Follow TV Tropes


Headscratchers / The Draka

Go To

  • Everybody likes to ignore the The Draka and pretend the problem will eventually go away until it's too late to change anything.
    • Up until WWI, they were part and parcel of the British Empire. From then on until the invention of tanks, attempting to take the Draka down would have been nearly impossible, even for a force of France, Germany, Britain, and the USA. Sure, they *might* have been able to take some land, but actually taking the Draka down in their homeland or in the Middle East would have been excruciatingly painful and horrendously costly. This is after, by the way, the French and Germans have been bled dry, the British nearly so, and the Americans have little to no immediate reason to care. and Russia is in chaos and in no shape to fight anybody. And the British dont trust the Indians enough to arm them on the needed scale, even if that would result in something other than a shitload of dead Indians. On the flipside, them getting past the Himalayas so quickly is simply unbeleivable. Now, them doing it period before 1939? possible. Now, in the immediate aftermath of WWII, the Draka are known to possess Atomic Weaponry and the ability to manufacture such. In addition to being very powerful on land and a shitload of land to place factories on away from any potential bombings. While India, Britain, Eastern China and Japan all remain within Drakan range.
      • Taking them down in colonial days might have been hard, but Britain did it all the time. Witness the Second Boer War, in which the (white) South Africans held their own for a while, but lost to a British Expeditionary Force that was determined to impose control on the Boer Republics. In fact, all their policies would have been unthinkable without the backing of London, which was certainly not going to happen.
      • Except that was against Boer Republics that were tiny, barely populated independent entities, the Draka absorbed the Boers much earlier than OTL, around the time of the Napoleonic Wars, so the Boer Republics were never formed in the first place. After that, they received immigrations influxes from Canada, Iceland, and others. The immigrants from Canada, likely Quebecois and a American Loyalist getting ran out of the continent, would be bitter about being kicked out and defeated twice by the same people, for similar reasons, and have fewer shits to give. Not to mention the American annexation of Canada would discredit a large faction of the British Parliament, part of which would inevitably be the anti-slavery faction. So by the time of the historic 2nd Boer War, the British African colonies would have a much larger population of Whites, and the anti-slavery factions would have to build up influence from a lower starting point. But even if war did break out, historically the Boers could have done significantly better in the 2nd war, but with ten or twenty times the population of whites plus Janisarries/Sepoy/Serfs forces? And without Canadian manpower to draw upon and a much more aggressive USA?
    • Advertisement:
    • The ostrich approach is not exactly unheard of in human history. Compound this with the fact that while the Draka were awesome to behold in combat, there weren't all that many of them (less than half as many Draka Citizens as Germans in 1940, throw in Italians, Austrians, plus divisions raised from French and other conquered territories, it probably looked like it'd be a Curb Stomp in the Nazi's favor). It was the Janissaries who turned their army into a true continent-crushing force. And for that matter, the Draka themselves were comprised of the losers of past confilcts (American Royalists, Confederates, French royalty, etc). White supremacists convincing themselves that a 'mongrel' nation wouldn't be effective in a shooting war? Idiotic, yes, but not an idiot plot.
      • It is an Idiot Plot by the time the Draka attack Nazi Germany. Most of the world believed the Draka wouldn't turn westerners (i.e. white people) in serfs, but that's exactly what they did in Italy only a few years before. And by Christmas 1941 Hitler is dead and a coalition government has taken over. The Alliance members should by now realise that the Nazis (or what's left of them) are a far lesser evil than the Draka and should join them in their war, but the Draka threaten to align with Japan and this somehow stops any peace negotiations. If the Alliance had any intelligence whatsoever they would declare war on the Domination, because any sensible person would recognise the Draka's main goal is the enslavement of the entire human race. The Nazis, even at their height, had no such ambition.
      • Nobody quite believed the existence of Nazi death camps either at first...
      • The Allies had their hands full with Imperial Japan, which in the Draka world had been building its empire and tooling up for WW2 since the turn of the century, rather than the early 1930's. They not only bombed Pearl Harbor, but invaded and occupied Hawaii as well and made direct assaults against the West Coast. They weren't tied down by a protracted occupation in China, the Indonesian territories they captured were not undeveloped rain forests but highly industrialized nations and could be turned to support their war effort, nor presumably were they suffering from crippling resource and fuel shortages. Compounding this was the complete and total inability of the Red Army to contain the Nazis due to the need to defend the long southern border with the Domination. In short, the Allies' job was much, much harder than in real life. It's easy to forget that we know a hell of a lot more about the conflict than the combatants did; Allied leaders were truly worried about losing even to the lesser real life foes. When the Draka ostensibly entered the war on the Allied side, no way, no how would they look that particular gift horse in the mouth (this was actually mentioned in MTG). Could just as easily say that the real life US and British unwillingness to continue WW2 by invading the USSR (Operation Unthinkable) was a Real Life case of the Idiot Ball, seeing as how they had nuclear superiority and failing to do so resulted in the 50-year Cold War.
      • Also, it's worth pointing out that "They're not a real threat, we don't have to worry about them" was exactly the same thing the Nazis and Japanese said about the United States, right before the Americans put 13 million guys into uniforms and started building ships faster than the Axis could sink them. Idiotic, yes. Idiot Plot, no.
      • Except no, they didn't. The whole history of the Japanese Navy between world wars was driven and directed by fear of United States, and the fear that the US Navy buildup, ongoing from about 1939, will make it completely unstoppable in a few years was one of the reasons that pushed Japan into war. Germany by that point was in an undeclared naval war with US already and the Nazi leadership believed (correctly, most likely), that a full-blown war was a foregone conclusion.
      • I tend to agree. The relatively minor Allied invasion of France and Germany was a terrible logistical strain for the American military. A war against the Draka would have been a full scale invasion of the entire world island - Afro-Eurasia. Invading Drakan territory would have been playing to the Domination's strength, namely its absurdly powerful land forces. There would have been no balancing totalitarian force to provide the meat for the grinder so that Western men didn't have to die by the millions as there was in our World War II. Rather than involve themselves in some sort of cataclysmic world Gotterdammerung, the Allies probably sought to play to their own strengths - industrial wealth, technological development, naval power, and massive ocean buffers. The Alliance probably felt that given enough time the Domination would either collapse in on itself due to the "wrongness" of its way of life (something like what happened to the USSR) or become so technologically backwards that it would eventually be a pushover. Remember, the "waiting game" strategy almost worked - it was only late game Drakan resourcefulness (the Stone Dogs) that saved the Domination from ruin.
      • Personally I would be willing to throw my own life away to destroy the Draka. And my family, my friends, and everyone else in my country. If fifty million Af D citizens die, then it's worth. If the ENTIRE WORLD is nothing but a glass parking lot, then it's worth it, just to get rid of the Draka.
      • True, but you say that with hindsight knowledge of how things ended up turning out. There've been lots of threats that nations should have paid attention to but didn't, and conversely, ones they became positively monomaniacal about when they shouldn't. For instance, knowing what you do now, would you have given up your life to defeat the vile, barbarian Hun in WW1, as Anglo-American & French propaganda depicted them? After the fact, we know full well that it was pretty much the 2nd largest piece of butchery in history, but lacking any semblance of the righteousness of the followup conflict. It was entirely an Armchair General war, driven on by alliances and a simple unwillingness to cut losses, not by any real conflict. But going by popular opinion of the time, you'd have thought they were in a fight to decide the fundamental fate of civilization. In any event, this is mentioned heavily in MTG. The Draka freely admit that they are the larger of the threats to the Alliance, and that while they have almost no traits in common with the 3rd Reich and the Japanese Empire, an innate antagonism towards liberal democracies is one of them. The American reporter likewise recognizes the threat the Draka represent, but rightly points out that it is a long term consideration, while the Axis nations must be defeated in the short term for that to even be a problem. In Ut Y, it is brought up again, that once the Japanese were put down, the Alliance could have muscled the overstretched Draka forces out of their new gains, but by that point nuclear weapons were in play (and how!) and it would have cost the Alliance several of their largest cities. Yes, in hindsight (from the Final War in TSD) it would have been worth it, but they quite reasonably chose instead to buckle down on their R&D (which they had an advantage in over the Domination) and wait until they had an edge that could give them a less bloody victory.
      • The USSR was just as antagonistic a society to the Draka, but equally so to the USA. If Allied myopia persisted even with respect to the Soviet Union (as in our timeline), a valuable opportunity to contain several threats at once (the USSR is the only major power to share borders with all three antagonists) was missed. Even the Soviets would be far better company to divide the planet with than the Draka!
      • WW1 was primarily caused by German leadership's shameless intent to solve all problems with the neighbors by military power, as soon as a reasonable-looking pretext presents itself. And resisting that lacks any semblance of righteousness?
      • Precisely. It's a close parallel (almost certainly intentional, given the historical attitudes played with elsewhere in the series) to how very few people in the Allied nations believed about the Holocaust until Germany'd actually been invaded and they had firsthand evidence (largely because of falsified stories of German atrocities in World War *One* — there was a bit of a 'boy who cried wolf' syndrome). Not enough people in the Democratic nations realized just how dangerous the Draka were. And yeah, as the troper above points out, it's made clear that basically, the Alliance lost because they weren't willing to go to a full scale, WMDs everywhere, total war of annihilation — not in the window when it would have worked, anyway. The Operation Unthinkable analogy is pretty exact; it's just that the Draka were way more aggressive than the USSR, and competent enough to push on every flaw in the Alliance's plans.

  • So where are all the African-Americans in this universe's version of the U.S.? You'd think that a nation anxious to demonstrate its moral superiority to the Draka would be working hard to improve things for the descendants of its former slaves. And yet we see no prominent blacks on the American side anywhere in the series (though we do see a few Asians, and the U.S. President at the time of the Final War is a Hispanic woman). The only blacks we do see are Domination-born serfs and Janissaries. Worse yet, in Drakon Ken Lafarge is surprised by the sheer numbers of blacks in our U.S., as there apparently were few or none among the postwar refugees who settled his home planet. Did the proto-Draka who fled America for Africa take their black slaves with them, or is the racial situation in the U.S. even worse in this universe for those left behind? Lots of Fridge Horror material here.
    • "Did the proto-Draka who fled America for Africa take their black slaves with them?" Yes, they did exactly that. Race relations in the US at the time of the Final War are far better than IOTL - Roosevelt's "New Deal" apparently brought in a lot of desegregation and equal rights for Hispanics. I assume African-Americans were included, but they're just such a small minority in a country that includes North America from Alaska to Panama that they're never mentioned.
      • In the final book, Afro-Americans are confirmed to finally melt into the population, effectively making Samothrace a single ethnic group with just enough diversity, justified with the meager headstart of 100000 colonists of USA.

  • During the Eurasian War, the Draka use no fewer than seventeen nuclear weapons in Europe, and one in China. The US is also rather more nuke-happy in the alternate timeline: four bombs are used against the Japanese, two on fleets, and the other two on Osaka and Tokyo. Shouldn't the Earth of the Draka be an irradiated wasteland plagued by nuclear winter? Since if all those nukes went off at the same time...well its the End of the World as We Know It. Only twelve nukes going off at the same time would cause serious problems for the human race.
    • Twelve nuclear weapons of that size wouldn't even begin to affect the climate and fallout is highly overrated; -hundreds- of airburst nuclear weapons were set off in the 50's and 60's during tests, and the world survived handily. Cancer deaths increased... to a degree that could only be detected with fairly sophisticated statistical techniques. My own father was in an open slit trench within 1.8 miles of a fusion bomb explosion in Nevada in the 1950's, and died at the age of 93 of liver failure. Ninety percent of the fallout from a nuclear explosion decays within a few weeks; ninety percent of the remainder is gone within six months. "Nuclear winter" is a dubious hypothesis, even with -thousands- of city-smashers flying around; the original papers on the subject made some very arbitrary assumptions. But a dozen, or a few dozen, or a few hundred, most certainly would not produce any such thing.
      • "Very arbitrary assumptions," indeed. My favorite quote from a piece that discussed the weaknesses of nuclear winter theory: "The model dealt with such complications as geography, winds, sunrise, sunset and patchy clouds in a stunningly elegant manner — they were ignored."
    • Advertisement:
    • There are comments made by Draka characters toward the end of The Stone Dogs that the next century will be very hard, partly due to the damage done to the ecosystem by the Final War, and that the space colonies will be critical for rebuilding. This is a major motivation for Eric von Shrakenberg to offer Metic citizenship to Alliance personnel in space who surrender—not only does he want the war over with, he needs their talent and resources to keep Earth from collapsing.

  • The important points of the timeline are the fault of Europeans or Americans. And always with good intentions:
The Dutch help the right side in the war for Independence, so the loyalists are deported and Drakia is created. Someone (not stated who, but the OSS plays a major role in this book) assassinates Hitler and Nazi Germany gets a competent strategist in charge instead. The OSS frames the opposing Indian candidate in the Hamburger scandal and when proof comes to light, that leads to the civil war that allows the Draka to invade. Is that just SM Stirling being cynical, is it because he limits the choice of protagonists or is there another explanation?

  • WHO in their right mind would willingly fight for the Draka Empire? (Excluding a few psychos out there). Even the nazis are disgusted by them! I honestly can't picture the average human being going "Yeah, these people seem to be the good guys".

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: