Before I begin, please don’t spoil anything past the events of light novel volume 6.
1.) I’ve watched the anime and read the officially translated Light Novels (i.e. until volume 6). I haven’t read the manga. The available maps are not very good so I’m using my best guesses at times.
2.) This started out as my wanting to write a short summary and set of guesses as to what was going on but just kept growing.
3.) I will be using real world names for geographical entities/locations and in-universe names for political entities.
- Core territories:
- Imperial Germany
- Austria-Hungary minus Bosnia
- Held territories listed as “hot spots”:
- The Low Countries (The existence of a “Low Lands industrial region” means that the Empire holds this region)
- Unclear if this is from independence movements or from a territorial claim
- Imperial Norden
- I.E. Denmark and Scania (The part of Sweden that used to be part of Denmark; it’s at the tip of the peninsula)
- Claimed by the Entente Alliance
- What started the war in the first place
o Imperial Ostland
- I.E. the Western half of Poland and East Prussia
- “Potentially disputed territory” and probable claimant would be the Federation
o Imperial Dacia:
- I.E. Hungary
- The reason this area could be a flashpoint is not explicitly stated – despite the name, Dacia having a claim on this territory is only one possibility
o Unredeemed Ildoa:
- I.E. Slovenia
- “Potentially disputed territory” that is apparently mainly Ildoan-speaking
- List of colonies unknown
- Strategic situation at start of war (i.e. June-1923):
- Continental power similar to Imperial Germany
- Major land power able to raise and support large armies
- Good internal lines of communication with a large industrial base
- Significant navy but still no match for the Royal Navy
- Note: Unlike Imperial Germany, the Empire has an Adriatic coast. This makes the naval situation closer to France but it appears that the Empire concentrated on the Baltic and North Sea fleets.
- Surrounded by potential or real enemies; any allies are unreliable at best
- Overall domestic socio-political situation is unclear
- Note: Austria-Hungary had a great deal of economic disparity between various regions; there was also a lot of tension between ethnic and linguistic groups. It is unclear how much of this is actually present in the Empire but the light novels do indirectly suggest that it is much less.
- Strategic situation at the end of volume 6 (i.e. April-1927):
- Entente alliance is now occupied territory
- Imperial forces are now fighting an insurgency that is starting to receive some support from the Commonwealth and the Federation
- Dacia is now occupied territory
- The European portion of the Republic has been occupied but that has not led to a conclusion to the war
- Fighting with Free Republic forces ongoing in Algeria and Tunisia
- Note: Not stated if Imperial forces are fighting an insurgency in Metropolitan France but a resistance movement is almost a certainty
- At war with the Commonwealth:
- Commonwealth declared war 01-Nov-1925
- Commonwealth naval superiority prevents Empire from invading
- Currently most fighting involves the air forces of both sides
- At war with the Federation:
- Onset of hostilities 15-Mar-1926
- Imperial army able to repulse initial attack and has advanced into Federation territory, occupying the Baltic States, Byelorussia and Ukraine
- Council for Self-Government has been set up by the Empire and serves as civilian government for occupied Federation territory
- Imperial army having significant difficulties supplying troops on the Eastern front
- Ildoa currently notionally an ally but not a co-belligerent with Ildoan intentions completely unclear
- Ildoa offering to broker peace but also potentially presents a threat to the Empire
- Imperial General Staff have a contingency plan for war with Ildoa
- Ildoa also serving as a middleman for some war matériel to the Empire
- Unified States supplying matériel to the Empire’s enemies but not officially at war
- The Empire’s economy is obviously under strain, almost certainly under blockade and has imposed rationing
- Mobilisation of troops has also led to significant labour shortages
- Occupied territories likely provide some support to the Empire’s economy
- Core territories:
- Known colonies:
- French Morocco and Spanish Morocco
- Strategic situation at start of war:
- Identical to pre-WWI France:
- Likely a hybrid maritime/continental power
- First-line power but not strong enough to defeat the Empire without allies
- Navy split between Atlantic and Mediterranean commitments
- Strategic situation at the end of volume 6:
- Metropolitan France under Imperial occupation; unclear if there is an insurgency but a resistance movement is almost a certainty
- A government in exile exists
- Free Republic forces have withdrawn to colonies and are fighting Imperial forces in Algeria and Tunisia, likely with Commonwealth support
- There is no mention if there is an equivalent to Vichy France. Even if there is, unlike in WWII, the North African colonies have declared in support of the Free Republic.
- Core territories:
- The British Isles including the entirely of Ireland
- List of colonies unknown but likely has large colonial possessions
- Strategic situation at start of war:
- Maritime power rather than continental power
- More dependent on maritime trading routes, therefore emphasis traditionally been towards a very strong navy
- Likely a large economic base from industry as well as commercial links
- Strategic situation at the end of volume 6:
- Most fighting with the Empire has been between the air forces of both sides
- Significant shortfalls in production of war matériel and is purchasing matériel from the Unified States
- Commonwealth naval superiority prevents the Empire from invading but the result is a stalemate
- Would, obviously, prefer the Empire and the Federation exhaust themselves fighting each other; had held the same hope with the Republic
- Would like to get Unified States to enter the war on their side
- Facing shortages in air force personnel but foreign volunteers are helping to make up the numbers
The Entente Alliance:
- Core territories:
- List of colonies unknown, possibly none
- Strategic situation at start of war:
- Facing significant domestic economic and social problems and using nationalism as unifying force
- Irredentist claim on Norden
- Militarily and economically a second-line power – attacking any first-line power directly would amount to national suicide (but they did it anyway)
- Strategic situation at the end of volume 6:
- Suffered a catastrophic defeat and under occupation
- Unable to even establish a government in exile
- Has an ongoing insurgency
The Grand Duchy/Principality of Dacia (main map says Grand Duchy, text says Principality):
- Core territories:
- Romania and possibly Moldova
- List of colonies unknown, possibly none
- Strategic situation at the start of war:
- Able to mobilise numerically large army
- Other political details unknown
- Definitely less economically developed than the Empire
- Appears to have oil like Ploesti in Romania (the light novel does refer to “Esti oil fields”)
- Transport infrastructure less developed than that of the Empire.
- Strategic situation at the end of volume 6:
- Suffered a catastrophic defeat and under occupation
- Unknown if there is a government in exile
- Unclear if there is an ongoing insurgency
- Known territories:
- Eastern half of Poland
- The Baltic states
- Note: Maps in volumes 1-4 include Finland; maps thereafter do not – Finland presumably independent and neutral
- Unknown if it controls the rest of the USSR but presumably yes.
- Unknown if there are overseas colonies but presumably not.
- Strategic situation at start of war:
- Likely identical to USSR in the mid-1930s prior to Molotov-Ribbentrop pact
- Essentially isolated in term of global politics and playing next to no role in the global economy
- Had been an ally of the Republic until the revolution.
- Is on relatively friendly terms with the Empire; some trade appears to be ongoing
- Domestic political situation likely identical to USSR in 1930s with purges and gulags
- Restive minorities and regions that want independence exist and are causing problems
- Has a large manpower base and a large industrial base
- A more thorough discussion of the likely economic power of the Federation is beyond the scope of this article
- Strategic situation at the end of volume 6:
- Onset of war Mar-1926.
- Has suffered a major defeat in the initial phase of the war with the Empire but still has the resources to keep fighting
- Able to tap into people’s nationalism to unify nation as well as mobilise and motivate forces but these efforts are being undermined by the Empire allowing occupied territories self-rule
- Had partisans in occupied territories but these are rapidly being eliminated by local forces
- Informally allied with the Commonwealth and the two are jointly supporting an insurgency in what was the Entente Alliance
- Is preparing for a renewed offensive
The Unified States:
- Presumably the USA but no map available
- Strategic situation at start of war:
- Identical to situation of USA prior to both world wars
- Large economic power with considerable industrial output
- Separated from Europe by the Atlantic Ocean
- Likely not playing any significant role in European affairs
- No further information available
- Strategic situation at the end of volume 6:
- Is currently carrying out a massive arms buildup
- Is selling arms to the Commonwealth
- Domestic political opinion likely divided between entering the war against the Empire and staying out of the conflict
The Kingdom of Ildoa:
- Core territories:
- Known colonies:
- Strategic situation at the start of war:
- Likely very similar if not identical to Italy in the 1910s
- Likely the weakest “great power” both militarily and economically and likely has ambitions that clash with the interests of just about everyone else
- Like Italy, trying to squeeze colonies into Africa
- Like Italy, perceived as unscrupulous
- Has a, possibly dormant, claim on Slovenia (Unredeemed Ildoa)
- Strategic situation at the end of volume 6:
- Almost completely unchanged from the pre-war situation, remaining the weakest of the “great powers” in spite of the changing situation around them
- Seeking to take advantage of the ongoing conflict to further their interests in North Africa
- The light novel keeps it vague but something akin to the Italo-Turkish war of 1911-1912 might have occurred around 1925 on Tanya’s world.
- Seeking to leverage their non-involvement in the conflict to extract concessions, economic aid and military aid from just about everyone else
- Also seeking to maximise the benefits they will get should they succeed in brokering a peace settlement; already has unofficially informed the Empire that they want Unredeemed Ildoa (i.e. Slovenia) as their price for brokering peace
- Is notionally an ally of the Empire but is not currently involved in the war
The Waldstätte Confederation:
- I.E. Switzerland
- Strategic situation presumably identical to Switzerland, i.e. armed neutrality
The Ispagna Collective:
- Only labelled map seen in anime
- Appears to be the entire Iberian Peninsula
- Strategic situation:
- Facing significant domestic political problems (this might be a reference to the problems in Spain prior to the civil war there)
- Uninvolved in the ongoing war
- No further information available
The Turkman Principalities:
- Possibly the Ottoman Empire but no map available.
- Ildoa is trying to push colonies into some of their territories.
- No further information available
- Of the Empire:
- What little information available about the domestic situation of the Empire focuses on the Germany portion of the Empire and suggests that it is a clone of Imperial Germany.
- It is unknown what the Austria-Hungary portion of the Empire is like. However, the existence of a region that is majority Ildoan-speaking implies that at least some of the ethnic and linguistic differences that existed in Austria-Hungary also exist in that portion of the Empire.
- The Empire’s strategic situation is closer to Napoleonic France than that of the Central Powers. Unlike the Central Powers, the Empire is able to concentrate on one enemy army at a time. Like Napoleonic France, the Empire is unable to overcome the Commonwealth’s naval supremacy and, like the situation with Napoleonic France, the Commonwealth is currently focused mainly on economically supporting the Empire’s enemies. Similarly, the only non-naval military actions the Commonwealth is able to perform against the Empire are of a limited scale.
- Like Napoleonic France, the Empire is not actively engaged on all fronts against all of its foes simultaneously. Like Napoleonic France, the Empire is able to achieve significant military victories but is unable to translate those victories into any lasting peace.
- The only area that the Empire is closer to Imperial Germany is that they have not fought and lost any significant naval battles with the Commonwealth.
- At this point, in spite of attrition of personnel, the Empire has suffered significantly fewer losses than their German counterparts in both world wars but has managed to achieve similar to greater victories.
- The current situation is a stalemate but the Empire will eventually be ground down by the superior economic resources of its combined enemies.
- Note: While the full scope of the air war between the Empire and the Commonwealth is unclear, it seems to be of lower intensity than WWII. The Commonwealth does not appear to be strong enough to penetrate the Imperial air defence network in any meaningful way and cannot even carry out the nuisance raids the RAF could against Nazi Germany in the early part of WWII. It seems that the Empire is the one carrying out pinprick raids; but then, they are the side with the Mosquitoes.
- Of the Entente portion of the war:
- This whole war started as a miscalculation by the Entente Alliance, that they could advance troops into Imperial Norden without triggering a response. Of course, this led to a declaration of war. The Empire then proceeding to invade the Entente Alliance in retaliation would, in hindsight, be a mistake as it expanded the war but, they were merely doing exactly what any other “great power” would do in a similar situation, the added desire to knock out the Northern portion of the Empire’s encirclement notwithstanding.
- The sheer incompetence of the initial Entente advance notwithstanding, the subsequent fighting ability of the Entente Alliance suggests that, despite being a “second-class power”, they were strong enough to deter, but not defeat, a “great power”. In other words, they were strong enough that the Empire would normally find an invasion too costly for the benefits that it would bring; of course, an unprovoked attack on the Empire reverses the cost-benefit ratio. (Was Mussolini in charge? On second thoughts, Mussolini was sensible in comparison.)
- The fall of the Entente Alliance borrows from the fall of Norway in 1940 where the Germans carried out an amphibious assault. However, unlike the Norwegian campaign in 1940, the Commonwealth Navy was not involved which meant that the Imperial Navy would not suffer the fighting losses that the Kriegsmarine did. The silencing of coastal defence batteries by the 203rd also meant that the sinking of the Blücher also did not occur.
- The location of Osfjord differs between the light novel and the anime. The light novel appears to point to the general location of Trondheim while the anime suggests that it is the Oslofjord.
- The occupied Entente territories seem to be playing a role similar to Napoleon’s “Spanish ulcer” with an ongoing insurgency supported by the Commonwealth and the Federation.
- Side note: It is not relevant to the story but, the inability of the Entente Alliance to form a government in exile seems rather contrived.
- Of the Rhine Front:
- The Republic’s response to the Empire invading the Entente Alliance was to carry out their contingency war plan. This was a valid war plan but it likely was intended only to be used if the Empire were to be the aggressor in a war against someone else. In retrospect, the Republic would have been better off (and would have been fully justified in) letting the Entente hang out to dry. This led to the kind of trench warfare seen on the Western Front in WWI.
- The Republic would be driven out of Europe due to a manoeuvre that recreated the German offensive in the Ardennes in 1940. The Imperial army did exactly what the German army did: use mobile forces to encircle and then destroy the enemy force concentrated in the low countries.
- Given the degree of success that kind of mobile warfare achieved and the period of trench warfare beforehand, counterparts of Guderian and Liddell Hart do not exist (unless you count Tanya).
- The withdrawal of the Republic fleet to the colonies and the departure of General de Lugo is borrowed from the withdrawal of the French navy in 1940 and the departure of General de Gaulle. However, the Republic does not seem to have the same division between Vichy France and the Free French.
- Of the Dacian portion of the war:
- The Dacian invasion in 1924 appears inspired by Romania’s entry into WWI. The allied side probably had the same hope as the Entente powers in WWI – this action would, by opening another front directed at Hungary, allow them to win the war. The Dacians probably would want Imperial Dacia (i.e. Hungary) in any post war settlement.
- The Dacian army, like the Romanian army, was numerically large. However, the Dacian army appears to be far more poorly trained, equipped and led than the Romanian army was in WWI. The result, obviously, was a complete collapse.
- Incidentally, Dacia, like Romania, has oil. These supplies are critical for the Empire.
- Of the “Southern continent”:
- Borrows from the North African campaign of WWII but the fighting is limited to Algeria and Tunisia. (But General von Romel? Really?)
- The Imperial general staff appear to regard this theatre as being strategically unimportant and are not keen on sending reinforcements. It probably is unimportant, especially after the onset of war with the Federation.
- The Free Republic is going to keep on fighting but cannot win the war on their own – they have to depend on events elsewhere.
- The Empire’s expeditionary force is being ground down and does not have secure supply lines.
- Note: It is stated that the Commonwealth Navy will suffer some sort of catastrophic reverse at, or near, Dakar in the future. This probably is the city in Senegal. The context of this action is unknown.
- Of the war with the Federation:
- Despite the Federation essentially being the USSR, the initial phase of the war is almost identical to WWI when the Imperial Russian army advanced into East Prussia.
- Like the Russians in WWI, the Federation was able to achieve strategic surprise and was able to achieve some initial successes. Unlike Imperial Germany though, the Imperial army was not fighting on the Western Front and thus could concentrate on a single enemy.
- The Empire needed to hold and relieve Tiegenhoff for exactly the same strategic reasons the Germans needed to hold Königsberg. In location, Tiegenhoff is Königsberg.
- The Empire’s subsequent counterattack, and victory at the Battle of Trouncenberg, is patterned on the Battle of Tannenberg with the same overall result – it led to the ejection of enemy forces from East Prussia. The Empire appears to have succeeded in pushing farther eastwards than Imperial Germany did in 1914.
- Interestingly, at the end of 1926, the Empire holds the territories ceded to Germany by the Russians in the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.
- The Federation, like the USSR, has switched to nationalism to motivate people to defend the country. The creation of self-governing areas by the Empire is, in part, to subvert this.
- The Federation is preparing for a renewed offensive but the objective remains unknown.
- Note: Tanya seems to have blind spots when it comes to the Federation. Her prejudices against Communists seems to have made her forget that the USSR did appeal to Nationalism in WWII. It also has led her to underestimate the Federation, fortunately not to a fatal extent thus far. She is starting to correct for this. (While it does seem odd, given how well read she is, that Tanya would forget about events in the USSR during WWII, her personal prejudices do make it plausible. I choose to interpret this as good writing.)
- Of Ildoa:
- Appears to be in the same position as Italy in both world wars – being notionally a “great power” but has severe economic and military weaknesses.
- Definitely seeking to expand their interests at the expense of just about everyone else.
- Probably seen to be as unscrupulous and as unpredictable as Italy before WWI.
- Unclear if Ildoan adventure in North Africa is as economically costly as the Italian war there in 1911-1912.
- The statement “better to have Italy as a partner than as a foe; but the margin of benefit was not great” also applies to Ildoa.
- Ildoa notionally is an ally of the Empire but it is vague as to what that means. It is only clear that Ildoa is not currently a belligerent in the war.
- Ildoa claims to be trying to broker peace but also is vaguely hinting that it might be willing to join one side or the other. This too is to extract concessions from everyone else.
- Of the war with the Commonwealth:
- The bulk of the fighting thus far has been in the air.
- The Commonwealth is clearly having problems with attrition of personnel and of equipment but is buying weapons from the Unified States.
- The Commonwealth did provide some unofficial support to the Entente Alliance prior to the declaration of war but nowhere near the scale of the British support for Norway at the start of WWII.
- The Commonwealth breaking the Empire’s ciphers is borrowed from the UK breaking German ciphers in both world wars.
- The Commonwealth is keen on having the Unified States enter the war on their side – this is understandable given the economic and military resources the Unified States can bring to bear.
- As an aside, the possibility of capturing Unified States citizens voluntarily serving in the armed forces of the Commonwealth was hinted at as being a potential problem. This makes no sense – just as long as they are properly treated as prisoners of war, and they are legal combatants entitled to such protections, there is no, and can be no, legal or political basis for the Unified States to protest or take any action whatsoever.
- Also, the incident of a volunteer pilot with the Commonwealth being beaten to death by a mob is based on a real incident involving a Polish volunteer with the RAF.
- Of the Unified States:
- Still notionally sitting on the sidelines but openly favouring the allies.
- Is carrying out an arms buildup.
- Domestically still undecided on openly entering the war but it is likely only a matter of time before they enter the war on the allied side. To their credit, the Empire is trying to avoid provoking the Unified States – they at least are trying (but probably will not succeed) in keeping the war from expanding further.
- Of Kampfgruppe Salamander:
- Strength at first formation in June-1926 (disbanded 28-Sep-1926):
- The 203rd mage battalion
- 1 infantry battalion (initially a 2nd line infantry battalion was to be assigned but Tanya managed to get a paratrooper battalion instead)
- 1 armoured company (presumably a tank company which might mean anything from 9 to 17 tanks at full strength; Tanya managed to exchange what sound suspiciously like Panzer IVDs for Panzer IVGs)
- 1 artillery company equipped with 15 cm guns (presumably this means 1 battery which would correspond to 4-8 tubes; Tanya’s efforts to turn this into an improvised mobile artillery battery is borrowed from a similar expedient in WWII)
- 1 additional mage company
- 1 pioneer detachment of some sort (which suggests that Imperial infantry battalions might not have any ‘organic’ pioneer units)
- This formation can, very crudely, be regarded as being about brigade/regiment strength but it is at the low end of the scale.
- Strength at second formation 16-Oct-1926:
- The 203rd mage battalion (1 company is green)
- 2 infantry battalions (newly formed and very green)
- 1 tank battalion (has 24 tanks and therefore counts as a battalion, unclear if this is full strength but it probably isn’t)
- 1 artillery battalion (no information on composition but this implies a number of batteries, not just 1)
- Assuming that pioneer, reconnaissance and other supporting elements have been assigned as well, this is a full brigade/regiment
- Of Tanya:
- The light novel is not consistent but suggests that Tanya turned either 10 or 11 in 1923; that would make her birthday 24-Sep-1912 or 1913. It is Apr-1927 at the end of volume 6 which would make her 13 or 14.
- By the end of volume 6, she is commanding Kampfgruppe Salamander which is of brigade/regiment strength. She is adapting rapidly to commanding a formation of this size. It likely won’t be long before she is commanding a division.
- She appears to have underestimated the Federation due to her prejudice against communists – she had assumed that anyone who was communist (or from a communist country) could not be competent or adaptive. She also appears to have forgotten many details about the USSR in WWII. She is slowly overcoming these issues.
Guesses on the near future:
- On the Eastern Front:
- As of April-1927, the Federation is preparing for a major offensive. Given the parallels, this offensive will push into Ukraine. We are likely to see an equivalent to the Second Battle of Kharkov in which the Soviet army was encircled and destroyed.
- The aftermath of this would see similarities to the WWII German offensive into the Caucasus, likely for the same strategic reasons – seizing industrial centres and oil supplies.
- We’ll probably find ourselves watching a variant of the Battle of Stalingrad (maybe named Josefgrad?). Given the “similar but not quite” nature of events, we’re probably not going to see the equivalent of the destruction of the German Sixth army. We probably will, however, see the equivalent of the Third Battle of Kharkov and maybe even a variant of Operation Citadel and the Battle of Kursk.
- On the Federation:
- They will receive increasing levels of economic support and supplies of necessary equipment from their allies. They will focus their domestic industry on building weapons; while they will build some of the supporting vehicles they need, much of what they need will be imported. This parallels the USSR in WWII.
- Just like the USSR, they will find that their Political Officers are hindering combat efforts and will gradually decrease their powers.
- Like the USSR, they will continue to use quantity as a substitute for quality.
- Like the USSR, they will switch to a strategy of “trading space for time” after their upcoming offensive fails.
- On Ildoa:
- It is almost a given that their attempt to broker peace will fail.
- Their double-dealing will lead to them being sucked into the war in spite of their wishes otherwise. They will find their military and economic capabilities to be as limited as those of Italy in both world wars. (A known enemy is better than an uncertain ally and all that…)
- Given the “almost but not quite WWI” theme, and Being X’s machinations, it is more likely that Ildoa will go to war against the Empire, their notional alliance notwithstanding. The Empire does have a contingency plan for this and we are likely going to see a variant of the Battle of Caporetto with the subsequent collapse of the Ildoan army.
- On the “Southern Continent”:
- The Empire will seek to withdraw its expeditionary force but will instead find it necessary to send reinforcements due to the entry of Ildoa into the war.
- Nonetheless, the Empire likely will not attempt anything as ambitious as trying to seize the Suez Canal or conquering Egypt and using it as a base for invading India. They know, or should know, that they do not have the resources for such actions. (If they try anything like that, they must have concluded their war with the Federation.)
- On the Commonwealth:
- They will expand their commitments in North Africa first. Their objective is to secure North Africa with the view of then carrying out an offensive into Ildoa, likely starting by landing in Sicily and then advancing up the Italian peninsula. The Commonwealth PM (Churbull? Really?), like Churchill, sees that region as the enemy’s “soft underbelly”.
- Operations in the European theatre likely will consist mainly of air battles with the odd naval engagement and coastal raid. It is likely, but not certain, that the Commonwealth will at some point start a strategic bombing campaign intentionally targeting the Empire’s cities like what the RAF did in WWII.
- Given that the Empire has lost less of its fighting strength than Germany in WWII and still has a substantial fleet in existence, it is unlikely that the allies will attempt a variant of “Operation Overlord” anytime soon.
- At some point, the Commonwealth 2nd squadron will be defeated in the “Dakar Incident” (probably referring the city in Senegal). This might be after the Empire realised that their ciphers had been compromised but the context for this action is not known.
- On the Unified States:
- They are already preparing for war.
- The Empire is seeking to avoid a confrontation with the Unified States but the Unified States will nonetheless find some pretext to declare war.
- This entry into the war will prevent the Empire from defeating the Federation outright.
- On Kampfgruppe Salamander:
- They are currently deployed for counter-insurgency operations in the occupied Entente Alliance. They will be redeployed to the Eastern front once, or shortly after, the Federation begins its offensive.
- On the insurgency in the Entente:
- Likely, the joint Commonwealth-Federation force would also be recalled due to them being needed for the fighting in the Federation. This probably will be around the same time Kampfgruppe Salamander is recalled. The locals will not be sad to see them go.
Guesses on the long-term:
- It is known that the Empire would lose the war but it is not yet stated how and it is unclear what the Empire will look like post-war.
- It is my hope that Carlo Zen does not go down the route of the Empire making one last all-out offensive push to convince its enemies that defeating the Empire outright would be too costly and then sue for peace. These are the reasons:
- 1.) Historically, all such offensives have one thing in common: They fail.
- 2.) If you are strong enough to carry out such an offensive and succeed, you are still strong enough that you would not need to carry out such a risky move to begin with. You are still too strong for your enemies to defeat outright (or at least not without inordinate cost) unless you do something stupid. And taking the risk of an all-out offensive qualifies as “doing something stupid”. (Note: The kind of all-out offensive I’m talking about here is very different from continuing to carry out offensive operations.)
- 3.) After such an offensive inevitably fails, your enemy will know that you no longer have the military resources to inflict an unacceptable degree of damage to them and will know that you have, or will soon, run out of reserves. This will make them more likely to demand an unconditional surrender.
- My guess as to what happens towards the end the war:
- The situation bogs down into a stalemate. The Empire is able to overcome the worst of its disadvantages in resources against its enemies but still is in a war it ultimately cannot win.
- The allies will find that, despite their economic and numerical advantages, they are still expending troops and equipment at an unsustainable rate, to the point where they probably cannot win the war outright either.
- Attempts by both sides to break the deadlock fail.
- My guess as to what triggers serious peace talks:
- This likely will occur as everyone approaches complete exhaustion, not before.
- What convinces everyone to agree to an armistice probably will be Tanya finally being able to prove the existence of Being X and proving that it was this entity’s actions that led to the war beginning in the first place.
- The Empire will agree to a conditional surrender:
- The Empire’s greatest saving grace here is that they did not start the war. The people publicly blamed for starting the war will be the leadership of the Entente Alliance. The war expanding will be blamed on strategic miscalculations on both sides.
- Allied armies were described as seizing Imperial army documents. This will be a cover story for the Empire providing evidence for the existence of Being X and providing related documents.
- While the Empire will make significant concessions on paper, the Empire will only pay, at most, token reparations. The Empire will make “territorial concessions” that merely amount to the return to the “status quo ante bellum” (i.e. the situation before the war began).
- Note: If the Empire did surrender unconditionally, the best Tanya could hope for is to live in hiding or under a false identity for the rest of her life. She would not be erased from history, as happened. She would instead carry a label like “The Butcher of Arene” and would live the rest of her life hunted as a war criminal if she wasn’t already executed as one. Her involvement in the events around Arene would be hard to hide and she would be subject to a “victor’s justice”. After all, the Republic’s citizens and Arene’s survivors would be out for blood. (The fact that the destruction of Arene was not a war crime would be conveniently ignored.)
- All details regarding Tanya, the 203rd and Being X are heavily classified by all sides:
- This is part of the peace agreement.
- The closing stages of the war involves all sides taking some sort of action against Being X resulting in the defeat/departure of that entity. The 203rd is likely heavily involved in this, thus the need for their existence to be made secret.
- General agreement is that disclosing the existence of Being X and the fact that Being X was influencing events is counter-productive; that entity either no longer exists or is no longer able to influence events by the war’s official end.
- As regards to Tanya:
- Her continued rise the Imperial army is guaranteed. She will be commanding steadily larger formations as time progresses though she still would be pulled away for special operations from time to time.
- We are going to see her direct involvement in battle become less and less frequent. Her assignment to special operations would also become progressively less frequent due to her abilities as a field commander. She would only be assigned to commando-type operations for very high-risk/high-reward type situations and only if no one else can do the job.
- It is only when she has advanced sufficiently in rank that she can start directing the Empire’s overall strategy and policies. At present, she does have the ear of key officers in the general staff but that alone will not allow her to make strategic-level decisions or influence government policy.
- It is only when she reaches that point that she can act to bring some sort of conclusion to this war.
- She is more likely to be promoted, due to her achievements, to the point where she can start making direct recommendations to the Imperial government and Imperial high command. While it is possible that she will carry out, or be a key figure in a military coup, the current trajectory of the war makes it unlikely that things will get so bad that she will feel the need to resort to that.
- Note: Despite her personal beliefs, she could still decide that being part of a military coup is the most rational or least harmful way forward. This is an unfortunate part of the human condition. After all, Napoleon did not start out intending to be Emperor although he was more than willing to avail himself of the opportunities that presented themselves. Given the similarities in drive and ambition between Tanya and Napoleon, she could find herself in similar situations and she would not be shy about exploiting them.
- Tanya likely does depart the scene at the war’s end. Likely she will do so in the context of defeating Being X.
If anyone actually read this, thanks for reading. Of course, I expect most to all of my predictions to be wrong but I had fun writing this.
by Marcus LiBrizzi from Reconstruction Website
| ||The vampire, an archetypal figure who pops up in many myths from around the world, is most familiar to Western audiences in the form Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Anne Rice’s Lestat - aristocratic bloodsucking immortals of unholy origin. In more paranoid circles, vampires have been re-imagined as a race of alien beings called the Anunnaki, who have traveled from beyond to control and colonize the planet Earth (in fact, they’ve been in control for quite a while now). Looking at the conspiracy theories of underground celebrity David Icke, Marcus LiBrizzi offers his own theory about the meaning of these horrific beings for a world caught in the grip of a grand economic reorganization. Linking these myths to the realities of transnational capital and the Network Society, LiBrizzi is able to craft his own compelling narrative about the horrors of the New World Order. || |
| || || |
The latest incarnation of the vampire - in the conspiracy theories of David Icke
- reveals the critical, revolutionary heart of the vampire legend. Discourse on the vampire appears above all to provide a structure of dissent, a metaphorical means of representing and soliciting critiques of the social order. The Anunnaki
form of the vampire - in its immersion in the constellation of contemporary conspiracy theories, in its reflection on global capitalism, and in its blurring of historical and fictional narratives - has moved this structure of dissent from the cloak of darkness to the light of day. <2>
Considered by some to be the reigning conspiracy theorist in the US, David Icke
(who is British) formulates his theories of a worldwide, age-old conspiracy around an extraterrestrial race of beings
called the Anunnaki. Self-styled the "most controversial author and speaker in the world," David Icke has been subject to much ridicule but has nonetheless become an industry, publishing eleven books, producing video and audiotapes, embarking on a worldwide lecture circuit, and creating a website that allegedly attracts 10,000 visitors a day (Canadian Par. 13).
A former soccer player from a working-class family, Icke
became a household name in the UK as a national sports and news reporter for the BBC and as the spokesperson for the Green Party ("About" Par. 7-8). Starting a full-time writing career in the early 1990s, Icke began with New Age inspired works like Truth Vibrations
(1991), which combines accounts of his self transformation with psychically-imparted warnings on the imminent destruction of the earth, from there moving towards conventional conspiracy theories, and finally, beginning with his 1999 book The Biggest Secret
, focusing his conspiracy theories around the Anunnaki
and their nefarious involvement in human history. <3>
, whose name is Sumerian, meaning "those who from Heaven to Earth Came"
(Icke 5), refer to a reptilian race
that originated from the legendary planet known as Nibiru
), or the place of the crossing, which has a 3,600 year elliptical orbit that takes it between Jupiter and Mars and then out into space (5). For the past 450,000 years, according to Icke
, the Anunnaki have been ruling earth in different guises and from different dimensions. Through genetic engineering, the Anunnaki have manipulated the evolution of humans as a slave race. "The Anunnaki
created bloodlines to rule humanity on their behalf," he writes, "and these … are the families still in control of the world to this day" (9). The interbreeding of the rich and powerful (primarily, for Icke
, the European aristocracy
and the Eastern Establishment of the US) is not done for reasons of snobbery but rather, "to hold a genetic structure that gives them certain abilities, especially the ability to ’shape-shift’ and manifest in other forms" (9). Working with these crossbreeds are full-blooded Anunnaki
, some physically present on earth, others influencing individuals and events psychically from what Icke
calls "the lower fourth dimension
" (25). Forming a "Brotherhood
" or secret society network
, the Anunnaki
have effectively "hijacked the planet" (46). <4>
The recurring motif in the discourse on the Anunnaki is vampirism. In fact, so strong is this component in their depiction that it’s safe to say that Icke
’s work represents one of the most recent developments in the discourse of the vampire. "While vampire beliefs are varied," writes James Craig Holte
, "certain elements of the vampire myth are consistent. The most important are the inability to experience death, the importance of blood, and the sexual connection between vampire and victim" (246). Other structural similarities between the traditional vampire and the Anunnaki include shape-shifting
, and links to secret societies
. After establishing the Anunnaki
as a manifestation of the vampire, we’ll unpack the implications of this figure, using the tools of a Marxist critical practice. <5>
, like traditional vampires, enjoy eternal or extenuated life spans. Icke
claims that, "the fourth dimensional reptilians wear their human bodies like a genetic overcoat and when one body dies the same reptilian ’moves house’ to another body and continues the Agenda into another generation" (46). One type of creature Icke
describes is a reptilian "inside" a human physical body; "it seems that … the Anunnaki need to occupy a very reptilian dominated genetic stream to do this, hence certain bloodlines always end up in the positions of power. Other less pure crossbreed human-reptilians are those bodies which are possessed by a reptilian consciousness from the fourth dimension and these are people who psychics see as essentially human, but ’overshadowed’ by a reptilian" (46). Crossbreeding to infuse reptilian genetics into human bloodlines, the Anunnaki gain the means to defy death, as we conceive it. <6>
In respect to blood drinking, Icke
is very clear: The Anunnaki
drink blood, which they need in order to exist in this dimension and hold a human form (288). Embedded in this need lies another parallel between the Anunnaki and the figure of the vampire - the power to shape-shift (from reptilian to human form for the Anunnaki, and usually from vampire form to that of bat or even mist for the traditional vampire). But the Anunnaki also feed off fear
, and other negative emotions
. Thus, while blood is needed as a vital life force, the Anunnaki
are also addicted to "adrenalchrome," a hormone released in the human body during periods of extreme terror (290, 331). Rather than sucking the blood directly from the necks of their victims, the Anunnaki apparently slash the throats of their victims from left to right and consume the blood out of goblets (303). Icke
claims that the origin of the vampire stories are the blood drinking and "energy sucking" rituals of the Anunnaki (26). "In India," he writes, "it was called soma and in Greece it was ambrosia, some researchers suggest. This was said to be the nectar of the gods and it was - the reptilian gods
who are genetic blood drinkers" (288). <7>
In the sexual connection between slayer and victim, the Anunnaki also share another similarity with the traditional vampire. However, depictions of the Anunnaki
contain none of the erotic allure and seductiveness that distinguish many vampire texts. Instead, the sexual bond between the Anunnaki
and their victims is characterized by violence - rape, murder, and Satanic ritual. "Satanism at its core is about the manipulation and theft of another person’s energy and consciousness," writes Icke
, who states that "sex is so common in Satanic ritual because at the moment of orgasm, the body explodes with energy which the Satanists and the reptiles can capture and absorb" (295). For Icke
, of course, the demons honored or appeased by satanic sex rituals are none other than the reptilian Anunnaki (34). Sex is also a fundamental tool of the Anunnaki mind control program
and, more prosaically, it figures prominently as a means of blackmail. The picture that emerges is one involving vast networks of sexual abuse and ritual murder - graphic accounts of satanic practices at the playgrounds for world leaders, such as the Bohemian Grove
, a 2,700 acre compound north of San Francisco - mass graves for victims drained of their blood and libidinal energies - and the cultivation of sexual crimes to create an energy field that nourishes these rapacious ETs. <8>
There are other shared traits between the traditional vampire and the Anunnaki
, for example, the role of secret societies
. One of Icke
’s chief contributions to the discourse on the vampire lies in his immersion of this figure into a vast web of clandestine organizations, from ancient mystery schools and cults like the Brotherhood of the Snake
to the Knights Templar and the Masonic Order, from global entities like the UN
, the Trilateral Commission
, and the Council on Foreign Relations
to drug cartels, satanic churches, and the Black Nobility
. A keystone in this architecture of conspiracy is the Order of Draco
, which conjures up the most famous of all vampires - Count Dracula - and underscores his demonic, draconian, and reptilian associations. "According to Laurence Gardner, the name Dracula
means ’Son of Dracul’ and was inspired by Prince Vlad III of Transylvania-Wallachia, a chancellor of the Court of the Dragon in the 15th century. This prince’s father was called Dracul within the Court" (56). In their network of secret societies, of which the Order of Draco
is but a single manifestation, the Anunnaki
highlight the conspiratorial dimension of all vampires. Finally, the Anunnaki share with the traditional vampire the capacity to hypnotize: Icke
writes that reptilian bloodlines, "have the ability to produce an extremely powerful hypnotic stare, just like a snake hypnotizing its prey and this is the origin of giving someone the ’evil eye’" (42). <9>
Icke’s paradigm displays more than the vitality, persistence, and adaptive qualities of the vampire legend. His theories reveal the dissident energies contained already in the vampire legacy. <10>
To begin with, Icke
’s work represents a major fusion of the vampire cult and the field of conspiracy theories. Richard Hofstadter
, in his famous essay "The Paranoid Style in American Politics
" (1963) claims that the, "distinguishing thing about the paranoid style is not that its exponents see conspiracies or plots here and there in history, but that they regard a ’vast’ … conspiracy as the motive force in historical events. History is a conspiracy" (29). Conspiracies, even when they’re not construed as vast, over-arching plots, however, have an internal, integrative logic. In other words, there is a momentum in conspiracy theories to pull in all other theories, and finally to arrive at a state in which everything is connected. Part of Icke
’s popularity lies in his ability to integrate most contemporary American conspiracy theories into one over-arching framework. Situated squarely in the center of this design is the ancient figure of the vampire. Thus, the vampire (or, more specifically, the Anunnaki Vampire) has colonized the field of conspiracy theories - government-sponsored alien cover-ups, the New World Order
, suspicious deaths, the secret government
, suppressed research, the intrigues of the CIA
, and the list goes on indefinitely. <11>
From a Marxist perspective, of course, this development is more than just a formal or aesthetic innovation, for many of the conspiracy theories now circulating in the cultural medium of the US contain, at their core, critical, dissenting, and rebellious points of view (encompassing both extreme right and left) that are articulated in opposition to the social, political, and cultural status quo. While Hofstadter
claims that the US has no monopoly on conspiracism, other scholars like Peter Knight
hold that conspiracy theories hold an indispensable place in American ideology formation, and that current, "conspiracy theories can be read in part as panicked responses to the increasing multiculturalism and globalization of the present" (5). Revolutionary or reactionary, however, these theories are inimical to the governing elite and represent a tradition of oppositional practice. As Knight
puts it, "conspiracy theory has become the lingua franca of a countercultural opposition that encompasses a vast spectrum of political thinking from the committed to the casual" (6-7). <12>
An initial difficulty in seeing the vampire as a symbol of the ruling class - capitalist or otherwise - lies in the diverse variations taken on by vampires in different places and times. As Brian Frost
puts it, "the vampire is a polymorphic phenomenon with a host of disparate guises to its credit" (1). Among the various legendary "guises" of the vampire inventoried by Frost
are spirit vampires, astral vampires, psychic vampires, animal vampires, and real-life vampires who are, "sadistic criminals … urged on by a physical craving for blood" (15). Complicating the picture is the fact that Bram Stoker
’s character of Count Dracula
, who for many encapsulates the aristocratic ethos of the vampire, "lacks precisely what makes a man ’noble’: servants. Dracula stoops to driving the carriage, cooking the meals, making the beds, cleaning the castle" (Moretti 90). Furthermore, in some of the earliest European vampire legends, the undead feed off the living members of their own families (Murgoci 18), which at first glance mitigates the social-class dynamic often conjured up in the image of aristocratic vampires draining the lifeblood of their locals. <13>
There is, nevertheless, a critical and even radical dimension to the figure of the vampire, who, as a parasite, circulates as a political metaphor. The word vampire
has from the start been used in oppositional literature as a symbol of an exploiting class, government, industry, or institution. A decade, "after the introduction of the word ’vampire’ in an English publication in 1732, (an account of the investigation of Arnold Paul
in Serbia) … a serious utilization of the vampire as a political metaphor occurred in Observations on the Revolution of 1688 (… published in 1741)"
which identified foreign investors as "’Vampires of the Publick’" (Melton 538).
Only "a few years later, in 1764, Voltaire, in his Philosophical Dictionary," refers to "vampires" as "’stock-jobbers, brokers, and men of business who sucked the blood of the people in broad daylight’" (538). <14>
But it was Marx
who first suggested that the vampire can be interpreted as a metaphor of capitalism and who also implied a method for this interpretation. In volume one of Capital (1867), he writes that, "capital is dead labour, which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labour, and lives the more, the more labour it sucks" (342). Extrapolating on this analogy, Franco Moretti
provides a reading of Bram Stoker’s Dracula
, writing, "If the vampire is a metaphor for capital, then Stoker’s vampire, who is of 1897, must be the capital of 1897" (92). Accordingly, Moretti
sees Count Dracula
as the expression or figure of monopoly capitalism, which, to the 19th century bourgeoisie, could not be recognized as an emerging force but only as a relic of the past displaced into the present (93). Whether or not one agrees with Moretti’s reading of the Count, it is his method that’s of most value. As Rob Latham
pus it, "Moretti stresses that, while the vampire is a perfect general image for the basic mechanism of capitalist development, individual vampire texts illuminate specifically the historical phases of capitalism in which they are produced" (129). <15>
Applying Moretti’s method
, we can perceive the Anunnaki
as metaphorical of the unique forms capitalism has taken by the 21st century. Certainly, Anunnaki vampires
embody the market for genetic engineering as well as space exploration. These dimensions, in fact, are projected back into the origins of Anunnaki control over earth and its resources: travel from another planet, interdimensional traffic, and a crossbreeding agenda coterminous with the evolution of the human race. Anunnaki vampires
also control finance, which was undergoing a tremendous transformation and development during the time when Icke was writing that, of all the spheres of Anunnaki domination, "the most important … in terms of control, is banking
Electronic banking, credit, and the demediation of stock exchange through on-line trading are some of the key elements in the recent development of the finance industry (Castells 152-53). But we can go deeper than this kind of analysis, and discover in the discourse on the Anunnaki
examples of remarkable changes, not in select markets, but rather in the very structure of the economy. <16>
In this, more significant sense, the Anunnaki are linked to present-day capitalism through their association with global control. Icke
consistently depicts these alien bloodsuckers as monopolizing world leadership positions in government, finance, religion, and the media. In this sense, Anunnaki vampires represent a demonized expression of the unique form capitalism has taken during the very period in which Icke’s theories were formulated, published, and popularized. The late 1990s issued in - for the first time in history - a global economy, defined by Manuel Castells
as, "an economy whose core components have the institutional, organizational, and technological capacity to work as a unit in real time, or in chosen time, on a planetary scale" (102). Thus, "this is a new brand of capitalism, technologically, organizationally, and institutionally distinct" (160-61). <17>
The forces spearheading this change derive in part from key industries, notably information technology - centering on the Internet - finance, and biotechnology (Castells
161). Other contributing factors in the formation of the global economy are government policies that restructured capitalism through laws deregulating and liberalizing economic activity (148). The global economy has, of course, catapulted the scale of capitalism; "for the first time in history the whole planet is capitalist or dependent on its connection to global capitalist networks" (160-61). However, as Castells
points out, the global economy, "is not a planetary economy … because it does not embrace all economic processes in the planet, it does not include all territories, and it does not include all people in its workings, although it does affect directly or indirectly the livelihood of all humankind" (132). Thus the global economy is significant, not only for it inclusivity, but also for its significant and shifting exclusions, marginalizations, and hidden bypasses fraught through its great grid or network of power relations. <18>
Anunnaki vampires are perfectly suited to, and a perfect representation of, a global economy in the scope of their engagement and their profile in emergent industries, but there are other ways as well. This is because their secret agenda has always already been the creation of a one-world government - a New World Order
- bypassing nations and creating a system or web from which there is no escape. The New World Order
figures prominently in conspiracy theories and in literature such as Aldous Huxley
’s Brave New World
(1932) and George Orwell
’s Nineteen Eighty-Four
(1949). But during the millenium and start of the 21st century, demonstrations against globalism have been on the rise, responding to rapid developments in transnationalism.
Another aspect of the Anunnaki relevant here is their multicultural image
. The Anunnaki
have been written retroactively into all mythological systems, making them true transnationals. For example, they people the pages of the Indian Vedas, Babylonian myths, as well as the books of the Bible, and they are at the heart of ancient snake-worshipping cults
worldwide. Moreover, they are literally seeded into the human genome through the Anunnaki engineering of the race, interbreeding alien genetics into all peoples, symbolized, for example in Genesis
, as the saliva Jehovah
mixes with clay to form the first man. <19>
Not surprisingly, Anunnaki narratives
have a lot to say in terms of the location, construction, and commodification of the self. Unlike traditional vampires who feed solely off a victim’s blood or soul, the Anunnaki
thrive off of negative energies such as fear and aggression. These ETs
drain individuals of their sense of wellbeing through the manipulation and absorption of libidinal energies and - ultimately - the theft of consciousness and agency. On the one hand, the location of the self that the Anunnaki attack seems closely linked to consumerist notions. For example, New Age self-actualization products as well as the market for energy drinks - even caffeine-enhanced water - not to mention designer drugs - are only a few of the new industries catering profitably to the very malady Icke
derives from Anunnaki domination
And, of course, Icke
’s works themselves represent a (profitable) venture in a multi-million dollar market for conspiracy theories in American popular culture. On the other hand, discourse on the Anunnaki is not necessarily complicit with the capitalist system that produces such effects. A current line of cultural theory, "has alleged that the modalities of consumer culture - and the forms of subjectivity they enable - do not necessarily integrate seamlessly into the capitalist society which has mobilized them but may instead be potentially subversive of its purposes" (Latham 132). The consumption of Icke
’s works - in fact, the growing market for conspiracism in the US - would seem to be a case in point here, disseminating and perpetuating an oppositional worldview, a "hermeneutics of suspicion," while contributing to the accumulation of capital. <20>
Another revealing dimension of Anunnaki vampires lies in their collective depiction; unlike many accounts of the vampire, Icke
’s theories do not revolve around distinct Anunnaki individuals but rather focuses on them as a class or group; in this sense the Anunnaki
do not convey the same individualistic focus so often encountered in vampire narratives. Even Anunnaki forms of consciousness
are best described as a "groupthink" mentality. On this, Icke
writes that, "the reptilians seek … to influence everyone by stimulating the behavioral patterns of the reptile region of the brain: hierarchical thinking aggression conflict division lack of compassion a need for ritual" (46) Symbolic of contemporary capitalism, this collective depiction of the Anunnaki
reflects the rise of networks, and their decentering development, which have instrumentally caused - and are themselves produced by - the new global economy. The network supersedes the individual as the subject of the vampire narrative. Here Castells
, speaking on the network society of global economics, is instructive: "For the first time in history, the basic unit of economic organization is not a subject, be it individual (such as the entrepreneur …) or collective (such as the capitalist class, the corporation, the state)" (214). Instead, "the unit is the network, made up of a variety of subjects and organizations, relentlessly modified as networks adapt" (214). <21>
In their networked, post-subjective form of the vampire, the Anunnaki
are metaphorical of the precise trajectory assumed by contemporary capitalism. Network is the same term Icke
uses to describe the reptilian base of operations today, writing, "after thousands of years of evolution, the reptilian network is now a vast and often unfathomable web of interconnecting secret societies, banks, businesses, political parties, security agencies, media owners, and so on" (259). Discourse on the Anunnaki vampire
is in step with broader trends in American conspiracy theories, themselves responses to ideological crises associated with post-modernism and the growth of a network society. Writing on conspiracy theories in the postwar US, Timothy Melley
points out that, "the term ’conspiracy
’ rarely signifies a small, secret plot any more. Instead, it frequently refers to the workings of a large organization, technology, or system, a powerful and obscure entity so dispersed that it is the very antithesis of the traditional conspiracy" (59). Melley
argues that conspiracy theories in the US have historically been an ideological means of validating individualism. And this new, impersonal breed of conspiracism reflects anxiety over the loss of individuality and agency and stands as both "an acknowledgment, and rejection, of postmodern subjectivity
" (65). <22>
Perhaps most revealing of all is the dissolution of the boundary between fantasy and reality - the presentation of the vampire as an historical agent rather than a fictional character. Deeply ironic and radical, this slippage of fact and fantasy drives the vampire legacy much closer to its critical core. If the traditional vampire articulates dissent, it also distorts the representation of real relations, which are displaced into the realm of the imaginary. In the form of the Anunnaki,
however, vampires have infiltrated the field of conspiracy theories, spilling from the page onto the pavement, as it were. Moving from metaphor to a kind of mimesis of the grotesque, the vampire legacy shape-shifts - its implicit charge evolving into an explosive critique. Works Cited
"About David Icke, the Man, His Philosophy, and His Work." N.d. Online. Internet. 3 January 2003. Available http.//davidicke.com/icke/index1a.html
Canadian Association for Free Expression. David Icke’s Telling the Truth Archives: Conspiracies, CoverUps, Truths, Facts, Oddities, Research: "Dante’s Infernal Guide to Human Rights and Wrongs
Castells, Manuel. The Rise of the Network Society
. 2nd ed. Vol. 1. Oxford: Blackwell, 2000.
Frost, Brian J. The Monster with a Thousand Faces: Guises of the Vampire in Myth and Literature
. Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green State U Popular P, 1989.
Hofstadter, Richard. "The Paranoid Style in American Politics
." In The Paranoid Style in American Politics and Other Essays. 1963. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1996.
Holte, James Craig. "The Vampire
." Malcolm South, ed. Mythical and Fabulous Creatures: A Source Book and Research Guide. New York: Greenwood, 1987. 243-64.
Icke, David. The Biggest Secret: The Book That Will Change the World
. Scottsdale, AZ: Bridge of Love, 1999.
Knight, Peter. "Introduction: A Nation of Conspiracy Theorists
." In Conspiracy Nation: The Politics of Paranoia in Postwar America. Ed. Peter Knight. New York: New York UP, 2002. 1-17.
Latham, Rob. "Consuming Youth: The Lost Boys Cruise Mallworld
." Blood Read: The Vampire as Metaphor in Contemporary Culture. Joan Gordon and Veronica Hollinger, eds. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 1997. 129-47.
Marx, Karl. Capital. Vol. 1. 1867. Harmondworth, UK: Penguin, 1976.
Melley, Timothy. "Agency Panic and the Culture of Conspiracy
." In Conspiracy Nation: The Politics of Paranoia in Postwar America. Ed. Peter Knight. New York: New York UP, 2002. 57-81.
Melton, J. Gordon. The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead
. Detroit: Visible Ink, 1999.
Moretti, Franco. "The Dialectic of Fear
." Signs Taken for Wonders: Essays in the Sociology of Literary Forms. 1983. New York: Verso, 1997. 83-108.
Murgoci, Agnes. "The Vampire in Roumania
." Alan Dundes, ed. The Vampire: A Casebook. Madison: U of Wisconsin P, 1998. 12-34.
Dear all, Some time ago I came across an interview of an investor from Mumbai whose rise has been meteoric. I’m not certain if I’m allowed to mention details of the investor. Hence, let’s address the veteran investor as Mr.S. submitted by
His success story is inspiring but the obstacles he faced are moving. Despite those impediments he never gave up. He vanquished those roadblocks and emerged victorious. The success story is an outcome of a concoction of grit, determination, dedication, integrity. The interview was conducted by Mr. Puneet Khurana from Stoic Investing. I’ve made notes of the 120 minutes interview. If I err my apologies.
The Beginning: At the outset of the interview Mr. S declared that he didn’t complete his graduation course . He abandoned the Bachelor’s of Science course. However, he had a keen interest in economics and statistics.
Iron and steel broking was his family business. Post college he joined the family wholesale brokerage business. His responsibility as a broker involved visiting the train yard and selecting defective steel units, pieces that could fetch a decent amount in the market and acting as a liaison between the buyer and the seller.
However, the yard was later shifted to a location far away from his home. The increased distance prevented him from visiting the yard and selecting good quality steel samples.
Per him success in the brokerage business is dependent on honesty, integrity. Ever since he left college he had developed an affinity for equity Investing.
He was an avid reader. He would collect new issue forms. New issue forms are today called Red Herring Prospectuses. He would preserve all the forms.
It was difficult for him to manage his passion for equity and the iron and steel brokerage business simultaneously. It dawned on him that there wasn’t enough money to be made in the metal brokerage business. It helped him earn enough money to survive. But, not enough to thrive.
It was either equity or metal broking. Finally, he took the difficult decision of moving to equity full time. He was enamoured by the tremendous growth stories of ACC, HUL, etc. This happened more than 3 decades back.
The Struggle in Equity Markets: The veteran investor, today, has no qualms in accepting how difficult the first 20 years in equity were for him.
His decision to switch to investing full time was looked down open. The stock market was considered a speculators’ den. Disparaging remarks were often passed for the market. But, Mr. S didn’t give up. He firmly believed that the market is always right.
His dream, his mission in life was to find multi baggers. Per him, stocks that are in the limelight, that are well discovered can seldom become megabaggers. He is a staunch believer in the contribution of luck to a person’s success.
Between 30 years ago and today, his wealth has multiplied manifold. His quality of work has remained the same. But, what changed was his luck. In the expert investor’s opinion, there are various factors that determine a person’s success. The important one being luck, good fortune.
But, most importantly, ALWAYS TRY HARD. ALWAYS GIVE IT YOUR BEST. YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN FATE FAVOURS US. Finally, fate smiled at him in the early 2000s. Not because of the dotcom boom. But, before I get to the life defining success he achieved I’d like to share the difficulties he faced on the path to victory.
His 10 year old son wanted a bicycle. On enquiry it emerged that the cycle costed Rs. 1600. It may seem like a small amount today but in those days he didn’t possess it. He resolved he would gift his son a cycle.
Expenses on all non essentials were reduced and finally, after 18 months of toil, enough money had been saved to acquire a bicycle. Survival was a struggle. In the meanwhile he worked at the garment business of an acquaintance. The job didn’t pay much but it was warranted to supplement earnings. Finally, after a year, he left the job because the equity bug wouldn’t leave him.
Despite the laborious life he never abandoned his desire to learn, to acquire knowledge. He had been a big collector of annual reports. He wanted to buy financial magazines. But, they were expensive. Hence, he would work hard to secure a magazine that was reasonably priced. He believed that newspapers and magazines are the cheapest yet the most reliable sources of information.
One day, almost 2 decades ago, he was reading a financial magazine. He was impressed by the organised retailing industry.
Captivated by the retailing sector, in 2000, he invested in shares of Pantaloons for Rs 12 apiece. The major competitor in organised retail was Shopper’s Stop. Shopper’s Stop was attracting millions in PE money. Hence, he theorised that Pantaloons would succeed as retailing would migrate from the unorganised to the organised sector.
After repeated attempts he was able to get a meeting with Mr. Kishor Biyani whose vision was organised retail in India. I must reiterate that Mr. S still hadn’t achieved extraordinary success. But, he was trying.
Pantaloons’ first store was at Crossroad 1. One day, Mr S convinced his wife to visit a Pantaloons store to experience modern retail. His wife, however, wasn’t willing to visit the store since they didn’t possess the wherewithal to shop at such stores.
They had just enough money to commute via public transport to and from the store. However, he convinced her to visit the store and just have a look at the new face of Indian retail. He was trying the Peter Lynch investing philosophy.
His wife was mighty impressed by the extensive range of clothes, outfits offered. Also, the experience of shopping in an air conditioned enclosure was remarkable. He was convinced this form of retail would do well. It was only a question of when.
His patience paid off. From his investment in the year 2000 for Rs 12, the stock appreciated to Rs. 2500 in 3-4 years. A return of almost 20000% in 4 years. Truly incredible.
His next investment was in a company called SSI. He invested a significant portion of his portfolio in SSI. He still wasn’t financially secure. But, was patient, calm. He had decent unrealised gains.
But, past success in investing emboldened him to try his hand at trading. His gains in SSI were eroded by trading in a now famous fertiliser company. He sold his entire holdings in SSI at X and the stock appreciated to 35X.
He was subsidising his loss of speculation by booking his profits in tech companies. Not a very good strategy, in hindsight. And, he continued to speculate because there was a desperation to make big money. He still hadn’t made big money and he was exhausting his savings for day to day expenses.
In this tumultuous period he never gave up learning. He worshipped newspapers and annual reports.
In 2000, when everyone was focused on IT stocks he focused his concentration on a stock called Elecon Engineering. His investment was based on the capex cycle over the next few years. But, since hardly anyone was paying attention to stocks other than IT he got a wonderful entry price of Rs 27.
Along with Elecon he invested in Dynamatic Technologies at Rs. 27. He was able to detect the trend before anyone else. When market trend aligns with our strategy massive wealth is created.
And, he attributes it to luck if such a favourable alignment occurs. He was way ahead of the trend. His patience was tested. But, fruits of patience were sweet.
In 4-5 years he sold his holding in Elecon at Rs.4000.
One master tip- He never looks at his cost of acquisition. It leads to anchoring to the cost price. He looks at the current price and assesses the situation. If investment thesis is valid he holds. Else exits the stock.
He chose to be a contrarian and invested in leaders in the struggling sector. When the sectoral outlook improved gains were massive.
Criteria for investment : 1)Which are the emerging sectors?
2)Which sector can have positive trend in the market?
3)Most important is the price of entry and patience.
4)Good entry price gives margin of safety.
5)Look at shareholding pattern.
6)If mutual funds, FIIs have holdings,the stock is dissected enough, it is unlikely to be a megabagger.
7)Never place target on selling price.
8)Always set review prices.
9)If review target is achieved, review stock fundamentals. If thesis is still valid hold. Else, sell.
8)Annual Report is the Holy book.
9)All persons have strengths and weaknesses.
10)Find your strengths and focus on it. Refine it.
11)Always be a student. Keep learning. The day you stop learning the downfall commences.
12)Knowledge is supreme.
13)More than what to do, what not to do is more important.
14)Be an eternal optimist.
15)Don’t give up. Have faith.
16)Finally, stay invested in equities and trust the growth story of India.
And, the investor finally did make it big. He did very well for himself and achieved his dream of being an extraordinary success by starting from scratch.
It’s a true success story. The aforementioned investor, now in his late 50s, may not garner media attention. But, it’s a story that’s inspiring, motivating and reassuring that every person possesses the ability to succeed.
If I’ve erred in any part my genuine apologies. Many thanks
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