I seriously underestimated my ability to write a lot really quickly, so this goes up TODAY!
GAH! Its already Tomorrow!
@EnragedKiwi: Thanks! I hope you enjoy this.
@asd21593: High Praise, I just noticed you have a narrative post at your Charles V AAR. I'll have to read it when I wake up. My AAR also has A Charles who is also Emperor of half the world in it, but only very very obscurely.
The World of 1600
Chapter 1: The Ottoman Empire
The Rise of a Giant
The Ottoman Empire is a curious beast. A Heathen Empire arrived from beyond the Holy Lands, they have settled in the core of what was once the Eastern Roman Empire. From an outside perspective, it seems that their time there has taken its toll on their sanity, and they have become so enamored with the history of that Failed State that they now seek to go through its entire history themselves, within the span of a single century.
The Ottoman Empire has had a significant impact on the Political History of Europe, and an especially large impact on the History of the Holy Roman Empire in particular, of this, there can be no doubt. At its height, the Ottoman Empire projected its power across the whole of Europe, going so far as to mount small naval expeditions outside of the Mediterranean Sea to harass shipping along the Atlantic Coasts of Spain and France and launch what can only be considered Informal Invasions of the Nascent Russian Empire, at one point besieging the city of Moscow itself.
The Ottoman Empire is the Perennial Enemy of the Kingdom of Hungary and the Hapsburg Empire, and with the latter, the Empire of Rome and all of Christendom, yet their actual incursions into Europe have been few, with great disasters between these that have crippled their Empire.
The Ottoman Empire is at this point likely dead, it has been decaying for three decades and two Sultans, and with each new Sultan, the Central Authority Weakens, fattening the power and stomachs of the Ottoman Divan, and playing to the desires and temptations of the Osmanli Harem, the shadow Government of the Empire. However, for this first chapter at least, it was a strong, centralized state with a powerful hereditary monarch.
With the Conquest of Konstantinopolis in 1453, the Ottoman Empire destroyed one of the Pillars of Christendom by ending the already long since dead Eastern Roman Empire. Despite being at war with two powers, the Kingdom of Hungary and the small state of Albania, this period was one of celebration and growth for the Ottoman Empire, both Territorially and Culturally.
The Ottoman Empire in 1453 with its vassal Wallachia
Albania fell quickly, with its last fortress surrendering on July 5th of the same Year as the Fall of Konstantinopolis. Although there was a brief revival in resistance, within naught but a month this rebellion was thwarted and Albania was officially annexed into the Empire. The people of Albania were relatively accepting of this as the Sultan Mehmet II Fatih had recently promulgated a policy of religious tolerance and a great deal of self determination for non Moslem peoples with his introduction of what would be known as the Millet System. This system was quickly extended to the people of Albania, ensuring that in the end, there was little actual change to the Political Order of the recently acquired Territory.
This State was further ensured when Albania was granted an official head of state and status as a Vassal of the Ottoman Empire rather than direct a province in 1460, once the war with Hungary was officially ended.
The War in Hungary proceeded less favorably for the Ottomans, and the conflict quickly became a stalemate that both sides were loathe to continue. By the year 1455 both sides had lost great numbers of soldiers for no territorial gain, and had thus stopped attacking each other. Neither side wished to actually conduct peace talks with the other, so the state of war was preserved for another half decade before it was officially considered ended.
This Status Quo on the Western End of the Empire was only briefly broken in the War of Wallachian Independence of 1467. This brought the Ottoman Empire into conflict with a combined alliance of Serbia, Wallachia, and Moldavia, led by a recovered Hungary. This was to be the first test of the new Young Sultan Abdullah I, and this test he would defeat with the same grace that he took to all of his tasks.
Abdullah the First was a small man, short of stature, with a lean athletic build. Although talented in War and Diplomacy, his greatest strength was in Government. Having been raised in the City of Izmir, he was given government responsibilities as a Secretary in this city as young as 14. He showed such amazing promise at his duties that the Governor of the Province demanded he become his Secretary, and then left most governmental duties to the young Sultan to be. While commonly regarded as little more than a legend, it is known that Abdullah became a government servant of the Governor.
When he Inherited the Ottoman Empire in 1465, he found himself at the head of a peaceful, powerful nation, and he showed every intention of keeping it in such a state. Unfortunately for him, the Ottoman Empire was a nation founded on War and Conquest, it would only be a matter of time before th Janissaries turned over their Soup Pots in protest of this peace.
Fortunately for him, they would never need to reach that point, as the Voivode of Wallachia had grown tired of paying Tribute, and foolishly believed they could stand on their own. Abdullah marched out of the Second Rome with the bulk of his Empire's army, marching up into Wallachia where a combined army of Hungary, Wallachia, Moldavia and Serbia waited.
The Battle at Craiova was a slaughter for the Allied forces. Although the Hungarian armies managed to hold off the Ottoman Advance and check Abdullah's Movements, the smaller armies crumpled under the weight of a combined strategy of sweeping raids on the Allied Supply Lines and a few Decisive Battles spread across the land.
The remaining forces of Hungary and Abdullah showed no desire to meet each other, with the former removing itself to Bucaresti and the Latter splitting off small contingents to besiege towns in Southern Serbia and Southern Moldavia, while the main force remained at Craiova and seized the City. Within three years this short war was over, and saw massive territorial losses by Serbia and Moldavia to the Ottoman Empire. Ironically, the war also saw a small territorial gain for Hungary, as the Abdullah had not intention of simply restoring the Vassal State with Wallachia. When confronted with the Ottoman Plan to annex Wallachia, the King of Hungary decided that Wallachia could not be trusted with self government, and seized the area surrounding Bucaresti, leaving the rest of the Voivode to Abdullah.
Fortunately for Hungary, there was not time to pursue another campaign against the Kingdom, especially in its current Refreshed and Powerful state. In the East, a diplomatic slight by the Beylerbey of Dulkadir forced Abdullah to respond in the only way such a fool would understand, through force of arms. This conflict is barely of note, as all that occurred was the Ottoman Empire annexing both Dulkadir and Karaman. This war is of such little note that it hardly even appears in the Ottoman Records.
The Ottoman Empire in 1470 with its gains from the recent Wars
The Next Sultan, Selim I, was hardly of note. Being at least slightly skilled at Military Matters, no more than Abdullah and no Less, and roughly equally skilled in Administration, he was by all accounts a bumbling fool diplomatically. His perennial Stutter did not improve Matters. He did literally nothing of note, unless one were to consider not collapsing one's nation to be of note. Indeed, He is best known for his drunkenness.
His Brother however, Sultan of Sultans Ali I, was by all accounts a brilliant man, skilled in military and administrative matters, where he truly showed his strength was in diplomacy. He was said to have a tongue of such pure silver that he could coerce a person into any course of action. Having been spared from the Ottoman Practice of Fratricide upon succession due to Selim's lack of children, he inherited the empire following the former's abrupt death.
Crowned in 1492, while Castille was discovering new lands, Ali charged his forces into Greece, taking great swathes of land from Morea and annexing the Crusader state of Athens. His diplomatic clout prevented those around him from finding cause to invade, and the conquest went almost completely unopposed.
So skilled was he at diplomacy that, when an initial attempt on the Island Fortress of Rhodes failed, he turned further west and managed to win an almost bloodless war with the Mamluk Dynasty of Egypt, seizing almost all of Syria down into the the Holy Land. At this point, it was a simple matter to claim the title of Caliph, and so Ali added yet more titles to his already impressive portfolio.
A Brief war with Moldavia saw the remains of the state annexed, however this war is notable only in that no other states intervened. Neither Hungary nor Poland honored the calls of Moldavia, being both too intimidated by the Rapidly Growing power of the ottoman Turks.
Ali's Last act of Foreign Import was to attack the small Balkan Alliance of Bosnia, Montenegro, and Ragus, taking much of the formers territory and annexing the latter two entirely.
The Empire at 1503, following the Conquests of Ali I
However the above is a grave misrepresentation of Ali's accomplishments. During his reign his diplomatic prowess saw the Ottoman Divan multiply in size, with a massive new Governmental Complex constructed solely for his nobles livelihood and usage. The Conspiracies of his court are legend in this age, comparable only to the Inner Politics of the German Senate or Eastern Roman Court. Yet through all of this, Ali sailed with such ease that his name has become synonymous with Manipulator in the modern Turkish Lands. He projected Ottoman Power even across the Mediterranean Sea, and was the first Ottoman Sultan to pay attention to Algiers, what would one day become one of the Empire's greatest assets, even if for only an admittedly brief time.
His Successor, Yakub I 'The Fallen', inherited little of his grace, though he replaced this with a simple and concise wit, and devastating power in military and Bureaucratic matters. The reign of Yakub the First showed every promise of a glorious rise, which makes its terrible fall all the more inexplicable.
Yakub's first love was the army, this is obvious to all who study him. He reformed and reorganized the Ottoman Janissary Corps, doubling the Cavalry complement and expanding the Infantry by massive numbers. He further strengthened the Osmanli's ties with the army while decentralizing it under local leadership. Despite this, he further ingratiated himself to the Generals. At the height of his control of the Army, they would march only under his orders. It would be this that crippled him in his most dire moment.
Yakub's early reign until 1517 was very peaceful, with a brief war with Venice having the remains of Bosnia (temporarily absorbed into Venezian Hegemony) ceded to the Ottoman Empire. Diplomatically, Albania and Candar were further integrated into the Empire. All of this is generally lost however in favor of study of the Ottoman-Hungarian War Yakub waged, and his subsequent defeat in the so-called 'Great Crusade'.
The Ottoman Empire at 1517, shortly before the Ottoman Hungarian War.
In 1517, Yakub gathered his armies and demanded that Hungary cede Wallachia to his empire. Hungary, naturally, refused, confident that the alliance it had developed after splitting with Austria would support it. It was sadly mistaken. Although Bohemia did aid Hungary in its coming war, as did Serbia, however foolishly. The massive Kingdom of Poland-Lithuania refused to aid Hungary, citing its preoccupation with a large Revolt in the Zaporozhye-Crimea Area as being too great for it to commit forces to any war.
Thus, the Ottoman Armies invaded. The Hungarians relied on a defensive strategy once again, centered around the city of Belgrade first, and Vrbas later, after Belgrade fell to the Ottomans. While the Ottomans massed and the recently taken Belgrade after a short battle, the Hungarians massed at Buda before moving south to Vrbas.
Tangentially to this, small contingents of Ottoman Soldiers marched into Wallachia and Romania, besieging many citadels, the most important being at Bucaresti, Drobeta, and Sibia. Another small army moved to siege Oradea, however a large Hungarian-Bohemian force moved to combat them, and the general in charge of the ottoman Force retreated back to Drobeta. The Allied Force did not pursue, as they were told to wait for orders should the allied army require their aid at Vrbas.
The Ottoman-Hungarian War of 1517-1519. The Lines represent the paths of armies, while the bright red dots represent battles, and the dark red dots represent Large Sieges
The Two Large armies met at Vrbas in 1518, and the outcome was one sided. The Hungarian King fell in battle to the forces of Yakub, with legends telling of a heroic, but foolish, cavalry charge that shattered on the Ottoman line of Pikes. The Main allied army disintegrated instantly, with the towns and castles surrendering quickly. The Bohemian Armies tried to reorganize, however the entire Kingdom of Hungary collapsed almost instantly. The army at Oradea managed to preserve a small enclave of order, however Ottoman Troops were otherwise free to occupy almost the entirety of Hungary. It looked as if the Bulwark of Christendom had been blasted open.
However, in the city of Vienna, talks were under way. As runners from the battler arrived at the court of Bohemia, they moved south to talk with the Hapsburg Emperor Friedrich VI "The Terror". Upon Hearing of the defeat, Friedrich famously remarked "What of it?". And would not even hear requests for aid until he was guaranteed the right to place his brother upon the Hungarian Throne, reclaiming Hungary for the House of Hapsburg When this term was finally agreed upon however, he put forth the call to crusade.
In Vrbas, where Yakub had set up a temporary court to administrate the occupied lands, peace talks with Hungary were under way. The Hungarian Nobles attempted to stall for time until they could determine what Austria would do. Small territories along the Ottoman Border were officially ceded, however most of Hungary was effectively under Ottoman Control already.
Occupied Hungary in 1519. The provinces enclosed within their own borders were officially ceded, while the green area within Hungary was under Ottoman Control.
Yakub was confident he could defeat Austria, however that confidence received its first blow in early 1520 when word came from Austria. The Petition for Crusade at the Reichstag had been Heard. The Unimaginable had happened.
The Vote had been Unanimous.
The Empire was going to war.
The Entire Empire.