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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

El Pip

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A pope really ought to have more confidence in the power of prayer
I noticed that as well.

It was also striking how he sees himself as leader of the Papal States first and foremost, "my country and my church" with country first. That sort of attitude is going to cause him problems at the Vatican Council I'm sure.
 

slothinator

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A pope bitter about the modern world he finds himself in doesn't spell much good for Europe. Particularly not when he's decided that he needs to back his words up by force of arms.

Europe has certainly taken notice of Urban's warmongering and next week you'll see how the invasion plays out. Interesting affair that...

Argh! Blessed are the cheesemakers, for they get their bloody realms to the top!

Oh, but for a cheesy pope that would have seized the moment to take Milan and Venice for himself by supporting their independence. Then Northern Italy would be full of small states to be gobbled by God, and italy is that much closer.

Oh well, at least they got Greece. Until Austria wants it, I suppose. No Austria-Hungary however may or may not be a benefit to the empire...

Unfortunately Urban is not much of a fan of dairy products and Northern Italy will have to wait some years for its liberation from the Austrian yoke.
Greece is going to be a contentious point for several decades to come and there will be detailed chapters later on. Austria has managed to remain politically miaphysite for a while longer but they might change their mind once the eagle awakens.

I have to admit to being a little bit disappointed that his holiness didn't seize the chance to conquer northern Italy in the chaos. Maybe he is keeping his powder dry for another gambit? Wheels within wheels...

That was rather a shame. If Piedmont had jumped in then it might have been a different story but alas it was not to be.

A pope really ought to have more confidence in the power of prayer

I noticed that as well.

It was also striking how he sees himself as leader of the Papal States first and foremost, "my country and my church" with country first. That sort of attitude is going to cause him problems at the Vatican Council I'm sure.

Urban is part of an older school that has seen prayer alone turn Papal pride into dust and wants to carve out a place for himself in this post-revolutionary world.
As for the Vatican Council, there are going to be very many problems addressed that have their roots in this war.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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The papal states are one of those minors that should always do better than they do, since they have essentially unlimited wealth and prestige, a very good defense against any European attack, and literal divine rights backing their every move.

And yet even here they mess around in Greece when they could be dominating the faith or reshaping italy to their will. Long way to go yet, I think. But Urban may simply be the forebear of a new breed of warrior and philosopher popes more active than spiritual. That's fine, and probably whats needed post revoultion.
 

El Pip

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But Urban may simply be the forebear of a new breed of warrior and philosopher popes more active than spiritual. That's fine, and probably whats needed post revoultion.
Well unless you are a Catholic outside of the papal states. As the popes become warriors and conquerors things are going to get nasty for them when people start asking about divided loyalties.

The old defence of "render unto Caesar.." is not going to work if the Pope wants to be the new Caesar.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Well unless you are a Catholic outside of the papal states. As the popes become warriors and conquerors things are going to get nasty for them when people start asking about divided loyalties.

The old defence of "render unto Caesar.." is not going to work if the Pope wants to be the new Caesar.

Hmm...so you suggest that Italy should be a kingdom subordinate to the Holy see, but not of it? Have the papacy and papal states remain in the pope's holy hands, and give the conquered kingdoms to Prince bishops, or cardinals?

Are we basically asking for the HRE again, but with the Pope directly on top instead of awkwardly side by side with an emperor?
 

El Pip

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Hmm...so you suggest that Italy should be a kingdom subordinate to the Holy see, but not of it? Have the papacy and papal states remain in the pope's holy hands, and give the conquered kingdoms to Prince bishops, or cardinals?

Are we basically asking for the HRE again, but with the Pope directly on top instead of awkwardly side by side with an emperor?
I'm suggesting that the more the Papacy tries to become a temporal power, whether directly or hiding behind a HRE like structure, the worse it will be for every single other Catholic not in the Papal States.

Say the Pope decides to 'tidy up' Greece and attack the Ionian Islands and Britain honours it's moral guarantees to the place and defends them. You are a Catholic solider in say the 8th Regiment of Foot (Liverpool), your officers and King are saying the Greeks must be defended, the Pope says this is a holy war and you risk going to hell if you fight against him. Even if you decide to go King and Country, will your officers trust you? The War Office? And what about your family? If you march off will the church ostracise them or worse? Indeed what will the church hierarchy in the UK say, do they risk schism by going against the Pope or do they follow the Papal line and get attacked by the rest of the country as disloyal traitors (which they would be)?

Catholic Emancipation in the UK is only a couple of decades old and stereotypes about "more loyal to Rome than the Crown" commonplace. The Pope is re-lighting that fire and hurling petrol on to it. And not just in the UK, this will make the OTL 'Kulturkampf' in Germany look like a mild and reasonable discussion and I dread to think what will happen in France. Or indeed in, say Piedmont, if the Pope decides to reunify Italy by force.

I am well aware that the game will completely skim over all this, but it just seems an unavoidable consequence of a militarily aggressive Papacy. I suppose if the Pope only ever attacks countries with basically no Catholics in, which have no Catholic allies and he is incredibly careful about how he constantly reassures everyone, then maybe he can scrape through. But that is an incredibly fine needle to thread and this Pope in no way seems up to that level of diplomatic skill and subtlety.

Fundamentally many big questions will come up - if the Pope declares war on someone, is this invoking Papal Infallibility (probably not? But surely it should, if not why is the pope going to war if he isn't sure). Can a Catholic fight against the Papal States without committing a sin and needing to repent. And again if not, why not? If the Papal armies are winning their place in heaven by fighting for Christendom, then surely the enemies must be unholy in some way. It is theologically dodgy at best to win a place in heaven by killing other Catholics, but that is where the Pope's arguments lead.
 

stnylan

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I'm suggesting that the more the Papacy tries to become a temporal power, whether directly or hiding behind a HRE like structure, the worse it will be for every single other Catholic not in the Papal States.

Say the Pope decides to 'tidy up' Greece and attack the Ionian Islands and Britain honours it's moral guarantees to the place and defends them. You are a Catholic solider in say the 8th Regiment of Foot (Liverpool), your officers and King are saying the Greeks must be defended, the Pope says this is a holy war and you risk going to hell if you fight against him. Even if you decide to go King and Country, will your officers trust you? The War Office? And what about your family? If you march off will the church ostracise them or worse? Indeed what will the church hierarchy in the UK say, do they risk schism by going against the Pope or do they follow the Papal line and get attacked by the rest of the country as disloyal traitors (which they would be)?

Catholic Emancipation in the UK is only a couple of decades old and stereotypes about "more loyal to Rome than the Crown" commonplace. The Pope is re-lighting that fire and hurling petrol on to it. And not just in the UK, this will make the OTL 'Kulturkampf' in Germany look like a mild and reasonable discussion and I dread to think what will happen in France. Or indeed in, say Piedmont, if the Pope decides to reunify Italy by force.

I am well aware that the game will completely skim over all this, but it just seems an unavoidable consequence of a militarily aggressive Papacy. I suppose if the Pope only ever attacks countries with basically no Catholics in, which have no Catholic allies and he is incredibly careful about how he constantly reassures everyone, then maybe he can scrape through. But that is an incredibly fine needle to thread and this Pope in no way seems up to that level of diplomatic skill and subtlety.

Fundamentally many big questions will come up - if the Pope declares war on someone, is this invoking Papal Infallibility (probably not? But surely it should, if not why is the pope going to war if he isn't sure). Can a Catholic fight against the Papal States without committing a sin and needing to repent. And again if not, why not? If the Papal armies are winning their place in heaven by fighting for Christendom, then surely the enemies must be unholy in some way. It is theologically dodgy at best to win a place in heaven by killing other Catholics, but that is where the Pope's arguments lead.
These questions all came up to a greater or lesser extent in the Middle Ages. And though there were times when the Papcy rode very high indeed - the eventual consequence of Papal triumph against the Hohenstaufen was an in-effect on-off civil war (ie, the Avignon Papacy) and eventually the Protestant Reformation. (yes, I know I am stretching things a tad, but I hope my general point is plain).

I suppose from an in-game perspective one could make the infamy mechanic for a lot of the heavy lifting of the likely consequences of a more interventionist papacy. Alas Victoria II never really modelled the religious or theocratic, beyond simple labels.
 

Cromwell

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Surely the sensible answer to that problem would be a world spanning Papal State? If there are no Catholics outside of the state then Pip's problem is neatly sidestepped.
 

DensleyBlair

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I suppose from an in-game perspective one could make the infamy mechanic for a lot of the heavy lifting of the likely consequences of a more interventionist papacy. Alas Victoria II never really modelled the religious or theocratic, beyond simple labels.

Would love to see some version of having to deal with stuff like the Syllabus of Errors in a hypothetical Vicky 3. (Mind you, there are of a lot of ways in which I’d love to see Vicky go beyond the abstract.)
 

TheButterflyComposer

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I find it amusing that instead of a red scare, the world might have a Latin Freak out, where the papacy, implicitly or not, pretty much demand all catholics everywhere to rise up and create a catholic state loyal or at least supportive of the new papal regime. Ireland, Germany and France are going to have civil uprising, everywhere else at least some civil unrest...

The inevitable result is going to be an international movement to stop this papal movement dead and confine the pope to Rome or even less. If the pope doesn't drop dead after the Greek campaign and a new pope elected that quickly backpaces, this will end up happening to some extent. If the pope does try to unify Italy or keep warring against orthodoxy and the balkans...its going to happen big time.
 

slothinator

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The papal states are one of those minors that should always do better than they do, since they have essentially unlimited wealth and prestige, a very good defense against any European attack, and literal divine rights backing their every move.

And yet even here they mess around in Greece when they could be dominating the faith or reshaping italy to their will. Long way to go yet, I think. But Urban may simply be the forebear of a new breed of warrior and philosopher popes more active than spiritual. That's fine, and probably whats needed post revoultion.

Well unless you are a Catholic outside of the papal states. As the popes become warriors and conquerors things are going to get nasty for them when people start asking about divided loyalties.

The old defence of "render unto Caesar.." is not going to work if the Pope wants to be the new Caesar.

I'm suggesting that the more the Papacy tries to become a temporal power, whether directly or hiding behind a HRE like structure, the worse it will be for every single other Catholic not in the Papal States.

Say the Pope decides to 'tidy up' Greece and attack the Ionian Islands and Britain honours it's moral guarantees to the place and defends them. You are a Catholic solider in say the 8th Regiment of Foot (Liverpool), your officers and King are saying the Greeks must be defended, the Pope says this is a holy war and you risk going to hell if you fight against him. Even if you decide to go King and Country, will your officers trust you? The War Office? And what about your family? If you march off will the church ostracise them or worse? Indeed what will the church hierarchy in the UK say, do they risk schism by going against the Pope or do they follow the Papal line and get attacked by the rest of the country as disloyal traitors (which they would be)?

Catholic Emancipation in the UK is only a couple of decades old and stereotypes about "more loyal to Rome than the Crown" commonplace. The Pope is re-lighting that fire and hurling petrol on to it. And not just in the UK, this will make the OTL 'Kulturkampf' in Germany look like a mild and reasonable discussion and I dread to think what will happen in France. Or indeed in, say Piedmont, if the Pope decides to reunify Italy by force.

I am well aware that the game will completely skim over all this, but it just seems an unavoidable consequence of a militarily aggressive Papacy. I suppose if the Pope only ever attacks countries with basically no Catholics in, which have no Catholic allies and he is incredibly careful about how he constantly reassures everyone, then maybe he can scrape through. But that is an incredibly fine needle to thread and this Pope in no way seems up to that level of diplomatic skill and subtlety.

Fundamentally many big questions will come up - if the Pope declares war on someone, is this invoking Papal Infallibility (probably not? But surely it should, if not why is the pope going to war if he isn't sure). Can a Catholic fight against the Papal States without committing a sin and needing to repent. And again if not, why not? If the Papal armies are winning their place in heaven by fighting for Christendom, then surely the enemies must be unholy in some way. It is theologically dodgy at best to win a place in heaven by killing other Catholics, but that is where the Pope's arguments lead.

The place of the Pope in the modern world as both a spiritual and temporal leader is going to come up significantly around Vatican I but that is neither the first nor the last time that it will be addressed. Especially post-unification and under a certain...interesting Pope there will be A LOT to talk about.
In OTL the divided loyalties point came to a head with the non expedit and when Pius IX said he would excommunicate the man who would order the attack on Rome (incidentally, Victor Emmanuel just gave the task to a handy jew that was around at the time).
As for Papal Infallibility, I've just finished writing that chapter and it is going to be a tricky solution to the question but I don't want to give too much away

Hmm...so you suggest that Italy should be a kingdom subordinate to the Holy see, but not of it? Have the papacy and papal states remain in the pope's holy hands, and give the conquered kingdoms to Prince bishops, or cardinals?

Are we basically asking for the HRE again, but with the Pope directly on top instead of awkwardly side by side with an emperor?

That is sort of what the neoguelphs, especially Gioberti, were proposing for Italian unification with the Pope presiding over a confederation of princes. Definitely a strange beast but an interesting one.

These questions all came up to a greater or lesser extent in the Middle Ages. And though there were times when the Papcy rode very high indeed - the eventual consequence of Papal triumph against the Hohenstaufen was an in-effect on-off civil war (ie, the Avignon Papacy) and eventually the Protestant Reformation. (yes, I know I am stretching things a tad, but I hope my general point is plain).

I suppose from an in-game perspective one could make the infamy mechanic for a lot of the heavy lifting of the likely consequences of a more interventionist papacy. Alas Victoria II never really modelled the religious or theocratic, beyond simple labels.

Would love to see some version of having to deal with stuff like the Syllabus of Errors in a hypothetical Vicky 3. (Mind you, there are of a lot of ways in which I’d love to see Vicky go beyond the abstract.)

It would be very cool to have that considered in-game possibly with Catholics becoming militantly pacifist if at war with the Papal States but that would be very niche or require the dream of dynamic ideologies. But hey, in the nebulous world of Victoria 3 anything is possible!

I find it amusing that instead of a red scare, the world might have a Latin Freak out, where the papacy, implicitly or not, pretty much demand all catholics everywhere to rise up and create a catholic state loyal or at least supportive of the new papal regime. Ireland, Germany and France are going to have civil uprising, everywhere else at least some civil unrest...

The inevitable result is going to be an international movement to stop this papal movement dead and confine the pope to Rome or even less. If the pope doesn't drop dead after the Greek campaign and a new pope elected that quickly backpaces, this will end up happening to some extent. If the pope does try to unify Italy or keep warring against orthodoxy and the balkans...its going to happen big time.

The length of Urban's reign is going to be possibly one of the main factors that will decide the direction of the 19th century. The next chapter is going to focus quite intimately on the war so you'll get your reactions and maps at long last!

Surely the sensible answer to that problem would be a world spanning Papal State? If there are no Catholics outside of the state then Pip's problem is neatly sidestepped.

That sounds like the most sensible solution but I'm afraid it will have to wait until Stellaris. Hmmm, that's gotten me craving a campaign roleplaying as the Pax and its many many Juliuses
 
Chapter IX: The Die is Cast into the Hornets’ Nest

slothinator

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From the personal diaries of Cardinal Amato Aloisi

LjZRQIKl.jpg

Tuesday 4th of April 1848

Not many men can claim to have lead an invasion force on their 71st birthday but here I am with that very boast. Of course, I am only admitted into the war room as a courtesy given that I have never had the privilege of leading men in my own right, but I am still Urban's representative on this venture. I didn't expect anything of the sort to happen to me at my age but then-cardinal Macchi practically adopted me while campaigning for his papacy, he even managed to break through my shell and, I dare say, offer me his genuine friendship. Despite this rapport, I was chief among those confused by his decision to firstly elevate me to the rank of cardinal and secondly place me in charge of an operation I know is very dear to his heart. I am told that the hostilities are not expected to last more than a few months since France has agreed to support our endeavor despite Piedmont-Sardinia's choice to renege on our alliance.

I have not felt as seasick as I would have thought before embarking but unfortunately Annibale has not shared my good fortune. He has taken to lying in my quarters with a silent stare of reproach that never fails to wound me and lead me to scratch his ears in a feeble attempt at an apology. My other traveling companions seem to have an attitude characterized by the same hostility towards me, though they are not quite so easy to placate as my old friend. Leopoldo Lunardi, Admiral in charge of the fleet and similarly aged gentleman to myself, tends to turn his aquiline nose up at me on most occasions and reacts with aggression to the few suggestions I've made so far. It's clear that he resents a mere civilian, and a clergyman no less, barging onto his ship and asking to participate in decisions on which he has no experience. I can't say I blame him for that, I imagine he just wants to dump the army off in Greece and then forget all about us. Speaking of the army, Matteo di Borbone delle Due Sicilie is the verbose name of the resident General. The name reveals an interesting story that the Pope once told me: apparently the good general is a distant cousin of the ruling house of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and chose to forsake his life as a minor noble for a military career in the service of the Church. I expected him to treat me in a similar way as Lunardi but he does not seem to mind my presence too much though he tends to joke about people and things in a way that I would find offensive if directed towards me.

I will have several weeks to get accustomed to these characters and I hope we shall warm to each other with time. The soldiers on the other hand are not pleasant at all. I'm sure that they have a rather poor opinion of me and I try to avoid interactions with them on any occasion. Unfortunately even the San Lorenzo is cramped and I will try and confine myself to my quarters for a bit of peace and quiet.

Now, before the seasickness takes me as well, I will prepare myself for my first night on the waves.



Thursday 11th of May 1848

I have never been happier to have land on the horizon. The sailing itself was more than fine in hindsight but the battle was beyond whatever I could have imagined. We were moving through the Ionian Sea and had just lost sight of the Italian coast when we noticed Greek flags on the horizon. God granted that this was a smaller force than ours but the sight of six vessels heading for our fleet almost lead me to faint. Lunardi did not seem to fare much better than me and lost several precious moments in a blind panic of plans and calculations in the attempt to avoid an interception. Thankfully Borbone roused him from his confusion with a series of epithets I presume were wholly invented by sailors and our defense could proceed. With the wind against us, the Greeks fired the first volley at the San Lorenzo but the blessing of our armored hull managed to protect us from significant damage nonetheless I took this as my cue to flee to my quarters and find refuge under the bed with Annibale. A few minutes passed until I heard the infernal roar of our own broadside whose success I cannot say I witnessed but it was soon followed by another and another.

When the thunder of guns began to merge into a constant storm and I could no longer hear cannonball impacts our own vessel, I dared to peek outside of my refuge and so obtained a better picture of the ensuing carnage. The enemy flagship was no longer concerned with us but rather harassed by our smaller frigates and showed considerable wear and tear upon its hull though none sufficient to sink it. The other ships of the convoy seemed instead to be poorly armed transport vessels much like the ones in our own retinue and thus left us in the advantage when it comes to firepower. Over the course of the next hour, I pushed myself into ever better observation positions and was present when the second enemy transport was sliced in half by a full barrage from the San Lorenzo. At this point, the bulk of the enemy force had passed us by in retreat and Lunardi thought it better to not pursue them but rather keep to the mission we were assigned, a consideration that I heartily approved of.

The aftermath of the battle was one of the most atrocious sights I have yet seen, though I fear the future will hold many more such spectacles. We rescued most of the crew from the first transport which was half submerged but had maintained a modicum of integrity. However, the ship I saw torn apart had only a handful of survivors and consisted mostly of bodies mutilated beyond recognition. Though these men are our enemies and do not even share our religion, I insisted that I be allowed to conduct a small ceremony for all those who perished in this day while the survivors we had taken were placed under armed guard.

In the end, we moved on from that grisly place and sailed until we could see the Greek coast we were sent to take. A welcome sight as I have had enough of boats.

9RaFTzsl.jpg

Saturday 5th of August 1848

We have met our first setback in this foreign endeavor. Our landing in Kalamata a couple of months ago was met with little resistance, only an unprepared militia that was routed by our cavalry in less than an hour with only minimal losses on our part. We spent the next few weeks occupying any garrisoned city in the area and still we did not see any great resistance. I must say, as I wrote to Urban, that I counseled Borbone to wait for the arrival of the rest of our army with the artillery in tow but he grew impatient at my attempts to contain him. When news arrived of the Greek mission attempting to take a beachhead at Viterbo, the General broke and gave orders to move on Tripoli with the aim of reaching Athens and ending the war, upon the assumption that all remaining Greek forces had been defeated in Italy.

Unfortunately, that information was not accurate. Just last week we encountered a Greek army with twice as much cavalry and thrice our infantry heading in our direction. I must credit Borbone with his later actions. With considerable skill, he drew almost half of the enemy infantrymen into a killing ground in a valley between hills that we controlled. The encounter resulted in a massacre for our enemies and we managed to escape back to Kalamata with limited casualties and only a few hundred wounded. My stomach is not yet used to the sight of so much death but I am beginning to appreciate the general's indomitableness and I understand that decisive victories are needed if the bloodshed is to end.

My reports to the Pope have been always well accepted and he has no lack of words of praise for my conduct. Now orders have come in that we are to hold the region and keep the Greek army's attention on us while the fleet will attempt a landing around Athens. In the meantime, I can enjoy the countryside here and I am sure that Annibale will enjoy running up and down the hills. Were I younger, we could go for a hunt but I will be content to sit and stare out at this beautiful country.



Wednesday 6th of December 1848

Terrible news today. My entry will be short since we are rushing to join the larger force and defend Athens. Information arrived this morning that the British and the Russians have joined the war at the Greeks' side. The Russians seem to be busy in Hungary so far but the British have started to move their fleets into position in the Mediterranean. Borbone has been called back to Rome to aid with the mobilization of the peasantry to resist any counterattacks that may come. General Enrico Zunica now leads the army and, despite his considerable youth, is pushing us forward with a rage and determination I have not seen in a long time. Corinth stands in our way but the new general plans to take the city in less than a month to close the distance. Urban has spurred me on to conclude this peace before our new foes have time to organize themselves and I am hoping he won't be disappointed, for all our sakes.



Thursday 8th February 1849

This whole endeavor has been an unbelievable experience. I always thought that I would have remained in Rome for my entire life from beginning to end but now I regularly correspond with a Pope and I led a victorious foreign war.

The breakneck march to Corinth and the conquest of the city were achieved in record time thus managing to block off access to the Peloponnese from any retaliation. As we had expected, the Russians had no time to send their vast armies against us and fortunately, the British had gathered only a small force, even then directed against Italy where Borbone quickly dispersed them. After Corinth, we met up with our forces in Athens and had nothing to do but wait at the capital for the negotiations between France and Great Britain to come to fruition.

Today I have received news from Urban that the war is finally over. These horrors it brought are something I will gladly leave behind as I have experienced more than my fill of them. As my last assignment in Greece, I am to lead our men out of Athens and into the new Papal Peloponnese from which we will be ferried back to Italy. I am looking forward to a return to my old home and my usual walks with Annibale. I can't help but wonder how the Peloponnese will fare from now on but I'm sure that Urban will choose the right man for the job.

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TheButterflyComposer

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Well...a victory and expansion of power for the first time in a long while, but despite papal peloponnesia being very defensible, I wonder on the wisdom or use of such a possession. What exactly does the pope and papal states gain from this, aside from precedent to commit war again?

Austria remains terrifyingly large in Northern Italy and you're going to need some solid, overwhelming alliances to get them out. But if the minor Italian states can be gained, and the two major ones allied and subverted, slowly if needs be, there remains hope. France has to be kept as an ally however, and honestly the pope would do well to get the british and russians on side as well if possible. But france is key, for without her, austria or sicily can roll up the papacy by themselves.
 

stnylan

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Sounds like matters became suddenly quite urgent. Britain and Russia linking up must have been a nasty shock.
 

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Britain and Russia linking up must have been a nasty shock.
It really shouldn't have been. The Czars had pretensions to be the Defender of the Orthodoxy (Russian not Greek, but the point stands) while much of the British upper classes had a distinct Hellenophile tendency. If anything the shock is them giving up so early without pushing the Pope back out of Greece, but one cannot expect too much of the Vicki AI (well you can, but you will always be disappointed. ;) ).


"I understand that decisive victories are needed if the bloodshed is to end." - You can see why Cardinal Aloisi is a favourite of the Pope, he lacks the insight to work out that the best way for the bloodshed to end would be the Papal States not going on unprovoked wars of aggressive conquest.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Sounds like matters became suddenly quite urgent. Britain and Russia linking up must have been a nasty shock.
It really shouldn't have been. The Czars had pretensions to be the Defender of the Orthodoxy (Russian not Greek, but the point stands) while much of the British upper classes had a distinct Hellenophile tendency. If anything the shock is them giving up so early without pushing the Pope back out of Greece, but one cannot expect too much of the Vicki AI (well you can, but you will always be disappointed. ;) ).


"I understand that decisive victories are needed if the bloodshed is to end." - You can see why Cardinal Aloisi is a favourite of the Pope, he lacks the insight to work out that the best way for the bloodshed to end would be the Papal States not going on unprovoked wars of aggressive conquest.


Yeah, I was wondering when the russians would show up, it was only a matter of time (which is why earlier I asked if the papacy was trying to claim the mandate of orthodox protection in the ottomans rather than them). As for the british, they do love their Greek, enough for various heirs to go fight and die for their independence...though not enough to really do anything officially. Indeed, officially, the british were hardly nice to Greece all the way through the 19th century and all through ww1 too. But the british are generally unpleasent to smaller Mediterranean nations so this was not really out of character.
 

Cromwell

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A successful conquest of a nice halfway point between Rome and the Holy Land, could be useful if a future, far more powerful Papacy decides to liberate Christ's home from the Ottomans (with the aid of a mighty bloc of allies of course)...
 

TheButterflyComposer

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A successful conquest of a nice halfway point between Rome and the Holy Land, could be useful if a future, far more powerful Papacy decides to liberate Christ's home from the Ottomans (with the aid of a mighty bloc of allies of course)...

I feel like they'd have to at least annex Italy first. They need to be at least a decent secondary power for everyone to bother helping them beyond stopping austria or sicily from eating them. They need to build a fleet that can patrol half the med if they want the holy land. They need an army two or three times the size as well...and all the allies on top.

It just seems like a pointless grab compared to the main goal of italy, in universe. In game, it makes sense.
 

DensleyBlair

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Reassuring to see the Vicky engine sort of knows what it’s doing and eventually sent the British and the Russians after you. France and Rome beating up on Greece together for little appreciable reason would no doubt cause one hell of a stir around the conference tables. Is Louis Napoleon in yet? I forget but it would make sense. Wonder whether this will all lead to a slightly accelerated Crimea in a few years, or something like it. Going after those Holy Land privileges will probably seem like a nice little prize now that the gloves are off…

Out of interest, are the Whigs in in Britain? Palmerston’s not going to like this at all.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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crimea is going to be different if the pope is in the mix and russia and britian just fought a war together against France's allies interfering in the balkans...and lost.