Saturday, April 9, 2011
Transcaucasian Front HQ
Marshal Maslennikov in full uniform storms around his office emptying desktops of their contents with a sweep of his arm. Papers flying through the air seeming to flee his wrath. Objects slamming against the walls. Some breaking leaving shards of once priceless porcelain and ceramic objects littering the floor. His aide is the only reluctant witness to his what can only be called a tantrum tries to stay out of the line of fire. He utters not a word as he systematically destroys his office in a rage.
Finally he gains control of himself and just stand in the middle of the destroyed room breathing heavily yet not moving or saying a word. He stands stock still for 4 minutes by his aide’s watch. Slowly he takes out a comb and combs his hair back into place. His eyes seem to come back into focus and he finally gains control enough to speak.
‘Tell Zhukov that I will of course obey his orders but stress my strongest objection to his transferring the majority of our air assets to the Channel Front. Stress again the reports of increased movement of NATO and American units to the Islands of Rhodes and Crete. Stress again the increased movement of supplies to Northern Africa. Stress again the absence of American heavy bombers in Europe and the lack of information as to their location. Stress again that under my command and protection are fully 70% of the oil production facilities of the motherland. Stress again that NATO has many bases within range of these facilities. Stress again my total and unfaltering objection to this order. Stress again ….’
‘I sent Popenchenko to convince that weasel Fedoseev. He assured me that my views were known. How can they be so blind to the threat? How can they be so stupid…?’
The Marshal‘s aide finally senses the time is right and speaks for the first time since the tirade started 15 minutes ago.
‘Please Marshal you will only get yourself in trouble or worse if you persist. I beg of you to follow orders as best you can and to not stand in the way of Stalin’s wishes. Please Marshal for all our sakes.’
Maslennikov’s shoulders droop just a fraction of an inch as he again stands still for what seems like an eternity. His aide has seen this kind of body language before from his commander and knows that the danger has past. Internally he breaths a sigh of relief for he knows the worst is over and Maslennikov has come back to his senses. Thank god the powerful have some privacy in which to vent their frustrations. The rest of us must always be on guard and must never let then see our true feelings. Maybe that kind of passion is what makes the powerful the way they are. Always convinced they are right with never a doubt.
Well the aide thinks. I pray that he is wrong this time.
Finally Maslennikov speaks.
‘Order the units transferred Pavel and then clean this place up. Call my driver…I’m going home.’
‘Yes Marshal Maslennikov. It shall be done right away.’