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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning


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Welcome, to;


An Austria-German Republic MMP2.15 AAR

As stated above, this is an AAR set in Germany, using MMP2.15, however, I have made a substantial number of modifications;
* Lucky Nations are OFF, I have replaced the luck=yes condition, when it is found in the triggers of the various Maintenance Events, with a country flag JC_Luck_001 or some such, and modified the first event in the Status_Quo.txt file to clear this flag from any country that has it, and then set it to 8 random AI countries that are either a Major or Greater Power.
* Administrative Efficiency from the Centralization/Decentralization Slider has been reversed, Decentralization gives you efficiency to allow you to control a larger realm. If anyone on the MMP development team wants to explain why they did it the opposite, I would be very interested, so far I haven't received any answers on this (to be fair, the last time I asked was at the height of MMP2 development and I did it in a massive post)
* Parma is now an inland province, with its coastal area split between Genoa and Modena, like in reality, balance be damned. I have also resculpted some of the rest of Germany, for instance the Anhalt-Magdeburg area is now very different, as is Switzerland. This won't be very important as I am making all of the maps myself on a normal world map.
* The Flag and Color of the German Republic have both been chaned, Once the German Republic wins the Revolution and settles down as an actual country I will show you the new flag, the color is just a simple gray. (I swear, I think they intentionally gave the DDR an ugly color and an uglier flag so people wouldn't try to play as it. ;) )
* Various other modifiers have been altered in some way, for instance, given recent events, the Ottoman Balance Modifiers have been removed. The Ottoman Empire is a failed state, and given how royally screwed up history already is, I don't mind that. Likewise, I think I removed the 'Poland Blob' modifier, so Poland-Lithuania might actually survive, who knows, other than The Shadow that is.
* I have fired a bunch of one-off triggered events to give both myself and various AI nations boosts in certain areas. If I ever make reference to 'By the Grace of God' in the AAR, this is probably one of those situations. However I might also use that phrase just to describe a really lucky thing that happened, or anything just off-the-wall weird.
* Possibly others I have forgotten, I think I'm playing with AI set to Maximum Aggression, and there are probably others.

Now then, the AAR itself will be divided into two sections. The first section will be a 'History Book' style AAR and shall show me describing the events from 1453 to 1629 from the point of view of Hugo Grotius. In the Game's Version of History, he is a Jurist and Writer with dual citizenship in both the German and Dutch Republics. He spends most of his time in the German City of Wetzlar where he is a leading member of the Reichskammergericht, and a well respected Professor at the University of Nassau, specializing in Modern Political Thought. He is an avid writer on the principles of German Republicanism and is most famous for his landmark works 'The World of 1600', commissioned actually in the year 1597 and published in 1603 to commemorate the German Victory in the Revolution, and 'The Concert of Nations' Published in 1629 after the Partition of Livonia. I will include excerpts from Hugo-Grotius' journal, which has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its references to Hugo's previously completely unknown patron, especially amongst Conspiracy Theorists, as well as possibly including excerpts from other works of his, and I might even include excerpts from some modern historians and even 'conspiracy theorists', I don't know...

Once I reach the year of 1629, where the game is currently saved, I shall shift into Phase Two, which will be a semi-History-Book style AAR possibly maybe. I will probably just write how I want to at that particular time. That being said, I would greatly appreciate any suggestions people have for Contemporary Historians I can attribute any History Book writings to. They don't need to be German. This part of the AAR will be interactive, with posters in this thread, those who wish to do this of course, it is by no means required, acting as the Senate of the German Republic following the Senate's increase in power and their reform of the Legislative Branch of the Republic. This is both a gameplay mechanic and a means of justifying the shift in writing style because I only decided to make this an AAR around 1620 or so.

P.S. I encourage everyone to try to figure out who Hugo Grotius' patron both is, and is based off of, and how this impacts the story.

~~*~~ AARwards ~~*~~

WritAAR of the Week: 06-02-2010 <-> 13-02-2010

~~*~~ Forward ~~*~~

*An Excerpt from the introduction to 'The World of 1600' by Hugo Grotius, Translated from the original German*

My name, such as it is, I mark down upon these pages as Hugo Grotius.

I take to these pages at the behest of my Patron, who himself wishes to remain anonymous, for the goals of the recording of the history of this land. This work shall follow the courses of recent history in the creation of this world as we now know it in the Lord's Year 1600. Although the year currently sits late within the tempestuous year of 1603.
This work shall focus on the larger theaters of the World's Politics, and chart through the recent history and important events of the nations that make up the part of this world, beginning from the date of the end of the Eastern Roman Empire at the hands of the Ottoman Turks. Each subject shall be dealt with independently.

We shall begin with the already mentioned Ottoman Empire, as it thrust open the gates of Europe to the Moslem Hordes, and ended the long, tortured life on a dying institution. We shall travel through its rise, and its defeat during The Great Crusade of 1518, Witnessing its then meteoric rise from this defeat to become the predominant power of the time, and certainly to become the most feared Heathen Empire the Christian world had ever seen. Our study of the Ottoman Empire will end with the so called 'Ottoman Civil War', the event that shattered its influence. This section will also deal with the rest of the known Heathen World of the Near East and Northern Africa.

From there, we will move West into Hungary, paying special attention to the History of the Church of Hungary and the political turmoil the country has been stymied by for the past century, dealing lastly with the Rise of the Serbian Empire and its Dominance of a United Kingdom of the Balkans.

Moving North into Poland-Lithuania, we will briefly touch on the dismantling of the Teutonic Order and the brief Polish-German Wars during the Revolution, as well as the reconstruction of Prussia, and the Reformation in Poland. Poland has been relatively stable in its history, and has seen few territorial changes other than the Massive Inheritance of Lithuania, this, in combination with the relatively quiet Reformation in Poland, shall ensure that this section of this work will likely be quite brief.

Moving to the North East into the newly decreed Empire of the Russias, we shall look primarily at the ascension of this state and its initial expansion Eastward. It has, as of yet, done little else in the sphere of European Politics and therefore is of little import. It is notable only for its size.

From there we will move West into Scandinavia, dealing with the almost eternal War of the Union of Kalmar. We will also deal with the short lived Norwegian Revolution, as well as the significantly longer and more prolific Danish War of Confession, and the Danish Revolution it caused.

Moving West into the British Isles, we will deal primarily with the Reformation in England and Scotland, as well as the so called 'War of the Roses' in England. The two Crowns have been relatively Cordial, with only a brief occupation of Scotland by England which has since been ended. With both Kingdoms following the Confession of Luther, in addition to their Dynastic Ties, and England's near Hegemony over the Island of Eire, it is likely the British Isles will remain peaceful. A Minor Chapter will be devoted to the small English Colonies in the New World.

In France however, nothing could be further from the truth. For our purposes, we will deal with the French Regencies and the Failure to Centralize the State, as well as the Crown's inability to escape Feudalism due to the French Nobles War. We shall also discuss the French Reformation and Counter Reformation, paying special attention to its influence on the Wars of the League of Berlin and the Peasant's and Burgher's Revolution of Germany.

Moving Further South we shall discuss the Large Iberian Empires of Portugal, Castille, and Aragon, as well as discussing the Aragonese Occupation of the Morea, and their contributions to The Great Crusade in General. While Discussing Castille and Portugal we shall also devote special consideration to their not inconsiderable holdings in the New World.

From here, we shall briefly explore what we know of the various States of The Orient, focusing primarily on the Mughal and Persian Empires.

Finally, we shall discuss the Holy Roman Empire, where the majority of this age's events seem to have transpired. We shall begin with an overview of the Dynastic History of the House of Habsburg, through its merger with the French House of Valois through the Burgundian Succession. Included in this area shall be a brief overview of the various Large States of the Holy Roman Empire, and a discussion of the various Austro-Venetian Wars in addition to Bavaria's rivalry with the Habsburg Dynasty for the Imperial Crown. Moving from there to an overview of the Imperial Institutions as of 1515, we shall deal with the effects of The Great Crusade on The Empire, and their subsequent undoing by the Protestant Reformation, the First Peasant's War, and the Wars of the Austrian Succession.

We will take a small rest from discussions of specific Countries at this point to discuss Some Europe Wide Social Changes such as the Protestant Reformation and the Spread of Humanism, as well as the current spread of the concepts of Nationalism, Revolution, and Counter Revolution.

Returning to the Holy Roman Empire, Special Mention will be given to the Second Peasant's Wars, and the Wars of the League of Berlin, eventually culminating in an in depth study of the Peasant's and Burgher's Revolution of Germany, the establishment of the German Republic, and the subsequent wars with Austria, France, the various Princely and Ecclesiastical States of the Empire Foolish enough to stand against The Republic, as well as the Polish-German Wars already mentioned.

Despite it happening in the year 1603, This work shall be concluded with a chapter on the social structure of the German Republic, and the signing, provisions, terms, and immediate aftermath of the Constitution of Geneva.


A Note from me; I might not necessarily post these in the order that they are listed in the Table of Contents.
Now Pull up a Chair, as you can see, I intend to be thorough, and I've got a lot of ground to cover...


	Table of Contents
[B][U][I]Act 1: The Histories of Hugo Grotius, detailing 1453 to 1629[/I][/U][/B]
		[center][B][U]Book 1: The World of 1600[/U][/B][/center]
	[B]Chapter 1: The Ottoman Empire[/B]
		[url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=10475006&postcount=4]The Rise of a Giant[/url]
		[url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=10489210&postcount=8]The Great Crusade[/url]
		Suleiman 'The Magnificent' [url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=10922901&postcount=155]I[/url] [url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=10968600&postcount=163]II[/url] [url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=10982187&postcount=168]III[/url] [url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=10998238&postcount=172]IV[/url] [url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=11236956&postcount=202]V[/url]
		The Ottoman Regent's War [url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=11261012&postcount=210]I[/url] [url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=11305681&postcount=215]II[/url] [url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=11348922&postcount=217]III[/url] [url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=11372977&postcount=221]IV[/url]
	[B]Chapter 2: Hungary and the Balkans[/B]
		[url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=10805975&postcount=131]The Hungarian Kingdom of the late 1400s[/url]
		[url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=10493086&postcount=17]The Great Crusade and The Hungarian Empire[/url]
		The Church of Hungary
		The Conquest of Hungary
		The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Rise of Serbia
	[B]Chapter 3: The Union of Poland-Lithuania[/B]
		[url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=10835018&postcount=137]The Inheritance of Empire[/url]
		The Polish Reformation
		The Polish Revolution
	[B]Chapter 4: The Empire of the Russias[/B]
		[url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=10852195&postcount=142]The Birth of the Bear[/url]
		[url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=11421173&postcount=225]The Empire of all the Russias[/url]
		The Time of Troubles
	[B]Chapter 5: Scandinavia[/B]
		[url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=10686085&postcount=76]The Death and Rebirth of the Union of Kalmar[/url]
		The Scandinavian Reformation and The Wars of Religion in Denmark
		The Danish Confederation and the Swedish Empire
	[B]Chapter 6: The British Isles and North America[/B]
		The War of the Roses [url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=10719983&postcount=97]I[/url] [url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=10731550&postcount=107]II[/url] [url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=10747044&postcount=116]III[/url]
		The British Reformation
		The British Revolution
	[B]Chapter 7: The Kingdom of France[/B]
		[url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=10579139&postcount=33]The Kingdom of France at 1500[/url]
		[url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=10896143&postcount=148]The French Noble Wars[/url]
		The French Reformation
		The Kingdom of France in 1600
	[B]Chapter 8: Iberia and South and Central America[/B]
		[url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=10775814&postcount=126]The End of the Reconquista[/url]
		The Empire of Portugal
		The Empire of Castile
		[url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=10814838&postcount=135]The Empire of Aragon[/url]
	[B]Chapter 9: The Orient[/B]
		The Empire of Persia
		The Empire of the Mughals
	[B]Chapter 10: The Holy Roman Empire till 1579[/B]
		[url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=10639354&postcount=63]The Early Reform of the Empire[/url]
		[url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=10580246&postcount=36]The Burgundian Inheritance[/url]
		[url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=10515919&postcount=23]The Great Crusade and The Habsburg Golden Age[/url]
		The First Peasant's War
		The Wars of the Austrian Succession
	[B]Chapter 11: European Social Movements[/B]
		The Spread of Humanism and Academies of the Renaissance
		The Early Protestant Reformation
		The Growth of Nationalism and German Republicanism
		The Dichotomies of Rome
	[B]Chapter 12: The Wars of Religion and Revolution until 1600[/B]
		The Wars of the League of Berlin
		The Second Peasant's War and the Bavarian Republic
		The Peasant's and Burgher's Revolution of Germany
		The Wars of Revolution
	[B]Chapter 13: The Constitution of Geneva[/B]
		The Signing
		The Constitution in the German Republic
		The Constitution in the German Confederation
		The Constitution in the German Empire
	[center][B][U]Book 2: The Concert of Nations[/U][/B][/center]
	[B]Chapter 1: The Growth of the German Parliament[/B]
		The December Constitution
		The Proclamation of the German Triumvirate
	[B]Chapter 2: The Changes of the Empire[/B]
		The Shrinking of the German Confederation
		The Growth of the Reichsverweser and 'Imperial' Germany
	[B]Chapter 3: The World Without[/B]
		The Death of the Ottoman Empire and the Rise of Persia
		The Venetian Empire in Italy and Greece
		The Empire of Algiers
		The Golden Empire of Spain
		The Russian March East
		The Partitions of Livonia and Hungary
	[B]Chapter 4: The Concert of Nations and Modern Political Thought[/B]
		The Concert of Nations
		The World of 1629
[b][u][i]Act 2: The Age of the Republic, from 1629 forward[/i][/u][/b]
		(As the Game has not been played for this part, I have no idea what will go here, it shall be organized into books later.
		[center][b][u]The People of the Renaissance[/u][/b][/center]
	[b]Ferdinand I 'One Eye'[/b]
		[url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=10604314&postcount=45]July 21st, 1489; The Meeting with Charles II[/url]
		August 4th, 1497; The Battle of Kelding [url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=10701510&postcount=83]I[/url] [url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=10711606&postcount=90]II[/url]
	[b]Charles II 'The Smiling'[/b]
		[url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=10626541&postcount=55]July 21st, 1489; The Partners in Empire[/url]
	[b]Emperor Leopold 'The Defender'[/b]
		November 23rd, 1497; Visiting the Lovely Couple [url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=10739853&postcount=114]I[/url] [url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=10757359&postcount=121]II[/url]
		[url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=10943285&postcount=160]November 28th, 1497; Autumn[/url]
		[url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=11063438&postcount=177]January 12th, 1498; The Beginning[/url]
		[url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=11096624&postcount=179]February 13th, 1498; A Tower for the Princess[/url]
		[url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=11129016&postcount=181]April 4th, 1498; Openning Movements[/url]
		[url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=11156434&postcount=186]September 12th, 1498; End of the Savoyard Succession War[/url]
		[url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=11163249&postcount=189]September 27th, 1498; Contingencies[/url]
		[url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=11171216&postcount=194]October 4th, 1498; The Turning of the World[/url]
		[url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=11189516&postcount=197]July 19th, 1499; The Emperor without a Crown[/url]
		[url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=11227673&postcount=200]September 28th, 1499; The Dark Cloud of Wien[/url]
[b][u][i]Other Reading:[/i][/u][/b]
		[url=http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=10784328&postcount=129]The Last Kingdom of Europe[/url]

Let's get this Trainwreck started!
Last edited:


MM Prime Minister in Exile
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Jan 25, 2008
  • Crusader Kings II
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  • Heir to the Throne
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No No No That's a bit too obvious...

I seriously underestimated my ability to write a lot really quickly, so this goes up TODAY!
GAH! Its already Tomorrow!

@EnragedKiwi: Thanks! I hope you enjoy this.
@asd21593: High Praise, I just noticed you have a narrative post at your Charles V AAR. I'll have to read it when I wake up. My AAR also has A Charles who is also Emperor of half the world in it, but only very very obscurely.


The World of 1600
Chapter 1: The Ottoman Empire
The Rise of a Giant​

The Ottoman Empire is a curious beast. A Heathen Empire arrived from beyond the Holy Lands, they have settled in the core of what was once the Eastern Roman Empire. From an outside perspective, it seems that their time there has taken its toll on their sanity, and they have become so enamored with the history of that Failed State that they now seek to go through its entire history themselves, within the span of a single century.
The Ottoman Empire has had a significant impact on the Political History of Europe, and an especially large impact on the History of the Holy Roman Empire in particular, of this, there can be no doubt. At its height, the Ottoman Empire projected its power across the whole of Europe, going so far as to mount small naval expeditions outside of the Mediterranean Sea to harass shipping along the Atlantic Coasts of Spain and France and launch what can only be considered Informal Invasions of the Nascent Russian Empire, at one point besieging the city of Moscow itself.
The Ottoman Empire is the Perennial Enemy of the Kingdom of Hungary and the Hapsburg Empire, and with the latter, the Empire of Rome and all of Christendom, yet their actual incursions into Europe have been few, with great disasters between these that have crippled their Empire.

The Ottoman Empire is at this point likely dead, it has been decaying for three decades and two Sultans, and with each new Sultan, the Central Authority Weakens, fattening the power and stomachs of the Ottoman Divan, and playing to the desires and temptations of the Osmanli Harem, the shadow Government of the Empire. However, for this first chapter at least, it was a strong, centralized state with a powerful hereditary monarch.

With the Conquest of Konstantinopolis in 1453, the Ottoman Empire destroyed one of the Pillars of Christendom by ending the already long since dead Eastern Roman Empire. Despite being at war with two powers, the Kingdom of Hungary and the small state of Albania, this period was one of celebration and growth for the Ottoman Empire, both Territorially and Culturally.

The Ottoman Empire in 1453 with its vassal Wallachia

Albania fell quickly, with its last fortress surrendering on July 5th of the same Year as the Fall of Konstantinopolis. Although there was a brief revival in resistance, within naught but a month this rebellion was thwarted and Albania was officially annexed into the Empire. The people of Albania were relatively accepting of this as the Sultan Mehmet II Fatih had recently promulgated a policy of religious tolerance and a great deal of self determination for non Moslem peoples with his introduction of what would be known as the Millet System. This system was quickly extended to the people of Albania, ensuring that in the end, there was little actual change to the Political Order of the recently acquired Territory.
This State was further ensured when Albania was granted an official head of state and status as a Vassal of the Ottoman Empire rather than direct a province in 1460, once the war with Hungary was officially ended.

The War in Hungary proceeded less favorably for the Ottomans, and the conflict quickly became a stalemate that both sides were loathe to continue. By the year 1455 both sides had lost great numbers of soldiers for no territorial gain, and had thus stopped attacking each other. Neither side wished to actually conduct peace talks with the other, so the state of war was preserved for another half decade before it was officially considered ended.

This Status Quo on the Western End of the Empire was only briefly broken in the War of Wallachian Independence of 1467. This brought the Ottoman Empire into conflict with a combined alliance of Serbia, Wallachia, and Moldavia, led by a recovered Hungary. This was to be the first test of the new Young Sultan Abdullah I, and this test he would defeat with the same grace that he took to all of his tasks.

Abdullah the First was a small man, short of stature, with a lean athletic build. Although talented in War and Diplomacy, his greatest strength was in Government. Having been raised in the City of Izmir, he was given government responsibilities as a Secretary in this city as young as 14. He showed such amazing promise at his duties that the Governor of the Province demanded he become his Secretary, and then left most governmental duties to the young Sultan to be. While commonly regarded as little more than a legend, it is known that Abdullah became a government servant of the Governor.

When he Inherited the Ottoman Empire in 1465, he found himself at the head of a peaceful, powerful nation, and he showed every intention of keeping it in such a state. Unfortunately for him, the Ottoman Empire was a nation founded on War and Conquest, it would only be a matter of time before th Janissaries turned over their Soup Pots in protest of this peace.

Fortunately for him, they would never need to reach that point, as the Voivode of Wallachia had grown tired of paying Tribute, and foolishly believed they could stand on their own. Abdullah marched out of the Second Rome with the bulk of his Empire's army, marching up into Wallachia where a combined army of Hungary, Wallachia, Moldavia and Serbia waited.

The Battle at Craiova was a slaughter for the Allied forces. Although the Hungarian armies managed to hold off the Ottoman Advance and check Abdullah's Movements, the smaller armies crumpled under the weight of a combined strategy of sweeping raids on the Allied Supply Lines and a few Decisive Battles spread across the land.

The remaining forces of Hungary and Abdullah showed no desire to meet each other, with the former removing itself to Bucaresti and the Latter splitting off small contingents to besiege towns in Southern Serbia and Southern Moldavia, while the main force remained at Craiova and seized the City. Within three years this short war was over, and saw massive territorial losses by Serbia and Moldavia to the Ottoman Empire. Ironically, the war also saw a small territorial gain for Hungary, as the Abdullah had not intention of simply restoring the Vassal State with Wallachia. When confronted with the Ottoman Plan to annex Wallachia, the King of Hungary decided that Wallachia could not be trusted with self government, and seized the area surrounding Bucaresti, leaving the rest of the Voivode to Abdullah.

Fortunately for Hungary, there was not time to pursue another campaign against the Kingdom, especially in its current Refreshed and Powerful state. In the East, a diplomatic slight by the Beylerbey of Dulkadir forced Abdullah to respond in the only way such a fool would understand, through force of arms. This conflict is barely of note, as all that occurred was the Ottoman Empire annexing both Dulkadir and Karaman. This war is of such little note that it hardly even appears in the Ottoman Records.

The Ottoman Empire in 1470 with its gains from the recent Wars

The Next Sultan, Selim I, was hardly of note. Being at least slightly skilled at Military Matters, no more than Abdullah and no Less, and roughly equally skilled in Administration, he was by all accounts a bumbling fool diplomatically. His perennial Stutter did not improve Matters. He did literally nothing of note, unless one were to consider not collapsing one's nation to be of note. Indeed, He is best known for his drunkenness.

His Brother however, Sultan of Sultans Ali I, was by all accounts a brilliant man, skilled in military and administrative matters, where he truly showed his strength was in diplomacy. He was said to have a tongue of such pure silver that he could coerce a person into any course of action. Having been spared from the Ottoman Practice of Fratricide upon succession due to Selim's lack of children, he inherited the empire following the former's abrupt death.

Crowned in 1492, while Castille was discovering new lands, Ali charged his forces into Greece, taking great swathes of land from Morea and annexing the Crusader state of Athens. His diplomatic clout prevented those around him from finding cause to invade, and the conquest went almost completely unopposed.

So skilled was he at diplomacy that, when an initial attempt on the Island Fortress of Rhodes failed, he turned further west and managed to win an almost bloodless war with the Mamluk Dynasty of Egypt, seizing almost all of Syria down into the the Holy Land. At this point, it was a simple matter to claim the title of Caliph, and so Ali added yet more titles to his already impressive portfolio.

A Brief war with Moldavia saw the remains of the state annexed, however this war is notable only in that no other states intervened. Neither Hungary nor Poland honored the calls of Moldavia, being both too intimidated by the Rapidly Growing power of the ottoman Turks.

Ali's Last act of Foreign Import was to attack the small Balkan Alliance of Bosnia, Montenegro, and Ragus, taking much of the formers territory and annexing the latter two entirely.

The Empire at 1503, following the Conquests of Ali I

However the above is a grave misrepresentation of Ali's accomplishments. During his reign his diplomatic prowess saw the Ottoman Divan multiply in size, with a massive new Governmental Complex constructed solely for his nobles livelihood and usage. The Conspiracies of his court are legend in this age, comparable only to the Inner Politics of the German Senate or Eastern Roman Court. Yet through all of this, Ali sailed with such ease that his name has become synonymous with Manipulator in the modern Turkish Lands. He projected Ottoman Power even across the Mediterranean Sea, and was the first Ottoman Sultan to pay attention to Algiers, what would one day become one of the Empire's greatest assets, even if for only an admittedly brief time.

His Successor, Yakub I 'The Fallen', inherited little of his grace, though he replaced this with a simple and concise wit, and devastating power in military and Bureaucratic matters. The reign of Yakub the First showed every promise of a glorious rise, which makes its terrible fall all the more inexplicable.

Yakub's first love was the army, this is obvious to all who study him. He reformed and reorganized the Ottoman Janissary Corps, doubling the Cavalry complement and expanding the Infantry by massive numbers. He further strengthened the Osmanli's ties with the army while decentralizing it under local leadership. Despite this, he further ingratiated himself to the Generals. At the height of his control of the Army, they would march only under his orders. It would be this that crippled him in his most dire moment.

Yakub's early reign until 1517 was very peaceful, with a brief war with Venice having the remains of Bosnia (temporarily absorbed into Venezian Hegemony) ceded to the Ottoman Empire. Diplomatically, Albania and Candar were further integrated into the Empire. All of this is generally lost however in favor of study of the Ottoman-Hungarian War Yakub waged, and his subsequent defeat in the so-called 'Great Crusade'.

The Ottoman Empire at 1517, shortly before the Ottoman Hungarian War.

In 1517, Yakub gathered his armies and demanded that Hungary cede Wallachia to his empire. Hungary, naturally, refused, confident that the alliance it had developed after splitting with Austria would support it. It was sadly mistaken. Although Bohemia did aid Hungary in its coming war, as did Serbia, however foolishly. The massive Kingdom of Poland-Lithuania refused to aid Hungary, citing its preoccupation with a large Revolt in the Zaporozhye-Crimea Area as being too great for it to commit forces to any war.

Thus, the Ottoman Armies invaded. The Hungarians relied on a defensive strategy once again, centered around the city of Belgrade first, and Vrbas later, after Belgrade fell to the Ottomans. While the Ottomans massed and the recently taken Belgrade after a short battle, the Hungarians massed at Buda before moving south to Vrbas.

Tangentially to this, small contingents of Ottoman Soldiers marched into Wallachia and Romania, besieging many citadels, the most important being at Bucaresti, Drobeta, and Sibia. Another small army moved to siege Oradea, however a large Hungarian-Bohemian force moved to combat them, and the general in charge of the ottoman Force retreated back to Drobeta. The Allied Force did not pursue, as they were told to wait for orders should the allied army require their aid at Vrbas.

The Ottoman-Hungarian War of 1517-1519. The Lines represent the paths of armies, while the bright red dots represent battles, and the dark red dots represent Large Sieges

The Two Large armies met at Vrbas in 1518, and the outcome was one sided. The Hungarian King fell in battle to the forces of Yakub, with legends telling of a heroic, but foolish, cavalry charge that shattered on the Ottoman line of Pikes. The Main allied army disintegrated instantly, with the towns and castles surrendering quickly. The Bohemian Armies tried to reorganize, however the entire Kingdom of Hungary collapsed almost instantly. The army at Oradea managed to preserve a small enclave of order, however Ottoman Troops were otherwise free to occupy almost the entirety of Hungary. It looked as if the Bulwark of Christendom had been blasted open.

However, in the city of Vienna, talks were under way. As runners from the battler arrived at the court of Bohemia, they moved south to talk with the Hapsburg Emperor Friedrich VI "The Terror". Upon Hearing of the defeat, Friedrich famously remarked "What of it?". And would not even hear requests for aid until he was guaranteed the right to place his brother upon the Hungarian Throne, reclaiming Hungary for the House of Hapsburg When this term was finally agreed upon however, he put forth the call to crusade.

In Vrbas, where Yakub had set up a temporary court to administrate the occupied lands, peace talks with Hungary were under way. The Hungarian Nobles attempted to stall for time until they could determine what Austria would do. Small territories along the Ottoman Border were officially ceded, however most of Hungary was effectively under Ottoman Control already.

Occupied Hungary in 1519. The provinces enclosed within their own borders were officially ceded, while the green area within Hungary was under Ottoman Control.

Yakub was confident he could defeat Austria, however that confidence received its first blow in early 1520 when word came from Austria. The Petition for Crusade at the Reichstag had been Heard. The Unimaginable had happened.

The Vote had been Unanimous.
The Empire was going to war.

The Entire Empire.
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Yep. Its hanging on by a thread, but its still there.

The Morea gets fully annexed in 1529, prompting Aragon to attack the Ottoman Empire again (they helped with the Great Crusade) and 'liberate' the entire Morea and several Islands in the area.

Hmmm, I forgot a map. I need to fix that...


MM Prime Minister in Exile
12 Badges
Jan 25, 2008
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • March of the Eagles
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  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2
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  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
Let's get this bad boy started!

Let's get this bad boy started!

On a minor subject, if anyone wants clarification on something that hapenned or expansion on an idea, feel free to ask. The least I will do is either explain it on the spot or tell you where the explanation is or will be located. If I too think it is an interesting question, I will have no problem writing a post specifically dealing with it.

Also, New Map Style, You likes?


The World of 1600
Chapter 1: The Ottoman Empire
The Great Crusade​

It would not be an exaggeration to state that no single event has had a greater impact on European History than The so-called 'Great Crusade'. In a single war, the political structure of Central Europe was completely alterred. The advances of the Ottoman Empire were checked, Hungary and Poland received the support necessary to stabilize their realms, and the Austrian archduchy, quickly elevating itself to the status of Empire in its own Right, gained Hereditary Control of the Holy Roman Empire, along with an unstated Poltical and Military dominance of Europe.

The Great Crusade was, at its height, the largest Military Confrontation Europe had yet seen. It involved directly two of the largest Empire in Europe, with Austria leading an alliance of German States, including Bavaria as well as Bohemia and their vassal Silesia, with foreign support both Land and Naval given by the Kingdom of Aragon, to be joined latter by the Venezian Republic, all of this against The Ottoman Empire, itself easily controlling more territory than Austria and its Allies combined.

However Austria also had substantial backing from other states both in terms of Finances and Manpower. The Largest Contributor was Poland, personally funding almost half of the Military Costs of the Crusade, while the small German States supplied Tens of Thousands of soldiers to the Efforts of the Crusade under the Banner of the Empire. Further supporting its actions were the lack of action taken by its perennial Rival, France, who was deeply embroiled in what would become known as the 'French Noble's Wars'. This Freeing of the Western Border, in addition to a quick guarantee of priveleges made to the Dutch States of Imperial Burgundy should they aid the Empire, allowed Friedrich VI to focus all of his might upon the Ottoman Empire.


The States involved in the War. Blue States represent states that did not fight directly, but who contributed finances or manpower to the Imperial Crusade. Although neither Transylvania nor Hungary fought directly in the war, they are shown on the map as most of the combat took place within their territory. Aragon fought directly to aid its Ally Austria, while Venezia joined later and would primarily aid with Naval Matters. Although still technically an independent State ruled by the Duchess Maria, Imperial Burgundy is shown as a part of Austria.

The war began with a Campaign of maneuver, neither army held a true advantage, and so avoided a direct confrontation. At Vienna, The Empire massed a combined force of 30 Thousand soldiers, with an extra 20 Thousand south at Graz, while Aragon moved a further 10 Thousand Veterans of the North African Campaign into Dalmatia. Venice allowed passage through their lands on the terms that no looting would be carried out, however was reluctant to fully join the Crusade, in part because they feared losing their territories in the Aegean, and also from the deep emnity that existed between Austria and Venice after the former seized the territory known as Friuli from the latter not two decades earlier.

The Ottoman Empire had already exhausted a great deal of its forces against Hungary, and could mass no more than 40 Thousand soldiers at Vrbas. Yakub was loathe to bring more forces from Anatolia to aid in his conquest of Hungary, as he feared a Mamluk incursion into syria to retake their former territory. The fact that the Mamluks had been massing forces near the Ottoman Border for several years makes this an undertandable concern.

Although the Crusader Forces enjoyed a considerable superiority of numbers, the Imperial Army were spread further over more territories than the Ottoman Army, which was well able to defend its whole frontier simply from Bosnia. No Strike could be made to Transylvannia without the Sultan learning of it and moving north to cut the attacking army off, and the armies of the south were not strong enough to take on the Ottoman Force. Deploying away from Vienna without first Checking the movement of Yakub would leave it open to attack. The Ottoman Sultan was well aware of this, as his writings show, and was more than willing to simply stand by and wait for this war to end, knowing that anything other than absolute victory would crush the Habsburg Legitimacy to the Imperial Throne.


The Initial Disposition of Armed Forces

The Tensions reached the breaking point when the Austrian Forces from Graz, numbering 20 Thousand, marched into Croatia and prepared to enter the Bosnian Millet. The Ottoman Force proceeded south to stop them, while the Aragonese Army pushed northward. The three armies soon met at Prijedor, and the campaign in earnest began. While this was hapenning, Friedrich VI himself marched out of Vienna with 30 Thousand Soldiers, roughly 12 Thousand Austrian Regulars, including the by this point famous Kaiserliche SchwerKavallerie*, 14 Thousand Bavarian Regulars, and 4 Thousand Bohemians. Most of the Imperial Recruits had supported the army at Graz, and although more were on their way, and within two years of the beginning of the Crusade another 20 Thousand would mass at Vienna, this was all there was now.

Friedrich's Army moved Eastward First, to Buda, before plunging Southward to relieve the embattled army at Prijedor. No Decisive Battle had been fought yet, with the Allied army primarily avoiding the Ottoman Collumns when possible, and Yakub being at first content to harass the force brought against him with light cavalry raids, something the Ottomans became increasingly infamous for. When word reached him of the advancing Austrian Collumn at his back, he redoubled his efforts, and finally cornered the Allied Forces at Drvar just a few days before the Austrian Collumn from Vienna Arrived. The Battle was hardly the victory he hoped for, with casualties only slightly higher on the Austrian Side. Regardless, the Southern Army had been routed, and he could now turn to confront the Northern Army.

Everything seemed to be progressing in Yakub's favor, when finally the Venezians intervened. Having been given Friuli in exchange for service, as well as being allowed to officially remove their provinces from the Empire, the Venezians brought a further 18 Thousand Soldiers, drawn from both their lands, Greece, and the other small Italian States, and landed in Dalmatia. There they reinforced the fleeing Imperial Army, with the Venezian Doge Ludovico Commachio himself taking command and leading the Combined Crusader Army, now 32 Thousand Strong, north into Bosnia. Yakub found himself cornered, outnumberred, and surrounded back in Prijedor, as both armies descended upon his soldiers barely five miles East from the city.

The Second Battle of Prijedor

The Second Battle of Prijedor was held not more than five miles east of the city. From his army's movements, it is believed he was attempting to get to the city, using the small lake nearby to reduce the number of fronts he might have to fight on. Unfortunately, the Ottoman army never made it to either the lake or the city.

When the battle began, Yakub split his forces, keeping most of his army on the South-Eastern front to defend against the Army moving upwards from the south under the Venezian Doge, while the rest formed an almost latitudinal line defending the formation from the North, giving the Ottoman formation the shape of a badly formed Horse-Shoe. Archers and Cavalry were contained within a front line of Pikemen, with the Cavalry able to sortie at a moments notice, along with two further contingents of Infantry contained within the formation to be deployed as needed. Likewise, what Ottoman Cannon that were available were scattered amongst the Archers, primarily facing South-East. The Ottoman Sultan obviously considered the Venezian armies to be a greater threat, and this would be his undoing.

The Venezian army matched the Ottoman Front facing them. With less Cannon, it maneuvered quickly, hoping to limit its casualties from these weapons. The Doge kept a core of Loyal Venezian Soldiers well behind the front lines for dynamic deployment, and, it appears, because He would have rather not risked the lives of his soldiers when he had so many Germans at his disposal instead.


The Disposition of Forces at the start of the battle. Thick Rectangles represent Infantry Regiments, Thin Arches Represent Archer Regiments, Triangular units represent Cavalry Regiments, while Square Blocks represent Artillery. Dots of Color represent routed soldiers, while the Large Dots represent the Generals of either army.

The initial combat was relatively balanced. Neither side was fully willing to commit their forces to this battle, The Venezian Doge out of greed, and the Ottoman Sultan out of understanding of the reinforcements his opponent was about to receive. When the Right Flank of the Venezian army managed to attack the flank of the Southern Ottoman Front, Yakub made a wise decision that likey cost him the battle.

He extended the Northern Front out around the Venezian Left Flank, the regiment on the Right Flank or the Northern Front then found itself in a prime condition to attack the rear of the Venezian Right Flank. The Venezian Regiment, actually composed primarily of German Conscripts, crumpled almost instantly, retreating to the East, and forcing the Venezian Doge to deploy one of his reserve Regiments to plug this breach before the Entire Line was lost. It was at this point that Yakub orderred the beginning of a Push forward, however only the Ottoman Right Flank would make progress.

The Combat at this point grew increasingly more intense, with the Ottoman Janissaries throwing themselves into combat for their Sultan, while the Venezian Armies preferred to slowly back off and let the Ottoman Forces Exhaust them, with the Italian Doge fully understanding that all he needed to do was keep the Sultan in place and let the Austrian Forces completely surround the army. At this point, the massive superiority in numbers would win the battle for him.


Combat Begins...

...And the Right Flank is Broken.

Before the Ottoman Advance Regiment could strike however, it received word to halt its advance, at the same time as the Right Flank of the Ottoman Southern Front was pushing forward, pressing the Venezian Armies so devestatingly that the line almost broke. The Ottoman Commander told to halt must surely have been enraged at this missed chance for glory, however the reasonning quickly became apparent. After less than five hours of maneuvering and brief fighting, the Austrian Army had arrived from the North.


The Austrian Forces arrive.

The Ottoman North Front pulled itself backwards and reformed a simple bowl formation, with a rather large openning to the Right Flank where the swift Austrian Cavalry would easily be able to attack. Unfortunately for Yakub, the Emperor Friedrich saw through this obvious trap, and did not charge his cavalry, he had a far grander strategy in mind, as he sat upon his heavily armorred War Horse atop a small hill behind the Front line of his Forces. As the Austrian Soldiers deployed from their Travel Formation of two Infantry Regiments followed by Two Archer Regiments, he stayed alongside his Personal Cavalry Regiment, commanding the battle from afar, Convincing Yakub that the Sultan would be the only Noble to fight alongside his men, and thus convincing the Sultan that, should he threaten Friedrich, the man would flee.

With Yakub's trap left untested, he ordered the deployment of his Reserve Heavy Cavalry Regiments to the Left Flank of the North Front. The Southern Front seemed secure, however he faced a serious numerical disadvantage on the Northern Front against a refreshed, well supplied, and elated Army. Balance needed to be achieved so that he could strike where he wished.

The Austrian Army pushed forward quickly, with an obvious desire for a decisive battle. The Southern Front was pushed back slightly, however this faux retreat was entirely on Yakub's terms, as it allowed him to more fully reinforce the Ottoman Formation. In the North, Friedrich pushed his Right Flank outward to encircle the outnumbered Ottoman Infantry while the Ottoman Cavalry stood ready to face them, and the central Austrian Regiments crashed onto the Ottoman Pike Line. On the left flank, a massive force of Austrian Heavy Cavalry split off from Friedrich's Center and progressed towards the edge of the front, it almost seemed like they were intent on springing Yakub's trap, and for a brief moment the Sultan felt confident in his victory. If the Austrian Armies could be routed quickly, the Venezian force would likely follow suit instead of facing the Entire Ottoman Army alone. His Confidence rose still higher when he noticed a small openning in the center of the Austrian Lines, it might just barely be enough to march a small split Regiment through, however he did not advance his forces yet, fearing a trap.


As the Openning widenned, the Sultan became convinced it had to be a trap, not even a foolish General would make such a mistake, and after Friedrich's performance in the France-Austrian Wars, none would call him Foolish. This realization must have shook Yakub. Clearly, this was Friedrich's way of telling the Sultan that he saw through his attempt at a trap on the Eastern Flank. Or was it? The Ottoman Sultan was about to order a cautious advance, pressing forth the front into the middle of the Austrian Line, when the battle's dynamic changed.

There are literally hundreds of evalutations of Freidrich's move at this point. Entire Schools of Strategy have been formed around attempting to determine what possessed Friedrich to this course of action. By all accounts, Friedrich was a brilliant Strategist with a simple, concise and effective, if innelegant, strategical style. He drilled his soldiers to perfection, and then smashed them forward, Maneuvering them to where his enemy was weakest and pressing forward with all his might. Accounts from Friedrich describe his strategy as an 'honest' one, and he has gone on record several times as having prefered a direct confrontation, where only strength of skill will lead to victory.

This philosophy is embodied in what would become the defining moment both of Friedrich's Reign and his own Personal Legend, and the motivations for it are relatively well understood. What is still hotly debated is not why Friedrich wanted to follow this path, but rather, why he followed it, despite all of those around him cautioning that it was doomed to failure, and more importantly, how it succeeded, whether by skill at arms, personal reputation, some unknown strategy that was hidden within a deceptively foolhardy move, or simply its own, now legendary, Brazen Audacity.

The Austrian SchwerKavallerie was charging.

Not at Yakub's trap, it was charging at what the Sultan had thought had been Friedrich's Trap, through the small breach in the Austrian Lines, and directly towards the Ottoman Row of Pikes. It appeared, that Friedrich had not learned his lesson from the battle of Vrbas, and was making the same mistake the Hungarian King had made. Unfortunately for Yakub, the situation here was somehow different.

While the Right Flank of the Austrian Lines met the Ottoman Cavalry sent to stop them, Friedrich himself Charged at the Head of a Wedge of 4000 Austrian Heavy Knights, and the Left Flank of the Austrian Army charged Southward to envelop the Ottoman Regiments in concert with the reformed Venezian Line. In the far South, the Ottoman Lines Buckled under the weight of a renewed Venezian Assault, and the East Austrian Cavalry charged between Regiments to smash into the flanks of the Ottoman Regiments.


The Legendary Charge of Friedrich VI 'The Terror'

What heppenned next is difficult to determine, as so many of the accounts of the battle descend rapidly into legend, myth, and babble. What can be ascertained, is that the Charge of Freidrich was an amazing success, and the Ottoman Center Collapsed virtually instantly, with most of the Ottoman Soldiers coming even slightly close to Friedrich and his Men Rapidly sinking into Terror and Fleeing. Why this happened is even more difficult to determine, as what few accounts we have that corroborate each other speak little of details and seem more intent on simply describing the unimaginable Terror that would eventually become Friedrich's more commonly known Title.

The Ottoman Lines Collapsed, this is certain. Although Yakub himself charged with the last remnants of his reserve forces to strike at Friedrich in Desperation, this was not enough, and the Ottoman Lines crumpled under the weight of the Austrian Charge. The few survivors have left Harrowing Accounts of 'Friedrich's Charge', and of Friedrich Himself.

Friedrich had always been a terrifyingly large man, with massive physical strength, and he selected others like him to lead his Personal Regiment of Cavalry, until 1000 Men of Behemoth Stature crashed down on the Ottoman Lines. Clothed Head to Foot in Black Armor, armed with the Heaviest of Lances and Massive Axes, not Swords, for closer combat, the Charge of the Austrian Forces has inspired hundreds of legends itself. Led by a man all too often referred to as 'The Fist of Hell', armorred in Silver, with a cloud of Gold Cloth blooming behind him. It is believed by many Turks still to this day that Friedrich VI was loosed upon them by Allah as punishment for some crime unknown.

Legends amongst the Ottoman Survivors tell of the Heavens themselves ripping open behind Friedrich, displaying not the light of God as is commonly described in Austrian Accounts of the battle, but the Gates and Fires of the Abyss, as a Horde of Demons charged down across the field alongside Friedrich. Special mention is always made of his Eyes, and Roar, the former said to have Shown Red with Blood, and the Latter to have chilled the hearts of all who heard it. The Accounts, all save the references to Friedrich's eyes and Roar, vary wildly amonst the defeated Turks. The only consistent point is the fear that gripped them.

The Central Forces came under direct Leadership of Yakub, and he attempted to rally them, however at this point the damage had already been done. Accounts suggest Friedrich himself waded into battle as if he were a man Possessed. He showed no concern for his own life or the lives of his soldiers, and attacked with such ferocity that the Ottoman Soldiers largely fled before him and his cohort without ever even meeting them in combat. Even once dismounted, the Soldiers crashed through the infantry, swinging their massive War Axes with reckless abandon, not bothering to defend themselves against attack.

In the East, the surrounded Ottoman Soldiers quickly surrendered, and the Right Flank of the Ottoman South Front routed when the Austrian Cavalry broke through the Left Flank of the Ottoman North Front. To be entirely fair, the Central Forces of the Ottoman South Line remained true, and held until the last. Even after the Northern Front had been entirely defeated, and the Ottoman Defeat was easily apparent, the Southern Janissaries fought on to the last. One Regiment in the center broke with the front, appearing to route, as its brothers beside it closed the gap, however this route was a planned and executed withdrawal to a central location in an effort to find the Ottoman Sultan. Sadly, it would not succeed.


Within only a few hours, the Ottoman Force had been completely defeated. Austrian Soldiers moved systematically through the battlefield, taking prisoners and killing the wounded Turks. Those Ottoman Cavalry that managed to escape the Austrian Cavalry were not pursued. When asked why, Friedrich allegedly Responded in his charecteristic Gruffness; "Let them Spread my Terror for Me."

Yakub I managed to survive the battle, and was captured. It is stated according to legend that Friedrich Himself met the Sultan atop a field of corpses, with neither touching the ground, and after beating the exhausted Ruler in a short brawl, dragged the wounded Sultan off the field of battle. The Venezian and Aragonese Forces left the Austrian army at this point, neither leader wanting to be around Friedrich after his grizzly display in the Battle.

What Little we know of Yakub's time in Friedrich's captivity is told through a single letter that was kept in the Austrian Archives at Vienna, and only recently uncovered when the Imperial Archives were raided. All other correspondences between the Nobles and the Empire at Large never even reference Yakub's existence, much less his captivity in Vrbas, some would suggest, along with themselves.

The letter itself is long and rambling, with a disjointed, almost panicked handwriting, scraped barely onto a small piece of paper, stuffed into a small brown envelope and sealed with wax and Yakub's signet ring. Most of the Letter cannot be made out, its handwriting so close together to fit onto the small page that the words run together into warn, shapeless blots on the page with only the slightest hint of actual writing. What can be made out seems to flit back and forth between talking of Yakub's time in the court, to his increasingly neurotic and depressive personality.

The letter makes mention of prayer no less than 58 times, and this is only those times that can still be read, it is unknown how many of the unreadable areas also make mention of pray. This is the only real constant of the letter's writing, as the rest rapidly swings through several topics, passing through topics of his accommodations, his observations of life in the Austrian Court, and increasingly common descriptions of 'Shadowy Black Masses at the edge of his sight.'

Yakub's accommodations were apparently comfortable, he makes no reference to physical suffering in his stay. However this is debatable, as servant accounts make note of him looking increasingly fatigued during his stay. His stay at the Imperial Court lasted roughly two years, with the letter being written some time late in the first year of his incarceration.

The 'Shadow Knights' as they are commonly known today, are a mystery. Their description lacks any detail beyond the minimum necessary to make subsequent references to them. They appear often, generally accompanying his references to Prayer, however their name is a bit of a misnomer. During the letter their description varies wildly, with them being 'Shadowy Black Figures' at the beginning, to being simple dark spots at the edge of his vision, to at one point taking the form of a cloaked figure standing behind Friedrich himself. At one point, Friedrich makes mention of them stalking other nobles, and betrays his own unreliable sight by stating that some of the nobles will 'Start at Nothing', or run through the halls in a panic. Most of the older nobles seem not to notice.

It should be mentioned that these 'Shadow Knights' appear in the writings of servants and other nobles.

Yakub quickly became convinced that this was his penance, going so far as to insist; "I know now I have sinned somehow. I know not what I have done, or what I must do to make amends, however surely, this is punishment. I can think of no other source for this man that stands now over me, than Punishment from Allah himself. Not even the deepest levels of any Hell could spit him out upon this world. He is a demon in Man's Flesh, and by his constant smirk when looking upon me, I know he knows that I know this."

The Last part of this writing becomes increasingly common alongside mentions of prayer and the 'Shadow Knights'.

The Letter ends with Yakub predicting the future of the Ottoman Empire if he remains in captivity, stating that "Being Headless, the Empire shall surely fall. There can be no succession so long as I still live, and so long as there is no Sultan to lead the army, the Austrians will do what they please with my countryside." His predictions proved more accurate than he could have dreamed.

The Letter ends with him stating his abdication from the Osmanli Throne, and naming his successor, his first born son Numan, stating "Numan is strong in his sadle, and beloved by the army. He alone may yet pacify my Empire, and drive out the Austrians".

The Letter Closes stating; "I go to my own Personal Hell, with my own Personal Demon. All Sins are Mine. May Allah have Mercy."

It is obvious from the political history of the Ottoman Empire, and the Letter's eventual location, that it never made its journey. It is unknown when it was intercepted, or even if it embarked at all. Regardless, Yakub showed himself to be a wise leader, as everything he predicted came to pass. In the two years between his capture and the end of The Great Crusade, Imperial Forces captured all of the Ottoman Empire's European Holdings with the exception of much of Mainland Greece and Thrace itself.

Transylvania was occupied by the recently rebuilt Hungarian Army, with the Territory Annexed by the Ottoman Empire also occupied by Hungary. Austrian Forces occupied Serbia, Wallachia, Bosnia, Montenegro and Ragusa, Moldavia, and Bulgaria, while Venezian and Aragonese Forces occupied isolated ports along the coast of Greece, and Aragon occupied the Ottoman Morea.

The Peace Treaty was humiliating for the Ottoman Empire. Yakub was returned to the Queen of Cities carrying it, at the head of an Austrian Military Parade. Freidrich did not go with them, sending a clear message that this conflict was both over, and a waste of his time.

Serbia, Wallachia, and Bosnia would be Restored to Sovereignty under Hungarian Overlordship, while Moldavia was reformed into a Vassal of the Kingdom of Poland where it would remain, even after the Ottoman Resurgence. With the Hungarian King dead at the Battle of Vrbas, and his son too young to assume the throne, Friedrich's Brother Rudolf was placed as regent in the kingdom, and given 10000 Austrian Landschneckt to pacify his realm. Ragusa was incorporated into Montenegro, which was placed, alongside Albania, under Venezian Stewardship. The Ottoman Empire retained possession of most of Greece and Bulgaria, with Venice and Aragon seizing a few isolated Port Cities. Neither had truly desired to establish an Empire in Greece, merely desiring to extend their Naval Power, and in the case of Venice, to restore their dominance over Trade in the Aegean Sea and Eastern Mediterranean. Venezia was guaranteed perpetual Trading Rights through the Bosporus and into the Black Sea. All of the Crusading Parties were payed great amounts of Gold, something that would cripple the Ottoman Empire for the rest of its time.


The Borders after the Treaty, Signed at Belgrade, on July Sixth, 1522.

Strangely, two Fortresses on the border between Serbia and Bosnia were not specified in the treaty and thus remained under the banner of the Ottoman Empire. No Mention is made of these fortresses in any Imperial Writing, and it appears they just slipped through the cracks in the negotiating process. Friedrich, when asked of them, didn't seem to mind, and accounts suggest he was genuinely pleased that they remained in Ottoman Hands.

The Ottoman Reaction

This single war cripled the Ottoman Empire, robbing it of almost one third of its territory and forever destroying the legitimacy of the Sultan Yakub I, and devestating its army. When he returned to the Queen of Cities, he was despised by the Divan and the remnants of the Army. He was Called a Coward and a Fool, who was without the strength to lead the Osmanli Empire. To further exaccerbate matters, he did not pursue any attempt to change this, but instead cloistered himself away within the Imperial Palace. It quickly became apparent that any sanity still left in Yakub had fled him during the trip home.

His writing during this period grows increasingly more chaotic. The 'Black Masses' never left his accounts, but grew more frequent.

Having Lost the support of every aspect of the Ottoman Government, Yakub was quickly robbed of any real political power. The Government was rended unto chaos for years, as it took Numan I three years to pacify the realm and reclaim his birthright. Numan still had support from the Army and Governors of Anatolia, who he had commanded in his Father's Absense. Local Lords were quick in pledging their allegiance to the young Sultan to be, despite his father never truly abdicating or being overthrown, leading to a curious state where the Ottoman Empire was essentially multiple nations within one, as the Ottoman Divan centerred on Konstantinopolis, the young Numan in Anatolia, and various Turkish Governors of Greece all fought for power.

The Following shows the Progress of the First Ottoman Civil War during the four years it raged for. The Ottoman Green shows Territory loyal to Numan, while the Orange shows territory loyal to 'The Sultan' Yakub I. The Darker Green represents Neutral Ottoman Governors, and the Greek Peach represents the League of Greek Cities. The Mamluk Beige shows territory occupied by the Mamluks.




The Civil War only ended fully once Numan seized Athens in Greece. It took Numan a full two years to conquer Konstantinopolis. His Invasion began the same way the First Ottoman Invasion of Europe Hapenned, and the city was encircled. There, it settled into a long siege, until finally the defenders capitulated. With the fall of Konstantinopolis, The Local Generals and Lords pledged loyalty once more to Numan, with the exception of the Greek Cities and the General of The Holy Land. Both would require outright war to conquer.

After seizing power in the Empire, Numan had his father imprisoned in a Mosque on the island of Lemnos. The change of control was simple, and quick, and the public welcomed a Sultan who would actually lead.

The Greek cities did as they did long ago at their height, and formed a League of Cities, seizing most of the Greek Territory before Numan descended upon them. The Local cities could not fight for long, and could not meet Numan on the field of battle for a decisive victory, Numbers simply were not on their side. The Campaign looked as if it would be short, an impressive victory for the new Sultan to establish his legitimacy with, unfortunately for him, his ambition exceeded the reach of his arms. After pacifying the Greek League, he descended upon Morea, the last free Greek Nation.

This would be his first, greatest, and last mistake, as Morea had been guaranteed by the Kingdom of Aragon. Numan believed that Aragon would not intervene, still licking its wounds from the Great Crusade. Unfortunately for Numan, not only was Aragon entirely willing to Intervene, but the King of Aragon was himself leading a Military Parade in Napoli with almost half of the Considerable Aragonese Army to celebrate the final full incorporation of Napoli into the Kingdom of Aragon. When word reached him of the Ottoman Invasion of Morea, he quickly called up his massive fleet to intervene, with public support, still in a state of ecstasy after the Glorious Victory of the Great Crusade. Even Austria sent Funds to assist in this war, and Venice sent three of their most prized Galleys, crewed by Veterans of the Great Crusade who knew the Greek Peninsula better than their own Homes.

With the Ottoman Navy largely disbanded to cut costs, there was no opposition upon the waves, and Aragonese Battle Fleets went so far as to sail through the Bosporus, raining Artillery onto the Ottoman Palace, while The Primary Aragonese Army landed in Achaia. Numan signed a treaty of annexation with Morea just two weeks before the Aragonese marched southward upon his armies. The battle here was as disastrous for the Ottoman Empire as the Second Battle of Prijedor. Numan, growing increasingly more entranced by his own legend, while also determined to prove himself more able than Friedrich, the man who bested his father, led his Heavy Cavalry in a massive charge against the Aragonese Line. Unfortunately for Numan, the fates were not on his side. The Aragonese Tercios slaughtered the Ottoman Charge, with Numan himself being killed in battle.

While this was hapenning, the Ottoman Army became actively embroiled in an unstated war of attrition with the Mamluk dynasty. The Mamluks had occupied all of therritory seized from them with the exception of the Holy Land, where an Ottoman General had proclaimed a small nominally independent state. With the Ottoman Army he commanded, numbering at least 12 Thousands strong itself, the Mamluks did not invade, instead proclaiming their own guarantee of this state's independence.

The Northern Most states of Syria remained under Ottoman Control, as did a small strip of land leading towards Mesopotamia, however the rest of the formerly Mamluk territory was effectively annexed back into their realm, although no formal treaty was ever signed.

However that was of little import at this point. The Ottoman Divan, still under fire from Aragonese Warships, agreed to cede the Morea to Aragon, while Local Generals took direct control of their territory once more. The Ottoman Empire was again at Civil War. Out of this, would come the Dread Suleiman I 'The Magnificent', who would carve from the world an empire greater than any before.

P.S. Whew, that was long. Now I think we will take a brief break from the Ottoman Empire to discuss the ramification of the Great Crusade on Austria and the Empire, and in Hungary, and also to discuss the Burgundian Inheritance and the Marriage of Maria of Burgundy to Friedrich VI von Habsburg.

*I don't actually know German, so if anyone does and wants to correct anything I put in German, please feel free.
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Second Lieutenant
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A very interesting AAR!

And it could be named "Schwere Kaiserliche Kavallerie" or "Kaiserliche Schwere Kavallerie". There is not much difference between those two


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You do fantastic writing. If there's one thing I like seeing, it's the Ottomans violently collapsing!


First Lieutenant
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Wow is all I can say. I can't even imagine how you manage to keep track of all those nations. The only nearly negative thing I can say is that you use a lot of expensive dye for 'old' documents :p


MM Prime Minister in Exile
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So Much Chaos, So Little Time. Ahhhh, the Balkans, How I've missed Thee.

@All: Thanks for your support!

@Qorten: Trust me, the Ottoman Empire hasn't even gone through the worst, nor have they gone through the best.
@Tweetybird: This Paper has been digitally remasterred to be extra old yet still keep its vivid colors. Its also machine washable! And just wait until I get into the Habsburg Dynasty. I was playing the Habsburgs like they were in history, and as such Habsburg Blood flows through almost half the royal lines of Europe.
@EnragedKiwi: I'm only good with writing exposition, I utterly suck at writing conversation. Oh, and this was only the first of four Ottoman Civil Wars, so you should really like this AAR :evil:
@hermi: Would SchwereKavallerie as all one word be acceptable? I know Germans combine words like that with other things (Kleindeutsche Lösung, Großdeutschland, Reichsdeputationshauptschluss, Others)
@Derahan: I hope not! I don't think it will take me that long to get through it ;) (Though I must admit part of me wants to be able to say I Wrote someone to death, that's even better than talking someone to death.

@polskaGOLA: Well, I personally use the free program Paint.Net as I utterly HATE Photoshop and all products of Adobe. I draw my borders on a second layer above a base map, I don't use the actual game map as my base map, preferring an Equirectangular projection. I generally get my base maps from the Blank map thread from the Alternate History Discussion Board, available Here.. This can make lining things up a bit difficult, but I like the result too much to use the game map, it just isn't detailed enough for me.

The Layer I draw on will generally have nothing on it other than the landmass borders and water to keep coastal nations from spilling their color out everywhere. I will also put another layer consisting of just landmass borders and water at the very top with only text over it, to keep the coastal borders looking nice.

I then draw the borders of the nations, generally using the pencil tool to keep them detailed and clear. Once I am happy, I save a backup, and then scale the picture up to 800 pixels wide (height doesn't matter to me). After this point, to get the 'old' look, I run them through a Sharpen set to 20, an Ink Sketch set to 0,100, an Add Noise set to 37,100,100, and finally an Oil Painting set to 1,3. You should play with these settings to suite your style.

To add the 'Old Paper' Background, I use this image, however there are a wealth of choices at the end of A Google Search for 'Old Paper' or 'Old Paper Texture'

I flatten the image, and then add a new layer underneath the layer with the map on it. Put the map layer to transparency = 200, Mode = Multiply, and then paste the image of the old paper texture onto the new bottom layer. Flatten the image again, and save it as a .gif, host it somewhere, and you're good to go!

I hope that helps, feel free to ask any questions if you have difficulties.


The World of 1600
Chapter 2: Hungary and the Balkans
The Great Crusade and the Hungarian Empire​

The Ottoman-Hungarian War and The Great Crusade took more than its fair toll on the Hungarian Kingdom and its people, and is likely the most pivotal moment in the Kingdom's History.

Prior to the Ottoman-Hungarian War, the Kingdom of Hungary was a powerful, rich state. On the border of Europe, it had virtually the entire Balkan peninsula under its influence, yet after this war, it was relegated to nothing more than a plaything of the other powers of Europe, going so far as to have been bested by the nascent Empire of Serbia and being largely a puppet of the Kingdom of Poland.

As already discussed, the Ottoman-Hungarian war consisted largely of a series of small engagements, a few isolated sieges in the Eastern Frontier of the Kingdom, and the decisive battle of Vrbas. However the effects of these would have far reaching consequences. The Hungarian King Lajos II was killed in the battle of Vrbas, and his only children were his daughter Anna, who would become Queen Regent alongside her new Habsburg Husband Rudolf V, and King Lajos infant son, who would be dead within a decade.

Indeed, this point marked the end of the Hungarian Dynasty, and led to the serious consideration of the so called 'Habsburg Philosophy', to the point that the Bernardino Telesio once remarked on the Habsburg Dynasty that "Should their present trend continue unabated, within the century every monarch will be Habsburg. No Dynasty has shown such luck or skill at having mariable men to tie to the daughters of heirless monarchs."

Whether Rudolf orderred or himself killed the young Hungarian King is still hotly debated, with the Austrian Family maintaining the Doctor's Judgement of the child dying from Plague, with the Hungarian People considering the Habsburg Dynasty to be a house of Murderers and Thieves, and with good reason. Given Rudolf's time in the Kingdom.

Although officially ruled by Anna I, with Rudolf acting only as master of the 10000 Austrian Soldiers sent to pacify the realm, in reality, Anna was a virtual prisoner in her own home, with hardly enough influence to choose her own dinner, let alone dictate the course of an entire country.

From accounts of the time, Rudolf was a violent man with a furious temper. He was predisposed to grandiose shows of wealth and power, and lacked all of the subtluty and quiet of his more powerful Brother. It also becomes increasingly clear that he always resented his brother's power, and his lack of concern for Rudolf. Correspondence between Vienna and Buda was virtually nonexistant at this time period, despite Buda, for all intents and purposes, being ruled from Vienna.

Things were further complicated by the Austrian Soldiers. Veterans of the Great Crusade, these 10000 infantrymen had no love nor respect for Rudolf, and the generals of the army delighted in telling him that they in truth only answered to Friedrich. The soldiers, under the permission of the Generals and Officers, looted the Hungarian Countryside as they saw fit, destroying entire towns if the mood struck them, ensuring that the kingdom of Hungary. The Kingdom that had at one point held the crown of the Holy Roman Empire was now subject to the whims of the lowest of its soldiers.

Compounding this was the inability of the Hungarian Crown to collect Finances, and Rudolf's insistance that what finances could be spent were spent on his own personal comfort. Indeed, despite the countless Famines and rampant Poverty and Crime embroiling the Hungarian Kingdom, the Palace at Buda was quite well furnished and beautiful.

The Hungarian Vassals fared Worse. Officially forbidden from raising more than a token military to prevent them from acting against the Hungarian King, they were beset with crime and lawlessness. In most cases, but especially in Serbia, the 'Monarchs' of these small realms rarely exerted infleunce beyond the gates of their capitol city. The only exception to this was what would become the Duchy of Transylvania.


The Hungarian 'Empire' from 1522 to 1527, showing its Vassal States.

By 1525 the Kingdom was effectively Bankrupt, although Rudolf refused to accept this and declare such a state, knowing that it would lead to his deposition and the loss of his phantom 'empire'. The government in Hungary effectively shut down, with local lord refusing to pay tribute, and the Austrian Soldiers refusing to aid in policing the realm. Then, in 1527, the Finances of Serbia collapsed as well.

With their coffers empty of coin and filled with writs of debt, the Crown of Serbia disolved itself quietly and declared itself a territory to be directly administrated by the Hungarian King. Writing from the local lords suggests that they fully understood that Rudolf would not be able to save the Finances of their small land, but were simply trying to shift blame to the Hungarian King, where, it is likely, it rightly stood. This rended the Serbian State unto total Chaos, chaos which would not be combatted, much less defeated, until 1576 with the small states re-absorption into the Ottoman Empire and Financial and Political Reform under Suleiman I. For now, Lawlessness ruled the land, and so the people suffered.

In Transylvania, a different approach was taken. In 1529, the Local Governor, Ferenc I, officially declared himself Duke of Transylvannia. He made sure to stipulate that he was not breaking his ties with the Kingdom of Hungary, however he also made sure to stipulate that the King of Hungary would have no authority within his realm. The new Duke is shown in his writing to be a wise man, and by this bizarre combination of autonomy and submission to the Kingdom of Hungary he protected himself from threats both external and internal, as even if Hungary could not defend itself, Austria had sworn to defend any who attacked the new Hungarian 'Empire', so long as Ferenc remained a part of this empire, he would be protected.


The Hungarian 'Empire' at 1529, showing annexed Serbia and the Transylvannian Duchy

It is at this point that a strange shift begins to occur, as correspondence between Vienna and Buda fell even further towards nothing, while Friedrich began sending letters to Ferenc on a relatively regular basis. It seemed as if, relatively soon, the young Duke would officially suplant Rudolf as King of Hungary.

This, naturally, infuriated Rudolf, who attempted to raise an army from what little able men remained, financing them on promises. When Rudolf asked the Clergy for assistance in raising finances, they refused, citing that Ferenc had done nothing wrong, and that they would not march against the favorite of Friedrich, and Rudolf decided to commit himself to a rash course of action now that his attempted war of conquest was defeted before it even began. This single act would change Hungarian and Balkan history forever.

The Papacy had always had some vestiges of corruption within it, this is impossible to avoid in any institution with temporal power, however this corruption had grown to legendary heights under Friedrich VI, who controlled enough of the Papal Curia, both by manipulating Cardinal Elections and by simple bribes, that he was easily able to opennly flaunt his power within the church. Under Friedrich both the Holy Roman Empire and the Papal Court were but Toys in his hands, a game as it were, to be played for the greatest victory.

Between Friedrich's Personal Lands, the Holy Roman Empire, and the Aragonese Ownership of Napoli and Sicily, The King of Aragon being a steadfast ally of Freidrich and a personal Friend of some years, the Pope himself was a figurehead supported by what would become known as 'The Roman Captivity'. With Avignon in French Hands as a bribe to keep them out of Papal Business, there was nothing preventing Freidrich from marching his army down to Rome and declaring the Pope bereft of Temporal Power, or even of his life, and Friedrich both knew this and flaunted it, much to his own amusement.

Papal authority in Europe collapsed rapidly due to this, leading to an even greater amount of Papal Corruption than ever before, and princes had started to grow tired of this, opennly rebelling against the church.

Thus, as a show of bravado and personal strength, as well as an attempt to bring in financial support from those princes declaring themsleves broken from the Catholic Church, as it was obvious the Catholic Church would provide no aid, in 1536, Rudolf V, King Regent of Hungary, declared himself Lord of the Church of Hungary, and set in motion the final Death of that Kingdom.
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i've just discovered your aar, epic concept; did you actually get a crusade against OE?

i like your take on lucky nations, it's irritating to see French or Swedish god-like rulers when in fact these two had their share of regencies and incapable monarchs in the time-frame