A Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today.
Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Written by Alternate Historian

Quick Links

Blog Roll
Changing the Times
Everything Is History
This Day in AH
Voice Christian Worker
Editor's Recommendations
Althistory Wiki
Editor's Postbag
Headlines
Lets Talk About History
Selected Threads
Reader's Favourites
Top 100 Ranked Stories
Site Construction
Archive Navigator
Clean DB
Facebook
Get Blogs
Newsfeed Update
Twitter

Selected threads

Guest Historian Andrew Beane
 Andrews Posts
Guest Historian Chris Oakley
 Apollo 1  Arnold Hiller
 Axis Spain  Baltimore Colts
 Barbaro 2006  Barbarossa 41
 Battle Alaska  Belgium 1940
 Biti Letter  Blackpool 40
 British X Files  Ceaucescu 90
 Chance Encounter  Charles Barkley
 Chicago19  Cimino
 Cleopatra  CSI
 Cuba '62  Curt Flood
 D.B. Cooper  Dead Serious
 Double Jeopardy  Eternal City
 Falklands  France 44
 Francis Urquhart  Giant Surprise
 God Save Queen  Grey Cup
 GZ Murmansk  Hirohito@100
 Houston 57  Ice Bowl
 Ill Wind  Iraq NEO Impact
 Jamaica Bay  Japan45
 Jay Sebring  Johnny Damon
 Kirk Prime  Korea 53
 Koufax 35  Last Broadcast
 Lusitania '15  McCain 09
 Middle East 67  Moore 911
 Necessary Evil  New York Knights
 O Tempora, ..  Omega Man
 Oswald63  Parley
 Roswell '47  Salems Lot
 Shirers WW2  Shock
 SL Rangers  Surprise Attack
 The Devourer  Titanic 13
 Tom Brady  Tommies
 Tommy Rich  Trek49
 Valkyrie  Weebls
 Worlds Collide
Guest Historian David Atwell
 Action Jackson  Hells Doors
 Hell on Earth  House Cromwell
Guest Historian David Cryan
 Swine Flu
Guest Historian Dirk Puehl
 Dirks Blog
Guest Historian Eric Lipps
 49th State  Bonaparte 2
 Cuba War  Da Vinci Engine
 Ford Killed  Gore Wins
 JFK Impeached  Liberty Fails
 Lifeterm  Linebacker
 NoChappaquiddick  Whig Revolution
Guest Historian Eric Oppen
 AuH20  Malcolm X
 No Tolkien  Trotsky's War
Guest Historian Gerry Shannon
 CSA Today  Godfather IV
 Hero Oswald  JFK Lives
 Seinfeld Movie
Guest Historian Jackie Rose
 Happy Endings
Guest Historian Jeff Provine
 Jeff Provine Blog
Guest Historian John J. Reilly
 John Reilly Blog
Guest Historian Jackie Speel
 Bosworth 1486  Conjoined Crisis
 Voynich
Guest Historian Kwame Dallas
 African Holocaust
Guest Historian Mike Stone
 WJ Bryan
Guest Historian Raymond Speer
 Cuba War 62  Fall of Britain
 Fascist Flight
 Gettysburg Prayer
 Pacific and Dixie
Alternate Historian Robbie Taylor
 2nd Coming  Canadian Rev
 Chdo Democracy  King Arthur II
 Lucifer Falls  Pete Best Story
 Protocols  Reagan 1976
 Richard Tolman  Sockless
 Soviet America  Speakers Line
 The Sheridans  The Baron
 The Claw  Warp
 Welsh Wizards
Guest Historian Scott Palter
 WW2 Alt
Todayinah Editor Todayinah Ed.
 1850 Compromise  1860 Crisis
 20c Rome  Alt WW2
 American Heroes  Anschluss
 Bomber Harris  British Empire +
 Business Plot  Canadian Heroes
 China 4ever  Communist GB
 Communist Israel  Comrade Hiller
 Comrade Stalin  Co presidency
 Deepwater  Fed Lost Cause
 Flugzeugtrager  Glorious45
 Good Old Willie  Gor Smugglers
 Happy Hitler  Hitler Waxwork
 Intrepid  Iron Mare
 Islamic America  Israel's 60th
 Jewish Hitler  Kaiser Victory
 Liberty Beacon  Lloyd George
 LOTR  Madagscar Plan
 Manhattan '46  McBush
 Midshipman GW  Moonbase
 No Apollo 1 Fire  NY City State
 Obama  Oliver Stanley
 Peace City One  POTUS TedK
 POTUS Nathaniel  Puritan World
 Resource War  Sitka
 Southern Cross  Texan Republic
 The Miracles  Traitor
 Tudor B*stards  Tyrants
 Ukraine 1920  US is Born Again
 US mini-states  US Heroes
 Victory Disease  War on Terror +
 WhiteHouse Wimp  Wolfes Legacy
 Zoroastria
Guest Historian Zach Timmons
 Alt Indiana Jones
 Brett as 007  The Duke

Archive Navigator

January February March
April May June
July August September
October November December

Editor's Postbag     |     Feed

All Postbag Items
Reader's Favourites
Janowska Escape
POTUS Finch
President Boone
Dessalines Lives
Ike's Epiphany
Bolingbroke executed
Aztec Invasion
Freeman's Farm
Camp David
POTUS Scoop Jackson
Gusmao Fails
Dutch Courage Part 8
Duke's Dedication
Bismarck Denied
Austrian Throne Empty
Down in Flames 5
War in New Guinea
Arrests at Central Cafe
Nieuw Zwolle
Death of President William King
Icebreaker
White Ghost
Hibernian Union
British San Juan
L'architecte de la victoire
Electric Nightmares 3
Bay of Pigs, Redux
Dubcek Back Channel
Birth of Julius Dubcek
Happy Endings 46
Passover
Toledo Rebellion
Telegraph Part 13
RMS Titanic
Yamasee War
Tokhtamysh Victorious
Happy Endings 3
Battle of Barnet
King Oliver
Breakout
Art of War
Night of Terror
Sir Thomas Jefferson
Margaret Thatcher
President Bill Davis
Vienna Vanquished
Cosmonaut Leonov
FDR Suffers Minor Stroke
Toast of Fascist China
Mary Follows William in Death
Down in Flames 4
Pacific War Redux
Korean War widens
L'Empereur
Mistress Boleyn
Mount Tambora Merely Burps
Fifth Beatle
Down in Flames 3
London Uprising, Part 2
Shaken, Not Stirred 11
Off the Bench
American Guerillas
Bacons Invention
Edward IV Survives
Entente-Cordiale
Steel Seizure Case
Death of James Bond
1812, Redux
Churchill stumbles
Xavier's Vows
Hindenburg Disaster
King Geoffrey I
Lake Peipus
World War Expands
Arbroath Abbey

Site Meter


November 16

In 636, on this day a Sassanid Victory at al-Qadisiyyah halted the Muslim Advance. Beginning in the 600s, the Middle East was a theater of war for three of history's greatest empires. Two of them, the Byzantine and the Sassanid Empires, had battled for centuries and were descendants of empires that had stood even longer ago, Rome and Parthia, respectively.

Sassanid Victory at al-Qadisiyyah halts Muslim Advance A new empire began to form, however, during the life of the Prophet Muhammad. As more and more converts joined his faith, the power of Islam grew out of the western part of Arabia and expanded quickly. When the Byzantines and Sassanids noticed this, they set aside their own differences and began an alliance for mutual protection.

Byzantium had begun its significance when the Roman emperor Constantine moved his capital there to promote stability in 330. Doing so strengthened the wealthy eastern frontier, but it also ultimately broke the Roman Empire apart with the West falling to the German hordes in 476. The Byzantines still stood, but toward the beginning of 600, the Sassanid Empire stormed Syria, Egypt, and Anatolia in vengeance of the Byzantine general assassinating and usurping the emperor Maurice, who had married a Sassanid princess. The next emperor, Heraclius, defeated the Sassanids at Nineveh in 627 and received back the captured territory and loot, including the True Cross.

The Sassanid Empire faced its own turmoil. Khosrau II was assassinated by his son Kavadh II in 629, who died in a matter of months, leading to a string of usurpations. Seven-year-old Ardashir III reigned before being killed by General Farrokhan, who died in battle and was succeeded by Purandokht, daughter of Khosrau II. She would rule for a short time, repairing much of the damage done by the past years' intrigue before being replaced by her sister Azarmidokht, who would in turn be replaced by the nobleman Hormizd VI. Finally, Purandokht's son and Khosrau's grandson Yazdgerd III came of age and stabilized the Sassanid throne, supported by his general Rostam Farrokhzad.

Meanwhile, Muslim power continued to grow. Upon the death of the Prophet in 632, a council met and determined that Abu Bakr would be caliph. He set upon a series of wars uniting the Arabs of Arabia and then moving northward to add those in Syria and Palestine. With a new force the Middle East to counteract the tentative balance between Byzantium and Persia, wars quickly began with the caliphate invasion of Iraq, and the Muslim power was affirmed with the defeat of an army Sassanids, Byzantines, and Christian Arabs in 633. Sassanids finally stopped the Muslim advance in 634, and Sassanids and Byzantines made a formal alliance in 635. Knowing of the alliance, the Muslim forces decided to deal with their enemies one at a time, wiping out the Byzantine army at Yarmouk near the Sea of Galilee in August of 636 at the cost of abandoning Iraq to a massive Sassanid force of some 200,000 in camp. The Muslims camped at Qadisiyyah with 30,000 and waited as peace talks dragged on.

That November, the talks gave way to actual battle. The two sides had attempted to bend the other's will with the Muslims sending an emissary to convert Yazdgerd III while the Persians sent a Muslim ambassador home as a servant carrying a basket of dirt on his head (though the Muslim response was, "Congratulations! The enemy has voluntarily surrendered its territory to us"). Caliph Umar ordered the talks to end, which caused Sassanid General Rostam to prepare for battle despite his reservations. Although the Sassanid army was much larger, the vast majority of the force was conscripted spear infantry that Procopius of Caesarea described as "a crowd of pitiable peasants who come into battle for no other purpose than to dig through walls and to despoil the slain and in general to serve the [real] soldiers".

In the night, Rostam decided to use the infantry, what might have been his weakness, as a diversion. He dammed up the canal and moved over his entire army to face the Muslim force the next morning. Following secret orders, the infantry led the attack as a whole after the opening onslaught of the arrows, but were swiftly beaten back by the better trained Muslims. They feigned retreat, and the Muslims pursued. When they reached the canal, however, the infantry turned about and were ordered to hold position while the archers pounded the Muslims, who then began their own retreat. In the chaos (the battle would be known to Islam as Yaum-ul-Armah, "The Day of Disorder"), Rostam released his war elephants, backed by his heavy cavalry, which swept the Muslim cavalry from the field. The organized retreat turned to a rout with the unnerving elephants stomping, and the Muslim army was destroyed.

Yazdgerd III would manage to seal the victory with a treaty that would end his alliance with the now extremely weakened Byzantine Empire. The Zagros Mountains were strongly defended against further Muslim invasion, though the rich lands of Mesopotamia would routinely change hands between them, like Anatolia, which would be stripped from the Byzantines, who became a relic city-state with a naval empire. The Muslim caliphates, meanwhile, would turn westward, conquering across North Africa and into Europe, where Christians would begin counterattacks such as the Crusades with Persian allies.

While the political boundaries settled for the time, the wildly different religions of the Arab and Persian peoples would keep up a constant sense of distrust. Although conquered by the Mongols and later European colonialists, Persia would remain the center of Zoroastrianism, one of the world's largest religions.






© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.