Andrew Girle's Blog

Crime and Speculative Fiction Blooking

Great Wall of China and adding it to a SteamPunk scene

Posted by Andrew Girle on February 22, 2010

I recently watched a doco on the Great Wall of China, and being an erratic student of military history I had a blinding glimpse of the obvious.

It is not a wall at all.

It is a ROAD.

By putting a road through the most amazingly inaccessible terrain, any attackers are disrupted in their movement while the defenders of the wall can have reinforcements and supplies arrive rapidly and with little vulnerability to counterattack or ambush.

Now, how does this fit into steampunk I hear you ask?

My 1920’s Europa is a balkanised agglomeration of statelets that never were or should never have been. I am thinking that China could easily have avoided their own breakup (for any given value of the term ‘easy’) and civil war by means of a savage rebellion and re-orientation inwards in the late 19th century – say, somehow, that the Boxer Rebellion had been a success. And with the re-orientation came a refurbishment of the Wall, as a more up to date supply line and frontier.

Hmmmm

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