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Nikolai

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Libya and their rightful lands in the north!
 

stnylan

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Well that is interesting, no shortage of fighting and opportunities to expand Italian power.
 

AvatarOfKhaine

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Grossdeutschland seems like this would be inevitable at this point, Bismarck may not want it but he'll be forced to by popular nationalist opinion.

I'd almost feel cheated if Jape/the game went full derp-iness and kept Austria apart from her true calling.
 

El Pip

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This has already lasted far beyond expectations, though the fact I've caught up could end up being the kiss of death.

Looking ominous for the Italian fleet, the coming battle may not end well for them. Being positive it could be a heroic but bloody victory that becomes the foundation myth of the unified service (similar to Treviso for the army), so fingers crossed for that.

If it does go badly that presumably makes a British alliance a bit more attractive, the Royal Navy covers the Italian's lack of fleet and are relaxed about Italy claiming Libya. The British get another member of the coalition they (should) be planning against Bismark.
 

RossN

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As always very interesting. Also those are beautiful ships! Intrigued to see how this naval battle turns out...
 

Jape

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Sorry for the delay, just letting you know I'm still here and the next update is about 80-90% done focusing on the navy, then we have the war's resolution before heading back into domestic politics.

so... maybe Italy could get Lybia?

Libya and their rightful lands in the north!

Heh, well I think the Turks have something to say about that.

Well that is interesting, no shortage of fighting and opportunities to expand Italian power.

I know its been a very violent decade in-game, it mellows out a bit as we head into the 1870s.

Grossdeutschland seems like this would be inevitable at this point, Bismarck may not want it but he'll be forced to by popular nationalist opinion.

I'd almost feel cheated if Jape/the game went full derp-iness and kept Austria apart from her true calling.

Well its upto the game (which does have a fairly simple mechanic for Austria sans Hungary to get absorbed by Berlin), I'm happy to tweak things like wierd borders or ancient fleets but try to avoid things like the annexation of major powers. Anyway no spoilers.

Subscribed!

Glad to have you on board!

This has already lasted far beyond expectations, though the fact I've caught up could end up being the kiss of death.

Looking ominous for the Italian fleet, the coming battle may not end well for them. Being positive it could be a heroic but bloody victory that becomes the foundation myth of the unified service (similar to Treviso for the army), so fingers crossed for that.

If it does go badly that presumably makes a British alliance a bit more attractive, the Royal Navy covers the Italian's lack of fleet and are relaxed about Italy claiming Libya. The British get another member of the coalition they (should) be planning against Bismark.

Ha well let's hope against hope. Ominous indeed, the Regia Marina currently has a slight tech advantage over the Ottoman Navy but they have the numbers game.

Interesting point on Britain. As to a coalition, you might not be wrong. As I hinted at in my last post, Germany is a great ally for Italy in isolation but her growing power -and the negative press that comes with it- is starting to alarm some in Rome.

As always very interesting. Also those are beautiful ships! Intrigued to see how this naval battle turns out...

Thank you muchly. Well the next update is purely naval related, few battles, bit of background and plenty of related political skulduggery.
 

guillec87

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Turks might have something to say, but, who cares?
 

Jape

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Chapter IX
Taranto


Admiral_Persano_zpsowyoi12n.jpg

Admiral Carlo Pellion, Conte di Persano;
commander-in-chief of the Regia Marina and Minister of Marine

The success of the Hungarian campaign was met with great excitement across Italy. While it could not claim to have covered itself in glory, the Army had done the nation proud and her commander milked the moment for all he could. General di Bonzo’s standing had flagged in recent years to the benefit of younger men like Mezzacapo and Bixio. Using his victories at Zagreb and Deva he once more cast himself in the role of a public darling. The growing national press could claim a great deal of responsibility for the situation. La Nazionale, Italy’s leading newspaper was besotted with the General. It was perhaps no small coincidence its part-owner was Bettino Ricasoli, the former prime minister and a close friend of di Bonzo.

Such grandstanding irritated the Lanza Government who had made efforts to reform the military and sideline royal favourites of questionable ability. Across the political spectrum there was similar antipathy to the old general. The firebrand of the Left opposition Francesco Crispi proclaimed di Bonzo a “Ducrot in the making”, while the Radicale led by Mazzini had never forgotten the bloodshed of Treviso. Giuseppe Govone, Lanza’s minister of war, was a champion of modernisation and found himself frustrated time and again by the Royal Court over military matters. His public popularity and society connections made di Bonzo for the time being virtually untouchable. This impasse led government critics to round on the General’s far less fashionable naval contemporary Admiral di Persano.

Di Persano was known to the public and political class alike as a dull, ungifted man. This is perhaps a harsh analysis for the sole clear voice for naval expansion during the 1860s. The change of budgetary priorities under Lanza in 1868 were welcomed by di Persano but in the intervening four years he had done little with it. The Sicilian-Sardinian divide within the service continued, while the new ironclads remained in western ports away from the “old fleet” under the Admiral’s personal command at Brindisi. How much this was due to his bias towards sail or general sloth is debatable though by 1872 the latter had become the popular theory. Rumours of dilapidated naval barracks and senior officers indulging in decadent bacchanal in the port town only tarnished his image further.



ricasoli_zps006fquc1.png

Bettino Ricasoli, prime minister turned press magnate
Another creature of the King, di Persano had retained his position since unification with little serious critique or opposition. In comparison to di Bonzo however he could claim a more grounded view of himself and his forces. On the outbreak of war he had informed the King and Lanza of the Regia Marina’s limitations and opposed sallies into open waters, raising the nightmare scenario of a combined Austro-Ottoman fleet drawing them into an unwinnable engagement.

This lack of bravado arguably hindered the Admiral as much as helped him. It played into the image of him as a do-nothing and his lack of popular prestige and dynamism saw royal favour wither by the autumn. Victory on land and the impending end of hostilities had aggravated normal Italians to see the Navy play its part. La Nazione and its fierce rival the pro-Sinistra daily La Stampa united in their calls for action. Ricasoli’s editorials had begun to challenge those of his competition on the Left for their vitriol, happily taking aim at his usurpers in Cabinet as much as di Persano. Under pressure from all sides Admiral di Persano could do nothing but reluctantly begin preparing the Regia Marina for battle.

The ironclads Dante Alighieri, Enrico Dandalo and Affondatore were ordered to make steam through the Straits of Messina to rendezvous with di Persano’s fleet near Taranto. It was a risky endeavour, the ironclads ordered to travel with all speed. Sailing alone and unsure of the location of Ottoman ships, the Enrico Dandalo and Affondatore were nonetheless able to reach Brindisi unscathed by 10 September.


affondatore%20ram%20ironclad_zpspr93ehmo.jpg

The Dante Alighieri entered service in September 1871, a powerful ironclad but one of only three such ships
within the Regia Marina on the outbreak of war.

The same could not be said for the Dante Alighieri. Under the command of the gifted young captain Cesare Zupelli, the ironclad had been the last of the three to get underway, traveling from Genoa. Receiving word of a Turkish flotilla stalking the narrow Straits following the successful run of her sister ships, Zupelli opted to steam south-westerly to round Sicily and hopefully avoid the enemy. His plan was quickly dashed on 12 September off the coast of Palermo. Zupelli ran into the Kudüs-ü-Serif and Kayseri, commerce raiders under the command of Lufti Pasha. Wary of further Ottoman ships in the area, Zupelli continued on his course, fighting a running battle with Lufti in hot pursuit. He was proven correct as a third commerce raider joined the chase on 13 September. Struggling to outrun the enemy Zupelli turned, the Dante Alighieri’s powerful broadsides tearing through the enemy ships. After several hours of close-range combat two Turkish raiders had been sunk, Lufti aboard the Kayseri withdrawing as night encroached. His ship battered but intact, Zupelli completed his journey (after further evasions near Malta) on 22 September.

The Battle of Marettemo [1] only drove naval hawkishness to new heights and turned Zupelli into a national hero. The battle earned particular note and symbolism for taking place near the location of the Battle of Aegates, where Rome had defeated the Carthaginian fleet in 241 BC, bringing an end to the First Punic War. Calls for further action were now unstoppable. Allowing the Dante Alighieri and her crew only several days rest, the combined forces of the Regia Marina finally set sail on 29 September. On 1 October di Persano met the Ottoman fleet under the command of Admiral Enver Bey. Alongside the three ironclads and wooden flagship the Re Galantuomo, the Italians possessed four traditional frigates and eleven steam-frigates. Enver Bey could call upon fifteen men-o-war and eighteen frigates of various classes [2]. Hindered by poor weather, the two sides engaged several times over the next four days.

The ironclads, now commanded as a squadron by Vice Admiral Simone Antonio Saint-Bon, proved devastating sinking four Turkish frigates and the men-o-war Selimiye, Mubir-i Sürur and Muzaffer for little in return. Di Persano and his main fleet were less fortunate. Despite the speed advantage of his steam frigates, the sheer firepower of Enver Bey’s capital ships whittled down the Italian gunline. Three of four wooden frigates were sunk alongside four steam-frigates including the recently constructed Vittorio Emanuele.

Despite these losses di Persano refused to retreat, confident (or perhaps desperate) that the firepower of his ironclads could break the Ottoman men-o-war. Then suddenly the Re Galantuomo, already suffering heavy damage, began to take on water. The Admiral was forced to evacuate to the nearby corvette Duca di Genova. His flagship sinking beneath the waves, di Persano dejectedly called for the withdrawal. The Turks having suffered serious losses of their own including a further two capital ships, fell back towards the Aegean.


800px-Soerensen_Seeschlacht_bei_Lissa_1866_Rammstoss_zpslmxsaic8.jpg

Sinking of the Re Galantuomo

The Battle of the Bay of Taranto proved the death knell for di Persano’s career. Even as word reached the Triple Alliance of Turkish requests for peace through their British embassies, Taranto hung like a cloud over Italy. The loss of his flagship was considered particularly humiliating while images of little more than half of the Regia Marina limping into Brindisi harbour were spread across the national newspapers. Despite his earlier calls for caution, in the moment di Persano was solely blamed for the defeat due to his poor strategic planning and tactics. Demands for punishment, reaching even to hyperbolic calls for him to be tried for treason, swept the country. The Admiral was now the most hated man in Italy.

The King could not save him and the Lanza Government were happy to let him take the blame. By the new year Parliament and the Royal Court were in agreement that an official hearing take place. As a member of the Senate, di Persano could only be judged by his fellow senators. Charged with gross incompetence, the widely publicised trial lasted until June 1873 before the inevitable verdict of guilty was proclaimed. Cashiered from duty and stripped of rank Carlo Pellion, the Conte di Persano, retired to Geneva dying there in 1881 [3].

As the postmortem on Taranto began it was clear that Italy’s naval policy was in shambles. Grand pronouncements of new shipyards, academies and an all-iron fleet had been warmly received in 1868 yet little could be shown for it, reality made plain under enemy fire. Lanza had built a following in the country and Parliament as a hawk, particularly in taking up the cause of the long forgotten Navy. A noted orator and political operator educated by the great Conte di Cavour, Lanza had ruthlessly used the issue to cement his rule without truly understanding it. External bravado masked a man out of his depth in foreign affairs and disinterested in the military. The image he had created of the Regia Marina had inflamed the public call for action and triggered their outrage at the result. Four years was far too short a time to build a modern, reformed fleet but in the eyes of many Lanza had pegged his reputation to it, ignorant to the dangers. The Persano Trial focused general public outrage but soon the tide began to turn.

While the political ramifications were still being played out, within the Regia Marina changes were underway. Saint-Bon was promoted to full admiral, becoming commander-in-chief of the navy and Minister of Marine. A stern career officer who spoke with a French lilt owing to his Nice heritage, Saint-Bon was a driven reformer and respected commander. He advocated a fleet of powerful heavily armed ships to dominate the central and eastern Mediterranean [4]. He worked directly with the naval engineer Benedetto Brin developing new ironclad and monitor designs, eventually installing Brin as his deputy in the Ministry. They proved a strong team, creating an organic ten year plan for the Regia Marina to reform, in terms of ships, guns, training and organisation, into a regional power. While Saint-Bon was focused on immediate ‘brown water’ planning aimed at neutralising the Ottoman threat, Brin, officially only an assistant and designer, had loftier goals of a globetrotting fleet. An early proponent of what would become blue water cruisers, Brin would remain prominent in Italian naval thinking until the end of the century [5].


475px-Illustrazione_Italiana_1874_n._2_-_Saint_Bon_zpso5ow5lg5.jpg

Admiral Simone Antonio Saint-Bon


__________

[1] Named for a small island off the Sicilian coast.

[2] Note: this is (thankfully) not the entirety of the Ottoman Navy.

[3] Di Persano suffered through a similar harrowing IOTL after his defeat at Lissa in 1866.

[4] France remains untouchable at sea for Rome, even if her navy is a distant secondary priority for the current army regime.

[5] Brin was a massive figure in Italian naval thinking and design IOTL, predicting the rise of cruisers and battlecruisers.
 

guillec87

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well, now it's the time for the Regia Marina to arise from the ashes of defeat
 

stnylan

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From such defeats can sometimes spring great and grand things.

Perhaps this is an Admiral Byng moment.
 

Nikolai

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Seems unfairly harsh on the good admiral, that verdict...
 

El Pip

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Interesting and it didn't go quite as badly as I had feared, though obviously still not good. I can't really have too much sympathy for di Persano, he wasn't an admiral thrust into a bad position by inept political leadership, he had been Minister of Marine so any political failures were his as well, at least partly. I'd agree you can't completely rebuild and reform an entire navy in four years, but you can do a hell of a lot and I don't think di Persano even tried.

The big lesson, which sadly Italy has missed, should have been to not combine Commander-in-Chief, senior fighting admiral and Minister for Marine in one person. Each of those is a very different full time job, requiring different skills. Even if you could find someone who could do all that, how would they find the time?
 

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A fascinating look into one of my favourite areas of the game. I do feel rather sorry for the Conte di Persano; he was cautious true, but not unreasonably so. Italy was not ready to fight a war at sea.

I also like the personal touches here, with Captain Zupelli giving us a 'face' in the battle.
 

Jape

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Apologies for the delay folks, here's the resolution to the 1872 War.

well, now it's the time for the Regia Marina to arise from the ashes of defeat

From such defeats can sometimes spring great and grand things.

Perhaps this is an Admiral Byng moment.

We can only hope, we've got a good team in Saint-Bon and Brin and the defeat to the 'barbaric' Ottomans has even more impact than losing to the Austrians at Lissa which triggered a generation of innovative naval experimentation in Italy. With Vienna seemingly neutralised as a threat, colonial and naval focus will certainly increase and give the poor Regia Marina some much needed love.

Seems unfairly harsh on the good admiral, that verdict...

The way it was went about yes, the verdict...? I'm not so sure.

Interesting and it didn't go quite as badly as I had feared, though obviously still not good. I can't really have too much sympathy for di Persano, he wasn't an admiral thrust into a bad position by inept political leadership, he had been Minister of Marine so any political failures were his as well, at least partly. I'd agree you can't completely rebuild and reform an entire navy in four years, but you can do a hell of a lot and I don't think di Persano even tried.

The big lesson, which sadly Italy has missed, should have been to not combine Commander-in-Chief, senior fighting admiral and Minister for Marine in one person. Each of those is a very different full time job, requiring different skills. Even if you could find someone who could do all that, how would they find the time?

Persano deserves his share of blame but he's clearly a scapegoat for the (in)actions of others also. Saint-Bon has Brin as a notable lieutenant to shoulder some of the work but it is certainly indicitive of the Navy's status in the new Italian state. Hopefully Taranto has shocked the government to take it more seriously.

A fascinating look into one of my favourite areas of the game. I do feel rather sorry for the Conte di Persano; he was cautious true, but not unreasonably so. Italy was not ready to fight a war at sea.

I also like the personal touches here, with Captain Zupelli giving us a 'face' in the battle.

Glad you like it. I'd say Persano is a tragic figure but certainly not without blame. Thank you, I am trying to add more personality to the history book-ness.
 

Jape

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Chapter X
Treaty of London


Edward_Stanley_15th_Earl_of_Derby_2_zpssqt3a8tf.jpg

Edward Stanley, Earl of Derby; Britain's Foreign Secretary and weary arbiter of the 1872 London Conference

The War of 1872 officially came to an end on 19 October, a week after Turkish diplomats first reached out to the Earl of Derby, Britain’s foreign secretary, to help mediate the peace. Representatives from Italy, Germany, Hungary, Austria and Turkey travelled to London for the peace conference in November. Joining them would be their hosts and observers from the French and Russian embassies. The continental breadth of the attendants reflected the massive implications the war, started in a fit of paranoia without clear goals, could have to the balance of power in Europe. Bismarck arrived in England unwell with gout and at pains as how to resolve the situation. German military dominance was in no doubt but the Habsburg Empire, whatever its health, was no Schleswig-Holstein.

The German Chancellor had increasingly come to blame Emperor Franz Josef’s intransigence for Vienna’s rapid fall from power and the difficult questions that had arisen. It could not be denied however that it was Berlin that had started hostilities, tarnishing Bismarck’s efforts to paint Germany as an arbiter of peace on the continent. International opinion and Prussian anti-Catholicism made annexation of Austria proper a highly controversial proposition, even if many German diplomats were coming to see the current regime as incapable of maintaining stability.

Another option raised prior to the conference was the sheering off of more Dalmatias with new kingdoms in Bohemia and Galicia. The latter, offering up a Polish state in any form, unnerved many in Germany and Russia, while as ever Hungary was disinclined towards Slavic self-determination, however limited [1]. For the British, and French in particular, such proposed states were viewed as little more than future puppet’s of Berlin. Ironically Bismarck disapproved of them on the grounds they could be swayed to Russian influence after centuries under the Habsburgs, while it could only inflame nationalism among the German minorities of those regions. Bismarck’s goals in London were to assuage the fears of Britain and Russia, avoid further instability in Central Europe and humble Austria without defeating his other objectives in the process.

Italian goals were far blunter. After moderate successes on land and disaster at sea, the Lanza Government was hungry for spoils to soothe the public back home. The Persano trial had yet to be played out and it was by now common knowledge the neutral powers of Europe looked upon the Triple Alliance’s actions poorly. Pasquale Mancini, the opposition Left’s respected spokesman on foreign affairs led the critics, warning the geopolitical fallout of 1872 could leave Italy without reward and without friends, stunting her rise to great power status. Emilio Visconti-Venosta took his seat at the conference all too aware of his mission and the possible consequences of failure. The French led by Albert, duc de Broglie were keen not only to curtail German gains but those of Italy as well. Rome’s alliance with Germany, invasion of the Papal States and growing interests in North Africa had all left the Ducrot regime cold. Having originally considered intervention in the war prior to Austria’s rapid collapse, the performance of the Ottomans had gained French sympathy. De Broglie held no direct say in the treaty but proved a champion of the Turks, using the spectre of Taranto to hinder the Italians throughout the conference [2].


broglie_zpswcipos3c.png

Albert, duc de Broglie; champion of the Turks and enemy of Rome

Visconti-Venosta would make his reputation in London. Known for his personal charm and wit, he lacked the standing of a Bismarck or a Derby and was disregarded by detractors as a mere fop. The continent-wide interests at stake also limited Italy’s status at the start of talks. The fate of the Habsburg Empire and prospect of Prussian domination of Central Europe made the matter of the Tyrol a minor one. Fears that Bismarck would be forced by international pressure to accept a status quo antebellum were ever present. However the young foreign minister made a positive of the situation. Presenting himself as a (relatively) detached figure to the big questions raised in London to the German and British representatives, Visconti-Venosta proposed a plan of action. Austria would pay indemnities to Berlin, accept a neutral foreign policy and hand over not only the Tyrol but Istria to the Italians, removing Vienna’s access to the sea. It would punish Austria without giving territory to the Germans and resolve Italian machinations against the Habsburg Empire, removing a potential flashpoint from the continent. In return the Triple Alliance would guarantee Austria’s independence and a new anti-Polish compact would be signed between Berlin, Vienna and St. Petersburg [3].

The latter was designed to placate the Russians as much as the Austrians. The Tsar’s representative Philipp von Brunnow had initially supported de Broglie’s disruptions in the name of maintaining a united front against German expansionism. Now he was being offered an agreement to help suppress the Polish populations of the three empires in return for endorsing the treaty. This was further sweetened by the suggestion that hotly-contested Bukovina be given to Russia’s ally Romania. The offer was enticing and when combined with assurances Germany would make no territorial gains of her own, von Brunnow had little reason to refuse. French concerns regarding Italian Istria unsurprisingly generated little interests from the Russians. Bismarck supported the plan feeling it achieved his goal of “neutering” Vienna without alienating most of the foreign powers or raising the spectre of ethnic separatism. Derby, the conference’s weary arbiter, concurred but on condition of fair treatment for the Turks.

It had been a good war for the Ottoman Empire, all things considered. Having honoured her commitments to an embattled ally, her armies had pushed deep into Hungary, threatening Budapest before the combined might of the Triple Alliance forced a retreat. The aggressive strategy had delayed an invasion of Turkish territory, Italian troops having only reached Sarajevo by the end of hostilities. Combined with the bloody naval victory at Taranto, they could claim to have not been truly defeated. While the latter stung the pride of the Italian delegation, in truth few of those present in London had any interest in punishing Constantinople.

The matter of Austria was a delicate enough challenge for the diplomats of Europe without introducing the Balkans into the mix. It was also plain that the loss of Vienna as a viable ally was a major blow to the Turks in of itself. Now isolated geopolitically, they were under threat from a resurgent Pan-Slavism. Both Derby and de Broglie were adamant that Constantinople be spared reparation to retain now the only major counterbalance to Russian expansionism in the Balkans. Despite Italian protests with demands for naval confiscations being brushed aside, it was agreed to in the final treaty. It proved a minor victory for the French who now feelingly betrayed by the Russians moved closer to the Ottomans. Seemingly aimed at hindering Italian goals in the Mediterranean, the relationship would generate increasing alarm in Rome.

The Austrians provided little resistance to the terms. Their foreign minister Friedrich Ferdinand von Beust, recently installed due to his past experience working with Bismarck believed the rump Habsburg Empire could only prosper now by focusing on economic growth and warm relations with her neighbours, Germany most of all [4]. The 1872 Treaty of London was signed on 22 November. Austria had been permanently hobbled, her navy sold off to cover her debts, Berlin the unchallenged leader of Central Europe and the House of Habsburg a shell of its former grandeur. Franz Josef slowly retreated from power in the wake of 1872, leaving control to Crown Prince Rudolf as de facto regent and ‘realist’ politicians like von Beust.


1872%20london%20treaty_zps5byyubh0.png

Central Europe after the Treaty of London, November 1872

Visconti-Venosta returned home to a hero's welcome. Praised by the national press, decorated by the King and lauded by a desperate Lanza Government, he had secured the final irredenta from the hated Franz Josef, bringing some 540,000 Italians into the fold of the Patria. The territorial adjustments had also brought in large populations of Slovenes, Germans, Croats and Czechs numbering close to half a million in total who shared little of the euphoria of their Italian neighbours. Fears of unrest from amongst the country’s new ethnic minorities proved misplaced however. Amongst many Italian nationalists within the former provinces of the Habsburg Empire, a radical Mazzinian republicanism had held sway since the 1840s and reached new heights in the wake of the Treaty signing.

Led by firebrands like the former Redshirt commander Oreste Sacchi and nationalist academic Fabrizio Pallavicino, by the spring of 1873 militant republicans had organised in their thousands across Istria with cells spreading to Venice and Milan. The government was slow to respond to the new threat and by the summer had absent-mindedly given the Army free reign to crack down on public demonstrations. The heavy handed tactics of the military created sympathy for the republicans among the general population, as the once lauded unification began taking on aspects of an occupation.

On 13 July, Sacchi led several cadres into the city of Pola, launching a coup. The local garrison proved wholly unprepared for the attack and were soon retreating into the countryside as thousands of citizens took to the streets in support of Sacchi. Grand pronouncements of an Italian republic and calls for the nation to rise against Savoy tyranny were quickly snuffed as General Mezzacapo, stationed in nearby Fiume, marched on the rebellious city. Commanding 27,000 troops, Mezzacapo ruthlessly crushed the republicans and their supporters over the course of several days. Fighting, often street to street and house to house, proved incredibly vicious with the Army suffering hundreds of casualties. The rebels in turn were given no quarter with thousands killed, wounded or arrested included Sacchi who would be summarily tried and executed alongside dozens of his chief co-conspirators. The rebellion generated little sympathy outside of the region but the scale and ferocity of the affair shocked polite society [5].


1873%20pola%20revolt_zpszrwun2th.png

Pola Uprising, 13-17 July 1873

Coming only weeks after the conclusion of the Persano trial, the Pola revolt could not have come at a worse time for Lanza. Already struggling to maintain his crumbling authority, the prime minister was heavily criticised for the government’s lax approach to internal security that had led to levels of civic violence unseen in a generation. While the Radicale and others on the dissident left kept quiet in the wake of the uprising, the mainstream opposition led by Agostino Depretis relished the opportunity to savage Lanza in the Chamber and beyond. The newly appointed leader of the Sinistra Liberale proved a media savvy figure. A former lieutenant of Garibaldi, Depretis embraced the great man’s broad populism over the cerebral radicalism of his predecessor Rattazzi working with La Stampa to attack Lanza throughout the summer. His efforts were soon mirrored by those of Ricasoli and La Nazionale. Though the prime minister had shored up his public image with the success at London the previous year, within the corridors of power it was Visconti-Venosta and by extension his mentor Marco Minghetti who had profited most from the treaty. As the outrage failed to mellow over the coming weeks and fearful that Lanza would drag the Right government down with him, the cabinet forced his sudden resignation. Minghetti succeeded him, finally achieving his goal of the office of prime minister on 11 August [6].



__________
[1] While the destruction of the Habsburg Empire seems natural given the crushing result of the war, the simple fact is 1872 is not 1918. Game-wise Germany did not demand any land or new nations but also it is not in the best interests of Berlin, St. Petersburg or Budapest to have Austria fall. For now.

[2] De Broglie, an arch-Orleanist has been exiled to the embassy in London but his sympathies play into the proceedings. Franco-Italian relations after the fall of Rome were incredibly vicious IOTL while French (particularly Royalist) sympathy for the Ottoman Empire also creates tensions ITTL.

[3] The basis for OTL's League of the Three Emperors.

[4] Von Beust was born in Saxony and became a champion of anti-Prussian cooperation amongst the Catholic German states in the 1850s. By 1870 he had accepted Bismarck's place and believed Austria should accept a secondary role to Berlin to maintain the Empire. ITTL such views have alienated him only for to vindicated by the events of 1872.

[5] As far as I can reckon the Anarcho-Liberal Italian rebels had germinated under Austrian rule only to burst post-war. Came out of nowhere.

[6] Farewell Lanza. As with most political careers it ends with not a bang but a whimper.
 
Last edited:

stnylan

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Austria - it is hard to see how they will long be able to retain useful control of that now-ungainly extremity.
 

RossN

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Welcome back! :)

It's good to see I'm not the only one who ends up with odd and unsightly borders after an Austrian collapse. As the victim of unprovoked rebellions I can only sympathise and I do like the way you worked it into the narrative.

It's particularly interesting to get an insight into the mindsets of the great powers at this point. What is the ranking like? Has Austria fallen off the ladder?
 

guillec87

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I want Greater Germany and a satellite Poland... let the Germans handle the French and Russian troops while Italy conquers Africa and the Balkans