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Old May 29th, 2010, 03:36 PM
Rapidkreuzer Rapidkreuzer is offline
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Franz Joseph's sudden death

I was always wondering how AH had developed without Franz Joseph, so I started this timeline.


1890


February

3rd

Near Bad Ischl Kaiser Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary (AH) was again indulging one of his passions, the hunt. Snow was thickly covering soil and threes and his boots were creaking with every step. His huntsmen had already spotted a royal stag with 10 branches and he was really looking forward to the shot. With him was as always a servant whose task was to secure the prey. To say it bluntly it meant to compensate his majesty’s mediocre marksmanship. They were now moving more cautiously because the stag was near and sneaked up a hill. From there both of them should have a good aim. The Kaiser was going down and crawled the last few meters to reach the top. Now he could see the stag clearly; a beautiful deer with lucious brown fur and flawless antlers. He now aimed at it carefully. His servant did the same one meter to the left. Both of them shot simultaneously, so it would not be obvious who hit it. The stag’s head jerked up and a moment later it broke down and stopped moving.
»Great shot your majesty. I think mine is gone missing again«, the servant replied.
When the servant turned his head Franz Joseph was lying there motionlessly, with his face on the ground. Blood already turned the snow red and his gun was blasted above the rifle’s butt. The explosion killed him in an instant.

5th

Karl Ludwig of Austria succeeds his brother as Kaiser. He decides to rule as Karl I.

10th

Franz Joseph I is buried in the Kapuzinergruft (Imperial Crypt) in Vienna. Several representatives of foreign states and thousands of people attend the funeral; among them Wilhelm II of Prussia.

12th

Erzherzog Franz Ferdinand of Österreich-Este, since the dead of his uncle crown prince of AH, was planning to take the train at Wien Hauptzollamt (today Bahnhof Wien Mitte – a major train station) to return to his garrison. A fiaker (cab) carried him, when he was just having a coughing fit. During a military maneuver some days ago he got soaked and due to the cold weather froze to the bone. His lung was now responding and not in a good way. The coachman was getting worrisome, so he asked the prince.
»Do you want to return to the palace or see a doctor your highness? Your coughing sounds serious.«
Franz denied. He hoped the coughing would stop of its own and took out a handkerchief. Suddenly it intensified again and he had problems breathing. He had such attacks in the past but never this severe. The coachman was now even more worried and stopped. Franz just wanted him to proceed again, when he realized that he was already coughing a mixture of blood and slime. The coachman panicked.
»Holy Mary! Is there a doctor around? My master needs help!«
Fortunately an elderly man dressed in a black coat and cylinder was emerging from the crowd at the street side. The stepped man stepped onto the fiaker and took a conscientious look at the Erzherzog and made a number of quickly examinations.
»Mr. coachman, please drive us to my surgery. Third street to your left. Hurry!«
When they reached the surgery the doctor was finally able to ease the coughing. Franz Ferdinand was now sitting in a comfortable armchair, but was still having trouble to breath freely. Nonetheless he tried to leave.
»Thank you for your help Sir. I think I will be fine from now on.«
The unknown doctor pressed him back into the armchair and was giving him close look.
»You are currently suffering from a severe common cold combined with progressing tuberculosis. Your situation will keep getting worse and worse, if you don’t cure it soon and much more important completely. I strongly recommend your highness a long journey to a country with warm climate like Egypt, India or perhaps South America.«
Ferdinand was utterly refusing to believe it and started to chanter about this obviously false diagnosis. He was just about to call the doctor a quack, when the man in black continued.
»If you catch another cold next winter I won’t bet on you surviving this. To put it straight you will join your mother in the near future, who also died of this.«
Franz Ferdinand went pale. It was true that his mother died of a lung disease and most likely inherited it to him, but he didn’t expect it to be that severe. It took some minutes before the Erzherzog could answer.
»I thank you very much for your help and much more for your honesty, Sir. I will try to follow your advice.«
He was about to leave, but finally turned around.
»Please excuse my bad manners I don’t even know your name, doctor.«
»It’s Ignaz Mandl.«

16th

The Austrian-Hungarian foreign office unveils the Reinsurance Treaty between Germany and Russia. Kaiser Karl I and his ministers feel betrayed and some voices even demanded to break the alliance with Germany. Due to German nationalistic and antiliberal elements the alliance between Germany and AH remained valid, but the relationship was damaged. Both governments decide to keep the scandal a secret.

18th
Count Gyula Andrássy dies of cancer. After losing her husband to an accident and one of her most important friends in short succession former Empress Elisabeth von AH suffers under severe depressions and refuses to leave Schönbrunn palace from now on.

22nd

The royal family grants Franz Ferdinand’s wish to suspend his military education and allow him a world journey. The torpedo ram cruiser S.M.S. Leopard will be moved out of reserve just for this purpose. To mask its real intention and quench upcoming rumors about the crown prince’s worsening health it will be announced as a scientific voyage.

Last edited by Rapidkreuzer; May 31st, 2010 at 08:21 PM..
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Old May 30th, 2010, 09:57 AM
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Old May 31st, 2010, 06:34 AM
mailinutile2 mailinutile2 is offline
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What is the new emperor stance on balkans?
would the double alliance with germany would be expanded in the triplice alliance with italy as OTL?
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Old May 31st, 2010, 12:13 PM
Rapidkreuzer Rapidkreuzer is offline
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Originally Posted by mailinutile2 View Post
What is the new emperor stance on balkans?
would the double alliance with germany would be expanded in the triplice alliance with italy as OTL?
The triple alliance or Dreibund is already signed. Italy joined on 20th of May 1882 and one year later even Romania.

The Balkan is also already an apple of discord. Russia has interests there because of its panslawism and the passage through the Bosporus. The Osman Empire is hoping to get its former territories back. Britain wants to maintain the status quo in the Mediterranean, for which AH signed a treaty with Italy and GB (see Mittelmeerentente (also: Mittelmeerabkommen, Orientdreibund)) in 1887. Italy sure has plans with the eastern Adriatic cost. So even annexing Bosnia would be hazardous right now.

The Kaiser will therefore maintain the situation like it is.
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Old May 31st, 2010, 12:17 PM
mailinutile2 mailinutile2 is offline
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is Sisi alive?
if OTL follows, she will be murdered in a few years by an italian anarchist
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Old May 31st, 2010, 08:23 PM
Rapidkreuzer Rapidkreuzer is offline
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I have not thought about her until you mentioned, but I have updated it now a little bit and it should answer your question.

By the way even when this Italian successfully kills her like OTL it would take place in 8 years. So its quite much time to turn things in other directions.
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Old June 4th, 2010, 03:30 PM
Rapidkreuzer Rapidkreuzer is offline
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New week, new post.


March
3rd

The “Illustriertes Wiener Extrablatt” (a daily newspaper) reveals the scandal about the Reinsurance Treaty to the public. It seems that someone couldn’t keep his mouth shut. The issue does not tell the whole story and let out a lot of details, what still worsened the effect on readers. People start to speculate and fill in the details with their fantasies. So a fully fledged alliance between Germany and Russia to split up AH is suspected. A lot of people feel backstabbed by the Germans and the trust in Germany as a reliable ally is deeply shaken. On the other side the many Slavic peoples in the monarchy are now uncertain what to think about Russia, which has declared itself as savior of all Slavs. Was Russia now trying to free all of the Slavs or just trying to expand its borders. The next day newspapers spread the news all over Europe.

5th

Wilhelm II of Prussia sacks Chancellor Bismarck because of the scandal and making him a scapegoat. In fact their relationship worsened during the last weeks because of their different political opinions and Wilhelm wanted to get rid of the old codger anyway. Bismarck is succeeded by Leo von Caprivi. The Germans themselves are not much concerned about the former secret treaty. Most people see Austria already as an archaic institution and definitely not as an equal ally since the difference in economical, social and military development was already known in public.

7th

The British Parliament discusses the newly discovered treaty between Russia and Germany. Some of the members are deeply worried about this news but the common opinion is: »We have nothing to fear from any of them as long as the Royal navy protects us.« Nonetheless plans for an expansion of the navy are worked out.
At the same time things are not going so easily at the French Parliament. President Carnot and Prime Minister Tirard have trouble calming down more radical elements among the parliamentarians. Enlargements of the French military and stronger fortifications at the German border are among the most loudly demanded changes. Outside of the building people, just some dozens, are demonstrating for a better military protection of France. This number will increase during the next days.

9th

Further information about the secret treaty is published. Now it is clear that Germany has just signed a defensive alliance and it would have expired in some months anyway. The rest of Europe, except France and A-H, is rather relieved about this news.

16th

Remainders of the Ligue des Patriotes gain more attention lately because of their vehement demands to increase the French army and take revenge on the evil Germans like they repeatedly call them. Also the number of demonstrators outside of the Palais Bourbon has reached at its peak with over 5.000 people. Agitated by radical speakers the crowd shows signs of subsequently turning into an enraged mob and the police had already trouble to control the situation. Finally President Carnot steps in front of the mass and announces an increase of the army. He isn’t foolish enough to make detailed promises, but the crowd calms down a bit; at least for the day. During the next week the parliament agrees on modern fortification in the border region to Germany and building a new military ground near Nancy which will be able to accommodate up to a whole divisions. To run this new facility about half a division should be stationed there, what would also satisfy the demands for army enlargement.

18th

Kaiser Karl I. has summoned his oldest son Franz Ferdinand. They were taking a walk in the gardens of Schönbrunn, where the grass was already turning green after a severe winter.
»To be honest son we are not happy about your so called scientific voyage, but we see the necessity of it. Nonetheless you will soon assist us in reigning our country. So you will also be faced by the problems a major state like ours brings with it. I order you therefore to ready yourself for assisting ourselves and God in ruling this country.«
Franz Ferdinand was a little bit confused about this comment. Ever since his cousin Rudolf shot himself he knew that he would become Kaiser one day. Thus he had constantly observed all important state affairs and had a relatively large knowledge by now. However his father was not that old and in rather good health so he would have still plenty of time to learn from him. Hence he did not want to disgruntle his father by mentioning it.
»As you wish father. I will make myself familiar with these things.«
»Very well son, but do not forget by any means to harden your soul against any temptations. I suggest that you seek the assistance of Godfried Marschall. You remember him I suppose.«
Sure the crown prince remembered his former R.E.teacher, but why was his father mentioning matters like temptation and hardening his soul now? He had no doubt that the Kaiser was a very pious man, but wasn’t this a little inappropriate?
Incidentally they passed by a gardener, who was examining some roses. He made a worrisome face what drew the attention of the Kaiser.
»Is anything wrong with my pretty roses?«
The gardener was surprised by and jumped up.
»I am really sorry your majesty, but it seems that a pesky fungus has affected your roses. I cannot guarantee that they bloom as pretty as they did last year.«
The Kaiser quickly grabbed a bucket of water and a trowel from the gardener’s tools. He then started to spatter water over his roses and intonated:
»Depart, then, transgressor. Depart, seducer, full of lies and cunning. May your malice not affect God’s beauty anymore.«
Franz Ferdinand was baffled. Perhaps the day to become Kaiser was not that far away. Both Kaiser and prince continued their walk leaving behind a knocked over gardener.

23rd

As expected the French army enlargement causes unease among the Germans. After some discussion new garrisons would be built at Pirmasens and Offenburg. In total it would increase the German military by about two regiments.

27th

S.M.S. Leopard is finally ready for her world voyage. Korvettenkapitän Leodegar Kneißler von Maixdorf is chosen as Commander and Linienschiffsleutnant Maximilian Njegovan as his first officer. Officially it is still a scientific voyage to study the world and especially its culture. Franz Ferdinand boards the vessel with mixed feelings. He accepts the need for his voyage, but on the other hand he is concerned about the sanity of his father and about himself succeeding as Kaiser. With him is Ignaz Mandl. Franz had to promise him that two doctors will tend the poor people in his absence, so Franz had no other choice than to pay these men out of his own pocket. Anyway Franz Ferdinand needs a doctor for his curing and he appreciates Ignaz’s honesty. There were also other attendants. Some of them boarded to advise and tutor Franz Ferdinand during his voyage and others to exploit it for scientific reasons. Not to mention the vast bulk of reports from all over the Empire to update the crown prince’s knowledge.
The next day S.M.S. Leopard will leave for Alexandria as their first destination.
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Old June 4th, 2010, 04:41 PM
Blair152 Blair152 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rapidkreuzer View Post
I was always wondering how AH had developed without Franz Joseph, so I started this timeline.


1890


February

3rd

Near Bad Ischl Kaiser Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary (AH) was again indulging one of his passions, the hunt. Snow was thickly covering soil and threes and his boots were creaking with every step. His huntsmen had already spotted a royal stag with 10 branches and he was really looking forward to the shot. With him was as always a servant whose task was to secure the prey. To say it bluntly it meant to compensate his majesty’s mediocre marksmanship. They were now moving more cautiously because the stag was near and sneaked up a hill. From there both of them should have a good aim. The Kaiser was going down and crawled the last few meters to reach the top. Now he could see the stag clearly; a beautiful deer with lucious brown fur and flawless antlers. He now aimed at it carefully. His servant did the same one meter to the left. Both of them shot simultaneously, so it would not be obvious who hit it. The stag’s head jerked up and a moment later it broke down and stopped moving.
»Great shot your majesty. I think mine is gone missing again«, the servant replied.
When the servant turned his head Franz Joseph was lying there motionlessly, with his face on the ground. Blood already turned the snow red and his gun was blasted above the rifle’s butt. The explosion killed him in an instant.

5th

Karl Ludwig of Austria succeeds his brother as Kaiser. He decides to rule as Karl I.

10th

Franz Joseph I is buried in the Kapuzinergruft (Imperial Crypt) in Vienna. Several representatives of foreign states and thousands of people attend the funeral; among them Wilhelm II of Prussia.

12th

Erzherzog Franz Ferdinand of Österreich-Este, since the dead of his uncle crown prince of AH, was planning to take the train at Wien Hauptzollamt (today Bahnhof Wien Mitte – a major train station) to return to his garrison. A fiaker (cab) carried him, when he was just having a coughing fit. During a military maneuver some days ago he got soaked and due to the cold weather froze to the bone. His lung was now responding and not in a good way. The coachman was getting worrisome, so he asked the prince.
»Do you want to return to the palace or see a doctor your highness? Your coughing sounds serious.«
Franz denied. He hoped the coughing would stop of its own and took out a handkerchief. Suddenly it intensified again and he had problems breathing. He had such attacks in the past but never this severe. The coachman was now even more worried and stopped. Franz just wanted him to proceed again, when he realized that he was already coughing a mixture of blood and slime. The coachman panicked.
»Holy Mary! Is there a doctor around? My master needs help!«
Fortunately an elderly man dressed in a black coat and cylinder was emerging from the crowd at the street side. The stepped man stepped onto the fiaker and took a conscientious look at the Erzherzog and made a number of quickly examinations.
»Mr. coachman, please drive us to my surgery. Third street to your left. Hurry!«
When they reached the surgery the doctor was finally able to ease the coughing. Franz Ferdinand was now sitting in a comfortable armchair, but was still having trouble to breath freely. Nonetheless he tried to leave.
»Thank you for your help Sir. I think I will be fine from now on.«
The unknown doctor pressed him back into the armchair and was giving him close look.
»You are currently suffering from a severe common cold combined with progressing tuberculosis. Your situation will keep getting worse and worse, if you don’t cure it soon and much more important completely. I strongly recommend your highness a long journey to a country with warm climate like Egypt, India or perhaps South America.«
Ferdinand was utterly refusing to believe it and started to chanter about this obviously false diagnosis. He was just about to call the doctor a quack, when the man in black continued.
»If you catch another cold next winter I won’t bet on you surviving this. To put it straight you will join your mother in the near future, who also died of this.«
Franz Ferdinand went pale. It was true that his mother died of a lung disease and most likely inherited it to him, but he didn’t expect it to be that severe. It took some minutes before the Erzherzog could answer.
»I thank you very much for your help and much more for your honesty, Sir. I will try to follow your advice.«
He was about to leave, but finally turned around.
»Please excuse my bad manners I don’t even know your name, doctor.«
»It’s Ignaz Mandl.«

16th

The Austrian-Hungarian foreign office unveils the Reinsurance Treaty between Germany and Russia. Kaiser Karl I and his ministers feel betrayed and some voices even demanded to break the alliance with Germany. Due to German nationalistic and antiliberal elements the alliance between Germany and AH remained valid, but the relationship was damaged. Both governments decide to keep the scandal a secret.

18th
Count Gyula Andrássy dies of cancer. After losing her husband to an accident and one of her most important friends in short succession former Empress Elisabeth von AH suffers under severe depressions and refuses to leave Schönbrunn palace from now on.

22nd

The royal family grants Franz Ferdinand’s wish to suspend his military education and allow him a world journey. The torpedo ram cruiser S.M.S. Leopard will be moved out of reserve just for this purpose. To mask its real intention and quench upcoming rumors about the crown prince’s worsening health it will be announced as a scientific voyage.
Franz Ferdinand would have become Emperor of Austria-Hungary and reformed the Empire. Franz Josef was opposed to reform and said so on many occasions. The various nationalities, including Serbs, Croats, Bosnians, Slovenes, Czechs, Slovaks, and Montegrans, would have been given equal rights within the Empire. These are the subject nationalities.
Not the ruling nationalities----the Austrians----and the Hungarians.
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Old June 4th, 2010, 05:40 PM
Rapidkreuzer Rapidkreuzer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blair152 View Post
Franz Ferdinand would have become Emperor of Austria-Hungary and reformed the Empire. Franz Josef was opposed to reform and said so on many occasions. The various nationalities, including Serbs, Croats, Bosnians, Slovenes, Czechs, Slovaks, and Montegrans, would have been given equal rights within the Empire. These are the subject nationalities.
Not the ruling nationalities----the Austrians----and the Hungarians.
NO! When Rudolf died in 1889 Karl was officially made the next in the line of succession. Franz Ferdinand himself was seen unfit to become Kaiser because of his illness, his bad temper and the royal court favoured FF's younger brother because he was more accessible.

Also FF's reform-plans of the United States of greater Austria formed much later. In fact a real plan was worked out (published) by Popovici in 1905. Thats 15 years later.
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Old June 4th, 2010, 06:23 PM
Andrelvis Andrelvis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blair152 View Post
Franz Ferdinand would have become Emperor of Austria-Hungary and reformed the Empire. Franz Josef was opposed to reform and said so on many occasions. The various nationalities, including Serbs, Croats, Bosnians, Slovenes, Czechs, Slovaks, and Montegrans, would have been given equal rights within the Empire. These are the subject nationalities.
Not the ruling nationalities----the Austrians----and the Hungarians.
That's not what went on in the empire. Slavs even were in better condition than Germans in some areas, such as the ones that required both a Slavic language and German in the administration, as the Slav subjects of the empire often knew both German and their mother language, while Germans rarely knew the Slavic language of the region.

Only in the Hungarian part of the empire were Slavs oppressed.
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Old June 5th, 2010, 03:41 AM
joea64 joea64 is offline
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Originally Posted by Rapidkreuzer View Post
NO! When Rudolf died in 1889 Karl was officially made the next in the line of succession. Franz Ferdinand himself was seen unfit to become Kaiser because of his illness, his bad temper and the royal court favoured FF's younger brother because he was more accessible.

Also FF's reform-plans of the United States of greater Austria formed much later. In fact a real plan was worked out (published) by Popovici in 1905. Thats 15 years later.
I'm sorry, Rapidkreuzer, but you're working from a wrong premise here. Franz Ferdinand was already Thronfolger (heir to the throne) for over a year before the POD in February of 1890. According to Gordon Brook-Shepherd in Archduke of Sarajevo, p. 30:

(immediately after the Mayerling incident, of course)

Quote:
Now, the Archduke Karl Ludwig was technically next in that line as the Emperor's eldest surviving brother, But the man who, nearly thirty years before, had found even a provincial government too much to cope with was hardly fitted in this crisis to be groomed as Heir-Presumptive to the whole empire; in any case, he was nearly as old as the Emperor himself, and of the two, it was the Emperor who appeared to be in rather better health. So, on 30 January 1889, the mantle fell on Karl Ludwig's eldest son, the twenty-six-year-old Franz Ferdinand of Habsburg-Este.
Also, in the Wikipedia article on Franz Ferdinand:

Quote:
In 1889, Franz Ferdinand's life changed dramatically. His cousin Crown Prince Rudolf committed suicide at his hunting lodge in Mayerling,[5] leaving Franz Ferdinand's father, Archduke Karl Ludwig, as first in line to the throne. However, his father renounced his succession rights a few days after the Crown Prince's death.[6] Henceforth, Franz Ferdinand was groomed to succeed.
So Franz Ferdinand IS Kaiser und Konig after Franz Josef's fatal hunting accident in February 1890. If you want to make Karl Ludwig Emperor, you need to make the POD actually on 30 January 1889 or before so that the Emperor decides to keep his brother as Thronfolger.
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Old June 5th, 2010, 03:48 AM
joea64 joea64 is offline
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Originally Posted by Andrelvis View Post
That's not what went on in the empire. Slavs even were in better condition than Germans in some areas, such as the ones that required both a Slavic language and German in the administration, as the Slav subjects of the empire often knew both German and their mother language, while Germans rarely knew the Slavic language of the region.

Only in the Hungarian part of the empire were Slavs oppressed.
This will be very useful information in an online game I'm participating in (playing A-H). Thank you!
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Old June 5th, 2010, 08:45 AM
Rapidkreuzer Rapidkreuzer is offline
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Thanks joea64. That is a very useful, but also very annoing message. In the sources I have read it was only mentioned that Karl Ludwig became the new successor, but not that he relinquished his right that early.

Surely that is a severe blow for my TL, but thanks for mentioning.

I will go into reconsider mode for a while. So dont expect this TL to continue next week, or if worse come to worst, not at all.
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Old June 12th, 2010, 06:41 AM
Rapidkreuzer Rapidkreuzer is offline
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I have now revised my timeline and it turned out that FF becoming Kaiser right after FJ death doesn't change that much. He would also go to a journey because of his bad health and his father would take over for the time beeing until his son returns. So I repost the edited version and hope that I will finish April this weekend.


1890



February


3rd

Near Bad Ischl Kaiser Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary (AH) was again indulging one of his passions, the hunt. Snow was thickly covering soil and threes and his boots were creaking with every step. His huntsmen had already spotted a royal stag with 10 branches and he was really looking forward to the shot. With him was as always a servant whose task was to ›secure‹ the prey. To say it bluntly it meant to compensate his majesty’s mediocre marksmanship. They were now moving more cautiously because the stag was near and sneaked up a hill. From there both of them should have a good aim. The Kaiser was going down and crawled the last few meters to reach the top. Now he could see the stag clearly; a beautiful deer with luscious brown fur and flawless antlers. He now aimed at it carefully. His servant did the same one meter to the left. Both of them shot simultaneously, so it would not be obvious who hit it. The stag’s head jerked up and a moment later it broke down and stopped moving.

»Great shot your majesty. I think mine is gone missing again«, the servant replied.

When the servant turned his head Franz Joseph was lying there motionlessly, with his face on the ground. Blood already turned the snow red and his gun was blasted above the rifle’s butt. The explosion killed him in an instant.

5th

Since Karl Ludwig of Austria, Franz Joseph's younger brother, has already relinquished his right of succession Franz Ferdinand of Österreich-Este is made the new Kaiser. He decides to rule as Franz II.

10th

Franz Joseph I is buried in the Kapuzinergruft (Imperial Crypt) in Vienna. Several representatives of foreign states and thousands of people attend the funeral; among them Wilhelm II of Prussia.

12th

Franz Ferdinand is returning from Schönbrunn Palace to the Belvedere, where he is still residing. A fiaker (cab) carried him, when he was just having a coughing fit. During a ride some days ago he got soaked and due to the cold weather froze to the bone. His lung was now responding and not in a good way. The coachman was getting worrisome, so he asked his master.

»Do you want to return to the palace or see a doctor your majesty? Your coughing sounds serious.«

Franz denied. He hoped the coughing would stop of its own and took out a handkerchief. Suddenly it intensified again and he had problems breathing. He had such attacks in the past but never this severe. The coachman was now even more worried and stopped. Franz just wanted him to proceed again, when he realized that he was already coughing a mixture of blood and slime. The coachman panicked.
»Holy Mary! Is there a doctor around? My master needs help!«
Fortunately an elderly man dressed in a black coat and cylinder was emerging from the crowd at the street side. The stepped man stepped onto the fiaker and took a conscientious look at the Kaiser and made a number of quickly examinations.

»Mr. coachman, please drive us to my surgery. Third street to your left. Hurry!«

When they reached the surgery the doctor was finally able to ease the coughing. Franz Ferdinand was now sitting in a comfortable armchair, but was still having trouble to breath freely. Nonetheless he tried to leave.
»Thank you for your help Sir. I think I will be fine from now on.«
The unknown doctor pressed him back into the armchair and was giving him close look.
»You are currently suffering from a severe common cold combined with progressing tuberculosis. Your situation will keep getting worse and worse, if you don’t cure it soon and much more important completely. I strongly recommend your highness a long journey to a country with warm climate like Egypt, India or perhaps South America.«
Ferdinand was utterly refusing to believe it and started to chanter about this obviously false diagnosis. He was just about to call the doctor a quack, when the man in black continued.
»If you catch another cold next winter I won’t bet on you surviving this. To put it straight you will join your mother in the near future, who also died of this.«
Franz Ferdinand went pale. It was true that his mother died of a lung disease and most likely inherited it to him, but he didn’t expect it to be that severe. It took some minutes before the Kaiser could answer.
»I thank you very much for your help and much more for your honesty, Sir. I will try to follow your advice.«
He was about to leave, but finally turned around.
»Please excuse my bad manners I don’t even know your name, doctor.«
»It’s Ignaz Mandl.«

16th

The Austrian-Hungarian foreign office unveils the Reinsurance Treaty between Germany and Russia. Kaiser Karl I and his ministers feel betrayed and some voices even demanded to break the alliance with Germany. Due to German nationalistic and antiliberal elements the alliance between Germany and AH remained valid, but the relationship was damaged. Both governments decide to keep the scandal a secret.

18th

Count Gyula Andrássy dies of cancer. After losing her husband to an accident and one of her most important friends in short succession former Empress Elisabeth von AH suffers under severe depressions and refuses to leave Schönbrunn palace from now on.

22nd

The royal family discusses Franz Ferdinand’s newly discovered illness. Other doctors have also confirmed Mandl's diagnosis and recommend the same cure, although their expectations of healing sound much more dire. Finally they agree on a world wide voyage of the Kaiser. To mask its real intention and quench upcoming rumors about the Kaiser’s worsening health it will be announced as a diplomatic voyage. The torpedo ram cruiser S.M.S. Leopard will be moved out of reserve just for this purpose. In the meantime his father will lead the state affairs.

March


3rd

The “Illustriertes Wiener Extrablatt” (a daily newspaper) reveals the scandal about the Reinsurance Treaty to the public. It seems that someone couldn’t keep his mouth shut. The issue does not tell the whole story and let out a lot of details, what still worsened the effect on readers. People start to speculate and fill in the details with their fantasies. So a fully fledged alliance between Germany and Russia to split up AH is suspected. A lot of people feel backstabbed by the Germans, especially Franz II, and the trust in Germany as a reliable ally is deeply shaken. On the other side the many Slavic peoples in the monarchy are now uncertain what to think about Russia, which has declared itself as savior of all Slavs. Was Russia now trying to free all of the Slavs or just trying to expand its borders. The next day newspapers spread the news all over Europe.

5th

Wilhelm II of Prussia sacks Chancellor Bismarck because of the scandal and making him a scapegoat. In fact their relationship worsened during the last weeks because of their different political opinions and Wilhelm wanted to get rid of the old codger anyway. Bismarck is succeeded by Leo von Caprivi. The Germans themselves are not much concerned about the former secret treaty. Most people see Austria already as an archaic institution and definitely not as an equal ally since the difference in economical, social and military development was already known in public.

7th

The British Parliament discusses the newly discovered treaty between Russia and Germany. Some of the members are deeply worried about this news but the common opinion is: »We have nothing to fear from any of them as long as the Royal navy protects us.« Nonetheless plans for an expansion of the navy are worked out.
At the same time things are not going so easily at the French Parliament. President Carnot and Prime Minister Tirard have trouble calming down more radical elements among the parliamentarians. Enlargements of the French military and stronger fortifications at the German border are among the most loudly demanded changes. Outside of the building people, just some dozens, are demonstrating for a better military protection of France. This number will increase during the next days.

9th

Further information about the secret treaty is published. Now it is clear that Germany has just signed a defensive alliance and it would have expired in some months anyway. The rest of Europe, except France and A-H, is rather relieved about this news.

16th

Remainders of the Ligue des Patriotes gain more attention lately because of their vehement demands to increase the French army and take revenge on the evil Germans like they repeatedly call them. Also the number of demonstrators outside of the Palais Bourbon has reached at its peak with over 5.000 people. Agitated by radical speakers the crowd shows signs of subsequently turning into an enraged mob and the police had already trouble to control the situation. Finally President Carnot steps in front of the mass and announces an increase of the army. He isn’t foolish enough to make detailed promises, but the crowd calms down a bit; at least for the day. During the next week the parliament agrees on modern fortification in the border region to Germany and building a new military ground near Nancy which will be able to accommodate up to a whole divisions. To run this new facility about half a division should be stationed there, what would also satisfy the demands for army enlargement.

18th

Karl Ludwig has summoned his oldest son Franz Ferdinand. They were taking a walk in the gardens of Schönbrunn, where the grass was already turning green after a severe winter.
»To be honest son we are not happy about your so called voyage, but we see the necessity of it. Nonetheless you will soon reign our country without my assistance. So you will also be faced by the problems a major state like ours brings with it. I order you therefore to ready yourself for assisting God in ruling this country.«
Franz Ferdinand was a little bit confused about this comment. Ever since his cousin Rudolf shot himself he knew that he would become Kaiser one day. Thus he had constantly observed all important state affairs and had a relatively large knowledge by now. However his father was not that old and in rather good health so he would have still plenty of time to count on him. Hence he did not want to disgruntle his father by mentioning it.
»As you wish father. I will make myself familiar with these things.«
»Very well son, but do not forget by any means to harden your soul against any temptations. I suggest that you seek the assistance of Godfried Marschall. You remember him I suppose.«
Sure Franz remembered his former R.E.teacher, but why was his father mentioning matters like temptation and hardening his soul now? He had no doubt that he was a very pious man, but wasn’t this a little inappropriate?
Incidentally they passed by a gardener, who was examining some roses. He made a worrisome face what drew the attention of Karl Ludwig.
»Is anything wrong with my pretty roses?«
The gardener was surprised by and jumped up.
»I am really sorry your majesty, but it seems that a pesky fungus has affected your roses. I cannot guarantee that they bloom as pretty as they did last year.«
Karl Ludwig quickly grabbed a bucket of water and a trowel from the gardener’s tools. He then started to spatter water over his roses and intoned:
»Depart, then, transgressor. Depart, seducer, full of lies and cunning. May your malice not affect God’s beauty anymore.«
Franz Ferdinand was baffled. Perhaps the day to rule without his father was not that far away. Both son and father continued their walk leaving behind a knocked over gardener.

23rd

As expected the French army enlargement causes unease among the Germans. After some discussion new garrisons would be built at Pirmasens and Offenburg. In total it would increase the German military by about two regiments.

27th

S.M.S. Leopard is finally ready for her world voyage. Korvettenkapitän Leodegar Kneißler von Maixdorf is chosen as Commander and Linienschiffsleutnant Maximilian Njegovan as his first officer. Officially it is still a diplomatic voyage to to improve AH's relationships with nations around the globe. Franz Ferdinand boards the vessel with mixed feelings. He accepts the need for his voyage, but on the other hand he is concerned about the sanity of his father. With him is Ignaz Mandl. Franz had to promise him that two doctors will tend the poor people in his absence, so Franz had no other choice than to pay these men out of his own pocket. Anyway Franz Ferdinand needs a doctor for his curing and he appreciates Ignaz’s honesty. There were also other attendants. Some of them boarded to advise and tutor Franz Ferdinand during his voyage and others to exploit it for scientific or diplomatic reasons. Not to mention the vast bulk of reports from all over the Empire to update the Kaiser’s knowledge.
The next day S.M.S. Leopard will leave for Alexandria as their first destination.
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Old June 13th, 2010, 07:14 AM
Rapidkreuzer Rapidkreuzer is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 32
I have finally finished April. hope you like it.


April

1st

S.M.S. Leopard reaches the port of Alexandria. Franz Ferdinand uses the opportunity to study the locals. He is surprised how much cotton is grown there. He learns that Egyptians are more or less forced to grow it for British cotton mills and therefore have to import corn to fill their tummies. Hence Ignaz Mandl on the other side tries to direct the Kaiser's attention to the conditions the local people are living in. Franz Ferdinand has problems to believe that there shall also be people in AH living like that.

3rd

As it is still a diplomatic voyage the Kaiser and his entourage visit Tewfik Pasha, the Khedive of Egypt, and Lord Cromer, Consul-General of Egypt, at Cairo. The meeting took place and at Helwan palace.
»I hope you enjoyed your trip here your majesty«, the Khedive opened the conversation.
»I sure did«, Franz Ferdinand returned, »But as lovely as your country is, I am not here for sightseeing, at least not only.«
Tewfik had hoped for a little chit chat in the beginning but was disappointed by the Kaiser’s undeviating reply. To his disclosure Lord Cromer had even lifted an eyebrow. So he was not the only one to be surprised. Franz Ferdinand seemed to be a direct one.
»Your government told us that you are interested in negotiating a trade agreement with Egypt.«
»That is correct your majesty. Since Egypt has constantly increased its output of cotton over the years and our mills at home are in need of this precious good we want to buy larger quantities of it; for a fair price of course. In return we could sell you inexpensive food and fodder and also several kinds of wood if needed.«
Tewfik Pasha was obviously interested in a trade agreement like that since the British were offering what most people would call a dumping price for his fine cotton, but unfortunately he wasn’t an independent ruler anymore. His country has been ruled by Britain since 1882 and all decisions he would make needed the agreement of Lord Cromer. He decided against giving a too clear answer.
»Your offer sure sounds tempting, but we currently are selling nearly all of our cotton to mills in England. So we have no problems to dispose it.«
»I know that, but one of my advisers has thought up a plan, which I think also Lord Cromer will agree on. Please start your explanation Alexander.«
Alexander Spitzmüller now arose from his chair and started his explanation.
»Dear Khedive, Lord Cromer. We all know how important cotton exports for Egypt are and how important textile exports are for the British Empire. Unfortunately the main sources, Egypt and India, are quite far away from England, so it would save about ten days if you ship it to an Austrian port instead. Like already mentioned we could also offer you fodder, food, wood or other goods in return, so that me could minimize costs and offer better prices.«
Lord Cromer quickly interrupted now. He hasn’t heard an argument which made this deal favorable for Britain so far.
»I apologize to interrupt you, but how should this offer be tempting for Britain in any way?«
»I am sorry your Lordship to explain the good parts for Egypt first, but we plan to build new cotton mills at Adriatic ports, in Split and may be Zadar and Ragusa to be exact, and declare it free ports. So you could buy cotton in Egypt or India and transport it toll-free to Split. Then we will spin it into cloth or clothes and return it to you. Sure we would demand a fee for that, but remember that Austrian workers earn about a third of their British counterparts and after that you can sell your textiles to everybody you want. Basically you would get a base to distribute textiles all over the Mediterranean.«
Now Lord Cromer was also interested. Perhaps he could also get some personal benefit when he tells his father, a well known British merchant banker, about this new opportunity.
»I have to agree with the Khedive this sounds interesting, but please understand that I cannot make such a decision out of the blue. The Khedive and I will consider this offer, but it is still very vague.«
Now the bargain started. It took them several hours to work out a proposal that could be presented to the British government in London, but all of them were very optimistic about it. Franz and his entourage felt that they have done their job well and could leave the rest of the work to the Austria-Hungarian ambassador and his staff. They left Egypt three days later heading for India.

10th

Since the reinsurance treaty is going to expire on 18th of June Russia tries to prolong or negotiate it. As expected Kaiser Wilhelm II refuses any new alliances with them, so Russia commences its search for different options.

13th

Leo von Caprivi announces his politic of the “New Course”. It implies major changes in social law, foreign trade and electoral law. To a minor extent military organisation and tax law would also experience changes. It seems that Germany is heading for a social state.

17th

Eduard Taafe, prime minister of Cisleithania (the Austrian part of AH), tries to negotiate with the Czech about autonomy again. Unfortunately it proved as fruitless as always due to the strict demands of the Národní strana svobodomyslná (Young Czech Party).

28th

S.M.S. Leopard reached Bombay (Mumbai). Franz took a trip around the city with LL Maximilian Njegovan, because Ignaz Mandl didn't feel so well. In a small side street both were ambushed buy a gang of five men. They refused to hand over their money, so a fighting started. The robbers were armed with short daggers and Franz unsheathed his sabre to fend them off. Njegovan wasn’t wearing his sabre, but instead tries to pull out his revolver. It took him some time because its holster wouldn’t open. The fight happened to be short, but very intense. The Kaiser bled from several shallow cuts, but manages to wound one attacker severely. Njegovan on the other side finally pulled his gun out and shot one attacker into his thigh. The others quickly routed after that. From that day on Franz and Maximilian felt as brother in arms and a close friendship developed.
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