This challenge calls for one or more military leaders outside of the Western World to be able to develop and field small, cohesive and highly organized, professional, technologically advanced, and highly motivated armies that can function in long, extended campaigns that may involve combat in a wide variety of terrain, climate, against equally-sized, if not larger, armies of the western world and win decisively. They must win at least a handful of major large-scale conflict with these new armies to prove their ability.

Emphasis is placed on these military leaders having developed such armies as independently as possible from Western influence, though the troops that form such armies can be of European descent. One must know that this does apply to their tactics and strategy and to the technologies they field, down to their clothing and its material. As little miscegenation as possible, if any. It is likely that navies will also be developed in conjunction with these armies, so that is also an area of interest for this challenge.

The Western world applies to countries that have significant influence from the ancient civilizations of Greece, the Minoan Civilization, and the Roman Republic and Roman Empire, and in addition to this are today Western; this means that Pagan Lithuania, for example, is retroactively Western because modern-day Lithuania is unarguably Western, and the modern Lithuanians can trace their ancestry back to that era.

Due to their close proximity to the Western world, the Arabic, Jewish, and other cultures who have historically settled around or near the Mediterranean and co-existed with civilizations such as that of Rome, are also excluded alongside the West. This includes polities such as the Ottoman Empire, who had heavy involvement and a center in the region, but not the Achaemenid Iran (for its center was further East), for instance. I could potentially remove this restriction, however.

This restriction applies to any colonies the polities that fit this criteria had established, such as Carthage (according to myth) of antiquity, or the more recent British Raj. Successor states such as the USA and Australia, which are virtually Western, also fall within such criteria, and nations such as Mexico and Brazil, who are more ambiguously Western, are also considered to fall within that label in this context, as they are majority Christian, have a majority speaking a European language such as Spanish or Portuguese, and have significant numbers of people with some European descent; this distinguishes them from the former colonies in Africa and Asia, who retain significant numbers speaking one or more native languages, such as Mali, where the amount of French speakers remains quite low, and there exist large numbers of native Malians without much miscegenation or cultural ties with Europe.

The earliest the POD can be is 1000 BCE, one or more centuries after the Late Bronze Age collapse, and the latest 1800 CE.

I was pressed for time making this, and the boundary between what is "Western" or "not-Western"/"Eastern" can be blurry, so there may some errors in logic, and if so, feel free to let me know.
 
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Do the Mongols count?

If they do, do other steppe people's that achieved victories over settled armies using horse archer tactics and high mobility, such as the Huns count?

The nomadic horse archer was arguably the most successful pre-gunpowder military system, although like every system it had its own flaws.

Here's an article about the system from Bret Deveraux's blog.
 
Do the Mongols count?

If they do, do other steppe people's that achieved victories over settled armies using horse archer tactics and high mobility, such as the Huns count?

The nomadic horse archer was arguably the most successful pre-gunpowder military system, although like every system it had its own flaws.

Here's an article about the system from Bret Deveraux's blog.

I don't think so, since part of the theory behind the Military Revolution is that it's about more than just fielding an effective professional army, but also about the ways in which that army and the modern administrative state influenced each other. As armies became larger and more professionalized, you needed an increasingly sophisticated and effective taxation system to provide the financial backbone needed to keep standing armies in the field for extended periods. Cadastral maps, which had fallen out of use in Europe following the Romans, made a resurgence during this period starting in the Netherlands, because it was more important than ever to know who owned exactly how much land for tax purposes. And this renewed interest in and measurement of land and property fed into the Enlightenment and its emphasis on property rights.

A lot of this is intrinsically bound up in being a sedentary agrarian society, where you can measure out discrete plots of land and say who owns what with confidence. Steppe nomads, even ones that formed empires with administrative apparatuses like the Mongols, just don't depend on huge numbers of highly trained infantry to fill out their armies, so there's not the same pressure to tailor your state and society towards that specific end.
 
japan comes to mind even with out the portoguse to indtroduce firearms ( china is rigth next by) we can have the japanse empire not fail and japan doesnt become isolasionist rather goes trougth the military revolution similar to 17th century europe
 

dcharles

Banned
I would vote for India as being the most likely place for this to happen. OTL, both China and India had the bureaucracies to support a more professional army class (and historically, both regions were just as developed as Europe). China unified early and didn't have much competition (till the Mongols came along), but India was always somewhat divided.

Maybe if a warlike variant of Hinduism came to the fore among one of the powerful dynasties, you might get the kind of pressure cooker situation that results in the military revolution happening there.
 
japan comes to mind even with out the portoguse to indtroduce firearms ( china is rigth next by) we can have the japanse empire not fail and japan doesnt become isolasionist rather goes trougth the military revolution similar to 17th century europe

It's my understanding that the reason the Portuguese had to introduce firearms to Japan was that although everyone knows the Chinese invented gunpowder, and cannons, and hand cannons, what they didn't make was the matchlock, without which a handgun just becomes impossibly inconvenient to use. Not sure why East Asia doesn't seem to have made that leap independently, but they'd definitely need to clear that hurdle before you can have the standing army of arquebusiers.

Anyways, I think China's real obstacle isn't that there weren't enough threats, but that the military lacked social prestige, especially compared to the bureaucracy. The idea that the scholar-officials should reshape the state and society to better serve the army would get you laughed out of the room. In that regard, Japan probably is a better candidate to pull it off.
 
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It's my understanding that the reason the Portuguese had to introduce firearms to Japan was that although everyone knows the Chinese invented gunpowder, and cannons, and hand cannons, what they didn't make was the matchlock, without which a handgun just becomes impossibly inconvenient to use. Not sure why East Asia doesn't seem to have made that leap independently, but they'd definitely need to clear that hurdle before you can have the standing army of arquebusiers.

Anyways, I think China's real obstacle isn't that there weren't enough threats, but that the military lacked social prestige, especially compared to the bureaucracy. The idea that the scholar-officials should reshape the state and society to better serve the army would get you laughed out of the room. In that regard, Japan probably is a better candidate to pull it off.
this not true at least not fully fire arms were in japan as early as the 13th century , in 1466 the use of teppou to fire in the air, as recorded by a buddhist monk, to impress the Ashikaga court in Kyoto.
and in1510, when a monk from Odawara brought a matchlock arquebus imported from China under the eyes of Houjou Ujitsuna now were the chinise variant comes from is the South East Asian modified version of an Ottoman arquebus or from just china proper.

the ming also would adopt portoguse models so they can still reach japan , as for china i would agree in some points the beurocracy of the ming really did some bad things
 
this not true at least not fully fire arms were in japan as early as the 13th century , in 1466 the use of teppou to fire in the air, as recorded by a buddhist monk, to impress the Ashikaga court in Kyoto.
and in1510, when a monk from Odawara brought a matchlock arquebus imported from China under the eyes of Houjou Ujitsuna now were the chinise variant comes from is the South East Asian modified version of an Ottoman arquebus or from just china proper.

the ming also would adopt portoguse models so they can still reach japan , as for china i would agree in some points the beurocracy of the ming really did some bad things

Well, I guess now we have to step back and ask about our POD, because I've assumed that it would have to be pre-Lancastrian phase of the Hundred Years War myself, since Charles VII took a lot of big steps in professionalizing the French military at that time, and when we're talking about something so gradual and diffuse that scholars debate whether the Military Revolution is a real thing at all, you'd need to start early and probably can't count on Portuguese trade of any kind.

And re-reading the OP, he's leery about letting the Ottomans be the progenitors either, which I suppose doesn't necessarily preclude their firearms development, but I'm putting an asterisk on it, and the Javanese variants by extension.
 
I shall reiterate my idea of this "New Army" in this challenge, that it is an army, perhaps more than one, that bears some resemblance to the European armies of OTL, this includes an emphasis on quality vs quantity, backed by a sufficiently developed resource base that allows for the conducting and victory of large-scale, potentially long-term campaigns and allows for lower casualties; this latter characteristic further strengthened by efficient tactics and strategy, this army must have as little Western influence as possible, if at all, and it must have, and conclusively demonstrate, the ability to defeat equally sized if not larger Western opponents consistently.

I will later provide some background as to the various conflicts that inspired me to make this challenge.

Edit: To be fair, I shall clarify that "Military Revolution" in this context just refers to any hypothetical revolution that produces an army close to the criteria I have set out, less so that the ideas of any OTL European military revolution spread outside Europe, more so that such ideas are created indigenously in one more regions outside Europe (and the Mediterranean); such a Revolution need not come before a European one, though that may likely be the case in such a scenario.
 
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Michael Axworthy claims that Iran under Nader Shah was in the nascent stages of a Military Revolution in his article The Army of Nader Shah.
This article looks at the origins of the army of Nader Shah (reigned 1736–1747) and the nature of the Persian armies in the Safavid period before considering in more detail the composition and structure of the army at its peak in the early 1740s. It suggests, building on work by Rudi Matthee, that it was only under Nader’s tutelage that Persia fully embraced gunpowder weapons and that this initiated a Military Revolution (not just a revolution in technology, but in drill, discipline, and army size as well as ethos) that, but for Nader’s untimely death, could have brought about the wider social and economic changes that Geoffrey Parker and others have associated with the Military Revolution in Europe.

[..] Nader used government cleverly, made some important innovations, and had a strong administrative grip. His religious policy was novel, secularizing, and more tolerant in spirit. In military matters, he was wholly modern. He established the beginnings of a navy, and it now seems plain that something very like a Military Revolution, as described by Geoffrey Parker and others, was brought about in Persia by Nader Shah. It was under him that the majority of troops in the army were equipped with firearms for the first time, necessitating a greater emphasis on drill and training, characteristic of developments that had taken place in Europe in the previous century.

[..] Nader only lost one major battle in his career (at Baghdad in 1733), but he never confronted a European enemy trained to the standard of fire discipline and linear tactics that were the norm in the west at this time. Some would assume that his troops would inevitably have been overwhelmed by the western tactical system of elaborate drill and uniforms, formalized maneuver, and rolling volley fire. But consider the battle of Jena in 1806. That was the decisive encounter in which the Prussian army, which epitomized the eighteenth-century system, was defeated by the modernized French system, which emphasized simplified drill and uniforms, speed of maneuver, large numbers, a rationalized and tightly-integrated chain of command, a much greater emphasis on mounted and dismounted light troops and skirmishers, a strong artillery corps to wear down the enemy prior to the decisive tactical moment, and a powerful reserve of heavy cavalry to deliver the shock charge at that moment. That latter description is strikingly apposite also for Nader Shah’s military system.

[..] If Nader had reigned longer and more wisely and had passed on his rule to a competent successor, the drive to pay for his successful army could have transformed the Persian state administration and, ultimately, the economy (as happened in Europe), as Parker and others have argued. Like it or not, military absolutism was often the precursor to economic and political development in this period. It could have brought about in Iran a modernizing state capable of resisting colonial intervention in the following century.

The army of Nader Shah numbered up to 375,000 troops at its apex, and by Axworthy's estimation, this would have necessitated the development of a credit system as was seen in Europe. There is also the upstart Iranian navy which was in development under Muhammad Taqi Shirazi for a number of years. The plan to project power across the Persian Gulf and into India via maritime means did fail, as the Iranians had to transfer lumber all the way from Mazanadaran in the north to Bushehr, but it did show foresight on the account of Nader's plans for the region. Unfortunately, the Shah went insane later in his reign, so you would have to avoid that somehow in order for all of this to remain in place. His eldest son, Reza Qoli, seemed to be much more of an administrator of the kind that you would expect to consolidate and build an empire, in contrast to Nader, who was obsessed with conquest and war. From Axworthy's Sword of Persia, Reza "also criticised his father’s war in Daghestan, saying that it was pointless, that the army were exhausted with marching and countermarching, and were suffering from lack of supplies: the people of Persia were the victims of his father’s empty pride."

Finally, Axworthy mentions in a footnote the consequences if the assassination attempt against Nader succeeded, in a plot that Reza may or may not have been involved with:
If the bullet fired by Nik Qadam in the forests of Mazandaran had deflected an inch or two to one side and killed Nader, Reza Qoli would have taken the throne in the spring of 1741. Contemporaries rated Reza Qoli’s abilities highly, and there is reason to believe that he would have combined his father’s military abilities with a greater awareness of the importance of commercial and economic matters. Reza Qoli might well have taken the empire forward in a new, more constructive direction.
 
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