Soviet Union

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(Note that this has not been updated to Fit the Recent Soviet Lore Rework)

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
Союз Советских Социалистических Республик
Soyuz Sovyetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik
(1922-1941)
Flag of the Soviet Union
State Emblem of the Soviet Union
Politics
CapitalMoscow
Last Ruling Party All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks)
Last Head of StateNikolai Bukharin
Succeeded By

The Soviet Union (officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or USSR) was a nation in Eurasia that once controlled the present-day territory of the Russian warlords and the German Eastern Reichskommissariats. It existed between the years 1922 and 1941, when the Union dissolved into several warlord states. It was led by Nikolai Bukharin who was a former revolutionary political activist before seizing power in the USSR after a power struggle with Joseph Stalin. Bukharin's leadership and the ideological policies, unlike Stalin, laid upon the USSR was what led to its inability to properly compete with other western nations and led to the collapse of his nation in 1941.


Formation

During the early 1900s, a state of social stagnation, decline and discontent among the masses against the Russian Tsar began to grow in the Russian Empire. One of the groups opposing the Tsar was the Bolshevik Party led by Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (also known as Vladimir Lenin).

During the First World War, the Russian Empire struggled in its war against the German and Austro-Hungarian Empires, with the Russian population being faced with resource and food shortages while taking massive casualties in the fronts. Anger against the Tsar reached a boiling point at this time, when strikes, mutinies, and insurrections occurred all across the country before the monarchy subsequently collapsed and was replaced by a democratic republic in 1917. The Russian Republic was very unpopular, as the Republic had failed to address the needs of its citizens. This, in turn, sparked widespread discontent once again and the popular Bolshevik Party used this time of political turbulence to overthrow the Republic in a revolution. This revolution is known by many as the Great October Socialist Revolution, or simply the Bolshevik Revolution.

After the creation of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, socialism was attacked from all sides. The Germans were pushing into Russian territory in the west, and many different Russian political parties and militant groups began to oppose the Bolsheviks (such as the anarchists, monarchists, liberals, social-chauvinists/social-democrats, etc). The social democrats, monarchists, and liberals took up arms against the Bolsheviks, and the Russian Civil War began.

The two opponents were the popular and well-organized Reds (Bolsheviks with a small number of Left SRs) against the Whites (monarchists, liberals, Right SRs, social democrats, etc). The Civil War began in 1917, and concluded in 1922, with the Reds seizing all of Russia. The USSR was then established in December, 1922, marking the beginning of the world's first socialist state.

The world had changed forever.

Bukharin's Rise to Power (1924)

Following the victory of the Red Army in the Russian Civil War in 1923 and the death of Vladimir Lenin shortly after in 1924, a series of political battles were fought between members of the Communist Party. One of the main contenders was Bukharin and Stalin, who, although were politically close during the revolutionary years (1917-1922), went into a power struggle against each other. Bukharin succeeded in this power struggle instead of allying himself with Stalin in OTL. Bukharin then orchestrated an industrial accident which killed Stalin and Bukharin had secured his position as one of the most politically powerful individuals in the Soviet Union.

Bukharin's Leadership (1924-1941)

Bukharin was a firm believer of the New Economic Policy (NEP) that had originally been started by Lenin (of whom had intended to later replace it), following the Bolshevik victory in the Russian Civil War. The NEP was intended to serve as a transitional phase to socialism in order to allow capitalism to develop before transitioning to a fully-centrally-planned socialist economy in order to let the USSR recover after the devastation of WWI and the Russian Civil War. The NEP aimed to be giving the then peasantry, constituting 80% of the population, the freedom to sell and trade their own crop yield in a mostly-regulated free market. The NEP was initially successful, allowing the Soviet Union to reach pre-war levels of agricultural and industrial output.

However, the NEP would prove disastrous for the Union in the long run. Without collectivisation, the small-scale peasant farms were unable to produce the grain supply required for large scale industrialisation. Kulaks, wealthy peasants, hoarded the grain until it could be sold at high prices, and thus, without the necessary food supplies to back it up, Bukharin's industrialisation efforts backfired, leading to widespread famine which lasted until 1932. The famine meant that all plans for rapid industrialisation had to be put on hold, and Bukharin was forced by his party to push through the policy of forced collectivisation, ending the NEP.

Forced collectivisation began in 1932 under the new Five Year Plan. It directly led to further social unrest, with many Kulaks vehemently opposed to the policy after having made their fortune through the NEP. This resulted in major uprisings within rural areas all across the Soviet Union, organised by Kulaks using their wealth and influence. The uprisings slowed food production and agricultural output to a halt. The destruction of rural farmland by both the Red Army and the rebels further worsened the food situation, causing famines in large parts of the USSR. These uprisings and famines would only end in 1936.

Small farmowners and workers protested against the exploitative actions of wealthy farmowners known as Kulaks. The continuation of the NEP and the initial reluctance to collectivize farms resulted in the eventual restoration of agricultural monopolies and capitalist elements.


After the first failed Five Year Plan, a new one was drafted in 1937. This plan saw the rapid development of Soviet heavy industry following the first satisfactory harvest from collectivized farms. While a step in the right direction, the Soviet Union was still not as industrialized as nations like Germany.

Downfall

Bukharin's initial failures had also led to extreme political instability within the nation, with the effects of 2 waves of famine, as well as multiple uprisings, still felt in the country even by 1941. Minimal investment was put into improving the Red Army, and little research and development was put into either the mechanization of the Red Army (as promoted by Voroshilov in OTL which would become vital in providing a counter to German armored warfare tactics), new doctrines and tactics, or new equipment. The Red Army had been mostly ignored by the government, and only had experience suppressing armed uprisings by wealthy, large-scale, peasant landowners. It was therefore disorganized and under-prepared for formal warfare. The fledgling Soviet industrial base also meant that many soldiers were not given guns or ammunition required for proper fighting. Thus, they were only provided with makeshift weapons and clothing.

On top of that, the political leadership was strained. Many in the Bolshevik party were unhappy with Bukharin's initial incompetence. Former supporters of Stalin (who styled themselves as Marxist-Leninists) were fervently opposed to most of Bukharin's policies, accusing him of ideological deviationism, and were a thorn in the side of Bukharin; which resulted in small-scale political purges of Marxist-Leninists in the party. These purges, though, were not effective, as Bukharin did not make a genuine effort to expel members convicted of embezzlement, corruption, or plotting with anti-Bukharin militant organizations. Factionalism within the party worsened, which slowed down basic government functions and created several inefficiencies with construction and armaments industries.

On 22nd June, 1941, Soviet forces positioned along the German-Soviet border in Byelorussia lost all communications and contact with Moscow. It was not until 2 days later that the government in the Kremlin received word of what had happened: Germany had, without any declaration of war, launched an all-out assault on the Soviets.

Under equipped and ill-prepared Soviet forces crumbled in the face of a fierce German attack. Officers could only watch in horror as their troops, most of them recruited small-scale peasants or working-class individuals without proper training or equipment (apart from old WWI bolt-action rifles), charged aimlessly at German Panzers and machine gun nests. The logistical part of warfare was ignored too; most supply routes connecting industrial centers like Moscow to the front were completely bombed by German planes (as little investment had been put into the aircraft industry, which left the Soviets almost totally vulnerable to air bombers), severing the flow of food and equipment. Efforts to repair supply routes were slow due to material and industrial deficiencies.

By December 1st, barely 6 months following the initial attack, German troops were less than fifty kilometres away from Moscow. Bukharin and the government in the Kremlin fled the city on December the 4th, following reports of a potential German encirclement of the city.

The attack on Moscow began on December the 5th, after German Panzer divisions broke through Soviet defenses on the outskirts of the city, smashing into the barricades and running over narrow trenches. Within the city, a panicked citizenry began looting stores and raiding government warehouses, which required the government to divert troops and equipment from the front in order to suppress riots and crime waves. The Germans received stiff resistance, as the defenders took to hiding in bombed-out buildings and rubble to engage in urban warfare; however, the overwhelming German attack of hundreds of thousands of men finally put down even the fiercest resistance, as each and every building, street and district in the city was cleared.

On 25th December, 1941, the Nazi swastika was finally hoisted onto the top of the Kremlin by victorious SS troops, after fierce fighting had put down the last of the city's resistance. Moscow had fallen. Several days later, other besieged cities would follow suit, including the city of Leningrad, home of the revolution.

In a last-ditch attempt to end the war and save what still could be saved, Bukharin was overthrown and a provisional state council was installed into power as an emergency government in 1941, with its new capital in Arkhangelsk. By this point, however, it was too late and the coup only succeeded in destroying what little cohesion the Soviet Union had left, with what remained of the country shattering into an anarchic mess of many different smaller warlord states, as regional leaders took control. The USSR was officially dissolved on 21st January of that year, the 18th anniversary of Lenin's death.

Aftermath

Some Russian warlords, most notably the West Russian Revolutionary Front, still follow the old ideology of the Soviet Union (or some variation of it) and wish to restore the Soviet Union in a more perfected manner. As for what this "perfected manner" would entail is entirely dependent upon the leader of the warlord state. The Soviet remnant states include:

West Russian Revolutionary Front (remnants of the Red Army)

  • Ukhta (autonomous part of the WRRF)
  • Plesetsk (autonomous part of the WRRF)

West Siberian People's Republic (defunct, previously controlled Western Siberia)

  • Tyumen (houses large parts of the defunct All-Union Communist party)
  • Sverdlovsk (remnants of the Red Army)

Irkutsk (houses the remains of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet and NKVD remnants)

  • Buryatia (breakaway state of Irkutsk)

People's Revolutionary Council (remnants of the Red Army and the former Mongolian regime)

Kamchatka (remnants of the Red Banner Pacific Fleet)

Komi (has an active communist party)

Orenburg (has an active communist faction)


In the 1950s, these warlord states, though, would reunite to form to West Russian Revolutionary Front, and would forge alliances with other Soviet republics such as the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic to wage yet another war against German domination. This war would be known as the West Russian War.