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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

AmbassadeBelgie

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Th(omas): The Chinese had discovered longitude in 1421? That I hadn't found out yet - I will look into it, but it sounds fascinating.
According to Gavin Menzies' book (title: 1421).
Very contraversial discussions about the book. I for one, find it absolutely fascinating, and believe a whole load of it. When writing about it in OT, however, EVERYBODY who posted in the thread was against it, giving quotes of reviews that didn't exactly praise the book.
Anyway, I believe it, and intend to use it in the Order whatever others say. I recommend you read the book, though, it is fascinating.

Summary of what you could use in your AAR:):
-Chinese had already discovered a means of using Polaris (North Star) to calculate latitude above the equator. They later found Canopus as the latitude-star in southern hemisphere.
However, longitude was a problem, another reason for their circumnavigation. This is why some of the maps derived from the trip show the Cape of good Hope thinner than it is, and other such longitudal errors due to ocean currents. I can't put my finger on when or how, because this i seem to have forgotten, but here is an excerpt from the book explaining how Portugal got the maps from China.

quote from the book:
In 1416, Prince (Dom) Pedro, Henry's [the Navigator] elder brother, 'seized with the desire to gain enlightenment by travel through the principal countries of Europe and Western Asia', had set off on an odyssey to garner every possible piece of information about the world beyond the Mediterranean. King John had invested a substantial sum in Florentine bonds to cover his son's travelling expenses, and the King of Spain had provided him with a retinue of servants, translators and scholars. He travelled through Spain, Palestine, the Holy Land, the Ottoman Empire - 'the Grand Sultan of Babylon' - Rome, the Holy Roman Empire, Hungary, Denmark, England, and Venice, and 'at the end of twelve years' travel Dom Pedro returned in 1428 to Portugal'. [page 394, 1421, Bantana Books]
The punishment for stealing maps after this was deaht. You can thereby imagine the preoccupation for Portugal to protect its maps from the eyes of others.

I'll let you get on with the AAR, seeing as I've already written way too much for a comment :p

Th :rofl:
 

Farquharson

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Oof! [Heaves AAR up from halfway down page 2] We need to get this thing back on the road!

Rythin: Shucks, I guess I'll never make a really evil warmonger... :(

Th(omas): Interesting - but did the Chinese actually have some way of measuring longitude? Some kind of clock or something? As I understand it, measuring latitude had been considered straightforward in Europe since antiquity, so the real achievement would have been to be ahead of the Europeans in measuring longitude.

Now, here comes that promised update...
 

Farquharson

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Chapter 3
The Makings of Greatness



Paris, May 1622

Armand Jean du Plessis, duc de Richelieu, France’s young but brilliant Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, bowed before his king, Louis XIII.

“Sire,” he said, “I understand you had some questions regarding my report on the African Expedition. I trust the report was not lacking in any way?”

“Lacking?” replied the king, eyeing the duc de Richelieu carefully, “No it was not exactly lacking. I wanted to question you further regarding the discovery of these Portuguese settlements.”



Louis XIII, King of France​

“Ah yes, Your Majesty, a most disturbing aspect of the report.”

“So what the devil are they doing there?” barked the king. He spoke as if the Portuguese colonization of the African coast had been the personal responsibility of his foreign secretary. Richelieu hesitated for a moment before answering.

“Er.. colonizing, Your Majesty.”

The king grunted. “I daresay they are. So why aren’t we doing the same?”

“I beg Your Majesty’s forbearance, but might I point out that your loyal servant Samuel de Champlain has been doing just that. The French settlements in Nouadibuh, Louga, Guinée, and most recently at the Cap de Bonne Espérance are surely...”

“Pah!” spat King Louis, “A few huts thrown up here and there. The point is, the Portuguese were there before us!”

“There is the South American Expedition...”, ventured Richelieu.

“Yes, and there’s no need to trouble me with a report on that when the time comes - I know what it will say. Admiral Beaulieu has explored and charted this and that bit of coast and everywhere he went he found the Spanish already there!”

“The Admiral’s orders are to sail as far south as possible, My Lord, to discover if possible the southern passage to the Pacific Ocean. Perhaps he might find lands on the western seaboard that are as yet unbesmirched by the Spanish dogs.”

“Perhaps.” snorted the king in a tone which suggested he would sooner believe that men would one day travel to the moon.

“And there is Quebec, Your Majesty,” said the duc, hoping to appease the king’s mood with at least one success story.

“Yes, I understand one new colony has been founded in the last five years.”

“One colony in Bas St-Laurent, and one trading post in Penobscot, Sire. I beg to remind Your Majesty, however, that our priority has been to gain a foothold on the African and South American coasts.”

“And why is it,” growled the king, “that the Spanish and Portuguese are sailing all over the world already and we are only able to trot along at their coat-tails all the time?”

“Ah, now that is a very good question, Your Majesty,” said Richelieu, who clearly had an answer to offer and had only been waiting for the opportune moment to bring it up. “Why indeed? It is true that Admiral Beaulieu has done an astonishing job of opening up new regions to our colonists, but he is alone among French mariners in being intrepid enough to venture into such unknown waters. If only navigation were not such a hazardous and inaccurate science, we could send forth our mighty navies to every corner of the globe!”



Armand Jean du Plessis, duc de Richelieu​

“Are you talking about the secret of longitude?” said the king. “If so, there is no need to remind me once again of the Spanish and their infernal gold. Six thousand ducats indeed!”

“They have not yet paid the reward to anyone, Your Majesty. Not even to Signor Galilei. And they are still recovering from their bankruptcy of last year.”

“So what do you propose? Do you have the secret?”

“No, Your Majesty, but I believe we in France have the potential to make great strides forward in our understanding of science and philosophy. There is a man here in Paris, one Marin Mersenne, a Jesuit in the Holy Order of the Minims, who is a wealth of information. He is in correspondence with all the greatest minds in Europe. Then there is Canon Gassendi of Digne, who is also professor of philosophy at Aix. A fervent supporter of Signor Galilei and an experimentalist to the core. Sire, I believe such men are at the forefront of modern science. They must be encouraged, given freedom to think and work as they wish, directed into endeavours that will ultimately bring glory and honour to France, and of course to your own esteemed personage!”

At last the king’s mood seemed to lift at these words.

“Yes,” he mused, the hint of a smile pulling at his lips, “Yes, indeed. Well I am sure I can leave such matters in your capable hands.”

“It is not exactly foreign affairs, Your Majesty...”

“That is true, but I was thinking that perhaps you might be due for... how shall we say - a spot of promotion, some time soon?”

The duc de Richelieu bowed once more.

“I am your humble servant, as always, Your Majesty,” he said.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>O<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<​

Beaulieu and Champlain had sailed down the African Coast as far as the Cape of Good Hope, successfully establishing French colonies, or at least groups of French mud huts, at strategic points along the way. The dynamic duo were then sent to French Guyana (Maroni) where Champlain helped to expand the colony before setting off on a new expedition to explore the coast of South America. Yet another French colony was established in Copetonas (Argentina) before the fleet braved Cape Horn and emerged in the Pacific. They did find the Spanish already there, but after fierce fighting with Spanish troops in Atacama the French came out victorious and established yet another colony.

(Had they known that it was not going to rain in Atacama for the next 400 years they might have hesitated to choose this spot for a French colony, but meteorology, like most other sciences, was still in its infancy, and in any case, the area was rich in iron ore deposits.)

Meanwhile, back in France Richelieu’s anti-Protestant policies were not going down too well in the Huguenot provinces, despite what was supposedly “a more tolerant approach”, and the army were kept busy with numerous religious revolts. Relations with Spain and Austria, though strained at times, remained peaceful however. France’s great ambition was to become Europe’s foremost colonial power. And Richelieu was utterly convinced that scientific endeavour was the key to fulfilling that dream.

And finally - screenshots!



French colonies in West Africa, 1623 - the Portuguese are already there...​


French colonies in South America, 1623 - the Spanish are already there...​
 
Last edited:

Rythin

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Farq,
Don't give up, maybe somewhen you will reach that ultimate level of warmongers. In the meanwhile, you can do that colonizing-trading job for gays :D
 

stnylan

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So are you going to steal Harrison's thunder then are you? ;)

You are, as ever, a veritable fountain of ideas. Great story so far.
 

CatKnight

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Near Brest, France


"Now that was rude!" Cardigan huffed. Zebra's Pride rocked steadily in its berth, a hidden cave in the cliffs protecting that city. Simba sprawled on the deck, exhausted. They'd just spent the past three hours duelling the batteries defending Brest. They appeared to resent a strange ship sailing into harbor - they liked it even less when Simba raised a flag with a reared yellow lion on a red field. ("It was the only one we had!")

"Who'd have thought frogs could fight like that!" Simba complained. He could still see them clear in his mind, with their dark blue uniforms hopping to the armory then hopping back with ball and charge. "You'd think we were trying to steal their flies or something."

"Oh, Europeans you know, Simba." Cardigan frowned at his monacle, cracked when the zebra careened across the deck after a ball rocked the ship. Dusted it. Frowned deeper. "There's no telling why they act the way they do."

"Well I think we should teach them a lesson. Dump a bunch of salt on them, then they'll be done for!"

"You're thinking of slugs, Simba."

"Same thing!"

"Not really. Plus, we're to wait here for the migratory birds. I really couldn't make much sense of their arcane cant. Could you?"

"Something about going to Mars?" Simba looked up at the roof of the cave. "I think it's a long way off."

Cardigan nodded. "0.4 AU on average. Hmm, I better pack my woolies."
 

coz1

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Well, at least the English don't seem to be over-colonizing. Better get going in North America to thwart their eventual push there.
 

unmerged(26933)

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You might be able to get that gold provence down in the south pacific, near austrailia if your luck, or maybe the yukon one. Good work, keep it up.
 

TreizeV

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Exceptional job on expanding France's horizons! What are your continental ambitions howeveR? if any? Are you going to at least expand her to her "natural" Frontiers?