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Imperial Ministry of Defense

Tarusa

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211 Alekseevskaya Street
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The building that was most often as recited being the Ministry of Defense was just but one of the several buildings actually owned by the Ministry of Defense. It was simply the major headquarters for the Ministry, others such as the General Staff had their own smaller buildings for carrying out their duties to the empire. Some governments had all their military planning and headquarters in just a single facility, the empire had long believed it was wise to keep some separation between the ministry in the event of a catastrophic event at one or multiple buildings so the military could not have the brass largely eliminated in a single swift blow.

The conflict in the former Pannonian region had no more than just started to settle when the world was turned upside down by the Frankish Empires sudden strike upon the breakaway region of Bourdignie. The world was taken by surprise, Minister of Defense Leontiy Makarov was not however, nor several of his deputies. They had been informed in the days before of the intent of the Franks to carry out a rapid military operation to secure the frankish dominated regions of its new neighboring state. How the information was validated or even known beforehand was not a question he wished to have answered nor was it much of his concern. The General Staff had war plans that were drawn up, and constantly under revision over the years against possible scenarios that the empire would potentially face strategically. Whether this was one or not was not something he was concerned with either, in the hours since, actually even before, the invasion had begun strange things were afoot.

The Republic of Remion had raised itself to a footing near ready for war, diplomatic tensions had been running high as the Serboves had begun being more vocal in the disdain for the republic and its rhetoric. Then the Frankish invasion had happened, the Tsar and the Foreign Ministry were spewing their crap, rallying the public to the idea that this could be a ruse and the newly formed Kingdom of Csengia was under threat as they pointed out the actions taken before by the enemy of the empire. Reality was different, but they would spin that too, the propaganda machine never slept it seemed. What had happened was condemnations, and nations moving themselves closer to a war footing, it was already anticipated in just the couple hours since the surprise attack that the Eiffellanders would probably turn to full war instead of fighting a more localized conflict like that which had just been fought a few hundred kilometers to the south in the previous months.

As such it was no surprise to him when the orders came down from the Tsar and he passed it onto the deputies of the directorates he oversaw. The nation was preparing for the inevitable, if peace could not be found that favored the Empire and its allies, then peace would be found at the end of a gun. It had only been hours since the Bourdignie border had been violated, but it seemed like the order had already been thought of with the rapidness his phone had rang and actions would be put in motion.

Leave for units in the Eastern, Germanic, and Kremlyov military districts are cancelled. No future leaves will be granted for those serving in units of the other military districts for the foreseeable future. Unit preparedness to be that of war. Additional patrols in western districts and of the gothic sea by aircraft at greater intervals than peacetime. The National Guard is to be subordinated from the Ministry of Interior to the Ministry of Defense. Activation of the Reserves, and return to service requested for select reserve personnel that have been discharged from military service in the last three years.
 

Rheinbund

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It didn't go unnoticed to the Eiffellandian armed forces that the Tarusan navy and air force were patrolling the Gothic Sea more intensely. The Eiffellandian navy and air force decided to do the same.

Meanwhile, the Eiffellandian thoughts on the Tarusans had fallen to a level far below zero. Nobody in Eiffelland trusted the promises of a Tarusan. The thought was, that Tarusans only understand violence. In any case, Eiffelland would defend its freedoms, and the freedoms of the Ostmarkers. Or it would drag the world with it in its fall.
 

Tarusa

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The organ responsible for planning the future of the Armed Forces for the future, defense planning, and plans for invasions of neighboring countries or others that the Empire would potentially find itself at odds with. For the past few months the organ had been deliberating on what the needs of the military in the future would be toformulate a recommendation for the Ministry of Defense to present to the Tsar and Duma. The rapidly changing politics of Gallo-Germania that had evolved following the collapse of Pannonia and the formation of the Pressburg Pact had significantly changed the role of the Imperial Military for the next decade or longer.

The report that had been formulated by the General Staff called for the growth of the armed forces to a total strength of 1,672,000 Active Personnel by the end of the decade and the continued growth of a professional reservist system to number around 120,000 personnel whom maintain their skills as former contractual soldiers for up to two months out of the year. This growth would be from the current standing of just slightly over 1 million men that currently served as a combination of contractual troops and conscripts and a skeleton reservist system that maintained few NCOs and COs to act as command staff for reconstituting armies when former personnel would be called back to duty under the mobilization of reserves. This change would allow for a greater response time, and a more in-line professional system to act as a stop gap in the event of a major conflict that would potentially see the mobilization of former personnel and citizenry to fight for the Empire.

To achieve these goals the General Staff report recommended the doubling of the defense expenditure of the Empire for the foreseeable future adding roughly an extra trillion in spending over the next decade to support the growth. The report went on to recommend where the growths would be the largest, and some would say ambitious, as when the equipment procurement was browsed over you would see that they called for an expansion of the Navy by some 87 surface combat vessels and approximately 40 submersibles, and supporting vessels. The Aerospace forces were modest expansions calling for an additional ten air regiments for multi-role aircraft to be added over the next decade as well as an additional bomber regiment, included was to be increases in the air lift and ground support aircraft.

The surprising factor was the limited role of expanding the army. While other branches were seeing increases of nearly doubling in size or capabilities the army was only called for to grow by approximately half of its current strength when looking at the numbers of active duty personnel called for. Its growth would be the greatest in the addition of a true reserve force that would maintain proficiency in their skills as armed forces to supplement those whom were currently actively serving the Empire.
 

Tarusa

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The recommendation had made it from the General Staff to the Ministry of Defense to the Tsar and back down to the Ministry of Defense which had begun executing the orders with the utmost speed. They had known the ambitious program would be too much for the dockyards to handle of the Empire alone and had begun outsourcing some of the shipbuilding where it could. The Franks would be building a couple ships of a new class for the Empire that it lacked and saw as a need to maintain its position in the world, the Justosians would be building around half of the support vessels needed for the new expansion, and the Serbovians would aid in the construction of warships with some of their own and some Imperial designs.

On the home front the Ministry of Defense was working out an agreement with Empire Shipbuilding Corporation on the details of the program and its capacity to meet the requirements. The first batch of ships would be laid down over the course the next couple of months and would consist of six frigates, four destroyers, nine diesel attack submarines, seven nuclear powered attack submarines, two missile submarines, twenty-two corvettes along with a handful of auxiliaries.

The Ministry of Defense after talking amongst themselves and with Industry leaders knew the undertaking of this naval expansion program as the first phase of the militaries growth would be a stress test of the ability for it to support a large scale long term conflict in the future. This was after-all a much needed test as the continent was nearly plunged into a second great war recently, and how many nations could potentially keep a high tempo of military operations for a solid year, or two, at such a grand scale? None? Not even the Empire could sustain itself on such a large scale war for more than just a couple of months before operations would begin to be hindered by a lack of ammunition and other armaments that are lost to attrition in the field of battle.
 

Tarusa

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The expansion program was largely focused on the naval aspect in its first phases as production in other areas domestically were on limited scales of purchases. This was done on a multitude or reasons, resources, sustained production rates that had long been the norm to keep production lines running but not overproducing, and lastly to keep the planned expansion as unnoticed as possible. The government had done a great job by spreading the naval expansion program in its first phase across four different countries, and it would potentially follow similar planning for the second phase as it would eventually roll up.

The aerospace Industry had been carrying limited production of the modern fighters for the Imperial military for years keeping it at a level of replacement but not growth so as to keep the lines perpetually running. Now with interest in the newest design and the demanded growth domestically it would appear that the production line of the 5thgen fighter would finally be pushed to a full production rate with confirmed orders from the Frankish Empire, and the Imperial Aerospace Defense Forces and the potential purchase after evaluation by the Serbovians.

Some in the MoD circles questioned the reasoning behind the approval of one of the latest designs being sold to a state that was not involved in the development or at the least an allied state, but those in the know were well informed as to part of the reasoning. The Ministry of Defense was already in possession of tanks and infantry fighting vehicles of Eiffellander design, one of each was being detailed and stripped down and evaluated, these were for the purposes of not just knowing how to replicate the vehicles and build designs off of them, but also to better know the limits and capabilities of its enemies armored forces. What tho did that have to do with the Franks? They were getting a deal cut for a reduced price on several of the 5thgen fighters, in exchange for roughly a dozen fighters they had of Eiffellander design, giving yet another piece of the enemies arsenal to be disected and operated against.
 

Tarusa

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The initial phase of the expansion of the Imperial Military was nearly complete as the navy had taken delivery months ago of the first submarines ordered, the support vessels from Justosian shipyards, and the assault ships from the Frankish Empire. It was just a short time away from taking delivery of the destroyers and frigates from its own yards and a new destroyer class from its allied state of Serbovia. The expansion of the Navy would be hard to keep hidden with such a dramatic increase, and the slow increase of the land forces that accompanied the expansion in the navy and army.

The second phase of the expansion of the Imperial Military would begin now, as it continued to still focus upon the naval expansion as the primary driving force while the expansion of the army was to still remain gradual and slow keeping a steady and slow production just above replacement levels for equipment while drafting/recruiting new men into the service. This policy was not one that went over well with the top commanders of the army who saw themselves as the pre-eminent force of the Imperial Armed Forces and the ones who guarded the Imperial authority globally keeping the enemies dormant but it was the policy of the Ministry of Defense as the ability to project force globally and keep the Empires shipping lanes open in the event of another conflict of greater proportions as the potential future adversary could and most likely would attempt to shut down access out of the Gothic Sea.

The Empire Shipbuilding Corporation would be contracted for another ten surface vessels to begin construction in the yards with the classes being two more frigates, six more destroyers, and a new class, the long shelved design of the Kresta cruisers would be introduced to supplement the aging design of the previous cruiser class. With the laying of these keels on the heels of the previous ships coming out of the yards, the world would know something was afoot in the Empire. It would be impossible to hide such an aggressive growth with the imperial shipyards all full constructing mostly military vessels with limited numbers of civilian constructed vessels occurring. The submarine force itself would continue to grow as it had shown its capabilities of tremendous value from the Csengian conflict as four cruise missile submarines, seven nuclear submarines, and seven diesel submarines would be ordered as well.

The idea was still being floated of tapping into friendly and allied yards once again to reach the proposed goal of vessels in the decade growth plan but it had not yet been decided. The Empire did not want to take up valued space of its allied yards in Serbovia, the Csengians were still rebuilding their own military after the conflict as the military structure was in shambles even before the conflict had begun after years of Pannonian neglect, and the loss of the nationalists in the second highest position in the Continental Empire caused a questioning of the future loyalty of that nation as it could be the beginning of a fall from grace for the right and the rise of the left.
 

Tarusa

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The expansion of the Navy had left the other branches in disgust as while they had been slowly growing in size themselves. The inter-arms rivalry wasn't just now friendly jaw flapping amongst enlisted and junior officers, it had made its way to the halls of the Ministry of Defense. The Empire had put great focus on extending its global reach, the navy itself was potentially the largest in the world now as it sat in gross tonnage, alongside the entire Imperial Military being believed to be the largest active duty force globally. The rumors floating around the halls of the Ministry of Defense had started circulating that the focus of navy first was due to the need to punch thru the Gothic Sea in the event of a conflict with ScanLaw, another was that it was due to the Empire preparing to fight a foreign war in Westernesse, the rumor that stretched the imagination the most was that of it was so the Empire could wage a war for resources, to dominate the oil market by taking strategic locations in Himyar.

The army command itself had secured its greatest victory in the expansion program by moving forward with a professional reserve military force. Instead of relying upon a system of calling up former soldiers and the citizenry to arms it would now have a pool of manpower that would actively maintain their skills and already have a chain of command and structure to follow in place. While it would never replace the reserve pool of manpower that could be called up in times of need, it was finally a true "western" professional reserve system. The biggest deficiency that had plagued the army that was one of the best kept secrets was its logistics. It relied heavily upon rail and while its truck based supply system would still function and be capable of large scale operations, it would have required pulling supply units from other regions to maintain efficiency and that would in itself be a problem if the conflict required the entire military arm of the Empire. This was what the reserve system was being designed for was increased logistics support and not being primarily combat arms.
 

Tarusa

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The landing of Justosian White Helmets in Lethonia had created quite a bit of buzz around the Ministry of Defense with senior leadership in discussion amongst the respective staff and shuttling back and forth between the Kremlin. It was in ill fated move on the part of the friends of the Empire, perhaps they had figured on landing in Lethonia to make their way to Bourdignie, nobody knew. The Tsar nor the Foreign Ministry had received any information from Justosian counterparts as to what their actions would be from the stand-off, but contingency plans were being put in place.

The Empire would not go to war over this faux pas by the Justosians, but neither would it allow sensitive military equipment of the Justosians to fall into the hands of the Lethonians whom for all intents and purposes were considered still the enemy of the nation. Nothing could be done for those whom were on shore, and there was most likely still some onboard the ship which could result in a greater collateral damage depending on how the situation unfolded, but the costs were weighed and it would potentially still be carried out no matter the cost of human lives.

The decision had been reached at the highest levels, when the ultimatum issued by the Scanians and Lethonians expired if the Justosians did not surrender to be escorted to Bourdignie under guard or if they resisted and a fight was to break out between the two forces the coastal missile defense troops would act unilaterally to ensure the Justosian ship did not fall into Lethonian hands, they would sink it. Allowing such a large piece of equipment and its information to fall into enemy hands was something that could not be allowed, for depending on circumstances it could end up eventually being used against The Empire.

The risk was deemed actionable, it would surely ruffle some feathers and cause another tense bout diplomatically with the Lethonians and potentially the Justosians, but there was not many other options that were available. The orders were being passed on immediately to the Eastern Command staff in Piramida to be ready, but the orders would ultimately still come from the Naval Forces Command in Kremlyov.
 

Tarusa

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The General Staff had plans for everything, it was their job after all, scenarios upon scenarios and contingencies and planning. The Ministry of Defense now pulled forth one such plan to implement with revisions, the invasion of Al-Magrab. It had been a goal for centuries the conquest and expansion of the Imperial domains, but geopolitics and lack of desire from the Tsars had kept it always shelved and only updated periodically. Things had changed in recent times, it was no longer a mandate, the allies of the Empire had grown, the Ministry believed that this alliance would be unrivaled in strength globally, and it would allow for a strengthening of the Empires hands to counter the growing PDists and liberal democracies around the globe in hard power that wasn't just military, but economics.

The 106th Guards Airborne Division had been stationed and in the Noks Free State ever since the withdrawal from Thrakia and the Pannonian conflict, a move that had been left with a permanent Tarusan garrison in the Tsars colony for the first time in centuries as well. That would alleviate part of a problem in positioning of forces for a rapid strike. The Askari would not be included in the invasion due to inferior capabilities nor desire to strip the Free State of its own military forces used to combat domestic issues.

An order for the 23rd Marine Brigade to carry out an amphibious assault from the coast would be issued. They would make ready, with the assault force comprising several landing ships, the two amphibious assault ships of the fleet, and an escort and fire support provided by a battle cruiser, cruiser, several destroyers and frigates. While preparations would be carried out at home and in the Free State for readying the forces, some additional supplies would be shipped to the Free State to shorten the transit times to support the amphibious forces which would be bringing with their fleet some supplies to sustain operations but the amount needed would largely depend upon how the offensives were carried out. The primary target was the city of Al-Gharb and the western half of Al-Magrab, the plans would be altered as such, given the agreement that had been struck with ScanLaw. As the envisioned plans of past had always viewed a conquest of both cities, with Barqah the largest and most crucial to secure in the opening offensive.
 

Tarusa

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Andrei Ustinov had been newly appointed to his position as the Minister of Defense, before this he had held a junior position in the ministry and had a varied background between his education and time in the military. His appointment did not come without grumbling from those more senior to him in the military but they all knew how he had rose to the position he was now in, his loyalty towards the new Tsar was unquestionable. He would never challenge or pose any form of resistance even in the form of questioning of his Tsars policies and orders. A balanced approach with advising roles had been the ways of his predecessors, many would come to call him a recording machine, as he would only repeat what Ivan would tell him to do.

His first official act in his new role was the re-activation of the long abandoned chemical weapons program of the Empire. It had been 70 years since the government had abandoned its chemical and biological weapons programs and had advocated for a cleaner form of warfare. Most of the stockpiles had long ago been destroyed, and what little had been lost in the process was well past its lifespan. The first order of business would be restarting the program from the existing records of chemical weapons, then recruiting scientists and industrialists for the manufacturing and research of new chemical weapons and delivery methods more in line with the 21st century.

The Tsars logic was simple, the European Forum had failed to make any significant progress as had been promised after Lethonia had launched a program for biological weapons. They had taken no actions to negate the program and had failed to make an international body or treaty against chemical and biological weapons as had been pledged in Frescania. So it too would now embark upon a program in parallel with its now ally of Lethonia, however it would carry out the program in the shadows instead of announcing it to the world.
 
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