I do wonder what the western genre would be like here. Generally I'm thinking something along the lines of the Dollar trilogy mixed with elements of Legend, generally being a bit grittier than what was standard along with being mixed with what we'd recognize as steampunk elements.
 
Just read the last couple of updates. Glad to see the Pan-Europeans were able to take back Italy and aren't knocked out of the fight, but this could definitely go either way. The conscription of bondsmen definitely doesn't seem like it could foreshadow negative consequences for Drakia whatsoever! Also, with the way things have been going for practically every major country in this timeline, I suspect situationism is going to be a pretty bizarre ideology no matter where it develops or what it specifically entails...
 
A question - how does the American public perceive the Pacific War right now? After a controversial decision to back off from the fight with Drakia, the lack of success against India and Japan's Asia-Pacific League of Friendship (compared to OTL, where Germany First doctrine meant the US beat Japan while sending huge amounts of aid to the European Front) would lead to some attenuation of support for the sitting government I'd imagine, even accounting for the power of *USA patriotism.
There's still a petty massive well of anger towards Japan for the Japanese strikes against the US mainland, which have killed an awful lot of civilians. People want revenge for their friends and family. War fatigue is starting to set in though.

I do wonder how the United States reacted to this.
"Ok, giving him asylum was one thing, but did you have to go and give him a military command?! There will be consequences for this once we finally beat Japan and India!"
New York lodged an official diplomatic protest, but the Rex feel like they need every able-bodied man and don't really care.

Has anyone developed fuel-air explosives? How are the Latin American countries doing with the war?
Crude thermobaric weapons exist, but they're not in air-droppable form yet. The Latin American countries are doing fine- they haven't been targeted nearly as badly as the USA and aren't feeling the strain of the war to the same degree.

Does India have plans to form her own bloc once the war is over?
India has some pie-in-the-sky plans to become the dominant global hegemon a la the America New Order of the Ages and some more realistic plans to replace Japan as the leader of the Asia-Pacific League and become the hegemon of Asia.

Some music for this excellent timeline...

Pacific War

Drakia

Balkan Front
https://youtu.be/ADSj82oHVPI
Sabaton is one of my favorite bands, full stop.:biggrin:

I can see you're a man of culture too!

Also can Tibet and Afghanistan become Indian protectorates?
It's hard to see Muslim Afghanistan placidly accepting protection from a Hindu Nationalist India that has been.... less than kind to its Muslim minority. Buddhist Tibet is less impossible, but still difficult. Maybe if it was because they genuinely felt threatened by Japan or Russia.

Made a meme for this TL @Ephraim Ben Raphael hope you like it :)
View attachment 531798
I love it.:love:

I do wonder what the western genre would be like here. Generally I'm thinking something along the lines of the Dollar trilogy mixed with elements of Legend, generally being a bit grittier than what was standard along with being mixed with what we'd recognize as steampunk elements.
That's a really interesting thought. Technology has been pretty different ITTL, so elements of what OTL regards as steampunk making their way into westerns makes sense. You'd also have a lot more stuff set in OTL northern Mexico and Native Americans would be portrayed very differently.

Just read the last couple of updates. Glad to see the Pan-Europeans were able to take back Italy and aren't knocked out of the fight, but this could definitely go either way. The conscription of bondsmen definitely doesn't seem like it could foreshadow negative consequences for Drakia whatsoever! Also, with the way things have been going for practically every major country in this timeline, I suspect situationism is going to be a pretty bizarre ideology no matter where it develops or what it specifically entails...

I can't think of anything to say to this, other than I like you're analysis and I'm glad you're enjoying the TL!:biggrin:
 
So far the technology in the war is pretty reminiscent of OTL's Korea & Vietnam even though most of the electronics seem to be around the 40's and 50's. Which probably makes sense since mechanical engineering had an earlier jump thanks to Britain's alternate industrial revolution while Electronics began roughly around the same time as in our history. Though it's still roughly twenty years ahead of OTL...
That's a really interesting thought. Technology has been pretty different ITTL, so elements of what OTL regards as steampunk making their way into westerns makes sense. You'd also have a lot more stuff set in OTL northern Mexico and Native Americans would be portrayed very differently.
I bet considering the earlier emergence of airships alongside steam cars and much more developed fire arms technology. Am kinda curious how the native American's ended up being generally portrayed in the genre.

Does anyone mind if I do an in universe western?
 
One thing I think we might want to circle back around to is the state of the peoples trapped in "Bonded Labor" slavery. By the time Drakia moves from Stoker's cult to a cabal of old party men like the Soviet Union going from Stalin to the Brezhnev and on eras (maybe even North Korea style with half-ceremonial hereditary successors officially in charge of the court), the people pushed into Bonded Labor out of conquest and the increasingly choked National middle class have demonstratively have their lives become worse and worse as the grand Societist experiment progressed. Drakia has been hard at work destroying their own norms of slavery and have increasingly placed themselves in circumstances where the Bondsperson is utterly alienated from whatever came before. You know until those crazy fucked up Barbados type "slave codes" started formalizing the conditions of the Triangular Trade on paper the New World plantation slavery didn't actually have a lot of vast differences with the slaveries of the middle-man kingdoms they purchased from. The real divide was in the larger context of how the slaves fit into the rest of society, how slaves were related to in norm and custom, what the planters did was strip them of all this context and violently dehumanize them from a specific captive of a specific ethnic and geographical space taken into a specific obligation into "pieces" or "bucks" of "the Gold Coast" or "the Darkest Congo". This same effect has to have been taking place within Drakia as all the frontiers of human space legible and controllable to the political center have been pushed back with totalitarian industrialization.

All the old methods of self-defense and resistance (passive or active) have been rendered obsolete by these new conditions, now no one can really threaten to join up with the Quilombos at any significant scale as the remote hills and marshes have been blasted open, now practicing anakhoresis and fleeing into religious societies and hermitages is denied by Societist churches and persecution against any Sufi school or lay fraternity that steps out of line, now even civil disobedience and petitions to your "paternal guardians" is useless as your oppressor is no longer in truth a single owner but the state itself, which can liquidate your community and bring in a fresh batch of Rodinist captives in the name of ideological purity. "Just" the accomplishments of the ever-present slave grapevine and the almost universal practice of presenting only what the slavers want to see and not volunteering anything unless specifically questioned are far from what's necessary to carve out a livable life, despite the efforts needed to maintain them. So what else can be done to this vast impersonal and inhumane machine to keep the Bondspeople from being extinguished under its pitiless regime? With Bonded Labor now completely detached from human grounding, now it is extremely vulnerable to playing into inhumanity, to being something legible and narratively understandable but not something that is how messy truth is. Playing dumb, into the bigoted stereotypes of lazy and feckless creatures somewhere between animals and children, and going roundabout to practice civil disobedience and malicious compliance while swearing up and down of course there's no way you could ever even conceive of such a thing. With every order as it is crafted by national polices and regulations and enforced by either bitter and resistant old conservatives or by feuding fascist bureaucracies and paramilitary gangsters, simply not mentioning that the orders as given will destroy the soil or pollute the lake in a couple years would be remarkably easy. Hell outright self-sabotage wouldn't be out of the question.

I imagine if someone somehow got into the statistical meat of a lot of these Societist grand infrastructure projects and central plans they might discover that despite Stoker mobilizing ever greater numbers of the population in aggregate in actual fact the productivity of each individual Bondsperson has never been lower.
 
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I just got caught up on this timeline, and I'm enjoying it so far. The Draka are significantly more plausible than Stirling's villain-sues, and the United States, while better than OTL's at this point in history, is still somewhat morally grey. I like the different route technology has taken too, as that's not something you see too often.
 
I wonder how is the morale in India ? Especially as for India, it's a war of defence and revenge triggered by the US attack.
Pretty high. India was attacked, India is winning, and they're feeling pretty good about themselves right now.

I bet considering the earlier emergence of airships alongside steam cars and much more developed fire arms technology. Am kinda curious how the native American's ended up being generally portrayed in the genre.
I'd expect it would depend to some extent on the director, but Native Americans would be portrayed very differently in Westerns. For one thing there would be a clear distinction between the "civilized" Native tribes who end up working with the USA and being rewarded for it, versus the "uncivilized" tribes who attempt to fight. I'd think that "uncivilized Natives are killing/enslaving civilized Natives who are then saved by magic white people and the US cavalry" would be a common trope.

Does anyone mind if I do an in universe western?
Go west young man, go west! :biggrin:

(that's a "please do it")


Images of Separated at Birth's wild west


Loving this.❤

I imagine if someone somehow got into the statistical meat of a lot of these Societist grand infrastructure projects and central plans they might discover that despite Stoker mobilizing ever greater numbers of the population in aggregate in actual fact the productivity of each individual Bondsperson has never been lower.
This is very, very good. It's possible to operate slavery and forced labor profitably, and it's possible to yield substantial production from slavery and forced labor (the Soviets did it), but it will never be as efficient or productive per-capita as free labor. Drakia has partially gotten around that by addicting Bondsmen to drugs, and by having a system where non-white Bonded can usually secure their freedom by the time they're old/sick/crippled enough to be worthless, and white Bondsmen can usually earn their freedom for real, they have not found a solution to this fundamental problem.

All forced-labor systems by their nature will always be less productive on an individual level than those in free societies.

I just got caught up on this timeline, and I'm enjoying it so far. The Draka are significantly more plausible than Stirling's villain-sues, and the United States, while better than OTL's at this point in history, is still somewhat morally grey. I like the different route technology has taken too, as that's not something you see too often.
Thank you!:)
 
Chapter 29
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Chapter 29

The Great Patriotic War began turning as Europe entered the Spring of 1942. The Drakians and their Russian allies advanced steadily, helped by Russian partisans who eagerly supported the Omsk-Aurica Axis and by the steady decline in Pan-European manpower and industrial production. Huge landcruiser battles were characteristic of the war at this point, part of vast encirclements of cities that would go down fighting. In the Balkans Rhomania began a hesitant advance, aided by units of Drakian Conscript Bondsmen. The war in the air continued, but it was also beginning to shift decisively against the Pan-European Pact, which could no longer keep up with its machine losses. In the fall of ’42 the Russian puppet state the Germans had erected in St. Petersburg under the House of Romanov was caught attempting to secretly negotiate a deal with Vozhd Larionov Lavro Antonovich whereby they would acknowledge his leadership, fold their armed forces into those of the Russian Empire, and he would agree to forgo any reprisals against their leadership. The Germans acted swiftly, removing and replacing their puppet’s government, but they were unable to prevent a general uprising in that part of Russia. The Russian puppet forces were deliberately under-equipped, but they still formed the dangerous core of a rebellion that badly weakened the Pan-European position.

By the end of the year it was time to make a decision.

The joint commanders of the Pact’s armed forces presented a new plan to Prime Minister Bernhard Krauszer of Germany and his less important counterparts. Western Russia could not be held, they argued, and fighting to hold it was a waste of men and resources. Instead they should begin a deliberate withdrawal, shorting their lines, preserving their troops, and taking with them everything of value. Anything that couldn’t be taken along would be destroyed. The Societists should be made to advance through a wasteland, extending their supply lines and forcing them to devote time and resources towards securing their logistics. By the time they reached the borders of the Rex nations proper they would be making war on a shoestring, trying to break into Fortress Europe.

Krauszer and the other heads of state assented, and the plan went forward.

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Pan-European helicopters face off against Drakian landcruisers during the encirclement of Kharkiv.

Trading space for time the forces of the Pan-European Pact fell back, scorching the earth as they went. Anything valuable that they could take they brought with them, anything they couldn’t bring they destroyed. Bridges were brought down, railways so torn up that they would need to be rebuilt entirely, tunnels collapsed, all transportation, communication, and industrial facilities were leveled. The “Tamerlane-dekret”, as it was known, did not actually instruct Rex soldiers to leave “not one stone on top of another” but a serious attempt was made towards that achievement anyway. Ordinary civilian structures were destroyed to deny basing and shelter to the enemy. Massive fires were lit in Moscow and Petrograd and anyone who tried to put them out was shot, before the burnt-out cities were abandoned by their occupiers. Forest fires were set (with mixed success). Any food that couldn’t be taken along was burned or poisoned. Mustard gas and anthrax were used to contaminate farmland. Oil wells were set ablaze. Russian adults not actively collaborating or being transported west as forced labor were to be killed- their corpses metaphorically lain on top of the bodies the Russian intelligentsia and POWs.

Close to six million Russian civilians were deliberately killed by the Pan-European Pact in the period from 1938 to 1946 for one reason or another. Far more died from disease and starvation.

The Cossacks, the Ukrainians, and the Belarusians didn’t appreciate what was being done to their homelands (although their people were of course exempt from personal treatment), but their civilians still fled west in large numbers to shelter in the Pan-European nations, and their militaries generally co-operated in the withdrawal. They were under no illusions what fate awaited them in Societist hands.

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A Russian man and woman of military age being executed by German soldiers during the Pan-European strategic withdrawal from Russia. The Rex are still better than the Nazis though, if only because they didn't target children or the infirm. I know, that's a very low bar.

The advancing Drakians rounded up non-Russian civilians and shipped them back to Drakia as Bondsmen, feeding the insatiable maw of the BLS industrial complex. Russians troops who encountered say, Ukrainian civilians, might massacre them if they didn’t then sell them to the Drakians as part of a desperate project to partially offset the crippling debt the Bear was accruing towards the Dragon. Non-Russian women were subject to mass-rapes within “liberated“ territories, and non-Russian property was arbitrarily confiscated. All was conducted without regard to whether or not a particular individual had supported the Rex occupation or not.

By the time the retreat from Russia ended, it was clear that the Pan-European plan was working.

Rex forces were able to fall back to prepared defensive lines while the Societist powers genuinely struggled to maintain their supply lines through Western Russia- particulalry Drakia which was running its logistics through the Caucasus or by sea, although the industrially weak Russian empire suffered as well. When the retreat ended in mid-1943 the Societists crashed bloodily against prepared Rex defenses and were forced to stop and consolidate. Festung Europa was holding.

With more non-Russian hostile civilians in the “liberated“ territories than it could practically deport as Bondsmen, and with active resistance from those groups, Drakia began a policy of rounding up adult civilians from ethnic minorities, intentionally handicapping them, and then sending them to the Rex lines so that they would become a burden on enemy resources and demoralize their foes. In Kiev units under the command of the Patriotists (the agents of the Empire’s feared Bureau for Social Defense) rounded up 100,000~ Ukrainian men in camps and then forced their faces one by one into buckets of acid so as to intentionally blind them. More commonly Drakian and British Regulars used grass shears (a common agricultural tool that was widely available in formerly Geoist Russia) to clip the thumbs (both hands) off of “hostile“ civilians. Supposedly their victims were given a choice between losing their thumbs and death, and supposedly a few hundred took the later option. Sometimes Achilles tendons were cut or toes were chopped off. By the end of the war close to 1.3 million Ukrainian, Cossack, Belarusian, Tartar, German, Estonian, Lithuanian, Rumanian, Polish, and Jewish civilians and Prisoners of War had been victims of some form of deliberate handicapping.

Pan-European policy was to permit these victims to pass through their lines, but not to actually spend time or resources assisting them. Either they found support for themselves from private citizens, or they were left entirely to fend for themselves.

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Bonded Ukrainian children working in a Drakian arms factory- just pretend those are AK-47s since we decided that Drakian assault rifles look like Kalashnikovs. I contemplated showing a picture of someone blinded by acid, or someone who'd had their thumbs cut off, but while we've used some pretty questionable images for this TL before I felt like that was a bridge too far.

Despite this strategy (which actually stiffened Rex morale and increased local resistance) Draco-Russian forces made slow but steady progress during the winter of 43/44 and in the spring of 1944 they broke into Rumania from the north and south, and linked up east of Bucharest. With the two main fronts of the Great Patriotic War now connected, the Societists began to push back their enemies from the Balkans, advancing into the Hungarian frontier and pressing deeper in Rumania.

It was the Execution of Bucharest, which wiped out most of the city and left it badly contaminated by yet another novel strain of Anthrax, that finally prompted France to act.

The Fourth French Republic had favored the Pan-European Pact since before the start of the Great Patriotic War, but had avoided joining the Pact itself in favor of preserving the Treaty of Alliance with the United States. When the Great Pacific War began it stuck with United States, sending forces to fight against the Japanese (and to protect its Pacific Possessions). The French had been helping out the Pact already, both economically and with military supplies and volunteers, but faced with the threat of Drakian hegemony over Europe they could no longer remain neutral. They didn’t joint the Pan-European Pact directly, but they entered into co-belligerence and declared war against the Societist bloc. Most of the French military was withdrawn from the Pacific (a few token forces remained) and French forces appeared as fresh reinforcements for the Pact.

While the Societists had been alert to the possibility of France joining the war, French intervention still came as a shock to their frontline forces.

A new front opened up in the Pyrenees, and the Societist advance in Eastern Europe ground to a halt by the middle of 1944. In addition to the arrival of French reinforcements, Drakia and its allies were now marching into territory without friendly Russian civilians and partisans to help them, and they recorded only a couple of noteworthy victories that year- with the capture of Rumanian Constanta German-held Crimea was no longer able to bring in supplies and fell after a few months. In the Mediterranean the Drakian Navy was able to overcome the French Navy and Corsica faced invasion in the autumn. The war returned to a stalemate that dragged on until the Winter Offensive of January 1945 when a Draco-Rhomanian attack broke through into Central Hungary and the Pan-Europeans were forced to abandon Eastern Hungary, what was left of Rumania, and even a small bit of Southern Poland, or risk leaving a large part of their armies to be encircled and destroyed. The Cigany Homeland- the little bantustan that the Germans and Hungarians had forced the Roma into- switched sides and co-operated with the Societists, renaming itself the Romani Republic and securing extra territory and either Drakian Citizenship or Nationality for all Roma as a Princely State.

This was the last major Societist victory of the Great Patriotic War.

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French soldiers on the Pyrenees Front, prior to the start of the Second Draco-American War.

By 1945 both sides were exhausted, despite a French injection of soldiers, weapons, manufacturing, and funds into the Pan-European Pact. The goal of the Rex countries was no longer to liberate Western Russia and cultivate friendly governments there, but simply to survive the Societist onslaught. The Drakian Empire had achieved its goal of preserving an independent Societists Russia within its sphere of influence, and while it had not achieved its goal of destroying the Pan-European Pact, it had prevented the Pact’s expansion in Eastern Europe and the possible emergence of a Rex bloc as a power capable of truly challenging it. Lindsey Stoker hadn’t picked up as much territory as he had hoped to, but it was something. The views of the lesser Societist countries were more mixed- Britain and Rhomania hadn’t gotten anything yet, although the Russian Empire was pretty happy with the fact that it was back in control of almost all of the former Rodina Zemlya.

The event that finally brought the Great Patriotic War to an end however, was the Battle of Dublin.

The Royal Navy (never mind that the rightful British King, Edward VII, had been forced to flee to the Bahamas by High Chancellor Susan) engaged a French convoy in the Celtic Sea enroute from Limerick to Brest. While France and Britain had been at war since 1944, the Republic of Ireland remained an American protectorate that was still engaged in the Great Pacific War and neutral towards the war in Europe. They were happy to trade what they could with France despite their neutrality, and the French freighters were loaded with supplies that would be valuable towards prosecuting the war against Drakia and Britain. Now cut off the convoy- including French naval escorts- fled north. They had not actually reached Dublin when the Britons caught up to them, but they had entered Irish territorial waters not far south of the Irish capital. A detachment of the Irish Navy arrived and ordered the British to turn back, the British- who had the Irish heavily outgunned- called their bluff, one thing led to another, and the shooting started. By the time it was over four Irish ships were sunk and hundreds of Irish sailors were dead.

The United Kingdom of Britain had committed an unmistakable act of war against an American protectorate.

A sober assessment of the situation might have led to the conclusion that with America so thoroughly committed to the Great Pacific War, persuading New York to brush the incident under the rug was an achievable goal. The problem was that High Chancellor Lancelot Susan didn’t make a sober assessment of the situation, instead he panicked, concluded that the Irish and the Americans were about to attack Britain, and launched a massive pre-emptive strike against Ireland and the American military presence there using all the assets at his disposal, including chemical and biological weapons.

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British military personnel prepare to deploy nerve gas against Irish targets mere hours before the start of Susan's "pre-emptive" attack.

Once Autocrat Stoker finished yelling unintelligibly he immediately sent a ceasefire proposal to the Pan-European Pact via neutral Scandinavia and ordered Drakian forces to re-orient to attack the Grand Alliance members and possessions that either bordered the Empire or were adjacent to it. War with America was now inevitable, there was nothing for it but to strike.

The French condemned Drakia’s ceasefire proposal, but they weren’t actually members of the Pan-European Pact, just co-belligerents. Many in the Rex civil and military leaderships identified that the American military was overwhelmingly concentrated in the Asia-Pacific, and that it was largely unavailable to intervene in Europe. They questioned that Turkey and Arabia- whose own militaries were geared almost entirely towards defense- would actually be able to give the Pan-Europeans practical opportunities to actually advance. Stoker had offered to return all of Imperial-occupied territory in the Italian peninsula, some occupied pre-war territory belonging to Hungary, Poland, and Lithuania, and to de facto recognize the loss of the Rhomanian Princely State of Croatia, even if Rhomania would reject its loss de jure. Stoker also pledged to negotiate the possible return of some still-occupied parts of pre-war Hungary and Italy as part of an unspecified future peace deal.

The governments of Hungary, Poland, and Lithuania endorsed the proposal- even if Drakia’s promise of returning additional land in a future settlement was transparently unlikely, they were all partially occupied countries and had been devastated by the war. Italy rejected the offer, as did the Netherlands and the governments-in-exile for Rumania, the Ukraine, Belarus, and the Don Host. Prime Minister Krauszer vowed that Germany would fight on, only to find Blitzsoldaten waiting to arrest him in his home. The Diet of the German Confederation had voted to remove him from office and seek peace. After nearly 8 years of total war and tremendous sacrifices the German economy- like the economies of every member of the Pan-European Pact except for the Netherlands- was collapsing, and the German people blamed Krauszer for getting them into this disastrous war in the first place. Even his own party was no longer loyal to him. With Germany now endorsing peace, the Dutch and the Italians had no choice but to cease their opposition to Stoker’s proposal.

The Rex governments-in-exile relocated to Paris- France, seething at Germany’s “stab-in-the-back” after France had saved them (as far as it was concerned at least), would fight on of course- and were accompanied by their associated armed forces. A number of individual soldiers of other Pan-European countries rejected the peace as private citizens and came along to fight on as volunteers- they were accompanied by Arthur Klein and a number of soldiers from the Jewish Homeland (there was no shortage of Jewish hostility for the empire that had crushed Judea).

The Great Patriotic War came to an end on March 6, 1946 with the signing of an armistice between the Pan-European Pact and the Societist bloc. By that point the Second Draco-American War was already over two months old.
 
Apologies if we moved a little quickly with this chapter- I realized that if I was going to do a chapter for each year of the war we were going to end up taking forever.
I mean, the story is technically about America and the Draka. We do need to focus on other world events, but let's be honest we are here for the world-building of the two "brothers."
 
Curious to see if the U.S peaces out with Japan and India in order to relieve the frustration of the poor performance in the Pacific War on Drakia and Britain.
 
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