Early years (1922-1930)Edit
The Workers' Armed Forces were designed with one sole purpose: "Secure the victory of the Vidalist Revolution and crush capitalist-reactionary-bourgeois scum in the entire world" (Leo Trotsky, Speech of Novaya Moskva, December 1922). They hence were created in a very short amount of time from the remains of all pro-Vidalist forces, and equipped with captured ordnance from the White Armies. Despite the utter improvisation that prevailed during their creation and organisation, the ensuing invasion of Europe demonstrated their brutal effectiveness. Poorly mechanised and relying mostly on massive infantry charges, they nonetheless achieved impressive victories, such as the crushing of the Polish army at the Battle of Danzig, and conquering half of Europe within seven months.
As the Great Leader Vidal proudly declared, it was "not fancy machinery" that made the strength of the Workers' Armed Forces, but "the might of the New Man, the high spirit of the vidalist soldier, the overwhelming enthusiasm of the workers for the Worldwide Revolution, and the strong discipline of our glorious army".
Post-war reorganisation and mechanisationEdit
The signing of the Bratislava Treaty put an end to the failed attempt of the Workers' Armed Forces of making Worldwide Revolution prevail, and triggered a complete reorganisation and change in their battle doctrine. Purges in the High CommandDuring the Great Purge of the 1930's and the Petrograd Trials, many high-ranking officers were deemed responsibles for the failure of Operation Red Dawn. Especially, Marshal Kliment Voroshilov and General Chapaev were tried and executed - the former for "notorious incompetence", and the latter for "sabotaging the industrious people's efforts" during the Bratislava negociations.
Along with those two notable figures were executed almost 65% of the Workers' Armed Forces superior officers. Furthermore, Trotsky's assassination had left the army without a leader or a doctrine, clearing the path for young, gifted officers. One of them quickly imposed himself as the new strong figure of the Workers' Armed Forces, until he was appointed Commissar for the Defense of the Motherland and Worlwide Revolution, or "Commissar to war", as it is more commonly said : Mikhaïl Tukhachevsky.
Tukhachevsky takes commandEditThe heir of a former noble family, Tukhachevsky had escaped being considered an "enemy of the people" by joining the Revolution from its very beginning. During the civil war, he quickly rose in the hierarchy, and when Operation Red Dawn begun, he was a general in the Central Front. His division was instrumental in the fall of Budapest and the fall of Belgrade. After Trotsky's assassination, and Voroshilov's resignation on 30 November 1925, he was appointed commander in chief of the Workers' Armed Forces.
During the entire war, he had been noticed for complaining constantly about the lack of mechanised warfare ordnance, and soon after the Bratislava Treaty, wrote a long paper entitled "Why we lost the war" in Vidalskaya Pravda. He emphasised the dire need for mechanised vehicles and armour, especially tanks and artillery, and concluded by the words : "Last year, on the 12th of December, we scared the capitalists by announcing we would build tens of thousands of tanks. It is time to make this threat a reality, and to show to bourgeois all around the globe, that nothing is impossible for the Free Motherland of the Workers and the Soldiers !"
The Second Great Industrial Plan : "One soldier - One tank !"EditThe Second Industrial Plan lasted from 1930 to 1945, and remained in history as the "One soldier - one tank plan". In Tukhechevsky's opinion, the war had been lost because of the inherent weakness of the infantryman, whose time was over as the main force of the modern armies. "In a time", wrote the marshal, "where a simple man can be pulverized by artillery, slain by gunfire or massacred by an air raid, it is the tank that will be the next king of the battlefield".
It took some time to adapt this extreme strategic theory into a real combat doctrine. The first tank models proved very disappointing, in fact, the entire Type LV tank series obtained terrible results, from the entirely too light LV-1 to the ridiculously overweighted LV-12 and the undergunned LV-16. It was in 1938 that the solution appeared, that made the Worker's Armed Forces a fearful steamroller.The LV-19 tank was the first real modern tank in the world that could fulfill the role of a main battle tank. Extremely quick to produce and repair, esay to master even by unexperienced crews, fast, well-armed and resilient, its production raised to more than 5000 units per month, and it would have dominated the battlefields, had it been used with more tactical sense.
It was indeed from this moment on, that the "Armored charge", or "black tide" became the usual battle plan of the Workers Armed Forces. After a continuous artillery barrage, endless waves of tanks rush forward, until the enemy is broken or until they are destroyed to the very last.
Although often ending in tactical disasters, this doctrine proved itself brutally efficient, and, with a few adaptations to their new battle equipment, the Workers' Armed Forces still use it today.
Recent changes and current doctrineEditHowever, it would be wrong to say that the Workers' Armed Forces have remained unchanged since the 1940's. Indeed, after some huge tactical disasters, such as the Battle of Tannenberg, or the Assault on Mosul, where entire tank armies were lost due to poor coordination with the aviation and the artillery, as well as the lack of infantry cover, it was decided to regroup different unit types under a unified command : the Shock Armies were born.
A typical Shock Army gathers under the command of a General, or an Admiral (depending on the operation theatre) some Guard Tank Corps, Naval Infantry units, Self-propelled artillery, and elements from the People's Air Defence. Usually, a Shock Army includes three Guard Tank Corps, numbering 3000 LV-43 MBT's, five regiments of Naval Infantry, representing around 5000 men, one artillery division, that is up to 1000 rocket launchers and two air groups of tactical aviation, totalizing up to 500 planes. Depending on the situation, a Shock Army's commander cans also request support for specialized units, such as paratroopers, GKS commandos, anti-aircraft missiles, or even unconventional weapons.
Different branchesEditExcept when regrouped in a Shock Army, all branches of the Workers' Armed Forces are completely separated and have little to few interaction. Communication between them has to go all the way back from the battlefield to the headquarters in Vidalopol and then back onto the field before it can be effective.
Tank forcesEditThe mainstay of the Workers' Armed Forces, they are constituted by the swarms of LV-43 that the vidalian factories produce every month. As a consequence of their extensive use of the "Black tide" strategy, their loss rate is the highest in the world for an mechanized formation : it is close to the loss rate of Transsahelian Child-soldiers !
However, in most open-range battles, their sheer numbers often make them prevail, even against the best fortified foe : it is not rare to see a tank assault on an anti-tank battery eventually succeed when enemy guns run out of ammunition.
ArtilleryEditThe lack of an effective frontal aviation (see below) has often proved catastrophic for the Workers Armed Forces, whose tank division have been more than once forced to attack entranched enemies without any support. In order to prepare the ground, the vidalians instead rely on extremely heavy barrages from their powerful artillery. "Artillery would be the god of war, if there was a god", once said the Great Leader. The Vidalian war industry has been adapted to this wise teaching, and produces some of the most powerful artillery in the world. Vidalia not only owns the heaviest canons ever built, but also, and more significantly, the most cost-efficient ever : the self-propelled rocket launcher BM-21 "Katyusha". Cheap, easy to produce and devastating in combat, more than 2000 are produced every month. They are usually deployed in large batteries, numbering up to hundreds of launchers, and their rocket salvoes can make short work of most of the enemy's defensive positions.
Vidalian artillerymen can use a vast array of specialized rockets : napalm, armor-piercing, chemical... but they usually make do with the most widely supplied : the frag rocket. While this weapon deals little to no damage to armor, it is deadly efficient against infantry, allowing the vidalian artillery to keep firing even during the tanks' assault, thus forcing enemy weapons crews to stay in cover, and minimizing the risk of friendly fire.
So far, the record of the longest artillery barrage in the world is held by the vidalians, with the continuous bombing of the Chisinau fortress during two weeks until an assault was launched.
People's Air DefenseEditThe People's Air Defense is probably the worst air force in the world. Disregarded by the Great Leader, who claims that "planes are nothing but useless gimmicks", it has very low credits, and the flying personel's training is terrible. In fact, most of its losses are not due to enemy action, but to mechanical failures, flying mistakes, collisions or friendly fire.
Being absolutely relegated at the last positions in the country's priorities, the People's Air Defense is only issued with outdated equipment, such as the La-57 fighter jet, nicknamed "The flying coffin" by its pilots. As it name indicates, it is also limited to a defensive role, and does not possess any long-range fighter, nor bomber, nor even reco aircraft, that could constitute a basis for a strategic bombing program. Its only task is temporarly acquiring local air superiority to facilitate an attack and engage ground targets of opportunity, or protecting highly strategic sites such as industrial centres, against enemy bombers, when for any reason, SAM sites prove ineffective.
Even in this limited role, the People's Air Defense often fails, and it is not rare to see massive land assaults happening under heavy fire from enemy aircrafts, without the vidalian aviation being able to stop them. The land army's doctrine in this situation is simple : "Just ignore them and rush forward, until they run out of fuel and ammo. Anyway, we have more tanks than they have missiles." (General Brezhnev)Plans have been laid down for a general improvement of the quality of the aircrafts equipping the People's Air Defense, but they constantly run out of credits and have already been delayed dozens of times. The La-57 was supposed to be replaced by the most promising La-76 by 1979, but this plane is still in a prototype status, and the old La-57 remains the mainstay of the outdated, outgunned and outnumbered People's Air Defense. Not even the program to accomodate the very satisfying G-68 navy fighter-bomber as a landborne fighter was given enough time and credits, and was eventually abandoned.
The GuardEditNot all the branches of the Workers' Armed Forces rely on sheer numbers to overcome in combat. In some situations, when a full-scale assault is impossible, the Vidalians find themselves forced to field troops that favor quality over quantity : that is where the Guard comes in.
The Guard units are formed with those tankists skilled enough to survive two years of service in the Workers' Armed Forces. They are incorporated in the Shock Armies, as the very spearhead of the assault, and are issued with state-of-the-art ordnance, designed to improve their survivability, a concern that is not applied to the usual members of the WAF, such as smoke launchers and reactive hull armor.
They also receive a deeper training, and some leave their tanks to be converted into specialized infantrymen. Junior officers also receive a long instruction, and are encouraged to take initiatives - up to a point, and as long as they stick to the Plan, of course.
Their existence remains, however, almost purely theoretical, as so few soldiers survive even one month, let alone two years in the tank forces of Vidalia.
Workers' MilitiaEditThe Workers' Militia is the last resort emergency defensive measure of the Workers' Armed Forces. When a city is threatened of falling into enemy's hands, local police and KGV agents gather everybody between the ages of 14 and 65 in the centre of the town. They are issued with an A-47 assault rifle, and quickly organised into squads led by political officers, both from the Party and the KGV. Since every citizen of Vidalia has received a basic military training, they are relatively efficient, and, though being of course no match for a professional army, can still stall an assault for some time. This can be enough for a counter-attack to be set up, or for the town's factories to be dismantled, depending on the situation.
The use of the Workers' Milita is theorically limited to extreme defensive situations, as their combat efficiency is "disappointing", as the official reports say ; but recently, more and more Vidalian officers advocate their deployment in specific offensive operations, claiming that they perform extremely efficiently in minefields clearing, or saturation attacks. Such a doctrine has not been officially approved, nor condemned, by the Commissariat to War.
The GKS (Группа Комамдыровки "Скорпион" - Mission group "Scorpio") is both a special forces unit, and one of Vidalia's most efficient weapons of terror.
Every five years, Workers' Armed Forces agents sweep the harshest common law gulags, searching for the most hardened criminals, those who imposed themselves as leader amongst their peers and managed to survive in the frozen lands of Siberia. Murderers, serial killers, psychopaths, rapists... they are taken away under heavy escort to special facilities, whose locations are kept secret. There, they are administrated a battle-drugs cocktails that drives them litterally blood-thirsty, and with powerful sedatives. They are then issued an RP-74 machinegun and a distinctive black overcoat that they wear above their prisoner's striped shirts ; and loaded into transport helicopters.
They are then transported over enemy territory by night and dropped on their targets as the sedatives' effects dissipates, without any kind of leadership or instructions. Once they have eliminated everything alive on their target, they usually scatter in the surrounding country, returning to their previous state of banditism, and posing a lasting threat not only to the enemy's army, but also to his police forces.
The GKS is often used to take out enemy command posts or artillery positions, but are sometimes randomly dropped over targets without any strategic interest, such as rear-line trenches, or even civilian villages. "Nobody being targeted namely, no-one is safe", as proudly stated the reprensentative for the project, comrade-commander Markov. "The GKS is both an efficient and elegant way to get rid of undesirable elements and make them useful to the sacred cause of the Worldwide Revolution", added comrade Markov.