The Napoleon's Legacy Universe contains many instances of parallelism or similarity with real life events. These include countries being placed in situations that mirror the situations of other countries in our own world, historical persons in different situations from reality still doing things which they are famous for - or doing things similar to things they are famous for - in real life, and fictional characters who serve analogous roles to historical persons in the altered setting.
Note: NLU = Napoleon's Legacy Universe, the abbreviated name of the alternate history timeline. IRL = In Real Life, i.e. in real history.
United States of America as [Nazi] Germany - All manner of parallels exist between the NLU America and Nazi Germany, or Germany in general, from their uniforms, to their Keynesian Mixed Economy, to their Propaganda and Populist Politics. Although the USA is not nearly as dictatorial or evil, it is still militant, self-righteous, expansionistic and highly self-promoting, struggling to acquire a "Place in the Sun" with Japan against the established powers, much like Germany from 1871-1945. And although its heads-of-state and legislature are elected by popular vote, it is essentially a police state.
The French Century (France as Britain and Britain as France) - Britain's uncontested power during the 19th Century of our world is paralleled by France's uncontested dominance during the 19th century of the NLU Timeline. Like Britain in the 20th Century, it remains a respected and self-important global power primarily through diplomacy, being well past its nadir financially and militarily. The Great War / WWI was a severe blow to its power, but the effects of this are not especially apparent at the time of the series's beginning and this fact is generally only known among the more well-informed characters. Meanwhile, Britain - like France in 1940 in real life - was crushed by an ascendant power (USA in the NLU) and essentially ruined as a major player on the world stage. Like the Fall of France, this comes as a shock to everyone but the victors (the Americans) and catapaults the USA to a position of global superpower-dom pretty much overnight (although in the case of the USA, unlike with Nazi Germany, the USA was already an economic powerhouse, but regarded as second- or third-rate militarily & diplomatically).
Clash of Ideologies - Like the Cold War / post-WW2 period in our own universe, the main political frictions revolve around ideologies. However, rather than being Democracy vs Communism, like IRL, it is more autocracy vs totalitarianism. The Axis (i.e. France, USA, Japan, the "good guys" - analogous to the Allies / NATO) is composed primarily of Constitutional Monarchies with permitted civil freedoms and at least some pretenses of democracy. The Coalition (Russia, Britain, Ottoman Empire) is composed of much more overtly authoritarian regimes or Absolute Monarchies (Britain having become a Fascist dictatorship after being defeated by the USA). Similarly, Democracy in the NLU acts much like Fascism in real life; by the time of the book's beginning, Democracy as an ideology is "on the way out". The only major power that remains de jure democratic is the United States, and it has adopted many Fascist characteristics. France & Japan are both relatively free and democratic, but are both Constitutional Monarchies.
Russian Empire as Stalin's USSR - Although the Bolshevik Revolution failed in this timeline (because Russia, having an enemy in the form of Bonaparte-led Imperial France to contend with, did not become was behind or as backwards by the turn of the 19th century as it did in real life), Russia has still evolved into a highly-centralized, totalitarian police state with a command economy and an enforced ideological orthodoxy. It is 'Stalinist' in every sense except being Communist. Furthermore, because the famines that pushed Collectivized Farming, the Red Terror, the protracted civil war and the German Invasion never happened, Russia is considerably more powerful than it was in reality - a one-nation power bloc able to challenge France, Japan, the United States and their minor allies simultaneously.
Parallels in NamesEdit
These parallels are especially prominent in regards to the overarching USA-Germany symmatry.
- Operation Redbeard - the name for the USA's invasion of Russian Alaska is an English translation of Barbarossa, the codename for Nazi Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union. This is true of all the other major US military operations referenced in the book, too.
- Operation Whitewash - The initial "Island Hopping" campaign which intiated the Anglo-American War, conducted by the USA to capture all of Britain's remaining New World territories (Canada having already been de facto part of the United States since the Great War). IRL, Nazi Germany's invasion of Poland - which kicked off the Second World War.
- Operation Greenhouse - the rapid invasion and occupation / liberation of Ireland in preparation for the invasion of Great Britain itself. "Fall Grün", Case Green, was the name of several successive IRL German plans during WW2, none of which were put into action. These included an invasion of Czechoslovakia in the event that Hitler's diplomacy failed (which it didn't), an invasion of Switzerland and a planned invasion of Ireland (from which the parallel is derived).
- Operation Wabash - seizure of surrounding minor islands in conjunction with Greenhouse as a prelude to the invasion of Great Britain. Parallels the Nazi occupation of Norway / Denmark, an operation named after the River Weser ("Unternehmen Weserübung"). The "Wabash" is a river in the United States.
- Operation Yellowstone - Primarily followup campaign to Whitewash to invade Great Britain itself through Ireland. The 1940 German invasion of France was called "Fall Gelb", Case Yellow, IRL.
- Operation Coca-Cola - failed US operation during the Alaska Campaign to smash a Russian-held bulge in their lines, serves as a parallel of the IRL Battle of Kursk on the Eastern Front (called "Operation Citadel" by the Germans).
- Massachusetts Aircraft Works - U.S. Aviation / Aircraft-manufacturing company, obvious parallel of Nazi Germany's Messerschmitt Flugzeug Worke (Messerschmitt Aircraft Works)
- "Vampire System" - Cutting-edge US Nightvision equipment, parallels the "Vampir" nightvision systems developed by Nazi Germany IRL
- Ghost Division - the U.S. Army's 11th Armored Division receives the same nickname as Rommel's 7. Panzer-Division for the same reasons; the parallel even goes so far as to have the commander of the 11th Armored be a fictional character named Erwin Morrel, a near-anagram of Rommel.
- The principle US transport aircraft is the C-134 Alligator, a tri-motor plane with one engine per wing plus an additional engine in the nose. This engine layout, and its nickname, Auntie Annie, are parallels of the WW2 German tri-engine Ju 52, called the "Auntie Ju". Unlike the Ju 52, however, the C-134 is not an old out-of-date design forced into continued use by necessity. It does, however, suffer from high rates of loss and short expected service life, like the Ju 52.
- U.S. troops (and to a lesser extent, civilians) frequently refer to the President as "the Boss". Although this is not an official title, it is widely used, even in the media. An obvious parallel on Hitler's title of Führer, meaning Leader, or - more closely, in fact - Soviet Dictator Joseph Stalin informally being called Vozhd ("Boss") IRL.
- The US's heavy tank destroyers, the M70s, are nicknamed "Beastkillers", like the heavy ISU-152 Soviet self-propelled guns IRL. The M70s, however, more closely resemble the German Elefant/Ferdinand tank destroyers or the U.S. T28 super-heavy assault guns.
- The official title of the French monarch, Emperor-King (l'Empereur-et-roi or just l'Empereur-roi), is a parallel of the British sovereign's title of King-Emperor. In this case, however, it refers to the dual capacity of the French sovereigns as Emperors of the French and Kings of Italy (in the case of Britain, it was for "King of Britain and the Dominions Beyond the Seas plus Emperor of India).
Parallels in Fictional CharactersEdit
Johnathan Alexander - Major Alexander is a parallel of many different famous German WWII-era "tank aces" such as Kurt Knispel, Otto Carius, Michael Wittmann & Johannes Bölter. He also bares a resemblance to ace Luftwaffe pilot Hans-ulrich Rüdel, being the son of a preacher (although Rüdel himself is a minor character of the NLU).
Vivian Grunwald - Vivian Grunwald serves as an analogue to many famous and powerful women of the 1950s & '60s, although she has no particular historical person she serves as a parallel to.
Neil Jacobs - perhaps most closely a parallel of Larry Allen Abshier, one of a handful of U.S. soldiers to defect to North Korea. The only reason Abshier is signalled out for being a particular parallel is because he and the character of Jacobs have the same rank - private - and both were born in Kentucky.
Charlotte Clariston - Clariston serves, in many respects, as an analogue to John F. Kennedy as he was in our own world (although JFK himself is of course a prominent NLU character). She is young, attractive and popular but has a controversial and checkered foreign policy record (the Alaska Invasion / Winter War being comparable to JFK's Bay of Pigs fiasco). Both her and JFK preside(d) over a young, idealistic and trusting America, and they both play prominent roles in the losing of that innocence (although unlike JFK, the event that ends said innocence is not Clariston's assassination). Clariston might also be compared with Marilyn Monroe, in so far as her developing a secret relationship with JFK (the two will eventually marry toward the end of the NLU writings). Comparisons to Barrack Obama are purely coincidental (or possibly subconscious on my part); I created the character of Clariston before Obama ever took office, or perhaps around the same time... I don't recall exactly.
Geoff Calvin - a parallel of my highschool Latin teacher. No, seriously, there was a running joke that he was a secret agent... so I made him into one (or more like a secret policeman, really, but close enough).
Georgy Mikhailovich Romanov - while not technically a fictional character, very little is known about the son of the brother of the last historical Russian Tsar (for obvious reasons) so Georgy was basically a blank slate for me to work with. He is the son of Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich Romanov (the brother to Tsar Nicholas II who, historically, refused to take the throne after Nicholas II's abdication, but succeeded him as Tsar in the NLU since the Bolshevik Revolution failed). Tsar George I, as he is known upon his ascension to the throne, is a parallel of the Soviet leadership in general during the Cold War of our history, but in particular Stalin. That is why, despite the fact that it is unlikely any of them would actually rise to any prominence if the USSR never came to exist, most of the prominent Russian government officials of the NLU were prominent Soviets in real life... for example, George I's chancellor is none other than Molotov... in order to reinforce the similarities between the Russian Empire of the NLU and Stalin's USSR during the early Cold War period IRL.