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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Tommy4ever

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Incase anyone is wondering the thread title means ''Austria is destined to rule over the entire globe'' :D

This AAR shall be written in the style of my D'Albon AAR from CK. It was pretty well recieved from those who read it but very few people read.

Essentially I will be playing the in a history book style looking at each and every monarch as they come along an assessing them. Each update will last one rule unless the rule is particularily long in which case I will split the rule into 2 mabye even 3 parts.

I will try to restrain myself from going too crazy with conquest - I'm a very poor EUII player anyway - and will look to expand only in realistic directions and at a reasonable pace.

Without further ado I shall post the introduction, the first real update will be tommorow (and alot longer and better ;))
 

Tommy4ever

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The House of Habsburg - An Introduction



Through the High Middle Ages the House of Habsburg was a weak force ruling over several territories around the Alpine sources of both the Rhine and Danube.



Then, during the reign of Rudolf I (1239-1291), everything changed. Rudolf had been chosen as King of the Romans largely due to the weakness of his family; many Princes feeling they could assert their own regional dominance in the absence of a powerful Imperial figure. Yet following the extinction of the Babenbergs Rudolf was able to secure their large possessions in the South-East of the Empire for his family and transform the Habsburg dynasty into a major German power.



Over the course of the following Century the Habsburgs asserted their power over the Duchy of Austria and became major players in Imperial politics. However upon the ascension of Albrecht IV to the Ducal throne in 1395 Austria faced an open Civil War. Leopold IV, representing a rival Habsburg line, amassed a considerable army around his banner. Just as the rightful Duke, Albrecht, was invested with his power in Vienna the Leopoldine pretender marched upon the Danube.
 

morningSIDEr

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Intriguing. I actually had a look over your D'Albon AAR and it was very good from what I read of it. However I've not yet had the time to read it all the way through. Thus being able to follow this one from the start is brilliant for me.

EDIT: And I see you are a fellow Edinburgh resident, I shall certainly follow this then!
 

naggy

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Ooooh. What version and settings are you using?
 

Marco Oliverio

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I liked your d'Albon CK AAR so I'm happy to see that you're doing another as the Hapsburg Dynasty (although I don't like the Hapsburgs!) :D
 

unmerged(86922)

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Love all your AARs, will follow!
 

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Sounds good, I'll be following! :)
 

Enewald

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Ready for action. :cool:

Btw, Breisgau should be a part of Habsburg demesne in the beginning of the game...
The lands north of Aargau, where Habsburgs start in CK. :p
 

Tommy4ever

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Albrecht IV, The Soldier
Lived: 1377-1417
Head of the House of Habsburg: 1395-1417
Duke of Austria: 1395-1398
Archduke of Austria: 1398-1417



Albrecht IV was the last of the great Habsburg Medieval warrior-Kings. After a life spent in the saddle Albrecht left his dynasty in a position of great power. By centralising the Habsburg realm into a single Archduchy, whilst it had previously been several separate Duchies, coupled with the defeat of external threats to his realm Albrecht ensured his nation’s place in the sun as the supreme power in Imperial politics.



Immediately after his Ducal coronation in Vienna Albrecht was forced to assemble his army in order to confront the forces of Leopold, Duke of Tyrol and Styria. Albrecht had made it no secret that he intended to further reduce the powers of the nobility within Austria and so Leopold’s army was wrought by the forces of reaction. The first battle of the Leopoldine War took place just to the West of Albrecht’s capital near the city of Linz.

In truth the Battle of Linz was the best opportunity the rebels ever had of defeating Albrecht. Leopold’s army featured some 4,500 knights and around 10,000 peasant levies. Meanwhile Albrecht could only muster around 2,000 knights but had 5,000 well trained professional pikemen.



The story of the battle will be familiar to anyone who has studied any of the battles that took place in the period when these pike regiments began to emerge across Europe. Seeing perceived weakness in the loyalist line Leopold attempted to charge down Albrecht’s infantry and win a quick victory. Instead his cavalry faced utter annihilation. Around 1/3 of the rebel knights were killed in Leopold’s bold but terribly miscalculated charge. Seeing the nobility fleeing the scene the peasant levies quickly routed alongside them and Leopold’s rebellion seemed to be broken.

Over the course of the next two years Albrecht slowly pursued Leopold across southern Austria and into the Alps of the Tyrol. Here Leopold was able to gather up a small army in his core territories. Following Linz most of the nobles loyal to Leopold had abandoned him and by now he had barely 800 knights whilst his number of peasant levies had dwindled to just 3 or 4 thousand. Meanwhile Albrecht had not only recouped all his, admittedly negligible, losses from Linz but had also called up as many as 7,000 peasant levies. So as Albrecht closed in on Leopold in the Summer of 1397 one could be forgiven for thinking that the war was surely at an end. However, just as Leopold was considering surrender, the Milanese (Italy’s main military force) entered the conflict with some 6,000 trained soldiers.

Over the course of 1397 and 1398 the two armies would frequently engage but there was never a decisive victory for either side. Yet after Milan’s Tuscan cities rose up in rebellion in late 1398 the Duke of Milan sought terms. The Milanese agreed to abandon Leopold and end all support to him and his claim in return for a small sum of money paid by Vienna to the Italian Duchy. Within a few weeks of the treaty Albrecht met the tattered remnants of the Leopoldine rebellion in battle and crushed them, conveniently killing Leopold in the process. The rebellion was over, the Leopoldine line was ended.



With Leopold and many other powerful landowners within his realm now dead Albrecht seized the chance to greatly increase his power within the realm. As a symbol of his increased authority he made himself Archduke of Austria and therefore above the small Dukes within Austria but also above many of the petty Princes of the Empire. Albrecht saw this act as some sort of compensation for Austria who had been denied an electoral seat by the Golden Bull, only a few decades before.



Albrecht’s first major move on the international stage was the division of Bohemia in 1405. The Duchy of Silesia, long dependent upon Bohemia, rose up in an Austrian sponsored rebellion in 1403 and shortly later was recognised as fully independent from the Bohemian Kingdom. Then in 1405 Bohemia declared war on the Duchy in hopes of reclaiming it. This move resulted in a counter invasion from Poland, Hungary (the Emperor) and Austria. Within a few months Bohemia had been overrun and was forced to sign a disastrous peace. Hungary annexed Moravia, Silesia’s independence had to be fully recognised by all parties, the cultural melting pot of Upper Silesia went to Poland whilst the German speaking highlands around the Sudeten Mountains were annexed by Austria. This left Bohemia with nought but a small fief based around Prague, and even this was lost when Austria invaded for a second time in 1410.



On December 14th 1410 an often overlooked, but extremely important, decree was passed by Albrecht that led to the foundation of the Bank of Vienna. A national bank for the House of Habsburg. Essentially Albrecht hoped to use the bank to raise funds was a massive expansion of the Austrian military and the foundation of a professional army. Savers were offered a very secure investment with a relatively good rate of return in exchange for keeping their money invested for a period of ten years.



Albrecht needed all the funds he could get for in September 1411, following a trading dispute with the Venetians, Austria found herself alone in a war against a coalition of Italian states. The Austro-Italian Wars had begun. Albrecht was extremely fortunate in that the Venetian army had only recently been destroyed in an ill fated attempt to invaded Hungarian Dalmatia so the Austrian army quickly overran Northern Italy. Even the Genoese proved incapable of stopping Albrecht as an army of 6,000 German knights utterly crushed the Genoese at Parma in late 1412. It was not until 1414, at the very end of the war, that the Italians finally managed to assemble a reasonably large army and this only with Albrecht bearing down upon Naples.



By the time he had reached Naples Albrecht’s infantry were tired and weak following 3 years of attacking various Italian bastions and walled cities. Believing that he could secure a victory similar to the one he won against the Genoese at Parma Albrecht led out his heavy cavalry in a direct charge on the Italian lines. Albrecht fell for his own trick as the Italians brought forward their pikemen and crushed the German charge. Albrecht barely escaped with his life, losing his mount and suffering several grave injuries. Hoping to rescue the situation the Archduke sent in his numerically superior infantry. Yet, as had been previously mentioned, the Austrian infantry were exhausted whilst the Italians were fresh and awash with confidence following their victory over the Austrian cavalry. The infantry charge was disorganised and lethargic; the Italians easily forced them back with neither army facing heavy causalities. With that the Austrian army withdrew from the field, Naples was saved.



With the way to Naples shut but most of Northern Italy in his hands Albrecht was eager to secure a peace deal. Each and every Italian belligerent was forced to pay a small tribute to Albrecht, Aquileia ceded everything outside of its capital at Friuli and Venice gave up the cities of Treviso and Verona. Austria’s foothold on Italy was secured, but much more significantly the Habsburgs had won themselves a coastline and access to the world far beyond their immediate neighbours.

Although the war had been very beneficial to his state it was fatal fro Albrecht. The wounds he sustained outside Naples would leave him bed bound for the last few years of his life. Worse still it prevented him from producing a male heir. Desperate to avoid his realm passing to one from outside the Habsburg dynasty Albrecht chose to abandon Salic Law, allowing his daughter and only child Maria Theresa to inherit the throne. This move caused a great uproar within Austria and around Europe but in the end no one was willing to oppose Maria Theresa’s succession in 1417.
 

Enewald

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I suggest you vassalize Italian states instead of conquering them.
Then you can use them as buffers against everyone else and concentrate against the eastern menace.
Just vassalize everyone? :p
 

Tommy4ever

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Seems I've got more different commentAARs with an intro than I did in my entire CK AAR :) :rolleyes:

naggy: EUIII Complete with everything on noraml - I really suck. The only other time I played as Austria I ended up with nothing but Vienna and my colonies in Argentina and South Africa by 1600. So this is unlikely to be too easy for me.

Enewald: Idon't know why they haven't got any Habsburg lands in the traditional County in game but I shall endeavour to reclaim them.

Meanwhile the Turks really suck in this game (Romans have a revival and the minor Turks take Anatolia). So only really the menace in the West to worry about.

Happy to see that lots of you have actually looked at the D'Albons, I'm hoping this can be even better :)


ps How do you take those world maps I've seen in lots of AARs?
 

Tweetybird

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I do like your style. And, yep, vassalising is not a bad idea.
Also, F12 for the whole world, Shift+F12 for only your land and vassals, I'm pretty sure that's how it went.
 

unmerged(86922)

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I am enjoying this aar as much as the House D'Albon, and your WW2 one.
 

JDMS

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Good update, I like your style. Austria is expanding quickly! :cool:
 

Tweetybird

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Really now, that's some quick expanding for a non-WC AAR. And a good choice of provinces, even.
I do have some high expectations after reading your CK AAR, but I do indeed hope you won't expand so much, huge countries are boring. :wacko:
 

Tommy4ever

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Maria Theresa I
Lived: 1399-1448
Head of the House of Habsburg: 1417-1448
Archduchess of Austria: 1417-1448
Holy Roman Empress: 1446-1448



Maria Theresa I’s ascension to the Habsburg realm in 1417 marked the beginning of the prosperous ‘Marian period’ which would last for the rest of the 15th century. The first of Austria’s two Archduchesses became the first Habsburg to sit on the Imperial throne and the first ever Empress of the Holy Roman Empire. At the start of her rule Maria Theresa seemed to continue with her father’s way of conquest and constant expansion but after two large wars she settled Austria into a peaceful period in which the Habsburg family began to spread around the great Houses of Europe.

Just three years into her reign Maria Theresa faced a major war in Italy in the form of the Pisan War.



Following a Milanese assault on the city of Pisa in April 1420 Milan and their allies in Friuli, Florence and Ferrara found themselves at war with half of the states of Italy, including the Pope, alongside Austria and Imperial Hungary.

The Milanese League never had much of a chance against such a powerful coalition but after their great victory at Parma in which the combined armies of Genoa, Venice, Savoy and the Papacy were crushed there seemed to be some hope. Despite this the large and powerful Austrian army continued to march into Milanese League territories as Brescia, Friuli and Ferrara all fell in quick succession. Duke Simone of Milan then led his army Northward from Parma to meet the Austrians near Milan itself.



The Austrians had brought a large cannon – purchased from Turkish merchants – along with a significant store of gunpowder with which to besiege Milan. This cannon, alongside the gunpowder store, was kept just behind the Austrian lines when battle was joined. The Austrian army was considerably larger than their Italian counterpart and was set up on the defensive. All the probing attacks of the Milanese proved worthless as the ranks of German pikes remained steady. However when news arrived from the South that a large Genoese force was headed Northward towards the battle field the Milanese Duke decided to act. With heavy cover coming from the Milanese crossbowmen the main bulk of the army with the Duke and his heavy cavalry at its head charged. A charge such as this would normally mean utter doom for the attacker but just as the Italians approached the Austrian lines there was an incredible explosion in the Austrian camp. The gunpowder stores had somehow been ignited and the Austrian lines seemed to break up in the confusion just as the Italians bore down upon them. Without their disciplined formation the frightened Germans could not stop the cavalry charge and soon began to rout. The Austrian army suffered a 30% casualty rate and was forced to flee back East to Brescia.

As great as the victory was for the Milanese it only delayed the inevitable as the Papal-Pisan armies in Tuscany forced Milan’s Tuscan allies out of the war and seized the city of Siena and with it Milan’s foothold in Central Italy. Duke Simone spent the next 4 months desperately fighting off Italian armies from his capital and on February 15th even managed to defeat an army of Hungarians and kill their King – the Roman Emperor. Yet just days after the disaster for the Hungarians the tattered Milanese army faced a regrouped Austrian horde. The numerous Habsburg cavalry regiments were simply too many for the Milanese to cope with and after a short engagement the Duke’s army was totally broken and he agreed to make peace.

On March 3rd 1421 the Peace of Pisa was signed: Brescia and Friuli were ceded to Austria, Siena was ceded to Pisa and Ferrara was forced into Feudal bondage with Austria.

A short period after the peace Eberhard, the Bearded Count of Wurttemberg was crowned Holy Roman Emperor. The investiture of such a weak Emperor following a powerful Emperor based in Hungary was a poor decision for the Empire as a whole. Under Eberhard’s rule both the Danes and the French expanded into Imperial lands and threatened the Empire’s position of power. Yet the new Emperor’s first major opponent was not of foreign stock but was instead the enigmatic Archduchess of Austria.



The Archbishop of Salzburg, although not an elector, was the most powerful religious figure in Germany. Recently declared Primus Germaniae (first Bishop of Germany) by the Pope the Archbishop was effectively the Papacy’s voice in the German speaking world. This is where the trouble began. By 1421 the Papacy was very weak and had been forced to delineate most of his power away from Rome, this had allowed the Archbishop, Ruppert, to become what was effectively a miniature Pope in the German realms. Yet Ruppert had overestimated his authority and his attempts to increase his powers had only acted to alienate himself from the Princes. In 1421 he demanded that Maria Theresa grant him lands in Austria to expand his Archbishopric. After the Archduchess’ refusal Ruppert threatened excommunication, following this Maria Theresa declared war. The opinion of the German Princes was firmly in favour of Maria Theresa toppling the ecclesiastical despot but Emperor Eberhard, foolishly, sided with the Archbishop.



Without the support of the Princes Eberhard stood no chance against the largest single army in the Empire and within a few months both he and Ruppert utterly crushed. Salzburg was annexed, the position of Primus Germaniae was retired, Ruppert was executed, a new Archbishop (chosen by Maria Theresa) was invested and the Southern half of Wurttemburg was ceded to Austria. Despite the curshing defeat Eberhard retained the Imperial throne, yet he was now even less able to oppose French and Danish encroachment than he had been before.

After 1421 there followed an extended period of peace for Austria as Maria Theresa began to set up a vigorous program of diplomatic reproachment with the European continent which had started to view Austria as little more than a warmongering, expansionist state. Maria Theresa also attempted to secure the Imperial throne for the Habsburg family. In 1428 the Electorate of Saxony was turned into an Austrian vassal following extended negotiations between the small state and Maria Theresa. With this success it seemed that the House of Habsburg would be certain to secure its first Imperial title. In 1430 Eberhard was overthrown by his uncle and executed. This left the throne vacant and the Electors were widely expected to elect Maria Theresa as Empress. However on the day of the election, going against previous indications the Elector of Trier moved from Austria’s camp into the Brandenburger one and Johann Friedrich became Emperor.

Despite her failure to secure the Imperial throne in 1430 Maria Theresa did not give in and the diplomats continued to ride out of Vienna in strong numbers. In 1446 Johann Friedrich died giving the now ageing Archduchess another shot at Imperial glory. This time Trier did not betray its promises to the House of Habsburg and the Archbishop alongside the Electors of Saxony and Riga provided enough support to male Maria Theresa the first Empress of the Holy Roman Empire.



In the Summer of 1448 the Teutonic Knights launched an assault on the tiny and defenceless Electorate of Riga. Maria Theresa could not afford to allow such a supportive Elector to be destroyed and send a large Austrian army into Prussia. After the sack of the wealthy cities of the Prussian coast and the defeat of the Knights near Memel the Order agreed to make surrender, the Russian city of Pskov was given its independence and a large tribute was sent to both Riga and Austria to pay for the conflict. Attacks from the Order on Riga would become the norm throughout the 2nd half of the 15th century as the Teutonic Order searched for a purpose with the Baltic Crusades at an end.

Despite being the greatest proponent of diplomatic advancement through marriage in the Latin world Maria Theresa married for love and not politics. When she was 16, before taking over the Habsburg dynasty, she married the dashing Heinrich Habsburg. Despite being from the same family Heinrich and Maria Theresa were far removed from each other with Heinrich coming from a distant and minor branch of the Habsburg clan. Through her marriage to him Maria Theresa was also able to prevent the Habsburg realm from passing to one of a different House. Despite their long marriage Maria Theresa had proved almost barren. In decades of matrimony she had born only two children. The youngest – Johan died at the age of 17 but managed to have a son, Matthais. However Matthais was merely a babe upon the Empress’ death and so she willed that her titles instead be passed to her daughter of the same name on the condition that Matthais be appointed as her successor. Under this agreement Maria Theresa II was invested as Archduchess of Austria in the Summer of 1448 and in the Autumn she was crowned Holy Roman Empress.
 

Enewald

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Women cannot be Emperors!
Holy Roman Empire has never had an Empress!

That's why the Silesian War begun in the first place. :p