The story of How the Nazis Won WW2 began 3 years ago, and has attracted a significant following. By number of favorites and follows, it is among the most popular Sci Fi stories on FictionPress. The series has stretched on much longer than I ever thought it would, when I first began writing back in 2017. It never would have reached the heights it has without the support of my readers.
This is the final chapter of How the Nazis Won WW2. I hope you enjoy it. Thank you all for staying with me in these hard times.
"History does not repeat itself, but it often rhymes." In the First World War, Germany found itself at war with Imperial Russia. They sent Vladimir Lenin to ignite a revolution against the Tsarists in 1917. When he had succeeded in taking control, he repaid his benefactor by negotiating the treaty of Brest-Litovsk. In the Second World War, Germany was locked in a deadly struggle with Soviet Russia. In 1943, they sent Andrei Vlasov to overthrow the Communists. The tragicomedy of history had come full circle. It was political theater dictated by the Germans, at the expense of the Russians. Adolf Hitler had no intention of making a deal with Joseph Stalin. His goal was nothing less than the complete eradication of the Soviet Union and its government. This could not be done by military force alone: It could only be done by removing the Communists. If revolution had brought them into power, then it could remove them from power as well. And now that the Soviet Union was on the brink of collapse, Germany deployed its final weapon: The Russian Liberation Army.
General Andrei Vlasov led his army from the front, directing their advance down the long, frozen highway. They arrived at the city of Maxim Gorky on February 12th, ready to confront the Red Army. The men were flushed with success from their previous battle at Vladimir, where they convinced Soviet troops to change sides. This time, however, they were going up against the fanatical NKVD, who entertained no thoughts of surrender. The RBA moved off the highway and assembled into combat formations, attacking Maxim Gorky head on. But their numbers were not great enough, and the hasty attack was quickly repulsed. Vlasov brought the action to a halt and waited for the rest of his troops to arrive. The Russian Liberation Army was strung out in long march columns, and they didn't arrive in full strength until the next day. The General took careful note of the local geography around the city. Maxim Gorky was built on the banks of the Volga river, which also fed into the Oka river. Vlasovs deployed his RBA into two groups, both moving along opposite sides of the Oka river. The northern group advanced directly on the city, while the southern group enveloped it from the flank. Vlasovs approach paid off, as he soon had the Red Army surrounded in Maxim Gorky. The level of enemy resistance varied wildly. Some units surrendered quickly, while the NKVD fought viciously. By February 15th, they had moved into the city itself. Both sides were engaged in house to house fighting. The RBA took ground slowly but surely, using their superior numbers to decide the battle. The Soviets were fought back to the center of Maxim Gorky, where only a few positions remained. Supplies were running low, and the battle was looking like a lost cause. The Russians were unable to surrender due to the presence of the NKVD. Anyone trying to give up were shot by the fanatics. This merely prolonged the inevitable, however. By February 20th, Vlasov reported to the Nazis that all resistance inside the city had been eliminated. Maxim Gorky was in their hands. This set into action a flurry of events.
Radio Berlin released a briefing stating that the Soviets had tried to make peace with Germany, an offer that was summarily rejected. This revelation made waves across the world. It confirmed the suspicions of Britain and the United States, that their erstwhile Ally was seeking a separate peace. In Russia itself, the news had a very different effect. Joseph Stalins prestige had already been tarnished by the disastrous war. The knowledge that he had been trying to cut a deal with Adolf Hitler was a further blow to his reputation. And since the offer was rejected, the Russian people would be forced to continue fighting a hopeless war. They had nothing to look forward to but more defeats and more famines. By this point, the population was desperate for alternatives. Many were placing their hopes on Andrei Vlasov, the only man who in Russia who could challenge Stalin. They knew that a civil war was underway between the two, and that the General had scored victories. He was very popular within the occupied territories of the Soviet Union. But few had dared to show their support of Vlasov in the unoccupied territories, for fear of being shot by the NKVD. They were paralyzed with indecision... Until the Potsdam declaration was issued on February 28th. This was a political resolution among the Axis, stating that they would accept nothing less than the unconditional surrender of the USSR: The war would continue until the Communist regime itself was eradicated. The declaration also affirmed that if a Soviet capitulation was not forthcoming, then Japan and Turkey would both join the war on Germanys side. This development was greeted with panic by the Russians. They could now see that an apocalypse was on the horizon. In the summer, the Wehrmacht would launch another Blitzkrieg on the Eastern front, and eradicate what was left of the Red Army. They would advance up to the Volga and beyond, and there would be nowhere left to run: Turkey would invade the Caucasus, and Japan would invade Siberia. They would impose their own brutal occupations on the hapless people of Russia, entirely separate from what the Germans were doing. They would pursue their own territorial ambitions that would make a quick, clean end to the war impossible.
At this moment, the Russian people were finally spurred into action. They had no choice but to take matters into their own hands. The Soviet Union was finished. To continue fighting for it at this point was counter-productive. In order to save the country, they had to dissolve the empire. Stalin and his regime were an obstacle that had to be removed. Across Russia, the population quietly began planning for a revolution. It did not take long to materialize. By March, there was open rebellion all over the country. Bands of guerrillas attacked the Red Army, sabotaged infrastructure, and took control of the countryside. They made contact with agents from the Russian Liberation Army, and pledged allegiance to Andrei Vlasov. The revolution spread across many towns and smaller cities, too fast for the Red Army to respond to. Many units were unable to take action against the revolt, since they were tied down facing the Wehrmacht. In the Soviet capital of Kuibyshev, news of the rebellion was met with shock and horror. The Politburo could not believe that their people had turned against them. They had never in a million years thought that such a thing could happen. The fact that the people were demoralized, starving, and desperate did not cross their minds. The Politburo was in complete denial: Some believed that the Germans were using a form of mind control to agitate the population. Joseph Stalin ordered the NKVD to take brutal action against the revolutionaries, and crush them before they got out of control. He tried to retain his composure in the face of what was happening, but inside, his world was falling apart. The Dictator spent his days in a haze, feeling that nothing was real anymore. On March 15, Stalin joined another meeting with the Politburo, where he received the worst news of his life. Entire units from the Red Army were now defecting, and joining the revolution. His worst nightmare had come true. Faced with the terrible truth, Joseph Stalin went into a meltdown. They had been abandoned by their own people, who had sided with traitors. The Soviet Union was doomed, and all that Vladimir Lenin had achieved was lost forever. This outburst was greeted with stunned silence. Finally, Vyaschlaw Molotov asked aloud what they should do. The Dictator answered bitterly, saying there was nothing left to do except to face their deaths with dignity. Stalin then stormed out of the building and left for his Dacha.
Alone by himself, his thoughts were swimming. He asked himself again and again: How had it come to this? All hope was lost. His vast empire was crumbling around him. Soon, the USSR would cease to exist as anything other than a name on a map. It would break down as different factions seized territory for themselves and declared autonomy from the state. And waiting on the sidelines was Germany and its Allies, eager to carve up Russias corpse for themselves. As the leader of a defunct nation, Joseph Stalin would be a fugitive hunted down by his enemies. He would be captured, gruesomely tortured by the SS, and forced to divulge his secrets. He would be paraded around as a garish trophy before the eyes of the world. Stalin would then be dragged in for a show trial, and convicted of crimes real and imagined. A kangaroo court where the outcome was pre-determined: Guilty on all counts. And then, he would meet his end at the hands of a firing squad, or the hangman's noose. The very thought of it filled Stalin with fury. He knew what kindof fate awaited him, because it was a fate he had dealt out to many others during his long reign. The Dictator poured himself a glass of vodka to ease his mood, but this only made things worse. His anger quickly turned into despair. Alone with his thoughts, he evoked memories of his past, during his time as the Chairman of the USSR. The towering achievements of industrialization, and the monumental failure of collectivization. Stalin had rode the highs and the lows... At his desk, he began writing a letter about his career as a politician, and why he had decided to join Vladimir Lenin during the October revolution of 1917. His sorrow was unbearable as he remembered the events of his life. When he was a young Marxist revolutionary, and the world seemed full of opportunities. When everything and anything was possible. But that world was gone now. At this moment, Stalin had already made up his mind about what to do. He had no intention of being captured by the Germans and stripped of his dignity. He left his letter on the desk and walked out of his office, feeling lost and empty. Joseph Stalin went into his bedroom, collected his pistol, and shot himself in the head. He was 62 years old at the time of his death. It was a shocking end for the Dictator who had ruled Russia for 17 years.
Next: The Epilogue.
As the hot war ends, a cold war begins.