Track of the Apocalypse Ch5 Ficbit – Tactical Benefits

Uryuu’s Hunters aren’t just one more bunch of refugees. They were on a whole other factional side. A hostile one.

And yet they were here on this hayajiro, working with Kurusu’s people. And the Aragane bushi trusted them more than they trusted the Kongokaku. Interesting. In the classic old Chinese curse sense.

Not to mention from the way Daniel’s eyes had widened, then glanced at the map again, this was maybe even more interesting than Ayame’s people willingly working with former mortal enemies.

The map. What is it about a two-language- Oh.

Two languages. One of them from old Anglo-Saxon-ish types. And one of the discussions he’d got into with Daniel and Teal’c about forgiveness and the SGC trusting someone who had been Earth’s enemy was the whole, where did forgiveness even come from as a concept, and how was it a legit tactical military advantage?

Because while a lot of modern cultures on Earth might give lip service to forgiving your enemy and letting him live, and pat themselves on the back for being so modern, the roots of forgiveness were much, much older. Some military scholars argued the whole concept of forgive your enemy and take him as one of your own had been one of the things that let the Proto-Indo-Europeans spread out and swarm over places, cultures, and ways of living that’d been completely different from nomadic steppe horse-riders.

According to Daniel, absorbing other populations without killing them all was actually a thing most civilizations figured out once they hit a certain size. Including, if Jack recalled their briefing on Tenka right, the various tribes that’d gotten lumped under Anglo-Saxon, who’d managed to swing taking in British Romans to the point King Arthur was considered thoroughly English, and ancient Japan, where taking in your noble enemy’s kids as your own heirs was a thing that happened, historically, and usually with pretty good results.

So did they get that trick from Albion, or come up with it home-grown?

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13 thoughts on “Track of the Apocalypse Ch5 Ficbit – Tactical Benefits

  1. Excited to see where this is going.

    Great fun.

    Thanks.

    (Seem to have caught up on my sleep, am happy to be functional and sanish again.)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Even the Christian version could be taken to be like this. The basis of the Christian concept of the world is that there’s a war going on, with two sides (even if the endpoint is known), and one of the main subjects of that war is people (instead of land). The Christian order for forgiveness could arguably be looked at in this perspective, because it is explicitly noted to be useful for the purpose of conversion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is more a jurisdiction thing. “I am trying to save all of your butts, despite your horrible offenses against Me. So don’t be getting on your high horses about the horrible things somebody else did. You’re all in that position.”

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think I remember hearing that Alexander the Great would subdue a conquered population by decimating them. Which means “kill 1 in 10 of the adult men” so the rest wouldn’t think about rebelling.

    This was considered exceptionally merciful since the previous rule of thumb was to kill 1 in 4.

    Then Christianity comes along and says “eye for an eye” in the context of “and leave the rest of the head.”

    Of course, in many wars before professional armies, a conscript could desert and be picked up several times from each side in the course of a war.
    So “Us vs Them” becomes a slippery concept when you’ve been both, and not voluntarily.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That wasn’t really Alexander’s methods, IIRC. He was actually real big on The Power of Friendship TM. Not quite the way I make it sound, and he really was ambitious in ways that had fairly horrible costs.

      Decimation comes from Latin. Trained soldiers are expensive, so even if you are quite rigorous when it comes to capital punishment, you might not want to kill all of a unit that needs to be punished. The Roman armies had a suborganization of around ten men, and the men in one of those ended up fairly emotionally close. One option was to have those units draw lots, and force the other nine to beat the other one to death.

      Thing about killing, if your economy is a fairly normal level of messed up, it can be more profitable to enslave. Caesar’s wars in particular come to mind as being heavily for the purpose of taking captives to sell into slavery. Slavery as an alternative to massacre most likely dates back deep into prehistory.

      Of course, good shock infantry is probably required for the sorts of victories where fractions of population handled such and such, and that probably puts such into mostly historical territory. Prehistoric warfare is heavily raid infantry, and endemic warfare. I think the latter may be where you got the 1 in 4. LeBlanc’s Constant Battles estimates the average violent death rate for such endemic warfare societies at something like a third to a fourth. For a society that is breaking even or winning, not a society that is losing.

      It takes a great deal of discipline to take a city by assault and not have the aftermath become a massacre. The Mongol empire liked to slaughter resisting cities as part of a systemic policy of terror.

      Eye for an eye is from, IIRC, the Code of Hammurabi. Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, life for a life, limb for a limb. Context is correct. Very much a limitation on revenge. Though it did recognize differences between nobles and peasants. Christianity, to the best of my knowledge, goes quite a bit further than that.

      There are some hilarious stories about multiple conscriptions, etc., in WWII. IIRC, a guy grabbed by in turn the IJA, Soviets, and the Nazis. There was also an American named Bayern. Jumped into France as a paymaster to the French resistance, safely exfiltrated, then got captured after a jump during the Normandy invasion, taken back to Germany to a prison camp, escaped east, and traveled back west with the Soviet Army.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Average death rate for males at a third or a fourth in endemic warfare. Societies are much more sensitive to losses of females, especially generation after generation.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. There is something of a difference between forgiveness, acceptance of wergild or reparations, and trading hostages/peaceweaving/covenant marriage or adoption treaties. And trade can help, too. The steppe tribes were very into sudden blood brotherhood.

    But yes, humans have lots of mechanisms for sudden reversal of enemyhood.

    Liked by 1 person

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