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Gerlach Trautmann
Gerlach Trautmann
Profile
Title Lord-Regent and Generalissimo
Gender Male
Date of birth 1883, Munich
Age 54
Faction Russia
Nationality German

Gerlach Trautmann is the Lord-Regent and Generalissimo of the Russian Empire and the conqueror of Hungary, Romania and Sinkiang in Blackened Skies.

A German monarchist who escaped to Russia in 1913 after the communist revolution, he joined the Russian Imperial Army and rapidly rose through the ranks, eventually becoming Generalissimo of the Russian Empire.

In 1934 he conquered Romania and Hungary and in 1937 he conquered Sinkiang. That same year he was proclaimed Lord-Regent of the Russian Empire and head of the Regency Council after the assassination of Tsar Peter IV. In 1938 he led the Russian invasion of Germany.

Early CareerEdit

Born in 1883 in Munich, Trautmann joined a cadet academy in 1896. He was the most excellent cadet officer in his class and his classmates said about him that "There is no problem that cannot be solved by Gerlach". He graduated in 1900 and began the three-year officer training programme at the Prussian War Academy. During the Second Franco-Prussian War he was promoted to lieutenant and served in the 2nd Infantry Regiment. In 1911 he was reassigned as assistant general staff officer of operations to the Tenth Army. During his time there he was regarded as an excellent officer and noted for his skills. In 1912 he was arrested by the communists as he was a notable monarchist but in 1913, thanks to the chaos caused by the Russian invasion, he managed to escape and flee with his wife to Russia, where he joined the Russian Imperial Army.

Theory of warEdit

Trautmann became a staff officer in the Seventh Army, where he remained until 1919. In 1920 he published his first military book: "The Masses at War". In 1922 and 1923 respectively he published two more books, "The Art of War" and "Attack, attack!". Those books became instant best sellers and were highly regarded by military officers not only in Russia but also in other countries. Those three books detailed his philosophy: to use the superior manpower of Russia to employ mass tactics, overwhelming the enemy with sheer numbers, and attacking everywhere along the front to further thin the enemy lines. Speed and momentum were also considered important factors. His motto in the books was "Keep marching forward, crush all resistance!"

Generalissimo of RussiaEdit

Tsar Michael II, impressed by those books, promoted Trautmann to Head of the Operations Branch of the Army General Staff in 1923 and Deputy Chief of Staff in 1925. In 1928 he was promoted to Chief of the Army General Staff and in 1930 he was appointed Generalissimo of the Russian Empire and commander of all of Russia's armed forces. Of course, his rapid promotions were not only due to his writing abilities and his military talent but also due to his friendship with the Tsar. The two of them had become close friends and relatives after Trautmann married the daughter of a Russian aristocrat related to the Imperial family in 1924 (his first wife had died in 1920).

Military CampaignsEdit

Conquest of Romania and HungaryEdit

In 1934 Trautmann led the military invasion of Hungary and Romania and employed the mass tactics he described in his books. He launched an offensive on the entirety of the front with the infantry, created gaps in the enemy line of defense, sent the armored divisions to push through those gaps and outflank the enemy line and then attacked from both sides the enemy. The large Russian armies smashed the ill-prepared Hungarian defenses and the even worse-prepared Romanian defenses. During the siege of Budapest, many ancient historical buildings were bombed into rubble and during a raid the Chancellor of Hungary was shot by Russian stormtroopers.

Chinese CampaignEdit

In 1937 Trautmann was able to overrun Sinkiang with relative ease with an armored pincer movement which cut off the Han troops in Sinkiang and allowed the Russian infantry to overrun them but in Manchuria an attempt to do the same was quickly stopped. In that same year, after the assassination of Tsar Peter IV and the formation of the Regency Council, he was appointed Lord-Regent of the Russian Empire and head of the Regency Council and a few months later crowned as Prince Augustus. Thus he became supreme leader of Russia.

Operation BarbarossaEdit

In 1938 the Russian Empire launched an invasion of the communist German Union with the goal of restoring the monarchy. Prince Trautmann himself was the commander of the grand offensive, nicknamed Operation Barbarossa, facing off against the Prussian Marshal Wilhelm Reinhardt. The two had both come from Prussian nobility, attended the same military academy, and had served in the same division during the Second Franco-Prussian War. All of these past ties were thrown aside though, with fierce fighting all across the front. The sudden appearance of Russian divisions in German occupied Serbia forced the German divisions to go on the defensive and retreat northwest or risk being cut-off. The result was the loss of the entire region before a stable defensive line could be established in Austria, with many soldiers formerly occupying Italy moving to the Vienna district. Russian troops successfully surrounded Berlin, which held out for two weeks and bled the Russians before falling. However, their effort was not in vain, as it allowed the Eastern Front to stabilize with the addition of key Panzer divisions. The Russians had begun a battle for Leipzig, the new GFA capital, but the Russians aborted the operation as the supply situation became tenuous due to the rebels in Poland.

Polish units successfully attacked Russian positions, taking Katowice, Kielce, and Radom, forcing the Russians to transport the supplies to the German campaign solely through Warsaw. Prince Trautmann ordered the garrison commander to not retreat, saying “If you lose the city, you alone are responsible for the deaths of a million Russian soldiers”.

AssessmentEdit

According to the Swiss Herald, which published a Prussian intelligence report, "While Trautmann feels that he is on the cutting edge of warfare, his so called lightning war tactics are not much different from his strategies in the Second Franco-Prussian War. Still, those strategies even today have a brutal effectiveness to them, and his offensives are seemingly able to trade lives for land. His time as the Tsar's go to commander and Russia's constantly changing diplomatic situation forced Trautmann to learn to plan quickly, and his ability to rally soldiers to fight another battle for the Tsar makes him a very dangerous foe to us."

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