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FlorisDeVijfde

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Je Maintiendrai, the road to Dutch unification and beyond – a Gelre AAR



For a long time the citizens of the low countries had seen their provinces divided and slowly taken over by Burgundy. King Arnold I of Gelre was worried about this because the very survival of Gelre itself was in peril. Isolated next to the large nation of Burgundy it was neighbouring the fellow Dutch states of Friesland and Utrecht. A nation alone, especially if it consists of only 1 province can’t survive without allies because sooner or later a neighbour with allies will take advantage.
The choice thus had to be made for a survival strategy. Three things made the path to take clear:
Utrecht has a casus belli on Gelre, Burgundy has claims on Friesland and Burgundy is much larger than Friesland and Gelre together.
It was decided then the ties with Burgundy had to be strengthened in the hope of getting an alliance. The offer was made to commit to a royal marriage first in the hopes of them offering an alliance.

The only positive point was Gelre was not the only nation without allies at that time. Utrecht and Friesland too lacked support. Therefor war had to be declared on Utrecht and that city had to be taken forthwith. This was evidently risky since loosing 1 battle would have surely meant occupation of Arnhem and the end of independence. However a passive state was much more risky since it would have given time for potential enemies to gather and attack or for Burgundy to beat Gelre to potential conquest of the Dutch neighbours.

War was declared and the army supplemented by a hastily recruited mercenary company moved in to siege the Domstad (city of the Domchurch). It was at that time an envoy came from Friesland offering an alliance. Of course this was not the option the council wished for, however the envoy was stalled for immediate refusal could bring Friesland to declare war on Gelre before Utrecht was conclusively dealt with.

In Utrecht the first step to victory was achieved by defeating the army of the bishop and the siege began.Lots of envoys from other nations came with alliance offers in the meantime and were all rejected until, with the alliance offer from Friesland having expired and the danger of an attack from the north with the army stuck around the walls of Utrecht becoming larger every day, a messenger with a white flag and a diagonal red cross was reported arriving.

The hopes were high and indeed the Burgundians were offering an alliance which was gladly accepted. Shortly hereafter a second messenger from the now ally arrived informing Gelre of it’s declaration of war on…..Friesland. This call to arms was heard and replied to positively. This however meant Arnhem was now under danger of being sieged from the north and there was danger of Burgundy starting a siege on Groningen.

Indeed a Burgundian army from Holland immediately started marching toward Friesland. From the Frisian side 1000 men from Friesland started marching on Gelre and another 1000 on Holland.
King Arnold I who was personally leading the army split his army and marched hastily towards Arnhem. There he arrived finding the Frisians already there. He charged and battle was joined near the small town of Oosterbeek which went undecided until to the cheers of the Gelrian army a Burgundian cavalry regiment arrived. It was delayed because it had to cross many a river on it’s march from Brabant. It helped turn the tide and the Frisians were defeated. Arnold I immediately marched north toward Groningen.

In the meantime word arrived from developments up north. The Burgundians were forced to stop their crossing of the Zuiderzee because of a Frisian fleet. This fleet had managed to defeat the lone Gelrian cog there which sadly was the whole fleet and therefore the Burgundian army was stopped in it’s tracks. The loss of the fleet was quickly forgotten because the king realised this news wasn’t that bad at all. The Burgundians turned that army south so Arnold I now could be the first to arrive in Friesland thus getting 1 step closer to capturing it for Gelre.
The second Frisian army meanwhile had arrived in Holland and had started sieging Amsterdam since there was no opposition in the province after it had left towards the south. This opened up Friesland and the Gelrian army arrived starting the siege of Groningen.


Near Groningen the retreating Frisian army arrived and battle was once more joined. In the first hour of the battle tragedy struck. Haing the habit to lead his troops at the forefront Arnold I met his adversary who was only known by his honorary title Fryske Frijheid (Frisian freedom). They both fought valiantly wounding each other lethally.

This left both armies leaderless but the Gelrians had the advantage of prepared defensive positions. The Frisians weren’t helped either by the arrival of the retreating army from Holland where it had been defeated by a Burgundian relieve force. This army was demoralized and even worse was in the process of unloading from little boats after having crossed the Zuiderzee. This severely penalized the Frisian army and it was forced to surrender despite having superiority in numbers.
The north thus no longer being a threat, the Burgundians marched their armies back south.


The new king was Karel I. He would stay in Arnhem and not join the troops since both siege armies now could wait out their sieges unopposed. The first city to fall was Utrecht and the lands were added to Gelre. The army there was the mercenary army which now could be disbanded.


The siege in Friesland would last for almost a year even though Lorraine lent it’s assistance. Finally, 14 months after the start of the campaign Groningen was captured and the war was ended. Not only had Gelre managed to survive, it had tripled in size. Far from a regional power and still living in the shadows of a giant, Gelre was intend on consolidation.




 
Last edited:

Grubnessul

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Hmm good to see some dutch AAR's around, this seems interesting
 

unmerged(84033)

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A nice start, Floris. Now, I hope in due time, you will teach those pesky Burgundians a lesson too and deliver Flanders from evil. ;)

Good luck!
 

FlorisDeVijfde

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Hi all.

I've followed a lot of the AAR's here and started 2 HOI2 AAR's myself. The last one sadly is on hold since the PC with the photo's I wanted to use crashed.

Now I've been playing with the idea for a while to start a Dutch AAR. My favourite country to play is Brandenburg but being Dutch trying to form the Netherlands seems like a fun challenge.

The start at least is good and I wonder where this quest will lead Gelre.

I'll be open to suggestions and advice and above all I hope you'll enjoy it.

Floris.
 

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A decent beginning. I note you're allied with your natural medium-term enemy :)
 

Capibara

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Good start, inteligent moves against your neighbors, and a good alliance you made with Burgund, although you'll have to fight with them sometime.
 

safferli

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Always interested in Dutch aars -- I'll be following this one! You came off with a decent start, what are your next plans?
 

Novea

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This reminds me of a Gelre game where the player was forced to flee to the Americas in the end...
 

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Nice start, any ETA on an update?
 

stnylan

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A rather cut-throat area to play in, but then I am sure you intend on cutting quite a few more throats :)
 

FlorisDeVijfde

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Grubnessul and safferli Thank you. Yes, I've noticed too not many people play as one of the Dutch nations.

Jestocost, Lordban and Capibara Allying the Burgundians was the only option. I will have to follow all their calls to arms as not too make them my enemies. Rest assured, delivering Flanders from evil will be one of the goals, but not yet, not yet :)

Novea When the time comes Gelre probably will visit the Americas. The way in which it goes there will hopefuly be not as a fugitive.

Stnylan Yes, it's a somewhat turbulent region. I hope Gelre will be the cutter and not the one who is cut :)

BBBD316 In a few minutes :)
 
Last edited:

FlorisDeVijfde

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Chapter 2

Chapter II

The turbulent wartime period hadn’t stopped development. Even though most revenues of the new acquired provinces immediately went to improving overall stability the king was able to hire theorists to help improve Gelre’s way of administering it’s society. This sometimes led to revelations that were of such a magnitude they were quickly accepted by the people and gave a significant advantage over nations that didn’t use the strategy that came forth of the new mindset.

One of such revelations came in early 1457. The low countries were situated at a strategic location in western Europe. It was located alongside the important sea trade lanes from the rest of Europe to the Oostzee (Baltic). Futhermore the Dutch had a naval orientation because of amongst others the dependence on fishery and the continuous danger of the sea to the land below the sea, which was wrestled from it during centuries.
This combined made it natural for them to become seafarers and participate in the lucrative trade on the Oostzee. There they became specialized in, and eventually came to dominate, that trade.

These experiences led to specialisation which in turn led to, as described above, a revelation that influenced in this case especially the merchants.


This didn’t lead to immediate results but nevertheless an important step was taken in becoming a major trading power.


In the meantime Gelre was bent on consolidating it’s holdings. However the neighbouring state of Münster had been known in the past to be inaccurate about it’s borders. Since this was usually directed at other nations this was largely ignored. However, in 1455 documents were discovered, from which it became apparent Münster had many years ago succeeded in redrawing part of the border without Gelre knowing. A farmer from Münster had repositioned one of the border poles a few meters when working his fields and had forgotten to put it back.
Karel I when told decided not to let this pole put back in it’s place. The redrawing of borders required enormous administrative burdens. No, instead since Münster now had within it’s borders land originally belonging to Gelre an announcement was made Münster in it’s entirety was historically a part of Gelre.


This naturally led to increased tensions between the two nations. However plans to “reunite” Münster with the rest of Gelre were forced to be delayed.


In July of 1457 Gelre was drawn into a war by it’s main ally. Even though consolidation was required because the recent annexation of Friesland and Utrecht had left a bad impression amongst the other European nations, the prospect of Burgundy gaining such a rich province was too much to remain inactive. Immediately orders were sent to the army to start marching south. Word had arrived Liège was without military presence. Following ancient rules of sieging the nation of the first army to reach a city got to keep it, even if a large majority of the troops that participated were of another nation. This led Karel I to request a report about the whereabouts of the forces of his allies in this theatre of war. The news he got was good.


This made Gelre the leading nation at Liège. Soon other troops arrived and because of the numerical superiority the city in a few months was weakened enough to be attacked directly.


The result was inevitable.


Gelre was at it’s greatest extend yet. Nobody knew where this enterprise would end. For now peace and quiet were required. Europe was starting to notice the small nation and a too aggressive approach might make other nations aggressive to it. A new period of stabilisation followed.




 
Last edited:

Grubnessul

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Hmm good job! But watch the bad boy...
 

stnylan

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If you want to trade you don't want to acquire too much of the badboy. All this warmongering won't help :)
 

Prussia Rules

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stnylan said:
If you want to trade you don't want to acquire too much of the badboy. All this warmongering won't help :)
But otherwise you're eaten by big bad Burgundy. It's interesting to try keeping your trade positions while having a bit too much BB.

In your own CoT's it doesn't matter if I am correct
 

Lordban

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18% less efficiency for merchant competition... Mmhhh...

Taking advantage of Burgundy's blobbistic urges is alright, but it's definitely going to kill your foreign trade :)

In one's own CoTs Badboy score doesn't get taken into account, but then it opens the question of acquiring a CoT :D One viable target might be Lübeck.
 

Capibara

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Good you got another territory, that'll give you a little more income, although it should be better to remain low for a little while, you don't want that BB to get to high at this time in the game.
 

BBBD316

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I think you should continue to feed of Burgundy and stop them from expanding eastwards.

Perhaps replace your NI with a research bonus NI?
 

Rensslaer

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A most interesting start, Floris!

Go on, Young Master, conduct an ironic turnabout and make the Habsburgs your vassals! :eek: :D

Rensslaer
 

Corbett

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I expect to see the United Kingdom of the Netherlands =)