My Two Alternate Draka Timelines and Machiavelli
This morning, I added an update to my alternate Draka timeline "Limited Alliance-Draka War in the Late 1940s or Early 1950s," which is available in the Alien Space Bats forum of www.alternatehistory.net/Discussion.
This update described a massive effort by the Roman Catholic Church to rescue the illegitimate children of Citizens and their high-status servants (such as the Janissaries) and the women of conquered nations, who were in danger of abuse in the areas where the Domination of the Draka had been driven out, and find adoptive parents for them in the West.
(In our history, the children of American soldiers and Vietnamese women were often abused. These children would be subject to even more outrageous behavior, considering the more brutal circumstances of both the occupation of their countries and their own conception.)
Think Operation Babylift from the end of the Vietnam War (3,300 children removed from South Vietnam before it fell to the Communists), only on a much bigger scale--750,000 children in three or four months.
The next update will focus on the liberation of Tibet from the Domination, a feat largely accomplished by the Indian Army and the Gurkhas, and the beginning of the Sichuan bombing campaign from bases in Tibet and eastern China.
(The Sichuan Basin is incredibly defensible and has been under Draka control since soon after WWI and democratic governments don't spend soldiers recklessly--I intend for the region to be heavily bombarded using nukes and conventional weapons before the ground invasion, if there even is one. This will enable a relatively cheap Alliance for Democracy victory manpower-wise but sow the seeds of discontent for later relations between China and the Alliance--later generations of Chinese might not remember Draka rule firsthand but they will know all about residual fallout, high rates of cancer, birth defects, etc.)
This is the second alternate Draka timeline I've written for AH.com. The first one, "The Dragon and the Bear," features General Lavr Kornilov realizing the danger from the Draka the Russian Empire would be in if the Bolsheviks were to stage a coup and a civil war break out--in the canonical Draka timeline, the Draka took Russian Central Asia during the Russian Civil War--and manages to successfully pre-empt the October Revolution. From there, Kornilov and Alexander Kerensky industrialize Russia using both capitalistic methods and a kinder, gentler version of Stalin's technique (exporting grain to fund industrialization, only this time without starving several million people to death) to prepare for the inevitable war with the Draka. The non-purging of Russia's best commanders and better development of "deep operations" also helps.
In both timelines, as long as the Domination can keep the war on other people's territory, it is a terrible foe. However, once enemy armies invade the Domination itself, the Draka quickly find themselves in trouble--the presence of foreign armies provokes massive slave revolts that, even if crushed, require the presence of troops needed elsewhere to fight the invaders and in some cases overwhelm the Draka and their serf loyalists. Plus the masses of slaves that will take the opportunity to run away rather than jump the master and the strawboss will make good laborers and (with training) soldiers for the invader.
In "Limited Alliance-Draka War," it takes roughly a month for the Draka to be driven out of Norway, Sweden, and Finland, three months for the Draka to be ejected from Korea (due to their ability to mobilize anti-Japanese Koreans to fight Japan-based invaders), and maybe two or three months for Western Europe to the Rhine and China to the Sichuan and Gobi Desert to be liberated. I don't remember "The Dragon and the Bear" well, but I think from the beginnings of the Russian invasion of Draka-occupied Afghanistan to the arrival of Russian forces on the Persian Gulf and Shatt-al-Arab, it takes maybe six months to a year and when the Final War comes, it takes around two years for the Domination (at this point all of Africa and the Middle East to the Taurus Mountains and Shatt-al-Arab) to be completely destroyed.
When I was a student at the University of Georgia, I had to read "The Prince" (which I think I had in The Portable Machiavelli--I don't have the book with me right now) and I remember Machiavelli discussing in either "The Prince" or "The Art of War" that a weak state is strong on offense but can be easily beaten on its own soil but a strong state is stronger at home that it is abroad. He used the examples of Carthage and Rome--Carthage's army under Hannibal was strong enough to win many victories in Italy but was beaten at Zama when the Romans invaded North Africa, while Rome weathered years of Hannibal rampaging through Italy, raising new armies as the old ones were beaten, and eventually took the fight to Carthage itself.
According to the Wikipedia entry on Zama, the Roman general Scipio Africanus was able to recruit many "local defectors" and Numidian cavalry to fight the Carthaginians, who were very reliant on mercenaries to man their armies. The Carthaginians, who had waged war in Italy for years, crumbled fast. The Draka are in a similar situation--any invader to their territory is likely to pick up a lot of local support, especially if the people in the area remember a time in which they were free, and their support base is going to consist solely of Citizens (outnumbered 9-1 by their slaves) and higher-status serfs and probably not all of those.
For those who are interested, here're the links to "The Dragon and the Bear" and "Limited Alliance-Draka War." I posted the first one on fanfiction.net (well, most of it--I still have a few entries left) on fanfiction.net, but in order to see the second one, you'll need to be a member of AH.com.
The Dragon and the Bear: The Domination vs. Russia
Limited Alliance-Draka War in the Late 1940s or Early 1950s
Although the site has consumed a huge amount of time that could probably be better-spent, being a member there has taught me a whole lot of real history (in order to know what might hav happened, you need to know what did happen and why), provided me with a place to receive criticism for my own alternate-history scenarios, led me to read a whole lot of books I wouldn't have even heard of (such as The Lost Legion, stemming from a discussion about a Roman army that may have ended up in China), and even inspired my Afrikanerverse, in which I have written two stories I've been trying to sell.
(Neither has been sold yet, but the editors do like them--one wasn't bought because it didn't fit with the other stories in an anthology, not because it wasn't good.)
I also met up with several members when I studied abroad in Britain in 2006. Maybe I should find that photo of the group at that pub and post it on Facebook...
For those of you who need background on the Draka fictional universe, here's a link: