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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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robou

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To All: Should have an update out this weekend, be it Friday, Saturady or Sunday.

Ahura Mazda: I could think of worse places to fight battles, but the terrain is not to the attacker's advantage, and it is only through sheer numbers that I have done what I have so far.

Enewald: Have you considered what reserves Austria has though? Covering this more in the next update.

Hardraade: An old military idiom states that 'no plan ever makes it past first contact with the enemy' and this is precisely the problem here. I cannot expect my plans to have gone to the letter, and the changes are not all that distressing. It hardly takes a genius to work out how to shore up the line.

Eöl: Not the Venetians, no. Still considering Piedmontese claims, though. Will cover my thoughts on Italy and Unification in a few updates time.

Kampf_Machen, Tommy4ever: Anschluss would be my own goal, but we'll see what Berlin has in mind.

demokratickid: This is not China, and I do not have an inexhaustable supply of men to throw at the Alps. Then again, 680,000 should be enough. But phargle has a most valid point.

Mishgan: Hold your horses, next update will partially cover the events in Galicia, so you'll just have to wait. Nice to have you back again :)

volksmarschall: Austria is facing, more or less, the same problems that it did in the Seven Weeks War. They are outgunned and outnumbered, but they are not making the mistake of taking their outdated army into a major head-on confrontation... yet.

phargle: What I have not covered in any detail, and of which I regret now, is the Prussian occupation and control over their areas of Czechoslovakia since the first wars with Austria. The bare fact is, the Czechs do not trust the Germans anymore than the Austrians. At least they are treated as, almost, first-class citizens by the Austrians who could not bear to have the Czechs leave the Empire with their advanced industry. Indeed they have reason to be disgruntled by Austria, but as yet they have no reason to love the Germans. More on that later on.

Also, I think you have made an excellent point that the call-up of over half-a-million troops is not going to have gone unnoticed in the courts of Europe. More on this soon as well.

comagoosie: They are fighting a most effective delaying action, and I am annoyed, because time is running out for me to hit Austria before they are ready to bounce back at me. You'll see why soon enough.

Rensslaer: Deeply honoured to have you back, sir, most honoured. Thought we'ed lost you long back. Think of my tactics like this; I'm British. I have this ingrained British view of warfare that you do the utmost you can with purely the Regular Army and then only when it is really needed do you call up the reserves and damage the economy. Of course, this doesn't work quite so well for central Europe as it does for a Island nation. But so far it hasn't failed me. It is beginning to bog down now, though. And something big is coming right over a hill.
 

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1849: An Unholy Alliance

The Russian Empire had never truly recovered from her first defeat handed to her by the Prussians during the War of the Constitution. She had sat, brooding over her defeat, desperate for some ardent glory that would make the Tsardom shine again. But it was not to be. For four years, little had been done by St. Petersburg to ensure that Russia would, in the future, be able to stand up to any foreign invasion, let alone the threat of a, now united, Germany. If, perhaps, there had been a somewhat more capable leader at the head of the Russian Eagle, then there might have been a chance for the nation to harness its massive latent potential. With its inexhaustible raw material resources, endless hordes of willing soldiers and huge tracts of land into which an enemy could be lured and destroyed, Russia was simply a giant waiting to be released on a petrified Europe. Fortunately for Europe, Nicholas I was not a monarch who seemed capable of using the massive amount of power he had. Known for his indecision and often leaning on the verdicts of highly corrupt officials, Russia continued to stagnate in the years between 1844 and 1848; a precious time when much could have been done to strengthen Russia for the oncoming storm in Europe. Hence, when the difficult political situation in Europe came to a head in 1847, over a minor Swiss affair, there was nothing the Gendarme could do but sit and watch as Europe tore itself apart.

Of course, the wounds Russia had endured during the War of the Constitution (more popularly known simply as the German War) were deep. Casualty wise, 300,000 men in the long term was not a great price to pay for Russia; she could bear it. But in that process, most of the old regular army had been destroyed, including thirteen whole divisions that had surrendered to the Prussian forces when they advanced into Poland. Russia could have rebuilt these divisions with great ease, had it not been for the now grievous lack of veteran soldiers to train the army. Even if new Divisions had been raised, their quality, even by Russian standards, would have been dubious at best. The Territory lost was inconsequential in the grand scheme of things, but loss of any land was a deep blow to their prestige. But this still changed little. The Russian army was still weak, the economy in tatters and the Tsar unsure as to what move to make.

Most ministers respected the fact that the best way to energise the nation again would be a long-term scheme of re-armament and industrialisation, but those closest to the Tsar would have none of it. First Russia needed a boost to get it moving, and then she could look to internal affairs. The question was where to attack? The ageing Ottoman Empire? It was a possibility. Or to strike back at Germany while she was occupied? Another. Or to attack Austria perhaps, and share the spoils? While Petersburg contemplated, events in Europe took over the stage and forced Russia to make a hasty decision, but she would get them the war she wanted.

As all knew, the Hungarian Revolution had not gone well for Austria. Most likely she could have defeated the Revolution, just like she had quashed the equally serious Italian counterpart. But Germany had changed all that, deciding to join the war on the side of Hungary. Austria was now desperate for support from wherever she could gain it. The excellent new Foreign Minister of Austria, Prince Felix zu Schwarzenberg, had somehow managed to coerce several Italian states to join the Austrian cause. The Papal States, Modena, Parma and the Two Scillies, a nation which had fought with such belligerence against Austria in 1847, had been drawn into a makeshift alliance. It was hardly perfect or profitable, but everyman Austria could bring under her banner was welcomed with open arms. It is interesting to note that the Duke of Tuscany, a relative of the Austrian Emperor, refused to join the alliance and also informed Berlin that such pacts were being formed. With this information, Germany quickly grasped that an Austro-Russian Alliance was neither impossible nor improbable; both powers having more than enough reason to join into it.

Negotiations between Schwarzenberg and the Russian Foreign Minister, Karl Nesselrode began in St. Petersburg began on January 14th, 1849. At first, Russia was hesitant to act, wanted reassurances about German garrisons at the border and of Austrian intentions towards Russian interests after the war was won. Desperate not to let negotiations to break down over the small details, Schwarzenberg conceded to Russia what they required; his only goal being to get Russia to declare war on Germany. There was one concerning point; the territorial integrity of Galicia. The German invasion of the area had been slow but steady and already a third of the territory of was in German hands. Austria had no way of moving troops to the area without going directly through Hungary, so if the Russians entered the war it would be their job to drive the Germans out. Unfortunately, Austria was deeply worried by the way the Russians and their troops would act once they were in Galicia. It was imperative to show the Russians that the Austrians would still be in overall command of the area. Several hand-picked officers were sent to the area under cover, and right under the German’s noses, using Russian weapons that had been smuggled in across the border, roused the Polish residents of the area using Anti-Polish policies of the Germans as a policy to rise up. Within a few days, over 14,000 men and volunteered their services to Austria, rather than risk German oppression. Austria, it was shown to St. Petersburg, was still in control of Galicia.




Left to Right: Prince Felix zu Schwarzenberg and Karl Nesselrode, brokers of the Unholy Alliance.


With Austria proving itself to be in command of the situation, and able to hold the front for at least enough time for Russia to intervene, the Russians began to cooperate. Firstly, it was agreed to loan the Austrians 300,000 Muskets with which they could outfit a newly conscripted army. Austria had always been lacking in the equipment to raise new divisions, but now she had what she needed and began a massive round of vicious Anti-German propaganda, promoting volunteers for the Army. 160,000 answered their countries call, and though these new divisions were not much compared to the regulars of the German Army, they were at least there if their country needed them. It had come just in time for Vienna. The city had been under attack. Von Bismarck-Bohlen’s Cavalry Corps had attacked a single Austrian Division that was defending the Capital. For four days the Austrians fought viciously to stop the Germans approaching the city, and by the time the line buckled, the new muskets had been brought up from the coast, where they had been deposited by the Russians, and the new Austrian units, though not fully trained, overwhelmed the 20,000 Germans through sheer firepower and successfully defended the city. Immediately afterwards, Austria conscripted a further 50,000 men into the Army.

With Vienna defended, the Allies, as they were now being referred to as, went on a vicious offensive. 60,000 Austrians were funnelled into Hungary, smashing Hungarian units and pushing them a hundred kilometres back, though falling fifty kilometres short of Budapest. In conjunction with this, a flotilla of ships managed to infiltrate into the Baltic and land 30,000 Italians in Pomerania. While this strike force was in a dangerous location, so close to Berlin and no troops to stop it, the various commanders of different states refused to work together, and so they failed to move away from the coast. Their presence alone, though, was enough to scare off the Reichstag, which moved temporarily to Weimar. But of course, the real worry was when a telegram arrived at the temporary offices in Weimar. The Bear was back, and it was coming with vengeance.



 
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Lord_D

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This war sounds like a good challenge for Germany, although it might be very costly if it goes on too long.
 

Edzako

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I like this turn of event's. Not only it will make your task a lot harder than it's now and will make very thrilling updates it will also provide, or at least I believe so, opportunity to defeat Nicholas I and reduce their eagerness to back stab Germany later, when situation could be more dire and opponent more dangerous than Austria.
 

volksmarschall

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Things are about to get very interesting with Austria, the Italian states, and Russia facing you; but something that may not totally be unbeatable judging you still have Hungary fighting as your allies. The small Austrian garrison at Vienna and the arrival of new forces to defeat the former larger and besieging force reminds me somewhat of the Seige of Vienna in 1689.

Gott mit euch sein! (For it seems he is with Austria right now:p)
 

PrawnStar

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Interesting looking war developing, any likelihood of getting tagteamed by anyone else?
 

Tommy4ever

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Your only hope is the reserves
 

Eöl

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Perhaps it would be wise to use the territories of Poland and the Czechs to their fullest extent in order to pursue your ambitions outside Europe now? And at some future date you could release them to Krakow and Prague respectively, it seems, that they're more trouble than they are worth.

(Plus I'd rather that you avoided blobbing as it can get a little tiring just seeing a big grey blob crawling across Europe.)
 

Director

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If you can mass against one enemy at a time you can crush them in turn. If, however, the various offensives force you to parcel out your troops piecemeal, victory will be much more difficult to achieve. Still, I believe you can and will prevail. :)

I am convinced that Russia's actions can only be seen in Berlin as a betrayal. I urge you to take this chance to crush Austria and Russia flat. Smash them now and you may never have to worry about them again.

Great update - I enjoyed the way you outlined the various goals of the several sides.
 

comagoosie

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I loved the update, it had a certain fluidness to it :D

And it looks like things are heating up...about time ;)
 

robou

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To All: Got out of school early today, so I am able to write an update on a weekday :) Will have it up sometime this evening.

Lord_D: Nothing is too costly if I can defeat Austria and Russia for good.

Ezdako: Of course, it rather upsets my idea of rejuvinating Russo-German relations and forming an anti-French Alliance.

Enewald: Where indeed? A little late, it would seem.

Hardraade: Things have always been hairy for the Hungarians and now with extra Austrian troops being thrown towards Budapest, it is getting only worse. For Germany, things are going to have to change rapidly; it still isn't all that far from the Polish border to Berlin.

volksmarschall: I must admit I am less worried about the Italians than the Russians, but it will still take them at least a month or more to be able to get me in a situation that will be really condeming. We'll have to wait and see; one can never predict what the AI is thinking...

PrawnStar: I must admit I am getting severly worried abou the British joining in as well. My BB is too high for its own good and, although I didn't mention it, the British have just defeated Denmark (still France's ally) and taken Flensburg. If they put troops there, I know I am in deep shtook. I am even keeping troops on the border there just in case and plenty still sitting on the French border still, as well.

Tommy4Ever: To think that I waited so long; I could have destroyed Austria in a week with my reserves, but alas now I have to fight Russia as well. That'll teach me, unless I win a spectacular victory of course.

demokratickid: Like I said, if something good happens, I can come out of this with great riches... or I can totally balls it up ;)

Eöl: You think I would be content with Europe? I have already gone out of her confines. And although it may be necessary at some point to release the Poles and Czechs, I will try and avoid it at all costs. Those provinces are just so... rich.

Director: Though it may not be all that wise to condense my forces. I go at Russia and Austrian strengthens her lines. I go at Austria and I have Russians in the Riechstag. The Russian Army has, remember, never recovered from its losses fully, and the amount of divisions is not all that great. Austria, even with all those reserves can only account for my regular Army, and they have the Hungarians to deal with as well. The Italians... *ahem* Point being, 680,000 men is more than enough to deal with most threats that might come against me in the 1840s.

comagoosie: Thanks, the bear is back with vengence, but we'll see what their armies have learned after the intensive lessons I gave them earlier in the decade.
 

robou

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1849: A Defeat for Victory

As we have seen, Austrian offensives into Hungary failed to meet their objective of taking the rebel capital at Budapest. With their revolution under serious threat for the first time since the governor had been thrown out almost a year earlier, Hungarian resistance stiffened; politicians and generals alike throwing their full weight into winning the war. The Austrians were making things only more difficult for themselves.

In an effort to spread out the Hungarian armies, Austria diverted troops into taking Romania and Slovakia and destroying the allies of the Hungarians before striking at the heart of the revolution. It seemed a logical choice. However, it backfired horribly on the Austrians through a simple lack of intelligence. The fact was, as was discussed before, Slovakia and Transylvania, especially the latter, were causing more hassle to the Hungarians that they were providing allies. Transylvania was still in open civil war, the ‘Romanians’ still holding onto the mountains in the face of Hungarian military intervention on behalf of the ‘Unionists’*. As Austrian troops advanced into the region, the Hungarians gave ground with only minimal resistance, and by the time the Austrians had reached Cluj, the decision had been taken for the total evacuation of Hungarian forces from the area. The Hungarians had, cunningly, left the Austrians to intervene and sort out the brutality in Transylvania while Hungary consolidated its troops to fight the real battles for independence.

A similar situation presented itself in Ruthenia. The primarily Ukrainian Ruthenia had entered the Hungarian Union along with its partner state of Slovakia, like the rest with high hopes of an equality not supplied by Vienna. When this was not forthcoming from Budapest, despite the Hungarian Diet desperately replying, and also lying, that such measures would be put in place after the Revolution was over, action was taken by the Ukrainians. A number of officers from the region resigned their commissions to the Hungarian Army and left for their home counties. Accused of desertion in their country’s time of need by the Slovak governor, who was ignorantly pro-Hungarian, four out of the fifteen were shot without trial. The others fled and managed to evade Slovak units. They went to their villages or towns and told of what had happened to their comrades. Hurt that the Slovaks, not even the Hungarians, had committed this act, over 10,000 Ukrainians and a small number of Poles rose up in protest. Though badly armed and with no training, the threat was acknowledged by the Diet, though they still refused to grant equal rights at the time. When the governor was murdered, it was agreed to evacuate the region and allow the Austrians to occupy it, which they duly did a few days later. A further 30,000 Hungarians were therefore available for Budapest to throw at the invaders.

Austrian commanders, while obviously lacking in any kind of effective spy network, were not ignorant to the fact that Hungary still had a lot of reserve troops stationed in front of them, and had prepared the salient they had created, consolidating their gains with field fortifications. Of course, Hungarian commanders were not stupid enough to strike the salient head-on. Massing their troops for a kill or be killed offensive. Smashing into the northern end of the salient, around Bratislava where a Hungarian garrison was still holding out against an inefficient Austrian siege.

Austrian commanders quickly abandoned the salient in order to relieve the forces at Bratislava, proximity to Vienna, should the Hungarians succeed in breaking the Austrian lines at Bratislava, judged too close for comfort by the Austrian High Command. As the lines were thinned in Hungary, Hungarian reserve forces quickly mopped up the Austrian troops that had remained to guard the fortifications. In desperation, the Austrians threw troops at the German cavalry in Brno, trying to destroy any possible link between the Hungarian and German forces that may well encircle Vienna. Unknown to Vienna was that Hungarian commanders had refused outright to cooperate with the Germans in any possible siege of Vienna.

However, it was known to the Austrians that the German mobilisation was almost complete, for even the poorest intelligence network would have been able to detect the massive operation that was going on behind the border. The situation was most difficult for Vienna. With victory in Hungary still far from distant and a Hungarian victory at Bratislava quite probable as well as the prospect of, at the most minimal estimates, an extra 100,000 Germans coming to the front, Austria could well be crushed in the middle of two offensives. The Russian intervention had not been swift enough to halt disaster; it had all been too little too late. If things had gone differently, for example, had Austria reacted quicker to the revolution, then the imminent destruction of the age-old nation would not have been threat.

It was in these difficult circumstances, with Hungarians and Germans less than fifty miles from the Capital, a quick decision had to be made, even if it was a difficult one to take. The choice was this: Admit defeat against Hungary and grant them independence so as to turn Austria and Russia’s full potential against Germany; or risk loosing land to Germany as a price to keep Hungary. There was little competition. Germany was a threat to Europe, and she was the more powerful of the two nations, but she could be damaged by the combined forces of the Unholy Alliance, and this would give time for recuperation and the re-conquest of Hungary, when Austria was more prepared to deal with the Hungarian threat. It would mean giving up a huge amount of Hapsburg territory for several years, but if Germany was left unattended, she would overrun Austria and end any chances of the restoration of the Hungarian lands to the Hapsburg Crown.

After short negotiations in which Austria agreed to any Hungarian demands she could afford to give, Austria publically admitted defeat in the Hungarian Revolutionary War on February 19th, 1849. It was agreed to guarantee peace for at least five years, Austria would recognize the Diet’s control over the Hungarian State as well as the Hungarian sovereignty over the client states of Transylvania and Slovakia-Ruthenia. Also included was the further secession of land in the west, giving up a vast portion of Croatia and allowing Hungary fifty kilometres of coastline from Senj to Rijeka**. Although it was a humiliating peace, Austrian politicians and generals were sure that the land could be won back in good time; first Germany needed to be defeated.

With the Hungarian victory, this left Germany fighting a three front war and for now it was outnumbered. Luckily, only twenty three days after the Hungarian victory, an ‘Iron horse’ steamed into Königsburg station, and it would usher in a new era in warfare.




Army Positions following the Austro-Hungarian Peace Deal:
1. Armies of the Italian States (Parma, Modena and the Papal States) ~30,000 men
2. Austrian Army of the Alps (Radetzky) ~25,000 men
3. Austrian Army of the Heartland ~180,000 men
4. Austrian Army of Galicia ~14,000 men
5. Army of the Two Sicilies ~25,000 men
6.Russian Army of Galicia ~60,000 men
7. Russian Army of Poland ~40,000 men
8. Russian Army of Mazovia ~30,000 men
9. Russian Army of the Baltic ~30,000 men
10. German Corps on the Danish (now British) border 24,000 men
11. German Army of Galicia 24,000 men
12. German Army of Moravia 44,000 men
13. German Army of Bohemia 48,000 men
14. Germany Army of Bavaria 42,000 men

Total Allied Forces ~404,000 men
Total German Forces ~202,000 men

Notes:
* The name had been changed from 'Anti-Romanians' a few months after the violence had started. 'Anti-Romanians' was seen as making the Unionists stand for nothing but the destruction of the 'Romanians'.
** Known to most of Europe as Fiume, but was changed to Rijeka when the Hungarians took over.




 

unmerged(95429)

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Russia, Austria, and Italy? Incompetant all, I forsee great victories for the German Nation. :)
Sicilians landed in Pommerania? That's an odd turn of events. Haha. Drive them back into the ocean!
 

Enewald

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Austria made the worst possible decision... now they shall be divided between Hungary and Germany... :(:eek:
 

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Austria has made its choice and tossed the dice, but I fear they need snake-eyes to win out. I'll be interested in finding out which power you tackle first, the strongest or the weakest.

A good, informative post. I don't envy the Austrians their menu of options, but if peace with Germany wasn't on the list they probably made the next-best choice.
 

unmerged(61356)

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Things just go from bad to worse sometimes it seems. Well, it'll be rough going but I'm sure that Germany can pull out a victory with sound leadership and tactics.
Austria's situation is in a lot of ways worse than Germany's. Having already given up Hungary, if Austria loses the war and is forced to make further territorial concessions to Germany, it would effectively cease to exist as a major European power.