[Forum Game] - World in Revolution: 1804

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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

MastahCheef117

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There is no freedom where you destroy and conquer.

Francis II
Emperor of Austria, Roman Emperor Elect
 

Spectre17

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We have simply defended ourselves and our freedom, you and the rest of the Coalition have always attacked us. The Empires of Europe cannot talk about conquering and destroying.

Napoleon I, Emperor of the French
 

DoomBunny

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OOC: I only need orders from Naples - Sicily. If I get them soon, I can factor their military actions into the war update. If I don't, then they'll have to wait till the main update.
 

DoomBunny

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The War of the Third Coalition - German-Italian Campaign 1805

On 23rd March 1805, Napoleon met with his Generals to make a decision that would change Europe forever. Deciding to abandon plans for a cross channel invasion for now, they ordered the Grand Armee to break camp and march to the East, in order to defeat the coalition powers which had recently joined the British. In high spirits, the formations left Bolougne, with banners raised high and bands playing the songs of war. Upon leaving Bolougne, the Armee split into 3 different forces. The Grand Armee under Napoleon, 200,000 strong and made up of 7 corps marched for Munich, to reinforce France's German allies. The Armee de Hanovre under Bessieres, the weakest force, was to march, join up with existing occupation forces and secure Hanover from coalition attack, but would have only 50,000 men to accomplish this task with. Meanwhile, Massena would lead the 100,000 strong Armée d'Italie in a defensive campaign aimed at keeping the Austrians out the Italian Republic.

Inspecting_the_Troops_at_Boulogne%2C_15_August_1804.png

1. Elements of the Grand Armee on inspection at the Bolougne Camp.


The French were not the only nation on the march however. In the East, the Russian behemoth was stirring into life, and upon receiving news of the Grand Armee's march, Tsar Alexander immediately began to plan. After long deliberation that lasted until 4am, the Tsar and his Generals decided to send 300,000 men to reinforce Austria and Prussia. The first force, made up of 150,000 men under Kutuzov, would march to Berlin, and there join with Prussian forces. The second, under Bagration and of equal size to the first, would march to meet the Austrian forces in Bohemia. Austria and Prussia were also making plans, with Prussia deciding on a very conservative strategy, which proposed withdrawing the vast majority of Prussian strength to Berlin, in order to meet up with Russian forces arriving from the East. The Austrians also chose a conservative strategy, electing to send 100,000 men under Radetzky to cover Italy, another 175,000 under Archduke Ferdinand to cover Bohemia and join with Russian reinforcements, and another 150,000, under Archduke Charles, their finest commander, to guard the approach to Vienna.

The allies of France were also planning however, with the Swiss adopting a strategy of defence along their Eastern border, utilising the Alps as a natural defensive position. The Bavarians meanwhile, had been the boldest of all the powers, and with the other French allies, planned to make bold strikes towards Innsbruck and against Austrian allies bordering their territory.

With the plans made, the various Armies began to move across Europe. The Bavarians struck first, holding a reserve of 12,500 men at home, whilst sending their remaining forces onto the offensive. Accompanied by forces from Wurttemburg and Baden, they seized various Austrian aligned territories bordering them with few losses of their own. Austrian troops had all been withdrawn from the area, and those local forces that remained were hopelessly outnumbered, outdated and under supplied. With their backs secured, the Bavarians turned their attention to the Tirol, leading a 20,000 strong German force into the area. Under the command of Ludwig, the Bavarian Elector's first son and heir, they marched cautiously at first, expecting strong Austrian resistance. They found none however, and apart from light harrying from local militia forces, hastily raised and ill equipped, they had a relatively untroubled advance. Leaving garrisons in key towns along the way, they reached Innsbruck on the 1st of May, barely a month since they started their cautious advance from Munich. Seizing control of the city, they marched through the streets with pride and raised their flags over the Castle. [-500 Conscripts from Bavaria, Tirol under Bavarian control, Several HRE minors bordering South German states occupied, Pro-Austrian militia operating in Tirol]

Schloss_Ambras_in_Tirol.jpg

2. Engraving of the Schloss Ambras, the new Headquarters of the German forces in the Tirol.

Whilst this was happening, the 50,000 strong force under Bessieres had arrived in Hanover, where they began to dig in and fortify key towns, expecting an imminent Prussian attack. None came however, and apart from the odd cavalry skirmish between border patrols and scouts, little action occurred in this sector.

In Northern Italy however, the war was very real. With Austrian forces arriving well before the French, they set about the task of destroying the local Italian forces who supported the French. Although they vastly outnumbered the local Italian forces, the Austrians could never seem to bring them to battle, fighting only skirmishes against cavalry patrols and rearguards. Unknown to them, the Italian forces were benefiting from an efficient system of local civilian informers and scouts, who were giving them the information they needed to avoid battle until French reinforcements arrived.

It was July before the 130,000 strong Franco-Italian and 100,000 strong Austrian forces finally met in a real battle. Upon hearing of the arrival of French forces, General Radetzky ordered his army to retreat, in order to fight a defensive war around the area of Venice-Trent. General Massena was also under orders to pursue a defensive policy, also along the Austrian-Italian border. Both sides recognised the importance of the intersection Adige and Alpone rivers, for it was here that Italian territory was closest to the river, which would have to be crossed before any invasion could gain momentum. The French were determined to keep open this important salient, to facilitate future offensives into Austrian Italy, the Austrians opposing them were set on securing this weakness in their lines, and driving the French away from the river. In late July, as both sides rushed to secure the crossings at Arcole and Ronco, the stage was set for the opening battle of the Italian campaign, the Second Battle of Arcole.

The first engagement of the battle took place at 9am between Hungarian and Italian Hussars, both of which were leading their armies advance. The Austrians, crossing the Alpone at Arcole were intent on capturing the bridge at Ronco and setting up a defence there, to stop any French crossings, the French had the opposite goal, having crossed the Adige at Ronco. After the vanguard cavalry units clashed, both sides fell back to set up their battle lines, with the better drilled French accomplishing this much faster than the Austrians, and subsequently beginning their advance sooner than that of the Austrians. Both sides met about 2/3rds of the way from Ronco to Arcole, and a fierce battle began. Initially, the French made good progress as a half hour artillery bombardment by every gun they could muster softened up Austrian positions for a infantry assault. The Austrians soon began to fight back with an uncommon zeal however, and by 2pm, the French advance had been brought to a standstill, with heavy losses on both sides and a significant dent hammered into the Austrian right flank.

Now, General Radetzky went onto the counterattack, ordering forward his heavy cavalry as a battering ram to punch through the bloodied French left. Supported by the fire of the Austrian guns and followed by a slow moving infantry advance, the Austrian cavalry thundered forward over the dusty ground. Taking fire from the French artillery, they swept forward towards the French infantry. Tired and low on supplies from their attack, the French infantry hurried to form squares against the cavalry attack. Under heavy Austrian bombardment, the squares suffered horrific casualties, and several were broken by Austrian cavalry, due to artillery fire or mistimed volleys from the infantry. Massena however, was not going to let his left be broken so easily, and order forward his heavy cavalry in response to the Austrian assault. He also ordered the bulk of his light cavalry over to his left, and gave them orders to flank the Austrian right and cut off the Austrian heavy cavalry from their lines.

Moving swiftly, the French cavalry quickly equalised the situation on their left, and forced the Austrian counterattack to a halt. Then mounting a counterattack of their own, they drove the Austrians back, past the maximum extent of the previous French advance and onwards, skewing the Austrian line severely. Seeing the danger, Radetzky ordered an immediate rearguard action whilst the bulk of his forces retreated to regroup at Arcole. The rearguard, made up mainly of Czech and Croatian forces managed to hold long enough to allow the Austrian retreat, though they took severe casualties and resorted to using a makeshift grapeshot assembled from whatever sharp objects could be found on the battlefield. By 5pm, the
Austrian rearguard had broken, and the French advance continued. By now, both sides were down to their last reserves and were suffering from a days intense battle.

arcole.jpg

3. Painting of the battle from the Adige river, near Ronco. Note the newly constructed Pontoon bridge which the Frano-Italian force is crossing over.

Massena, keen to break through and seize the town ordered his men forward in one final attack, intent on breaking the Austrian centre in a huge concentrated push. The Austrian infantry, some dead on their feet, held as best they could, but were driven back and back until they reached the banks of the river. There, amongst the trees and brush they made their stand, firing volley after volley into the advancing French, before mounting a final bayonet charge with their last remaining energy. Joined by the remaining cavalry, they entered into brutal hand to hand fighting, as artillery fire screamed overhead and howitzer shells exploded amongst the whirling melee. Very few of those who entered the melee had any idea of how the battle was progressing, they focused only on surviving. From a higher perspective however, things were clearer. Massena, realising that his tired soldiers had little chance of success, ordered a retreat back towards Ronco, and Radetzky, himself wounded in the leg by a piece of shrapnel, was happy to let Massena go.

After a bitter and bloody days fighting, the result was a draw. The French and Italians, in possession of Ronco, had taken slightly higher casualties, but neither side could really claim a victory. Throughout the night, the Sappers and Pioneers worked to set up additional Pontoon bridges across the rivers, and to fortify buildings in the towns for coming battles. However, neither side had the strength nor stomach for a further clash, both thinking their strength inadequate for a further engagement. Therefore, both sat tight in their positions, sending out scouts to check on enemy movements and try and find an advantage they could use to force a victory over the other. [-5,000 Regulars from France, -5,000 Conscripts from France, -7,500 Regulars from Austria]

Zanoli_Tafel5_detail1.jpg

4. Painting of Italian troops in Ronco after the battle.

Meanwhile, in Germany, the main area of action so far in the war, the largest battle of the year was about to be fought. At Linz, the Austrian commander, Archduke Charles, lacked confidence in his forces. Whilst he had no precise information, he was sure the Franco-German force in Munich was bigger than his own, and he was unsure if his reforms to the army would be enough to stop the French forces. In Munich, Napoleon was also considering the situation. The Bavarian advance into the Tirol had secured his southern flank, but the presence of Austrian and Russian troops in Bohemia worried him. Although both sides initially wished to avoid engagement, circumstances were to force the hand of both sides.

At dawn on the 17th of September, 1805, an Austrian and a Bavarian border patrol clashed near the town of Passau. The Austrian patrol, emerging from some woods, was sighted by the Bavarians who were resting along a low stone wall as the edge of a field. Once fired upon, the Austrians quickly dismounted and took cover, returning fire and moving around as they did so, in an attempt to fool the Bavarians into thinking they were a larger force. The ploy worked, but the Austrian's desired effect was not the outcome. Instead, the Bavarians continued to fight back, and sent riders to summon help against what they believed to be a far larger Austrian force. As more Bavarian forces arrived, the Austrians decided to take a similar course of action, and soon both sides had brought several regiments into play. As more forces arrived, successive commanders sent for more and more reinforcements. By nightfall on the 17th, what had begun as a skirmish between 2 patrols had escalated into a battle between Corps sized forces, with the main strength of both sides on its way to the battle. Ney, commanding the French corps at the van of the armies advance, had arrived as night was falling, and had taken command of the battle. The Austrian corps commander, General Mack, who had arrived at roughly the same time, was also forming the van of the advance, and also took command.

By dawn on the 18th, the battle was no longer a Corps level affair, Napoleon and Archduke Charles having arrived after a forced march through the night with the bulk of their forces. The Austrians, with a shorter march and having received the call for reinforcements sooner had their entire strength, 155,000 men, 5,000 of them drawn from minor German states loyal to Austria, at the battlefield by dawn. The French were outnumbered, at 150,000 men, 10,000 of them Bavarians. However, the corps of Bernadotte and Davout were still on the march, numbering 60,000 Frenchmen and 2,500 German allies. These forces were still a way from the battle, having been delayed in departing Munich, and were unlikely to arrive until the early afternoon even if they force marched.

Passau1.jpg

5. Positions at dawn on the 18th.

As the battle on the 18th commenced, the Austrian position looked strong. Archduke Charles had set up a formidable defensive line, running in front of the town of Passau and down to Neuberg and Wernstein am Inn. His artillery was positioned evenly along the line, and his cavalry was held in reserve, along with several infantry regiments. Furthermore, he kept several formations in reserve across the river, to guard against any threat to his retreat. His plan was to use the close terrain to his advantage, denying Napoleon and the French the room for the style of manoeuvre warfare they excelled in. His plan was risky however, as with his back to the river, any retreat would be tricky.

At 8:30am, the French began their first attack with an hour long bombardment of the Neuberg-Wernstein area, on the Austrian extreme left, followed by the advance of 20,000 infantrymen against the area, in an effort to force the Austrians away from this crossing, push across the river and block off their retreat, completing the encirclement and destruction of the Austrian forces. Although bloodied by the artillery fire, the Austrian forces held their ground against the French advance, utilising the buildings of the town and surrounding farms as strongpoints against the advance. The French had severe trouble assaulting these, and they severely disrupted the advance, forcing the French to bring up cannon to fire at point blank range into the structures, clearing them one by one. Progress was slow, and at 1pm, 3 and a half hours after the attack had begun, the French were still deadlocked in tough fighting in the village.

Meanwhile, the French had launched a second attack upon the Austrian right, crossing the Danube and flanking the Austrian lines, before returning to cross the Danube into the town of Passau itself. Although this attack would mean defeat for the Austrians if it succeeded, Archduke Charles was confident in the ability of his men to hold their ground, advantaged as they were by the buildings of the town and the low number of bridges the French could cross. This attack also became bogged down, with Dieu Soult, leading the corps making the attack, realising the hopelessness of the situation and pulling back to the Northern bank, ordering his guns to bombard the town.

Passau2.jpg

6. Positions at 1pm.

With one French attack bogged down and another beaten back, the Austrian situation at 2pm looked good. And Archduke Charles was beginning to wonder if he had perhaps been a bit too pessimistic about the value of his reforms. Napoleon meanwhile, was looking for some way to break through. After some deliberation, he decided on an attack in the Eichet-Neustift area of the battlefield, aiming to push Ney's corps and his Bavarian allies through the area, and into Passau, in order to support Dieu Soult's attack from the North, and thereby trap the bulk of the Austrian army on the West bank. Going forward at 2:30pm, the French and Bavarian forces initially made good progress, and managed to break through to the outskirts of Passau, where they were met by several battalions of grenadiers, which the Archduke had ordered be condensed into a single reserve formation to stop any breakthrough. With these new forces in play, the Austrians fought back with determination, and managed to slow the French advance, then halt it by 4pm, although both sides suffered high losses.

By this time, Napoleon was cursing Davout and Bernadotte with every possible expletive he knew, frustrated as he was at their late arrival. Napoleon and Charles both knew that the arrival of extra French forces would tip the balance of the battle, from what was currently a fairly even affair, to one in French favour. Although Charles scouts had reported French troops marching to battle, he had no received word of the reinforcements positions since breakfast. Still, he counted on having an ample warning of the arrival of these forces, to assess the situation and retreat if he felt necessary, after what would have been a victory of sorts.

Passau3.jpg

7. Positions at 4pm.

By 5pm, Napoleon had given up hope of the arrival of his reinforcements before it was too late in the day to be decisive, and had instead decided to throw in all his forces in a final attack. Regrouping his troops, he ordered Ney, Dieu Soult and the Bavarians to attack Passau, whilst the Guard was sent to reinforce the forces attacking the Neuberg-Wernstein area. Napoleon hoped that this push would cut off the Austrians from 3 of the 4 possible bridges they could retreat over, creating a bottleneck and allowing him to roll up the rest of the Austrian army, using Murat's cavalry reserve, with comparative ease.

At 5:30, the Guard arrived at Neuberg-Wernstein and quickly tipped the battle in the favour of France. Seizing the bridge from the tired Austrians, the Guard drove forwards, their banners fluttering in the wind and their eagles held high with pride. Archduke Charles, seeing the danger this posed to his forces, ordered forward his cavalry to counter the threat. Charging downhill towards the village and river, the cavalry were met by the Guard, who had formed squares. With the Old Guard in the front and artillery masterfully placed between the squares, the Guard quickly blunted the Austrian charge, firing perfectly timed volleys into the charging Cuirassiers and carving bloody holes in the ranks with canister and solid shot. With the Austrian cavalry defeated, the situation looked bleak, and with Passau under pressure Archduke Charles ordered the bulk of his troops back across the river, to set up a new defensive position and hold until nightfall. Although things had taken a turn for the worst, it was still possible that they might hold till nightfall and claim victory.

Passau4.jpg

8. Positions at 6pm.

It was not to be however. With the Old Guard seizing breaking the Austrian left and the right flank at Passau caving in, Davout's and Bernadotte's corps finally, arrived, but not in the expected place. Due to the removal of a roadsign by a pro-Austrian citizen, the French reinforcements had taken a wrong turn whilst marching to the battle. Unfortunately for the Austrians, this wrong turn led them to the South, where they crossed the river and then, realising their error, marched North, arriving just as the Archduke ordered the retreat to the far bank.

With his position now hopeless, against overwhelming French numbers and with his left flank completely broken, the Archduke ordered an immediate retreat to Linz, whilst he oversaw the rearguard. Despite his efforts, the Austrians could not hold back the threat to their left, and the combined weight of the Guard, Davout's, Bernadotte's and Murat's corps, which had now moved up to reinforce, proved too much for any rearguard. Breaking through to the Danube, they secured the crossings which the bulk of the Austrian army needed to survive. With little hope of victory, General Mack, commander of the Austrian forces on the West bank, decided to surrender. As night fell, Archduke Charles, exhausted from his efforts to save his army, joined what remained of his force and returned to Linz, leaving the battlefield of Passau behind him. [-7,000 Regulars from France, -10,000 Conscripts from France, -3,000 Regulars from Bavaria, -95,000 Regulars from Austria]

Passau5.jpg

9. Positions at the conclusion of the battle, nightfall.

As news of this great victory reached home, the nations opinions of their leaders changed accordingly. In France, Napoleon was hailed as a hero, who had crushed the Austrians in a great victory. Archduke Charles, although he had fought well and only lost due to a freak occurrence, was subject to much disapproval, as was the Austrian Government. General Mack, who had surrendered rather than fight on, was regarded as little better than a traitor by many. As Winter 1805 began, the French advanced and secured Linz, whilst Archduke Charles and the remains of his army settled into Vienna. Both sides however, had moved a substantial amount of forces from their homeland, and only time would tell what impact this would have on public order. [+1 Stability to France, -2 Stability from Austria]​
 
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jacob-Lundgren

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This set back shall not stop the Coalition from setting right the wrong that is Napoleon. Their advance has been stopped in Italy and the lives lost bought precious time for the Russian armies to reach the front and reinforce our allies. The enemy is mighty but our forces will destroy their wicked ruler. The Austrians shall stand side by side with our great Russian armies and avenge themselves upon the chaos lord of europe. The enemies bold move to rush forward at the brave Austrians will cost them dearly when the Russian and Prussian forces crash down upon him as vengeance from above. ((ooc: hey north is above on a map!))
 

Spectre17

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I and the people of France congratulate all soldiers who have fought against the vile coalition. We have shown that we can defend our liberty and fight off the attempts by the coalition to bring back repression and the Bourbons. Allies of France, allies of freedom, we have shown at the battlefield of Passau that liberty will always prevail. The United States has shown that the cause of liberty can sometimes be hijacked by men who care only for themselves. I also wish to congratulate the Bavarians on there successful liberation of the Tyrolians from the autocratic rule of the Holy Roman Emperor. We will accept negotiations with any nation that wishes to join us in our fight for freedom and renounce the treaty of Tarnow.

Napoleon I, Emperor for the French


OOC: Great update Doom
 
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MastahCheef117

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500px-Flag_of_the_Habsburg_Monarchy.svg.png

The news I have received on the outcome of the Battle of Passau is saddening. The loss of so many Austrian lives - as well as the surrender of General Mack's Corps - has left our main army battered and bruised. Archduke Charles, as well as his subordinate commanders, have done their best in the face of adversity. As for the hatred and dislike that is being directed towards the Archduke, he fought masterfully and executed his retreat east in an orderly and disciplined manner. However, I would like to speak on behalf of the Archduke, his commanders, and their men by saying that we will not surrender. The French tyrant may have secured a victory, but that does not mean they have won the war. There are still thousands of able-bodied men within our nation ready to protect their homeland against the Tyrant.

As for General Radetzky, we commend him and his army in his fighting against General Massena in northern Italy. Through tactical skill, personal bravery, and a love for his men and his country, General Radetzky secured victory - albeit at the cost of Austrian lives - and has defeated the French in the territory of their own puppet nation. Italy is on the route to being liberated from the French, and Germany shall follow.

I ask the Austrian people to stay strong during this time of trouble and uncertainty. All we require is the patience of the Austrian people and their continued will to fight - which, as I travel the streets of Vienna, I see in overwhelming waves - and we shall defeat this Tyrant. Our allies from the east, Russia, have gathered in Bohemia with 175,000 men of our Army. Coupled with the Prussians to the north, who are mobilizing as I speak, we will have a formidable army to deal with the French.

Our Coalition of allies shall not falter in the face of one simple defeat. It will take much, much more to do that. We will not step aside and let Napoleon, unchallenged, conquer all of Europe. It will not be allowed. We must fight the French until victory is secured. Hail the Austrian people! Hail the Coalition! Glory to those that stand against the French!

Francis II, Emperor of Austria
Roman Emperor Elect


OOC: Forgot to say, spectacular update Doom. Keep it up.
 
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Boris ze Spider

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The Kingdom of Spain is very pleased upon hearing the results of the Battle of Passau. It is obvious that the Austrian People are lead by cowards and imbeciles, as can be seen in the surrender of General Mack and the overall performance of the Austrian Army in these opening battles. Soon Napoleon will totally victorious against the Austrians and soon Vienna will be liberated from the exploitation of those who rule it. However, Vienna is only a stepping stones, as soon Prague, Moskow and Berlin will be under the wise rule of Napoleon and their eyes will be opened to the harsh oppression of their former rullers.

To the citiizens of Spain, we call upon you to leave your fields and your workshops to join the Spanish Army and Navy. There is where the oppurtunity for glory lies, and with your assistance, our glorious nation is sure to achieve it. The Kingdom of Spain is embarking on a new journey, where honour and discipline is paramount, and glory is available to those who seek it. Men of Spain, rise to arms. For the Glory! For the King! For Spain!!!
 

tyriet

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Unlike the Austrian Archduke, titular Holy-Roman Emperor, we do not find the news of Passau saddening. Even though the Austrian Army tried to invade Bavaria, having taken Passau already, with the help of our French allies we could not only repel this invasion, but also counterattack.
We have to thank Napoleon and the French people, without them our ideals may already have died, and the Enemy would stand in Munich, but together we were able to achieve a mighty victory.
The Bavarian Constitution has been signed by Maximilian I. Joseph, charging the lights of Liberty and Equality onwards towards the German lands. The King in Prussia, the Holy Roman Emperor and the Russian Autocrat are attempting to resist these changes and maintain their oppressive rule over the People, but they shall not succeed.
We thank our friends and south German brothers from Baden and Württemberg, who have aided us with their lives in protecting our freedom. The creation of our Coalition was a massive step towards more unity in the German lands, a goal, not only of our sovereigns, but also of the people. A goal, which apparently the King in Prussia and Holy Roman Emperor do not want, but we can not fail.
We ask every able-bodied and willing German to join our cause, no matter if from Hamburg, from Dresden, from Frankfurt or from Munich, he will be welcomed, as an equal man.
Long live the South-German Coalition, Long live Bavaria, Long live Liberty.
 

Dyranum

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The Ottoman Empire believes that the conflict in Europe is a needless waste of life, and we therefore take distance to it. Furthermore, in response to some suspicions and inquiries regarding our stance, we restate our position that we take no sides in this conflict.
 

Spectre17

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People of France remain strong. We may be at war with many nations but we shall prevail we have defeated them before and it has already been shown at Passau that we are superior to them now. France shall be victorious! Liberty shall prevail!

His Imperial Majesty, Napoleon I, Emperor for the French
 

MastahCheef117

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I believe it would be safe to say that the Austrian Army is in no way inferior to the French. Organizational abilities aside, the two armies are on equal terms, more or less. Not only this, but the fine General Radetzky handled himself quite well at Arcole, despite being outnumbered and in combat with the best general that Napoleon could send. I do find it odd that France is continuing to feed this superiority complex.

Francis II, Emperor of Austria
Roman Emperor Elect
 

Spitfire5793

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da-lgflag.gif
The Austrian defeat is both unfortunate and distressing. Napoleon and his allies believe because they have won one battle that they have won the war. However, we are still confident that the combined forces of the coalition can push back both the French and South Germans and stand victorious in the end.

In these troublesome times, we call upon all citizens to strand strong and to prepare to defend their homes and nation, against any and all external threats. Our powerful willpower as well as our high determination shall lead us to victory, allowing us to prevail over every enemy

King Christian VII of Denmark-Norway
 

KeldoniaSkylar

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Europe bleeds,
Japan sleeps,
The crimson specter raises,
Will I awake?

~unknown poet

OOC: Nice update doom.
 

DoomBunny

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The War of the Third Coalition - Western and Americas Campaigns 1805

While events in Central Europe were heating up, Western Europe remained relatively quite in the early part of the year. With France turning its attention East, only the United Kingdom and the Spanish would be taking an active role in warfare. Both nations boasted formidable fleets, although the British held an advantage in that field. On land, things were more balanced, although the Spanish were still at a disadvantage accept where numbers were concerned.

The first action of the year was in early February, when the British began a campaign to seize the West Indies possessions of Spain and France. Organising several forces an making landings on many islands, using some forces brought from England, they made good headway at first, against the undefended islands. Unfortunately, local residents quickly organised into militias, and taking shelter in town halls, churches and forts, held their ground against the British. Well supplied with provisions, they managed to hold off the attackers until disease took its toll on most of the invading forces. After several months, the British had to call off most of their attacks, seizing only the island of Saint Barthélemy. [Saint Barthélemy in British hands, -2,500 Regulars from Britain, -15 Colonial Income from France]

The British were also busy mounting amphibious operations along the French coast. 6,000 men, made up of Royal Marines, and Army Regiments, were embarked on ships and given the task of setting the French coast aflame. They met with good success initially, burning many coastal villages to the ground and destroying port facilities. French fishermen in particular suffered, as their boats went up in flames and their stocks of fish were carried off or ruined by the soldiers. The French citizens soon began to form militias and post watchmen however, and after a while, the British began to meet increasing resistance to their attacks. [-25 Base Income from France]

burning-village.jpg

1. The Church of a French coastal village goes up in flames as villagers flee from the British raiders.

The blockade of the French coast was also maintained by the British, who were able to stop much of France's colonial income from reaching the mainland. The French did not try to break this blockade, fearing that battle with the British would mean the needless annihilation of their fleets. [-75 Colonial Income from France]

The Spanish were also moving however, but not against the British. Intent of preventing any Coalition foothold in Iberia, as well as any footholds near their colonies, the King decided to launch an all out attack on the Portuguese, to preempt their involvement in the hostilities. Readying their forces, they planned to strike an initial knockout blow that would destroy the Portuguese ability to fight back and bring them to speedy negotiations. Spain could ill afford a long war, and a quick victory would help the King shore up his weakening Empire. The first Spanish strikes would be made at Portuguese colonies, with a declaration of war and the attack on the mainland coming soon afterwards.

Intent on disrupting the trade of their rivals on the Iberian Peninsula, the Kingdom of Spain began to issue letters of marquee to interested parties in Caribbean and Asia intent on disrupting trade. The Spanish also organized some raiding parties to plunder the Brazilian coast. Overall, the combined effect of these two programs was an increase in the Spanish treasury to the detriment of the their neighbor's colonies. [-500 regulars Spain, -2000 regulars Portugal, +50 gold Spain, -25 gold Portugal, -50 colonial income for 2 turns Portugal]

300px-Confaince_Kent_fight.jpg

2. A Spanish Frigate attack a Portuguese merchantman.

The Spanish were pleased with the news from the colonies, and the King immediately ordered a 2 prong invasion of Portugal. The first force, 80,000 strong, would march for Lisbon, in an effort to cut out the heart of the Portuguese Empire. Meanwhile, a second force, 40,000 strong, would march into the North, before turning towards Lisbon. With the Spanish homelands practically devoid of soldiers, a quick victory was needed in order to prevent any rebellions, and even as the Spanish soldiers marched over the border, various groups were plotting.

The first column encountered surprisingly little resistance on the way through Portugal. And proceeded at a leisurely pace, the officers insisting they stop for several hours at each mealtime, in order to allow them to dine amidst the usual comforts of home, many having brought pieces of furniture with them in place of the normal military baggage carried by the supply train. During these breaks, soldiers lounged in the sun, or took the opportunity to sneak away from the column to nearby farms, where they would loot and rape at will.

The second column, had a different experience however. Informed by their scouts of the Spanish advance, the Portuguese leaders decided to take the majority of their home strength, 40,000 men, and destroy the smaller column. Leaving 5,000 men behind in Lisbon, they rallied locals to their force as they went, increasing their numbers to 50,000. The second column, like the first, was moving slowly due to the will of its officers, and had covered little ground before it began to meet resistance. The first signs of resistance came from the ambush of scouts, foraging parties and isolated parts of the column. After several days of this, the Portuguese began to mount larger scale hit and run raids, striking the column as it rested or moved through close terrain. It was only after 10 days of harassment that the Portuguese finally decided to give battle, confident that their harrying had weakened the Spanish force sufficiently. [+10,000 Conscripts to Portugal, -500 Regulars from Spain]

Romana.PNG

3. General Romana, commander of the second column of the Spanish advance.

The Portuguese decided to meet the Spanish at the village of Roda, and deployed their 50,000 strong force in a triple line, blocking the road and anchoring their right on the village. The Spanish vanguard was the first to sight the Portuguese army, at around 11:30am, just before they were due to stop for lunch. Determined to not allow the Portuguese to interrupt their plans, the Spanish officers gave orders for the army to form lines, and for junior officers to lead the initial attack, while the high ranks dined, observed and commanded from a nearby hill.

Both sides decided upon an offensive strategy, with the Spanish right and Portuguese left both advancing over the rough terrain towards each other. With their skirmishers in the lead and in loose ranks, both sides met roughly halfway between their initial positions, and immediately began to exchange fire. As a stalemate developed, neither side wished to be the one to break it, fearing the casualties they would take in the process. After half an hour, both sides were beginning to run low on ammunition, and with the dense terrain providing cover, it was clear that the deadlock would not be broken. The Spanish were first to act, and mounted a half hearted charge which the Portuguese repulsed with a single volley, then followed up with a counterattack, which made significant progress. Seeing the opportunity, the Portuguese cavalry moved to exploit this, and made a long flanking manoeuvre round the Spanish right. Meeting up with their infantry, they began to roll up the Spanish line from the North, making good progress against the panicked Spanish troops.

Imagen1.jpg

4. Spanish soldiers preparing to resist the Portuguese attack.

With threat looming, the Spanish officers decided that it would be best to skip the starter and go straight to the main course, in case their subordinates could not recover the situation. Unfortunately for them, the situation was much worse than they thought, as the Portuguese had now begun to push up their centre and reserves, in an effort to punch a hole in the Spanish centre and, together with their forces from the North, destroy the Spanish army. With their artillery running low on ammunition, the Spanish troops began to waver, and the situation was made all the worse by several officers deciding to flee the field. With the centre and right collapsing, the Spanish left also broke and fled the field, the Spanish leaders abandoning their Chocolate Mousse and ordering rearguard actions in an attempt to save their possessions. By 5pm, the battle was over, and decidedly in the Portuguese favour, with many Spanish troops choosing to desert rather than rejoin the army. Lisbon was still under threat however, so instead of completing the destruction of the Spanish forces, they moved to counter the larger thrust into their land. [Northern Column routed, -1,000 Regulars from Portugal, -500 Conscripts from Portugal, -15,000 Regulars from Spain]

The Portuguese had won the battle, but the overall situation of the war did not look in their favour, with the other Spanish column closing on Lisbon. Hurrying back to the capital, the Portuguese arrived the day before the Spanish, and immediately started to fortify the area in front of Lisbon and prepare for the Spanish attacks. Tired from the battle and forced march, they did the best they could, but the task ahead of them was massive, and by the time the Spanish arrived at 3pm the next day, the fortifications were nowhere near complete, and the Portuguese troops were exhausted.

The Spanish immediately began their attacks, probing the perimeter and building their own siege works. They made good progress, many of the Portuguese soldiers being too tired to resist. After a weeks siege, they had pushed the Portuguese back from many of their defences, and although their supply line was under significant harassment, the siege of Lisbon was progressing nicely. Regular assaults were made against the outnumbered Portuguese, the 80,000 strong Spanish force used their numbers to good advantage, striking the perimeter simultaneously at many different places. However, they could not break through next to the coast, and so the maritime supply route to Lisbon remained open, a crucial lifeline on which the fate of the city hung. [Lisbon under siege, -5,000 Regulars from Portugal, -5,000 Conscripts from Portugal, -7,500 Regulars from Spain]

Spanish_troops_at_Pensacola.jpg

5. Spanish Grenadiers and Colonial troops charge the defences of Lisbon.

With the siege progressing, the Spanish decided to blockade Lisbon and interdict any supplies in an attempt to force a surrender. To carry out this plan, they rallied the bulk of their European naval strength and sailed for the approaches to Lisbon, where they would leave a blockade force and set the rest of the fleet to actively seeking out Coalition vessels. Assembling a force of 10 Large and 30 Small ships, including the 140 gun, 4,950 ton Santisima Trinidad, the largest ship in the world and pride of the Spanish fleet, they set sail in mid July, as the Summer sun beat down on the ocean. After passing through the Strait of Gibraltar, the Spanish fleet was met by the combined British-Portuguese fleet under the command of Admiral Nelson, who had been sent South with 15 Large and 30 Small ships in order to blockade Cadiz. Joined by several Portuguese ships, 2 Large and 4 Small, along the way, his fleet had made good progress Southwards, and had been warned of the Spanish movements by a Frigate which had managed to spot the Spanish several days earlier.

250px-HoratioNelson1.jpg

6. Admiral Nelson, British naval hero and foremost naval commander of the day.

Sighting each other at 7am, the fleets made ready to engage, with the Spanish turning to cross the Coalition T. Admiral Nelson on the other hand, planned a bold strategy that would hopefully break the Spanish line to pieces, and allow the superior quality of his ships, crews and weapons to show. Dividing his force into 2 columns, each of roughly equal size, Nelson drove his forces for each end of the Spanish line, planning to destroy these, then turn his full strength towards the centre. Even with the wind on his side, the strategy was risky. His forces would be exposed to the full force of the Spanish firepower for a long time, during which they could not reply.

Many of his subordinates expressed their concern, but Nelson, in his trademark arrogance, decided to continue with his plan, and ordered the attack, sending the famous signal of 'England expects that every man will do his duty'. The Spanish began firing as soon as the Coalition fleet entered range, and although they were hampered by a lack of training and experience, they managed to cause considerable amounts of damage to the Coalition forces. This did not stop their attack however, and soon they had reached the Spanish line, where the individual superiority of the British made itself clear. Firing at near point blank range, the British fired 2 rounds for every 1 the Spanish managed, and soon the Spanish were beginning to lose control of the situation.

GL066BattleofTrafalgar_L.jpg

7. Painting of the battle. In reality, the battle would have been far more confusing, with smoke from gunfire restricting visibility.

The battle did not all go the way of the British, and the situation on the Bellepheron looked dire, with 2 Spanish ships, the mounting a boarding action against her. Pounded from both sides at close range, with her deck under heavy sharpshooter fire and Spanish sailors and Marines swarming the ship, the situation looked dire until the Frigate, HMS Pallas, under the command of rising star Thomas Cochrane, mounted a sneak attack on the San Augustin's stern, firing a close range volley of grape through the stern, before a boarding party led by Cochrane himself swung across into the rear of the ship. With the San Augustin in British hands, the crew of the Bellepheron counterattacked and boarded the other Spanish ship, the Rayo, which they also captured.

Nelson himself, leading the column heading for the Spanish van, took HMS Victory straight for the Santisma Trinidad, intent on claiming the prize and the Spanish Admiral's sword. Although Victory sustained heavy damage, suffering the full weight of the mighty Santima's broadsides, she used her superior manoeuvrability to cut across the stern of the Santisma, and fire a full volley through her rear, disabling her steering gear and destroying many of her guns. The Santisma, her already unwieldy bulk now uncontrollable and many of her guns out of action, was now a sitting duck for the British ships to pick off. The Victory, coming alongside, raked her with yet another broadside, killing many of the crew. The British then launched a boarding action, and although outnumbered by the Santisma's crew, pressed their attack home with a fury which broke the Spaniard's will to fight. When the action was over, Nelson himself crossed to the Santisma, to accept the Spanish Admiral's sword as a token of his surrender.

Lord_Cochrane_1807.jpg

8. Thomas Cochrane, who although he was overshadowed by Nelson, nonetheless showed his potential in this battle.

Although the Spanish fought back bravely, all down the line the British were gaining superiority, with their Portuguese allies also putting up a good fight. By mid afternoon, the Spanish centre, realising the battle was lost, made to break away, leaving the rest of the fleet to their doom. The Coalition ships meanwhile, finished off the remnants of the Spanish fleet, capturing many ships. With the battle over, several Coalition ships had to return to the British isles for repairs, and still more were sent back towing the numerous prizes captured by the Spanish, although many of these would require refitting before action. With the battle over, Nelson was hailed as the hero who had smashed the Spanish fleet, strengthening Britain's already formidable naval dominance. Cochrane was also hailed as a rising star, and given the command of a 42 gun Frigate, the HMS Brittania, although his fame was eclipsed by that of Nelson. Spain on the other hand, suffered a tremendous blow, and public opinion over the loss of the Santisma was far from pleasing to the King. Furthermore, a large part of the Spanish fleet was either captured or put out of action while it was repaired. [-8 Large Ships from Spain, -17 Small Ships from Spain, -1 Large Ship from Spain for 1 turn, -2 Small ships from Spain for 1 turn, -1 Stability from Spain, +7 Large Ships to the United Kingdom in 1 turn, +15 Small Ships to the United Kingdom in 1 turn, + 1 Stability to the United Kingdom, -1 Large Ship from the United Kingdom for 1 turn, -5 Small ships from the United Kingdom for 1 turn]​
 
Last edited:

jacob-Lundgren

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This news just shows that no mercy must be shown to our enemies. They hire pirates and strike in the night to defeat neutral nations. The arrogance of that decaying state that was once the mighty Spanish Empire has been met by the reality of the current forces in the world. We applaud our British allies and the small Portugal Kingdom can feel better knowing that the Russian armies will destroy the Spaniards masters in Paris.
 

Spectre17

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People of France while our Spanish allies have suffered a setback at sea on land they have the capital of Lisbon under siege. As for the British raids, it would seem that the 100,000 men ordered to remain behind and hold off any British raids have failed to move and have remained in Paris doing nothing. They will be reprimanded.

His Imperial Majesty, Napoleon I, Emperor of the French
 

KeldoniaSkylar

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One stars reaches its zenith,
The other begins to rise,
What fortunes they hold,
It is but for the sea to know.

~unknown poet
 
Last edited:

king hannibal

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Portugal would like to sign the ottoman-portuguese trade compact. They would also like to request any troops possible from the UK. We also would like to make all the preparations for the royal family to move to Brazil.