Wednesday, October 14, 2009

DBTL 36: Meet the New Boss

This is the latest installment in the Drowned Baby Timeline, an alternate history where Adolf Hitler drowned at birth and where World War II never took place. The largest state in Central Europe is the Polish Commonwealth, which includes the historical Second Polish Republic, eastern Germany, and following the Second Polish Soviet War of 1944 - 45, the former Soviet republics of Byelorussia and Ukraine. Turmoil has enveloped the Soviet Union since the death of Stalin in late June 1946 . . .

From: Stanisław Skwarczyński, Minister of War
To: Jósef Beck, President of the Commonwealth
CC: Edward Raczyński, Heinz Guderian
Date: 18 July 1946
Subject: Political Situation in USSR


We have received confirmation from several independent sources that the recent disturbances within the USSR have abated, and that a stable political situation has emerged.

The dominant organ within the USSR now appears to be the Ministry of Defense, headed by General (now Commissar) Vasili Gordov. This is apparently an institutionalization of the military junta which now effectively controls the USSR. This control is reflected in the newly-established Joint Chiefs of Staff, consisting of Gordov's co-rulers Marshal Rybalchenko, Air Marshal Novikov, and Admiral Nechayev.

Viktor Abakumov, former head of the MGB (Cheka), has been arrested for complicity in Stalin's death, following the release of testimony by Dr. Trofim Lysenko, who has confessed to murdering Stalin on Abakumov's orders. It seems more likely that Stalin's death at Lysenko's hands was accidental, and that Gordov has falsely accused Abakumov in the time-honored Soviet way in order to remove him from power.

The MGB, meanwhile, has been carved up into at least four parts. Foreign intelligence and covert operations are now supervised by the Central Intelligence Secretariat, which is under the control of the Ministry of Defense. Foreign visitors and immigration are now supervised by the Immigration and Naturalization Secretariat, which is under the control of the Foreign Ministry, still headed by Andrei Gromyko. The MGB's judicial functions, including control of the labor camps (which are rapidly emptying of inmates), are now under the control of the Ministry of Justice, while the MGB's police functions are now under the control of the Interior Ministry.

The Communist Party still retains its custodial role over certain state organs, including the Agricultural Ministry and the Ministry of Nationalities, and still maintains control over the parties of the remaining Soviet Republics. The new General Secretary of the CPSU is Anastas Mikoyan, who was most probably chosen for the position by Gordov due to his pliability.

The remainder of the Soviet government is under the direct control of the President of the USSR, Lazar Kaganovich, who is in turn under the control of Gordov. Kaganovich was making a state visit to Peiping during Stalin's death, and so was able to avoid involvement in the subsequent power struggle in Moscow. When the military junta under Gordov gained control, Kaganovich was brought back from Peiping to add legitimacy to the new arrangement.

It is still too early to tell which domestic and foreign policies the junta will follow. However, an article appeared in last Tuesday's Pravda which may indicate a change in the USSR's China policy. The article, "Ominous Deviations", attacked the Chinese Communist leadership in general, and Party Chairman Chou En-Lai in particular, for "unacceptable deviations from the proper course of Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist thought". This may be a prelude to a change from Stalin's policy of attempting to mediate a settlement between the Nationalists and Communists, to a policy of openly aiding one side against the other. Judging from the tone of the article, Gordov may have decided to support the Nationalists.

Any future developments in the evolution of the Soviet government will be communicated as quickly as possible.

Best regards,


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