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Thread: Fire Warms the Northern Lands -- A Prussian AAR

  1. #1
    Strategy GuidAAR Rensslaer's Avatar
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    Fire Warms the Northern Lands -- A Prussian AAR

    Here begins a tale of the great might of Prussia, renowned across every land and sea.

    This is from an ongoing campaign (GC) using v 1.03b and DR’s German Unification mod (circa July 9 2004). Settings are all “normal” or “moderate” or whatever is middlish (this is my very first Vicky game).

    Comments welcome!

    I should add that this is not a “typical” AAR. It is not categorizable as narrative, fanfic, diary, 1st person reflective, etc… It is ALL of those things. I have changed the style of relating the story to you, depending on what seems like it would work best at the time.

    It’s also not typical because of my style of play. For one, I make mistakes... Some SERIOUS mistakes! So this isn't just a “how I beat everybody quickly” story.

    I also used a “character driven” strategy, driven by the personality of the man or men or men and women who were in charge of Prussia at that particular time in the game. Some were aggressive, some had other goals. For that reason, I do not set out as a stated goal to unite Germany – it depends on what the character is trying to achieve. And the “character” did not have fore-knowledge of how the game plays, so he’s not going to be driven by a deadline by which to take Paris, etc. For this reason, Prussia may stay Prussia, and the unification of Germany is not pre-ordained.

    My premise: I kill off the man who would become King Friedrich Wilhelm IV in the first scene, making way for a much longer reign for King/Kaiser Wilhelm I (referred to as Prince Ludwig in the first posts). From there, the game/story follows a more or less historical line of succession.

    This AAR pays rich attention to the personalities and motivations of these historical personalities, including also an array of historical and fictional ministers to serve them. I believe it all worked out to produce a relatively realistic scenario that was a lot of fun to write about!

    Welcome, and it is my hope you will find great enjoyment in this tale…

    For a taste, here is a preview:

    Quote Originally Posted by Rensslaer
    4 Feb 1847

    Erwin von Kauperke stooped with some irritation and picked through a sampling of sticks among the firewood bucket. Finding one hearty enough to bring some warmth to the room, he jabbed with it at the base of the fire.

    He took some pleasure in seeing the embers flare, and not just because of the fleeting warmth it delivered. This was his office in a small cottage at one of the Pommeranian estates of Wilhelm I, King of Prussia. The February weather was playing havoc with his joints, and he wondered why the King had chosen this location, e’er subject to the Baltic chills, rather than someplace in Prussia’s drier western or southern provinces.

    But this simple pleasure warmed him, partly because of the role he held in a great adventure. Europe was a fire gone too long unstoked, he reflected....

    [some cogitating excerpted]

    Von Kauperke started at a scuff on the slate floor behind him, forcing him to let go his vision.

    “Mein Count,” his secretary Renny said, “There is grave news from Schleswig.”
    As this work is quite long, I have compiled an index which may be helpful to new readAARs in determining whether you would like to continue reading this AAR or not.

    Index of Rensslaer's Favorite Update Posts
    Last edited by Rensslaer; 19-08-2005 at 07:30.

  2. #2
    Ah yes. A Prussian AAR. I'll be watching this one too.

  3. #3
    GunslingAAR coz1's Avatar
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    I agree, this should be fun. I cannot recall the last Prussian AAR I read.
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  4. #4
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    From the Personal Diary of Erwin von Kauperke, Prime Minister of Prussia, and later Federal Chancellor of the Kaiserreich

    October 2nd, 1835 – My good friend Ludwig has just departed from a surprise visit. He brought grave news. His brother has just succumbed to injuries sustained from a horse fall. This makes Ludwig the Prussian Kronprinz, which changes things quite a bit. Ludwig is too gracious and distraught at present to see the good in this event. From intimate knowledge of his brother, Kronprinz Friedrich Wilhelm, I can say that he was mentally unstable and generally unfit to be King of a modern state such as Prussia. He was also hopelessly conservative and indifferent to the lives of the Prussian people. As stagnant as things are under his father, Friedrich Wilhelm III, I can say that things would not have much changed under Friedrich Wilhelm IV. However, with Ludwig now set to assume the duties of King once his father passes away (which, I must say, cannot be far off) then things are much brighter for Prussia’s future. Ludwig has not been groomed for the duties, as his brother was, but he is a courageous soldier, a bright and able student, and we have spent many hours discussing matters of state.



    October 12th, 1835 – Good news! Ludwig has come to tell me he has convinced his father, the King, to appoint me to the position of Prime Minister. It appears that he feels that he (Ludwig) and I can affect things for the better if we can cooperate at the reins of power – I can make the decisions which are best for our Kingdom, and Ludwig can intercede with his father to convince him these are the right choices. My position is to be made effective on the first of the year. Even before Ludwig becomes King, we can set things into place which will make Prussia into a modern force to be contended with on the world stage.

    Coz & Josh, thanks for stopping by!

    Rensslaer
    Last edited by Rensslaer; 19-07-2004 at 19:42.

  5. #5
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    So the stage is set for a modern Prussia to throw it's weight around Europe. But how will they do so? Through diplomacy, armed forces or both? Nice set up. I remain intrigued.
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    An interesting start.................I will indeed be watching this one.

  7. #7
    You had me hooked when you said "Prussian AAR".

    Sounds fun.

  8. #8
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    On January 1st, 1836, Erwin von Kauperke was appointed Premier by Konig Friedrich Wilhelm III von Preussen. Having conspired with his friend and protector, Ludwig (later to become Konig Wilhelm I von Preussen), von Kauperke had devised a plan of action to further the industrialization and internationalization of Prussia. Upon taking office, von Kauperke found Prussia in good diplomatic standing with most of its neighbors and other major countries of the world. These friendly nations included Austria, all the small German states, Sweden, Russia and England. It also maintained a good relationship with a promising new player on the world stage, the United States of America. Prussia’s government remained one of the most conservative kingdoms of Europe. But Kronprinz Ludwig and von Kauperke had visions of a fully industrialized Prussia which could not be matched by any other government in terms of industrial strength, military power and prestige. Ludwig knew that von Kauperke had the wit and wisdom to make it happen, and Ludwig would someday have the power to make all his plans possible.

    As the current leader of Europe, Great Britain was to be used as their model. They would build new factories, expand railroads (which had impressed King Friedrich Wilhelm III, when he participated in demonstrations), and build a colonial empire to support their revitalized country with natural resources and markets. And democracy? Well, not necessarily that… Perhaps slowly. Ludwig, while far more liberal than his Napoleonic-era father, remained distrustful of mob rule and shy of criticism. Von Kauperke, who quietly believed England’s democracy was energizing to their nation, felt sure that they could move in that direction as his Kronprinz (and later, King) felt comfortable.

    While much of the German-speaking world was blessed with vast resources of iron and coal, Prussia enjoyed only an abundance of coal with meager deposits of iron. This would naturally present obstacles to full industrialization. Foodstuffs were not a concern, as Prussian and Polish farmers and fishermen provided plenty. Von Kauperke recognized access to timber as another limiting factor. And, as Prussia already had begun producing large amounts of military hardware – ammunition, explosives, and guns of all calibers (artillery and small arms), these industries would need to be amply supplied with sulphur.

    Prussia had already undergone its first wave of industrialization. Already, an experimental railroad stretched from Berlin to Potsdam. And factories produced cement, fabric, steel, paper, lumber, clothing, canned food, and fertilizer, as well as the previously mentioned military industries. Von Kauperke identified various needs Prussia would face to further progress along this road. If it were to have a colonial empire, it would need ships, so he asked Ludwig to help him convince the King of the need for a yard for clippers and larger ships. For consumer purposes, von Kauperke felt it would be good to play to Prussia’s strengths, such as they were – they would use the timber they produced domestically to make furniture, and would produce even finer qualities for export purposes. More steel and fabric would be needed, so those factories were expanded with state assistance. Most industries were urged toward mutual support and reliance on domestic resources if such existed.

    Von Kauperke was very well aware that Prussia still would rely on imports (some substantial) of cotton, timber (conventional and tropical), iron and sulphur, as well as many consumer goods not produced locally. He felt it was not appropriate to perpetually depend on others to provide these goods, so he looked to possible targets for colonialism to provide these resources in the future. On a detailed world map, supplemented by a voluminous gazetteer, von Kauperke found several locations that might be of interest to Prussia. Among them were Korea, Samoa, the Chinese coast, Madagascar, Borneo, Siam, Egypt, and Namibia. He knew that in many of these cases, time would tell if these resources were to be accessible.

  9. #9
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    Any screenies?
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  10. #10
    Strategy GuidAAR Rensslaer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A trooper
    Any screenies?
    I shall soon. Quite a few if I can manage it. Need time to edit them, which I will hope to have this weekend.

    Last night (okay, well, about 2 am this morning!) I had a CTD which lost about 2 very fascinating months of developments. I hope to be able to recreate the happenings, as it will add greatly to the story.

    Welcome Trooper, KSim and Lord GQ!

    Rensslaer

  11. #11
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    In other matters, to help maintain world trade and an empire, von Kauperke felt Prussia would also need well-selected provisioning stations. He maintained a number of adventurous (and avaricious) friends who might have the initiative and drive to erect trading posts in far off lands. He also knew that he could convince any of several prominent members of the Lutheran Church to send missionaries abroad. While these efforts might not pay off on the short term, he knew that eventually those contacts and outposts could be incorporated into a Prussian colonial empire.

    Wishing to be able to get moving right away, von Kauperke arranged a deal with the Austrian Empire, where some Prussian financial experts would assist them in reworking some of their fiscal arrangements. The sums provided by this deal were to enable Prussia to accelerate the building of some factories, and the cash flow thus supported also managed to finance some Lutheran expeditions to Ifni (where von Kauperke hoped to eventually gain access to some nearby iron mines), Samoa (where sulphur can be mined), Kameroon (coffee and timber) and Namibia (iron and timber).

    Also in those busy first days of von Kauperke’s administration, the foreign office was kept busy dealing with the aftermath of the Dutch civil war. While France and Britain both signed the London Treaty, recognizing the independence of the rebellious provinces now called Belgium, von Kauperke chose to cultivate relations with the Kingdom of the Netherlands instead. Prussia rebuffed Belgium, as did Austria.

    Von Kauperke’s first year saw the redress of many things that had long since frustrated he and Ludwig. There was an expanded effort to make harvesting and mining more effective and efficient across all of Prussia, with concentration on key industries such as timber, coal and iron. Capitalists were engaged, encouraged and subsidized when necessary to complete or expand factories. And a railway expert was found to establish a bureau for the creation of a Prussian rail network. Kristoff Freylingen had studied the English rail system, and had often suggested improvements and expansions to the King, which had mostly gone unheeded. Now the attitude of the court changed. While Freylingen was excited to have been given the opportunity to build his “toy trains” for the pleasure of the King and Kingdom, his eager efforts over many years were to be dampened by the constant crisis of funding endemic to the Prussian Kingdom during this decade and the next. Indeed, he designed vast mileages of track that linked each section of the Kingdom internally between most major cities. But he was never able to build as extensively, or as rapidly as he always hoped. His first task was to extend a railway from Berlin to Stettin.

    During this period, relations with Prussia’s German allies were strengthened wherever possible. Overtures were made to the United Kingdom, though no particular success could be noted. And relations with the Netherlands were improved. On May 7th, 1837, Prussia entered a military alliance with the Kingdom of Sweden.

  12. #12
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    From the Diary of Reverend Theodor Breitenfeld, July 2nd, 1836

    Having spent most of the day in and out of rain squalls in the vast ocean, those of us on deck were pleasantly surprised to find that we had arrived at the western islands of Samoa. We came to the edge of the downpour, and the sky brightened. As the mist cleared, we were treated to the most glorious sight – an emerald green island, half covered in cloud and rain, but the rest shining brightly in the tropical sunshine!

    God clearly blesses this land with an abundance of both sunshine and vegetation. I shall enjoy exploring the beaches and forests.



    Dining with the Captain last evening, he mentioned that seventy years ago, when the first French sailors visited these islands, some of them were massacred by the natives. Things have changed considerably, but there apparently remains some anger among the animists who still resist Christian teaching. The 2nd island, where Anglican missionaries have resided for some years now, is mostly peaceful. The other islands have had less exposure to Europeans, however. It is my mission from my King to reach out to these people on the islands not already occupied by a mission. Happily, I feel strongly that it is my mission from my Lord to also reach out to those who have had the least exposure to Die Heilige Schrift.

    It is my intention to have the Captain land our supplies with a guard on the largest island, Savai’i. Then we will proceed to Apia and I will spend some weeks with the Anglicans to help learn the local languages and find how best to deal with the Samoan people.
    Last edited by Rensslaer; 19-07-2004 at 18:59.

  13. #13
    GunslingAAR coz1's Avatar
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    von Kauperke found several locations that might be of interest to Prussia. Among them were Korea, Samoa, the Chinese coast, Madagascar, Borneo, Siam, Egypt, and Namibia.
    Ahh, the usual suspects. And not a bad idea to ally with Sweden. Perhaps they will be of us when the Slevsig question arises.

    Oh, and check your PMs.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rensslaer
    My PMs?
    Private messages. Top right corner of the screen.
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  15. #15
    Strategy GuidAAR Rensslaer's Avatar
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    From the Memoirs of a Prussian Royal Uhlan, pub. 1856 by Kapitan Franziske Grzybowski

    In the summer of 1837, Prussia declared itself the protector of Madagascar. Two divisions, including my own, were dispatched to put the declaration into effect. We landed at Bambaka and Boina. The conquest of Madagascar was not a difficult undertaking, except that Madagascar is an enormous island. In fact, due to the mountainous qualities, and frequently impassable forests, it took us more than six months to complete our operation. In January of 1838, Madagascar was finally entirely under Prussian military and political control. Nevertheless, there are natives here who have taken to the mountains and are sure to remain in redoubts for many years to give us grief.

    The land of Madagascar deserves some mention. It was heavily forested in many places, with the most remarkably expansive trees. Their canopies towered overhead in a vast umbrella, while on the ground one often could not move without snagging on some bush or bramble. Yet these trees seemed to coexist with barren rolling hills and fields. The wildlife included a surprising number and variety of small monkeys, as well as the oddest lizards I have ever seen. Some would even change color in order to blend in with their background, making them exceptionally difficult to notice. And the insects! I have never in my worst nightmares dreamt of the size and fearsome, monstrous qualities of these bizarre bugs. During our many arduous treks through dense foliage, let me assure you I must have seen two hundred different kinds of insect – more in six months than in my entire life previously.

    Last edited by Rensslaer; 20-07-2004 at 19:12.

  16. #16
    GunslingAAR coz1's Avatar
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    Surprising that the Turk did not want to fight Egypt, but perhaps they did in fact fear the French. You, on the other hand, should not. Take it to them with force.

    Very nice descriptive nature, and concise too. I really enjoyed that last update with a diary feel, especially the beginning. This is proving to be as good as I had hoped.

    Edit - well, that was before some editing was done. Still, nice descriptions.
    Last edited by coz1; 16-07-2004 at 23:52.
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  17. #17
    Strategy GuidAAR Rensslaer's Avatar
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    In other news…

    5 August, 1837 – King Ernst August, of Hannover, repealed the liberal reforms in his country, and began to rule as an absolute monarch. King Wilhelm did not express much opinion on the political ramifications of this turn of events, but expressed personal dislike of King Ernst, who he had the misfortune to know fairly well. Thankfully, most of his opinion in this regard is unknown to Ernst. Wilhelm indicates he does not believe we can count on Ernst’s word of honor (ask the Hannoverian liberals!).

    17 November, 1837 – More disruption in India. Having recently taken control of Panjab, the English are now consolidating their influence by force of arms in the Sind. One wonders if Persia approves of this, or if it will help push them toward the Russians. This is an interesting theatre of action.

    18 January, 1838 – Our relations with the Ottoman Empire have been improved by their invitation of Prussian advisors to help train their backward military. They have also introduced a more modern constitution. We shall have to watch to see how this affects this outside empire.

    25 January, 1838 – A new leader has arisen in the Sultanate of Egypt. He has declared himself the Caliph – a title with momentous significance for Mohammedans. Truly, this is sure to either end soon in an assassination (as many affairs of the Near and Middle East do), or it will rock the Orient to its core.

    28 January, 1838 – Strangely, it seems that our Ottoman friends are not intending to take any action with regard to the newly proclaimed Egyptian Caliphate. Our sources in Constantinople say the Turks are saying that they regard it as so absurd as to be laughable, and that they will not dignify this imposter through their response. Privately, our ambassador feels that the Turks are fearful of French intervention, and perhaps even of the strength of the Egyptian army and navy. This could have been an opportunity for Prussia, due to our need for cotton, but the King and Premier do not seem too concerned at the way things are developing. Perhaps a war with France would have been bad at this time for us, too. The Prussian Army is not very much expanded from two years ago, and part of it is still deployed in the Indian Ocean.

  18. #18
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    The end of the decade of the '30s was marked by steady, peaceful expansion of the industrial foundations inside Prussia. King Friedrich Wilhelm III chartered a new university in Stettin, and he had decreed limits to child labor in order to prevent the appalling practices used by some unscrupulous factory owners.

    Prussian scientists have been studying factories and the process of mechanical production in Britain and the United States, with great success. We are prepared to capitalize upon these learned procedures and implement them in Prussian factories. We had seen a great expansion in lumber mills across our country, as well as an expanded capacity to produce both fabric and steel.

    Our first colonial outposts were officially commissioned, in Ifni (Morocco), Samoa (Polynesia), Duala (Kameroon) and Swakopmund (Namibia). Ifni was declared our first colony with a Prussian government.


    Freylingen’s railroad network expanded. By the end of the decade it was possible to travel by train from Erfurt in the west to Konigsberg in Ostprussia – a tremendous expansion for a country such as ours. We also concluded a diplomatic deal with Russia, sharing economic technologies for a sizeable economic prize that can be directed toward further industrial expansion. Soon thereafter Russia signed a pact with Prussia indicating a prime interest in our independence and continued prosperity (naturally, they see us as an ally against Austria). While we regard Russia’s friendship skeptically, we also know it to be a corrupt and aging empire which will not use these new economic theories to their full potential.

    Around the world, Spain finally found herself at peace as the Carlist War came to a close. The Ottoman Turks were marching against Nejd tribes in the Arabian peninsula. We hear of some civil wars in the Americas, but no one knows enough of the lands there to see any significance to it. Great Britain annexed the Sind, near Persia. The Chinese are becoming restive over the opium trade, and are beginning to threaten Europeans. By the first month of 1840, Britain was at war with China, reacting to the murder of British subjects and the disruption of trade.

    And we began to see great turmoil in Italy, as Sardinia-Piedmont went to war with Parma, who was soon joined by Modena, Lucca and the Papal States in a coalition against the Sardinians. Within a few months’ time, Sardinia had won major victories and had annexed both Parma and Modena. Suddenly, Europe had an upstart power in her midst – a nationalistic and expansionist power which would bear watching. Though, naturally, these things always present opportunities too.
    Last edited by Rensslaer; 19-07-2004 at 19:04.

  19. #19
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    Thumbs up

    Great AAR!

  20. #20
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    Well, it seems the Turk doesn't mind trudging around the desert to fight someone, even if Nejd is a bit of a paper tiger, if even that. And strange that France did not come to Sardinia's aid, but perhaps that's because Austria did not seem to be involved.

    Wonderful work on getting that RR up and running, and the economy seems to be rolling along as well. Now get that army up to snuff and take it to the French. I want to see Prussian/German grey over all of Western Europe before this is done.
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