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

  1. #201
    Strategy GuidAAR Rensslaer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord G. Q. White
    Yikes Russia lost all that stuff to Britian?

    The poor turks, at least they robbed the greeks good.

    Tell the newlyweds I'm happy for them.
    <<chuckles>> You and many others seem to be indicating that my Crimean War was rather extraordinary in both scope and outcome, but since this is my first Vicky game I'm left wondering what you have come to expect from a Vicky Crimea.

    Just curious... I'd be interested to see what others have seen.

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    Last edited by Rensslaer; 09-09-2004 at 22:30.
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  2. #202
    Would-be King of Dragons Draco Rexus's Avatar
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    Great update!

    Soooo, I take it your relations with Great Britain is very nice? I'm glad to see the Russians were able to actually come out ahead after the Crimea.... well at least in the European sphere, eh?

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  3. #203
    Oooh, been awhile since I checked out new AARs and I must say that this one is very good.
    If you have not yet been nominated for an OscAAR you should be

  4. #204
    Strategy GuidAAR Rensslaer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MegaPIMP
    Oooh, been awhile since I checked out new AARs and I must say that this one is very good.
    If you have not yet been nominated for an OscAAR you should be
    Thank you, Mega! I really do appreciate your kind words.

    Naturally, this is a joy to write, else I would not be doing it. And I would probably write even without positive feedback. But the encouragement of you and others is certainly food for the soul!

    Draco: I'm going to try to get another update up today, but I decided at the last minute to do another fanfic moment which I'd earlier decided to scrap. I've only been writing since this morning, in between other things I'm supposed to be doing, so I'm not quite there. But I can assure you it will insert significant momentum into things...

    Thanks!

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  5. #205
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    MayDay In Paris

    It was May Day in Paris, 1858. The birds flitted easily through the warm, comforting breeze. The air was alive with spring fragrance, and with the sounds of life. Garlanded cows were being led through the streets, as was the tradition, and throngs of thousands of enthralled people were milling about, enjoying the season and the holiday.

    Pietr van Rensselaer had been to Paris for May Day before, but the people had never been this happy. They were beyond joy. It was more of a sense of elation. After all, just one week before they had received news that the long, demoralizing Crimean War was over and they could get on with their lives. Was it any wonder the people were ebullient?

    Rensselaer was in good spirits himself as he walked toward the Presidential palace… The Imperial Palace, he corrected himself. It had been a remarkably successful year for the Prussian government. For that matter, it had been a good several years of progress and industry. It was indeed time for a good vacation, to congratulate himself for a job well done.

    He approached the sentry at the gate. After some evident confusion, the sentry called for an imperial clerk to make sense of the situation. The uniformed officer listened to Rensselaer’s story, invited him to a small sheltered office, and checked his papers once more.



    “I am sorry. I have no record of your having called yesterday.”

    “Well, I am certainly embarrassed. I swear that I did deliver my card yesterday, with the intention of visiting today.”

    “My apologies, Monsieur. Things have been quite disrupted of late, and I am sure it has just been misplaced.”

    “Yes, well… I suppose there is nothing for it,” he said with resignation. It would be impolite to visit without calling first. Offering another card, Rensselaer said, “Please, give this to the Emperor’s secretary. I will return tomorrow at this time, in hopes that the Emperor will see me. Thank you.” Rensselaer turned to go, then stopped and asked the clerk, “If I may inquire, why does everybody seem so preoccupied? I thought you’d be excited that the war is over.”

    Just then, a crowd of ministers and attendants rushed out of a palace portico, followed by none other than Emperor Louis Napoleon Bonaparte. He was clearly hurrying, too, but he stopped in his tracks two moments after he looked Rensselaer’s direction. He stared for a moment with a complicated expression of… What was that? Surprise, shock, consternation, anger, fear? Which one? Or which several?

    Immediately, the Emperor began striding directly toward Rensselaer, to the obvious dismay of his companions. As he neared, he raised his hand in friendly greeting. “Pietr! You surprise me again!” His smile was beaming.

    “My Emperor, I must apologize. I left a calling card yesterday, but it has been lost. I was intending to come again tomorrow.”

    “Nonsense!” Napoleon nodded to the clerk that it was okay, and with an expansive gesture of his hand welcomed Rensselaer to follow him toward the palace. “And it is still Louie, between us.”

    “Of course, Mon Ami.”

    Napoleon signaled to an agitated minister, among several, to whom he shouted, “I will have to meet you there, shortly.” To wave off the man’s determination, Napoleon had to add, “I swear I will come as soon as I am able. Go!” The last man climbed into the closed carriage, and the two black vehicles trotted away, leaving the Emperor’s carriage behind.

    The two friends chitchatted as they entered the palace and Napoleon led Rensselaer toward his private office – yet larger than the last one he had seen. Rensselaer was impressed. And yet he was also taken by the emotional chill and nervousness of all those they had passed in the halls on the way there. The mood inside the palace was certainly in contrast to the celebrations outside. What was going on? No matter. He had come to visit, so they visited.

    After some time, a secretary dutifully let himself in, and seemed surprised to see Napoleon still in his office. “Oh!” he exclaimed, then explained his presence just as Napoleon made a peculiar gesture with his hand. “Mon Empereur, I have brought the mobilization tables you had requested.” As soon as Rensselaer registered what he had said, he quickly glanced to catch a look of embarrassment and perplexity on Napoleon’s face.

    “Thank you, Rene. Put them on the standtable, and I shall look at them tonight.”

    Even that phrase seemed to catch the secretary funny, for some reason, but then he suddenly noticed that the Emperor was not alone. He hastened to comply with the Emperor’s request, and left at once. A trickle of chilly adrenaline began to find its way down Rensselaer’s frame.

    “We are examining our army’s mobilization from the Crimean War, trying to improve for when we shall need it again,” Napoleon lied, pitifully.

    Rensselaer smiled slightly. “There is always room for improvement, my friend.” How to distract? “You have the power to implement changes now, as Emperor. I’m sure that changes things quite a bit, from having to follow the legislature’s lead.”

    “Indeed,” Napoleon chuckled. “I always appreciate having a free hand.”

    “Although I’m sure, with your political prowess, you were able to get your way before.” Yes, flattery. Rensselaer smiled.

    Napoleon instead seemed to remember his duties. “My friend, I must go attend to some business, but I must insist that you stay here at the palace while you are here in Paris.”

    That was quite an invitation… which Rensselaer, frankly, had expected. But one must never assume. “Why thank you, Louie. That is very generous.” But now, Rensselaer’s imagination was describing a trip to his room down a dank, dark corridor. In truth, of course, the chamber to which he was led was spacious and comfortable. But as he sat down to rest by the window, things kept niggling at his mind. Nothing made sense.

    As darkness closed in outside, Rensselaer quietly turned the handle on his door, and peered carefully out. Some distance down the hall, a man in extravagant livery glanced his direction when he caught the movement, but once he recognized Pietr, he looked quickly away. Rensselaer retreated, closed the door, and stopped to ponder. “I am under discreet guard!” he thought. “What is going on?” His heart began to pound, both in excitement at having a mystery to unravel, but also at the impending sense of danger.

    His thoughts took him down a trail. “France had to be going to war, or something as serious… What was as serious as war? Nothing that threatened France at present. What sense would it make for France to be going to war? They’d just finished with one. It must be with Prussia, else why the reactions to my own particular presence? Or the Netherlands… No. But how?” Rensselaer stopped himself. “Britain had been the moving force behind the invasion of Russia. Had French troops played a major role?” He couldn’t recall any major battles within Russia that involved substantial French troop presence. “Was France never really committed on land? Did they husband their troops here?” Now his chest pounded, and he knew he was in some degree of danger. And so was Prussia.

    Taking advantage of the fact that his guard was kept at a distance, Rensselaer slipped out the window, and sidled along a ledge until he reached a corner. Then, recalling the skills he had exercised as a boy, he climbed down the palace wall and into the courtyard. Slipping past yet more guards, and over one more wall, he escaped into Paris abroad.

    By the time Pietr had reached the border, having contacted a spy and ridden by horseback along circuitous back-country routes, the war had already begun. Crossing the border into Baden, he from there made his way home to his duties in Berlin.

    Last edited by Rensslaer; 16-09-2004 at 23:53.
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  6. #206
    Second Lieutenant Von Lippe's Avatar
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    French buggers

    OOOH, looks like Three Hurrah's is going to sound for your Prussia after all! . Emperor Nappy can expect to see some blooded troops from Egypt showing up soon I bet.

    BTW, very nice lead in to the next major war.
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  7. #207
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    Quote Originally Posted by Von Lippe
    OOOH, looks like Three Hurrah's is going to sound for your Prussia after all! . Emperor Nappy can expect to see some blooded troops from Egypt showing up soon I bet.

    BTW, very nice lead in to the next major war.
    Thank you, von Lippe.

    BTW, I really enjoyed looking at the model warship combat website in your .sig! Actually, immediately before I got hooked on Victoria, I was hooked on dreadnoughts, and was doing paper-based tabletop sims of dreadnought combat.

    And, interestingly, I'd started reading Robert K. Massie's Castles of Steel, which when I got onto Vicky I stopped and went back to his earlier book, Dreadnought, to get some background on the late 19th century.

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  8. #208
    Emperatore Daciae Cornelius's Avatar

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    I foresee some grand battles coming up. On to Paris!
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  9. #209
    Hetman Wielki Koronny Lamprey's Avatar
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    How did Egypt get 1346 industry score in 1854? Or was that just a bug

  10. #210
    Would-be King of Dragons Draco Rexus's Avatar
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    Ah, France and Prussia at war with each other.... It must be spring time in Europe, eh?

    Hopefully France will get thrashed in this little soirée!
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  11. #211
    Strategy GuidAAR Rensslaer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lamprey
    How did Egypt get 1346 industry score in 1854? Or was that just a bug
    You know, I had noticed that myself, and wondered if someone might comment.

    Actually, I think it must be -1346, because in that same graphic it shows Egypt ranked 216th in industry. The definition doesn't come out well because of the graphics format.

    Update coming soon!

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  12. #212
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    From The Eagle Rising: The Story of Prussia’s Arrival On the World Stage, pub. 1989 by Professor Reinicke Herz

    It has been argued that, if one includes the American Revolution and various other conflicts, the Napoleonic Wars were the first “world war.” But for sheer scope and range, the Franco-Prussian War was really the world’s first war of global scale, involving four major European powers, and reaching into almost every ocean and onto almost every continent at one time or another, owing to the breadth of colonial empires held by France, Spain and Prussia.

    Finding itself attacked unexpectedly by an alliance system led by France, Prussia fell back on its own alliance system, which had suffered over the years. Prussia’s perceived adventurism, combined with its persistent problems with debt, had made it into somewhat of a pariah around Europe. Its former alliances with Sweden and the Netherlands had not been renewed, and the relationships Prussia had made attempts to cultivate with Russia and England remained just that – decently cordial relationships which would not translate into tangible support.

    In the test of time, even many of Prussia’s established alliances with neighboring German duchies and principalities were not honored. Braunschweig, Hesse-Darmstadt and Mecklenburg abrogated their treaties and remained neutral. Hannover and Frankfurt had no obligations to Prussia, nor did the larger southern German powers which tended to side with Austria, and they therefore also remained neutral. But Bremen, Hamburg, Hesse-Kassel, Lippe-Detmold, Oldenburg, Lubeck and Saxe-Weimar all declared war on the anti-German powers. Many soon contributed troops to the cause.

    The initial French assault was sizeable – approximately 160,000 soldiers – but not enormous. Recognizing this, Prussian War Minister Friedrich Graf von Waldersee ordered a forward defense from entrenched positions. Nearby corps of infantry, as well as a large corps of cavalry under the command of Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm, moved rapidly into positions in the southern Rhineland, in the second rank of provinces from the border.

    A sequence of delaying actions were fought in Luxembourg and Saarbrucken until June 27th, when forces in both provinces received the order to fall back. They had successfully bloodied the French armies, which moved forward after heavy losses. Seeing these often 3:1 ratios of casualties favoring Prussia, and taking note of vast reservoirs of manpower reserves in Prussia, Waldersee and Kauperke determined that Prussia might well prevail in a war of attrition. Plans were made to that effect.

    Meanwhile, as Prussian armies in Europe fought off the onslaught of French armies, Prussia began a campaign against French and Spanish colonial possessions. Having embarked from Yebuti and Peru, Prussian soldiers had by the end of 1858 captured every Spanish-held claim in the Pacific Ocean except for the Philippines (this included 9 island chains), every French or Spanish claim on the coast of Africa south of Nouakchott (west Africa), and had seized Puerto Rico and Santiago, Cuba in the Caribbean Sea.

    The second wave of blows against Prussia in the Rhineland fell in July, at Trier, and in August, at Kreuznach. The French assault upon Kreuznach was ultimately successful, and Prussian armies were forced to retreat in October.

    However, in contrast, the French offensive against Trier was eventually thrown back by Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm and his cavalry, which then proceeded to attempt to retake Luxembourg. In this effort, he was successful by October 11th, and he had even sent scouting parties across the Moselle into French territory. However, it was these scouts that brought back most unwelcome news – the French mobilized reserves had arrived, and we now know that they numbered more than 300,000 soldiers and cavalry.



    It was then, at the end of 1858, that the dam broke.
    Last edited by Rensslaer; 13-09-2004 at 20:08.
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  13. #213
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  14. #214
    Would-be King of Dragons Draco Rexus's Avatar
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    It's usually not a good thing when the dam breaks.... hopefully this dam that's breaking will be flooding against the French and not Prussia!
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    I don't know things looks dark for our fellow prussians.

  16. #216
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    The Dam Breaks

    From The Eagle Rising: The Story of Prussia’s Arrival On the World Stage, pub. 1989 by Professor Reinicke Herz

    Once the French reserves were brought into action, they progressed inexorably into Prussian territory. Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm made a stand at Koln, but it was merely for purpose of further sapping French strength by forcing them to attack fortified positions. There was really no hope of the Prussians prevailing with the resources then at their disposal. A general mobilization had finally been ordered, such a move having been put off by King Wilhelm and von Kauperke due to the extreme financial difficulties it would surely cause. They were still stuck in the past, where debt was considered the worst threat to Prussia’s stability. Such hesitation was folly. Now it became clear that the French threat would not be otherwise held back, and it became urgent to impede the French advance long enough to prevent the assembly points for the Prussian reserves from being overrun.

    The Battle for the Rhine quickly became a rout, and Prussian aims switched from delay to escape as the French attempted to turn the flank of entire Prussian corps.



    The cavalry was able to easily slip past along the Belgian and Dutch frontiers, but the slower infantry had more difficulty. Most of these soldiers were able to reach Kleve before the circle closed, but in January 1859, two infantry divisions were isolated and forced to surrender. The Prussians made an unsuccessful stand at Elberfeld, and then tried to hold the line at Munster. Another line of defense was organized at Dortmund and Minden in February. Each time, the hastily prepared Prussian redoubts were breached and French troops flooded through.

    Some small success was had by Prussian forces, and her allies, even as her front in Westphalia collapsed. Local divisions from Hamburg and Oldenburg were able to turn back an early seaborne landing by Spanish troops, and they took these soldiers captive. In March, Prussia’s China Squadron mounted the beginning of a successful campaign to secure all of the Spanish colony of the Philippines. And the Prussian Mediterranean Squadron attempted to land a small invasion force drawn from the Sinai in Spain.

    The decision was made that, due to a cordon of French and Spanish warships, it would be wisest to first seize the island of Palma off Spain’s eastern coast to use as a base. In retrospect, however, this was a poor choice. At the end of December, the French/Spanish blockade around this island intensified, and cost the loss of two clippers. The infantry, thus marooned, was able to successfully repulse the first counter-landing in January. Prussian naval commanders had hoped to repeat their success in cloak-and-dagger naval actions against Egypt from their last war, but learned too late the strength of the French, Spanish and Sardinian hold on the western Mediterranean. The first infantry division, and yet another division stranded in Palma in May due to a second failed attempt to land on Spain’s eastern coast, were eventually doomed to capture.

    In an initially more successful operation against the Spanish, General Reiner von Bittenfeld was landed on the northwest extreme of the Spanish peninsula after first being forced to flee Spanish frigates near Vigo. His landing, at the beginning of June, was followed a few days later by reinforcements from abandoned Cuba, which brought his strength to three divisions. He quickly secured a base for his operations, and moved against the major port city of Vigo, where he met Spanish General Memnono Duran. Duran’s defenses were too strong to be dislodged, and Bittenfeld was forced to retreat in August.

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  17. #217
    Strategy GuidAAR Rensslaer's Avatar
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    Excerpt of a Letter from Prussian Crown Prince Frederick William to the Crown Princess Victoria, March 18th, 1859

    My Dearest Vicky, The Love of My Life,

    I long for your company, and wish that I could be with you, and hear your opinions on this war. My view is a soldier’s view, and you are so much more insightful and subtle than I in perceiving events in the world, and movements under the surface.

    War is really an awful thing, and I see it tearing up the lives of these innocent people – my people – here in the Rheinland. These are the same people who suffered so terribly during the Rhennish Revolt. The simple people never have the plans or designs of those who choose to go to war. They just want to live their lives, in spite of the disruption of those with bigger plans.

    It’s the politicians and the agitators who make the war, and who say we must take young men away from their mines and their farms to this, and they say they must die and their mothers and fathers must starve because some army marched through, took what they needed, and trampled the rest of the crops underfoot.

    Nevertheless, this is a war we must fight, and it is a war we must win. This is not a war of our choosing. It wasn’t our people who chose an awful glory over a gentle peace. If I could have had some say as to whether to go to war, I would have done something to prevent it. But the French and their allies have given us no choice. If only we could embrace peace as a people, and if only all our neighbors could agree, then we would have peace. But I will not see that in my lifetime. Until everyone agrees, down to the last savage and the last rabble who thinks himself an intellectual and a socialist, this world will have no peace.

    I will never forgive that evil Louis Napoleon, who your Father has so forcefully inveighed against. I appreciate the Prince Consort’s expressions of shock and moral support, and his cultivation of sympathy for us in the London clubs. But honestly I would rather have his more direct support than his sympathy.

    Your Devoted Husband,

    Fritz
    Serenity - (V2 v1.3) - An isolationist Japan tries to stay out of everybody's way (Updated July '13)
    Kriegsgefahr (Impending War) - (HOI3/SF/HPP) - Germany attempts to remain at peace! (Updated Apr '13)
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  18. #218
    Again. More touching updates.

    You wicked wicked man you.

  19. #219
    Emperatore Daciae Cornelius's Avatar

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    The only way to stop the French advance is using an old tactic of a Roman commander - "Divide and conquer!". Was it Caesar?

    To wait until the main French army breaks into smaller detachments, while keeping your army more or less compact and after that at each opportunity to strike with prevailing forces to rout as much as possible enemy detachments. Just my 2 cents
    Cornelius

    Persia AAR: 1492-1584 (EU1) written April 25 - June 27, 2001

  20. #220
    Would-be King of Dragons Draco Rexus's Avatar
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    Great update, especially Fritz's touching letter to the Mrs.!

    Hopefully Prussia will be able to rebound from this Frog invasion and smash the French army and take the battle back to Louis Napoleon's own back yard!
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