After that chapter, I feel like EBR will use Wehrmacht soldiers for draka replacements...
Based on how “ur-fascistic” the draka have become, I think they won’t care about “soldiers gotta look friendly.”
I think more this

Than this

Honestly the drama may even throw on a gas mask not just for protection but to terrorize in general.
At this point, does the Drakian Government still officially claim the BLS totally isn't Slavery, or have they dropped the pretense now that making things plausibly deniable to London is no longer a concern?
At this point, does the Drakian Government still officially claim the BLS totally isn't Slavery, or have they dropped the pretense now that making things plausibly deniable to London is no longer a concern?
Even the power of the Drakian Government is insignificant compared to the power of a fully armed and operational Bureocratic Institutional Inertia :D .

So no I agree that London is no longer a concern, but they'll just continue on out of habit.
Hmm...well then. Back to bondage, they go.
The more things change.:teary:

Nice, things are now getting interesting!
Thank you.:)

Can we get an updated world map?
Not many real changes since the last world map, other than the addition of a few Princely States in Drakia.

Wow the dice have been surprisingly good at giving both America and Drakia their time to shine.
To be fair I've been guiding things along a general sort of plot- the question here was whether or not Drakia would keep its chunk of the Middle East and whether or not there would be an independent Judea. The knock on political effects of the war on the Grand Alliance, American Hegemony, etc. were going to happen sooner or later in some kind of form. The dice determine some of the details of the TL, but ultimately I'm the author. For instance the dice got to decide whether Britain would lose the World War and Drakia would declare independence rather than be dismantled at the peace negotiations, or whether Britain would win and then Drakia would rebel when a liberal government won the post-war elections and tried to make them get rid of Bonded Labor. This is more "choose your own adventure" on the part of the dice than a truly random story.

Of course there was also the question of the ultimate disposition of one Arthur Klein. No glorious crossings of the Rubicon in his future, alas. It seems that the good admiral is going to be less like Caesar, and more like a certain figure from classical Greece.

How's Germany and Rhomania by the way?
Germany is a neutral power undergoing a Green Panic over Geoism and their Russian neighbor. Rhomania is chaffing under American Hegemony, with territorial disputes against Italy.

At that point I wonder if you might have such horrors displayed by the Drakians once off the lease and in enemy territory (seriously the original Spartans with the original Agoge were universally hated for the abuse their indoctrinated and deprived child-soldiers inflicted outside the narrow confines of Lacedaemon, and this happened with other fascists see the Imperial Japanese occupation of Any Chinese City(tm) or the casual way the Wehrmacht would rape their domestic servants and wipe out villages on the Eastern Front), combined with the grapevine spreading the horrors of Drakia in easy-to-communicate narratives, that significant parts of people of the Middle East conclude that they are actually for real getting the Tamerlane treatment and none of them will survive unless the flee en masse, a great diaspora and wave of refugees to any country with a port or connected border and ersatz quilombo settlements hidden in the mountains and the deserts.
Drakia has already committed war crimes on par with Imperial Japan or the Wehrmacht during the Crucible when they committed small-scale genocides against rebel tribes. The quite frankly abusive degree of pressure applied by the Agoge is certainly going to make things worse once the new generation are unleashed.

Are the Draka going to do this timelines holocaust equivalent during this war. I mean its not out of character for them.
Like I mentioned to Herucalmo, they've already been committing small-scale genocide and ethnic cleansing. Nothing industrial though- not worth wasting the slave labor.

After that chapter, I feel like EBR will use Wehrmacht soldiers for draka replacements...
Based on how “ur-fascistic” the draka have become, I think they won’t care about “soldiers gotta look friendly.”
I think more this
View attachment 502028
Than this
View attachment 502029
Honestly the drama may even throw on a gas mask not just for protection but to terrorize in general.
So I actually have been thinking about the question of what soldiers to use as Drakians in the illustrations. I don't want to use the Wehrmacht because I don't want to have Drakia become a stand-in for Nazi Germany- that's been done too many times before. I was thinking of just finding sinister-looking pictures of British soldiers.

At this point, does the Drakian Government still officially claim the BLS totally isn't Slavery, or have they dropped the pretense now that making things plausibly deniable to London is no longer a concern?
As @Drizzt said, tradition and bureaucratic inertia mean they'll maintain the pretense of Bonded Laborers not being slaves.

Just finished reading. Awesome stuff man, you really have a talent at creating a riveting narrative.
Thank you, I'm glad you're enjoying it.:)

I keep picturing Stoker as this irrelevant ATL figure (minus the German regalia)
View attachment 502236
That a really good face for Stoker. If someone actually knew how to edit pictures around here...
I just did a tour of the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem yesterday.

I am really curious to see what Yad Vashem would look like in the Separateverse, seeing as how there's no doubt going to be some sort of major action against the Jews after the revolt.
I just did a tour of the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem yesterday.

I am really curious to see what Yad Vashem would look like in the Separateverse, seeing as how there's no doubt going to be some sort of major action against the Jews after the revolt.
Depends on how extreme and systematic the suppression of Jews is ITTL. The Holocaust was so traumatizing to a lot of people, because of how systematic, industrial and premediated it was.
I just did a tour of the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem yesterday.

I am really curious to see what Yad Vashem would look like in the Separateverse, seeing as how there's no doubt going to be some sort of major action against the Jews after the revolt.
While it sure as hell won’t be fun for the Jews, I doubt it will be anywhere near as bad as the Holocaust. Since the Jews are honorary whites, I doubt they’d be treated as bad as the rebellious black tribes were during the Crucible. Worst case scenario, a couple thousand are executed for “aiding the rebels” and the rest are shipped off to Europe (again).
Oh that is far from the worst it can get. Remember how Bonded Labor has such a strong tradition as the hereditary debts of what were originally war-captives. Now remember how much the Societist junior officers are drinking their own koolaid just like an Imperial Japanese officer waving around their sharpened railroad track of a Katana, and then remember how easily the definition of prisoner of war can be stretched to anyone ever who took a government salary or even looked at a government garrison at any point...
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Chapter 20

Chapter 20

It is not true that the First Draco-American War began with a table in Jerusalem.

There was a story, oft repeated during the conflict itself, that the war began when a group of Jews sat down to a Seder Table in Jerusalem to celebrate Passover in April of 1929. Passover is the festival commemorating the Exodus from Egypt, and the Seder is the ritual meal in which the tale of the Jewish journey from slavery into freedom is told. The Seder is ordered with extreme precision, the same prayers and tales recited in the same order, with the same wording from year to year. Even the same symbolic foods are laid out in the same positions upon the Seder plate, eaten at the same predetermined points in the ceremony.

Really, the Seder Table itself is irrelevant, it’s what’s on it that’s important. But such a distinction was lost on most who heard this particular story.

In some versions the group of Jews were Judean citizens either visiting or living in Jerusalem. In others they were a mixed group- Judeans and American pilgrims- in still more versions they hosted a Jewish Bondsman or were entirely composed of Bonded Jews meeting in secret. At some point in the Seder Patriotist agents of the Bureau for Social Defense, or else a mob of Agoge students, or alternatively Drakian soldiers, stormed into the meal. They were there because the retelling of the Israelites’ divinely escorted journey from slavery to freedom had been deemed seditious, or because of the illegal presence of Bonded participants, or because they had been inspired to commitanti-semitic violence for its own sake. In one respect did every account agree- Drakians interrupted a Jerusalem Seder, attacked the participants, and flipped over the Seder Table, thus despoiling the ritual. Word reached Haifa and Judea rose in rebellion against the Empire.

A very poetic coincidence- the Last Crusade began with a ladder, the World War with a chair, and the newest war with a table- but alas it was just as fictional as it was poetic.

An OTL Seder in 2009.

In truth Premier Bogdan Mninsky of the State of Judea timed his war of independence to begin when Passover did for the powerful religious and national connotations of the holiday, and also because President Charles Perdue of the United States was nearly two months into his second term and Arthur Klein had run out of time. Any more delay and the powerful Fleet Admiral would be out of a job, his plans with Director Richardson to start a short victorious war with Drakia pre-empted. His allies had lost their final bid to keep him in his post, and it was only by blatant forms of self-sabotage to the US Navy’s own communications that he was able to maintain the smallest shred of plausibility behind his failure to receive the order recalling him.

Klein had days left when he arrived at the USN base in Gibraltar ahead of a frustrated messenger from New York. He did so mere hours after Mninsky had dramatically issued Judea’s declaration of independence (technically “reassertion of independence” as Judea was a Prince State) from Drakia. The common Judean troops followed their Premier, mutinying against their Drakian officers and securing the ports of Haifa and Yafo. Drakian soldiers and sailors managed to hold the walled city of Akka, situated on an easily defensible peninsula. Early in the morning of the second day the USS Roanoke- an American destroyer- passed close to Akka and was fired upon by the Drakian forces holding out there. The small ship withdrew with light damage and minimal casualties.

Klein had his excuse.

The war opened with a string of American victories. Having announced that the United States had been attacked and that he was acting to bring the perpetrators to justice, as well as to protect the self-determination of free peoples rising against the Drakian Yoke, the Fleet Admiral personally commanded the defeat of the Drakian Navy in the Mediterranean. With reporters and photographers in tow he crushed the enemy fleet outside of Algiers and Tunis and a picture him with a (small) bleeding cut on his cheek from a stray piece of shrapnel after the Battle of Levantine Sea appeared on a dozen front pages back home. US Marines conducted an amphibious landing at Aden, capturing the city after three days of fighting and heavy bombardment from air and sea. With the way to the Red Sea open the US Indian Ocean Force was able to cut Drakia’s other sea route connecting the Empire proper to its possessions in the Near East.

US Marines preparing to land at Aden.

The first Marines started disembarking at Haifa within 48 hours of the start of hostilities, local Imperial garrison troops had arrived to crush the Judeans and relieve Akka only a little before the Americans did, and the Yanks were eagerly welcomed by Judea. Additional reinforcements in the form of units of the Irish Army with Marine officers, plus assistance from the Naval Air Corp, saw the Drakians forced to fall back to Jerusalem. Arab insurgents- prompted by Franklin Richardson and the Black Chamber- rose up and were joined by Arab Bondsmen and the Kingdom of Arabia itself that issued a long-awaited declaration of war and sent its armed forces into Drakian Yemen and the Holy Land. Arab resistance groups stuck and fanned the flames of a general Arab revolt that threatened to spread as far as North Africa.

The Empire was hardly complacent while all of this was going on- they responded quickly with rapidly mobilized units converging on the Near East. If there was one thing that the Drakian military was good at, it was at locating enemy threats and rapidly responding to them (a vital counter-insurgency skill). But it had no way to answer the US Navy, and to be quite frank the Noble Race had been caught by surprise. They had not expected Klein and the Navy to attack independently, rather Drakia had kept a close eye on American domestic politics under the assumption that if war came it would be telegraphed by public calls from American politicians for a strike against the slavocracy. In public Autocrat Stoker addressed his citizens and the world in a blistering radio and television address that condemned the United States for cowardly attacking without a Declaration of War, in private he acknowledged that the Empire was simply not strong enough to hold onto the Near East against the full might of America and the Grand Alliance.

It was in fact a source of much confusion in Aurica that the Grand Alliance had not attacked in unison, and that the Americans had not yet even begun to mobilize. It was only gradually that the Imperial government realized the nature of Klein’s private assault on them.

All of this happened within two weeks.

Judean soldiers head for the front, preparing to fight for their country's independence.

Arthur Klein’s million-man Navy had incredible resources at its disposal, but those resources paled in comparison to the fighting strength of the United States as a whole when it was on a war footing. He could- by drawing on his stockpiles and the economies of the Seven Ducklings- bring the US Navy and its land and air components to a state of full combat-ability and maintain that state for some time, but eventually he would need active support from the homeland. The Fleet Admiral had been winning victories however, increasing his already substantial celebrity, and already one internationally recognized government (Arabia) that had joined the war. Political turmoil had erupted in New York as the civilian government grappled to figure out how to respond to a branch of the American military launching a war againsta major power on its own initiative, but he was confident that it would come around.

It had to.

There was very little sympathy for Drakia in the United States- the majority of the American public might not consider an empire founded by the losers of history to be a threat, but the de facto slavery of the Bonded Labor System was common knowledge and virtually all Americans detested it. It was one thing for President Perdue to remove a Naval Chief of Staff in peace time, regardless of how popular that Chief of Staff was with the public and his own rank-and-file, it was another thing for him to do so when that Chief of Staff was actively winning victories against the Drakian Empire. A political battle raged in New York- one not fought entirely along party lines- over whether or not to retroactively authorize Klein’s attack and to shift to a full war stance. The liberation of the Near East- at the very least- was in the offing.

It was Klein’s defeat in the Battle of Sinai that made it possible for Perdue to act.

Klein and Richardson had correctly identified that the Sinai Peninsula was a weak-point for the Drakian Empire- unfortunately so had the Drakian Empire.

The Klein-Richardson Plan relied on the Americans being able to establish and hold a defensive line in the Sinai Peninsula that would cut the last conduit for supplies and men between Drakian Africa and the Drakian Near East. Drakian forces east of the Sinai would then wither on the vine, and the Noble Race would be forced to cede their only holdings outside of the African continent. However, neither man had anticipated the speed at which the Empire would respond to the invasion.

The local Drakian commander responsible for North Africa- Lieutenant-General Titus McCord- rushed every soldier he could scrape up into the Sinai Desert, including Drakian regulars, reservists, Auxiliary troops, the military of the Egyptian Princely State, and even children undergoing Agoge training (kept in second-line roles of course). As a result he was able to successfully contain amphibious landings by American Marines along the Sinai coast and reach the retreating forces of Lieutenant-General Apostle Melancon (the commander responsible for Drakia’s forces in the Near East) who was falling back from Jerusalem in the face of the main American invasion and an Arab push towards the River Jordan.

Both the Drakians and the Marines had focused on fighting insurgents in the years since the World War and were not used to fighting an enemy that also had aircraft and armor (known as landcruisers ITTL since every good timeline needs its own name for tanks). Drakian landcruisers were lightly-armed, fast, anti-infantry machines developed to put down uprisings in the wide spaces of North and West Africa, while the Americans fielded mostly landcruisers developed for naval use- small enough to be easily transportable for amphibious landings and fairly slow, but with heavier firepower than their Drakian counterparts to deal with fortified positions in the face of a contested landing. In general, Drakia had an advantage in terms of armor as the American naval tanks had trouble with the distances needed to reach the battlefield, while the Americans held an advantage in the air. US Navy aviators had less practice striking at land-based targets than Drakian Army pilots did, which reduced their effectiveness supporting ground troops, but their drachenflieger were better machines and their training for midair combat superior.

A Drakian LC crew enjoy a break in front of their Hond II. The Hond II was a light landcruiser capable of making 45 mph with a range of over 200 miles. Radios were included in most Hond II's, facilitating communication and co-ordination between different units. It carried nothing heavier than a 1/3 inch machine gun however, and there were parts of its rear and side armor that were less than a quarter-inch thick. It also used a gasoline engine that while powerful was highly flammable and tended to explode if hit.

An initial Drakian victory in the Sinai didn’t decide the war by any means, not with McCord’s forces being pummeled by American carriers and battleships (imagine being on the receiving end of a battleship’s main guns), but it was clear that the American, Judean, and Irish soldiers in the Holy Land faced a tough slog break through Drakian defensive lines before they could cut the Trans-Sinai Railway and establish a defensive line of their own. The involvement of Arabia on America’s side meant that the Kurds, the Assyrians, the Druze, and the Yazidis were actively fighting for the Empire, and while Jerusalem and Aden had fallen, all of the major cities of Syria and Mesopotamia remained in Drakian hands. It was clear that war would not be quick or easy, at least not without enthusiastic support for Klein from the United States government, the United States Army, and the rest of the Grand Alliance.

And so, a ship arrived in the Mediterranean.

It was a mothballed World War-era naval vessel crewed by the United States Coast Guard and it carried, in addition to a compliment of US Marshals (who had taken on the body-guarding duties of the OTL Secret Service and most of the law-enforcement responsibilities of the OTL FBI), Vice President Artemas Cotton carrying orders directly from the President for Klein’s arrest.

The jig was up.

President Charles Perdue had wrestled with the Whig opposition, members of his own National Party, and his personal conscience before coming to a decision. If the civilian government of the United States retroactively authorized a war launched independently by a branch of its military then the result would be dangerous if not fatal to American democracy. Instead of a country where the military served the people, it would be a step towards a country where the people served the military and admirals and generals dictated foreign and ultimately domestic policy. Arthur Klein would not be allowed to become the American version of Shigeru Honjo, or even the American version of Julius Caesar (a triumphant return from the war followed by a successful bid for president was a possibility for Klein had the dice co-operated, with the right numbers you might have seen the Navy sailing into New York harbor and the Fleet Admiral stepping up to “save the Republic” from the threat of Geoism, Societism, and Central American guerillas). It was the "snakes'" victory in the Sinai that had made the decision possible- Klein was no longer undefeated.

Striking a blow against the Drakian Empire was a good thing, liberating Drakian Bondsmen an even better one, but defending American democracy came first.

A student of the Agoge, called up to fight in the First Anglo-Drakian War. Such child soldiers were generally used for guard and pacification duties behind the front lines, where they became known for their violence and cruelty.

The admiral was informed that for repeatedly defying the orders of his Commander-in-Chief and launching a war without the authorization of either the President or Congress he was being charged not with mutiny- which would have placed him before a military tribunal that might have sympathized with the Admiral- but with engaging in a Seditious Conspiracy and violating TTL’s version of the Neutrality Act (passed in the 19th century to stop pro-slavery filibusterers). These were federal crimes that would see Klein tried in civilian courts before a judge almost certain have been appointed by the current President. Conviction seemed guaranteed and an unusually harsh sentence- fifty years, maybe even life- likely. There was even a rumor circulating that he would be made to disappear or commit suicide while being delivered across the Atlantic to stand trial.

Possibly panicking, possibly calculating, Fleet Admiral Arthur Klein did the unthinkable.

Leaving behind a letter that accused the Perdue Administration of planning to put him to death on fake charges, he took a boat and a white flag and defected to the Drakian Empire.