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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Chapter 1
May 29, 1453 - January 1, 1836

May 29, 1453:
Sultan Mehmed II led the assault on Constantinople. Though defended by a mere 10,000 soldiers, Constantinople was one of the most heavily fortified cities in the world. Even the army under the sultan, estimated at 100,000 – 150,000 men, took 50 days to take the Christian outpost.

The first attack on the city was led by the Bashi-bazouks. Beginning at 1:00 AM, they attacked the weakest points of the city’s defenses. Though they were outnumbered and outmatched by the Byzantines, they fought with all of the passion and ferocity that a religious war could provide. However, it was not enough. By 3:00 AM they were called to retreat.

The second assault was from the Anatolian Turks led by Ishak. More organized than the first, they used their cannon to blast holes through the city walls. Additionally, trumpets and other noise-making devices were used to break the concentration of their opponents. These Anatolian Turks were the first infidels to enter the city of Constantinople. Again, this was not enough. The Christian defenders, themselves fighting with a religious ferocity and inspired by the defense of their homeland, repulsed the Turks. After a massacre, the attack was called off at dawn and the Turks went back to the drawing board.

Before the Greeks could reorganize and prepare for the third assault it was upon them. Mehmet’s beloved Janissaries launched arrows, missiles, stones and javelins at their hated enemy – the infidel. Unlike the two attempts before, the Janissaries maintained order and unity. Fighting hand-to-hand at the stockades, both sides gave everything they could. However, the Christians had made one seemingly critical mistake. A port by the name of Kerkoporta was left undefended. Once again the Turks entered Constantinople. Once again Turks were repulsed. The battle continued.

The Siege of Constantinople was more than a mere land battle. Many Turkish ships were placed in the Golden Horn and off of the Marmora shore to help in the assault. Many of these sailors came ashore to aide the land-based portion of the Turkish military. However, when the signal was sent, hordes of troops poured off of the ships, taking down harbor walls and began the rape of Constantinople.

Not satisfied with merely renaming the city Istanbul, Mehmed built mosques, palaces, monuments and aqueducts. Since Constantinople was now an Islamic city, special regulations were placed on the Greeks still practicing their faith. Forced to live in special communities called millets, forced to wear distinguishing attire, forbidden to bear arms, the Greeks became second-class citizens in what was once their own city. Constantinople had fallen, and with it, the Greek and Byzantine nation.

Constantinople 1453:
constantinople_shepherd1.jpg


Byzantium 1453:
map1453_base.gif

March 25, 1821 – July 21, 1832:
The desire for a Greek nation had never been destroyed even by centuries of domination by the Ottoman Empire. Aided by the Greek Orthodox Church, the Greek language itself, and the administrative agreements of the Ottomans, the desire for the Greeks to become Greek transcended economic and social classes. Further aided by their economic progress, the impact of Western revolutionary philosophy and the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire, the establishment of Greece seemed imminent. It was no surprise when, on March 25, 1821, Greeks began to revolt all across the Peloponnese and several Greek islands. Within a year the Greek patriots, or rebels depending on who you ask, had gained a strong enough control over the Peloponnese to declare their official independence from the Ottomans, though it is still celebrated on March 25. Not one to merely sit back and watch their empire fall apart, the Turks attempted three times to invade the Peloponnese between 1822 and 1824 but were repulsed every time. Though not yet de jure, the Greek had obtained de facto independence for the first time in four centuries.

One major problem for the Greeks, though, was the existence of internal rivalries. By 1823 the problems had become so bad that a civil war was declared between guerilla leader Theódoros Kolokotrónis and Geórgios Kountouriótis, the head of the 1822 government forced to flee to Hydra in December of the same year. Though this “disagreement” was settled by the end of the second civil war in 1824, the entire idea of Greece was threatened by the arrival of Egyptian forces under Ibrahim Pasha. With the aide of Egyptian sea power, the Turks were able to successfully invade the Peloponnese. By June 1827 Missolonghi, Athens and the Athenian acropolis had been captured as well.

All was not lost for the Greeks and their dream of a Greek nation, though. Luckily, it was in the best interests of the Great European Powers to aide in the establishment of a Greek nation. With that in mind, they offered to mediate a peace between the warring factions. Emboldened by their recent military success, the Turks refused this offer, prompting the British, French and Russians to send a combined naval fleet against the Egyptians at Navarino. Although severely crippled by the loss of their navy and further complicated by the Russo-Turkish War of 1828, the Turks continued their fight.

By 1830 the Turks were forced to the negotiating table once again, ending with the London Protocol of 1830, declaring Greece an independent nation under their protection. By 1832 the borders of the independent Greek nation were set south of Volos and south of Arta. Further, Prince Otto of Bavaria had accepted the Greek crown and, after the Treaty of Constantinople, the Turkish sultan recognized Greek independence.

January 1, 1836:
King Otto knew that he had quite a bit to do if Greece were to become a viable political entity. A Greek state of approximately 800,000 citizens was finally created, but the Greeks were not united by any stretch of the imagination. Hundreds of thousands more still lived under Turkish rule in the northern part of Negroponte, Macedonia, Anatolia, Rhodes, Crete . . . the list went on and on. Some day, he vowed, he would unite all of the Greeks under one banner. His banner.

The economy was in shambles. The literacy rate in his nation hovered around 25%. Crime was rampant. The army was almost non-existent. Infrastructure was medieval, to be extremely generous. His countrymen were little more than farmers. While most of Europe busied itself with scholarly pursuits, Greece, the home of Plato, Socrates, Aristotle and many others concerned itself with picking olives. It was pathetic.

The reality of the situation did little to dampen the spirits of the Greeks, though. Walking to market many talked of the struggle against the mighty Ottomans. Many more talked of the glory that would be the Greek kingdom. The Greek Church proclaimed that the favor of God Himself was upon the Greek nation. Some even equated the rebirth of the Greek nation with the rebirth of the Byzantine Empire. If only that were the case.

What Greece needed now was strong leadership. Otto believed that he could provide it. With so many roads seemingly open before him, it was hard to decide which one to take. In the end, though, he would have to make a decision. No matter what it was, it would affect the live of millions of people.

A physical map of Greece in 1836:
ScreenSave0.jpg


A political map of Greece and a look at the Greek budget:
ScreenSave6.jpg

Next: And Miles to Go Before I Sleep
 
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Henry v. Keiper

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Haven't seen a Greek Vicky AAR in a while. Should be interesting. :)
 

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Very interesting and very good start.
 
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Thanks. I gave a little preview in my other AAR. ;)
 
May 18, 2004
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Looking forward to this, well presented. You should claim for al the Greek Janisairies to return home and join the Greek Army! ;)
 

unmerged(9046)

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Nice set up Josh. I hope the Greeks can regain what they have lost over histiry!
 
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By the way, I'm using the newest patch for Vicky and the newest version of VIP. Settings are normal. I MAY write an event where the Ottomans abandon Constantinople for Ankara, but I'm not sure. If I do, I'll obviously let you know.
 
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Chapter 2
February 28, 1836 – May 19, 1836

February 28, 1836:
Otto was not Greek. He made no attempts to become Greek. He knew nothing of Greek nationalism. He was, in fact, Bavarian. Or, as more and more Germanic nations were calling themselves now, he was a German. The son of Ludwig I of Bavaria and Therese of Saxe-Altenburg, he was no stranger to the duties of royalty. The Greeks would demand a different sort of royalty, though. Perhaps if he’d actually been born a Greek . . . Or if the Greeks were German . . .

“No point in worry about that, is there? I’ll just have to continue to bring German efficiency to the Greek people.”

For Otto, this was the answer. If the Greeks could only act more German, they’d get so much more done. This philosophy did little to gain him any friends in the young kingdom. Thankfully, since Otto had only been born in 1815, the king brought many advisors with him when he took control of the nation in 1832. The Greeks were not very fond of their new rulers, who were all Catholic and considered heretics by the Orthodox Church. However, the fact that they were very good at their jobs helped relieve some of the Greek’s apprehensions and frustrations with being overrun by Germans. Count Josef Ludwig von Armansperg, Minister of Finance, was particularly good at his job. He demanded a strict financial program and he got it. Otto realized that the Count was much better at his job and much better trained than he could ever be. As such, von Armansperg was given a fairly free hand in conducting the nation’s financial affairs – with the king’s final approval of course.

Otto, now 21 years old, made the expansion of Greek industry his highest priority. Von Armansperg agreed, though, more than likely, for different reasons. While Otto realized that a strong economy could quickly be translated into a strong military, von Armansperg simply liked seeing the royal coffers full. Because of this, the Greeks were soon more heavily taxed than they were under the Ottomans. Fortunately for Otto, he had the final say in the nation’s affairs. He knew that a strong military was crucial if Greece was going to continue to exist as an independent nation-state. While Great Britain, France and Russia guaranteed Greek independence now, that might not always be the case. More than just guarantees of independence, he had to acquire outright military alliances with the great powers, preferably Great Britain and Russia. Again, in order to do this, Otto had to obtain money. The trek through Europe or around the Iberian Peninsula could prove quite costly. However, that was a worry for another day. As it was right now, the Greeks had enough money to send an expedition to London with the goal of improving the relations between the two nations. Unfortunately, the British were involved in more important matters and the expedition was marginally successful at best.


Otto I – King of Greece:
Otto.gif

A diplomatic expedition is sent to the United Kingdom:
ScreenSave2.jpg


May 19, 1836:
Though he was aware of the problems that it posed, Otto secretly held the desire to restore the Byzantine Empire and absolute Christian rule of the Balkans. While he scoffed at the peasants that spoke openly of such ideas, he secretly drew all sorts of maps in his own time. “If only the Ottomans were engaged here, if only there was a war there, Greece could recapture Vólos, or Crete, or Rhodes, or Constantinople.” In any case, he knew that these were merely dreams at this point. Greece didn’t have the army or the manpower to engage in such an operation at this point in time. However, Otto did seek to remedy part of Greece’s military problems.

If there was one thing he had learned from his study of Greek history, it was that a navy had saved, or doomed, the Greeks many times in their history. He refused to let the lack of a Greek navy be the downfall of his kingdom. As such, he authorized the building of two more clipper transports. They had no offensive power, but it would be sufficient to transport Greek troops across the Aegean and the Mediterranean if, when, war came with the Ottomans or the Egyptians. Additionally, in a land that had seen war, civil war and revolt in its last few decades, transports were crucial if the Aegean islands decided to rebel against the young Bavarian’s rule.

Or course, von Armansperg disagreed with such “reckless” spending this early in the king’s reign.

“That money could be spent to expand farms, or roads, or factories. At the very least, we could rebuild the Parthenon. That would attract people from all over Greece!”

“Roads? We don’t have the technology. The factories will come. The farms? Well, they’ll be almost useless after the factories are built, won’t they? And the Parthenon? That was destroyed in the 17th Century. What use is it to us now?”

“The 17th Century?” von Armansperg inquired. “I could have sworn it was much later than that.”

“No. It was destroyed in 1687. The Turks were storing gunpowder in it and the Venetians destroyed it . . . The Venetians . . . it’s their fault we’re having to worry about the Ottomans in the first place. They’d just better be glad that Austria –“

“In any case,” von Armansperg interrupted, “we have to be careful about spending too much money. With the initial costs, the manpower costs, the upkeep . . . the country just can’t afford it!”

“Well, we have to have them. Order them built and find a way to pay for it.”

With that, von Armansperg was dismissed, muttering all the way, and Otto was free to spend the rest of the afternoon cursing the Venetians.

The beginning of the expansion of the Greek navy:
ScreenSave3.jpg


Next: You Can’t Print That!
 
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unmerged(26989)

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Will the Greeks take back what was once theirs????
 
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It's only May, 1836. I still have a long time to accomplish my goals. ;)
 

Henry v. Keiper

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Time for Venice to burn, I say
 
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No no, head for the Indian border, restore the the land of Alexander the Great, that's many times better than only restoring the byzantine.
 
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weychun said:
No no, head for the Indian border, restore the the land of Alexander the Great, that's many times better than only restoring the byzantine.

Need an army first! ;)
 
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Subsriping.. :p
 
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Golden_Deliciou said:
I detect a pattern. Expect an Omani AAR from Josh in the near future.

GIVE IN TO THE BLUUUUUEEEEEEEE!

Yeah, I noticed that when I started posting this. :D I'm working on the update right now. BTW, I apologize that the first couple are a little lacking on the action, but that'll change really soon.
 
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The 1st post was very excellent as I was lacking in exactlt "How" the turks took the city.

BTW You are aware that Byzantine was not the term used in 1453. It's a coined phrase from the Greek Name of Constantinople.

The state now commonly referred to as the Byzantine Empire was never known by that name in its own time. It was called the Roman Empire or, in later centuries, Romania. Its people, who were mostly Greek-speaking, called themselves Romans (in Greek, Romaíoi). The term Byzantine Empire was invented and popularised by the 18th century French historian Montesquieu. Like many classicists of his time, Montesquieu regarded the Empire after the 5th century as corrupt and decadent, and not worthy of the name Roman. So he coined a new name, taken from Byzantium, the Latinized form of the original Greek name (Byzántion) of the capital, Constantinople.

That's all. :D
 
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Yeah. They actually considered themselves to be Romans. I just use the term Byzantine because that's what most people are familiar with and I didn't want to confuse anyone.