At first glance this is out of sequence, being an introductory post to the whole HoI game period, but in fact I did post this after, not before, the 1937 strategic summary. Presumably I was not inspired to write anything Norway-centric until Norway actually did something in the game. The exception is the Bible quote, which was in the first post of the thread; I repeat it here since the first post was otherwise filled with house rules and information for new players, and not narrative.
The intervention has failed: The plan has met the enemy, with the usual result. The uptime agents have failed to dominate Norway, have lost control of Scandinavia and regained it only after a generations-long guerrilla struggle. The agent of 1916, Kristin Susannesdatter, has fallen
in the failure of the Last Raid at Cuttack. The agent of 1891, Magnus Vidarsson, is a fringe force in Norwegian politics. The downtimers are left without uptime guidance – or interference – at least until 1941. Nor are they displeased that it should be so. Norway is wealthy, and growing more so; isolated from the troubles of Eurasia, and glad of it; untroubled by the passionate ethnic and nationalistic hatreds that roil the Old World, and who would have it otherwise?
The Secret Hird made a fundamental mistake: They thought their history, merely because it had actually happened,
was therefore a high probability. But societies of very high coercion do not often arise, and there is a reason for that. It is not that oppression breeds rebellion, but that oppression requires men to look other men in the eyes, and then smash the boot in their face. There are very few humans with enough self-discipline to straightforwardly declare that another man is an equal, and nonetheless force him to obey by whatever means necessary; a slave owner who does not believe in the inferiority of his chattels is a great rarity. The Ynglings of the new timeline are a ruling class, there is no doubt of that; the intervention has not failed on that score. But they are not a warrior aristocracy dedicated to enforcing their own absolute liberty – freedom which does not stop at other people’s nose – at the gladly-accepted price of everyone else’s oppression. That situation was a historical accident, a low probability arising from the actions of a few men made desperate by defeats in war, and then locked in through the familiar mechanism of “having the wolf by the ears”.
The warrior aristocracy is undesirable; much ink has been expended on their sins, and no more need be said. But as a ruling class in an industrial democracy, one could do worse than the Ynglings. The uptime cult of the Overmenneske, the deadly superman “with no more between himself and his naked will than a wolf” has been gentled and tamed by the alchemy of time and the wide-open spaces of the American continent. Now there is only a strong sense of personal responsibility and personal honour; of a duty to protect as well as a right to lead. The Norwegian economy is the freest in the world, and if it is not the largest measured by output of steel, still it supports the highest standard of living anywhere.
It would be a mistake to think, however, that the old Viking blood has gone soft, that a free market’s focus on the cars and clothes that people actually want, instead of tanks and uniforms, indicates decadence. Freedom – also the freedom to starve – breeds self-reliance and innovation; and the vast output of the civilian factories can soon be converted to war. The raiding spirit sleeps, perhaps; but it is there to be seen for those who know where to look: In the militancy of the National Labour Alliance; in the slashing doctrine of the Ynglinga Hird; in the slow preparations for orbital war at Dovre.
And on the prow of every ship of the Royal Norwegian Navy rides a dragon’s head.