The Politics of Global War: A Crucial Day in Moscow Part II

While the Yeltsin and Dolgikh breakfast drew to an end, the Defense Council was meeting at the Kremlin. A General Staff officer was bringing the General Secretary and the other members of the council up to date on overnight and early morning developments. Since 9 July, the five men making up the council were the controlling mechanism of the Soviet government. These were some of Romanov’s closest confidants and most powerful supporters. Through his oversight, decisions and policies were made at Defense Council meetings, often with only minimal insight from the Politburo. Along with the General Secretary, Defense Minister Yazov, Marshal Akhromeyev, KGB Chairman Viktor Chebrikov and full Politburo member Nikolay Slyunkov made up the body.

The briefing was conducted by a GRU colonel. The officer reviewed the latest developments and current situation in Germany, the flanks and at sea. Details were minimal and there were some glaring holes in the report. In some instances, particularly dangerous and sensitive situations were downplayed or ignored completely. Germany was one example. The briefing officer explained that the Red Army was driving on the Weser and initial crossing operations there were expected to begin there at dusk. Nothing was said of the unrest spreading across Eastern Europe other than Solidarity demonstrations in Gdansk on the previous day had been dispersed by water canon and tear gas.

Romanov asked why the army’s pace of advance had slowed considerably. CINC-West had assured the Defense Council that the Weser would be crossed in force by D+15. Marshal Akhromeyev explained that the delay had come about because of unexplained logistical and supply concerns. The General Secretary then asked if replacing the current CINC-West with a more capable officer would help improve the prospects of reaching the Weser, conducting a crossing in force and making up for the lost time. Akhromeyev balked but Defense Minister Yazov announced that it would make a significant difference. He then attempted to take it further and recommended the sacking of other senior general officers as well. Akhromeyev protested this idea, however. He explained to the General Secretary how it would be better to hold off on replacing additional theater and fleet commanders until the Weser crossing operation was complete. Romanov agreed. Marshal Ogarkov and a large number of his staff officers were to be replaced by that evening. They would wait on the rest.

Through the discussion on the fate of CINC-West, Viktor Chebrikov watched and listened. Although his facial features remained impassive, bewilderment and alarm were starting to set in. The KGB Chairman knew real reasons why Yazov was eager to fire CINC-West. And beyond that, Chebrikov also knew the true state of operations in Germany and other theaters, as well as the deteriorating internal situations in the Eastern European satellites. What he could not grasp at the present time was the cause behind the Defense Minister and Chief of the General Staff’s deception.

The Chairman had some ideas, however and knew there was not much time to investigate before the Politburo met in the afternoon. Chebrikov needed to get started the moment this meeting concluded.


One Reply to “The Politics of Global War: A Crucial Day in Moscow Part II”

  1. *ringing of a phone.*

    “Comrade Vasiliy…”
    “Good morning, Viktor… what may I do for you?”
    “I have need of some cleaning assets, comrade. There is a pair of rodents that require being dealt with, A chiefly defensive pair, I must say.”
    “That severe and that…. capable?”
    “Da… And it needs to be done this afternoon. if possible. Otherwise, things will deteriorate to the point of catastrophe, I’m afraid. And it is very bad now. Very bad now”
    (silence for a full three seconds then…)
    “I see… I shall send my best exterminators, for they are rather substantial rodents. Today, as you request. It may be messy, Comrade. Emergency jobs such as this tend to be.”
    “I understand, comrade. I will have a means to clean it up.”
    “I have no doubt. For now, I must be off and get the exterminators moving.”
    “Of course, Comrade…. I will be ready to help with the clean up by this afternoon. Just after lunch….”
    “That is fast, my friend. But doable. We shall speak later.”
    “Da. We will.. Good Day Comrade.”
    “Good day…”


    Not saying this is what’s going to happen… but it is NOT outside the realm of possibility.

    Being KGB having ZERO love for the GRU, as I recall…. yeah. This is a possible outcome.

    Liked by 1 person

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