Author Topic: Operation Rod of Iron: AU fic  (Read 17208 times)

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Offline Nictionary

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Re: Operation Rod of Iron: AU fic
« Reply #75 on: November 11, 2017, 05:30:24 PM »
October 2, 1919
   Captain Leontiy Telitsyn, the Reconnaissance Battlegroup’s chief intelligence officer,
put on an overcoat and climbed to the deck of the White gunboat Burya and stared across the water at the twinkling lights of Saratov 7.5 versts away.  16 specially trained soldiers were on the ground, operating deep in enemy territory.
   The hand-picked men of the Reconnaissance Battlegroup planned to assassinate 3 regicides in their bedrooms, in the heart of Saratov.  The intended message: “Our reach is long. We can find you anywhere.”
   
   Captain Telitsyn paced the confined space.  Months of poring over maps had helped him pinpoint a certain cluster of lights in the northwest corner of the city—in a few minutes the force should be there.   Suddenly a trail of tracers cut through the night. He took a deep breath of concern: at least the teams had reached the right area. But why the tracer fire? Were they engaged in a firefight with the Red Army?  His discomfort intensified.
   Yuryev had been onto something when he had asked Bylinkin if there were other hit teams.  There were indeed, and one was now in Saratov enabling what was scheduled to be the Intelligence Department’s most audacious endeavor yet in Operation Rod of Iron.  It had been planned for months in advance, and Bylinkin had sent his deputy Yaroslav Mikhailov to the Southern Front to coordinate things.  It had been a logistical nightmare, but now things were finally taking shape.
   While White secret agents hunted and killed junior Soviets across Russia, they were also compiling details on three men connected to the execution of the Romanov family, who appeared to be living beyond the reach even of the Intelligence Department.  The three targeted Bolsheviks were Mikhail Kabanov, Aleksei’s brother who had also participated in the massacre; Pavlushin; and Aleksandr Kostusov, the latter two of whom had assisted in burning the Romanovs’ bodies.  Safely ensconced in fortified houses in Saratov, they were thought to be untouchable. 
   The operation to kill them was to become legendary.  Instead of using Intelligence Department agents, as for previous assassinations, the leaders of the Rod of Iron team turned instead to Anton Denikin’s Volunteer Army.  It was decided that it would be worth the risk to bring  Denikin into the loop.
   Having been entrusted with overseeing the deaths of these men, Mikhailov had met with Denikin back in April and given a basic outline of the assassination campaign before turning specifically to the three targets in Saratov.  “We will need to put together a temporary unit composed of your best men,” Mikhailov had explained.  Denikin selected one of his ablest officers, Colonel Aleksei Arkhangelsky, to lead the Reconnaissance Battlegroup, as Mikhailov had decided to name the ad hoc unit, a name he hoped would be banal enough to disguise its true purpose.  Arkhangelsky personally selected the officers and men of the unit, mostly drawing them from guards and shock infantry units.  The Reconnaissance Battlegroup had spent all summer training under brutal conditions, mostly focusing on endurance and urban warfare.  All that the unit’s men were told initially was that the brass was looking to locate several Bolshevik targets in Saratov. 
   In early August 1919, Arkhangelsky returned to his base from a meeting at Denikin’s headquarters.  He assembled the Reconnaissance Battlegroup’s senior officers around the brown plywood-topped table in his office.  Viktor Osipov, deputy commander of the unit, sat next to Captain Saveliy Tselikovsky, Captain Telitsyn, and Lieutenant Mitrofan Vagin.  As the hardened soldiers gathered around expectantly, Arkhangelsky removed three grainy photographs from a folder lying on his desk.
   “Pavlushin, Mikhail Kabanov, Aleksandr Kostusov,” he said, slapping each of the photographs down on the desk.  The five soldiers looked closely at the photos.  They recognized the names and faces.  Captain Telitsyn recited the Communist biographies of the three, as he had received them from above.  All three were intimately involved with the murder of the Romanovs, said Arkhangelsky, as he unfurled an aerial map of Saratov.  He revealed where Kabanov, Kostusov and Pavlushin were living: “Here,” he said, pointing to the Bunta neighborhood, “on Bolshaya Gornaya Ulitsa, just beyond the cemetery and the park and the old business district, in these two buildings.”  The Reconnaissance Battlegroup had been given the task of assassinating them, said Arkhangelsky.  A murmur ran through the men as they clustered around the map.  There wasn’t much to say. A lot of intelligence work had to be done before they could start on an operational plan.  But there was still a sense of jubilation among the officers present at the meeting.
   The Intelligence Department’s agents went into the field early, undercover, to collect intelligence for the Reconnaissance Battlegroup.  They photographed the apartment buildings, filmed the street at all hours of the day and night, checked the traffic routes to and from the buildings, and observed everyday life in the neighborhood.  The hundreds of hours of surveillance work would hopefully translate into half an hour of meticulously executed action.
   White intelligence agents had obtained detailed architectural plans of the buildings, and the first question planners needed to answer was how to transport Arkhangelsky’s troops to Saratov, a 300,000-person river port 30 milyas north of the front line.  A cavalry raid was ruled out almost immediately as too overt and dangerous.  The river proved a better option.  Captain Saveliy Tselikovsky disguised himself as a fisherman and boarded a large, two-sailed lugger to reconnoiter a 7.5-verst stretch of beach along Saratov’s central shore.
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

Albert Einstein

Offline Nictionary

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Re: Operation Rod of Iron: AU fic
« Reply #76 on: November 11, 2017, 05:33:54 PM »
Tselikovsky grew up in the village of Aleksandrovskoye.  He had joined the Imperial army in 1910 and was a proud and stout soldier.  He welcomed the chance to exact revenge for the massacre in Yekaterinburg.
   Telitsyn pinpointed Savage Beach as a workable landing spot for the team.  While it was a public beach, it afforded lots of tree cover which largely shielded it from the nearest buildings, and there was little activity there at night.
   The reports arrived in a steady stream.  The Intelligence Department’s undercover combatants learned the layout of the lobby, the design of the staircases, and the number of stairs on each landing.  They checked the schedule of the concierge to see when he would likely be at his post. They reported back to Novorossiysk how many guards typically manned the front doors.  Telitsyn investigated the Saratov Cheka: how many policemen were on night duty across the city, how many would respond to a call in that part of town, with how many vehicles, in what time frame, and with what degree of professionalism.
   The plan was remarkable.  Instead of an overt assault, the chosen soldiers, disguised as peasants, would sail to Saratov on gunboats, relying on speed, stealth and good luck to slip past any Red shore defenses or river patrols.  3 versts from town they would transfer to folding boats with outboard motors, which would silently slide onto the shore.  Intelligence Department reserves officers, also posing as peasants, would wait in large carts at the beach, their 7.5-verst route committed to memory.
   The code name “Operation Shimmering Light” was selected for the proposed Saratov attack, and the first preparations were soon under way.  The unit began buying an array of peasant clothing.  Security was imperative; an intelligence officer even warned the owner of a men’s clothing shop on Novorossiysk’s Rozhdestvenskaya Ulitsa to keep quiet about a spate of bulky tough guys buying oversized jackets (which the soldiers would wear to conceal a small arsenal of weaponry).
   Tselikovsky had been carrying a small, passport-size picture in his shirt pocket for the two weeks prior to the mission.  Telitsyn had given him the photo. He studied the lean face of Mikhail Kabanov at every opportunity—when all hell broke loose in the apartment, amidst the screaming and the sting of sweat in his eyes, he would recognize his target immediately. Once he’d pulled the trigger he would have one more opportunity to verify his target: Mikhail Kabanov was missing the pinkie finger of his left hand. The others carried similar photos.
   The men of the Reconnaissance Battlegroup had been chosen because of their high abilities.  Of these already highly-skilled soldiers, the top 14 were picked for the mission.  A 15th, Viktor Osipov, joined at the last minute.  They spent weeks training every night, practicing the skills they would require in Saratov: rapid house entry, shooting from moving vehicles, role-playing.   Their practice drills mirrored the real thing.  They got into folding boats, motored to shore, docked, piled into carts, sat in their exact positions, and drove for 7.5 versts.  They unloaded at two brick buildings in south Novorossiysk.  The neighborhood was still under construction and had been commandeered at night by the army under false pretenses. The warriors split into four teams. Three went up to their assigned apartments, and one, under the command of Arkhangelsky, remained on the street as a forward command center. They practiced the quick entry steps into the lobby and then watched one another’s backs in a coordinated dancelike sprint up winding flights of stairs, guns aimed upwards, counting the floors as they climbed.  Pavlushin lived on the 2nd floor, Aleksandr Kostusov on the 3rd, and Mikhail Kabanov on the 6th floor of a neighboring building. 
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

Albert Einstein

Offline Nictionary

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Re: Operation Rod of Iron: AU fic
« Reply #77 on: November 11, 2017, 05:40:02 PM »
Denikin himself came to observe the team’s drills in south Novorossiysk.  After watching a full rehearsal, he pulled Arkhangelsky aside.  “Listen, Aleksei Petrovich,” he said, “it doesn’t look good. You fellows will be peasants in civilian clothes, but all these men, at one-thirty in the morning? Their security guards are going to notice you fellows, it’s too suspicious… think of something else.”
   Arkhangelsky, and Tselikovsky, who was listening in, knew he was correct. It didn’t look right.  Denikin leaned in and said, “What if some of you came dressed as women?”  Tselikovsky liked the idea immediately. He turned to Arkhangelsky and said, “Yes, Aleksei Petrovich, let’s dress up as couples. We’ll walk spread out in pairs.”
   Tselikovsky set himself to the task.  Wigs and dresses were found for several soldiers who were to disguise themselves as peasant women.  The shortest warriors would wear the drag.  Arkhangelsky would be the buxom brunette, Anatoliy Shigayev and Konstantin Siyalov would be blondes.
   The warriors carried all their weapons and explosives under their jackets and on their belts, or, in the case of the “ladies,” in their bags and under their skirts.  During another dry run, Saveliy Tselikovsky, a broad-shouldered man in a blouse two sizes too big for him, walked hand in hand with Arkhangelsky, the brunette, to the entrance of the building.  Afterward Denikin approached Tselikovsky and felt his jacket, asking, “What do you have on under here?”
   “4 grenades on my belt, a Fedorov Avtomat under one arm, a Nagant under the other arm, and 8 magazines, with 25 bullets each in these pockets,” Tselikovsky replied, showing an array of tailored pockets sewn into his blouse.  Denikin nodded.
   Each warrior understood that if something went wrong with the plan, they were alone. No cavalry would come to Saratov.  One night, after a long day of practice, Tselikovsky gathered the three other men in his team.  “We’re going on an unusual mission, in the heart of a bustling city. There’ll be guards at the doors to the place.  The Communists will be armed.  There’ll be lots of unarmed civilians around us. What we need to focus on is Kabanov; he needs to pay for his sins.”  Tselikovsky paused.  “If we do as we’ve planned, we’ll leave the city in one piece. It’s true, anything could happen, but we’ll stay calm, confident, and clearheaded.  Each problem has a solution.”  Finally, feeling he needed to hammer home the point of the mission, Tselikovsky added: “This is the first time we are attacking an enemy with a name, not some unknown adversary with a weapon.  As far as Mother Russia is concerned, these three guys have committed war crimes.  This is revenge for the Romanovs.  We need them to feel our anger, and to fear us.”
   On September 28, 1919, the same day Netrebin was gunned down in Yekaterinburg, an advance party of White secret agents arrived in Saratov to prepare for the military assault by the Reconnaissance Battlegroup.  Posing as peasants, they procured 8 carts.
   The raid on Saratov was certainly regarded as professional and brilliant—at least after the event. It was not nearly as easy to be certain about it on Tuesday, September 30.  The agents used that day and part of Wednesday to explore six particular locations.  Two were in Saratov itself, three on the outskirts of the city, and one across the river, in the town of Pokrovsk.  This last location, and the three outside Saratov, were Red Army camps and supply depots, storing and maintaining arms, vehicles, boats, records and documents.  Of the two locations in Saratov proper, one was the headquarters of the Volga Military District.
   The other one was the pair of apartment buildings where Mikhail Kabanov, Pavlushin and Aleksandr Kostusov lived.
   Since some of the planning, preparation and surveillance had already been done by local agents of the Intelligence Department who would be expected to stay in Saratov after the operation, the advance party required only to do the work that the local agents could not do without blowing their cover.  This included procuring the vehicles that would be abandoned after the raid, and guiding the raiding parties to their destinations.
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

Albert Einstein

Offline Nictionary

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Re: Operation Rod of Iron: AU fic
« Reply #78 on: November 11, 2017, 05:45:20 PM »
As the White agents plotted how to move the Reconnaissance Battlegroup around Saratov at high speed, and rehearsed the routes they would take in their carts, Aleksei Arkhangelsky’s team was making their final preparations on the other side of the front.
   On Wednesday morning, October 1, the Reconnaissance Battlegroup’s 16 warriors rolled up to the Tsaritsyn jetty on a bus packed with gear and weapons.  Denikin and Colonel Ryasnyansky, head of the Intelligence unit of the Commander-in-Chief Staff, were both waiting for them at the entrance to the harbor.  They hopped on the bus and wished the fighters well.  Denikin had some final instructions for the team.  “We’ve got to kill those bastards,” he told the men.  None of the soldiers thought the Communists would throw their hands in the air and surrender, but they had practiced catching them, cuffing them, and transporting them to Tsaritsyn.  Deep down inside they knew that the chances of bringing them back as prisoners were slim and that in truth the brass didn’t really intend for them to do that, but the Commander-in-Chief’s utterance was more explicit than usual.
   The plan had evolved.  The Reconnaissance Battlegroup was no longer acting alone in Saratov.  Their target was still the primary objective, but it was not the only one. The Commander-in-Chief and other intelligence officers figured that they would get one chance to strike in the heart of Saratov before the Soviets fortified their positions, rendering White raids too dangerous.  Shimmering Light had to be lightning in a bottle.  Additional forces, shock infantry and sailors, would strike other Communist targets.  The first shock infantry team, led by Captain Vladimir Zharzhevsky, commander of the 50th Shock Infantry Battalion, was to strike a seven-story building in east Saratov, where the Volga Military District was headquartered.  The second additional target, a building in Pokrovsk, was suspected as serving as a munitions factory.  The final target, a suspected weapons factory, was to be detonated by Captain Panteley Balashov, commander of the White Volga Flotilla.  Lieutenant General Alexander Kutepov, commander of the 1st Army Corps, was the commander of this part of the mission.
   The river was smooth as pool water on the morning the forces set sail.  It took 13 hours to reach their destination.  Most of the men tried to sleep on the way in.  Luckily, they encountered no Red craft.  The most anxious moment of the infiltration was late that afternoon when the boats passed Kamyshin, the only town of significant size between Tsaritsyn and Saratov.  The boats’ pilots turned off the engines and hugged the east bank of the river as they passed Kamyshin, and the men who were still awake started praying.  A collective sigh of relief swept the boats once they had cleared the town.  Time crawled.  As they neared their destination the men began checking their equipment and mentally running through what they were expected to do on the ground.
   The 8 carts were parked near Savage Beach shortly after midnight.  The area was totally deserted.
   There was little moonlight.  The river was black.  At 0100 hours one of the Intelligence Department agents saw the pinpoint of a flashlight in the dark and lit a lantern and hung it in his cart.  The flashlight went out.
   3 versts from Savage Beach, the White forces disembarked from the gunboats and clambered down into folding boats with outboard motors crewed by some of the sailors for the transfer to the beach.  The teams wore cloaks over their wigs and jackets and carried their weapons in watertight bags.  Several hundred arshins from the beach, the sailors cut the engines and began to paddle.  They moved fast, in unison, in silence.  The intelligence Department agent with the lantern guided the boats into land. As they approached Savage Beach the sailors slipped over the side and helped the passengers ashore. They hit the beach at 0130 hours with dry feet and dry wigs.  Their sealed watertight bags were opened containing shoes, pistols, grenades, knives, and a few Fedorov Avtomats.
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

Albert Einstein

Offline Nictionary

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Re: Operation Rod of Iron: AU fic
« Reply #79 on: November 11, 2017, 05:48:11 PM »
The 40 soldiers moved to the 8 waiting carts and squeezed themselves in - which the agent with the lantern would later say was the toughest technical problem of the entire mission.  Saveliy Tselikovsky jumped into the first cart, accompanied by Aleksei Arkhangelsky, Viktor Osipov, and two soldiers, Anatoliy Shigayev and Svyatoslav Zhvikov.  The 8 carts split into 4 groups and set off.  The man driving the lead cart told Arkhangelsky and Tselikovsky that he had noticed a pair of Chekists loitering around the target area.  Arkhangelsky did not outwardly respond. 
   As the 3 carts containing the 16 men of the Reconnaisance Battlegroup drove into Saratov at a sedate pace, Tselikovsky glanced at Arkhangelsky, his commander.  “Ow, Aleksei Petrovich, you don’t make a pretty woman,” he said.
   “But I feel pretty, that’s what matters,” retorted Arkhangelsky.
   “You brought a lot of guns,” remarked the driver.
   The carts covered 7.5 westbound versts in 20 uneventful minutes.  They parked around the corner from Bolshaya Gornaya Ulitsa, and the soldiers piled out, with Arkhangelsky’s arm slipping around Tselikovsky’s waist as they walked towards their targets.  Their disguises were apparently so convincing that, even when the “couple” brushed against two armed Chekists walking along the pavement, the officers did not give them a second glance.  The Intelligence Department combatants, many of whom held regular jobs and simply made themselves available for “assignments,” drove down the street and parked, ready to assist at a moment’s notice. They got out of their carts and spoke quietly among themselves, casually holding their horses and chatting.
   Within a few minutes the Reconnaissance Battlegroup had reached the three apartment blocks and split into three groups to attack each one.  The “brunette,” Arkhangelsky, waited in the street with the “blonde,” Konstantin Siyalov; the unit’s doctor, Yelisei Demenok; and navy liaison officer Stanislav Amelin.
   In the courtyard of Pavlushin and Kostusov’s building, five Cheka guards, armed with old rifles and Mosin-Nagants, were keeping watch, smoking and talking.  The soldiers in drag entered the courtyard.  One of the Chekists walked towards them.  The soldiers drew silenced Nagants and opened fire.  The Chekists were shot before they could lift their guns.  The soldiers used knives to make sure all five were dead.  Behind them, more soldiers rushed silently in.
   Across the street, Tselikovsky led his four-man team through glass doors into the building housing Mikhail Kabanov’s apartment.  Tselikovsky led them through the lobby and up the stairs at a silent gallop, taking two or three steps with each bound, and drawing their guns as they ran.  They stopped at the sixth floor and paused on either side of Kabanov’s front door, while Zhvikov bent down and placed an explosive charge beneath the knob.  Tselikovsky turned on his flashlight and started counting down the minutes on his watch.  All three assaults were scheduled to begin simultaneously at 0200 hours.  Finally the countdown neared its end.  “Five one thousand, four one thousand, three one thousand, two one thousand, one one thousand…zero one thousand.”  Tselikovsky pointed at Zhvikov.
   Zhvikov jumped up and flipped the switch on the activation device.  Suddenly the sharp popping sound of gunfire rose from the street. Two more seconds passed before the detonation device exploded, blowing the door off its hinges and filling the hall with smoke.  Tselikovsky and his team raced inside, with the leader following a predetermined route and breaking left into the apartment’s main corridor and on through Kabanov’s office.  They knew the layout from the endless drills and simulations. Running down the hall toward the workroom with Zhvikov behind him, Tselikovsky turned to see a familiar face peek out of the master bedroom.  He raised his Fedorov Avtomat at Mikhail Kabanov, the man whose picture he had kept in his breast pocket. 
Even as the Bolshevik slammed the door shut in a bid to escape, the chatter of automatic rifle fire pierced the night, as Tselikovsky and Zhvikov each unleashed a long blast of fire.  Bullets from their Fedorov Avtomats tore through the door and wall. Then with a hefty kick Tselikovsky smashed down the remains of the bedroom door.  Both soldiers found Mikhail Kabanov lying dead on the floor in a pool of blood, his fatally injured wife by his side.  Tselikovsky, worried by the shooting in the street, decided not to pick up Kabanov’s papers as planned, despite the waterproof bags they carried for that express purpose. He commanded his soldiers to follow him to the street below.
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

Albert Einstein

Offline Nictionary

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Re: Operation Rod of Iron: AU fic
« Reply #80 on: November 11, 2017, 09:46:00 PM »
The other two teams in the apartment building across the road were similarly successful in finding their targets.  Aleksandr Kostusov was caught by surprise, sitting at his desk, in his pajamas, working on a eulogy for a friend.  He managed to duck beneath the desk and squeeze off a single bullet, hitting a White named Vyacheslav in the leg, before the 2nd soldier through the door shot Kostusov dead in a burst of fire.  A couch behind him burst into flames as the phosphorus bullets riddled his body.
   On the 2nd floor Pavlushin also sat at his desk, writing.  As the Reconnaissance Battlegroup burst into his apartment their target leapt away towards a Mosin-Nagant.  Screaming with rage, he managed to fire one shot from his rifle before his body was shredded by bullets.  The soldiers shoved piles of paper into the bags and left the apartment within two minutes. Racing down the stairs, an apartment door opened, triggering immediate fire from one of the tense White soldiers.  A 70-year-old German woman, investigating the nighttime noise and commotion, was immediately killed.
   Outside in the street more shooting indicated that the Whites were under attack.  Tselikovsky led his team back out of the apartment and raced down the stairs and out of the house to join the firefight in progress.  As he emerged onto the street he was witness to an extraordinary sight.
   Arkhangelsky and Siyalov, in wigs, had been standing next to Demenok and Amelin when a curious security guard got out of a parked sedan and approached them. Crossing the street, he pulled out his weapon. Arkhangelsky and Siyalov waited until he was a few arshins away, drew their silenced pistols, and fired. The security guard retreated to his car, firing over his shoulder. Arkhangelsky and Siyalov returned fire with their Fedorov Avtomats.  A stray bullet activated the horn of the car, which attracted the attention of a nearby Internal Troops patrol, which would arrive with shocking alacrity. This gun battle is what Captain Telitsyn saw from the deck of the gunboat. 
   Once the security guard stopped firing, Arkhangelsky summoned the getaway carts.  Suddenly an Internal Troops combat vehicle appeared and began racing towards the scene.  As Tselikovsky led his team out the front door of his apartment, he saw Siyalov, in drag with a blonde wig, blazing away with a Fedorov Avtomat at the vehicle.  Another combat vehicle carrying four more Internal Troops appeared on the road, only for bursts of White fire to kill or wound all of the men.
   The getaway carts skidded to a halt near Arkhangelsky, just as another Internal Troops Opel appeared.  Tselikovsky pulled a grenade from under his jacket and lobbed it at the men.  It landed in the open-topped vehicle and exploded.  Four Internal Troops were thrown from the vehicle, either dead or wounded.
   Tselikovsky gave a signal with his right hand, and the soldiers squeezed back into the carts and raced toward the beach.  The Bolshevik cars, burning, flipped on their sides, blocked the street.  A narrow escape way through the wreckage remained.  The carts sped away.  The last cart sprayed nails behind them to impede any followers.  Once they had slid back into the main artery of traffic, the drivers resumed a casual pace, arousing no suspicion.   After spending a nervous verst stuck behind a Red cavalry unit on routine patrol,  the Whites arrived back at Savage Beach, where they parked their carts neatly in a line on the road above the beach, unhitched the horses and turned them loose, and went down to the water, where they were greeted by sailors who shuttled them back to the gunboats waiting downstream.  From the moment Aleksei Arkhangelsky, Saveliy Tselikovsky had landed on the beach to the moment they left again, the operation had taken precisely half an hour.
   Boarding the gunboats, they were updated about the other components of the mission.  Zharzhevsky’s team of shock infantry, also in civilian garb and escorted by Intelligence Department combatant drivers, had been taken in 3 carts to the center of Saratov, where they had been engaged in a fierce firefight in front of the Volga Military District headquarters.  Two soldiers were killed, one critically injured.  The forward entry team was able to lay the explosive devices under heavy fire and damage the 6-story building.  Captain Zharzhevsky would be awarded a citation for valor for his command under fire.  The sailors and shock infantry encountered no resistance, but, due to faulty intelligence, also found no weapons or munitions factories.
   The soldiers were evacuated by sea, as were the Intelligence Department agents.  The night gave the Whites an advantage as the gunboats sped down the Volga as fast as they could go, once again not meeting any Red boats.  By the time they passed Kamyshin, the garrison there still hadn’t received word of the attacks in Saratov, and since the gunboats were heading toward the front rather than coming from that direction, they were not challenged.  The White force returned to Tsaritsyn in mid-afternoon.  Denikin received them.
   Shimmering Light made a searing impression in Soviet Russia, a combination of anger, embarrassment, and awe.  Stories abounded.  Myths grew. 
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

Albert Einstein

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Operation Rod of Iron: AU fic
« Reply #81 on: November 22, 2017, 07:24:50 PM »
Some comments:
The Isrealis in at least one raid against the Palestinians had some of their Commandos dress up as Women.

You mention a clothing store. It is possible for one to be in business but there were people all over Russia selling about every thing they owned to get money to buy food.

A rifle like the Fedrov Automat would be too big to stick under a blouse.

Note peasant women in Russia wore headscarfs. For a woman to wear a hat was a sure sign in the Civil war period you were upper class.

I don't think they would have had that much time to train for a operation. Remember things moved in the Russian civil war with sometimes WW II level speed. Denikin and his army were confident in the Summer and fall of 1919 that they were going to defeat the reds and be in Moscow by the end of the year.

I am not sure how wide the river was near Saratov no doubt during the spring thaw the river would be over flowing.

They did have outboard motors back then but I am not sure how much horsepower they had.

Comment: If you are a agent behind enemy lines and you are carrying a pistol in your pocket in the Russian Civil war period it would be loaded with the safety on if it was a automatic pistol like the Browning. You might have to shoot someone who is close by with the pistol in the pocket. It is also possible you could be shot in one arm, or grappeled by someone or knocked down. You need to have a round in the chamber ready.

Offline Nictionary

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Re: Operation Rod of Iron: AU fic
« Reply #82 on: November 24, 2017, 01:20:22 AM »
Quote
Some comments:
The Isrealis in at least one raid against the Palestinians had some of their Commandos dress up as Women.

In case it isn't obvious, this scene is heavily inspired by the 1973 Israeli raid on Lebanon.

Quote
A rifle like the Fedrov Automat would be too big to stick under a blouse.

I was trying to portray the men as carrying them under jackets and the "women" concealing them under their skirts.
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

Albert Einstein

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Operation Rod of Iron: AU fic
« Reply #83 on: January 01, 2018, 05:35:54 PM »
I decided to write something on this operation the first meeting of the team and the National Center:
Late March 1919  a park in a suburb of Moscow a Old man is siting on a stone bench in what had been a nice park Bylinkin walks up to him:
Bylinkin: Excuse me are you a lawyer?
Old Man: Yes why do you ask?
Bylikin: I was told by a sailor to contact you.
Old man : Is the sailor from the Baltic Fleet?
Bylinkin: No from Siberia.
Old man: So you are the man I have been waiting for have a seat (Bylinkin sits down near him)
Old man : The leader of our organization is against what you are going to do because it will most certainly disrupt our intelligence gathering operations, but orders are orders we have to help you. how many people are in your goup?
Bylinkin: my comrade who is down the street aways and 3 other 2 person teams that should be arriving in a week or two.
Old man: WE can get you intelligence, arms, explosives, false papers, safe houses with few problems. Food is both hard to come by and expensive.
Bylinkin: I see
Old man: There are some things you  can do to help us.
Bylinkin: Like what?
Old man: Money for one we never have enough and always need more. We also need couriers to carry intelligence and there are a few people we would like you to kill as it would make our job easier.
Bylinkin: Your requests are reasonable . We will try and help you if it doesn't interfear to much with our operations
Old man; Good! are any of your people good at bomb making?
Bylinkin : all of us have some training in bomb making and one of us is a real expert.
Old man: Excellent! there are trains full of munitions leaving Moscow constantly leaving for the front. Blowing one or more of them up would greatly help out armies.
Bylikin: Yes it would. I'll see about it.
Old man; (handing him a pen and paper) give me a list of the people you plan on 'removing" (Bylinkin takes paper and pen and writes down the names while the old man writes on another sheet of paper after a short while they hand each other the sheets of paper they were writing on)
Old man: I know where you can find a few of these scondrels and should be able to find you the information on most if not all of the rest in about a week. In away it might be better for you to try and kill Lenin and Trotsky, but Lenin is too well guarded after the attempt on him last year and Trotsky is always on the move.
Bylinkin: I agree
Old man: I always go for a walk to this park Sunday afternoons unless the weather is too bad. The sheet of paper I gave you has locations of two dead drops where I will leave messages for you and your replies.
Bylinkin: (looks at paper) I should have no problems finding them.
Old Man: I may not survive this, but I hope my organzations information leads to the defeat of these Bolshevik scoundrels. I wish Kolchak and Denikin would
listen more to the advise we send them.
Bylinkin: Don't worry old man our armies will be in Moscow by the end of the year at the latest.
old man: I hope so. It is a honor for me to be of help to you. I will meet you here next sunday at this same time. Take care.
Bylinkin: I will you take care as well (both men stand shake hands and walk away)

Offline Nictionary

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Re: Operation Rod of Iron: AU fic
« Reply #84 on: January 02, 2018, 11:58:12 AM »
That's great, James!  I'm working on a new scene at the moment.  If you want to collaborate on this story the way people have elsewhere on the forum, I could send the scene to your messages for review before posting.
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

Albert Einstein

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Operation Rod of Iron: AU fic
« Reply #85 on: January 09, 2018, 07:09:47 PM »
Glad you liked it but it may be awhile before my next post. Sending your posts to me for review would be fine.

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Re: Operation Rod of Iron: AU fic
« Reply #86 on: January 10, 2018, 02:15:57 PM »
Ok. I have issues getting email from the forum so probably the best way to get in touch is through messages.
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

Albert Einstein

Offline Nictionary

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Re: Operation Rod of Iron: AU fic
« Reply #87 on: January 14, 2018, 09:30:50 PM »
This scene contains some profanity.

October 3, 1919

   Shimmering Light did not demand the Intelligence Department’s full attention.  While that operation was in motion, another was under way.
   Yuryev and his team had headed for Perm after the hit on Netrebin, arriving in the early morning of September 29.  To their horror, Yuryev and the A and Be squads found their initial safe house to be a derelict building, the crummiest on a block of really crummy warehouses. 
   “Is this Bylinkin’s idea of a joke?” Feliks asked as they looked in disbelief at the address.
   “I’ve had nightmares that look like this,” said Mikhail.
   Inside the safe house they found a large and utterly derelict apartment.  It was unfinished and abandoned: cinderblock walls, cement floor, and dank.  It was unfurnished, except for a few rickety chairs, a couple of crates and two stacks of old mattresses - a pile of five and a pile of four - each pile tied with hemp.
   The target this time was a slightly more difficult man to reach, in a hotel in Perm.  Grigori Sukhorukov, who had participated in the burning of the Imperial Family’s bodies, was in the city for a meeting.  A tough target, Sukhorukov behaved as if he were in enemy territory in Perm.  He rarely left his room in the Hotel Ural and forbade housekeeping from entering.
   On his way to Cheka headquarters on Petropavlovskaya Ulitsa just a few blocks away, he went to great lengths to shake any possible tail, switching cabs in the middle of his trip, taking many side streets, and paying careful attention to his back.  The O squad followed him throughout. After a few days of surveillance, Yuryev decided that the best way to end Sukhorukov’s life without jeopardizing safety or cover was to plant an explosive device in his room. All they needed was Miroshnichenko’s approval before picking the appropriate time and place.
   On October 2, around the same time Shimmering Light was taking place, a Raduga operative arrived in Perm, bringing with him a message from Miroshnichenko authorizing the mission to go ahead.  This agent, Albert, had been a skilled electrician before the war.  Upon being assigned to Raduga, he had received further training in burglary and bomb-making.  To avoid danger to the rest of the team, he stayed alone in a separate safe-house from other team members.
   The following day Yuryev and the A and Be squads moved to another safe house.  They were sitting at dinner when, a little after 1930 hours, a message came from the O squad at the Ural Hotel in Ulitsa Pokrovskaya.  Apparently Shimmering Light had shaken Sukhorukov from his precautionary routine.  He had heard snippets of information about the stunning mission that ended the lives of numerous comrades, but was still unable to piece together the full story. He finally left his room to buy a newspaper.  Yuryev sent a message back ordering half the O squad to follow Sukhorukov and, if necessary, detain him, until Albert and the A squad finished planting the bomb in his hotel room.  He ordered the other half to remain in the hotel and only walk out when Sukhorukov was alone in his room.
   Their plan was to take a carriage and pick up Albert, along with the explosives.  Mikhail and Natalia carried their 7.65mm Brownings, and Yuryev carried one to give to Albert as well.  They piled into the carriage and set out for their rendezvous.
   It was a long trip from their safe house off Ulitsa Krasnoufimskaya to almost the other end of town—the corner of Ulitsa Monastyrskaya and Glavnyy Prospekt, where they picked up Albert and Zakhar.  Albert was dressed in his old electrician’s togs and carrying his travel bag, a toolbox, a can of plaster, and finally a box which he kept a close hold of.  (Their second safe house was near a cemetery; as Mikhail remarked: “Good, at least we don’t have far to walk.”).  They proceeded on their journey in two carriages.  With Yuryev, Feliks, Angelika, Natalia and Mikhail in one carriage, followed by Zakhar and Albert in the second, they covered the short distance to Ulitsa Pokrovskaya in a few minutes.
   They arrived in front of Sukhorukov’s hotel shortly after 2000 hours.  Albert got out of Zakhar’s carriage and went over to confer with the occupants of Yuryev’s.  “I’ll need someone to come up with me to his room,” he explained.  Mikhail volunteered, and Albert handed him his travel bag and the can of plaster.  Yuryev handed Albert a Browning.
   Albert looked down at the box in his hand.  “Since I was sent here in a hurry, the only explosives I could get were Japanese phosphorus grenades.  I’ve surrounded each one with newspaper to prevent jostling.”  He pointed to the end of an arrow drawn on the side of the box.  “I’ve clustered them together at this end and altered them all to use with a single fuse.  The rest of the box is stuffed with heavy paper to create a shaped charge.  When they explode they’ll toss little white balls of phosphorus around his room.  Each ball is like a little sun.  It burns at around 2800 degrees.  The air catches fire, everything melts.  Now what I’ll do is plant it in the wall of his room behind the telephone, with this end pointing into the room, in such a way that if the receiver is lifted from the hook that will trigger the explosion.  When you know he’s in his room, you call him from that telephone booth across the street.  And also I should mention the grenades are quite old, only four looked viable.  I dumped the other eight in the bag.”
   Mikhail and Albert went into the lobby while the others waited outside.  They made their way to the fifth floor, where Albert picked the lock on Sukhorukov’s door with a snap gun.  Albert did his work well, and before Mikhail knew it he was spreading a thin layer of plaster over the hole in the wall, after which they moved the furniture back into position and cleaned up.  It was shortly after 2030 hours when they left the hotel, leaving nothing in Sukhorukov’s room to indicate it had been disturbed.  They returned to the carriages, which moved down the street about forty sazhens from the hotel.  Natalia got out of Yuryev’s carriage.  She looked both ways.  She took out her silenced Browning and shot out the street light nearest the carriage.  She got into Zakhar’s carriage with Mikhail and Albert.  Everyone waited without speaking.  And about ten minutes later, Sukhorukov returned to the hotel, having bought a few papers with screaming headlines about the raid in Saratov.  He had left the Intelligence Department operatives little time to operate; but it was enough.  He was followed closely by Artyem.  In a few seconds one of the O squad would be coming out of the hotel to signal them as to whether Sukhorukov had entered his room alone. That would be the signal for Natalia to call his room and set off the explosion.  The wait was agonizing.
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

Albert Einstein

Offline Nictionary

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Re: Operation Rod of Iron: AU fic
« Reply #88 on: January 14, 2018, 09:51:56 PM »
Finally Lazar came out of the main entrance of the hotel, stretched, yawned, scratched his head and lit a cigarette.  Then he turned and walked back into the hotel.  “He’s in his room.  Do it,” Mikhail told Natalia.  She stepped out of the carriage and into the phone booth.
   Yuryev’s eyes instinctively ran up the wall to the row of windows on the fifth floor.  He wasn’t quite sure of Sukhorukov’s particular window, but the sudden flash would be unmistakable.  Even if he wasn’t looking at the right window, he’d see it.
   He saw nothing.
   Nothing, even though a minute must have passed since Lazar went back into the hotel.
   Still nothing.
   In Zakhar’s carriage, Mikhail waited impatiently for the explosion as well.  From the phone booth, Natalia, who was engaging Sukhorukov in flirtatious small talk, kept glancing questioningly at Albert, who shrugged.  “It was supposed to detonate as soon as he answered,” he said.  “Shit.  We’ll have to go back and retrieve the explosives, I’m sorry, I, I don’t —“
   Suddenly Mikhail reached over to the seat across from them and grabbed the travel bag.
   “Careful with that stuff!” shouted Albert.  “What are you—“
   Mikhail got out of the carriage with the travel bag.  He walked briskly but calmly towards the main entrance.    
   Yuryev and the others observed this from their carriage.  “What’s he doing?” asked Feliks.  Mikhail was walking straight into the hotel.  With the bag in his hand.  It looked almost as if he had gone crazy, even from the way he walked.  Usually he’d move in a somewhat stiff, deliberate way, like a much older man.  Now he was taking long, determined, almost flowing strides, holding his chin high in the air.  Yuryev was so taken aback that he hesitated for another few seconds. Mikhail had not even glanced in his direction when be walked into the hotel.  He was clearly not signaling Yuryev to take any kind of action, but under the circumstances, Yuryev couldn’t just stay in the carriage.
   “Wait here,” he told the others.
   Then he jumped out of the carriage, strode across the street and moved towards the hotel.
   In the hotel lobby everything was quiet. There was no one behind the reception desk.  For another second or two he looked around the deserted lobby, trying to recall the layout.   There was a door leading to the employees’ entrance.   Another door to the stairwell, the fire exit.
   Meanwhile Mikhail was rushing up the stairs.  As he did so he hung the travel bag on his left arm, opened it and took out a grenade, transferred the grenade to his left hand, and with his right hand took out his gun.  Finally, breathing heavily, he stopped outside Sukhorukov’s door.  With the grenade in his left hand and his gun in his right, he shot the lock and kicked the door open.  Then, clumsily, he pulled the grenade pin and struck the top of the cap with with his right hand, in which he still held the gun.  He tossed the grenade into the room in the direction of the wall behind the phone, past Sukhorukov, who had thrown down the receiver when Mikhail had shot the lock and was now scrambling to pull his gun from his coat.  When Sukhorukov saw the grenade he forgot about the gun and rushed towards the door.  Mikhail swung the travel bag with his left arm, clouting Sukhorukov in the face, knocking him back into the room.  Mikhail threw the bag into the room, pulled the door shut, then, dropping his gun, he hung on with both hands to the knob as Sukhorukov, inside, tried frantically to pull the door open.
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

Albert Einstein

Offline Nictionary

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Re: Operation Rod of Iron: AU fic
« Reply #89 on: January 14, 2018, 10:54:49 PM »
There was a flash and the door tore off its hinges, blowing into Mikhail, pushing him with a THUD into the hallway wall opposite.  Smoke rolled out of the open door.  Mikhail threw the door off, groped in the wreckage for his gun, found it and stumbled down the stairs.  There was a second, much larger explosion as the other bombs in the room detonated, a deep, muffled thud, with no reverberation.  Mikhail fell, got up and ran down the stairs, pale, his face set.  He ran into Yuryev, who had been starting towards the stairwell when he heard the first explosion.
   “Fucking Albert,” Mikhail said, on seeing Yuryev.  “I had to do it.”
   “Come on,” Yuryev replied, pointing to the door leading to the employees’ entrance. “Through here.”
   The hallway to the employees’ entrance led through a semi-basement, down half a flight of stairs, and along a dimly lit corridor to the street.  Just before reaching the exit, there were another few steps. As Mikhail opened the door, Yuryev could see the pavement from a low angle.
   A second later Zakhar’s carriage lurched into the street and pulled up in front of them.  Mikhail scrambled in while Yuryev ran, crouching, across the road to the other carriage.  “Just drive,” Yuryev said to Feliks when he got inside,“but not too fast. Understand?”  Feliks nodded.
   Back at the safe house they began to sort things out, everyone making a tremendous effort to be calm.  “Look, I know how you all feel,” said Albert.  “How do you think I feel?  Those old things were simply no good.
   Albert should have kept quiet, because this started a major argument, the first one they had had since the mission began.  Mikhail was adamant that if Albert had had real doubts about the explosive material, he should have recommended that the mission be postponed. If they had then overridden his recommendation, Albert could not be blamed. As it was, he should be. Just to mutter under his breath “I don’t think these things are much good,” did not amount to a recommendation to cancel.
   Mikhail had a point, but Yuryev had a more serious quarrel with him. There was, after all, a chain of command—but even common sense would have demanded that Mikhail consult the others before involving them in a brand-new plan of action.  Because that’s what he had done, by grabbing the travel bag with the eight grenades which still contained the original time-delay fuses and rushing up to Sukhorukov’s room without telling Albert or Yuryev what he intended to do. 
   “Well, if I had told you,” said Mikhail sullenly, “you would have said no.  At first.  Then I’m sure you would have said yes, because that was the only solution, but we would have wasted more precious time.  I took a short cut.”
   “Why the only solution?” Albert asked.  “Anyway, once you were in his room, you could have shot him.”
   “Shot him?” said Mikhail, outraged.  Then he turned to Yuryev: ”You see? He’s simply not thinking!”
   Yuryev had to agree with Mikhail.  Shooting Sukhorukov would not have solved the problem of the unexploded bomb in the room.  Once the phone call had failed to set off the bomb, the only solution might well have been Mikhail’s—but he should still not have acted on his own.  At least, he should have alerted them.
   “What if you’d got hurt in the explosion?” Yuryev asked him. “What would we have done, just left you, or hung around trying to find out what happened until we all got caught? You acted irresponsibly.”
   Yet Yuryev had the uneasy feeling that insane as Mikhail’s action seemed, it was probably right under the circumstances.  Mikhail had simply had the courage to face it.  If the booby trap could be neither blown up nor safely removed, what else could they have done but blow it up by manually throwing another grenade into the room, with the Chekist still inside?  Nor was Mikhail wrong that if they had stopped to have a conference about it, they might have been too late.
   “All right,” Yuryev said in the end, “let’s not talk about it anymore. The job’s getting to all of us. ”
   They stayed in Perm for another week, then left one by one. The explosion in the hotel, according to the papers, did start a fire, but the only person killed was Sukhorukov.  Some reports mentioned another guest who was slightly injured.
   Yuryev tried to look ahead, but he was worried.  He couldn’t say why. Everything had gone smoothly so far.  For the seven Romanovs (and their four retainers and two dogs) they had exacted vengeance on Medvedev, the Kabanov brothers, Lisitsyn, Netrebin, Kostusov and Pavlushin.  Also on Sukhorukov.  In the final analysis, it was very easy.
   Maybe too easy.  For the first time since the mission had started, Yuryev could feel a painful pressure in the pit of his stomach.
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

Albert Einstein