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StarryEyes
01-09-2014, 09:57 PM
I know this question isn't easy since the answer probably depends on the situation, but I would like to hear a few examples of different situations before deciding how I'm going to do this in my WIP. As I have absolutely no knowledge whatsoever on the subject, any help is appreciated.

Here's the background:

Imagine a place similar to Nazi Germany, where people get imprisoned for their political views. This place is also at war (with WWI-ish warfare). Eventually, the enemy gains power and marches on the capital city, where the political prison is situated, thus winning the war.

Question 1: how long would the enemy stay in the capital city?

Question 2: would the enemy free the political prisoners? If so, what would they do with them - look after them, execute them, something else?

Question 3: to what extent would the enemy have control of the city? Would locals be allowed to enter or leave?

Thanks!

WeaselFire
01-09-2014, 10:48 PM
All of that is up to you and the story. Berlin was occupied for 45 years or so by the Soviets. Kandahar, Baghdad, close to a decade. We still, to a certain extent, occupy many Pacific territories and parts of Japan. Israel has occupied Pakistan since Britain put them there.

Jeff

Siri Kirpal
01-09-2014, 10:55 PM
All of that is up to you and the story. Berlin was occupied for 45 years or so by the Soviets. Kandahar, Baghdad, close to a decade. We still, to a certain extent, occupy many Pacific territories and parts of Japan. Israel has occupied Pakistan since Britain put them there.

Jeff

Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Uh, WF, did you mean Palestine instead of Pakistan?

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

waylander
01-09-2014, 11:00 PM
As far as the political prisoners I would guess it would depend on whether the prisoenrs were potentially useful to the conquerors or shared an ideology with them. Those that might then they get to go free, those that would be just as much of a problem ....well.. fog of war and all that, they just disappeared.

Unless the conquerors are actually going to stay permanently and colonise then they have a vested interest in getting the locals back to work, getting trade flowing etc.

Telergic
01-09-2014, 11:02 PM
Consider the grand-strategic goals of the victors. Was it the Clausewitzian one of destroying the capability of the enemy to fight? Was there an intention to annex, or was it a war of defense that they wound up winning, with no previous goal of taking anything over? Do the victors have a rule of law? Is their military subordinary to their civil leaders? Were atrocities routine on either side? Was the war motivated by politics and ideology? Are there racial differences between the two sides? Are there traditional "rules of war" in both societies? There are so many questions to answer that a general response is really impossible.

So it seems to me the only sensible research you can do is to look for an historical situation that most closely parallels your fictional one. Just in WW II alone each of the combatant nations treated their different conquests, liberations, and occupations quite differently over time, much less across the various combatants.

melindamusil
01-09-2014, 11:34 PM
First thing to clarify: Remember, there is a HUGE difference between WWI warfare and WWII warfare. Based on your post, I'm assuming you are imagining a world with the political views of WWII but the military capacity of WWI.



Question 1: how long would the enemy stay in the capital city?

How long does the enemy need to stay in the capital city? They will stay there as long as it is advantageous for THEM to have the city, and/or as long as it is advantageous for their opponent/enemy to NOT have the city.

How long will the enemy have the resources to stay in the capital city? If it's a siege, there will come a time when the city runs out of food/water, and the enemy will not be able to convince the people to stay in the city with them.



Question 2: would the enemy free the political prisoners? If so, what would they do with them - look after them, execute them, something else?

Why are they political prisoners? If they became prisoners only because they are Jewish/Gypsy, etc., then there's no reason to not release them. If they became prisoners because they are supporting a third political view (like anarchism), or because they committed a serious crime (like murder), that's a different story.

If they're political prisoners because they support the same viewpoint as the invading group, it would be logical to release them. If they're prisoners because they committed a crime, they'll stay in prison or possibly be executed. But remember, if your group starts killing all the prisoners, they'll have to explain it to the people who are not in prison. If they're killing people who stole food to survive, they could very well have a riot on their hands.



Question 3: to what extent would the enemy have control of the city? Would locals be allowed to enter or leave?

Why did they invade the city? How much control do they need? The possibilities for this are so broad. Their presence could be as little as a token soldier at the gate of the city, to completely locked down and people not allowed to leave their homes.

You've got an interesting concept - the political viewpoint of WWII in the military of WWI - but that still leaves a lot of possibilities!

Once!
01-10-2014, 12:32 AM
It sounds like a premise which would benefit from some historical research. What happened to Berlin after WW2 ended? What happened to Paris when the Nazis took over? What happened to London when William won the battle of Hastings?

Different situations, different outcomes. Berlin was divided between East and West but quickly returned to German rule. Paris was controlled by Nazi Germany. William established a French court in London which lasted for hundreds of years.

If there is no right or wrong answer, it might depend on what you would like to happen in your city.

StarryEyes
01-10-2014, 01:24 AM
Thanks for your answers - really made me think about what I need to look into! I had no idea where to start my research so this has proved quite helpful in pointing me in the right direction.

I'll look into Paris under Nazi occupation, as that's quite similar to what happens in my story. The situation I have is that the invading force wants to conquer the other country.


Why are they political prisoners? If they became prisoners only because they are Jewish/Gypsy, etc., then there's no reason to not release them. If they became prisoners because they are supporting a third political view (like anarchism), or because they committed a serious crime (like murder), that's a different story.

If they're political prisoners because they support the same viewpoint as the invading group, it would be logical to release them. If they're prisoners because they committed a crime, they'll stay in prison or possibly be executed. But remember, if your group starts killing all the prisoners, they'll have to explain it to the people who are not in prison. If they're killing people who stole food to survive, they could very well have a riot on their hands.

Some of the prisoners are genetically different humans - basically, they have a different set of genes and the government is experimenting on them. It's a similar situation to Nazi experiments on twins, and therefore I assume the invaders would set these people free. The other prisoners are mostly rioters and revolutionaries who were pushing for a democracy. The invading force is an absolute monarchy... so I would assume they wouldn't want the prisoners around since their views are conflicting. Does that sound about right?

One of the prisoners (who is one of my MCs) is in prison for treason after repeatedly helping rioters escape the police, and gets tortured for information. I need my other MCs to find him after the war has ended and the city is occupied. Since he is weak from being tortured, would he be sent to a hospital? Or would the invaders just execute him on grounds that his political views conflicted with theirs?

melindamusil
01-10-2014, 02:39 AM
StarryEyes, I know this sounds like a broken record, but what does your story need? I can plausibly think up a scenario where your MC is released and taken to a hospital, I can plausibly think up a scenario where he is executed, and I can plausibly think up almost any scenario in between. But it's YOUR story.

I know quite a bit about WWI and WWII. The thing about war is that, there is no one answer. It's not "when x happens, then y happens". It's full of gray areas.

So would they execute your MC? Maybe. Maybe not. How will the non-military residents react if your MC is executed? What kind of information does the MC know that may be valuable to the invaders? How do the invaders feel about the value of human life in general? Feel free to PM me if you have more questions. This is a fascinating idea.

waylander
01-10-2014, 03:53 AM
One of the prisoners (who is one of my MCs) is in prison for treason after repeatedly helping rioters escape the police, and gets tortured for information. I need my other MCs to find him after the war has ended and the city is occupied. Since he is weak from being tortured, would he be sent to a hospital? Or would the invaders just execute him on grounds that his political views conflicted with theirs?

Do the invaders know what he is in prison for?
I could see it as quite possible for a small determined group of people to extract him from the prison before the invaders get themselves organised and take charge of it.

GradyHendrix
01-14-2014, 07:36 PM
One of the things you may want to look at is the American occupation of Baghdad. All the questions you asked are answered there, but answered in ways motivated by the aim of the occupation, which was to stabilize the government, eliminate sectarian violence, and lay the groundwork for democratic elections. So:

Question 1: how long would the enemy stay in the capital city?
The goal was to stay until there was peace and a democratically elected government in charge. But they were forced to leave earlier due to problems on the homefront, and continued anti-American violence.

Question 2: would the enemy free the political prisoners? If so, what would they do with them - look after them, execute them, something else?
As far as I know, we didn't. It didn't serve our interests at the time.

Question 3: to what extent would the enemy have control of the city? Would locals be allowed to enter or leave?
Locals were allowed freedom of movement except in restricted zones.

TL;DR - knowing the goals of your occupiers will probably answer all the questions for you. War is a pretty pragmatic business, so the most "useful" answers for your occupiers are probably the "right" answers.