AHC: Neo-Assyrian Empire

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by John7755 يوحنا, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. John7755 يوحنا Historical Inquiries

    Dec 30, 2014
    Your challenge if you choose to accept it, is with a POD in 625, during the reign of Sinsharikun (627-614 BCE), for the Assyrian Empire, already over extended and damaged, to fight off all of its foes and restore itself during the reign of Sinsharikun. This is a very difficult task, I realize, the Assyrian Empire is at a very weak position, but in the past, Assyria was also in dire straits and in imperil, yet reformed and fought off its foes with the force of arms. If Assyria can defeat the current coalition levied against them, what steps does the board advocate regarding the survival further of the Assyrian crown and its continued dominance in the region.

    As I see the issue, Assyria must defeat the coalition made up of:

    Varied tribes and mercenary armies originating from the lands south of the Euphrates

    Yet they must also contend with their seeming allies, the Scythians who are raiding their territories to the north. Lydia and Egypt likewise in a scenario that ensures an Assyrian survival, must be contested with, these two though, likely present a lesser threat than the Scythians, Medes and Babylon. Urartu also appears as a wildcard, Urartu itself seems weak by this point, weaker than Assyria, it is likely that they can be an ally of sorts to Assyria for the short term, as would Mannea.

    Though Assyria is in a weak spot, it should be noted, that when reading the source material, Sinsharikun seems to be a very competent ruler and one in the figure of Sargon II or Ashurbanipal, his great sin was defeat, which could have occurred for other rulers, who thrown into the night, may not return to sight. It appears even so, Assyrian forces, though depleted, were mustering impressive counters to the enemy coalition, especially in the southern sector of the conflict, where Assyria seems to have held the edge against Babylon in the early stages of the conflict. However, it seems the Medes and the northern front is where much of the collapse began to set in, yet still, the Assyrians seem to have faced the tide with considerable fortitude, its ability to survive such threats was tested in the past with similar struggles and it showed its experience and taste for war in its defenses. Thus my point is, Assyria though truly at a vulnerable position (as it had been before in the past), was dangerous and it held in especially the early conflict, to deal a death blow to Babylon and then turn its full attention to Media.
  2. John7755 يوحنا Historical Inquiries

    Dec 30, 2014
  3. John Fredrick Parker Donor

    May 22, 2010
    Los Angeles
  4. John7755 يوحنا Historical Inquiries

    Dec 30, 2014
    This thread (the one that you have linked) though covers in general a saving of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, mine is seeking a question as to saving the empire under Sinsharkun and an Assyrian victory against the coalition in 625.
    John Fredrick Parker likes this.
  5. John7755 يوحنا Historical Inquiries

    Dec 30, 2014
    A proposal:

    1. 626: Nabopolassar takes the throne of Babylon as otl.

    2. 625: Siege and capture of Babylon as otl, Nabopolassar becomes lord of Babylon and openly revolts fully against Assyria. Babylonian armies are rallied against Sinsharikun, who is currently embattled in civil strife and conflict. Assyrian armies however, pressed and weakened, maintain both Uruk, Nippur and several field armies and forces near Babylon.

    Babylonian forced surging force begin to meet the exhausted yet experienced Assyrian forces in battle. Chaldean, Arab and other Aramaen warriors rally to Nabopolassar, outnumbering the forces that Sinsharikun has in Babylonia, who as well as outnumbered, are cut from Assyria main, due to civil strife between claimants to the throne of Assurbanipal (who likely is the origin of the civil strife and conflict in Assyria).

    Sinsharikun has an enormous issue at his helm, Babylonia is in revolt once more as with his predecessor Assurbanipal and the Medes, Scythians and Cimmerians present an existential danger. In otl, Sinsharikun engages the oncoming battle with an admirable ferocity, his wars against Babylon seemed a critical war, wherein either side could have gained victory, ultimately, Babylon succeeded due to the success of the Medes and unfortunate defeats suffered by Assyria, at Uruk and Nippur.

    3. 624: The first battle of Uruk

    In otl, Uruk fell in 626-625 with little opposition to Nabopolassar and the Babylonian armies. In 624, while holding Nippur strong, the Assyrian war objective included retaking Uruk and beginning the stranglehold upon Babylon before eventually breaking Nabopolassar and then raining retribution on the deserts south of the Euphrates. Thus in 624, Sinsharikun’s armies sent forth, moved to attack Uruk.

    The city of Uruk and surrounding fortresses fell in late 624 and the Chaldean-Babylonian forces were expelled. As it stood, with strong Assyrian positions, Sinsharikun has Nabopolassar in dire straits.

    4. 623: In otl, luck favored Nabopolassar and ultimately Babylon and the Medes, when a third rebellion in Assyria began, this time with large scale support from portions of the Assyrian military. This rebellion would lead to the 2nd battle of Uruk, wherein Assyria was defeated at Uruk and Babylon gained a strong position in its south, meanwhile it also turned its gaze at Nippur.

    As time in otl moved, Assyria faced worse and worse luck, as Babylon took Nippur in 619 and with the assistance of Media, were able to force out existing Assyrian field armies in Babylonia, taking the war to Assyria. This is where Assyria is obliterated otl.

    However, against otl, this rebellion of 623, does not occur. 623, Sinsharikun consolidates his hold and begins to fully realize the war with Babylon. Thus in 623, the Assyrian army defeats Babylon at the second battle if Uruk and in the next 2 years, as opposed to otl, in 620, Assyria captures Babylon and puts Nabopolassar to death.

    5. 619: Sinsharikun now must face Media, Scythia and others. How Assyria May deal with this is a difficult one. But with Babylon subjugated for the time, the chance of Assyria gaining a crucial victory against Media, it very plausible.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
  6. Historyman 14 Well-Known Member

    Sep 27, 2013
    In the Land of the Ancients.
    Basically, have the Assyrians do something as the OTL Persians and invent a system of satrapies and religious/cultural autonomy to try and hold the empire together.

    If they don't, you only setting the stage for the next wave of uprisings and rebellions.

    Also, stop with the whole deportation policy.

    I don't think Assyrian would regain ALL their former glory and power, but maybe that's for the best.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
  7. John7755 يوحنا Historical Inquiries

    Dec 30, 2014
    Why do you feel that the deportation stratagem is a poor one? The Achaemenids utilized this strategy, as did many other states succeeding Assyria.

    A satrapy system is certainly a possible route, but in many cases, Assyria withheld much of its surrounding empire in a sort of status of vassalage and to a degree, held a vast sector of the Mid East through a system not too dissimilar from the satraps of later eras. Assyria in many ways was a product of its time, the world following the Bronze Age was hyper volatile, Assyria itself was consistently attacked on all sides, and the narrative that Assyria was a cruel ruler who inspired hateful rebellions, may be true, yet it may also simply be the state of affairs that Assyria was gifted with the fall of the Bronze Age and the rise of a more brutal paradigm. To discuss some examples, the Achaemenid Persian Empire succeeded the Assyrian, Median Babylonian, Lydian and Egyptian powers in the region. These, aside from Media, were all the heirs of the Bronze Age collapse and had to contend with a large degree of migratory tribes, powers, declining trade links and general political fragmentation across the region. In this seeming chaos, Assyria embodied the zeitgeist if you will, through war Assyria subjugated much of the regions and slowed the vicious tide of migrations pouring from different directions, yet also brutally devastated those that opposed it. In this sense, Assyria brought a sort of brutal and difficult-to-sustain order to the post Bronze Age that would last around 250 years. Persia arose in a far different scenario, we may say the post Assyrian Middle East, wherein the same level and degree of political fragmentation was no longer present and the conquest of the Middle East was simply a discussion of, defeating the 27th Dynasty of Egypt, Lydia and Babylon.... Assyria is close to reaching a point in which it could perhaps recover its power fully after the disasters during Ashurbanipal's reign, they need only crush Babylon thoroughly this time, as they did Elam and begin to push eastward and northward. Sinsharishkun seemingly was within grasp of success in this final war, however the odds did not line in his favor and Assyria was submerged by the coalition.
    Taddle-Brave likes this.