Ab Ovo

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Dispatches from the Pitti Palace
Bourbon-Parma and the War

La main qui donne est au-dessus de celle qui reçoit.
-Napoleon​

1805
1805-1806
1806-1815
1815-1820
 
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Ab Ovo

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254px-Royal_Coat_of_Arms_of_Etruria.svg.png
The night was ablaze with torches. Awakened by the glow spilling into her room despite the efforts of the thin curtains, Maria Luisa stumbled from her bed and went to see what the matter was. She shivered in the cold January night, but what she saw outside could not have brought any comfort: French soldiers -- hundreds of them -- camped on the grounds of the Boboli Gardens. Drawing a shawl around herself for the sake of decency the Queen Mother ventured from her bedchambers into the hallway and listened to the sounds of the palace slowly awakening to the turmoil outside. Maria descended the great staircase hurriedly, as lights were lit to guide the way of the many bustling servants, and had enough time to compose herself as the doors which comprised the Pitti Palace's "official" entrance were flung open.

A French soldier, some sort of officer by the looks of him, entered the atrium flanked by his subordinates. Upon seeing the Queen Mother he made a surprisingly elegant leg.

"Your Majesty?"

"Yes?"

Wordlessly, he handed her a sheet of paper.

140px-Napoleon_Bonaparte_logo.png
3 nivôse an XIII

By the direct order of His Imperial Majesty, and with the full approbation of the Senate of France and the Corps législatif, the Kingdom of Etruria is henceforth to pass under the direct administration of the Republic and the people of France. Provisions will be made for the safe transport of Their Majesties the Queen Mother and King Charles Louis from the country. Provisional administration of the Kingdom, from this point forwards the départements of the Arno, Méditerranée and Ombrone; is to fall to Louis Pierre, Count Montbrun until otherwise established.

320px-Firma_Napole%C3%B3n_Bonaparte.svg.png

The Queen Mother stared at the orders in dismay, re-reading them over and over again. Surely this could not be. There had to have been some kind of mistake. The news, just come in the previous day, that Great Britain was renewing a coalition against the Emperor was surely not the best of news; but they had hardly expected Napoleon to take such drastic measures of consolidation...

Abruptly, she realised she had begun staring into space as the officer continued to wait patiently for her attention.

"And you are?"

He grinned. "Louis Pierre de Montbrun, Majesty, lately Commander of the Division d'Etrurie."

Ah yes. She should have recognised him, she thought. As the equivalent of the French ambassador to the country he had dined often with her husband, and his youthful visage could often be seen with his men parading through the streets of Florence.

"Ah, Count de Montbrun, how pleasant to see you again." She daintily extended her hand, which the Commander duly kissed.

"I am sorry to be the bearer of such ill-tidings, Majesty, but we must move swiftly. The Emperor is concerned that the Sicilians are considering an expedition north on behalf of the Coalition; and of course wishes to see you and your son as safe as possible. Therefore you must leave tonight."

And so it was. In short order the Queen Mother found that she could hardly so much as pack more than a single chest before being beckoned to an awaiting carriage with her toddler son. The Emperor, they were assured, would see them well cared for. She did not know where they were to go next. Perhaps Spain, perhaps France itself. There were of course plans already afoot for her son to secure himself another crown -- or rather, have it secured for him -- as the goodwill of the Spanish Crown was in no insignificant part kept by the proper compensation of the King's daughter and grandson; first kicked from Parma to a consolation prize in what was formerly Tuscany, the Grand Duke of that nation now ruling his own consolation prize of Salzburg. But for now, Charles Louis was a King without a Crown, and Providence only knew what the next crown would be.
 
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DensleyBlair

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Well, doesn't this look interesting. Nice to see you having a go at reviving the March of the Eagles forum, Ab. It's high time someone did it, and this seems exactly the sort of thing the place needs.

I'm looking forward to seeing how things develop here on in. :)
 

Avindian

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MOTE is an underrated game, and I'm glad to see it get some attention in AARland. Subbed!
 

Ab Ovo

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208px-Grand_Coat_of_Arms_of_Joseph_Bonaparte_as_King_of_Spain.svg.png
Journal de l'Empire

Tartars Join The War!
Vicious Cossack hordes threaten all of Europe
News has just reached This Office of the late Declaration of the Russian Chargé d'Affaires to His Imperial Majesty, Peter Yakovlevice Ubré; which is most utterly Disgraceful and Villainous in its content. Alleging that His Imperial Majesty has engaged in a variety of acts of which even the Tartars themselves should be shamed to conceive of, M. Ubré proceeded to Announce that the Russian Empire would henceforth cease to treat with the Republic or her people; and would henceforth engage in War against France in concert with Perfidious Albion.

This Editor hardly feels the need to reiterate the Stench which even now Emanates from the Coalition, redoubtable in its persistence yet ignominious in its aims, which seeks to finally put to Death the glories of the Revolution and the French Republic. It in only in standing steadfast by the Emperor, by our allies and républiques sœurs, that the British Threat to Europe can finally be Extinguished... (cont. on page IV)

12 abril, 1805

Dear Louis,

News arrived at the palace today: Napoleon himself has won at Gibraltar, commanding a force of nearly twenty-thousand against the British garrison there; and our forces have since set siege to the rock. While I am of course as pleased as any fellow Spaniard to see it so close to being returned to us, a stain on Spanish honour far out of proportion to its size, I cannot say the presence of the Emperor himself has instilled warmer feelings in me. It is not that the French themselves are so bad. Although their many thousands of soldiers even now transverse Spain, it is not as if they are not being adequately provisioned from France and elsewhere; even with the British attempting to strangle our trade the Spanish share of the burden is still light.

Napoleon is clearly a great man -- even if that does not necessarily mean he is a good one -- but I rankle at the thought of a foreign crown commanding our soldiers as if he were his own. My father, our own crown as it were, tells me not to fret so and Godoy of course follows the word of his master. They say I am still embittered by our ouster from Etruria but it is not so. I fear for our son, as I'm sure you do, dearest, but my objections to Napoleon go farther than wishing to see Charles on a throne. If Spain is dependent on victories, not to mention not having to feed tens of thousands of Frenchmen, from the hand of Napoleon; when will the hand that gives decide to take away?


200x200.resizedimage

An excerpt from Ó Pátria, Ó Rei, Ó Povo: Portugal in the Continental War
Portugal's decision to abandon her stance of neutrality was exceptionally unwise. What motivated Portugal, precisely, to abandon her previous precarious stance of neutrality in favour of throwing herself heels-first into the conflict is lost to time. It could have been the concentration of Spanish troops in the assault against Gibraltar, the recent string of Spanish loses at sea, or the recent -- indeed, almost simultaneous -- entry of Russia into the war giving Queen Maria the confidence she needed to join in the assault; but whatever it was her decision was made. On the 14th of April, Portuguese envoys in Paris, London, Madrid, and other cities informed the respective governments that the Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves, in accordance with the provisions of the Treaty of Windsor, formally joined the Continental War on behalf of her ally the United Kingdom; and therefore a state of war existed between the Kingdom and the Napoleonic powers.

The Spanish and French seemed to race each other to see who could invade Portugal first; and there seemed to be a tie between the two. Major engagements were scarce -- the Portuguese seemed very little prepared for an actual war -- and by mid-May, a little over a month after the declaration, Portugal was cut in half by combined Franco-Spanish forces occupying an area which stretched from Setúbal in the south to Vila Real in the north. Louis Pierre, Count Montbrun served admirably in command of over forty-thousand French troops at the Battle of Porto, capturing that city for the French and further hastening the downfall of Portugal. Indeed, the story of the 1805 Iberian Campaign was one of remarkable success, with the exception of a single battle whose failure was just as remarkable...

5 messidor an XIII (24th of June, 1805)
Almeida, the Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves


The guards looked at one another nervously, standing outside the Imperial tent. There was no-one else in sight. Everyone had better sense then to be within a kilometer of the Emperor when he was in such a temper. The guards didn't have a choice in the matter however,

"He'll hang for this." one said, sidelong, to the other.

"Don't be ridiculous, they won't hang a Marshal." came the reply.

André Masséna, Marshal of France, very much hoped for the later. He stood silently, like a stone, before the Emperor. Napoleon was pacing furiously, still berating Masséna.

"You're lucky I don't hang you."

"Your Majesty, I jus-"

"You just what? You just what, André? Over thirty thousand casualties in an assault on a fortified position! That is what you just!"

The Marshal swallowed and resumed his silence. The Battle of Lisbon had been a nightmare. The force at Masséna's command had been nearly eight times the size of the garrison of São Jorge Castle; and while the ancient citadel was truly a redoubtable fortress the numerical superiority of the Marshal's position and the superiority of his artillery had convinced him that this nut wouldn't be so hard to crack.

He was wrong.

The assault on the castle had dragged on for weeks, and the castle itself was exactly as impregnable as it looked. The slaughter and eventual defeat of the French forces was once for the history books. 36,000 casualties, at the hands of less than ten thousand Portuguese. It was by far the worst defeat that forces under the command -- directly or indirectly -- of Napoleon had ever suffered; and the bloodiest battle of the war so far. Napoleon himself had been busy leading a force of over two hundred thousand soldiers in the ultimately successful siege of Almeida, and his reaction upon learning of the defeat was... unpleasant. Masséna had been immediately summoned to the ruins of the city -- Almeida's own citadel had lasted under French artillery hit the powder stores, promptly blowing it to smithereens along with substantial portions of the surrounding area -- and was now making an account of himself before the Emperor. Or trying to, anyway.

Suddenly Masséna was recalled from his thoughts as Napoleon bent forwards and withdrew the Marshal's ceremonial sword from its sheath. Napoleon smiled as he saw the Marshal grow deathly pale but did nothing but break it over his knee; flinging the pieces to the side of the tent.

"Consider this to have been your court-martial André. You are hereby stripped of your position as Marshal of France and all the benefits that entails. You are hereby demoted to the rank of Colonel, and assigned to the Division de Ligurie under Marshal Jourdan. There is no possibility of promotion or appeal of this decision. Dismissed."


Ó Pátria, Ó Rei, Ó Povo: Portugal in the Continental War continued:

Napoleon's victory at the Battle of Almeida cleared the way for the final victory over Portugal. Stripping Marshal Masséna from his rank and busting him back to Colonel the Emperor took over operations directly; and marshaled all of his forces for a final assault on Lisbon designed to force the country to the table. Less than a month later, on July 7th, Lisbon and her proud citadel fell. Under the command of the Marques of Alorna the Portuguese put up a valiant resistance against Napolon's forces; but two-hundred and seventy thousand soldiers of the Grande Armée were sufficient to best any other force on the Continent. They never stood a chance.

The Second Battle of Lisbon put the nail in Portugal's coffin. The Portuguese court, which had fled to the safe haven of the Azores, concluded peace the next day. All treaties with the Coalition powers -- including the Treaty of Windsor -- were immediately annulled, and the French took care to extract their pound of flesh from Portuguese coffers as well as from her borders. The Algarves were ceded to French administration as well as the provinces of Elvas and Evora, and these were formed into the titular puppet Principality of the Algarves as a protectorate of the Spanish crown. The Algarvese Crown was initially slated for Louis Charles of Bourbon-Parma -- who originally was to be granted the crown of a northern Portuguese puppet, Northern Lusitania, before those plans fell through at the bargaining table -- but was instead granted to Prime Minister Manuel de Godoy of Spain... Fin

640px-Manuel_Godoy_Spain.jpg

Prince Manuel of the Algarves, Grandee of Spain, Observing Fallen Banners by Francisco de Goya​
25 frimaire, an XIV

Your Imperial Majesty,

I write to you today in the hopes of securing a boon from your legendary generosity. My son, Louis Charles as you know, is the former King of Etruria, and is now living in exile with myself in Spain with his grandfather. Resting securely in the promise made by Your Imperial Majesty of appropriate compensation of station due to my son's rank, I am still however anxious to see this aim achieved. As a mother, I ask that my son be put on a throne as soon as possible, the better to serve as a loyal ally of the Republic.

Please believe me to be,

Your Most Obedient Servant,

Maria Luisa
Infanta of Spain
 

DensleyBlair

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Are you playing as France, then? I could hardly imagine how Masséna could suffer such a defeat otherwise (with no slight intended on your skill level. I assure you, my grasp of the game is poor at best...). Nevertheless, it doesn't seem to have done much to stop the Napoleonic war machine.

Where's Nelson when you need him? :D
 

Ab Ovo

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I'll have you know I'm playing Spain, and I was just as surprised as you are :p
 

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Ab Ovo

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26 pluviôse an XIV (21st of February, 1806)
Aranjuez, Kingdom of Spain


"How delightful to have you here, Señor Balmis."

Maria Luisa smiled at the diminutive little doctor standing before her, already famed for his medical work before his trip to the colonies. Having there inoculated vast swathes of the populace against smallpox with seemingly no ill-effects; he was regarded as somewhat of a cause célèbre back in the mother country. His reception by an Infanta of Spain signaled the tacit approval by His Majesty of the expedition and of inoculation as a whole; rather than ostracising his former physician as some members of court had suggested.

Balmis smiled back, and bent to kiss the Infanta's extended hand.

"It is my pleasure, Sua Alteza Real. I am honoured that Your Royal Highness would see fit to receive me and my men at such a lovely ball."

Maria inclined her head gracefully; glancing around to make sure everything was in order. Rough-hewn adventurers who managed to clean up nice and a handful of physicians, all of whom comprised the Balmis Expedition, danced more or less gracefully with socialites and debutantes; all of whom seemed to be politely enjoying themselves. Except for Louis. The little prince was sulking in the corner, having not gotten over his own inoculation at the insistence of his mother.

Oh well, she thought. Children with smallpox do not survive to be kings. As if reading her thoughts, Eugène de Beauharnais wandered over to speak to her. As has grown into a pattern after Great Britain's allies were knocked from the war, the war itself became a dare to the other to see who would strike first. Neither willing to respond to the challenge the war settled into a stalemate and a great many French and allied notables suddenly found themselves with a glut of spare time. Eugène de Beauharnais, Prince of Rome and heir to the Emperor as King of Italy, was one of those and chose to spend the late winter on holiday in Spain. His official reception by the King was notably cool, the former remembering that his grandson's realm had been needlessly annexed into Italy, but the Infanta herself went to great lengths to ingratiate herself to him.

"Ciao, Dona." the Prince said politely.

"Ciao Principe. Have you heard from your father?"

"His Imperial Majesty is touched, of course, by a mother's pleas, but cannot simply carve a crown from the heir. He does however beg you to remain patient, and is sure that Providence will provide for your son."

Maria artfully hide a grimace. "The Emperor is very kind. Come, I am sure Louis will want to speak with you..."

200x200.resizedimage

An excerpt from Ó Pátria, Ó Rei, Ó Povo: Portugal in the Continental War
Maria of Portugal was by all accounts an able ruler at home. And by that, Dom João was an able ruler at home. His mother was stark raving mad and he had taken over as Regent after the War of 1805, and somehow managed to salvage a decent peace from his country's devastating loss against France and her allies. Under his effective reign Portugal was able to regain a measure of her prewar peace and prosperity... until Dom João himself began to go mad. Noticed by his courtiers and advisors the Prince Regent began to make irrational decisions and became prone to wild and unprovoked fits of temper. This posed what could politely be called a dilemma. Her Majesty was insane, His Royal Highness was swiftly following in her footsteps, and the Prince Regent's son was many years from being able to take over for his father or grandmother. Portugal simply had to ride out the storm and hope for the best.

Sadly, that proved to be a tall order when Dom João forced through a declaration of war on the Napoleonic Coalition on the 1st of August, 1806. Only a little over a year after her previous entry into the War, Portugal was nowhere near ready enough to face the seemingly undying might of the Emperor in an all out war. However that didn't stop the Portuguese from trying. The Iberian Campaigns of 1806-1807 were not the first experience of the French in counter-insurgency fighting -- the nascent Republic's actions in subduing the reactionaries of the Vendee certainly qualified as a baptism by fire -- but it was the most intense. Large segments of the Portuguese population mobilised themselves to resist Spanish, Dutch, and French incursions on their territory long after the ragged remnants of the Royal Army fled to defend Lisbon. After the rapid fire assault on and subsequent fall of Portugal the previous year the eleven months that Portugal withstood their assaults must have seemed an eternity to Paris.

Luckily for the Portuguese, they were not the only enemy which France had to either invade or keep at bay. Troubles with the Roman Catholic Church after the annexation of the Papal States to Italy were exacerbated by the publication of the so-called Imperial Catechism in September of 1806, while the entry of Sicily into the war -- finally, after the threat of such had justified the annexation of both the Papal States and Etruria the previous year -- opened yet another front for the Emperor and his satellites and allies. Further bad news came when Denmark, a member of the Napoleonic coalition and the nation who had taken the brunt of fighting against the United Kingdom, was forced to withdraw from the war with a humiliating piece which ceded a large chunk of Norway in January of 1807. Following hot on the heels of that defeat but commensurate with the final draw to a close of Portuguese guerrilla resistance in the face of brutal tactics was the resignation of Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord as Foreign Minister. This especially displeased the Emperor; as Napoleon found the cleric-turned-diplomat to be largely indispensable, but was accepted with a measure of relief by the rest of the Imperial court.

The war against Portugal and her civilians could not last forever though. The Peace of Warsaw saw the Russian withdrawal from the war in May of 1807. Admittedly the Russians had not brought much force to bear but the diversions which they provided in northern Germany against the French soldiers there served as a drain on manpower that otherwise would have been spent on Portugal. With the settling of affairs with St Petersburg that was about to change. Tired and frustrated with what he viewed as the inability of the clearly-superior French and allied soldiers against the comparatively pathetic forces of a nation which was at best an annoyance, Napoleon ordered that his soldiers resort to nothing less than savagery. The actions of Napoleonic troops in the closing days of the Iberian Campaigns have since become infamous for their harshness. Civilians became subjected to random firing squads, children were often kidnapped and hanged in public squares for the perceived insurgent activities of their parents, and entire villages were massacred for inconsequential acts such as displaying the blue-and-white Portuguese colours. After a couple months of this treatment the Portuguese court, with the collective wishes of the ministers overruling the Prince-Regent even at the risk of death, made peace. The swathes of territory which were ceded in the Peace of Braga were duly incorporated into the Principality of the Algarves, and Portugal was left to rest...

623px-El_Tres_de_Mayo%2C_by_Francisco_de_Goya%2C_from_Prado_in_Google_Earth.jpg

A Scene from Portugal by Francisco de Goya​
217px-Grandes_Armes_Imp%C3%A9riales_%281804-1815%292.svg.png
1 thermidor an XV

Addressed to His Most Serene Highness, Manuel of the Algarves, Prince of the Peace;

His Imperial Majesty wishes to express to Your Most Serene Highness, both as Prime Minister in Spain and as Prince of the Algarves, the formal guarantee of Spanish (and therefore Algarvese) sovereignty by the French Republic. It is His Imperial Majesty's most fervent hope that peace and brotherhood may forever prevail between our nations, united in amity and a common orientation towards freedom.

Your Most Obedient Servant,

Jean-Baptiste de Nompère de Champagny,
Foreign Minister for His Imperial Majesty

227px-Lesser_Royal_Coat_of_Arms_of_Spain_%281700-1868_and_1834-1930%29_Pillars_of_Hercules_Variant.svg.png
13 septiembre, 1807

Addressed to the Rt Honourable George Canning, Foreign Secretary for His Majesty George III;

His Most Catholic Majesty thanks you for your kind words and wishes. However, while your offer of peace on behalf of your liege was most generous, His Most Catholic Majesty feels that the Kingdom of Spain is best served by staying the course in her foreign affairs. While the current state of relations between our countries is most unfortunate, in the absence of a more agreeable settlement the Kingdom of Spain remains uninterested in a more comprehensive discussion of peace.

Yours Most Faithfully,

SAS Manuel of the Algarves, Prince of the Peace;
First Minister in Spain on the behalf of His Most Catholic Majesty

1 febrero, 1810

Dear Charles,

Of course the peace has been good for us. Good for Spain. But this recent news is... unsettling. The death of de Godoy was of course destined to have repercussions, but the isolation of Spain from the new French coalition spells disaster for us personally. War will come again soon -- or else I imagine the coalition shouldn't have been formed at all -- and his replacement, the Marquis of Labrador if you would credit Father confiding in such a fatuous individual, is too heavily influenced by the Crown Prince and his anti-French sentiments to be of use. I know I have in the past complained of Spain's subservience to the Republic; but Napoleon is a star ascendant and shows no sign of slowing.

I fear we shall have to move again to stay in the good graces of Napoleon. While he and my father are still on relatively good terms, I cannot say I am confident that the relations between our two countries will remain so. If we remain in Spain and isolated from the orbit of Paris then there is no possible way that any advantage can be taken of new or discarded crowns. It was lovely to spend these years in the bosom of my mother country; but what wouldn't a mother do for the prospects of her son?

***​
13 ventôse an XVIII (4th of March, 1810)
Bern, Swiss Confederation


"Mother... a prison?"

Maria Luisa looked at her son and then back at the building before them. The Zytglogge was a beautiful structure, in the heart of Old Zurich, but had a chequered past. From a civil centre, to a prison for whores, to a clock-tower, Swiss authorities has taken the liberty to convert the building into a residence for the arriving nobles were were said to labour under the auspices of Napoleon himself. Yet compared to their previous homes -- palaces both, and not figuratively either -- the sumptuous residence appeared small and dingy. Not to mention the change in temperature either; Switzerland being in markedly cold contrast to either Spain or Etruria.

"Now now dear, do not look a gifthorse in the mouth. The Swiss authorities were very kind to arrange such a residence for us, even at the behest of the French, and anyway it has not been a prison in ages."

Louis Charles looked at his mother dubiously, but she flashed a smile at the attendants who were carrying their luggage and gripped his hand tighter to discourage any further outbursts of ungraciousness. This was their new home for better or worse, nestled in a country which Napoleon gripped by the short hairs and nicely in reach should the war open a royal vacancy...

All we have to do is wait...

533px-Zytglogge_1830.jpg

The Zytglogge of Bern, Swiss residence of the Etrurian royals

Journal de l'Empire

George III gone mad!
British government reels as their enfeebled King is declared insane

159-610x360.jpg

His Imperial Majesty the Emperor, brimming with youthful vitality and fully in command of all France
News has reached this Office of a recent Act of Parliament in that most perfidious of nations, Great Britain, officially declaring their King, George III to be Insane and Unfit to Rule. While This no doubt Explains the actions of the British government in their nonsensical and Most irrational scheming and the general duplicitous nature of that Organisation, this only further serves to illustrate the superiority of His Imperial Majesty at the helm of the Republic, and the Blessings of Providence upon the people of France... (cont. on page II)

4 diciembre, 1812

Dear Charles,

I cannot pretend that I am pleased at the news which has arrived as late. Portugal remains as ever in the grip of the Mad Braganzas, neither the Queen or the Prince-Regent maintaining a shred of sanity yet maintaining complete control over a government and populace completely bereft of any constitutional protectoions or stabilising influences. I imagine that they would have been away with through a coup d'etat were it not for that the Portuguese military is now a shattered and maligned institution, commanding no power or respect after being forced into a fourth war against Napoleon in less than ten years. Can it really be called a victory if a grown main whips an ailing child?

Of course, while Great Britain sits in the splendor of her isolated isle, her few small allies are sent to fight for her. Portugal is vanquished, and soon shall follow Sardinia in her footsteps if they are not careful. It seems now that Napoleon is destined to be master of Europe. Prussia and Austria remain singularly uninterested in conflict, preferring their own designs to hurtling themselves into a serious war, and the Russian bear remains too battered by his wars with his neighbours to raise even a paw against the French. I suppose, having committed ourselves to the winning side, I should be contented. But I cannot help but think that eventually Napoleon may decide to take away even the freedoms of his satellites. Eventually, shall the French care to border the Jordan? Should anyone care to stop them?


200x200.resizedimage

An excerpt from Ó Pátria, Ó Rei, Ó Povo: Portugal in the Continental War
Upon the fifth Portuguese declaration of war against Napoleon and his allies in 1814, less than two years after the disastrous conclusion of her fourth, it is said that Napoleon cried out in despair: "Oh unhappy men! Is it so difficult to find ropes and precipices?" The full demonstration of what ruin could befall an absolute monarchy when her few failsafes to protect against insanity themselves fail horrified all of Europe and prompted neighbouring Spain, as well as Prussia and a few other countries, to quietly institute the skeletal frameworks of constitutionalism to make sure the nation could run itself effectively even if the monarch -- or his regent -- went mad. But for Portugal, little could be done.

The French soldiers swiftly and bloodlessly moved from what were now the French départements of Lusitania and Gallaecia into the rump state which was all that remained of Portugal. This time there was no guerrilla resistance or even military resistance. Most of the armed forces had deserted and the people of Portugal themselves had so grown to loathe the Crown that they would have welcomed the efficiency and prosperity that reigned throughout France and her formerly-Portuguese départements. Those segments of the army which hadn't deserted and which remained loyal to the Crown, however, fled into the Estremadura region and clustered around Lisbon to make one final stand. The Sieges of Santarém, Coimbra, and Setúbal entered into the canon of the Continental War as affairs of heroism and glory, lasting for weeks unto months, and this they were. But by the time French soldiers reached Lisbon in December, the taproot of the Portuguese nation had been cut for good. The mad Braganzas had fled to Great Britain and those ministers who remained were only too happy to sign whatever the French put in front of them. After 675 years, the Kingdom of Portugal came to an end. Fin


320px-Flag_of_Portuguese_Prime-Minister.svg.png

A Proclamation of His Most Pious Majesty
Observing the Chaos and Disorder which has Plagued the lands over which We, as Sovereign, reign by the Grace of Almighty God, We are most Distressed. Although as of late the hostilities between the people of this fair and Bounteous land and those of Our allies have wrought Great Devastation, fueled by the rank insanity of Those who reigned before Us, know that those days have come to an End. We swear before Almighty God that Peace and Prosperity shall reign throughout the land, in concord and delight with those, once enemies, who are now amongst our dearest relations.

Deus salve o Rei, Deus salve nossa bela terra!

D. Luis Carlos I
His Most Pious Majesty, King of Suevitania
 

DensleyBlair

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And so Louis is given the kingdom he's always wanted. Or at least, that his mother has always wanted for him. Suevitania seems a nice enough place, even if it doesn't look too much like it can be trusted with its monarchs. I wish His Most Pious Majesty luck, though naturally remain hopeful nevertheless that Lord Liverpool will get his act together and defeat the Little General.
 

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And so Louis is given the kingdom he's always wanted. Or at least, that his mother has always wanted for him. Suevitania seems a nice enough place, even if it doesn't look too much like it can be trusted with its monarchs. I wish His Most Pious Majesty luck, though naturally remain hopeful nevertheless that Lord Liverpool will get his act together and defeat the Little General.

Suevitania is indeed a nice enough place, if slightly... erm, pitted with artillery marks. Hopefully he will thrive better than the tribe his realm is named after; especially since the people should be glad to have a monarch who isn't stark raving mad.

As for Lord Liverpool, I think he and the rest of the United Kingdom are content to keep up a blockade of parts of the Continent and then leave Napoleon to his designs. There hasn't been a Trafalgar or TTL equivalent but British naval superiority is still firmly established; so I can well imagine a stalemate persisting these final years before the game ends. With the Imperial wedding between Napoleon and Maria Luisa of Austria setting Franco-Austrian relations high in-game the only real threat at this point would be Prussia.
 
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DensleyBlair

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As for Lord Liverpool, I think he and the rest of the United Kingdom are content to keep up a blockade of parts of the Continent and then leave Napoleon to his designs. There hasn't been a Trafalgar or TTL equivalent but British naval superiority is still firmly established; so I can well imagine a stalemate persisting these final years before the game ends. With the Imperial wedding between Napoleon and Maria Luisa of Austria setting Franco-Austrian relations high in-game the only real threat at this point would be Prussia.

If there hasn't been a Trafalgar (and I urge you to do all you can to rectify that poste-haste) then is Nelson still alive? I will be very disappointed if we go the whole AAR without seeing him appear at all.

Having said that, I'll take or leave Wellington. He's never quite recovered in my estimations from the farce that was his handling of the Days of May...
 

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If there hasn't been a Trafalgar (and I urge you to do all you can to rectify that poste-haste) then is Nelson still alive? I will be very disappointed if we go the whole AAR without seeing him appear at all.

Having said that, I'll take or leave Wellington. He's never quite recovered in my estimations from the farce that was his handling of the Days of May...

I am quite sure Wellington is still alive. However, as for a Trafalgar, I fear I must disappoint you. I would mostly have to switch to France, gather her naval forces which at the moment are quite dispersed and unable to offer even the ghost of a threat to the omnipotent guns of the Royal Navy, and then sit them at the Straits of Gibraltar; and then switch to the British and go to attack them all the while hoping the French AI hasn't broken up the fleet or sent it elsewhere.

In honesty, while I much prefer to write AARs from the sidelines -- having never been one for playing GPs, as you know -- it seems that to do otherwise quite wrecks any decisive, war-changing engagements in coming to fruition. I should be quite surprised if any one battle becomes as important as say, Waterloo or Borodino purely by dint of AI machinations.
 

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240px-Coat_of_arms_of_Portugal_%28Lesser%29.svg.png
12 nivôse an XXIII (2nd of January, 1815)
Lisbon, Kingdom of Suevitania


"Your Majesty, I beg you leave off this foolish notion."

The speaker this time was someone who could scare be disregarded. François Louis Carlet, Marquis de La Rozière, sat withered and ancient with the rest of the council of state. A French nobleman by birth, the Marquis had moved to Portugal the year before the execution of Louis XVI and had served the Bourbon crown loyally for many years before. Rousted from his retirement to serve against the nation of his birth after the repeated provocations of the Braganzas, the experience embittered him to the Portuguese Crown and its manifest insanity. He now served the new regime with no hesitation on his part, but not a little hesitation on the part of the regime itself.

The King looked at him with a raised eyebrow, but did not respond. He waited for the Marquis to present his reasons. Other retainers as well looked at him, themselves unwilling to express their fears.

"Dom Rei, I myself can scarcely exaggerate the destruction which the Mad Braganzas have brought upon this fair nation. The populace feels no love for the so-called King João, holed up like a rat among his allies in London. And yet, Majesty, despite what may have brought you and your allies to us and upon whom the blame for that may lie, there is no denying that the French have been the enemy these past years. French soldiers have defeated our armies, French diplomats have torn families asunder... they are in no small part the cause of our miseries."

He took a breath and glanced at the King. The wholesale throwing over of the Kingdom of Portugal in favour of the new Kingdom of Suevitania -- to the extent of the Pope formally abolishing the former, and granting the style Pientissimus Rex to the latter -- left the Portuguese in a state of uncertainty; and the native administration that Napoleon and company had managed to co-opt were still not entirely comfortable. The new King was also quite firm on the matter of drawing a distinction between old Portugal and new Suevitania, as well he might be, and any anti-French sentiment in even the most justified fashion was considered a threat to his reign.

"My dear Marquis..."

Hope fluttered.

"...I cannot agree. We are as war as ever we were against the French, and against an enemy no less powerful. These units will be recruited from the populace, if they have to enlist at the point of a bayonet."

200px-Gerard_-_Napol%C3%A9on_II_Roi_de_Rome.jpg
7 floréal an XXV (27th of April, 1817)
Fontainebleau, French Empire


"Mon ami!"

Napoleon strode across the chambers and seized Luis Carlos by the shoulders, kissing the young King on both cheeks.

"Thank you for visiting, my good friend! You are too kind, surely. I trust things go well for you?"

Dom Luis Carlos looked rather dazed by the exuberance of the Emperor in his greetings. A typical Italian at heart, he supposed.

"It- it, erm, it is my pleasure Your Majesty. I congratulate you on the birth of your son; and hope for many joyous returns."

Napoleon beamed with pride. "Thank you my friend, I only wish mon chéri was here to receive your congratulations, but you know how women can be."

At this the Emperor winked conspiratorially to Luis Carlos, who himself had the grace to look abashed.

"Come, let us dine!"

Before Luis Carlos could accept or refuse Imperial hospitality Napoleon purposefully turned and strode away, presumably to dining quarters. The King could only trail after him.


Journal de l'Empire
18 floréal an XXVII


Peace!
British envoys sign peace with His Imperial Majesty
After Nearly a Decade of renewed War between the French people, and our enemies who have persistently attempted the Domination of all Europe; a great Peace has been signed at Fontainebleau Palace this Friday. The terms were most generous on both Parts, and amity prevailed throughout as Britain nor France demanded concessions; both left to their own territories and devices in perpetual harmony. His Imperial Majesty has proclaimed a Day of Thanksgiving throughout the Empire and Her Allies... (cont. on page II)

640px-Montfort_-_Adieux_de_Napoleon_a_la_Garde_imperiale.jpg

Napoleon speaking to his Old Guard at the victorious conclusion of the Continental Wars
 

Ab Ovo

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And thus ends my first ever completed AAR. Due to several years passing in which absolutely nothing happened (unless you count the AI forming and dissolving coalitions two days later), it is even shorter than other completed MotE AARs which are themselves rather short; but I never wanted to play a war-centered game anyhow. I've learned that to get the most action, you are practically forced to play the GPs and will have to take this into consideration in the future. I hope those few reading this have enjoyed it.
 

DensleyBlair

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Bravo, Ab! A fine effort, and I dare say a wonderful manner in which to breathe some life back into the MotE forum. One can't argue with the end result, either. A white peace to end the Napoleonic Wars does seem something of an anti-climax, though it's infinitely better than seeing the British forced to accept some sort of ignominious treaty. Did the stalemate just persist in the end, considering the British seem to have retained naval dominance?

This, I must say, would be a very interesting starting scenario for a game of Victoria, though I don't know how you could go about implementing it. Nevertheless, congratulations on finishing – not in the least because it marks your first completed AAR. Hopefully it will be the first of many.
 

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Bravo, Ab! A fine effort, and I dare say a wonderful manner in which to breathe some life back into the MotE forum. One can't argue with the end result, either. A white peace to end the Napoleonic Wars does seem something of an anti-climax, though it's infinitely better than seeing the British forced to accept some sort of ignominious treaty. Did the stalemate just persist in the end, considering the British seem to have retained naval dominance?

This, I must say, would be a very interesting starting scenario for a game of Victoria, though I don't know how you could go about implementing it. Nevertheless, congratulations on finishing – not in the least because it marks your first completed AAR. Hopefully it will be the first of many.

The stalemate just kept dragging onwards from the declaration of the second in-game Coalition in 1811, to the WP in 1819. While the first in-game Coalition, lasting from 1805-1810 did see some actual fighting, by the time the second one rolled around France and Co. was absolutely untouchable on land while Britannia ruled the waves. And yes, I think it would be an interesting VII scenario, although instead of a conversion I would probably opt to do a Napoleon's Legacy mod AAR. But I think I'll focus on another MotE AAR or two first, I find I like it here :p
 

DensleyBlair

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The stalemate just kept dragging onwards from the declaration of the second in-game Coalition in 1811, to the WP in 1819. While the first in-game Coalition, lasting from 1805-1810 did see some actual fighting, by the time the second one rolled around France and Co. was absolutely untouchable on land while Britannia ruled the waves.

Glad to hear it. :)

And yes, I think it would be an interesting VII scenario, although instead of a conversion I would probably opt to do a Napoleon's Legacy mod AAR. But I think I'll focus on another MotE AAR or two first, I find I like it here :p

Well, you have the place to yourself. What's not to like?

If you do plan on getting started with another project soon, and if you don't have any concrete plans already, I'm sure it's evident which nation I would most like to see as the subject of an AAR. :p
 

Ab Ovo

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Well, you have the place to yourself. What's not to like?

If you do plan on getting started with another project soon, and if you don't have any concrete plans already, I'm sure it's evident which nation I would most like to see as the subject of an AAR. :p

Exactly!

And I was thinking about a British AAR, but then I actually started a test game and immediately had my ass handed to me in the Peninsula. Preferably it would be from the point of view of a British serving officer abroad in an expeditionary force, but I'll have to probably run a few test games before getting the hang of it. And do recall that, every single time I have played the UK in VII, something has gone horribly, horribly wrong :p