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Thread: The First Global War

  1. #61
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    oddly from both these mistakes I think we've both learnt a huge amount about the risks involved in certain choices.

    In any case, a reminder to vote in the Q1 ACAs here and in the inaugaral AArthenas thread here, which, with 11 votes so far is rattling along more impressively than a number of the more established awards. If you are so inclined you can vote in the last Crusader Kings 1 Crusadaar's chalice here or catch up on the HOI3 AARs you missed earlier here (which is in the prelminary voting round). So lots to read ... go forth and enjoy.
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  2. #62
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    1 December 1756- 1 February 1757, a short lull

    The slaughter at Prag, plus the belated arrival of winter effectively ended the 1756 campaign in Bohemia as both armies disengaged. The Austrians re-organised and reinforced while the main Prussian Elbe army fell back towards Lobositz and its supply sources.





    To the east, the Prussian force besieging Koenigratz lifted the siege only to find themselves caught by the blocked passes. They sought to escape west, fighting a number of small skirmishes and finally created a fortified camp at Ritschan, just to the south of Prag, when Nadasdy cut off their retreat route at the end of January.



    However, not only were the Austrian armies badly mauled by the fighting but the Austrian command in Bohemia was disrupted by Brown's illness and the shift of command first to the Prince Charles and then to Marshall Daun.


    (Charles briefly took command, but was recalled to Wien to organise the Austrian reserves leaving Marshall Daun in charge of the Austrian forces in Bohemia



    Overall, 1756 had not been the disaster it had briefly threatened to be. The battle for Prag had ended as a bloody draw and neither side had lost any cities. With the two armies disengaged for winter, attention shifted away from the battlefields to the diplomatic and political arena.



    (ps for those worried about lack of action ... don't worry there is worse than the first battle of Prag yet to be reported)

    However, even as the war spread across Europe and intensified in the Americas and India, the armies of Prussia and Austria were separated by a few miles in an arc around Prag. Whatever else was to happen in 1757, Prag was to remain the focus of the war.
    Last edited by loki100; 14-04-2012 at 13:33.
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  3. #63
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    That isolated Prussian column is good news for the Austrians

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    Loki100 did not know it, but I had to destroy 1 unit of guns, 1 of siege guns and 2 of supplies during my winter march, as they were slowing me down AND I did not want them to be captured.
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  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by De_Spinoza View Post
    That isolated Prussian column is good news for the Austrians
    All I can say at this stage is we will be hearing an awful lot about Ritschan before the Spring is over (& I'm using awful in its more antiquated meaning)
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  6. #66
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    Is Nadasdy the super-mustachioed one? In that case, I think things will go well for the Austrians - Nachod's clean-shaven visage is no match for the facial hair extravaganza that Nadasdy brings to the party...

    Anyway, that isolated column might just give you a chance to shift the balance a little bit back to your advantage, bloody some Prussian troops at relatively low risk. Sounds good to me.
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  7. #67
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuyvesant View Post
    Is Nadasdy the super-mustachioed one? In that case, I think things will go well for the Austrians - Nachod's clean-shaven visage is no match for the facial hair extravaganza that Nadasdy brings to the party...

    Anyway, that isolated column might just give you a chance to shift the balance a little bit back to your advantage, bloody some Prussian troops at relatively low risk. Sounds good to me.
    Aye Nadasdy has the best moustache in the game, as well as being one of my few very good generals on the offensive (I've got a couple that are useful on the defense).

    Dealing with the consequences of that column at Ritschan takes the best part of the Spring-early Summer, low risk is not how I'd describe what is to come
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  8. #68
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    The Diplomatic War: Winter 1757

    By the end of 1756, the existing conflict between Prussia and Austria in Europe and France and Britain in the Americas started to merge into a single conflict.

    The initial Anglo-Prussian agreements were complex, in effect Britain had agreed to no longer aid Austria as long as Prussia would protect Hannover in the event of a French invasion. This had led to the essentially defensive Convention of Westminster signed in January 1756. As such, Britain originally felt no commitment to Prussia when Frederick invaded Saxony and indeed wished to concentrate on its colonial war with France instead.

    However, France had the opposite goal, it wished to embroil Britain in a European war so as to limit its ability to threaten France's colonial empire. Like the Convention of Westminster, the Treaty of Versailles between France and Austria was essentially defensive. However, Austria had been attacked by Prussia, bringing the alliance into force.

    France and Britain had formally been at war since May 17 1756 but it was the aftershocks of the battle of Prag that saw the war expand. The near Prussian victory confirmed the aggressive nature of the Prussian war aims and their subsequent retreat emboldened the other German states. The German states of the HRE and Bavaria all joined with Austria at the Imperial Diet at Regensburg on January 6 1757. Russia had already joined the war, becoming a signatory to the Treaty of Versailles on December 31, 1756.


    (HRE formations enter the war)

    By early April, the British accepted that without help, Prussia could well lose the war and in that case a subsequent French invasion of Hannover was inevitable. To prevent this, Cumberland and the Army of Observation was dispatched to protect Munster and screen the French build up on the Rhine.



    Finally Sweden, fearing for their provinces in N Germany in the case of a Prussian victory joined the Austrian alliance, unfortuately, as was soon to become obvious, they were ill prepared.


    (Sweden entered the war on a wave of ill founded optimism)

    Thus by early 1757, the alliance against Prussia had potentially around 400,000 men, but these were scattered across the map. Even the Austrian army only had 65,000 in the field in Bohemia and it would take till the summer before the bulk of their new forces that had built up around Wien were ready to reinforce Daun's isolated army.



    It seemed as if the Prussians had one last chance to score a decisive victory before overwhelming numbers turned the tide.
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  9. #69
    Hi all. I have been catching up on this yesterday and today and I'm looking forward to another great AAR on Rise of Prussia. One historical note/question - Saxny. How many troops did they potentially have and how many would have entered into Austrian service if allowed to actually mate up with the Austrian forces?

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by hgilmer View Post
    Hi all. I have been catching up on this yesterday and today and I'm looking forward to another great AAR on Rise of Prussia. One historical note/question - Saxny. How many troops did they potentially have and how many would have entered into Austrian service if allowed to actually mate up with the Austrian forces?
    in pure numbers, I'd guess about 15,000 but not very good quality. The best unit of comparison in RoP is 'power' which is an amalgam of all their useful traits (& one reason why I lose a lot of battles with notionally even numbers) and in total they had about 1,200 (so the value of one of my smaller corps in the Austrian or French army). The real prize if I could have extracted them is the guns and to a lesser extent the supply wagons. With both Austria and France I'm cripplingly short of artillery and its hard to conduct both siege work and fight on even terms as a result.

    Artillery don't bring the massive command malus if they are in a wrong nationality force (with the new patch adding say a regular Bavarian unit to an Austrian led corps give you an immediate -35%), so I'd have been able to boost the firepower of all my units. The rest would have been handy as yet another column/threat.

    My entire strategy in 1757 is to keep as much of my various armies intact till they all reach the fronts. I'm then going to try not to fight Freddie (ie run away on the sector he's deployed on), but sooner or later I hope to make real inroads somewhere just due to the ability to keep up the pressure. If I can take some key cities, Narwhal's replacement manpower (which is his fundamental weakness) will be even less, so I can trade losses on the battlefield much more willingly etc.
    Last edited by loki100; 11-04-2012 at 14:44.
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  11. #71
    Nice move trying to isolate the corps at Ritschan. This is what I was talking about earlier. If the Prussians fail to take Prague, their tired troops are in danger of having their retreat cut-off. In your case, it is unfortuantely just a single enemy corps. Nevertheless losing it would be a major blow to the Prussian war effort.

  12. #72
    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    in pure numbers, I'd guess about 15,000 but not very good quality. The best unit of comparison in RoP is 'power' which is an amalgam of all their useful traits (& one reason why I lose a lot of battles with notionally even numbers) and in total they had about 1,200 (so the value of one of my smaller corps in the Austrian or French army). The real prize if I could have extracted them is the guns and to a lesser extent the supply wagons. With both Austria and France I'm cripplingly short of artillery and its hard to conduct both siege work and fight on even terms as a result.

    Artillery don't bring the massive command malus if they are in a wrong nationality force (with the new patch adding say a regular Bavarian unit to an Austrian led corps give you an immediate -35%), so I'd have been able to boost the firepower of all my units. The rest would have been handy as yet another column/threat.

    My entire strategy in 1757 is to keep as much of my various armies intact till they all reach the fronts. I'm then going to try not to fight Freddie (ie run away on the sector he's deployed on), but sooner or later I hope to make real inroads somewhere just due to the ability to keep up the pressure. If I can take some key cities, Narwhal's replacement manpower (which is his fundamental weakness) will be even less, so I can trade losses on the battlefield much more willingly etc.
    So, in the real life historical situation, was Frederick attacking for 2 reasons? 1. To take Saxony out of the war and 2. Take Prag in a real quick strike?

    I'm wanting to do a Let's Play video with the Invasion of Saxony and I want to get the history correct (as well as not muck up the actual video). I want to give a historically correct summary in the description, because the two times I have seen Rise of Prussia "Let's Play" both of them seemed woefully ignorant of what was driving the war and many other aspects of what the war was about.

  13. #73
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    Well my view is that Freddie was only after the Saxons in 1756. Lebositz was the result of the Austrian advance to try and relieve Pirna so from one sense can be seen as a Prussian defensive victory. After his, pretty marginal win, he turned back into Saxony, but then Pirna itself didn't fall for another 2-3 weeks and of course Fred didn't know that a well supplied, effectively unattackable fortification would just surrender so he must have worried at the risk to his supply lines.

    As to what really drove the war, my instinct is it is close to the start of WW1. You had two powers that weren't unhappy at drifting into war - Austria for revenge, Prussia to solidify their gains from 1748 and that they suspected they'd have to fight Austria at some stage and the sort of alliance system that gave both of them some belief that they had allies no matter what. I sort of suspect (& I too struggle to understand this particularly well) is that Fred hoped that if Saxony fell, the Austrians would accept it. If so he'd imposed further Prussian hegemony on central-east Germany (to go with Silesia), weakened the HRE even more (if it appeared that Austria was unable to protect the members) and given him a better border in case of ongoing conflict. Pretty delusional in the circumstances but it was ever thus - after all later on Fred decided that the Crimean Tartars were his best allies and would sweep north to take Moscow.

    It seemed that the invasion of Bohemia followed on from evidence that the Austrians had indeed managed to summon up their alliances, if so his campaign in 1757 can be seen as a classic case of 'chasing your losses by gambling again' (I am a cognitive psychologist by academic background), in that one more victory would deliver the easy quick win that he'd hoped would come from the 1756 invasion of Saxony.
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  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    I sort of suspect (& I too struggle to understand this particularly well) is that Fred hoped that if Saxony fell, the Austrians would accept it. If so he'd imposed further Prussian hegemony on central-east Germany (to go with Silesia), weakened the HRE even more (if it appeared that Austria was unable to protect the members) and given him a better border in case of ongoing conflict. Pretty delusional in the circumstances but it was ever thus - after all later on Fred decided that the Crimean Tartars were his best allies and would sweep north to take Moscow.
    Well, if the Prussian leadership is convinced that they'll have to fight Austria again at some point, why not make a play for Saxony. If Austria backs down you've won a bloodless victory, if not, at least with Saxony out of the picture you've started the war on a high note. That the Austrians managed to bring France, Russia and Sweden into the war was probably not a major part of this calculation. On the other hand, it does kinda sound like a PrawnStar AAR (BB hits 2.7/25 and I'm burning 1.8 per year, so I wardec Saxony bringing in Austria...).
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  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    (Sweden entered the war on a wave of ill founded optimism)
    That does not sound very promising. I hope you don't lose your Swedes the way Baris lost his when he was fighting Prussian Narwhal. Better use them as a force-in-being, a distraction, tying down some Prussians. Then again, as aggressive as Narwhal usually plays, maybe your best bet is to run screaming for the hills (do they have hills in Pommerania? Maybe the woods/swamps will do...).
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  16. #76
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    My feeling IIRC from back when I really studied this era is that at a strategic level Prussia has to gamble - not actually strong enough to be a great power, neither the men or the money. Only the post Napoloen consolidation of Germany changed that. Austria survived Frederick; make him a Hapsburg and do the thought experiment. You've just burnt Berlin and it's only 1757...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dewirix View Post
    Well, if the Prussian leadership is convinced that they'll have to fight Austria again at some point, why not make a play for Saxony. If Austria backs down you've won a bloodless victory, if not, at least with Saxony out of the picture you've started the war on a high note. That the Austrians managed to bring France, Russia and Sweden into the war was probably not a major part of this calculation. On the other hand, it does kinda sound like a PrawnStar AAR (BB hits 2.7/25 and I'm burning 1.8 per year, so I wardec Saxony bringing in Austria...).
    Hell yeah, that's right! Frederick the Great was channelling me!

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  17. #77
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bornego View Post
    Nice move trying to isolate the corps at Ritschan. This is what I was talking about earlier. If the Prussians fail to take Prague, their tired troops are in danger of having their retreat cut-off. In your case, it is unfortuantely just a single enemy corps. Nevertheless losing it would be a major blow to the Prussian war effort.
    aye, I think we've tested the dynamics around the Prag gambit quite well. It looks like as long as the Austrian player basically sits on Prag, then it is very high risk for the Prussians who, at the least, run the risk of burning off hard to replace reinforcements recovering from winter damage. That unit now at Ritschan was actually the force that had besieged Koenigratz & then got trapped by the winter snow cutting the passes (& in this game the winter of 56-57 is both late and very short ... actually the winter of 57-8 came late as well --- which makes me wonder at a change in the patch?).

    If so, it probably reduces a sensible set of Prussian moves in 56 to clearing Saxony and feeding off any incautious Austrian advance, making 57 a race to bring a powerful army to Prag before all those reserves move into the field.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuyvesant View Post
    That does not sound very promising. I hope you don't lose your Swedes the way Baris lost his when he was fighting Prussian Narwhal. Better use them as a force-in-being, a distraction, tying down some Prussians. Then again, as aggressive as Narwhal usually plays, maybe your best bet is to run screaming for the hills (do they have hills in Pommerania? Maybe the woods/swamps will do...).
    Well my comment about playing RoP under the influence in Bornego's thread has some bearing on the fate of the poor Swedes to be honest. Anyway Baris was good with his Swedes till he wanted to use them to threaten Berlin, its me who seems to have a habit of not playing to their strengths.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dewirix View Post
    Well, if the Prussian leadership is convinced that they'll have to fight Austria again at some point, why not make a play for Saxony. If Austria backs down you've won a bloodless victory, if not, at least with Saxony out of the picture you've started the war on a high note. That the Austrians managed to bring France, Russia and Sweden into the war was probably not a major part of this calculation. On the other hand, it does kinda sound like a PrawnStar AAR (BB hits 2.7/25 and I'm burning 1.8 per year, so I wardec Saxony bringing in Austria...).
    Quote Originally Posted by PrawnStar View Post
    My feeling IIRC from back when I really studied this era is that at a strategic level Prussia has to gamble - not actually strong enough to be a great power, neither the men or the money. Only the post Napoloen consolidation of Germany changed that. Austria survived Frederick; make him a Hapsburg and do the thought experiment. You've just burnt Berlin and it's only 1757...
    Its an interesting debate as despite some reading around I do struggle to understand why this war started. The underlying tensions are clear, and you can see the Prussians wanting to use their army before the Austrians caught up (so a classic case of military technology driving strategy not vice versa). The more I read the more I suspect that (a) Prussia hoped/believed that the British alliance was worth more than it probably was; (b) feared that if the British roundly won a colonial war with France they would lose interest in Europe again (a 1760s version of the UKIP policy) as the threat to Hannover would recede, and maybe (c) hoped that the French subsidies to Austria would not happen so leaving Austria vulnerable to an early peace if the war dragged out?

    Quote Originally Posted by PrawnStar View Post
    Hell yeah, that's right! Frederick the Great was channelling me!

    Er, can I have my meds now please
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    Couple of general points, first:

    In any case, a reminder to vote in the Q1 ACAs here and in the inaugaral AArthenas thread here, which, with 22 votes so far is rattling along more impressively than a number of the more established awards. If you are so inclined you can vote in the last Crusader Kings 1 Crusadaar's chalice here or catch up on the HOI3 AARs you missed earlier here (which is in the prelminary voting round).

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    Third - whow, going back to RoP after WiA is like having a completely different game experience (not that either is better, just utterly different, and this fills me with even more respect for Bornego having tussled the DNO scenario in RUS into a reportable shape)
    Last edited by loki100; 13-04-2012 at 10:39.
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  18. #78
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    1 February 1757- 30 April 1757, The campaign in W Bohemia

    The winter of 1756-57 had come late and lifted early, with both events favouring the Prussians. The early spring caught the Austrian armies still forming up and Picolomini, even though half his notional units were still organising at Wien, was ordered to Tabor to screen the gathering Austrian forces from a Prussian raid.


    (Picolomini moving to Tabor)

    In the meantime at Prag, Nadasdy was ordered back to the city in case of a surprise attack and Von Bilberstein was ordered to move to Ritschan, to screen the Prussian encampment. However, Daun remained worried at being pulled away from Prag in case of a major engagement, a confusion of orders that was to have serious consequences.


    (Austrian OOB at Prag, early April)


    (situation at Prag in early February)


    (main moves of the campaign)

    The opening skirmish of the campaign saw Austrian Hussars overrun a Prussian supply convoy at Pibrans to the west of Prag, meaningless in the grander flow of the war, but as with the small victories in 1756, a boost to the morale of Daun's beleagured armies at Prag.



    However, owing to confusion of orders, in early March, Von Bilberstein fell back from Ritschan on contact with Frederick's Elbe Army [1]


    (Prussian OOB after the fall of Pilsen)

    With this, the 1757 campaign in Bohemia entered its first phase. While Daun clung stubbornly on at Prag, Frederick feinted at Wien, hoping to lure the main Austrian army out of position.

    Pilsen fell to a Prussian cavalry column on 12 March 1757, the first large Austrian city to fall into Prussian hands.



    Frederick in turn struck south at Picolomini's understrength corps who managed to break off with minimal losses but his rear guard was overrun on 4 April, with Nostitz being the first senior officer to fall in the war, even as the bulk of the corps fell back.



    and the following day the town itself fell, and briefly the road to Wien lay wide open [2]



    However, by mid-April Frederick swung back north, perhaps fearing that von Bilberstein was a threat to his communications or worried at the size of the Austrian reserves. If the first battle of Prag had been a bloodbath, the events at Ritschan were to define the desperate nature of this war for both sides.


    (dispositions at the start of the Ritschan campaign)

    [1] – this wasn't my best turn, there is another mistake we'll come to when the focus returns to the north. Having said that I've double checked and he had normal defend orders so I'm not sure why he broke contact.
    [2] - although I have a lot of units at Wien they are horribly organised as I, at this stage, lack Austrian corps commanders till I can get the new brigades to where I need them
    Last edited by loki100; 13-04-2012 at 10:41.
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  19. #79
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    Ouch, Picolomini got pretty badly chewed up there what with all those elements lost. The fact he managed to inflict zero casualties in return isn't reassuring either.

    Nice cliffhanger to end it on!
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  20. #80
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    Same as Dewirix on Picolomini's performance. And that last screenshot is pretty scary: Prag looks halfway encircled by Prussian troops. I hope your fortunes see a sudden improvement.
    Hollow Little Reign - A brief Crusader Kings tale about family ties in Byzantium.

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