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Thread: Defiant untill death, a Breton AAR

  1. #21

    Post Chapter I, Rule of Jean V.



    Act I, The land of the Bretons

    The ruler of Brittany, Duke Jean IV of the house of Dreux was getting old, he looked out from his lords hall towards the sea. In his mind nothing was more beautiful than Brittany during the autumn. The cold winds blew right in his face and he could almost taste the sea as the waves crashed towards the harbor of Nantes. The old duke had, however, not been able to enjoy his beloved homeland all his life, he had spent many years in exile, only after the nobles in Brittany revolted against the French was he called back. He retook his rightful place as duke and assumed the title "le Conquéreur". Some years later he yet again faced off against the French. The French king Charles VI. invaded Brittany, however he suffered a fit of madness while leading his army and the campaign collapsed. With this easy victory Jean had kept his duchy of Brittany safe.


    (Jean V. and Jean's victory over the French at Auray in 1364)


    Now in 1399, at the turn of the century, he was 60 years old. A veteran of major conflicts, and his military skills were among the best you could find in this time. The same could not be said about his other skills, he was a fool when it came to diplomacy, and when he had to deal with governmental business he preferred to give the task to someone else.


    (Western Europe 1399)


    That was why he had recently employed some very competent men as his new advisors. First there was Jean d'Ancenis, a man whom Jean had known since boyhood, he was a highly competent government official, having learned his skills in Milan. The next was Sklaer de Halgoet, and odd choice, he was not much to look at, one of his legs was longer than the other, because of this his manner of walking was strange, it was also said that he did not enjoy company with the fair sex. But when it came to production he was a very competent man, he was originally from Flanders and here he had learned how to manage cloth industry to a degree which there was no equal rival to in Europe. He had also been central when it came to forming the alliance between Burgundy and Brittany. Lastly there was Charles the Craon, a french merchant from Ile de France, he was young and inexperienced. He was, however, from a prestige's merchant family and his uncle was responsible for shipping wine from Bourgogne to Paris. He also looked the part, in stark contrast to Sklaer, he was tall, blonde and very muscular built. It was said that he had once sold a very bad vintage of wine to a duke, simply because the duchess fancied his looks.

    Jean's head of government, Jean d'Ancenis had advised him to invest most of his budget in the government, Jean, being easy to persuade, agreed. The reason for this was that his adviser believed that events like the Breton civil war could have been avoided if the government was more centralized. His advisers also advised him to order a tapestry, his deeds of liberating the country should be immortalized forever, Jean, not being of the modest kind, agreed.


    (the regions that make up Jean's kingdom, the capital's salt production is vital for the economy)


    When Jean looked out of his castle window he could not help being afraid of the future. His son was far from the perfect replacement, and Jean also feared France. He had avoided a confrontation with Charles VI, but that was only because the French king was insane, and thought he was made of glass. His successor would probably not be so inefficient. Then there was England, a nation that had helped Jean, and this was also the place where he had spent his exile. Even so, he feared the English, he knew that they would stop at nothing to achieve their aims, and if their aims included "adding Brittany to their nation" then he would likely be in dire troubles. Jean could comfort himself that he had an alliance with Burgundy, and if the French attacked him they would be caught in a vice between Brittany and Burgundy.
    Jean's thought where interrupted by his head of diplomacy, the baron of Nantes. He informed the duke that the kingdom of Navarre was without an heir. Jean's eyes flared up, he told his advisor to move quickly so that he could arrange a marriage with Navarre. He also asked his advisor to arrange marriages with Burgundy, France, England and Castille. This was the nations which Jean feared the most. He hoped that a marriage with Burgundy would secure his rather fragile alliance for the next years.

    Some weeks passed before his diplomatic minister came back with word. Navarre had agreed to a royal marriage, and a Dreux was now next in line for their throne, all Jean could hope for was that the king of Navarre did not produce an heir before he died. England and Burgundy also accepted marrying into the Dreux family. When the diplomatic minister continued it sent shivers down the back of the old duke, France and Castille had both rejected, the duke hoped for the best, but he was smart enough to fear for the worst.

    Jean decided, against the advice of his senior nobles, that the army had to be reformed, his predecessors had preferred quantity over quality. Jean knew that he could not match Frances manpower reserves and he therefore thought it would be best if his troops had the advantage of being better trained and equipped. When it came to military matters no one dared to question Jean's judgment, he was simply too qualified. His nobles, however, demanded that Jean should increase the size of his army, he currently fielded 3000 poorly equipped infantrymen, they demanded that the size should be doubled, Jean agreed.

    When Jean's new policy was instituted they soon ran into a problem, 1000 of the old soldiers were found to be inadequate for the new standards of the army, and they all had to be replaced, in the long term it would give his army better discipline, and that was what Jean really wanted.


    (Breton militia at the battle of Auray)


    A few days later, as Jean was busy with his head of naval affairs the diplomatic minister, stormed into the room. Jean looked up from his collection of maps, he did not like being interrupted, especially when people did not knock on his door before entering the room. The Baron of Nantes did, however, have good reasons for bursting in. Burgundy was at war with the small states of Liege and Bar, and they requested that Brittany joined them in their war of conquest. Jean got a look of excitement on his face, he thought that he was not ever going to engage in battle because he feared that death would soon get him. Now he had an opportunity to lead his army against an enemy, one last time. He jumped to the task, and immediately assembled the army.

    The next week he rode in front of thousands of Breton soldiers, marching in long columns towards their new enemies. As the army moved eastwards, the autumn rain started, and the roads turned into mud tracks. The soldiers of other armies would have deserted at this moment, but not the Bretons, not when Jean le Conquéreur was with them every step of the way.
    Last edited by Viking_Manstein; 06-09-2011 at 12:57.
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  2. #22
    Does anyone know if it is possible to change the name of a thread ?
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  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Viking_Manstein View Post
    Does anyone know if it is possible to change the name of a thread ?
    It is, Just ask a mod to do it for you.


  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Valiant_Hogers View Post
    It is, Just ask a mod to do it for you.
    Thanks man
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  5. #25

    Post

    Act II, Jean V.'s legacy

    A new morning dawned over the fields of France, the morning silence was only broken by the sound of soldiers feet marching eastwards. Jean who was always ahead of his troops had stopped at a French farm where the locals had dished up some breakfast for him. The duke did not care for the food, but he seemed quite content with the wine. Even though he was on campaign he had told his advisors to bring him any news, especially on the diplomatic front. As Jean was about to ride forward and take up his usual position at the front a rider approached him. He came directly from Nantes with good news from the head of diplomacy. The French had finally agreed to marry in to the Dreux family, this made Jean feel a lot more secure, the French had also agreed to let his army march through their lands. At the end of the letter there was also news from the small archbishopric of Avignon, they suggested that Brittany were to form an alliance with them. Even though Jean had great relations with the archbishop of Avignon he had to decline the offer, he did no0t want to upset the French in any way if he could avoid it. Over the next weeks, more offers came from Avignon, each more desperate than the last, but duke Jean remained adamant.


    (The rivers might look idyllic, but for the Breton soldiers every icy river meant a cold crossing.)


    In late January, as the grounds of France had started to become white Jean's army reached Bar, a small kingdom between the north of Burgundy and the region of Bourgogne in the south. Jean met up with a small Burundian force of 1000 men, they had tried to start siege operations against the city, but they were too few to do it effectively. Now that Jean had arrived they had a combined force of 4000 men, and siege operations began at once. When the king of Bar noticed the Breton army outside his walls he sent an offer of peace to duke Jean. The offer was that Jean was to admit that he could not take the castle and there would be no more bloodshed. Jean was enraged that someone had dared to insult him in this way, as one of his knights tried to calm him down he yelled "No quarter, kill them all once you get in!"
    The operations against the city moved slowly, Jean was in no hurry, there was no relief army coming and he did not want to lose more of his men than he had to. It was not before late September in 1400 anno domine that there was a new message from the king of Bar, he wished to surrender, and surrender he did. The siege had lasted for 277 days, but now it was over. Burgundy arranged a peace treatment with both Liege and Bar, both nations were annexed by the king of Burgundy. To honor Jean's assistance in the war, Burgundy paid Jean 17 ducats for the service of a very famous Breton artist.

    As autumn once again was well underway Jean assembled his army and began marching back towards Brittany, his soldiers were happy they were going home, there had been few deaths and many of them had looted the city of Bar le Duc for gold.
    As October came to an end Jean and his army reached Breton lands, in every village, town and city they passed through they were treated as heroes, people shouted "long live the duke, long live the conqueror." Jean enjoyed his latest victory and when he reached Nantes his mind was at peace, he had kept his alliance with Burgundy and he was back in time to enjoy autumn in his beloved homeland. Jean had ordered an expansion in his army after the war, he wanted 6000 men, not only because he feared his neighbors, but also because the nobles had required him to do so, he had delayed it for a year, and could not wait longer. The expansion of the army brought prestige to Brittany, even the French King's marshal viewed the Breton army as a strong fighting machine. The expansion did not please the nobles entirely, they wanted the Breton army to be bigger than the army of the Palatinate, Jean managed to fulfill the task after a few months. He hoped they would rest easy for a while now, even though he never understood why he had to match a kingdom deep inside Germany. It was not to be, the nobles now wanted the Breton army to be stronger than the army of Brabant, Jean decided that there was no real threat from Brabant, and he delayed their request.

    Now that the nobles had been appeased he wanted to fulfill his own ambitions, that was to form a Gaelic alliance. His eyes shifted northwards towards Ireland. He sent an envoy to the kingdoms of Leinster, Munster and Tyrone, and asked them all to marry into his royal family.


    (Flags of Leinster, Munster and Tyrone)


    A few weeks later he got word back from Ireland, they all agreed to Jean's proposals, the next move would be to ally with the kingdoms of Ireland, faith would intervene. Some weeks later Jean received word from England, the English wanted to form an alliance with him, he was over enjoyed and was about to agree when another messenger arrived, this one came with word from Leinster and Tyrone, the English had invaded both of these kingdoms, two states which Jean had good relations with had been violated by the English army. He shook his head and declined the English alliance. Jean's nobles were not glad when they heard his decision, many of them had worked hard to improve relations with England, and he had thrown it away because of his personal dream.

    Jean was now entering his 62. year, it was late August in 1401, he could feel that his life was starting to fade away, as he knew he was nearing the end of his life he decided to do something which he had been putting on and on his entire life. He decided to commission a portrait of himself, the work was soon completed and even Jean, who had never been interested in art admitted that the portrait was a fine piece of art.

    As September dawned Jean encountered a new problem. In 1399 he had appointed Charles de Craon as his adviser, his specialty was supposed to be trade and the increase of wealth in Brittany. Jean was not at all satisfied with his performance, he had collected taxes, supposedly on behalf of the king and instead of investing the money in trade he had put it into his own pocket. When he realized that the king had caught wind of his treachery he had left Brittany with his profits. Jean decided to leave it there, instead he hired a new adviser. A military adviser who had vast experience, he had studied tactics all his life and he had also fought on the English side at the battle of Poitiers. He was a humble man by nature, originally from the duchy of Gascoigne, which was part of the English crown, his name was Pier de Pontriband, he was among the best army reformers in Europe.

    For some time now the French had been at war with the Bohemian emperor, the French had expanded their was and had attacked Provence as well, Provence was backed by its allies but they could not hold against the power of the French, in the end France won, and the French incorporated Anjou and Maine into their realm. Jean did not like this at all, these regions were considered a part of Brittany and now they were under the rule of a French king.


    Map of Western France, the provinces of Anjou and Maine now belong to the king of France.)


    Jean dreamt of going to war with France, he wanted to add Anjou and Maine to his realm before he died, it was not to be, on a cold September morning Jean took ill with a fewer as the king lay dying he told his son "Keep the Burgundians close..." after this he died, it was October 2. 1401. Brittany mourned the loss of a great duke.

    The nobles set up a regency council which were to rule the nation until his son turned 16, at the moment the boy, also called Jean was only 11 and too young to rule. The nobles had only ruled for a few days when a messenger arrived from Burgundy, they were once again expanding and demanded that Brittany should come to their aid, the nobles decided to assit them in their war, this time the enemies were the nations of Luxembourg, Brandenburg, Trier and Cologne. With Jean gone the army had lost a lot of its fighting spirit, and as it marched out of Brittany in the cold autumn weather they were already dreaming of coming back home, many of them knew that this war would be far more bloody.
    Last edited by Viking_Manstein; 06-09-2011 at 12:58.
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  6. #26
    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    I wish you the best of luck; you probably need a strong alliance to survive at this point. I will follow regardless!
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  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Avindian View Post
    I wish you the best of luck; you probably need a strong alliance to survive at this point. I will follow regardless!
    Yes, I am afraid of joining up with England, since then I will probably end up fighting France, something which I feel is pretty hopeless :S What I really want is an alliance with France, but that does not seem likely.
    Anyways, glad to have you on board
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  8. #28

    Post Chapter II, The Nordic invasion

    Act III, Our blood, our people

    During the autumn of 1402 there was mourning in Brittany, most of the population still grieved over the loss of their great duke. The country was at war, but the regency council had decided not to leave Brittany before the summer of 1403, they needed to rebuild the morale of the army, which at this point was nonexistent. Pierre de Finisterre was one of the most powerful nobles in Brittany, he was head of the regency council that ruled the nation until Jean VI. came of age. Pierre was an old man, however, he was also shrewd and extremely manipulative. Other than that he was also very tall and was a veteran of several battles, even though he was in his late fifties he prepared to march out with the army during the next summer. The plan was simple, march through France, into Burgundy and invade the nation of Trier. Pierre hoped that he could demand vassalage of the German state, this would help to fill the coffers of Brittany, which at this time were pretty empty.


    (Pierre de Finisterre rallying the army)


    In late December, around Christmas times, when snow covered the fields outside of Nantes Pierre de Finisterre had just attended the yearly mass in the biggest church in Nantes when the head of diplomacy came towards him, Pierre understood that something had happened. The head of diplomacy, told him that the war had just gotten a lot more serious. Pierre looked up from the snow, it was clear that he was interested. Pomerania and Denmark had just entered the war, in support of Trier, since Denmark was head of the Kalmar union they also brought Norway, Sweden and the duchy of Schleswig-Holstein. Pierre was not happy with these events, he knew that Brittany did not have enough resources to attack all of these nations, they were simply too many, he also knew that the Breton economy was too weak to pay the army and navy maximum wages. Therefore he called a meeting with the other nobles. The nobles were worried, there was talk of enemy ships nearing the coast. Some of them wanted to try to negotiate a peace, fearing that the war would bankrupt Brittany, but not Pierre. He stood up and said with confidence, "Would Jean have given up without even having fought a single battle, no! And neither will we do as long as I live!" There was silence at first, but then the nobles stood up and agreed to fight, no matter what the outcome.

    Pierre could not get around the fact that he needed money, and he needed it badly. He persuaded the head of the treasury to start minting coins, in the short term he could pay his soldiers, but in the long term it would destroy the economy. He also disbanded 1000 infantrymen and replaced them with 1000 cavalrymen, the chevauchée. These were light cavalry, who could strike quickly and be gone again before the enemy could react. He was, however, not sure whether the enemy would actually attack Brittany at all. On the 29. of January 1402 anno domine his hopes were shattered. 29 Danish, Norwegian and Swedish ships appeared outside the Coast of Armor, within a few days 14 000 men were ashore. The enemy army moved slowly inland from the coast, as the baron of Rennes spotted thousands of enemy troops making for the walls of his city he appointed a man to hold the city for as long as possible, he himself went south, towards Nantes to warn Pierre about the attack.


    (The Danish army entering into siege operations in the dead of winter.)


    When the baron reached Nantes and told Pierre about the invasion he was surprised to find that Pierre was calm and he also seemed confident. Pierre knew that 14 000 men could not survive in Brittany, the countryside could not feed such a force and the fact that the enemy had invaded Brittany during the winter made things even harder for them. Pierre calculated that within a year the enemy would have suffered 1/4 of their army to attrition, if not more.

    Pierre did, however, take steps to counter the enemy attacks, he moved his army into Maine, which was a part of France, there they could be ready to retake Armor, if it were to fall to the enemy, or if the enemy force were to split up. He also ordered the fresh the Breton navy to sail out and attack any shipping it could find.

    Pierre's actions paid off, a few days later the Breton navy caught 3 Danish cogs outside of Armor, the Breton ships far outnumbered them. The Danish realized their situation and tried to escape. The cog "ørnen" was not so lucky, it was bombarded by a hail of arrows and was finally boarded. The ship was repaired by the Danish prisoners taken and was soon seaworthy again.


    (The cog that was captured)


    The Danish troops were still trying to take the fortress of Rennes, the Danish, who had been outside the city for almost four months now had been plagued by disease and lack of proper food, the commander was getting desperate. He had recently received further reinforcements, and his force was now at 16 000 men, he decided to put them to use and attack the castle. After all there were only 1000 Breton militia manning the walls. On a cold May morning the Danish troops prepared, in the cover of a morning fog they advanced towards the walls, some of them even got ladder up, without any reaction from the walls. They thought that there was no opposition, even so, it was there nonetheless. The Breton's were waiting for the right moment to open fire, as soon as the Danish started to lower their guard they sent a devastating volley after them, hundreds of Danish troops fell, by mid day the assault had failed. In front of the castle there was over 2000 Danish dead, the Breton's did not, however, have it all their own way, they had lost 356 men to the constant attacks.


    (A Breton crossbowman waiting for the order to fire.)


    There was a lull in the fighting after the failed attack on Rennes, Pierre was still seeking victories were ever possible, he needed to bolster morale in order to keep his soldiers and nobles in the army. In July he got what he wanted. Two cogs from the Danish vassal of Holstein were taking troops to reinforce the siege of Rennes, they were escorted by a Carrack in order to be safe from the Breton navy. The Breton navy had been shadowing the enemy fleet for several days, and now, when they were just about to sail towards Rennes they were fallen upon by ten Breton ships. The Holstein ships fought bravely and killed many Breton sailors, but after three hours of constant fighting they were overpowered, all the enemy ships had been sunk, taking 2000 men to the bottom as well. In a few days Pierre heard about the events and he was rejoiced, he ordered the army to be given wine, on his own charge. There was a lot of talk that the enemy would be thrown back into the sea before Christmas. Little did they know, that a long cold winter lay ahead.
    Last edited by Viking_Manstein; 06-09-2011 at 12:59.
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  9. #29
    Sergeant Cthulufaic's Avatar
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    Wow! awesome BrittAA(R)ny! You do realize now that you must tell me how you got that watercolor and handpainted look on your pictures. It looks great! My advice, form a web of alliances and royal marriages, with small countries that have huge navies, like denmark or portugal, and that if you just have 1 big navy you can block the channel!
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  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Cthulufaic View Post
    Wow! awesome BrittAA(R)ny! You do realize now that you must tell me how you got that watercolor and handpainted look on your pictures. It looks great! My advice, form a web of alliances and royal marriages, with small countries that have huge navies, like denmark or portugal, and that if you just have 1 big navy you can block the channel!
    Cheers mate, thanks for all your compliments, hope you will be following The effects are done in macromedia flash 8, I don't know whether you are familiar with this program, but what you have to do in order to get the effects are: 1 add your picture to flash, 2 click on "modify", 3 click on bitmap, 4 click on "trace bitmap", and change the upper value to about 50
    I am not to good at explaining stuff like this, let me know if you need a better explanation
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  11. #31
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    agree the images are stunning .., and the narrative is pretty good too

  12. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    agree the images are stunning .., and the narrative is pretty good too
    Thanks a lot
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  13. #33
    Field Marshal blsteen's Avatar
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    Brittany seems to be doing Ok but you seem to be treading water, too bad about the Vikings invasion but hopefully you can pick them off when they do stupid things. Or maybe Burgandy will help...not likely though, they'll be too busy annexing and plundering small lowland and german states
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  14. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by blsteen View Post
    Brittany seems to be doing Ok but you seem to be treading water, too bad about the Vikings invasion but hopefully you can pick them off when they do stupid things. Or maybe Burgandy will help...not likely though, they'll be too busy annexing and plundering small lowland and german states
    Doing alright at the moment You are only too right about the Brugundians, but I really want to keep them as an ally, just in case France decides to go in for the kill...
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  15. #35

    Post

    Act IV, We fight as one

    As the sun went down over Brittany it marked the end of July, and the passage into August. The nation had now been at war for 6 months, and thus far the Bretons had not been broken. In Pierre's camp, located in France the mood was optimistic. As yet the Bretons had not suffered any setbacks, that was about to change.

    On the tenth of August, however, Pierre's hopes of a quick end to the war were shattered when he got news from Rennes. During the night of the first of August, just after the siege had lasted for half a year the Danish attempted another attack, this time they were ready for the crossbow and arrow fire, and they formed shield walls which advanced slowly and methodically towards the castle. The Breton militia kept up fire, and for another ten days the attacks went on. On August tenth the last 23 Breton's had rallied in the town center, here they put up a last stand, one of them shouted "Men, we have nothing to fear, we are Bretons, and fight as one!" This became the new rallying cry for the nation. Their brave fight could not save the castle, and on the evening of August tenth, the battle was over.


    (The Danish attack on Rennes was immortalized by a famous painter.)


    The news did not reach Pierre until the twelfth of August, but he had anticipated it, and on this scorching August day he rallied his army, their half year long wait n French territory was finally over. Pierre rode in front of his men, and said a few words to lighten the mood. "Men, the enemy have just taken the castle at Rennes, they are now on the moving, thinking that they can move on and occupy our entire country, I think we should prove them wrong! One of our men in Rennes immortalized our struggle, as he was about to die, he charged the enemy and yelled to his countrymen, we fight as one! Let us do the same!" As Pierre finished his words echoed through the ranks, the men cheered and the morale was back at the top again, not even Jean le Conquéreur could have done better.

    As Pierre's army marched northwest towards Rennes the Danes moved south, they moved quickly along the paved roads towards the central region of Brittany, as the Danes marched they had a chance to forage the ripe fields for some vegetables and fruit, many of them had not eaten a proper meal since leaving their homeland. In late August they reached the walls of Rohan, the regional capital in the province of Morbihan. The Danes were impatient, they did not want to besiege the city for as long as they had to with Rennes. In May they had a force of 16 000 men, now they were 11 000. Their commander decided that attrition was wearing down his army and therefore he had to attack as soon as possible.


    (Ripe apples were like a gift from God to the Danes.)


    On top of the walls of Rohan 1000 Breton soldiers were ready to receive, these had been militia when the war started, but the commander of the city, commandant Jaque Brne had anticipated that the Danes would move towards Rohan as soon as they were done with Rennes. As a consequence he had improved the fortifications and his men were both well trained and well equipped. Only two days after the Danes began their siege they tried to take the walls by means of assault. Their attacking waves of foot soldiers did not get even close to the walls. Jaque had prepared the fields in front of the walls, and there were obstacles at every turn. After a few days of assaults, the Danes started to whither, Jaque's men fought like lions, at one point ten Danish soldiers had been on top of the gatehouse with a banner, and they were ready to let their countrymen into Rohan, but one Breton soldier had fought his way towards the gatehouse, and had single handedly killed 7 of them, the others had been downed by arrows. On that same day, the assault was called off, the Danes had hundreds of casualties, among them were several knights and nobles. Jaque had also lost a good deal of his men, but he had held firm and had, as Pierre said, "broken the back of the enemy".


    (Jaque Brne walking past his soldiers.)


    To the north of Rohan, the Breton army crossed back into their own lands, they were greeted with joy by the people of Armor, soldiers got kisses from the local girls and men who knew the region like their own pocket joined the army as guides. On the same day that the Danes reached Rohan, Pierre's army stood outside the shaken walls of Rennes. The Danish garrison, which was only 100 men strong were totally surprised by the sight of thousands of soldiers, at first they thought it was their fellow countrymen who had returned, but when they saw the banners of Brittany they realized that the main Breton army had come back, with a vengeance. Pierre did not waste any time, he ordered his army to attack the castle at once, he outnumbered the enemy fifty to one and no one could beat such odds. After 5 days the siege was over, and Breton banners were once again on top of the walls of Rennes. A city that 5000 Danes had perished to take, was now back in Breton hands for the cost of about 100 dead and wounded. Pierre had won his first land victory over the invaders.

    The next day he got more good news, the Breton navy had beaten a Pomeranian naval force in the Quiberon bay. The enemy had a force of four carracks, who acted as escorts for three cogs, these were bringing 3000 men to fight the Danish war in Brittany. In the naval action the Pomeranian navy performed well, and for hours they managed to protect the cogs, their luck ran out in the end. One of the Breton carracks ran the gauntlet and managed to get passed the protective shield of enemy carracks. Once through it sank one of the enemy cogs, before being forced to withdraw. After this incident the Pomeranians withdrew and under the cover of darkness they managed to escape northwards. They had not failed totally, 3000 Pomeranian soldiers were now on Breton soil, and moving towards the Breton capital of Nantes.

    When Pierre heard about the Pomeranian landing he immediately broke camp, his army was assembled outside Rennes, and started marching southwards, it was now October and the first year of the war was coming to its end. Pierre avoided the Danish army which besieged Rohan, and instead he moved around them and headed straight for Nantes.

    When the Pomeranians landed on the beaches near Nantes they marched slowly inland, enjoying themselves and looting wherever they could, discipline broke down, and the commanders did little to restore order. In early October they had reached Nantes and started to build ladders, they did not know that the entire Breton army was within a week's march.

    On a cold October night a Pomeranian guard detail spotted a long line of infantry coming towards them out of a nearby tree line, a hail of flaming arrows rained down upon their camp, and shortly afterwards the Breton infantry shouted their battle cries and came charging towards them. The Pomeranians stumbled out of their tents and struggled to put up arrow fire, they formed a battle line with their infantry. The Bretons ran through the scattered arrow fire and hit the enemy line, the fighting went on for a few hours, but when the Breton cavalry charged the Pomeranians from the rear, they were cut down, the remainder fled, saving their colors. Pierre was satisfied with the victory, he had inflicted about 1200 casualties on the Pomeranians and broken the siege of Nantes, his own losses were about 600 men. Pierre's men could also equip themselves with new swords and armor which they looted from the battlefield.


    (The Breton archers fireD volleys of flaming arrows before the infantry went in.)


    After the Breton victory there was no new developments, the siege of Rohan continued, but the defenders showed no sign of giving up, Pierre did still not have enough men to attack the main invasion force and thus, nothing happened.

    In January Pierre got some good news from Burgundy, The Burgundians had been besieging Trier and Koblenz for about a year now, and they had finally captured both cities, with their country lost to the Burgundians the leaders of Trier decided to negotiate. The Burgundians agreed to end the fighting if Trier would become a vassal of Burgundy, they had no choice but to agree. Within March Luxembourg had also fallen to the Burgundian armies, the tiny state was annexed by the Burgundians, and on March 19. Cologne surrendered as well. They received generous terms, they only had to annul their treaties and pay war reparations of 27 ducats.

    Pierre hoped that now that the Burgundians had beaten their enemies in Germany they would come to his aid, he could not have been more wrong.


    (Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy.)
    Last edited by Viking_Manstein; 06-09-2011 at 13:00.
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  16. #36
    hope the war goes well for you, I will follow closely
    btw. love the pictures.

  17. #37
    Field Marshal blsteen's Avatar
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    That last statement seems ominous. The Burgandians will think nothing of leaving Brittany high and dry at the peace table.
    I was Sir blsteen, Knight of the Eastern West... in :One Last HurRAAh: A Milanese Empire Interactive AAR:

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  18. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by CapntLinndeman View Post
    hope the war goes well for you, I will follow closely
    btw. love the pictures.
    Good to have you on board captain

    Quote Originally Posted by blsteen View Post
    That last statement seems ominous. The Burgandians will think nothing of leaving Brittany high and dry at the peace table.
    That was indeed my intention blsteen, new update coming today
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  19. #39

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    Act V, The bloodshed continues...

    April began with a rainstorm over Brittany, for the Breton army the rain mattered little, they were happy to rest within their well built camps in France, while they awaited further enemy movements. During the first year of the war there had been many victories, and now, with the Burgundian victory over Trier, Cologne and Luxembourg Pierre believed that the strong Burgundian army would move into Brittany and end the war, the mood was optimistic in the Breton camp.

    For the Danish force outside the walls of Rohan the winter had been terrible, Jaque's Breton forces had held off every attack they had tried while inflicting huge losses on them. The recent rains had also made their present situation worse. When the campaign started the Danes had 14 000 men in Brittany, this was quickly increased to 14 000 and again rose to 16 000, once they had actually had 18 000 present for duty. A lot of these soldiers had just been peasants, quickly equipped with a spear and little or no armor. 18 000 troops was a long way off in April, they had by now been reduced to 10 000 soldiers, and they all had one thing in common, they wanted to go home.

    The war once again entered into a lull, months passed without any significant events. The only thing on interest during the summer was the rise of a new emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Ladislav II. another Bohemian. France also showed aggression during the autumn, they attacked the archbishopric of Avignon, a few years ago Jean V. had rejected an offer to form an alliance with Avignon. Pierre pondered what might have happened had he not rejected their offer.


    (The new emperor, Ladislav II.)


    The entire autumn went by, without any news from anywhere, finally something happened. The Danes outside of Rohan had been besieging the fortified city for well over a year now, and after their first assaults they had decided not to try to attack the city directly. Jaque had done his best to get supplies into the city, but he could not hold out any longer, on the night of 2. of November he surrendered the city to the enemy, he was allowed to march his men away, with their flags, he had held out against the entire Danish coalition army for 470 days. The Danes were excited, they had finally succeeded in taking the city, their commander in chief wanted to move south and attack the Breton capital, but he was overruled. The Danes moved northwards again, back into the Armor region, they once again headed for the city of Rennes. As they marched out of Rohan the snow started to fall, and many of them realized that they would not be home before Christmas.

    Pierre was not happy when he got the news from Jaque Brne, but he praised the commandant for holding out for this long. Jaque rejoined Pierre's army, and together they plotted what to do next. Pierre wanted to attack the Danish army, he thought that the time had come to strike the decisive blow to the enemy. Jaque persuaded him to remain cautious, the enemy had lost many men, but they were still double his size, and they also had many more cavalrymen. Pierre took Jaque's advice, instead of attacking the enemy army he moved into the Morbihan region, the Bretons wanted Rohan back.

    Pierre's army reached Rohan a few days after the Danes started besieging Rennes, the Danes prepared for another long siege, Pierre prepared for assault. His men were eager, and they swept forward against the Danes inside. The task was not a simple one, and the defenses which Jaque built earlier helped the Danes, and Pierre's attack failed after a few hours of fighting. He was intent on taking the city and 19 days later he attacked again, this time his men overpowered the remaining Danes, Chevalier de Loire planted the Breton standard on the walls, and the city was once again back in its rightful hands.

    Pierre now stumbled upon some new problems, first and foremost the nobles wanted further privileges, they saw it as their noble right, and if he did not accept their claims they would revolt. At this critical stage in the war Pierre could not afford to struggle with the Breton nobility, he therefore agreed and gave them what they wanted. They were not content with this, many of them knew that Pierre had during Jean's lifetime tried to rob them of their ability to buy positions within the church, something which they had done for centuries now. Pierre again had to give in to their claims, but this time he was not too upset about it, the nobles had paid him 150 ducats for the positions, and he was able to use this money to fund the war, the state could also stop minting money for the foreseeable future.

    As January began, and the war entered into its third year Pierre got some good news. The Swedes had gotten tired of the Kalmar union, the Danes had drawn them into a war which had given them nothing and the nobility of Sweden decided to take matters into their own hands. They proclaimed a new king to rule Sweden, one who was not to be under any Danish influences. Karl Tre Rosor was proclaimed king, he was a small man, but with a large bushy beard and an even larger appetite, he was however a clever man and did not like the Danes, this man was now proclaimed as Karl VIII. Pierre hoped that Karl would end the war with Brittany, however, it was not to be. The Danes had agreed to Karl's claim to the throne of Sweden as long as the Swedes kept their alliance with Denmark, reluctantly, Karl agreed.

    Pierre also got news from his own allies, even though Burgundy had not sent help to fight the war against the Danes, the Bretons had received assistance, they had just not been aware of it. During 1403 the kingdom of Milan had invaded Denmark, and even though they had not managed to score any major victories they had still increased the Danish war exhaustion and also kept a lot of Danish troops busy at home. Finally on January 31. Pierre got news from the Breton navy, they had once again caught a Danish cog outside Finisterre. The Danes were constantly trying to sneak reinforcements into Brittany, they succeeded in dropping off a 1000 men, but when the cog sailed back towards Denmark it was caught by 11 ships, within an hour it was over, and the cog was at the bottom of the ocean.

    Pierre could, however, not ignore the 1000 Danish infantry that were landed in Finisterre by the cog, and he assembled his army outside Rohan and moved northwest. The Danes who were landed were effective fighters, they moved quickly towards the region capital of Brest and within days they were besieging the city. Pierre was aware of Brest's importance, the city was a production center of naval supplies which the Breton navy sorely needed.

    By early March Pierre had reached Brest with his army, the Danes were alert and ready, they had formed up in a long thin line, ready to receive the Breton infantry. The Bretons moved slowly forward, as they went forward they sent storms of arrows and crossbow bolt towards the Danes. The Danes were so focused on the Breton infantry that they had not noticed the 1000 chevauchée that had ridden around their flanks and who were now charging them from the rear. The Danes tried to turn around to face this new threat, but it was too late, after 5 minutes it was all over. The Danes were annihilated, 1000 men had been killed captured or wounded, the Bretons had lost 60 men, all of them cavalry.


    (The Breton cavalry charge at the battle of Brest.)


    After these new victories Pierre decided on a bold move, he wanted to take the offensive, but his target was not the Danish army. He instructed Jaque Brne to ride south towards the capital of Nantes, here he was to raise another 1000 soldiers. The Breton navy, was to transport his new force and attack Iceland, if they were successful, they were to continue their offensive an attack the Orkneys. Pierre had been planning the attack for over a year now, but he had been waiting for the right time, he felt like this was it.

    Pierre hoped that if he could score a victory on enemy soil he might be able to force the Danish to negotiating table. The future for now, looked bright.


    (Pierre's plan of attack.)
    Last edited by Viking_Manstein; 06-09-2011 at 13:01.
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  20. #40
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    really like the way you're mixing domestic politics with the events the war itself

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