The Iron Eagle - The History of the Cold War

Who shall emerge victorious in the Reich’s Power Struggle?


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    84
Germans "Oh, yeah, the Italians. They're so cute, trying to look like an independent country, not like it's fooling anyone. Hey, we're humoring them, we even allowed them to keep their protectionism !"

Italians. "Hey everyone, we have found the largest oil reserves in Africa."
 
For those who want a hint, these are the Far Eastern Borders between the Whites and Stalin by the end of 1944:

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As I said, im terrible at maps
 
Germans "Oh, yeah, the Italians. They're so cute, trying to look like an independent country, not like it's fooling anyone. Hey, we're humoring them, we even allowed them to keep their protectionism !"

Italians. "Hey everyone, we have found the largest oil reserves in Africa."
I imagine Libya will get a lot of Italian settlers now that they've found oil. It should become majority Italian.
 
I imagine Libya will get a lot of Italian settlers now that they've found oil. It should become majority Italian.
Just looked at a chart of the population of Libya being 13% Italian in 1939. If Italy changes some policy and plays it smart, Libya could be seen as a integral part of Italy.
 
that is for sure if stalin where to win any chance for soviet union to survive is 0,btw really like your story even do i dont like what happening in it
Stalin committed massive mistakes but now that the conflict with Germany already happened I believe he is going to be better to lead Russia than most leaders. The sheer confusion of the USSR disappearing and Stalin being substituted by some White leaders is going to create an opening for the Germans advancing further into the USSR or maybe implementing harsh measures that they wouldn't dare if the rump-USSR was still whole under the unbending will of Comrade Stalin, so I believe the best future is one where the Soviets crushes the Whites.

For example, the genociding efforts of the Germans could be harsher to implement if Stalin crushes the Whites quickly, because then he could redirect his attention to the occupied territories and to help the guerrillas. So yeah, go Stalin. For once, he is absolutely brutal and the only way of saving Russia now is being as much brutal as the Germans.

Still, it's clearly not the future that the writer is going to create.
 
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XVII - TYOMNAYA NOCH
THE IRON EAGLE
TYOMNAYA NOCH

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Russia has been known as a cold, harsh, cruel land long before it's modern State came to exist, from the Mongol Invasion, the Time of Troubles, The Civil War, times of turbulence usually resulted in the deaths of millions. The 1940s were no different, starting with a costly conflict in Finland, right after the nation emerged from the Great Stalinist Purges and the Holodomor famine. A year later, the largest invasion force ever assembled would invade from the west, in two years reaching the gates of Kazan, Gorky, and Kuybyshev, before finally halting it's war machine at the west margin of the Volga, capturing what was by far the heartland of Russia itself, it's origin center with centuries of history hailing back to the days of Kievan Rus. What was left of the Union after such catastrophic defeat could simply not survive such a blow, the ideology and government failed to protect Russia from it's most ruthless enemy, and the Legitimacy of the government was at stake. While Iosef Stalin saw this weakness and understood the need to prove his rule over Russia again, he did so in the most violent way he knew by offering a scapegoat in the "Traitors, Collaborators, Reactionaries" in the Union, starting off with the death of his own head of Secret Police, reorganizing it into the feared MGB. The attempted strike at the Generals, in what threatened to be a repeat of the 1936-39 show trials, caused the leaders who survived the first purge to commit drastic actions. Avoiding the execution by a supposed "treason" by committing a real act of treason, rallying much of what remained of the Red Army in Western Russia to march against Stalin, blaming his decisions for the collapse of the Soviet war effort, with the STAVKA central control and rigidity causing stagnation against the more innovative Wehrmacht commanders. The Red Army experienced great initial success, capturing the Ural crossings and reaching Omsk, near the gates of the Soviet capital of Novosibirsk, before the arrival of the Soviet Far Eastern Army, the largest intact core of the Red Army still loyal to Stalin, which defeated the mostly overextended troops of Zhukov in the Battle of Omsk in June. However, the transfer of troops of the Far East left the region garrisoned only by the less professionalized NKVD border divisions, later reorganized as MGB divisions, allowing for the White forces to come from the East, taking Vladivostok and reaching Chita by 1944. With the Far Eastern forces being sent east to defend against the Whites in a front extending from Lake Baikal to Yakutia and Magadan, the Red Army failed to capitalize on the opening as the Reich played it's card.

The extent upon men like Vlasov, Kaminsky, Bunyachenko, Malynhkin and so many others were traitors is debatable and variable, many did so out of hatred for the Union, with men like Malyhkin being once pursued by the NKVD, others being former GULAG prisoners seeking revenge, others being anti-communists such as White Army volunteers from Europe. But for the Majority it was simply a matter of surviving, when approached by a camp guard and being given the chance to avoid a slow death in slave labor and starvation with the opportunity to carve your own realm in the east, it is simply hard to say no. Hitler did not wish to ever see a strong and united Russia emerging from the East, and while a Ural frontier was strategically unfeasible while it's current territories weren't properly "pacified and settled", it did not mean that they were unable to strike the Soviets while weakened, with Goebbels declaring in a speech that the "Slavs shall revert to their nomad roots" by the end of the decade. Göring, and later Kesselring, commanded the Luftwaffe to use the Russian territory between the A-A line and the Urals as a test ground for bombers, with bombing raids being launched towards major industrial and urban centers, specifically targeting railroad capabilities of the Soviets. Meanwhile, Himmler's SS was tasked with organizing a force to drop the "excessive labor" from the camps, and the Wehrmacht began to train these Russian volunteers and collaborators, many already starting in anti-partisan units. On the 22nd of June 1943, the "Committee for the Liberation of the People's of Russia" (KONR) was formed, under the nominal leadership of former Soviet General Andrey Vlasov, and by using the manpower of refugees, former POWs, slaves, and camp inmates, all desperate for a chance of avoiding the growing brutality of the Generalplan Ost, an Army was formed, the "Russian Liberation Army" (ROA). With the stated goal of liberating the remainder of Russia from the "Bolshevik vipers", it officially denied it's proximity and agreements with the Reich, something even those blinded by the war were able to see.

The Reich, like it's leader, took some enjoyment in putting their enemies against one another. Minority groups that were rivals for centuries had these rivalries exploited to the most, Ukrainians were favored in some camps to oversee Russians, in the Baltics the Estonians were raised from other "Untermenschen" to generate resentment, such divisions were made so that a combined rebel effort was difficult to achieve, especially thanks to the language differences. In the case of Russia, it would be Hitler's play of throwing Russians against one another by arming the ROA, giving them a base to operate in Saratov to launch it's attack. He never desired for them to emerge victorious, and at times, when after a major victory that could result in making them the winning faction, the steady flow of supplies given by the Germans could suffer "delays" and "sabotage". The desire of the Führer was that an eternal war destroyed the very concept of a Russian nation, and the KONR was the main weapon of the Reich to do so, keeping the forces of the Red Army pinned in the west and unable to put an end to the Stalinists in Novosibirsk, while the Japanese-backed White Army was locked in a brutal stalemate in the East, keeping all the four factions in a deathly balance that only became more and more destructive with time as all groups seeked a way to break it. In December 1943, the unexpected winter offensive began, with over 300,000 troops invading the Soviet Union, aiming to capture the city of Kyubyshev as a base for a northern strike towards Kazan and Izhevsk. The attack came unexpectedly to Zhukov and his Red Army, cancelling the planned counter offensive at the Eastern Urals to retake Tyumen, with the City's defenses being overrun in what many initially expected to be a German attack, only to be surprised by the arrival of a Russian-speaking army from the West.

There were many who deserted at the first opportunity, something the Germans expected, Hitler calling it "the treacherous nature of the Slav, Bolsheviks hiding and waiting for the opportunity to strike back against the Reich", or could also be the basic human psychology that one is not particularly thrilled to fight for it's captors. However, that is where the Red Army committed it's deathliest mistake, when General Vasily Badanov's Tank corps meet with a large column of deserters requesting to surrender, the "Nurlat" incident happened. Upon spotting one of the soldiers with a swastika armband, one of the troops lost discipline and fired at him, causing a chain reaction that led to a battle, many of the deserters grabbing weapons to defend themselves, all while the General himself was sickly from an infected wound. The Nurlat incident news spread to both sides, with other incidents happening where the ROA troops were greeted by bullets for their "Treason of the Motherland", the distrust, further fed by the interference of German intelligence and propaganda, drastically reduced the rate of desertions as the "Collabs" saw that victory may be their only chance of survival, while Red Army Units now were being led to believe that every deserter could be a potential spy for the Reich's puppet regime. After establishing Kuybyshev (Now renamed as Samara) as a temporary base of operations, the ROA launched it's northern offensive, capturing the City of Kazan in January thanks to the not-so-subtle support of German bombers and artillery from across the Volga. A drive south would capture the cities of Orenburg and Uralsk, until the ROA advance was halted by incoming Red Army troops in Ufa.


Between 1944 and 1946, the conflict entered in a phase of stagnant fluidity, as paradoxal as the term might sound. Large offensives captured territories only for those to be cancelled in order to defend against another. But generally speaking, the ROA controlled most of the Southwest Russian territory between Gorky and West Kazakh SSR. The Red Army controlled from Ust-Sysolsk in the North, down to it's capital Perm, parts of the Kazakh SSR and as Far East as Petropavlovsk and Tyumen, a rich Industrial territory that benefited from the relocation of factories in the Great Patriotic War. Stalin and the Soviet Union controlled the largest territory, from most of Central Asia to the Siberian Wastes, with the capital in Novosibirsky, in Russia itself it controlled from Omsk to Irkutsk. Finally, the White forces controlled from the eastern shore of the Baikal in Buryatia, up to Yakutsk and Magadan, having a mostly static conflict with the Stalinist forces. By the end of 1944, however, the exhausted resources of Russia forced a Stalemate that only began to raise the desperation of the combatants, while smaller groups began to grow more and more restless at the stagnation of the War and the collapse of the Soviet Union, seeking either personal gain, independence, or to form their own small radical factions. Peasants would begin to organize, with the resurgence of the so-called "Green Armies", including agrarian anarchists inspired by Nestor Makhno and past Russian peasant rebellions, such uprisings being common across all the non-occupied Soviet Territory. Another phenomenon was seen as the authority of the governments began to decline, with the breaking of communication lines leading to large amounts of territory being de facto autonomous from any faction, with local towns and villages forming collective alliances for mutual protection. The study of Russia during the "Second Civil War", "Siberian War", "Second Time of Troubles", "The Great Collapse" among many other names, is also a study of how humanity could behave at it's most desperate hours.


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Famine was a natural consequence of the war, the harsh Siberian winters with an underdeveloped infrastructure, with millions of farmers having lost their lives in the war or conscripted by the factions, all added to the despair already being felt in Russia by 1942. MGB, ROA, Cossacks, Army troops, Bandits, Green armies, all began to grow more desperate with the military rations dwindling, the Soviet stocks were already at critical levels by the time the war ended, and in 1943 all sides fought for the scraps left. The average caloric intake of the Russian soldier was of 1000 calories per day in 1945, and the famine would reach it's height in the winter between 1945-46. The KONR was kept alive by the bare minimum thanks to German supplies that were more and more unreliable, almost as if the Reich wanted to deliberately leave the Russians starving, something that was only added up by the occasional bombing of farmlands and the use of chemical weapons by Luftwaffe bombers in a few occasions, such as an "accidental" bombing of a grain storage facility near Uralsk. The White Army was surviving better than most, with the port of Vladivostok allowing for continued trade with the outside world and the border with Japan allowing for the purchase of Manchurian grain, although it became rarer and rarer as Japan lost the war, especially at the start of Operation Sunset in 1945 and the blockade of the Home Islands. Stalinist forces would lose the port of Magadan in 1944, which led to the cutting of the only connection to the Pacific trade routes, now the Red Vozhd began to listen more and more to Lysenko's advice as the "Great genius of Soviet Agriculture", calling for the mass plantation of Central Siberia, which ended up causing more problems than it solved, with millions of seeds proving unable to survive in the unprepared Siberian soil. Zhukov's forces were forced to increase the harshness of farm raids, while launching strategic attacks more directed to capture the enemies' supplies than territory or cities. The Famine would continue during this period leading to the spread of diseases, alongside deaths over the lack of proper nutrition, while farmers organized militias to defend their farms from foraging groups, which led to violent confrontations and massacres, the MGB carrying out reprisal attacks over entire villages. All of this was worsened as millions of refugees fled from the Reich's territories into Russia, preferring to try their own luck in surviving the wastes than stay in the certainly doomed conditions of the Festung Europa. It is estimated that between 10 and 15 million would die of famine during the 1942-1948 period, a number greater than even the victims of the Great Patriotic War itself.

Cavalry ended up coming back as one of the backbones of the Russian armies, although it's relevance has dwindled with the rise of the armored forces since the Civil War, the lack of petrol and the collapse of infrastructure and industry led to Cavalry units becoming more and more common. The White Army in special had been used to such kind of warfare, where the Cossacks most of times excelled against it's enemies, while Timoshenko revived the Red Cavalry in the Stalinist territories, leading to large confrontations between massed cavalry forces more reminiscent to the 17th century, or even the First Civil War than a modern war. It created a complex warfare scenario where new and old planes, cavalry and tanks, bolt-action rifles and machine guns, all shared the same battlefields in the Russian tundra. Old weapon caches were cracked open, even jammed and broken weapons were to be used in melee, a brutal situation where three soldiers had to share the same combat rifle was seen during the 3rd Battle of Irkutsk. The Japanese supplies to the White Army were essentially cut off after the fall of the Philippines as the IJA transferred all of it's reserve assets to the defense of the Home Islands, the Germans purposefully kept the ROA underequipped, without access to the newer German armaments such as the E-Type tanks, Jet fighters, and the STG-44. Petrol supplies were rationed, pilots only being able to spend about an hour in the skies before coming back to base, while Tanks were more often used as glorified bunkers than capable of offensive operations. However, this also resulted in the prospection of Siberian resources unlike any other time in Russian History as new lands were being cleared for military purposes, oil extraction operations opened up, especially along the Volga-Ural region (Although much of it's construction was lost from the German bombings) and in Central Siberia. The Soviet industries were a giant that needed resources to work, and the collapsed infrastructure network led to most of the factories not working even up to half it's capacity even with the state of Total War between the main factions, and the constant acts of sabotage by infiltrated groups from other sides, mainly the MGB, did not improve the situation.

By 1946, tactics had to change, after the brutal winter famine, all sides began to grow more bold, if not desperate, to break it's enemies. The social order was falling apart, in Central Asia, the local SSRs became de facto independent after being cut off from Novosibirsk, while most of it's forces were pinned down to fight local warlords and bandits that began to take advantage of the chaos. GULAG prisoners overpowered their guards in Northern Siberia, with the prisoners capturing the city of Norilsk after another cut in the rations was announced by the MGB guards. The desertions in the ROA grew more and more, with the control of the countryside being reduced as it was taken over by Red Army partisans or bandits, the collaborators wondering more and more why they should fight for the sake of the ones who destroyed their homeland and even occasionally bombarded their "allies". The Red Army grew more radicalized in the "War Communism" measures that reached levels unseen since 1919, while even the city of Perm itself was reduced to ruins, with Zhukov relocating his base to Chelyabinsk, while bandits were taking over small villages, forcing the grip to be tightened. Stalin had confined himself to his new Dacha in the outskirts of Novosibirsk near the city of Tomsk, the Presidium led de facto by the Minister of State Security, Ivan Serov, who approved new lists to be signed up by Stalin to purge his enemies day by day, tightening the grip of the MGB and essentially overtaking the Army as the main military force of the Soviet Union. The White Army, already a tenuously united force, began to see the writing on the wall as their benefactors lost their grip on Asia, with General Kislitsin, the most level-headed between the Japanese puppet Rodzaevsky and the bandit Cossack Semyonov, began to plot for the survival of Russia.

Vladimir Alexandrovich Kislitsin, one of the old White Generals that once served under Kolchak in 1920, was by many considered a drunk figurehead for the White Russians, a puppet of the Japanese like so many others, and yet that may not be his most accurate description. A loyal monarchist, Kislitsin was one of the members of the "Troika" formed in the Harbin Manifesto and the "Theoretical" leader of the Provisional Government, many expected him to be little more than a placeholder from an eventual dispute between the Ataman's Cossacks and the Vozhd's Blackshirts. But he would soon prove them wrong, ever since the capture of Vladivostok, thousands of White Emigrées came back from exile, joining with the Far Eastern Provisional Government, including many important contacts and resources, and as the Japanese fell apart, Kislitsin approached a group of Emigrées, establishing contact with Admiral Chester Nimitz, a risky move as the forces of the Admiral blockaded the Japanese home islands and could result in a quick bullet to the head if discovered. But from the moment the American troops landed in Kyushu, the General realized the fate of Japan was sealed, and Russia should not go down with the sinking ship. Cordell Hull was hesitant in supporting a reactionary Russian Warlord at first, but after he suffered a mild case of death, President Thurmond was quite elated to see a friendly government emerge in Russia and gave Kislitsin his full support, smuggling in weapons towards Vladivostok where a group named "Order of Saint Nicholas", named after the dead Tsar who was ascended to Sainthood by the Orthodox Church in Vladivostok, prepared it's blow.

On the 1st of October 1946, Ataman Semyonov would be killed in Chita, apparently by a Soviet Partisan, although coincidentially it would also be the day the coup, nicknamed "Day of National Reclamation". Army units stormed the RFP headquarters in Khabarovsk, resulting in a brutal fight against the Fascist Stronghold, eventually ending with the assault on the city and the capture of Rodzaevsky after a failed suicide attempt. The leader of the Russian Fascists would be executed in front of a firing squad after a quick show trial on the next day, with Kislitsin declaring Martial Law and dissolving the Provisional assembly, arresting several politicians considered "Traitors" and "Japanese spies". Japanese citizens in Vladivistok would be targeted by mass lynching mobs, rallied by the government with Orthodox support, Kempetai agents being imprisoned while Japanese factories were seized. Despite the wrathful protests of Japan and the empty threats of invasion, the collapse of the IJA in the mainland ensured the survival of the government. While the first American weapon shipments began to arrive in Vladivostok en masse, with millions of rounds of ammunition, modern weapons, engineers, technicians, advisors, and the first members of the "American Expeditionary Force", the fragile balance between the exhausted Russian factions was broken, with the full comitment and resources of the largest industrial power on earth rallying behind Kislitsin and the White Army.

Andrei Alexandrovich Romanov, born in 1898, was exiled in London, his wife having died of cancer mere two years earlier, was hesitant to take up the offer of the so-called "Regent Kislitsin". There were many in the Royal Family who escaped and spread around the world, many with a better claim than him such as Grand Duke Vladimir. However he was also the ideal candidate, being relatively young, connected with the British, a capable artist, and fiercely anti-German, differently from many others who ended up trapped inside the "Festung Europa", where the Führer made sure to keep all the Romanovs in tight guard across the continent. Apparently due to the encouragement of his mother, Grand Duchess Xenia, sister of the former Tsar Nicholas II, he came to accept the offer, arriving in Vladivostok on the 7th of November, at the anniversary of the October Revolution, the Romanovs returned to Russia where the Grand Duke was quickly overwhelmed by the attention, the people either praising him as a savior or secretly planning to execute him like his uncle. After a meeting with Kislitsin, the Regent announced the return of the Russian Empire, although still under an autocratic emergency rule that greatly empowered the military warlord that remained de facto in charge of the governance. However, Tsar Andrei I Romanov would be crowned in an Orthodox Ceremony in Vladivostok, giving a boost of legitimacy to the White Movement, while the Provisional assembly was reopened, the members of the Assembly had completely changed, now filled with supporters of the ruling regime, elections being delayed until the "Order was restored in the Motherland".


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The return of the Tsardom caused an uproar in the Soviet territories, Stalin immediately summoning Marshal Timoshenko to order an offensive, one that was ill-prepared and ill-advised, however, fear of retaliation caused the Red Cavalry commander and leader of what was left of the Stalinist Red Army to launch the attack nevertheless. On the 18th of November, an attack was launched in the East using the majority of the remaining Soviet reserves, which initially pushed back the exhausted and outgunned White Forces, with the threat of capture of Chita becoming more real than ever before. The first Russian P-80 Jet fighters soared through the sky, the first Jet planes to be used in large numbers during the War, greatly demoralizing the advancing troops as they were harassed by the planes and even a group of 12 B-24s. The Battle of Chita was one of the turning points of the war, where 270,000 Soviet troops were defeated by 180,000 White Army troops, including a 30,000-men American force, with the White Army now achieving air superiority and beginning to employ en masse the use of American weapons arriving every day at the Vladivostok harbor, Kislitsin prepared his forces for a push westwards. With relief coming from the American Red Cross and farming technicians arriving, the Famine effects were alliviated, it became common for enemy forces to defect to the White Army just for sake of a daily food ration, while the Cavalry began to be modernized with the arrival of trucks and half-tracks, engineers repairing the decayed railroads and roads, expanding airfields and ports while more and more exiles returned with optimism to the new Russia rising from the east.

The "Siberian March" would be launched on the 3rd of April 1947, beginning the long and gruelling final phase of the Russian Civil War, with the White Army carving it's way westwards against the exhausted remnants of the Red Army. The American Expedition, with it's numbers boosted to up to 115,000 after the end of Operation Sunset, was led by General George S. Patton at the man's insistence, known for his hatred for communism, once the opening was given he was reported to have practically barged into the White House to "request" the position to President Thurmond, barely able to contain his enthusiasm once he arrived, calling for immediate offensives across the Lake Baikal and proudly declaring that he would be pleased to "kick Joe Stalin in the nuts for Uncle Sam". Kislitsin and his men, experienced after years of fighting, had to restrain the American General many times about his speed, and Patton realized that there were many differences between Japan and Russia, namely the vast distances and poor infrastructure, although he argued that the partisans were quite similar to the Japanese guerrillas. The American troops have recorded their experiences, many finding it much like Japan, partisans hiding in the taiga, destroyed villages, and the starving population. But while the Japanese people only experienced war in home soil for little more than a year, the Russians have been in constant fighting for almost a decade, and an entire generation was lost in this fight, children-soldiers were becoming more common to find the more they marched westwards, and many of them looked much older than they were. First would come the fall of Irkutsk that same month, and as the march followed westwards, mainly along the tracks of the Transiberian railway, Stalin began to panic, growing more and more desperate, while his right-hand Ivan Serov already began to prepare for the eventual downfall.

In June, Novosibirsk was encircled, and unlike in Moscow, Stalin did not escape from this siege, preferring to remain in the city to boost the morale of the troops, only to realize that Serov deserted him, heading west towards the Zhukovite territories. The Man of Steel watched as his last stand was the burning city that was once one of the largest in Russia, now reduced to rubble by American bombers. MGB units fought fanatically both against the invader and against anyone in the city that tried to show a hint of disloyalty. Stalin believed that Timoshenko would launch a push North from Tomsk towards Kemerovo in order to cut the enemy supply lines and allow for the war to be turned, while also offering a pardon to Zhukov and the traitorous generals if they once more fought under him, the clearly delusional man would be shocked as Timoshenko marched west with his forces instead, surrendering to the Red Army while executing the MGB comissar in his headquarters. Ivan Serov himself would flee west in an attempt to deffect to Zhukov, only to end up captured by Green army partisans and shot for the crimes of the MGB. The paranoid man who once held total power of the Soviet Union accused them all of treason, barking at his officers in an underground bunker, which resulted in said officers being taken by the MGB and shot, Stalin made a last decision of dissolving the STAVKA and naming himself both Generalissimo and Minister of State Security, ordering the city to be held to the end. On the 28th of June, with the Whites approaching his bunker, Stalin attempted suicide, however, he failed in his aim and only ended up injured, an ironical twist as he once criticized his son for being unable to "shoot straight" when he tried to do the same years earlier. As a result, the Soviet Premier was captured by the White troops under Colonel Ivan Orel, an Ukrainian refugee that fled from the German invasion, joining with the White Army after it's capture of Vladivostok, he would be brought to Vladivostok, exposed to a show trial where he was accused of such a long list of crimes it took almost an hour to be read, many false, most real charges, charged all the way back to his illegal activities in his youth as a thug. He was declared guilty and executed in a firing squad, in the same way he sent so many others to their deaths.

The death of Stalin brought the unification of the Red forces as the Presidium remnants, the MGB, the Red Army, all came to the west, submitting to Marshal Zhukov's dominion with the leaders of the Central Asian SSR swearing their loyalty to the Grand Marshal of the Soviet Union. Facing the more professionalized Red Army, even if it was a mere shadow of it's glory days, was a much greater challenge than the MGB units of the Stalinists, the White Army and the American expedition fought it's first major tank battle at the Battle of Yarkovo, east of Tyumen, where the Soviet tanks were defeated, although the T-34s proved a model much better than the Japanese tanks the Americans used to face. While Patton compared fighting Japanese tanks as shooting ducks, he did show a greater respect for the Soviet tank commanders. Yet, by October, the White Army finally crossed the Urals, after a long and sluggish year of fighting across Siberia, they were finally in Europe, at the gates of Perm. Zhukov knew there was little he could do, summoning Vasilievsky, Konev, and several other Marshals, he announced his intention to cease the fighting for sake of Russia, approaching the Whites with an offer for a common front against the ROA. As the Germans saw the US-backed White Russians marching West, Hitler finally began to increase the supplies given to the KONR, with a redoubled offensive against the Reds finally capturing Izhevsk, he hoped to install a collaboration government west of the Urals, and Zhukov would prefer to have the Tsar return rather than allow German collaborators to capture Perm. The Red Army forces were pulled from the east, leaving the Ural passages wide open, while the Marshal addressed the nation through radio to call for a united front against "The German invader and the traitors who work for them". "Operation Bagration" would be the last Huzzah of the Red Army, with the Marshal wearing his cap one last time, abandoning Perm to leave it as an open city, launching all assets of the Red Army into a massive offensive operation which caught the ROA unprepared, the blitz was launched in a complete fury, while American fighters took to the skies and supported the Red Army's sacrifice, shooting down the Luftwaffe bombers as Patton for once claimed to have "Admired the bravery of the damned reds against the twice damned Nazis". The Operation recaptured Izhevsk, Ufa, pushing closer and closer to Samara before it finally came to a halt on the 10th of December as the last Soviet energy was spent. The Soviet Marshals turned back to Perm where they offered their surrender to the Tsar Andrei during a visit of his to the frontlines, the Tsar claimed that they deserved death for their crimes in supporting the Bolshevik regime, but they redeemed themselves in the fight against the Germans. In what was considered mostly as a propaganda strike, although there was a certain respect to be held, the Tsar stripped the Marshals of their ranks but pardoned them from death penalty, instead they were to be held in house arrest with varying sentences from 5 to 15 years.


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As 1948 came, the war would come to an end, but it would not come as the Russians expected. After tense negotiations, many in the ROA desired to join the Whites, now with Bolshevism defeated, there was no longer a common cause that could rally most of the Committee, indeed most of the White Army organizations already had defected during the winter pause between December and January. The Russian Liberation Army was collapsing, and the Reich's objective of an eternal war between Russians was a humiliating failure, however, Hitler refused to leave this conflict empty-handed. On the 4th of February, a week before the planned offensive of the White Army, the Wehrmacht went on the move and backstabbed it's ally, launching an offensive across the front, scattering the exhausted ROA and capturing the critical three cities of Kazan, Samara (Kuybyshev), and Nizny Novgorod (Gorky) and solidifying a German beachhead across the Volga, while capturing archives and equipment given by the Germans to avoid it from falling into Russo-American hands. Kaminsky would return to Moscowien alongside many other collaborators to continue their work, the KONR was dissolved, Vlasov was captured by partisans and delivered to the White Army, and Sergei Bunyachenko was never found. The White army raced ahead and captured most of the remaining ROA territory, and the Civil War ended not through Russian guns, but by the same way it began, with the Germans backstabbing the Russians and attacking with the Wehrmacht. That would also be the first time American troops faced down German troops from across the Volga, with Patton hoping that one day he would have the chance to cross that river all the way to Germania.

In Yekaterinburg, former Sverdlovsk, the Tsar visited Ipatiev House, although damaged by the fighting for the city, it still stood there as the "Last Palace of the Romanovs". After a couple of hours inside, Andrei stepped out, announcing the construction of an Orthodox church by the side of the house, while the building itself would be preserved as a historical monument. Yekaterinburg was made the new Capital of Russia, the Tsar and Kislitsin celebrating the victory with a week of celebrations, and although most of Russia was indifferent at best to a Tsarist return, the majority just breathed a collective sigh of relief as the war ended at last. As parades erupted all through Russia, American relief finally coming to the starving population, soldiers and farmers returning home after almost ten years in battlefields from Finland to Siberia, the Tsar made a speech, calling for a New beginning to Russia, a new nation that has learned from the mistakes of the past, that would emerge from a national catastrophy that costed the lives of tens of millions, more strong and united than ever before, ending with the last part of the "March of the Siberian Riflemen".

"By the burning of our Faith,
Free Russia will rise again,
And let this song be heard,
To the walls of the Ancient Kremlin"

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THE IRON EAGLE
TYOMNAYA NOCH

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Russia has been known as a cold, harsh, cruel land long before it's modern State came to exist, from the Mongol Invasion, the Time of Troubles, The Civil War, times of turbulence usually resulted in the deaths of millions. The 1940s were no different, starting with a costly conflict in Finland, right after the nation emerged from the Great Stalinist Purges and the Holodomor famine. A year later, the largest invasion force ever assembled would invade from the west, in two years reaching the gates of Kazan, Gorky, and Kuybyshev, before finally halting it's war machine at the west margin of the Volga, capturing what was by far the heartland of Russia itself, it's origin center with centuries of history hailing back to the days of Kievan Rus. What was left of the Union after such catastrophic defeat could simply not survive such a blow, the ideology and government failed to protect Russia from it's most ruthless enemy, and the Legitimacy of the government was at stake. While Iosef Stalin saw this weakness and understood the need to prove his rule over Russia again, he did so in the most violent way he knew by offering a scapegoat in the "Traitors, Collaborators, Reactionaries" in the Union, starting off with the death of his own head of Secret Police, reorganizing it into the feared MGB. The attempted strike at the Generals, in what threatened to be a repeat of the 1936-39 show trials, caused the leaders who survived the first purge to commit drastic actions. Avoiding the execution by a supposed "treason" by committing a real act of treason, rallying much of what remained of the Red Army in Western Russia to march against Stalin, blaming his decisions for the collapse of the Soviet war effort, with the STAVKA central control and rigidity causing stagnation against the more innovative Wehrmacht commanders. The Red Army experienced great initial success, capturing the Ural crossings and reaching Omsk, near the gates of the Soviet capital of Novosibirsk, before the arrival of the Soviet Far Eastern Army, the largest intact core of the Red Army still loyal to Stalin, which defeated the mostly overextended troops of Zhukov in the Battle of Omsk in June. However, the transfer of troops of the Far East left the region garrisoned only by the less professionalized NKVD border divisions, later reorganized as MGB divisions, allowing for the White forces to come from the East, taking Vladivostok and reaching Chita by 1944. With the Far Eastern forces being sent east to defend against the Whites in a front extending from Lake Baikal to Yakutia and Magadan, the Red Army failed to capitalize on the opening as the Reich played it's card.

The extent upon men like Vlasov, Kaminsky, Bunyachenko, Malynhkin and so many others were traitors is debatable and variable, many did so out of hatred for the Union, with men like Malyhkin being once pursued by the NKVD, others being former GULAG prisoners seeking revenge, others being anti-communists such as White Army volunteers from Europe. But for the Majority it was simply a matter of surviving, when approached by a camp guard and being given the chance to avoid a slow death in slave labor and starvation with the opportunity to carve your own realm in the east, it is simply hard to say no. Hitler did not wish to ever see a strong and united Russia emerging from the East, and while a Ural frontier was strategically unfeasible while it's current territories weren't properly "pacified and settled", it did not mean that they were unable to strike the Soviets while weakened, with Goebbels declaring in a speech that the "Slavs shall revert to their nomad roots" by the end of the decade. Göring, and later Kesselring, commanded the Luftwaffe to use the Russian territory between the A-A line and the Urals as a test ground for bombers, with bombing raids being launched towards major industrial and urban centers, specifically targeting railroad capabilities of the Soviets. Meanwhile, Himmler's SS was tasked with organizing a force to drop the "excessive labor" from the camps, and the Wehrmacht began to train these Russian volunteers and collaborators, many already starting in anti-partisan units. On the 22nd of June 1943, the "Committee for the Liberation of the People's of Russia" (KONR) was formed, under the nominal leadership of former Soviet General Andrey Vlasov, and by using the manpower of refugees, former POWs, slaves, and camp inmates, all desperate for a chance of avoiding the growing brutality of the Generalplan Ost, an Army was formed, the "Russian Liberation Army" (ROA). With the stated goal of liberating the remainder of Russia from the "Bolshevik vipers", it officially denied it's proximity and agreements with the Reich, something even those blinded by the war were able to see.

The Reich, like it's leader, took some enjoyment in putting their enemies against one another. Minority groups that were rivals for centuries had these rivalries exploited to the most, Ukrainians were favored in some camps to oversee Russians, in the Baltics the Estonians were raised from other "Untermenschen" to generate resentment, such divisions were made so that a combined rebel effort was difficult to achieve, especially thanks to the language differences. In the case of Russia, it would be Hitler's play of throwing Russians against one another by arming the ROA, giving them a base to operate in Saratov to launch it's attack. He never desired for them to emerge victorious, and at times, when after a major victory that could result in making them the winning faction, the steady flow of supplies given by the Germans could suffer "delays" and "sabotage". The desire of the Führer was that an eternal war destroyed the very concept of a Russian nation, and the KONR was the main weapon of the Reich to do so, keeping the forces of the Red Army pinned in the west and unable to put an end to the Stalinists in Novosibirsk, while the Japanese-backed White Army was locked in a brutal stalemate in the East, keeping all the four factions in a deathly balance that only became more and more destructive with time as all groups seeked a way to break it. In December 1943, the unexpected winter offensive began, with over 300,000 troops invading the Soviet Union, aiming to capture the city of Kyubyshev as a base for a northern strike towards Kazan and Izhevsk. The attack came unexpectedly to Zhukov and his Red Army, cancelling the planned counter offensive at the Eastern Urals to retake Tyumen, with the City's defenses being overrun in what many initially expected to be a German attack, only to be surprised by the arrival of a Russian-speaking army from the West.

There were many who deserted at the first opportunity, something the Germans expected, Hitler calling it "the treacherous nature of the Slav, Bolsheviks hiding and waiting for the opportunity to strike back against the Reich", or could also be the basic human psychology that one is not particularly thrilled to fight for it's captors. However, that is where the Red Army committed it's deathliest mistake, when General Vasily Badanov's Tank corps meet with a large column of deserters requesting to surrender, the "Nurlat" incident happened. Upon spotting one of the soldiers with a swastika armband, one of the troops lost discipline and fired at him, causing a chain reaction that led to a battle, many of the deserters grabbing weapons to defend themselves, all while the General himself was sickly from an infected wound. The Nurlat incident news spread to both sides, with other incidents happening where the ROA troops were greeted by bullets for their "Treason of the Motherland", the distrust, further fed by the interference of German intelligence and propaganda, drastically reduced the rate of desertions as the "Collabs" saw that victory may be their only chance of survival, while Red Army Units now were being led to believe that every deserter could be a potential spy for the Reich's puppet regime. After establishing Kuybyshev (Now renamed as Samara) as a temporary base of operations, the ROA launched it's northern offensive, capturing the City of Kazan in January thanks to the not-so-subtle support of German bombers and artillery from across the Volga. A drive south would capture the cities of Orenburg and Uralsk, until the ROA advance was halted by incoming Red Army troops in Ufa.


Between 1944 and 1946, the conflict entered in a phase of stagnant fluidity, as paradoxal as the term might sound. Large offensives captured territories only for those to be cancelled in order to defend against another. But generally speaking, the ROA controlled most of the Southwest Russian territory between Gorky and West Kazakh SSR. The Red Army controlled from Ust-Sysolsk in the North, down to it's capital Perm, parts of the Kazakh SSR and as Far East as Petropavlovsk and Tyumen, a rich Industrial territory that benefited from the relocation of factories in the Great Patriotic War. Stalin and the Soviet Union controlled the largest territory, from most of Central Asia to the Siberian Wastes, with the capital in Novosibirsky, in Russia itself it controlled from Omsk to Irkutsk. Finally, the White forces controlled from the eastern shore of the Baikal in Buryatia, up to Yakutsk and Magadan, having a mostly static conflict with the Stalinist forces. By the end of 1944, however, the exhausted resources of Russia forced a Stalemate that only began to raise the desperation of the combatants, while smaller groups began to grow more and more restless at the stagnation of the War and the collapse of the Soviet Union, seeking either personal gain, independence, or to form their own small radical factions. Peasants would begin to organize, with the resurgence of the so-called "Green Armies", including agrarian anarchists inspired by Nestor Makhno and past Russian peasant rebellions, such uprisings being common across all the non-occupied Soviet Territory. Another phenomenon was seen as the authority of the governments began to decline, with the breaking of communication lines leading to large amounts of territory being de facto autonomous from any faction, with local towns and villages forming collective alliances for mutual protection. The study of Russia during the "Second Civil War", "Siberian War", "Second Time of Troubles", "The Great Collapse" among many other names, is also a study of how humanity could behave at it's most desperate hours.



Famine was a natural consequence of the war, the harsh Siberian winters with an underdeveloped infrastructure, with millions of farmers having lost their lives in the war or conscripted by the factions, all added to the despair already being felt in Russia by 1942. MGB, ROA, Cossacks, Army troops, Bandits, Green armies, all began to grow more desperate with the military rations dwindling, the Soviet stocks were already at critical levels by the time the war ended, and in 1943 all sides fought for the scraps left. The average caloric intake of the Russian soldier was of 1000 calories per day in 1945, and the famine would reach it's height in the winter between 1945-46. The KONR was kept alive by the bare minimum thanks to German supplies that were more and more unreliable, almost as if the Reich wanted to deliberately leave the Russians starving, something that was only added up by the occasional bombing of farmlands and the use of chemical weapons by Luftwaffe bombers in a few occasions, such as an "accidental" bombing of a grain storage facility near Uralsk. The White Army was surviving better than most, with the port of Vladivostok allowing for continued trade with the outside world and the border with Japan allowing for the purchase of Manchurian grain, although it became rarer and rarer as Japan lost the war, especially at the start of Operation Sunset in 1945 and the blockade of the Home Islands. Stalinist forces would lose the port of Magadan in 1944, which led to the cutting of the only connection to the Pacific trade routes, now the Red Vozhd began to listen more and more to Lysenko's advice as the "Great genius of Soviet Agriculture", calling for the mass plantation of Central Siberia, which ended up causing more problems than it solved, with millions of seeds proving unable to survive in the unprepared Siberian soil. Zhukov's forces were forced to increase the harshness of farm raids, while launching strategic attacks more directed to capture the enemies' supplies than territory or cities. The Famine would continue during this period leading to the spread of diseases, alongside deaths over the lack of proper nutrition, while farmers organized militias to defend their farms from foraging groups, which led to violent confrontations and massacres, the MGB carrying out reprisal attacks over entire villages. All of this was worsened as millions of refugees fled from the Reich's territories into Russia, preferring to try their own luck in surviving the wastes than stay in the certainly doomed conditions of the Festung Europa. It is estimated that between 10 and 15 million would die of famine during the 1942-1948 period, a number greater than even the victims of the Great Patriotic War itself.

Cavalry ended up coming back as one of the backbones of the Russian armies, although it's relevance has dwindled with the rise of the armored forces since the Civil War, the lack of petrol and the collapse of infrastructure and industry led to Cavalry units becoming more and more common. The White Army in special had been used to such kind of warfare, where the Cossacks most of times excelled against it's enemies, while Timoshenko revived the Red Cavalry in the Stalinist territories, leading to large confrontations between massed cavalry forces more reminiscent to the 17th century, or even the First Civil War than a modern war. It created a complex warfare scenario where new and old planes, cavalry and tanks, bolt-action rifles and machine guns, all shared the same battlefields in the Russian tundra. Old weapon caches were cracked open, even jammed and broken weapons were to be used in melee, a brutal situation where three soldiers had to share the same combat rifle was seen during the 3rd Battle of Irkutsk. The Japanese supplies to the White Army were essentially cut off after the fall of the Philippines as the IJA transferred all of it's reserve assets to the defense of the Home Islands, the Germans purposefully kept the ROA underequipped, without access to the newer German armaments such as the E-Type tanks, Jet fighters, and the STG-44. Petrol supplies were rationed, pilots only being able to spend about an hour in the skies before coming back to base, while Tanks were more often used as glorified bunkers than capable of offensive operations. However, this also resulted in the prospection of Siberian resources unlike any other time in Russian History as new lands were being cleared for military purposes, oil extraction operations opened up, especially along the Volga-Ural region (Although much of it's construction was lost from the German bombings) and in Central Siberia. The Soviet industries were a giant that needed resources to work, and the collapsed infrastructure network led to most of the factories not working even up to half it's capacity even with the state of Total War between the main factions, and the constant acts of sabotage by infiltrated groups from other sides, mainly the MGB, did not improve the situation.

By 1946, tactics had to change, after the brutal winter famine, all sides began to grow more bold, if not desperate, to break it's enemies. The social order was falling apart, in Central Asia, the local SSRs became de facto independent after being cut off from Novosibirsk, while most of it's forces were pinned down to fight local warlords and bandits that began to take advantage of the chaos. GULAG prisoners overpowered their guards in Northern Siberia, with the prisoners capturing the city of Norilsk after another cut in the rations was announced by the MGB guards. The desertions in the ROA grew more and more, with the control of the countryside being reduced as it was taken over by Red Army partisans or bandits, the collaborators wondering more and more why they should fight for the sake of the ones who destroyed their homeland and even occasionally bombarded their "allies". The Red Army grew more radicalized in the "War Communism" measures that reached levels unseen since 1919, while even the city of Perm itself was reduced to ruins, with Zhukov relocating his base to Chelyabinsk, while bandits were taking over small villages, forcing the grip to be tightened. Stalin had confined himself to his new Dacha in the outskirts of Novosibirsk near the city of Tomsk, the Presidium led de facto by the Minister of State Security, Ivan Serov, who approved new lists to be signed up by Stalin to purge his enemies day by day, tightening the grip of the MGB and essentially overtaking the Army as the main military force of the Soviet Union. The White Army, already a tenuously united force, began to see the writing on the wall as their benefactors lost their grip on Asia, with General Kislitsin, the most level-headed between the Japanese puppet Rodzaevsky and the bandit Cossack Semyonov, began to plot for the survival of Russia.

Vladimir Alexandrovich Kislitsin, one of the old White Generals that once served under Kolchak in 1920, was by many considered a drunk figurehead for the White Russians, a puppet of the Japanese like so many others, and yet that may not be his most accurate description. A loyal monarchist, Kislitsin was one of the members of the "Troika" formed in the Harbin Manifesto and the "Theoretical" leader of the Provisional Government, many expected him to be little more than a placeholder from an eventual dispute between the Ataman's Cossacks and the Vozhd's Blackshirts. But he would soon prove them wrong, ever since the capture of Vladivostok, thousands of White Emigrées came back from exile, joining with the Far Eastern Provisional Government, including many important contacts and resources, and as the Japanese fell apart, Kislitsin approached a group of Emigrées, establishing contact with Admiral Chester Nimitz, a risky move as the forces of the Admiral blockaded the Japanese home islands and could result in a quick bullet to the head if discovered. But from the moment the American troops landed in Kyushu, the General realized the fate of Japan was sealed, and Russia should not go down with the sinking ship. Cordell Hull was hesitant in supporting a reactionary Russian Warlord at first, but after he suffered a mild case of death, President Thurmond was quite elated to see a friendly government emerge in Russia and gave Kislitsin his full support, smuggling in weapons towards Vladivostok where a group named "Order of Saint Nicholas", named after the dead Tsar who was ascended to Sainthood by the Orthodox Church in Vladivostok, prepared it's blow.

On the 1st of October 1946, Ataman Semyonov would be killed in Chita, apparently by a Soviet Partisan, although coincidentially it would also be the day the coup, nicknamed "Day of National Reclamation". Army units stormed the RFP headquarters in Khabarovsk, resulting in a brutal fight against the Fascist Stronghold, eventually ending with the assault on the city and the capture of Rodzaevsky after a failed suicide attempt. The leader of the Russian Fascists would be executed in front of a firing squad after a quick show trial on the next day, with Kislitsin declaring Martial Law and dissolving the Provisional assembly, arresting several politicians considered "Traitors" and "Japanese spies". Japanese citizens in Vladivistok would be targeted by mass lynching mobs, rallied by the government with Orthodox support, Kempetai agents being imprisoned while Japanese factories were seized. Despite the wrathful protests of Japan and the empty threats of invasion, the collapse of the IJA in the mainland ensured the survival of the government. While the first American weapon shipments began to arrive in Vladivostok en masse, with millions of rounds of ammunition, modern weapons, engineers, technicians, advisors, and the first members of the "American Expeditionary Force", the fragile balance between the exhausted Russian factions was broken, with the full comitment and resources of the largest industrial power on earth rallying behind Kislitsin and the White Army.

Andrei Alexandrovich Romanov, born in 1898, was exiled in London, his wife having died of cancer mere two years earlier, was hesitant to take up the offer of the so-called "Regent Kislitsin". There were many in the Royal Family who escaped and spread around the world, many with a better claim than him such as Grand Duke Vladimir. However he was also the ideal candidate, being relatively young, connected with the British, a capable artist, and fiercely anti-German, differently from many others who ended up trapped inside the "Festung Europa", where the Führer made sure to keep all the Romanovs in tight guard across the continent. Apparently due to the encouragement of his mother, Grand Duchess Xenia, sister of the former Tsar Nicholas II, he came to accept the offer, arriving in Vladivostok on the 7th of November, at the anniversary of the October Revolution, the Romanovs returned to Russia where the Grand Duke was quickly overwhelmed by the attention, the people either praising him as a savior or secretly planning to execute him like his uncle. After a meeting with Kislitsin, the Regent announced the return of the Russian Empire, although still under an autocratic emergency rule that greatly empowered the military warlord that remained de facto in charge of the governance. However, Tsar Andrei I Romanov would be crowned in an Orthodox Ceremony in Vladivostok, giving a boost of legitimacy to the White Movement, while the Provisional assembly was reopened, the members of the Assembly had completely changed, now filled with supporters of the ruling regime, elections being delayed until the "Order was restored in the Motherland".


The return of the Tsardom caused an uproar in the Soviet territories, Stalin immediately summoning Marshal Timoshenko to order an offensive, one that was ill-prepared and ill-advised, however, fear of retaliation caused the Red Cavalry commander and leader of what was left of the Stalinist Red Army to launch the attack nevertheless. On the 18th of November, an attack was launched in the East using the majority of the remaining Soviet reserves, which initially pushed back the exhausted and outgunned White Forces, with the threat of capture of Chita becoming more real than ever before. The first Russian P-80 Jet fighters soared through the sky, the first Jet planes to be used in large numbers during the War, greatly demoralizing the advancing troops as they were harassed by the planes and even a group of 12 B-24s. The Battle of Chita was one of the turning points of the war, where 270,000 Soviet troops were defeated by 180,000 White Army troops, including a 30,000-men American force, with the White Army now achieving air superiority and beginning to employ en masse the use of American weapons arriving every day at the Vladivostok harbor, Kislitsin prepared his forces for a push westwards. With relief coming from the American Red Cross and farming technicians arriving, the Famine effects were alliviated, it became common for enemy forces to defect to the White Army just for sake of a daily food ration, while the Cavalry began to be modernized with the arrival of trucks and half-tracks, engineers repairing the decayed railroads and roads, expanding airfields and ports while more and more exiles returned with optimism to the new Russia rising from the east.

The "Siberian March" would be launched on the 3rd of April 1947, beginning the long and gruelling final phase of the Russian Civil War, with the White Army carving it's way westwards against the exhausted remnants of the Red Army. The American Expedition, with it's numbers boosted to up to 115,000 after the end of Operation Sunset, was led by General George S. Patton at the man's insistence, known for his hatred for communism, once the opening was given he was reported to have practically barged into the White House to "request" the position to President Thurmond, barely able to contain his enthusiasm once he arrived, calling for immediate offensives across the Lake Baikal and proudly declaring that he would be pleased to "kick Joe Stalin in the nuts for Uncle Sam". Kislitsin and his men, experienced after years of fighting, had to restrain the American General many times about his speed, and Patton realized that there were many differences between Japan and Russia, namely the vast distances and poor infrastructure, although he argued that the partisans were quite similar to the Japanese guerrillas. The American troops have recorded their experiences, many finding it much like Japan, partisans hiding in the taiga, destroyed villages, and the starving population. But while the Japanese people only experienced war in home soil for little more than a year, the Russians have been in constant fighting for almost a decade, and an entire generation was lost in this fight, children-soldiers were becoming more common to find the more they marched westwards, and many of them looked much older than they were. First would come the fall of Irkutsk that same month, and as the march followed westwards, mainly along the tracks of the Transiberian railway, Stalin began to panic, growing more and more desperate, while his right-hand Ivan Serov already began to prepare for the eventual downfall.

In June, Novosibirsk was encircled, and unlike in Moscow, Stalin did not escape from this siege, preferring to remain in the city to boost the morale of the troops, only to realize that Serov deserted him, heading west towards the Zhukovite territories. The Man of Steel watched as his last stand was the burning city that was once one of the largest in Russia, now reduced to rubble by American bombers. MGB units fought fanatically both against the invader and against anyone in the city that tried to show a hint of disloyalty. Stalin believed that Timoshenko would launch a push North from Tomsk towards Kemerovo in order to cut the enemy supply lines and allow for the war to be turned, while also offering a pardon to Zhukov and the traitorous generals if they once more fought under him, the clearly delusional man would be shocked as Timoshenko marched west with his forces instead, surrendering to the Red Army while executing the MGB comissar in his headquarters. Ivan Serov himself would flee west in an attempt to deffect to Zhukov, only to end up captured by Green army partisans and shot for the crimes of the MGB. The paranoid man who once held total power of the Soviet Union accused them all of treason, barking at his officers in an underground bunker, which resulted in said officers being taken by the MGB and shot, Stalin made a last decision of dissolving the STAVKA and naming himself both Generalissimo and Minister of State Security, ordering the city to be held to the end. On the 28th of June, with the Whites approaching his bunker, Stalin attempted suicide, however, he failed in his aim and only ended up injured, an ironical twist as he once criticized his son for being unable to "shoot straight" when he tried to do the same years earlier. As a result, the Soviet Premier was captured by the White troops under Colonel Ivan Orel, an Ukrainian refugee that fled from the German invasion, joining with the White Army after it's capture of Vladivostok, he would be brought to Vladivostok, exposed to a show trial where he was accused of such a long list of crimes it took almost an hour to be read, many false, most real charges, charged all the way back to his illegal activities in his youth as a thug. He was declared guilty and executed in a firing squad, in the same way he sent so many others to their deaths.

The death of Stalin brought the unification of the Red forces as the Presidium remnants, the MGB, the Red Army, all came to the west, submitting to Marshal Zhukov's dominion with the leaders of the Central Asian SSR swearing their loyalty to the Grand Marshal of the Soviet Union. Facing the more professionalized Red Army, even if it was a mere shadow of it's glory days, was a much greater challenge than the MGB units of the Stalinists, the White Army and the American expedition fought it's first major tank battle at the Battle of Yarkovo, east of Tyumen, where the Soviet tanks were defeated, although the T-34s proved a model much better than the Japanese tanks the Americans used to face. While Patton compared fighting Japanese tanks as shooting ducks, he did show a greater respect for the Soviet tank commanders. Yet, by October, the White Army finally crossed the Urals, after a long and sluggish year of fighting across Siberia, they were finally in Europe, at the gates of Perm. Zhukov knew there was little he could do, summoning Vasilievsky, Konev, and several other Marshals, he announced his intention to cease the fighting for sake of Russia, approaching the Whites with an offer for a common front against the ROA. As the Germans saw the US-backed White Russians marching West, Hitler finally began to increase the supplies given to the KONR, with a redoubled offensive against the Reds finally capturing Izhevsk, he hoped to install a collaboration government west of the Urals, and Zhukov would prefer to have the Tsar return rather than allow German collaborators to capture Perm. The Red Army forces were pulled from the east, leaving the Ural passages wide open, while the Marshal addressed the nation through radio to call for a united front against "The German invader and the traitors who work for them". "Operation Bagration" would be the last Huzzah of the Red Army, with the Marshal wearing his cap one last time, abandoning Perm to leave it as an open city, launching all assets of the Red Army into a massive offensive operation which caught the ROA unprepared, the blitz was launched in a complete fury, while American fighters took to the skies and supported the Red Army's sacrifice, shooting down the Luftwaffe bombers as Patton for once claimed to have "Admired the bravery of the damned reds against the twice damned Nazis". The Operation recaptured Izhevsk, Ufa, pushing closer and closer to Samara before it finally came to a halt on the 10th of December as the last Soviet energy was spent. The Soviet Marshals turned back to Perm where they offered their surrender to the Tsar Andrei during a visit of his to the frontlines, the Tsar claimed that they deserved death for their crimes in supporting the Bolshevik regime, but they redeemed themselves in the fight against the Germans. In what was considered mostly as a propaganda strike, although there was a certain respect to be held, the Tsar stripped the Marshals of their ranks but pardoned them from death penalty, instead they were to be held in house arrest with varying sentences from 5 to 15 years.



As 1948 came, the war would come to an end, but it would not come as the Russians expected. After tense negotiations, many in the ROA desired to join the Whites, now with Bolshevism defeated, there was no longer a common cause that could rally most of the Committee, indeed most of the White Army organizations already had defected during the winter pause between December and January. The Russian Liberation Army was collapsing, and the Reich's objective of an eternal war between Russians was a humiliating failure, however, Hitler refused to leave this conflict empty-handed. On the 4th of February, a week before the planned offensive of the White Army, the Wehrmacht went on the move and backstabbed it's ally, launching an offensive across the front, scattering the exhausted ROA and capturing the critical three cities of Kazan, Samara (Kuybyshev), and Nizny Novgorod (Gorky) and solidifying a German beachhead across the Volga, while capturing archives and equipment given by the Germans to avoid it from falling into Russo-American hands. Kaminsky would return to Moscowien alongside many other collaborators to continue their work, the KONR was dissolved, Vlasov was captured by partisans and delivered to the White Army, and Sergei Bunyachenko was never found. The White army raced ahead and captured most of the remaining ROA territory, and the Civil War ended not through Russian guns, but by the same way it began, with the Germans backstabbing the Russians and attacking with the Wehrmacht. That would also be the first time American troops faced down German troops from across the Volga, with Patton hoping that one day he would have the chance to cross that river all the way to Germania.

In Yekaterinburg, former Sverdlovsk, the Tsar visited Ipatiev House, although damaged by the fighting for the city, it still stood there as the "Last Palace of the Romanovs". After a couple of hours inside, Andrei stepped out, announcing the construction of an Orthodox church by the side of the house, while the building itself would be preserved as a historical monument. Yekaterinburg was made the new Capital of Russia, the Tsar and Kislitsin celebrating the victory with a week of celebrations, and although most of Russia was indifferent at best to a Tsarist return, the majority just breathed a collective sigh of relief as the war ended at last. As parades erupted all through Russia, American relief finally coming to the starving population, soldiers and farmers returning home after almost ten years in battlefields from Finland to Siberia, the Tsar made a speech, calling for a New beginning to Russia, a new nation that has learned from the mistakes of the past, that would emerge from a national catastrophy that costed the lives of tens of millions, more strong and united than ever before, ending with the last part of the "March of the Siberian Riflemen".

"By the burning of our Faith,
Free Russia will rise again,
And let this song be heard,
To the walls of the Ancient Kremlin"

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A chapter masterfully written.

In regard to Russia, I believe obviously they didn't get the best ending for the civil war, a quick one would've been much better, but at least now they can stop the fighting among themselves and get ready to start the reconstruction and the operations to destabilize Germany rule over western Russia. Even if the Whites need time to heal, I believe this need is going to get relativized. They can't really sit totally idle as millions of their Slavic brothers are being exterminated and slaved by Germany. It' likely the support for guerrillas is going to start right away.

An interesting thing to consider is that, like Korea and Japan after OTL's WW2, it is very likely that Russia is going to prosper with massive American capital being invested there to prop-up the Whites as a "bulwark against Nazism". So the moderate to good prosperity of the Russians living there under Romanov rule is going to get contrasted with the absolute terrible conditions of the Slavs living under the Reich.

The decision of pardoning the Soviet generals was a very good one, and putting them into house arrest indicates that maybe the Whites are thinking about using them as commanders against the Reich, after some time passes, of course. Using Zukhov would be really good.

@Kaiser of Brazil, could you give an estimate of how many people does Romanov controlled Russia currently has? And how many men serving in the army?
 
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@Kaiser of Brazil, could you give an estimate of how many people does Romanov controlled Russia currently has? And how many men serving in the army?
Adding up with Central Asia and Moscowien refugees, taking off some 15-18 million who died in the Civil War and famine... it should be between 60 and 80 million, it was quite a brutal blow, probably reduce a few million from the German bombings and the capture of Samara, Nizny Novgorod, and Kazan. From those, around 1.5 million should be in the army but most of them would focus on reconstruction of the devastated Russia.
 
Adding up with Central Asia and Moscowien refugees, taking off some 15-18 million who died in the Civil War and famine... it should be between 60 and 80 million, it was quite a brutal blow, probably reduce a few million from the German bombings and the capture of Samara, Nizny Novgorod, and Kazan. From those, around 1.5 million should be in the army but most of them would focus on reconstruction of the devastated Russia.
They still have a very large population base, large enough to field an army sizable enough to face the Germans in the field, if helped by American industry.
 
THE IRON EAGLE
TYOMNAYA NOCH

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Russia has been known as a cold, harsh, cruel land long before it's modern State came to exist, from the Mongol Invasion, the Time of Troubles, The Civil War, times of turbulence usually resulted in the deaths of millions. The 1940s were no different, starting with a costly conflict in Finland, right after the nation emerged from the Great Stalinist Purges and the Holodomor famine. A year later, the largest invasion force ever assembled would invade from the west, in two years reaching the gates of Kazan, Gorky, and Kuybyshev, before finally halting it's war machine at the west margin of the Volga, capturing what was by far the heartland of Russia itself, it's origin center with centuries of history hailing back to the days of Kievan Rus. What was left of the Union after such catastrophic defeat could simply not survive such a blow, the ideology and government failed to protect Russia from it's most ruthless enemy, and the Legitimacy of the government was at stake. While Iosef Stalin saw this weakness and understood the need to prove his rule over Russia again, he did so in the most violent way he knew by offering a scapegoat in the "Traitors, Collaborators, Reactionaries" in the Union, starting off with the death of his own head of Secret Police, reorganizing it into the feared MGB. The attempted strike at the Generals, in what threatened to be a repeat of the 1936-39 show trials, caused the leaders who survived the first purge to commit drastic actions. Avoiding the execution by a supposed "treason" by committing a real act of treason, rallying much of what remained of the Red Army in Western Russia to march against Stalin, blaming his decisions for the collapse of the Soviet war effort, with the STAVKA central control and rigidity causing stagnation against the more innovative Wehrmacht commanders. The Red Army experienced great initial success, capturing the Ural crossings and reaching Omsk, near the gates of the Soviet capital of Novosibirsk, before the arrival of the Soviet Far Eastern Army, the largest intact core of the Red Army still loyal to Stalin, which defeated the mostly overextended troops of Zhukov in the Battle of Omsk in June. However, the transfer of troops of the Far East left the region garrisoned only by the less professionalized NKVD border divisions, later reorganized as MGB divisions, allowing for the White forces to come from the East, taking Vladivostok and reaching Chita by 1944. With the Far Eastern forces being sent east to defend against the Whites in a front extending from Lake Baikal to Yakutia and Magadan, the Red Army failed to capitalize on the opening as the Reich played it's card.

The extent upon men like Vlasov, Kaminsky, Bunyachenko, Malynhkin and so many others were traitors is debatable and variable, many did so out of hatred for the Union, with men like Malyhkin being once pursued by the NKVD, others being former GULAG prisoners seeking revenge, others being anti-communists such as White Army volunteers from Europe. But for the Majority it was simply a matter of surviving, when approached by a camp guard and being given the chance to avoid a slow death in slave labor and starvation with the opportunity to carve your own realm in the east, it is simply hard to say no. Hitler did not wish to ever see a strong and united Russia emerging from the East, and while a Ural frontier was strategically unfeasible while it's current territories weren't properly "pacified and settled", it did not mean that they were unable to strike the Soviets while weakened, with Goebbels declaring in a speech that the "Slavs shall revert to their nomad roots" by the end of the decade. Göring, and later Kesselring, commanded the Luftwaffe to use the Russian territory between the A-A line and the Urals as a test ground for bombers, with bombing raids being launched towards major industrial and urban centers, specifically targeting railroad capabilities of the Soviets. Meanwhile, Himmler's SS was tasked with organizing a force to drop the "excessive labor" from the camps, and the Wehrmacht began to train these Russian volunteers and collaborators, many already starting in anti-partisan units. On the 22nd of June 1943, the "Committee for the Liberation of the People's of Russia" (KONR) was formed, under the nominal leadership of former Soviet General Andrey Vlasov, and by using the manpower of refugees, former POWs, slaves, and camp inmates, all desperate for a chance of avoiding the growing brutality of the Generalplan Ost, an Army was formed, the "Russian Liberation Army" (ROA). With the stated goal of liberating the remainder of Russia from the "Bolshevik vipers", it officially denied it's proximity and agreements with the Reich, something even those blinded by the war were able to see.

The Reich, like it's leader, took some enjoyment in putting their enemies against one another. Minority groups that were rivals for centuries had these rivalries exploited to the most, Ukrainians were favored in some camps to oversee Russians, in the Baltics the Estonians were raised from other "Untermenschen" to generate resentment, such divisions were made so that a combined rebel effort was difficult to achieve, especially thanks to the language differences. In the case of Russia, it would be Hitler's play of throwing Russians against one another by arming the ROA, giving them a base to operate in Saratov to launch it's attack. He never desired for them to emerge victorious, and at times, when after a major victory that could result in making them the winning faction, the steady flow of supplies given by the Germans could suffer "delays" and "sabotage". The desire of the Führer was that an eternal war destroyed the very concept of a Russian nation, and the KONR was the main weapon of the Reich to do so, keeping the forces of the Red Army pinned in the west and unable to put an end to the Stalinists in Novosibirsk, while the Japanese-backed White Army was locked in a brutal stalemate in the East, keeping all the four factions in a deathly balance that only became more and more destructive with time as all groups seeked a way to break it. In December 1943, the unexpected winter offensive began, with over 300,000 troops invading the Soviet Union, aiming to capture the city of Kyubyshev as a base for a northern strike towards Kazan and Izhevsk. The attack came unexpectedly to Zhukov and his Red Army, cancelling the planned counter offensive at the Eastern Urals to retake Tyumen, with the City's defenses being overrun in what many initially expected to be a German attack, only to be surprised by the arrival of a Russian-speaking army from the West.

There were many who deserted at the first opportunity, something the Germans expected, Hitler calling it "the treacherous nature of the Slav, Bolsheviks hiding and waiting for the opportunity to strike back against the Reich", or could also be the basic human psychology that one is not particularly thrilled to fight for it's captors. However, that is where the Red Army committed it's deathliest mistake, when General Vasily Badanov's Tank corps meet with a large column of deserters requesting to surrender, the "Nurlat" incident happened. Upon spotting one of the soldiers with a swastika armband, one of the troops lost discipline and fired at him, causing a chain reaction that led to a battle, many of the deserters grabbing weapons to defend themselves, all while the General himself was sickly from an infected wound. The Nurlat incident news spread to both sides, with other incidents happening where the ROA troops were greeted by bullets for their "Treason of the Motherland", the distrust, further fed by the interference of German intelligence and propaganda, drastically reduced the rate of desertions as the "Collabs" saw that victory may be their only chance of survival, while Red Army Units now were being led to believe that every deserter could be a potential spy for the Reich's puppet regime. After establishing Kuybyshev (Now renamed as Samara) as a temporary base of operations, the ROA launched it's northern offensive, capturing the City of Kazan in January thanks to the not-so-subtle support of German bombers and artillery from across the Volga. A drive south would capture the cities of Orenburg and Uralsk, until the ROA advance was halted by incoming Red Army troops in Ufa.


Between 1944 and 1946, the conflict entered in a phase of stagnant fluidity, as paradoxal as the term might sound. Large offensives captured territories only for those to be cancelled in order to defend against another. But generally speaking, the ROA controlled most of the Southwest Russian territory between Gorky and West Kazakh SSR. The Red Army controlled from Ust-Sysolsk in the North, down to it's capital Perm, parts of the Kazakh SSR and as Far East as Petropavlovsk and Tyumen, a rich Industrial territory that benefited from the relocation of factories in the Great Patriotic War. Stalin and the Soviet Union controlled the largest territory, from most of Central Asia to the Siberian Wastes, with the capital in Novosibirsky, in Russia itself it controlled from Omsk to Irkutsk. Finally, the White forces controlled from the eastern shore of the Baikal in Buryatia, up to Yakutsk and Magadan, having a mostly static conflict with the Stalinist forces. By the end of 1944, however, the exhausted resources of Russia forced a Stalemate that only began to raise the desperation of the combatants, while smaller groups began to grow more and more restless at the stagnation of the War and the collapse of the Soviet Union, seeking either personal gain, independence, or to form their own small radical factions. Peasants would begin to organize, with the resurgence of the so-called "Green Armies", including agrarian anarchists inspired by Nestor Makhno and past Russian peasant rebellions, such uprisings being common across all the non-occupied Soviet Territory. Another phenomenon was seen as the authority of the governments began to decline, with the breaking of communication lines leading to large amounts of territory being de facto autonomous from any faction, with local towns and villages forming collective alliances for mutual protection. The study of Russia during the "Second Civil War", "Siberian War", "Second Time of Troubles", "The Great Collapse" among many other names, is also a study of how humanity could behave at it's most desperate hours.



Famine was a natural consequence of the war, the harsh Siberian winters with an underdeveloped infrastructure, with millions of farmers having lost their lives in the war or conscripted by the factions, all added to the despair already being felt in Russia by 1942. MGB, ROA, Cossacks, Army troops, Bandits, Green armies, all began to grow more desperate with the military rations dwindling, the Soviet stocks were already at critical levels by the time the war ended, and in 1943 all sides fought for the scraps left. The average caloric intake of the Russian soldier was of 1000 calories per day in 1945, and the famine would reach it's height in the winter between 1945-46. The KONR was kept alive by the bare minimum thanks to German supplies that were more and more unreliable, almost as if the Reich wanted to deliberately leave the Russians starving, something that was only added up by the occasional bombing of farmlands and the use of chemical weapons by Luftwaffe bombers in a few occasions, such as an "accidental" bombing of a grain storage facility near Uralsk. The White Army was surviving better than most, with the port of Vladivostok allowing for continued trade with the outside world and the border with Japan allowing for the purchase of Manchurian grain, although it became rarer and rarer as Japan lost the war, especially at the start of Operation Sunset in 1945 and the blockade of the Home Islands. Stalinist forces would lose the port of Magadan in 1944, which led to the cutting of the only connection to the Pacific trade routes, now the Red Vozhd began to listen more and more to Lysenko's advice as the "Great genius of Soviet Agriculture", calling for the mass plantation of Central Siberia, which ended up causing more problems than it solved, with millions of seeds proving unable to survive in the unprepared Siberian soil. Zhukov's forces were forced to increase the harshness of farm raids, while launching strategic attacks more directed to capture the enemies' supplies than territory or cities. The Famine would continue during this period leading to the spread of diseases, alongside deaths over the lack of proper nutrition, while farmers organized militias to defend their farms from foraging groups, which led to violent confrontations and massacres, the MGB carrying out reprisal attacks over entire villages. All of this was worsened as millions of refugees fled from the Reich's territories into Russia, preferring to try their own luck in surviving the wastes than stay in the certainly doomed conditions of the Festung Europa. It is estimated that between 10 and 15 million would die of famine during the 1942-1948 period, a number greater than even the victims of the Great Patriotic War itself.

Cavalry ended up coming back as one of the backbones of the Russian armies, although it's relevance has dwindled with the rise of the armored forces since the Civil War, the lack of petrol and the collapse of infrastructure and industry led to Cavalry units becoming more and more common. The White Army in special had been used to such kind of warfare, where the Cossacks most of times excelled against it's enemies, while Timoshenko revived the Red Cavalry in the Stalinist territories, leading to large confrontations between massed cavalry forces more reminiscent to the 17th century, or even the First Civil War than a modern war. It created a complex warfare scenario where new and old planes, cavalry and tanks, bolt-action rifles and machine guns, all shared the same battlefields in the Russian tundra. Old weapon caches were cracked open, even jammed and broken weapons were to be used in melee, a brutal situation where three soldiers had to share the same combat rifle was seen during the 3rd Battle of Irkutsk. The Japanese supplies to the White Army were essentially cut off after the fall of the Philippines as the IJA transferred all of it's reserve assets to the defense of the Home Islands, the Germans purposefully kept the ROA underequipped, without access to the newer German armaments such as the E-Type tanks, Jet fighters, and the STG-44. Petrol supplies were rationed, pilots only being able to spend about an hour in the skies before coming back to base, while Tanks were more often used as glorified bunkers than capable of offensive operations. However, this also resulted in the prospection of Siberian resources unlike any other time in Russian History as new lands were being cleared for military purposes, oil extraction operations opened up, especially along the Volga-Ural region (Although much of it's construction was lost from the German bombings) and in Central Siberia. The Soviet industries were a giant that needed resources to work, and the collapsed infrastructure network led to most of the factories not working even up to half it's capacity even with the state of Total War between the main factions, and the constant acts of sabotage by infiltrated groups from other sides, mainly the MGB, did not improve the situation.

By 1946, tactics had to change, after the brutal winter famine, all sides began to grow more bold, if not desperate, to break it's enemies. The social order was falling apart, in Central Asia, the local SSRs became de facto independent after being cut off from Novosibirsk, while most of it's forces were pinned down to fight local warlords and bandits that began to take advantage of the chaos. GULAG prisoners overpowered their guards in Northern Siberia, with the prisoners capturing the city of Norilsk after another cut in the rations was announced by the MGB guards. The desertions in the ROA grew more and more, with the control of the countryside being reduced as it was taken over by Red Army partisans or bandits, the collaborators wondering more and more why they should fight for the sake of the ones who destroyed their homeland and even occasionally bombarded their "allies". The Red Army grew more radicalized in the "War Communism" measures that reached levels unseen since 1919, while even the city of Perm itself was reduced to ruins, with Zhukov relocating his base to Chelyabinsk, while bandits were taking over small villages, forcing the grip to be tightened. Stalin had confined himself to his new Dacha in the outskirts of Novosibirsk near the city of Tomsk, the Presidium led de facto by the Minister of State Security, Ivan Serov, who approved new lists to be signed up by Stalin to purge his enemies day by day, tightening the grip of the MGB and essentially overtaking the Army as the main military force of the Soviet Union. The White Army, already a tenuously united force, began to see the writing on the wall as their benefactors lost their grip on Asia, with General Kislitsin, the most level-headed between the Japanese puppet Rodzaevsky and the bandit Cossack Semyonov, began to plot for the survival of Russia.

Vladimir Alexandrovich Kislitsin, one of the old White Generals that once served under Kolchak in 1920, was by many considered a drunk figurehead for the White Russians, a puppet of the Japanese like so many others, and yet that may not be his most accurate description. A loyal monarchist, Kislitsin was one of the members of the "Troika" formed in the Harbin Manifesto and the "Theoretical" leader of the Provisional Government, many expected him to be little more than a placeholder from an eventual dispute between the Ataman's Cossacks and the Vozhd's Blackshirts. But he would soon prove them wrong, ever since the capture of Vladivostok, thousands of White Emigrées came back from exile, joining with the Far Eastern Provisional Government, including many important contacts and resources, and as the Japanese fell apart, Kislitsin approached a group of Emigrées, establishing contact with Admiral Chester Nimitz, a risky move as the forces of the Admiral blockaded the Japanese home islands and could result in a quick bullet to the head if discovered. But from the moment the American troops landed in Kyushu, the General realized the fate of Japan was sealed, and Russia should not go down with the sinking ship. Cordell Hull was hesitant in supporting a reactionary Russian Warlord at first, but after he suffered a mild case of death, President Thurmond was quite elated to see a friendly government emerge in Russia and gave Kislitsin his full support, smuggling in weapons towards Vladivostok where a group named "Order of Saint Nicholas", named after the dead Tsar who was ascended to Sainthood by the Orthodox Church in Vladivostok, prepared it's blow.

On the 1st of October 1946, Ataman Semyonov would be killed in Chita, apparently by a Soviet Partisan, although coincidentially it would also be the day the coup, nicknamed "Day of National Reclamation". Army units stormed the RFP headquarters in Khabarovsk, resulting in a brutal fight against the Fascist Stronghold, eventually ending with the assault on the city and the capture of Rodzaevsky after a failed suicide attempt. The leader of the Russian Fascists would be executed in front of a firing squad after a quick show trial on the next day, with Kislitsin declaring Martial Law and dissolving the Provisional assembly, arresting several politicians considered "Traitors" and "Japanese spies". Japanese citizens in Vladivistok would be targeted by mass lynching mobs, rallied by the government with Orthodox support, Kempetai agents being imprisoned while Japanese factories were seized. Despite the wrathful protests of Japan and the empty threats of invasion, the collapse of the IJA in the mainland ensured the survival of the government. While the first American weapon shipments began to arrive in Vladivostok en masse, with millions of rounds of ammunition, modern weapons, engineers, technicians, advisors, and the first members of the "American Expeditionary Force", the fragile balance between the exhausted Russian factions was broken, with the full comitment and resources of the largest industrial power on earth rallying behind Kislitsin and the White Army.

Andrei Alexandrovich Romanov, born in 1898, was exiled in London, his wife having died of cancer mere two years earlier, was hesitant to take up the offer of the so-called "Regent Kislitsin". There were many in the Royal Family who escaped and spread around the world, many with a better claim than him such as Grand Duke Vladimir. However he was also the ideal candidate, being relatively young, connected with the British, a capable artist, and fiercely anti-German, differently from many others who ended up trapped inside the "Festung Europa", where the Führer made sure to keep all the Romanovs in tight guard across the continent. Apparently due to the encouragement of his mother, Grand Duchess Xenia, sister of the former Tsar Nicholas II, he came to accept the offer, arriving in Vladivostok on the 7th of November, at the anniversary of the October Revolution, the Romanovs returned to Russia where the Grand Duke was quickly overwhelmed by the attention, the people either praising him as a savior or secretly planning to execute him like his uncle. After a meeting with Kislitsin, the Regent announced the return of the Russian Empire, although still under an autocratic emergency rule that greatly empowered the military warlord that remained de facto in charge of the governance. However, Tsar Andrei I Romanov would be crowned in an Orthodox Ceremony in Vladivostok, giving a boost of legitimacy to the White Movement, while the Provisional assembly was reopened, the members of the Assembly had completely changed, now filled with supporters of the ruling regime, elections being delayed until the "Order was restored in the Motherland".


The return of the Tsardom caused an uproar in the Soviet territories, Stalin immediately summoning Marshal Timoshenko to order an offensive, one that was ill-prepared and ill-advised, however, fear of retaliation caused the Red Cavalry commander and leader of what was left of the Stalinist Red Army to launch the attack nevertheless. On the 18th of November, an attack was launched in the East using the majority of the remaining Soviet reserves, which initially pushed back the exhausted and outgunned White Forces, with the threat of capture of Chita becoming more real than ever before. The first Russian P-80 Jet fighters soared through the sky, the first Jet planes to be used in large numbers during the War, greatly demoralizing the advancing troops as they were harassed by the planes and even a group of 12 B-24s. The Battle of Chita was one of the turning points of the war, where 270,000 Soviet troops were defeated by 180,000 White Army troops, including a 30,000-men American force, with the White Army now achieving air superiority and beginning to employ en masse the use of American weapons arriving every day at the Vladivostok harbor, Kislitsin prepared his forces for a push westwards. With relief coming from the American Red Cross and farming technicians arriving, the Famine effects were alliviated, it became common for enemy forces to defect to the White Army just for sake of a daily food ration, while the Cavalry began to be modernized with the arrival of trucks and half-tracks, engineers repairing the decayed railroads and roads, expanding airfields and ports while more and more exiles returned with optimism to the new Russia rising from the east.

The "Siberian March" would be launched on the 3rd of April 1947, beginning the long and gruelling final phase of the Russian Civil War, with the White Army carving it's way westwards against the exhausted remnants of the Red Army. The American Expedition, with it's numbers boosted to up to 115,000 after the end of Operation Sunset, was led by General George S. Patton at the man's insistence, known for his hatred for communism, once the opening was given he was reported to have practically barged into the White House to "request" the position to President Thurmond, barely able to contain his enthusiasm once he arrived, calling for immediate offensives across the Lake Baikal and proudly declaring that he would be pleased to "kick Joe Stalin in the nuts for Uncle Sam". Kislitsin and his men, experienced after years of fighting, had to restrain the American General many times about his speed, and Patton realized that there were many differences between Japan and Russia, namely the vast distances and poor infrastructure, although he argued that the partisans were quite similar to the Japanese guerrillas. The American troops have recorded their experiences, many finding it much like Japan, partisans hiding in the taiga, destroyed villages, and the starving population. But while the Japanese people only experienced war in home soil for little more than a year, the Russians have been in constant fighting for almost a decade, and an entire generation was lost in this fight, children-soldiers were becoming more common to find the more they marched westwards, and many of them looked much older than they were. First would come the fall of Irkutsk that same month, and as the march followed westwards, mainly along the tracks of the Transiberian railway, Stalin began to panic, growing more and more desperate, while his right-hand Ivan Serov already began to prepare for the eventual downfall.

In June, Novosibirsk was encircled, and unlike in Moscow, Stalin did not escape from this siege, preferring to remain in the city to boost the morale of the troops, only to realize that Serov deserted him, heading west towards the Zhukovite territories. The Man of Steel watched as his last stand was the burning city that was once one of the largest in Russia, now reduced to rubble by American bombers. MGB units fought fanatically both against the invader and against anyone in the city that tried to show a hint of disloyalty. Stalin believed that Timoshenko would launch a push North from Tomsk towards Kemerovo in order to cut the enemy supply lines and allow for the war to be turned, while also offering a pardon to Zhukov and the traitorous generals if they once more fought under him, the clearly delusional man would be shocked as Timoshenko marched west with his forces instead, surrendering to the Red Army while executing the MGB comissar in his headquarters. Ivan Serov himself would flee west in an attempt to deffect to Zhukov, only to end up captured by Green army partisans and shot for the crimes of the MGB. The paranoid man who once held total power of the Soviet Union accused them all of treason, barking at his officers in an underground bunker, which resulted in said officers being taken by the MGB and shot, Stalin made a last decision of dissolving the STAVKA and naming himself both Generalissimo and Minister of State Security, ordering the city to be held to the end. On the 28th of June, with the Whites approaching his bunker, Stalin attempted suicide, however, he failed in his aim and only ended up injured, an ironical twist as he once criticized his son for being unable to "shoot straight" when he tried to do the same years earlier. As a result, the Soviet Premier was captured by the White troops under Colonel Ivan Orel, an Ukrainian refugee that fled from the German invasion, joining with the White Army after it's capture of Vladivostok, he would be brought to Vladivostok, exposed to a show trial where he was accused of such a long list of crimes it took almost an hour to be read, many false, most real charges, charged all the way back to his illegal activities in his youth as a thug. He was declared guilty and executed in a firing squad, in the same way he sent so many others to their deaths.

The death of Stalin brought the unification of the Red forces as the Presidium remnants, the MGB, the Red Army, all came to the west, submitting to Marshal Zhukov's dominion with the leaders of the Central Asian SSR swearing their loyalty to the Grand Marshal of the Soviet Union. Facing the more professionalized Red Army, even if it was a mere shadow of it's glory days, was a much greater challenge than the MGB units of the Stalinists, the White Army and the American expedition fought it's first major tank battle at the Battle of Yarkovo, east of Tyumen, where the Soviet tanks were defeated, although the T-34s proved a model much better than the Japanese tanks the Americans used to face. While Patton compared fighting Japanese tanks as shooting ducks, he did show a greater respect for the Soviet tank commanders. Yet, by October, the White Army finally crossed the Urals, after a long and sluggish year of fighting across Siberia, they were finally in Europe, at the gates of Perm. Zhukov knew there was little he could do, summoning Vasilievsky, Konev, and several other Marshals, he announced his intention to cease the fighting for sake of Russia, approaching the Whites with an offer for a common front against the ROA. As the Germans saw the US-backed White Russians marching West, Hitler finally began to increase the supplies given to the KONR, with a redoubled offensive against the Reds finally capturing Izhevsk, he hoped to install a collaboration government west of the Urals, and Zhukov would prefer to have the Tsar return rather than allow German collaborators to capture Perm. The Red Army forces were pulled from the east, leaving the Ural passages wide open, while the Marshal addressed the nation through radio to call for a united front against "The German invader and the traitors who work for them". "Operation Bagration" would be the last Huzzah of the Red Army, with the Marshal wearing his cap one last time, abandoning Perm to leave it as an open city, launching all assets of the Red Army into a massive offensive operation which caught the ROA unprepared, the blitz was launched in a complete fury, while American fighters took to the skies and supported the Red Army's sacrifice, shooting down the Luftwaffe bombers as Patton for once claimed to have "Admired the bravery of the damned reds against the twice damned Nazis". The Operation recaptured Izhevsk, Ufa, pushing closer and closer to Samara before it finally came to a halt on the 10th of December as the last Soviet energy was spent. The Soviet Marshals turned back to Perm where they offered their surrender to the Tsar Andrei during a visit of his to the frontlines, the Tsar claimed that they deserved death for their crimes in supporting the Bolshevik regime, but they redeemed themselves in the fight against the Germans. In what was considered mostly as a propaganda strike, although there was a certain respect to be held, the Tsar stripped the Marshals of their ranks but pardoned them from death penalty, instead they were to be held in house arrest with varying sentences from 5 to 15 years.



As 1948 came, the war would come to an end, but it would not come as the Russians expected. After tense negotiations, many in the ROA desired to join the Whites, now with Bolshevism defeated, there was no longer a common cause that could rally most of the Committee, indeed most of the White Army organizations already had defected during the winter pause between December and January. The Russian Liberation Army was collapsing, and the Reich's objective of an eternal war between Russians was a humiliating failure, however, Hitler refused to leave this conflict empty-handed. On the 4th of February, a week before the planned offensive of the White Army, the Wehrmacht went on the move and backstabbed it's ally, launching an offensive across the front, scattering the exhausted ROA and capturing the critical three cities of Kazan, Samara (Kuybyshev), and Nizny Novgorod (Gorky) and solidifying a German beachhead across the Volga, while capturing archives and equipment given by the Germans to avoid it from falling into Russo-American hands. Kaminsky would return to Moscowien alongside many other collaborators to continue their work, the KONR was dissolved, Vlasov was captured by partisans and delivered to the White Army, and Sergei Bunyachenko was never found. The White army raced ahead and captured most of the remaining ROA territory, and the Civil War ended not through Russian guns, but by the same way it began, with the Germans backstabbing the Russians and attacking with the Wehrmacht. That would also be the first time American troops faced down German troops from across the Volga, with Patton hoping that one day he would have the chance to cross that river all the way to Germania.

In Yekaterinburg, former Sverdlovsk, the Tsar visited Ipatiev House, although damaged by the fighting for the city, it still stood there as the "Last Palace of the Romanovs". After a couple of hours inside, Andrei stepped out, announcing the construction of an Orthodox church by the side of the house, while the building itself would be preserved as a historical monument. Yekaterinburg was made the new Capital of Russia, the Tsar and Kislitsin celebrating the victory with a week of celebrations, and although most of Russia was indifferent at best to a Tsarist return, the majority just breathed a collective sigh of relief as the war ended at last. As parades erupted all through Russia, American relief finally coming to the starving population, soldiers and farmers returning home after almost ten years in battlefields from Finland to Siberia, the Tsar made a speech, calling for a New beginning to Russia, a new nation that has learned from the mistakes of the past, that would emerge from a national catastrophy that costed the lives of tens of millions, more strong and united than ever before, ending with the last part of the "March of the Siberian Riflemen".

"By the burning of our Faith,
Free Russia will rise again,
And let this song be heard,
To the walls of the Ancient Kremlin"

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At least now Russia is ruled by a moderate regime in power led by the Romanov Tsars, much better than Bolsheviks, warlords, or that moron Stalin. I also predict that the unification of Siberian Russia under a centralized regime might be a saving grace for partisan movements in the Reich's settler colonies in the East.

Also, the part where Stalin is on a show trial in Vladivostok and the whites go on an hour-long list of Stalin's crimes sincerely got a good laugh out of me.
 
Nice chapter, the Tsardom is back in power and the Soviets are crushed. Let's hope with Russia as a more stable place and ally, things will go well for them. Hitler is fuming that Russia was not crushed. Would love to see more POV chapters. Keep up the good work.
 
Nice chapter, the Tsardom is back in power and the Soviets are crushed. Let's hope with Russia as a more stable place and ally, things will go well for them. Hitler is fuming that Russia was not crushed. Would love to see more POV chapters. Keep up the good work.
The Russians are a gritty and tough people. Living in a frozen wasteland will do that. Here's to hoping Russia can rebuild after three decades of hell on earth and losing their heartland.
 
Also, the part where Stalin is on a show trial in Vladivostok and the whites go on an hour-long list of Stalin's crimes sincerely got a good laugh out of me.
Ah yes, the Death of Stalin was intended to be quite ironic, if not comical, in many ways. From the situation he was in resembling Hitler’s (His greatest enemy) downfall, his suicide attempt being similar to when his son tried to do the same, and his show trial being like the ones he has put so many through.
 
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