Salik

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Chapter XV: The Second Baltic War
100px-Wappen_Pommern_svg.png

The coat of arms of the house of Pomerania​

As we saw, by 1523 the Union was a well consolidated dual monarchy. The dukes of Meissen and Bremen were vassals of the Danish-Swedish crown, and the colonization of Vinland was well under way. Meanwhile the free trade policies of the crown ensured that many young people rose to great wealth and fame by trading in far away countries. The treath of the Empire was considerably lessened by the election of Juan of Spain as Holy Roman Emperor. Although the Spanish navy was strong, it was not nearly as great a challenge as the armies of France. The only German power able to effectively challenge the Union was the kingdom of Brandenburg, which had expanded at the expense of its lesser neighbours.
On the other side of the North Sea, however, a new Empire was looming. Great Britain had grown into the main foe of the Union, and was not content with the conquest of Orkney. The colony of Vinland bordered British possesions in the new world, and the emperor was eager to expand. With the largest navy in Christendom, this was a major concern for king Frederik. In 1523 he was an elderly man of 48, and mostly intent on developing his kingdom into a more modern state with centralized power and a modern army. The prospect of building a fleet powerful enough to resist the British was generaly concidered too expensive, so more emphasis was put in being able to stop an invasion.

In October of 1523, the British Empire declared war. Along with the British came their German allies of Brandenburg and several German and Italian city states. The Union was backed by Poland, Muscowy and its two German vassals Meissen and Bremen. Seeing Lithuania as a minor treath, the main armies of the Baltic were sent south to break the neck of the king of Brandenburg while the Finnish guard was sent to Stockholm to deal with an uprising instigated by British agents. The campaign in Brandenburg was huge success. Polish armies moved in from the East and won the first major victory for Poland in more than half a century when they occupied all provinces east of the capital in Berlin before laying siege to the city. Meanwhile Danish and Norwegian troops occupied Hinterpommern, and the enclave of Lüneburg was seized by the duke of Bremen.

While the Danish armies were busy occupying the Northern German provinces, the Teutonic Order decided to seize the opportunity to expand into Danzig, which they had lost more than a hundred years before in the first Baltic war. Since then, the Order had been incorporated for 50 years as a religious movement within the Polish state, but had been given sovereign power over the Baltic coast by the treaty of Krakow during the first war of the Tripple Alliance. How the Hochmeister could ever think, that he was strong enough to take on the Union remains a mystery. The order consisted of three provinces and an army of 7000, with no allies. The Union had an alliance of three major Baltic powers, a standing army of 40000, 25000 of which had just finished the total annihilation of a mediumsized regional power neighbouring the Order, and a fleet that was capable of blockading all the orders ports within weeks. The outcome was almost granted. On the 26th of December, 1524, the kingdom of Brandenburg was reduced to two provinces, the rest was split between Denmark and Poland. The Danish armies moved into the Baltic Region and soon occupied all major strongholds of the Order except for Marienburg.

But while the German powers once again fell to the forces of the Union, the new foe was not so easily toppled. The British navy entered the Baltic in an unusualy warm February and landed armies in Skåne and on Gotland. The army in Skåne was quickly defeated, but the large naval precence in the Baltic prevented a rescue of Gotland. Meanwhile, the colonial army in Vinland was annihilated by a British army moving in from Innu, and the city of Frederikstad was captured by the British. On the 16th of March, 1525, a peace was signed in which Bremen and Meissen were freed from their bonds of vassalage. Immediately thereafter, Bremen left its alliance with the Union, while Meissen stayed protected against its larger neighbour Bohemia. The reason for this humiliating peace at a time when the war was still more or less equal is to be found in the fact, that a prolonged war would most likely have led to a total defeat. The British delegation originialy proposed a peace in which Gotland and Finland was to be released as sovereign states, and Frederikstad was to be given up to the British. Though this was a prepostrous claim, the writing on the wall was clear. These demands could well be forced through if the war continued. In the end, the British were content with humiliating Frederik, who on his side was more than happy to keep the lands of the crown intact, and not let the Scandinavian settlers in Vinland suffer under the British yoke.
And on the same day as the peace was signed, Marienburg fell and the Order was forced to give up all other possessions than the immediate surroundings of the city and acknowledge the king of the Union as ther sovereign lord. So though some vassals had been lost, much more had been gained durring the war.

All of the Baltic coast except for Marienburg was conquered as lands of the Danish crown, and Brandenburg had been crippled while Poland had been strengthened. The new German provinces were rich and helped finance the effort to create a proper navy. After the bitter experience of the last war, king Frederik was resolved never to be caught off guard by a British fleet again. The age of the Scandinavian navy was starting.

20090710222629.jpg


The union after the second baltic war
 
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phargle

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That's a lovely map. Nice working holding off the British . . . that'll eventually turn into a mess, especially if latter treaties get much uglier. Norway won't be too hard if you can catch 'em unawares. After that, what do you have planned? It looks like you're cosmetically holding onto logical expansion. Is that something you'll stick to doing?
 

Salik

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Only that bit of the Teutonic left!!! :D

And Riga- which I for some reason have chosen to leave alone. 50 years ago they served as a nice refuge from the armies of Lithuania, so I have special feelings for them. They will probably remain the only part of the Baltic not on Danish hands for the entire game.

Nice tale :) Keep up the good work

Thanks. It's fun to be back at it

That's a lovely map. Nice working holding off the British . . . that'll eventually turn into a mess, especially if latter treaties get much uglier. Norway won't be too hard if you can catch 'em unawares. After that, what do you have planned? It looks like you're cosmetically holding onto logical expansion. Is that something you'll stick to doing?

Since this map I build a fleet that should hold them off and invested everything in naval tech for 20 years. I DON'T want the British *#%¤"!¤!%¤*?/(&"!¤#¤/(=)€$'s back on my shores. Ever.
Norway is still in a PU, I hope to inherit soon, as that will give me a core on Orkney and a nice little CB on Britain.
Expansion-wise I hope to hold on to my present borders, maybe expand a bit into the British Isles if I can get the upper hand. In later wars (SPOILER) I have mostly tried to get vassals and strengthen Muscowy and Poland, as they are uncapable of doing anything for themselves.

As I have found out, roleplaying makes a lot of things more difficult...
 

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Good story, keep going and ignore my overly-warmongering fellow lurkers
 

Salik

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Factbox: Bernardo Grosso, Stefan Sehested and the Council of Frösön​

Since the death of his excommunicated father, Frederik II had sought to establish a close bond with the pope. Both Christian and Frederik were pious men, and the excommunication of the former had not done anything towards changing this fact. Christian had spent years trying to reearn the favour of the pope, but had died excommunicated due to the pressure of Great Britain. When Frederik, who had never attacked an archbishop, was elected king, the pope saw no reason to uphold the excommunication, and the entire kingdom was readmitted to the holy society. The lifting of the excommunication gave Frederik a lot of internal goodwill and served as a foundation of the close relations with the Holy See that his reign would be remembered for. It has been suggested that the close advise of the renowned teologist Sebastian Sehested was an important reason for the kings steadfast support of the church.

The truest test of this special relationship came in 1527, when Bernado Grosso published his now famous theses on the reformation of the Catholic church on a churchdoor in Utrecht. Although the church tried to stop the new movement, the invention of the printing press made it possible to spread heretic texts faster and more easily than other movements like the Scorinians had been able to. Within a year the entire citystate of Utrecht had renounced the Pope and the Holy Bible was translated to Dutch. The Grossoan movement spred from Utrecht to France and the German states. Many German princes renounced the pope, among them the former Danish vassal of Meissen, who saw itself better protected by the German Grossoan princes to the South than by the Catholic King of the Union. The movement also spread to the Union, mostly in Sweden and the Baltic. In Kurland and Pskov it became popular, and the Cathedral in Pskov was vandalized in the Summer of 1529 by a heretic rebellion led by the defected monk Emmanuel Reventlow. The rebellion was fought down brutaly and Reventlow was burned at the stake for his sins. In the same year, several nationalist and herretic rebellions broke out in Sweden. The leaders admitted under torture, that they had been supported and encouraged by agents from Novgorod, who sought to take advantage of the religious differences in the Union.

These events led to the most famous work of Sebastian Sehested, “The Church and The King”, in which he attacks the Grossoan movement for breaking the sacred institution of the Christian state. In Sehesteds view, the king was chosen not by the people represented by the Rigsråd, but by divine inspiration of the members of the Rigsråd. Thus, the King was Gods chosen vessel, in which He had granted the power to rule, benefitting the common good. The Rigsråd and thereby the nobility were thus not nearly as deserving of their privileges as the Feudal state would suggest. In much the same way, the Pope was the supreme representative of God on Earth, and any sovereign that renounced him also renounced God, and thereby the ultimate source of his power. The heretic princes of Germany and Utrecht had, in other words, forfeited their right to rule. This work spread through the courts of Catholic Europe, were it was enthusiasticaly received. It would serve as a great inspiration in the large constitutional changes that happened throughout Europe in the following decades.

The immediate effects within the Union of “The Church and The King” was the further emmancipation of the peasants that followed in 1533. The hard bonds of feudalism were lessened, and the kingdom flourished as a result. The idea of all subjects under the crown as equal men was beginning to take root. In the same year, the Council of Frösön was hosted by Frederik. At the council, the major Catholic powers of Europe agreed to strike down the dawning Grossoan movement. By doing so, they would also strengthen the new ideas of the Catholic Absolutism that had started to flourish. The Counterreformation had begun, and the Union was a leading participant. Harsh measurements were imposed to get the heretics reconvereted to the one true faith.

To the South, the conversion of the kings former vassal Meissen became a goal, but other, more powerful neighbourgs would keep Frederik from achieving this goal for years.
 
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Salik

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An update will be posted (most probably) later tonight, CET. This post is just to remind everyone to go vote in the ACA's

If you consider voting for this AAR, it would be eligible in the History Book category. For that category I recommend voting for Paris Ne Vaut Pas Une Messe by Milites, though. If you don't read it already, get started!
 

Salik

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Vas? They must be destroyed!!! :mad::rofl:

I think I have attacked enough men of the church already- don't you ?:rolleyes:

Ah im glad to see that this is back in order haha

Thanks!

Good story, keep going and ignore my overly-warmongering fellow lurkers

Hm... I probably should ignore them. But... Well, what's an AAR without an arch-enemy? And what's an arch-enemy without war?

Oh yeah, the Danes are back :cool:

They most certainly are. And I am glad to bring them back

An update will be posted (most probably) later tonight, CET.

Well, that's not gonna happen... Sorry. Tomorrow- or some such thing. I kind of played a bit ahead. And sort of lost thouch with what happened. So in one evening I spent a lot of time not writing and made the eventual writing take longer. Nice job.

A lovely update, and quite nice to see the non-province-seizing events detailed. The reformation is a big deal and it's cool that it happened somewhat close to home.

Thanks. I think those factboxes are quite fun to write. I'll be sure to make more.
 

Salik

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Chapter XVI: Rumble in Russia
100px-Wappen_Pommern_svg.png

The coat of arms of the house of Pomerania​

In the Summer of 1529, a revolt broke out among the Grossoan peasants of Bergslagen. The revolt spread to Värmland and soon also Stockholm, where the burghers demanded that Sweden become an independent kingdom of the Union, like Norway was. The Grossoan movement was becoming a spearhead for the resistance to the Union in both Sweden and on the Baltic coast, which was a major cause for Frederiks support of the Catholic Church. The revolt was easily put down and its leaders captured. In their possession was found coins issued in Novgorod, and several suspicious looking people were arrested in Stockholm, several of whom confessed under torture to be Novgorodian spies.

By May of 1530, war was declared on Novgorod, and Danish and Muscowite armies invaded from the West and East. Within a year the city of Novgorod had fallen, and the council of the republic, remembering the war of 1444, when the city was burned by Hans the Cruel, agreed to pay large indemnities and release a sovereign state to the South under the name of Pskov, not to be confused with the Danish duchy of that name. The republic of Pskov only lasted a few years before being conquered by one of the many kingdoms that fought for control over Russia in those years.

Muscowy was an important ally of Denmark and Poland against Lithuanian aggresion, so the internal stability of that kingdom was a major concern to Frederik. For decades, Muscowy had been involved in wars of its own, trying do defend its lesser allies against the Qasim Khanate and the muslim forces of Astrakhan and The Golden Horde. These wars had not gone very well, and the kingdom had been steadily diminished. Then, in 1533, a civil war broke out, and the kingdom collapsed. A nephew of the former king took the throne of the city of Moskva, which was isolated by the Qasim Khanate from the few loyalist provinces that remained. This new, weakened kingdom could in no way help the Union against Lithuania, other than in serving as a distraction. Even then, Frederik chose to uphold the alliance with the new king. Sustaining and eventually strengthening the kingdom of Muscowy became one of several goals in the foreign policy of Frederik. This decision was probably caused not so much by the generaly good relations with Muscowy as by the hostile relations with Novgorod and the Muslim states. Strengthening Muscowy ultimately meant weakening the enemies of the Union.

So when Muscowy attacked the duchy of Tver in 1534, Frederik sent his Finnish guard to aid. This also meant a reopening of hostilities against Novgorod, where the main effort was made in the early fase of the war. Novgorod was forced to sign a separate peace in 1535, and the Finnish guard proceeded to attack the provinces held by the Qasim Khanate. By 1537 the Southern provinces of the khanate were occupied by the Union while Muscowy kept fighting in the North. The commandant Hans Moltke signed a peace with the Khan, acquiring the province of Tula, which bordered Moskva. Meanwhile, Muscowite armies fought over the Northern provinces, for another year before the war ended with a token indemnity payed by the Qasim Khanate. In 1539, the province of Tula was handed over to the king of Muscowy in exchange for a large gift to the Union.

Thus ended the first war in which Frederik II sought to aid Poland and Muscowy. The borders of the Union were more or less defined, and on the Eastern front the main interest was to keep Lithuania weak and the other members of the Triple Alliance strong enough to keep hostile states at bay. This change in priorities also emphasized the fact, that the alliance had evolved from being between three equal sovereigns aimed against a common enemy, to Poland and Muscowy being de facto client states to the Union king.

The money recieved from Muscowy were used for three of the major undertakings during Frederiks reign, Frederiksborg slot, which replaced the antiquated castle of Copenhagen, the weapons manufactory of Värmland and the University of Copenhagen, which would become the major centre of knowledge in the Baltic region. Through these undertakings, and the colonization of Vinland, Markland and Ny Lappland, Frederik would be remembered as one the great kings of the Union.
 
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unmerged(81979)

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I think I have attacked enough men of the church already- don't you ?:rolleyes:

NEVER!!! :) Excellent updates, sir! :) Keep up the good work! :)
 
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I know I'm boring, but map of Russia, and map of the whole kingdom of the danes ? :rolleyes:


Anywayz, excellent :D
 

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Sure, here's some maps for you. This is also my last post until somewhere around the 6th of August, I am going to Greenland tomorrow morning- I can't tell how much I look forward to that.

Take care

20090726172547.jpg


This is Russia. Novgorod to the North, in blue stretching from the Black Sea Astrakhan, the other blue is Qasim Khanate, the yellow is Muscowy. This is in 1540, though- so some things have changed between the post and this picture. The union hasn't changed since the last map.
 

Salik

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Chapter XVII: Regarding Krakow
100px-Wappen_Pommern_svg.png

The coat of arms of the house of Pomerania​

As the Union entered the 1540’ies, Frederik II was one of the most respected kings in Europe, and indeed considered among the greatest union kings. Being compared to the likes of Erik, Frederik the Meek and his father Christian, one might claim that it would be a shame not to be considered great, and surely, Frederik was in no way deserving to be compared with Vilhelm or Hans when it came to his personality. In the early 20th century criticism of the Great Man Theory, Frederik was often mentioned as an example of a man who with very limited skills managed to be at the right place at the right time and become the hero of the counter-reformation, which would have happened regardless. While this is perhaps not entirely fair, let it suffice to say, that Frederik was more Pious than Great, despite the two being used interchangeably as his epithet.

As we saw earlier, the Tripple Alliance was no longer an actual defensive alliance, but more an agreement on limited Polish and Muscowite assistance in Danish wars in exchange for protection against foreing aggression. The original reason for the alliance, Lithuania, was weakened by the loss of the Baltic coast, and was no real treath to Union. However, Frederik still regarded Lithuania as a treath that should be dealt with. With a much stronger navy having been built since the second Baltic war, and Brandenburg still crippled from the humiliating peace of Potsdam, Frederik’s back was cleared from both the British and the German treath, and he could start the great project of his final years: The partioning of Lithuania.

In June 1541, Poland and Hungary signed a peacetreaty in which Poland reacquired its long lost southern province of Ratibor, and thus the entire alliance was ready to fight at full strength. In September, a threefront invasion was started. The Lithuanian army had seen no reform or evolution during the 16th century, and were quickly defeated, despite their great numbers. In the epic battle of Vilnius on New Years day of 1542, which many people will know from its prominent place in the Scandinavian popular history, the war was decided. In this battle, the Lithuanian armies led by king Zygimantas III defended Vilnius against a smaller, but better equiped force led by Hans Moltke, the great general of the East. At the end of the day, the Lithuanian armies were decimated, and Hans Moltke left a small force to siege the city, while chasing the enemy to the Baltic coast. After the defeat, Vilnius fell within weeks, and the alliance quickly conquered large parts of the country. Had it not been for a most untimely event, Lithuania might well have reached that same point of no return that Sweden did with the Christmas Peace of 1430, with the main parts of the country being lost and its final break-up being a matter of time.

In the independent princedom of Krakow, the old king Przemislav had no sons, and the throne would go to the son of one of his daughters. Two of these daughters were married to Frederiks youngest son Vilhelm and a brother to Karl of Austria, respectively. Apart from Austria being the greatest German power of Europe, Karl was also a strong follower of the reformed sect of Pedro de Toledo. By all traditional and new definitions, Karl was a major rival of Frederik and the Union. When Przemislav died in April of 1542, the noble council of Krakow elected his grandson Valdemar, Vilhelms son, as his heir. Karl claimed that his nephew Leopold was closer to the throne, as his mother was the oldest daughter of Przemislav. So when Valdemar arrived in Krakow along with his parents, Karl declared war. Frederik promised to assist his grandsons claims on the throne, and an expidtionary fleet was sent to the mediteranian to make a blockade of all Austrian ports. Meanwhile, negotiations with Zygimantas were started, and a cheap peace for Lithuania was signed. Poland got the province of Erz, which had previously belonged to Bohemia, and Muscowy got Bryanz while Magdeburg became a vassalstate of Denmark-Sweden. With this, the full power of the Union could be used to secure the throne of Krakow for Valdemar.

In 1543, Frederik II second died after 36 years on the throne and was succeeded by his son Christian II. Christian was not very much like his father. First of all, he had spend many years as regent of Norway, and was probably the first Union king since Vilhelm who genuinely saw himself as king of two kingdoms rather than of Denmark-Sweden. One of his first actions as king whas to start the construction of the royal palace of Christiansborg in Oslo to complement Frederiksborg in Copenhagen. Another thing was, that he had a more tolerant view of religion than Frederik. Although the Counter-Reformation remained a part of the Unions official policy, Christian did not see it as such an important cause, and he even upheld the alliance with Poland after the Warzaw reformation of 1546. This tolerance, and his dislike of his younger brother’s fierce Catholic views, has often been mentioned as a reason for the apparent lack of enthusiasm with which the war of Krakowian succession, or Valdemar-war as it is also known, was fought. But another, more likely reason is the fact, that apart from blockading the Mediterranean ports, there was no way to reach Austria. Krakow and the allied Poland were cut of from Austria by Bohemia and Hungary who both denied either side to pass through their lands. Thus, the war never became very bloody, even though the small Austrian ally of the Palatinate was occupied by the kings German guard. In 1546 the king of Bohemia was persuaded to allow Danish troops to pass through his territories, but the were repelled in the Tatra mountains by a superior Austrian force. In 1548 a white peace was signed, and Valdemar took the throne. However, Christian and his brother Vilhelm broke off their relations, and Krakow fell out of the Danish sphere of influence. Also, in spite of the large words of the Frösö-declaration, Christian had shown unable to “fight the herrecies of the enemies of the one true church” which caused him to be seen as a much lesser king than his father. The prestige of the Union was at an all-time low. So Christian started to prepare another war against Lithuania. The final breakup of that state would not only heighten his prestige but also fulfil the goals of his father. Christian’s reign would not be a peaceful one.
 
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Salik

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Chapter XVIII: All Things Must Pass
100px-Wappen_Pommern_svg.png

The coat of arms of the house of Pomerania​

For more than sixty years, the Tripple Alliance of Poland, Denmark and Muscowy had been aimed against Lithuanian aggression. Durring these years, the balance of power in Eastern Europe had changed. While Poland remained weak, it was no longer the weakest of the three allies, as Muscowy had been decimated by the Muslim hordes of Astrakhan and the Qasim Khanate. The Union of Kalmar had proceeded to rule supreme on the Baltic Coast, and was more than ever the strongest member of the Alliance. Meanwhile, Lithuania was a shadow of its former self. Although the rich provinces of Minsk and Kiev remained, the Black Sea coast had been lost and generations of young men had perished on the battlefield. In this state, the Lithuanians were by no means a treath to the Union. But still, the ancient rivalry and the hunger for respect meant that Christian II regarded it as a major objective to break the kingdom in pieces. Frederik II had been stopped on the verge of achieving said goal by the war of Krakowian succession, but his son was eager to carry through.

20090814100654.jpg

Lithuania in 1548

So in 1549 the war that to this day defines the reign of Christian II was started. The reason was an alledged Lithuanian plot with Counter-Reformist bishops and Norwegian nobles to put Christians nephew Valdemar of Krakow on the Union throne. Although this is not entirely impossible, given later events, many people believed the documents to be forged, and indeed Krakow was never attacked.

Soon after the declaration of war, Poland was invaded from the South by Hungary. Poland was not in a state to fight a twofront war, and was forced to sign a peacetreaty in which Ukraine was released from it bonds of vasalage and Polish claims on the Lithuanian province of Podlasia were renounced. In the meantime, Muscowy was quickly defeated and gave up the province of Bryanz, which had been conquered only seven years before. So the final fight for Lithuania would be between the Union of Kalmar with its vasals Magdeburg and The Teutonic Order against Lithuania, Bohemia and the former vasal of the Danish-Swedish crown, turned Protestant, Meissen. Meanwhile Bohemian-Hungarian hostilities remained a concern.

By 1551, however, Meissen was conquered and the king forced to swear allegiance to the Pope and the Union King. Hungary got dragged in to a war against Austria and were forced to sign a peace. Within a year the former major player of the Balkans was reduced to four provinces, on of which was cut of from the rest of the country. These two events allowed troops to be relocated to Lithuania, were the last war of the Union of Kalmar would be fought over the next eight years.

The war lasted this long for two reasons. Firstly Christian II was determined to annihilate Lithuania, and would not accept a peace for anything less. Secondly, as the war dragged on and young men were conscripted, tensions within the Union were mounting. German, Finnish and Pommeranian peasant revolts kept the troops that might have ended the war busy within the Unions own borders. Meanwhile, however, Lithuania had its own problems, as Polish, Russian and Ukranian nobles in Southern Lithuania, funded by Copenhagen, tried to break out from oppression by their non-Slavic rulers. By Christmas of 1557, only the area around Minsk and the Southernmost part of the country remained under control of the Lithuanian crown.



20090814100800.jpg

Lithuania in the last months of the war

After the Bergen Treachery, which will be dealt with in more detail later, the Rigsråd of Denmark-Sweden forced through an end to the war by taking Trakai, Podlasia and the Bohemian province of Sudety for peace, and within a few weeks the once mighty kingdom of Lithuania broke down to internal unrest, the provinces being split between a newly formed Ukrainian kingdom, Krakow, Ryazan and Chrimea. A Lithuanian puppet-king to the nobility was installed in a new kingdom which only included the Vilnius area.

20090814100831-1.jpg

Lithuania after the collapse

So during the great wars of the 1550’ies three of the big multiethnic kingdoms of Europe were diminished. Hungary, which was conquered by Austria. Lithuania, which collapsed to war exhaution and cultural differences. And finaly the Union of Kalmar.
 
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