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Thread: Strange Shores: An Aragonese AAR

  1. #141
    Strategy GuidAAR Rensslaer's Avatar
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    Wow. Minor partner in a personal union, and then a regency council! Gotta keep it interesting.

    Nice inroads in India! Both politically/militarily and religiously. Indian Catholicism -- interesting. Kind of your equivalent of the S. American Catholicism of our time.

    Great work, and great reading!

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  2. #142
    Non sufficit orbis Lord E's Avatar
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    India is becoming more and more of a backyard for Aragon, making the Indian princes vassals are clever moves and then in the future you can diplo annex them, much easier than having to fight around all of India. Nice work
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  3. #143
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    Nice to see Aragon taking the hard way of conquering already settled territory instead of colonizing unclaimed land. Will make it much harder for you. Good luck on conquering the subcontinent.

  4. #144
    The Closer Supermoderator Veldmaarschalk's Avatar
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    Aragon seems to do much better then poor Salerno in my AAR, I am still strugling in Italy while you are on your way to take over the world !

  5. #145
    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    God gracious... at least He spared us from that odd king killing him sooner than expected...

    Well, for once I'm going to complain about early deaths
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  6. #146
    I retract my comment about these guys being AOK but I like what I see in India. Especially with regards to saints.

  7. #147
    Crazy Reactionary crusaderknight's Avatar
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    Well, Sanç is dead. But he did do some good, the military drill was definately a good thing. And he made a very wise move in India. Now it's up to Joan IV to finish the job! Long live the king!
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  8. #148
    yeah what ever happened to "Long live the King" with all these short reigns although some weren't that short. Well at least your kingdom is not being ruled by a regency at the moment, may you conquer all of the sub-continent of India
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  9. #149
    Compulsive CommentatAAR stnylan's Avatar
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  10. #150


    Joan IV, Emperor, King of Aragon, Portugal and Sicily


    15) Joan IV (1684-1690)

    As it happened Joan had been in Italy when he heard of the death of his brother. Joan was the Duke of Pisa and had been attending to his estates at the time, and had at once made the journey to Rome for his coronation - as Holy Roman Emperor. Though it created quite an unusual precedent, in that Joan had not been crowned King of Aragon yet and would not for another two months this neatly avoided the faux pas that his brother had made in treating the Pope of Rome as his personal chaplin.

    The new King-Emperor was in many respects a better man (and ruler) than his brother, though his lack of tact at diplomacy caused some dismay in Barcelona. His courtiers nicknamed him "Honest Joan" for his bluntness, though not, it goes without saying, to his face.


    Bangala: the worst millitary defeat in Aragonese history


    The Timurid Campaign

    Tamerlane had been dead for nearly three centuries, yet the empire he created still lay sprawled across much of Asia like an uncoiled dragon. The Timurid Empire bordered the Aragonese provinces of Parlakimidi and Indravati, and stretched out across the north coast of the Bay of Bengal. The Great Shadow of the North, as Gil d'Urgell the senior Aragonese general called them. As a threat and a rival it dwarfed old Vijayanagara many times over.

    Joan IV was not a man inclinced to bow to challenge, no matter what the scale, the blood of William the Conquerer ran in his veins. It was simple: the Timurid Empire had to be pushed out of India, and the Bay of Bengal secured if the Aragonese Empire in the Subcontinent was ever to rest on safe foundations. So, on 25 February 1684 he declared war on the heirs of Tamerlane.

    The Aragonese force consisted of eighteen-thousand (later twenty-thousand) men and guns in three armies: the largest force ever assembled in one campaign. Below the officer class it was composed almost entirely of Sepoys who had converted to Catholicism. D'Urgell and his fellow generals Joan Fonc de Cardona and Sanç de la Riba promised victory in six months.

    In fact the Aragonese had deeply underestimated the scale of the challenge; they might have superior training and weapons but the resources of the Timurids were immense and the landscape quite hostile. The Aragonese won most of the battles but as attrition and disease took their toll the invasion slowed to a crawl. A year passed by, then another without much result. Then in February 1686 d'Urgell and de la Riba with their forces were brought to battle at Bangala. The result was the greatest millitary disaster in Aragonese history.

    The Battle of Bangala saw a tired Aragonese army of nine-thousand attacked by a Timurid force two and a half times its size as the Aragonese attempted to cross the Ganges. Despite the valiant efforts of d'Urgell and de la Riba their force broke under sheer weight of numbers and in the ensuing slaughter almost seven thousand soldiers were killed, many drowned in a desperate attempt to retreat across the river. The Aragonese generals retreated south with the couple of thousand survivors.

    After Bangala any hopes of achieving total victory were lost. The Aragonese now fought merely to keep the land they had already captured and thanks largely to Timurid inability to take advantage of their victory, they succeded. On 8 June 1686 the Timurids agreed to a peace: Orissa, Jharkhand and Cuttack passdo Aragon.

    Understandably Joan was not entirely pleased. Yes land had been gained, especially impressive considering the casualties sustained. Yet Aragon had been badly checked at Bangala and the main aim of the war - securing the Bay of Bengal - had not been achieved. The Timurid Campaign was to hang over Joan for the remainder of his reign.

    Last Years

    Not, sadly, that there were much of his reign left, but more shortly.

    Joan did not have to wait long for another war; on 30 July that year Lithuania invaded their tiny neighbour, the Teutonic Order and invited Aragon to help them. Joan agreed, secure in knowledge that he would have to take no actualation. Sure enough Lithuania swallowed it's enemy in short order.

    Much more serious was Polish-Lithuanian War, the following year (1687). Joan had a long term ally in Lithuania, but his wife, the Empress Teresa was a Polish princess. Either way meant alienating another European Great Power. In the end Joan decided on neutrality; as much on personal as on pragmatic grounds. Better an unhappy Lithunia, than a hostile Poland.

    Yet the mind of the Emperor was not on Europe but once more on Asia. Slowly, painfully, the armies where being rebuilt to once more spread the Faith and Civilisation to some far corner of the world. Champa perhaps. Or wealthy Brunei.

    It was not to be. The Emperor was sailing to Lisbon in May 1690 when his ship was caught by a storm off the Strait of Gibraltar. Forced to abandon the vessel in the ships longboats, the boat carrying the Emperor was lost in the confusion of the storm and the night. The following morning, 17 May, the survivors came across the body of Joan IV of Aragon, washed ashore on a lonely beach. He was thirty-nine years old.

    The loss of Joan IV was a disaster for Aragon. His son, Enric, was too young to reign leaving Aragon once more in the uncertain hands of a Regency...


    India, 1690


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  11. #151
    Rensslaer: Thank you, glad you appreciate it. I'm pretty interested in the Indian Catholic faith too - I wonder how a heavily Hindu and Buddhist influenced Christianity would take shape.

    Lord E: That's the plan.

    FlorisDeVijfde: Thank you, though I'm afraid I haven't finished conquering quite yet!

    Veldmaarschalk: I think it's because Aragon has never had to fight a war at home (in Iberia) - I can pick and choose my wars. Poor Salerno doesn't have that luxury - you often have to fight for your life!

    Kurt_Steiner: Heh... how about this one?

    J. Passepartout: Well they aren't all bad apples... even if they die pretty fast.

    crusaderknight: Not too long.

    Terraferma: Spoke too soon!

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  12. #152
    round and around we go what will the next reign bring nobody knows
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  13. #153
    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    Ok, ok, ok... Let's see... what do your kings eat? Or drink? Or whatever?

    My Goodness... I cannot believe it. One thing I know, for sure.

    Your kings are not a pack of lemmings.

    Even the lemmings live longer, damn it!!!!
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  14. #154
    More death and destruction? At least the majority of that death and destruction got us more of India.

  15. #155
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    Another Regency is surely not good.

    It sounds to me as if Aragon should seriously consider buttering up some of the Timurid neighours, and try to cause a two-front war.
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  16. #156
    Crazy Reactionary crusaderknight's Avatar
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    Poor Joan. It's a real shame he wasn't able to do more in India, or last longer as king either. I'm not even going to say anything about the reign of Enric, because every time I do that, it seems to put a curse on the king.
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  17. #157
    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    BTW, could it be possible to win a battle in India? Or to avoid being slaughtered, if you dont mind?

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  18. #158


    Enric III, Emperor, King of Aragon, Portugal and Sicily


    16) Regency Council (1690-1692) and Enric III (1692-1710)

    As Aragon reeled from the death of Joan IV and faced its second regency in less than thirty years, the young King spent his time hawking, hunting and learning Latin. The true ruler of the country at this time was Bernat Barceló, the Lord High Treasurer of Aragon, a man who would go on to be very influential in his right. In general the two years of the Regency Council saw little activity - since Ferran V power had so moved to the monarchy that the Aragonese Goverment was scarcely capable of acting outside Royal Assent.

    Enric III assumed his full duties on his sixteenth birthday (2 March 1692). He was an intelligent, charming young man: perhaps not so strategically gifted as "Honest Joan" but a superior diplomat. His silver tongue evidently stood him in good stead: history credits him with no fewer than seventeen illegitimate children; impressive achievement given his death at the relatively early age thirty-four.


    India (and surroundings), 1710


    The Lure of Bengal

    The same dream that haunted Joan IV - control of the Bay of Bengal, was alive and well in his son. Aragonese strategists were deeply paranoid that India should be secure; ironically great success had only bred great worry as the scale of what they had to loose became clear. The Bay was the weak 'flank' of India: should the Timurids (or even another European power) gain dominance the result could be disastorous. So partly to secure this flank Enric went to war with Rajputana on 28 August 1692.

    Joan Fonc de Cardona, veteran of the Timurid campaign led a force of 5,000 men across the Bay of Bengal, landing at Arakan. Though he enjoyed some success his forces were so badly hit by attrition that a second army had to land at Pegu to take the pressure. Indeed time and again during the war (1692-1698) the Aragonese had to fall back from previously won positions simply because disease and exhaustion threatened to dissolve the army without needing the enemy. Eventually superior Aragonese generalship forced Rajputana to the table and the provinces of Arakan, Pegu and Toungoo passed to Enric.

    Early the following year (1699) Don Gil d'Urgell, commander of all millitary forces in Northern India died of cholera. His death, along with several of the other members of the European 'Old Guard' officer class in India left a potentially dangerous dearth of experience and ability. When the province of Telingana flew into revolt in July and intial Aragonese forces were repulsed, it was feared that it might have been the beginning of a nativist revolt. In fact Telingana was Catholic (albeit perhaps not what would be considered orthodox in Rome) with pro-Aragonese Prince. The revolt had simply been over excessive tax.

    Still it was a nasty scare and Enric hurriedly appointed new generals to India, not merely to keep the peace but to prepare for a new offensive: an attack on the Timurid Empire. Enric was not himself a millitary man, but he was capable of recognising men who where and apointing them to the right jobs. This time there was to be no repeat of Bangala.

    The war, which began on 16 November 1701 and ended on 31 July 1703 ran with a smoothness and swiftness that delighted old hands. Now capable of invading from both East and West the Aragonese soon secured the coast. Using five armies, each 4-5,000 strong they overran and held Bengal before the Timurids could launch an effective counter-attack. The sole misstep was made by Ildefons de Cabrera who filled with overconfidence suffered an embarrassing defeat at Katmandu in February 1703 - almost exactly sixteen years after Bangala. Yet there the similarity ends. Bangala decided everything; Katmandu decided nothing. The Aragonese fell back, regrouped and struck harder.

    In the end Aragon walked away with Pandua, Vanga, Chittagong - and Bangala itself.

    In Bangala, at the site of the battle, the passing Aragonese soldiers set up a small shrine to Saint Lluís of India. Over the door the Sepoys wrote a simple inscription about their fallen comrades, in Hindi:


    We built the road here, but only by following the path they lay.

    Honour - and Faith - had been statisfied.


    Bernat Barceló's importance - though not recognised abroad for many years - was well known in Aragon


    Other Concerns

    Despite two fairly large wars and the addition of much land to the empire business continued elsewhere. Missionary work in the Subcontinent continued apace: Kathiawar, Orissa, Korales, Bangalore and Pegu all became Catholic, at least in theory.

    Twice in Enric's reign heavy meteor showers passed through the Aragonese sky, unnerving many peasants.

    Enric III became the fifth King of Aragon in a row to reign as Emperor, after his 1697 election. He did hold it in Rome, but lavishly spent on the proceedings. Amongst the guests where several Indian princes - the first ever seen in Europe. To further amaze the rest of Europe Enric constructed a menagerie in Barcelona, stocking it with the finest beasts of his far flung Empire. Though many where impressed (and some noble ladies swooned) at the elephant and the tiger, Enric was proudest of his tame 'leopard' (actually a cheetah) Surupa; who he claimed could out run any cavalry horse in Europe.

    Bernat Barceló, the Lord High Treasurer wrote an influential text, though it would be many years before it was widely known outside Aragon.

    Finally, though less glamarous than war, the Emperor's diplomatic talents yielded results as with handsome gifts (ie. bribes), he lured long time vassal the Maldives directly into Aragonese hands - and made headway with the rest of his Indian vassals.

    Death

    Yet even the glamorous court of Enric III had all too short a time in the sun. Never an especially fit young man he succumbed to an outbreak of dysentary in Barclona and died on 15 July 1710, at the age of thirty-four.

    His crowns passed to his seventeen year old son Alfons.


    The New King


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  19. #159
    Terraferma: Well, not too bad no?

    Kurt_Steiner: It is getting a little ridiculous... I do have a theory that in the distant pass a terrible printing mix up mean the Royal chefs keep using 'belladonna' in their recipies instead of 'sage'.

    Oh and I have won a few battles!

    J. Passepartout: True.

    stnylan: Well... that sort of happened.

    crusaderknight: Heh. Honestly I am nearly considering a republic at this point!
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  20. #160
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    A good reign by a good monarch. Perhaps now is the time to further incorporate your Indian vassals in your empire?
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