• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Omen

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I'm still here, and still locked into the story! Continue, Martian gentleman, continue!
 

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Read it all, fantastic truely fantastic and I can't wait to see where you take the story :).
 

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Chapter Eleven
Wherein a Battle is lost, a War is won, celebrated public Figures become revered historical Figures

On the 1st of January, 1670, Edward Hyde passed away. Hyde had served on the Council of State since England was declared a Commonwealth, and greatly contributed to defining the government of the new state.



Hyde had been the only revolutionary on the council since Milton’s death in 1665. These men would not soon be replaced, as year after year the crop of employable advisors showed little potential.

In brighter news, the tremendous shipbuilding endeavors of the Commonwealth left craftsmen of Naval Supplies well-practiced. Their excellent output eased the cost of replacing the Navy’s war-galleons with the new two-deckers.



With lower shipbuilding cost, some of the budget had to be reallocated. Parliament decided to expand Commonwealth support for the Greek revolution to the financial realm. For a period of one year, war subsidies flowed to the young republic.



However, the war against the Ottoman Empire could not be won on balance sheets. Action was needed.

Captain-General Braddock found himself in a familiar position. The Empire he now faced, like the Swedish and Spanish before, outnumbered him significantly on land.


Ottomans, leader of the six-figure club

Like his war against Sweden, Braddock enjoyed naval supremacy, and used it to sever his enemy’s sea lines of communication. Largely, he planned to repeat his Baltic campaign. He would counter his enemy’s superior numbers with superior mobility, constantly raiding their vulnerable coasts; Meanwhile his enemy would march circuitous leagues, but the slowness of their response would frustrate their attempts to engage him.

While he dusted off old battle plans, the Lord Protector also took new facts into consideration. First, the New Model Army was stronger than ever before, in terms of both quantity and quality. Second, the Spanish had demonstrated, with great effect, the utility of a mass amphibious invasion. These facts in mind, Braddock modified his plans to include seeking engagement.

He ordered an expansion of the transport fleet to accommodate his bold new strategy. (A strategy perhaps too ambitious for a man of his advanced age.)



As Braddock prepared for an invasion of the Ottoman Empire, the Turks again attempted to invade the Commonwealth. This time, however, their transport was intercepted by the first flight of two-deckers, which had been patrolling since the Battle of Leinster.



Meanwhile, England’s Indian adventure continued. After the assault and battle of Kongu, the India Army rested to regain morale; for their part, the defeated Mysoreans joined troops from Gondwana in their siege of Madras. By March 1670, the India Army was ready and raring to go. General Dampier, perhaps made overconfident by the Battle of Kongu, moved to relieve Madras, despite being outnumbered nearly two-to-one.


Hubris

England suffered a defeat, but the Indian allies arguably suffered a victory. An enemy half their size inflicted similar casualties and nearly ten times the war exhaustion. Still, Dampier marched back to occupied Kongu humbled. If his enemies pursued in concert, the India Army may have been destroyed; luckily, the allies were not that coordinated.

Again Dampier’s army recovered in the interior of India, and again they marched for the coast, but westward. As August ended, the Mysorean province of Calicut fell to English occupation. Now the Red Squadron, which was unable to supply from Madras, could take victuals from the seized port. Their attrition ceased.



Capturing a port also allowed Dampier renewed correspondence with London. In which he received encouragement from the seasoned soldier Braddock, who had taken an interest in the relatively young man’s military career. Dampier was receptive to the old man’s tutelage, and reportedly was never without his copy of English War-making.

To my friend, the General Dampier:

Fear not for Madras, she is mightily defended by the three thousand soules [sic] in St. George. Go not where your enemy is strong, go where he is weak. Let the indians stand impotently about our forts whilst you take their country by storm.

D. Braddock
(White, Olivia, comp. Braddock’s Letters. Oxford University Press, 1988)​

The General of the India Army took this advice to heart and moved against the capital of Mysore itself. In less than a month, it too was in English hands. The small Mysorean navy was forced from port. Red Squadron finally saw action.



His seat of power seized, the Prince of Mysore was unwilling to continue the war. He bowed to Commonwealth demands; Kongu and Calicut were ceded. Now England’s Indian holdings stretched from coast to coast. Importantly, the central province Kongu produced spices.



As the war in India ended, so too did 1670. The new year brought new challenges. The Commonwealth Navy’s blockades successfully defended the Greek Patriots on Naxos and Rhodes, but they also exhausted and destabilized Ottoman society. This had further consequences. Intermittent uprisings of Epirote Nationalists, Morean Nationalists, and Orthodox Zealots forced the Ottomans to concentrate significant force in the Balkans. Braddock’s campaign was still preparing, but already its Greek mainland objectives seemed thwarted.



The Ottomans, feeling invincible on the ground, issued demands that the Commonwealth of England surrender. They were adamant that England sever its ties with Cypriot Greece, which they still hoped to reconquer.



Naturally, this was rejected. For all their strength, the Ottomans were no threat to the Commonwealth. England, for its part, could be a threat to the Turks, if Braddock’s war went as planned.

It was not to be. On April 22, 1671, as Braddock’s grand invasion scheme was less than a month from fruition, the Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, the Captain-General of the New Model Army, met his end--not on the battlefield, but on a deathbed.

Braddock was one of the most significant early Protectors. If Cromwell defined the character of the New Model Army, then Braddock defined its application. More generally, he established military strategy and foreign policy that endured many decades after his death.

To replace Braddock, Parliament elected a man named Hugh Rodney. He was not exceptionally gifted; instead, he was elected due to his reputation as a pragmatic compromiser in Parliament (though opponents criticized this as indecisiveness). Of note, he was the first Lord Protector who had been uninvolved in the revolutionary Civil War--his political career beginning a few years after its conclusion.



Immediately, plans for the invasion were shelved. Rodney was not a field commander. He viewed his rank of Captain-General as a consequence of his chief-magistracy, and would exercise its function comfortably from his London offices. For now, the question of martial initiative went unanswered. The status quo remained: the Commonwealth Navy maintained static blockades in defense of the Greek Patriots.

Six months into Rodney’s Protectorship, good news emerged from the Aegean. The Ottoman Empire finally admitted their failure and recognized the new Greek Republic on Cyprus.



However, they refused to recognize the Hellenic Republic’s jurisdiction over Naxos and Rhodes. The Ottomans still sought to crush the rebellion there, but could not hope to overcome the Commonwealth Navy. Their only chance was to convince the Commonwealth to withdraw support from Greece. A year into Rodney’s Protectorship, April 1672, they again demanded as much, and were again refused.



Invincible as they were on the seas, the Commonwealth had nothing to fear. Though that invincibility and fearlessness was shaken on 13 July, 1672. General at Sea Robert Blake passed away.



Blake had been absolutely instrumental in defining the institution of the Commonwealth Navy. He was to the Navy as Cromwell had been to the Army. Blake’s consummate command truly established the Commonwealth’s sea power.

Now Samuel Hudson, a merely-good tactician, was in the unenviable position of succeeding the masterful Blake as chief commander at sea. To join him, the newly-promoted Henry Cornwallis. Cornwallis was an excellent sailor--before his naval career he crewed fishing vessels, then navigated aboard merchantmen--but he lacked combat instincts.

Luckily, the Commonwealth’s current enemy was completely feeble at sea. The Commonwealth Navy continued to act with impunity, despite the tremendous loss.

Otherwise, 1672 concluded uneventfully, but Hugh Rodney’s indecision with regards to the Ottoman war ceased. He decided his early career as Lord Protector simply could not be marred by failure. Ironically, the man elected as a compromiser was now uncompromising: The only acceptable peace was one predicated on Ottoman surrender. With the loss of some of its greatest military minds, the Commonwealth had to prove, to itself and the world, it could still win wars.
 

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I'm still here, and still locked into the story! Continue, Martian gentleman, continue!
My good Omen, I've rewarded your faithful readership with a new chapter :D

Read it all, fantastic truely fantastic and I can't wait to see where you take the story :).
Thanks for reading! You won't have to wait long, another chapter should appear just above this post ;)

*​

As for the latest chapter, I have to apologize for its lack of ending. It's actually just part of the chapter I originally wrote, but that was much too long, requiring more screen shots than allowed and dwarfing the word count of any previous chapter.

These few years of game were just too eventful. So I'll be slicing up my humongous draft into separate chapters. The good news is that this will mean more frequent updates this week. The bad news is that each update will not cover as much ground as usual, as they'll be only a part of the whole.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy it!
 

Omen

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Ah, we enter, perhaps into a consolidating chapter of the Commonwealth's history. It is good, however, that despite not being a martial man himself, Rodney is pressing the war against the Turks. Are there islands that the Commonwealth could free? I'm looking forward to the continuation of the war.

On the Indian front, those are nice gains! Do you plan on consolidating south, or picking off weaker countries as opportunities present themselves?
 

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Ah, we enter, perhaps into a consolidating chapter of the Commonwealth's history. It is good, however, that despite not being a martial man himself, Rodney is pressing the war against the Turks. Are there islands that the Commonwealth could free? I'm looking forward to the continuation of the war.

On the Indian front, those are nice gains! Do you plan on consolidating south, or picking off weaker countries as opportunities present themselves?
No such luck with regards to Ottoman islands. On to the mainland!

As for India, I'd like to secure the southern tip before anything else. Unfortunately, Madurai's capital is down there, so it'd require at least two wars, and taking some territory I don't necessarily want to reduce them to one province. I have no immediate plans though. Eventually I'd like to try my hand against the mighty Mughal empire.

This is shaping up nicely!
Thank you!

Nice update. IMO, I believe that the previous war against the Ottomans was a victory. Hurrah for the Commonwealth! :D
You mean the Cypriot Greeks' white peace? Yeah, that's the best they could've hoped for. Hopefully I can get them some more with a victory of my own, though!

Do not stop until all the Turks are dead!
I appreciate your enthusiasm! But story-wise I have limited objectives, it's no total war. Anyway, as I mentioned in the OP, I'm bad at video games: I couldn't defeat the whole Ottoman army if I wanted to :eek:o

*​

Great thanks to all commenters and readers! I'm uploading images now. The next chapter should be posted presently.
 

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Chapter Twelve
Wherein Battles are won, Battles are lost, Enosis occurs

In May ‬1673, ‬observers from friendly foreign militaries--those of France, ‬Denmark, ‬and Greece--were invited to an exhibition of the New Model Army’s drill. ‬They were thoroughly impressed by what they saw. ‬Word soon spread throughout the international community.



The timing was no accident. ‬Commonwealth leadership wanted the New Model Army’s reputation to precede it. ‬Rodney was decided, ‬and a land war with the Ottoman Empire was about to commence.

Fairfax, ‬now the headmost field commander, ‬had lobbied to lead the late Braddock’s planned campaign since the period of mourning ended. ‬However, ‬Rodney did not share the bold vision of his predecessor. ‬He did not have the stomach to risk the whole body of the Army. ‬Instead, ‬the campaign was scaled down by half.

Summer of ‬1673, ‬Thomas Fairfax embarked with thirteen regiments for an expedition against Ottoman North Africa. ‬Henry Cornwallis, ‬with fifteen of the new two-deckers, ‬escorted the transport fleet.



Cornwallis’ ‬swift sailing brought the Expedition to the Gulf of Gabes in record time. ‬There, ‬he began his career as General at Sea with the sinking of several Ottoman ships (‬some laden with troops)‬.



Fairfax’s original intention was to capture Tunis, ‬but the presence of nearly ‬20,000 ‬Turkish soldiers precluded that. ‬Instead, ‬he landed south of them on the unfortified province of Gabes. ‬As expected, ‬the Ottoman army marched to meet him. ‬They were ably repelled.



The casualties from the Battle of Gabes narrowed the gap in numbers between the two armies. ‬Fairfax tried to press his advantage and fall upon the retreated army in Tunis, ‬but they maneuvered away.



On February ‬1st, ‬1674, ‬the Ottoman army marched again on Fairfax’s position. ‬He was not worried. ‬After all, ‬though reinforced from their defeat, ‬the Ottoman’s numerical advantage was still less than before.



Unfortunately, ‬Thomas Fairfax was not the young man he was at the triumph of Naseby. ‬His army broke, ‬and he retreated to Tunis, ‬then further to the waiting fleet. ‬All the time, ‬he cursed Rodney for not committing the full New Model Army ‬as Braddock planned.



The fleet made for Cyprus, where Fairfax’s army could rest and reinforce. Along the way, they witnessed another large Ottoman army. The Turkish emperor had garrisoned the Holy Land.



This had great consequences for the coastal raiding strategy Fairfax was forced to adopt for lack of troops. The Ottoman army was divided in such a way as to be able to respond relatively quickly anywhere along the sprawling coast. Normally, such division would be welcome, as it would allow a piecemeal destruction of the enemy. However, the Ottoman army was so large that even so divided it could not be easily engaged.

Still, the war must be won. After a brief recovery on Cyprus--one that saw the ranks remoralized, but not fully reinforced--Fairfax was on the move. The target of opportunity: a small Moldavian army that had long stood helplessly opposite the First Freedom Fighters on Rhodes. In late August, Fairfax’s Expedition stormed ashore; by mid-September Antalya was occupied; before the month was out, Fairfax was back on Cyprus.



The occupation was unchallenged for one month only. By November, a ponderous Turkish army bore down on the territory.



Curiously, they chose to lay siege to the poorly defended city, rather than take it by storm. It took them two-thirds of a year to recapture it.



A full year after the Antalya raid, the Ottoman Empire finally forsake the islands of Naxos and Rhodes; On November 7th, 1675, the Greek-Ottoman peace treaty was amended, and they were ceded to the Hellenic Republic.



With England beginning a land war, the Turk could not be bothered to squabble over Greek islands. Unfortunately, the land war was stalled. The sixty-three year old Fairfax, whose name in arms through Europe rung, joined Cromwell and Blake on the pantheon of revolutionary heroes.



Thus, the progenitors of the Commonwealth were no more. The reins of power passed to the progeny: the first generation of republican England. What would their future hold?
 

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Thus, the progenitors of the Commonwealth were no more. The reins of power passed to the progeny: the first generation of republican England. What would their future hold?
More bloodshed? I'll be interested to see what happens with the Otto's
A raiding strategy to attrit the Turk, hopefully it works out better than the Duke of York's Flanders Campaign?
 
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Thus, the progenitors of the Commonwealth were no more. The reins of power passed to the progeny: the first generation of republican England. What would their future hold?
More bloodshed? I'll be interested to see what happens with the Otto's
A raiding strategy to attrit the Turk, hopefully it works out better than the Duke of York's Flanders Campaign?
More bloodshed's a given--but whose, and how much? :p

Braddock's death led me to dramatically change the way I fought the war. Fairfax's death caused me to change it further still. In the fullness of time, all will be revealed.
 

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More bloodshed's a given--but whose, and how much? :p

Braddock's death led me to dramatically change the way I fought the war. Fairfax's death caused me to change it further still. In the fullness of time, all will be revealed.
I'm guessing English and with the old school gone...we'll see how the younger commanders fare in a war far from home
 

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I'm guessing English and with the old school gone...we'll see how the younger commanders fare in a war far from home
Thanks for your comments, friend. You're right, we will see how the younger commanders fare, but unfortunately not tonight :( I was unable to carve enough time out of this weekend to write a proper chapter, but I was able to do something.

In this time period, a lot of interesting things were happening. However, I didn't want to break away from the play-by-play narrative of the war, so I've left them unmentioned. I didn't want to do a whole chapter of odds and ends, so instead I've put them in a kind of supplementary post, in a radically different style than my usual stuff. I'm preparing it now, it should be posted shortly.

Readers, let me know what you think of it. I may do more stuff like this in the future.

And now for something completely different...
 
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Source: National Archive

Document Type: Government Briefing

Abstract: The first formal report from the Secretary for Foreign Tongues H. van Beverningk to the newly-elected Lord Protector Hugh Rodney. Details relevant world events, c. 1671.

Body:

The paramount foreign issue of the day is our war against the Ottoman Turk.



The war is within my purview as a foreign, not a military, affair; Therefore, I will not speak to it outside of these parameters. As to international law and our reputation amongst nations: in declaring war our stated casus belli was the liberation of the Greek people. Now they are the legally recognized rulers of Cyprus, the disputed rulers of Naxos and Rhodes, and are elsewhere completely under the Ottoman yoke.



Moving away from our far-flung foreign fight, I must speak of matters closer to home: our northern neighbors, the Scots. The opportunistic Scottish nobility took advantage of our war against Spain to reestablish Scotland as an independent kingdom. In so doing, they initiated a war against us. One which saw them thoroughly beaten. However, they came to the peace table offering a return to pre-war status, rather than seeing their country occupied. In hindsight, their purpose is now obvious: they did not want their government to be forcibly displaced. Using a cowardly legalistic interpretation of the peace, the Scottish king has deigned to stay in power.

While they broke with the spirit of the peace, we refused to break the letter. We did not declare war during the truce period. Instead of the battlefield, we’ve engaged the Scottish on the world stage. We’ve effected, essentially, a “diplomatic embargo.” Thus far our edict declaring their would-be-kingdom illegitimate has gone unchallenged, but the fact their monarchy currently exercises authority remains. It will be increasingly difficult to insist to the nations of the world that they are not independent when we do not insist as much to the Scots themselves. There can be only one Scottish government: either an independent kingdom, or one subordinate to us in foreign matters. Impetus to restore the Scottish governorate is growing.



In discussing Scotland, it is impossible not to mention that nation which has twice allied with them against us: the Swedish Empire. That alliance was forcibly abrogated twice. They have yet to make new contact with the illegal kingdom of Scotland, but in my opinion they are contemplating just that. Recently they have renewed their antagonism by issuing an embargo against us.



This has no practical economic effect. I believe they are testing our resolve as prelude to recognizing Scotland as independent. Your predecessor exercised a firm hand in dealing with the Swedes. It may be prudent to remind them his policy did not die with him.

Though it serves us to examine possible Swedish motives. Recently, they’ve warred with Russia.



They suffered a tremendous defeat, ceding much of their southern Baltic land. As for the victor, Russia may come to completely replace Sweden in the ranks of imperial powers. The Swedish king, wary of such a potentiality, may view conflict with us as a means to save face and recover lost prestige.

Our Danish allies too fear a power play by the Swedes. Correspondence with my Danish counterpart is markedly more frequent. The Danes seem invested in our mutual alliance, and I’ve done what I can to strengthen relations. Though they are foremost concerned with Sweden, their colonial efforts have led them to border Spain. They may prove a great asset in the new world balance of power.



Speaking of Spain, there is much cause for rejoice. The Spanish king, with whom we warred not a decade ago, is dead. His heir is underage. A native Lusitanian now sits on the throne of Portugal. The Iberian Union is over.



Yet not all bonds have been broken, Portugal remains formally allied to Spain. However, this is tempered by the fact they’ve allied themselves with France also. Clearly they mean to stay above the fray in future hostilities with the Spanish Empire.

I’ve done everything in my power to improve relations with the newly-independent kingdom.



Further action requires your authority. As relations warm, I recommend guaranteeing the Portuguese against future Spanish aggression (which is likely on the agenda once the new Spanish king comes of age). Developing our relationship further, it may be in our interest to renew the Treaty of Windsor.

This concludes discussion on foreign topics of the most immediate relevancy. In coming days, this office will dispatch more detailed missives.
 

Omen

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Hmmm, a change in viewpoints? Interesting. It looks like the chance to return to true status quo with Scotland has presented itself. That's going to be a relief to the powers that be. The worrysome situation with Spain and Portugal seems to have resolved itself. There's a huge road ahead against the Turks, though.

Great update, looking forward to more!
 

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Hmmm, a change in viewpoints? Interesting. It looks like the chance to return to true status quo with Scotland has presented itself. That's going to be a relief to the powers that be. The worrysome situation with Spain and Portugal seems to have resolved itself. There's a huge road ahead against the Turks, though.

Great update, looking forward to more!
Thanks, Omen! Indeed I have a chance to again vassalize Scotland, but clearly any such action must be deferred until the resolution of the current conflict.

As for Portugal, I am very glad they're no longer under el yugo. However, they've diplomatically positioned themselves rather awkwardly between Spain and the Franco-English bloc. In terms of game mechanics, though I may be wrong, they will come to the defense of Spain if I declare war, but will remain neutral in any conflict initiated by Spain or France. Therefore, it's in my interest to wait for such an event. Though I can't wait forever!

Regardless, I can't defeat the Spanish Empire until I've dealt with the Ottoman Empire. You're correct in saying there's a huge road ahead of me in that respect, but I make some progress in Chapter Thirteen, and Chapter Fourteen may very well prove decisive.

Speaking of Chapter Thirteen, it's mostly done and will be posted this weekend. In addition, I have Chapter Fourteen thumbnailed, so it shouldn't be as long in the coming.

As always, I hope everyone enjoys what's to come and thanks for reading! :)
 

robb1993

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one of the best AAR's i've read in a long time. Where did you get the flag for the Commonwealth? when i play commonwealth I usually only get the typical english flag.
 

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one of the best AAR's i've read in a long time. Where did you get the flag for the Commonwealth? when i play commonwealth I usually only get the typical english flag.
Thanks for the comment, robb1993! :)

The flag I used I found through an image search.

In order to have it in game, I had to resize it to 64x64 and save it as a .tga file. Then, it had to be placed in the Europa Universalis III\gfx\flags folder under the name ENG. To prevent overwriting the original, I renamed that file to ENGprime and also made a copy to another part of my harddrive.

I thought there was a guide on how to do this stuff but I can't seem to find it now.

In other news, the next chapter will be posted tonight!