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Shah of Persia
Oct 18, 2004
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1836-1838: The first steps towards a modern society


In 1836, the Ottoman Empire was in a really bad shape, as it was backward compared to their northern neighbours Austria and Russia. It’s economy was shaky, to say the least, and the Sultans armies were a bunch of unorganised and ill equipped men. There was one thing that the Ottomans had in common with the Austrian and the Russian Empires, all had large minorities living within their borders. And to all it was a weakness, which could lead to the fall of the Empires


Demographic breakdown of the Ottoman Empire

Mahmud II realized that the Ottomans were weak and with neighbours praying on their territory, it would be a matter of time before the first war would be fought. However, one of the things that worried him the most was that most of the population was illiterate. Mass education had to take place if the Ottomans wanted to created a decent economy, army and more important a stable country. Reforms in the educational system would certainly lead to resentment amongst the Muslim clergy, but more important, it would spread dangerous ideas like nationalism and democracy to the Empire.


Budget during the reign of Mahmud II

As the Sultan was growing more suspicious about war with a neighbour, he needed to secure a friendly, or at least a neutral, relations with an European country. Since the army was the backbone of the Empire, and needed drastic reforms, who better than Prussia, whose armies were praised throughout Europe, could provide knowledge and advisors to the Ottoman court. And in February the first envoys were sent to Berlin, hoping that the Ottomans could establish a permanent embassy there.

Educational reforms were gradually implemented throughout the Empire, and on the 5th of May, the first University opened it’s doors in Izmir. Most of the new schools, colleges and universities were constructed in Anatolia or Constantinople, but slowly schools were build throughout the Empire. Later it would prove more valuable as some new steam engine was developed by students of the University of Izmir, capable of pulling heavy artillery.


Practical Steam Engine discovered

Looking back at the Ottoman history, there was only one people who always stayed loyal to the Sultan and never revolted, at least during his reign, the Albanians. To honour them, he founded the Albanian Guards, an elite guard unit consisting only of people from Albania.

During 1837 various Russian scouts had been sighted or captured near Kars, to the Sultan this appeared to be a preparation for the next Russian-Ottoman war. And, perhaps even more disturbing, it showed the weakness of the Ottoman defences in that area. Although there were small fortress in the area, none of them would be able to withstand a Russian attack. A system of fortress had to be build in the Caucus to secure the Eastern border. Construction of this huge project started in December and wouldn’t be completed until many years later.
Although the last two years of Mahmuds reign showed a some signs of modernization, but it wasn’t enough to close the gap with the Europeans. As ‘Abdu’l-Mijid I rose to the throne upon his death, he chose to limit his powers and give more power to the people, or at least the aristocracy, officers and clergy. On top of this he invited Prussian advisors to help him save his country.


‘Abdu’l-Mijid I reforms

Shortly after the Egyptians tried to gain influence of the Syrian clans, the Ottoman Sultan saw this as a huge insult, and war was declared. Just as Mahmud had foreseen. Although it would cost weeks, if not months to get the Ottoman Army prepared to fight the Egyptians, the Egyptians already started to advance into Ottoman territory. Despite their best efforts, Prussia stayed neutral for as long as this conflict would last. Disappointed by this, the Sultan sought support among other European countries. And to his surprise both the United Kingdom and Austria supported the Ottomans, but the Sultan had his question about their motivation behind this.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Some notes from the author:

This will be played with regular Victoria with the 1.04 patch, since I don’t have Revolutions yet. Since holding a multi-ethnic empire together is poorly simulated IMO, I’ve decided to limit myself to a set of rules of which most will become clear during the next few updates.

I've changed the event The Hatt-I-Humanyun Reforms as it is unbalanced since option a gives 2 techs and 20 research points for 200, while b gives 4 techs, 40 research points and 5 literacy for just 500. I’ve moded the event to cost research points. Option a now cost 10 Research Points and will increase the militancy of the lower and higher classes by 2, the middle class will get a small decrease in militancy. Option b now costs 25 research points and it will increase the militancy of the lower classes by 3, the higher classes will get an increase of 4 while the middle class will get a slight decrease of 2 in their militancy. Additionally the costs are multiplied by 100, so lesser reforms how’ll cost 20,000 and greater reforms 50,000.

My only real goal is to avoid what happened historically with the Ottomans. Expansion will depend on the current geo-political situation and the strengths and weaknesses of the Ottoman Empire.

I hope you’ll enjoy this AAR!
 

Lord Valentine

Lord Protector of Britain
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The Ottoman Empire is a very interesting nation to play! If you manage to increase industry and military quick you can really exspand towards teritories such as Persia.
But your main aim of cours must be to hold of the russian bear.
Good luck from my side!

~Lord Valentine~
 

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Lt. General
Dec 21, 2004
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Wannabe Tatar

Glad to see you back in action. Loved your Dutch AAR (still wondering about that advisor)

Did the French support the Egyptians?

Good luck with the Crimean War, to say nothing of your present war.
 

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Lt. General
Apr 5, 2004
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Ottomans were the first nation I tried, and seem to always be the first one I go back to after a break from Vicky, they are a challege, good luck surviving the Crimean War ;)
 

stnylan

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Certainly a nation with its fair share of difficulties and potential problems (like Russia...)
 

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Mar 27, 2006
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an ottoman aar don't think I seen that one in a while. keep up the good work. question, I haven't played the ottomans in a while what dose the Abdu’l-Mijid I reform event give you?
 

Sir Humphrey

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Looking like interesting stuff for the future of the Ottomans!
 

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Shah of Persia
Oct 18, 2004
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9 replies in less as a day :eek:

First of all thanks for wishing me good luck, I'll most likely need it.

Quirinus308: Be patient, you'll see soon if the French will or will not support the Egyptians.

Deltren: This is actually my first ever game as the Ottomans, so I expect to have a challenge. But I'm not sure if I actually have too much troubles with the Crimean War, usually I see the Turkish AI rampage Russia and gain at least some province, a few times the Russians lost the entire Caucus. But I actually plan on losing this war, since future events will require that I've lost a war vs Russia.

stnylan: Congratulations on becoming a demi-mod! Playing the Ottomans will be difficult, but I prefer to have a challenge as you might know.

Bismarck1: The reform gave me a constitutional monarchy (which to be honest I wanted to prevent), 5 infantry divisions and 3 cavalry divisions, 10 RPs, 10 prestige and a militancy increase for the high class, but a decrease for the lower classes.

Mike von Bek British protection is more needed for my northern neighbours. Egypt I can handle alone, I hope :rolleyes:

Sir Humphrey and Kabraloth Thanks for dropping by.
 

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Shah of Persia
Oct 18, 2004
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Walter Model said:
Ignore me didn't you :mad::(


Why did you make it harder for yourself anyway, with Abdul Meijid I's reforms ?
I didn't ignore you, I just forgot you :eek:o

Don't you mean the Hatt-I-Humanyun Reforms? Anyway, it's pretty unbalanced, and choicing between 2 techs and 20 RPs for 200 or 4 techs and 50 RPs for 500 is pretty easy. And I wanted a challenge, what fun is there in gaining 4 techs and 50 RPs for nothing? Now I'll actually have to think on which reform to take.
 

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Shah of Persia
Oct 18, 2004
1.209
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1838-1840: The Second Oriental Crisis

When Muhammad Ali tried to gain influence among the Syrian clans, he was certain that it would enrage the Sultan and war followed. Muhammad hoped that the result would be the same as the last time, humiliating the Sultans troops and Constantinople with in reach. As Prussia remained neutral and both Britain and Austria had declared support for the Ottomans, Muhammad tried to bargain the French in supporting them. On 30th January the French gave full support to the Egyptians.

Ibrahim was sent to Halab and command the offensive against the Ottomans. He knew that the Ottomans were unprepared for war, and was certain that he could humiliate the sultans armies once again. Under his command an infantry division marched towards Diyarbakr and ordered other troops to advance to Adana, Kaf and Ar Ruthbar. As the Ottomans were caught off guard the advance went quickly and without much bloodshed.

The Egyptian offensive went according to plan and Ibrahim ordered his Southern troops to march towards Hillah and from there to Baghdad. As the Egyptian troops started to move on from Ar Ruthbar, the Ottoman cavalry charged into them, causing heavy casualties within the Egyptian ranks. The same faith was shared by the Egyptian troops stationed in Kaf. The survivors retreated to Hillah where they were encircled and awaited the oncoming Ottoman assault.


The battle of Hillah

Ibrahim didn’t hear about the situation in Hillah and assumed everything went according to his plan. Resistance of the Ottomans grew, after the initial gains the Egyptian offensive halted as Ottoman troops marched towards the Egyptians. Diyarbakr was sieged by Ottoman artillery, but the following assault was successfully repelled by the defending Egyptians.

In Cairo Muhammad Ali saw what happened in the Middle East and was quick to realize that if Ibrahim didn’t fall back he would be cut off from Egyptian homelands. And in November that was exactly what happened when Beirut fell to the Ottoman cavalry. Although one attempt to restore the link between Syria and Egypt and cutting off the Ottoman cavalry, this attempt failed horribly. With the offensive in Libya halted and pushed back, Crete occupied and Ibrahim cut off things started to look grim for the Egyptians.


Splitting the Egyptians

All this information was unknown to Ibrahim, but when the troops in Adana had fallen back to Alexandretta he started to worry. Unknown to him was that he was completely cut off from supplies when Akra fell. Continuing to sacrifice men in useless offensives, he weakened himself further and in mid 1839 the Ottomans launched an assault against Diyarbakr, finally capturing the city founding it deserted as Ibrahim and his troops had fled to Urfah. As Ottoman troops closed in on his position Ibrahim put up one final battle by attacking the Ottomans as they were preparing to siege the city. During the battle Ibrahim was wounded and eventually captured by Ottoman troops. Shortly after his capture the remaining Egyptian troops surrendered to the Ottomans.


Ibrahim encircled

Upon hearing the news of his sons capture and the Egyptian forces defeated, Muhammad fled Cairo. Ottoman troops were advancing on towards Cairo and with a large part of the Egyptian fleet and army destroyed. Muhammad begged the French for help, but as the French were afraid for British reprisals, no French help came. And on 5 December, 1840, Muhammad signed a peace treaty in which he returned all Arabic lands back to the Ottoman Sultan.


The Middle East after peace was concluded
 

stnylan

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The first step powers in Ottoman resurgence.
 

unmerged(35351)

Shah of Persia
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1841-1848: Settling some accounts
During the Second Oriental Crisis, bringing victory to the Sultan, the Educational Reforms started by Mahmud II once again showed their worth as yet another university was opened, this time it was the university of Baghdad. Some pashas, especially the Pasha of Serbia, started to express their concern about the educational reforms.

The Second Oriental Crisis also saw some diplomatic victories for the Sultan. In 1838 the British offered the Sultan their protection against an aggressive Russia or Austria. Although the Sultan questioned British motives, he thought it was wise to have the British as an ally. Even the French guaranteed Ottoman independence and would act if a foreign power would intervene in the Sultans lands. To the Sultan this only showed that the current ruler of France, Louis Philippe, had some serious mental problems and was suffering from schizophrenia.

In 1841, the Ottomans appeared to be on their way back. Especially after the complete victory over Egypt. But things were to chance soon, as in 1841 the Pasha of Serbia wrote an important letter to the Sultan saying; ‘the Serbs are being educated in a world were there is a Serbian state, but yet a large part of the Serbs live in the Ottoman Empire. An increase in nationalistic movements, protests and even fighting can be seen in Serbian controlled areas. Either cut the funds for Serbian schools, or revoke Serbia’s autonomous state’

The Sultan saw that education had brought great benefit to him and his country. Now one of his pashas wanted to revoke some of that. Under heavy pressure from the jingoist Prussians the Sultan decided it was better to have the Serbs under full control. The Sultan revoked Serbia’s autonomous state in August 27, 1842, the Serbs refused to be ruled from Constantinople and chose to fight the Ottomans. As Ottoman troops advanced towards Belgrade, the Serbs prepared to put up a heavy fight. From 13 till 25 September heavy fighting took place in and around Belgrade causing many lives to the Serbs, but before the year was over, the lands of Serbia were ruled once again by the Ottoman Sultan.


Sipahis on their way to Belgrade

Having gained independence 10 years ago Greece would, whether it was deliberate or not, cause the Ottomans problems with their Greek population. The Ottoman Sultan didn’t want a rebellious Greek population in his country which wanted unification with the Greek state. The only way this problem could be remedied was if Greece was once again made part of the Ottoman Empire, but it would most likely infuriate the European countries.

On July 5th the Ottomans delivered their declaration of war. The Albanian Guards, which proved to be the most valuable asset of the Ottoman Empire in recent wars, launched an amphibious assault in the Peloponnese while Ottoman artillery and cavalry started to move south attack Greek lines near Lamia. The Greeks posed no match for the Ottomans as they were quickly defeated and driven back.

Just as happened earlier, the Greeks sought international support. Britain and France, unwilling to support them now as they would more likely need the Ottomans against the Russians in the future. Russia however supported the Greeks and declared war on the Ottomans in March 1844. In the same month Athens fell to the Ottomans. Although fighting continued in Greece, they posed no threat anymore to the Ottomans.

While fighting the Russians, the state of the Ottoman Army became apparent. The sultan troops were pushed back on all fronts and suffered heavy losses. As Russian troops advanced in the Caucus and across the Danube, Ottoman troops retreated. Although Kars, Dobrudja and almost all of Bulgaria were overrun by the Russians, the Ottomans quickly realized that winning this war could just be ended if peace was concluded with Greece. The Greeks had no choice but to accept a loss, and in August 1844 Greece was reduced to Athens.

The second Greek War of Independence, saw the removal of Greece as an independent state and a resurrecting Ottoman Empire. Although the Ottomans were unable to hold back Russian advances, and many feared that if the Russians would liberate the Balkans themselves the Ottoman Empire would be unlikely to hold the Russians. The sultan, seeing the weakness of the Empire's army, immediately ordered 2 new Albanian Guard divisions and 4 new infantry divisions to defend the Ottoman Empire against the aggressive Russians.


Ottoman possessions in the Balkan

The conquest of Greece and Serbia, as well the newly acquired territories in the Middle East changed the demographics of the Ottoman Empire. Although the Turkish and Arabic people accounted for almost 50% of the Ottoman population, the Greeks, Bulgarians and Serbs were large minority groups who could easily be influenced by nationalism. Their presence in the Empire was a weakness, especially if the Russians or Austrians were to meddle in the area.


Demographic Breakdown of the Ottoman Empire in 1846

The next few years would prove to be quiet and slowly the Ottomans started to increase their fabric production with the opening of a new factory in Constantinople, as this factory expanded, in 1848 it would employ more as 100,000 people and produce 40,000 kilos of the finest Turkish fabrics. The Ottomans were successfully reforming, although not yet capable to keep up with the Great Powers, it appeared that the Empire soon wouldn’t be the sick man anymore.
 

stnylan

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You just have to hope those two conquests do not prove to be poisoned chalices in later years.