, no longer interested in the fight. There were rumors flying around that Stalin had used a popular General as a scapegoat once too often and they had made other plans than dying for Stalin’s ego. Horst wasn’t sure he believed that. It just seemed too pat from Horst’s perspective. Ask a dozen people why they do things and be prepared to hear a dozen different answers.

As Horst’s car crossed the river he looked east and saw the Oka river as it flowed through the wide valley. He’d heard that the original Russian plan had been to drop the bridges and dig in on the other side. The troubling part for him was that it would have been his plan if the situation had been reversed.

Once across the bridge Horst had the car pulled to the side of the road to wait for the rest of the Division to finish crossing. They had the entire 3rd Army Corps behind them so no one was interested in dawdling. That was when he first saw the Green Devils. There was a Squad of them walking down the road in the opposite direction of the traffic. The longstanding antipathy between the Paras and the Panzer Grenadiers was legendary. At the moment, they were united in a common purpose but Horst could tell that this bunch didn’t care if they made any provocative moves while surrounded by a Mechanized Division like the 6th.

“Are you General Horst?” The Para Staber asked. From the tone of his voice it was clear that he could care less about who Horst was.

“What do need?” Horst asked, fixing the Staber with his best glare.

“The Generaloberst wants a word” The Staber replied ignoring Horst’s glare.

“Which Generaloberst?” Horst asked.

“There’s only one Generaloberst” The Staber said, “And he said that he’s an old friend of yours.”

That meant that Emil Holz was nearby. It also meant that he’d been bumped up to Generaloberst. When had that happened?

----------------------------------------------------------------

“How did a random Feldwebel end up commanding a Division?” Emil asked as soon as he saw Horst.

“That’s rich coming from the snot nosed Soldat that followed me around at the time” Horst replied, “Verdun is a Hell of a long way from here.”

“Yeah” Emil said, “It doesn’t get much farther than here.”

“Perhaps” Horst said, “You could still be in the Pacific.”

“That’s the Navy’s show” Emil said, “For now.”

For now? What was that supposed to mean? Horst thought to himself. If he got sent to the Pacific at this late stage of the game then he was quite certain that the Japanese would be the least of his worries. Nina would be absolutely furious and totally unforgiving if that happened. “How far away is Moscow?” He asked, changing the subject.

“About a hundred kilometers” Emil said.

Horst knew that the 3rd Army had been the first to reach the Oka. He had no idea where the 2nd and 5th where. There was also the Bohemians, Slovaks, Romanians, Brits, and even a handful of Irish floating around. That was just the South. He figured that the Western and Northern Army Groups were just as much a confused jumble. If Emil was correct then he was a few days from Moscow. That was the ultimate prize here and Horst realized he had a head start.


Voronezh, Russia

Like the spider at the center of the web Field Marshal von Wolvogle sat listening to the radio traffic. The 3rd Army had just crossed the Oka relieving the Airborne forces that had been keeping the Russian South-West Front from retreating into Moscow and any potential reinforcements in the city. He had ordered the exploits of 3rd Army to be broadcast far and wide. That had the effect he had been hoping for.

The 2nd and 5th Armies had picked up the pace. In the north that had lit a fire under Model’s ass. His inability to play well with others had caused no end of headaches for Wolvogle. That particularly came in the form of his constant feuding with Charles de Gaulle and Lennart Oesch. Model had done something unthinkable, a few months earlier when Wolvogle had been forced to take the French General’s side in one of their disagreements. Something that Wolvogle wasn’t happy to have done, he had standards to uphold. The West was better news, Army Group West had unexpectedly broken through and von Manstein was very much in the race.

He pulled his coat tighter around him. He had noticed that his body had a harder time retaining warmth the older he got. While he fortunately hadn’t lost any mental acuity, he had noticed that he wasn’t so fortunate physically. Old injuries were coming back to haunt him and a bout of pneumonia that he’d kept quiet the previous winter had come closer to killing him than he was prepared to admit. In recent days, he had made a big show of having Emperor Louis Ferdinand pushing him out but that was for the men. They needed him to be this bigger than life figure and he’d always be able to oblige until now. But he still had a couple more turns before he quit for good. He still had a city to take and an Emperor to beard in his den. Then he could retire with the satisfaction that he was leaving on his own terms this time.
 
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General of a Panzer division, General of an entire airborne corps, Chancellor of The country; my how high our young lads from Verdun have climbed.
 
General of a Panzer division, General of an entire airborne corps, Chancellor of The country; my how high our young lads from Verdun have climbed.

I wonder when this little fact gets known. I can imanige the alt.histories in which something different happens at Verdun.
 
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