The Dutch Empire Strikes Back
The year was 1836, in less as 100 years the Dutch have lost almost all their colonial holdings, excepting Indonesia. And now they were about to lose even the south. How did the Dutch sink so deep? Could they ever restore their once glorious empire? Willem I of Oranje-Nassau, King of the Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxemburg, didnít know. What could he possibly do?
Willem I of Oranje-Nassau
In the past people have told him many things, but his new advisor told him something that left him enraged. When asked what to do about the Belgians his advisor, called Floris, adviced him to let them go. The King asked Floris how he could advice such a dishonorable suggestion, on which he answered that the King had bigger fish to fry and Belgium wasnít going anywere. A knock on the door interrupted the Kings thoughts.
ďYour majesty, may I remind you that the execution for Floris is scheduled in 15 minutes.Ē
ĎOf course, I almost forgot that. I wouldnít want to miss it for the worldí
After the execution of Floris, a strange young men approached the King and asked him whether he needed a new advisor. The King answered positively and invited the young men for a cup of tea. The young men, carefull of what he said to the king, said he knew a way to regain old glory for the Netherlands. Willem was now impressed, he had told no one about his ambitions to regain their old glory. Intrigued he enquired what the young men had in mind to achieve that. He explained that if the Dutch were to regain their empire, they had to let go of Belgium, for now. The last thing they would need was a war with Britain and France. It was time to build their economy and military.
Shortly after the strange young men was appointed as advisor the Great Powers met to discuss the Belgium Question. On advice of his advisor Willem I accepted to recognize Belgium independence. The following years were quiet. The Dutch slowly expanded their army. After two years their army had increased from 3 infantry divisions and a cavalry division to 2 cavalry divisions, including one cuirassier brigade, and 5 new infantry division were build, including an artillery, guard and regular brigades.
The 2 cavalry division were stationed in Amsterdam, 2 infantry division, with artillery and regular brigades were stationed in Leeuwarden. The other 6 infantry divisions were stationed in Indonesia, spread out over Sumatra, Java and Borneo.
The Dutch Empire was ready to expand. But where? Formosa was a tempting target, it was unguarded and China was at war with Britain. Eastern South Africa was another tempting target, if they managed to subdue the Zulus Dutch forces could push forward and add the various Boer republics to their Empire. Building trade posts, coaling stations and missions were out of reach for the Dutch, since they lacked the machine parts to do it.
Itís February 1841 now, King Willem I abdicated and his son Willem II took the throne. Willem II was as eager as his father to restore the lost glory of the Dutch Empire, but unlike his father he didnít have full fate in the strange advisor, who didnít seem from this time.
End of Part I
I always wanted to play the Dutch and see if itís possible to restore their empire. I doubt it will be easy since it will involve wars against two of the most stubborn countries in the world, the US and the UK.
I play the game on a regular (no mods) Victoria with the latest patch and hotfixes. There are 2 modifications, first I changed the ruling party to Conservatieven instead of some French party. And I changed the establishment to traditional instead of banker-science.