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Literature / A Bleeding Heart Of Steel

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"I know that after my death, they will heap a pile of rubbish on my grave, but the wind of history will sooner or later sweep it away without mercy.
- Joseph Stalin
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A Bleeding Heart of Steel is an alternate history timeline written by AlternateHistory.com user Kerguelen.

In our timeline, Joseph Stalin died in his cottage from a stroke in 1953. Nine years before his death, two spies attempted to assassinate Stalin during the height of World War Two. While they failed in our timeline, a Bleeding Heart of Steel imagines a world where they were successful in killing the Man of Steel.

With a new Soviet leadership taking control of the nation, the Post-War World is guided towards a different path as the Iron Curtain falls across Europe.

Read it here.


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A Bleeding Heart of Steel contains the following tropes:

  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Beria begs for Malenkov and Khrushchev to spare him when he's on trial.
  • The Alleged Boss: Andreas Tsipas is an alcoholic and incompetent General Secretary who ends up becoming a puppet for General Vafiadis.
  • The Alliance: Adverted. America never joins NATO without the Berlin Blockade turning them against the Soviets.
  • Alternate History: Duh.
  • Bad Boss: Much like in our timeline, Beria is an utter bastard who constantly bullies his peers and subordinates.
  • Balkanize Me:
    • Both Libya and Greece are split between communists and capitalist nations.
    • Pakistan and a Bengal Free State break away during the Partition of India.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Himmler attempts to do this with the Waffen-SS. Needless to say, it does not end well.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Managing the country takes a considerable toll on Molotov.
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  • CIA Evil, FBI Good: Subverted. The NKVD constantly butts heads with the KSR (the Soviet equivalent to the CIA). However, both of them are portrayed as being equally bad.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: A common aspect of a Chekist's day to day job.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Vice President William E. Jenner blames plenty of America's issues on Soviet infiltration and the United Nations, much like OTL.
  • Culture Police: General Zhdanov is very keen on promoting Russian culture within the Soviet Union over the cosmopolitan west.
  • Family Values Villain: Despite being an unrepentant torturer and rapist, Beria does his best to care for his family.
  • Feigning Intelligence: When Molotov starts discussing Das Kapital, Mao tells him that it was one of Marx's best works, despite never having read it.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Voznessenky's insufferable personality makes it difficult for people to work with him, despite him being the Deputy General Secretary.
  • Idiot Ball: Mao and Kim Il-Sung ignore multiple threats from America of a nuclear bombing if they refuse to end the war.
  • Istanbul (Not Constantinople): Moscow is renamed to Stalindar after World War Two.
  • Kangaroo Court:
    • Chiang Kai-Shek is brought before one before Mao sentences him to death.
    • Beria suffers from the same fate after Molotov replaces him with Abakumov.
  • Karma Houdini: Hitler ends up dying from a drug overdose before he is able to answer for his crimes.
  • "Kick Me" Prank: Beria does this to Andrei Sakharov after Molotov tells him to stop threatening to arrest the nuclear scientists.
  • King on His Deathbed: Iranian Prime Minister Mossadegh becomes this after an assassination attempt. Tudeh Party leader Eskandari takes advantage of this by forcing Mossadegh to make him his heir.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Goering chooses to surrender to the Allies when the Red Army starts sieging Berlin.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Zhdanov attempts this by ordering Beria to start investigating corruption in the Red Army. Beria catches on and only arrests unpopular officers.
  • Middle Eastern Coalition: Pakistan and Afghanistan end up uniting under a single federation.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Molotov, despite being a devout Stalinist, does his best to retain positive relations with the West while strengthening the Soviet position abroad.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Happens to plenty of Soviet officials, such as Malenkov and Bulganin.
  • Richard Nixon the Used Car Salesman: Several prominent anti-communist leaders from OTL such as Park Chung-hee and Ngo Dinh Diem are fervent communists.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Did Beria really poison Zhdanov or was it a heart attack caused by old age?
  • Vestigial Empire:
    • Attempted. Chiang Kai-shek tries to flee to Taiwan like in OTL but ends up falling to infighting and a communist invasion.
    • King Paul of Greece is a lot more successful by relocating his government to Crete after the Greek Revolution.
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