• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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For almost thirty years I repeatedly saw one and the same dream: I would arrive in Vienna at long last. I would feel really happy, for I was returning to my serene childhood.

Alfred Schnittke



Austria Under Fire: A History of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine

1836-1914



Hello AARLand, and welcome to my Austrian Empire AAR. You probably don't know me, but I've made several unknown AARs in the past, and really dropped all of them from a lack of time. However, now with my life back on track, I think I'm ready to start afresh; what better way to do that than pick my favorite Paradox game to play, Victoria, with my favorite country to play, Austria? Anyways, I'll be playing Austria on Normal/Normal, with Revolutions and VIP on. All I can say from this point on is stay tuned and expect anything; even I don't know where this might unfold!
 
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Reserved for Table of Contents later on.
 

volksmarschall

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I always like a good old Austrian AAR, they just get beat up to much by when controlled by AI.

Good luck, and nice Title Picture! ;)
 

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This is gonna be good!
 

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Chapter I
The Second Italian Wars

Prologue​


"[…] But when talking about Italy, the Emperor [Ferdninand I] would suddenly turn fervent, zealous in his actions and speaking; a man highly impressed by the antiquities and history of Rome, he became attached, almost obsessed to this idea of marching into Rome and retiring in the holiest city in Christendom. His extensive knowledge on the classics of Rome, however, clashed with his ignorance of foreign affairs, and this proved extremely dangerous not only to himself, but to the Empire altogether… […]”


- Marcus de la Rosa, in his book “The Second Coming of Itailan Instability”, 1949


“[…] In all due respects to his Highness, his matter of speech to these Italian diplomats is very worrying; to see such a calm, simple man who, in most cases, left the work to politicians, suddenly transforming into a passionate demon when it comes to conversing with these people leaves me to be very concerned on what personal profit he wants from the nobles of Italy; we must keep an eye on this and not bring too much emphasis on our neighbors to the south, lest we want to be entangled in a region which has been bloodstained with a thousand years of warfare between the greatest empires this continent has ever seen.”

-Foreign Minister Metternich, on the subject of Ferninand and his conference with the Italian diplomats in 1835


The following is an excerpt from "The Western Heritage: Ninth Edition" on shelves now for $49.95; a must read for any Advanced Placement European History student or History enthustiast!​


Before his actions in 1838, historians usually refer to Ferninand I of Austria as perhaps one of the most uninteresting Emperors of the Austria. Timid and tranquil, Ferninand was an exception to a royal family that had in the past bred monarchs who sought pleasure in intervening in the internal and foreign politics of their family’s dominions; however, Ferninand, not having the intellectual capability in order to rule such a vast Empire, would allocate the issues of Austria to his two primary advisors, Metternich and Archduke Louis. Needless to say, Ferninand’s first few years as monarch were quiet ones; just coming out of the bloody Napoleonic Era and the Congress of Vienna that followed it, many politicians favored a more isolated form of policy in Austria. Metternich, for example, emphasized a balance of power in order to ensure peace in Europe, while Archduke Louis pushed for a wide variety of agricultural and industrial reforms throughout all of Inner and Outer Austria. However, at the turn of the 1820s, in the event of a Habsburg ruler in Tuscany, this nationalistic spirit of a German-ruled Italia grew to be very passionate and important in the young emperor’s personality; a fan of the history, the culture, and the German-influenced heritage that northern Italy had to offer, Ferninand became obsessed with this idea of German-Italian union, in which Germany acting as a father towards it’s son would pass down it’s years of learning and knowledge to its lesser, more ignorant, partner. His physical impurities, however, would constrict him of pursuing these goals; Ferninand suffered from epilepsy, neurological disorders, an abnormally large head, and a speech impediment. However, as his symptoms began to weaken, and his confidence began to strengthen, Ferninand began to push for this idea of an annexation of the Italian lands; and finally, in a intense debate with his two primary advisors, Metternich and Archduke Louis, he was able to fufill his wish; on January 1st, 1838, only several days after the birth of Jesus Christ, the Austrian Empire sent out a declaration of war against its greatest enemies on the Italian peninsula; Parma, Modena, and most importantly, the Papal States. What Ferdinand didn't realize, however, was that the adaptation of his dream into the reality of a war-scared, post-Napolenic Europe would be extremely devastating in the long-term..."


"To operate the Italian Campaign, I, as the supreme and divine ruler of the Austria Dominions, appoint Erzherzog Johann and Erzherzog Karl as the commanding officers of the 1st and 2nd Armees, respectively. They are related to eachother by blood, thus I find it a wise decision to let them fight side-by-side, for they will have the passion and camaraderie that comes with kinship. Following a week that they enter their posts, both Armees will be ordered to force themselves into Italian territory. With the emperors, and the people and duty of Austria's, blessings, they will lead this empire to victory."

- Ferninand I, in a speech on the appointment of officers in the Italian Campaigns



BATTLE FORMULATION FOR THE INVASION OF THE PAPAL TERRORITORY AND IT'S ALLIES




KEY -
GREEN - FRIENDLY TERRITORY
RED - HOSTILE TERRITORY
YELLOW - ISSUED ARMY MOVEMENTS

TO BE DISTRIBUTED TO ALL SENIOR OFFICERS OF THE I. AND II. ARMEES


 
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Afterword: Hope you guys liked it! The massive clutter of primary documents comes from a habit of mine; I like to start the chapter with an epilogue in which it shows the general situation on what's going on before the event, before moving on to the details of it. To avoid any plagarism, these primary documents were all written by me; yes, the Western Heritage textbook does exist (it's the book in my AP Euro class), no that excerpt is not really in the book (it was written by me), just a way to show how all this information was fictiously taken from various sources and combined into one. Update tommorow if you guys like it. Comments? Criticisms?

@Volkmarschall, mad general, Jalex: Thanks! Hope I didn't dissapoint you guys with my first update.

@Beamed: Haha, nah, I just take really long hiatuses. Long time no see though, friend. Nice to see you again.
 

volksmarschall

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The Italian Wars starting up so early! Great... and the future of N. Italy is at stake.

This is obviously true history book style taken from many different sources by how you work. It's an interesting and great style of work, and well written. But I'm older school and prefer the simple style of just history-book in like a single book format. But, maybe you'll bring me to like this style better, as you've already started with just one update.
 

unmerged(78039)

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Update later tommorow; I would be able to do it today because I have it ready, but unfourtuanately I am in Rome for vacation and I don't have my laptop, just on an Italian computer.
 

unmerged(78039)

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@Volksmarschall: Thanks a lot for the compliments! And I know I'm trying something a bit weird, so I know it might be a bit hard to follow; if you don't like it or have some criticism, don't be afraid to tell me! I know I'm new to this AAR thing, so you probably know a lot better than me :)


@Treppe, Enewald: Thank you very much for the support!


@Beamed: Hahaha, ya, I are ready to play.


Update tommorow morning, as I promised, this one is going to be a bit more out-of-the-box than usual, so tell me if you like it or not, please. Just experimenting a bit.
 

Cinéad IV

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I'll be following this! I've just had a very rewarding game as Austria myself, so will be watching with interest to see what you do with her :D
 

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Chapter I
The Second Italian Wars

The Austro-Papal War​


Paul felt his hands; clammy, as usual, but in this case they had a grainy texture to them, as if they were going to shrivel up and fall like dead cherries off a branch. He licked his dry lips, fixed his uneven hair, but nothing could alleviate the void feeling in his stomach. To him, public speaking was his Achilles's heel, the curse in a variety of talents he had been born in. He was well-kept and particularly handsome, known to be poise and well-mannered amongst his peers; but when it came to the podium, Paul organized words in confusing helter-skelter, his voice was monotonous and bland, and his feet were jumbled and disorderly. Nonetheless, he took comfort in knowing that, as the period in the class was ending, he would have a day before he met his embarrassments.

"Paul and Hannah! We have time for one more, get up to the front of the class!"

Beads of sweat manifested and trickled down his hair. His already cracked lips grew dryer. He gulped his throat shut. To the teacher this was just a simple command, a forgetful moment in his dutiful day, but to Paul these words were the end of everything. Letting out an akwardly loud sigh, he inched himself towards the front of the class, forcing himself to turn around and face the class. The audience's beady eyes, their mob-like gaze brought back images of insects he saw as a little kid, waiting to pounce on their prey. What seemed like years, but however were only seconds, passed, and following a click of a remote by Hannah, his partner for the presentation, the overhead above them flickered to a constant, transparent screen:



"Austria's Fight with the Pope," voiced a confident Hannah with volume, reading off the Powerpoint presentation. She clicked the remote once again. The screen flickered to another slide:




Paul knew now that it was his turn to speak. Taking an instinctive swallow of his salvia, he tried to get his words out:

"The starting movements of the Erz-Erzke-"


Paul froze.

The complicated pronunciation of the word halted the young man's flow of words. What started out as satisfactory has turned into what he had feared. In fear of stuttering, Paul stood there in silence; not knowing what to do, he tried to eye his teacher, who matched his gaze, seeming to wait for Paul to continue. He stared at the audience, their beady eyes going straight through him. His face grew red. He could feel the audience waiting to pounce, like insects...

Hannah, noticing his sudden stop, interrupted his darkest moment:

"Ferdinand's war with the Pope officialy started when the Erzherzog Brothers, Johann and Karl,directly appointed by the Emperor himself, crossed into Italian territory on January 1st, 1838. I. Armee was headed by Erzherzog Johann and 60,000 men strong; because of Johann's popularity in the military staff in comparision to his brother, he would have the honor of moving into Papal territory. This was an incredibly bad idea on Ferdinand's part, because not only Johann very incompetent, but very corrupt as well. The II. Armee however was led by Johann's more competent counterpart, Karl, who headed a 60,000 men strong force into Modena and Parma, lesser allies of the Papal States. What the Emperor thought would be a great idea, to put two brothers in the field, backfired; tensions between the two brothers escalated into a bitter rivalry too, in which both because of personal prestige and glory, would make rash decisions in their race to see who arrives first in the holy city of Rome."

Hannah continued: "Johann's popularity, would be shot down for the rest of his military career, as near the town of Perugia, he would lose against a numerically and tactically under numbered Italian force, headed by a largely unknown General, three times; only through a flanking manuever by his brother Karl was he able to finally break through Italian lines, and winning a race with his brother, enter Rome in December of 1838. This would be his last honorable triumph; because of his mistakes putting a toll in casualties for the Austrian Empire, losing 10,000 men in his battles near Perugia, he would be committed to rear-guard duty for the rest of his life. Karl, however, would move on to more prestigious wars, and would be much more active in the military decisions of later Emperors in the future."

Paul stood astonished at the eloquence and flow of Hannah's lecture to the class, her aura of confidence starting to rub off of the shy boy. As the remote clicked and the screen flickered to the next slide, Paul, with his spirit revitalized, prepared to speak:



Hannah, however, thought differently; interrupting Paul once more, she continued to speak: "And here you can see the battle outcomes for the Austro-Papal War. Obviously, one can see the complicated routes the Armies had to endure to adapt to a very confusing and ambigious situation; what was meant to be a simple drive to Rome turned into the II. Armee having to turn around from it's route in Rome and having to face a battle the I. Armee could not win. Although II. Armee still was able to send two calvary divisions as detachments heading to Rome while the bulk of the Armee went to Johann's aid, because of sproadic resistance from the native Italians and the inefficent general staff taking control of the detachment unable to manuever through the terrain, the war went through the next year and ended with the Treaty of Rome."


In spite of her great speaking skills, at this point the class was beginning to shift their attention away from her presentation and to their own personal worlds; playing with pens, looking at their nails, and an all-along dull expression became common amongst the students. Nonetheless, Hannah continued on, as the screen flickered again and another slide showed:

G]​

"But finally the Emperor got what he wanted; on January 21st, 1839, Ferdinand I met with Pope Gregory XVI, without any delegates from the state of Parma and Modena, in the Pope's Palace in order to negotiate the war. By the end of the week, the states of Parma and Modena were assimilated into the Empire of Austria, and Papal territory was only a third of what it was; this gave the Austrian Empire not only more people to rule, but it became a major player in Italian politics for the next several decades."



"But what is it really worth it? To start, the war was much bloodier for the Austrians than expected; 12,000 men of two Armies perished in just a year in the Italian war. Although it was an Austrian moral victory, it would create much more problems for Austria in the future; not with the states on the Italian peninsula itself, but the countries that felt threatened by the Habsburg's rising power, and the desire for a piece of the cake of such a rich land that is Italia. In the future, Italy for the Austrians was much more trouble than it was worth.


Ironically, the silence that succeded Hannah's lecture caught the attention of the students, as they clapped in a unorganized, tone-deaf matter. While Hannah stood with a smile on her face, predicting that she had garnered a very good grade, Paul was just the opposite; not only would he get a failing grade for his lack of participation in the lecture, but the pure envy that he had felt towards the charismatic Hannah. The walk to his desk was just as long as his walk to the front, and tried as he must, even after the speech was over, he still could not get that void feeling out of his stomach...
 
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unmerged(78039)

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Afterword: Well that was a lot of work, and I'm very sorry for the below-par update. Honestly, I did not like the style in which I formulated the update, and the only reason I went through with it was because I was half-way done and didn't want to break my promise for an update. How did you guys think about it? Comments? Criticisms?
 

Enewald

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Nothing wrong with the style.

But you lost to the Papal troops? :rofl:
 

unmerged(78039)

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@Cinedad IV: Thanks man! Yeah, I'm trying to go for a different style; a very aggressive Austria with very few breaks of peace, kindof a Machievillan tactic and very dangerous but makes for entertainment.

@Enewald: Haha, as you can see morale was very low for the troops at the time, I don't know why, but it wasn't because of numbers but a lack of morale that caused me to lose; and me giving Johann the personality of being very overambitious and impulsive caused me to attack more. :eek: Ended up in three loses, but Karl kicks ass so he finally won for him. :)
 

volksmarschall

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Nothing wrong with the style.

But you lost to the Papal troops? :rofl:
Would've been worst if they lost to the Vatican Guard and their shiny and fluffy Swiss Guard uniforms and halbeards instead of real infantry units! :rofl:

Nice Progress, but should we be surprised? It was surprising to see the weight of the mighty Austrian Empire not crush the Italian Minors as quickly as some may have expected. Just remember, occupations always fail! :p (I kinda like the style, nothing wrong with it!)