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You can't read the text on this one:
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Part 1 - The Empire's Infacy
 

Kapt Torbjorn

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Fixed them up a bit, should be easier to see now.
 

frodokb

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Just read up, great AAR. I like the style you are using. Keep up the good work.:cool:
 

Kapt Torbjorn

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Kapt Torbjorn

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Part 2 – Chapter 6 – A Broken Crescent
This Chapter's Mood Music

Mihály was furious. On December 30th, 1472, his son had died in his sleep within the royal palace in Kolozsvár. Normally, there are 5 strong stages of grief; denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance. The king has skipped the first, and showed no sign of budging from the second. In his mind, he knew exactly what had happened. The Ottomans had slipped assassins into the palace and poisoned his son, hoping to weaken Transylvania. Likely, his anger was not helped by the fact that his son had shared the same name as the current king, and Mihály had been training him to take the throne. Convinced that it was the Turks that had done it, he started the third crusade against them, as soon as the army was ready and the preparations were complete. Transylvania’s allies were more than happy to oblige the King’s bloodlust.

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Austria and Genoa answer the call, September, 1474

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Force dispositions of the Ottoman crusade, September, 1474

The majority of the Turkish army was campaigning further east against the Mamluks, but the Turkish sultan, knowing full well the danger that Transylvania and her allies posed to his homeland signed peace with the Mamluks quickly, demanding the province of Mus from his enemy. The Turkish armies would move sluggishly back to their homeland, but the Transylvanians had already seized the initiative. With the Turkish fleet still in the Levant, Transylvanian forces surged across the Bosporus, leaving the Greek lands for their allies and vassals to pacify. It was a risky move, as once the Ottoman fleet returned the forces would be trapped in Turkish lands, but the gamble paid off. Anatolia fell on the 24th of March, 1475 before the Turkish army had even been spotted, but the Ottoman fleet had returned, and the tiny Transylvanian fleet as well as the Geonese fleet in the region had been caught completely off guard, and were nearly all destroyed off the coast of Silistria.

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The Battle of the Gulf of Varna, April 9th, 1475

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The Ottoman army was finally spotted on the 11th of April, filing out of the Mamluk province of Aleppo. It was under-supplied and had taken horrendous casualties in the campaign, and so made its way to Angora in hopes of resting there, resupplying its units, and filling back up its regiments with new recruits. What it met instead was the Transylvanian Army de Stiboricz, led by King Mihály himself. The Transylvanian forces inflicted heavy casualties on the disorganized army, whittling it down to nearly half its number. But the victory came at a great cost, as Transylvania’s army had been outnumbered to begin with, and for every Turk killed, a Transylvanian fell.

The Ottoman army was forced to withdraw to Kastamon, one of Candar’s provinces. The Transylvanian army likewise withdrew, to the captured territory of Anatolia, where recruits were being rounded up to refill the battle lines. Besieging units had been sent out to the Turkish territories that the Turkish army would have to drive through the Army de Stiboricz to get to. Even still, Mihály knew that the Turkish army could not be allowed to regain its full strength, or he would be driven out of Turkey, or worse, trapped within. So, shortly after Bithynia fell in September, the Army de Stiboricz marched again against the Turkish army, meeting them in the Candarian province of Kastamon.

Both armies were roughly even in numbers, and both heavily favoured their cavalry, with the Ottoman infantry force only numbering at 400 or so strong, compared to the 14,000 cavalry they fielded. There was an ace up the sleeve of Transylvania, however, and its name was Mihály Plater. Even in the worst of days, his name alone would strike fear into the hearts of his enemies. He was a brilliant tactician, a deft strategist, and a brutally unmerciful killer; there was even a rumour that at feasts he drank from the skull of Count Néka, though it had never been confirmed.

In front of the walls of Kastamonu the two cavalry forces crashed against one another. The initial charge favoured the heavily armoured Székely cavalry that Transylvania fielded, but as the battle wore on for hours, the advantage swung to the lighter armoured Sipahi, who rode swifter horses, and so were less worn out by the heavy fighting. The Transylvanians were pushed back further, the din of battle carrying over the walls and into the city. The battle had turned against the Transylvanians, and transformed into a full rout as citizens of the city began throwing debris at the Transylvanian army from the wall. Despite the fact that Candar was a vassal state of Transylvania, the nation was predominately Muslim, and dreamed of being free of the meddling of the militant Christian state. The Transylvanian army retreated, leaving a field littered with dead horses and men, equal number Muslim and Christian; it was a Turkish victory that would’ve made King Pyrrhus proud.

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I. A Székely horseman lances a Turkish Sipahi at the Battle of Kostamanu, October 27th, 1475

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But even the Turkish victory at Kostamanu could not turn the tide of the war in their favour; Bursa fell on the 6th of January 1476, and Thrace fell on the 29th. The Ottomans, knowing full well the war had been lost, accepted the Treaty of Banat in February. With Istanbul surrounded on all sides by the quickly rising power of Transylvania, the Ottomans began moving their works of arts and anything they did not want to lose to Karaman, their new capital.

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The Treaty of Banat, February, 1476

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With the Turks largely pacified in the East and the Horde being slowly devoured from within, King Mihály turned his attention north, deeper into Europe. The far western flank of Transylvania was held entirely by the Kingdom of Austria; Transylvania’s closest ally in Europe. But to the north were the lands of Bohemia, who had just recently lost their title as Holy Roman Emperor (Karl I of Austria now held that title). The lands of Bohemia stretched from their Slavic homeland all the across the Baltic sea and into the lands of the Rus. They were a worrying rival for Transylvania, and Karl I shared the same sentiment. Correspondence between Karl and Mihály during this time was quite frequent, though most of the original copies of the letters were lost in the fire of Banat. What is known is that both had a vested interest in bringing the Bohemians to heel; ensuring that they would be the dominant powers in Eastern Europe. In April of 1479, with the help of copious bribes to cardinals in the Holy See, Austria arranged for the King of Bohemia to be excommunicated, which would provide more than adequate justification for war against the Slavic country. Wasting no time, the Austrians sent out a formal declaration of war on May 19th; the same day that the Mihály's wife, Eodem, gave birth to a son, one who would grow up to see Transylvania claw its way to greatness, with him at its head.

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I. Painting of Robert II of Normandy during the Siege of Antioch (First Crusade) More information can be found here.
 
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JDMS

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Maybe the king will be less aggressive now that he has another heir. Anyway, are the Turks a threat at all anymore?
 

Kapt Torbjorn

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Maybe the king will be less aggressive now that he has another heir. Anyway, are the Turks a threat at all anymore?

Maybe :rofl:

The Turks are no longer a threat to Transylvania. To even get troops to their Greek holdings they need to do it by sea transport, and though it wasn't shown, most of their transports were destroyed by Genoa (I think they have 1 left).
 

blsteen

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Yes! Death to the Turk! The joining of the war against the Bohemians bodes ill however. A strong Austria and a stronger emperor may not always be condusive to the future prosperity of Transylvania.
 

sprites

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nicely done

austria should be able to take care of bohemia , and in the next war you'll be able to reclaim greece for yourself ^^
 

Kapt Torbjorn

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Yes! Death to the Turk! The joining of the war against the Bohemians bodes ill however. A strong Austria and a stronger emperor may not always be condusive to the future prosperity of Transylvania.

Yes :(

Good work. Now finish off those pesky Bohemians. I just hope Austria won't leave you without a prize.

AI never gives you anything unless you jump ship early. But, the satisfaction of breaking Bohemia is enough haha.

nicely done

austria should be able to take care of bohemia , and in the next war you'll be able to reclaim greece for yourself ^^

A Transylvanian Balkans!
 

Enewald

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The painting has a Swedish flag. Which is slightly disturbing.

Well done!
Please clean the rest of Balkans also whilst lunging deeper into Asia.
 

Kapt Torbjorn

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The painting has a Swedish flag. Which is slightly disturbing.

Well done!
Please clean the rest of Balkans also whilst lunging deeper into Asia.

I hired Hakkapeliitat for the battle :p

And will do!
 

Kapt Torbjorn

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Part 2 – Chapter 7 – The Gates of Christendom
This Chapter's Tune

uxKJH.png

The call was answered, as was no surprise to anyone with even a vague knowledge of the relationship between the Habsburgs and Platers at this time. Transylvanian forces rallied to their eagles flags and marched north, into the mountain paths of Carpathia, hoping to arrive in Bohemia’s lands before the Bohemian armies could. The Bohemians had just recently lost their seat upon the Imperial throne, and so were struggling to maintain their bloated army now that they could not draw upon the manpower reserves of the Empire, and had been forced to disband a number of their expensive cavalry regiments. At the time, Bohemia was also at war with an alliance of a number of German minor states, headed by Hesse and the Hansa; though they signed a peace with the Germans almost as soon as the Austrian armies began crossing the border.

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OebKl.png

The wolves come to feast upon Bohemia, 1479

The Transylvanian army was not quick enough to seize any Bohemian territories, in fact the opposite was true as a Bohemian army managed to capture the fortress of Galich in Ruthenia. The Bohemians were concentrating the bulk of their forces upon the weaker members of the alliance – Transylvania and Brandenburg, in the hopes of pushing them out of the war so that they could attempt to deal with the Austrians that were swarming across the border. Yet only 3 months into the war, the Bohemian capital had fallen to a massive Austrian army that had stormed the walls and slaughtered the defenders. The Austrians, hoping to keep the Transylvanians in the fight and so leave the Bohemian homeland open to their advancing armies, sent rather large sums of money to King Mihály (war subsidies from the Austrians – 14.63/mo).

The war wasn’t entirely a sweeping success however. Mihály managed to make one of his very few strategic blunders during the war, losing track of where a number of Bohemian forces were and subsequently found himself trapped in Ersekujvar with the Army de Stiboricz as Bohemian and Teutonic forces crashed against them like a tidal wave. The Bohemians took horrendous casualties, and the Transylvanians were only saved once the Bohemian general received word that an Austrian relief army was en route, and so broke off the attack. Had the battle continued all records point to the conclusion that the Transylvanian army would’ve been routed and annihilated.

CVEaB.jpg

I. The Battle of Ersekujvar, October, 1479

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The Bohemians now knew the war was lost, and waves of diplomats flooded into Transylvanian courts seeking peace and an end to the conflict. Mihály refused; he would not abandon his ally. Austrian forces continued their relentless advance in Bohemia, until in January of 1480 when Karl I proposed the treaty of Erz which the Bohemian king had no choice but to accept. It would break Bohemia, never to rise again.

ZLx8d.png

The Treaty of Erz, January, 1480

Transylvanian forces returned to the border region with the Ottomans, and prepared to make another strike against the Turks. The gateway to Christendom lay in Turkish hands; yet surrounded by Transylvania. Constantinople, as many during the time refused to call it by its Turkish name – Istanbul, was where the King’s eyes lay. In May of 1481 the 4th Crusade began, and the Austrians and Genoans again answered the call. 20,000 men in the Army de Stiboricz swarmed into Anatolia, as a smaller force of 2,000 men lay siege to the former Turkish capital. The Turkish forces were pushed back further into Anatolia after the Battle of Smyra that saw half their force obliterated by the veteran troops of Transylvania. It was a tidal flood that the Ottomans could not stem, and on January of 1482, following a bloody assault on the city, Constantinople flew the eagle banner of Transylvania above its walls. Greece fell into chaos, with half the region under the control of Transylvania, Austria, and Genoa, and the other half under the control of Seneca of Thessaloniki’s armies seeking independence from their Turkish overlords.

Nxl5S.jpg

II. The Transylvanian Assault on Constantinople, January, 1482

The peace that King Mihály offered was generous; he was an old man very near his deathbed. He wanted Constantinople before he died, and was willing to end the war if the Ottomans ceded him the city. The Turkish Sultan was more than willing to oblige now that their dreams of conquering the Balkans had been destroyed entirely. They had no need for Constantinople anymore; they wanted to be as far away from the rising power of Transylvania as possible. With the signing of the treaty, King Mihály was finally laid to rest, passing at the age of 42; one of Transylvania's greatest and most brutal monarchs.

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The Treaty of Bithynia, June, 1482

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The Death of King Mihály Plater, July, 1482
Europe was emerging from the dark days of the medieval era. No longer was it living in the shadow of the fall of the Roman Empire. A new world was emerging, a world of innovation, education, and freedom. Some countries still clung to the old ways, however, a world of strength, duty, and honour. These two worlds would collide and in the resultant struggle shape the future of mankind; the Renaissance had come.

fmZbQ.gif




I. Painting of the Battle of Grunwald in the Polish-Lithuanian-Teutonic War More information can be found here.
I. Painting ‘Capture of Constantinople’ depicting the fall of Constantinople to Turkish forces in 1453 More information can be found here.
 
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blsteen

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Superb, its always a great moment capturing constantinople/byzantium and then forcing the Turks to give it up. A regency might not be bad, it will give Transylvania time to consolidate and prepare for the next round of expansion...perhaps beating up Bohemians:D
 

Kapt Torbjorn

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Superb, its always a great moment capturing constantinople/byzantium and then forcing the Turks to give it up. A regency might not be bad, it will give Transylvania time to consolidate and prepare for the next round of expansion...perhaps beating up Bohemians:D

And settlement policies! A Hungarian Constantinople? Oh yea!

This is true! A time for consolidation; an interlude between killing and conquest.

Oh, and why would I bother my fellow Christians when there are rich lands ripe for the picking eastwards? :evil grin:
 

JDMS

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A Transylvanian Constantinople? Nice. :cool:
 

Lord Strange

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What an wonderful AAR! Fun, well written and using such a minor power to begin with!
For this remarkable story, I award you a Lord Strange Cookie of British Awesomeness
Place it in your signature to prove to all members of AARland the heights of excellence you have reached.