The Reign of Sultan Ahmad III
Part Two (1734-1739)
While the British war had been very successful in other regions, Banten was left completely defenseless after the local garrison had been cruelly slaughtered by the British. The local citizens didn't seem loyal enough for recruitment to the Jalayirid army, while transporting men from the Middle East would have been awfully inconvenient. As such, Sultan Ahmad III okayed the hiring of several Indonesian mercenary companies to at least keep the province safe from rebels. Their wages were outrageous, but the Sultan believed that this was the best short term solution.
Just a quick note here, it's something I found funny... Apparently, Malta (left) is distant overseas from Iraq-i-Arab (center), but Banten (right) isn't. Seems logical.
Additionally, it was hoped that the Jalayirids' new ally in the region, Malacca, would help make Banten a safer place.
Meanwhile, the Sultan was leading yet another round of annexation negotiations with Ak Koyunlu. When this proved futile, Ahmad found a new target for his expansionism: Algiers.
The small nation's location in North Africa made it a logical next step after the Jalayirids had already assumed control over most of the region.
Algiers' military was naturally no match for Jalayirid might. By July 1736 the whole nation was under occupation, and it was annexed in its entirety.
While the nationalists in the country were ecstatic after the annexation, some of the religious authorities were less impressed. After all, with plenty of infidels around, why strike at a fellow Muslim? The Sultan appeased them by founding a university in Nubia; this was something that they had been requesting for some time.
In April 1737 Ahmad finally got a breakthrough in yet another long and painful discussion: Ak Koyunlu was finally ready to be absorbed!
Much prettier, eh?
With that out of the way, the Sultan turned his attention towards Africa. A new colony was launched in Gezira in November. It was located near Butana and Taka, the two former colonies that had been granted full province status recently.
Meanwhile, Konya's inhabitants finally converted to the true faith. Soon afterwards, the people of Ceuta did the same.
Grim news reached the court in February 1738: the new ally Malacca had been attacked by Lithuania.
Ahmad sent his declarations to the Lithuanians and the northern armies started to prepare for the possibility of Lithuanian attacks through Bohemian territory as they had secured military access. Thankfully, with the border patrols designed for a Bohemian attack, it was believed that Lithuania shouldn't stand a chance.
Additionally, the fleet was sent to guard the Straits of Gibraltar.
The first battle in July seemed to prove the Jalayirid military's assumptions correct. Anwar Ahmad's army utterly crushed a similarly sized Lithuanian army in Kaffa.
Therefore the Sultan felt that this conflict didn't require his undivided attention. So in September he took the first step in his plan for modernizing the navy. Ahmad III wanted to take some of older battleships out of commission, replacing them with the new Twodeckers. However, to do this on a large scale would have been expensive with the facilities currently available. For this reason, shipyard improvements began in Sidon, which the Sultan envisioned as a major shipbuilding center in the future. The initial expansion was modest, but this was indeed only the first step.
But this wasn't the only thing Ahmad was seeking to accomplish. During the early parts of the year, Indian conquests Sind, Indus and Gazni had been pacified as the nationalist sentiment had finally fully died out.
As such, the Sultan felt that the region was safe for new conquests. War was declared on Rajputana in May 1739.
While the official reason for the war was reclaiming the rightfully Jalayirid Balkh, Ahmad had other goals that he kept secret, including the conquest of Kutch, a wealthy trade center, and replacing Rajputana's occupation of Timurid Bukhara with a Jalayirid one.
The war seemed to be a popular one: soon after the declaration, both Sirt and Trebizon embraced the Sunni faith, while resistance in Berber and Dongola ended and they became proper parts of Jalayirid patrimony.
The Sultan's initial plan in the war was simple. Rajputana's mainland would be left alone, with only a small force guarding against any enemy aggression in the south. The bulk of the Jalayirid army in the region would strike at Rajputana's northern exclave with full power, occupying it as quickly as possible and then moving to reinforce the south. The idea was to avoid dividing the armies later in the war.
Things started well as general Anwar Ahmad pushed into Karshi, took the province and then successfully defended it against a counterattack. Enemy casualties were horrible.
Unfortunately, Ahmad III would only see the events unfold this far as he choked on a peach stone and died. A strong and healthy man, his passing was a shock to all, and the nobles had to scramble to assemble a regency council for the eight year old Uwais.
Above all, Ahmad III would be remembered for bringing safety to the nation by driving away the British infidels. Sadly, due to his premature death, the world may never know what further plans his ambitious mind came up with.