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mad orc

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Oct 15, 2019
  • Europa Universalis IV
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(Mad orc AAR, madorc aar, Madorc AAR)
Ah............Sokoto. A nation thats been around on Victoria 2 since 2011's first vanilla version.
Finally its time to make my serious attempt at writing a historical AAR.

1)Historybook AAR of the year 2020
2)No.1 Victoria2 AAR in the ACA mid 2020 competition

Mods used : HFM with HFM more stuff mod. This gives Sokoto the neighbours it needs to expand.

This AAR plans to be historically plausible so there are a couple of rules:
1)No reforming anything apart from the army and constructions and possibly the navy and Currency. I will not reform education to westernize as thats plain impossible and unrealistic from a historical perspective.
2)No conquering Johore, attacking Zulus or other unrealistic things.
3)There is a chance that I won't survive beyond 1890. So if you are expecting an all-powerful Sokoto AAR that continues upto 1936, then sorry.
4)Since this AAR may possibly go on to only 40 or 50 years, I will be writing it in depth. There will be lots of chapters explaining the history, geography and literally everything about the land and its people.
5)The first two chapters will be all about explaining the whole background of the Fulani Jihads which I expect you to read. The real action won't start right away.

If you have read all this and are still cool with it..........................................


Welcome to....

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Chapter 1

Hausaland is a region in the Western Sudanic parts of Africa populated by the Hausa peoples who have been living there since time immemorial. These hardy men and woman, mostly pastoralists and small scale agriculturists, were at the very edge of known civilization. Islam first appeared in Hausaland in around the 14th century. It was probably brought by various Muslim clans from Mali. By the 15th century, Islam had firmly established itself among the clans and kingdoms of Hausaland. But there was one problem.....


A map of Hausaland.

Islam had been accepted as a powerful and prestigious religion by the wealthy elites and the high ranking warriors among the Hausa. However, the majority of the masses continued to worship the same old polytheistic religion. The ruling authorities of these lands never really made any serious attempts at mass conversions to Islam. This created an interesting equilibrium known as 'Mixed Islam' where the men in power and prestige were Islamic but the common people were Pagan. Due to this, Sharia law was mostly never observed in these regions because it simply did not apply to the common people. But by the late 18th century, this equilibrium that had existed for nearly 4 centuries was going to crumble.

The reasons behind this crumbling are very complex. But to put it simply, the period from 1750 to the next century saw a birth of Islamic revival movements. The power of Islam waned and the power of Europe rose. This resulted in a situation where European Christian religions were free to attack the faith and there was no political defense against it. Islam on the other hand was suffering from years of theological debates, rivalry between different sects, sub-sects, sub-sub sects and a general disconnect with the situation in the world. This was what gave rise to the extremist Wahabi movement by the mid 18th century.

Wahabism, named after the eighteenth-century preacher and activist, Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab called for a return to fundamentalist or 'Pure' Islam. 'Allah', they said was the only single authority and it called for an end to such widespread Sunni practices as the veneration of saints and the visiting of their tombs and shrines, that were practiced all over the Islamic world, but which it considered idolatrous impurities and innovations in Islam (bid'ah).

This new movement and some other movements like it had an electrifying effect on Islam, particularly in Africa and the Arab world. Many in this world awaited the birth of a supreme Messiah of Islam who would lead it into a Jihad, a holy war for a new dawn. A Mahdi.
This wave of Islamic fundamentalism, beginning in the mid 18th century, eventually reached West Africa and the Hausaland by the late 18th century. But as it turned out, it was not a Hausa but a Fulani 'Messiah' who would lead such a Jihad and upturn the status-quo which had hitherto existed in the land.


A painting of the Fulani people.

The Fula, Fulani, or Fulɓe people (Fula: Fulɓe ; Hausa: Fulani) are one of the largest ethnic groups in the Sahel and West Africa, widely dispersed across the region. Inhabiting many countries, they live mainly in West Africa and northern parts of Central Africa but also in South Sudan, Sudan, and regions near the Red Sea coast. Though their exact origins are unknown, they likely reflect a genetic intermix of people with West African, North African, and Arabian origins, and have been a part of many ruling dynasties particularly in the Sahel and West Africa. Many Fulani thus lived in the lands of the Hausas and their Islamic religion meant that they often managed to secure high positions in society.

The Fulani clan of Toronkawa had emigrated out of Senegal towards Hausaland by the 15th century where they converted to Islam, probably due to missionary work by Muslim missionaries from the other side of the Sahara. In the course of this migration, some of these clan members settled in Gobir on the southern edges of Hausaland. They lived as literate, intellectually elite muslims and settled down. They no longer kept cattle but instead devoted themselves to Islamic education and scholarship and probably earned a living by serving as scribes and teachers at the local Hausa courts. It was in one such family that the Shehu Usman dan Fodio was born in 1754.


Map of Gobir on a map of Nigeria
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I'm excited as to how this will turn out! After reading your previous AAR:s I imagine that you are one of the few people who can make an AAR in Sokoto interesting. And judging by this first chapter I am optimistic. Hopefully future chapters will be longer as well ;)
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Nicely done so far! It does look like your last image is broken though.
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I'm excited as to how this will turn out! After reading your previous AAR:s I imagine that you are one of the few people who can make an AAR in Sokoto interesting. And judging by this first chapter I am optimistic. Hopefully future chapters will be longer as well ;)
Thank you so much for commenting. Your comment motivates me much !
Glad you are liking it already.

Nicely done so far! It does look like your last image is broken though.
I fixed the image. I removed it.
Thank you so much for commenting man.
Chapter 2


The Shehu Usman Dan Fodio

At the time of the Shehu's childhood, the Muslim population in Hausaland was divided up into two sides. One side, led by the teacher Jibril Umar wanted a violent Jihad followed by a total destruction of all non-islamic elements in society by means of a cleansing fire while the second group were the pacifists who wanted peaceful reform(Tajdid). Nevertheless, reform they all wanted and it was becoming increasingly clear that the status quo would not last for long.
By the time he became a youngster and started participating in these affirs, Shehu Usman Dan Fodio came out as a moderate. He was of the thought that a Jihad would be needed but at the same time, there was no need to dethrone the local rulers as they were already Muslim if not pious.

By the 1770s, the Shehu started preaching his thoughts up and down the kingdom of Gobir and soon in the entire Hausaland. He garnered much support and fame and with that came what invietably follows...................power!

That power soon manifested itself. In 1780, he approached Bawa Jangwarzo, the old king of Gobir and demanded Islamic reform and the abolition of mixed Islam. The king supported his thoughts but was powerless to actually implement it. The Shehu meanwhile started seeing visions around this time. According to his own accounts, he saw three visions. The first occured in 1789 and the second in 1794. In both these visions, supernatural elements claimed to be Allah's messengers came in his dreams and instructed him to walk the path of Islamic purity. After Jangwarzo died in 1790, a period of confusion reigned in Gobir as 3 kings ruled in a period of 11 years and none of them were competant. The last of those three, King Nafata was openly hostile towards the rising power and popularity of the Shehu. The Shehu however was so powerful that he managed to secure the support of most of the factions in Nafata's court and in 1801, he dethroned the latter and crowned Yunfa, the son of Nafata as king. Initially the Shehu managed to dominate him and even attempted to use him as a puppet to pursue reform but it soon became clear to him that such a reform was impossible to make peacefully and as Yunfa's reign stabilized, he increasingly distanced himself from the Shehu. The final straw came sometime in 1804 when Yunfa attempted to arrest some of the Shehu's supporters and an armed clash took place between them.

The Shehu by this time had seen another vision where he was instructed to leave the hostile city of Gobir just as Prophet Mohammed had left Medina initially. He obeyed the order and rode with his supporters to Gudu on the extreme edge of Gobir. There, he declared a new Islamic state with himself as Imam and his son Muhammed Bello as commander of the army. He made the proclamation of Jihad. Yunfa immediately dispatched his army to put this new state down. An armed clash ensued between them at Tsuntua.
The war had begun !


Location of Gudu on a map of Nigeria. It was once located at the very edge of the Kingdom of Gobir.

The Jihad itself was a behemoth struggle for both sides and could warrant a narrative of its own, but as this manuscript is focused on the history of Sokoto from a later era, the author has decided to only speak about it in brief.

Several minor skirmishes preceded the forces meeting at the Battle of Tsuntua. Although Yunfa was victorious and Dan Fodio lost a number of men, the battle did not diminish his force. He retaliated by capturing the village of Matankari, which resulted in the battle of Tafkin Kwattoa, a major action between Yunfa and dan Fodio's forces. Although outnumbered, the Shehu's forces were able to prevent Yunfa from advancing on Gudu and thus convince larger numbers of people to join his forces.

In 1805, the forces of the Shehu and his son Muhammed Bello, the jihadists, captured the Hausa kingdom of Kebbi. By 1807, the jihadists had taken over the states of Katsina and Daura, and the important kingdom of Kano. In 1808, the jihadists captured Gobir, killing Yunfa in the battle. Soon after, a new totalist Islamic state was declared. The Shehu however declined to keep Gobir as the capital electing instead to convert Sokoto, a former military camp(Rabat) into his new Islamicly appropriate capital.
Sokoto had been used as early as October 1804 by the Shehu Usmanu Dan Fodio as the venue for the meeting with Galadima, Yunfa's Vizier. Subsequently, it was used by Muhammad Bello as a staging post for an attack on Dufua in the spring of 1806.



With his Jihad successful, Dan Fodio now found himself in command of the Hausa state, the Fulani Empire. He delegated his son Muhammed Bello to carry on the jihad and take care of the administration while he himself worked to establish an efficient government grounded in Islamic law. After 1811, Usman retired completely from all affairs of state but he continued writing about the righteous conduct of the Muslim religion. After his death in 1817, his son, Muhammed Bello, succeeded him as Amir al-mu’minin, officially made Sokoto the capital city and became the ruler of a new Sokoto Caliphate. It soon became the biggest state south of the Sahara at that time. Usman’s brother Abdullahi was given the title Emir of Gwandu and was placed in charge of the Western Emirates, Nupe. Thus all Hausa states, parts of Nupe and Fulani outposts in Bauchi and Adamawa were all ruled by a single politico-religious system. By 1836 the jihad had engulfed most of what are now northern Nigeria and the northern Cameroons and that same year, Muhammed Bello died. He was succeeded by his brother Abu Bakr Atiku, a jingoistic warmonger.


Sokoto in 1836 at Muhammed Bello's death.

The period of righteous religious struggle and the quest for reform was now over. The new era of establishing a powerful nation state had begun!
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A wonderful lead up
Thanks so much for commenting!
It's great that you are liking it too!!!
Please please keep reading and commenting
Following, very excited to see the game action start. I’ve never played with HFM, seems cool to have some more African nations.
I am also very excited to see that you are enjoying the AAR and commenting
Thankyou so much for commenting man. Comments give me the inspiration to go on.
Please keep reading and commenting and watch out for the next chapter which would drop soon !

Thanks man Thanks
Chapter 3

Muhammed Bello died peacefully in his sleep on 2nd January 1836. The new ruler, his brother, crowned himself as Sultan Abu Bakr I that same day. Now the new ruler was an expansionist. Even before Muhammed Bello's death Abu Bakr had been trying to drum up support among the court factions to fight various wars that, according to him were 'Needed to be fought'. Now in supreme control of the Sultanate and the Jihadist army, Abu Bakr spent no times in adopting an aggressive policy towards his neighbours. His first target was the nearby Bornu Emirate.


Sultan Abu Bakr I of Sokoto. Third commander of the Fulani Jihad, second legal ruler and first ruler to legally take the title of 'Sultan'

Bornu was a very old and respected empire which had existed in one form or the other since 700AD. Initially pagan, the rulers had converted to Islam by about 1100AD and during the 17th century and 18th century, Bornu became a center for Islamic learning. Islam and the Kanuri language was widely adopted, while slave raiding propelled the economy. However, like all other nearby states, Bornu was also a hub of mix Islam and thus a target for Jihad. In fact, this wasn't the first Jihad against Bornu by Sokoto. In 1808 Fulani warriors had conquered Ngazargamu, the then capital of Bornu. The Shehu Usman dan Fodio himself had led the Fulani thrust and proclaimed a jihad (holy war) on the irreligious Muslims of the area. Even though he had failed to fully conquer it, his campaign eventually affected Bornu and inspired a trend toward Islamic orthodoxy.

But as it turned out, this trend itself wasn't enough for Abu Bakr and sometime in early January 1836, he declared war on Bornu.


Now Bornu was much weaker than Sokoto in terms of military but they were by no means helpless. They had a powerful figure head to rally around. This figurehead was Shehu al-Hajj Muhammad al-Amîn ibn Muhammad al-Kânemî, an Islamic teacher and a devout Muslim. He was similar to Shehu Usman Dan Fodio in many ways except that he was somewhat more moderate.


Shehu al-Hajj Muhammad al-Amîn ibn Muhammad al-Kânemî

In 1808, Al Kanemi had waged his war against Sokoto not only with weapons but also with letters as he desired to thwart Dan Fodio’s jihad with the same ideological weapons. He carried on a series of theological, legal and political debates by letter with the Sultan of Sokoto Usman dan Fodio, and later with his son, Muhammed Bello. As the expansion of Sokoto was predicated upon a struggle against paganism, apostasy, and misrule, Al-Kanemi challenged the right of his neighbours to strike at a state which had been Muslim for at least 800 years.

Now, the old veteran was back and though he personally did not command the army, his mere presence on the battlefield had an electrifying effect on his soldiers. Abu Bakr knew this and was cautious in the first few weeks of the war. No offensives were made until early February. Sokoto had an additional problem to deal with. Its Jihadist army remained strong as ever, but its generals did not. All the generals of the army were oldies, veterans of Muhammed Bello's campaigns in the 1810s and some were even veterans of Shehu Dan Fodio's original Fulani Jihad. In one of his own memoirs Abu Bakr wrote,

"Their hands were creaking. Their great swords, once fresh with the blood of infidels were now rusting away like their once muscular bodies. These men had once been heroes, now they were only relics of a bygone era"

The result was inevitable, Abu Bakr spent the whole month of January reorganizing his army. He ordered the army to be split into 3 parts.
The first part was his own personal army which swore allegiance only to the family of Shehu Usman comprising of 9000 men. This he placed under the command of a dashing young general Usman Amadu, son of the vassal Emir of Amadu.
The second part was the army of the vassal Emir of Amadu, Amadu Amadu. His army was comprised of 6000 men, mostly old veterans.
The third and weakest army belonged to the vassal Emir of Llorin numbering some 9000 men.

With this reorganization done, Abu Bakr ordered the first two armies to attack the Bornu army at the border town of Yola. He wanted to attack with a clear numerical advantage because he knew that Al Kanemi's mere presence could tilt the battle against their favour. However this never happened. Against the orders of the Sultan, Amadu Amadu marched way ahead of his son(Leading the 1st army) and attacked the Bornu army at Yola.
The two sides were evenly matched with about 6000 men each, however the Bornus were taken by complete surprise and with his elite Jihadist cavalry, Amadu Amadu achieved a crushing victory just as his son arrived on the battlefield. This happened on February 3.

Shortly afterwards the Jihadist army spilled into Bornu attacking, raiding, looting and enslaving anyone that they deemed to be enemies of Islam and the Sultanate.


"When the Sultan Abu Bakr heard of the shocking victory at Yola, his words were forced back into his mouth. He had chastised the veterans for their weakening eyesight and creaking fingers. Now these same 'Old' veterans had completely broken the back of the enemy."
-Muhammadu Attahiru I, grandson of Abu Bakr in his memoirs

By mid February, all 3 armies assaulted the town of Dikoa.


Dikoa, located at 12 ° 02 ′ 10 ″ north, 13 ° 55 ′ 05 ″ east and at an altitude of 298 m was an important hub of commerce in the area, even more so than the Bornu capital of Kuka. The defenders gathered inside a sturdy fort that had been built in the middle of the town. Capturing this fort would have been a very easy job for the attackers due to their sheer numbers, but the reality was different. This was not Europe or the Americas where entire armies marched as one single unit under the supreme command of their commander. This was a ragtag band of armed cattle-herders behind all their Jihadist pride. In this part of the world, if a settlement went on the defensive, then more than 90% of the men would commence to looting the surrounding countryside looking for anything of value that they could find. Thus, only a few hundred men actually remained with the general to assault the fort. As a result it would take many weeks to actually capture the town.


The fort inside the town of Dikoa.

Nevertheless, after the victory at Yola, the war had irreparably swung in the favour of the Jihadists.
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Good to see an Africa-based Victoria 2 AAR, especially one with such detail. I'll be following.
Thankyou so much man.
Seeing your enthusiasm to read gives me so much happiness !

Wow, this writing and research is so well done, Orc you've got rp skills and AAR skills
Thankyou so much for reading and commenting Salazar !!!!!!
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Chapter 4

Even as the siege of Dikoa raged on, Sultan Abu Bakr signed an alliance with the Massina Jihad. In many ways, the Massina Jihadists were a brotherly state to Sokoto. Inspired by the Jihad of Shehu Usman Dan Fodio and led by yet another Fulani theologian and social reformer Seku Amadu(Not related to Sokoto's generals). While exact information is unavailable, it is possible that Seku Amadu might have fought in the Shehu's Jihad as a volunteer.


Seku Amadu, the Jihadi leader of Massina.

Around the time after the Sokoto Jihad ended, Seku Amadu settled in a village under the authority of Djenné. When his radical Islamic teachings brought him a large following, he was expelled and moved to Sebera, under Massina. Again he built a large following and again he was expelled. Shehu Usman dan Fodio, who founded the Sokoto Caliphate in Hausaland in 1809, authorized him to carry out Jihad in the region. Originally his conquests were to have been included in the western part of the Sokoto Caliphate under Abdullahi dan Fodio of Gwandu but he was later allowed to form his own Islamic state by Shehu Usman. As with other Jihad leaders, Seku Amadu received a flag from Usman dan Fodio as a visible symbol of his authority. Now the aging Seku Amadu promised Sultan Abu Bakr that he would return his father's favour in war.


Meanwhile, to the north of Sokoto lay the lands of the Damagaram Sultanate. It had been founded in 1731 by Muslim Kanouri aristocrats. Damagaram had a mixed relationship with the Sokoto Caliphate to the south. While it provided aid to the animist Hausa led refugee states to its west (in what is now Niger) who were formed from the rump of the states conquered by the Sokoto Caliph, Damagaram also maintained good relations with its southern Jihadist neighbors. In 1836, Damagaram was ruled by Sultan Ibrahim dan Suleyman. Suleyman was a brilliant general on the battlefield, however he lacked the mind of a statesman and his diplomatic intelligence was horrible(1*). Not only was he very easy to manipulate, but he also trusted and made friends with the wrong people. Already in his reign he had been dethroned twice and each time he had reclaimed his throne back by defeating the usurpers on the field of battle. Now, someone was hatching a third plot to dethrone him yet again. None other than Shehu Al-Kanemi of Bornu.

Al-Kanemi was close friends with the Sultan's brother-in-law Umar Ali. Al-Kanemi was also of the Kanouri caste just as the royal family of Damagram and thus he easily managed to hatch a plot to dethrone Suleyman and place his friend Umar on the throne. It is not known if his plot had been planned much before the war with Sokoto or after that. Historian Hans Decker says in his book 'Zeitschrift für Mittelafrikanische Geschichte',

"Umar and Al-Kanemi had been close friends since the 1820s when the former had accepted Kanemi as his teacher. With the war with Sokoto having turned against his favour, Kanemi's plan was to place Umar on the throne of Damagram and drag them into the war with Sokoto. This, he hoped would force the Sokoto Jihadists on the negotiation table"

Unfortunately for him, Kanemi's plot was immediately discovered and by early March, a furious Suleyman declared war on Bornu. Knowing that his declaration of war upon Bornu might cause misunderstandings with the Sokoto forces, Suleyman sent his diplomat to reach an agreement with Sokoto wherein Bornu would be equally divided up between Sokoto and Damagaram. The former getting Bornu Kano and the latter gaining Bornu Northern Hausaland. Suleyman however selected the wrong diplomat for the job. The man's name was Yasir Tahid, a Berber trader from Tripoli who had settled down in Damagaram. Damagaram sat astride the major trade route linking Tripoli to Damagaram which provided the economic lifeblood of both states. The problem was that Yasir Tahid secretly hated Suleyman and his family because of an old feud going back generations. He did negotiate the agreement with Abu Bakr and the latter accepted it, but along with the agreement he also gave the Sultan of Sokoto something extra. Information!

Tahid gave the Sultan Abu Bakr detailed maps of Damagaram, a detailed narration of inter-tribal relations and information about the Damagaram army. In fact, he also told Abu Bakr that a recent fire had destroyed much of the battlements and defenses in the Damagaram capital of Zinder. The warmongering Abu Bakr immediately accepted this information and started making plans to invade the mixed Islamic Damagaram sultanate. Eventually, Yasir Tahid went as far as to lead a party of 50 Sokoto soldiers, disguised as cattle herders to a secret scouting operation inside Damagaram. This unfortunately was discovered by Suleyman. But typical of his diplomatic ignorance, Suleyman ignored the incident and failed to understand its implications.


Meanwhile, on the field of battle, the now combined onslaught from Sokoto and Damagaram was too much for the Bornu defendants to withstand and only Al-Kanemi's inspiring leadership kept them from surrendering.


Finally, sometime in mid April 1836, the Sokoto Jihadists breached the Bornu capital of Kuka and captured Al-Kanemi alive, thus forcing him to surrender. Immediately, Abu Bakr gave orders to forcefully convert the population to Islam.


Sultan Abu Bakr's wrath on the Bornu pagans was like a forest fire, hot and unrelenting. He ordered the forceful conversion, killing and enslavement of thousands within days. All pagan temples were burned and their priests were castrated and sold into slavery. Those who protested were declared enemies of Islam and the Jihadis washed their swords with the blood of such people.
-Muhammadu Attahiru I, grandson of Abu Bakr in his memoirs

After the initial violence had commenced, the question arised about what to do with Al-Kanemi. All of his sons and nephews had either been killed or beheaded in the war and its aftermath. Abu Bakr ordered the beheading of Al-Kanemi in public but the Muslim Ulema approached the Sultan and requested that he let Kanemi live as the man was foremost a Muslim theologian and a Bornu statesman later. Finally, Abu Bakr relented, he had Al-Kanemi blinded and sent him to undergo the Haj in Mecca. Al-Kanemi did do the Haj. He died in Arabia(Ha'il) in 1840.


A picture of Shehu Al-Kanemi's tomb in Ha'il.
Notes from the AAR author.
1)There is not much information available about Sultan Suleyman of Damagaram. However its known that he was dethroned multiple times in his reign and thats why I have designed his character like this.
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