Stalingrad & Moscow

I can’t imagine a high-tech war, where millions of battledresssed soldiers fight it out over a city.  Or, when one million man army is destroyed, another million-man army is raised up.

(Avoids thinking of the brain-busting cost of equipping said high-tech million-man field army…)

Even China herself – who could call up over a hundred million soldiers if they were really needed – currently fields about 3.5 million men at arms, total.

(Her police forces are a good deal larger… but they are also largely unarmed, excluding the paramil People’s Armed Police (weighing in at 1.5 million))

I can’t imagine that kind of war… but that’s the kind of war being fought in 993 Imperial, between the Third Imperium and the Solomani Confederation, across a ~50 parsec front and hundreds of systems.

Heavy metal, indeed.

In Moscow, Stalin was enraged by the failure of his forces, and the seemingly unavoidable fall of his namesake city. True to form, he directed his ire at his commanders, both political and military.

Nikita Khrushchev believed he was about to be purged.

Sergei Khrushchev: Stalin looked at him, go back to Front. And my father told that I have no doubt that he will arrest me in the car. Because it was a Stalin tradition to arrest people when they left his place. So he told, what I can do, I travel to the military airfield and nobody arrested me. Then I entered my plane and I flew to Front. And I safe only when I landed at Stalingrad. So at that time it was much safer in Stalingrad than in Moscow.

Narrator: For Khrushchev, fear of Stalin trumped the fear of Nazi bombs. — From the script of the video

Emperor Gavin is far more mellow than Stalin, when dealing with civilians… but he is an absolute, I-Am-The-Law monarch, and he does execute sufficiently incompetent members of his government and armed forces.

(See Stellar Reaches, page 58-60, which partly relates the sad end of the incompetent who permitted SolSec to sniff out the planned lightning Imperial conquest of the Solomani Confederation, and turn it into an ugly slugfest.)

There are times when the wisest commanders are as far from Capital as possible, when the hatred of the enemy is to be preferred to the anger of the monarch.


About Alvin Plummer

I'm working to build a better world, a world that blesses Christ and is blessed by Him. I hope that you're doing the same!
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