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Alternate History Thread II...

Discussion in 'Never Ending Stories' started by Xen, Sep 25, 2005.

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  1. Dachs

    Dachs Hero of the Soviet Union

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    The woman your city is named after seems to be pivotal here.
     
  2. das

    das Regeneration In Process

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    That's a widespread (in Russia and abroad) misunderstandment. Ekaterinburg is called so for Catherine I - as it was founded in 1721 (and declared a town in 1723).

    But Catherine II will be of significance as well, though not yet. Remember - she doesn't even know Orlovs yet, and indeed doesn't have as much support yet. So, Peter III will probably have enough time to do his duty as Herzog von Holstein-Gottorp...
     
  3. das

    das Regeneration In Process

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    The conspiracy of 1758 was nipped in the bud. Had Vorontsov not been to stubbornly loyal to the throne no matter who sat there, had Catherine pledged support for the coup emboldening the conspirators, had Nikita Panin failed to persuade Peter III of the need to slow down the reforms... Who knows how things would have gone. Yet, the conspiracy was crushed, and Bestuzhev-Ryumin with some others was sent to Siberia. Peter's wife Catherine was careful enough not to commit herself in any way to the coup, so Peter had only suspicions against her.

    Regardless, the coup failed. The Russian forces by then were fully commited to the Northern Accord's war effort. Also by then, a different coup resulted in a success. Sweden at the time was a parliamentary monarchy, with a dual-party system - that of the Nightcaps and that of the Hats. The principal difference was in foreign policy - the Hats were Russophobic and revanchist, the Nightcaps were rather more peaceful. But while both sides fought parliamentary battles, they forgot about a third power - the king. Seeking to attain absolute power at any price, Adolf Frederick already tried a coup d'etat in 1756 - it failed. Now (in 1758), however, Adolf Frederick decided to side with the Nightcaps in exchange for a significant (if fairly) increase in royal power. In this he was supported by Peter III, for whom he once was a regent in Holstein-Gottorp. The ruling Hats were overthrown with the help of Finnish soldiers, and Sweden could now fully commit itself to an alliance with Russia. There was great irony in the fact that the Nightcaps (who largely reneged on their deal, though the king was moderately strengthened) were to be the ones to reestablish the Swedish great power status, whereas that was the stated aim of their enemies the Hats.

    Anyways. In the Five Years War of 1756-1761, France, Austria, Saxony-Poland and Denmark-Norway were aligned against Great Britain-Hannover, Prussia, Sweden, Russia-Holstein-Gottorp. It was fought in North America, Europe and India.

    In North America and in India alike, war was going on for some times now, with France advancing on all fronts. However, as the French were increasingly troubled in Europe, whereas the British didn't have to commit as much there (in Hannover, ofcourse, not in Britain which was quite safe) owing to the alliance with Russia and Prussia, and as the British fleet triumphed at Quiberon Bay in 1759, the British begun winning. With naval supremacy assured, the British managed to land James Wolfe's forces in the French rear; the British won at the Plains of Abraham in Canada, and by 1761's Treaty of Paris, received all French possessions in North America east from Mississippi and the islands of Guadelupe and Marie-Galante. Louisiana remained French, however; the Spaniards, for their part, didn't lose anything at all (no capture of Havanna due to a shorter war, hence no diplomatic maneuvers that involved Britain exchanging Havanna for Florida and compensating Spain with French Louisiana, plus butterfly effect of poorer French performance in Europe resulting in Britain being able to request some of the Lesser Antilles, which it really wanted. Oh, and BTW, things in India go like in OTL, generally). Oh, and also the British secured and annexed Danish colonies - the Virgin Islands, Greenland and Iceland.

    In Europe, where the war begun, the Northern Accord had the initiative from the start, albeit the Franco-Austrian alliance temporarily retook it in 1757. The war begun with a Prussian pre-emptive attack on Saxony. The little principality was overran with ease. Against Poland, however, Prussia was on the defensive - for at first, before Peter III, Russia was on the other side. And by the time Peter III rose to power, it was too late for the Prussians to attack Poland seriously, being preoccupied with fighting France and Austria which in 1757 launched a series of offensives. After Frederick's abortive invasion of Bohemia, Austrians struck into Silesia whilst the French pushed the British out of much of Hannover. The great Prussian victories at Rossbach and Leuthen, however, determined the outcome of the war. Prussia was even able to commit some troops to Poland Meanwhile, the Russian general offensive there used that country's instability. Officially ruled by King Augustus III, it still was a Royal Republic, and as such was dominated by the noble families. The hegemon was the Czartoryski family, headed by Michal Fryderyk Czartoryski, the very unofficial and very real ruler of Poland. Pro-Russian, Michal Fryderyk nonetheless tried to organize some sort of resistance, and managed to persuade, through Panin and others, the Northern Accord of Poland's importance, even if as of a lesser partner. He couldn't get a perfect deal, though - West Prussia went to the Prussians whilst White Russia, Polish Livonia and Courland went to Russia. Still, Michal Fryderyk saved most of Poland this way. Oh, and shall we say that Augustus III was chased away and Michal Fryderyk was elected the king, starting the Czartoryski dynasty? And that this severed all and any ties between Poland and Saxony, the latter of which remained under Prussian control?

    Either way, with Poland in the Northern Accord, small Russian forces quickly deployed in Galicia to defend it and to menace the Austrians. The bulk of the army, however, marched to Holstein-Gottorp, whilst another part of it set sail from St. Petersburg for Copenhagen. Denmark-Norway, at the time possessing already strained relations with Russia and Britain, was forced into the alliance with France when Peter III, whose intentions towards Denmark-Norway were never a secret, rose to power in Russia. In 1758, the entire kingdom came under attack. Russians struck from south and east. Swedes overran Norway. The British assaulted Reykjavik. The Danes resisted courageously, but were overran by mid-1759 in spite of surprising early successes.

    The continued resistance of France and Austria was dictated by sheer stubborness, though the hopes of attaining a better bargaining position were a factor as well. Austrian invasion of Galicia, with Augustus III in their ranks, had some early successes as Czartoryski was yet to fully consolidate his country, but it was stopped short of taking Cracow and Lublin, and thus was eventually pushed back. The French, facing a formidable Russo-Prusso-Anglo-Hannoverian army, were forced to retreat to the Rhine after the Battle at Wiesbaden in 1760. Eventually, the Prussians also invaded Bohemia again, and after Prague fell the Austrians were ready to negotiate. So were the French.

    The Treaty of Prague, that ended the European part of the conflict, included such main points:
    - The Czartoryski dynasty was officially recognized as the legitimate rulers of Poland.
    - The previous "Partition of Poland" was recognized, but Galicia was split off from Poland to be ruled by Augustus I of Galicia, former Augustus III (effectively an Austrian puppet state).
    - Holstein-Gottorp and Russia entered a personal union.
    - Denmark lost Norway to Sweden, Iceland (and other colonies) to Britain and Schleswig to Holstein-Gottorp (now stretching from just north of Hamburg to Ribe). Denmark itself was occupied by Russian forces, Frederick V abdicated in the favour of his (mentally-ill) son Christian VII (who was effectively a Russian puppet).
    - Prussia annexed Saxony, Mecklenburg, Westphalia, Paderborn (a region near Westphalia), Austrian Silesia (a small region in OTL modern Czechia) and the Sudetens.

    It is fairly ironic that, even as the terms were being hammered out, Peter III (who also carried out certain domestic reforms now that his position was safe, freeing the serfs most significantly) was ill. He was poisoned, and died on the very day of the peace treaty being signed. Catherine II rose to power and the Northern Accord, as a part of the legacy of the hated (amongst the ruling elite) emperor and also as a fairly unprofitable (as they saw it) move, soon went down the drains. Denmark and Holstein-Gottorp were thrown in chaos, as Catherine II saw them for the dead-weight that they were. Soon after the "New World Order" went into effect, the diplomatic picture changed radically, with Sweden (which by then also captured Denmark and inherited Holstein-Gottorp, largely reviving its great power status in spite of instability), Britain, Poland and Prussia being pitted against France, Spain, Austria, Galicia and Russia. But a war between those alliances would not come until the 1770s.
     
  4. das

    das Regeneration In Process

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    From the peace of 1761 to the fateful year of 1771, the situation in Europe was that of an uneasy diplomatic standoff. The lessened Northern Accord (Great Britain, Poland, Prussia, Sweden) opposed the Second (Anti-Prussian) Coalition (France, Spain, Austria, Galicia, Russia). Both sides re-armed, and prepared for a future clash. This further worsened the financial crisis of France, and the same happened in Sweden, yet neither of powers was in the moral or political position to withdraw (albeit Sweden did open secret negotiations with Russia about a possible disengagement from the Northern Accord in exchange for the recognition of the Swedish conquests in Denmark and a guarantee of neutrality). Poland was raked by crisis, and so was Galicia; by 1775, Galicia was occupied by the Austrian troops (who were reinforcing the pitiful Galician army), whilst much of Poland was effectively occupied by the Prussians. Indeed, Prussia, with its comparatively-small population, faced a dilemma that Friedrich II solved with social reforms that culminated with (following the Russian example) an abolition of serfdom in 1773. Fairly conservative until then, Friedrich II stunned the world with this, but he had a very concise and very ambitious goal in mind, and the great expansion of his country's economy and manpower were necessary for it...

    The Ottoman Empire has secretly joined the Northern Accord in 1770, fearful of growing Russian power and of increasing Russian encroachment on Crimea. The Rhenish Palatinate, whose ruler Charles Theodore was to be the heir to Bavaria, intended to trade Bavaria for Austrian Netherlands and a kingdom status, and knowing that Prussia would probably protest, the Palatinate has secretly joined the Second Coalition.

    The primary hot spot in Europe was Poland, as hinted before. But war was to start in a land far, far away instead.

    Ever since the British victory in the Five Years War, the British colonists in North America begun to grow more and more independant. Colonial militias that showed themselves comparatively well during the war have bolstered national feeling; the French menace now became an increasingly-abstract concept (after all, the French were confined to Louisiana). The interests of the British colonies and of the Empire were becoming less and less common. Ironically, the preparations for the next European war have sped up its beginning - the British government decided to start growing taxes and tariffs, particularily in the colonies. Most infamous was the Stamp Act of 1766 (rather lighter then in OTL, and there is slightly less outrage against it). Albeit eventually-repealed, it had by then caused the appearence of the New York Congress...

    At the time, tensions were high in Poland. The British Parliament received incorrect but believable information about a French plan of an invasion from Louisiana. The Congress, according to that report, was a part of a French ploy to reverse the Five Years War. George III bought it. The Parliament didn't, but after furious debate, it was decided to deploy additional British forces - just in case.

    Long story cut short, this caused a furor in the colonial America, especially after tariffs (again caused by the growing tensions - there were several border clashes between Prusso-Polish and Austro-Galician forces, and exaggerated rumors of French forces encamped on the Rhine) were grown further. Several riots took place and were put down, incidents between state militias and the British army became frequent... By 1770, the fourteen (Francophone parts of Canada included - no Quebec Act) colonies were ineffective rebellion, and the New York Congress was just as confused as the Parliament back in London. An attempt to dissolve said Congress by force resulted in the first battle of the American War, or as it will be known in Europe the War of the Second Coalition (the Five Years War being the War of the First Coalition), which resulted in a draw (the battle, not the war) which could be considered a victory by both sides as the Congress was forced to move for the town of White Plains.

    The rebellions were at first disorganized, especially as the Protestant British rebels hated the French Canadians, and as amongst the British American rebels there was no real central command. But gradually, after the early British successes and repressions in Massachusets and elsewhere, the American rebels gained coherence through the reformed White Plains Congress. Cooperation with the Quebecois was a thing of the future, but the American rebels themselves, growing in coherence, begun fighting back. A regular army was being recruited; George Washington, Benedict Arnold and others were granted command of this army, and eventually the British were stopped in the historic battle at Hudson, which became a great morale-booster as well. In Canada, the French rebels, albeit defeated at Quebec, managed to regroup at Montreal and stop the British counteroffensive.

    In Europe, already as the Polish tensions subsided, the Second Coalition powers suddenly noticed an excellent opportunity. France officially condemned "British fiscal tyranny", and begun maneuvering for a reunion with Canada - something the French Canadian rebels were not entirely opposed to. More significantly, Czartoryski, encouraged by his allies, officially demanded that Augustus of Galicia again denounces all claims on the throne of Poland. Augustus refused. Soon after, the first official battle of the war in Europe happened on the San River; a Prussian victory. The American War spread to Europe in the form of the Second Coalition War (which future nomenclature revisionists would dub "World War Two", "World War One" being the Five Years War), as the alliance system was activated - if with defects. Sweden pledged neutrality, wishing to ease its financial woes and not having a particular affection towards anybody involved. Ottoman Empire, by contrast, declared war on the Second Coalition.
     
  5. das

    das Regeneration In Process

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    Comments? Criticism? Interest? Panda?
     
  6. das

    das Regeneration In Process

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    I would like to know if there are any complaints, etc, etc, or generally interest. I will work on the next part eventually anyways, but I would like to know whether anybody is following.
     
  7. Dachs

    Dachs Hero of the Soviet Union

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    Whoops. Sorry. Looks good, and long. These althist threads sort of belong to you, don't they?
     
  8. das

    das Regeneration In Process

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    Rather unfortunately, yes. I'm still hoping for SKILORD/EffingPrancer to come back, he wrote some nice althists in the old thread.
     
  9. das

    das Regeneration In Process

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    OOC: Yeah, sorry, this didn't come out as well as I have hoped. Questions, comments, etc, are encouraged.

    IC:

    The Second Coalition/American War was fought all over the world, to a certain degree on all continents apart from the Arctic, the Antarctic and Australia. The first phase of the war was in 1770-1775. During it, Portugal entered a coalition with the Accord, whilst Netherlands sided with the Coalition, both due to colonial conflicts with members of the opposite alliance.

    North America:

    In spite of the stiffening resistance, the British forces, under Burgoyne, Howe and Cornwallis, begun defeating the American rebels (largely owing to the naval supremacy achieved by the British, see Carribean and Atlantic). Francophone Canadians were isolated and defeated by 1773 (albeit low-scale guerrila resistance lingered on, assisted by the Amerind tribes), George Washington perished in the great British victory at Princeton, the British were only barely prevented from taking White Fields in 1775. In the southern parts of the colonies they fared worse - Rochambeau led a Franco-Spanish corps to assist the rebels there, and the British were gradually pushed out of much of the region, albeit the "Tories" took to guerrila warfare. Still, the American cause, in spite of generous Coalition donations, fared very badly in general, and defeatism in the Congress grew, especially as the British begun promising major concessions to the rebelling colonists...

    Carribean Sea:

    A furious naval campaign resulted in a decisive British victory over a Franco-Spanish fleet at St. Eustace; eventually, the British also captured the city of Havanna, and several other strategic locations.

    South America:

    The British succesfully seized French and Dutch colonies in Guiana. With British assistance, the Portuguese gradually drove the Spaniards out of Uruguay and across the Parana.

    Atlantic:

    In a series of naval engagements after 1773, Admiral George Rodney utterly devastated the remnants (see Britain) of the Second Coalition fleet.

    Britain:

    From the start, it was obvious that France specifically and Second Coalition generally needed a quick, decisive victory over Britain. French admiral De Grasse commanded the operations of a Franco-Hispano-Dutch fleet that won the battle at Channel Islands in 1772. The Second Coalition army landed in south-central Britain and for a while it seemed as if the British were doomed. However, the Second Coalition army was stopped at London by a British regular army reinforced by the militia, and although it remained strong, Admiral George Rodney defeated De Grasse at Dover and severed the Second Coalition supply routes. The second assault on London by the desperate Coalition forces nearly succeeded, but they were driven back and surrendered. This debacle raised British morale and caused panic in the French government.

    Iberia:

    Spanish forces won a significant victory at Elvas, Portugal in the beginning of the war, but as Portuguese forces were reinforced by the British, the lenghty siege of Lisbon was to no avail. Gibraltar was besieged by the Spanish and nearly fell when, in early 1774, a large British fleet arrived there and dispersed the Spanish one. As of 1775, Lisbon was besieged again, and Porto finally fell; Portuguese resistance continued elsewhere.

    Holy Roman Empire:

    The nearly-revolutionary social reforms undertaken by Friedriech the Great previously now bore fruit. The Prussian army was able to fight on numerous fronts, crushing the Wittelsbach-French armies at Fulda whilst the Austrians were routed at Konnigratz and again at Austerlitz. The Prussian "blitzkrieg" defied logistics, and by 1775 the Prussians dominated the entire Holy Roman Empire, minus a few neutrals, parts of the Rhine Palatinate and the allied Hannover - Vienna, Munich, Stuttgart, all those cities were occupied by the Prussians. In 1772, the Austrians already entered negotiations with Prussia, but they collapsed (this was followed up by the aforementioned Austerlitz); now, negotiations begun yet again.

    Notably, after the defeats in Britain and the HRE, France underwent large scale instability. By 1775, the economical situation was in shambles, there were riots, city fighting and suchlike. Blood was spilled by the soldiers, who however frequently disobeyed royal orders. The king tried to dismiss the parlements, but this only caused a general rebellion, and Louis XVI was forced to abdicate soon after taking power. A provisional government was formed, amongst which was a rising start of French politics, one marquis de Lafayette...

    Poland:

    Czartoryski, towards the war's beginning, played a very careful game, maneuvering between factions, but finally decided to side with Russia, thinking that the Prussians were doomed fighting against France, Austria AND Russia at the same time. He was wrong - albeit thanks to his treachery, and an agreement with Augustus of Galicia (basically, Galicia rejoined Poland, Augustus III was restored to the Polish throne but basically as even more of a Czartoryski puppet then earlier), the Russo-Austrian forces managed to expel the Prussians out of most of Poland with the battles at Siedlce and Krakow, the Prussians soon recovered and in 1772 captured Warsaw. In the decisive battle at Tarnobrzeg, the Austrians were prevented from linking up with the Russians. Albeit hesitant to venture into eastern Poland (remembering the fate of Karl XII), Friedrich II nonetheless campaigned there personally in 1774-1775, defeating Russian forces at Grodno.

    Danube:

    Turkish forces invaded Transylvania in 1773, with some early successes, but eventually Suvorov's Russian forces invading Moldavia and outflanking the Ottomans forced them into retreat. Still, neither side could get a decisive victory. Russian forces in Crimea made some gains, but also suffered from great casualties.

    Africa:

    In Senegal, the British succesfully crushed the French "forces". Elsewhere in Africa, there wasn't any real fighting to speak of, apart from the British capture of Cape Colony from the Dutch.

    India:

    French assets in India were quickly confiscated, as were the Dutch ones, but the main threat came from the Maratha Confederacy which was incited by the French against Britain. The Marathas fought well, but eventually they were pushed out of their easternmost possessions and had to sign peace acknowledging this loss.

    Southeast Asia:

    The British succesfully took over West Sumatra and Dutch parts of Malaysia.

    Thus by the end of 1775, the Northern Accord's victory seemed quite obvious. Indeed, they already won the Second Coalition War. But the American War was a different matter...
     
  10. North King

    North King blech

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    POD: Council of Constance

    Previous Entries: Introduction

    England, 1416-1425

    The Lollards, after a dozen years of dormancy, suddenly flared up in southern England. The English King, Henry the Fifth, the (apparently) invincible (in battle) king, suddenly had to return to England to secure his crown... Only to die unexpectedly of dysentery shortly upon return, which threw the English crown into a succession crisis. Henry V had simply not managed to produce any children, which led to a sudden end in the Lancaster line of the throne. With this, there was an massive succession crisis.

    Normally, perhaps, the succession would pass to the sons of John of Gaunt (progenitor of the Lancaster line), who had not only not died out but were indeed flourishing... However, John of Gaunt’s sons by Katherine Swynford were theoretically bastards, and had only been recognized as legitimate by the king in a deal signed just a dozen years ago or so, where they were declared legitimate in exchange for not being considered in the succession of the throne.

    Heedless of this, Henry Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, declared that he sought the crown, and soon gained a following, even though he was barely 15. He declared, perhaps in a fit of teenage folly, but also, given its consequences, perhaps a stroke of brilliance, that he would recognize the Lollards as an accepted (though not official) religion of England if they accepted him as their king. They did this as a mass, and soon he had a following of well over 20,000, and set to marching on London.

    Richard, Duke of York, the last Duke thereof, had been executed in 1415. His child, Richard, was only 5, hardly old enough to gain the throne yet... Yet, by the laws of succession and inheritance, he was the lawful king. Ralph Neville, Earl of Westmorland and rather old, was perhaps the only other person who could even contemplate claiming it based on blood, and he was not in such a fit of madness as his relatives to do so...

    And so the war was quick, vicious, and decisive.

    In 1417, Henry Beaufort entered London triumphantly, and managed to get the five year old Richard to swear fealty to him. With this, he was now King of England, and but for some puny resistance in the far north, no one would dispute that. Yet.

    By 1418, confident the rebellions would take care of themselves, he departed to further his reputation by victories on the battlefield against the French.

    By 1419, though, the situation was again desperate, as the young King had managed to get himself killed in France. Again (well, him being the second one killed in France; this doesn’t mean he died in France twice). Sad to say, the English War of the Roses erupted for a second round of fighting... However, this time, it was perhaps more confused than the first time.

    With Henry dead, John Beaufort, second Duke of Somerset, declared that he would seek the crown for “the sake of my dead brother.” He was only in his teens.

    The only other claimant now was Richard, Duke of York. John cited his oath of fealty to his brother as proof that he was not a legitimate claimant, but under pressure from prominent courtiers, Richard declared the oath to Henry VI did not extend to that of John, and that he was the legitimate heir to the throne of England.

    The betrothal of Cicely Neville to Richard (though Richard was only eight, Cicely four) soon followed, and with that the prominent Earl of Salisbury, Richard Neville (yes, son of Ralph Neville, and brother of Cicely), swore fealty to the new king, with many lords following suit.

    With this, the war entered full swing again, with the Beaufort family gaining considerable support in the south, and the rebel Yorkists in Wales and the north. John declared the Lollards to be a fully legitimate religion, but Richard declared he had no quarrel with them either, at about the same time. With this, neither side had religious right on their side, and either were forced to rely on political cunning... and warfare, as well.

    Neville, an excellent strategist and politician, even in his teens, led the armies of Salisbury north to link with Richard’s, and, being at least moderately older, led them on his own in a stunning campaign down to Oxford, obliterating the armies in his path. Oxford was an excellent base of operations, and from here armies drove back those of Somerset, and came to the headwaters of the Thames, mere miles from London itself.

    With defeat in France fairly evident, the common folk essentially declared for Richard, yearning for a king who would grant them peace, plenty, and good for all.

    With that, Neville marched on London, and besieged it for a year, before it finally fell, in 1422. With that, England was under the kings of York, and the king (now a good 11) could turn his attention onto that ever rebellious little region called France.

    The armies of England marched south under Neville in 1423...
     
  11. Jason The King

    Jason The King Deity

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    Wow, great stuff das, im enjoying it. Possibly when you get into the beginnings of more intense industrial revolution, you can make a map? :)
     
  12. Insane_Panda

    Insane_Panda Deity

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    haha, of course I have interest, but I'm still reading.
     
  13. North King

    North King blech

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    POD: Council of Constance

    Previous Entries: Introduction
    England

    France: 1416-1430

    France was still under the rule of Charles the Mad by the time of the Council of Constance, and the king wasted no time in mentioning his liking of the Hussites. Fortunately cooler heads controlled communication in and out of Paris, and it fell to the Dauphins of France to put the situation back together...

    Unfortunately, Jean, the eldest surviving Dauphin, was in the care of the lord of Burgundy, who did not want this precious prize to slip through his fingers and try to create a strong France, which was, after all, something he did not want at all.

    So it fell to Charles, one of the younger Dauphins, barely into his teens, under the care of Yolande of Aragon, to restore the unity and pride of France, a task which he rose to admirably, even for one so young.

    The premature leaving of Henry V meant that their forces were, on the whole, superior to anything that they would have had in our timeline. Not much superior, though; Agincourt with all its devastating consequences had been fought undisturbed, and hundreds of the most prominent members of those advocating the expulsion of the English were dead.

    However, this did give him enough time to regroup support, and he had, by the year 1418, managed to cobble together an army again, though fairly untrained and not at all experienced. The only group that he did have for certain on his side were the knights, which were a rather diminished group...

    Until early in the year 1418, when the pope in Avignon declared that the English king was a heretic for accepting the heresies of the Lollards, and that it was a holy war. While this made little difference to the English, who were no longer really concerned with papacies, this meant that the French got a whole host of holy warriors of different skill levels and vast in number.

    With enough troops to make three columns of 10,000 good warriors each and a trail of rabble behind them, Charles did just that, and through an astonishing burst of skill in the French ranks (bad commanders being mostly dead already), managed to coordinate them effectively as well. Soon enough, they made contact with the English army under brash young Henry VI.

    While Henry was no idiot, he was impulsive, and fell directly into the trap provided for him by Charles. Soon enough his army was pinned against the Seine, and surrounded, with 10,000 troops blocking a crossing and 20,000 holding his army still against the river. Charles intended a cautious advance, but the knights under his control, many out for religious glory, charged directly at the foe. While the English were, to be sure, able to use their fairly effective deployment, they had grown too used to it; the longbow was no longer quite the wonder weapon it had been, and the locations of the respective armies were all wrong. Soon the English army was crushed, and their king dead on the field, with dozens of great nobles ransomed back to England to regain the cash that had been lost by the French in similar circumstances earlier.

    With the English going back to their old civil wars, the French dauphin found it fairly easy to retake a great many fortresses in the three years they had before the English returned. The Loire valley was retaken; they also managed to crush Aquitaine in a remarkably short period of time.

    The support of Aragonese troops from the sympathetic Yolande came about this time, as well, and with an even greater number of knights than ever, and of course the never mentioned but more essential armored men at arms. With this force, Charles, even at his young age, was well prepared to meet the English invasion at 1423, and roundly defeated them, again, in the process smashing the Duchy of Burgundy which tried to interfere. With this, the Eighty Years War, as it would be known, had come to an end, in French victory.

    The peace treaty was signed at Calais, and the English gave up all possessions on the mainland to the French crown. The war was over, and the nations moved to pick up the pieces that the war had left.

    In any case, France rebuilt, but the religious fanatics moved on, in a great campaign into the Holy Roman Empire and Italy supporting the Avignon papacy...

    Germany and Italy: 1416-1440

    With the falling apart of the council of Trent and the Heresy of Bohemia, suddenly the Empire was torn into pieces as masses of people supported either camp.

    Hussite movements rose in all of Germany, with millions supporting the brilliant theologian, and armies numbering in the thousands soon moved to overthrow the Catholic rulers, leading many to respond to the fire with fire of their own. The religious wars had begun in earnest.

    Bohemia fell easily to the Hussites, with the King’s support, and the nation was by far the first in all of Europe to proclaim allegiance to this new version of faith.

    However, the other states marshaled their armies relatively quickly, and soon a considerable coalition against the Hussites was formed, with conservative and liberal elements of Europe clashing in the streets of the city and the fields of the countryside, with neither gaining the upper hand but for in a few singled out nations.

    Italy, however, was an utter mess, as Catholic fought Catholic. The northern city states supported the Pisan Papacy, but Rome itself was resistant to this change, and the fighting soon raged there as well.

    The breakthrough in Italy came when an alliance was signed in the late 1420s between France and Aragon. While France was busy driving out the English for most of this time, the Aragonese were unoccupied and looking for something to do; Napoli was secured with little trouble, indeed, it accepted becoming a possession of the crown of Aragon easily. Rome was soon actually under siege by Iberian troops.

    The Papacy of Pisa saw an opportunity to drive back both the Aragonese and the Romans, but the French armies suddenly invaded Savoie, and they were forced to double back and deal with the new threat. The armies met near Turin, at the town of Grugliasco. It was fast and furious, with a large part of the chivalry of both nations fighting in the battle, but in the end, the French won the battle, smashing the Italians and putting them under siege in Turin.

    With the double threat advancing in both Tuscany and Savoie, the coalition around Pisa collapsed, and the Pisan Pope resigned his claim to the office in exchange for not getting killed. It took a few more years, to be sure, and massive French garrisons, but the Italian Peninsula was easily dominated now by the Valois Dynasty...

    Savoie passed directly into the French crown’s possessions, while Milan, Florence, and Genua, with considerable French help, managed to secure most of the countryside for those three states, which were close allies of the French.

    Germany, meanwhile, fell further into destruction; a army under Sigismund into Bohemia was roundly defeated by Jan Zikza’s clever and brave soldiers. Upon his victory, Zikza campaigned into Germany proper, gathering support around his army and uniting the armies of the Hussites; their armies seemed unstoppable as they rolled over Saxony, Brandenburg, and Hannover.

    The Hanseatic league threw their considerable wealth behind the Hussites, and it seemed that a German Empire united under the banners of Jan Hus was inevitable.

    Sigismund was not defeated, however, after in depth letters to Charles of France, the House of Luxembourg declared its allegiance to the former Avignon Papacy (former, because it now actually was able to move inside Rome quite freely). In return, French armies marched into the Holy Roman Empire with a godly mission on their hands.

    The two armies, both fanatical, both well funded, well armed, well trained, and well led, met on the battlefield at a place neither chose.

    The Battle of Koblenz, or of Bad Ems, or of the Lahn, depending on who you asked, was fought in the northern regions of the Palatinate near the border of Hessen.

    The massive Hussite army had a massive supply train, fully guarded by thousands of peasantry who were little more than mouths to feed, but the primary part of their army; the men at arms and knights of Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, Saxony, Bandenburg, Hannover, and the other cities of northern Germany, were excellent soldiers all around, most of them veterans of hard campaigning.

    The French army was also composed mostly of religious fanatics, a vast horde of peasantry, and mirrored the Hussites with their large forces of knights; a large part of the chivalry of France, Burgundy, and Lorraine.

    The battlefield was dominated by a large river, the Lahn; this would be the obstacle that either must navigate, however, there were a few bridges, which either army moved to secure. Mounted knights clashed near the village of Bad Ems, where hundreds on either side died before Zikza pulled back. The knights of France pressed onwards, and with this bridgehead secured, Charles began to move the larger part of his army against them. It was then that the Hussites unleashed their surprise.

    A hundred fully outfitted war wagons charged the French lines. They were apparently impervious to arrow fire, even flaming arrows guttered out as they had been covered with fresh hides. The lances and swords of the knights made little impression, and though they tried to attack with their axes and maces, they were driven back steadily by arrow fire and a wall of these wagons.

    Now Zikza ordered his archers to fire in masses, giving them fire arrows, and the French host, caught in tight ranks on the bridge, were massacred. The peasants began to break, and so did the knights, all honor forgotten.

    Meanwhile, another group of Zikza’s war wagons punched through the weakened french defenses near Koblenz, taking the city easily. With the bridges in the area secured, they maneuvered several thousand around both rivers, and took the French in the left flank even as they smashed them headlong. It was a red rout, and when Charles attempted to rally his army, he was wounded in the arm by an arrow and barely got out of the battle alive.

    With the French army defeated, Zikza split his army in three. One was to go back to Bohemia to guard against further assaults from Sigismund, and the other two, one under his personal command, were to finish the French.

    In short order, Koln, Wurtemburg, Baden, and Swabia fell. The French army managed to rally now, and defended the frontiers of Alsace effectively enough. Finally Charles sought a peace deal with Zikza, and got it.

    But the War in Germany continued, now between the Hapsburgs and the Luxembourgs, and the Hussites. The fighting was half hearted at best, though, and the best that the enemies of Zikza and Hus could do was defend their own frontiers, and sometimes not even that; Austria lost Tirol (being a mountainous province, the Austrians had left little garrison, believing it impenetrable) in the battles that followed, and Swabia had already been lost. Finally, Sigismund died in late 1439 in a battle against the Ottomans (see below). The Great Religious War of 1416-1439 was over; Germany would finally be at peace.

    But the warring armies would not be at peace so easily. They had another enemy to fight, even more heretical than the Hussites. The armies of Austria and Venice marched south, towards the Ottoman empire.

    The Balkans and the Middle East: 1416-1445

    Meanwhile, the war of the Three Popes, the Great Religious war, had consequences further reaching than anyone could have imagined.

    In the Balkans, it had little effect for the first few years after its beginning, though the Ottomans rejoiced. The ascension of Murad II would lead to much greater things.

    In merely two years after his ascension in 1421, he had disposed of all rivals that might seize the throne from him. With his nation secured internally, he led a campaign against Byzantium. With no money or aid from Western Europe, and a very high morale in the Ottoman encampments, the siege went on for three years, only to have the city finally fall through starvation in 1426.

    Now the Ottoman Empire was by far the most powerful nation in the Balkans, and with their only real rival in the area, Venice, occupied, Murad led campaigns against the local Christian nations, and managed to incorporate all the Serbian states, Greece, Albania, and Wallachia into their nation. Moldavia would be quietly added a decade later.

    In the interim, he led a major campaign in Anatolia, destroying the minor Turkic sultanates and the Byzantine leftovers. With this, the Ottoman Empire had come to a pinnacle of achievement, and by 1435 it was the largest power in all of the region, and Murad II turned his eyes on greater things.

    In the few years that followed, the Ottomans prepared, and in 1438 led a great campaign against Hungary. In its first few years, the Ottoman army made much progress with the use of artillery especially, while their cavalry and infantry combined made a force that was practically unstoppable by the European armies of the time. Within a year, they were besieging Budapest.

    The capital of Hungary resisted like no other had; the siege went on for a month, even when their walls were reduced to rubble by the cannon of the Ottoman army. But Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor, was dismembered by a cannonball, and the city capitulated shortly thereafter.

    With this development, however, came the intervention of the European princes, and Austrian, Venetian, and other, more minor Italian states, came to the “rescue” of Hungary with over 30,000 men all in all.

    The Ottomans, though, were far more battle tested, and Murad had a keen grasp of strategy that was not equaled by any contemporary in the Christian army. When the Christian army maneuvered into Croatia, he quickly countered with his own army.

    Drawing their attention north with a large group of 10,000 men, he sent another group across the Sava River near Zagreb, and coordinated the two assaults skillfully to maneuver the Christian coalition into a bend of the river near Brežice.

    The battle went easily for the Ottomans; the Christian army was pounded by concentrated cannon fire, stretched thin by cavalry probes, and then crushed by the superb Ottoman infantry. The battle of Brežice seemed merely to confirm the supremacy of the Ottoman Empire, but fortunately for the Christians, the Ottomans did not seem in the mood for further conquests of Europe.

    Indeed, all they asked for was Christian recognition of the annexation of Bosnia, Wallachia, Moldavia, and Hungary by the Ottoman Empire, which the Christians were able to agree to easily. The Ottomans, for their part, were able to consolidate their hold on the surroundings for the next few years.
     
  14. alex994

    alex994 Hail Divine Emperor!

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    The Destruction of the English Lands in France so early is heretical! I mean come on, the Crusade in Spain would be much more attractive to many Crusaders then a war against the English.

    :puts in all notion of hate, and etc towards north king:

    I'm joking about the hate part, and since you can easily see white font...
     
  15. North King

    North King blech

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    Things shifted considerably north what with the religious war and all.
     
  16. Insane_Panda

    Insane_Panda Deity

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    Alex, dont be sad because France owns. Its what France was made to do. Own. Germans and 1st-50th coalitions were god's check on the frenchmen, so that they would let others own.
     
  17. das

    das Regeneration In Process

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    Well-written, NK, do continue.

    The war started in 1337, and in ATL ended in 1423 (officially?)... Well, I guess it could be Eighty Years War.
    Strikes me as something of an anachronism. Though I guess it still applies...
    Hmm? One'd expect the Hussites not to go THAT far, after all this will leave their rear exposed to Hungary and maybe Poland (what happened there, btw?).
    Not really. Turks are heathens, Hussites are heretics. Heretics (like Trotskytes ;) ) are worse.

    Either way, great althist.
    I intend to take it very far, but ofcourse I'll make a map eventually.
     
  18. North King

    North King blech

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    Thank you, sir, that's what I intend to do. :)

    I don't recall why I picked 80. Might've had something to do with the religious wars.

    Well, as liberal in the political sense wasn't used until 1850 in real life... I just figured I'd apply modern terms.

    (it's been a while since I actually wrote this part, so the details slip my mind sometimes)

    Poland pretty much took one look at Germany and decided that they didn't want to get involved in that mess. And they had more important worries, to say the least.

    :lol:

    True, true.

    The same to yours. :)
     
  19. das

    das Regeneration In Process

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    Yes, that's Poland (I still think that its initially pro-Hussite king will be more then just a sympathiser here, but its up to you). But Hungary, with its dynastic claims on Bohemia (well, its ruled by the Luxembourgs)...

    That said, I doubt that Hungarians will fare any better then in OTL, so the Hussites shall yet wash their boots in the North Sea, to paraphrase Zhirinovsky.

    Oh, btw - its not Zikza, its Zhizhka. Anyways, am eagerly anticipating the next part. I suspect that the Ottomans will probably turn to the Mamlukes... technically, if they move fast enough they might take over not just much of North Africa, but also a certain other Muslim state on the other side of Europe...
     
  20. North King

    North King blech

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    More as promised

    POD: Council of Constance

    Europe: 1440-1455

    A great many events had happened in the past thirty years, enough to completely change the religious aspect of Europe, and the political aspect as well.

    England had been reduced to a medium power on the periphery of Europe. Its holdings in France had been torn away; it had no continental possessions of any sort. At the same time, this made the empire of the Isles just that; the York dynasty did not have to care about continental happenings, and by the same token, they were free to do what they wished, for no land power could touch them. With this, the English turned their hungry eyes towards Eire, and spent the greater portion of the next few decades trying to subdue them, and fighting wars on and off with Scotland.

    France, for its part, was now one of the greatest, if not simply the greatest, power in all of Europe. Its only true rival were the Jagiellon Polish-Lithuanian union and the Hussite alliance of central Germany. Spain was no threat at all, and while they as of yet could not challenge the British on the sea, they were quite invincible to them on land.

    Thus, the Valois dynasty had nothing to stop their steady expansion. This was not down with the sword and cannon, but rather with the pen and sex, to put it bluntly. Marriages were arranged with nation after nation, and by the 1460s, the French King Jean III the Great’s sons were either heirs or relatives of the crowns of France, Burgundy, Savoie, and Aragon. There was another, major branch of the royal house, that founded by Charles, but the Carolingian Valois were loyal and usually simply viewed as brothers to the Kings, even if brothers not considered in the succession.

    The Hussite Confederacy, meanwhile, was growing strong. Trade flourished, as the nation was ruler of all the great German trading ports and centers. Agriculture was bountiful, even through the colder years that the century was trending towards. Most of all, the armies of the nation maintained their training and skill throughout, so that no other nation could touch them.

    Now for the early 1450s, no history would be complete without documenting the various successions in the midst of Central Europe. The Jagellion dynasty of Poland Lithuania was gradually extending its feelers southward, and the death of the Hungarian king provided them more than ample opportunity; in short order they managed to secure the throne of Hungary. Not to be outdone, Bohemia attempted to gain further influence over Austria...

    This, however, aroused the anger of Frederick V of Austria. His duchy might be small, and it had been on the losing side of the War of Religion, but he was still a proud Hapsburg and would not stand to see his family’s honor soiled. He roundly rejected any Bohemian marriage proposals, and sent several terse letters to the Bohemian king.

    The insults and retorts thrown back and forth began slowly to flare up, and finally it boiled over into a full scale war. Austria was fairly small and unimportant compared to the Hussite Confederacy, but this was not everything; they had a great deal of wealth from the salt mines of Salzburg and as much wealth from the gold of Stiermark. Hiring mercenaries, Frederick put together an army of those who pledged to him for coin and those who pledged for religion.

    The pope made a few noises about unsanctioned Crusades, since the French didn’t particularly want the Hapsburgs rising to prominence; why, they might even begin to rival the Valois–and this would force France to go to war, something they did not want at all.

    Still, the common man viewed Frederick V as more Catholic than the Pope, and he did manage to gain a sizable following.

    All this was a complete sham, of course. Frederick V had never been a particularly impressive battlefield commander; he was one who was more at home in the field of politics. The army was merely a fair political tool to gain power in another way–if he managed to look suitably impressive, the Hussites would not bother to go to war.

    But the Hussites did not care that his army was large, they did not care that he had amassed the support of a large minority of the populace throughout Europe. They were more powerful, they had more people on their sides, and most of all, Frederick was not known for battlefield command. This, it seemed, would be a fairly easy battle to win.

    Frederick needed some way out, some greater power to protect him, and he found it in the Carolingian Valois, which, as he observed, was “A dynasty in need of a throne”. Yolande Valois was a daughter in need of a husband, as well, and Maximilian of Austria agreed to take her, if the French would agree. This would put a half Valois on the throne of Austria, and bind them to France. It would outflank the Hussites, and put France’s power even higher.

    They accepted, and thus started the war of Austrian Succession.

    ******************

    Previous Entries:

    Introduction
    England
    Europe to c. 1440
     
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