Miscellaneous <1900 (Alternate) History Thread

@Mitridates the Great

Would the British be able to take Manila from Spain alongside Florida during the Seven Years' War if they asserted for it? I'm planning out a TL with the main POD during the Seven Years' War.
Well in fact apparently they occupied Manila (but failed in expanding outside the city).


Apparently they had to give it back because in the peace treaty it was not included as a territory to be ceded (because no one in Europe knew it had been occupied) so you would need the British to somehow manage to include in the peace treaty that Spain cedes Manila.

It would also be necessary for the local resistance movement to collapse, for example because the British decided to help Diego Silang with weapons as promised (thus distracting Spanish anti-British resistance efforts).

All of this could lead to the Spanish government deciding to give up Manila (if there seems to be no hope of getting it back) in exchange for something like Gibraltar or Menorca (which were considered more important in that sense).
 
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Does anyone have a link to the latest AH quotes thread?
 
What are the most likely circumstances under which an ethnic Han dynasty would be ruling over a unified china in the 19th century?
 
What are the most likely circumstances under which an ethnic Han dynasty would be ruling over a unified china in the 19th century?
  1. Prevent the Qing all together.
  2. The White Lotus Rebellion succeeds, perhaps you need to create a succession crisis by killing the Qianlong Emperor to allow the rebellions to spread across China and overtake the government and make the White Lotus Society an actual organization.
  3. Make the post-First Opium War period even worse for China and the Qing are overthrown by peasant rebellions.
 
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I've heard that "Western Knights would do really badly against the Mongols"? Thoughts on this?
-Basically the issue is that the Mongols are better at cavalry, have better organization and generalship, ranged horse archer tactics are really strong, and the Mongols can siege castles if needed so hiding behind castles doesn't work that well? Or am I not giving the knights enough credit?
 
I've heard that "Western Knights would do really badly against the Mongols"? Thoughts on this?
-Basically the issue is that the Mongols are better at cavalry, have better organization and generalship, ranged horse archer tactics are really strong, and the Mongols can siege castles if needed so hiding behind castles doesn't work that well? Or am I not giving the knights enough credit?
Didn't we have a similar military to other European countries with Hungary? (who got destroyed by the Mongols)
 
Didn't we have a similar military to other European countries with Hungary? (who got destroyed by the Mongols)
The crushing defeat of the Hungarians at Muhi was in large part circumstancial. I think it cannot be used to draw a definite conclusion.
It's also worth noting, that King Béla IV sought to increase the share of heavy cavalry among his forces in preparation for a new Mongol attack. As such, cities were obliged to provide some number of heavy cavalry in wartime. He also invited the Hospitallers and gave them the Banate of Severin and some of Cumania in exchange for their military services.
 
Ok, so there was something I had thinking about, and I was wondering whether I missed something or was mistaken somewhere.

So, if I understand Classical Greek warfare correctly, when the hoplite phalanx fought in deep formations, like twelve to in some cases even fifty men deep, the point of the last rows was not to fight, but primarily served a 'morale' function. They were not supposed to have to enter combat, instead they prevented the first ranks from routing by standing in the way of troops who wanted to flee and drove despair into the enemy's heart by presenting him with formation unlikely to yield; both were very important in a way of war where achieving victory had more to do with routing the enemy instead of killing them all (at least before they had began with running away).

Or at least that was how the Greek Hoplite Phalanx worked, I do not know whether this was also the case for other heavy infantry formations like the Anglo-Saxon shield wall.

That made me wonder, what would have happened if one army using such a military system had decided to fill out the last ranks of their deep heavy infantry formation with women. For example, you have a formation of 12 men deep, you replace the last two ranks by four ranks of women, and you end up with a formation which is both even deeper yet, assuming the men in rank 11 and 12 are repositioned at the sides, 20% more wide.
Naturally only the strongest, fittest most tenacious women would be used for this. As they would fight in the last ranks, where they would be unlikely to enter combat, and if it happens anyway the enemy should already have been exhausted, hopefully, women on average being weaker than men should not matter a great lot.

So, now I wonder, why did nobody, as far as I am aware, try such a thing? I cannot recall ever reading anything about a desperate general, short on manpower but with surplus equipment, ordering female locals/camp followers into the last ranks of a heavy infantry formation.

Did I miss something which made this idea stupid or impractical? As it seems unlikely to me that culturally ingrained misogyny alone would suffice for every society with large heavy infantry formations to not do this.

Or maybe the Ancient Greeks, which were an exceptionally patriarchal society even for the iron age, were the only ones who mobilized nearly their entire able-bodied, free male population to fight in (among other types of units) completely untrained, heavy infantry formations in which the primary purpose of the last ranks was the prevent the ones before them from routing and striking despair into the hearts of their enemies, that is also possible.
The way you lay it out, I'd be shocked if absolutely no one in history ever did this, if only to spook an opposing force into thinking there were more fighting men than there really were. But if any Greek general pulled this tactic in desperation and then survived, I suspect he'd be very invested in making sure no one ever found out that he'd relied on women to win, even just in the back ranks.

I think you're underestimating culturally ingrained misogyny, though. I mean, looking at it purely logically, any culture that mobilized a significant non-pro-warrior slice of its male population could have bolstered its numbers significantly with women, even accounting for the fact that someone has to stay home and keep farming to feed the army. Like, even just drafting 10% of the women could have added thousands of soldiers to the army of a sufficiently large state. Oh, and what about cavalry? Women tend to be lighter than men, so at a minimum, wouldn't women have made for faster messengers?

And yet, no patriarchal great power of antiquity ever did this, because they were looking at the problem through a cultural lens that disqualified women as combatants.

Edit: also, even after guns completely changed the game and the relationship of size and strength to lethality, women still weren't actively recruited by any major military powers until the Soviets in the 1930s (someone correct me if I'm wrong).
 
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But if any Greek general pulled this tactic in desperation and then survived, I suspect he'd be very invested in making sure no one ever found out that he'd relied on women to win, even just in the back ranks.
I doubt a general could ever hide such a thing.
Also, IRRC, it was known that the Spartans were defeated twice by women (I had read it on r/AskHistorians but failed to find it again), and as far as I am aware the Argives had not tried to hide that.
I think you're underestimating culturally ingrained misogyny, though. I mean, looking at it purely logically, any culture that mobilized a significant non-pro-warrior slice of its male population could have bolstered its numbers significantly with women, even accounting for the fact that someone has to stay home and keep farming to feed the army. Like, even just drafting 10% of the women could have added thousands of soldiers to the army of a sufficiently large state.
Meh, large states were heavily limited by such things as logistics and economics so that they could mobilize at most a small share of their population; so only using men as soldiers makes sense then.
Which is why I had been thinking about city-states, they, thanks to their smaller scales, at least could mobilize very large shares of their population in war. Though, considering how expensive military equipment was back then, even so you might need a plague diminishing the population, or something, to end up with enough surplus 'heavy infantry gear' for it to make sense to give some to women.
Oh, and what about cavalry? Women tend to be lighter than men, so at a minimum, wouldn't women have made for faster messengers?
Oh, right. That was something I had not thought about.
However, I had been thinking about heavy infantry formations, so it is not surprising that my attention had not gone there.
And yet, no patriarchal great power of antiquity ever did this, because they were looking at the problem through a cultural lens that disqualified women as combatants.
Well, there were many cultures in which women were supposed to fight to defend their homes when those were under attack; IRRC that also was how that Japan had female Samurai. Even in Ancient Greece, women fought when their city was under attack by doing such things as throwing rooftiles at the enemy.
However, they indeed were not seen as offensive combatants; with a few rare exceptions like the Dahomey Amazons.
Edit: also, even after guns completely changed the game and the relationship of size and strength to lethality, women still weren't actively recruited by any major military powers until the Soviets in the 1930s (someone correct me if I'm wrong).
The Russian Republic in WWI had introduced Women's Battalions; however, those were tiny volunteer units.
There also was the Federated Legion of Women in the Paris Commune, which was uniformed, armed, and organized militarily; and charged with arresting deserters or reporting them to the National Guard, and later ended up fighting. Though, the Paris Commune was not a major military power; and that was closer to 'defending their home' than the above example.

However, once again, as I had been thinking about heavy infantry formations my attention had not gone there.
 
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I doubt a general could ever hide such a thing.
Also, IRRC, it was known that the Spartans were defeated twice by women (I had read it on r/AskHistorians but failed to find it again), and as far as I am aware the Argives had not tried to hide that.

Meh, large states were heavily limited by such things as logistics and economics so that they could mobilize at most a small share of their population; so only using men as soldiers makes sense then.
Which is why I had been thinking about city-states, they, thanks to their smaller scales, at least could mobilize very large shares of their population in war. Though, considering how expensive military equipment was back then, even so you might need a plague diminishing the population, or something, to end up with enough surplus 'heavy infantry gear' for it to make sense to give some to women.

Oh, right. That was something I had not thought about.
However, I had been thinking about heavy infantry formations, so it is not surprising that my attention had not gone there.

Well, there were many cultures in which women were supposed to fight to defend their homes when those were under attack; IRRC that also was how that Japan had female Samurai. Even in Ancient Greece, women fought when their city was under attack by doing such things as throwing rooftiles at the enemy.
However, they indeed were not seen as offensive combatants; with a few rare exceptions like the Dahomey Amazons.

The Russian Republic in WWI had introduced Women's Battalions; however, those were tiny volunteer units.
There also was the Federated Legion of Women in the Paris Commune, which was uniformed, armed, and organized militarily; and charged with arresting deserters or reporting them to the National Guard, and later ended up fighting. Though, the Paris Commune was not a major military power; and that was closer to 'defending their home' than the above example.

However, once again, as I had been thinking about heavy infantry formations my attention had not gone there.
Darn, now I want to scour r/askHistorians for that story. Thanks for the tip!

Good point about large states; I was thinking about the advantages re: population, but that does correspond to a disadvantage in travel times and actually getting your drafted soldiers from their backwater villages to the front. I think any disadvantages of equipment would partly depend on whether it's a culture where the army provided the gear or the individual was expected to, though.

Also did not know about WW1 Russia or the Paris Commune Legion, cool.

Maybe an ATL where women became seen as offensive combatants earlier in history could start with a situation where a city full of women, whose husbands have already died in a conflict, decide not to surrender (the usual choice) and eventually see their only option for victory as going on the offensive instead of being trapped in a siege? It'd be hard to picture that succeeding unless the women already had martial training for some reason, though.
 
If Toulouse comes under and Provence remains under aragon/catalan rule or are independent and are never part of france would france still be able to be at its OTL level of wealth by focusing on other industries or would it be less well off
 
When did legions no longer get recruited off Italy in the Roman Empire? In the Roman Republic and early Empire, Italy was a prime recruiting ground for legionaries. However, by the later Empire, you couldn't recruit off Italy it seems. What happened? As late as Teutoburg Forest you could still recruit off Italy.
 
This is one if those annoying questions where the POD is before 1900, but the affect is after but here it goes. What was the maximum possible spread of Mormonism in the US?
 
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