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  1. #1
    Colonel Selzro's Avatar
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    Albania Finds its Place in the World

    Being the account of an Albanian game in mostly vanilla Vic2. The only changes being different colours for some nations, and nerfed bureaucrat NFs (they work at 1/3 the vanilla rate and cannot be used on colonies).


    Prologue



    Travel with your mind’s eye to the year 1822. Ali Pasha, the Albanian ‘Lion of Yannina’ is in revolt against the Ottoman Sultan Mahmud II. See the prosperous Epirote city of Ioannina, built on the shores of a lake. In the lake is an island, on the island is a Greek monastery. There, Ali Pasha, awaiting a pardon from the Sultan, is betrayed and shot dead, thus ending his insurrection. Now shake your head until that image blurs and dissolves into something else. The Pasha isn’t there. He has taken refuge in the north, where he is raising new armies, and even at 80 years of age continues the fight, while Greece raises its own banners of revolution in the south, splitting the Ottoman attention. The Sultan is eventually forced to accept the de facto independence of the Albanian north, even though the Sublime Porte officially holds suzerainty over it. Ali Pasha’s heirs become kings of Albania and history has diverged, but not by much. No, not by much. Even in 1836, the Empire continues its course with a semblance of unity with Albania, even as another Albanian, Ibrahim Pasha, rules Egypt as an independent entity, and Greece has been its own kingdom with no changes in its timeline. In 1838 Tripoli is subdued and the Ottoman Empire is at peace. Albania now enters the stage as an actor. Its decisions are its own.


    Chapter I

    Albania starts out on its journey as the most insignificant of all civilized nations. It has no prestige, no industry, and only an army of three brigades of irregular troops to give it some military power. It has one state, a fairly homogeneous population, predominantly Sunni, and four coastal provinces surrounding one inland capital province. All the Greeks are located in the South, in Gjirokaster. It borders the Ottoman Empire on its north, south and east and the Adriatic Sea on its west. It is an absolute monarchy and poor but honest.





    By 1838, both Albania and the Ottoman Empire have researched freedom of trade (I played as the Ottomans for two years to subdue Tripoli, so I could release Albania in peace. I made sure that tech was researched so the Ottomans would have an easier time later on in the game). Albania focused its minds on setting up a local enlightenment movement, researching Idealism and Malthusian Thought. Being so close to the Ottoman Empire it was soon placed within its sphere of influence and granted an alliance with the Porte. In 1843, the Albanian Enlightenment reaped its first fruits by being the first philosophical school to come up with Hegelian Idealism. Albania’s prestige increased from 1 to 21, and its position in the world from 66 to 20. The world would soon see that Albania would be a cultural force to be reckoned with.



    Albanians were not only concerned with philosophy, however. Two of the original three irregular brigades were disbanded and replaced with a more professional army, two regular infantry brigades that made up the 1st Division ‘Skenderbei’. It was a glorious name that carried Albanians’ hopes for continued independence and perhaps even conquest in the future.

    In 1845 the Albanian king found a rare opportunity to do just that. The once formidable colonial nation of Denmark had been greatly reduced in strength by Austria, which was now at war with it again demanding Jutland. It seemed that the Danish Empire was at the brink of dissolution, its remains being carved up by whoever was courageous enough to throw modesty to the wind and ride on Austria’s coattails to victory. So it was that the tiny country of Albania declared war on Denmark, demanding the even tinier island of Saint Thomas, that made up the Danish West Indies.



    A brigade of irregulars was transported with a clipper to the undefended island while the 1st Infantry Division guarded Albania from possible Danish counterattacks. In the meantime, a frigate was commissioned to augment the two clippers that made up the totality of the Albanian Navy.

    Saint Thomas fell easily, and it took Denmark long before the Austrians would let it respond to the Albanian situation. When they did, they could only send two clippers with two brigades to invade Albania. They were intercepted at sea in the Straits of Otranto, and were forced to accept the loss of their Caribbean island in the face of impending defeat.



    Albania had thus gained a state (alas, not a colony) in the West Indies. Its population was small but restless. Liberalism was rampant, as was a desire to return to the previous slave-owning regime which was not supported by Albania’s administrative system.



    This victory gave Albania prestige and tobacco, but its safety still lay in the well-being of its protector, the Ottoman Empire, and the latter was facing a grave threat. The Russians declared war in 1846, and all the Ottoman armies had to rush off to Anatolia, leaving it up to their allies to defend the European part of the Empire. The 1st Division marched up to the border with Moldavia and came face to face with overwhelming odds.



    Still, it was a defensive victory, if a costly one at that.



    One month later, the Albanian soldiers would not be as fortunate. Assaulted again, they had to retreat in defeat, leaving the Russians free reign in Wallachia. With Wallachians and Austrian allies continuing the fight there, the Albanian division left for Anatolia, where the Ottoman and Persian armies seemed like they could make a difference against the Russian advance. That estimate was proven wrong, and as the Ottoman armies were scattered the Albanian division was surprised by a Russian vanguard, that drew it into a fight it would sorely lose.



    The losses were so great that one of the three brigades of ‘Skenderbei’ would be dissolved, as there were not enough men from that province to keep it manned. After that, the Division retreated to Albania, where it stayed for the remainder of the war. In the peace of 1848 the Ottoman Empire lost no core territories, but Russia took control over northern Nejd, which had been taken by the Ottomans some years back. In the following years, Russia would complete its conquest of Nejd, and then add Abu Dhabi to its colonies. But it would no more directly threaten the territorial integrity of the Ottoman Empire. A storm had passed. The rest of history awaits.

    Last edited by Selzro; 22-11-2010 at 04:22.

  2. #2
    Alternative Affairs Specialist TekcoR's Avatar
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    An interesting choice, to remain as part of the Ottoman Empire. Good luck!
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    Colonel Selzro's Avatar
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    Thanks! I'm not a satellite, if I've given that impression; I would not have been able to start my own wars if I were. But I do act like one when the Ottoman Empire is threatened. That's a house rule I intend to keep, at least for as long as my or their monarchy lasts.
    Last edited by Selzro; 22-11-2010 at 02:57.

  4. #4
    First Lieutenant Communitarian!'s Avatar
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    I like that. It suits this timeline, an interesting twist, and one that'll keep a powerful ally - though possibly with one eyeing your every move - in the field. The colors are quite nice, as well. A red like that really looks cool on the Ottoman Empire next to Albania. My question then - if the Ottoman's push northward, shall you as well, perhaps with an eye on some Austrian terrain..?
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  5. #5
    Colonel Selzro's Avatar
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    If it does, Albania might develop a taste for an Adriatic adventure... But that's a big 'if' and so far lack of such an action by the Ottomans has prompted the Albanians to expand the empire's influence in another direction, as you and all readers shall soon see.

  6. #6
    Colonel Selzro's Avatar
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    Chapter II

    The next twenty years were a time of peace for Albania, but not so for the rest of the world. Most surprising were the Sino-Portuguese conflicts, in which China repeatedly fought Portugal and gradually stripped it of Bali, Goa and Zanzibar. Chinese Mombasa, in 1865, was a sight to behold on the maps.



    But back in Europe, Albania experienced a sudden increase of volunteers for the army at around 1866, and took advantage of it to raise four guards brigades which, along with the two existing infantry brigades, were equally distributed among the existing 1st Division ‘Skenderbei’ and the new 2nd Division ‘Illyria’.



    Ever since the 1840s, Persia had been in the Ottoman Empire’s sphere, and was a nation friendly to Albania. Now, it was decided that the latter could help the Imperial cause by expanding its borders east of Persia, into Kalat. The 1st division made its long way to Persia by land, and proceeded to invade Makran in June 1868. The only resistance was a single cavalry brigade, so by late October the country had been subdued and would consequently be administered by Albania.



    In keeping with its policy of moderation, Albania had taken under her protection a territory with a small population. They were also all Sunnis and predominantly conservatives, which gave them a closer cultural affinity with Albanians than the anarchic Christians of the Albanian West Indies.



    That policy of restraint would be tested three years later, when France declared war on Makran’s neighbouring country, Sindh, with the goal of establishing a protectorate. The Albanian bei in charge of Makran deemed that French actions were an unacceptable infringement on a Muslim Indian country that should by all rights pay tribute to Tirana or Istanbul rather than Paris. Acting with rash initiative, he ordered the 1st division to march into Sindh and claim the country in the name of Albania. The Sindh army, larger in size than the Albanian division, reasoned that the best defence is a great offence and speedily brought the war to Makran.



    The mountainous terrain, good generalship and natural resilience of the Albanian troops resulted in a Sidh rout. As the division gave chase and as the French landed their own army in Sidh, Albanian academics, oblivious of the situation, made rapid advancements in analytic philosophy, henceforth known as the ‘School of Tirana’ due to the leading role of the philosophical society there in developing all its basic branches. Such was the prestige that was won by those repeated advances that Albania became for the first time counted among the secondary powers of Europe.



    Meanwhile, in Sidh Albanian and French forces vied for the conquest of the country. The Albanians managed to occupy more land and had also won the local warlords’ respect from their brave defence of Makran. So it was no big surprise that the latter preferred to surrender to Albania rather than France.



    Seen from the perspective of the Sublime Porte, whose shrewd diplomats had managed to negotiate an alliance with Russia, the Empire’s influence now stretched from the Adriatic Sea to the Indus River and from the Danube to the sands of deepest Libya. It was far from a golden age, but not bad at all.


  7. #7
    Second Lieutenant Kaltorak's Avatar
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    Nice of Sindh to offer themselves on a platter for you. Making the French take that infamy for nothing.. how fun! As for St Thomas... At least it is a small state. It shouldn't take too much away from you literacy wise. Hell maybe one day it will even get a chance to industrialise lol. Impressive it had a whopping 5% bureaucrats. And power to the Chinese.. about time they got their own back on the imperialist dogs that try to chew them up piece by piece.
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    Are you using an map coloring mod or have you altered the colors yourself?

    I really dont like the "near to none" contrast between you and the OE, you might have to crush them completly to change that

    Good luck!
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    Colonel Selzro's Avatar
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    @Kaltorak: It took my capitalists decades of money-raising, but they eventually started a factory in St. Thomas! Of course it only has about 10,000 POPs, so there won't be many workers lining up to work there... I'm actually happy for the Chinese. It would be fun to see them colonize Africa... I peeked to see how they're doing, and they could westernize rapidly if they only researched two techs that they are missing - but are instead focusing their research elsewhere.

    @Alexspeed: They were altered by a friend of mine for his personal mod, I adopted his colour scheme so we could play MP games together, and it stuck. It seems Albania had not been taken into consideration at that time... Still, I rolled with it by giving Albania a special relationship with the OE, like we're still connected to an extent, so that explains the small colour contrast.

  10. #10
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    Chapter III

    By 1874 Albanians had emerged as a people with a rising nationalist sense of identity and imperial holdings far from their homeland. Furthermore, a scientific tradition was beginning to take hold, and that included the field of archaeology, with ancient Greek, Roman and Illyrian ruins being unearthed in expeditions that were becoming commonplace. But some archaeologists felt that digging in their own land gave them an intrinsic bias, and petitioned their government to take actions so they could dig in Egypt, whose ancient civilization had become a sensation in Europe. The king acquiesced to this proposal and an agreement was made with Egypt by the end of January 1874.

    That was to be the beginning of Albania’s interaction with that rebellious country. The future was not to be as peaceful. For years, the Ottoman Empire had been waging war after war on Egypt to reclaim the Middle East, and although Albania was never called to assist, stories that were brought back from the archaeologists inflamed public imagination and, more importantly, the imagination of the king. So it came to be that in 1876, after another war between the Ottoman Empire and Egypt got started, Albania joined the war uninvited, landing the 1st Division in Asmara. After some naval operations in the Mediterranean, where the Adriatic Fleet (by then numbering 4 frigates) defeated the Egyptian fleet (also numbering 4 frigates), Egypt agreed to cede Asmara to Albania, in addition to the territory ceded to the Ottomans.



    That was to be the high point of the Ottoman/Albanian Empire in the late 19th century. After that, the Ottomans were rocked by revolutions which, though dealt with by the imperial army and the Albanian 2nd Division, weakened the Empire, even as neighbouring nations grew in strength and unity.

    In the late 1870s the Albanian population surpassed 4 million – though only a third of that was in actual Albania, and more than half lived in Karachi. However, thanks to immigration and assimilation, a quarter of the latter self-identified as Albanians (census taken in 1881).



    Assimilation had had less time to make its effect in Asmara, where a significant percentage of the population was also Coptic Christian.



    In 1881 the Ottomans declared war once again on Egypt. Albania still had a truce, but seeing as neighbouring Ethiopia had become a failed state, without the ability to raise an army to protect its citizens, it was deemed humane to take the time to place them under Albanian protection.



    Then, in December of that same year, something with far-reaching consequences happened. Garibaldi’s Expedition of the Thousand was conducted, granting Sardinia-Piedmont the opportunity to create the Kingdom of Italy. The Piedmontese king wasted no time with it, and a new power arose in the Mediterranean.



    That had two uncomfortable consequences. One was that a very powerful state now surrounded Albania’s waters. The other was that the Ottoman Empire was relegated to 9th position, in terms of cultural, industrial and military prestige, and that would soon mean the dissolution of its sphere of influence. The Ottoman-Albanian alliance remained strong but the Empire that everyone was accustomed to was becoming a thing of the past.

    1882 and 1883 saw the expansion of combat operations to Egyptian Ethiopia, which was integrated into Albanian Ethiopia, in the confusion that followed a climate of repeated revolutions in Egypt. The latter had its monarchy overthrown, to be replaced by a short-lived bourgeois dictatorship, which was itself replaced by a democracy. By the end of October 1883, Albanian protection over all Ethiopians had been officially accepted.



    Albania had gained much from its adventures, but the Ottomans had lost more from the rise of Italy. Their alliances with Russia and Persia were ended and those two nations soon found themselves at war. The closest link between the Albanian Asian and African holdings and the Mediterranean was now Ottoman Mesopotamia. Political instability in Egypt meant that no great power could exert enough influence to attempt to build a canal in Suez, which would greatly facilitate travel between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean. Meanwhile, France and the UK were beginning to colonize Africa, in the west and south, respectively. Albania would have to choose its next steps carefully, lest it and the Empire be relegated to historical insignificance in the coming years.

  11. #11
    Nice story so far!

    But how haven't you gone over the infamy limit, taking so many states at once?

  12. #12
    Colonel Selzro's Avatar
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    Thanks! The only civilized state I've taken (with 10 infamy) was the Danish West Indies, and I then languished at 0 infamy for years before setting out on my Indian Expedition. That gave me 16 infamy for the establishment of two protectorates, starting in 1868. Then, in the course of the next 15 years I lost most of that, while gradually accumulating 8 infamy from Ethiopia and 12 from Egypt (3 concessions), so my infamy now should be just above 20 (considering most wars were short so infamy was lost at a more or less normal rate).

  13. #13
    Of course, I forgot that concessions from uncivs were only 4 a piece.

  14. #14
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    Chapter IV

    Reconstruction at the end of the last war stumbled upon a global timber shortage. All across Albanian Ethiopia railroad projects languished due to lack of materials, as did port expansions elsewhere. Feeling the gravity of the situation, expeditions were sent into neighbouring parts of Africa to ascertain whether Albania could become self-sufficient in timber by expansion. After some months, it was found that there was a good source of timber in Waw, west of Ethiopia. No cost or effort was spared in setting up a colony there, which became operational in May 1885.


    The province with timber is just south of the selected one. I was careless when I took that screenshot…

    That eastward expansion opened up the local bei’s appetite for more of the same, and since there were Ethiopians living just south of the Albanian holdings, in lands that were suitable for profitable coffee plantations, steps were taken to expand the provinces of Negele and Werder to the south. Meanwhile, the Ottoman Empire was rocked by more rebellions, which the Albanian 2nd Division helped in putting down.

    In 1888 some attention was given to the much neglected navy, and four commerce raiders (two in the Adriatic and two in the Red Sea) were added to the four old frigates that made up the Adriatic Fleet. That expansion more than doubled Albanian naval power but its naval officers were underwhelmed, considering the antiquated state of even their newest ships.



    Meanwhile, in Africa the expansion of the borders of the Negele and Werder colonies was formalized, though it would take many years to build up infrastructure and populate them with decent, literate Albanians. A fourth division, ‘Arslan’, was formed in Ethiopia, in honour of the lion that was the symbol of that country and of Ali Pasha, who was often referred to as Arslan.



    In contrast to the revolution-plagued Ottoman Empire, the Albanian kingdom was remarkably stable. The monarchy remained absolute, with public meetings illegal, and the great majority of the population of Albania remained staunchly conservative, even though citizens from elsewhere in the Kingdom contributed more liberal or even socialist voices to the upper house.



    The only armed rebellions Albania had experienced so far were so small as to be officially referred to as ‘brigands’. Three or four times in as many decades, small bands of Pan-Yugoslavian nationalists had assembled in the north of Albania, only to be promptly dispersed by the 2nd Division. Two or thee times, similar bands expressing a communist ideology had done the same, only to meet the same fate. They were never more than 3,000 men strong, at the highest estimates, and none had appeared since the 1870s. The people understood that the monarchy was unquestionable and eternal, and none dared express otherwise. All praise King Skanderbeg II! (for that was the current monarch’s name) May his reign last a thousand years!

    To celebrate the kingdom’s stability and prosperity, Karachi was granted statehood, thus becoming the third state of the Kingdom.



    1888 was a good year for Albania but not for Italy. A war against Austria went sour, and it ended up losing East Switzerland to the latter. Still, it remained a great power and the Ottoman Empire remained 9th in the rankings, while Mexico had climbed up to number 7.





    Italy lost much land and prestige from that war and in 1891 it attempted to regain it elsewhere, but in a way Albania simply could not allow. The Italian imperialists got it into their heads to establish a protectorate over Hedjaz, the land that included the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. It was too late to protect them as an ally, but Albania could beat the Italians to the conquest and establish its own protectorate, as defenders of the faith. The 1st Division was, as luck had it, in Eritrea at the time, and it was promptly transported to Hedjaz, as was the 3rd Division. The 4th Division remained in reserve.



    In early 1892 Hedjaz was won and the Italians were humiliated by little Albania! There was much rejoicing in Tirana.



    Hedjaz was a mostly desert land, with a large percentage of the population in the clergy, as befitted the sacredness of its main cities. Albanian state capitalists set upon improving the country’s infrastructure, while the question of whether it would be granted autonomy in the future or kept as an integral part of the Albanian kingdom remained open.



    Later that year, the Ottoman Empire showed one last glimmer of shrewdness by allying with Italy, and thus forming an alliance that would dominate most of the Mediterranean and Red Sea.



    However, it was not meant to last. Less than a year later France declared war on Italy and the Ottoman Empire dropped out of its alliance. Italy ended up losing Savoie to France but remained a Great Power (if a wildly unsuccessful one).

    1894 was a big year. The Americans constructed the Suez Canal, thus providing a direct sea link between Albania and its Red Sea bases, without having to go through Ottoman Mesopotamia. That was incredibly useful since, for reasons that could not be ascertained, the Ottoman Empire cancelled Albania’s military access and would not, under any circumstances, be prevailed upon to renew it. Palace rumours had it that the Sultan was peeved at the Albanian protection of Mecca and there were fears that the Albanian kings would choose to usurp the title of Caliph. King Skanderbeg II remained mute on that subject but with the construction of the canal the loss was all of the Ottomans. When revolution reared its ugly head again the Albanian armies could not intervene to put them down and the ever-dwindling Ottoman army (down to 8 or 7 brigades) would struggle to keep up with the uprisings – having lost all of Ottoman Africa to them already by 1894.

    In that same year, Albanian chemists discovered cracking, and the first Albanian fuel refineries were constructed in Karachi and Albania. After many decades of low profitability or even subsidised overproduction, Albanian industry would now begin to take its first modern steps, still under the watchful eye of state capitalism. Meanwhile, in Africa, the colonisation of Negele and Werder gradually spread to Somaliland , establishing the new borders of Albanian Africa by 1898.



    At the turn of the century Albania remains one of the most authoritarian regimes in Europe, if not the most authoritarian. Its population has surpassed 14 million, though only 3 of its 11 regions are states. Albanians remain the largest ethnic group in the Kingdom, while Sunni Islam is by far the most popular religion.


    Shown are also the only revolutionary elements in Albanian society, mostly mischievous Danes and Greeks, and some heathen African witch-doctors.

    The Ottoman Empire continues its slow descent in prestige, which cannot be stopped by Albania’s efforts, to the extent that the two are now considered almost equals in world opinion.



    The 19th century is over, and the Ottoman Empire’s pre-eminence seems to be ending with it. At the dawn of the 20th century, Albania’s star is rising on the crescent of the Muslim world. Will it be able to stand up to the growing imperialism of the West and provide an effective bulwark to their expansion in the Middle East? History will show, as the next chapters unfold.

  15. #15
    Colonel Selzro's Avatar
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    Chapter V

    Early in the year 1900 Persia asked for an alliance, which Albania accepted. Just a couple of months later, the International Olympic Committee approached Albania with a proposal for hosting the Second Olympic Games. It was a chance to show that Albania was not only a protector of the East but also a part of the West, and an economic force to be reckoned, so the king agreed to it.

    By 1901 Albania was widely considered to have surpassed the Ottoman Empire in importance, if ever so slightly, and the old Empire’s sphere of influence was now effectively replaced by an Albanian-led alliance, which encompassed the Ottomans and Persia.



    It seemed like the prelude to a century of steady growth and peace, but suddenly, in September 1901, it all came crumbling down.



    Russia had engineered a border incident to fabricate a casus belli and now demanded Karachi. The Albanian armed forces, lethargic in their complacency for too long, immediately placed goods orders for a rapid expansion of the army in Albania and Africa, while the navy began to ferry the divisions in hastily drawn up plans. It soon came across squadrons of Russian ships, which the Albanian navy scrambled to intercept. Fortunately, the Russian navy was not much better in quality than the Albanian one, with all their warships being commerce raiders. Unfortunately, while Albania had a grand total of 4 of them, Russia had over 100. After the initial naval skirmishes left the Albanian transport fleets in retreat and the Albanian frigates in the bottom of the Adriatic Sea, construction of 10 new commerce raiders was initiated, while research was diverted to naval technology.

    An ‘Army of Africa’, comprising 8 brigades was raised in East Africa, while 5 new guard brigades were raised in Albania. As Russian squadrons blockaded all of Albania’s ports, a look at the geostrategic situation revealed that things were not as desperate as had at first appeared.



    Neutral Persia stood as a buffer state between Russia and Albanian India, while the Ottoman Empire also stood between the former and Albania. Russian Nejd could only be reached from Russia by sea, and there were two Albanian divisions in Hedjaz pushing into it, with no immediate resistance. There was one division guarding Karachi, while another division and the Army of Africa guarded the Ethiopian and Somali coast. In Albania proper, the 2nd Division guarded the beeches, bolstered by the new guard brigades and only the Albanian West Indies were completely unguarded, but they were also far away from Russia’s reach and the main theatres of operations.

    In April 1902 the first feeble resistance (one newly formed brigade) was encountered in Nejd and promptly eliminated. A few months later, the Russians made their first landing in Africa, where they were attacked by the numerically superior Albanian troops and forced to surrender after a couple of successful battles.



    In August, Albanian armies reached Dubai, trapping the last Russian brigades there. They were forced to surrender and the Albanian divisions proceeded to occupy the emirates.



    By the end of the year, the new navy was organized enough to attempt to break the Russian blockade, starting with the Straits of Otrando.



    The battle was a resounding victory for the Albanian navy, but it spent the next months in port, repairing its ships, so that success could not be immediately followed up on to sweep the rest of the Russian squadrons from the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.

    In February 1903, the Russians landed another army in Africa, this time larger than the previous one. However, the Albanians there were confident after their previous victory and were commanded by a general with great offensive talent.



    43,000 Russians fought to defend their beachhead in Djibuti, but they were gradually worn down and eventually forced to surrender. Russia, after that, realized that picking on Albania was not a good idea and asked for peace. The Albanian king, seeing the advantage passing to his country, pressed on with the war, demanding Abu Dhabi.

    In April, Albanian ships engaged the Russian squadrons in the Straits of Obokk, off Djibouti. Meanwhile, naval research teams who had been sent to the west to study advances in naval technology came back with a proposal for ‘ironclads’, ships larger than any the Albanian navy had yet constructed, and made predominantly out of iron. Hopeful for any advantage in the naval war, the king authorized construction of 4 such ships in June 1903, two of them in Albania and two in Makran and Karachi, which had so far seen only sporadic blockades and no land action, even though the latter was Russia’s wargoal. That would change in September, when the Russians landed a small force in Bela. The 3rd Division attacked from Karachi, across a river and up a mountain in an operation that would earn its officers many distinctions from the king later on. The Russian force was defeated, in what was to be the last land battle of the war.



    A few weeks after that, Russia agreed to peace on Albanian terms. The 4th most prominent power in the world had been bested by Albania in a colonial war, and the latter had managed to take back a part of Arabia from the Christian imperialists.



    Abu Dhabi had changed much during its Russian rule. The population had become predominantly Russian, after immigrants flocked to exploit the land’s resources, including its rich oil fields. Some of the king’s advisors proposed that the emirates be released as a satellite of Albania, but the king left that decision to a later date.



    Until then, Albania would invest in the infrastructure of the new region and try to rebuild some semblance of its old alliance with Persia, the Ottoman Empire and other Balkan states – if that’s at all possible any more.

  16. #16
    Lt. General Aliasing's Avatar
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    Interesting I shall be reading and watching this progress

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    A shame they didn't turn it into a state before they declared on you. Or is there a number of native bureaucrats in that 1.1%? Lots of unemployed in that state! Might get nasty down the track. At least you should be able to get some soldiers out of that. Although would you really want Russian soldiers? Praise upon the 5th 'Afrika'. They served Albania well.
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    All the bureaucrats in Abu Dhabi are natives, so the Russians couldn't make it a state (I've made it so bureaucrat NFs can't be used on colonies, to slow down colonial integration for everyone). But I plan to release it as a satellite, with all my technological knowledge, sometime in the near future (or whenever I need a quick drop in infamy). Let the emirs deal with their Russian infestation they way they see fit.

    5th 'Afrika' and the natively raised Africa Army have fought heroically in defence of the kingdom. But I fear the Russian bear will not soon forget its defeat and want revenge when our truce expires. And now that we are antagonists, Albania will become more concerned with the fate of Persia and the unwelcome possibility of Russia obtaining a land link to the Persian Gulf.

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    update?
    "Be bloody bold and resolute..."

  20. #20
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    Chapter VI

    All the old allies of Albania refused its offers of alliance. The Ottoman Empire was gradually slipping into the French sphere of influence, even as Albania seemed to be moving towards Italy’s. Persia was the most unfortunate case, since not only did it refuse an alliance but was then promptly invaded by Russia. Under these circumstances, there was one old and tested tactic for Albania, but Persia was too big to annex. So, instead, two (later three) Albanian divisions invaded it under the pretext of demanding a concession and then attempted to limit the Russian expansion southwards.



    That tactic ended up unsuccessful in preventing the Russians from extorting two regions out of Persia and turning their capital into an exclave. Albanian strategists would like to think that more of Persia would have been lost if not for that intervention, but that is purely hypothetical. In light of this development, Persia was asked to hand over its two southernmost regions to Albania. With them already occupied, it had to accept. Russia was now permanently cut off from the Persian Gulf, and there were two, small in width, borders between Russian and Albanian Persia, with one of Persia’s two remaining regions acting as a buffer.



    With Albania’s morality suspect worldwide, the king decided to allay fears by announcing the liberation of Abu Dhabi, exactly a year after the end of the Persian War. The reborn country benefited from all of Albania’s knowledge and technology, but it disappointingly remained an uncivilized nation. It would require much prestige and military power to westernize, and it seemed unlikely that that would happen anytime soon.



    Two years later the king’s beneficence spread to Africa, where the colony of Waw was made a state, the fourth in Albania. Meanwhile, in the lands of Albania’s former enemy, Denmark, Icelandic rebels won their independence, in a shocking event that will change the history of the North Atlantic area close to Greenland.

    All and all, it seemed like a time of liberation and advancement, when small nations could breathe the fresh air once more and small people prosper in their new states and factories. So of course Russia would have to ruin it by declaring war again.



    This time, not a moment was wasted. The Albanian monitors were sent to the Aegean fleet to intercept any Russian squadrons that attempted to exit the Black Sea. The 4th Division, until then busy cleaning up after Russian saboteurs in Abu Dhabi, sprang to action to defend the country from Russian attacks. And the three divisions stationed in Persia took up defensive positions at the borders. Dezful, with its hilly terrain, would become the definitive battleground of that war, attracting Russian reinforcements as soon as the previous ones withered away, and Albanian reinforcements as often as it was humanly possible. In November 1908 it was just getting started.



    The fight raged on as expected until January 1909, when Italy decided to intervene.



    The Italians would be of no help in Persia but they promptly negotiated a military access treaty with Austria that would allow them to march directly to Russia. Meanwhile, Italian ships joined the Albanian ones for the push to the Black Sea, that saw all of Russia’s ports there blockaded, once its navy had resisted as much as it could.

    In March the first battle of Dezful was won, with over 25,000 Russian casualties to over 10,000 Albanian ones.



    A month later, fresh Russian armies came for a rematch. The second battle would last until November, with another Russian defeat. Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi pulled its weight with an occupying army in Nejd and its very first monitor.



    In January 1905 Italy signed a white peace with Russia, thus ending the conflict. It was unfortunate that nothing could be gained for Albania, but nothing was lost either. Well, apart from a few thousand lives, but that’s war for you. War’s end found Albania firmly in Italy’s sphere of influence. A few months later, Spain proposed an alliance, thus forming a triumvirate of Mediterranean powers.



    The world of 1910 is one of firmly set great powers, with industries that set them far apart from the secondary powers. The latter are fairly equal in score, with the Ottoman Empire coming in last, a sad spot for a once great power.



    1910 is also the year when Persia’s truces with Russia and Albania expire. The Albanian king and his cabinet are awaiting Russia’s next action to formulate Albania’s reaction.

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