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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Capibara

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I'm back! ;) After the long war against Russia, the Prussians have managed to get a good peace treaty, even if it only includes three provinces, will help to extend Prussian hegemony. Time to take care of the Austrians.
 

dublish

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Hmmm... I usually try to keep Austria strong enough to stand up against Russia, otherwise the Czar might find his way to Wien by 1870. Your gains in Russia were very limited, so I'm hoping you're as lenient with Austria.
 

robou

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To All: My, my, so much feedback. I have been ill the last few days so have had half a week to recuperate from school. I am quite fortunate in my timings. I was at my worst state for writing when the thing I was writing about here was the msot trivial; 5 updates of war. Now I, and probably you too, am getting a little tired of war and want some cool political, economic and social updates filled with some clever rhetoric or so such. So I won't cover the war with Austria in much detail. However, in the inevitable event of me beating the new 'Sick man of Europe' (Wasn't me...), I need to decide on what to do with Germany, and I want your say to end my delaying, so it goes to a vote. Do I a) trigger the conservative Empire event after I have won this war, therby uniting Germany under me, but perhaps unbalancing the game by having 5 years extra play as Germany or b) do I wait 5 years for a scripted war with Austria which fires the 'Conservative Empire' event anyway? That will likely make sure I am less powerful in the long run, but may well de-stabilise Austria to a point that would make them quite useless for the rest of the game and possibly scumbug to Italian and Hungarian revolutions. I need your say. Update will be tomorrow or sunday after sufficient votes have come in.

Enewald: The border looks ok, and I couldn't get all of Poland so I took the bit that would make it look nicest with what I could get. As for Austria, educational for us both, but more logisitcally and organisationally (ie. dealing with exhaustion and knowing where to stop) for me.

phargle (1): Mostly on the Russian side though, and they don't seem to mind losses to much, but I am still not able to understand that I beat Russia with numbers more than anything...

Helmold: Indeed, I intend to begin to coerce Russia back into my camp, at least for a while. I can't hold onto them forever; I need to make that border look neater ;)

Eöl: Hmm, if only I had the guts to stand up to Britain. Anyway, if I had ever had the intention of standing up to Britain as Prussia (not as Germany of course) I would have invaded Hanover in the opening stages. As I did not, I must go along with how I have started, especially now I have no notable allies on European soil.

comagoosie: Until I know what kind of an impact I can make and on how far I can move into Austrian territory, I can only keep my goals limmited, but further land in Bohemia would not go amiss, though Prague is worth something like 96% war score...:eek:

canonized: That'd be nice, but Russia will be looking for revenge unless I appease them, and I really feel they were only half-hearted to their commitment; hence they got a shock when I trounced them at the Vistula. Thay may not be so arrogant in their desicions next time!

rasmus40, Ahura Mazda: Not enough. You really need to be at the Urals to get Russia to hand over only Poland. I was only skirting into Belarus and Latvia. It was rare for them to offer a peace giving me three provinces I wanted; in fact, that happened with Austria as well, they offered me my planned war gains. Stange...

geek_knight: Well we hope the French will stay, but I can vouch for nothing. They might well invade soon enough. And they are a fearsome enemy. Good Generals, plenty of manpower, and divisions well experienced from warfare in Algeria. I would rather not face the French in my weakened state.

phargle, Hardraade, Helmold: I could do plenty more conquering than I am at the moment, indeed (true it would rip me apart with exhaustion but I could technically do it). War in the mid to late 1800s, in Europe at least, wasn't ever about the expansion of a territory, at least not directly. They were means to an end, for political progress, dipolmatic pressure/relief ect. I wouldn't want to do anything out of sync with what this period is about. Anyways, as I have said, more provinces mean more wars (badboy wars don't forget) and I hate writing about war. Bring on the deep 19th C. politics, economics and social reform! :)

Capibara: As I said just before, territorial gain is all a means to an end, and the taking of these provinces, while profitable, yes, is furthering my diplomatic power of the other Germans, something that is key to all Prussia's expansionist goals, ie. the Unification of Germany.

dublish: I certainly won't be forcing my boundries deep into Slovakia and Hungary, and I shall do my best to revitalise my realtions with Austria after Germany is united, but as of now, they are the one thing that stands in my way of my goals, and until that is not so, they are my enemy. When we no longer have anything to fight about, then they become my natural ally.
 

phargle

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Hmm. Does carefully-applied force require a strong Austria or a weak Austria? Caution suggests waiting, but real politik suggests keeping Austria strong and friendly. I'd say nothing you can do as Prussia will be unbalancing because Prussia is alraedy very strong, so go ahead and do the conservative empire early.
 

The Kingmaker

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Some thoughts on what I've read so far:
I like the tiny independent Krakow. :p

I also liked your war with Austria, although I agree it was a shame that all you got was the Sudetenland. Still, it makes sense. A lot of continental wars in the 19th Century were fought over trifles.

I'm very glad your Mexican invasion landed at Veracruz -- that's where I would have gone too. It's a natural invasion site, and was used for that purpose on multiple occasions. Very nice that you got a Hohenzollern on the throne there. And purchasing Puerto Rico with your eye on Cuba... your Prussians are becoming quite the colonials! Beware, though -- colonialism can initially be very draining on resources, especially for a nation as small as Prussia. But once you get things organized over in the colonies, you can just sit back and let the trade goods flow!

And now to read some more:
War with Russia! This will be interesting. The slaughter at the Vistula Crossing was especially well-written, and I liked the picture you used. :) You're certainly kicking their trash -- would it have been that easy in real life? Tsar Nikolai was quite the militarist.

And then Austria at war too? You're at war with the entire eastern front?! Austria may be weak, but that could still be messy. Ah, you quickly follow it up with a stunning and surprising treaty over Russia, and the gains of some Polish territories. But what a bloody war it was! 300,000 casualties total for the conflict? That hurts.

And all of a sudden, I'm all caught up! Splendid.

With regards to your question on German unification:
I say go for it now! Austria may be a bit stronger in the long run, but unifying Germany this early would be phenomenal! So then König Friedrich Wilhelm IV becomes Kaiser Friedrich Wilhelm I. Very nice. How much territory would you gain from a unification? Could have a nice big map of the Reich? (By the way, I am impressed that you were able to pull this off without a Franco-Prussian War, albeit the wars with Russia and Austria probably took its place.)

Anyway, this has been a great read so far, and I'm pleased to now be able to follow it at the same pace as everyone else. Keep up the good work, old chap, and I shall keep reading. :D
 
Last edited:

robou

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phargle: Carefully applied force requires that Austria be subservient to me; an ally but weaker than myself. Like I was stating to dublish, for now Austria is my enemy because we have conflicting views, ie. we both want Germany under our sway, ableit I want it much more directly than Austria. After the unification is complete, that is no longer the case, and I will need to ally to Austria, and a strong enough but not stronger than me Austria, so I have someone to counter balance the threats from the East. Russia, also, will become my ally to try and give the French a reason not to invade, but those two are natural allies, so I must keep Austria as a friend to make sure I always have someone to counterbalance Austria. Britain cannot be counted on to be of much use on European soil for me.

AlexanderPrimus: Thank you for catching up. Vera Cruz was chosen firstly because of the historical significance of the place as an invasion sight for European and American invasion force, but then again it is the natural place to land if you want to march on Mexico, due to the proximity and the slightly easier route. The Tampico landings were smaller and were only to cover my flank. My colonines do me well, and the Sugar from Mexico, Puerto Rico and Haiti is very profitable. The Gold from Mexico is also a useful asset, also used for getting Clerks of course :) I must get on the colonial board as soon as I can, though, or Britain and France will leave me behind and I will be left with the meagre colonies Germany possesed historically.

The picture of the Vistula is actually from the 1877 Russo-Turkish war, hence the breechloading artillery on the raft, and depicts the Russians crossing the danube, hence the huge width of the river which the Vistula doesn't have, too attack, I think, Plevna... The 300,000 casualties were mostly Russians, captured of course is in that total. I did not suffer too badly, though I would say I make up about 1/3 of that total.

As for unification, I think now I will go ahead with it, and I would absorb what are the German states (check one of the updates on the first page and it is all the green minus Holstien and the Alsace-Lorraine). I doubt I can explain the unification fully unless France invades in retaliation, so I may have to script in a war that I am not totally in favour of fighting. But we must not always fight wars on our own terms.

update coming today...
 

robou

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1844: The Lighthouse Keeper

As a military campaign, the Second Austro-Prussian war of 1844 was very dull. Austrian troops were few and far between, and Prussian numerical advantages, even when the Austrians could muster a full strength division, made it inconsequential. In Bohemia, 150,000 Prussians invaded the provinces with resistance from only a few rag tag militia's, mainly in the large cities of Prague and Brno, and a mere 2,000 Regular troops which were quickly dispersed, their eyes set firmly on Vienna. In two month, the Czech lands were overrun, and Prussian forces moved on towards Vienna. Austrian forces were stouter in Galicia and they put up some resistance, but were also badly outnumbered. Forty thousand Austrians could hardly hold, even with the rugged terrain of the Carpathians to their favour, against hundreds of thousands of Prussians.

The Austrian front, even though such a thing hardly existed in the first place, collapsed quickly, and Austrian troops soon found themselves being pushed deep into the interior of the country. The Prussians had problems, of course. The long supply lines, the rough terrain of Galicia, Slovakia and Bohemia and the poor quality of the roads made the logistics a nightmare, but Prussian troops were still able to advance long distance, taking what they needed from the soil and cities, with no notable Austrian formations to stop them. Once the Carpathians were traversed, everything moved quickly, though a winter in the mountains had done much to thin out the Prussian armies of the weak and feeble. The Hungarian plains were much nicer places to march over, and quick progress was made. Bratislava was taken during the winter and became the forward supply base of the Prussian forces, and its fall was followed in January by the unopposed entry of Vienna by Prussian forces. The second city of Austria, Budapest, was taken in early February, and advance regiments of the cavalry entered Zagreb on February 14th. Austrian forces were firmly beaten and now sulked in the mountains of outer Austria and Romania, a great wedge thrown between them.


The dire situation for the Austrians after the Prussian entry of Zagreb, 14th January 1845

Immediate halts were then called; no further land was too be taken. Events in Austria had overtaken those going on back in the capital. The war was major causing political problems for the Reichstag. A mission from the nations of Britain, France and Sweden had arrived in Berlin to discuss the expansions of the Prussian state of the past nine years. The French had begun with an outburst of rage, claiming that the King Wilhelm was intent on becoming the new Napoleon. The Prussians had argued that their gains had been limited, and the amount of land exchanged was small. The British delegate managed to calm the French down, and with a certain amount of fuss, the French left the meeting.

Britain presented a straight argument and did not hang about on any points, though still attempted to be diplomatic. The fact was that, in the eyes of the British, the Prussians were 'rocking the boat' far too hard for the liking of the other powers of Europe. Ever since the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, the peace in Europe had been maintained by the delicate 'Balance of Europe' which was being threatened by Prussian expansion. This was especially so with the situation in Austria. Austria was being weakened to the state of not being able to hold itself together. Austria was a weak state already, and her boundaries covered up the internal problems she faced. If she was left too weak, large chunks could break away and form new states. Most of all, the fear of the massive Hungarian populations, as well as the Croatians, Serbs, Slovaks and Romanians forming their own states scared Britain stiff. A massive destabilising of the Balkan region would allow Russia, even one weakened by war with Prussia, to come in and sweep up the pieces under the pretences of being the 'Custodian of the Orthodox peoples'. A strong Russia, especially strong in Balkans, would threaten the 'Sick man of Europe', the ailing Ottoman Empire, to being split up by the Russians. If the Ottomans fell, the British interests in both the Near East and India would be threatened. Britain needed Central and Southern Europe to stay as close to what it was for its interests to not be in doubt. Prussia threatened everything.

The Swedes, however, were not interested in the 'Balance of Europe' so much as a peace in Europe. Sweden's economy had been reliant of trade with Europe, but mainly the sale of metals to Germany and Russia. Both these areas were now impoverished by war and the Swedish economy was in threat unless peace, and hopefully a stable economic situation, could be restored to Central and Eastern Europe. The Swedes were not so interested in alliance, either. Both Russia and Prussia were potential allies, but only really in the event of Sweden having to fight either one of these; in that event, Sweden would merely ally with the other and hope that effect was enough.


The Delegation of Berlin. On the right, the Prussians discuss what further terms could be argued. In the middle, seated, the British and Swedes view the proposed terms while the French stand on the side in disgust.

Prussia had not thought their wars could have such acute effects. True, the 'Balance of Europe' was somewhat threatened, but the possible fall of India and the disruption of a neutral nations trade had not really come to mind. Prussia was really having an effect on world events. Both the nations still in the negations were considered possible allies and allies would be needed until Russia and, eventually, Austria could be befriended again. Prussia therefore, needed to bring the war to close, but there was also consciousness that it needed to get as much as it could out of wars, as much as the British would allow at least. Prussia outlined basic terms and all the delegates, minus the French of course, agreed to meet in a week, along with the Austrian peace envoys, at the Swedish city of Malmö.

The Congress of Malmö took only one day to take place and get terms written down, accepted and signed. The Austrians knew that they had to accept any terms put forward. They not only now had the pressure of the Prussian armies covering 50% of their territory, including the five major cities (Vienna, Budapest, Prague, Bratislava and Zagreb) but also diplomatic pressure from Britain and Sweden. With the acceptance of all nations present, Prussian would take land around Prague and Plzen, including the cities themselves, Prussia would agree to demobilize its conscripts and the two sides agreed to a ceasefire that would last at least five years. In secret agreements, Britain also accepted to support Prussian moves in Germany within the next few years in exchange for a Prussian guarantee to protect the independence of Austria and the Ottoman Empire. It was a great success for Prussia. With the addition of the two Czech provinces, Prussia was no longer importing iron from anywhere, although as gratitude for their part in the peace negotiation, Prussia agreed to buy a specified amount of iron from Sweden every year*. Prussia also now had the blessing of Britain, and the knowledge of dominance overthe Austrians to commit a move they had been waiting for since the time of Fredrick the Great...

Notes
*: I will supply £1000 to Sweden per year as a sign of gratitude and to prop them up against the Russians.
 
Last edited:

comagoosie

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Back to politics are we? Good...

France is always going to be a pain, but it seems like you are making more friends than enemies, which is always good :D
 

Enewald

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Heh, swedes get money from nothing. :p

Nice succesful expansion!
I hope Austria does not get divided...
 

Rabid

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Bah, ugly borders. You should have taken all of Bohemia, I like how it puts Vienna right on the border in case the Austrians try anything funny again :p
 

geek_knight

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Bah, ugly borders. You should have taken all of Bohemia, I like how it puts Vienna right on the border in case the Austrians try anything funny again :p
At least Britain and Sweden stand behind Prussia now;), and Austria will stay strong enough to keep rebellions and Russia under control:D.
 

phargle

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The guarantee of independence of Austria is a nice touch, although one wonders exactly what Britain and France could have done if the Prussians refused. The Prussian army was massive after the Russian war, and neither of those great powers could possibly have enough troops to stop Prussia if Russia could not. But such a war would be epic and grand, and the Prussian leadership no doubt has other plans that such a war would disrupt - and if you can accomplish your goals without 500,000 deaths, even better.
 

canonized

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excellent shift from military to politics :D I always love the fumbling politics of Europe during this time ! Well played out !
 

TheExecuter

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Good to see you going with option a!

France will NOT be happy with this arrangement though, as their traditional alliance with Austria is now gone...and France is now without ally in the 'balance of Europe.' France now must make new friends...or go to war.

TheExecuter
 

The Kingmaker

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Interesting.

You've now annexed most if not all of Bohemia, which will increase your manpower rather substantially, provided you can motivate the Czechs to participate in your imperialistic campaigns.

Well, sounds like it's just about time to form the Second Reich...
 

Eöl

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Hmm… I think the next step after uniting Germany should be to promote Austrian hegemony in the Balkans to stave off the Ottomans and Russia admittedly this may result in a revitalised Austria ‘falling in’ with these two powers but still; I think that would probably go some way to rebuilding the balance in Europe.
 

Director

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A good look at the differing interests that produced the peace treaties of the Victorian era. Prussia gains, Britain and Sweden accomplish their aims and France is only slightly more threatened than before.

If you can bring Austria to an alliance - easier, now that they are weaker, and a nice touch of the political thinking of this era - then you should be secure against any single enemy, even Britain and Russia.

Nicely done!
 

Lord Durham

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The Congress of Malmö took only one day to take place and get terms written down, accepted and signed.
I can think of a few present day countries that could utilize this example :).

Nice political maneuvering.