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Working on another update as we speak, so with any luck it'll be up today/tomorrow morning.

asd21593 & OAM: Yeah, I'm bot quite sure how I'm going to believably handle this when the time comes (story-wise anyway), but it should prove interesting.

Enewald: I wish. :rolleyes:
 

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A Little Breathing Room

Excerpt from The Byzantine Empire in the Victoria Era: 1836-1936 by Prof. Charles Whitsford:

The treaty ending the war was seen by many in central Europe as a victory for nationalism, if only a minor one (to the detriment of both Germany and Russia). However, when the fiercely nationalist government of the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont declared war on the recently humiliated Kingdom of the Two Sicilies on October 31, 1880, victory seemed all but assured for the northern Italians. It seemed as if the Sardinian would quickly overrun Naples, and that would be that. But, it was not to be.

The Sardinians failed in their ultimate goal for a number of reasons. First of all, King Umberto I had expected the two smaller northern republics to side with him against the Sicilians, in the interest of cultural unity. However, both Venice and Lombardy had other ideas. From the perspective of these two small countries (whose militaries, although small, probably could have turned the balance in favor of the Sardinians enough to win the war), helping to unify the peninsula under either Torino or Naples would only lead to the expansion of what they saw as almost reactionary, monarchical rule. As you can imagine, this did not sit well with either of these fairly liberal republics.

Second, although he was inept at times, Francis II of the Two Sicilies was not a fool. One of the reasons why the Greeks were able to capture Sicily so easily in 1879 was that the majority of the Sicilian land forces were in the north, guarding the border with the Sardinians. When the Northern Italians did cross the border in November of 1880, they did meet some initial success, driving the southerners back to the gates of Naples. This success, unfortunately did not last. Although humiliated barely a year beforehand, only the Regia Marina Sicilia [1] had actually been destroyed. The army was left mostly untouched, and was still an effective fighting force, and one seething with wounded pride at that. Within months, the early string of Sardinian victories had been halted, and the northern advance had been turned around. On May 18, 1881, the advancing Sicilians had reached Florence, quickly routing the 9000 or so defenders.


Sardinian troops being forced out of the city of Florence, which proved to be the final major action of the Third War of Italian Unification.

Seeing the writing on the wall, Umberto conceded defeat, and on August 8th, in a humiliating treaty, signed away the provinces and Perugia and Ancona to the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. One Italian nation's pride had been restored at the expense of another, which believably left issues on both sides of the border. It was a border that would not stand quiet for long.

On the other side of the Mediterranean, peace (although young) seemed to be being embraced with open arms in Greece. The Kingdom was enjoying newly fruitful relations with the United Kingdom, thanks to the recent agreement of colonial borders between British Sudan and Greek Egypt. The possibility of even allowing Royal Navy vessels to dock in Cyprus during peacetime was tossed around, although no treaties were signed. London was taking an increased interest in the Suez Canal, which was entering the final stages of completion [2], and would soon provide an easier line of communication between India and Great Britain proper. Athens, always a center of culture was entering into a mood of realist art, with a number of slightly somber, but still talented artists frequenting the streets of the Greek capital. The French painter Édouard Manet even made the city his home for a few short months, before he returned home to receive the Légion d'honneur.

The recent de facto puppetization of the Kingdom of Ethiopia was also a topic of political action in the 1880-1881 timeframe. After much deliberation, the Senate and Parliament voted to extend major economic reform and aid to the African kingdom. This action set a number of precedents for the time. First and foremost, as much as the guiding hand of Prime Minister Geórgios Karamanlís had tried to steer Greece into a tolerant, open, fairly liberal society, inbred racism was still an immense issue in everyday political life, as it was everywhere in the Victorian Era. As early as 1841, with the Treaty of London, the Kingdom of the Hellenes had found itself with a small, but growing colonial empire, one made up of a large population that was by no means Greek, and very much Muslim. The most recent census data showed that Orthodox practicing members of society (not all even Greek, a significant population were Serbs or Bulgarians) while still a majority, were only just that. Practicing Muslims, mostly Arabs now made up over one third of the population. The ethnic Greek population had a hard enough time learning to live with and accept other Balkan peoples (by this point, most of the "conquered" Serbs, Bulgarians, and even the very few Romanians had fairly successfully assimilated into society, with there still being viable friction towards the Sunni majority Albanians), but that had mostly been taken care of, and institutionalized discrimination was a non issue. But, when parts of Thrace came under the control of Athens, the Hellenes were confronted with a harsh reality. Over 140,000 of the hated Turks now lived within their country. As one can imagine, this provided a bit of a problem.

It fell to the central government in Athens to come up with a solution. This came in the form of the Equal Protection Law of 1881. According to the Greek constitution of 1844, a citizen was described as any "male over the age of twenty". There was no clauses or legal basis for institutionalized discrimination against a certain ethnic group, as constitutionally, denying the right to vote and hold office to any citizen was a breach of national law. Three attempts at kingdom-wide disenfranchisement of the Albanian Muslims (either via inter-ethnic marriage laws, settlement requirements, etc) over the past decade had failed, mostly due to this reason, and the fact that every time the issue came up, Karamanlís made it a point to use every political tool in his disposal to get the bill defeated in the legislature. The argument of ethnic mingling and legal equality was one of the major factors that in the final years of pre-imperial era continued to drive Karamanlís into a leading position among the liberal establishment in Athens. Despite the enacting of the EPL however, in practice ethnic Turks continued to experience instances of friction in their everyday lives. Areas in Thrace that had been majority Turkish for centuries began the process of re-Hellenization, forcing many Turkish families to abandon their homes and move. Every other minority people (including the Albanians mostly) had successfully assimilated, retaining their languages and customs for local use. However, soon after the end of the war, laws were passed at the local and national level, banning the use of the Turkish language in administrative or political roles, a fact that made Otto's Prime Minister cringe, although the King refused to work with Karamanlís to repeal the laws. The final fact of the matter was, that by national law, despite one legally being a citizen, one had to be literate in Greek to participate in any major elections.

The question of whether or not to help transform the Kingdom of Ethiopia into a modern constitutional monarchy also brought up the true nature of colonialism. By practice rather then law, territory Greece had acquired outside of Europe had been governed in a territorial manner directly by Athens, rather then via the blended unitary/federal provincial structure that existed everywhere else in the Kingdom. The eventual passing of the aid bill for the small client African kingdom on June 1, 1881 was the first step in the legislative process (once again, spearheaded by Greece's tireless Prime Minister) for construction of an actual colonial authority.

Social and legal issues were not the only ones tackled in the 1880-81 period. The performance of the Hellenic armed forces in the recent conflicts exceed expectations. However, more then a few politicians in Athens saw that the current German-based program of re-arming and reorganizing the Ottoman Army was one to be worried about, and that soon, the Kianolefki [2] would march against the star and crescent. In mid-July another military spending bill, submitted by Otto and Samaris, was passed by the Senate. Three standard divisions of infantry would be formed, along with another two divisions, each built around a core brigade of heavy artillery. Extra care would be taken to encourage enlistment of Serb, Albanian, and and Bulgarian soldiers (the Military Spending Act of 1881 is considered another step towards ethnic social equality in the Kingdom, an event that is seen over and over again in modern Greek history). Funding for the construction, crewing, and arming of eight new Ironclad vessels would also be given, to bring the slowly aging Hellenic Navy into the modern age (only two iron ships were in service with the HN at the time). Samaris also announced that he would be resigning his command of the B' Sóma Stratoú on account of his age. The newly promoted General John Alexíou (of the Battle of Sicily fame) was approved to replace him. On request of Otto, Samaris would take over the molding and building of a general staff for both the Army and the Navy, further strengthening the Greek armed forces into one of the best trained (if still quire small) military forces in Europe.

As 1881 began to come to a close, things seemed to be looking up. The economy was fairly strong, social issues were being tackled, and with the white peace ending the eight year colonial war between France and Germany signed on November 12, Europe seemed to finally be at peace. This illusion however, was crushed, when on December 10th, the Ottoman ambassador in Athens delivered a letter to Otto informing him that hostilities between the Empire and Greece would commence at dawn the next morning.

The Second Crimean War had begun.

~~~~~

[1] Royal Sicilian Navy.

[2] About a decade behind OTL. For some reason neither canal will open in game, is there a way I can change this in the save file?

[3] Rough translation would be "the blue-white". Unofficial name of the Greek flag.

Sorry it took so long to get up. I was honestly hoping to get at least another five to six years in before having to go to war again. Bleh.
 
Last edited:

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So war with the Ottomans is coming after a long and drawn out war and combating internal domestic issues. Oh, and the Turks, despite being the Sick Man of Europe, isn't a pushover by any stretch of the imagination.

It should be interesting to see what will transpire in this, the Second Crimean War, and whether or not Russia will come to the aid of their Orthodox Brothers and smite the serpent's head of the Ottoman Empire! :cool:
 

unmerged(87106)

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I can see this exploding into a huge war with a web of alliances.

Or at least thats what I want :D
 

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Enewald: True, true.

volksmarschall: Aye. A string of events, or something has brought the Germans closer to the Ottomans. They seem to be doing diplomatic deals almost every other month, corresponding to a marked increase in Ottoman rail construction, not to mention more and more divisions on the border. The one area I still seam to maintain a large superiority is on the water, although it's really a moot point, since my only steam vessels are two monitors, and two raiders. The British and Americans are pumping out protected cruisers like it's their job, so I'm starting to fall farther and farther behind.

asd21593: Uhh. About that. :p

I'd like to try and work on the next update, but I'm not going to promise anything. It'll get here when it gets here. D:
 

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The Second Crimean War (Part 1)

Excerpt from The Wars that Forged an Empire by Prof. Brian Maddow:

The Ottoman declaration of war on Greece on December 10, 1881 was no spontaneous event. Official records from Constantinople unearthed after the war would show that the early stages of planning a revanchist strike against the Greeks and Russians began almost before the ink was dry on the 1867 Treaty of London.

German records from 1872 show that the Chancellor at the time, Otto von Bismark became aware of the Ottomans plans shortly after the final unification of Germany was complete. Although throughout his career, Bismark was very weary of getting his nation entangled in a war with such a large power such as Russia, by the end of the Transylvanian War it became apparent to a number of people in Berlin that Russia needed to be put back in it's place. The Bear had grown too large in recent years, something that Bismark could not stomach on his eastern border. His final decision to recommend to Kaiser Wilhelm I that financial and militarily support to the Ottoman Empire, and eventually the execution of a proper invasion stemmed from this school of thought.

As mentioned, Germany, and Prussia before her had long been close diplomatically to the Ottomans. Even before Germany was properly unified under Berlin, the Ottoman Army had been reformed under the Prussian model, with military advisers, arms, and training coming from Europe. Tangible real support however did not come until around 1868, when a large amount of German finances were invested in building a comprehensive rail network throughout the Empire, along with a large mission of Kaiserliches Heer [1] officers and personnel sent to hone the Ottoman military into an effective fighting force. Due to the heavily traditionalist nature of the Ottoman military, and nation in general, it became necessary for the Germans in the Empire to support a radical re-hauling of the Ottoman military structure, which put them politically, in the camp of the reformer movement, led in part by Midhat Pasha. The Sultan, Abdülhamid II, who was no fan of this group eventually relented, out of pressure not only from Berlin, but from inside Constantinople as well. By the time the German and Turkish forces crossed the borders of their enemies in December of 1881, the Ottoman Army had been expanded and streamlined, armed with newer German-designed arms and artillery, led and organized in a Prussian organizational mindset, and capable of using the newly expanded (but still limited) rail system in the Ottoman Balkans.

The war itself would be fought on a number of fronts. Because of it's geographical location, the bulk of the German forces would have to push into Poland and Lithuania, taking as much pressure of the less well armed and numerous Ottoman forces, while providing a number of token divisions in an expeditionary role. The Turks therefor would have to hunker down and hold a defensive line in the Caucasus Mountains with a relatively low number of troops. Terrain would of course play the kingmaker in this contest. The war plan also correctly calculated that Greece's African territories were it's week spot, being lightly defended only by colonial forces, and cut off from mainland Greece. A detachment of an armed frigate and two corvettes were all the Kaiserliche Marine [2] could offer in support of the still clunky Ottoman Navy to keep the Royal Hellenic Navy occupied. The main portion of the Turks' assets would be stationed in Bulgaria and Serbia, focusing on tying the Greeks up in a string of pointless engagements while also attempting to prevent any Russian crossings of the Danube. It was a delicate battle plan, relying on the German ability to deliver a knockout punch to the Russians, and it almost worked.

Action opened with the typical German move, a strong swing into Poland, with the main spearhead heading for Warsaw. The focused nature of the attack caught the Russians off guard, and sent them reeling back towards Warsaw. Shortly after that, a cavalry-heavy Ottoman force of 30,000 - the entire garrison of soldiers in Ottoman Libya - moved into Matruh, followed by a smaller force of 20,000 a few days later moving into the Sinai from Gaza. Both Ottoman columns briefly engaged severely outnumbered Greek colonial forces, who although many medals were awarded, were easily swept back, deeper into Egypt.

However, although the early clouds of war gave news of Turkish victories in Africa, the Greeks did by no means sit idly by and wait to get bombarded in Europe. On January 15th, 1882, both A' & D' Sóma Stratoú moved out of their fortifications on the border and marched towards Pristina. It was captured on February 10th, with the town of Nis falling eight days later.

Unfortunately for the 'soldiers of Orthodox', Greek success in the Balkans were not matched by the Russians in the north. Since 1877, internal dissent in the country had been growing, and it had spilled over into the Army. Alexander II's efforts at reform had brought him into a clash with the more traditionalist or even reactionary politicians, nobles, and officers. This culminated in 1880 with a sort of purge of a number of Army officers who had publicly opposed Alexander, which left the Imperial Army close to paralyzed for a number of months. The disorganization was of course not helped by an invasion that needed defending against. This inaction of the Army was shown on February 25th, when the German 37th Infantry Division began its' attack on an almost undefended Warsaw.

In the south though, things continued to look fairly optimistic. Although by the beginning of March most of the Egyptian coast save for the city of Alexandria was under Ottoman control, the Turks also seemed to be on at least some form of a retreat in Macedonia and Bulgaria. Sofia was given up without a fight on March 6th, and only one Serbian and three Ottoman divisions were left to defend all of Bosnia and Serbia. Any thoughts of a happy ending though were soon shattered.

Due to the obvious details and crooks of international relations, when Russia declared war on the Ottoman and German Empires in defense of it's ally Greece a year previously, other nations were brought into the fold. For instance, the German invasion triggered the Russian client Kingdom of Rumania to declare war on the Ottomans and Germany. Also, obligated by a defensive treaty signed in 1877, the tiny Kingdom of Belgium honored its' commitment and declared war on the Bear on January 9th, 1882. Since Belgium had a small army, and no standing navy [3], no one was quite sure what to make of the small Kingdom's audacity.

One can then imagine the world's surprise when on the morning of March 13, 1881, a flotilla of rather old Belgian flagged transport steamers, escorted by a similar amount of German transports and warships (as mentioned above) showed up outside Athens. Although the Hellenic Navy was a major player in the eastern Mediterranean, due to the timing of the Ottoman declaration of war, the recent authorized construction of eight new ironclads was not completed, and the Greeks were to say...outgunned. Although the Germans only brought two armored frigates, and three corvettes to the field, the more numerous but less advanced Greek sailing ships, raiders, and monitors were outmatched by the faster steel ships of the Kaiserliche Marine, which proved too advanced for the Hellenes to handle. The Greeks were eventually forced out of the harbor, but not before they took every German they could down with them. By the time Admiral Ilias Kanellopoulos ordered a general retreat to Thessaloniki, the Greeks had lost four frigates, two raiders, and over 400 sailors. In payment, the Hellenes sent two German corvettes down to the bottom of the Aegean, and critically damaged one of the armored frigates, the SMS Bayern, which sunk later that day.


Sketch of a Sachsen class armored frigate. One of the German ships sunk during the Battle of Athens, the SMS Bayern was one of the four ships of this class.

In return for capturing the harbor, and allowing the amphibious assault of the almost completely undefended Greek capital, the German flotilla in the Mediterranean was crippled for the rest of the war. It had lost three of it's five combat ships, and was barely able to assist in supporting the landings. On the other hand, the remnants of the Hellenic Navy, although badly bloodied, were able to carry out a number of operation against the Ottomans throughout the rest of the war.

As it was, the Navy had bought the Greeks the time they needed to put up some sort of a defense. Local militias were called up, and although the national reserve force had yet to be fully mobilized, Athens was a organization hub, as expected, so a ragtag defensive force was assembled and put into position inside the city by Samaris and Otto. The city would be turned into a battleground if need be. A battleground that many a Belgian or German son would never return from.

War had come home to Greece.

~~~~~

Dun dun duuuuuuuuuuun...

[1] Imperial German Army.

[2] Imperial German Navy

[3] Although in game the Belgians have a number of old sailing vessels and two squadrons of steamer transports, historically the Belgian government did away with it's navy in 1865, so I'm going with that.

Thanks for reading as always. Next update should be a bit...different.
 

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Why would Belgians land in Greece?
Surprise is a victorious stratagem?
 

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From Athens with Love

30 March, 1882 - 3:28PM

He had been here before, 57 years ago. Or, 157 years in the future, depending on how you looked at it. Funny how that one worked out.

General Konstantos Samaris, now a spry 80 years old, looked through his binoculars at the view in front of him. Compared to the last time he saw fighting in those streets, the city was in pretty good shape. This was probably due to the lack of mid-21st century weapons more then German and Belgian civility. Comparatively though, the situation hadn't changed much. He was still outnumbered more then four to one, and had been pushed almost out of the city. His boys were putting up a fight though, that was for sure. Whether that was enough though, would remain to be seen. And seen it would be, fairly shortly.

The old officer lowered his glasses and spun (if slightly slowly due to his age) around, alerted by the sound of approaching footsteps, barely audible over the sound of constant gunfire.

"General," the first man said as he approached.

"Highness, Captian," Kanaris spoke back, giving a respectful nod to both men. "How does the front?"

It was a rhetorical question. One could easily see that the last vestiges of Greek-controlled Athens was not long for this world. All around the three men, the sites and sounds of hastily trained men breaking down anything that wasn't nailed to the earth and preparing to move the Greek headquarters farther west, to the much more defensible hills outside of Athens were visible, along with the constant stream of wounded men leaving the city. Barely a hundred meters ahead of them, the last vestiges of the militia's defence of the city began to erode. The whole scene was slightly reminiscent of a not-so romanticized version of the Last Stand of the 300 Spartans.

"You'll be happy to know that I received word about an hour ago from Argos, the Queen and the boys are safe. They should be getting ready to move farther inland soon," spoke the aged general gruffly, as he once again brought the binoculars to his eyes.

"Good...good. I was beginning to worry after the Germans cut the rail lines leading out of the province, they hadn't been able to make it out," the King replied.

"Well, General Alexiou cabled that the G' Soma [1] had been rerouted, and they should be arriving soon, but German cavalry has pretty much trashed most of the northern rail lines. It looks like most of their journey will have to be by foot, so we're alone for the time being," Otto's aide-de-camp, Captain Skopau recited quickly, receiving a kurt nod from both senior men. He continued, "most of the men and material has been shifted back west, all that remains is to-"

He was cut of by a geyser of dirt and rocks exploding only a few meters from the three men, sending all three of them to the ground.

The old general recovered somewhat slowly, more slowly then he was used to. Aging certainly had it's downfalls. He looked around quickly. The last remnants of the Greek defense had turned into a rout. The fighting retreat order had been given some hours ago, but it had taken until this moment for the most frontal German units to punch through the Hellenes' defenses. The result was one of contained, but still obvious panic. The northern Europeans advanced quickly over the almost empty hundred meter or so space between the last few buildings and the Greek camp, forcing what soon became a hand to hand engagement with the few remaining Greek stragglers, centered around the three highest ranking men positioned right in the middle of it all.

Otto and Captian Skopau drew their revolvers, firing quickly into the approaching mass of Germans. The King grabbed Samaris' arm, helping him get to his feet, so some sort of half-organized firing line could be put together. Rifle butts collided with human bodies, bayonets where unseated. The situation was looking grimmer by the moment. Skopau hastily organized two dozen men into a line, and gave the three step order to fire, briefly braking the tide of advancing northerners, but not before two enemy bullets ripped through Samaris' coat, and knocked him to the ground once more. Said group of men quickly dissipated into the swarm of Greeks trying to get out of the area, as the only officer nearby bolted for the felled general.

Samaris, who had yet to fully recover from the shock of being shot, finally stood up, just to see four advancing German cavalry soldiers point their carbines at the King, who was a few meters to the General's left, also attempting to organize groups of soldiers for fire-retreat lines. The aging general quickly raised the last antique of his youth he had let in his possession, a H&K USP pistol, and emptied the last four 9mm rounds into the group of Germans, knocking all three of their horses, before collapsing onto his back. Otto quickly ran over to the felled officer, grasping the back of his neck, just to have his glove soaked in blood. The aged man smiled at the two younger men slightly, and died in his King's hands. Another set of explosions snapped the young monarch back to reality however. Otto hauled the older man over his shoulder, pushing his Captain in front of him, yelled at the few remaining Greek reservists to join him, and ran as fast as his legs would take him, towards the fallback position to the west, away from his beloved capital.

Athens had fallen.

~~~~~

Dun dun duuuuuuuuuun... Kind of an odd writing style here for me, and yeah it's pretty melodramatic, but ehh. As usual, sorry for anyone reading this who would like a better update schedule... :3

Thanks for reading as always.
 

Enewald

Enewald Enewald Enewald
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Nein nein nein!
The fleet has to stop the Persiangermanic horde
 

Legosim

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enf91: Hmm?

Morrell8: Ahh, meh. He definitely would have run out of bullets for that. :p

Enewald: Yeah, although they're pretty much out of action at this point.

Hopefully another normal update on the next bit of the war soon.