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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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First Vic2 AAR here. I picked the Papal States because a) they start small with opportunity for growth and b) no one else on the front page picked them. I plan on having it be in "history book" form. I didn't want it be a pure gameplay AAR because I'm not very good and a gameplay format would probably just end up being a chronicle of my numerous errors.

My last AAR was in EU3, and there I ran into the problem of becoming bored with the game and then abandoning the AAR. I don't want to do that here, so I actually made sure I finished the game before writing this. I got a few hundred screenshots to crop though, so there'll still be some time between the updates. Plus, this allows for some ominous foreshadowing later on. Hope you enjoy it.

"Only a few prefer liberty - the majority seek nothing more than fair masters."
-Sallust, Histories

God's Empire




Chapter I: Introduction (1836)

The States of the Church​

Since the middle ages the Pope, the head of the universal Catholic Church and Vicar of Christ, had not only enjoyed ecclesiastical primacy in the Catholic world, but also directly ruled a collection of city-states in central Italy. In the beginning it was hoped that a state ruled by the Pope would become a veritably Utopia, a heaven on earth. But though Paradise did not appear, a very curious thing did. These were the Papal States, where the temporal power of the Pope held sway. In a world of familial monarchies and republics, the Papal States were a unique entity. Absolute power were held by one man, the Pope. However, the Pope was an elected monarch. And as the Popes all took a vow of celibacy, none had legitimate children to pass their title on to. Also, since it would not do to have the head of Catholicism be seen "cracking skulls", a great deal of authority was delegated to certain Cardinals, such as the Cardinal Secretary of State. The physical dimensions of this domain had not changed greatly for centuries, until the coming of Napoleon temporarily deprived the Pope of his lands and set up a revolutionary Second Roman Republic.

Since the end of the Napoleonic Wars and the Congress of Vienna, the Papal States had been ruled by a reactionary administration known as the Ristorazionista - "the restorationists". The Ristorazionista's agenda included the full integration of the Church and the state. No one espousing support for revolutionary or liberal views on separation of the spiritual and temporal powers of the Pope could expect any advancement in even local government. North Italians from Romagna were also commonly treated as second-class citizens compared to the South Italians of Lazio, the base of support for the regime.

The French also commanded a great deal of influence in the politics of Rome. Though it had been the French Empire which presumed to remove the temporal power from the Pope those short decades ago, the new post-Napoleonic regime in France was on good terms with the Papacy.

His Holiness Pope Gregory XVI, 1836

The Ristorazionista and their leader, the Cardinal Secretary of State Luigi Lambruschini, had the complete support of Pope Gregory XVI. Pope Gregory had been elected in 1831. Strongly conservative and traditionalist, he opposed the democratic and modernizing reforms which had become popular elsewhere in Europe since the wars of the French Revolution, seeing them as a front for revolutionary forces which would destroy the almost two thousand year-old Church. He and Cardinal Lambruschini, opposed basic technological innovations such as gas lighting and railways, believing that they would promote commerce and increase the power of the bourgeoisie, leading to demands for liberal reforms which would undermine the monarchical power of the Pope over central Italy. Gregory in fact banned railways in the Papal States, calling them "ways of hell". Though later Popes would relax these prohibitions and even attempt to encourage industrialization, the Papal States would never amount to an industrial power of any degree.

A Papal Zouave, circa 1836​

The Pope's small military consisted of a few brigades of Papal Zouaves. The Zouaves were for the most part not residents of central Italy, but international Catholic volunteers. All orders were given in French and they were commanded by a Swiss Colonel until the command was offered to Ludovico Chigi. This arrangement obviously did little to endear the Papal military in the eyes of the citizens of the Papal States, and was frequently cited in republican and Italian nationalist pamphlets which occasionally circulated illegally.


The Ristorazionista further cemented their privileged status in the eyes of Pope Gregory by successfully sparking a moralist resurgence. New religious societies were springing up left and right, it seemed. While the radical tide might have been rising in other states, in the Papal States the people cried for stability, and for things to remain as they had always been. The Revolution had brought war and misery. Who would ever want to encourage that?

These were the Papal States in 1836. Almost diametrically opposed in an ideological sense to their patron, the Orleaniste monarchy of France, the Papal regime many of the people it ruled were reactionary, moralist, and technologically backward.

Pope Gregory and Cardinal Lambruschini did not rest easy. The radical elements in Italy may have been silenced for the time being, but no one was under the illusion that they were not there. A revolution in one of the other states of Italy could lead to a crisis, even war. The Pope had seen it before. During Napoleon's day the revolutionaries had not been content to keep their disease in France, but enthusiastically sought to spread the contagion through war. The Pope began to actively court the other powers of Italy. The Grand Ducies of Modena, Tuscany, Lucca and Parma were firmly in the Austrian sphere of influence, and their Habsburg masters did not take kindly to any kind of outside interference. The two most important independent states of Italy were the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in the south and the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont in the north. It was the latter to which Pope Gregory focused his attention.


Carlo Alberto, King of Sardinia-Piedmont

Carlo Alberto, the King of Sardinia-Piedmont who had come to his throne around the same as Pope Gregory, was receptive to the idea of an alliance. And so in September of 1836 the King and the Pope announced their everlasting friendship and cooperation to the rest of the world. Pope Gregory could finally rest easy. His sbirri would keep order in the Papal States well enough, and if by chance revolution should overtake one of the other Italian states, he could call on Sardinia-Piedmont to aid him in restoring order.

Some Cardinals did voice displeasure at the arrangement. They were concerned the treaty was far to vague and broad. They did not trust the King. Because Carlo Alberto was not widely regarded as a peace-loving man. His arguments with the Swiss to his north had already produced deadly border skirmishes. Only two weeks before the signing of the treaty five Swiss and two Sardinian border guards had been killed. But though he undoubtedly regarded some Swiss border towns as his, and did not shy away from forceful negotiations, the Pope still approved of him. Carlo Alberto, he was convinced, was no warmonger. "I looked into his eyes and could glimpse his soul", he remarked.

It seemed that the efforts of the Ristorazionista in encouraging mistrust of North Italians and their motives had proven a bit too successful. Cardinal Lambruschini brushed aside these concerns as the ramblings of paranoiacs. "They would sacrifice the peace and stability the States of the Church," he wrote in his diary, "all on the fear the King of Sardinia-Piedmont will attempt to use the Pontifical Zouaves as a force to supplement some mad scheme of conquest."

In October the Pope issued his encyclical "In Amicos Fides", decrying the suspicion being heaped upon his new ally. It seemed like the arguments refused to end even though the treaty itself was signed and done. It took until Christmastime, but eventually things did die down. In Rome, the Pope celebrated the Christmas mass and looked forward to living out his reign in peace and stability.

In Turin, Carlo Alberto prepared for war.
 

Dewirix

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A good start - I'll definitely be following!

But though he undoubtedly regarded some Swiss border towns as his, and did not shy away from forceful negotiations, the Pope still approved of him. Carlo Alberto, he was convinced, was no warmonger. "I looked into his eyes and could glimpse his soul", he remarked.

Now where have I heard that before? :)

In Turin, Carlo Alberto prepared for war.

Proving that the Pope is only infallible on doctrinal matters.

I've not long ago finished a Two Sicilies game, so it's nice to see what someone else can do on the peninsula. Given the difficulties I faced as TS, it seems like an uphill struggle for the Papal States. It will be interesting to see what happens when liberal agitation steps up.
 

TonyJoe

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Good luck (though I guess you're already finished with the game). It'll be interesting to see how the Papal States survive in the modern era.
 

Eber

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Ohh, interesting! I'll be keeping my eye on this one. ;)
 

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Great start so far for your first AAR!
 

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Chapter II

Thanks for the comments everyone! And apologies, but MLB postseason demands I spend the majority of my weekend watching baseball, so updates might come a little slow.

@loki100: The redshirts were enemies of the Pope IRL, so I recreated that here. The Popes do not support Italian unification.

==========================================================

Chapter II: Opening Move (1837)

"You will in all your operations consult with the Commander of the Piedmontians that their force may cooperate with the troops under your command in Endeavoring to Captivate Kill or Destroy the whole force of the Enemy there. And as there is good reason to believe that some of the Principal men at Novara requested the enemy to come there and take possession you will be particularly careful not to let any of them escape, but to secure them for their evil doings... We now commend you to the Supream being Sincerely praying him to preserve you and the Forces under your Command in health and safety, and Return you Crowned with Victory and Laurels."​
-Excerpt of a letter from Cardinal Secretary of State Luigi Lambruschini to General Ludovico Chigi, Commander of the Pontifical Zouaves. July 20, 1837.​

In 1837 the post-Napoleonic order in Europe began to come apart. The Kingdom of the Netherlands, supported by Prussia and Russia, invaded Belgium. The Dutch had never accepted what they regarded as a purely temporary ceasefire giving the Belgians their independence. Now, fully recuperated after their previous defeat, they would restore order to their southern provinces. The United Kingdom vowed to uphold the old order and entered into the war on the side of beleaguered defenders. After two decades of peace, war returned to the continent.

In northern Italy the King of Sardinia-Piedmont was facing a crisis of leadership. Increasing liberal agitation was plaguing his cities and centers of commerce. Carlo Alberto was by his nature an autocratic monarch. He, like Pope Gregory XVI in the south, despised the ideas the French had spread to Europe in the wars at the turn of the century. The liberals wanted freedom of trade, and end to protective tariffs, an end to government intervention in the economy of any kind, and, worst of all, an end to the absolute authority of the king. Recently they had become violent. Tax collectors and royal heralds had been attacked. Symbols of royal power were vandalized. There were even a few public demonstrations, though these were quickly broken up without a great deal of trouble. From his palazzo in Turin Carlo Alberto surveyed the scene around him, searching for someone, anyone, who was just a little bit more to blame for this state of affairs than himself. When his gendarmes picked up a Swiss merchant from the canton of Lugano in their dragnet, he had his scapegoat.

He denounced the Swiss publicly for inciting unrest in his kingdom. In response to this provocation, he announced his intention that a few small border towns on the Swiss side would be the new base of operations for his border guards, so that they may better deter agitators. The Swiss, naturally, were indignant. They could not believe the King would start a war over this issue, but all the same they ordered troops to the border. A small number of clashes occurred, and a handful of soldiers on both sides were killed. Carlo Alberto, contrary to the belief of the Swiss, believed that a war would encourage his people to bury their rebellious feelings and shore up support for his reactionary administration, with the ancillary benefit of giving him latitude to arrest traitorous liberals as enemies of the state. There remained on the problem of his own army being too small for the task. His standing army numbered twice as much as that of the Swiss, but the Swiss could defend their mountain fastnesses easily against him. He needed more men. But where to find them?

Into this environment came the Papal envoys. Pope Gregory, they said, shared the King's loathing of liberal dissidents. There was a real risk that should one of the smaller states of Italy fall, the rest would rise in open revolt against their proper rulers. Might the King be interested in an alliance of sorts, to dispel this risk?

King Carlo Alberto agreed, and for good measure took advantage of the neophyte diplomats to craft a treaty of alliance that obligated one power to support even the offensive war of the other. He had his men. After only half a year, the Piedmontian ambassador in Rome delivered the official request for support in the war to an appalled Cardinal Lambruschini personally on May 9, 1837.



Pope Gregory was furious. At first voicing his intention not to honor the agreement, he balked when confronted by Lambruschini. If the Papal States went back on their word, he argued, they would be a pariah on the international stage for all time. Reluctantly, the Pope declared a state of war to exist between the Papal States and Switzerland. Still Gregory vacillated and stalled for time. Rome was in an uproar. The Commander of the Papal Zouaves, the Swiss Colonel Allet, resigned his post. Fearing his own palace guard would turn against him, Gregory also dismissed the Swiss Guard, ending a five hundred year-old institution. It was truly a scandal which threatened to bring down the whole regime of the Ristorazionista.

For a month it seemed like his stalling tactics might actually work, and the war would run its course without the Pope actually having to taint himself with violence against fellow Catholics. Cardinal Lambruschini named Ludovico Chigi, a career bureaucrat in the Ristorazionista, General of the Pontifical Zouaves and instructed him to march the army north in a token show of support, but not to actually advance to the line of battle. The Zouaves sat for a month at Genoa, which immediately created a great amount of hostility on the part of the Genoese toward the Papal States. The Zouaves were billeted in private homes, and helped themselves to a good portion of the harvest. Chigi tried to prevent carousing and drunkenness, appealing to the soldiers' piety, but he was mostly unsuccessful. Still, he reckoned, as long as he wasn't fighting he was doing his job.

But then, disaster.



The Piedmontian army had made a beeline for the Swiss capital of Bern, an idiotic move that left the Piedmontian countryside wide open for the Swiss to invade and despoil. Which they promptly did. Now Carlo Alberto had had enough of Gregory's stalling, and brazenly demanded that the Pope commit his forces. In the face of this, and seeing how the Papal Army could not realistically avoid the fighting any longer, Cardinal Lambruschini instructed General Chigi to advance on the city of Novara.

A Papal Zouave from Ireland, veteran of the battle of First Novara.​

The Swiss had occupied Novara a few days prior, and were currently in the process of securing the neighboring towns and countryside. King Carlo Alberto believed Novara to be a den of liberal jackals who had willingly opened their gates to the Swiss. He gave all Piedmontian-Papal forces permission to loot the city once it was liberated, and indicated he would turn a blind eye to the fate of its traitorous leaders. Cardinal Lambruschini, not blaming the city for surrending to overwhelming force, believed this to be madness. Nevertheless he instructed General Chigi to take the "Principal men" of the city into custody after its liberation, to placate the King. After sending a fruitless plea to the commander of the Swiss forces there to vacate the town and avoid the spilling the blood, Chigi engaged the enemy.


Upon arriving at Novara Chigi found the Swiss forces leaderless, their general having been incapacitated by dysentery. Chigi's Zouaves, men from France, Ireland, Spain, Germany, America, and even a few from Switzerland, fighting in war a war that most of their home nations had nothing to do with, fought valiantly and routed the Swiss. Two hundred twenty-one of them lost their lives, four hundred twenty received severe wounds. But across the field was carnage: almost half of the enemy's ten thousand men suffered the same fate. The Pontifical Army's first major battle in centuries was a glorious victory.

The surviving Swiss retreated towards Lugano. Chigi opted not to pursue, more out of fear of attacking the enemy in the mountains than out of genuine clemency, but all the same it drove the King of Sardinia-Piedmont into a rage. "If the Pope will not use his army," he is said to have remarked, "perhaps he will let me borrow it for a while!"

When news of the victory reached Rome there was jubilation. An ambassador from the Khediv of Egypt, in Rome to discuss the extradition of a radical fugitive who had fled to Crete, presented the pope with a jeweled scimitar in congratulation. But Pope Gregory was troubled. In the crowds cheering the military victory, in the diplomats congratulating him on killing so many Swiss at so little cost, in the hungry eyes of the Cardinals imagining the material gains that could be had, Gregory saw something that chilled him to the bone. Let the rest of the world worry about military victory, he thought. Let the Protestant heretics in Britain and Germany glory in their idolatrous worship of industry. Just let the Papal States exist as they had for centuries. And why should they not? He was the Pope! The Vicar of Christ on Earth and Successor to Saint Peter. In the Papal States, his decree had the force of law. If he decided that things would stay as they had been for centuries, no amount of popular pressure or scheming bureaucrats or vainglorious cardinals could possibly make it otherwise.
 

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Chapter III

Chapter III: Rubicon (1837-1838)

"Chigi knows how to gain a victory but not how to use it."
-Lorenz di Aosta, General of the Armies of Sardinia-Piedmont

"I arrived at headquarters just as the Piedmontian Colonel had made his disposition of General Chigi's strategies known. The general was much affected, and turned on him in a fury saying 'You seem to be damned knowing about the matter! I will not risk my army in those damned mountains!'"
-From Two Years In The Pontifical Zouaves, by Michel d'Arnaud, a Canadian.



The new wars in Europe were already having a profound effect on the political landscape. In the first week of August the King of Belgium abdicated, and his country was annexed by the Netherlands. The United Kingdom at first refused to accept its defeat, and kept up the fight for a couple more months. But eventually Parliament recognized that freeing Belgium would require a commitment in men and money that the Kingdom could not afford, and they made peace with the Dutch and the Prussians. The political fallout from this defeat kicked off the events which would eventually lead to the First British Revolution.

In northern Italy the Papal States and the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont still fought the Swiss, but their alliance seemed to be fraying with each passing day. Pope Gregory and Cardinal Secretary of State Lambruschini never wanted to enter into the war in the first place, and constantly dragged their heels in committing men and resources to the fight. Their commander in the field, General Ludovico Chigi, scored a brilliant victory at Novara, but did not follow up by following and destroying the defeated Swiss division. None of this went unnoticed by the Piedmontians and their King, Carlo Alberto. Eventually an adjutant of the Piedmontian commander General di Aosta confronted Chigi and demanded he follow the Swiss to Lugano, which provoked the Papal general into a tirade of verbal abuse which only served to provoke more loathing of the Papal forces in the Piedmontian army.

In the ensuing months the Piedmontians fought the Swiss in a number of engagements in the Alps, while Chigi was content to liberate Swiss-occupied cities and towns in Piedmont. By December though, it seemed that the alliance was ready to fall apart. But on Christmas a small Swiss army of just over six thousand made a desperate push towards Novara in order to draw the marauding Piedmontians out of Switzerland and buy time for the local militias to reorganize. In this they succeeded. General di Aosta's army was hot on their heels as they descended the Alpine passes. Unfortunately for the Swiss General Chigi had word of their movements well in advance. The Papal Zouaves arrived at Novara first on New Years Eve, 1837.


While Chigi pinned the Swiss down, di Aosta delivered the hammer blow from the rear. The Swiss, tired and freezing from a march through the harsh snows, fought bravely but in vain. The entire Swiss army was killed or forced to surrender.


General Chigi leading the Papal Zouaves at Second Novara

Upon hearing of the outcome at Second Novara, Pope Gregory immediately began looking to use the destruction of the Swiss army as an excuse to get out of the war. Carlo Alberto was by this time making wild claims to fully half of Switzerland. The Papal States for their part stood to gain practically nothing. Besides, a new crisis was developing. The Khediv of Egypt had refused to extradite a dangerous radical who had fled Papal justice after an abortive insurrection in Viterbo. The villain was now given free roam of Crete. He might have beeen trying to cobble together a new life for himself, but Pope Gregory knew it was only a matter of time before he raised an exile army and invaded Italy. Compared to this threat, Switzerland was an afterthought.


In May of 1838 Carlo Alberto accepted the Pope's request to bow out of the war. In the King's eyes, he had gotten what he wanted. The Swiss were defeated, all that was left was to march into the mountains and sweep aside the local militias. And now he would no longer have to deal with the insufferable Chigi.

The Zouaves were recalled. The question was now what to do about Egypt. The Khediv was proving unduly obstinate. He still refused to hand over the fugitive. For a month everything in the book was tried: gifts, banquets, veiled threats. All this time Pope Gregory knew what was on the minds of many of his advisers: the newly-bloodied army, full of experienced veterans, which suddenly had nothing to do. It was a Colonel in the Zouaves, Sigismondo della Rovere, who first had the temerity to broach the topic in an audience with Cardinal Lambruschini. General Chigi was furious with Colonel della Rovere for going to the Cardinal Secretary of State without first obtaining his permission. It was the beginning of a bitter enmity between the two officers which would last the rest of their lives. As to della Rovere's idea of military action against Egypt, the leader of the Ristorazionista responded coolly to this proposal, as he was loath to start another war so soon after finishing the last one. But there were other Cardinals, and these proved easier to convince. Eventually a sizable portion of the Ristorazionista supported war with Egypt.

Gregory adamantly refused to consider another war. He begged the Khediv again and again to come to a reasonable agreement. But the Khediv replied that his local representative had granted the fugitive permission to reside in Crete, and to arrest him would be to break his word. Finally the Pope began to run out of options. The fact that he was showering the heathen ruler of Egypt with gifts while the same ruler was harboring a dangerous criminal was beginning to turn into a scandal. All it would take to solve the situation would be a strike on Crete to take the man by force. Quick and easy, the Cardinals said. Still, he and Lambruschini were able to avoid the calls for war by pointing out the Egypt had a far superior army numerically if not technologically. If it came to open war victory was not nearly as certain as it was against the Swiss.

Much to their chagrin, all that changed in the first week of July.


The Khediv was nominally a vassal of the Ottoman Sultan, but over the decades that relationship had degenerated to the point where Egypt was a de facto independent state. In July of 1838 the Sultan decided to remedy that with force.

Now military action seemed like a possibility, if the Ottomans could occupy the greater part of the Egyptian army. The Pope gave his approval to the plan. The General Chigi and his Zouaves were to board the transport ships of the Pontifical Navy and sail to Crete. There, they would fan out and search for the fugitive, taking him into custody when they found him. Then they would leave. No occupation, no battle larger than a skirmish with town militia. Gregory sent them off with his blessing, assuring both his soldiers and himself that this would not really be a war in the traditional sense of the word.


On July 30 the Pontifical Navy arrived outside the harbor at Chania and blockaded it, then proceeded to disembark the Zouaves. Resistance was non-existant. Most men of military age had been sent to the Levant to repel the Ottoman invasion. Those who remained were either old men or small children. Most surrendered without a fight. Morale among the troops soared. But when the Zouaves rooted out the fugitive's safehouse, and broke open his strongbox, and read the correspondence, it plummeted.

Because Giuseppe Garibaldi had left for Alexandria only two days prior.
 

Dewirix

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Oh dear, it appears the Pope has played into Sardinia-Piedmont's hands. The pontiff is going to have a nasty surprise if Carlo Alberto decides to turn his energies to the unification of Italy.

I'm not sure the more aggressive policy of the Ristorazionista are going to make the situation any better, but people do strange things when they're scared.
 

unmerged(82306)

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Chapter IV

Chapter IV: The Hunt for Garibaldi (1838-1840)
"I have proceded as far as I can on the present plan and find it inafectual for the purpose of Arresting the vile criminal Garibaldi. I must therefore request an ansure from you wether you will venture the Zouaves to Alexandria in order to find him or not that I may conduct my Self accordingly."​
-Letter from General Ludovico Chigi to Cardinal Secretary of State Luigi Lambruschini


In November 1838 King Carlo Alberto of Sardinia-Piedmont was on the cusp of victory when all his plans came crashing down around him. As it turned out, they were doomed from the start. The French had never intended to allow him to annex half of neighboring Switzerland, and when it became clear that the Swiss militias could not defend their homeland, the Orleaniste government in Paris decided to take direct action. Twenty-seven thousand French soldiers, an army almost twice again as large as Carlo Alberto's, marched straight to Turin and contemptuously brushed aside the minimal resistance it met with.

On Christmas Eve the French soldiers entered Turin and occupied Carlo Alberto's palace. On Christmas Day the king signed an instrument of abdication, making his son Vittorio Emanuele II King of Sardinia-Piedmont. The now-ex King of Sardinia-Piedmont went into ignominious exile in Portugal, dying there a few years later. And that was the end for Carlo Alberto.


Victor Emanuel II, the new King of Sardinia-Piedmont

Pope Gregory XVI greeted the news with apprehension. Vittorio Emanuele was known to harbor a favorable opinion of Italian nationalism, a movement led by Giuseppe Garibaldi. Officially the Pope congratulated the new king and wished him a happy and peaceful reign. Secretly, the Papal spy network was ordered to keep one eye on him at all times.

As for Garibaldi himself, the news on that front grew only ever more bleak.


As the French were intervening in the north, the island of Crete was occupied by the Pontifical Army and Chigi's Zouaves set up a military government. After the discovery that Garibaldi had left Crete for Alexandria, Chigi wrote to Cardinal Secretary of State Lambruschini asking what to do next. They could follow Garibaldi to the mainland, but there was no guarantee of actually finding him in Alexandra. Also, such a move would invite a battle with the larger Egyptian Army, which was kept away from Crete by the Pontifical Navy.


The Papal Zouaves as they appeared in 1839

Lambruschini, after consulting with Pope Gregory, granted Chigi permission to plan and execute an invasion of the Nile Delta. The war was going exactly the opposite of how Gregory had planned. A quick raid to nab one man had turned into the occupation of a decent-sized island, with more likely to follow. But it was no use abandoning the war now. Garibaldi was a danger that could not be left ignored, and now that he knew the Pope would go to war to stop him, he would only dedicate himself further to the destruction of the Papal States. Gregory could not simply leave him to this task in the deserts of Egypt because, he knew all too distressingly, Garibaldi had a considerable following in central Italy.

The news that the forces of the Ottoman Sultan had routed and disintegrated the largest Egyptian army convinced the Pope that this invasion of the mainland could be done with a minimal amount of bloodshed. Leaving behind a small garrison in Crete, Chigi's Zouaves landed outside of Alexandria the following April.


As Chigi's Zouaves fought in the streets of Alexandria, news reached the general of the peace treaty between The Ottoman Empire and Egypt. Egypt was forced to surrender their provinces in the Ankara region, but their army was freed up to attempt to drive the Papal forces into the sea, once it regrouped.



That process would take a while however, and in the meantime Chigi successfully gained control of the city of Alexandria and its immediate environs. Annoyingly, Garibaldi had yet to turn up. By late September the Pope's spies reported that the Khediv was fielding eight full brigades, twice the number of Papal troops presently in the Nile Delta. Once again the Pope and Cardinal Secretary of State considered abandoning the war, and once again they employed the Gambler's Fallacy and doubled-down instead of cutting their losses. If Chigi was outnumbered, then the solution would be to get him more men.


On the eighteenth of September 1839, the first decree of conscription in the history of the Papal States was issued. All military-aged males were ordered by the Pope himself to present themselves to local military authorities for examination and possible conscription into a new, temporary, Pontifical Army. The decree was incredibly unpopular. Riots broke out in Rome, Viterbo and Bologna.

The Decree of Conscription is widely considered by historians to be the political turmoil that engulfed the Papal States throughout the 1840's. But at the time, it did its job. A second Pontifical Army was raised, and much to Chigi's chagrin was placed under the command of now-General Sigismondo della Rovere. On November 30 this new force arrived in Egypt. The Egyptians still had not attacked.


Nor would they, as it would turn out. Chigi and della Rovere plundered the Nile Delta indiscriminately. The Khediv lacked confidence that his hastily-raised troops could best the Pope's armies, half of which being veterans of the war in Piedmont, in a large, pitched battle.

In a last act of resistance to spite the Pontiff the Khediv publicly feted Garibaldi as a lavish banquet in Cairo, wished him well in his future endeavors, and sent him away to Anatolia. It was the end of the trail. The Ottoman Sultan, even if he were inclined to aid the Pope in arresting and extraditing a fugitive (and he was not) was suffering from a larger-than-usual amount of political instability. Several magistrates were completely ignoring orders from Constantinople. And there was no way the Pope could act militarily against the far more numerous forces of the Ottoman Empire. Garibaldi has slipped from the Pope's grasp, and the next move would be his to make.

In retribution, the Pope announced that the Zouaves would return to Crete and stay there. The island would be annexed by the Papal States. The Khediv, with no navy to speak of to ferry troops to the island, was forced to accept this arrangement.


What would be termed "the Papal Empire" came into being on Valentine's Day 1840.
 

loki100

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I like this idea of stumbling to empire by accident and escalation, but do wonder just how you'll manage to keep things under control in Italy ... superb stuff
 

Dewirix

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Another very well-written update!

The Decree of Conscription is widely considered by historians to be the political turmoil that engulfed the Papal States throughout the 1840's. But at the time, it did its job.

I'm not surprised. Given the Papacy's hatred of all things liberal, resorting to the levée en masse seems to be quite out of character. Giving peasants guns and ideas at the same time doesn't seem calculated to build support for a reactionary government.

I'll say this for the Pope though: he does know how to recruit generals.
 

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Great job so far. Keep up the work and spread the word of the Lord!