From humble beginnings, the Domination of the Draka has grown. Beginning it's life with the arrival of loyalist refugees from the American revolution, and gaining the losers of the American civil war, refugees and philosophers without followers, it began to grow. By 1942 it's borders stretch from the Cape of Good hope to the Italian side of the alps, from the Atlantic to central china. It is a state unlike anything ever seen in our world, a state which combines the worst aspects of colonialism, the confederacy and and ancient Sparta and forges something new. A state in which 90% of the population is comprised of illiterate, uneducated slaves, the rest a warrior aristocracy, educated to uphold and expand the domination since they were five years old. The resources of a continent go into funding their armies. They despise the west's way of life, and they will only feel secure when all of the world is under their yoke. And they are the good guys. sort of.
Stirling here presents us with a arguably implausible or arguably very plausible look at a society that feels alien, yet also familiar. the scariest thing about it is the fact that he resists the urge to make the Draka into unstoppable supermen, he instead does something far scarier. He makes them human. The story itself is simple, portraying a excellent force of well trained and equipped paratroopers holding a village, located at a strategic point in a mountain pass until reinforcements arrive. The reader will inevitably root for the characters it follows, who are all well fleshed out, until a point comes in the book when you realise.... "these guys are monsters ready to enslave all of Europe, for no reason other than they have the opportunity.Read more ›
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
The Master Race Meets the Master Class29 Dec. 2003
Arthur W. Jordin
- Published on Amazon.com
Marching Through Georgia is the first novel in the Draka series. In another timeline, the losers from wars in America and Europe, philosophers without followers, and other misfits migrated to the Draka Crown Colony in South Africa. Over decades the colony took over the entirety of sub-Sahara Africa and then the Balkans, becaming the sovereign Domination of Draka in 1919. During World War II, the Domination entered the war with an airdrop onto Sicily in 1941. Six months later, the Germans had taken Moscow and the Wehrmacht in south Georgia are threatening the Draka conquests in Armenia. The Draka are assembling armored legions in Armenia to attack through the Caucasus Mountains and drop two legions of airborne at night to clear the passes of the Ossetian Military Highway. Opposing them is a panzer regiment of the Waffen-SS, Liebstandarte Adolf Hitler. In this novel, the von Shrakenberg family are descendents of a Hessian mercenary paid off with land in southern Africa after the British lost their war against the American rebels. Karl is an Arch-Strategos, a general of the Supreme General Staff. His son Eric is Centurion of Century A, 1st Airborne Legion. His daughter Johanna is a Pilot Officer flying Eagle interceptors. Karl is back in Castle Tarleton overlooking Archona, the capital of Draka. He is worried about Eric leading his century in the Caucasus Mountains and Johanna flying an Eagle out of Kars. He knows the North Caucasus campaign is risky, but necessary for the Domination to grow. Century A has an American reporter, Bill Dreiser, with them as they drop into the mountains. It is his first airdrop and he is understandably nervous. As he leaps from the plane and falls, he grasps the release toggle and gives a single firm jerk. This novel shows the personal lives of the van Shrakenberg family after the Sicily campaign in their plantation Oakenwald, intermingled with the assault on Village One along the Ossetian Military Highway. It describes the history of the Domination and the people who become the Draka. It also tells something of their serfs and their enemies. The assault on Village One is depicted in great detail, from the first sentry taken out by the advancing Draka to the final confrontation and the subsequent relief by the Janissaries. It is a tale of a trained, experienced and well-led combat unit with excellent morale and determination. Unfortunately, they happen to be slave-holding imperialists. This story is plausible and frightening in concept. What if the British had encouraged loyalists from the former American colonies to settle in South Africa? What if those settlers had been imperialistic and had expanded into Rhodesia a century before Cecil Rhodes? What if they continued their expansion to the rest of sub-Saharan Africa and then to the Ottomon Empire? Would the resulting state have a social structure combining the worst features of the Confederacy and the Afrikaners, but with a government more militarized and efficient than the Spartans or Prussians? Welcome to the Domination. ...The slave trade itself was banned in 1834 and this ban was enforced by British warships. However, the British hold in Africa was very lose prior to the 1880's and the taking of slaves within the African continent was not ended until 1891. Even after the Boer War, a form of non-chattel slavery remained in the practice of apartheid. Highly recommended for Stirling fans and for anyone else who enjoys alternate history depicting ground combat in the worst of all possible worlds.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Good, frightening, and quite clever14 Feb. 2000
- Published on Amazon.com
I have to admit, I enjoyed this book quite a bit, if enjoy is the right term for a book that focusses on mostly evil people. Besides the rather interesting premise of the book, I found many of the aspects of the Draka out and out uncomfortable. They are not presented as moustache-twirling fiends, but rather as vigorous, focussed people so evil that they no longer even recognize it in themselves. These are people who honestly believe that their worldview is right, in spite of the fact that it is dehumanizing to their victims and serfs as well as themselves. I find this far more frightening than the popular view of racists who take delight in the fact that they can hurt others and are out and out sadists who wallow in their nastiness; rather they are akin to slaveowners, who were normal people who thought of themselves as good, but meted out horrors to their slaves. The book itself is rather cleverly set out to where you often begin to like and admire these Draka, whereupon they matter-of-factly discuss some common atrocity that they perform and the reader is hit with a dash of cold water, realizing that these seductive people are almost anti-human. Tie this in with "Under the Yoke" where we see exactly what these people are capable of and I think you will get a rather clever peek into what true evil is. As for the military aspects, they work rather well. In reality, a force like the Draka would have changed the world far more than we see in the novels before 1940, but it would have been an unrecognizable world to the reader. I think Stirling did as well as could be expected to put a rather implausible scenario into a history that we would recognize. All in all, this is a good book in a good series.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Gripping and disturbing23 Oct. 1996
- Published on Amazon.com
"Gripping" is an overused word in reviews, but it is an uncannily perfect word to describe this entire series, set in an alternate-history where the Loyalists established a colony in south Africa after losing the American Revolution.
"Marching Through Georgia", the first in the series, takes place in the early 1940's. The Draka have dominated and enslaved all of Africa, the Middle East, and much of Asia. They have lain in wait as the Nazis exhausted themselves conquering Europe and battling Russia. Now, the Domination of the Draka is poised to take advantage of the situation and extend its iron grip yet again.
The Draka -- men and women both -- are trained from birth to be outstanding fighters, both individually and collectively. They are also trained how to be slaveholders, how to most effectively tame, train, and use human beings, as some people tame, train, and use horses. Draka are dedicated to the survival of the State, and believe that "if you desire the ends, then you desire the means".
Unfortunately for everybody else, the only way the Draka will feel secure is to put the rest of the world "under the yoke".
Stirling could easily have written the Draka as stereotyped evil villians -- powerful and nasty and easy to hate. But the author did something far more impressive ... he(?) made them human. There is much to hate about the Draka and their society, but there is also much to admire. Better yet, Stirling helps you understand *why* the Draka are who they are -- and why their slaves are who *they* are. As "inhuman" as some of their actions are, it is clear the the Draka are, indeed, all too human. *This* is Stirling's accomplishment, this is what makes this series so impressive.
(The other books in the series are "Under the Yoke", "Stone Dogs", and "Drakkon".)
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
First in Stirling's alternate history universe of the Draka22 Sept. 1997
- Published on Amazon.com
I actually didn't come across this book until I'd already read the second in the series, Under the Yoke, which is the book that truly defines the heart of the series and fleshes out the background, world, and people that makes Stirling's alternate universe to real and so chilling. Nevertheless, you WILL want to read this book and it will become one of your favorite war novels.
Marching Through Georgia is mostly a straight military action adventure (though a very good one at that - I'd have ranked it higher, but the second book is even that much better). Stirling introduces most, if not all of the key facets of his alternate universe, but his objective is to write one of the best, fastest paced war novels I've ever read, so he doesn't play with the ramifications of the world he's created as much as he does in the later books of this series.
Go ahead and get this book. Even if you read 'Under the Yoke' first, you'll certainly get hooked and will want to read this one shortly thereafter
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Get The Point30 July 2005
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Its not going to live up to microscopic scrutiny, but
no work of fiction, particularly an alternate history,
will. Suspend disbelief and then enjoy.
The story is almost secondary to what and who the Draka
are. A power based in Africa that took control after
Royalists and Mercanaries were paid off by Britian with
land in South Africa. They conquered it and then much
of the middle east after world war one. By world war two
they are poised to strike at a victorious Nazi Reich that
has destroyed the Soviets.
Its not plausible in the microscopic but its plausible /enough/
to make you shudder and be thankful.
Highly reccomended as are the rest of the books in this
series. It gives you pause to think. Is it better for black
Africa to be in the state it is now...or enslaved? Would you
fight the Draka or join them as they bombed Rome and later
took over Europe, enslaving everyone?
Hard choices, and thats the charm of the story and the series.
One of the few alternate histories that pulls no punches.