|"The Phantom Tolbukhin"|
|First Appearance||Alternate Generals|
Harry Turtledove &|
Counting Up, Counting Down;|
"The Phantom Tolbukhin" is a short-story by Harry Turtledove published in Alternate Generals (eds. Harry Turtledove and Roland Green), 1998; and in Counting Up, Counting Down, Ballantine/Del Rey 2002 (0345442261). The Point of Divergence comes during Joseph Stalin's purges from 1936 to 1938, which were far more comprehensive than in OTL, sweeping up Georgy Zhukov, Ivan Koniev, and several other military leaders who proved crucial to the Soviet victory over Germany during World War II.
The story itself takes place in 1947, after the Soviet Union has collapsed in the face of the German invasion, and follows Soviet troops under their leader Fedor Tolbukhin, called "The Phantom", on a guerrila raid. Turtledove said this story was based on a pun, presumably that of the title sounding much like The Phantom Tollbooth, a children's story.
In this story, Tolbukhin, along with several prominent Soviet military leaders (including Nikita Khrushchev), launch a successful raid against the occupied Ukrainian city of Zaporozhye, stealing German munitions, destroying the remainder, and killing several German troops. Throughout, Tolbukhin finds himself sentimental for the days before World War II, despite the terror of living under Joseph Stalin.
Note: Given this story's theme of German victory in World War II, this story could very well take place in the same timeline as In the Presence of Mine Enemies. Turtledove has not explicitly said that this is the case.