Thinking about the evolution of soldiers in a world with Punk-ish tech progression. This would probably be a good representation of what soldiers in general would resemble during a WW1 esque conflict. Marking a transitional period between the "steampunk" of the 19th century and the "dieselpunk" of the 20th.
american20.jpg
https://www.reddit.com/r/wwi/comments/8sffll
One thing I do want to do is merge WW1 with the previous Anglo-Boar, Spanish-American and Russo-Japanese Wars.
 
Well I believe I've come up with a rough outline for this idea and the series of events of the 19th and 20th century. That I'll try to get to posting later today.

This was something that I found recently, of a British artist commissioning artists working in North Korea's Mansudae Art Studio to portray modern day China using the Socialist Realism art-style based on photos that he had taken, resulting in these funky, 1950s retro paintings that will fit right in to a sci-fi setting such as Fallout, while still recognizably showing the 21st century:

Beautiful-Future-CITY-MIGRATION-103-x-73.5-Goucahe-on-paper-Nicholas-Bonner-Dominic-Johnson-Hill-721x1024.jpg


Beautiful-Future-GLORIOUS-CCTV-TOWER-84-x-117.5-Gouache-on-paper-Nicholas-Bonner-Dominic-Johnson-Hill-1024x750.jpg


Beautiful-future-CCTV-TOWER-WITH-BOUNTIFUL-HARVEST-117.5-x-85-Gouache-on-paper-Nicholas-Bonner-Dominic-Johnson-Hill-727x1024.jpg

Especially the last one, with the image of the CCTV Headquarters building being in the middle of a wheat field reminding me of the idea of skyscraper/vertical farms that seems to have become more popular in science fiction recently.
Now these would be perfect for this timeline. Only instead of being a retro futuristic on modern day OTL China. This is actually what China would look like in this world's 60-70's.

See also Theo Jansen's "Strandbeest" and "Rhinoceros" walking sculptures, using a simple rotary linkage.

Wonder if it would at all be possible for there to actually mechs reminiscent of the Leviathan Series and Iron Harvest during the twentieth century.
 
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The Steampunk genre first appearing in William Gibson's The Difference Engine in 1990, as a subset of the cyberpunk genre. Where more modern issues and technological innovations are typically applied to the time period of the 19th century. Usually being centered around Victorian England and the British Empire or occasionally with the CattlePunk subgenre the Wild West. Though in retrospect the science fiction novels of the period, such as those by HG Wells and Jules Verne can be considered steampunk. Alongside the likes of the

In general steampunk can range from airships and Steam wagon's being common place in Victorian London. To the British Empire launching a full scale invasion of Mars with steampunk nuclear powered starships. Fighting War of the Worlds Martians with giant steam powered mech's with Tesla-esque lighting guns. [1]

Now the question is what butterflies would be necessary to ensure that the later half of the 19th century at least, is as steampunk as possible. Without it going full on ASB and keeping the technology at least plausible. I said the later half since it would take time for whatever Point of Divergence is responsible to take full form and it would take time for various technologies to fully develop.

Also we got to remember what games like Civilization and popular media would have you believe. Technology DOES NOT advance in straight pre determined levels of development. Many innovations were possible decades even centuries before they were actually invented and some discoveries were by accident. Afterall tribes in Africa were able to skip from from the stone age directly to the Iron Age. While in the New World the Aztecs a people who were still heavily stone Age and with no pack animal, were able to build one of the most sophisticated cities on Earth. To the point that the Spanish Conquistadors, a people with gunpowder weaponry, advanced metallurgy and trans oceanic ships were in awe of it when they first laid eyes on it. Same for the Inca who were able to build a sprawling empire, spanning the western coast of South America with a sophisticated road network and bureaucracy.

Some possible pieces of Steampunk technology that are actually possible.
  1. Steam Cars: The first drivable Steam car was actually built in late 18th century France by the inventor Nicolas Joseph_Cugnot. Though sadly it didn't really go anywhere with the outbreak of the French Revolution. Though they wouldn't become popular until the start of 20th century with the development of the Steam wagon. Even after the rise of the Internal Combustion Engine you still saw the steam car being manufactured by the likes Doble. Some of who's designs proved surprisingly sophisticated. There was even a renewed interest in 1968 with several prototype cars.
  2. Airships: A no brainer for any steampunk setting, with the 19th century having been fascinated by lighter than air flight. A number of airship designs were drawn up (some more practical than others) in this time period. One of the more noticeable of which were those by the American Inventor rufus-porter and his proposed idea for an internal frame made from spruce. Interestingly enough the Schütte-Lanze_airships of Imperial Germany did use plywood frames over aluminum alloys. Which would be cheaper with O TL 19th century metallurgy.
  3. Mechanical Computers: The first mechanism computer was actually built in the form of the Antikythera mechanism. While in the Victorian Era the British Mathematician Charles Babbage did construct both the Difference & Analytical Engine's, though sadly neither were completed. You could even theoretically have some type of proto internet or intranet with the use of telegraph networks.
  4. Radio: While Radio wasn't invented till near the end of the 19th century. The idea of wireless communications was experimented with long before then. With Crystal radio's being relatively easy to manufacture.
  5. Steam Planes: While we're all familiar with the internal combustion airplanes there were a number of attempted steam planes. With even the inventor of the machine gun Hiram Stevens Maxim coming up with his own design. Though the most successful design was actually from the 1930's. With the construction of the Besler Steam Plane using technology from the Doble steam car company.


[1] Awesome but EXTREMELY ASB
I have a suggestion, you can have the use of Erasmus Darwin's rocket (a fully functional rocket devised in the late 18th century), to have earlier space exploration.
 
So here just a rough outline for this potential timeline. I'll probably change, add on or remove things has I go on.

Age of Steam

Beginning with the Industrial revolution at the end of the 18th century and the dawn of the 19th century. I am thinking that the changes wouldn't be too noticeable until around mid century. When the butterflies of the PoD begin to take full effect. Most noticeable either an alternate Crimea War or American Civil War, where both sides would be making use of Grinder gun's, dirigibles with wooden frames, armored steam cars and possibly even poison gas. Acting almost like a kind of pseudo prototype for the First World War of OTL.

The rest of the century sees these technologies further refined and new ones being developed. Including the earlier discovery of antibiotics and the ensuing medical discoveries and breakthroughs that came from it. Alongside actually exploring the consequences of such rapid technological and industrial development in a society still rooted in the ideals & views of the 19th century. With the likes of Africa and the of the colonial world getting hit even worse by European Colonialism. Thanks to the European's having an even greater technological advantage, not only militarily but also domestically. With everything from antibiotics to air-conditioning to improved logistics greatly improving the power projection abilities the European Great Power's. Though ironically I do want to delay the invention of barb wire.

As for the political landscape around the world three ideas pop into mind . The first being the earlier collapse of the Chinese Qing dynasty and rise of the Warlord Era. Thanks to the Qing's same inability to modernize as OTL and greater European technological advantage and interference. Leading to them taking out larger chunks of China compared to OTL and leaving behind a greater cultural influence. The second idea is America ending up more divided compared to OTL. With both Texas and California avoiding joining the United States, that became further divided in a much bloodier Civil War. Thanks to the Confederacy actually manage to again official support and recognition from the French & British. Alongside the native American tribes of Oklahoma managing to successfully break away into an independent neutral nation in the chaos. This actually plays a part of the third idea where Latin America actually manages to do a little better than OTL thanks to the much more divided nature of North America. With both Mexican and Spanish Empire's surviving and prospering thanks to the lack of US interference.

The Rise of Diesel

With the greater rate of technological advancement. Do to a combination of a slightly earlier start and larger population size. The internal combustion engine does get invented earlier. Though finding itself competing with far superior steam engines compared to OTL, that are also more ingrained. With the world not fully transitioning until the "Great War."

Breaking out over a decade ahead of OTL and merged with the other conflicts of the time (the Spanish-American War, Anglo-Boer War and Russo-Japanese War). The Great War of this timeline saw the transition away from the Steampunk of the 19th century to the dieselpunk of the twentieth. With steam powered tanks, planes can airships fighting their internal combustion counterparts on the field of battle. Not only in Europe but also in Asia, South America and North America, as the European alliance system having spread to those countries as well. (Currently I am tempted to have the war be a three way fight instead of just the usual two.)

Fighting with technology that wouldn't look too out of place of the OTL 1930's. With massive superheavy tanks rushing enemy trench lines. In away marking a transition from the brutal trench fighting of ww1 to the armored blitzkrieg of ww2, the same way it marks the transition from steampunk to dieselpunk. Where the tanks scene in it's final days not looking to out place from those found in WW2.

The aftermath of the war is rather nasty. With the following decades seeing an economic depression and the emergence of rival ideological movements. One being a much more technocratic and autocratic take on socialism, with some eugenics thrown in for good measure. While the other one can best be described as an unholy mix of Futurism, Ayn Rand Objectivism, Populism and Italian styled fascism. Alongside the rise of sky pirates across the world and mercenaries that fight them. Thanks to combination of soldiers unable to find work, horrible post War economic conditions, lots of surplus airships, planes & weapons from the war and the decline & even collapse of colonial authority in many parts of the world.

With various Civil Wars and similar conflicts being fought across the globe. The most noticeable being the unification of China and it driving out the remaining colonial forces, outside a few key trade cities. While in North America both the Confederacy and Canada havd been reduced to a minor rump states. With the United States taking most of their territory, along with the break away of Louisiana & Quebec respectively.

Fortunately things do gradually recover and a second Great War is avoided as a Cold War slowly emerges.

Dawn of the Atom

Nuclear Energy has a stronger start here. Thanks to combination of better engineering & material sciences when compared to OTL. Alongside the factor the public is generally more open to it. Do to the fact this world never had any event similar to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. With the energy applications being developed first instead of the destructive here. Leading it to becoming more widespread and developed compared to our timeline. Seeing the development of nuclear powered bullet trains for example.

This would also mark the begin of the space age. With this world seeing a more intense and competitive space race. To the point we see sky hooks, lunar labs/outposts and man missions to Mars by the 1970's. Partially do to the fact that the ideals behind colonialism didn't exactly die out here, with no WW2 & holocaust.

Cyberization

I don't have much here yet but I do want to keep the bulky aesthetic of the OTL 80's & 90's. With my best idea is that this world's internet can trace itself back to a series of national intranet system. That go back to the 19th century having originally used mechanical computers connected via telegraph lines. Combined with the idea that vacuum channel transistors were developed and adopted in this world before the transistors. Causing computers to be more powerful but also bulkier. Plus touch screens might not get developed till after the turn of the millennium.


I fucking love this idea. Whats going to be the POD?
That's actually a rather interesting question. So far I have two possible options.
  1. A series of small changes during the late 18th century that aren't really noticeable at first but causes a cascade effect leading to greater industrialization, faster population growth and technological development.
  2. Have the French Court flirt with increased industrialization following the Seven Years War or American Revolution. As an attempt to try and recoup their economic loses domestically.
Admittedly it is difficult to find a solid Point of Divergence to point to for this idea.
I have a suggestion, you can have the use of Erasmus Darwin's rocket (a fully functional rocket devised in the late 18th century), to have earlier space exploration.
Interesting! I'll have to check it out some more but an earlier period of space exploration would definitely fit the premise of this idea.
 
So here just a rough outline for this potential timeline. I'll probably change, add on or remove things has I go on.

Age of Steam

Beginning with the Industrial revolution at the end of the 18th century and the dawn of the 19th century. I am thinking that the changes wouldn't be too noticeable until around mid century. When the butterflies of the PoD begin to take full effect. Most noticeable either an alternate Crimea War or American Civil War, where both sides would be making use of Grinder gun's, dirigibles with wooden frames, armored steam cars and possibly even poison gas. Acting almost like a kind of pseudo prototype for the First World War of OTL.

The rest of the century sees these technologies further refined and new ones being developed. Including the earlier discovery of antibiotics and the ensuing medical discoveries and breakthroughs that came from it. Alongside actually exploring the consequences of such rapid technological and industrial development in a society still rooted in the ideals & views of the 19th century. With the likes of Africa and the of the colonial world getting hit even worse by European Colonialism. Thanks to the European's having an even greater technological advantage, not only militarily but also domestically. With everything from antibiotics to air-conditioning to improved logistics greatly improving the power projection abilities the European Great Power's. Though ironically I do want to delay the invention of barb wire.

As for the political landscape around the world three ideas pop into mind . The first being the earlier collapse of the Chinese Qing dynasty and rise of the Warlord Era. Thanks to the Qing's same inability to modernize as OTL and greater European technological advantage and interference. Leading to them taking out larger chunks of China compared to OTL and leaving behind a greater cultural influence. The second idea is America ending up more divided compared to OTL. With both Texas and California avoiding joining the United States, that became further divided in a much bloodier Civil War. Thanks to the Confederacy actually manage to again official support and recognition from the French & British. Alongside the native American tribes of Oklahoma managing to successfully break away into an independent neutral nation in the chaos. This actually plays a part of the third idea where Latin America actually manages to do a little better than OTL thanks to the much more divided nature of North America. With both Mexican and Spanish Empire's surviving and prospering thanks to the lack of US interference.

The Rise of Diesel

With the greater rate of technological advancement. Do to a combination of a slightly earlier start and larger population size. The internal combustion engine does get invented earlier. Though finding itself competing with far superior steam engines compared to OTL, that are also more ingrained. With the world not fully transitioning until the "Great War."

Breaking out over a decade ahead of OTL and merged with the other conflicts of the time (the Spanish-American War, Anglo-Boer War and Russo-Japanese War). The Great War of this timeline saw the transition away from the Steampunk of the 19th century to the dieselpunk of the twentieth. With steam powered tanks, planes can airships fighting their internal combustion counterparts on the field of battle. Not only in Europe but also in Asia, South America and North America, as the European alliance system having spread to those countries as well. (Currently I am tempted to have the war be a three way fight instead of just the usual two.)

Fighting with technology that wouldn't look too out of place of the OTL 1930's. With massive superheavy tanks rushing enemy trench lines. In away marking a transition from the brutal trench fighting of ww1 to the armored blitzkrieg of ww2, the same way it marks the transition from steampunk to dieselpunk. Where the tanks scene in it's final days not looking to out place from those found in WW2.

The aftermath of the war is rather nasty. With the following decades seeing an economic depression and the emergence of rival ideological movements. One being a much more technocratic and autocratic take on socialism, with some eugenics thrown in for good measure. While the other one can best be described as an unholy mix of Futurism, Ayn Rand Objectivism, Populism and Italian styled fascism. Alongside the rise of sky pirates across the world and mercenaries that fight them. Thanks to combination of soldiers unable to find work, horrible post War economic conditions, lots of surplus airships, planes & weapons from the war and the decline & even collapse of colonial authority in many parts of the world.

With various Civil Wars and similar conflicts being fought across the globe. The most noticeable being the unification of China and it driving out the remaining colonial forces, outside a few key trade cities. While in North America both the Confederacy and Canada havd been reduced to a minor rump states. With the United States taking most of their territory, along with the break away of Louisiana & Quebec respectively.

Fortunately things do gradually recover and a second Great War is avoided as a Cold War slowly emerges.

Dawn of the Atom

Nuclear Energy has a stronger start here. Thanks to combination of better engineering & material sciences when compared to OTL. Alongside the factor the public is generally more open to it. Do to the fact this world never had any event similar to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. With the energy applications being developed first instead of the destructive here. Leading it to becoming more widespread and developed compared to our timeline. Seeing the development of nuclear powered bullet trains for example.

This would also mark the begin of the space age. With this world seeing a more intense and competitive space race. To the point we see sky hooks, lunar labs/outposts and man missions to Mars by the 1970's. Partially do to the fact that the ideals behind colonialism didn't exactly die out here, with no WW2 & holocaust.

Cyberization

I don't have much here yet but I do want to keep the bulky aesthetic of the OTL 80's & 90's. With my best idea is that this world's internet can trace itself back to a series of national intranet system. That go back to the 19th century having originally used mechanical computers connected via telegraph lines. Combined with the idea that vacuum channel transistors were developed and adopted in this world before the transistors. Causing computers to be more powerful but also bulkier. Plus touch screens might not get developed till after the turn of the millennium.



That's actually a rather interesting question. So far I have two possible options.
  1. A series of small changes during the late 18th century that aren't really noticeable at first but causes a cascade effect leading to greater industrialization, faster population growth and technological development.
  2. Have the French Court flirt with increased industrialization following the Seven Years War or American Revolution. As an attempt to try and recoup their economic loses domestically.
Admittedly it is difficult to find a solid Point of Divergence to point to for this idea.

Interesting! I'll have to check it out some more but an earlier period of space exploration would definitely fit the premise of this idea.
What happens to the rival ideological movements that emerge during the diesel age? Are they destroyed during the wars of the era or do they manage to stick around?
Also, maybe the period after the 80s and 90s cyber age would be some sort of biopunk/nanopunk type thing?
 
What happens to the rival ideological movements that emerge during the diesel age? Are they destroyed during the wars of the era or do they manage to stick around?
The Rival Ideological Blocks would manage to stick around. I am actually thinking of a possible WW3/Cold War Gone Hot situation at the start of the twenty first century. Though I'm not 100% sure on it.

Also, maybe the period after the 80s and 90s cyber age would be some sort of biopunk/nanopunk type thing?
I am actually thinking of some Biopunk elements being present during the Cyberpunk Age. Mainly stem cell grown organs, gene therapy,, designer babies and the revival of recently extinct species.

Maybe eventually even Novosaurs.
R.7f8313f99a449d3111cfb349c2446e02
 
The Rival Ideological Blocks would manage to stick around. I am actually thinking of a possible WW3/Cold War Gone Hot situation at the start of the twenty first century. Though I'm not 100% sure on it.
You should definitely do it since an WW3 is part of the punk world package.

You could also take some ideas from your Zeerust thread as well for inspiration if you want.
 
An old idea I had for this timeline...

Void Troopers
Ad Astra Per Aspera
With humanities growing presence in space and the dawn of a new millennium fast approaching it was becoming clear that a new breed of soldier would be required if the United States was to properly handle the threats of the next century and beyond. Already the first reports of Stellar Piracy in the form raiders on the moon had started. Something which would be projected to only grow worse with the start of asteroid mining in the belt and the beginning of the Conclave of Nations terra forming efforts. Giving rise to the Project Centurion and the warriors of the next millennium, the first recruits would be selected from veteran soldiers of the Jungle Wars of the past thirty years.
latest



Selected across the US special forces branches only 600 of the original 2400 applicants would make it through the initial recruitment process. From there the recruits would be subjected to intense physical training in high gravity chambers on one of the Venus atmospheric stations. Their bodies and minds constantly pushed to the very limits of human capability. Before the augmentation process began, advanced surgical procedures, gene therapy and even cybernetics were to break through the limitations of the human body. Second artificially grown hearts were implanted to improve blood & oxygen flow through the body, the physical grafting of additional muscle fibers to improve strength, artificial fibers injected into the nervous system & brain improving reaction & processing times. While on the genetic level retro viruses were used to enhance the production of somatropin and red blood cells within the human body. All of this supported by a reinforced skeleton structure so the human body can properly handle its new found abilities without getting ripped apart. Yet the augmentation project was brutal and highly taxing on the human body over a hundred didn't survive.
OIP.GN6o0OQJFnUENn-JYZGBvwHaJQ




From there the Void Troopers or Centurions as they would undergo further training zero G combat, orbital insertions, cyber warfare, advanced close quarters combat, anti automoton techniques nearly everything they could teach them were tought. Soon proving their worth in the coming World War of 2000-2006 where their actions would become the stuff of legend. A fighting force that started out with little more than 400 hundred combatants would go on to assassinate enemy leaders in the very heart of their territory, cripple infrastructure, hold their ground against an enemy force over a hundred times their number and destroy or capture entire enemy capital ships. From Earth to the farthest reaches of the solar system their names would be carved forever into history even if little more than seventy of their original ranks remained.
Rf8d9ce31495abc66bb97f72af916291d
 
Typical armor and weapons of the Great War 1906-1912

Landship
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artist_impression_nbfz-nr1.jpg


Maxim
s-l1000.jpg


Dirigible
9164508cff4b4a402d513db42072659e.jpg


Rifles
20785611_2.jpg

1200px-M1903_Springfield_-_USA_-_30-06_-_Arm%C3%A9museum.jpg


Autocarbine
mi3844w__2.jpg


Grinder
67081d1259515167-m1917a1-water-cooled-browning-machine-gun-p1000900a.jpg

main-qimg-81220440d7d494f9dea926152e47bbb4


Artillery
OIP.uPSZdaWbfhz7WkGK1M-qEgHaFU


Gas mask
OIP.CnnP15vAwAuBGd5b38PSdgAAAA


What do you think?
 
What's the lore behind tanks being called landships, unless it will be explained in the TL?
Well I was thinking that tanks here ended up as an evolution of the crude armored cars first scene in the American Civil War. With various great powers tinkering with the technology and developing it further during various small scale wars. That generally led to them not being such a top secret project as in OTL. Leading to several names being used until landship became the official term.

Honestly I'm not really what tanks should be called here, considering it's an alternate timeline that predates tanks and its ww1 designation.
 

Master123

Gone Fishin'
A cold war would be crazy between a Eurasianist, Russian Cosmist Eastern bloc and a western bloc with an ideology that is a mix of Italian Futurism, French Jacobinism, Kemalism, Georgism, August Comte's positivism, Lovecraft's cosmicism, and Ayn Rand's Objectivism
 
A cold war would be crazy between a Eurasianist, Russian Cosmist Eastern bloc and a western bloc with an ideology that is a mix of Italian Futurism, French Jacobinism, Kemalism, Georgism, August Comte's positivism, Lovecraft's cosmicism, and Ayn Rand's Objectivism
That is one hell of a mix.
 

Master123

Gone Fishin'
Here's a rough idea on how things would look over the generations.

tumblr_p09kb26RXZ1v5u0rjo1_1280.jpg


future-retro-city.jpg


d4f2a7c9b77d54c70c6f6ff33e9a2a25.jpg


cyber_street_by_dominiquevvelsen_dck4vsy-pre.jpg
Actually, I would love for this to be a collaborative TL, but it doesn't seem like anyone is interested. A few days ago I decided to make a map, but my computer crashed. Even though I couldn't use my computer, I tried to do something as much as I could.


This is the map. rather superficial and incomplete. Map of 2021, the great game still continues (otl cold war) between the Dynamist Bloc formed by the USA, Great Colombia and Italy and the Cosmist bloc led by the Eurasian Union. The setting is between Cyberpunk and Biopunk. There are some permanent settlements on the Moon and Mars. This can be a great collaborative tl if you are interested. You can ask questions about states, technology or culture.
 
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What have you done to my poor Brazil???
Jk
I really like this, for a sec I thought this was OTL cold war and was very pleased to see that the eurasian block is cosmist, honestly I think I would be rooting for the East this once lol
 

Master123

Gone Fishin'
What have you done to my poor Brazil???
Jk
I really like this, for a sec I thought this was OTL cold war and was very pleased to see that the eurasian block is cosmist, honestly I think I would be rooting for the East this once lol
Sorry for Brazil :(
In 1969 a major uprising against the Integralist government broke out, with both Dynamists and Cosmists backing the rebels. Meanwhile, Southern Brazil and some cities declared their independence and remained out of the conflict. After 25 years of a bloody three-way civil war, the sides agreed and the Brazilian Republic was established. The state is too unstable, megacorporations are increasing their influence day by day. The Amazon basin is under de facto Colombian control and is constantly bombed for security. Even though the civil war is over, some radical integralists still continue to resist in the Amazon.
 
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