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La Guerra Habsburgo-The Habsburg war

OK, this is an AAR for a part of an EU II multiplay game EUII down under. The struggle may give some idea of fighting 18th century wars in multiplayer. Otherwise I hope you like it!
 
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The Hapsburg War
La Guerra Habsburgo
Der Habsburgerkrieg


Introduction

As any student of history knows, the conflict known as the Hapsburg war in English, La Guerra Habsburgo in Spanish, Der Habsburgerkrieg in German must undoubtably rank as one of the defning moments in European history. Arguably, if the war had proceeded differently, Europe as a entity would have ceased to exist, replaced instead by the domination of Paris and Vienna. It is the task of the historian to both teach and analyse history- I hope in this work that I am capable of doing both.

Part I

European political developments prior to the war


In the 1660s, Spain appeared at the peak of her powers, having wrested control of the Americas from savage tribes such as the Aztecs, Inca, Navajo, Cherokee and Creek. Spain obtained vast income from these territories, which excited both greed and fear amongst the monarchs of Europe, on the one hand eager to obtain Spanish gold for themselves, whilst at the same time wary of Spain's obvious wealth and power. Emperor Leopold Von Hapsburg, Archduke of Austria, King of Italy, Hungary and Germany, began making his plans. Using the little known writings of the Florentine Machiavelli as his guide, the Emperor developed a plan of beautiful simplicity. Spain's power thwarted his plans for European domination. Therefore, Spain must be defeated. Although his power was great, he realised that it would be impossible to take on the Spanish alone, and even worse, costly. Through subtle diplomatic maneuvers, he was able to convince many European monarchs that Spain was a threat, and organised a grand alliance to attack Spain.


El Judas villano y traidor, Emperor Leopold of Austria

Thus it was that in January 12th 1670, at the behest of Emperor Leopold I of Austria that the nations of France, Austria, England, the Ottoman Empire and Persia declared war on Spain, seeking to destroy her through shear numbers. In the end, Spain and her valiant allies Portugal and Sweden (note- AI) could not hope to defeat such a grand alliance, and was forced to sign the humiliating treaty of Vienna in early 1673, ceding vast rich territories to her enemies. Leopold would be forever known in Spain as "El Judas villano y traidor" (Vile treacherour Judas).

Thus the next phase of European history began. Spain's brief period as the driving force in Europe had been ended. The grand alliance, which had been composed of such diverse elements, slowly disintegrated. It quickly became clear that the monarchs of France and Austria had not waged their war upon Spain to restore the balance of power in Europe, but to upset it. The Alliance of France and Austria would become a stable fixture of European diplomacy.

The most obvious effect of Victory was the enormous number of French and Austrian traders who quickly appeared in all parts of the globe, attempting through nefarious means to gain a total monpoly upon world trade. This policy quickly alienated the other members of the Grand Alliance. England left the grand alliance, briefly allied with Spain upon fear of a French attack, but then realigned themselves with Portugal, forming a neutral trading bloc. Persia collapsed into civil war following the death of Shah Abbas II, and the new Shah, Suleiman I faced enormous problems attempting to reassert control. The Ottoman Sultan was deeply upset with the piracy and insults of the French and Austrians, and instead waged war upon their one-time ally Persia. There remained however, the core of the Alliance, France and Austria. A nickname was given to this alliance, by none other than Louis XIV himself.

For myself, it is clear. I am the Sun king. The world revolves around the axis of the sun. The sun shines from Paris and Vienna, and no other cities
The Axis had been born- it was clear to most that at some point the Axis would attempt to dominate Europe, but no-one was sure when. Under Louis XIV, "Le Roi Soleil", the French had expanded their European holdings substantially as a result of wars and diplomacy. During this period, the French annexed the territories Savoy and Lorraine, as well occupying the Swiss confederacy and ending its centuries old independence. However, despite the best efforts of Louis's minister Colbert, the French had failed to balance their finances, mainly due to Louis' extravagant spending. These problems would continue into the reign of his son, Louis XV. War almost broke out after French and Austrian merchants murdered several Spanish merchants in Montana in 1692- however, in the end the Spanish backed down, swallowed their pride, and was forced to extend France and Austria's trading priveliges. Nevertheless, France's finances were severely damgaged by the Sonoran company fiasco. Frenchmen invested millions of livres into French holdings in Mexico, drawn by the lure of easy money, only to find a barren land, left uncolonised by Spain only due to its barren and poor soil.

Sweden was entering a new phase of government. Sweden's monarchs had successfully reestablished the Kalmar Union of Sweden, Denmark and Norway, albeit with the capital in Stockholm rather than Copenhagen. The Swedish monarchy had established a strong centralised state and the finest quality army in Europe. Control of the lucrative Baltic trade gave large wealth to the kings of Sweden, which they used to expand their boundaries into the Baltic and Northern Germany. However, the nobility under Arvid Hoorn had sought, successfully to limit the powers of the Swedish monarchy, and Sweden was entering a new phase of constitutional monarchy, which Swede's nicknamed "The Age of Freedom".

Poland and Russia were both nations at the edge of European poltics. Poland had lost substantial territories to Sweden and Austria. However, the Archduke returned the provinces in question, Wielkopolska (The Great Plain) and Gallicia (land of the Celts) to Poland, in return for his alliance. Poland was however backward both militarily, economically and poltically, it's central government weakened by the enormous disruptive power of the aristocracy. Russia was a stronger beast. Under Peter I, Russia had made great strides in economic and military development. Russian colonisation efforts had reached deep into Siberia. However, Russia still lagged behind western European powers.

England and Portugal decided to concentrate upon economic matters rather than military, and formed into a neutral alliance to protect their own interests. Treaties such as the Meuthen Agreement (1703) saw increased commercial ties, and both these nations expanded their economies considerably. England and Portugal would later fight together in a war against Persia over trading rights.

The only serious European conflict prior to the Habsburg war was the Swedish-Brandenburg conflict, which began as a trading war over dues from Danzig, but eventually escalated into an all out war in 1709-12. Although Austria provided minimal support to the elector of Brandenburg, the commanding general of the Imperial forces, Waldeck, was a notorious drunkard. He would often fight his battles with a hangover, and seldom won victories. His opponent, the dashing Swedish King Karl XII, proved more than a match for him and the forces of Brandenburg, commanded by the "Old Dessauer". The war ended with the total submission of Brandenberg to Sweden, after the Prince elector himself was a casualty of war. The Brandenburg government collapsed, and Sweden would later take total control of all of Brandenburg's territories. Spain had funded Sweden's war effort considerably, and was pleased with the outcome. One of the emperor's allies had been destroyed, whilst the Imperial armies had suffered considerable losses.

In November 1700, Carlos II, King of Castille and Leon, Navarra, Catalonia, the two Sicilies and much more besides, died. His life had been unfortunate journey from an extended childhood to premature senility- his death was mourned but also welcomed. There remained however, the choice of a successor. The main candidates were either the Bourbons of France or the Habsburgs of Austria. There could be no question of allowing a heretic French Calvinist on the most Catholic throne of Spain, and so instead the throne went to Karl Von Habsburg- crowned as Carlos II. Karl was something of a black sheep to the Austrians. The new Emperor, Josef I, hated him intensely, mainly due to his criticism of Josef's autocratic policies. Despite his background, Carlos quickly earned the love and appreciation of all Spaniards. As his chief minister, Carlos named Alberoni. He certainly proved able. The years of decline were reversed. Spain's trade rebounded, sending most of the French and Austrian trading interlopers out of business, whilst organising trade deals with England. The army and navy was reorganised, and for the first time in many years Spain posessed military leaders of skill. The navy was headed by Blas de Lezo, the finest Spanish admiral since the great Alvaro de Bazan, and he had a fleet capable of meeting his exacting standards, second only to the Portuguese in size and quality.

The Spanish armies were less well endowed- commanded by the aging Marqués de Lede, they were sizable, below the quality of the Imperial armies, but above the quality of the French. Spain's position was slowly improving.

What then was the catalyst for the Hapsburg war? There are many hypotheses.

It is known that In June of 1718, the Hofkriegsratt, the central planning department of Imperial war machine issued general order 5011a, which called for general conscription of all abled bodied men in Imperial, Hungarian and Italian territories. The size of Austrian armies was unmatched. Also, Imperial diplomacy secured the assistance of Russia and Poland. These allies, although posessing large armies were primitive by most standards, and were even well behind the West african muslim nations in military doctrines. However, their size was great, and they could bring enormous pressure to bear upon Spain's main ally Sweden. If Austria were to attack Spain, she would have the advantage of superior quality and quantity of both troops and generals. In the opinion of Trevor Roper-

The alliance of France, Austria and the eastern powers posessed a superior military machine. The Habsburg war was quite simply an attempt by the king of the Germans to force his will upon the whole of Europe. Delay may have given his enemies such as the Swedes and Spaniards time to develop armies to withstand his own. Emperor Josef decided that [during the 1710s] it was time to strike while the conscripts were hot.
Or was it perhaps the French that took action, and the Austrians merely followed? Ray Huang has explored this thesis in depth, in his seminal work The Habsburg war: It's causes and effects on Qing poltics.

It is known that the new French king, Louis XV, was eager to emulate his father's achievements and gain military glory for himself. It is also true that several unsavoury characters gained enormous influence at court. One name in particular stands out, the Duc De Slarg. A Calvinist nobleman of immense welath and influence, De Slarg was known to posess an enormous personal army, known as the Slarhost. De Slarg was an avid warmonger, and eager to fight almost anyone, who had developed impractical schemes such as the invasion of China. The personalities of the military commanders cannot be discoutned either. France and Austria posessed commanders of unparalled skill and determination. Villars, Prince Eugene, Von Mercy, Conte, Dougay Truin to name but a few. Many of these men regarded the relative inactivity of the French and Imperial armies as a waste. What was the point of fashioning so fine an army, only to see it rot?

However, despite these geopolitical realities, the thesis developed by Hobsbawn in his fine history "The Age of Enlightenment" has gained widespread endorsement. This is best described as "Brother against Brother". It was no secret that the Austrian and Spanish leaders possessed an enrmous personal rivalry, and neither was prepared to see the other prosper, even if by doing so they may avoid conflict. Karl III had imbibed the attitudes and manners of the Spaniards he ruled, most of whom detested Austria's expansion. The desire to prove once and for all who was the stronger, and right percieved wrongs cannot be discounted, and remains the best explanation for the facts surrounding the start of the conflict. Indeed, the name of the conflict, "La Guerra Habsburgo".


Carlos III de Habsburgo- Spain's leader

A last thesis, developed by Nigel Davies posited that the war was merely an extension of Poland's domestic struggles. However, this does not have much evidence and it normally regarded as a joke.

In any case, whatever the reason France and Austria, along with their allies Poland and Russia declared war on Spain and Sweden on June 20th 1720.

The Habsburg war had begun.

 
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nalivayko

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A very well written and extensive introduction. Can't wait for update!
 

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I was pretty damn pissed I couldnt play in this >_< goddamn multiplayer. Looks like i woulda been outta my depth anyway lol. Will Spain and Sweden falter?? Stay tuned for the next episode?
 

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Excellent introduction, and I am very much looking forward to the war itself.
 

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Can only agree with previous commentators great introduction, nice to see Sweden beating up Brandenburg :)
 

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nalivayko said:
A very well written and extensive introduction. Can't wait for update!
Thank you Nalivayko, I will endeavour to make sure the rest of the AAR is as of high a standard.

Rhodz said:
I was pretty damn pissed I couldnt play in this >_< goddamn multiplayer. Looks like i woulda been outta my depth anyway lol. Will Spain and Sweden falter?? Stay tuned for the next episode?
Ah, don't worry Rhodz, you wouldn't be out of your depth. Most of us are newbs- I certainly was. I've honestly no idea whether I'll be able to resist the French and Austrians, we're playing the next session Saturday- I'll find out then.

Stynlan said:
Excellent introduction, and I am very much looking forward to the war itself.
I hope I do not disappoint you Stynlan! The war will come very soon!

Can only agree with previous commentators great introduction, nice to see Sweden beating up Brandenburg
Oh, Brandenburg was beaten up by Slargos subbing Sweden and Devil subbing Brandenburg with Twoflower+Hangover as an Austria with bad reaction times. It was the evil patch where morale was the only thing that
made a difference in battle, And due to Sweden's events (and Karl XII) Slargos was able to declare victory to the Swede after his government collapsed.
 

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Part II

1720-24 The Opening Moves


The Swedish and Spanish alliance was disturbed by the Axis declaration of war, but not surprised. Resignation was the dominant emotion amongst the soldiers called upon to fight for their El Re y Patria.

The Habsburg War began with the Axis alliance possessing many military advantages. The axis possessed larger numbers of soldiers and ships. Austria was known for its innovative use of military technology, whilst the French were known for their Elan and vigour on the battlefield, which emphasized both a high quality of troops and the need for an offensive doctrine. The Poles and Russians possessed strength in numbers, although their troops were in general badly trained and motivated serfs. Spain possessed a large army, which was certainly the equal of any other in size and training, but inferior to the alliance arrayed against them. Sweden’s military emphasized quality and training above all else, though the armies available to the Swede were smaller than those of most if their enemies.

OOC: (The above paragraph is based upon combat experience of the various nations. For all I know, Russia could have the freest peasantry in the world)

The naval side was more even, however, even here the axis held a slight advantage. France possessed in Dougay Trouin, a commander of great skill, though the French fleet was relatively small. When combined with the Austria fleet however, the fleets were more or less even.

It was obvious that in order to defeat the enemy, the Spanish and Swedish forces would need to neutralise at least some of these advantages. Conversely, in order to succeed, and defeat the Swedes and Spaniards, the Emperor and his allies would need to exploit their advantages to enforce a
favourable peace upon their enemies.

What after all, does victory in war mean, and how is it achieved? Victory may be achieved by defeating enemy formations in battle, by killing, maiming or capturing the soldiers of the enemy, or by occupying his territories and cities. Ultimately, however, wars are won in the hearts and minds of a combatant. A foe will submit when he feels himself to be defeated, regardless of how many cities are captured and battles won.

Edit: Changed Ballets to Battles

Many historians (Such as the noted military historian Da Mocles) have stated that they consider warfare in the 17th century to be too static to be of interest, owing to the general excellence of fortress defences and the difficulty of assaulting large fortresses as well as the attrition. Battles in general favoured the defender, leading to the difficulty in occupying large territories. Whilst this view has many merits, this book will generally put forward the opposite thesis, and attempt to show that warfare in this period still offered opportunities for great manoeuvre.


Disposition of the Austrian armies several years prior to the war.

Immediately following the Declaration of War, the axis forces attacked Spanish and Swedish territories. French forces made several probes against the Pyrenees, as well as attacking into the Low Countries. Austria made several attacks against Spanish forces in Italy and the Low Countries, as well as attacking Swedish forces in Northern Germany and the Baltic. Poland used her limited forces to attack Swedish Prussia, whilst Russia attacked the Baltic and made a daring invasion of Finland.

Faced with superior numbers, the Spanish and Swedish forces chose to retreat in most cases rather than risk losing their entire armies in a single battle. They were nearly always on the defensive; however, that is normally where they had planned to be. Lacking numbers, Spain and Sweden had invested heavily in building fortifications in order to slow down an invader. The Spanish border fortresses in particular were indeed mighty, having been systematically developed over a period of years.


Whilst French troops assemble ominously close to the border, the Spanish frantically build forts in 1712, in the years of peace.

The Pyreneees front

In the Pyrenees, the natural defensive terrain favoured the Spanish defence. Although a few minor attacks were launched, the French were reluctant to commit large forces into enemy territory without adequate reconnaissance. In order to achieve this, De Slarg ordered a large force of cavalry to determine the disposition of Spanish forces. This mission was without success after being ambushed by Catalan militia the French were forced to surrender. After this defeat, the southern front saw little action by enemy forces. It was not completely quite however- a massive rebellion funded by the Austrians broke out amongst the Basques of Navarra. This uprising was over 100,000 men strong, an enormous figure considering Pamplona housed less than 20,000 souls. The local Spanish Commander, Ocana, was forced to retreat, and allowed sufficient time for the rebels to desert, which they did over several months after failing to capture Pamplona. Ocana then easily forced the remaining rebels to submit. It is fortunate that the French were never able to learn of the uprising, as the entire front may have failed had their efforts been coordinated.

The Baltic Front

This front was the most difficult for Sweden. Here, the combined forces of Poland, Russia and Austria could be brought to bear- the Swedish garrisons withdrew quickly. Prussia and Memel fell quickly to Polish and Russian forces, and only the well fortified city of Danzig resisted assault.

The Italian front

As early as July 1720, the Austrian commander Von Mercy- so named for his lack of the trait- was marching on Naples from Marche. In the battle of Naples, Von Mercy proved victorious, due to the numerous cannon he had brought with him. Outnumbered, the local Spanish forces retreated to Apulia to build up their forces, which they did primarily by recruiting Italian Mercenaries. The citadel of Naples fell to Austrians in mid 1722, 2 weeks before the reinforced Spanish army arrived to attempt to lift the siege. Von Mercy was driven north, but the Austrian garrison of Naples resisted offers of honourable surrender. Lacking cannon and naval support, the Austrians could hold out almost indefinitely.

The Spanish Netherlands

The Campaign in the Spanish Netherlands was undoubtedly one of the hardest fought of the war. It was here that Spanish, Swedish, French and Austrian forces clashed repeatedly, attempting to defeat the enemy.
From the outset, the French and Austrians possessed enormous advantages, outnumbering the Armada del Flanders more than 2 to 1. Leading their armies were the outstanding tacticians of the age, Marchal Villars and Prince Eugenio Von de Savoie. Faced with such giants and with inferior numbers, the Marqués de Lede adopted a hit and run strategy. Whilst Villars was busy attacking Flandern, De Lede attempted to attack Prince Eugene’s forces at Cologne.


Prince Eugenio Von De Savioe. Related to the dispossessed line of the Dukes of Savoy, Prinz Eugen was a master tactician

Despite having an advantage in artillery and cavalry, De Lede was forced to retreat in a brilliant flanking maneuver, when the general Franz arrived. Seeing the danger of total annihilation, de Lede attempted to retreat his forces to Zeeland. However, owing to fact that the retreat was already underway, De Lede’s forces retreated to Brabant instead. (OOC- Damn retreat!)

Marechal de la France Villars, the greatest French commander since Turenne.

Marechal Villars immediately spotted this and moved to intercept De Lede. As Villars forces approached, there was now a very real danger that De Lede’s entire army would be destroyed by the French forces. After a skirmish with Villars forces near Arras, De Lede was again forced to retreat across the Rhine with Villars cavalry and infantry in hot pursuit. The winter of 1721 was remembered in the Netherlands for its icy sleet and hail. As the Armada del Flanders forces shivered across the Rhine in small boats, burning the bridges behind them, De Lede must have dreaded the battle ahead…
 
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stnylan

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Sounds nice and complicated :D

I know this is almost certainly a typo, but I loved this line:

Ultimately, an foe will submit when he feels himself to be defeated, regardless of how many cities are captured and ballets won.
War is high culture after all ;)
 

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stnylan said:
Sounds nice and complicated :D

I know this is almost certainly a typo, but I loved this line: ballet etc

War is high culture after all ;)
ARG :eek:o

Well, I think I may have to go back and change that. After all, although Ballet was an important part of Spanish military training, in the end it was less important than battle training. I should have made that clear. Nevertheless, the ballet skills of de Lede were reamrked upon by the French Commander Conte, who once allowed a Spanish army to escape after a brilliant rendition of "Swan Lake" decades before it would be performed again.

Ahem.

Well, anyway, the next update will be in a few hours and will cover up to when 1724 begins.
 
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After arriving in Zeeland in January of 1721, De Lede immediately began preparing his defences against the French attack. It began on January 13th 1721, as French engineers succeeded in establishing a pontoon bridge close to the Austrian border. Villars urged his men to Victory, believing that he had finally cornered De Lede. Small volleys of musketfire were heard, and Villars expected to finally close with the Spaniards. However, de Lede had secretly been in negotiations with the Dutch government. Gold quickly overcame the hostility of the Dutch government, and de Lede was able to withdraw the Armada del Flanders into Dutch territory. Villars was furious with the Dutch, but quickly organised a treaty of military access to follow the Spaniards. The battle would take place near the mount of the Rhine, as de Lede was concerned to limit the casulaties of the innocent Dutch civilians. Both Spanish and French forces behaved in an exemplary fashion towards the civilian population.

De Lede again established his cannon in protective batteries, in the centre of the Spanish formation, shaped in the horns of a buffalo. Villars preferred a wedge formation, and attempted to drive his long suffering infantry forward into the Spanish ranks.

Although the Spanish cannon fired volley after volley at the French, the lines of the French, perfectly drilled, fired musketry and rifle shot against the spanish positions at close range. Spanish and French cavalry clashed repeatedly whilst attempting to flank each other in the soggy polder fields. However, before the battle was fully joined, a cry was heard to the west. A large Swedish force under Arvid Hoorn had arrived secretly by sea, and was attacking the French flank.


Swedish and Finnish Cavalry attack the French near the Rhine Mouth

Thwarted and in danger of sustaining heavy casulaties, Villars withdrew, vowing to return and crush the Spanish and Swedish. De Lede's forces were later evacuated by ship, leaving them to fight another day. However, the French were able to capture Brabant and the Austrians the cities of Cologne and Luxemburg.


(OOC : Note- I may have mixed up some of the dates here, as I don't have a player save.)

The Naval War

December of 1721 brought strange news from Gibraltar. A Morisco shepard claimed to have seen over 150 Austrian ships passing passing the rock into the Atlantic. Sadly, this information reached the Commander of the Spanish Armada too late to intercept the Austrian fleet. Spain posessed a large and powerful fleet, commanded by arguably the greatest naval mind of the era- Blas de Lezo.



Blas de Lezo was both an admiral and a naval innovator. Developing many new methods of sailing and signalling, he responsible for Spanish performance in the first part of the Habsburg war

De Lezo's first assignment was to ferry a force of Marine infantry to northern Europe, to take part in the battles in Germany and Finland. However, in March of 1721, news reached the Armada that the Austrian fleet was ferrying troops into Northern Germany and threatening Sweden's supply lines to Mecklemburg, the key to Sweden's north German holdings. Racing northwards, de Lezo's fleet entered the Sund in May. The Austrian fleet was mostly concerned with blockading Copenhagen and the North German ports. On the night of the 6th of may, de Lezo gave the order for the attack.


A dismasted Spanish vessel (centre) drifts listlessly, whilst a damaged Spanish vessel (right) launches a ferocious broadside against a fleeing Austrian ship (left).

The Austrian fleet, spread out due to the blockade and not in battle formation, was subjected to withering broadsides by the Spanish fleet. Almost 30 Austrian ships were destroyed that night, a victim of de Lezo's superior leadership. The remnants of the Austrian fleet escaped to Skaggerack, but were harried mercilessly by de Lezo. Eventually the, Austrian fleet agreed to surrender, and the Austrian sailors were interned in Oslo for the duration of the war.

One question that has been asked about the naval campaign, is where was the vaunted French admiral Dougay Trouin? The French and Austrians appear to have made no effort to corrdinate their fleet efforts. Trouin was in fact blockading the Flanders with his fleet. After the victory in the Skaggerack, de Lezo's fleet returned to Flanders to resupply, and ran straight into Trouin's fleet. The battle was a complete victory for the Spanish, as the French fleet, commanded by no less than 5 seperate admirals was unable to coordinate itself properly, and was methodically sunk or boarded by de Leso's sailors. The naval war was effectively over, and the Spanish and Swedish navies now posessed total Naval superiority.

War In the North

For Spain and Sweden, this was just as well, as the autumn of 1721 had brought a Russian invasion of Sweden's territories by two large armies commanded by Sheremetev and Menshikov. Menshikov's armies was besieging Nyland, the heavily populated and strategically important border province of Finland. Menshikov's forces totalled nearly 39,000 men under arms, and the Swedish garrisons of fortified cities of Vyborg and Helsinki were almost at ready to surrender, lacking both food and ammunition. However, the siege was lifted when 40,000 Spanish marines travelling in de Lezo's fleet landed in Nyland and brought battle to the Russians. The Spanish troops proved better disciplined than Menshikov's forces. Despite attempts by Menshikov's cavalry to break throught the Spanish formations, the Spanish lines held firm, and bayonet charge scattered the badly trained Russian infantry, sending them fleeing back to Russia to regroup.

The tasks of the Spanish marines was by no means over however- Austrian forces were attacking Sweden's recently acquired North German provinces, with some success- in Mid 1721, Magdeburg and Berlin had already fallen, in part due to the incompetence shown by the commander of Sweden's German forces, Von Buddenbrock, in withdrawing to Mecklemburg too soon.

Swedish and Spanish forces clashed repeatedly over Mecklemburg, with neither side able to gain an advantage. Several battlles took place, though the forces were more or less evenly matched, most of the Swedish and Spanish forces were withdrawn from Northern Germany after the Russian general Sheremetev launched his attack on Stockholm in Early 1722. Both Swedish and Spanish forces fought to defend the capital. Sheremetev, seeing his forces substantially weakened by their marches over Finland, withdrew without risking battle. For King Frederik, however, the attack on the capital was the final straw. Weary of the fighting, and discouraged by the seemingly endless hordes of Russians, Poles, and Austrians, on March 20th 1722 Frederik agreed to peace with the Empeor. Sweden ceded Magdeburg to the Emperor, Memel to Russia and ducal Prussia to Poland. Sweden was out of the war. Spain would make peace with Poland and Russia later that year, on the basis of the Status quo ante. Although a technical state of war still existed between Sweden and France, the loss of Spain's only ally was a deep blow. The Emperor sent emissaries offering peace. The only demands were the cities of Cologne and Luxemburg to Austria, and Brabant to the French. This peace would have left the rest of the Spanish Netherlands defenceless, and was rejected, but the Emperor was confident of victory.

The Colonial war - The battle for Sonora

In all the history of the Americas, there is no colony more wretched than that of French Sonora. This large expanse of wasteland, bounded on 3 sides by the Spanish colonies of Mexico, the Navajo lands and the Californias must rank as one of the poorest and most destitute of regions in the world. Nevertheless, in part due to the mad speculation that had followed the establishment of the "Sonoran Company" the French had established numerous outposts in this region, from Mazatlan to the border of the Sierra Madre mountains. These colonies were small and their industry consisted mainly of cattle ranching and a few crops- these was however, one city of note in Altar, the somewhat dingy trading settlement of Nouvelle Toulouse, which exported the meagre produce back to Europe.

Spanish military commanders had long recognised the difficulty in attacking the poor desert region and had built up a considerable force of colonial militia in the event of hostilities. The capture of the colony was deemed supremely important, not due to the wealth of the region, but its proximity to the rich gold mines of Mexico. Spanish forces could count on considerable resources of Infantry, cavalry and even some artillery pieces.

In the event however, taking the colony proved exceedingly difficult. The local French commander, a conquistador of some renown known as Hertel, had built up a sizable force of local recruits. Knowing the terrain, he consistently hammered Spanish forces, destroying their supply lines, before his forces would once again vanish into the depths of the Sonoran desert. Hertel also made use of Indian troops, and Spanish attacks were repeatedly stymied.

It seems odd therefore, that in early 1722 abandoned the colony despite his successful defence and instead went on a rampage in cetral America. After passing through Mexico, Hertel got at far as the main city of Mosquitos, Limon, where he brutally murdered the newly arrived Spanish governor.

However, is was here he met defeat, for forces moving Northward from Columbia intercepted his forces and relieved the citizens from Hertel's reign of terror. Hertel's forces were later forced to surrender in the Yucatan. The French Sonoran colonies were easily occupied shortly afterwards by Spanish forces, ending that phase of the war.

Return of the war in the Pyrenees - 1723

With the end of fighting in Sweden and a stalemate in the Netherlands, Villars moved his forces back to Pyrenees front. Dismayed by the lack of progress in breaking through, Villars embarked upon what he called the "Machiavellian Gamble". With no cavalry, Villars launched an assault on the heavily fortified city of Pau in Basse Navarra. The Battle raged throughout 1723. Neither Villars nor the defenders suffered heavy casualties, and yet the fighting was of an enormous intensity. Pau was mainly defended by French Catholics who had accepted Spanish rule rather than accept the Calvinist Bourbons, and the fighting assumed a religious dimension.
The assault perhaps have gone on forever, until the Spanish decided to send their Basque forces to relieve the city. Villars withdrew rather than face battle. One of the great what-ifs of the war is what would have happened if the Basques had not been sent up to relieve Pau. The French assault had had little success, and yet French honour demanded that the assault be continued until victory or death- had the Basques not appeared and offered Villars a face saving way of breaking off the assault, the French may have sustained much heavier casualties. Still, VIllars had been repulsed and an uneasy calim descended over the front.


The European Situation in 1724 thus far
 
Last edited:

stnylan

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Wow. First round to the Axis, with consolation prize to Spain.
 
Jan 6, 2004
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I want to play online! Too bad my internet don't work properly yet, else I would have entered that game as Persia or China and declared war upon the axis just to disturb Russia from sending troops (I don't want to see you get defeated here).

It is quite fun that you have not finished the game yet, that means anything can happen, and since it is multiplayer it can. You are outnumbered and matched by (probably) equally good opponnents as yourself. They know teamwork, as an opposite from AI and might bring a devastating defeat on you, though I certainly hope not.
 

Van Engel

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Sounds real fun even if you are not winning
 

unmerged(25190)

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Well, I think France may be in trouble if they are the only ones against the Swedes. And I doubt the Russians and Polish will sent troops as far afield as Spain! Will the English intervene and snatch up Axis colonies? Maybe the Ottomans so they will retake Hungary?
 

unmerged(11633)

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_Arcadian_ said:
Well, I think France may be in trouble if they are the only ones against the Swedes. And I doubt the Russians and Polish will sent troops as far afield as Spain! Will the English intervene and snatch up Axis colonies? Maybe the Ottomans so they will retake Hungary?
Well, at the moment I have made peace with the Poles and Russians. It's a shame I wasn't able to help Sweden more- they lost a lot of their North German and Baltic holdings.

It's unlikely that the English, Portugese or the Ottomans will intervene- they are both at war to attack the Persians while they are down.

At the moment, due to the order of peacing, Spain and Sweden are allied against France, while Austria is in a seperate war against Spain. Got that?

So Spain war with France, Austria
Austria war with Spain
France war with Sweden, Spain
Sweden war with France.

Van Engel said:
Sounds real fun even if you are not winning
It is fun, but I'm not beaten and I've got a few tricks up my sleeve yet. :D The only bad thing is of course, Sweden being forced out and me losing Naples to to the Austrians. Ah well, I will return to drive out the invaders!


King Yngvar said:
I want to play online! Too bad my internet don't work properly yet, else I would have entered that game as Persia or China and declared war upon the axis just to disturb Russia from sending troops (I don't want to see you get defeated here).
My dear Yngvar, it is just a game! :) Should you join, it is doubtful that Persia or China or anyone else could make a difference. Russia has made peace, and anyway, the only countries who might be able to intervene are England, Portugal, the OE or Persia. And England, Portugal and the OE are at war with Persia! So no intervention for a while. I hope your internet gets better. Multiplayer is a totally different game from SP.

Stynlan said:
Wow. First round to the Axis, with consolation prize to Spain.
Yes, the first round is over, but there are still a few rounds to go. I can't reveal my devious strategies now, as Twoflower may well be reading, even as we write! :eek:

So, I'll complete this after Saturday. And then all will be revealed!
 

unmerged(11633)

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After speaking to the Spanish forum, could some kindly Moderator please change the title of this AAR?

La Guerra Habsburgo is the more correct form.

Thanks. :)