Mikhail Tukhachevsky

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Mikhail Tukhachevsky

Mikhail Tukhachevsky in 1962

Mikhail Tukhachevsky in the 1970s
Potential Leader of the WRRF
Personal details
Date of birthFebruary 16th, 1893
Place of birthAlexandrovskoye, Dorogobuzhsky Uyezd, Smolensk Governorate, Russian Empire
Age at start68 years old
RoleMarshal of the WRRF, Potential leader for the WRRF
Political partyZapadnorusskiy Revolyutsionnyy Front
Ideology Stratocratic Communism

Mikhail Nikolayevich Tukhachevsky born 16 February [O.S. 4 February] 1893, also known as "The Red Napoleon" is a Marshal of the West Russian Revolutionary Front. One of the leading Soviet Marshals under the Front, and a candidate to succeed the Front's leadership. Marshal Tukhachevsky deeply resents the Soviet Union's military deficiencies, and envisions a militarized and revolutionary Soviet Union that can triumph over the enemies of Communism.

He is a possible successor of Yegorov in the WRRF if he wins the power struggle against Georgy Zhukov.

In Game Description[edit | edit source]

1960s Description[edit | edit source]

Mikhail Nikolayevich Tukhachevsky was always considered an eccentric, if talented, member of the Soviet High Command. A former noble, he turned against the conformity of his class and joined the Bolshevik party in their crusade against the old order. Victory after victory, every conquered city he dedicated to the cause of revolution and Vladimir Lenin paved the extraordinary career for the so-called 'Red Bonaparte', despite his young age.

Following the Soviet defeat against the Nazi tide, Tukhachevsky was one of the generals who formed the basis of the WRRF leadership, but soon the self-willed Marshal grew to disdain his colleagues for their weakness and incompetence that led Russia to be defeated by Nazis in the first place. Being concerned with his influence on the Front politics, the Front leadership granted Tukhachevsky with a small domain in Plesetsk, where he could stay away from the intrigues of Arkhangelsk and organize the defensive frontier against the enemies from the West.

A proponent of a revolutionary offensive war ever since his maturity as a Bolshevik military theorist, Tukhachevsky for a long time opposed the attempts of Bukharin to appease the enemies of the world proletariat, such as Germany and Japan, and tried to resist his ruinous reforms in the military complex, only for his voice to fall on deaf ears and his efforts to negated during the catastrophic course of the war with the Nazi Reich. Being a witness to the failed attempts of Bukharin's government to placate and defeat the bourgeois powers without a needed revolutionary vigor and determination, Marshal Tukhachevsky, a passionate warrior he is, only grew more convinced in his notion of the Red Army as the main instrument of a political change.

If the Soviet Union is bound to return under Tukhachevsky, it will return as an armed camp, eternally vigilant against its numerous enemies, with every cog inside its state machine rotated towards the final victory.

1970s Description[edit | edit source]

After the miserable failure of Operation: Suvorov, many of Mikhail Nikolayevich Tukhachevsky's colleagues in the West Russian Revolutionary Front had said that it was proof that his strange theories were more flawed than they appeared, and ignored his criticisms of the Red Army's conduct.

When Marshal Tukhachevsky took power in the Front, his detractors claimed that his brutal adherence to war communism would lead the Socialist cause in Russia to ruin, and that the army's purpose is to serve the state, rather than become the harbinger of the global revolution.

Once the rejuvenated Red Army marched beyond the Ural Mountains, there were those who still held that even a brilliant strategist like Tukhachevsky could never tame the harsh wastes of Siberia.

Now, however, they are silent. Grand Marshal Tukhachevsky has brought the Soviet Union together, and reforged it into a great engine to propel the Red Army forward as the most powerful military force in the history of man. The "Red Napoleon'' now turns his attention to the West, preparing for the final conflict against the Union's ultimate foe. He shall see to it that the Red Army, invincible and legendary, will achieve the victory that they were denied so many years ago.

No matter what the cost may be.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Early Life[edit | edit source]

Tukhachevsky was born at Alexandrovskoye, Safonovsky District (in the present-day Smolensk Oblast of Russia), into a family of impoverished hereditary nobles. Legend states that his family descended from a Flemish count who ended up stranded in the East during the Crusades and took a Turkish wife before settling in Russia. His great-grandfather Alexander Tukhachevsky (1793–1831) served as a colonel in the Imperial Russian Army. He was of Russian ethnicity. After attending the Cadet Corps in 1912, he moved on to the Aleksandrovskoye Military School [ru], where he graduated in 1914.

At the outset of the First World War he joined the Semyenovsky Guards Regiment (July 1914) as a second lieutenant, declaring:

I am convinced that all that is needed in order to achieve what I want is bravery and self-confidence. I certainly have enough self-confidence.... I told myself that I shall either be a general at thirty, or that I shall not be alive by then.

Taken prisoner by the Imperial German Army in February 1915, Tukhachevsky escaped four times from prisoner-of-war camps and was finally held as an incorrigible escapee in Ingolstadt fortress in Bavaria.

Tukhachevsky's fifth escape met with success, and after crossing the Swiss-German border, carrying with him some small pagan idols, he returned to Russia in September 1917. Following the October Revolution of 1917, Tukhachevsky joined the Bolsheviks and went on to play a key role in the Red Army despite his noble ancestry.

Role in the Russian Civil War[edit | edit source]

Tukhachevsky would join the Red Army in March 1918 and worked in the Military Department of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee. He would subsequently join the Bolsheviks in the early spring of 1918 and was appointed military commissar of the Moscow Defense District.

In June 1918, he was appointed commander of the newly created 1st Army of the Eastern Front. In August, with the 1st Soviet Army under his command, he would attack Simbirsk, then occupied by the Whites , and in a fierce battle at the city's outskirts between August 14 to 17 1918, he was defeated by the units of Colonel V.O. Kappel as a result of which Tukhachevsky was forced to retreat close to 90 kilometres west of Simbirsk.

At the beginning of September, he prepared and carried out a successful operation with the army to reattempt the capture of Simbirsk, in which he showed his leadership qualities for the first time. In what would be seen in the following operations planned by Tukhachevsky, he demonstrated “the skillful use of decisive forms of maneuver during the operation, courage and swiftness of action, the correct choice of the direction of the main attack and the concentration of superior forces and means on it”  .

With the completion of the Simbirsk operation, the Syzran-Samara operation was conducted, in which Tukhachevsky’s 1st Army participated in, resulting in the capture of Samara by Bolshevik forces. This would be the start of his successes against White Forces during the Civil War.

In March 1919, as Admiral Kolchak went on the offensive in the east with General Khanzhin's Western Army, and broke through the center of the Red Army's Eastern Front, Tukhachevsky was called in to take over the 5th Army, that was taken by surprise. On April 5, he took command. After some reorganisation of his forces. the 5th Army quickly moved from retreat to offensive, as part of the general counteroffensive of the Eastern Front, and carried out the 1919 Buguruslan operation together with the Soviet Turkestan Army from April 28 to May 13, defeating General Voitsekhovsky's forces.

Not stopping after this counterattack, the 5th Army would participate in the Belebey operation with the Turkestan army and the Sarapulo-Votkinsk operation in conjunction with the 2nd Army. In June, the 5th Army carried out the Birsk operation against superior White forces and ensured the Red Army's access to the Southern Urals.At the end of June and beginning of July, the 5th Army was ordered to carry out the main blow in the offensive of the Eastern Front. Tukhachevsky took his role seriously, executing the Zlatoust operation, thwarting the attempts of the White Western Army, who planned to gain a foothold along the Urals. After two weeks of fighting, Zlatoust was captured.

The 5th Army then executed the Chelyabinsk Operation. During the battle, the White forces decided to deliberately retreat to lure the 5th Army into encirclement and destroy it. On July 24, as the 27th Infantry Division of the 5th Army captured Chelyabinsk, White Forces began their planned encirclement, and the units of Woitsekhovsky and Kappel surrounded Chelyabinsk, encircling Red Army elements in the city

The Reds would stubbornly hold Chelyabinsk, through the mobilization of local workers. Chelyabinsk would be relieved after the arrival of the 5th Infantry Division and the 35th Infantry Division and an attack by the 21st Infantry Division of the 3rd Army, directed General Frunze to bypass Voitsekhovsky's forces encircling the city. As a result, the White troops were defeated and Cheylabinsk firmly in Bolshevik hands. For this operation, Tukhachevsky was awarded the Order of the Red Banner .

After this, the forces of Tukhachevsky's 5th Army and the 3rd Army began the Petropavlovsk Operation, with the troops of the 5th Army crossed the Tobol River and advanced 130-180 km in 10 days. However, White troops managed to launch a counter-offensive and attempted to encircle the 5th Army, which was forced to retreat back across the Tobol River, taking heavy losses in the process.

Only after losses were replenished that the 5th Army was able to resume the offensive and take Petropavlovsk. After the capture of Petropavlovsk, the Red Army offensive became a pursuit, carried out by cavalry and infantry mounted on sleighs. he Kolchak government abandoned the defense of Omsk and evacuated to the east, whilst the 30,000-strong garrison of Omsk on November 15 surrendered the city to the 27th Red Rifle Division.

For the capture of Omsk and his defeat over Kolchak, Tukhachevsky was awarded with an Honorary Revolutionary Weapon. He would remain in command of the 5th Army until November 27, 1919. After which, he would be reassigned to the Caucausian Front in early 1920.

On February 4, 1920, Tukhachevsky was appointed commander of the Caucasian Front, created specifically to see the destruction of General Denikin’s Volunteer Army and capture the North Caucasus before the war with Poland began. By the time Tukhachevsky was appointed as commander, the troops of the Caucasian Front had already carried out the Don-Manych operation, which had failed. However, the troops took up their starting positions for the next stage of the North Caucasus operation.

On the Caucasian Front, the Reds were somewhat inferior to the Whites in strength and means, as such when planning the next offensive operation, Red forces were amassed in the direction of the main attack. Additionally, the operation involved a series of successive attacks against the enemy, coordinated by target, place and time. It was during this planning stage that General Denikin was also preparing an offensive to capture Rostov and Novocherkassk. Initially going on the offensive, Red Army troops had formed a bridgehead beyond Manych before being driven back. As a result of the offensive of White Forces on February 20, the Whites managed to capture Rostov and Nakhichevan. However, Denikin's attack to the north could not develop, because the Reds had already reached Denikin's rear lines in Tikhoretskaya.

As the 10th Army broke through the White defenses, Tukhachevsky ordered the 1st Cavalry Army to exploit the breakthrough at Tikhoretskaya. On March 1, Denikin's forces left Rostov, and the White Armies began to retreat to the Kuban River.

The success of the Tikhoretsk operation allowed the Kuban-Novorossiysk operation to proceed. By March 17, the 9th Army of the Caucasian Front would capture Yekaterinodar and cross the Kuban, eventually capturing Novorossiysk on March 27. With the capture of Novorossiysk, the Caucauses Front had concluded.

On March 20 1920, Red Army Chief Kamenev would report to Lenin that he planned to appoint Tukhachevsky as commander of the Western Front ,stating that he was the one “who skillfully and decisively carried out the last operations to defeat the armies of General Denikin."

As part of his role in the Russian Civil War, he would be named as one of the first 5 Field Marshals of the Soviet Union.

Inter-War Era[edit | edit source]

In the Inter-War era, Tukhachevsky would not stagnate in his role in the Red Army. After the Polish Soviet War, where Tukhachevsky was defeated at the Vistula, he would be dedicated to reforming the Red Army.

In his role as Marshal, Tukhachevsky fervently criticised the Red Army's performance during the 1926 Summer manoeuvres. He criticised the officers' inability to determine what course of action to take and communicate that with their troops especially harshly. Tukhachevsky noted that initiative among officers was lacking, that they responded slowly to changes in the situation and that communication was poor.

This was not purely the officers' fault as the only way of communication from local unit headquarters to the field positions was a single telephone line. In contrast German divisions mobilised shortly after during the interwar period had telephones, radio, horse, cycle and motorcycle messengers, signal lights and flags and pieces of cloth with which messages were to be conveyed mostly to aircraft.

Tukhachevsky reached the position of 1st deputy commissar for defence, subordinate to Marshal Kliment Voroshilov. However, Voroshilov disliked Tukhachevsky. It was clear to many members, especially future colleague Georgy Zhukov, that it was Tukhachevsky and not Voroshilov who ran the ministry in practice. While Voroshilov disliked Tukhachevsky, his perception of military doctrine was nonetheless impacted significantly by Tukhachevsky's ideas.

Tukhachevsky would also write several books on modern warfare and, in 1931, after the Politburo had accepted the need for an industrialized military, Tukhachevsky was given a leading role in reforming the army. He held advanced ideas on military strategy, particularly on use of tanks and aircraft in combined operations.

He also closely followed the development of military thought in England, France, and Germany, and highly valued the developments of Fuller, Liddell Hart and de Gaulle, noting that their ideas were not accepted by the official military doctrines of England and France. Additionally, Tukhachevsky took part in military cooperation between the USSR and Germany in the period from 1922 to 1933; in 1932 he attended large maneuvers in Germany.

Tukhachevsky also took a keen interest in the arts, and became a political patron and close friend of composer Dmitri Shostakovich; they met in 1925 and subsequently played music together at the Marshal's home (Tukhachevsky played the violin).

The Second World War and the West Russian War[edit | edit source]

During World War II, at the outset of Operation Barbarossa, Tukhachevsky like many Soviet Generals fought hard against the German invaders, however he could not stop the Wehrmacht's march on Russia. Despite his best efforts, counterattacks would be beaten back, and soon the Red Army would be in full retreat, all the way to the Archangel-Astrakhan Line.

After the defeat of the Red Army, he would join the West Russian Revolutionary Front which was formed by the remnants of the Red Army. It was here he would plan the recapture of lost lands in the subsequent West Russian War, codenamed Operation Suvorov.

Under Marshal Yegorov's orders, his plan would be combined with another plan devised by Zhukov. Subsequently, he would lead Soviet Forces in the West Russian War, making a push into Reichskommissariat Moskowien, catching German and collaborationist forces by surprise.

By Day 40, the WRRF was at the gates of Moscow, Leningrad and deep in West Russia, however, as a result of infighting within the command structure as well as factionalism from the West Siberian People's Republic, The Germans managed to rally together their forces and soon went on the counteroffensive, driving the Russians back from their hard fought gains.

Subsequently after this German counteroffensive, the WRRF would collapse, with various statelets forming in its wake. Despite their failure to liberate the occupied territories, they had managed to push back the AA Line by a significant margin.

After the West Russian War, Tukhachevsky remained in the WRRF, serving as one of its Marshals. During his analysis of why the WRRF collapsed, he would find that Mikhail Suslov was reponsible for the Front's collapse.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

In OTL, Tukhachevsky was executed in what would be the start of the Great Purge, however, he was noted as one of the key men who reformed the Red Army prior to his execution. He would be politically rehabilitated during the Krushchev Era, at the insistence of the Red Army and the current Minister of Defence, Georgy Zhukov.