Problems with the Draka Timeline


1783 - Loyalty Acts passed by British parliament, lots of former Loyalists et al offered land in Drakia. This would likely not happen at nearly such a high extent (over 100,000 in a few years), due to the fact that the Canadas are much closer, with the Loyalists fleeing there because it's much easier to get to, with more comforts of civilization than Drakia, and there is no reason why the British government should favor settlement of Drakia over the Canadas (since the Canadas are rather more strategically important to Britain at the time). Also, Ferguson is appointed first Governor-General. This terminology is incorrect, it should be just governor. Plus it is later mentioned that Archona is named after the offic of Archon - but there should be no such office. During the early years the Drakians will be fairly loyal to the crown, and it is a crucial point that the governorship (the executive branch of the government) remains in London's gift. Governors will be appointed by London.

1784 - General Banastare Tarleton becomes first Commander-in-Chief. This position should not exist - there is already a governor general. The Crown will not appoint a "commander-in-chief", and the locals cannot do so.

1783-84 - Volcanic eruptions devastate Iceland. 25,000 Icelanders offered asylum in Drakia, arriving 1783-86. First off no such eruptions occured OTL, and eruptions of such great effect are unlikely considering the size and geological makeup of Iceland. Also, the population at the time was approximately 50,000, and it is thus improbable that not only would fully half the population or more leaves, but that so many would arrive in Drakia. Especially since historically, there was massive Icelander emigration during those periods to the US and the Canadas, (during a period of several decades in which there were exceptionally harsh economic conditions, in the late 18th century, 1/5 of the population emigrated to the Canadas and the American colonies/US). Drakia is highly unlikely to be a preferred destination, regardless of whether the crown offers it as a refuge.

1784-85 - diamonds and gold discovered in Drakia. This seems to happen rather fast - did not happen until much later in OTL. Granted there are more settlers, but they're unlikely to send out large numbers of prospectors within the first few years of arrival.

1786 - Drakian Legislative Assembly passes Indentured Labor and Master and Servant Acts. Hm? This seems to be a little odd for a colony which still has to answer to Britain for everything its government does. In fact, I think an act of that sort would probably not be passable by Drakia by itself at all - at the least, explicit approval of the British government would be necessary. For such an act, it might not be forthcoming.

1786-90 - rapid growth in population, Drakian ships active all over the place in the slave trade. This seems a tad fast, considering that this is three years after Drakia was very sparsely inhabited. Where do they get the ships? In addition, their expansion into the slave trade is likely to bring some grumbling from Britain.

1792 - conquest of Rhodesia/Zimbabwe. Problem here, of a biological nature - OTL, significant advances in tropical medicine and immunities were necessary before whites could expand to any great degree out of South Africa. The Afrikaaners tried it early on (Great Trek), but most of their oxen and horses died, so they were forced to return. It would take an act of God for the various health risks of the more northern parts of southern Africa to be overcome so early, especially the Tsetse fly, which was a great killer north of the Limpopo. It took until the late 19th century to develop resistance to it (not medical technology, natural resistance... other protections were put in place by the people AFTER they got there, which had required resistance). It also becomes very difficult for the Draka to "leapfrog" this area into Northern Africa, because of tremendous transportation difficulties that would take a long time to remedy.

1790-96 - Slave Code of 1797 grants all freemen power of life and death over all slaves and "other bondservants". I am pretty sure that Drakia cannot pass such an act itself - it would have to be passed by the British Parliament. And it would take massive alterations in British society and government for that to happen. For Drakia to attempt to pass such an act despite British opposition could be considered treason, and the British Army would go in with guns blazing. First Janissary Legion recruited from slaves bought in West Africa, also the Militia act establishes peacetime conscription and reserve service till age 60. This is going to look pretty odd to the people in London - such is the army of a conquest-oriented state.

1794-97 - French population of Santo Domingo/Haiti flees before slave revolt. 11,000 arrive in Drakia. Royalists from European France follow. First off that looks like a rather high number for such a small island. And second, why does Drakia get all of the refugees all of a sudden? It is an average-sized, VERY isolated colony of the British Empire. Other colonies, including non-British colonies, seem as or more likely to get refugees as Drakia. In addition, it seems improbable that Royalists from France are going to flee out to the middle of nowhere in Drakia. OTL, they fled mostly to nearby European countries, where they began agitating for the reconquest of France and the reimposition of the Royalist regime. I can hardly see them giving up and fleeing many thousands of miles to an isolated British colony.

1800 - Free population reaches 350,000. From only 9000, in a span of 17 years. That is VERY impressive growth, especially considering that at the start of everything there was very little local infrastructure of any kind in place. Drakia is attracting a lot of people for a colony that still has not had much time to build up the comforts of civilization present in other colonies, such as they are.

1800-02 - conquest of Egypt (occupied by French) and Ceylon. French colonies in West Africa seized. Okay, this is another bit that requires an act of God. First, how the hell do the Draka get there? The only way is by ship, and no way do they have the rather largish numbers of ships required to support such a substantial invasion. Hypothetically they could get the ships from Britain - but this would mean a significant expansion of British shipbuilding, a more powerful British economy, which would have various repercussions. Second, where do they get the men and equipment? The French forces in the area at the time would hardly be pushovers, and it would require the mounting of a substantial force, in addition to what the Drakians need to maintain control of their own territory. Quite an expedition even if they scare up the transportation. Second, why is it allowed? Drakia is thoroughly under the control of the British government, and Crown colonies simply do not go out on independant expeditions of conquest, adding foreign territories under the colony's administration. And last of all, if they do somehow manage to conquer it, they don't benefit from that. It would take yet another act of God for Egypt to be administrated under the control of Drakia (which is itself a British colony), Egypt would be administered as a seperate Crown colony. That's the way things work in the Empire, especially since Cairo is actually much closer to London than it is to Archona.

1803 - revolt in Egypt suppressed, 300,000 rebels deported to work on Suez Canal. Well folks again, even if the Drakians are unified administratively with Egypt, they are still a crown colony. Their behavior towards the locals is going to start raising a lot of eyebrows in Britain, especially because the Egyptians are a comparatively "civilized" people rather than a bunch of "negro tribesmen". Around this time the British government, even if it somehow has not already cracked down, will start - behavior that will be permitted in southern Africa won't have the same blind eye turned to it in Egypt.

1803 - high pressure steam engine perfected. First steamships and trains in 1804. This seems pretty conveniently fast. Not only is Drakia at this point still a relatively small colony, but the applications of steam technology seem to come rather fast. In fact it seems extremely convenient how many prominent inventors are moved to Drakia, and then actually make better stuff there than they did in real history.

1807 - Ottoman Empire declares war on Britain due to Drakian refusal to evacuate Egypt. Drakian forces seize Cyprus, Crete, Tunisia. Suez Canal completed. This is basically more ridiculousness - the "Drakians" can't refuse to evacuate Egypt if the British don't want them to, and if they try, they're a colony in rebellion and they get put down (or if they somehow manage to win, they lose all British support). Now, in addition, the Ottoman Empire has been called the "sick man of Europe", mostly later on, but it seems rather strange that the Drakians assemble the military force to actually beat such a large nation/empire. If the Ottomans lose, it is because they were defeated by the British military, not the Drakians, and again, the conquered areas will be administered by Britain. Also, around this time, OTL, the slave trade (though not the owning of slaves) will be outlawed in the entire British Empire. Drakian practices will be coming under big fire from Britain, and if they don't like it, tough. By 1830 the owning of slaves is illegal throughout the Empire, and it is doubtful that "debt-peons" will be excluded from this - the British government and the anti-slavery people are not stupid, and can tell that debt-peons are slaves in all but name. Some people have said that the Drakian colonies have a very beneficial economic output for Britain - but that means that either British concerns are very involved in Drakian industry and thus Britain has a fair bit of influence, or it refers to much later than the early 19th century. By 1900 the Drakian economy is huge, but in the 1800s-1830s it's not going to be that great.

1812 - Americans overrun and annex British North America. No explanation for this - how and why does it happen? The US has no reason to be stronger in this timeline, and the Canadas shouldn't be weakened enough by losing immigrants to Drakia (plus the British garrison should be pretty much the same too). Loyalist militias did have substantial effect on the war in central Canada, but even if totally absent, the US would end up getting pasted by British counterattack from Halifax, Quebec, etc - which the Americans would have had a long overland campaign to reach. The War of 1812 was not _that_ close that the Americans can simply overrun it. This event should be regarded not as a result of the original point(s) of divergence of this timeline, but rather as an additional point of divergence in itself. Coincidentally (of course), it gives the British more of an excuse to focus on Drakia (they've lost one of their other really major colonies), and makes the US stronger (going towards' Stirling's desire to have the world unified by a small number of competing empires later on). Problem is, Drakia should be under even more scrutiny with the loss of the Canadas, but a blind eye seems to be still turned to everything it does.

1815-16 - Peace of Vienna confirms Africa as British/Drakian preserve. First off the "Drakian" ought to come out of that sentence. Second off, it's improbable for the rest of the countries accept Britain as sole ruler of Africa, which is a rather large (and, as the Drakians have shown, potentially lucrative) piece of the world, since they get nothing out of it. This is a big net gain for Britain - lose the Canadas and gain a continent - and the rest of the world is going to see that pretty fast. Also, the Portuguese colonies of Angola and Mozambique are purchased. Why do the Portuguese sell them? I frankly can't see any reason they would (and again, other countries would probably rather object to them going to Britain of all states).

1820 - cache of Papyrus manuscripts found in Western desert by Drakian Camel Corps patrol. Virtually all lost works of Classical literature and philosophy recovered. Well, basically yet another act of God (albeit a minor one). No such cache existed OTL (it would've been found, after all we have had much more opportunity to find it), and no such cache probably ever would exist. Come on, a complete collection of rare Greek classical literature buried somewhere in the African desert? And close enough so that it's discovered without an archaeological dig? Yeah, sure. This is basically Stirling waving his magic wand (yet again), so that Drakian culture can have a big classical revival. Problem is that the classical revival evidently _already started_, after all, since Drakia was founded, British loyalists and European immigrants have been naming all their cities with very classical names...

1820-40 - Abolitionist sentiment in US and Britain against Draka "depravity" produces defiant anti-borgeois sentiment in Drakia. Yeah, right. In OTL, the much less depraved slave trade produced strong enough opposition that it was outlawed throughout the British Empire, and Britain definitely has the power to elimenate the Drakian slave trade. If it does not do so outright due to the essential nature of it to the Drakian economy, it will do it more slowly and subtly maybe, but it will happen and Drakian disagreement and defiance doesn't matter (unless they rebel, in which case they're cut off from Britain and are international pariahs). The only alternative I can see for the Draka is rebellion and leaving the Empire - which would very likely succeed, and would fit in with their independant worldview. Unfortunately this would make them an independant power which would have to tread much more carefully in the future - but the Draka wouldn't care about this since it's rather improbable for them to be plotting world domination at this time.

Not to mention, this period in OTL South Africa was one in which the British Government cracked down on slavery there, basically guaranteeing a bunch of essential rights for servants (explicit slavery was by this time illegal). This caused the Great Trek of the Boers, who basically wanted to keep "proper relations between master and servant" and so they left British-controlled areas.

1800-40 - Conquest of North Africa requires mobilization of over 150,000 men for 25 years. Pretty darn amazing considering a population of only 1 million, and the fact that realistically the Draka would not bother such an enterprise - they haven't had enough time (the conquest supposedly starts in 1825) to magically transform into the sort of conqueror race that would be required to want to sustain such a large level of mobilization (15%, probably over 50% of fighting-age males, higher than most countries in the direst states of war), when the conquests are not really necessary to their civilization (it's not as though they don't have enough slaves to be comfortable). Also, this sort of thing would throw the British government into apopleptic fits - colonies just don't go and mount massive armies and start to conquer entire continents, especially colonies without independant government, and continents reserved by treaty as British domain.

1848-49 - Mexican-American war. "Young America" faction forces annexation of all Mexico over objections of President Polk. This should be regarded as yet another point of divergence, as there's no real way that it could be a realistic consequence of earlier divergence. The US is a bit larger and stronger after the annexation of the Canadas, but if anything the additional population will produce more objectors to the annexation of Mexico. This is yet another event which just happens, coincidentally, to produce the large megastates for Stirling's WW2.

1850 - R.J. Gatling settles in Diskarapur, develops world's first practical machinegun. Hm, by this time it is a while since point of divergence, and we still start to see people from our timeline appear doing exactly the same things in the Draka timeline (rather improbable).

1854-57 - Draka expeditionary forces assist British in Crimean War and Indian mutiny. Dominion of Draka act, 1858, grants "responsible government" to Draka (practical sovereignty, in effect). Responsible government is NOT synonymous with sovereignty. It wasn't in Canada in 1867 (international relations and military affairs were kept under the watchful British eye), and probably wouldn't be in Drakia. Not to mention that it is unlikely for this new Drakia to consist of all the "British/Drakian" conquests in Africa.

1854 - Cuba, Phillipines, Hawaii, Haiti, Santo Domingo annexed to United States. "Empire of Central America" established by Southern adventurers under the command of William Walker. Okay, first off the US keeps in its expansionary phase for no real AH reason, except to satisfy Stirling's desire for megastates. No explanation of why the European powers don't seem to object to such US expansion - as soon as the US started grabbing all of that territory, it'd be open season and they would start grabbing as well (they adhered to US doctrine that they stay out of the Americas because the US itself was not expanding there, and they were happy with the status quo to a degree they would certainly not be with rapid American expansion). Secondly, why do the southern adventurers succeed in the Draka timeline? No real reason, other than that it allows the US to later annex this "empire" and grow even bigger.

1860-66 - American Civil War begins (funny how the rather different ATL history of the US doesn't prevent a civil war), Dominion of Draka provides massive clandestine aid, including steam warhsips and steam-powered warcars to Confederacy. Sorry, but with that level of military aid you are anything but clandestine - it is obvious to the whole world who is providing the aid, enough to provoke official trouble from various parties. This issue alone could easily lead to a complete breakdown of British-Domination relations. When the Civil War ends, the US has a rather large army and a decent navy - even moreso in that timeline than ours - and is experienced and itching to fight. At the very least there should be the serious possibility of punitive measures against the Draka. Also, steam technology seems unrealistically advanced - without increases in general technology and manufacturing processes, steam engines that efficient are unlikely.

1872 - Empire of Brazil, Australasian Federation, Republic of Grand Columbia formed. For little reason other than a magical trend toward megastates, it seems - a somewhat typical AH flaw of the world coming under the control of a few larger and larger powers.

1879-82 - Anglo-Russian war (I won't even ask why this starts, other than it is an excuse for the Draka to be involved in a war). Dominion of Draka rescues British from defeat (no mention of how Britain, at the presumed height of its imperial power, needs rescuing from defeat by backward Russia). Odessa destroyed by Draka dirigible raid, 50,000 casualties. Only 7-10 years after the invention of the first rigid dirigibles in this timeline, the Draka manage to have enough of them - 500 to 1000, based on the casualty figures - to kill 50,000 people. That is a HUGE level of dirigible advancements and production in a very short time. In fact this is a flaw that shows up in the post-Eurasian War Draka timeline as well, many brand new technologies are implemented successfully on an extremely large scale, a very short time after being developed. Draka introduce land mines, submarines, poison gas. Land mines and poison gas I suppose I can see, except that this produces an interesting question - if technology in 1880 is enough that a conflict much like OTL WWI can be fought (steam-powered tanks, poison gas, mines, air raids almost as destructive as in our WWII), why is the Eurasian War, 60 years later, fought with technology largely only 5-10 years more advanced than ours? Why does WWI still degenerate into positional warfare, when steam-powered warcars have been around for half a century and there is plenty of technology to build tanks? And how the heck are the Draka going to introduce submarines? They are a continental power, who has never had much use for naval capability in war, fighting mainly in Bulgaria and Afghanistan - inland fronts. Where's the impetus to develop submarines? It's not as if they have to fight off the mighty Russian fleet...

1883 - 150,000 serfs killed in revolt in Alexandria. The sort of thing that makes the world, especially Britain, revile you rather thoroughly. In OTL Britain in fact, there was pretty strong moral crusading against atrocities happening in some backward countries at the time - this would be even more potent directed at the Draka. However, again the world turns a blind eye. I can see an AH Gladstone campaigning against the Draka atrocities rather than the Bulgarian, but this doesn't seem to happen. By this point, there is effectively no way that relations between the Domination and a state even remotely like OTL's Britain can continue. Popular opinion will revile them, political leaders will fear their combination of growing military power, expansionism, and reluctance to heed the wishes of Britain, and with normalization of relations with the US and the catching up of much of the rest of the world to Britain's industrial economy, Drakia loses more and more of its leverage as a trading partner.

1892-96 - Autosteamer output of US surpasses that of Draka for first time. We get a glimpse, thus, of the irrationally prolific Draka industry. OTL, Britain was the premiere industrial nation during the mid 19th century, surpassed by the US in the late 19th century. The Draka, on the other hand, have a free population of only 10 million (as of 1882). Which is FAR less than in Britain and the US (for that matter, the population of the US, counting all of its new acquisitions, is probably getting closer to 100 million). All the other citizens of the Domination are serfs and slaves. What this means, basically, is that the Draka have little impetus towards industrialization for economic reasons, because they have cheap slave labor that is probably more cost-effective, and despite the wealth of the Draka, there are only 10 million of them, so their demand for luxury goods and conveniences like autosteamers (steam cars) will be less as well. They are the ultimate recipe for a nation which has a low overall industrial growth rate, but it is implied that their production of conveniences such as autosteamers is the highest in the world until quite late in the 19th century. Realistically, they would be much less industrialized than Britain, and the US would overtake them much more quickly as well. The Dominion of Drakia would likely be similar economically to the American south of the same period, only with a proportionally much higher slave population and military expenditures.

1898 - various annexed territories become states of the US. Why? Some of these were annexed OTL as well, but several (especially Phillipines) did not become states, but in fact achieved independance. Again, this world for some unknown reason tends toward megastates.

1900 - Triple Alliance, Double Entente formed. No explanation of why England does not join the Entente, but this isn't really relevant. However, no explanation of why events in Europe proceed just as they did in OTL. OTL, conquests in Africa were a driving force, but now that continent is loosely controlled by the Draka. No explanation of why the major powers now (heck, why Germany during Bismarck's era) showed no interest in taking bits of Africa away from the Draka. Seems unrealistic that the Alliance/Entente struggle develops the same irregardless of the much greater strength of the US, which in addition is more expansionistic (thus tending to put its interests more in conflict with the colonial powers, and to make it more likely to enter into alliances with and against them), and the complete control of Africa by the Draka. I think it rather probable that two things would have made a significant difference in the events around the beginning of the Twentieth Century. The first is the presence of an additional Great Power - the Domination - which has demonstrated both a drive for conquest, and a capable military, and is right next to Europe (as compared to the US and Japan, which are quite far away). The second is the difficulty of a neo-imperialist competition arising in the Draka timeline as it did in our timeline - due to the fact that there are not that many potential colonies to fight over (with the larger US, and especially the Draka, controlling areas that would otherwise be competed over - especially Africa, which was the prime target of the new colonial expansion). Things should look much different, rather than almost exactly the same, in European power politics.

1905 - Various events such as the Russo-Japanese war and a revolution in Russia happen basically just as in OTL, and at the same year (unlikely synchronicity).

1914 - Dominion of Draka, US have nearly identical GNP - the US population 140 million, the Draka 28 million plus 210 million serfs. This begs the question of exactly WHAT the Draka are producing to have such a high GNP. Their local market - even with a large military and a life of luxury for the Citizens - won't be nearly as great as that of the US, and if they are a very export-oriented power then it seems their ability to say "screw the rest of the world" (and the rest of the world's lack of concern for their goings-on) is much less likely. They also must be unusually good at getting the serfs motivated to work - in a way that no regime OTL, even with brutal repression and fear tactics, has gotten anybody to do if the fruits of their labor primarily benefit another and they cannot significantly enhance their station in life. I think that industrial slave labor could work, but not quite as _well_ as it seems to for the Draka. A core assumption of the Draka series, which I think is in error, is that it is possible for both slave labor and centrally-planned economies to work much, much better than they ever have in our history.

1914-1919 - Great War, joined by US in 1917 (the exact same dates? Unnecessarily similar to our timeline. It is quite improbable that with this timeline substantially different in many ways, the war would start on exactly the same date). Various technologies introduced, high civilian casualties for all major combatants except Draka and US (no mention of how Britain has any significant civilian casualties). For some reason the tank is developed in 1916 just as in OTL... which is downright silly considering that steam-powered warcars were supposedly used in the American Civil War!

The big problem, though, is that the Draka annex a massive chunk of central Asia and all of the Middle East. This seems to be largely ignored by the world, when in fact it would be a MAJOR cause of concern. The Draka are now by a LONG way the largest, land-wise (and by implication raw-resource-wise) power in the world. They are by a HUGE margin the most populous nation in the world (now having something like triple the population of the United States). And in addition, THEY CONTROL THE OIL RESERVES OF THE MIDDLE EAST. They are _the_ great power in the world, in every respect except sheer economic power, in which the US alone can match them. The rest of the world is most definitely going to notice this. Stirling does have the Draka "economically and politically isolated", but this is far from the extent of what would actually happen. The Draka should be immediately recognized by any world leader (unless they are both blind AND insane), as exactly what they are - the most expansionistic nation in the world, with one of the most effective militaries in the world, which has just conquered a very large amount of land and people, including the most important oil reserves in the known world. One of Stirling's characters says that as late as 1940, nobody was afraid of the Draka, because it was unthinkable that they could treat Europeans as serfs. This, however, is totally irrelevant. Very few conquering nations have been nearly as bad as the Draka, at least in the modern world, but they have still been feared, or at least watched extremely closely, because they are simply a potential threat with a large military that is sitting very close to you, one of your colonies, or one of your allies. And in this timeline, after their WWI expansion, it's plain that the Draka have almost nowhere else to go except to attack one of the major powers, their colonies, or their close allies. Given this, it is very highly unrealistic that the Draka build up an even more massive and very modern military, while the rest of the world does nothing to keep up (the only nations that have military buildups do so not because of the Draka, but because of their own plans of conquest, and their buildups seem to happen in complete isolation from new tactics and equipment developed by the Draka). The most likely occurrence around this time, by far, is the formation of several defensive alliances against the Draka.

1921 - Japanese overthrow last Taiping emporer, annex all of China not overrun by Draka. (Nobody seems to have cared that the Draka annexed much of western China during WWI). Again, this goes into the expanding empires bit - and manages to help the Domination quite a bit since it enriches a nation which is to be a major enemy of the Allied powers later on (I am not exactly sure why, but that is another question).

1925 - Domination invades and annexes Afghanistan. Apparently nobody cares, and the continued Draka drive to dominate Asia - which now puts them right on the borders of India, for example - does not drive the rest of the world into increased militarization and wariness about the Domination like it should.

1932 - Hitler elected in Germany, FDR in US (promises New Deal, even though there is only a "mild but chronic recession" in this timeline instead of the Great Depression). This is beginning to fall into an old alternate history trap - even after a world very different from our own for 150 years, the same people appear in the same jobs at the same time. Stirling has called them "merely analogues", but he gives them the same name and, same person or not, they do exactly the same things despite the different nature of their world.

1936-37 - Civil war in Spain, Communists take power. Sudetan War over Czechoslovakia (takeover was rather more peaceful OTL). Clashes on Draka-Soviet and Draka-Japanese borders. Basically a prewar period more violent than our own, with the Draka reminding everyone of their aggressive nature, and the specter of Communist expansion creating a greater worry than OTL. This does not seem to provoke the US, UK, or France towards any greater military capability... any leaders with brains should be warned by now.

1939 - WW2 begins exactly as in our timeline - yet another massive coincidence, transparently enough so that we see the secret of the entire Draka timeline - Stirling started with the end (Nazis beaten in WW2 by an ultra-South Africa, which later goes on to world domination), and then rather clumsily went through history finding excuses so that this new power could be inserted, while keeping most of the rest of the world basically the same. This is an inherently bad way to go about an AH - attempting to produce a story where you need massive changes in some areas, but only superficial or no changes in other areas. The presence of the Draka should certainly affect the course of the war even before they join it - because there is the threat of them joining it - but of course it doesn't. (Addendum - Stirling later said that he actually thinks that the rise of Nazism in Germany was nearly inevitable, and that any leader other than Hitler would still get into a WW2-like conflict... something both I and most historians I am aware of disagree quite strongly with).

1941 - Domination attacks Italy with tacit consent of Germany. First off, why on Earth does Germany give "tacit consent". Hitler is bound to be fond of the Domination "master race" ideology, but he is not stupid and was liable to see absolutely everyone as a potential enemy. It is rather unlikely that he would not fight against a very strong foreign power who invaded an Axis ally which happened to be right on the border of Germany, not incidentally giving that foreign power its first inroad into Europe. And even if he DID do that, ironically, the very bad Draka treatment of the Italians is likely to have made Hitler, and the world, see what the Domination does. Apparently an act of God sheaths Italy beneath a holy cloud so that it does not immediately become obvious to the world that the Draka are willing to treat Europeans like they do any other serfs. There is an internal inconsistency - the journalist character, quoted from his memoirs, writes that in the early 40s it was inconceivable that the Draka could bring their enslaving ways into the very heart of Western civilization, however, that is just exactly what they did in Italy (various massacres, raping and pillaging, looted all the artistic treasures, shipped off everyone as slaves). In fact they are mentioned as having shipped off a Catholic bishop to become a slave. The Church is likely to be VERY unhappy about that sort of thing, and to publicize it. A year before the Draka attack on Germany, everyone in the world is likely to know just what the Draka are capable of doing.

Germans basically attack and defeat the USSR. This seems unlikely, because it requires Hitler to show more strategic judgement than he did in our history (yet still be blind to the threat of the Draka, overextending his forces and paying little attention to a potential Draka attack), and it is VERY convenient for the Draka - yet again they get a lucky break as two of their potential enemies fight it out while paying little attention to them, leaving them to go in and attack the weakened victor. That sort of thing doesn't happen all that often in reality, because nations tend to be smart enough to realize that when there are three powers in an area, two of them don't pick a fight to the death if the third looks hostile.

Imperial Japan also attacks, and does quite a bit of damage to the US even though it is larger than our timeline. One has to wonder _why_ Japan attacks the United States. OTL, they attacked out of sheer desperation because they were trying to conduct a war in China, but did not have sufficient oil reserves to maintain the war and couldn't seize more without getting into a war with the US.

Somehow Japan manages to invade even Hawaii, and take the war to the US coast itself - which requires a MUCH bigger military. It also requires much more resources - the Japanese in this timeline have FAR more supplies and military power than in OTL (Stirling says that they have 30% of the large US economy of this timeline rather than 15% of that of our timeline - in short the Japanese are somehow twice as tough). This begs the question that, if they obviously have the resources to mount a very large-scale war against the US, why do they do so? It's still going to be rather obvious that they are going to lose, especially since in this timeline they invade two US states and Australia itself, and attack the continental US, basically guaranteeing that the US will fight them to the bitter end (as opposed to OTL where they hoped to seize a bunch of islands and force the Americans to sue for peace). Even these ATL Japanese could not possibly be so stupid as to think they could ever conquer the US itself. (One also notes that while the Japanese of this timeline have maybe 3 times the resources of OTL somehow, it would still probably be well beyond them to take over the extremely large area that they do quite early in the war).

More of Stirling's reasoning becomes apparent. He wants the Draka to win, but the US can interfere with that. He has to temporarily get the US out of the picture, which means Japan needs to be stronger. For Japan to be stronger it needs more resources, which means it has to be much more successful in its war with China. China is too big for that, so the Draka have to invade and conquer half of it during WWI, leaving the weakened remainder for Japan to annex. It is pretty telling that the ways Stirling has constructed even the halfway-plausible elements of his AH are very transparently designed to provide the Draka with victory, up to and including the Japanese slitting their own throats.

1942 - the Draka attack Germany, which seems rather unprepared for it (despite the fact that the majority of their military should be deployed to the Draka borders right now, as there are no other potentially hostile land enemies to guard against, and they're supposed to have Britain starved into near-defeat... something Britain was never particularly close to in OTL). The Draka advance quite swiftly, and are portrayed as having FAR superior equipment. It would take some time to go into the technical details, but basically the Draka have a militarist's wet dream of technology that is either state of the art or beyond in all respects. Despite this, nobody else in the world seems to have copied any of the Draka technologies, even the ones that have been around for years. According to Stirling's later statements (which are not shown in the book itself), the German tanks are somewhat better than OTLs - but still far worse than those the Draka have had for 3 years, despite the fact that Germany has been at war for 3 years. According to a passage in UTY, during the entirety of the war, the only German vehicle which could even match the Draka Hond tank's firepower was the a huge, unwieldy tank destroyer - one not visibly better than anything they had in OTL.

Basically it would require an act of God for the Draka to have their very superior technology (in some respects 20+ years ahead of OTL, though "merely" 10-15 years ahead of their German enemies), in great quantities and to have had it for years, and for this technology not to have visibly disseminated to their enemies. Automated mortars, claymores, assault rifles (in OTL the Germans had an assault rifle by 1944 - in this more advanced universe, with the Draka example to boot, they'd most likely have had them since the beginning of the war), very advanced and fast tanks (the Hond III has the stats of a tank from our world in the 60s-70s. It is listed as having come into service around 1939, replacing a much older tank that had a 75mm gun, but the Germans are still using the Panzer IV), et cetera. God has granted the Draka superior equipment, is about the extent of it.

The Draka make further conquests, then "outrun their logistical train" and both sides pause (the Germans because they have taken many losses). Among other things the German pause is unrealistic - OTL, it took a LOT of pounding before they lost the ability to counterattack, and during the "respite" that there supposedly is in this war, it would be a matter of weeks or maybe a month before a major German counteroffensive to take advantage of the long Draka supply lines.

Then, however, plausibility utterly flies out the window. Hitler is assassinated and a coalition government of mostly non-Nazis takes power, and gains support from other European countries. This is not unrealistic. However, now begins the period where the Allies are bashed right in the face with the Draka in the process of conquering the world, and sit back and let them do it. Supposedly the Draka secretly threaten to ally with Japan if western powers make a seperate peace with Germany. This is a proposal that would be totally ignored by any Western leaders with any brains at all, since the defeat of Japan is merely a matter of time (the US has three times its economic power and is not worried about direct invasion), and the Draka would be cutting their own throats if they tried to fight the Allies and the Germans at the same time. The Allies have the opportunity to make a favorable deal with Germany, getting back the conquered nations and burying most of the Nazi party influence forever, in return for fighting against the Domination in a rather small way. They don't. This is downright stupid. They don't even try to, say, make a simple deal that Germany will cease occupying Norway, France, and the Low Countries and ship Allied troops in as a "protective force".

The Allies that are left at this point are the maratime powers - the US and the British Commonwealth. At this point they shouldn't care one whit if the Draka declare war on them. Draka ground forces are engaged in Germany, and even if they weren't the only Allied possession left in Eurasia is India - which has just rebelled and declared neutrality anyway. Well, and the remains of Russia, which won't have much voice anyway. The Domination is a continental, not a naval, power, and has no ability to challenge the Allied naval might at sea, or to land troops on any Allied nation. In addition, all allied nations are out of range of Domination airstrikes - even Britain has all of German-controlled Europe between it and the Domination. In short the Allies have very little to lose by going to war with the Domination, and a heck of a lot to gain (They could probably get the German conquests in Scandinavia and Western Europe back in return for military assistance, they prevent the Domination from growing very much stronger by conquering Europe, they keep Germany as a buffer between them and the Domination). The only explanation for the Allied behavior is that some sort of alien brainsuckers have removed all basic common sense, strategic knowledge, and spine from the collective Allied governments.

1943 - Alliance begins thoroughly kicking Japanese ass. Military production of Alliance for Democracy outpaces that of the Domination and Third Reich combined. Obviously the Alliance is quite likely to win any war with the Domination, or at the very worst to be able to isolate it. At this point intervening on behalf of the Germans, or making peace and going to war with the Draka, would result in the Draka losing, and losing badly (when fighting against an enemy who is resisting reasonably well, if you then go to war with another party with more arms production than you and your enemy combined, you are going DOWN). The Draka continue to advance.

By the end of the year, the Draka are marching through Germany. The German government is defunct, and a new "pan-European" emergency government convenes under Daladier in Brussels. What happens? "DeGaulle returns to continent". That's it. The Draka are now at war with a government that is headed by a Frenchman (member of a former Allied nation), headquartered in Brussels (city of a former Allied nation). The Draka show no signs of stopping with the conquest of Germany. The Nazis are basically crushed. The Alliance has overwhelmingly more military resources than the Draka, and is winning handily against its only current real enemy, Japan, whom an alliance with the Draka cannot save. Given these factors, it is utterly ridiculous that the Alliance leadership would not immediately ally itself with the "pan-European" government, begin shipping troops to the continent, and tell the Draka to halt their advance immediately. It'd take not only an act of God, but the assistance of all his ministers and angels at once, for the Alliance to sit back and watch as the Draka continue to advance.

1944 - Alliance detonates fission bomb. Draka do so within a month - QUITE improbable given the traditional Draka weakness in pure sciences, the fact that the US got a tremendous boost from all the German scientists who fled the Nazis, and the massive spending on the Manhattan Project. This is very unrealistic, and happens only to preserve the semblance of realism, so that the Alliance will not possess a nuclear advantage and, with the protection of an atomic big stick, utterly crush the Domination. Which, of course, is exactly what would realistically happen... but can't, because the Draka have to conquer the world. Not only do the Draka get nukes really fast, but within one month of their first, they have five weapons not only built but ready for use, and they use them.

From this point on, it is a constant litany of the Draka attacking people and the Alliance doing nothing (despite the fact that the Alliance can nuke Draka positions and posessions while most Allied nations remain quite safely out of range of counterattack, especially the US). The Draka conquer western Europe, including Spain, and the Alliance does nothing.

1946 - Sweden, Norway, Netherlands conquered by Draka. Actually it just says "Sweden surrenders", but this would only happen if Sweden was attacked. Two former allied nations and one historically neutral power conquered by the Draka, and the Alliance does nothing. The Draka somehow manage to very rapidly transfer a huge amount of troops to the Far East, conquering the Japanese in China (still the Alliance does nothing as the Draka gobble up a huge amount of additional territory... by this point they control the majority of the world's landmass, population, resources, etc. and it is a great chance for the Alliance to attack, while the Draka are overextended all over the place. The Alliance, of course, does nothing (Jesus came down from heaven and declared that the eleventh commandment is "thou shalt not attack the Domination of Draka", I guess).

1947 - Switzerland surrenders to Draka after mass famine. Evidently the Draka blockaded it... and the Alliance did nothing. Finland is crushed by the Draka, but the Alliance does nothing. (Heck, it requires a miniature little act of God for the Finns not to recognize their predicament, join the Alliance, and have Alliance military forces shipped to them - ditto with the Swedes. All the Alliance would have to do is declare these neutral powers "under its protection", or even invade them preemptively the way the British tried to do with Norway in OTL, and the Draka would have to stop or get into a war). But no, it doesn't occur to any of the surviving European countries, the Draka armies nearing their borders every day, that given the Draka history of not caring whether you are neutral or not, they should join the Alliance.

Also, at some point in time, Siberia is overrun and conquered. Big problem... the Timoshenko Junta should still be an Allied power. The Draka attack an Allied power, and the Alliance does nothing. Not to mention that, considering the massive commitments the Draka have all over the place, an invasion of Siberia should be anything but a footnote. (As for the Alliance supplying it by dirigible over the pole... there is this thing called the "Bering Strait"...)

ADDENDUM

The entire Draka timeline requires several broad trends which are in themselves extremely improbable:

1. The Draka are allowed an incredible level of independence by the British government from the earliest days, which freely hands them administration of all conquests in Africa, and seems to let them keep a large independent military and campaign against foreign powers independent of Britain itself. In fact it seems that for over a century, the primary goal of the British colonial authority is not to extent British influence and control over the world, but to hand the Draka as much territory and independence as it possibly can.

2. The British Empire, which in OTL had great objection to slavery and even to mistreatment of non-slave servants, and cracked down greatly on this in the early 19th century, allows the Draka free reign in doing whatever they want. Essentially one of the more civilized and progressive civilizations of the 18th century lets one of its colonies act more depraved and barbaric than anyone else in the world (it should be noted that the Draka habitually treated misbehaving slaves much worse than most other slaveholder nations, including brutal mass executions following revolts).

3. The Draka have an uncanny ability towards conquest from the start - they seem to have no form of military weakness whatsoever, and always have equipment equal to or better than their opponents, even when fighting powers that IOTL were technological leaders. The Draka advantage in tactics and equipment is compounded by the fact that nobody else seems to copy, or respond to with new developments, the Draka innovations.

4. The Domination of Draka is NEVER, EVER attacked. Throughout its entire history all wars it fights are entirely on its terms, and it is always on the offensive. Not once does anyone else attack the Draka, no matter the provocation, or even stand up to them in a meaningful way... giving them a position unique in the history of major powers. Even more stupendously unlikely considering that they give other nations far more reason to attack them than most.

5. The Draka are able to advance through, and industrialize, the continent of Africa very quickly. They totally ignore the diseases and various other difficulties that kept OTL advances into Africa as small "outpost empires" rather than true control of most areas. The start from zero (a small number of settlers and a continent of untamed wilderness, jungle and desert), and within the space of under a century, become a world technological and industrial leader. In fact within 80 years of first settlement they are providing substantial, advanced military technology to the Confederates in the American Civil War. It should be noted that this means the economic growth of the Domination is considerably higher than that of the United States for quite some time.

6. The Draka manage to develop technology and industry at a rapid pace, despite having the worst sort of society for it. They industrialize despite having cheap slave labor which can produce the products of early industry more cheaply than early industry, and despite having the majority of their population in such a state of low income that there is little internal market for the products of industry (the Draka themselves will demand a lot of goods, but mostly high-quality luxury stuff, not the basic products of early industry). In addition they manage great technological development despite the majority of their populace being kept in a delibertely uneducated state (and brutally repressed at that), and the remainder of the population emphasizing military prowess in the education system and in life. I'm not saying that a slave society couldn't manage to tolerably keep up technologically, but it is unlikely to become a world technological leader - especially when starting essentially from scratch.

7. The Draka maintain an unnaturally high level of control of their territories. Stirling may be somewhat excused for this - he wrote this book while the Soviet Union, an excellent example of long-term repression, had not yet fallen and was portrayed as a great threat. It isn't until now that we fully realize how even the best regimes encounter great problems - their technology turns out to be backward, and their citizens are on the verge of revolting all over the place and are in general often unproductive due to repression. Essentially any real Domination-type society would be beset with minor wars all over the place, resulting in great difficulties to the Draka. For example in Afghanistan supposedly they killed 65% of the populace and everything was then OK. In reality they would have taken great losses of their own while doing this, and the territory would never really be fully pacified, and would be liable to erupt at some later date, and is certainly no recipe for producing any kind of productive area at any rate. The Draka eventually manage to hold their conquests in Eurasia - a newly-conquered area with a population of over 500 million - with an army of 10 million. WHILE mounting an offensive in the East with 4 million of those soldiers. And it wasn't 10 million either... that was the Draka army strength at its peak in 1943... it had suffered additional losses and been slightly demobilized by the time of the Eastern assault. A massive continent with a hostile, mistreated populace of over 500 million, outnumbering the troops supposed to keep them in line by at least 100 to 1.

This is in reality a huge recipe for disaster, and with even the low level of Alliance aid to the locals which Stirling acknowledges, the Draka should find themselves totally unable to maintain control of all this territory. Running the numbers one finds that they could occupy France with about as many troops (Citizen and Janissary) and Order Police as the Germans did in OTL. Sure, you say, the Germans managed to occupy France thoroughly - but unless you were a Jew or similar persecuted minority, the Germans basically left you alone as long as you supported the institutions of the occupation. The Draka literally treat everyone like slaves, and are engaged in a rapid and complete restructuring of society, turning the entire area into plantations and compounds and shipping people all over the place while imprisoning huge numbers of potential dissidents. There is simply no way that they have the resources to maintain this level of control over their large conquered areas - while maintaining a large military operation in the East, and later while maintaining a tremendous technology race with the Alliance.

8. It's just plain unrealistic that the Draka arise in the first place. They go from a bunch of slave owning but thoroughly loyalist British settlers, to atheistic, militaristic, ultra-repressive supermen in between one and two generations. This scale of social alteration - completely without an unusual stress to cause it (fighting a bunch of bushmen in Africa doesn't count as unusual stress) - is unprecedented in human history for that short a time. The realistic result of the migration to South Africa would be a cosmopolitan cross between British and southern American culture, but instead we get the super-Nazis out of the middle of nowhere.