Well, after finishing off my post regarding a counter-factual scenario in which the Soviet Union didn’t collapse my creative juices continued to fire, once again thanks to the Alternate History Hub. Once again it is a scenario that stems out of the Cold War, however, instead of seeing how the Soviet Union could have avoided its collapse, we will instead be posing the question as to how could have the tables have been turned and the United States end up on the losing side.
Once again I was watching one of those really informative videos on the Alternate History Channel (and I will embed the video, as I usually do, below) and it fueled my imagination – this time in regards to the Russian Revolution. However, as I was thinking about how I would tackle this I suddenly realised that so many different things could have happened that would have had a significant effect upon the way the modern world would turn out, it is difficult to simply take just one path.
I’ve just finished reading a book on the French Revolution of the Napoleonic Wars entitled Revolutionary Europe 1785 – 1815 (and you can also read my review of the book here, namely because I discuss, albeit briefly, some ideas that I won’t be talking about in this post). Anyway, I have to say that the author, George Rude, seemed to gloss over a number of important events, one of them being the Battle of Austerlitz. In fact this is what he says:
(Czar) Alexander, who had taken command of the Austro-Russian forces, fancied himself as a commander and was easily persuaded by an incompetent chief-of-staff that Napoleon was in a weak position and could be defeated. Infatuated with the prospect, he let himself be lured to the village of Austerlitz in Moravia, where Napoleon, in the most decisive of his victories, cut his army in two and inflicted a loss of 27,000 men.
When I was selecting the next lot of books that I was planning to read (I generally grab about five or six and put them on a pile on my dining room table so I don’t have to spend time working out my next book after my last one, and so that I always have at least two or three books in my bag in case I finish one while I am out) my eyes passed over this old Jules Verne book. To say that I’m a fan of the father of science fiction is a bit of an understatement, and since I hadn’t read this book in a while I decided to grab it. I really enjoyed it the first time I read it, and when that Brendan Fraser film came out I have to say that I enjoy it every time I watch it (I also own a copy). Actually, isn’t it funny that films are characterised more by the main actors than they are by the directors, unless that director happens to be Quentin Tarrantino (among others), but that is just a side note.
I would open this post by saying that I’m sure every school boy has heard the story of how 300 battle hardened warriors held a tiny pass against a foe whose numbers literally dwarfed them for three days before being betrayed by a shepherd and then fighting valiantly to the last man. However, thanks to Zac Snyder and Frank Miller, this story that was once relegated to the high school and university classes was released to the world in the form of a graphic novel and one awesome movie.
Once again on my explorations of Youtube I came across a video produced by the Alternate History Hub (and I must admit that they produce some really interesting videos that inspire me to explore much deeper) speculating what would have happened if Persia had managed to invade Greece. The problem that I find with a lot of their productions is that their conclusions tend to be ‘this was so long ago it is impossible to know what would have happened’. Well, there is a whole field of counter-factual history where historians explore the ‘what might have been’ with regards to these particular historical events.
My first forays into Youtube was simply to upload videos of trains (for the benefit of my brother, who happens to love trains), and this basically continued for a while until I discovered a channel called The Alternate History Hub. Okay, to be honest with you, I had watched some videos, usually some of the older movies and the BBC Shakespeare episodes that were available (and I did try a couple of cat videos, but to be honest with you I really don’t like watching videos of cats being cats, because cats being cats are so much better in real life, and as for trains and trams, well I basically uploaded them as opposed to watching videos of them, well, usually). Anyway, it was through the Alternate History Hub that I really began to discover some of the many, short, wonders that Youtube had to offer (and in fact I ended up spending an hour today watching some of these short clips).