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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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dragoon9105

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Chapter 21: Non nobis Domine

(Photograph of New Anglian Soldiers near the Ohio Frontline)

America, a land of opportunity and diversity and Very much a continent at a crossroads. With the days of colonial exploitation long passed the powers that be on the continent had agreed to attempt to keep the peace in a yearly continental congress of Free American nations. A Powerful and yet unlikely alliance of New Anglia, Canada, Mexico and the Knight's Transient had managed to successfully prevent a return of European colonialism. The American dream, one of peace, Co-operation and compromise, enforced by democratic values and if necessary force of arms.

Now that dream, had died and the Continental Congress built to defend it now lied in tatters. The Empire of Mexico had formally left the American block for the protection of a Colonial Power. With Mexico gone Argentina and the South American states soon diverted back to their own petty squabbles. Columbia and Haiti, long dependent on the Holy Roman Empire for their economic success also left. In North America, Canada and the Knight's Transient had been dueling in a deadly game for control of the St Lawrence and the freedom of millions of Black slaves living in New Anglia, The United States and Knight's Transient.

Now even New Anglia, the greatest of the American powers was facing collapse and attack by her neighbors on all sides. The Great American war between the Anglo-Canadian alliance and the Knights of the Golden Circle had become the dominant factor in world news. Modern War, using technologies previously only talked about around European Coffee tables were being used. Gattling Weapons, Ironclad warships and Observation Balloons, supporting actors to the cast of brave soldiers fighting on both sides, for the defense of their families, the honor of their countries, and ultimately the future of America itself.



The war had become a hot topic in Europe. In Particular the Celtic and Holy Roman Empires both had a vested interest in the war and its outcome. The Celts were obliged to defend the Spanish who still held direct colonies in central america, and also maintained interest in the reclamation of Quebec for themselves and Florida for Portugal.

The Holy Roman Empire of course held nearly half of North America under the Dominion of California. At the end of the day after all Japan was a sand covered rock, a large and densely populated rock but in comparison to nearby Korea, it was nothing but a Mineral poor drain on Imperial finances only truly useful as a market for Imperial goods and as a base to offset the powerful Wu Empire in Asia. California was the Empire's golden goose and now Gold mines in California and now Alaska were keeping the Imperial Administration running smooth and efficiently. With the American Powder keg having firmly exploded many officials feared the conflict could spread to California and demanded further military buildup in the Dominion.


(Grandmaster Thomas Waneek)

For the rest of the world however, all eyes lied upon the Knight's Transient. Thomas Waneek had recently been confirmed as the new Grandmaster of the Templar Order in America, a firm Military man and Veteran of the war with Quebec and peacekeeping operations after the annexation.

Grandmaster Waneek grew up on Long Island to a mixed Mohawk and Templar Family. By all accounts throughout his like Waneek had avoided politics, and touchier issues within the order such as Slavery and Immigration, focusing exclusively on the Military and Military alone. Waneek's Strategy for the American war was tried and true policy of divide and conquer. Templar forces in Ohio would retreat back over the Appalachians and the full remaining might of the Templar Military would be thrown at Canada to force an early peace.



The Canadian army ultimately was too small and poorly trained to resist the full might of the Knight's Transient. Waneek's generals managed to surround the Canadian Home-Guard North of Maine and force a surrender within months and the momentum from that win would give Waneek enough leverage to force a Canadian Armistice and cession of the entire Quebec territory. Now with Canada knocked out of the war the real war could begin to run the New Anglians out of America.



The United States meanwhile was preparing for their own front. Godwin Haroldsoon had managed to deliver Florida, and much of the Gulf Coast to American Hands but recruiting from these territories had proven difficult. The United States while the most diverse out of all the American states was primarily Flemish and Andalusian, and the majority of her Immigrants were Greek and Spanish. The Anglo Saxon populations in seized territories were difficult to mobilize without collaboration and local leaders, plantation owners and governors had been content to fight their own war against the New Anglians without American leadership.


(The Miracle at Mobile Bay, depicting the USS Alligator fighting the HMS Havana)
The real victory for the Americans would come not on land but at sea. The United States had been investing in a powerful navy to offset New Anglia's control of the Caribbean for some time. Ultimately this had developed into the Alligator Class Frigate, a steamship built with a low profile with a metal hull. The New Anglians as well were working on their own Ironclad warship, The HMS Havana was built with a large, sloped superstructure with intent to deflect cannon blasts.

The Two modern marvels of Engineering finally met outside Mobile Bay as New Anglian forces were attempting to provide support to the Anglian Army of New Orleans nearby. The Alligator was damaged early in the fighting after a cannon shell managed to hit the single turret and effectively incapacitate the ship. Through hasty repair work however the Alligator returned twelve hours later and managed to sink or severely damage three warships. The New Anglian navy repeatably attempted to sink the Alligator but failed and ultimately fled when the Capital Ship, the HMS Legacy took a hit to a powder magazine and caught fire.


The Knight's Transient meanwhile had yet more problems in Quebec. With more and more of the military leaving the St Lawrence to fight in the Ohio River Valley the Quebecois Population had begun to rally for independence and revolt against the Transient Administration. It was here the Transient showed their true colors, brutally imprisoning and executing hundreds of suspected traitors to the Order to keep the peace in the north.

For New Anglia, the war couldn't turn worse. The Miracle at Mobile Bay or as the Anglians had called it the Disaster at Mobile Bay had meant the loss of the Army of New Orleans, and the ultimate stoppage of supply to Anglian soldiers in Ohio and Michigan. The Knight's Transient Meanwhile had no reservations about throwing thousands of troops to their deaths against more fortified Anglian positions, and without proper supplies or reinforcements, mass casualties had begun to mount on both side.​


Ultimately this would become New Anglia's undoing. Without a sufficient military presence in New Orleans at the start of the War American-Transient Forces managed to maintain a chokehold on the Gulf and effectively bottle up the Entire New Anglian Army in the Northern Half of the country. After years of heavy fighting and more than a million dead on each side General Edward Autumn surrendered outside Morganfield Courthouse in near Nashville and the Great American War had come to a close in North America.​


Transient Peace terms were harsh, harsher than any European war since the dawn of the century. New Anglia's lands on the Mainland were to be partitioned between the United States and Knight's Transient. Canada which had conceded out of the war early had managed to avoid annexation by the Knights and now attempt to seek foreign support for a future defense. Still such a peace deal was shaky at best, The annexed lands were by and large Anglo Saxon and while the Knight's Transient could prop up local native american tribes as they had done in the past they had shown in the past to be unable to quell the Quebecois and now could be facing an even greater rebellion in the future.

The United States Meanwhile had nominally annexed her lands under the promise of setting up a new Pro-Slavery Government. Whether by greed or Blind ambition however the Americans instead chose to reorganize much of their gains into colonial administrations, something that had angered the local populace greatly. While America had found peace once again, nobody was expecting it to last.


Meanwhile with all eyes on America, the Mongol Khanate had burnt the Treaty of Peking and once again kicked out both Chinese and Russian Traders, prompting another Declaration of war from the Wu Dynasty. This war would be different however, this time a real power was prepared to Stand up to the Chinese alongside the Khan.


The Eastern Roman Empire.​

 
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dragoon9105

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Ah, man. That war would have been awesome!

Indeed it would have been. Though it looks like the Wu might just pay for siding with the Empire in the last congress. The ERE is no slouch.

Guys, refresh my memory a bit. Mexico was cordoban, Peru and Argentina were Austrian, Brazil was half-Austrian half-Portuguese, and Colombia was Spanish?

Right so.

Mexico was colonized by Portugal (Which is Andalusian in this Timeline) and Cordoba (Which is Visigothic) The Portuguese Half of Mexico is the one we see as the Empire of Mexico, the Cordoban half is dead now, annexed by its bigger brother.

Perú, Argentina, Paraguay and Venezuela were all Austrian. Brazil was Portuguese. Paraguay was annexed by Argentina while Brazil was Partitioned by Peru and Venezuela due to the fancy new American Core wars (The American Powers all have CB's to outright annex one another)

Columbia was also Portuguese as was Haiti but both were free'd by me and now are in my Sphere after a good 20 years of influence dumping.

The United States was a Flemish Colony that ate 'New Portugal' which was a portuguese colony that consisted of just florida basically. Canada is Saxon, as in the CK2 saxons that fled to Scandinavia in CK2 and then fled to TNW in EU4 via Norway which now only holds Iceland. Knight's Transient and New Anglia are Yankee/Metis and Anglo-Saxon respectively.
 

TheAnguishedOne

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New Anglia is doomed to insignificance now, unless a major upset happens. The USA looks stronger now, but the true winner of the Great American War is undoubtedly the Knights Transient. If they can deal with future rebels, they're in a good position to dominate North America.

Wu versus the ERE... this'll be interesting. Two of the HRE's biggest competitors fighting each other. Ideally, they'll weaken each other enough for you to take advantage (maybe press further into Asia?).
 

kittydecay

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This will be an interesting war, I'm curious to see how it will turn out. I like hearing whats going on in the rest of the world too but it would be nicer to have more date references.

Incidentally I started a new CK2 game last night as Bavaria and, without realising at first, married my son to an Anniona. Made me smile.
 

dragoon9105

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Chapter 22: War in the East

As was common in the Era, Eurasia was not about to let itself be outdone. While the Great American War had ravaged an empire, The Sino-Roman Steppe War threatened to leave not just the Mongol Khanate but an entire continent in Ruins. Two of the Post Populous Empires in the world, The WU Dynasty of China and the Mongol Khanate of Central Eurasia and Northwestern China were once again in conflict, this time however the Mongols had a powerful ally. The Eastern Roman Empire.


(Emperor Alexios-Duncan in 1859)​

The Eastern Roman Empire was of course still led by Basileus Alexios-Duncan of house Anniona-Bretagne. Alexios' failure early in his reign to effectively subdue Russia and win the war of the Three Brothers had haunted him over the past decade. For the entirely of the 1850's Alexios and the GRP had effectively fallen out of favor with an increasingly more liberal and democratic leaning Senate. The Panic of 1855 however had ultimately spelled an end for hopes of a more Isolationist Roman Empire.

The Russian Panic would ultimately Alexios' door back into the political scene. Royalist and GRP supporters had helped to instigate the Samara Crisis and as the diplomatic tide turned against Russia, especially as the Celts who had been waiting for a chance to strike back at the Holy Roman Empire sided with the Greeks and began making open demands to dismantle large parts of the Russian and Holy Roman Empires.

It was the Wu who ultimately ended such a Crisis by forcing both sides out of armed Conflict with the weight of their military. The Eastern Roman Empire and its more liberal senate had been scared out of the war, but her people were longing for revenge against the Russians and now the Wu for intervening in affairs they had no part in. The GRP would capitalize on this, declaring the liberal status quo to be puppets of a Holy Roman and Chinese Regime. The Emperor and the GRP of course were painted as the true leaders of the Empire, the ones who would free it from the shackles of foreign intervention and make it a world power, not equal but greater than those that wished to keep her in the dark. Such a message ultimately resonated with the Greek Majority but only just and the GRP won a close majority in the 1858 Senate election.

With that victory the GRP once again re garrisoned Mongol outposts in defiance of the Treaty of Peking and Basileus Alexios-Duncan took efforts to embolden the Mongols into provoking the Wu once more. When War ultimately came, the GRP once again seized the opportunity not just to bring greatness to the Empire, but to seek revenge on the Wu, winning even more conservative and even some liberal elements to their side.


(A Photograph of The Wu Imperial Palace)
The Wu Dynasty of China was of course the primary and only participant on the attacking side. Heavenly Emperor Wu Shen and his various Noble Councils had ruled the Empire for half a century in what had developed into a Chinese Golden Age of industry and economic prosperity known as the Wu Restoration. China had westernized on its own terms and had entered an Era where she had no true equal in population or sheer economic might.

Wu Shen's China boasted the largest military in the world, nearly twice that of the Holy Roman Empire. Unlike the Holy Roman Empire the Wu lacked any sort of overseas Empire, instead being forced to rely on trade partners such as Portugal, Mali or the Indian and American States. Attempts at building a Navy powerful enough to give the Romans across the Sea in nearby Japan had been met ultimately with failure after failure. The Holy Roman Navy had one key advantage over the Wu, and that was tradition. The Wu had started and ultimately always had been a land based power and her people had never truly grasped the importance of the sea or China's dependence on Foreign Markets to sustain its massive industry, the Ruling classes however understood the thread of Holy Roman Blockade and in that the Wu had one fatal flaw.

While on the whole 'westernized' by all standards the Wu Empire had embodied the disconnect that was all to prevalent back in the late 18th century in Europe. Famines, Diseases and local Economic crises ultimately were unimportant to the Wu Empire at large and the various systems implemented to keep the Nobility in power had turned the Empire Top heavy, with most of its intellectual talent concentrated only at the highest levels with the peasants and other lower classes kept in varying degrees of Ignorance for the Empire at large. If the foundation was weakened even further the entire system could collapse.​


Still in the early stages of the War the Wu had been finding victory after victory against the Mongol Khanate. By the end of the year Manchuria had fallen and the Imperial Chinese Army was now preparing to head west into the Gobi Desert and Siberia.

The Mongol Khanate likely would have surrendered her as they had multiple times before but this time it had help in the form of Eastern Roman Armies marching east past the Caspian Sea and into the proverbial meat Grinder. The Eastern Roman Empire had brought the perfect tool for such a Job however, The Gatling Gun.


Wu Tactics had evolved based upon the massive manpower differential between Chinese forces and other armies. Battles for Chinese generals were less about individual tactics and more about simply overwhelming enemy positions, breaking morale and then following up such victories with swift cavalry and artillery maneuvers to break and shatter enemy momentum.

The Greeks however were long familiar with fighting wars at a numerical disadvantage. For nearly a Millennia the Greeks had fought the Shia Caliphate for control of the middle east and had numerous war games over the past few years to prepare for a possible Holy Roman, Russian or Indian Invasion. After seeing its effectiveness on the field in America, Greek Commanders placed massive orders for the new weapon and by 1860, they were more than ready to test them on the field.

On open Steppe Gatling Guns and quicker more mobile Greek Artillery quickly began to wreck havoc on the Chinese lines in a tactic commonly referred to as "Thinning the Herd". Mixed with Mongol Cavalry charges constantly harassing Chinese supply lines in the Steppe Chinese commanders had found a very rude surprise waiting for them in the Khanate's interior.​


A swift series of conflicts all along the Mongol Interior had caused nearly half a million in Casualties from battles alone. Disease, Infection and poor supplies had claimed even more outrageous numbers sometimes reaching up to 3 Million in some reports. The GRP of course took these claims and widely published the, and tales of the Heroic last stands of Greek and Mongol defenders had filled Newspapers throughout Europe. Not only was the Mighty Wu Empire being stopped, it was being utterly humiliated by two Empires that even together could never hope to match the Wu man for man in numbers or industrial power.


The Wu would not take these insults lying down. A second assault struck out from Northern mongolia to isolate the Greek and Mongol forces in Qinghai. It was here that the Wu had planned to make an example of Eastern Roman Forces. While their gatling guns and artillery were useful they required a stable supply line to properly use and despite constant heavy losses all along the front the Empire had more than enough manpower to continue to advance.

Reports of Greek soldiers simply running out of ammunition and being forced to flee had given Chinese Commanders the confidence to encircle the Qinghai detachment, and exterminate them.


Within months half the Greek Expeditionary force had been surrounded in Qinghai Province. Mongol Forces in the area had for the most part managed to escape in time. The Greeks bound to more modern artillery and gatling guns had been trapped, just as the Chinese planned. Without any sign of rescue on the way the Greeks dug in and began to fortify the hills for the inevitable Chinese Mass attack.


(The Bloodbath at Makhai a Chinese painting depicting the Sino-Roman Steppe War)
What had ultimately happened however was not the great victory Chinese Generals expected. The Greeks had managed to successfully dig into the Qinghai terrain, even seizing local towns and fortifications and using them to great effect not only to harass the Chinese army but make every single victory come at a great cost.

What had been planned for a swift short side campaign to increase morale stretched for months as each victory came at higher and higher cost. Eventually the fortress at Makhai remained near lake Qinghai. It was here the Greeks finally were forced to fight off the Chinese and did.

For nearly two Months the Greeks at Makhai managed to fight off Chinese attack after Chinese Attack until only a few thousand Men remaining, many of them starving and out of supply. With winter once again looming the Chinese Opted for a final swift hammer stroke to crush the Greeks rather than risk them wintering and possibly being liberated via a Greek Counter Push in spring.

Outnumbered 20 to 1 the Greeks fought bravely and ultimately, died bravely and while they ultimately failed to stop the Chinese completly, the sheer manpower cost to the Chinese Military and delay in the campaign had seen to it that winter indeed arrived bringing the Chinese Advance to a full stop.

There ultimately would be no survivors at Makhai on the greek side and such lack of information gave rise to the Legend of Makhai, a second Thermopylae where only a Thousand Greeks held off the largest military in the history of the world.
While Greeks tales of the battle would embellish exactly how much Makhai effected the war the result was clear. The Wu Dynasty despite its gains was losing far more than they stood to gain. More worrying still was the Eastern Roman Empire's allies, the Celtic Empire, Spain and Cordoba still could intervene at any time.

If the Chinese advanced any further they could find themselves being invaded through Cordoba's south China colonies and with such a horrible track record already in the war, success in south China could ultimately prove to be a death knell to the Wu Dynasty.



An Armistice was signed in February 1861 by Emperors Alexios-Duncan and Emperor Wu-Shen and with that, the Eastern Roman Empire and Mongol Khanate had defeated the strongest military power in the world.



 
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Andrzej I

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Roma invicta!

Also, that's a lot of casualties for a status quo ante bellum. I wonder if the peace will merely postpone the war for another time.
 
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TheAnguishedOne

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So much death for so little apparent change... I say apparent for a reason though. That war showed the world that Wu's army could be defeated despite being outnumbered. Perhaps Wu will see that they have to change how the approach war now. Hopefully not, because if they did I don't see any one nation defeating them.
 

dragoon9105

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Chapter 23: Destiny Calls

For much of the world the 1860's were nothing but a time of war, and suffering. The Great American War was raging in the New World, The Indian powers were once again in conflict over a minor border dispute and of course the Mighty Wu and Eastern Roman Empires were fighting for the future of the Mongol Empire. In this time the Holy Roman Empire was focusing not on Eurasian and American politics, but Africa.

Increases in technology had allowed European settlers push ever so slightly further into South Africa. The ones leading the charge were not Austrian settlers but Visigothic ones, fleeing Imperial regulations, policies and of course taxes from their original settlements in Natal. Called Valientes these Cordoban settlers had managed to push up and settle into states that were still nominally controlled by local Mutapa and Swahili tribes.

(1861 Photograph of Valiente Militia)
With the discovery of Diamonds in Africa, both by the Eastern Roman and Holy Roman Empires the Valiente's who for the most part would have likely been left alone were now squatting on potentially valuable land. The Valiente reacted by allying themselves to the native tribes, the hope was when an inevitable war came that they could bloody the empire's nose enough to be given greater concessions when the Dominion of South Africa finally came for their land.


Governor Klemens de Milano had seen this eventuality as well and instead moved to deal with the native tribes first. Holy Roman Surveyors had come by the region in years past, looking for mainly gold which they had found in the Mutapa states almost a century ago. Mutapa was up until recently protected by the Kingdom of Mali and thus attacking them would draw the empire into an invasion of West Africa, something that would ultimately prove too costly to be worth the trouble. Mali had now revoked much of her support for the African powers outside her own direct surroundings. With the Valiente now trying to form a defensive bloc against the Empire Governor de Milano decided it best to kill the Valiente problem in its cradle, attacking the weakest of the tribes, the Swahili.​



The Swahili tribes were divided and ultimately that would be their undoing in the region as while the Imperial fleet was free to secure Zanzibar Colonial garrisons moved into several areas along the coastline and formally established Imperial Law.​


Next was the Mutapa, who Klemens had intended not to bring into his Dominion just yet. The South African Dominion ultimately very small compared to California or Japan and due to being in a very politically stable area, did not see much help in terms of reinforcements much of anything from the mother country. Klemens hoped to change this eventually but for the moment he would only afford to seize the Mutapa Coastline, which he did. The Mutapa attempted to resist as well but ultimately discovered the hard way that Imperial positions along the coast were difficult to break, especially with the Imperial fleet providing support from the Mozambique channel.

With the Mutapa effectively neutralized, at least for the moment the Empire finally could push into Valiente Territory. The Valiente's with more modern weaponry put up a more substantial fight but ultimately were surrounding by an Imperial Power and all Klemens von Milano needed was a single decisive win which came to him outside the Valiente capital in 1862.​


With the defeat of the Valiente and the end of the first conquest of Mozambique, the Imperial Dominion of South Africa had added yet another jewel into its purse. The Land taken was ultimately none to important and ended up lacking the resources that both sides expected to be there. There were real gains however, namely the seizure of Zanzibar, a valuable Naval base for the future and of course publicity back home speaking of the brave conquest of Mozambique, something the Blacks would eventually spin into an Imperial Manifest Destiny, one that said Austria deserved not only to expand her empire but to connect both South Africa and the Mediterranean.​


In fact, Imperial Ambitions had spread not only among the blacks but in the unlikeliest of places, the Liberals. The Yellows of Austria had been in conflict with each other for some time. Effectively having their power cut down by the Emperor in years past, and now with the Yellow Prince having adopting a more, militaristic and expansionist policy support for the old Anti War, Pro Reform, Pro Laissez Faire party had faded.

Wagner's Empire Building had been perceived as a massive success, at first glance anyway. The Empire had managed to successfully maintain the second largest economy in the world as well as become the largest resource economy in the world via colonial reforms in Japan, California and Africa.


The Yellow Prince however had his own arguments that while Wagner may have found success, for now, India and China who both had more liberal and open systems would in the long run completly eclipse the Empire industrially. Prince Ferdinand drew parallels to the failure of the Spanish, Danish and now Malian economy, and exploited the massive failure of the Imperial system.

Prince Ferdinand's 'New Liberal' party came in two flavors, those that agreed with his revised views on Imperialism and those who didn't. The More Popular of course were the National Liberals, who had followed the Prince's rhetoric to the letter. The National Liberal agenda was simple, Lower taxes and an end to Government subsidies and spending on industry, suffrage in all its forms was not to be touched as per Imperial law, other issues however namely the press, organization of the Reichsrat, labor unions and freedom of assembly were and with these issues the National liberals had begun to gather support among both the lower and higher classes both in and out of the Reichsrat. For the Black Status quo the National liberals had managed to gain such popularity that they made up nearly 40% of the Reichsrat, compared to the Black 30%, and Conservative 20%.


(rarely seen Illustration of Kaiser Wilhelm, later in his life)​

There was of course a block, at least for the Moment in Emperor Wilhelm who continued his support of the Old Status Quo. The Crown prince, Karl-Franz had a similar stance but for the most part had been detached from Imperial Politics as his own ruling as King of Occitania occupied much of his time. One thing was certain, so long as the Iron Emperor lived Austria would see no reform.

There was yet another crisis brewing however, one that all of the Emperor's Armies could stop.



One that can strike at all walks of life, and bring death to whoever it touched. The Greek Flu.​




 

TheAnguishedOne

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Manifest Destiny... It's a bad time to be natives. Good for the HRE though, so I don't mind. However, the Spanish Flu is probably going to be a rough few years for everyone. Hopefully it won't have too big an impact.
 

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Chapter 24: The Greek Flu

(Greek Police Keeping order on the streets of Adrianople)​

Increasing levels of trade throughout Europe and Asia had for the most part benefited all involved. In 1862 however such ties had become a deadly pathway for a new pestilence to strike at the world. Influenza had existed in Europe and much of the world in the past and was of course a problem but in early 1862 a New Strain of Influenza had struck at the Greek Heartland, likely spread from soldiers returning from the east.

So named Greek Influenza spread faster than the Plague and in the confined urban populations of Europe, killed in staggering amounts. By February the Greek Flu had reached Italy, In March, Austria France and Spain were also hit. The Flu infected all walks of life and spread without care of class or culture. The interconnected Holy Roman and Eastern Roman Empires had provided the perfect breeding ground for a plague not seen since the Black Death that burned across Europe five hundred years ago.

It was in 1863 that disaster struck not just for the People of the Empire but for House Anniona itself. Emperor Wilhelm had previously proclaimed that his divine blood would keep him safe from any such virulence that infected Austria and attended the Reichsrat as Normal throughout the Crisis. Wilhelm ultimately had planned to spare the other parts of the Empire, mainly Japan which was an Island and could in theory effectively be spared from the disease along with South Africa which was geographically Isolated from the rest of the world.


(Japanese Women in Edo wearing masked as per requirement)
After appearing Publicly several times in late 1862, Emperor Wilhelm found himself with a fever and was bedridden. The Emperor had already battled with Illness in his youth and Austrian Doctors, perhaps overconfident aly expected Willhelm to fight off the disease. By the time Crown prince Karl-Franz returned from Occitania to see his father the Emperor's condition had worsened. The Crown Prince fired almost the entire medical staff of the Emperor and had them replaced with Doctors and Physicians from across Europe but ultimately this would come to little, to late, On January 14 at 9:05 AM the Emperor was officially pronounced dead.


Emperor Wilhelm would be remembered as a staunch opponent of Liberalism, who later in his life had become so obsessed with his own Image as the Divine Ruler that it was his downfall. Still Wilhelm's policies as Emperor was successful, through use of his Authority the Reichsrat was reorganized into an effective means of running the Empire, the Capital of Vienna was rebuilt ahead of schedule and the slow creeping Decline the Empire faced after Napoleon had been reversed through the conquest of Korea and the widespread industrialization of the Empire.


(Karl-Franz Pictured as King Imperial of Occitania)​

With Emperor Wilhelm deceased the matter of succession had now arisen. Karl-Franz was King of Occitania and Heir Apparent. For the most Part however Karl-Franz had tried to distance himself from the Monarchy as much as possible, preferring instead to run Occitania himself alongside his wife, the French Duchess of Toulouse Marie Anniona II. Prince Karl notably had recently divorced himself from politics entirely after the disaster that was Kaiser Wilhelm's Imperial system.

In contrast of course was the Yellow Prince, whose popularity within the Empire was well known. While Prince Ferdinand never explicitly had any ambitions for the throne he was politically active and known to be a capable administrator from his work in the Reichsrat and as Governor of Japan. The Brothers Imperial, Karl and Ferdinand had been known to disagree in the past on matters of state, yet now had reversed their positions, Karl had grown disillusioned with Politics entirely and prefered the Monarchy to remove itself from affairs of the state while Prince Ferdinand who had originally supported a divorce from the state now opposed the notion entirely. Prince Karl would ultimately and reluctantly accept the crown.

Though Kaiser Karl-Franz would remain Kaiser for only two months for the duration of the Greek Flu Crisis, and then abdicate to his Brother, Prince Ferdinand, formally renouncing his rights to both the Crowns of Inca, Japan and Rome. Then the Prince turned Kaiser turned Prince retired back to Occitania. The Empire would be left in the Capable hands of Prince Ferdinand Anniona.


Now Kaiser Ferdinand II Anniona Caesar of the Western Roman Empire, Divine Emperor of Japan, Sun Emperor of the Inca, Archduke of Austria, King of Africa, Protector of the Catholic Faithful and Rightful ruler of all the west.

 

TheAnguishedOne

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Kaiser Wilhelm had a truly successful reign, but he died stupidly. Divine blood, he was not.

Prince Karl will probably be remembered as the Kaiser who didn't want the throne. At least there wasn't a civil war over his abdication. Kaiser Ferdinand II, the Yellow Emperor... May he lead the HRE to even further glory!
 

dragoon9105

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Chapter 25: The Hydra Rises

The Year was now 1863 and Kaiser Friedrich II had successfully taken office as the Head of State and Head of government of the Holy Roman Empire. Such news however would be overshadowed by the rise of a new political ideology, and renewed nationalist and liberal revolts in the Northern Hemisphere.

Socialists, following the teachings of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels were attacking not the government but the means of production. Marx's manifesto was originally banned from being published in Austria due to restrictions of the press. undeterred Marx traveled instead to China where he found more a liberal population in disarray, and being kept in no better conditions than in his Native Austria. The Communist Manifesto and its translations became a best seller overnight in both the Wu and Indian Empires and through trade with the east copies had begun to surface in the Celtic Empire and later Austria once more.


In the North however an entirely different revolution was underway. The Oppressed saxon minorities in Danish Norway had once again reorganized and rose up in revolt. The Danish response was to crack down and deploy troops to the region, further escalating tensions. This time however the Swedish and Westphalians were still recovering from the Greek flu and ultimately would do nothing to intervene, leaving the Saxon revolutionaries to their fate in Danish Prisons once their revolt was quelled.


Kaiser Friedrich ultimately was now thrust into full control of the Empire. Preemptively Friedrich legalized a both Liberal and Conservative Socialist party for the Reichsrat. For the new Kaiser the Red Tide couldn't have come at worse time, The National-Liberal party still maintained their majority control of 40% of the Reichsrat but now had a dangerous competitor for the lower classes who had begun to lose faith in Liberal promises for freedoms and social reforms.

Officially Friedrich had absolute control but of course the Yellow Prince turned Kaiser had a democratic mind to him and wished not to go again the 60% majority of Conservative and Nationalists within the Reichsrat. Instead the Kaiser Friedrich chose to compromise, naming the recently retired Kurt Milkas as his new Chancellor in the Reichsrat in hopes of forming a new Nationalist Block between the Monarchists and National-Liberals.

The More reactionary and conservative aristocrats would be effectively bypassed under this new Reichsrat and the Kaiser was now free to do as he wishes with a Reichsrat that supported him. Friedrich would continue the current Policy of 'Empire Building' but severely scale back government tariffs and industry construction in favor heavy military spending, most of which would ultimately be going to the Imperial Fleet.



Come September Kaiser Friedrich would announce his new social initiative, with intent to deliver on the promises made by the National-Liberal party. The First of this would be the end to the government monopoly of the press. Instead Friedrich introduced a transitional system where private companies and publishers could purchase press vouchers from the Government giving them the right to print newspapers and publish literary material. Such vouchers however could be revoked at any time for publishing of unfavorable materials and only a certain amount would be made available each year.
A month later in November Kaiser Friedrich enacted a new series of laws directed at the current status quo regarding italy.


For the Duration of Kaiser Wilhelm's reign, italy had been treated as an occupied country. Memories of Napoleon's Italian revolt still remained fresh in the old guard of the military as well as some of the older memories of the Reichsrat. Kaiser Wilhelm ultimately had decided not to touch the issue and continue his father's policies of occupation and rehabilitation. Those Polices however were unsuccessful in stamping out Italian Liberalism. With a new Kaiser came a new chance to truly Reunite the Empire.


(Portrait of King Napoleon II Of Italy)
Friedrich would do this through inviting the ex Prime Minister of Flanders, Louis Napoleon to return as King of Italy and to serve as a member of the Reichsrat. The terms would be very strict, Napoleon would be required to swear undying loyalty to Kaiser Friedrich and the German Empire but in exchange Italy would be raised to equal status of the Kingdoms of Bohemia, Bulgaria and Burgundy. Louis reportedly would travel to Vienna, and give his response in Person, a resounding yes.

For Italian nationalists living in exile Napoleon had accepted a deal with the devil. Louis was named a traitor to Italy and Napoleon's legacy. Napoleon would reply during his stay in Venetia to the Italian crowd there translated as thus:

"Italy has been given an offer she would be foolish to refuse, Glory, Dignity, Freedom, Things my uncle had fought for, things all our families has fought for but We have immense unplowed territories to cultivate; roads to open; ports to dig; rivers to be made navigable; canals to finish, a railway network to complete. We have all the great ports of the west to connect with the American continent by modern communications, which we still lack.

We have ruins to repair, false gods to tear down, truths which we need to make triumph. This is how I see the Empire, if the Empire is re-joined. These are the conquests I am considering, and you around me, who, like me, want the good of our country, you are my soldiers. Let us pick up the sword alongside our Brothers in the East, and do these things, not alone but together"

When Napoleon returned to Firenze at last he was greeting by cheers naming Louis Napoleon, Napoleon the Second, King of Italy.


Elsewhere in the World an entirely different Monarch was being named. A Coalition of Saxon Pan-Nationalists and German Immigrants into Canada had stormed the government and declared Canada a new 'German' State, calling for a New national conference, inviting Westphalia, the Holy Roman Empire, the South American states and Saxons from Finland, Norway and Iceland as well.

How Kaiser Friedrich would respond, nobody could guess.​
 
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TheAnguishedOne

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Oh dear, it's Communism. Communist HRE would be interesting, but I like the idea of trying to stay Absolutist Austria.

Napolean the Second is a wise individual to accept that offer, and I love his speech.
 
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Vote called off, AAR to resume as normal.
 
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Chapter 26: The Year of Confederations

Kaiser Ferdinand's response would be as many expected, silence. After several weeks the Imperial Government would issue an official statement stating that Canada has never been a rightful part of the Holy Roman or Roman Empires in the past.

The Canadian Federation would go forward, though without the Holy Roman Empire much of the purpose of the meeting had failed. Without Austria the South American's also abstained from the conference making the eventual meeting of German delegates in Berlin a solely North German, predominantly Saxon affair.

Westphalia of course moved in to become the favorite candidate to lead a german confederation instead of the Holy Roman Empire. The Canadians, Norwegians and various delegates from the Saxon parts of Denmark and Sweden denied such a motion, and the German countries of the north, at least for the moment would remain divided. The Danes meanwhile could breath a sigh of relief, at least for the moment.


Kaiser Ferdinand had not been idle in 1864 however. Instead of Journeying to Berlin for the German Confederation he was holding his own congress, regarding the future of Austrian Industry.

After only a short time as Chancellor Kurt Milkas retired from the position leaving the leadership of the Reichsrat open once again. This time Ferdinand would appoint one of his own National-Liberal followers, an Entrepreneur turned politician Andre von Strasbourg.


(Picture of Andre von Strasbourg shortly before being appointed Chancellor of the Reichsrat)​

Chancellor von Strasbourg already had a string of businesses across the German province of Austria as well as some investments back in his Mother's native scotland though reportedly Strasbourg has started with barely any sort of wealth to his name. During Wagner's 'Empire Building' Strasbourg already had managed to purchase several key Iron Mines, Mines that would benefit from Government contracts and accelerate Strasbourg from being a simple self made man to one of the richest men in Austria. In such a regulated Atmosphere of the Holy Roman Economy however Strasbourg found himself unable to effectively wield any of his wealth, eventually becoming a strong voice for less government regulation. Strasbourg would develop a taste for real politics in this time and eventually was appointed to the Reichsrat towards the end of Kaiser Wilhelm's Reign.

In terms of Holy Roman Politics he was very much an outsider, ultimately chosen for his very outspoken anti-Socialist stance. For the more entrenched Austrian Nobility, the appointment of a so called 'self made man' was a slight to say the least.


Strasbourg did however have the confidence of the Emperor and his supporters. A month after swearing his oath of Office, Strasbourg would announce his 'Brave New Direction" a series of dramatic governmental reforms removing government regulation from large areas of the economy. Taxes would would be cut by a staggering 50% of their original values, others mostly those already rendered redundant by other reforms would be outright abolished entirely. Such a move was not only controversial but dangerously polarizing for the Older more reactionary members of the Reichsrat.

The Emperor would approve these reforms regardless. The Argument that for the reforms beyond mere ideology was that Kosalla, the third Largest Economy and fastest growing in the world was now threatening to overtake the Holy Roman Empire. While 'Empire-Building' had indeed been a dramatic effect economic growth had begun to stagnate due to the growing wealthy elite being unable to re-invest back into the Austrian Economy and sponsor further Industrial and Commercial Growth, and through that Cultural, Scientific and most Importantly Military advancement.​

While the Intellectuals and Politicians were battling in the Holy Roman Empire, German Nationalists elsewhere in the world disappointed in the lack of help from the Holy Roman Empire had taken things into their own hands. In the Danish City of Oslo Saxon nationalists stormed government buildings as well as the local armory, the act would be repeated throughout Danish Norway until the Red, Black and Yellow Banners of Pan-Germania could be seen all across the North Sea Coast.

The Danes once again prepared to put down a rebellious and ungrateful population. This time however, things truly could Spiral out of Control.
 

TheAnguishedOne

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Canada's offer rejected... It could have been interesting, but you don't need it. Glory to the Absolutist HRE.

Improving the economy is always good news. Surprising to see a Scotsman doing it for you though.