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Tweetybird

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The Muscovite AARmy
How the Golden Horde was almost stopped

Moskva2.png


The Chapters:
The Grand Princes of Moscow
The House of Rurik
1.Vasily I Dmitryievich
2.Boris I Vasilyevich, the Fat
3.Borisevich Brothers - Part I ; Part II
4.Dmitriy VI the Terrible - Part I ; Part II ; Part III
5.Yuriy III - Part I ; Part II


The House of Grigorov
1. Vasiliy II


The House of Jagiellon-Rurik
1. Andrei IV - Part I ; Part II
2. Vasiliy III

The Kings of Russia

The House of Jagiellon-Rurik
1. Vasiliy I - Part I ; Part II

The Czars of Russia


After Vasiliy;
Vasiliyevich Brothers:
1. Pyotr I the Brave
2. Fyodor I the Great

Epilogue
1. A Brief Epilogue




Filler Posts
1. Tidbits on Europe - Welcome to Iberia
2. Tidbits on Europe - Welcome to France
3. Tidbits on Europe - Welcome to Britain
 
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Tweetybird

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Our tale starts with the reign of Vasiliy I Dmitriyevich, son of the famous Dmitriy Donski.


_________________________________________________________________
Vasily I Dmitriyevich – Vasiliy One-Eyed
Vasily I was crowned Grand Prince of Moscow in the year of 1389., and thus had gained control over a regional force in Russia, and one that would slowly grow through the ages as it swallowed its minor competitors and staved off the larger foes. However, in the time of Vasily I, Moscow was just the largest of the small states in the triangle between the Golden Horde, the vast Republic of Novgorod and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

The First Decade
Vasily had shown himself to be a more than capable diplomat in the first ten years of his rule. He had managed to avoid paying the Golden Horde their taxes, a practice started by Dmitry Donski, his own father, and he had greatly expanded his land, mostly peacefully annexing Nizhny Novgorod and Murom, and by 1398 also Kaluga, Vologda, Veliki Ustyug and the Komi peoples' lands. He had promoted the feudal system, and a peasant's life was rather horrible in his time, but he somehow managed to stay popular with the people. He had improved Moscow's army greatly, and favoured land tactics over any kind of battling on rivers or even seas (especially since Moscow had no sea access nor any navy, save for a few ships used merely for trade on the rivers that passed through the Grand Duchy). In the latter years of the decade, impressed by the annexations he performed, the people and the nobles of his land (while Vasily ruled as a despot, he did, as mentioned, incorporate some parts of the feudal system into his realm) pushed for further annexations of the principalities of Yaroslavl and Ryazan. Their demands led to events of the second period of his rule, and much bloodier ones.


Map1399.jpg

The Russian and surrounding lands before the Tverian Wars

The First Tverian War – The War of Johns
In the fall of 1399., Andrei Roubliov, a famed russian icon painter and a great friend of the king, had introduced the king to Andrei Kozloff, an army officer from Vladimir who had recieved military education in Bohemia. Vasily and Andrei made a quick friendship, and the two military minds together schemed many plans. It was in the very beginning of the year 1400 that Vasily had demanded from John, the ruler of Yaroslavl, that he joins his domain to Vasily's own realm peacefully. In the same time, Vasily had arranged his marriage to the Moldavian princess, and a careful military alliance with the Teutonic Order to the west. The people didn't take well to an alliance with heretics, but the events that followed gave them little time to raise a rebellion.

John of Yaroslavl had, for some reason, taken Vasily's demand as an insult, and refused to accept it. Vasily was unwilling to accept that, and he declared war, quickly raising more peasant levies and making some swift plans for conquering Yaroslavl. However, as soon as they sent their troops into Yaroslavl lands, John of Tver declared he would defend his neighbours' land, and launched an invasion force at Moscow. The Teutonic Order had refused to aid this 'agression by the Muscovite people', as they had called it, and broke their military alliance with Moscow, leaving Vasily I outraged, but too busy to fight yet another war.

Yaroslavl was well under siege, its major castles surrounded and their supply lines nearly fully cut off. However, the single trained regiment that kept the lands around the Muscovite capital secured was chased off by a greater force led by John of Tver. Caught by surprise, Vasily left a small force around the already besieged Yaroslavl capital, with John of Yaroslavl cornered inside it, and led the rest of his army against John of Tver, finally defeating him in the Battle of Moskva (On the river, not the capital). The Muscovite historians claim that Vasily had led an army of five thousand men against at least an equal amount, while the Tverian historians of that age claim John of Tver led only some two thousand men into battle, against no less than six thousand Muscovite infantrymen, and half as much light cavalry. The battle was a great success for Vasily, even though he supposedly lost more men than his counterpart, for he had chased off the invaders, into their own land, and rode after them as soon as he secured his grasp on Moskva.

VasilyIprva.png

On the River Moskva, Vasily forced John of Tver to retreat back to Tver.
Vasily proceeded to chase John through the Tverian lands for some time, but his army grew more and more tired and food was growing increasingly difficult to find. Their spirits were bolstered when, during a skirmish with John of Tver, Yaroslavl fell and admitted defeat on the 10th of October 1400, after some hundred and thirty days of siege, and was forcefully annexed only days later. However, even with more spirited troops, Vasily was forced to withdraw back to Muscovite lands to replenish their supplies and gather more levies. John of Tver, however, did not use the pause in fighting to strengthen his army, but instead mercilessly attacked Muscovite lands once again, capturing Orel and forcing Vasiliy to chase his armies once again.

VasilyIprva2.png

John of Yaroslav, defeated and captured, had no choice but yield his ancestral land.

Their armies met, once Vasily recaptured the unfortified Orel, in the very streets of Vyazma, a critical battle in winning the war. In this battle Vasily I supposedly dueled John of Tver and lost an eye in the duel, earning him the nickname One-Eyed. An eye, however, was most acceptable a price for that victory, since Tver had lost nearly nine times as many soldiers as the Muscovite army, and then they gave round, once again, to chasing the Tverian army through their own land, towards their final defeat.

VasilyIprvaVyazma.png

The Battle of Vyazma, a critical point in the First Tverian War

As Vasily chased the fleeing army with replenished supplies, arranged supply lines and bolstered spirits, he decided to leave chunks of his army sieging their forts while the remainings of his army were led by Vasily himself, and finally destroyed the Tverian armies a few months later, to the last man. While chasing them so, Vasiliy recieved an alliance offering from Georgia, an orthodox country to the south, but he could do little but refuse – the Georgians bordered such foes as the Golden Horde and the Timurid Horde, and Moscow could hardly afford such wars at this point. However, not to ruin their chances at a good relationship in the future, he offered his sister Ekatarina as a bride to the Georgian king Okhorpik I. He accepted, of course, but it led to nothing in the near future.

Realizing his reputation was ruined due to all the warmongering he was doing, Vasily I hired Eugeniusz Houwalidt, a renowned diplomat who used his skills to explain Vasily's war in a much more positive way. Finally, on the first day of January 1402., the western half of the country was under Russian control. The capital fell not a week later, January 14th, and John of Tver was forced to the negotiations table at Yaroslavl, having fled the battle where his army was crushed. John's initial offer was to cede the western half of his country and to offer a piece of his treasury to Moscow. And, indeed, Vasily, eager to end the war, accepted, under the condition Tver abandoned the title of Grand Princedom and called themselves a prinicipality from that point on. The newly gained peace, however, did not last long, for either of the two countries.

VasilyIprva3.png

John of Tver, defeated, offered peace under these terms.

MapTverian1.jpg

The situation two years after the Treaty of Yaroslavl.


The Second Tverian War – The Moscow-Ryazan War

Vasily's armies have barely recovered from the previous war, when he ordered a march southwards, towards Ryazan. The armies' spirits still high from the war that just ended, Vasily decided to attack the principality and further enlarge his realm. Houwalidt warned him not to do it, for the sake of his reputation and to allow the peasants a period of peace, after having their food taken by their own army and their villages burned by the enemy. The High Prince, however, would not even consider it, and he declared war on Ryazan on the 26th of March the same year, barely two months after the victory over Tver. However, a most curious thing happened.

WaronRyazan.png

John of Tver sent a note as Vasily's armies marched, claiming he would come to Ryazan's aid.

Vasily One-Eyed was not concerned in the least, as the levies John managed to gather in these few short months numbered only about a thousand men. As the declaration of war was sent, Vasily sent his son Boris with some seven thousand men, mostly infantry, at Ryazan, while he personally led three thousand men into battle north, straight at Tver. Vasily I was killed in the initial charge, not detecting a lone horseman that flanked him due to his missing eye. The horseman was killed only moments after. Thus, the reign of Boris the Fat had started.
 
Last edited:

Fookison

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Lurking along to see how your IN AAR compares to my current and progressed H3T Muscowy (Now Russia) campaign. BTW: I wasn't aware that Vasiliy was one-eyed! :D
 

Tweetybird

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@Fookison
You are right! Alas, I have a Vasily I here, and Vasiliy with an i comes only after Boris I. I'll make the changes this instant! Also, do not expect too much conquering from me, unless there's a reason. Except for the initial struggle for lebensraum, I don't like WC-ish sort of play. Had two eyes, true, but 'One-Eyed' is easier to remember than 'Who-Conquered-But-No-Enough-To-Be-'The Great'', so I just took an eye.

@Blsteen
No, no, he didn't. All will be revealed soon enough, do not worry.
 
Last edited:

merrick

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Nice start with Muscovy and nice maps! One quibble - in the "First Decade" paragraph you refer to Vasily improving Novgorod's army - copyist's error?

I assume Boris won't be as - energetic - a Grand Duke as his father.
 

Tweetybird

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An error indeed. I half-copied it, half-written it in the middle of the night, so, yes, errors happen. And thank you for the comments.
Boris will be quite energetic, in the first year of his reign, but his obesity will be the end of him, as you'll see.
(Actually, just 'Sickness of the King', but I had to be melodramatic)
 
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Tweetybird

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Boris I the Fat

BorisI1.png

Boris I was generally considered quite capable a ruler.

Ending the war
The words of his father's death reached Boris as he was leading his half of the army through the Ryazan land. The young man did not take the news too hard, as his relationship with his late father was never close, and he simply made sure he had the support of the nobles that rode south with him before he continued the 'expedition south'. Oleg Ivanovich of Ryazan offered minimum resistance, and Boris I chased him into Moscow's own lands and captured him. Even though he was already obese, Boris I was a fine rider and general, and he supposedly fought like a beast in that battle. John of Tver, in return, attempted to march southwards also, but he was assaulted and captured as he was setting siege to Vladimir. With little armed resistance left to handle, Boris' armies captured Tver in November 1402. On the 25th day of November the same year, John of Tver was brought before Boris in the captured town of Kashin, in Tver. He was offered to accept vassaldom, or lose his life. Relieved, John of Tver accepted, although he and his heirs would be unfond of the Grand Princes of Moscow for a long time.

BorisI2.png

John of Tver accepted the initial offer swiftly, realizing his position well.

Realizing the weakness of his western provinces Orel and Bryansk, Boris paid a large amount from his own treasury to build a pair of fortresses there and award them to his own young sons, Vasiliy and Yuriy. Finally, Ryazan offered no more resistance by May 1403 and was annexed on the 23rd, by the Treaty of Suzdal.

BorisI3.png

Ryazan fell, offering little resistance to Boris' mighty armies.

Boris returned to his court in Moscow, and feasted for a week, or so it was said in those times. Not much later, a group of orthodox priests from Kursk came to his court, speaking of the horrible opression from the hands of the Lithuanians in their home province of Kursk, and they demanded it freed. Boris I maybe would wrestle Poland-Lithuania, he was an arrogant man, but the demand was a mistake, for the same reason. Boris I ordered their beards cut, and threw them out to the streets. He did, however, show support to the nobles and their plan of conquering Smolensk, a piece of Lithuania that Moscow had more right to than Vilnius. His armies never headed there in his own lifetime, but there was gold spent on schemes and plans to conquer it.

BorisI4.png

Boris I refused to help the clergy, but the silver-tongued nobles were more persuasive.

War with Novgorod
After a very brief period of peace and quiet, the Republic of Novgorod attacked Pskov in the spring of 1404, although Boris' father warned their kingdom would not allow such acts. Boris the Fat had half a mind to decline, but Novgorod, their fierce rival, seemed to have a rather small army on their borders. Boris I then entered the war, alarming the peasants and nobles of his country alike, and led his army north, ravaging most of their army. However, as Boris captured Olonets, an unfortified patch of land in the north, and spread his army to siege, Novgorod revealed they had more troops to spare, and they led in six thousand more from their easternmost provinces, led by Knyaz Yeufimei, the second of his name to be elected ruler of Novgorod. Losing some thousand men in the initial assault, Boris withdrew a part of his army and kept the rest in Olonets. The use of 'scorched earth' tactics was employed here, showing Boris' military brilliance. If someone were to try and siege his land, their armies would have to feed on their dead.


BorisI5.png

Novgorod decides they want more land, too.

The bad news kept coming. Yaroslavl was besieged, and Boris' obesity was discovered to be caused by some sort of a disease that was getting worse, and he was barely able to ride for a full day, let alone lead wars. The nobles in the country were allowed more freedom to their reign, which pleased them greatly. A noble and an important general in that time, Nikifor Barclay de Tolly, of foreign origin, had gathered even more levies and a third of every guard regiment in the larger towns, and led them to Yaroslavl, freeing the province. De Tolly then led his four thousand men at Kostroma, effectively cutting Novgorod's supplies and land into two. The six thousand led by Boris the Fat and his noble officers were winning some minor victories in the west, but Olonets was the only area he managed to hold on. Pskov signed peace in Novgorod, where they demanded gold to withdraw their troops from their capital.
Abandoned and cornered, Boris I was nearly slain in a battle in the outskirts of Novgorod in the September of 1405. His army was crushed, and his noble advisors were heavily considering surrendering. The stubborn Boris I refused, however, leading his armies to Olonets to recover. Luckily, Yeufimei didn't give chase.

BorisI6.png

Boris fled the battle, leaving the most of his army to fight alone – they soon followed.

De Tolly had shown himself capable by conquering Kostroma in December, and on the 10th of December 1405 Boris managed to sign peace in Olonets. Novgorod, unstable from the wars they fought with Pskov, Moscow and the Golden Horde, was to cede Kostorma and allow Boris' men free passage home. Thus, Moscow managed to win a war due to de Tolly, and he was awarded with the entire region of Kostroma (and as such was expected to pacify it). The Teutonic Order offered an alliance once again, and Boris the Fat decided to take it after some thought. An alliance with Georgia was signed a bit later, and Boris' son Vasiliy married the Georgian princess.


BorisI7.png

A very favourable peace, with the condition of Moscow's army taken into consideration.


Rebellions and dire news
In Moscow, religion had always been important, and it has been a common point of argument. With the Sunni influence from the south-east and the many heretic groups, it comes to no surprise. Sometimes, heretical cults raised rebellions, gaining enough men or gold to attempt and reform the land by sword and flame. One such attempt happened in the August of 1407, a rebellion led by Roman Spyachy, a most capable general. As the king's condition was still bad, de Tolly was sent to destroy that army, sporting a full thousand men more than his counterpart. Spyachy forced him to flight, and de Tolly was shamed and defeated for the first time, by a mere rebel. He reformed his troops and readied a fresh attack, when a displeased messenger from Georgia found him. Supposedly, the king of that kingdom asked for help against the Timurids, but the messenger never reached the court. The man would not take that explanation, and from that point on, the Moscow-Georgian relationship grew more and more sour. Dismissing the messenger, de Tolly led his armies, only to be called for again, this time by the sick king. The Teutonic Order assaulted Pskov, and Novgorod joined on the side of Pskov, citing they wished to maintain the balance in the Russian lands. Boris could not stand idle when the situation was such, and he came to the Order's aid, to destroy their rivals once and for all.

BorisI8.png

Novgorod and Moscow were not the only two bent on expanding.

The second war with Novgorod
The troops from Novgorod besieged Kostorma, and de Tolly chased off Spyachy, but could not scatter his armies. De Tolly then turned to free Kostorma, and indeed managed to do so with his five thousand men. However, his men were then attacked by Prokopiy Zventsov's nine thousand, fresh and eager, from the north. Boris the Fat had led a relief force of seven thousand men into the fray, even as sick as he was, but the battle was lost, and Moscow's armies had to withdraw deeper into their own land, leaving Zventsov to siege freely. Spyachy's men had used the situation, and Vladimir fell to them in the March of 1409.
De Tolly rushed to free the area, while Boris led his armies back into the fray, some time later. In May, Pskov was annexed by the Order, and Moscow was starting to win, as well.

Then, Poland-Lithuania attacked the Order. Boris absolutely refused to come in their aid, knowing he would have no chance against such a colossus. The Teutonic Order signed a truce with Novgorod in the October of the same year, leaving Moscow without any gains in territory or wealth. By the beginning of the next year Kozloff, the Grand Captain of Moscow, died from a lung disease, leaving Moscow's armies in the hand of a sick king and a middle-aged general. Boris, forced to stay in his chambers the whole time due to his disease, started employing espionage and funding russian patriots to rebel in the Lithuanian land. Unfortunately, he died in his bed on the 29th of May, 1410. His first son, Vasiliy, took the throne, and thus began the era known as the Reign of Brothers, which led to the Golden Horde Wars.


BorisI9.png


A far too dangerous war.


BorisI10.png

Well, that was rude!

________________________________________________________________
A map of the changes in territory by the end of the Teutonic – Novgorod War.

MapLithTOwarbefore.jpg

The Golden Horde cut Novgorod away from their easternmost provinces, leaving them unacessible.
 

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The Reign of Borisevich Brothers

Vasiliy I Borisevich


Borisevich1.png

Vasily I Borisevich came to throne in a brief period of peace. The war with Novgorod has recently ended, and what the country needed was some peace a quiet, and some time to recover from the impact all the warring had on the economy. He instituted an administrative center of the country in Moskva, thus centralizing the state's finance some. It did plunge the country into a year or two of confusion and instability, but the brief period was indeed worth it. Vasily also hired able men to lead rebellions into Lithuania, to free lands that obviously should belong to Russia. One of them was Mikhail Barclay de Tolly, a cunning son of the renowned general. Unfortunatelly, all the rebellions failed, even with an unstable Lithuania, and the leaders of the rebellions were all executed.

Borisevich2.png

In late March of 1414, just as the country had returned to stability under the careful reign on Vasily I, the young Grand Prince died. It was a most curious death, on a hunting trip. Supposedly, a bee flew into his light helmet (they were hunting near the Golden Horde borders, and as such wore light armour), and as he was trying to get rid of it, he fell off his horse and broke his neck on a piece of rock. The country mourned, and by mid-April the same year, Houwaldt was selected to rule as regent for the young Yuriy Borisevich, brother of Vasily. Houwaldt paid great heed to administrative reign, and he was considered a fine regent in that time. However, he died half-way through the regency, and a new regent had to be elected. Houwaldt's student, Abdülhamid Turgut was a candidate, and so was de Tolly. While Turgut probably would of been a better choice, the nobility agreed a converted Muslim couldn't rule Russia, and gave the position to de Tolly, leaving Turgut as an advisor.



Yuriy II the Child - Part I


Borisevich3.png

Having ascended young, and being beardless his whole life, he was dubbed 'the Child'.

Yuriy's reign, once he reached the age of sixteen, in December of 1417, and ascended to the throne, was most turbulent. On the very first month of his reign, heretics rose in Rhzev, angry about the large taxes they had to pay under de Tolly, hoping for a change. Realizing it was his fault, de Tolly led eight thousand of the Grand Prince's soldiers from his estate of Kostroma. Konstantin Valonsky, however, who led the rebellion, put de Tolly to shame and forced him to flee after destroying the left wing of his army while suffering minimal losses. Yuriy I was forced to act.

And his acts were most thoughtful and intelligent. He hired another diplomat, knowing he had to keep peace in these troubled times. It was no other than Yuriy Brashev, who arranged an alliance with Poland on the September of the following year (1418). He also hired an able advisor in matters of war, one Prokopiy Kamerski. Volonsky and his rebels, however, managed to deflect another attack by the Muscovite Army, before finally being chased away towards Moscow, where he was given the four horses.

Moscow, the Juggernaut in the East, did not do well in peace, and the entire year 1419 was marked by a long period of decadence. The following year was not much more eventful, marked only by a Swedish attack on Gotland. Yuriy wisely approved of it, but did not sent troops into the fray. We must remember, Sweden was still an ally of Moscow in that period, and not the bitter foe it became in the later years. Then, Tver called for aid, and the military genius of Yuriy the Child was ready to be unveiled.


Borisevich4.png

The war before Moscow appeared to be quite dire.

It was in May of 1420, just when the nobles were starting to call it another dull year, that this assault the Muscovite vassal Tver was assaulted, Novgorod seemingly being too afraid to come face-to-face with their overlord and their allies. Yuriy led eight thousand men to the west, while de Tolly's seven thousand headed east. Both scorched the fields behind them, leaving the enemy (but also their own peasants, at least those who did not abandon the area), to starve. The ploy worked, and Novgorod sieged the fortress in Rhzev, even though they had only their supply lines to get food from. Yuriy then attacked the eleven thousand men Novgorod kept in Beloozero, and won a great victory in December of that year. The battle of Sheksna (once again a river) was one of the more famed of Yuriy's many victories.


Borisevich5.png

Fighting against a greater army, Yuriy lost only half of the six thousand his enemies did.

The army fled, and as soon as Yuriy managed to organize his army, he gave chase, destroying the organized remnants of that army in a few months. Thus, the west of Novgorod was cleared of all armies save for the regiment laying siege to Rhzev. Novgorod's knyaz offered a hasty white peace, but Yuriy would not have that. He would punish Novgorod, and earn himself the reputation of a ruthless warmonger amongst the nations to the west, instead of the reputation of the defender he wanted.

Yuriy wouldn't go unpunished for Beloozero, not for long. In May of the following year, he went to free Rhzev, only to discover enemy reinforcements have sneaked past his armies and now he was to face ten thousand with eleven thousand at his disposal. He lost, horribly, losing a half of his army against a mere two thousand dead on Obolersky's side. Knyaz Obolersky managed to assault them while Yuriy's army was going over a river, and were open to archer fire, and ruined their discipline with a few fired salves. Those who didn't fall to arrow or blade drowned in their heavy armour – that mostly includes the handful of knights at Yuriy's disposal. Yuriy managed to breach the circle of enemy infantry and lead his army to relative safety.

While he was licking his wounds, Yuriy recieved word of Gotland surrendering to Sweden and paying them a fine amount of coin for their freedom. His mood still dark, he once again assaulted Rhzev, now won by the enemy, and managed to win the castle back within a week.
On the east, however, things were going much better. Tver conquered Volgoda for Moscow, while de Tolly captured Ustyug and Archangelsk to the north. While another move into the enemy lands was being planned, a most brilliant young officer won the attention of king, and he was soon promoted and hired to the king's court, in place of Turgut. It was Terentiy Sjtjenjatvev, after whom the main square in Moscow is today named.

Borisevich6.png

Yuriy held a majestic court of advisors, even in the early years of his reign.



Terentiy was tasked with training a number of levies, while Yuriy tried another assault against Koninsk, the new Knyaz of Novgorod. However, his ten thousand men couldn't handle Koninsk's nineteen thousand, two thousand of his cavalry killed in the first two charges. Yuriy retreated and combined his army with Terentiy's reinforcements. That moment is considered to be the moment the Muscovite Drill was born. Never before had a modern European army had an army of both that size and that kind of discipline.

Borisevich7.png


The Muscovite Drill was born!

Poland assaulted Wallachia and Hungary to the south, and Yuriy officially joined that war, but once again sent no units to aid. Just as Yuriy the Child was charging into a second battle on Sheksa, he recieved most grave news. There was another great war to be fought.

Borisevich8.png

Not good.


_________________________________________________________________
Muscovite Land, Winnings and Neighbours in April 1422

Mapghattacks1.jpg

The Order is a Lithuanian Vassal.
 

Fookison

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Interesting read. Certainly no lack of excitement. Particularly with the old bee in the helmet routine. Do you think it was a plot from the Golden Horde, given Vasily I was so close to the border and all? :D And now we will see the true might of Yuriy II the Child in the next great war, but perhaps he should not wear a helmet!!!!;)
 

Tweetybird

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He will be the interesting sort, but his grandson will be the greatest king to this date. Unfortunately, Part II comes only Monday afternoon. I have played at least two more updates after that, but I have many a screenshot to go through and a map to make, plus I'm busy over the weekend. Worry not, this is the last bee to kill a king in this century!
 

merrick

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Ooh - This could get messy. The Horde can be very weak or terrifyingly strong, but either way my advice to Yuriy would be to make peace with Novgorod on whatever terms they will accept and prepare to face the Tatars.
 

Tweetybird

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War then more war then more war. Wow, Muscowy now has to face the Horde, good luck.

Thank you. The war has been played out a few days ago, but luck will be neccessary.

Zitanier said:
Can you please change the colour of TO?
I hate that orange.

You're right, it's ugly. But don't worry, they get diploannexed soon.

merrick said:
Ooh - This could get messy. The Horde can be very weak or terrifyingly strong, but either way my advice to Yuriy would be to make peace with Novgorod on whatever terms they will accept and prepare to face the Tatars.

Exactly what Yuriy will do. And, messy, yes. It will get messy. We enter the period where the Horde attacks every time they feel bored. They will grow even bigger in the future, I'm afraid.
 

unmerged(86922)

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Great AAR, I will follow this one for sure.
 

Tweetybird

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Yuriy II the Child – Part 2

With Novgorod's armies once again crushed at Beloozero, forced to flee the scene, Yuriy signed a hasty peace and led his men south, seeking levies and men willing to risk their lives on the way, and gathering quite many. He organized a hasty centralization of the state's army, to better defend their land in their time of need. Fortunatelly, all of Moscow's allies might be able to stall the Horde for a while. The treaty of Beloozero signed on the 14th of April 1422 was a mildly favourable one – Novgorod would cede Archangelsk and Volgoda, finance Moscow's war against the Horde and cede their rights on Kostorma. The Knyaz had no choice but to accept, and that left Yuriy with only two wars to fight.

Yurcek.png

Not bad at all

The centralization of state did not go perfectly. As the power was given to the army and taken from the nobility, Yuriy's nephew Andrei (the Fourth, if he were to win the throne) Vasilijevitj rose to arms. By that, of course, I mean his mother rose an army under his banner, since the boy was only five. Dowager queen Yelena of Ryzan, the wife of late Vasiliy Borisevich, had shown to be a somewhat able leader and a true nuissance. Her army was scattered, in Ryazan where they rose, at once, but they gathered in Tula while Yuriy continued to meet the Horde. With the horrible situation at hand, Yuriy signed a white peace with the Kingdom of Hungary, and thus left only one war to fight – a bad one still.

Novgorod's former peasants did not like the situation, and rose to arms in Archangelsk. While Barclay de Tolly was gathering peasant levies to meet them, Moscow managed to get into a war with the Palatinate, proclaiming they will aid Poland against them. Luckily, that war never come anywhere near Moscow's borders. In the meantime, the first of Horde's armies came, laying siege to Nijni-Novgorod. Yuriy led his armies by the border, to the east, and he scorched fields all along the border, until finally reaching Ninji Novgorod and crushing the initial army.

The Grand Duke of Lithuania, Kazimiens I, attacked Andrei's army in the forests, where they were gathering again. He did it for a better reason than to help the Muscovite Grand Prince. Andrei was captured, as was his mother, and they took out his eyes before the Lithuanian Grand Duke took him to one of his dungeons, and he was not heard of for a long time. Yelena was to be dragged to Lithuania also, but one of her advisors, Petar Yuriyevich Kozloff-Tolstoy, led some fifty men into a madly brave operation, and managed to free her and twelve more nobles, from where they led their ragtag six hundred towards Moskva, to gain support from the locals and try to take the city once they had some.

In he meantime, Yuriy II led an army into the Horde's lands, defeating some troops in Tambow. De Tolly, doing his own part, took some two thousand levies and defeated the peasants, taking back Archangelsk. The peasants have beheaded the administrative heads of the region some time ago, and declared it the 'Peasant Principality of Archangelsk'. It didn't last. Yuriy II conquered Tambow, only to learn that Nijni Novgorod was under siege once again. He would not have time to head there, however, for Kuchuk Muhammed I was narrowly defeated when he tried to free Tambow.

Yurcek2.png

The battle to which Yuriy owes the later victories.

Sweden, getting news of the Horde's awesome numbers, decided to withdraw from the war. The nobles saw their chance, and they pressed Yuriy, giving him this offer – if he would grant them the right to a 'veto', they will grant him their personal armies – armies that would be capable of winning this war with relative ease. Yuriy had the wisdom to say 'no' to their demands, knowing that the offer would bring to no good in the long run. He then led his sixteen thousand into Voronezh, where he won another battle and conquered the area not eight days later, in December of 1423. Having a fine chunk of the Horde's land, he signed a peace not much later, in January 1424.

Yurcek3.png

The gold that would be invested in Moscow.

Yelena was still laying siege to Moscow by the time Yuriy was returning home, and he spent no time thinking if to attack her armies or not. He came in and easily defeated her armies that have swelled to four thousand so far. He had only left one in three prisoners to leave, and he captured Yelena alive. After her hands and feet were cut off, she was dragged into the dungeons, never to be seen again. People occasionally claimed to be hearing woman's screaming coming from the underground, but that might just be folks' tales.

Once again spreading his standing army, now an army of veterans, over the land, Yuriy disbanded a surplus of three thousand, commanding them to return to their land and work it, to help the scarred country recover. He wisely invested the gold he got in the war into making temples in the western part of his country, and thus keep the people happy. He also supported some Finnish patriot cells in Novgorodian lands and Lithuanian rebels. Wisely, he joined Sweden's war against Denmark and Norway, but once again did not participate in the very least.

Somewhere in that time, Yuriy Barachev died from a tooth disease, and Terentiy's nephew, Aleksandr Sjtjenjatvev was hired. He was not nearly as great a man as his uncle, but he served his country well. Persuaded by the Sjtjenjatvevs, Yuriy kept a careful eye and an open purse in his relationship with Poland, and he had renewed a royal marriage with their new king. Sweden was still an ally, but their relationship grew colder some, especially after Sweden was forced to admit defeat and cede their ancestral right to Scania to the Danish, as Moscow sent no aid, and soon thereafter signed a white peace with Norway, still participating in that war.
Both the allies, as well as Tver, came to aid when the Horde attacked again. It happened on 21th day of November, 1430.

Yurcek4.png

This screenshot will happen again, believe me. The Horde loves pain.
Even with their allies on the side, the Grand Princedom was in dire straits. Their entire border was under siege, from Tula to Kosorma. Novgorod saw their chance and supported smaller rebellions over the country, but all were stopped before they rose to the status of an armed revolt. De Tolly scored some small victories against the invaders, but the situation was not looking much better for Yuriy the Child and his country. Yuriy thus led his men into the Horde's lands and scored some minor victories, before dire news forced him to return home – Moskva was under siege by the Horde! It was in August 1431 that the siege had begun, and on that day, it looked like Moscow was about to crumble.

It did not, however. Tula fell in October 1431, but was freed only nine days later. Vladimir was next, in January, but once again the occupation lasted only for eight days. Kostorma and Tula did fall into the heathen hands again, but Moskva's brave men held the line. The situation was further spiced by a heretic rebellion in Archangelsk, a group of madmen who claimed the reason for this war was that Yuriy did not build a church in their part of Moscow, too. Then, even more horrible news came. Poland lost, withdrawing from the war.

Yurcek5.png

Well, damn.

So cut off from their Black Sea ports, Poland would become even easier prey in the wars yet to come. More bad news followed in October. Prokopiy Kamerski died. Then, on the 30th, Yuriy's strong 18 thousand troops in Ryazan were defeated by a 35 thousand coming from Poland. Barclay de Tolly led a charge into the fortress of Tula, to free the region. His men won the castle, but de Tolly perished. He did, however, die like a hero. His men claim they had the castle commander closed in a set of sealed rooms in the castle. They had supplies, however, and could last in there for weeks, the few dozen of them. De Tolly chose to lead a siege inside, and it supposedly took nine arrows before he toppled over, whispering 'God and the Prince!' over and over before life finally left his body. It was on the 19th of December 1432 that this happened, marking an end to a hero. His body is kept in the St. Peter Cathedral in Moskva, even today.

Yurcek6.png

A great hero, but an old man. He died in batle, like he wanted.

In January, Ninji Novgorod fell to the heathen and Vladimir was attacked by the same men. A number of small victories were won, and Tula freed and repeatedly defended against enemy attacks, but victory was still not in sight. On April 11th 1433 Yuriy the Child, now not so child-like anymore but still young, led his army into Vladimir. During the charge, an arrow hit his horse, and he toppled over, falling on the ground. His own heavy cavalary and chosen knights have ridden over him, breaking his spine and skull. He died a few minutes later.

Yurcek7.png


Dmitriy IV comes to the throne.

 

blsteen

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Ugh, the Horde. You're paying now for only getting money the first go around and the Poles are just paying period. Nevertheless with a strong king... oh yeah you got a 3-5-3, well you can use a general.
 

Tweetybird

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It will be nasty, yes. But the later wars will be even worse - a much bigger GH and a big ally on their side, too. But we're still a bit away from that.
 

Fookison

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The nasty GH!!!
I agree with blsteen, the money is never worth it compared to the land. I typically go for the land settlement and skip the cash.