Discussion in 'Never Ending Stories' started by Dachs, Jun 5, 2007.
My apologies, Symphonic Lord of D.
I think it's dead regardless.
Here ist he previous installation, with significant changes to require that it be posted as if it were a new installation. This includes a reworking of the Novgorodian-Muscovite War and some important occurences in Egypt that escaped the original version. PoD is colored blue, revisions green. Questions, criticisms, comments, etc. are welcomed and encouraged.
The Age of Elisabeth Timeline
Spoiler First Installation :
1.) Robert the Wise Angevine, King of Naples, King of Jerusalem, Count of Provence-Forcalquier becomes seriously ill.
2.) Elisabeth, Queen Mother of Hungary, arrives in Italy campaigning on behalf of her elder son, Louis I the Great Angevine, King of Hungary, Croatia, and Dalmatia to take the throne in place of her younger son Andrew, Duke of Calabria, heir to the Neapolitan throne.
3.) Robert dies.
4.) Pope Clement VI takes the side of Louis and Elisabeth over Andrew.
1.) Louis I the Great Angevine, King of Hungary, is crowned King of Naples, King of Jerusalem, and Count of Provence-Forcalquier.
2.) Louis I and Stefan II Kotromanić, Ban of Bosnia, invade Zara declaring war on Venice. Zara is conquered and the Banate of Dalmatia is united with that of Bosnia as a reward to Kotromanić. The Republic of Ragusa is founded under Hungarian hegemony.
1.) Louis I, with significant aide from Kotromanić, campaigns in the Herzegovinan principalities and Cumania (Wallachia and Moldavia) with significant success.
1.) Kotromanić invades Serbia on pretenses of aiding dynastic relatives in Montenegro gain independence. Louis I joins and the War of Montenegrin Independence begins officially on May 20.
2.) Albania rises in revolt under Charles Angevine, Duke of Durazzo, cousin to Louis I of Hungary, and legal claimant to the Albanian throne.
3.) The Battle of the Zeta takes place on July 3. Combined Hungarian, Bosniak, Montenegran, and Albanian forces crush the Serb military.
4.) The Treaty of Belgrade is signed ending the war. The treaty is signed by a collective of Serb lords in place of Stefan Duan, who has fled to exile in Bulgaria. Serbia becomes a Banate of Hungary under Charles, who also becomes the Prince of Albania.
5.) Bala I is crowned king of the newly independent Montenegro.
6.) Bala I and his three sons and heirs die under mysterious contexts. Kotromanić becomes the logical heir and is crowned king of Montenegro.
1.) An assassination attempt organized by Charles I, Prince of Albania on the life of Louis I, who had only female heirs which would have allowed Charles to place a claim to the throne, is uncovered by Kotromanić. Charles is seized and executed by Hungarian forces and Louis I, the logical heir, takes the Albanian throne.
1.) Louis I re-releases the Golden Bull of 1222, guaranteeing the rights of Hungarian nobility.
1.) The Moldavian Voivodeship is founded out of Cummania by Louis I. Dragoş of Béltek Maramureş is sent by Louis I to establish a line of boundary against the Golden Horde. Dragoş continues the campaign extending Moldavia to the Dneister River.
1.) Tvrtko I becomes Ban of Bosnia and King of Montenegro.
1.) Byzantine Emperor John V Palaeologos appeals to Hungary for aide against the Ottomans. Louis I responds by sending a moderate force under Tvrtko, marking Hungarian entrance into the War of Adrianople.
1.) Kazimierz Wielki III, King of Poland names Louis I, his nephew, as his successor.
2.) The War of Adrianople stalls and John V appeals for more help. Louis responds by sending another small army followed by a second soon there after.
2.) The War of Ardrianople turns in favor of the Byzantines with The Fourth Battle of Adrianople. Most of the Hungarian forces, including Tvrtko, return home.
1.) The War of Adrianople turns again, this time in favor of the Ottomans, with The Sixth Battle of Adrianople. John V does not request aide.
1.) The Ottomans win the seemingly decisive Battle of Pentikion. John V seeks aide from Louis I but is denied.
2.) John V seeks aide again, pledging to hand over all Byzantine territory as far south as Thessaloniki in Greece excepting the Golden Horn and Gallipoli. Louis I responds by personally leading a large force.
3.) Bâlc Maramureş assumes the Voivodeship of Moldavia.
4.) Bogdan of Cuhea raises a revolt in Moldavia. Bâlc flees into Transylvania and requests help from Buda, which sends a small force to prevent Bogdan from entering Transylvania, but nothing more.
5.) Proclamation of the first Orthodox Romanian Metropolitan Church in Wallachia.
1.) A series of decisive battles takes place between the Magyaro-Byzantine forces and the Ottomans culminating in The Eighth Battle of Adrianople. The Ottomans return to Anatolia.
1.) Louis I redirects his attention and leads a large number of troops into Moldavia, crushing the fledgling rule of Bogdan and reinstating Bâlc as vovoide. Bogdan flees to Walachia.
1.) The Hungarian royal residence is moved by Louis I to Buda from Esztergom (Gran).
2.) Louis I invades Bulgaria.
1.) Louis I defeats and captures Ivan Stratsimir, Tsar of Bulgaria, securing northern Bulgaria.
2.) Pope Urban V succeeds Pope Innocent VI in Avignon.
1.) Byzantium wins the naval Battle of Megara against the Ottoman Turks.
2.) Epirus revolts against Byzantium, establishing a greater level of independence while the Byzantines are distracted defending against the Ottomans.
3.) Tvrtko invades and conquers Epirus, crowning himself Despot of Epirus.
1.) Louis I initiates a series of successful wars against Wallachia and Bulgaria. Wallachia is conquered in 1368, Bulgaria remains independent.
1.) Decree of Turda negates nobility rights of the Orthodox Romanians in Transylvania, Hungary.
1.) Jan Huss is born in Bohemia.
1.) Kazimierz Wielki III, King of Poland, dies and Louis I the Great Angevine, King of Hungary, Croatia, and Dalmatia is crowned King of Poland.
2.) Pope Gregory XI succeeds Pope Urban V in Avignon.
Spoiler Second Installation :
1.) Tsar Ivan Shishman is crowned as co-emperor with his brother Ivan Stratsimir by their father Tsar Ivan Alexander, the supreme emperor. Bulgaria is significantly weakened by the split.
1.) Louis I invades a weakened Bulgaria.
1.) Ottomans defeat the Byzantines decisively at the naval Battle of Lesbos.
2.) Ottomans begin the invasion of Greece, landing forces on the mainland.
3.) Siege of Thessaloniki, John V Palaeologos requests aide from Louis I of Hungary, the request is denied as Hungary is tied up in Bulgaria.
1.) Philip II of Taranto passes, leaving the Principality of Taranto and the Principality of Achaea to James of Baux.
2.) Mária of Hungary Angevine is betrothed to Sigismund of Luxembourg despite the wishes of Elisabeth of Bosnia Kotromanić, Queen Consort of Hungary and mother of Mária.
1.) Magyaro-Bulgarian War stalls with Hungary controlling the inner half of Bulgaria.
2.) The Ottoman invasion of Greece carries on with minimal Byzantine resistance but significant peasant uprising. John V requests help from Hungary several times but is denied. He also requests help from the West but is likewise denied.
1.) The Avignon Papacy returns to Rome under the leadership of Pope Gregory XI at the behest of Catherine of Sienna.
2.) Treaty of Santorini signed ending the war between the Ottomans and Byzantines. Greece is handed over to the Ottomans and the Ottomans pledge to guarantee the independence of Constantinople under Byzantine rule.
3.) Pope Gregory XI condemns John Wycliffe.
4.) Władysław II Jagiello succeeds to the Lithuanian throne and becomes sole ruler.
5.) Plovdiv falls in late November. Bulgaria incorporated into the Hungarian Empire.
1.) John Wycliffe attempts to defend his theses before the English public.
2.) Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV of Luxembourg dies. His son Wenceslaus IV the Drunkard, Elector of Brandenburg, succeeds him as King of Bohemia and King of Germany. He is elected King of the Romans.
3.) Papacy permanently moved to Rome.
4.) Pope Urban VI elected Pope under pressure from the Roman mob.
5.) Antipope Clement VII elected at Fondi, establishes himself in Avignon. Western Schism begins.
6.) Louis I intervenes on behalf of Urban VI. He leads a large force into Italy while sending Tvrtko to lead a force in Provence, a holding of the Hungarian crown since merger with the Neapolitan crown, to besiege Avignon.
7.) France intervenes, sending a force to clash with the Hungarian one.
1.) War of the Papal Schism continues with Hungarian and French forces clashing in Italy and Provence. Both sides make advances but neither is able to gain the upper hand.
2.) Radu I, titular Prince of Wallachia, and his son Dan I, titular heir to the Princedom of Wallachia, raise a revolt against Hungary. Forces under the loyal Bâlc Maramureş, Voivode of Moldavia, are sent to suppress the rebellion. They meet moderate success before being forced to retreat by lack of supplies.
1.) Battle of Milan takes place between Hungarian lead pro-Urban forces and French led pro-Clement forces. The battle ends in a draw with both sides retreating from Northern Italy to lick their wounds.
2.) The War of the Papal Schism continues in Provence with minor gains by Tvrtko.
1.) The Peasants Revolt takes place in England. As a result Wycliffe grows more unpopular among the elite.
2.) Kęstutis Alexander seizes the Grand Dukeship of Lithuania.
3.) The War of Chioggia comes to an end with Venice defeating Genoa.
4.) France launches a new offensive in Northern Italy. They are opposed by a weakened Venice.
5.) England enters the War of the Papal Schism in Northern France with a large invasion.
6.) Brittany revolts, siding with Pope Urban VI and joining England and Hungary.
7.) Second Battle of Milan takes place. French forces are soundly defeated by a Venice-lead alliance of pro-Urban Italian city states supported by Hungarian florins. France retreats from Italy.
8.) Battle of Kermartin takes place. Anglo-Breton forces defeat French forces.
9.) Battle of Évreux is fought between the English and French. French win a crushing victory through superior tactics. English retreat to stronger positions west of the Orne.
1.) Battle of Orange is fought in Provence. Forces under the leadership of Tvrtko decisively crush French troops. Tvrtko marches on and lays siege to Avignon.
2.) Avignon falls. Clement VII and the rebel cardinals are executed en masse. Pope Urban VI is reinstated as the Holy Father for all of Catholic Christendom.
3.) Synod of London condemns the teaching of Wycliffe.
4.) Treaty of Genoa signed by all involved parties. Provence is made a duchy, Brittany is made fully independent, and England takes control of much of northern France.
5.) Trieste donates itself to Hungary out of fear of being conquered by Venice.
6.) Louis I the Great Angevine, King of Hungary, Croatia, and Dalmatia, King of Naples, King of Jerusalem, Duke of Provence-Forcalquier, Prince of Albania, King of Poland, dies. His eldest daughter Mária inherits the throne. At the behest of her mother, Elisabeth of Bosnia, she immediately dismisses her betrothal to Sigismund. Elisabeth organizes Tvrtkos placement as co-regent.
7.) Kęstutis Alexander, Grand Duke of Lithuania is taken prisoner and executed by the former Grand Duke, Władysław II Jagiełło, who regains the crown.
1.) James Baux, Prince of Taranto and Prince of Achaea, dies. Mária seizes the principality of Taranto, a fief of Hungary. Charles II of Durazzo the Short Angevine inherits Achaea.
2.) Stefan Tvrtko I Kotromanić, Ban of Bosnia and King of Montenegro and Mária wed at the urging of Elisabeth of Bosnia. Tvrtko receives the titles and holdings of Louis I.
3.) The Teutonic Crusades against Lithuania recommence.
4.) The Orthodox Romanian nobles in Transylvania are restored to their positions by Trvrtko.
Spoiler Third Installation :
1.) John Wycliffe dies.
1.) Tvrtko sends Bâlc Maramureş, Voivode of Moldavia, to lead an invasion of Wallachia. After a serious of minor defeats he wins the decisive Battle of Târgovişte both Prince Dan I Basarab and his son Mircea I Basarabare killed in the fighting. The voivodeship is awarded to the Maramureş family for their service.
1.) Tvrtko and Maria institute a series of reforms, consolidating power in the Crown of St. Stephen and weakening the Hungarian nobility.
1.) The Wycliffe Bible completed.
2.) Mass persecution of Lollard followers of Wycliffes teachings begins.
1.) Pope Boniface IX succeeds Pope Urban VI in Rome.
1.) Lords in southern Hungary raise a revolt demanding a re-issuing of the Golden Bull and an expansion of rights.
2.) Charles II the Short of Durazzo, Prince of Achaea, begins secretly financing the rebels.
3.) Vytautas the Great Gediminaičiai, claimant to the Lithuanian Grand Dukeship the raises a revolt against the current Grand Duke, Jogaila Gediminaičiai Jagiellon in alliance with the Teutonic Order.
4.) Tvrtko leads an army into the south, engaging the rebels in several battles but makes little headway.
1.) The nobles secure several key positions.
2.) Charles of Durazzo reveals his intentions and begins sending Achaean troops to aide the rebels.
3.) Charles of Durazzo dies mysteriously, assassination is assumed and Elisabeth of Bosnia falls under suspicion.
4.) Vytautas allies with Muscovy.
5.) The Ottomans invade Achaea from their positions in the southern Peloponnesus. Achaea is slowly annexed into the Ottoman Empire, leaving all of Greece except the Duchy of Athens and some northern territory in Hungary under Ottoman rule.
1.) The nobles begin loosing ground to Royal forces under Tvrtko, until the last stand at the Battle of Hódvásárhely (modern Hódmezővásárhely, Csongrád, Hungary). The battle was short and the few forces that fought for the rebels in the battle mostly fled.
1.) Vytautas defeats Jogaila and takes the Lithuanian throne.
2.) Elisabeth of Bosnia, Queen Mother of Hungary, dies of natural causes.
1.) Tvrtko embarks on a second series of internal reforms eliminating defunct fiefs and reducing the number of noble titles. This includes the incorporation of Bosnia, Croatia, Dalmatia, Naples, Albania, Epirus, and Montenegro into the holdings of the Crown of St. Stephen.
1.) The uneasy peace between France and England of the Treaty of Genoa is shakily secured with the marriage of Richard II Plantagenet, King of England, Titular King of France, and Lord of Ireland to Isabella of Valois, Princess of France.
2.) Charles VI the Mad Valois, King of France invades Genoa.
3.) Genoa soundly defeats the invading French force. France is forced to pay significant reparations.
4.) Charles VI turns up dead in his bead in the royal palace, assassinated. He has no male heirs and only one living female heir, Isabella of Valois, Queen Consort of England.
1.) War of French Succession breaks out upon the death of Charles VI. Louis de Valois, Duke of Orléans claims the throne as does Richard II, whose wife is the closest thing to an obvious heir.
2.) England invades France with the intention of securing the French throne for the Plantagenets. Burgundy and most of the French fiefs side with Louis de Valois, while Brittany and a few French fiefs, in particular ones with lesser power, side with Richard II. For the time being Provence, under Hungarian rule, remains neutral.
3.) Milan sends troops to aid Louis, who is married to the dukes daughter.
4.) Genoa, Venice, Florence, and Bologna, in a surprise alliance, invade Milanese territory. Milan is destroyed and the alliance marches on to France
5.) English troops defeat Valois troops at the Battle of Lisieux, securing northern France up to the Seine.
6.) The Ottoman Empire finishes the conquest of Anatolia up to the Black Sheep and White Sheep Turkomans.
7.) Thomas Arundel appointed and then ousted as Archbishop of Canterbury.
1.) English win the Battle of Diepe. All of Normandy is now under English control.
2.) Anglo-Breton forces are defeated by Valois forces in the Battle of Batz-sur-Mer. Breton borders are pushed up to Nantes itself.
3.) Italian troops march across the Alps to attack Orléans from behind. They are confronted by a Valois army and are soundly defeated.
4.) Teutonic Order raids into Lithuanian territory resume.
1.) The war quiets down considerably for several months with both sides gathering forces.
2.) An extraordinarily large force of English, along with Italian supporters, arrives in Rouens docks. The force begins marching for Paris.
3.) Louis diverts vast amounts of troops towards Paris in order to confront English forces.
4.) The forces confront each other at The Battle of Argenteuil. The battle is long, the forces involved tremendous in number, and the list of casualties never-ending, but the English emerge victorious over the Valois by a seeming stroke of luck. The English march on to secure Paris.
5.) Provencal forces, under the leadership of Tvrtko, launch a surprise attack against Languedoc and southern French territory. Burgundy is simply too weak to defend itself and does not put up a fight.
6.) After securing southern France Tvrtko happily offers to moderate a peace between the English alliance and the Valois faction.
7.) Mária Angevine, Queen Consort of Hungary, dies of natural causes.
8.) Battle of the Vorskla River won by the Golden Horde against Lithuania, which was led by Vytautas.
9.) Warlike John V the Conqueror Montfort, Duke of Brittany, dies, his peaceful son John VI the Wise Montfort ascends to the throne.
Spoiler Third Installation Cont. :
1.) Treaty of Nantes signed. Richard II secures northern France, including Paris, and the title of King of France. Louis is given the title Grand Duke of France and sovereignty over the remnants of the French Kingdom. Provence is expanded to include all of southern France excluding English Bordeaux. Brittany is returned to pre-war borders and the title of Duke of Brittany changed to Grand Duke of Brittany to reflect the fully independent nature of the state. The Milanese territory is divided between Florence and Bologna with Genoa and Venice gaining maritime rights and minor land gains in Italy.
2.) Richard II returns to England, where an angry and officially exiled Henry Bolingbroke has him imprisoned and seizes his crown and titles.
3.) Thomas Arundel retakes his place as Archbishop of Canterbury.
4.) Welsh rebellion under Owain Glyndŵr begins with Owain declaring himself Prince of Wales.
5.) A series of squabbles over the Holy Roman Emperorship results with Wenceslaus the Drunkard Luxembourg, King of Bohemia, King of the Germans, and King of the Romans being deposed in favor of Rupert III, Elector Palatine, Count Palatine Zweibrücken, and King of the Germans.
6.) Timur defeats the Ottomans and Egyptians to capture Damascus.
7.) Timur conquers the Black Sheep Turkomans and Jalayirid Dynasty. The leaders of both seek safety among the Ottomans.
8.) Timur sacks Ottoman Sebaste (modern Sivas) in western Anatolia.
Spoiler Fourth Installation :
1.) Timur raises Baghdad.
2.) Passing of De hæretico comburendo Act in England and France by Henry IV at the behest of the anti-Lollard Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Arundel. English translations of the bible are now illegal and heresy now punishable by burning at the stake.
1.) The Ottomans loose the Battle of Ankara to Timur. The following infighting between claimants to the Ottoman throne causes a stagnation of the Ottoman rise in power.
2.) A Scottish raiding army under the Earl of Douglas is defeated by the English under Sir Henry Hotspur Percy at the Battle of Homildon Hill.
3.) The Canary Islands are colonized for Castile by Jean de Béthencourt on the orders of Henry III the Infirm Trastámara of Castile.
4.) The Welsh rebels are decisively victorious over the English, destroying the enemy army, who outnumbered them nearly 2:1, at the Battle of Bryn Glas near the Anglo-Welsh border.
5.) The former Duke of Milan, Gian Galeazzo Visconti, dies from illness as he prepares a rebellion against Florence and Bologna.
6.) Vicenza is conquered by Venice.
1.) A peasant uprising occurs in Paris and the surrounding countryside. Henry IV and his son leave with a large force for France.
2.) Sir Henry Hotspur Percy rebels against Henry IV and allies with Owain Glyndŵr of Wales.
3.) Battle of Shrewsbury takes place in late July in the north of England. Rebel forces under Sir Henry Percy face off against royalist forces. The Cheshire archers prove decisive in holding off the much larger royalist force long enough for rebel Welsh reinforcements to arrive. The rebels emerge victorious.
4.) Jan Hus begins preaching Lollard inspired teachings in Bohemia.
5.) The rebellion in France is put down and Henry IV returns to England.
6.) Henry IV marries Joanna of Navarre née dÉvreux, former regent of Brittany and daughter of the Navarrese king, Charles II the Bad dÉvreux.
7.) While the Ottomans are absorbed by internal struggles the Byzantines make a grab for Ottoman territory in northern Greece but are advised against this by Tvrtko.
8.) Vytautas ends the Lithuanian-Muscovian alliance and captures Smolensk and Vyazma.
9.) Georgia recognizes Timur as suzerain.
1.) Owain Glyndŵr secures a triple alliance between himself, Scotland, and Sir Henry Percys rebels against England. Parliamentary assemblies begin in Wales.
2.) Pope Innocent VII succeeds Pope Boniface IX in Rome.
3.) Stefan Tvrtko I Kotromanić, King of Hungary, King of Naples, King of Jerusalem, Grand Duke of Provence-Forcalquier, Prince of Albania, King of Poland, dies and is succeeded by his son Stefan Tvrtko II Kotromanić.
4.) Peace and alliance against Moscow is signed by Lithuania and the Teutonic Knights.
5.) The Battle of Shipton Moor results in a defeat at the hands of Henry IV of rebel troops under the leadership of Archbishop of York Richard le Scrope and Thomas Mowbray, Earl of Norfolk. The rebel troops retreat to better positions and join with forces under Sir Henry Percy.
1.) Timur dies of fever while on campaign in China.
1.) The Battle of Brassington is fought between the English rebels, Welsh rebels, and Scots on one side and the royal forces on the other. The royal forces are overwhelmed and the rebel alliance emerges victorious.
2.) Peace of Derby is signed. The independent Principality of Wales and Grand Duchy of Northumberland are recognized with the former under Owain IV the Great Glyndŵr, Prince of Wales and the Parliament of Wales and the later under Henry Hotspur Percy, Grand Duke of Northumberland. Man is secured as a definitively Scottish holding.
3.) Pope Alexander V succeeds Pope Innocent VII in Rome.
4.) Vytautas signs an alliance with the Novgorod Feudal Republic.
5.) Pisa falls to Florence.
1.) The Grand Duchy of France invades that of Provence-Forcalquier.
2.) Tvrtko II responds by leading a large force into Provence.
1.) Battle of Marseilles ends with a climactic clash between French and Provencal-Hungarian forces. Tvrtko II is killed be a random arrow in the back as Louis de Valois leads a surprise attack from behind. Hungarian forces are withdrawn from Provence.
2.) The death of Tvrtko II leads the ascension of Borić I the Infant Kotromanić, at the age of eighteen months, to the Hungarian throne and the regency of the Queen Mother Kujava née Radenović.
3.) The Treaty of Montpellier is signed by Kujava née Radenović, in the stead of Borić the Infant as Duke of Provence-Forcalquier and Louis de Valois. Languedoc and other Provencal holdings outside of Provences own borders are handed over to the French Grand Duke.
4.) Vytautas is invited to become knyaz of the Novgorod Feudal Republic.
1.) The Mac Carthy Mors and OBriens of southern and Western Ireland lead a revolt against the English with support from the Scottish. The other de facto (some of them also de jure) independent clans of Ireland join the revolt.
2.) The Anglo-Irish lords, by now in large part Gaelicized, are convinced to join the rebellion at the Summit of Dingle, in the territory of the rebel-friendly and Gaelicized FitzGerald clan.
3.) Battle of Kildare proves a victory for the Irish. Though not resulting in significant territory transfer, it does force Henry IV to go to Ireland with as much of an army as he could assemble to put the rebellion down.
4.) The Battle of Louth results in an English victory and the Irish rebels are pushed back from the Pale.
5.) The Battle of Tullamore proves a decisive rebel victory with Henry IV himself being killed in the fray.
6.) With absolutely no money to pursue the rebels, Henry V, the new King of England and King of France, is forced to sign the Treaty of Cork establishing the independent Royal Republic of Ireland.
7.) The Royal Republic of Ireland is formed with the Parliament, consisting of representatives of the rebel clans, the few remaining old kingdoms, and the Anglo-Irish lords, sitting in Cork.
1.) The conquest of Sardinia is completed by the Aragonese.
2.) The Battle of Gulbene, one of the largest and bloodiest in medieval history, is fought in eastern Latvia between forces of the Teutonic Order and forces of Lithuania-Novgorod. Utilizing ingenious tactics, some of which were acquired from the Mongols, forces under the leadership of Vytautas the Great are decisively victorious over the Teutonic Knights.
3.) Pope Martin V succeeds Pope Alexander V in Rome.
Spoiler Fifth Installation :
1.) Battle of Rapla is fought between Novgorodian and Teutonic forces in eastern Estonia. The already severely weakened Teutonic Knights stand no chance against the high moral of the Novgorodians and the battle is quickly and easily won for Novgorod.
2.) Forces of the Teutonic Order and the Lithuanian-Novgorodian alliance (mainly Lithuanians) meet at the Battle of Maeikiai. The battle at first appears to be a real competition, but once cracks appeared in the Teutonic ranks they broke and the superior moral allowed the Lithuanians to break the enemy ranks.
1.) The Valladolid Laws are passed in Spain placing severe restrictions on the civil rights of the Jewish population.
2.) The Peace of Turoń is signed by the Teutonic Order and the Lithuanian-Novgorodian alliance. The major Teutonic holdings in Livonia and Lithuania are split between the Novgorodians and Lithuanians leaving the Prussians with their holdings in Germany and Pomerania.
3.) Jan Hus condemns the practice of indulgences.
4.) Under papal order the Cardinal of St. Angelo takes action against Jan Hus.
5.) The Synod of Český Brod is held in Bohemia. The traditional Catholics, wishing to avoid a major confrontation, give into the Hussites by agreeing that condemnations can only be made with the agreement of the political leader of the concerned region.
1.) Florence invades Sienna.
2.) Hussite Lollardy begins gaining dominance in Bohemia and spreading to neighboring regions in the Hungarian Empire and Austria.
3.) The Union of Yama is signed, creating the Lithuanian-Novgorodian Commonwealth with Vytautas the Great Gediminaičiai crowned King of Lithuania and Novgorod and the Novgorodian legislature expanded to include Lithuanian representation. Vytautas and the Lithuanian nobility convert to Eastern Orthodoxy.
1.) Sienna falls to Florentine forces.
2.) The Church in England begins a crusade to eliminate Lollardism, including the burning of all works by Wycliffe and the systematic persecution and on occasion execution of nobles supporting the Lollards.
3.) A number of Lollard nobles flee to Northumberland to escape persecution.
1.) Wenceslaus IV the Drunkard Luxembourg, King of Bohemia, gives full legal standing to Hussite Lollardism along with the Roman Catholic Church.
2.) Construction of the Eastern Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension of the Holy Virgin Mary begun in Vilnius by Vytautas.
1.) The Genoese-Florentine War begins with Florence invading Genoese holdings in the former Duchy of Milan.
2.) Siege of Genoa begins.
3.) So-called Celtic Reformation, inspired by Lollardy, begins in Ireland under the leadership of Sister Mary, Abbess of Kildare and a number of abbots around the countryside. Much of the nobility openly supports the movement.
4.) The Celtic Reformation begins to spread to Scotland.
5.) An assignation attempt by Sigismund Luxembourg, Margrave of Brandenburg, on the life of Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia is halted and Sigismund is executed.
6.) Ernest I and William III von Bayern-München, close allies of Sigismund, distance themselves from Sigismund by allying with the Hussite allies of Wenceslaus giving them freedom in Bavaria-Munich.
1.) Genoese and Florentine diplomats sign the Treaty of La Spezia ending the war and creating the Most Serene Dual Republic of Florence-Genoa.
2.) Persecution of Lollards in England heightens.
3.) Celtic Reformation gains ground in Ireland and Scotland. Spreads to Man and Wales.
4.) Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia dies. His wife, Sofia of Bavaria, becomes Custodian of the Throne.
5.) Ernest I von Bayern-München is crowned King of Bohemia as the closest successor to the deceased Wenceslaus IV.
6.) Under the leadership of Vytautas Lithuania-Novgorod reaches the Crimea, thus stretching from the Baltic to the Black.
1.) Portuguese rediscover and begin settling the Madeira Islands.
2.) Native Northumbrian nobility begins adopting Lollardy.
3.) Celtic Reformation continues spreading in Ireland, Scotland, Man and Wales. Begins to gain adherents in (English ruled) Cornwall.
1.) The Kingdom of Cyprus invades Mamluk Egypt.
2.) Murad II Osman leads an Ottoman invasion of Egypt taking advantage of the Cypriot invasion, severe political instability, and continued upheaval in Syria.
1.) Under pressure from the nobility, Henry II Percy, Grand Duke of Northumberland, adopts Lollardism as the state religion.
2.) Savoy invades and conquers the remaining independent states of western Northern Italy, Genoa those of central northern Italy, and Venice those of eastern Northern Italy.
3.) The Battle of the Al-Fula is fought between Ottoman and Mamluk forces in the Jezreel Valley. Despite suffering large losses the Ottomans emerge victorious due to the valiant efforts of the Turkish Sipahi cavalry.
4.) The Mamluks make one last stand for Syria and the Holy Land at the Battle of El-Azariya (remembered in Christendom as the Battle of Bethany) some two miles from Jerusalem. Though the Mamluks fought valiantly to keep the Holy City, the Ottomans fought equally fiercely to gain it. In the end the Sipahis once again proved their value by tilting the battle in the Ottoman favor and handing control of the Holy Land to the House of Osman with surprisingly minimal losses.
5.) Cypriots emerge victorious at the Battle of Alexandria against demoralized and severely weakened Egyptians.
1.) Battle of Giza is fought below the Great Pyramid between Mamluk, Ottoman, and Cypriot forces. The Cypriots emerge victorious with the Ottomans forced to accept a Cypriot victory due to earlier losses in Syria.
2.) Following the Battle of Cairo Mamluk Egypt splinters apart as numerous claimants from among the ruling Burji dynasty and from the rest of the Mamluk class claim power for themselves throughout the empire.
3.) So-called Coptic Renaissance begins under the pro-Christian rule of the Cypriots and leadership of Pope Matheos the Poor. Orthodox in Cyprus, however, are further angered by the Latin Monarchys support of Coptic Orthodox in Egypt and oppression of Eastern Orthodox in Cyprus.
1.) The Great Italian War breaks out with the Dual Republic invading Venetian holdings in the former Duchy of Milan and in the east of Italy.
2.) The forces meet in the Battle of Peschiera outside the town of Peschiera del Garda in western Veneto. After a drawn out battle in which the Venetians are successful for some time in defending the fortress, the superior numbers and technology of the Dual Republic win out.
3.) Padua is placed under siege. The city holds out for eight months before surrendering without bloodshed.
4.) The Synod of Canterbury is called for by English authorities to discuss Northumberlands adoption of Lollardy. They decide to raise an army to crusade against Northumberland and to request of the pope to officially declare a crusade against Northumberland.
1.) Forces of the Dual Republic reach the outskirts of the Venetian lagoon.
2.) The Venetian doge agrees to meet that of the Dual Republic in Padua so as to avoid the siege and possible destruction of Venice.
3.) The Treaty of Padua is signed by Venice and the Dual Republic, forming the Most Serene Republic of Italy.
4.) The pope refuses to officially declare a crusade, though he unofficially encourages the English to pursue an invasion of Northumberland.
5.) An Ottoman invasion of the Cypriot home island is launched, taking the Kapasia Peninsula and from there moving south west through the island.
6.) Murad II personally leads an Ottoman army from Syria into Egypt.
1.) English forces under John of Lancaster Plantagenet, Duke of Bedford set out for Northumberland with the intent of deposing the Grand Duchy and bringing it back under Roman Catholic control.
2.) English forces camped in Weardale near Wolsingham are surprised in a night attack from the high ground above the valley by Northumbrian troops. The Battle of Wolsingham is a massacre and the English are left devastated.
3.) Greek Orthodox Cypriots are stirred into revolt against their Catholic leaders by the Ottomans, who promise greater freedoms than the Catholics have provided.
4.) Murads forces confront a Cypriot army in the Battle of Damietta. Though the Ottomans emerge victorious, Murad is killed his successor, Mehmed II the Conqueror Osman, takes over command of the army.
5.) The Battle of Ain Shams is fought between Ottoman and Cypriot forces outside of Cairo. The Ottomans emerge victorious and secure Cairo and all of the Cypriot territory south until the Mamluk warlord dominated regions.
6.) The Cypriots are pushed out of Egypt by the Ottomans at the Battle of Rosetta.
1.) English sign the Treaty of Cornriggs. The English crown agrees to relinquish all claims to sovereignty over Northumberland and to legalize Lollardy. Northumberland in turn agrees to give Roman Catholicism the same rights as Lollardry.
2.) Ernest I von Bayern-München legalizes Lollardy in Bohemia under severe pressure from the merchants, peasantry, and Lollard clergy who now dominate. This is soon followed by the legalization of Lollardy in Bavaria.
3.) Celtic Reformed Catholicism is made the state religion of Ireland (Irish Reformed Church), Scotland (Scottish Reformed Church), and Wales (Welsh Reformed Church). All of these churches claim full communion with the Pope of Rome.
4.) Witch hunts begin in Switzerland.
5.) Diogo de Silves discovers the Azores Islands in the service of Portugal.
6.) The Battle of Nicosia is fought between Ottoman and Cypriot forces. The Cypriots appear set for victory on the eve of the battle when word reaches that Mehmed II has emerged the winner. The demoralized Cypriots are decimated by the Ottomans and a force of rebel East Orthodox.
1.) Hussite Lollardy begins to gain popularity in Hungary, particularly among the German-speaking communities of northern Hungary.
2.) Albert III von Bayern-München, heir to the Bohemian and Bavarian crowns, marries Teodóra Kotromanić, a Hungarian princess and sister of King Borić I the Infant Kotromanić.
3.) The Most Serene Republic of Italy invades Bologna in a five pronged attack, moving against Bologna itself with two armies and against their formerly Milanese holdings north of the Po with three armies, two from the west and one from the east.
4.) Siege of Bologna begins.
5.) Northern Bolognese territory conquered, Italian troops redirected south to aid in the siege of Bologna.
6.) Remaining Cypriot forces retreat into the south and of the island, appealing to Western Christendom for aide, which they do not receive.
7.) Fearful of the growing power of their neighbor, Muscovites invade the Commonwealth of Lithuania-Novgorod.
8.) The Coptic Renaissance continues with the conversion of the Mamluk warlord of Tmoon, the first such conversion of a Mamluk warlord.
1.) The anticlimactic Battle of Paphos is fought between Ottoman and Cypriot forces near the ruins of what was once the center of the Aphrodite cult. The Cypriots, too hungry, demoralized, and generally worn out to resist too heartily, are slaughtered by the Ottomans and Orthodox Cypriot peasants in a matter of an hour or less.
2.) With Italian troops focused on the arena south of the Po, Savoy advantageously invades Italy, taking territory up to and past Milan itself as well as much of Liguria, falling short of Genoa, however.
3.) Aragon lands an invasion fleet on Corsica, intent to take the territory as its own while Italy is involved with more important matters.
4.) Vytautas repulses the Muscovite offensive with a series of battles in the hinterlands. He proceeds to lead his troops in an offensive into Muscovite lands.
1.) Rinaldo degli Albizzi of Florence rallies Italian troops under his command, leading them to a swift series of victories, destroying the Savoisienne army and securing Milan and the associated territory north of the Po.
2.) Rinaldo continues on, leading his troops into a direct offensive against Savoy.
3.) Bolognese and Italian officials sign the Treaty of Modena, incorporating Bologna into the Most Serene Republic of Italy.
4.) The last resistance in Corsica is decimated by the Aragonese.
5.) The Ottoman expansion redirects itself east ward with an invasion of Trebizond.
6.) Coptic missionaries sent by Alexandrine Pope John XI of Maksi covert several Mamluk warlords as part of the Coptic Renaissance, including the powerful warlords of Benghazi and Akhmin.
7.) The Battle of Porkhov results in a Muscovite victory. The Commonwealth forces are pushed back from the Pskov area further in towards Novgorod.
1.) The Ligurian War continues with Italian and Savoisienne forces clashing along the Savoy-Italy border and Italian and Aragonese fleets staring each other down, trying to outmaneuver one another but never actually engaging in combat.
2.) Muscovite and Commonwealth forces trade blows along the mostly stagnant battle front with the Muscovites failing to capitalize on their victory at Porkhov.
3.) Coptic Mamluk warlords and their Muslim counterparts clash throughout Egypt. In the Ottoman court of Bursa opposing factions debate remaining outside of the conflict, intervening on the side of the Christians (who were encouraged to have good relations with the sultan by their Pope) with the aim of securing control over all of Egypt, or intervening on the side of the Muslims (who were more nationalistically Arab and anti-Turkish) with the aim of securing control over all of Egypt. For the time the sultan chose the first possibility.
1.) Chambéry is laid under siege after the Italian victory at the Battle of Thonon-les-Bains, forcing the Savoisiennes to the discussion table. The subsequent Treaty of Thonon-les-Bains incorporates Savoy into the Most Serene Republic of Italy.
2.) Hafsid Ifriqiya launches a surprise attack against the Aragonese in support of Italy. The two fleets face off in the naval Battle of SantAntioco Island off the southern tip of Sardinia, which is easily won by the fresh and well prepared Ifriqiyans.
3.) In the Battle of San Fiorenzo Bay a combined Italian-Hafsid fleet defeats an Aragonese fleet, securing dominance over the Ligurian Sea and the islands of Corsica and Sardina.
4.) Kujava Kotromanić née Radenović, former regent and de facto ruler of Hungary in the stead of Borić I the Infant Kotromanić, sends Borić the Infant to lead Hungarian forces in an invasion of the remnant holdings of the Teutonic Order.
5.) Gil Eanes, in the service of Portugal, rounds Cape Bojador. The Portuguese enter the African slave market.
6.) Alexandrine Pope John XI, an ally of the sultan, backs the devout Coptic warlord Shenouda Fanous of Benghazi, encouraging his wars to conquer the whole of Cyrenaica.
7.) Muscovite forces manage to break the Commonwealth line in the Battle of the Msta River.
1.) Italy sends two fleets to retake Corsica and conquer Sardinia.
2.) Italian forces defeat the Aragonese invasion forces in the Battle of San Martino di Lota in central Corsica. In securing the highlands and the eastern coast the Italians are able to drive the Aragonese into relatively defenseless positions and thus to control the island.
3.) The Battle of Mount Ortobene in northern Sardinia drives the Aragonese away from the coast and into the interior.
4.) The Aragonese are forced to retreat into west-central Sardinia where the Italians catch them some ways outside the town of Bosa. The ensuing Battle on the Temo is won by the Italians, who were superior in training, technology, and experience coming straight out of the great battlefields of Northern Italy.
5.) The last of the Aragonese in Sardinia are cornered by the Italians in the southeast of the island. The Battle of Ilbono results in a decisive Italian victory.
6.) In the naval theatre the climactic Battle of Es Migjorn Gran is fought off the southwest coast of Minorca. The mass of the Aragonese fleet is pitted against that of the Hafsids, mercenary Barbary pirates, and a moderately sized contingent of Italian supporters. Both the Aragonese and Hafsids suffer tremendous losses. In the end, the Italians tip the balance and the day goes to the Italians-Hafsids givin them complete naval supremacy in the Western Mediterranean.
7.) Hungarian forces, far outnumbering their opponents, defeat the Teutonic Knights in the Battle of Neuteich. They go on to secure remaining Teutonic territory and to lay siege to Königsberg.
8.) Vytautas rallies his troops to a spectacular victory at the Battle of Oreshek (Shlisselburg), successfully utilizing the fortress defenses to destroy to annihilate the Muscovite army.
1.) The Treaty of Vila-real (Villareal) is signed by the Aragonese, Italians, and Ifriqiya. Aragon agrees to hand over Sardinia to Italy and the Balearics to the Hafsids.
2.) The still large Italian fleet launches a sneak attack on their (former) allies, the Hafsid Ifriqiyans. The Battle of La Savina Beach, fought off the coast of Formentera at the southern extremity of the Balearics, results in a definitive Italian victory and the destruction of the Hafsid navy.
3.) Barbary pirates, under hire of the Italians, destroy the harbors of Bizerte, Nabeul, Sousse, Sfax, and Halq al Wadi (La Goulette) and the ships docked there in.
4.) A small Italian force lands in the Balearics, raising the Italian standard over Majorca.
5.) Königsberg falls to the Hungarian forces. The Teutonic Order is no longer extent as a political force.
6.) Vytautas forces, in a dramatic counterattack, reach and lay siege to Moscow.
1.) Italian forces establish beachheads in Bizerte and Nabeul.
2.) Forces under Rinaldo degli Albizzi move out from Nabeul to lay siege to Tunis, where the superior Italian troops manage to hold out against valiant Hafsid attempts to break the siege.
3.) A separate army under the command of Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, the Wolf of Rimini, marches on Halq al Wadi from Bizerte taking the city easily.
4.) Malatestas troops join in the siege of Tunis.
5.) Scottish capital is moved to Edinbourgh.
6.) Having completed the conquest Cyrenaica with the fall of Ajdabiya Shenouda Fanous embarks on a pilgrimage, traveling to Alexander to visit Poe John XI, then on to holy sites in throughout the Ottoman Empire including Bethleham, Jerusalem, and Antioch before pledging his allegiance to the sultans court in Bursa. Shenouda leaves his nephew Youssef Wahba in control during his absence.
7.) Moscow capitulates and the Commonwealth forces take the city. In the ensuing celebrations Vytautas dies choking on a chicken bone. ygimantas I Kęstutaitis takes his place as general and de facto ruler of the Commonwealth.
8.) Metropolitan St. Pimen moves the Metropolia of Moscow to Yaroslavl.
1.) A large Hafsid army, consisting of a mix of Ifriqiyan troops and Berber mercenaries, attacks the back of the Italian besieging forces. The Battle of the Bab el Bahr is fought long and hard beneath the looming shadow of the famed arch. Italys superior leadership, greater troop experience, and top-of-the-line weaponry finally win the day due to crafty in-battle diplomacy on the part of the Wolf of Rimini, who manages to persuade the Berber mercenaries to turn their backs on the Ifriqiyans in exchange for chests upon chests of gold florins.
2.) With the fall of Tunis the Hafsid governance collapses and resistance becomes minimal with Italian troops seizing the remaining territory with relative ease.
3.) The Wolf of Rimini, appointed governor of the new Piccola Sicilia, or Little Sicily, territory formed of Ifriqiya, establishes government functions in Halq al Wadi and renames the city La Goletta. Colonizers, mainly from Maltestas home lands in Romagna, soon begin to trickle into Piccola Sicilia, in particular the highly Italian La Goletta.
4.) ygimantas I Kęstutaitis returns to Vilnius having completed the conquest of Muscovy (and thus all of the Russian principalities with the exceptions of Ryazan and Tver). Following the funeral ceremonies of Vytautas, he is given the Lithuanian crown before traveling to Novgorod to receive the title of knyaz.
Great work, though I'm curious as to what's going on with Byzantium and the Balkans.
I just thought I'd point this out .
Ack... that typo ruined everything.
The Coptic Renaissance sounds a bit suspicious, but I suppose that its within the realm of possibility.
The geography of the Muscovite-Commonwealth war again makes little sense, the core problem being that most of the fighting is for some reason occuring to the west from Novgorod. Obviously, Porkhov is deep in Novgorod/Commonwealth territory, so how would a Lithuanian offensive culminate in the Lithuanians fighting the Muscovites there is beyond me.
Also, I again find Milan's defenses quite underestimated; perhaps they were razed when it was first taken by that anti-Milanese coalition?
No real complaints apart from that.
Byzantium is a Turkish puppet.
Which is basically as OTL...
Sorry for delaying so long on my own TL, but the weekend absence hurt me. If the next installment isn't posted today, I'll give you a money-back guarantee.
The next installments.
I Don’t Think Now Is the Best Time.
The decade of the 1860s may have seen the destruction of a way of life and a social system in the United States, but in Europe that decade was one of the overthrow of great ancient empires and the culmination of the nationalist-motivated strife that had been unleashed by the Revolutionaries and Napoleon and only had been checked, not defeated, during the great year of 1848. Italy was the scene of a short, decisive war that saw in two short battles the expulsion of Habsburg influence and then, with an equally short, decisive campaign the assertion of Liberal Piedmontese control everywhere in the peninsula save the Patrimony of St. Peter and Venetia – the culmination and greatest success of the storied Risorgimento. The success of the Italians and the consequent loss of Habsburg prestige saw several other nations and peoples begin to strain at the shackles of the Vienna settlement that had entrapped them back in the old regimes; the German Burschenschaften, only briefly driven out following the failure of the Frankfurt Reichstag, began to trickle back into the Confederation, and Hungarians like Lajos Kossuth began once more agitating for reform and a greater role for the Empire’s Magyars. Only with great difficulty was Kaiser Franz Josef able to keep the various nationalistic forces in his imperial control enclosed in his iron fist; but only a swift kick and the whole rotten structure would quickly come crashing down. 
Prussia, despite the outward appearance of being a conservative kingdom just like its larger neighbor to the south, was already working to overthrow the Vienna settlement. Its King, Friedrich Wilhelm IV, had caved to revolutionary demands in 1848, and only with the support of the army were the Junkers able to reassert order. Thus far, the nationalist forces had been kept in check; now, the Prussian leadership, especially the Army head officers Lieutenant General Albrecht von Roon (head of a royally appointed commission to prepare the Army for enlarging reforms) and head of the Grosser Generalstab  Helmuth, Graf von Moltke. In 1858, the King took ill, and had his brother, Prinz Wilhelm, act as Regent. It was in this capacity that Wilhelm ordered the Army to mobilize in 1859 to force the French to bring a rapid conclusion to the Austro-Sardinian War; already, the Prussians, passive for so long (during the Crimean War they had decided to not intervene whatsoever on either side), were beginning to flex their muscles and utilize their enormous industrial and economic strength granted by the Zollverein. Finally, in 1861, Friedrich Wilhelm IV died and was duly replaced by his Regent, who was crowned Wilhelm I, König der Preußen.
Upon his ascension, Wilhelm had to deal with a political crisis. Von Roon, newly appointed War Minister, had finished his report and proposed a reform based on its findings. This new model army would have the conscripts’ term of service increased to three years to enlarge the actual size at any given time, and would also create a trained Landwehr militia to act as backup for the regular army. In 1862 the program’s passage was stalled in the fairly liberal House of Deputies, which refused to pass a budget that would allocate enough funds to carry out the reforms. Desperate to find a politician skilled enough to force the bill’s passage and help solidify his new rule, Wilhelm sought out the new Ambassador to France, Otto von Bismarck, an old-style Junker from back east. Von Bismarck demanded that he be allowed the full powers of not only the prime ministry but also that of the foreign minister. The King vacillated, but soon enough decided that this was more important than having more control over foreign policy, and relented, appointing von Bismarck Ministerpräsident  in late September. The newly minted Ministerpräsident quickly found a loophole: technically, there was nothing whatsoever in the Constitution about what to do if the legislators didn’t pass the year’s budget, so instead of proposing a new one, von Bismarck just used last year’s old budget, which allocated enough funds to allow von Roon and von Moltke to carry out the necessary army reforms. To show his repeated position as the friend of monarch and military, the Ministerpräsident noted that he would play the position of Strafford to the King of Prussia (a patently absurd but memorable statement ) and in his first speech to the legislative branch, said that the “great questions of the day would not be decided through speeches and majority votes – the great error of 1848 and 1849 – but instead through iron and blood”. Those last three words, transposed into “blood and iron”, became the memorable phrase of von Bismarck’s reign; they seemed to symbolize his later achievements and the idea that he had had the whole thing planned out from the day he first went into politics.
His position duly cemented, von Bismarck now began a frenzy of diplomatic activity that he would keep up until the end of his ministry. If his eventual actions in German unification are to be taken as planned out from the very beginning, he would have to break the Holy Alliance (still somehow extant despite the Crimean War), of which Prussia was still a member. After all, the entire purpose of that Alliance was to stamp out Revolution wherever it occurred in Europe, and German unification was a revolution of the worst terms to Vienna. The problem of the Holy Alliance wasn’t really even given to von Bismarck to solve, though; the aforementioned Crimean War had deeply split Russia and Austria, the latter of which had seemed to betray her erstwhile ally to ensure such a minor objective as peace (bah!). One of the great problems that his predecessors had faced if German unity had been among their objectives had been surmounted without von Bismarck having to lift a finger. Meanwhile, the remainder of the European Powers weren’t about to intervene in Germany in concert against von Bismarck; the British were on bad terms with France (they were more than a little ill at ease at having another Bonaparte just across the Channel, and the expected cooperation in Mexico had fallen through), Russia (over the whole Crimean War business), and Austria (which was still seen as the champion of Reaction, something any good Whig/Liberal would find distasteful); the Russians and French were on bad terms with Britain and Austria but on good ones with each other (due to the entente of 1856), but there was no chance that either would intervene to uphold the 1815 settlement anywhere, because Napoleon III wanted to reestablish the glory of the First Empire with the excuse of nationalism as a casus belli and Alexander II wanted to destroy the Peace of Paris and have his own way in the Balkans (another sore spot with the Austrians).
The only major alliance in Europe was therefore the Franco-Russian entente, and since that was the only alliance in existence it looked pretty impressive, more so than it actually was. Von Bismarck, following one of his oft-quoted maxims, would obviously try to make a triple out of this supposedly formidable anti-Austrian alliance (for that was the only conceivable enemy against which the French and Russians could work together). If the Prussians were to pressure the Austrians in Germany, they would thusly have Franco-Italian support in Venetia and that of the Russians in Eastern Europe and the Balkans. Such a fearsome combination might even force the Austrians to acquiesce to von Bismarck’s aims without the sacrifice of a single Pomeranian grenadier; an idiotic ultimatum, per the Austrian examples of 1856 and 1859, would certainly not have been issued against this deadly triplet.  Naturally, though, von Bismarck’s diplomatic material was not a perfect fit; instead of something else, he got the Polish affair of 1863. The Poles, as was their wont, had decided to revolt in the Congress Kingdom again, and as the rest of Europe made sympathetic noises about their plight von Bismarck contacted St. Petersburg and informed them that Prussian military bases would be open for Russian use against these rebels. This was not a particularly brilliant device; while the rest of Europe looked to the Tsar as though they were being their usual straightforward nuisance selves, the Prussians were cunningly trying to make capital out of his difficulties in Poland, just as they had tried to do so in the Austro-Sardinian War by mobilizing against the French. The Russians were however inclined to see what capital they themselves could make out of the deal, and after signing the Alvensleben Convention – by which Russia was allowed to formally annex Poland and use Prussian bases in quelling any resistance – and getting down to the unpleasant business of actually crushing those silly Poles, Foreign Minister Gorchakov proposed an alliance with von Bismarck against the Austrians and French. Naturally, the Prussians recoiled in horror from this deal, once again confirming Russian belief that the policymakers in Berlin were just being insincere; for von Bismarck’s part, he obviously wanted no part in a war whose purpose would have been solely Russian and which would have turned all of Germany and perhaps even Britain against him.
Von Bismarck was now in a bit of a rough spot. Diplomatically, he had been unable to form his desired triple with France and Russia against the Habsburgs and had had to settle not only for breaking the entente but really getting the concrete support of neither. Even worse, the Austrians were now tiresomely pretending to be Liberal in order to recoup their political loss in Italy by gaining in Germany. Since 1861 the Austrians had had a German Parliament; von Bismarck’s position now seemed even worse because he was a declared enemy of Liberalism, having publicly compared himself to Strafford. The Austrians were emboldened by Prussia’s seeming isolation; at the Confederation Diet in Frankfurt in 1863, they proposed a reform of the Confederation, allowing for greater representation from the parliaments of the Austrians, Prussians, and the various Kleinstaaterei . Von Bismarck, however, was able to save his position by replying that not only would this proposal not allow complete Austro-Prussian equality and thus duality, but that Prussia would yield none of her rights to any entity save one representing “the entire German nation”. Basically nobody thought that von Bismarck wanted or even was capable of creating a Parliament for all of Germany, and this was obviously a fake counter to Austria’s equally fraudulent Liberalism. However, soon an affair arose that offered von Bismarck an opportunity to make real book, not this piss-ant German and Polish stuff. A war was in the offing this time…
Denmark and Prussia had already fought one war over Schleswig-Holstein in 1848, when the Prussians had, in the spirit of pan-Germanism and the Revolutionary Year, invaded Denmark to ensure that Schleswig remained closer to Holstein than to Denmark. Inconclusive fighting had resulted in a peace – the London Protocol – that reestablished the status quo ante bellum, angering many Germans, especially those who lived in the Duchies. This peace had been supported primarily by Russia and France; one was the enemy of revolution and therefore opposed to changes to the Vienna system, and the other was simply flexing her new Republican (and later Imperial) muscles abroad in favor of an old ally. Over the decade of the 1850s, though, things changed dramatically. The Russians lost the Crimean War, which put other concerns on the backburner as they concentrated on the Balkans and the Ottoman Empire; the French, now eager to seek diplomatic advantage or even territorial compensation from Germany, would rather be Prussia’s partner than rely on Denmark’s losing hand. The positions of the other Powers, Britain and Austria, were even a little more nebulous: Britain’s monarch, Victoria, was certainly sympathetic to nationalist Germans in the Duchies, but there was also the growth of Prussian naval power to worry about; Franz Josef in Vienna was worried about Prussia seizing advantage in the German Confederation, but also wanted to gain the support of most Germans so as to have his own advantage over the Prussians.
The Danish themselves did not help the situation. King Frederik seemed to believe that his status quo peace had given him the right to do as he wished in the Duchies despite the London Protocol, and soon passed national constitutions that affected Schleswig and Holstein without consulting the estates of either. The German Confederation naturally refused to recognize this constitution, and the search for a more equitable one went on. Denmark eventually withdrew the constitution for Holstein and Lauenburg, but not for Schleswig, which violated the Treaty of Ribe of 1460 (in which King Christian I stated that the two duchies, Schleswig and Holstein, were indivisible). Frederik’s constant attempts to try to get Schleswig (which only had an ethnic majority of Danes in the extreme northern part) accepted as an integral part of Denmark were seen as land grabbing by most of the Great Powers, though, and slowly Denmark’s political allies drifted away. When in 1860 Denmark tried to pass a law that affected the Duchies without consulting the estates of Schleswig and Holstein themselves again, the Concert of Europe acted once more on an ad hoc basis; Britain, Prussia, Austria, and the Tsar all accepted a proposal by Lord Russell that would give the Duchies assemblies based on population proportional representation. Since this would destroy the concept of Danish sovereignty over Schleswig and Holstein, Denmark flatly refused in the spring of 1861. Met with staunch resistance and with virtually nobody willing to tear themselves away from the American drama now beginning to play an active role in the affairs of the Duchies, the issue seemed to go away; in the hearts and minds of many Germans, though, the Danish dominance continued to sting. Seeing this open field, Frederik, now ailing, acted, and in 1863 he formally repudiated all concessions that Denmark had given up in 1852 at the end of the Schleswig War. 
The problem probably wouldn’t have been so big if not for the fact that Frederik VII was not only old and intransigent, but also without male issue. The most direct heir that could be found wouldn’t be the first in line for control of the Duchies (or at least of Holstein and Lauenburg, according to most Danes), and so the recognition that the situation almost certainly had to change fired the passions of the German nationalists in Schleswig and Holstein. Frederik feverishly attempted to draft a new constitution (basically along the same lines of his old ones, except with new paper and ink stating that Denmark and Schleswig would have one parliament for the two of them and be governed by the same ruler), but died before it could be ratified. His successor, former Duke Christian of Glücksburg, was crowned Christian IX in 1863. Almost immediately – in November – he was approached with the Constitution to ratify. This Constitution, however, would nullify his right to rule over at the very least Holstein and Lauenburg, and open up the probability of war with the extremely angry Germanic Confederation. Christian, however, chose not to go against the sentiments of Denmark north of the Schleswig border, and signed the Constitution on November 18. Immediately, a hue and cry arose from the Germans. Friedrich, duke of Augustenburg, immediately renewed his claim to leadership of the unified duchies of Schleswig and Holstein; in the Confederation Diet, a motion from Otto von Bismarck was passed that called for the occupation of Holstein by German troops. The Danes were forced to withdraw military forces from Holstein as Saxon and Hanoverian troops marched in and proclaimed Friedrich “Duke Frederick VIII of Holstein”. Through January of 1864, as Meade and Lee camped near the Wilderness and Grant fortified Atlanta, Germanic and Danish forces engaged in a staring match along the banks of the Eider. Von Bismarck in Berlin, though, knew what he wanted out of this war. Here was an opportunity to make profit by the mistakes of someone else and act in concert not only with German national opinion but also that of Austria as well, solidifying Prussian ties with the Frankfurt Confederation government and increasing the likelihood that war wouldn’t be needed when Austria was finally excluded from German affairs. He browbeat first King Wilhelm into submission by getting him to approve war with Denmark north of the Eider with a specific (but secret) goal of annexation, and then pressured the Austrians into acting in concert with him. On January 16, as Prussian forces under Field Marshal von Wrangel (veteran of the 1848 war) massed in Holstein, von Bismarck – in conjunction with the Austrians – issued an ultimatum to the Danish government demanding the repudiation of the November Constitution. Denmark refused, and on 1 February 1864, Prussian and Austrian troops crossed into Schleswig and kicked off the Second Schleswig War.
Unlike its predecessor from 1848-52, the Second Schleswig War was very short and very unimaginative. The Prussians and Austrians first maneuvered the Danes into giving up the line of the Danevirke, an ancient earthen fortification just north of the Eider. Through February, the Danish army slowly withdrew towards the great fortress of Dybbol, suffering heavy casualties to the horrid weather and the lack of supplies due to a dearth of railroads. The Prussians besieged Dybbol from late February to April 18, after which the fort was seized by the German allies. Following this, the Germans flooded into Jutland, consistently defeating smaller Danish detachments in every battle until the armistice in the summer. Meanwhile, on the high seas, the Austrians and Prussians fought a drawn battle with the Danish navy at Helgoland, and eventually forced a Danish naval retreat following the loss of bases on the Jutland peninsula, which was entirely occupied by the Prussians by July 14. From August and the armistice on to October, the Danes haggled with the Germans in Vienna, but the world knew that Denmark had lost, alone and isolated, and the Danes reluctantly signed the Treaty of Vienna on October 30. By its terms, Denmark ceded Schleswig and Holstein and Lauenburg to Austria and Prussia, and renounced all claims thereto.
The division of the spoils proved intractable for the Prussians and Austrians. With the Danes once more out of the picture, they could get back to squabbling over German affairs, which they did with gusto. Intense negotiations were held over the issue of Schleswig and Holstein, presided over by von Bismarck. Eventually – in 1865 – they signed the Gastein Convention, which awarded Schleswig to Prussia and Holstein to Austria, leaving the poor duke of Augustenburg out in the cold again. It seemed as though the two Great Powers had finally papered over their differences; von Bismarck, who wasn't really intent on war with his erstwhile partner, failed to explode any war against the Habsburgs. Austria, on the other hand, wanted to continue gathering strength in the Confederation; the Kaiser was entirely conscious of the Germans' opinions that Vienna and Berlin were gathering altogether too much power to themselves and leaving none for most of Germany. Von Bismarck was not entirely unaware of these machinations, and thusly, when, in violation of Gastein, Austria brought up the issue before the Diet in Frankfurt, the Prussians had a reply prepared and a few friends in the wings...
Eisen und Blut.
In 1864, following the Second Schleswig War and the Mexican misadventures, Napoleon III and von Bismarck met at Biarritz in southern France. Von Bismarck was worried about the Austrians, and had the idea that war was imminent between the two unless a solution was reached over the Duchies. The Prussian Ministerpräsident needed some kind of assurance from France about the side they would take in any eventual Austro-Prussian War, and was looking to solve the riddle of the Sphinx of Napoleon III. The Emperor, on the other hand, had hitherto had but one concrete aim, that of restoring Venetia to Italy. Now, though, with his rebuff in Mexico, he was much more eager to play a role in German affairs, and thusly proposed a partition scheme of the Germanic Confederation, with Austria being excluded and allowing two Confederations, north and south, on religious, cultural, and agricultural grounds. This way, the Habsburgs would be taken out of the picture, and the French would have a puppet in south Germany. Von Bismarck was opposed to this scheme, since it would increase French influence about as much as that of Prussia, but saw no way to avoid a two-front war without Napoleon's support, and so signed the secret Biarritz Accord so similar to the agreement at Plombieres - in early 1865. In the Accord, France undertook to maintain neutrality in any Austro-Prussian War, and as a tit-for-tat the Prussians undertook to not only ensure Napoleon's partition scheme for Germany but also to guarantee Venetia to the Italians if they joined the war. Only a few months later, the Gastein Convention was agreed upon, and von Bismarck began to think that he had given France great inroads for basically nothing...until Austria reintroduced the dead issue at Frankfurt. Von Bismarck quickly signed an alliance with Italy against the Austrians along the lines of the agreement from Biarritz, and soon things accelerated. The Prussians had quite brilliantly deprived Austria of any options, because beforehand they had had the possibility of acquiring both of the Duchies in exchange for an anti-Italian promise to support Austria in Venetia and therefore against France. With this option gone, the Habsburgs, driven by their Liberal facade, the entirety of Germany, and their own failed schemes, denounced Prussia at Frankfurt on the 14th of June. Most of Germany agreed with Vienna, so von Bismarck, now secure in his alliances with France and Italy and sure of Russian neutrality, dissolved the Confederation and prepared for war. Italy declared war on Austria, and suddenly Central Europe was ablaze.
Almost instantly, the Prussians were able to concentrate their military via their excellent rail and telegraph network, and in two days were ready to strike against the German alliance. Von Moltke on the Generalstab had a plan for war with the Germans of the Confederation, to which he assigned General Vogel von Falkenstein with about 50,000 men. Von Falkenstein attacked Hanover on the second day of the war, but with only part of his army (a division of 6,000), he was narrowly defeated by the Hanoverian army under Alexander von Arentschildt. The Hanoverians quickly had to give up in the following days, though, as they were surrounded by the remainder of von Falkenstein's command and forced to surrender. Von Falkenstein then carried the campaign to Bavaria, shelling Würzburg and skirmishing along the Main River. The Prussians were able to seize Frankfurt am Main and Nuremberg by the end of August. Meanwhile, in Italy, the Austrians defended Venetia with conspicuous skill, using the famed Quadrilateral to easily repel the initial invasion under Alfonso la Marmora at Custozza, where due to logistical difficulties the Austrians actually outnumbered the Italians. The other column, led by Enrico Cialdini, was to cross the Po and converge on Mantua from the south, but due to the failure of la Marmora's column moved fairly slowly and decided not to even try to besiege the Austrian fort of Borgoforte, south of the Po. In July, the Austrian garrison in Venetia was reduced, so the Italians decided to renew their offensive, easily overrunning Venice up to the Isonzo and even having Giuseppe Garibaldi penetrate the Trentino. Garibaldi's Cacciatori delle Alpi  quickly reached into the mountain fastness, defeating a weak attempt at resistance by Franz von Kuhn at Bezzecca on July 21, but failed to reach Trent before the end of July.
Operations in Bohemia were far more critical to the course of the war. The Prussians had amassed three Armies, that of the Elbe (under Karl von Bittenfeld, with 40,000 men), the First (under Prinz Friedrich Karl, with 85,000 men), and the Second (under Kronprinz Friedrich Wilhelm, with 90,000 men). The Army of the Elbe quickly blew through the tinier Saxon national army and moved towards Bohemia, covering Friedrich Karl's right flank; the Kronprinz, however, was further away to the east from the other two due to the dispositions needed to cross into Austria. Meanwhile, the Austrians absorbed the Saxon army into their own bulk force, led by C-in-C Ludwig von Benedek, who had now got slightly more than 200,000 north of Prague near the Prussian border. Von Benedek originally had been ordered to invade Silesia, but was unable to mobilize quickly enough and found himself forced to yield some ground to the Prussians. In so doing, the Prussian cavalry reconnaissance lost track of his Army, until it was finally discovered on July 2. Von Moltke immediately prepared an attack with the Elbe and First Armies, to be joined by the Second Army at about midday. On the morning of July 3, an initial anemic exchange of rifle fire was followed up by the Prussian 7th Division (under von Fransecky), which spearheaded an advance on the town of Sadowa, which quickly fell. By about midmorning the fight was intensifying in scale, as the First Army and the Austrian main body clashed to the north of a smaller fight between the Elbe Army and the Saxons. The Prussians had a slight advantage in infantry combat due to their improved infantry rifle, the Dreyse needle gun, which was breech-loaded and therefore could be shot from a kneeling or prone position as opposed to the muzzle-loader Austrian muskets. However, Austrian artillery preponderance allowed them to slowly creep closer to the First Army's northern flank. At 1100, the Austrians prepared a final advance on the 7th Division, which, while dug in in a forest and slowly advancing therefrom, was holding off half of the Austrian army. A battalion of Austrians under von Pöckh was to spearhead the attack, and achieved some initial success, but suddenly came under flanking small-arms fire and was thrown back, the commander killed. The Second Army had arrived behind the Austrian right flank; while he gathered all available men, the Prussian artillery was concentrated in the center to blow a hole through the Austrian lines at the same time. Finally, at 1430, a coordinated attack was launched by both the Kronprinz's men and the First Army in the center, and smashed through the Austrian army just as von Benedek ordered a withdrawal; by the evening, the Austrians were in full retreat, leaving 45,000 men on the field. The Battle of Sadowa, the largest battle in modern European history to that point, was over.
Von Moltke and von Bismarck immediately disagreed on the manner in which Austria would be defeated. As the Prussian armies occupied Bohemia and began to move on Austria proper, von Bismarck began to urge restraint, so as not to embitter Austria any further; as the Prussian armies neared Vienna, the Ministerpräsident managed to get Napoleon III to offer mediation. The Austrians eagerly agreed, and Napoleon hosted the conference in Alsace. The Peace of Strasbourg, signed on August 31, 1866, radically altered the look of Central Europe. Von Bismarck and the representatives of Franz Josef haggled briefly, mirroring struggles between von Bismarck and von Moltke of the General Staff, who demanded the cession of Bohemia or something compensatory by the Austrians. Von Bismarck himself, though, had other plans for what he wanted Austria to do
instead, he managed to (with Napoleon IIIs assistance, of course) hammer out an agreement that forced several major German states into the Kingdom of Prussia, including Hanover, Hesse, and Nassau. Schleswig and Holstein were also formally incorporated into Prussia. Von Bismarck had also had a plan to sign several military alliances with the states of northern Germany, such as Saxony, Thuringia, the Mecklenburgs, and Oldenburg, but Napoleon had his heart set on the dual Confederation scheme, and so two new supranational organizations was created, and the old Germanic Confederation was forced to declare itself null and void. All of Germany north of the Main (i.e. newly enlarged Prussia plus Mecklenburg, Oldenburg, Thuringia, Saxony, and a few minor states in between) was turned into the North German Confederation, which had its headquarters in Berlin and had nationally elected representatives, organized into the Reichstag. The President of the Confederation was the leader of the most populous state, i.e. Prussia, and was therefore the King of Prussia, Wilhelm I. He appointed a national Chancellor, which was (obviously) Otto von Bismarck, as well. A national council, or Bundesrat, was also created, which allowed the non-Prussian states slightly more representation (which still wasnt that much). The national military was basically under Prussian General Staff direction, though the individual states were allowed to maintain and administrate aspects of their own militaries. Meanwhile, to the south, the counterpart South German Confederation was established. This entity, which included Bavaria, Baden, Württemberg, and the southern chunk of Hesse (that not annexed by Prussia), had a constitution basically the same as that of the NGC, with Bavaria dominant and Ludwig II President (and with Ludwig von der Pfordten the Chancellor) but with the administrative center in Ulm (Munich was too close to the Austrian frontier and not close enough to that of France). French advisors took the role of reforming and integrating the SGC militaries. Paris, not Vienna or Berlin, was most influential in Ulm, and the extremely pro-French and anti-Prussian policies von der Pfordten followed made that obvious to the rest of Europe. Meanwhile, Austria was also forced to cede Venetia to Italy, but didnt lose Tyrol or Trieste, to the Italians immense fury. Indemnities were nominal and generally (as seen later) ignored.
The treaty had a shockwave effect in Vienna and (more importantly) Budapest. Nationalist agitation began to start up in Hungary almost as soon as word of the Prussian victory at Sadowa came out. Large segments of the military self-disbanded and went home to take up positions with their comrades, and in Budapest Ferenc Deak began organizing riots and anti-Habsburg demonstrations, thinking that the ancient and storied dynastys time was up. In Vienna, Franz Josef and his ministers received this information with terror. Through the fall of 1866 several desperate messages went from the Habsburg court to Napoleon in Paris, asking him to agree to a defensive alliance to save Austria from the Prussians and the Hungarians. The French, noting that an Austria dismembered would be one too weak to take on Prussia and hold them until French armies could come to grips with them, finally agreed to a defensive alliance, signed at Rastadt on November 12, and dispatched an expeditionary force to Austria to assist in putting down the uprisings. This Army of Austria, led by Marshal E. Francois Forey (former commander of the II Corps), was comprised of two French corps (under F. A. Bazaine and C. A. Frossard, who were constantly at loggerheads) and one from the South German Confederation (under Prince Luitpold of Bavaria), which wanted to test out its new military. The Franco-German troops were also equipped with the chassepot, a weapon similar but slightly superior to the Prussian needle gun; the chassepot was to receive its baptism of fire here. In conjunction with the remnants of the loyal Austrian army now under the command of Croatian general Gabriel Rodic, a veteran of the recent war the Army of Austria first smashed what sporadic resistance existed in Bohemia, and then turned its attention to the Magyars. Deak, whose health was already declining, sought to persuade other heroes of 1848 to return to Budapest and help raise the countryside in more open revolt, but when Lajos Kossuth refused to come to his aid (preferring to remain in exile in Italy), the Magyars were caught without any friends at all. The Austro-Franco-German troops easily forced their way to the outskirts of Budapest, where Radic, in a scene reminiscent of the Revolutions of 1848, set his artillery up outside the city and bombarded Deak into surrender on February 6. The Hungarian Revolt of 66-67 was thus crushed; its leader died in custody of heart failure a few months later, and Vienna had reasserted its authority
but with significant help from Paris, whose influence swelled even more in the halls of the Habsburg palaces.
As a result of this influence, the Austrians were forced to give up a great deal to the French. Napoleon III didnt want to have to constantly put down rebellions in Austria, so he tried to have Franz Josef enact reforms to turn Austria into a vaguely Liberal Empire like his own, but sans the mention of any problems of Nationality. Vienna, though, threatened to abrogate their alliance, preferring to take their chances with von Bismarck; thus, Franz Josef was able to enact a series of laws, now referred to as the Compromise, or Ausgleich, between Vienna and Paris. The Austrian monarchy was reorganized from the disparate collection of feudal dominions it currently was into a much more federal state, with the more geographically-determined provinces under the control of a growing French-trained and assisted civil service. The military was supplied with the brand-new French chassepots as well. Any dissent was quickly quelled by the French and Austrian armies. Deciding that this arrangement needed to be streamlined, the French signed One Big Alliance with their puppet(s) Austria and the South Germans at Freiburg in October 1867; the League of Freiburg, as the single alliance system in Europe, now looked quite terrifying to all involved.
Von Bismarck, although extremely unhappy about the Freiburg League, already had counters ready. He had better ties with Russia than the French or Austrians did; the British were just as worried as he was about the new French hegemony. With his partners in the extremely desirable triple, von Bismarck agreed to the Hamburg Protocol. He, the Tsar's representative Gorchakov, and the British foreign minister, the Earl of Derby decided on a limited defensive alliance more of a working arrangement - in the event of French imperialism. Britain and Russia, henceforth ideological enemies, were pulled together by mutual mistrust of France and her Emperor's motives. This, of course, required some sort of agreement on the subject of the Ottoman Empire, specifically the Straits, which Gorchakov continued to insist upon; Earl Derby refused to allow anything of the sort, but the two agreed to defer the decision until later, especially if the French and Austrians somehow turned the Ottomans to their side. The Cretan issue was also ignored, and the Ottomans were allowed to capture the island all by their lonesome with no interference from anyone at all. Also on the agenda were the agreement to allow Luxemburg into the North German Confederation as an independent state, mainly so that France couldn't prey on it, but to keep Limburg as part of the Netherlands. Von Bismarck knew, though, that Britain and Russia would only work together as they had against Napoleon I if his nephew proved as expansionist as his father. To do that, he needed a catalyst; one was promptly found, though in an entirely unexpected location.
Spain had been in ferment for years, it was true. Many Liberals and moderates alike were opposed to the Queen, Isabella II Bourbon, who first had to deal with a revolt by General Juan Prim and a large portion of the army in 1866. That was put down, but it sent a signal out to the rest of the anti-Isabella forces in Spain and abroad; agreements were signed in Belgium at Ostend and Brussels to depose the autocrat. Despite the death of one of the antiroyalist leaders, Leopoldo O'Donnell, in 1867, the movement continued to gain strength, until eventually, in September 1868, nearly the entire navy revolted at Cadiz. Prim and another general, Francisco Serrano, arrived in Spain from exile and raised much of the army in a revolutionary march to Madrid. Most of Isabella's allies deserted her; she made a brief attempt at resistance at the Battle of Alcolea outside Madrid, but her general, Manuel Pavia, was defeated and she was forced to flee to France and exile. Prim and Serrano went shopping for a new ruler, a significantly more moderate or even Liberal one that could actually unify the country and crush the Conservative opposition that was still extant in some of the countryside. Their choice, approved by the Liberal Cortes and Prim himself, who believed that he had finally found a democratic King was...Maximilian Habsburg, formerly of Mexico, restored to his Archduchy, and possibly the most Liberal ruler in Europe.
Since 1864, Maximilian, who had tried to side with both Conservatives and Liberals in Mexico and failing to win over either, and also thoroughly disillusioned by that experience, had turned back to his antireactionary roots. This, naturally, resulted in his estrangement from the rest of the Habsburgs, and consequently he had spent much of his time sequestered in Austria with his wife, writing the odd Liberal tract and applauding the reforms of the Austrian government with gusto. Not only that, but he still had some Spanish from his sojourn in Mexico, although he spoke it with an accent that was decidedly not Castilian. When the crown was offered to him in December 1868, he was urged to take it instantly by not only the Spanish but his own sovereign and that of France. Napoleon and Franz Josef wanted allies quickly against the slowly coalescing coalition of the North Germans, Russia, and Britain, and they figured that Spain in their pocket would avoid the mistake of the current Empereur's uncle, as the choice of Maximilian had much popular support inside Iberia itself. Naturally, there would be resistance in Berlin, St. Petersburg, and London to such a candidature, so Napoleon planned to have Maximilian quickly accepted as King Maximilian I of Spain before the other Great Powers could react and so present them with a fait accompli. Prim was compliant, and so when in January 1869 the Spanish confirmed Maximilian as King of Mexico and duly enthroned him and his lovely wife Carlotta, London, St. Petersburg, and Berlin were somewhat in shock. Napoleon had managed to pull the rug out from under them, and when Spain joined the League of Freiburg only one month later, the three foreign ministers met once more, this time at Frankfurt am Main.
Gorchakov and von Bismarck persuaded the Earl of Clarendon, recently minted Foreign Secretary with the fall of Disraeli's ministry in December (partly due to news from Spain), to sign a formal alliance. Britain had finally made a step back into Continental politics despite intended isolation following the Crimean War; the causes may be most properly seen as the Napoleonic hegemony now seeming to stretch over half of Europe, as well as the positive reforms that Alexander II was making in Russia, where not only had the serfs been emancipated in 1861, but significant power was being given to local government in the form of local councils (zemstvos), and in Finland, nationalism was being encouraged to weaken ties with Sweden. William Ewart Gladstone, as the new Liberal PM, was very favorably disposed towards these changes; as something of a neophyte in foreign affairs, he even tentatively offered Russia support in the Straits if necessary, though nothing was quite forthcoming yet. The Treaty of Frankfurt, finally signed on March 17, 1869, recorded all of these negotiations and changes, and added Italy the leaders of which were anxious to seize the Trentino and take back Savoy, Rome, and Nice to the lot; naturally, the North Germans and the Russians abrogated the Holy Alliance with Austria as well.
As the 1860s closed, Europe was once more divided into armed camps as in the 1700s, but this time greater weapons were at the nations' disposal. Britain, due to the power-grubbing of the French Emperor, Napoleon III, had been drawn once more into European affairs; Germany was half-unified, with one part, formerly Prussia, victorious in two recent wars and almost spoiling for a third with the French alliance. Nationalism had emerged from the Age of Reaction renewed and even strengthened; the Spirit of 1848 was still prevalent in the movements of Italia irredenta  and those who still wished for the Kleindeutschland  solution, uniting the North and South. The 1870s were almost sure to break out in new displays of war and destruction, and it seemed no one in Europe was safe.
 = To mix metaphors a little.
 = Greater General Staff (GGS).
 = Minister-President, or in more common terms, Prime Minister.
 = Naturally, there are few people whod actually want to be Strafford; he ended up dead, a comparative pawn in the struggle for absolute monarchy in England. Also, the Prussians really didnt have a Pym to fight against, and Wilhelm I and Charles I were about as similar as apples and oranges.
 = As the quote goes, anyway.
 = Small states; basically, everyone in the Germanic Confederation save Prussia, Austria, and maybe Bavaria.
 = Okay, First Schleswig War. Its not as though they had had the second one yet, you know.
 = Hunters of the Alps.
 = Unrecovered Italy; the movement to take back Savoy, Nice, Istria, the Patrimony of St. Peter, and the Trentino, areas with large Italian populations that lay outside of the Kingdom of Italy.
 = Referring to the German unification plan that excluded Austria but otherwise united Germany under Prussian leadership.
Okay, guys, comments? Reactions? Questions? Nitpicking with tiny actions that probably don't affect the course of the TL? Other problems?
Thank you! The Balkans were the focus of the first couple of installments, the PoD being a Hungarian/Italian one. Excepting Greece Thessaloniki and south (which is Ottoman) and the Golden Horn (which is Byzantine) the Balkans are firmly Hungarian (the current Hungarian royal family is, in fact, Bosniak).
The Byzantine Empire, now a city state, is half way between a Hungarian and Ottoman puppet. The Hungarians have more potential power in the "Empire" than the Ottomans, but they are rather uninterested in waging what would be a very unpopular war (given the large Orthodox population) and really have little to gain from taking Contantinople. If they were to "suugest" that the Emperor do something, however, there is no way that he could refuse. The Ottomans are much mroe interested in the city (for symbolic and geopolitical reasons) and thus exercise their influence more than the Hungarians, but are prevented from taking the city by the Hungarians, who while uninterested in having the land for themselves do not want it to go to the Ottomans while also recognising the propoganda value of the Emperor.
Yes, I knew it was a little out there, but as you say it is within the realm of possibility. The whole pretext is that the Cypriots promotted the Copts, sparking the Renaissance, while Pope Matheos I's close relations with the Muslim population (particularly the poor) saved the Coptic Renaissance from Ottoman intervention. Later, Pope John XI, a much more crafty politician and leader, was able to form an alliance with the Sultan and thus further the Renaissance. In OTL John XI was, in fact, very close to the Mamluk who ruled during his early years, but failed to take advantage and create a possible mini-Renaissance because the following Mamluks were horribly anti-Christian (as opposed to the Ottomans, who were suprisingly tolerant). Besides, the Coptic Renaissance is a necessary set up for things to come....
Lucky victories early on that allowed the Muscovites to pursue the enemy forces deep into Commonwealth territory? Really, as I said, my knowledge of Russian geography is not all that great. If you can think of a better geography, I would be happy to implement it, but as far as I can tell the current one is not absurd enough to absolutely require being thrown out.
That was the implication. I suppose I should specify such things more clearly....
See my above explanation for a more precise breaking down of the situation.
Its just very weird that aside from the Siege of Moscow itself, all the battles occur to the west of Novgorod. Imagine an alternate Franco-Prussian war, where all the battles are fought in Brittany and Normandy, but Paris is apparently never attacked by the Prussians, and the French then proceed to overrun the Rhineland. One is inclined to ask how the hell did the Prussians break through to Brittany without any significant battles and why did they ignore Paris before attacking it from Brittany. Though I suppose their ultimate defeat would be fairly predictable.
As for an alternate geography:
7.) Fearful of the growing power of their neighbor, Muscovites invade the Commonwealth of Lithuania-Novgorod.
4.) Vytautas repulses the Muscovite offensive with a series of battles in the hinterlands. He proceeds to lead his troops in an offensive into Muscovite lands.
7.) The Battle of Torzhok results in a Muscovite victory. The Commonwealth forces are pushed back from the Tver area further in towards Novgorod.
2.) Muscovite and Commonwealth forces trade blows along the mostly stagnant battle front with the Muscovites failing to capitalize on their victory at Torzhok.
7.) Muscovite forces manage to break the Commonwealth line in the Battle of the Msta River.
8.) Vytautas rallies his troops to a spectacular victory at the Battle of Staraya Rusa, successfully utilizing the fortress defenses to destroy to annihilate the Muscovite army.
That's one way to do it. I'm not insisting on it, mind you.
Thanks Das. I did not realise that the cities were west of Novgorod. Blame Wikipedia. I will use what you have supplied as it seems (after further researching the locales) to fit what I was thinking very closely.
Britain and Austria, surely.
Not much to comment about yet, really, but I always liked 1860s-1870s "general European war" scenarios.
Aight; fixing. That was indeed a typo.
They are nice, aren't they?
Ahh, Austria gets served again
At least the USA is doing extra arse kickery. Very interesting scenarios so far Mr. Dachs.
One more thing, though; the Ausgleich sounds really inappropriate here. It just doesn't make all that much sense in this context.
The word? I know, I just have a special place for reappearing phrases or things from OTL...Maybe instead, you could call it a Grundentlastung instead, or (probably more appropriate) Reichsföderalreform, or something along those lines. Maybe I'll think of something better tomorrow morning.
Hmm...this is an intreasting possobility....heh
Separate names with a comma.