No GNW (or “Peter goes South”)

In all seriousness though, I would like to apologise
I did try to be sightly more serious and throughly in the last chapter I remember commenting before this one, just not been doing great lately which is also why I havent been updating my stories these last weeks but I still wanna let you know that I am enjoying this story and my lack of engagement has nothing to do with the quality of writing or appeal of the concept, both which to me continue to be impeccable
In all seriousness though, I would like to apologise
I did try to be sightly more serious and throughly in the last chapter I remember commenting before this one, just not been doing great lately which is also why I havent been updating my stories these last weeks but I still wanna let you know that I am enjoying this story and my lack of engagement has nothing to do with the quality of writing or appeal of the concept, both which to me continue to be impeccable
Hopefully, your problems, whatever they are, will go away soon. And thanks for the appreciation.
“When the Emperor of Russia is fishing, Europe can wait.”
Alexander III
So if we want to keep them waiting forever we better send the Emperor to sleep with the fishes
If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.”
Woody Allen
But he already knows!
not on the side of large battalions, but on the side of the best shooters.”
Sounds like something a shooter would say
On the battlefield, the ideal military genius and an absolute idiot are allegedly the most dangerous, with an advantage on the side of the idiot, since his actions are absolutely impossible to foresee.”
Napoleon I Bonaparte
Oh that explains him striving to be both
“War is bullshit! The main thing is maneuvers.”
unknown author
You know, that is true at least for AH
You can base a entire TL on "oh so they attacked the plans so they won" or "the enemy leader randomly died"
The later I know because I used it, twice, an in the same chapter!
The old Russian proverb which inspired the whole plan was “It is better to see once than to hear hundred times.”
Idk both end up with you deaf and blind
And as someone who (temporarily) went through both I can tell that aint pleasant
Hing Kong
Oh I wanna visit there
Always wanted to know the birthplace of the legendary Hing Dynasty
a need to intensify traffic on the “Arctic route” by redeploying two more icebreakers from the Baltic
Maybe me sending the portuguese there wasnt a bright idea was it?
Eh they can figure that out...
JRN also got its doubts after information was “leaked” that at the first sign of a trouble the Russians are going to destroy all oil production in Sakhalin, most of which was going to Japan. Unless an alternative supply source is secured (like the Dutch oil in Indonesia), this could seriously handicap the naval operations. So priorities had been shifted to have a reasonably secure scenario.
Why do I hear boss music
With Russia, so far, Japan was relatively polite,
They're always, dont trust them!
valuing the existing fishing treaty
Oh so that is why the Emperor of Russia was fishing
in 1934, the Japanese invaded Manchuria during the Mukden incident and invited the last Qing
You know, it is an achievement of OTL(and by extension TTL) that somehow the idea of a Japanese Qing managed to be so cringe
preparing to a future Big War in Europe, which was going to be one more “War to Finish all European Wars”.
As is european tradition

Though it is amusing that once they got the means to create such a war(*looks at the nearest nuclear sillo's overall direction*) they chickened out

Like what, now they care about millions dying and nations being destroyed? Ffs
Flexing the muscles
455. Flexing the muscles

“The army immediately responded in the sense: "But we are already ready!" And then they reported that it was today that yesterday's announced exercises begin.”
“Yes, he's not a strategist, not a tactician, and where would he get such an experience? But what a methodologist he turned out to be! He wrote everything by points and sorted out. Do you need it? Take it and act! You won't have to invent anything. Both for planning and for real combat - a solid benefit.”

Dront, ‘The Count’
“The soldier must obey the blind instinct of the commander.”
“There are orientation exercises in the forest. The sergeant lectures the platoon:
- Soldiers, to find the south in the forest, you have to go to the tree and look at it. If the tree is a palm tree, the south is already here.”
“Examine the hole in the fence and report to me on which side it is.”
General military stuff
“The improvisations must be well-rehearsed.”
General wisdom
The plan

Actually, the plan of actions proposed by the Almost Genius was quite simple. If members of the Vertical Axis can’t be calmed down by a diplomatic talk, they should be intimidated into a good behavior by demonstration of force. Preferably, all of them but just the Poland would be enough because without it coalition is simply falling apart. Taking into an account a state of collective delusion of its leaders such a demonstration has to be really scary. And this is what the military exercises are for: you are staging a show to which the foreign military observers are invited and demonstrating to them that whatever ideas their governments may have, these ideas are wrong.

Besides the international aspect, the big maneuvers are very good domestically because everybody likes them. The military like them because, short of a real war, this is the best opportunity to be noticed and promoted.

And the local population likes them because … well… because everybody likes the military in their smart uniforms. It is a patriotic duty. And sometimes a business as well, which is even better.


So, on a wave of a general enthusiasm it was decided to conduct a series of the big military exercises in the western military districts, Kievan and Belorussian, with a stress upon the technological aspect of the warfare, an area in which the main recipient of the show was weak. The real maneuvering and practicality of the scenario were secondary considerations comparing to demonstration of a number of moving and flying hardware. Speaking of which, with the Far East being the top priority, both these districts were still somewhat behind in receiving the latest models of both tanks and planes and had to put stress upon the numbers. Anyway, most tanks they got still were heavier than what the “intended audience” possessed.

The Big Kiev Maneuvers.

The maneuvers were held on September 12-17, 1935 near the cities of Berdichev, Skvira, Kiev. They were attended by: 65,000 people, over 1,000 tanks, 600 aircraft, 300 guns and other military equipment. Conditional hostilities were deployed at the front over 200 km and in a depth of up to 250 km. The goal was demonstrate implementation of a deep offensive theory.

The breakthrough with one blow (during a deep battle) of the tactical defense zone was to ensure the simultaneous defeat of all enemy’s positions not only by artillery, but also by aircraft, as well as the support of the attacking infantry by tanks. And the defeat during the same strike of the operational reserves and operational rear of the enemy was achieved by the throw of the tanks introduced into the breakthrough of the development of success and strategic cavalry, air strikes and the landing of airborne troops. Thus, the success of the deep operation was determined by the achievement of interaction between different types of troops.
The “showmanship” side of the deep operation on the Kiev maneuvers was indeed fully recreated and quite impressive. Two “armies”, the “red” and “blue” had been deployed. The “red” was defending fortified position and the “blue” attacking. Barrage of the 152-mm guns and 203-mm howitzers had been immediately followed by a massive infantry attack supported by the tank battalions of the infantry divisions and tankettes of the infantry regiments. From the air, the defenders bombed and fired with machine guns multi-purpose single-engine biplanes R-5.
The breakthrough of the tactical defense of the "Reds" was completed by a long-range tank group consisting of two tank battalions of the reserve: 10 medium tanks T-28 and the light high-speed BT-5 and BT-2. Into a breach went cavalry corps, which was immediately attacked by the “red” aviation but the attackers were backed up by their mechanized regiments (light tanks and armored cars) and successfully defeated the “red” reserve. In other words, this was a nice show demonstrating original scenario of the Almost Genius, which he thoroughly modified since then. But it was, indeed an impressive spectacle, especially for those who never saw anything of the kind.

The next day was even better. There was, first of this kind, demonstration of a massive airdrop in the enemy’s rear airfield. The whole enchilada was demonstrated: distraction of the enemy’s fighters by a false attack, suppression of the AA defenses, dropping of the paratroopers to capture the airfield, and finally landing of the heavy bombers TB-3 protected by the long-range escort fighters P-6 and carrying the main force of the airborne division. 45-mm anti-tank guns of the 1932 model, GAZ-4 pickups, D-8 light armored cars and a T-37 tank were detached from the TB-3 suspensions mounted between the racks. Of course, a further advance of the airborne division was duly stooped by the “reds” but the point was made.
September 15 was a culmination point: the offensive had been met with a counter-offensive and a massive tank “battle” with over 300 tanks (the whole mechanized corps of reserve), not counting the lighter armor, and a big number of planes being deployed by the “red” side, which eventually won.

As far as the performance part was involved, implementation was almost perfect and the fact that the show had little to do with a real war, was neither here nor there: the maneuvers all over Europe were traditionally conducted by the prepared scenarios in which each side knew its role. Otherwise, the whole thing could easily deteriorate into a complete mess for which nobody could expect any awards [1]. The airborne operation was, indeed, “shock and awe” due to its novelty and the foreign observers did not notice that it was a complete BS which in, God forbid, a real war could end in a complete disaster due to the bad synchronization of the stages.

The bottom line was that everybody who had to be impressed had been impressed. Now, the task was not to let them relax and almost immediately after these maneuvers were over, there was a new show to watch.

The Big Belorussian Maneuvers. The Belarusian Military District maneuvered 85,000 troops, 1,136 tanks, 580 guns, 638 aircraft. The general idea was the same, demonstration of the “war of the engines”. Which, of course, meant that, as as was stipulated in the XVIII century, “each soldier must understand his maneuver” and division assigned to the defense throughout August dug various types of trenches, built command and observation posts, equipped SOT (hided firing points) and arranged barriers, while the offensive actions - ways to overcome and destroy barriers, intelligence - were not studied. Which made a perfect sense: why bother with something you would have no use for? You can learn it later when you receive an appropriate order.

Basically, it was quite similar to the Kievan maneuvers only much more so. The main stress was on the airborne operations with a much bigger landing (the landed force included numerous tanks and artillery pieces) and better synchronization with the advanced land forces. If the foreign observers had more experience (where would they get it from?), they’d notice more than one issue with conduct of the airborne operations but this was not the case and the huge tank forces deployed on a battlefield made it quite clear that bravery of the Polish uhlans would not compensate for the shortage of armor.

As was a tradition, the maneuvers ended up with a banquet and the speeches during which the hosts were quite open about the Russian capacity and intention to put even more troops and equipment into the Western military districts regardless situation on the Far East. It was also was finally spelled out that, in the case of a military conflict, Russian Empire is going to defend not only its allies but the allies of its allies. Information was duly reported to Szef Sztabu Generalnego Wojska Polskiego, general Wacław Teofil Stachiewicz, and seriously cooled down even the hottest heads in the government.

On the Med, first time since the Barmalei War the British 1st Battle Squadron of the Mediterranean fleet (based in Gibraltar) arrived with the friendship visit to Toulon and then to the Athens, ignoring the Italian ports. The squadron included three rather old Elizabeth-class battleships but the point was made loud and clear.

With the potential odds being too unfavorable both on the land and sea, leaders of the Vertical League decided to postpone their plans for the unidentified future when the odds will not be so bad.

[1] In OTL general Muravyev (later “Muravyev of Kars”, not to be confused with “Muravyev of Amur” or “Muravyev the Hanger”) defeated on the maneuvers Nicholas I by unexpected attack. Nicholas could not rest until Muravyev was forced into a retirement and only years later “forgave” him and appointed commander of the Caucasus Front during the CW. Which was the only place where the Russians were victorious. The French for many decades conducted maneuvers on the same nice looking area near the Paris (beautiful mostly flat landscape with the small hills). The Germans were, of course, weird.
[2] In OTL the first were held in 1935 and the second in 1936.
Last edited: